Careers, Job Search, career advice, career management, entrepreneurs, negotiation, self employed, small business

Not a Born Negotiator? Ways to Create A Win/Win

Mary Rosenbaum | March 24th, 2014

Are you a born negotiator? Not many of us are. Even if you are good at it, how successful are you when you are negotiating for yourself in situations that are critical to you, your business, and your career as opposed to for your company or your clients?

I know as soon as the negotiation affects me personally, arriving at a compromise is not as easy as when I am arranging a new car lease or buying something from a street vendor. In each of those two situations, I can walk away. I will probably never see or deal with that person again. Neither my emotions nor my ego are invested in the results.

What about negotiations that deal with compensation, employment or client contracts, staffing an important project, or being part of a team? These are personal. The results can reflect on our ability to perform well. The results represent how we define ourselves and the value our employers or clients assign to us. How good are you in these and other situations that are more personal?

The definition of negotiation is a discussion aimed at reaching an agreement. The best possible result would be an agreement that benefits both parties involved. But have you ever been involved in a negotiation where you felt that your “give up” was greater than the other side? If this sounds familiar, ask yourself:

1. Did I ask for enough? Whether it’s asking for increased compensation, a higher fee, improved benefits, more time, additional help, new title or promotion, sometimes a small voice in your head warns you of overreaching, asking for more than you can get or deserve. If this is the case, you have already lost the negotiation before you sit down at the table. Managing your expectations realistically are necessary, but just make sure that you are not limiting yourself because of fear.

2. Did I have enough information? Did I do enough research on my topic? If it’s compensation or fee structure, did I do my homework on comparables? Did I understand the firm psychology and culture? Information provides you with the bargaining strength you need to ask for what you deserve. It also serves as validation for your ask.

3. Did I know what I really wanted the outcome to be? What did I specifically ask for? You need to define what you are willing to give up. What is absolutely non-negotiable? When you walk into that room know how much you can give up without feeling that you are being taken advantage of.

4. Did I communicate my arguments effectively, did I make a clear case? Did I communicate how the other side can benefit if I prevail? Always try to see it from the other side so you can understand their position and make sure your pitch is designed so that their needs are taken into consideration.

5. Did I handle the objections well? Preparation is key to anticipating what the objections might be so you can come up with the right answers that strengthen your case.

Are there other ways you prepare for these types of negotiations? We would love to hear them.

Utilizing her experience of over 25 years Mary Rosenbaum empowers careerists and entrepreneurs to gain greater clarity and more effectively communicate their unique promise of value. Strong leadership means leading with your strengths. Get her free report Top Strategies for Getting Visible and Getting Ahead.

Need help managing your career, contact me.


What’s Your Secret Sauce?

Mary Rosenbaum | April 18th, 2013
Power Up Your Personal and Corporate Brand

Panelists at the Hofstra Conference

We all like to think that the work we do and the service we provide is recognized and appreciated by those we work with and for.

Think about the people you work with, the professionals you encountered or hired, the people whose services you enlisted – which ones stand out in your mind? For me there are two types of standouts, each of them drive me to action. The first is a bad experience. I go out of my way to warn people away from those providers. The second and preferred standout is a great experience. I go out of my way to recommend them whenever I can. I like to reward a positive or great experience, don’t you? And that experience is not just limited to the actual service someone provides but it also includes the interaction I had with the person who actually did the work.

At a conference I spoke at yesterday initiated by Tanya Cole of the U.S. Commercial Service of the Department of Commerce, one of the discussions I led was about just that – the VALUE EXPERIENCE and how it impacts you, your career, and your business. It was held at Hofstra University’s Zarb School of Business and was well attended by women and men interested in exploring international expansion for their businesses and their careers. Each of the speakers (I’m seated in the middle) presented different tools, skills, and resources professionals and business owners need to achieve their goals. My area of focus, no surprise here, was how to power up and leverage their personal and corporate brands.

