Build Your Leaders

Archive for February, 2011

Who Packs Your Parachute?

February 27th, 2011

The importance of saying thank you. Charles Plumb was a navy jet pilot. On his seventy-sixth combat mission, he was shot down, and he parachuted into enemy territory. He was captured and spent six years in prison. He survived and now lectures on the lessons he learned from his experiences.

One day, a man approached Plumb and his wife in a restaurant and said, “Are you Plumb the navy pilot?”

“Yes, how did you know?” asked Plumb.

“I packed your parachute,” the man replied.

Plumb was amazed—and grateful. “If the chute you packed hadn’t worked I wouldn’t be here today,” he said.

Plumb refers to this in his lectures: his realization that the anonymous sailors who packed the parachutes held the pilots’ lives in their hands, and yet the pilots never gave these sailors a second thought; never even said hello, let alone said thanks.

Now Plumb asks his audiences, “Who packs your parachutes? Who helps you through your life—physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually? Think about who helps you; recognize them, and say thanks.”

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Double Your Salary in Two Years

February 19th, 2011

How to get paid what you’re worth. I love my subscription to Men’s Health magazine. In addition to fitness and nutrition tips, every now and then the magazine offers some excellent career advice. A while back they had an interesting article on how to double your salary in two years. Here are their suggestions along with my comments.

Increase Your Visibility:  I often counsel clients to write bylined articles for their professional trade associations or offer to give a seminar. The more visible you are, the more valuable you are to your organization.

Hit “Eject.” If you’ve been at your job for a year or two without being promoted or recognized, it may be time to bail out. But before you go, have a serious talk with your boss to determine if there are some areas you need to improve upon.

Become an Asset (Especially Offshore). Check out international opportunities within your company. In today’s world, an international assignment can fast-track your career.

Stroke Your Contacts. One of the major mistakes I see people make when they network is only contacting their network when they need something. Always be on the  lookout for ways to benefit your contacts. Actions can be as simple as clipping an article and mailing it off with a quick note.

Make ’Em  Pay. When you are promoted, do your homework. Research the market to determine the “going” rate for the position. What you were paid previously is irrelevant. National salary surveys such as are a nice start, but dig deeper by contacting people in your own company as well as with competing firms.

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Give Folks a Second Chance

February 7th, 2011

You may not be as good of a judge of character as you think. David Siegel (no relation), UCLA psychiatrist and author of The Mindful Brain, calls it “mindsight.” Many psychologists call it “empathic accuracy,” and I call it our “built-in BS meters.” Whatever you call it, it’s your ability to judge another person’s internal state; if you have this ability, you can determine if you’re being manipulated or seduced.

Composed of observation, memories, power of reason, and emotion, this facility allows us to constantly make educated guesses about what someone is feeling or thinking. “Mind reading is perhaps the most urgent element of social intelligence,” writes Annie Murphy Paul in her article “Mind Reading” in Psychology Today (Oct., 2007)..

Unfortunately, most of us aren’t particularly good at it, reading each other with an average accuracy of 20 percent. Close friends and married couples can inch up to 35 percent, but almost no one scores more than 60 percent, according to psychologist William Ickes, the father of empathetic accuracy.

Maybe the next time your BS meter sounds off, it’s worth considering giving the person a second chance.

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