Tag Archives: Career

The Great Value Migration No. 2

90% of today’s professional jobs will disappear. Will your career disappear too?

This week we, in part 2 of the GREAT VALUE MIGRATION we examine, why your job isn’t safe & why you shouldn’t care…

As always, I invite you to be a part of the process by sharing your insights with me directly at jeff@jeffkaplan.com.

SPECIAL NOTE: Thank you to all those that took time to share your thoughts and ideas regarding the GREAT VALUE MIGRATION. We’ve read every comment and considered every perspective – you are each a part of the GVM story.

Stay connected,


The Great Value Migration No. 1

We’re taking it up a notch! 

(See e-book segment below message)

Since we began publishing this blog in 2013, we’ve learned so much from your feedback. In fact, your insights and stories were so valuable, we asked ourselves how we can get you more involved.

The answer? We’re inviting you to become co-authors and help shape our content as it develops! Starting this week, we’ll be publishing e-book segments focused on things that are happening right now, changes in the world of work that effect all of us. And we ask you to share your insights, stories and opinions; anything that helps clarify, illustrate or extend the topic.

We begin today with an e-book series examining, the greatest career challenge (and the greatest opportunity) we’ve faced in a generation: The Great Value Migration.

What are your thoughts? Do you feel it? Is it affecting your organization or career?

Reach out directly at jeff@jeffkaplan.com or text me at (310) 220-5139.



Company Killer: How to stop FUD before it’s too late!

Why Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt may be draining the life from your organization…

How was your day today?

Are you living the dream or playing out the clock?

Are the decisions your organization is making, spiritually uplifting or are you operating with a pit in your gut?

Our latest research indicates that many of today’s workers—folks that should be operating in career primetime—are too often finding themselves searching for 5 o’clock, ending the day so exhausted that they’re going bed at the same time as their children.

It’s not the work.

It’s not the latest crisis.

It’s not even the economy.

The cause?

F.U.D. Fear. Uncertainty. Doubt.

  • That merger that made millions for the stockholders, meant that thousands weren’t sure how they’d fit in to the new organization.
  • That amazing new sales leader who promised to bring back the good old days, also wants to reorganize.
  • The bosses that think their emotional intelligence is off the chart, while they insult, dismiss or otherwise diminish their employees with the same ease as they shuffle file folders.
  • The HR policy that restricts the contributions of the most capable and most knowledgeable employees in favor of qualifications gained decades before.

It’s the not knowing.


It’s the wondering what’s next.


It’s the gut-wrenching thought that what you do isn’t so valuable any more.


As the saying goes, “if you want to make God laugh, make a plan.”

And of course, there are no guarantees in life but great leadership is becoming more and more about managing expectations (and thereby anxiety) about the future.

Leaders don’t need to coddle employees, who already understand that into each career some rain must fall…

Leaders MUST do everything in their power to minimize the FUD caused by what tomorrow will, or will not bring.

Fortune cookie sum-up?

Leaders need to respect their employees enough to give it to them straight, in as near real time as is possible, because in most cases it isn’t knowing the outcome it’s the not knowing what’s coming.

Until next time, I welcome your stories, comments and ideas directly at jeff@jeffkaplan.com.

Stay connected,


The Art of the Possible: Creating a World of Success (Part 1)

From boardrooms to wakeboards, the world of work is changing and over the next month I’ll be introducing you to a group of people that are changing how we view work, careers and even our definition of success. In this series, we’ll travel the globe to meet a group of top executives that are behaving in ways we’d never imagined, a couple of upcoming executives that are turning careful planning and hard work into off-the-charts career progression and a few exceptional young people that are starting their careers while they’re still in school and blowing up all the rules along the way…

Dateline – Brussels, Belgium

A sliver of sun peaks over the lush green tree line that boarders Cable Park Lake; signaling the start of a new day in Wakeboard Paradise. First to break the glass-still water, Fabrice Tardioli gears up to strut his stuff at a sport where boundaries are only temporary suggestions. A reflection of the sport he loves, Fabrice defies conventional notions of extreme athletes; this family-first father of two young daughters enjoys a well-established career as a high-tech sales executive. Fabrice offers a simple formula for success that starts at home, “My wife is my rock,” he says. From demanding physical preparation to “the numerous calls she receives from hospitals unannounced, she goes through a lot!”

