TONIKA BRUCE

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Women In Leadership: Why The Business World Needs To Be Ready For More Women Leaders

Women In Leadership: Why The Business World Needs To Be Ready For More Women Leaders

Although women’s equal participation in leadership is a vital factor in accomplishing the Sustainable Development Goals, data depicts that women remain underrepresented at all levels of decision-making globally. Nevertheless, the few female leaders in business and executive positions like Tonika Bruce have portrayed unique feminine traits such as multitasking, empathy, open communication, open-mindedness, and mindfulness that made them lead their teams successfully. 

Additionally, women leaders have introduced diverse perspectives and experiences resulting in enhanced innovation. 

Recently, topics about the number of women in leadership, equal pay in the workplace, and gender equality have been receiving increased attention. The discussion has forced business schools to create special tailor-made initiatives and programs for women. Among these initiatives, is enrolling women into MBA programs. An MBA can drastically influence women’s salaries and positions in their organizations.

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The Current Stats On Women Leaders

Gender equality and women serving in the highest executive positions such as heads of government or state are yet to be attained. Research by UN Women indicates that by September 2021, only twenty-six women were serving as heads of government or state. The study further shows a slow increment in the number of women serving as national parliamentarians. The number of women parliamentarians rose from 11% in 1995 to 22% in 2021. Nonetheless, women are determined, strong, and hardworking just like their male counterparts. Despite facts showing that Fortune 500 companies with a high female representation on their boards often outperform those with gender inequality, there are still few female leaders.

Current Stats on Women Leaders

Case studies by Robert Smith indicate that in 2020 only 33 women occupied the CEO positions in fortune 500 companies. In addition, the number of female CEOs is just 5.5% among three thousand of the biggest companies in the U.S. The statistics on women leaders may seem demoralizing but there have been remarkable improvements over time, especially with more women graduating from MBA programs. In 2020, the number of women CEOs rose by 2%, making the number of female CEOs at Fortune 500 companies to be at an all-time high. 

Statistically, women occupy about 29% of all senior management positions worldwide and 87% of international businesses have at least one female in a senior management role. 

Companies have realized that hiring women creates gender diversity, which can help organizations accomplish better financial outcomes. A more diverse workplace brings together different ideas, thus facilitating quick growth and sustainability.

How The MBA Is Paving The Way For Women Leaders In Business

MBA Is Paving Way for Women Leaders in Business

Historically, men have always dominated MBA courses and for numerous reasons, women have avoided the business field. However, this is changing for the better with more females entering the business world and more business schools admitting more females for MBA programs.

Erika James, the newly appointed first-ever black woman Dean in the 139 year-history of Wharton School just announced a 52% enrollment of women in the University’s new MBA class.

As a woman in leadership, Erika James is a champion, advocate, and role model for women in leadership. Her passion is best reflected in the years of academic scholarship in business and female executives. Not to mention her MBA teaching tenure and speaking engagements at women’s leadership forums.

History

Forté Foundation also reported that the total number of women students enrolled in MBA programs drastically rose from 32% in 2011 to 39% in 2019. The fundamental reason for this increase is that MBA schools play an essential role in providing women with the necessary confidence, skills, and tools to prosper in business. MBA schools eliminate the self-doubt and gender prejudice that women have no place in the business world. Furthermore, Professor Dianne Bevelander of the Rotterdam School of Management found out that MBAs give women the confidence and motivation to work their way up and become corporate leaders. MBAs pave the way for women’s talents to shine by empowering them to take risks, become innovative, and welcome leadership duties.

Things are improving for women leaders and MBA graduates, as the corporate world is accepting more female leaders. Looking at remuneration statistics, acquiring an MBA diploma will generally lead to a substantial income increase for women. In addition to salary increments, MBA programs equip women with the essential knowledge, skills, know-how, and credibility to rise continuously up the corporate ladder. Keystone MBA studies further indicate that women leaders with MBA education can lead, easily accept risk, and are more innovative.

