Archive for the Category ◊ Advice ◊

• Monday, January 13th, 2014

NEWS FLASH: We have a new blog home page!

We are still Ask The Strategist, only now, the site is autonomously run by the Publisher/Editor, Kesi Stribling.

“The decision to move Ask The Strategist from the direct affiliation with KSG Strategic Consulting enables us to reach a wider audience, many of whom are current fans and followers of our media brands outside of KSG,” says Stribling.

The newly refurbished Ask The Strategist will continue to feature posts on business, entrepreneurship, careers, and women, however, one of the additional benefits is a group of new guest bloggers, who will provide content on a number of industries and specialties, including diversity and nutrition.

Our first guest blogger, Delise, is a college student who will share her experiences navigating her internship and school during her semester-long stay in South Africa, beginning in February 2014. Her video blog will be housed under the new section on careers for college students.

What does this mean for you, our subscribers?

All subscribers on the current Ask The Strategist blog (www.ksgsc.com/AskTheStrategist) will be sent a link and instructions for subscribing to/following the new site for Ask The Strategist (http://askthestrategist.wordpress.com). Support is available to answer any questions, or resolve difficulties signing up for the new blog, although a smooth transition for subscribers is anticipated.

Follow the new Ask The Strategist Blog now

Read our first post on the new site:
Ready, Set, Compete: American Express OPEN Forum Shares Tips  to Maximize 2014
http://askthestrategist.wordpress.com/2014/01/10/ready-set-compete-2014

NOTE: We are still in the process of migrating most content over to the new site. Until we have completed this process, archived blog posts may be retrieved from the former blog website. The site will be discontinued and inaccessible once this process is finished with, or without, advanced notice.

Thank you for your support, subscription, and reading our posts since Ask The Strategist debuted in 2011. We look forward to your continued interest and feedback.

Sincerely,

ASK THE STRATEGST Blog Team
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. I am a current subscriber to Ask The Strategist. Will I be automatically added to the new site?

Because subscribers have to opt-in to receive blog posts, we ask that you visit our new home page, enter your email, and click “subscribe.” You will receive an email asking you to confirm your subscription. Once you do, you will begin receiving new blog posts from Ask The Strategist.

>>> Click here to subscribe now

2. Will I still receive blog post notifications from Ask The Strategist?

If you opt to continue your subscription on our new site, your blog notifications will not be interrupted. Once you have subscribed to the new blog, we will terminate your subscription on the old site.

You will also receive one final notification from us if you have not subscribed to the new blog by January 31, 2014.

3. How long do I have before I have to switch to the new site?

We are still migrating pertinent content over to the new Ask The Strategist blog site. You are strongly encouraged to activate your subscription to the new site as soon as possible.

The site will be shut down once we have completed migrating posts over to the new Ask The Strategist home page. So, don’t delay!

4. Will Ask The Strategist share my information with sponsors and advertisers?

No, Ask The Strategist will never share your contact information with our advertisers and sponsors.

5. I would like be a guest logger on Ask The Strategist. Whom should I contact?

While we have most of our guest bloggers for 2014, if you have demonstrated writing experience on issues that would be a good fit for the blog (i.e. entrepreneurship, careers, health, community, diversity, current events, youth, and women), please contact us. Be sure to include links to your blog or writing samples.

 

DISCLAIMER: ASK THE STRATEGIST is a blog that highlights information on business, entrepreneurship, careers and the workplace, health, community,
and women. Any content or advice dispensed through Ask The Strategist is solely for informational and entertainment purposes. Never miss ASK THE STRATEGIST
blog posts! Have them delivered to your inbox by subscribing.

• Monday, December 09th, 2013

Staying productive while snowed-in

You can stay productive while snowed-in today!

Many of us along the Eastern seaboard are stuck inside after a brutal snowfall over the weekend, resulting in slick streets, icy roads, and general weather yuckiness. Sure, we would like to go out and make snow angels with the kids, or catch up on some guilty pleasure TV (cue the Housewives of whatever city), but the truth of the matter is that we still have to work.

So, here are five tips to keep you focused and productive while you are stuck indoors working.

Play first, then work

If you are like me, snow is actually a welcomed friend that I’m happy to see. So, to shake off the excitability and get focused, allow yourself time to revel at the winter wonderland for a few moments, including calling your loved ones to commiserate, and then get your workspace ready and operational. Having satisfied the kid inside of you before getting to work, you can reduce the urge to stray away from work.

