Saturday, July 31, 2004

"Trade Deadlines" Aren't Just for Baseball Teams

The major league baseball (MLB) trade deadline is today. Why is that important? Because in order for a player to be eligible to play for a team in the post-season, he must be on their roster by the end of the day ... today. So we can probably expect a number of teams to make deals to swap some stars, journeymen, players-to-be-named-later, and cash, as they vie to position their rosters for their playoff run.

This led to this - thinking about the different departments, or 'teams' that exist in the MLB called 'your company'.

Look around. How many of people in your department are no longer as good a fit as you once thought them to be? Is that because they've changed? Is it because the requirements of their job have changed? Because you've changed? The point is that times change and sometimes those who were excellently matched for a particular job, no longer are. Not that they're problems that have to be dealt with, mind you; they've just plateaued in one way or another.

Now if you've got people like this in your department, it stands to reason that others have a similar situation in their departments. So wouldn't it be something if it became standard operating procedure for companies to have Trade Deadlines, too? Here's what that might look like:

  • "I'll give you John and Mary for Fred and a couple of upgraded printers."
  • "You give me someone who can write a crisp one-page memo and I'll give you someone who can answer the phone within two rings."
  • "I'll give you someone who has great rapport with the IT group in exchange for someone who works well with Accounting."
  • "You give me all of your direct reports and I'll give you all of mine!"

The possibilites are seemingly endless. But the bigger point is to remind you of two essential things:

THING ONE - Don't define people by the work they do. Define them by who they really are, and treat them with the utmost respect at all times.

THING TWO - Consider how you might do a better job of matching each employee's particular talents and intersts with the work that needs to be done.

Of course if you can't facilitate that kind of match within your department, you might want to check into what other departments are looking for. Who knows, you might be able to do some sort of trade! And the mere process of getting out there and seeing what's going on in other areas of the company will serve both you and your department in ways far greater than you imagine.


Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Guitar Player Magazine - Beatlemania and the Need for More Innovation

The cover story of the August 2004 issue of Guitar Player magazine really surprised me - "Beatlemania! The Guitar Story". Why, so many (very many) years later did this typically cutting-edge magazine choose to make this issue their "Super-Special Beatles Collector's Issue"?

On close inspection (i.e. after reading the 'noise from the editor' page, the answer became apparent. Well almost. Michael Molenda wrote that the nostalgia was to commemorate the Fab Four's 40th anniversary of their very first Ed Sullivan show performance. That's cool. Except that their first appearance was on February 9th ... and this is the August edition of the monthly magazine. As we coaches like to ask, "What's up with THAT?!"
Truth be told, the articles are really good. REALLY good. There's some information you can't seem to get enough of and the 'inside story' about how the John, Paul, George, and Ringo did their thing is definitely in that category for me. (Point of information: I was one of the zillion young lads who decided to learn how to play the guitar on Monday, February 10, 1964 ... and still play - although not nearly as much - to this very day.) It's amazing just how innovative the boys were. Did you know, for example, that Sgt. Peppers was recording on a four-track recording machine. Most of today's music uses four tracks (or more) just for the singing!
But it was somehow unsettling to me that this was what Guitar Player chose to write about in this issue at this point in time. Hardly a major stroke of inspiration - especially given the fact that it wasn't even the right month to do a 40-year acknowledgement. And it seemed particularly more lame given the context of writing about the most innovated and inspirational band ever. (Apologies to all you Rolling Stones fans out there!) Yet GP magazine was clearly very pleased with their effort. 

So here's the link back to you - Like the August 2004 issue of Guitar Player magazine, how might you be coming off far less inspirational or innovative than  you think? 

  • How might you be re-treading the same tired old solutions to whatever new challenges are coming your way?
  • If you were totally in tune (pun intended) with your inner-creativity, enthusiasm, and resolve, what would you do differently about the problems and challenges you're currently facing? 

My suggestion: Put on a couple of your favorite Beatle's CDs (albums?) and let your creative juices flow. I suspect you'll be pleasantly surprised by how well it works. ("I'm fixing a hole where the rain gets in and stops my mind from wandering where it will go ...")

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Friday, July 16, 2004

Are They Being Paid by the Syllable?

So I have a Starbucks card. I'm not particularly proud of it, but I spend enough time meeting people for coffee that I appreciate the convenience. There's something I've been experiencing lately - at any of a number of different Starbucks' locations - that I do NOT appreciate, though.

It seems to me that Starbucks is getting some sort of kick out of seeing how many times they can have an order repeated. Here's just one example of just how absurd it's getting - and yes, this really happened with a woman in front of me yesterday:

Order Taker: What can I get you?

Patron: An Iced Venti White Chocolate Mocha, please.

OT: An Iced Venti White Chocolate Mocha?

P: Yes, an Iced Venti White Chocolate Mocha.

OT (to the Barrister): One Iced Venti White Chocolate Mocha.

