Archive for the ‘business’ Category

7 Ways to Innovate and Prove You’re Worthy

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

job search, nance rosen, soft skillsThe terrible truth of work is that almost anyone can do anything. I don’t want to make you paranoid, but open up the UCLA Extension course catalog, a MOOC or watch a few “how-to” YouTube videos, and you get my drift. Education and skills are the easiest things to acquire.

Leaving out advanced neurosurgery, the super-tasking executive producer of major live sports events on television, and maybe engineering stem cell regeneration of body parts: it doesn’t take long to come up to speed on most job requirements. That’s why this quote from Carnegie Institute of Technology rings so true:

85% of your financial success is due to your personal traits and ability to communicate, negotiate and lead. Shockingly, only 15% is due to technical ability.

When you consider how you are spending your time in preparation for a career or the advancement of your career, do your priorities make sense?

It may occur to you that you know less about your excellent personal traits than you know how to use Excel. You probably have spent more time setting margins of documents and unjamming your printer than you have working on the type of traits that actually matter to success.

You never regret a day of education; it’s simply the type of education that I am cautioning you about. Communication, negotiation and leadership flow from personal intelligence, which is the ability to self-regulate. That is, manage yourself and manage your interactions with others.

Part of self-management is gaining or polishing the one-of-a-kind traits you possess, so you can express them to the people around you. Of course, that is largely what personal branding is, although there’s a bit more to it.

Visibility and promotions largely come from being more of yourself, or as I said to Claire my teaching assistant: get bigger. You be you, just be more of the best of yourself. Become formidable, a force, and a monument to what your most valuable traits are. She is an elegant and intelligent person with a sharp wit, on her way to becoming a commander-in-charge.

That is the extraordinary magnitude of expression that you must exert for us to see you and respect you; then feel compelled to ask you to ascend over others in an area of your expertise, function, or team. That outsized version of yourself is what puts our trust into you. That’s how you create a positive reputation, really an uproar about how valuable you are to our organization.

If you know nothing else about yourself, consider that anyone can be a force of innovative ideas. Innovation is a process, more than it is an ability or knack. It takes external stimuli, which isn’t hard to get given the world at your fingertips via the web. Harvard Business Review recently added its seven ways to innovate, and any one of them will set you apart from your co-workers or other job candidates.

  1. Look for differences. Before you interview or attend a meeting, contrast what a competitor’s product does that is remarkably different from the company’s offering.
  2. Trend spot. Look at Instagram or Pinterest and see what colors, images, words, attitudes and photos are beginning to dominate the consciousness of the people who matter.
  3. Assess angry words. Read the hashtags, comments, and blogs for what is going wrong. In every problem of reasonable size, there are great opportunities.
  4. Question everything. Most businesses are way past the NIH (not-invented-here) mentality, and are actively seeking ways to modify the way people work, the way products are developed or distributed and the way messages are crafted.
  5. Look at the deviants. There are always “outliers,” as Malcolm Gladwell calls the fringe elements. What workarounds, avoidance behavior or personalized adjustments are people making?
  6. Go away. Take a field trip or informational interview to a place that does nothing like anything you are familiar with. The natural history museum, planetarium, or Bloomingdales can refresh your brain and ignite your creativity.
  7. See what’s working in other industries. Are hardware companies selling spare parts with new machines, so there can be on-the-spot repairs? Is deflating a football by the weight of a paperclip the key to winning the big game? How can you apply that in your field?

If you have not a thing to offer that is so much more magnificent than other candidates or competitors: these are seven ways to use your brain in a novel way. Think new. Think innovation. Think for yourself.

More from Nance…

You can find Nance on
Facebook
LinkedIn
Twitter

24 Life Questions To Answer Before It’s Too Late

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

 job search, nance rosen, successAs a career coach and business communications expert, I often surprise people by knowing something about them that they have never told me – and maybe never told anyone else. I am not psychic. I am empathetic.

When I ask you a question, and your brain re-routes it to give me an unrelated answer: I know you’ve got a lot on your mind, and lots of it is sad, frustrated and filled with regrets. Sometimes your answers – and even your questions – are touched by bitterness, jealousy and fear.

I know this, and so do most people around you. The difference between them and me is simple. My job is to help you find your authentic self, and then help you represent yourself. By that I mean, structuring a way for you to show us the real you, the person we want to hire, fund or choose as our business consultant or favorite company to patronize.

