TONIKA BRUCE

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The 10 Crucial Leadership Skills Today for Executives to Boost Their Career

The 10 Crucial Leadership Skills Today for Executives to Boost Their Career

With the race to become the best and high-performing businesses in the marketplace intensifies, recruiters are looking for qualified candidates who possess excellent leadership skills. It’s no wonder the need to hire MBA graduates for executive positions is rising among top companies.

Leadership skills is a topic widely covered by experts and amateurs alike- discussing the core competencies that differentiate leadership capacity, yet most continue to rely on familiar skills. 

Although it is critical to have a strong foundation in what you do best, leaders, even the most experienced, intentionally find ways to evolve by learning new skills and strategies to manage their people.

While leadership skills have been pretty standard over the years, the changing and fast-paced business world demands a fresh look at which skills are most valuable today.

  • What areas of development should new executives be working on to meet the demand of the modern marketplace?
  • How can these skills help aspiring leaders succeed in leadership positions?
  • What are the practical ways to develop or implement these skills in the workplace?

We explore these and more helpful insights in this article.

What Leadership Skills Mean for Business

They say that leadership is integral to success in any field or endeavor. It couldn’t be truer than in the realm of business. On point leadership skills are essential for generating successful outcomes in companies of all sizes.

Leaders set the tone for their organizations; they establish the culture and values that guide their employees’ behavior and decision-making.

Therefore, they play a central role in creating an organization that produces desired results.

Leadership plays a huge role in the growth and ensuring business thrive. At the heart of any venture is the human capital- the employees’ productivity directly impacts the profits realized.

Here are some recent statistics from Zippia that back up this: 

  • 79% of employees will quit due to a lack of appreciation from the leaders
  • 83% of organizations believe it is important to develop leadership at all company levels, but only 5% have implemented leadership development at all levels.
  • Only 10% of people are natural leaders
  • 69% of employees would work harder if they felt their efforts were appreciated.
  • Companies with employee engagement are 22% more profitable.

The statistics indicate the necessity of having solid leadership to drive change, team engagement and results. Leaders are in charge of creating cohesiveness in the different groups working in a company- when this is lacking, it gives rise to disengagement and high turnover of otherwise excellent talent. 

It is true that performance metrics vary among different work groups, such as baby boomers, 

Millennials, and Gen Zers, due to the inconsistency in people management skills. 69% of the largest group in the workforce currently, the millennials (people born between 1980 and 2000), say there is a lack of leadership development. 

This matters because of the critical connection between employee engagement in business and the KPIs- productivity, customer metrics, profitability, quality product, less absenteeism, and misappropriation of company resources. 

Leadership boosts employee performance, which makes everything better across all levels in the business.

On the sunny side, there is opportunity and strengths to build on. With more than 83% of businesses and recruiters realizing the need and benefit of building leaders, there is room for more leadership positions to take up. 

While only 10% are natural leaders, 20% have inherent abilities that need refining, and the rest can build capacity to lead through training and leadership programs to direct to the appropriate channels.

The Global Leadership Forecast 2018 found companies that take an inclusive approach to leadership training have 4.2 times more success than those that left this reserve only for the management groups.

That said, these are the most popular ways leaders want to learn:

  • External coaching 48%
  • Developmental assignments 48%
  • Assignments to diagnose leadership strengths 42%
  • Formal-in person training 39%

Source: DDI Leadership Forecast Survey

People who undertake leadership training that teaches practical leadership in addition to theory show a 25% increase in learning and 25% in performance. 

In-Demand Leadership Skills for Today's Executives

The key to success lies in understanding human nature. The need for divergent needs can be met with various means, from motivating and clarifying individuals down to managing them well to reach their full potential as members of your team or organization.

The performance of any group is strongly influenced by how each member feels and engages in the group. It takes refined skills in people management and adaptability to maximize these human desires for business performance.

1. Networking and Relationship Building

Based on the research by Gallup and others above, employee engagement is a top priority for the current workforce. Whether a leader is people-oriented or not, they will need this skill at least for the sole reason of creating good working relations.

The other reason why this skill ranks high is the modern workplace is increasingly getting complex and interconnected. They are expected to navigate these complex systems and build relationships with the people within them. 

Business management has become more about collaboration and consensus-building than it was in the past; to get things done, they must bring people together and build relationships of trust. 

Not to mention, the global economy has made the competition more intense than ever before. 

Today, leaders need to be able to develop strong relationships with allies and partners to create a competitive advantage. That means proactively networking online and offline.

