While it’s been said many times that one shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, marketers know that people do just that. That’s why product packaging plays such a pivotal role in product sales. Product packaging designers know that looks matter, and without a properly designed package a product is hard to sell regardless of how good its other attributes might be. Indeed, packaging design represents what the brand stands for as much as other elements of the brand visual identity do, and in certain cases the packaging is almost as important as the product itself.
This applies not only to the sale of products. It also applies to the most valuable resource any business has… its employees. Career coaches and HR experts agree that applicants should dress for the job they want, not the job they currently have or last had. Applicants are evaluated first by their appearance, which is a key part of body language. Employers want to hire someone who ‘looks the part.’ But ‘dressing the part’ applies not only to those seeking employment. Dressing for success is a personal philosophy that everyone in the workplace should adopt. While office attire has certainly changed over the years, giving rise to ‘business casual’ and ‘casual Fridays’, how employees dress for work still matters. Here’s why. Continue reading
What is standing between you and success? Is it a person, place or thing? For many, a person is the biggest obstacle to achieving their greatest dream. It might be an enemy or nemesis. Or perhaps it is a competitor. Or it could be a coworker. It might even be someone much closer, such as a friend or family member. But for some, it is someone even closer than that. For some, the most daunting impediment to achieving their goals is their own face in the mirror. That’s right. For some, the biggest barrier to achieving their dreams is themselves and the negative self-talk inside.
For some, the knots binding them from achieving their wishes and dreams are in their mind and heart. They are bound by the have nots, can nots and do nots in their own minds. They are anchored by the will nots, may nots, and might nots that have affixed themselves to their hearts. They are tethered by the could nots of the past, the should nots of the present and the anticipated would nots of the future. The “nots” in their thinking become the actual knots that bind and obstruct their path to happiness and success. Most importantly, the am nots, especially thoughts such as “I am not good enough” hold people down. And if you think that positive thinking and positive self talk is just a bunch of nonsense, think again. There is scientific proof that positive thinking has a powerful positive effect and negative thinking has a powerful negative effect. Continue reading
In a dog-eat-dog, competitive marketplace, many people develop a ‘me first’ mentality. Those adopting this mentality choose to do what is best for himself or herself first and foremost and then — if time, energy and resources allow — might deign to help others. And, it seems that this ‘looking out for number one’ attitude is becoming increasingly pervasive in today’s modern society. To many, this egotistical approach to life is justified as the best way to ‘get ahead.’ The question is: does selfishness pay?
Religious and spiritual leaders have forever warned about the perils of selfishness and touted the virtues of altruism. But now there is mounting scientific evidence that selfishness is actually bad for your health. Instead of a ‘me first’ approach to life being beneficial, scientists are finding that selfishness is actually harmful not only to society as a whole, but also to the individual being selfish. Inversely, doing nice things for others and putting others’ needs first actually is not only good for society but also for the do-gooder. Continue reading
Organization and time management are two of the biggest challenges that people face day-to-day. Busy lives often result in messy lives. This is true both at home and work. In fact, lack of time often leads to clutter. At home, it might be the medicine cabinet that needs tidying. Or it might be the utensil drawer in the kitchen that needs sorting. Or it might be financial records that need organizing. For some, clutter is confined to one area. For others, mess is found in every drawer and closet… every nook and cranny. Lack of organization is not just irritating to the eye and stressing to the mind, it can actually cause real problems. For example, a person can’t take medicine if they can’t find the medicine. Bills not paid on time can result in a lower credit score or worse. Cluttered closets can hide resources that result in unnecessary purchases.
At work, lack of organization can also cause problems. A cluttered or messy desk can waste time as an employee searches for a needed paper or file. A disorganized supply room can cause staff to order additional supplies needlessly. Cluttered or misplaced records can even result in lost clients if key work is overlooked or deadlines are missed. Disorganized accounting records can wreak absolute havoc during an audit or at tax time. Given that organization is key to efficiency, economy of motion and effectiveness, how does a leader or manager ensure that all staff get and stay organized? How can a busy employee stay organized despite a heavy workload? Continue reading
No employer ever wants to think of any employee as ‘toxic’ or ‘poisonous’. Yet anyone who has ever worked with or managed a large team of people can attest that there is occasionally an individual who is so negative and damaging to the workplace that he/she is secretly thought of as a ‘poison pill.’ It could be an employee who is great at her job, but speaks to customers with utter contempt. It might be a stellar salesperson who is a top producer but treats support staff like lowly peasants. Perhaps it is a manager who is wonderful to customers but rude and harsh to his direct reports. Or maybe it is an employee who says all the right things to management but then turns around and bad mouths the company to other employees and customers. Whatever the scenario, the problem of a poisonous employee is not one that can be ignored.
The real problem with a poisonous employee is that, like a poison pill dropped in a well of fresh water, he or she can contaminate the entire source. Left untended, that individual can create problems with customers, other employees and management. But dealing with a poison pill employee can be tricky business, especially if the person is great at what they do. How should a company handle the hostile employee that threatens the harmony and success of the team? The answer is carefully but decisively. Continue reading