Archive for the 'Mistakes To Avoid' Category

11 Sentences to avoid saying to your boss at all costs

I came across this serendipitously and had to share it with you… 11 Sentences to avoid saying to your boss at all costs.

If you come across any other equally valuable posts, please share!





Are you ready for PRIME TIME?

One of the key concepts of Personal Productivity Principles is the concept of PRIME TIME.

Every time you have a task to do, you have to weigh the time/cost – value equation against your own “productivity expectation” and determine WHEN to do it.

PRIME TIME is best explained with a telemarketing/sales example:

  • PRIME TIME = whenever contact (calls) can be made.
  • NON- PRIME TIME = the rest of the time.

A top gun salesperson (or highly effective business person) only does PRIME TIME TASKS IN PRIME TIME and vice versa.

For example:

  • Reports, time management, scheduling is done early in the morning (NON-PRIME TIME)
  • Calls are made during the day  – maybe even during LUNCH TIME when people have time to talk (PRIME TIME)
  • Paperwork, planning, educational and development tasks are done in the evenings and/or weekends (NON-PRIME TIME)

It’s all pretty SIMPLE to understand – harder to actually do – because most people don’t know what their PRIME TIME tasks/outcomes are.

Once you know your PURPOSE / OUTCOME, everything should fall into place…

But it’s all easier said than done – unless you have a SYSTEMISED approach to time/life management.

Of course, when time permits, NON-PRIME TIME tasks CAN be done in PRIME TIME as long as they don’t interfere with PRIME TIME TASKS.

If you want to learn more about these principles, contact us. These are skills we teach within our Platinum Program.

So, you want to quit your job… Don’t make this common mistake

Quitting a job or starting a new business is part of the circle of ‘business’ life that is now well accepted and expected. The reasons include a faster-changing world, accelerating with new technologies, the desire to expand one’s reach beyond a single industry and/or role and of course life-cycle changes following a life-changing event such as a divorce/separation, birth of a child, loss of a loved one, etc.

Early in my career, I was disgruntled and a very wise colleague told me “never leave without knowing where you’re going“.. AND “the more you understand why you’re leaving, the better your choice (of new job, career, company) will be.”

That wisdom has stayed with me over the past decades as I saw myself create several reincarnations for myself – each one progressively better as my decision-making process improved.

In the first instance, I am not ashamed to admit – it took me almost a year to stop whinging (to myself) about what I didn’t like about my “job/boss/role/situation”.

I listened to motivational recordings (they were on cassette tapes back then) by Brian Tracy, Anthony Robbins and Jay Abraham, among dozens of others. It was a journey of self-exploration that led to starting my first company and setting me on my course towards my ultimate destiny.

Admittedly it is easier said than done, but there is a process you can follow:

  1. Identify all the things you LOVE about your job, boss, colleagues, clients, suppliers, industry, etc.
  2. Do the same for all the things you DON’T LIKE, that annoy you, are missing or you would like to have IN THIS JOB.
  3. Ask yourself the all-important question – WHY do you want to change jobs/careers?
    1. The more honest you are with yourself, the better. Remember – NO ONE will see your list!
    2. Sometimes the reasons are, you need a change because you can do the job with your eyes closed and you’re bored. If that’s the case, then you need to determine what is the NEXT challenge you need, desire, want for yourself… Or is it just a change, something “new” you’re looking for?
  4. If you were to apply for the IDEAL/PERFECT job/role what would it be?
    1. Be specific. Where would it be? Downtown, in a suburb? A view or next to nature?
    2. What would you be doing? Who would you report to? How much autonomy would you have?
  5. What would the IDEAL/PERFECT company be to work for?
    1. A small, entrepreneurial, a start-up?
    2. A large corporation with big budgets and lots of career choices and opportunities?
    3. Your own company so you can make all the decisions?
    4. How about going “solo” / freelance for a while? As you figure out what’s next?
  6. How long will you commit to this new venture, opportunity, role?
    1. This is important to know BEFORE you take the role, to be fair to your employer and for you to know how much you are willing to invest to get a return on that investment (career or industry changes come with some necessary extra time/effort investment). Will you need to take courses, read after-hours to catch up on stuff you don’t know? Will you need to acquire certifications or other accreditations?
  7. Last, but very important – WHO are you doing this for? Yourself, your family… You need clarity in respect of the forces at play, otherwise the incongruency will manifest itself at some point.

No one can or should be telling you what to do or not do. You need to follow your heart and accept that with the independence of choice, the onus/responsibility is on you to make the best decision possible.

I guarantee you that once you achieve clarity of intent – the Law Of Attraction will come to your assistance.

Once the mind can Conceive and Believe, it can Achieve… anything.

