If not this job, then what? In an interview.

So, for the last few weeks, I’ve been interviewing candidates in an attempt to find a salesperson in real estate.  I’ve interviewed just over 35 candidates from a pool of just over 280, both experienced, and inexperienced. Both prepared, and unprepared.

People, please, for the love of God, be prepared for your interview’s, that includes a good dose of self-awareness.

Some basic rules for you,

1.Be presentable, hygienic and groomed. Ask yourself this question. Would you trust someone with tattoo’s, nose rings, and dreadlocks and had a bad case of BO?(body odour/odour depending on what side of the pond you live in).  Come on, are you serious? I’d expect that maybe from a teenager, not adults. Would you accept that from a lawyer, accountant, doctor or any type of technical/professional persons or a sales professional?  Now, I know some of you might be thinking, well they could be on medication or other physical issues. Whilst that may be the case, you are competing for a livelihood.  Let me ask you this, would you entrust someone with the negotiation and contract of your home? Let me ask you a further question if all things being equal, would you choose someone that looks the part or someone that doesn’t?  Selling is difficult already, you don’t want another barrier that may affect your results. Show up with ironed clothes, deodorant and groomed, if you can’t, outframe the obvious so it doesn’t become the focus the interview. Otherwise, I’m thinking of “risk”.

2. Know something about the area(real estate): Showing up to a sales job and not knowing something about the product/service e.g. population of the area, number of householders, clearing rates, competitors, the number of stock available, etc.. is not a winning strategy. Especially when you get asked, What do you know about the area? and you respond with, “ahhh…mmmm not a lot’. Ouch. The interviewer is thinking “risk”.

3. Know something about the role. Anything. Know anything, like what the role of a salesperson is, what some sales activities could be? Even if you’re a beginner. Youtube it, Google it. Do something that gives you some applicable knowledge and demonstrates that you maybe…. care? If not, the interviewer is thinking “risk”.

4. As an interviewer, if I ask you a question like, “if you don’t get this job, then what?” Don’t say, “I want to get into child care” or “I want to work in retail” or “I just want any job”. That is not an answer that inspires value nor commitment. The interviewer is thinking “risk”.

5. In your resume, in the career objectives section… It would be useful to make the objective about the industry you’re going for or the position you’re going for not something completely unrelated. Out of the 280 resumes, conservatively 50% of them had things like, “want to further develop my horticultural skills.” What? This is real estate sales or ” want to become a proficient online seller”,  Huh…? This is real estate sales. I’m thinking of “risk”. You don’t even get a look in, you’re out.

6. Genuine interest. Try and I mean try to show some enthusiasm, some bright-eyed enthusiasm, like maybe you want the job? Have a strong cup of coffee before you walk in. Put a spring in your step. Professor Albert Mehrabian said 55% of your communication is body language. If I’m relaxed don’t match and mirror me, don’t get comfortable. This is a formal interview, be formal, be professional show me that you’re self-aware,  otherwise, I’m thinking “risk”.

7. If you get a question like, “Just say we future paced you 10 years from now, what income would you expect to be earning?” Some of the answers I got, “what I’d be earning now”, “$10,000 on top of the base rate”, “$60,000 on top of the base pay”. Whilst there is no right answer to this question, you need to be thinking an obscene number. This is sales,  it shows me you’re a level of commitment, resilience and pushing forward. P.S. Don’t get confused between motivation and commitment. Motivation is a fleeting thing, whereas commitment means you’re all in, all the time, every day (and twice on Sundays). It shows that you are a go-getter. In sales, you have to demonstrate hunger, and this is one way of showing that and no it’s not the only way (planning, prioritising and execution are others). If you don’t demonstrate any of these, I’m thinking “risk”.

8. Prospecting and resiliency, know what that means. So, if you get a question like, “you’ve made 400 calls & 5 appraisals this week and every call was a ‘No’, ‘I’m not interested’ or worse. How would you manage yourself? What would you do?” Answers I heard, “I’d quit, I’d get fired, I mustn’t be very good, I wasn’t trained properly, It really wouldn’t bother me” , etc. Think about it this way, if you weren’t getting the results, would you seek help and or assistance? Imagine doing the same thing over and over and over again and expecting a different result. Who coined it as insane? And you already guessed it, I’m thinking “risk”.

Last point….(I promise). When you get asked, ‘do you have any questions”? If you don’t want the job, say no. If you do want the job it’s an opportunity to engage the interviewer at a deeper level about the role, the organisation, the industry, their vision mission purpose, greatest barriers, expectations in the first 30 days, etc. Just be careful not to ask questions that are freely available on their website. Here are some questions you could ask:

a. What does a typical day look like?(Is this business seasonal, when should I be putting in the extra effort so I can still meet and exceed targets?)

b. Who will I be working with or coaching me?

c. What would you say the management and leadership style is like?

d. When do team members typically start seeing results? (what works best?, how would you approach this?)

e. What could be some of the barriers and opportunities I might encounter?

f. Why do you like working for this organisation?(A very telling question)

If you’ve made the above mistakes, let this be the last time you make them. As always, a rejection, a no, a no you’re not a team fit, or any other turn down, let that be the indicator that some part of your interview process/engagement has to change. If you’re getting “no’s” all it means is you don’t know something. Quickly find out what you don’t know and keep testing until you get it right. DO NOT internalise the rejection, all its telling you is the process you’ve used needs to change. Focus on the change.(This is not about beating yourself up, the market will do that for you.)

