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Win at Work

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Win at Work
Winning at Working--Convenient Mistruths
The subject line of the email read: "We met at ..." and the name of a conference where I'd recently spoken. Thinking it was from someone who attended my session, I opened it sooner versus later. "I never heard back from you," she wrote, "I wanted to take you to lunch or drop by your office to explain my product more."
Nov 3, 2015 - 4:19:44 PM

Win at Work
Winning at Working--Simple Solutions
On our first morning of vacation, we were pleased to find open tables when we arrived for breakfast at a popular and highly recommended café. With several people actively filling walk-up specialty coffee orders at the counter, it took several minutes to be acknowledged: "It'll be about five minutes for a table since the waitress needs to catch up," a person finally called out in our direction.
Sep 29, 2015 - 8:09:43 PM

Win at Work
Winning at Working--The Not-Me Syndrome
A common pastime at work, it seems, is pointing out flaws, missteps, and problems - especially the boss's, a coworker's down the hall, or that roadblock person in some other department.
Sep 3, 2015 - 6:23:33 PM

Win at Work
Winning at Work--Perpetuated Myths
Myths. Beliefs. Conventional wisdom. Even our own eyes get in our way. Consider what happened to Galileo. In 1589, he gathered the world's most learned professors to the Leaning Tower of Pisa for a demonstration to disprove a 2,000 year old physics principle of Aristotle's: the heavier an object is, the faster it will fall to earth.
Jun 25, 2015 - 1:10:33 PM

Win at Work
Winning at Working--The Next Essential Skill
"Remember, the feeling you get from a good run is far better than the feeling you get from sitting around wishing you were running." Those words from Olympic swimmer and author Sarah Connor capture the essence of a skill those wanting to thrive in the new world of work need.
May 27, 2015 - 4:15:04 PM

Win at Work
Winning at Working--Off Track
Unfamiliar with the city and location where I was to speak, I added the address to the GPS before leaving home. Arriving in the conference city hours later, I turn it on and dutifully followed the route that chirped at me from the device. "That's odd," I thought as the directed turn took me away from the city towards the foothills and into a neighborhood. "Maybe it's a retreat location," I mulled as I followed that voice up a winding, steep hill.
Apr 29, 2015 - 11:41:34 AM

Win at Work
Winning at Working--Which Clock?
I hesitated before I answered the question. It was just a slight hesitation, but the question took me by surprise. Someone asked me how could they work on self-improvement and development on the clock. And while I answered at the time with a few tips, the on the clock part stuck with me and got me thinking.

Apr 6, 2015 - 3:14:51 PM

Win at Work
Winning at Working--Blurred Lines Require New Skills
Instead of an early start, with time to read the news, check key messages, and write uninterruptedly for a pending project, I spent it down a rabbit hole. What I expected was a five or ten minute interruption to answer a client's email, marked with one of those urgent exclamation points, but it took me over an hour. Before I could even send the requested information, I got an email telling me, in essence, "never mind," the direction had changed.
Feb 23, 2015 - 2:35:16 PM

Win at Work
Winning at Working--What Do You See?
Based on dozens of articles that arrived in my inbox in a single week, one might think that the majority of people work in difficult work-cultures, alongside clueless co-workers, under distrusting bosses. Here are a few examples:
- "You're the Boss, Not the Babysitter"
- "What to Do When Your Employees Won't Stop Whining"
- "Giving Feedback to the Clueless"
- "How to Survive a Toxic Boss"

Feb 3, 2015 - 2:46:30 PM

Win at Work
Winning at Working: The Things We Say
A three hour delayed connecting flight in Minneapolis created headaches for me and other business travelers seeking to still reach their destinations that day. All seats in the narrow gate area were filled and briefcases, roller-boards, and more passengers occupied available floor space. Every half hour the gate agent updated us on the status of a part being flown in to fix a rather minor, but important, mechanical issue on our plane heading to Boston.
May 29, 2014 - 4:31:40 PM

Win at Work
Winning at Working: Workplace Ladder Fuel
Maybe you received an email seeking applicants as paid mystery shoppers in your area, or offering cash in exchange for filling out online surveys. Or you heard theaters used subliminal advertising to increase sales of popcorn and soft drinks. Maybe it was the "send old shoes, get a new one free" Nike promotion that caught your attention, or the discovery that you can cure disease by drinking four glasses of water every morning.
Aug 26, 2013 - 3:53:54 PM

Win at Work
Winning at Working--Valuing Time
"I don't like to be kept waiting," he responded when asked by the travel-study professor why he delayed the entire group for a third straight day. "Next time," the professor warned, "we won't hold the bus."
Mar 28, 2013 - 5:57:10 PM

