This Week in PCM: 5 Areas in Need of Spring Cleaning

03132016 spring-cleaning

Continuing the spring cleaning series, this week’s positive change management article will focus on 5 areas in need of sprucing. These areas are: finances, network, sales leads, website and operations.

Check your finances

Tax season is a great time to conduct a personal audit. If you spot problems, then you can resolve them or at least meet with an accountant and devise a repayment plan. Moreover, it is better that you conduct your own private audit rather than the IRS.

Reexamine your network

Right now who are you hanging around? Jim Rohn says that you are the average of the 5 closest people whom you associate. Evaluate your inner circle. Are they holding you back? If so, then find some new people to surround yourself. Your network is supposed to be your wings not your anchor.

Evaluate your sales leads/funnels

Are you optimizing and leveraging your technological resources to maximize your profits? Have you looked at incorporating new technologies like live streaming for news announcements or live product demonstrations? People and businesses are social selling through Periscope, Blab and Facebook Live. Social selling is selling goods and services through social media. Furthermore, can you generate more sales through a mobile app? You have to go where you customers are; and, the mobile market is ever increasing. Investigate all revenue generating avenues to meet or exceed your targets.

Review your website

Does your website look outdated? Check the photos, links, and copy. Also look at competition for new color ideas. In addition, remember that content is king. Is your blog informative and adhering to industry standards? Does your company have a blogging editorial calendar where it routinely publishes its articles? Reliability is key towards building an audience and increasing brand awareness resulting in customer retention.

Review operations and procedures

Are your business standard operating procedures (SOP) outdated? Do they make it harder to do business? If not, ditch them. You have to evaluate your firm’s growth. What works as a sole proprietor doesn’t work when you have employees. Reviewing your SOPs ensure that your business is nimble enough to compete in the global marketplace.

Check out the first article in the spring cleaning series: http://positivitychange.com/2016/03/this-week-in-positive-change-management-spring-cleaning/

Visit positivitychange for tips to manage positive change effectively in your personal and professional lives.

5 Ways to Convert Your Dream into Reality

01182016 Dreams to reality

 

What is your dream?

Whatever it is, everyone has one. It seems intangible like it will never happen but you hold close to you because your dream makes you feel like you are alive. When life gets mundane, it is the one thing that keep you going. Having a dream is commendable but it would great when you convert this dream into reality. Here are 5 ways to do just that:

Believe that you can accomplish it.

Believing that you can bring this into fruition is the first step. Don’t keep your dream inside. That’s irresponsible especially since you have the tools to actually bring it to reality. Currently, you are doing something different than your dreams. Now you can take baby steps towards shifting towards your dream.

Break down your big dream into smaller dreams

Oftentimes your dream is so big, it paralyzes you. Instead break down your very big dream into smaller dreams. I recommend creating a milestone list for your dream’s journey. For example, your big dream is home ownership and it takes 2 years. Break it down into smaller steps. Use the mortgage loan qualification process as a milestone list. It will guide you through the home buying process. More importantly, commit to writing it down keeping a dream journal if necessary to stay on track. Having a journal lets you not only keep track of your progress. It also chronicles your transformation.

Drop the deadweight in your personal and professional lives

Friends hold you back. The mistake that people make is that friends are temporary. There are 7 billion people on this earth. Certainly you can find some new people to support you.

Start shifting your behavior to support your new dream.

Bad habits are very hard to change. You can’t own a home if you’re buying the latest virtual reality gear over putting that money away in the bank. Write down your daily routine for one week. Look at your time wasters. If any of them are counterproductive, write down ways to eliminate them.

Detach yourself from the end result.

Be flexible. You may arrive at your goal quicker than expected. The result may even be different than your original dream. I have an example of this:

In late 2005, I decided I was sick of working temporary jobs and wanted to realize and be an economist. I majored in it during undergraduate and I needed to work in my major. It was dream. It was one thing to major in economics but working as an economist validated my dream. I applied for Cleveland State University’s Masters of Arts in Economics program. Initially I thought I would earn my MA degree in 2007 then start working as an economist. However, the Commerce department hired me as an economist in May 2006 and I only spent one semester at Cleveland State University. That experience taught me to be flexible.  Although I hadn’t completed my MA in Economics (yet), I had realized my dream of being an economist.

Bonus: Don’t fear being first.

