4 Ways to Make Yourself Memorable and Leave Great Impressions

You’d be hard pressed to find an entrepreneur who wakes up every morning, heads to the office, sits at his or her desk and contemplates how they can disappear from the insanity, go around unnoticed and ultimately create forgetful products and services.

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On the contrary, the most successful entrepreneurs have an insatiable appetite for doing and saying things that place them at the center of a conversation (dare I say “attention”), and they thrive on the ups and downs of starting and growing a business. What’s more, they live and breathe to create companies and experiences that people — customers, media and the general public — will remember.

To gain some insight on this topic, I tapped Billy Dec, my very first “entrepreneurial experience” so to speak.

Dec, for his role, imparted some hard and fast lessons on me, mostly in the form of long working hours and pressure to reach certain “numbers.” My work was about as close to a hustle as one could imagine, but I loved it. By age 24, he had made me the director of marketing and PR at Chicago-based Rockit Ranch Productions, the company he started with partners Brad Young and Arturo Gomez, who to this day remain the key players in that thriving business.

In addition to being my first “teacher” in the business school of life — which is the way I refer to it because there is no B-school on the planet that can prepare you for getting screamed at by R. Kelly’s manager or corralling 20 penis-headband-donning drunk girls from a bachelorette party into a stretch limo — throughout the years Dec has continued to feed me valuable insights about living life as an entrepreneur.

“Mostly,” he remarks, “it’s about living creatively and continuing to pursue things that excite you. And find a number (meaning money) that you can live with and once you hit it, enjoy it. The rest is gravy.”

For him, it’s been continuing to open a variety of unique, upscale restaurants in Chicago with partners Young and Gomez like Sunda New Asian, Ay!Chiwowa and The Duck Inn. In real life, he was appointed to President Barack Obama’s White House Advisory Commission on Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders. He also recently filmed a pilot airing on a major network (a food and beverage travel show) and recently showed up as a guest star on Criminal Minds.

This guy really gets around.

Brands and companies, by nature, are an extension of their leadership. How do you ensure that, no matter what, you leave an impression on those who matter to your business? As an entrepreneur, how do you make yourself memorable?

According to Dec, here are several ways to ensure memorability:

1. Networking as a way of life

In my experience, most effective entrepreneurs are “highly networked.” Meaning, they leverage relationships, often early on in the life cycle of a company or project, to gather the resources (capital, talent, etc.) needed to get things off the ground. Beyond the initial stages, they continue to use their network to open doors in a variety of ways that can range from entering new market segments to mergers and acquisitions.

“Networking and relationship building has been a way of life for me,” Dec says. “I never look at new or potential contacts for ‘immediate gratification’ nor do I try to fit them into a specific category. Rather, I spend time cultivating a relationship, knowing that if the time is right down the line they may be an important building block for my success or vice versa.”

In other words: never pass up the opportunity to relationship build with someone that might not be your target demographic. The more friends, contacts and interactions that you have the better off you’ll be. And who knows, you may just end up hanging out with the president.

2. Be physically identifiable

Ever wonder why certain celebrities or artists walk the red carpet in some absurd get-up? Or why athletes, usually resigned to wearing uniforms, decide to sport crazy hairdos or tatted-up arms? Finding a “shtick” is often a great way to stand apart from every other person in the room, and also makes you easier to spot in big crowds.

As long as I’ve known Dec, people have identified him as the guy who always wears a baseball cap. The opening quote from a Chicago Tribune article reporting about his appearance on Criminal Minds said it best:

“You know it’s a special occasion when you see Billy Dec without a hat.”

Usually, it was (and is) a branded cap from one of his companies paired with a nice shirt, jeans and cool sneakers. He’s like a walking billboard. Casual yet buttoned up, very resonant of the way he and his partners operate their businesses.

According to Dec, the being-identifiable thing has to come off as “natural and not forced.” I definitely agree with that, otherwise you just end up looking ridiculous and making everyone around you feel awkward. Kind of like if Ellen DeGeneres started wearing short skirts and high heels. So, so weird.

3. Communicate authentically and add value

Ahh, communication. That pesky little concept that makes or breaks even the most well-intentioned relationships. It seems so easy, yet for many — particularly busy entrepreneurs who have millions of things to remember on any given day — it’s the most difficult aspect of building a business.

For years I watched Dec meticulously collect business cards; make notations about the when, why, and where they met; enter those contacts into an extensive database; and follow up with them personally. It seemed almost obsessive, but once I began implementing the technique it made perfect sense: people genuinely remember you if you genuinely remember them.

