It’s hard asking for help. Getting rejected stings. But by not asking, you’re probably missing out on some great opportunities. I don’t know about you, but when I was growing up I was a little bit of a dork. Okay, okay… a HUGE dork. I sold comic books (and incidentally made 100x what my contemporaries made in allowance but that didn’t stop them from teasing me). I weighed 98 pounds and my nose was 11 of it. What came along with this dorkiness (aside from therapy bills I still pay today) was a fear of rejection. If you ask out enough girls and get laughed at enough times, you become conditioned not to ask for things in the purest form of Pavlovian conditioning a young man can endure. While request avoidance as a mechanism for pain avoidance is wholly appropriate as a skinny pimply teenager, it can destroy business opportunities as an adult. As I was launching thoughtLEADERS, I had this fear of asking people for favors or for help. Why? I don’t exactly know. It was a combination of not wanting to impose upon people and not wanting to hear “no” or be rejected. “So what?” you say? “So you didn’t ask for help. No big deal, right?” Wrong.
https://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.png00Mike Figliuolohttps://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.pngMike Figliuolo2009-06-15 14:30:002018-06-21 17:47:01Grow Your Business and Career by Asking for Help
Every day organizations spend time refining and rewriting their strategic plans. It’s part of the rhythm of business. But how often have you applied the basic principles of strategic planning to your career? Say what? You haven’t? You’re missing out on one of the most powerful tools out there. Don’t worry – this isn’t some high falootin’ strategery post. I’m not caffeinated enough to write something like that. It’s a simple approach you can apply to your career in an hour or so and have much greater clarity on where you’re headed and what kinds of opportunities you need to be looking for. To keep it simple, I’m going to relate a conversation I had recently on the topic. The individual was doing some great introspection about where they are and where they’re headed but couldn’t find a clear path from where they stood. I said “forget about where you are.” The discussion got interesting from there. “Let’s apply strategy to your career planning.” “Okay. Go.”
https://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.png00Mike Figliuolohttps://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.pngMike Figliuolo2009-06-08 05:21:002018-12-21 14:32:45Advance Your Career With Strategic Planning
I see it all the time – people and teams suffering from analysis paralysis. They’re unable to make a decision and instead their organization languishes in purgatory for seemingly endless eons. People are afraid to make decisions (especially in this economy). They sometimes believe (erroneously for the most part) they’re better off making no decision than making an incorrect one. By not making a decision, they think they can’t be canned for being wrong. The problem is they’re supposed to be leaders. And leaders have to lead. When decisions aren’t made, organizations stagnate and eventually go down the tubes (and that’s when the really hard decisions have to be made… General Motors anyone?). Deciding to not make a decision is still a decision (and often a bad one). Deciding to do more analysis rather than acting is still a decision (again, often a bad one). Indecision is only a good thing when it’s on The Colbert Report. I’m not advocating making decisions absent data. One of my favorite sayings is “In God we trust. All others bring data.” What I am advocating is making a decision, acknowledging you might be wrong, and either maintaining course if the decision was correct or changing course if you get new information that indicates a better path. So how can you break out of analysis paralysis? There are a few critical behaviors you can adopt. Allow me to introduce the 4 D’s of decision making (sorry… it’s not the 5 D’s of Dodgeball which, admittedly, would be really fun).
https://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.png00Mike Figliuolohttps://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.pngMike Figliuolo2009-06-01 05:05:002018-06-21 17:31:13Stop Thinking! Make a Decision! The 4 D's of Decision Making
It’s a great time of year. Beautiful weather, flowers blooming, and 110 bags of mulch to be spread tell you it’s spring. Now is when we traditionally clean our homes and yards. It’s also a great time to clean up your work and professional life. Face it – we’re creatures of habit and averse to change. Over time though those habits and that aversion can lead to cluttered and less-than-fully productive work lives. I encourage you to take this week to do some spring cleaning on your career and your professional life. To save you the effort of thinking about how to do so, I’ll offer a few thoughts on things I’ve found helpful in doing my own cleaning. Grab your mop, your cleaning supplies, and your yard tools. It’s time to get to work. Hey! Where are you going? Get back here… you’ll be happier and more efficient after this cleaning. I promise.
