Is LinkedIn the Future?

Is LinkedIn the Future?

This is likely the most frequently asked question over the past year. Does LinkedIn really work? Does it lead to job opportunities otherwise not available? Is LinkedIn the future? Although I don’t have all the answers, it is clear by the sheer growth of this popular professional website that it is relevant on several fronts. Let’s review together.

In today’s 24/7 world, where we are connected one way or another to the internet, we have to be ever so more conscientious about our digital foot print. Everything you do online can be seen or retrieved by someone. At least work under this assumption to ensure you censor your own words before harm can be done. This is valid for ALL sites not just LinkedIn.

If you have recently applied for a job, you will have seen that you have the option to submit your LinkedIn profile as your resume. It is a sure bet today that every employer screens your digital foot print if you  don’t provide upfront access on your own. It’s a standard screening checklist item on your background check as well.

With this knowledge in hand, I would suggest you treat your LinkedIn account as a digital resume and maintain it regularly ensuring that it accurately reflects not only your current role but also your major accomplishments. Provide enough detail to give a sense of your successes and highlights of your skills, knowledge and abilities. Don’t overlook the section labeled “Recommendations”, it is your opportunity for folks you have worked with over the years to provide a testimony on your character and contributions in your respective roles.

LinkedIn is a powerful networking tool and you should make every effort to identify the circle of professional contacts you need to get to the next level in your career. Spend a few minutes per day to identify aligned professionals and send out an invite to connect. LinkedIn software will start recommending connections once they recognize a trend in your selections. If you are actively looking for opportunities, be on the look out for recruiters in your industry and connect with them via a friendly note outlining your intentions.

Lastly, be mindful of what you like, post or respond too. It is all discover-able and it will provide insight to your strengths and weaknesses for a savvy recruiter or potential employer. Stick with posting professional, informative and learning opportunities to your readers. “Like” or “share” articles that you align yourself too  and only follow people you feel can enhance your knowledge and experiences.

LinkedIn is our future and you might as well make sure that your profile reflects who you are as a professional, leader, teacher and team-mate. You will have only one opportunity to a “first impression” therefor if you decide to have a LinkedIn Profile, make sure it reflects who you are as a professional.

Let me know what you think. Has LinkedIn helped you in your job search?

-W

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A New Team! Now what….

A New Team! Now what….

Joining a new team is like going on a blind date. At best, you got to see a picture, read a profile or maybe even heard something through the grapevine. Nervous jitters, anxious moments, sweaty palms and wild imaginations. What if he/she is this or that and not like such and so… all this energy going into the unknown. Time you could be preparing for a great first impression by being just yourself. It always works best.

At the end of the blind date you have the option to say good-bye forever however this is not the case when meeting your new team.

Let’s discuss some basic steps that a positude leader would deploy in his/her first meeting. As empathetic leaders, you will have some anxiety which is a sign that you care. If you lack this feeling either you are not in the right role or over-confident.

Lesson’s learned from my past experiences remind me that “Less is More”, “Listen more than you Talk” and show the human side don’t just be in business mode. Preparation is key and always be mindful to stay away from empty platitudes instead focus on substance. Give insight to who you are as person, how you think, what is important and how you have worked in the past. It’s quite OK to discuss your weaknesses as well and ways that you are working to improve.

A first date should be a balanced conversation as much about them as it is about you. Pick up on the key words and phrases each person on the team uses. Often they are subliminally messaging what is most import to them such as: hear me, challenge me, give me autonomy, develop me, etc.

Working with a team, is of course, far more challenging than going of a date, you will need to simultaneously assess each person as an individual as well as gauging their role on the team and dynamics between the players. If you are the new team leader, expect them to do the same with lots of follow-up discussion post your first meeting.

Be open, be teachable, get to know each other and remember its just a first date with many more to come.

I have had some awesome “Blind Dates” this week and I have been impressed with each individual… that makes me a lucky guy at the end of the day.

-W

Are you ready for change?

Are you ready for change?

It is that time of the year again, leaving fall in our rear view mirror and entering winter in a great big rush. Outside temperature this morning was barely 22 degrees, although crisp, winds were calm which made for perfect early morning walk to clear my lungs and refresh my brain.

