How to Work Remotely and Succeed

Does Remote Work Really Work? 4 CEOs on the Future of Their Workplaces

BY CHRISTINE LAGORIO-CHAFKIN@LAGORIO

Does Remote Work Really Work? 4 CEOs on the Future of Their Workplaces
Is work … a place? Founders are divided on whether to return to their old way of doing business.

Founders and executives around the globe have taken lessons learned over the past year to inform their view of what their workplace will look like in the future. At this week’s Collision conference, the future of the workplace was top-of-mind–though founders had a wide diversity of expectations about how their companies will work coming out of the pandemic. Here are a few of the most fascinating.

More satisfied, talented, global workforces

Phil Libin, the founder of Evernote, All Turtles, and upstart video-presentation platform Mmhmm, says having gone all-virtual has given his company superpowers–and he’s not willing to give those up by returning to a physical office. He has vowed with his most recent two companies that his teams will never return to offices post-pandemic. The first superpower he cited was the ability to hire talent not just locally–but anywhere in the world. “All of our job listings say ‘global,'” he said Wednesday. “I’m never putting the ‘in’ back in place.”

Second superpower: not commuting. “Why would I ever give up the superpower of giving every person on my team two extra hours a day?” And third: helping employees avoid the extreme expense of housing in major cities. “Why could every person on my team not live in a nice house with a nice school district, if that’s what they want?” he says.

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Remote work requires different processes than office work

Jason Fried, the founder of Basecamp and author of Remote: Office Not Required, is firmly anti-Zoom and pro-asynchronous work at his all-remote company, which makes tools for employee communication. Now that much of the rest of the office-worker world has experienced remote work over the past year, he’s hoping other companies embrace a bigger idea: that the nature and strengths of remote work are very different than in-person work.

For employees on dedicated projects, requiring focus or creative critical thinking, working remotely can be far more productive than working in an office, he says. But a lot of companies are doing it wrong–allowing the digital distractions of constant Slack notices and interruptions of Zoom meetings to disrupt the workflow afforded by solitary work at home. He advises helping employees manage their own time and get the most out of long stretches of solo work by keeping important decisions out of real-time chat. “The expectation of immediate response is really toxic,” he says. “What’s healthy is giving people long stretches of time to do their work without … the pressure to pay attention to a dozen real-time decisions at once.”

Teams have the opportunity to work smarter and more empathically

Jonathan Notaro, the founder, and chief creative officer at Brand New School, a branding agency that works in production, said this year of all-remote work has made harnessing his teams’ creativity more challenging. “So much of our work happens through discourse,” he said at Collision Thursday. “Those pieces of magic are so much harder to harvest in this environment.”

But he’s seen bright spots–and moments that made his company stronger. Having Zoom windows into colleagues’ and employees’ homes has given him insight into their personal priorities and passions, and brought his team closer. “You start to think more about their personal lives,” he said, “because it’s right there. I think that’s been a real gem from this whole experience. It’s made us all closer.” Brand New School has had to think harder about scheduling and is more disciplined about meetings after a year of remote working. Notaro said: “I feel like we’ve become more focused.”

Office work and gathering will be a lot more exciting

The founder and CEO of Eventbrite, Julia Hartz, saw her company’s revenue drop to zero as the pandemic hit in March of 2020. After two rounds of financing and a company restructuring in the first 90 days of work-from-home, her company saw a boom in digital events. Now, as restrictions on gatherings lift around the globe, she’s expecting the physical event ecosystem to flourish as well. “We are heading into a Roaring ’20s! Never underestimate the power of humans who feel they deserve something,” she said.

As for the return to work, Hartz doesn’t expect all her employees immediately to start daily commuting but says since Eventbrite was founded on the premise of gathering in person, the company will continue to operate office “hubs” around the world where employees can work and meet. “If we do it right, people will look forward to coming to the office, to see each other and to collaborate,” she said.Inc. helps entrepreneurs change the world. Get the advice you need to start, grow, and lead your business today. Subscribe here for unlimited access.

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5 Powerful Reasons Why You Should Write Down Your Goals

Goals Serve a Purpose, but You Need to Be Thinking of Them Often
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Published on Jan 1, 2021

By Amanda Dudley

Image Credit: Unsplash


The year was 2017. Ninety-nine year old Annie was pictured smiling as a policeman handcuffed and led her into a cell. You’ve probably never seen a smiling convict before but Annie’s case was a little different. While most people would be shivering at the thought of being placed in a damp, dark cell, she had just achieved one of her life-long goals: getting arrested.

Everyone on earth (including your cat) has goals – from the Forbes-worthy plans to the downright ridiculous ones that would probably top the “craziest life goals you’ve ever heard of” list. The 6-year old girl down the street wants to own Disneyland someday, while your cat probably wants to become the only owner of your house. These goals can be achieved. However, the big question is how? How do you stop your goals from just ending up as unchecked items on a bucket list?

Even though there’s no clear-cut formula for success, one way to ensure that you can actually achieve your goals is to write them down. In fact, psychological studies have shown that people who write down their goals are 42% more likely to achieve them than people who don’t. But don’t just take our word (and statistics) for it. 

Here are five solid reasons why writing down your goals is a surefire formula to success:

1. Increases motivation

Most people say that the Bermuda Triangle is the hardest thing to find. However, this isn’t exactly true. Do you know what’s harder to find? Motivation when you need it the most. For a lot of people, it’s quite easy to set and map out personal or professional goals. On the other hand, when it comes to actually take action, their zeal suddenly disappears. An easy solution to this problem would be to set a goal and then write it down immediately. 

Studies have revealed that when you write down your goals, the motivation to achieve them increases substantially. Subconsciously, you would feel committed to the objectives you’ve written down and as such, take the necessary steps to achieve them. Writing down your goals is just like giving yourself a subconscious command. Consequently, each time you get distracted, your brain will subtly remind you of your goals and aspirations. 

