U.S. imports increased 9.1% in the first two months of the year while exports climbed 5.9%.
Category: Uncategorized (Page 1 of 60)
Article Written by: Tanya Tarr, Forbes
What’s a key resource in any business? Relationships. Experts point to the value of strong relationships in developing success and leadership at work and in the world. But what if we accidentally jeopardize those relationships? We all make mistakes. Maybe it’s a botched meeting or a tragically double-booked day. Maybe you forgot about a conference call and logged on (accidentally) 15 minutes late. You didn’t calculate time zones correctly, or you just spaced out at your desk. Whatever the case may be, we have all been there. While concrete steps should be taken to avoid future mistakes, the way we recover and apologize can mean the difference between making a career limiting move or repairing and possibly strengthen work relationships.
This all comes down to the art of apology. While you might not consider an apology to be a negotiation, it absolutely is one. While I’ve written about the power of having a strong walkaway plan, there are times when executing your walkaway plan aren’t feasible. It also might be the case that walking away would be more damaging than negotiating the space where the disagreement lives.
Where a negotiation based on price involves a zone of possible agreements, negotiating an apology involves a zone of possible concerns. Respect and trust are the values being transacted. Taking the time to surface the concerns of your negotiating partner (or the person you missed the meeting with) is part of defining that zone of possible concerns. The other part of defining your zone of possible concerns is determining what actions will re-establish trust and strategically communicate respect. Let’s look at five ways to do this:
1. Be sincere, direct and clear in your communication. Principled negotiators often mention the importance of clear and direct communication. That might look like briefly stating the honest reason why something might have gotten fumbled and offer a short, sincere apology. I’m not talking about over-apologizing, which can be a hazard for some. This would be a situation where it’s clear you had direct fault in a negative outcome. The key here is to speak very plainly, own fault where appropriate, and pivot quickly to a solution. That solution might be a discussion on how you can make the situation right or how you will take steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again in the future.
Written by: Naphtali Hoff (http://smartbrief.com/original/2017/12/how-avoid-being-technician-other-clothes?utm_source=brief)
Without question, one of the hardest things for a person to do in business is to take the next step from being a great worker to becoming a successful leader.
Most people start at the bottom of the employment chain as a “technician,” working hard to produce a consistent, predictable product, service or solution as mandated from above. Whether it be a craftsman developing widgets, a coder producing code, a banker managing transactions, a salesperson making sales or a repairman fixing appliances, these technicians do their jobs day in, day out. Some do it so well that they soon are promoted to the next level, that of manager or leader.
Others might decide that they can do the work as well if not better than their boss and choose to venture out on their own and start their own business. In other words, they jump from being a technician to a self-anointed entrepreneur.
(These progressions borrow from the teachings of Michael Gerber, founder of E-Myth Worldwide.)
Naturally, the problem is that great technicians don’t always become great managers, leaders or owners. They are deeply rooted in their work and understand it well. But that may not translate into having the ability to provide guidance, direction and vision to others around them.
Nor does it mean that they will have developed the leadership skills to communicate and gain the support of, let alone elevate and inspire. those around them. Their technical successes also cannot ensure that they will become great business owners and find ways to grow their enterprises and build equity.
The frequent result is that many revert to doing the technical work, both because they’re still really good at it and also since they don’t know what else to do to make a contribution. But their team and business ultimately are the ones that suffer.
Technicians who become managers/leaders/owners need to begin with a shift in mindset. They can no longer see themselves as the ones tasked with doing the work. That must become the responsibility of others. Moreover, they should start to view their technical knowledge as an encumbrance, to the degree that it focuses them on their own tasks, skills and successes rather than on their team’s. Success will only come when they shift attention to how to guide their people and build their businesses to achieve long-term success.
Here are some other steps that can help the new manager et al succeed in their new role.
Listen well. The first step towards strong relationships is listening. Listen actively and intently to your people to build bridges and gain insights.
Communicate steadily. Keep your people in the loop through regular communication, whether in written or digital formats or via conversations and meetings. Let them know what’s going on and what you need from them for your team or business to win.
Gain small, early wins. Find easy ways to gain a sense of accomplishment and people’s trust. Identify easy, low-stakes improvement opportunities that will build positive momentum.
Learn to think more broadly. Instead of thinking in terms of technical tasks, ask yourself what your people need to succeed. Also become more mindful of big-picture items such as missions and vision, market conditions and trends, competitors, and the like.
Be a motivator. Find ways to get your people going, ideally through intrinsic rather than extrinsic motivators. If you are unsure how to do this, think of others who have motivated you to perform and the techniques that they used to do so.
Delegate. Find ways to empower your people and build their own sense of leadership and efficacy. This will also free you up for other work.
Learn new skills. Be willing to learn new things and get beyond your comfort zone. No great leader starts with a full toolkit. And no great leader ever thinks that he/she has arrived, especially in today’s ever-changing work and technological environment. Commit to ongoing learning about everything that is important to your work — management, leadership, business development and/or technical skills — to best guide and support your people.