Prioritize your day

You probably prioritize work responsibilities anyway, so tweak your agenda to include unanticipated interruptions, scheduling a play date for the kids because school is closed, shoveling the sidewalk, impromptu office teleconferences, and altered project due dates. If you are the most productive early in the morning, work on the most complicated tasks, or the assignments that take the most time to complete, at the beginning of the day.

Give yourself a break

For some people, working solo at home means that they can work nonstop with little interruption. That means progress, right? Sometimes, it can lead to burnout, brain freeze and frustration. So, schedule brief reprieves during your home-day workday. Take a coffee or tea break, make sure you have a bite to eat for lunch, and give those fast fingers a break from your smartphone, tablet, or laptop.

Stay connected

Staying connected with co-workers and team members while working from home during bad weather creates camaraderie, and keeps you on task. Checking in also helps you stay in touch on project updates, gain management input, and inspire collaboration through trading ideas in a more relaxed environment (your home!) and one-on-one conversations that may not happen during a normal day at work.

In addition, if snowy weather gets you down, staying connected to co-workers can help ease the effects of cabin fever.

Establish a routine and stick with it

Discipline can be tough in the best of circumstances. Staying on task when working alone at home can test your resolve, so it is a good idea to establish a work routine – especially if you anticipate being at home for more than one day – to help you keep on track with expectations from your supervisor, client, and colleagues on your project team.

Do you have any tips that help you productive during a wild weather shut-in? Share in the comment section below, or Tweet us @CareerConnectDC using hashtag #CCSnowDay.

DISCLAIMER: ASK THE STRATEGIST is a blog that highlights information on business, entrepreneurship, careers and the workplace, health, community, and women’s issues. Any content or advice dispensed through Ask The Strategist is solely for informational and entertainment purposes. All content is the property of Ask The Strategist and affiliated companies unless otherwise noted. We occasionally address questions from our readers and subscribers in posts. Send your question or conundrum  via video or regular email to ask@ksgsc.com. All submissions become the property of Ask The Strategist. Names and other identifying information may be changed to protect the person asking for advice.

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• Friday, December 06th, 2013
Sneak Peek: Super Soul Sunday with Oprah Winfrey and Howard Schultz

Ask The Strategist has been given an exclusive preview of Oprah  Winfrey’s interview with Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz on Super Soul Sunday, which airs this Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 11 a.m. ET on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network. Winfrey sits down with Schultz, who shares the story of his inspiring rise from the housing projects in Brooklyn, New York, to his current role as a successful entrepreneur, global thought leader, and innovator.

Schultz will share the leadership lessons he’s learned while guiding this iconic brand for more than three decades, discussing how an emphasis on ethics, authenticity and a people-before-profit philosophy helped to grow and sustain his multi-billion dollar company.

Reflecting on his #1 New York Times bestseller, “Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life Without Losing Its Soul,” Schultz recounts the story behind the global coffee company’s comeback in 2008, when he decided to return as the CEO to help restore Starbucks’ core values and mission to inspire and nurture the human spirit – “one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time.”

 

Oprah Winfrey with Howard Schultz. Photo Credit © Harpo Studios, Inc./George Burns

Following are three excerpts and video clips of Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Howard Schultz on Super Soul Sunday on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.

EXCERPT: One of Howard’s Principles: “Don’t Be Threatened By People Smarter Than You”

OPRAH: And I know that you’re guided by your own values and your own set of principles.  There are four that you talk about that I love: Don’t be threatened by people smarter than you. Can you speak to that?

HOWARD: You can’t build any kind of organization if you’re not gonna surround yourself with people who have experience and skill base beyond your own.  Only as if those people have like-minded values.

OPRAH: That is the key to starting anything.

HOWARD: That’s the key.  And I think when you discover perhaps that these people do not have those values, then you have to have a very quick conversation.  And if they don’t demonstrate that kind of behavior, not everyone deserves to be on the team.

OPRAH: Compromise anything but your core values.  That’s what you say.

HOWARD: Short-term success is not going to build long-term value for anyone.  And we live in an age where everything is based on the short term.  And I think what we’re trying to do and what we’ve demonstrated is very –

OPRAH: You had to fight that in your own culture.

HOWARD: We did.

OPRAH: Yeah.

HOWARD: It’s hard to do.