“If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy and inspires your hopes.” —Andrew Carnegie

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2. Makes it easier to remember 

Believe it or not, a large number of people often forget their goals or aspirations. With the hustle and bustle of modern life, it’s far too easy to get distracted and forget about any goals or New Year resolutions you may have set. However, putting your goals on paper helps to enhance remembrance. Ever heard of the generation effect? If you haven’t, here’s a quick breakdown of this neuroscience term. The generation effect is a phenomenon when a person finds it easier to remember information generated by their own mind, rather than the information they read or picked up from a book. When you write something, your brain automatically assumes that it’s important and focuses on it. 

For instance, if you read a travel guide to Paris, you’d most likely remember only a few bits and pieces from it. However, when you jot down salient points from the guide in your own words, your brain knows that this piece of information is more important than the one you just read from the guide. As such, you’d find it easier to recall it later. This is basically how the generation effect works.

Even though the generation effect seems like a fancy term, it’s more common than most people think. When you map out your goals and write them down, your brain assigns importance to them and as such, makes it easier for you to recall them. 

3. Helps clarify your goals 

Let’s admit it, our goals can be a little vague and non-specific sometimes. For instance, let’s assume your goal for the year was to do something daring. In this case, your goal for the year could end up in an epic fail because you’d spend so much time trying to choose a daring task. 

It’s even harder because “daring” could mean anything, ranging from hiking up Mount Everest or drinking a bottle of hot sauce without water. However, writing down your goals would help to narrow your focus and clarify what you really want to do. This way, there’d be no room for confusion or dilly-dallying. 

4. Enhances hope

Hope is one extra reason why you should be writing your goals as soon as you set them. When it comes to achieving one’s goals and aspirations, hope is an essential factor. Without hope, you’d most likely lack the drive to take the necessary steps towards achieving your target. 

Writing down your goals and committing to them fuels hope and gives you something to look forward to. When you’re hopeful, you’re able to achieve your goals in no time at all. 

“Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.” —Pablo Picasso

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5. Sets boundaries between wishes and goals

What’s the difference between a goal and a wish? A shooting star. Just before you chuckle or roll your eyes at this joke, it’s important to note that there’s a whole world of difference between goals and mere wishful thinking. 

Before your goal is written down, it’s just one of your thoughts or longings. However, the moment you pen down your goals, you give it substance and transform it from a wish to a target. It becomes something real and tangible. You could even set deadlines and action plans. This way, you won’t spend hours building castles in the air when you have a real target. 

Any dream or goal can be achieved eventually. Sure, it may take time, but a great way to kickstart your success is by penning down your goals. Writing down each goal spurs your subconscious into action and transforms your passive longing into actual targets. This way, the distance between you and your aspiration will be shortened. At the end of the day, who needs shooting stars when you have a pen and paper?

 

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(For additional information on goal setting for 2021, go to =>Why You Should Write Down 100 Goals For 2021 And Beyond (addicted2success.com)

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Amanda Dudley

Amanda Dudley is a writer and a lecturer with a Ph.D. in History from Stanford University. When she is not lecturing and helping students with complex assignments, she works as a part-time essay writer, providing top-quality essay writing services and academic projects. An efficient writer, she delivers projects in good time, ensuring that her clients are satisfied and content.



 

How To Boost Your Brand and Business From LinkedIn in 2021

5 Reasons Why LinkedIn Will Boost Your Personal Brand and Business in 2021

December 22, 2020 by Michelle Griffin Leave a CommentMichelle Griffin_LinkedIn

5 Reasons Why LinkedIn Will Boost Your Personal Brand and Business in 2021

by Michelle Griffin


For many years I thought LinkedIn was just the place to post your resume or look for a new and improved job.

Aside from promoting work‌ ‌events,‌ I rarely logged on and hardly posted. I didn’t think LinkedIn could help my already-established career.

Fast forward to earlier this year. I had recently left my long-time job to pursue my consulting side-gig full time and was looking for a way to connect with fellow marketers and meet potential clients in the mindset of the pandemic.

What I found surprised me. How had I missed out on this new and improved LinkedIn?

I soon started sending out connections and commenting on posts of interesting people whom I wanted to meet and learn from.

And it wasn’t too long before things started happening.

In just a few months, by interacting, engaging and offering insight, I met new colleagues, landed clients and was invited to speak on a podcast.

All by showing up daily on LinkedIn.

And the good news is you can do the same. Even‌ ‌if‌ ‌you’re‌ ‌new‌ ‌to‌ ‌LinkedIn ‌or‌ ‌have‌ ‌500+‌ ‌connections,‌ it can be a big boost to your career and client connections.

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Here’s how:

Get found online, faster

If a recruiter or future client looks you up online what do they find? With a LinkedIn profile, they’ll find you faster and in the top rankings of search pages. Try it for yourself: Google your name and see it appear in the top three search results.

If you have a blog, Google also gives authority to LinkedIn’s long-form articles. That means you can update your existing blog or content, add it to LinkedIn’s articles section and have a better chance of it being found.

It’s your digital reputation, not your digital resume

When Microsoft acquired LinkedIn in 2016 for $27 billion, it became more of a professional social networking site rather than a resume and recruiter site. Each month new tools and features are rolled out often to showcase your skills and feature your best work to potential clients.

Think of your LinkedIn profile as the digital story of your career. It’s your online reputation and proof of your personal and professional achievements. That’s why many people forgo business cards and use their profiles to highlight their blogs, published articles, videos, photos and best podcast episodes. 

Online networking is the new normal

This year showed us a digital presence is practically the ONLY way to meet and build relationships.

