Become A Writer – 3 At Home Writing Careers

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When many think of a Writer the first impression on their minds is from a movie like Johnny Depp’s The Secret Window, or another one comes to my mind titled Misery, with James Caan and Kathy Bates. There’s usually someone in a cabin or reclusive setting trying to focus on content for their next book.

Did you know that there are dozens of writing careers available that someone can specialize in and earn a nice living from? Usually, the writer is not referred to as such but identified by their profession, ex: a journalist, book author, blogger and more.

There is a huge world of commercial writing too. This huge world of writing includes everything from writing site posts to technical manuals, journalist, book authors, and much more. All of these published writings are corrected by editors before publishing, another fine career.

If you are thinking about trying out your writing skills as a source of earnings, consider the steps and the following writing jobs and careers, for companies or freelancing your writing services from home. These might not be the most glamorous careers but could be a stepping stone towards the right one for you.


One of the best-known writing careers is that of the blogger. There are tens of thousands of bloggers and many of them have monetized their blogs and are generating a nice income. Someone that knows about marketing can earn enough to blog full-time and leave their old jobs behind. However, the majority of bloggers are not as successful in their efforts and cannot quit their jobs. There are three things that you need to become a successful blogger 1. A website, 2. Education or “the know-how”, 3. A mentor, and 4. An active community of like-minded people. When starting a business online or off, be sure to choose a niche that you love or enjoy because of the amount of time and the effort that it takes for the blog to become established. See the special offer at the end of this article.


Ghost-writing blogs for smaller companies could very well be the most profitable way to blog for a living. Ghost-writers are hired to write just about everything including blog posts, eBooks, literary or journalistic works, speeches, autobiographies, articles for magazines, and other text that is credited to someone else as the author. Ghost-writers are regularly used by politicians, celebrities, executives, musicians, and screenplay authors and are not credited for the work. There’s usually a clause in the contract that obligates the Ghost-writer to remain anonymous, however, sometimes they can be referred to as the researcher or research assistant.


Probably the most glamorous writing career is that of the Novelist, who also write in other avenues of fiction and non-fiction. Most Novelists, once their first is published, continue to create more novels and can earn a nice income from numerous published books, although few become well-known authors. Novelists use a variety of methods and approaches to inspire creativity when writing their books. There are some communities that actively encourage amateurs to practice writing novels to develop their unique practices that differ from each author.

With the rise of the internet and eBooks, self-publishing has become far less expensive and a realistic way for authors to earn more from their efforts. Novelists usually, unless they can get an advance, don’t get paid until the book sells, requiring the writer to invest months of time and effort into their novel with hopes that it will sell when completed.

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Top 5 Most Popular Foods in Cebu

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There is countless food that can only be found in the city of Cebu. Cebu has been known for being unique in their food preparations. Their foods have some ingredients so strange that a typical food enthusiast would wonder why they were there in the first place. This is what makes the Cebu food so special, the distinctness of the recipe itself. There are so many of them but I can only give you the top five most popular foods in Cebu.

Here they are:

Inasal or Lechon

Inasal is a Cebuano term for Lechon. It can be Inasal na Manok or Inasal na Baboy (Lechon Manok or Baboy), Roasted Chicken or Roasted Swine. But the most popular and the most delicious food in Cebu is the Inasal na Baboy (Lechon Baboy). Cebu is the only place in the Philippines where you can find the most delectable Lechon. If you taste the Cebu Lechon you would wonder how it is cooked and what makes it so yummy and so different from the other Lechon in the Philippines. Well, I guess you have to ask a Cebuano Lechon expert about that. Or you can always search the Net about how to make the Cebu Lechon.

Siomai sa Tisa

Siomai is originated in China. When this food was introduced in Cebu, it had become one of the favorites of the Cebuanos as well as local and foreign visitors. Actually it isn't just called Siomai anymore in Cebu but Siomai sa Tisa. Siomai sa Tisa was originated in Tisa, a barangay in Labangon, Cebu City. This food is almost the signature food of Cebu. Best eaten along with puso or hanging rice, rice wrapped in coconut leaves.


