Shrinking bigshots: Seasoned Leaders Getting Their Kicks

The following is an excerpt from Bill Treasurer’s book, “A Leadership Kick in the Ass“. It has been reprinted with permission for Money Q&A.

A Leadership Kick in the AssThe transition of a leader’s career from the top of the crest to the other side can actually be a beautiful thing. This is the time when your wisdom is ripest, when the bulk of your legacy has been established, and when your influence has left a tangible and positive mark. At this stage of your leadership career, you are a leader in full. It’s worth noting that the leadership influence of many leaders became fully expressed late in life. 

Benjamin Franklin was 70 when he signed the Declaration of Independence (Samuel Whittemore was 81). Ronald Reagan was 69 when he became president, and 77 when he left office. Golda Meir became Prime Minister of Israel when she was 71. Dr. Ray Irani, the CEO of Occidental Petroleum, is currently 75 years old, making him the oldest Fortune 500 CEO.

While your leadership career may span many years, the current average retirement age in the United States is 62. Given that average life expectancies have been steadily growing, figuring out what to do with all that accumulated leadership wisdom and influence before you retire, will help soften whatever butt-kicks may come when the gates of your career close. 

By butt-kicks, I mean embarrassing and humiliating moments in your leadership that serve as a starting point to discover your strengths and values, and become better.

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Should You Work for a Rideshare Company Like Uber or Lyft?

What You Need To Know of Becoming a Lyft or Uber Rideshare Driver

What You Need To Know of Becoming a Lyft or Uber Rideshare DriverThere are hundreds of thousands of Uber and Lyft drivers in the U.S. (amongst other drivers working for smaller rideshare companies), and the demand for their services continues to grow each year. Have you ever thought of becoming a Lyft or Uber rideshare driver?

Whether you’ve used Uber or Lyft for a ride before and now you want to try it from the driver’s side or you’ve been looking for a relatively easy way to make a side income, there are several things you should consider before signing up to work for a rideshare company.

Becoming a Lyft or Uber Rideshare Driver

Are You Eligible to Drive for Uber or Lyft? 

Not everyone with a car can sign up to drive for Uber or Lyft. Rideshare drivers harming their passengers is a relatively rare occurrence but nevertheless something that happens enough times to warrant a few restrictions on who can sign up to be a driver.

Uber’s driver requirements are similar to Lyft’s driver requirements in that you must be 21 years old to drive (Lyft requires its drivers to have had active licenses for at least one year) and you must pass a basic background check (Lyft also checks your DMV record for driving-related incidents).

Vehicle requirements for Uber are pretty simple: your registration must be kept up-to-date and your vehicle must be 2000 or newer (2005 or newer for select cities). You should also keep your vehicle clean and well-maintained for your passengers.

Vehicle requirements for Lyft include: the car must be 2004 or newer (2006/2007 or newer in some major cities), it must have four functional doors, all seat belts must be functional, the tires must have enough tread, the A/C and heat must work, and more.

Deliver Food as an Uber Driver

Working as an Uber driver is a great way to earn a little extra money. But, if picking up strangers isn’t your favorite idea, then you may want to consider picking up their food instead.

UberEATS is a great program that’s gaining steam around the country. You make money by bringing food directly to people from the restaurants around town that they love. Depending on the laws where you live, you may be able to deliver with your car, bike, or scooter.

Here’s how you can sign up and make money as an UberEATS delivery driver

The Auto Insurance Dilemma

Working for a rideshare company with only personal auto insurance is generally a huge no-no. If your insurance company finds out before you disclose your new gig as a Lyft or Uber driver, they could cancel your insurance policy.

Luckily for Uber drivers, you have access to the company’s commercial insurance policy while you have passengers in your car. When you’re offline, Uber doesn’t cover you at all. But once you turn on your Uber app to start finding passengers, total liability coverage of $100,000 per incident ($50,000 for injury and $25,000 for property damage as well) kicks in.

\Once you accept a passenger’s request for a ride and drive to pick them up, insurance coverage of up to $1 million for liability, $1 million for uninsured/underinsured motorists, and collision and comprehensive auto insurance (with a $1,000 deductible) cover you as a registered Uber driver. This insurance covers you for the duration of the ride until you drop off your passengers (at which point the $100,000 total liability coverage replaces the $1 million coverage until your next passenger).

