5 Strategies to be your own Executive Career Sleuth

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5 Strategies to be your own Executive Career Sleuth

Middle-aged man looks into the camera while holding a magnifying glass up to his eye. Square shot. Isolated on white.

So you have seen a position advertised or heard about a career move that sounds interesting; your transferable skills, talents, strengths and experience match the organisation’s selection criteria; but you would definitely like to know more about the position, the organisation and its culture.

Employers seeking executives and high end professionals want to see that a potential candidate has demonstrated initiative by finding out about the company prior to the first meeting. This also gives you the advantage to ask insightful questions that relate not only to the position but to the company as well.

Whether you have a lot of time to research the company or a little, it definitely pays to dedicate some time to this process.

Here are five proactive strategies and tips to aid your due diligence in researching your potential employer of choice prior to the interview. Do this and you will really stand out in your interview. Be your own Executive Career Sleuth!

 

  1. The organisation’s website

This should be your starting point. Spend time going through each tab on the organisation’s website. Find out who its key people are; the organisation’s target markets; the purpose, vision, missions, values and goals of the organisation. If published, read the company’s annual report and certainly any media statements.

Scroll through the company’s social media platforms to find out what people are saying about the company and what it says about itself.

The company’s annual report is a good indication of the financial health of the organisation. If the company is a publicly listed company check out the Australian Stock Exchange website. How are the shares in the company performing?

 

  1. Google Search

Closely aligned to the organisation’s website see what other sites make reference to the organisation. Have either the organisation or any of its key people been mentioned in the media? Are there any published speeches delivered by a company executive? Look for key names and organisations associated with the organisation.

It could be that someone you or your network colleagues know sits on the Board of the organisation you are researching and you can find out more about it from that person.

A Google search will also identify any negative reports about the organisation. Read these as well. It will help you to decide if the company is really a place where you would like to work.

Below are sights to look for information about the organisation. Note that some provide useful information before requesting payment.

 

  1. LinkedIn

Once you have established who the key people in the organisation are, look them up on LinkedIn. See if anyone you know is connected to that person. A LinkedIn search will also identify other employees of that organisation. Find out what roles they hold.

Do they know anyone that you do?

What roles have they held previously and with which organisations?

Do you know anyone from their previous employment?

Compile as much information as possible. It will help you understand the role and company before you get to the interview.

 

  1. Family, Friends, Colleagues

Don’t underestimate the power of your networks. You just never know who and what they may know. If you know anyone who currently works at the organisation you are applying to, call them and ask about the company. Do they like working there? What is the culture like? Depending on your relationship with them they may be willing to introduce you to the hiring manager.

And how about your referees? Do they know anything about the organisation?

 

  1. Customers, Suppliers, Competitors

Another tip is to seek out who the organisation’s customers are? This information is often available on the company’s website. Once again, do you know anyone in these companies who can give you information about the organisation that you are applying to?

Check to see who the organisation’s suppliers are. Is there anyone from this list you know? Are they willing to give you information about the organisation? You might find out if the organisation is reliable in paying its creditors. Suppliers will often let you know the organisation’s reputation in the marketplace.

Once you know the industry you will be able to surmise who is in direct competition with the organisation. This could help you in presenting a strategy that would put the organisation ahead of its competition.

Armed with all this detailed information, you can obtain a useful snapshot about the company’s market share, growth, who’s who, management style, history, financials, products and services, culture and values, strategy, employee relations, degree of security and degree of autonomy.

The bottom line is that while preparing for an interview uncover as much information as possible about the organisation so that you can better target your questions and answers in the interview.

Not everything will be able to be uncovered in a company search however you will be well on your way to being better prepared and confident during the interview.

To find out more visit http://executivecareermove.com.au/

 

Dr Edward Gifford
Ph.D.

Master of Education (M.Ed.)
Master of Arts (M.A.)
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
Diploma in Education (Dip.Ed.)
Diploma of Management
Cert. IV Training and Assessment
Cert. IV Coaching for Life and Business
Advanced Certification in ACT

 

About the Author

Edward is a professionally trained coach specialising in executive, leadership and careers coaching, as well as workplace and personal coaching. He is also a business adviser and mentor. Edward’s consulting services focus on leadership development, career transition, strategic thinking, team building, workplace engagement and work-life integration. He is a business skills mentor and coach for Queensland Government. Edward has been coaching full time since 2001 and has over 3000 hours of personal, executive, careers and workplace coaching experience. Edward has also developed a comprehensive and very successful outplacement and career transition program for executives and senior professionals.

