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Jim Cramer — Salesforce’s Continuing Growth Making SAP, Oracle Nervous

Shares of (CRM - Get Report) are up 5.3% on Thursday after the company topped earnings and revenue expectations. CEO Marc Benioff has proved that he can continue to blow the numbers away, TheStreet’s Jim Cramer, co-manager of the Action Alerts PLUS portfolio, said on CNBC’s “Mad Dash” TV show. 


If you love your job, don’t read this.

We wouldn’t want to tempt you with our great  new job opportunities 


R. Donahue Peebles on Letting Employees Change Lanes

“article courtesy of”

This interview with R. Donahue Peebles of the Peebles Corporation was conducted and condensed by Adam Bryant.

Q. What were some early influences for you?

A. My parents divorced when I was 5, and I lived with my mother. She was a working single parent, and I learned to be a bit more independent. By the time I was 8, I would often cook for myself and take care of myself. My mother worked really hard, so I didn’t want to burden her with me.

As a teenager, I played a lot of sports and tended to lead the teams. But my mother felt I needed a little more discipline, so she thought I should be a page on Capitol Hill. She had worked at the Urban League years earlier, and one of the congressmen she knew was John Conyers. He helped me get me a position as a page on the Hill.

I was 16. Instead of attending high school near my home, I went to the U.S. Capitol Page School from 6 to 10:30 in the morning on the top floor of the Library of Congress. From 10:30 on, I worked in the House of Representatives. After working all day, I would go home and then have basketball practice until about 9 p.m. Then I would do my homework, go to bed around midnight, and then get up at 4 the next morning to do it all over again. I learned to budget my time very efficiently, and I would catch up on sleep on the weekends.

Then my mother had a prolonged illness and could not really work for about a year and a half. But with my job as a page, and work I did in Representative Conyers’s office, I was able to help support our household. I made some tremendous relationships over the years. My graduation ceremony was in the Cannon Caucus Room on Capitol Hill; President Carter gave me a certificate of achievement earlier in the day. I spent a lot of my childhood watching others lead and learning how to lead.

Did you have specific career plans when you went to college?

I was going to study medicine at Rutgers. One of the frustrating or difficult things for me as a child was the instability. I planned on having a family at some point, and I wanted to be able to take care of them and give them opportunity and stability. So I figured I would be a doctor because I had a good aptitude for sciences.
But after the first year, I decided I wasn’t going to go into medicine, and I went back to D.C. My mother had a real estate appraisal business, and so I worked for her. By the time I was 23, I was the youngest person appointed to the Property Tax Appeal Board in the district. The next year, I was named chair of the board, one of the most powerful positions in Washington’s real estate industry.

What leadership lessons had prepared you for that?

I learned from watching my mother, and I learned from watching politics. It’s about getting people vested in the outcome of success. I also knew I didn’t need to take credit for everything. I was the chairman, so if the board did well, I was going to get credit for it. But I felt it was important to let other people get credit and recognition, and it gave them more of a sense of ownership in the goal.

Now you’re in real estate development. How big is your company?

We have about $3.5 billion of projects in development. Our executive staff is about two dozen people, and we have fewer than 100 over all.

What other insights about leadership have you learned?

One is that our company should be a vehicle for our employees to accomplish some of their personal goals. It is a two-way street, but we should give people the opportunity to evolve and learn and grow and not put them in slots or force people to stay in their own lanes. People need to focus on their primary responsibilities, but I want to foster an approach where they can broaden their skill set.

I also, for many years, thought the best reward I could give to anyone working in our company was money, whether it was a bonus or a promotion. But I’ve learned that encouragement and acknowledgment are sometimes more important than dollars.

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The Most Cost Effective Way To Engage Your People

“by Paul Larue,”

Do you remember Bob Nelson’s series of books “1001 Ways“? The titles ran the gamut of 1001 Ways to Take Initiative at Work to 1001 Ways to Energize Employees and 1001 Ways to Energize Employees.

Why were these books so popular, and why do they continue to have a place on leaders’ bookshelves still today? It’s because of the power of giving value to your people and acknowledging their efforts.