Practical Ways to Cultivate Relationships

  • Be present and approachable. Employees and partners alike appreciate feeling like they can talk to you, confide in you, and come to you with questions or concerns. When you are regularly present and open to hearing what others have to say, it helps build trust and foster a more supportive working environment.
  • Make time for one-on-one interactions. Even if it is just for a quick catch-up chat or lunch meeting once in a while, taking the time to engage the team members on work progress and challenges.
  • Attend company events. It shows that you are interested in connecting with your employees and helps create a more enjoyable work environment. It also shows that you value their time outside of work hours.
  • Get involved in community outreach and industry initiatives. Industry events are a great way to connect with local leaders and organizations.
  • Team Building activities. Team building has always been a big part of most company cultures, but with mental illnesses on the rise and burnout, this has become just more urgent. As the leader, you get brownie points that strengthen your relationships. 

Related: 5 Questions to Assess Your Leadership Skills

2. Negotiation

The ability to negotiate is a plus that hiring managers and companies look for in executives in this competitive, globalized, and interconnected modern marketplace. 

Why? First, the globalization of markets has created new opportunities for companies to expand their operations overseas. However, these expansionary efforts often entail complex negotiations with local partners, government officials, and other stakeholders. Without solid negotiation skills, business leaders will find it tough to navigate these interactions.

Second, the accelerating pace of change in many industries means that businesses must constantly renegotiate agreements with suppliers, customers, and employees. Those who are adept at negotiating will be better able to protect their company.

Practical Ways to Negotiate Better

  • Model Trust. No matter the outcome in negotiations, trust makes the process smoother if the leader has a reputation for reliability. Trust also creates room for future possibilities of doing business.
  • Take the democracy approach. Offer options. When negotiating with employees or external groups giving choices shows a level of respect.

Related: 3 Ways to Increase Customer Trust

3. Ability to Train Others

83% of organizations believe it is important to develop leadership at all business unit levels. 

Modern organizations are looking for leaders who can also build more leaders to take charge and responsibility even in the small operational units. Training is an essential management skill that requires the leader to teach those under them, give constructive feedback, and motivate.

Practical ways to incorporate training in leadership

Encourage Them to Take on Responsibilities. One of the best ways to train someone in leadership skills is to encourage them to take on more responsibilities within the team. Give them small tasks or assignments at first and then gradually increase the scope and complexity of what they are responsible for. Handling more responsibility, they will naturally start to develop leadership qualities.

Provide Opportunities for Mentorship and Skill-Building. Another practical way to train someone for leadership is to provide opportunities. Offer challenges and contests.

4. Self-Awareness

One element of leadership excellence is having leaders who understand their strengths and weaknesses. Leaders need to know themselves before they can effectively lead others, so part of a core skill for executives should involve introspection and identifying areas where they need to improve.

Anthony Tjan sums self-awareness into three parts which everyone can borrow from-“know thyself, improve thyself and complement thyself.”

Practical Ways to Build Self-Awareness

  • Conduct an evaluation. While leaders carry out 360 performance evaluations on employees, the same can work wonders in helping them identify their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Take notes. Journaling is a loved practice among mindfulness groups, but it can also be an easy way to track your growth and increase self-awareness. The founder of WP Beginner, Balkhi, suggests using an app such as Roam Research to take notes.

5. Agility

In business, agility is incredibly beneficial because it allows organizations to adapt fast to changes in the market. For example, if a competitor introduces a new product, an agile organization will be able to quickly develop a similar product and release it to the market. 

The pandemic proved the necessity of agility as a skill. The modern business executive needs to be this sharp.

Practical Ways to Be Agile

  • Try Out Ideas. One way is to be open to change and experiment with new ideas. 
  • Be organized. Another way is to stay organized and efficient so that the leader can make changes quickly without causing disruptions. 
  • Anticipate. Lastly, be proactive and anticipate changes in the market to adjustments well before they are needed.

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6. Innovation

The need for creativity and innovation is increasing, meaning corporate leaders will have a greater responsibility in these areas. They must use their leadership skills to harness the power of innovation, or they will be left behind when other companies catch up with them.

Apple has been able to stay in business for a long time despite newer and cheaper gadget inventions because of innovation.

By making innovations to their products with users in mind, the company provides more user-friendly gadgets with functionality and security, features customers are willing to pay for despite the price. 

