One More Move: Automate Some Emails

One more move: On the journey of building a successful enterprise, as leaders we must be a consistent presence behind our brand and organization. Automation provides that presence and your brand develops its authenticity. Connect the two and draw out your abundance.

Over the course of a year, I handle hundreds of emails helping adult learners who are beginning or ending their graduate degree careers. Fresh from school myself, I realize it is important to deliver quick, user-friendly responses to help them continue their paths with one less roadblock. Anyone who has to consistently answer familiar questions will find relief in e-mail automation. Taking time to direct anyone who approaches directly to valuable links on the website helps students while boosting your brand as a service leader.

Here’s how:

  1. Think of common links you share with others.
  2. Group them around frequent questions you get on a daily or weekly basis
  3. Use your email service provider to create link snippets:
  4. Take time to write a 1-2 sentence response and provide helpful links in your message for each and every person.

This blend of human response and helpful links elevates your email customer service, while shaving time for high order activities.

Do you automate your emails

What are your favorite tools?

Another simple step to take this week. Check out more moves on the site or send an email to weigh in on being an authentic leader in a branded world.

Dealing with negativity using wellness techniques either personal wellness or wellness in the workplace including mental, physical, and spiritual wellness

Use Wellness to Overcome Negative Ruts

 Facebook is introducing a dislike button.  Although they are not quite ready to roll it out, yet it is imperative that you and your team are able to face negativity in a way that yields positive outcomes.  You are going to have to face negative situations, behaviors, and emotions in your life and your business. When you practice ways to embrace negativity you will strengthen your ability to innovate and improve over time. Managing negativity means making proactive prevention a priority under your leadership. Mental, physical, and spiritual wellness are components necessary for maintaining positivity within your enterprise’s well-being. Here are some ways to consider how you can strengthen your systems and embrace negativity for good.

Mental Wellness

Our thoughts craft our reality and consistent negative thoughts can generate a reality that saps away our motivation, inspiration, and overall energy. Beyond our own input, the brain has a bias towards negative stimuli. We notice when something is wrong more strongly and more often than we notice positive attributes. Think of a silky smooth face, save for a small pimple on the right chin line.Our pimple gets more attention because it deviates from our preferred norm. Since our mind can easily dwell in negativity it is important to strengthen our mental toughness. Having a strong mindset and a belief in your ability to create positive outcomes will form a habit that will propel you beyond negativity and towards success.

Here’s a great YouTube clip where you can feel the integrity of positive thinking:

Physical Wellness

Of course. your mind can only take flight with your body. Physical wellness plays an important role in our ability to function at our prime capacity. It is your source of energy, which is the fuel you use to maintain a positive attitude all day. Consider this, when you are tired, loaded on junk food, and at an inert state due to bare minimum movement, your are bound to be cranky, groggy, and unfocused. Diet, exercise, and rest are key players in your physical wellness, but the main leader is your relationship with your body. Find ways to celebrate and respect your body for all it has produced in your life. A great way to tap into that relationship is through Tai Chi, which forces us to slow down and feel how we move.Then make sure to regularly fit in those superfoods in and to move a bit.

I attend to my fitness. I go to the gym every day and try to maintain my physical fitness; without that, it it tough to take challenges on the chess board.

Spiritual Wellness

Spiritual wellness is a tricky category, but one may call this emotional wellness or even wellness for the soul. Whatever it is; it is the positive emotions we elicit from certain actions we take. From putting on a favorite dance playlist or volunteering for your good cause to even taking some time to garden in the year. We as humans need to fulfill our desires and ignoring or downplaying them will build a subtle, yet powerful force of negative living. For yourself, take some time to ask and question if you are doing the activities that align with your values and vision. For your team, allow for people to spend time talking about their hobbies or create social activities around activities directly tied to the bottom line. This will boost morale and perhaps ignite creativity within your organization.

Here’s a quick exercise to boost wellness at work:

  • Hold a walking meeting on ways to improve wellness around the office
  • Create a “Free Fruit Friday” and bring in healthy fruits for people
  • Place an anonymous suggestion box for employees to freely share their thoughts and opinions
  • Craft out time for office groups to meet on a subject tied to their interests

There is a ton of ways to improve  wellness in your life and ventures. Wellness prevents negativity from paralyzing your flow. Take time today to boost the positives around you, and when Facebook rolls out its dislike button, you will be fully prepared.


Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

One More Move: What will you let go?

Like a lion sleeping in the grass even the most competitive of entrepreneurs have to let go sometimes.

Just like in the Free Your Team article we must free ourselves from the burdens that hold us back from success. What can you think of in your personal, spiritual, business or community life that you wish would just go away. With our current times of ever more visible violence, deception,  and distrust we need to constantly feed on positive sensations to manage the stress of simply being in the 21st century. Now that millennials have emerged in the workforce and are slowly becoming parents, the same old song and dance starts to wear thin on our history’s books. That goes for our personal lives as well. I confess this is the seventh blog I’ve started. It has taken that many tries to fully commit to the idea that I am meant to write for the rest of my life. My true passion is to write.  Like a lifelong love that is always nagging at my spirit.

How do you envision your passions? We can discuss below. 

So here we are, where we will claim our authentic success together. In order to hold on to these values, ethics, and beliefs that build our leadership we have to make space by letting go. This means dropping safety nets and, as Daymond John would say, taking affordable steps. At heart, this is the philosophy of One More Move. Taking conscious time to connect with our inner compass and ensure we find happiness with the decisions we take.

So here’s a tiny way to practice letting go. Find a junk drawer or go through your closet. Completely clean it out and only keep what you need. Get rid of at minimum 75% of what you have. You can give it away, sell it, or have it recycled. Use Craigslist, Facebook, or even your local post office for distribution. When your done admire the clarity you created in the space. Letting go allows us to have space to accept things we truly want in our lives. Release wisely.

That’s it for this Monday! I hope you all have a great night. 

Solution Saturday: Breakthrough Moments

 

Where your fears dwell is where your breakthroughs emerge.

The LeadershipFreak writes an excellent motivational article on recognizing and facilitating breakthrough moments with your self and your team. Entrepreneurs and business leaders live with uncertainty everyday. We all do in fact. Either we can try to escape or we can share and grow ways to continue molding our future’s vision of success.

Source: Solution Saturday: Breakthrough Moments

 

 

 

The New Necessity for Leadership Success

Excellent post that shows authenticity is a top trait for leadership success.  How can you ensure yourself and your team is being authentic? Simple, continue asking excellent questions and expecting excellent answers in return.

Source: The New Necessity for Leadership Success

One More Move: Face Yourself

Being an authentic leader, requires a healthy and growing amount of self-awareness. Back when I was in college (not tooooo long ago), I realized, I would avoid myself in the mirror if I was feeling the winter/semester blues. Now, I am a lot better at choosing to be positive, optimistic, and present, but back then I found this to be a big indicator that I was in a fog.

So why might one avoid seeing themselves in the mirror when they are down? 

Avoidance is a coping mechanism we think helps us escape feelings and thoughts we do not want to deal with. I didn’t want to deal with being a first-generation, out-of-state, working-class dishwashing college student in the middle of my first dreary/frozen Ohio winter. From my reflections, I saw this as a time where my mind was not happy with my situation and thus nothing was good enough, most importantly the view of myself. It was almost as if I could not look myself in the eye because then all the truth would spill out and I would have to face it. One good thing is: avoidance and other limiting thoughts and behaviors are surmountable. It just takes practice.

Here I am, growing my authentic leadership everyday, and hopefully you are too! Facing yourself in good times and especially bad times is a conversation you must continue in order to ensure your mind, body, and spirit are all on good terms. So my One More Move Challenge below is to Face Your Self.

Challenge steps:

  1. Find a comfortable place with a mirror.
  2. Stand in front of the mirror and move close enough to feel as though you are truly staring within – .
  3. Ask yourself: How can I achieve [x] ? ;  or How can I project who [I truly am]? 
  4. Answer yourself
  5. Accept your answer and express gratitude for your honesty.
  6. *Bonus*: Give yourself a big kiss. [Rarely my style, but it can be fun :)].

Seems simple, but this may be uncomfortable for some people. Facing ourselves is not a practice people delve in often. Find a moment to make friends because you are your own best friend for life. Repeat this exercise every and you’ll begin to build your confidence and character leading  to your authentic career brand


Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Free Your Team

free your team

Authentic talent acquisition is a key trend in corporate recruiting. It keeps companies working with the millennial workforce and helps them stay competitive in our flat economy.HR professionals, CEOs, and leaders overall need to pay attention to ensure all members of the company family are thriving throughout their career. Capturing talent is  an important best practice, ensuring your company’s people bring value on their journey.