So how do you make the communication authentic and memorable?

“Suggest a get-together to help them out with something they need, invite them to an event you think they’d be interested in attending,” he says. “In general, always be of value to others. Don’t think about what you can take.”

A decade later, I watch the CEO (also an entrepreneur) of my company operate similarly, and he’s often the most likeable guy in the room. There’s really something to this, folks.

4. Become a connecter

Being a connector is different than networking. Networking means you make an effort to meet a lot of people to expand potential opportunities, but connecting individuals who may benefit from knowing each other without an immediate benefit to you is probably the nail in the coffin of making yourself memorable.

Dec gives a great example from his early days at Rockit Ranch, when a tremendous amount of time was spent creating entertainment experiences for large scale brands.

“If I was putting on a fashion show I would draw together contacts I’d met spanning different areas including designers, salons, models, liquor companies and more,” he says. “This exposed everyone to new potential partners and consumers and ultimately allowed them to tap into my resources, so everyone benefited.”

In terms of being memorable, Dec has it down. With probably just as many “detractors” as he has “supporters,” I’ve never seen anyone better than he at creating experiences that people want to talk about, much of it a direct result of his careful orchestration.

While it does take a tremendous amount of conscious effort, strategic calculation and careful execution, the truth is, being memorable has exponentially positive effects when it comes to spreading the word about your brand.

Now, get to it. Make some memories. After all, no one wants to be forgotten.

Original article on entrepreneur.com by:

Rebekah Iliff

30 Daily Habits of the Most Successful Entrepreneurs

Want to avoid running your company into the ground? Do these daily things to keep your business healthy.

ten-commandmentsLike a runner who has to count calories, miles, and how often they hit the pavement, a good leader has to stay on top of the business, make wise decisions, and practice healthy habits. Here’s how:

1. You count the numbers each day

Wait, isn’t this like Ebenezer Scrooge at Christmas? Not really. Everyone at your company wants you to be a money person and keep the business afloat. They are not in your employ for fun and the free food. Track your finances and monitor cash flow every day.

2. You never get angry

Good leaders know how to control their emotions. Anger never accomplishes anything, it just creates fearful employees who do not want to work hard and achieve greatness.

3. You praise one person each day

The best entrepreneurs practice the art of the daily praise. This motivates employees and builds their morale. Without praise, no one will really own the work.

4. You are not afraid to rebuke and correct

Praising too often is also not a good approach, because there are times when you do need to correct. Don’t shirk that responsibility. Correct quickly and move on.

5. You never feed your own ego

Building a company is not an exercise in feeding your own ego. Avoid making matters so personal that the success or failure of the company is about your own achievements.

6. You look for minor improvements

As a daily practice, look for ways to improve performance not only in your own daily work but also in the work of others. The small changes you make will lead to major success.

7. You listen to feedback from staff

Good leaders seek out feedback. Why? Because that’s how you improve and lead more effectively, which leads to more growth and success.

8. You workout daily

Without a daily regime to tune your body and soul, you will start winging it and running on adrenaline. That never lasts. You just can’t lead a successful company unless you learn the discipline of daily exercise. If you don’t, it will catch up with you eventually.

9. You are unoffendable

Offense takes time. You create thought patterns through dwelling o how you’ve been offended, and then think about how that person is on your list. Don’t even keep a list. Operate without ever being offended and you will be free to lead more effectively.

10. You defend your employees

Ironically, while you shouldn’t take offense when someone makes a sarcastic jab, you should jump in and defend your employees. This is particularly important in a small company, since a negative comment or criticism can lead to poor work performance.

11. You seek out mentoring

No company has ever been built without the main leader seeking advice. It just doesn’t happen. No one can be all-knowing on every topic. Seek out a good mentor. Grow in knowledge, and you will learn how to grow your company.

12. You seek out someone to mentor

When you pour out what you know, you essentially educate someone and motivate that person to excel. You are spreading the knowledge. That creates bigger, better companies in the long run because you won’t be doing all of the hard work on your own.

13. You use data to make decisions

Data is there to help you. Use it to excel in your job and grow the company. You can make better decisions, and it will catch on with everyone around you. Snap judgments can kill growth.

14. You gather data, but sometimes go with your hunch

At the same time, don’t let yourself get too bogged down with information. There are times when it’s OK to collect the data, analyze the findings, and then make a decision based on what you think is the best course of action. Call it a hunch–or an educated spur-of-the-moment decision.

