5 Keys to Exceptional Leadership

March 17, 2015 by  

People and organizations suffer without dynamic and effective leadership.              So if you wish to make a difference with your team here are 5 essential elements to practice.

1. Make a difference: To create an impact on your team you must nurture and support their efforts so that they will become empowered and reach their potential.
2. Be authentic: In order to be trusted and believed you must “walk the walk not just talk the talk”. Do not ask your team members to do anything that you yourself would not do. Strive to continue to better yourself and that will set a good example for those you are leading.
3. Operate in a transparent fashion: Self disclosure and honesty will always be respected. If you expect others to be honest you must operate in that manner as well. Be accountable and admit mistakes.
4. Be a forward looking achiever: Having goals and intentions and accomplishing those aims shows you have purpose and integrity. Those traits make you believable and inspirational.
5. Be influential: If you can influence others as well as be influenced, you again demonstrate your powers to lead and learn. Always be ethical in the use of this tool as it is another important skill for admired leaders.

If you espouse these 5 keys you will be well on your way to becoming a leader who will create a legacy impact on those with you interact. Plus you will reap the rewards in your business. A well lead team is more productive, efficient, creative and happy…all crucial to a solid bottom line!

6 Innovative Ways to Brainstorm Blogging Ideas

March 10, 2015 by  

1. Read Industry News: Because news is always, well, new, industry news sources are definitely a blogger’s friend. Subscribe to a bunch of blogs and websites that cover news related to your industry, and scan the news every time you’re suffering from blogger’s block. Find a particularly relevant or interesting news story, and cover it on your blog. Do your best to relate the story back to your readers, and be sure to include a valuable explanation, lesson, or takeaway they can learn from the story.
2. Encourage Others to Contribute: There’s absolutely no reason you should be the only person contributing to your business blog. Whether you’re the marketing manager, the business owner, or you’re on a multi-person marketing team and you’re assigned as the blog manager — you shouldn’t be the sole contributor. In fact, a one-person blogging situation is the easiest way to burn out and result in a boring blog. Ask other members of your team or even colleagues in other departments to contribute. Different minds think differently, and you’ll find they will often come up with ideas that never even crossed your mind. In addition, consider opening up your blog for guest posts and allowing other industry bloggers to contribute, too.
3. Come Up With a New Angle to Another’s Content: Many of my own content ideas come from reading other bloggers’ content. Subscribe to other blogs in your industry, and scan those blogs when you’re short of ideas. Maybe you have a differing perspective on a topic they’ve covered, or maybe you even disagree with the stance they’ve taken on a subject. Blog about it! Or perhaps they’ve just covered a topic you’ve never even considered blogging about and you have something to share about that topic, too.
4. Repurpose Content: Think of ways to repurpose content you’ve already produced. “Repurposing” could mean a number of things. Perhaps you wrote an e-book. Chances are, you can take an excerpt from that e-book and publish it as a stand-alone blog post. What about an older blog post you published a year ago? Have there since been developments or changes to the topic you wrote about? Consider taking the post and updating it with new information; then republish!
5. Be Open to Inspiration from Unlikely Places: Some of my most creative ideas for blog posts come to me when I’m not necessarily focusing on coming up with blogging ideas. If you’re having a hard time coming up with content topics, take a break and try an activity that relaxes you. Maybe it’s going for a run, baking, or taking a bath. Have an open mind. You’ll be surprised what great ideas you can generate when you’re not expecting it.
6. Try Combined Relevance: Combined relevance is taking two concept that don’t necessarily have anything to do with each other (like cupcakes and marketing), and connecting them in a clever and valuable way.

In the end, try to keep your blog short enough to keep the interest of your audience, but long enough to deliver some key and valuable points on the topic.

8 Keys to a Great Presentation

March 6, 2015 by  

Just the thought of public speaking makes many people quake in their boots. However there are some simple keys that can ensure a successful presentation.

If you employ the following tips you can be a star!

1. Know what you want to say: focus on the main concepts you wish to impart and develop them clearly

2. Believe in what you are saying: if you do not believe in what you are telling your audience they will not find you convincing and may not become engaged.

3. Be convincing: choose language and examples that will resonate with your audience

4. Be compelling: vary your pace, format and voice volume to retain the attention of your listeners

5. Provide valuable, usable & timely information: if you are sharing beneficial concepts and ideas your audience will be appreciative of your expertise

6. Be yourself: a natural, comfortable speaking style will make your audience relaxed, creating an atmosphere more conducive to retentive learning

7. Keep your eyes on your audience: make direct eye contact with as many participants as you can, so that the individuals will feel you are speaking directly to them….you will be more likely to retain their attention using this technique

8. Practice, Practice, Practice!! The best presenters practice the most…the more familiar you are with your material, the more confident you will feel and the more convincing and engaging you will be.

Public speaking can actually be fun, but without proper preparation it is very difficult to be effective.

Hone your personal style, wear a smile and just “fake it ‘til you make it!”

Networking….the Art of Relationship Building

March 2, 2015 by  

  • Do you ever feel that the “networking event rules” ought to be posted at the door of every networking venue?
    • How many times have you come home with a pocketful of business cards and not known what to do with them?
    • Are you annoyed when you start receiving someone’s newsletter and you hardly remember who they are?
    • Don’t you just hate it when someone you just met tries to “sell” you something?

If these have been your experiences with networking let me offer you some tips.
1. Networking events are great opportunities to meet new people and catch up with those we know. We have about 90 seconds to give a new person a quick idea of who we are and what we do. Once we have exchanged business cards we can decide if this is someone we want to know more about….or not. If yes, make sure you follow up either that same day or within the next day or so….so they will remember who you are. And remember: This is not the time to be selling anything!!  Be complimentary, ask them about themselves and their business.  They will remember you if you are interested and listen to them!

2. Once a meeting has been arranged we will now have the chance to learn more about who they are and what they do and vice versa. Following this exchange we can decide if we might be making a new friend, if they may have need of our product or services, if we might be interested in their services or products or if there is an opportunity for some sort of collaboration. This might also be the time to see if sharing newsletters or blog sites etc. would be appropriate. Now a relationship can begin and grow from this exploratory meeting, or not.

3. With regard to the cards collected…… I use the two pocket filing system at such events….the cards I plan on following up with , go into my right hand pocket, the others, in the left. I review those choices when I get home, sometimes moving cards from one pile to the other and then actually discard those I have not chosen to pursue. The ones I wish to follow up on, I either call or send an email that night or the next day. If anyone from the discarded group contacts me, I will generally give them a “second chance” since they made an effort to follow up with me.  Devise a system that works for you because if you are not doing the follow up why are you going to networking events?

4. Finally, remember to have fun….this is what your business should be about….enjoying yourself. As Michael Gerber says, “we should be working on our business, not in our business.” Networking is part of working on our business as it helps us to set up strategic alliances, build a valuable network of contacts and familiarize ourselves with the business community.

Happy Networking!!