Professional Edge

PROFESSIONAL EDGE with columnist Kim R. Wells, from the WWW.BLACKCOLLEGIAN.COM Career Center

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Steve Jobs and the 7 Rules of Success - by Carmine Gallo

Excellent repost wanted to share by Carmine Gallo. Steve Jobs, now this was a man who had a Professional Edge, thanks Steve for inspiring us all.

Steve Jobs and the 7 Rules of Success

Steve Jobs' impact on your life cannot be underestimated. His innovations have likely touched nearly every aspect -- computers, movies, music and mobile. As a communications coach, I learned from Jobs that a presentation can, indeed, inspire. For entrepreneurs, Jobs' greatest legacy is the set of principles that drove his success.

Over the years, I've become a student of sorts of Jobs' career and life. Here's my take on the rules and values underpinning his success. Any of us can adopt them to unleash our "inner Steve Jobs."

1. Do what you love. Jobs once said, "People with passion can change the world for the better." Asked about the advice he would offer would-be entrepreneurs, he said, "I'd get a job as a busboy or something until I figured out what I was really passionate about." That's how much it meant to him. Passion is everything.

2. Put a dent in the universe. Jobs believed in the power of vision. He once asked then-Pepsi President, John Sculley, "Do you want to spend your life selling sugar water or do you want to change the world?" Don't lose sight of the big vision.

3. Make connections. Jobs once said creativity is connecting things. He meant that people with a broad set of life experiences can often see things that others miss. He took calligraphy classes that didn't have any practical use in his life -- until he built the Macintosh. Jobs traveled to India and Asia. He studied design and hospitality. Don't live in a bubble. Connect ideas from different fields.

4. Say no to 1,000 things. Jobs was as proud of what Apple chose not to do as he was of what Apple did. When he returned in Apple in 1997, he took a company with 350 products and reduced them to 10 products in a two-year period. Why? So he could put the "A-Team" on each product. What are you saying "no" to?  

5. Create insanely different experiences. Jobs also sought innovation in the customer-service experience. When he first came up with the concept for the Apple Stores, he said they would be different because instead of just moving boxes, the stores would enrich lives. Everything about the experience you have when you walk into an Apple store is intended to enrich your life and to create an emotional connection between you and the Apple brand. What are you doing to enrich the lives of your customers?

6. Master the message. You can have the greatest idea in the world, but if you can't communicate your ideas, it doesn't matter. Jobs was the world's greatest corporate storyteller. Instead of simply delivering a presentation like most people do, he informed, he educated, he inspired and he entertained, all in one presentation.

7. Sell dreams, not products. Jobs captured our imagination because he really understood his customer. He knew that tablets would not capture our imaginations if they were too complicated. The result? One button on the front of an iPad. It's so simple, a 2-year-old can use it. Your customers don't care about your product. They care about themselves, their hopes, their ambitions. Jobs taught us that if you help your customers reach their dreams, you'll win them over.

There's one story that I think sums up Jobs' career at Apple. An executive who had the job of reinventing the Disney Store once called up Jobs and asked for advice. His counsel? Dream bigger. I think that's the best advice he could leave us with. See genius in your craziness, believe in yourself, believe in your vision, and be constantly prepared to defend those ideas.

Carmine Gallo is a communications coach, a popular keynote speaker and author of several books including The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs and The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs. His latest is The Power of Foursquare (McGraw-Hill, 2011).

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Formula to Make Millions

Are you tired of making millions for others? What about you, your dream home, kids education, and dream lifestyle? Admittedly if it was easy we would all be millionaires, but for those who want to keep the dream alive see this recent blog posting by Stacia D. Kelly, Ph.D., MHt, she offers some excellent advice to us all on how to start making millions.

Even if you don't desire necessarily to make millions, but do want an edge to escalate your corporate game, and possibly some extra "doe-rae-me" in your pocket, this posting has some great ideas for an emerging executive to build a professional edge, consider these excellent strategies.

