Burnout is currently at alarmingly high levels, and that can mean bad news for your workforce - and your bottom line. Burnout increases absenteeism, presenteeism, and attrition, resulting in lost productivity, brain drain, and weakened company culture. But by creating a workplace where connections and relationships are valued, you can ensure that your employees feel psychologically safe, valued, and supported.
Depending on where you're living, you might be tempted to think we're going back to business as usual. There are a lot of reasons for us to say this but if no one's told you yet, don't do it!
Business as usual isn't around the corner and you don't want it to be. We've all been pushed in our businesses to stretch and grow our capability to adapt. There're so many things we've done of necessity that we now need to see what's actually innovative, providing opportunities for disruption.
According to Merriam-Webster, innovation is a ‘new idea, method, or device’ also defined as ‘the introduction of something new.’
In the creative world, being innovative is necessary to succeed. However, it’s not always the easiest thing to accomplish. Getting more focused isn’t always the cure, and neither is giving yourself more time or adding more teammates. So what does stimulate innovative thinking?
Criticism is a part of professional work, and ultimately it helps us improve. However, it’s not always easy to accept, listen, or react to it. Some criticism is more constructive than others. But how do you know the difference? Below are some tips on how to gracefully accept criticism. The first step is to change your perspective on criticism and see it as a positive. By embracing and welcoming difficult conversations, we can become better professionals and creatives.
This past year has been a challenge for all business professionals. With lockdown and closures, we've seen our worlds become smaller, and our opportunities to engage with new ideas, explore new things, and seek out fresh experiences become fewer and less frequent. Unfortunately, without those stimuli, it's easy to find yourself bored and stuck in a rut creatively.
“Pets understand humans better than humans do.” said Ruchi Prabhu, Indian Author. One thing for sure, our pets will miss us when we return to the office, but somehow they will survive. Pet party! The humans are gone!
When the pandemic is over or almost over, in whatever form that takes, where will workers go work? Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon said, in referring to the growing sentiment of working remotely, "I do think for a business like ours, which is an innovative, collaborative apprenticeship culture, this is not ideal for us. And it's not a new normal. It's an aberration that we're going to correct as soon as possible."
Success doesn't happen in a vacuum. No matter how smart, driven, and accomplished you are, you can only get so far on your own. Whether it's noodling on the guitar, learning a foreign language, working on your golf swing, or building an 8-figure business, you'll achieve more under the wing of a seasoned pro than by trying to figure it all out on your own. Warren Buffett might have experienced a very different trajectory without Benjamin Graham and Charlie Munger. (And, to take it full circle, the same goes for Bill Gates without Warren Buffett!)
There are many crucial parts of being considered a great leader. In this day and age, it includes how you conduct yourself on everything from Zoom to emails to social media. It matters what you say in-person to a colleague through to how you address the entire company at a meeting.
Actions may set the tone-- but words are just as (if not more) important.
The one commodity you can never get back is time, and boy does it fly! It almost seems as though the older you get, the faster it moves. It seems like just yesterday your first boss was handing out management tips like Halloween candy.
In business, time is money. That’s why it’s vital to learn how to manage your time efficiently, not just for your bottom line but for true happiness and satisfaction.
Why do employees care about their jobs? What makes them loyal? What makes an employee engaged enough to go the extra mile?
If your employees' only motivation to show up and do good work is the paycheck coming, you're doing it wrong. The good news here is the best thing you can do for your employees is also the best thing for your company.
It's a long way to the top, so it's tempting to sit and rest on your laurels when you get there. But the thing that worked once won't always work. That's because the contexts we lead in are always changing. Industries shift, markets change, new research and best practices emerge, and customer and employee expectations are always on the move.
Let’s be real—the goal of running your own company is to create more freedom in your life, not less. No one wants to be chained to a desk day in and day out.
Unfortunately, if you’re the type that struggles to let go of the reins, you’ll probably find yourself struggling to delegate in your business, too. After all, who can do it—whatever “it” is—better than you?
Everyone wins when a culture of workplace accountability is implemented properly. Staff are able to take control of their work, there are clear lines of report, and managers can trust their employees to work without constant oversight. A culture of positive accountability also has a positive impact on morale and commitment. That's because you're trusting and empowering your staff to perform their roles at a high level, rather than trying to take the old-school top-down punitive approach.
Leadership and management are inherently linked and often grouped together or confused as one, but understanding their differences is essential to grow and develop your company.
No matter how high or low you are in the workplace pecking order, there is no escaping difficult clients and customers. Unfortunately, they abound but don't tell anyone. Though dealing with one can be super frustrating, you do have a choice in making it an experience that’s a “pulling teeth” kind of painful, or… something a little less so.
