Written by Greg Slavens

Years ago, I attended a seminar about goal-setting that I've never forgotten. The leader ofrepparttar workshop presentedrepparttar 102085 participants with tried-and-true steps to reaching every one of our goals. Atrepparttar 102086 time, I thought "It can't be this easy ... can it?"

Well,repparttar 102087 simple steps I learned then are still working for me today, and I'd like to share them with you. Whether your goal is to lose ten pounds, or to retire ten years early, these basic principles can be applied to almost any life situation or challenge.

The first thing to do is to definerepparttar 102088 goal -- in specific, measurable terms - and write it down. This helps you to clarify what your goal really is, and gives it some life.

So, for example, instead of just saying, "I'd like to retire early,' your goal should be stated as "I'd like to retire no later thanrepparttar 102089 year 2004." Whenrepparttar 102090 leader of that workshop talked about this step, she said, "Having it written down allows you to stay focused, and to keep your eye onrepparttar 102091 prize."

The next thing to do with a goal is to 'make molehills out of mountains.' In other words, breakrepparttar 102092 goal down into more manageable segments - either by time frame, or some other measurable unit. For example, if your goal is to lose twenty pounds, you would 'make molehills out of mountains' by declaring that you will lose four pounds per month.

Corporate Survival... How to manage yourself in the political playing field!

Written by Edward B. Toupin

In my first corporate job, I had high expectations that promotions were based on a solid work ethic and quality production. I wanted to aim forrepparttar top and make it happen. Unfortunately, my ideas of corporate environment were inaccurate. As a grunt, an engineer, and a manager,repparttar 102084 games, turf wars, and political thrashings taught me numerous incredible lessons. Inrepparttar 102085 end, I made it to where I wanted to be, but not without bruises, scrapes, and experience.

Now, people come to me with problems that they have within their companies or on their job. They want to learn how they can overcome a situation or better adapt to make it within their companies. For instance, one employee lost out on a promotion becauserepparttar 102086 person in charge favored another person. In such situations, you have to look at both sides. Of course,repparttar 102087 scorned employee was upset as his credentials exceededrepparttar 102088 promoted employee's. But, when we examinedrepparttar 102089 other side ofrepparttar 102090 coin, one ofrepparttar 102091 prominent actions performed byrepparttar 102092 promoted employee was that he publicly supportedrepparttar 102093 boss. If you remove emotion fromrepparttar 102094 situation, and apply some "poli-think," it made sense, according torepparttar 102095 manager's needs.

You can either fight it, or you can learn how to make it work for you. I'm not condoning politics nor am I saying that you should use political tactics in your everyday life, as this is not only exhausting, but it also takes away from your work and personal time. But, if you can understand your corporate culture and its politics, you can better learn how to handlerepparttar 102096 situations that are placed before you instead of becoming stressed or frustrated.

--- The Corporate Culture ---

When you enter Corporate America, you have two choices: dig in, go withrepparttar 102097 punches, and make it intorepparttar 102098 inner circle, or you can hang back and just do your job. Both postures are very necessary elements of corporate life and both are just as difficult. It all depends on what you want out of your career.

* The Corporate Being

A Corporation is a living, breathing, and growing entity. It changes on an irregular basis, adapts to its environment, and sometimes performs acts that seem almost ludicrous. In this way, a corporation is very much like a human being.

You, as a part of this being, must learn how it grows and changes. Most ofrepparttar 102099 time, this information is not evident. However, part ofrepparttar 102100 task of becoming a viable asset to this being is to look beyondrepparttar 102101 surface and find out where things are going. In this way, you can position yourself to be a positive part ofrepparttar 102102 growth and change.

Many ofrepparttar 102103 political situations that occur within a corporation are a result of this growth and change. These changes cause incredible stress for some individuals; however,repparttar 102104 stress can be overcome by not fightingrepparttar 102105 politics and learningrepparttar 102106 culture ofrepparttar 102107 organization. You will learn that many of these situations have valid political reasons for why they occur.

Learningrepparttar 102108 corporate culture is an important step in managingrepparttar 102109 stresses associated with any job. Take some time to observerepparttar 102110 culture at your office. This will not only give you an idea as to how to handle yourself, but it will also help you learn how to handle others.

* Culture Shock

A corporate culture is a set of behaviors and rules that people use to manage their interactions. These include formal company policies and informal rules that you learn through experience. Many times, management will not tell yourepparttar 102111 informal rules ofrepparttar 102112 office, but they will use your ability to adapt and learn as a sign of how well you handle yourself. Additionally, behaving in an inappropriate manner forrepparttar 102113 culture could risk your being labeled as uncooperative by your coworkers.

In any situation, you should analyzerepparttar 102114 culture, and, if necessary, change your habits accordingly to minimize stress. To evaluate your corporate culture, you should consider various important aspects ofrepparttar 102115 environment. For instance, communication style, teamwork, chain of command, appearance, management roles, interoffice friendships, politics, individual attitudes, and general workspace environment are important elements to pay attention to so that you can better acclimate torepparttar 102116 environment.

After you've learnedrepparttar 102117 culture of your workplace, you should see how it matches your personal style and expectations. To help prevent workplace stress, it's likely that you'll have to adjust some of your own habits. Of course, you should not stifle your originality or become an indistinguishable android. With an understanding of your workplace culture, you can make informed choices about your behavior and work habits, and prevent stressful situations and conflicts.

--- Corporate Games ---

Before you can understand corporate games inrepparttar 102118 workplace, you must understand one, core definition ofrepparttar 102119 games: a corporate game is an illegitimate means of getting things done. It is a way that people twist and turn situations to reach a specific goal. However, those people that don't play, risk their careers.

Improperly managing power and politics can make or break your career, cause many sleepless nights, and often has very little to do with your actual job duties. Many people who fail in their jobs do so because of political problems, not skill deficiencies. Many intelligent and capable people aren't as successful as they might be because they haven't learned to cope with office politics. Understanding why you might be having difficulty at work involves understandingrepparttar 102120 basic elements of office politics and why it exists.

* Politics

Politics and political maneuvering isrepparttar 102121 interpersonal conflicts and power plays that exist in most organizations. Amongrepparttar 102122 specific actions commonly associated with office politics are intimidation, indirect communications, covert tactics for advancement, manipulation for control, indirectly tellingrepparttar 102123 truth, hiding vulnerability issues, and playing for favors.

Some companies are better than others inrepparttar 102124 amount of political activity required to do a job. In some companies, playing corporate politics isrepparttar 102125 only job you haverepparttar 102126 time to develop. In others, it is only slightly important. Politics is part ofrepparttar 102127 corporate culture of every organization and it's important to understand how it plays into your organization.

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