View the video: “Don’t Be Threatened by People Smarter Than You”

EXCERPT: Howard on the Importance of a Leader to be Vulnerable

OPRAH: You say it’s important as a leader –

HOWARD: To be vulnerable.

OPRAH: — to be vulnerable. Where’d you learn that?

HOWARD: Well, when I stood up in front of people and I — I apologized and started crying that first week.

OPRAH: Which is not what CEO’s do.

HOWARD: Especially men. I think we’re taught as men to — you know, but I think vulnerability is transparency.  And what I said earlier is I think the currency of leadership is transparency and you’ve got to be truthful. So I don’t think it’s — I don’t think you should be vulnerable every day.

OPRAH: Right.

HOWARD: But there are moments where you’ve got to share your soul and your conscience with people and show them who you are and not be afraid of it.

View the video: The Importance of a Leader to be Vulnerable

EXCERPT:  Howard finding Starbucks at a “Spiritual Crisis” Upon His Return to the Company in 2008

OPRAH: Would you say that Starbucks was in a spiritual crisis?

HOWARD: Yes, I would.

OPRAH: Mm-hmm.

HOWARD: And I would say that — I would also say that most of the problems we had were self-induced mistakes.  And I stood in front of the entire employee base of the company, our partners, and said — apologized for, as leaders, that we had let them and their families down.  But we were gonna return the company back to its glory days.

OPRAH: Okay.  So in those days where you knew the company — the company had lost its way –

HOWARD: Yes.

OPRAH: – was in its own spiritual crisis, did you debate whether or not you should jump back in or not?  I know — I know –

HOWARD: First of all, I never planned to come back to Starbucks.  But, again, this is about love.

OPRAH: Because you’d stepped down at CEO.

HOWARD: I did.  This is about love.  This is about passion.  This is about responsibility.  And it’s about leadership.  And there was no second thought whatsoever.  I came back to lead the company back.  But I also needed help from others. And I needed people to believe.  And we started doing things that were quite unorthodox, uncharacteristic of a company that was in trouble, especially during the financial crisis.

View the video: Starbucks Spiritual Crisis

Find OWN in your area

For more information about Super Soul Saturday, visit:

http://www.oprah.com/own-super-soul-sunday/super-soul-sunday.html

DISCLAIMER: ASK THE STRATEGIST is a blog that highlights information on business, entrepreneurship, careers and the workplace, health, community, and women’s issues. Any content or advice dispensed through Ask The Strategist is solely for informational and entertainment purposes. All content is the property of Ask The Strategist and affiliated companies unless otherwise noted. We occasionally address questions from our readers and subscribers in posts. Send your question or conundrum  via video or regular email to ask@ksgsc.com. All submissions become the property of Ask The Strategist. Names and other identifying information may be changed to protect the person asking for advice.

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• Monday, December 03rd, 2012
Franchises 101 on The Strategy Sessions Radio Show on Tuesday, December 4, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. ET

Click on the image to listen live/download the podcast

Entrepreneur Magazine has listed the top 500 franchises in the United States for 2012, including Subway, 7-Eleven, and Servpro.

Listen live/download podcast

The number of franchises continues to grow; however, there is a lot to know before investing money, time, and effort to own a business and ensure profitability.

The Strategy Sessions radio show welcomes founding partners of Arnold Sai Law Firm LLP Justin Arnold, Esq. and Sai Pidatala, Esq. to share insight on the pitfalls to avoid when purchasing a franchise; operational issues that impact businesses; and, what businesses should do to close out 2012. The Strategy Sessions radio show is hosted by Washington, DC entrepreneur Kesi Stribling.

 

Have a question or comment for our guests?

Call (347) 539-5143

Email talkback@ksgsc.com

Tweet us @KesiStribling

For more information about our guests, including their bios, visit www.ksgsc.com/thestrategysessions.

 

DISCLAIMER: ASK THE STRATEGIST is a blog that highlights information on business, entrepreneurship, careers and the workplace, health, community, and women’s issues. Any content or advice dispensed through Ask The Strategist is solely for informational and entertainment purposes. All content is the property of Ask The Strategist and affiliated companies unless otherwise noted, and may not be reproduced without express written permission from the author(s).

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• Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

 

What successful people do with the first hour of their workday

How do you begin your day?

ASK THE STRATEGIST: When people conjure up images of successful business moguls, we often envision them waking up in the morning, reaching across a sleeping spouse to check their iPhones, and thus, the power plays begin. Kevin Purdy, blogger for Lifecompany, says that truly successful people take a moment to be reflective, and that surely does not include compulsively checking email first thing in the morning.

