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1-Minute Strategies: Dec. ’09

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in Best-Practices Leadership,HR Management,Human Resources,Leaders & Managers

Skip straight to someone’s voice mail by using Slydial, a service that lets you leave a message for someone you know you can’t reach in person. Call (267) 759-3425, then punch a cell phone number and leave a message.

Take your job search to Twitter. Some companies are using Twitter to fill positions that tend to attract tons of applicants on job boards, such as administrative roles, one HR vice president tells The Wall Street Journal. Sign up via company web sites to receive job announcements, or for a service such as TweetMyJobs.com, which feeds job posts straight to you.

Put a meandering meeting back on track by addressing those who veer off-topic. Say, “You know, Joe, that’s interesting. I wish we had time to talk about it, but isn’t our objective to talk about ABC? Let’s put it on the flip chart, then circle back to it at the end of the meeting.” By writing it down, Joe feels his concern is being taken seriously. And the meeting can move on.

Create a “safe” trash can for the boss who never throws things away. If your boss is nervous about discarding papers because he might need them later, try designating a trash can for paper that will be emptied only once a week. He can toss more freely, knowing he has seven days to retrieve anything. After seven days it’s probably safe to really throw it away.

Use the 3-to-1 ratio when weeding. “For every three items you keep, get rid of one,” says Peter Walsh, host of TLC’s hit series Clean Sweep. He also advises that for every new item you bring into the mix, throw one away. “Pretend you have to move and will be paying someone by the hour to pack and transport all your stuff.”

Make the most of your natural gifts by knowing when to accept feedback and when to ignore it. Example: Usain Bolt is the fastest known sprinter ever. When Bolt was a child, a coach recognized his gift of speed. Bolt was eventually advised to concentrate on the 400-meter race because of his height (he is 6 feet 5 inches tall). But he was perceptive enough to know that his strength lay not there but in the 100-meter dash. Good thing he went against conventional thinking: He broke the world records this year in the 100- and 200-meter races.— Adapted from “Leadership Lessons From Usain Bolt,” John Weeks, Forbes.

Words of wisdom: “Stick to three concepts: (1) You can’t help everyone; (2) You can’t change everything;  (3) Not everyone is going to love you. If you do, you’ll get more done.” — Roberta Vasko Kraus, Center for Creative Leadership.

Is it better to indent five spaces or double space and flush left between paragraphs? It depends. “What you’ve got to have is a style guide,” says Fred Kniggendorf. “It’s where you go to settle arguments about things like fonts, point size, how many spaces to indent, etc.” Assemble a group to hammer out points of style. Start with a published style guide, such as the AP Stylebook, and use it as a foundation to create your own, company-specific guide.

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