What is your IQ (Interview Quotient?)

I was recently asked by someone for some interviewing “skills” advice.  I thought “excellent” because this is one of my favorite classes to teach when I facilitate the Business Communication classes.

My biggest and strongest piece of advice to remember is that most people view the interview COMPLETELY BACKWARDS!  A lot of people are nervous and feel intimidated about an important interview. I simply tell them this:

No one knows more about YOU than YOU!

Think about it: When a person enters an interview, the Interviewer wants to know about the person, and the person holds ALL the answers!  Its your Home Field!

An interview should be a position of strength for people.  But in most cases, they are intimidated to the point of being uncomfortable.

So the next time you go for an interview, remember: YOU have what they want.  Go to the interview from a position of authority: Confident, comfortable, and full of the information they want. Make the interviewer work for it!

It’s YOUR job. Go out and get it!

-Dr Jim

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A classic: Who packs your Parachute….

Who packs your parachute?

When I hear this statement or come across the story behind the statement, I always take a moment to reflect:  EVERYONE has someone in our lives that support, inspire and motivate us every day.  And most times, we don’t even realize his or her influence.

As the story goes:   Captain Charles Plumb was a naval aviator, flying missions off the USS KITTY HAWK during Vietnam.  He was unfortunately shot down, and spent 6 years as a Prisoner of War.

Some years later, in a diner, a man approached him, revealed that he knew he was Captain Plumb and that he knew his story.  Captain Plumb was surprised and asked how he knew all of those details.  The man stated that he was also in the Navy, and packed his parachute that day, ultimately saving his life when he was shot down.

This encountered overwhelmed Captain Plumb.  He didn’t remember the man, but the man remembered him.  What did he look like as a young sailor? How many times did he pass him on the ship, and not even acknowledge his existence?

These same encounters happen to us EVERY DAY, and yet we go about our lives in a vacuum. But yet, we encounter people that alter the course of our lives (or save our lives!) and we don’t even know this encounter happen, or possess the opportunity to thank them.

Just remember, we don’t go through life on a vacuum, but co-exist with our fellow citizens.  Take time each day to reflect on this philosophy, and appreciate the people that support us, inspire us, and pack our parachute.

So, who packed your parachute today? And MORE IMPORTANTLY, whose parachute did YOU pack?

-Dr Jim

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“The Zone”….

And, no, it’s not a diet!

I’m referring to that “Zone” of space that surrounds us all. It’s what you do with that Zone that’s important:

Decision is the ultimate form of power. That moment between when we receive information (data) and act upon it, is the moment we have the ultimate power in our life. No one can tell you how to act, or react to situation, what to say, how to feel about something, or how to feel about your self (Your Self Concept). It’s at this crucial moment that we all, invariably, make the “mistake”: The one we want to take back!

I like to teach about the Zone, in regards to Self Concept, or Self Confidence. We all have had these moments (and some are yet to reach this moment), where we graduate from a life of low self esteem and self confidence, to a life of invincibility! It happened to me… And the moment this happened, my entire life changed! Self confidence affects EVERY aspect of your life: your work, friends, relationships, etc. And this has to do with your respect and acceptance of the Zone; THIS IS WHAT I’VE GOT WORLD! LIKE ME FOR WHO I AM, OR MOVE ALONG!

At this moment, our hair, looks, intellect, becomes less important, and how we perceive and treat others becomes important; we become transparent to our own perceived faults and deficiencies. Because when we boil it down, our faults and deficiencies are all self generated!

So take control of your Zone, and decide TODAY that you control everything that happens in that Zone. Like your name, it’s the only thing that’s completely YOURS.

What is your Course of Action for taking control of your Zone today???

-Dr Jim

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3 Facts of Leadership!

My 3 undisputed facts about leadership!

There are many layers to exceptional leadership.  This blog is not meant to be a simple summary of the foundations of leadership, but merely a summary of what I believe to be the core foundation of exceptional leadership.

As I have advanced in my career, been exposed to a multitude of organizational environments, and completed my terminal degree in leadership, I have come to determine there are three, indisputable facts about leadership:

First, EVERYONE has a story.

Second, EVERYONE has something that makes them ”tick”.

Third, EVERYONE has value to add to an organization.

Why are these three “facts” so important to successful leadership? Because understanding and embracing these three facts will provide a vehicle that allows a leader to maximize the potential of EVERY person in his or her organization.

Think about the first fact:  EVERYONE has a story: It is these stories that provide the foundation for who an individual is, what inspires and motivates them, and what connections a leader can make with these individuals.  These are things that have NOTHING to do with the leader and NOTHING to do with the organization, but EVERYTHING to do with the individual.  It is in understanding these stories that helps a leader develop a deeper level of engagement that motivates these employees.

Second, EVERYONE has something that makes them tick. EVERYONE has a thing: that special reason why they get out of bed in the morning, or that thing they think about most of the day.  Engaging employees and getting to know what is most important to them is critical to developing higher levels of engagement.  This sets the trend for a person’s conduct and attitude. When there is a “disruption in the force” and the person is acting differently, these “aware” leaders can engage these employees, demonstrating a deeper and richer level of caring for them as a person.  The result will be an employee who is more dedicated to the organization, who is more engaged, and a person who will psychologically want to give back to the organization.

