I Quit! How to Resign from Your Job

Turning in your resignation isn’t always easy. Even if you hate your job, hate your boss and can’t wait to start that new job; even if you are about to be fired, it can be difficult to resign tactfully.

First of all, be sure that you really do want to quit. Then, handle your resignation as carefully as you would handle any other business endeavor. It’s always wise to not burn bridges. You never know when you will need your past employers for a reference.

Resignation Pros and Cons

Before you make the decision to quit, be absolutely sure that this is the right decision.  An employee once called me the day after she started her new job. She hated it, regretted resigning and wanted to come back.  By the time we heard from her, we had already filled the position and she was out of luck.

If you’re not sure about the position you are considering taking, ask if you can spend a day in the office “shadowing” the staff. It may reinforce your decision to take the position or help you decide you don’t want it.

Weigh the Options

Do you have another job offer? If so, weigh the pros and cons of the new position versus your current position. Consider the work environment, flexibility, salary and benefits in addition to the job responsibilities.  How about opportunities to advance? If the new job comes up ahead on all counts and you feel sure that this is the right change to make, don’t hesitate.

No new job on the horizon? Before you quit, consider the basics.  It will take about three to six months, sometimes longer, to find a new job. Unless you quit for a good cause, you may not be eligible for unemployment benefits.

Do you have enough savings or other income to manage on?   Even if your employment situation isn’t the best, you might want to consider hanging on to the job you have, as well as your paycheck, and starting your job search before you resign. That old saying that “it’s easier to find a job, when you have a job” does hold true.

Give Notice

If you have an employment contract that states how much notice you should give, abide by it. Otherwise, it’s appropriate to offer two weeks notice.

No Obligation

If your employer asks you to stay longer than two weeks (or the time period in your contract) you have no obligation to stay. Your new employer will be expecting you to start as scheduled, and in a timely manner. What you could do is offer to help your previous employer, if necessary, after hours, via email or on the phone.

How to Quit

The formal way to resign is to write a resignation letter.  However, depending on circumstances, you may need to quit over the phone or to quit via email.

Write a Resignation Letter

Regardless of how your resign, write a resignation letter.  A resignation letter can help you maintain a positive relationship with your old employer, while paving the way for you to move on. You never know when you might need that old employer to give you a reference, so it makes sense to take the time to write a polished and professional resignation letter.

What to Say

Don’t say much more than you are leaving.  Emphasize the positive and talk about how the company has benefited you, but, mention that it’s time to move on. Offer to help during the transition and afterwards. Don’t be negative.  There’s no point – you’re leaving and you want to leave on good terms.

Use our sample resignation letters for suggestions on what to write.

Ask for a Reference

Before you leave, ask for a letter of recommendation from your manager. As time passes and people move on, it’s easy to lose track of previous employers. With a letter in hand, you’ll have written documentation of your credentials to give to prospective employers.

Don’t Forget the Details

Find out about the employee benefits and salary you are entitled to receive upon leaving. Inquire about continuing health insurance coverage through COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act), collecting unused vacation and sick pay, and keeping, cashing in, or rolling over your 401K or other pension plan.

You may be asked to participate in an exit interview prior to your departure.  Review sample exit interview questionsto get an idea of what you’ll be asked during an exit interview.

Return Company Property

Return any company property you have – including keys, documents, computers, phones, and anything else that doesn’t belong to you.  The company doesn’t want to chase you to get it back, and you don’t want to be held responsible if it’s not returned in a timely manner.

Review Resignation Do’s and Don’ts

Before you turn in your resignation, review these resignation do’s and don’ts and resign as gracefully as possible.



By , About.com Guide

How to Develop a Social Media Policy

  • Decide who is responsible for managing and participating in social media. It is important that all employees understand and adhere to the company’ social media policy, while networking in social media online. But, one employee or a team must assume the company’s public persona and manage company social media efforts. Vigilant to follow and respond to public commentary, praise, or complaints about the company, the employee or team has official responsibility to respond in social media. While all employees should be encouraged to interact and represent the company brand, in social media, these employees should proactively handle queries, too.
    Kabani says, “The best way to find a social media advocate within the company is to seek out the person or team of people who are most passionate about communicating with customers in social media. They may already be doing so without you knowing it. Seek those people out and train them well to represent your brand.”


