Build Your Leaders

Archive for the ‘balance’ Category

What Women Say It Takes to Succeed

December 3rd, 2012

Smart companies are waking up to the unique skills that women bring to the workplace. Not only are women smart, many have an empathetic communications style that makes them natural leaders.

The international staffing agency Randstad recently conducted a survey on women’s insights and perspectives on work and employee engagement. In this report, respondents ranked “flexibility” and “adaptability” as top skills needed to succeed in today’s workplace. In fact, more than 51 percent reported these skill-sets as the top two most important, followed by knowledge of technology” (37 percent) and teamwork (35 percent).

Do you agree?

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A Funny Story

August 2nd, 2011

A Confession. When I feel stressed, I become hyper-focused to the exclusion of much around me. When I first opened the Atlanta office of Fleishman-Hillard, one of my staff came into my office with an ear-to-ear grin. He was so proud of himself. He had scheduled an appointment for me with a new business prospect with a particularly large budget. The potential client was on her way to our office to check us out. When she arrived, I briefly noted that she wasn’t dressed in typical business attire (I am not sure when I last saw fish-net hose in an office.), but my attention was on winning her business rather than her apparel. We settled in the conference room, and after some small talk I asked her about her organization. A portable stereo appeared from nowhere, and before I knew it, she was taking off her blouse. I was so focused on the potential new account, I did not realize that I had been had. My staff had hired a “strip-o-gram” for my birthday.

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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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Balance Work with Home

September 24th, 2009

Work and personal life out of balance? You’re not alone. Those of you who know me, know that I love to follow trends. One futurist I follow is Roger Herman of the Herman Group. Herman and his partner Joyce Gioia specialize in employee retention and offer a free weekly eNewsletter that I subscribe to, http://www.hermangroup.com/futurespeak/e-advisories.htmlherman.

Herman believes – and I concur – that money is no longer the chief motivator in getting job candidates to sign on the dotted line. “Maintaining balance between work and personal lives is rapidly becoming one of the primary motivators for today’s workers. Balance has already surfaced as an important criterion for people choosing their next employer.” The focus is now on “softer issues” like professional development, being involved in decision making, childcare, and finding meaning in one’s work. Chief among these issues is work-life balance.

Many of my clients struggle with work-life balance. Upon questioning them, I find that many of their challenges are self-inflicted. It’s not so much the company’s expectations of them, as their expectations of themselves. Smart employers know they can increase employee retention rates by being sensitive to life balance.

I empathize with my clients’ struggle for balance. “I should be doing something productive,” my inner critic whispers. And with Blackberries, cell phones, and e-mail, it’s too easy to stay connected with work during down times.

I sure don’t have the solution, but I have found that if I schedule time to do the things I enjoy, I make time for them. For example, every Tuesday morning (when I’m not out of town) I used to attend a painting group at A-B Tech in Asheville. For three hours, I would have nothing to do but paint. Today, I have a studio, and I still have to schedule time on my calender to be there. For me it is time well spent, as those three hours help ground me through the week.

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