10 Strategies to Help You Prepare for Your Interview

interview preparation

Preparation is the Key for Your Interview Success
The old saying ‘knowledge is power’ is extremely apt when it comes to your personal and professional preparation for your job interview. It is surprising that even at the Executive level, candidates fail to prepare or practise for the interview adequately. The interview process is like an iceberg – 90% you can’t physically see as it is the preparation prior to the interview. On the day, your interview makes up only 10% of the process. So, preparation is the key.

Here are 10 tips to ensure you place yourself in the best position when the phone rings and the caller asks, “Would you come in for an interview?”

  1. Understand the purpose and process of the interview

Your resumé or CV is a ‘marketing’ and ‘selling’ tool. If it gains you an interview, it has achieved its purpose. Likewise, the interview can be thought of as an opportunity to ‘sell’ to your prospective employer the benefits you can bring to the organisation.

As in any good sales process, you should first seek to understand the ‘needs’ of the employer. Then you ‘sell’ your achievements and benefits in a way that targets the needs and requirements of the position.

Employers will not ‘buy’ you on your features alone (strengths, skills, knowledge and experience), as impressive as these might be. As in any ‘sale’, they want to know what’s in it for them. It is essential to ‘sell’ the benefits that you bring. How is hiring you going to solve the need that the employer has?

Your achievement statements developed for your resumé are central to this ‘sales’ process. Having the right mindset is essential in positioning and preparing yourself for the interview. And just remember, 80% – 90% of your interview has taken place even before you have it!

  1. Understand the recruitment, screening and selection process

As part of your preparation, you will need to understand clearly the recruitment and selection process for the position you are applying for.

At an executive level, organisations will generally choose to use the services of a recruitment agent to screen and put forward suitable applicants for interviewing. (Refer to my blog on How to build a win-win relationship with your recruiter)

Essentially your interview begins at this stage, whether it is via a phone conversation, an email or a subsequent face-to-face meeting, should you pass the initial recruitment screening process.

Assuming the outcome of your meeting with the recruiter is positive, an appointment will be arranged for you to meet with the employer/board for an interview.

So, begin with the end in mind. Treat the recruiter respectfully and act professionally in all encounters, imagining the recruiter to be as important as the employer. The recruiter is the gatekeeper to the interview.

Like any relationship, you need to identify which recruiters are the right match for you – ones who are the most helpful and with whom you can build good rapport.

Also understand that the recruiter’s role is not to find you a job or position but to establish whether or not you are suitable for their client. The recruiter will not look to secure a position for you. They are being paid to fill a gap in the organisation so their responsibility is to the organisation, not to you.

  1. Research the company and purpose and process of the interview

In preparation for the interview it is essential that you know and understand the company and the position you are applying for.

Some advertised executive positions lack detail. If that’s the case, go to the company’s career section on its website. And better still, if you know someone at the company or know someone who knows someone at the company, call and ask more about the company. The bottom line is that while preparing for an interview, uncover as much information as possible regarding the expectations and criteria of the role and the qualifications required. This will enable you to target your statements about your strengths, skills and achievement to those criteria.

  1. Understand the position

You must know what the employer wants. This seems almost self-explanatory and goes without saying. But doing your homework here is essential. What does the position entail? Where does it sit within the organisational structure of the company? Do you meet the essential criteria that the employer is looking for? Read and re-read the position description. Show the job to a trusted friend or mentor and ask them to give you their honest opinion on your ability to fill the position. (There’s nothing worse than wasting the time of hiring managers, recruiters, employers and your time applying for a position for which you are not suited).

  1. Know your resumé/CV

Being prepared for your interview also means that you are able to speak fluently and confidently about any aspect of your CV or resumé. Does your resumé present you in the best light for the job you have applied for?

  • Practise memorising the four or five key strengths and skills recorded in your resumé and demonstrating these on the basis of your achievements.
  • Ensure you can speak fluently about your achievements through stories that match the criteria in the job application (memorise these stories if possible).
  • Use language that puts you in control. Avoid phrases such as “I think …” or “This might be a good example of …” or “Perhaps …” because they suggest uncertainty and invite analysis or speculation. 
  1. Identify non-verbal behaviour that helps or hinders effective communication in the interview process

How you use body language, or non-verbal communication, will impact on the interview. Negative body language can weaken your message and communication as well as distract from what you are trying to convey. It is true that generalisations are being made in interpreting non-verbal communication cues. However, the meanings ascribed to the ones below are commonly accepted.

