What I learned about business from Sean Payton

First, you need to know, I am a huge football fan.  It all goes back to watching football with my father as a little girl; it was something that bonded us. He decided even if I was a girl, he could still teach me the technical aspects of the game. Actually, this knowledge became somewhat of an “equalizer” for me in the workplace with many of my male colleagues who were surprised and shocked by my knowledge of the game.

My dad coached Pee Wee Football for years and was a huge Washington Redskins fan since Virginia did not have an NFL team, per se.  So, fast forward to Charlotte, North Carolina and I am literally living in the Carolina Panthers’ backyard. What happens? Well, you adopt the home team and so many years ago, I joined “Panther Nation”.  I still get goosebumps when I hear Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” being belted out after a win by those of us left in the stadium, singing along in our triumphant, off-key shouts of glee.

So, with this perspective, you now understand why I was watching the NFL Playoff Game between the New Orleans Saints and the Los Angeles Rams a few weeks ago.  While I am definitely not part of “Who Dat” Nation during the regular season – we are division rivals – I did cast my allegiance to the NFC South team in the Playoffs. So there I was, on the couch cheering on Brees and feeling good about their performance, when late in the 4th quarter, the unthinkable happened. No, not an interception or fumble.  It was a blatant, and I mean blatant, missed personal foul that would have most likely sealed the game for the Saints and their quest for the Super Bowl.

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How To Network Like A Pro

Networking is a crucial pillar to building a successful career, but it often gets a bad rep as being this smarmy, glad-handing way of getting new business. Fear and shyness can cripple some people to the point that networking feels like a terrible chore and is avoided at all costs.

Learning this important soft skill can mean the difference between you reaching your career goals or staying in the same place the rest of your career.

Let’s talk about some ways to network correctly and how to build your sphere of influence like a pro.

Networking is about building relationships

First of all, networking is not about putting on a cheesy smile, slipping your business card into a handshake, exchanging a few surface greetings, and then hoping that person decides they want to do business with you. Networking is about building relationships and getting to know people.

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Gift-giving In The Workplace – How To Navigate Those Gray Areas

Getting through another season of gift-giving in the workplace can create a whole new kind of holiday stress. Shopping for friends and family can already be a struggle for some, so the thought of finding a gift for a colleague that is inoffensive and appropriate can become a daunting task.

In light of all the news that has surfaced in the last month about sexual harassment, my hope is that professionals will become more aware of how their actions, including their gift-giving, can affect their careers and reputations.

Some do’s and don’ts are more apparent than others, but what about those seemingly gray areas? A gift-giving pitfall has the potential to be a career downfall. Here are some guidelines for office gift-giving that can help you conquer your shopping and calm your career anxiety.

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Why You Need A Life Board of Directors

What is a Life Board of Directors?

There is a lot that goes into managing a career. One invaluable tool that can make all the difference is having a Life Board of Directors. This board should be made up of people who can give you honest, blunt feedback and seasoned advice on all aspects of life. Look at it as a round table of experts you can glean from. Surrounding yourself with a network like this can be a crucial part of your growth as a professional.

Why you need one

networking

Having only one mentor isn’t bad, but consulting with a group of mentors is more effective. Instead of learning from one person and their experiences, you are learning from the expertise of multiple people. The outcome is the ability to make informed decisions. This sphere of influence fosters growth and improvement, setting you up for success.

Who to put on your board

When it comes to choosing people to be on your life board, look for a variety of expertise and experience. Depending on your career path, find colleagues, clients, industry peers, supervisors, and so on. Find people who have more experience than you and have the skills you’re still needing to develop. You can also choose people you don’t know personally, but you are studying their practices or career moves. Maybe you read their books, listen to their speeches, or follow them on social media. You also need to make sure the members you pick can contribute in different ways and they’re not just a fan club singing your praises.

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