Barrister: An Iced Venti White Chocolate Mocha?

OT (to the Patron): An Iced Venti White Chocolate Mocha, right?

P (to the Order Taker): Yes, an Iced Venti White Chocolate Mocha.

OT (to the Barrister): Yes, an Iced Venti White Chocolate Mocha, please.

B: One Iced Venti White Chocolate Mocha coming up.

B (to the Patron few moments later): One Iced Venti White Chocolate Mocha!

P (to the Barrister): Oooh, this Iced Venti White Chocolate Mocha looks delicious!

Cashier (who, as you know, was standing in between the people having this conversation the whole time): What did you order?

P: An Iced Venti White Chocolate Mocha.

C: An Iced Venti White Chocolate Mocha?

P: Yes, an Iced Venti White Chocolate Mocha.

C: Okay, one Iced Venti White Chocolate Mocha.

P: And a really good Iced Venti White Chocolate Mocha it is!

Me (to myself): Oh brother!


Thursday, July 08, 2004

A Truly Magnificent Rainbow

Tuesday night I went grocery shopping. I knew it was going to rain so I went right after dinner hoping to get there before the deluge that was forecasted. I did with literally moments to spare. Then from the time I picked up my first bag of red seedless grapes in the produce section to the last box of band-aids in the pharmacy area it rained, rained, rained.

Miraculously by time I checked out and paid for it all, the rain stopped. And what greeted me outside was truly a miracle - a HUGE rainbow spanning the entire sky. It was so BIG; it was so WIDE - I could see the entire thing, including BOTH ends at the northeast and southwest horizons, and the entire thing in between.

For a full 10 minutes I just marveled at it, totally mesmerized by its scale and beauty. Soon other shoppers joined me. And there we all were, just standing in the parking lot with our grocery carts filled to the brim, staring and smiling, and talking with each other about how we've never before seen anything that even closely resembled this incredible sight.

As the clouds moved in and started to obscure the Full View, others came out and similarly marveled. "You should've seen it 5 minutes ago," we all said in unison. The point was lost on these newcomers, because even the Partial View was more beautiful than anything pretty much anyone there had ever seen before!

How does magnificence affect you? If you were to make a point of bringing more magnificence into what you do - into who you are - starting tomorrow, what would you do? What could you do?

Now go make it a reality.


Sunday, July 04, 2004

Happy B'Day to GottaGettaCoach!
(oh, and America, too!)

Dateline Today: It was four years ago today - July 4, 2000 - that GottaGettaCoach! came into being. My own Independence Day, you might say. And how nice that so many communities are celebrating the occasion with me!

How nice, indeed!


Thursday, July 01, 2004

Interview with Teena Rose, owner of Resume to Referral

For all of you looking to ramp-up your job searches, I took the opportunity to interview Teena Rose, CPRW, CEIP, CCM, and owner of Resume to Referral, so she could share some words of wisdom with you about exactly that.

"What are some things that you know are important about resumes and cover letters that most job seekers don't seem to know?"

Teena Rose: A common mistake found in many documents is a lack of focus. Some jobseekers tend to list everything within their resumes without any regard to the reader, the position, or the industry. Follow these 5 tips:
(1) Weigh the importance of current and older positions. If you're trying to resurrect a past career, then question the amount of space you're dedicating to irrelevant job descriptions.

(2) Are your certifications and licenses applicable? Some credentials shouldn’t have a place within a jobseeker’s resume. You must decide whether listing certain items helps or hurts your job search.

(3) Stay away from a simple objective or summary statement. The top section of a resume serves as your small commercial; if it doesn’t contain the key points that hiring professionals are seeking, you’re hindering your search.

(4) Does your document contain too much information? Avoid listing street addresses for employers, manager’s names and phone numbers, and reasons for leaving.

(5) Once you’ve created a great introductory statement, lead your resume with the next important asset you bring to the table. For example, if the employer has specifically requested a master’s degree listing your education prominently within the top third of your resume will immediately make you more marketable.
"What's the best format/outline for an incredibly compelling cover letter?"
TR: A great cover letter revolves around what you say, not how much you say. It's time saving for a jobseeker to utilize a stock cover letter, but thorough changes should be made to personalize the letter for each recipient.
First, utilize a conversational writing style throughout the letter.

Second, reference specifics throughout the letter pertaining to the company and the position.

Last, leave the reader with the impression that the letter was written specifically for him/her.
"What's the best way to "speed up" a job search?"
TR: With technologies in place, there are methods to optimize the reach of a resume within a short time. These new methods, however, don’t always secure favorable returns for the jobseeker.

Conducting a job search that focuses on quality and not quantity will produce better results over the long haul. Not all jobseekers follow this method because a certain amount of research is involved along with retooling each cover letter and résumé accordingly.
Teena Rose offers a wide-away of helpful products and services for jobseekers through her website She can also be contacted by phone at 937-325-2149.