  • Poor eye contact may convey evasion, indifference, insecurity, passivity, or nervousness
  • Head scratching may indicate uncertainty or bewilderment
  • Lip biting could indicate nervousness, fearfulness or anxiety
  • Foot tapping often conveys nervousness or impatience
  • Folded arms typically convey anger, disagreement, defensiveness or disapproval
  • Raised eyebrows generally indicate disbelief or surprise
  • Narrowing eyes may convey anger or resentment
  • Shifting in your seat usually suggests restlessness, boredom or apprehension.

So being aware of these non-verbal behaviours is helpful. As part of your interview preparation, role play interviews for a specific position with a friend or careers coach for the explicit purpose of concentrating on non-verbal behaviours that may positively or negatively impact your interview on the day.

  1. Interview formats

Knowing about the types of interviews that might be used is also useful in your preparation. From most common to less, the 7 interview formats you are likely to encounter are:

  • One-on-one interview
  • Panel Interview
  • Telephone Interview
  • Electronic interview
  • Group interview
  • Stress Interview
  • Dining interview

Make sure you know what type of interview you will be expected to participate in and research these. Download our Free Report for further information

  1. Anticipate and practise typical questions asked in interviews

You will be much more confident at your interview if you can anticipate, think through and practise your responses to possible questions. Many of these questions will be around the key skills, responsibilities and roles outlined in the advertisement.

Basically, the interviewer(s) will focus questions to seek information on four broad areas:

  1. Can you do the job or fulfil the role? (skills, knowledge, strengths, experience, achievements, benefits to the employer, learning potential and so on)
  2. Do you really want this position? Or Will you do the job? (interest in the industry, organisation, position; work ethic; energy level and enthusiasm; outside variables that may affect your willingness and availability)
  3. Do you fit in? (likeability, ‘chemistry’, communication, alignment with the company’s purpose, vision and values, work and management style, dress and appearance)
  4. How much will you cost?
  1. Identify questions to ask in the interview

Have questions prepared to ask the interviewer or the panel. This will ensure that you learn more about the company and the role. It will also demonstrate that you have done your due diligence and will highlight the areas that are important to you.

The types of questions you ask are very important. Centre these around the company and the role and expectations rather than around salary, personal benefits, hours of work, overtime, overall package and so on. These are best negotiated once you have a firm offer.

  1. Use role play and other practice strategies

Ask a trusted friend, mentor, executive career coach to take on the role of the interviewer and ask you questions that are likely to come up in an interview. This will help you to tell your story, be prepared for the real thing and overcome any nervousness, anxiety or fear,

You can even practice speaking into a recorder, in front of a mirror, or to your dog!

So when you next receive the call for an interview, remember the iceberg metaphor. At least 80% of your interview success is “hidden” but your prior preparation will show up on the day.

To find out more visit http://executivecareermove.com.au/

Dr Edward Gifford

Ph.D.
Master of Education (M.Ed.)
Master of Arts (M.A.)
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
Diploma in Education (Dip.Ed.)

Diploma of Management
Cert. IV Training and Assessment
Cert. IV Coaching for Life and Business
Advanced certification in ACT

 

About the Author

Edward is a professionally trained coach specialising in executive, leadership and careers coaching, as well as workplace and personal coaching. He is also a business adviser and mentor. Edward’s consulting services focus on leadership coaching, executive career transition and management, strategic thinking, team building, workplace engagement and work-life integration. He is an approved business skills mentor and coach for Queensland Government. Edward has been coaching full time since 2001 and has over 3000 hours of personal, executive, careers and workplace coaching experience. Edward has also developed a comprehensive and very successful outplacement and career transition program for executives and senior professionals.

How to build a Win-Win Relationship with your Recruiter

recruiter relationship

When you are seeking your first professional position or a senior career move, you want as many people on your side as possible and that includes recruiters. So how do you build a win-win relationship with a recruiter?

