jump to navigation

Take a piece of the pie with this business approach April 2, 2012

Posted by John M McKee in "John M McKee", Action Plans, American Dreamers, Business, Business Success Coach, Canada, Career Wisdom, Coaching, executive coach, leadership coach, business consultant, career advice, Gen Y's, Job advice, Notes for Business, quality of life, The 3 Key Life Aspects, The Four Windows Process, Women.
1 comment so far

Today’s situation calls for some old ideas.

Consider:

  1. The economies of many countries are battered and bruised by recent events.
  2. Many individuals, formerly employed and making a good living, are having a tough time.
  3. Others, particularly millennials (born between 1980 and 2000) with energy and a good education, aren’t able to get a job.
  4. Organizations, strapped for cash, are unable to create the new, innovative products needed to compete.
  5. Communities in many areas are not able to maintain necessary services and upkeep. Staffing of must-have services like fire and police departments are seeing budgets slashed.
  6. Governmental bodies/elected officials don’t seem up to the needs of the job.
I speak to people around the world each week – most tell me that things are tough. Some report that markets are tougher than they’ve ever seen. Even in the so-called BRIC countries (originally Brazil, Russia, India, China – now expanded to South Africa) things seem to be going off the rails.
It’s time to revisit some old ways of doing business to get things moving again. I’m talking about ideas born in earlier tough times – back when it looked like the good times were gone forever.
Here’s one that I think has long legs, it’s an approach that can work now in different cultures and economies. It’s succeeded in environments as diverse as Winnipeg, Canada, a small town in California, and Mondragon, Spain.
The idea?  The Co-op.
For those of you not familiar with co-ops – Wikipedia defines them as,  “an autonomous association of persons who voluntary cooperate for their mutual social, economic, and cultural benefit. Cooperatives include non-profit community organizations and businesses that are owned/managed by the people who use its services (a consumer cooperative) and/or by the people who work there a worker cooperative.”
  • In Mondragon, a web of co-operatives manages that country’s 7th largest business.
  • In Manitoba, the provincial government has promoted the establishment of new co-ops to help build that economy into its most vibrant in decades.  When I was there recently I was impressed with lower gasoline prices and service people while filling up my rental car.
  • In California, the success of co-ops can be seen in programs initiated by the Mayor of Richmond who has promoted the idea to create new organizations and employment opportunities in a place that is facing little new income or growth otherwise.
The US has a history of cooperative movements, many economists contend that this idea saved the lives of individuals, towns and organizations during the 1930s.  The benefits include new employment opportunities, revitalization of communities and downtowns, greater self-respect for workers and management, and a highly engaged workforce who can compete toe to toe with any individual or any organization.
Could you use a break?  Ready to try something old? Check out co-ops.
Here’s to your future!
John
Executive leadership coach

Why we decided to give away “The Plan” for free June 22, 2011

Posted by John M McKee in "John M McKee", business success, Coaching, Job advice, life balance, Personal Success, The 3 Key Life Aspects, The Four Windows Process, The Plan, The Secret.
add a comment

Why are John M McKee and his co-author Helen Latimer giving away their new book The Plan?  In this blog, John shares the reasons behind a decision to forgo the revenue. Hint: there’s no “good business case” behind it.

———————————————————————————————————–

For a lot of reasons, the US economy – and those of most of the world – isn’t improving .

Currently, in this country there are 4 key issues affecting us:

1. Unemployment is recorded at 9.1% –  that’s an historical high.  An,d in reality, about 12% of the workforce is out of work when you count those no longer qualifying for unemployment coverage.

2. Housing sales are at levels below last year – which was down from the year before.  We have enough houses on the market to satisfy demand for 3 years

3. People don’t feel good about the future – in the country that is historically the most optimistic in the world, we no longer feel like winners.  We worry about our jobs, retirement and our childrens’ future.

4. Inflation is on the rise – combined with the impact of hurricanes, fires and floods in the areas that supply us with our food, we’re going to see prices rising very quickly.

The bad news isn’t uniquely American either. Aside from Brazil, China and India, there are very few big countries who expect a better future. This is clearly a challenging time for people everywhere.

I was discussing this with my colleague and the co-author of our new book, The Plan.  And we decided that, in a small way, we could help.

Our book is intended to provide a unique approach to getting what you want out of life.  It’s based on the same method used by very-successful organizations and individual, so you know it works.

We believe that this giveaway – which is only for a limited time – may help a lot of individuals to get clear about what they should do next.   Giving away an ebook that we sell every day for $7.99 isn’t exactly the best business model, obviously.

But we hope that people who take us up on this free offer will ultimately regain perspective and get back to being successful.  So it’s worth it.

