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Terry's Original Quote Keepers

A minute of silence can be more productive than an hour of debate.
~Terry Braverman

Arrest yourself when under the influence of a negative thought.
~Terry Braverman

Give me levity, or give me death!
~Terry Braverman

An intimate relationship is the ultimate training.
~Terry Braverman

Clarity of purpose is the ultimate decongestant.
~Terry Braverman

Faith keeps the voice of fear out of your ear.
~Terry Braverman

Peace begins between your ears.
~Terry Braverman

Peace begins between your ears.
~Terry Braverman

Be patient, before you become a patient.
~Terry Braverman

Over-analysis causes paralysis.
~Terry Braverman

May the 'farce' be with you.
~Terry Braverman

Plan some time to be spontaneous.
~Terry Braverman

Laugh at yourself, and you will always be amused.
~Terry Braverman

Imagination sharpens the dull blade of routine.
~Terry Braverman

Inquisitiveness cures boredom; nothing cures inquisitiveness.
~Terry Braverman

Feed your soul, starve your worries.
~Terry Braverman

Avoid time in the Tower of Babble.
~Terry Braverman

Release any false sense of insecurity.
~Terry Braverman

Life is a fantasy, made real by our thoughts.
~Terry Braverman

Reid Hoffman changed the way individuals networked and searched for jobs as co-founder of LinkedIn. Now the billionaire venture capitalist has plans for revolutionizing the way employees work.

 

In his new book “The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age” (co-authored with Ben Casnocha and Chris Yeh), Hoffman outlines a new employee-employer contract -- one in which employees sign up for "tours of duty." He instituted such a radical policy at LinkedIn; new hires were given a 2-year or 4-year tour of duty and if managers were pleased with their contributions, employees were awarded with another tour of duty, which the company characterized as “career advancement”. "Functionally this is the way the world works already in many industries," says Hoffman in the video above.

 

Hoffman picked the two-to-four year time frame because "it syncs with a typical product development cycle, allowing an employee to see a major project through." Of course, contract work of this nature does not typically include benefits like stock options, sick days, paid vacation, holiday pay, etc. And does the more frequent adaptation contract workers must make to different company cultures affect productivity both ways? What bank would issue a loan or mortgage to someone who only has a contract for a 2 year tour of duty? Who would even want a mortgage if you only have a 2 year commitment?

 

He believes this new paradigm builds trust between employees and their bosses and keeps the employee engaged throughout the entire tour; employees direct their attention to discrete tasks and are assigned specific goals. The process allows honest conversations, Hoffman explains, and helps ease employees' concerns over layoffs and instability. How does making any sort of job longevity tenuous at best build trust? Yes, it eliminates the employee fear of layoffs, and replaces it with the likelihood of a layoff. Do most people really want to go job hunting every couple of years?

 

This is not a new paradigm. This practice simply reinforces what is already happening. It’s a way to avoid long term commitment to rewarding employees with pay per skill/experience level and benefits for any great length of time, so new people can be hired at entry-level wages. In the long run, when you have a growing abundance of people in between jobs their inclination to invest in homes and spend on consumer goods becomes muted; ultimately, it will come back to bite the companies that laid them off .

 

Employers committed to engaging, fairly compensating, and appreciating the best employees for the long run, are likely to get the most optimum returns in productivity and bottom line results.

 

STRANGEST JOB INTERVIEWS

 

“Once I had a guy show up for an interview in flip-flops and shorts, high as a kite. I asked him about a gap on his resume, and he said that during those two years he had been starring in a well-known television show. He had not been.”

 

“I once had a candidate show up for her interview directly from the pool. She still had on a wet bikini under a super short, strapless romper thing and flip flops. Her hair was still wet. The interview had been scheduled for over a week.”

 

“I once interviewed a job candidate who said she was interested in the position because she had ‘nothing better to do.’ No, thank you.”

 

“My friend was conducting an interview one time, and asked the candidate the dreaded, ‘What’s your worst quality?’ question. Answer: ‘I’m kind of unreliable.’”

 

“I work for a well-known nonprofit so it’s important to us that employees believe in our mission. One interviewee explicitly said she didn’t care about our mission, but she was willing to try to work on it.”

 

“I was conducting a phone interview and the guy’s tone changes to a slight echo for about 5 or 6 minutes. As he is talking, I hear the toilet flush in the background and 60 seconds later there is no echo.”

