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How to Wear Patterns Like a Pro

How to Wear Patterns Like a Pro

If you’re like most men, the idea of wearing patterns can be a little daunting. But Patterns don’t have to be tricky. A few essential tips can help make patterned clothing look great on you.

Most looks created for men center around layering. If you start paying attention, you will notice that most men, who look like they know how to dress, are wearing a layer of three items. It may seem odd, but it is true. Be it a dress shirt, suit jacket, and tie, or a T-shirt, some neckwear accessory, and a hat, the rule of three is all around.

So whether you’re looking to add a little bit of interest to your wardrobe or want to jump into the world of patterns with both feet, read on for some helpful advice!

The first thing to remember is that you want to avoid wearing too many patterns simultaneously.

You’re going for it with the patterns, aren’t you? I can tell that you’re a fashion-forward individual who likes to take risks. And that’s great! But there’s a thin line between looking like a style icon and looking like a clown. That’s why the first thing to remember is that you want to avoid wearing too many patterns simultaneously. A good rule of thumb is to stick to one loud design and two more subdued ones. For example, you could pair a brightly colored plaid shirt with jeans and a solid sweater. Or you could wear a floral dress with a black jacket and leopard print shoes. By following this advice, you’ll be sure to turn heads for all the right reasons.

Stripes and checks are the most versatile patterns to wear with suits.

It’s no secret that men’s fashion can be tedious. Stuck in a rut of navy, gray, and black, it’s easy to fall into a style rut. But there is hope! If you’re looking to add a little bit of interest to your look, patterned suits are a great way to do it. Although there are many different patterns to choose from, stripes and checks are the most versatile. Whether you’re going for a classic look or something more modern, these patterns will have you covered. And the best part? They can be easily dressed up or down, depending on the occasion. So next time you’re stuck in a style rut, reach for a striped or checked suit. You won’t be disappointed.

You can mix and match different types of stripes and checks, but try to stick to one color palette.

As any fashion-savvy individual knows, stripes and checks are two timeless patterns that can add a touch of style to any outfit. However, when pairing these two patterns together, it’s essential to exercise some caution. While mixing and matching different stripes and checks is possible, it’s best to stick to one color palette. Otherwise, you run the risk of looking like a clown. So, if you’re thinking about rocking a striped shirt with checkered pants, make sure that the colors coordinate. Otherwise, you may end up looking like a walking billboard.

When wearing a patterned suit, keep the rest of your outfit simple – a white shirt and solid-colored tie are an excellent choice.

A well-tailored suit is the foundation of any man’s wardrobe. And while a solid-colored suit is a versatile choice that can be easily dressed up or down, there’s something to be said for a suit with a bit of personality. A patterned suit can add visual interest to your look and help you to stand out in a sea of boring black suits. Of course, when wearing a patterned suit, it’s essential to keep the rest of your outfit simple. A white shirt and solid-colored tie are always a good choice. And remember, less is more when it comes to accessories. Too many patterns will start to look cluttered and messy. So keep it clean and classic – your patterned suit will do the rest.

Make sure the patterns in your suit are complementary, not competing.

Your suit is like a symphony, and each pattern is like an instrument. If the patterns are complementary, they will harmonize and make beautiful music. If the patterns compete, they will create a jarring cacophony that will leave your audience wishing they had brought earplugs. So how can you tell if the patterns in your suit are complementary or competing? A good rule of thumb is to stick to two patterns maximum. Any more than that, and the risk of clashing increases exponentially. Another critical factor is proportion. Make sure that one pattern is not significantly larger or smaller than the other.

And last but not least, pay attention to color. Choose patterns that share at least one common hue to help them blend seamlessly. With these guidelines in mind, you can be sure that the patterns in your suit will be pleasing to the eye and the ear.

If you’re not sure whether a particular pattern will work with a suit, ask your tailor for advice

It’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed. However, there is such a thing as being too formal. Ask your tailor for advice if you’re unsure whether a particular pattern will work with a suit. They are the experts, after all. And if they say no, trust them. After all, they’re the ones who will have to look at you in that suit every day.

With these fashion tips, you’ll be a sophisticated son of a gun in no time. Just remember to keep it simple – too many patterns can be overwhelming and make you look like you’re trying too hard. Stick to one color palette, mix and match different stripes and checks, and don’t forget to ask your tailor for advice if you’re unsure about anything. With just a few changes, you can start dressing better today!

What is Happening at Twitter: A Business Guide

What is Happening at Twitter: A Business Guide

From the outside, it looks like Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter is on a course for disaster. In reality, Mr. Musk bought a company that was losing money daily. Keep reading to see why Mr. Musk is slimming down costs while protecting infrastructure. What looks harsh to the outsider may be a great thing to a person who is a high-achiever.

If you were ever assigned to a group project in college, this process would make sense to you. It will also make you optimistic about the future employee of Twitter. Despite all those pesky #LoveWhereYouWorked tweets, we all keep seeing.

Basic Background Info:

Over the past few years, Twitter has been losing a lot of money. Many experts believe the company would go bankrupt within months if something weren’t done soon. That’s why Mr. Musk stepped in and took over as CEO of the struggling tech giant.

Like any good businessman, Mr. Musk immediately went to work trying to turn things around for Twitter. The first step, naturally, was to cut down on the amount of money Twitter lost every day. This meant shrinking some of the company’s overpaid staff members and scaling back many unnecessary operations.

What culling is and what it means for businesses

Culling generally refers to the leadership practice of removing underperforming employees from an organization. Culling aims to improve organizational performance by weed out weak links and to ensure that only the strongest and most capable employees remain. While this may sound like a ruthless and heartless approach, businesses must sometimes resort to culling to survive and thrive.

Think back to when you were ever assigned to a group project. If the thought of joining a group project makes you cringe, congratulations, this post is for you. If four people are assigned to the group, frequently, three become lazy and rely upon the over-achiever in the room to do all the work. If you were lucky, you were put on a group of hard-chargers. The job got done equally by everyone. However, that is rarely the case. Typically, the burden of performance falls on one or two people.

Enter the art of culling…

In today’s competitive marketplace, companies cannot afford to carry dead weight; they need to be lean and mean to compete. As such, business leaders often see culling as a necessary evil. While it may not be pleasant, it is often seen as essential to running a successful business.

The benefits of culling for businesses

Done correctly, culling can be an essential tool for businesses. Appropriately done, culling can be an effective way to improve morale and increase productivity. It can also help to ensure that the best employees are promoted to leadership positions. In addition, culling can promote a sense of fairness within the workforce, as it ensures that everyone is held to the same standards.

How to go about culling in your business

As a business leader, you may face the difficult decision to “cull” your workforce. This can happen for various reasons, ranging from financial difficulty to a change in company direction. Whatever the reason, facing this decision is never easy. However, there are steps you can take to make the process as smooth and humane as possible.

First, it’s important to be clear about your reasoning for culling. This will help you to communicate your decisions to your team, and it will also help you to stay focused during what is sure to be a difficult time. Once you clearly understand why you are making this decision, you can begin to plan the specifics.

Next, you will need to decide who will be affected by the culling. This can be challenging, but it’s important to be as fair and objective as possible. Once you have a list of employees who will be affected, you need to begin breaking the news.

This is probably the most challenging part of the entire process. You will need to be honest and compassionate when communicating with those who are being let go. Give them ample time to ask questions and express their concerns. It’s also essential to offer them severance pay and assistance with finding new employment.

Tips for making the most out of culling in your business

In any business, there will always be a need for some level of culling. Whether weeding out underperforming employees or cutting back on non-essential expenditures, leadership must always be willing to make tough decisions. However, it’s important to remember that culling can also offer growth opportunities. Businesses can create space for new and innovative ideas to take root by making tough decisions and pruning away the dead weight. Furthermore, leaders can demonstrate their commitment to improving the business by taking an active role in the culling process. So while it’s never easy to let go of people or things, sometimes it’s necessary to move forward. With these tips in mind, you can make the most of culling in your business and ensure that it leads to positive growth.

Examples of Past Corporate Culling by Elon Musk

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is known for his unorthodox management style, and one of the most controversial aspects of his leadership is his practice of “culling” underperforming employees. Musk has said that he views culling as an important part of maintaining a high-performing team, and he believes it is better to get rid of a few bad apples than to keep a whole team from reaching its potential. While some have criticized Musk for being too harsh, there are several examples of successful culling by Tesla that suggest that this approach can be practical. In 2016, Tesla conducted a significant culling of its sales staff, eliminating around 20% of its workforce. The move was widely criticized at the time, but it ultimately helped Tesla improve its sales performance and reach its goal of becoming the world’s best-selling electric car manufacturer. More recently, Tesla has been culling underperforming suppliers to improve quality control. This has led to some disruptions in the supply chain, but it has also resulted in better-quality cars for consumers. Overall, it seems that Musk’s culling strategy has been successful in helping Tesla achieve its goals.