Many books have properly outlined the power of effective praise and recognition. From Nelson’s books to Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson’s New One Minute Manager (and its predecessor) to Michael Lee Stallard’s Connection Culture (my favorite), the inherent need to create an approach and culture that validates your people is powerful and proven.

And for all the note card, bell ringing, and public praise methods, each author agrees on the most simple and cost effective method for engaging their people.

The simple “Thank You.”

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The Divided Will Always Be Separated

“by Lolly Daskal,”

He called because everyone on his leadership team said he needed a great coach.

He was head of a large global organization, and the feedback he kept getting is that he was a lousy leader.

I thought to myself, This must be either a brave organization or a desperate one to ask their CEO to seek help. I wouldn’t know which until I spoke to him.

The call was going fine until he said, “Stop asking me questions about myself—let’s do a 360 and figure out what’s wrong, and then you can give me some processes and I will make things right.”

Surprised, I asked him, “What do you mean?”

He said, “Let’s not dive too deeply into who I am as a person. That’s not relevant. What matters here is who I am when I show up at work. And that is all.”

Any leader who thinks that they can divide their personal and professional life is setting themselves up for disillusionment.

Because the honest truth is this: What gets divided gets separated. And the price is high.

Who you are as a person is who you bring to work. The best leaders bring their entire being to work, because they know that who you are says more than any words. There are three essentials to leadership: humility, clarity, and courage—and they require your all

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Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work — and What Does

“by Susan Fowler,”

I urge you: Stop trying to motivate people! It’s frustrating for everyone involved and it just doesn’t work.

An important truth has emerged from the compelling science of motivation: Motivating people does not work because people are already motivated. People are always motivated. The question is not if a person is motivated, but why.

For example, imagine you have given the same requirement to three sales people: enter sales activity into Salesforce every week. It’s a mistake to assume they are motivated if they do it and not motivated if they don’t do it (or don’t do it well). Each of them is motivated, but with a different quality of motivation based on their reasons for using Salesforce, or not. Through a motivation conversation with each of them, you might discover:

  • Jake inputs into Salesforce every week, but the quality of what he enters is subpar because he resents every moment of it — the only reason he’s doing it is to get you off his back.
  • Debbie thought about it and concluded that she won’t use Salesforce; she values serving her clients and rationalizes that it’s more important to interact with them than sit in front of a computer.
  • Lily chooses to capture her sales activity thoroughly and regularly because she believes she is contributing to more accurate forecasting and planning; using Salesforce is an act of organizational citizenship behavior that feels good to her.

In each case, the reps have appraised your request (either consciously or subconsciously), come to their own conclusions and gone in their own motivational direction.

The point: Instead of asking if people are motivated to use Salesforce, ask why they are, or are not, using it as requested. All your sales reps are motivated — just for different reasons. And, those reasons are things you can facilitate through a motivation conversation and they can potentially shift.


Through a motivation conversation, Jake may become aware that being pressured to use Salesforce to avoid “the stick” is harmful to his sense of well-being and doesn’t result in a quality effort. To be optimally motivated, Jake needs to use Salesforce for his own reasons that are aligned with his own values.

That prompts important questions. Does Jake have clearly developed values around selling your products or services? Have you ever talked about values with Jake? A values conversation may be in order — not to share your values or reiterate the organization’s values, but to help Jake clarify his own values. It is impossible for you to help people align their goals to meaningful values if they don’t know what their values are!


Through a motivation conversation, Debbie could explore her value for serving clients. Are drop-in meetings more effective than the 15 minutes it takes to enter information on Salesforce? Through Debbie’s mindful examination of her options, she might realize that by capturing information in a central place her support staff can proactively respond — benefiting her clients even more than do her spontaneous visits.


Having a motivation conversation with Lily, who is doing what you wish all your reps would do, gives her the opportunity to reflect on how good she feels about using Salesforce, reinforcing her dedication and sustaining her efforts over time.

As a leader, you can learn to position your requests so your staff is more likely to experience optimal motivation, but the truth is: Every person is motivated for individual reasons. Your role as a leader is to have conversations with your people to facilitate their understanding of those reasons, the implications for their current motivational outlook, and their

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Want to Be the Boss? Do This, Don’t Do That

“Tom Monahan,”

Hire smart people who think differently to you, and learn when to keep your hands away from the reins

Senior Executive in Corner OfficeAt CEB we describe positive action using “DTDDT” (do this, don’t do that) language, so that compelling new ideas we bring to market don’t just add to executives’ lists of “good ideas they should ponder.”

