No Mistakes – Original Poem

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There are no mistakes in love
It is a conscious choice surrounded by consequence and reaping with thorns in its path

We don’t need to be rescued or found just led in the direction of happiness

I stand alone but never lonely
Lying in the darkness illuminated by the whisper of candlelight, I see promise
Promise gift wrapped in hope

Regrets are created by those that have given up and manifested in song by the broken hearted
Love it a risk with the highest reward
Blessed with kindness and bled with pain

There are no mistakes
There are no bad decisions
There is no turning bad

We often forget the reality because we want to be trapped in the dream

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Another winter is upon us
Cold, wet and surrounded by a storm of thought
Deeper and deeper we slip into the bottom of the ocean
Fighting to breathe

At the final moment when the last breath is near a calm is found
It is the moment of pure enlightenment
A single second when balance is upon us and the future is clear

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How to create and manage a LinkedIn Group

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LinkedIn has distinguished itself as the premiere social platform for the global professional community. Providing a space for professionals to network, engage, discuss, poll and share knowledge, LinkedIn is a resource tool that is invaluable to many professional sectors.

One of the features on LinkedIn is Talent Groups. These are groups of like professionals that have the opportunity to start discussions, respond to inquiries, poll others professionals, network, brand, promote events and post and respond to career opportunities.

It is a euphoric playground for career professionals from individual business owners to consultants to business leaders.

Currently there are over 80,000 talent groups on LinkedIn and unfortunately, a large majority are under utilized. Why?

It could be:

  • Over-saturation of social platforms
  • Not enough time in the day to network with work and personal life obligations
  • Fear that opinions and knowledge sharing can be taken out of context
  • It is easier to glance and like than to read and absorb
  • Lack of understanding on how to join and participate in talent communities
  • Overwhelmed with the amount of information sharing

All very valid possibilities.

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I currently manage six talent community groups, three subgroups and three company pages.  I was recently approached by a senior professional in the Human Resources space about providing consultation on how to grow and expand the presence of a LinkedIn group.  I had an exceptional meeting with his group leadership and feel this is valuable information worth sharing for those that currently manage or feel there is value in a LinkedIn community group.

Designing a LinkedIn Talent Community is based on a few key focus points:

  • Understand your audience and stay focused on targeting and admission of those relevant to the mission, content sharing and engagement
  • Accept that it will take three to six months or longer of intense focused marketing to develop a strong growth pattern.  Many groups put in a big initial thrust and then give up.
  • Stay in the forefront of knowledge sharing, discussion development personalized admission outreach until it becomes a self breathing entity.

I have developed some guidelines for design, development, implementation and maintenance of your LinkedIn Talent Community Group:

Guidelines for design, development and implementation of LinkedIn Talent Community Group

  • Set up Google Alerts to provide daily media content focused on the domain of the group.
  • Bookmark professional websites that can provide information sharing for the group (SHRM, Compensation Organizations, Total Rewards, World at Work, HCI, etc.)
  • Set up partnering sites to help promote and identify potential membership opportunities (about.me profile and Google+, Google Groups, Yahoo Groups)
  • Reach out to members, use your LinkedIn network, Google circles, and other personal network connections to reach out and promote membership
      • Ensure the outreach is enticing and with specific focus on mission, content, knowledge sharing.
      • Once the membership population has grown to 50 – 100, use the announcement option to promote key content and recommendations/referrals for community promotion.
        • Do not exceed more than two announcement options monthly as this could drive people away
        • Use all the functionality within the group
          • Discussions (promote engagement by starting and responding to discussions)
          • Add periodic polling questions
          • Use the promotions section to promote events, webinars and other information sharing options
          • Use the career section to promote career opportunities regionally/nationally/globally
          • Promote success (recommend following the most engaged members, asking for Twitter accounts, growth numbers, etc.)
          • Promote the group to other large like community groups.  Do this periodically every few weeks to keep it fresh
          • Set up a best practices call once the membership has grown (solicit feedback from the members in a conference call or networking happy hour to learn what type of information the members want shared in this talent community)

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 Tips:

  1. Stay focused on the content domain (As the community grows, people will push the limits and stretch the content).
  2. Manage all approvals for membership, discussion, promotion and jobs.
  3. Like discussions.  Show they are being read until comments start to flow.
  4. Be very positive.  Promote constructive communication but keep the energy level high.

There you have it.

I cannot say enough about how valuable community groups can be if they are launched properly, well maintained and promoted in a positive way to create an environment of sharing.

Myth of Eternity – Original Poem

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I can promise you life in this infinite blackness of eternal salvation

Six feet under is an illusion resting high above the bed of clouds bleeding out the blood of the divine being created by the myth of a prophet

This gate of acceptance judges in a home without judgement

Who determines life’s value?
Without value lies limitless uncertainty

Vulnerable to the unknown, we wait in fear
We drown our faith in a bottle and visualize Heaven in a trip induced by the natural herb bore from Earth’s soil

Now we are at peace; if but for a temporary moment; an isolated instance

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The devil is real; Earth is his playground and we the puppets

Laughing at our misery
Counting on our greed
Thirsting for our death

Secrets exposed
Regret surfaced
Love poisoned in a pool of waste

This is the myth of happiness
Welcome to the reality of a journey of worn out souls
Sailing for a land with none in site

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True Companion – Original Poem

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Will you be my true companion?
Will you grow old with me and more beautiful with each passing day?
Will you let me discover you with each new sunrise?

