Archive for the ‘Integrity’ category

Do You Bring Excellence To Your Career? (written by Career Expert, Pete Leibman)

June 22, 2011

Excellence is when you always do what you say you will, and a little bit extra.

Excellence is when you do the right thing, no matter how it will impact you in the short-term. 

Excellence is when you do the right thing, even when you think no one is watching.

Excellence is when you take pride in your appearance, even when you think no one will see you.

Excellence is when you never make excuses, complain, or feel that you are “above” any task.

Excellence is when you never need to be asked more than once.

Excellence is when you treat every person with respect, regardless of who the person is.

Excellence is when you make every person or project around you better.

Excellence is when you pursue mastery and always strive to be your best.

Excellence is when you can admit when you are wrong and learn from your mistakes.

Excellence is rare.  It never goes unnoticed, and it is always eventually rewarded.

When you are a person of excellence, word travels fast, and you become indispensable in your organization and industry.  Your reputation will travel with you throughout your career, so make sure you develop a reputation worth having… 

What’s an example of a time when you or someone you know demonstrated excellence at work?  Please comment below.


P.S. To receive a FREE 25-page report on Job Search and Career Success Secrets for Students and Young Professionals, visit my web site at

-Pete Leibman (

-Author of “I Got My Dream Job And So Can You: The Blueprint For Career Success As A Young Professional” (due out through AMACOM in spring 2012)

-President of Idealize Enterprises

-Keynote Speaker for The Dream Job College Tour

Creator of The Washington Wizards’ Sports Careers Day


4 Lessons to Learn From the Owner of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers (written by Career Expert, Pete Leibman)

July 13, 2010

Lebron James' fatheads are now available for $17.41...hmmm...

In case you don’t follow the sports world at all, you have missed a soap opera in the NBA over the last week.  2-time NBA MVP, Lebron James, decided to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers to join the Miami Heat, a move that shocked the NBA and angered Cavaliers’ fans worldwide.  In response, Cleveland Cavaliers’ owner, Dan Gilbert, retaliated with a scathing letter posted on the Cavaliers’ web site

Gilbert referred to his former franchise player as “narcissistic” and a “coward,” while later stating that James “gave up” on the team during several playoff games over the last few years.  Additionally, Gilbert even made the childish move the following day of changing the price of a Lebron James’ product on one his web sites from $99 to $17.41 (note: famous traitor, Benedict Arnold, was born in 1741).

Given that the owner was aggressively trying to re-sign James until he decided to leave for Miami last week, Gilbert’s actions are analogous to a guy who professes his love for a girl, gets rejected by the girl, and then tells the world that he did not want to be with her anyway because she is a miserable person. 

When it comes to your career, there are 4 key lessons to be learned here:

  1. You cannot always control the actions of the people you work with, but you can always control how you respond.  While James was free to sign with the team of his choice (note: that is the definition of a free agent), he clearly could have handled the situation more professionally.  However, just because he handled it poorly does not mean that Gilbert had to respond in the way that he did.  Gilbert could have taken the high-road, but he chose to be critical and childish instead.
  2. When you throw someone under the bus, YOU are the person who looks bad, even if the other person deserves to be criticized.  As a result of Gilbert’s actions, the majority of the media attention has now shifted to Gilbert, and few people are talking about the way Lebron handled his “decision.”
  3. You open yourself up to criticism when you criticize others.  After seeing Gilbert’s comments, Jesse Jackson posted some highly controversial comments by stating that Gilbert had a “slave master mentality.”
  4. Be very careful what you put in writing or declare publicly.  It would have been understandable for Gilbert to harbor some resentment for James for a period of time or even to share his feelings with his family members or closest friends.  However, he chose to declare his outrageous beliefs and emotions to the world, a decision that has turned into a PR disaster.

While I suppose you can respect Gilbert’s passion for his franchise and for the city of Cleveland, I believe his actions will do him and the franchise MUCH more harm than good.  Had he expressed disappointment with James’ actions in a more professional way, he could have stood up for his fan base, while still taking the high road.  Now, he must deal with comments about being a racist, a dangerous stigma for a white owner in a league (the NBA) that is primarily comprised of African-American players.

How should you respond when disappointed or angered by the actions of someone you work with?  Take the high-road.  You can express your displeasure privately or you can even do it publicly, IF you do it in a manner that is still professional.  You cannot control the actions of others, but you can always control how you respond!

-Pete Leibman

College Speaker and President of Idealize Enterprises

A Mistake at Work Can be a Good Thing… (written by Career Expert, Pete Leibman)

May 11, 2010

Mistakes at work are going to happen, and when they do, you can try to run away from them and allow them to hurt your career, OR you can use them to advance your career.  In other words, an honest mistake can be a good thing IF you handle it the right way.

When I was working for the Washington Wizards, I had a new VIP account who was taking his daughter to an upcoming game to celebrate her 7th birthday.  When he mentioned this to me, I suggested that we have a “Happy Birthday” wish appear on the scoreboard at halftime of the game.  We both agreed that she would be excited to see her name up in lights.

I followed my company’s protocol for entering the message into the scoreboard, but the following week, my client emailed me and said he was disappointed that they never saw it.

While it is quite possible that my client and his daughter just missed the message (it would only have been on the screen for 1-2 seconds), I decided to use the mistake as an opportunity to demonstrate how much I cared about him as a person and customer.

So, I got approval from our Vice President to get my client 2 free front-row tickets to another game, and we also allowed my client’s daughter to be an honorary ball-girl for that game, allowing her to hang out on the court with the players for 15 minutes before tip-off.

