Ten Things Every Employee Should Know to Increase One’s Personal Value at Work

As I walk the floors of client companies I hear concerned employees stressing about their future. Most workers feel helpless, believing their professional destiny is in someone else’s hands. They think there is nothing they can do to protect themselves from being laid off.

This may be true in some cases where poor management decisions have left companies with no option other than massive downsizing. But in most cases, except where union contracts dictate otherwise, management makes a decision of who stays and who leaves the company during bad economic times based upon some value judgment of the worth and contribution of the individual employee.

Therefore, every employee needs to fully grasp this simple concept: in most situationsthe future of an employee’s job security rest squarely on the shoulders of the employee, not the manager. The key to maintaining one’s employment is to ensure one isemployable. This applies to both one’s current job and one’s future position, should an employee find oneself out of work during tough economic times.

Employable employees have the greatest potential for remaining employed or for finding another job in tough economic times. Wise employees realize this. Astute employees know there are very specific things they can do to guarantee they remain employed and employable. Sadly, most employees never learn these basic precepts. They are seldom, if ever, taught in public schools or business management courses. Some people may be lucky enough to learn about them from a mentor. But most people either learn these principles the hard way — through experience — or they never learn them at all.

Listed below are ten important axioms I believe every employee must fully understand and actualize in order to better position oneself for success in the business world. These ten principles come from my more than 35 years of observations as a business executive and management consultant. They are ten unspoken axioms that apply in any organization. They are ten keys to an employee’s current and future success.

Axioms of Success

Axiom #1: Your work is a commodity. What you do as an employee only has value if someone is willing to pay for it. If you want people to value what you do you need to deliver on the “implied promises” that are inherent in your job description. It’s implied that you will do your job. It’s implied that you will do the job to the company’s standards. It’s implied that you will be honest. It’s implied that you will be on time to work. It’s implied that you will work hard and provide an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay. It’s implied that you will do exactly what is expected of you by your boss. It’s implied that you will never exhibit inappropriate or off-purpose behaviors or act contrary to the good of your employer.

The better you are at delivering on the implied promises, the greater your value will be as an employee. And the greater your value is as an employee, the higher the odds are that you will always be employed. Fight against, or ignore, these implied promises and you jeopardize your job. Do what your boss tells you to do, how he tells you to do it, when he tells you to do it. Do the job for which you were hired. This should be a simple concept to understand. Sadly, some employees just don’t get it.

Axiom #2: The value of your work is determined by others, not by you. As an employee you cannot tell others how valuable you are. You cannot declare how hard you work. You cannot determine the worth of what you do based upon your own perceptions of worth. Your boss – and more particularly, your customers – determine the worth of what you do as an employee.

You need to find out what others expect from you in the workplace. Focus on your “customers” and what they want. Ask your subordinates, peers and superiors what their expectations are of you. Learn their definition of success for you so you can work toward it. Don’t assume you know what it takes to succeed. Solicit the input of others and then match your performance and behaviors to the feedback you receive. In the workplace other people determine the criteria for your success, not you. You will succeed when you deliver what others expect from you.

Axiom#3: You get out of life what you give. Make sure you give your honest best effort at work. Show more interest in meeting the needs of the business, rather than your own needs. When you do all that you can at work to achieve the company’s objectives – while suspending your personal agenda – you will find that, more than likely, your personal needs will also be met. When you watch out for others, they usually watch out for you. Give all you can at work. Never put yourself in a position where others can accuse you of not doing your best.

Axiom #4: Be supportive of your boss. Do everything within your power and ability to make your boss a hero. Discern his or her needs and objectives. Do your part (and more) to meet those needs and achieve the boss’ objectives. Be responsive to the directives and commands of your boss. Express appreciation and show your support of your boss whenever possible. Very seldom in the business world can one succeed without the support of one’s boss. The more supportive you are of your boss, the more support you can expect in return, particularly in tough economic times. Remember, what your boss says about you has more bearing than what you say about you.