I’m starting a new job on Monday and feel like a sixteen year getting ready to go to his first prom. I’m stoked, excited, curious and a bit nervous. It’s all positive energy that will feed my physical being for weeks and months to come.

All great news for me however that is not always true for those left behind or about to meet their new leader. Change in leadership often causes anxiety and turbulence among  staff  members. We have to respect the fact that they too are going through a change of “known behaviors” to the unknown. Because of this predictable anxiety, negative energy tends to be at a “high”, be mindful of this and counter it with an appropriate amount of positive energy to remain balanced.

Both sides of the equation are affected by change and each should give the other room to learn, grow and experience albeit it counter intuitive at times. Positude Leaders will concentrate on finding mutual respect and developing a common bond with their new leaders and staff alike. Just because the environment is changing, it doesn’t mean you stop doing what works well and isn’t broke. Keep doing the right things right!

As I enter a new phase in my life, I will be switching to listening mode to learn about my new environment and focus on developing relationships with my new GM, peers, directs and front line staff. I will do my very best to ensure that each person feels like they are equally important to the outcomes we collectively desire. I will carefully listen to their perceived problems without trying to solve problems. I will document success and try to develop what “Great Looks Like” and most importantly,  I will do my very best to learn from my past failures and look for opportunities to improve upon them.

The key to your success is to outweigh the negative with +1 positive and not to make emotional decisions during a time of change. Be open to new learning.

-W

 

 

 

A Day Off…..Now What?

A Day Off…..Now What?

Today, I woke up with no obligation to go to work. I left Jacobi on Friday with a great sense of accomplishment and I’m looking forward to starting with my new team at Quest Diagnostics next Monday. So am I on vacation, a break between jobs or working for my wife this week?  It feels strange to say the least especially when your brain and body are still going through the motions of getting the week started.

Since I’m not going on a family vacation this week, I will consider it a series of days-off. I should utilize my time to the greatest extend possible including doing things I have been putting off, items on the honey-do-list and of course spend time flying my little plane.

This week, I will have time to reflect on the past and daydream about the future. What to do and what not to do. Learn lessons from the past and develop plans for the future. Review our bills and find ways to safe money on home owners, car and life insurance, cable, telephone, and review our investments. It’s time to work smart at home. I’m sure that without looking too hard, I can save at least $100/month.

I will approach it the same way, set a vision, develop a strategy, identify measurable goals and objectives and be accountable to self. On the end of the day, once successful, I can celebrate successes and have some fun.

Two hours into the day, I settles outstanding insurance issues and diagnosed my dishwasher as “DOA”. I guess it’s gonna cost me a thousand instead. Regardless, we smile and feel grateful for the opportunity to live life with “Positude”.

-W

 

Five Languages of Love as a Positude Tool

Five Languages of Love as a Positude Tool

One of the most powerful books I have read over the years is the “Five Languages of Love” by Gary Chapman. You might say; what does this have to do with leading with Positude or in the business world? It’s a great question that comes with a simple answer. As my coach once told me, to be an effective leader, we need to have balance physically, control stress at work and have a good relationship with your wife, husband or significant other.

It happens to be that “Five Languages of Love” addresses each of these three vital factors by taking an approach that life is a based on fact not innuendo. We can assume what the other is thinking however to be successful, we need to learn from each other how to meet each others needs at home, in the office or your physical body.

You might have to use your imagination a bit more to translate this to improving non-physical relationships at work however the rules are the same. In the work place you can use the words “Intrinsic Drivers” instead of “Physical Touch”.

Lets check out each category a bit more to develop a better understanding.

  1. Words of Affirmation
    • How does the other person feel respected and appreciated
    • What kind of words touch the heart and soul
    • How often does one like to be acknowledged
  2. Acts of Service
    • How can you assist the other person in a meaningful way
    • What is important to them
    • Assist in a task or service even if you don’t like doing it
  3. Receiving  Gifts
    • What are their needs vs. wants
    • Don’t always give what they need
    • Be timely in giving of time, love or material
  4. Quality Time
    • How much time does he/she require
    • What quantifies “quality” time, define it carefully
    • Make this a priority item
  5. Physical Touch/Intrinsic Drivers
    • What are their needs and how often
    • What is it that they expect, what is their pleasure threshold
    • Identify what makes the other person “tick”

These are some short examples on how you can develop and strengthen your personal and business relationship albeit with your spouse, a colleague or boss. Failure to understand your opponent(partner) is a recipe for disaster and failure. To be realistic, this is not easy and often you have a reluctant partner to deal with. If this is the case, run “Pilot Projects” for each category and gauge their response. Even more important, start by giving more than you expect to receive back. If you start hitting the sweet spots, return on investment will be earned.

