Build Your Leaders

Archive for January, 2011

Should You Be Looking for a New Job?

January 30th, 2011

Is it time to update your resume? While surfing the internet, I found this wonderful advice from Marilyn Haight on five signs that it’s time to be looking for a new job.

One: When your CEO fires your COO, his “right-hand man,” saying things like:
“[He] has been an important part of the … team for [X] years and provided strong leadership and counsel…”

If the important “right-hand man” got canned after doing a good job over a period of years, your chances of surviving by doing a good job in a position farther down in the hierarchy are not promising.

Two: When your CEO talks in read-between-the-lines, jargon-filled language saying things like: “We’re trying to accelerate the pace of our transition and improve operational execution…”

If a message is that obscure, it could be that it’s meant to hide bad news. And “execution” could be a Freudian slip.

Three: When your CEO announces that he’s going to make “sweeping structural changes to the company, along with an unspecified number of job cuts designed to ‘eliminate bureaucracy.’”

The number of job cuts is usually unspecified when it’s big enough to scare you into thinking your job might be included in that number.

Four: When the company’s quarterly net income drops three, four, or five times in a row.

This scares away the owners of the business—the investors; if the owners are bailing out, that’s a big sign.

Five: When “…a number of acquisitions of small affiliated companies…” precedes a large drop in quarterly earnings, especially one as large as 38 percent, and especially after a smaller drop or two.

Money is tight, and the shortfall has to be made up somewhere. Cutting jobs could be the logical source.

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On Being Present

January 23rd, 2011

A tip for how to be more present. In his groundbreaking book The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment Eckhart Tolle gives us a tool for determining if we are staying in the present. When we are anxious and tense, chances are we are spending too much time in the future. On the other hand, when we feel guilty, sad, bitter, or resentful, we are probably focusing on the past. Once we realize we are not in the present, we are present, he writes.

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The Two Seasons of Your Life

January 9th, 2011

What season are you in? Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Jung taught that there are two major seasons in our lives. The primary task of the first season is biological and social: getting married, having children, making a living, and perhaps acquiring money and social position. During this time, many of us become numbed to that inner voice of our calling.

For many, the second season begins with crisis. “The crisis of midlife can serve to ‘wake up’ this dreaming undiscovered self, and the rest of life (the second season) can provide the opportunity for its development,” he writes.

For me, the second season began with my divorce. For others it may come through job loss, illness, retirement, or intense feelings of unhappiness and lack of fulfillment. Whatever the impetus, we are awakened to earlier dreams and passion. We are awakened to the possibility of living a life that is even more productive and fulfilled than before.

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Are You Self-Actualized?

January 3rd, 2011

Characteristics of self-actualized people. Perhaps you remember studying  Abraham Maslow’s theories in a college psychology class. Maslow believed that we have to satisfy our fundamental physical and psychological needs before reaching our full potential as human beings. In order to understand these needs, he developed a scale he called a “Hierarchy of Needs”; it  followed this progression: physiological needs, safety needs, love and belonging needs, esteem needs, and self-actualization.

During his research, Maslow identified a number of characteristics that self-actualized people had in common. As you read through them, see which ones apply to you.

  • Superior perception of reality.
  • Increased acceptance of self, others, and nature.
  • Increased spontaneity.
  • Increased ability to solve problems; task-oriented rather than preoccupied with self.
  • Increased desire for privacy and solitude.
  • Increased autonomy. Independence.
  • Gratitude and richness of emotional reaction.
  • More frequent peak experiences.
  • Spirituality that is not necessarily religious in a formal sense.
  • Increased identification with humanity.
  • Feelings of intimacy with select loved one.
  • Democratic values.
  • Greatly increased creativity.
  • Humor that is philosophical rather than hostile.

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