July 4th Safe Driving Tips

The National Safety Council (NSC) predicts that as many as 409 Americans will be killed during the long 4th of July weekend.  If these forecasts are accurate it would be highest Independence Day weekend, total since 2008.

According to the NSC factors that will contribute to this deadly total includes:

  • As the U.S. continues to emerge from the Great Recession more Americans are taking to the road
  • Weekend holidays tend to have higher levels of traffic and this year’s July 4th is on a Saturday
  • On average, there are 37 percent more highway fatalities on July 4 than the average July day

The National Safety Council suggested a variety of ways motorists can avoid becoming a holiday statistic:

  • Buckle Up: The NSC estimates that seatbelts are expected to save 155 lives during the three-day holiday, and another 99 Americans would be saved if they also buckled up.
  • Child Car Seats: Placing children in appropriate safety seats, is credited with saving more than one hundred young lives a year.
  • Slow Down: Speed is one of the major contributing factors in summer driving fatalities.
  • Hang Up the Phone: Studies show that using a cellphone even when it is hands free is distracted driving. And, of course texting while behind the wheel is a big no-no.
  • Don’t Drink and Drive: Driving under the influence is the single largest cause of motor vehicle fatalities.

The July 4th holiday is a wonderful time to spend with time with family and friends.  Have fun but remain vigilant while on the road.  Taking a few precautions can help ensure a memorable weekend.  Because spending the holiday with family is better than spending time in the ER!


6 Moves To Turbocharge Your Career in 2015

Welcome to 2015! A brand new year to be all we can be! As we pursue our yearlong quest for optimal personal productivity, many of us make New Year’s resolutions.

Instead of making resolutions I set goals. Because the goals you set today are the actions you keep for the year.   Tomorrow in this spot I will discuss the importance of goal setting to get things done in this New Year.

Regardless of your stance on resolutions, we can all make career moves. Career moves are simple adjustments to way we conduct ourselves in our professional and personal lives. So, on this first day of a sparkling New Year; here are 6 moves guaranteed to turbocharge your career in 2015.

Move #1: Be Flexible

The odds are that the way you’ll do work on January 1st of 2015 will not be the way you’ll be doing work on December 31st of 2015. In a recent Gallop poll more than 50% of employees responded by saying they have experienced “significant change” in the way they worked in the past 12 months.

From reorganizations to new workflows, and layoffs; change is a big part of the workplace. Make sure you are flexible. Your boss will see that you are someone who can get the job done. No matter what’s happening around you.

Move #2: Stay Current

Keep up with trends in your industry by either reading trade, business and general publications or checking out online sources. Then, take what you have learned and apply it to solve problems in your workplace. It will make you a more valued employee.

 Move # 3: Strengthen Your Network

In today’s workplace sandbox everyone has to play well with others. Fitting within the network of the workplace is a part of the new definition of a great employee. The idea that you can be an individual contributor and be successful is an idea of the past. Why? Look at the numbers, research from the Corporate Executive Board indicates that 40% of all employees work with more than 20 people on a given day; and more than 80% work with at least 10 people. It is arithmetic! People who can build strong networks on the job and outside of the job have a big leg up in getting things done.   Next week in this space I will review ways to power up your networking.

Move # 4: Seek Leadership Opportunities

No matter how small, large, trivial or daunting the task may seem; pursue a strategy to actively seek opportunities for leadership. For example: chairing employee teams, or leading projects. “Be selective about taking on leadership assignments; but, aggressively seek them,” says General Colin Powell. “There’s a difference between begging for these opportunities and raising your hand,” he warns, “but if someone says there’s a job to be done, raise your hand first and then ask for help. Powell ended by saying, “The biggest mistake a person who would like to get ahead or stay employed can make is passing up the opportunity to lead.”

Move # 5: Make Friends with the IT Guy

Technology is the lifeblood of a productive workplace. According to the Corporate Executive Board the average number of work-related emails we receive each day has increased fourfold since 2005; underscoring the explosive importance of technology in the office. This makes the IT Guy and the IT department, not just another employee or department; but a vital part of the workforce.

However, don’t stop with making nice with just the IT Guy. Making friends with admins is an important move as well. In the 2015 workplace power, authority and decision making is cropping up in some unexpected places.

Administrative assistants are at the center of it all. Underestimating their authority—or missing the opportunity to develop a strong relationship with the IT Guy or the admins is something no employee can afford to do.

Move #6: Become A Thought Leader

A thought leader is an individual that is recognized in and out of the company as an authority in selected areas of specialization, making that person a go-to source.

Strategy consultant Dorie Clark, wrote in the Harvard Business Review 6 steps on How to became a Thought Leader; 3 of those steps include creating a robust online presence, networking, and public speaking.

I urge you to read this post to discover the secrets of sharing the knowledge you already have with the world as a thought leader. In the post you will learn that good employees are nice to have; but thought leaders are irreplaceable — and indispensable.

The Bottom Line: You are the Turbocharger

You are much more than an employee. You are flexible. You are a networker; a leader and a thought leader — you are a turbocharger!!!! A turbocharger knows that the arc of your career is in your hands. In other words you are in control.

Happy New Year!!!! Go out and make 2015 your best year ever!!!

©Copyright 2015 Marben Bland

Need an inspiring speaker for a seminar, workshop or conference keynote? Let’s talk! My unique background in the military, business and the faith communities allows me to speak effectively on many topics of interest to your audience. From a project management seminar to stirring speech about the importance of leadership. I can give a presentation that will leave your audience entertained and informed. Call me today at (608) 358-1309 or email me marben@marbenbland.com

Marben Bland is a business strategist professional speaker, faith leader and writer. Specializing in assisting business with the acquisition of human and financial capital along with the strategies required to succeed in the marketplace. Find more post at www.marbenbland.com

Welcome To December 31st: Where Did The Time Go?

Welcome to December 31st.

Where did the time go?

As we look back on the previous 364 days, one has to wonder. How did we spend the 525,600 minutes allotted to us?

Moses’ prayer in Psalms 90:10-12 speaks of the time allotted to us:

Seventy years are given to us!

Some even live to eighty.

But even the best years are filled with pain and trouble; soon they disappear, and we fly away.

Who can comprehend the power of your anger?

Your wrath is as awesome as the fear you deserve.

Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom.

Job 14:1 reminds us that Man, born of woman, is of few days, and full of trouble.

We are almost 365 days closer to the end of our lives.

Our focus should no longer be on how we spent the previous 8,760 hours that made up 2014.

We should ponder how we will spend the time that God will give us in 2015; and any remaining years after 2015 that God will give us.

But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15

Welcome to December 31st. Where will the time go?

©Copyright 2014 Marben Bland │

Marben Bland is a born again Christian studying to become an ordained minister. The intent of these blogs is to spread the gospel in support of the Great Commission: Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:16-20