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Leadership Tip of the Month

Leadership Tip of the Month

January 20th, 2018
As a leader, you must never view a problem as a distraction, but rather as a strategic enabler for continuously improving and identifying new opportunities. To effectively overcome challenges, use this four-step process:

  1. Communicate transparently, facilitating dialogue among all parties affected.
  2. Break down management silos to facilitate cross-functional collaboration and problem solving.
  3. Hire and develop open-minded people who see beyond obvious details and are comfortable with calculated risk-taking.
  4. Develop a solid strategy for solving problems by gathering the right people, resources, budget and experiential knowledge to work on it.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/glennllopis/2013/11/04/the-4-most-effective-ways-leaders-solve-problems/#419f85904f97

10 Things to Do Instead of Complain

November 10th, 2016

10 Things to Do Instead of Complain

Choose Gratefulness

By Linda Sasser

Gratefulness probably won’t appear on any ranking of “Top leadership traits of successful CEOs” (or COOs, or CFOs, or directors, or managers, or line workers, for that matter). But I’m finding that it is a highly overlooked and undervalued characteristic of successful leaders at every level.

Do you struggle with negativity, complaining, or dwelling on what’s not right? Here are 10 habits you can start forming today that will improve your outlook and attitude, and consequently, the outlook and attitudes of those you influence.

  1. Focus on the progress. You want your employee to move 12 inches, and so far they’ve only moved six. Don’t dwell on their lack of progress — highlight the fact that they’ve moved six inches. They’re halfway there!
  2. Do something kind for someone else. Stop focusing on yourself, and turn your focus to helping someone else.
  3. Count your blessings. There is always, always, always something to be grateful for. Clean water, healthy food, safe warm homes … just these basics are things that millions and millions of people in this world do not have and that most of us take for granted.
  4. Take action. What have you done to fix it? Complaining to your boss or co-workers doesn’t count. Be honest with yourself. What are you really doing to fix the problem? And what attitude are you doing it with?
  5. Encourage someone else. You’re not the only one struggling. How do you want to be encouraged? Pass that encouragement on.
  6. Give some grace. You want the benefit of the doubt from your leader. Give your team the same.
  7. Don’t say anything. If it’s petty, whiny, or just pointless negativity, do yourself and your team a favor and keep it to yourself. We really don’t have to voice every negative thought that comes to mind.
  8. Serve someone else. Don’t worry about whether they deserve it or whether they’ve earned the right to be a beneficiary of your time or expertise. Just serve.
  9. Apologize and forgive. That anger or hurt that you’re harboring — at your boss, your teammate, your employee, or your friend — it’s just not worth it. Apologize for any hurt or misunderstanding you’ve caused, and genuinely forgive them (whether they apologize or not.)
  10. Create your own change. It only takes one person with a positive attitude to build positive momentum. Why not you?

Quote of the Month

October 20th, 2016
Quote of the Month
“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”
–Abraham Lincoln

LEADERSHIP TIP OF THE MONTH: GET OVER IT!

March 22nd, 2016
Leadership Tip of the Month: Overcome Your Midday Slump
LEADERSHIP TIP OF THE MONTH: GET OVER IT!

Threatened by people who are smarter than you? Get over it! Great leaders become even more successful when they build teams of true experts in their respective areas. What’s more, smart people want to work for secure leaders who will give them room to grow and freedom to innovate.

So if the prospect of hiring someone who knows more than you do about a subject makes you feel vulnerable, push past it. Think of the long-term benefits to your organization — and realize what a smart move it is to hire 10s.

Two Cool Breakthrough Technologies for 2016

February 16th, 2016

2 Cool Breakthrough Technologies for 2016

Two Cool Breatthrough Technologies for 2016

Light bulbs as wireless hotspots — and 100x faster? Electromagnetic waves that make objects disappear? This stuff is intense. Game-changing. And it’s HERE.

Technological innovation never sleeps. Even the youngest members of today’s workforce can remember a time when cell phones didn’t connect to the Internet or music was played off cassettes and CDs rather than streamed. In 2016, more game-changing tech is on the horizon — including these two new breakthrough technologies that offer opportunities that are, well, just plain cool.

Wi-Fi Too Slow? Turn on the Light

Today, businesses and homes alike are bristling with Wi-Fi routers, allowing devices to connect to the Internet without the use of Ethernet cables — a feat that was unthinkable 15 years ago and only started to be used widely 10 years ago.

In just a short time, however, we may all be tossing our routers into the same junk pile that collected our coils of CAT5e cable a few years back. That’s because a startup in Estonia has discovered a way to transmit wireless connectivity via light bulbs — at speeds that make today’s best connections look like yesterday’s 14.4 modem.

The company, Velmenni, uses a technology it calls “Li-Fi” to transmit data via light bulbs. In tests, connectivity speeds reached 1 gigabit per second (Gbps), or about 100 times faster than current Wi-Fi technology. In laboratory simulations, speeds as high as 224 Gbps have been predicted. Researchers are hoping that additional testing will help bring these predictions from science fiction to science fact.