Axiom #5: Be supportive of your teammates. Help out whenever possible. Chip in when work needs to be done. Never engage in gossip, back-biting, or criticism of the members of your work team. Talk positively about your colleagues. Offer encouragement and support to your coworkers at every opportunity. Recognize the accomplishments of others and praise them liberally. Be a team player in all of your actions, words and deeds. Realize that few people can succeed in life without the help of others. Make sure other people like you by being good at what you do. How you interact with others at work says a lot about your value to a company.

Axiom #6: Recognize where and how others have contributed to your success. Few great achievements were ever accomplished individually. Someone helped you get to where you are. People around you are contributing to your success. Give credit to those who support you, directly or indirectly. Take only a small piece of the credit for team accomplishments. Don’t toot your own horn too loudly. When you recognize and praise others for what they have done for you, more than likely they will sound your praises in return.

Axiom #7: Speak up. Be a contributor. Share your opinion and views. Provide input. Offer your perspective. Don’t be a “yes man” when no is the right answer. Help everyone to succeed by identifying and sharing where improvements can be made. But do so wisely and kindly. Know when, where and how to offer suggestions or provide critical analysis. Have sound, valid reasoning behind your statements and never push your personal agenda. Always offer your suggestions in a kind and respectful manner. Never act as if you know better or you are wiser than others. Build up rather than tear down. Offer solutions instead of complaints.

Axiom #8: Be receptive to and a champion of change. Change is inevitable in every job. Work processes continually evolve. Good workers are always looking for ways to accomplish their work easier, faster or cheaper. Never become complacent in your work. Always look for opportunities to improve. Never resist change. When changes come, accept them eagerly and adapt to them quickly. Be an early adopter of change and help others to change as well. Show management that you are willing and able to do whatever is necessary to guarantee success in the new business model.

Axiom #9: Tolerate the idiosyncrasies of your organization. Every company has something strange about it. Usually there is some trivial (or significant) thing about the way a company operates that bothers the employees. Good employees are able to look past it; and it is this tolerance that makes them especially good employees. Bad employees whine and let it affect their attitude; and it is their bad attitude that makes them bad employees. The more employees complain or fight against the idiosyncrasies of their organization the less they become a part of it. Good employees seek to build up their organization, while bad employees tear it down. Do all you can to be a non-complaining, non-criticizing employee. Accept the strange norms of an organization and learn how to function effectively within those norms.

Axiom #10: Be a model of excellence. Produce quality results. Provide exceptional service. Model the appropriate attitude and behaviors. Make it happen. Get it done. Do it right. High value employees are always “go-to” employees. They are the ones who managers know will get the work done on time, on budget, and within scope. Be an employee that can always be counted on. When you are viewed as the highest value employee, you will either be the last on the list for layoffs or off the list completely. But, more important, high value employees can easily transport their high value to any organization for whom they work. There is always a place for high value employees.

Conclusion

Employees who consciously remember these ten axioms, and model them daily, will find their value to their company increasing. High value employees are seldom let go. Even during severe economic downturns, most companies will do all they can to retain their highest value workers.

I wish to stress that these ten axioms should constitute “normal” behavior for all employees at all times. Clearly they are important during a downturn in business, but, even in the good times, employees should model these principles – for in good times high value employees are the most likely to get promotions and pay raises.

Management tends to reward employees who deliver on the implied promises, meet expectations, and focus on business results. Management appreciates those employees who support their boss and their fellow workers. Management prefers employees who speak up and offer suggestions for improvement in a kind and respectful manner. The best candidates for promotion are those who are receptive to change, can tolerate the company’s idiosyncrasies, and who model the appropriate performance, attitude and behaviors each and every day at work.

Wise employees realize their employment future is within their own hands. To a great extent they control their own destiny in the workplace. They can choose to accept these ten axioms or reject them; and, by so doing, either reap the rewards or suffer the consequences of their choice.

Written by, 

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Spartan Resources, LLC is an Atlanta based IT Staffing and Recruiting Agency. We offer Opportunities in Information Technology, Telecommunications, Engineering and Management Consulting.

For a complete listing of our open positions, visit our webpage at www.spartanresources.net. Stay up to date on our most recent positions by connecting with us on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn

 

Why You Need A New Connection Strategy

I have written quite a bit about why and how you should talk to many more strangers to expand your business connections, now you’ll need a strategy. Strategy can be a scary word, but don’t get too hung up on it. It doesn’t need to be a 10-page document, just a general direction with an end point and actions to get there.

