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   Top 5 Keys to Leadership Career Advancement

As an executive search firm our clients consistently mention these 5 attributes they require when evaluating professionals for leadership roles.
1. Collaboration: the recognition that top down management is no longer effective; today's top cultures succeed by being inclusive and eliciting ideas and cooperation throughout the organization.
2. Communication: leaders are expected to possess strong verbal/written skills and be able to influence others versus dictate to others.
3. Innovation: leaders are expected to have an attitude of what must I do to be an agent of innovation and change? A company listed on the Fortune 500 today has a less than 50 percent chance of still being on the list in 2021.
4. Flexibility: leaders are expected to manage their business responsibilities with their family responsibilities in a way that is seamless; there is no defined work time vs. personal time.
5. Continuous Learning: the pace of rapid change will challenge leaders to be in a continuous learning mode; it is predicted that many job openings will go unfilled due to lack of technical expertise.

I would encourage you to assess how you stack up against the 5 attributes most frequently requested by our clients and adapt accordingly.

   Peak Work Performance Demands High Energy

In today's work environment we are often asked to do more with fewer resources, especially time. There are only so many hours in the day; so addressing this issue requires us to bring more energy to the workplace. A We can accomplish this by focusing on the following four factors that help determine our energy level on a daily basis:

1. Good Nutrition: eat five meals a day to maintain balanced energy. In addition to the normal breakfast, lunch, and dinner, add a light snack at mid-morning and mid-afternoon. This may consist of a piece of fruit, a small cup of yogurt or almonds.

2. Sleep: most doctors and sleep experts recommend at least seven hours of sleep per night. Proper sleep is nature's way of allowing our bodies and minds to recover from the stressors of the day.

3. Exercise: many people make the excuse "I don't have time" and overlook the importance of exercise. However, exercise provides you with more energy and it increases your endurance. A side benefit is also the enhanced mental state achieved by the release of mood-enhancing endorphins in the brain.

4. Relationships: developing and maintaining positive relationships at work and with family and friends provides a feeling of connectivity to the world. This in turn is a great source of energy and a positive attitude.

Entire books are written regarding good nutrition, sleep, exercise and relationships. You would be well served to incorporate these fundamentals into your life and see how it will benefit your performance at the office.

   Make Your Point in 30 Seconds

How long is the average television commercial? 30 seconds. Why? This is due to time constraints and the fact that the attention span of most people is 30 seconds.
I am not implying that an entire conversation will last only 30 seconds. I am saying that a well delivered message within a conversation will fit within this guideline.

This is best achieved by following this simple format:
    - Develop a clear objective. What is your goal? What do you want to accomplish with the conversation?
    - Who is your audience? Who is in position to get you what you want?
    - What is the right approach to get what you want? How do you satisfy the needs of your listener to get what you want?
    - What is your hook? How will you best obtain the attention of your audience?
    - The close. Ask for what you want.

Example: An employee wanting to take a continuing education course speaking to his/her supervisor. John, the implementation of SAP is critical to the company's strategic plan. I believe it would benefit our team if I would become familiar with SAP prior to the implementation. There is a course being offered at XWZ University March 10th that I would like to attend. Please let me know so that I may enroll.

   Developing and Maintaining Your Network

Keys to Developing and Maintaining Your Network

The success and satisfaction you derive from your network is in direct proportion to the time and effort you apply to it. Key ingredients include:
Both parties must have their needs met. You give; you get. Give value to your network colleagues; do a favor for them and make a note on how they may help you.

2. SHARE INFORMATION "Make note of a persona's personal and professional interests. As you become aware of information that's on target, pass it on.

3. STAY IN TOUCH Acknowledging important dates like birthdays, anniversaries, promotions and articles authored is a great way of expressing that you care.

4. DIVERSITY Since a primary reason to network is to develop contacts that will benefit you, you need a variety of professionals in your network. These may include a real estate broker, banker, attorney, doctor, and executive recruiter.

Remember, the key to developing a strong network is to give value first and maintain consistent contact with your colleagues.

   Personal Branding: "The Three W's"

To get ahead in today's corporate world, you have to market yourself to others. The first and most important way to do this is through branding.
Your brand should be reflected in a 15 to 30 second introduction of yourself that tells someone:
Who you are
2. What is your area of expertise
3. Where is the value your expertise adds to your company

For example, here's my introduction:
My name is Arun Gautam of a WebMaker, a search firm specializing in financial services professionals. I help companies hire the best financial professionals in the audit, accounting, finance and IT security fields faster and cheaper than they could do it on their own.
   Evaluating a New Job

Ask these 4 questions to evaluate whether a new job may enhance your career:
Is the company well established in their field?
2. Will the position meet my immediate career and lifestyle goals?
3. Will there be continued options for career growth within the company?
4. Will my immediate manager be a good teacher/mentor?

   10 Work Strategies to Help Develop Your Career- Part 2

This is the second installment of 10 Strategies to Help Develop Your Career. See our website for last month's archived article.
6. Manage your own morale; in today's flat organization don't look to senior management to be your cheerleader. Be self-motivated.
7. Be deliberate in changing employers; if your learning and career growth options have stalled, look elsewhere.
8. Take initiative; take a bold step in becoming a leader. Offer to take the lead on an important project or volunteer to give a presentation on a topic you would like to learn about or are already an expert on.
9. Create work/life balance; time away from work recharges your batteries.
10. Be a lifelong learner; learning shouldn't end with graduation. Read books and articles to develop your technical skills and presentation skills.
Career success is not obtained by accident or luck... It requires commitment, which is defined as the difference between wishing and doing.
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