We all go through ups and downs at work. It’s normal to have unproductive days and days when you don’t seem to get anything done. But when does it become a problem? How can you turn things around?
getAbstract had the opportunity to talk to performance expert and Love It, Don’t Leave It author, Beverly Kaye, and ask a few performance questions every employee wants the answer to.
getAbstract: What are the top skills every employee should have to improve job performance?
Beverly: For starters, communication seems like common sense, but the truth is, common sense is not common. Verbal, written and listening (often not included) are key to building relationships and improving performance. Knowing what to say, when to say, and how to say is truly a science. Employees who take the time to learn the art of both public speaking, as well daily communication will find it helps dramatically to change the dynamic of a position. Due to technology, written communication has become the new first impression. Find programs that double check grammar! Employees should never fear to start over to retrain their written skills. The most important, and often forgotten form of communication, however, is listening. The old saying “We have two ears and only one mouth for a reason” has never been truer. Every employee should have the ability to listen…not just to what is said but to the words between the words.
Awareness is another rarely considered, but critical skill for employees. Employees should be aware of time, of areas for self-improvement and the changing climates of their industry.
Finally, patience is integral to employee success. Everyone succeeds on their own time schedule, and in unique ways. Employees need to plan for future success but be flexible to the reality that life does not always go as we planned.
Has “reading more” also made it into your list of New Year’s resolutions? If so, how do you make sure you’re not only reading more, but also the most relevant books?
We might have an idea for you: Start with the “Top 10 Summaries”, the 10 most downloaded getAbstract summaries in 2016, and stay informed and connected to the most current and relevant business information – in just 10 minutes.
Have a look at the most popular summaries from the past year!
When you think of the next 12 months, do you think of projects you want to start or changes you’d like to make?
If your answer is yes, keep reading. getAbstract had the opportunity to chat with professional development gurus Jason and Jodi Womack. They explain how to get unstuck, Get Momentum and take that first step to success.
getAbstract: We all have many goals we want to achieve. How do you prioritize?
Jason and Jodi: The definition of “goal” simply means “the object of a person’s ambition or effort.”
Our book, Get Momentum, helps people make consistent progress on their big, ambitious goals by focusing their effort productively.
In reality, you can only have ONE priority at a time. The most important thing is what you’re choosing to do right now.
In his new book, A Leadership Kick in the Ass, Bill Treasurer doesn’t mince words. Leadership is hard, and sooner or later every leader faces a situation that is literally a kick in the behind. Throughout the book, he drives home one point: If you want to become a better leader, you have to learn from those situations – you have to learn from your mistakes.
getAbstract had the opportunity to sit down with Bill and discuss his new book.
getAbstract: The moment we read the title of your new book, we were intrigued. Why did you call it A Leadership Kick in the Ass?
Bill: Even before I wrote Leaders Open Doors, I pitched an idea to my publisher of a book called Leadership is Freaking Hard. And it resonated. There are a lot of books that give you the idea that leadership is all this flowery attractive stuff, but if we get real about leadership, it’s freaking hard. As we were talking about that title, we thought it was too playful, and so we changed it to A Leadership Slap in the Face. Leadership is often a wake-up call; leaders go through startling experiences that are humbling – you fail, you mess up, you have a giant misstep. Those events are critical to the formation of you as a leader. They give you the seasoning, experience and wisdom you need.
As we were shaping the book, we shared experiences and we’d often say, “You know, I was facing this situation and I’ll tell you it was a real kick in the ass.” After a while we thought, “Why don’t we just call it what it is, A Leadership Kick in the Ass.”
I did get permission from my 80-year-old mother. [Laughs] I said, “Mom, we’re thinking about calling the book A Leadership Kick in the Ass, what do you think?” And being a New Yorker she said, “You know, Bill, ass isn’t really much of a swearword. You even hear it in PG movies.” So, we thought it was edgy enough to get attention but tame enough that readers will know our aim isn’t to offend them in any way.
Who doesn’t identify with the following scenario? A restaurant hostess escorts several young adults to a table. Literally seconds after being seated, they whip out their smartphones like Ninja warriors with throwing stars. Uh-oh, must be urgent. My goodness, someone else wants to be your Facebook friend! Wow, Beyonce’s new hairdo is blowing up Twitter! Holy cow, the Yahoo account you just checked three minutes ago has two more emails!
Those of you fretting over the future consequences of artificial intelligence may want to note the unsettling robotic behavior of present day flesh-and-blood human beings. If you’re not scared, you ought to be.
Prof. Sherry Turkle, director of the Initiative on Technology and Self at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is clearly alarmed by technology’s effect on people. Her video talk, Humans First – Technology Second, offers a pessimistic assessment of the current state of interpersonal relationships.
“Technology makes us forget what we know about life,” says Turkle, whose research revealed that the majority of people prefer texting to talking – even though they acknowledge that it damages the interaction.
getAbstract: How did you conclude that fear is the number one obstacle to managing change effectively?
