Technology cannot replace human connection, but it can arm you with knowledge & ability to scale that makes your effectiveness go off the charts. It can help you create relationships but will never replace fundamentals.
No amount of technology or social media presence can replace the value of human connection.
Nobody’s sending purchase orders to our LinkedIn inbox, but LinkedIn is a perfect conduit to meeting business influencers and their influencers as you seek to create a groundswell of influence and earn the right to be trusted advisor.
When we utilize technology in a way that creates and nurtures relationships, it becomes a powerful tool for achieving success.
🤝 Be authentically human: Share your experiences, whether good or bad, for a brief moment. By being real and vulnerable, you invite others to do the same.
💡 Engage with care: While it’s essential to share your thoughts, be mindful not to overwhelm the meeting with personal matters. Serve them lightly, leaving room for others to share their experiences and feelings as well.
📝 Construct the agenda together: Collaborate with your team to structure the meeting. Solicit their feedback and guidance, giving them a voice in shaping the agenda. When everyone’s input is considered, engagement and participation skyrocket.
🎉 Celebrate successes: Recognize achievements within your team. Whether it’s a major victory or a remarkable best practice, create space to highlight these accomplishments. It’s amazing what a little recognition can do! And it’s free!
🕰️ Prioritize connection: Regardless of the meeting duration, set aside a few moments at the beginning to foster personal connections. Show genuine interest in your colleagues as individuals before diving into business matters. It’s a small investment that pays off immensely.
🔍 Observe and address energy shifts: Stay present and observant during meetings. If you notice someone becoming tense or unresponsive, take the opportunity to engage them. Ask a question, invite their input, or address any concerns. By actively monitoring the energy, you can nurture a supportive environment.
Remember, connection is the foundation of successful collaboration. By creating space for genuine interactions and incorporating your team’s input, you’ll foster an environment where everyone feels valued, heard, and engaged.
How do you encourage and foster genuine connectedness in your meetings?
While cost-cutting measures and C-level changes can create an uncertain environment, there are steps you can take to thrive amidst uncertainty. Even in times of upheaval, opportunities for growth and success can arise.
1. Stay informed – know the changes and their impact 2. Embrace Flexibility and Adaptability: 3. Build a Strong Personal Brand and Network: Make Yourself Irreplaceable! 4. Focus on Personal and Professional Development: 5. Maintain a Positive Attitude: 6. Control the Controllables: Stay Focused and Master the Moment 7. Take Care of Yourself
It’s all the more challenging when more uncontrollable things and a lot of noise are all around. For many, it’s time to keep your head down and white knuckle it for a bit; keeping a steady hand on the wheel and bettering yourself are two big areas of focus amidst the storm.
Inspired by the finale of Ted Lasso, I reflect on the decision to stay or go in our careers. Leaving a role or company always comes with risks, but it’s essential to evaluate what we’re giving up and what we might gain.
Does the grass seem greener elsewhere, or should we nurture the grass we’re already standing on?
Here are some of my thoughts on goodbyes and career pivots: 📚✍️
🔹 Throughout my career, I’ve realized the value of seeking new challenges to grow and master my craft. Just like Michael Jordan’s constant need for new challenges and ability to walk away at the top of his game to pursue baseball, sometimes we must step outside our comfort zones and pursue our true passions. Continuously pushing ourselves keeps the journey exciting and fulfilling.
🔹 Know Your Worth and Explore Opportunities – Building a strong network and brand reputation are vital for career success. While staying in our current roles can be rewarding, it’s equally important to gauge our worth in the market and explore different opportunities. Don’t be afraid to have conversations, make connections, and gain fresh perspectives. You’re not married to anything until you commit.
Remember, there’s always more to do and achieve, whether it’s within your current role or elsewhere. Keep challenging yourself, evaluate new opportunities, and stay focused on what truly fulfills you. Good luck on your career journey! 🌟
Assume the position, de-risk the decision and be the obvious choice. Here is what I’ve learned from 7 promotions, getting turned down for 3 promotions, and even having a role created for me that was given to someone else!