I defined Value as being made up of  two components. The first component of Value is the concrete - the actual work you do, the service you provide, the product you sell – the way you help those you work for or those you sell to, to solve some problem or fill some need. It’s the basics of what gets you in the game. What helps you differentiate you from everyone else is the second component of Value, and that’s the intangible part of the equation. I call it your secret sauce.

Your secret sauce is all about the experience others have working with you or buying from you. It’s what differentiates you from everybody else who does what you do, but can’t do it in the same way. It’s composed of the ingredients that are specific to the way you do your job, provide your service, or sell your products. It includes your history, your experiences, your unique skills and talents, your personality, how you make others feel, how you show them you care.

The Value experience makes someone recommend you, hire you, promote you, become your brand ambassador. It’s what drives them to action.

What’s your secret sauce? If you need help defining it, then contact me.


What Successful People Do

Mary Rosenbaum | May 8th, 2012

Why are some people more successful than others in getting what they want out of life? There are lots of reasons and I’m sure no matter how many I list, you will be able to think of others. One of the more important reasons is that people who are successful keep their eye on the prize. That is, they know what they want to accomplish and evaluate decisions that arise based on achieving those goals.

We live in a world that has so many distractions and a myriad of ways we can and do feel productive even when we really aren’t.  Cruising the web, reading countless articles and emails, posting on social media sites – it all makes you feel like you’re doing something important. But will these actions help you reach your goals?

Goals are our road map. They tell us which paths to take, which jobs to consider, which clients to take on, who we should meet or get to know, which skills we should learn, which talents we should highlight, which conferences or meetings we should attend, which associations we should join. The list is endless.

What is not endless is your time.

Identifying goals is the first step in taking control of your career or your business. It makes sense. If you don’t have a defined direction or path you want to take then your career or your business will be something that just “happens” to you. A rudderless boat can make it to shore if the tide is moving in the right direction. But would you take that chance?

Do what successful people do – keep your eye on the prize. Take the precious time you have and define your goals. A great way of looking at it is that goals provide you with the structure you need to design your career with purpose.

So take control and design your career. Take action, set goals with realistic timetables, review and revise the results, and achieve your desired objectives.

Is your life more serendipitous or have goals played the more important role? I know there are people who say that chance and luck played as important a role in their lives as goals. If you’re one of the “lucky” I would love to hear your story.

Get my free report on getting visible and getting ahead. Click on the links for more information about me and how we can work together whether you work inside an organization, are in sales, are an entrepreneur or a small business owner.


Personal Branding Boot Camp – February 4, 2012

Mary Rosenbaum | December 12th, 2011

Make 2012 the year you take control of your career or business!

Whether you know it or not, you already have a personal brand. But is it the brand or reputation you want or need to get ahead in your career or business?

Working on your career is as important as doing a great job at work. It is easy to get caught up with deadlines, projects, and the everyday world of family and friends. When did you last take the time to evaluate where you are going in your career? And even more importantly, do you have a clear understanding or awareness of where you are now, what makes you unique, how others view you, and how you want others to view you?

Give yourself the best gift possible for the New Year – an opportunity to take a step back so you can take an important step forward!

The goal of this workshop is to enable you to:

-       leverage your strengths

-       be more memorable

-       enjoy greater visibility

-       have greater self-confidence

-       deliver on your brand promise authentically

-       increase your self-awareness

-       stand out from the crowd

-       enjoy greater job/career fulfillment

Workshop details

The February 4 all day workshop is limited to a small group to facilitate learning and participation. Through individual and small group exercises, you will:

-       define your goals and construct an action plan to help you achieve them

-       understand your values, how they affect what you do, and how you do it

-       learn to inject your passions into your world of work

-       define how your skills, talents, and abilities differentiate you from the competition

-       identify your target audience and determine ways to reach them

-       clearly articulate how you want to be known

-       work on defining and building your personal brand

Fee Includes

  1. An interactive all day workshop including individual and group work exercises led by Mary Rosenbaum.
  2. A workbook you can continue using and modifying after the workshop is over.
  3. A 360Assessment (cost of $150.00 included in fee).*
  4. Of course, breakfast and lunch.