And understand Facts #1 & #2, will help a leader better understand Fact #3: EVERYONE has a value to add to an organization.  Organizational environments are becoming more complex and unique with the exit of baby boomers and the entrance of higher numbers of Millennials.  Now, more than ever it is incumbent on leaders to understand that each person has value, and tailoring situations to best maximize the output of these personnel, in a manner that is in alignment with what makes employees tick!

This may sound like a lot of effort and be too “touchy-feely” for some old-fashion leaders.  But the gain will be a maximization of the workforce and create a workforce that feels appreciated and is willing to give back to an organization at unprecedented levels.

-Dr Jim Getman

 

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Are you ready for your Opportunity???

Are you ready for your “Opportunity” ???

Simply stated, the word “Opportunity” means a “favorable juncture of circumstances”.Opportunity2

Opportunities just don’t happen. We create them. We create opportunities through hard work, our attitude, and placing ourselves in conditions where we are ready to recognize AND act upon an opportunity.

Yes, taking advantage of an opportunity requires a person to be able to RECOGNIZE an opportunity. We create opportunities by placing ourselves in a state where we, not only are looking for opportunities, but also able to identify an opportunity, and then act without reservation!

If a person is not ready to anticipate an opportunity, an opportunity may present itself and the person will be unable and unprepared to recognize it. It is like going through life with horse blinders on! Our vision of the future is limited to what we see directly in front of us, and we’re not able to see what may be coming from a new and unexpected direction.

I perform a little exercise with my students, which I call the “Corridor Concept”: I take the class into the hallway, and I point to a classroom WAY down the hall. I then ask a student, “Bobby, is the door to Room 103 Open or Closed?”. The student will invariably reply something to the effect, “I don’t know Professor Getman. I can’t see it”. I then explain….. “EXACTLY!”

Room 103 may contain all of our life’s riches, lessons and experiences. But we will never know until we take the first step….move down the hallway, and place ourselves in a situation to be ready for the opportunity in Room 103!

So prepare yourself for opportunities, both strategically and mentally. Being prepared mentally to recognize an opportunity is equally as important as the building blocks that place our companies in positions to capitalize on opportunities. Be mentally prepared when the “favorable juncture of circumstances” presents itself.

It is not a matter of IF an opportunity will arise, but WHEN.

-Jim Getman

My Course of Action

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The Frog and the Scorpion: A Leadership Tale…

Have you heard the story about the Frog and the Scorpion?

A Scorpion asks a Frog to carry him over a river. The Frog is afraid of being stung during the trip, “I would, but you will sting me”. The Scorpion pleads that he certainly will not! Again, the Frog argues, “I would, but you will sting me. Again, the Scorpion pleads, “Please, I must get across and I promise not to sting you”. The Scorpion argues that if it stung the frog, both would sink and the Scorpion would drown. The Frog agrees and begins carrying the Scorpion, but midway across the river the Scorpion does indeed sting the Frog, dooming them both.

When asked why, the Scorpion says, “WHAT DID YOU EXPECT. I’M A SCORPION. IT’S MY NATURE!”

The morale of the story and relevancy to leadership in organizations is that in changing and dynamic times, Leaders cannot expect their organizations or employees to undergo a change unless they change as well. They cannot exhibit the same “nature” and expect different results.

A leader cannot expect to demonstrate old leadership behaviors in the same manner and expect different results from their employees. (This is one of the definitions of insanity: Doing the same thing and expecting a different result!) Like the Scorpion, most leaders are entrenched in his or her “Nature”. They believe they can remain the constant and people will develop, evolve and change to meet new and dynamic situations without themselves evolving and developing new techniques. This is simply not the case.

Competent leaders in today’s dynamic business environments must engage in serious self-reflection to understand how they can modify personal behaviors to adapt to changing work environments and personnel. Especially with the introduction of the Millennials, or Generation Y employees into the workforce, old and antiquated leadership behavior and skills will be ineffective in these changing environments.

So I challenge you: Be a Chameleon and not the Scorpion. Do not sting your employees, but rather adapt, change, and inspire people to conquer new challenges! Remember, if a relationship or plant doesn’t not change and grow, it will die….. just like the Scorpion and the Frog.

-Jim

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Does a Leadership Development program really work?

Do companies really need a leadership development program?

This is an intriguing question that challenges many business owners today. This is a particularly difficult question, given the economic adversity confronting many small and medium size businesses today.

I think the operative word in this question is “DEVELOPMENT”. I am a firm and educated believer that leaders are developed. Sure, men and woman are raised with the qualities and values that form the foundation for exceptional leadership skills: Self-awareness, honestly, integrity, and hard work. But what if these people, gifted with these amazing skills, are never taught how to harness and maximize the effectiveness of these collective skills?

This is where a focused and tailored leadership development program comes in. Partnered with the right company, small to medium sized companies can make an investment in leadership development that will pay dividends for years to come. These dividends will be in the form of increased productivity, lower turnover, higher morale, and a stronger sense of engagement.

Contrary to popular belief, management is the #1 reason employees leave their companies (Money is #5!). Increased levels of turnover result in one of the highest unexpected costs for any company.

So by developing leaders within an organization, companies can directly contribute to the viability and efficiency of a company’s bottom line by increasing employee retention through stronger levels of engagement by their respective leaders.

A focused leadership development program will increase leadership engagement, with an overarching improvement on productivity, morale and retention.

So when I am asked whether a company should invest in a leadership development programs, I answer with a resounding YES! This single investment is one of the smartest business decision a company can make to bolster the bottom line, especially in challenging and uncertain economic times.

-Jim

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