15. You’re always open to press coverage

Few companies besides Apple can thrive without press coverage. There may be times when you have to keep things quiet, but find a way to get your company more known in the marketplace. Good press coverage is one way to seek legitimacy.

16. You have patience about product development

Product development takes time. It’s important to build the best product possible, whether it’s software, hardware, or some other gizmo. Don’t take shortcuts. When the product is ready and up to your high standards, get it to market quickly.

17. You don’t ignore the competition

Like a swimmer who is focused on winning a race, be sure to keep your eye on the goal. At the same time, it’s OK to be aware of who is sneaking up on you.

18. You smile at adversity

When problems arise in your company, make sure you are prepared for setbacks, and even welcome them. Embrace them. Use adversity as a motivator and a way to push forward.

19. You see failure as a lesson

Speaking of adversity, it’s also OK to embrace failure. There are some amazing lessons to learn, and no company grows to become a great organization unless they learn from failure and then keep changing, developing, and growing.

20. You wake up each morning asking how YOU can change

A great leader knows how to look in the mirror and make changes. If you want to lead a company to greatness, you have to adapt and change.

21. You set work aside in the evening

We were not designed to work 14 to 16 hours per day. We all need breaks. It’s OK to set the phone down after 5 p.m. and start fresh in the morning. Work can wait until you are rested.

22. You put family first

Family is incredibly important to your success. Otherwise, you become a moneymaking machine with no soul and no real motivation. Make sure you put your family first. That creates a richness to life and a purpose beyond anything a huge yacht could ever provide.

23. You pick one thing per day to help with stress

In the midst of massive growth, there will be stress. Figure out how to deal with that mental state early on. Is it taking a quick run around the building or playing a video game? Taking a drive to burn off steam? Do it.

24. You finish one task each morning

A company grows one step at a time. Start each morning by completing one of those steps. Is it an expense report or a new person you have to interview? Get it done right away to help you develop a pattern for the day.

25. You don’t finish every task on your list

Here’s the irony of tasks lists: You should never complete every item because that’s often not a sign of good productivity. It’s just a sign that you don’t understand how to prioritize. Some tasks can definitely wait for another day.

26. You invest in relationships

Every good salesperson knows the key to selling a product is building a relationship. That way, you learn the needs of the customer. The same is true in leading a startup. You have to get to know your employees, hang out with them, learn their likes and dislikes. You can’t lead strangers.

27. You know when to be a shark

There are times when you will need to jump on a problem, attack it, and lead the company with pure conviction and perseverance. That’s OK for a time, but don’t be the angry shark who attacks everyone and anyone. Leave that to the guys on television.

28. You have down time

The most amazing leaders in history knew how to get down time. They perfected the art of relaxation, and then pushed forward to achieve great things. If you are constantly running low on steam, you won’t be able to build a great, long-lasting business.

29. You spend company money like it’s your money

It’s a simple lesson, but you’d be surprised how many entrepreneurs don’t practice this basic idea. Think of every dollar you spend as a way to either deplete resources or advance the company. That might sound familiar, since it’s also the best way to manage personal accounts.

30. You don’t judge

Judging others is an easy way to kill momentum in a company. No one likes to work with someone who is constantly criticizing others. Be intentional about praising, give feedback as precisely and quickly as possible, but otherwise have an attitude of empowerment.

Original Article at inc.com by:

John Brandon
Twitter: @jmbrandonbb

Discussion:

In my opinion 30 things are great but its a bit much to remember. It is worth reading or scanning when you feel unsatisfied to identify a possible leak in your overall masterplan of life.

What do you think?

9 Lessons You Won’t Learn in Business School

More and more in Silicon Valley, we’re seeing less and less of an interest in pursuing MBA programs. It seems every week a new story highlights the opportunity costs of these programs, the unemployment rates for its graduates (though less than 5 percent of Harvard’s class of 2012 was unemployed three months after graduating) and the celebrated entrepreneurs who didn’t finish college let alone a graduate program (Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerberg).
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Combine that with the fact that startups — where everyone seems to want to work — don’t care at all about graduate business degrees. They want to see real-life experience and that you have the grit to make it in the startup trenches where it’s much more visceral when your job, not your grade, is on the line.
Yet applications still deluge many elite schools and some admission consultants are predicting a greater number of applicants at the top schools.
So what’s the right call? First of all, if you are accepted or enrolled in an MBA program, understand that your degree will never hurt you. There is much to be gained from the coursework as well as a lot you can do to make the most out of your time in school. The right attitude and the right degree provide a formula for long-term sustainable success.
While a business school will give you a pedigree, the real world is about results. As soon as the job interview process ends, no one cares which degree you received from Harvard, Stanford or Florida Atlantic (my alma mater). All they care about is that you get the job done. So here are some lessons from the real world of work:

1. The way to keep a job is to understand what success looks like.
Commit to aggressive and achievable goals. Then deliver more than others.

