Do You Create Reports No One Reads?


Do You Create Fly Reports

Many years ago I attended an IBM Conference where I learned about “Fly” reports. Read on and learn why “Fly” reports are a sad indictment of business today and see if your co-workers see your efforts as “Fly Reports”!

Dateline November, 1943 Somewhere in the South Pacific

In the movie “South Pacific” we have two adventuresome individuals providing a very boring, yet dangerous service: Coast Watchers!

Coast Watchers were responsible for reporting on Japanese supply and troop movements in the South Pacific. They would identify the types and number of ships, the direction and speed they were moving and report the information back to the US Naval Command.

Frequently Dangerous but Incredibly Boring

The movie portrays the role as exciting and always dangerous. To some extent that’s true, but for certain there were many days the Coast Watchers saw nothing and were not being chased or strafed by enemy planes. So what to do?

I’m guessing all the Coast Watchers had their own way of passing time. However, there were at least two who were a little more creative at least some of the time.

Creating Fly Reports

In an effort to reduce their boredom and see if Naval Command was paying any attention; the two industrious Coast Watchers created the first “Fly Report”. It went something like this:

The Coast Watchers waited to hear something from Naval Command but after several months with no response; they stopped producing the report. A few days after their typical time for submitting the report they finally received a message from Command, it said: “Where is your monthly Fly Report?”

Why We Create “Fly Reports”

There are many reasons we create “Fly Reports” including:

  • Management direction;
  • Because it’s always been produced;
  • Maybe you thought it would be helpful;
  • It’s system generated;
  • Someone requested the information; or
  • It’s something to do.

A Real Life Example of “Fly Reports”

Early in my career I worked for IBM and one of my customers was a Federal Jobs Agency. The agency had a couple of pretty sharp programmers with a commanding knowledge of the data they wanted to collect. The account didn’t require a lot of technical support; however I stopped in periodically just to see how they were doing. A couple years after turning the account over I ran into one of the non-programmer employees and asked how things were going.

His Response Caught Me Off Guard.

He said he was no longer with the agency. He went on to say he had to leave because he no longer had an office; it started with reports being stacked in the corner and had evolve to his office being taken over by the mountains of reports which no one had time to read. The ultimate example of “Fly Reports”?

Do You Have “Fly Reports”?

It is highly likely your organization has “Fly Reports”. If you are not getting feedback on your reports or the expected results aren’t happening; you have probably identified a “Fly Report”. For the next three report cycles continue to produce the report but don’t distribute it to anyone. See if they come to you asking for the information; if they don’t it’s time to inform the distribution list you will no longer be distributing the information and, unless someone complains and can justify the effort, stop wasting your time and resources. You have better things to do!

Eliminating “Fly Reports”

There are two methods for eliminating “Fly Reports; either make them useful or get rid of them. If the information presented in the reports is useful; then you must question why it isn’t being used. Is it a matter of understanding how to use the report or what the information is telling the reader? If so, train the users on how to use the information. If the value of the information appears to be minimal or non-existent; then follow the Coast Watchers’ solution and stop providing the report.

Conclusion

In conclusion, I think it’s safe to say; some information is useful and valuable and some is not; the question is whether the reader can tell the difference. The reader must be able to discern value and when there is value be able to interpret and apply the data. If they can’t do this and training doesn’t help; then it’s time to replace the person.

To reiterate: if there is no value stop sending the information; again I didn’t say stop producing the information because there is a difference. To stop sending now doesn’t preclude sending the information later; it simply means it could be sent later, if requested. To stop producing means the relevant information at the appropriate point in time may no longer exist and therefore you could be in trouble!

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My name is Tom Staskiewicz and my goal is to help everyone do a little better, get a little further and reach the success they are destined to achieve!

Do you need help with your message? Are you struggling for people to know you and what you have to offer? If so, I can help. My contact information is below or Email  Me Now! and lets get started.

Whatever I can do to help you or anyone to move forward in reaching your goals; I’m all for it. Connect with me on LinkedIn, Like me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

Check out the UPPROACH site and sign up for our newsletter of career tips and ideas for job seekers, small and medium business owners, self-employed individuals, contractors, consultants or whatever; anyone wanting to move their career forward!

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Are You Jeopardizing Your Top-O-Mind Position?


Are You Jeopardizing Your Top-O-Mind Position?

Thursday I posted “How to Stay Top-O-Mind and Not Wear Out Your Welcome.” This was in response to a request I had from someone who wanted to be removed from my distribution list. That post was from the perspective of the person distributing information or emailing to connections. Today I want to look at it from the perspective of the person making the removal request.