Gone are in-person weekly or monthly networking events, industry conferences and annual summits to connect with people who can move your career forward. 

When‌ ‌we‌ ‌can’t‌ ‌meet‌ ‌face‌ ‌to‌ ‌face,‌ ‌how‌ ‌are‌ ‌you‌ ‌going‌ ‌to‌ ‌network‌ ‌and‌ ‌market?‌ 

LinkedIn is this place. Currently, there are 760‌ ‌million‌+ professionals worldwide and thousands of new members are added weekly.

Check out these impressive stats and see how fast LinkedIn is growing top-tier professionals.

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It’s a friendlier and inclusive social site

It’s the business world so LinkedIn members are on their best behavior. Trolling, inappropriate messages and abusive behavior are not common. 

As one connection told me, “People on LinkedIn post and comment about stimulating things that I find interesting and help me improve personally and professionally.”

He’s right. 

I’ve met some of the friendliest, smartest and most encouraging connections on LinkedIn. And it’s not just people in my industry or country. From Australia, the UK and Canada, I’ve zoomed offline with professionals I would’ve never had the opportunity to meet in real life.

No matter your age, experience, country or industry, everyone can contribute and is warmly welcomed in the LinkedIn community.

Your Ticket to More Opportunities

You don’t have to have thousands of connections and followers to start seeing and making a difference. Even‌ ‌if‌ ‌you’re‌ ‌new‌ ‌to‌ ‌LinkedIn or if you haven’t logged on in years, just showing up and participating daily can make a noticeable difference to your personal brand.

LinkedIn can help you find:

A‌ ‌job‌ ‌you‌ ‌love

Perfect-fit clients

Awareness of your brand or business

Speaking‌ ‌opportunities

Investors‌ ‌to‌ ‌fund‌ ‌your‌ ‌next‌ ‌venture ‌

Influential‌ ‌people‌ ‌ready‌ ‌to‌ ‌collaborate‌ ‌with‌ ‌you‌

Let’s start connecting

I learned the hard way, wasted precious time and don’t want you to make the mistake I did. Start today so you can make your mark on the professional world.

I’d love to connect with you. Find me at https://www.linkedin.com/in/michellebgriffin.

Coming Soon: Ready to get going on LinkedIn? My follow-up article will give you the tips and tools to optimize your LinkedIn profile and boost your personal brand.

Michelle Griffin

Michelle Griffin is a personal brand strategist and StoryBrand Certified Guide who specializes in helping service-based leaders and consultants grow with clear messaging, compelling marketing and greater visibility online.

With more than two decades professional services experience in corporate, nonprofit and agency settings, she’s helped businesses of all sizes achieve successful results through branding, public relations and strategic marketing campaigns. Connect with Michelle on Linkedin@michellebgriffin and learn more at michellebgriffin.commichellebgriffin.com

Filed Under: Personal BrandingSocial MediaTagged With: clientsLinkedInLinkedIn networkingprofessional development

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How To Develop Traits For Success From 7 Entrepreneurs

7 Entrepreneurs and Their Traits That We All Can Develop for Success

Published 4 hours ago

on Sep 15, 2020

By Madhur Kushwah


Succeeding in life and entrepreneurship takes more than just desire and passion. According to many successful entrepreneurs, life rewards people who take time to cultivate their minds for success.

If you have read Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich, you might recall his idea of a mastermind alliance. In case you’re not familiar with the book — a mastermind alliance is “a friendly alliance with one or more people who will encourage one to follow through with both plan and purpose.”

Imagine what wonders you would make if you could have the most successful people as your allies. In this blog post, I have listed 7 successful entrepreneurs and their advice to develop traits for success.

1. Gary Vaynerchuk – Enthusiasm

“If you 100% enjoy the chaos and the unknown, you’re an entrepreneur.”

Running a business involves dealing with many people and shouldering several responsibilities; at times, working this hard can exhaust you to unexpected levels. That’s why entrepreneurs need to be pleasantly energetic. 

If you have watched any of Gary’s videos, you can visibly tell that his energy is on another level. Being energetic helps Gary work long hours, like 12 – 14 hours a day. Gary suggests practising natural optimism for high energy.

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2. Grant Cardone – Confidence

“Comfort makes more prisoners than all the jails combined.”

Having confidence in your abilities will take you places. While on your entrepreneurial journey, people will point fingers at you for your decisions, choices and desires, but how you respond to them will depend on you.

The degree to which you have faith in your skills and vision will drive your efforts. If you have confidence in yourself, you’ll not budge from your goals. Confidence will also allow you to do more for other people. Keep doing the difficult things to build confidence, says Grant.

3. Narayana Murthy – Courage

“Progress is often equal to the difference between mind and mindset.”

Courage is the differentiating factor between successful and the rest. Entrepreneurship requires you to go out and make decisions that no one else is making. To do that, you need courage. 

Many entrepreneurs fail not because they lack skills or resources, but because they shrink when they should expand. All the stories we hear are stories of courageous decisions and not cowardice. Without courage, there is no progress in life and business. According to Murthy, openness to new ideas is what makes people and organizations courageous.

4. Mark Zuckerberg – Change

“People think innovation is just having a good idea but a lot of it is just moving quickly and trying a lot of things.”

Change is the only constant in life and entrepreneurship, and people who realise this are usually the ones who change the world. Often we make the mistake of sticking to one way of looking at things, which hinders our progress. Learning how to move quickly and at the right time is the winning formula of the game of entrepreneurship. Mark states to move quickly, “iterate, learn from the feedback and go from there.”  

5. Bill Gates – Gratitude

“Through it all, what makes you happy?”

On your entrepreneurial journey, there will be instances where you’ll feel dissatisfied with your progress. To keep dissatisfaction at bay, practise gratitude — it’ll keep you focused on your destiny. 