The importance of communication when culling in a team environment

One of the most critical aspects of leadership is communication. When culling in a team environment, the leader must take the time to communicate with each team member. This ensures everyone is on the same page and understands the team’s goals. It also allows team members to provide input and feedback, which can be essential for making progress. Furthermore, effective communication can help to build trust and rapport within the team, which is necessary for any group that wants to function at its best. By taking the time to communicate effectively, leaders can ensure that their teams can work together effectively and reach their goals.

When done correctly, culling can be an extremely positive experience for both businesses and employees alike. Applying culling to your business can result in many benefits, such as increased efficiency and productivity and decreased costs. Keep the following tips in mind to get the most out of culling in your own business: 1) Have a plan, 2) Be decisive, 3) Be thoughtful, 4) Communicate effectively 5) Celebrate successes.

Alternate Cost-Cutting Methods

The elephant in the room…. Culling impacts people. There are other methods. Onboarding people is expensive. Replacing employees takes a lot of time and effort. However, some businesses are turning to alternative cost-cutting methods that can help them reduce expenses without impacting the people working for them.

One option is to outsource certain functions or tasks to other companies that specialize in those areas. This allows businesses to pay a flat fee and focus on their core competencies while outsourcing non-critical work. Another strategy is automating specific processes with software or other technological tools, which can significantly improve efficiency and reduce costs.

Finally, many businesses are adopting more flexible work arrangements such as remote working, part-time schedules, or job sharing. While this may involve some initial investment, it can provide significant long-term savings by reducing overhead costs and improving employee retention rates. Overall, businesses can explore many different cost-cutting options to reduce expenses without impacting their employees.

In conclusion, culling is a process that involves sifting through and eliminating underperforming team members as part of an effort to improve the overall performance of the group. This can be challenging for leaders, who must navigate complex emotions and difficult situations while ensuring that the team’s needs are met.

Quiet Quitting Isn’t New

Quiet Quitting Isn’t New

What it is and what leaders can do about it.

The new term that seems to be dominating the leadership world may not be all that new. Quiet Quitting, as it is referred to, has been around for many years. We used to call it “checked out.” It has also been referred to as “retired on duty,” disengaged, or a lack of ownership. Regardless, there are several reasons behind it. Don’t get caught up in learning new nomenclature for an old problem. Employees become disengaged for numerous reasons: some personal and some professional. It is the responsibility of the leader to get employees back on track.

What is engagement, and why should we care about it in the workplace

Engagement is a term that is often used in the human resources field, but it can be challenging to define. Engagement refers to employees’ level of interest and investment in their work. When employees are engaged, they are more likely to be motivated, productive, and committed to their organization. There are several reasons why engagement is essential in the workplace. First, engaged employees are more likely to be high performers. They are also more likely to stay with their organization, which can save money on turnover costs. Finally, engaged employees can help create a positive work environment that attracts other top talents. In short, engagement is essential for both individual and organizational success.

Factors that contribute to a lack of engagement

Leadership is one of the most critical factors in employee engagement. After all, employees will naturally be more engaged with their work if they feel that their leaders are supportive and invested in their success. However, many other factors can contribute to a lack of engagement. For example, monotonous or repetitive work can quickly lead to boredom, while a lack of opportunity for growth or development can make employees feel stuck in a rut. A poor work-life balance can also leave employees feeling burned out and stressed. By understanding the various factors contributing to a lack of engagement, employers can create a more positive and productive work environment.

How can leaders create an environment where employees are more engaged

Leadership has always been about creating an environment where employees can thrive. But what does that mean, exactly? And how can leaders create an environment where employees are more engaged?

First, it’s essential to understand what employee engagement is. Employee engagement is the level of commitment and investment that employees have in their work. When employees are engaged, they’re more likely to be productive, creative, and loyal to their employer. They’re also more likely to stay with the company for extended periods.

So, how can leaders create an environment where employees are more engaged? There are a few key things that they can do:

1. Create a culture of ownership: Employees who feel they have a stake in the company are more likely to be engaged with their work. Leaders can create this feeling by allowing employees to make decisions and take ownership of projects.

2. Encourage collaboration: Collaborative workplaces are more likely to be innovative and productive. Leaders can encourage collaboration by promoting open communication and encouraging teamwork.

3. Support growth and development: Employees who feel they’re growing and developing in their roles are more likely to be engaged. Leaders can support this by providing training and development opportunities and giving employees autonomy to pursue their goals.

4. Recognize and reward achievement: Everyone likes to feel appreciated for their hard work. Leaders can show appreciation by recognizing and rewarding employees for their accomplishments. This could include financial bonuses, paid time off, or public recognition.

5. Foster a positive culture: A positive workplace culture is one of the most critical factors in employee engagement. Leaders can foster a positive culture by promoting respect, fairness, and inclusion in the workplace.

By implementing these strategies, leaders can create an environment where employees are more engaged with their work and are more likely to stick around for the long haul.

Strategies for increasing employee engagement

Employee engagement is crucial for any organization that wants to succeed. An engaged workforce is more productive, innovative, and committed to the company’s success. However, employee engagement is often easier said than done. How can you ensure that your employees are truly engaged in their work? Here are a few strategies to consider:

First, it’s vital to have strong leadership that engages employees and sets the tone for the entire organization. Leaders need to be clear about the company’s vision and values and communicate these effectively to all employees. They also need to create an environment where employees feel supported and valued and have growth opportunities.

Second, communication is critical. There need to be open lines of communication between leaders and employees so that employees feel like they can give feedback and be heard. It’s also essential to keep employees informed about what’s happening in the company to feel like they’re part of the larger picture.

Finally, growth opportunities are essential for keeping employees engaged. Employees who feel stuck in a dead-end job are likely to become disengaged. But if they have opportunities to develop their skills and advance their careers, they’re more likely to stay engaged and committed to the company.

Employee engagement is essential for organizational success. Implementing these strategies can increase employee engagement in your company today.

The benefits of having an engaged workforce

Having an engaged workforce has countless benefits. For one, engagement leads to improved job satisfaction and decreased turnover rates. Studies have shown that engaged employees are more productive, take fewer sick days, and are more likely to stay with their current employer. In addition, engagement also leads to better customer satisfaction. When employees feel supported and valued, they are more likely to go above and beyond for customers, leading to increased sales and customer loyalty. Finally, engaged employees are more likely to foster a positive work environment. When people feel good about coming to work daily, they are more likely to cooperate with others and create a positive culture. In short, there are plenty of good reasons to strive for an engaged workforce. So if you’re not already doing so, it’s time to start!

In today’s workplace, it is more important than ever to have employees who are engaged in their work. Engaged employees are passionate and committed to their job, and as a result, they tend to be more productive and create better outcomes for the company. Many factors contribute to a lack of engagement in the workplace, but fortunately, there are also several strategies leaders can use to create an environment where employees are more likely to be engaged. Some of these strategies include providing clear direction, offering opportunities for growth and development, communicating effectively, and demonstrating appreciation. The benefits of having an engaged workforce are significant and well worth the effort required to improve employee engagement levels within your organization.

The Power of Sacrifice in Leadership

The Power of Sacrifice in Leadership

As a leader, you are always looking for ways to motivate and inspire your team. You want them to follow you into battle, no matter the odds. And one of the best ways to do that is by being willing to sacrifice your time, effort, and energy. You will earn their respect and loyalty by showing your team that you are eager to do whatever it takes to achieve success. And that is the foundation upon which great teams are built.

The Importance of Sacrifice in Leadership

When you are willing to sacrifice your own time and resources for the good of the team, it sends a strong message that you are committed to their success. It shows that you are not just paying lip service to the idea of teamwork; you are willing to put in the hard work and make the sacrifices necessary to make it happen. And when your team sees that, they will be more likely to follow your lead.

Of course, sacrifice is not easy. It requires a lot of time and effort and can be physically and emotionally draining. But as a leader, you must be willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done. If you can show your team that you are eager to make those sacrifices, they will be more likely to do the same.

Making Sacrifices for Your Team

So how can you go about making sacrifices for your team? Here are a few ideas:

– Put in extra hours when necessary

– Go above and beyond your regular duties

– Take on additional projects

– Be there for your team members when they need you

– Offer words of encouragement during difficult times

– Celebrate successes together

– Help out with personal problems

As a leader, it is essential to be willing to make sacrifices for the good of your team. You will earn their respect and loyalty by showing your team that you are committed to their success and by being willing to put in the hard work and make the sacrifices necessary to make it happen. And that is the foundation upon which great teams are built.

