12 Questions for Mentoring Success

May 17, 2019

The articles frequently say that mentors give advice and sponsors give opportunity. This isn’t always the case. Based on my experience and research working with hundreds of mentors and thousands of mentees, I have found that the most successful mentoring relationships are rooted in a two-way dialog where mentors and mentees ask each other (and themselves) questions that result in career-advancing insights and opportunities for the mentee. Here are some examples.

Questions Mentors Should Ask Their Mentees

  • What do you want to achieve for yourself, your team and your company? This question allows both mentors and mentees to zoom in on specific strategies and behavioral changes that are in tune with the mentee’s goals. It moves the conversation from general to specific.
  • Why is this goal important to you, your team and the company? In asking this question, the mentor is doing a non-threatening reality check. He or she is helping the mentee assess if the goal is worth the effort needed to make it happen.
  • What difference will achieving your goals make? This question opens up a big-picture discussion about what is likely to happen when the mentee’s goals are achieved. It allows the mentee to assess the potential impact personally, professionally and corporately. It’s not uncommon for possible negative outcomes to surface (e.g., more time away from the family). These are not necessarily deal-breakers, but they are needed eye-openers.

Questions Mentors Should Ask Themselves

Too often mentor/mentee relationships are defined by the mentor telling the mentee what to do. In my experience, these are the least successful relationships as they tend to be short-lived and disappointing. For best results, mentors need to think of themselves as listeners and sounding boards, helping their mentees broaden their horizons. Asking themselves questions like these will help mentors successfully fill those roles:…

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3 Mentoring Relationships that Matter Most for Women

May 14, 2019

Having worked with hundreds of organizations and thousands of talented women for over 25 years, I have found that in order for women to realize their career goals and to become active contributors to corporate success, they need three distinct types of mentors.

1. Operational mentors

Operational mentors provide advice and counsel on the right way to get the job done and the obstacles to avoid while getting it done. These mentors are women or men who can help with the day-to-day problems that arise as a woman strives to excel in her responsibilities. They are especially valuable as she moves into different positions and may feel uncertain about the best ways to handle her new job.  

In selecting operational mentors, women should look for someone who has succeeded at the particular job function and who is currently tuned in to both best practices for that job and to industry-wide trends. Operational mentors can come from within the organization or from other companies. 

2. Strategic mentors

Strategic mentors help a woman gain greater insight into what the business is all about and which of her talents and skills best dovetail with corporate needs. The primary role of strategic mentors is to help women learn to connect with influential leaders within the organization. These mentors work with a woman to develop strategies that make her more visible to the right people at the right time so that corporate leaders see her as a needed asset to growth and profitability. In other words, strategic mentors help women understand how to get noticed by those who matter.

In seeking out strategic mentors, women should look to those who understand both the obvious and subtle workings of the organization. They should ensure that the mentor is someone they respect and trust; and that he …

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5 Books That Helped Me Build a Multimillion Dollar Business

May 9, 2019

I know first hand what it’s like to start businesses and have them fail. As someone who has built a multimillion dollar business without ever taking any outside capital or having mentors, I’m able to confidently attibute a large part of my success to the books I’ve read over the years. 

I believe not having mentors is a big hurdle to success. Fortunately, thousands of people who are experts in different areas share knowledge that can directly help you as an entrepreneur. People who would normally charge hundreds or thousands of dollars for their time, happily share valuable knowledge in books for $20. 

As a new entrepreneur, the best thing you can do is begin discovering and learning about psychology, business, and human behavior, which all help contribute to a successful business. 

Below are five important books that entrepreneurs need to read.

The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber

Entrepenreurs fall into the trap of doing everything themself instead. Author Michael Gerber tackles the idea of building systems in your business rather than relying on a person. If your business is only surviving because of your skills, you’re not running a business – you’re working in one. 

You should have a system in place from day one that will allow for anyone to step in and do your job. Like Gerber states, you should begin think of yourself as a franchiseIf and systemize all parts of your business. If you have this mindset, you can organize things correctly.

Having important systems in place will allow you to step out of the role of a technician (someone who does things themselves) and into the role of a manager/operator. 

Contagious – Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger

As an entrepreneur, marketing is an important part of your business. To be good at …

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20 Top Career Paths for the Tech Geeks

May 1, 2019

Are you looking for an attractive career opportunity to pursue? Keep on reading and find out some of the best career paths that will work best for you.

1. Data scientist

By being a data scientist, you will need to understand the algorithms behind data science, engineer data sets and communicate solutions that are tailor-fitted to the specific needs of the client. You can work with big brands and you can also choose to pursue a freelance career if you are seeking freedom. To start with, check out MastersinDataScience.org’s Data Scientist Guide and learn how the latter can help you build your knowledge and skills to be able to pursue an opportunity in data science.

2. Computer systems analyst

In this modern age of business, companies rely on the use of computers. Therefore, they will need an expert with the main responsibility of evaluating and improving the computer systems in an organization, making sure that it is fool-proof. According to Forbes, the median salary is $78,000 and the demand for this position is expected to grow as much as 22% from 2010 to 2020.

3. Software developer

When we talk about jobs for tech whizzes, being a software developer is one of the first things that come into mind. If you are good at programming and creating software solutions that will meet the needs of an organization, you are in for a treat. Some of the specific job roles include coding and testing new software, troubleshooting existing software, and collaborating with the stakeholders to develop the right software.

4. Mobile application developer

In an age when people are always on their smartphones, there is a huge demand for a mobile application developer. Basically, you will need to develop a mobile app that satisfies the needs of a business. You …

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How to Build a Successful Technology Training Course

April 17, 2019

Learning a new skill is hard, especially when it comes to tech. Tech seems to change every day, and with the pace of change for technologies like the cloud, it sometimes feels impossible to stay on top of everything. Course students need to acquire tech skills fast, and one way they do this is through the online course format.

Online courses provide the student valuable knowledge on a subject but, if not conveyed accurately, can leave them feeling bored, inattentive or just confused.

I’ve been building online training courses for many years and have learned a lot along the way about how to create an engaging online training course on a technical subject. In this article, I’ll dive into some of the high-level pieces you can incorporate into your courses to make them stand out and leave students with a new skill rather than a waste of time.

1. Be real.

The first task to ensure your course works is to be real. Students want to learn from someone who’s been there, done that and speaks in a tone that’s relatable to them. Students don’t want to hear academic jargon and or attempts to impress them with how smart you are. Students want to feel like you’re close to their level, just slightly higher. They want to feel like, if they met you at some point, you could have a friendly chat with them, feeling like equals rather than like they’re talking to a “guru.”

2. Be entertaining.

No one wants to hear a monotone robot delivering dry, technical content to them. Even if your slides and demos are top-notch, if you fail to show enthusiasm in what you’re providing, students will zone out, become bored and fail to learn. Even if you’re recording late at night and had a …

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