I know that many professional job seekers have had mixed experiences when working with recruiters. With my own clients or candidates, I stress that recruiters are an invaluable resource in the process of searching for their next career position and that they have excellent contacts throughout a variety of industries. Recruiters generally know hundreds of different roles and job types and have numerous resources that can assist you to find your position of choice.

With the executive and senior professional job search process, recruiters usually provide a key role.

In this blog, I offer 12 strategies and tips to build a win-win relationship with your recruiter. If you want to ensure that you are in front of your employer of choice each time you make a career move, then it’s important that you build a strong and sustainable relationship with recruiters.

Essentially your interview begins when you first have contact with the recruiter, whether it is via a phone conversation, an email or a subsequent face-to-face meeting – (should you pass the initial recruitment screening process).

Assuming the outcome of your meeting with the recruiter is positive, an appointment will be arranged for you to meet with the employer or panel for an interview.

So begin with the end in mind. Treat the recruiter respectfully and act professionally in all encounters, imagining the recruiter to be as important as the employer. The recruiter is the gatekeeper of the interview.

Like any relationship, you need to identify which recruiters are the right match for you – ones who are the most helpful and who you can build good rapport with.

Also understand that the recruiter’s role is not to find you a job or position but to establish whether or not you are suitable for their client.

The recruiter will not look to secure a position for you. They are being paid to fill a gap in the organisation so their responsibility is to the organisation, not to you.

12 Key tips in dealing and meeting with recruiters

  • Establish a connection before sending your resumé. Always call the recruitment consultant before making an application (just to clarify a few key points and definitely not to ask about the position as you already should have read this thoroughly).You are then in a more informed position to send through your resumé and you have already commenced building the relationship. This is so much better than just sending in your resumé without establishing a connection.
  • Don’t try to get a meeting at this stage but when you send in your resumé refer back to the phone conversation you had with them. Address the letter to the recruiter by name with correct spelling and never “To Whom It May Concern”. If you do, that will be the end of the process!
  • Be sure your resumé clearly articulates your key achievements (Refer to our resumé book http://executivecareermove.com.au/services/resumes-that-work/) and that it’s tailored to the position you are seeking. To do this you will need to prioritise and target your achievement statements (or accomplishments) to the employer’s requirements. Look for the key words (must haves) in the advertisement and make sure you use these in your application.
  • Avoid clichés and unsubstantiated claims. Both recruiters and hiring managers get really turned off when they read words like “outstanding”, “results orientated”, “driven”, “dynamic”, “thought leader” and so on without any “proof”. The rule is to “show” rather than “tell”.
  • Remember that recruiters are usually very busy and that your application will be one of a large number. They usually spend 6-10 seconds to determine if they want to keep reading. So, in a competitive job market, they will be looking for reasons to put you in the “no” pile rather than include you in the “yes will look again” pile. You have to make your resumé a WOW so it will stand out from the rest (of the hundreds of others they may have to read).
  • Once you have submitted your resumé to the recruiter, follow up with a phone call a few days later making reference to your previous call, checking that your application was received and asking when they expect to short list for interviews. The key in all of this is to be professional and proactive without being pushy.
  • If you do all of this correctly, you put yourself in a stronger position to receive preferential treatment but it’s certainly not guaranteed.
  • If after all of this you get a ‘thanks but no thanks’ response from the recruiter, follow-up and seek some advice and feedback on what you could do better for future applications. You may even seek another meeting. You never know what position might be coming up next.
  • What you are looking to do in all of this is to create an ongoing relationship with recruiters who are the right match for you. Just as it takes 11-13 touches to gain a sale with a prospect in business, so too you need to look for lots of opportunities and ways of creating “touches” with your recruiters of choice to gain a “sale” for your position of choice.
  • Just a few final tips – when you meet with the recruiter, make sure you can clearly articulate your value proposition including your transferable skills and key achievements. Ensure that you know your career or position objective and have written this as a SMART goal for yourself. Be clear about the type of position you are looking for, the industry and organisation you are interested in and the type of remuneration you are expecting.
  • Remember that the recruiter is primarily a sales person so you need to ensure your relationship is built on professionalism and trust just like any other sales relationship.
  • Recruiters are human too. They want to be treated with courtesy and respect. Be polite in all your dealings and make it a pleasure for the recruiter to do business with you. If you do that, they will remember you and not hesitate to recommend you for future positions.

