Friday, June 22, 2018

5 Daily Habits That Will Boost Your Leadership in 2018

https://www.inc.com/gordon-tredgold/5-simple-habits-that-will-upgrade-your-leadership-in-2018.html
By Gordon Tredgold

Being a better leader doesn't have to be that hard



Being a better leader has so many benefits it helps drive better results, helps increase employee retention, and it reduces stress levels.  The more you lead, the less you will have to manage, and it's management that raises the stress levels, not only for your team but also for yourself.  Management is hard, some days it can feel like trying to push an elephant up a steep incline, and if you get it wrong, that elephant will roll right over you and end up back at the bottom of the hill and then you have to start all over again.

Here are five simple habits that you can look to adopt that will help you become a better leader:

Be Engaged

Around 70% of employees are either disengaged or actively disengaged, and this put a big strain on the leadership which has to motivate and cajole them to try and achieves the desired results.

Interestingly according to similar studies on management, the levels of engagement of leaders is at or around the exact same levels.

Coincidence? I don't think so. 

It's impossible to engage people when you're not engaged yourself, and if you're not engaged then why should they be.

Engagement is infectious if you start to show more interest, and more involvement this will have a positive knock-on effect on your teams. Engaged teams are much easier to motive, require less management and achieve higher productivity levels.

Be Nice

It's nice to be important, but it's important to be nice. That might be a bit of a cliche, but it doesn't stop it from being true. People like to do business with people who they know like and trust, and being nice to people helps increase your likability rating. 

I know we are all under strict time pressures, but you will get better results from being courteous than you will from being curt.

People remember how you treat them 

Take An Interest

Showing an interest in your staff shows that you respect and value them. Too many bosses take no interest or even worse show a disdain for their staff, but this just increases their disengagement.

When you ask questions, either personal or business related, it helps build the connections between you and your team, and it will increase their respect for you.  I suggested this to one boss I worked with, and he said he would like to but didn't know what to say or ask.

Just start with "How is it going?" or "What do you think?" and then just listen.

Be Yourself


People can spot a phony from a mile away, and it just creates a feeling of distrust and a lack of trust kills your ability to lead.  I'm a big fan of authentic leadership, but when we use labels like that, it makes it sounds more difficult to do than it should be. 

Just be true to yourself, don't try to put on airs and graces or pretend to be something your not.

Admit your mistakes


If you make a mistake then just admit it, apologize if necessary and then move on. Admitting your mistakes shows humility, and a willingness to be vulnerable and your teams will appreciate that.

It shows that you accountability for your mistakes and that will encourage them to do the same.

When you become a better leader, it will have positive benefits for both your company, your teams and also for you and by adopting these simple habits you will start to see improvements in your leadership immediately.

Here's why your attitude is more important than your intelligence

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/08/heres-why-your-attitude-is-more-important-than-your-intelligence
Dr Travis Bradberry
A worker arrives at his office in the Canary Wharf business district in London, Britain February 26, 2014.      REUTERS/Eddie Keogh/File Photo                GLOBAL BUSINESS WEEK AHEAD PACKAGE Ð SEARCH ÒBUSINESS WEEK AHEAD 5 SEPTEMBERÓ FOR ALL IMAGES - RTX2O4AU
Psychologist Carol Dweck has found that your attitude is a better predictor of your success than your IQ
Image: REUTERS/Eddie Keogh

When it comes to success, it’s easy to think that people blessed with brains are inevitably going to leave the rest of us in the dust. But new research from Stanford University will change your mind (and your attitude).

Psychologist Carol Dweck has spent her entire career studying attitude and performance, and her latest study shows that your attitude is a better predictor of your success than your IQ.

Dweck found that people’s core attitudes fall into one of two categories: a fixed mindset or a growth mindset.

With a fixed mindset, you believe you are who you are and you cannot change. This creates problems when you’re challenged because anything that appears to be more than you can handle is bound to make you feel hopeless and overwhelmed.

People with a growth mindset believe that they can improve with effort. They outperform those with a fixed mindset, even when they have a lower IQ, because they embrace challenges, treating them as opportunities to learn something new.

Image: LinkedIn

Common sense would suggest that having ability, like being smart, inspires confidence. It does, but only while the going is easy. The deciding factor in life is how you handle setbacks and challenges. People with a growth mindset welcome setbacks with open arms.

According to Dweck, success in life is all about how you deal with failure. She describes the approach to failure of people with the growth mindset this way,

Failure is information—we label it failure, but it’s more like, ‘This didn’t work, and I’m a problem solver, so I’ll try something else.’”

