Yes, There is a Short-Cut to Success

Untapped Strategies for Success in Today's Market
By Linda Zander

"Desperate times require desperate measures" I overheard someone
say the other day. I was standing in line to order my late
afternoon Latte at a well-known coffee establishment and the
buzz in the room wasn't from the caffeine, it was from the
customer chat. They were expressing their feelings of being
down and out; hopeless of ever getting back what they've lost or
of ever achieving what they were hoping to achieve; waiting for
times to change before they would dare to decide what they
should do next and their belief that there were no opportunities
in existence anymore.

I wanted to shout out to infuse them with faith, hope and
confidence by sharing the silver bullet knowledge that I have:
that all the prosperity, success and well-being they seek is
already in and among them, ripe and ready for them to pick up
just as they picked up their Java to go.

Just as a great cup of Joe or green tea jump starts your energy,
these proven strategies will not only start your success engine,
it will provide the short access road to lasting success. But,
before you can turn right on to the Shortcut ROAD TO SUCCESS
just ahead; you must get off the Long Route that leads you to
uncharted territories of uncertainty, delayed outcomes and
unsustainability. Let's take a look at the warning signs that
let you know you are on the Long Road:

1. Doing anything just so you are doing something.
2. Waiting to take action steps until times get "better".
3. Putting all your eggs in one basket. Such as, only pursuing
the thing that you have always done in the past believing that
you can't do anything else and succeed.
4. Not seeking advancement beyond your last position in today's
current market conditions believing that it just isn't realistic.
5. Taking anything that comes your way because that's the best
that anyone can hope for right now.

All the above represent some of the most common strategic
pitfalls that can undermine your success during turbulent times.
These attitudes and behaviors are within your power to change.
Changing them will take you out of situations that will delay
your successful outcomes and that create conditions that will
not fulfill your need for security and well being. And, without
security and well being, any initial success that you may create
from this place of fear, will become unsustainable.

Here are the strategies that do work in every market condition
and are imperative to staying on the Short Road to Success
especially in Today's market:

1. USING DISCERNMENT: be conscious of where and how you are
spending your energy and in the choices, actions and decisions
that you make. Here is the truth: The key to obtaining
sustainable success is in understanding and practicing Zander's
principle of: Positive Energy Ratio Exchange meaning that for
every energy output there must be a greater return of energy.
Unless you are doing philanthropy, the return of energy must be
monetized according to a value evaluation that makes sense for
your greater expansion and growth. If not, then you are
creating a flat and unsustainable wealth and well-being economy
for yourself.

2. HAVING A HEALTHY SENSE OF DETACHMENT: be courageous in your willingness to release or redefine people, places and things
that do not represent; present or provide advantage to moving you
into a successful new environment of growth and expansion.

3. KEEPING UP MOMENTUM: Persistence is always the winner. Do
not allow yourself to rationalize a non-action state of being
because "times are slow". Keep putting one foot in front of the
other. There is always a next best action step to take in every
circumstance and situation that will give birth to new

4. CREATE DIVERSITY: Do take the time to take personal
inventory on all the wonderful abilities, gifts and talents that
you have. Then create a multi-tiered (I call it a Success
Ladder) strategy to showcase your talents in many different
industries, forms or outlets for the unleashing of that
entrepreneur residing inside you.

5. DO WHAT FEELS GOOD TO DO: Do the things that bring you a
sense of enthusiasm, excitement, joy and inspire you to go on to
greater and greater horizons. If you chose otherwise, be
realistic that what you are creating won't provide you with the
sustainable wealth and well-being that you ultimately desire to

"The person who gets the farthest is generally the one who is
willing to do and dare. The sure-thing boat never gets far from
-Dale Carnegie

Linda Zander, well-known as the "SUSTAINABLE SUCCESS COACH" is
an accomplished entrepreneur and speaker. To obtain her
strategies for achieving lasting and fulfilling success visit and join her e-zine. You will
receive her personal strategies that have worked during every
life circumstance including today's turbulent economic times.
New e-zine readers receive "Beyond The Secret... Eight Tips For
Sustainable Success

Connections Lead to Relationships

From Win the Race for 21st Century Jobs

The Trust Factor

The next time you find yourself in a bookstore, head over to the Networking and Business section and look for a book called The Speed of Trust (copyright © 2006 by CoveyLink, LLC) by Stephen M. R. Covey. Many networking professionals consider it the definitive work on trust in relationships, particularly how trust is earned and how it's lost.