Li-Fi works by modulating the intensity of LED light bulbs so that they can be used both to transmit data and to produce visible light. The modulation is too fast to be detected by human eyes, so the light bulb appears to be emitting steady light when in fact it is emitting both visible light and a data stream.

The idea for “Li-Fi,” using light bulbs as wireless routers, was floated by German physicist Harald Haas during a TED Talk in 2011. Research into the technology had begun as early as 2008, with Haas participating in some of the experiments. Recently, Haas’s group announced a partnership with a French company that will release the first wave of Li-Fi technology by the third quarter of 2016.

Invisibility Cloaks: Not Just for Wizards Anymore

Children and adults alike envied Harry Potter’s Invisibility Cloak, a garment that allows the wearer to move about undetected, when it first appeared in the beloved children’s series. In 2016, however, invisibility will no longer require a trip to Hogwarts. Researchers at the University of California — San Diego (UCSD) have created a cloaking technology that manipulates electromagnetic waves, such as visible light, to make the object beneath appear invisible.

Although several research teams are currently working on cloaking technology, the UCSD team has set itself apart by developing an ultra-light, metal-free cloak that uses relatively abundant and inexpensive materials. The “dielectric metasurface cloak” includes ceramic cylinders embedded in a Teflon substrate.

Because the material can work with only a narrow range of wavelengths at any one time, an object hidden beneath it can currently stay “hidden” only from one viewing attempt at a time. For instance, a cloak that is configured to manipulate radar waves, making the item invisible to radar, would leave the object visible to the naked eye, because it would not be configured to manipulate visible light waves. Nevertheless, the UCSD team is currently in talks with the U.S. armed forces about the potential military applications of the technology.

Since the design also requires less of the cloaking material to hide objects, it also expands the number of ways in which the material can be used. Although the armed forces are currently considering it for the hiding of small objects like unmanned drones, the possibilities — including our very own Invisibility Cloaks — are endless.

– See more at: http://resources.superior-staffing.com/i/71114449l2?utm_campaign=&utm_medium=&utm_source=What-do-you-and-a-rubber-ball-have-in-common&utm_content=[2]-two-cool-breakthrough-technologies-for-2016#sthash.TQQNsKuB.dpuf

Quote of the Month

January 18th, 2016

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?'”
-Martin Luther King, Jr.

Should You Grab that Cuppa?

January 18th, 2016

Should You Skip Your Morning Joe?

For so many of us, a morning cup of coffee is not just a ritual — it’s a necessity. We treat coffee like water, a vital source of energy to power us through a hectic day. We’ve all heard the warnings about our beloved pick-me-up beverage: dependency, withdrawal, afternoon caffeine crashes, insomnia, indigestion, and even dehydration.

Is drinking it a good idea? Well, it depends on your personality type.

There is a new warning for coffee drinkers from Cambridge psychologist and author Brian Little. In his book Me, Myself, and Us, the Science of Personality and the Art of Well-Being, Little suggests that there is another layer to The Great Coffee Debate. Little hypothesizes that there is no absolute when it comes to the “goodness” or the “badness” of coffee. Instead, he writes, the positive and negative effects of coffee are determined by personality type.

Introverts May Want to Rethink Their Premeeting Latte

Little’s research has led him to the conclusion that introverts and extroverts have distinctly different reactions to caffeine. He writes:

After ingesting about two cups of coffee, extraverts[sic] carry out tasks more efficiently, whereas introverts perform less well. This deficit is magnified if the task they are engaging in is quantitative and if it is done under time pressure.

For an introvert, an innocent couple cups of coffee before a meeting may prove challenging, particularly if the purpose of the meeting is a rapid-fire discussion of budget projections, data analysis, or similar quantitative concerns. In the same meeting, an extraverted colleague is likely to benefit from a caffeine kick.

New York Magazine Science of Us interviewed Little upon the release of his book. In that Q&A session, he explained that his conclusions are based upon Hans Eysenck’s theory of extroversion and research by William Revelle of Northwestern University.

According to Eysenck’s theory:

  • Introverts are naturally more aware of their environment than extroverts.
  • Introverts naturally operate above the optimal level of alertness.

So, Little suggests that caffeine can actually impede performance for these individuals, especially in stressful situations where the introvert already feels overwhelmed.

That’s not to say that introverts should avoid coffee altogether. When it comes to caffeine, timing may be everything. Little suggests that introverts may respond better to an early-afternoon cup of Joe rather than a morning cup, but he cautions that introverts should avoid caffeine before stepping into an important meeting.

The Science of Timing a Caffeinated Pick-Me-Up

Little is not the first scientist to suggest that timing matters when it comes to consuming caffeine. Our circadian rhythms — the natural cycle of hormones that tell our body when it’s time to power up for the day and power down for the night — may have an impact on our response to caffeine.