Regardless of which side of the chart you fall on, you can make changes and develop a growth mindset. What follows are some strategies that will fine-tune your mindset and help you make certain it’s as growth oriented as possible.

Don’t stay helpless. We all hit moments when we feel helpless. The test is how we react to that feeling. We can either learn from it and move forward or let it drag us down. There are countless successful people who would have never made it if they had succumbed to feelings of helplessness: Walt Disney was fired from the Kansas City Star because he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas,” Oprah Winfrey was fired from her job as a TV anchor in Baltimore for being “too emotionally invested in her stories,” Henry Ford had two failed car companies prior to succeeding with Ford, and Steven Spielberg was rejected by USC’s Cinematic Arts School multiple times. Imagine what would have happened if any of these people had a fixed mindset. They would have succumbed to the rejection and given up hope. People with a growth mindset don’t feel helpless because they know that in order to be successful, you need to be willing to fail hard and then bounce right back.

Be passionate. Empowered people pursue their passions relentlessly. There’s always going to be someone who’s more naturally talented than you are, but what you lack in talent, you can make up for in passion. Empowered people’s passion is what drives their unrelenting pursuit of excellence. Warren Buffet recommends finding your truest passions using, what he calls, the 5/25 technique: Write down the 25 things that you care about the most. Then, cross out the bottom 20. The remaining 5 are your true passions. Everything else is merely a distraction.

Take action. It’s not that people with a growth mindset are able to overcome their fears because they are braver than the rest of us; it’s just that they know fear and anxiety are paralyzing emotions and that the best way to overcome this paralysis is to take action. People with a growth mindset are empowered, and empowered people know that there’s no such thing as a truly perfect moment to move forward. So why wait for one? Taking action turns all your worry and concern about failure into positive, focused energy.

Then go the extra mile (or two). Empowered people give it their all, even on their worst days. They’re always pushing themselves to go the extra mile. One of Bruce Lee’s pupils ran three miles every day with him. One day, they were about to hit the three-mile mark when Bruce said, “Let’s do two more.” His pupil was tired and said, “I’ll die if I run two more.” Bruce’s response? “Then do it.” His pupil became so angry that he finished the full five miles. Exhausted and furious, he confronted Bruce about his comment, and Bruce explained it this way: “Quit and you might as well be dead. If you always put limits on what you can do, physical or anything else, it’ll spread over into the rest of your life. It’ll spread into your work, into your morality, into your entire being. There are no limits. There are plateaus, but you must not stay there; you must go beyond them. If it kills you, it kills you. A man must constantly exceed his level.”

If you aren’t getting a little bit better each day, then you’re most likely getting a little worse—and what kind of life is that?

Expect results. People with a growth mindset know that they’re going to fail from time to time, but they never let that keep them from expecting results. Expecting results keeps you motivated and feeds the cycle of empowerment. After all, if you don’t think you’re going to succeed, then why bother?

Be flexible. Everyone encounters unanticipated adversity. People with an empowered, growth-oriented mindset embrace adversity as a means for improvement, as opposed to something that holds them back. When an unexpected situation challenges an empowered person, they flex until they get results.

Don't complain when things don't go your way. Complaining is an obvious sign of a fixed mindset. A growth mindset looks for opportunity in everything, so there’s no room for complaints.

Bringing It All Together

By keeping track of how you respond to the little things, you can work every day to keep yourself on the right side of the chart above.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Freed enterprise: Psychology beats business training when it comes to entrepreneurship

https://www.economist.com/news/business/21729454-among-small-business-owners-togo-least-psychology-beats-business-training-when-it-comes
Sep 21st 2017
Among small-business owners in Togo, at least



MANAGEMENT gurus have chewed over the topic endlessly: is a flair for entrepreneurship something that you are born with, or something that can be taught? In a break with those gurus’ traditions, a group of economists and researchers from the World Bank, the National University of Singapore and Leuphana University in Germany decided that rather than simply cook up a pet theory of their own, they would conduct a controlled experiment.

Moreover, instead of choosing subjects from the boardrooms of powerful corporations or among the latest crop of young entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley, Francisco Campos and his fellow researchers chose to monitor 1,500 people running small businesses in Togo in West Africa. These are not the sorts of business owners who give TED talks or negotiate billion-dollar mergers. The typical firm had three employees and profits of 94,512 CFA francs ($173) a month. Only about a third kept books, and less than one in 20 had a written budget.

