This office taboo

December 30, 2019

Via  Article

45% of workers break this office taboo to boost their salary

“An increasing number of workers are devoting time to salary research, a new survey shows, but just half feel they’re paid enough.

And 54% of workers (61% of men and 49% of women) say they swap salary information with coworkers, with workers aged 18 to 34 far more likely than their older counterparts to do so, according to the survey released Wednesday by the global staffing firm Robert Half.

What’s more, 45% of those surveyed said they have used this information to their advantage. Twenty-eight percent of employees have leveraged that intel to ask for a pay raise, according to the survey, while 17% have used it during job-offer negotiations.

Some 46% of workers feel they’re underpaid, the survey added, including 50% of women and 41% of men. (Women make an average of 80 cents on a man’s dollar; women of color often make even less.) Another 47% think they receive fair pay, while 7% feel overpaid. A potential factor in some workers’ dissatisfaction: More employees are doing the legwork to see if they’re being paid their worth.

While about eight in 10 workers feel they know what they’re worth, 73% (80% of men and 65% of women) report having compared their salaries to market rates over the past year, a nearly 20-point increase from respondents surveyed two years earlier.

Using an outside research firm, Robert Half surveyed more than 1,000 office workers across the U.S. and 2,800 office workers in 28 major American cities.

The U.S. median household income in 2017 was $61,372, the Census Bureau announced last September, a 1.8% increase from the previous year. Meanwhile, millennials’ (aged 22 to 37) median household income in 2017 was $69,000, according to a Pew Research Center analysis. The unemployment rate currently sits at 3.7%, a nearly 50-year low.

‘Workers have more access to information about their salaries, roles and career options than ever before, arming them for conversations with current and potential employers,’ Robert Half senior executive director Paul McDonald said in a statement. ‘In a stronger economy, top performers have options, but they’re more likely to stay put if they feel they’re getting paid fairly.'”

Who is your master?

December 30, 2019

By Todd Ordal via  Article

As CEO, Who Is Your Master?

“Milton Friedman says a company’s sole obligation was to serve shareholders. A group of CEOs of the largest organizations in America recently took issue with that and said companies must consider all stakeholders. Purpose and profit must both be served.

I’m a fan of Friedman’s and still believe that the company’s primary (not sole) obligation is to serve shareholders. I also believe that how a firm goes about its business is critical. Treating employees with respect, vendors as partners and customers with love is the best way to run an organization for the long-term success of the enterprise and its shareholders. (To hell with the day traders. They’re just gamblers.)

Boxed in by what’s legal and what’s ethical, companies should serve shareholders, but a company is not the proper vehicle to solve all society’s ills. Expecting them to do so is foolish. Capitalism has solved many more problems than it has created but trying to stretch the concept of a corporation too far will deny it success and lead to lost jobs and disgusted shareholders. I don’t know what’s in your retirement account, but if the firms I’m invested in suddenly decided to take all their assets and try to solve the water problem in India, I’d have an issue with that. …

Here’s my counsel: Take great care of your people, customers and environment as you try to maximize shareholder value over the long term. The rub is that you’ll have some conflicts to moderate. … Employees’ desires sometimes conflict with those of customers as well as your right to make a return on your capital. Customers would rather have your products for free. Your manufacturing is likely not zero impact on the environment. So use common sense, be ethical and think long term. You won’t always get it right, but you should damn well try.”

Smart investing on a small budget

December 30, 2019

By   via  Article

  • Set aside a certain amount to save regularly
  • Look into savings apps that round up your purchases and save the small change.
  • First, pay off high-interest debts.
  • Take advantage of retirement plans.
  • Focus on low-fee options, at every investment level.
  • Think about the level of risk you are comfortable with, and how that changes over time.
  • Trade up to better choices as your investment pot grows.”

Lousy leaders

December 30, 2019

By Dan Rockwell via  Article

A Two-Part Team Exercise That Shifts Focus And Elevates Performance

“Lousy leaders focus on what’s wrong with you.

4 lousy-leader-behaviors:

#1. Lousy leaders obsess over people’s flaws and weaknesses.

#2. Lousy leaders complain about the wrong people.

Under-performing leaders complain about others. But nothing changes until you focus on your performance first. What can you do to help bring out the best in others? Leaders own their own performance AND the performance of their team. Blaming is self-justification. Leadership is taking responsibility. Turn your complaining tongue on yourself if you enjoy complaining about others.

#3. Lousy leaders talk to you when things go wrong, but ignore you when things go right.

#4. Lousy leaders know what you suck at, but don’t know your strengths.

A team exercise that shifts focus:

Part one:

I recently asked a team to list the top three strengths of the 13 people around the table. People felt affirmed and energized. Some were delighted that their colleagues saw them so clearly. There were a few surprises, but not many.

Part two:

Part two of the exercise centers on elevating performance through the lens of strengths. Stop trying to fix weaknesses. Focus on maximizing strengths. Stop obsessing on things people don’t do well and start concentrating on things they do well.

Consider a team member’s strengths and ask:

  1. What jobs would you assign to a person with these top three strengths?
  2. What tasks might cause this person to stumble or perform poorly?
  3. How might you maximize this person’s strengths?
  4. What weaknesses might come with these strengths? What would you like to do about that?
  5. How might you energize a person who has this set of strengths? De-energize?”

