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Archive for month: June, 2012

Highly Effective Leaders: Energy Refuel Secrets

Highly effective leaders lose energy too!

It happens–even to the best of us. You know what I mean: that early morning fog or midday slump.

Whether you want to admit it or not, some days are less energetic than others. However, there are ways to give yourself more energy and sustain your momentum throughout the day.

I recently ran across an article in the Harvard Business Review, providing 6 Ways to Refuel Your Energy Every Day, written by Tony Schwartz. This is an older article, but the tips are outstanding and can help each of us keep the energy going for the duration.

Tips on Refueling Your Energy Throughout the Day

 

1. Sleep, sleep, and more sleep. In his article Schwartz discusses the importance of having a good night sleep. He recommends 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night, and discusses how even one less hour can affect your focus and energy the next day. A good strategy is to determine a bed time and stick to it, no matter what! Start unwinding for sleep about 45 minutes prior to bedtime.

2. Breaks are a must. Human beings are not machines or the Energizer Bunny for that matter. We can not keep going all day long without a break. The article recommends taking some sort of break every 90 minutes throughout your workday. Your break doesn’t need to be long–you can stand up, stretch, walk around the office, or even take some deep breaths.

3. Become more organized. Having a list of everything you need to do, both personal and professional, will help you remain focused and energized. When you have a list, you won’t waste energy on worrying about all the things that need to be completed, because they are each written down.

4. Get moving or get napping. Each of us typically has a time of day that is more tiring than others. Typically early afternoon or right after lunch, you will notice people struggling to keep motivated. To prevent this, go for a quick walk and get your heart rate up. Or, you can do just the opposite and take a 20 minute power nap.

5. Cut out the drama. Negative energy is a huge energy waster. If you need to cut out the drama in your life do it. However, if you just need to change your focus, bring yourself to thinking of the positive or what you are thankful for. When you find yourself thinking negative thoughts, just change directions.

6. Transition from work to home. Ending your day at home, on your turf, is supposed to be an escape from your work. However for many of us, leaving work at the office can be difficult. Find a way to let your day go. Whether it is stopping at a local park on your way home or journaling about your day before you enter the door, make an effort to separate work and home.

Finding a way to keep your energy going strong all day long, is essential for your sustainability. Whether you are looking for tips for you to implement, or you are wanting to help your employees or team with their productivity, try these tips on for size and see what happens.

If you have an energy boosting tip I’d love to hear it. Comment below or visit us on Facebook and share.

Importance of Business Strategy Even Within Social Media

Are you using social media within your business?

Are you confused or wondering what you should and shouldn’t be doing?

The importance of a business strategy is immense, even within social media.

However, for many business owners, they are unsure where to start with this strategy.

I just stumbled upon an article on Social Media Today talking about the 3 Social Media Mistakes You Don’t Know You Are Making, written by Brad Smith.

Looking at the mistakes, is a great way to start to develop your strategy for your business and using social media.

How to Develop a Business Strategy for Social Media

 

1. Understand the importance of your product or service. Smith writes that your product or your service is your marketing. This means that every product you have needs to be exceptional and every service you provide needs to exceed your customers expectations. When this occurs, your customers are happy and will show you the love.

2. Focus and do it right. There are hundreds of social media sites today. For you to find success for your business, it is best to find out where your customers are hanging out and use those sites–actually learn how to become exceptional within those sites. You don’t need to be on every social media platform.

3. Be realistic. Social media success doesn’t happen overnight. Slow down, create relationships and be patient. Fans and followers do not just land on your lap-it takes time. Be consistent and the success will follow.

As with anything else you do within your business, having a strategy for social media is essential. Starting with these tips will get you started on the right foot.

How’s your social media strategy working for you? Comment below or visit us on Facebook and let us know.

Get Out of the Loop!

Get Out Of The Loop Audio

Arranging conference calls is, most often, an exercise in circular motion. “Can we talk?”  “What’s a good day?”  “Wednesday or Thursday?” “Morning or afternoon?” “What time is better?”  “Which time zone?” “What numbers should we use?”….and so on, one more e-mail after another.  (A characteristic about circular motion—it takes a very long time, and lots of energy to get anywhere!)

An easier approach is linear.

“Can we talk about this?  How about Wednesday at 10:00 EST, or Thursday at 1:00 EST?  Let me know which works better for you and I’ll confirm the day/time with everyone.  Here are conference call numbers that we can use…  I’ll send you a call invite.”

An approximately 75% reduction in the number of e-mails to-ing and fro-ing to arrange one call!  That’s good living!

Leadership & Innovation: A Strategy for Growth

A successful strategy for growth in business always involves leadership and innovation.

Within the world of business, two skills you can’t neglect are the skills of innovation and leadership. For your business to grow into its full potential, these skill sets are a must.

Even if you consider yourself a great leader, the need to refine, educate, and advance your skills is a must.

An article on Entrepreneur.com, titled Four Rules for Innovative Leadership, written by Gwen Moran, talks about the importance of these skills and why you can’t move ahead without them.

Her four rules consist of:

 

1. Don’t hang onto an idea for too long. Basically Gwen states that each and every product or idea has a lifespan. There are times when you need to let something go. Although it may have made you money in the past, if it is not doing so now, put it to rest.

