Career

This year has been tough on everyone. I think that everyone is dealing with exhaustion. The pandemic, a global recession, working from home, studying from home, everyone home. What started as a refreshing change became challenging as families juggled work and home responsibilities. The constant fear of the pandemic as numbers grew then fell and then grew again. The recession and its its dramatic flow on impact to employment and financial security. This DIGEST comes from an article by Scott Eblin of the Eblin Group. Scott wrote about his own exhaustion this year and how his wife helped him with a process to getting life back in order. What Do You Do When You Are Dealing With Exhaustion Admit to yourself that you are exhausted – The first step with dealing with a problem is recognising that an it exists. No one can do their best work when they areContinue Reading

The power of saying no comes from being able to make a choice. When we choose to say no, we create a space for prioritising better things to say yes to. That’s the premise of this article. Kat Cole helps us understand we all have finite resources and important choices to make. Being able to say no to others (and ourselves) is a powerful muscle. It can help in building a strong career and a happy life. Failing to say no, (at the very least), can cause us to miss something bigger or greater.  Kat Cole It is when we take on work or activities that we should have declined. That is when we risk burnout, stress, high opportunity costs and more. Guidance on How to Start ‘Saying No’ When asked take on an activity, a job, volunteering, investment, donations, etc.. What we need to consider is how we goContinue Reading

Its going to happen, one day you will be working in a team and face challenges with an individual. Personality challenges with high conflict people happens in all teams and all organisations. Some people may feel incredibly negative to you. They may always need to have the last word. Some people love to split hairs on the finer details. Other people are complainers, blamers or flamers. There are those that wont follow process. Others who will only follow process to the letter. So knowing that we all deal with these people at different times, how can you best manage that relationship to be as productive as possible. Avoid Assuming Intent It is the classic mistake. You are offended or frustrated by the individual and so you already rationalise that the behaviour is deliberate, personal and it is them (not us) that need to change. Our brains have a confirmation bias,Continue Reading

I recall receiving some of the harshest criticism from a leader who also contributed an enormous amount to helping my career. We will all get criticised at times and it is important to consider why you are getting the feedback when you are responding to critics. Amazing as it may seem not everyone agrees with you. Not everyone likes you. You need to know when and how you can make your point. It is easy to over react when responding to critics and Dan Rockwell provides some guidance. As RBG famously said – “it helps sometimes to be a little deaf..When a thoughtless or unkind word is spoken it is best to tune out. Reacting in anger or annoyance will not advance one’s ability to persuade” Ruth Bader Ginsburg. “Criticism is something we can avoid easily by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing” attributed to Aristotle Reflect Don’t RetaliateContinue Reading

You don’t have to look very far on the internet to come across articles on Jim Kwik, the boy with the broken brain how he taught himself to hack the brain to learn fast. This article compiles input from a number of sources, Jim himself is prolific in self promotion but there are a number of other articles and collectively here is what I have learned. Apparently Kwik suffered a brain injury when he was young, which caused him to have a number of problems learning. When he was in college he was struggling with school even considering dropping out. After spending a weekend with his roommate’s family he was encouraged to write a bucket list. That list helped him realise the only way to achieve it was to improve, so he read all the available texts on problem solving and memory. [F] ORGET The logic is to not letContinue Reading

Around the world and in every industry the future of work has changed dramatically. Some roles made an easy transition to remote work delivering significant benefits. Other roles were unable to work away from the workplace leading to furloughs and layoffs. Most office worker roles actually made a successful transition to remote work. Forcing an urgent transition to what was previously only a workplace experiment. The success of remote work has seen global surveys of executives confirm that remote work or a hybrid version is definitely here to stay. McKinsey Global Institute have conducted analysis and found that the potential for remote work is “highly concentrated among highly skilled, highly educated workers in a handful of occupations and geographies”. However at least half the workforce has little or no opportunity to work remotely. People who need to work physically collaborating with others, those who use specialised machinery etc. They goContinue Reading

Research at Kellogg North Western University proves the old adage “When you’re Hot, You’r Hot”. In a study of creatives and scientists they found that career successes really do come in clusters. While there is no common findings about when people might experience this in their careers, virtually everyone did have a hot streak at some point. One theory is that one great result might lead to another. “If I produced a good work, I feel like I learned the trick,” says Wang. “Now I feel like I’m equipped to do another work that’s just as good or even better.” Studying the academic papers of more than 20,000 scientists, the film careers of more than 6,000 directors and commercial value of artistic works by 3500 painters, sculptors and other artists . “If we know where your best work is, then we know very well where your second-best work is, andContinue Reading

With everyone working remotely, the demands on the day seemed to increase exponentially. Many people feel like they have lost control of their schedules with video calls back to back from dawn til dusk. Author Cal Newport proposes to time blocks in his book The Time-Block Planner: A Daily Method for Deep Work in a Distracted World. Schedule Breaks It is easy for the day to eat into lunch and coffee breaks when you don’t have to leave the house. Newport suggests that you make sure to schedule time in your calendar for lunch and breaks. Intentionally Allocate Your Time and Attention Set a regular time to plan your week, consider the best way to spend your working hours and map it into your calendar. Schedule blocks of focus time. When you are following the schedule “You know what you’re supposed to be doing, and you don’t want to fallContinue Reading

Carter Cast Professor of Innovation & Entrepreneurship at Kellogg University writes that you need to plan your own career and as such proposes this 8 point DIY guide to career growth. Develop goals and performance objectives. Establish clarity of your destination through specific goals and objectives with metrics that measure and track your success. Solve for blind spots. Seek feedback as widely as possible to gain insights into how others perceive you. Reach out to peers, subordinates and your boss. Ask open questions about what you could improve or could have done better. Reduce gaps. Look at your role and reflect on the key skills required to do the job well and assess your current competency level. Then build a plan to develop and refine those skills. Seek a mentor. A mentor is someone who you can learn from, they understand your purpose and have experiences, skills and networks that are important to helpContinue Reading

Identifying your genius is about understanding what makes you different or special. It is your personal and professional unique value proposition. It fits quite nicely with defining your purpose (there are numerous articles in HBR and various Journals on the topic of purpose). Purpose is about being really clear what drives you. Genius is about knowing your key strengths. This is the point to say that there are alternatives to the Genius model. CliftonStrengths created by Don Clifton (and sold by Gallup) is based on decades of research. It is often referred to as StrengthFinder which was the name of his very successful book. It breaks down into 4 domains and 34 dominant themes: Strategic Thinking – Analytical, Context, Futuristic, Ideation, Input, Intellection, Learner, Strategic Relationship Building – Adaptability, Connectedness, Developer, Empathy, Harmony, Included, Individualisation, Positivity, Relator Influencing – Activator, Command, Communication, Competition, Maximiser, Self-Assurance, Significance, Woo (winning others over)Continue Reading