Comparing Classic and Modern Corporate and Personal Development ProgramsWritten by Dr. Jason Armstrong
In 1990s Stephen Covey’s name became famous through publication of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. As many know “7 habits” are not a group of new concepts but age-old approaches to success represented in a way that can be clearly applied to modern day personal and corporate development. These precepts are taught in a number of ancient development, and achievement arts which have been practiced for thousands of years. Although many of these concepts have been lost and misinterpreted, they exist and can be translated in non-extreme forms, from such arts as: Zen (which is not a religion, but a path for self discovery and growth), “Art of War” by Sun Tzu (the classic text on strategy which is often regarded as most definitive text on topic), and Tao de Ching (the “book of change”).
Profound lessons for leadership, change, victory and non-conflict have arisen from bodies of work such as “Art of War”, because learnings came from life and death scenarios. Obviously today’s corporate world does not induce a mechanism for change, and success, anywhere near as strong as these ancient arts as consequence of failure is far less. This is why groups such as Samurai, and post-war Corporate Japan, adopted highly refined lessons from Chinese Zen and “Art of War”. However, modern Asia is very different from its past. Today such cultures as Japan often see an environment which is one of most materialistic and rapid success oriented cultures around, quite a contrast to its approaches of past. Today many Western corporate cultures are now embracing past strategies to avoid conflict and gain success.
The strategy text “The Art of War” by Sun Tzu, is often incorrectly viewed as an aggressive approach to victory. However, it is essentially a master text on “Conflict Management” and “Win-Win” scenarios (“Win-Win”, habit 4 of Stephen Covey). It also discusses partnering in detail (“Synergize”, habit 6 of Stephen Covey), project planning (“begin with end in mind”, habit 2 of Stephen Covey) and has many direct relationships to goal attainment in corporate and personal development contexts.
One Cover Letter Secret You Can't Afford To MissWritten by Jimmy Sweeney
Suppose you were hiring manager, your desk piled high with cover letters and resumes to sort through. Which of following cover letter greetings would grab your attention?
Dear Sirs: Dear Sir/Madam: Dear Gentlemen: To whom it may concern:
Dear Manager: Dear HR Director: Dear Human Resources:
Dear Mrs. Thomas: Dear Mr. Friedman: Dear Sally Williams:
Clearly Example #3 is best of bunch because job-seeker has taken time to find out your name and to spell it correctly.
Consider how you'd feel if you received a cover letter that said Dear Sir or Madam, or worse yet, 'To whom it may concern.' No one will be concerned if you address your cover letter to no one in particular!
Remember, there is nothing as sweet to ear as sound of ones name.
Exercise this simple secret and your cover letter will rise to top of pile!
"But I don't know who to address my cover letter to!"
If you don't have this information, take time to get it. Call company. For jobs posted online this may be a challenge. But still, go extra mile. Then at very least address your letter to appropriate entity. Example: Hiring manager; HR Director; etc.