HIRE OF WEEK: FLEETWOOD MAC VOCALIST CHRISTINE MCVIE

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SHOW DATE: JANUARY 15, 2014

We are excited that Fleetwood Mac is getting back together. But that’s not why vocalist Christine McVie is our hire of the week.

McVie retired in 1998, and she’s been holding on to her retirement. But she decided to let go of her ego and get back with Fleetwood Mac without worrying if it will make her look like she’s going backwards.

She was passionate, and we should all take a cue. If you have too much pride to take up a certain job—say one you resigned from a while ago—drop the ego and focus on the passion.

THE HOLIDAY PARTY IS YOUR CHANCE TO SHINE

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SHOW DATE: DECEMBER 11, 2013

Your company’s holiday party is a fantastic opportunity to reveal yourself as a company leader. So what’s up with skipping out on it? Are you on crack?

It’s not just an opportunity to dine on the company’s dime. Your boss is looking at you. They’re checking the list twice—who’s coming and who’s not.

As bosses, Auntie Evan and Uncle David want to know that you’re there for them. That means not sending an email 30 minutes before the party to cancel.

Utilize the holiday party to show your boss that you’re a leader who deserves a promotion.

If you’re new at a company, the holiday party is a great place to grow your presence and get yourself out there. By not showing up, you blow the opportunity.

And don’t send an email that you’re not going—that’s the coward’s way out. At least call. Don’t rationalize it by figuring everyone’s too busy setting up the party to receive the call. If something truly does come up last minute, call in, don’t email, and say you f-ed up.

A holiday party is a marketing opportunity, not just a chance to get drunk. You meet potential clients and show your boss your commitment to the company.

And guess what: If you miss the party, or cancel last minute, you’re showing your boss that this is a recurring problem in your job and in your life. Not good.

It doesn’t matter if you’re 1099 or W2—the company is still going out of its way to make sure you’re making a living. When you don’t show up, you’re making a choice. You’re putting the company second.

And if you’re working at a small business, realize that the owners are struggling to make everything work. Think about how to make your company more money so you can get more money.

When you get a chance to attend the holiday party, don’t blow it off, use it to your advantage and show your boss that you’re there for the company.

 

HIRE OF THE WEEK: CLEAN WATER ADVOCATE CHAD PREGRACKE

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SHOW DATE: NOVEMBER 27, 2013

Chad Pregracke is a clean water advocate. He has his own organization called Living Lands and Waters, where he organizes people to clean all the garbage on the riverbanks of the Mississippi River and other big rivers in America.

He’s gotten 70,000 people to pitch in.

What we loved about this guy is what he said on a CNN interview: “The garbage got into the water one piece at a time, and that’s the only way it’s going to come out.”

This is the attitude of a leader. Solutions happen one step at a time—this is how you really take your career by the reins.

Stop being the guy who thinks the problem is too big to handle, and start telling yourself, “You know what, I can fix this. It might take a lot of time and a lot of steps, but I can do it piece by piece.”

ARE YOU GETTING TOO COMFORTABLE AT YOUR JOB?

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SHOW DATE: JULY 17, 2013

Wake up. Eat breakfast. Go to work. Eat lunch. Back to work.  Go home. Eat dinner.  Rest. Sleep. Wake up.

Does this cyclical pattern describe your workweek? This is not oversimplification or dramatization. This is what millions go through on a daily basis, and you may be going through these exact motions without even realizing it. Don’t believe us? Answer these simple questions:

a) When was the last time you read a book about your specific job or the industry you work in?

b) When was the last time you went to a helpful seminar on your own time and on your own paycheck?

c) When was the last time you created a system at work that made things easier and more efficient for everybody in the office?

d) When was the last time you decided to light a fire under an employee’s ass because they weren’t doing their best?

If you answered “three months ago” to “never” for any of these, then you’re complacent with your performance at your job. You’re afraid of rocking the boat and shaking things up; you’re fine with keeping things the way they are now because if you try something new you’re going to have to deal with all the muck that comes with it.

