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Career Performance

by Randall Craig on July 21, 2009

Filed in: Blog, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Planning,

Tagged as: , ,

What do Stevie Wonder, Leonard Cohen, and Elton John all have in common? They are all musicians, all internationally famous, and they have all been writing music and performing for decades. But what accounts for their success?

  • They had great teachers and mentors.
  • They practiced their scales and rehearsed their music, and got very good at what they did.
  • They listened to other musicians, and incorporated other styles into their own.
  • They evolved, growing better – and different – over the years.
  • Despite a focus on the music, they didn’t ignore the business of music.

This is exactly how successful people manage their careers: They invest in education, learn from their mentors, evolve over the years, and despite a focus on their current jobs, they actively manage their careers. They get very good at what they do.

This week’s action item: Are you doing as well managing your career, as these musicians are in managing theirs? Look at the list above, and choose one thing that you may have been ignoring, and plan how to do more of it.

Postscript: We can’t know whether Wonder’s, Cohen’s, and John’s name in music will be as well known as Mozart, Bach, or Beethoven, but we do know that without working hard today, they won’t have that long-term professional success. (And neither will you.)

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)


Hunters and Farmers

by Randall Craig on April 3, 2007

Filed in: Blog, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Networking

Tagged as: , ,

Sales managers use an interesting description for their salespeople: they are either farmers or hunters. Farmers sell more by cultivating existing relationships, while hunters sell more by developing completely new relationships.

Most people don’t think of themselves as salespeople, but in truth, everyone has at least one thing to sell: themselves. Whether you are pitching a new concept to your boss, or pitching yourself for a new job, you are definitely in the profession of sales, and you are either a hunter or a farmer.

Farmers build their network by asking their network for introductions; hunters add to their network themselves at association meetings, social events, and trade shows.

Think how you manage your career: are you more one than the other?

  • Farmer: Do you go deeper into your area of expertise, developing a depth of knowledge and valuable experience? Do you look for new tasks closely related to your existing ones? Or with people that you currently have a great relationship with?
  • Hunter: Are you always looking for the next challenge, to develop breadth of knowledge? Do you look for completely new experiences? Do you throw yourself into networking activities, excited about meeting new people?

Not surprisingly, each person really is a bit of both; sometimes we farm, and sometimes we hunt. But unfortunately, we are also creatures of habit, and we gravitate to the mode that is most comfortable.

This week’s action item: Determine whether your comfort zone is more a hunter or a farmer; then look for an activity to strengthen the other skill.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)


When you want something done, give it to a busy person…

by Randall Craig January 17, 2006

A recently promoted executive confided in me that the pressure of time was increasingly difficult to manage: especially the conflicts between work and home responsibilities. This is a very common issue – not just to the recently promoted, but to most people who are serious about their career – and their family. One approach to […]

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