8 Signs an Employee Is Exceptional (Which Never Appear on Performance Evaluations)

Many are good. Some are superior. And a few–just a few–are exceptional. Here’s how to tell the difference.

CREDIT: Getty Images

CREDIT: Getty Images

We can all spot a great employee: she’s dependable, proactive, hardworking, a great leader, and a great follower. She brings a wide variety of easily defined–but hard to find–skills to the table.

Some employees, though, are exceptional. They have skills and qualities that aren’t evaluated on performance appraisals but make a huge impact on that individual’s performance, the performance of the people around her, and especially on the company’s results.

Here are eight signs an employee is truly exceptional:

1. They think well beyond job descriptions.

The smaller the company, the more important it is that employees can think on their feet, adapt quickly to shifting priorities, and do whatever it takes, regardless of role or position, to get things done.

When a key customer’s project is in jeopardy, exceptional employees know without being told there’s a problem, and they jump in without being asked, even if–especially if–it’s not their job.

2. They’re quirky…

The best employees are often a little different: a little eccentric, sometimes irreverent, even delighted to be unusual. They seem slightly odd, but in a really good way. Unusual personalities shake things up, make work more fun, and transform a plain-vanilla group into a team with flair and flavor.

People who aren’t afraid to be different naturally stretch boundaries and challenge the status quo, and they often come up with the best ideas.

3. And they know when to rein in their individuality.

An unusual personality is a lot of fun–right up until the moment it isn’t. When a major challenge pops up or a situation gets stressful, the best employees stop expressing their individuality and fit seamlessly into the team.

Exceptional employees know when to play and when to be serious; when to be irreverent and when to conform; and when to challenge and when to back off.

It’s a tough balance to strike, and a rare few can walk that fine line with ease.

4. They praise other people in public…

Praise from a boss feels good. Praise from a peer feels awesome, especially when you look up to that person.

Exceptional employees recognize the contributions of others, especially in group settings where the impact of their words is even greater.

5. And they disagree in private.

We all want employees to bring issues forward, but some problems are better handled in private. Great employees often get more latitude to bring up controversial subjects in a group setting because their performance allows greater freedom.

Exceptional employees come to you before or after a meeting to discuss a sensitive issue, knowing that bringing it up in a group setting could set off a firestorm.

6. They ask questions when others won’t.

Some employees are hesitant to speak up in meetings. Some are even hesitant to speak up privately.

An employee once asked me a question about potential layoffs. After the meeting I said to him, “Why did you ask about that? You already know what’s going on.” He said, “I do, but a lot of other people don’t, and they’re afraid to ask. I thought it would help if they heard the answer from you.”

Exceptional employees have an innate feel for the issues and concerns of those around them, and step up to ask questions or raise important issues when others hesitate.

7. They like to prove other people wrong.

Self-motivation often springs from a desire to show that doubters are wrong. The woman without a college degree or the man who was told he didn’t have leadership potential often possesses a burning desire to prove other people wrong.

Education, intelligence, talent, and skill are important, but drive is critical. Exceptional employees are driven by something deeper and more personal than just the desire to do a good job.

8. They’re constantly exploring.

Some people are rarely satisfied (I mean that in a good way) and are constantly tinkering with something: reworking a timeline, adjusting a process, tweaking a workflow.

Good employees follow processes. Great employees tweak processes. Exceptional employees find ways to reinvent processes, not just because they are expected to…but because they just can’t help themselves.

8 Signs an Employee Is Exceptional (Which Never Appear on Performance Evaluations)


25 high-paying jobs for people who don’t like stress

Flickr / Audrey

Flickr / Audrey

Think there’s no such thing as a high-paying, low-stress job? Think again.

With help from career-information expert Laurence Shatkin, Ph.D., we combed through the Occupational Information Network (O*NET), a US Department of Labor database that compiles detailed information on hundreds of jobs, and looked at salary data on the US Bureau of Labor Statistics website to find jobs with that perfect combination of high pay and low stress — and it turns out there are plenty.

O*NET rates the “stress tolerance” for each job on a scale from zero to 100, where a lower rating signals less stress. (Note: We are not saying these jobs are “stress free” – they just tend to rate lower than other professions.)

To rate each job, O*NET looks at how frequently workers must accept criticism and deal effectively with high stress at work.

Here are 25 jobs that pay more than $70,000 a year, on average, and earned a stress tolerance rating of 70 or lower, in order from highest to lowest stress score.


