Monday, January 18, 2010

The Thrill of the Hunt

Conference calls with the team until late at night, pots of coffee, "Version 16" of the PowerPoint presentation, graphs that won't quite fit on the PowerPoint Page, trying to peer into the mind of the client, corporate intel research..... ah, the joys of putting together a bid presentation!

Finished the final draft of the presentation for a huge bid opportunity for a client on Saturday night, then did last minute intel research.

NOW, to catch up on the scores of other projects that were put on hold during the "presentation crunch"!


Feel free to leave me a comment!

Phil Leichliter
J.Philip Group L.L.C.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Working at HOME how to MAKE IT WORK!

Working at HOME! Is it what it's cracked-up to be? YOU BETCHA! Coffee from your own coffee pot, breakfast, lunch and dinner with your family, home when you are NEEDED, spending time in the Jacuzzi that you USED to spend commuting.... yes, it's ALLLLL good.

There IS a CATCH, however...... and MEN have an especially hard time dealing with this "catch". Ya gotta WORK when you are at home, doing your "home office" thing! Sounds obvious, but it's so tempting to stop for 30 minutes to do this, and stop for an hour to do that, and run a few errands, and before you do it, the day is shot and little-to-no work has been done!

I can honestly say I've not struggled (much) with this issue. Before I began working from home, I "read-up" and worked on tactics that make the likelihood of success far greater.

Here are PHIL'S TIPS for "Success Working From Home":
  1. Create a workspace that is absolutely, positively designated for your work. NOT the kitchen table, NOT the recliner in the family room with your laptop... if you have a spare room then capture it, and turn it into your office. DON'T FOOL AROUND with this one; paint it like an office, decorate it like an office, and equip it like an office. Once you go through that door in the morning, you are "at work". (By the way... the I.R.S. absolutly requires that any space you claim as "Home Office" on your taxes must be fully dedicated to your employeement.)
  2. "GO to WORK". That's right; get up early, shower, shave (men...*grin*), get dressed and "go to the office". This is far more important for men than women typically. Women seem to be able to get work done in their fluffy slippers and robe, but not men.
  3. Get the family to cooperate. They MUST allow you to work. Put a sign on your door, or close the door if necessary to make the point that you are truly working, and that your ability to earn a living depends on their cooperation.
  4. No, you CAN'T have your game system hooked up in your office. You just can't, because I SAID SO. *grin* (Honestly, do you think anyone BELIEVES you are actually working in there if your game system is hooked up?
Working at home has changed my life, and my wife's life, completely. It is a total blessing from God to be able to work from home. I treat it as a sacred trust!


Sunday, January 10, 2010

I LOVE what I do! (You should too!)

I LOVE what I do! After decades of developing a career within the "safety" of Fortune 500 companies, I'm now entering my second year in private practice, with my own consultancy.

Getting started was "easy". I was so SURE that I could bring to market the skill sets and experience I'd gained over years of developing and executing strategies for these huge companies! After ALL.... I could point to scores and scores of successful projects which I'd handled, any of which should be worth a train-load of cash to any company!

I developed a website, a newsletter, and began the process of reaching out to my network. I began to get "traction", but NOT in the areas I was so SURE would be fruitful. After months of working hard within the assumptions I'd established for my new consultancy, I came to realize that what was needed "out there" were PROBLEM SOLVERS, not "Consultants".

Problem Solvers. Many respected associates who were displaced during the downturn sought traditional solutions for finding new employment; they filled out hundreds of resumes and mailed them off. They called friends. They tried to get interviews. They talked to Headhunters. The problem with this approach is that they are were positioning themselves as "Operations Executives", or "Field Management", or "Marketing Executives", etc. etc. etc...