Feel free to ask any questions. I will do my best to answer them and if can’t I can find people who can.

Tell me about a strength you have? In an interview.

A couple of weeks ago I was doing some interviews to select a PA for a medium-size business. When the question of, “Tell me about your strengths?” was asked it was surprising out of the 11 candidates interviewed 2 were thoroughly prepared. The others whilst their answers were good, were delivered with plenty of filler words like, ahh, mmm, not sure, how would you like me to answer that?…what? …it was disappointing.

Disappointing that I could clearly see they had what it took to do the job but for some reason, didn’t deliver in the clutch moment. Not being prepared is expensive.   Let me explain, you’re going for a job worth $70,000, your current level is $60,000. How much time, effort and money are you prepared to invest in yourself to secure that level of income? Just showing up with no prep,… you’re gone. There is always someone better, stronger, cheaper and faster than you. I’m always reminded of a Red Adair’s quote,

“If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.”

Employers are really just looking for certainty. I’m always looking for one standout from a holistic standpoint. It’s a tough question to answer if you haven’t previously thought through a couple of examples. As always preparation is everything. Here are some examples of “Tell me about a strength? type questions answered by candidates:


a. I’m good at everything.

b. I can do anything well, once I’m shown.

c. What do I need to be good at?

d. With time I could make anything my strength.

e. Ummm….what?, what do you mean?

f. Pacifically, I’m great at….(no that’s not a typo)

g. Well, what do I need to be good at?

With all of these responses, I’m thinking risk. There is nothing in these answers that highlights value. Just remember that the hiring decision is not just based on one question.

The failure of candidates is not looking at the role description or advertisement where it clearly states what the essential criteria are. In that is the strengths the employer is looking for. Do your homework, winging it or hoping is not a winning strategy.

Here are some examples of “Tell me about a strength? type questions you may be asked.

a. When push comes to shove, what are you about?
b. What do you think would differentiate you from the rest?
c. What are your 2 core strengths, how do you think those strengths could add value to this organisation and position?
d. What makes you the ideal candidate?
e. If you had to choose strength, eg time management, people management or leadership?(depending on the role) what would you choose and why?
f. How would you apply your strengths to this role?
g. What skills do you bring?
h. From your current or past positions, what trait would be important in this role?
i. If there was a personal trait that you believe would add value to this role or organisation, what would it be?
j. If you had to solve this (insert problem), how would you approach it?

Why employers ask this question.

There are a number of reasons for asking this question, some are listed below:

a. It tells the interviewer about your self-awareness. In other words, what do you consider of value and if it aligns with the organisation? The other is discovering whether or not you’ve done your research on the role and the organisation.

b. It tells the interviewer if you’ve identified what the role entails and or you have a proven track record or can provide evidence on how you could support achieving the organisational goals.

c. It identifies where your strengths lay in the specific role.

d.  It tells them about your communication skills at various levels tactical, operational and strategic.

e. They could be looking to use that question to garner further information about character type, values and beliefs in relation to the job.

How to answer this question?

It’s fairly straight forward, just look at the role description and it tells you right there what the needs of the roles are. If you don’t have a role description, do some research. They are all fairly similar across industries.

It’s surprising how many people don’t read the advert and join the dots between their strengths and the job role.

Answering this question is similar to answering the what is your weakness? question.

Strategy 1

Challenge Action Results (CAR)

  1. Think of a specific “challenge” or “situation” that you and or the organisation faced? What specific things did you have to do? What was the danger,?eg cost, customer, competitive advantage etc
  2. What “actions” were you responsible for? Think about it as intention, outcome, processes and behaviour. What did you do?
  3. “Results”,  what happened as a result of the actions you took? what was the short term, medium-term and long term results? Are you able to describe the results in relation to metrics, budget, revenue, time, savings etc


Strategy 2

Situation Task Action Results (STAR)

Situation, describe the event and the context. Make it clear and concise.

Task, what did you identify that needed to get done?  How did you know it was that?

Activity, what specific things did you do? what were 2-3 things you did that managed the situation and or risk?

Result, what were the results? Was is what was anticipated? How did it help you and the organisation? What were 3 benefits?

Remember, when using these types structures  include tangible things like metrics, budgets, revenue, time, savings etc

Eg if you were to hire a Barista and 2 candidates have the same qualifications, same experience, the same type of personality but when asked, “what is your strength?”. One said “I make the best coffees in Sydney” and the other said:

“I know how to make 15 different types of coffee, I’ve invented one that increased our sales by 3% and I’m able to make 50 coffees per hour. On average I upsell a cookie with every coffee which converts to a purchase 50% of the time. By the way, I make the best coffee in Sydney.” Who would you hire? Find your VALUE story.

 Example 1

I recently coached a 20-year-old for an interview for an entry-level banking role. He had no real solid experience. He had short stint jobs at a fast-food chain, a removalist, a carpet laying organisation and at a luxury car dealership, driving luxury vehicles to and from the workshop/customers. When we got to the, “what is your strength?”, question. It was crickets…..nothing.

I asked him to think about why his employer trusted him to drive both new and used cars valued in some cases from $150,000 to $400,000? Can you guess what one of his strengths maybe that could be valued by a bank? Steadiness, risk-averse behaviour, responsibility, customer service, pride in his work, trustworthiness, reliability and integrity.