The Hidden Sacrifices

Not all sacrifices made on behalf of the team are outwardly visible. Some sacrifices require more than the obvious. They require letting go while simultaneously holding on.

I’m talking about emotional vulnerability.

Each of us has a background story that shaped us into who we are. Yet, increasingly I see leaders trying to hide this part of their lives. They act as if their lives are perfect, the way we expect them to be. When was the last time that you, as a leader, were willing to show the not-so-glamorous parts of your life?

But this is not the reality of leadership today. Modern teams need leaders who can open up, show vulnerability, and demonstrate that there’s more to them than just what meets the eye. After all, genuine authenticity is only possible when you’re willing to be vulnerable.

So if you’re ready to make sacrifices for your team by embracing your vulnerabilities, don’t be afraid to let your guard down. Show them who you are, and watch as they grow closer and more connected than ever before. Because that’s when real change and growth can begin to take root, and authentic leadership happens.

Know Your Neighbor

Know Your Neighbor

Your living room and bedroom are your sanctuaries. But we all have to share our yards with the neighbors. The yard is the image we created and chose to share with the world.

Luckily, taking care of the yard can be a great way to get to know your neighbors better. You’re bound to run into your neighbors occasionally when you’re out mowing the lawn or trimming the hedges. Instead of just giving them a wave and moving on, take a moment to stop and chat. Ask them about their day or their weekend plans. You may be surprised at how much you have in common.

While retreating can be easier, parts of our lives are still forward-facing. We interact with customers and coworkers each day. Our stakeholders are what drive innovation.

How can we apply this to the workplace?

In many ways, the workplace is like our yards. We share common spaces with our coworkers and want to ensure that those spaces are well-kept and presentable. But just like with our neighbors, we often don’t take the time to get to know our coworkers as well as we should.

Leaders are different than bosses. Bosses hide in their offices and think that if they’re doing their job, everyone else should be too. But that’s not always the case. Your employees are people too, with their own lives and problems. If you take the time to get to know them, you may find that you have more in common than you thought. You may even be able to help them with their problems.

When you’re out and about in the workplace, stop for just one minute – no matter where or what task has called your attention–to chat with each person about their experiences this week; ask questions if needed! You might be surprised at how much closer you become due to taking the time to get to know your coworkers on an individual level. You’ll find that it makes working together more enjoyable and helps create new avenues where problems can quickly resolved because everyone involved knows precisely who is looking into things from different angles.

Benefits of Mentorship

Benefits of Mentorship

Becoming a mentor can benefit both the mentor and the mentee. Mentors often enjoy a sense of satisfaction from helping others reach their potential. In addition, mentoring can help keep you sharp and up-to-date on industry trends, as you constantly learn new things from your mentee. And finally, as a mentor, you develop essential networking connections that could lead to future opportunities.

Sounds great, right? Yet, I am frequently asked how to get started when discussing mentorship. Most companies boast mentorship abilities yet, have no official guidebook on where to start.

What is a mentor?

A mentor is a professional willing to offer a mentee career advice and leadership skills. The mentor’s responsibilities include meeting with the mentee regularly, providing support and guidance, and answering any questions the mentee may have. Some common yet unsurprising questions mentors are asked include:

  • – How can I change careers?
  • – Should I go to graduate school?
  • – How do I network?
  • – What are the best ways to market myself?
  • – How do I negotiate a salary?
  • – What should I wear for my job interview?

What’s in it for me?

The benefits of being a mentor are many. Mentors often enjoy a sense of satisfaction from helping others reach their potential. In addition, mentoring can help keep you sharp and up-to-date on industry trends, as you constantly learn new things from your mentee. And finally, as a mentor, you develop essential networking connections that could lead to future opportunities.

Mentors have the opportunity to develop essential networking connections with other professionals in their industry. These connections could lead to future options, such as job openings or business partnerships. In addition, mentorship relationships often result in solid friendships that last for many years. According to a study by the National Mentoring Partnership, mentored youth are 52% more likely to enroll in college and are almost twice as likely to be employed.

How do I become a mentor?

There are several ways to become a mentor. The best way to find out how to become one is by contacting your local chapter of The Association for Talent Development (ATD). They will be able to provide you with more information on becoming a mentor and connect you with other professionals in your area who are also mentors. You can also search online for resources that cater specifically to mentoring relationships. Many websites and articles offer tips on how to be an effective mentor.

How do I find the right mentee?

The best way to find a mentee is by networking with people in your industry or field. You can also reach out to professional organizations or schools that offer programs for mentor-mentee relationships. Once you have found a few potential mentees, setting up an initial meeting is crucial to get to know each other and see if there is a good fit. During this meeting, you should discuss expectations, goals, and commitments. It is also essential to ensure that you are both on the same page in terms of frequency and duration of meetings and communication style.

What to do during the mentoring process?

During the mentoring relationship, meeting regularly and discussing both the mentor’s and mentee’s goals is essential. The mentor should offer support and guidance while allowing the mentee to take charge of their career development. It is also vital to provide feedback and be available to answer any questions the mentee may have. In addition, the mentor should help the mentee develop a network of professionals in their industry.

Possible challenges of being a mentor

While being a mentor can be an enriching experience, some challenges come with the territory. One challenge is finding the time to commit to regular meetings and discussions. Another challenge is dealing with difficult personalities or situations. For example, if a mentee is going through a career transition, they may feel frustrated or anxious. Mentors must be patient and understanding while providing honest feedback and guidance.

Mentoring can be an advantageous experience for both the mentor and mentee. It is an opportunity to learn new things, gain essential industry connections, and make a difference in someone’s career. If you are thinking about becoming a mentor, reach out to your local ATD chapter or search online for resources on how to get started.

Mental Health and Mentorship

Mentorship is also an excellent way for people to gain access to mental health services. Many times, people do not feel comfortable seeking help from a professional or may not have access to mental health services. A mentor can provide emotional support and guidance during difficult times. They can also offer advice on how to deal with mental health issues. In addition, mentors can connect their mentees with resources such as therapy or medication if needed.

The benefits of mentorship are vast and diverse. Mentors have the opportunity to learn new things, make valuable connections within their industry, and provide guidance and support to those who need it most – all while improving their own and their mentee’s mental well-being in the process.

Building a culture of command

In any organization, the ability to command and lead is essential for success. But creating a culture of commanders within an organization can be difficult, especially if the company is large and decentralized. A strong command culture starts at the top, with a clear and concise vision from the CEO and leadership team. From there, it must be communicated effectively to all company members, down to the lowest levels. Everyone will be working towards the same goals and achieving great things.

What is a culture of command?

A culture of command is a term used to describe an organization where everyone is clear on their role and responsibilities and is working together towards a common goal. It’s essential to ensure that everyone in the company is on the same page and aligned with its vision.

A strong command culture starts at the top, with a clear and concise vision from the CEO and leadership team. This vision must be communicated to all employees, and everyone must buy into it. Leadership must lead by example and be held accountable for their actions. Being held responsible sets a clear example to the organization of what behaviors will or will not be tolerated. Leaders cannot allow the “do as I say, not as I do” mentality to infiltrate the organization.

When everyone in the organization is working towards the same goal, it creates a sense of unity and purpose. This can be a powerful motivating force for employees. It can also help create a more positive work environment, as employees feel like they are part of something larger than themselves.

Build the Culture of Command

A culture of command takes time to develop, but it is essential for any organization that wants to succeed. Leadership must be committed to building this culture from the ground up and setting the tone for the organization. With a strong vision and leadership team in place, an organization can begin to build a culture of command that will help them achieve its goals.

Let Go.

The first step in building a culture of command is letting go. The C-level executives must be able to let go of control. There are numerous layers of organizational hierarchy in place for a reason. Use it to your advantage. Businesses fail when decision-making ability is removed from mid-level management teams. The executives at the top need to trust their employees to make the right decisions.

Empower your employees by giving them the ability to make decisions. Allow for creativity and risk-taking. Encourage out-of-the-box thinking. You will breed a culture of leaders who are not afraid to take risks and innovate when you do this.

Communicate

The second phase of building a culture of command begins with communication. Leadership teams cannot work in silos. Each section of an organization must be aware of what other sections are working on. Daily meetings of team leaders may seem mundane. However, the insight and experience gained by the collective group are invaluable.