Practical Ways to Develop Creativity and Innovation Skills

  • Read widely. This is a no-brainer. Innovators are diligent researchers. Read leadership books to gather insights and thought processes of skilled leaders and innovators in the business world.
  • Create time to be alone with your thoughts. Innovators are also think tanks. Schedule time daily to reflect and organize your thoughts, ideas, and goals for projects.
  • Listen to your team. Creative ideas do not always come from leaders. Apart from getting feedback on your performance and improvement areas as a leader, employee feedback is a hub of innovative ideas.

Related: 7 Recommended Books on Entrepreneurship.

7. Adaptability

Adapting to new situations allows organizations to succeed in an ever-changing landscape.

Adaptability is the ability to change and adjust to new circumstances. But when it comes to leadership, it goes deeper than that. Adaptable leaders can change their behavior and approach, while inspiring and motivating others to do the same. They can see opportunities in change and are adept at driving organizational transformations.

Practical Ways to Be a Change Agent

  • Stay Up to Date With What is New. New tools and techniques are always coming out, but you cannot keep up if your skills do not evolve. Research anything that makes you feel uncomfortable or unsure of its impact on the company.

8. Diversity Management

The global economy is a considerable part of today’s business world, and as such, diversity management and cultural intelligence have become even more relevant to employers. 

Remote and hybrid work environments are now the norm leaders have to operate. With the constant need for collaboration with peers from all over the globe – this managerial skill will be crucial in helping business executives succeed at their job!

Practical Ways to Manage Diversity

  • Learn. Make a point to learn about other cultures represented on your team. Understand these cultures instead of making assumptions about what they are like based on your own experiences.
  • Be open-minded and respectful of different cultures. When interacting with people from other cultures, be respectful of their traditions and values, even if they differ from your own. 
  • Acknowledge personal cultural biases and assumptions.

9. Delegation

Efficient leaders know that delegation is an essential part of their job.

It does not mean offloading work so they can have less stress as a leader-it means building skills for those who might one day become future leaders in the company! It’s also assigning tasks to people who are best suited for them. That builds their skills and potential to become future leaders! 

Delegation is a core competency for leaders because it means distributing work to maximize efficiency while focusing on other pressing issues.

Practical Ways to Delegate Well

  • Ask for volunteers. From time to time, add tasks and have members pick what they want to work on- they are more likely to select according to their strengths.
  • Review. After completion, take time to review and give feedback.
  • Assign. Assign tasks based on skills and set concise instructions on requirements, KPIs, and deadlines.

10. Result-Driven

Top executive positions require leaders that can multitask and still produce results. With this in mind, the modern-day executive needs focus and prioritization to know the activities with the most impact on the organization to direct efforts on and make sure they are strategies that will lead towards success.

Practical Activities That Increase Output

  • Time management. Envision goals to prioritize the order of accomplishment.
  • Organization. Cut back on time and increase output with savvy organization skills. Use apps and software to automate most of the administrative tasks.

In Conclusion

The skills that made someone a great leader in the past may not be as relevant now.

To thrive in this new business landscape, executives need to assess their skills and adopt relevant ones to take their executive game up a notch.

Here are our favorite takeaways that you should note if you want to boost your career.

1) Continuous Learning – The modern business world is constantly changing for leaders to stay ahead of the curve by learning new things consistently. It could mean reading industry journals, taking online courses, or attending conferences.

2) Adaptability – As the saying goes, “the only constant is change.” Every business has to transform through innovative ideas. Being adaptable will be the most valuable skill to take the team and business to higher levels.

Are there any other skills or areas of leadership you find most challenging to master? Let us know in the comments below.

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women leadership skills

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 salary and position in their organization.

Are you an aspiring or new leader? Fast track your potential to lead with this short leadership training course: The Impactful Leader.

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 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 leadership forums.

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 the 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, 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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women leadership skills

How a Black Female Innovative Business Leader is Leading Digital Marketing for Nonprofits

In the ever-changing business world, it’s essential to stay ahead of the curve. That’s why innovative business leaders are always on the lookout for new trends and ways to improve their operations.

More and more, businesses have realized the importance of digital marketing in reaching their target audiences. But what about non-profits? Enterprising business leaders are stepping up to provide innovative solutions that allow these organizations to compete in a digital world.

Here is one such leader and her work in helping these non-profits and new ventures thrive online.

So without further ado, let’s meet Tonika Bruce!

Tonika Bruce is a business innovator who has taken on the challenge of leading digital marketing for new ventures and non-profits. She saw an opportunity to help these organizations bridge the gap between them and their potential donors or customers and seized it.

