Tag Archives: 10 Essentials of Survival

What if You’re C.) “All of the Above”?

*WARNING: The following post contains a rant. The writer is subject to:

A.) Fly off the handle

B.) Break down in tears

C.) Crawl under a rock

D.) Be prepared for whatever LIES ahead.

I rarely rant (okay, my husband and children would say otherwise) Yet, today I have stewed about a particular situation all last weekend, and it’s time to let it out! WHAAAA!

I am embarrassed to say that I’m looking for a job. I have owned my own business (Emerald City Consulting) for 8 years. It has been profitable at times, and not so profitable at other times. It takes money to advertise in the never ending fragmented ways that exist in today’s ever changing marketplace, and my marketing budget is non-existent. Therefore, since August I have been actively seeking employment.

In the course of my 35 year career, I have accumulated vast and varied skills. Rather than be viewed as well-rounded, I think it’s probably working against me in the hunt for a job. It’s like taking a true/false test, when I have a multiple choice background.

“Yes, I can do all of the above”. Therefore, my search for a job has been vast and varied. I have experience in many areas, rather than 35 years building on just one skill.

For this reason, I don’t remember exactly what the ad on www.Indeed.com said that caused me to apply for a particular job last week. There were likely a multitude of ways I “fit the bill”.  I was happy to receive an email last week from Catherine Smith in HR at Dynamic Concepts, Inc. She was requesting an interview with me. In 10 weeks of submitting over 100 resumes, this would be merely my second actual interview. (Perhaps I should have been suspicious).

Even though I had no memory of placing the application, nor did I remember the job description, I took the opportunity to look at the website for Dynamic Concepts, Inc. Here are a few screen shots from their website.

What would YOU believe Dynamic Concepts, Inc. to be known for?

My interpretation was thus:

They are a company who works with clients to increase the client’s branding and marketing efforts.

It sounded to me as though they had a unique approach to helping their clients manage and market their businesses. I was ALL ABOUT these ideas, and I was excited for an interview. Furthermore, their website touted the following (I’ve bolded the words/phrases that appealed to my skills and abilities):

  1. Success in unprecedented growth for the clients we work with by following a couple of core principles. Targeted outreach programs place branding specialists in front of an ideal buying audience to produce rapid returns. An emphasis on team building allows for the highest standard of service to be duplicated into new markets at an accelerated rate.
  2. The standard of excellence we provide has allowed us the opportunity to partner with nationally recognized name brands. As such, we are committed to maintaining the highest levels of professionalism because we know that we are not only representing ourselves, but the top-notch clients that put their faith in us.
  3. We are continually able to reach new markets and demographics with the help of our global network. Our clients know that we are not alone when marketing their brand. A solid network of marketing executives enables us to become fast and efficient problem-solvers. We can respond immediately should any situation arise.
  4. The most significant factor in our success is the experience of the consumer. We are diligent about following up spectacular campaigns with exceptional support and customer service. Our approach is convenient and cost-effective for the consumer, allowing them more freedom with their time and money without sacrificing on quality.

The Dynamic Concepts, Inc. website was done very well. Large amounts of money had been spent on its engaging and motivating content and layout. I looked forward to my interview in Renton – a few miles from where I live!

A few minutes before my scheduled interview time last Friday, I pulled into an industrial park. Industrial park? The first clue that Dynamic Concepts, Inc. may not meet my expectations.

I found building 10. Amid a sea of doors, I saw one labeled “Dynamic Concepts, Inc.”

Upon entering the door, I came face to face with a young man sitting at a desk. He looked like an adolescent trying to look like an adult. He was wearing a bow tie and a suit jacket that was at least three sizes too big.  It reminded me of this scene in the movie, Beetlejuice:

Okay, he was a nice enough looking young man, but this picture illustrates the thought that came to mind because of his over-sized clothing.

I was feeling uneasy, but took the one-page application form he offered and filled it out. Then, an adolescent-looking girl asked me to follow her into a small, poorly decorated office. She explained that this was a short “get to know you” meeting.

She asked what had drawn me to their ad.

“I actually don’t remember the ad, but I am drawn to some words and phrases on your website – mentoring, management, marketing, and client support”, I replied.

She asked, “What two words describe you?”

“Professionalism and eloquence” I said. (Yeah, corny. Whatever)

She began to describe Dynamic Concepts, Inc. as a company that uses event marketing to support their clients. “Clients”, she said “like Kroger, Costco and gas stations.”

She then showed me a picture of “what our members do”. It was a picture of three young people wearing orange safety jackets standing under a portable pop-up tent behind a table with spray-paint-can-like objects on the table.

“Where are they?” I asked.

“This is at a Kroger store. Right now, we are new to Washington, so we have two products we feature – a car wax and windshield repair. But the company has over 75 products.”

I’m trying to wrap my brain around what I’m hearing. I point to the picture. “Are these Kroger products?”

“No, these are our products, but Kroger, who is our client, partners with us.”

My stomach is getting queasy, and I realize I’ve been duped. This is nothing more than a sales position. A freaking position selling car wax under a tent in the parking lot of major retailers. Retailers who rent their space to Dynamic Concepts, Inc., who call the retailers CLIENTS.

By this definition, my landlord is my client because he lets me use his home to live in. WTH???? (“Honey, did you send a check to our “client” this month to pay our rent?”)

My choice: D.) NONE OF THE ABOVE!

Holy Crap! This company went to a lot of trouble to lie about what they do, so that they could get stupid people to apply for a stupid sales job, who would then be taught how to manage and lie to more stupid people about how to sell stupid products for “clients” who are anything but clients!

On my way home, I began to realize that they saw my resume, and thought I was stupid enough to be taken in by their masquerade. What does that say about me? I’ve struggled with this all weekend, and my ego is bruised badly. I am both angry that there are people out there making money off of lies and dishonest methods, and sad that I was viewed as someone who could be taken in by people making money off of lies and dishonest methods.

