Archive for February, 2010

Take The Time To Plan Right

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

How do you put this to work for your own career?

  1. Spend time planning your career but do not plan so rigidly that you are not open to other interesting options. Be open to other options and be flexible to outside ideas.
  2. Career planning is not like party planning; It does not just happen and then it is over. You have to keep working on it. The general idea is to keep updating one’s resume, get more experience, whether part-time, free lance or even from a permanent position. Get necessary certifications if it is required for the field you are looking to work in. In order to do so, you may aim to do one career-building task every week. Sometimes your weekly career-builder task is also something you need to do for your job. For example, suppose your manager asks you to give a presentation, use it as an opportunity to enhance your presentation skills by using a presentation software (such as power point). Not only will your presentation be professional and polished, you will also know a new program that you can add to your resume under software skills.
  3. Enquire more about your preferred career from friends and family (in the right industry) about how they got to where they are. Once you have heard what they have to say, then you may be able to assess and position yourself correctly.
  4. Aim to make money at your career, but take time planning your moves. If you can afford it, taking a position that will help you develop a skill for your career is better than an unrelated job that pays well.
  5. Shape your career, do not let it shape you! Decide what you want your career to be and make your opportunities match that. At times, you may be forced into taking up roles that you may not desire by your employers, however, you should take these roles to your advantage as it may serve as an opportunity to acquire new skills.
  6. Spend time looking for paid opportunities to learn transferable skills. For example, a fresh graduate recently never intended to turn teaching aerobics into a career. But it gave her great leadership and teaching skills. That experience was a big help when she applied to start her college teaching career.

Read more @ http://www.jobsdb.com.my/MY/EN/V6HTML/jobseeker/18_career.html

Secure your Job – Making a Powerful Impression

Friday, February 19th, 2010

1. )  Dressed to impress:

Dress in any appropriate outfit that mirrors their professionalism. Just remember to keep it simple, but elegant–Men in business suits, or shirt and slacks; women in pant suit or blouse and knee-length skirts or long pants.

2. )  Mind the time:

Avoid planning for an interview during your lunch breaks or during any short breaks in between in order not to rush over things. You may get all panicky and lose your focus should you need to dash here and there for the interview.

3. )  Be careful of what your body language speaks:

Greet the interviewer with a strong, firm handshake as a start. Don’t hunch and remember to look at the interviewer in the eyes. These small gestures leave a lot of obvious clues to the interviewer about you and your confidence.

4. )  Give me some energy!

Leave your monotonous speech behind and insert some energy and life into your words and expressions. Speak clearly and loud enough while answering all questions enthusiastically.

5. )  Behave professionally:

You may find yourself striking up the right cords with the interviewer but always remember to keep your conversation professional. Just be pleasant throughout the interview.

6. )  Good riddance to all negativity:

Keep your grudges with your ex-boss at bay and be careful with your answers. Do not condemn anything related to your current or previous management or company. Your answer will reflect your maturity and as someone who keeps hatred in mind.

7. )  Do your research:

Run a search through the Internet on the company hiring to get some basic company background knowledge. Never pretend to know the answer to some questions posed if in fact you really don’t.

8. )  Send a thank you note:

Send your interviewers a short thank you note to carve a lasting impression of yourself. The thank you note may just prove to be your entry ticket to a second interview or even a job offer.

by Serena C.

Read more @ http://www.jobsdb.com.my/MY/EN/V6HTML/jobseeker/120b_career.html

Clean Resume

Friday, February 19th, 2010

It is important to keep your job application free from typo or grammatical errors. You may ask what is the big deal anyway with keeping your resumé error-free?

By not bothering to keep your resumé “clean”, you are telling the person who reads your resumé that you could not be bothered to make extra efforts to check your spelling and grammar, hence you would be seen as “not being interested enough” in your job application.

A faultless job application will give no reason for the prospective employer to mull over petty mistakes that could have been easily avoided by clicking on the spell-check button.

By dotting all your I’s and crossing all your T’s, the recruiter will be focused only on your cover letter and resumé, allowing your application to be given due consideration.

Always make sure that you get your addresses right.