She is the founder and CEO of Lead Nicely Inc, a company helping new businesses and non-profit organizations, such as associations, schools, Christian Ministries establish an online presence and launch effective marketing campaigns.

As an entrepreneur with a passion for leadership, she has founded several ventures with the goal in mind to help people in these industries build business and leadership capacity. Currently, she hosts a 3-minute podcast that offers quick inspiration for leadership and business challenges.

Addressing the Challenges Facing Nonprofits and New Ventures

The Nature of Non-profit Organizations
There are a few different types of nonprofits, but generally, these are organizations not making money (profit) and exist to serve a social or environmental mission.

Many are run by volunteers and rely on donated time and services to fulfill their mission. Others may have paid staff, but most of their funding comes from donations and grants.

That is why they rely on marketing to generate awareness about their mission and services to reach these donors and volunteers.

However, since they don’t have the same marketing budget as for-profit businesses, they need to be more creative. One common way is through crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter.
Another is getting digital marketing consultants that understand their target, needs and can craft affordable solutions for them.

Do Nonprofits Need Digital Marketing?
Many nonprofits rely on donations from the public to keep them going, and in this day and age, a big part of that donation comes in the form of online giving.

Digital marketing can help them reach new audiences, connect with potential donors, and raise money for their cause. It is also true that many do not invest in marketing for fear of coming off too aggressive, among other challenges highlighted here.

Another challenge is generating traffic to their website. The non-profit websites tend to be informational rather than transactional, so it can be hard to get people visiting the site to take action or engage.

These organizations often have a limited budget, this means being strategic about resource allocation, so most of the budget cuts fall on marketing.

So how do they do this without breaking the bank? By gaining access to effective and affordable digital marketing plans that will help them stay relevant and visible.
The same applies to new businesses.

Innovating Digital Marketing for Nonprofits

As someone who started many businesses with a good number flopping, she understands the struggles of being a new entrepreneur and having a limited budget.

Tonika Bruce is now helping level the playing field for these organizations and business start-ups that can not afford an extravagant budget.

Through her digital marketing company, the business leader helps them launch and scale by offering valuable digital solutions.

From the time clients sign up for the services, they are guided through business name brainstorming all the way to navigating their digital marketing strategies that best fit their niche – logo design, website development and optimization, and social media management.
The potential client also gets an option of selecting a specific service or going for an all-inclusive package.

What sets her business apart is tailoring campaigns to specific causes or issues. For example, depending on the nonprofit’s immediate need, she will focus campaigns on raising awareness for an upcoming charity event, recruiting volunteers, or raising money for a project.

By targeting their efforts towards specific causes, these companies can make the biggest impact possible with their time and resources.

For Ms. Bruce, it is not simply about offering digital marketing solutions, it is also about empowerment and training to manage their campaigns for the future.

With this building block, she strives to not only provide solutions but also empower entrepreneurs and organizational leaders.

On a more personal level, the female business leader offers training and coaching opportunities for clients to help them develop skills to run their ventures successfully. These innovative online courses center on business strategies and team management.

Using social media platforms, Tonika Bruce shares her passion for leadership on Youtube, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

Future Prospects for Clients

The business leader plans to reimagine how clients access their services by creating an automated platform.

The move will automate content marketing services by connecting clients with digital strategy experts, social media managers, writers, and designers. With this, clients can handpick their content creators directly.

The Parting Shot

Considering the challenges business start-ups and non-profit organizations face, finding the right digital marketing partner can be a real blessing.

There is a lot that these groups of ventures can benefit from digital marketing. For new businesses and nonprofits, it’s a great way to get their name out and build a following.
It can also help to create awareness around important issues or causes. Not to mention, digital marketing allows them to target specific demographics, which can help reach the right people with their message.
Catch up with Tonika Bruce on her interview with Ideamensch magazine.

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leadership women leadership skills

Why Personal Investment is So Important

In life, there are two main ways of making money. The easiest is earning an income from a business or employment. The other is to grow the earnings through an investment portfolio. The latter is usually a smarter way that involves investing assets that increase in value over time. They can be stocks, futures, exchange-traded funds, or real estate.

Although the type of investment may depend on individual factors like age, income, and risk level, it’s vital to have one. Why is that? Here are the reasons having a personal investment plan is not just necessary but a must.

A Sure Way to Beat Inflation

The ongoing pandemic has taught us how dangerous living on salary alone can be. Inflation can hit out of nowhere, and without a fallback plan, riding the wave can be impossible. Putting money in long-term investment plans like income properties is the best way to cushion oneself from prolonged inflation.