I wish you what your heart and mind desire so you can flourish to become the best version of you, you can be.


Recruiting Engaged Employees

Almost all of the research conducted on engagement has so far focused on what leaders can do to engage their employees.

  • But what if it were possible to recruit people who could actually engage themselves?
  • In other words, are there specific characteristics some employees have that make them inherently more engage-able?

The answer, of course, is yes.  And that has just been demonstrated in a new study conducted by psychologists at the University College London.  The researchers assessed over 1,000 adults and they discovered there are seven personality traits that predict whether an employee is more likely to be engaged.  The results are as follows:

  1. Emotional intelligence:  This is the biggest predictor of engagement.  It reflects employees who can control and understand their own emotions as well as those of their colleagues.
  2. Openness to experience:  This is the second-biggest predictor.  That’s because employees brave enough to embrace new opportunities have higher reserves of resilience.
  3. Extraversion:  Extraverted people are less likely to be affected by emotional exhaustion and cynicism, the absence of which ramps up their energy.
  4. Conscientiousness:  Conscientious individuals are predisposed to being engaged because they’re less likely to allow interferences to get in the way of their commitment.
  5. Interpersonal sensitivity:  An interpersonally sensitive team member is one who can maintain sound relationships with colleagues and can communicate in a tactful manner.
  6. Adjustment:  If an employee has the ability to remain calm under pressure, that individual is said to have a high rate of adjustment.  And subsequently greater engagement.
  7. Ambition:  The more competitive someone is – or the more they aspire to progress further in an organisation – the more inclined they’ll be to push themselves into an engaged state.

So what does this mean from a recruitment perspective?

Four things.

  1. Incorporate questions into your interview guide that enable you to ascertain the degree to which a candidate is high on those seven attributes.
  2. Since emotional intelligence is of supreme importance, consider including an EQ questionnaire as part of the recruitment process.
  3. Be mindful you’re not over-emphasising aptitude over attitude in your hiring decisions.  Those seven traits could outshine any technical shortfalls.
  4. Think about providing developmental opportunities to your current employees so they, too, can learn how to adopt those characteristics.

It’s also worth considering whether you, as the leader, are high or low on those attributes.

A good place to start is with emotional intelligence.  Because there are few things more disengaging than an emotionally unintelligent boss.

Original Article Source: James Adonis

Provided By: Mark Mackenzie of Graffiti Eaters.

Unhappy Employees = Unprofitable Business

We understand the logic:

Unhappy employees = unproductive employees = an unprofitable business

The issue begins when we deal with employees as a GROUP – Employees only exist as individuals, just like you EXIST right now, reading this sentence. ONE person at a time is reading this sentence. Even though there might be several or even thousands doing it at the same time, each is doing it in-div-id-u-al-ly.

Too many managers and HR people forget this very important aspect.

This is a “problem” only solved at the personal level with greater initiative, motivation, enthusiasm, encouragement and accountability.

It is a BIG problem, no doubt about it. The first step, in my book, is to have each person on your team or organisation become “purpose driven”, which simply means having their reason for coming into the office aligned with their personal goals, dreams and ambitions. My “My Best Year Ever Program” is one of the first steps I recommend to all my clients, for their own personal planning, but more importantly for their staff to get focused and clear on what they want out of life and consequently their jobs and careers.


Bad Boss: A Case Study

Today’s blog post is from a friend who is ‘stuck’ working for a ‘bad boss’. I thought you would like to listen in to the conversation… I have indented my inserted responses in line.

Hi Marc,

I am looking for some feedback, if you are willing. I’ll do some project to return the value to you.*

It seems things haven’t really changed with my boss, after close to two years.

What are the specific “things” you want to change?

The more specific, the easier it is to solve a “problem”…

But then again – trying to CHANGE someone is the 3rd hardest thing to do…

#1, trying to climb a fence that is leaning TOWARDS you.

#2, trying to kiss someone who is leaning AWAY from you.

#3, trying to change someone who does not want to change.

I feel like he HAS to be in control of everything, every detail, and when he isn’t, his expectation is flipped upside down, and asked why  I /we don’t have an answer.

You have to accept that MOST people can’t and don’t want to change. MOST people would like to look good, but more than 2/3 of people today are FAT or OBESE… Think about it – who WANTS to be fat?

So once you accept this FACT, then you have to CHOOSE to be with the peer group that you want.

Let’s face it – being a manager at your company (in this location) is not the top of the management (success) pyramid. If he could get a “better” job, he would have been promoted or he would have applied to work somewhere else… The longer he has been in this role, the worse it is.

Have you read the book the Peter Principle?

It’s one of my ‘top 100′ recommended books. <— Click on the hyperlink to see it on my bookshelf.