Get the proper address, i.e. the title of the recipient in your cover letter. Find out who will be the recipient of your job application. If you only know that your application should be sent to the Senior Manager or the Human Resource Manager, go the extra mile and find out who that person is. Call the company up or surf their website for more information. Personal touches never fail to touch, literally.

However, never ever spell the title wrongly or worse, to misspell the name.

A Ms Elisa Jon will not be amused if you spell her name: Mr Eliza John. If you want to do things right, do it right the first time. Never think that it does not matter. All the small things will add up to a lot and a job application tattered with minor errors all over will be regarded as messy and disorganised, jeopardising your chances of getting the interview.

Get the mailing address right too. The last thing you want is for the application to be sent back to you. Even if your application gets to the recruiter, getting the address wrong or misspelling some words in the address underlines the fact that you are careless and could not even copy a simple address onto the envelop and your cover letter.

Also avoid simple grammatical mistakes. By writing `I are’ instead of `I am’ you are only exposing your poor command of English. Get your subject and verb agreement correct too. Relearn the basic grammar that you learnt way back in primary school and avoid the mistakes when writing your cover letter or resumé.

Remember, some extra efforts to ensure that your resumé is “clean” will not guarantee you the job but will help to increase your chances of being shortlisted.

Source:

http://www.jobsdb.com.my/MY/EN/V6HTML/jobseeker/113_career.html

Update Your Resume Regularly! Always Be Prepared!

Friday, February 19th, 2010

The motto “Be prepared,” it is a great career advice as you never know when the perfect career opportunity will present itself.

In order to maximize the opportunity getting hired, you should regularly update your resume with relevant accomplishments, new job duties, recently achieved certifications, and other similar achievements instead of trying to remember critical information days, months, or even years after the fact. This is especially true of smaller but equally important achievements that may fade in memory as time passes.

There are three critical times to update your resume:

  • At least once a year
  • Any time your career focus changes
  • When you are ready for better career advancement.

1. )  Update your resume every year:

Just imagine, when a recruiter calls with the perfect job, you may suddenly find your resume is out of date, and you’ll have to scramble to catch up.

Don’t expect your memory to recall everything you achieved in years past! You are likely to overlook critical achievements and contributions. Keep your resume updated by including your best accomplishments each year.

2. )  Update your resume when your career’s focus changes:

You also need to change your resume when you want to change your career path. By focusing on the skills that will be useful in your new career, you can position yourself as a stronger candidate for the job. Highlight those transferable skills in your new resume, bringing them front and center.

In addition, you may shift list of accomplishments to support those skills. Accomplishment statements give credibility to transferable skills and prove your ability to cross industry or occupational lines.

Finally, make sure you understand your audience. As you shift career focus, it is critical to understand the hiring motives of your target market. Use your resume as an effective selling tool by correctly anticipating the recruiter’s “wish list” for great job candidates.

3. )  Update your resume when you are ready for better career advancement:

You’ve been thinking about changing new job for career advancement. Take the next step up that proverbial ladder. Climbing the career ladder can be a struggle. But with some preparation and planning, you can beat out the competition if you’re willing to work hard.

Always have your resume ready as you may not know when the promotional position comes up that you’re qualified. You can respond to job opportunities that same evening with confidence in your up-to-the-minute resume. Taking proactive steps toward a new career will give you back your optimism and self worth.

When you decided to update your resume, how are you going to update your resume?

First determine whether your resume requires a simple update or a complete rewrite. What your resume promoted ten years ago may not be appropriate or significant for your career choices today. And if you’ve simply been “tacking on” to your old resume, it may start to resemble a house with too many additions, with little sense or direction.

A well-written resume can make an incredible difference in:

  • The length of time it takes to make your career move
  • The quality of your next position
  • The income potential of your next position

Always bear in mind, your resume is your best sales tool in finding a new job, and it deserves the investment of your time and commitment. With a little extra effort now, you’ll be prepared for anything that comes your way – and be well on the path to your next great job.

Read more @ http://www.jobsdb.com.my/MY/EN/V6HTML/jobseeker/122_career.html

Students with entrepreneurial skills needed

Friday, February 19th, 2010

KOTA BARU: An entrepreneurship development policy by higher education institutions has been introduced to encourage educated and highly qualified entrepreneurs to compete in local and global markets.

Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin said universities and institutions in the 21st century needed to produce students with good entrepreneurial skills.

“Producing quality entrepreneurs is very important in the context of the present world.

“We need them not only to contribute to the growth of the country’s economy but also to grab the wealth and opportunities that are aplenty,” he said at the launching of a public higher learning institutions’ entrepreneurship carnival yesterday.

The four-day event, which started on Monday, was held at the Universiti Malaysia Kelantan (UMK) temporary campus in Taman Bendahara here.

Khaled said it was time local institutions produced students with entrepreneurial skills. They should be creative, innovative and have managerial and communication skills.

“Whether they become businessmen is not important as long as they have these values.

“Otherwise, efforts made by the government to improve the economy will not have the maximum impact.”

Khaled said six core strategies had been identified under the entrepreneurship development policy — setting up entrepreneur centres at all public higher education institutions; preparing well-planned and holistic entrepreneur programmes; strengthening development and entrepreneurial empowering programmes; providing a reliable assessment mechanism; creating a conducive environment and eco-system; and improving the competency of teaching staff in entrepreneurship skills and values.

Read more @ http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/NST/articles/14uni/Article/index_html

Adams’ Equity Theory

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

Balancing Employee Inputs and Outputs

Why Use the Tool?

Adams’ Equity Theory calls for a fair balance to be struck between an employee’s inputs (hard work, skill level, tolerance, enthusiasm, etc.) and an employee’s outputs (salary, benefits, intangibles such as recognition, etc.). According to the theory, finding this fair balance serves to ensure a strong and productive relationship is achieved with the employee, with the overall result being contented, motivated employees.

The Theory Summarized:

The Adams’ Equity Theory is named for John Stacey Adams, a workplace and behavioral psychologist, who developed this job motivation theory in 1963.

Much like many of the more prevalent theories of motivation (theories by Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, Herzberg’s Theory, etc.), the Adams’ Equity Theory acknowledges that subtle and variable factors affect an employee’s assessment and perception of their relationship with their work and their employer.

The theory is built-on the belief that employees become de-motivated, both in relation to their job and their employer, if they feel as though their inputs are greater than the outputs. Employees can be expected to respond to this is different ways, including de-motivation (generally to the extent the employee perceives the disparity between the inputs and the outputs exist), reduced effort, becoming disgruntled, or, in more extreme cases, perhaps even disruptive.

How to Apply the Adams’ Equity Theory:

It is important to also consider the Adams’ Equity Theory factors when striving to improve an employee’s job satisfaction, motivation level, etc., and what can be done to promote higher levels of each.

To do this, consider the balance or imbalance that currently exists between your employee’s inputs and outputs, as follows:

Inputs typically include:

  • Effort
  • Loyalty
  • Hard Work
  • Commitment
  • Skill
  • Ability
  • Adaptability
  • Flexibility
  • Tolerance
  • Determination
  • Enthusiasm
  • Trust in superiors
  • Support of colleagues
  • Personal sacrifice, etc.

Outputs typically include:

  • Financial rewards (salary, benefits, perks, etc.)
  • Intangibles that typically include:
    • Recognition
    • Reputation
    • Responsibility
    • Sense of Achievement
    • Praise
    • Stimulus
    • Sense of Advancement/Growth
    • Job Security

While obviously many of these points can’t be quantified and perfectly compared, the theory argues that managers should seek to find a fair balance between the inputs that an employee gives, and the outputs received.

And according to the theory, employees should be content where they perceive these to be in balance.

Key Points:

Much like the five levels of needs determined by Maslow and the two factors of motivation as classified by Herzberg (intrinsic and extrinsic), the Adams’ Equity Theory of motivation states that positive outcomes and high levels of motivation can be expected only when employees perceive their treatment to be fair. An employee’s perception of this may include many factors (see outputs above). The idea behind Adams’ Equity Theory is to strike a healthy balance here, with outputs on one side of the scale; inputs on the other – both weighing in a way that seems reasonably equal.

If the balance lies too far in favor of the employer, some employees may work to bring balance between inputs and outputs on their own, by asking for more compensation or recognition. Others will be demotivated, and still others will seek alternative employment.