Great lawyers hit the courtroom with a strategy already in mind because if they don’t, they will undoubtedly fail. A football game is just the same. Coaches and managers will devise a strategy before the season starts and then for each game before they kick off. Your efforts to build a great connection base are no different. You’ll need two strategies: one for your offline networking in face-to-face situations, and also one for your online networking, and they probably won’t be much different.

Determine your end point

The first part of devising your strategy is to decide what your end point or goal is going to be. Is it to be connected to a particular person or persons, to do business with a particular company, to become world famous at something or just to grow your business connections or followers? Whatever it is, note it down.

Now you have your end point. All you have to do now is work out how to get there.

Let’s say you want to meet with the CEO of your national airline — so you now have your end goal. Where will you find this person? As CEO, you won’t find them at the smaller networking events so you’re going to have to think bigger. As CEO of a national company, do they present at conferences, attend big business award functions or fly often? Airport lounges, particularly those with designated business travel lounges, are good places to bump into other business people. These are the places you may need to go to in order to have a chance at meeting the person you want to bump in to then follow the eight principles I wrote about in an earlier post.

Show up in person

I’m not suggesting you spend all day in an airport lounge looking for new prospects or hoping to chat to your hero, but when you’re traveling, be alert to who is around you and how you can start a conversation with them. Likewise, be on the lookout at conferences and seminars and if your opportunity is there, position yourself to be able to start that conversation.

If the person is presenting at the conference, don’t attempt to chat before they have given their presentation. They won’t thank you for it and you will have more success if you wait until afterwards. Beforehand, they will be mentally fixing on their speech and nothing else; so don’t interrupt their train of thought. When you do wait until after they’ve presented, you can easily start chatting about how useful you found their speech, and what you will do because of it. Most speakers like to feel that they are helping to change the world and making a difference somewhere, no matter how small, so take advantage of this piece of knowledge.

Show up online

You’ll also probably find them online, as any switched-on business person will have at least a LinkedIn profile. You’ll need to make a list of the people you wish to make contact with, as this list could be quite different from your offline list. There are people in the business world you would never come across in person because they live in a different town or even a different continent.

Once you have your list of people, search for them on LinkedIn as this is the most obvious place for them to show up online. When you find their profile, have a look to see if you have anyone in common and what groups they are a member of so you can send them a message.

Make your message stand out

Your message to your online prospect needs to be very similar to what you would say if you were networking freestyle. Begin by finding something in common, that might simply be a connection you both share. Don’t be tempted to send a note full of sales patter or, even worse, an over-the-top message about how amazing you think the person is and how you’d love to connect. Sure, tell them why you’re contacting them, but keep it brief, to the point (less than 100 words) and finish it off with a great subject line and a final sentence containing something that will catch their eye.

Following up from a meeting in person

Without the follow-up, you may just have been wasting your time, so this part is crucial and is the part that frequently gets left out. We’ve all been guilty of not following up, thinking it’s too hard, or thinking our new connection won’t remember us, or we may just be plain scared of the rejection that could follow. I urge you to bite the bullet and do it.

Try following up by telephone first, but if they don’t answer, never leave a message. If you leave a message, you’re relying on them calling you back and if they have a hectic schedule at that time they probably won’t call. If you follow up again after you’ve left a message that they haven’t responded to, you may look a bit desperate.

Following up from a virtual message

It’s much harder to follow up from a virtual message that you have sent someone without annoying them, so remember, softly, softly does it. If they haven’t responded to you, they may just not be interested, or your message didn’t interest or resonate with them.

Get name dropping

I once had a meeting with a lady in PR about an event I wanted to organise called ‘The Say Hello Project’. I couldn’t create this event on my own; I needed some strategic partners to help me along and in return they got exposure by association to the event. She liked the idea so I told her my plans about which two other companies I would like to see involved. It just so happened that her husband worked at one of those companies. This meant I could leverage her name when I spoke to him as a way in — a warm call rather than cold-calling him.

Talking to more strangers will not only grow your connection base, but may open up new opportunities for you and for others in the future if you allow them to. Your life may also be richer from the diverse people you learn something new from by going about your daily business, so make the effort to chat to others more, set yourself a goal of 5 new people each day and see what happens.