This delicacy is the Cebuano version of Chicharon Bulaklak. Ginabut is an intestine of a swine deeply fried. Ginabuts are sold in street corners of Cebu with a cariton (cart). There are also vendors who peddle Ginabuts to some areas in Cebu. Although this food is high in cholesterol, it is so crunchy and yummy, perfect for an instant meal in anytime of the day.


This Chinese-influenced food is the favorite food of a typical Cebuano. And it has now become the favorite of many visitors in Cebu. People in different social status in different walks of life like to eat Ngohiong, not only because it is appetizing but also because you can never enjoy the moment when you're in Cebu if you don't eat Ngohiong.

SEE ALSO: Cheapest Food in Cebu .


This unique delicacy is made of fish, especially the Stingray fish or Pagi. This is mixed with coconut milk and some special ingredients. This food can be found in the some street sidewalks in Cebu like Jones St. or Osmena Boulevard and in Lapu-Lapu City. This food in Cebu is beast eaten immediately right after it's cooked.

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How to Make $1,000 Per Month As a Freelance Writer

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With all of the hoopla and plethora of products online nowadays, many people get discouraged when starting to earn a living online – and I am no stranger to that myself.

As a struggling online entrepreneur, I’ve seen the courses come and go. I have paid literally thousands of dollars on courses and I got to a point where I thought every online program was a scam.

Then I was introduced to freelance writing.

How Millions of People Earn Money Online With Freelance Writing

Most people dread the thought of writing as a career. But when you see the availability of content that needs to be written by thousands of blog owners and website creators, you will quickly realize how lucrative it can be.

Here are a few of the many types of work that people are paying online writers for currently:

  1. Blog posts. Most bloggers rarely write their own content. So how do they obtain content? They hire people such as myself to write their posts for them. And these people are paying anywhere from $15 to hundreds of dollars to do so.
  2. Articles. Despite the fact that I am writing this here article you are reading – there are many more that are written by ghost writers. Ghost writers are doing the actual writing, while I am reviewing and sometimes editing the content prior to posting on various sites.
  3. eBooks. Copywriting for eBooks can be very lucrative. Though I do not recommend starting here, many website and marketers are paying high fees to get their eBooks posted and distributed.

How to Make $1000 Per Month As a Freelance Writer

The first thing I show aspiring entrepreneurs how to do when getting started is to set a goal and then do the math to see what it takes to reach that goal.

For example:

To earn $1000 a month, divide by 30 to get approximately $33 per day.

So, for our example, we want to shoot for $33 per day as a freelance writer.

Here is how you do it:

  • Sign up to and set up a gig as a copywriter. Follow instructions or find some instructional videos online if you are not familiar.

If you can do 3 articles per day you have already made $15. So let’s get the other $18 on one of a few other sites.

  1. Odesk. Create an account here and you can make anywhere from $2-$3 upwards to $10 and beyond.
  2. iWriter. This site takes a little longer to get your pay scale up. But once you have a few articles under your belt you can make $15-$25 per article.
  3. Textbroker. This site is only available to those of you in the United States, but you can get paid $10-$20 per article here.

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How to Win the CBN / NYSC Annual Venture Prize Competition

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This competition is an initiative of the CBN as part of its corporate social responsibility and in consonance with the principle of the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS). It is designed to unleash the entrepreneurial spirit of the youth corps members during their service year and to encourage them to imbibe entrepreneurial concepts and ideas. The Annual Venture Prize Competition is majorly aimed at reducing the dependence on white collar jobs which would stimulate economic growth, development of local technology and generation of employment.