Reciprocity Keeps Relationships Balanced

All solid relationships are built on trust and reciprocity. But in the beginning, many people need to ask themselves a key question to find out if a relationship will be worth nurturing. That is:

What’s In It For Me? (WIIFM)

If there is perceived value in the relationship, most people will have no difficulty in building the bonds of trust and the bridges of reciprocity to keep the relationship growing and evolving over time.

But please note that I said “most people” … there are some individuals who don’t grasp the need for reciprocity and their selfish behavior quickly dissipates any initial interest others may have in them.

This “breed” of individuals is what author Keith Ferrazzi (Never Eat Alone) identifies as networking jerks. These lost souls have no clue as to what reciprocity really means. They travel through life with their self-centered entitlement mentality on full display, completely unaware that they openly and publicly alienate others and prevent connections from developing into relationships (or preventing connections from occurring in the first place).

After identifying them as such, the safest method for dealing with networking jerks is to simply ignore them. There is no need for a confrontation with someone whose personality doesn’t gel with yours.

Trust Maintenance

Now let’s take a look at some specific actions you can take to maintain trust and keep a relationship alive:

· Be direct, open and honest in all communications with others

· Maintain a level of respect for others that they begin to view as your “brand”

· Admit mistakes when you make them

· Demonstrate appreciation and gratitude for the efforts of others

· Protect the privacy of others; always keep private information confidential

· Establish a track record for getting results

· Set realistic benchmarks for improving your own performance and value

· Demonstrate a willingness to confront difficult problems “head on”

· Set up mutually agreed “accountability milestones”; i.e., a healthy relationship allows each member to voice expectations without hurt or hesitation

· Demonstrate your prowess as a troubleshooter but allow for divergent points of view

· Keep promises and commitments and establish a solid track record of unquestionable reliability

· Be willing to risk the extension of trust to others

I'll see you on the radio this and every Sunday morning at 8am (EST) on Your Career Is Calling on 107.7 FM and online on This week we discuss “Powerful Lessons to Career Management”.

Happy Mother’s Day!!!

Best wishes and own your career,

Rod Colón
Career Management Consultant, Executive Coach, Speaker, Author
Weekly Co-Host of Radio Show "YOUR CAREER IS CALLING".

Rod's 7-Step Job Search Video

Listen to “Your Career is Calling” Archives

View Rod Colon ABC-TV Interview Sharing Job Search Tips
Connect with Rod: Facebook | LinkedIn | Twitter | YouTube
Win the Race the Race for 21st Century Jobs

How To Register Your Online Business

Dear Felicia,

I have a question with regard to online businesses. I run an online music video website that will soon be adding e-commerce as a revenue stream. Is it necessary to register my business in a particular state although the transactions will primarily take place online?

Thank you,


via e-mail

Dear Charlie,

There are three main reasons — and depending on your long term plans, a fourth reason — to register a business with the state: liability, credibility, taxes and ownership. Liability is a concern if you operate a business with a physical space where an accident can happen, or if you operate a business in an industry that is highly litigious. An example of such an industry is financial services where people might allege that a business ripped them off and take civil action to recoup their losses. But it doesn’t sound like liability is a big risk for you.

If you are the sole owner of your business, and are planning to give ownership to others as you expand, then you may consider registering with the state so that you codify your business and operating agreements.

Now we’re down to the two reasons that probably matter most for you: taxes and credibility. A well-managed, unregistered business is no less credible than a registered business, but a registered business creates a perception of higher authority and trustworthiness. Since you operate an online business, you should take advantage of that perception. People have heard of Napster, iTunes and, but they may not have heard of you. Most people are accustomed to shopping online at this point, but scores of people are still leery (including my mom). So, if they wanted to check to make sure your business is legit before making a purchase from your website, then an easy way for you to create instant credibility and set them at ease is to be registered with the state.

