Archive for February 2011

You Have to Change Your Thoughts BEFORE You Can Change Your Life (written by Career Expert, Pete Leibman)

February 22, 2011

You know what you should do, but that does not mean you will actually do it.

For example… Being overweight or obese significantly increases your chances for developing heart disease, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and a host of other mental and physical disorders as you age, and nearly 80% of all colon, breast, and prostate cancers are linked to diet and lifestyle factors.  These statistics clearly illustrate the importance of a healthy lifestyle.  As a result, you would expect that everyone would be certain to eat the right way and to exercise consistently.

However, over 70% of the U.S. is overweight or obese!

Is this because overweight/obese people are not aware of the importance of eating healthy and exercising?  Of course not.

Instead, most people are overweight for 2 main reasons.  First of all, it’s because they have chosen (usually subconsciously) to ignore the long-term, negative consequences of repeating behaviors that feel good in the short-term (i.e. eating junk food or watching tv on the couch).  Secondly, most people are out of shape because they don’t believe they can get into better shape.  As a result, they don’t bother trying.

Our motivations (and subsequent actions) develop as a result of our associations and thought processes, most of which we are not aware of.  In brief, if you avoid something, it’s because you have subconsciously or consciously linked it to more pain than pleasure.  On the other hand, if you pursue something, it’s because you have subconsciously or consciously linked it to more pleasure than pain.

If you want to achieve a new goal, whether it’s related to your health, your career, or anything else, you will need to change some of your behaviors.  However, you need to change your thoughts FIRST.  Otherwise, you will just be relying on the ineffective motivational strategy known as “will-power.” 

Be open to the possibility that you can achieve your goal, and focus on all the benefits you (or others) will receive when you achieve your goal.  The right mindset is a prerequisite for being and staying motivated to endure the inevitable challenges we all face when we try to do something worthwhile.

Win the “battle” in your mind first, and you can win any “war.”

 Like this post or got something to add?  Please comment below!

-Pete Leibman

-President of Idealize Enterprises

-Creator of The Dream Job College Tour

Creator of The Washington Wizards’ Sports Careers Day

Pete@IdealizeNow.com

www.IdealizeNow.com

www.linkedin.com/in/peteleibman

Blog: http://CareerMuscles.Wordpress.com

Twitter: @peteleibman

P.S. To learn more about my 1-on-1 career coaching programs or my speaking availability for The 2011 Dream Job College Tour, please visit www.IdealizeNow.com or send an email to Pete@IdealizeNow.com.

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4 Secrets for Getting Your Employees to Run Through Brick Walls for You (Written by Career Expert, Pete Leibman)

February 11, 2011

One of the reasons I set a number of sales records during my tenure in the NBA was because I was extremely motivated.  Part of my success was because I loved my job and because I’ve always been driven to be my best.  However, my motivation and my subsequent performance was fueled further because of how I was managed.  Here are 4 secrets I learned from my time in the NBA on how to enhance the performance of your employees:

  1. Hire the right people.  As Jim Collins wrote in Good to Great, the best companies in the world became “great” because they hired people based on personality attributes and inherent abilities rather than learned knowledge or skills.  You also need to hire people who really buy into the mission of your organization.  Pride in your employer is a prerequisite for peak performance at work.
  2. Give employees clear, achievable goals.  When I worked in sales for the Wizards, we had very quantifiable, achievable goals for every month of the year and for the entire season.  We all knew exactly what was expected of us and how our performance was being measured.  Our VP even had a huge board outside of his office that was updated daily to list everyone’s sales number for the year.  Even if you don’t work in a sales environment, you need to quantify your expectations for all of your employees.
  3. Offer compelling performance-based incentives. Wizards’ management offered enticing rewards for hitting our monthly and annual goals, including financial bonuses and all sorts of other cool prizes.  Management would also throw in an occasional daily or weekly sales contest to ramp up excitement even further.  During my time with the team, my performance won me Courtside tickets to games, a trip on the team plane to an away game in Atlanta, a free lunch with the GM, and some sizeable financial payouts.  While your organization might not be able to offer the perks that an NBA franchise could, you don’t need to!  Free food and small prizes will work just fine. 
  4. Recognize employee performance and effort.  No matter what anyone says, we all like to be appreciated and recognized in front of our peers in a positive way.  When I worked for the Wizards, I always said I didn’t like recognition.  Guess what?  I was lying!  I LOVED collecting monthly and annual Salesperson of The Year Awards at staff meetings.  Everyone wants to be appreciated and held in high regard.  Recognize performance AND effort for your employees every chance you get.  