 

What successful people do with the first hour of their workday

by Kevin Purdy – Lifecompany – August 22, 2012

How much does the first hour of every day matter? As it turns out, a lot. It can be the hour you see everything clearly, get one real thing done, and focus on the human side of work rather than your task list. Read the entire post>> >

 

Talk back to us: How do you start your day? Tell us in the comments section below.

© Copyright 2012 Ask The Strategist™

 

DISCLAIMER: ASK THE STRATEGIST is a blog that addresses business, career, workplace and etiquette issues. Any advice dispensed by Ask The Strategist is purely for informational and entertainment purposes. Take the advice and opinions at your own risk – and betterment! Follow @KesiStribling or @CareerConnectDC on Twitter. Post your questions/email your conundrum/send your question via video to ask@ksgsc.com. All submissions become the property of Ask The Strategist. Names and other identifying information may be changed to protect the person asking for advice.

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• Monday, August 06th, 2012

 

In an era of seemingly uncivil people (cue slap fest on The Real Housewives of New Jersey), I recently stumbled upon Rules of Civility: The 110 Precepts That Guided Our First President in War and Peace, edited by Richard Brookhiser.

Originally published in 1997, with a healthy update from Brookhiser in 2003, Rules of Civility pre-empted the onslaught of reality television, and stories of soccer moms behaving badly on the field. This book takes a refreshing look at sage advice President George Washington followed, which he first found as a child in the 1700s.

While a few rules appear outdated (rule #9 – spit not into the fire, nor stoop low before it), the majority of the ‘rules’ are practical ways of living…and conducting business affairs. More than a primer in etiquette, Rules of Civility focuses more on the motivation beyond the action. For example, rule #23 admonishes that “when you see a crime punished, you may be inwardly pleased, but always show pity to the suffering offender.” The motivation is to treat others the way you would want to be treated.

Here are the top five career-related rules:

1. Rule #12: Shake not your head, feet, or legs, roll not the eyes, lift not one eyebrow higher than the other, wry not the mouth, and bedew no man’s face with your spittle by approaching too near him when you speak

These are a few non-verbal communication no-no’s that job seekers and entrepreneurs meeting with potential investors should avoid.

2. Rule #15: Keep your nails clean and short, also your hands and teeth clean, yet without showing any great concern for them.

Be neat, tidy, and professionally garbed when you interview for a job, or go to work everyday; however, take care not to overly emphasize your appearance, for it can make you appear conceited and superficial.

3. Rule #35: Let your discourse with men of business be short and comprehensive.

Brevity, when speaking with business leaders – men and women – is always a plus.

4. Rule #40: Strive not with your superiors in argument, but always submit your judgment to others with modesty.

The boss – or customer – is always right. Also, do not be heavy handed with your judgment, so as not to embarrass your co-workers or become the office know-it-all.

5. Rule #82: Undertake not what you cannot perform but be careful to keep your promise.

Enough said.

Which of these rules hit home the most for you?

© Copyright 2012 Ask The Strategist™

 

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• Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

It’s National Career Development Month

It's National Career Development Month

Today, November 30, 2011, is the last day of National Career Development Awareness Month.

In an effort to encourage young people and adults to take charge of their professional careers, the month was chock full of activities, including a poetry and poster contest, My Career Dreams, sponsored by the National Career Development Association.

Why celebrate career development awareness only in November? I exhort you – job seekers and those who are content with their careers – to use this month as a kick off for becoming, and staying, empowered about your choices for your career. Following are 10 things you can do to boost your career:

 Talk to your mentor about your career pursuits and advice
 Review job announcements for positions in which you are interested
 Visit your college Career Services office (students and alumni, alike)
 Begin developing your career plan
 Apply for an internship or volunteer
 Shadow an employee at work
 Take a continuing education class
 Get a certificate in an area of interest
 Update your resume
 Overhaul your social media sites to make sure they are professional

For more resources and tips to strengthen your career, visit our Career Connect website. Did these tips help you? Do you have a tip for us? Let ASK THE STRATEGIST KNOW by commenting below.

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• Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

Dealing with your ‘in the meantime’ malaise

Make good use of your time while climbing that mountain!

It’s pretty hard to focus on the world around us when we are going through a challenging time, including lacking luck in finding a job. Whether it’s a job search, stagnant sales, or any of life’s challenges, we can be heavily burdened by our fear, stress, and uncertainty.