Naphtali Hoff, PsyD, (@impactfulcoach) became an executive coach and organizational consultant following a career as an educator and school administrator. Check out his new leadership book, “Becoming the New Boss.” Read his blog.
Written by Julie Winkle Giulioni (http://www.smartbrief.com/original/2017/12/holidays-arent-only-time-leadership-gifts?utm_source=brief)
The holidays are a time when many leaders find themselves scrambling simultaneously to meet year-end business goals and punctuate the season with their staffs. Too frequently, the stress overtakes the joy, and gifts become another obligatory to-do on a never-ending list.
What employees really want doesn’t come in a box or require a bow. And it’s certainly not restricted to December. What employees wish for are the special GIFTs that leaders can offer all year long.
Over the past 20-plus years in the leadership-development arena, I’ve never met a person who said they received too much recognition. But I’ve met many who report getting woefully too little. Positive feedback is one of the most cost-effective actions a leader can take to elevate morale, engagement and performance. Catching others doing something well grows that behavior. It also shines a spotlight for the rest of the team on what you value, thus magnifying the message.
“Thriving is about creating a community workplace culture that promotes succeeding at life as well as work – not just how physical health or wellness is defined,” says Renee Moorefield, chair of the Wellness at Work initiative at the Global Wellness Institute and founder of Wisdom Works, a firm that has spent decades helping global brands including Coca-Cola, Nike and Merck recraft their health offerings.
Companies including Capital One, Zappos, Procter & Gamble, Ben & Jerry’s, Nike, Google and PricewaterhouseCoopers have been quick to embrace this philosophy, which results in increased loyalty because more people love their jobs.
“When I have the space and time to take care of myself throughout the day, that means I am more productive when I need to be and can more fully rejuvenate when I’m away from the office,” says Michele Titolo, lead software engineer at Capital One, which designates “sleeping nooks” throughout the office for midday naps. At its C1 Labs in San Francisco, they even take advantage of ceiling space, where ladders lead to high-above-ground sleep nooks.
A WELCOME WORKPLACE EPIDEMIC
Companies increasingly are willing to go the extra mile to keep workers and their families healthy and happy, to keep health costs down and retention and loyalty up, and create an increased sense of camaraderie. Hip tech giants and digital startups remain on the leading edge of businesses thinking differently about workplace health, thanks to millennials redefining how work priorities socialize with their personal time and life goals.
At its campus in Mountain View, Calif., Google offers everything from kickboxing, nap pods and onsite swimming pools to a slide for people who want an energy thrill getting from floor to floor. Over at Zappos in the company quad, you’ll see people playing tetherball, volley ball, shooting hoops and generally playing around on Recess Tuesdays. On other days, as part of Zappos’ Wellness Adventures initiative, wellness coordinators randomly grab people from different teams away from their work to go and do something fun instead. It could be trampolining, laser tag or taking a quick golf lesson.
WHY BUSINESS IS NOW ONBOARD
Ron Goetzel has spent three decades evaluating the impact of workplace wellness programs and their effectiveness in both helping workers improve their health on the job and lowering health costs for employers and their employees. He’s senior scientist and director of the Institute for Health and Productivity Studies at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
His research has proven that companies that take their employees’ health seriously—and don’t just pay it lip service—outperform the S&P 500 (the equity performance index tracking the 500 largest U.S. companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange or NASDAQ) by a whopping 3 to 1.
“It happens successfully when enlightened leadership says, ‘Wait a minute—the most important asset we have is our gifted people.’ Then they create a culture that reinforces health and well-being, where the boss frequently articulates the company’s health offerings and perks and encourages the full workforce to take advantage of great wellness benefits without feeling guilty.”
Goetzel points to winners of the C. Everett Koop National Health Award, which recognizes outstanding worksite health promotion and improvement programs, such as that of O’Neal Industries (ONI) in Birmingham, Ala. The family-owned chain of metals service centers created a health and wellness program called LIVESMART. Employees get their health numbers checked regularly—blood pressure, cholesterol, body mass index, blood glucose, physical activity levels and tobacco use—but also take part in fun time-out programs, like one that gets workers from the warehouse to the executive suite moving down the hallways to the sounds of Pharrell Williams’ “Happy.” Today, LIVESMART has saved ONI nearly $500,000 in health costs, with a return on investment of $1.52 for every dollar spent on keeping the company healthy. And that means more money to invest back into workers’ wellness.
Target—a $70 billion company with more than 320,000 employees nationwide in its stores, distribution centers and at corporate HQ in Minneapolis—takes workplace wellness very seriously, and its numbers also tell a story of success.
“In less than 12 months, more than 28,000 employees have already had their numbers checked at 2,000-plus biometric screenings and wellness events,” says Stephanie Lundquist, Target’s chief of human resources. “We leveraged $78,000 for our Team Life initiative, and last year alone saved $12.4 million for our team.”