If he didn’t prepare he would not have recognised firstly, what value he brought and secondly, articulated himself in such a way that demonstrated professionalism and seriousness. Preparation is everything. For those of you who are not convinced, his pay went from $29,000 to $40,000. What did it cost him? 3-4 hrs. Not only money well spent but time well spent. This the internet age, you want to know anything there is someone out there that can give the answer faster than ever before. Use it.

Using CAR for the above example,

Challenge/situation, getting cars to clients in the shortest amount of time as well as dropping off a replacement vehicle.  Most people that hand keys of their luxury vehicle over to a 20 something are apprehensive about handing their keys over.

Action, Ensure that I wear a properly fitting professional attire because image is everything. Ensure that I address the customer formally and speak to them without the use of slang words and clearly communicate about when their car would be available.his the internet age, you want to anything there is someone out there that can give the answer faster than ever before. Use it.

Results, I have received tips, the message of a job well done to my employer.

Using STAR

Situation. Part of my job is to provide replacement cars for the cars that are being serviced. I have to pick up and hand over 10 cars daily. Whilst you may think this is easy, it isn’t. I have timelines that have to be met so careful planning of routes and times are critical. The other challenge is being so young some customers are hesitant to hand over their keys to a vehicle worth over $150,000.

Task, plan the day ensure loan cars are available and the customer has confirmed the booking for the car service. Ensure, that when on-site if any further instructions are given that I accurately and reliably pass that message on using our mobile CRM. We are all responsible for the end-user experience. Dropping a loan car off sometimes requires me to induct the customer in the loan car if necessary, provide information about service and the estimated time of return.

Activity, Ensure the car is returned to the workshop with any additional instructions, provide paperwork that includes a visual inspection of the vehicle to the mechanic. Get an estimated time of finish and schedule into my calendar.

Result, Happy customer that receives the car repaired and returned on time. I work closely with the head of the workshop and we collaborate constantly about the progress of cars or if there are any opportunities to bring other cars in because we are ahead of schedule. Focusing on the end-user makes the decision easier but not necessarily less work.

The Takeaway.

Brainstorm your strengths and analyse the role you’re applying for. Define what strength the position requires. eg  A project manager needs excellent communication skills both verbal and written, conflict management skills, stakeholder management skills, financial management skills etc

Every role has a unique set of strengths required. If you have no idea call someone or Google it. You will find an answer.

Whether or not you use CAR or STAR methods identify, 3 to 5 targeted examples(your stories) that demonstrate your capability and depth of skill and knowledge. And finally, rehearse it so it’s like a regular conversation with the least amount of anxiety as possible. Preparation is everything.


Why should I hire you? In an interview.

One of the most common questions asked in an interview is “Why should I hire you?”. These questions can also appear as  follows:

  1. Why should I hire you?
  2. What makes you think you’re the person for this job?
  3. Out of all the candidates, what’s special about you?
  4. What do you bring?
  5. Why do you think you’re the right fit?
  6. What skills do you think are important for this role?
  7. Knowing, what you know about our organisation, why are you the right person?

These are some of the responses I have heard from interviewees:

  1. I’m the best. (with no follow-up)
  2. Why wouldn’t you choose me, I’m most qualified.
  3. Seriously,….We’ve covered this already.
  4. I represent the most value for money. (with no follow-up)
  5. I’ll turn up to work on time.
  6. I really need this job.
  7. I won’t take sick days.
  8. Mmmm…ahhh well I’ve got the qualifications and I really want the job.
  9. I’m not one for being indirect. If something not right I will definitely speak up regardless of who is in the room.

If you don’t properly prepare your responses may create uncertainty, therefore, the hiring manager/HR may see you as a risk to the business and its people.  When a hiring/HR manager hears a risk answer like some of the above responses. They automatically start looking for the second then the third and at that point your chance of completing the interview successfully is unlikely.  Preparation is critical because you want to last as long as possible, enough so you’re the last person standing. You must represent value and really the only way to do that is understand the job, the organisation and the market the organisation works in. It’s competitive advantage.

Asking, Why should I hire you?reveals a few of things:

  1. Your career goals are aligned with the position and the organisation.
  2. Can you really deliver the results that the organisation needs and can you provide a real competitive advantage? Your competitive advantage is critical to understand.
  3. Do you fit in the team, the organisation and fill the gap in the team and or organisation?
  4. Do your unique combination of hard skills, soft skills and experience create a current/future competitive advantage for the organisation.
  5. Are you able to communicate in a way that influences and persuades? and
  6. Do you know anything about the organisation/market and its position.

Answering, Why should I hire you?

You definitely need a format to answer this question. Not being able to adequately influence and persuade the interviewer will lead to a no decision or a rejection letter.

This question is essentially a sales job. Think about it this way, we all are selling something. Whether or not you agree, we are constantly selling. We sell ideas, products, services and processes. Have you ever made a suggestion and tried to influence the outcome? Like, ”let’s have Thai food tonight” but your friend wants pizza. What reasons did you come up with to change their mind and see it your way.  How many reasons did you come up with 1, 2, 3, 4 -10? It’s sales right.

How do you influence and persuade? There are many ways to do this. Here are two methods but there are others. One way is using FBA. FBA, stands for features, benefits and advantages. The other method is using a form of the elevator pitch called the Gaddie pitch.

Strategy #1

Let’s look at FBA first.

It’s a simple formula,

Features, in other words, “My skills/capability…….”

Benefits, in other words, “which means to you/organisation…”

Advantages, in other words, “And that means…..”