  • Establish ground rules for employee participation in social media. You walk a fine line with employees. You need to allow employees the freedom to engage in social media, yet protect the company at the same time. Kabani suggests taking a look at Intel’s social media policy which is comprehensive. The Emerging Technology Department at the Air Force has created this flow chart of their own social media guidelines and David Meerman Scott highlights their social media strategy in his blog post. Telstra offers a simple policy, so examples do exist online.


  • While your employees probably already exercise good common sense while participating online, your social media policy must specifically address examples of taboo topics. Confidential, proprietary, non-released company information must stay out of social media. Private and personal information about your work and your coworkers and customers must never appear online. The public image of your employees in social media, if they can be associated with your company, does matter. Nastiness, offensiveness, disparaging comments, untruthful statements, demeaning behavior, and illegal substance use, are all examples of behavior your social media policy must address.


  • Create a system for monitoring the social media sphere. Kabani says, “A social media policy doesn’t do much good if you don’t actually monitor the space where the conversation is happening. There are plenty of free and paid tools to monitor social media.


  • Make training easily available to your employees who want to participate in social media. Kabani suggests, “Think win-win. Nobody likes to be bossed around – especially when it comes to their own social networking. However, most people are open to learning about how to better leverage these social media sites to further their own careers and brands. Most people who make mistakes online just don’t know any better. If you expect your employees to utilize the social networking tools properly, you must provide training. What they put out there isn’t just a reflection of the company; it is also a reflection of them. Make it a win-win for everybody.”

Social media is expanding with millions of people worldwide interacting in ways that few dreamed possible just a short time ago. Your employees are interacting in social media. Your company should be interacting in social media, too. And, your social media policies and strategies need development now.  Take the opportunity to influence the conversation that is occurring around your company and your brand.

Don’t believe for a minute that the conversation isn’t occurring. Jump on the chance to influence the direction – now.


By , About.com Guide



Top 5 Ways to Destroy Trust

Trust is the foundation of all positive relationships you seek to create in your organization. Trust is one of the strongest bonds that can exist between people and customers; trust is also one of the most fragile. Once you destroy trust, break the bond of trust, trust is the most difficult facet of your culture to rebuild. You can build a culture of trust in your organization if you steer clear of actions that destroy trust. Avoid these trust busters to build a trust culture.


In an earlier article, I reviewed the three components of trust as defined by Dr. Duane C. Tway, Jr. He says that trust is the “state of readiness for unguarded interaction with someone or something.” Thinking about trust as made up of the interaction and existence of these three components makes “trust” easier to understand.

The amount of trust you experience is dependent upon the degree to which you can respond affirmatively to experiencing each of these three components of trust:

  • The capacity for trusting means that your total life experiences have developed your current capacity and willingness to risk trusting others. You believe in trust. You have experienced trust and believe that trust is possible.
  • The perception of competence is made up of your perception of your ability and the ability of others with whom you work to perform competently at whatever is needed in your current situation.
  • The perception of intentions, as defined by Tway, is your perception that the actions, words, direction, mission, or decisions are motivated by mutually-serving rather than self-serving motives.

Trust is dependent on the interaction of and your experience of these three components. Trust is tough to maintain and easy to destroy.

Five Ways to Destroy Trust

For trust to exist in an organization, a certain amount of transparency must pervade the intentions, direction, actions, communication, feedback, and problem solving of particularly, executives and  managers, but also of all employees. Consequently, these are ways in which people destroy trust.

