Mitchell Employee Evaluation Module

The second product I ever created was supposed to be a way to help people in leadership positions not only evaluate their present employees, but determine criteria for interviewing and hiring new employees.

The Mitchell Employee Evaluation Module was that attempt. What prompted it was a conversation I was having with my friend Jeanette Sweet, a human resources expert and professional, on how employers often have no real clue in what they really need to consider when hiring new people. So many get hooked on degrees and stupid stuff like that, while many of us know people that have years of experience and are very good at something but never took the time to get a degree.

Even though I’d written the book, I felt I needed an actual product as well. So I sat down and wrote out an outline for the project. I knew it didn’t have to be large, and it’s not because no one would use it. Actually, the hardest part of it all wasn’t in the outline or the criteria, but in creating the worksheets so they’d be easy to use.

The basic idea is to whittle one’s way through some special headline criteria, 3 categories, then drill down a little bit into 46 specific things one might want to look for in a new employee, or evaluate a current employee on. With this criteria, managers figure out exactly what they want, and they’re good to go.

So, this is a specific product for only those who hire and fire, or need to evaluate people who work for them. I’ve sold some, but not all that many. It’s the most expensive product I have as well, even though it’s also the simplest to use. So, if you don’t check this one out, I fully understand. But if you need to do either of those things, the Mitchell Employee Evaluation Module is for you.

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W3 Total Cache

One day last week my blog finally crossed the top 100,000 mark per Alexa. Since I write these posts in advance, I’m not sure what it’s sitting at today, but the day after reaching that one goal it was back over 100,000 the next day; c’est la vie.


Cache Valley Sunset
by Jared Smith

Anyway, one of the things it had evaluated my site on was its loading speed, and it said my speed was less than 90% of the websites out there. Now I’m debating that one, but I do know that images can make a site load slower, as well as javascript things. So, based on a recommendation that was retweeted in a post from Kristi, I decided to try another one of these WordPress plugins to see if it would speed my site up some.

A long time ago I’d tried WP Super Cache and had nothing but problems from it, so I didn’t want to go that route again. This time I decided to try W3 Total Cache, the recommended plugin. As with all WordPress plugins, it was easy to load and activate; after that, well, easy isn’t part of the deal.

I’ll get this out of the way first; the plugin has yet to speed my blog up. I’m not going to say it’s loading slower, but I’m not seeing close the the type of results I thought I would. But I’m not sure why, and that’s my issue.

Like many other plugins, it comes with all these options of things you can do, but without any explanations of what all this stuff actually means. If you follow the link to the plugin site, you’ll see it lists all this stuff that the plugin can do; it doesn’t tell you what any of it means, or whether you should activate this or that and what the stuff that’s already checked means. I don’t consider myself a dumb guy, but sometimes this stuff is really confusing, and if it’s busting my brain then what’s it supposed to do to someone who knows nothing about technology?

I’m probably going to run it another week, and if it improves then I’ll be happy. If not, then I don’t see the point in keeping it around. Has anyone else worked with this and had really great results?

Follow up: a representative of the plugin saw this post on Twitter and sen me this link to another blog for instructions.

Juniper AX411 IEEE 802.11n (draft) Wireless Access Point - 300 Mbps

Juniper 802.11n Wireless Access Point – 300 Mbps






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Embrace The Lead

This is the first of products I’ve created that I’m going to talk about this week. In this case, I’ve written about it on this blog before. Advertising is going to be a little different from the norm. I’m going to give links to the main sales page, and if I’ve written about it here before I’m going to link to that as well. But in general I’m going to tell the story of what got me to create the product instead of doing the hard sell here. Anything to stand apart from the crowd.

The name of my first book is Embrace The Lead. That wasn’t the original name. The story of this book actually starts in 1998. The hospital I was working at had merged with another hospital, then become part of a larger hospital system. Then the powers that be decided to bring all management level people together for a big retreat. They gave us tools which were supposed to help all of us come together at one; didn’t work, and that was the first time I thought about putting together my own theories of management and leadership.

