Tag Archives: Leadership

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5 Leadership Tips from Successful Business Leaders

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Leadership tips

1. Be Data-Drive and Creative

“Nowadays everyone wants to be data-driven. That’s great but your competitors will have the same data, so you’re all going to come to the same conclusion. That’s why you always have to infuse some element of creative thinking.” – David Silverstein, CEO and founder of Colorado-based consulting firm BMGI (via Entrepreneur)

2. Ask “Why?”

The most awe-inspiring companies begin with a great leader who regularly asks herself “Why?” – Simon Sinek, author and CEO of the Sinek Group (via Entrepreneur)

3. Consider Leadership a Responsibility

“Think of leadership as a responsibility as much as an opportunity. Effective leaders understand that they are responsible for everyone that they are leading, and consider that responsibility as the main concern of their position. If you ever lose empathy for, and dedication to, the people you are leading, you are not being a leader.” – Michael Talve, the Founder and Managing Director of The Expert Institute (via Inc)

4. Make change for the better

“Men make history and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better.” – Harry S. Truman (via Forbes)

5. Continue to Learn and Take Advice

“When an entrepreneur stops being willing to be coached, their days are numbered — and understanding the underlying root of this resistance is vital, because the solution often depends on what is causing us to shut out the advice of others.” – Lisa Abeyta, Founder/CEO, APPCityLife Inc. & Cofounder, Hautepreneurs and HauteHopes (via Huffington Post)


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How to Build a Successful Work Team

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Successful Work Teams

Building a cohesive, high-performing team is vital to business success. Below are things business leaders need to keep in mind when hiring and managing employees in order to build a successful work team.

Communication

Communication is at the center of all successful work teams. It’s what enables a team to function properly, fulfill goals and complete projects. Communication must be a core concern when building a team, so make sure each member of the group is comfortable with the communication channels or willing to learn how to use them. Provide the proper tools for communication as well, whether it’s company phones or project management software.

Diversity

Team diversity doesn’t just refer to a healthy variety of cultures and personalities, but also a diverse set of skills. Diversity is important in any successful work team because it provides a wide range of views and opinions necessary to make well-informed decisions and different viewpoints on issues. Having a diverse skill set as a team will also allow for comprehensive project completion and ensure there is an expert for all the different areas of a job.

Innovation

A team must be innovative in order to succeed and grow. If your team is just doing what has always been done, the results will most likely remain the same instead of constantly improving. Invest in team members who are innovative, always willing to test new ideas and excited about change and improvement.

Responsibility

It should go without saying that successful work teams must be comprised of responsible team members. These are the key players who are punctual, on top of their tasks, goal-oriented and can think with common sense. If a client needs something done, your team members should step up even if it means doing a little extra work or research to get it completed.

Conflict resolution

A successful work team must understand the importance of conflict resolution and be able to apply it in workplace disputes. They should be able to work past differences towards a common goal, and put aside any personal complaints they may have against each other for the job. Knowing how to resolve conflict will make it easier and more efficient for the whole team to operate cohesively, even with differences of opinion and diverse outlooks.

Defined roles and responsibilities

Some team members are able to operate in multiple departments with different sets of duties, but in order to get a project done efficiently you should implement clear roles and responsibilities–especially if there are multiple of them. You don’t have to outline every detail of someone’s job, but you should clarify the roles of the team so different team members know to take ownership of a task. For example, you can have a designated content person for social media, and another for the blog. Be sure they know who is in charge of what.

Feedback and praise

Finally, you must implement a feedback system and understand when to give praise. Feedback is important so your team members understand their strengths and weaknesses, and how to improve in the team. Praise is important so your team members understand what they are doing right, and focus there. In order to build a cohesive and successful work team, you need everyone to have a grasp of their own and their colleagues strengths and weaknesses.

What else is vital to build a successful work team? Let us know in the comments below.