You are the blessing hidden deep in my prayers
The person I want to become
The angel from high above

Will you be my true companion?

Words cannot express my love
Songs cannot translate the music in my head

In an instant a world changed
One glimmer of light and you appeared
From the darkness to enlightenment you found me

A lost puppy in a sea of flowers I wandered
Smelling the sweet nectar of a perfect world
A perfect world without meaning; without promise; without direction

Then there was you in the distance

Will you be my true companion?

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Destiny is written in the stars
Your soul next to mine high in the cosmos
In that field filled with the fruits of temptation I am grounded by you

A presence so powerful, yet so quiet and subtle
You awakened a sense left dormant by denial
An energy flourishing in the midst of your perfection

Will you be my true companion?

In you, I have found myself
In you, I will forever love

Is your boss cool or cruel…Let us evaluate the signs

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I am fortunate to have a warm and receptive boss that cares about my future and goes above and beyond to provide me with the tools and resources to gain the necessary skills to grow and work in a very satisfying environment.

With her cheerleader persona, focus on rewards and recognition and balanced workflow, she is a role model for the qualities that we look for in a “cool” boss.  On a daily basis, I witness a leader that:

  • Fosters innovation
  • Promotes strong positive behavior
  • Engages a teaming environment
  • Provides her staff with opportunities to promote leadership through project management initiatives
  • Shares in best practices and process improvement
  • Promotes strong performance through a series of monetary and non-monetary rewards
  • Acknowledges individual and group successes to the team and leadership
  • Has trust to allow the team to work independently and not micro manage responsibility and results
  • A proponent for growth and development
  • Supports your causes if you have researched them and believe in them
  • Provides the tools and resources to succeed
  • Sets measurable and challenging goals
  • Believes in the success of the team each and every day

There you have it, the attributes of a “cool” boss.

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“Cool” bosses win championships, lead successful companies, mentor the future leaders of the world and at the end of the day are incredible mothers, fathers, children, siblings, friends, volunteers and advocates for good.

All to often, at some point in our career we fall under the jurisdiction of the “cruel” boss.  There are many reasons we are supervised by individuals with negative energy that inhibit growth and change.  

First, we should identify the signs of a “cruel” boss:

  • Aggressive and negative in behavior and communications
  • Takes credit for the work of their subordinates
  • Does not promote or reward positive behavior and results
  • Micro manages work flow, output and daily responsibilities
  • Does not provide resources, tools or budget to promote efficient and productive output
  • Focused only on oneself and not the betterment of the team
  • Wedges barriers between team engagement
  • Finger points and pins colleague against colleague
  • Not supportive of the team goals

Many factors go into negative personality attributes affiliated with a “cruel” boss.  Some are affected by their personal life, feelings of rejection being passed up on a promotion, a history of bullying or overbearing behavior or a perception that you need to be hard and aggressive to move up the corporate ladder.

Studies have been done on backgrounds, behaviors, genders and even height on the types of people that are promoted and make the most income.  Some fields of study argue the tough and aggressive approach while others engage the collaborative and supportive approach.

Either way, more people spend time in the office environment than in their home and personal lives.  From the time we are 18-22 until we turn 65 to 70, we will be spending most of our adult lives working.  This is a statement that really needs to sink in.  A negative work environment breeds stress, health issues and an overall negative environment.  It can lead to such unhealthy behaviors as drinking, smoking or violence. This negativity will translate to the family live, personal life and interaction with strangers.

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It is critical that leaders with people management abilities understand their roles and develop an approach that is positive, productive, engaging and fun.  Here is how:

  • Learn about your team.  Understand their strengths and weaknesses and partner up skills.  Understand their personalities and determine how they can co-exist in a cordial manner.
  • Spend time understanding their future goals and aspirations.  Set up measurable projects, action items and training that will get them where they want to go.
  • Promote and reward strong productive performance.  Winners win and others will follow.
  • Be fair but be supportive of their efforts even if there is a risk.
  • Let them be.  These are professionals, no matter what industry and trusting them is a big sign of support.
  • Let them become the professional they want to be.  Guide them, but let them breathe.
  • If comfortable, learn about their lives outside of work.  We are in a social engagement/networking world now.  Personal and professional lives are starting to become one.

There we have it.

There are “cool” bosses and “cruel” bosses.  The entertainment industry has taken a comical look at “cruel” bosses in film with Office Space, Horrible Bosses, Swimming with Sharks, The Devil Wears Prada and Glengarry Glen Ross, but this should not be the stance we take in the work force.

A productive team is always better than a productive person. The collective sharing of ideas, innovations and expertise will lead us forward in the business world. We need leaders that understand, support and foster a positive work environment.

Do you have a “cool” boss or a “cruel” boss?