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You Only Have Ninety Days To Make An Impression.

I have a question for you. You just started a new job. You have been through what passes for the company orientation. You are comfortably situated in your cubical, and you have all the office supplies you need. The folks from IT will be down later in the day to set you up on your company laptop, company mobile phone, and they will even allow you to mirror some of the company applications on your own personal devices should you decide.

You have meetings set for the next several days, to meet with your team leader, supervisor, and the group manager. To say you’re excited would be an understatement. This is a big step for you. In all reality, it is really your first “real” job. All those other jobs, tending bar, working at the local hardware store, along with those few jobs you had that were shall we say, a tad bit dubious, are nothing compared to this one. This to you is where you start to make some real money. This job is why you went to college; this is the beginning of you starting a career.

So I ask this question of you, how much time do you think you have to make an impression? After all, from the way the cute HR Rep talked it seems like this is a place you can have a great future. Plenty of opportunities all you have to do is apply yourself and life will be great. But, again, I ask, how long do you believe you have to demonstrate you are someone that the company should make a long-term investment in?

Allow me to say both questions are rhetorical. Let me provide the correct response. You have ninety days, nine zero. Another way of looking at it is, you have three months to adapt, adjust, conform, and impress. Not a lot of time you say. You’re correct. But, it’s not impossible. However, let me be clear, fail and the outcome can affect you in ways you would never image.

Let me introduce you to two concepts, R.I.C.O., and P.E.O. The first RICO stands for Regular Access, Immediate Feedback, Consistent Measurement, and, One to One Relationship. The second PEO stands for Personal Economic Opportunity. They are connected. How they are connected will be discussed in a series of posts.

Before I continue with an explanation of RICO & PEO, It is important you understand you are working on an unofficial/official time limitation. You have approximately ninety days in which you need to:

a)gain a basic understanding of the roles and responsibilities of your job,

b)become rudimentary familiar with the company’s organizational structure,

c)build basic relationships,

d)develop basics of a plan that allows you to demonstrate your value to the company on a level that you are noticed by those who can enhance your career.

Simply put, during your first ninety days, you to have developed a plan by which you can demonstrate you can turn the value you’ve consumed into valued created. That you are someone who is an asset and not a liability.

I know, seems like a lot, especially for someone who is new, but, if you have plans for advancement with any company you work for, then you need to stop behaving like a recent college graduate. You need to start thinking and behaving like a seasoned veteran of the interoffice game of politics.

As cliché as this sounds your chances of having a successful and profitable career depends on what you do during your first ninety days on the job. Over the next several weeks I will be sharing some thoughts and insights on how you can develop a plan that will allow you to become a corporate star during that ninety-day time frame. Watch this space.

© Timothy A. Wilson 2016

Are We Helping You Have A Fulfilling Life? How You Answer This Is Important.

Well here we are at the final question for consideration; Are we helping you have a fulfilling life? Of the three (Are we helping you be effective in your current job? Are we helping you build a successful career? Are we helping you have a fulfilling life?) this is perhaps the most challenging.

Why, for this simple reason, you have to consider what you really want out of life and how your current job is a) helping you achieve it or b) the possibility that what you are currently doing won’t remotely get you there regardless of what management may or may not do for you.

If you feel that management isn’t helping you have a fulfilling life, and you want their assistance in balancing that out, you are going to have to be specific in what you want, and how you want them to help you. This will require you to have really thought about what you want from this job. By thinking about it I mean the following:

  • What have you done to lay out your plans for possible advancement in the company? Keep in mind this question is tightly integrated with the first two. Being effective in your current role, and helping you be successful.
  • So if you’re planning on having a long-term career with the company it only makes sense you have to develop your own plan for moving within the company, this plan should include any training you feel you will need. Don’t forget to consider the possibility of relocation.
  • This also means you are thinking about life balance.

There is also the possibility that as you contemplate this last question, you realize that working for this company is not something you wish to do long-term. If that is the case, you then need to be thinking about an exit strategy.

When putting together your exit strategy using the questions we have discussed, can provide clarity around what you will want in your next job.

© Timothy A. Wilson 2016





Are We Helping You Build A Successful Career? How Will You Answer?

The second question under consideration from our discussion on exit interviews is; Are we helping you build a successful career? The idea behind this question is to solicit how management can help you be a success during your tenure with them. Keep in mind, if you’re successful so is your manager and the company. Not to mention happy customers which lead to strong sales and great profits.