2. Get voted onto the team every day.
In football and the real world, when you try to solve today’s problems no one gives you credit for past accomplishments. People care about how well you get today’s hard stuff done.

3. Operate with a mind-set that reflects a meritocracy
. That’s opposed to displaying a sense of entitlement — no matter how proud you are of your education. Having a pedigree doesn’t mean you can look down on others. People sense that — and won’t like it. And while Harvard or Stanford may open the door to opportunities, capitalizing on those opportunities is all about how well you do the job.

4.  Be ready to demonstrate how you handle adversity
. When I hire, I often look at educational achievements as a basis for assessing someone’s raw intellectual prowess. But I spend way more time looking at the challenges they’ve tackled, what they’ve achieved and how sought after they are.

5. Be open to seeing excellence wherever it is.
You’ll find it often comes in the most unlikely of places.

6.
 Leverage your network. That’s one of the most valuable assets of any degree. Work it.

7. Understand that it’s not all about you.
MBA programs spur a lot of competition; there’s an intense race to be the top of the class. But that individualistic focus isn’t always welcome at the workplace, where a “company first” not a “me first” attitude is desired.

8. Learn a new culture.
Don’t adhere to what you learned in school. Do extra-credit projects that provide exposure to executive management and hopefully the board. Watch how people handle themselves at these meetings and modify your behavior accordingly.

9.  Give back and continue to enhance and help others on their path.
 If you have an MBA, use it for good.

Original Article written for The Entrepreneur by:

Maynard Webb

Chairman of Yahoo

Pony Pictures Prize on its way

Dear Readers,

 

I am glad to inform you that the winner of the Pony Prize Contest was really happy when he realized to have won our little competition. Now the prize its on its long way to the USA. As soon I have news about the winner there will be long post about the jurys working process, about the winner and likid`s part on all this great event.

Be curious about a always uncertain future ;)

 

yours

 

chilli

Evaluation of Pony Pictures – Winning Contest!

Howdy Everpony!

Its been a long month for me and I couldnt find the devotion and dedication to this project that I wanted, but I received a awesome jury to judge and vote the sent in pictures of the my little pony winning contest. The 1st (and only) prize is a large scale print of choice by the winner. As soon as I received all the votes from the jury I’ll contact the winner and ask what picture he’d like to have printed.

To the jury: Please send me your votes via direct message on twitter, to prevent any bias. You can give one time three points, one time two points and one time one point to three different pictures of those you see below. Please send in your points in following format:

X=3 points; Y=2 points and Z=1 point (or very similar)

Now to the participants: I wish you all the great luck to win a awesome likid print of your favourite picture. I really liked all pictures that you sent in and am happy that so many people took part, as it was not very easy to motivate bronies and pegasisters.

Big thanks go also to @Mezgrman for operating the Brony Retweet Bot that largely helped me to adress the contest to a broad audience and giving me advice on usage.

Now enough here are the picture of the contest, may the best win:

A) artmaker15

B)code_elite

C)fluttershybest

D)southparkdudez

E)stubby2156

Again I am very happy that so many people took and take part in the first likid.de Pony Poster contest. Thank you all very very much. The winner will be announced soon!

Please leave a message below of what you think about this first contest, what could be improved, about your favourite pony poster or anything that comes to your beautiful mind =)

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Winning Game: Send your favourite MLP picture in & win a MLP large scale print!

Hi Everypony!

I am looking for new motives that I can use for large scale prints and want to know which designs and styles you prefer.

So I am asking you to send me your favourite My Little Pony picture! It does not need to be a original from the episodes but needs to be recognized clearly as beeing related to or showing MLP content.

Best case you did the picture by yourself!

The 5 pictures that I like best will be rated in November via Twitter by my followers and the winner receives a large scale full color print on self adhesive vinyl foil wider and broader than 1 meter!

The print will come shipped in a poster roll to the adress that the winner gives me, if he isnt reachable the second best picture receives the prize, and so on.

You can send in your favourite #MLP #Brony or #Pegasister picture until the 1st of November 2014 at @peeberrycake on Twitter!