Read more @ http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newLDR_96.htm

Herzberg’s Motivators and Hygiene Factors

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

Learn How to Motivate Your Team.

What do people want from their jobs?

Do they want just a higher salary? Or do they want security, good relationships with co-workers, opportunities for growth and advancement – or something else altogether?

This is an important question, because it’s at the root of motivation, the art of engaging with members of your team in such a way that they give their very best performance.

The psychologist Fredrick Herzberg asked the same question in the 1950s and 60s as a means of understanding employee satisfaction. He set out to determine the effect of attitude on motivation, by asking people to describe situations where they felt really good, and really bad, about their jobs. What he found was that people who felt good about their jobs gave very different responses from the people who felt bad.

These results form the basis of Herzberg’s Motivation-Hygiene Theory (sometimes known as Herzberg’s Two Factor Theory.) Published in his famous article “One More Time: How do You Motivate Employees”, the conclusions he drew were extraordinarily influential, and still form the bedrock of good motivational practice nearly half a century later.

Motivation – Hygiene Theory:

Herzberg’s findings revealed that certain characteristics of a job are consistently related to job satisfaction, while different factors are associated with job dissatisfaction. These are:

Factors for Satisfaction

Factors for Dissatisfaction

Achievement

Company Policies

Recognition

Supervision

The work itself

Relationship with Supervisor and Peers

Responsibility

Work conditions

Advancement

Salary

Growth

Status

Security

The conclusion he drew is that job satisfaction and job dissatisfaction are not opposites.

  • The opposite of Satisfaction is No Satisfaction.
  • The opposite of Dissatisfaction is No Dissatisfaction.

Remedying the causes of dissatisfaction will not create satisfaction. Nor will adding the factors of job satisfaction eliminate job dissatisfaction. If you have a hostile work environment, giving someone a promotion will not make him or her satisfied. If you create a healthy work environment but do not provide members of your team with any of the satisfaction factors, the work they’re doing will still not be satisfying.

According to Herzberg, the factors leading to job satisfaction are “separate and distinct from those that lead to job dissatisfaction.” Therefore, if you set about eliminating dissatisfying job factors you may create peace, but not necessarily enhance performance. This placates your workforce instead of actually motivating them to improve performance.

The characteristics associated with job dissatisfaction are called hygiene factors. When these have been adequately, people will not be dissatisfied nor will they be satisfied. If you want to motivate your team, you then have to focus on satisfaction factors like achievement, recognition, and responsibility.

To apply Herzberg’s theory, you need to adopt a two stage process to motivate people. Firstly, you need eliminate the dissatisfactions they’re experiencing and, secondly, you need to help them find satisfaction.

Step One: Eliminate Job Dissatisfaction

Herzberg called the causes of dissatisfaction “hygiene factors”. To get rid of them, you need to:

  • Fix poor and obstructive company policies.
  • Provide effective, supportive and non-intrusive supervision.
  • Create and support a culture of respect and dignity for all team members.
  • Ensure that wages are competitive.
  • Build job status by providing meaningful work for all positions.
  • Provide job security.

All of these actions help you eliminate job dissatisfaction in your organization. And there’s no point trying to motivate people until these issues are out of the way!

You can’t stop there, though. Remember, just because someone is not dissatisfied, it doesn’t mean he or she is satisfied either! Now you have to turn your attention to building job satisfaction.

Step Two: Create Conditions for Job Satisfaction

To create satisfaction, Herzberg says you need to address the motivating factors associated with work. He called this “job enrichment”. His premise was that every job should be examined to determine how it could be made better and more satisfying to the person doing the work. Things to consider include:

  • Providing opportunities for achievement.
  • Recognizing workers’ contributions.
  • Creating work that is rewarding and that matches the skills and abilities of the worker.
  • Giving as much responsibility to each team member as possible.
  • Providing opportunities to advance in the company through internal promotions.
  • Offering training and development opportunities, so that people can pursue the positions they want within the company.

Key Points:

The relationship between motivation and job satisfaction is not overly complex. The problem is that many employers look at the hygiene factors as ways to motivate when in fact, beyond the very short term, they do very little to motivate.