  • Employees tell lies of commission: They fail to tell the truth, often with the intention to deceive or confuse. This powerfully impacts a whole organization when the lie is perceived from leaders, but even coworker relationships are destroyed by lies of commission. A lie is a lie is a lie. If it’s not the whole truth, if it requires preparation and wordsmithing, if you need to remember the details to ensure you don’t change your story in the retelling, you are probably telling a lie. Or, at the very least, part of your story is a lie. People who are untrustworthy derail their careers. Can you imagine the impact of lies on an organization when the liar is a senior manager?
  • Employees tell lies by omission: A lie of omission is a deliberate attempt to deceive another person by omitting portions of the truth. Lies of omission are particularly egregious as they give people false impressions and attempt to influence behavior by omitting important details. Once again, the more powerful the perpetrator of the lie in the organization, the more significantly trust is affected. But, an individual can derail their career by using this deception ploy, when caught.
  • Fail to walk the talk:  No matter the work program, cultural expectation, management style, or change initiative, you will destroy trust if you fail to demonstrate the quality or behavioral expectation, if you fail to walk the talk. Words are easy; it is the behavior that demonstrates your expectations in action that helps employees trust you.
    You can’t, as an example, state that participative management and employee empowerment are the desired form of leadership in your organization, unless you demonstrate these expectations in your everyday actions. Customer service is a joke if a complaining customer is labeled “wrong” or a jerk.”
  • Fail to do what you say you are going to do: Few employees expect that every statement,  goal and / or projection that you make will come true.  Sales will be up 10%. No layoffs are anticipated. We will hire ten new employees this quarter. Working the reception desk alone is a temporary fix until we fill the open position with a second receptionist. My assignment will be complete by the end of the first quarter.
    If you make a statement, commitment, or projection, employees expect what you said to happen. You destroy trust if the end result never occurs. You can avoid destroying trust by communicating honestly and frequently about:
    –how you set the initial goal, –what is interfering with the accomplishment of the initial goal, –how and why your projection has changed, –what employees can expect going forward, and –how you will avoid similar miscalls in the future.
    Honest communication is key to building employee and coworker trust.
  • Make random, haphazard, unexpected changes for no apparent reason: Keeping employees off balance may sound like an effective approach to creating agility in your organization. But, random change produces the opposite effect. People get used to their comfortable way of doing things. They get used to the mood the boss characteristically exhibits when she arrives at the office. They expect no consequences when deadlines are missed – because there have never been any in the past.
    Any change must be communicated with the rationale behind the change made clear. A starting date for implementation and participation from employees whose jobs are affected by the change will keep you from destroying trust. A sincere and thoughtful demonstration that the change is well-thought-out and not arbitrary will help employees trust you. An explanation for a change of mood or a different approach goes a long way to prevent the destruction of trust.



By , About.com Guide

Phone Interview Do’s and Don’ts

By , About.com Guide


A phone interview sounds easy, doesn’t it? You don’t have to get dressed in your best interview attire, travel to a company’s office, or interview one-on-one with a hiring manager. Instead, you’re interviewing on the phone from the comfort of home.

It’s not as easy as it seems though. You can blow a phone interview just as easily as you can blow an in-person interview. Dropped calls, background noise, not knowing about the company, and/or not being prepared to respond to interview questions can knock you out of contention for a job.

Review these tips for how to conduct a phone interview and what not to do when you’re interviewing via the telephone to make sure your phone interviews get you to the next step in the hiring process.

Phone Interview Do’s and Don’ts

Create a checklist. Review the job posting and make a list of how your qualifications match the hiring criteria. Have the list available so you can glance at it during the interview. Also have a copy of your resume in clear view, so you don’t have to remember what you did when.

Research the job and the company. Take some time to research the job and the company. The more prepared you are for the interview, the smoother it will go.

Prepare for phone interview questions. Review answers to typical phone interview questions and think about how you’re going to respond.

Use a land line. Unless your cell phone service is 100% all the time, use a land line instead of a cell phone. That way you won’t have to worry about dropped calls and getting disconnected.

Turn off call waiting. If you have call waiting turn it off. The beep of an incoming call is distracting and can make you lose your focus.

Get rid of the distractions. Interview in a private quiet space. That means securing a babysitter if you have small children at home and kicking the dog, the cat, and the rest of the household members out of your interview space.

Have a glass of water nearby. There isn’t much worse than having a tickle in your throat or a cough starting when you need to talk on the phone. Have a glass of water handy so you can take a quick sip if your mouth gets dry or there’s a catch in your throat.

Take notes. It’s hard to remember what you discussed after the fact, so take brief notes during the interview.

Focus, listen, and enunciate. It’s important to focus on the interview and that can be harder on the phone than in-person. Be sure to listen to the question, ask for clarification if you’re not sure what the interviewer is asking, and speak slowly, carefully, and clearly when you respond. It’s fine to take a few seconds to compose your thoughts before you answer.

Pay attention to body language. This might sound strange, but your body language matters on the phone almost as much as it does during a face-to-face meeting. Focus on the interviewer, smile, and think positive. You’ll make a better impression.

Multi-task. This won’t work for everyone, but if you can multi-task have the company’s website open in your browser, so you can quickly check for company information if it comes up in the conversation.

Have questions to ask the interviewer ready. Be prepared to respond when the interview asks whether you have any questions for him or her. Review these questions to ask the interviewer and have a few ready in advance.

Follow up after the phone interview. Ask for the interviewer’s email address, if you don’t already have it. Send out an email thank you note immediately, thanking the interviewer and reiterating your interest in the job. Use your thank you note as a way, as well, to provide information on anything regarding your qualifications you didn’t get a chance to mention during the phone interview.

