The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


January 3, 2014

Career Coach: A year of leadership lessons


Lessons learned: Leaders need to assess their diversity initiatives to see how effective they are. Do they do enough to really change attitudes and behaviors?

When Prince George Alexander Louis, son of Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, was born, the world watched. Some reports indicated that Catherine's pregnancy injected approximately $347 million into a sluggish economy. Kate and William showed they wanted to be highly involved in raising their own child, despite the fact that they could have so much assistance provided. They also continue to reach out to the public to better connect with them.

Lessons learned: People want to rally around something positive and hopeful for the future. To be effective leaders, managers need to make sure that they reach out and connect with employees.

The federal government shutdown illustrated many negotiation tactics — including hardball tactics by both sides. It also showed the importance of remembering your constituents (since many would say that the political leaders seemed to have forgotten). The shutdown also revealed that for collaboration to occur, individuals have to be truthful about their underlying interests.

Lessons learned: In negotiations, remember who all your constituents are and be working for them. Work toward collaboration (not simple compromise) if you have time and the issues are critical.

This past year, we also dealt with somber events such as the Boston Marathon bombings, the shooting rampage in the Navy Yard in Washington, and additional shootings in schools and other formerly "safe" places. We publicly grieved about the losses of innocent lives and we revisited the issues of gun control and terrorist activities. We were also inspired by images and stories of regular people and first responders engaging in heroic acts to help each other. These stories remind us that good citizenship is alive and well, especially in the toughest of times. Natural disasters such as the tornadoes in Oklahoma and the typhoon in the Philippines also reveal how valuable life is, and what we can do to help others and positively impact their lives.

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  • Fancy management systems won’t fix bad managers

    In violation of my long-standing “only watch TV” rule, I read an article recently about how Zappos is adopting a management structure known as holacracy.

    July 30, 2014

  • Your Office Coach: Supervisor-employee boundaries must be honored

    QUESTION: Two weeks ago, my husband “Barry“ unexpectedly came home from work with a large flat-screen television. He explained that one of his employees gave it to him as repayment for a loan. I was shocked, because I had no idea that Barry was lending people money.

    July 29, 2014

  • Silly mistakes that sink job applicants

    Some employers won’t care - or won’t catch them - but mistakes in word usage can put your application in the reject pile.

    July 29, 2014

  • Watercooler: Raised to the roof

    Q: Over 15 years, I have worked my way up the corporate ladder with the same organization. I have been given a raise every year and excellent reviews, as well as several promotions.

    July 25, 2014

  • Career Coach Q&A: job search follow-up; introverts as leaders

    Starting a business:

    Q: I have a stable job that I don't hate, but I have an idea for starting my own business.

    July 25, 2014

  • How to become a leader

    QUESTION: I’ve just been promoted into a leadership role. I’m excited, but also kind of overwhelmed. What do I need to do to be good at my new job?

    July 24, 2014

  • Balancing Act: How much is your time worth? Consider outsourcing some tasks

    Todd Paton has a booming business getting customers noticed on the Web. One tool he uses is generating online press releases to build brand awareness and create links that will send traffic to a customer’s website. But Paton, owner of Paton Internet Marketing, acknowledges that writing the releases is not his strong suit. Rather than spend his time doing it, he hires out the task.

    July 23, 2014

  • The Color of Money: No easy way to get out of debt

    Many people who are deeply in debt are desperate for a quick fix. They ask the question: What can I do to get out of debt?

    July 21, 2014

  • Watercooler: When to speak up if you see problems down the line

    Q: Our organization has hired a new director. I am one of a number of division heads; above us, there's the associate director, and above him is the director. The associate director is feared and disliked for his duplicity and dictatorial nature, though few have come forward because of his vindictiveness.

    July 18, 2014

  • Career Coach: Bringing a purpose-driven spirit to work

    Increasingly, religious beliefs and practices of employees are becoming more evident in the workplace. Religious diversity and concepts of spirituality are more prevalent in organizational settings.

    July 18, 2014

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