 

“I asked a candidate, ‘Tell me about the biggest challenge that has taken up your time unexpectedly in the last 3 months.’ Her answer: ‘Well, I’ve started breastfeeding, and that can be tough. Sometimes even painful.’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Learning and teaching are not inherently linked. Much learning takes place without teaching, and indeed much teaching takes place without learning.” Jane Bozarth

 

Two weeks ago, our feature story focused on the pros and cons of eLearning. Linked-In’s HR Group recently ran a survey with 700 members, 59% having taken four or more eLearning courses. While 56% felt ‘increasing amounts of professional training will be through eLearning courses’, a paltry 8.5% felt ‘eLearning courses are usually of a high standard’.

 

The most important influences on choice of eLearning course are a relevant description (72%), the course supplier’s reputation (60%), attractive price (49%) and certification credits (45%). Some people emphasized the importance of ‘easy access, anytime, anywhere’, stressing the importance of ‘less time out of the office for training because this way I can engage with the content when I am most able to learn & retain the information’. Others wanted courses to take ‘an hour or less to complete’ and one noted they should ‘deliver value commensurate with price: less expensive may not provide good value’.

 

The influence of social media was clear from many comments, with one respondent suggesting ‘some form of social collaboration & someone who comes in once in a while to facilitate reflection would make eLearning win’. Another noted ‘my biggest issue with eLearning is the limited ability (or total inability) to interact with the session leader & fellow participants’. 64% of respondents agreed with the idea of ‘being able to refer to a professional advisor’, with one asking for ‘real time support, so when a particular concept is not understood there is an alternative learning intervention available’.

 

This was borne out by 49% suggesting ‘being able to correspond with fellow students’ would add to the appeal of a course, while 53% would value course rankings & 48% would appreciate reviews from previous students. One respondent wanted ‘solid and verifiable references and personal experiences from former participants’, while others sought the facility to ‘take a test run through a course’ or ‘trial samples’. But interactivity with fellow students & the tutor was a key, with respondents seeking friendliness, fun, engagement & encouragement to change their thinking & behavior.

 

Conclusion: There is a plethora of substandard eLearning courses. Many eLearning students have clear ideas on how to improve them; many of those ideas relate to Social Media principles. Is greater interactivity the route forward for eLearning? It appears so.

 

 

 

 

 

 

As we get ready to celebrate the 4th of July, my thoughts shift to the concept of independence. Webster initiates a definition of independence as “not subject to control by others”. Unless you are living self-sufficiently on an island by yourself with no governance, who is not subject to control by others? Virtually all humankind is subject to laws, regulations, the actions of others, and social constraints, some justified, some not. 

 

The Founding Fathers of this country didn't like being controlled, they believed in liberty and freedom. The foundation we call the Declaration of Independence and Constitution was established to protect rights, and freedom from government overreach. While they are praiseworthy documents, a document cannot guarantee true independence any more than a drive on the freeway can guarantee safety. Independence is really a myth, and the reality is that we are interdependent. We depend on others to generate electricity, supply us with goods, support us with our projects, and for human comfort, among other things.

 

Perhaps this time is better spent over the weekend acknowledging our interdependence, and reflecting on the strength of our business and personal connections. It may be cause for celebration, or inspiration for change.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

     

 

 

 

"If power corrupts, does feeling powerless make you a saint?" - Terry Braverman

 

Helplessness and depression never did much for my spirits. Although at times it has served as a learning prop, suffering doesn’t need to be a prerequisite for sainthood. Feeling powerful makes me feel alive and saint-like, because real power is incorruptible. For me, real power is not about my economic position, relationship status, control over others, how many are reading this publication, or any kind of circumstances. It’s about being focused, using my talents, and loving the moment wherever I am, whomever I’m with. It’s about swimming in the adventurous, unpredictable ocean of life, sometimes without a life preserver, even when the shoreline looks to be far away, yet knowing that I’m fulfilling a mission.

 

When I feel like I’m struggling spiritually to stay afloat, I remind myself of the love of my vision, and appreciation of the simple pleasures of life, such as laughter, nature, dogs, and children. Power cannot come from a place of impotence. We owe it to ourselves and our world to bring our real power to fruition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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