Rachel Murray/Getty Images

Rachel Murray/Getty Images

Stress tolerance: 70

Average annual salary: $77,420

What they do: Assess and treat people with hearing and related disorders. They may fit hearing aids and provide auditory training, and sometimes perform research related to hearing problems.

Education requirements: A doctoral degree and license.


Official U.S. Navy Page/flickr

Official U.S. Navy Page/flickr

Stress tolerance: 70

Average annual salary: $115,750

What they do: Perform eye exams to check for vision problems and diseases. They prescribe eyeglasses or contact lenses as needed.

Education requirements: Bachelor’s, four-year doctor of optometry program, and a state license.

Art director

Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Stress tolerance: 69

Average annual salary: $101,990

What they do: Art directors are responsible for the visual style and images in magazines, newspapers, product packaging, and movie and television productions.

Education requirements: Bachelor’s degree or previous work experience.

Technical writers

Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design/flickr

Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design/flickr

Stress tolerance: 69

Average annual salary: $73,350

What they do: Write technical materials, such as equipment manuals, appendices, or operating and maintenance instructions.

Education requirements: Bachelor’s degree is typically required (experience with a technical subject, such as computer science, web design, or engineering, is important).

Computer hardware engineer

Business Insider/Julie Bort

Business Insider/Julie Bort

Stress tolerance: 67

Average annual salary: $114,970

What they do: Research, design, develop, or test computer or computer-related equipment for commercial, industrial, military, or scientific use.

Education requirements: Bachelor’s degree from an accredited program.




Stress tolerance: 67

Average annual salary: $221,390

What they do: Examine, diagnose, and treat dental misalignments and oral cavity anomalies, design appliances to realign teeth and jaws.

Education requirements: Bachelor’s degree, four-year dental school, and two to three years of residency training.


U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Region/FLICKR

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Region/FLICKR

Stress tolerance: 66
Average annual salary: $83,440

What they do: Study how water moves across and through Earth’s crust. They can use their expertise to solve problems in the areas of water quality or availability.

Education requirements: Master’s degree.

Applications software developer

Adam Berry/Getty Images

Adam Berry/Getty Images

Operations research analyst

VFS Digital Design/Flickr

VFS Digital Design/Flickr

Stress tolerance: 63

Average annual salary: $84,180

What they do: Use advanced mathematical and analytical methods to help organizations investigate complex issues, identify and solve problems, and make better decisions.

Education requirements: Many entry-level positions are available for those with a bachelor’s degree, but some employers prefer to hire applicants with a master’s degree or Ph.D.

Law teacher (postsecondary)

Jirka Matousek/flickr

Jirka Matousek/flickr

Geoscientist (except hydrologists and geographers)

Savannah River Site/flickr

Savannah River Site/flickr

Stress tolerance: 63

Average annual salary: $126,230

What they do: Teach courses in law.

Education requirements: Bachelor’s and law degrees.

Stress tolerance: 63

Average annual salary: $105,720

What they do: Study the composition, structure, and other physical aspects of the Earth.

Education requirements: At least a bachelor’s degree, and in several states geoscientists may need a license.


Grand Canyon NPS/flickr

Grand Canyon NPS/flickr

Stress tolerance: 62

Average annual salary: $110,220

What they do: Observe, research, and analyze astronomical phenomena to increase basic knowledge or apply such information to practical problems.

Education requirements: Ph.D. for most research jobs.

Economics teacher (postsecondary)

Flickr / University of Liverpool Faculty of Health & Life Sciences

Flickr / University of Liverpool Faculty of Health & Life Sciences

Stress tolerance: 62

Average annual salary: Stress tolerance: 70

What they do: Teach courses in economics. Includes teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

Education requirements: Typically need a Ph.D. to teach at the college level, but a master’s degree may be enough.

Biomedical engineer

UC Davis College of Engineering/flickr

UC Davis College of Engineering/flickr

Stress tolerance: 61

Average annual salary: $91,230

What they do: Analyze and design solutions to problems in biology and medicine, with the goal of improving the quality and effectiveness of patient care.

Education requirements: Typically need a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from an accredited program. Alternatively, they can get a bachelor’s in a different field of engineering and then either get a graduate degree in biomedical engineering or complete on-the-job training in biomedical engineering.

Materials engineer

AFP / Stringer / Getty Images

AFP / Stringer / Getty Images

Stress tolerance: 61

Average annual salary: $94,690

What they do: Evaluate and develop materials, machinery, and processes to manufacture materials for use in products that must meet specialized design and performance specifications.