Also, there is the issue of paying and collecting taxes. You can take advantage of most business deductions whether you are registered or not. But some advanced deductions may require that you are a registered entity. Plus, if you were to ever be audited by the IRS, they would have a harder time declaring your deductions invalid because your business seems like a hobby if it is registered with the state. (This is more of a concern for part-time entrepreneurs who could more easily be pegged as hobbyist. I am mentioning this because I’m not sure of your status.)

As far as collecting sales taxes, generally, if you have a physical presence in a state, like a store or business office open to the public, then you must collect and remit sales taxes from online purchasers in that state. But this is a murky subject because there is no consistent rule from state to state. Check with your state revenue department and tax attorney for the final word.

Ultimately, you don’t have to register, but it’s a good idea to do so. You can simply register in the state where you reside and from which you operate your business.

Grace & Peace,

Felicia Joy

Felicia Joy is a nationally recognized entrepreneur who created $50 million in value for the various organizations and companies she served in corporate America before launching her business enterprise. She is often called on to discuss the ins and outs of entrepreneurial success and has appeared on CNN, FOX and in other national press. Felicia operates Ms. CEO Inc., a company that helps women entrepreneurs achieve more success, faster — as well as Joy Group International, LLC, a business development and consulting firm. Send her your questions at or

Article Posted by The Atlanta Post

[ETP Exchange] The New Yardstick for Your Professional Image

LinkedIn is the online tool of choice for sizing you up against the competition. Does your LinkedIn Profile reflect the way you want others to perceive you?

You may be truly great at what you do … but if your LinkedIn Profile looks mediocre, then those who view it are likely to associate you with mediocrity. That’s why an unpolished LinkedIn Profile may actually be doing you more harm than good.

While most professionals have first-rate skills and talents in their respective fields, they may not have the level of creative writing experience to develop a truly impressive LinkedIn Profile.

A compelling profile communicates a strong personal identity, piques interest and conveys unique value. Experts agree that a high-impact LinkedIn Profile is both a critical tool and a necessary investment for 21st century business professionals.

The Most Important Things to Know About a LinkedIn Profile:

1. The LinkedIn Profile is the first place that decision-makers visit when scouting for talent or checking a reference.

2. The Summary section alone draws immediate interest if it’s powerfully worded and clearly captures your professional image.

3. The LinkedIn Profile offers a variety of additional components that can accentuate your best qualities … including presentations, blog links, portfolio displays, reading lists, and polls … all of which can add visual interest to an otherwise dull and generic-looking page.

It’s time to begin thinking of your LinkedIn Profile as the packaging of your professional image and something that attracts people to you. And as any good retailer will tell you, it’s packaging that grabs the attention of any consumer.

Is your LinkedIn Profile packaged for success? If you’re unsure or if you believe your profile just doesn’t measure up to expectations, please read the note below.

As the ETP Network’s Editor-in-Chief and co-author of Rod’s book “Win The Race for 21st Century Jobs,” I’ve been engaged by several network professionals to bring their LinkedIn Profiles to life. With the addition of some talented staff members, I am now offering professional writing and branding services to the network.

If you are not currently leveraging the full power of your LinkedIn Profile, I encourage you to contact me at (973) 331-0948 or e-mail me at to schedule an analysis.

Best regards,

Chip Hartman, LLC

Integrated Writing & Visual Services

973.331.0948 (Tel)

862.207.9504 (Cell)

973.331.0937 (Fax)


Smart Leaders Encourage Intrapreneurship in a Culture of Innovation

Many companies hire talented people to “think like entrepreneurs,” but few offer workplace cultures that provide creative thinkers the reins to generate innovative ideas.

Leaders at those companies focus disproportionately higher on financial performance and outdated, inflexible processes than on innovation. They lose sight that hiring, nurturing, and rewarding intrapreneurial talent is the cornerstone for success, and I dare say, survival in today’s unsteady business climate.

In a series of 2010 global surveys among 263 top entrepreneurs and industry leaders, Ernst & Young found that 82 percent of the respondents “agreed strongly that the ability to innovate was critical to the growth of their organizations.” For many of these leaders, the study shows, supporting internal innovation is what drives their company’s competitive edge and ability to sustain growth.

