Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Check You Attitude and Outlook at the Door

"You can get more with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone" -Al Capone-

Those days may have come and gone. In today's corporate world you do not have the ability to be rude, pompus or arrogant. There are 5 other people waiting to take your job, and if you are not liked by other associates and ultimatly your managers it makes it that much easier to can you. Have you ever had a manager who you WANT to work for? I bet they weren't an ass, so why should you be? If you want to lead people one day learn from the people you admire and soak up their skills and ability to work and lead other people. I will consistantly try to get as much face time with co-workers who inspire me so I can find out as much as possilbe about what makes them tick.

However you need to remember that being nice is only one part of the equation to be successful, you also need to produce, and best yet is to be good at both.

In term of seperating my personal and professional like I've worked by this rule:

-Leave emotion and personal issues in the glovebox.-

I have found this to be very hard for so many of my college counterparts, with streaming access to networking site or just a constant stream of information via txt, black berry, iPohones, iPods, etc it is so easy to get caught up in some personal emotion. If you are having a personal problem such as your significant other leaving you, leave it at home where it should be. Bringing these types of conversations up in the work place could spell doom. It can easily send all the wrong signals. So if you don't want to hear other people complain about personal issues make sure you don't do the same!

I would recommend watching this video. This may be one of the most moving and influential videos I've seen in a long time and it will change your outlook on life and the issues you have. It's 1hr 20mins long so make sure you can watch it all.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Business Dinner Tip

I hear questions regarding business dinners from friend all the time. This can be a make or break situation for you especially if there are outside clients or senior staff at the table.

The biggest piece of advice I can offer is "play it safe"!

If you are a junior team member be careful about ordering alcohol and never order alcohol first. If everyone at the table orders then it's acceptable but don't put yourself in the position of being the only one with a beer/wine/cocktail. Picking the type of drink depends on the company at the table, the restaurant, and the fare. Generally when ordering a beer I order something besides a Coors/Miller/Bud (Lite), to me these beers are still too close to what you drank in college and can still hold those connotations. I would order either a local brew, standard lager or IPA, this way a bit of sophistication comes out even in your beer choice.

As for wine, the decision really comes down to preference and fare selection. Of course if you are having meat with the meal a red wine is the best choice. I would recommend getting and reading a wine for dummies book if you plan on having a lot of dinners with wine in your new position, it could go a long way. Also red wineglasses can be held at either the stem or as the base of the bowl because reds are served at room temperature. A white on the other hand is served chilled so you only want to hold the glass by the stem so as not to warm up the wine.

For a cocktail stick with something classic not new and fancy. Here is where you should have an idea of what you like, also know the terminology i.e. neat, up, twist, dry, etc. I will elaborate on these points in an upcoming post.

When it comes to the meal, unless it is a VERY casual and laid back dinner do not order anything that requires you to use your hands and pick it up. Pick a dish that requires a knife and fork, and do not cut the meal with the side of your fork; learn to use both the knife and fork in a proper manner.

Be careful what you say, even though you are not in the office what is said at dinner can have lasting affects. You never know what you might say that could offend a client or boss, you do not know his background and he may view and think of appropriate conversation completely different than you do.

Those are just a few quick tips for eating out in the corporate world, I have witnessed some blunders in this area and it can sometimes be very difficult to dig yourself out of a hole you dug at a dinner.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Profound Marketing

Here is a little tid-bit of a blog post made on Seth Godin's blog, the following lines may be the most profound advice about marketing I have ever read. I made sure to send it to all of my marketing counterparts within my current company.

Marketing, when it works, transcends any discussion of the benefits of the product or the service.

Marketing, instead, is about the equal sign.

Many of us want fun and respect and love and success and kindness and hope. What brilliant marketers do is add the =.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Start Something With Passion

A great way to get noticed at work is to create something from the ground up, Not only will you attract the eyes of senior management but you will also open yourself to a new way of networking.

Take something that you have a passion for outside of work and try to bring it inside the walls of the office. Playing computer games and watching movies might not be the choices but there are plenty of other opportunities. If you are very environmentally conscious try creating a "Green Team" at work, a group of employees who get together every do often and discuss ways the office can reduce, reuse, and recycle (more if you already have programs going). The more small success this group has the greater the chance that you will soon be asked my management to implement more rigorous programs and initiatives.

"If you can dodge a wrench you can dodge a ball!"

Do you enjoy sports? Create a sports league comprised of fellow employees (and their family members). Either form a team and enter a league or if your company is large enough create a full league with employees. If you have a small turn out try reaching out to companies you do business with and get a business league going, one team from a bank, one from a service provider, one from an engineering firm, etc. This type of league has a ton of networking benefits.
These are just some ideas of what you could do, the possibilities are endless, and with the various programs that are offered in communities it's easier than ever to piggyback onto one of those programs. If you get lucky enough your company may pay for the entry fees into this programs viewing it as "team building" or the like.

Now get out there and have some fun!