I help you find your inner wisdom, self-acceptance, and clear-eyed optimism.

My job is to tell you how you are coming across. Then, help you make the genuine transition to the person who stops losing, who stops failing, and who is never again less than your potential or desire. In other words, I help you get what you want, what you really, really want.

Nothing I do is magic. I don’t do hypnosis. I have a process that helps you unsheathe your truth, your power and your future. That means, I have to listen for the pain, and sometimes the confusion that has created a fractured self-image, rotting career, failing business or stunted ambition.

What’s going wrong today for you at work or even in your life, flows from what I call your “ocean of negativity.” That’s the toxic soup of criticism, lack of validation and neglect that’s been brewing since childhood.

My work is showing you how to be what I call “self-positive.” How to find your valuable, shiny self that’s been tarnished, simply by being overlooked. And match your really wonderful qualities with authentic opportunities for your business or career.

I’m putting together a distance-learning course, so you’ll have more access to this process as soon as I can get it completed. If you want to know when the course is ready, just email me at Nance@NanceRosen.com. Subject line: Authentic.

In the meantime, here are some questions to get you started cleaning up that ocean of negativity. If you send me your answers to a few questions – the ones that mean the most to you: I’ll be sure to keep them in confidence, and get back to you with a personal message.

  1. Your most fearful moment?
  2. What people first meet you, what are you afraid they will think?
  3. A period of time in your life when you felt unprotected?
  4. A person who made you miserable for a long time?
  5. Something on your mind you are afraid to share?
  6. A plan or projects you worry may fail?
  7. The greatest amount of emotional pain you have ever endured?
  8. Your greatest fear?
  9. The most important thing in life?
  10. A piece of wisdom you would pass on to a child?
  11. Three words that describe how others view you?
  12. If you could change anything about the world?
  13. A smell that makes you pause?
  14. List of professions you’d like to try?
  15. How you plan to spend the last years of your life?
  16. Your current philosophy is?
  17. You would shout with joy right now if someone told you this?
  18. A list of your proudest accomplishments?
  19. A newspaper headline you would like to read about yourself?
  20. Your biggest acts of kindness?
  21. The best piece of advice a friend gave you?
  22. Your proudest moment? Someone who shared this moment with you?
  23. You are far better than most people you know at doing what?
  24. Three things for which you are often complimented?

More from Nance…

You can find Nance on
Facebook
LinkedIn
Twitter

Did You Win a Grammy? Why Not?

Friday, February 13th, 2015

success, career, nance rosenCongratulations to everyone who won. And, congratulations to Kanye West who, persists in believing he is: “The One Who Decides What Is Sufficiently Creative to Win for Album of the Year.”

Per the Huffington Post: “Kanye West nearly interrupted Beck after the rock star won Album of the Year over Beyonce. Many outlets including HuffPost Entertainment, assumed West’s improve was a joking reference to when he cut off Taylor Swift at the 2009 MTV VMAs.”

It wasn’t an act of mirth. Kanye ranted on in all seriousness about his decision-making powers being superior to the voters (who are the majority of all the recording artists in the academy). If you didn’t know, “The GRAMMYs are the only peer-presented award to honor artistic achievement, technical proficiency and overall excellence in the recording industry, without regard to album sales or chart position,” per the Grammy.org.

All Kanye hijinks aside, why didn’t YOU win?

Well, it could be many things.

  1. Maybe you didn’t record anything this year.
  2. Maybe you did, but you didn’t promote it.
  3. Maybe you did, but it was not your best effort.
  4. Maybe you did, but no one else thought it was good.

I’m not talking to just you musicians.

Joan Rivers, God rest her soul, won. She earned her Grammy for “Best Spoken Word Album (includes Poetry, Audio Books & Storytelling.)”

So why didn’t you win? Undoubtedly you did some speaking this year. You told some stories. Maybe you wrote a line or two of prose. Technology couldn’t make it any easier to record and upload to everywhere music or any other sound is heard.

So you didn’t win because you didn’t do the work, and you didn’t enter.

What is a Grammy anyway?

It’s just recognition. So, I’m talking to you about a Grammy as a metaphor for what you should be going for, at this point in your career or business. Recognition for you might be a promotion, a salary increase, an investment in your venture, or a new position at a new company. It might be a comment on your blog or post. It might be more followers, friends or fans.