The Power of Positive Employee Recognition

By , About.com Guide


Prioritize employee recognition and you can ensure a positive, productive, innovative organizational climate. Provide employee recognition to say thank you and to encourage more of the actions and thinking that you believe will make your organization successful.

People who feel appreciated are more positive about themselves and their ability to contribute. People with positive self-esteem are potentially your best employees. These beliefs about employee recognition are common among employers even if not commonly carried out. Why then is employee recognition so closely guarded in many organizations?

Why Is Employee Recognition Scarce?

Time is an often-stated reason and admittedly, employee recognition does take time. Employers also start out with all of the best intentions when they seek to recognize employee performance. But, they often find their recognition efforts turn into employee complaining, jealousy, and dissatisfaction. With these experiences, many employers are hesitant to provide employee recognition.

In my experience, employee recognition is scarce because of a combination of several factors. People don’t know how to provide employee recognition effectively, so they have bad experiences when they do. They assume that one size fits all when they provide employee recognition. Finally, employers think too narrowly about what people will find rewarding and recognizing. These guidelines and ideas will help you effectively walk the slippery path of employee recognition and avoid potential problems when you recognize people in your work place.

Guidelines for Effective Employee Recognition

Decide what you want to achieve through your employee recognition efforts. Many organizations use a scatter approach to employee recognition. They put a lot of employee recognition out there and hope that some efforts will stick and create the results they want. Or, they recognize so infrequently that employee recognition becomes a downer for the many when the infrequent few are recognized.

Instead, create goals and action plans for employee recognition. You want to recognize the actions, behaviors, approaches, and accomplishments that you want to foster and reinforce in your organization. Establish employee recognition opportunities that emphasize and reinforce these sought-after qualities and behaviors. If you need to increase attendance in your organization, hand out a three-part form, during your Monday morning staff meeting. The written note thanks employees who have perfect attendance that week. The employee keeps one part; save the second in the personnel file; place the third in a monthly drawing for gift certificates.

Fairness, clarity, and consistency are important in employee recognition. People need to see that each person who makes the same or a similar contribution has an equal likelihood of receiving recognition for her efforts. For regularly provided employee recognition, organizations need to establish criteria for what makes a person eligible for the employee recognition. Anyone who meets the criteria is then recognized.

For example, if people are recognized for exceeding a production or sales expectation, anyone who goes over the goal gets the glory. Recognizing only the highest performer will defeat or dissatisfy all of your other contributors, especially if the criteria for employee recognition are unclear or based on the supervisor’s opinion.

For day-to-day employee recognition, you’ll want to set guidelines so leaders acknowledge equivalent and similar contributions. Each employee who stays after work to contribute ideas in a departmental improvement brainstorming session gets to have lunch with the department head, for example. Each employee who contributes to a customer sale deserves employee recognition, even the employee who just answered the phone; his actions set the sale in motion.

This guideline is why an employee of the month-type program is most often unsuccessful for effective employee recognition. The criteria for results and the fairness of the criteria are not clear to people. So, people complain about “brown-nosing points” and the boss’s “pet employees.” These employee recognition programs cause discontent and dissention when the organization’s intentions were positive. It’s one of my common management mistakes in managing people.

As an additional example, it is important to recognize all people who contributed to a success equally. A CEO I know perpetually announced employee recognition for major projects at the company holiday celebration. Without fail, he missed the names of several people who contributed to the success of the project. With the opportunity for public employee recognition past, employees  invariably felt slighted by the post-banquet thanks – no matter how sincere.

Employee recognition approaches and content must also be inconsistent. Contradictory? No, not really. You want to offer employee recognition that is consistently fair, but you also want to make sure your employee recognition efforts do not become expectations or entitlements. As expectations, your employee recognition efforts become entitlements. Bad news.

For example, a company owner provided lunch for all staff every Friday to encourage team building and positive work relationships. All interested employees voluntarily attended the lunches. He was shocked when a group of employees asked him for reimbursement to cover the cost of the lunch on days they did not attend. I wasn’t shocked; the lunches had become an expected portion of their compensation and benefits package. Sincere recognition had turned into entitlement.

Inconsistency is encouraged in the type of employee recognition offered also. If employees are invited to lunch with the boss every time they work over-time, the lunch is an expectation. It is no longer a reward. Additionally, if a person does not receive the expected reward, it becomes a dissatisfier and negatively impacts the person’s attitude about work.