Best way to borrow money

December 30, 2019

By via  Article

The Best Way to Borrow Money

Credit Union Lending … Credit unions are typically nonprofit enterprises, which helps enable them to lend money at more favorable rates than banks. In addition, certain fees (such as lending application fees) may be cheaper. Plus customers typically don’t get nickel-and-dimed with transaction fees like they do at banks. …

Peer-To-Peer Lending (P2P) With peer-to-peer lending, borrowers take loans from individual investors who are willing to lend their own money for an agreed interest rate. The profile of a borrower is usually displayed on a peer-to-peer online platform where investors can assess these profiles to determine whether they would want to risk lending money to a borrower. …

Bank Borrowing Banks offer a variety of mortgage products, personal loans, construction loans, and other loan products depending upon their customers’ needs. By definition, they take in money (deposits) and then loan out that money in the form of mortgages and consumer loans at a higher rate. They make their money by capturing this spread. …

Borrowing From 401(k) Plans the negatives of withdrawing funds from one’s 401(k) vastly outweigh the positives. For starters, if withdrawing funds, as opposed to borrowing against your holdings, you must pay taxes on the money. In addition, there is usually a 10% penalty for withdrawing the funds before reaching age 59½ (although there are some exceptions, such as disability). …

Credit Card Borrowing if a balance is carried over, credit cards can carry exorbitant interest rate charges (often in excess of 20% annually). … Borrowing too much money through credit cards could reduce your chances of getting loans or additional credit from other lending institutions. (See also: How Credit Cards Affect Your Credit Rating.) 

Using Margin Accounts Margin accounts allow a brokerage customer to borrow money. The funds/equity in the brokerage account is often used as collateral for this loan. The primary purpose of a margin account is to allow an individual to purchase additional securities at a favorable rate. (See also: Margin Trading and What Is a Margin Account?) …

U.S. Government Lending  Fannie Mae is a quasi-public agency that has worked to increase the availability and affordability of home ownership over the years. … the paperwork to obtain a loan from a quasi-public agency can be daunting. … with regard to certain Freddie Mac mortgage offerings, an individual’s income must be equal to or less than the area’s median income.

Financing Companies While some lenders make longer-term loans, most, finance companies specialize in providing funds for smaller purchases such as a car or major appliance. Finance companies usually offer competitive rates, and the overall fees can be low when compared to banks and other lending institutions.”



Cause listeners to think twice

December 30, 2019

By Gwen Moran via  Article

5 phrases that make people discount what you’re saying


Whenever you use the word ‘but’ as a conjunction, the first part of your sentence immediately becomes qualified by the second part. Saying ‘I love you, but . . .’ or ‘That’s a great idea, but . . . ‘ calls the first phrase into question ….

Say it better: Simply stop after the statement. If you must add a conjunction and second phrase, use ‘and.’ For example, ‘That’s a great idea, and we can look at it more closely.’


When you use self-deprecating language before you put forth your ideas, you’re immediately diluting others’ confidence in you and giving them permission to dismiss you ….

Say it better: Simply state your idea without qualifying it. You’ll be more valued for your contributions.


If you have to qualify your statement with ‘respectfully’ or ‘with all due respect,’ what follows isn’t likely to be respectful and often won’t be productive …. the same goes for the word ‘honestly.’

Say it better:  … drop the reference to ‘respect’ entirely and just say what you have to say.


When you respond to “How are you?” with “I’m so busy,” you may make people reluctant to continue the conversation because they may think they’re taking up time you don’t have ….

Say it better: If you’re strapped for time in the moment, say so. For example, ‘I’d love to chat, but I have a meeting in five minutes. Could we catch up at 2 p.m.?’ ….


… ‘When someone says they will try to complete something, it leaves the requester with doubts about the person’s commitment level to the task and whether the need will ultimately be met’ ….

Say it better: If you’re not convinced you can complete a task, give specifics about the challenges or concerns.”

A new statement of corporate purpose

December 30, 2019

By Alan Murray and David Meyer via  Article

“The Business Roundtable, which represents the largest U.S. companies, is releasing a new statement of corporate purpose this morning, and scrapping its old one.

The old one, drafted in 1997, puts shareholders first, above all other corporate stakeholders. The new one, which is 300 words long and can be found here, doesn’t mention shareholders until word 250. Before that, the group refers to creating ‘value for customers,’ ‘investing in employees,’ fostering ‘diversity and inclusion,’ ‘dealing fairly and ethically with suppliers,’ ‘supporting the communities in which we work,’ and ‘protect[ing] the environment.’ That’s a big change…and an important one.

Many of the CEOs involved—including JPMorgan Chase’s Jamie Dimon, Johnson & Johnson’s Alex Gorsky and GM’s Mary Barra–told me the updated statement better reflects the way they actually run their companies today. IBM CEO Ginni Rometty said the BRT also wants to ‘raise the bar’ for all corporations to better focus on the needs of society.

I’ve written about what’s behind the BRT’s about-face, and how it represents a much broader change in the nature of business leadership, for the September issue of Fortune magazine. You can read my story here. At a time when U.S. political leadership is becoming increasingly polarized, having companies more consciously focusing their powers on solving society’s biggest problems is a good development.”