What the needed to do was to position themselves as PROBLEM SOLVERS. Target companies they like, and study them. Begin to determine the nature of their challenges.
  • What are their problems?
  • What are their impediments to growth?
  • What are their human resource obstacles?
  • What are their operational challenges?
  • What does their competition do that creates PAIN for them?
The bottom line is that in order for us to ADD VALUE to any organization, ALL of us must find a need and fill it. Find a problem and solve it. Rarely do these "needs" or "problems" occur neatly within the confines of some specific job title. Did my extensive background and experience help? Of COURSE! My experience is what made it possible; the KEY was learning to apply my lifetime of knowledge differently.

My consultancy is growing, and I am finding ways to help people SOLVE PROBLEMS daily. What a GREAT way to live!


Networking in 2010

There is a tremendous amount of emphasis today upon the use of various “Social Networking Sites” as well as Business and Professional sites in order to “grow our networks”.

The choices are daunting! Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Flicker, Pulse, LinkedIn, Spoke…. The number and variety of networks is almost overwhelming, so you must determine what your goals are for the use of networking sites and narrow your focus to a few which are best suited for your style and needs.

It’s easy to get caught-up in the huge amounts of information available through these sites, and in fact, I’ve found that I could almost make it a “part time job”!

For business use, a very good rule of thumb is to look upon the use of these sites as just another task; a tool you use in your business. Dedicate a specific amount of time you are willing to spend weekly using the sites, and then stick to it. Many people need to evaluate the amount of time they spend now, and ensure they are being productive with that time.

Depending upon your vocation, your goals might be to locate and connect with others in your industry, make sales contacts, or find prior business associates and friends. I’ve even located people I had worked with *ahem* 30 years ago!

I want to challenge you in 2010 to view networking a little differently than you may have in the past.

These sites provide an unprecedented opportunity not only for growth of your business, but more importantly for the growth of true RELATIONSHIPS.

All those “names” on your “connections” lists are people. People with challenges, people with problems, people with families. They are people who have jobs or people who are currently between jobs. This is your chance to actually make a difference in people’s lives at very little cost of time or effort on your behalf.

I’m a firm believer that what you sow, you reap. There are so many things you can do professionally and personally that cost you nothing, yet add tremendous value to relationships, and oh, by the way will add value to your business as well!

Here are some examples of ways you can benefit others and add value to your life through the use of Networking Sites:

  1. Actively seek to do “recommendations” for people deserving of your praise. Don’t be gratuitous; but when you discover a past associate, take a moment to do a recommendation of their work, if deserving.
  2. When you come across someone you know who is between jobs, reach out to them. Have a brief conversation. If possible, get a copy of their resume and pass it along to colleagues for their possible consideration.
  3. In general, let people know that you are not “just” gathering names, but that you are interested in advantaging others; not just advancing yourself.
  4. After visiting with someone, actively watch for opportunities that match the goals of that person. When you find something that might be of interest, pass it along to them.
This approach may seem “Pollyanna” or naive to many, but believe me, it’s the right way to operate.

In the past two years, I’ve had the honor of assisting a number of people connect and get new jobs, and it all started by my reaching out to them in this way.
Conversely, I’ve observed the lives of some who have a reputation for stepping on the backs of others in order to get ahead, and it’s pretty amazing to watch their careers over time. Yes, sometimes the bad guys win but more often it’s the GOOD GUYS that win while the “users” meet with frustration and career problems.

Take every opportunity to help others; it is always the right thing to do. Take a principled approach to your relationships going forward, and you will reap a lifetime of rich benefits both personally and professionally.

I'm genuinely interested in getting to know you personally and professionally. Don’t hesitate to reach out to me at any time with questions or requests! Believe me, I value your “connection”! Contact me at


Saturday, January 9, 2010

Greetings! This is my first post, my first attempt at "blogging". I'm so filled with hope and anticipation for this new year! I intend to use this blog as an avenue to share insights and ideas in all the areas of my life; career, networking, I believe that my interactions and relationships with hundreds of people from a very diverse and eclectic universe of friends and associates will provide insight and items of interest to all who may honor me by visiting my "blog page".