Sunday, March 18, 2007


please go to the new area for my blog.


Dan Schawbel

Monday, March 12, 2007

Setting yourself up for success

You just received a project due in 5 days. How will you accomplish this goal in a timely manner and deliver?

It's all about setting yourself up for success, so that you deliver the best possible content in a 5 day span, and actually finish it before it's due. This way, it will allow leway between edits and completion. The strategy for accomplishing this is to establish a project plan that spans 5 days. The plan should include all the work that needs to get done, in order to finish the project on time, as well as periods where certain portions of the project need to be complete. Once you have established this plan, you need to follow it for the 5 days.

If this is a collaboration effort, you must include the other "stakeholders" in your plan, and mark the days in which they need to take part in this initiative. If they have to sign off on pieces of the project or the entire project, mark these gates on your plan. If it is a long-term plan, you may included phases or draft cycles. The important thing to consider is how complex the project is and the audience it is being provided to. After you know those pieces, you can construct the project plan to meet the needs and requirements of the audience. Make sure you communicate this plan with the stakeholders of the project, so that everyone is on the same page.

To properly set yourself up for success, you should bring the due date of the project to at least 1 day before it is due. This will provide pressure at first, but you will have less stress closer to the deadline.

A good tool to use to create plans, such as the one described above is Microsoft Project, which is project management software designed to track the progress of a project and attach resources and deadlines.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Goal Alignment

Your goals are how you measure success. They are the objectives you set for yourself, either in the short-term or long-term of your career. When you evaluate your goals, make sure they are attainable and are noteworthy. For instance, if you want to be an accountant, your short term goal could be go obtain your CPA or to get your masters in accounting. Short-term goals could last anywhere from a few days to a few years, depending on your situation and requirements. With long-terms goals, you are looking out into the future, as to whom you would like to be in 10 - 20 years, what your desired job might be or where you will relocate to. These are all decisions you will make over a period of time, based on your current situation and your desired outcome. By creating your goals, you are giving yourself something to measure success and achievement.

Goal alignment is critical to the achievement of long-term goals. Short-term and long-term goals must be aligned, which will create an underlying strategy that you will live by. For instance, if you are destined to be a Lawyer, you notice that you will need some additional education and a possible internship to get into that field. Those are both your short-term goals and your long-term goal might be to have your own practice. The key is that both align, and that your short-term goals support the overall effort, so that you end up where you want to be.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Recruiting Process: Simplify your time

Ever wonder why your friends are seizing job opportunities, while you are researching hours each day and applying to multiple jobs with no results?

Networking allows for ease in this process, and by connecting with a professional in your desired work space, you have:
  • less pressure
  • more credibility
  • possibly less interviews / time to interview
  • better chances
Networking is a competitive advantage in that it secures passage to a job before it may even be posted. Internal professionals already know when a job is posted, who is hiring, who to speak to, who the hr recruiter is and the process for hiring a new candidate. This is a huge benefit and you should take advantage of it. Your resources is your network, so meet as many people as you possibly can, especially because you don't know where people can end up in different periods of their lives because success is partly due to timing.

It all starts with your network, including your family, friends, teachers and co-workers then it is expanded by their network. So ask them who they know and then ask those people who they know. It is one large cycle and the larger the network you have, the more opportunity at your gate. This is also a reason why people join organizations, because they are networks segmented to your very interests. Find people in your field that have a similar interest and are older than you, so they can mentor you into those positions.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Leverage: Doing more with less

"Leverage" is a popular vocabulary word in the corporate world. Why is this? Because it is strategic and allows a single person to utilize all the resources around him or her most effectively and efficiently in order to have a positive impact on the bottom line.

What we leverage:
  • People or human resources - people are resources that can accomplish tasks or provide information that has already been gathered (research)
  • Research - from a known source or reporter such as Forrester or Gartner. Research could be gathered through various websites online, but they aren't all "trusted" so be warned.
  • Capital - money doesn't buy happiness, but it can be "leveraged" to create value for the customer or client
  • Ideas - derived from people and can be "leveraged" to create a successful strategy
  • Assets - aside from monetary means, assets could be classified as a location such as a house (place of ownership)
The bottom line is shaped and twisted from leveraging your surroundings. Those that can properly leverage their resources to accomplish tasks, will excel at a faster pace. It should be your goal to gather and increase the items listed above, in order to expedite the learning curve or advance in a given project.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Resources: The building blocks of power

How does one gain power and success?

Resources in nature cover the areas of people, money and materials. These three areas allow one person to have more control than another. The more wealth, raw materials and people you have working for you, the more powerful you will be. When I mention power, I mean the ability to gain control in a certain area, whether it be management or the creation of a separate business entity. Resources are the gateway to overcoming adversity and climbing new heights.

  • To have more people working for you or at your disposal, means you can get more things done and in a timely manner.
  • To have more raw materials, means you can create more product to sell to the end consumer.
  • To have more money, means you are able to purchase more materials and pay the wages of your underlings.
For example, if you notice a director at your organization and the amount of human resources under him in the hierarchy. The more people that reside under this director, the more powerful he or she is. Another item to take into account is responsibility. With an increase in money, materials and people, comes a need for more responsibility for managing these resources. If you fall short on meeting the needs of the people under you, are unable to invest money and have too many or few raw materials, you will fail and lose your position. With more power, comes greater responsibility to both your investments and the people that are working for you. If you treat your people right and give them opportunity to grow, you will grow alongside with them. Along with that increase of responsibility and growth yields a higher wage. If you notice, these resources work hand-and-hand in building your success.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Timing and the open door

So you have all the right skills, know all the right people and have proven your capabilities. You may wonder why you haven't progressed and furthered your career, while having all of these strengths work in your favor. The one element that is missing from the equation is "the open door" meaning, the timing and luck required for the door to open and an opportunity to emerge. You could be the most qualified candidate in the world, but if senior management remains stagnant, you will remain immobile. Furthermore, when a door opens, if you have these skills and connections, then you will be the best candidate to walk through the door into a new opportunity and position within your company. Candidates that excel and work hard, will be unnoticed if they don't prove themselves to the appropriate managers. Managers who seek further advancement, may opt to pull you in the right direction as well, possibly taking their old position. As with anything else in life, the corporate world is all a game and the pieces constantly move. When the door does open, you must strike and claim the opportunity before the competition does. Research opportunities, communicate interest, prove yourself and build relationships if you want to be the candidate to accelerate and be at the front of the line when the door opens.