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Exposing yourself to risk and failure can help push you up the career ladder. Just make sure someone’s watching.

During his 48-year career from owner of a small student newspaper to the head of a  multinational conglomerate with over 400 companies,  Virgin CEO Richard Branson copped the misses along with the hits,  noting that every error in judgment, whether a foray into cosmetics or a push into the high stakes cola market, brought with it valuable lessons.

“I’ll never again make the mistake of thinking that all large dominant companies are sleepy,” he blogged about his failed attempt to break the Coca-Cola and PepsiCo duopoly.

Learning to use mistakes well is an important leadership trait.  In fact, looking at how an executive responds to failure can be more telling than assessing their success when weighing up a person’s ability to take on the leadership mantle.  Great leaders learn from their errors. They are quick to recognise when a mistake has been made and are able to efficiently assess what can be salvaged or gained from the fallout. In many cases, feedback is immediate for anyone astute enough to learn from it.

Leave Room for Mistakes to Happen: At every stage of their career, high performers like Branson are prepared to take on assignments or challenges that have a reasonably high probability of failure. While moving outside their comfort zone – whether geographically or through the adoption of new technology or processes – undoubtedly exposes them to a certain amount of risk, it also brings new avenues for growth and the opportunity to develop valuable leadership abilities.

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Constant change is a norm in today’s fast-paced business environment.

It’s become important for companies to respond almost immediately, in order to sustain in a business world where geographical boundaries are continually diminishing; technology is rapidly advancing; customer expectations are ever changing  and the whole world is 24/7 connected.

Agility is one of the most important means to deal with it.

If you look at businesses that are progressing and growing, you will find that it’s their ability to be flexible and nimble that’s been helping them stay ahead of the competition. They are the ones that

  • Are more likely to be first to the market
  • Innovate more frequently
  • Are the best employer brands

Given the speed of market changes, an increasing number of companies, irrespective of their size and nature, are jumping on the agile bandwagon to survive and grow in a tumultuous business environment.

Sticking to the traditional values and modus operandi is not going to help. One must remember that agility is not just about implementing and executing new processes or templates. Rather it’s about developing an agile mindset and empowering people to face challenges without hesitating.

So, what does it take to build a company that’s flexible enough to respond quickly and efficiently to market changes? Well, just thinking about being agile doesn’t make you agile.

So, how do you go about it? Listed below are introductory steps that you need to take to prepare yourself to move towards agility.

Ask yourself these questions (more…)




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Ever wondered why some people talk so enthusiastically about 'marketing' without really understanding the components involved? This article gives you a simple and straightforward insight into the complexities of 'marketing'.

“Marketing is the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably.”

The official academic definition from CIM (The Chartered Institute of Marketing). This means the ideas, the brand, how you communicate, the design, print process, measuring effectiveness, market research and the psychology of consumer behaviour all count as part of the bigger picture of ‘marketing’.  

An understanding of what customers need and value is central to marketing. Learning your customers’ needs and how you can add value through marketing activities paves the way for a successful business in the long-term

A brief overview of the marketing industry: Marketing is a diverse profession with opportunities to be involved in all kinds of businesses.

1) B2B – Marketing To Other Businesses

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By 2025, Centennials will account for 30% of the global workforce, jumping into the workplace melting pot of Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Gen X and Millennials. This article may be something to share with employers you work with.

Their expectations? High.

Their brand loyalty? Low.

But your rewards for winning them over could be huge.

Here, we reveal everything you need to know about this exciting new wave of workers, shoppers and future-shapers to help you prepare your business for long term success.

How well do you know your generations? (more…)




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An organisation is made up of people and when people are involved, emotions automatically come into play, and a workplace is no different.

It would be unwise to assume that a workplace is all objective, no-emotion only performance kind of a packed room where hormones have no scope to creep in, however, the fact is that emotions alone are the biggest motivator or de-motivator of an employee.

The emotions alone, govern the performance and efficiency of a worker and had it not been the case, we would have never talked about the importance of work-life balance and for the present context, the need of emotionally intelligent leaders.

The current times are very dynamic not just economically but also socially where the social fabric is rapidly evolving due to globalisation and other influences. The average age of the workforce is reducing and the leaders now look forward to managing people belonging to different cultures and backgrounds. In such a situation, it is important for a leader to be highly sensitised to the emotional aspects of his/her transactions with people.

Emotional Intelligence is basically the ability to recognise and understand one’s own feelings and emotions as well as those of others and use that information to manage emotions and relationships.

The 4 important aspects of EI as proposed by Daniel Goleman are:

  • Self Awareness
  • Self Management
  • Social Awareness
  • Relationship Management or Social Skills

A leader tends to have a huge influence on the thoughts and motivation of people. He/she has the capacity to enthuse optimism and confidence in the followers and lead them to constructive endeavours which is called resonance and on the other hand they can negatively influence them to destruct, e.g of such leaders being Hitler and d Osama Bin Laden which is opposite to resonance called desonance. (more…)




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The following are the top ten articles about leadership posted by McKinsey.

1. What makes a CEO 'exceptional'? McKinsey assessed the early movers of CWOs with outstanding track records; some valuable lessons for leadership transitions emerged.

2. High-performing teams: A timeless leadership topic.  CEOs and senior executives can employ proven techniques to create top-team performance.

3. Why effective leaders must manage up, down, and sideways  Strong team leadership isn’t enough. Research shows the importance—for business impact and career success—of also mobilizing your boss and colleagues.

4. Culture for a digital age Risk aversion, weak customer focus, and siloed mind-sets have long bedeviled organizations. In a digital world, solving these cultural problems is no longer optional.

5. What’s missing in leadership development? Only a few actions matter, and they require the CEO’s attention.

6. Memo to the CEO: Are you the source of workplace dysfunction? Rudeness and bullying are rife, says Stanford professor Bob Sutton. Wise leaders figure out how to fix their teams and organizations; and they start by taking a long look in the mirror.

7. How functional leaders become CEOs Limited operational experience is not necessarily a barrier to the top job. Here’s what CFOs and others must do to jump to the next level.

8. Putting lifelong learning on the CEO agenda In an open letter to business leaders, a Harvard Business School professor and a learning engineer at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative present an emphatic case to make learning a corporate priority.

9. How technology is changing the job of the CEO What we learned when more than 75 chief executives and board chairs gathered to share concerns and offer one another advice.

10. Time for a new gender-equality playbook The old one isn’t working. We need bolder leadership and more exacting execution.

 




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One of the single most competitive advantages for companies today is the ability to grow, nurture, and develop leadership and management capability faster than the competition – future success depends on it.

That’s a bold statement to make, but I passionately believe in it, and more importantly, I have seen it have a profound impact in thousands of companies of all shapes and sizes. If you want to accelerate and fast-track the success of your business and build sustained high performance, you should look to develop leadership.

If you’re a sole trader, leadership and management responsibility probably sits with you. If you’ve got a small team, it is more important than ever as you need every single one of your people aligned and performing at their peak.

If you run a much bigger organisation, creating consistency and building strength at every level is critical to succession planning, creating the stretch, and the capacity to grow your business.

Leaders and Followers: There are usually two distinct groups of people: leaders and followers.

The leader-follower structure has been with us for generations and is perpetuated through organisations to this very day.

A hierarchical, command and control structure with decision-making from the top is what we know, and for good reason. (more…)




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