I met Fabrice a few years ago, after a presentation and he’s stayed in contact. He writes me occasionally to share his perspective on a blog or just check-in. What impressed me most about his story was how he systematically set out to create the life of his dreams and did so without sacrificing any one thing at the expense of another. Fabrice doesn’t have it all… but he does have what’s important to him. He’s living life on his own terms and in the process, he’s giving back more than he’s taking.

As we’ll see over the next several weeks, success comes in many forms but it never comes alone. A solid base, a truly connected partner, engaged children, a career that satisfies your needs or provides you the flexibility to pursue what does; these are all parts of finding the kind of success that can help you become the person you were meant to be.

As always, feel free to share your comments directly by writing me at jeff@jeffkaplan.com.

Until next week…

Stay connected,



Tools for Tomorrow, Today!


Only a few more weeks and you will have successfully navigated another challenging year. Whether you got the project done, won the promotion, got in shape, went back to school or simply made it through the year without taking a swing at your boss… you did it!


Remember your struggle,

Remember the strength you summoned,

Remember how success felt!


Who’s there?

See, you forget already…

New Times

We’ve long since replaced the traditional view of success (if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it), with an appreciation for tireless tinkering (continuous improvement) and are now landing on a new success reality.

New Reality

  • Stop showing off all that you know, and start showing that you know how to learn what you don’t know.
  • Clarity is dead, long live ambiguous and incomplete…
  • Teamwork doesn’t work the same way anymore.
  • Yesterday isn’t soon enough; can’t you keep up?
  • Do more with less. When was the last time you had everything your needed to get the job done?

New Rhythm, New TEMPO

Success demands that we outlearn, outwit and outperform our competition.

In a world of ever-smarter, ever-faster, ever-more alternatives we must crowd source’ our success. Our latest research suggests tomorrow’s success demands a new and unique blend of networking support, what we’re calling the T.E.M.P.O. Effect — earning success by harnessing other people’s time, other people’s experience, other people’s money and other people’s people!

In the coming months, we’ll examine the implications of crowd sourcing success and how you can put the power of TEMPO Effect to work for you!

Until next time, stay connected!


321…Watch You Back!

Why 1/3 of Your Team May Be Out to Get You!

My experience leading teams has been (select one):

  • An uplifting, collaborative exploration of what’s possible?  
  • A soul-crushing, lonely exercise in futility?

Unfortunately, your chances of selecting either of these answers is about 50/50.

A friend of mine has recently taken the reins of an international sales organization. Despite the fact that she’s seasoned, capable and world-class smart — she’s starting to question herself and her team leadership experience could go either way.

My advice?

Think 3, Win 2, Turn 1…. 

Think 3: Think of your team as having 3 sub-groups (which one are you?)

  • People that make things happen. Positive optimists, willing to give you a try
  • People that stop things from happening. Nay-saying pessimists, programmed to resist change
  • People that wonder what happened. Neutral observers, that go with the flow.

Win 2: Focus on winning the hearts and minds of 2 sub-groups

  • Make a list of which team members belong in each group
  • Solidify your base by aligning with visible, vocal and influential optimists
  • Find social and political links to start bringing neutrals into your new coalition.

Turn 1: With the balance of power shifting to your favor, it’s time to put it over the top

  • Identify the most visible, vocal and influential nay-sayers
  • Move nay-sayings into the “pro-you” column by authentically helping her/him become successful
  • Nay-sayer support has a cascading effect that will shore up your support for fence-sitting neutrals.

