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Water Cooler

Information and insight about your career and the workplace at large
November 2007

News and Views

Savvy employers care about creating a good workplace, , because good workplaces help create focused, energetic employees, writes Sue Shellenbarger, in her Wall Street Journal article, “Rules of Engagement.” And quid pro quo, focused and energetic employees “have an almost magical effect on the bottom line.” If you have a WSJ subscription, you can access the rest of this article here. If not, you can sign still read the article if you sign up for a trial subscription at no charge. Details

One law, two circuit courts, two rulings, two different results for employers. That’s the conclusion of an intriguing article by Alan L. Rupe on how your ZIP Code determines employees’ legal rights. Cases involving discrimination law and ADA “reasonable accommodation” have brought this to the forefront. Rupe explains why and how this “unequal before the law” condition exists. Read the article (registraton may be required).

It’s a no-brainer: Incompetent management can sink a company and reduce employee morale. But can you recognize incompetence? Margaret Heffernan offers tips on identifying incompetent team members in this recent issue of Fast Company. If you spot these warning signs in your team and you have no hiring or firing authority, maybe it’s time to look for another position. If you spot one or more of these warning signs in yourself, maybe it’s time you to rethink your work ethic. Check it out.


Toolbox: Mentor Yourself into a Leadership Position

If you give, you get. Such is the philosophy of leadership and life from Thoko Mkogosi, the CEO of Hewlett-Packard South Africa who was recently named Businesswoman of the Year. Here are her nuggets of wisdom. Mine them and mentor yourself into a leadership position.

  1. Leaders manage to pass on "strength" that helps others to cope.
  2. A great leader "seeketh not her own" even in times of personal pain.
  3. Your attitude and demeanor communicate more powerfully than your mouth or even your qualifications.
  4. Remain true to your "instincts" or feelings, which ultimately is a higher form of integrity.
  5. Make the best of opportunities and in turn give others opportunities.
  6. Life is about challenges. What makes you stand out is how you handle those challenges. See some positives in every bad situation.
  7. What ever happens to you, you are in control of who you are, your soul.
  8. To earn respect you often have to "do your time."
  9. Learn to trust your intuition, your gut.
  10. To be inspiring you must connect with your audiences' values, spirit, soul.
  11. Be yourself.
  12. Focus on winning the war; reaching your objective. Do not get hung up on winning every battle.

  13. Read the entire article here.


    Blog Entry

    True or False: Reward Systems Motivate People to Perform. What's your view?


    On Stage

    ASAE and the Center Leadership Conference and Luncheon

    In Honor of Women, November 7, 2007, Washington, DC. Leadership conference, luncheon, and two-hour interactive workshop covering the role of mentor and mentee, the changing face or mentoring, the mentoring process, and best practices for a long-term relationship. Attendees will also preview ASAE Career Headquarters’ latest online mentoring tool.

    Writers in the Sky Podcast

    Take a creativity break today with this podcast. It’s me, talking about my book Mentor Me with Rosi Stewart on Yvonne Perry's "Writers in the Sky Podcast," where you can access other archived shows by clicking on a link listed in the sidebar to the right. The broadcast aired Friday,September 14, 2007, and now you can listen online.