Archives for 8 Jan,2018

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According to a Gallup study on the American workplace, two-thirds of employees are disengaged at work. They don’t enjoy what they do which represses them into doing the bare minimum and become ‘just enough’ employees. Ironically many actually like working under these circumstances whereas some tolerate it. Only a fortunate few are lucky enough to bypass this dilemma and find gainful work that they genuinely love.

Considering that work takes up most of our day, and lives, it’s a tragedy to imagine that so many employees get placed in miserable jobs that slowly drain their happiness. Don’t despair however if you happen to be in such a situation. You can still find enjoyment in your work by modifying your attitude and perspective. Doing so is very valuable to your life in many ways.

Here is an exercise that will help you to create your ideal career

Brainstorm these areas:

1.       Things you are passionate about

2.       Your Strengths and Abilities

3.       Things that help those around you

Things you are Passionate about

What activities bring you joy? What are you passionate about? What fills you with energy? What makes you come alive? What is your ideal environment? What types of people would you like to be around? When you love and enjoy your work, your desire and excitement will be a great motivation to keep moving forward.

Your Strengths and abilities

What are your strengths and abilities? What comes naturally to you and doesn’t really cost you too much effort? What have others told you that you do well?

Whether it is motivating people, art, dance, organizing things, public speaking, or cooking, figure out what that is for you and use it to your advantage. These are resources you have available now that will help you excel at what you do, increase your confidence, and build more success.

Things that help those around you

What could the world around you do with more of? In what ways could people benefit from your unique skills and abilities? What can you do or provide that people would be willing to pay for?

Now that you’ve done some brainstorming for each of the areas, carry out the following Venn diagram exercise.



In the top left circle, list Things you are Passionate about. In the top right circle, list Your Strengths and abilities. In the bottom circle, list the Things that help those around you. Lastly, in the inner overlapping circle, make note of a few items that cover all three areas. These are possible career goals you might want to consider! The items in the overlapping center are the Things you should do more of!


Richard Martinez

Transformational Expert

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Life is an experience that is dictated by rules. As children, things are usually simple because for the most part we either live by our parents’ rules, or by academic ones. As we grow up, even more rules such as religious ones or professional ones enter the fray. In a perfect world, all these different rules would exist as steadfast standards which are easy for everyone to follow. For as long as rules exist however, human nature will compel us all to break them, whether intentionally or unintentionally.

There’s no escaping it

This inevitable fact is the reason why confrontation exists. Confrontation is a process that happens when people who fail to follow specific rules or social expectations require correction. Confrontation is particularly unavoidable for anyone in leadership because authority happens to be intrinsically tied to enforcement. This is to say that leaders have a duty both to conceive the policies that guide a given group of people, as well as to ensure that established policies aren’t violated or disregarded. Effective confrontation skills aren’t just an asset to leadership, but a requirement. A strong leader should be capable of confronting people in ways that simultaneously prevent conflict, and solve apparent problems.

Because people tend to perceive confrontation as a spontaneous conversation, they often approach this event without any preparation. However confrontation by its very nature is a negotiation. It’s a debate that is best conducted through factual and sober discourse rather than animosity. Here are five essential steps any leader should follow in order to confront others constructively:

1. Be Clinical:

The circumstances which lead up to confrontation are often emotive. Those with an obligation to initiate confrontation likely feel offended whereas those who get confronted are bound to feel defensive upon accusation. Allowing these emotions to influence the dialogue of confrontation will spiral the encounter into a power struggle. Even before deciding to confront someone, make a deliberate effort to detach yourself from all emotion in order to analyze the situation objectively and develop a strategy that will minimize or eliminate tension.

2. Identify the Problem:

Never involve yourself in the unpredictability of confrontation without a definitive understanding of what rules have been broken, and the exact problems said broken rules produce. A vague understanding of precisely what a confrontation should achieve not only leaves you vulnerable to aimless quarreling, it can prompt you to initiate personal attacks in lieu of having a justifiable argument to defend. Once you’ve identified specific problems to tackle, draft a series of solutions or compromises that would best restore order to the affected relationship.

3. Make Contact:

Confrontation can only happen if it’s actually initiated. Once you have a game plan in place, it’s up to you to choose the right place at the right time, and meet with the necessary people to discuss any issues. Don’t make contact suddenly. As much as possible, choose an appropriate time that allows for discreet and extensive dialogue should the confrontation become time-consuming.

4. Use Neutral Language:

Once confrontation has commenced, it is extremely important to remember that emotions do not belong anywhere in the conversation. This doesn’t just encompass attitude, it involves deliberate use of language as well. For instance, replacing “you” statements with less-direct statements deflects the embarrassment of feeling blamed. Consider the following two accusations:

  • You waste a lot of electricity because you never shutdown your computer before locking up.
  • The computers have to be shutdown properly before locking up in order to save electricity.

The second less-direct statement allows an accused person to save face while clearly highlighting their mistake. Neutral language keeps heads cool and fosters mature engagement during confrontation.