One strategy I would add is to consider taking a business global, and develop global networks and business partners, just duplicating your efforts in a new market can be big money in the bank when done well---my two cents. 

If you want to be a millionaire you’ve got to stop thinking like the middle-class. Change your mindset and your bank account will follow.

By Stacia D. Kelly, PhD, MHt
Let’s face it, we’re not taught to think like the ultra-rich. School teaches us how to be good worker bees and get into debt. Oh, look, shiny new iPod…I need it. Cha-ching, bought and paid for, most likely with credit. But, take a moment and step outside your current reality and think of the things the ultra-rich do to increase their wealth and cash flow.
They have multiple businesses, properties, travel a lot and have a lot of things. What would you spend your day doing? What would you buy? Would you help people in need? Invent new things? Travel extensively?
Now…ask yourself, why am I not already doing these things? Did you learn any skills from family or school to help you get yourself financially sound and free from bad debt? The answer: no. Unless you’ve been educating yourself, your skills in cash flow management are woefully inept. As it is for ALL of us.
Entrepreneurs such as Keith Cameron Smith, the author of “The 10 Distinctions Between Millionaires and the Middle Class,” and Robert Kiyosaki, “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” both point out the ultra-rich have a different way of thinking and doing things. You want to be a part of the elite crowd? Then try these on for size.

1.             Think Long-Term – Don’t focus on day to day, focus on year to year and then build a five and ten year plan. Pick a long term goal and map your way back from it to the present day. You want to be a best-selling author? You should be writing today.
2.             Focus on Ideas – Dream and dream big. Stop worrying about collecting things or worrying about who said what to who. Ideas made FedEx. Ideas made the pet rock. Neither of which were thought to be ‘great’ ideas. Both made money and changed our culture.
3.             Embrace Change – The one thing in the universe that’s guaranteed? Things change. Look at each change as a chance to grow and learn new skills. Every time you come across a potential snag stop and think how this change can benefit or positively impact your long term goals and implement adjustments.
4.             Take Calculated Risks – We’re not talking jumping out of an airplane; we’re talking about educating yourself about the pros and cons of taking a financial action to help increase your net worth. Learn about real estate, learn about investing…and then DO something with the knowledge. Take a chance! Things that can earn you real money will always have some level of risk, otherwise everyone would be doing it already.

5.             Continue to Learn and Grow – Attend workshops and seminars in things you want to pursue, find like-minded people to learn about how they’re increasing their net worth. Most of all…stop hanging out with the downers who have nothing to do but whine about how they can’t ever make ends meet, yet somehow they just got a Playstation 3 and a 42 inch plasma.
6.             Work for Profits – Most of us work for a paycheck and think WOW, that 4% annual raise really is going to help me out. I can invest more and do more. Right? No, the increase shows up as barely $100 and it’s already spent once it hits your bank account. Start finding ways to bring in profits! Join a network marketing business and learn to sell something. But, believe in what you’re trying to sell. Take some of your ideas from #2 and start marketing them, or even patent them and then SELL them. Think outside the box!
7.             Be Generous – Some days, a $10 tip is going to make someone else’s day. Or, buying them dinner or groceries. Nowhere in life is there a rule book that says horde what you’ve got. There is abundance in the universe so long as you maintain a healthy relationship with money and what it can do. Take the Dr. Ivan Misner’s, of BNI ( principle, “giver’s gain.” It’s all about relationship building and networking.
8.             Have Multiple Sources of Income – So you have a paycheck, do something with it. Invest, start a company, build up a direct sales business. Revenue is revenue. There are a variety of direct sales companies out there, find one you can be passionate about and use it. 

9.             Increase Your Net-Worth – Assets should be working FOR you, they have value and earn you passive income. If you’re working for a paycheck, learn to put that paycheck towards assets that can help you build your income.
Ask Empowering Questions – Ask yourself what you can do, don’t tell yourself what you can’t do. You’ll be amazed at the answers your brain can come up with as you condition yourself to think this way more often.