Education requirements: Bachelor’s degree in materials science or engineering, or a related field.

Political scientist

Evgeniy Isaev/flickr

Evgeniy Isaev/flickr

Stress tolerance: 61

Average annual salary: $103,210

What they do: Study the origin, development, and operation of political systems.

Education requirements: Bachelor’s degree, followed by master’s or Ph.D. in political science, public administration, or a related field.

Agricultural engineer

Thomson Reuters

Thomson Reuters

Stress tolerance: 61

Average annual salary: $78,490

What they do: Apply knowledge of engineering technology and biological science to agricultural problems concerned with power and machinery, electrification, structures, soil and water conservation, and processing of agricultural products.

Education requirements: Bachelor’s degree, preferably in agricultural engineering or biological engineering.


Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images

Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images

Stress tolerance: 59

Average annual salary: $84,440

What they do: Use statistical methods to collect and analyze data and help solve real-world problems in business, engineering, the sciences, or other fields.

Education requirements: Typically need a graduate degree.


AFP / Stringer / Getty Images

AFP / Stringer / Getty Images

Stress tolerance: 59

Average annual salary: $109,230

What they do: Economists study the production and distribution of resources, goods, and services.

Education requirements: Bachelor’s degree.


Simon Fraser University - University Communications/flickr

Simon Fraser University – University Communications/flickr

Stress tolerance: 58

Average annual salary: $74,920

What they do: Study the nature and use of areas of Earth’s surface, conduct research on physical aspects of a region, and conduct research on the spatial implications of human activities within a given area.

Education requirements: Master’s degree for most positions; some entry-level jobs in the federal government require only a bachelor’s.


University of the Fraser Valley/flickr

University of the Fraser Valley/flickr

Stress tolerance: 57

Average annual salary: $112,560

What they do: Conduct research in fundamental mathematics or in application of mathematical techniques to science, management, and other fields; solve problems in various fields using mathematical methods.

Education requirements: Bachelor’s or master’s degree for those who want to work in government, and a doctorate may be required to work for private companies.

Materials scientist

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade/flickr

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade/flickr

Stress tolerance: 53

Average annual salary: $94,940

What they do: Research and study substances at the atomic and molecular levels and the ways in which substances react with one another, use knowledge to develop new and improved products.

Education requirements: At least a bachelor’s degree; a master’s degree or Ph.D. is needed for many research jobs.

25 high-paying jobs for people who don’t like stress

11 awesome ways to enjoy giant N.J. balloon festival

Craig Turpin | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

Craig Turpin | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

Up to 125 hot air balloons were scheduled to take to the skies over Hunterdon County at the QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning in 2006. (NJ Advance Media file photo)

Up to 125 hot air balloons were scheduled to take to the skies over Hunterdon County at the QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning in 2006. (NJ Advance Media file photo)

One of the QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning's attractions is a balloon glow on Saturday night. (NJ Advance Media file photo)

One of the QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning’s attractions is a balloon glow on Saturday night. (NJ Advance Media file photo)

Balloons take to the sky over Hunterdon County at the 33rd annual QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning held at Solberg Airport. Readington on July 24, 2015. (NJ Advance Media file photo)

Balloons take to the sky over Hunterdon County at the 33rd annual QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning held at Solberg Airport. Readington on July 24, 2015. (NJ Advance Media file photo)

For the 34th year, tens of thousands of people will descend on Hunterdon County to watch over 100 pilots take off at what is North America’s largest balloon festival.

The QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning takes place at Solberg Airport in Readington Township on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The festival is much more than just balloons – there’s music, rides, entertainment and lots of food.

Here are 11 insider tips on how to make the most out of your visit to the festival:

Balloon launches

There are five balloon launches over the festival’s three days. Three take place each day at 6:30 p.m. and two are at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. If you want to avoid the crowds and heat, come to the early mass ascension to see the more than 100 balloons that will take flight.

There are a number of special shape balloons from around the world that take part in the festival, as well as local pilots.

If you’re planning on arriving for Saturday night’s mass balloon ascension at 6:30 p.m. and the KC and The Sunshine Band concert and nighttime hot air balloon glow, come earlier in the day as crowds are at their peak late Saturday afternoon.


Another reason to catch the evening mass ascension on Friday is the fireworks show to follow at 9:30 p.m. There will also be a crowd-favorite night-time balloon glow on Saturday at 8:30 p.m.


