25 Powerful Quotes from the Iron Lady, Margaret Thatcher

April 9, 2013
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Image courtesy WikiCommons   A Fellow ENTJ Just this past January, in a discussion of the Myers Briggs (MBTI) personality types, I was reminded of the fact that, like me, Margaret Thatcher is an ENTJ. One of the rarer of the 16 personality types, ENTJ’s are said to make up 2% – 5% of the general population, but only 1% of women. ENTJ is also known as ‘The Executive’, ‘The Field Marshall’, or ‘The CEO’. ENTJs are described as being born leaders, visionaries and long-range planners with high levels of confidence, charisma and personal power. The dark side of the ENTJ personality is that they are perceived as being harsh, judgmental and impatient. ENTJ’s often come across …

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[Audio] 10 Great Ways to Become a Winner at Work

April 8, 2013
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It’s Monday again… groan! You don’t have to dread the start of each new work week. Here’s an audio file version of my earlier post, 10 Great Ways to Be a Winner in the Workplace. It’s a bit less than 10 minutes long. Have a listen, and let me know what you think in the comments section. Here’s to happier Mondays from now on! …

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5 Reasons Why You Need A Career Development Plan Now

April 5, 2013
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Photo by David Niblack Do you have a career development plan? I am not talking about the bottom section of your last performance review. You’ve written a few vague goals outlining what you would like to achieve over the next year. We both know that those objectives hardly get remembered until it’s review time once again. Your company will not be invested in your career development if you don’t drive the process yourself. Here are five reasons why you need to craft your own career development plan and stick with it: 1. A career development plan will keep you from getting stuck in a rut The days of being promoted at work solely based on tenure are long gone. If …

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10 Great Ways to Rise Above Office Politics and Be a Winner in the Workplace

March 25, 2013
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“Mondays aren’t so bad, it’s your job that sucks.” -Anonymous graffiti artist It’s Monday again, groan… This is the exasperated refrain that can be heard around the world, in every language at the start of each new work week. In the photo of street graffiti above, we are cheekily chided: “Mondays aren’t so bad, it’s your job that sucks.” In a typical case of “it’s funny because it’s true”, the accusing words resonate with us. But are those irreverent words really true? Do the millions of people around the world who dread each Monday’s arrival really have jobs that suck? With all the drama, frenemies, nonsensical rules and un-stimulating environments many of us experience at work, maybe do have horrible …

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11 Tips for Brand New Senior Managers

March 19, 2013
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You’ve finally gotten the promotion you’ve dreamed of. You’re finally in charge. Being the new corporate head, division chief or general manager will be harder than you could have imagined. Here are ten tips to help you negotiate this unknown territory and remain grounded, while achieving the results you can be proud of. 1. Check Your Ego at the Door You’ve gotten to where you are because you’re a superstar. You are brilliant. You worked harder than your colleagues and got promoted faster, too. Maybe you had passable technical skills, but excellent networking and people skills and brown-nosed your way to the top. None of that will help you now. It’s not about you any more. It’s no longer just …

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7 Ways to Get A Job With No Experience

March 18, 2013
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It’s the age-old dilemma for job-seekers. You can’t get a job because you don’t have experience, and you can’t get experience if you don’t have a job. This is not an impossible situation, if you are willing to roll up your sleeves and apply some effort. Here are seven tips to get you on your way to landing a great job, even if you don’t have experience. 1. To Get a Job: Change Your Mindset It’s not just you. Worldwide, unemployment rates in many countries are at an all-time high. It is not only young people who don’t have jobs. Many older, well-educated workers with years of experience have found themselves jobless in today’s market. Both young and old, experienced …

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2013 Reading Challenge

March 17, 2013
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A few years ago, I set myself the goal of reading 50 books per year (I’ve written about it before here, and here, and here). Late last year, a friend of mine mentioned reading an article in Marie Claire about the female Bain & Co. Chairman. Amber said this fascinating woman, Orit Gadiesh, reminded her of me. I read the article, and found that Ms. Gadiesh manages to read 100 books per year while successfully chairing one of the most successful consulting practices in the world, traveling extensively and having a family.  Inspired anew, and after a rocky start, I finished 2012 having read 58 new books. For 2013, I decided to up the ante, and …