Ask yourself, what’s the best thing that can happen if you stick with this attitude? Answer: you stay where you are now, you don’t get demoted and you don’t earn more money. Hey—some people are fine with that. Worst case scenario? Here’s a hint: it’s Trump’s iconic catchphrase.

Don’t start moping just yet. There is a way to not only inspire and reinvent yourself on a day-to-day basis, but also help others do the same as well. Here’s a set of steps to help you transform yourself and those who work around you:

1) Admit that it’s your fault: “but I do inspire and motivate myself! It’s my employees who are being complacent!” It’s easy to blame others—the responsibility goes out of your hands and you’re left powerless to do anything, so it’s not your fault. But how do you ever expect to be in a leadership role when you take the easy way out? Here’s a great way to start empowering yourself: admit that’s it’s your fault. When something is your fault, it’s you who decides how to fix that problem, and it’s you who takes action and gets people motivated to overcome that problem along with you.

2) Take responsibility and take action: you have an employee that’s slacking big time. He’s waiting to be handed clients on a silver platter, and he does the bare minimum day in and day out. You’re thinking of firing him, but are concerned with the hassle of confronting him, the tax issues, finding a suitable replacement, and all the time and energy required to make this happen. You know what you’re being? You guessed it: that dreaded “C” word… complacent. By being complacent yourself, you allow others around you to become complacent as well. Take responsibility and take action—either fire the employee, or, if your mentality is along the lines of “why blow up the machine if all it needs is oil,” then light a fire under his ass and inspire him—get him excited for the job again. And the only way you’re going to get him excited is if you’re excited yourself.

3) Get excited: start thinking in terms of how exciting change will be. Think of what a great experience it will be getting someone new instead of getting nervous about the repercussions of firing someone. Or get excited about reinvigorating that complacent employee and breathing new life into him and your team.

4) Reinvent yourself—daily: the minds behind Apple and Microsoft constantly reinvent themselves in order to stay ahead of their competitors. Olympic athletes train to get a little better every single day. Actors like Gary Oldman are unrecognizable in the various roles they play. These are the people who are repulsed by complacency, stagnancy and settling for the bare minimum. Follow their lead and reinvent yourself daily.

5) Don’t just work hard, work smart: mules are extremely hard workers, but that doesn’t mean they run the world (maybe in a few millions years). Just because you work your ass doesn’t mean you’re not doing it by following the same wrote motions you follow every day. In order to get inspired and grow in your industry, you have to work smart. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Do some research. Read a book or an article on you industry.
  • Go to industry training—on your own volition.
  • Try a new idea out in your office. The worst that can happen is that people don’t use it, but at least you’ll be known as the guy who tried.
  • Network with people in your company and in your industry who you don’t know. Meeting new people creates new opportunities, new connections, new jobs, new ways for your company to grow, new everything. This is a connected world and you can’t just disappear into your shell and expect to succeed.

So what are you going to do? Are you going to further your career and reinvent yourself and your team on a daily basis, or stay complacent with scratching your butt and wondering what the hell to do next?

 

By Aleksandr Smechov

TAKE A VOCATION VACATION

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SHOW DATE: JUNE 5, 2013

You know how once in a while you fantasize about not just leaving your job, but leaving your whole career? Just starting over from scratch in an entirely different field? You’re not alone—these days more people than ever before are reinventing themselves professionally.  But since that requires developing a whole new set of professional skills and tools, maybe it’s time for you to take a “vocation vacation”—a vacation where you learn new job skills.

While it might not sound like your idea of “getting away,” think about it—if you learned enough skills to enter a new career in a new industry, you might love your job so much that you no longer want to get away.

One website that caters to this hot new trend is www.pivotplanet.com. There, you can find mentors and advisors in almost any field who will help you to switch careers—sometimes by letting you intern with them for a couple of weeks. Imagine spending your next vacay in Napa learning how to make wine, or on the set of a film, learning how to make movie magic! Now doesn’t that sound like a great way to get away?