The balloon festival always provides a wide-range of music, and this year’s lineup is no exception. There are two ways to enjoy the concerts, either buy a ticket to sit in special stage-front seating, or take your chances with the lawn seating, which fills up early.

Third Eye Blind performs on Friday night. Premium and platinum tickets are sold out, but gold tickets ($59) are available.

The Girl & The Dreamcatcher featuring Dove Cameron & Ryan McCartan perform on Saturday at 1 p.m. Premium tickets are gone, but there are platinum and gold tickets available ($40-$55).

KC and The Sunshine Band perform Saturday night and John Kay & Steppenwolf with special guest Foghat take the stage Sunday afternoon. Tickets for both shows are available ($79-$99).


There’s plenty to eat at the festival. In addition to vendors throughout the festival, QuickChek will have its 2,700-square-foot air-conditioned “pop-up” store. It will also have its Hospitality Tent with baristas who will custom make more than 60 varieties of handcrafted hot and iced cold drinks.

If you come early on Saturday or Sunday, you can enjoy “Breakfast with the Balloons” catered by Black River Barn of Randolph.

Then there’s the Hot Air Balloon Funnel Cake – An Oreo cookie dipped in sweet funnel cake batter, fried to a golden brown, topped with powdered sugar and served with either strawberry, chocolate or blueberry sauces.

World-traveling balloons take part in festival

Take a flight

A unique way to take in the festival is by becoming part of the mass ascensions. Balloon flights are offered at each of the five launches. The cost is $225 per person for morning launches, and $250 per person for evening launches. Tethered balloon rides are also offered if the winds are calm at $20 per person.

Jennifer ‘The Cannon Lady’ Smith

A highlight of the festival is seeing human cannonball Jennifer “The Cannon Lady” Smith take flight. She takes flight at 3:30 and 6 p.m. Friday, at 9 a.m., 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. on Saturday and 1 and 5:30 p.m. on Sunday. She will also serve as the starting “gun” for Sunday morning’s 5K run.

Smith will also hold meet and greet photo sessions during the weekend.


There’s plenty to do while in between balloon launches. The Jeep Family Fun Pavilion will have entertainment throughout the day, from jugglers to musicians to other family-friendly performers. There’s also a Theater of Magic performance tent, music at the QuickChek Hospitality Tent and on Saturday and Sunday NJ 101.5’s Big Joe Henry Live radio broadcast taking place.

Also, check out the vendors. And don’t forget the free giveaways – you can always use another tote bag or Frisbee.

Run with the balloons

A recent addition to the festival is the Advil Running with the Balloons 5K Cross-Road Challenge.

Combining the elements of cross-country with a traditional road race, the USATF-NJ certified course features a mix of surfaces including grass, pavement, gravel and dirt roads. Runners race past the balloon launch field while Sunday morning’s mass hot air balloon ascension takes place, and finishes in the heart of the Festival at Solberg Airport.

Check out the Midway

For thrill seekers, check out the rides at the festival’s unofficial Midway. It’s best to get ride tickets early to avoid long lines later in the day.

KC & The Sunshine Band still enjoy the ride

Be a Blue Sky VIP

All general admission tickets are $35 ($15 for kids ages 4-12). Another option is the Blue Sky Club, which includes general admission, prime viewing spots for the mass ascensions in the Blue Sky Club Tent with catered food (at an additional charge). Also get a reserved concert seat to one of the three major concerts.

Seats are assigned on a first-come, first-serve basis.

A major plus – private restrooms with running water, vanity mirrors and air conditioning. VIP parking is only available to those who purchased Blue Sky Club tickets before July 22.

Plan ahead

Plan on arriving early. Backpacks, bags and personal items are subject to inspection before you enter the grounds.

Pack only the basic essentials and leave valuable items at home. Coolers, bottles and food are not permitted on the festival grounds. Only guide dogs and service animals are permitted.

Wear comfortable, light-colored clothing and comfortable shoes. Bring sunscreen and wear UV protective sunglasses. Baseball caps and wide-brimmed hats are recommended to protect your eyes and head from the summer sun.

There are a limited number of customer service golf carts which are available to transport patrons to the parking lots from various points throughout the festival grounds. The main parking lots are outfitted with patron trolleys designed to help get people back to their vehicles.

All handicap parking areas, as well as senior and handicap courtesy shuttles, are made possible this year by Hackensack University Health Network.