To find out more visit http://executivecareermove.com.au/

Dr Edward Gifford

Ph.D.
Master of Education (M.Ed.)
Master of Arts (M.A.)
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
Diploma in Education (Dip.Ed.)

Diploma of Management
Cert. IV Training and Assessment
Cert. IV Coaching for Life and Business
Advanced Certification in ACT

 

About the Author

Edward is a professionally trained coach specialising in executive, leadership and careers coaching, as well as workplace and personal coaching. He is also a business adviser and mentor. Edward’s consulting services focus on leadership development, career transition, strategic thinking, team building, workplace engagement and work-life integration. He is a business skills mentor and coach for Queensland Government. Edward has been coaching full time since 2001 and has over 3000 hours of personal, executive, careers and workplace coaching experience. Edward has also developed a comprehensive and very successful outplacement and career transition program for executives and senior professionals.

The Energy Quadrant – Where Mojo and Mastery Meet

M2 Man

I regularly catch the train from Coomera to Brisbane. It’s about a 55 minute trip and useful “thinking” time.  This week I was reflecting on Daniel Pink’s great TED talk on what motivates and engages people at work. It’s been a while since I reviewed this but Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose were three key factors.

If Mastery has an impact on Mojo, what are the psychological and behavioural implications of this in the workplace and with careers? I like developing models and after a bit of ‘doodling’, I came up with the following.  I have called it the M2 Energy Model.

m2 energy model

Quadrant 1 – Mastery: I see so many professional people in this quadrant.  They usually are highly experienced, have high skill level but have lost their mojo. Many are tired, they are often bored and lack self-motivation. Their energy is gone. They are no longer engaged in their work.

Maybe you have been in the one position or business for too long, or you are managing people like this. If you are or you have staff in this quadrant there are serious implications for management, careers and job satisfaction.  The cost to you, your team and the organisation is high.

I find people who stay in this situation are unmotivated, their careers are in limbo and they are usually very unfulfilled (and unproductive).  They feel trapped and stuck!

Is that you or do you know someone like this?

This is a dangerous position to stay in for too long. To get back to Quadrant 4 is not easy without a coach or mentor.  Resigning is not always the answer because the reasons leading to this situation may not magically change by obtaining a new job.  And you may be of an age where picking up another position is frighteningly difficult.

Whether you are employer, manager or employee, I strongly recommend you take serious and immediate action.

Here are a few action tips and steps to help move you to Quadrant 4 – High Mastery and High Mojo.

Your behaviour is governed by your thinking so it’s imperative to change your thinking patterns.

  • Start noticing your thoughts and behaviours.  This is the first step to changing your thinking and in-turn your behaviour. Are you spending too much time “below the line?”
  • Ask yourself the questions – “what do I want to do with my life?”  “What do I want my life to stand for?”
  • Invest time into being mindful. Become focussed on self-observation rather than self-absorption!
  • Reignite your vision and write some SMART goals for your career or business.
  • Get a coach or mentor to help you set and keep goals. You coach will also help you form new habits and break unwanted ones. There is a wise old saying “We are what we repeatedly do”.  There is another old proverb which goes something like this… “As a person thinks in his/her heart so he/she will become”.

Over long periods, our patterns of thinking become etched into the billions of neurons in our brains, connecting them in unique entrenched patterns. The first step to changing your thinking is to observe your thinking.  TOP Performers practice mindfulness.

So start noticing those thoughts and see just how they are serving you and others. It may come as quite a shock to you.

You may not realise it but your lack of Mojo, despite your high level of competence, has a draining and detrimental effect on others in your work-place. It’s impossible to plateau for long.  You are either “green and growing” or “brown and dying”.

 

 

Quadrant 2 – Meaninglessness: Where there is low mastery and low mojo there is a serious problem.

I was in this quadrant once, not because I was useless but because it was the wrong job fit for me.

It was the most off-purpose time of my working life.  I was trapped, hugely troubled, very stressed and wondered if I could ever survive the trauma.

I did by gaining a position in my preferred career (and with an employer of choice and location of choice).

If you are in this position or you have staff in this quadrant, the personal and professional cost is enormous. Up-skilling, retraining, moving into a role that aligns with your skill set or just being made redundant are some options. There is no room for complacency here. Massive and immediate action is required.

Quadrant 3 – Mojo: You are such a great prospect when you have the right attitude, are self-motivated, enthusiastic and have high mojo.  For many recruiters and employers, this factor is often the one first sought. It’s easier to teach mastery than to instil mojo.

