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Be Yourself - everyone else is taken

Embrace that which makes you different, and use positive deviance as a means to showcase your full potential.

Everyone has individual qualities and life experiences that make them unique and separate them from the crowd. And yet, we often find ourselves tempering our differences in order to fit in…..

Any quality that makes someone different can become an advantage.

Whether it’s how you dress, your age, your ethnicity, your opinions, your piercings, the length or color of your hair, your gender, your passion, your tattoos, your perspective, or your upbringing -the things that make you different...

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Are CEO's jumping on the Social Media Bandwagon?

I continue to have clients come to me asking, “Our company understands the importance of being on social media / and doing ‘social business’, but how do we sell this to our CEO?”

That’s a great question. Trying to convince the C-Suite can be quite the challenge.

Just recently, IBM did a study of some 1,700 CEOs worldwide and reported findings that many are now seeing social media as a key enabler of collaboration and innovation.

According to the IBM CEO study, the companies that outperform their peers are 30 percent more likely to identify what...

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#NEXTCHAT: Building Your Brand with Social Media

Branding and social media seem like the perfect match.  Whether you’re an individual or a large business, social media can help you build strategic relationships with your target audience and create a community of trust.

Social media can also serve as an amplifier for your corporate brand when you are looking to convey a positive culture that will attract top talent to your organization. You’d better believe that the best candidates are checking out your company’s web page and looking for clues about your workplace in the conversations happening on Facebook, Twitter and Glassdoor.

What social media...

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Four Recruiting Tech Startups

The highlight of this year’s Recruiting Innovation Summit, for me, was the Recruiting Tech Startup Competition. Of nearly 50 initial applicants, six innovative recruiting tech startups were invited to compete the grand prize of $10,000 (and some serious bragging rights). Here's how it worked: Presenters gave a live demo their product, took questions from the audience, and then answered questions from the panel of judges--Jason Warner, Steve Boese and Ethel Chen. Each startup was rated based on business model, viability, potential impact on the industry, and other factors.

The winner--Mystery Applicant--is a sophisticated data and analytics tool for...

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How to lose a disability discrimination case in 5 easy steps...

What started out well for the employer...

On April 29, 2009, Catherine Coffman, an employee of Robert J. Young Company, Inc. ("RJY"), got into a motorcycle accident. RJY provided Ms. Coffman with leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act. Just before Ms. Coffman's FMLA expired, RJY offered to return her to work in a sedentary job that provided the same pay and benefits as her old position. Ms. Coffman rejected the offer because she did not feel that she was able to return to work yet.

...Quickly turned bad. Very bad. ...

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Fairness Doctrine

Who could possibly be opposed to paycheck fairness? That’s the question some may ask as the Senate likely will consider the “Paycheck Fairness Act” in early June to further highlight the election year pursuit of the women’s vote. The legislation is the best idea some in Congress have to address the gap between men’s and women’s earnings.

Then again, what is paycheck “fairness?” Fairness is in the eye of the beholder. When I worked on Capitol Hill and a politician used the word “fairness”, my colleagues and I were confident that it meant someone’s interests were going to...

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Criteria for Success: Characteristics of Top Virtual Leaders and Team Members

The most effective virtual team leaders balance both the execution-oriented practices and the interpersonal, communication, and cultural factors that define virtual teams. Therefore, organizations should select leaders who possess those key characteristics. When assigning a leader, take the time to select the individual with the appropriate skills—and not just go with the first person to volunteer or someone who already happens to lead a team or the person with the best technical skills.  In addition, periodically assess the leaders’ effectiveness and provide targeted feedback about how they can enhance their performance. Great leaders will be happy to learn what...

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#NextChat Recap: "What's Holding Women Back?"

We Know Next conducted an eye-opening #NextChat discussion on May 23 about "What’s Holding Women Back" with special guest Laurie Ruettimann.

The conversation took many turns as participants exchanged opinions about generational attitudes toward women in the C-suite. They questioned whether organizations with women at the helm had greater workplace flexibility and agreed that moving the needle forward would require more companies to learn how to think outside the “manbox.” Would more senior men sponsor talented women in their organizations if their bonuses depended on it? Or have all the training videos on sexual harassment caused men to...

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Career Development: An Ongoing Maintenance Program

During the economic downturn and continuing post-recession there has been an increased need for career development programs and services as individuals who were laid-off, some after many years in one career, found themselves faced with an uncertain future.  Many began the often challenging task of re-assessing and creating new career patterns and determining how to integrate their work style, their personal needs, their values, and their sense of self as they planned for their future. 

Some individuals were fortunate in that they continued to work for organizations who structured internal career progress for their employees, providing assistance as...

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Training & Development: Why More Employers Will Be Off the Hook

Eighty percent of learning in the workplace is informal, according to Jay Cross and a number of other researchers. That means that 20 percent of the learning is formal, structured training, organized, funded and required by employers.

Think about it. When your boss gives you a new task with no instruction or direction, you will likely turn to a coworker or search engine to guide you. In certain environments, particularly professional services (consulting), you are likely to be challenged in this manner several times a week, if not daily.

Also, when it comes to cross-functional groups within the workplace,...

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