As Gary says throughout the book, its best to read and do this with your partner however going at it alone is certainly not a lost cause. If for nothing else, you get to know yourself a bit more.

I highly recommend this book “Five Languages of Love” by Gary Chapman!

-W

“Gratitude” is a reward for leading with “Positude”!

“Gratitude” is a reward for leading with “Positude”!

It’s been on an emotional roller coaster lately. I have been recruited by Quest Diagnostics to lead their Patient Services division in the East Region which gives me a great “HIGH”.

On the reverse side, I had to tell my staff that I was moving on to pursue my dreams which was both a “LOW” and a “HIGH” at the same time. Ever since, we shared moments of dismay, happiness, tears and laughter.  HIGHS, LOWS AND SOME MORE HIGHS. One thing was for sure, I got a real sense that Positude Leadership actually works.

In the next few weeks, I will be writing more about all the things Quest and its’ talented staff did right in the process of showing me that this opportunity was the RIGHT position for me. From start to finish, they have simple been amazing and I can’t wait to get started on November 13th. My focus will be to make every blood draw in the East Region a meaningful and efficient experience for our patients and staff alike. Together as a team, we will be what “Excellence” looks like.

All too often, we use the word “Gratitude” which comes from “Grateful + Attitude” however what does it actually mean or how is it expressed?

Especially since my announcement, I have had a daily dose of “magical” words from my staff, patients and associates alike for which I’m truly grateful. I’m humbled and honored. At times, I doubted if my leadership style was paying dividends or had an impact on my staff. The last few days not only validated that “Positude” actually works, it gave me a great sense of “Gratitude“.

“Paying it Forward” by coaching, mentoring and making time for those who need you during their time of need is something that I deeply believe in and encourage you to adopt as well.

Gratitude” is a reward for leading with “Positude“.

-W

Fall Mini-Series Part 6: FUN!

Fall Mini-Series Part 6: FUN!

Why do we save the best for last? Is it to leave on a good note or is it because we have a tendency to see more negative than positives? Part 6 of my fall mini-series  is about reminding ourselves as Positude Leaders that having “FUN” is a critical part of our leadership style. It’s about activating our positive brain that releases small amounts of Dopamine AKA “happy” medicine. Just a simple smile while making eye contact when greeting your staff in the morning will do the trick.

I’m a true believer that much can be learned while having fun at a team building event or participating in cohort driven learning activity. As adult learners, we perform much better when learning in a practical scenario versus didactic or theory based learning. With this knowledge, we should generate activities that activates critical thinking during role play.

As a Positude Leader, it is your role to think “out of the box” and to develop opportunities for your staff albeit a quick “Murder Mystery” or “Paint Night” to raise funds for your favorite charity. It should be done regularly to ensure your staff has something to look forward too. Be creative, it does not take much money to have “FUN” in the workplace.

Below are just a few examples for you to consider. I encourage you to conduct a brainstorming session with your staff to generate additional “FUN” activities.

  • Expose your staff to continuous learning opportunities via LunchNLearn sessions
  • Encourage participation in Manager Core Competency Training
  • Conduct conferences to showcase your competencies
  • Create FUN activities; i.e. paint night, dance, bike tour
  • Hold TEAM building events; i.e. robe game, murder mystery, bridge building
  • Make it difficult to say “NO” to your staff
  • Empower your staff to make decisions and learn from their failures
  • Encourage your staff to be creative in having FUN WORK activities
  • Be creative in finding funds

I love spending time with my staff and love it even more when I see them at play. Relationships are strengthened and their engines get recharged. Don’t under estimate the power of “Play” and “Fun” in the workplace.

-W