*See below for a detailed description of the 360Assessment

SIGN UP NOW

Feedback from former workshop participants

What they found valuable How did they change?
“Understanding my differentiator, what’s valuable and how to speak to it.”

“Stating my goals – that I can do it!”

“Personal branding and how it can help or hinder you in achieving your goals.”

“The 360 Assessment made me aware of how I come off to others.”

“The 360 let me see how others view me. It felt great.” (the 360 assessment was mentioned consistently in the reviews as a positive eye-opener)

“The section that asks you to do an action plan-forces you to review everything and decide what is most important to you.”

“Action planning around 360 feedback.”

“Understanding your differentiation-helps structure your brand.”

“Defining values and passions.”

“Personal stories and how they were inspired.”

“More aware of the impact I have on people.”

“More aware of what I project and how I have control.”

“Clarified what actions I need to take to achieve my goals.”

“Understanding the strengths I need to enhance.”

“More self-aware.”

“Be more confident and trust my instincts.”

“I have even more confidence that I am doing a great job and that people recognize it.”

“Being more aware of how I come off and continuing to build my brand.”

“A heightened sense of self-awareness.”

“Re-igniting my passions (I had lost sight of).”

“Living my values.”

“Identifying the strengths I need to amp up or shine a spotlight on and bring my passion more into my work life.”

READY TO TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR CAREER?

SIGN UP NOW

Who is this for?

-       professionals inside organizations and entrepreneurs who want to improve the way they communicate and articulate their unique value added

-       client facing professionals who need to differentiate themselves from their competitors

-       professionals who need to better align their reputation with their professional goals both inside and outside their organization

More About the 360 Assessment:

Integral to the program is the 360 Reach Assessment, the first and leading web-based personal brand assessment that will help you get the real story of how you are perceived by those around you. It provides the critical feedback you need to expand your success and continue thriving in a competitive business environment.  The first phase, the self-assessment and the raters assessment, will be assigned as pre-work before the workshop so that each of you will have your complete report with you when we meet as a group.

The assessment focuses 99% on the positive, on your strengths and abilities, as the personal branding process is all about highlighting those attributes and qualities that help you stand out. It takes the raters you select (friends, family, colleagues, managers, clients) only 10-15 minutes to complete this on-line assessment.

This assessment has already been taken by more than 700,000 people worldwide and the reviews are outstanding. The personal branding process cannot be completed without an understanding of how others view you. Why? Because it’s critical to know if how others view you is equal to how you view yourself.

So Take The First Step to Taking Control of Your Career in 2012

Give Yourself the Gift You Deserve.

SIGN UP NOW


9 Steps to Building Your Network: Learn From Strong Leaders

Mary Rosenbaum | November 29th, 2011

One of the benefits I derive from working with clients on their 360 assessments is the ability to see how certain skills and talents appear consistently in the assessments of many successful professionals and leaders.

One of the key brand attributes that usually ranks near the top is their ability to build vast networks and communities across their companies, their industries, as well as outside their immediate sphere of influence.

What is it about them or what do they do that makes them such great networkers and community builders?

Based on my analysis, I see it as a combination of specific actions geared to building a network, modifying some behavioral traits so you are someone who is sought out by others, and leading with those values that makes others want to be in your network or community.

Actions:

1. Provide great follow up. Timely follow-up is the first step for turning a casual encounter into a strong tie.

2. Develop good listening skills. Communication must be a two-way street. Some people have said the ratio should be 80% listening and 20% talking. Real relationships are built on learning how others think and what they need.