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Public Seminar: The Professional Supervisor

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Leadership Series_Professional Supervisor

Join us from September 16 to 18, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for our Leadership Series: The Professional Supervisor workshop. In today’s changing workplace, many new supervisors are unsure of their roles and responsibilities. They have little experience dealing with the challenges of managing work through others. They haven’t had the opportunity to develop those critical skills of planning work, leading their group, and communicating with their employees, their colleagues, and their manager. This three-day workshop will give you that opportunity.

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Participants will be able to understand the scope and nature of a supervisory position, learn how to deal with the challenges of the role and recognize their responsibilities to themselves, their team and their organization. By the end of the course, attendees will have identified key techniques to help plan and prioritize effectively.

This course is ideal to acquire a basic understanding of leadership, team building, communication and motivation. It will teach strategies for effective supervision and teamwork.

Course Outline

Adjusting to your role
A supervisor’s responsibilities
Making plans
Setting goals
Leadership
The Situational Leadership model
Problem employees
Synergy
Trust
Team development
Communication skills
The communication process
Motivation
Orientation
Training
Providing feedback
Delegation
Dealing with conflict
Discipline

For an investment of P12,500 plus VAT, you will receive instruction by an expert facilitator, small group workshops that provide “active learning,” snacks and lunch, a specialized student workbook and a personalized certificate of completion.

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About the Facilitator

Dr. Maria Vida G. Caparas holds a Master’s Degree and Ph.D., Summa Cum Laude, in Psychology. She is an Accredited Trainer of the Philippine Government with invaluable experiences in Organizational Development as a Human Resource, Training and OD practitioner. She authored three books on Psychology/HR Management and was a Trainer Delegate of DFA-Foreign Service Institute in Italy and Singapore in 1999-2000. Dr. Caparas is a recipient of various national awards and also a professor in prestigious universities.

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Leading by Example

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In addition to being good in principle, leading by example also inspires loyalty and trust in your employees. In order to keep enthusiasm and goodwill among your team members, you need to do more than instruct, you need to lead. Below are a few ways you can lead by example and inspire your employees to succeed.

  • Make a firm commitment to your team and purpose. Remind yourself why you started the journey and took on the role you’re in.
  • Before you ask someone to do something, think about whether you would be willing to do it yourself. For example, if you change office hours, follow the same schedule you put your employees on.
  • Examine your own behavior and make sure you aren’t mirroring any behaviors you critique others for. For example, if you don’t tolerate interruptions at meetings, you should hold yourself to the same standard.
  • Establish a standard of excellence. Set high expectations and hold both yourself and your team members to it. Showcase your work and display the high quality of results you expect.
  • Remember to take the same leniency with yourself that your team members are allowed. If you want your team to take full lunch breaks to relax, you should take them too so that your team doesn’t feel the need to mirror your dedication.
  • Deliver on your promises. Focus on results and make sure what you say will get done gets done. If you tell your team member you will provide a set of data, deliver that data.
  • If needed, bring in a team of experts who can get a job done. This shows your team that you aren’t too proud to ask for help, and that results are the end goal.
  • Be transparent. Treat people well and be honest about their work. If they ask questions, answer truthfully and, if needed, explain your motivations. Your transparency will inspire transparency from your people, and will enhance your teams’ ability to develop authentic working relationships.
  • Develop relationships. Value your team members and develop listening and communication skills that will foster trust and healthy working relationships.
  • Accept responsibility for any mistakes instead of blaming others. Being responsible helps showcase your credibility and reliability, whereas blame makes people defensive and hinders growth.
  • Cooperate with others. Your team can produce higher quality product and work more efficiently when collaborating, so show your value in teamwork by working well with others.
  • Invest in learning and development for both yourself and your team members. Demonstrate your commitment to professional improvement and provide resources for your team members to do the same.

Leading by example is the best way to show your team that you will also do what you expect from them. It will make them more likely and willing to help you achieve your goal. Overall, leading by example makes you a leader people want to follow. Tell us what other ways you can lead by example in the comments below.