My job search has been essentially unproductive, and I’m not sure what to do next. I’ve never considered myself unskilled, but I’m sure beginning to feel that way. Perhaps it’s this way for everyone. I mean, I haven’t looked for a job for more than 10 years. Is this what it’s come to? Lies, dishonesty?

Or, am I simply going about it the wrong way? I have NEVER had trouble finding a job in the previous twenty years of my career. Yet, I am so much more experienced now. I have accomplished amazing feats. I have run a business, and directed a non-profit successfully. But I am under-valued by potential employers.

It seems that when it comes to true/false job searches – false is okay. People make lots of money being false.

It seems that in multiple choice job searches, A or B are appropriate answers, but never apply if your answer is C.) All of the above or D.) None of the above.

Therefore, I have written a 1000 word essay about my job search. Will it help? Will it matter? Heck, I don’t know. I just don’t want to be duped again.

Anyone out there want to hire an “ALL OF THE ABOVE”?

 

 

The 10 Essentials of Leadership

A Chinese Proverb says,

“To get through the hardest journey we need take only one step at a time, but we must keep on stepping.”

Beginning of journey

What would you take with you on your hardest journey?

Boy Scouts and survivalists will tell you there are 10 Essential Items you must have to travel safely on a journey.  Some items vary, but the typical 10 Essentials for Survival are:

  1. Map
  2. Compass
  3. Flashlight
  4. Food
  5. Clothing/Raingear
  6. Sun protection
  7. 1st Aid Kit
  8. Knife or Multi-tool
  9. Fire Starter(s)
  10. Water

Leadership is a journey wherein you must keep stepping, albeit one step at a time. What do you need to have on a journey of leadership? Are there 10 essentials for that?

Yes! Keep reading for The 10 Essentials of Leadership.

Vision
No journey should begin without a map, and any leader that begins leading without a vision is going to find him/herself lost before very long into the journey. A vision is a plan, such as: “I’m going to write a book about Leadership so that greater leaders will be developed and ready to inspire others”

Antique Compass

Mission
A mission statement for a leader is like a compass to a hiker – essential for staying on the right path. You must know what action to take, and why you’re taking it. And, a compass can help you avoid pitfalls and cliffs you may not readily see. If your vision is “I’m going to write a book about leadership”, then your mission is to describe the chapters, the stories, and the lessons you’ll teach in the book.

Foresee-ability
An exceptional leader is someone who can look ahead and see a potential problem, and then take steps, or encourage team members to take steps, to get around the problem before it happens. If you’ve ever tried to find your way through a darkened space, you’ve probably experienced bumps and bruises. Like using a flashlight, a leader that can foresee obstacles in the distance will be less likely to need an ice pack or first aid kit.

Nurture-ability
Leaders not only lead, they feed. Once something is learned, an exceptional leader will then teach. The ability to nurture will lead others to be successful, and that success only increases the leader’s success, it never diminishes it. Positively feed others with kindness, knowledge and motivation, and you as leader will increase the same in yourself.

Raingear

Preparation
The first P of my Three P’s of Empowerment (found in my book) is PREPARATION. Can you imagine going on even the shortest journey without some kind of preparation? Enough said.

Courage
Sunscreen protects our skin from the suns powerful rays. However, it only works if you apply it BEFORE you need it. Courage in leadership is like that. Courage must be obtained before it is needed. And the time will surely come when it’s needed! A leader must be willing to stand up for his/her guiding values and principles in any situation. Otherwise, a painful burn will be the result.

Humility
When those burns, bruises and scrapes happen in leadership – and they will happen, the first aid kit a leader needs on hand is the balm of humility. Accepting our faults, blemishes and mistakes is never easy, in fact it HURTS! But if the wound is allowed to scab over without proper cleaning, medication and dressing it will surely fester, infect and impact our lives later on. It’s best to deal with it as quickly as possible. A humble, sincere apology is often the best cure for mistakes.

Knowledge
A leader does not have to know everything in order to influence and inspire others. In fact, some of my most influential leaders have been individuals who admitted their lack of knowledge on many things, but they knew where to look for the answers, and were not afraid to discover the answers with me. Having basic knowledge is sufficient – like a camper having one tool that is capable of helping with many tasks, an exceptional leader knows how to change and adapt to circumstances, and he/she learns from every experience!

Waterproof matches

Innovation
Have you ever awakened in a sleeping bag inside a tent after a long night of rain? It’s worse if you have to potty, right? You know you have to get up. You know it’s going to be cold. You know that a fire will warm you. You know that fire will not start by itself, and that the dampness will make it a challenge to get the kindling lit. Knowing all of this, the exceptional leader will gather his/her gumption and discipline, and find an innovative way to start a fire. YOU must be that fire starter! The reward will not come without the necessary sacrifice and work. Be innovative and warm the lives of yourself and others!

Spirituality
Water is the basic element to life. Water is so commonplace that we overlook its amazing life-giving power in our lives. Without water, we die. It’s pretty simple. Exceptional leaders recognize another source of life that is often taken for granted. It is the knowledge that there is a life-giving power greater than we can fully comprehend. Call this power God, The Great Spirit, Mother Nature, whatever you believe. It’s important to know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. You have power beyond your understanding, and that power is given to you by a source you cannot see. The greatest leaders are those who rely on this source.

Backpack

There you have it. The list of 10 Essentials of Leadership. How many are in your backpack right now? Which ones do you still need to gather? Don’t take a journey without these 10 items. Doing so could make your travel perilous.

Do you have a story to share, or a comment to make? Please engage with me and my other readers by sharing your thoughts.

Make your day fabulous!