Do You Advocate for Yourself?

I was thinking about this recently – what does it mean to advocate for yourself in your career?

While there are many things, two keep circling back in my brain. The first is, it is essential to have a concrete and specific goal that is understandable to you and others. The second is to have at least one action you can take consistently (with a specific amount of time you can commit to it) that is completely under your control.

Once you have these two things you are able to guide others on how to advocate for you.

Enjoy your day,
Anita

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What’s Your PIQ?

In my work, I talk to students and alumni at Chicago Booth about the impact of their work. Yet, I rarely think of my PIQ or Positive Impact Quotient. PIQ is the sum of all of the value you create for others and yourself minus the negative impact you may have if you discourage, dismiss, or disparage others.

So as you go through your day, pause for a moment and think of the impact and implications of your next word or action. Will it make your PIQ go down or up? Than action accordingly.

Have a great day,
Anita

All or Nothing ≠ Success

I was talking to a former colleague who is awesome and often hard to work with because he is an all or nothing person. When work is good, it is excellent. On the other hand, if even one thing doesn’t go the way he thinks it should, he complains, blames others, and gets angry. You might imagine that I was sympathetic, yet not surprised when he told me that he had lost his job.

He is very competent, yet that is not enough for his co-workers and managers. They want someone who can certainly take a stand and yet is flexible and supportive around others’ missteps. After all, if we are to act like a team – we will occasionally pick up the slack for others as they do for us.

Have a good day,
Anita

The Power of a Random Act of Kindness

Yesterday, I had a wonderful surprise – a visit from a student where he shared his time, an amazing card, and a couple of tasty delights. Here is a person who consistently helps others, makes individuals feel valued, and has the behavior of a person who treats others with dignity and respect.

I am honored to know him and his gesture is a reminder to me to share a random acts of kindness as they can make a person’s day. I know from first-hand experience.

Have a great day,
Anita

Gratitude is the Secret Sauce of Success

As I think back to this day (2.16), many years ago, when I was crushed by an elevator, my life was a struggle until I was able to feel gratitude. While is was far from easy, without it, I would be living in that loss instead of creating an even better life.

Thank you for all who helped me see what was possible.

Warmly,
Anita

Let Others Help You Succeed

I was chatting with a friend in Europe who has a venture capital firm that works with mission-focused startups to help them grow. Recently, he came to the conclusion that he was working all of the time and needed help. So he asked for assistance and now has a whole fleet of people (of all ages) who can deliver projects and programs. The individuals gain experience and money and my friend has talented people to expand his companies and positive impact.

Let others help you succeed, too.

Warmly,
Anita

Is Your Solution the Only One?

I was faced with a dilemma a couple of weeks ago when I was told in uncertain terms that my thoughts about something were just plain wrong.

In a work setting, there is usually a middle ground with many voices / opinions taken into account. It gets a little trickier with friends and family where the relationships are deep, long existing, and complicated.

My immediate reaction was that I wanted to be RIGHT, yet that isn’t a place from where dialogue can flourish. So, I took a step back and listened – being open to accepting new points of view about the subject. In some ways I was able to do this and in other ways not (I am a work in process just like everyone else). In the end, I could see both sides and knew where I needed to solidify what I already believed to be true and incorporate a broader perspective.

One thing I learned for sure: when I see only one perspective and solution, I need to pause, open my mind, and listen with my full attention to what I might need to learn.

Have a great day,
Anita

Excuses Are Dangerous

Making an excuse for something is one of the easiest and yet rather dangerous things to do. While having a “reason” for doing or not doing something can take off the pressure and even have other sympathize with your situation, it will disable you.

So if you notice the words “I can’t” come out of your mouth, an excuse is not far behind that will halt your progress.

Pause and reflect on what you can do. With that in hand, you can mobilize the resources you have and take even one step ahead.

Have a great day,
Anita

If You Need Something, Ask!

I have been working with one of my colleagues to find dozens of volunteers for an event at the end of the month. As of last week, we were at a point where we had nearly all of the volunteers confirmed.

Then the number of registrants went up dramatically (which is a good thing) and we needed nearly 25% more volunteers. That was a bit startling.

If you know me at all, this will not surprise you – I immediately jumped into action and started reaching out to people who might be able to volunteer.

What I didn’t do at first was ask for help. Then I realized that many people would help me if I asked, so I have – and the response has been terrific.

While you might think that you need to do everything on your own, it’s not true. Also, when you let others help you they get to feel good, too.

Have a great day,
Anita

Acknowledge the Progress

I was chatting with someone today who has been working her way through a rigorous job search – with lots of activity and no offer yet. She was a bit discouraged – mostly because she didn’t know where she stood compared to others in her position.

So, I asked her to walk me through her approach to outreach, follow-ups, and even interviews. She believed that she was falling behind her peers. However, when she shared her actions and results – her progress was actually so much better than most. I shared this with her and it made her day.

Always take the time to acknowledge how far a person has come. You could be that person’s lifeline.

Have a great day,
Anita