Powered by FeedBurner

monthly posts

August 2016
« Jul    


blog archives

5 Ways Successful Leaders Build Great Lasting Teams – Marc Mendelman

Great Teams

It seems like most successful entrepreneurs out there are surrounded by fantastic people. You may think that it’s the entrepreneur’s success that brings all of these people together, but in truth there is no successful leader without a great team to back them up.

1.   They Hire Team Members, Not Just Talent

Common sense would dictate that in order to help your company thrive, the best way to do that is to hire the most talented, experienced and hardworking people out there.

But this may not be the case. Their resumes might be astounding, but your team members are going to have to work with a person, not the skills they have on paper. If your employees just don’t click, all of their valuable experience and abilities are going to be wasted. Productivity and innovation is going to be lost on the way, because of communication issues, or simply because your team is not going to feel comfortable enough in the workplace to give it their all.

2.   Successful Leaders Build A Strong Work Culture First

Building effective teams is just one step in creating a group of people that’s going to lead a company towards success. Great teams are built to last, and the key to doing that is to start even before you’ve chosen the people. Successful leaders always have strong principles that guide their every decision, and they base a company’s entire work culture around those principles.

If team members’ work appeals to them on a personal level, there’s a higher chance they’ll be in it for the long run.

Work culture is not just about maximizing productivity. Leaders need to show their team they care about them on a personal level. That’s why many great leaders offer tools for empowering their employees, and offering them the flexibility they need to benefit from these tools. These tools should not be just work related. Offering your employees flexibility when it comes to healthcare is just as important.

And never forget who you’re doing all of this for: your customer. Your customers should always be at the heart of any endeavor. Great companies always take them into consideration, and not just from a financial standpoint. Selling things is not hard. Exceptional companies add value and meaning to their customers’ lives. And working for the benefit of people, not just making a profit is certainly going to inspire an outstanding work ethic, because it gives people a meaningful purpose.

3.   They Know They Are Part of the Team

A real leader knows that they are part of the team, not above it. They are there to coordinate the team members, to manage conflicts, and give credit where credit is due. The only way to succeed is to trust the people around you, and make them trust you. Challenges need to be faced as a group. Difficult times bring people together. If a leader is not there, with their team, there’s no way they can form that powerful relationship that comes from overcoming obstacles as a team.

And Truly inspiring leaders are not afraid to show their weaknesses to their team. They are aware of the fact that they are human too, and they are going to fail at times. Their teams need to know when it’s time to step in, and pick up the slack.

4.   They Lead By Example

Successful leaders practice what they preach. That’s why it’s so important that they define their principles well. Team members need to feel like the work culture around them is not just a collection of meaningless buzzwords, that it actually means something.

Creating this sense of community can also help leaders further down the line. They can find inspiration in their own team’s enthusiasm, when they feel like they’ve lost their own. They will be reminded of the things that got them going in the first place, and see how others have taken that message and carried it further.

5.   Leaders Give People a Chance

Great leaders take risks. If they feel a person is right for their team, even if their resume might not be bursting with work experience, and qualifications, they will take that person on, and allow them to grow.

People who have been given a chance are much more likely to give back to the company. And the fact that they get to grow within that work culture, and help shape it along the way will make them much more valuable as team members.

Great leaders know that there is value in being inexperienced. It gives you a fresh perspective on things. Leaders always needs to on the lookout for learning opportunities, and finding new approaches to old problems. That is the essence of innovation.

Helping a person develop and adapt to a new work environment can be a great learning experience for the manager as well. It offers them a chance to try out new things, and find out how old methods fare, or whether they should be updated.

Ultimately, what all truly great leaders have in common is the fact that they never lose sight of what’s most important: the people. Whether it’s their customers, or their employees, all of them are human beings, with their own strong points, and quirks. And leaders know they should respect, and appreciate that.

Image Source: 1

How the public can interact with local government leaders

Bath Solidarity WM -11

The study of leadership skills is an area that has taken on much wider acceptance in recent years. As part of a holistic approach to building up a coherent customer strategy, or as a tool for optimising the productivity of an organisation, it can provide insights that would otherwise be difficult to attain.

A growing sub-sector of interest is how the public can interact with local government leaders in a more efficient way, using 21st century communications technology and millennial values.

Community interaction

The political world has always been a volatile one, even in a stable and established democracy such as the UK. However, the EU referendum and the ongoing fallout from it causing upheaval in the Conservative and Labour parties has shown there is an undercurrent of desire from people to make their voices heard.

