3 Tips for Job Success

I am often asked for tips on how to succeed, so I thought that I’d offer up simple tips for job success.  They apply, regardless of industry, and work anywhere. Here are Three Simple Tips for Job Success: Communicate with your team, and your manager regularly.  Remember, that if you do something, and do not communicate it correctly, it might as well have never happened. Look for what needs to be done, and get it done. Anticipate the next steps, and act on them. Note that none of these rely overly on strong technical skills, but rather communication and thinking

5 Ways to Give Back

It’s the time of year when everyone is thinking about giving back to the community.  I think that one of the strongest examples we can set as leaders is to give back ourselves.  Here are some ideas for ways to give back to the community: Volunteer to lead a Girl Scout or Boy Scout Troop or Den. Do a neighborhood food drive for your local food bank Bring gifts to a needy family or sign up for an Angel Tree Child Volunteer at a soup kitchen regularly Volunteer at a thrift store such as the Habitat for Humanity re-use store

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

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

Seek First to Understand then to be Understood

    “Seek First to Understand then to be Understood”?  What exactly does that mean?  I think that can be answered  with one of my teacher’s quotes “You have Two Ears and One Mouth- Use them in that Proportion”   Here are my Tips for how to Seek first to Understand then to be Understood: Stop and Listen Think about what the other person is saying and why they are saying it Don’t think about how you will answer, but rather what meaning they are trying to convey Ask Questions about what they are saying to clarify Then Once you