However you measure your “Grammy,” you’ve got to be in it, to win it.

You probably don’t have an official awards night or two or ten each year, in your company, industry, sport, family or any other sector of your life.

But, you’re missing out if you don’t have an awards ceremony every day, for you, by you and with you. Every day, you’ve got to set aside some time, when you are the focus of your consciousness and congratulation. Put a time on your daily calendar, when you review your accomplishments, your progress, your earnest hard work, or stretch toward a goal.

So get yourself a little Kanye going, and be “The One Who Decides You Are The Best Decision-Maker of What is Great. Do it everyday. And let winning becoming a habit.

More from Nance…

You can find Nance on
Facebook
LinkedIn
Twitter

Why You Need a Lifeguard to Get a Promotion

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

stock-footage-newquay-cornwall-england-september-rnli-safety-surfboard-on-beach-lifeguard-walks-past-onNo matter where you live and where you want to work, there’s probably an ocean between you and what you want. No, I don’t mean the vast body of water that covers 71% of the planet. It’s not that you live in the UK and want to work in the US. Not that kind of ocean.

It’s the ocean of thoughts that swim around your brain. Constantly circulating thoughts, feelings, and past experiences.

These include the hurts, insults, misunderstandings, false accusations, lack of validation and other debris leftover from all the people who ever spoke to you unkindly – accidentally or intentionally. All the efforts you made that went unrewarded. All the dreams that couldn’t be sustained, in reality.

This internal pollution typically isn’t visible at the surface.

I know. I have an ocean, too. I’ve had to dredge it, sift it, cleanse it and recirculate it. It’s actually part of the work I do regularly, along with checking my calendar and making my bed. It’s a daily ritual. So, when I speak to you, my ocean is clean and clear. That freshness allows me to simply say what I mean. Ask what I need to know. Listen to what you say. Hear what you mean.

In almost every interaction, I see all the old trash that litters the present consciousness of the person I’m speaking to.

Largely, this is my job. I am a communications and career coach. When you speak, I listen for what will move you forward and what is holding you back. If my ocean of thoughts were littered with the remnants of uncomfortable past experiences, I would not have a clear mind to help you read yours.

While you may rarely speak to a communications coach, most everyone else you speak to knows what I know, just in a different way. They sense that something is wrong with you. They might think you’re unqualified, overqualified, defensive, evasive, irritable, moody, inconsistent, unreliable, nervous, rude or just nutty.

If you have not succeeded, it’s largely because you are sinking in your own ocean. The undertow keeps you from being entirely present and clearly engaged with the people and opportunities around you. That’s what’s cluttering up your communication and stopping people from trusting you, liking you and caring about you. That’s why they are reluctant to hire you, promote you, award you a raise, invest in you and otherwise help you get where you want to go. It’s why you’re stopped, stalled, irritated, and find yourself stuck with “difficult” people. It’s why you don’t get a response to your resume or calls, it’s this sense that you’re somehow not “right.”

The fix? Get yourself a stack of index cards. With every negative thought – like a desire to complain, procrastinate, challenge authority or otherwise undermine yourself – take a card and write it down. Then ask yourself: “Who first told me that?” “Who gave me this impression of myself or the world?”

Do it now and never stop. Oceans need lifeguards. You are yours. If you want more tips on this, email Nance@NanceRosen.com. Subject line: Ocean.

More from Nance…

You can find Nance on
Facebook
LinkedIn
Twitter

What You Don’t Know About Yourself is Shocking

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photos-finger-pressing-escape-grey-computer-keyboard-white-image30894333This coming weekend, I give the only personal branding boot camp on campus at UCLA. There might be a seat or two left, so if you are in Los Angeles, you might want to come. Why?

If you have failed to get the job you love or you are failing in the career you thought you would love, there’s only one reason. You lack the one thing that flips the switch of real, deep, sustainable success. That one thing is personal intelligence.

Sure, in camp we’ll go over the amazing new changes on LinkedIn, Instagram and the social media you’re probably stabbing at for several years now.  I say stabbing, because most people are killing their careers and their future relationships by what they post. And, I don’t mean killing as in “you’re killing it.” I mean you are either dying by a thousand paper cuts or doing more direct and severe damage with your pics and posts.

It’s not the obvious ones, like pics of your dancing with a bear naked in Cabo. Take those down.

What’s killing your career is the lack of deep insights about yourself. And, how the lack of that shows up in your pics and posts.