Take a moment and ask yourself this; why do you think your manager would ask you this question? Could it be, they see you as someone with high potential and want to know how they can help you succeed in the company? If that is the case, then don’t you think you owe it them and yourself to have the essence of a clear plan with goals, outcomes, and metrics? Don’t be caught flat-footed. Allow me to make a simple but effect suggestion.

Many have the belief that a successful career plan requires spending hours upon hours of planning every possible step. It is true planning is required. But not on the level, some believe. Let me suggest that you think and plan in ninety-day increments. Doing it in this manner allows you provide specific areas where you manager can assist you in your career development. It allows for measurable results along with the opportunity to make adjustments.

Good and talent people are hard to find and keeping them is important to the organization. So when you’re asked the question Are we helping you build a successful career, be ready with a response along with examples of where you could use their help. By having your ninety-day plan developed, you can provide specific areas where you can use their help. Not to mention, it opens the line of communication between you and your manager. To where she is really looking to help you, and not just asking a perfunctory question.

© Timothy A. Wilson 2016

Why The Question: Are We Helping You Be Effective in Your Current Job? Is Important

In a recent post, I mentioned three questions that a manager should be asking of their employees. As a reminder the questions were: Are we helping you be effective in your current job? Are we helping your build a successful career? Are we helping you have a fulfilling life?

Let’s consider the first question, helping you become effective in your current job. It may seem obvious why a manager might ask this question. Logic would dictate, the more effective you are, the more productive you would be in handling your assign tasks. But, I submit there is more to it than just making you more productive.

Every manager or supervisor goal is to have competent people working for them. The more effective you are at your job, the mover effective they can be at their job.

With you becoming more effective in your current job, you win, and you start to receive more challenging assignments. Your manager wins, as they now have an employee who can take on more responsibility and she too can assume more responsibility. She has an employee who she is comfortable in knowing that she can count on you to do a good job. The company wins as it now has two employees (you and your manager) who are more effective and productive in their roles. The customers win as they are dealing with a company that has highly trained and effective employees.

So if asked the question are we helping you be effective in your current job. Be prepared to answer the question honestly and straightforward. If you feel that is not happening, then be clear and concise on what you need to make it happen.

Here is a suggestion. Instead of waiting to be asked this question by your manager, why not be proactive. Take this question and work out some talking points to discuss with your manager on how you see yourself being more effective at your current job. Request a meeting with your manager and discuss these points along with asking for their help in making both of you successful.

After all taking some initiative is never a bad thing.

We will discuss the next two questions: Are we helping your build a successful career? Are we helping you have a fulfilling life? In our next blog post.

© Timothy A. Wilson 2016

The Exit Interview Questions You Should Ask Before People Leave.

A recent article in entitled “Making Exit Interviews Count” Harvard Business Review April 2016, caught my attention. It was discussing the importance of doing exit interviews. I realize that this particular topic may cause to say “Wilson what on earth are you talking about?” I don’t blame you, in fact if you found yourself saying,”strange topic to bring up since you haven’t written anything for three months.” Again I am forced to agree with up to a point. Let me explain.

First, I admit it has been three months maybe longer since my last post. For that, I once again apologize. At times, it is difficult coming up with topics that I feel are worth writing about. But, hey, as I have said before it’s my Blog so I can write about whatever I desire. With that in mind, I’ve decided to cover a number of issues that I believe relate to issues around management, diversity, team building, accountability, trust, communications, along with developing a strategy to be a star in your organization.

Second, which brings me to the topic of Exit Interviews. Well, this is one of those topics I’ve chosen to cover briefly for no other reason than this is my blog. Look, if you really want to know about Exit Interviews grab a copy of the April 2016 issue of Harvard Business Review and read the entire article. But, there is a simple concept that I wish to borrow from the article. It has to do with these three questions by the article writers that I think should be asked prior to an Exit Interview. In fact, I believe a good manager should be asking these of his employees on a regular basis they are:

  1. Are we helping you be effective in your current job?
  2. Are we helping you build a successful career?
  3. Are we helping you have a fulfilling life?

Three excellent questions that you as a manager you should be asking your employees constantly. Why? Well, take a moment and think about it and I will discuss it in our next post.

