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Japanese leaders need to be forthcoming March 13, 2011

Posted by John M McKee in Coaching.
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The situation in Japan is extremely sad. It’s been very tough so far, and the lack of transparency surrounding the 2 (perhaps 3 now) damaged nuclear reactors is creating additional stress on all citizens in that country.

I’ve been communicating with my son Trevor via Skype, internet, landline and VOIP since the alert for the earliest earthquakes. Fortunately, he and his wife are based in Sapporo, which is on a different island to the north. As a result, although things are chaotic; no damage or significant trauma has occurred in that city as a result of the disasters to the south.

It’s been very interesting to learn that we in the US have more insight from our news stations than he’s often able to get from the local Japanese sites and stations. Clearly, the government is attempting to manage the situation by controlling the news releases. On several occasions, he heard important information first me, his colleagues here, or from the western sources.

The Japanese Prime Minister and his team need to realize that crisis management is most effective when it is open, collaborative, and those who are being impacted believe they have all the information available. Otherwise, the result is distrust at the least. At the worst, it can cause good citizens to lose faith in their government, which can cause many negative outcomes.

Hopefully, the government there will be more open in the coming weeks, treating its citizens with the dignity they each deserve during this terrible period.

Here’s to the future of Japan.



These 3 career tips will move you ahead March 16, 2010

Posted by John M McKee in "John M McKee", 21 Ways Women in Management Shoot Themselves in the Foot, Action Plans, business intelligence, business strategy, career success, CBS Interactive, DIRECTV, Tech Republic, The Four Windows Process, Veracity, women in management.
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Executive and leadership coach John M McKee has helped a lot of people move their career forward while others stalled and fell by the wayside.  In today’s Veracity Blog, he shares 3 of his favorite tips for career success.


Career Tip #1: Results = Rewards. There will be times it seems that form and process are the most important things in your company and consequently to your boss. They aren’t.

Over thirty years, I don’t recall a single person getting a monster bonus at year’s end or awesome promotion for following the company’s process better than the rest of us. Over the long run, great rewards and promotions go to the one who gives great results.

Career Tip #2 Face time works to your benefit. So your boss is incompetent; & doesn’t have a clue about the company, your job or even his own. Do you really have to waste more your time meeting with him (or her)? Yes, absolutely. And it’s not a waste.

It’s actually smart to spend time with your superior. Don’t rely solely on email or voicemail. Your boss probably receives too many electronic messages already. And while it seems like efficient time management to communicate through email or voicemail, it does little good for your career if (s)he doesn’t know much about you beyond the role you perform.

Go out of your way to talk to the boss about your responsibilities and accomplishments in person. Leave it to everyone else to fill up the boss’ in-boxes.

Career Tip #3: A good listener is hard to find. Recognize that all bosses expect to be heard and then have their directions followed. So – “Listen, listen, listen. And remember that you have two ears and one mouth for a good reason.”

Don’t be one of those misguided types who debates everything they’re instructed to do. After the first 1 or 2 times, it doesn’t show anyone how smart you are. It just becomes tiresome. If this is tough at times, keep in mind that someone else in your company is ready and willing to listen to the boss. Better it’s you.

Here’s to your Future!

–   john

Interested in more tips and career advice?  Check out John M McKee’s weekly blog on CBS Interactive’s Tech Republic.

Free coaching offer for our new website launch March 14, 2010

Posted by John M McKee in "John M McKee", 21 Ways Women in Management Shoot Themselves in the Foot, business intelligence, business strategy, business success, Business Success Coach, Career Wisdom, Coaching, Notes for Business, women in management.
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Taking calculated risks is a characteristic of all great businesses and business leaders.  This week, executive and leadership coach John M McKee chose to take his own calculated step.  He is taking a bold move to a new website for the international coaching practice Business Success Coach.net.


Can you take 3 good websites and make 1 terrific one?  Or will the sum be less than the components?  This week, we intend to find out.

Up until now, many people found our business life coaching practice through one of 3 different websites:


http://www.JohnMMcKee.com and


We spent 2 months considering the pro’s and the con’s of moving from 3 independent websites, each of which was doing very well for the Practice.  Then, with fingers firmly crossed we gave our web designer Mandi Ziino of Dreamscape Digital.net the go ahead to move us forward.

Mandi has been working with us for several years now.  I know her and she knows me.  A talented artist in her own right, she is also tech savvy and good with SEO.  A solid combination of talent and smarts.

I gave her ideas and budget.  She went to work.  Over the course of about 8 weeks we went back and forth looking at new approaches and what we could carry forward from our old sites.   We agreed that we wanted to do entirely differently this time around.  I was concerned, and admittedly still am to a certain extent, about losing traffic – especially from my core clients who are women executives and women in business.

The site is now up; check it out and tell me what you think.

One of the challenges for the site was to be able to combine information pages for my 2 books with more general insight into coaching.  The books, both are published by Wheatmark,

– “21 Ways Women in Management Shoot Themselves in the Foot”, and

– “Career Wisdom, 101 Proven Strategies for Workplace Success”

They are sold at bookstores as well online at sites like Amazon and Barnes and Noble.com.  But we know people like to go to an author’s site to see if there’s a “fit”.  So we wanted the site to help with that.

I like what we’ve done.  Initial comments and feedback from a few client and colleagues who were tipped off before the launch have given me their feedback.  To celebrate the launch of the new site we have a great offer for a very limited time:

5 Days of Free Coaching with me by email.

If you’d like some help kick starting your business, your career, or your personal life, this is a great way to try out some new ideas and approaches.

Sign up here.

And while you’re there, let us know what you think about the new site.  I’m a big believer in making running changes in a business model.