Helps Save for Retirement

Personal investment vehicles provide the platforms to save for the future. It is an obligation to yourself and your loved ones to invest in ways that ensure a comfortable tomorrow. That’s why relying on employer pension plans is not enough. A simple but effective way is to start an investment program with IRAs to save for retirement.

Additional Financial Resource

Personal investment is another way to create an additional income stream.

Buying into real estate is one such example. A home or apartment’s value can increase a lot over the years and earn you an attractive profit upon selling. If that is above the investment budget, some companies like divers fund offer growth REITs with initial investments as low as 500 dollars.

It Lets the Money do the Work

The concept of working for money or the money working for you best describes the difference between employment and investing. A job is a starting point for investment because it provides the cash to invest. But as time goes by, it is smarter to sit back and let the money work. The compound interest from investments creates additional income without having to put effort into it. For instance, stocks have a massive growth potential despite the risks involved. Find and invest in a diversified portfolio to spread risk and increase returns.

To Sum Up

The best time to consider personal investment is now. Life moves fast, and before knowing it, old age and retirement are knocking.

Investing is a sure way to grow wealth. Those that start early have a chance to afford a lifestyle that others cannot.

It also helps to prepare and survive inflation, to create passive income and additional earning avenues.

Some asset classes to consider are Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), real estate properties, retirement investments, and mutual funds.

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leadership women leadership skills

Top 7 Tips to Help Motivate and Inspire Others

Motivation and inspiration are among the top-rated qualities of exceptional leaders. That’s because hiring is a once-off affair but getting the people to stay productive is an ongoing process. To achieve results, you must find creative ways to motivate and inspire your team.

A big part of this is your passion. Sadly, you can not fabricate it.

Leaders who are enthusiastic about the business, its goals, and the vision tend to be magnetic. Some still employ old tactics like authority, intimidation, or goodwill to get the team to work. But, from personal experience leading people, inspiration and motivation are intrinsic(starts from within), so all attempts must be employee-oriented and rooted in the leader’s passion.

Below is a list of seven tips that can help motivate and inspire others.

#1 Self-awareness

Start by motivating yourself. What is it that inspires you to do what you do? If you can find a way to connect your values to your work, then you have the fuel to stay in the game. For example, if you value excellence, you don’t just do a task. You master the craft. If it’s learning, you learn something new daily.

Self-motivated individuals have something to pour into others.

#2 Clear and Measurable Goals

People are motivated when they know they are working towards something. The leadership often knows what the vision and business goals are. Other times the specific, measurable actions are not in place. The team has to figure out as it goes. As a frontline leader, you must coach the team in goal-setting.

#3 Empowerment

Empowerment has a connection to confidence and is an essential source of intrinsic motivation. You can empower your team by delegating work and allowing the people to come up with solutions. Coach and facilitate them in solving problems instead of bringing them to you.

#4 Know the Team

Inspiring leaders find time to know team members individually.

Show this by giving constant feedback on the work of individual employees. Most people wrongly assume that your feedback must be positive. On the contrary, authentic responses show people where to improve. Make the time spent with people matter by listening and learning about them.

#5 Professional Development

Support professional development. Growth opportunities are a perfect way to keep people on their toes. Offer challenges, training, mentorship, and encourage them to set learning goals.Tailoring these strategies to specific employees’ skills can motivate and inspire them into growth.

Another approach is to allow them to try new ideas.

#6 Inspiring Actions

Inspirational leaders show, they don’t tell. You can’t ask your followers to provide excellent customer service when you do not portray the same commitment.

#7 Passion

You must be passionate about the mission and vision of the business and share it with others. Passion is caught, not taught, so demonstrate this in meetings, presentations, handling with customers, etc. The passionate leader inspires the team to act the same way.

Traditionally, leaders used added responsibilities to inspire performance. However, psychology shows that humans are motivated and inspired by intrinsic factors. Take one or two suggestions from the list and try them.

If you are concerned about implementation or want more in-depth knowledge on this, follow this link and learn how to become a leader who influences others.

 

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leadership women leadership skills

Dig Deep into Learning Life-Changing Ways to Becoming a Go-To Person

Like in sports, the workplace depends on team-work to achieve goals. If you watch sports, then you know that there is that one player the team counts on. He is the difference between losing and winning. He could be the top scorer or the team defender. That’s who you want to be. Why?

One main advantage of being a go-to person is building a professional network. A go-to person has the reputation of reliability, so people connect with him easily.

