Success Matters - Newsletter from Gerrie - #4 October 2006

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Success Associates

e-Newsletter dedicated to creating more focus - vitality - passion in your work! #4 October 2006

Success Associates provides proven strategies to activate your passion and play to your strengths. You focus more strategically for faster results, and typically have more fun and make more money! For more information, click on

Some exciting news!

May 1, 2006 marked the 5 year anniversary of Success Associates!

The past five years have brought many successes and growth opportunities. As I reflected on the many adventures, challenges, and successes, the gift that is most valuable to me was the opportunity to meet so many of you!

I’ve also had the pleasure of getting reacquainted through your e-mails after each broadcast of Success Matters.

Here’s a quick update on a few fun facts since the last Success Matters . . .

What I’ve been up to in 2006 . . .

I stepped into President of Philadelphia Area Coaches Alliance, second year of a three-year term. The organization was at a turn-around point, and we’ve achieved significant growth in just nine months. It’s provided me the opportunity to develop a high performance team with our Executive Board, reinforcing my passion for creating an engaged community.

In addition, I was recruited to be one of 25 Adjunct Instructors to deliver Penn State University’s five-day Training and Credentialing Program for 1700 employees of PA CareerLink’s state-wide partnership. The module that I taught was “Foundations of Career Development in the PA CareerLink System”.

Background Overview: Penn State’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development was awarded a $2.3 million contract by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry to develop the PA CareerLink Training and Credentialing Program. The training program was designed to provide a foundation of information and skills that will help PA CareerLink, the state’s premier employment network, to serve employers and job seekers effectively and consistently.

I have continued strategizing and coaching mid-career professionals who bring diverse challenges to our coaching partnership. Some of these include lack of energy, work/life tension, feel stuck in a career bottleneck, disillusioned about their career success, and uncertain about their next career move.

As I researched these challenges, I discovered that these reflect the disengagement of many mid-career professionals. This topic is gaining widespread attention by organizations because of the economic impacts.

  • One source noted that the cost of the disengaged workforce runs into the trillions of dollars.
  • There is also a growing awareness of the ‘brain drain’ that will occur as baby boomers begin to leave the workforce, although at a much older age than previous generations.

Whether you are navigating difficult questions about turning points in your professional life, desire more energy and focus in your life, or stepping into a higher level of leadership, it all starts with YOU!

What’s required?

  • Change requires energy, focus, and strategic action to leverage your time and resources – after all, there is only one of YOU!
  • Your vision needs to align with your passion, values, and priorities.

Yes, you know all this – but what gets in the way of your success? Most often, it’s the overwhelm and confusion that you feel about which step to take first, how to move forward when there are so many priorities each day, and you’re torn between the security of what you know and reticent to take the plunge to leave the security of your current job.

My intention with Success Matters is to provide you with proven success strategies to increase the focus – vitality – passion in your life and revitalize your career!

If you have any questions or feedback on these strategies, drop me an e-mail at I love to hear from you.

Wishing you a vibrant and energizing day!


Work Less . . . Accomplish More!


“The greatest geniuses accomplish more when they work less.”

Leonardo da Vinci quote from Michael Gelb’s book, How To Think Like Leonardo da Vinci

Can this really be true? Many of us were mentored to ‘keep your nose to the grindstone’. In the days of corporate downsizings, many people go through each day keeping a low profile with the hope of getting bypassed on one more workforce reduction. As a result, the concept of working more intensely and longer hours is reinforced.

Many professionals report that they work at least 50 hours per week, and often with minimal break time. In many corporations, it’s a sign of loyalty and dedication if one works 50+ hours per week.

How does this impact their productivity and innovation? It’s a negative impact which costs organizations with disengaged employees and often costs the employee their health and life enjoyment. It also drains your brain.

Did you know . . . the brain represents only 2% of the body’s weight, but requires almost 25% of its oxygen?

  • When you work without recharging your brain, you lose productivity and energy.
  • When you alternate your mental activity, you challenge your intellect and gain energy and focus!

The linear work habits of professionals vary significantly. Many of my clients don’t take lunch (I own up – I rarely took lunch when I worked in a corporate environment!) or eat lunch at their desk. They work until their ‘to do’ list is complete with only minimum breaks.

What most of us don’t realize is that this linear approach to work actually reduces productivity and performance!

Remember my reference to ‘ultradian rhythms’ in the July 2005 edition of Success Matters?

This 90-120 minute rhythm is our body’s way of communicating that we need to vary our work activities. If you are working on an intense project deadline, schedule time in your routine to engage in an energetically opposite activity.