Be as specific as you can in telling the individual exactly why he is receiving the recognition. The work purpose of feedback is to reinforce what you’d like to see the employee do more of; the purpose of employee recognition is the same. In fact, employee recognition is one of the most powerful forms of feedback that you can provide. While “you did a nice job today” is a positive comment, it lacks the power of, “the report had a significant impact on the committee’s decision. You did an excellent job of highlighting the key points and information we needed to weigh before deciding. Because of your work, we’ll be able to cut 6% of the budget with no layoffs.”

Offer employee recognition as close to the event you are recognizing as possible.  When a person performs positively, provide recognition and a thank you immediately. Since it’s likely the employee is already feeling good about her performance; your timely recognition of the employee will enhance the positive feelings. This, in turn, positively affects the employee’s confidence in her ability to do well in your organization.

Specific Ideas for Employee Recognition

Remember that employee recognition is situational. Each individual has a preference for what he finds rewarding and how that recognition is most effective for him. One person may enjoy public recognition at a staff meeting; another prefers a private note in her personnel file. The best way to determine what an employee finds rewarding is to ask.

Use the myriad opportunities for employee recognition that are available to you. In organizations, people place too much emphasis on money as the only form of employee recognition. While salary, bonuses, and benefits are critical within your employee recognition and reward system – after all, most of us do work for money – think more broadly about your opportunities to provide employee recognition.

4 Lin-sane Leadership Lessons

In business terms, Jeremy Lin is the underdog that took on the 800 pound gorilla and won. Here’s what entrepreneurs can learn from him.

Lin-sanity, they call it. On Sunday, February 20, the Knicks played the defending-champion Dallas Mavericks. Jeremy Lin was again on fire, scoring 28 points with 14 assists and five steals, and leading the Knicks to a 104 to 97 win. In business terms, we could think of Lin as the start-up that has the determination, drive, and ingenuity to take on the 800 pound gorillas in its market — and win.

After all, as recently as January 4, Lin had posted this to his Facebook page: “Everytime i try to get into Madison Square Garden, the security guards ask me if I’m a trainer LOL”

Every once in a while somebody like Lin comes along and defies all the stereotypes. They deliver in such a spectacular and graceful way that you can’t help but admire them. How has this young man inspired so many in such a short time? And as business leaders, what can we learn from him?

Passion and drive trump genetics and environment. What’s the NBA-sized goal for your business — and do you have the drive to get there? Nobody ever expected Jeremy Lin to become a world-famous basketball player. Yet he was determined,and patient, against remarkable odds. His parents are of Taiwanese and Chinese descent, both 5 feet 6 inches tall. Lin managed to graduate from high school without being offered any athletic scholarships, and didn’t make the All-Ivy League First Team until his senior year at Harvard. Against all odds, he worked hard and never gave up on his dream of playing in the NBA.

Maintain focus.  Despite all the Lin-sanity, Jeremy has not been distracted by the hype and attention, at least so far. He remains humble and spiritual. After a loss to the Hornets, Jeremy posted, “gotta learn from my mistakes and move on to the next one.” He’s always focused on improving his game, working with special coaches to hone the style of shooting that lets him drop a three-pointer over Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki—who towers over Lin by nine inches.

At Harvard and even now, Lin has heard bigoted jeers about his Asian heritage. Believe it or not, ESPN used the headline “Chink in the Armor” on its mobile site after Lin had nine turnovers in New York’s loss to the Hornets. “I don’t think it was on purpose or whatever, but they have apologized and so from my end I don’t care anymore,” Lin said in a TV interview. For entrepreneurs, the lesson is clear: Never let ignorant non-believers get in your way.

Share the glory. Jeremy is not only humble, he’s very smart. Despite all his talent he’s the first to recognize the importance of a team. As an entrepreneur, you may be fortunate enough to be singled out for your success. It’s critical to recognize the people who enable your success and keep it on track every day.

Lin’s a generous player who makes his teammates better, sharing the ball and the glory. “This team is so unselfish and has so much heart,” he posted on Facebook. “Love playing with them!” Does your team know how much you love playing and working with them, too?

Avoid personal fouls.  In business it’s tempting to charge ahead recklessly. Many professional athletes disrespect their opponents, bad-mouthing them and throwing their weight around. But Jeremy plays with focused determination, a team approach, and a humble and passionate nature — the same characteristics that inspire customers and employees. Now I’m no basketball player — and a few inches shy of 6 foot 3 — but I do know smart business owners can achieve amazing feats of success when they play heads-up ball.