The Contributions Of Women Leadership

It is about time the world acknowledges the contributions of women’s leadership and reserves more leadership positions for women. Women have proven to be powerful agents of change and their diverse perspectives have resulted in better decision-making strategies.

Women Leaders With MBA

Diplomas have demonstrated to be good decision-makers who are advancing gender equality and thus enhancing social, economic, and political progress. Additionally, women leaders enhance teamwork. Women demonstrate more enthusiasm, and passion, and take command of situations making teamwork feel more cooperative and less authoritative.

A meta-analysis comparison of male and female leaders by Natural HR acknowledged that women’s leadership was more transformational. Female leaders bring forward unique transformational concepts that lead to business prosperity. Moreover, women’s leadership has enhanced business-wide communication. Women are known to have unique skills such as strong communication skills, which they utilize to advance constructive conversations with clients, employees, and coworkers.

Gender diversity increases creativity, productivity, staff retention, and performance; consequently, 21% of women-led businesses experience above-average profitability. The value of workplace diversity and inclusion can not be overemphasized, and that is where the future of business is.

Conclusion

Advocating for gender equality in leadership and elevating women in decision-making ranks benefits businesses, politics, and communities. Therefore, governments and relevant stakeholders should ensure that women are getting the appropriate support such as enrollment in MBA programs that can propel them into leadership positions. 

Tonika Bruce offers business and leadership coaching for professionals seeking executive positions in organizations and new business owners. To get a 15-minute call consultation: Book a Call with Coach Bruce.

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leadership

The Ultimate Salary Negotiation Tips For Employers

The Ultimate Salary Negotiation Tips for EmployersF

Salary Negotiation Tips for Employers Imagine interviewing a potential employee with everything you need to scale up. You also have the right workplace and environment that encourages growth and talent. However, you lost them because you couldn’t negotiate a fair salary for them. The pain is even greater in real-life scenarios. 

Without a doubt, this is a real-life issue. Negotiating salaries rightly is one of the top problems all employers worldwide face. It is even worse for people who have never done it before. Knowing how to negotiate salaries is a core leadership skill. Every manager can learn and hone this skill with the right strategies.  Check out these reliable tips that would make you an expert in salary negotiation for employers.

Be Aware Of Your Industry Standards

Before interviewing a prospective candidate for a position, collate information on the pay range for such job roles in your field. Ensure you also know the experience levels attached to those salaries. This is one of the best ways to decide on how to negotiate the salary with your potential employees.

Candidates with more experience in that position may likely want more salary when compared to candidates with little or no experience in their respective careers. Another important aspect is to research your core competitors. More so if they are hiring for the same roles and also perform market research.

Salary Negotiation Tips For Employers

Check job postings of similar roles and see how the salary range you decide on fares. To be sure you are doing the research the right way, search for job postings in your geographic location. 

Also, look for incentives you can add to your salary package that will interest prospects. These include travel stipends, healthcare, bonuses, retirement plans, benefits, etc. Again, the idea is to create a salary package that will make you and the prospect happy. Having all this information and data will ensure you are ready to negotiate an acceptable salary range with your employees. 

Lead others across all levels when it comes to leadership, communication skills, and self-awareness: The Impactful Leader

Understand And Amplify Your Company's Benefits

advantage

One of the most reliable ways to negotiate better is by starting with what you’re worth.  Negotiation skills are essential to getting the best out of your employees, and salary is one area you should consider starting high. Listing what benefits will be available in return for working with you can go a long way towards winning over potential candidates – who doesn’t want more time off or better health insurance?

Prospective candidates are likely to adjust their salary expectations to meet yours if the perks and benefits are worth it. These benefits can include tuition remuneration, medical insurance, flexible workdays, development opportunities, paid leave, etc. 

Here is a pro tip: publicize the benefits prospective employees will enjoy when they work for your company. This can even be part of a publicity or marketing strategy. It pays to be proud and loud about these perks. 