As it happens. improvements in community access to local government leaders have been underway for some time now in the UK, and the impetus has come as much from the politicians as it has from the public.

Why does local government want to interact?

The increasing pressures on local government budgets given the central government’s policy of austerity means that every pound spent needs greater justification that ever before. One way of making sure that potential problems are avoided is to engage in consultations with the public.

Recent examples include the way NHS commissioning bodies have gone to great lengths to sound out their ‘clients’ with regard to how well services are performing. Other areas of engagement, such as the election of local police and crime commissioner offices, have arguably been less successful in capturing public interest.

Why listen to the public?

Apart from the obvious fact that local government is there to serve local people, a very basic reason that politicians want to gauge opinion is so that they can be seen to be addressing the concerns of the electorate when election time comes round. And if this self-interested approach leads to engagement with the public that gives it a voice and leads to solutions to local concerns, then the process will work well for all involved.

New ways, old ways

There are many tried and tested methods local leaders use to interact with the public, such as open meetings in civic buildings, but social media offers many new ways of doing so; a survey published by accountancy firm BDO in 2013 found that 98 per cent of councils in the UK used some form of social media.

Lambeth council Senior Policy Officer Tom Hoy said that engagement of the community is most successful when the best aspects of the real world and the digital world are combined. Seminars and exhibitions can be brought up to date by including digital access through live streaming, for example, and that is only a taste of what the digitisation local authority services could do.

Leadership qualities

Taking advantage of new ways of exhibiting leadership has always been an essential skill for anyone looking to take office and lead by example. The study of leadership qualities often shows how early adopters of new methods of communicating with large numbers of people quickly gain an advantage on competitors.

Adapting behaviour to make the most of a new platform is a skill that might come naturally to some, but can be learnt by others, so there is no excuse for local government leaders to shy away from the latest technological developments.

Initiatives and aid

The role of digital services in government is being highlighted by Digital Government Conference 2016, an event organised by Govnet, which will bring together more than 240 digital leaders from across the public sector in the UK.

Digital Government Conference 2016 concerns everything to do with the future of digital services and how the next phase of digital government will impact on services locally and nationwide. New technology is already transforming the public sector, and the event will focus on how cutting-edge digital innovations will define how the local government of the future will look.

Digital council

Local government leaders need to be aware of the ‘digital council’ that will put users at the heart of services, and how both design and delivery will change to achieve this. It will be a radical transformation, and that will present challenges in terms of acceptance and adoption; with a significant proportion of local service users being digitally disadvantaged, strong leadership will be needed to convince sections of the public to embrace the changes and ensure a successful transition.

Successful Leadership Tips from Shark Tank’s Mark Cuban – Amanda Wilks

Mark Cuban

Mark Cuban is an American businessman and investor, probably best known for his place on the prime-time TV show, “Shark Tank”. He was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to a Jewish middle-class family and his first step on the road to successful businessman was selling garbage bags to raise money for an expensive pair of basketball shoes.

From there, during his 57 years of life, he came to own NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, Magnolia Pictures, and Landmark Theatres. He and is also the chairman of the HDTV cable network AXS TV, where he has been a “shark” investor on the prime-time TV show Shark Tank for 3 seasons already, offering advice to young investors, and a piece of his success to the best of them.

Learn to Sell

The first thing young entrepreneurs should learn, according to Mark Cuban, is to sell their products, whatever those are. In business, you are always selling to someone, from your employees to your investors and clients. Put yourself in the shoes of your clients and do your best to have your products solve their problems.

Be Dedicated

“Don’t start a company unless it’s an obsession and something you love”, is a quote many of the Shark Tank young entrepreneur-contestants have heard. Always work as hard as you can to stay ahead of your competitors and do not cut any corners. Especially since not too many people start businesses fully committed, this will give you the edge you need.

Be Concise

But, don’t get caught up in working too hard without working smart. Hard work is definitely needed, but set goals and always measure and know where you are. Work for your customers and focus on what they want.

Be Patient

Businesses don’t flourish overnight. Mark himself is known to have lived off mustard and ketchup sandwiches until his first business, Audionet, which eventually became, started selling. He says that “Business happens over years and years. Value is measured in the total upside of a business relationship, not by how much you squeezed out in any one deal.”

Be Right Once

“The beauty of success, whether it’s finding the girl of your dreams, the right job or financial success, is that it doesn’t matter how many times you have failed, you only have to be right once.” is Mark Cuban’s advice on failure. In the end, no one will remember it if you pick yourself up and learn from your mistakes.

