Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Leadership Conference Thoughts and Ramblings, Part 3

Author: Nick
Category: Money
Topics:

keep in touch with those contacts

There was a big scare at the conference center today; a rumor started that the bar ran out of alcohol and that the booze truck broke down 20 miles away. But it was just a rumor, the bar was fully stocked, and I got to spend the evening stepping over the future leaders of my company as usual.

During a class entitled Launching Your Career, the instructor had a very interesting technique she offered to help us keep in touch with all those people with whom we’ve been networking all week. Here’s her trick in four easy steps.

  1. Make sure you have business cards. If your company won’t pay for you to have your own business cards, spend the money to make your own. Or if you’re at the conference and the nearest business card manufacturer is 300 miles away, be sure to have plenty of index cards or small pieces of paper on which you can write your name, e-mail address, phone number, and position.
  2. Trade cards with your networkees. Once you connect to someone you’d like to stay in touch with in the months and years to follow, offer to exchange cards. If the other person doesn’t have a card, just get all that information from step one and make your own card for that person later.
  3. Organize your contacts. When you get home, add all your new contacts to your favorite contact organization tool. An e-mail address book works all right, but an old-fashioned rolodex will do even better in the last critical step.
  4. Establish a chronological system for keeping in touch. Add monthly dividers to your rolodex (January, February, etc.). Then split up your networkees between those months, and make a point to contact a new batch every month–maybe one a day or several each week. For especially important people, add their cards to more than one month so you talk with them more than just yearly.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Leadership Conference Thoughts and Ramblings, Part 2

Author: Nick
Category: Money
Topics:

the acorn graphic, for no real reason

And so a new day dawns on the Leadership Development Conference. As I prepare to head down to the breakfast buffet, the lessons of yesterday still echo in my head. Here’s the most important thing I took away from Monday’s classes.

  • Embrace diversity in the workplace. “Diversity” in our workplace used to mean hiring lots of minorities and women. But the word can apply to just about anything that makes one person different from another–age, religion, height, education, or even financial status. It’s important to diversify in order to drawn talent and insight from a broad spectrum of thought. Personally, I’m very happy to see the diverse selection of people who are attending this conference, and I’m learning a lot through my interactions with each and every one of these folks.

Following our first class yesterday, at which roughly 250 people were in attendance, our speaker attempted to give us directions to our next session. The conference center is quite elaborate and has a rather confusing layout, so here’s how that went.

Instructor: Do you all know where the Red Commons is?

Class: (in unison) No.

Instructor: Okay, do you know where the Yellow Commons is?

Class: (in unison) No.

Instructor: All right. Do you all know where the bar is?

Class: (in unison) YES!

Instructor: It’s just down the hall from there.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Leadership Conference Thoughts and Ramblings, Part 1

Author: Nick
Category: Money
Topics:

learning about leadership

I’m reporting to you live from the National Conference Center in Who The Heck Knows Where, Virginia. I’ve been sent here, along with 500 of my co-workers from around the world, to be trained in the methods of leadership. You see, mine is one of many companies that will be suffering from a severe shortage of technical leaders in coming years as the baby boomer generation begins to retire. But at least our company has had the foresight to start training the youngest generation to start assuming those critical leadership roles.

Each day, I’ll present to you something I’ve learned at this conference about leadership or business in general. These teachings should be universally applicable to just about any job or career you can imagine, so hopefully they’ll prove useful to you in advancing your career. Today’s lesson was one of the first things we learned at the conference–and certainly one of the most important.

  • Network, network, network. You’ve probably heard it a thousand times–just how important it is to develop relationships with other people, even ones you don’t work with now and may never work with again. But that person you strike up a conversation with in the hall could end up being a future manager who will remember you and your interests when they have a great position to fill. I’ve been doing some networking myself; outside of class, I’ve been hanging out with some folks at one of our New Jersey locations instead of just the people I know from our own place in Maryland. I have started developing some terrific work relationships with these people, and I know they’ll all make fabulous vice presidents when I take over as CEO of the whole company!

Friday, August 18, 2006

YOUR CHANCE TO BE ON TV! Noted Psychiatrist and TV Personality Seeking Couples For Show on How Money Affects Relationships

Author: Nick
Category: Money
Topics:

you can be on tv

Here’s a great opportunity for some lucky members of the Punny Money reading audience. We’ve been contacted by the producers of The Dr. Keith Ablow Show who are seeking couples to appear on an upcoming episode which will talk about how money affects relationships and marriages.

be on the dr keith ablow show

So if you’re married or in a relationship and you might have some thoughts to share regarding the effects finances can have on that relationship, please get in touch with me right away! You can also comment here, even anonymously if you wish; but be sure to fill out the e-mail field so I can get in touch with you (your e-mail will not be publicly displayed).

Once I hear from you, I’ll send you the information you need to get in touch with the show’s producers, and they’ll handle things from there. Just be sure to let them know that Nick from Punny Money sent you so they don’t think you’re some random weirdo.

If being on TV might be your thing, then I hope you’ll jump on this opportunity. Please hurry though because they’ll need to hear from you as soon as possible.

The Best Strategies for Using Work Vacation Days, Part 7

Author: Nick
Category: Money
Topics:

arise, oh forgotten series

It’s time to resurrect this series and impart upon y’all another tip for making the most out of those few-and-far-between vacation days. This one comes from long-time reader Sara B., and it’s one I’m shocked I didn’t come up with myself because it’s so simple yet so true.

  • Don’t forget to enjoy the best day of the vacation. And which day might that be? The one in the middle? The last one? The first one? Nope, not even close. The best day of any vacation is the one before it even starts. Say your first full day of vacation is a Saturday. Your vacation really starts the moment you leave work on Friday. But all too often, people will spend that Friday night packing or taking care of last-minute happenings around the house. Instead, deal with those issues earlier in the week so that your vacation truly begins the second you walk out the door at work. That way, you can relax and enjoy those precious hours that are the absolute furthest away from when you have to be back on the job.

Excellent advice, Sara! And on this Friday afternoon, as many folks prepare to take their own vacations, it’s advice I hope they’ll remember to follow.