Win at Work
Winning at Working--What Do You Expect?
I like teaching workshops. On one hand, I'm humbled by the knowledge, insights, and challenges of those attending. I'm invigorated by the persistence and passion woven into the stories that unfold. And I'm grateful for the real-world perspectives of people who are focused on doing a great job and making a difference at work.
Feb 13, 2013 - 5:03:17 PM

Win at Work
Winning at Working--Two Kinds of People
Twelve minutes before I was to speak to a large group gathering in a downtown hotel ballroom, I was still struggling with A/V equipment. With hundreds of presentations under my belt, I'm accustomed to handling last minute glitches. But no matter what I tried, my presentation wouldn't project.
Jan 13, 2013 - 8:21:57 PM

Win at Work
Winnng at Working--Someone Else
"I'm sorry, but I have to vent. It was a horrible day at work," began my friend on our monthly catch-up call. "We've all been there," I offered. "Yeah, but not like this."
Nov 21, 2012 - 3:49:16 PM

Win at Work
The "No Problem" Problem
I've lost track of the times I've been told in someone's positive or naive thinking mode, "No problem," only to have the non problem become one. At the time they said it, there might not have been a problem, but they didn't factor in workplace potholes, speed bumps, detours, or traffic stops. Like a high-wire acrobat in a Cirque du Soleil performance, winning at working necessitates the use of safety nets with your work, too.
Oct 11, 2012 - 3:46:27 PM

Win at Work
Winning at Working--Using Your Whine Factor
Brian's work was exceptional. Still, as his boss, I rarely offered him additional responsibilities, never thought of promoting him, or selecting him for a critical project. Why? His whine factor got in the way.
Aug 23, 2012 - 12:07:19 PM

Win at Work
Winning at Working--Which Half Are You?
When more than half of Americans were identified as overweight, people took notice. Major news outlets began educating on how to stay out, or get out, of that statistic. I wish the same attention had been paid when a new survey was released confirming more than half of Americans are dissatisfied with their job.
Jul 15, 2012 - 3:36:12 PM

Win at Work
Winning at Working--Jumping Work-Hurdles
It feels great at the end of a workday to know you've made progress on a mounting to-do list, resolved a persistent problem, dealt with a difficult challenge, or accomplished an important objective.
Jun 29, 2012 - 3:10:57 PM

Win at Work
Winning at Working--It Takes Time
The story goes that after one of Ludwig van Beethoven's performances, several people were offering him their congratulations, when one woman commented, "I wish God had bestowed me with such genius."
May 24, 2012 - 12:15:40 PM

Win at Work
Winnng at Working--Deliberate Black Hole Tactics
After a mutually beneficial business connection, he spontaneously offered, "if you need anything in the future don't hesitate to contact me." He went so far as to name some of the things he'd be happy to be involved in, or help me with, and I made a mental note for future reference. It seemed more than an obligatory remark from this well recognized individual.
Apr 15, 2012 - 3:57:52 PM

Win at Work
Winning at Working--What Basics?
The cyclical and now ubiquitously appearing phrase, back to basics, ignites supporters. The reasonableness of returning to previously successful principles, ethics, systems, accountability, approaches, or you-name-it, appears a tantalizing remedy for our individual or collective woes.
Mar 10, 2012 - 7:14:24 PM

Win at Work
Winning at Working--Want More Balance?
Despite efforts on the Wii Fitness balance game, Wii persists in rating me as "unbalanced." And while it's true I'm feeling a bit stressed with a new book coming out in May, and more commitments than common sense dictates, being balanced is a challenge.
Feb 26, 2012 - 5:05:42 PM

Win at Work
Winning at Working--Wishing and Hoping
Years after Disneyland was built, after the completion of Walt Disney World, the story goes that someone went up to Mike Vance, Creative Director for Walt Disney Studios and said, "Isn't it too bad Walt Disney didn't live to see this?" Without pausing, he replied, "But he did see it, that's why it's here."
Jan 26, 2012 - 3:28:00 PM

Win at Work
Winning at Working--Workplace Heists
Seated in the courtyard of a sports bar during a playoff game in the home city of one of the teams, it was an energetic crowd that Sunday. While we'd come for a quick bite to eat, we caught a glimpse of a play now and then as home-team enthusiasts roared their approval during the first half.
Jan 13, 2012 - 1:39:34 PM

Win at Work
Winning at Working--About Your Fututre
When faced with catching a fly ball, Lucy missed again. "The past got in my eyes," she told Charlie Brown, "I thought I had it, but suddenly I remembered all the others I'd missed."