Stacia D. Kelly, PhD, MHt, owns Mind-Body-Spirit Works (, a private Holistic Health practice in Northern Virginia. She is a freelance writer (,artist, martial artist, wife and mother who loves living life and helping others reach their potential.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

7 Deadly Workplace Sins of Black Professionals: New Posting Series

Over the last 20 years as an educator, consultant, and executive coach I have found there are 7 Deadly Sins that consistently disrupt and derail the promising careers of far too many Black Professionals. Many of the professionals who commit these "sins"do so in spite of being talented, educated, experienced, ... and yes even spiritual or "church going folk."

These "sins" we will discuss in this series cost some Black professionals dearly by limiting access to positions in top organizations, hindering professional performance, stalling pace of career advancement, decreasing long term wealth accumulation, and could ultimately affect their health and mental well being.

The good news is that all the "sins" mentioned can be avoided or changed with a renewed commitment to success, courage to make a change, and the boldness to take action.

1. Thou shalt not blame other people for your failure

The name of the game today is results. Today's complex workplace can be riddled with difficult people, complex leadership, limited or shifting resources etc., but it is still your responsibility when you accept that paycheck to map out a plan of action, stop all the talk, and add value daily to your organization. Success is a choice, a choice we have to make daily, and in a business environment of record levels of unemployment, failure is not an option.

Odds are there are other Black professionals that are advancing, growing and positive in the same organization that you are failing in, so examine yourself, its time to get real, the problem just might be you!

Strategies to consider:
  • See the challenge as an opportunity to grow, both professionally and personally
  • Look for opportunities to show your value, stop focusing on the negative
  • Find a trusted mentor - value and act on their feedback
  • Some challenges are simply the result of a poor match between you and the organization, don't take it too personally, in the right organization you can be a star.
  • Seek out an executive coach - this can be a very valuable professional investment
  • Befriend productive people - they have figured out how to produce in the environment
  • Take advantage of training and continuing education opportunities
  • Stop speaking negatively about the situation, start talking positively
  • Make sure you are not projecting an indifferent, arrogant, or nasty attitude
  • Remember success is your responsibility, not something you are entitled to
  • Take care of your "temple" through increased rest, exercise, and eating right, all will effect your ability to perform successfully at work
  • May be time to get back in that "prayer closet," I believe prayer changes things.

See the next posting for our series.
Would love to hear your comments.

Kim R. Wells

Friday, August 21, 2009

This article was submitted on August 13, 2009 at 07:16 PM PDT
From: | August 13, 2009
Abby M. Locke

Have you ever been bursting with excitement to share your good news with someone, only to have them ask you – “so what’s the big deal?” Well, imagine getting a similar question and response from a recruiter or hiring manager when you are really trying to make a lasting impression.

In my quest to help you transform your professional resume into a compelling storytelling document, I want to focus your attention on work responsibilities and job tasks. Employers and recruiters should not read your resume and feel like they are reading a classified advertisement or generic job description. While you always need to show employers the scope and breadth of your experience, don’t get so tied to your daily tasks that the professional resume falls short on value proposition.

Is your current resume only telling employers what you are paid to do?

  • Focus on strong facts/statistics including budget size, the number of direct/indirect reports, the number of divisions or branches you manage, sales/revenue objectives, the number of clients you service and the title of your immediate boss.
  • Compile these details to a three-to-five sentence paragraph, pepper it with vibrant action verbs, industry keywords, and eliminate any overused, passive phrases like “Responsible for the development of marketing plans for clients in the West Coast region."

Check out how this candidate’s work responsibilities get enhanced by highlighting the key objectives in his job.

Before: Manage daily activities for real estate portfolio for investment management company and supervise staff members.

After: Challenged to deliver 10% return on $700 million investment portfolio in unpredictable, evolving real estate industry. Oversee all daily activities including ROI maximizations, client relations, loan negotiations, and investment dispositions. Manage and coach staff of ten employees.