Why don’t business leaders get it?
Still, few leaders understand the value of intrapreneurs. Companies that slip into stagnation and remain bogged down with inflexibility lose market share because of a lack of innovation. As a result, they often find their board of directors seeking CEO replacements and top intrapreneurs jumping ship for more progressive employers.

Read: Five Reasons Why CEOs Don’t Get Innovation, by intrapreneur consultant Stefan Lindegaard.

John Heaney
, a Cleveland-based brand strategist and self-proclaimed innovation agent, reports that less than 9% of companies polled in a National Science Foundation survey engaged in product or process innovation from 2006 – 2009. To create cultures of innovation Heaney suggests that leaders need to:

* Inspire employees “to perform heroic feats” with a clear corporate vision,

* Challenge innovators “to create new solutions to problems that other companies are unwilling or unable to address,” and,

* Encourage employees “to test new ideas despite the certainty that . . . projects will inevitably lead to some failures.”

Give intrapreneurs structure to explore
Leaders who encourage intrapreneurial mindsets must build a workplace environment where it’s safe to share ideas, test them, and perhaps let them fail. While no less passionate and creative than entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs perform best when they have a structured framework in which to explore ideas. This requires setting up clear guidelines defined by the company’s mission. Some senior managers draft playbooks or other kinds of published instructions that give direction for employees to develop, test, and implement new products.

3M Company is well renowned for its “bootlegging” policy that allows employees 15 percent of their time at work to develop pet projects. In the mid-1970s, 3M researchers, Spenser Silver and Art Fry, stumbled onto the idea of applying Silver’s semi-sticky adhesive to a piece of paper to serve as a bookmark. Since then, Post-It notes have stuck to countless surfaces in innumerable applications.

At Google, former CEO Eric Schmidt initiated the 70/20/10 time and resources model for managing innovation. Employees spend 70 percent of their time and resources on their core business, 20 percent on related ideas, and 10 percent on unrelated new businesses. This model has served Google for ten years and will continue to do so, as cited in this Strategic Business Shifts (BizShifts) blog.

Follow through on innovation policies and promises
It’s one thing to give lip service about encouraging innovative thinking in your company. It’s quite another to follow through on your promises to intrapreneurs. They need to feel confident that you’ll reward them for their ideas, and that you won’t punish them for failures.

In PricewaterhouseCoopers’ PwC Innovation blog, Chief Innovation Officer Sheldon Laube spells out the many ways companies can recognize and reward employees for implemented ideas. Laube suggests that leaders evaluate cash rewards for effectiveness and fairness. He also mentions alternative types of recognition, including certificates, medals, and personalized communication from senior leaders.

Culture of innovation encapsulated
A producer of corporate television, I’m big on news-style interviews with sharp executives. In this ten-minute YouTube video, Paul Michelman, executive editor at Harvard Business Publishing, interviews David Kester, chief executive at Design Council in the U.K. I encourage you to watch it. Kester shares his views on shaping a culture of innovation, touching on why:

* Leaders create an atmosphere of openness and allow creativity to flourish.

* Leaders manage innovation through “habits,” or disciplined processes throughout HR, finance, and governance for understanding problems and how to solve them.

* Leaders must constantly communicate how the market changes, which requires employees’ innovation in mounting responses to it.

* Everyone needs to understand the consumer’s viewpoint when coming up with solutions to needs and problems.

More to come . . .
Watch for upcoming articles that focus on specific examples of intapreneurship in practice. If you wish to share an example of intrapreneurship that positively affected the bottom line or bettered customers’ experiences, please send it along.
Karen A. Meek is a senior communications strategist in Seattle, Washington.

Women Can Achieve Anything! Discover 7 Steps to Success.

By: Caroline Irene Jalango

1. You must reach the point of no return.

You must be so sick and tired of a mediocre life that your only option is to create a better life today! Like an act of desperation, your desire to move toward your goal must be so compelling and urgent; you can't help but take action. You must want to achieve your goal so badly that you are willing to invest your time, energy and resources into ensuring that you do.

