I have a tall privacy fence surrounding my backyard. The ally is paved and not particularly charming and i just prefer not to look at it when i am out in the garden. But this isn’t about my fence,  it’s about making sure the right people are on our teams and in our organizations. But let me take you back to my garden for just a moment: When i bought my house i brought with me a container of bamboo, and because it met some criteria i deemed important at the time- sleek, beautiful, green, tall- i planted it. That was five years ago and today the bamboo is pushing itself up through the pavement in the ally,  obstructing the gate which can no longer open or shut properly and generally pushing its way around my “organization’ with little regard for the rest of us. That pervasive problem is similar to what occurs when we fail to use our hiring intelligence. Having the wrong people- bullies, incompetents, attitudinal disasters, makes it very difficult for other things to grow. And we must be prepared to deal with that fact if we don’t take the time up front to select wisely and train and mentor accordingly. At this point, in attempting to remedy the poor choice i made five years ago, i have four options: Quarentine the bamboo; allow it to take over the entire garden; sell the house and pass the problem on to someone else- or GET RID OF IT.

Clarity of vision and purpose makes hiring a whole lot easier and using learning tools to identify personal style preferences and values can help to ensure the right people are growing together.

Fired, Retired…..Hired!

Fired, retired, canned, let-go, put out to pasture, made redundant, given walking papers, the pink slip, shown the door, dismissed, discharged, terminated…anyway you say it: you’re out of a job! Across Canada and around the world people are losing their jobs. According to Toronto Dominion Bank forecasts Canada can expect to lose around 500,000 in 2009.  An air (or perhaps a storm) of uncertainty has set in as people lose their sense of personal and professional security. Conversations cripple, doubt festers, hope diminishes…You’ve been tossed headfirst into the unknown!  Yes, you have lost your job, but don’t kiss the opportunity goodbye!

According to an American HR study 82% of managers and 78% of employees are looking for alternative positions. A UK study found that 33% of all new employees begin looking for another job on their first day of work. What this tells me is that while the time is wrong for many of these layoffs, there can be a silver lining. And coaching can help you find it!

Getting fired ushers in an unexpected time for reflection and vision making. Whether you like it or not, you suddenly have time to plan your next move. Granted, you might have to resort to floor scrubbing in the short run, but if you really decide to make the best of this bad situation you will very likely come through with a more satisfying and rewarding life.  Here are six points to help get you in the right frame of mind:

  1. Commit to a new story: Rather than circle through the story of victim ask yourself the following question: How can i turn this into my opportunity of a lifetime?
  2. Do some inventory: revisit what worked in the past. What did you like about your job? Was it the people, the products, the values, the pay cheque? What new opportunities might bring you in contact with more of what works?
  3. Begin with the end in mind: set a visionary intention for the future. What outcome are you really wanting professionally? (This might be the perfect time to go back to school). Ask yourself what can i begin now that i have been putting off for far too long?
  4. Define the measures of your success: How will you know when the right opportunity arises? Are there mentors or role models you can turn to to better understand and track progress?
  5. Assess your current strengths: Chances are you have been coasting in certain areas of your professional life; an honest appraisal of your skill set in relation to current competitive trends might prove beneficial.
  6. Make a plan: This might involve identifying some heavy hitters or champions, setting up information meetings, asking people for help, redrafting your resume, etc.

For more on how coaching can help you land on your feet with a smile on your face…. Visit my website and contact me for a confidential discussion.  Thanks for reading.