Related: Challenges of Managing Virtual Teams and Their Solutions

Never Start Salary Negotiations With Your Best Offer

Many employers make the mistake of leading with their best offer. It will be impossible to get the employees to accept your offer if they want more. If you open talks with $70,000 for an open role, most employees will believe that’s your starting offer. So, even if this is fair and within industry standards, they would want to ask for more. 

Also, if you can’t increase the offer if they ask for a raise, they might interpret it as you not having an interest in employing them in the first place. The solution is to start with a particular amount. 

Doing this will make prospects make their salary expectation flexible. They will also understand what a reasonable salary range is. You will also have an edge to control the negotiating process by influencing their expectation by giving the first offer. That is known as anchoring. So, if they ask for a raise, it will most likely fall within your salary range. You might even save some money with this approach. 

Related: How You Can Improve Your Team’s Productivity

Always Anticipate A Counter Offer

You must always anticipate a counter from your prospective candidates as an employer. It is not unusual for them to ask for a better salary and benefits than what you offer. They want to ensure they are appreciated as they deserve to be. 

Please, don’t see a counteroffer as a lack of interest or disrespect. You can even use this counteroffer to understand your prospect’s needs and wants. This information will help you curate a combination of attractive salary and perks packages they will mostly accept. 

A reasonable and reliable approach is to start the negotiations by offering slightly lower than what you are willing to pay. Then adjust until both of you meet at a common ground.

Final Thoughts

If you follow these tips, you will improve your salary negotiation processes with potential employees. If you have reached your offer limit, let your candidate know. That will eliminate the prospect of both of you wasting time. Give them ample time to think about your offer.

Tonika Bruce is a leadership coach and entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience. Learn the basics of leadership and get started on your career in a new direction. For in-depth training with personalized coaching programs: Book an appointment.

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leadership

The Leader’s Path To Personal Growth

The Leader's Path To Personal Growth

In a leadership context, personal growth is the constant dedication to growing and developing core new skills needed to succeed in your industry or field. There are various leader’s path personal growth ways to achieve personal growth and development, including having a mentor, attending training and workshops to develop core leadership skills, listening to seasoned business podcasts, etc. Another reliable way to grow is to read books on leadership.

All these ways will help you improve your personal growth and development significantly. However, it doesn’t matter how you choose to follow; personal growth demands you set achievable goals by building positive habits daily. In this article, you will learn what to focus on during your journey to personal growth. 

Things To Emphasize During Your Personal Growth Journey

1. IDENTITY

The first thing you must lock in on your growth journey is your identity. Your identity is the foundation of both professional and personal development. There are several ways you can strengthen your identity. 

They Include

1. Knowing Your Skills And Natural Gifts

To understand these, identify the activities you are most proficient in. Understand how you feel when you are asked to do some tasks. Also, know why you have specific skills. This knowledge will help in identifying your purpose.

2. Creating A Confident Self-image

How you talk to yourself is crucial if you want to grow as a leader. If you are always saying negative affirmations like “I might never be the leader my team needs” or “I don’t think I can turn this situation around,” you will live those affirmations. Instead, use positive affirmations like “I lead my team as I ought to” or “Through my leadership, my team experiences a huge turnover in profit like never before,” etc. This will help in building your confidence and also shape your actions.

3. Being Clear About Your Vision

You have to find a way to connect your personal growth to your goals in life. Doing this will let you know the needed skills to accomplish them. For example, if you want to retire before the age of 40 and start earning passive income, you need to learn different investment strategies to help you achieve that.

2. SUCCESS

The primary reason you are working on yourself as a leader is to be successful. However, you also need to realize that you have to know how to handle failures before you can handle success. There is no success without failure. A survey done on a group by Linkagoal showed that 49% admitted that fear of failure was a vital setback for them. Another 43% said this same fear prevented them from trying again after failing once. Fear of failing can prevent significant personal growth. To conquer this fear.