It is open to only serving corps members in every batch of a given year. The Award is in two categories (State / National) and it covers all legal business concepts except commerce. Interested corpers are expected to submit a business proposal to the state level for critical examination by the state Inter-Agency Selection Committee where three winners usually emerge. The prize money for the state awards is;
– 1st Prize: N200,000.00
– 2nd Prize: N150,000.00
– 3rd Prize: N100,000.00

Ten best proposals from each Development Finance Office are sent to the Department and subjected to further examination by the National Selection Committee to select the national winners which has the following prize money tied to it.
– 1st Prize: N1,000,000.00
– 2nd Prize: N750,000.00
– 3rd Prize: N500,000.00

All winners will be given Certificates of Merit, linked to banks to sponsor their projects and invited to participate at a course at any of the Entrepreneurship Development Centers (EDCs).

Annual Venture Prize Competition draft procedure.

Identify a Need or Problem
For you to be a participant of this millionaire making award you must have a business concept or idea. There must be a need or market you are willing to satisfy. Your business idea might be innovative or an improvement on an existing concern which would add value to the life of the people.

Carryout an In-Depth Business Analysis
You must engage in a critical analysis of the business. The profitability, durability and legality of the business must be ascertained. You must have a good understanding of the proposed business.

Create a Marketable and Exceptional Business Plan / Feasibility Report
After you have ascertained that the business idea is viable and profitable, compose a winning business plan. The plan must be written according to the statutory format. The format is as follows:
1. Business Plan and Corporate Directive (Vision, Mission and Objectives, etc)
2. Operational Strategies (Uniqueness of the Organization)
3. Strategic Plan and Objectives
4. Projected Outreach, Market Share and Marketing Strategy
5. Financial Projection / Strategy
6. Sustainability Strategy
7. SWOT Analysis
8. Risk Identification and Mitigation Strategies
9. Economic and Social Justification – Business Benefits to the Society
10. Environmental / Infrastructural Analysis (Assessment of the likely Impact of Environmental Factors of the Proposal)
11. Management Structure, etc.

Your business plan is your representative. You will not be there when it will be examined. In fact, your passport to the award process is your feasibility report. Therefore you must ensure that you business plan is outstanding.

If you don't know how to write one, contact someone that is fully skilful in writing business plans. If you are hiring a professional to assist you in writing the plan, ensure that you are part of the preparation process. That is; be part of the preparation process. This is to enable you learn and understand everything in the report.

It is not advisable to hire a professional that is far from you. This is true because, he will just give you a finished work without educating you. You might be asked to defend the proposal before the Committee.
You can also make your business plan unique by adding pictures, PowerPoint slides and audiovisual CDs to make your business points clearer.

Submit Proposal
Ensure you submit your proposal within the stipulated time. It should be submitted to either the Head, Development Finance Office, in the branch of the CBN in the state of service or to the Director, Development Finance Department, Central Bank of Nigeria, Corporate Headquarters, Abuja. Also ensure that the proposal carry your NYSC call-up number, contact address and phone number. Make sure you follow-up the proposal by visiting the Committee office to get information. You must also listen to daily news and read current dailies to get new hints as regards to the Annual Prize Competition.

Components of a Winning Proposal
– The business starting capital must be from one hundred thousand to a million naira: Given that the lowest prize money is N 100,000.00 and the highest is N1, 000,000.00 let your business be the type that can be started with the minimum of the least prize money and the maximum of the highest prize.
– The business must be legal: There are businesses that are illegal in Nigeria. Ensure you go to Corporate Affairs Commission to get the full lists of legal business. Also there are some goods that are contraband in Nigeria.
– The business must be resident in Nigeria: The sole aim of this program is to boast the economy of Nigeria and not foreign countries. Therefore, the business must be located in Nigeria.
– The business must have the tendency of employing Nigerian citizens: The business must have the capacity of employing you and other unemployed Nigerians
– You must prove that you will not abandon the business for a white collar job: This competition is solely for entrepreneurs. Consequently, if you have the intention of starting the business with the intention of abandoning it immediately you secure a white collar job, this program is not for you. It is strictly for passionate entrepreneurs.
– You must prove that the business would be profitable. One of the goals of this initiative is to Stimulate economic growth. Therefore, the proposal must show that you business has the capacity of making profit.
– Your proposal will receive massive attention when it is geared towards using and develop local technology.
– This program covers all business concepts except commerce. Commercial activities are very risky. Your business idea must not be to buy and sell of finished goods. Rather it should be able to produce better goods at a competitive price and time.
– The cost of your products must be competitive: Your goods or services must be exceptional but affordable.
– Your business idea must contain something good that your competitor are not doing or are not doing well.
– Your proposal will scale-through if your business is using locally produced raw materials