11 awesome ways to enjoy giant N.J. balloon festival

N.J. continues to lead in foreclosures as country rebounds

File photo of a property in foreclosure. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

File photo of a property in foreclosure. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

By Craig McCarthy | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

New Jersey continues to lead the country in foreclosures despite a national trend showing many states recovering to pre-recession numbers.

Nationwide, properties starting the foreclosure process during the first half of 2016 were down 17 percent from the same time last year, the lowest figures recorded since 2006, according to data recently released by RealtyTrac.

One in 249 housing units currently have a foreclosure filings in the United States, or 533,813 properties. The homes in foreclosure account for .4 percent of all housing units across the country.

New Jersey has 34,876 foreclosure properties, just under 1 percent of the state’s housing units as of June, according to RealtyTrac.

The Atlantic City and Trenton metropolitan statistical areas, census designated areas with populations more than 200,000, have the highest foreclosure rates in the nation. Atlantic City’s region has a rate of 1.85 percent, and the Trenton-Ewing region has a rate of 1.31 percent.

Camden County led the state with 1,382 properties in foreclosure over the last six months, followed by Ocean and Essex counties with 1,339 and 1,279 foreclosure filings, respectively.

New Jersey also has the longest turnaround time in the nation for its underwater properties, averaging 1,249 days as a foreclosure property.

The state with the shortest foreclosure period, at 195 days, is Virginia, where a property is not required to go through a judicial foreclosure process. In New Jersey, a year of the foreclosure period is generally spent going through the state’s court system.

The court logjam of foreclosure filings has been significantly reduced, according to Winnie Comfort, a spokeswoman for the state courts. The backlog was created in 2010 after a state Supreme Court ruling requiring major banks in New Jersey to revamp lending guidelines.

Less than 400 properties are currently considered backlogged and taking more than the 366-day average to complete the foreclosure process, Comfort said. As of June, a total of 15,346 homes are in court’s foreclosure process.

The California-based housing firm RealtyTrac, which tracks foreclosure homes once a notice of default has been issued until it’s sold at auction or as a bank-owned property, collects data on 2,200 counties nationwide.

New Jersey only tracks foreclosure properties in the court system. It does not count properties in default, the pre-foreclosure process, or once the property is turned over to a bank as a real estate owned property, which the state deems a post-foreclosure property.

N.J. continues to lead in foreclosures as country rebounds

Verizon To Acquire Yahoo In $5 Billion Deal: Report

The transaction would boost Verizon’s AOL internet business by giving it access to Yahoo’s advertising technology tools, as well as other assets such as search, mail, messenger and real estate.

(Reuters) – Verizon Communications Inc will announce an agreement on Monday to buy Yahoo Inc for about $5 billion, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The announcement will come before the start of New York trading hours, the source added.

The deal will end months of uncertainty about Yahoo’s future after the company announced plans to review strategic alternatives in February.

Yahoo and Verizon both declined to comment.

Bloomberg first reported the deal would be announced on Monday for $4.8 billion.

Reuters reported on Friday that Verizon had emerged as the front-runner in the Yahoo auction.

The transaction would boost Verizon’s AOL internet business, which the company acquired last year for $4.4 billion, by giving it access to Yahoo’s advertising technology tools, as well as other assets such as search, mail, messenger and real estate.

It would also mark the end of Yahoo as an operating company, leaving it only as the owner of a 35.5 percent stake in Yahoo Japan, as well as its 15 percent interest in Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

Started in 1994 by Stanford graduate students Jerry Yang and David Filo, Yahoo in its early years was the destination of choice for many making their first forays onto the World Wide Web.

By 2008, Yahoo was fending off a contentious takeover bid from Microsoft Corp and struggling to define its mission.

That question was never really answered, leading to years of management instability and shifting priorities.

In December, Yahoo scrapped plans to spin off its Alibaba stake after investors fretted over whether that transaction could have been carried out on a tax-free basis. It instead decided to explore a sale of its core assets, spurred on by activist hedge fund Starboard Value LP.

Source –

Verizon To Acquire Yahoo In $5 Billion Deal: Report

Editor’s Note: Verizon is the parent company of AOL, which owns The Huffington Post.

5 Easy Morning Habits That Can Jump-Start Your Day

CREDIT: Getty Images

CREDIT: Getty Images

5 Easy Morning Habits That Can Jump-Start Your Day
It’s the most important part of your day that most people don’t think about

Do you want to be more productive? Do you want to be more motivated today? Happier? Then put some thought into the most important part of the day: the start.

