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No. 729 / Will it help?

Panicking, whining, or holding grudges almost never help.

So, before you start, first ask yourself if what can of worms you’re about to open will actually serve any purpose other than your own. And, remember: If anything, any of the three make it far less likely that you'll make progress solving the problem that has presented itself.

No. 727 / I was wrong

When was the last time who heard someone say “I was wrong?”

Even more, what about “I was wrong, I change my mind?”

Exactly, so instead of trying to convince people that they’re wrong using louder and sharper language, try a different approach. Help someone make a new decision, based on new alternatives and a new story.

No. 726 / When things go wrong

Option A: Hide, dissemble, blame, scowl, sweep it under the rug.

Option B:
1. Make sure there weren’t any other problems.
2. Alert the necessary people.
3. Take responsibility.
4. Apologize. Not because it was your fault (necessarily) but because it cost people time, energy, resources or upset them to the point where you’re now dealing with it.
5. Come up with a plan to improve the situation. It you can’t, assemble a team who can.
6. Come up with a separate plan to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
7. Collect feedback.
8. Thank everyone involved for their patience and cooperation.

No. 725 / Why we talk about process

It’s our fail-safe when intuition stops working.

It’s the system that doubles efficiency when you’ve done everything you can think of.

It measures, tests, and improves the work over time.

It’s what happens when the salesperson starts tracking her calls. It’s what happens when the manager starts analyzing the data.

But we resist the process because it threatens our instinct. When, in fact, the best processes actually have the opposite effect—leveraging intuition and giving it room to thrive.

No. 724 / The end

Ai and machines are replacing jobs—but who creates the software to analyze the data? Who develops the hardware? Who markets it? Who sells it?

Jobs don’t go away into thin air, they merely change names, they get replaced by other ones. The market will adjust and so will the job titles. We don’t have chimney-sweeps anymore, but we do have social media marketing managers. We don’t have newsies anymore, but we do have technology event planners.

Ends aren’t always how we think of them. Most times, they are really leading to more beginnings.

No. 723 / Passion is the product of hard work

When you're just starting out at something, it's hard. There will be days you feel like quitting because you're new at it. And, it's hard to love or be passionate about something when you're a beginner.

But then, as you gain more skill and experience, you catch the 'bug' and it becomes more energizing.

Which is why it's important to work hard at the things you're already naturally good at or in a position to get good at.

Passion comes with time. It then becomes a driver of hard work which (coming full circle) yields great work.

No. 722 / Ghost

Candidates—

Don't 'no-show.' Especially to in-person interviews.  

The industry is smaller than you think. Word gets around. And, no, this isn't a threat...

Yes, I know it goes both ways. Sure, you might have been ghosted a few times by other companies and recruiters. It still doesn't make you look any better. 

Whatever the reason is, maybe you just don't have a good feeling about the role anymore—still, let them know. A quick note explaining your situation is way better than not showing up and not communicating why. No hard feelings and most people are fairly understanding. 

No. 721 / Interviewing up

The best tip I can think of to relieve the nerves when it comes to interviewing for a job is to go in with the attitude that you’re interviewing them as much as (if not more than) they are interviewing you.

Interviewing up. That should be the mindset. It makes you more confident. It allows you to generate better questions. It makes it so that you don’t come across as desperate.

Hiring managers like it (for the most part) when you challenge them with difficult questions and creative solutions. Recruiters see it as a breath of fresh air when you bug them and dig into the role as if you already have the job.

Interview up. In other words, be inquisitive—almost skeptical. Be thoughtful—turn the tables on your interviewers. Be calm—the pressure is on them.

No. 720 / An opportunity to connect

Chances are, if you’re reading this, you’re probably a fan of LinkedIn. Most of us understand how incredible of a tool it is, but let me share another example of how much of a game-changer it is.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve reached out leaders I look up to in my particular industry; people who currently hold positions that I aspire to. I’ve sent a simple, personalized message as to why I’ve reached out and then provided context into my situation. I then asked if they’d be open to having me to interview them—asking about their career path, their philosophies and methodologies on team building, and how they’ve been able to build out different programs.

It’s been incredible to see the responses. I’ve had phone calls and coffee meetings with Directors, VPs, and Managers in my space. Without spending more than the price of a cup of coffee, I’ve been able to network with some impressive leaders. I’ve learned things and have been able to build things way quicker than I would if I were to go about it alone.

That’s the power of LinkedIn. It’s so much more than a digital resume. It’s a gold mine of knowledge and opportunity—but only if you choose to look at it that way and utilize the tool accordingly.

