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Laura’s Keynotes and Workshops

Laura's Keynotes and Workshops will accelerate your team's productivity - Learn More

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Faster Together

Faster Together - Accelerating Your Team's Productivity

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Laura Stack inducted into the Speakers Hall of Fame

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The Eternal Question: Is it Better to Beg Forgiveness, or Ask Permission?

The Eternal Question: Is it Better to Beg Forgiveness, or Ask Permission? by Laura Stack #productivity

You’ve probably heard Grace Hopper's famous axiom, "It's better to beg forgiveness than ask permission." As a child, my father used to tell me that all the time! As a pioneering computer scientist and one of the first female admirals in the U.S. Navy, "Amazing Grace" surely learned the value of begging forgiveness rather than asking permission during her long, storied career. Indeed, Hopper's Law seems to make a lot of sense in many real-world situations. But is it applicable to the workplace? The answer, as with so many other business questions, is, “It depends.” There are reasonable arguments for both sides of the equation, depending on the circumstances. For example, if you're an IT tech, you definitely want to ask permission before changing or upgrading the operating system of an … [Read more...]

Written Work Commitments: Stroke of Genius, or Total Timewaster?

"People with clear, written goals, accomplish far more in a shorter period of time than people without them could ever imagine." -- Brian Tracy Most of us work in “at-will” jobs, meaning our companies can terminate us whenever they want, without warning; then again, we can leave whenever we want. Contractual obligations bind neither side. With the exception of high-level execs who insist on them to protect their interests, contracts aren't often seen in the workplace nowadays. But maybe they should be, in a looser, less-binding sense than traditionally used. As a leader, have you ever considered the concept of written work commitments for each of your team members, so you can evaluate how you’re all progressing every quarter? This isn't a traditional contract that would need to be … [Read more...]

Too Valuable to Lose: 7 Ways to Be Indispensable at Work

"The most important thing for workers to understand is that you have to make yourself indispensable. You must make money for your employer or make his life easier, preferably both. Also, you have to learn as much as you can about your chosen endeavor." -- Bill O'Reilly, American TV commentator and author. I usually discourage my readers from trying to make themselves indispensable at work, because when you do that, you limit your opportunities for promotion. While you may have some advantage when it comes to getting raises, your supreme competence and usefulness to your superiors makes them unwilling to let you go. Perhaps at 45 it’s because I’m getting older, but I’m also becoming more of a realist due to business conditions these days. Job security remains a top priority for many of … [Read more...]

Subconscious Self-Sabotage: What It Is and How to Avoid It

"Those who say life is knocking them down and giving them a tough time are usually the first to beat themselves up. Be on your own side." -- Rasheed Ogunlaru, British life coach and speaker. Have you ever figuratively shot yourself in the foot, by doing something so stupid it compromised your job or career? Do you ever feel like you're really two people, one driven to achieve, while the other holds you back, like an anchor buried in rock? Do you sometimes think you don't really deserve what you've accomplished in life—you're really a fraud who's always faking it—and people just can't tell? If you can honestly say no, then you're one of those rare people so confident in yourself, in where you're going, and your way of doing things—that you never have to worry this topic of … [Read more...]

The Fast Beating the Slow: The Need for Speed in Modern Business

The Fast Beating the Slow: The Need for Speed in Modern Business by Laura Stack

"If you don't have a goal, you will score zero even if you run with the fastest speed." -- Israelmore Ayivor, African author and blogger. According to some futurists, there may come a time when technology evolves so rapidly we won't be able to keep up with it. At that point, the future will become completely unpredictable. They call this the Singularity—and some believe it's just around the corner. In the business world, change already moves at a breakneck pace. No longer do three- to five-year strategic plans suffice. As I've pointed out in my latest book, Execution IS the Strategy, static plans go stale within months. Indeed, some companies are reviewing strategy quarterly or even monthly. Front-line employees must have the permission and the flexibility to work with any tactics … [Read more...]