For example, if you’re analyzing a data/budget report (mental, linear activity), after 90–120 minutes, take a break. Make note of where you ended so you can quickly get reengaged when you return. Schedule a walk down the hall for a casual, conversational update with a co-worker (social, unstructured activity).

Is the number of hours that one works reflective of their results and productivity?

One of my managers had a philosophy about productivity. Her belief is that if it only takes you 6 hours to complete a task, why put in more hours just to log the hours? She believed in life balance, and enjoyed relaxation during her weekends.

She had one of the most highly regarded and productive teams in the company. They were respected for their professionalism, quality and volume of work, and dedication to deadlines. The manager received continuous promotions, and was well liked by all levels of management.

What was her key to success? She knew how to balance stress and recovery.

One of the keys to working less and accomplishing more is to alternate the type of mental activity in which you engage throughout the day. She alternated linear, analytical mental activity with social, creative projects, and established the same work style in her organization.

What is most important to you and your organization? The amount of time that you and your staff devote to your jobs or in the quality and energy brought to each task?

  • Many of my clients have elected to go against this culture and limit their work time to 40–45 hours per week.
  • In addition, they schedule an activity in the evening that they enjoy to reinforce their accountability to their commitment.

What other stress recovery strategies are used by professionals? Executives have used these strategies to balance engagement and disengagement, activity and rest that have resulted in company turn-arounds, increased productivity, and overall feeling of well-being and mental clarity.

  • Schedule set times to answer voicemail and e-mail. Turn off your ringer or minimize your e-mail screen so you’re not tempted to respond.
  • Schedule 15 minute breaks in your business meetings that are over 1.5 hours in length.
  • Select a project that you can work on outside of the office. Pack up your project, and walk to a Starbucks or nearby coffee shoppe for a change of environment.
  • For road warriors, this may be a bit challenging – never work on airplanes. Commit to reading pleasure books or listening to music.
  • Schedule a 4 day weekend each month or at least each quarter. If this isn’t possible with family obligations, budget constraints or lack of vacation time, schedule ‘time off’ from all at-home and work-related responsibilities. Take a drive or visit a museum with family or friends.
  • If it’s great weather, go to the park in the evening for a walk with the family.

Notice that I’ve included other people in many of these stress recovery strategies. Many of my clients report a feeling of isolation in their fast paced lives. They miss quality time with family and friends.

Healthy, positive, supportive relationships are great energizers!

Here’s your opportunity to apply what you’ve learned to creating more focus – vitality – passion in YOUR life!

Coaching Exercise: Call to Action!

1. Take a few minutes to reflect on a few important questions about your life:

  • What are your dreams?
  • How do you want to make a difference in your life?
  • What gets in your way?
  • Does change feel like too much work?
  • Do you believe that you just don’t have enough time to devote to realizing your dreams?

2. Outline a few ways that you can work less this week, and be aware of your accomplishments.

It may feel uncomfortable or unfamiliar. Humor me and go with it for a week . . . one day at a time. Discover if you actually feel more energized after taking quality breaks! You may even want to stretch yourself and leave early one day!

3. Make sure to share with a buddy who supports your growth and change.
Remember, healthy, positive, supportive relationships are great energizers!

4. Repeat the exercise for a second week, and experience how much easier it is.

One of my clients took the leap, and scheduled more fun activities in his life. His reward – he just got promoted!

PROFESSIONAL COACHING: It is truly unlike anything you've ever experienced before. Not sure whether coaching - or the timing for coaching is for you? Click here to learn about other client successes  

Gerrie is a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) and practical, innovative career strategist who works with mid-career professionals to create more focus – vitality - passion in their work. She is an expert in the turn-around model and takes a holistic approach in her executive coaching practice. For more information, click on


  • Network Your Way to Success! 5 Steps to Building Powerful Relationships in 2 Minutes!

During this fun, informative, and interactive event you will . . .
- Learn how to make connections with the people who can make a difference in your career.
- Define your clear, enthusiastic and compelling response to the question, “What do you do?”
- Understand the value of building reciprocal value for long-lasting relationships.

Co-hosts: Gerrie Dresser and Rick Hays, VP Client Services, Career Concepts, Inc.
Sponsor: Network of Women in Computer Technology (NWCT)
Date: Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Time: 5:30pm-9:00pm
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Phone: (410) 535-6800
Phone: Seminar Reservations (877) 847-4220. Limited space available!

copyright 2005 - 2006 Success Associates, Gerrie Dresser. All Rights Reserved.

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View this edition and other Archive Editions. Click on - link for Success Matters Archive.

  • Slow Down For More Energy (July 2005)
  • Follow the Money or Your True Passion? (October 2005)
  • Get Energized in the New Year! (January 2006)

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