To take advantage of this click here or go to my coaching practice website Business Success Coach.net where you’ll see it on the right side of each page.

Here’s to your success!

John

Why get a degree? April 4, 2011

Posted by John M McKee in "John M McKee", Action Plans, American Dreamers, career planning, career success, Career Wisdom, CBS Interactive, Coaching, DIRECTV, Gen Y's, Job advice, new jobs, Personal action plans, The Secret, Veracity.
add a comment

For most people, getting a degree today has become a bad investment.

I believe that most of these individuals would be better off simply getting into the workplace sooner.  It’s not that I’m against education – I’m actually a strong advocate of lifelong learning.  It’s just that – for most college kids – the job market is no longer likely to provide any kind of ROI.

Consider these stats which I picked up in Forbes Magazine:

During the past 30 years, overall inflation in the US was 106%

Health care costs went up 251%

College tuitions and fees?  Up 439%!

Translation: the cost of tuition / room / board are increasing at a rate 6 times faster than the average earnings of a college grad.  Combine that with the fact that there are fewer hi pay jobs today as a result of global hiring, and the math simply no longer is right.

Many very successful people are college dropouts.  They include Steve Jobs (Apple) , Bill Gates (Microsoft), Clare Danes (actor), Richard Branson (Virgin), Dave Thomas (Wendys), Albert Enstein.  I’m in the same boat (– although clearly not in the same league..)

I discussed this trend more deeply in my 2nd book Career Wisdom.   At this point I now use a ‘rule of thumb’ when giving students ideas to noodle about their career:  Don’t go into any type of work that can be done faster or cheaper:

– by a computer (eg: accountants hate Turbo Tax)

– by someone overseas ( this now includes doctors by the way)

– online (eg: lawyers hate sites that do divorces or estate plans for 1/4 their cost)

We are truly moving into an era of the creative class where people are valued for their new ideas and approaches.  And we’re also moving into an era of  hands-on work, where a job cannot be automated or done elsewhere – these include mechanics which pay pretty well and flipping hamburgers.

Just don’t get stuck with an education bill for a hundred thousand dollars with a false expectation that you will be able to pay it off and then find out that the “job” you’d expected is now done in a different way and you’re too expensive to hire.

Here’s to your future!

John

More insight here.

Better than sex? August 24, 2010

Posted by John M McKee in "John M McKee", Action Plans, business intelligence, Business Success Coach, Career Wisdom, Coaching, DIRECTV, emotional decisions, Job advice, life balance, Personal action plans, quality of life, The Four Windows Process, women in management.
Tags:
add a comment

Some people actually say that their job can be better than sex. In this blog, business life coach John McKee discusses what may be behind that thinking.  And why it’s dangerous.

—————————————————————————————-

Can work be better than sex?

Some time ago I was working with a guy who was the business development lead for new ventures and strategic partnerships at his company.   It was clear he really enjoyed his job.  He was good at it, helping his employer to successfully move into new areas never considered before his arrival.

I remarked that it was clear he loved what he was doing.  His response was particularly telling:

“John, when things come together, this job is better than sex!”

Ever considered just how seductive the job you do, or the company you work with, can be?

– You can have huge praise lauded onto you; raises, bonuses, and promotions.

-And each action comes with a nice message – “You!  You’re GREAT! We love what you do around here!  We’re SO LUCKY to have you!  We don’t know what we’d do if you ever leave us!”

Pretty heady stuff.  It doesn’t take long until it starts to feel very nice.

On the other side, the home front; not many folks get those kinds of compliments or that type of praise heaped on them regularly.

So, in ways like above, and others, companies can romance you. As a result, you can become very emotionally attached to them. And like any affair, this feeling can cause you to lose perspective when considering options – like leaving them.

Recently I was working with a woman employed at a large soft drink company.  She’d just been offered a job by a competitor. That job was a significant jump in responsibility – a level that would probably take her a couple of years to reach with her current employer.  In addition to a bigger title, the other company was offering a company car (which she didn’t have now,) a much bigger bonus, and she could telecommute a couple of days a week if she chose.

The last was important because she was a new mom.

Yet she didn’t think she should take the offer. When we huddled together to consider the pros and cons; she realized that she wasn’t making a lot of sense. Then she justified her thinking by saying that she felt “obliged” to stay at the current place.  “They’ve been good to me in the past, and it’s really not that bad.”

Not THAT bad!

She sounded like a lot of folks when they’re contemplating leaving a lover, husband, or girlfriend because the relationship has gone downhill.   They usually recall the good things from the past and forget about the other opportunities which may exist to have a happier, more satisfying life with another person.  “It’s not really that bad…”

In the end, she made the right decision and is very happy.  But it wasn’t easy for her.

