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What’s Your Leadership Style? Old School or New School?

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Leadership has been around since man began to organize in groups. Cavemen had to organize themselves for hunts, just in the way modern business men organize themselves to achieve their goals. Leadership itself, has gone through many changes: including switching from being analog to digital.

Analog leadership is very much the old way of thinking. It’s very linear, very big-project oriented. Not big picture – big project. It’s also very slow and inefficient. Digital leadership is very speedy. It jumps around a lot. It maximizes resources, and doesn’t worry too much about following a process from start to finish as much as getting the best results.

Here are  5 differences between analog and digital leaders:

1. Approach to failure

In the analog world, failure was not really an option. You were given a task, and you had to see it through. There is no such thing as failure. You must succeed at all costs. Follow this line, and bust through all obstacles.

The digital world looks at failure much different. It allows for failure, and even encourages it. Only by failing will you be able to get to the destination quicker. Where an analog leader would push on and try to bust through a brick wall – no matter how long it takes – the digital leader would simply accept the failure and build a new path to get to the destination.

“Failure is the key to success; each mistake teaches us something.” – Morihei Ueshiba

2. Organization structure

As you’ve read on about leaders previously, managing millennials is much different than the traditional analog structure. The old analog structure was very much a top down organizational chart, with a clear line of subordinates.

In the analog world, the power and influence was highly concentrated at the top. This meant that managers just passed instructions down, in a straight line, until they reached the employee.

In the digital work environment, collaboration is a lot more important. Everyone has a voice within the company structure. Ideas and decisions are made at the lower levels amongst teams, and passed to the top. The power is spread out, ideas come from everywhere, and the organization is able to adapt much quicker.

 

3. Staff management

Too often in the analog world, management would attract staff and do everything they could to try to keep them happy and productive. This was considered talent hoarding. It’s a very analog approach: get talent, stick them in a chair, make product, and repeat. The goals of the employee were not important. Company first. Always.

The digital leader knows that’s not how you create the best possible product. They don’t try and hoard talent. They only bring in talent with the ambition to become more. They nurture talent, trying to grow their abilities with the hope that they’ll one day leave the team when they reach their peak.

Digital leaders don’t look at this as a loss, they look at it like it’s the only way to get the best possible people working for them and for the company. If you’re not hiring people with ambition to do more, what kind of people are you hiring?

 

4. Product development

The number one barrier to leadership is not listening. Product development is no different. In the analog world, leaders would develop or invent a product, and then send it to market. If the product fails, that’s the end of it.

Many companies now do it the digital way – they look to the market first, and develop products based on this need. Apple is a great example of how the marketplace guides the development process. Steve Jobs is a digital leader in his approach to making the products people love.

Steve never let the engineers tell him what was possible. He always pushed the engineers to design the products with the customer in mind. It’s why so many products were so consumer friendly.

This also ties in with organizational structure. Steve never said “do it this way” and passed it down, he let the customer tell him how to do it, and that’s what he communicated to the engineers. It’s not that Steve wasn’t in control, he just used the voice of the customer to guide him, which is what a digital leader does.

“If you don’t listen, you’re never gonna learn.” – Frank Lero

5. Inside the box or outside the box

Analog leaders are very much working inside the constraints of the organization. Ideas come from the top down, only certain things are possible, work within your means, and always look to the most experienced person in the organization for information.

The digital leader knows no boundaries. They learn to think outside the box. They don’t rely on the advice of the most experienced employees. They look to them for their input, but ideas matter so much more than experience.  They don’t just look at the organization and figure out what’s possible. They figure out what they want to do, no matter how impossible it is, and rework the organization to make those things happen.

Being a digital leader means things like yearly performance reviews are a thing of the past. Today, it’s about real-time communication with employees. A constant feedback cycle so that the business can involve everyone.

So which type of leader are you? Analog Leader or Digital Leader? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!

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7 Ways to Share Your Story on Social Media

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Content marketing is “A type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services”. In other words, explicit marketing is simply saying “buy my stuff!” whereas content marketing is the art of persuading people to do so through storytelling. (more…)

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10 Tips to Deal With Negativity While Starting a Business

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There are ups and downs in business but fearing failures can stop you from taking your first step towards excellence. With pandemic on tow, aspiring entrepreneurs feel a little stuck when ideating a business prospect. Here, we give you some actionable tips to deal with negativity while starting a business, even during situations like a pandemic. We also took the liberty to throw in some amazing book recommendations that’ll help you enjoy the process of being positive and achieving your business goals.

10 Tips to deal with negativity while starting a business in a pandemic

1. Get a mentor

The first thing to do as a new business owner is to find the right kind of mentor. That person could be someone in your industry or in general who you look up to. The guidance must be apt for your business, and it should be a mutual responsibility of sharing knowledge. 

