From the description—Human Resourses—it sounds like a division of the company dedicated to the well-being and advancement of the company’s employees. Even the name sounds friendly and inviting, right? Resources help us to excel at our job and be more effective on our assignments. And human? Well, we are human, so it must be a place we can go to acquire the help we need to get along with others, work through problems, and increase the enjoyment and satisfaction we receive from our work. It’s easy to assume the HR department to be a place designed to serve and benefit the company’s work force. Right? In a word . . . wrong.read more
Regardless of your particular goal—to create the next best-selling phone app, buy a fast-food franchise, or grow your fledgling used car business into the number one automobile dealership in the state—it probably started with great ambitions and dreams of financial independence. But if after several years of hard work, you’re still struggling to keep your business afloat, or worse, your efforts have ended in failure, debt, and disappointment, you may be asking . . . What happened?read more
“I was at the right place at the right time!”
“I was fortunate to have the right people working for me.”
How many times have you heard a business owner or entrepreneur offer a self-deprecating quip that minimizes his hard-eared and well-deserved success? It’s an overt show of modesty, and it’s about as far from the truth as you can get. So what does it take—exactly? What are the necessary ingredients to insure your business start-up has the best chance of becoming a financial success?
We dream of a perfect life. We set our goals and make our plans. We work hard. And then life happens. We lose our job. Our spouse is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. The economy nosedives and wipes out our retirement savings. At first, we reel in shock as it all sinks in. Nothing makes sense. There are no clear answers. When we finally catch our breath, the questions overwhelm us . . . How will I ever get through this? What’s going to happen to me? Will I survive?read more
Like them or not, meetings are the life-blood of the corporation. Often prompted by little more than a desire to “get everyone together,” spontaneous meetings have become an accepted part of the work day. Whether it’s implementing a new organizational process or procedure, a strategy session, dissecting a team report, goal setting, policy changes, introducing new employees, or disseminating information, a meeting is still the preferred method to accomplish the task.read more
This one sounds like a no-brainer—you’d think our internal compass would set off alarm bells and red flags from the moment we begin to consider it. But a surprising number of people are addicted to a fantasy, believing in a future that is hopelessly unattainable. These are the folks who are sure they’re going to invent the next Pet Rock or Beanie Baby, and are just waiting for inspiration to strike. Maybe they’ve been planning to write the next run-away best seller, but haven’t completed a single chapter in years. Or they imagine themselves the CEO of a Fortune 500 Hundred company but haven’t risen above the entry level position they were hired at twenty years ago. And so they wait—for conditions to be just right, or circumstances to change, or for fate to magically transport them to the life they were “supposed” to live. Ask the typical “Dreamer” why they . . .read more
For decades, companies have used behavioral guidelines, environmental influences, and formal policy to keep their employees from engaging in flirtation, romance, and sex. Human resource departments continue to circulate memos reminding employees to keep excessively personal conversations, gestures of affection, and sexual overtures outside the office. Has it worked? Depends on how you measure it. As most will tell you, it’s still there, bubbling just under the surface.read more
Negative people. We all have them in our life. You may even have one in your own family— someone who’s outlook on life is overly pessimistic, complains about everything, or worse, they spend every moment telling you what’s wrong with your life. The result is an energy draining, frustrating experience no one wants to repeat. Big question: Should you try to change them? Depends. How important is this person in your life? If it’s your spouse, they obviously deserve more priority than the cranky neighbor who refuses to return your wave.read more
I went to college to become an engineer . . . to learn math, physics, and principles of electrical design. Black and white stuff. No gray in engineering.
I remember my first introduction to digital computers. I learned to program the Digital PDP-8 and PDP-11 by moving banks of switches into either the on or off position. Ones or zeros. No other choices, no other possibilities. You were either right or wrong. As a college senior, I belonged to a plucky bunch. Very sure of ourselves, we were confident we would change the world with our highly disciplined, university-trained minds. Maybe you saw us on the way to class. We were easy to recognize . . . a few of us still carried slide rules on our belts. The more affluent . . .
I have a nephew who reminds me of myself—the me from thirty years ago . . . aggressive, wanting to excel, battling the other “bright boys” also competing on the fast track, hoping to score a cushy corner office on the tenth floor of the corporate office. I have no idea if he’ll read this. And if he does, if he’ll recognize the similarities—where I’ve come from and where he’s likely headed. I hope he’ll see the commonalities, and understand how quickly they can become consequences. For the last several years, he’s been following the path laid out for him. The same path that has lured generations . . .read more
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