As a dreamer, you will be the first to do something. Don’t fear, do it anyway. The fear of the unknown can’t zap your dream. On my journey, I have been the first person: 1) with an economics degree, 2) intern with the Washington Center on Internship at my college, 3) earn my MBA, 4) travel to a foreign country and not be in the Army, 5) earn my PMP certification, 6) live in Washington, DC and 7) make over $100,000. At some point, you will be first when pursuing your dream. Do it anyway!

Thrive not Strive

01132016 thrive

 

Strive: 1:  to devote serious effort or energy:  endeavor <strive to finish a project>

2:  to struggle in opposition:  contend

Thrive: 1:  to grow vigorously:  flourish

2:  to gain in wealth or possessions:  prosper

3:  to progress toward or realize a goal despite or because of circumstances —often used with on <thrives on conflict>

A lot of people call themselves strivers but do you really want to schlep through life? Do you really want ‘to continuously struggle in opposition to something’? Or do you want to ‘progress towards a goal’? Thriving is much better.

Ways to Thrive

Evaluate your current personal and professional routines looking for small ways to tweak them.

Examine your current personal and professional situations. Where are you? Where can you improve? Write them down then divide them into smaller parts. Find smaller ways to make a bigger impact. One strategy is called the 1% improvement. Instead of trying to make the big leap, just make small changes to your personal and/or professional routines. These small little things can pay big dividends.

For instance, what if lunch costs $10 a day and you pack your lunch every day for one week. This small change saves you $50 this workweek. During a 4-week month, this small change will save you $200. That’s a small change leading to something big. That’s a great example of tweaking your daily routine in order to thrive.

See yourself as world-class.

It’s hard when you’re stuck in the muck and mire, trying to pay your bills. You are caught in survival mode. You just want to get through the workday, get home and take care of your children; and, then do it all over again. However, you have to view yourself as more than a widget. You’re contributing something unique to the workplace. Playing to your strengths is a way to thrive in both your personal and professional lives. Read your original position description and look at why you were hired. This is one way of finding your competitive advantage. Do one thing showcasing it at work. You can do a presentation or demonstration of the new product or service. These are two ways to display your professional uniqueness. Once you own your uniqueness, you’ll start seeing yourself as a world-class contributor instead of someone who fills a cubicle punching a clock! Remember, companies are resourceful. They don’t waste money hiring duplicates.

The difference striving and thriving are small tweaks that will payoff huge. Commit to making these small changes so that you will have a bigger year!

Evaluating Your Personal Brand Annual Performance

MoreyPublishing-Blog_BuildingBrands1

Evaluating your annual personal career brand performance is essential. If you want to realize positive change in your personal and professional lives, you must take a hard look at how you’ve performed this year. Here are 5 things that you should use to evaluate your annual personal brand performance. They are: stickiness, retention, responsiveness to change, tactical planning and strategic planning.

Stickiness

Stickiness is how well people remember you. Let’s ask a question: do people remember you for something? It can interpersonal skills, programming, project management, HR or marketing? Is there a trait that whenever someone mentions your name, that person immediately says ‘blank’? If so, then you’ve achieved stickiness.

Now let me ask a deeper question: have you attained subject matter expert status in your discipline? www.ISixSIgma.com defines subject matter expert as ‘individual who exhibits the highest level of expertise in performing a specialized job, task, or skill within the organization.’ Becoming a subject matter expert is the highest level of stickiness. When you’re at this level, whenever someone asks for an expert, they think of you. You are exploiting your core competency when you are a subject matter expert. If you have achieved this status, document the process then list the 3-5 steps towards maintaining your subject matter expert for next year. It is one thing to get there. It is another thing to maintain your status. You want to increase your stickiness in the New Year.

Retention

Retention is indispensable towards leveraging your personal career brand. You retain people based on  delivering high quality work. Ask yourself this question: have people continually returned to you for a particular thing? Retention is the next step after stickiness. Once you’ve reeled them in, do they stay? Evaluate if you are retaining your clientele. If there are less people coming to you to solve their problems, then you should reexamine your personal career brand. Furthermore, if you are retaining more people then take these lessons learned and use them as inputs for next year’s plan.

Responsiveness to change

Change is inevitable. It is the only constant; and, your personal brand must be responsiveness towards it. Ask yourself how flexible are you? Rigidity hurts your career brand. Don’t fear changing your plan because you are not the same person on January 1st as you will be on December 31st. Your personal career brand must incorporate the latest industry changes in order to stay relevant next year.