Your lack of empathy, sympathy and congratulation is shocking.

No, not for other people. For yourself. Think of that the next time you look at a keyboard and see ESC. Think: Empathy, Sympathy and Congratulations for yourself.

ESC – “escape” is what personal intelligence is.

To be successful, you must escape from the judgment of others. Escape the old messages and unfair expectations pressed upon you.

It’s shocking, isn’t it? That you successfully went to school, or maybe dropped out, and got into the working world, or maybe have not, all without a single day devoted to getting to know who YOU really are and what YOU really want.

So, I’ll be at UCLA this weekend, October 18 and 19, with my campers in a safe and nourishing place, to lead that discovery and watch success being birthed.

It’s a big highlight of my year. I am so thrilled and beyond honored to say to my campers: the next phone call you get can change your life. So, it’s worth the time to know what you want. As the Spice Girls and I say: what YOU really, really want.

More from Nance…

You can find Nance on
Facebook
LinkedIn
Twitter

Take The Long Way Home – Here’s Why

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

lifestyle-rbu-woman-coffeshop-with-tablet-photo-largeIf you always do what you’ve always done, you’re probably going to get what you’ve always gotten. Job seekers and other people with vision or ambition can’t afford to waste a moment of their travels. Even the ordinary commute can be changed-up to increase the potential for a positively life-changing connection.

Two little rules: Take out your ear buds and make eye contact. And, one biggie: practice a ready hello and a simple greeting that telegraphs you are friendly.

Mine is: “Hello and how is your day going?” That’s my personal take on my number one most recommended trigger talk for people who want to expand their network. If you’re not familiar with my communication system, I help people develop lots of simple, easy to remember bits of conversation so the toughest things in life are on automatic. Like meeting new people.

Trigger talk is something you choose to say that’s natural for you. In this instance, it’s a simple question that’s all loaded up in my brain’s “Look: a new person!” file. That’s what I mean about a phrase being “on a trigger.” The sight of a new person triggers my brain to do a specific sequence, no decisions (hence no hesitation).

When I see a new person, I have an overpowering, reflexive mechanism that makes my eyes smile, and pops these words out of my mouth:

“Hello and how is your day going?”

Trigger talk can get a lot more complicated. In presentations, you may have whole portions of product knowledge or success stories on trigger.

But, this greeting is the fundamental building block of communication. It works to increase your network. It’s not amazing, difficult or otherwise expert-level communication.

I thought a lot about the power of my greeting, and what I want people to know about me right away. With my greeting, I’m telegraphing a little kindness, a little curiosity and a little openness (all parts of my personal brand). Once you like your greeting, practice it by saying it aloud; imagining the everyday situations where you find yourself with strangers. The grocery store. The train. The walk with your dog. A new lunch place. You get the idea.

Your greeting is like your business card; it should reflect your brand.

Go where you have not been before. Greet.

I’ve had all kinds of people answer me. Some famous, some less famous and some went on to become my clients, employers, employees, investors, partners, vendors and friends.

It’s always enlightening when they respond with some specific details about their day. At that moment, my job is to just listen. My brain is trained to check its file cabinets to see if I’ve got anything stored that connects with what they’re saying. Sometimes, I don’t. So my follow-up trigger talk pops out, typically one of three choices.  “Wow, that’s a lot.” “Wow, I’m glad to hear it.” Or “Wow, I’m sorry it’s not a great day.” That “wow” gives my brain time to process what I’ve heard, so the right thing comes out of my mouth.

About 20% of the time, I hear something that sounds like a good tidbit that a colleague, client or my company might want to interact on. I’ve heard:

“I just made my first big sale!”

“This commute is killing me. I’m thinking of getting a helicopter.”

“I need to spend less time eating and more time getting back into shape.”

That’s three potential leads for three different business people I know. A “wow” plus one or two more sentences: and we exchange contact information.

How can you implement this today? If you normally take the 8:15 train, take the 7:50. If you work at home, pick another destination for your travels. Walk to the far end of the biggest park, or traverse 10 big city blocks and get on a bus to make it back home. Get your bagel at a different stand.

No matter what else is going right or wrong in your life and career: know this. Everyday you have the opportunity to say the one thing that can change your life.

You can always create the opportunity to meet someone new. Do it five times a day, and my odds say you’ll have one new contact worth pursuing, profiting from or perhaps referring and (earning good deeds points).