💡 Lessons I’ve learned about promotions: 1️⃣ It’s not just about showing up, but becoming the overwhelmingly obvious choice. 2️⃣ Specific ideas to combat obstacles and de-risk the decision for hiring managers. 3️⃣ Identifying challenges and sharing best practices to make an impact. 4️⃣ Relationship building and visibility play a significant role in growth. 5️⃣ Promotions aren’t guaranteed, but every experience helps you grow.
🔑 How to increase your chances: 1️⃣ De-risk the hiring decision by understanding what the role truly requires. 2️⃣ Master the fundamentals: career walking deck, resume, 30-60-90 day plan, and follow-up. 3️⃣ Showcase your ability to shine and tell stories that demonstrate effectiveness. 4️⃣ Acknowledge challenges and offer solutions based on past experiences. 5️⃣ Seek sponsorship and create a groundswell of influence. 6️⃣ Assume the position and take initiative when opportunities arise.
🚀 Your next role may not be obvious, but embrace the uncertainty: 1️⃣ Build a personal brand that reflects your desired image. 2️⃣ Show your next hiring manager how you can add value in various roles. 3️⃣ Embrace the freedom of exploring new possibilities and seizing unexpected opportunities.
If you control what you can, are intentional about building your brand and gaining sponsors and mentors, and focus on becoming the obvious choice for whatever you want to do next, you increase your chances of earning the promotion!
What have you learned from your pursuit of promotions?
In the realm of teamwork, there are two distinct situations that can significantly impact the outcome: a lackluster effort where individuals are not fully engaged, and a harmonious collaboration where everyone plays their part with passion and dedication. One of the key factors that differentiate these situations is truthfulness. When team members are truthful, they share their authentic thoughts, perspectives, and needs without disrespecting others. This openness fosters real conversations, enriches perspectives, builds trust, and enables constructive conflict resolution. In this discussion, we explore why truthfulness is vital for connected teamwork and how it cultivates collaborative relationships.
Establishing Trust and Transparency: Being truthful is synonymous with authenticity. When team members show up as their true selves, they create a foundation of trust and transparency. Although no one has all the answers, by being authentic, individuals can ask for help when needed, empowering others to contribute and enabling the team to reach its full potential. Authenticity is the cornerstone of meaningful partnerships and relationships. When we present ourselves truthfully, we inspire trust, opening up lines of communication and creating a safe space for collaboration.
Enhancing Communication and Collaboration: Connected teamwork thrives on open and honest communication. By being truthful, team members encourage the free flow of ideas and foster a collaborative environment. Each person brings their unique perspectives and insights, enriching the collective wisdom of the team. Engaging in truthful conversations allows for a deeper understanding of the situation, each other, and even ourselves. The word “conversation” derives from the Latin word “conversar,” meaning “changing together.” When we engage in genuine conversations, we embark on a journey of shared discovery, where a greater truth emerges from the exchange of ideas and perspectives.
Fostering Mutual Accountability: When team members embrace truthfulness, they establish clear priorities and milestones. By being upfront and honest, they promote proactive communication and drive mutual accountability. Each individual takes responsibility for their contributions and commits to being their best self within the team. This mutual accountability strengthens the team’s cohesion and ensures that everyone is working towards a common goal. It also creates an atmosphere where open feedback can be given and received, facilitating growth and continuous improvement.
Resolving Conflict Constructively: In any team, conflicts are inevitable. However, truthfulness plays a vital role in addressing and resolving conflicts constructively. When team members are truthful, they can openly express their concerns, emotions, and perspectives. This honesty allows for a deeper understanding of each other’s viewpoints and facilitates collaborative problem-solving. Trust and transparency established through truthfulness enable teams to navigate through conflicts with empathy and respect, leading to more effective and sustainable resolutions.
Truthfulness is the bedrock of connected teamwork. By embracing authenticity, team members create an environment of trust, transparency, and open communication. This fosters collaboration, encourages idea sharing, and drives mutual accountability. Truthfulness also enables teams to tackle conflicts constructively, leveraging diverse perspectives to find innovative solutions. As we prioritize truthfulness within our teams, we build strong, collaborative relationships that empower individuals and elevate the collective potential of the team. In the journey of connected teamwork, let us remember that truthfulness is not only about speaking our minds but also about actively listening, respecting, and embracing the truths of others.
