Quick! Who’s the best manager you’ve ever worked for? Picture him or her in your mind. Now think: what made you pick this person?
So who was the worst manager you’ve ever had? Do the same thing: visualize working for this person while thinking about what made them so horrible.
I can’t guarantee it, but if I had to guess, one of the key differences between these two was that the good manager actually listened to you, while the bad one didn’t.
Am I right?
When the good manager listened to you, how did it make you feel? Valued? Validated? Respected? Trusted? Confident? Engaged? Empowered?
How did the bad manager make you feel most of the time? Probably the exact opposite. So if you’re a manager — or even if you’re not — look at yourself in the mirror and ask: Am I a good listener? More importantly, if you asked other people that question, what would they say? If you’re interested in becoming a better manager, it’s time to refresh your approach to listening. Read More →
When we last saw our hero, he had just asked Grant Tinker, then-president of NBC, for advice on landing his dream job. For more, read Part 1 of Todd’s story, How I Risked Everything to Pursue My Dream Job.
“Excuse me, Mr. Tinker. I hate to bother you. I was an intern at NBC in New York last summer, and the reason I’m on this flight is because I’m moving out to L.A. to try to get a job in the TV industry, hopefully at NBC. It’s my dream job. Again, I’m sorry to bother you, but I was wondering if you might have just a minute to give me some advice or suggestions, or anything that would point me in the right direction once I get out there.”
Yes, that’s how I introduced myself to Grant Tinker, the head of NBC. I walked into first class and asked, point blank, if he could give me a few pointers for getting started in the TV industry. When I finished, there was a pause that seemed to go on for eons (OK, it was probably only a second or two). Then the president of my favorite network smiled, slid over to the window seat, extended his hand, and said, “Sure, sit down for a minute. What’s your name?” Read More →
I always wanted to work in television.
It was my dream job from the age of about 13. I didn’t want to be an actor, producer, or writer. I wanted to be one of those cool, rich guys in suits at the TV networks who come up with ideas for shows and get to decide what makes it on the air. And I was obsessed with the idea of working at my favorite network: NBC. I thought, “How cool would it be to go to work every day at 30 Rock?”
When I was in college, I‘d been a summer intern for NBC News (I still have the NBC peacock towel that Willard Scott gave all the interns at orientation). So after finishing my master’s degree in communications from SUNY Albany and then working for a year in media buying for Ogilvy & Mather advertising, I realized that if I was really serious about a career in television, I needed to move to the west coast where most of the jobs were. I had already been rejected for full-time positions by NBC, along with every other network, cable station, and production company in New York City. Even though it was the toughest decision I ever had to make, I quit my job at Ogilvy and just blurted out to my parents: “I’m goin’ to Hollywood!” Read More →
The Hired Guns recently brought you the first installment of 5 Skills I Use Every Day, featuring strategic UX consultant Tammy Sachs. In our second installment, Todd Cherches, the co-founder and CEO of consulting firm BigBlueGumball, adjunct lecturer at NYU, and long-time Hired Guns blogger shares his 5 best tips to enhance your productivity.
*Results pictured at left not typical. Read More →
While breathlessly watching Nik Wallenda’s teeth-clenching, death-defying, and awe-inspiring tightrope walk across the Grand Canyon, I found myself reminded of another type of daredevil: freelancers.
While most of us are not literally going to plummet to our death if we make a mistake, as a freelancer it can often feel like we are all alone in the world, trying to get from Point A to Point B, hundreds of feet in the air without a safety net.
So what can a Flying Wallenda teach us about the solo wire-walking act that we have to do every single day? Read More →
I really loved my job. And then my boss walked in one day and informed me that I was being laid off. That was a little over three years ago. There’s a lot more to the story than that, but it’s what happened next that I most want to talk about.
Upon receiving the news that day, I felt confused, disoriented, shocked, lost. It was around 10:00am on a Wednesday morning, and after going to the same office every day for the past three years, I didn’t know what I was supposed to do with the rest of my day. Or my week. Or my life. I guess I was just supposed to go home. But the reality hadn’t really sunk in yet, and I wasn’t quite ready to face my wife with the news.
So I left the office and meandered aimlessly up Broadway with no specific destination in mind. Before I realized it, maybe an hour or two, and 50 blocks, later I somehow ended up at 81st Street and Central Park West, right in front of the American Museum of Natural History. So I went in and just wandered around Africa and Asia for a while, then the Planetarium, before settling under the big Blue Whale. Read More →
“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” — Shakespeare’s Hamlet
We can’t always control what happens to us, but we do have the power to control how we think, interpret, and respond. Irrational thought patterns and overly hasty emotional reactions are among the leading causes of stress and anxiety.
By making ourselves consciously aware of, identifying, and then correcting distorted and/or anxiety-inducing beliefs, we can think and act more calmly and rationally, and ultimately make ourselves less stressed, more satisfied, and happier as a result.
Though there is some overlap among them, there are five types of negative thinking we are all guilty of at one time or another. Read More →
So I’m sitting at my desk typing up a memo, when all of a sudden I hear my boss’s office door swing open behind me. As I turn around to see what’s going on, I instinctively duck to avoid the object flying at my head. A box of pens hits the wall above my desk and breaks open, spraying 12 brand new blue Papermate medium ballpoints in all directions.
My boss had just thrown a box of pens at me. Read More →
Every year it’s the same thing. We start out the New Year filled with good intentions, high hopes, and a formidable list of life-changing resolutions. And for an indomitable few, those resolutions result in positive changes and personal growth. But for the rest of us, life tends to get in the way.
Before we know it, January is over and February flies by (it’s such a short month!). Then the spring holidays come along. Then it’s summer, and… well, you know the rest. That pledge to “start tomorrow” just leads to the eventual realization that today is yesterday’s tomorrow. So, what can we do about it?
We can start today. For real. Right now.
What we need to do is go from “resolutions” to “real solutions.” And one real-life solution that really works, is easy to do, and can kick-start us into action, is to start reading. And my recommendation is to start your New Year’s reading with any one of the 13 inspirational and motivational books on this list. Read More →
He's going to need a bigger desk.
“People do best, what they like best to do.”
That’s an old adage by Frederick W. Taylor, the original management guru. Seems like common sense, doesn’t it? And yet, so many people hate their jobs.
So why is that?
Well, think about your hobbies. You know, the things you do for fun. Whatever it is, whether it’s playing a sport, a musical instrument, practicing a craft, or whatever, you probably do it for at least one of the following two reasons: you’re good at it and/or you enjoy it. Otherwise, why do it? Read More →