In summary, the first step is to get the right people on your team.  Then, keep your employees motivated with clear, reasonable goals, exciting incentives for surpassing those goals, and genuine appreciation based on performance and effort.  Do these 4 things, and your employees will run through brick walls for you, and your organization’s performance will skyrocket no matter what is going on with the economy.

Like this post or got something to add?  Please comment below!

-Pete Leibman

-President of Idealize Enterprises

-Creator of The Dream Job College Tour

Creator of The Washington Wizards’ Sports Careers Day

Pete@IdealizeNow.com

www.IdealizeNow.com

www.linkedin.com/in/peteleibman

Blog: http://CareerMuscles.Wordpress.com

Twitter: @peteleibman

P.S. To learn more about my 1-on-1 career coaching programs or my speaking availability for The 2011 Dream Job College Tour, please visit www.IdealizeNow.com or send an email to Pete@IdealizeNow.com.

7 Secrets for Dealing With Difficult People and Overcoming Interpersonal Conflicts At Work (Written by Career Expert, Pete Leibman)

February 7, 2011

There’s no way around it.  Whether it’s an annoying customer, a critical colleague, or an awful boss, we all have to deal with difficult people at work sometimes.  Here are 7 secrets for dealing with difficult people and overcoming interpersonal conflicts at work:

  1. Don’t take it personally.  No one is born with a rotten attitude; people lash out when they don’t know how to deal with stress and adversity in a healthy way.  Last year, I was involved in a networking group, and one of the women in the group was incredibly abrasive and critical.  I later learned that her young daughter had just been diagnosed with cancer.  That tragedy did not give her the right to disrespect us, but it made it easier for me to understand why she did.  At work, you usually won’t know what’s going on in someone’s personal life.  If someone is difficult, it probably has absolutely nothing to do with you, so don’t take it personally.    
  2. Consider your role.  Having said that, you might have had something to do with the other person’s poor attitude!   As hard as it might be, when someone is critical, you have to listen to what is being said, and ignore how it is being said.  Did you do something that brought on the reaction?  For example, one of my roommates recently lashed out at me when I mistakenly threw out some of his kitchen tools during an overenthusiastic New Year’s Day cleaning session.  While I did not like how he discussed this with me, what he was saying was totally accurate.  I was 100% wrong for throwing out several of his items without asking if he still wanted them.  Ultimately, I was the cause of his reaction, and I took accountability by agreeing to replace the items.
  3. Fight fire with water.  If someone lashes out at you, it’s very tempting to fire back.  However, that will only make the situation worse.  Always keep your cool and stay calm, no matter how hard that might be.  If necessary, excuse yourself for a few minutes and get some fresh air outside.  Let the other person vent, and choose your words very carefully when you respond.  You will be amazed at how people calm down when you hear them out and consider their perspective.
  4. Kill them with kindness.   You should never let people walk all over you just for the sake of keeping the peace.  However, many difficult people have low self-esteem and are actually just crying out for some genuine appreciation.  Especially if the person is a subordinate or colleague, consider being a source of encouragement.
  5. Talk it out in-person.  Never go behind someone’s back because that will only make the other person even angrier if it gets back to him/her.  I made that mistake once at the start of my career after college.  You should also not rely on email or texting to discuss disputes.  Talk face-to-face (ideal) or via phone, if an in-person meeting is not possible.  Discussing a conflict over lunch can also serve to clear the air and help you repair or improve a strained relationship. 
  6. Involve other people carefully.  If you have failed to settle a dispute with another person, then (and only then) consider bringing in other people to help with a resolution.  Just be certain that the difficult person knows you will be bringing in someone else for help.
  7. If all else fails, minimize interactions.  Sometimes, no matter what you do, you will not be able to improve your relationship with a colleague, boss, or customer.  In that case, either eliminate all interaction with the person (that’s probably not possible if the difficult person is your boss!) or minimize the time spent with him/her as much as possible.  Your #1 responsibility is to keep yourself happy.

Like this post or got something to add on how to deal with difficult people at work?  Please comment below!

-Pete Leibman

-President of Idealize Enterprises

-Creator of The Dream Job College Tour

Creator of The Washington Wizards’ Sports Careers Day

Pete@IdealizeNow.com

www.IdealizeNow.com

www.linkedin.com/in/peteleibman

Blog: http://CareerMuscles.Wordpress.com

Twitter: @peteleibman

P.S. To learn more about my 1-on-1 career coaching programs or my speaking availability for The 2011 Dream Job College Tour, please send an email to Pete@IdealizeNow.com.