March 8th International Woman’s Day

March 8th, 2013

What does this day mean to me?
A Day Of Reflection For Woman All Around The World.

It’s a time to ask ourselves:
Are we being true to ourselves and living our own North Star?
Are we expressing our voice and asking for what we need?
Are we expressing our Authentic self?
And above all,

Shining That Beautiful Light that you ARE.

The New Melting Pot: How to effectively lead different generations in the workplace - Part 3

February 15th, 2013

3. Adapt your management style for each generation.

Leading four different generations often requires you to have four different management styles. For example, a Baby Boomer manager was managing a Millennial employee. Every day at 5 p.m. the employee finished his work for the day, shut down his computer, and headed home. Even though the employee was scheduled to leave work at 5pm, and there were no major projects or deadlines looming, the manager wanted to write up the employee for not staying later. The real problem was that the Baby Boomer manager valued long hours on the job, while the Millennial employee valued life balance. The point is that you can’t manage according to your value system. Rather, you need to manage according to the employee’s value system.

Likewise, when conflict does arise, you need to put your biases aside. So if a Veteran and a Gen X’er are having challenges with each other, and you’re a Gen X manager, you can’t naturally side with your fellow Gen X’er, just because you share the same values. Rather, you need to be objective, understand the communication style of each person involved, and manage according to the situation and the people involved.

How to Turn Your Business Around Amidst a Changing Economy - Conclusion

December 14th, 2012

Yes, Change Can Be Good

While a changing economy can be a scary time, it’s actually a prime time for growth. If you simply look for opportunities, you will find them. So be aware of economic changes and the potential downfalls, but don’t make it your reality. Remember, only you and the decisions you make can create your company’s reality. In the end, by simply following the three Ps, that is displaying Positive, Proactive Perseverance, you’ll be amazed at your business turnaround and so glad you said “yes” to opportunity.

How to Turn Your Business Around Amidst a Changing Economy - Part 6

October 29th, 2012

6. Keep your employees motivated.

During any change in your industry, you need to pay extra attention to your most important asset: your employees. This is the time to make sure your employees are empowered to be the best they can be, especially those who do sales or customer  service, as well as anyone who has direct communication with your customers. As  industries are going through changes and customers have a choice on which companies they will do business with, they are automatically drawn to vendors with upbeat, positive staff. With your management team, brainstorm ideas on how to increase morale. One company started Friday trivia, complete with food and prizes. The company doing this has had amazing results from something so easy, thus creating happy employees, which automatically reflects to their customers.

Additionally, remember to communicate with your employees. One great way is to conduct weekly meetings that are short and to the point. Since a changing economy can be a stressful time for your staff, you need to listen to any challenges your various departments may be having, and immediately address the situation. A staff member who feels heard will be happier and more productive. This is also a time to get your employees’ ideas. Ask them how they would handle a situation your company is experiencing. When you value your employees’ input and opinions, you empower them to take responsibility for the company’s future. Remember that motivated employees attract more satisfied customers, which in turn leads to increased profits. That’s definitely a win-win proposition for any company facing an economic challenge.

Yes, Change Can Be Good

While a changing economy can be a scary time, it’s actually a prime time for growth. If you simply look for opportunities, you will find them. So be aware of economic changes and the potential downfalls, but don’t make it your reality. Remember, only you and the decisions you make can create your company’s reality. In the end, by simply following the three Ps, that is displaying Positive, Proactive Perseverance, you’ll be amazed at your business turnaround and so glad you said “yes” to opportunity.

How to Turn Your Business Around Amidst a Changing Economy - Part 4, 5

August 22nd, 2012

4. Fine-tune your marketing.

If you want to attract new customers or even retain current ones, you have to let them know you exist. How is your company’s marketing exposure? Do you stand out from the competition? Are your customers aware of your full product line or services? During a changing economy is an ideal time to tweak all your marketing messages, including your web site, your brochures, your sales letters, and even your business cards. Granted, during a slow time many companies don’t have expendable cash. Realize, though, that you don’t need to do everything yourself or start from scratch. Many business templates are available for low cost or free that can help you improve your marketing messages. These include everything from web site templates to pre-made letterhead designs. Look for and use the inexpensive options that are available.