René Shimada Siegel is Founder and President of High Tech Connect, a specialized consultant placement firm for marketing and communications experts. You can follow her on twitter at @renesiegel.

Leadership Inspires Motivation

Daily Leadership Behaviors That Inspire Motivation

By , About.com Guide


Want to spend your time in leadership activities that inspire motivation, trust, and certainty while dispelling employee fear, negativity, and skepticism? During times of change, no actions are more powerful than when leaders make the time to communicate and build relationships.

When leadership shares vision, optimism, and purpose driven goals, motivation and commitment from employees is ensured. Jon Gordon, author of Soup: A Recipe to Nourish Your Team and Culture (compare prices), who participated in an earlier interview about managers and motivation, recommends these six leadership actions to inspire motivation.

Communicate Daily With Employees

Communication is a powerful tool that leadership can use to create an environment that brings forth employee motivation. Communication provides information, makes employees feel important and recognized, and provides the glue that binds a workforce with their leadership and their organization.

“Communicate with transparency, authenticity, and clarity. Whether you have a scheduled morning meeting  each day, make office rounds in the afternoon, or take  your team to lunch,  make it a priority to make time to talk to each  and every member of  your  team on a regular basis. You may be busy, but, the truth of the matter is that you really can’t afford not  to,” Gordon recommends.

Transfer Leadership’s Optimism

“As a leader, your  most important weapon against pessimism (prevalent in recent years) is to transfer your optimism  and vision to others. This inspires others to think and act in ways  that drive results.

”Leadership is a transfer of belief — and  great leaders inspire their teams to believe they can succeed. As a leader and manager, you are not just leading  and managing people, but you are also leading and managing their  beliefs. You must utilize every opportunity available to transfer your  optimism,” Gordon says.

”From town hall meetings to daily emails to individual  conversations to weekly teleconferences, it’s imperative that  you  share your optimism with your team. Optimism is a competitive advantage, and you need to convey it in all you say and do. As one of the greatest American innovators, Henry Ford, said, ‘Think you can, or  think you can’t — either way you are correct.’”

Leadership Shares the Vision

Gordon recommends that to inspire employee motivation, leadership must, “Share  the vision. It’s not enough to just be optimistic. You must give your  team and organization something to be optimistic about. Talk about where you have been, where you are, and where you are going. Share your plan for a brighter and better future, talk about the actions you must take, and constantly reiterate the reasons why you will be  successful. Create a vision statement that inspires and rallies your team and organization.”

Leadership Builds Relationships

“Relationships build real motivation.  It’s much easier to motivate someone if you know them and they know  you.  After all, if you don’t take the time to get to know the people who are working for you, then how can you ever truly know the  best way to lead, coach, and motivate them effectively? And, for that  matter, how can you expect them to trust and follow you if  they don’t  know you as well?”

“Relationships are the foundation upon which  winning teams and organizations are built,” says Gordon. “I advise  managers to make their relationship with their employees their number  one priority. In fact, I’ve worked with numerous NFL coaches and have  seen firsthand how the most successful coaches and best motivators are  those who develop meaningful relationships with their players. The  same strategy that works on the playing field works in the office as  well.”

Leadership Creates Purpose-Driven Goals

Gordon recommends: “Create purpose-driven goals. When it comes down to it,  the real force behind motivation has nothing to do with money or  number-driven goals. Real motivation is driven by purpose and a desire  to make a difference. In fact, people are most energized when they are  using their strengths for  a purpose beyond themselves. When employees  feel as though the work they do is playing an integral role in the  overall success of the company and the world, they are motivated to  work harder.”

”Similarly, when they feel as though they are working for  something more than just the bottom line, they feel good about the  work they are doing. So as a leader, you will want to  motivate your team by focusing less on  number goals and more on  purpose-driven goals,” Gordon explains. “It’s not the numbers that  drive your people but your people and purpose that drive the numbers. Sit down with each individual on your team and talk through their personal goals and how you see those goals fit in to the bigger  picture. Give them a sense of purpose that will fuel their fire towards taking action.”

Leadership Nourishes the Team

These may seem like  strange words to apply to the workplace. But Gordon insists they are  spot-on. He says, “The main question that every employee in every  organization wants to know is, ‘Do you care about  me; can I trust  you?’ If your answer is yes, they will be more likely to stay on the  bus and work with you. Employees who feel cared for, honored, and  nourished are more engaged in what they’re doing and will work at their highest potential.”