Therefore, I challenge you to alter your way of thinking, embrace the challenge, and be proactive in the meantime. You know, your in the meantime – time spent in your holding pattern until you achieve your goal. So, here are some tips for springing into action, whether you feel like it or not, to endure and thrive during your in the meantime.

1.         Volunteer

If you are looking for a job and having no luck, continue to improve your skill set by identifying volunteer opportunities. You may be involved in your home owner’s association, place of worship, or children’s school lunch volunteer program.

Participate in your high school’s career day, and speak to youth about your career successes and challenges. If the school does not have a career day, start one! You never know if it will lead to a new career opportunity hand delivered to you by a high school alumnus who has an opening at his job that matches your qualifications and interests. Even if it does not, at least you have developed organizational and interpersonal skills planning the career day that you can reflect on your resume.

2.         Improve your community

One of the best ways to shake off the sullenness is to focus on others. Use your energy to help improve your community. Whether hosting a neighborhood watch program with the local police, or encouraging neighbors to participate in a community clean up, your efforts will benefit those around you.

 3.         Educate yourself

Education does not have to be in the form of a four-year degree. You can sign up for a certificate program in your career field, or general interests. Your in the meantime allows for you to participate in a class you never made time to take while you were working, including website design or learning a foreign language. Your leisurely classes can also be an added benefit to your knowledge, skills, and abilities.

4.         Improve yourself

Your in the meantime can lead you to explore ways to improve who you are. There is now time to explore your purpose and connectedness with others. It is a great opportunity to reinstate family dinnertime, reading a book, and building relationships with loved ones.

Developing your In The Meantime Plan

No matter how you choose to make the best of your in the meantime, there are three steps to help you make the best of your decisions: conceptualize, strategize, and implement.

Conceptualize what it is you want to do or pursue, like organize a book drive for the local library or joining a board of directors. What is it you want to do? Is it a benefit to your in the meantime? Next, strategize your approach. Who should you talk to in order to get started? How much time do you want to spend on the in the meantime activity? Finally, implement your plan. It is great to identify positive ways to occupy yourself in the meantime; however, all will be for naught if you do not follow through with your endeavors.

How have you dealt with your in the meantime? Let us know in the comments section.

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• Friday, July 15th, 2011

Glen MacDonell from AAA joins The Strategy Sessions for a discussion on travel tips

THE STRATEGY SESSIONS RADIO SHOW: Summer Travel Tips From AAA

Tuesday, July 19, 2011 – 11:00 – 11:30 a.m. EST

Glen MacDonell, Director of Travel Programs and Alliances at AAA,is the featured guest on the next episode of The Strategy Sessions radio show. He will discuss summer travel strategies, budgeting travel for your family, and ways to maximize your entire trip. Whether you are taking a vacation or remaining in your town for a staycation, you won’t want to miss any AAA suggestions for having fun, while employing cost-saving travel planning.

The Strategy Sessions radio show - Tuesday, July 19, 2011 11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. EST

Connect with us!

LISTEN LIVE: www.blogtalkradio.com/thestrategysessions

CALL IN with questions: (805) 285-9841

For more information, visit www.ksgsc.com/thestrategysessions.

• Wednesday, May 18th, 2011
Does your business have a disaster plan (part 2)?
Tune in for The Strategy Sessions on Tuesday, May 24, 2011 at 11:00 a.m. EST as we welcome Millicent W. West, Director of the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency for the District of Columbia.
   

THE STRATEGY SESSIONS: Does Your Business Have a Disaster Plan (part 2)?

Millicent W. West Director of the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency in the District of Columbia

 

Join us on May 24, 2011 for Does Your Business Have a Disaster Plan (part 2)?

TOPICS:

1. What the DC Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency is doing to aid disaster planning efforts

2. The new terrorism alert program

3. The best approach to creating and implementing a disaster plan for  business

4. Resources to help businesses, nonprofit organizations, and community groups with disaster planning

5. Disaster planning for families 

Connect with us!

LISTEN to the show live: http://tobtr.com/s/1886249

CALL-IN with questions: (805) 285-9841

TWEET your questions during the show: www.twitter.com/KesiStribling

Read Diector West’s full bio: www.ksgsc.com/thestrategysessions

The Strategy Sessions: www.blogtalkradio.com/thestrategysessions

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