Written by, 

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Spartan Resources, LLC is an Atlanta based IT Staffing and Recruiting Agency. We offer Opportunities in Information Technology, Telecommunications, Engineering and Management Consulting.

For a complete listing of our open positions, visit our webpage at www.spartanresources.net. Stay up to date on our most recent positions by connecting with us on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn

 

 

Simple Tricks to Immediately Boost Your Confidence

Skill takes time to build. Talent takes time to nurture. So if you want to perform better right now, there’s only one way: Feel more confident. Everyone’s been there. We don’t need research to confirm the more confident we feel the better we perform.

Of course actually finding that dose of confidence, especially when we need it most, is the real trick.

I’ve written about the best way to be more confident and ways to get a quick jolt of confidence. (As well as some ways to use body positions and gestures to improve performance.)

And that’s why I love this guest post from Christina DesMarais, a writer for Inc.com, Forbes, PCWorld, and the Minneapolis Tribune.

Here’s Christina:

Whether you have to give a speech, need to negotiate with someone, want to find a mate, or simply get ahead in life, confidence is your best friend. If you’re lacking in that regard, here’s how to change your thinking or in the very least make it appear as if you’re comfortable in your own skin.

1. Don’t slouch.

Regardless of your confidence level, slouching communicates you lack faith in yourself.

Try posting a note on the edge of your computer display with a reminder such as an up arrow in thick red marker or the words “SIT UP STRAIGHT”. To correct yourself, roll your shoulders back and imagine someone just pulled a string from the top of your head, elongating your spine and raising your chin so it’s in a neutral, forward-facing position.

If you’re really serious about improving your posture you could try LumoBack. It’s a $150 sensor you strap around your lower back under your clothes. Every time you slouch it vibrates to remind you to straighten up. The LumoBack app, which works on newer iOS devices, reports on how well you’re doing, as well as other activities, such as steps taken, how much time you spend sitting and how many times you stood up in a day.

2. Understand that most people aren’t thinking about you.

Self-conscious people worry too much about what others think about them. The thing is, usually other people aren’t thinking about them–at all.

Imagine you had the magical power to read the thoughts of the people around you. You know what you’d hear a lot of? Stuff like this:

Crap, I forgot to stop by the bank… I shouldn’t have eaten that cake Susan brought to work, now I feel fat… I hope Sara flirts with me again tonight at volleyball like she did last week… Why should I have to clean the downstairs bathroom when Bill is the only one in the house who uses it?

Notice how many times “I” might pop up? Humans are remarkably self-absorbed.

3. Nix negative self-talk.

If “diffident” describes you well, there’s a good chance you’re an over-thinker with a lot of negative self-talk rolling around in your head.

Pay attention to what you’re saying to yourself. Every time you think something like “I can’t do this” replace it with something positive such as “I’m going to give it my best shot.” The key is to step out of yourself and look at your self-talk as an outsider. How would it make you feel to hear someone sitting next to you say “I’m so [fat, dumb, ugly, slow, etc.]?” Pretty harsh, right?

Nurture yourself within your thought life, just as you might with someone else.

4. Lighten up.

Some people are naturally more serious than others. If this is you, learn to smile and laugh more. Even a simple grin will suffice to entice others to want to be around you.

To make smiling a habit, set a time when you’ll practice doing it for several minutes straight–maybe in the car on your way to work. It will seem weird, but after a while smiling will come more naturally. Studies have also shown that forcing yourself to smile is good for your health, as well.

Need help laughing? America’s Funniest Home videos work wonders for me, and can easily be streamed online for free. Or why not plug some headphones into your computer and get happy during your lunch break with a comedy channel on YouTube? Or use the “funny” filter at Ted.com to watch TED Talks that will get you giggling.

5. Handle mistakes with grace.

How you handle slip-ups is also important. Confident people understand no one is perfectand however you just screwed up, it’s probably not the end of the world.

Ask yourself: How important will this mistake seem in three months?

If whatever you did involves your work output, acknowledge your flub and vow to do better next time. If your “mistake” is only that you said something stupid or tripped over a box in the storage room landing in a mess on the floor, try laughing it off. It’s the most gracious way to handle a blunder.

