We Won the Medal Count, But …
… Are We Losing What Counts More?
The U.S. may have won the medal count at the Olympics, but it is in danger of losing what counts more: our faith in the future. Pundits and commentators are now opining that the American Dream has been replaced by the Chinese Dream and the Indian Dream and the Korean Dream.
And, that’s just not true. We are as strong or stronger in the global economic race as we were in the Olympics. If you’d like to know why, read my new book. It’s called A Multitude of Hope: A Novel About Rediscovering the American Dream. Sure, it’s fiction, but it’s fiction that is 100 percent true.
To read a free excerpt, click here.
Or, order your copy from Amazon.com right now. Just click here.
The 2 Questions You Should Always Ask in an Interview
The old axiom remains as true today as it was years ago. People join companies, but they leave supervisors. In other words, no matter how attractive a new job or employer might be, if you and your new boss are incompatible, you’re unlikely to be successful … or last very long on-the-job.
We tend to focus our attention on recruiters and employers when looking for a job, and that makes a lot of sense. Recruiters, after all, are the gatekeepers. They determine whether or not we even get in the door to have an interview. And, employers, of course, deserve a lot of scrutiny as it’s their culture and leadership which determine an organization’s prospects for success (and our future employment).
It’s a logical approach, but it is also insufficient to ensure success. If our goal isn’t simply to get hired – if what we’re trying to do is get employed and stay that way – then we have to devote as much time and effort to evaluating the one person who will most determine that outcome. And, that person is our new boss. They set the conditions under which we will work and they are responsible for ensuring we have the necessary resources and support to perform at our peak.
How can you assess a prospective boss? They are always included among those with whom you meet when invited in for an interview, so use that session to learn what you can about them. Your goal, however, is not to acquire personal information, but rather to assess their leadership style and principles.
Interview the Boss-to-Be
As we all know, bosses can perform their job in three different ways: hands-on, hands-off and somewhere in between. The first evaluation we must make, therefore, is of their leadership style. Do they, for example, provide each person in their unit with a lot of direction and closely monitor their accomplishment of the assigned work? Or, do they provide a minimum of direction and expect each worker to find their way on their own? Do they welcome questions and requests for guidance from those in their unit or would they prefer that workers figure things out on their own?
There’s no right or wrong answer – one leadership style may be perfect in one unit and an entirely different style might work better in another. What we want to know, therefore, is whether or not we’re comfortable with the style of the person who would be our new boss. That presupposes we’ve thought about and identified the style that works best for us. With that as our baseline we can ask a boss-to-be the first of our interview questions: How do you assign and oversee each person’s work in your group?.
Bosses can also come with any one of three very different sets of principles: good, bad or mixed. Unfortunately, there are bosses who abuse their workers by creating debilitating working conditions or by their own biased or coarse behavior. They create toxic working environments that sap the energy, commitment and, eventually, the performance of those they supervise. So, if we go to work for such bad bosses, we set ourselves up for failure on-the-job and for a serious setback to our career.
Good bosses, on the other hand, are like a springboard. They provide the inspiration and role model for our own success. They recognize us when we make a contribution, encourage us when we are stymied and shore us up when we need help. Good bosses enable us to be as good as we can be on-the-job, and only that kind of performance provides us with the security we all seek in today’s economy. So, our second interview question for a boss-to-be should ask: How do you see your role both in the unit as a whole and with each of the people who work for you?
Yes, of course, there are other questions we can ask during an interview. We need to make sure we thoroughly understand what the job entails and what the expectations of us will be if we take it. While such insights are important, however, they will not ensure our success. More than any other single factor, it’s the character and values of our prospective supervisor that will determine how we fare on-the-job. So, the best way to assess our prospects is to interview that person – our boss-to-be.
Thanks for reading,
Visit me at Weddles.com
The Best Beach Blanket Books Anywhere
Turn off your iPhone or Blackberry, disconnect from the office and invest a little quality time in your own career. Put the following books in your beach bag and work on adding to your knowledge of the best strategies and tactics for success while you’re working on your tan:
The Career Fitness Workbook. This book introduces a complete regimen of activities that will help you successfully compete for and hang onto the job of your dreams. Think of it as “career insurance.” It’s a one-of-a-kind program that not only tells you what to do, but how to do it and how often. At just $14.95, it’s the smartest investment you’ll ever make.
The Career Activist Republic. This blockbuster of a book provides a provocative yet positive assessment of the changing world of work in the American economy and describes an innovative strategy that will enable you to avoid the pitfalls and capture the opportunities in this new environment.
The Success Matrix: Wisdom from the Web on How to Get Hired and Not Be Fired. This anthology collects the best of Peter Weddle’s columns on job search and career success. It is the only book you’ll find that provides a candid and totally up-to-date look at how to get and stay ahead in today’s workplace.
Recognizing Richard Rabbit. This fable for adults will entertain and delight you and help you out of the boxes that keep you from becoming the champion inside you. It is a novel and engaging way to recognize the talented person you are meant to be.
Job Nation: The 100 Best Employment Sites
The American Staffing Association was kind enough to call me the “Zagat” of the online employment industry. And, just as Tim and Nina Zagat used their classic guides to identify the best restaurants, I have published a guide to the best employment sites on the Web.
Called Job Nation: The 100 Best Employment Sites on the Web, it’s my pick of the top job boards, career portals and professional networking sites on the Internet.
Every site is profiled with a complete consumer’s guide to its features, services and resources. That way, you can shop smart and pick the sites that will work best for you.
While admitting to some bias, I think Job Nation is the single best way to use the Internet to find a new or better job. And, it retails for just $14.95.
Remember What Your Mother Taught You
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