By k | March 21, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

In a Forbes interview
with older women starting over
in the corporate world,
a former Wall Street executive says
“The hardest part
is that the man working next to me
does not know that I had another career,
that I was president of a division.
He only knows me
as a junior financial advisor.”

This is something I,
as a hired gun,
deal with every day.
The person hiring me
may know my rather impressive resume
but no one else on my team does.

So I have to prove it
with every single contract gig.

There are tricks to accomplishing this.
I wear suits.
I act professionally.
I take charge of emergency situations.
I don’t get emotional.
I add insight as to
what other companies have tried.
Most of all, I achieve
and I achieve quickly.

I like this environment.
I can’t rest on my laurels
or my glorious past.
I have to bring my A game
to every assignment.

Don’t wait until you’re a consultant
or start a new career to do this.
Prove your worth every single day.

By k | March 20, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

We often talk,
here on clientk,
about how bouncing back from failure
is a key success factor
for entrepreneurs and other innovators.

If you’re working your way
through your first failure,
take heart.
It may never be easy
but it gets easier.

I received a rejection on a story
yesterday.
I moped around the office
for the day,
keeping to myself,
but by the evening,
I had thought of a half dozen publishers
I could send the story to.

A year ago,
I would have moped around for a week
and not have any action plan
for my rejected story.

Did the rejection still hurt?
Yes.
That’s a good thing.
If failure was as enjoyable
as success,
no one would strive for success.

You will survive this failure.
Don’t give up the dream.

By k | March 19, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

I’m working in the General Ledger section
of a finance department.
GL does a lot of things.
We post the unusual journal entries.
We track fixed assets.
We file commodity taxes.
We complete reconciliations.

With all these tasks to do,
however,
we only truly have one job…
to ensure that the financial statements
reflect the state of the business.
In other words…
our numbers have to be strong enough
to pass audit.

If my company passes audit,
I’ve done my job.
If my company doesn’t pass audit,
I should be fired.

To live to play another day
in the corporate world,
you should figure out what your core job is.
Ensure that this is covered
(with buffer, preferably)
THEN work on all the superstar projects.

By k | March 18, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Seth Godin has a great post
on why not for you
is NOT the same as not for everyone.

Business is creative
and product development is extremely creative.
Great product developers
know their target market.
They not only know the demographics
around their target market
but they get inside their target market’s skin.

I’ve talked to actors
and it sounds very much
like what they do.
They live the character.
We live the target market.

We do this when developing ideas,
products, marketing, sales pitches.

Know your target market.
Become your target market
(if only for the length of time
it takes for you to make a decision).

By k | March 17, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

One of the first things you should do
as a new hire
is do a walkaround.
You go from desk to desk,
introducing yourself
to as many people as you can.

Ideally you’re accompanied by your manager
or some other person
but if no one offers,
you should do it yourself.

Why?

Because clerks, managers, the guy in the mail room,
they all will contribute to your success
at the company.

Actually the guy in the mailroom,
along with the employee at main reception,
are some of the FIRST people you should meet.

If they don’t remember you work there
(and putting a name to the face
helps people to remember),
you’re not getting your mail OR your calls.

Do the walkaround.
It doesn’t matter if,
after meeting a thousand people,
you don’t remember THEIR names,
as long as they remember yours.

By k | March 16, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

A friend of mine is so good,
she’s being considered
for two different positions.

She really wants one of those positions.
Has she spoken up
about her preference?
Nope.
She’s waiting to be asked.

I doubt anyone will ask her.

Managers are not mind readers.
They don’t know what you want.
They don’t know what you need
to be happy in your career.
They EXPECT you to tell them.

Ask for what you want.

By k | March 15, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

My Kimber Chin pen name
is more indie.
It is about stretching the rules
of romance.
It is about trying different things.
Having a hero who flings the f-bomb
1,000 times in a 70,000 word novel.
Killing a pregnant lady off
in chapter one.
Roasting a kitten.
Playing with grammar and sentence structure.

The intent wasn’t to sell a million copies.
The intent was to play with the rules.
I consider the Kimber Chin novels a success.

I have another pen name
I use for more mainstream romance.
The intent, for that brand,
is to provide stories
a wide variety of people would enjoy.
Week 1 sales were greater than
a year’s sales of the Kimber Chin brand.

Two different brands,
two different definitions of success.

Whether or not
you are successful depends on your intent.
That is why goal setting is SO important.

By k | March 14, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

Not everyone wants a promotion.
Not everyone wants
to progress to the next level
or to progress… period… in their jobs.

That’s not a bad thing
for a manager
as long as that position remains needed.

I have a junior analyst
who never wants to be a senior analyst.
She is great at her job.
I don’t have to worry
about opening a senior position for her
or about her looking for another job.
She is happy doing her current job.

I’m conscious about keeping her current.
I am slowly cross training her
so she has a wider skill set.
I am also careful
about changing her job
too drastically
too quickly.
She doesn’t want that
and I’m happy keeping her happy.

It is difficult for ambitious people
such as myself
to understand
but wow, is it a relief
as a manager.

If your employees are happy
in their current positions,
ask yourself
why you’re pushing them to progress.
Is it what they want
or what you think they SHOULD want?

By k | March 13, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

A manager was venting
about her problems
with a shared junior analyst.

That surprised me
because I was overjoyed
with this analyst
so I asked how she was coaching her.

Her reply was
“I tell her things again and again
but she doesn’t get it.”

“But how are you COACHING her?”
I repeated.

Telling is quick and easy
and oh so tempting to do
but it is NOT coaching.

Telling is pointing “Go there!”
Because the employee
doesn’t know why or when she should go there,
she ends up having to ask
if there is any variation however small
in the process.

Coaching is creating a map together
and then walking beside the employee.
The employee then has a map,
she can refer to it
when other situations arise.

Telling is quicker short term.
Coaching is quicker long term.
If your employee is a long term investment,
coaching is usually your better option.

By k | March 12, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

Where should you hold sales meetings?
The simple answer is
at your customer’s place of business.

As Shaun Rein states
“Clients don’t want
to come to your office.
They don’t want to waste their time.”

You also want to spend
as much time in the customer’s operations
as possible.
The more time you spend there,
the more knowledgable you will be
about their business
and
the more you become
part of their team.

Some of the top consultants
have NO real office
(real = a office you can host client meetings at).
They don’t need one.
They are always consulting.

Hold meetings at
your customer’s place of business.