Many people start their careers, businesses or new positions from this quadrant. They are full of excitement and passion but have not had the time to develop their skills to a high level.

Despite the high mojo, there is tentativeness here.

Again, a mentor or coach is vital.  If you are a manager and have people in this quadrant, don’t be fooled by their enthusiasm and natural desire to excel.  They may be stressed because they lack the technical expertise to do the work.  They need coaching and training and careful management through this start-up or on-boarding period.

Quadrant 4 – Mastery and Mojo: When mastery and mojo meet we are engaged in meaningful work.  We are on-purpose! We just love what we are doing and are great at it. We have a high sense of contribution and invest a lot of time and energy into our work.

If you are in this quadrant then that is fantastic.  But be warned!  You are a prime candidate for burnout. More than anyone else, you need to work on your life plan and ensure your business or career fits this. Work-life integration is essential.

If you are managing people who are in this quadrant, your responsibility is huge.

So many top performers leave their organisation because of burn out or being taken for granted.

Managers often ignore this group because they are doing the job so well – everything is ‘rosy’!  While they are highly engaged, they still need ‘a sense of belonging’ and want to be told they are valued and appreciated.

Ongoing training, extension, new challenges and goals are very important to this group.  Like all highly effective people, they need a coach to extend them, hold them accountable, be a sounding board and be their ‘cheer leader’.

Take time to look at this model and to review where you and your individual team members are at.  It will have profound implications for your energy levels, your job satisfaction and your general well-being.

If you are managing staff or teams, this will also be an important diagnostic, evaluative and generative model for you to improve the purpose, productivity and performance of your people.

© Dr Edward Gifford

Freeing Yourself from Divided Interests

Divided Interests

When do I say “yes” and when do I say “no”?

Having recently had another birthday I got thinking about life, time and what I might do with the remainder of my earthly time frame.

None of us knows what this time frame might be but as we get older we sure know that our time on earth goes very quickly.

It’s a bit scary as well as sobering and challenging!

What I do know is that each of us has a Purpose and we are called to live this out in all aspects of our lives whether it is work, family, relationships, finances or in our physical, intellectual and spiritual life accounts.

I also am aware that confusing and divided interests have a high cost.

… The more divided our interests, the more
diluted our lives can become …

Every relationship we nurture, every activity in which we engage, every cause we get involved with, and every decision about what we will own and where we will live has a time, energy, concentration, and often financial cost attached to it. They all require some investment of life. The more divided our interests, the more diluted our lives can become.

To use a business analogy, the advice consistently received and given at business marketing seminars and workshop is to ensure your target market is “an inch wide and a mile deep”. Using a scatter gun approach to business is costly both in terms of time and money. A laser beam is more effective than a fluorescent light when it comes to focussing on your target market!

… Knowing your number one core want or top priority
is exhilarating and freeing …

I don’t want to push the analogy too far. But I am suggesting that our life in general should be like knowing our targeting market. We need to use a laser beam when it comes to investing our time wisely and intentionally in each of our seven life “accounts”. Knowing your number one core want or top priority for each, is exhilarating and freeing.

Your life will no longer be “out of control” nor will you get pulled in a thousand different directions as you live up to others’ expectations.

 

Silhouette
Here is an example
 of someone who undertook this process as part of the On-Purpose® Personal Leadership and Coaching Program.

After brainstorming his wants in each of the seven life accounts (usually around 12 to 16 for each life area) he developed his ‘core’ or number one want for each. These were his heart’s desires and reflected his current season of life. (Our wants and priorities do change as we find ourselves in different circumstances and as we transition to different life seasons).

Life Account (LA): Vocational/Career
Core Want or Top Priority (CW): Work to be a creative expression of my life’s meaning

LA: Spiritual
CW: Be closer to “god”

LA: Family
CW: Become a stronger leader in my family

LA: Physical/Health/Recreational
CW: Feeling radiant

LA: Social/Friends
CW: Invest time with those who energise and uplift me

LA: Intellectual
CW: Being creative – researching, writing and sharing

LA: Financial
CW: Develop wisdom in my attitude and use of money

LA: Other
CW: Honestly confront my relationship with “Tammy” (alias)

Now you might see this as a fluorescent light across his life but over 100 “wants” were lasered down to one for each of his life accounts. Through using the On-Purpose® Tournament Process he was able to move from confusion to clarity. (Each of these was turned into an On-Purpose® SMART goal with accompanying action steps to achieve these).

