Begin with the End in Mind

The second habit of Highly Effective people is to begin with the end in mind.  I think it is one that I frequently have fallen victim to, as well.  I’ve spent too much of my life wandering, hoping that something would find me, rather than deciding on a course of action, and working towards reaching it.  It has been a hard-won lesson that I can change my course, after I’ve begun a journey, but it is a waste of time to wander around aimlessly hoping that the destination will reveal itself to me.  There can be multiple ends, and the

Be Proactive

The first habit of Highly Effective People is to be Proactive.  What exactly does being Proactive mean?  What are the implications of being Proactive? In life, we generally know what is about to happen, whether we want it to or not.  The rent or mortgage payment will always be due on the first day of the month.  Christmas comes on December 25 each year.  I know that I have to pay my mortgage on time every month, so I set up a recurring payment in advance.  That way it’s not so stressful.  I do the same thing with my Christmas

7 Habits

One of my favorite books of all time is “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey.  I find myself referring back to the book time after time.  The lessons that it teaches, and the habits that it describes are effective both in the business world, as well as in my personal life. If you get a chance to take a 7 Habits of Highly Effective People course, I highly recommend it.  I also recommend the book, as a good guide for getting started in life.  He talks about Time Management, Giving Back, Taking Care of Yourself,

Don’t ask for permission

It is better to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission.  If you see an issue that needs to be solved, by all means, take it, fix it, and then let your manager know that you’ve done it.  That is, of course assuming that you’re acting with good intentions.  I’ve found that managers generally prefer people who find problems, solve them on their own, and then demonstrate the results at the end. If, for some reason, things do not go well, you can always ask for forgiveness.  My experience has shown that is rarely necessary.  It is best to

Negotiate Everything

Nearly everything in life is negotiable to some extent or another.  As an American Woman, this has been a realization that has been particularly slow to come to me, because I was raised to do what I was told to do, without asking questions, and certainly without ever negotiating over the details. On the contrary, you should negotiate Everything. Now I’ve learned, and I’m sharing with you- Negotiate Everything in the workplace.  You do not need to ask permission to negotiate.  Be polite, be firm.  You must also be very clear about what you are trying to accomplish, and what

Anticipate Need

Anticipate needs.  One of the signs of a leader is the ability to see what needs to be done, and stepping in to do it.  It’s a two step process, and the second part is every bit as important as the first.  If you see a problem that needs to be fixed, and don’t step in to fix it, that is NOT leadership or anticipation. The reason I bring this up is that I’ve noticed in my years of managing people that there are  several different kinds of people- Those who notice problems, and fix them.  Those who notice problems,

Communication is key

Communication is the most important skill in the workplace.  The class that I’ve used the most from college are my freshman English classes.  Notice that it’s not programming, C++, Java, Data Structures, or Networking.  Plain English.  Written English, Spoken English.    Mind you, I do live and work in the United States, but I’ve found that communicating, and communicating thoroughly and well is the most challenging aspect of my job, in a lot of ways. I have to send status, tell people what to do, how to do it, and make sure that first and second line managers know what

Pick your battles

    Mess not in the affairs of dragons, for you are Crunchy and taste good with Ketchup ~Author unknown   Pick your Battles, carefully. One of the most difficult lessons in life is learning which battles to fight. You and only you can decide how you will expend your energy.  It can be tough to remember that others do not get to make those decisions for you. One example of this is deciding when to say “no” at work. You always retain the right to say “no” that you cannot do something. Some good reasons to say no: You lack

What is Leadership?

Leadership is not management.  You can manage without leading, and you can lead without being a manager.  There are plenty of instances out there (Frequently brought up in Scott Adams’ Dilbert Cartoon) that involve management with absolutely no leadership skills or ability. Most people are familiar with the almost comical side-effects of some of Dilbert’s Boss’s actions.  I doubt anyone would call the management in that company leaders.  They are more of an example of what NOT to do. Leadership is about influencing others to do things, and get things done.  It is what happens when everyone in the room