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McKenzie Robinson | SBJ

90 Ideas: Anne Williams

President, JobFinders Employment Services Co.

Posted online

Realize that your personnel are your biggest resource. Staff are the most important part of any business. Without the people who run the day-to-day operations, you would not have a business. Respect them, listen to them and never ever be late with their payroll!

Know that education is not interchangeable with experience. In many professions, education is a must to get into a career, and in others, it’s not. Don’t just hire someone because they had good grades or an Ivy League degree. Instead, search out and allow people with experience into your company. You may be surprised how much more they bring to the table in a short time.

Take responsibility. Treat the company assets, liabilities and resources like they are your own. When you own them, you tend to protect them. You will be more aware of your department’s culture, its workload and spending habits, as well as the effect every aspect of the department has on the company.

You do not need to be a superhero anymore. Superheroes are for TV, not the business world. Remember, very few people can do everything and do it all well. Being a businessperson, parent, PTA president, Rotary chair and the company clown are great – but the time, work and stress are not healthy for anyone. Sit down with your family, team and supervisor to talk it through. Tell them your priorities and how you feel you can best use your time. Give yourself permission that you do not have to be all and do everything all the time!

Know your priorities. Priorities are the things that give life meaning and purpose. They drive you to a successful goal. Once you name your priorities, you can start using them to manage your work, as well as your home life. You can focus on the preference and quit wasting time. Get started by making a list of five to seven. That should be manageable. When you keep them in mind as you go about your day, you should find that decisions become easier, your time is freed up and your mind is clearer.

You cannot pull the wool over their eyes (very long). Every employee, department and company has stuff they want to hide from their superiors, department heads or whole staff. Generally, the small stuff does not matter; go ahead and keep it to yourself. The big stuff you can only hide for a bit. It comes out. Don’t start telling lies, thinking people won’t find out. It causes a lot of worry and stress.

Let your gut help guide your decisions (sometimes). We all have gut feelings, and we need to use them at work more often than we do. In the world of recruiting, I have learned to use that sense when hiring for myself or my clients. I use it when negotiating with vendors or going after new business, too. To me it is a feeling in the pit of my stomach. It hurts when I think of whatever the subject is, and I’m usually trying to make it a positive thing when it truly is a negative one. Think long and hard when you have the feeling!

The customer may not always be right, but they are always the customer. We all have had customers who were not right. Perhaps you could not please them, no matter what. It happened to me. I could not fire my customer and had to resolve the issue. My team and I sat down and brainstormed. First things first, we remembered who paid the bills. Once we kept in mind that the customer was not leaving and I could not assist them, it was easy. My counterpart took over the account. Moral of the story: Don’t be reactionary, talk it out with your team, make a plan and save the business.

Be grateful. Count your blessings every day. First, be proud of yourself for the things you have accomplished. Give yourself a daily affirmation. Say thank you! Don’t forget to say “good job” or give a “woot-woot” to those around you who have helped accomplish your goals, small or large. Remember, everyone matters – the kids, teachers, nurses and docs, your co-workers, staff and boss. Be grateful to your customers, your vendors and all who affect your daily business life. Writing a reminder of what/who to be grateful for is a good idea.

Listen, learn and laugh with those around you. I hire smart people! Some are much smarter than me, many younger than me. I have learned to listen to all of them instead of being the center of attention and telling them how “we used to do things.” When I started listening, I learned so much. I learned what motivates younger people. I learned a great deal about technology and why they prefer texting. They learned a little, too. They have learned that their leaders can listen, learn and provide them with information. Most importantly, we all learned to respect one another and laugh together.

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