What Difference Does Education Make for People in a Leadership Position?

A leader without education is often using instinct to make decisions. While this can be effective, a leader with education is much more likely to make good decisions for the company and its stakeholders. However, don’t jump up and sign up for your MBA just yet! I think that leaders should learn critical thinking skills, advanced/specialized industry knowledge, emotional intelligence, and technical skills because each of these skills will benefit the person learning them and the organization they work for. You can learn most, if not all of these things, outside of a college or university.

Critical Thinking Skills

A leader in any field would benefit from strong critical thinking skills because they have been shown to improve a person’s ability to problem-solve. Since every person will deal with problems, these skills can be used to benefit an individual learning the skills as well as the organization they work for. Learning can foster critical thinking skills if it encourages the learner to think about why a topic is important rather than learning facts about the topic. Not sure where to start to enhance these skills? Try our On The Job Activity Builder.

Advanced Knowledge

An advanced degree provides more specialized education in a specific discipline. For example, if a business leader obtains a degree in psychology, it is more likely they will understand how the mind works. They can use this knowledge to motivate employees more effectively and build better relationships with clients rather than theoretical knowledge. Another example is a leader obtaining a degree in finance or business. Rather than buying heedlessly during a bull market or panicking during a bear market, a leader with a degree in finance will understand that these are trends and can change at any moment.

Emotional Intelligence

Building emotional intelligence is something that leaders can learn to do. As mentioned, some leaders might have an instinctual understanding of emotional intelligence, but building emotional intelligence can help leaders consider their feelings. This pause can allow the leader to move past their emotions rather than make a hasty or wrong decision because of them. Emotional intelligence can also be tied to critical thinking because a leader can learn why they are experiencing that emotion. Need more help? Get your EQ tested by a pro!

Technical Skills

Every leader needs to know technical skills related to the business or organization they are a part of. For example, a project leader may need to know technical skills such as how to code, even the basic level of coding necessary for HTML. That same leader could benefit from learning project planning or scheduling. On the other hand, a data entry manager should have a firm grasp on technical skills, such as email, statistical analysis, and numeracy.

Education can make a vast difference for any person in a leadership position. By learning these things, a person can lead a team more effectively. Learning and practicing emotional intelligence will allow a leader to make rational decisions rather than being led by ego or emotion. More education can allow a leader to focus on what is essential, whether that means developing a top-notch team of employees or accruing wealth for a company. By attaining a higher level of education, leaders will be able to solve problems effectively while avoiding pitfalls.

To learn more tips on how to be a great leader, take the leadership agility assessment!

How to Save Time and Put Your Business on Autopilot

How to Save Time and Put Your Business on Autopilot

Saving time is one of the few things that seem very elusive to business owners. While most business owners understand the concept of saving time, the actual process of where they can save time and how to do it is where they need help the most. In this piece, we’re going to show you eight ways to save time and put your business on autopilot. It might be easier than you think and you may have already had some of these pieces in place, but here you learn how they all can interact with each other to create a seamless business that allows you to do what you love.

Hire Competent Employees

In the early 2000s, there was a book released by Tim Ferriss called The 4-Hour Work Week. It set the business world ablaze with the idea that you could use a virtual assistant to help do almost any task and only have to work directly in your company or business for four hours a week. While the author did acknowledge that this process may not work for every type of leader across all business industries, it did open up the eyes of executives and CEOs into what they could better delegate and to whom. When you have the right staff supporting you, it will put your business on a path to growth with ease. Employees who are well-versed in their specific role of support and are competent in the processes that they follow in order to achieve the results of the business are worth their weight in gold. Not only will these employees help your business succeed, but they will also find ways to be more efficient and put daily processes that are repetitive on autopilot, saving the entire company and team both time and money. These are the people that you need to attract and retain.

Improve Training

This is a pivotal part of your business’s process that should be automated in order to efficiently train new employees or train current employees on new systems, products, or services. And according to Jolt, when you automate the training process, you’re able to effortlessly train more than one person at a time. This works well because if anyone has any questions, they can ask their colleagues to get clarification before needing to take that question to any of the higher-ups. A lot of times simple questions can be clarified by conversation. If you need help overhauling your training, there are some awesome companies that can provide help, including Phoenix Leadership Solutions.

Build a Loyal Customer Base

Experienced seven-figure business owner, Amy Porterfield, says often that your money is where your mailing list is. Whether you are a brick-and-mortar company or an online business, building a consistent and loyal customer base is key to being able to save time in your business. Customers return to brands that they’ve worked with and trust. According to Smile.io, when a customer has purchased from you three times, they are 54 percent more likely to purchase from you continuously after that point. When you consistently communicate with customers, especially those who’ve already purchased from you, you are increasing the ability for your business to announce a new product or service and have people snapping it up right away.