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4 Ways to Make HR More Approachable

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Millennials

One of the critical roles of HR teams is to settle disputes and worries in the company, which they can’t do if no one is willing to use them as mediators. When your employees know they can turn to the HR department with problems that need to be solved, they will enlist professional help instead of trying to fix big disputes themselves. This could avoid major fallouts and extended arguments that affect employee productivity. Here are four ways that you can make HR more approachable and trustworthy.

1. Be Efficient and Effective

No one wants to turn to an HR department that can’t get anything done. For example, if HR is known to take months to fix a minor issue, whenever an issue of any size appears employees will be inclined to try and fix it themselves, sometimes causing bigger issues. However, if HR is known to be discreet and effective, employees will know the HR teams are competent and resourceful. By making sure HR is consistently efficient, employees will be encouraged to trust them with important problems and issues.

2. Be Available

Employees won’t approach an HR department that is hidden away, or who treats complaints as nuisances. Being available means being available both physically (in the office) and mentally (in your attitude while addressing concerns) to solve problems and gain results. For example, you could have an office directory where employees can easily find the office phone numbers of HR team members. The directory could also list the specialties and responsibilities so employees will know exactly who to call with their particular concerns.

3. Be Knowledgeable

Being knowledgeable does more than just make HR more approachable, it also ensure problems are handled expertly and accurately. In addition to demonstrating knowledge gained through education and experience, which will earn trust and faith with employees, your HR teams must understand rules and regulations when it comes to compliance. For example, when working through a workplace harassment complaint, HR should be trusted to handle confidentiality and proper protocol. Being knowledgeable also ensures trust in their decisions and recommendations for next steps.

4. Use Multiple Forms of Communication

Just like your customers are available on different platforms (social media, website, in-person, calls), so are your employees. Some of your employees may prefer to speak to HR in person, others might prefer emails or even SMS. The key to making HR more approachable is to allow employees to speak on their terms. First, provide multiple ways an employee can contact HR with a concern, and then be just as responsive and helpful in each communication channel.


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Beware These Motivation Killers in the Office

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Motivation Killers in the Office

Motivation killers in the office can lower productivity, employee satisfaction, the quality of your product or service, and your ability to attract top talent. Keep an eye out for these motivation killers that could keeping your business and talent from peak performance.

Inadequate Tools

If you are asking your employees to do a job, give them the tools to do it well. This means having good office equipment, a clean space to work, access to a restroom and whatever else they need to perform. For example, if you hire a graphic designer, provide image editing software and a computer with plenty of memory.

Poor Communication

Not understanding what you’re supposed to do can be a huge motivation killer in the office. Poor communication leads to misunderstandings, oversights, duplicate work and overall decreased productivity. Being able to communicate effectively and efficiently is the mark of a good leader and the backbone of a functioning office. Make sure your teams understand what they’re supposed to be doing and why.

No Learning and Development Opportunities

Show your employees that you are as invested in their development as they are in the company growth. Motivate employees by offering them a chance to learn how to do their jobs better and further their careers. Since businesses and industries are always changing, it’s also important to train your teams to stay on top of trends, new developments, and discoveries.

Lack of Positive Reinforcement

Praise is a powerful motivator, and a great way to show employees what you expect. Instead of getting angry when an employee does something wrong, offer praise when he or she does something right. This not only teaches your workforce about high standards, but shows them that their best efforts don’t go unnoticed.

Read more about encouraging your way to motivated employees.

Vertical Management

Vertical management refers to a top to bottom management style that leaves little to no room for collaboration. Top management makes the decisions that their employees have no choice but to carry out. With this type of leadership style, it’s hard for employees to invest themselves at work because their insights and ideas aren’t valued.

Be on the lookout for these motivation killers in the office, and make sure they don’t stop your employees from getting work done efficiently and effectively.

Want more? Check out what Life Coach Tony Robbins does to inspire and motivate people. Originally found on INC.


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3 Steps to Improving Your Business Success

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Businesses are constantly evolving to adapt to industry trends and consumer needs. Continuous improvement is a necessity to stay current with clients and remain the brand of choice for your target audience. Thanks to modern technology and innovative solutions, improving your business is possible with a dedicated investment and a few crucial steps.

