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What's Up With Gmail?

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Updated: Friday, August 30, 2013
Yikes! I seem to have lost all my emails in my Gmail inbox. What's happening?

If you use Gmail to receive emails, Gmail made big changes this week. Regardless of how comfortable you are with change, this may matter a lot to you. Some vital emails may be pulled into the new TABS component of Gmail. They are automatically segmenting your emails. I panicked because I suddenly had 300 less emails. (Yes, I carry a lot in my inbox.)

Luckily the fix is easy and takes just 2 seconds.

  1. Click on the "Promotions" inbox tab at the top of your inbox.
  2. Drag any important emails out of this tab and drop them into your "Primary" tab.
  3. When Gmail asks you to confirm that you want future emails for this person to go into your "Primary" tab, click YES when the alert pops up.
  4. Check your "Promotions" inbox over the next few weeks to make sure nothing you want to see is getting caught up in here.

TIP:If you don't want to deal with this at all, simply turn the new tab feature off completely.
  1. Click on the "Settings" icon in the top right corner of your screen, and select "Settings" from the dropdown box.
  2. Click on "Inbox" tab at top and deselect all categories except "Primary".
  3. Click the "Save Changes" button on bottom of the screen. That's it!

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Crediting Others

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Updated: Friday, August 30, 2013
I've seen consultants reluctant to give credit to others. If I do this, does it diminish me or my expertise?

Quite the contrary. Here is why you want to credit the good ideas of others:
  1. If the idea comes from an employee of the client organizatin, giving credit a) shows you to be fair and reinforces your credibility; and b) demonstrates to others that good things happen under you.
  2. If the idea comes from an outsider, giving credit show that you are a wonderful resource who is knowledgeable and willing to seek best practices from others. You also substantiate your ethics by giving credit and naming the source.
  3. Finally, a subtle, yet powerful, reason for giving credit to others is that it may actually increase the likelihood of acceptance.

TIP:Don't worry, you will always get credit for good things that happen while working with a client. In consulting, the axiom "Giving is better than receiving" can be restated "Give (credit) and you will receive."

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Work/Time Models

Posted By Administration, Thursday, July 18, 2013
Updated: Friday, August 30, 2013
I have plenty to do, but not always the best daily agenda. What is a good way to plan my day?

This is a common problem consultants face ... and we all have our own work/time models. Here are a few models suggested by consultants. See if one of these (or a combo) would work for you:
  1. Priority Model: "Do what is most likely to give you the greatest return on your time invested."
  2. Time of Day Model: "I'm on the West Coast, so I like to make my phone calls early in the day when I get going, and save paperwork for later in my day."
  3. Ritual Model: "Each day of the week (when I am not specifically working on an assignment) I devote half a day to a specific "chore," e.g., Fridays I file, Thursdays I write an article, Wednesdays I devote to my largest client, Tuesdays I devote to other clients, and Mondays I plan. And, oh yes, the weekends I write my weekly reports to clients."
  4. Checklist Model: "I like to prepare checklists every week. Things I want to get done during the week. And when I get up in the morning (depending on where I am) ... I take a look at my checklist and see what I might tackle today."

TIP:Don't fall into the trap of doing what's easy, convenient, or what you most like to do. Do what needs to be done. And if you don't like doing something ... find a way to get it done another way, e.g., hire someone (including family), outsource, make it automatic ... but get it done.

Schedule breaks. Exercise breaks. Meditation breaks. Family breaks. There's more to life than work.

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Two Key Questions

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Updated: Friday, August 30, 2013
Sometimes it's a challenge to get clients, and especially prospects, to take action. Any suggestions?

There are two powerful questions you can use during the selling process:
  1. Are you having "this" problem? Of course, it's vital you have done your homework and know what "this" problem is...and have a solution for it. There is often a common concern or problem within an industry or job position. For instance, working with sales managers, I know their key problem is having sales people who can sell. And I have solutions for that. This question gets the discussion going and focuses on what you can do for the client.

  2. Also consider this fallback: If the prospect says "no"... then ask "What is your biggest problem?" Not as good, but still a conversation starter.

  3. When would you like to get started on this? This brings the focus to an action or decision point quickly. If you haven't yet talked fees, it offers a way to bring it up.

TIP:When wanting a client (or prospect) to take action, zero in on problems and solutions ... and the need to take action.

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Turnarounds

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Updated: Friday, August 30, 2013
One of my clients is in deep financial trouble and has asked me to temporarily step in as CEO to help the company get profitable again. Is this a good idea?

It's a great idea ... if you:

  • feel you can turn the company around based on your personal analysis;
  • are willing to move strongly, boldly and make powerful changes quickly;
  • have the necessary leadership and negotiation skills (you will likely have to negotiate with banks, creditors, etc.); and
  • have the creativity to make it all happen.
If you have never done this before, this is a one-of-a-kind opportunity that can gain you stature as a "turn around specialist".


WARNING:
It's not going to be easy. The odds are all against you.

TIP:Time is your enemy (and friend). The company is bleeding. The longer you let it bleed, the more difficult the job.

You want to be amply and generously rewarded, largely based on results (stock, percent of profits, etc.).

P.S.Your personal/social life will be back-burnered for a while.

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