Think about it: Gallup’s research shows that employees who think their managers care  about them are more loyal and productive than those who do not think  so. If you nourish your team and take the time to invest in them, they  will pay you back in productivity, creativity, and loyalty. If your employees know that you care about them, they will want to do good  work for you. It’s the greatest motivator of  all.”

“Remember this simple formula,” Gordon concludes. “Belief plus action   equals results. If you don’t believe that something can happen, then you  won’t take the actions necessary to create it. If you believe that  your  team can do big things, they will believe it, too. And that  belief will  fuel the fires of action and provide you with the results  you’re looking for.”

How to Be Liked at Work (or Anywhere)

These 6 simple rules virtually guarantee that the people you work with will want you around.

By Geoffrey James | @Sales_Source |
Feb 14, 2012

Want coworkers and customers to enjoy being in your company? Just follow these absurdly simple rules.

1. Be curious about people. Likeable people are typically genuinely interested in others, enthusiastic, and eager to help.  If you’re curious about people, it’s much easier to build rapport.

2. Make a good first impression. The opening minute of any new interaction creates an impression that is difficult to change.  Dress appropriately, smile, look people in the eye, and have an appropriately firm handshake.

3. Listen more than you talk. If you find yourself talking about your weekend, your golf game, your family or your job, then you’re probably talking too much and not listening nearly enough.

4. Get people’s names right.  When meeting someone for the first time, spend the mental energy to remember his or her name. Be fanatic about pronunciation, especially with unusual names. You should care–and it should show.

5. Remember personal details.  Keep track of anything personal that co-workers or customers reveal, like birthdays and the names of family members.  Find ways to show that you remembered what they decided to reveal.

6. Only speak positively about others.  Whatever the temptation, avoid criticizing anyone. This includes competitors, politicians, celebrities … and especially other co-workers. People shy away from trash talkers.

Just Lin, Baby! 10 Lessons Jeremy Lin Can Teach Us Before We Go To Work Monday Morning

Lin-sanity has swept up the NBA over the last week.  Now it seems like the phenomenon has gone worldwide.

Friday’s 38 point performance by Harvard grad Jeremy Lin for the New York Knicks against the LA Lakers was his greatest performance yet as a starter, since he burst on to the scene and propelled the team to 4 straight wins.

Lin now has over 200,000 followers on Twitter.  He’s got over 800,000 on Weibo – including 200,000 new ones in the 24 hour period after beating the Lakers.

But there’s more to this story than basketball.  This isn’t just a modern-day, real-life version of the Hoosiers movie.  The Jeremy Lin story is incredibly popular because we can all see a little bit of ourselves in this man’s struggles and now successes.

What can all of us learn from this young man — and how can we apply these same lessons to our own lives when we go back to work on Monday morning?

1. Believe in yourself when no one else does. Lin’s only the 3rd graduate from Harvard to make it to the NBA.  He’s also one of only a handful of Asian-Americans to make it. He was sent by the Knicks to play for their D-League team 3 weeks ago in Erie, PA.  He’d already been cut by two other NBA teams before joining the Knicks this year.  You’ve got to believe in yourself, even when no one else does.

2. Seize the opportunity when it comes up. Lin got to start for the Knicks because they had to start him.  They had too many injuries. Baron Davis was gone.  The other point guards were out.  Carmelo Anthony was injured.  Amare Stoudemire had to leave the team because of a family death.  Lin could have squandered the opportunity and we would have never have noticed.  But he made the most of it.  You never know when opportunities are going to arise in life.  Often, they’re when you least expect them.  Make the most of them. Don’t fritter them away.

3. Your family will always be there for you, so be there for them. It wasn’t until a few days ago that Lin got his contract guaranteed by the Knicks for the rest of the season.  Before that, he could have been cut at any time.  He had to sleep on his brother’s couch on the Lower East Side to get by.  His family always believed in him and picked him up when he could have gotten down on himself.  That made him continue to believe.  If you want your family to believe in you like that, you’ve got to be there for them too when they need it.

4. Find the system that works for your style. Lin isn’t Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant.  He’s not a pure scorer.  He’s a passer and distributor – who can also score very well.  It didn’t work for him in Golden State or Houston – where he was before landing at the Knicks.  But Mike D’Antoni’s system at the Knicks has been perfect for him to show off his strengths.  You’ve got to do your best to understand what your strengths are and then ensure that you’re in a system (a job or organization or industry) that is a good fit for those strengths. Otherwise, people overlook the talents you bring to the table.