Stott Steinberg: The fact that we’re all capable of successfully innovating our way to the top – and all it takes is one simple shift in mindset to do so. Research shows the leading barrier to ongoing business success isn’t time, money, or resources: It’s resistance to change, and lack of risk tolerance. As fast-moving and unpredictable as today’s world is though, we’re all forced to adapt on a daily basis. Haven’t taken a good look at your shifting schedule or priorities lately? Surprise – chances are, you’re successfully changing and innovating every day already. If everyone is capable of innovating, the only thing stopping you from getting ahead consistently is your own sense of perspective. As we discovered, fear comes in seven flavors. Learn to conquer them and you’ll soon find out – the possibilities are endless.
When he was charting his career course, it’s unlikely that Mike Rowe thought about collecting owl vomit, making charcoal or turning the bones of dead cattle into useful products.
Rowe probably didn’t envision himself developing a passion for the Dirty Jobs TV show that enjoyed a seven-year run on the Discovery Channel. Life can be funny that way. Doors open unexpectedly and you walk on through. Or maybe you’re among the fortunate ones in a profession you’ve dreamed of since childhood.
In his 2016 video talk, Don’t Follow Your Passion, Rowe warns against the dangers of pursuing unrealistic goals and ignoring the practical demands of life. Wishes and desires, he explains, often are not aligned with talents and capabilities.
“Just because you’re passionate at something doesn’t mean you won’t suck at it,” Rowe says.
He’s an economics instructor at the renowned Cambridge University. He’s served as a consultant to the World Bank and other prestigious financial institutions. He’s a fellow at the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington and the author of several popular books.
If Ha-Joon Chang came across as a snooty intellectual you probably wouldn’t be shocked, though that would go against everything he believes. The South Korean argues that economics is not just for those with lofty IQ’s and fancy degrees; it’s accessible to everyone – which may explain why Chang’s 2016 video presentation, Economics is for Everyone, is one of the most popular video talks in getAbstract’s library.
Economics has always been an intimidating subject, Chang says, mainly because we defer to “experts” who complicate matters with thorny mathematical formulas and esoteric jargon and principles. Marxist, Keynesian, GDP, regressive tax, supply side, variable cost, etc., etc. Yuck. No wonder we can’t be bothered.
“Economics has been uniquely successful in making the general public reluctant to engage with its territory,” Chang wrote in his well-received 2014 book, Economics: The User’s Guide.
Chang’s point is that average people know plenty about economics. They’re in the trenches every day, working hard to support a family and hopefully move up the ladder. You’re entitled – strongly encouraged, even – to have an opinion about economics. You don’t need a master’s in political science to express your views on Obamacare or be a psychologist to weigh in on gay marriage, right?
Unlike physics or chemistry, with their immutable laws and theories, economics is a fluid, inexact science subject to society’s evolution and peoples’ behaviors. Neoclassical economics, for instance, the most popular of the nine major schools of economics, posits that people tolerate work to afford pleasure. But as we’ve seen in the age of high-octane consumption, making more money does not ensure happiness. Often it’s quite the opposite.
“Any subject studying human beings, including economics, has to be humble about its predictive power,” says Chang.
Economic insight, Chang explains, requires being receptive to contrary viewpoints instead of stubbornly clinging to a single philosophy. Every school of thought has its valid points and flaws. If you are just able to grasp the basics – don’t worry about the fancy terms – then economics will not seem so daunting.
Take it from an expert.
You’ve reviewed dozens of résumés, sorted out the best applications and invited a handful of qualified candidates for an interview. Now what?
Do you hire the person wearing orange? The one that wants a cup of coffee? Or the one with the strongest handshake?
These seem like inane questions, but no matter how objective hiring managers try to be, there are plenty of subjective factors that affect hiring decisions. Jacquelyn Smith and Shana Lebowitz offer an insightful list in their article 28 Surprising Things that Affect Whether You Get Hired.
Every year, the world-class editors at getAbstract read through the most inspiring, outstanding, and enlightening English and German nonfiction business literature available, and choose four recipients of the getAbstract International Book Award.
The competition is fierce as getAbstract assesses thousands of titles in the following categories: management, strategy, sales and marketing, human resources, economics, politics, finance and career development.
“We all know that the world of business is highly dynamic and competitive. Often, the smallest details – the right knowledge at the right time – can make the biggest difference,” says Patrick Brigger, Co-Founder and Chairman of getAbstract. “That’s why we don’t just compress knowledge, we also promote the authors and publishers who work tirelessly to give professionals the knowledge they need to stay ahead of the game.”
This year, the four winners were announced during the Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany. And the winners are:
The getAbstract International Book Award is now in its sixteenth year, and has carved a path of excellence and recognition for authors who are on the forefront of business insight and innovation. “I consider it a great honor to receive the getAbstract International Book Award 2016,” says Robert Tercek, author of Vaporized. “GetAbstract is the only organization that publishes detailed reviews of every business book, which means they are deeply knowledgeable about the entire competitive set of titles. The fact that my book Vaporized was chosen from such a broad collection of excellent work is a truly meaningful distinction.”
This year’s winners during the award ceremony at Frankfurt Book Fair
The four winners were chosen out of ten finalists that included Geoff Colvin, Robert M. Galford, Scott Malcomson, Werner Gleissner, Weert Canzler and Paul Schreyer.