Get started on your own storytelling resume:

Use a sell me not “tell me” strategy with your professional resume

Is your professional resume making employers guess?

Avoid writing a "me-oriented" resume

Abby M. Locke of Premier Writing Solutions ( is a master resume writer and career marketing architect who helps talented professionals and senior-level executives to achieve career success through cutting-edge, brand-focused career documents, innovative job search tools, and proactive career management strategies.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

3 Things We Should Learn in This Recession

With great challenges there are often great lessons, and this recession is no exception.

1. It rains on the just and the unjust. When the world's marketplace is in major flux, we all feel the impact. So don't beat yourself up over challenging times you may be facing in your career or personal finances. Make up your mind to find the opportunities in this moment, protect what is rightfully yours, and develop a new strategy if necessary to move forward. Those that will succeed will have the talent or willingness to develop their existing talent, the character to endure the right way without looking for shortcuts, and the wisdom to make critical adjustments wherever necessary to thrive in a changing world.

2.Take a snapshot of the changing national and global social-economic landscape
Do an inventory of your talents and interest, see if you can match a strategic need of people or organizations with your unique personal genius. These times are going to open up new opportunities for innovative thinking, technology, and services for someone, why not you?

3. Hard times have a way of recalibrating our priorities to what matters most. Is it really all about the money, power, and prestige or is there something else more important in life that you need to give more attention to? Whether it is family and loved ones you need to spend more time with, self-preservation strategies such as taking better care of yourself in your eating, exercise and spiritual development, or simply taking a little more time to appreciate the more simple things in life.


Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Value of Your Good Name!

I am excited that so many students and young professionals are striving to start their own businesses, have their sights on the top executive suites in business, government, and other industries. But like the old-timers in my hometown of Princeton, NJ used to tell me, one of the most important qualities you can ever have as a successful professional is a Good Name.

Many professionals today have more degrees than a thermometer from some of the world's most prestigious universities, hold influential positions in business and government, live in exclusive neighborhoods, drive luxury cars, have all the new techie toys and whistles, etc., etc., but none of these should ever be confused with having a Good Name.

The world has a lot of so called "business stars," but often few live up to the hype, and many rarely deliver more than smooth "business speak" and a well sculpted image, in part why our economy is in the shape it is in today, too many drank that Kool Aid!

Former NFL Coach Herman Edwards may have put it best. In a recent television interview Coach Edwards shared how as a boy his father once told him, "Son I don't have a lot to give you but a good name, what you do with it is up to you."

Do you have a Good Name, or "Credibility Capital" with the people around you? The world has enough slick professionals and today people and organizations are looking for real leadership, innovation, and results. As you move forward to make your way in this great time of opportunity and change presented in this new economy, take a moment, and make sure you are doing everything you can to develop and maintain your Good Name.


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Michael Jackson had a Professional Edge

As we all take a moment and reflect on the greatest entertainment performer of our time Michael Jackson, let us also remember the professional and business genius of the man.

Michael found his "personal genius" and developed it to be without question the best that ever was in his industry. He took what he had and maximized it to the fullest.

Michael didn't allow the "establishment" of his time to limit or define him, and broke many barriers of racial and social stereotypes to reach his audience. He didn't take "no" for an answer.

Michael continually reinvented himself and his product to match the evolving needs and demographics of his globally diverse fan base.

Michael was a perfectionist, a hard worker, and relentlessly strived for new standards of performance excellence.

As a professional, Michael continuously sought after and surrounded himself with the very best talent and producers in his industry.

Michael, even with his super star status, was reportedly a very kind and approachable individual.

Michael had the ability to take challenges and turn them around for powerful new material and branding opportunities.

Michael knew the power of business ownership, evident in the his strategic decision to purchase some of the world's most prestigious catalogues of music that will continue to grow in value benefiting his family and estate long after his passing.

We could go on, but the next time you hear Michael was just a singer and dancer, you may want to think again. The world is full of great singers and dancers, but Michael was so much more and that is why he is and will always be the King of Pop.