Category Archives: Career Advice

10 Customer-Relationship Commandments

Note: This material was pulled from our in-house class, Customer Focus, taught by Director of Learning & Development Alissa Owsley. For more learning content like this, check out our 2-part SlideShare series on The Art of Coaching Employees and 6 Truths about Persuasion.

At Leggett & Platt we equate good customer service with good relationship-building skills. The bond between you and your customer—whether within your company (say a peer or your boss) or external (the traditional “customer”)—is just that, a relationship that needs attention and takes work.

With that in mind, we’ve come up with 10 universal customer-relationship commandments. You don’t have to have “customer service representative” in your title to get something out of these. Continue reading

6 Quick Tips For Lasting Connections – Network Smarter Part 3

Networking Smarter 3 - Lasting Connections

Note: This is the final installment of a three-part series

By now I hope you’ve noticed an emerging theme: networking isn’t all about you. Like any other relationship, it’s a two-way street. If you take anything away from this mini-series, I hope you take this: giving is more important that receiving. You network smarter when you’re attentive to others’ wants and needs. It’s effective and it makes for lasting connections. Continue reading

6 Tips for a Great First Impression: Network Smarter Part 2

Networking Smarter 2 - First Impressions

Last week, in part one of the Network Smarter series, we talked about social media, personal brand, and your professional online presence. That may be the first step in networking but it’s certainly not the last. Here are six tips to help you make a great first impression:

1. Think about your appearance.

I agree with Oscar Wilde who said, “You can never be overdressed or overeducated.” Especially when it comes to first impressions. Initial reactions matter. Pay attention your appearance including accessories, clothes, etc., before your next meet-n-greet event. As unfair as it may seem, people will make assumptions about your personality based on what you’re wearing, your hygiene, and how you carry yourself. It’s just human nature.

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3 Steps To Optimize Your Online Reputation – Network Smarter Part 1 of 3

Networking Smarter 1 - Social Media

Welcome to the first in a series of three articles written to help you network smarter, not harder. This week’s topic: getting started with social media.

While face-to-face interactions remain the best form of networking, social networking sites can help you connect with other professionals easier than ever. And, in our increasingly hyper-connected world, it’s now essential to have an online presence you’re proud of.

Step 1 – Assess the situation

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5 Things I Learned NOT To Do Before A Presentation

5 Things to AvoidBe it to peers or upper management, in-person or online, professional presentations can be scary. At least, they are for those who suffer from speech anxiety, including yours truly. However, I’ve found from experience that properly preparing for a presentation and avoiding the list below will help calm those speech-day jitters.


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Impress your Boss: 3 Management Styles and 10 Tips that’ll Dazzle ‘em

There are 130-plus employees in Leggett & Platt’s IT department and well over half of them manage either people or projects. As an entry-level IT employee, I get to work with all the management-style combinations you could imagine on a daily basis. It used to make my head spin, so I categorized managers (with the help of terminology) into 3 main management styles. Then I analyzed the characteristics and came up with ways I could dazzle ‘em all.


Directing Management Style IconThe Directing Management Style

Managers who use this style tell employees what to do, how to do it, and when it needs to be done.  They like to poke holes in your arguments, they like to be in full control, and—if we’re all being honest— they can be a little intimidating. They know what they want and they expect no less than their vision (which is often brilliant). Continue reading

My Slingshot Year: Transitioning From College to a Corporate Job

slingshot_charlieb-01June 2014 marks my 1-year anniversary as a working professional, a transition chapter in my life I call “the slingshot year.” College graduation lifted me from the soft pillow of the educational system and slung me into the concrete wall of Corporate America.


For me, June also marks my first year of 9-5 and no sleeping in on the weekday, my first year of trying to find cheap, professional clothes for a child-sized adult (a lot harder than it sounds), and my first year of actually learning things. That’s right: I’m implying you don’t learn much in college. At least, you don’t learn what you need to know to smoothly transition into the business world.

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Career Confidence: Build Your Career Capital to Set Yourself Apart

Build Career Capital - Blog Title

This is part two of a series offering practical tips to help you chart your career course with confidence – view the entire series

It’s no mystery there are fewer opportunities the higher you advance in an organization. Politics aside, the people who get those positions have usually been successful at growing their value over time. Whether you aspire to an executive position or have a more modest career target in mind, you’ll likely compete with others for those positions.

In this article, we’ll explore practical tips to help you build career capital. Invest in these four areas – reputation, connections, knowledge, and experience – and you will differentiate yourself from your peers, increase your capabilities, and position yourself well for a promotion.

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Career Confidence: Say Goodbye to Cinderella Thinking

Cindy Wonderstruck - LinkedIn Cover - 180x110Note: This is the first installment of a two-part series offering practical tips on how to chart your career course with confidence. Follow us for updates:

In a recent poll, we asked participants in a workshop entitled “Career Confidence” to identify their biggest obstacles to career growth. The number one response? Lack of opportunity.

Since my role in Talent Management gives me a chance to chat with employees about their career paths, I often hear about this obstacle. Certainly, higher level positions are scarcer than entry level positions, and it sure doesn’t hurt to be in the right place at the right time. But could some of the perceived lack of opportunity be caused by Cinderella thinking? You be the judge. Here are three examples of Cinderella thinking I’ve encountered:

Waiting to be developed.

Cindy Transformed - Low Res

You know in your heart of hearts that you’ve got the goods. You’re smart, you’re passionate, and doggone it, you have great ideas. Where is that fairy godmother to turn all this budding potential into stunning realization?

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