Mastering your unique voice in writing is key to making a lasting impact, and honing your voice is your path to influence and innovation in your niche. Today’s guest post is by Amanda Reseburg, Writer — Otter PR If there’s one thing that’s expected of thought leaders, it’s writing. Thought leaders use writing in order to get their unique message across to target audiences, prompting engagement and influencing thoughts and behaviors. If you’re looking to establish yourself as a thought leader, but the very idea of writing induces bad memories of middle school English class, all hope is not lost — one of the biggest hurdles to being an effective writer in the thought leadership space is honing one’s own unique voice. Being a great thought leader doesn’t mean you have to be the most grammatically sound writer. In fact, those thought leaders who inject a bit of their own personality and tone into their writing are more likely to make a bigger impact. So, how does one hone their unique writing voice? The short answer is that it takes practice, awareness, and a little skill. However, once your voice is solid and comes naturally to you, the benefits are sure to follow in the form of better engagement and overall success. Write the same way you speak: naturally When writing as a thought leader, it can be tempting to try and sound as formal and authoritative as possible, but a tone that is too formal or too far removed from how you and your target audience speak conversationally could turn people off and lead them away from your message. Depending on the outlet you’re contributing to as a thought leader, you can get away with being more relaxed with their content. You can even try your hand at adding […]
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Our reader poll today asks: What’s your view of how veterans are treated in your organization? They’re highly respected and we see them as a diverse population that needs help 21.78% They’re respected and we know they’ve faced some challenges but are basically equal to everyone else 45.97% They’re not seen or treated any differently than any other employee 29.84% They’re looked down upon and we make it tough for them to advance 2.41% Veteran talent and challenges. The vast majority of you report the veterans in your organization are respected and treated fairly. For the 22% of you reporting they’re seen as a diverse population that needs some help, your conclusions are well grounded. There’s a comprehensive report authored by LinkedIn that highlights the talents veterans bring to their organizations and also the challenges they have to overcome in their careers. They’re routinely undercompensated and face larger advancement challenges than their civilian peers. It’s worth taking a moment to understand this untapped population and see where you can make your organizations more veteran-friendly. You might be surprised by some of the disparities that exist. For the 78% of you who report not treating veterans differently, you might be surprised by the challenges they face. Tapping into this population and helping them catch up to their peers could have a significant positive impact in your company. – 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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Members of high performing teams are going to be the most satisfied when they feel like they can have an impact on the outcome of their work. Members of high performing teams are going to be the most satisfied when they feel like they can have an impact on the outcome of their work. To get to that point you need to understand the difference between accountability and responsibility and how authority interplays with both of them. Accountability is an external force. That’s where somebody tells you, “You are responsible for these results and I am going to hold you accountable to meeting them. If you meet them, there are benefits and if you fail to, there are consequences.” Responsibility is when we as individuals hold ourselves accountable. We find that inside and say, “Here’s the standard and I’m going to make sure that I achieve that goal.” Making sure that people are able to be satisfied in performing those activities requires you, as the leader, to give them authority. Authority is the power to make decisions. It requires you to delegate and accept risk if someone makes a mistake. It empowers people to give them authority and it makes them feel like, “Hey boss, you trust me. You’re letting me make these decisions where I’m accountable for the results.” It’s really unfair to hold someone accountable for a result if we don’t give them the authority to impact the outcome. At one point in my career, I was responsible for making acquisitions for our division. We would buy companies that were out in the marketplace and try and grow our business unit in doing so. My boss said to me, “You have to do this many deals a year and we need this type of financial return. You’re going […]
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Women face exceptional challenges in the workplace. To succeed, women must understand that they can have it all by defining their “why.” Today’s guest post is by Raquel Gomes, Founder & CEO — Stafi When Spanx founder Sara Blakely was a door-to-door fax machine saleswoman, she abhorred the thought of having to wear pantyhose in the sweltering Florida heat, but that same frustration gave birth to an idea — one that would eventually make her a billionaire. Her “why” was discovered early by seeking to solve an issue she knew she did not face alone. Although women in the workforce have made incredible strides in the past few decades, they still face considerable challenges on the road to success. Those who are able to burst through the storied glass ceiling and succeed as Blakely did are those that land on their “why” — the driving force that fuels their passion to succeed. The pressure to do it all and have it all If the pandemic showed us anything, it was that women in America were facing a crisis. An estimated 12 million women left their jobs during the pandemic to care for and teach their children at home. They chose to leave in far greater numbers than men, and many chalk these statistics up to the expectations heaped on women to be everything to everyone at all times — pandemic or not. Women who strive for career success often wrestle with the guilt and shame that can come with being away from their children, or even choosing to be child-free and focus on their careers instead. While the popular rhetoric of the second wave of feminism told women they could “have it all,” many women in the 1990s and into the 2000s found they were still expected to maintain the […]