6. Get feedback.

Toastmasters Internationalis the classic confidence builder. It’s a speaking club to which nearly 300,000 people since 1924 have turned to develop their skills, get great feedback, and learn how to be more comfortable in front of an audience.

Membership is only around $36 every six months and there are approximately 14,500 clubs across the United States.

A version of this article was originally published by Christina DesMarais on Inc.com.

Written by, 

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Spartan Resources, LLC is an Atlanta based IT Staffing and Recruiting Agency. We offer Opportunities in Information Technology, Telecommunications, Engineering and Management Consulting.

For a complete listing of our open positions, visit our webpage at www.spartanresources.net. Stay up to date on our most recent positions by connecting with us on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn

 

Reasons for Having a Recruitment Professional on Your Speed Dial

Ah, Recruiters. What an interesting profession we have. We are either respected and loved by our clients and talent network because of our commitment for changing their lives for the better or…. get a bad rep for not delivering and failing to produce when needed the most.

In an uncertain economic and hiring climate, staffing professionals need to step up their game to become less of a services vendor and be recognized as an industry insider and consultant. This can only be achieved through hard work, results that speak for themselves and solid business acumen. But this alone is not conducive for business calls and talent referrals. Nowadays, organizations have in-house recruitment departments, Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) and even top-notch LinkedIn pages that are there to attract desperately needed talent. This supposedly makes our work expensive, us redundant and sometimes forgotten.

So, in order to stay relevant and constantly on our client’s minds, we must adapt to the changing environment and give our prospective and established clients alike reasons to pick up the phone and call. That is easier said than done and that is why here is a list of reasons about why I believe every hiring manager needs a recruitment professional’s number on their phone’s speed dial ready for action.

Time Saving, Reliable and Accurate. When a client calls, the clock starts ticking. A seasoned staffing professional will get to work quickly but more importantly, with a purpose. He or she will study the organization, their culture and the reason for the new opening. Then they will use all the research tools at their disposal (job boards, talent network, LinkedIn and referrals) to produce quality candidates who have the experience, understand the organization and more importantly, want the job! More times than not, a quality placement is made and it paves the way for more referred business down the road, making us a valuable commodity for other organizations.

Proven Industry knowledge. An experienced recruiter understands the market and has the uncanny ability to wear many hats. Many hats? Yes. We get so consumed by the position we are searching for, that we learn the role inside out, start speaking the technical language and become a peer to our candidates. We’ll be speaking like a marketing director, an engineering manager and even as a nuclear scientist (true story by the way). In this manner recruiters prove they are highly knowledgeable about multiple industries and can be trusted with difficult to recruit roles that other staffing professionals shy from. An experienced staffing professional is fearless and relishes the chance to be assigned a difficult-to-fill role or head hunting assignment.

Organic Talent network. With the rise of social media, LinkedIn and other professional networks, everyone on them is a candidate. And in order for a staffing professional to get access to the best and most qualified candidates, we have to work for it. Recruiters need to be credible, honest and clear with every candidate we work with. This builds our reputation and gives us the chance to contact more people, either passive or active job seekers, and more importantly, they will trust us enough to hear and discuss the role we have to offer. Not only will we be highly connected individuals, but our contacts will refer us to other people that might not have been available for us to communicate with. Then, whenever a complex role comes our way, we already will know whom to call because they know who we are, what we stand for and that the opportunities we will offer them are in line with their career prospects.

Surprisingly Caring and Human. We are not out there to close a role quickly and make a quick buck. A successful recruiter cares for his candidates and is in tune with the staffing needs of the organizations he or she works with. We care about giving the best opportunities of career advancement to our candidates and will not place someone in a role they are not sure of. We also care for our client’s needs and will work hard to fulfill their staffing needs by presenting qualified candidates who want to be part of the organization presented for the long haul. Remember we might be candidates in the future and we would like to be treated the same way we have treated candidates and organizations alike through our recruiting career.

So, next time you have a pressing staffing need or you are looking to explore possible career opportunities, give a recruiter a call. We are ready and prepared to assist your organizational and personal needs in a timely, honest and reliable way. 