5. Conduct an overall cost analysis.

Look at where you can reduce your overhead, thus showing more profit. For example, can your employees negotiate with your shipping carriers for a better price? Can you use some local vendors and virtually eliminate shipping costs? Can you get your office supplies from a less expensive source? Now is the time to challenge what you’ve always done and discover new ways to save money. Usually when we’re busy and doing well we don’t have time for these types of communications. Now is the time to dig deep, question everything, and find those cost savings.

How to Turn Your Business Around Amidst a Changing Economy - Part 2, 3

May 3rd, 2012

2. Do a sales analysis on your current customers and clients.

Organize your client or customer database by industry. Then do a little research to determine the following: Which industries are still growing in the changing economy? Which industries are down? What opportunities do you have with your clients that are showing an increase? How can you help those clients that have a decrease? As you do this, remember that industries are diverse right now. For example, some companies on the east coast may be having their best year ever after Hurricane Katrina, yet the industry as a whole nationwide may be down. So be sure you look at overall trends. Only then can you see what opportunities are waiting for you.

3. Examine your infrastructure.

Chances are there are many inexpensive ways for you to improve and streamline your company for more efficiency. However, in the past you’ve simply been too busy to take notice. Now that times are changing, make sure you and your employees are using your proper procedures. If necessary, have a meeting or training session so everyone is up-to-date with the efficient systems. Also, make sure all necessary product or service information and reference materials are available for employees. For example, if they need to review sketches or plans prior to completing and final billing on a project, then make sure they have immediate access to those materials. Do a review of each department’s responsibilities and eliminate tasks that are no longer necessary. And if you’re in manufacturing, check your process flow to ensure it’s efficient.

How To Be An Effective Team Leader

December 7th, 2011

Communicate, Communicate

If you have a problem with someone on your team, talk to them about it. Letting bad feelings brew will only make you sour and want to isolate yourself from the group. Not only does it feel good to get it out; it will be better for the team in the long run.

Don’t Blame Others

People on your team loose respect for you if you’re constantly blaming others for not meeting deadlines. Your not fooling anyone. People know who isn’t pulling weight in the group. Pointing the finger will only make you look cowardly. Group members understand if you have a heavy workload and are not able to meet deadlines. Saying something like, “I’m really sorry, but I’ll get it to you by the end of today.” will earn you a lot more respect than trying to make it seem like it’s everyone else’s fault that you missed your deadline.

Support Team Members Ideas

If a teammate suggests something, always consider it – even if it’s the silliest idea you’ve ever heard! Considering the team’s ideas show that your interested in other people’s ideas and not just your own. This makes you a good team member. After all, now one likes a know-it-all.

Listen Actively

Look at the person who is speaking to you, nod, ask probing questions and acknowledge what’s said by paraphrasing points that have been made. If you’re unclear about something that has been said, ask for more information to clear up any confusion before moving on.

Effective communication is a vital part of any team and the value of good listening skills shouldn’t be underestimated.

Get Involved

Share suggestions, ideas, solutions and proposals with your team members. Take time to help your fellow teammates no matter what the request is. You can guarantee there will be a time in the future when you’ll need someone’s help or advise, and, if you’ve helped them in the past, they’ll be more than happy top lend a helping hand.

From Baby Boomers to Gen-X: An evolution of leadership style

June 13th, 2011

For many years, those in the Baby Boomer generation have held the reins in most companies, leading the Generation X workers in the day-to-day activities. However, with the members of the Boomer generation ranging in age from 44 to 62 now, in just three short years the oldest of the Boomers will start exiting the workforce. And as the years tick by, more and more Boomers will be retiring, leaving the leadership reigns in many companies up for grabs.