As we're coming into the last months of the year, it's an important time to take a look at your company and your teams and ask, "how are we thriving?"
Change is hard. It’s a challenge. That’s why so many people struggle with it. As humans, we all get stuck in ruts of comfort and resist change with all our might. This is especially true when the change feels big and scary, or you feel like things are “good enough” as is. Why change anything if it’s not broken, right?
Over the last several months, we've been talking a lot about how to manage remote teams and communicate effectively while working entirely online. Even if you're back in the office now, it's still likely group collaborations are happening in a hybrid if not completely online.
Strong workplaces are all about communication. In fact, great communication is associated with increased morale, productivity, and engagement. But now that many of us have spent months working remotely, we realize just how hard it is to keep a team connected, looped in, and feeling heard. Here's how to leverage your hard-won communicative skills to their fullest extent.
There's so much that goes into being a successful, well-rounded business leader. From drive and discipline to flexibility and empathy, it seems leaders need to have it all. But one must-have quality of a good leader is decisiveness.
As the days warm up, our motivation to work often cools off. It's hard to stay on task when the sunshine is calling - especially when we've spent the past few months cooped up inside. But since a sabbatical isn't on the cards for most of us, we need to find ways to stay focused and productive even when we'd rather be at the beach or by the pool. Here are a couple of ideas to try.
It's no secret that when employees feel safe, confident, and supported at work, they're more likely to let their best selves shine. But the seemingly endless challenges of 2020 have brought home just how vital it is for employers to ensure that their workers are given what they need to feel comfortable themselves at work. Here's how you can foster an environment of psychological safety - and create space for excellence at work.
Meetings have always had a bad rap. According to a Clarizen survey, 35% of employees think they're a waste of time, and 46% would prefer to do anything instead, including going to the DMV. But now that most of us are working remotely, meetings have taken on all-new importance. They're an opportunity to catch up, talk to other humans, get on the same page about work, and connect as colleagues.
At StellaPop, we don't think it's meetings that are the problem per se, but rather how they're run. Here are our tips for making meetings something we can all look forward to.
The terrifying boss who shouts commands and berates subordinates may make for good TV, but not so much for a good leader. In fact, it turns out that bosses who have mastered the "soft" skills - i.e., the people-centric skills - are the ones who get top marks in today's workplaces. Unlike the organizations of old, where hierarchies reigned, and workers simply followed orders, today's workplaces are built around adaptiveness, collaboration, and flat leadership structures.
Performing at your peak during uncertain times is no easy task. When what worked before won't necessarily work going forward, and when no one knows what tomorrow will bring, decisive action and decision-making is an all-new frontier. But although COVID-19 may have thrown a wrench in your business plans, it doesn't have to mess with your management style.
With most of the world under lockdown, our entertainment options are limited to whatever we can pick up or plugin at home. Unsurprisingly, video games are seeing a huge surge in interest - and we're not just talking about Animal Crossing, the simulation game that's taking your social media feeds by storm. But if you're feeling guilty about all those hours spent trading turnips or battling strangers in a PvP matchup, don't. Gaming is not just an escape. It can also be a valuable way to level up your workplace skills. Here's how.
We've all had that awkward experience where we've zoned out during a conversation, only realizing we've done it when we're asked a question we can't answer. Our attention spans are short enough, to begin with - and the stresses and challenges of remote working during a global pandemic definitely aren't helping matters.
Age gracefully. What on earth does it mean when someone tells you to age gracefully?
Everything in popular media tells us to freeze aging– stop it in its tracks while you can. But, time moves. Technology transforms everything from customer needs to business models. Everything Ages.
The thing to remember, however, is that to age gracefully isn't to go quietly into the night. It's not getting stuck in "old ways" and it's not taking on everything new for the sake of it being new.
Difficult employees can slow down business and suck colleagues into a negative vortex. They often seem to have a dark cloud above their heads in the office and even the best professionals, managers, execs, or CEOs spend valuable time worrying about what to do and how to manage them. While being on top of hiring can prevent this issue, it’s somewhat unavoidable. Problems arise in employee’s lives, business processes change, personalities clash, the possibilities are endless.
Here we have some tips to follow when you are faced with this challenge in your own office.
Just like in life, everything in business is a tradeoff. Every decision that you make has an opportunity cost - basically, by taking one route, you're giving up the opportunity to take another route. Some of these tradeoffs are small, and others are major; some are simple, and some are extraordinarily complex.
Say you want to purchase a computer. If your only requirement is that it meets a certain price point, the decision is easy. If, on the other hand, it needs to be a certain size, have a certain amount of processing power, a touch screen, and four USB ports, chances are you're going to have to make some tradeoffs.
