Connectivity in Today’s World

March 22nd, 2010

I was enjoying Costa Rica with my brother and nephew and so I’m just getting back to blogging. Before I post my latest entry, I thought it appropriate to talk about connectivity in today’s world.

I was riding in a van from the active volcano in Costa Rica to a fabulous Pacific coast beach community (Tamarindo – one of my favorites of all my travels), and thanks to modern technology, I was able to send/ receive emails from my Blackberry. Who would have thought? The only downside was that we were running late and so our driver decided to make up time by driving the mountain roads at a quick pace (thank goodness he knew the roads), and so I was limited in sending/ receiving emails as I had to “hold on” to stay in my seat. Forget about reading!

I’ve been to Costa Rica several times in the past. It wasn’t too long ago that I had to walk to the internet cafe in Tamarindo to look at emails. Of course, the downside is that it is a bit tougher to “get away”. Luckily, I don’t mind (and enjoy) combining my personal and professional lives into one life.

In today’s world, we are more connected than we’ve ever been yet the physical mail and personal phone call is still important – perhaps more so….. That reminds me, we were able to call my parents on a frequent basis using Skype. It sounded like we were next door even though we were in Central America in the jungle, sitting next to a howler monkey.

Cash Management Strategies in Current Economy

March 7th, 2010

As the highlight/ introduction to an article I was quoted in inside Union Bank’s Business Focus newsletter about this topic says, “The silver lining of this economy is that businesses with fast access to cash may be able to take advantage of extraordinary opportunities.” In my experience, business and individuals should listen carefully to this statement, as it will undoubedly become true.

Almost every business I am aware of has significantly slowed down or curtailed capital spending, as it is typically one of the first areas to go when cash is tight. I am an advocate of aggressively managing cash in today’s economy, as those who have cash to invest will be those who succeed. Just think of this example – if your company has the cash to invest in new equipment that will help give you an advantage over the competition while your competitors do not have the cash to invest, who do you think will succeed in the long term? What an opportunity!

The article discusses cash management strategies from more of a personal perspective; however, the same concepts apply in a business. It discusses four tips: 1) Set up a rainy day fund. 2) Leverage your cash. 3) Watch for deals. 4) Schedule your outlays. To read the entire article, click here.

Prepare for Success – Does it matter?

February 20th, 2010

It sounds silly but it can mean the difference between medicore success (or even failure) and SUCCESS. Especially as companies begin to emerge from the recession or at least grow volume, it is vital to be prepared -both from a company standpoint and a personal standpoint. Otherwise, the opportunity could pass you by. After waiting ALL this time, who wants to watch as it passes by? I assume the answer is no one!

I wrote an article about preparing for success for the ACA Newsletter, as the edition was surrounding this general theme. Read the entire article: here.

In essence, I talk in detail about three key steps: 1) First, plan. 2) Flexibility. 3) Communication. Sounds easy, right? Nope – in my experience in working with multiple organizations and with business and community leaders, this somewhat simple sounding process is not only often overlooked but becomes a challenge to implement – if nothing else for lack of time.

Instead of letting this occur, take action to CHANGE the potential course and prioritize this preparation. I guarantee it will pay off down-the-road.

The Power of Language

February 16th, 2010

I recently wrote a newsletter feature article on the “Power of Language”: click here.

In today’s turbulent times, it is vital to stand out in the crowd. One way to achieve that is through the power of language. Think about who tends to be remembered – is it those with the interesting ideas? Or is it those who can communicate interesting and powerful ideas? Hands down – it is always those who can communicate the powerful ideas. As my nephew would probably say, “it isn’t fair”. Yet, it is reality.

Thus, it seems to make good sense to continually improve our communication skills. One way to do that is by building your power of language. I discuss several tips in my article; however, the highlights are as follows: 1) Focus your message on your audience. 2) Simplify! 3) Use examples, analogies, etc. 4) Preparation & practice. 5) Speak, write or present with confidence.

There is no doubt that this is a learned skill – after all, many of my former colleagues will confirm my “improvement”. Of course, this is a continual process and it is all relative to where you start, so why not start now – the sooner, the better. It won’t take long before you start to notice a difference if you stick to it. Give it a try.

Best Leadership Advice to Kick off 2010

January 31st, 2010

I was recently quoted in Career Smart Advisor’s article, “The Best Leadership Advice”. My top 3 pieces of advice are as follows:

1. Do what you say you’ll do. This is obvious, but rarely achieved since it sounds much easier than it is to implement in practice.

2. Be consistent and up front with people. This is a key to gaining respect and engagement.

3. Encourage feedback; listen to feedback, but do not assume all feedback is valid or the best approach, even feedback from the CEO.

What have you found to be the best leadership advice? I’d be interested in hearing from you and debaing with you. By the way, my advice comes courtesy of my HR mentor, Debra Daniels. Sometimes it’s not creating new but knowing who to listen to which is most important in achieving success.

Read the full article: click here.