Why You Probably Can’t Change Your Boss

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Have you ever worked for an organization you knew had a bad leader, but you thought you could change him or her? I’ve talked to countless frustrated employees who have attempted just that, and I can tell you, it doesn’t work. By the time a pastor, CEO, or other leader reaches that place in his or her career, they’ve been at it a long time and developed a routine. So for anyone to think they can turn on a dime is

Why Who You Work With Matters

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Changing the organizational chart of an organization has a limited impact.  But changing where people sit, has a massive effect.  That’s from Ben Waber, CEO of Sociometric Solutions, who uses sensors to track communication patterns in the workplace.  He says a worker’s immediate neighbors account for 40-60% of interactions a worker faces during the workday.  If you’re two rows away, it’s reduced to 5-10%.  The fact is,

Who You Work With Matters More Than You Think

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We all joke about our co-workers.  We’re close to some, others drive us crazy, and a few seem outright evil.  Since we spend so much of our lives working in the office, more and more studies show that who we work with has a huge impact, not only on our performance, but on our personal health.  A recent study from Tel Aviv University tracked 820 workers for 20 years.  They discovered that our co-workers impact our health more than the hours we work, the stress, or our boss.  And it’s pretty serious – working with not-so-kind colleagues, actually increases our risk of dying.  In fact,

You Might Be Failing Because You’re Over-Reaching

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When it comes to work and our career, we all want something better. Better equipment, more resources, a bigger team, and more. But many times when we get the opportunity, we overreach and end up with nothing. Let me give you an example: I consulted with a media organization recently and to really enhance capturing their live events, I suggested they get a camera jib (crane). As soon as I mentioned it, one of their video guys jumped into the conversation and said,

Freelancer or Full Time Employee? Which One Is Right for You?

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I know a television producer who has spent most of his career working as a full time network employee. He’s very talented, and a few years ago, decided he should go out on his own and become a freelance producer. He lasted about 6 months. Once he starting working outside the studio, he started to miss having a large staff, a couple of assistants, office equipment, and the clout of a big company behind him. He struggled mightily with working on his own, doing it on the cheap, and

Don’t Be Afraid to Say, "I Don’t Know"

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Way too often in modern business, competition makes us feel that we can’t ask for help.  We think it will show weakness, and as a result, we lie.  We try to make everyone think we can handle everything, when the truth is, we have lots of questions.  Here’s my take:  Insecure people are terrified that people around them will think they don’t know what they’re doing.  But people who are secure, have the confidence to ask for help.  As a result, they find answers and move ahead of everyone else.

The Damage Caused by Entrenched Incompetence

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I had a depressing encounter the other day. After working a short time with an organization, it became pretty obvious that their inside public relations person was a disaster. She’d been at the organization a long time and had strong relationships with various leaders. She seemed decent enough with one exception: She was terrible at her job. I mean really terrible. Honestly, I asked a number of people she worked with, and not a single person could tell me anything she’d actually accomplished in the past few years. No PR strategy, no press releases, no social media campaigns, no media connections, nothing. So I asked the next obvious question: “Why doesn’t she get fired?”

Want to Know About an Organization? Ask The Janitor

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When I visit a client organization, they often send someone to pick me up at the airport. It might be a full time driver, someone’s assistant, or a janitor. But I’ve discovered that I can find out more about the organization from that person than anyone else I meet during the visit. They have the least to lose, and are the most free to share what they know.  Likewise, when I have an appointment with a leader, I’ll often show up