Halloween Tales In Honour Of The Day

Bolt the doors, lock the windows, check the closets and under the beds…  What would Halloween be without a few scary tales?

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow


Rip Van Winkle


Ten Ways To Inject Fun Into The Workplace

Would you consider installing a video camera to catch humourous responses to unexpected questions?  What about a team coffee break dedicated to sharing your most embarrassing moments?  Teams that laugh together are better able to power through difficulties and get the big job done.

Intrigued?  Read more at Fast Company.

Are You Building A Brand Or Just Making Noise

There’s a lot of competition for our attention.  Email, phone calls, colleagues, meetings, LinkedIn, direct mail…  Here are 3 steps to help you cut through all the static and reach your intended audience.

1.  Think like a customer.

Most marketing messages are all about the seller.  If you’re not providing a solution or creating a need, you’re just making noise.

2.  Target the right eyes and ears.

Marketing activity without a solid plan behind it is just noise.  Knowing who your target audience is will help you craft a relevant and engaging message.  You’ll know you’re on the right track when your message addresses your prospect’s needs and challenges.

3.  Use multiple media.

If you normally send email messages, mix it up and send something by regular mail.  Add an after-hours voicemail with an intriguing teaser.  Consider augmenting your campaign with traditional print or radio ads.  Just don’t stick to the same old thing every time.

Ghost Posting Job Ads: Best Practice or Bad Form?

Why do staffing agencies place job ads for positions that don’t exist?  People who disagree with this practice may say it’s unethical and misleading.  Those who engage in the practice will tell you it’s a necessary part of business, not designed to deceive but to prepare for imminent job orders.  Like most issues, gaining perspective can change the way we view a situation.

Ghost posting – that is, advertisements enticing workers to apply for non-specific positions – applies mainly to temporary work.  Permanent job openings usually come with so many specifics attached to the qualifications and experience desired, they don’t lend themselves to recruiting in advance.  Temporary work, on the other hand, is usually focused on an identified skill set for a short time period – like data entry for 3 months, or warehouse workers assigned to a 6-week reorganization project.

Agencies are expected to be both thorough and speedy: two qualities that don’t always go well together.  In order to make things work, we post jobs in advance so that when the call comes in from our client, we are ready to begin phoning a pool of prescreened, interviewed workers.  The time to recruit for a temporary work order is before the phone rings, not after.

Honesty is a key component to building and maintaining a good reputation.  So how does an agency employ ghost posting with integrity?

In one word: transparency.

Applicants should expect to see wording like this: “Recruiting for upcoming temporary work orders from multiple clients”.  This gives potential recruits the opportunity to decide whether or not to invest their time.

Seth Godin on Leader vs Manager

Managers work to get their employees to do what they did yesterday, but a little faster and a little cheaper. Leaders, on the other hand, know where they’d like to go, but understand that they can’t get there without their tribe, without giving those they lead the tools to make something happen.

There’s a little more to his blog than those first two lines; you can read it here.

The whole leadership vs. management debate is a topic I love and one I write about often.  You can find past posts by using the search box on the home page (if you don’t see a “home” icon, click on the blog title).  Search on the words leadership, versus, or vs.  Here’s a quote from one of them:

If I have the vision and the leadership skills to paint a picture of a possible future for my team and get them inspired to action, I’d better also have the capability to measure execution and progress — otherwise all I’ve done is provided short term motivation and a pretty picture.  That’s where management meets leadership in my book.

You can read the entire post here.

You may also enjoy:  Flexing From Leader To Manager And Back Again.


Teamwork Slays the Goodenuff Monster

The Goodenuff Monster
The Goodenuff Monster

They say a problem named is a problem half solved.  I’ve not only named this one, I’ve given it a face.  Meet the Goodenuff Monster.

Regular readers may recognize portions of this post – It is updated material from something I wrote in 2010.

Who Or What Is The Goodenuff Monster?

The Goodenuff Monster is a faulty thought process that justifies second-rate performance.  Often, he presents himself when we’re trying do things ourselves that would benefit from teamwork.

Although easy to spot he makes himself appear harmless by appealing to our sense of humanity — “Come on, don’t be so hard on yourself.  It’s goodenuff.”

How To Slay The Goodenuff Monster

Unless you are a neurosurgeon it’s not reasonable or feasible to try to do everything perfectly.  This is where the beauty of teams comes to the rescue.  In a high functioning team each person or group owns a specific piece of the puzzle.  This allows members or divisions to focus entirely on their core competencies and responsibilities.

To be effective is to hold ourselves accountable to each other and to speak up when we see an element that is out of sync.  So if a colleague or team member points out something in need of improvement, accept it gratefully and know you’re doing your part to slay the Goodenuff Monster.

Assess Your “Edge” Quotient

Jack Welch has a theory about the 4E’s of leadership.  He looks for leaders who demonstrate Energy, they Energize others, they have Edge, and they Execute well.  Of these, edge is the hardest to define.  His words:

“Individuals with edge have a competitive spirit and know the value of speed.  They’re confident; they know when to green-light or red-light a project or acquisition.  They don’t get paralyzed by paradox.”

If you’re not happy with your edge quotient, challenge yourself by setting tighter deadlines on decision making.  Are there any projects you are mulling over that you could move to a decision today?