How Do You Decide to Take Yourself Off a Distribution List

Asking to be removed from a distribution list requires careful consideration.

We are all inundated by email and always looking for ways to clean out our mailbox. Sometimes it can pretty difficult and frustrating because the removal process is obscure, doesn’t exist, doesn’t work, or has any number of other problems.

However, when we are receiving email from people we know; it’s an easy process. We simply send them email asking them to stop emailing their information. Hopefully they will honor our request but if that doesn’t work we can simply remove them from our contact list or block them.

Is this Top-O-Mind Jeopardy?

Two easy actions to rid ourselves of this annoying email. Think about it though, what have you just accomplished?

For some reason this person made a conscious decision to include you in the distribution of the information. Whether the person created the information or it was something they saw and felt inclined to send to you; they were thinking of you.

Isn’t having people think about you the purpose behind networking? Are you potentially jeopardizing your access to opportunities?

Have You Just Asked to Be Removed from Your Position of Top-O-Mind

Here you have a situation where someone is thinking enough about you! You are on their mind. They thought to send you some information but you are saying, “I really don’t appreciate your sending me information. In fact, I really wish you wouldn’t think about me!”

Is that your goal? Is that what you really want?

Maybe the message you are sending is, “I only want you to send me the information I find important or benefits me in a certain way; otherwise don’t bother me!”

Did You Say You Would Prefer I Simply Do Not Contact You?

What if this person had an opportunity to refer someone to you or your competitor; would they really be inclined to reach out to you when you said don’t contact me?

So What to Do if You Don’t Want the Email

So what do you do if you don’t want to offend the sender and you don’t want the email? Have you ever heard of the delete key? That’s the simple solution. Delete the message and do not say anything to the sender.
Your networking objective should be to become Top-O-Mind with as many of your connections as possible. You always want them thinking good things about you. You don’t want to offend them or start them thinking about your competitor. If you have people thinking about you; you must protect the relationship. You never know where your next referral will come from or when it will come. You must keep all avenues open.

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My name is Tom Staskiewicz and my goal is to help everyone do a little better, get a little further and reach the success they are destined to achieve!

Do you need help with your message? Are you struggling for people to know you and what you have to offer? If so, I can help. My contact information is below or Email  Me Now! and lets get started.

Whatever I can do to help you or anyone to move forward in reaching your goals; I’m all for it. Connect with me on LinkedIn, Like me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

Check out the UPPROACH site and sign up for our newsletter of career tips and ideas for job seekers, small and medium business owners, self-employed individuals, contractors, consultants or whatever; anyone wanting to move their career forward!

How to Be a Great Networker and Stay Top-O-Mind


How to Be a Great Networker and Stay Top-O-Mind

The other day I made a profile change adding a current project. It showed up in the news feed of over 1500 people; yet, only 4 people made a comment or clicked “Like”. My issue isn’t wanting more attention. The issue is are you an effective networker. LinkedIn provides you many opportunities, which take a minimal amount of time, to acknowledge members of your network. Don’t miss out on those occasions!

Be Part of the .3%

Have you ever wondered what it takes to stand out with your network? The simple answer is paying attention! The four individuals who responded are .3% (that’s 3 tenths of a %); 99.7% of my network paid no attention!

You want to be part of the .3%; not the neglectful 99.7% and you can stay Top-O-Mind.

Nightly Notices from LinkedIn

These individuals knew I had changed my profile because LinkedIn told them in their nightly update! The update sent directly to your primary email address. It is so easy to be a more effective networker and acknowledge your contacts. Take a chance!

You can be Top-O-Mind with your network and your contacts provide you the opportunity every time they do something on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or any other Social Media Platform. All you must do is be in tune for the opportunities to acknowledge and stay Top-O-Mind.

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My name is Tom Staskiewicz and my goal is to help everyone do a little better, get a little further and reach the success they are destined to achieve!

Do you need help with your message? Are you struggling for people to know you and what you have to offer? If so, I can help. My contact information is below or Email  Me Now! and lets get started.

Whatever I can do to help you or anyone to move forward in reaching your goals; I’m all for it. Connect with me on LinkedIn, Like me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

Check out the UPPROACH site and sign up for our newsletter of career tips and ideas for job seekers, small and medium business owners, self-employed individuals, contractors, consultants or whatever; anyone wanting to move their career forward!