Use Marketing Tools

This is one of the easiest tasks to put on autopilot in your business and it will not only save you time, but it will also save your team time. When you sit down with your marketing team, see where they can automate tasks that they do on a daily or weekly basis. For managing the social media presence of your business, use a scheduling tool like Later or Tailwind to post your content without anyone having to be tied to their computer. While they aren’t yet mobile, my favorite social media tool, by far, is PromoRepublic. For customer relationship management, marketing tools like Mailchimp let you automate the process of sending out messages to your customers by email. Sit down with your marketing and content team to plan out the month or quarter and have them input your promotional material into an email sequence that will be sent according to the schedule that your marketing department sets. The key here is collaborations. Your marketing people are professionals just like you. Be sure to listen to what they say and implement it.

Use CRM Tools

Just like you should be automating your social media and email marketing, you should also be utilizing client resource management tools to automate the follow-up process of customers or clients who have expressed interest in working with your business. There are a number of CRM tools available to your business. The key is finding one that can grow with the changes in technology and the way that people prefer to respond and interact with your business. For example, one thing you need in a CRM is text messaging capability. This feature is important because it helps you follow up with your potential clients. Because text messaging has become so common, many customers read and respond to business messages that they get by way of text. One study shows that 85 percent of the time clients prefer to get a text from a business for follow up.

Schedule IT Audits

With the increase in data breaches and hackers trying to gain access to the internal workings of your business, IT audits should be a regular thing that is scheduled for your business. Straight Edge IT points out that letting other people manage your IT issues allows you to focus on the parts of your business you know best. Schedule your backups and also pre-schedule your hardware IT appointments. Then, set your reminders in your phone or calendar so you’re not in the middle of a major project when IT support shows up. You don’t have to be present for the IT audit and you can even ask to have the report sent to you via email so that you can review it on your own time and message back the support person any questions you may have later.

Create Scalable Systems

The key to being able to save time in your business and put it on autopilot is to create scalable systems. Before you go to automate any of your processes, have a meeting with your team and be certain that you have systems and processes in place that each person knows how they run and the steps that they take to make them work. If the answer is affirmative, then look at the process of automating your business and allowing you to free up your time.

Trust the Process

Once control is taken out of the hands of the CEO, it’s normal to get nervous and a little bit scared at how the process will go. But trusting the process can lead to success if you have the right people around you. Because you’ve met with your team, trust that the automation you’ve put in place can be supported by the systems and people that you’ve brought on board.

Allowing the tasks in your business to become more auto-piloted can be scary. Your business is important to you and it’s anxiety-inducing to think of passing off certain aspects to other people. However, doing this will let your business run smoother and get you more profits. Try the tips shared in this article and see where you and your company can go.

For more ways to make your business run smoother, read more about it here!

How to Keep Company Vehicles Running for a Long Time

How to Keep Company Vehicles Running for a Long Time

When it comes to business, every area matters, and saving money wherever you can is important. Business leaders ought to focus heavily on high-cost areas such as company vehicle maintenance. Continually having to repair or even replace company cars and trucks can be very expensive, to say the least. Check out this list that includes some of the best strategies to implement within your organization in order to keep your commercial vehicles running for a long time.

Maintenance

Performing routine maintenance on your company fleet can be rather expensive. New tires, oil changes, and the occasional cleaning tend to add up. However, these costs are nothing compared with having to replace those vehicles. Consequently, if you want your company cars to last you a long time, these tune-ups must be performed on at least a quarterly basis. Focus on preventative maintenance. 

Safe Driving

There are many areas of a business that you can control, but one of the most difficult ones includes making sure drivers are practicing good driving habits. This is often the source of your high costs and the reason cars and trucks don’t last as long as you want them to. A great way to approach this issue is to avoid making assumptions. Bad driving habits don’t necessarily occur because drivers don’t care. Studies have shown that fatigue is a leading cause of accidents. Driving while drowsy can cause impaired vision and a decrease in cognitive functions. You can help fix this issue by looking at the hours spent driving and questioning whether you are placing too much work on your employees. Their health and safety should come first.

Purchase New Vehicles

It can be very enticing to purchase used cars and trucks for your company. Your cost could be cut in half if you choose to go down that path. However, this might not be the best route to take. You want your company vehicles to continue running for a long time, and statistics show that going with used cars won’t get you there. When seeking vehicles for your company, it is important to purchase new ones in order to ensure that you’ll get the most use out of them. Want to get the biggest bang for your buck? Go electric with Atlis Motor Vehicles.

Focusing on keeping company vehicles running for a long time is often one of the most overlooked areas of a company’s management. Business leaders should adhere to the list above in order to make sure that their resources and money aren’t wasted.

