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How to Convince ‘Her’ to Stay

Posted on June 24, 2019 | No Comments
Categories: Books, Career, Guest Blogger, Leadership

Female Executive Team

Women leaving companies is for their families, it is because they don’t feel valued or listened to within their work environment.

Today’s post is by Rania H. Anderson, author of WE (CLICK HERE to get your copy).

I hear the lament all the time, “Women leave at mid-career.” “We do well hiring women, but most of them leave after 5-7 years.” While managers may not admit it out loud, most believe that women leave their companies to spend more time with their children. And, while that’s certainly true for some, a woman’s decision to exit is usually prompted by an inhospitable work environment.

My favorite analogy about women leaving the workplace comes from Adam Quinton, Founder/CEO of Lucas Point Ventures and Adjunct Professor at Columbia University. He compares women who leave the workplace to canaries who were the early warning signals for coal miners. When canaries died in the mine, the miners didn’t blame them, they understood that something was wrong with the environment in the mine, bad not just for the canaries, but also for the miners themselves.

Instead of attributing women’s departure solely to external factors, change your workplace atmosphere – culture, practices, and the way employees interact with each other.  You’ll create the type of environment where women – and everyone else – want to work.

Instead of asking “why do the women leave?” Ask instead “What can I do so women will stay?”

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What’s your approach to onboarding new managers?

Posted on June 20, 2019 | No Comments
Categories: Career, Leadership, Poll, Training

EKG Pulse Graph with Glowing Blue Line

Our reader poll today asks:  What’s your approach to onboarding new managers?

  • We have a rigorous, comprehensive onboarding program: 15%
  • We provide some initial onboarding then leave it up to that manager: 42%
  • We provide bare-bones onboarding: 23%
  • We throw them in the deep end and let them fend for themselves: 20%

Setting them up for failure. It’s distressing to see 43% of your organizations do little to no onboarding of your managers and expect them to succeed in their roles. If your front line associates get more training than managers and executives you’re bringing on, that’s a major problem. You’re not setting these people up to succeed if you don’t get them acclimated to the culture, set expectations, and teach them critical things they need to know. While you might say “I’m too busy for that and they’re smart enough to figure it out on their own,” ask yourself how much busier you’ll be when they quit or get fired and you have to hire a replacement and pick up the slack in the interim. Make the time to get your people properly onboarded. They’ll be happier and more successful when you do.

Do you agree with these poll results? Let us know in the comments below!

Mike Figliuolo at thoughtLEADERS, LLC

Did you enjoy this post?  If so, I highly encourage you to take about 30 seconds to become a regular subscriber to this blog.  It’s free, fun, practical, and only a few emails a week (I promise!).  SIGN UP HERE to get the thoughtLEADERS blog conveniently delivered right to your inbox!

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Executive Decision Making Skills For Your Business

Posted on June 19, 2019 | No Comments
Categories: Business Toolkit, Communications, Entrepreneur, Leadership

20190619 Fork in the Road

Developing and honing your executive decisive making process is not only a key part of career growth but a necessity for the success of your business.

There are three major considerations that separate executive decision making from day-to-day or managerial decision making. First, you have to think through the strategic impacts of the decision you’re going to make. Look at how the decision affects your organization in the market, and what are your competitors going to do based on the decision that you make? 

Second, consider the financial impacts of the executive decision. It’s not just the short-term financial impact that you have to look at. You also need to look at the long-term impacts on revenues, costs, profitability, and even the company’s value.

The third consideration is the operational impacts of the executive decision. What are the changes to your people, your processes, and even how you run your business based on the decision that you make? 

Some examples of true executive decisions include:Mergers and acquisitions, large-scale IT projects, going global with your organization, expanding the markets you operate in, and even layoffs or restructurings.  To make good executive decisions, make sure you consider those strategic, financial, and operational impacts. Because when you do, you’ll have higher confidence in the short-term and long-term impacts of the decisions that you make.

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Three Strategies to Use Brand Purpose to Build Trust in the Customer Experience

Posted on June 17, 2019 | No Comments
Categories: Books, Guest Blogger, Leadership

Brand Trust

Research has found that 90% of Millennials will buy from a brand when they trust its’ environmental, social or business practices; 95% will recommend the products. Faced with this new mindset, brand stewards need to engage consumers differently —first by building trust – step one in the quest to become a purpose-led brand.