© Timothy A. Wilson 2016


Wanting to wish everyone a Happy and Prospers New Year. I hope as you enter into this New Year you will achieve all that you put your mind to and you see the fulfillment of your dreams for you, your family and friends.

It’s Christmas Be Happy

Once again, we are approaching a time that is happy and sad for many. For children, it is when they are eagerly awaiting Santa. Who will bring those items they desire. For some, they get to go home and spend time with family as part of their family tradition. Others, a level of sadness will surround them as once again; they will spend a holiday without a beloved family member. Christmas, like all holidays, is a double edge, the joy on one side, sadness on the other leaving us to determine how to balance the two.

As I have often written, the strangeness of human behavior around this particular time of year is head scratching. The display of willingness to become forgiving because it’s Christmas still remains a mystery to me. Just as the frenetic pace many take on to find that perfect gift, causes me to laugh hysterically. It just seems that Peace on Ea
rth and Goodwill to Men is something that is relevant all year long, not just on December 25th.

Less you think I’m a Scrooge during this time allow me to direct your attention to this part of the holiday that I believe is important. There are many who cannot be with loved ones because they are away serving in foreign countries as members of the military. Keep them in your thoughts and prayers during this time. Remember that their families would love nothing more than to have them home for the holidays.

I invite you to watch the following, lzCaA6IazFA word of caution; you will need a box to tissues. Happy Holidays.


© Timothy A. Wilson 2015

Veteran’s Day

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, was declared between the Allied nations and Germany in the First World War, then known as “the Great War.” Commemorated as Armistice Day beginning the following year, November 11th became a legal federal holiday in the United States in 1938. In the aftermath of World War II and the Korean War, Armistice Day became Veterans Day, a holiday dedicated to American veterans of all wars.”

What formerly called Armistice Day now Veterans Day is more than another day off from work. As intended it is representative of our paying homage to those who make the sacrifice where the uniform of country’s military, be it Army, Navy, Marine, Air Force or Cost Guard. These individuals respond to the request to serve and keep us safe so we can practice our way of life. We remember them both in passing and living.

As a manner of remembering, consider reviewing the history of the U.S. World War 1 veteran Frank Buckles passed away in 2011 at the age of 110. His interesting story can be found at this website: although brief, it will pique’s your interest. Check it out.

Also, if you happen to be out, and you see a Vet, and you are in a position to do so not only thank them for their service but tell them we still need them buying them a cup of coffee wouldn’t hurt either.

© Timothy A. Wilson All Rights Reserved

The Elephants Dance at EMC and Dell

Well, the elephants are dancing once again this time it is at EMC and Dell. The most recent announcement is that Dell will by EMC. So for the folks at both companies the days of fretful anticipation will start as to when the inevitable layoffs will start arriving.

In the meantime those in power will be working out their packages that will make them millionaires and leave them in good standing as potential venture capitalists for those looking for startup money or starting their own venture. But for the majority (my guess mostly EMC people) what this latest corporate demolition means is many people will be wondering and worrying what their future will become. For some, retirement might be their best option. For others it will be a series of job searches. Hoping they can land a job before their expiration date of nine months of unemployment renders them to the untouchable pile. It seems that if someone regardless of their skills not hired in that period, now deemed undesirable by HR.

So that flurry of activity happening in both companies is not employees paying attention to the work at hand, it is those who know they have skills desired elsewhere, are feverishly sprucing up the resume and making the network calls they know will be helpful in their new employment search. What is funny, this is exactly what some of the elephants want to happen. It lessens the blow of selecting people to fire, I mean downsize.

As I’ve often written when the Elephants in the corporate office start dancing things break. It’s just too bad it’s the good hard working individuals. Who labored under the legend that companies really care about their most valuable asset, their employees. When in reality it is how golden is their parachute.

The Old is Yet New

My wife and I arrived late Saturday at our destination in Newport. It was a warm day, and people were still strolling along enjoying their day. It truly was going to be a great week just to relax and enjoy the downtime.

Looking forward to some fun times here in Newport. Weather is great, and there is plenty to reacquaint ourselves with. We have been coming here for over 20 years and it though much of the area is well known to us it is amazing how we seem to find something new we didn’t on previous visits.

The old is yet new as it has much to show us as long as you are willing to learn.

© Timothy A. Wilson All Rights Reserved

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