It also makes you stand out.

Not to mention you will be indispensable to the organization.

In the long run, go-to people position themselves as leaders and scale their professional ladders. But you can’t just sit back and wait for it to happen. You have to set yourself apart by adopting life-changing approaches. Here is how;

Connect with Work Colleagues

Becoming the go-to person will not happen while you are hiding away in your office cubicle. You have to get out of the comfort zone and make actual human connections. Interact with work colleagues and be helpful whenever possible.

Volunteer

In the book Relentless Pursuit, learn how life rewards what you do and not what you know. That means knowledge doesn’t do much. It’s the action that makes the real difference. Take action by jumping on opportunities at work to be useful. Volunteer for a committee such as planning for an annual company event, take on more tasks.

Volunteers are in short supply. Becoming one not only adds value to you but demonstrates your leadership abilities and gives you brownie points with the management.

Maintain Composure Under Pressure

The secret to beating pressure at work or in life is to remain calm. That’s because you need a clear head to plot the best course of action. Most people panic and pull back but not the go-to person. He is the dependable one in crisis. Whether it is the clock ticking to the project deadline or closing a deal, he knows it’s not over until it’s over. The go-to person learns this by pushing through crises.

Be the Leader

One function of a leader is that of setting an example. You may not be an official team leader but, if people tend to look up to you for advice or assistance, they identify you as a go-to person. There are a dozen ways to do this. These include setting the bar high, going beyond in achieving results, motivating others, or having expert knowledge.

In Conclusion

There are real-life examples of people moving from being the little-known employee to becoming the go-to person. They do this by making themselves valuable. The good news is that they didn’t have to be experts to achieve it. You can do it too by practicing these life-changing tricks.

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leadership women leadership skills

Learn What You Need to Know to Stand Out from the Crowd

It’s funny how people are born unique but end up trying to be like everybody else. These are habits that arise from culture and socialization.

If you want to make an impact, you must be different. No successful person ever blends in with the crowd.

Instead of creating momentary attention, make a lasting impression.

How do you achieve this? Learn what you can do to differentiate yourself from others.

Be Authentic

It sounds easy but being real is not popular. Modern society glorifies trends, and you might find yourself under pressure to fit in.  The cost of fitting in is resignation to be a follower, not a leader. Going against popular culture in itself sets you apart from the crowd.

Be authentic by identifying your core values and choosing to live by them.

Become a Subject Matter Expert

There are thousands of professionals in every field. Mastering a particular subject makes you know more than your peers. That means you become the go-to person for a consultation and expert advice. For instance, instead of a software developer, you can niche down to be an SME in artificial intelligence or business software.

To become an SME, you have to keep learning to develop a deeper understanding and gain a wealth of experience. Attend conferences, take membership in industry publications to stay on top of new developments.

Be a Risk Taker

The number one lesson all successful business owners and entrepreneurs teach is that you have to be willing to take risks to make an impact. Do not be afraid to evaluate a course of action and risk pursuing it. It will set you apart as someone who makes informed decisions.

Learn to Do the Extra

Another way to stand out is to focus on excellence rather than completing the task. The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is the extra. People that shine strive to deliver beyond expectation. Hard work is not fun. That’s why many do not choose it. No one wants to wake up early on a Saturday morning to go over a project. Learn to be that person that puts thought and effort into what they do. It not only makes you an overachiever but impresses others.

Grow

As they say, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Highly successful leaders and entrepreneurs did not become so overnight. They took small steps each day. So the way to beat the masses is by continually improving. Take a closer look at all areas of your life. Identify those that need improvement and work on them. It may mean polishing your skills and talents to stand out professionally or even taking a personal development training course.

Implement these strategies to stand a head taller than work colleagues and industry peers.

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5 Perfect Ways Leaders are Impacting Change Today

5 Perfect Ways Leaders are Impacting Change Today

Lead change by influencing it.

There are many examples of thriving organizations that started strong- with excellent leadership, culture, top-notch talent, and a massive client base. But, shortly after selling out or migrating to another location, they rapidly crumble. Typically, the root cause of this kind of downfall is change management.

Constantly changing and devising ways to stay ahead of the competition is crucial for the survival of companies. So, change management is becoming a core skill for leadership. Transition periods are stressful for any organization but robust, compassionate leadership can aid groups to move through these changes successfully. Leading change by influencing it is very essential as it helps to ease worries, addresses uncertainty, and encourages teams.