Perhaps managers like to use this approach because they think people are more financially motivated than, perhaps, they are, or perhaps it just takes less management effort to raise wages than it does to reevaluate company policy, and redesign jobs for maximum satisfaction.

When you’re seeking to motivate people, firstly get rid of the things that are annoying them about the company and the workplace. Make sure they’re treated fairly, and with respect.

Once you’ve done this, look for ways in which you can help people grow within their jobs, give them opportunities for achievement, and praise that achievement wherever you find it.

Read  more @ http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTMM_74.htm

Avoiding Micromanagement

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

Helping Team Members Excel – On Their Own.

You’ve assigned an important task to a talented employee, and given him a deadline. Now, do you let him do his work and simply touch base with him at pre-defined points along the way – or do you keep dropping by his desk and sending e-mails to check his progress?

If it’s the latter, you might be a micromanager. Or, if you’re the harried worker trying to make a deadline with a boss hovering at your shoulder, you might have a micromanager on your hands – someone who just can’t let go of tiny details.

Micromanagers take perfectly positive attributes – an attention to detail and a hands-on attitude – to the extreme. Either because they’re control-obsessed, or because they feel driven to push everyone around them to success, micromanagers risk disempowering their colleagues. They ruin their colleagues’ confidence, hurt their performance, and frustrate them to the point where they quit.

Luckily, though, there are ways to identify these overzealous tendencies in yourself – and get rid of them before they do more damage. And if you work for a micromanager, there are strategies you can use to convince him or her to accept your independence.

First, though, how do you spot the signs of micromanagement? Where is the line between being an involved manager, and an over-involved manager who’s driving his team mad?

Signs of micromanagement:

What follows are some signs that you might be a micromanager – or have one on your hands. In general, micromanagers:

  • Resist delegating;
  • Immerse themselves in overseeing the projects of others;
  • Start by correcting tiny details instead of looking at the big picture;
  • Take back delegated work before it is finished if they find a mistake in it; and
  • Discourage others from making decisions without consulting them.

What’s wrong with micromanaging?

If you are getting results by micromanaging and keeping your nose in everyone’s business, why not carry on?

Micromanagers often affirm the value of their approach with a simple experiment: They give an employee an assignment, and then disappear until the deadline. Is this employee likely to excel when given free rein?

Possibly – if the worker has exceptional confidence in his abilities. Under micromanagement, however, most workers become timid and tentative – possibly even paralyzed. “No matter what I do,” such a worker might think to himself, “It won’t be good enough.” Then one of two things will happen: Either the worker will ask the manager for guidance before the deadline, or he will forge ahead, but come up with an inadequate result.

In either case, the micromanager will interpret the result of his experiment as proof that, without his constant intervention, his people will flounder or fail.

But do these results verify the value of micromanagement – or condemn it? A truly effective manager sets up those around him to succeed. Micromanagers, on the other hand, prevent employees from making – and taking responsibility for – their own decisions. But it’s precisely the process of making decisions, and living with the consequences, that causes people to grow and improve.

Good managers empower their employees to do well by giving opportunities to excel; Bad managers disempower their employees by hoarding those opportunities. And a disempowered employee is an ineffective one – one who requires a lot of time and energy from his supervisor.

It’s that time and energy, multiplied across a whole team of timid, cowed workers, that amounts to a serious and self-defeating drain on a manager’s time. It’s extremely difficult, if not impossible, to keep up with analysis, planning, communication with other teams, and the other “big-picture” tasks of managing, when you are sweating the details of the next sales presentation.

Escaping Micromanagement:

So now you’ve identified micro-managerial tendencies and seen why they’re bad. What can you do if you know you’re exhibiting such behaviors – or are being subjected to them by a supervisor?

From the micromanager’s perspective, the best way to build healthier relationships with employees may be the most direct: Talk to them.

It might take several conversations to convince them that you’re serious about change. Getting frank feedback from employees is the hard part. Once you’ve done that, as executive coach Marshall Goldsmith recommends in his book What Got You Here Won’t Get You There, it’s time to apologize and change. This means giving your employees the leeway – and encouragement – to succeed. Focus first on the ones with the most potential, and learn to delegate effectively to them.