2. Determine in your heart that you want to achieve your goal.

There must be no shadow of doubt about how important your goal is to you and how committed and determined you are to achieve it. This initial desire and commitment is what gives you the ammunition to get your goal off the ground. How determined and committed are you to your success?

3. Take an inventory of the things you can and want to do.

It's important to understand what your natural strengths, gifts and skills are so that you can hone and apply them to make your life a success. What are your talents? What makes you unique? What is your passion? Where would you like to work and with whom? What contribution do you want to make? Identify what you can do and want to do and get ready to set your ball rolling.

4. Say goodbye to naysayer's and dream killers.

It's amazing how even one negative comment can crush your spirit and kill your dream! Don't share your precious dreams and goals with negative people who don't believe in you. Remove yourself from among them because they will discourage and keep you from living the life that you were meant to live.

5. Say hello to uplifting people and dream builders.

Look for and associate with positive people who will build you up, bring out the best in you, support and help you nurture and turn your dreams into reality. Invest in a coach, mentor, professional association or service for resources, accountability, challenge, support, motivation and guidance.

6. Build your knowledge base.

Spend time, acquiring and increasing your knowledge in the area you want to pursue. Read everything you need to know about what you want to do. Find out how other people are achieving similar goals and how to distinguish yourself from them. Be really good at what you want to do. This will increase your confidence and boost your self esteem greatly.

7. Take action.

The only way to prove that you achieved your goal is by the actual tangible result. The evidence speaks for itself! It testifies that you achieved your goal. To start achieving your goal, take action today. What are you going to do today to launch that business, apply for that job, write that book, attend those classes, graduate from college, lose that weight or give that speech? Take action and make your dreams come true.

Caroline coaches women, provides strategies and solutions, motivates and helps women who desperately want to strike the match that sets them ablaze to live happier, meaningful, positive, productive, improved and purpose driven lives. Sign up and receive your FREE bi-weekly self coaching question or tip, designed to inspire and challenge you to become unstoppable and achieve your goals by visiting

Caroline Irene Jalango
Life Strategies and Solutions for unstoppable Women!

"Know first who you are...then adorn yourself accordingly"

Getting Back on the Career Track

A Guide for Stay at Home Moms Who Want to Return to Work
by Carol Fishman Cohen and Vivian Steir Rabin

Back on the Career Track Would you like to return to the work world but are concerned about how to find an opportunity that will allow you to fulfill your family or other non-work obligations, nervous about how to "market yourself" to potential employers, or unsure about what type of work you want to do? We know how you feel. We took time out to be home with our children, and then relaunched our careers years later. Based upon our experience, and that of the 100+ women we interviewed for our forthcoming book, as well as the career counselors, recruiters and employers whose advice we sought, we've developed a detailed process to help you negotiate this major transition. Here it is in a nutshell:

1. Relaunch or Not: You Decide. If financial reasons require you to return to work, go to step 2. If not, determine whether you are ready to go back to paid work or whether deepening your volunteer involvement or engaging in a non-work passion might satisfy your restlessness. If you're not sure whether or not you want to return to paid work, visit and take our Relaunch Readiness Quiz.

2. Learn Confidence. If a lack of confidence is one of the obstacles holding you back, don't worry. You can regain it. Remember, whether you are a nurse, speech therapist, computer programmer, scientific researcher, or salesperson, your former colleagues' and classmates' image of you is frozen in time. They think of you as a consummate professional, and as you start to renew your professional persona and reconnect to the professional world, your confidence will grow. Following Steps 3 and 4 will also help increase your confidence as you update your professional knowledge and become more articulate in expressing what you want to do and why.

3. Assess Your Career Options. Don't think that returning to the conventional full time workforce is the only way to resume your career. The moms we interviewed did everything from starting a home based afterschool enrichment program (former teacher) to running career services for a law school on a flexible schedule (former public defender) to job sharing a hospice administrator position (former social worker) to creating a marketing campaign for a new mutual fund from home (former mid level marketing executive). Break down your old job(s) or volunteer experiences into their component parts and focus on what you did best and what you liked best. Then try to think of new opportunities that build on those skills and interests.

