Category Archives: Motivational

leadership advice

Get The Right People On The Bus: Leadership Advice from Duke Coach Mike K

Mike Krzyewski has the most wins of any coach in men’s division I college basketball. He also just won his 5th NCAA championship, so he knows a thing or two about team building and leadership.

I was privileged to hear Coach K speak at the Envestnet Advisor Summit 2015, held last week in warm and sunny Chicago.  His comments are summarized here based on the most popular tweets sent out during his presentation.

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9 Super Ideas to Help Achieve Your Goals in 2015

“Each year one vicious habit discarded, in time might make the worst of us good.”
–Benjamin Franklin

Big changes can be difficult to implement. Human brains are wired to create and distinguish patterns, and our tendency to follow routines reflects this. Work practices are even more regimented—and often ingrained—than our activities at home. But, by slowly and incrementally changing workplace habits, it’s possBaby Steps 1ible to quickly become a significantly more efficient and successful employee. In this article, I’m going to go through some simple ways to approach, set, and accomplish goals in both your professional and personal life.

The first important step in creating goals is to prioritize. There are lots of things that you need to do, but which are the most important? Which tasks affect your life on a regular basis? Are you always forgetting to check your email, or do you get sidetracked easily? Little habits that suck time away and constantly get in your way can make a difference. Figure out what you need to change now and what you can work on later.

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4 Mistakes That Can Doom

4 Costly Mistakes that Can Ruin Your Job

If you make listening and observing your occupation, you will gain much more than you will by talking.

— Sir Robert Baden-Powell, Founder of the Boy Scouts

A beginning is a very delicate time.”  Starting a new job can be a trying experience.  Especially if you were out of work for a while, moved into a new industry or even an entirely new line of work.  There are a host of unknowns; unfamiliar faces, opaque office politics and where exactly is the bathroom?

If you want to excel in your new job, there are a number of behaviors you should avoid, to make your life easier in your new role  and put yourself in the best position to be successful.  In this article, I discuss four costly mistakes that can ruin your job and give you some useful techniques to keep yourself from making them.

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3 Tips to Avoid Worrying About Losing Your Job

“Most people work just hard enough not to get fired and get paid just enough money not to quit.”

— George Carlin

Whether you feel like one of the people Carlin is referring to or whether you love your job and would never consider leaving, you can’t escape the fact that job hopping is becoming more common.  Today’s workers stay at a job for around 4.4 years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  This may not sound too bad, however, it is projected that recent college grads could see that average drop even further.

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Find Your Sense of Urgency

How to Find Your Sense of Urgency!

“Real urgency … is an emotion. It’s a gut-level determination to get up every day, every single day, and to do something, no matter how small, to push along your capacity to grab the big opportunities or to avoid the big hazards.”  — John Kotter, Change Management Expert

This quote, from Kotter’s book A Sense of Urgency, helps to explain the importance of urgency in the workplace.   Urgency is characterized by a tangible ambition, rather than a feeling about a task you may or may not accomplish someday.Sense of Urgency

Most consultants understand the meaning of urgency when they start a project because their compensation as well as their reputation depend on being able to deliver faster and more efficiently than in-house resources (in other words, the company’s own employees).

But just knowing the definition of urgency doesn’t explain how to achieve it.

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How Not to Get Fired

“If you are not fired with enthusiasm, you will be fired with enthusiasm.”
— Vince Lombardi quotes (American Football Coach, 1913-1970)

What if you were told that based on your job performance on a single day, a decision was being made on whether or not you should stay in your present job?

And what if you were found out that today was that day? What would you do differently? How much harder would you work? Would you finally get around to writing up a few of the new ideas you’ve been sitting on? Would you try to get some face time with your manager to let her know how hard you’ve been working?

While this is only a hypothetical scenario, I’ve found that it can be an excellent tool for focusing your mind and helping you to get back your sense of urgency.

It’s easy to become complacent at work, with your efficiency slowly degrading over time, especially if you’ve been at the same company and in the same position for a number of years. Not to mention all of the everyday distractions, like the Internet, water cooler discussions and outside errands, which steal your time away from productive tasks.

Try this. Every couple weeks or so, take a step back and think to yourself, “what can I do today so that I don’t get fired? If you take this concept seriously, all of your thoughts will coalesce around your most important activities and you will naturally avoid diversions.

This is not something you should be doing every day. The stress alone could probably kill you. But as a regular gut check, it can work wonders for your career.