The day after that game, my client emailed me to thank me and tell me how much he appreciated my gesture.  Several weeks later, he also emailed the President of the franchise to tell her how impressed he was with me, and he joked that he was going to “hire me away from them” if the Wizards did not take good care of me.  Our President cc’ed me on her email reply and thanked him for the kind words, as she politely told him to stay away from me!  It’s not a bad feeling to have 2 very successful people fighting over your services!

In conclusion, an honest mistake can be a GOOD thing if you use it as an opportunity to make a relationship stronger.  Rather than trying to run away from the mistake with my client, I looked at it as a way to grow the relationship. 

On a side-note, that client’s company tripled their investment with our team the next season, and they spent almost $200,000 on tickets with the Wizards in 2009-2010 alone, which was 10 times as much as what they spent with the team that first year we worked together!

Thanks for reading!

-Pete Leibman

President of Idealize Enterprises

College Speaker and Career Expert for Gen Y

Be careful with what you write in your emails! (written by Career Expert, Pete Leibman)

May 7, 2010
When used incorrectly, email can endanger your career…

While employed at a previous job, I received an email one afternoon from one of my colleagues. The email was entitled, “New account”  and said the following:

                “Hey Pete, I noticed you just inherited the account for Bill Jenkins  [note: this was not his real name].  I just wanted to let you know what a jerk he is.  He is very dishonest, always telling me that I promised him things I never did.  You really have to be careful around this guy. Let me know if you have any questions.”

After reading this message, I happened to notice that someone else had also been cc’ed on the email.


It was Bill Jenkins of course… My colleague had mistakenly cc’ed the person she was complaining about!

I called her up immediately to break the bad news.  As one might expect, she freaked out.  “Oh, no!  What do I do now?”

She then decided to send him another email, claiming that she had been speaking of another “Bill.”  I’m sure he bought that…

Email is a terrific tool that allows us to be much more efficient and productive IF used correctly.  Sending an email for something trivial is a smart use of time (i.e. “John, I received your fax.  Thanks.”)

However, email should NEVER be used for something that could be misconstrued or for something controversial or negative. 

In addition to the fact that people get cc’ed on emails accidentally (this happens more often than you might think), we can accidentally hit send before completing an email, and we also lose control over our emails after sending them out: they can be forwarded to other people.

Do you want to guarantee that you never make the mistake my colleague did that day?  Then, do not type the email address of the recipient of your email until you have written the entire email and proofread it one time.  Make sure you are being careful with your emails!

Thanks for reading!

-Pete Leibman

President of Idealize Enterprises

College Speaker and Career Expert for Gen Y

Assume people are always watching…because they are! (written by Career Expert, Pete Leibman)

May 6, 2010
You are always being watched at work!

In 2008, I fulfilled a lifelong dream to travel to Africa to do a safari.  I got 10 days off from work, took a 16-hour plane ride from Washington, D.C., to Johannesburg, South Africa, and then I took 2 more flights to get to Moremi Reserve in Botswana.  I stayed at a very secluded private lodge that only had 15 guests at a time. 

One afternoon, I enjoyed lunch outside as a boat pulled up to the shore right next to me with the following night’s guests.  As the group of 10 people walked over to me, I could not believe my eyes.  1 of the 10 people was a girl who played in my co-ed softball league!  I had gone halfway across the world and I still ran into someone I knew…and I’m really not that popular! 

 What does this have to do with your career? 

If you think you can get away with something at work because your boss is not standing right next to you or because your boss left early for the day, you are out of your mind! 

People are always watching you, and people you know are always around.  

Never do anything at work that you would not feel comfortable with other people knowing about.  You’ll be less stressed about anyone finding out, and you’ll always make decisions that serve your best interests. 

 Thanks for reading!  

-Pete Leibman  

President of Idealize Enterprises  

College Speaker and Career Expert for Gen Y  

What can students learn from the Gilbert Arenas gun scandal? (written by Career Expert, Pete Leibman)

May 6, 2010
When you mess up, fess up! Don’t joke about it…

What can students entering the workforce learn from Gilbert Arenas, the Washington Wizards’ NBA star who admitted to storing firearms in his locker room at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.?

Well, first of all, you can learn that it’s not a good idea to bring guns to work.  Hopefully, you already knew that though!

On a more serious note, the main lesson to be learned here is that when you make a mistake at work, you need to handle it the right way.

The picture to the right was taken 2 weeks after the Washington Post reported the “gun incident,” and it shows Gilbert in a huddle with his teammates, mocking the incident and laughing, while pretending his hands were guns.

Unlike Gilbert and his teammates, the commissioner of the NBA, David Stern, didn’t find this image very funny, and Gilbert was promptly suspended for the rest of the NBA season, a move that resulted in Gilbert losing over $10 million in salary. 

Since then, Gilbert has also lost endorsement deals, been sentenced to time in a halfway house, and lost a lot of respect from fans across the world.  Although unlikely, it is also possible that his entire contract could be voided by the Wizards (a deal worth over $100 million).

Had he owned up to his mistake right away, been contrite, and used the situation as an opportunity to improve himself,  his financial loss, punishment, and fall-out with fans would have been much less severe.

When you are in the workplace, and you make a mistake, you have 2 choices.  You can either joke about what you did and try to pretend it was not big deal or you can own up to it, apologize, take responsibility, and vow to get better.  When you mess up, fess up, and do it right away.  You’ll be able to move on much more easily!

Thanks for reading!

-Pete Leibman

President of Idealize Enterprises

College Speaker and Career Expert for Gen Y