Studying lots of small businesses instead of a few big ones allowed the academics to conduct a randomised controlled trial. Usually associated with medical research, these are considered one of the most convincing types of evidence. Participants (in this case firms) are assigned, at random, either to receive “treatment” (in this case, two different sorts of training) or to the control arm, which receives nothing. Recruit enough participants for good and bad luck to even out across the sample, and you can tell, with high confidence, which method—if any—is superior.

As they report in Science, the researchers split the businesses into three groups of 500. One group served as the control. Another received a conventional business training in subjects such as accounting and financial management, marketing and human resources. They were also given tips on how to formalise a business. The syllabus came from a course called Business Edge, developed by the International Finance Corporation.

The final group was given a course inspired by psychological research, designed to teach personal initiative—things like setting goals, dealing with feedback and persistence in the face of setbacks, all of which are thought to be useful traits in a business owner. The researchers then followed their subjects’ fortunes for the next two-and-a-half years (the experiment began in 2014).

An earlier, smaller trial in Uganda had suggested that the psychological training was likely to work well. It did: monthly sales rose by 17% compared with the control group, while profits were up by 30%. It also boosted innovation: recipients came up with more new products than the control group. That suggests that entrepreneurship, or at least some mental habits useful for it, can indeed be taught. More surprising was how poorly the conventional training performed: as far as the researchers could tell, it had no effect at all. Budding entrepreneurs might want to avoid the business shelves and make for the psychology section.

This article appeared in the Business section of the print edition under the headline "Mind over matter"

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

20 cognitive biases that screw up your decisions

http://www.businessinsider.sg/cognitive-biases-that-affect-decisions-2016-7/
Shana LebowitzSamantha LeeBusiness Insider US

You make thousands of rational decisions every day – or so you think. From what you’ll eat throughout the day to whether you should make a big career move, research suggests that there are a number of cognitive stumbling blocks that affect your behavior – and they can prevent you from acting in your own best interests.
Here we’ve rounded up the most common biases that screw up our decision-making:
Samantha Lee/Business Insider
Gus Lubin and Drake Baer contributed to this article.

What is a social entrepreneur ?

Home
http://www.schwabfound.org/content/what-social-entrepreneur

Social entrepreneurs drive social innovation and transformation in various fields including education, health, environment and enterprise development. They pursue poverty alleviation goals with entrepreneurial zeal, business methods and the courage to innovate and overcome traditional practices. A social entrepreneur, similar to a business entrepreneur, builds strong and sustainable organizations, which are either set up as not-for-profits or companies.
A social entrepreneur is a leader or pragmatic visionary who:
  • Achieves large scale, systemic and sustainable social change through a new invention, a different approach, a more rigorous application of known technologies or strategies, or a combination of these.
  • Focuses first and foremost on the social and/or ecological value creation and tries to optimize the financial value creation.
  • Innovates by finding a new product, a new service, or a new approach to a social problem. 
  • Continuously refines and adapts approach in response to feedback. 
  • Combines the characteristics represented by Richard Branson and Mother Teresa.
The Schwab Foundation employs the following criteria when looking for leading social entrepreneurs: Innovation, Sustainability, Reach and social impact.  
Social entrepreneurs share some come common traits including:
  • An unwavering belief in the innate capacity of all people to contribute meaningfully to economic and social development 
  • A driving passion to make that happen. 
  • A practical but innovative stance to a social problem, often using market principles and forces, coupled with dogged determination, that allows them to break away from constraints imposed by ideology or field of discipline, and pushes them to take risks that others wouldn't dare. 
  • A zeal to measure and monitor their impact. Entrepreneurs have high standards, particularly in relation to their own organization’s efforts and in response to the communities with which they engage. Data, both quantitative and qualitative, are their key tools, guiding continuous feedback and improvement. 
  • A healthy impatience. Social Entrepreneurs cannot sit back and wait for change to happen – they are the change drivers.
What is Social Entrepreneurship?
Social entrepreneurship is 
  • About applying practical, innovative and sustainable approaches to benefit society in general, with an emphasis on those who are marginalized and poor.
  • A term that captures a unique approach to economic and social problems, an approach that cuts across sectors and disciplines grounded in certain values and processes that are common to each social entrepreneur, independent of whether his/ her area of focus has been education, health, welfare reform, human rights, workers' rights, environment, economic development, agriculture, etc., or whether the organizations they set up are non-profit or for-profit entities.
  • It is this approach that sets the social entrepreneur apart from the rest of the crowd of well-meaning people and organizations who dedicate their lives to social improvement.