Written by, 

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Spartan Resources, LLC is an Atlanta based IT Staffing and Recruiting Agency. We offer Opportunities in Information Technology, Telecommunications, Engineering and Management Consulting.

For a complete listing of our open positions, visit our webpage at www.spartanresources.net. Stay up to date on our most recent positions by connecting with us on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn

10 Things You Need to Be Happy in Your Career

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post asking you to share with me what you feel you need in a job or career to make you happy. This was inspired by an image that represents a simple formula for career happiness.

While this formula is a great reminder for all of us to find work that fulfills us, it’s not always so easy. So I wanted to get your thoughts on what you specifically want and need for career happiness.

The list below is a curation of your comments from my previous post, and I have to say, I think you all are brilliant and made excellent points — I wish I could have included every voice!

So in your words, here are some of the things you need in a job or career to make you happy:

1. I need to like what I do.

“Do I like what I do, am I good at it, do others respect me for it? Do I find purpose in it, and can I have fun along the way?” – Donna Micklich

“I want to be doing something which I care about, which I have a passion for, which gets me out of bed in the morning because I feel good about what I am going to be doing to earn my living.” – Jenny Mullinder

“Do something that drives your interest and passion. Once you find it, continue to grow and learn from it that way you will be happy and have some sense of self-fulfillment.” – Maricris Braganza

2. I need to be in control of my schedule.

“Prior to starting my first company, I worked at a job in a warehouse for 12 hours a day, 6 days a week. The only thing worse than the work was that I had zero control over my schedule. I’ll never allow anything close to that again. These days, I control 100% of my schedule.” – Joshua Jordison

“I’d like flexible scheduling. I’ve always been more productive later in the day. Mornings are not my thing. Also the ability to work from home 1-2 days a week.” – Jennifer Podvin

“For me one of the big things to my career happiness is being able to have a work-life balance.” – Cassidy Quinn Brettler

3. I need to respect the leadership team.

“It is important to be working with a leadership team that you respect, trust and who inspires you. Settling for less puts limits on yourself and the organization.” – Jennifer Evans

“I think it is important that a company asks for feedback from its employees, and that the employees feel comfortable enough to give this feedback. If the company is willing to listen, I think many of the employees’ needs and wants will be granted, within reason.” – Maura Burns

4. I need to always be learning on the job.

“Doing something that provides no challenge with people from whom I can learn nothing makes me unhappy.” – Tanarra Schneider

“Is there intellectual fulfillment in my day-to-day? Are both the left and right sides of my brain being exercised to my satisfaction?” – Emily Shanoff Andrews

“It is important to continue challenging ourselves. Sometimes our craving for something new and unknown is what keeps us from feeling happy with what we have.” – Shannon Houde

5. I need to find a job that aligns with my strengths.

“Pay close attention to the elements of work you are drawn to over time; for example, managing others, writing, or process development. Watch for organizational changes (growth, structure, process) that throw you off course. These can lead to mismatches.” – Dr. Marla Gottschalk

“The formula I use includes matching what you are good at (strengths) to passions/motivations. This will help you identify the right type of work or job. Then, it’s important to match your values to the values and environment of the company. Matching only to strengths won’t work.” – Lisa McAbee

6. I need a company that supports employee growth.

“The main things I look for in a company – that they believe in me and will support my growth and creative process. “ – Carmela Kate French

“It only takes a few people in an organization who are passionate about their work and the people they are entrusted to develop to make a difference.” – Michael Clancy

7. I need a workplace with “good culture.”

“I personally have never met anyone that wakes up excited EVERY-day for work. It’s work if it was supposed to be fun it would be called super happy fun time. Being in a quality environment really helps.” – Jason Taylor

“Great colleagues!!! They can turn a crappy job into a job that’s fun to go to.” – Ashleigh Elson

8. I need a job that compensates me fairly.

“Having a healthy bank account provides more formulas of success than anyone could possibly imagine.” – Jeff Miller

“Salary is primary – it allows one to breathe a little easier outside of work. Further beneftis aresecondary, and they can be accommodated with the right monetary compensation.” – Zara Bartels

