A Moment of Notoriety

Sitting in a New Bern, NC restaurant with friends, just finished eating.

Fleetwood MacWe are yet seated at the table and this 20 something strolls up to the table, politely excuses the intrusion, saying they swore I was Mick Fleetwood from the famous band, Fleetwood Mac.  And, she asked if I was.  I said no, I could tell by my bank account.

She stayed for a few minutes, fancifully and with great animation, going through her table’s conversation about, “is that really him” and we all talked about Fleetwood Mac.

Then she apologies again, and kindly, shyly asked me to stand so she could do a selfie with me. I did.

I relayed this tidbit to a friend of mine and he noted that I could not have been mistaken for Mick Fleetwood.  Mick is 6’3″ and your, 5’8″.  Notwithstanding my friend’s sarcastic comment…

…. I’m leaving for my world tour tomorrow!

***** S&E *****

New Job, Promotion? Need a Road Map?

Your new job is likely not the same as the old one.  You might be working for a different company, or, promoted to a higher level in your current business.  Either way, here is basic road map to help you be successful.

New Job Sign“Know what you don’t know”.  You will have new internal customers, a different scope of responsibility, possibly a new boss, interfaces with new departments, and maybe need some new tools (skills) in your tool kit.  So, before you launch into action, take some time to understand your new position universe.  It will be important to your success and lessen the odds of early disasters.

Engage the boss to develop your objectives.  Some bosses are not attentive to that.  If that is the case develop a document that addresses what you plan to accomplish in the first three months and six months and year.  Create quarterly reports for the boss that document your progress and highlight key milestones, and continuing challenges if applicable.  This document is also a handy tool for the boss to chart your part of department progress to his/her superiors. It is a good way to highlight needed train and development areas and actions.  Importantly, you will find at year-end you have all the work and accomplishments documented for you annual performance review.  It beats trying to reconstruct the entire performance year at year-end… a risky and distasteful task. If the boss doesn’t like or do performance reviews, and there are some out there, you will have yours done to hand to your supervisor.

Look at how your work impacts other departments and customers.  Your new New Job Chartdeliverables need to add value for your internal customers. Your work will represent who you are and set future expectations of your value to the organization.

Learn which resources and opportunities for teamwork in your department and others are critical to leverage the organization to obtain assistance and to accomplish your work.

Take the time to learn !

Consider using an organization chart format to map out the high level elements that are important in your new job.  It can serve as a great visual and tool to engage the boss on your approach to your new job!

Never, ever, ever underestimate the value of accurate, timely, and ongoing communications as part of planning and implementation across the entire content of your new position. As in the case of behavior, communications impacts your daily work and is a huge factor in how you are perceived as a professional and effective team player. A behavioral psychologist and renowned expert in the communications field once noted: “When something goes wrong at work, 90% of the time it can be linked to communications”.

Earlier postings on this blog’s “Success” page have explained that more opportunities are lost and more career paths sidelined due to a lack of understanding of the importance of Behavior as it applies to all aspects of work.  Ref:  Influence: Impact of Behavioral Competencies on Careers


***** S&E *****



Be Taken Seriously At Work !

In a new job?   Climbing the career ladder?  If you feel like no one is taking you seriously, you should check that you’re getting these three things right.


I have three kids who are all in their twenties. I remember fondly when they were in their teens, though, and each of them at different points would say, “Why don’t you treat me like an adult?” My response to them was that no adult ever needs to be asked to be treated like an adult. They command that respect by virtue of who they are.

The same thing holds true for being taken seriously at work.

Early in your career, early in your tenure with a new organization, or early in your interactions with a new customer or client, you may feel like you have difficulty being taken seriously. Start by looking a bit at your own behavior to figure out whether you are doing anything that prevents people from engaging with your contributions the way you want.


No matter how good your ideas are, nobody will pay attention to them if you cannot Listening is Learningpresent them in a way that is on-point to the people you talk to. That means you need to provide a bridge between the knowledge and concerns of others and the idea you are presenting.

The only way to determine what other people know and what they care about is to listen to them. Ask a lot of questions. Listen to the language they use to discuss key issues. Listen for the pauses in what they say to get a sense of whether there are things people are uncomfortable discussing.

Then, mirror the language other people are using as you introduce your ideas. Go out of your way to help people see how the proposals you want to make connect with what they care about. And if you can’t find any bridge between what other people care about and your ideas, then you may need to wait for another time to lay out your plans.


Another problem that can arise early on is that you may treat the problems people are grappling with too abstractly. When you first enter an organization or an engagement with a client, it is often easy to see things that are going wrong. It may seem obvious initially what the problems are and how to fix them.

ComplexityOften, though, the systems that an organization has put in place reflect the need to make trade-offs among competing goals. These compromises may not allow the organization to do something optimally, but they may reflect a very good balance that resolves a number of conflicts.

Before throwing out suggestions for how to improve something, it is important to understand why things are done the way they are. If you make suggestions that don’t take the complexity of an issue into consideration, other people will assume you don’t really understand the problem (which is true). As a result, they will start to discount other things you say as well.

When you feel you have a good grasp on a situation, you can present your suggestions in a way that acknowledges the trade-offs that have to be made. Present your ideas in a way that helps people to see how they resolve conflicts in a different way that you believe to be better.


The best way to be taken seriously in any organization is to develop a reputation as someone who gets things done. That means that when you talk with people about plans for the future, you should take the lead on ensuring that the ideas move forward. Follow up with people to make sure that everyone knows their responsibilities. If you promised to do something by a particular time, then do it.

Follow ThroughYou don’t really need to broadcast your accomplishments. If you do what you say you are going to do, it will get noticed. Then, when you say something, people listen. They know that your words are followed by actions.

That also gains you allies around your organization. Much of what gets you taken seriously involves conversations that other people have outside of your presence in which you get mentioned. That reputation creates an orientation in other people where they already intend to take you seriously from the moment you engage with them.

It takes time to develop that reputation. You have to keep doing your work and doing it well. When you do that, though, you will find that it has been a while since you were concerned that people weren’t taking you seriously.


Art Markman, PhD is a professor of Psychology and Marketing at the University of Texas at Austin and Founding Director of the Program in the Human Dimensions of Organizations. Art is the author of Smart Thinking and Habits of Leadership, Smart Change, and most recently, Brain Briefs, co-authored with his “Two Guys on Your Head” co-host Bob Duke, which focuses on how you can use the science of motivation to change your behavior at work and at home.

***** S&E *****