About organizational models
Leveraged non-profit ventures 
The entrepreneur sets up a non-profit organization to drive the adoption of an innovation that addresses a market or government failure. In doing so, the entrepreneur engages a cross section of society, including private and public organizations, to drive forward the innovation through a multiplier effect. Leveraged non-profit ventures continuously depend on outside philanthropic funding, but their longer term sustainability is often enhanced given that the partners have a vested interest in the continuation of the venture.
Hybrid non-profit ventures 
The entrepreneur sets up a non-profit organization but the model includes some degree of cost-recovery through the sale of goods and services to a cross section of institutions, public and private, as well as to target population groups. Often, the entrepreneur sets up several legal entities to accommodate the earning of an income and the charitable expenditures in an optimal structure. To be able to sustain the transformation activities in full and address the needs of clients, who are often poor or marginalized from society, the entrepreneur must mobilize other sources of funding from the public and/or philanthropic sectors. Such funds can be in the form of grants or loans, and even quasi-equity.
Social business ventures 
The entrepreneur sets up a for-profit entity or business to provide a social or ecological product or service. While profits are ideally generated, the main aim is not to maximize financial returns for shareholders but to grow the social venture and reach more people in need. Wealth accumulation is not a priority and profits are reinvested in the enterprise to fund expansion. The entrepreneur of a social business venture seeks investors who are interested in combining financial and social returns on their investments.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

5 Surprising Ways to Get People Excited About Their Jobs

https://www.inc.com/lolly-daskal/5-surprising-ways-to-get-people-excited-about-their-jobs.html
Brains, like hearts go where they are appreciated

President and CEO, Lead From Within

CREDIT: Getty Images
A recent Gallup poll shows something many of us already suspected: people are not terribly enthusiastic about their work.
In a measure of employee engagement--that is, involvement, enthusiasm, and commitment--51 percent were described as "not engaged" while another 17 percent were "actively disengaged."
If those numbers seem to reflect your team, you probably don't need me to tell you that you've got a big problem.
So what can you do to get your people more engaged at work? A lot of the usual methods--extravagant raises, bonuses, incentive trips--involve huge levels of spending. And even if you had that kind of money, those things still don't get people excited and engaged in their work.
Why not try one of these novel approaches instead?
1. Empower people through collaboration. Whether you're talking about work, leadership, or life, the most rewarding experiences are rarely a solo act. Life at its core about collaboration, and part of building a successful team is giving people the opportunity to come together and learn to care about and support each other. When they know that they--and you--are all in together, the scene is set for a culture of active collaboration boosts productivity and engagement.
2. Entrust people with more freedom. People feel secure when they know they can trust and be trusted. Trust gives us freedom, and freedom fosters creativity and innovation. When people don't have to look over their shoulder or wonder if they're good enough, they discover the freedom to do what they do and do it well. If you more engagement, establish policies and an atmosphere based on trust.
3. Focus on core values. Our values are our blueprint. They tell us how to be, how to act, how to think. At the bottom line, they tell us what drives us. If you want people who are driven, connect with the values that resonate with them. That doesn't mean pandering but subordinating people's feelings to their more enduring principles. A values-based workplace turns employees into advocates.
4. Create a compelling vision together. Success is not a destination but a road that we need to take. Chances are you didn't go into the work you do with an ultimate goal of increasing third-quarter profits. What helps people excel is creating a compelling vision and working together to make it happen.
5. Find meaning in the work you do. As the old saying goes, the only inheritance we will leave that has eternal value is our influence. There are three fundamental concepts to remember when you're trying to achieve meaning--hard work, persistence, and common sense. People who have those raw materials and a tie to a greater meaning can truly accomplish great things. And if you and your team can be engaged in what you do, the work will renew your passions, and your passions will fuel your work. It's the best kind of loop to be stuck in. And it's all grounded in shared meaning, the most powerful weapon we have.
The bottom line is this; to get people excited about their job-- you have to learn what matters to them most, and share with them what matters to you most. Find common ground and establish an atmosphere of mutual respect and caring. Make the connections with and among your team members the most important thing every day in everything you do.