I know it may seem obvious, but the beginning of your day is the same as the beginning of a race–if the runner stumbles at the starting line, it’s hard to catch up.

I don’t think many people think about the start of their day. They just fall into a habit or routine. Here are five ways to jump-start your day:

Get up one hour earlier.

Get up earlier so your morning can be a calm, mindful way to start your day. When you do, you have time to actually think about your day and not caught up in the fire drill.

This is a great way to start your day because it is also more relaxing, not having to rush around like a crazy person. People who are successful set aside time to think about what they are doing.

Start with only positive content.

Many people get up in the morning and turn on the morning news as they are getting ready for their day. While that sounds like a great idea, the problem is you’re starting off the day with very negative content.

Let’s face it, the news is full of really bad news: death, fires, terrorism and tragedy.

I recently watched a woman on a morning flight on her laptop reading all the news about the latest shooting tragedy. She literally spent an entire two hours of her time reading all about murder.

Why would anyone want to start their day that way?

Only start with the positive.

Think about changing your morning habits. Start with something positive, read a positive book or useful article online, watch a positive video like a TED Talk, subscribe to a thought provoking blog, read something spiritual, pray or meditate.

Think of it as your morning ritual for results.

Take a few moments to journal.

Take a few moments during the quiet time of the morning before anyone is up. Write down your goals objectives dreams and ambitions.

Reflect on where you are and where you are going. Remind yourself why you’re working so hard.

People say it’s not just about the destination but the journey. Still, it’s important to continually remind yourself of your destination. Knowing your destination can be very motivating. Think about keeping a journal–it can really help cement your thinking.

Do something to raise your energy level.

In order to jump- start your day you need to make sure that you have a high level of energy for working. Think about what activities would give you the most amount of energy for your day.

Doing a aerobic or anaerobic workout can help you be more energetic. Having a nice healthy breakfast can boost your energy.

Listening to high energy music, or taking a hot brisk shower can be a great way to start your day. Have breakfast with your kids and your spouse and talk about their day.

There are no right answers about raising your energy level except knowing what works for you. What raises your energy?

Plan out your day in writing.

Take a few moments and plan out your day in writing. Make an action list of the 3-4 things that you must get done today, both professionally and personally.

You can’t hit a target if you don’t know what it is. The action list gives you a track to run on. Get on track early.

I think John Wayne said it best about starting your day: “Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It’s perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we’ve learned something from yesterday.”

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.

5 Easy Morning Habits That Can Jump-Start Your Day

Ways to Go From a Boss to a Leader

Ways to Go From a Boss to a Leader

Ways to Go From a Boss to a Leader

Many people view the terms “boss” and “leader” as interchangeable — but they are vastly different. To determine which one you are, I encourage you to honestly answer this question: Do you: a) see your team members as an aggravating necessity that you have to put up with in order to accomplish day-to-day activities and achieve goals? Or, do you: b) truly enjoy working with people on your team to meet your goals and deliverables?

If you chose a), you’re probably more of a boss; if you chose b), you’re probably more of a leader.

Based on my work with teams over the past 25 years — and, of course, common sense — I can confidently say that the teams which produce the most effective and long-lasting results are the ones directed by leaders, not bosses. So, how do you move from “boss” to “leader”? Here are seven key ways:

1. Love people.

No one can lead a team well unless he or she truly enjoys working with people. People are not minions; they are individuals with unique personalities, traits and talents. As a leader, you must enjoy helping people and watching them succeed.

2. Guide, don’t control, your team.

Bosses feel the need to control every action; they’re micromanagers. Leaders know that their team will accomplish great things if they receive direction and support rather than control, so they establish frameworks and structure, then empower their teams to get the work done, providing support along the way.

3. Be adaptable.

Bosses tend to be very rigid in the way they want things done, but leaders understand that they must adapt their personal style to their team members’ needs. They understand and value each team member’s individuality, establish expectations clearly and adapt their leadership approach as necessary.

4. Delegate.

Bosses may feel they are delegators, but because they don’t trust anyone else to do the job as well as they can, they never fully delegate anything. Leaders truly delegate. They assign tasks, and then let go (though they still follow up periodically to ensure their team members are on track to achieve the desired results).

5. Give credit, accept blame.

Bosses love to take credit for their teams’ successful results — and they’re the first to throw them under the bus when those goals are not achieved as desired. Leaders, in contrast, know their success comes from their teams’ efforts, so they keep their egos in check: They showcase their teams’ efforts when they succeed, and they accept personal responsibility when they fail.