Today’s blog explores five copybook ways leaders are impacting change in organizations.

Creating Experiences That Introduce Possibilities

Most people won’t change unless they see and understand the need. In effect, leaders that influence change master the tricks that table this proof. One way is creating experiences (a drill/ test run) that show them all the possible benefits of the new system, environment, or other adjustments coming. Test runs or drills are specific, so they help the leaders to communicate and engage their teams. They also assist the leaders to directly handle the resistance arising due to change. In addition, drills and test runs help the groups to see and acknowledge the value of change. Lastly, according to the change management coach, drills help improve communication, collaboration, and cooperation during the period of change.

Benefits of Creating Experiences That Introduce Possibilities that Come with Change

Leader

Team

Helps the Leader to Communicate and Engage Their Teams

Help the Groups to See and Acknowledge the Value of Change

Helps the Leader to Deal Directly with the Resistance

Encourages collaboration from team members

Modeling the Change

Crazy as it may sound, did you know employees monitor the leader’s consistency in words and actions to tell what they should believe? The same applies to influencing organizational change. Successful leaders become the first people to adopt the new adjustments. Then, the team will be confident and receptive to take up the same. It is the difference between theory and practice.
For the actual change to happen, they must move from concept to reality. Just like the famous quote by Albert Schweitzer, “the three most important ways to lead people are: by example, by example, and by example. Similarly, the best way for a leader to inspire change is by modeling. Leaders model change when they perform deliberate actions that are directed toward the new organizational objectives.

Are you a new executive or aspiring business leader? Try this free short online leadership course for beginners:

Strategically Leading Decision Making

Leaders are usually in charge of resources and people. Such is an ideal position to make decisions on the projects and initiatives that support the new changes. They choose options that will drive these goals by leveraging this authority.

Great leaders make strategic decisions to offer a competitive advantage and attempt to change the overall direction and scope of the organization.

Chron describes strategic decision-making as the procedure of charting a course for your organization based on the long-term goals. These strategic decisions are essential for the company’s survival during transition periods. Strategic decisions are mostly based on the organization’s vision and mission, thus they help the managers to concentrate on the main objectives even during the period of change. Therefore, strategically leading decision making facilitates a smooth transition without the organization losing focus of its goals.

Influencing Company Culture

The things that influence people have the power to change how people act or feel.

Certain elements can intensely influence company culture:
transparency, employee voice, gratitude, respect, fun culture, appreciation, and development opportunities

Humanity is subject to influence. The things that influence people have the power to change how they act or feel. These sources fall into personal, social, and structural motivation. Leaders that understand these human motivations tap into them to effect change in the organization and the world.

Research by Deloitte University Press found out that culture and engagement ranked as the number one influencers of change in an organization. Leaders who introduce change by influencing the company’s culture help their employees to believe that the transition will create a more humane workplace. As a result, the employees openly adopt the new changes with minimum resistance.

Additionally, great leaders are aware that certain elements can intensely influence an organization’s culture. These elements include; transparency, employee voice, gratitude, respect, fun culture, appreciation, and development opportunities. An example of a personal motive for employees resisting change can be fear of failure or lack of skill/inexperience to work in a new environment. The role of the leader is to use these as the baseline.

Taking a page from coke, they connect to human emotions with creative stories that relate with our culture.

Sponsoring the Change Initiative

In January 2021, the world went abuzz following Elon Musk’s endorsement of Signal in a tweet to his followers. Musk’s Signal versus Whatsapp affair is just a demonstration of the power of a leader’s sponsorship on change. Musk was acting as the primary sponsor.

Fundamental sponsors are the leaders who authorize transition within the company and are ultimately responsible for ensuring that the transition realizes the intended merits. The sponsors also ensure that the employees clearly understand their new roles upfront.

Furthermore, a case study by Project Management Institute indicates that the primary sponsors provide the necessary resources required for change through budgetary allocations and they are ultimately in charge of the change initiative. In this scenario, leaders act as advocates using their political, financial, or social influence to support a new reform.

Conclusion of the Matter

When it comes to change, doing is more productive than knowing. Those that are successful do so by actions and not intellect. Although implementing change is typically met by a lot of resistance from the employees, there are wise strategies that leaders can apply to ease the transition. To recap, the top five ways leaders impact change are modeling it, making strategic decisions, advocating, influencing the teams’ behaviors, and showing the value of this change.