Helping others to achieve their goals is one of the many ways to practice gratitude. You can also do philanthropic work to express gratitude. Practising gratitude generates a cycle of good relationships by promoting others to do generous work. Giving $41.3 billion away is how Gates expresses his gratitude.

6. Jeff Bezos – Patience

“Put the customer first. Invent. And be patient.”

Sticking to a long term vision and having patience while you build your dream is important for success. Having patience can help you stay in the present moment, and consider the big picture. If you look at Bezos’ journey, you’ll notice Amazon has been around for 26 years, but it feels like it’s been in business for 7 or 10 years, which shows how patient the multibillionaire has been in building his company.

Patience allowed Bezos to build Amazon from a suburban Seattle garage company to a multinational conglomerate. Bezos says, stay focused on long-term to be patient. 

7. Steve Jobs – Leadership

“My job is not to be easy on people. My job is to make them better.”

Leadership is the most important trait of a successful entrepreneur. When you’re at the helm of an organization, people look up to you for inspiration and effective influential decision making. The ability to influence others will help you get the best out of the people. 

Jobs has been arguably the most influential corporate leader in the last century which allowed him to build Apple from scratch. Developing leadership skills will also help you impact people and touch their lives. ‘No excuses’ is the way forward to be an effective leader.

Which piece of advice from the 7 entrepreneurs above resonated most with you & why? Share your thoughts with us below!

RELATED TOPICS:CHARACTERISTICS OF SUCCESSENTREPRENEURIAL TRAITSHOW TO BECOME AN ENTREPRENEURHOW TO SUCCEEDJEFF BEZOSLEADERSHIPSTEVE JOBSSUCCESS ADVICESUCCESS TRAITSSUCCESSFUL LIFEDON’T MISSThe One Mindset You Need to Focus on to Thrive in Times of Uncertainty

Madhur Kushwah

Madhur Kushwah is a certified content marketer. Currently, he writes for a leading ed-tech company and Marketing Hashtags. Connect with him @madhur_kushwah!


How To Let Your Inner Leader Out

The 5 Ways On How To Let Your Inner Leader Out

Dateline: September 10th, 2020

By: Ben Grant


For some reason, many people think that such words as “leadership” or “leadership qualities” refer only to extraordinary people. But these words are not as special as they might seem to many. What is more, every person has the potential to become a leader, the only thing you need to do is wake certain qualities up. If you are doubting your skills, then our tips will help you reboot your inner leader. Below you will find out about the most common problems that prevent you from enhancing your inner leader, and the top five tips to help you solve them.

Why Don’t Most People Show Leadership in Life?

There are several common reasons that prevent many people from becoming leaders.

  • Unwillingness to Stand Out From the Crowd – Most people like to “live like everyone else” and go with the flow. In most cases, this is the result of their childhood experience. After showing an initiative at an early age, they received rejection or criticism. Therefore, the majority strive not to stand out from society, and calmly do what they are asked or ordered to do.
  • Internal Fears – Many people cannot reveal their inner leader due to the presence of fears and low self-esteem. The most common fear is the fear of failure. By the way, all this interferes not only with the manifestation of leadership qualities but also with living the way they really want to live. It is extremely difficult for many to cope with these fears on their own, but it is even more difficult to decide to fix these problems with the help of psychologists. Therefore, only a few become successful and can show their leadership potential.
  • The Misconception About Inner Leaders – Some people think that they will be able to show their leadership talent when needed. But in practice, they never reveal their potential. What is more, such people purposefully miss many opportunities and think that they will prove themselves next time.
  • Disbelief in Your Own Leadership Qualities – Many people think that leaders are born, not made. This stops them from awakening their inner leader and somehow expressing their individuality. Such people admire their successful peers but do not even know that they can do the same.

If at least one of the reasons seems to be about you, then it’s time to work on yourself and awaken your inner leader. It is important to remember that you have to follow the road to success day after day, since you cannot arrive at your final destination instantly. Therefore, the following tips will help you change your life.

“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Five Simple but Effective Tips to Awaken the Inner Leader:

 

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1. Look Inside Yourself

In order to become a leader, you need to start working on your personality. To lead other people and make them listen to you, you need to learn to lead yourself and be able to hear yourself first. It is a lot of work, but it is the key to success. The ability to lead yourself will allow you to become a leader for others. Consider the following 3 questions:

  • Why do I want to be a leader?
  • What will the development of leadership potential bring?
  • How do I need to act and think?

When you start to understand yourself, learn to listen to yourself, and put everything on the shelves, then you can start to act. Therefore, the first thing to do is to begin to understand what leadership means to you. 

Try to return to the above questions as often as possible, since, as soon as you start working hard in order to better yourself, your answers will change. These responses will guide you towards unlocking your inner leader.

2. Find and Accept Your Uniqueness

It is extremely important for you to bring out your uniqueness. Most people think that they are not that different from other people but, in fact, this is not at all the case. 

List your strengths and unique abilities. Each leader knows his or her strengths, and each person has them. Most people think that it’s necessary to work on weaknesses, taking your strengths for granted. But to awaken leadership qualities, you need to start by working out the strengths. This does not mean that you shouldn’t pay attention to weaknesses at all, surely, you should work on fixing the critical ones too. But keeping the focus on your strengths will help you to boost your self-esteem and awaken your inner leadership potential.

3. Leverage Your Public Speaking Skills

Unfortunately, many people have a fear of engaging in discussions, and this may be the result of negative experiences. If this is familiar to you, then you need to learn how to fix it. Perhaps people are not listening to you because you speak incoherently or not clearly. Therefore, reading classical literature and video recording your speeches will become paramount in solving these problems.