This is an important concept for you to recognise in others and in yourself.

I THOUGHT after going to work working in (__ distant city __) , and virtually driving , leading independently the re-work project and getting RESULTS, we both (my boss and I) moved to next level of respect.

It SEEMS, now , or I feel now, that I was simply taken advantage of  when the company needed something / someone when they got in a tight situation.

First of all, when you take on a project like this, you need to fully document the investment (sacrifices) you made to go, the tasks you undertook and the measurable RESULTS you produced. If you went there to make a point and be noticed, this should have been determined AHEAD of time, so while you were away and upon return you, could have achieved one or more outcomes for yourself: a raise, more responsibility, a promotion, new tasks, etc.

Of course you can do all of the above now. Prepare a report that summarises all of this and present it to your boss, ideally just before your next annual assessment / evaluation.

The other aspect to this is that you learned new skills, developed a better understanding of the company’s needs so even though your immediate boss might now appear to appreciate you, the rest of the organisation KNOWS you did what you did – at least the travel aspect… They might now be aware of the RESULTS which is a tricky situation. You need your boss’ boss to know what you accomplished without ‘going over your boss’ head’… If you have a chance to see him/her, you can always let it slip that you prepared a report on the project or problem ‘solution’. If he/she asks for it… At least it won’t go unnoticed.

Since I have been back, it’s like the first few months when I was a contractor. There was no trust, he was doing our job in front of us, asking for process improvements, feedback and rejecting it, with low expectations.

His micro-management calmed down for most of last year, but has come back again.

People always revert back to their ‘dominant’ management style. Micro managers are insecure, largely incompetent in their role and fearful of being ‘found out’. They (over) compensate with a perfectionist detail-oriented approach that annoys their staff and is counterproductive to organisational goals.

I understand I have, and am beginning to recognize, the patterns in my relationships and jobs that I choose, and the bosses  that I work for, and I’m working to come to terms with that.

All patterns reside in underlying ‘psychic wounds’ that need to heal for your career ascension to get back on track. As you know, I don’t ‘do’ personal interventions, but I can recommend you read the books on my bookshelf – The Purpose Of Your Life and Flourish as a starting point. Once you’ve read those, then you MUST read The Rules Of Work.

At the same time, it SEEMS like whichever approach I take, it’s the wrong one, the wrong answer, the wrong thing , the wrong action / in-action.

When you are NOT working as a team, your are working in OPPOSITION.

I Feel like everything I do is for him and how he could look good, and that I’m not really working for (__________), the corporation. It SEEMS like ideas I have proposed are minimalized, or if they have value, he will modify them and call them his own. It’s like walking on eggshells, and it’s been like that from day one. The controlling aspect of his personality is blatant.

It all SEEMS to be starting all over again, and I am at a loss as to why or how to effectively deal with him or this situation other than go to work each day with my earplugs (I need them for the air compressor) and just smile and nod.

This feeling is called helplessness. For it to manifest itself, you need to feel:

  • It’s personal – YOU are the problem
  • It’s pervasive – EVERYTHING you do is wrong.
  • It’s permanent – it will never change.

To get out of this ‘mindset’, you just need to break one of these.

But that is not your real problem or challenge – see below.

I have also started training on (___enterprise software___) as well as a back-up for several procurement/ supply chain positions under another manager. I have also been learning cost analysis, with and from my boss, for the lab. Which is EXACTLY the TASKS I want to do / learn.

This is the tricky part… From the Peter Principle book – you need to make a shift from one function of the organisation to another, for YOUR to ascend UP the ladder. Wanting to work for someone else (a better boss) is part of YOUR career management path. The company WANTS you to grow and develop. You CAN leave your boss behind to languish in mediocrity – he is NOT your responsibility. On the road to success, there will be many obstacles you will have to circumvent, jump over and/or avoid along the way. Just do it in a politically correct manner and accept this as a fact of (work) life.

If you don’t have a career development plan, with a SET timeline, then it’s YOUR fault you’re stagnant and not ‘succeeding’. You should discuss your plan with your boss and the company’s HR department and make the investments necessary. Most large companies will help with the cost of certifications and training / educational costs.

So, my point is.. well… I feel a pattern… and this USUALLY when I would “jump ship”… SABOTAGE.

I am not advising you to ‘jump ship’ – I am advising you to try to move up within your organisation and IF you can’t make any moves from within, then and only then should you seek a solution elsewhere. You know my ‘famous saying”:

“If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll get there.”
– Dr Marc Dussault

I’m not sure if this makes sense or not.

I think the question I am asking is how COULD I stop this pattern, so I can be successful with the NEW training and the additional roles that I am starting?