As I sat down to prepare for my fifth and possibly final book, I couldn’t help but reflect on my journey. This book, the culmination of my sales career, would be different. It would be a series of stories that captured the essence of my experiences and the lessons they taught me. With each story, I hoped to offer insights that would inform not only aspiring salespeople but anyone navigating the unpredictable waters of life. The first story, the one that started it all, was about how I became an accidental salesperson.
After graduating from college, like many others, I found myself unsure of what path to pursue. For years, I had worked at a community grocery store, content with the simplicity of life and the time spent with friends. Little did I know then just how fortunate I was. However, a change was on the horizon. My best friend and girlfriend at the time were moving to St. Louis, and without a clear direction in mind, I decided to follow suit.
I transferred to a new location of the grocery store chain, believing it was time to spread my wings and explore new opportunities. It was during this period that I realized the importance of connections and the adage, “It’s all about who you know.” My friend’s aunt played a pivotal role in helping me secure an interview for a customer service position at her workplace, a play that I thought would be my next step.
To my surprise, the role turned out to be an intense sales position. I had never considered sales before, and the concept intimidated me. Yet, here I was, thrust into training for a sales role alongside eleven other individuals. Only two of us were from outside the company, while the rest had retreat rights and could return to their previous roles. The odds were stacked against us.
Throughout the training, doubts crept into my mind. I confided in my parents and my friend’s aunt, expressing my uncertainty about whether this was the right path for me. The trainers and managers didn’t mince words when someone wasn’t cut out for the role. Despite their optimism about my potential, I questioned my own abilities. However, with nowhere else to turn, I decided to persevere and give it my best shot.
The training journey was far from smooth. Just when we were nearing the end, the call center shifted its focus, and we had to start the training process all over again. It was a rollercoaster ride of stops and starts, testing my determination and resilience. With every setback, I questioned whether this was the right fit for me. But I remained steadfast, battling doubt, nervousness, and fear.
Finally, I graduated from training and entered a call center with low morale. Many of my colleagues doubted their managers and the direction they were being led. The veterans of the call center constantly whispered their reasons and excuses for not giving their all. However, I made a conscious decision early on that if there was a number next to my name on a report, it would always represent my best effort, regardless of the circumstances. I refused to let external factors dictate my commitment and dedication.
I still remember vividly the moment I secured my first sale. I read off the script, closed my eyes, and awaited the customer’s response. When they said yes, it was like a rush of exhilaration. It felt like developing a muscle that grew stronger with practice. Over time, I realized that I possessed certain gifts that suited the sales environment. I could talk quickly, listen attentively, and assess people’s challenges, articulating the value I could provide. I also quickly grasped the intricacies of the playing field—the payment structure, the goals of my managers—so I could deliver exceptional service to customers while creating a system to benefit my team.
In my first month, I emerged as a top sales representative in the office. It surprised many of my peers, who witnessed my regular walks to the sales board to update it with my achievements. The attention, both positive and negative, invigorated me. With each passing quarter, my paychecks dwarfed what I had made during my years at the grocery store. I achieved recognition and accolades, earning a place in the top five percent of reps in a Fortune 500 company. Trips, gifts, and the sense of accomplishment became a part of my journey.
Through this experience, I learned that I had paid the first installment of an ongoing cycle of dues. I had embraced my role as a salesperson, and it was in that world that I flourished.
🔥 From today’s mailbag: “I don’t want to be a job-hopper, but everywhere I go I’m faced with unbelievable issues and struggle to be successful through no fault of my own. What do I do? Stick it out, or keep moving?” 🔥
👉 My response: Every job has issues, but all offer opportunities to learn and grow.
🌱 You’ve heard the adage that the grass is always greener on the other side, but the brighter hue could exist because of more manure (or the less appropriate word for it). It’s easy to be convinced that a change of scenery is more desirable, but if you water the grass you’re on, great things can happen.
🌟 Instead of picking apart the failures of your job, present solutions for problems! Align with the people who can make a difference or become one! You will never work in an environment that is perfect; it’s not to say you will never enjoy your job, but acceptance of it and what you do and your impact will go much farther than waiting around for changes. Be part of the solution!