So let the friendship be magic!

/) Brohoof (\

chilli

The 3 Questions You Should Focus on During a Pitch Competition

When competing during a pitch competition, most entrepreneurs make the mistake of solely focusing on their pitch and neglecting to prepare for the Q&A. This is a mistake that can shatter your chances of taking home first place (and more important cash).

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Thankfully, to prepare for my pitch competition, I interviewed 15 angel investors about the most common questions I’d be asked and the best ways to format my answers.

As the co-founder of Alumnify, an alumni-engagement platform, I have had my fair share of pitch competitions. To prepare I interviewed 15 angel investors about the most common questions I’d be asked and the best ways to format my answers.

Whether you’re the CEO or an intern for your company, understanding the answers to the questions below will not only help you present your company in the best way possible, but it will also help you understand where your company is today and what you need to do to improve for the future.

Here are some of the most asked questions investors have asked me during a pitch competition (sorted by the most common first).

Prepare and practice for these questions, and you will blow your competition away.

1. Who is on your team?

What to focus on: Start off by talking about your team’s experience in your market, what key skills each member brings, and why your team is the right one for the job. If you’re a software company, pay special attention to your developer team, as a lot of investors want to know you have the abilities to build your product in house.

How to separate yourself: Most contestants will talk about how they have a “rock-star” team and then list some impressive accomplishments (Ivy league graduates, proven track record, worked at Google, etc.). To stand out, list the additional team members you’re going to need in year two and three of your venture. It makes you seem honest and mature to admit that when your startup grows to a certain point, you’ve already thought of your next three to four hires.

Empowering your employees by giving them shares of ownership can also help to pursue others that your team is highly motivated to achieve its set goals. Additionally it contributes to your overall working climate and makes your personell (or better partners) more happy!

2. What’s your traction do date?

What to focus on: Start with revenue if you have it — paying clients will always be a gold mine for this question. If you’re pre-revenue, beta customers are the next best thing, and if you’re earlier than that bring in how many signups you’ve had on your landing page. The key to answering this question is to mitigate as much risk as possible by convincing the judges that you are building something that someone wants, and you need the judges’ funding to help serve your customers who are dying for your product or service.

How to separate yourself: Apart from the money or interest your customers are giving you, this is a perfect question to tie in what you’ve been learning from customers. Since a key the point of the traction question is about reducing risk, talk about what traction you’ve made learning about what your customers want. When you can say that initially you thought X but through talking with users and tracking feedback you actually learned your users want Y and Z, you demonstrate that you’ve been making strides in refining your business. There’s many ways to describe your traction to date, so don’t underestimate the importance of all those customer interviews.

Constant feedback from others should be always present. Starting with developing the business model, the first products, your web presence and customer care. Ask your employees what could be done better for the company, your employees and for the customers. Take feedback serious and implement constant feedback into your daily routines as well as its realization.

3. What’s your revenue model?

What to focus on: Have hard numbers for these questions. While it may seem obvious, many teams say they are going to have annual fees, transaction fees or premium features, but don’t haven’t decided on the pricing yet. Also, depending on your company, be extremely careful about just listing data or advertisements as your primary revenue source. Many entrepreneurs don’t understand when their data becomes valuable enough to sell, and they don’t realize how many users your software needs to be able to be self-sustaining with just advertisements.

How to separate yourself: Guy Kawasaki gave a piece of advice to leave one of your most obvious revenue options out of your answer to this question. While at first I was extremely cautious about this, I have tried it myself and have seen amazing results. When you leave an obvious future revenue source out of your answer, many times an investor will respond with “Well have you thought about….” This not only makes your company seem like it has even more potential than you thought of, but it gets the investor to start thinking that they are contributing to your team. This gets them to buy in more to your company, encourages them to keep thinking about ways to help, and by thanking them for their suggestion makes you seem coachable.

When you present your business model or business plan investors always want to see that you generate turnovers and profits as soon as possible. Under no circumstances invent possible revenues from which you know they will not occur. Ask others how more revenue can be created, what other values and services or side products you could offer easily to sell your customers more. You can also aks a audience for investors to give you ideas about how to generate more turnover, they’ll be happy to tell you!

by

AJ Agrawal

(additions made by chilli)

you can read the original article here

www.likid.de – The Art of Management Blog

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14 Tips to Reach Your Full Potential

We are all born with potential. However, not all of us reach our maximum potential. You have a chance to reach what you can be, whether you want to be a very successful entrepreneur, a top executive, a legendary artist, a world-renowned scientist or a great leader. But reaching the apex of your destiny is never easy. As we know it, it takes a lot of discipline, patience, diligence and persistence to achieve one’s greatness. If you want to live your life to the fullest, here are more tips to reaching your full potential.

