Sunday, June 30, 2019

Leadership. What happened to Leadership in the Corporate World?

There is a lot of talk today about the inequality between the rich and the poor especially in some of the large cities such as Boston, Miami or San Francisco.  The same concept can apply at the typical corporate company.  Corporate executives seem out of touch with their employees.  They are great at reading reports and look at their employees as numbers or even operational expenses versus investments in the future of their company. 

The "workabees", you know the ones that do the day-to-day work, trudge through their day with no inspiration to work hard.  Typically, they would have to look outside of their jobs for inspiration whether it is reading a great book from Tony Robbins or attending an event with entrepreneurs or even through their church.

The problem today is that most executives are simply not exciting.  They wear a suit, drive a BMW, and have no idea what their teams do.   This is a fact.  It hurts and it is blunt, but it is true.  What do you think the problem is?  Do you think they are too busy thinking about EBITDA and not about inspiring their team to be ambitious, think outside of the box and participate in helping their company succeed?   If you said yes, you are right.

There are leaders that set great examples, are extroverts, and are regularly seen "in the trenches" with their team.   The leaders that led those companies experience much higher retention and success in their field.  These leaders write books, network at events and are interested in people, not balance sheets.  They walk the floor and are able to have conversations with anyone on their team and know a thing or two about them outside of work.   This type of relationship goes a long way since the employee feels valued and will do anything for their leader.    Unfortunately,  real leaders are few and far between.

So what do you think the problem is?   Are leaders trained to be authoritative? or to be mentors?  Are they trained to be anything at all?  The missing link is that most executives are simply lacking the communication skills to be able to motivate and adapt to the teams that they run.  These same executives are also run companies that are hurting, going out of business or are getting bought.  There is always constant change, and not for the better.    Talk about no motivation.

As someone that is looking to always be inspired, I suggest using tools like LinkedIn or Glassdoor to see what people are saying about the leadership at their company.  If they feel inspired and valued, then you know it may have something to do with the leadership at that company.   Always remember, a company's success always starts at the top.  Don't waste your time at any company run by out of touch executives.   Make the most of your career with real leaders guided your way to success.

Friday, June 21, 2019

15 Business Networking Tips for Entrepreneurs and Your Career

15 Networking Tips for Entrepreneurs and Your Career

I was not a born business networking professional. But in 2007, after working at Staples in IT for 8 years, I started thinking about my next move. After meeting entrepreneurs at Northeastern University Alumni Networking events, I became interesting in networking and helping others and then became inspired to start my own business.

What I learned is that all entrepreneurs have to network to build their client base.   There is only so much you can do online, so it is time to go offline and get out there.

Here are tips to help you get the most from business networking events.

1 Think of networking as a means of making friends. Your mission is to forge human connections. Some of my best friends today are people I’ve met through networking.

2 Be there to help others. Think about what you can offer in the way of solutions to someone else’s problem. In my health and wellness business, I wait for someone to say, “I feel tired all the time” or “I wish I could lose 10 pounds” before describing my business.

3 Have a plan before you arrive. Note who’s registered online to attend, and read a little about them to grease the conversation. Look for interests you can talk about—sports, current events, their college, where they were born. Steer clear of politics and money. Stay positive. Don’t bring up the latest airline crash or global warming doom and gloom.

4 Craft a 30-second elevator pitch, but never offer it unless you’re asked about what you do. I like to sayI do a lot of things. I’m an IT director. I’m also an entrepreneur who oversees social media anddigital marketing for small businesses. I’m a health and wellness coach, too. I do three jobs. I don’t get much sleep!’”

5. Focus on others. I don’t care if you have a winning lottery ticket in your hand, people will shut down if you make you the focus of conversation. Hand out your business card only if people ask for it or express interest in talking further.

6 If you’re apprehensive about networking, bring someone with you who knows the ropes. Pay attention to how they speak to and interact with people to learn what works. They can introduce you and break the ice. Later, invite their candid feedback to help you up your game.

7 If you’re looking for a job, don’t ask about current openings. Instead, learn about a company by asking questions like, “What kinds of new projects is your company working on right now? Tell me about your organization. What are the major issues or pain points in your industry?” You can then say, “Oh yes, we’ve had that same challenge. Here’s what we did.” In that way, you can promote your experience and expertise.

8 After 5 or 10 minutes, move on. You’re there to meet new people, so save an in-depth conversation later.

9 Follow up—the most important part of networking. After an event, connect with that person on social media. I invite people to “LinkedIN,” especially if they’re an Northeastern grad. Then I’ll propose a face-to-face meeting in a neutral place, such as a coffee shop.

10 Strive to build trust. Networking is like dating, only for business. People won’t do business with you unless they trust you, so listen carefully about what they do and need. As they say in sales, it takes 7 touches before you have a transaction, so take pains to lay the grounds for a relationship.

11 Network when you don’t need to network. Make networking a habit—a routine part of your life. Networking is a numbers game. Finding new clients is largely a function of how many people you know.  Don’t wait until you’re desperate for new clients or a job.

12 On LinkedIn, don’t underestimate the importance of your second-level connections. No matter how many first-level connections you may have, you’ll have many more second-level ties.

13 Be choosy about who you LinkedIn with. Your connections should mean something. Beware of “LIONs,” short for LinkedIn Open Networkers. Numbers are all they care about.

14 If you’re tongue-tied, consider joining Toastmasters. I used to be an “ummm” person. I knew that to be able to do my sales pitch, I had to practice. After giving speeches and presentations at Toastmasters, a support group where you learn public speaking, you can wing a conversation about practically anything.

15 Enjoy your widening circle of contacts. Networking opened my mind to opportunities I’d never thought of before. It can do the same for you.

Mount Washington Auto Road New Hampshire w/ DeSocial Connector

Travel down the mountain from the Summit of Mount Washington in the White Mountains of New Hampshire on an amazing clear day. Thanks ...