5 Secrets of Great Leadership — Here’s what it takes from Dale C.

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Thanks again to the “Dale Carnegie Training Newsletter”

Anita Zinsmeister, President — anita.zinsmeister@dalecarnegie.com
Dale Carnegie® Training of Central & Southern New Jersey 

Contributing editor, Inc.com

Great leaders are not born into the role. They exhibit traits that have been learned, refined, honed, and improved over many years. There’s no single trait that makes someone a great leader. It is a collection of refined attributes.

To find out more about the secret to leadership, I talked to several executives and asked about what they’ve learned to become a great leader.

Here’s what they had to say.

1. Act like a coach

Kris Malkoski, the President and Global Business and Chief Commercial Officer atWorld Kitchen, told me the secret to great leadership is to act like a coach. You have to set the strategy and the gameplan to win, hire and coach the top talent, set goals and measure progress–and then demonstrate how this all works by example to all of your employees on a consistent basis. “You have to represent the strong values and work ethic that they expect, and you have to anticipate competitive diversions and adjust their plans to insure goals are achieved,” she says.

2. Show your passion

Passion is not something you can fake. Employees can see whether you have it from a mile away, and they know the difference. Jimmy Haslam, the CEO of Pilot Flying J and majority owner of the Cleveland Browns, told me that it is the most important secret to great leadership. “Every day we try to show people our passion for the business,” he says. “We care deeply about the people who work for our companies as well as the entire communities in which our companies are based.”

3. Listen

One secret is to listen closely to what employees have to say. If you’re commanding too much, it means you’re not listening enough. “People want to follow a leader who listens, who understands what is going on in the organization and what is important to the people who work to make the business thrive,” says Barby Siegel, the CEO ofZeno Group, a global communications agency. “Let people know that you expect them to think beyond the task to contribute to the organization as a whole. I want people to speak their minds and I let them know this as often as possible.”

4. Accept the blame and don’t take the credit

Great leaders don’t crave the spotlight, they tend to save that for the star performers on the team. It’s almost like they know how to avoid getting the most credit and prefer the employees receive most of it. “Great leaders have a great appreciation for the people around them,” says Haslam. “They are willing to accept blame when things go wrong and aren’t concerned about who gets the credit when things go well.

5. Be open to opinions

There’s one last secret to great leadership. You have to be open. If you close your mind to a group of employees or pick favorites, it leads to dysfunction and disunity. “The effective leader needs to take in and distill multiple points of view from various people and agendas, and make a well-grounded decision in line with the company’s mission and values,” says Siegel. “A successful leader understands the need to change and adapt–to be open to differing points of view and new ways of doing things–even if that means stepping out of one’s comfort zone.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.

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5 Easy Ways To Enhance Communication at Work — Communication Strategies from “Entrepreneur”

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This week’s blog comes from:

Dale Carnegie Training Newsletter

Anita Zinsmeister, President — anita.zinsmeister@dalecarnegie.com
Dale Carnegie® Training of Central & Southern New Jersey 

By Han-Gwon Lung

Co-founder of Tailored Ink

There’s a fantastic video on YouTube of babies vigorously talking to one another. It’s impossible to watch that video without cracking a smile. They’re trying so hard, but they just can’t quite seem to get their meaning across.

It’s a lot less funny when it’s two grown adults yelling at one another in the office. Or, even worse, a whole team failing to communicate in a healthy way and devolving into “Let’s see who can shout the loudest and interrupt the most often.”

Communication is tough. Ninety-seven percent of of employees and executives agree that a lack of team alignment negatively impacts performance, and 86 percent believe that ineffective communication leads to workplace failures.

Since Tailored Ink is still small, communication hasn’t been too difficult. At a startup, everyone knows everything. But as we scale, keeping in touch with everyone will become harder and harder.

Related: 3 Secrets to Effective Communication During Rapid Business Growth

If you are struggling with team communication, try out these five ways to enhance communication:

1. Get it down in writing.

The first rule of office communication: Don’t expect anyone to remember what you say to them, even if you are the boss.As our personal and work lives become increasingly digital and filled with online distractions, human attention spans have gotten shorter and shorter. At last count, the average adult has an attention span of eight seconds — worse than a goldfish. On top of that, stress negatively impacts our short-term memory.

If you have a particularly old school manager who refuses to write things down and expects you to take dictation, do just that. Write down what they say as soon as they say it so you can hold them accountable for things they didn’t say.

2. Know your personality types.

Another great way to communicate better both in one-on-one interactions as well as team meetings is to know the Myer’s Briggs personality types of each of your coworkers.

For example, I’m an INTJ (“The Architect”). The “I” in “INTJ” stands for “Introversion”, and if I’m to be totally honest, I prefer as few in-person meetings and phone calls as possible. My partner, on the other hand, is the exact opposite and we’ve had to compromise to figure out the right communication balance.

Related: Workers Without Borders: Managing the Remote Revolution

If you’re rolling your eyes right now, or if you believe that personality tests are inaccurate, science disagrees with you. While it is true that our personalities can change slightly through life via learned behaviors, big personality traits like introversion and extroversion are determined at birth, and are based on how you process dopamine.

In other words, don’t try to force someone to communicate the wayyou do. They could literally be hardwired differently.

3. Have an open-door policy.

We’ve all worked at corporations or cubicle farms where managers in corner offices always keep the door closed, and can be visited by appointment only. One of my managers was so ornery during work that she would snap at anyone who distracted her in a shared office space.

Guess what? A closed door is like the Black Death of team communication. Leaders set the tone and culture of their teams, so if a manager is inscrutable and impossible to pin down for a chat, the whole team clams up in turn. No one will have the confidence to speak to anyone, the office will become as quiet as a library, and morale will plummet (along with productivity).