What happens after is a road you must manage while your company and team evolve. An employee’s new career path will take them through many positions, those can either be with your company or with another. This is why it is important to develop a relationship with your employees where they feel free to grow within your company’s headquarters and global operation. Paying attention to placement, communication, and awareness of your team members will ensure you yield the most out of everyone’s purpose, passions, and contributions to the vision.

Placement

“Everybody’s a genius…”

How do you measure your organization’s genius? Every person is comprised of work preferences that ensure they will naturally thrive. Somewhat like a work destiny, work preferences could be boiled down to a six letter code, created by, academic psychologist, John Holland. He created the Holland code or RIASEC,  which covered what a person would be enjoy doing as a part of their vocation.

Learn more about the code

Of course human measurements can only test so far, and at base our guesses our 50/50. Real placement comes from experience. Set up times and opportunities for your employees to actively experiment. Encourage committees and allow employees to shadow in departments; speak with your employees about their codes and get their feedback. Over time, you and your employee will find a place within your enterprise that allows them to apply themselves in a way that is motivated by their preferences.

Communications

We are now a part of the trust economy. Building trust with your company’s leaders and team requires communication, transparency, and integrity. Corporations must brand from within in order to project their integrity to larger community. Yet, how do you communicate with your entire organization? If you are constantly pointing towards how great your company is without ensuring everyone is on board you will eventually move away from the trajectory that your employees are following. Elicit feedback relentlessly and accept all feedback equally to keep the lines of communication flowing. The best organizations do not run on emotions, yet they allow emotions to be freely expressed. Have strong systems in place to ensure everyone feels safe to share the voice and take a seat at the table.

Awareness

When you company’s tribe is just right you will feel the buzz of flow. Everyone will have a strong attention and care to what they are doing. While this is excellent and you have built a strong rapport, the final step to the employee’s buyer’s journey is leaving them feeling delighted. Take small steps to show you are aware of their lives as humans. Celebrate birthdays, appreciate their impact, highlight their hobbies. Find the time to engage and go the extra step with your employees and they will become your best brand ambassadors. 

Paying attention to your employees as listening to your overall market. A free team will be driven, motivated, and empowered to build the prosperity of your company’s mission and vision. With workforce potential declining, it is important to capture and keep talent on your side.

What is the cost of losing an employee?

  • For entry-level employees, it costs between 30% and 50% of their annual salary to replace them.
  • For mid-level employees, it costs upwards of 150% of their annual salary to replace them.
  • For high-level or highly specialized employees, you’re looking at 400% of their annual salary.

[Cited from Karlyn Borysenko]

The return on investment comes in the form of savings and revenue building from having a free and happy team.

How does your company ensure its employees are thriving?

One More Move - Sounds out the word omm which is a common chant in yoga

One More Move: Give Gratitude

Back to our regularly scheduled One More Move article! This series gives you singular moves to keep you motivated, authentic, and connected as your grow you personal and career path. This week, I challenge you to express gratitude. Why? Because it is through this expression of gratitude that we heighten our life’s quality, elevate our mood, and build our interpersonal relationships with others.

The benefits of gratitude are immense. It affects our mind, body, and soul. Below is an excellently designed infographic on The Power of Gratitude. You can see how the power of gratitude can help you can gain more energy, get better sleep, be less anxious, and have fewer headaches. All these benefits are necessary to regulate in order to stay motivated on the long-haul to your legacy. In a sense gratitude is the attitude of leadership that keeps us going and connected to ourselves and others around us. How do you find gratitude through out your day? 

12 Steps to Thrive

Credit Thanksgiving Infographic from Mind Valley Academy.

Here 5 easy ways to express gratitude today!

  1. Write a recommendation on LinkedIn  
  2. Send a thank you card to a colleague
  3. Give a generous tip to your server
  4. Publicly thank someone on Facebook
  5. Handwrite a letter of appreciation to a mentor your admire

Tiny Buddha offers 50 unique ways to express gratitude, which focuses a lot of being fully present with others  and considering ways to truly touch another person as a leader. There are many places where we can express gratitude. When we take time to make this one move we ripple forward positivity and good vibrations.