During these meetings, everyone must be allowed to share their ideas openly. Leadership must be willing to listen to new and different perspectives. By embracing change and encouraging creativity, an organization can foster a culture of innovation. This is essential for any organization that wants to stay ahead of the curve.

Encouraging creativity does not mean that leadership should allow chaos to reign. There must still be structure and order within the organization. However, by being open to new ideas and ways of doing things, an organization can tap into a wealth of knowledge and experience that they may not have had access to before.

Realize the Potential

Allowing employees to own their work can have a number of benefits for an organization. When employees feel like they are part of the team and that their input is valued, they are more likely to be productive and take pride in their work.

Giving employees ownership also allows them to take risks and be creative. This can lead to new and innovative ideas that can help the organization move forward. When employees feel like they are a part of the decision-making process, they are more likely to be invested in the outcome.

Finally, allowing employees to own their work helps to create a sense of community and teamwork. When everyone feels like they are working together towards a common goal, it can help to improve morale and foster a positive work environment.

Are we on the same page?

The impact of vision cannot be understated. When we communicate to our entire workforce the vision of the organization, we keep everyone in tune with the expectations of progress. A vision should be laid out to where you see the organization in the long term. Not specifically how to get there, but the clear direction of what the outcome should be.

If you’re building a house, the elements that you want in the house should be included in the vision—the number of rooms, rough layout, size, pool, etcetera. Let the management teams, now commanders, decide how to get there. Allow creativity to foster in the environment. Continue to communicate your vision for the organization. Keep everyone locked on the outcome and push the organization forward.

Conclusion

An organization cannot achieve success without a strong leadership team in place. This is especially true when it comes to creating and fostering a culture of innovation. In order for an organization to move forward, the executives at the top must be able to let go of control and trust their employees to make the right decisions. Communication is key, and leaders must be willing to listen to new perspectives in order to foster creativity within the workforce. Allowing employees to own their work helps create a sense of community and teamwork, which can improve morale and productivity. By realizing the potential that a culture of commanders can have, an organization can tap into a wealth of knowledge and experience that they may not have had access to before.

Why Panera’s Subscription Didn’t Work For Me

What a great business plan it should have been. Offer a subscription for a good that typically is marked up at 80% as a national average. People would pay the subscription fee, get to the coffee shop, and casually pick up breakfast or a bagel or some other idea while they are already there. Genius.

The backstory

Panera had been advertising its coffee service with a campaign that seemed to attack competitors. Specifically Starbucks and other specialty coffee shops. The ads ran as a series of people tired of waiting in line behind individuals ordering complex drinks. The ads targeted your average coffee drinker. Someone like myself. There is no need for sweeteners, cream, sugar, whip cream, skinny, no-fat, whatever the case. I just want to quickly grab my coffee and kindly exit, or better yet, drive off.

Then, Panera introduced its unlimited coffee subscription plan. Every two hours, you could get a fresh cup of coffee for a monthly fee. Originally priced at $8.99, the math worked out to about 4 cups of coffee. It made sense to me. There was a Panera on my way to work, and I worked an average of 20-days per month in the office. A coffee each day on my way in was well worth the subscription fee.

Things went wrong

At first, the subscription service worked well. I never had to wait for my coffee since it was always freshly brewed and ready to go, and I could enjoy a cup no matter what time of day it was. No more long lines or waiting for my drink; all I had to do was show my type in my phone number, and then my coffee would be ready instantly.

Then, as the pandemic restriction lifted, more people started showing up at the coffee shop.

Remember, Panera had the advertisement about just wanting the coffee.

Things go wrong because the food ordering at Panera is painfully slow, especially if you’re the person that is second in line. Even more frustrating, Panera was on my way to work meant that I was typically time-crunched.

Knowing how slow the process was, If I saw one car in the drive-through, I would bypass Panera altogether. I got stuck behind someone in the drive-through line one too many times. The waiting, just for one simple cup of coffee, seemed foolish.

I’ll go inside

The same thing occurred there for me. Unfortunately, I would seem to always get behind someone in line who wanted to stare at the menu with no situational awareness that people were waiting behind them.

It seemed that nothing I could do quickly got me a simple cup of coffee.

Solution

I get that people are drawn to a restaurant for simple pleasures, such as coffee, and may want an occasional sandwich. However, we should encourage Panera to have a separate pull-off area for people waiting on food orders. Or not allow food orders at the drive-through window.

Perhaps we could someday get a coffee and express lane for beverage service only.

That would relieve some congestion, and I’d gladly pay a slightly higher subscription fee for that convenience.

But until then, I have unsubscribed from Panera’s unlimited coffee service. I still brew my coffee and take it to work with me every day. Occasionally, if there are no cars in the drive-through, I’ll swing through a Panera.

Unfortunately, the lack of convenience in a busy world has prevented me from enjoying another subscription service.

The Power of Philosophy in Leadership: Ethical Actions

What is leadership? Many people would say that it is the ability to get others to do what you want. But what if there was more to it than that? What if leadership was about using your knowledge and understanding of philosophy to help others achieve their goals? This blog post will explore the power of philosophy in leadership and discuss how leaders can benefit from its use.

Philosophy can be defined as the study of wisdom and knowledge. It is a system of thought that helps us critically think about the world around us and make better decisions. When it comes to leadership, philosophy can help leaders better understand their values and beliefs and those of their followers. It can also help leaders develop a more holistic view of leadership, which considers the needs of both the leader and the follower.

When considering the needs of followers, leaders can set themselves apart from other individuals. Leaders who use philosophy as a tool for leadership can see the big picture and make decisions based on what is best for the group, not just themselves. In addition, leaders who utilize philosophical thinking are better equipped to handle difficult situations and innovatively solve problems.

This is because philosophy encourages critical thinking and allows individuals to question their assumptions. It also helps us see things from different perspectives and find new solutions to old problems. More importantly, it is a framework for ethical decision-making. Immanuel Kant argued that moral decisions should be based on a universal law that everyone can agree upon. This is what is known as the categorical imperative.

In short, the categorical imperative is acting upon what is deemed as a duty rather than self-interest. For example, if you give a homeless person money, what is your motivation? Did you act to do an “act of kindness,” or did you act because you feel that all people must give money to those in need? If the motivation for acting was for a self-fulfilling need, then we act outside of our ethics rules. However, if we believe that all needy persons should be given money and act upon that framework, we are considered ethical.

This way of thinking can be applied to leadership to make sure that the leader is acting in the best interest of their followers. For example, are we acting on behalf of our followers to gain their trust and admiration? If so, we are acting outside of our ethical framework. However, if we make decisions based on what is best for our followers and what will help them achieve their goals, we are leading ethically.

Philosophy can be a helpful tool for leadership, but it is not the only tool available. Leaders must also be aware of their values and beliefs and those of their followers. They must also have a clear understanding of the needs of both the leader and the follower. Acting upon the benefits of our followers to make their workdays more enjoyable, with no credit taken and no accolades received, is the philosophically moral high ground of leadership.

While the above writings are the surface level of true philosophical thinking in leadership, the point should not be lost. As leaders, we must constantly be aware of our intentions. Our actions should not be taken to serve ourselves but rather to benefit those we should lead. This is the power of philosophy in leadership. It can change our mindset from a self-serving one to an other-centric one. When we act with the needs of our followers in mind, we can develop trust and respect, which are essential ingredients for successful leadership.

The 5 Pillars of Growth

There are five pillars of growth and productivity that professionals in a leadership role should focus on. These five pillars are time management, goal setting, task prioritization, stress management, and self-awareness. While there is no one right way to achieve success, following these five principles will put you on the path to achieving your goals.

Time Management

Time management is critical for leaders. Leaders need to allocate their time wisely and make the most of every day to be effective. Time management is essential for two reasons. First, it allows you to focus on your goals. You’re more likely to be successful when you have a plan and know what you need to do. Second, it helps you to use your time effectively. You’re less likely to waste time if you’re organized and know what you need to do.

There are a few time management tips that can help you to be more productive:

  • Make a list of your goals and prioritize them. This will help you focus on what is essential and prevent you from getting sidetracked.
  • Set aside time each day for planning. This will help you stay on track and ensure that you’re making progress towards your goals.
  • Break down your goals into smaller tasks. This will make them more manageable and increase your chances of success.
  • Take breaks throughout the day. This will help you avoid burnout and stay refreshed so that you can continue to be productive.

Goal Setting

Goal setting is another important pillar for growth and productivity. Having specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals will help you stay focused and motivated. Leaders should set clear goals and develop a plan to achieve them.