For managers at all levels, it’s helpful to think of what gets in the way of being effective, also known as the “DDT” list. In my case as chairman and CEO, tenure at (and frankly, pride in) our company is a double-edged sword.

I’ll be celebrating my 20th anniversary this coming January, and have had an incredible opportunity to be part of the company’s growth in size and impact over that time. In broad terms, the company is around 20 times the size of 20 years ago and it has grown profit faster than that — every entrepreneur’s (and venture capitalist’s) dream.

To the good, I know the customers, employees, investors, and business models at a level of depth and richness that would be hard to master quickly. To the bad, I’m pretty confident in my knowledge of the customers, employees, investors and business models, whether I should be or not.

Hire People Who Think Differently to You

It would be silly to suggest that any leader should discard 20 years of relationships and accumulated “court sense” – to use a basketball term – in making decisions,  but it’s also important to recognize that a long tenure can lead to flawed decision making.

Good bosses know that markets change faster than memories, and that there is an enormous difference between how things work today and how they worked even a year ago. And for leaders in companies like mine, where – thank goodness – things have generally worked, there’s an even greater risk of missing changes in the market.

The employee side of the equation can be even more difficult: changes to the business or to people’s career goals can leave them poorly placed for the mission at hand. While it can be incredibly difficult to face up to a challenging conversation with a one-time partner in crime, these kinds of open and ongoing dialogues are on the “DT” list if you want to take the bridge on the Enterprise.

Being the boss also means surrounding yourself with intelligent, independent leaders – and, importantly, leaders who differ from you in perspective and work style.

The hard part here is not the cliché of “hiring people smarter than you” (although, you should definitely do that) but “hiring people who are differently smart than you.” And that means having enough self-knowledge to assess this accurately.

Six Phrases I Watch Out For

The folks that are differently smart are the ones who – at least in my case – keep you honest and force you to have those tough conversations. I’d prefer they used different tactics than the ones my teenage daughters have already mastered, like eye rolls and audible sighs, but I’ve learned to self-police a little too.

And I’m highly aware of certain phrases that suggest I’m playing the role of the corporate historian rather than the boss. The irony of this is that — given the rapid pace of change in most markets – even new ideas (and new leaders) become “old” fast, so even those who have been in the seat a short time need to be vigilant and become aware of their own “tripwire” phrases. Here are mine:
“When I ran this business…”: No one cares what I did. In fact the team is probably still cleaning up a mess I made.

“Last time we tried this …”: In a world where the volume of data doubles every 18 months, the last time we tried this, we probably had a quarter or an eighth of the data we have now.

“That is against our culture.”: This is one of the hardest areas. Culture is really important and can be a huge driver of good and bad outcomes. Great companies invest real energy in defining and protecting key cultural attributes, but over time I’ve seen that culture can sometimes keep disruptive thinkers and ideas out of the company.

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12 Differences Between Winning and Losing Leadership

“by James M. Kerr,”

Great leaders drive great organizations and great organizations produce great results. On the other hand, less than stellar results are typically produced by organizations with less than stellar leadership, begging the question, “What are the differences between winning and losing leadership styles and traits?”

Here are 12 differences worth considering:

1. Winners have a vision and communicate it often through stories and the written word. They want to engage and motivate their teams - helping staff better understand how their achievements lead to a greater good. Leaders at losing organizations have no vision and any goals that they have are aimed purely at personal gain.

2. Leaders at winning organizations lead by example. They do the things that they ask others to do. They don’t shirk responsibilities. Losers tell and don’t do. They evade responsibility if things go wrong.

3. Winners possess an “outside-in perspective”  that enables them to re-imagine how things are and experience their businesses from a customer and stakeholder perspective, which enables them to identify opportunities for change. Leaders at losing organizations resist change and promote the status quo, usually out of laziness or fear of the unknown.

4. Winners never spin the facts. They prefer to keep it real and tell it like it is. Consequently, their people respect them for communicating in that fashion. Losers lie - sometimes out of spite, always because it’s easier.