3. Be helpful. In order to build relationships, giving is even more important than getting. Provide assistance, make connections, and reach out on behalf of others. Make sure that your helpfulness is not geared to getting something in return.

4. Stay committed. You must be committed to building and growing your network- it takes a lot of energy to seek out those who you can help and who can ultimately develop into your brand ambassadors.

5. Be dedicated. Building a strong network across the various areas of your life takes time and patience – and lots of it. Make sure you dedicate the time necessary each week to building your community.

Behavioral Magnets:

6. Be positive. A positive attitude is a magnet. People like to be around you when you give off positive energy. The glass half-full always trumps half-empty.

7. Spread your enthusiasm. A can-do approach makes you someone who others seek out. It is like putting out a welcome mat. Genuine enthusiasm is contagious and helps motivate others to action.

Lead With Your Values:

8. Be trustworthy. Trust is the basic building block for growing any relationship. It is also the basis for doing or being in business with anyone.

9. Be sincere. Inauthenticity is easily seen and felt. Give, help, listen, and befriend, because it benefits them, not you.

So whether you are a salesperson, an entrepreneur, a lawyer, a manager, a small business owner, or new to your leadership role, following these steps can help you grow your network, build out your community, and achieve the success you want.

I know there must be others to add to this list. Please share them with us.

Utilizing her experience of over 25 years Mary Rosenbaum empowers careerists and entrepreneurs to gain greater clarity and more effectively communicate their unique promise of value. Strong leadership means leading with your strengths. Get her free report Top Strategies for Getting Visible and Getting Ahead.

Follow me on Twitter @Careersguru


Personal Branding: It’s All About the Suit

Mary Rosenbaum | November 16th, 2011

Since when did personal branding become the same thing as putting on a new suit, having a change of heart, or changing your hairstyle? It seems as if there are many opinions and just as many misconceptions of what personal branding is about. Some of them include:

Personal branding is about

-     how you dress and how you look

-       how your website looks

-       how you want other people to see you

-       who you aspire to be

-       packaging so you can sell “you”

-       fascinating others

So what is personal branding?  It’s about knowing who you are, what your strengths and talents are, aware of your distinctions and differentiating qualities and abilities, and the value you provide. It’s about having the confidence to live in your own skin and be who you are in all you do.

Personal branding is important in today’s culture because people want to take control of their lives, their jobs, and their careers. Knowing your strengths and how you are unique and memorable – and living it – is a place we all want to be – a state where all is good with the world. It’s a place of authenticity.

Having a strong personal brand is not a guarantee but it is a major advantage in moving you forward in your career or your business. At work and at play we are attracted to people who are confident in who they are and what they can deliver. Confidence is the result of self-awareness, and that is the basis of a strong brand.

Personal Branding is not about packaging or fascinating or deciding you want to be a different person. It’s not about that new suit. It is about putting in the work to learn how you can leverage those areas of strength and distinction so you can be all of who you are in everything you do.

On another note, I am really excited about a one-day in-person workshop I am presenting at the end of January in NYC – Personal Branding Boot Camp.  This one day event is for professionals who want to develop greater clarity on what makes them memorable and their service or product unique so they can stand out from the competition. Whether you work in finance, law or real estate, are in sales, or are an entrepreneur or small business owner, here is a great opportunity to learn more about what makes you stand out and how to leverage it.

I usually deliver this workshop inside organizations for their high performing professionals. For the first time I am offering it to you. I will be limiting the number of participants in the group and keeping it small enough to allow for everyone’s participation. More information on this event will be forthcoming in a few weeks. In the meantime please email me with any questions.


Grow Your Network – Leverage Your Brand

Mary Rosenbaum | November 2nd, 2011

Part of leveraging your personal brand is communicating it to and connecting with people who are in your target audience. After all, you want those people who are in a position to be your brand ambassadors to know about you.