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Anna Karenina: The Beauty and Tragedy of Life

March 3, 2013
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Anna Karenina by Lucio Palmeri for Dolce & Gabbana Anna Karenina has been on my must read list for many years. I have been keeping lists – and book lists in particular – since my first summer journal at eight years old. The epic Russian novel appears at the top of many top ten novels lists and has been referred to as “flawless” and “the greatest novel ever written” by two of the most celebrated novelists of our time. I have owned a copy of Anna Karenina for about ten years. If I have made any attempt at all to read it, I have never gotten much past the first sentence, which is one of the most iconic quotes from …

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49 Great Quotes from Zig Ziglar

December 2, 2012
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The Human Exclamation Point “Today is a brand-new day. And it’s yours.” These are the words of the late Zig Ziglar, the American motivational speaker who died in late 2012, at the age of 86. Zig Ziglar was sometimes called “the human exclamation point”. He was always brimming with enthusiasm and positive energy as he led his revival-like “success conventions” until his retirement at age 84. Zig’s pithy maxims were delivered with a characteristic upbeat demeanor and Southern drawl which to some may seem over-simplified and perhaps even shallow. But there is a tremendous depth to his “can do” philosophy of positivity that continues to out -live the man himself. Zig Ziglar’s Life and Career Zig Ziglar was born in …

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A Century of Wisdom: 34 Quotes from the World’s Oldest Living Holocaust Survivor

November 26, 2012
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Monday, November 26, 2012 – Alice Herz Sommer celebrates her 109th birthday. Living alone in a small London apartment, this amazing woman is the world’s oldest living holocaust survivor. A former concert pianist, Alice has been playing the piano since she was five years old. Using only eight fingers, Alice still practices for hours every day. Alice’s story is a testament to the power of the human spirit. She and her six-year old son survived two years in the Nazi concentration camp of Theresienstadt, escaping almost certain death. She has witnessed unspeakable cruelty, watching hundreds go to their deaths in the gas chambers or through sickness and starvation. And yet, this living hero has never stopped smiling. This ever-laughing centenarian …

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Love Hurts?

November 19, 2012
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Love hurts. Love scars. Love wounds and mars. Ooh ooh. Love hurts. ~Beverley Ross and Neil Fredericks, performed by ‘Nazareth’ Rejected by Cyberspace Many years ago, newly single, I tried to sign up for an online dating service. The television commercial boasted the site’s ability to find “soul mates” for its members based on “29 dimensions of compatibility”. So, I slogged through the 436-question Compatibility Profile. Apparently, now it has been shortened to 250 questions. To the faceless evaluator, I shared self-descriptions, personal characteristics, important qualities, personal beliefs, living skills, communication style, relationship style and my family background. I answered scores of multiple choice questions such as “If you decided to stay at home for the evening would you tend …

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Considering the Balanced Scorecard Approach

November 12, 2012
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“When you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meager and unsatisfactory kind…” William Thompson As the leader of a relatively young organizational unit, I am always looking for innovative ways to measure and improve overall performance and achieve strategic goals. A few months ago, I stumbled upon the Balanced Scorecard approach. The Balanced Scorecard Approach in a Nutshell The Balanced Scorecard approach was developed around 1990 and a result of the extensive research of Robert Kaplan and David Norton. They developed a methodology of translating organizational strategy into a balanced framework …

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Crucial Confrontations

November 10, 2012
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Slightly ahead of my annual goal, I have just completed book number fifty-three for 2012. ‘Crucial Confrontations: Tools for Resolving Broken Promises, Violated Expectations, and Bad Behavior‘, was released a few years ago by authors Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan and Al Switzler. The book teaches how to confidently address violated expectations and resolve accountability issues without harming relationships. The Scenario [Husband lying on the sofa watching TV.] Wife: Honey, can you please remember to take out the garbage tonight? Husband: Yeah [Thirty minutes later.] Wife: Honey, are you going to take out the garbage? Husband: In a minute. [One hour later.] Wife: Honey, the garbage! [Snore.] How Do You Respond to Bad Behavior? We have all …

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Antigua and Barbuda, Have You Made A Pledge?