Networking isn't easy. It can be awkward and exhausting – and you might walk away feeling like you didn't represent yourself or your business the best you could. But never fear! There's a tool you can use to make your next networking experience a success: storytelling.
Storytelling is a powerful thing. It's leveraged in journalism, marketing, comedy, and so much more. We all love a good story, so why not use it to make a deeper connection with someone and potentially start a new business relationship?
As a leader, speaking is part of the job, or at the very least should be. But giving a talk can be daunting, even for those who have done it many times before. Here are our tips for delivering a speech that keeps audiences enthralled, while communicating everything you need to.
You Talkin' To Me?
Your audience is a key factor in what you're presenting, and how. Presenting to a room of subject matter experts requires a different approach from presenting to marketers or career hopefuls. When you know who you're targeting, you can shape the length, style, and tone of your presentation accordingly.
As a company, your brand reflects what you stand for. A mission statement is the core piece of branding that the rest of your brand identity hangs on, so getting it right is critical. You want to make sure it aligns with your company's goals, beliefs, audience, and purpose.
Imagine that illusive mentor character that comes in at the right moment and says that little line, that's kind of cliche, but also totally drives the point across.
It might be your grandma. It might be Dumbledore. Either way. Get their voice in your head.
"A chain is only as strong as it's weakest link."
"Great leaders don't blame the tools they are given. They sharpen them." -Simon Sinek
"The only thing worse than training employees and losing them, is to not train them and keep them." - Zig Ziglar
"Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don't want to." - Richard Brown
Do you let business come to you naturally or are you constantly nurturing prospects? Trick question - you should be doing both. If you're good at what you do and you invest in ongoing marketing efforts then business will come to you naturally. But, it's also important to do some business development nurturing.
It's like when you're decorating your house. You invest in a houseplant, but then you fail to invest in taking care of that houseplant. It needs nurturing care. Sometimes specialized care. Or it won't last.
CEOs earn their positions for a reason: They have the right mix of leadership, drive, personality, discipline, and skill. You know, The Right Stuff. If you're looking to climb the ranks and become a business leader of any kind, you'll want to adopt some key CEO habits. Below are some tips for becoming one of those rockstar employees who have CEO written all over them. The tried and true tricks of the trade.
As a high-level executive, your days are bound to be extremely busy. But no matter how hectic your schedule is, it's critical to take time to build up the individuals who will become the future leaders of your company. Grooming someone to excel in a leadership role takes time, effort and resources - and it's best done by someone with on-the-ground insights into your company's culture, goals, and aspirations.
Put the power back into your businesses hands.
Having your own website and social media profiles is a must in this day in age, but only a handful of companies actually have control over it. In fact, if you paid an outside contractor to build your site and set up your pages, chances are someone else owns it. This means your logins, hosting capabilities and more could be caught up in someone else’s hands. Sure, it may be convenient to hire an outside contractor to do the “dirty work,” but the associated legal risk is often more headache than it’s worth.
Productivity doesn't just happen - it's planned. And with our collective productivity increasing some 80% since the 70s, all of that planning is clearly working. Need some tips for squeezing a little more out of your day? Here are some of our failsafe ways to ensure that you're using your time as effectively as possible.
Businesses today have to move and think fast to keep up with the ever-changing landscapes of their industry. Without the agile mindset, staying competitive is almost impossible. By encouraging and developing a culture of creative collaboration, you give your business a competitive advantage. A huge leg up on your competition!
Cross-functional (leadership, accounting, marketing, production, development, customer service, etc.) teams can meet in a collaborative environment and bring different skill sets, perspectives, and functional expertise to the table to solve a common problem or achieve a common goal. It can be easy for cross-functional teams to fall into competition with each other, but thoughtful cooperation and guidance is the name of the game. Remember, you’re all supposed to be working toward the same goal - success!
Did you know Mark Wahlberg starts his day at 2:30 am?
That means that by the time the average college freshman rolls out at 10:00 am for class, he's already put in eight hours. 2:30 am might be a tad excessive, but then again Mark Wahlberg commands a net worth of roughly $225 million. So, maybe we all should be taking note.
We're all familiar with the "fail fast, fail often" mantra. With it comes a new approach to dealing with setbacks and challenges. It's no longer verboten to miss out on a job opportunity, fail to land a contract or throw everything you have into an idea that doesn't work out. But that doesn't mean that failure is any easier to handle when you're the one succumbing to it.
Many of us subscribe to the idea that, "If you want something done right, do it yourself." We all have a specific picture of how we want things done, and sometimes it's hard to sit back and watch other people try and bring our vision to life.
Almost the entire population has a digital footprint - that includes 92% of toddlers. No matter who you are, the world can Google a picture of you, read your tweets or see your educational accomplishments. Together, all of these things become your "personal brand."