2. Two big R’s – Routine and Refresh

Made a mess of something? Try to reboot the situation and make it work. Take a break once in a while and refresh yourself if you feel stuck or your ideas feel mundane. Plan a routine and stick to them – both personal and professional. Having a routine can increase productivity and engage in more activities apart from your pre-planned schedule. 

3. Inculcate problem-solving mentality

Do not panic once you are thrown a problem. Arrange a meeting with the respective party, listen to both sides of the stories, and make a decision that is more realistic and feasible. 

4. Hire half and half

Whenever you hire someone for your business. Make sure that half of the people contradict your ideas, and the other half have the same mindset as yours. The people who contradict can bring in more valuable points and their perspective might take the discussion to a whole new level.  Don’t take too much time finding the perfect one. Hire an apt person who can have the right attitude. 

5. Network, Network, and Network

Find like-minded people and mingle with them. Be more sportive in the learning process. Listen more and talk less – if you are a beginner. You can only be a constructive person who gives input to someone if you have listened to everyone’s point of view. If you feel down, your network might have something to uplift your mood and change your perspective on something. 

“Negativity, in general, is one of the things that holds people back, and you have to see what’s holding you back to get away from it.” – Lucy Dacus

6. Tech-savvy personnel

Learn a thing or two about the latest technology that you implement in your organization. Since the world revolves around technology, make sure your administrative authority knows as well.  

7. Don’t schedule a meeting, that could have been an email

Yes! I said it. Having unnecessary meetings will weaken the purpose of having a constructive discussion. Having back-to-back meetings drains the team members and yourself too. Always have a 10 to 15 minutes break between each meeting to feel refreshed and give your 100%. 

8. Have a pros and cons list

Always, I mean always have a pros and cons list. Let’s say one of your team members pitch an idea to improve the marketing strategies starting next month. Jot down the pros and cons before approving or rejecting it point-blank. It’s a systematic way of making a decision. 

9. Track your finances

Even if you have a team of accountants and auditors, make sure that you are present (both mentally and physically) – learn if you are not aware of it. Trusting your employees is a must, but not overseeing the records is a mistake that should be avoided. 

10. Remember your “why?”

At some point in your hectic schedule or not having ME time can get to you. During those tough times – ask yourself – “Why am I doing this?”. If you can answer this question with a valid explanation, you’ll feel energized. Because “A purpose drives you”. 

5 Best books to read to be more positive as an entrepreneur

Reading always puts me into perspective. Therefore, I took some liberty to give a sample of positivity and determination through words. 

These are the 5 books that’ll guide you to be a more positive and successful entrepreneur. 

  1. Attitude is everything by Jeff Keller – The decisions you make, the routine you set for yourself, and the affirmations you say to yourself every day are going to make a huge difference. If you feel tired, hopeless, and quitting – then this book is for you to boost you up!
  2. Mindset: The new psychology of success by Carol Dweck – You do what you think. In this book, the author talks about two mindsets: The growth mindset and the fixed mindset and what they’ll do to you respectively. She helps you recognize your mindset and change it for the better. 
  3. Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen – This book is about technology uprisings all over the world and businesses that adopted and implemented technology in their firm. The author teaches you that just because your competitors and others are adopting something into their businesses doesn’t mean that you have to as well. Make an informed decision. 
  4. As A Man Thinketh by James Allen – This book specifically is about the power of thought and how it shapes your life into a more meaningful and fulfilling one.
  5. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle – The author talks about how people always keep thinking about what the future holds but then forget to live and enjoy the present. And also helps us understand how to make decisions more efficiently based on the present. 

Working towards inner balance requires consistency and perseverance. So does hard and smart work. Being negative is a part of our lives. It’s important to channel it appropriately and make things happen despite the roller coaster ride that is our lives. Hope you overcome your fears and negativity to shine bigger and brighter. Cheers! 

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Defining Your Own Success: A Step by Step Guide

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Everyone wants success in their lives, but success can be defined in so many different ways that it can sometimes seem daunting. In this blog post, you will learn how to make success easier for yourself by defining what success means to you. (more…)

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5 Characteristics of Athletes You Need for Business Success

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Michigan State basketball coach, Tom Izzo, wrote “Players play. Tough players win.” I would add to that, “It’s tough to win.”I think if you, as a leader, are looking to build an organization that is successful – that wins – you first have to accept that it will be tough. There are no shortcuts to success. In my 44 years of coaching, I was fortunate to coach a lot of tough players. I believe the toughness I have seen in athletes corresponds well to any organization or business. (more…)

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