4. Update your Professional and Job Search Skills. A sure way to increase your confidence and bolster your employability is to update yourself. Read relevant journals, take continuing education classes and attend industry events. In terms of job search skills, develop an elevator story (a two minute talk answering the "what do you want to do" question) that summarizes your expertise and the kind of opportunity you seek in a few key sentences.

5. Network and Market Yourself. Order yourself a business card with your name and contact information. That way you don't have to scribble on a piece of scrap paper if you meet someone who wants to keep in touch with you. Then, start talking to people, beginning with those you know well. Branch out to those to whom they refer you, and discuss your professional interests and the kinds of opportunities you'd like to explore. These informal conversations essentially function as interview rehearsals, as you gradually hone your message. Prior to formal interviews, make sure you prepare extensively by studying the employer's website and practicing answers to the most common interview questions. When asked about your resume gap, answer matter-of-factly that you took some time out to raise your children/take care of an elderly parent, etc., but that you're now eager to get back to work.

6. Channel Family Support. Get your spouse, if you have one, on board with your plans as soon as possible. If you encounter resistance, make it clear how important this is to you and point out that with extra income you might be able to outsource some of the tasks that neither of you wants to perform, such as cleaning and shopping. The older your children are, the sooner you should tell them as well. If you need to change your childcare arrangements, try to implement the changes before you start your new job, so you can work out any problems. Streamline your household routines to maximize time to devote to either work or family. Develop a support network of family and/or neighbors to help you out in a jam.

7. Handle the Job or Find Another One. You found the right opportunity and you've relaunched. Initially, keep your employer's expectations low. Better to underpromise and overdeliver, rather than the other way around. Ask for early and frequent reviews -- ideally, every six months, because neither you nor your employer will be able to predict the rate of your career trajectory. Help your colleagues whenever possible, so they'll reciprocate when you need them. And, remember, this is just your first foray back to the professional marketplace. If it doesn't work out, you can always make a change.

Carol Fishman Cohen, a former investment banker, is now a consultant to women, organizations, and employers on the issue of career reentry. She lives in Newton, MA, with her husband and four children.

Vivian Steir Rabin, a former finance and human resources professional, now runs her own executive search business. She lives in Clifton, NJ, with her husband and five children.

They are the authors of Back on the Career Track: A Guide for Stay at Home Moms Who Want to Return to Work (Warner Business Books; June 2007; $24.99US/$31.99CAN; 978-0446578202).

For more information, please visit

Top 12 Workplace Pet Peeves

Little did I know what a chord I would strike with Top 10 Etiquette Blunders. But a chord it did strike. And since then I have heard from a lot of people about what’s bugging them at work. And it‘s not just etiquette my friends.

So here we go again. After hearing your cries and looking at some related surveys, I offer you your Top 12 Work/Office Pet Peeves.

1. Gossip: Randstad, a leading staffing firm and workforce solutions provider, recently commissioned a survey that asked more than 1,000 employed U.S. adults what their work pet peeves were.

Gossip was ranked near the top, being mentioned by more than a third of the respondents. A different survey ranked gossip at No. 1, with more than 60% of the respondents saying it is their top work pet peeve. Of course it’s not hard to understand why. Gossip is corrosive. Gossip splinters and divides. It hurts the one being gossiped about and diminishes the gossiper. And it is also often wrong.

2. Poor time management: This actually ranked #1 in the Randstad survey (43%) and that makes sense. At a time when employees are being asked to do more, with less, anyone who wastes time is a drag on the business—personally, professionally, time-wise, and colloquially.

3. Not understanding what a closed door means: I heard about this from many people. Suzy B’s email was illustrative:

“The next time you write about office etiquette and manners (or the lack thereof) would you include the following: If my office door is closed, don't tap once and then open the door and come right on in. Instead, the polite thing to do is knock, wait for me to respond and then, if I say please come in, come in. Otherwise to barge in when the door is closed is disrespectful and rude whether you have tapped lightly or not.”

4. Pranks are not that funny: With all due respect to Jim Halpert and Dwight Shrute, not a few people mentioned that pranks are not all that loved.