Goal setting is essential for two reasons. First, it allows you to focus on what’s important and prevents you from getting sidetracked. Second, it helps you to use your time effectively. If you have specific goals you’re working towards, you’re less likely to waste time on activities that don’t help you achieve your goals.

Task Prioritization

Task prioritization is another key to productivity. Leaders need to be able to prioritize their tasks and focus on the most important ones. This involves understanding the organization’s goals and what needs to be done to achieve them.

Task prioritization is different from time management because it’s not just about wisely allocating your time. It’s also about understanding which tasks are most important and need to be given priority.

There are a few ways to prioritize your tasks:

  • Consider the goals of the organization. What needs to be done to achieve them?
  • Understand the importance of each task. What is the impact of each task on the organization?
  • Consider the urgency of each task. What is the timeline for each task?

Stress Management

Stress management is also critical for leaders. It can be challenging to focus and be productive when you are under stress. Leaders need to find ways to manage their stress to not interfere with their work.

There are a few ways to manage stress:

  • Exercise regularly. This will help to release tension and improve your overall well-being.
  • Get enough sleep. This will help you to feel rested and refreshed so that you can handle stress more effectively.
  • Eat healthy foods. This will help to improve your energy levels and mood, making it easier to handle stress.
  • Take breaks throughout the day. This will help you avoid burnout and stay refreshed so that you can continue to be productive.

Self-Awareness

Self-awareness is the final pillar for growth and productivity. Leaders need to be aware of their strengths and weaknesses and understand how they impact their work. Having self-awareness allows you to make changes to become more effective.

There are a few ways to develop self-awareness:

  • Take personality assessments. This will help you understand your personality type and how you respond to stress.
  • Observe yourself in the workplace. This will help you understand how others perceive you and identify areas where you need to improve.
  • Talk to others about your strengths and weaknesses. This will help you get feedback and see things from a different perspective.

Following these five pillars of growth and productivity will help you succeed in your career. By focusing on time management, goal setting, task prioritization, stress management, and self-awareness, you can reach your full potential as a leader.

Finding and Solving Problems in the Workplace

Most people would rather avoid complex problems. They’re hard, take time and effort to solve, and there’s no guarantee of success. But that’s where the real progress is made.

Complex problems are the ones that demand our attention. They force us to think deeply, to come up with new ideas and solutions. And if we persevere, we can often find success where others have failed.

Problems in the workplace can be a significant distraction and decrease productivity. It’s essential to identify these problems and fix them as soon as possible. Some common problems in the workplace include:

Poor communication

Poor communication is one of the biggest problems in the workplace. It can lead to misunderstandings, conflict, and decreased productivity.

There are a few things you can do to improve communication in your workplace:

  • Ensure everyone is aware of the communication channels that are being used, and make sure everyone is using them correctly.
  • Make sure all communications are clear and concise. Avoid using jargon or complex language that may be misunderstood.
  • When communicating with someone face-to-face, make sure to use body language and facial expressions to convey your message.
  • Take the time to listen to what the other person is saying, and ask questions if you don’t understand.

Confusion over roles and responsibilities

Confusion over roles and responsibilities is another common problem in the workplace. This can lead to conflict, decreased productivity, and other issues.

There are a few things you can do to fix this problem:

  • Make sure everyone is aware of their roles and responsibilities.
  • Make sure everyone is clear on what is expected of them.
  • If there is any confusion, ask questions until you understand.
  • Clarify who is responsible for what tasks, and make sure everyone follows through on their responsibilities.

Conflict resolution

Conflict is a normal part of life. It can arise in any relationship, whether with a friend, family member, or co-worker. When conflict arises, it’s essential to address it head-on and work to resolve it as quickly as possible.

There are a few things you can do to help resolve conflict:

  • Talk to the other person about what’s going on. Be honest and open, and listen to what they have to say.
  • Try to stay calm and avoid getting angry. Anger can cloud our judgment and make it difficult to resolve the conflict.
  • Don’t blame the other person for the conflict. Blaming someone will only make the situation worse.
  • Work together to find a middle ground. Life is about give and take.

Lack of trust

Lack of trust is a common problem in the workplace. This can lead to conflict, decreased productivity, and other issues.

There are a few things you can do to fix this problem:

  • Make sure everyone is aware of the importance of trust. Trust is essential for any relationship, whether with a friend, family member, or co-worker.
  • Make sure everyone understands what trust means and how it should be used. Trust should never be given lightly – it must be earned.
  • When someone breaks your trust, don’t react hastily. Take some time to calm down and think about what happened. Talk to the other person about what happened and try to resolve it.
  • Don’t gossip

If these problems are not addressed, they can lead to employee turnover, low morale, and even legal disputes. Employers must create a positive work environment where employees feel comfortable communicating openly. By doing so, employers can often find success where others have failed. Identify where you may have problems in your workplace, and don’t be afraid to spend time tackling them.

How To Be an Effective Online Communicator

Most people would agree that in-person meetings are the best way to communicate. But what if we remove in-person meetings from the equation? Can we still have effective communication? Has the technology that allows us to stay safe at home slowed our growth as individuals?


In an online environment, communication is accessible to everyone. It also allows more people to work. In a virtual work environment, employees can get their work done from anywhere in the world that they have access to a computer and the Internet. They don’t have to worry about the commute or if there’s bad weather at home because of where they live. Some people can’t commute or don’t want to because they might be caring for family members, etc.


It’s also good for the company’s bottom line because it reduces overhead costs. Instead of needing office space and supplies, the company only needs a reliable internet connection and maybe a chat system if employees aren’t all in the same place. It also allows the company to hire people living in more expensive areas without having to pay so much. One of the impacts of COVID-19 was that it affected commercial real estate investors. For years, this was one of the best investments you could make. But now people are not so interested in buying commercial property anymore.


As we live in this new world, businesses have had to change the way they work. There are more jobs where people can work from home. Bosses are wondering how they should rate and evaluate their employees. Additionally, how do we communicate with virtual employees? This is not the same as communicating with co-workers in an office.


For example, can you tell when someone does not understand what you are saying over text? Can you hear the tone, inflections, and pauses while they are typing? How do we know if our words are being understood correctly if there is no body language to help?


The main problem with online communication is that we try to use the same rules as if we were meeting someone face-to-face. This does not make sense because people cannot see each other. We are playing the same game as before, with new rules to follow. It’s important to figure out new rules for communicating with people online.


The first rule is to be brief. We cannot use body language, so we have to say as little as possible. When we write long-winded e-mails, our readers lose interest. There is a danger that the long e-mail you just sent can be received in a negative way. The reader could interpret the e-mail as speaking down to them or dictating to someone how to do their job. We know that people want to add their own input. Give your team some space to do that.


Next, you need to distinguish cues from written or verbal content without the aid of nonverbal cues. When speaking in person, the listener takes in cues not only from what you say but also from your voice tone and facial expressions. When you use an online medium to communicate, nonverbal content is lost. The listener has no idea how you are actually reacting or feeling about what they are saying or even if it sounds like there is anger in your tone of voice. While some words carry meaning by themselves, there are other words that have different inflections, varying tones, or facial expressions, which each have their own separate meanings. Avoid using words with more than one meaning or words that can be taken out of context.


There are many social cues that are given in person but not online. For example, through the use of body language, one can see whether or not someone is comfortable with what they are saying or how they are reacting to it. The tone of the person’s voice can show if they are angry or not on board with the idea that has been proposed in a virtual meeting.


The best thing you can do is be hyper-vigilant of what people are saying and how they are saying it. If you are not sure what someone means, ask them. You can also express your point of view in writing by responding to the person’s post rather than trying to explain yourself directly to them. If your written words are too long or complicated, it may be difficult for people on the other end to understand what you’re saying and how you truly feel. (See above section about the dreaded long-written e-mail).


We also want to make sure that other people are actually reading what we say because it’s easy to ignore someone when you’re typing, but not as much if the person is standing right in front of you. One easy way to do this is by using emoticons; however, some online communication software doesn’t support them, and it can sometimes come across as unprofessional to some people.


There is also the issue of body language, which we talked about earlier. We all know that we convey information with our body language, and it helps us understand each other and what someone else is really trying to say to us. But how much does this affect online communication? Do people pick up on the same cues online as in-person?


Based on research, not much body language is conveyed in written communication. Another study showed that using e-mail decreased the odds of developing friendships. It also found that people writing e-mails were less likely to ask for favors, which can be seen as rude. This is due to the lack of body language and tone of voice when we type on a computer or phone.
Essentially, when we work remotely, we see a decrease in organizational citizenship behavior. Additionally, when people communicate in an e-mail style, it doesn’t provoke someone to act positively.