This process can give you profound insights into your life and confidence to move in the direction of your chosen visions, missions and values.

These of course are not your Purpose but they nevertheless should align with it.

… We can live with clarity and not in a state of confusion …

So when we get clarity around what matters most in our life, we no longer need to march to the beat of other people’s drums. We can live with clarity and not in a state of confusion.

What will be certain is that you will not be heard to say …“my life is out of control” and that is because you are free from divided interests.

You will be able to confidently, clearly and more consistently say “yes” to your carefully considered top priorities and “no” more often to those things that take you off track, drain your energy and distract you from aligning your life to your Purpose and core values.

… your life is too important to be left to chance …

So, how about undertaking an “audit” on your life? Divided interests are costly and your life is too important to be left to chance, distracting projects and unnecessary anxieties.

Maybe it’s time for you to re-examine your relationships, vocations, activities, commitments, possessions, and living arrangements and to find what you want most from life.

Are you up for the challenge?

As Socrates once famously said, “The unexamined life is not worth living!”

Maybe right now you are wanting to manage your life better and get the important things done; have more time with your partner, family and friends; unshackle the thinking that has held you back; set clear, purposeful goals in your seven “life accounts”; do the things you really want to do and get more fun back into your life.

… be clear about what you want, prioritise these,
action them and implement them …

Our On-Purpose® Life Planning and Coaching Program will lead you to your core wants in all areas of your life.

Our unique tools and processes ensure that you will be clear about what you want, prioritise these, action them and implement them.

You will gain a clear vision for each of your seven life “accounts”, you will have clear missions for your life and values that are in alignment with your purpose, visions and missions.

Now how powerful is that?

So if you are sick and tired of being sick and tired or if you would like clarity, wisdom and support in planning a life that is on-purpose, we would love to help.

For more information about how this can become a reality for you please send me an email or give me a call.

© Dr Edward Gifford
Principal Consultant and CEO (Chief Enthusiasm Officer)

Four secret strategies to ensure you are the last to be fired!

Girl

In this blog, I would like to share with you four successful strategies to ensure you are a TOP (The On-Purpose) Performer and thereby help “bullet proof” your career.

In a previous blog I explored the difference between a Me Inc! or Me Stink! Mindset. As an employee or team member you will usually demonstrate either one of these in the way you consistently serve your customers and clients. With a Me Stink! Mindset you react below the line nearly always blaming rather than taking responsibility for your thinking, feelings attitudes and behaviours.

By contrast, when you respond to your environment with a Me Inc! Mindset, you proactively respond above the line, assuming responsibility and acting as if you were the owner or manager of the organisation.  You see yourself as having a business within the business.

OAR

If you get this and implement it in your current position and throughout your career, you will be seen as a TOP Performer and this will go a long way to ensure that you will be the last to be fired in an uncertain and competitive careers market.

Here are four strategies and some check points to think about and action so it becomes just part of who you are in the workplace. And of course make you stand out!

When you have a ME Inc! or Think Inc! Mindset you:

  1. Take Responsibility for Your Thinking, Feelings, Attitudes and Behaviour

With so much negativity and “blaming” going on around us it is easy to slip into these patterns ourselves, especially if you are in a competitive work environment where everyone is trying to protect their own back.

Consider how you score against these check points. Do you usually…

  • Display a high degree of self-responsibility, accountability and ownership for your thinking patterns, attitudes and behaviours?
  • Treat negative outcomes as learning experiences, not failures?
  • Respond in an optimistic way to day-to-day challenges?
  • Seek ways to help your employer or manager accomplish their goals? (You can do this by figuring out how your employer can make money, save money, grow sales, create a better working environment, improve customer service and innovate).
  1. Develop a long term perspective

I know that it is not fashionable to stay too long in one position. But employers know how expensive it is to replace you.  Typically, they will have invested a lot of money recruiting and on-boarding you into your new position. They want to know that they have made a wise investment into the future of the organisation or the business. In the interview they will be wanting to find out if you really want the position because they don’t want to repeat the process six months down the track. So what does taking a long term perspective mean for you as an employee?

Do you usually …

  • Think beyond the present to secure a successful future?