5. Don’t overlook talent that might exist around you today on your team. You probably manage people at your own company today.  Are you sure you don’t have a Jeremy Lin living among you now?  How do you know that “Mike” couldn’t do amazing things if you gave him a new project to run with? How do you know “Sarah” isn’t the right person to take the open job in London that you’ve been talking over with your colleagues?  We put people around us in boxes.  He’s from Harvard.  He’s Asian-American.  Not sure he can play.  How many assumptions have you made about talent around you?  Don’t be like the General Managers in Golden State and Houston, and let talent slip through your fingers.  With all their money, scouts, and testing, they didn’t have a clue what they had in their hands.  Do you know what your people (or even yourself) is really capable of?  Take off the blinders of assumptions you wear when you look at the world.

6. People will love you for being an original, not trying to be someone else. You’ve got to be you.  You can’t be some 2nd rate copy of Michael Jordan.  There will never be another Michael Jordan.  Just be Jeremy Lin — yourself.  Whatever that is.  That doesn’t mean you don’t work hard — it just means you find what you’re good at and do it.  Fans will love you for being you, just like they love Jeremy Lin.  Judy Garland said it best:

“Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.”

7. Stay humble. If you one day are lucky enough to have newspapers want to put you on the cover in order to sell more, don’t let it get to your head.  It’s been remarkable watching how humble Lin remains through all this media frenzy.  It makes his teammates and fans love him that much more.

8. When you make others around you look good, they will love you forever. I didn’t know how good Tyson Chandler was, until I saw him playing with Jeremy Lin.  Lin has set Chandler up many times over the last week for easy dunks because he drew the defense and then passed the ball.  That’s partly why the Knicks are playing so well.  They are all working harder to share the ball with others.  And it’s beautiful to watch.  And when the media swarms Lin, he tells them how good his teammates are.  Do the same with your peers and reports.

9. Never forget about the importance of luck or fate in life. Some people believe in God, some in destiny, some in luck. Whatever you believe in, be grateful for it.

10. Work your butt off. Lin couldn’t have seized his opportunity if he hadn’t worked like crazy for years perfecting his skills. There are no short cuts to hard work.  Success is a by product of that.  If you’ve got a Tiger Mom who’s always pushed you to work hard, great.  If not, let your conscience be your own Tiger Mom!  Get up early, stay up late.  Nobody gave Lin any free passes. Why should you get any?  You can only control what you control and that means you’ve got to work harder than anyone else you know.

I hope the Lin-sanity continues.  And I hope we all can apply these lessons to our own work and family life.

Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/ericjackson/2012/02/11/9-lessons-jeremy-lin-can-teach-us-before-we-go-to-work-monday-morning/

Eric Jackson


Eric Jackson is Founder and Managing Member of Ironfire Capital LLC. He completed his Ph.D. in the Management Department at the Columbia University Graduate School of Business in New York, with a specialization in Strategic Management. You can follow Jackson on Twitter at @ericjackson or on Sina Weibo at weibo.com/ericjackson Email: dr.eric.jackson@gmail.com

Resume Length

How long should your resume be? The answer is that the length of your resume depends – on how much experience you have and what level candidate you are.

If you’re an entry level candidate less is more and a page should be plenty. For more experienced candidates it’s fine to have a longer resume.

Resume Length Tips

How long is too long?  The length of your resume should be based on your experience and the type of job you’re seeking.  Some general guidelines are:

Less is more for entry level applicants.Entry level job seekers or those transitioning between career fields should stick to a one page resume.

Other times, a little extra is OK.  or mid-level candidates with around five to ten years of experience or anyone whose field requires technical or engineering skills, a two-page resume is common.  It allows enough space to include all of the pertinent information in a readable manner.  The key is to fill all, or at least three-quarters, of the second page with relevant and helpful information so that recruiter’s attention is not drawn to the blank space on the second page.

Senior executives can write away. Executives or senior-level managers with a long list of accomplishments in their field – or those in an academic or scientific field whose experience includes a number of publications, licenses or patents – are the only people who should be circulating a resume that is three pages or longer.  When a multiple-page resume is appropriate, an addendum can be used after page two. This allows job seekers the option of including the full document depending on the requirements of the job.



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