For more information about getAbstract and the International Book Award, please go to www.getabstract.com/bookaward.
Have you ever wondered how Google and Starbucks stay ahead of the game? The answer might surprise you – they have great learning cultures.
In his book, Building an Innovative Learning Organization, Russell Sarder said it best, “You don’t know what you don’t know, and it’s what you don’t know that can lead to wasted resources and disappointing outcomes.”
To succeed, your company needs a workforce that is well-informed and has access to relevant knowledge. And every employee needs to feel empowered to take charge of their own learning – your company has to become what Sarder calls a “learning organization.”
“Learning organizations are better able to compete because they are more able to innovate and respond quickly to change in a world where change is one of the few things we can count on,” says Sarder. This is exactly where getAbstract comes into play – we support your company’s existing learning culture or help you build one. Thousands of companies worldwide – including 40% of Fortune 100 companies – have already become learning organizations with getAbstract. Why not yours?
|Building an Innovative Learning Organization
A Framework to Build a Smarter Workforce, Adapt to Change, and Drive Growth
Before he became one of America’s most powerful and wealthiest businessmen and before he launched his presidential campaign in 1994, Ross Perot was arguably the greatest salesman in IBM’s history. He was so good, in fact, that one year he achieved his annual sales goals in January!
It’s reasonable to assume that Perot, even in his worst year, never experienced the anxiety of many B2B salespeople leading up to the holiday season. Q4, the fourth quarter, represents the home stretch for those striving to meet their yearly quotas. It’s a challenging time because buyers are often distracted, begin to take time off and may have exhausted their budgets.
Some salespeople offer large and intricate solutions that require months for a customer to finalize an agreement. In those cases, it’s best to focus on next year; you simply don’t have enough time to close. But it’s possible to reel in less complicated deals if your strategy is sound and you’re determined not to let the fish wriggle off the hook.
Time management is arguably the only topic on which you can get a consensus. Whether you’re a CEO, nurse, architect or studio musician, everyone agrees that it’s critical to use your time wisely. “I really enjoy racing to appointments, blowing deadlines, working overtime and missing meals and sleep,” is not something you hear in the break room.
Considering that 24 hours is our maximum daily allotment, time is a precious commodity. Once gone, it can never be recaptured. Some people seem to have the gift of organization while others are tossed about in a perpetual vortex of disorder. How compelling is our pursuit of effective time management? Well, getAbstract’s most downloaded book summary is Kevin Kruse’s 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management. The author interviewed billionaires, Olympians, scholastic achievers and entrepreneurs in an effort to identify common traits that enable them to be high fliers.
This fall, getAbstract is connecting readers with top business authors. Every #TakeoverTuesday, you’ll be able to talk to a new author, ask questions and learn more about the author’s upcoming projects. Join us on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn – getting relevant business information has never been so easy!
The first author to take over is Lisa Earle McLeod, founder of McLeod & More and Sales Leadership expert for Forbes. We had a chance to talk to her first and ask some questions.
getAbstract: Lisa, what’s the one thing every business leader should ask?
Lisa Earle McLeod: The key question every leader needs to ask is do we have a Noble Purpose or do we just sell stuff? The answer is directly linked to your profitability. The data is clear, organizations with a Noble Purpose – a purpose that focuses on improving life for their customers – outperform organizations that are focused on hitting financial targets. I created the concept of Noble Purpose six years ago after my research with sales teams revealed that salespeople who sold with Noble Purpose – who truly wanted to make a difference to customers – consistently outsold the salespeople who were focused on sales goals and money.
getAbstract: That sounds counterintuitive. Shouldn’t a salesperson’s motivation be to “sell stuff”?
Lisa Earle McLeod: The words noble and selling are rarely seen together. Most people believe that money is the primary motivator for top salespeople and that doing good by the world runs a distant second. That belief is wrong. If you have a Noble Purpose, the odds are on your side. If you’re just selling stuff, you’re going to be in for a very tough time.
getAbstract: This might be the first time some of our readers hear about Noble Purpose. How popular is this concept?
Lisa Earle McLeod: Noble Purpose is catching on because it works. Early adopters like our clients Hootsuite, Flight Centre and G Adventures put the language into the business vernacular. For example, Hootsuite CEO Ryan Holmes regularly talks about their Noble Purpose: “We help our customers transform their message into meaningful relationships.” During the time we worked with their firm, Hootsuite doubled revenue. Noble Purpose was the jumping-off point for a growth strategy that has delivered attention-getting results. The media is starting to cover it as well. In 2014, The Wall Street Journal quoted Merrill Lynch leader John Theil’s annual address to his team where he asked 13,700 financial advisers to “find their Noble Purpose.” In 2016, WSJ did a piece about how we (McLeod & More), use Noble Purpose to increase employee engagement. Purpose is not new. What’s new is the process we’ve created to take it from concept into tangible business strategies. Our clients are getting big results, that tends to get people talking.
Do you have more questions for Lisa? Connect with her on social media this #TakeoverTuesday.
Curious about our next author takeover? Don’t miss Jason Womack on October 4.