Most Americans have never heard of the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) because it has not yet impacted them, but barring any late changes to the Internal Revenue Code by Congress many more will be forced to pay AMT for 2012.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 December 2012 04:29
Written by Tom Eastman
CONWAY — “Everything for Less.”
That's the name of a “new country store for country folks” that opened across from the Mount Washington Valley Economic Council’s Technology Village on Route 16 in late October.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 December 2012 05:24
Both areas are celebrating their 75th anniversary seasons all season long, with two events slated for Jan. 12 of interest to ski history buffs.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 December 2012 02:03
Frustrated employers frequently ask themselves and each other about what employees want. If you are a fellow employer, having to deal with the day-to-day challenges of employee requests, suggestions, complaints or drama, you know what I mean and you know it is not as simple as asking the employee. I've been making it my business to ask employees. I try learning from my own, but because of the complex relationship employers have with employees, and because I want larger numbers of employees to study, I find it easier to learn from the employees of other companies. If someone else controls your ability to have the hours you want, the schedule you want, the promotion you want and the income you make, you might feel less than excited about being totally honest in discussing what it is you want. Such honesty would require a great deal of trust, self-confidence and a positive attitude that may have already been beaten out of you over the years. I have the pleasure of working with relatively large numbers of employees of my client organizations. The anecdotal evidence I see is interesting enough, but when I can start to see commonalities across the spectrum, I find it downright fascinating.
When asked outright, most employees do not know what they want, or do not know how to answer the question. I think they know it when they see it or feel it, but it's very difficult to describe, and the question is even difficult to comprehend, since in real life, their wants have little to do with their job anyway. A little cynical, right? To be fair, when asked, most employers don't really know what they want either. Based on what I've learned over the years, influenced more heavily by local research through this year, I see two aspects of this as a challenge we can overcome and I see great opportunity for improved productivity, financial success and personal happiness. First, organizations don't know what they want. Second, individuals don't know what's really important to them personally, so even if they knew what their employer's goals were, they wouldn't see how it relates to fulfilling anything for them personally. Finally, the opportunity for greatness is right in front of us when these two problems are resolved. Nearly 100 percent of employees agree that there is more talent, creativity and passion available among them that is underutilized, or even undesired by their employer, who is at the same time asking for more productivity, creativity and passion. It seems so obvious and simple, doesn't it? Simple things are not always easy to execute, so let's start at the beginning.
First, most individuals and organizations lack specific goals they can clearly state. This is true of most businesses, most not-for-profits, most business owners and most managers. It seems pretty obvious that every organization needs to have a clearly stated mission if it expects to achieve anything close to greatness. Forget greatness. Let's just have a fighting chance at developing a strategy or simply to communicate with staff, financial backers and clients. If this is so obvious, and it's not hard to do, why do I keep finding so many lacking? Do it already! What's more, is if it is so obvious that organizations need to have a mission, some goals, and a strategy, why is it not obvious that individuals need the same things?
I find too many people live their life reacting to situations over which they think they have no control. Most students leaving high school think about what they want to do with their lives. That is often the last time many people think about what they want. Somewhere along the way, they compromise and take jobs they don't want and life marches on. Add to the unwanted job, the rent or the mortgage being due, or children take over any last glimmer of financial or personal freedom, and they submit to simply reacting to whatever life throws at them next. They get up every day to see what fresh new hell awaits them, until they count down the days to retirement. Have I gotten you sufficiently depressed yet? Now imagine asking this per person, who has every reason to feel cynical, what it is they want from their boss! That is almost laughable, isn't it?! Yet, we aren't going to get anywhere unless we know what we want. Let's start with that. One of the tools I give my seminar students is a personal mission statement builder website. Anyone with Internet access can do this by themselves, for free. Go to www.franklincovey.com/msb sign in with your email address, study the inspirational mission statements of others if you like, and then complete the form. When you're done, you will have the option of printing out a suggested personal mission statement, based on your input. Is it perfect? I think it's pretty close, and at it's very worst, it's a great place to start figuring out what it is you want in your life and to begin bringing it to reality. You will have a much clearer sense of what you value and don't value about your relationships, your home, your career path, your attitude, your behaviors — it's an amazing new insight.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 December 2012 01:32
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