Thursday, October 27, 2016

Three Tips to Recession Proof Your Thinking

We may not be in a recession, but there seems to be talk of doom and gloom when it comes to the current economic conditions.  Is it dragging you down?  Are you buying into the pessimism and negativity?

When we entertain thoughts of economic hardship, many people go into ‘survival mode.’  This is when our reptilian brain hijacks our thinking and makes us fight, flee or freeze.  This doesn’t make for an environment of innovative thinking, jumping on opportunities or working creatively.  This creates hibernating in status quo or worse, and it’s not good for business!

We have something to tell you:  You can choose NOT to participate in those discussions or that way of thinking.  Warren Buffet said, “When the world turns right, turn left!”

Here’s three tips to recession proof your thinking:

1.     Self care:   Now is the time to live consciously – responding out of choice instead of reacting from fear.  Easier said than done?   Maybe, but it’s worth the time and energy.  Try meditating for 20 minutes or walking in nature before you go to work.  Set yourself an intention for the day such as, “I will notice when someone is consistently negative and not enter into discussion with them,”  or “I will only say positive things today.”

2.     Be honest and supportive with your partner:   If you are in a committed relationship, share your concerns about the present and future.  Treat these times as part of your adventure together.  Help each other feel safe even if the outside world doesn’t seem that way.

3.     Learn to be more optimistic:  Some people are naturally more pessimistic than others.  Optimism doesn’t mean looking at the world with rose-coloured glasses.  It means being realistic AND knowing you can do something to improve the situation.  When something bad happens, pessimists jump into the mindset of “permanence, prevalence and powerlessness.”    You can begin being more optimistic by telling yourself, “This is bad, but it’s a one-off, and other areas of my life are going well.   I will brainstorm with my friend to come up with some solutions.”  Becoming more optimistic is like building a muscle.   The more you try, the easier it will become.

At WLP Success, we help our clients see where they are now, determine their strengths and weaknesses, and build a plan for a stronger, sustainable business and life.

Thursday, July 28, 2016


If you're ready for a new job or career, be prepared to do the work.  It's probably not going to happen by accident, and helping you is not a priority for others.   Set goals for yourself, make a marketing plan, and be prepared to work a certain number of hours per week.  Ideally, job search should be treated as a full-time job.  Here's some tips on what NOT to do:

1.  Send an email with your CV attached to everyone on your database.  It is annoying to receive these emails and it shows that you haven't done your homework.  Especially, when it's addressed Dear Sir when the receiver is a woman!

2.  Wait to be recognized.   Hard work on your part doesn't necessarily mean getting a promotion, raise or job offer.  You need to market yourself as if you were a product.

3.  Call up hiring managers and ask for an appointment.  This only works if you have done your research about the company and spoken to employees who work in the department or do similar jobs as the one you are looking for.  Ask for an introduction instead of contacting them yourself. Otherwise, you take the chance of being shut down.

4.  Harass everyone you meet.  You will appear desperate.  Instead, make a plan and be prepared.  Ask friends and family to help you and give them information to help you.  Follow up with them, but don't harass them!

5.  Lie on your CV or get someone else to write your CV.  Your CV should be a reflection of your personality and character, not just a list of things you've done.

Know that you're going to be knocked down in this process. Don't give up.  It's not too late to find or develop your ideal career.   Working with a career coach will help you stay focused and accountable.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Why do I get out of bed every morning, and why should anyone care?

This is the key question Simon Sinek asks in his book, “Start with the Why.”

Why do I get out of bed every morning?

In my role as co-founder of WLP Success, I get out of bed every morning to make a positive impact on how business is conducted in the Middle East in general, and in Dubai specifically. 

My 20 years working in teaching, training and coaching in a variety of industries in Dubai and throughout the Middle East has allowed me to observe disrespectful and de-humanising people management practices.

Many employees are motivated by manipulation (the carrot) – the employment package, or the opportunity to be a big fish in a small pond.  Many are also motivated by the stick – fear.   Fear that they will be fired and lose not only their job, but their residence visa, livelihood, house, kids’ schooling, and ability to pay off loans.  Many people who lose their jobs also face the fear of leaving the decent, liberal society that the UAE provides and being forced to return to their home country and face persecution and/or poverty.

My motivation to get out of bed every day is to help senior leadership, managers, and employees to work in a respectful, harmonious work environment.  At WLP Success our motto is that we are “Humanising The Workplace with Unconventional Wisdom.”

Why should anyone care?

Employees should care that someone out there has their back.

Employers should care because we’re very good at what we do and we get results.

Human beings should care because we’re all inter-connected.  “…We are spiritual beings immersed in a human experience.”  Wayne W. Dyer

Through training, coaching and consulting we help organisations reach their potential through their people.  We work side by side with our clients to set and meet organizational goals, and reduce fear and stress to encourage creativity and innovation.