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1. Start from within. To reach your full potential, you have to first have a better idea of what your potentials are. You have to know who you really are, what you’ve accomplished in the past, what did you fail to do, what you’re doing now, and what you can still do in the future. Knowing oneself means spending more quite time with yourself. Thus, don’t hesitate to leave your work or busyness for a while. Find time for self-reflection or meditation to clear your mind, purify your heart, and light up your soul.

2. Know the end. Knowing the ultimate you is pivotal to reaching your full potential. You have to ask questions, such as what do you want people to remember you when you die or what legacy do you want to leave with the humanity when you’re gone in this world? Many people are afraid to even think of their death, and this can hinder them in realizing their greatness. If you want to reach your ultimate potential, understand your final life. It’s only by understanding your ultimate life that you discover your ultimate strengths and powers.

3. Get a mentor. Every great person in the history of mankind had a mentor, master or teacher who guided them and thought them words of wisdom to realize and reach their full potential. Although it’s you who will find your inner self and realize your ultimate powers, your teacher will be the one who will give you clues on how to accomplish those things.

4. Make a choice. Hopping from one journey to another will not help you have a longer, deeper and greater journey. To reach your full potential, you have to make a choice of what journey you will complete for the rest of your life. If you already know your end, travel the journey or related journeys to reach that destination. Make a choice and stick to it so you won’t be wasting time, money and energy in traveling the journeys that don’t have something to do with your ultimate destination.

5. Have a dream. Dream big, not because it’s just a dream, but because you have a big heart where you can put your big dream in it. Your dream shapes your life because it’s not only what you keep on thinking but because it’s what you are keeping deep inside your heart even if you are doing something else. Thus, if you want to achieve something great, dream of it and keep it in your heart.

6. Make a plan. Your big dream should be supported with a smart plan – a plan which is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. If you have a big dream, your plan should also be big, long-term and powerful. Your plan will be your map to reaching your full potential and accomplishing your end goal. It has to include a great strategy where you will focus your talent, skills and other resources. Remember that a long-term plan will help you for a long time. Thus, invest enough time and effort to devise the perfect plan for you. Don’t forget the saying… measure twice, cut once.

7. Be fearless. Discovering your full potential needs consistent courage to explore what lies beyond. Your questions and doubts won’t be answered if you will be afraid to step forward. Therefore, prepare yourself and have no fear when it comes to exploring within yourself and the world beyond.

8. Start small. Do it gradually. Increase your challenges as you grow. Keep on evolving. Remember that reaching your full potential doesn’t mean realizing it in one shot. You have to realize it step by step until it’s complete.

9. Find the right team. Have people who will be behind you to support your goal and help you achieve your dream. Of course they also have their own dreams and goals in life. To attain success, find team members who have different dreams but are just perfect to combine, depend each other, and support each other to achieve each other’s goals. For example, if your end goal is to become a president of a nation, find someone who wants to be a great general but don’t like to be a president.

10. Overcome your distractions. Distractions delay and even completely destroy your dream. To reach your full potential without delay, you have to invest constant focus. Hence, analyze your current situation. Recognize your distractions, whether it’s big or small and whether it’s a good or bad distraction. Remember that good opportunities that come into your life but are not part of your original plan can become distractions that will destroy it.

11. Don’t be discouraged with failures. Understand that reaching a great goal comes with a lot of challenges, pain and failures. Don’t be discouraged and give up your dream just because you’ve failed despite of doing your best. Remember that you can be a better person everyday. You can still surpass your current best in the coming days.

12. Take a break. It takes a lifetime to reach your full potential, thus, it’s a long long journey. That is why you have to take breaks to recuperate and consistently stay on the track.

13. Make a full sacrifice. Your accomplishment depends on the things that you give up. Reaching your maximum potential also means having a maximum sacrifice. Thus, if you think you are not getting any progress, consider increasing the sacrifice you are making. Remember that you cannot have everything, but you can have something best or something that is truly great. Also remember that the most successful people in the world made great sacrifices, from sacrificing their Harvard diploma to sacrificing their romantic life.

14. Be tenacious. If tenacity is a place, it would be the city or place where the world’s most successful people live. If you want to achieve your ultimate goal and dream in life, live with tenacity and keep on going no matter how difficult the challenges in front of you.