Here’s another article you might like: How to Make Your Workplace Safer and More Inclusive

How Can I Increase Productivity?

How Can I Increase Productivity?

When it comes to running a successful business, the number of productive hours in a day is crucial for growth. Often times trying to dissect the issue within your company can make the problem even more complex than it should be. The fact is that fixing this issue is often simpler than one would think. Therefore, the following list includes some of the best ways to increase productivity within your business.

Have a Clear Goal

One of the most common misconceptions about a lack of productivity in the office is that employees are simply lazy. One lazy person might be possible but writing off an entire office as lazy is ridiculous. Instead, stop and ask yourself why your employees don’t seem to be motivated to work hard for you and the company. You will often find that they simply don’t have a clear goal to work toward. As a leader, it is your responsibility to communicate effectively to your employees about the goals of the company, department, and team. This should include weekly, monthly, and quarterly goals. Afterward, make sure that those goals are being looked at and updated regularly.

Involve Employees

A common cause of low productivity within an office is its own policies and procedures. You, as a business leader, must sit down and attempt to figure out what areas can be improved on or eliminate entirely. Sometimes technology can even be integrated to remove redundant tasks. When it comes to organization, employees are a valuable resource, as they are the ones who are actually participating in the workflow. Getting the input of the people who are actually doing the work is key. A great strategy to implement is a town hall meeting. This is where employees are encouraged to voice their concerns and suggestions. Your job here is to listen and act after the matter. It is important that if you do make changes based on the feedback that you receive, that you let people know what the changes are and why. Often, if you don’t let people know that you made the change based on what you heard from them, they may not connect the dots and may still feel like they weren’t listened to.

Introduce Incentives

Introducing incentives in the workplace can help boost productivity. You don’t have to promise large sums of money or promotion, but you can offer smaller incentives that your employees are sure to still love. One of the best things you can offer are additional vacation days, who doesn’t love more vacation days? You could even offer longer breaks or work-from-home days. Get to know what incentives motivate your employees. Leaders should know what drives each and every person on their team.

Every business leader understands the importance of having a productive staff. However, not every leader understands how to fix this very serious issue. I recommend that business leaders take a look at list above to begin laying down the foundation of a strong and productive business.

What You Should Know About Remote Employees

What You Should Know About Remote Employees

With online communication getting even faster and technology becoming more a part of every workplace, the need for having employees all in the same place at once has dramatically diminished. If you’re looking to hire remote employees, you need to make sure you understand everything that goes into managing people who are on your team but could be located hundreds of miles away from you. This guide will give you a quick rundown about remote employees.

Will It Be Helpful?

Having remote employees just because you can might cause problems. Think about whether your business will be able to run smoothly if multiple people don’t work in the same building. You might try testing the waters by opening up a remote worker program on a temporary basis. Take note of both the positives and negatives of this experiment, and see if the positives are great enough to justify continuing and if the negatives are small or manageable enough not to be an issue.

Managing From Afar

Managing remote employees can take some getting used to, but it’s no big deal as long as you’re aware of the differences. As a manager, you should send out clear instructions to your remote employees with definitive deadlines. You also need to have guidelines in place for turning in work, which is very easy to do if you’ve set up the right collaboration tools beforehand.

The Equipment

In order to be up to speed, remote employees need to either be given the right equipment or directed about what to get. While it’s more costly to provide it yourself, it can definitely make it easier to do it that way. When giving out equipment to remote employees, you can mark them with asset tags to monitor and track them. Keep it clear that any equipment you give out is company property and that it must be treated properly as well as returned if they leave the company.

Time Zone Differences

One barrier to hiring someone to work remotely is time zone differences. Should someone live on the same coast, you’ll have similar or identical time zones. However, an employee could be going to bed when you’re waking up due to the severe difference in time zones. If you have various people on-call at various times, you can make this work, and the different time zones of your workers can be an asset. But, when posting a job listing, you should be specific about when you’ll need people to be available.

Opening the Candidate Pool

Someone could be perfect for your team but have geographic restrictions. However, this doesn’t have to mean they can’t work for you. By hiring them to work remotely, you can have them on your team even if your communication is restricted to webcams and emails. This will allow you to cast a wider net when you are recruiting top talent.

Leadership Mindset

As someone pointed out to me recently, having the right leadership mindset is critical to any remote worker program. Leaders need to understand that micromanaging and strict oversight is near impossible when you are managing someone virtually. Remote employees want to be treated fairly, just like every other employee. Having leaders who understand and accept that is important. When managing remote teams, building a culture that values trust and autonomy is extremely important.

Are you ready to step into this decade and open your organization up to have a remote workforce? If you still need some prep, that’s what we’re here for. 

 

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