Monday, January 1, 2018

10 Small Things You Can Do Every Day to Get Smarter

Motto: Words to Live By. From the Editors of TIME.

http://motto.time.com/4238625/get-smarter-every-day-tips/?xid=tcoshare
By Jessica Stillman / Inc


Intelligence is a work in progress. Maximize yours with these simple habits


GETTY IMAGES

This post is in partnership with Inc., which offers useful advice, resources and insights to entrepreneurs and business ownersThe article below was originally published at Inc.com

You might be under the impression that intelligence is a fixed quantity set when you are young and unchanging thereafter. But research shows that you’re wrong. How we approach situations and the things we do to feed our brains can significantly improve our mental horsepower.
That could mean going back to school or filling your bookshelves (or e-reader) with thick tomes on deep subjects, but getting smarter doesn’t necessarily mean a huge commitment of time and energy, according to a recent thread on question-and-answer site Quora.
When a questioner keen on self-improvement asked the community, “What would you do to be a little smarter every single day?” lots of readers–including dedicated meditators, techies, and entrepreneurs–weighed in with useful suggestions. Which of these 10 ideas can you fit into your daily routine?
1. Be smarter about your online time. 
Every online break doesn’t have to be about checking social networks and fulfilling your daily ration of cute animal pics. The Web is also full of great learning resources, such as online courses, intriguing TED talks, and vocabulary-building tools. Replace a few minutes of skateboarding dogs with something more mentally nourishing, suggest several responders.
2. Write down what you learn.
It doesn’t have to be pretty or long, but taking a few minutes each day to reflect in writingabout what you learned is sure to boost your brainpower. “Write 400 words a day on things that you learned,” suggests yoga teacher Claudia Azula Altucher. Mike Xie, a research associate at Bayside Biosciences, agrees: “Write about what you’ve learned.”
3. Make a ‘did’ list.
A big part of intelligence is confidence and happiness, so boost both by pausing to list not the things you have yet to do, but rather all the things you’ve already accomplished. The idea of a “done list” is recommended by famed VC Marc Andreessen as well as Azula Altucher. “Make an I DID list to show all the things you, in fact, accomplished,” she suggests.
4. Get out the Scrabble board.
Board games and puzzles aren’t just fun but also a great way to work out your brain. “Play games (Scrabble, bridge, chess, Go, Battleship, Connect 4, doesn’t matter),” suggests Xie (for a ninja-level brain boost, exercise your working memory by trying to play without looking at the board). “Play Scrabble with no help from hints or books,” concurs Azula Altucher.
5. Have smart friends.
It can be rough on your self-esteem, but hanging out with folks who are more clever than you is one of the fastest ways to learn. “Keep a smart company. Remember your IQ is the average of five closest people you hang out with,” Saurabh Shah, an account manager at Symphony Teleca, writes.
“Surround yourself with smarter people,” agrees developer Manas J. Saloi. “I try to spend as much time as I can with my tech leads. I have never had a problem accepting that I am an average coder at best and there are many things I am yet to learn…Always be humble and be willing to learn.”
6. Read a lot.
OK, this is not a shocker, but it was the most common response: Reading definitely seems essential. Opinions vary on what’s the best brain-boosting reading material, with suggestions ranging from developing a daily newspaper habit to picking up a variety of fiction and nonfiction, but everyone seems to agree that quantity is important. Read a lot.
7. Explain it to others. 
“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough,” Albert Einstein said. The Quora posters agree. Make sure you’ve really learned what you think you have learned and that the information is truly stuck in your memory by trying to teach it to others. “Make sure you can explain it to someone else,” Xie says simply.
Student Jon Packles elaborates on this idea: “For everything you learn–big or small–stick with it for at least as long as it takes you to be able to explain it to a friend. It’s fairly easy to learn new information. Being able to retain that information and teach others is far more valuable.”
8. Do random new things. 
Shane Parrish, keeper of the consistently fascinating Farnam Street blog, tells the story of Steve Jobs’ youthful calligraphy class in his response on Quora. After dropping out of school, the future Applefounder had a lot of time on his hands and wandered into a calligraphy course. It seemed irrelevant at the time, but the design skills he learned were later baked into the first Macs. The takeaway: You never know what will be useful ahead of time. You just need to try new things and wait to see how they connect with the rest of your experiences later on.
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future,” Parrish quotes Jobs as saying. In order to have dots to connect, you need to be willing to try new things–even if they don’t seem immediately useful or productive.
9. Learn a new language. 
No, you don’t need to become quickly fluent or trot off to a foreign country to master the language of your choosing. You can work away steadily from the comfort of your desk and still reap the mental rewards. “Learn a new language. There are a lot of free sites for that. Use Livemocha or Busuu,” says Saloi (personally, I’m a big fan of Memrise once you have the basic mechanics of a new language down).
10. Take some downtime.
It’s no surprise that dedicated meditator Azula Altucher recommends giving yourself space for your brain to process what it’s learned—“sit in silence daily,” she writes–but she’s not the only responder who stresses the need to take some downtime from mental stimulation. Spend some time just thinking, suggests retired cop Rick Bruno. He pauses the interior chatter while exercising. “I think about things while I run (almost every day),” he reports.