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Whiteboard Explainer Videos or Scribes, What’s the Difference?

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There seems to be some confusion with regards to the terminology being used when it comes to ‘whiteboard style explainer videos’ or what can sometimes be called ‘scribe videos’. The later seems to be more oriented around the US market, whilst both scribe videos and whiteboard videos are one in the same thing. And certainly this is not to be confused with interactive whiteboards, which is a whole different product entirely, something a school or college would use, certainly not us.

I suppose first of all we should define what a whiteboard or scribe video actually is. In basic terms this is a video that uses a plain white background and the ‘animation’ solely relies on watching a hand holding a marker pen draw in a picture in time with a voice over. The picture typically is a reinforcement of the dialogue so tends to be very literal, and once a scene has been drawn, it pauses for a brief moment to let the viewer digest and then moves on to draw a new scene.

Within an average 1 minute whiteboard explainer video you would typically expect to see around 5 to 7 main drawings or scenes being drawn in. This can vary as it depends on the level of detail and points that the dialogue is making, but is usually a good starting point. So in it’s truest form and how it was originally intended, a traditional whiteboard video is quite simply a hand drawing black outlines to create scenes, in-time with a voice over.

Whilst the end results may well look like a camera has been used to film someone actually drawing a scene ‘live’ this in reality is far from the truth. Like 90% of the whiteboard videos produced commercially, software is used to give the ‘illusion’ of a real hand drawing. The process is actually slightly more complex than the end results suggest, but by working digitally it allows for greater accuracy, continuity and a faster production process.

The hand that you see moving around the screen is actually two photographs in slightly different positions holding a pen. The pen itself is un-branded and we edit in company logos onto the pen to provide that extra element of personalisation. The lines that you then see being drawn in are created using Vector graphic software, namely Adobe Illustrator. This allows us to rough out each scene first and then carefully trace with clean accurate vector lines. These digital files are then imported into he whiteboard animation software, which then cleverly tracks the vector lines and gives the illusion that the hand is drawing the lines in.

Working this way allows us to make quick changes to the drawings if required, and makes it easier to time drawings to the dialogue and ultimately create better quality, more engaging videos.

In the next article, I’ll explore the many subtle differences that start to take a standard whiteboard video into a very different direction, whilst having a ‘whiteboard’ look, is is anything but.

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Las Vegas Travel Guide – 9 Things to Do After Midnight That You Haven't Thought Of

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Here are 9 Items (not in any particular order)

1) Flamingo Hotel Wildlife Habitat – This exhibit is open all night and is free. You can lazily walk numerous mini-trails through the exhibit and watch the Flamingos and Koi Fish in a relaxed pleasant atmosphere. Be careful though. It is rumored the ghost of Bugsy Siegel walks the grounds of the Flamingo late at night. If you continue through the trails you will find a statue dedicated to this mafia member.

2) Bellagio Conservatory – This Botanical Garden is open 24 Hours and is Free. This is a beautiful walk through impressive displays. Each Season is a different display so go back and visit again on your next trip. While in the Bellagio you can visit the largest glass sculpture in the world. It is a ceiling mounted multi-colored marvel.