Whilst everything is obvious with the first, the questions may arise about the second one. Pick a topic and start talking about it on video. After that, see what you have done, and your mistakes in your speech will immediately become apparent to you. Be sure to write down each problem, and the next time you do this exercise, try to fix it. By the way, this exercise will help not only improve your speech but also help to cope with the barrier of starting a conversation.

“It usually takes me more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech.” – Mark Twain

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4. Learn to Control Emotions

Most likely, you paid attention to the fact that you are more engaged when listening to those people who are emotionally balanced. Often such people emit positive emotions, but they never overplay them. So the next challenge will be to learn to control your emotions, calmly respond to criticism and always keep your emotional state under control. Real leaders are hard to drive mad. The previously mentioned exercise with video recording can help you with this too. For example, you may start a private video blog, and make a short video every day analyzing situations that happened, your emotions, and the ways you responded to them. 

5. Be Yourself

Staying true to yourself and your principles is an essential skill of every leader. Most likely, in the early stages of working on your inner leader enhancement, you begin to follow the example of some famous leaders and copy their demeanor. Hence, the best thing is to reveal your strong sides and be authentic. Of course, you can and should take examples from great leaders, but you don’t need to copy them. Be unique and true to yourself!

Now you know what you need to do to become a leader for yourself and for other people. The main thing to remember is that leadership is what you make of it. When you learn to control yourself, understand your actions, improve your speaking skills, then you begin to develop as a leader further. Implement these five tips, and get a solid chance to succeed.

What do you think is the most defining characteristic of a great leader? Share your thoughts with us below!

RELATED TOPICS:BE A LEADERCHARACTERISTICS OF A LEADERHOW TO BE A LEADERHOW TO LEAD PEOPLELEADERSHIPLEADERSHIP TRAITSLEARN TO BE A LEADERPUBLIC SPEAKINGSELF-CONFIDENCESELF-ESTEEM

 

 


 

 

 

 


How To Utilize Data To Inform Your Sales Process

The Four Ways That Data Can Be Utilized To Inform Your Sales Process

By Dave Mattson | August 28, 2020


For as long as there have been salespeople, there has been data to analyze about the process they use to bring in business. The only issue has been how effective leaders are at drawing conclusions from that data.

All too often, companies don’t make effective use of the information available to them from their sales teams. They fail to generate the most relevant data points… or they focus on information that is familiar to them but less than meaningful. These common mistakes result in, among other things, the dreaded “garbage in, garbage out” sales forecast. So: How can you as a sales leader use data to support both the organization and the sales team? Here are four questions that will help you to do just that.

Question One: Do you have a sales process? This may sound like an obvious requirement, but most organizations we work with do not have a sales process! If you start breaking down data without a systematic process in place for generating sales, the data you come up with isn’t going to do you a lot of good. Note that a sales process gives people the steps they need to follow, from start to finish, to create revenue for your organization. Every company has a slightly different process; you can think of the data generated by the various steps of your sales process as being like an MRI. When it’s done properly, that kind of comprehensive scan is going to tell you what you need to know about the internal workings of your sales team. But to be useful, the analysis must line up with a functioning sales process!

Question Two: Have you identified your expectations? What are your expectations for each of the phases of your sales process? Break the process into its constituent parts: lead development, also known as prospecting; qualification; and then fulfillment and servicing the account. These three phases can also be understood, in the enterprise world, as landexpand, and renew. So. What are the specific outcomes you want to see within each of those three areas? What are the behaviors that make those outcomes possible? What are the departmental benchmarks – meaning what are your time-bound goals for behaviors that will land new business, expand existing business, and renew relationships with your best customers? Once you know that, you can break it down. What are the team benchmarks? What are the individual benchmarks? Set specific expectations. Hopefully, you’ve overlaid some competitive information, and you are meeting or exceeding the relevant industry benchmarks as you work with your team to identify the right goals. Once you have set the expectations, you will have something to compare the relevant real-world data to. (See Question Three.)

Question Three: Are you measuring the right stuff? Get meaningful data. Specifically, make sure you are getting data that connects to a specific step of your sales process. Make sure you are using your CRM system as a source of actionable business intelligence… not as a demonstration of compliance on the part of your salespeople. Make sure you are tracking leading indicators (activities that predictably generate revenue, such as having an initial voice-to-voice conversation with a decision maker) not just lagging indicators (activities that connect to revenue that has already been generated, such as filing a signed contract). Often, leaders spend too much time on lagging indicators and not enough in leading indicators. Identify the leading indicators that spotlight the effectiveness of a particular step of your sales process (such as the number of times a salesperson begins a discussion about the budget). Use that data to strategize improvement. What specific tools, resources, and behaviors will help everyone ensure the needle is moving in the right direction? How will you share the data in a way that inspires salespeople to monitor – and control – their own behavior?

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Question Four: Are you looking at a problem… or a symptom? This is perhaps the most important question of all. Is the data you’re examining pointing you toward an actual problem, or is it identifying the inevitable result of some underlying issue that you haven’t yet addressed? Sometimes, what seems obvious about a sales team’s needs isn’t obvious at all. Let me give you an example: Often, companies will look at their presentation-to-close ratio, realize that it’s low, and then self-diagnose based on that. They’ll say to themselves, “Okay, we need some help; we need to get better at delivering our presentations.” They think that’s the right response to what the data is telling them. But time after time, we find that’s not the problem.  When we do some digging, what we generally uncover is that they have a poor qualification process. The majority of those people they’re presenting to, they shouldn’t have been presenting to in the first place. They had no opportunity to win. Remember: There is a time to step back and get some help in assessing what the data is really telling you.

