Are You Lucky or Purposeful?

imagesCAADD1X9There are some days when it feels like everything is running smoothly and other times it may feel like the end of a long run can’t happen soon enough. It’s human nature to focus on what’s not working than to revel in the moments when you are in the flow and the Universe is cooperating fully.

• Do you consider yourself to be a lucky person?
• Are you someone who takes full advantage of opportunities, focusing on them as they arise?

“Things worthwhile generally don’t just happen. Luck is a fact, but should not be a factor. Good luck is what is left over after intelligence and effort have combined at their best… Luck is the residue of design.” – Branch Rickey

Buying a winning lottery ticket is sheer luck as the odds are certainly not in your favor nor did any scheme in particular give you better probabilities. The more sales calls you make will increase your chances of closing a deal. The more swings at bat, shots at a goal or auditions you attend will increase the likelihood of your success. Too many people excuse their own limitations to by crediting other’s achievement to luck.

Lucky people actually do things that allow them to take advantage of chances that they position themselves for. Not everything works out of course, but wishing, hoping and praying for success is not a formula for success. What’s you action plan, setting aside the rabbit’s foot or palming a 4-leaf clover?

According to Kevin Daum, there are 5 “secret” behaviors of lucky people.

1. Play to your strengths: We waste too much time and energy doing things that we probably don’t do well. Focus on what you do well and delegate the rest or find a partner to compensate for your weaknesses.

2. Prepare in advance: Unlucky people often get that way because they are reactive and unprepared. A business plan, for example is a template. The point in having one isn’t to follow it for the sake of staying on track. Rather, it is to establish a structure for smart decision making that allows you to adjust and succeed.

3. Start early: It’s not necessarily about rising early, but beginning projects well in advance. So many people want to put their energies into things that provide immediate gratification. The most fortunate people I know are the ones who planted the seeds early and are now in a better position to have choices and take advantage of the most promising ones.

4. Connect with as many people as possible: The key to success is access to opportunity. Access comes from influence. If you are influential, people will bring opportunities to you. The way to build a following is to provide value to many people. How are you providing the sort of value that will cause people to spread your thoughts and attribute credit to you?

5. Follow up: Opportunities come and go because people do not follow-up in a timely manner. Following up is often more powerful and impressive than the act of initiating.

What will you plan to do to increase your LUCK?

©MWeisner2017

 

 

Tips for Effective Networking

MH90043755180% of jobs are unadvertised and found through networking

Whether or not you are currently engaged in a job search, networking is a fundamental activity that should be embraced for numerous reasons. With time at a premium for most working adults, adding more to an already full schedule may feel like another obligation. It’s true that unless there is a clear intention and purpose, attending an event with a general notion of making contacts is unrealistic. It requires a plan.

We recommend the 3-3-3 approach as a minimum goal for any event:
Choose a minimum of 3 people to connect with more than superficially. Listen. How might you help them?
Collect 3-business cards from people you spent time talking to
Call within 3-business days and follow up with another time to meet.

Networking doesn’t always mean carving out hours to connect and make introductions. Technology has created unlimited opportunity to reach out on LinkedIn, Facebook, Classmates, alumni and special interest groups along with many other sites. You can renew relationships with former colleagues, research new interests or connect with people who are doing interesting things.

Joining organizations that are not related to your area of expertise brings you into contact with new people, who don’t know you as (fill in the blank). This is especially helpful in a transition period where you may be looking at a career change. Attend an industry function as a guest to see if that demographic is a good fit. An added bonus is learning more about aeronautics, public relations, marketing or perhaps community theater.

Be curious! You never know how you may be a resource for someone else and likewise, how you can develop broader connections and learn something new in the process.

10 Things You Can Do Better Today

 

how-to-time-management-300x225I am a list maker. It helps me to synthesize my thoughts and organize my activities rather than to operate free-form, without a plan. It is too easy to be in action for the sake of feeling like there is accomplishment. Yes, at the end of the day it is better to have cleaned closets, gone to the gym and emerged from the darkness with the purchase of proper wattage light-bulbs. However, task driven busyness is not a substitute for long term measurable results, improved relationships and clarity. Thinking in broader terms may be useful in creating your own list. Below is a sample of a place to start and #10 is a reward in and of itself.

1. Increase your response time to requests.
2. Improve the brevity and simplicity of your electronic correspondence.
3. Connect with 5 new people and 7 existing colleagues or friends each day.
4. Inspect your business process cycle from start to finish for improvement.
5. Rethink your approach to helping others succeed.
6. Increase the number of times you connect others to build new relationships.
7. Resolve 3 pieces of unfinished business, no matter how painful.
8. Live closer to your goals and your main points of focus, and less by reaction.
9. Take time to thank the people who make your life possible.
10. Rest and unplug!

Your list may be quite different and it must be one that makes sense for you. Who wouldn’t want to be better at understanding the value of designing a process, an internal plan that is uniquely yours? How effective will you be when the questions you ask, the calls you make and the level of engagement you choose are consistently in alignment with your list!