5. Loud talkers and speakerphone abusers: I was surprised at this one, but it is clearly an issue that many people do not liking having to deal with. The problem takes different forms: People who speak too loudly generally, those who talk to loudly on work phone calls (or worse, private calls), people who try and speak over their headphones, and most annoying apparently, people who use the speakerphone when a regular call would do just fine.

6. Boss boorishness: No one likes being reprimanded at work, but it’s all the worse when your boss does it in front of others. Equally irritating is the condescending boss, closely followed by the micro-manager. Who woulda thunk that setting a good example would be so difficult?

7. The coffee jerk: It seems that there are a lot of people out there who love to take the last cuppa Joe, but apparently hate making a new pot. That the empty pot sits on the hot burner all day, creating a ghastly smell does not faze them either. The other culprit here is the employee who makes some brewing mistake while making a pot, only to leave the ensuing mess for someone else to clean up.

8. The copier jerk: You know this type, right? This is the person who uses the last of the paper in the tray but fails to add more before they leave. Or it’s the person who jams up the machine and casually walks away without fixing it, leaving the problem for you—when you are on deadline of course.

9. Email hell: People really do not like it, and notice it, when someone hits “reply all” only so as to let everyone know that they are on it! Worse: they aren’t really on it and their reply adds nothing of value.

10. The eavesdropper: What with so many people working in open spaces and small cubicles these days, it is all the more important to give them their privacy when it is obviously needed. Eavesdropping is never OK.

11. The sick leaver: This is a big issue for the bosses out there (and not a few co-workers too.) Abusing sick leave makes things harder all the way around for everyone.

12. TMI: Your casual co-workers are not really interested in your personal grooming habits, polyp problems, or your latest health crisis. There is a fine line between casually sharing some chit chat and confiding intimate details. Unless you are close friends with the person, avoid sharing too much information.

Other issues that almost made the list: People who use too much jargon, bosses who give assignments on Friday afternoon and expect it done on Monday, and inappropriate

The Strauss Group, Steve Strauss

The Conversation

Nine Things Successful People Do Differently

Why have you been so successful in reaching some of your goals, but not others? If you aren't sure, you are far from alone in your confusion. It turns out that even brilliant, highly accomplished people are pretty lousy when it comes to understanding why they succeed or fail. The intuitive answer — that you are born predisposed to certain talents and lacking in others — is really just one small piece of the puzzle. In fact, decades of research on achievement suggests that successful people reach their goals not simply because of who they are, but more often because of what they do.

1. Get specific. When you set yourself a goal, try to be as specific as possible. "Lose 5 pounds" is a better goal than "lose some weight," because it gives you a clear idea of what success looks like. Knowing exactly what you want to achieve keeps you motivated until you get there. Also, think about the specific actions that need to be taken to reach your goal. Just promising you'll "eat less" or "sleep more" is too vague — be clear and precise. "I'll be in bed by 10pm on weeknights" leaves no room for doubt about what you need to do, and whether or not you've actually done it.

2. Seize the moment to act on your goals. Given how busy most of us are, and how many goals we are juggling at once, it's not surprising that we routinely miss opportunities to act on a goal because we simply fail to notice them. Did you really have no time to work out today? No chance at any point to return that phone call? Achieving your goal means grabbing hold of these opportunities before they slip through your fingers.

To seize the moment, decide when and where you will take each action you want to take, in advance. Again, be as specific as possible (e.g., "If it's Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, I'll work out for 30 minutes before work.") Studies show that this kind of planning will help your brain to detect and seize the opportunity when it arises, increasing your chances of success by roughly 300%.

3. Know exactly how far you have left to go. Achieving any goal also requires honest and regular monitoring of your progress — if not by others, then by you yourself. If you don't know how well you are doing, you can't adjust your behavior or your strategies accordingly. Check your progress frequently — weekly, or even daily, depending on the goal.

4. Be a realistic optimist. When you are setting a goal, by all means engage in lots of positive thinking about how likely you are to achieve it. Believing in your ability to succeed is enormously helpful for creating and sustaining your motivation. But whatever you do, don't underestimate how difficult it will be to reach your goal. Most goals worth achieving require time, planning, effort, and persistence. Studies show that thinking things will come to you easily and effortlessly leaves you ill-prepared for the journey ahead, and significantly increases the odds of failure.

