High Performer or Average Worker? How Can You Quickly Tell?

"The best in every business do what they have learned to do without questioning their abilities—they flat out trust their skills." -- John Eliot, American author of Overachievement: The New Model for Exceptional Performance.   Adding a new person to your workplace team is always a gamble. Usually you can't tell, just by looking, who will consistently deliver top-notch performance that makes the entire team shine...and who will just show up, do an average job, and fade into the woodwork. To clarify, "average" does not mean "bad." Average people define the norm and provide the benchmarks by which we recognize high performance. They do their jobs adequately when properly directed, and you can depend on them in most things. But you build your team around high performers—the "quantum le … [Read more...]

Hard Work vs. Talent: The Eternal Debate

"I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious." -- Albert Einstein, German-American physicist. "Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships." -- Michael Jordan, American pro basketball player. "Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work." -- Stephen King, American writer. One of the cornerstones of American culture is the concept of human equality: the notion that while some of us may be born into better circumstances than others, we all have equal rights as human beings to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We've enshrined that status in the very documents that declare and outline our system of government. But as equal as we may be in the eyes of the law, … [Read more...]

Time Management Skills: a Quick Review

"Until you value yourself, you won't value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it." -- M. Scott Peck, author of The Road Less Traveled. "Time is the scarcest resource of the manager; if it is not managed, nothing else can be managed." -- Peter F. Drucker, Austrian management guru. "Make use of time; let not advantage slip." -- William Shakespeare, British playwright.   Time management. You can't escape the topic when discussions turn to personal productivity, for a very good reason: time management forms the skeleton upon which you build your productivity. It underlies all productivity programs, whether group or individual. Without at least rudimentary time management skills in play, you may stay constantly busy, but you probably won't get anything … [Read more...]

Time Management Skills: Group Productivity Issues

Time management training tends to focus on individual workplace productivity; and while that's all well and good, most of us actually work within team environments. It's not a good idea, therefore, to just ignore the productivity issues affecting your coworkers. Your team workflow process can't function smoothly if the individual parts are broken. Raising awareness of group productivity issues requires little more than circulating an informal survey among your teammates, and then distributing the results. Simply ask something like, "What are your X biggest time management challenges?" You can make "X" any number you like, depending on how much time and resources you have to dedicate to the issue. Needless to say, your team's manager bears the ultimate responsibility for maintaining an … [Read more...]

Time Management Skills: The Fine Art of Putting Things Off

Laura Stack, The Productivity Pro(R) shares time management skills: tips on getting to those unpleasant tasks we've put off. (C) 2011 Laura Stack, All Rights Reserved http://www.TheProductivityPro.com … [Read more...]

Time Management Skills: The Art of Self-Discipline

Laura Stack, The Productivity Pro(R) talks about how self-discipline affects our productivity. (C) 2011 Laura Stack, All Rights Reserved http://www.TheProductivityPro.com … [Read more...]

Time Management Skills: Taming the To-Do List

Laura Stack, The Productivity Pro(R) gives tips on working with your to-do list. (C) 2011 Laura Stack, All Rights Reserved http://www.TheProductivityPro.com … [Read more...]

Laura Shares the Six Keys at GROW 2011

Laura Stack, The Productivity Pro(R), shares the Six Keys to Perform at Your Productive Best at the GROW 2011 conference in Dayton, OH. … [Read more...]

Time Management Skills: Email Tips

Clarity in workplace communication is highly important in any format, and these days, more and more business is conducted through email. Therefore, it's beneficial to learn how to maximize the content of your email messages, while minimizing the possibility of confusion. You should start with an informative, keyword-rich subject line that grabs the reader's attention. Don't leave the subject line blank, and don't be vague or non-specific; on the other hand, don't overuse exclamation points or capital letters. Either might lead an inattentive recipient to think your email is spam, resulting in it getting deleted—something that might range in consequence from minor to disastrous. If you're replying to an existing email, don't change the subject line unless you must. Otherwise, the recipient … [Read more...]