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Thursday - December 1, 2022

Associates

Nan Russell Columnist, Writer, Instructor

Nan Russell has spent over twenty years in management, most recently with QVC as a Vice President. She has held leadership positions in Human Resource Development, Communication, Marketing and line Management. Nan has a B.A. from Stanford University and M.A. from the University of Michigan. Currently working on her first book, Winning at Working: 10 Lessons Shared, Nan is a writer, columnist, and speaker. Her career insights column, Winning at Working (www.winningatworking.com ) regularly appears on over eighty websites; and her life-reflections column, In the Scheme of Things (www.intheschemeofthings.com) is published in six states and Canada. Her work has been selected to appear in several anthologies. To sign up for Nan's free eColumn(s), or read more about Nan or her work, visit: www.nanrussell.com.

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Winning at Working: Incremental Actions Trump New Year’s Resolutions

Winning at Working: Incremental Actions Trump New Year’s Resolutions By Nan RussellNABBW's Associate for Winning at WorkA recent study found that nearly half of us will make New Year’s resolution…Winning at Working: …Winning at Working: Incremental Actions Trump New Year’s Resolutions By Nan RussellNABBW's Associate for Winning at WorkA recent study found that nearly half of us will make New Year’s resolutions in 2014, but only eight percent of us will reach or keep the promises we make for ourselves. Maybe that’s why I’m not a big fan of New Years resolutions. Sure I’ve made dozens of them, all with good intentions and a bit of magical thinking, believing this time the resolution will stick. Maybe a few have, but generally these wishful self-promises end up broken. And when that happens my s…

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Jumping Work-Hurdles

Jumping Work-Hurdles By Nan S. Russell NABBW's Winning At Work Expert It feels great at the end of a workday to know you\'ve made progress on a mounting to-do list, resolved a persistent proble…Jumping Work-Hurdles…Jumping Work-Hurdles By Nan S. Russell NABBW's Winning At Work Expert It feels great at the end of a workday to know you\'ve made progress on a mounting to-do list, resolved a persistent problem, dealt with a difficult challenge, or accomplished an important objective. Yet, too often we get to the end of a day and haven\'t felt feelings of satisfaction, accomplishment, or progress at work, at least not as much as we\'d like. Instead, frustration, bureaucracy, and unresponsiveness creep in to thwart our well-being. The days when frustration rules are difficult progress making days. T…

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It Takes Time

It Takes Time By Nan S. Russell NABBW's Winning At Work Expert The story goes that after one of Ludwig van Beethoven\'s performances, several people were offering him their congratulations, whe…It Takes Time By Na…It Takes Time By Nan S. Russell NABBW's Winning At Work Expert The story goes that after one of Ludwig van Beethoven\'s performances, several people were offering him their congratulations, when one woman commented, "I wish God had bestowed me with such genius." "It isn\'t genius, madam, nor is it magic." Beethoven replied. "All you have to do is practice on your piano eight hours a day for 40 years." That\'s not the message most people want to hear. Most prefer buying the magazine which headlines, "Miracle Weight Loss Discovery," in the hopes of finding a quick solution before their …

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Workplace Heists

Seated in the courtyard of a sports bar during a playoff game in the home city of one of the teams, it was an energetic crowd that Sunday. While we\'d come for a quick bite to eat, we caught a glimpse…Seated in the courty…Seated in the courtyard of a sports bar during a playoff game in the home city of one of the teams, it was an energetic crowd that Sunday. While we\'d come for a quick bite to eat, we caught a glimpse of a play now and then as home-team enthusiasts roared their approval during the first half. When a man sat down next to us with two friends, ordered a pitcher of beer and maneuvered around to glimpse the game, we barely noticed. But when he hassled the waitress every few minutes trying to intimidate her into getting him a table closer to the TV where none existed, his rudeness and her appare…

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Fact or Opinion?

"You ain\'t going nowhere, son. You ought to go back to drivin\' a truck." What if Elvis believed this Grand Ole Opry manager\'s critique after his l954 performance? Or the Beatles listened in 1962 wh…"You ain\'t going no…"You ain\'t going nowhere, son. You ought to go back to drivin\' a truck." What if Elvis believed this Grand Ole Opry manager\'s critique after his l954 performance? Or the Beatles listened in 1962 when Decca Recording Company responded, "We don\'t like their sound. Groups of guitars are on the way out." What if Rudyard Kipling quit writing when the San Francisco Examiner told him, "I\'m sorry, but you just don\'t know how to use the English language." Or as a struggling artist, Walt Disney took seriously the words of a prospective employer to "try another line of work" because he "didn\'t …

