Management 101

I just finished “Predictable Revenue” by Aaron Ross and Marylou Tyler, in anticipation of a meeting this week. It’s a primer on sales prospecting and a great read for managers and sales folks alike.

One point struck home with me, which Ross and Tyler actually attributed to “First Break All The Rules: What The World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently.” It’s by no means rocket science, but it pretty much summarized what I look for in a manager, and what I really haven’t experienced in quite some time.

1. Do I know what’s expected of me at work?

2. Do I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right?

3. At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day?

4. In the last seven days, have I received recognition or praise for good work?

5. Does my supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about me as a person?

6. Is there someone at work who encourages my development?

7. At work, do my opinions seem to count?

8. Does the mission/purpose of my company make me feel like my work is important?

9. Are my coworkers committed to doing quality work?

10. Do I have a best friend at work?

11. In the last six months, have I talked with someone about my progress?

12. At work, have I had opportunities to learn and grow?


The first six points speak to the role of the manager, and the latter six to employee satisfaction. And wow – it is exactly what I think about in job searching. When I meet with potential employers, I make it clear I am interviewing them as much as they are interviewing me. I want a manager who recognizes my work and wants me to succeed. I don’t need to be best friends with my manager, but one who cares about my life and ensures I have a good work/life balance would be ideal. And being able to excel – removing “systemic” barriers to allowing employees to use their skills is imperative to me.

I’ll do my best to keep the top six in mind as a manager, and I already use the last six, perhaps not in those exact terms to judge my satisfaction.  And I’ll have some questions to ask in my meeting this week!

Another Great Term In Job Descriptions

There is always the “other duties as assigned” line at the bottom of a job description, but today I got a huge kick after repeatedly seeing  “desire to succeed” as a qualification for a job. Really?

I know there are people who do not care if they succeed, but I seriously doubt those folks are even looking for jobs. I don’t think there’s a lot of job seekers who are thinking, “Gosh, I want to fail!” Just sayin’.

A Little Inspriation

A friend posted this on Facebook, and I had to “steal it.”

Do not become subservient. Do not dwell on every tiny setback in the course of pursuing your chosen path. To do so would be foolish. Victory or defeat is determined by our entire lives. Moreover, our final years are the most crucial. What is enviable about the pretentious rich? What is great about conceited celebrities? What is admirable about political leaders who gained their positions of power by treating others with contempt? Dig right where you stand, for there lies a rich wellspring! – Daisaku Ikeda

Worst Interview Question. Ever.

About two months ago I was asked what I think is the worst interview question ever.

“Describe a time when you went above and beyond.”

Really? In customer/donor relations going above and beyond is what I do every day. I want each donor, volunteer, event attendee, committee member, and staff person to feel as though I have given them great service – what they service. Service that they deserve. So what would be above and beyond that?

I was completely stumped. I came up with something about working every angle possible to ensure we had enough wine for our event when one distributor couldn’t fulfill the entire donation commitment. But that’s not above and beyond, that’s making sure my event went off without a hitch. I used to do a few extra personalized mailings to thank and recruit blood donors, but I don’t think that’s above and beyond either.

It’s just doing a good job, and taking pride in my work. Perhaps that’s not so easy to find nowadays.


So I thought I’d try a new infographic resume, just to see what it would look like.  I am far from a graphic designer, so I have been playing with all of the apps out there. None seems perfect, of course – I’d prefer one that focused mostly on my experience and skills more than my “job timeline,” however, here are a few links to the ones I’ve been messing with.  I’ll be trying another one this evening (Kinzaa) that requires a bit more work to put it together – it may be the best one out there for that reason.

Here’s the link to my infographic. It’s not as flexible as I’d like in that I can only put two quotes on the page, and I’d move my skill chart higher on the page.

Here’s my page – I love the quotes but don’t love the simple skill listing.

Finally, here’s the Brazen Careerist’s Facebook App page. It’s by far the most simple – kinda like Facebook itself.

Being Direct vs Being a Jerk

The Daily Beast posted the classic story on the perception of women in the workplace when they are assertive, direct and less apologetic. The results – women who cut out the niceties such as Please, Thanks and I’m Sorry often get more respect in the workplace – to a point. Push that assertiveness to the point of being disagreeable, and it will come back to bite women. But not men.

I see why being assertive works. Completely. It makes total sense. If it’s my job to delegate something, and your job to do it, I really don’t need to say please and thank you, nor should I be apologetic for tasking you. That’s doing my job, not being mean. And yet, I still nearly always sign my emails with a Thank You, and look for a “Please” from my manager and colleagues when they would like me to do something. I rarely get this from my manager (nor a thank you), and I find it incredibly aggravating.

I guess I am a sucker for being polite. When a greeter in a store opens the door, or wishes me a good morning, I always return the salutation, or look them in the eye and say thank you. It’s not pandering, or being meek, it’s being NICE. My mother the psychotherapist would call it co-dependent. I still call it being nice.

Interestingly,  when males fight or bully others it is more physical and direct. Female bullying is often referred to as “relational” bullying, and we fight on a much more emotional plane. Sociologically, women make “everything” a  relationship (I know, major generalization).

I’ve succeeded throughout my career because I am great at building relationships, and caring about my customers. Within those relationships I am appreciative and of course polite, but I am also direct and clearly define my expectations. That is why I succeed. It’s how I am able to increase sales, close long-standing business in the pipeline and affect customer (donor) loyalty. I make the ask – I don’t apologize for it at all.

One afternoon with my colleagues waiting to go to lunch and literally lined up at my cubicle, I asked my process champion at UPS what it would take to get them a contact. Nothing more, nothing less. She right then said she would purchase the product at XXX price, and I should get her a contract that day. My boss’ eyes just about popped out of his head when he heard me openly ask for the sale (we were not usually that direct), but of course he was terribly pleased with the result. And of course, I thanked her at the end of the call!

Clearly, there is a place for direct communication. Things get done when you say what you need to say. But there’s no excuse for not thanking someone for their contribution or assistance. And  there’s no need to demand things rudely when a simple “please” will go so far in their mind.

And on that note, thank you for reading, and oh, please help me find a job!


Thanks for stopping by!

I am an experienced non-profit director with broad expertise  in all areas of development, including special events, grassroots fundraising, individual and major giving. I bring direct experience in budgeting and expense control; strategic and operations planning; donor acquisition and cultivation; as well as brand management, social media, public relations and promotions.


  • Sales and Business Developmen
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  • Inbound Marketing  – Certified Inbound Marketing Specialist
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