Daily Read- If You’re a Leader, You Have to Commit.
What commitments are you making when you take on a leadership role? Your answer may determine how effective you really are. See the difference between those who show up every day very clear on what it means to be a leader, and others who are going through the motion. It all comes down to these four commitments:
1. Leadership is a decision. You have to really define who you are as a leader, not just an individual contributor to the organization. Real leaders accept responsibility as the heads of their teams, and they’re always working to do things better.
2. Leadership is an obligation. Once you’ve made that deliberate decision to be a leader, you must accept that the expectations are higher for you than for everyone else in your organization; this includes holding to a higher standard of behavior than you might expect from those around you.
3. Leadership is hard work. Leadership is hard and getting harder. When you’re running a business, there are a lot of great things that have to get done, and also some hard things; being a leader means you can’t avoid these difficult tasks and issues
4. Leadership takes a community. This is an especially important commitment for small business owners, who often fall into feeling isolated in their positions. You have to build a sense of community within your company, with bedrock relationships and people who can act as your advisors. And you must nurture other leaders within your organization, and hold them to the same four commitments.
Read entire article at: http://goo.gl/QlGMIq
Daily Read – How Healthy is Your Team?
Being a great team is a choice. It doesn’t just happen naturally when you bring together a group of talented individuals; it takes hard work and a firm commitment that can lead to great payoff. However, some teams don’t achieve the best results because they’re not operating as productively as they could be. Why? Your team is unhealthy. Here are five quick questions to gauge your team’s health (and future prosperity):
1. Are your team meetings a nightmare? Toxic: The leader holds court while everyone around the table nods their heads and takes notes; no discussion; no argument; in fact, hardly any interaction at all. A healthy team: discusses issues relevant to everyone present, people voice their opinions without fear., decisions are made and everyone is clear on the reasoning, benefit, and company-wide message.
2. Do you always get the best ideas on the table? Toxic: People hold back their honest opinions from the group because they fear being ridiculed or, worse, ignored. On healthy teams: opinions, no matter how far into left field, are shared at the meeting, in front of the leader. The common goal is to hear all of the best ideas before making a decision for the organization.
3. Is there backstabbing? Toxic: Team members hold one another accountable and discuss destructive behaviors open; or complain to colleagues but resist telling the person directly. High-performing teams: trust each other and know that whatever feedback they receive, no matter how hard it may be to hear, is aimed at getting the best results for the team. It is not personal. Of course, teammates tell each other the kind truth, the most constructive way of saying something.
4. Do you hold each other to the same standards? Toxic: Do you look the other way when star performers act out, yet hold others accountable for their mistakes? Successful Teams: understand there are different roles on every team, but everyone is held to the same standard. Regardless of whether they’re generating revenue, providing support, or leading, each person plays by one universal set of rules.
5. Do team members put the good of the group ahead of their personal goals? Toxic: People forget that the goals of the team supersede their personal or departmental goals. Healthy Teams: automatically put the good of the whole first, realizing if the team is struggling and needs to cut expenses that everyone needs to make sacrifices in their areas for the greater good. People have a sense of shared responsibility, and they trust that they’ll be taken care of when it matters most.
How is the health of your team?
Read entire article at: http://goo.gl/gCXGro
Daily Read – Business is A Lot like Sports.
It’s a great day when your team wins and you can sit back and bask in their glory. Pin the accomplishment on the Coach, the teamwork, the chemistry of the offense or a great fan base. The amazing fact is there are a lot of similarities between sports and business and a huge amount we can learn from the example of top sports teams. Here are the top five:
- Teamwork is paramount. There is no I in team and surrounding yourself with great people means there is always somebody else who can step up and do a great job. Try to go it alone and you will probably fail unless you have a strong support structure.
- Mentorship matters. A great sports mentor can teach the value of mental toughness to partner with natural talent and hard work. It can be the missing link between a promising athlete or businessperson and a successful one.
- Be resilient and determined. Any entrepreneur who expects instant success is setting themselves up for a fall. You need resilience and determination to keep getting back up every time you suffer a blow.
- Have pride and purpose. Regardless of what stage your business is at, you should think about how you can make a positive impact upon people’s lives, not just focus upon profit.
- Delegate wherever possible. There are some things you simply have to do for yourself. But as the tasks for any entrepreneur mount up, you need to delegate to others in order to free yourself up to think about the bigger picture, much like a head coach who defers to a trainer, conditioning coach, etc.
Excerpts taken from: http://goo.gl/rfIA3
Daily Read – Don’t Skip Your Workout!
You probably already know that sitting at your desk hunched over your computer for ten hours a day doesn’t make for a healthy lifestyle. Working long hours or having snow on the sidewalks doesn’t exactly motivate you to throw on the running shows and go for a run either. Crunched for time yet fearing the consequences of a sedentary life, many office workers have begun adopting office workouts to at least give them some activity during the day. Here’s a quick run-down of simple ways to squeeze your work-out in:
- Take 5 minutes, three to four times a day to do a series of desk push-ups, squats and chair dips.
- Take the stairs (yes, even if you are on the tenth floor!)
- Use a standing desk, bicycle desk, or sit on an exercise ball.
- Walk to your co-workers office to talk instead of sending an email
- Bring an exercise band and do a simple resistance workout.