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What You Control

Thanks to frequent-flyer points and a vacation club exchange, we spent a week in Hawaii for the cost of a rental car and food. While a fun and relaxing vacation, it was strange to be at an ocean-front…Thanks to frequent-f…Thanks to frequent-flyer points and a vacation club exchange, we spent a week in Hawaii for the cost of a rental car and food. While a fun and relaxing vacation, it was strange to be at an ocean-front Maui resort during peak tourist season, without the tourists. Several restaurants on this forty-acre property were even closed. The bellman who showed us around told us he\'d been working at the resort for eleven years and hadn\'t seen anything like it. "I used to work full-time," he told us. "Now I\'m on a rotation with sixteen others and lucky to get one day a week. I\'m not sure how I can m…

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Maybe Scrooge was Right

Thirteen percent. That number should make you pause if you manage staff, lead a group, or own a business. It\'s a number recently released from an on-line survey reported by Reuters. According to R…Thirteen percent. Th…Thirteen percent. That number should make you pause if you manage staff, lead a group, or own a business. It\'s a number recently released from an on-line survey reported by Reuters. According to Right Management, a subsidiary of Manpower Inc, only thirteen percent of employees surveyed said they "planned to stay in their current positions." Two-thirds reported they\'re looking to change jobs in 2010, and another twenty-one percent indicated they\'re networking now, just in case. Pent-up frustrations and workplace treatment during the economic downturn were the primary reasons given in t…

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The Art of Change

From the iron age to nearly the industrial age, blacksmiths prospered. Villagers needed plows, shovels, iron tires for wagons, nails and tools to build their homes, all of which the blacksmiths forged…From the iron age to…From the iron age to nearly the industrial age, blacksmiths prospered. Villagers needed plows, shovels, iron tires for wagons, nails and tools to build their homes, all of which the blacksmiths forged. They needed their horses and oxen shod and their tools repaired. Being a blacksmith was a sound professional choice. Yet despite flourishing for centuries, this vital profession was all but eliminated in a few generations. Who could envision affordable mass-produced items lining the shelves of big box stores, or anticipate societal changes incomprehensible at the time? How many current pr…

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TIME-OUT

When young children misbehave, many parents, teachers and caregivers insist on a time-out. Think how much better your workplace would be if you initiated the same approach. No, not for your boss or co…When young children …When young children misbehave, many parents, teachers and caregivers insist on a time-out. Think how much better your workplace would be if you initiated the same approach. No, not for your boss or coworkers, but for yourself. It\'s hard to be amenable to reason or hear a contrary point of view when we\'re stubbornly clinging to our position. It\'s hard to hear a new idea when the change that\'s being suggested will negatively impact us. And it\'s hard to offer constructive input when we\'re approaching the edge of unreasonableness, backed into a corner or seething with frustration. When…

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TWO-SIDED ANSWERS

The room was lovely, the bed inviting, the architecture interesting, and the philosophy appealing. That was my impression as we checked into a newly minted green-hotel in a resort town where we were e…The room was lovely,…The room was lovely, the bed inviting, the architecture interesting, and the philosophy appealing. That was my impression as we checked into a newly minted green-hotel in a resort town where we were eager to spend time relaxing. But when we checked out, lovely wasn\'t on my mind. Protective glass on the combined soaking tub/shower looked terrific, but giving a child a bath was impossible; oversized ultra-modern faucets made face-washing without watering the floor an Olympic challenge; and shin-high pointy edges on a platform bed covered by a flowing duvet made room navigation perilous. Ther…

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Building Performance Trust

You can have outstanding ideas, yet never leverage them into winning at working results. That\'s because the secret behind those ideas lies in performance. Yours. Getting the okay to pursue your id…You can have outstan…You can have outstanding ideas, yet never leverage them into winning at working results. That\'s because the secret behind those ideas lies in performance. Yours. Getting the okay to pursue your idea is directly related to the level of confidence other people have in your ability to deliver it. And if you do, you will create for yourself opportunities on a regular basis. One successful idea delivery leads to another and another and another. Bigger and bigger ideas are entrusted to people who consistently turn ideas into reality. You see, not only does an idea need to be a good one, but t…

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Choosing a Path

Reading in the airport while waiting for a flight to Houston, a housekeeper was tidying around me when approached by another facilities employee. After a few minutes of easily overheard chit-chat, she…Reading in the airpo…Reading in the airport while waiting for a flight to Houston, a housekeeper was tidying around me when approached by another facilities employee. After a few minutes of easily overheard chit-chat, she received coaching from her now apparent supervisor. "You know," he said "I\'d like you to pace yourself." Intrigued by his words, I stopped reading to eavesdrop and heard as he told her, "You\'re doing too good a job. You don\'t need to work this hard." "I like my area clean and looking good for everyone," she said, confused by his direction. "Anyway, I get all my work done." When they part…