3) The Macabre Tour – If you are into the Dark Side or the poular topic of CSI Crime Scene Investigations then there are a few books out on the market that tell of the crimes such as Murders and Suicides that happen on the Las Vegas Strip.

4) Hungry? The Las Vegas Strip isn't just $ 2.99 cheap buffets anymore. There is some fine restaurants located around the Strip that cater to the after Midnight crowd. My personal favorite is the Carnegie Deli in the Mirage. Also the Studio Cafe at the MGM Grand serves a great late night breakfast. 24 Hour restaurants.

5) Guinness Book of Records – Did you know of the 25 Largest Hotels in the World 19 of them reside on the Las Vegas Strip. Those hotels are: (Smallest to Largest) due to the quick Vegas Death of Hotels this list can't be expected to stay accurate. Assume if one of these hotels has been replaced then the new hotel is now on the list.

  • Planet Hollywood (Aladdin)
  • Harrah's
  • Imperial Palace
  • Bally's
  • Treasure Island
  • Paris
  • Las Vegas Hilton
  • Monte Carlo
  • Mirage
  • Caesars
  • Flamingo
  • Circus Circus
  • Bellagio
  • Excalibur
  • Mandalay Bay
  • Luxor – The Luxor also holds two records for Largest Atrium and Brightest Light.
  • Wynn Las Vegas / Encore
  • MGM Grand
  • Venetian / Palazzo

6) Pools – I know this doesn't sound very exciting but the Las Vegas Hotel pools are not your community center rectangular pools: they are works of art. The Mandalay Bay doesn't have a pool it has a BEACH. If you are a lover of beauty and art then visit the pools around the strip. I suggest going around 2am. Often you can lounge and have a conversation with someone it pure quiet.

7) Workout? That's right many of the Las Vegas Strip have 24 Hour fitness centers for those Die Hard visitors. A few hotels even have 24 hour Spas so you can get a massage at 3am.

8) Shopping – Need a book or souvenir at 2am? The Las Vegas Strip has 24 hour Strip gift stores. Expect to pay a premium but if you can't leave without your CSI Las Vegas t-shirt, Elvis mug, or Las Vegas deck of cards then it wont be a problem.

9) Haunted Houses – During the Halloween season there are many Las Vegas Haunted Attractions located up and down The Strip. There is big money invested into scaring you out of your wits. Ghosts, Demons, Poltergeist, and Murderous Criminals (eg, Saw, Freddy Krueger, Jason) are all recreated here in pure Hollywood Special Effects style. If you have a heart condition or squeamish about blood you might want skip these attractions.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Although the Las Vegas Strip is relatively safe if you are going to be walking around after midnight take the same precautions you would with any big city. You should always travel in groups, avoid back alleys, and use the pedestrian bridges to cross the street.

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Ghostwriting Service

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A ghostwriting service is a service offered by companies or individuals who want to hire a writer to write something on their behalf. The client will retain ownership and writing credit. Some individuals who hire a ghostwriting service include political leaders, businesspeople, celebrities, and anyone with a good story idea. In most cases, famous or well-known people hire a ghostwriter to write their autobiographies. Some of them also hire ghostwriters to write magazine articles about them. Musicians also use ghostwriting services for lyrics and songs.

A ghostwriter is a professional writer who is hired to write books, articles, stories, reports, songs, or any other written projects without claiming credit for what was written. Some characteristics to look out for when hiring writers include commitment, professionalism, and experience. You can look at their portfolios or past work done to evaluate their capability. You should also be able to contact and communicate with the ghostwriter easily. This means that the writer should have good communication channels — phone, email, instant messaging.

Other services that you can get from a ghostwriting service include professional editing and the publishing of books or any other written material. You can also use a professional ghostwriter to have your manuscripts proofread and edited to meet publishing standards. The writer will ensure that the article is free of grammatical errors and is of high quality. The ghostwriter, therefore, can ensure that your work will be ready to be submitted for publication. This is done at a very reasonable price.