No. 719 / Decisions, decisions

Deciding to do nothing is still deciding to do something. 

Difference is, when you decide to do nothing, you have less control over the outcome. 

When ‘nothing’ is your decision, bad habits begin to replace good ones, systems start failing, and boredom yields justification. 

And this isn’t to say that nonstop activity is the answer, either. It’s the idea that you can’t simply omit things from your life, you replace them. It’s about making decisions instead of allowing decisions to make you. 

No. 718 / Easy isn't the goal—

you shouldn’t want it to be. If it were, there would be no point in pursuing it.

The goal isn’t to make things difficult on purpose, either. The goal is to simply accomplish the thing you set out to accomplish…with the understanding that it’s going to be challenging.

So, now that you know what you want to accomplish, the real question is “what are you willing to push through to achieve it?” What are you willing to stand for, bleed for, commit to, and generally be headstrong about?

Because that’s what’s going to actually make it happen.

No. 716 / Take notes

Candidates—

If you want the job, now is not the time to pretend like you have a super memory.

Take notes.

It’s a lot like a typical sales cycle. You’re given valuable information during your initial conversations (the discovery) that you can use later on in the ‘deal.’ Then, there will be times when you are given feedback—there’s no better opportunity than this to display your ability to recall instructions and prove coachability.

Beyond it legitimately helping you remember valuable information for other moments in the interview process, taking notes also, simply, helps you stand out. Because, as hard as it is to believe, hardly anyone does it anymore.

For your next interview, take out a pen and notepad or open up your notes app and let the interviewers know of your intentions to take notes. I’ll promise you one thing, it won’t worsen your chances of getting the job, that’s for sure.

No. 715 / Breaking news!

There seems to be more breaking news now than before.

Not more news, just more breaking news.

People are in such a hurry to be the first, to win the argument, to make the prediction, that it diminishes the value of the long game. Of real news.

Be okay with letting things sit for a few days. “Let it marinate” as it were. The market (i.e. job market, political market, financial market, family, community, personal life etc.) will correct itself. It almost always does.

But here’s the thing, this isn’t about wishful thinking that “things will just work out.” Things might not! The solution to whatever news just broke will still require a certain level of dedication and struggle. What this is about is letting news stew in your mind a bit before you lash out with emotion, it’s about not jumping to conclusions too quickly, it’s about not overreacting when breaking news comes out.

Knowing something 5 minutes or 15 minutes sooner isn’t going to make a difference, in most cases, and replying immediately with irrational intensity without giving it a second won’t make your response more credible.

No. 714 / Be a specialist

or be a generalist. The world needs both.

If you’re a specialist, learn your trade and get really good at it. Study the greats in your field and understand the intricacies of the work in order to master your craft. Specialists are in high demand these days as the world gets smaller. So if you do specialize, remember, there is no niche too small. Even if you decide you’re going to sell pencils, there is room at the top for you if you do it right.

If you’re a generalist, it’s a similar story, isn’t it? Study the greats that came before you, be an avid learner, and develop a set of skills that will make you irreplaceable. Generalists are in high demand these days, but only if you decide to specialize in being a generalist.

No. 713 / Make a list

It’s always the best place to start. Whether it’s juggling 14 projects, learning something new, or developing good habits, make a list.

Whatever your productivity system is, it probably boils down to first making a list. But the next step is even more important: schedule everything from your list into your calendar.

This works on the macro level as well as the micro level - from bucket lists to account management, from financial savings plans to exercise routines.

First, make a list.
Second, schedule tasks, milestones, and due dates.
Third, live by your calendar.

Bonus - if you are living by your calendar, might as well schedule downtime and personal time, too, right?

No. 712 / Decision making is hard

but your ability to make a decision increases as you make more of them. So start with some easy ones, then go back to the one you’re torn on. Still stuck? Make a different decision. Generate some conviction. Sometimes, the best thing you can do is gain momentum…and confidence.

No. 711 / When work feels like work

You know when people say “my work doesn’t feel like work”?

What’s so wrong with work feeling like work? Sometimes, the work itself is the reward. I think that’s what people get wrong about trying to achieve “work/life” balance. There is no divide between the two to the point that you don’t know what you are really engaged in anymore.

Separation is healthy. So if your work feels like work, don’t worry, it does for most people who are good at work and good at life.

No. 710 / Represent

The best brands in the world are not about what they are, but what they represent.

The same could be said about your “personal brand.”

The product means far less than what the brand represents. Sometimes, you can get there accidentally but, if you try, you can get there on purpose, with purpose.