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Message to college grads – you have it all wrong! May 31, 2011

Posted by John M McKee in "John M McKee", Action Plans, American Dreamers, anxiety, career success, coaches, Coaching, emotional decisions, executive coach, leadership coach, business consultant, career advice, Gen Y's, life balance, new jobs, Personal Success, professional speakers, Satisfaction, succeeding during a recession, The 3 Key Life Aspects, The Plan, Veracity.
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Takeaway:  What’s the benefit of an education if you can’t find a job?  In this week’s blog, another perspective.

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It’s that season again.  Across North America young adults are joining with fellow students to get their diplomas at the Grad Ceremony.  I hope this will be a wonderful day or weekend for them all.  They’ve invested a lot of time and money to get an education, and, certainly they deserve to celebrate their success.

Unfortunately, the grad ceremony may their last celebration for a long time.

Here’s why:

These young people graduate expecting to be able to put their education to use in a job that they care about; but unfortunately, real life’s not like that. You would hope after making such a major financial investment in their futures, the grads would be better prepared to move forward into the next phase of their life.

But they’re not.

Even after, for some, 4 years spent in college, new grads rarely have the tools they need to create a satisfying life. In fact, college focuses on all the wrong things. Anyone wanting a life that’s both successful and satisfying needs to know how to take a long term view and picture their lives 10 years from now. This doesn’t have to be difficult, there’s a method that’s been used by both individuals and organizations to do just that. But, without a clear idea of what you want, and how you’re going to get there, it’s unlikely that your college degree by itself is going to get you where you want to go.

Many colleges know that they’re not giving students the tools they need to enter into the real world successfully – a few years ago I was invited to speak on the subject to an organization called The International Academy of Business Disciplines.  One of the key purposes of this group of academics is to assess current trends in the real world to ensure that the schools they represent are preparing their students adequately to succeed.

Unfortunately, far too few colleges and course providers are doing that as proactively.

Consequently, in college, many students focus on the current term and not on what happens after graduation. Unfortunately, many carry that same approach into the real world. And that can lead to disaster and disappointment. The key is to know what you want, and how you’re going to get it.

We talk about that a lot in our new book, The Plan, which was co-written with Helen Latimer.  In it we outline essential techniques to realize true life-balance, career success and financial independence. We use an approach to creating a plan for their lives based on a method of planning used by successful businesses and organizations around the world.

The good news is that it’s not too late for grads to get on the right track. There are clear steps to achieving a full and satisfying life.  Hopefully, they recognize this themselves, or someone will point them to the benefits of making a clear plan.

Here’s to the future.

John

150,000 showed up this weekend May 2, 2011

Posted by John M McKee in "John M McKee", Action Plans, American Dreamers, Business Success Coach, Career Wisdom, Coaching, DIRECTV, Manswers, Personal action plans, Personal Success, professional speakers, quality of life, SWOT analysis, The 3 Key Life Aspects, The Four Windows Process, unemployment action, Women, women in management, working after quitting.
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This past weekend I was on a panel discussion at the LA Times Festival of Books.  

It was very encouraging to see that a “book fair” could bring about 150,000 people into downtown Los Angeles on one of the hottest days of the year.   Who’d have thought, in this day of ebooks and free online information about everything, (not to mention expensive gasoline @ $4.50 a gallon) that they’re would be this many folks prepared to make a trip to the campus of the University of Southern California, or USC, as it’s know around here.

Amazing and wonderful turnout.  The Times are to be congratulated for promoting this event, now in it’s 16 year I believe, and helping authors and readers come together in a well managed and very pretty environment.  The woman who headed it up for the newspaper, Maret Orliss, did an awesome job looking after everyone’s needs at once.

I was there, (supported, again, by beautiful wife Susan,) to participate in a panel discussion and book signing event for my new book, The Plan.  It came out in February and has been getting some good reviews across North America for being an easy to use and interesting book for anyone wanting to take control of their destiny.  I’m real pleased with how the momentum is growing.  My co-author, Canadian consultant and mentor Helen Latimer, put a lot of time into creating a “tool” as well as an interesting read.

The panel was called, Finding Life in Work.

Our moderator, Dennis Nishi, a writer himself, with articles in papers including The Wall Street Journal, had done his homework.  It was a treat to speak to someone who actually had read the book beforehand!  I was pleased that my belief that everyone should take advantage – and get  the benefits – from creating their own SWOT analysis, was widely embraced by the other panelists.

I know that many cities have book festivals.  Most people do not attend them and I’d guess it’s because they don’t think there will be much to interest them.  But having seen so many people of all ages actively engaged this past weekend, I’d encourage you to try it out.  You may learn something but even if you don’t, it’s a great way to connect with those in your city

Have a great week!

John

Anxiety, sleeplessness and performance March 12, 2009

Posted by John M McKee in "John M McKee", Action Plans, Business, career success, Coaching, DIRECTV, life balance, Personal action plans, professional speakers, replenishment, Satisfaction, small business coach, Tempur-Pedic, The Secret, Veracity, wellness.
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tn_john-002.jpgI was recently invited to become a Wellness Advisor for Tempur-Pedic, the company famous for making sleep products.

Subsequently, I did some research on them.  When they invited me, the folks at Tempur-Pedic didn’t know that I’d been in the home furnishing business earlier in my career.  I was one of the leadership team at a large chain of retail stores that was very big in bedding and mattresses.  But Tempur-Pedic had come to me because they’d seen and heard me when I addressed about the importance of sleep in regards to one’s performance on the job. They came to talk to me as a coach, with no knowledge of my former corporate experience.

I was interested to see if Tempur-Pedic offered anything different than those other brand names we all see advertised by retailers across the nation every weekend.  And I was impressed with what I learned.

I found out that they really are an interesting company with cool products.  Their beds and pillows are created using a proprietary Tempur pressure-relieving material, it’s not just a “memory foam bed” which I had mistakenly assumed.  And the Tempur material is made using a formula and manufacturing process known to just a handful of individuals (like the recipe for Coke or KFC).

The company sells products that are usually associated with furniture in the medium high and higher prices.  I wondered if these products were really worth the difference in prices than say a mattress from IKEA or a Simmons sleep set from Macy’s.  They are.

I went to a retail store and working with a very knowlegable sales rep I tested a bunch of beds and asked a lot of questions.  I found out that I really liked their beds compared with others of similar prices.  They really have something with their secret formula.  And, as anyone who saw the recent Jim Carey move, Yes Man, will know – it’s as good for 2 people as a bed can be.

I am now a Wellness Advisor for the company.

I took them up on their offer because it came with no rules or obligations that might put me in a compromise.  I am not expected to talk about sleep all the time.  I don’t have to  pitch their products.

However, Tempur-Pedic will provide me with information I can use as a coach. Some recent research they’ve caused shows conclusive evidence that the economy today is causing increased anxiety which, in turn, is affecting people’s sleep patterns.  This type of research can be shared with others to help them improve their game:

For a professional who is trying to keep employed, or someone who is out of work, this type of insight and information could be something never considered.  And it’s important because factors affecting one’s performance could result in a layoff; or hamper their ability to get another job.

In closing, I’m going to get a Tempur-Pedic bed to ensure that I really know what I’m talking about when it comes to pro’s and con’s.  But I think I know that answer already.  Will keep you posted.

john