Dec 4, 2011 - 3:31:29 PM

Win at Work
Winning at Working--Cherry-Picking
Personable and enthusiastic about her work, it took me months to uncover the problem. Calling Cheryl to my office for a quick question, I inquired why the information I needed wasn't in the file. "Oh," responded Cheryl, "I haven't done the filing yet."

Nov 20, 2011 - 3:58:16 PM

Win at Work
Winning at Working--The Art Of Change
From the iron age to nearly the industrial age, blacksmiths prospered. Villagers needed plows, shovels, iron tires for wagons, nails and tools to build their homes, all of which the blacksmiths forged. They needed their horses and oxen shod and their tools repaired. Being a blacksmith was a sound professional choice.
Nov 1, 2011 - 4:05:54 AM

Win at Work
Winning at Working--Check Your Thoughts
It was clear she was having "one of those days." But to be truthful, I didn't care. I was too nervous about my surgery to pay attention to Doris, the nurse grousing about how overworked she was that Thursday. But by the time I was wheeled back to my same-day surgical room, she was even less hospitable and entrenched in complaining.
Oct 12, 2011 - 5:20:42 AM

Win at Work
Winning at Working--As If They Were You
"Treat everybody else as if they were you." These words gave me pause. I wonder what it would be like if we each did what this "unknown author" is advocating?
Sep 21, 2011 - 5:02:16 AM

Win at Work
Winning at Working--How Does That Work?
How would you respond to this question: "Are you one of the top 10% of performers in your company?" This question posed in a Business Week survey found that overall 90% of surveyed executives, middle managers, and employees from both large and small companies thought they were, indeed, in the top 10% of performers.
Sep 2, 2011 - 10:00:03 AM

Win at Work
Winning at Working--Shades of Gray
A paperweight sits on my desk, etched in silver with the message: Life isn't always black and white. It serves as a reminder there are few absolutes at work (or in life). Yet, it would be easier if there were; if good ideas from bad, trustworthy people from non-trustworthy, and right paths from the wrong ones could easily be discerned.
Aug 14, 2011 - 7:16:42 PM

Win at Work
Winning at Working--Boosters and Drainers
Like huge anchors on cruise ships, other people can hold you down. Not intentionally, but their negativity impacts you. It's hard to be winning at working when you're anchored in place; hard to see the next great idea and enthusiastically embrace it when you're feeling a sticky heaviness; and hard to think creativity when you're feeling empty.
Aug 14, 2011 - 7:13:39 PM

Win at Work
Winning at Working--Lying On A Nail
Once there was a young woman who didn't like her job. Everyday when she came home from work, she told her husband how terrible her day had been, how tiring the work and how unreasonable her boss. "Leave that job," her husband told her.
Jul 1, 2011 - 2:46:10 PM

Win at Work
Winning at Working--Herd Mentality
Booths featuring products and services related to employee engagement, mobile learning, global performance, and results measurement were overflowing with conference attendees as I walked the trade show at a national conference where I was speaking. Just a few years ago the magnets were initiatives like total quality management, six sigma, diversity, work-life-balance, and customer driven.
May 29, 2011 - 12:43:40 AM

Win at Work
Winning at Working--Relationships Basics
Since she'd been referred by a good client, I rearranged my schedule to accommodate a phone meeting for what she described as a "pressing decision" about a potential business endeavor I had experience with. The day before our appointment, the call was confirmed and it was verified that she would call my office at the arranged time.
May 7, 2011 - 4:57:20 PM

Win at Work
Winning at Working--Simple Things
I still have the email. It's been years since a highly placed corporate boss, who had the reputation and approach that things were never quite good enough, sent it to me. He was long on critique and revisions while short on acknowledgement and appreciation.
Apr 16, 2011 - 6:32:23 PM

Win at Work
Winning at Working--Being Present
It was a dimly lit restaurant. Still she was dressed in pink, and while I admit it's hard to tell the gender babies, clothing color is a reliable clue. So, it surprised me when the waitress began playing with my granddaughter, asking "How old is he?"
Mar 24, 2011 - 5:50:54 PM

Win at Work
Winning at Working--Notes to Boss
So in the interests of helping that boss "see what it looks like" to be a winning at working manager, I have a few notes for him, and others like him.
Feb 15, 2011 - 1:12:17 PM

Win at Work
Winning at Working--Don't Settle
Chuck was the best of the twenty-four candidates. Still, he didn't have exactly what I was looking for and my instincts warned me of his unusual personality. Yet the skills required for the job were specialized and he had most of them, and I'd been interviewing for five months, and my boss wanted the position filled before the budget process started. No, he might not be perfect, but he would be ok.<
Jan 20, 2011 - 5:36:31 PM

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