Today’s post is by Piers Fawkes, founder of PSFK.

Consumers increasingly seek brands that align with their values as they relate to social and environmental impact. Research has found that 90% of millennials will buy from a brand when they trust its’ environmental, social or business practices; 95% will recommend the products. Faced with this new mindset, brand stewards need to engage consumers differently —first by building trust – step one in the quest to become a purpose-led brand.

To love your brand and its products, consumers first need to know what goes into it and what it stands for. Share the process behind your products and services to connect directly with consumers who value ethics, craftsmanship and quality. Ensure a standard of authenticity and transparency in all communications to build brand trust.

Grounding the customer experience in trust can take a few forms: committing to being a force for good by exposing consumers to change-making initiatives and inspirational content; delivering transparency by being upfront about production, pricing and policies; and giving access to platforms that empower them to make smarter decisions. Examples of companies following these tenets include:

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Have you ever fired a client/customer?

Posted on June 13, 2019 | No Comments
Categories: Career, Entrepreneur, Leadership, Poll

EKG Pulse Graph with Glowing Blue Line

Our reader poll today asks: Have you ever fired a client/customer?

  • Yes, and I don’t hesitate to do so if they’re a bad client/customer: 70%
  • No, I’ve never been in that position to have to do it: 18%
  • No, but I really should have and regret not doing so: 5%
  • No, but I wanted to and someone else wouldn’t let me: 7%

The customer isn’t always right. As clients or customers, many of us have been brainwashed into thinking we’re always right and we have the power in a client-supplier relationship. The poll data show that’s clearly not true. Clients can get fired just as easily as suppliers can. Keep this in mind when deciding how you work with your suppliers. Do you jerk them around? Make unreasonable demands? Not pay on time? Treat them poorly? You might find yourself looking for another supplier if you behave that way. If you’re trying to decide whether or not to fire a client, consider the cost of staying with them and what you’re giving up by not pursuing better, easier to work with clients. When you realize what you’re missing out on, it might give you the courage to make an often long-overdue firing decision.

Do you agree with these poll results? Let us know in the comments below!

Mike Figliuolo at thoughtLEADERS, LLC

Did you enjoy this post?  If so, I highly encourage you to take about 30 seconds to become a regular subscriber to this blog.  It’s free, fun, practical, and only a few emails a week (I promise!).  SIGN UP HERE to get the thoughtLEADERS blog conveniently delivered right to your inbox!

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Seven Strategies to Manage a Micro-Manager

Posted on June 12, 2019 | No Comments
Categories: Books, Career, Guest Blogger, Leadership

20190612 Pointing

The horror stories of a micro-managing boss are a plenty, but there haven’t always been great strategies to manage the micro-manager, but here are a few.

Today’s post is by Victor Prince, a principal here at thoughtLEADERS.

If you work long enough, you will have a micro-managing boss. They think they know your job better than you do. Maybe they had your job before they got promoted to management. They focus on how you do your job instead of on the results you produce. They think that because you are doing your job differently than they would, you must be doing it incorrectly. Micro-management is a big driver of dissatisfaction and attrition in the workplace.

Here are 7 strategies to manage a micromanaging manager. 

Diagnose the Situation – Is your boss micro-managing others or just you? It is important to understand whether you are being singled out or if you are just one of many victims. If they micro-manage others too, it’s probably them, not you. But if you are the only one being micro-managed, it might be you and it is worth figuring out why. Perhaps your boss is just more interested in your job than others. Or perhaps, they think you need closer scrutiny. If your boss’s micro-management is due to problems with your performance, you need to surface that discussion with them and address that head on.

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Learning to Negotiate Like a Pro

Posted on June 12, 2019 | No Comments
Categories: Business Toolkit, Communications, Entrepreneur, Leadership

20190612 Negotiation

Setting your intentions and defining the negotiating relationship is a key part of the negotiation process.

The first step in any negotiating process is defining and understanding the context you’re operating in.You have to understand the strategic environment of the negotiation in order to be successful. There are several elements to defining this context. First, who is the decision maker? And why are they doing this?  The better you understand these players and what they’re trying to get out of the negotiation, the more successfully you’re going to be able to approach them.

Second, define your goals. What are you interested in and what do you need. By laying out these objective functions you can focus on achieving them during the negotiation and make sure that you don’t accidentally give them up. Third, what are the outcomes that are in play? What’s at stake? So when you look at the final negotiation, what are those possible end states. What do you risk losing? What do you risk gaining? 