Some of the most effective ways to communicate online are by video conferencing or just talking on the phone. It’s easier for people to read your tone over video than if you’re only typing words back and forth. Another thing that can help is to ask questions instead of just constantly sharing information.


For example, instead of constantly saying “please do this,” try asking your virtual team to “can you please complete this task?” It’s good practice to read the person’s social cues, tone, and body language in-person, but online it takes more effort.
If you ask a question, the other person is more likely to respond because you’re giving them power over the situation. Interactions with others can be particularly challenging online, so it’s important to pay close attention to each of your words.
In my experience, I have found that calling people individually or doing a meeting with the whole team is a good way to keep people engaged. Instead of planning a meeting to discuss whatever the next big project is, just plan it as a weekly or daily ‘check-in.’ This gives your team members the ability to communicate their issues in a setting that isn’t directed at assigning them the next task. People can feel overwhelmed when they’re given too many tasks at once, which results in less motivation and decreased productivity. It’s almost like writer’s block where people don’t want to write anymore because they’re stuck thinking about all the other things they had to do that day.


Removing in-person meetings from the equation can reduce trust and communication quickly among employees who don’t know each other too well. You can learn about your teammates just by doing a quick Google search or visiting their Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn page. Doing so offers some insight into what is important to them, and sometimes you might find out they share the same passions as you.


In conclusion, while it is true that body language and tone of voice are not as easily conveyed in written communication, this does not mean that online communication is ineffective. In fact, there are many ways to effectively communicate online. You just need to be aware of the differences between in-person and digital communication. Additionally, it is important to remember that when people communicate through e-mail or other written methods, they are less likely to act positively or ask for help. So before sending an e-mail or writing a message on social media, take a moment to think about how your words will be interpreted.

Rebranding yourself: A practical guide

It’s no secret that the job market is tough these days. With so many people competing for a limited number of jobs, you need to do everything you can to set yourself apart from the pack. One way to do that is by rebranding yourself.

Rebranding yourself doesn’t mean changing your name or your appearance. Rebranding implies that you’ve grown. You are not the same person you were a few years ago. You have been shaped by the experiences that have made you who you are today. It’s time to reflect on those changes. And to show them to the outside world.

Rebranding means taking your professional and personal growth and sharing that new image for yourself based on who you are and what you have to offer. It means emphasizing your strengths and downplaying your weaknesses. And it means communicating your brand clearly and consistently across all media channels.

It is not enough to have a resume that shows that you go to work. Everyone (for the most part) does. You need something to set you apart from the rest of the pack. Volunteering to sit on a board of a non-profit adds extra skills and knowledge to your resume. To effectively rebrand yourself, you must re-think how you fit into the job market.

If you’re reading this, you most likely are thinking to yourself, “I need a job. I want someone to give me a chance.”

That starting point is defeatist from the beginning. To effectively rebrand yourself, you must learn to think about solutions you can offer. The most significant mindset change you can make is acknowledging that you solve a potential employer’s problem. The employer would not be putting time and effort into recruiting or hiring without a problem or situation they are trying to solve. Therefore, it stands to reason that you are the solution.

If you’re ready to rebrand yourself, here are some tips to help you get started:

CREATE YOUR BRAND

The first step is to determine what your brand stands for. Start by examining yourself and your skills. What kind of impression do you want to give people? Think about the qualities that make you unique. What differentiates you from everyone else in the job market? For example, if most of your experience is in sales, but you’re applying for an office position, you might want to downplay your background in sales. Instead, emphasize the transferable skills that will help you succeed in the role, such as leadership or time management.

FIND AN OPPORTUNITY

Once you’ve determined your brand’s focal points, look for a job that aligns with those qualities. If possible, try to find a company whose brand is consistent with yours. For example, if your brand emphasizes diligence and hard work, it would be a good fit to apply for a business consulting firm where managers and peers alike highly value those traits. Don’t limit yourself geographically either – sometimes traveling can give you access to opportunities outside of what’s available in your local area.

BUILD YOUR BRAND

Before you apply for the job, build a brand around yourself that matches the company’s brand and reinforces what they’re looking for. One way to do this is by creating a website that highlights your skills and experience and links to any work samples or past projects you think would be relevant for employers to consider. You can also promote yourself on social media – make sure all of your posts and pictures reinforce your branding message.

DON’T GET DISCOURAGED

Like every other aspect of the job search process, rebranding takes time and requires effort – there’s no quick fix or magic bullet. Don’t get discouraged if things don’t work out right away. The more you rebrand yourself, the better your chances are of finding employment in your desired field or with a specific company.

BE PATIENT

Rebranding yourself isn’t just about applying for one job. It’s about creating a new image that will help attract multiple opportunities in the future. Remember, even if you get the job you’re looking for now, your employer values more than just what you can bring to this position – they want to know that you’ll be valuable to them in future roles as well.

REBRAND YOURSELF AGAIN & AGAIN…& AGAIN…

Like any good product or service, rebranding yourself doesn’t stop once you’ve found employment. You need to tweak and update your brand with each new role continually. Every time you take on a new responsibility or challenge, make sure it’s consistent with your brand’s image. This will help strengthen your value proposition and make you more appealing for future opportunities.

If you’re looking for rebranding inspiration, here is an example of self-reinvention from history:

Alan Shepard – Before becoming America’s first man in space, Alan Shepard was a pretty average astronaut trainee. He had good performance reviews, but he wasn’t considered an exceptional candidate by his peers or managers at NASA. But before his historic flight, he underwent extensive training to prepare himself mentally and emotionally for the mission ahead. After taking on this extra work, Shepard became known as “the right stuff” among his former and current co-workers who noted that he exhibited exceptional courage under pressure when faced with the unknown. And just a year after his historic flight, Shepard was given the Chief of the Astronaut Office position.

Shepard took on extra work rebranded himself as a hard-working, stop-at-nothing person. The extra work paid off.

Rebranding oneself can be a daunting task, but the right approach can also lead to great success. So don’t get discouraged if things don’t work out immediately – rebranding takes time and effort, but it’s worth it in the long run. Remember to update your brand with each new role and responsibility continuously.

Four Reasons Why You Should Start a Podcast For Your Business

Podcasting is a great way to share your message with the world. It can help you reach a new audience, and it’s a great way to connect with your followers. Many people are unaware of its benefits, but there are many perks to starting your podcast for your business. To name just four, podcasts can help you reach new audiences, grow your followers and help connect with them on a deeper level, all while boosting your brand! This article will explore these benefits in more detail.

A Podcast can help you reach new audiences.

Podcasting can be highly beneficial for your business. First and foremost, podcasts are a great way to help you reach new audiences. Podcast listeners are interested in the content, so they tend to be the most loyal of all listeners. You can use your podcast as a way to communicate directly with your customers. Podcasts also help you reach thousands of people at one time instead of just one or two individuals. You can share information that will be helpful for others within your niche. The first step to take if you want to start a podcast is to decide your goal and who it will target. Your podcast must appeal to a specific audience, so having a plan in place will ensure that you reach this exact demographic.

A Podcast can help you grow your followers and your brand.

Podcasts are a great way to grow your followers. Podcasts work on two levels. First, they can be a great source of information for your followers and fans. Second, they can be a great way to establish yourself as an expert.

You need to do several things if you want your podcast to be successful. First of all, produce content that is useful and educational. Second, use the right tools for creating and distributing your podcasts. Third, promote your podcast on social media and company web pages.

A Podcast can help you connect with your audience.

Podcasts are a great way to connect with your current customers and build loyalty. We started one for our non-profit, Frontline Freedom. The messages we share are directly tied to self-improvement and mental health geared towards first responders. The podcast has been a great vehicle to get our content and news out. As most first responders are driving around in a car all day, listening to our podcast was a great way to help spread our brand. Additionally, podcasts can help you improve your brand awareness and credibility.

A Podcast can boost your brand.

Podcasting can help boost your brand by increasing awareness. An effective podcast marketing campaign requires personality, consistency, and good planning.

To ensure you get the maximum benefit for your time invested in this medium, here are some things to keep in mind when launching your podcast promotion plan.

There are numerous examples of businesses that have been successful with podcasts. One, in particular, is an American company called MailChimp, which offers email marketing services.

Their weekly podcast has amassed over 1,500,000 listeners (and growing), and their blog has received 78 million views in 2013 alone. Their client list includes prominent companies like Airbnb and National Geographic, but most of their customers are small businesses. Launching their podcast offering has been a great success for their business, as it’s had a positive impact on their brand. The podcast has allowed them to expand the reach of MailChimp and create an emotional connection between the brand and its customers.