According to Steven Miller, Ph.D, cortisol significantly influences the ways in which caffeine affects the body. Cortisol is the hormone that helps the body feel awake and alert. The production of cortisol peaks in the morning and then lessens throughout the day. Consuming caffeine when it’s not needed means the body will build up a tolerance to caffeine, and the “buzz” it gives will diminish over time.

The takeaway?

You don’t have to eliminate coffee from your daily routine, you just might want to push it back to mid-morning or mid-afternoon in order to truly achieve a pick-me-up.

Coffee-loving introverts who just can’t imagine cutting out their morning cup of coffee should consider switching their morning beverage to uncaffeinated tea, decaf coffee, or even hot chocolate. Consuming a decaf hot beverage in the morning can help ease the transition — allowing for the morning ritual of a hot drink, without the potential negative effects of coffee.

And if you’re a true extrovert? Enjoy your morning cup of coffee, as it may just help you get ahead in the long run.

– See more at: http://resources.superior-staffing.com/i/70173077l2?utm_campaign=&utm_medium=&utm_source=Are-you-killing-your-company&utm_content=[2]-should-you-skip-your-morning-joe#sthash.4DSH8Ql0.dpuf

Fact of the Month: High-Value Activities? Most employees are in the dark.

January 18th, 2016

According to a Harris Interactive / Franklin Covey survey of over 23,000 people, 80 percent of employees don’t understand which behaviors, actions or activities generate the most value — or contribute to their employer’s success.

 

Fact of the Month: High-Value Activities? Most Employees are in the Dark

 

Leadership Tip

January 20th, 2015

Respond, Don’t React

Reacting is unconscious — you experience an emotional trigger and behave in a way that expresses or relieves that emotion (e.g., you snap at an employee who’s just interrupted an important call). Responding, in contrast, is a conscious process — you notice how you feel, and then decide how you want to behave (e.g., an employee interrupts your call — which irritates you — but you patiently explain why now isn’t a good time, and when would be better).

Great leaders understand this subtle, but critical, difference.

To improve your leadership skills, practice “checking” your emotional reactions. Pause to release negative feelings that cloud effective decision making. You’ll make more intelligent, positive choices that build relationships and inspire others to follow you.

August 25th, 2014

The “dirty dozen”: top 12 employer harassment mistakes

According to statistics collected by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, harassment charges have stayed relatively stable over the past three years, and the number of “cause” determinations has actually declined. (Yay!) Yet employers should still be concerned because the monetary relief has increased dramatically – from $82.1 million in fiscal year 2012 to $97.3 in fiscal year 2013. Dollars going up while cause determinations go down? (Boo.)

In other words, it isn’t Miller time for employers just yet.

In my continuing quest to make sure that none of our readers ever get sued — or, if that fails, never lose a lawsuit — here are my “Dirty Dozen” employer harassment mistakes. Are you guilty of any of these? If so, cease and desist!

THE “DIRTY DOZEN”: TOP 12 EMPLOYER HARASSMENT MISTAKES

  1. Having a harassment policy that covers sexual harassment only — nothing about race, national origin, disability, age, or religion, much less all of those “cutting edge” protected categories we’ve been talking about lately.
  2. Having a policy that requires the accuser to report the harassment through the chain of command. It’s ok to recommend doing it this way, but you need to have an alternative in case the harasser is in the chain of command.
  3. Policy or training that is too legalistic. One of my pet peeves is a harassment policy (or training) that simply recites the legal definition of unlawful harassment with no further explanation. No normal person knows what that legal definition means. It’s much better to provide SFW (suitable for work) examples so that employees know the behavior expectations and when they should complain.
  4. No training.
  5. Training that does not occur unless you’ve been sued. (If you get sued all the time, I guess this is all right.)
  6. Supervisors who, when receiving a harassment complaint, start investigating (or, heaven forbid, making determinations) on their own.
  7. Related to No. 6, failure to timely notify Human Resources or your lawyer about a complaint of harassment. The “lawyer” part is not a sales pitch. You don’t have to let outside counsel (like me) know right away, but do let your in-house counsel know, if you have in-house counsel.
  8. Not promptly separating the accuser and the accused, to (a) prevent further incidents, or (b) prevent further false accusations. (Consider suspending the accused with pay while you investigate. For everybody’s protection.)
  9. Overreaction. For example, firing the accused, a 25-year employee with a clean record, because he told a mildly off-color joke that offended somebody.
  10. Underreaction. For example, giving a writeup to the accused after you’ve determined that he sexually assaulted his assistant in the supply closet.
  11. Failure to follow all leads when conducting your investigation. Unless the accused admits to the harassment right off the bat, interview every witness identified by the accuser and the accused, as well as any witnesses identified by the witnesses.
  12. Failure to follow up with the accuser after the investigation is over. This is crazy, especially if the accuser and accused will continue working together, or if the accusations were serious but you couldn’t do much because your investigation was inconclusive. Follow-up will give the accuser the chance to let you know if any new harassment occurs. It will also show her (or him) that you care about her (or his) well-being. And, if everything is now fine, you can document that each time you check in — the documentation will help you in the event of a lawsuit later.