https://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.png00Mike Figliuolohttps://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.pngMike Figliuolo2009-05-26 05:32:002018-06-21 17:29:45Time for a Little Spring Cleaning for Your Work Life
Sales is a difficult job, especially in this economy. It’s easy to forget good sales principles when you get focused on the numbers. The sales goal can become an anvil that knocks the focus on the prospect out of your noggin. When that happens, you’re at high risk for the sales FAIL. That’s that interaction that not only costs you the sale but leads the prospect to tell other people how bad your organization is (in a blog like this one perhaps…). This post isn’t just for salespeople. If you’re involved in sales, marketing, strategy, or business development there are some important lessons here. If you’re not involved in those functions, might as well read anyway because I know you’re looking for an excuse not to work on that PowerPoint deck and you can claim you’re doing “professional development” instead. I recently had a head-scratcher of an interaction with a business-to-business cold caller. First I’ll detail some of the agonizing points of those calls then lay out three principles for not getting a “DON’T ANSWER” entry in my caller ID (yes, I’ll explain that point).
https://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.png00Mike Figliuolohttps://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.pngMike Figliuolo2009-05-18 04:46:002018-06-21 17:24:56It's NOT About You: 3 Steps for Avoiding the Sales FAIL
I’m excited to bring you some thoughts from Maureen Metcalf today. I’m shutting up now. Here’s Maureen: For anyone who has led an organizational change, we know it can be complicated at best and at worst; it can limit your career and have a significant adverse impact on your business. In 2008, a McKinsey survey of 3,199 executives around the world found, as Kotter did in 1998, that only one transformation in three succeeds. Other studies over the past ten years reveal remarkably similar results. So, in times of profound change, where business success hinges on the leader and the organization being able to change quickly and effectively, what should we be doing to increase our likelihood of success? I focus on the impact of leadership as well as the systems and processes being used to implement the change. From Collins Good to Great and others we have learned that Level 5 Leaders are more likely to successfully create long term sustainable change that moves the company to “greatness.” So, while there is certainly no one size fits all answer, there are six basic principles a leader embarking on change can consider.
While many predict further economic gloom, I’m seeing some signs of recovery. Friends are getting invited on interviews and headhunters are calling me occasionally. If you’re lucky enough to land an interview during these tough times, don’t blow it with a moron moment. I’ve interviewed (and been interviewed) hundreds of times. Some went fantastic. Others made me cringe. Remember, in times like these, an employer is looking for ANY reason, no matter how small, to knock a candidate out of the running. They can afford to be extremely choosy as they seek out the highest caliber talent. Much like my prior posts on how not to be stupid and lazy, how to avoid one major interview landmine, and really understanding the role of your resume, this post will focus on helping you avoid classic mistakes I’ve actually seen first-hand during interviews. Here goes: 4 job offer-killing interview mistakes…
I’m pretty sure I can safely say that individuals who read our blog are achievers. You work hard, seek to develop your skills, and look forward to the next goal in front of you. I’ll also bet you’re your own harshest critic. You probably beat yourself up at the smallest perceived failure. Some of you do more damage to yourselves than that funky albino monk in Da Vinci Code did to himself with that nasty rope of his. Sometimes your self-deprecating humor isn’t very humorous. Stop it. Now. These negative thoughts don’t just affect your performance – they rub off on your team. If you’re not careful you can create an environment where your standards are perceived as unreasonable and where praise seems extremely hard to come by. Over time, that erodes your team’s morale and can eventually lead to turnover (not to mention a lousy standard of living for you). We’re going to get a little cerebral and introspective today. I ask you to do so in the spirit of getting on a healthier mental track. Do so not just for the benefit of your team but for yourself, your friends, and your family. So how can you do this? My suggestion: assess, admit, and act.
https://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.png00Mike Figliuolohttps://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.pngMike Figliuolo2009-05-04 07:09:002018-06-21 17:21:06You're Better Than You Think