And – by the way –  that’s exactly what companies want you to feel: obliged to them.

They want their best talent feeling loyal and dedicated to them.  So they design their compensation plans to act like golden handcuffs. They may even offer two or more incentive programs so it’s even harder to walk away.

But in the end, any relationship based on stuff which cause us to temporarily feel good but does not provide any authentic joy and long-term satisfaction will crater.

And if a relationship is going to collapse, it’s better that you’re the one who walks away first.

John

My Career Rule of Three’s June 30, 2010

Posted by John M McKee in "John M McKee", Action Plans, anxiety, business and career coaching, business intelligence, business success, Career Wisdom, Coaching, executive coach, leadership coach, business consultant, career advice, Job advice, Tech Republic, The Four Windows Process, Veracity, women in management.
add a comment

In this tough economy many people have additional projects added to their jobs as a result of fewer people being replaced.  In this article, business life coach John M McKee provides advice to ensure that you survive through this period.

————————————————————————————————————-

“I’ve been getting home at 3, even 5 in the morning.  That’s after starting the day in the office at 8 AM.  I’m going to break!”

The person speaking was a client of mine. It was very clear that her boss was really taking advantage, pushing her way too hard.

My client’s a dedicated lady.  She’s a vice president in the accounting department at one America’s largest movie studios.   She’s also a bit soft spoken.  People take advantage of her gentle nature which is one of the reasons she engaged me.

For the last few weeks her boss had been pushing her hard but now a new systems switch-over has been added to her load – so she’s been working into the night just to keep up with the projects throwing.

As we discussed how to deal with her situation, it became clear that she feels she’s trapped in a place she doesn’t want to be.  But she has no ideas about where or what she may prefer. 

I shared with her my career-planning Rule of Three’s.  Do they apply to you?

1. Recognize that the job you’re in may disappear at any time.  Anyone, even the best performers, may find themselves out of work in today’s environment. Accept that reality.

2. Consider how you’ll do if things don’t work out with your job.  How you would you handle it, psychologically, if your boss called you in one day for a conversation that starts with something like, “Alice, I’m sorry but….” Does your life revolve around work, with few close friends or family members?  If so, wake up.  Nobody’s bulletproof any longer.

3. Noodle on what you could do as a fallback job. It’s possible that you may not immediately get one at the same level or pay as you are currently earning.  Have a “worst case” plan that contemplates you doing things like taking a not-for-pay job, or a lowing paying job for a period of time.

It’s surprising and sad how much on one’s sense of identity may be tied to their job.  With these simple rules you are less likely to fall into a heap if the worst case happens.   As I noted in my blog at CNET, the economy isn’t recovering quickly at this stage.  So ensure that  your plan includes some financial back up to ensure you can survive for at least 3 months if you’re suddenly out of work.

Here’s to your future.

John

Is it more OK to cheat now? September 30, 2009

Posted by John M McKee in "John M McKee", 21 Ways Women in Management Shoot Themselves in the Foot, business strategy, business success, Business Success Coach, Career Wisdom, Coaching, Job advice, Notes for Business, Personal Success, Satisfaction, Veracity.
add a comment

abc1The incidence of cheating seems to be on the rise.  In this article executive coach John M McKee highlights recent research that found this may be easily controlled.

——————————————————————————————————

Interesting article in this week’s (10/05/09) BusinessWeek magazine on the subject of cheating. Seems like the frequency of people being dishonest is way up.

The article, by Ellen Gibson, notes that this increase may be partially due to the aftermath of the financial crisis – led by individuals like Bernie Madoff and his ilk.  She goes on to quote Dan Ariely, a Duke U prof and author of a best seller called, Predictably Irrational.

He notes that people are more likely to cheat if they are a step removed from the cash payoff.  Something along the lines of, ” If I am not actually hurting or lying to the person I’m dealing with directly; I don’t feel as bad doing it.  And I’m more likely to do it.”

In an experiment involving 500 people, Ariely found that people who do small “cheating things” are more likely to do bigger ones when they get away with it.  Some of his test subjects were asked to wear counterfeit designer products while others wore the real brand.  The ones who felt they got away with cheating with the glasses were more likely ( 2x as likely) to cheat on other unrelated tasks.

In another test, he found that people who had to sign their names at the top of a test were less likely to cheat than those who didn’t sign the paper or those who signed at the bottom of the page.

His conclusion? When reminded of their better selves, by signing before the test, people are more likely to remain honest.  His advice to the IRS for next tax season:  Move the signature line to the top of the page.”

It may be worth trying on your end –  perhaps you can use this information to help yourself or others perform better.

john