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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 


Why I Hate Plan B, And What's A Better Alternative

Not long ago, I was the keynote speaker at a (nameless) company’s annual meeting, hired to do a 2-hr. speech on personal responsibility, and hyped for weeks in advance.

With my stage time now five minutes away, and each prior segment having run excruciatingly long, the CEO leans over to me and whispers: “Can you cut your talk in half? We’re running way over.”

I knew it was more mandate than request, so unflinchingly I said, “Sure.” No sense bellyaching about time grossly mismanaged… I had bigger issues… like only five panic minutes to figure out Plan B, to quickly decide what to cut and not look foolish. But actually… not really.

Because as it so happened, I came prepared with two Plan As… a 2-hr. version and a 1-hr. version. And just between you and me, I could also have done 30 minutes or 90 minutes, if thrust in my lap. And no one would have been the wiser.

An old Chinese proverb says: Dig the well before you thirst.

My point: I hate Plan Bs. They are most always spur-of-the-moment options, not clearly thought-through, and therefore lesser quality and easily flubbed. I’m sure it’s happened to you: an interview or sales presentation gets cut short at the last minute… a big opportunity is suddenly twice the price you planned on… or a star employee resigns the day before a new client pitch, or day after the big win.

Questions For You: What do YOU do when conditions change unexpectedly? Stumble, fumble and choke? Quickly formulate an inferior Plan B? Fold your tent and go home?

Actions For You: May I suggest the wacky notion of having two Plan As. Each one as good as the other. Yes, it takes more up-front planning, but you’ll be glad you did when things blow up in your face. If you think two is cumbersome, read any book about military special forces teams. They plan missions for every eventuality down to the Nth detail, anticipating tiny movements that could go haywire, often with 30 or 40 contingencies. Each one pre-rehearsed ad nauseam. Does two sound so overwhelming now? Be the pro you signed up to be. Be ready.              

Power Thought: “We must take change by the hand, or rest assured, change will take us by the throat.”  Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister.


Want More?  To learn about Rick Houcek’s full range of strategic planning retreats, goal setting workshops, keynote speaking, leadership training, and books/CDs on peak performance — specifically for entrepreneurs, CEOs, presidents, senior executives, managers, team leaders, and other high achievers — visit

To Subscribe To “2-Minute Monday Motivator” (it’s free):  Go to and fill in your name and email address in upper left of home page. You’ll also receive Rick’s free “Leadership Success Strategies” ezine.


Choosing the Honors to Highlight on Your Resume 

Making your resume is often a highly straightforward affair. You list out your educational background and the degrees you’ve received. You provide bullet points regarding previous employment history. You then add some contact information at the top, perhaps some personal and proficiency data at the bottom, and deem that your resume is complete.

But many people struggle when it comes to past honors and awards received, particularly those that are from your distant past and have little bearing on your current line of work. People also struggle determining what constitutes an honor in the first place. Sure, a Nobel Chemistry Prize would probably do the trick. But what if you were once a motivational speaker for conferences? Does that fit the bill?

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How to Dress for an Interview

By Alison Doyle, Guide

The first impression you make on a potential employer is the most important one. The first judgment an interviewer makes is going to be based on how you look and what you are wearing. That’s why it’s always important to dress professionally for a job interview, even if the work environment is casual.

What’s the appropriate dress code for an interview? You’ll want that first impression to be not just a good one, but, a great one. The candidate dressed in a suit and tie is going to make a much better impression than the candidate dressed in scruffy jeans and a t-shirt.

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Executive Resume Services Should Include Social Media

Executive resume services need to continually update and match the technological developments the business world is embracing, otherwise executives may find themselves left in the dust by executives who are staying ahead of the technology curve.

An executive resume services firm should do more than just list your experiences and accomplishments on paper. Today, corporations are embracing social media, and while they still expect paper resumes, many of them are going online to find out additional information about their candidates. Here are four social media tools your executive resume services provider should recommend for you.

Your Executive Resume Services Provider Should Know LinkedIn

This is the gold standard for online job searching, as far as we’re concerned, and your executive resume services firm should embrace it rather than be afraid of it. If they are against social networks like LinkedIn, chances are they still don’t understand social media or new media.

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Seven Insights To Use For Getting Your Next Job

Regardless of your educational background, degrees, work experience or accomplishments, your future employment depends on one thing: how well you can sell. I’m not talking about selling a specific product or service. I mean selling yourself and your ideas. Your ability to do this will determine whether or not you get the job. Selling is simply effective communication, and the first rule in communication is that people prefer talking to listening.

So, success in a job interview is determined by your ability to get the interviewer talking. It’s her job to get information from you, but that isn’t what will get you the job.

That’s because, in a typical job interview, the interviewer asks all the questions and you do all the talking. Sure, she needs to know about your background, education and experience. But as you’re rambling on and on saying the same things every other job applicant says, she’s wondering how quickly she can terminate the interview so she can get on to more important things.

Using some principles, you can gain control of the conversation, get the interviewer talking and glean the information you need to succeed in the interview and get the job.

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Heavy Metal Is Back: The Best Cities For Manufacturing

For a generation American manufacturing has been widely seen as a “declining sport.” Yet its demise has been largely overplayed. Despite the many jobs this sector has lost in the past generation, manufacturing remains remarkably resilient, with a global market share similar to that of the 1970s.

More recently, the U.S. industrial base has been on a powerful upswing, with employment climbing steadily since 2009. Boosted by productivity gains and higher costs in competitors, including China, U.S. manufacturing exports have grown at their fastest rate since the late 1980s. In 2011 American manufacturing continued to expand, while Germany, Japan and Brazil all weakened in this vital sector.