Take the long cut.

More from Nance…

You can find Nance on
Facebook
LinkedIn
Twitter

Why You Should Do the Worst First

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

using-laptop-in-dark“My dad taught me an important lesson. If you rehearse every maneuver ahead of time, people don’t panic when things get really intense.” So says, Peter Hancock, CEO of AIG when discussing how competitive sailing led to his management philosophy.

The worst is likely the last thing you want to think about when you are preparing for a job interview or new business meeting. It’s the last thing you want to imagine before going on camera or leading a presentation. And, it certainly isn’t how you visualize each day at work, when it seems everything is going all right.

But, on any given day in any given circumstance, it pays to be prepared. Not simply ready. Prepared for everything around you to fail.

I recently graduated a group of young managers from my Global Marketing course on campus at UCLA. Thirty presentations in three hours, including switching out presenters, finding PPTs and making sure the technology stayed up. We almost made it. Then, the last presenter came up at 9:50 PM. It was Umut, the gentleman from Turkey who graciously had taken the final spot because he had my permission to go a bit longer than the others. In the middle of this stellar visual display of a new product introduction into a foreign market: bam. Lights out.

Are you prepared for things to go all wrong on your big day?

That day could be a big job interview. Your pitch meeting with producers. The ship date for your trade show exhibit.

Imagine your big day. Gone terribly wrong. Are you ready?

Do you have a back-up plan? Do you have a back-up plan to your back-up plan? Have you rehearsed exactly what you will do?

Our presenter did. Umut took his laptop and his index cards. He faced the laptop toward us, sat on the table with it and used the light to see his cue cards. Turns out it just lit up his face, because his eyes stayed focused on us.

He smiled. Of course, he did. Umut had given that presentation in the dark for the last seven days. Right before he went to sleep, he rehearsed. He practiced during the day, while he was driving. In those rehearsals, no visuals supported his narrative.

Whatever matters to you: first rehearse for the worst. Prepare as if no one else could help you, support you or save you. Rehearse for the intense times, when someone else might panic.

As I watched Umut present I could only think how lucky we were to listen to him, and how lucky his future employers will be.

Luck might be the meeting of preparation and opportunity. That’s the opportunity to succeed when others might fail. What display of mastery, confidence and calm should you be rehearsing for right now?

More from Nance…

You can find Nance on
Facebook
LinkedIn
Twitter

Why Your Left Hand Hates Your Right Hand

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

400-04590123erIn a typical population, left-handers make up about 15%.  Of course, not every population is typical.

  • Among the five designers of the first Apple computer, four are left-hand dominant.
  • Three of the last five presidents are left-handed.
  • In a group of alcoholics, left-handers triple their typical representation.

So, your left hand might have a lot of interesting stats, but odds are you’re right-handed,  so it’s likely you ignore it unless you really need… an extra hand.

On the other hand….

Your right hand pretty much stars in life’s events. It shakes all the other hands that are stuck out to welcome you. It gets supported in those little desk-chair units at school. Scissors are made for it, no special request needed. It waves hello and good-bye.

Actually, given all the action your right hand sees – your left hand might be jealous.

Sounds nonsensical, doesn’t it? Your hands are simply doing what comes naturally. It’s silly to think that something underhanded (ha!) is going on.

So, let’s get serious. What does your left hand have to do with your attitude about other people at work?

Like your body parts, your co-workers are functioning largely as they are naturally inclined to do. Some are quiet. Some seem to dominate every meeting. Some seem to be incapable of helping when you need boxes carried or midnight oil burned. Some seem to want to jump in (lend a hand?), anytime you look stressed.

Sure, some of us have better titles, more initials after our names and bigger spaces to work in. Some of us have special training and skills. Those attributes don’t change our nature. Largely we each are doing what we do, as we are naturally inclined to do it.

So stop being mad at everyone who acts differently than you want them to. When you stop taking others actions so personally, you become a much happier person. A person who is more in control of yourself, and your career trajectory.

The next time someone infuriates you, maybe you could take a breath and think:

Wow. Just like my own left hand. It often isn’t strong enough or quick enough to do what I need. That’s the way things are.

What does that take? Charity. Patience. Compassion. Three personal branding qualities that you want to keep in mind and on hand.

(With my apologies to left-handers!)

More from Nance…

You can find Nance on
Facebook
LinkedIn
Twitter