5. Leaders of winning teams exhibit trust in their people, enabling empowerment and unleashing unbridled creativity. At losing teams, leaders demand that work be done their way, or no way at all!

6. Winners address conflict before it festers and effects performance and morale. Losers encourage conflict and enjoy observing their “experiments in human behavior.”

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How to Network Your Way to A New Job

“by Andy Sellers,”

Most jobs are never advertised publicly. In fact, it’s been suggested that as many as two-thirds of all new openings are filled via the so-called ‘concealed’ jobs market. How, though, can you make sure that you’re part of this marketplace and not missing out on new opportunities? Simple: networking.

Networking – interacting with others in your sector or industry to exchange information and develop contacts – needs to be done consistently at all stages of your career, but can be especially beneficial when you’re looking for a new position.

Through good networking you might, for example, meet the hiring manager for a firm and hear about an unadvertised position, re-engage an old contact who can put in a good word for you, gain some insight into the best ways to apply for a role, or hear about possible consulting opportunities.

The most successful networkers build genuine relationships with their contacts and give more than they receive. They go beyond thinking, ‘What’s in it for me?’ to ask ‘How can I help?’ which makes people want to help them out as and when they can.

Good networking, therefore, requires a bit of effort. Here are our six strategies for making the most of your connections and ultimately network your way to a new job.

#1 Start early and network consistently

By starting early, it reduces the chance of becoming desperate nearer the time of needing a contact. If you only appear on the scene when you need something, experienced networkers and businesspeople will be able to sense your desperation and expediency so will be less willing to network with you.

The best networkers engage with their contacts consistently throughout their career. By networking when you have no ulterior motives, you can start to construct genuine relationships and build a reputation among your contacts for being generous rather than self-serving.

#2 Get out there and attend events

OK, there is clearly a practical hurdle to successful networking: finding meetings and events where you can connect with relevant people in your sector. Once upon a time jumping this hurdle meant coughing up big bucks for conferences and paid-for events. Not anymore. In the big cities, but in London especially, there are literally hundreds of opportunities to network.

Check out under your industry or sector and you’ll find a huge range of events ranging from panel events and workshops to informal coffee shop meetups (a search for ‘Marketing’ meetups in London this week returned over 50 results, for example).

You should also be regularly checking the websites of relevant professional bodies (e.g. the Chartered Institute of Marketing), large consultancies (e.g. Econsultancy), LinkedIn groups and sector-specific recruitment agencies for upcoming events. Our next event is in September, so watch this space for more information on that!

#3 Create a personal elevator pitch

To make sure you get the most out of your encounters you should have an idea of what you are going to say. Ahead of attending any networking events take some time to understand what talents, strengths, skill sets and connections you possess.

Use this information to prepare a 30-second personal summary about yourself so that you can quickly and articulately sell yourself to new contacts and clearly explain how you can be of assistance to them.

#4 Make sure you listen more than you talk

There will be value in everyone you meet and it your responsibility to discover what the value in each person you talk to is. Ask questions and actually listen to their responses. The chances are that the vast majority of people you talk to, whatever their position or title, are going to have some valuable tips or information.

You can’t go wrong if you follow the six simple rules in Dale Carnegie’s timeless How to Win Friends and Influence People:

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If You Are Going to Be on Social Media, You Better Be on LinkedIn 

“by Ron Thomas,”

I would love to get an opportunity in the Middle East, specifically Dubai. Can you guide me through the process of getting this done? I just completed a course in International HR course.”

That is just one of a few request that I get almost daily. What made this request stand out is that when I replied to his email address, he told me something that kind of caused me to pause. In our communication, I asked him about his LinkedIn profile.

“I do not have one” was the reply. “I have been successful to this point and figured I did not need one.”

I’m thinking, here it is 2015 and here you are a professional and you do not have exposure on LinkedIn, the business social site?  As I questioned this strategy, he became a little defensive. Every job he had gotten to this point was done through a connection that got him in.

So my question was, how did you find me? There was a pause.

Gone fishing?

Regardless of your status in your business life, you must have a presence. Forget about Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or whatever. In business today, it is LinkedIn that will draw the attention.  Try and think of it as “bait,” enticing enough so that when recruiters go fishing, they will bite.  Hopefully the one that is fishing is a search professional that is looking for your skill set.