The key is to expand your target audience beyond its current parameters – but in a meaningful way. This is not a numbers game. I am not encouraging you to increase your followers on Twitter, friends on Facebook or contacts on LinkedIn. Instead I am advocating a deepening of those relationships if they merit it and expanding your circle to include others that fit your parameters.

What do I mean by that?  Take a look at your existing network. A good way to do that is to look at your LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter contacts and how they aggregate. Are they relationships that can expand your reach into communities that include your target audience? If so, do they have a good understanding of the value your bring to your organization or your clients? Can they be your brand ambassadors? A broadening and deepening of your relationships will ensure that the answer to those questions is yes.

Clients always ask, “how can I expand my network?” If you work inside an organization, don’t make the mistake of just focusing on your managers and co-workers. It’s just as important to communicate and ultimately develop relationships with those outside your organization. When you think about it the people you know and communicate with regularly (those you work with and for) already have a pretty good idea of who you are and the value you provide. It’s those people outside your organization and outside your close friends network that are the ones who can provide you with:

-     new information

-     new ideas

-     new contacts

-     exposure to different opportunities

Here are some ideas for expanding your network.

-     Join an organization – professional or not for profit. Participate in a meaningful way so you can form relationships and allow your personal brand to shine through.

-       Increase your communication with people you see only once or twice a year. If possible, off-line always trumps on-line.

-       Introduce your friends and professional contacts to each other. Be generous with your contacts and they will be eager to reciprocate.

-       Contribute to the success of others. The goodwill that generates from this practice is priceless.

Utilizing her experience of over 25 years Mary Rosenbaum empowers careerists and entrepreneurs to gain greater clarity and more effectively communicate their unique promise of value. Being a strong leader means leading with your strengths. Get her free report Top Strategies for Getting Visible and Getting Ahead.

Follow me on Twitter @Careersguru


It’s Your Reputation, So Handle With Care

Mary Rosenbaum | August 18th, 2011

What are you doing to build, nurture, maintain, and grow your reputation? With all the hype about social media it becomes easy to take your eye off the ball of what really drives your career and your business. Whether you are in sales or some other profession, an entrepreneur or a small business owner, your number one focus should be your reputation. Your reputation includes much more than the work you deliver. It says a lot about you as a person and your company as a reflection of you.

Everyone has heard of word-of-mouth buzz – the holy grail of marketing. Every experience is stored in the mind with a story attached to it. Your brand is only as strong as the stories people tell about it. The stories we spread are either about what really upsets us or what makes us really happy. Maintaining and growing your reputation, your brand, depends on the stories that reflect the positive results rather than the negative surprises.

This summer I had an opportunity to work with a number of small businesses and service providers across a variety of industries. On a scale of 1-10 very few would receive a score higher than 6 and there were three that fell well below 5. Would I recommend them to others? Not in good conscience. Are there stories based on these experiences that I pass along that are less than flattering? Yes.

So what did they do wrong? The bottom line was that the experience of working with them was so unpleasant that it became memorable, in a negative way. So in spite of the fact that they ultimately completed their respective assignments the word-of-mouth buzz was not positive.

But we can all learn from their mistakes. Here are my suggestions for actions you can take to help you maintain a strong personal brand and a stellar reputation.

1. Manage expectations and eliminate negative surprises. If you find yourself unable to deliver on time or deliver what is expected, keep your client or your boss informed as quickly as possible. By managing expectations and keeping them in the loop you involve them in the process, are able to ask for their input, and make them partners in your success.

2. Tell the truth. There is nothing worse than losing your credibility. It’s not great to have to deliver bad news but if you lie and are found out you risk losing a lot more than if you told the truth. And the reality is, you will be found out eventually.

3. Communicate regularly and keep everyone informed of your progress. Returning phone calls in a timely fashion is imperative in maintaining a good relationship. Especially when you have bad news to deliver because no news is worse than bad news. Keeping your clients or managers in the dark by simply dodging their calls or emails only raises their internal barometer and puts them closer to exploding rather than understanding.

