First Friday Book Synopsis

"…like CliffNotes on steroids…"

6 valuable career development tips


I have just read and will soon review Change Anything: The New Science of Personal Success, co-authored by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler.

If their names seem familiar, it is perhaps because they co-authored Crucial Confrontations, Crucial Conversations, and more recently, Influencer.

In their latest book, published by Business Plus  (2011), they identify six sources of influence: personal motivation and personal ability, social motivation and social ability, and structural motivation and structural ability. Please see Pages 14-18 for a summary explanation.

They also offer invaluable advice (based on what they call “the science of personal success”) to those who now struggle to change their behavior (even long-standing bad habits) and thereby dramatically improve results in one of more areas of their lives.Here are their six career tips:

1. Flash forward to the future: What will the quality if your life be if you do not improve the results of your efforts? What will it be if those results are outstanding? As Henry Ford once observed, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.”

2. Invest in professional development: New habits always require new skills. Identify the skills you need to improve to progress in your career. Develop these skills by attending seminars and workshops, enrolling in evening and/or weekend courses (e.g. at a community college), and reading books to expand and deepen your expertise. Then apply these strengthened skills and seek feedback from an expert.

3. Hang with the hardest and smartest workers: Avoid those who are slackers, politicians, whiners, etc. They are enablers of failure. Seek out those who can help you succeed.

4. Find a mentor: Changing habits almost always requires help. Just as losers will help you lose even more, winners will help you increase the nature and extent of your success. Find one or two persons you request and trust. Explain what you are trying to accomplish and how you plan to do it. Ask for frank advice (i.e. no b.s., no sugar-coating), the most difficult to obtain but the most valuable to have.

5. Put skin in the game: Award yourself a prize for reaching each shirt-term goal. Here’s one example that occurs to me: set aside $10 for each stage of a complicated process or for each major prospect you contact for the first time and schedule an initial meeting. The amount of money is insignificant. I have played golf with millionaires and our bets were a $2 Nassau; the most anyone could lose after 18 holes was $6 but if you saw the winners and losers, you would have thought that thousands of dollars were at stake.

6. Control your workspace: Eliminate all clutter and all distractions. Does the lighting need to be brighter? Set aside time (mornings are better than afternoons) and ignore emails, block telephone calls, and try what I call “The Door Strategy” (if you have workplace with a door): If it’s open, come on in; if it’s half open, come in but the matter better be important; if it’s closed….

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Monday, April 11, 2011 - Posted by | Bob's blog entries | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Yes! it is true that you need someone to help you if you want to develop your career. It is hard to develop a career on your own. Thank your for sharing these tips.

    Comment by Dana | Tuesday, December 3, 2013


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