Strategize

Have a clear strategy that you revisit periodically

Every company needs to have a clear direction in order to grow and develop with purpose. Ever year, revisit this strategy so your entire company can make decisions that will move towards your goals, together. Below are a few questions to ask yourself about your company’s current strategy.

  • Do we have a written strategy that our leaders can refer to?
  • Do all employees have a vision of the company direction, vision, mission and goals?
  • Has the company direction changed? If so, has the strategy been changed to reflect it?
  • Has a goal process in your strategy become outdated?
  • Do you have a backup plan in case your current strategy falls through?

Invest

Invest in your human capital

A company’s talent is what propels it to business success. Even if you have the best product available, you need to have equally good teams managing, marketing and selling that product (and your company). Your front-end and back-end staff needs to be trained, educated and capable. Make sure they are versed in your product benefits and the company mission in order to relay these important foundations to the customer. Below are a few things to ask yourself about your workforce.

Measure

Measure quantitatively and qualitatively

In order to see how far your company has come and postulate where it is going, you need to measure your successes and failures. To move forward and make the best decisions for your company, you should measure the ROI (return on investment) of your processes. Below are a few questions you can ask yourself about measurement and tracking.

  • Are you using analytics tools to help you measure social media ROI?
  • Do you adjust for improvement upon each measurement?
  • Are you measuring both customer and employee satisfaction and retention?
  • Are you keeping track of the important partnerships you form?
  • Are you setting measurable goals?
  • Are you tracking ROI both quantitatively and qualitatively? ROI isn’t just numbers, it can come in the form of social media mentions, news mentions and customer reviews.
  • Are you reaching your target market and building your brand?
  • Do you understand your strengths and weaknesses better thanks to each measurement?

What other things should a company analyze for business success? Share your thoughts in the comments!


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Managing Older Employees

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Leading older employees can get tricky, especially if you’re younger than them. However, older employees in a company often bring a wealth of knowledge and experience that takes years to attain. By understanding and accepting a few things about older employees, you could tap into a mentor and resource that was years in the making.

  • Everyone learns differently. Don’t assume that older workers have enough experience to negate the need for additional training, and don’t assume they are completely clueless on modern technology either. Discover the strengths and weaknesses of each employee, no matter their age, to help them succeed in the company.
  • Be consistent with your leadership and management style. Remember that your employees are all colleagues, despite any age gaps. Although they seem different, it’s important not to show preferential treatment–whether to younger or older workers.
  • Be open to criticism. Feedback is important, and when it comes from someone who has been with your company longer, consider they may know the facets of the company a little better.
  • Don’t be offended if they associate youth with inexperience, just prove them wrong. If you were hired for a position, it means you’re qualified for it. Instead of letting older employees wonder about your qualifications, manage the position and yourself with expertise and confidence.
  • Understand that they have different goals. A 35-year-old employee may be concerned about sending his kids to college, whereas a 50-year-old employee might be considering retirement and is worried about keeping active. Be sensitive to their goals as a manager, since you may end up negotiating their compensation packages with the finance department.
  • Use their preferred communication styles. Some employees love instant messaging or texting to communicate, and some don’t. If your employees prefer having meetings face-to-face instead of on a video conference, indulge them if you can. If it makes more sense for productivity and efficiency to use video conferencing, work with any older employees who aren’t comfortable to understand the technology.
  • Finally, don’t be intimidated by them. No matter how much older they are, you could lose valuable time, resources and talent when you hesitate to confront an older employee. If they are doing something wrong, they should be spoken to just like everyone else.

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Leading the Next Generation

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Things are rapidly changing in the way leaders manage their talent. The leadership style needed to guide the new generations filling our workforce is vastly different from the top-down model so many of us are used to. According to Dan Schwabel in an interview, millennials leave their jobs in two years, whereas Boomers leave in about seven years and Gen X leaves in five years. They value purpose more than a salary, and are willing to take a pay cut to do something they truly believe in. Millennials also emphasize entrepreneurship and value their time and freedom.