9. I need to feel valued.

“I am not at work just to receive a pay check, I take pride in my work. Management’s efforts toacknowledge that, recognizing me as a valuable contributor, makes all the difference.” – Kristen Hudy

“Do those I work for acknowledge me as a human being, or am I just a cog? Does my boss realize I exist, or does he/she just thrown things at me to do without a word?” – Elizabeth Hamilton

“Part of what makes me happy is having people who are either in a superior position or in a different position of the company than myself who actually listen to and respect the contributions made by others. “ – Katie Uruhart

10. I need to feel like I’m making a difference in the world.

“I want to do things that really matters and positively influence someones life (and I want to be able clearly identify this someone).” – Agnieszka Dadura

“What I do has to make a positive and substantial contribution to something bigger (could be as simple as seeing the connection between selling a product to improve people’s lives and improve the company’s bottom line).” – Jackie Cote

Written by, 

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Spartan Resources, LLC is an Atlanta based IT Staffing and Recruiting Agency. We offer Opportunities in Information Technology, Telecommunications, Engineering and Management Consulting.

For a complete listing of our open positions, visit our webpage at www.spartanresources.net. Stay up to date on our most recent positions by connecting with us on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn

22 Successful Entrepreneurs (You Can Trust) Share Their Best Advice

The success of seasoned entrepreneurs and investors continue to be a great inspiration and motivation for aspiring and first time entrepreneurs.

These pieces of business advice are a few of the best advice and tips you can apply to your business ranging from management, fundraising, angel investors, venture capital and marketing and startup productivity.

1.Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life – think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success. ~ Swami Vivekananda (not an entrepreneur but a great teacher: I just needed to add this)

2. Risk more than others think safe. Dream more than others think practical. Expect more than others think possible. Care more than others think wise.” – Howard Schultz

3. Establish a business agreement (contract) at the very beginning of your venture. This should outline who does what and equity split. This eliminates nasty legal issues once the business becomes successful. – Tom Preston-Werner

4. You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing and falling over.- Richard Branson

5. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life. ~ Steve Jobs

6. If you have an idea put it up there online, no matter what it looks like. You need the feedback early on.- Brian Chesky

7. Start-ups also are becoming easier to build without venture cash because entrepreneurs can now outsource programming chores to cheap, offshore engineers.- Paul Graham

8. There’s nothing quite more permanent than a temporary business model. – Matt Mullenweg

9. Building a company is like baking a cake… sometimes the eggs get on the roof. –- Marc Andreessen

10. It’s ok if something doesn’t scale as long as it strengthens your position.– Adam D’Angelo

11. You want the quality of Apple, the trustworthiness of Zappos, and the likeability of Richard Branson, enchant your customers.–GuyKawasaki

12. See things in the present, even if they are in the future. — Larry Ellison

13. It is important for young entrepreneurs to be adequately self-aware to know what they do not know.– Mark Zuckerberg

14. It’s okay to doubt yourself, it’s okay to feel down; just never give up. – Aaron Patzer

15. Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good. It’s the thing you do that makes you good. ~ Malcolm Gladwell

16. You don’t need a business plan. You don’t need to have an MBA. All you need is a great idea. Anything is possible and you can accomplish it. – Ron Conway

17. The “magic formula” is an engineer who can become an entrepreneur and CEO.-Marc Andreessen

18. Spectacular companies start with ambitious but unknown founders, no pedigree required.–Jim Goetz

19. It’s better to do something hard if you’re capable of solving hard problems.–Paul Graham

20. Ignore your mistakes. The number one thing to worry about is “Am I doing what I’m good at?–Max Levchin

21. If you have an idea put it up there online, no matter what it looks like. You need the feedback early on.–Brian Chesky

22. Take on more than you’re ready to, and get used to that feeling- Drew Houston

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Spartan Resources, LLC is an Atlanta based IT Staffing and Recruiting Agency. We offer Opportunities in Information Technology, Telecommunications, Engineering and Management Consulting.

For a complete listing of our open positions, visit our webpage at www.spartanresources.net. Stay up to date on our most recent positions by connecting with us on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn

The 30 Second Habit with a Lifelong Impact

There are no quick fixes. I know this as a social science junkie, who’s read endless books and blogs on the subject, and tried out much of the advice — mostly to no avail. So I do not entitle this post lightly. And I write it only having become convinced, after several months of experimentation, that one of the simplest pieces of advice I’ve heard is also one of the best.

