Dr. Jimmie Flores

Month: July 2017

How to Impress Your Boss


Advancing in your career is much easier than you might think!

Sort of!

The successful people in your organization know precisely what is important to their boss. They take the time to look at work from the perspective of both the management and leadership teams. Instead of doing work merely to look busy, the top-notch employees are keenly aware of results that impact the bottom line.

Focus on What Matters the Most

If you want to know what is important to your boss, take the time to ask. While the operational or day-to-day activities matter, it’s important to consider the benefits provided by projects. That is, projects are designed to generate revenue and to create internal efficiencies. You should also be aware that project work is usually cross-functional, which means that they are visible across the entire organization, including to the people at the executive level.

Offer to Handle the Tough Work

Here are examples of easy work:

  • Checking and responding to email
  • Processing payroll
  • Informing customer that the order is on its way
  • Discussing an update to a contract with a vendor
  • Updating an MS Excel sales presentation

The items listed above are routine in nature. This type of work is tedious and redundant, and anyone can learn how to do it. In fact, most people are hired to do process-oriented activities. After a few weeks on the job, they might even be called “experts.”

To get yourself on the radar, it’s smart to ask for mission-critical work. For example, your organization might be in the process of hosting an important convention. You can ask your boss what you can do to help with this effort. You might be tasked to contact the individuals and companies that are going to attend. The more attendance that you get at the convention, the more opportunities for your company to sell its products and services. I want to stress that this work is likely not on your job description, but that doesn’t matter to you. The point here is that you’re committed to doing whatever possible to help your company do well. From my many years of business experience, I can tell you that very people take this challenge and volunteer for additional work.

Stop Making Excuses

When issues arise, the easiest thing to do is make excuses. We blame colleagues, assistants, vendors, and anyone else that is an easy target. Differently, the best employees take ownership of the problem, even when they did not create it. I appreciate working with people who know that someone else created the problem, but they’re unwilling to make the issue personal. Instead, these individuals will formulate a plan to resolve the issue, and get back on track.

I want to stress that gaining respect from your boss can take time. It takes far more than working extra hours here and there. In fact, many people who advance in their careers work a regular 40-hour week. The difference is that they focus most their time on high-value items.

Work the Plan – Always!


The easiest thing to do when times get tough is to quit. If you think about, giving up takes no practice. All you have to do is stop trying. That’s it!

Keep Your Eyes on What You Want

I’m sure you’ve read that successful people can visualize what they want most in life. If you’re interested in doubling your income in the next 12 months, it’s imperative that you know the number. Let’s say you earn $50,000 right now. This means that $100,000 is your target. You need to do everything possible to work in an occupation that allows you to earn this kind of money. If you don’t, it’s time to make a change.

There are going to be many days when you will be tempted to take a day off from your goal. While it’s understandable that some activities will keep us busy, we must never forget that progress needs to be made each day. If you’re in sales, this might mean making at least one more call to qualified buyers. The problem with taking it easy is that it might become a habit. Even one small step toward our goal can make a huge difference down the road.

Stop Working Alone

For many years, I ran a business that went nowhere. I thought that I could do it all by myself. I was the CEO … the “Chief Everything Officer!” While my payroll stayed in check, I was not generating any momentum. The other big problem was that the business was not making any money. In fact, I was near closing the doors.

My luck changed when I realized that I needed to hire talented people. Of course, this decision required that I have sufficient operating income to make payroll. The first step was to hire part-time workers who could build the technology that I needed to service our customers. The customers were pleased with our work, so they awarded more contracts. In just a few months, we had enough money to hire full-time workers. The business is doing well today, and the credit goes to my capable team who has bought into the vision of our organization.

Act Instead of React

There are many leaders who prefer to take a reactive approach to running the business. Instead of adopting new technology, they take a wait-and-see attitude. The idea here is to let other companies test it out first. If it works, they will use it. While I understand that early adoption of anything carries risk, I also know that doing nothing is even riskier. To remain competitive in today’s dynamic market, it’s essential that we’re willing to take some chances. One way to be proactive is to speed up the planning phase. If an upside is possible, give it a try.

Working the plan each day does not guarantee success. However, failing to have a plan in place that is constantly executed will certainly lead to failure. Hard-working and diligent people might fall short here and there, but in the long run, they will undoubtedly experience success.