To cap off, here is a TED Talk on the Transformative Power of Gratitude. Give gratitude fair value as your return on investment is worth the deposit.

Higher Education Meeting : Higher Education Needs Business Analyst Consultants

Higher Education Needs Business Analyst Consultants on Its Leadership Team

I’m in higher education and I’m a business consultant. From what I’ve observed, higher education, as a whole, has some pretty heavy projects on its plate. With the incoming forces of a new generation of students, technologies, and concerns institutions are being looked towards for the ability to deliver results transparently and delightfully. How do you as a higher education leader envision the future? The plan we hold in mind, sight, and spirit is what truly maintains the legacy of an enterprising community. With the shaping culture of entrepreneurship in the higher ed field it is important to consider if your workforce is comprised of strong, agile teams in place to adapt to our very responsive world.

Higher Education Leadership Meeting

One team member to seek immediately would be the highly valued Business Analyst Consultant (BAC). From a business analyst, you will find a team member that is able to find and communicate the real problems within your operations, plans, and technologies. From there they work on the team to ensure the solution solves the problem, which can be a lot trickier than one might guess. As a consultant you will find they have the ability to develop and maintain relationships with the long-term goal in mind, making the solution-building process a lot less stressful over time. The BAC can be the backbone of a project acting as the communication center so the rest of your community body can act towards the common mission. There are three skills your BAC should bring to the table.

Enterprise analysis

What problems is your organization facing today? Are you aware of all the moving pieces and are they producing as effectively as they can? In this world no leader has time to focus on the ever-changing landscape. A BAC will. A good business analyst consultant review the external and internal factors and analyze how they may converge, so you can make effective decisions to prevent or solve any impending issues.

college seats communicating with new generation of college students

Elicitation

Once you’ve decided on a solution to create, the BAC will go to work to discover the true requirements needed to make your solution work as it should. Who will use the solution? Who needs to authorize? How can build as simple a solution as possible within our budget limits? Answering these questions thoroughly and early on helps straighten out what could spiral in the future.

Documentation and Communication

Once an authentic solution is discovered, the BAC will then get to real work. Designing, documenting, and communicating the solution over and over until it is clearly understood by all parties involved in the style they want to hear it. How does your VP of Finances? Director of Technology? Your students? Your alumni? Who really needs to know about the solutions your planning and how should they be engaged? Ensuring everyone can come on board with the plan ensures the solution grows organically within your organization and it will be adopted by the community.


Higher education is the “village” of modern civilization. As higher educators we have to ensure our practices, processes, and tools contribute to the development of every learner we welcome. We must be more agile than we balance the seemingly infinite capabilities of technology within the limits of human needs. Ensuring every member of your team is contributing to their fullest means leadership that respects and properly places their talent. A BAC will help you keep the problems your mission seeks to solve in mind, while finding its root causes and ensuring the solutions resolves or prevents the cause. Invest well in your consultant as 66% of success may hinge on their talents.

Akron Women in Tech: One Year Grown!

I didn’t post a One More Move article yesterday because I was attending the One Year Anniversary of Akron Women in Tech! It was at the Nightlight Theater in Akron and the event went pretty well. Here’s some highlights:

The Group

I found Akron Women in Tech on MeetUp. The group hosts discussion meetings, workshops, and work meetings for women to come together learn, code, and grow. Every event I have attended (around 3) has been a great way to bond, talk latest tech trends, and just meet other women in Northeast Ohio. They’ve had 20 MeetUps so far and have definitely gained credibility quickly in the community.

Check out their online slides!

The Venue

I’ve never been to The Nightlight Cinema Theater, but I will definitely be back. The quaint venue was spacious enough for a mid-to-large group and the mix of theater seating with antique coaching helps make you feel like you’re balling enough to be in your own home theater. The Nightlight shows independent films for you Netflix scrapers and on Mondays they contribute to good community causes. Definitely worth supporting.

The People

Networking with others is a cornerstone of leadership and knowing there is a community of tech interested women in Northeast Ohio is definitely worth meeting. The discussion on crappy C- movies, latests technologies, and new tidbits like FreeCodeCamp being recognized on LinkedIN as an educator was definitely worth carting out my daughter and driving to Akron for a great celebration.

Props to Akron Women in Tech! I wish you all well with your new 501c3 status and hope you can collaborate with Limitless Ambition one day!