Your Call

All the leaders desiring to introduce change in their organizations should read and implement these five perfect ways of impacting change. Leaders who implement these strategies successfully introduce change in their organizations without losing focus of the main objectives or facing much resistance.
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Tonika Bruce offers one on one business and leadership coaching for entrepreneurs and professional leaders. For in depth training, schedule a consultation call: Book a Call.

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Factors to Consider When Seeking A One on One Coaching Program for Business

Is one-on-one business coaching only for poor performers or successful employees?  If you are a business owner, would you consider paying for a program? How would you find one that adds value to your business?

If any of these questions pique your interest, here is what you need to know.

Why Coaching for Your Business

Starting and running a business is more complex than it sounds. Many entrepreneurs attest to launching a business only for it to fail within its first year of operation. The reason being there is more to learn and apply about business development. The mistake people make is to assume they can teach themselves. Sure, there is a ton of information available online but, it’s not specific to your business needs.  That said, business coaching programs provide custom advice and applications that will benefit both the team and the company.

They will help to unlock your employees’ potentials and improve the work output.

Factors to Consider in a One-on-One Coaching Program

The truth is all coaches are not the same. Some are better than others. So what should you look for when shortlisting a coaching program for your business?

The Experience

This one is a no-brainer. Before hiring any person, the first aspect we all want to be sure of is how far they have walked the journey. And in business coaching, it is so much more vital. You need to know that your mentor is a business owner who will use his talents and experience to grow yours because it will translate into how comprehensive the program will be.

What’s in the Package

Before signing up for a program, find out what is on offer. It is the only way of knowing how meticulous the course is. Explore the details of the training to ensure they are practical and can apply in the real world.

Customizability

Learning is only successful if the lessons can translate into clear outcomes in the real world. Any suave consultant can share ideas and head knowledge but what you want is someone with formal training. A great coaching program uses scenarios and examples that you can relate to your business. This way, the lessons can align with the operations of the company.

Framework for Tracking Progress

An excellent coaching program will also have a proper way of tracking the measures you implement. It must have a framework for determining success by helping you set goals, remain accountable, and find solutions when not reaching those goals.

Does it Have a Research Foundation?

Another way to authenticate a coaching program is to figure out its foundation. The best education curricula usually have their basis on extensive research. The same should apply to business coaching. Find out if the model they use has research backing and if it has gone through successful implementation-testimonials.

Overall coaching is the modern way of improving employee performance and long-term business success. You can use these pointers as criteria to sift through the massive online coaching programs until you find the right fit.

Do you know other factors that can help narrow down the search for authentic one-on-one coaching programs for businesses? Do share in the comments.

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Top Five Leadership Skills that Shifts You into an Iconic Leader

Leaders emerge from all spheres of life. Taking quick look at the most memorable ones like Martin Luther King or Bill Gates proves so. At some point in their life, they were ordinary men in society.

So, what catapults a person into the status of an icon. It appears the secret is in the unique leadership skills each one commanded. From Winston Churchill to Arianna Huffington, here are the top five skills you can learn from these exceptional leaders.

Creativity

Creativity is not top in many leadership programs as a skill to learn. But it may very well be the x-factor to outstanding leadership. It creates endless opportunities for problem-solving, goal setting, and motivating the team. To become iconic, you have to break the status quo and lead differently.

Coaching

There are many proven leadership skills that people have used over the years to achieve greatness. Yet, the one mark of modern leadership is coaching. It is the ability to help the employees do their work. Today’s iconic leader shows the team how to set goals, identifies areas to improve, create a plan of action, and provides motivation. The types of employee coaching can exist as on-the-spot coaching, mentoring, or performance coaching.

Building Teams

Modern-day companies are increasingly relying on teamwork. They find it essential to gather people with different skills and talents to handle the changing industry needs. Most leaders graduate into these positions. They join already existing teams without practical knowledge on how to build one. But highly sought-after leaders learn how teams work and develop through the four stages of team building- forming, storming, norming, and performing. They apply these to turn them into productivity machines.

Leading Change

The world evolves at an accelerated pace. That means organizations that don’t keep up lose out on new market shares. To move from ordinary to an iconic leader, you have to pick up on the trends and run with them.

Inspiration

The true mark, however, of a leader that impacts is his capacity to inspire. Inspiration is the ability to influence people on an emotional and logical level. Learning and successfully applying this skill relies on emotional intelligence, trust, and a strong vision. It makes memorable leaders because they are the people that create lasting change in lives.

Final Words

Here is the truth, there is no manual to becoming an iconic leader. You only have to learn and master leadership skills that set you apart. That is what will be your legacy.