Be Determined

“Everyone has got the will to win; it’s only those with the will to prepare that do win.” In paraphrasing Bobby Knight, Mark Cuban emphasizes again how important it is to want what you are doing, and learning as much as you can about it.

Be Knowledgeable

And especially about technology. Keep yourself up to speed with the latest technical advancements and stay ahead of others by using new technologies to their full potential to further your business. Mark’s first successful business was an internet radio service in 1998. He was one of the first major players to provide streaming services and owes most of his success to smart investment during the famous dot-com boom.

Focus on Customers

“Your customers can tell you the things that are broken and how they want to be made happy. Listen to them. Make them happy. But don’t rely on them to create the future roadmap for your product or service. That’s your job.” is Mark Cuban’s advice on how to treat customers. Whether you are working at a department store or if you’re the CEO of a company, this piece of advice still holds true.

Hopefully, these leadership tips from famous investor Mark Cuban will help you on your road to success.

10 Ways Management Can Make Meetings Matter – JP George

Business people in meeting

If your department has a set meeting schedule, consider taking a cue from the tech industry and break the mold by canceling the weekly meeting. Respecting your employees’ time and focus will go a long way. A meeting only needs to be held when it is needed to achieve a specific goal. When a goal arises, quickly plan to move ahead to hold the meeting and don’t allow your company’s growth to be restricted by a schedule.

Once you have a new office mentality about meetings in place, how do you add value and make meetings matter?

  1. Prepare and Share the Plan

Create a clear and concise agenda that will be shared at least one day before the meeting. You want to give all attendees enough time to review and prepare themselves. If certain points will require feedback or updates from an attendee, include a call to action in the body of the email or memo sharing the meeting plan.

  1. Timeliness

A respect of people’s time extends to beginning meetings on time. Set an office culture where each person knows what to expect. Going into a 30-minute brainstorming session to solve a specific problem will be much more successful if it truly is 30 minutes. Allow your employees to learn to trust you by being trustworthy with their time.

  1. People

While creating the agenda, appoint a decision maker and keep the head count to 10 people or less. Make sure to alert the decision maker in their call to action section of the planning email or memo. A meeting that calls for more than 10 people most likely does not have a precise enough purpose.

  1. Purpose

The decision maker should quickly introduce the purpose of the meeting at the beginning of the meeting. They should also be capable of bringing back the discussion and engagement if it escapes everyone’s original intent.

  1. Employee Engagement Ideas

Each meeting should engage every attendee. Divide out how each person can truly bring something to the discussion. Who can help prepare? Who can dig deeper on specific points?

Each person has been chosen for a reason, so let them know that. Employees’ ideas are valuable and wanted.

  1. Openness

Eliminate fear and fear’s much worse cousin, suppression. Employees need to feel valued to be able to return their value, a personal and in-depth knowledge of client’s, products, and needs of the company. If an employee is only reinforced for listing arbitrary wins, true future wins for the company can be lost.

  1. Responsibility

As the meeting produces action items, designate the person responsible for it. Let everyone know they are part of reaching the goal and specifically, how they are taking part. Write their name down next to the agenda item they have taken responsibility for. This will create a working log for the next meeting or email chain for everyone to refer to.

  1. Solutions

Keep the conversation focused on finding solutions. New problems that are not a part of the solution thread at hand should be listed separately, and then the on-point conversation is quickly continued.

Create a system for off-line conversations and let everyone know what it is. Remember to engage employees and give them responsibility. Not every conversation needs to be in a group meeting or group email thread. If two people have an energy about an idea that is off-topic, hand it off to them.

  1. Time Focus

Just as you expect everyone to arrive on time, have a known end. Designate someone to say out loud when halftime is. Keeping people focused on the goal within limits works in the meeting room as it does on the field.

  1. Agreement

The end of every meeting needs a review and an agreement. Review each new action item and who has taken responsibility for it. Have each person give a follow-up deadline or estimated delivery day and time. Their agreement in future actions and expectations will drive expectation from within and ultimately results.

As a leader, set aside 20 minutes a week to brainstorm employee engagement ideas. Your people want to be involved and experience purpose in every aspect of their life. Be a part of them attaining this.

Introduce specificity and clarity into the workplace. Teaching people how to quickly and efficiently cover a topic will reduce the time spent on projects and the need for meetings.

Don’t shy away from difficult conversations and have candid conversations. Changing the discussion in a meeting begins with daily interactions. If you don’t skirt issues throughout the week, employees won’t be afraid to get to the point and clearly express what needs to happen for a goal to be achieved in a meeting.