Small, Constant Actions Lead to Huge Results


It’s human nature to want things now. Also, most people are unwilling to put in the hard work over a long period. Instead of pursuing happiness, the goal is instant gratification. Any reasonable person will tell you that it’s far better to reach success faster rather than slower.

Fast is a Relative Term

I’m reminded of the entrepreneur that spent 20 years working on her business without receiving any publicity. She had many challenges along the way, and even came close to shutting the doors several times because sales were low. However, she kept working the business plan, and eventually secured several big contracts. Now that cash flow was better, she had the funds to hire talented people to help her. Because of her commitment to excellence, the customers were happy with the results, and kept giving her company more work. This business became well-known in the industry, and soon new work was arriving each day.

After 20 years, this entrepreneur was featured on a business magazine. The people who do not know her story thought that she was able to quickly make it big. The reality, however, is that she worked nonstop for more than two decades to create a successful company. For some people, 20 years is far too long to wait for success. Successful people will tell you that wealth-building takes many years, and perhaps even a lifetime. For this reason, it’s imperative that one is only doing work that is meaningful. If so, the effort and commitment is enjoyable and rewarding.

Focus on Today’s Work

Think about a book that has 365 pages. For many, it’s impossible to find the time to read a book this big. What if you decided to write a book about a subject you like, and it must contain 365 pages? For this project, I will allocate a year to get it done. If I committed each day to writing just one page for this book, I could have it done within the allotted time-frame. You see the mountain appears too high and steep to climb until we decide to take small steps each day.

The other benefit of sticking with a plan each day is that our performance improves. The more you dedicate to writing, the easier it will get. The words and sentence structure will come naturally over time. At first, writing a page required several hours of effort, but now you can get have it done in 60 minutes.

For work to be meaningful, one must consider the big picture. You should know exactly why you are engaged in the current work. Perhaps you are trying to gain more experience so that you can climb the corporate ladder. You might be working on a project that can create future opportunities for your organization. By having a clear vision, the chances of success will skyrocket.

There will be many days when you believe that little to no progress is made. However, even when you experience challenging days, know that you kicked the ball down the street. The ball didn’t travel too far, but you are heading in the right direction.

How to Find the Career that is Right for You


As an online college professor, I receive many emails from students asking for career advice. In fact, when I served as department chair for the School of Business at a university, one of my duties was to meet with students to discuss how the program they selected could translate to a good job. I’ve been fortunate to have worked at some major companies, such as Shell Oil Company, Prudential, and USSA. Because of this experience, I have a good idea of what employers desire from the candidates they interview for key positions within the organization.

Decide what you want to do. 

Before anyone can provide career advice, it’s important that each of us knows exactly the type of work that we want to do. If we’re unsure regarding what makes us happy, any recommendation is going to fall short of expectations. While attending undergraduate school at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas, I realized that my future was in education. In other words, I was going to share knowledge with people who wanted to learn. While I started teaching at Houston Community College, I later realized that my instruction skills were also in demand as a corporate trainer, which expanded advancement opportunities.

If you are unhappy with your current career, take action today to make a move. This doesn’t mean that you will submit your later of resignation tomorrow morning, but it does mean that you are going to start the process to make the change. Many of you are probably doing that right now by pursing a degree, earning a professional certification, and gaining work experience.

Don’t be afraid to take an entry level job. 

Most people are unwilling to change careers because it feels like they are starting brand new. Doing something else for a living might mean that one must accept an entry level job, which might be necessary. However, because of your experience, and your passion to do well, promotions will come faster. If the pay differential is too big, I recommend putting money aside that will allow you to maintain a similar lifestyle until the compensation in your new job catches-up. You will undoubtedly have to make some sacrifices, but being happy about your career is worth it. The opposite is that you keep working where you are even though you can’t stand it.

Make sure to focus on the long-term benefits. 

It’s human nature to expect good results as fast as possible. The most successful people are usually 40-years and older. The reason people earn more money with age is because the work experience they have is invaluable. These folks have learned how to make tough decisions even when insufficient data is available. With experience, we also learn how to communicate with different types of stakeholders, ranging from frontline personnel to the executives.

Please know that I’m making a general comment about how work experience can lead to good results. I do understand that some young people are doing super-well today, especially because they possess strong technical skills. However, company leaders are looking for candidates who have a macro or big picture understanding of the organization. These skills are earned over many years of trial-and-error.

The takeaway here is that once you are clear with your career of choice, make sure you’re 100% committed. The mistakes you make today will pay off down the road because you will know what doesn’t work.

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