A ghostwriting service provides writing services that are original — whether that be a book, memoir, article, screenplay, song, or other type of writing. Ghostwriters also perform in-depth research in order to meet the clients’ requirements. The writers also ensure that clients get their work done and delivered on-time to meet any deadline. A professional ghostwriting service is able to achieve this by hiring several writers. While some of the writers carry out the writing based on the outline provided by the client, others can edit the drafts, speeding up the process, while still managing to produce high quality work.

Regardless of what type of ghostwriting service you need, there are professional writers for hire who can help write and edit your manuscript. Even within a particular type of writing, for instance screenwriting or novel writing, there are those who specialize in a particular subset of that writing such as suspense, romance, comedy, horror, mystery, or science fiction. A reputable ghostwriting business will have ghostwriters in a multitude of genres.

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Glasgow Rangers – Fantastic Football Facts!

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If you're a football fan, no doubt you'll know lots about Glasgow Rangers FC, but I'm sure there's loads more you don't know about this Scottish Premier League team! Get to know the Gers better with these footie facts!

Did you know ?:

Rangers were first established in 1873 by the Moses brothers, William McBeath, Peter Campbell and Peter McNeil.

Their team name was copied from an English rugby club by the same name after they found it in a book.

The first match Rangers ever played was against Callander FC on Glasgow Green. It was a friendly and no goals were scored by either side.

Their second ever match scored a momentous win, with Rangers beating Clyde (not the current Clyde team) 11-0.

Rangers were one of the first ten teams to join the Scottish Football League in the 1890-91 season. Their first league match was played on 16th August in 1890.

Their stadium is the Ibrox and it has a seating capacity to hold more than 50,000 rowdy football fans.

Rangers won the European Cup Winners Cup in 1972 when they thrashed Dynamo Moscow 3-2.

The most capped played Rangers has managed to turn out was Ally McCoist who collected 57 caps for Scotland.

Ally McCoist was also the highest goal scorer in Rangers' history, clocking up a spectacular 335 goals.

Glasgow Rangers is not to be confused with Glasgow Celtic, formed in 1888 by Brother Walfrid Kerins who were set up to give something back to Irish immigrants in the community.

The average home attendance at a Rangers match is around 49,000 fans.

Rangers' team mascot is Broxi Bear, a brown teddy bear with blue ears and nose.

Sir Alex Ferguson played for Glasgow Rangers between 1967 and 1969, where he scored 44 goals.

The Rangers stadium was the location of the Ibrox disaster on 5th April 1902 when the West Tribune Stand collapsed due to heavy rainfall and killed 25 people and injured over 500.

From the 1988-89 season to the 1996-7 season Rangers won the league title every year, with a staggering nine in a row by the end. The team was managed by Graham Souness and Walter Smith.

Rangers' strip is light blue and white.

The current chairman of Rangers FC Glasgow offices is David Murray.

Famous Rangers supporters include chef Gordon Ramsey, Ultravox star Midge Ure, news presenter Kirsty Young, golfer Colin Montgomerie and actors Kenneth Branagh and Robert Carlyle.

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15 Questions to Ask a Grant Writer For Hire

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Here are 15 questions to ask a grant professional you are considering for a job:

1) What is your grant writing success rate? The best way to determine a success rate is to divide the number of approved grants by the number of submissions.

2) What are some examples of grants you have received?

3) How much money have you received in grants?

4) What is your primary area of grant writing expertise?

5) What is the main type of funders you have approached? For example, have you mainly approached private corporations and foundations or public government agencies on a federal, state or local level?

6) What has been the main focus of your grants… like education, health, human services, arts and culture, environment?

7) What types of expenses have you gotten funding for… like seed money, curriculum development, and travel?