Here are some examples below,

Example 1

Why should I hire you?

There are a number of reasons why I am the ideal candidate for the position.

My capability extends to conflict management and beyond, which means that I am able to effectively deliver resolutions and solutions both internally and externally, which really means that when you delegate to me I can deliver the right result both for your business and your customer. An example is when I solved a client issue that was going to cost the organisation over $1000 but because I was able to apply Gottman’s model of conflict, I not only saved the $1000 but saved our customer.

Example 2

Why should I hire you?

There are a number of reasons why I am the ideal candidate for this position.

My capability in commercial and residential sales goes beyond merely the transactional relationship, which means I actively increase the per sale revenue consistently, which really means that I can package sales(bundle), build relationships and manage the client.  I qualify and really listen to what the customer is attempting to solve. An example as provided earlier is my average sales has increased 10% over the last 4 quarters. Which I intend to keep doing for you when I’m hired.

Example 3

Why should I hire you?

There are a number of reasons why I am the ideal candidate/employee for this position.

My capabilities extend to managing and executing projects up to $5M, which means I can quickly walk into this position with minimal supervision, direction and begin delivering real results to your organisation and your customer, which really means I’ve created real value both short term and long term because:

a. I’m qualified,

b. I have the experience in large projects and

c. I have managed teams and consistently brought my projects in on time and on budget. You could provide an example here.

That’s the structure you could put your response into. Be sure to have 3 or 4 FBA’s and examples to support your statements.

Don’t walk into an interview without your stories/examples. Don’t think you’ll be Johnny on the spot when this question is asked. Be prepare with some good examples that demonstrated capability.

Strategy #2

The elevator pitch (I know it’s not traditional, but it’s still a valuable tool)

The traditional use of an elevator pitch is to begin a conversation. The definition;

An elevator pitch is a brief, persuasive speech that you use to spark interest in what your organisation does. You can also use them to create interest in a project, idea, or product – or in yourself. A good elevator pitch should last no longer than a short elevator ride of 20 to 30 seconds, hence the name.

To formulate the pitch I like using the Gaddie Pitch, It contains 3 questions you must answer:

  1. Who is the target customer?
  2. What are their typical problems?
  3. What we/I do?(benefits/feelings)

Once you’ve collected that information put it together as follows.

  1. You know how target has these problems?
  2. What I do (benefits/feeling)?
  3. In fact, here is an example.(provide an example/story that demonstrates it)

For example, say it’s a retail job in a sporting goods store that you’re going for. You need to consider it from the employer’s perspective. They’re looking for someone who will ultimately create a positive customer experience that translates to sales, that will create a returning customer and positive word of mouth.

Let’s apply the Gaddie to the question of, “why do you want the job?”

Part 1

  1. Who is the target customer?

            Active people or new entrants to sports and exercise

  1. What are the typical problems that the customer?

           Customer browsing and walking out without making a purchase.

  1. What we/I do?(benefits/feeling)?

           I engage customers with my proven sales training and close 60% of walk-ins.

Part 2

  1. You know when a customer walks into the store most of the other candidates don’t know the products like I do. For example, the customer wants to buy a bike, I qualify/discover what the buyer needs are. Based on that, I show them 3 options and how they could own it now. Whilst other candidates are stuck at, “can I help you?” missing a critical opportunity to add value to the customer.
  2. What I bring to your business is several closing strategies like, “I need to think about”, or “it’s too expensive close” and “I need to think about close” to name a few. This enables me to consistently close customers and create urgency around the product purchase.
  3. In fact, in my current job I sold 5 bikes in one day with an average value of $700 but more importantly, I was able to bundle shoes, puncture repair kit at an additional value of $150 per bike sold.

The Take-Away

Being prepared and understanding the job role, the organisation and market it operates in are valuable. Understand the employer’s perspective is even more important. Next time you’re preparing for an interview consider using FBA’s and or the Gaddie. Not only will you find that the interview flows better but you will be hitting all the value points a hiring manager/HR are looking for. Remember, you always want to come across as a value decision, not a risk decision so practice, practice, practice.

Paint a picture for the employer that puts you in the frame.

Can you tell me about your weakness? In an interview.

I completed a number of interviews a few days ago and as part of the interview process I asked everyone’s favourite,

“Can you tell me about a weakness?”

These are some of the answers I heard in those interviews.

  1. I don’t have any weaknesses.
  2. Some people tell me I’m a control freak.
  3. I can’t say that I really have any professional weaknesses.
  4. Nobody is game to tell me.
  5. Do you have any weaknesses?
  6. I’ll let you know when I find them.
  7. Some people tell me that I’m difficult to work with.
  8. I tend to take on too much on and can’t say no.
  9. I’ve been told I don’t take things seriously.
  10. Getting up in the morning and probably getting to work on time.
  11. I find it difficult to follow verbal instructions.
  12. I’m impatient with dumb people.

If you’re the employer what is one word that comes to mind when you hear these responses?

RISK. It screams risk.

One piece of advice that most hiring/HR managers would give you for free, is to “Be Prepared”. Hope is not a strategy worth pursuing.

Don’t walk into an interview without some preparation, seriously, rehearse some of the questions you are likely to encounter. DO some homework on the role, the industry and potentially key people.

Remember, you’re not going for the robot delivery or a disingenuous demeanour or just not being prepared at all. Keep this in the back of your mind, the hiring/HR manager is trying to decide whether or not you are a risk to the organisation and its people.

