I Didn’t Become a Mentor to Make Others More Like Me

In this series, professionals thank those who helped them reach where they are today. Read the posts here, then write your own. Use #ThankYourMentor and @mention your mentor when sharing.

Suze Orman

Television host, author, motivational speaker, producer

Too many people try to be great at a lot of stuff. The key to success? Do what you do better than anyone else can possibly do it. Then just do that ONE thing. Whatever you do has to relate to just that ONE thing.

A true powerhouse such as Jillian Michaels does not really need to be mentored — she just needed a sounding board for her already great ideas. Her problem was too many great ideas all going in different directions.

Read more….

17 Simple Habits That Make You Look More Professional

IMAGE: Getty Images
Unprofessional? Here are the behaviors that send the opposite, more positive message.

(A quick note before we get started. I wrote the following in response to reader feedback to another column: 10 Bad Habits That Make You Look Really Unprofessional. This post is the counterpoint to that one.)

Here’s a story from about 15 years ago. I was traveling from Seattle to Yakima for work, flying in a tiny commercial turboprop. There were only 10 or 12 passengers, and the cockpit was separated by a curtain rather than a door. We flew through the Cascade mountains in really rough weather, and the captain — a pilot in his early 20s — pulled the curtain aside.

“The tower is saying it’s our choice to continue to Yakima or turn around,” he yelled over the din of the engines, “But I think we’re gonna give it a try.”

What’s wrong with this picture, right? “I think” and “Give it a try” are pretty much the last things you want to hear a commercial airline pilot say, especially in a bad storm. My fellow passengers nearly revolted. The pilot quickly changed course (both literally and figuratively), and we flew back to Seattle.

I’ve told that story a few times over the years, usually for laughs. But remember: It wasn’t the storm or the tiny plane or the air traffic control’s apparent laissez-fair attitude that freaked us passengers out. It’s that the pilot’s attitude made him seem totally unprofessional — and we all lost confidence in him.

Here are a few of the attributes you can demonstrate to make yourself seem more professional. I’m not saying they’re easy, but they are pretty simple. (Keep in mind, nobody demonstrates them all constantly. You’re only human. Just try to be the best human you can.)

1. Confidence

This was the biggest problem with the pilot’s performance that day. Confidence without the ability to back it up is useless, but if you’re truly competent, own it. Read more…

The One Mindset Really, Really Rich People Always Avoid The very wealthy never allow themselves to succumb to one particular way of thinking. It’s a surprising one.

IMAGE: Getty Images
 By Chris Matyszczyk Owner, Howard Raucous LLC@ChrisMatyszczyk

Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.

As you sit there in meetings, on planes, and in fine airport bathrooms, wondering why you’re not yet truly wealthy, what reasons do you give yourself?

Do you tell yourself that you occasionally allow negative thoughts to invade you? Do you think that’s the reason why millions of dollars haven’t flown your way?

I don’t want to be negative, but that may not be the case. There’s quite some evidence that being negative is a terribly positive trait in the most successful. So do you worry that you don’t have enough drive, enough aggression, enough Trump-like joie-de-vivre in order to climb the highest piles of money?

I don’t think it’s that either.  Read more….

The Long(ish) Read: Walter Benjamin Unpacking his Library

Walter Benjamin in Paris. Image © Gisèle Freund

Welcome to The Long(ish) Read: a new AD feature which uncovers texts written by notable essayists which resonate with contemporary architecture, interior architecture, urbanism or landscape design. In this essay, written in 1931, Walter Benjamin narrates the process of unpacking his library. All in boxes, he takes the reader through elements of his book collection: the memories attached to them, the importance he placed on the act of ‘collecting’ and the process of accumulation, and how objects like books inhabit a space.

Walter Benjamin in brief

Born in Germany in 1892, Benjamin was known as a ‘man of letters’. Having been educated in Switzerland he had a short career in the lead up to the Second World War, which saw him carve a niche as a literary critic. In the 1930s he turned to Marxism, partly due to the influence of Bertolt Brecht and partly due to the rise of extreme right-wing politics in Europe. He spent much of his professional life in Paris, where he wrote this essay. Benjamin died in 1940 having committed suicide at the French–Spanish border while attempting to escape the Nazis. Read more...

8 Ways Millennials Can Build Leadership Skills By Laura McMullen Aug. 19, 2015

By Aug. 19, 2015 | 11:07 a.m. EDT + More

So ‘leader’ isn’t in your job title.

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(Getty Images)

No one is asking you to manage a team or take charge of a multimillion-dollar project. So what? Even young, green employees can boost their leadership skills by learning from others and volunteering for small-scale assignments. And they should learn to lead now, given that 73 percent of the nearly 800 participants in The Hartford 2014 Millennial Leadership Survey said they aspire to be leaders in the next five years. Continue for eight expert-approved ways young people can learn to lead.

Next: Observe and learn.

[Read more….]

Burn the Libraries and Free the Librarians from R. David Lankes

Burn the Libraries and Free the Librarians from R. David Lankes on Vimeo.

What Went Right: A Case Study of a Successful Hiring (Part 1) by Ellen Mehling, Career Development Consultant, METRO

Ellen MehlingEllen Mehling: Where did you go to school? What degrees and/or certificates do you hold?

Krissa Corbett Cavouras: I attended Sarah Lawrence for my undergraduate degree and earned my masters from Pratt School of Information and Library Science (SILS) in 2011.
EM: Were you employed elsewhere when you applied for this job? For how long had you been job hunting?

KCC: I was working for a small e-commerce company, as a knowledge manager on their marketing team, for two years prior to starting at Brooklyn Public Library. I had probably been actively looking for about three months when I had my first interview here.
EM: How did you learn about the position? Did you have any connections via your network to that workplace?

KCC: I heard about the position on a couple of fronts — first, because I’ve had Brooklyn Public Library’s job page bookmarked for years, ever since I graduated from library school! Second, my manager Robin and I have several mutual friends from our early days as bloggers, so I saw the job shared around that mutual circle on Facebook. (I do think that’s how I knew it was in serious recruitment, because sometimes you don’t know from a website job posting if it’s a really open position.) I also have several library school colleagues who now work in the system, although I don’t think I saw this specific posting on my library school listserv. http://metro.org/articles/what-went-right-a-case-study-of-a-successful-hiring-part-1/

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