8) What experience do you have in the area of grant seeking? What experience do you have in how to research and find funders to meet our agency’s needs?

9) What experience do you have in program design and development? What kind of strategies would you use to design and develop programs in our agency? What ideas do you have to get input from stakeholders and build partnerships?

10) What experience do you have in writing proposals? What training or experience do you have in crafting an effective grant application and writing a convincing case for funding? What training or experience do you have in analyzing requests for proposal (RFP’s), including elements of standard proposals (e.g., problem statements, action plans, timelines, evaluation, etc.), and making a persuasive argument?

11) What experience do you have in grant management? What experience do you have in completing reports accurately and timely, ensuring regulatory compliance, and facilitating completions of activities outlined in the grant’s activity timeline and evaluation plan?

12) What is your preferred mode of communication? Find out how they prefer to communicate (i.e., by phone, email, text messaging, instant messaging, social media, etc.).

13) What’s your response rate for emails or phone calls? Find out up front, how quickly they will respond to emails or phone calls (My response rate is typically 20 minutes. However, I mention up front that I have a 24-hour response policy), how often they will update you on status, timelines for completion, and deadlines.

14) How do you address problems that might arise? Asking this question up front will give you an idea about how the candidate will approach solving problems. Ask for a specific example of how they have addressed a problem in the past.

15) What are your expectations?

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Promote Employee Self-Responsibility – 10 Ways to Instill Accountability

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With a business culture that's become fraught with outsourcing, downsizing, streamlining and virtualizing, many organizations are looking for employees to become more self-sufficient. Thus, for managers and coaches, promoting self-responsibility within employees has become a primary objective.

So, what is self-responsibility in a business context? It's a practice in which an employee becomes accountable for his or her performance, in achieving objectives, and producing positive results.

Bearing in mind that employee behavior will be different between departments, there a re certain basic steps any manager or coach can take to ensure positive outcomes for the employee and the company. Here are 10 ways in which managers and coaches can support employees in becoming self-responsible.

1. Clearly outline the employee's role. It's hard to be responsible if one doesn't know what or to whom he or she is responsible for. Ensure every report knows what their basic area of ​​responsibility is, and who they report to.

2. Set specific and measurable goals. Accountability can only be produced if there is a clear set of goals and objective from which to measure progress. Goals should be concrete, with measurable benchmarks (eg an advertising account executive's monthly goal might be a specific dollar amount to be billed), and agreed upon deadlines. What makes goals even more effective in building self-responsibility is if the employee is involved in the goal-setting process and is able to "own" the goal.

3. Connect goals to the company vision. Work doesn't happen within a vacuum, and a company's projects aren't singular events that have no bearing on a larger outcome. Ensure that the employee has a clear understanding of the company's overall vision, mission and goals. Help the employee connect his or her responsibility to this vision in concrete ways. For example, a corporate goal may be to increase operational efficiency by 10%. A project manager could connect his or her ability to complete a project on-time to this larger vision by connecting his project team's efficiency with that of the company as a whole. As the manager, it would be your role to communicate company progress, or, better yet, have a communication mechanism in place in which the project manager could compare his progress with similar activities within the organization. In this respect, the employee has taken a broader level of responsibility by being able to self-assessment progress.

4. Create effective strategies. Once goals are set, give the employee the task of creating the strategy to achieve the goals. Act as a mentor … provide the employee with specific, useful feedback with respect to refining strategies. If the strategy is for a team, help the employee create a template for creating strategies, delegation plans, etc.

5. Set check-in times. Within the strategy should be regularly scheduled check-in times during which you and your report will discuss challenges and successes, make alterations to strategies, and explore opportunity. This is a tremendous opportunity for you to be a coach, not a manager. While you are responsible for accomplishing all of the goals for your area of ​​responsibility, your report is responsible for theirs.