😤 Frustration with a job is normal: everyone faces it. While frustration can greatly diminish your enjoyment of the business part of your world, being without a job or suffering through massive career uncertainty can trump these.
🌦️ Let’s face it: it’s a reaction to want to look elsewhere when things are not going our way. We’re in a storm. But what happens after the storm, no matter how long it lasts? The clouds part and the sun shines, and we’ve weathered another darkness. Stop, slow down, and think: what’s better – coming out on the other end of a storm, learning from it and being more valuable to your company because of your knowledge and experience? Or jumping ship to something brand new you have less experience in where you may have to take a step back or start all over when it comes to getting ahead?
🎯 Hopefully, you will find that your current role offers you the opportunity to take it one day at a time, head-on, and a chance at either advancement or making a difference and contributing to process change to rectify the issues you currently face. Even if it does not, do you have a goal you are working toward, and is the reality of getting to that point there?
🚀 Your decision to weather the storm you’re in or to jump to unknown country that has its own storms is up to you. However, your ability to withstand the pressures and uncertainties and process flaws in the job you currently carry will offer you experiences and value that is yet unbeknownst to you. It may very worth your while to explore that.
💪 Have you faced similar challenges in your career? How did you handle them? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below!
We all have a desire for recognition & respect. It’s natural to want to showcase our skills & accomplishments. However, when it comes to fostering team success, projecting a humble & team-oriented mindset is the game-changer.
Here are three valuable lessons on cultivating humility for the benefit of your team:
1️⃣ Drop the “I’s”: When discussing your role and contributions, both in writing and in conversation, minimize the use of “I.” Instead, focus on highlighting how you have worked collaboratively with your team to achieve results. Hiring managers, supervisors, and your audience at large appreciate individuals who embrace a sense of camaraderie. Show your willingness to support and help others, rather than simply telling them how great you are. Trust me, your message will have a far greater impact.
2️⃣ Not everything is a competition: Constantly striving to one-up others can create a toxic environment and hinder team dynamics. Instead, seek to connect with your colleagues, add value to your relationships, and offer support wherever possible. By focusing on the process and teamwork, you create an inclusive atmosphere where everyone can thrive. Peers and influencers will be more likely to endorse and engage with you when they feel valued and supported.
3️⃣ Look for ways to involve others: While you may be carrying a heavier load in the current project, remember that you can learn and benefit from the contributions of others in future endeavors. When discussing your projects, acknowledge the efforts and contributions of your teammates. Ensure everyone gets credit and invite their input. While highlighting your own achievements is important, avoid overshadowing others or making them feel insignificant.
Ultimately, true success lies not just in achieving great results, but in creating an environment where everyone can thrive. Focus on your ability to contribute to the team, support others, and be a true team player.
By doing so, you will have a lasting impact and receive the recognition you deserve.
Let’s embrace humility and savor the sweet taste of team success together! 🌟
Burning bridges is never a good idea, no matter if you’re right or how strong the impulse might be. The benefits of preserving professional relationships far outweigh any temporary satisfaction gained from severing ties.
Many of us learn this lesson the hard way, and in a long career you will likely face this choice many times: that bad manager you want to tell off, that poor culture you want to torch on social media. Resist the urge. No matter how vindicated you feel in that moment, the repercussions it can have on your brand and reputation are not worth it.
Jeff and Carson both share personal experiences which proved burning bridges was a poor choice in hindsight, and situations where they chose not to burn the bridge actually paid unexpected dividends.
When it comes to burning bridges, it’s essential to remember that it rarely serves our best interests.
Choosing not to burn bridges means taking personal responsibility for our decisions. It means understanding that we may be the common denominator in challenging situations. By addressing concerns privately and respectfully, we maintain our dignity and protect our professional reputation.
While it may be tempting to vent our frustrations publicly, doing so can lead to unfavorable judgments, regardless of the validity of our concerns.
Perception becomes reality, and people will judge us based on our actions, regardless of the context. So let’s remember to take a step back, think before reacting impulsively, and handle conflicts with grace and professionalism.