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13 posts from March 2011

March 07, 2011

Will Fleming's Time Management System may work for you

When I interviewed Will Fleming, CEO of MotionPoint, for Business Monday's View from the Top, he said something that struck me as the key to work life balance.

What makes him a success at acheiving balance, he says, is not just having a time management system, but sticking to it. Isn't that where most of us go wrong? Will does all the important and pressing items first...that's something most of us do. But he says it's critical to have a system in place to tackle those to-dos that are important, but not necessarily time-sensitive or pressing. Sounds obvious but I have a number of important to-dos on my list and no set time to do them.

Being that today is Monday, it's a good day for all of us to map out our work week and schedule those important to-dos. And then we need to do as Will does and stick to the schedule.

Will also has an interesting philosophy on company culture and employee rewards. To read the full interview, click here.

Will    (MotionPoint CEO Will Fleming)


March 03, 2011

Are you falling behind today's teens?

Do you know how to build a website, fix a computer, live stream an event to a worldwide audience? Today's teens know how to do those things -- and more!

Today I judged The Miami Herald's Silver Knight Awards in the New Media category. I got an up close look at what outstanding high school teenagers are doing at school and outside school. It was frightening. Even when teens they aren't being formally taught how to use video editing software or computer graphics programs they are learning the skills on their own, through forums, chat rooms, YouTube videos and by trial and error. Many teens told me they are basically running their schools. The teachers rely on them to get a computer working, show they how to fix a link on the school's website and basically handle all IT support.

Teens have the desire to learn and are WAY ahead of most adults in mastering critical tech skills. Lately, I've been attending workshops, participating in webinars and scouring tutorials to become more tech savvy. It hasn't been easy while balancing work and family. But it's an investment in myself that I'm convinced I must make. I'm worried that too many adults are taking a defeatist attitude. We can't afford to do that if we plan to work until our 70s.

Do you think it's impossible to be as comfortable with technology as teens have become? Do you think mastering tech skills is too time consuming? What are the obstacles holding you back from building a website yourself?


March 02, 2011

Want to advance? Take control of your training

Let's face it, no matter what profession you are in, technology is changing how we do our jobs and what skills we need. But our employer no longer feels like they have to give us ongoing training. Why should they when most of us change jobs on average of every four years.

But employers can be convinced to foot the bill and give time off -- if approached properly.

Teresa Guzman was out in the field, working as a Community Outreach Coordinator for Miami Bridge Youth Services, when realized she needed more schooling. To give the young people what they needed, counseloing, requires her to have a master’s degree in social work. Guzman asked her supervisor  for flexibility to take Tuesday and Thursday classes, and work the weekends. The ultimate benefit to the organization would be having licensed clinical social worker on staff -- even on weekends. Her boss saw the benefit. Guzman says it's going to be a tough year, balancing work and school, but it will pay off for her down the road when she is able to advance in her career.

The bottom line is we all have to take charge of our own professional development. I listed some helpful places to get training in today's column.



The Miami Herald

Posted on Wed, Mar. 02, 2011

Workers take control of training

Cindy Krischer Goodman

Three years after companies cut training to the bone, they are beginning to invest in workers again. But if there’s one thing employees have learned from the recession it is not to rely on the bosses to keep our skills sharp.

“It’s our responsibility now,” says Thomas H. Shea, CEO of Right Management Florida/Caribbean Region. “Learning needs to be continuous if we want to advance and stay marketable.”

Ask an employee what they expect of their employers and “opportunities for career advancement” are high on the list. However, we now know if we want to seize those opportunities — and take ownership of our own professional development — we need to figure out what training we need, where to go to get it, and, if appropriate, how to ask our employer to provide it to us.

Of course, squeezing skill building into your work life balance takes creativity, negotiation and self sacrifice.

Fortunately, there are many more ways to grow and advance one’s career outside the confines of work.


Some believe earning the right online degree could accelerate your corporate climb. Colleges reported the highest-ever annual increase in online enrollment in 2010: more than 21 percent.

Career experts suggest you read listings at sites like Monster and Yahoo! HotJobs to see what degrees your target position traditionally requires.

If your goal is to learn management principles, consider a master’s in business administration. If you’re working full time, start slowly with one online class that can be taken over 15 to 16 weeks. For an online education directory by state, click here.

There also are lots of free online college courses. Imagine a great lecture to help build your skills but with no tests, papers or deadlines. UC Berkeley Webcasts, offers a mix of video and audio lectures as do others.

Recognizing the flexibility of online training, some employers are going that route, too. Coastal Construction, a Miami general contractor, created its Training Institute five years ago as an initiative to hire, train and retain the best employees in the industry. It recently expanded the Institute to provide online courses for its employees. Read the full article to learn other great ways to get training.