4. Under-promise and over-deliver. When pitching business or a project make sure your proposals and time frame are realistic, the results attainable and the ultimate costs in line with your experience and their needs or budgets. Failing to deliver on promise because of poorly thought out or researched proposals and strategic plans will not help you build strong and lasting relationships with your clients, your managers, and your colleagues.

If you communicate and collaborate with integrity and honesty you will all have a better experience working together. Mistakes happen, issues occur, and circumstances change. Unless you take ownership and step up to accept responsibility your brand will diminish in the eyes of those who work with you or your company. And you can bet on it – they will spread the word.

Utilizing her experience of over 25 years Mary Rosenbaum empowers careerists and entrepreneurs to gain greater clarity and more effectively communicate their unique promise of value. Strong leadership means leading with your strengths. Get her free report Top Strategies for Getting Visible and Getting Ahead.

Follow me on Twitter @Careersguru


Feedback: Is It a Gift or Castor Oil?

Mary Rosenbaum | August 2nd, 2011

How open are you to feedback from those you work with and for, or even from friends and relatives? I know from past experience that praise goes down real easy. Constructive criticism, no matter how couched the wording, goes down like castor oil – it may be good for you but it tastes really bitter and you want to spit it out as quickly as possible.

Yet, how can we learn so we can continue to earn? How we view and judge ourselves is very much like the way we see ourselves in the mirror. The mirror I look at is different than the one that others hold up in front of me. To prove it let me ask you this question:

Have you ever walked down the street and caught your reflection in a store’s plate glass window? Is it the same image you see every morning in your bathroom mirror? I know for a fact it isn’t the same image for me or for most people I know. Seeing yourself with “fresh” eyes can be an enlightening experience.

Obtaining feedback from others is a great way to see yourself with “fresh” eyes. But only if you let yourself really hear what they have to say.

Recently I had an opportunity to provide feedback to my friend Carolyn, a real estate broker. Quite by accident I found out that a neighbor of mine had spoken with Carolyn about renting a house and came away from that conversation with the belief that Carolyn no longer wanted to work on rentals. Of course, this could not be farther from the truth as Carolyn relies on converting rental clients into buyers as well as benefitting from their positive word of mouth advertising. Yet, this recent exchange had just the opposite effect.

I thought this would be a great opportunity for Carolyn to learn from this past exchange how she misrepresented the value she provides clients –  her brand –  and think of different ways to handle this in the future. Instead, Carolyn made this conversation all about how she did everything right and how the client was the one at fault. To further minimize the impact of this feedback, Carolyn ended by saying that this client’s opinions really did not matter. The feedback went down like castor oil – spit out as quickly as possible.

As someone who specializes in helping clients understand, communicate, and leverage their personal brands, I know that one of the main ingredients in the branding process is being clear on the impact you have on others (seeing your reflection in a different mirror). Why? Because in your personal and professional life, your reputation, how you are known, will always precede you.

You are always trying to reach your networks network so you have to know: What are your followers going to say to theirs? What information will Carolyn’s former client be passing along to others? And what impression has Carolyn been conveying to her other clients?

How others view your work and the value you deliver may be different than your own perceptions of how you come across. Here are a few ways to continue to learn so you can earn:

1. Solicit feedback. Ask those around you for ways you could improve upon what you do for or with them. They will feel flattered that you think their opinion is valuable. By having them try to help you get better or clearer on the way you work makes them feel like partners in your success.

2. Be courageous and be humble. Rather than becoming defensive and going into attack mode thank them for their honesty. Let the words sink in. Go back and think about what you heard not from the standpoint of how you felt when you heard them but rather how these words apply to what you know about yourself versus how others see you. Most importantly use these comments to help move you closer to where you want to be.

3. Reciprocate with honest feedback and become a partner in the success of others.

For those of you who have the courage to gain a better understanding of how you impact others and how this affects your career or business, contact me for information on how an online 360 assessment can help you highlight your strengths and define your brand.