Don’t give the hiring/HR manager a reason to dismiss the application. It really is a fight for survival, well, that’s the way I look at it. You are competing with other candidates and competition these days is fierce. For some, the difference between getting a job or not getting a job,  is the difference between putting food on the table or not putting food on the table. The workforce is like the jungle, and it’s survival of the fittest out there.

Maybe another way to think about this is if you going for a job worth say $50,000pa what investment would you make to get the job. That is, how time would you invest to ensure you are as prepared as you can be to get the job. Is it 30 minutes, 60 minutes, 2 hours or 5 hours? It’s up to you.

So, the weakness question is really trying to extract from you whether or not you are self-aware and more over can self-regulate in teams and organisations.

Let’s look at self-awareness. It is defined as:
 The accurate appraisal and understanding of your abilities and preferences and their implications for your behaviour and their impact on others.

You must understand how your behaviour affects your environment, whether it be positive, negative or indifferent.

Let me give you an example. Some weeks ago in a coaching training session for supervisors, all learners were requested to present a simple psychological model using specific language and framing strategies. The whole group of 16 except for 1 completed the task. That one person used a manipulation and sniper strategy to deflect their failure to prepare, and they also attempted to manipulate other members of the group in an effort to turn them against the exercise and the material.

Whilst it was entertaining seeing “below the line behaviours” in action, these behaviours ultimately meant to me, the others in the group, and to the organisation that in fact this person’s behaviour was a risk. In other words, this person would rather “be right” than “getting it right” (You know the type, argumentative, and insistent with no real point other than wanting to be right.)

Which brings me to self-regulation:

Selfregulation is the ability to monitor and control our own behaviour, emotions, or thoughts, altering them in accordance with the demands of the situation.”

When selecting one or more weakness examples, be strategic in your selection. Here are a couple of rules.

  1. Don’t pick a weakness that is specific to the job.
  2. Don’t pick a weakness that is not easily fixable.
  3. Don’t pick something that may be considered as trivial or not valuable.

Example 1

Tell me about a weakness?

One of my weaknesses is time management. For some reason, I wasn’t getting all my work done in the allocated time and having to stay back to complete it. When I realised that is was unsustainable. I sought some feedback and I out of my own pocket undertook a time management course. This has enabled me not only to become a more effective planner, but it enabled me to have productive conversations so I could get my work done on time, every time. Let me give you an example. I would use the Eisenhower Matrix to determine with my supervisors the important vs the urgent tasks.

What’s important about a weakness question is that you are able to identify the challenge in past tense, and then how you solved it and what that has translated to in the present.

Example 2

Tell me about a weakness?

I have received feedback in my annual performance appraisal process that I need to take more time providing full information and not assuming team members know what to do.

I engaged a business/leadership coach that provided me with not only the awareness but also the language required to engage at a higher level and therefore empower my team members to get the best possible results. It didn’t take very long and it was the best career investment I have ever made. Let me give you an example, I was in a project team that had a very tight timeline. As part of the planning process, I put together a communication plan with specific needs at every point. The result was I communicated more effectively and therefore we were a more efficient as a team.

Example 3

Tell about a weakness?

In a project, I tend to be a little too direct and straight forward. Whilst this is my natural tendency I realised it may not be the best way to get the best out of the team or external customers. Upon realising very quickly that I could do this better, I sourced and enrolled in a conflict management course. This had a 2-fold effect on my performance,

  1. I became better at providing feedback in difficult situations and
  2. I was able to pre-emptively recognise low-level conflict situations before they become real issues.

So what’s the lesson here? BE PREPARED. Have at least 3 weakness and examples of how you solved them and the value you brought to the organisation. Remember, what hiring/HR managers are really attempting to do is identify and reduce risk. Your job in the interview is to demonstrate that you are in fact self-aware and you are able to self-regulate in uncertain situations. Do these things, and you’ll survive the jungle.

Don’t Let 2017 be another “Some-Day I’ll”, Year

Someday I’ll get that car, someday I’ll make that change, someday I’ll lose those last few kilograms, someday I’ll complete that course, someday I’ll start saving for that house, someday I’ll start that business, someday I’ll go on that holiday, someday I’ll find the love of my life, someday I’ll find the job of my dreams, someday I’ll make that decision…someday

Have you ever said that to yourself or maybe one step further, some day if only…. The fact is there will never be a perfect time.Image result for some day

We’re all guilty of this from time to time, but just be careful it’s not your mantra. This is the death rattle of a life; it just creeps up on you.

If you haven’t noticed everyone wants your attention, attention it’s that valuable. You could say that your ability to decide where your attention goes determines your success or failure.

1440, should be a very significant number to everyone on this planet. Can you guess what 1440 means? Some of you know exactly what I mean. It’s the only equal thing we have.  It’s the number of minutes we have at the beginning of every day. Time the great equaliser. 1440 minutes that’s it.

1440-minutes time management Gary tremolada

The major challenge or problem we face is everyone wants a piece of your 1440 precious minutes, it’s a strictly no refund or return policy. We give that time away gladly without a second thought. You know what I mean. Working jobs that don’t bring out our best, or relationships/friendship that under different circumstances you may reconsider. Stuff that you wouldn’t accept in an earlier version of you.

Everything around you is meant to distract you, the question is, is it a valuable use of your time or not? What do I mean, watch any media and its completely based on taking your attention, you know the 1440 minutes you have daily? They would like you to invest all your time or some of your time into their cause.  Keyword, “their” cause.