It is not from a bestselling book — indeed no publisher would want it: even the most eloquent management thinker would struggle to spin a whole book around it. Nor is it born out of our world of digital excess and discontent. Instead, it was given by a man born in the 19th century, to his teenage grandson, today in his fifth decade.

The man in question, an éminence grise of the business world, is one of the most interesting people I have ever met. He has helped devise brands that are household names. These days, working only when he feels he has something to offer, he is parachuted in to solve stock price threatening corporate crises. Occasionally, when he’s sufficiently interested, he pens speeches for Fortune 500 CEOs and politicians, his words billed out at six figures. He is exceptionally well read, and also writes prolifically. Novels. But just for fun: on completion, he destroys them. He does not see the point in being published, or of seeking publicity in general. Amongst his friends are some of the most powerful people on the planet — from business leaders, to politicians, actors and other luminaries of the arts. But Google him, and you will find barely a ripple on the cyber seas.

I met him first over a coffee in his apartment, to discuss the strategy for a highly political non-profit working in Africa. Around his table sat an eclectic mix of very vocal people. Our host, making the coffee, said almost nothing. But on the few occasions he did interject, with a brief question or observation, it invariably clarified exactly what mattered— politely sweeping away the sludge of opinion that clogs such discussions. It was masterful: like watching a conductor of the London Philharmonic coaxing a small town student orchestra into shape.

So when he shared some of the best advice he’d ever received, I was captivated.

If you only do one thing, do this

He was in his early teens, about to start senior school, when his grandfather took him aside and told him the following:

Immediately after every lecture, meeting, or any significant experience, take 30 seconds — no more, no less — to write down the most important points. If youalways do just this, said his grandfather, and even if you only do this, with no other revision, you will be okay.

He did, and he was. In everything he has done since, with such accomplishment, and with enough room still to experience life so richly. He later inducted into the pact both his sons, who have excelled in their young careers.

I’ve been trying it out for a few months. Here’s what I’ve found so far:

  1. It’s not note taking: Don’t think, just because you write down everything in a meeting, that you’re excused from the 30 second summation. Though brief, this exercise is entirely different from taking notes. It’s an act of interpretation, prioritisation and decision-making.
  2. It’s hard work: Deciding what’s most important is exhausting. It’s amazing how easy it is to tell yourself you’ve captured everything that matters, to find excuses to avoid this brief mental sprint — a kind of 100 metres for your brain.
  3. Detail is a trap: Precisely because we so often, ostensibly, capture everything, we avoid the hard work of deciding what few things count. So much of excellence is, of course, the art of elimination. And the 30 second review stops you using quantity as an excuse.
  4. You must act quickly: If you wait a few hours, you may recall the facts, but you lose the nuance. And this makes all the difference in deciding what matters. Whether it’s the tone in someone’s voice, or the way one seemingly simple suggestion sparks so many others, or the shadow of an idea in your mind triggered by a passing comment.
  5. You learn to listen better, and ask better questions: Once you get into the habit of the 30 second review, it starts to change the way you pay attention, whether listening to a talk or participating in a discussion. It’s like learning to detect a simple melody amidst a cacophony of sound. And as you listen with more focus, and ask better questions which prompt actionable answers, so your 30 second review becomes more useful.
  6. You’re able to help others more: Much of what makes the 30 second cut are observations about what matters to other people. Even if the purpose is to help better manage different interests in future conversations, it also helps you understand others’ needs, and so solve their problems. This does not surprise me: in months of interviewing people who make generous connections, I’ve been struck by how many have their own unconscious version of the 30 second review: focused on the question of how best they can help.
  7. It gets easier and more valuable: Each time you practice, it gets a little easier, a little more helpful, and little more fun.

Written by, 

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Spartan Resources, LLC is an Atlanta based IT Staffing and Recruiting Agency. We offer Opportunities in Information Technology, Telecommunications, Engineering and Management Consulting.

For a complete listing of our open positions, visit our webpage at www.spartanresources.net. Stay up to date on our most recent positions by connecting with us on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn