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Archive for November, 2010

Career-Op Gift Guide #12: Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive

November 30th, 2010 Comments off

#12 Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive

While some might read a book like this for tips on manipulating others to do what they want, I found some great insight into what drives people to make the choices they do. As an organizer of events like CareerCampLA and others, finding ways to persuade people to sponsor and attend these events is critical. Yes! has many great ideas on how to use people’s own desire to be persuaded to work in your favor, and hopefully their favor as well.

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Career-Op Gift Guide #11: Art & Fear: Observations On the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking

November 23rd, 2010 Comments off

#11 Art & Fear: Observations On the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking

With interests in both art and business, it seems only natural to combine them in my mind. “Art & Fear” addresses the all-to-common issues with creating art and I believe there are a lot of parallels to any career. Most art is about overcoming fear and it is the same with your career. You need to work through the fear in order to create something wonderful, not matter what you do.

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Career-Op Gift Guide #10: Tribes by Seth Godin

November 20th, 2010 Comments off

#10 Tribes by Seth Godin

Seth Godin’s newest book, Tribes, touches a concept near and dear to me…organizing groups, or Tribes, and helping them get things done. This is not to say I have been terribly successful at this activity, but I love helping people achieve things and doing it any way I can.

I was interested in Tribes for exactly this reason. I wanted to see what Godin had to say about organizing people and creating “movement” to see if there was anything I could be doing better. Of course, there is always something more you can be doing, so I took away a few good ideas from the book. He does admit, though, that there aren’t any hard and fast rubrics for he can give you for working with Tribes. You need passion and a vision and an ability to understand and care about people, but you can’t break it down into 5 easy steps that anyone can do.

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Career-Op Gift Guide # 9: The Craft and Business of Songwriting

November 18th, 2010 Comments off

# 9 The Craft and Business of Songwriting

While it might be considered a niche career, many thousands of people pursue their musical dreams every year. In such a competitive industry, you need a reliable and knowledgeable guide. John Braheny provides just such a guide.

This highly successful music industry book, The Craft and Business of Songwriting, by my good friend, John Braheny, is now in its 3rd edition. This edition contains a substantial amount of new content, including a podcasting sidebar written by yours truly.

I was honored when he asked me to write the podcasting sidebar for his book. As he prepared this latest edition, podcasting was just starting to enter the public psyche and, even then, I sensed its effects on songwriters and the music industry as a whole were sure to be profound. Since I was an experienced computer consultant, there at the very beginning, (and not a bad amateur guitarist) I was in excellent position to help his readers understand this new technology.

For more information on John and the book, visit JohnBraheny.com

John Braheny, author of “The Craft and Business of Songwriting” presents Music Business Careers at CareerCampLA 2010.

Download “Music Business Careers with John Braheny” – iPod Ready Video

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Career-Op Gift Guide # 8: The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable

November 16th, 2010 Comments off

# 8 The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable

Here is a review of the book I wrote back in 2003.

I just finished this book tonight (I have been on a reading binge lately) and was very impressed. Dysfunctions is structured more like a short story or novelette than a traditional business book. This allowed me to get very involved in the story. Indeed, I believe a good story is always the best way to approach life and business. Whether you are writing a resume or trying to solve difficult business problems, a good story can illuminate the issue better than any combination of charts and reports.

The end of the book contains a more “business-like” restatement of the lessons, for those who want a more traditional review.

More importantly, I saw many aspects of my past business dealings echoed in the book. I think that anyone who is involved in business, in any form, has faced many of these same problems and issues. I requested this book from the library after seeing a short mention, possibly just the title in some magazine I was reading. I had no preconceptions about what I might find within, and I have been pleasantly surprised with the quality and importance of Dysfunctions.

While telling a good story helped to clearly explain the concepts, there were a few times when the characters came around too quickly to the lesson.The main character, a newly minuted CEO brought in to build a better executive team, seems a bit too assured with her process, but yet exhibits some moments of fear and regret.

Overall, this is a great book and I would highly suggest that it be recommended to your employees and your peers as a way of explaining how teamwork can and will develop if everyone is committed to making it happen.

More Books from Patrick Lencioni

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Career-Op Gift Guide # 7: The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You’ll Ever Need

November 14th, 2010 Comments off

# 7 The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You’ll Ever Need

Yes, a graphic novel that also happens to be a career guide. What a great idea! This is an easy read, but offers some good career advice in an engaging form. Well worth picking up at your local library or bookstore.