6. Be a good listener. As employees take-on more responsibility, they will most certainly face challenges. Some will be mechanical or logistical, while others will be more internal, emotional (ie conquering fear). Listen to their feelings, even if they are irrational. Don't judge or try to fix the problem. Just listen, be empathetic, let them know their concerns matter. Quite often they will find solutions on their own once they get through their emotional concerns. They are clearing mental and emotional space for new ideas to enter forth. Facilitate this clearing-out by listening. But, as you're interacting, also listen for what's not being said. This allows you to develop your intuition and, as a coach, provide the direction needed help the employee overcome their barriers and fears.

7. Be authentic and real. People can sense a con a mile away. If you aren't authentically invested in cultivating an employee's self-responsibility, your report will pick up on this and, most likely, will always be wary. Developing accountability is a two-way street that's about building trust. You're entrusting the outcomes of your department to your employees, while they are trusting that you will allow them to fail or succeed.

8. Empower decision-making. Cultivating self-responsibility inherently means that you as a manager must relinquish some decision-making responsibilities. Owning the goal also means being able to make decisions with respect to accomplishing the goal. Discuss decisions during check-in times. Discover your report's thinking process when making decisions. In assessing decisions that may not have created a favorable result, help cultivate and refine their process by pointing out different ways they could have approached the decision.

9. Give permission to fail. Good judgment can only be developed by having learned from bad judgment first. By the same token, success typically is built upon a series of failures. Allow your reports to experience failure when it occurs. If you are in an environment in which successful risk is rewarded, but failure is punished, then the effort to promote self-responsibility will also fail. Punishing failure squelches risk-taking. However, if your culture allows for failure, especially if there is a supportive accountability system in which learning is emphasized, then self-responsibility has a chance to succeed.

10. Give recognition and praise. As employees take on more and more responsibility, a sure way of empowering their success is to praise in private and in public. Whether it's being named "Employee-of-the-Month", given credit publicly at a meeting (especially if senior management is present), or is recognized in a company newsletter, praise is an asset that every manager has in abundance. Praise costs nothing, yet can return millions.

These may seem like common-sense measures to take. But, if any one of them is lacking, your effort to cultivate self-responsibility will be diminished. Will these measures work for everyone? No. Every human being is different, and each of us comes into the workplace with a full set of life experiences that have molded and shaped our attitudes and habits. Recognize this. Be aware of your own limitations and short-comings, in addition to your strengths, as you recognize these traits in your reports. Recognize that some will fit into leadership roles, taking more risks and making decisions more easily. Others may be more risk-averse, and will fit more neatly into follower roles. As you institute a culture of self-responsibility, there are two things that will short-circuit your efforts 100% of the time: micro-management and poor communications.

Don't Micro-Manage

It's axiomatic that if you micro-manage, your reports will hand back any responsibility they've been given. And why shouldn't they? If you micro-manage you are actually making them less accountable. If you have a tendency to micro-manage, figure out why, and stop doing it. Are you uncertain if your reports are capable of fulfilling their responsibilities? If so, get them more training or provide them with the resources needed to support their effectiveness. Are you feeling insecure in your position? All too often newer managers may have these feelings, believing that they need to control everything around them … but the quicker one learns to promote self-responsibility, the quicker the results will actually improve. Let go of control … give team members permission to succeed.

Work Hard on Communication

Poor communications are sure to doom any accountability system. If employees are working, taking responsibility, and you don't check-in or you're not available, then they won't take their responsibilities seriously … and you won't drive the results you want. Maybe you're uncomfortable in a coaching role and need to develop these skills. Get the training. Conversely, if a report doesn't communicate well, work with them on developing his or her skills, provide more structure, and / or get them outside training.

Obviously every organization is different. But, if implemented, these steps will ensure better outcomes. By being more responsible, employees feel more valued and connected to the organization, thus diminishing turnover and morale deficiencies. With more responsible action, better, more consistent results are also produced.

(c) 2008 James Phelps Creative

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Source by James V Phelps

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