2. Leadership and ego do not mix. To effectively lead a group, egos need to be checked at the door. When you are building a team, listen to what members are saying to you–the good, the bad and the ugly. It all matters and helps your business become great.

3. Let go of control. At first it may be hard, but to become more effective in business, you need to let go of the control. If you call yourself a control freak, find a way to overcome. Hire people you can trust, and focus on what you need to do–let them do the rest.

4. Change it up. Innovation means advancing and moving forward. This requires that status quo not be acceptable. Look for improvements, make adjustments and embrace new ideas.

Growing a great business requires a great team and support. In order to build that team into a well oiled machine means you need to become the best leader possible. Understand what you need to do to make this happen and take the steps necessary to get it done!

Are we connected on Facebook yet? If not, I’d love to see you there. Come by and visit, ask questions, or share your thoughts on leadership.

Top Skills of an Effective Leader

Developing your skills to be an effective leader often requires learning skills such as:

• Motivation

• Communication

• Visioning

• Committing

• Planning

One of the most important skills of an effective leader, that often gets overlooked, is the skill of presenting.

 

Let’s face it, for many the thought of presenting often leads to anxiety, worry and for some, even panic. However, in order to do all of the above with confidence learning how to tame that anxiety during a presentation is essential.

For some, you may feel self conscious prior to the presentation–worrying about what you look like or how you will sound, but after you begin you put those thoughts behind you.

Others may feel worried and unsure throughout the entire presentation, which leads to your presentation coming off as disorganized and you looking less than confident–Resulting in a key ingredient missing in effective leadership.

I recently stumbled across this article on Forbes, written by Selena Rezvani, titled: Four Ways to Quiet Your Presentation Anxiety. The article is from 2011, but the ideas behind taming your presentation anxiety still are relevant today.

Tips on Taming Your Anxiety During a Presentation

1. Watch Your Focus

The first step that Selena discusses is paying attention to your focus. If you are worried about you, then the result is anxiety. Thoughts such as ‘I hope I look okay’ or ‘I hope I don’t sound ridiculous’ will have you feeling completely overwhelmed. Change your thoughts to who you are presenting to. Thoughts like ‘How will the audience benefit from this information’ or ‘How can they be challenged today or impacted’ will instantly put your mind at ease.

2. Practice Makes Perfect

Often a step overlooked is the one of rehearsing. Yes there is a line between too much rehearsal (aka perfectionism), but you do need to know your material inside and out. The more you know on what you are presenting, the more confident and better you will feel. Don’t save your practicing for the day of, rather practice in the weeks prior to the presentation, to increase your self confidence.

3. Skip the Long Introductions

For your nerves and the attention span of the audience, keep the introductions brief. Welcome those who are there and then dig into the content. The quicker you start talking about what you are an expert in, the quicker you will tame your anxiety and get into a rhythm.

4. Remain Flexible

When you give yourself permission to make mistakes and not be perfect, you take the pressure off. Get out of your own head and focus on those surrounding you. Make connections and allow yourself to be imperfect. You can even acknowledge when you make a mistake, which makes you more real to your audience and human. Read the room and change it up if you need to, but keep those connections going throughout the presentation.

Learning presentation skills are essential when developing yourself as a leader. One of the first steps in presenting is learning how to keep your anxiety in check. Of course it is okay to feel nervous, I do too. However, when it impairs your ability to present in the most effective way possible, you need to intervene and take action.

What are your experiences with presenting? Do you like it or hate it?

Comment below or visit us on Facebook and share your thoughts.

Decision Making that Brings Passion in Business

Do you have a difficult time making decisions for your business?

Do you find yourself wondering if the decision is the right one or not?

Making decisions in business, is one of the most important parts of growing into a success. Daily you are deciding small decisions, but what about when it is time to make the big ones? Sometimes they can leave you completely overwhelmed or less than confident.

Recently, I read an article on the ‘Hell Yes’ Approach to Better, Bolder Decision Making, by Amber Rae on Fast Company. She talked about the importance of asking yourself ‘Do I want to…..’.

Basically, she states that when you are faced with a big decision in business, you have three options, including hell yes, yes and maybe. After you answer the question with one of these choices, you should have no problem make the choice that will bring you passion in business.

And here’s why:

1. Hell Yes: When you walk away with this answer, there is no question what you should do. Don’t second guess it, take action and make it happen. This is the decision that brings passion into your business and propels you forward. Don’t delay–take action immediately.

2. Yes: If your answer is yes, this is a decision that may work or may not work. Your best action is to set it aside for the moment and then take a look at it again later. You may or may not decide to do it, but it is best to wait until the answer is a ‘hell yes’.

3. Maybe: When you find yourself saying maybe, this is a clue to leave the decision as a no. Think about it, if you are not jumping up and down with excitement on a decision, the chances of you passing on excitement or passion to others will be slim to none.

According to the article, your ultimate goal is to get to a ‘hell yes’ or a ‘hell no’. When you can do this, that is where the passion begins.

 

What do you think? Do you have experience with decision making with passion? I’d love to hear your thoughts and how this would work for you. Comment below or visit us on Facebook and share.