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Our reader poll today asks: How good are you at fulfilling commitments you set for responding to people’s requests? I’m great: when I tell someone I’ll get back to them by a certain date, I never fail to do so 30.77% I’m good: every once in a while I fail to meet a self-imposed deadline 57.90% I’m okay: I generally meet self-imposed deadlines but miss a bunch of them too 8.51% I’m not good: I often fail to meet response deadlines I set 2.02% I’m bad at it: It’s rare that I meet a response deadline I set for myself and them 0.80% Commitments matter. 89% of you report meeting self-imposed commitments for responding to people’s requests. Obviously this is great news especially because people on the receiving end of these commitments are planning their work according to what you tell them. It all comes down to communication. People understand if something comes up and a commitment needs to change, too. What’s important is letting them know as soon as possible when you know the commitment will shift so they can change their plans accordingly. For those who are challenged with fulfilling commitments, ask yourself if it’s because the deadlines you set are too aggressive or if it’s because you don’t hold yourself accountable. If it’s the deadline setting, start padding your commitments by 25% and see if that makes things more manageable. If it’s an accountability issue, impose consequences on yourself and focus on the negative impact your missed commitment might have on the other person. When we see how our actions affect others, we’re more likely to live up to those commitments. – 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 […]
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For you to get the most out of the members of your high performing team, you need to empower them. For you to get the most out of the members of your high performing team, you need to empower them. Remember, on a high performing team, those team members are typically very self-motivated, and they like being self-directed. You need to understand how letting go of your agenda, creating space for them to flourish, and then accepting that there are different ways of doing things is going to bring out the best in your people. Setting direction is critical for those people, but then as the leader, you need to get out of the way and let them run. I like to use what I call a concept of lanes where you set a direction for a team member. Say the goal is here, and here are the boundaries within which you can operate. But it’s up to you to decide how you get from here to that goal. You’ll also need to accept, if you’re giving them those lanes, that there are different ways of doing things. A team member may take an approach that you fundamentally disagree with. The measure of a good leader is being willing to step back and say, “Hey, I think you might be going the wrong way. Here’s a different way to think about it. But ultimately, it’s up to you how you want to proceed, and the goal is the same. Let me know what you need from me to be successful.” You have to let go of that agenda and give them the resources, then get out of their way. I had a great leader I worked for at one point when I was in the army. He was my company commander. He had very specific ways that he wanted to deploy our unit. He would […]
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There’s a difference between experiencing failure and being a failure. Some of the greatest lessons come from failing – but only if you’re willing to learn them. Today’s post is by Shawn Hunter, author of Small Acts of Leadership (CLICK HERE to get your copy). On March 2, 1962, Wilt “the Stilt” Chamberlain had the highest scoring NBA basketball game of all time. He scored 100 points in that game, a feat likely never to be repeated. Chamberlain was the number two highest average scoring player in history, behind Michael Jordan. He would have easily been number one, had it not been for his free throws. Wilt Chamberlain was terrible at free throws. Terrible. He was so bad that the coach wouldn’t play him at the end of a close game, since the opposing team only needed to foul him, and send him to the free throw line, where he would surely miss. Meanwhile, Chamberlain’s teammate on the Golden State Warriors, Rick Barry, was the most accurate free throw shooter in the league. By the time he retired, Barry was the most accurate free-throw shooter in NBA history, averaging 90.0 percent of his free-throw attempts. In his final season, Barry hit over 94% of his free throws. Rick Barry shot all of his free throws underhanded. That’s right, Barry shot “granny style.” You might think since both Chamberlain and Barry were on the same team, Chamberlain would learn a thing or two about shooting free throws. Well, sort of. For a short period, Barry convinced, and taught, Chamberlain to shoot underhanded also. He improved his free throws remarkably. But it didn’t stick. Chamberlain said he couldn’t do it. He said he felt “like a sissy” shooting underhanded. What other people think of us – or what we think other people think of […]
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Our reader poll today asks: When is the last time you went out of your way to thank a team member for their contributions? Within the last couple of days: 79.55% Within the last month: 17.73% Sometime this quarter: 0.91% Sometime this year: 1.36% I don’t go out of my way to thank them: 0.45% The High ROI of a “Thank You” – Taking time to say “thank you” so someone on your team or in your organization is a simple investment to make and the vast majority of you have done so recently (97% have done so within the last month with 80% of those doing it in the last few days). It’s the right thing to do, it’s appreciated, and it makes people feel seen and valued. If it’s not part of your regular habits, start by adding a reminder to your calendar to drop someone a note. Saying “thank you” in person or on the phone is best because it personalizes it and shows them you’re making a point of seeing them. While emails can suffice for expressing gratitude, a handwritten note can be seen as exponentially more valuable. If you’re in the minority that doesn’t thank people for their contributions very often, give it a try and see how rewarding it can be for both of you. That might create a positive reinforcement loop that gets you saying thank you more frequently. – 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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