Can YOUR Network Get You Where You Want To Go?


Can YOUR Network Get You Where You Want To Go?

YOU CAN GET ANYTHING IN LIFE YOU WANT… IF YOU HELP ENOUGH OTHER PEOPLE GET WHAT THEY WANT!.
… Zig Ziglar

We all have goals. We all want to go or get somewhere? A very few can do it on their own: the majority cannot… they need help!

Help starts with your network. The members of your network can open doors for you and, likewise, you can open doors for them. However, this only works if you have the “right” members, are a participant and you know about the members of your network; and last but most important your network members know about you.

Building the “Right” Network: a Quality Network

Successful networking requires you have the “right” members in your network. The “right” members are those you can help and those who can help you. This is what I refer to as a quality network.

What do I mean by a quality network? I define it as one which offers an equitable value exchange and is comprised of members capable of helping each other. The help can take various forms including information, perspective, guidance and connections. For the purpose of this post I am focusing on connections.

The Importance of Knowing the People in Your Network

For example I recently found someone on LinkedIn I wanted to connect with to discuss career opportunities. This was a second level connection of mine; meaning someone in my network was directly connected to my target. I contacted Ed, the mutual connection, to learn whether he knew my target. It turns out Ed knows the target very well and is happy to make the introduction.

As I talked about my interest in this connection; I also asked Ed about his new business.

Connecting the Dots…

In the process, I realized Ed was working in a similar world with my friend Jake. As I connected the dots it makes sense for Ed to meet Jake to better understand markets, but also to see what synergy exists. From Jake’s perspective his company is always looking for acquisitions which compliment and grow their business; maybe there is an opportunity for the two businesses. I don’t know; I’m just the connector starting the process to see what might develop.

Does this introduction add anything to me; not necessarily, but Ed and Jake may look more favorably upon me as a result and in the future that may be valuable.

This story is an example of a network which can help you get to where you want to go when you have the “right” members. You need to take a critical look at your network to determine whether you have enough knowledge to know what your network offers and whether it can get you to your desired goal. If you don’t know what, if anything, it offers; it’s time to figure it out!

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My name is Tom Staskiewicz and my goal is to help everyone do a little better, get a little further and reach the success they are destined to achieve!

Do you need help with your message? Are you struggling for people to know you and what you have to offer? If so, I can help. My contact information is below or Email  Me Now! and lets get started.

Whatever I can do to help you or anyone to move forward in reaching your goals; I’m all for it. Connect with me on LinkedIn, Like me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

Check out our career site and sign up for our newsletter of career tips and ideas for job seekers, small and medium business owners, self-employed individuals, contractors, consultants or whatever; anyone wanting to move their career forward!

Are You Top-O-Mind with Your Customers, Clients and Contacts?


Are You Top-O-Mind with Your Customers, Clients and Contacts?

There is no question a great profile is important; we hear it all the time. And while this is true; it’s simply not enough!

In addition to the great profile, website, Facebook Page or other landing site; you want to be Top-O-Mind! You want your contacts thinking about you when they need the services or skills you offer for themselves or for opportunities they learn or hear about. You want to be the first person or organization to come to mind. If you are not Top-O-Mind; you have work to do!

Why Top-O-Mind Is Important

Chances are there are new people requiring your skill set or services every day and your contacts know of the need; but can they connect the dots? The question is do you come to mind when they hear of these opportunities? If not you are not doing YOUR job! You must have a presence reminding your contacts who you are, what you do and the skills or products you offer; if you don’t the opportunities will pass you by!

Top-O-Mind is the process of establishing your brand. Was William Colgate always the leader in toothpaste? No, first he had to establish his company. He had to build the brand. You must do the same thing; you must build your brand or your company’s brand.

Becoming Top-O-Mind

To become Top-O-Mind your contacts must know you. It’s not who you know or how many you know; it’s all about Who Knows You! When your connections know you, what you have to offer and some of your story of achievement; they can connect the dots from opportunities back to you. If you haven’t taken the time to tell them about you and what you have to offer; they cannot help.

Becoming Top-O-Mind means you are educating your contacts. You are frequently providing insights into

  • Who you are;
  • your capabilities;
  • Your skills;
  • your products or services;
  • your reliability;
  • your perseverance;
  • your organizational skills;
  • Your values;
  • Your interests;
  • etc.

As you describe each of these characteristics use examples through short stories of what you accomplished or the benefits provided.