As for the micromanaged, well, things are a bit more complicated. Likely as not, you’re being held back in your professional development – and probably not making the progress in your career that you could be if you enjoyed workplace independence.

But there’s a certain amount that you can do to improve the situation:

  • Help your boss to delegate to you more effectively by prompting him to give you all the information you will need up front, and to set interim review points along the way.
  • Volunteer to take on work or projects that you’re confident you’ll be good at. This will start to increase his confidence in you – and his delegation skills.
  • Make sure that you communicate progress to your boss regularly, to discourage him from seeking information just because he hasn’t had any for a while.
  • Concentrate on helping your boss to change one micromanagement habit at a time. Remember that he’s only human too, and is allowed to make mistakes!

Key Points:

Micromanagement restricts the ability of micromanaged people to develop and grow, and it also limits what the micromanager’s team can achieve, because everything has to go through him or her.

When a boss is reluctant to delegate, focuses on details ahead of the big picture and discourages his staff from taking the initiative, there’s every chance that he’s sliding towards micromanagement.

The first step in avoiding the micromanagement trap (or getting out of it once you’re there) is to recognize the danger signs by talking to your staff or boss. If you’re micromanaged, help your boss see there is a better way of working. And if you are a micromanager, work hard on those delegation skills and learn to trust your staff to develop and deliver.

Read more @ http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTMM_90.htm

What a Real Leader Knows

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

Developing fundamental leadership skills:

What is it that distinguishes ‘good’ leaders from ‘mediocre’ ones? Is it their decision-making abilities, their charismatic persuasiveness, or the clarity of their vision? Do great leaders have these qualities naturally, or were they acquired at college?

The good news is that you can learn to be a leader, just as long as you put in the time needed to learn the fundamental skills needed. How these skills are applied on a day-to-day basis, however, is what sets good leaders apart from mediocre ones.

So, if you want to be a better leader, what specifically do you need to learn to do? Do you need to go business school to learn these things? Or can you learn them on the job?

J. Sterling Livingston, a professor at Harvard Business School, attempted to answer these questions by studying the connection between formal education and successful leadership. In 1971, he published “The Myth of the Well-Educated Manager” in the Harvard Business Review.

One of Livingston’s conclusions was that a formal business education, such as an MBA, was not a good predictor of leadership success in the long term. This finding is much less surprising today than it was back in the early 1970s. However, his other main observation is as relevant today as it was back then – namely, that four key skills define successful leadership:

  1. Effective decision making.
  2. Successful problem finding.
  3. Effective opportunity finding.
  4. Leadership style.

By developing your skills in these fundamental areas, he argued that you can lead people, and inspire them to change. You can also be dynamic and effective in how you tackle the problems and challenges you face on a daily basis.

Let’s look at these four skill areas in more detail.

Decision Making:

The ability to solve problems and make good decisions is extremely important for effective leadership. But decision making and problem solving are commonly taught skills – so, with all those problem solvers out there, why can good leaders be so hard to find?

According to Livingston, the difference often lies in your approach to finding solutions. If you face a problem believing that you have to find the ‘right’ answer, this can actually lead to failure. You can analyze a problem forever, and still not be 100% sure that your solution is the best. The only way to assess your decision is by looking back, after the fact. Even then, there are sometimes too many variables to determine whether or not you definitely chose the right action.

Effective leaders use practical and responsive approaches to decision making. They know you can’t wait to make a ‘perfect’ decision. When you’re in the middle of a situation, you have to be confident enough to do what needs to be done right now. This often means you must quickly evaluate the situation, and take the action that has a high probability of success. Leaders make decisions under pressure that might not be perfect, but they’re consistent with the desired outcome.

Strong leaders also know that problem solving and decision making aren’t entirely rational processes. We all have emotions, so completely objective decisions don’t really exist. Successful leaders therefore use critical thinking – a technique that questions every step of your thinking process – to deal with the subjective side of decision making.

Ultimately, what sets apart effective leaders is that they know HOW to decide. They know when to take the time to use more analytical and thorough decision-making processes. They know when to engage the whole team, and when to make the decision on their own. This knowledge doesn’t come from a book, but from practical experience. As a developing leader, look for opportunities to make decisions in a wide variety of situations to help you gain that experience.