Final thoughts
The earlier you start the farther you can go. The more you sacrifice the more you can achieve. With patience, hard work, focus and tenacity, you can achieve greatness in whatever you choose, whatever you work to make it better, whatever you put in your heart, and whatever you fight for your life. It starts by making a choice. So make a choice now even if that choice sounds crazy for other people.

By

You can find the original article here

www.likid.de – The Art of Management Blog

Have any comments or ideas? Please feel encouraged to leave a comment!

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7 Ways to Lead and Empower Your Team

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Don’t you just hate it when you walk into a store or business and the first person you come across is unwelcoming, disengaged, or neutral at best? It immediately sends the message that the employee is not happy, that this might not be a great place to work, and, by extension, is it really the kind of business you want to give your patronage to?

Studies have long shown the links between employee morale and business success, but new findings published in the Journal of Service Research,* demonstrate direct links between employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction. Other studies* go a step further and point to a link between the satisfaction levels of employees in a back office and customer satisfaction, even though there is no direct contact between them.

So there’s little doubt that employees are an essential part of your brand – they are often the face of your business, they reflect its culture and values, and let’s face it: they can be an underlying factor in your success.

What is a Satisfied Employee?

More than just happy (a very subjective word at best). Science Daily* identifies satisfied employees as those with a sense of well-being. This includes the presence of positive emotions such as joy and interest, and the absence of negative emotions such as apathy and sadness. And, just as positiveemotions can enhance employee perceptions of finding meaning in their work, they can also be a factor in performance, achievement and employee growth.

7 Ways to Lead and Empower Satisfied Employees

While it’s hard to hire only employees with an innate sense of well-being, here are seven ways you can foster a positive work environment and empower your employees, without breaking the bank.

1. Be a Good Leader – You might be a good manager, but are you a good leader? Do you always have one eye on inspiring your team to excel and succeed? Assess your leadership skills and find out how you can use them to nurture employee potential. There are several scientific models of leadership. Todays best models share a mixed model of Leadership by Rolemodeling where the leader is friendly, patient, understanding, knows what he is doing, gives clear goals and communicates efficient And the other model of the flexible leader who can change his character and behavior according to the situation. This kind of leadership adapts those behaviors that will most certainly solute problems or generate the desired outcomes. In situations of danger where fast reactions are needed he is able to access his employees, giving short, autocratic commands as in times of calm opportunity detection he is a silent partner who listens to his employees encouraging them to develop themselves within the organisation to their full potential. The flexible Leadership style is not limited to these two possibilities but will adapt whatever behavior is needed to lead in a special situation best.

2. Give your Employees “Boss Time” – Everyone wants to spend time around inspirational leaders, and it’s important for you to listen and show you care about your employees’ work, their concerns, and their aspirations so that they stay engaged and productive.  This can take many forms. From mentor/protégé programs to giving your employees more face time (try skipping email for once and have a quick one-on-one meeting in your office).  In hierarchical businesses, it’s also important to recognize your management team: it’s likely they already get workplace face time with you, but consider giving them “social” face-time too. Whether it’s a game of golf once a quarter with your entire management team, or one-on-one lunches with individual managers once a month. Attention should be independent from achievements, as so the individual is only esteemed for the benefit that it contributes to the organization, give attention to the person itself, for example talking about his interests, hobbies and family. Having half yearly objective agreements is one of the best leadership tools. You sit with your employee, listen to his needs, what he wants and talk about objectives that he is supposed to achieve. The employee can give you a feedback of what he needs to achieve his goals, if he is willing and able to do it. Its a good time to come up with promotions, payrises or other personal and structural changes. Very important is to write all results down, keep a copy for yourself and give one to the employee that you both can read through it from time to time. A short meeting is always a good opportunity to ask about the current progress.

3. Empower Your Employees –Employees with a strong sense of well-being tend to be more eager to take on new challenges and play a wider role in the success of your business. Likewise, high-quality performance is greatest when the demands of the job are highest! Here are a couple of ways to empower your employees:

  • Let them make decisions independently of you. Very often your employees are closer to the action than you are and often know the right decision to make. But first, be sure to put some parameters around the decision-making process. When employees make decisions, they’ll need to consider the impact on three things — customers, the team, and your business profitability.
  • Encourage creative thinking. There are always problems to be solved and better ways to do things, so why not challenge your employees to come up with creative ways to deal with common business issues.Whether it’s tasking individuals to seek out a low-cost software solution for streamlining your invoicing system or suggesting a process improvement for managing inventory – put the challenge in the hands of your employees. If there is no time to do this during normal business hours, make it a lunchtime challenge that takes place over five days, with teams regrouping each day to report progress.