5. Stay On Topic:

Simulating a confrontation and participating in one are two different circumstances altogether. Whether or not things go as planned, confronting someone face-to-face is an interactive process which can sidetrack for any number of reasons. Even if it means having notes written down on a clipboard, remember to stay focused on the central objectives of a confrontation in an impartial way. Address the problems at hand and not the person. Avoid taking on a hardline or forceful approach unless it is an absolute last resort. Confrontations conducted through diplomacy and composure generate more enduring resolutions than those which feature intimidation and coercion.

Confrontation may be volatile, but that doesn’t mean it’s unmanageable. A tactical approach helps reduce the chances of getting stuck in contentious arguments with defensive people. The most important goal isn’t to get one’s way in the end, but to conclusively solve the problems which create a need for confrontation in the first place. Check out more of RISE Programs’ Blogs for helpful advice on leadership, and remember to spread the word by sharing this post.

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If you keep up with the news at all, the word hacking is something that probably rings alarm bells in your head by now. And if it doesn’t… it should. Recent trends indicate that virtually any and every computer system in the world is vulnerable to intrusion by unseen bandits lurking in the shadows. In fact, every new incident of data breaches is so sensational, it’s understandable if anyone is distracted from the big picture of how many people are cumulatively affected by this dilemma. Just to give a few notable examples:

  • Up to 70 Million Target Corporation customers lost personal information due to cyberattacks in November of 2013.
  • Up to 143 Million Equifax users lost personal information due to cyberattacks in May of 2017.
  • Up to 145 Million eBay users lost personal information due to cyberattacks in March of 2014.
  • Up to 152 Million Adobe Systems users lost personal information due to cyberattacks in October of 2013.
  • Up to 3 Billion Yahoo! users lost personal information due to cyberattacks in August of 2013.

For some who held simultaneous accounts with these, and the many other organizations that have suffered data-breaches, the risk of identity-theft and other problems is actually overlapping. There has never been a more urgent time to become smart about how you share, and protect, sensitive personal information with others. Here are some common sense precautions to take in order to protect yourself from cyberattacks:

  1. Don’t Volunteer Information:

One of the easiest ways for hackers to access sensitive information is by attacking companies that don’t prioritize safeguarding it. If you make a habit of providing detailed information to any website or company that requests you to create a profile, you’ll inevitably end up exposed by the fact that your data is scattered across a wide network of sites. When requested information on a form is optional, don’t fill it out. If it’s clear that a company only wants details about you for marketing purposes, don’t provide it. The less corporations know about you, the smaller the target on your back.

2.                   Maintain your Devices:

Smart technology has become a part of daily life. Not only does your computer contain sensitive information about you, but so does anything that connects to Wi-Fi, including: phones, cars, tablets, streaming devices, televisions, and so on. Always makes sure to update the operating systems on these devices and replace their default firewalls with sophisticated antivirus security suites.

3.                   Disable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth when Devices are Idle:

Wireless connectivity provides a backdoor for anyone with the right equipment to access and corrupt electronics without anyone’s knowledge. Unless you are actively using Wi-Fi on an a device, make sure to disable it before setting it aside, or switching it off. Not only does this significantly reduce the odds of hackers infiltrating your technology, it also decreases costs charged by service providers for data-use.

4.                   Use Two-Factor authentication:

Two-factor authentication is a security measure that requires multiple steps in a password-entry process. Rather than relying on a single password that can be easily deciphered by attackers, two-factor authentication generates a second temporary password via phone or email. This ensures that the user entering a password on a given account is genuine. Two-factor authentication makes it difficult for any hacker in a remote location to access a personal account.

5.                   Inspect the Webpages You Visit:

Before you ever decide to click any buttons on a webpage, always assess it to determine whether it’s been disguised for phishing. This is especially crucial before using any websites for financial transactions or sensitive communication. If you notice anything peculiar on a web page such as typos, altered appearance or inconsistent information, desist from browsing immediately until you can ascertain whether it’s been hacked.

It’s time to face facts. Hacking is a new frontier in criminal activity that isn’t about to diminish anytime soon. Considering that the bad guys aren’t about to let up on victimizing people online, we all have a responsibility as individual consumers to be tactical about our online activity. Any information about you is as valuable as currency in today’s society, so start treating it as such. Check out more of RISE Programs’ Blogs for helpful advice on consumer awareness and remember to spread the word by sharing this post.

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Leadership & Strategy

Book: Leadership & Strategy – Lessons from Alexander the Great

Author: Leandro P. Martino

This is an interesting book because it has modern examples of leadership drawn from Alexander III of Macedon’s legacy. There isn’t really anything new on leadership in this book, but its real-life stories from Alexander’s era, and his war strategies, make it stand out from typical tutorials on leadership. The author highlights how Alexander the Great achieved his various conquests. Naturally this story is rich with insights on leadership.

This book on Alexander the Great’s character illustrates just how important it is to be intentional about leadership strategy in business.

I like exploring strategy, especially strategy that helps you win! This book reveals what it takes to have the demeanor and character of a true leader. I learned a lot from reading this book and I know others will too. Enjoy.

Richard Martinez

Transformation Expert

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