The question you want to ask is, has this time spent increased my value or has it created more risk?

What do I mean, well if you’ve invested time and effort acquiring a skill, thinking process, a relationship etc Were you able to translate that investment into value for yourself, your family, your health, and wellbeing, your employer or your community? Did this investment have a net positive result or did it have a net negative result? If it had a negative net effect, guess what? You just got distracted and in fact, you have given your time away for free. There’s no way to get it back, it’s gone forever and your 100% accountable.

What you may find is that your someday time will continue to be pushed out further and further until one day there are no somedays left, none, not one.

I was once told that if I wanted to understand what someday looks like or feels like, I should speak to someone that has run out of somedays.

What I invariably heard is “regret”. You think “fear” is scary try on regret. Regret that they didn’t back themselves, regret that their fear was bigger than their dream, regret that no, could’ve meant not now or not this way or not never, regret that the mistakes stopped them dead in their tracks.

Just thinking about regret is enough to depress you.

Someday needs to be today. We’ve all heard it right, “you get one go at life”, “this is not a dress rehearsal” or statements along similar lines.

It doesn’t matter what people think, what matters is what you think, you are not living someone else’s life, what might be right for someone else may not be right for you, it’s all in, its triple down, its nobody coming to help, it’s all on you right now.

I have wasted many “someday’s” and as I have gotten older I have realised that they are limited. Seeing the passing of my parents, I have had this sense of my own mortality.  This has changed my perspective and I have realised it’s an all or nothing proposition. You’re either in or you’re out, its black and white or like my dad put it “you’re  either on the bus or you’re off” there is no in between.

Remember, every day there are 1440 minutes we are equal there. The difference between people that make it, whatever that means to you and people that don’t, is work ethic, learned skills, determination, and resilience.

A colleague of mine at the age of 50 retired, he calls himself lucky. I call him focussed determined, and a hard worker. He had a plan, he made mistakes, he stayed educated, he backed himself, surrounded himself with a solid team and just got to it. PS His profession, a motor mechanic.

It’s not a 40hr week. And he says his lucky, wow. We were out for a ride and we saw an inexperienced cyclist. How did we know? He was climbing a hill and he was using a tall gear (making it extremely difficult).

I said, “the guy is a bit like most people heading for a goal, they don’t know what they don’t know and they don’t how to utilise the tools they already have around them”. The guy on the bike had all the gear required to make the journey easier yet, the misuse of the tools, skills and knowledge made it that much more difficult. In some circumstances that would be the end. “Its just too hard, I couldn’t do it or I tried”.Gary Tremolada team work leadership coach

People like my friend and others like him have one thing in common, “they just out work us”; it may look like luck but it’s simply hard work, more than anyone else.

So, don’t be distracted by things like TV, social media, shopping sites, series (watching 10 seasons of your favourite show) because when you look back at a life that could have been, the feeling of regret might be hard to shake off.

There’ll always be things that could have been handle better, done better etc. 20/20 vision is always perfect in hindsight.

Where to start? Decide today, use Mel Robbins decision frame called the “5 second rule”.

How it works, If you have an impulse or what Jo Simpson calls a nudge, act on the goal, you must physically move within 5 seconds or your brain will kill the idea. And it’s gone forever, that moment, gone.

I’ll give you an example, I want to call a client to present an idea, rather than ruminating on it act on it. Mel Robbins suggests counting yourself down, 5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1 GO. Just GO. Take ACTION.

Is now a good time to create that “Someday’. Leif Babin and Jocko Willink authors of Extreme Ownership say it perfectly, “Get after it.

I’m saying to you, “Get After It”, and make that someday, today.


Images credit: someday by Doghousediaries

Professional Reading/Listening list for 2016

Professional Development is not a maybe I’ll get to it. It’s absolutely critical to your professional and financial life.

Reading, seminars, listening to books are invaluable tools that broaden your paradigm and open you up to new ways of thinking and viewing the world.

From a work perspective what PD does is it puts you in the “value” up scale not the “risk” scale.

Below is a list of audiobooks that I have listened to in 2016. In total, I have listened to well over 480 audio books in 13 years and that does not include ongoing formal education and seminars/coaching I’ve attended and completed.

Gary Tremolada trainer leadership coach

Some might be thinking, “I’m just too busy” and can’t fit another “to do task” in the list. You know what not many can, so listening and or read in N.E.T (no extra time events), like commuting and exercising.

The fact is that one of these books or classes are run by some of the world’s best instructors. They may give you an insight that will change your life both professional and personal life forever. Biggest investment you can make is in yourself. Get to.

Get to.