To determine the best cities for manufacturing my colleague Mark Schill at Praxis Strategy Group measured the 51 largest regions in the country in terms of how they expanded their “heavy metal” sector — think automobiles, farm and energy equipment, aircraft, metal work and machine shops. We averaged absolute growth rate and momentum in 148 heavy metal manufacturing industries over ten-, five-, two-, and one-year time frames.

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Ditch Your New Year's Resolutions

Do you struggle with keeping New Year’s resolutions as much as the rest of the world? I do. Actually, I rarely make them, because I don’t like to make promises I probably won’t keep. I had dinner with a friend recently, however, who convinced me to give up New Year’s resolutions for good—and replace them with New Year’s strategic plans.

Inspired by Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project, my friend mapped out all of her goals for 2012. But she didn’t stop with the goals: She wrote out accompanying objectives, strategies and tactics too. Example: One of her goals is “Be healthier.” One of the objectives under that goal is to “Be more physically active.” One of the strategies she’ll use to reach that objective is to “Sign up for a road race.” And the tactics she’ll use to make that strategy successful include “Find a race that supports a cause [she’s] passionate about” and “Ask friends to sign up” with her.

I guarantee that she’ll be more successful than if she simply resolved to “Work out more often.” Don’t you agree? Here are the reasons I’m adopting this goal-setting system myself:

  • Breaking major tasks down makes them more conquerable. Even if it was your big goal, you’d never put “Write a novel” on your to-do list, would you? Of course not. You’d break it down into baby steps: Sketch out characters. Write an outline. Write the first sentence. And so on. My friend’s system allows her to focus on individual, manageable tactics, which will ultimately lead her to reach her goals.
  • The system requires a good deal of thought. My friend spent the better part of two full days crafting her plan. Devoting so much time to it means that she’s more invested in her success than if she’d simply jotted down the first three goals that popped into her head.
  • It can be applied to every aspect of your life. Taking her cue from Rubin’s book, my friend considered all the topics she cared about—career, health, relationships and so on—and mapped out goals, objectives, strategies and tactics for all of them. I expect that she’ll grow a lot in 2012!

Like I said, I don’t typically write New Year’s resolutions, so I’m not worried that I’m starting a few days late this year. I’d rather devote the necessary time and thought into making it a meaningful list.

How do you handle New Year’s resolutions and goals?


By Catherine Welborn, “Bud to Boss” Blog


Study: Women Multitask More than Men

A new study has confirmed what many working women may have guessed: Women multitask at home far more than men.

Researchers from Bar-Ilan University in Israel and Michigan State University examined 368 working mothers and 241 fathers who worked outside the home.

The parents wore watches that beeped randomly seven times a day, and at the tone, the subjects wrote down all of the tasks they were doing at the time, as well as their emotional state, including how stressed they were feeling.

The study found that working mothers spent 10.5 more hours every week on juggling multiple tasks at home compared to their male counterparts, NPR reported. A typical juggle for moms included playing with the kids, helping them with homework, while simultaneously fixing dinner, doing laundry and attempting to squeeze in some work from the office.

Sounds familiar, no?

Women reported being more stressed out and overwhelmed than men, who actually felt pleased with their multitasking.

Currently, men work longer hours outside of the home than women, but workplaces should allow more scheduling flexibility so that men can spend more time at home and can help out more with housework and child care, study co-author Barbara Schneider, of Michigan State, told NPR.

Do the results of the study ring true with you? Do you think you spend more or less time doing at-home multitasking than your spouse? Or is it about equal in your family?


By Rachel Silverman, The Wall Street Journal


Preparing for an Interview with Job Interview Practice

The best way to ensure that you are successful in a job interview is to sell yourself well in the small amount of time you have available to you. The interview is the prospective employer’s first and usually only impression of the job applicant prior to an offer of a job being made. It is easy to make sure that your resume stands up to scrutiny and presents you in the best possible light by getting some feedback before you submit it. But when it comes to the interview, the applicant is all on their own. One of the best ways to prepare for a job interview is to take part in some job interview practice.

Job interview practice can help ease nervousness and tension when the time of the actual interview arrives. Preparing for difficult questions, making sure to be dressed for success and having a self-assured confidence can set a job applicant apart from applicants who go into an interview “cold turkey”. It is quite apparent to practiced interviewers whether someone has bothered to do any preparation or not.

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Secrets to Success in Your Career: Get Moving and Do It Now!

Are you happy with your job? Do you have the tools that you need to be successful? Are you prospering in your career – or do you feel held back?

There is one key to success in any profession or career – that key is YOU!

Let’s begin with a paramount truth: You are responsible for your own success or failure in life. Whatever the circumstances, you choose to react how you react. You choose action in the right direction, or neglect and complacency. Accept this responsibility and you will begin to make changes to help your life improve. You won’t be able to NOT guide yourself towards better things. Don’t be a victim.

You are your own “Personal Services Corporation”

This concept is stolen directly from the author and speaker, Brian Tracy. It’s absolutely true. While you may work for a company, it isn’t “you” that they are paying for. It’s not payment for your time at your desk. They are paying for your skills and abilities, commitment and hard work, attitudes and orientations, production and output.

As your own personal services corporation, it’s up to you to invest wisely to improve your business. What skills can you gain to make you more valuable? Is there equipment that you can use to make your corporation more efficient and profitable? What can you improve upon to help you be more valuable?

It’s hard not to think at this point – “I’m putting in this time and effort for someone else!” Agreed. It feels just like that. Don’t get caught in short-term thinking. The enjoyment that you will get by being able to leverage your own investment on your own behalf makes all of the time, money, and other sacrifice worthwhile. The moment when you realize that you have options because of your own efforts is like hitting a home run or scoring the winning basket.

Stop complaining. Invest in yourself and you’ll never be sorry. Your investment is the foundation for success in your life.

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