4. Have Educational “Lunch and Learns” – Give your employees the opportunity to learn more about your business as well as the market with informal brown bag lunch and learn sessions. Come up with a topic calendar and each month set aside time for the team to meet and learn and participate in these interactive sessions. Topics might include:

  • Business performance and team goals – Keep everyone engaged and aware of the impact they have on your business by presenting your quarterly business highlights, areas that need to be improved and plans for the future. Remember to set aside time for Q&A so that your employees can participate and stay engaged.
  • “Show and Tell” – Has an employee, partner, or team achieved success by doing things differently? Is there a new technology or market force changing the way you do business? Give those involved an opportunity to showcase what they did or what they are observing so that others can learn from it and apply those skills and insights to their areas of responsibility.
  • Bring in a Guest Speaker – Whether it’s a business partner, an industry thought leader or a community leader, bringing in an inspirational speaker from outside the company can help give perspective and broaden everyone’s horizons to new ways of doing things.

5. Go on, Let Them Telework –Telework is a huge incentive for employees and when handled and managed correctly can be a win-win for both of you. Here are some considerations, how-to’s, and tax incentives to bear in mind as you go about setting up a telework program: How to Make Telework Work for Your Small Business.

6. Be Unexpected in your “Thank You’s” – We all appreciate being thanked, but why not go the extra mile and make a point of using gift cards, hand-written thank you notes, and other gestures to recognize achievement. To avoid any sense of favoritism this is best done in the case of significant team achievements. You could also write hand-written thank you notes to employees on their anniversary dates.

7. Set Up a Formal Performance Review Process – Everyone deserves to know how they are doing against both your business goals and their own performance goals. This quick article (Recognizing Performance in a Tough Economy) has some useful tips on how to assess employee performance. It also outlines options for rewarding employees with wage hikes and bonuses, and demystifies the facts of employment law as it relates to wage-related benefits.

Author:

Caron Beesley is a small business owner, a writer, and marketing communications consultant. Caron works with the SBA.gov team to promote essential government resources that help entrepreneurs and small business owners start-up, grow and succeed. Follow Caron on Twitter: @caronbeesley

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chilli has added some information to several topics.

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Do you have any suggestions about leadership of small teams and groups? Leave a comment below! =)

www.likid.de – The Art of Management Blog

Why Every Company Should Have an Idea Bank

Complacency. It’s that comfort feeling that, yes, the company is doing well. And, well, that’s good enough. Or is it?

Successful companies forge ahead; they stay ahead of the curve. They take risks, experiment, and pivot as needed.

What’s the risk in a new idea? Maybe the first new idea fails. Maybe even the first nine ideas fail. But the tenth one wins. Then it’s still a win because of the lesson learned toward a new process for success which can be repeated over and again.

And maybe the simple idea improves employee morale. Or the idea speeds up or streamlines a process. Or the idea modernizes the company logo.

But if the company does nothing new, if it’s too afraid to experiment because of fear of “failure,” then it’s already failed.

That’s why our company created an “Idea Bank” for any employee, from the executive to the entry level employee and from a newcomer to someone seasoned, to have the chance to submit ideas to improve the company. And the fact that every great idea is rewarded in some fashion. (Of course, other companies do have idea banks as well or some version of it, and we applaud those companies.)

Those ideas are taken seriously, reviewed, and can (and have) been implemented. Because, after all, an idea can come from everyone. And there is always room for improvement. Not to mention, we all share our unique perspective and experience.

In fact, I learn something every day and it’s often from the people at the store level, not necessarily from the executives.

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Annotation by chilli:

Research shows that the most useful innovations come from within organizations. This number is supported by the knowhow the employess have as they deal with products, use and customer from day to day. Incenting the efforts of your staff to note down, discuss and work on ideas for your organization is a major ability to bring new innovations into your processes and products. The ability of R&D transfer is a major ability that businesses should posess to keep & expanding their markets. Incentives for employees is more then just financial gains, they can receive stocks, options, a better position or just visible recognition by all the members of the organization during a meeting, shareholder event, on a wall of fame, a internal newsletter and so on. Employers and Managers should think about the ideas in the heads of “their” people as a important ressource always worth considering throughout their business.

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