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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Breathe Deep ...........

My father mentioned to me that the police was following us. 

The year was the early 80’s and he had just picked up his new Cadillac Fleetwood and we were driving back to my home in New Jersey.  My parents were in the back seat and my son who was a little boy at that time was sitting in the front with me.

Yes, I did notice that as soon as we passed he pulled out.  Minutes later we were pulled over.  He walked slowly to the car eyeing everyone in the car.  He pulled me over not because I was speeding but as he said “there were reports of stolen cars”.  I am like really “stolen cars with senior citizens sitting in the back seat”.  He wanted all documentation on this “nice car” as he put it.  I literally had to show him that yes my parents just bought this car with all the accompanying documentation.

After checking everything over numerous times, I knew, not to respond, make any “quick moves” etc. because in the blink of an eye, I could have become a statistic like these issues that are going on in the US today

A new generation but same effect

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Are You Taking Care of Your Own Scheduled Maintenance?

“The scheduled maintenance light came on; what do I do?”
As we enter December, which is the end of our calendar year, I thought of my wife’s comments above. She freaks out every time a light flashes. My reply was that it is simply time for thescheduled maintenance.
I went online and with a few clicks arranged to drop it off, get her a loaner car, and it was all done. Every auto manual lays out a timeline for maintenance based on mileage and what needs to be done in order for your car to work optimally.
Design your owner’s manual
It struck me that this is the perfect metaphor for careers and life. However, we do not get an owner’s manual for our lives.

Monday, November 24, 2014

A Few Things to Consider If You Want My Help in Finding a Job

Thank you for accepting my request. l am currently looking for a job and l was wondering if you could help me? l am in Dubai on a tourist visa. Please find below my CV.
Can you kindly review my CV and help me find a job?
My husband needs a new job. He is a hard worker; please help him find a job.
I am a mechanical engineer; can you get me job in your firm?
All in a week’s work.
The art of approaching someone properly
Requests like the ones above come into me periodically and I am sometimes stunned by the lack of clarity and focus of them. I joked to a colleague the other day that maybe I should just set up a career guidance business to handle so many of these requests.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

In Case You’ve Forgotten, Here’s How Real Leadership Looks

“This holiday season, you’ve probably seen or read about all the retailers opening their doors as early as 6 pm on Thanksgiving Day. We have decided not to follow that trend. Instead, we believe family comes first and you should be at home celebrating with them on this special holiday. This means none of our stores will be open on Thanksgiving Day. In addition, none of our stores will be open before 7 am on Black Friday. ” -- Michael R. MacDonald, CEO, DSW Shoes

I came across this on Facebook the other day. It rang so true to me since my wife and a lot of her friends work in retail from the management end.

A visible expression of company culture

One of the great features of the Internet, for me, is to read through the comments of others and get a sense of other people’s concerns.

The comments read:

“I like this company even more! I’ll buy all my shoes and sneakers there from now on.”

“I’ll be shopping at DSW.”

“I wish other stores would follow their lead! Of course if we, as consumers, refused to shop on Thanksgiving the stores would quit opening on family holidays.”

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Someone Is Always Watching or Listening, So Make Your Message Clear

Do I know you?

Someone commented on a picture that I posted on Facebook, saying to me that  “you look more and more like your daddy.”
When the person responded to that question, I was in for the surprise of my life. The woman grew up a few blocks from me, and yes, our families knew each other.
However, she proceeded to tell me a story of how she idolized my brother, who was a saxophone player. She is now a doctorate in music and known the world over for her music prowess.
Refocused and reinvigorated
She told me that from the 4th grade on she would just marvel at my brother’s ability to play the instrument. I was incredulous.  How did that made such a formidable impression on her to the point that it caused her life’s calling? She said she knew then what her career trajectory would be. Talk about a life’s calling!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Culture Vulture

This article is a reprint from Communicate Magazine [Advertising Age] located in Dubai...

No matter how far reaching a leader’s vision or how brilliant a company’s strategy may be, neither will be achieved if not supported by organizational culture. 

Analyzing his team’s successes, basketball all-star Kobe Bryant of the LA Lakers once told ESPN: “I think we have to start at the top, in terms of the culture of our team. What type of culture do you want to have? What type of system do you want to have? How do you want to play?” Much like any other organization, the LA Lakers uses a top-down approach to team culture, in which the leaders set the tone for the entire team.

Leading by example

Thursday, October 23, 2014

What Do You Do When Your Career Suddenly Gets Cancelled?

“I would advise all of them if they find another career, take it and do not look back.”
This statement came from a captain in a local police force. He was referencing the layoffs that had hampered the police department in a large East Coast city.
Close to 200 officers had been laid off, and according to the newspaper article, only a handful had been rehired back into their career of law enforcement.
Sorry but your career is cancelled

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The New Career Mantra: Turn Every Call and Contact Into an Interview

“I worked all those years, coming to work every day, doing a great job. Each year there was a raise and eventually more responsibility.
I went home at the end of the day and came back the following day. I repeated that cycle all those years until one day, I came in and was let go.
During all those years I had received numerous inquiries from outside headhunters, but at each call was kindly rebuffed because I loved what I was doing. My resume had never been updated in all those years, and I had not interviewed in 24 years.”
Being negligent
As I listened to this call this week, I felt sad and angry at the same time.

Friday, October 10, 2014

You’ll Be a Better Leader and Manager If You Don’t Believe the Hype

She asked me to wait a minute, went to her room and came back with a piece of paper. It was a list that she had compiled of her important events that I had missed due to work commitments.
Talk about a wake-up call. The list included 22 items, from her first day at school and first soccer match of the season, to a parent-teacher meeting and a Halloween parade. And the school year wasn’t over yet.
This note was from a CEO’s daughter to her dad, Mohamed El-Erian, the former chief executive of the investment firm Pimco, who was frustrated that his daughter was not listening to him
When she gave him this note, he was initially shocked and defensive. But after it sunk in he realized that she was right. A short time later, he resigned from his job as CEO of Pimco.
Flashbacks in focus