Johnny Bunko trailer from Daniel Pink on Vimeo.

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Career-Op Gift Guide # 6: The Little Big Things by Tom Peters

November 12th, 2010 Comments off

# 6 The Little Big Things by Tom Peters

Another great book by Tom Peters with thought-provoking content on nearly every page. A business and career seminar in book form.

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Career-Op Gift Guide # 5: The Creative Habit and The Collaborative Habit by Twyla Tharp

November 9th, 2010 Comments off

# 5 The Creative HabitThe Collaborative Habit

Two excellent books by choreographer Twyla Tharp delve into the creative process and collaborating with others. The books give an in-depth view of both her work and how she creates it. There is lots of great ideas to be found her for anyone seeking to improve their career.

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Sometimes you just do the best that you can

November 8th, 2010 Comments off

Career Opportunities podcast logoSometimes you just do the best that you can. Most of us want to do more with our life, our work, heck, even our day, but sometimes you just can’t get it done. I am having one of those times right now. Everyone in the family seems busier than usual and it is leading to days where our only thought is sinking in to a comfy chair at night and turning off our minds. My wife has an amazingly busy scheduled teaching at 4 different colleges, my 7th Grade son is deep in his studies as well as flag football, chess and a host of other programs and I am taking on more of my “Stay at home Dad” role again as well as balancing that with my consulting and writing work. We all seem to be running in a hundred different directions at once.

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Even with all this, though, I see each of us bemoaning the fact that we can’t get more done. Things are going un-repaired, leaves are piling up — along with the dishes — and everything just seems a bit harder. Even as we sink into your beds, we are chiding ourselves, trying to kick ourselves back into action. Instead, we all need to take a moment to realize the life has its ups and down and sometimes the best thing we can do is sleep.

It can be hard to decide when things have become to much. Most of us want to go-go-go and when busy times hit we want to continue as we normally do. Let me be the first to tell you that you can’t do that. You can’t take on an entire new load of work and still expect to get everything else done. There aren’t enough hours in the day, no matter how much you berate yourself. Even more, this isn’t going to be a normal state of affairs. Each year has its own ups and downs, craziness and pauses. You need to adopt a new, temporary mindset until things settle down a bit. Even when it feels like they won’t settle down, I can guarantee you that they will. You need to go into a maintenance mode until a bit of normalcy returns.

First, look to those things that simply must be done. We have to pay our bills, feed ourselves, and get ourselves to work each day. There is no compromising on some things. That said, maybe the roof repair will have to be put off for a couple of weeks, or the sweeping of leaves. I call this self-preservation. You have to do something to keep yourself together until the busy time relents. This means that some days you will look at the dirty dishes and decide to do them in the morning, not right now. You’ll decide that buying take out (as healthy as possible, please) might be a better use of you time than making an entire meal from scratch. You may decide that taking a nap is more important than ironing your clothes and in many ways you will be right. At least you’ll be right for right now.

The biggest battle you will have to fight is to overcome the thoughts that somehow you have failed. Each little undone task will weigh on your mind and make you feel a little less accomplished. No matter how much you might be doing in other aspects of your life, you will see these small tasks as dramatic indicators that your life is “going to hell in a hand basket.” Stop. Don’t. You are only digging yourself a bigger hole. Focus on the most important things now and realize that the other things will sort themselves out in a while. You will find a rhythm to your life again, I promise. Focus on getting through this period.

There are ways of helping yourself cope. For myself, I make a point of writing down everything that is going undone and then making an agreement with myself that everything will get done — eventually. Itemizing what you have to do can sometimes help to get those items off your mind. Once you have a good list to refer to later, you know that you won’t forget anything and this seems to take them off your mind, at least for a little while.

Another method is to itemize everything you ARE completing. Show yourself just how much work you are doing, even if other items are going wanting. Don’t dismiss all the work that you are doing. If this work is running your life right now, it must be important, even if it is something you would rather not monopolize your time. We have limited control over what we do from day-to-day, but you must remind yourself, constantly, that life will return to normal — priorities will shift once again — and you will be back on track. In the meantime, you just have to do the best that you can.



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Career-Op Gift Guide # 4: Thinking for a Change by John C. Maxwell

November 7th, 2010 Comments off

# 4 Thinking for a Change by John C. Maxwell

This is on the short list of books which I will buy for my firends and aquaintances whenever they come to me with issues with organization or managing their time. Maxwell has a series of books and each one has its own strengths, but I have found that this one provides me the biggest triggers for further thought

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