I find the thought of having this presence on a web page as such a unique marketing opportunity for each of us to brand yourself.  Think of it this way, what does your advertisement say and what message are you sending.

However, I am always pleasantly surprised when I meet someone at a conference and we both could be out of business cards.  My response is to ask them to just send me a LinkedIn invite, but sometimes, the response is a blank stare. Then they sheepishly respond by saying, “I am not on LinkedIn,” or “My profile needs some work.”

Connect the dots

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Limit Your Employees’ Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

“by Derek Irvine,”

When’s the last time you had a bad day at work?

A recent survey by the Danish firm Woohoo, Inc., asked just this question of employees worldwide. The survey defined a bad day at as:

A day where you feel lousy on the job. You’re unhappy at work and when you come home, you definitely don’t feel like having more of those days.”

Since a bad day is influenced by numerous factors both internal and external to the workplace, it’s not surprising that nearly all of us have had a bad day at work. In fact, only 8 percent claim to never or almost never have experienced such a thing. But out of those many factors that can influence our daily experience of work, which had the most impact?

What makes for a bad day at work?

Here are the top answers in response to the question, “The last time you had a bad day at work, which factors in the workplace made it bad?”
1.A lack of help and support from my boss (40 percent);
2.Negative co-workers (39 percent);
3.Lack of praise or recognition for the work I do (37 percent);
4.Uncertainty about the workplace’s vision and strategy

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Etiquette Rules for the Modern Workplace

“by Erinn Bucklan,”

Mind Your Manners

You may offer your seat to the elderly and know how to turn around a killer thank-you note like you’re Emily Post, but there are still plenty of challenges in the Art of Doing the Right Thing.  

This might be because we’re using an outdated set of social rules: “People often make the comment, ‘I learned etiquette when I was 12,’ or, ‘My mother taught me table manners,’” says etiquette expert Diane Gottsman, author of Pearls of Polish and founder of The Protocol School of Texas. We can’t expect the advice we learned as kids to guide us in the modern, ever-changing workplace.

Here are updated tips on how to impress, and not offend, your peers and colleagues.

I was invited to a business dinner. I’m gluten free/vegan/paleo. Should I mention my dietary restrictions when I RSVP?

Be sure to let the host know about your needs when you RSVP, says Natalie MacNeil, an Emmy-winner media producer, author of The Conquer Kit, and creator of

The key to your approach, says MacNeil, is using humor: “I tend to joke about being ‘that annoying person with the weird diet’ just to make light of it.” It may feel a bit awkward, but remember that special diets are common these days, she says.

If a location hasn’t been determined, you can offer to book a restaurant that can accommodate your needs. If the reservation has already been booked and the options look slim, call ahead to see what they can offer you.

I always seem to ride up with our CEO on the elevator in the morning. I can’t decide whether I should make polite small talk or stay quiet.

Say something, but also pay attention to the boss’s cues to know if you should proceed, says Julie Blais Comeau, chief etiquette officer at Etiquette Julie and author of Etiquette: Confidence & Credibility. If your boss is shying away from you, “keep it to the basic polite greeting and maybe — depending on the mood — add a comment about the weather,” she says. While it may not make for the most scintillating conversation, there’s no chance you’ll veer into anything inappropriate.

Most important is that whatever you say, be sincere. If you are aware of your boss’s hobbies or activities, ask about upcoming plans. If you have met family members, inquire about them. Then always exit on a positive note, says Comeau, like saying, “Have a nice day.” 

I have a mix of friends, colleagues, and bosses who follow me on social media. How do I know if I’m posting things that are appropriate?

Always think of how your bosses read your posts first, say Comeau. She recommends what she calls the Two-Refrigerator Test. Pretend that every photo you post ends up on two fridges: one is at home, where everyone from your mother-in-law to your seven-year-old niece will see it, and one in the office lunch room. Make sure you’re okay with both audiences seeing your post.

Examples of posts that may not cut it? Try to avoid graphic language, venting about work or coworkers, your love life, or even your social life if it includes hangovers and hookups. Keep those topics to face-to-face time with friends, or (where applicable) limit what posts your colleagues can see with individual privacy settings.

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