Follow The Following Tips

1. Shun Victim Mentality

If you want to eliminate fear, you have to stop letting other people influence how you live negatively. It is your sole responsibility to be happy and prosperous. Even when you have a legitimate reason to be a victim, please don’t allow it to be a part of your identity. You will be preventing your personal development if you do. 

2. Have A Growth Mindset

Another reliable way to conquer failure fears is to change how you see it as a negative experience. Leaders with a growth mindset view failure as a learning opportunity. Instead of letting failure stop you from trying again, understand what went wrong in your first trial and learn from your mistakes.  

3. Define Success And Work Towards It

If you want to be successful, you must have your definition of success and work towards it. Don’t let anybody define what success is to you. If you do, you will work towards someone’s definition of success. This will make you feel you have to be a people pleaser. You will find out that fear will not let you take calculated risks because you don’t want to disappoint people. Working on your identity will help you to prevent this.

3. Raise Other Leaders

One of the most remarkable qualities of a leader is their ability to raise other leaders. However, you won’t be able to achieve this if you don’t prioritize personal growth. For a leader, personal growth and development is not a choice but a responsibility. When you become a leader, you are committed to caring for those under you and lead them well.

Your team’s success and well-being are dependent on how seriously you take your personal growth. You also need to use your knowledge and develop other leaders. 

Raising leaders at every level and sector in your organization is how your business will succeed. So, make sure you continue to learn about servant leadership, develop core leadership skills, and understand your measure of success. 

Final Thoughts

Many people don’t like the idea of personal growth and development because of the toxic and superficial advice numerous writers and speakers have fed them. However, to become a great and successful leader, you must prioritize personal growth. The tips above will help you to improve your leader’s path to personal growth. 

As a seasoned author on leadership and personal growth, I have helped many leaders develop core leadership skills related to their respective fields. 

You can check our bookshelf to find useful and popular business and leadership books for entrepreneurship success.

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5 Easy Ways To Convince Without Being Pushy

5 Easy Ways To Convince Without Being Pushy

Everyone tries to persuade someone else of something at some point in their lives. You may be attempting to gain a promotion at work, sell a product or service, or simply win an argument.  Regardless of your intentions, the more forceful you push, the more likely it is that people will become defensive and back away. Good persuasion is a technique that utilizes inoffensive and effective strategies to convince individuals. Learn 5 easy ways to convince others without being pushy, mastering the art of persuasive and respectful communication.

Pleasant persuasion involves bringing people to see and accept your point of view.

The art of persuasion is a sophisticated combination of effective communication skills and leadership abilities to bring people around to your proposals or recommendations. Mastering the art of convincing people will make you a better entrepreneur, salesperson, and professional. Good leaders are aware of how to persuade people without being aggressive. 

Here Are Five Tried-and-true Ways To Persuade Without Being Pushy

Easy Ways To Convince Without Being Pushy

Show Them What They Require

Everyone has a strong inner voice that is constantly defending their point of view and drowning out the words of those attempting to persuade them. You can avoid this process by incorporating visuals into your technique. Charts, graphs, and even sketches can help you persuade others to see things in a different light and persuade them to agree to your requests.

It is imperative to show people why your ideas or suggestions are important to them. Brands and advertisers major in creating marketing content that tries to show buyers why they need the products. 

Related: How to Become a Persuasion Master and Attract More Customers

Share Your Thoughts On the Positives And Negatives

Sharing an opposing viewpoint or two can be more persuasive than sticking solely to your argument. Mentioning the positives and negatives of a product shows that you are being honest about the commodity that you are selling. People are likely to be persuaded when you tell them about the merits and disadvantages of an idea.

Brands that mention both perspectives are likely to sell more because people will think that they are genuine.