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How to Protect Your Job from Robots Stealing It with Automation

Protect Your Job

How can you protect your job from robots stealing it with technology and workforce automation? It may take you learning new skills in order to help you protect your job and career. Stephen Hawking once said, “Success in creating artificial intelligence would be the biggest event in human history…unfortunately it might also be the last.” The idea of robots performing things like cleaning, writing, driving, and just about any task you can imagine has been popular in Hollywood films and sci-fi novels for decades, but this robotic future is closer than we think. We already have self-driving cars thanks to Google – and more companies have self-driving car developments on the way for everyday consumers – we have non-military drones … Read more

What You Should Know About Working as an Independent Contractor

How to be an independent contractor

Have you ever thought of working as an independent contractor? If you’ve applied or considered applying for a job that indicates you’ll be working as an independent contractor, then there are a few minimum requirements and things you should know before signing any contracts. Working as an Independent Contractor Independent Contractors Defined  According to the IRS, “The general rule is that an individual is an independent contractor if the payer has the right to control or direct only the result of the work and not what will be done and how it will be done. The earnings of a person who is working as an independent contractor are subject to Self-Employment Tax.” Untangling the Tax Situation Independent contractors are responsible … Read more

Is Working from Home Right for You?

Is Working from Home Right for You?

Is Working from Home Right for You?Working from home seems like a dream. Set your own hours? Yep. Work from the comfort of your living room or home office instead of a bustling corporate office? Yes indeed. But, is working from home right for you?

As great as telecommuting sounds, it certainly isn’t right for everyone. If you’ve been considering a telecommute job or asking your boss for more work from home time, then here’s how you can discover whether or not this alternative work schedule and working from home is right for you.

Is Working from Home Right for You?

What Personalities Suit the Telecommuting Lifestyle?

Are you an independent worker who prefers email and phone calls over in-person meetings? Do you crave silence while you work instead of chatting coworkers and phones ringing in the background? Do you feel you work best when left to your tasks instead of having a boss constantly supervising you?

If you answered “yes” to all or most of these questions, then telecommuting might be a good fit for you. But, if you prefer the social environment of an office full of colleagues and prefer guidance over self-driven assignments, then you may want to reconsider telecommuting.

Now I understand why I like the idea of telecommuting and working from home sounds great to me. It plays right into my introverted lifestyle.

Pros & Cons of Telecommuting

Pro: Be Your Own Boss

Say goodbye to the dread of having your boss call you into their office for a long conversation that may or may not involve your performance. And, mandatory office meetings where you half-listen, half spend time answering emails from your phone under the conference table? No more. They are a thing of the past when you work from home and telecommute.

Telecommuting gives you more freedom and flexibility in how you spend your workday. And, even if someone is checking in on you every so often via phone or email, you’ll still have a greater degree of independence working on your own than if you’re in a corporate office.

Con: Nobody to Hold You Accountable but You

If self-motivation is occasionally hard to come by, then working on your own without a boss hovering over your shoulder might be a bit of a challenge. Until you get into a habit of working regularly on your own, forcing yourself to wake up early (or stay up late if you’re more of a night owl) and avoiding distractions – kids, big game on TV, clearance sale at your favorite store at the mall – telecommuting will create some obstacles to your productivity.

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Use All Your Vacation Days Without Fearing for Your Job

Do not forget to follow up from a business conference.According to a recent report from the U.S. Travel Association, 40 percent of American workers don’t use all their vacation days. The fact that so many Americans feel uncomfortable taking the time off that they’ve earned is disturbing — but it doesn’t have to be this way.

I remember that when I was growing up, my mother, a high school math teacher in the South, got 15 paid days of vacation every school year. She always said, “I earned them. I’m going to take them.” That philosophy stayed with me when I grew up and started my own career.

Unlike most of my colleagues who roll over vacation days from year to year until they’re told they must use them –- my employer only lets you bank 60 — I closely monitor my time, take a few vacations throughout the year, and start fresh each January with a zero balance. That makes me an anomaly.

Many employees fear that if they take time off, their jobs won’t be there when they return. Some believe they’re more likely to be picked for layoffs if they’re not around all the time. Others think that they’re indispensable — the whole place will grind to a halt without them, so they can’t take a break. Our workaholic culture and fear for their careers holds others back: In many workplaces, there’s a stigma against those who take prolonged time away from the office.

Regardless of unofficial policies, office politics or stigmatization, you are entitled to the amount of annual vacation that your employer promised you in your contract, and they can’t officially penalize you for taking it. It’s yours in the same way that your paycheck is. You’ve earned your vacation days, and you can and should take all of them, without fear. Here’s how.

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