In summary:

  • You cannot change someone who does not want to change.
  • Your boss’ limitations and behaviours are NOT your problem – deal with your own and overcome them with stellar results that the company HAS TO NOTICE.
  • Knowing what you want is easier said than done. When you are “ON PURPOSE” in your life and career – the ‘game changes’ in your favour.
  • When you know what you want, then all you have to do is get it (certification, training, education, skills, etc.)
  • With the RESULTS, skills and abilities – you will be able to move UP the organisation or offer those skills to another company.
  • This approach is called being an Intrapreneur instead of an “employee”.


* All my close friends understand the law of reciprocity: Always offer something in return for advice, favours, etc. Paying it forward fuels the power of the Law Of Attraction in mysterious, magical ways so everyone wins – without necessarily ‘keeping score”. Do it generously, authentically and genuinely and see what happens!


Fixing A Mistake Takes Courage

Every once in a while we all make a mistake, a faux pas or a business blunder we’d like to take back. Rebekha Campbell very eloquently and courageously shared her mistake in a recent BRW Magazine article. It’s definitely worth reading…

Rebekah Campbell



Five tips for creating healthy client relationships

“An ounce of perspiration is worth a gallon of blood”
- Dr Marc Dussault

Have you ever worked on a project only to encounter glitches or some other stumbling block that sent your clients and/or colleagues into a spin? Perhaps this caused some tension between you and your client and left you wondering if this would ruin your reputation and result in less work?

Maintaining a healthy client relationship is vital if you wish to succeed in business. The key is building genuine and authentic relationships with your clients. It can be anything from simply calling them or even getting them a gift – the Basket Factory is a good place to start!

But before you spend some of that company money, here are a few tips to create lasting client relationships.

Email and call your clients

In today’s world, email is such an important tool in keeping all relevant participants (and stakeholders) up-to-date on projects. A lot of the time, conveying information this way is an integral part of keeping track of everything – it’s all there in writing after all, and makes for quick reference when needed.

However, some clients may place more value on a phone call, as an email doesn’t translate feelings or emotion. Often, problems are best discussed when you can hear a person’s voice and read in-between-the-lines. By so doing, you can usually discuss and find solutions quicker than going back and forth on email. Of course, in some cases standard email responses may be most appropriate while in others they may be the worst.

Keep the client informed

Even when things are going smoothly, it’s always a good idea to keep your clients informed about what you’re doing. You may be tempted to hide the fact that there’s an issue, but if you tell your client, immediately, it shows you have integrity and can even help you find a solution faster. If possible, have some idea of possible solutions before making the call – it will help you (and your client) focus on the solution(s) rather than the problem(s).

Just remember – you will never have as much time as you have right now…

Never make a promise you can’t keep

If you feel in your heart you can’t deliver on a promise, don’t make it in the first place! We’ve all heard the saying “it’s better to under promise and over deliver than over promise and under deliver”. Being realistic when setting budgets and timelines as well as allowing some extra time to ensure you deliver exactly what you promised as admittedly easier said than done, but in time, you’ll come to realise it’s better not to take that order that gets out of hand.

Always be in solution mode

Have solutions ready for your clients so that when there are problems, which is likely, no matter happens, you have a pre-set course of action to take. Never expect clients to know what to do – that’s why they hired you, to do what they can’t!

The saying “expect the best but prepare for the worst” rings true. If you think of solutions beforehand, you’ll show clients you’ve thought thoroughly about the problem(s) and you’ve got everything under control. Otherwise it’s risks being a free-for-all with fingers pointed in all directions.

Add value to your ideas

Thinking beyond what the client expects will add value to you and your business. For example, if your client needs a website, ask if they’ve considered certain things, like using Google Adsense to add revenue to their website, or perhaps adding it to a market-leading directory such as HotFrog or Australian Blogs. Adding a tracking system such as Google Analytics on their site will give them insight into their website visitors and what interests them the most. This principle seems self-evident but remains overlooked by many businesses.

This was a guest post. If you would like to submit an article for publication, please contact us for our publishing terms and conditions.


Remember, today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.
Worry And Procrastination

Whenever I see or read quotes (or jokes) like this, they make me laugh while at the same time wonder if people get the REAL MESSAGE. I know too many people who procrastinate and self-sabotage their career and success. They are their biggest obstacles to just about anything they want, if only… they got out of their own way!

Sharks without sharp teeth

If sharks can be made to look less menacing without sharp teeth, what does that mean for us humans?

As I’ve blogged before, you can’t afford to be ugly, especially when there are cosmetic dentists like Dr Cary Fraser who can provide dental solutions like Invisalign!
Sharks Without Sharp Teeth