Even more crucial, Target’s programs—like many companies’—have literally saved lives. Kim Wier, a senior technology services manager in Minneapolis, was six months overdue for her annual mammogram, just too busy with life to take time out to go and get it done. Then Target brought a Mammo a-Go-Go bus to her office—a mobile mammography unit from the Jane Brattain Breast Center—and she was quick to sign up.
“It was great,” says Wier, 51. “I just walked down to the parking lot and was back at my desk within half an hour.” The following morning, a radiologist called. Her mammogram showed a suspicious lump. After an ultrasound and an urgent biopsy, she says, “The nurse confirmed I did, in fact, have breast cancer. I met with the surgeon right away, and within 10 days had surgery and was on my way to recovery.”
Wier credits Target’s Team Life wellness offerings for saving her life. “It was so, so fortuitous that Target gives us these opportunities and I found my cancer,” she says. “Having that mammogram right there at work saved me from chemo, a probable mastectomy and all sorts of horrible treatments. It makes me feel joyful and grateful to work for Target.”
” By Susan Fowler of SmartBrief”
What is the best working experience you have ever had? What words or phrases would you use to describe it?
- I felt… (enthusiastic, valued, trusted).
- I had… (expertise, support, sense of meaning).
- I was… (effective, learning and growing, busy without being overwhelmed).
What is the worst working experience you have ever had? How would you describe it?
- I felt… (frustrated, angry, abandoned).
- I had… (complaints, obstacles, problems I couldn’t solve).
- I was… (tired, enervated, isolated).
To understand the dynamics underlying the best and worst working experiences, identify a major goal or project you were working on in the best of times. Then, diagnose your development level on that goal. Which of these four levels of development best reflect your competence and commitment on the goal or project?
- D1—Enthusiastic Beginner. Your competence is low (you have never demonstrated the skill or ability demanded by the goal or project before), but your commitment (motivation and confidence) is high.
- D2—Disillusioned Learner. Your competence is still not where it needs to be (low to some), but because of reality shock (the difference between your expectations going into the goal and the reality of your experience), your commitment has fallen to low.
- D3—Capable, but Cautious, Performer. Your competence is steadily improving (moderate to high), but your commitment fluctuates (variable).
- D4—Self-Reliant Achiever. Your competence and commitment are both high.
Now think about the worst of times. How would you diagnose your development level on a major goal or project? D1, D2, D3, or D4?
Over the years, I have led thousands of people through this “best and worst of times” activity. First, people examine their emotions in the best and worst of times. Then, they diagnose their development level on significant goals. Their aha moment comes by answering these questions.
“For the best of times, raise your hand if you were at D1, D2, D3, D4. For the worst of times, raise your hand if you were at D1, D2, D3, D4.”
Regardless of the participants’ roles, language, culture, or age, the same pattern emerges. Hands go up for every development level for both the best and worst of times. Sometimes, in a small group, I might not see a hand go up for D2 in the best of times, but otherwise, a person’s development level is not what distinguishes the best of times from the worst of times.
I take another poll based on the Situational Leadership II model — the most popular leadership model in the world — which depicts a leadership style that matches the needs for each of the four development levels:
“For the best of times, raise your hand if you received a leadership style from your manager that matched your development level. In the worst of times, raise your hand if you received a matching leadership style.”
Again, a pattern emerges. In the best of times, people received a leadership style that matched their development level needs—they received the appropriate direction and support. In the worst of times, their manager either over-supervised or under-supervised them.
I remember one exception. A young man described how he was in the best of times at the D4 level of development with high competence and high commitment. But, he didn’t get a matching leadership style. Instead of giving him the low direction and support appropriate for a self-reliant achiever, his boss gave him high direction and support. Perplexed, I asked him, “How could you experience the best of times when your boss was micromanaging you?” The young man smiled, “I realized micromanaging me was his need, not mine, so I simply ignored him.”
I admire the young man’s ability to self-regulate, but hope you’ll consider three strategies that have proven more effective for creating the best of times.
- Assume good intent. Most managers don’t wake up every morning with the intent of making you miserable. Most managers want to be effective leaders. They, too, want to experience the best of times.
- Realize that managers are not mind readers. In our personal relationships, we are encouraged to communicate our needs. If the people who love you most in the world don’t know what you need unless you express it, why do you expect your manager to know? It’s not wise, nor is it fair to expect your manager to know what you’re thinking or what you need.
- Manage up. It’s in everyone’s best interest to ask for what you need to succeed. Learn how to diagnose your own development level and then use the most powerful phrase for getting direction and support: “I need.” Your well-intentioned manager will be happy to know what you need without having to read your mind.
Self-leadership is having the mindset and the skill set for getting what you need to succeed. That also means accepting responsibility for your own growth and progress. I hope you agree that if you can create the best of times by proactively getting the direction and support you need, it’s well worth the effort.
Nothing great in the world has been accomplished without passion.
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel,
Campbell Soup Supply Co. will get a $1 million tax break by temporarily ceding ownership of its planned Findlay, Ohio, distribution center to the regional port authority. (The Courier)
High-end handbag and apparel maker Kate Spade & Co. is exploring a sale of the company. (WSJ)