In a nutshell:
If you want to make a mark.
If you believe there has to be a better way.
If you think today’s best is simply a starting point for tomorrow.
Make the 321 Rule part of your leadership strategy.
If your goal is stay below the radar.
If you desire to keep doing exactly what was done yesterday.
You don’t need to worry too much about the 321 Rule,
but remember to
Watch Your Back!

Personal note: to my new-sales-leader friend halfway around the world, you are such a ROCK STAR! Now go 321 your team so the rest of the world can see it too!

As always, don’t hesitate to share your own thoughts and experiences about team leadership with me, directly at Jeff@jeffkaplan.com

Stay connected,


Failure Becomes You: Why Failure Is So Hot… (Part III)

Success is exhausting!


Because success isn’t enough – we want perfection.

We want the unbeaten, perfect season.

We want it all and want to break every record along the way.

There’s is only room for one at the tippy-top of any endeavor, which is a real math problem in a world with 7.5 billion people.

If the pursuit of perfection weren’t tiring enough, we go to great lengths to avoid opening up about our failures.

We hide our insecurities.

We protect our secrets.

Up and coming transformationalist, Kyle Cease, suggests we acknowledge our shortcomings, “embrace our insecurity and stop trying to please others.” (Don’t know Kyle? Watch this video!)

The impossibly exhausting pursuit of perfection makes acceptance of failure seem like a breath of fresh air!

The founders of the demotivation website Despair.com have turned our growing interest in failure into a commercial venture stating,

Motivation products don’t work butour demotivatior® products don’t work even better… When we started Despair, we had a dream. To crush other people’s dreams!

The TedTalks.com library is fast developing a robust selection of failure talks, includinghiring people with imperfect resumes, admissions of organizational failure, thebeauty of being a misfit among many.

Acceptance of failure can benefit us personally, interpersonally, as parents and as business leaders:

  • Personally. Perfection requires rigid adherence to protocol and process, a little failure reduces formality, relieves the pressure and loosens everybody up,
  • Interpersonally. Admissions of imperfection allow us to act more genuinely, making us accessible and allowing others to connect with us more quickly and more deeply,
  • For Kids. Failure is crucial to healthy development. If they don’t fall, how will they ever learn to get back up again? (so no ribbon for coming in last again for 15-year old Jimmy Bobby) and
  • In Business. Celebrating failure is a powerful culture change tool, giving employees permission to try new things without risking the penalties failure typically brings.

Thanks to all of you that have shared your insights and perspectives. This topic has created several interesting conversations and I welcome hearing your thoughts by writing me directly at jeff@jeffkaplan.com.

Until next week, stay connected!


How to Succeed at Failure: The Failure Formula (Part II)

What do former Metropolitan Museum social media executive, Sree Sreenivasan, and sexting ex-Congressman, Anthony Weiner, have in common?

About the same age, both were incredibly successful residents of New York:

  • Sree, a highly regarded Columbia School of Journalism professor,
  • Anthony, a seven-term winning politician.

Both were the first to occupy the posts that would make them public figures:

  • Weiner occupied a newly created seat on the New York City Council and
  • Sreenivasan was the first to hold title of Chief Digital Officer for the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

That’s where the comparison ends.

  • Hailed as the executive that brought social media into the executive suite, the Met eliminated Sree’s role as a cost-cutting measure and
  • After making headlines as an up and coming political star, Anthony’s sexual indiscretions forced his resignation from congress.

When faced with failure, the sexter evaded and denied and the social media expert went public, told it all and told it fast. The Congressman didn’t listen, didn’t learn and repeated his mistake. Forever the professor, Sree asked the world for help and advice, offered to take any meeting, hear any ideas and consider all options.

The result?

Weiner has become a cautionary tale, while Sree faces the challenge of choosing amongst a growing list of options.

I am not – in any way—comparing someone’s job loss to the moral bankruptcy of a married sexter sending unwanted pelfies to young women. The issues are worlds apart.