• What are your most fundamental guiding principles?
• Too big? Begin with 3 or even 1 and add as you choose
• Notice the shift in your focus – what’s different?
• Notice the response of others to you – what’s different?

©MWeisner2015

10 Things You Could Do Better Today

Woman Writing on Pad of PaperI am a list maker. It helps me to synthesize my thoughts and organize my activities rather than to operate freeform, without a plan. It is too easy to be in action for the sake of feeling like there is accomplishment. Yes, at the end of the day it is better to have cleaned closets, gone to the gym and emerged from the darkness with the purchase of proper wattage light-bulbs. However, task driven busyness is not a substitute for long term measurable results, improved relationships and clarity. Thinking in broader terms may be useful in creating your own list. Below is a sample of a place to start and #10 is a reward in and of itself.

1. Increase your response time to requests.
2. Improve the brevity and simplicity of your electronic correspondence.
3. Connect with 5 new people and 7 existing colleagues or friends each day.
4. Inspect your business process cycle from start to finish for improvement.
5. Rethink your approach to helping others succeed.
6. Increase the number of times you connect others to build new relationships.
7. Resolve 3 pieces of unfinished business, no matter how painful.
8. Live closer to your goals and your main points of focus, and less by reaction.
9. Take time to thank the people who make your life possible.
10.  Rest and unplug!

Your list may be quite different and it must be one that makes sense for you. Who wouldn’t want to be better at understanding the value of designing a process, an internal plan that is uniquely yours? How effective will you be when the questions you ask, the calls you make and the level of engagement you choose are consistently in alignment with your list!

• What are your most fundamental guiding principles?
• Too big? Begin with 3 or even 1 and add as you choose
• Notice the shift in your focus – what’s different?
• Notice the response of others to you – what’s different?

© 2014 Maureen Weisner

Be Your Own Hero

we can do itjpgSome days are better than others for everyone. How would it be to live a life without fear? Norman Mailer wrote, “There are two kinds of brave men (women). Those who are brave by the grace of nature, and those who are brave by an act of will.” The latter is likely where most of us fall and the former sounds like the description of a character in one of Mailer’s novels.

The five most common fears:
1. unknown
2. failure
3. commitment
4. disapproval
5. success

These are only some amongst many and it does not even mention the fear of public speaking or the fear of death. Clearly the list is far from complete and please feel free to add your own buzzwords.

What does this have to do with personal heroism? Not everyone is Mother Teresa or plans to mount an assault on K2. Even something as simple as taking risks and being anxious and afraid to fail can qualify you as a hero. In fact, the great hockey player, Wayne Gretsky said, “If you never take the shot, you’ll never score the goal.” He had many more misses than shots in the net, but he never stopped trying and he continued to set career records until his retirement.

You can be a hero if you simply manage your fears. According to historian Michael Ingatieff, “Living fearlessly is not the same thing as never being afraid…Fear is a great teacher. What’s not good is living in fear, allowing it to define who you are. Living fearlessly means standing up to fear, taking its measure, refusing to let it shape and define your life.” It is not the absence of fear that makes someone a hero, rather the management of fear that gives you a chance. Take the risk, possibly fail and learn about yourself in the process!

•    What’s your biggest fear(s)?
•    How do you manage it?
•    Recall a time when have you been your own hero?

©2013 Maureen Weisner

SLOW Down and DO More!

slowdown500“People tell me I’d go faster if I used a computer, but I don’t want to go faster. If anything, I want to go slower.” ~ David McCullough

Conducting two unrelated tasks at the simultaneously is multi-tasking. If you are writing a document while referring to an associated spreadsheet at the same time, it is not multi-tasking. And yes, it is possible to fold laundry and watch a favorite TV show concurrently without consequence. In fact, there may be some level of satisfaction associated with the accomplishment of completing a rote activity with another passive form of relaxation. However, if you are bouncing between deciding on an issue while chatting with friends and reading the newspaper, you are not giving your full attention to any of the three…even if you believe you are.

What are some common side effects of multi-tasking?
• Missing important instructions
• Replying to everyone on an e-mail
• Feeling overwhelmed and/or anxious
• Misplacing documents, directions or ancillary materials
• Chronic lateness

According to Peter Khawand, CEO of People On The Go, “When we are interrupted, our results drop down to zero. It takes time to re-load short term memory and determine where we were when switching back and forth between tasks.” Constant mini-shifts from one activity to another are an energetic and cognitive drain. Furthermore, Khawand states, “When we’re working 2-minutes here and there, it’s really hard to get deeply into anything. We lose the ability to think strategically and solve deep issues.” In fact, more employers are looking individuals who can uni-task and fully concentrate. While speed may be important, clear and focused thinking is even more important.

What can you do?
• STOP continually checking e-mails, facebook and other on-line sites
• Turn off your cell phone, e-mail notifications and other interruptions
• Make lists of what needs to be done and the detailed steps to complete a task
• After a stretch of uninterrupted activity, give yourself a “connectivity” reward of conversation with a friend or colleague in person or on-line