Chapter Corner

Insights Magazine: March 2014

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Water vs. Electricity: Important Considerations for Safety

Water at the right place at the right time sustains life; water at the wrong place and the wrong time can become a nightmare. We need water to survive, but on the other hand, water can be quite dangerous and create unsafe conditions especially where electricity is involved. An important part of any design addresses and manages water. Builders work to ensure water does not intrude into the structure and their fight rages on many fronts; some are as obvious as dealing with rainwater through proper roof structures and a gutter system that removes the rainwater from the structure. Other less obvious fronts include preventing water intrusion from ground springs. Managing the elements of nature is important for safety as water intrusion can cause mold, rust, and other similar types of degradation that also may not be received well by electrical equipment. Mixing water and electrical equipment can have devastating results for safety. It’s worth a probe on this topic to get you and your team in the game and ensure safety is not compromised on your next project.

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Safety is the Mission of the National Electrical Code

On a lovely spring day, a young tenant of an apartment complex we’ll call “Tommy” was playing outdoors rather than sitting in front of the TV playing video games with his siblings and eating junk food. Tommy was playing Frisbee golf around the swimming pool. The disc was thrown over the bushes and landed on an air conditioning (AC) unit. He went to retrieve the disc, happily stepping from one AC unit to the next, being very mindful not to jump too hard onto the metal so that he would not make a dent, carefully and with precision placing one foot at a time on each unit, not knowing the next unit he was going to touch would be his last.

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Boost Productivity with Smartphones

Mobile devices are a key to profits for today’s businesses. We are all aware that minutes are the underlying success or failure to any business. Converting even a small amount of minutes per day per worker from lost time to productivity will increase the bottom line.

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Why Should You Be Involved in IEC?

Over the last few years I have been asked the same question on numerous occasions: Why are you involved with IEC? Depending on the topic or location of the meeting, I might have a different answer but there are three main reasons why I am involved: giving back to improve our industry, personal growth, and ownership. These three reasons have created a passion in me for IEC and a mission for me to improve myself along with improving the electrical industry.

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Leading Thrugh Generational Differences

With exponentially exploding technology, individuals prolonging retirement, and the melding of generations, leaders today face a variety of challenges. Differences in cultures, values, genders, and educational experiences form a wide divergence between traditionalists and Generation Y. A majority of traditionalists have retired or are in the process of retiring; Baby Boomers are continuing to work; and Generation Y is entering the workforce. Due to these various factors, leaders are facing challenges that have never been faced. Skills vary from the top-level management throughout the organization’s structure and to the customer.

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Motivating Generation Y

The stereotypes that haunt Generation Y have carried over into today’s workplaces. The generational gap between the Baby Boomers and Generation Y is filled with miscommunication and fallacies. With the elders of Generation Y established in their careers and a high number just entering the workforce, many Baby Boomers and Generation Xers are struggling with how to motivate the Millennials to take pride in their work.

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Wireless Technology Friend or Foe?

A wise man once said, “He who hesitates is lost.” Flip it around to today and aim it at our industry, and he could very well be talking about the explosion in wireless technology. Because those electrical contractors who hesitate in embracing the surge in wireless advancements may very well be facing lost business.

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IEC's Emerging Leaders Initiative

A recently launched initiative by IEC, called Emerging Leaders, is already reaping benefits. At the national level, the program is informal, consisting of a number of courses and programs being offered by IEC at conventions and other conferences. However, the program is already being formalized in at least two IEC chapters: IEC Rocky Mountain and IEC Atlanta.

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5 Steps to a Killer Marketing Plan

The number one marketing question from electricians is, “What do I do?” The second is, “When do I do it?” The right answer to each question takes planning. The effective contractor marketer knows the answers long before the questions are asked.

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Forever a Student

As we mature and find our true passion in life, the word learning begins to take on a new meaning. For so much of our lives learning is a necessary task that we do to become more educated and prepare ourselves for a career. We take English, Math, and History to fulfill requirements and increase basic intellect. When the time comes for a student to choose a career path, they select classes that will equip them with the proper skill set.

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