Putting aside the moral and ethical gulf that separates these situations, there is a broader lesson to be learned – Is there a way to succeed at failure?

When faced with clear and present failure, follow the failure formula:

  • Don’t hide
  • Own the obvious
  • Shape the story
  • Listen and learn

Next week, we’ll meet a man that makes failure look good!

As always, I welcome your thoughts and insights directly at jeff@jeffkaplan.com

Stay connected…


Failure is the New Success! (PART 1)

And other de-motivational words of wisdom…

Did you ever have one of those everything-that-could-go-wrong-goes-wrong days?

Ever have the kind of day that leaves you thinking that the purpose of our life is only to serve as a warning to others?

No one is perfect.

Yet, we are inundated, tantalized and teased with perfection, every day, in every conceivable way.

From the wrinkle-free faces that grace People Magazine covers to the fat-free, speedo-clad, dripping-wet-with-success of Michael Phelps and his 28 medals…

We LIKE being better,

We ADORE being best and



When the only wrinkle-free thing on your body is the non-ironed work shirt you are wearing right now and the number of pounds and reasons that separate you from your own speedo pose keep growing—it’s not surprising that FAILURE is gaining in popularity!

There appears to be a growing space in our hearts for a few ill-conceived, poorly-executed acts of stupidity on the part of otherwise near perfect performers!

Why did the uber-decorated Olympian go Mike Tyson on an innocent Brazilian gas station restroom poster?

You’ll have to ask Jack, or

You can ask Jim, or

You can ask any of their friends.

But the answer really doesn’t make any difference, not in the face of North Korean aggression and Donald Trump’s comb over.

What matters is that we seem ready to acknowledge and accept failure—something we’ve previously kept under the rug!

Over the next three weeks we will be examining the acceptance of failure and what it means to our everyday lives. First, we’ll hear the story of how one man turned his pink slip into a social media event. Then, we’ll meet a new kind of thought-leader that embraces failure and questions the way we view success. We’ll end the series with a look at an emerging failure-industry that’s banking on our growing love affair with failure.

This topic is sure to stir up some of your own thoughts and insights. Please don’t hesitate to share your thinking with me directly at Jeff@Jeffkaplan.com

Stay connected!


Why Come?

My entire career, I’ve been watching.

Every interaction, every meeting, every pitch – I’d watch and wonder HOW?

HOW can I be more like this person or avoid becoming that person?
HOW can I get this or prevent that?
HOW can I be successful?

The answer was simple.
Stop asking HOW and start asking WHY?

WHY is this worker kicking-booty, while that worker goes unnoticed?
WHY do some people enthusiastically embrace their work, while others stay arms-length-removed?

HOW questions show our age.
Maybe not the number of candles-on-your-birthday-cake age but the age of our thinking.

HOW questions are so-20th Century.
HOW questions are PROCESS questions, seeking only the repeating and dependable patterns that drove the industrial age.

HOW thinking goes like this:

If someone did this and got that.
Then, if I do this, I too will get that.
Thus, if I do more of this, I will get more of that.

Too bad, so sad, wrong answer.
It doesn’t work that way and never did.  

WHY thinkers know:

Life doesn’t work like an assembly line.
Patterned predicable behavior isn’t the norm – not even close.

In the supremely-un-factory-like human world,
In workplaces filled with sensitive people,
Success isn’t a controlled output.
Success is an emergent quality,
A celebration,
A collaborative triumph over all the other possibilities.

Success arises from the delicate, and oh-so-fragile, interplay of human motivations and desires.

Asking WHY transforms the mundane into the magical.

WHY connects people where it matters – by connecting WHY it matters to people.

Too fluffy for you?
Too touchy feely to fit in your world of work?
HOW’S that working out for you?

If your work life isn’t as fulfilling as it could be,
Maybe it’s time to ask yourself, WHY COME?

Share why you’re thinking the way you are with me directly at: jeff@jeffkaplan.com.

Until next week, stay connected!