2016 Professional Reading Author MM/DD/YYYY Total Hrs
1 Retire Inspired Chris Hogan 12-26-16 9:24:00
2 Dave Ramsey’s The Total Money Makeover | Summary & Review Ant Hive Media 12-26-16 0:36:00
2 The 4 Disciplines of Execution Sean Covey, Chris McChesney, Jim Huling 12-26-16 8:27:00
3 How You Decide: The Science of Human Decision Making The Great Courses 12-26-16 11:50:00
4 Influence The Great Courses 12-08-16 6:11:00
5 The Psychology of High Self-Esteem Nathaniel Branden 11-21-16 5:31:00
6 Elevate: Self Awareness Through Courage, Potential, and Fulfillment Dr. Keppen Laszlo 10-10-16 7:56:00
7 Naked Statistics: Stripping the Dread from the Data Charles Wheelan 10-10-16 10:48:00
8 I Know What to Do, So Why Don’t I Do It? Nick Hall 10-10-16 10:05:00
9 The Science of Mindfulness: A Research-Based Path to Well-Being The Great Courses 10-10-16 13:57:00
10 Job Interview Patterns Aleksey Sinyagin 09-08-2016 2:13:00
11 How to Build a Blog that Counts Raj Subramanyam 09-08-2016 5:42:00
12 The Little Book of Persuasion: Defend Yourself by Becoming a Skilled Persuader Sia Mohajer 09-08-2016 2:27:00
13 The Coaching Habit Michael Bungay Stanier 09-08-2016 3:10:00
14 Fanatical Prospecting Jeb Blount 09-08-2016 8:26:00
15 Algorithms to Live By Brian Christian, Tom Griffiths 09-08-2016 11:50:00
16 It’s Your Ship D. Michael Abrashoff 09-08-2016 6:24:00
17 The Greatness Within You Les Brown Les Brown 09-08-2016 4:46:00
18 The Way of the SEAL PDF Mark Divine, Allyson Edelhurtz Machate 09-08-2016 7:50:00
19 The Neuroscience of Fair Play: Why We (Usually) Follow the Golden Rule Donald W. Pfaff, Ph.D. 07-21-16 7:41:00
20 Do You Talk Funny? David Nihill 07-21-16 4:12:00
21 Hypnosis for business William Lockhart 07-21-16 4:10:00
22 Hypnosis: Instant Hypnosis Secrets You Need to Know Dane Xander 07-21-16 0:42:00
23 Big Results: The Steps to Getting the Results You Want, and Why Setting Goals Never Works Robert Greene 07-21-16 0:38:00
24 Conversation Tactics: Wittiness, Banter, Likability: Strategies to Command Social Situations, Book 3 Patrick King 07-21-16 2:32:00
25 Options Trading: A Beginner’s Guide to Options Trading: Learn How to Make Money with Stock Options Matthew Maybury 07-21-16 1:24:00
26 The Energy of Words: Use the Vibration of Language to Manifest the Life You Desire Michelle Arbeau 07-21-16 7:28:00
27 Anyone Can Write Books: Get Motivated, Get Inspired, Conquer Your Limitations, and Write Some Books! Dominic Cruz 07-21-16 0:30:00
28 Law of Attraction Harrold Glenn 07-21-16 0:50:00
29 Ask: The Counterintuitive Online Formula to Discover Exactly What Your Customers Want to Buy…Create a Mass of Raving Fans…and Take Any Business to the Next Level Ryan Levesque 06-16-16 6:13:00
30 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management Kevin Kruse 06-16-16 3:10:00
31 Managing Projects Harvard Business Review 06-16-16 1:11:00
32 Triggers Marshall Goldsmith, Mark Reiter 06-16-16 6:36:00
33 Are You Fully Charged? Tom Rath 05-21-16 3:22:00
34 Negotiating the Impossible: How to Break Deadlocks and Resolve Ugly Conflicts (Without Money or Muscle) Deepak Malhotra 05-21-16 6:59:00
35 The Essential Workplace Conflict Handbook: A Quick and Handy Resource for Any Manager, Team Leader, HR Professional, or Anyone Who Wants to Resolve Disputes and Increase Productivity  Barbara Mitchell, Cornelia Gamlem  05-21-16 4:25:00
36 Living with a SEAL Jesse Itzler 05-21-16 5:18:00
37 The Secret to Success Eric Thomas 04-29-16 5:29:00
38 Now Is Your Moment of Greatness!: 30 Rags to Riches Stories That Will Inspire You Maxwell Harris 04-29-16 3:00:00
39 #AskGaryVee Gary Vaynerchuk 04-29-16 11:37:00
40 Living Forward Michael Hyatt, Daniel Harkavy 04-29-16 4:20:00
41 How to Talk to Anyone: 92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships Leil Lowndes 03-04-2016 8:59:00
42 Acing the Interview: How to Ask and Answer the Questions That Will Get You the Job! Tony Beshara 03-04-2016 9:05:00
43 Flawless Consulting: A Guide to Getting Your Expertise Used, Third Edition Peter Block 03-04-2016 9:21:00
44 The Like Switch PDF Jack Schafer, Marvin Karlins 03-04-2016 7:40:00
Hours 264:25:00
Days 11.5 days
Weekly 5hrs
N.E.T No Extra Time

2017 reading list goal is to get to 60 audio books.

Dismissed for bullying colleague on way home By Mike Toten

An employee was validly dismissed for arranging with co-workers to intimidate a colleague by using their cars to prevent him following his usual route home.
Conspiring at work to organise the conduct amounted to bullying that was a breach of the employer’s policy. Although the actual incident occurred away from the workplace and outside normal working hours, it was clearly linked to employment.

Intimidating driving

There was a history of the co-worker being bullied at the workplace over the previous two years. This included an incident earlier the same day when he had objects thrown at him while at work (not by the dismissed employee, but evidence suggested the other two employees were involved), one of which hit him on the head.

When all the employees left work to drive home, the dismissed employee and two co-workers positioned their cars in front of and behind the victim’s car. When the victim needed to make a right turn off the highway to head home, the dismissed employee positioned his car to “box him in” and prevent him from making the turn, with assistance from the co-workers who had slowed their cars down. The victim had to drive further down the highway, make a U-turn and return.

