Tag Archives: Inc Magazine
13 WAYS TO LOOK AT A LEADER | UXL, JUNE 2012
What’s the secret behind great leadership? There’s no “right” response to the question; All of us will answer differently because there are a multitude of different leadership styles.
Recently, INC MAGAZINE published an article outlining 13 DIFFERENT WAYS TO LOOK AT A LEADER. Before you inspect the list below, take a moment to consider an exemplary leader who you’ve experienced personally. What were the things that made this person strong and valuable?
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I was fascinated by a recent article, titled A Powerful (Mission) Statement, I read in Inc Magazine about a previously unknown company in New York that went viral due to its—yep—mission statement.
The article explains:“Most mission statements contain words like value and service but often fail to explain what the founders truly care about, much less inspire anyone else to care, Holstee’s mission statement is an exception. The Brooklyn, New York-based company, which sells eco-friendly clothing and accessories, rose from obscurity last year after its statement, dubbed the Holstee Manifesto, went viral. The document has been viewed online more than 50 million times and translated into 12 languages.”
The Holstee Manifesto:
The story above really got me to thinking about mission statements and how important it is that your mission statement aligns with the essence of all that you do. It’s not only important that your mission statement means something to you, but it also needs to mean something to your customers and employees, and should differentiate you from the masses.
Creative Ideas for a Better Mission Statement
Start with a question (or 5!):
Does your mission statement…
add value to your company?
explain why you exist?
inspire and encourage employees?
get specific and relevant to your reality?
Your mission statement should be 1-2 sentences maximum. Don’t hesitate to revise or renew your statement according to the natural evolution of your business, your priorities, and the needs of your customers.
As a final piece of food for thought, consider whether or not your statement quantifies your goal, such as Microsoft’s well-known goal:
“A computer on every desk and in every home, all running on Microsoft software.”
We have all experienced a work life under the tyranny of a thankless and critical boss. Not very much fun, right? Similarly, we have all probably been guilty of being less nice than we could be at work. With these things in mind, I thought it might be useful to share with you the following interesting tidbits from Inc Magazine’s October 2011 issue.
Here’s an Idea: Stop Being a Jerk
1. Don’t ban the water cooler. “It used to drive me crazy to see people talking about other things at work. Now, I’m glad they’re doing it,” says Jay Steinfeld, founder and CEO of Houston-based Blinds.com. As he reminds readers, “you can’t be paranoid and creative at the same time; it’s impossible.” It’s important that people have an opportunity to interact like human beings!
2. Don’t discount community service. Being an active participant in charity and community service “trains people’s minds to think about improving other people’s lives,” explains Steinfeld. And I couldn’t agree more! What better way to find a place to reinforce your contribution, self-esteem, and sense of worth?
3. Don’t Ignore the good tries. Responding to the failed attempts of others with anger, disappointment, or lectures often discourages others to avoid trying new things and taking risks (both of which are essential to fostering a spirit of innovation). “Years ago, I would ream out people when they failed,” says Steinfeld. “Now I tell them, ‘Hey, it didn’t work, but I’m pleased you gave it a shot.’ And say it in front of others. I want people to experiment without fear of failure.”
4. Don’t leave it up to HR. Instead of wiping your hands clean of your contribution to the company culture, realize that it’s completely up to you. “Nothing happens if the top doesn’t agree or even personally care about it,” reminds Steinfeld.
According to an article titled “The Joblet Recovery” in INC. Magazine, “48 percent of Americans believe that since the financial crisis, we have become more capable of starting our own businesses.” The fact that people, post-economic slump, have gotten creative in their effort to make a living is undeniable. I, sitting here at my home office, am a living, breathing example of it. Every week I come into contact with dozens of professionals that have struck off on their own and now work as entrepreneurs, E-lancers, freelancers, and contract laborers instead of their former 9-5 employment.
In response to the market’s elimination of jobs and hesitation to reinstate new full-time positions, people all over the country are finding themselves in a situation where they’re required to wear many hats and learn to market themselves and their skills. Instead of focusing on the set list of skills they used at their previous post, individuals have begun to pursue handfuls of “joblets” that utilize a plethora of skills.
A huge part of an individual’s success as a freelancer, contract worker, or entrepreneur has to do with their ability to land a job or client. Individuals are no longer able to focus solely on their skills as they search for work. Instead, they are required to develop their ability to market themselves.
Learning to market yourself is not an easy task—not everyone has had professional sales experience, nor have they necessarily spent a lot of time on personal branding. Because of this, I have decided to share 3 important don’ts of selling that were recently published in INC. Magazine that may help the burgeoning group of self-employers to up their game:
Three things you never want to do—if you want to close (from INC. Magazine)
Do Not Dump Your Marbles on the Table:
When you enter a preliminary meeting it’s easy to be intimidated and your natural inclination may be to “get it all out,” as John Deal explains. Instead, Deal urges you “introduce yourself, and listen and figure out why they think they’re there and why you’re there.” Never recreate what’s on a brochure or become an “infomercial guy”. Get people talking to create partnerships.
Do Not Work So Hard Closing that You Close the Door:
Even if the deal does not go through, it is essential that you work to keep these potential customers or clients as advocates of your business. Deal explains that he maintains this relationship by sending Christmas cards and inviting people to receive his newsletter. “You’re making them part of your team instead of being a customer,” he says.
Do Not Be Afraid to Recommend Someone Else’s Business or Product:
Recognize when you may not fit the needs of a potential client and refrain from trying to reshape their needs to a service you offer. If you make a practice of referring them to others, you make friends in the industry. As Deal reminds us, your competitor might eventually do the same for you. If you put the best interest of your customer first, you’ll make money.”
Do you have questions about developing your brand, career, or business? Would your career benefit from informed advice about finding more customers and building a network that gives back? Contact UXL Today to transform the future of your business or career through guided professional coaching.