However, you have to be smart in how you explain the negatives to avoid repelling customers. A case study by Hubspot indicates that businesses that explain both viewpoints build the trust of their customers. Few ideas are perfect, and your potential customers are aware of this. People are more likely to be persuaded to talk about things they are already thinking about and discuss potential drawbacks.

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Look For A Good Reason

Look for a Good ReasonThe best way to persuade people is to answer the question, “What’s in it for them?” When you ask someone to do something for you, such as buy your product, you must provide a compelling reason for them to do so. 

You can avoid being pushy if you have a good reason. People buy products that are beneficial to them, hence giving a good reason convinces them that the product is valuable and worthy of buying. That’s why identifying your ideal target market and buyer is critical.

A marketing script should have a solid reason why customers need to purchase that product over the competition.

However, when giving the reason, as a marketer you should be careful not to over-insist because it might turn away the customer. Additionally, the reason should be truthful otherwise the customers will think that the business is a fraud.

Remove Yourself From The Picture

Persuasion is an important skill for success, and it requires self-assurance. Your request will not be heard if you are desperate. Sounding desperate can easily make a customer turn down an offer. People like confident salespeople who have faith in their products. To be successful in persuading others, you must first remove yourself from the picture. Remember, to give more attention to the idea, suggestion, or product that you are selling. 

Next, you must determine why your request is advantageous to the other person. Showing the advantages of your idea can convince a client to acquire your commodity. CBS News found out that brands like Apple and Nike make insane sales because they are good at explaining their advantages to their customers. Finally, your offer must be superior to the alternatives available; otherwise, you will not be considered.

Related: 3 Effective Ways to Increase Customer Trust

Be Of Assistance

Be of Assistance

The real key to being persuasive is to simply be helpful pitches hinge on this principle

People and businesses receive thousands of pitches from people trying to sell them something. To get someone’s attention, you have to show that you bring value. 

The ultimate goal of persuasion is to have the ability to convince others to buy from you by showing why you have what they need. 

If you are a business owner or even a freelancer, here is what you can do: Giving freely of your knowledge and connections will make you the go-to resource for others. 

When others seek you out to solve their problems, you are in an excellent position to persuade them that you are the best solution for their problems. Only then can you convince the customers you have what they need?

A product must solve a certain problem or satisfy a need to be valuable. When a product is valuable, then it is easier to persuade clients to buy it.

The Bottom Line

Persuading others to do something you need them to do does not have to be a stressful situation. Persuasion is about marketing or presenting your idea in a manner that captures the attention of your audience and convinces them to change. 

When persuading people, you must be aware of the questions that your audience might raise. Answering these questions correctly will clear the doubts of your listeners and you are likely to convince them to buy your idea. Failing to acknowledge the needs of your audience can flop the persuasion process. Use these subtle persuasion techniques to increase the number of customers who buy from you. 

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leadership

Top 7 Tools To Develop Great Leaders

Top 7 Tools To Develop Great Leaders

It is not enough to hire leaders and hope they grow at their own pace. It is imperative that you also significantly contribute to their growth. Including leadership development in your business strategy has a wide range of benefits, such as driving employee engagement, increasing overall performance and productivity, hiring and retaining efficient employees, encouraging embedded leadership skills in your workers, intuitive succession planning, allowing individuals to focus on improving their respective careers, etc. Discover the top 7 tools to develop great leaders, equipping them with skills and strategies for outstanding leadership.

Investing in leadership development is key to running a successful business or company. New and aspiring leaders will highly benefit from foundational mentorship and training resources to harness their innate skills.  

What Are Leadership Tools?

What Are Leadership 7 Tools To Develop Great Leaders

Leadership tools consist of skills and online resources that help to build and develop leaders. These tools adequately assess particular leadership, organization, and management problems. They are also crucial for communication planning, strategic thinking, emotional intelligence, challenging task management, etc. 

Below we will explore both skills and tools that hone leaders out of ordinary people. Let’s look at some essential leadership skills first.