Then in 1999, a strange thing happened. My hospital decided to set up leadership classes, and hired a guy who I was less than impressed with. He took a major dislike to me on the very first day, and trust me, if you didn’t like me, you were going to have problems with everyone else at time. Over the course of 8 weeks we clashed because I thought his material was great, but his theories were stupid. That and he had this way of talking down to everyone.

The ninth week he actually threw me out of class. It was within 30 minutes, and I have no idea what I did, but he decided to “dismiss” me. The powers that be kept telling me not to take anything he’d been saying to me personally, but it’s kind of hard when he kept messing with me, and when he threw me out, it definitely was personal.

Then a funny thing happened. At the end of that particular class he decided to ask what they thought about how he handled throwing me out of class. They took that as permission to tell him what they thought, and for the first time in all those weeks people let him have it. I had been the only one not putting up with things, but finally they let loose. They told him how bad he’d been treating me, how bad he was, and many other things. I got wind of it later on, actually feeling happy beforehand because I didn’t have to go back.

Once word got out, he knew he was in trouble, and I knew he was in trouble as well. Upper management put the last couple of classes on hold, and suddenly this guy was blowing up my phone; I knew it because of the caller ID. And I wouldn’t pick it up; I didn’t want to talk to him. I wanted him to squirm. I wanted him to come to me. But he’d been banned, so he couldn’t come to me.

I talked to one of my friends about it all eventually, and he told me I deserved to talk to the guy and set him straight. So one day I did pick up the phone. He apologized, then asked my opinion on where things went wrong. That was my invitation, so I spent the next 90 minutes telling him pretty much how stupid he was and how he’d messed up. I wasn’t that harsh, as I never am directly, but in general I told him that he hadn’t taken any time to understand his audience, nor any time to figure out just what I actually meant to all of those people. And he’d also missed that his behavior made him look racist; none of those people were putting up with that, as I wasn’t either.

At the end of all that he thanked me, then said I knew as much, if not more, about management and leadership than him and that I should write a book. And that was confirmation number two.

Number three… I started the book in July 2001 with an outline, then started actually writing. And then, September 11th… you know what happened. It bothered me for a long time, so I didn’t touch the book for 2 months. Then we learned my dad had lung cancer, and suddenly I knew I wanted to finish the book so he’d have a chance to read it. I did get it finished, but unfortunately he only got to read the first 60 pages or so before his mind just wasn’t there anymore. But he told me he liked what I’d written; I’ve carried that with me all these years.

And there you have it. Embrace The Lead is a book on leadership and management, yet I tried to write it in a conversational style. Of all things, Ken Blanchard, author of One Minute Manager, read it and critiqued it. He said it sounded like I was giving a seminar; it wasn’t meant as a compliment, but I took it that way because that’s how I meant it to be. If you follow the link back to the sales page, you’ll see that I have a cross section of people who read it, and all seemed to enjoy it. And I sell it as a softcover book and as an ebook, so two different prices; I’ll even sign the softcover book. And I even talked about how I self published my book on this blog.

It’s not pretty, but it’s my book, and I talked about how I published it. And now I’m done. Embrace The Lead; take a look at it, because you might know someone who’s a bad manager that could use it. 😉 No ad since the book is there on the left side; actually for all of these posts it makes no sense advertising something else at the bottom, so you won’t see it on the second day’s post this week.

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You’re Not A Social Media Expert If On Twitter You…

One day last week I felt it was time to trim the number of people I’d hooked up to follow on Twitter again. So I opened up the link to Twit Cleaner, ran the sucker, and stopped following nearly 100 people.


by Dalbera

I don’t say that to be smug; I lead with that to get to this. Out of those 100 people, probably half of them indicated they were some type of social media expert. I like to use the term “specialist”, but I may have to revamp my thinking on that word one day. But I digress…

The issue at hand is that the people I decided to stop following had, in my view, in some way violated the concept of what I feel social media is all about. What were the sins? Let me point them out:

1. Not posting on Twitter. To me, it’s okay if people don’t want to use Twitter. However, if someone says they’re a social media expert, they need to be doing more than just having a Twitter account. What possible advice could they give to a client if they’re not using one of the most popular social media outlets in the world? By the way, this also goes for not having made a post in months, whether you used to be active or not.