5. Focus on getting better, rather than being good. Believing you have the ability to reach your goals is important, but so is believing you can get the ability. Many of us believe that our intelligence, our personality, and our physical aptitudes are fixed — that no matter what we do, we won't improve. As a result, we focus on goals that are all about proving ourselves, rather than developing and acquiring new skills.

Fortunately, decades of research suggest that the belief in fixed ability is completely wrong — abilities of all kinds are profoundly malleable. Embracing the fact that you can change will allow you to make better choices, and reach your fullest potential. People whose goals are about getting better, rather than being good, take difficulty in stride, and appreciate the journey as much as the destination.

6. Have grit. Grit is a willingness to commit to long-term goals, and to persist in the face of difficulty. Studies show that gritty people obtain more education in their lifetime, and earn higher college GPAs. Grit predicts which cadets will stick out their first grueling year at West Point. In fact, grit even predicts which round contestants will make it to at the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

The good news is, if you aren't particularly gritty now, there is something you can do about it. People who lack grit more often than not believe that they just don't have the innate abilities successful people have. If that describes your own thinking .... well, there's no way to put this nicely: you are wrong. As I mentioned earlier, effort, planning, persistence, and good strategies are what it really takes to succeed. Embracing this knowledge will not only help you see yourself and your goals more accurately, but also do wonders for your grit.

7. Build your willpower muscle. Your self-control "muscle" is just like the other muscles in your body — when it doesn't get much exercise, it becomes weaker over time. But when you give it regular workouts by putting it to good use, it will grow stronger and stronger, and better able to help you successfully reach your goals.

To build willpower, take on a challenge that requires you to do something you'd honestly rather not do. Give up high-fat snacks, do 100 sit-ups a day, stand up straight when you catch yourself slouching, try to learn a new skill. When you find yourself wanting to give in, give up, or just not bother — don't. Start with just one activity, and make a plan for how you will deal with troubles when they occur ("If I have a craving for a snack, I will eat one piece of fresh or three pieces of dried fruit.") It will be hard in the beginning, but it will get easier, and that's the whole point. As your strength grows, you can take on more challenges and step-up your self-control workout.

8. Don't tempt fate. No matter how strong your willpower muscle becomes, it's important to always respect the fact that it is limited, and if you overtax it you will temporarily run out of steam. Don't try to take on two challenging tasks at once, if you can help it (like quitting smoking and dieting at the same time). And don't put yourself in harm's way — many people are overly-confident in their ability to resist temptation, and as a result they put themselves in situations where temptations abound. Successful people know not to make reaching a goal harder than it already is.

9. Focus on what you will do, not what you won't do. Do you want to successfully lose weight, quit smoking, or put a lid on your bad temper? Then plan how you will replace bad habits with good ones, rather than focusing only on the bad habits themselves. Research on thought suppression (e.g., "Don't think about white bears!") has shown that trying to avoid a thought makes it even more active in your mind. The same holds true when it comes to behavior — by trying not to engage in a bad habit, our habits get strengthened rather than broken.
If you want change your ways, ask yourself, What will I do instead? For example, if you are trying to gain control of your temper and stop flying off the handle, you might make a plan like "If I am starting to feel angry, then I will take three deep breaths to calm down." By using deep breathing as a replacement for giving in to your anger, your bad habit will get worn away over time until it disappears completely.

It is my hope that, after reading about the nine things successful people do differently, you have gained some insight into all the things you have been doing right all along. Even more important, I hope are able to identify the mistakes that have derailed you, and use that knowledge to your advantage from now on. Remember, you don't need to become a different person to become a more successful one. It's never what you are, but what you do.

Heidi Grant Halvorson, Ph.D. is a motivational psychologist, and author of the new book Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals (Hudson Street Press, 2011). She is also an expert blogger on motivation and leadership for Fast Company and Psychology Today. Her personal blog, The Science of Success, can be found at Follow her on Twitter @hghalvorson

Sam Anson
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