Instead, keep your door open. Just do it. Even though it may lead to a few more distractions, few employees will abuse an open-door policy. And you’ll be amazed at the conversations you never had with people you thought you knew.

4. Do a daily stand-up meeting.

In what feels like another life, I interned at an indie game studio. And what stood out to me the most (aside from the awkward coders and the whimsical break room) was the daily morning scrum.Also called a stand-up meeting in non-tech circles, this type of daily meeting should never go over 10 minutes and is mostly for the sake of managers who will get a quick status update from everyone on their teams. It’s a fantastic way to make sure everyone is on the same page and also a sneaky way of project managing without having to rely on messy schedules and timesheets.

Related: 7 Communication Skills Every Entrepreneur Must Master

Another, less obvious benefit of the stand-up meeting is that it keeps everyone accountable. Instead of forcing someone to follow a static, complex schedule, you give each team member personal responsibility for finishing their work on time.

5. Encourage team members to blog.

Finally, you don’t have to be a content manager or marketer to find value in keeping a lively company blog. When only 28.9 percent of millennials are engaged at work (71 percent are not), being able to contribute on a regular basis to a part of the brand that’s very public, like a blog, is incredibly empowering.

As I mentioned earlier, not everyone’s a talker who can dominate an in-person meeting or conference call. You’d be surprised at what your coworkers will say and contribute when they’re given the freedom to write on company time.

There’s also a lot of great team communication software. I believe in understanding and internalizing the reason for doing something before learning how to do it. That being said, there are a lot of fantastic and affordable team messaging and project management software solutions.

You probably already know about Slack, Trello and Asana — but have you tried Smartsheet, Wunderlist or Zip Schedules? Since most of these apps have free trials (some are even permanently free for small teams), you should try out as many as you can. Find out what works best for you and your team.

And remember the old saying — people quit their bosses, not their jobs. Communication is what ultimately determines whether you retain talent or lose valuable team members to competitors. If that’s not worth investing time and effort into, you’re doing things wrong.

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10 Tips for new professionals

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From PRSA’s May 2016 issue of Tactics. Credit Sara Cullin, APR — a writer, editor and social media manager in Cincinatti. Follow her @ saracullin on Twitter.

Says Sara Cullin: “Have a plan or road map for accomplishing your goals. Here are 10 ways you can embrace the challenges and opportunities your’re bound to encounter on your career path.”

  1. Be a sponge.
  2. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
  3. Keep track of your accomplishments.
  4. Don’t wait for an evaluation to ask how you are doing.
  5. Don’t let your boss define you.
  6. Get a mentor.
  7. Find things that make you happy outside of work.
  8. Don’t be judgmental.
  9. Mind your manners.
  10. Keep learning.

To read the entire article, it’s Tactics — May 2016 from the Public Relations Society of America.

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Tips for developing your personal brand

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CareerBuilder’s Matt Tarpey offers these tips:

  1. Identify your passion
  2. Prepare an elevator speech (See Larry Litwin’s The Public Relations Practitioner’s Playbook and The ABCs of Strategic Communication when you are ready to craft YOUR elevator speech. Books available via www.larrylitwin.com)
  3. Network, network, network
  4. Get your name out there

More advice on personal branding is available in both of Litwin’s books. If purchased from larrylitwin.com, shipping is free.

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10 worst-paying college majors

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According to Kiplinger.com, these are the 10 worst-paying college majors during 2014-2015 with starting salary and mid-career salary:

  1. Exercise science = $32,000/$51,000
  2. Horticulturalist = $35,200/$50,900
  3. Animal science = $33,600/$55,200
  4. Music = $35,700/$51,400
  5. Biblical studies = $35,400/$50,800
  6. Child and family studies = $30,300/$37,200
  7. Culinary arts = $34,800/$51,000
  8. Photography = $36,200/$55,500
  9. Social work = $33,000/$46,000
  10. Art history = $38,900/$59,000

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‘Money (Mag)’ — Will it get positive action? What Your Resume Should Look Like in 2016

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Money.com offers this advice when crafting your resume: “Drop these skills from your resume.” These tips plus No. 64 on www.larrylitwin.com>Student Resources>Handouts will help you get eyeballs on your Resume.

I suggest you visit both my website and this one one (making certain you download the example). Be certain to craft a strategic Applicant Statement (summary).


Credit:  @DanielBortz

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Good luck college grads

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According to USA Today’s Jae Yang and Janet Loehrke, 68 percent of college graduates this year (2016) are graduating with student-loan debt. 

Source: Accenture Strategy survey of 2,018 college graduates from 2014, 2015 and 2016.

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Salaries and grads

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(From USA Today)

College seniors — 42 percent of them — expect to earn more than $50,000 at their first jobs while 23 percent of companies pay that amount.

Source: ICIMS analysis of 400 college seniors and 400 hiring managers. Jay Yang and Vernon Brave, USA Today.

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Impress employers with creative questions

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(From Mary Lorenz — CareerBuilder)

Here are what leading career coaches identify as their favorite interview questions from interviewees:

  • What is it YOU enjoy best about working here?
  • Do YOU have any concerns about my qualifications that would prevent you from selecting me for this position?
  • Why did the previous person leave this position?
  • What is an unexpected benefit of working here that someone outside the company might not know?
  • What is the least appealing aspect of this job?
  • Would you mind telling me what you did yesterday?
  • What advice would YOU give to someone starting this position?

(Mary Lorenz is a writer for the Advice & Resources section on CareerBuilder.com She researches and writes about job-search strategy career, management management, hiring trends and workplace issues.

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