Build Your Leaders

Postcard from Asheville, NC

May 2009

Last month I conducted my first workshop for those who recently lost their jobs. Held in Gastonia, N.C., the half-day workshop was sponsored by the Episcopal Diocese of Western North Carolina. All thirty-eight participants seemed to get a great deal out of it. I'd love to do more of these workshops. Would you please keep your ears open for me?

If you have a job, be grateful for it; most likely you know someone who has recently lost theirs. If so, there are several things you can do to help. First, please direct them to my website. In the Resources section, I've compiled a list of tools that they may find helpful in their job search.

Additionally, consider offering to:

  1. Provide childcare during job interviews.
  2. Proof resumes and cover letters for job applicants.
  3. Role play with applicants before an interview.
  4. Reflect on who you know. You might be surprised at the introductions you can make.

Like sitting with a sick friend, we find that when we help others, even in the smallest ways, we're the ones who benefit most.

Times are tough, and if you are like me, you may be feeling a little overwhelmed. It seems like everyone I talk to these days feels stretched pretty thin. If you can identify, be sure to read this month's article on how to prioritize work.

P.S. You'll notice that the eNewsletter is a little different this time. Let me know if you like the new format.

How to Prioritize Your Life, Work, and Life's Work

Most people I talk to these days are feeling overwhelmed. Maybe it's that so many of us are reinventing ourselves to survive and thrive in the new economy. In examining the many ways we can direct our lives, we can blow a gasket examining all the options. "I get so overwhelmed, I just shut down," one client shared.

In my own work, I am considering whether or not to focus on those who have lost their jobs, offering teleseminars, writing more special reports, putting more emphasis on bringing clients to Asheville for career intensives.... The list goes on.

Recently, I created a simple formula for determining priorities that I've begun to share with clients. View return-on-investment, passion, and purpose as three interlocking circles, then look for the place they met

For each option, I consider:

Return-on-Investment: Does the effort and expense justify the amount of money the new project will produce? When I analyzed writing another book, I had to conclude no. Writing is hard work, and it's time-consuming. Yet books seldom generate a great deal of money.

Passion: How juiced am I about the project? I love writing, but writing a hundred-page book right now seems daunting.

Purpose: Finally, does the project support my mission: helping professionals stand in their power by becoming the full expression of all they are? Depending on the topic, it could, but so will a number of other vehicles that are less time-consuming, more fun, and offer a higher return-on-investment.

I crossed writing another book off my list.

Do you have a number of options that you're exploring in your own work or life? If so, try this simple process and let me know what you think.

Tip of the Week

In his book, Leading at a Higher Level, management expert Ken Blanchard, coauthor of The One Minute Manager, suggests that leaders consider seven questions in determining their leadership point of view.

  1. Who are the influencers (leaders) in your life who have had a positive (or in some cases, negative) influence on your life? Parents, teachers, coaches, bosses, or others.
  2. Think of your life purpose. Why are you here and what do you want to accomplish?
  3. Which of your core values will be the most valuable as you live your life "on purpose."
  4. Given what you've learned from past leaders, from your life purpose and your core values, what are your beliefs about leading, motivating, and inspiring people?
  5. What can people expect from you?
  6. What do you expect from people?
  7. How will you set an example for your people?