What does this mean for Gen-Xers? Namely that they’ll be moving into leadership positions rapidly. In doing so, though, they’ll not only be leading their fellow Gen-Xers and the younger Millennial workers, but they’ll also be leading Baby Boomers and possibly some older workers from the veteran generation who are still in the workplace. It’s a leadership transition the likes of which corporate America has never seen before due to the stark differences in values between the two dominant generations.

In order for this to be a successful transition, you need to understand both how the younger people lead and how to harness their natural leadership style for the company’s best interests. After all, if these young leaders don’t have the right leadership skills in place, then the whole company is affected.

At the same time, you need to remember that business and society in general are changing, so it’s only natural that the next generation’s leadership style will change as well. In other words, Gen-Xers are not going to lead the way the Boomers did. They’re working in a different economy and business model, and they have different values and experiences that they bring to the table. So, you need to look at the future leadership of corporate America in a different light.

Whether you’re in the position of grooming Gen-Xers for future leadership roles within your organization or you’re suddenly being managed by a Gen-Xer, the following points will help you understand the younger leadership style, how to harness it and how it impacts everyone in the company.

To read the full article, visit http://www.elevatedleadership.com/Articles/from_baby_boomers_to_gen-x.htm

The New Melting Pot: How to effectively lead different generations in the workplace - Part 1 & 2

February 1st, 2011

Article by Anne Houlihan

Put a group of strangers together, ask them to work side-by-side in the same building or office for eight or more hours each day, and you’re bound to have some conflict. And when that group of people contains people from differing generations, all with different values and views of the world, the amount of conflict your office experiences can greatly multiply.

Managing and motivating a diverse workforce can certainly be challenging. As more and more people from the youngest generation enter the workforce and work alongside the most senior employees, many managers are learning that a one-size-fits-all management style simply does not exist. That’s because each of the four generations now working side-by-side bring unique viewpoints to the table and let generation specific values guide their daily actions.

If you want to effectively lead your staff despite any generational differences and encourage others to learn from the diversity of the group, then consider the following guidelines.

 2. Draw on the strengths of each generation.

Once you know which of your employees fall into the various generation groups, you can help them understand each other so they can focus on each other’s strengths. Current research indicates that the majority of conflicts arise from the value differences of the age groups rather than the actual age difference itself. So it’s more about “my values are the right ones and yours are not.” For example, Veterans may think the “young kids” in the workplace are lazy, while the Millennials or Generation X’ers may think the Veterans and even Baby Boomers are too rigid. However, if all the generations are open-minded, they can learn much from each other.

Realize that each generation brings wonderful strengths to the workplace. And while focusing on our own individual strengths is certainly important, imagine how much more effective everyone on your team could be if you each learned from the strengths of others as well. So publicly acknowledge what each generation’s strengths are and encourage everyone to share their viewpoints and values with the group. Once you get the dialogue started, the learning: naturally follows.

To read the full article, visit http://www.elevatedleadership.com/Articles/the_new_melting_pot.htm

Take Stock of Your Market Strategy

November 30th, 2010

“7 Tips for Dealing with a Company Setback” written by Carolyn M. Brown, published by INC. Magazine on October 19, 2010. I posted Tip #4 as this blog entry.  With signs that the economy is on a rebound now is the time to take a look at your marketing strategy.

4. Take Stock of Your Marketing Strategy 

(from “7 Tips for Dealing with a Company Setback” written by Carolyn M. Brown, published by INC. Magazine October 19, 2010)

Your existing customers are your No. 1 asset. Always know where your customers stand, says Houlihan, noting that about 80 percent of your revenues come from about 20 percent of your customers. Fine-tune your marketing if you want to attract new customers and retain existing ones. Tweak all your marketing messages, including your web site, brochures, and sales letters. Don’t just sell a customer the same product. Even if someone has been a customer for years they may not be familiar with all you offer. Stay connected with customers via surveys and other customer awareness tools. Ask what do you need, how are we being responsive, and what can we do differently to better serve you?

To read this article in its entirety click here or post this URL in you web browser. http://www.inc.com/guides/2010/10/7-tips-for-dealing-with-a-company-setback.html