- Take a walking lunch at a nearby mall or in a park if it’s warm enough.
The key is taking frequent breaks from being sedentary, even to do something that requires very minimal effort—and/or sitting less altogether—has been proven to be significantly beneficial to metabolism and it will make you a more productive worker!
How do you squeeze exercise in when you’re crunched for time?
Excerpts taken from: http://goo.gl/08dCGS
Daily Read – Hang on Tight to the Energy and Agility of the Early Days!
“It was so much fun in the old days.” Never mind the stress of making payroll and the long nights- the energy and vibrancy of a start up’s office culture is hard to forget but easier than you think to imitate. Here are seven approaches to try:
- Stay agile, and move fast. As companies grow they agility and decision making can be slowed, but small startups are fast acting and move quickly – even when they make a wrong decision.
- Maintain always-on innovation. When we think of environment we think of perks like game rooms and snacks, but more important is remaining open to innovative and disruptive thinking; employee-driven innovation.
- Stay close to your employees. Building a culture of mutual respect and openness fosters a positive work environment.
- Create ways to stay small within the company. Operate regional offices and internal groups as mini-startups, each with their own mores and idiosyncrasies that inspire and energize your employees like small companies.
- Have a consistent line of communication. By maintaining a culture of consistent communication, employees feel fully informed, valued, and invested in the business.
- Always listen. Keep an ear open to what employees have to say about everything related to the business. Use online internal communications that all employees have access to.
- Develop strong leaders. Allowing employees to explore different jobs within the organization builds great experience across the board, and it matches the best people to the best roles so you can build for the future.
Do you have any ways to keep the start-up culture that has worked for you?
Read entire article at: http://goo.gl/EimwgM
Daily Read- Being Aggressive is Great in Dodge Ball…but Not the Office.
Aggression doesn’t just come in the form of verbally forceful or unnecessarily pushy. Avoiding responsibility for tasks, purposely missing deadlines, withholding important information, and going over a boss’s head to make him or her appear incompetent, are a few of the ways employees let passive aggression slip into the office. The workplace is ripe with passive aggression if for no other reason that people spend the majority of their waking hours at work where they have relationships that, human nature being what it is, inevitably result in angry feelings of some sort. Here are a handful of strategies you can deploy when dealing with these maddening covert attacks.
Don’t mirror the anger. Any passive-aggressive interaction involves two people: passive aggressive Player A, who hopes Player B, will respond angrily, essentially acting out Player A’s anger.
Foster direct communication. It helps if management makes a conscious effort to foster conditions for direct and face-to-face communication instead of electronic communication since passive-aggressive types tend to frequently leave notes or use emails and texts.
Delineate expectations. There’s less room for excuse making and finger pointing if you set crystal clear expectations regarding quantity of work, quality of work, whose responsibility it is, and when it’s due as well as what will happen if expectations aren’t met.
Allow for honesty. Ideally your work environment is one in which if employees are upset about something they’re allowed to voice it.
Ask about the anger. While it’s difficult to change an ingrained pattern of passive-aggressive behavior, calling someone on it can be effective.
Have you dealt with aggression in your office?
Read entire article at: http://goo.gl/ojnvqL
Daily Read- Myth Busters and Entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurship has been on the rise lately, professionals and students alike don’t want to miss out on the excitement. Before you take the leap – consider what you’re getting into. Entrepreneurship is almost never about working in flip-flops in an incubator; it is tough work that requires extraordinary effort. It is super full-time and super risky. In today’s tough job market, “doing a startup” may sound better than “unemployed”. But entrepreneurship is for those who are laser-focused on building a company that will grow. Requiring a decade or longer of commitment. Anyone considering it should be prepared to separate myth from reality. Like most fads, entrepreneurship has its own mythology. Here are some favorites:
Having a startup makes you an entrepreneur. Saying that starting a new venture automatically makes you entrepreneur is a little like saying that if you put on skates and grab a stick, you’re a hockey player. The vast majority of startups are founded by people who do not see themselves creating a new market or who lack the managerial skill to go the distance.
Entrepreneurship is for the young. Not only are many valuable ventures started by people 40 and up, there is reason to believe that industry knowledge, wisdom, managerial experience and a rich contact list can help get a venture off the ground faster and with better backing. Even if launched by a student, grey-haired mentors, investors and partners are almost always required to get into the marketplace and the stamina to stay there.
Entrepreneurship requires passion. If by “passion” you mean energy, commitment, hard work, and self-confidence, well, yes, of course. But passion can make you blind. An entrepreneur who is going to conquer or create a market must have the ability to face facts without blinders, and course-correct or drop out when those facts force reconsideration.
Entrepreneurship requires innovation. The vast majority of successful ventures are based more on amazing execution than invention or innovation. Many are even outright copycats, pasting a proven business from one side of the globe to the other. Others are minor tweaks of an established winner. To be sure, there are many examples where new technologies, inventive business models and novel processes have been a key component of an entrepreneurial venture.
So if you’re weighing career options, question the simplistic assumptions about entrepreneurship. If you still think the entrepreneurial choice is for you, do it with eyes wide open!
Have you had an eye opening experience related entrepreneurship that could help others avoid the same pitfall?
Read entire article at: http://goo.gl/eAE2Bs