How to Find Out if You Are Top-O-Mind

Are you Top-O-Mind? As you position yourself you must be able to measure where you are now and know where you want to go. If you can’t measure you will never know how far you have to go or when you reach your objective. Peter Drucker told us time and again; the ability to measure is the key indicator of the success of your activities.

The way to find out is to ask! Ask some of your contacts (friends, family, current and former co-workers), people who you know well and will tell you the truth and have them describe to you what they believe to be your capabilities. How do they see you? What value proposition do they believe you offer? If their description doesn’t match what you want to be or perceive yourself to be; you need to ask why the discrepancy. Is it your message? Is it a lack of knowledge on their part pertaining to you? You need to know where the confusion comes in; maybe you are not what you think you are. You need to know!
To reiterate being Top-O-Mind is your goal. You want people thinking of you, your organization, your services or your products first when they hear of opportunities. If that’s not happening, then you need to change what you are doing until you get what you want!

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My name is Tom Staskiewicz and my goal is to help everyone do a little better, get a little further and reach the success they are destined to achieve!

Do you need help with your message? Are you struggling for people to know you and what you have to offer? If so, I can help. My contact information is below. Email  Me Now! and lets get started.

Whatever I can do to help you or anyone to move forward in reaching your goals; I’m all for it. Connect with me on LinkedIn, Like me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

Check out our career site and sign up for our newsletter of career tips and ideas for job seekers, small and medium business owners, self-employed individuals, contractors, consultants or whatever; anyone wanting to move their career forward!

Your LinkedIn Profile Is it a Bridge to Nowhere?


Your LinkedIn Profile: Is it a Bridge to Nowhere?

Does your profile get your audience from point “A” to point “B”? Can your audience connect the dots from your skills to the value you provide and the accomplishments you achieved? If not, then your profile is not doing the job and it is time to change!

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The Purpose of Your Profile Is Two Fold

Your profile has two purposes:

  1. To inform and educate your audience on how you have used your skills and abilities to benefit your employers; and
  2. To entice members of your audience to contact you or tell others about you.

When someone, and I mean one because you are only talking to one person at a time, you must engage them with your profile. You were able to get them to your profile; the question is what are you going to get them to do once they are there?

Some Profiles Are Like the Bridge to Nowhere

We have all heard of the bridge to nowhere; what about the profile to nowhere! You click on an individual who wants to connect to review their profile and when you get there: nothing. They have no summary, a couple of companies where they worked and the dates of employment, a title and that is it!

The amazing part is their expectation this is a good representation of themselves and who they are. Nothing could be further from the truth. The profile says, “I am lazy, I really don’t care and I am definitely not giving you any detail!”

Your Profile Must Educate Your Audience on the Value You Bring!

What you need to do is to educate your audience on the value you offer to an employer. You don’t do this by listing a bunch of skills, you do this by demonstrating, in story form, what you have done for others. You want to explain how you used the skill in such a way your audience can relate what you have done to what they need to have done. When you can make this connection, you impact their mindset, you draw them in you are now engaging your audience and that is when success occurs.

It’s Who Knows You that Counts

We have all heard the old adage “It’s who you know” or the adage “It’s how many you know”; I contend the power is in “Who knows you?” In fact you can find my group on LinkedIn It is who knows you and you are welcome to join.

Just because you know someone doesn’t mean they know what you can do or have to offer. Just because you know lots of people doesn’t improve your opportunities. However, when they know you, that is when things can start happening.

A few years back I met a gentleman over lunch. I read his resume and he filled in the blanks. A couple weeks later a friend told me of a company which was hiring. I called and after a few questions I learned this man, I had met over lunch, was perfect for one of the open positions. I made the introductions and the rest is history. The gentleman was hired as the vice-president of manufacturing.

Because I had the opportunity to get to know him; I was able to connect the dots.

My question to you is where does your LinkedIn profile lead your readers? Who and how many people do you know who can connect the dots on your behalf? How many can hear of opportunities and realize you are a candidate? How many are willing to assist you in making the connection?

When you have individuals, who know you, working on your behalf; doors will be opened!

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My name is Tom Staskiewicz and my goal is to help everyone do a little better, get a little further and reach the success they are destined to achieve! Whatever I can do to help you or anyone to move forward in reaching your goals; I’m all for it. Connect with me on LinkedIn, Like me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

Check out our career site at http://toyourcareersuccess.com and sign up for our newsletter of career tips and ideas for job seekers, small and medium business owners, self-employed individuals, contractors, consultants or whatever; anyone wanting to move their career forward!