Don’t be tempted to exchange your life for a pay cheque (if you can possibly help it). You want to make sure that any position you take is alignment with your life purpose, career goal, values, career anchors, core strengths and transferable skills.

  • Maintain perspective through the pain and pleasure of work and life and not quit when things don’t go your way?

It’s tempting to look for another position when things get tough in the workplace.  You may be experience conflict with a colleague, feel you are not being heard, being overworked and undervalued or just not receiving the job satisfaction you had hoped for. Running from any of these is not the answer in the first instance.  As you well know, the same situations are just as likely to occur in another positon.  So ask yourself, what is the learning experience here?  What is the invitation in this situation for me to learn and change?  What is the universe asking me to learn through this situation? There may be times where you need to ‘cut and run’ but make sure it is not your default reaction.

  • Seek new opportunities to learn, develop and grow personally and professionally?

This sounds like common sense. But it doesn’t take long to be socialised into a workplace culture and to settle into a comfort zone.  Seek opportunities for you to grow as a person and a leader. Expand your horizons and think about being successful, profitable, and sustainable long term?

 

  1. Seek to Add Value

Now I know you might think that this is not your business and you will get paid at the end of the week anyway.  If you are just exchanging your life for a pay cheque you have a Stink Inc! not a Think Inc! Mindset (Unless of course you don’t have the luxury of self-actualising and have been forced through circumstances to put food on the table and to pay the mortgage).

Adding value really makes the world go around and will hugely benefit you, your employer, manager and organisation.

Do you usually…

  • Seek to add value by constantly looking to improve the situation, solve problems and continually seek to make a difference.  You and or your team will always benefit because you just make life better. A TOP performer with a ME INC! Mindset continually looks for ways to add value to relationships and business. What can you do in your position or business to add value?
  • Seek and create opportunities for yourself or your team to serve, influence and grow?
  • Think as a team player and use your strengths to complement other members of your Team?
  • Display an honest, passionate, open-minded, creative and committed attitude? (At the end of the day, with a ME INC! Mindset you seek to serve yourself and others in meaningful work.
  1. Adopt a sales and marketing mindset

When most people think of sales they think of the hard sell. But adopting a sales and marketing mindset regardless of the position you hold within the organisation is crucial if you want to stand out from other members of your team and be the last to be laid off.

I have come across so many who say “I just work here”.  When you think like the owner of a business or if you were to pretend to come back into your role as a consultant, what would you do more of and do less of?  One important characteristic of a Think Inc! Mindset is to always be on the look out to promote your business or organisation.

So…do you usually…

  • Treat everyone you meet as a customer, a potential customer or someone who could refer a customer?
  • Think that whenever you are in the front line delivering a service to customers you are in a sales and marketing position regardless of what you do? (I heard the other day in response to this – “I’m just an… employee, it’s not my job to seek business for my employer”. That is Stinking Thinking or having a ME STINK! Mindset. Try to reframe your Mindset to one of running your own profitable business within the business.  Unless the business or organisation is productive and profitable, you will soon be out of a job or the business will go broke).
  • Seek to be ambassadors for your business or organisation? (Think about the way you talk about your employer, the way you dress, the language you use and the ideas you express)

Stop and take a moment to think.  Is this a lot of croc or what? Who actually benefits when you have a Me Inc! or Think Inc! mindset?

  1. You benefit – you are excited at being engaged in meaningful work and feel fulfilled, satisfied and are more productive and able to achieve results. You are making a difference!
  2. The team and your co-workers benefit by being more productive, engaged, considerate and cohesive. The team is making a difference!
  3. Your family benefits.  You don’t come home each night and kick the dog as you walk through the door.  The positive ripple effect of you being happy at work and on-purpose is enormous.
  4. The business owner, manager or CEO benefits. Financially the business is growing and being more productive and purposeful. With the business being more profitable, you, by default have greater job security. Business owners are encouraged to see staff growing, uniting and excelling. They become more confident with the success of business and can plan for future growth.
  5. If you have suppliers then they will benefit also.  Makes sense doesn’t it? They are guaranteed continuity of their product or service.
  6. And of course Shareholders will benefit through great profitability, performance and productivity

So being a TOP Performer with a ME INC! mindset is transformational and will go a long way to ensure that you are the “first on and last off”.

© Dr Edward Gifford
CEO (Chief Enthusiasm Office)