Utilizing her experience of over 25 years Mary Rosenbaum empowers careerists and entrepreneurs to gain greater clarity and more effectively communicate their unique promise of value. Strong leadership means leading with your strengths. Get her free report Top Strategies for Getting Visible and Getting Ahead.

Follow me on Twitter @Careersguru


No Man or Woman is an Island: Who is on Your Cheering Squad?

Mary Rosenbaum | July 20th, 2011

Who is on your cheering squad? Who is in your box? I loved watching all of Novak Djokovic’s family, friends, team members, and compatriots leap to their feet, tears in their eyes as Djokovic won the last point of the men’s singles tennis championship at Wimbledon earlier this month. The tension of the two week tournament coupled with a year of hard work and much transformation was clearly visible on all their faces throughout the event. But success proved to be the great antidote to all the stress. Success for them and for him.

Djokovic did not nor could not win all by himself.

His team - his family, friends, coaches, physician, nutritionist, physiotherapist, trainer, and his many vocal Serbian fans – provided Djokovic with the mental, emotional, and physical support, encouragement, and expertise that helped propel him to achieving his #1 ranking in men’s tennis.

Who do you turn to for expert advice, support and encouragement? A friend, colleague, relative, spouse, partner? A common problem many professionals face, whether they are entrepreneurs or careerists, is trying to do it all themselves. Life is tough enough without having to be an expert in everything you do. A “board of advisors” who you can run ideas past, who have an expertise that can prove valuable to you, who provide you with a realistic appraisal of your actions, and who support your goals and dreams is a necessary ingredient to getting to where you want to go.

At the same time, there is nothing worse than having a great “board of advisors” and ignoring what they have to say. This has been a difficult year for Djokovic and he relied heavily on the many members of his team, implementing changes in his diet, his coaches, his behavior with the media and with his opponents, his focus and his body language both on and off the court. Trusting his team and the advice they provided enabled him to win.

Achieving success in your career or business requires the same level of commitment from your team or board of advisors as it does for professional athletes. So how can you select the members of your team? What should you be looking for? Here are some ideas to incorporate when forming and working with your board of advisors.

1. Find experts who can fill the gaps. If you are an entrepreneur or small business owner perhaps your need is for someone with financial strength or marketing prowess. A coach might be in order for you if you are aspiring to take on a leadership role. Surround yourself with those whose expertise dovetails well with yours so you can focus on what you do best and rely on them for the advice and knowledge that make them experts in what they do.

2. Commit to being open minded. Learn to accept criticism without becoming defensive.

3. Don’t fall in love with your ideas or your team members if something is not working. Djokovic hired a second coach, Todd Martin, but quickly learned that this decision was not a good one for his team. Admit mistakes and move on.

4. Trust your board of advisors. You don’t have to love all your team members. Mutual respect is earned based on the value they provide. And respect results in trust.

5. Look for team members who have a variety of experience. Answers come from many places, so the greater the depth and breadth of experiences they can call on, the better your results.

6. Make sure everyone has the same goal in mind. Clearly define what your goals are and what time frame you have in mind. If you all know where you are going you have a better chance of getting there on time.

7. Ask for help. This is the hardest advice to follow. Yet, if you do ask more often than not you will be rewarded with more than you expect.

8. Give back. Especially to those who “volunteer” to be on your board. There is tremendous power in teams that help one another reach their goals.

No wo(man) is an island. Going it alone takes longer and generally falls short of what you can accomplish. What are some of the attributes you look for in your team or board of advisors?

Utilizing her experience of over 25 years Mary Rosenbaum empowers careerists and entrepreneurs to gain greater clarity and more effectively communicate their unique promise of value. Strong leadership means leading with your strengths. Get her free report Top Strategies for Getting Visible and Getting Ahead.

Follow me on Twitter @Careersguru