November 5, 2012
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Antigua and Barbuda Independence Flag

Memories of My First November First Antigua and Barbuda celebrated its 31st anniversary of independence on Thursday, November 1st. As an Antiguan national recently transplanted to St. Lucia, I indulged in a proud display of nationalism. Photos of what I consider to be the most beautiful flag in the world adorned my facebook page, and I tweeted YouTube links to the patriotic son-of-the-soil calypso renditions of yesteryear. In 1981, I was six years old — old enough to appreciate that something of great significance was occurring. I remember standing uniformed in the dusty schoolyard of the local Maria Montessori school singing our national anthem, ‘Fair Antigua and Barbuda’, and waving mini flags as a tribute to our newly independent nation. …

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Choose Your Fate

September 23, 2012
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This week, I took advantage of Audible.com‘s promotion for the new Whispersync for Voice feature. The new technology allows readers to listen and read simultaneously or switch seamlessly from audiobook to e-book and vice versa. Up to 22 free Kindle ebooks are available here for a limited time. I shamelessly downloaded 19 of the available 22 titles, even though I’d already read some of them. Ethan Frome: The Story of a Loser The first title I read is one of Edith Warton’s best known works. ‘Ethan Frome’ is the story of a poor, downtrodden New England farmer trapped in a loveless relationship with a conniving, invalid wife. The book’s protagonist can’t seem to catch a break. As one bad …

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Leadership Lessons: Small Things Go A Long Way

September 8, 2012
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Since most of us aren’t independently wealthy, we work in order to pay the bills and make steps toward building a secure financial future. If we are to do truly great work, however, we must feel both inspired and appreciated. That’s the really tough part. As the leader of a company, I spend a great deal of my time remaining committed to the part of my vision that aims to make it a great place to work. Actually, I use the word “love”. I aspire to lead in such a way that employees “love” working there. I wrote in a previous post that employees want to feel special, to be treated like individuals, respected, and made knowledgeable. The big things, …

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The Battle of The Bulge: Why Carbohydrates Matter

September 2, 2012
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My Story In early 2003, I was in my late twenties. I gained six pounds as a result of the increased appetite that had accompanied a course of medication. At 140 pounds, I was heavier than I had ever been. While I was not officially overweight for my 5’6″ frame, I felt sluggish, had trouble fitting into my clothes and knew that I had to do something about it. Attempting to lose weight by counting calories, I tried the highly advertised Slim Fast Diet: “a shake for breakfast, a shake for lunch and a sensible dinner”. I bought two cases of those cans of creamy shakes, and stuck to the diet strictly. Instead of losing weight, after two weeks I …

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Does This Chart Make Me Look Fat?

September 1, 2012
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Above is a BMI Chart. BMI stands for Body Mass Index. It is a height to weight ratio, and is the most accepted screening tool used to assess weight categories that may lead to health problems. Knowing your BMI can give you an important indication of your risk of developing a range of obesity-related health issues including metabolic syndrome, diabetes, heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure. How to find your BMI 1. Read across the top of the chart to find your height (in feet and inches). 2. Read down the left side of the chart and find your weight (in pounds). 2. The point where those two lines meet will give you your BMI.   What Does Your …

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Today I’m Inspired by: Jeff Hadeed

August 28, 2012
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The Global Financial Crisis In October 2008, a seasoned accounting professional with eight years of public accounting experience and several years in the hospitality and real estate industry, I found myself out of work — a casualty of the global financial crisis. The five-star resort where I had recently been hired as Financial Controller failed to open after many months of preparation and millions of dollars in refurbishment. The Icelandic bank that funded it had crashed. The demise of my most recent job could not have come at a worse time. I had been through a series of personal challenges including the sudden death of my father and tragic death of my 21-year old brother, a stint in ICU with …

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7 Reasons Why You’re Not Getting Hired

August 26, 2012
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As the General Manager of a growing company, I am always on the lookout for good people. Hiring application emails go not only to HR, but get delivered directly to my inbox, as well. I am regularly appalled at the low quality of application submissions and the ill-preparedness of candidates during interviews. If you’ve ever been turned down for a job, or have found yourself unemployed for a lengthy period, here are some possible reasons why. 1. Your Cover Letter is Sloppy “Dear Sir or Madam” or “To Whom It May Concern” letters are a waste of time. Make a quick phone call and find out the name of the hiring manager, so that you can make a good first …

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