Next, define the other options you’re considering. Many negotiations have many different outcomes that you can pursue. By defining what these options are, you’re better able to determine which one you should pursue. And last, what will it take to close the deal? Trying to get a clear understanding of what’s going to lead the other party to say yes and what’s going to get approval on your end for the negotiation is critical.

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Humility is the Key to Being An Agile Leader

Posted on June 10, 2019 | No Comments
Categories: Books, Communications, Guest Blogger, Leadership

Collaborative Team

Being an agile leader requires humility. Not having all the answers helps you to be open, learn, and adapt in our ever-changing business environment.

Today’s post is by Jose Costa, author of Leading With Edge (CLICK HERE to get your copy)

Few people would deny the crucial role agility plays in helping a person succeed in today’s ever-changing business environment. The best leaders read the shifting marketplace and course correct to help their businesses stay ahead of the curve. Yet while “agility” may be a trendy concept, the key to actually being an agile leader is far less sexy: humility.

A lack of humility makes it difficult for you to correct your course when you are headed down the wrong path. Humble leaders, whom prioritize learning and seeking new answers, are more likely to change when they make a mistake. Those who can’t put the right answer ahead of their need to be right are more likely to become stuck in the face of changing circumstances.

Here’s an example.

Many years ago, I worked at a large restaurant chain under a Chief Marketing Officer who thought she had all the answers. When someone challenged her, she would scream at them, and wouldn’t back down. This created a chaotic atmosphere where people were afraid to bring new ideas, offer opinions, or even talk to her if they didn’t have to.

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How do you handle a project that clearly isn’t going to meet your goals?

Posted on June 6, 2019 | No Comments
Categories: Entrepreneur, Leadership, Poll

EKG Pulse Graph with Glowing Blue Line

Our reader poll today asks: How do you handle a project that clearly isn’t going to meet your goals?

  • Kill it as soon as I know it won’t work and then move on: 74%
  • Keep trying even though I know it’s a lost cause: 10%
  • Double down on my investment and try to make it work: 16%

Don’t sink the opportunity with the costs. Once it’s spent, it’s spent. Resist the urge to try to avoid a loss and recoup sunk costs. A way to get past this hang-up of loss avoidance is to recognize the opportunity cost of not making a new investment. Not only are you throwing good money/time/effort after a wasted cause, you’re missing new opportunities to invest those resources more wisely. Ask yourself “What other productive uses do I have for these resources?” Asking that question can highlight the opportunity you might miss by continuing to chase a dying project.

Do you agree with these poll results? Let us know in the comments below!

Mike Figliuolo at thoughtLEADERS, LLC

Did you enjoy this post?  If so, I highly encourage you to take about 30 seconds to become a regular subscriber to this blog.  It’s free, fun, practical, and only a few emails a week (I promise!).  SIGN UP HERE to get the thoughtLEADERS blog conveniently delivered right to your inbox!

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The Benefits of Creating a Business Plan

Posted on June 5, 2019 | No Comments
Categories: Business Toolkit, Communications, Entrepreneur, Leadership

20190605 Business Plan

Creating a business plan is the most fundamental first step in building a business, and the importance of it cannot be underscored enough.

You may ask why do I need a business plan? Why can’t I just launch my business and get to market?  The importance of a business plan cannot be understated. First you have to define your business and how you’re going to compete. You need to understand the market and where your business is going to occupy its space in that market versus your competitors. You’ll need to clearly define your product and why your customers should be interested in it. 

Once you’ve defined that product, have a good understanding of how you’re going to take it to market. After you’ve decided how you’re going to take a product to market, you need to understand and articulate how you’re going to operate that business and create an operating plan to support those operations. Now that means you’re going to have people and you’ll need a plan for managing your people and the resources that come along with them. You’ll also need to define the administrative responsibilities and how you’re going to fulfill them.

Once you’ve got all that down, you’ll need to project your financial results and create a clear financial plan that helps you understand how the business should perform over time. Now with all of that done, you’ll need to think through what are some of the major pitfalls that you could face as you launch your business and make sure you incorporate those into your plan. Now depending on the type of business you’re running, not all of these elements will be relevant. However, these are the major components of the business plan and why you need to put them in place.

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