If you spy on your neighbors, it's considered creepy. However, if you keep tabs on your competition, it's just smart. To make sure you're not being left behind in your industry, it's important to know what your competitors — both known and yet to be discovered — are up to. So channel your inner Gladys Kravitz and try out these seven tools to keep an eye on your peers.
Thinking big picture is the process of stretching, extending your thinking far beyond the immediate day-to-day needs your business. It's moving outside the box, looking for an edge, and striving for something farther off than you may assume possible. It's establishing a vision for your company that doesn't include merely wanting to make money.
We all do it: Sitting there, nodding our heads, still making eye contact, but waiting for the person we're having a conversation with to finish their sentence so we can talk. As soon as they finish, we jump in with our counterpoints — which now may not even be in direct response to what they just said.
A good coach would never send players onto the field without a strategy. And as a business leader, neither should you. It's your job to develop a game plan that sets you and your team up for success. But as many coaches know, you might have the perfect plan on paper, but it's worthless if it's not properly executed. Below are some tips for creating — and sticking to — a solid game plan that will push you to victory.
It's easy for business leaders to get bogged down by the day-to-day grind and demands of the job. Between flying from one meeting to another and staying up late to finish your budget, you're seriously tapped out at the end of the day. But there are two things you can focus on to pull you out of the weeds and motivate your team at the same time: passion and vision.
Maybe it’s Not a Science Yet – But Progress is Being Made to Discover the Secret Formula …
Success is something that’s not handed out to just anyone — or any company. Even if you come up with a ‘laundry list’ of elements, and all your ducks are in a row, this won’t necessarily equal success.
The only thing worse than design by committee is decision making by committee. Business isn't jury duty: not every single person in the company has to be unequivocally on board with a decision. What you do need is a clear vision, a clear decision-making process and a clear chain of command.
When asked recently to name the one attribute CEOs will need most to succeed in the turbulent times ahead, Michael Dell, the chief executive of Dell, Inc., replied, “I would place my bet on curiosity.”
If you do nothing else as a business leader, support a culture of curiosity. Curiosity is a big driver of innovation. Find a way to allow your team time to roam and explore the vast ocean of opportunity ensconced in problem-solving and innovation.
It happens. We lose confidence in ourselves, in our abilities. We wonder if we've got what it takes to really do this entrepreneurial thing.
Doubt attacks even the best of the best, especially if you've been out of the game for awhile. After a hiatus, it can be easy to deceive yourself into believing that you're no longer up to snuff, that you haven't got what it takes.
In today's digital age, just about anyone and everyone has a LinkedIn profile. The truth is, some of them are awesome, and some of them are...well...not so awesome.
Often, a LinkedIn profile falls flat because one of the prime pieces of real estate in a LinkedIn profile (the summary) falls flat.
The Rise of Mobile …where the UX must be accessible and visible
The number of mobile Internet users equaled its desktop user counterparts around 2014 and has since passed it. Also, the variety of mobile devices, especially the Android, is increasing.
Customer Experience, or CX, is quickly becoming a major source of attention for companies in recent years. The customer experience is the overall interaction a person has with a brand — good, bad, or indifferent.
It’s Sunday night. Do you know where your employees are?
Well, not physically. They’re likely watching Game of Thrones, still recovering from the past two days, and questioning why they did those things, to begin with. (Though, to be fair, they seemed like good ideas at the time.)
Successful CEOs learn to anticipate business patterns, find opportunities in pressure situations, serve the people they lead and overcome hardships. To acquire and utilize such impressive skill sets, many top leaders apply seven strategies on a daily basis.
The CEO's guide to prepping for the perfect presentation.
Over 500 employees are packing into the auditorium. They’ve had this date on their calendar for at least a month, and you can feel the suspense, anticipation, and excitement. People are buzzing as they wait for the new CEO, we’ll call him Bob, to emerge from backstage. There’s some mood music piping from the speakers, and on the screen is the company’s redesigned logo. After a few more minutes, Bob emerges to a thunderous applause and takes his spot behind the lectern…
A few minutes after he begins to speak, the energy in the room drops. The employees’ eyes start to wander. They start checking their cellphones and exiting for the bathrooms. His confidence waning, Bob begins desperately scanning the audience for a new fan – anyone paying attention with passion. When this fails, he drops his much-practiced speech and begins horribly ad-libbing. He stumbles over his words, and his posture becomes stiff and robotic. The audience’s interest level is doing a nose dive. What happened?
Bob may have won his position through effective leadership and work ethic, but that doesn’t mean he’s a great presenter. If you’re in a leadership role, the ability to speak and present well are critical skills for taking your organization.
At many companies small and large, leaders spend their time addressing the day-to-day issues rather than focusing on the big, strategic picture that is most important to the organization's growth and direction.