I love what I do.  That’s why I keep getting out of bed every morning knowing that my work make a difference in people’s lives.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

If you’re treating your customers better than your employees, you’re making a BIG mistake!

“The customer is king.”  “We want to delight our customers!”   “The customer is the reason we are in business.”

We’re not debating any of those statements.  But if you don’t treat your employees as well as your customers, your business is not sustainable.  Period. As an exercise, let’s replace the word “customer” with “employee.”

“The employee is king.”   “We want to delight our employees!”  “The employees are the reason we are in business.”

These aren’t statements of fact. They are perspectives to explore.  Let’s look closer:

“The employee is king.”

What if for one day we took this attitude?  What could we do to let our employee know they are “king” and why would we want to do so?

Kings like to be treated as if they are special. So do employees.  Celebrate employees’ marriages, birthdays, new babies, etc.  Put it in the newsletter.  Give a small gift.  Buy a cake.  It’s a small investment towards having a loyal employee.

What if you listened to employees as if you’re life depended on it?  If you didn’t listen to a king attentively in times gone by, you were likely to get your head chopped off! I bet you’d learn something – an idea, some feedback, or some important information.  When people don’t feel listened to, they don’t feel valued and can lose motivation and interest in their jobs.   It’s another small investment with the big pay-off of engaged employees who feel valued and want to help you grow your business.

“We want to delight our employees.”

Are your employees currently delighted and delight-ful? 

Many employers will think, “Can’t employees just be happy with their compensation package?  Why do I need to delight them?   How would I do that anyway, even if I wanted to?”

The good news is that, just like the above suggestions, it can be cheap and easy to delight employees.   People want to follow a leader.  It’s human nature.  Therefore, be an inspirational leader!  Share your ideas, thoughts and plans with them, and they’ll get on board for you (and of course, listen to them!)  Ensure that the company values align with your employees’ personal values.  If your company makes children’s toys, “fun” will probably be one of your company values.  Therefore, ensure that you bring a sense of fun to work.  If you own a law firm, one of your company values will most likely be “fairness.”  In which case, ensure that you are fair with your employees, and that you expect fairness from them.

“The employees are the reason we are in business.”

Employees should be ONE of the reasons you are in business.  Why?  Because a business is a system, and when one part of the system (employees) is neglected, disinterested, and disengaged, the system falls apart.   Just like cancer in a human body.

A truly sustainable business ensures that it is part of a community and enriches everyone it touches – including customers.  And suppliers.  And, yes, employees!

So being part of a community, and providing meaningful employment of reasonably compensated employees means that your business is on its way to long-term success.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

3 Ways to Build Your Business Confidence

If you are re-entering the workforce, wanting a promotion or considering starting your own business, here’s three things you can do to present yourself as more confident.

1.     Take a look at your CV or LinkedIn profile.  Does it contain all your major accomplishments? If not, go and update them now!  If so, read them as if they are about a guy named “Joe Smith.”   What do you think about this guy?  Pretty impressive, don’t you think?”  Well, this is you!  You’re impressive. You’ve done all that and are clearly a winner.  Pat yourself on the back.

2.     What’s that little voice in your head telling you?  Let me guess.  “You’re a fake!”  “You don’t belong here!”   “You don’t deserve that promotion!”    These statements feel like “The Truth,” but they don’t have to be your truth.  You can decide what your truth is.  When you notice your little voice saying those things to you, you can do several things.  Try personifying it.  Mine is a little green guy that wrings his hands.  Yours might be a red blob with horns.   The funnier you make it, the easier it is to dismiss the statements as untrue.   Another thing you can do is write down all the statements that you regularly notice on one side of the page, and then write the opposite statements on the other side.  Then practice reading the new statements every morning or several times a day.  “You are the real deal!”   “You belong here just like everyone else.”  “You totally deserve that promotion!”   These can be your new “Truth.”

3.     “Fake it till you make it!”    Really.   Make no mistake that there’s a lot of women and men that you meet that appear to be really confident, but are intentionally pretending to be confident.    When you’re shaving or putting on your makeup in the morning, look in the mirror.  Stand with your shoulders back and head high and say, “You’re a smart, savvy business professional."  What do you see?  A smart, savvy business professional – right?    When you attend the next networking meeting, act as if you are an intelligent, successful person, and guess what?  That’s the way people will see you, and that’s what you are!

Try doing these 3 things before your next networking event or job interview.  It’s important to relfect afterwards.  Did you appear confident?  Did you speak highly of yourself?  Did you manage your inner voice?  If not, go easy on yourself, and plan to do better next time.