New technologies in CRM, in artificial intelligence, voice intelligence, and in any number of other areas are giving us all access to much deeper analyses than we could have made just a few years ago. As sales leaders, we can get the right data up on the dashboard… we can use that data intelligently… and as a result of what we learn, we can do a better and better job of leading our teams and our organizations in the direction they need to go. That starts with asking ourselves the four questions I’ve shared here – so we can avoid the all-too-common mistake of trying to land the plane without an instrument panel!

Interested in learning more about how you can utilize technology and data to inform your organization’s sales process? Learn why Sandler partnered with Gong to bring a measurable, data-driven approach to sales learning programs.

 


 

How To Create Everlasting Motivation To Achieve Your Goals

What most people don’t know is that motivation comes to you when you’re doing the work.

Published 23 hours ago

on Sep 3, 2020

By Anthony Nebel


If you’d like to learn how to consistently motivate yourself so you can achieve any goal you want, sign up for the free 90-Day Master Class hosted by the founder of Addicted2Success.com, Joel Brown.


People are always waiting for motivation to strike them before they start working on their goals. However, waiting for motivation to come to you before you start working is an unreliable method if you want to consistently work on achieving your goals.

What most people don’t know is that motivation comes to you when you’re doing the work. The more time you spend working on your goals and achieving progress, the more motivation you get which helps bring momentum to progress even faster.

In this small guide, I am going to show you how to create a reliable stream of motivation to achieve any goals that you want:

1. Create Small Mini-Goals For Your Larger Goals

People argue whether you should create small goals or big goals for your motivation but the real secret is to have both of them.

Here’s why:

  • You want goals and dreams big enough so that it makes you get excited to work for the bigger picture
  • You want small goals for your big goals to show proof that you are making progress

In other words, you need to have goals that get you excited and goals that show you’re making progress. When you have goals that show you are making progress, it shows that whatever actions you are doing is not in vain and that you are one step closer to that exciting big dream.

There’s a problem if you’re missing on just one of these because, if you only have big goals, you are going to lose motivation when you see no progress in 3 months. Same for the opposite, if you only have small goals, you aren’t going to be excited enough to keep working on them.

Define your biggest goal that you want and create mini-goals for that big goal to show you are slowly but surely making progress.

“Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.” – Pablo Picasso

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Motivation comes from seeing progress and results from working through a period of time. This means that when you are working on your goals, you want to journal and measure how far you have gone: Daily, Weekly, Monthly and yearly.

The funny part is that you won’t feel a difference whether it’s been 3 months or 1 year. You are just going to feel normal. It’s when you see physical proof that you have evolved based on your past ideas and progress that you can see you transformed into another person.

That’s why I want you to keep a journal and record the most important metrics of the goal you are working on.

For example, if you are trying to lose weight you want to record:

  • How much you weigh each week
  • How many calories you are eating
  • What types of food you are eating
  • How many times you exercise per week

Having data allows you to see what works and what doesn’t work and gives you the opportunity to make changes to see the results you want. When you start to see the results you want happening slowly over time, this will make you much more excited to be consistent to reach your goals. 

3. Celebrate Your Small Successes

A lot of us who are tracking our progress in achieving our goals don’t take the time to celebrate our little wins. It’s the small building blocks that build the foundation to achieve our goals.

When you take the time to reflect on how far you have come and start celebrating your little wins, you are putting yourself in a positive framework where you reward yourself for doing something that you want.

This is a powerful tool in making sure you continue to stay persistent in your goals as you celebrate your small wins which eventually lead to your big win.

Here are some ways to celebrate your small wins:

  • Eat out with the family
  • Take time to watch Netflix
  • Do a hobby you enjoy

The key point is to do the above in moderation. You want to reward yourself in such a way that it doesn’t become a habit. That’s when rewards become even more powerful as a tool for increasing your motivation.

“Small successes are still successes; great failures are still failures.” – Mason Cooley

4. Find Your Inner “Why”

There’s a reason why a lot of people who have New Year’s resolutions suddenly quit on their goals. People are excited to have their own business making a lot of money, their ideal body, and the relationship of their dreams. But when it comes down to trying to change themselves, most of them quit within a couple of weeks.

This is because they realize that the pain of trying to change is greater than the pleasure of staying in their comfort zone. You need to delve deep in yourself and find your inner “why.” Why do you want to change so badly?

You need to start asking this question whenever you are trying to change one of your habits. Things will get tough as it’s hard staying consistent in doing the right thing every day.

Here are some more questions you need to find and answer when things get hard:

  • Are you unsatisfied with where you are now?
  • Are you willing to make some sacrifices for the goals you want?
  • Are you willing to change your habits and understand it takes time?

You want to answer these questions honestly and figure out how to make it a reality.

Conclusion

Waiting for your “inspirational motivation” is an unreliable way to get started on your work. Rather, true motivation comes from seeing the progress and results when you start working on your goals.

The way to create this true everlasting motivation is to create small and big goals and track your progress in achieving them. You also want to have small celebrations along the way to maintain your motivation and reward yourself. Finally, when things get hard you need to fall back into your inner “why” on the real reason why you want to change.

Which motivational tip did you find most surprising? Let us know in the comments below!

RELATED TOPICS:ACHIEVE YOUR GOALSCHANGE FOR THE BETTERCHANGE YOUR LIFEGOALSHOW TO GET POSITIVE RESULTSHOW TO SET GOALSMEASURE YOUR PROGRESSMOTIVATE YOURSELFSETTING GOALSWHATS YOUR WHYDON’T MISS8 Things You Can Do Right Now to Get Your Motivation Back

Anthony Nebel

Anthony Nebel is a freelance writer who is obsessed with self-development. He has tried everything from meditating, journaling, fasting, and writes about it all on his blog, AnthonyNebel.com, on his personal transformation as well as marketing hacks you can use for your business.