Tactical planning

Tactical planning is short-term planning that supports strategic (long-term) planning. It’s used for non-annual planning (quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily). With tactical planning, you have to evaluate how your personal brand has performed this year. Has everything you planned for resulted in above-average performance? Has your brand gained more momentum with each successive quarter? Which things have worked for you? Conversely, which things haven’t gone accordingly to plan? When you dissect underperformance, has these things been corrected during the next quarter? If you cannot improve, then drop it this year. Answering all of these questions are crucial towards measuring the effectiveness of your tactical planning. If your tactical planning has exceeded your expectations, then document 3-5 steps per your time metric (quarter, month, week, day) to improve your personal career brand for next year. These steps will be the inputs for your strategic planning.

Strategic planning

Strategic planning is long-term. It is the high-level planning that you do when you start the year. The first objectives that you’ve drafted serve as a guide throughout the year. The tactical planning objectives support the strategic planning ones. The question you should ask yourself is has this year’s strategic planning positioned you towards a better New Year? If it hasn’t then what steps are you taking towards guaranteeing that you’ll sidestep the pitfalls? If it has, then document 3-5 steps per your time metric (quarter, month, week, day) to strategically improve your personal career brand for next year?

You will use these variables to examine the effectiveness. If you are underperforming or ineffective in any of these places, then you can correct these problems now instead of letting them follow you into the New Year.

 

This Week in Positive Change Management : Manifest Success!

12132015 Manifest Success!

Full Definition of manifest

1:  readily perceived by the senses and especially by the sense of sight

2:  easily understood or recognized by the mind :  obvious

Full Definition of success

1obsolete :  outcomeresult

2a :  degree or measure of succeeding b :  favorable or desired outcome; also :  the attainment of wealth, favor, or eminence

3:  one that succeeds

 

This week’s in positive change management is to manifest success. Start where you are at right. Ask yourself: how can you make things better personally and professionally? Jot down 1 personal thing and 1 professional thing that you need to accomplish and do them. These two things must be so necessary to change that it is like the air you breathe. These personal and professional changes are mandatory. These are your non-negotiables for change.

Start envisioning yourself in your future space having achieved these two goals. Chart the pathway towards accomplishing personal and professional betterment. Why stay stagnant when you can move forward? What’s your definition of success? Envisioning yourself pursuing them.

You can manifest success. It is attainable. Even if you aren’t sick and tired of being sick and tired, you can always make tomorrow better than today. Here’s to manifesting success this week and beyond!

This Week in Positive Change Management: Handling High-Visibility Projects as a Newbie

Follow these four tips towards handling high-visibility projects as a newbie.

  1. Be thankful that someone had entrusted you with this opportunity.

This is a positive change event. Instead of being overwhelmed, be happy to view this as a chance to prove yourself in the marketplace and increase your professional credibility and visibility. Taking this more optimistic viewpoint enables you to devise an approach towards capitalized upon this new assignment.

 

  1. Conduct project and personnel research

First review the project materials. You have to know what you are undertaking. Possessing familiarity with it lets you excel. Next, research the people. You can view their bios on the company Intranet or their LinkedIn profiles. It is essential to know your future colleagues’ personalities and previous work histories so that you can effectively create a staffing management plan to effectively execute the project.

 

  1. Create your own personal project schedule

Creating your own personal project schedule helps you envision it. You can also incorporate a what-if analysis covering any and every possibility because projects never go according to plan. These ready-made answers are necessary because management wants a definitive response regardless of how the people act and the project is going.

 

  1. Practice presenting your plan

Although you’ve never done it before, you are still the project leader and must exude confidence to your workers and management. Having these ready-made answers from your personal project schedule are necessary because management wants a definitive response regardless of how the people act and the project is going.

Visibility Photo 2

Enhancing Positive Risk

Managing positive risk is indispensable towards increased personal and professional growth. There are four positive risk techniques: enhance, exploit, accept and share. Enhancing positive risk means distributing the risk among participants. For instance, if your team lands a huge contract, they will split the bonus money amongst themselves. Enhancing a positive risk is a win-win situation both individually and collectively. You can post the project accomplishment on your resume and LinkedIn as a team member while simultaneously highlighting your contributor. This is all the more reason to employ this technique.

09122015 Enhance pic