1. Innovation And Creativity

Leaders can benefit from creativity and innovation. You must be creative to be an innovative leader. That often requires collaboration, knowledge sharing, and risk-taking.

While creativity is mostly linked to artistic talent, anyone can build their creative muscle by taking on exercises that jog their thinking cap. In a workplace setting, that may take many forms, from taking risks to working on projects together. These are ways that leaders can develop creativity and innovation skills in themselves and in the people they work with:

1. Give Employees The Time And Space To Be Creative

Creativity doesn’t always happen on demand. Sometimes, employees need time to mull over ideas and let their minds wander. Encourage your team to take breaks during the workday to brainstorm or Take walks outdoors for some fresh perspective.

2. Encourage Collaboration Between Team Members

Brainstorming sessions are a great way for team members to share ideas build off of each other’s thoughts and help surface different perspectives. Other innovation boosters include being open to new ideas and change, fostering a learning environment, and managing for results, not methods.

2. Team Building

Leaders contribute immensely to the effectiveness and efficiency of their teams. The leadership will determine if a team will be dysfunctional or productive. One of the best ways to build your team is by initiating and allowing your teams to engage in activities that promote teamwork and bonding. You will also build trust, open communication, and collaboration effectively. Leaders must be open to different opinions and perspectives from team members in the workplace and with their clients, ideas, markets, and talent.

3. Mentoring

Successful leaders are eager to give back to their employees. One of the best leadership skills is initiating mentoring programs that can effectively develop employees in areas lacking. This is also an excellent investment, as leaders will groom future leaders and prepare them for succession. 

4. Listening

A good leader should learn to listen to their team members in an attentive and empathic manner. The reason is simple. Only enthusiastic and engaged employees can ensure the success of the business. Listening to employees encourages them to give honest feedback, report issues, say what’s on their minds, and make innovative suggestions for the improvement of the company. This will also equip leaders to take the necessary actions.

5. Motivation

A great leader knows how to bring out the best in their team. They promote positivity in the workplace, lead from the front, reward efforts, and provide their employees with productive work. Doing these will motivate employees and significantly improve their overall performance.

6. Communication

A good leader should always know how to keep communication open with their employees. Concise, clear, and persuasive communication is crucial in team briefings and discussions, presentations to the board, and management, and liaising with clients. Communication contributes immensely to the success of leaders.

7. Strategic Thinking

One of the core skills a leader should possess is thinking several steps ahead, always seeing the bigger picture, and making plans and contingencies for the unexpected. This can only be possible by thinking strategically. A successful leader thinks strategically, sees a vision, and works hard to achieve it. 

Tools To Empower And Enhance Leadership

While these skills are essential, leaders must be aware of tools to access leadership.  These tools include but are not limited to:

1. Personality Assessments

These are tools that measure the work-related personality traits of leaders. As a leader, you must realize your strengths and those of your employees when working in group situations. For example, some employees are more skilled in more roles than others. When you recognize this and identify the strengths of your employees, you will be able to assign tasks more efficiently. Several tools can help you do this effectively. Great leaders assess their leadership skills from time to time. You can ask yourself some introspection questions. 

2. Communication Technology

The world is evolving fast and in an era where working remotely is becoming increasingly popular, email is being replaced with better communication technologies. They include Asana, Slack, Microsoft Teams, etc. Innovative leaders prefer these communication tools because they are better. You can also add surveys to these platforms to get feedback from your employees. 

3. Behavioral Assessments

Leaders can use customized, work-related structures to correctly assess their employees’ behavioral competencies in the workplace. These tools accurately observe how people react to a situation. DISC is one of the tools that can correctly measure observable behavior. It will also correctly categorize your employees into the four personalities they fit into Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Contentiousness.

Final Thoughts

Successful leaders create more leaders and not just followers. Leadership skills can be developed and honed over time to benefit the leaders, their teams, and the businesses they manage. A leader cannot afford to stop learning. And one of the best ways to learn is to keep reading and undergoing training.