How to Start a Podcast

Starting a podcast is quite simple. There are several platforms and small pieces of equipment that you need. The first thing you need is a microphone. It can be cheap, such as a USB microphone or something more professional like a Shure SM7B. Secondly, you need a recording device. This could be a laptop, a digital audio recorder, or a smartphone. Recording software is also required (Garage Band is the most basic) and finally editing software (Logic Pro).

Next, you will need somewhere to host your podcast. At Frontline Freedom, we use PodBean. They offer a complimentary service which is excellent for testing the waters. You could also use Libsyn, one of the top podcast hosting companies.

Once you have recorded your first episode, the next step is to get people listening! The most successful way to market any podcast is through social media. Twitter and Facebook are great ways of getting the word out there about your show.

Conclusion

If you want to brand your company, expand the reach of your product or service, and make emotional connections with potential customers, starting a podcast might be just what you need. However, how best to do this–whether it’s creating a weekly show that will attract new listeners each week or building up an archive of episodes for people searching through iTunes podcasts on their own–may depend mainly on your business niche. With these four reasons in mind, though, we hope you feel ready to start making plans for launching a successful podcast marketing plan!

Aritfacts and Work Culture

As I was sitting in the office of another department head, I started noticing things on the walls. The walls weren’t filled with the ‘I love me’ certificates or notes of achievement that is come to be expected in an office setting. His walls and bookcases were filled with what seemed to be a random assortment of items. There was a stufffed cat, a picture of a donkey, a replica WWE championship belt and various photos that were somewhat embarrassing for the leader to have on display.

I started asking about all of the clutter, the seemingly off placement of items. What began as a conversation about culture and productivity.

He had created a culture in which the employees honestly felt as they were a family. The office was less of a shrine to himself and more of a display of inside jokes and memories of great times. Everything in the office, even the weird stuffed cat, had a meaning to someone or a group of people within the group. The stories that were told along with each item made it clear to me why his department when performing at such a high level of efficiency.

There was a large amount of trust built into the workgroup. There were a vast amount of memories made into each random item and with it an emotional connection to the workgroup.

As the trust and inside jokes increased, so did the productivity. The employees felt safe and welcomed. Simply creating an environment in which the people were the value had effectively made the workgroup under his command stick out.

How do you create an environment and atmosphere that makes people stay safe? Value others and embrace their personalities. Their and your careers depend upon it.

Perspective (Continued)

I share this from a conversation I had with a young professional employee. A few weeks ago I wrote about the importance of understanding the perspective from which the person you are trying to communicate with is internalizing your message. A few days after publishing that, I was contacted by a subscriber whom shared with me an excerpt from a conversation they had with a co-worker.

In the story, their coworker was complaining about ‘millennials’ and their lack of work ethic. The coworker went on to degrade the generation for not being as committed to the organization as generations in the past as well as highlighting a few other stereotypes about ‘millennials.’

Politely, the younger worker, who is 29, replied with; “I’m a millennial, do you think I exhibit these characteristics?”

The coworker simply stated, you’re too old to be a millennial and continued down the path of complaining and stereotyping.

As the conclusion of this conversation, the young employee pointed out things from their perspective:

“It’s not our fault that the baby boomers pushed us all to go into college. It’s not our fault that we were told the only way to be successful was to become a white-collar professional. We have simply been over-educated to the point to where nobody wants to get their hands dirty because we have been told since adolescents that success comes from being in an office setting.”

From a perspective stance, I find this thought-provoking. There are many ways to utilize those few sentences in the workforce to lead, motivate, and inspire other people. The first step in doing so is to fully understand. Understand where your coworkers and employees may be coming from. To know how they are internalizing things and to act accordingly.

Perspective

What perspective are you using as a leader? Many times, we view the world through the lens of our experiences and we automatically assume other people see the world in the same manner as ourselves. The reality is, that could not be further from the truth.

When we deal with others, we must be certain that we make a strong effort to view the world as they see it. In an attempt to communicate a thought or an idea, we must understand how the other person receives and processes information.

We have all seen the co-worker or employee that has a struggle in their personal life bleed over into the workplace. It is a natural thing that, as much as we try not to, still occurs with regularity. As a leader, do you view how they are processing information or do you address performance deficiencies without thought?

If a person is struggling in their marriage and is beginning to have issues at work, could a simple conversation, if not handled appropriately, lead to the employee feeling as though they are being rejected in the workplace as well as at home? Simply taking the time to analyze what is going on with an employee, and understanding them to the best of your abilities can have a significant impact on employee morale as well as productivity.

While this is one example, it can be replaced with many. Is the employee in the middle of a life change, baby on the way, a new house being built, newly promoted? The list goes on.

Bottom line, as a leader, it is your responsibility to analyze the employee’s perspective and how they will interpret information presented. It is then your duty to treat your people accordingly.

Encourage Innovation

As a leader, you likely have some formal role or authority over a person or group of people within your work environment. As such, do you recognize when you are stifling their innovation?

Leaders must take into account the knowledge, skills, and abilities of their subordinates in their daily routines. While having a hand in the development of employees is an essential task of a leader. It can, however, stifle innovation within the organization. Take for example an employee who is performing at or above an acceptable level of performance. Continued intervention within the employee’s progress can stifle their growth. Simply put, at some point, we, as organizational leaders, must stop guiding and directing in such proximity. We must have the self-awareness to take a step back and allow our people to flourish.

Additionally, leaders must be so engaged as to observe a developmental struggle unfold and take action accordingly. If the employee is beginning to fail, intervention is necessary. Failing to intervene and offer guidance before failure can disrupt an employees confidence. As confidence is directly related to commitment, as confidence diminishes, as do commitment levels.

Sometimes, relinquishing control may seem hard to do. Taking a step back and allowing your people to grow in their way can breathe new life into your organization. Additionally, there are indirect consequences including increased buy-in from employees as they feel they have a say in the overall vision of the organization. Other benefits include increased commitment levels to the organization, opened lines of communication and one of the most important things, a succession plan.

3 Tips for Teaching Engagement

We have all seen the leader who seems to be checked out. Seemingly aloof and uninterested in anything from the organizational level. The leader who is possibly distracted by outside superfluities of modern life; television shows, sports, personal issues, etc. Conversely, we have seen the exact opposite. We have seen the leader that seems to know a bit about everything. They are in tune with the organization and have a healthy balance between ‘being in the know’ and knowing what and when to act on accordingly.
The age-old question of higher level management is; “How do you get supervisors engaged?
At the root of disengagement are several factors. Perhaps the supervisor is experiencing a personal stressor such as divorce, death in the family, financial strain. The list goes on. Possibly they are experiencing burnout symptoms. For the sake of this article, let’s focus on one of the most common explanations. The supervisor is either new as a supervisor or even have been supervising others for years but, never made the change mentally into supervision.
Being a supervisor and leader requires a shift in mindset from doing to getting others to do. Becoming a leader also requires the ability to think more broad scope than what a front line employee is used to doing. To think more globally, answering for others, looking at organizational consequences and being an invested party to the company is sometimes a hard thing to teach.
To teach engagement, a leader nearly needs to force the role of the supervisor. Below are three keys to getting engagement:
1 – Ask questions. Ask frequently and in-depth. In the beginning stages of developing other leaders, there is a lot of leg work and extra effort you, as the organizational leader must put in. Ensuring that items are being followed-up on and asking what the follow-through plan is an essential step in creating engagement. The idea is to get the person used to being asked a follow-up and continuing plan questions that they automatically have them in their head as their day is unfolding. As the leader begins to predict your questioning, you can start to decrease the frequency in which you ask questions.
2 – Create interaction opportunities. Find reasons for you and the new leader to interact. This can be weekly briefings over coffee to see what news they have to bring or even a daily staff meeting. Again, you are opening a line of communication. An opportunity for you to ask questions as well as them to sell their people and ideas to you.
3 – Give ownership. As often as you can, let the world see their thoughts. Let them be the owner of a solution. You are building their confidence. When an employee is confident, they will often take the proverbial ball and run with it. Let them be the leader that they need to be by empowering them at every step of the way.

Five Tips for ‘Tough Talks’

Having what it takes to be in a leadership position is more than just being able to manage resources. Being a leader involves being there for people. Sometimes, being the leader that is there for people, also means having to have tough talks. Tough talks are, at times, essential to help other people grow and develop in their personal or professional development.

The most uncomfortable moments of your career will yield the most growth of those you share those moments. The tough talks you experience, if done correctly, can set a person up for a reflective look at their performance as well as the direction they are heading. Below are some tips to make the most out of an awkward conversation.