2. Not being social on Twitter. One of my biggest gripes with some people on Twitter is that they never talk to anyone. Thanking someone for retweeting your post is not a conversation; neither is just saying “thanks” (that part also goes for responding to comments on blogs). Something Twit Cleaner does is asks if you want to see how your account is seen via its tools. I decided to check, and it said I was fine and perfect; well, I don’t remember the actual words. However, Twitter really was set up to be a communication device, for people to talk to each other. Sure, we can’t do it 24/7, but if you’re claiming to be a social media expert, you have to show that you indeed know how to talk to people.

3. Talking to yourself. Goodness, there is a lot of this! It basically takes 3 forms. One, the person keeps posting links or quotes, whether it’s links to their sites or the sites of others; two, the person keeps writing about everything going on in their day, only pausing minutes here and there for a breather; three, consistently marketing, talking about themselves… all 3 of these never including talking to a single person at all.

4. Not having a true link back to their website. This one I usually forgive early on if I’m following someone, but after awhile I won’t let it go. If you’re some kind of expert, which means you’re doing this for a living in some fashion, you need to have a website or blog or something you link back to showing some of what you do. If you’re linking to your Twitter, Linkedin or Facebook account instead, well, I’m the kind of guy who’s going to be suspicious of that.

5. Doing the “Follow Friday” (FF) thing all the time, whether it’s Friday or not, and only doing that, posting all those names without every doing anything else. True, appealing to someone’s vanity is never a bad thing, but if they see it all the time without any substance it starts falling on deaf ears; y’all don’t have anything on Eddie Haskell!

It’s true, there are no officially written rules for Twitter. But it’s obvious that there are things that help people stay engaged in some fashion. I still follow more than 1,000 people, and I have a lot more people who follow me. Everyone knows that if they actually write me about something I’d said I will respond to them. I don’t always respond to the people who just retweet me, especially if they do it often, but if it’s a new name, or someone I don’t see often, I will thank those people. I also don’t always respond to those “FF” things if it’s listing a bunch of names all at once.

Of course these are just my opinions, which means someone else might have a different thought on this one than me. If so, lay it on me; after all, I’m not calling myself a social media expert… yet. 😉
 

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Sunday Question – Have You Thanked Anyone Recently?

Back in 2008, on my business blog, I wrote a post called Mitch’s List. It was an idea that came from a long time online friend of mine named Dean, and I thought it was a great idea.

That idea was to thank everyone who’d help to make the previous year or other years successful and fun. In that post, I also linked to as many people as I could to thank them for however they helped me, and that included friends as well. Of course, if they didn’t have anything for me to link to then I just mentioned them by name and moved on. I also let all of them know that I’d mentioned them in the blog post by email.

That felt good, but it also was one of the longest and most complicated posts I’d ever written. However, I realized that there were a lot of people I probably never really said “thank you” to that deserved it. I tend to be someone who says it a lot when someone is in front of me, but if not then I just forget; I talked about that memory thing last weekend.

Of course, as usual I’m writing this a few days beforehand, so I can’t tell you who I thanked on Saturday. But I can tell you that on Wednesday, when I didn’t see a lot of people, I thanked the guy who rang up my purchases at the grocery store; I thanked a friend of mine for visiting and for letting me talk about some things; I thanked my wife for bringing me home chili from work; and I thanked a lot of people for commenting on the blog.

I like to think I’m a fairly thankful guy, for the heathen that I am. lol And this being Thanksgiving week, I’m thankful that I get to go visit my mother and grandmother with my wife, and have a few nice meals there as well. I guess that’s what it’s all about.

I’m thankful to anyone who reads this post and comments on it as well. Have you thanked anyone lately?

Martha Stewart Flourish Wreath Thank You Note – Set of 25 by Crane & Co.






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