Here’s to the future!


Women are still being held back. Unacceptable. March 2, 2010

Posted by John M McKee in "John M McKee", 21 Ways Women in Management Shoot Themselves in the Foot, business intelligence, Business Success Coach, career planning, Career Wisdom, Coaching, executive coach, leadership coach, business consultant, career advice, life balance, Notes for Business, Personal action plans.
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Catalyst’s recent research shows that more progress is needed for women in corporations Executive and leadership coach John M McKee has ideas for those caught in this no-win situation.


I wrote my first book, 21 Ways Women in Management Shoot Themselves in the Foot, back in 2006.

One of my goals with that book was to help women overcome “invisible” barriers to moving up the career ladder.  A second one, also stated loudly within it, was to help overcome the persistent inequity in compensation that women had at the time.

I was disappointed to see Catalyst’s most recent report on this issue last week. I suggest you read it and make some decisions about what you, personally, can do about what it says.

It shows clearly that progress is not moving quickly enough.

UPS’ Communication Tool can work for you, too January 21, 2010

Posted by John M McKee in "John M McKee", Action Plans, business intelligence, Business Success Coach, Career Wisdom, Coaching, executive coach, leadership coach, business consultant, career advice, successful meetings, The Secret, Veracity.
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Meetings got you down?  Finding it hard to keep your team up-to-date? In this blog, executive and leadership coach John M McKee shares a great idea that works for UPS where nearly all employees are outside the office.


Got 180 seconds?

In an earlier posting I discussed a couple of ways that any meeting participant – at any level – can make that meeting more effective for themself and for the organization.  Not surprisingly, I heard from some people that they are “meeting’d out”.  They told me that with today’s smaller workforce sizes, their companies can’t afford to have meetings because there is already so little time in the day.

I get it.  It’s tough out there.  And not getting any easier.  What’s a guy/gal to do?

But how would you handle it if you moved into a company where virtually all the workforce was located outside of your head office?  And in most cases, those people weren’t even in the local office for more than minutes a day?  It’s a real situation. One that’s addressed all the time in one of the US’ more famous corporatations: UPS.

UPS has about 1/4 million drivers and package handlers. Early on, they invested in all the technology they could put their hands on to try to ensure that any and all communication made it out to their modern day delivery folks.  And they found out that the #1 rule of communication remains as true today as when it was raised back in the 1970s.  Maybe even more true.  The best communications (meaning: the most remembered, the most motivational, the ones which people talk about afterwards) are those delivered by an individual.

Every morning, and throughout the day as well, managers at “the brown company” gather workers for mandatory meetings which last approximately 180 seconds.  During that time, the staff hear about changes in process, events of the last few hours or day, new software upgrades, local information and customer complaints.  UPS says these mini meetings ensure that everyone is kept in the loop and that anything of importance is known widely and immediately.  This, of course, makes certain that any problem affecting the company is so well known by everyone that it can be addressed and dealt with more quickly and at the right level.

The UPS method and practice has sound application for every employer and manager.  It is now being implemented by office workers around the country.

If you can spare 180 seconds at your place, why not try it?


6 Good tips for job searching September 16, 2009

Posted by John M McKee in "John M McKee", Action Plans, anxiety, business success, career planning, Coaching, Job advice, Personal action plans, succeeding during a recession, Tempur-Pedic, Veracity, Women.
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This week, executive and business coach John M McKee shares 6 solid ideas to consider when looking for a new job.


“Each day brings with it new opportunity and the chance to move forward.”
As nice as though words are, and as much as many readers would like to believe in them, I know from my clients and contacts that there are a lot of people who, simply, don’t.  For them and anyone else in the job search mode, I suggest you check out ExecuNet online.  They go beyond what many subscription services do and provide real and actionable ideas.

The group at ExecuNet are constantly offering a few tips which are not the typical, “here’s how to get a job” ideas that everyone is publishing all the time now.  I thought this week’s newsletter suggestions were very worth sharing – I’ve copied some of it here:

1. Focus on networking with people you don’t know as quickly as possible. During the first month of a search, contact a minimum of 50 “warm” contacts, those you know and with whom you are comfortable. After the first month, network to at least 100 new contacts every month.

2. Search for interim roles when you begin your search. Up to 40 percent of the time, interim roles lead to full-time positions. When you work on an interim/consulting basis, you and the company become so comfortable with each other that a full-time position is often created.

3. Target smaller companies. Research Dun & Bradstreet, Moody’s Million Dollar Directory, Standard and Poor’s, Hoover’s and other websites for valuable smaller company information. The reference section at public libraries provides access to these resources, sometimes for free.

4. Identify underperforming companies. A significant portion of competition for jobs comes from working executives. During a weak economy, they are less inclined to move to a struggling company which carries greater risk. Therefore, there is less competition for these jobs.

5. Spend less than 10 percent of the time contacting and working with recruiters. Executive job seekers are advised to limit their involvement to those recruiters they have retained in the past or are referred to them by close friends and colleagues. Even recruiters themselves acknowledge the limitations of obtaining an executive position by relying too heavily on search firms, because recruiters only account for about 10 percent of all executive hires.

6. Allocate no more than five percent of your search effort responding to published job leads and Internet postings. Responses should only be made to opportunities which closely match your skills and experience. Thousands of individuals see these opportunities, dramatically increasing competition and reducing the odds of securing the position. Be sure you are a “best fit” for a published/posted opening.

The advice above was adapted from Change Your Job Search Approach in a Recessionary Economy by Tucker Mays and Bob Sloane, which was originally available to ExecuNet members in November, 2008. If you are interested in the entire article, or other expert advice like it, consider an ExecuNet membership.