1 – Start with a goal in mind.
When you start to have your tough talk; know where you are heading with it especially if you are addressing a performance issue. Failure to do so on your part will make it look as if you are merely attacking a person. Remember, offer solutions, not just bring up problems.

2 – Be specific with examples.
It is a very frustrating thing to endure a conversation in which someone is being critical of your work, actions, or thought process but has no specific example of how you portray the deficiencies they are mentioning. If you critique someone as having a generally poor work performance, be sure to cite what makes the work product substandard.

3 – Address the issues promptly.
If you recognize an issue developing, do not let it fester. Address it quickly, do not allow it to become either acceptable performance or a bad habit. Additionally, if you are meeting with someone to discuss an issue, jump right in. Don’t sit around and circle the issue while making small talk. Chances are, the person may already know something is up, killing time adds to their anxiety.

4 – Point out good deeds.
There must be a building phase in addition to reprimanding. Surely each member of your team has some good quality about them. Either work-related or not, there is something about that individual that got them the job. Find that quality and build upon it.

5 – Develop a plan.
As a leader, it is unacceptable for you to identify performance issues, discuss them, and dismiss the employee back to their normal routine. To grow, you must develop the plan of action for them. You likely have the experience or resources to help each employee be successful. Garner input from the person having the issue and make sure there is a plan in place to rectify any problem presented before the end of the meeting.

By looking at these five tips before having a ‘tough talk’ with a member of your team, you can maximize your chances for success after the meeting. Remember, as a leader, you win with people. Please don’t allow them to fail and the organization will thrive.

Advocate for Others

An often overlooked tactic to build trust within a team is the art of advocacy. No, not advocating for a cause, instead advocating for people. Specifically, people who are not present when you are promoting for them.

We all know that humans are social creatures. As such, they tend to share various tidbits of information. As a leader, use this to your advantage. If you are trying to build a team, make it on the accomplishments and personalities of the team.

I can think back to when I took over a new facility. I knew that my employees would probably have some relationship with different work units outside of my scope of control. As such, I knew the quickest way for me to get buy-in with a new group of employees was to brag about them to other workgroups simply. I hedged a bet that if I continued to speak positively about the workgroup outside of their immediate social circle that eventually, they would hear of how their leader spoke about them in public.

I took advantage of learning specific positive traits of as many of my people as I could. Every chance I got, I brought them up to people. Completely unsolicited. Eventually, word got back to them that their leader believed in them. With the comfort of knowing they had the support of the formal leader, they became much more innovative and more committed to the work we were trying to accomplish.

As a leader, advocate for your people. Show others you value them. Believe in them so that they can believe in themselves.

Millennials Vs. Gen Z’ers

It’s the new generation that is challenging employers to find new ways to lead. These are not the millennials we have heard so much about. These are the next generation of employees. How you interact and guide them will undoubtedly have a profound impact on your organization.

In an open group, I sat down with members from Generation Z and picked their brains about what they see in the workplace. Admittedly, I found that some of my own tactics were missing the mark. I was treating them as if they were Millennials. Quickly, I realized they were something much more than that and I could not be more optimistic of the future.

One of the biggest takeaways from meeting with members of Generation Z was that I learned just how independent they are. They are almost polar opposites of the Millennials in this regard. Millennials were the generation that wanted to do only what was asked and nothing more. They wanted bean bag chairs and safe spaces to hang out. They wanted work to fill the void of the social connections they were missing as social media exploded around them.

Generation Z’ers on the other hand want to work independently and show the world what they are capable of. They want face to face contact and frequent feedback to ensure their decisions are being made satisfactorily. They prefer working on separate projects that fit into a bigger system. A collaborative effort of individuals.

One of the biggest gripes that Gen Z’ers had was how they were perceived by their employers. The group strongly felt that in communicating with their superiors via text/e-mail they were dismissed as being young or not having value. Part of the reason they stated that they valued the face to face contact of others was because they felt they offered more to the organization than they were being given credit for. An E-mail is easily deleted but a face to face conversation created a dialogue. It created the sharing of ideas and the Gen Z’ers are full of great ideas.

To put it in their words; “Millennials were too worried about which bathroom a person should use based upon their self-identified gender. Meanwhile, we were trying to figure out how to make the bathroom more sustainable for future generations by trying to develop water-conserving bathrooms.”

If we want our organizations to be successful, we must first learn the differences in the generations and lead them accordingly. The Gen Z’ers are full of incredible ideas and should be empowered to act. Meet frequently, keep it short. With an 8-second attention span the information needs to be to the point and genuine.

With acknowledgement of their value as a generation, we can be successful in leading, guiding, and inspiring the future leaders.

The Three Sentence Rule

It all started when I noticed that an employee was in her supervisors office for far too long. Like many things in leadership, questions must be asked.

Why was she in the office for two hours, discussing a seemingly minor performance issue? She had made a minor clerical error that had been committed by numerous employees over the years. A learning mistake, not a mistake of incompetence.

Her direct supervisor was taking a coaching/mentorship role while explaining the issue to her. His heart was in the right place by taking a good employee and trying to further her knowledge. Unfortunately, a good intention with a bad execution is still a negative outcome.

When she walked out of the office, she looked defeated. I could see it on her face, low morale at its finest. She had just endured a 2-hour lecture about a small clerical error that was unintentionally made. Sure, it needed to be addressed, but how?

I watched this same interaction with two other supervisors and their subordinates. I was witnessing an outdated model of addressing performance issues with employees.

Enter, the three sentence rule.

Generation Z has been well researched to show that they prefer face-to-face contact with their supervisors. The research further shows that the generation that grew up with twitter, likes to keep that interaction brief. In line with asking questions in reflective leadership, how many sentences does it take to address an issue?

  1. State what is wrong. 2. Explain how to fix it. 3. Ask if any clarification is needed.

This brief model of addressing problems may seem impersonal but if done correctly, directly speaks to what Generation Z values most; being genuine. Gone are the days of over-explaining things. The next generation is highly educated and has a strong capacity for being quick learners. Keep it brief, provide frequent feedback and above all else, be honest.

Owning Your Role

When we think of Leadership, we often think of the boss. The one in charge. We relate everything from the perspective of some person who has been instilled a formal role of authority. In a lot of cases, that is correct. What do we do then when that isn’t the case?

When things go wrong, who do we look toward? In most leadership classes I’ve been in, the finger points to the ultimate head of the workgroup. They are expected to take all of the responsibility. Conversely, when things go right, they are expected to take none of the credit. These are basic leadership lessons taught time and time again.

Pointing fingers up works in a top-down leadership environment (think military); the person in charge is supposed to know every little thing that goes on. Further, they are responsible for every thing that happens.

What if we changed that perspective? What if everyone was a leader? What would we do then?

When we think it is easy to pass the mistakes up the chain, it creates a culture of non-compliance. In order for the organization to succeed, each person must own their part of it. If everyone cared for the organization as if their own name were on the side of the building, how much better would your workgroup run?

Do you expect your employees to ‘own it’? At the heart of success is an idea of ownership. It is not enough to pass it on to the next person and simply say; “not my problem.”

As a leader, do you encourage people to own it? In order for people to feel that they have ownership in something, they must feel a sense of control and accomplishment for it.

Simple ways to encourage ownership are:

1 – Give choices instead of mandates.

2 – Ask for input in decision making.

3 – Share information as frequently as possible.

When we share information and include our teams in the decision making process, it not only empowers our people but also develops them. When we empower and develop them, we create a culture. The culture we create is one that is based upon everyone thinking at the next level up.

We create ownership. The process becomes more important than the product. Successful teams are able to gather ideas from each member, rather than have ideas dictated from one person down.

Communication for Effective Leadership

Communication is a Cornerstone of Leadership

As a leader, communication is paramount to the success of your ability to lead, motivate, and inspire.  Merriam Webster Dictionary defines Communication – as a process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs, or behavior.  Are you communicating with your employees, do you assume someone is doing that for you, or worse do you assume they will just figure it out?  Depending on where you are in your organization, are you sure you are clearly communicating the vision and mission of your organization.  Do your employees and subordinates know what you stand for and where your passion comes from?  At the lowest level, do your subordinates know what your expectations are and the performance benchmarks they must meet?

These are all questions that if you have not asked yourself as a leader, you are not only failing yourself, more importantly you are failing those who work for you.  You must take a look at how you are communicating not only verbally, but also through written communication.  Emails, texts, directives, memos, procedures and policies can be confusing.  Clear, effective, and efficient communication is paramount to your ability to lead others to their full potential.  This will help you achieve your organization’s goals and objectives while assisting you in being successful as a leader.  

How is your communication?