Victim’s evidence more convincing

The victim reported the incident to management who investigated it, including collecting evidence from other employees who were also driving nearby but were not involved. It concluded the dismissed employee had breached the employer’s code of conduct and anti-bullying and harassment policy, and also placed the victim’s safety at risk. It dismissed two of the three employees and gave the other one a final warning.

The three co-workers denied the driving incident had occurred, but the Fair Work Commission found the evidence of the victim and other nearby drivers to be more credible.

It found the dismissed employee had looked at the victim and laughed or grinned at him when he blocked his car from turning. Also, he had spoken to some of the other uninvolved drivers about the incident and asked them to keep quiet about it.

Thirdly, it appeared that the three employees involved had conspired afterwards to concoct a story about what happened, although the dismissed employee (who by that time had been suspended with pay) was told by management not to discuss it with anyone else.

Conduct was work-related

The commission found the incident was sufficiently connected to employment to justify disciplinary action by the employer for the following reasons:

  • Previous incidents of bullying of the victim
  • The other two employees involved in the driving incident were involved in the object-throwing incident at work the same day
  • While there was no evidence the dismissed employee was involved in the previous bullying incidents, it was clear he was a friend of those who had, and regarded their conduct as amusing
  • The incident had the capacity to affect the victim’s safety and welfare, which the employer had a duty to protect
  • If an injury had resulted from the driving incident, it would have been treated as a “journey claim” under workers compensation legislation, as the victim was travelling home from work
  • The incident had the potential to adversely affect the employer’s reputation
  • The victim and the three co-workers all knew each other and had worked together.

The actual driving incident did not fall within the scope of coverage of the employer’s Anti-Discrimination, Sexual Harassment and Bullying Policy. But as the three employees had met to plan the incident while on the employer’s premises during working hours, that meeting breached the policy.

The commission also took into account that during his eight years of employment, the dismissed employee had received three official warnings for misconduct, unsafe behaviour and bullying respectively.

It found that the dismissal was not unfair.

What this means for employers

Conduct that occurs while employees are travelling to or from work can be regarded as “in the course of employment” if:

  • The reason(s) why it occurred derived from conduct at the workplace, such as bullying or harassment
  • An employee was injured, or could have been injured, by the conduct
  • It has the potential to adversely affect the employer’s image and reputation.

Employment policies issued to employees need to make this situation clear.

K v Coal & Allied Mining Services Pty Limited [2016] FWC 6018 (9 September 2016) 

http://workplaceinfo.com.au/termination/unfair-dismissal/cases/dismissed-for-bullying-colleague-on-way-home#.V_xwGPB96M8  11 October 2016

How to use negative feedback to be a better leader

Its an interesting article and really gets to the root of self awareness. You know we all have mental models of how we see ourselves until someone else/environment re-adjusts it for us.

The take away is personal and professional growth. The sometimes difficult piece to deal with is the impact it has on our ego.

The important point here is self reflection and the focus on process improvement for next time.
Thank you Danielle great article.

Dr. Danielle Clark

A few weeks ago, I gave constructive feedback to a colleague.  Although those types of conversations are never easy, the discussion went well. Looking back on our meeting, I attribute its success to my detailed pre-planning.

At the close of our meeting, I was feeling good about our time together, but then something unexpected happened — This employee said they had feedback for me. My colleague then shared two examples of when I had recently let them down. The feedback stung. While I had planned to give feedback, I certainly hadn’t planned to receive it. I was thrown off guard and immediately felt hurt because I could empathize with this person’s concerns. They were right — I could have handled a few things differently than I had.

Externally I took the feedback like a champ. I attentively listened to my colleague, explained my thought process behind my actions and took…

View original post 302 more words

Proof that Leadership training is not a waste of time?


Leaders sometimes as part of their duties can be forceful to ensure the teams and the organisational goals are met. Some as a generalization use aggressive behaviour as opposed to supporting assertive behaviour. In this case brought before the District court, it ended up costing the organisation just over $435,000. Yes, you read that right.

The employee claimed that the managers behaviour was “aggressive, belittling, harassing and or otherwise unreasonable ” at which point she suffered a psychiatric illness.

The employee brought a civil claim against the employer for being vicariously liable for the managers conduct. The employer had a duty of care to the employee. If the employee wasn’t performing to the position description, the manager had a number of avenues in which he/she could table the concerns in a manner which provided a space of fairness and safety.

coaching and mentoring gary tremolada

The manager could have opted for a number of different strategies including:

a. Conflict management, pre-emptive, reactive (a number of different approaches)

b. Informal one on one meetings

c Formal one on one meetings (performance management process)

d. Coaching and or mentoring plans

e. Awareness training in; harassment, bullying, victimisaton and parts of the Fairwork Act

f. emotional intelligence/self awareness training

Not all cases like this will end up in a court room. Though, it does beg the question of “how does an organisation gets to a point where this occurs?” There would have been indicators in the build up to the event.

The effects can be far reaching such as poor productivity, poor quality delivery, poor engagement, grievances, higher attrition rates, general disharmony and bullying. This ultimately affects organisational culture and morale. If you work in  Aged Care you maybe familiar with the Caplan study ’97 and the effects on its residents. These types of training for teams will cost far less than $435,000.

gary tremolada coaching and leadership training

What are you waiting for?

Source Eaton v TriCare (Country) Pty Ltd [2016] QCA 139 (15/7161) Fraser and Philip McMurdo JJA and Boddice J 3 June 2016