Problem Finding:

Leaders don’t simply solve problems that people bring to them – they look for problems that may be hidden. In other words, they often recognize potential issues before they become problems.

The quicker you discover a problem, the more time you have to find a solution, and the more able you are to tackle the problem before it becomes serious. Skillful leaders are proactive, and they continuously ask questions. The 5 Whys problem-solving technique – a tool that helps you get to the root of a problem quickly – is something that good leaders often do instinctively when they first ‘find’ a problem.

Also, look for potential problems that may be caused by a solution – before that solution is implemented. Sometimes this happens more intuitively and less formally, but the objective is the same – to find a problem before it develops into a much larger, and potentially damaging, issue.

Opportunity Finding:

When you solve problems, you make sure the organization can continue on its defined path toward its goals. When you find opportunities, however, you focus on redefining – and hopefully improving – the company’s overall direction.

As management expert Peter Drucker famously said, “The pertinent question is not how to do things right, but how to find the right things to do, and to concentrate resources and efforts on them.”

Successful leaders find opportunities and use them effectively. In practical terms, they understand leverage, and they constantly look for ways to achieve more with the same amount of effort. Simplex is a sophisticated tool for finding problems and opportunities – and eventually taking action.

Natural Leadership Style:

Finally, good leaders use effective styles of leadership. You may find all kinds of problems and opportunities, and you may make great decisions to move the organization forward – but if you can’t inspire people to take action, there’s little chance of success.

Livingston argued that there’s no one correct leadership style that everyone can use across all situations. He said that strong leaders recognize this, and adapt their approach as necessary. But they always use authentic styles that naturally fit their personalities.

It’s also important to be inspirational – to lead by your example, your words, and your vision. Transformational leaders motivate, inspire trust, have a clear vision, are trustworthy, and are committed to the people, and to making the organization better.

A large part of being an effective leader is the willingness to accept responsibility and accountability. This strengthens the integrity and trustworthiness of your actions, decisions, and motives. By committing to an open and honest relationship with your superiors, peers, and staff, you can become a real leader who motivates others to work with you to achieve a common goal.

Key Points:

Leaders aren’t created overnight. Strong leadership is something you need to work on every day. It’s more than learning how to solve problems and make decisions – you must focus on making your organization better through everything you do. This means that you need to understand how and when to make a decision, recognize problems before they appear, constantly look for opportunities to improve, and be aware of your leadership style. When people believe in you, they’ll likely trust your decisions and actions -and that’s the mark of a true leader.

Read more @ http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newLDR_54.htm

The Job Search Attitude

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

We believe that all the job tips in the world cannot help an individual unless their attitude is right.

It is a well-researched fact that employers prefer to hire an employee with a positive mental attitude or ‘can do’ approach to work and enthusiasm will communicate itself to those around you.

We always recommend to job applicants to have an attitude that conveys the following message:

Somebody out there has a great ……it’s got to be me!

During your job search, constantly remind yourself of you capability to locate a suitable job and that there is a fantastic opportunity waiting for you. Discard all “negative” thoughts that are not supportive to your job search. Listen to advice and guidance that will help progress in your job search and not to unhelpful talk that will paralyse you with fear. Feat is not useful in a job search situation because it closes you down instead of opening you up to all the opportunities that exist out there.

The Job Search Attitude Checklist:

  • Listen to what you are telling yourself, erase any message that may negate your job search efforts, for example, “it’s hard to find a job” … “it’s very competitive out there” … “nobody wants someone with my qualification”. This is not useful – STOP IT!
  • Find evidence around you to prove to yourself that you can find a great job. Read inspiring articles and talk to people who have ‘made it’.
  • Improve your knowledge on the industry or job that you are interested in.
  • Go out and meet people, who are happy in their jobs and find out the secret of their success.
  • Be committed to improve yourself. If you have the time, attend a self-development program or read a good self-development book. Employers generally like people who are self motivated and proactive in their own development.
  • Learn to self-manage your career. Find time to attend a career management workshop or read a good career management book. Quite simply. take ownership and responsibility for your career success.

Read more @ http://www.jobsdb.com.my/MY/EN/V6HTML/jobseeker/109_career.html