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How To Learn About Entrepreneurship From Colonel Sanders

The 7 Inspiring Lessons Colonel Sanders Can Teach Us About Entrepreneurship

Published 2 days ago

on Aug 30, 2020

By Graham Chapman


Colonel Sanders was rejected exactly 1009 times before he was able to sell his KFC recipe successfully. In addition to this, he failed at every job he even turned his hand to during his life. After a lifetime of facing failure after failure, he finally sold KFC at the ripe old age of 75.

In this blog, we’ll be covering seven of the inspiring lessons that the Colonel’s entrepreneurial journey can teach us, and whether you’re 25 or 75 years old, there’s something here for any budding entrepreneur.

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Lesson #1: Failure Breeds Success

As I mentioned, the Colonel was rejected over a thousand times before he was successfully able to sell his Kentucky Fried Chicken recipe – that’s a lot of rejection. Not only that, but Sanders failed miserably at every other career he ever attempted. Between the ages of ten and forty, Sanders tried his hand at the following, among other things:

  • Streetcar conducting
  • Farming
  • Law
  • Sales
  • Fire fighting

This just goes to show that no matter how much you experience failure, there’s still time, no matter how old you are, which brings us neatly onto our next lesson.

“I’ve only had two rules. Do all you can and do it the best you can. It’s the only way you ever get that feeling of accomplishing something.” – Colonel Sanders

Lesson #2: It’s Never Too Late

When Colonel Sanders was 75, he finally sold KFC for $2 million (roughly $15 million today). Can you imagine experiencing such a win, after a lifetime of losing? I’ve met people during my career who think they’re over the hill by the time they’re in their thirties! Yet the Colonel ploughed on in the face of adversity and ended up as the founder and face of a brand we’re still so familiar with over five decades later. 

Lesson #3: The Past is In the Past

In order to be successful as an entrepreneur, many people simply need to learn that the past is in the past, and it will only define your future chance of success if you allow it to. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve failed, where you’ve come from or what negative things you’ve experienced or done in the past.

Your past doesn’t hold the keys to your future success. The Colonel failed at every career he ever attempted. He even spent much of his life in an unhappy marriage, ending in divorce and had to provide for three children by the time he was nineteen. For most, that’d be enough for them to settle down into an unfulfilling career, but the Colonel pressed on with faith in his own abilities and principles. 

Lesson #4: Giving Up is the Only Way to Fail

Failure is a natural side effect of life; the story of Kentucky Fried Chicken tells us that quitting is the only failure. If you have the same outlook and faith in what you’re trying to do, the possibility of significant success is never off the table. Even when you see the clock is ticking and the days and years are flashing by, there’s no time limit on being a success. Never stop searching for that light at the end of the tunnel.

Lesson #5: A Fresh Start is Sometimes All You Need

It’s clear to us now that cooking was a passion of the Colonel’s, but he didn’t discover his enthusiasm until much later in his life. It’s only through having the courage to fail and start over, again and again, that he was able to discover his real calling. 

When you try to succeed at multiple disciplines, it’s a sure-fire way to burn yourself out. The start is always the hard part, and for most, the idea of doing it over and over again, in their 50s, 60s and 70s would be absolutely exhausting. The energy and passion that the Colonel showed by doing this well into his seventies is an inspiring lesson to any entrepreneur. 

Lesson #6: Take a Leap of Faith

It’s no great shock to learn that following your heart’s desire is often the key to success, happiness and contentment. How is it then, that so many of us won’t chase after what we truly want from life? Sitting back and relaxing into your comfort zone means that many of us don’t realize how vital passion and desire really are. In the end, the pursuit of a passion will make anyone happy, contented and prosperous. 

“One has to remember that every failure can be a stepping stone to something better.” – Colonel Sanders

Lesson #7: Keep it Simple

It seems crazy to say it, but Kentucky Fried Chicken started by selling chicken on the side of the road. After selling his recipe, the business grew rapidly, and these days it’s commonplace to see KFC franchises in countries all over the world – 145 to be exact. The lesson here is never to be afraid of keeping things simple. So long as you’re willing to start, work hard and keep at it, things will grow. 

It’s often the case that would-be entrepreneurs will put off starting their venture, launching their website or whatever it might be because they simply don’t believe they are big enough to make a start.

 RELATED TOPICS: COLONEL SANDERSENTREPRENEURSHIPEXPERIENCING FAILUREFAILUREHOW TO OVERCOME FAILUREKFCPERSEVERANCERISKSUCCESSFUL ENTREPRENEURSTAKING RISKSDON’T MISSWomen Trailblazers: The Most Successful Female Founder in Every Country

Graham Chapman

Graham Chapman is a sustainable product and business expert and owner of powerguard.co.uk.


The 4 Ways of How to Build a Learning Culture While Your Workforce is Remote

 

Mandating a three-hour webinar training is no longer going to cut it.

BY MARCEL SCHWANTES, FOUNDER AND CHIEF HUMAN OFFICER, LEADERSHIP FROM THE CORE@MARCELSCHWANTES


4 Ways to Build a Learning Culture While Your Workforce Is Remote

As business leaders and individuals grapple with the staggering impact of Covid-19 one thing has become undoubtedly clear. In order for leaders to foster organizational resilience and weather the post-pandemic storm, they must prioritize the learning and development of their workforce.

I don’t mean mandated Zoom presentations in which employees multitask on the side. What I mean is flexible, passion-driven learning where employees learn what they want, when they want and on their own terms.

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Shelley Osborne, VP of Learning at Udemy, offers a much-needed revision to corporate training in her new book: The Upskilling Imperative: 5 Ways to Make Learning Core to the Way We Work. In it, Osborne challenges traditional, one-size-fits-all approaches to training that are no longer relevant to modern workers–let alone those working remotely.