6. Practice risk acceptance.

Bosses avoid risks at all costs because they are fearful that going out on a limb might produce a perceived failure — they like to play it safe. But leaders know that the greatest successes come from taking risks. Leaders enable and encourage their teams to try new things, and they see every so-called mistake or failure as an opportunity to make improvements.

7. Motivate.

Bosses motivate through fear. Leaders, in contrast, motivate by figuring out what sparks their individual team members to perform at their highest potential, and by expecting greatness from their teams even when those individuals don’t see greatness in themselves. Leaders also cheer and celebrate successes, small and large, because they know they are their teams’ biggest fans.

Going from “boss” to “leader” is a challenging personal development experience — but it’s extremely rewarding, too! If you act like a leader, your team members will produce long-lasting effective results, and their performance will be consistently outstanding. They will be more engaged at work, and more fulfilled in their personal lives, too. In that way, developing from boss to leader is an act of kindness and service to your fellow human beings — and to yourself, as well. Become a leader, and you’ll find that your life will be less stressful, and exponentially more fulfilling.

Yahoo Releases What Could Be its Last Report Before its Sale

From Reuters

Image credit: Reuters | Albert Gea

Image credit: Reuters | Albert Gea

Yahoo Inc.’s quarterly earnings fell short of Wall Street expectations on Monday in what may be the company’s last financial report before it sells its core business.

Yahoo reported adjusted earnings of 9 cents per share, short of the 10 cents that analysts expected. It also announced a $482 million write-down on the value of Tumblr, the social media service that it acquired in 2013 for $1.1 billion.

Yahoo is in the process of auctioning off its search and advertising business, and is expected to choose a winner this week. The company said its board has made “great progress on strategic alternatives” but did not comment further on the auction process.

Verizon Communications Inc. and AT&T Inc. are said to be in the running to acquire the core business, along with private equity firm TPG Capital and a consortium led by Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert and backed by billionaire Warren Buffett.

Yahoo also owns large stakes in Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba and Yahoo Japan, which are worth far more than the company’s internet business.

Monday’s earnings report showed the continued slide in Yahoo’s business during the protracted sale process. After the Tumblr write-down, the company posted a net loss of $439.9 million, or 46 cents per share, compared with a loss of $21.6 million, or 2 cents per share, a year earlier.

Although total revenue rose to $1.31 billion from $1.24 billion a year earlier, the seeming improvement was the result of a change in the way the cost of acquiring traffic is counted. After deducting fees paid to partner websites for traffic, revenue fell to $841.2 million from $1.04 billion.

Estimating that Tumblr is worth “nothing” at this point, Ross Gerber, cofounder and CEO of Gerber Kawasaki Wealth and Investment Management, said potential buyers were likely bidding lower than Yahoo believes it is worth.

“I can’t imagine why the sale process is taking so long, the only thing I can think of is it’s being overpriced. This report doesn’t further create an impression that paying up for these assets has any value,” Gerber said.

Revenue in the company’s emerging businesses, which Chief Executive Officer Marissa Mayer calls Mavens — mobile, video, native and social advertising — showed some life, rising 25.7 percent to $504 million in the second quarter ended June 30.

But the improvement in Mavens was offset by decreases in gross search revenue that is only expected to get worse, said B. Riley & Co. analyst Sameet Sinha. Gross search revenue for the quarter was $765 million, down 17 percent from the same period last year.

“This is supposed to be the growth engine of the company, and at best it was up slightly year over year. That shows that even in high-growth categories like mobile and native they’re losing their search impact,” he said.

JMP Securities analyst Ronald Josey said search revenues are a significant portion of Yahoo’s overall revenues and their continued decline could definitely be a factor in the sale negotiations.

“If search continues to decline as much as it has, that’s something that’s going to be called into question,” he said.

In a conference call, Yahoo Chief Financial Officer Ken Goldman touted the company’s cost-cutting efforts.

“Through excellent expenditure management of cost and capital, we achieved above the high-end of our guidance on adjusted EBITDA and significantly increased cash flow,” he said, referring to earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.

Yahoo’s shares were little changed at $37.92 in trading after the bell.

(Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Chris Reese and Jonathan Oatis)

Yahoo Releases What Could Be its Last Report Before its Sale

The CEO of a $34 billion company explains why he doesn’t hire people who are ‘too happy’

 Daniel S. Glaser. Insurance Careers Month/YouTube

Daniel S. Glaser. Insurance Careers Month/YouTube

Being happy is a good thing. Being too happy, on the other hand, might cost you a job at Marsh & McLennan Companies, a professional services firm with a market cap of over $34 billion.

The New York Times’ Adam Bryant recently asked Daniel S. Glaser, the CEO of the Marsh & McLennan Companies, how he hires.

Glaser said he tends to ask job candidates “really open-ended questions” like: “What are the kinds of things that make you happy?” “Are you easily satisfied as a person?” and “Do you feel content?”

“I want a sense that they know themselves. I’m trying to figure out, is this person somebody I really want to spend a lot of time with for the next decade? Are they an interesting person?”

What he doesn’t want to hear is that they are too happy.

“I have a general disdain for people who are too happy and content,” Glaser said.

“My feeling is that companies that do well for long stretches of time have a tendency to become either complacent or arrogant, and both of those are bad paths. So how do you prevent that? To me, you do that by trying to create this striving, challenging, questioning culture, where there’s always a smarter way of doing something, and you feel a permanent dissatisfaction with obtained results. Not with a scowl. You can smile about it, but we can do everything better.”

He told Bryant that’s why he looks for people who, in life, “are sort of in the same boat — they’re kind of impatient, there’s an urgency about them, even a little edginess.” He likes candidates who are good people, but have got “some quirks about what makes them such a driver, and when you ask them questions about happiness, the answer tends to be in the future a little bit. They’re trying for more.”

Glaser concluded: “I really think that, in some ways, the best leaders always have this sense of future.”

The CEO of a $34 billion company explains why he doesn’t hire people who are ‘too happy’

Things unsuccessful people do over the weekend

Have a mindful weekend.National Library of Australia/Flickr

Have a mindful weekend.National Library of Australia/Flickr

Everybody’s working for the weekend, but how you spend your two days off may say something about how successful you are.

What you get up to doesn’t really matter, per se. If you prefer lounging around the house to spontaneous adventures, that’s great! You probably need that time to wind down.

When it comes to weekends, the main thing that separates successful people from unsuccessful people is mindfulness.

Are you planning ahead and truly thinking about how to spend your free time?

Here are 11 things that unsuccessful people tend to do over the weekend — and why to avoid them.

They don’t have a plan
Not every minute of every hour of your weekend needs to be planned out — but it’s good to have a general idea of what you’d like to do or get done … even if you’re just scheduling downtime.

That’ll allow you protect your time (and maybe even schedule in some fun events).

They don’t make time for loved ones
It can be hard to make time for the ones you care about during the hectic week. Make up for that over the weekend.

They let technology take over
Put away your phone. Shut off your work email (and make it clear to your coworkers that you won’t be responding). Don’t get addicted to technology.

They don’t enjoy themselves
Whether you’re unwinding alone or going out with friends, make sure to do something that makes you happy during your time off.

Maybe you drank too much on Friday and are recovering. Maybe you’re just super tired. Either way, this could really mess up your sleep cycle and you probably need ot fix that.

You pinch pennies all week, and then blow it all over the weekend.

Heck, you should treat yourself every once in a while. That being said, if you’re overspending on the weekends, on frivolities that you don’t need, it’s time to consider some cheap but fun options, like staycations or free local events.

They don’t reflect

During your busy week, it can be difficult to snag some time to just think about your life and goals. It’s important to check in with yourself every once in a while.

On Fridays, it’s a great idea to set out an agenda for the next Monday. Being prepared is great. Being a workaholic is not. Kick back and relax a bit on Saturday and Sunday!

They laze around — and regret it
I’m a big proponent of just chilling out over the weekend. It’s definitely a great way to unwind. But if your slothfulness is making you bored or bummed out — or causing you to neglect important errands and chores — you may want to re-think how you spend your Saturdays and Sundays.

They don’t relax

At the other end of the spectrum are people who pack too much into their weekend schedule.

In order to be productive, and therefore successful, at work, it’s important to use the weekend to recharge your batteries. If your weekends include zero downtime, you’ll never feel rested or refreshed, which can be detrimental to your success.

They don’t prepare for the week ahead
Sunday nights are the perfect time to plan for the week ahead. You can make a to-do list; update or review your calendar; or just think about what it is you’d like to accomplish in the coming days. Unsuccessful people fail to do any of the above.

11 things unsuccessful people do over the weekend