Companies need to start realizing that a lot of people go home or go on vacation and they’re still doing work. You can’t trap someone from 9 to 5 every day when they’re going to be doing work outside of work. – Dan Schwabel, Interview With Dan Schwabel: How to Retain Your Millennial Workers

Because the millennial work ideal is so different from the generations that came before them, HR and managers should be exploring new ideas and work models that will help retain young talent with high potential.

Flexible office hours…and offices

…most of your new-generation leadership will begin as first-level managers. But they will share a commonality with high-profile tech entrepreneurs who manage virtual teams, lead across cultures and adapt to new technologies. Their experience as the first truly diverse and digital generation has prepared them well to lead the next generation. – PJ Neal and Michael Watkins, Millennial in Training

Many employees have come to the realization that time is more important than money, and that work can be done from virtually anywhere. Millennial employees will have experience with virtual teams, online work spaces, and new technology. Companies can offer their employees flexible hours and equip them with the resources to work virtually (and efficiently) to help keep employee satisfaction levels high. Having to sit at an office for two hours with nothing to do can destroy employee morale fairly quickly, and make millennials wonder why they keep coming to work when they can do just as much or more from home.

Volunteer Programs

Many millennials want to do good for society, and be a part of the bigger picture. Volunteer programs allow your employees to help their communities as part of their job. Companies can give employees the option of volunteering with different programs, while still being paid for their time. Many companies can also offer paid “vacation leaves” as long as an employee volunteers that day with a non-profit organization.

Intrapreneurship Programs

Intrapreneurship means acting like an entrepreneur within a company. Intrapreneurs imagine, create and implement new products, processes and practices to make the company better in some way. It may add a much needed solution to a problem, or enhance a product, or make a process more efficient. Intrapreneurs can look beyond whatever is in place now into how they can change, improve or combine aspects of a company to serve a better good.

According to a Forbes article, Social Intrapreneurs: Disruptive Innovators on the Inside, Unilever Chemical Engineer James Inglesby had the task of finding new business opportunities for toilet cleaning products. He learned that 2.6 billion people lack access to proper sanitation, and decided to expand beyond established markets to offer branded, affordable, self-contained plastic toilets and a toilet cleaning service that uses Unilever cleaning products.

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Getting Back to Work After the Holidays

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The holidays and New Year countdown are exciting times; there are lights and decorations, presents, vacation days and, for some, new and unfamiliar places. In lieu of that, January may seem a little dull to employees who are dragging their feet about getting back to work. Remedy the lingering “vacation mode” by engaging employees at the workplace. Managers and HR can do this a number of ways, such as…

  • Have your holiday party after the holidays. December is a busy month, especially in retail, so it’s perfectly acceptable to tell employees to push the party to January when they return. It won’t necessarily remove the feeling of being on vacation, but it’s a clear indication that vacation is over and work is resuming after the party.
  • Hold a strategy meeting with your key employees and get them thinking about how to improve the company this year. Plan out the coming year’s events and have them each disperse the information among their own departments, so everyone has strategy on their minds.
  • Use employee training to prepare them with key skills needed for their jobs and the coming year. Discuss how the next year will be different from the last, and what to focus on when training for the job.
  • Have teamwork training that encourages healthy teamwork and cooperation. The activities are typically engaging and hands on to inspire cooperation, and will actively get your employees’ focus back on the office and their peers.
  • Teach your employees something new to start off the new year. Emphasize learning and development in your company, and keep minds sharp to tackle anything the new year could bring.
  • Switch up the previous “norm.” The beginning of a new year is a great time to shake things up. Rearrange the office for productivity, paint it a new color, or start a new exercise program for employees. Have you been considering a “casual Friday” dress code for a while now? Start it this year!
  • Last but not least, continue to be a good leader and motivator. It’s a simple task that should go without saying, but it will be your greatest tool in keeping employees engaged, loyal, and ready to do their jobs.
  • P.S. It wouldn’t hurt to offer free coffee in the mornings, at least for the first few weeks back.

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