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Leveraging Your Future

A friend\'s hairstylist saw her bookings drop as the economy fell, ultimately losing her job at a salon. But when my friend asked her if she\'d be willing to make a house-call to style her ailing moth…A friend\'s hairstyl…A friend\'s hairstylist saw her bookings drop as the economy fell, ultimately losing her job at a salon. But when my friend asked her if she\'d be willing to make a house-call to style her ailing mother\'s hair, the stylist saw an opportunity. Ultimately, she launched a specialized in-home business and now makes more money than she ever did. In these difficult times I\'m enamored by this simple success story. I regularly talk to people on my radio show, work with individuals or client organizations, and connect with people when I speak at conferences. Recently I\'ve been hearing intense he…

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The Echoes Heard at Work

Coward. That word, along with others less printable, popped to mind when I heard a story about a friend\'s son. It turns out, he learned he was no longer employed via a text-message to his cell phone …Coward. That word, a…Coward. That word, along with others less printable, popped to mind when I heard a story about a friend\'s son. It turns out, he learned he was no longer employed via a text-message to his cell phone on a Sunday night. The brief message from his ex-boss informed him that his last work day had been Friday. It\'s no surprise to hear about another job lost as unemployment soars, failed businesses close, consumers shut their pocketbooks, and entire industries restructure. But I\'m surprised any boss who wants to grow their business, have an engaged team, or achieve lasting results would choose …

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WHAT ARE YOU FOR?

Resist. Resist. Resist. That seems to be the congressional model these days. Whatever one party is for, the other is against. Before an idea makes it to the blogosphere, opposing party political pundi…Resist. Resist. Resi…Resist. Resist. Resist. That seems to be the congressional model these days. Whatever one party is for, the other is against. Before an idea makes it to the blogosphere, opposing party political pundits are railing against whatever approach or bill or stance was taken. Now before smugness gets the better of us, I\'d suggest we take a closer look. The against-it-resist-it road is alive and well in many workplaces, too. Of course the labels are different. It\'s not those Democrats or Republicans, it\'s those employees or that management; it\'s the boss or the workers; the finance department o…

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The New Dance

Poor Pluto. Stripped of its planetary status by the International Astronomical Union and reclassified as a "dwarf planet," two years ago, Pluto\'s demotion heralds new rules for planet classification.…Poor Pluto. Stripped…Poor Pluto. Stripped of its planetary status by the International Astronomical Union and reclassified as a "dwarf planet," two years ago, Pluto\'s demotion heralds new rules for planet classification. Debate by renowned astronomers from seventy-five countries culminated in the decision to reduce the number of planets to eight "classic" ones. This reclassification got me thinking. Like a company reorganization or leadership change, the rules were altered. And no matter if you were among scientists advocating for more planets or less, it no longer matters. The decision is rendered. Like it. D…

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WHAT KIND OF WORKPLACE FUTURE?

In 1883, as soon as construction ended on the Brooklyn Bridge, the scams started. George C. Parker is credited with originating the idea of selling the Brooklyn Bridge, convincing people they could ea…In 1883, as soon as …In 1883, as soon as construction ended on the Brooklyn Bridge, the scams started. George C. Parker is credited with originating the idea of selling the Brooklyn Bridge, convincing people they could earn a fortune charging tolls for bridge access. Some erected traffic barriers even as Parker boasted he "sold the Brooklyn Bridge twice a week for years." Eventually he was sentenced to life in prison. Today we have our own George Parkers and Brooklyn Bridges. They come with small, medium, and large packaging. From sophisticated Ponzi schemes by vetted professionals that capture headlines, to br…

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FOLLOW-ME LEADERS

"Weren\'t you afraid?" This is a common question friends ask after seeing pictures of how close we were to lions, elephants, leopards, and hippos. After all, our safari into the African bush wasn\'t D…"Weren\'t you afraid…"Weren\'t you afraid?" This is a common question friends ask after seeing pictures of how close we were to lions, elephants, leopards, and hippos. After all, our safari into the African bush wasn\'t Disney\'s Animal Kingdom, and watching a lion pride hunt and kill its prey made that apparent. But I never was fearful. There were times when adrenalin heightened my awareness, but the trust in our trackers and guides transcended my fear. I wish I could say the same about many who guide our workplaces and hold leadership roles in our organizations. In that terrain, I am afraid. Afraid that th…

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