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Friday, September 26, 2008

Lead a Green Office

With "green" being the buzz word of the last couple of years, how do you green efforts in your office?

As a business leader, it is easier than you think. Many basic green principles are common sense. Additionally, they positively impact the bottom line.

If you want to "green " your office, lead by example with the following tips.

1. Turn off any equipment that doesn't need to be on at night, like network printers, desktops, and lights.
2. If you have a duplex capable printer, print double-sided.
3. Discourage the printing of emails.
4. Encourage telecommuting
5. Teleconference or WebEx instead of traveling
6. Take advantage of recycling plans from your solid waste collection agency

Although "reduce, reuse, recycle" isn't a catchy phrase, it does have a very practical meaning. Office recycling is good for the bottom line, it can motivate ecologically concerned employees, and is easy.

Do your part!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Remembering Success

Sometimes, we have a run of days or weeks where we aren't at our best at work. Perhaps layoff rumors are getting us down. Maybe the new boss is a jerk. Maybe the new position you worked for years to get is far more difficult than you expected. In any case, how do you rise up and return to success?

Marshall Goldsmith wrote a piece in Business Week titled, "Self-Confidence and Success." In the piece, he highlights how remembering past successes helps to build self-confidence.

Goldsmith discusses how we build "highlight reels" in our memory. When we are really dragging, we pull that reel out and it gives us a boost.

He cites the following examples: "It might be those five minutes in the executive meeting when you had the floor and nailed the argument you wanted to make. (Who wouldn't run that highlight reel in their head as if it were the Sports Center Play of the Day?) It might be your skillfully crafted memo that the CEO praised and routed to everyone in the company."

However, as we tend to remember only the good things, we also need to keep an honest view of ourselves. In group settings, Wilson points out that most overestimate their contribution. Additionally, we also tend to view ourselves better than our peers. This can be very difficult during review periods when we think we deserve top marks, but in reality, we may only be in the middle of the pack.

Wilson provides an excellent piece of parting advice, "Complete this sentence, "I am success because of…," Then complete this sentence, "I am a success in spite of…." By acknowledging our weaknesses, it makes received negative feedback just a little easier.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A Word about Copyrights

It has come to my attention that a person has stolen my material and claimed it as their own. All works found on this blog are copyrighted, which, from is: Unabridged (v 1.1) - Cite This Source - Share This
1.the exclusive right to make copies, license, and otherwise exploit a literary, musical, or artistic work, whether printed, audio, video, etc.: works granted such right by law on or after January 1, 1978, are protected for the lifetime of the author or creator and for a period of 50 years after his or her death.
2.of or pertaining to copyrights.
3.Also, cop·y·right·ed. protected by copyright.
–verb (used with object) secure a copyright on.

[Origin: 1725–35; copy + right]

cop·y·right·a·ble, adjective
cop·y·right·er, noun Unabridged (v 1.1)
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.

All of the work on this blog is original, and written by me. As this is my work, I guard it jealously, and will take all necessary actions to protect it. I attribute all source material. All pictures are the work of the artists.

If you wish to cite this blog, include the URL of the post, as well as the article name. Thank you for your consideration.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Should I Stay or Should I Go Now?

I received the following question about staying in a job or quitting, after a reader read my post, "The Graceful Exit."

I just read your excellent post and it hit home with me. It has been quite some time that I have been contemplating changing careers. I quit a co-op position after two years because I didn't feel like it fit me. After failing to find another co-op, I went back to work for that company until graduation. Later, I took offer and started full-time.

After two years, I've been moved back to where I was while co-oping, and I'm remembering why I quit the first time. I would like to quit, but I don't have a plan for what to do next. I have serious hesitations about quitting my job. If I do choose to quit my job, what is the best reason to give my employer?

Here is my reply:

Wow, I have been in some very similar situations you have.

First and foremost, you have to think about what it is that really want to do. Since you are recently out of college, you are going to have several experiences that will likely change your career track.

Secondly, a great piece of advice is to never quit a job unless you have a new job to go to. Make sure that you have the new job, in writing! Use the time to consider your opportunities. Talk to friends, family, and colleagues in the types of positions you are interested in considering. Sign up on (Its free!).

If you have all of your ducks in a row and you are ready to leave, just tell your current employer that you wanted to pursue other opportunities. You are grateful for the time you have had, all that you learned, and the relationships you built, but its time to move on. Keep it short and nice. You may meet those folks again down the road. It is always good to leave on a positive note.

This is a great time in your life and career. Do your best and talk to as many people as you can. Remember always, you work to live, not live to work.

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