Shelley recommends the following to help leaders develop an effective and sustainable learning culture–with an eye toward continuous employee growth and long-term business success during (and beyond) Covid-19.

Demonstrate how learning drives business success

“When beginning to build their learning culture, leaders must consider that employees need to understand how their learning impacts business outcomes,” says Osborne.

As businesses continue to operate with limited staff or reduced capacity, it’s critical for employees to stretch their skill sets further and fill tasks and roles they wouldn’t normally. Individuals are more likely to learn and seek out learning when they understand the role it plays in overall business success.

“Leaders can signal the value of learning throughout the organization by setting aside their own time for it and sharing with their teams and the broader organization what they’re learning,” she says. “This makes it clear to employees that learning at work is not only accepted, it’s encouraged.”

Let your employees define flexibility for continuous improvement

Harnessing the power of learning isn’t as simple as rolling out more training modules or sending people to a slew of workshops.

Employees require more flexibility today than ever before, and that is especially true when it comes to learning. Due to Covid-19, parents are working double duty as busy professionals and homeschool teachers, while other employees navigate the nuances of working remotely with roommates. Bottom line: mandating a three-hour webinar training is no longer going to cut it.

Building a sustainable learning culture means giving employees time and space to learn where and when they want. Doing so will encourage them to seek out new learning opportunities independently and allow for psychological safety and the ability to learn.

“One of the greatest leadership lessons I’ve learned is that we must recognize we aren’t perfect and there is always room to learn and grow,” says Osborne. “When you have teams and businesses that provide flexibility for growth and development, we can all continuously improve.”

Focus on change agility

We need to do more to lay the groundwork for unexpected change. However, this preparedness can’t be exclusive to pandemics and recessions. We must understand and accept that change is constant, necessary, and beneficial for surviving and thriving in today’s workplace.

Osborne refers to this type of adaptability as “change agility”–seeing change as an ongoing opportunity, not as a threat or liability. And at the center of change agility is continuous learning.

“Grounding a company’s culture in learning is the surest way to navigate through change,” says Osborne. “A strong learning culture empowers employees to upskill themselves in the face of change, continually grow and adapt to new challenges.”

Continuous learning & Covid-19

If there is one message Osborne would like readers to take away from her book, it’s that learning programs must evolve with the times. Traditional approaches to training (a la overhead projector and chalkboards) were built for a world we don’t live in anymore. What’s more, they aren’t engaging for today’s workers who are accustomed to consuming digital content on their own terms. This was true before the pandemic and it’s undeniable now.

Beyond modernizing the learning experience at work–companies need to transform at every level into learning-driven organizations, where working and learning are inextricably linked.

As companies continue to navigate this new environment, Osborne is optimistic that the fundamental shift toward flexible, accessible online learning is here to stay. AUG 29, 2020. Like this column? Sign up to subscribe to email alerts and you’ll never miss a post. The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.


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5 Reasons Now Is the Best Time to Start Your Own Business

 

GE, GM, IBM, Disney, HP, Hyatt, Trader Joe’s, FedEx, and Microsoft were founded during hard times.


BY GEOFFREY JAMES, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, INC.COM@SALES_SOURCE

5 Reasons Now Is the Best Time to Start Your Own Business

Yes, due to cosmically inept handling of a major pandemic, most of the economy is tanking. Yes, businesses with less than 500 employees are going belly-up at twice the rate of larger firms. And, yes, traditional “mom and pop” businesses are disappearing by the thousands every day.

Nevertheless, this is the best time to start a small business, for five reasons:

1. There are unmet needs everywhere.

A famous entrepreneur once told me that every time you hear a person swearing when using a product or service, it’s an opportunity to sell them something better. Or, put another way, misery loves companies.

While there are some products (like smartphones) that satisfy needs that people didn’t know they had, most successful products fulfill needs of which people (i.e. potential customers) are painfully aware.

There’s plenty of pain out there right now (and plenty of swearing) which means there are endless opportunities to create sustainable businesses that help people cope with this perfect storm of disruptions.

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2. There’s a huge pool of available talent.

When businesses and industries collapse unemployment grows. While government bailouts have kept the economy from sinking entirely, it looks inevitable that the economy is going to take a major hit, which means even more people out of work.

In the past, small businesses–the very businesses taking the brunt of a bumbling government–have employed about half of U.S. workers. Millions of valued, experienced, hard-working employees are in the market for a new job.

Under these circumstances, creating a business that hires people is a good deed on its own merits. And with so much talent to choose from, you should be able to assemble a team that can take on any challenge.

3. Marketing has never been cheaper.

As businesses fold up shop, they naturally stop advertising, which inevitably means that ad rates go down. This means that it won’t cost your startup all that much to achieve local, national or even international visibility.

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4. Potential competitors are in disarray.

Some large companies, like Amazon or Zoom, lucked out because they provided a product or service that exactly matched a major need resulting from the pandemic. Large companies, however, find it difficult to change even under normal circumstances and thost that haven’t lucked out have been caught flat-footed.

This means that you can start a company even in a market that has dominant players without worrying about them squishing you like a bug because, frankly, they’ve got bigger fish to fry. (Apologies for the mixed metaphors.)

5. The post-COVID recovery is inevitable.

As awful as things are today, there will inevitably come a time when the pandemic and resulting depression will be over. Companies that will have adapted to thrive in these troubled times will be perfectly positioned to take off when the nightmare is over.

Companies founded during hard times in the past include General Electric, General Motors, IBM, Disney, HP, Hyatt, Trader Joe’s, Fedex, and Microsoft. A lousy economy didn’t stop their founders. Don’t let today’s lousy economy stop you.AUG 26, 2020Like this column? Sign up to subscribe to email alerts and you’ll never miss a post.The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.