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3 WAYS TO FOCUS YOUR ETHICAL COMPASS AS A LEADER

Corporate culture functions in an atmosphere of rivalry. Every line worker competes to become a manager, every manager competes to become an executive, and every executive competes to dominate their industry. Cash is king in this vicious cycle of survival, and it stands as an unspoken rule that the only sacred virtue in business is the bottom line. In the face of these conditions, it should surprise no one that leaders are often susceptible to unethical business practices in the workplace. Ruthless corporate culture has an ironic way of financially rewarding productivity even when it happens at the expense of virtue.

It’s Never Worth It

It doesn’t matter what the context or the stakes are, violating ethics for the sake of business is always accompanied by one universal risk – injury to others. This injury could be emotional, it could be financial, or it could even be physical. Nonetheless, if a decision to pursue a specific course of action intentionally compromises the health and well-being of another person, no amount of profit can possibly justify it. This is why ethical leadership matters. Humanity’s duty to do right by one another is defined and illustrated by leaders. Furthermore this duty supersedes any possible justification for financial gain from corruption. To quote Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “The time is always right, to do what is right.” And doing what is right, especially as a leader, should be instinctive, not selective. Here are three central concepts of ethical leadership.

 

1.       Walk the Walk

Ethical leaders understand one fundamental truth; that is, actions speak louder than words. Ethical leadership begins with sincere intent and ends with deliberate follow-through. Because leaders are expected to set an example for others, when a leader is seen and understood to be ethical, the example said leader sets for their followers is that of Integrity. Don’t be the type of leader who just says what is right. Be the type of leader who does what is right.

 

2.       Practice Accountability

When a leader is only answerable to themselves, there is nothing to stop them from crossing ethical lines aside from fleeting personal scruples. The more responsibility a leader has, the more imperative it becomes for them to have checks and balances against their capacity to make influential decisions. Being accountable means being able to justify judgment as a leader if, and when, the need should arise. Ethical leaders should always exercise legitimate transparency with the people whom they serve.

 

3.       Stay Grounded

One of the easiest things to do in professional environments is lose sight of the fact that business is fundamentally about people. Just think about how many euphemisms are used to refer to people in this context. Business habitually labels people as: Clients, Consumers, Users, Employees, Customers, Buyers, Staff, Personnel, Workers, Recruits, Interns, Laborers, Patrons, Shoppers, and the list goes on. Allowing the formality of business to dehumanize those you interact with makes it easier to make decisions that either work against their interests or directly cause them harm. A leader who never forgets the humanity of their colleagues or subordinates is a leader who is more likely to treat others ethically.

Ethical leadership is all about exercising will. It demands fully embracing a continuous initiative to achieve the greatest possible good for the greatest number of people. Ethical leaders understand that their judgement should be of benefit to those they serve not just substantially, but in the long-term as well. Check out more of RISE Programs’ Blogs for helpful advice on leadership, and remember to spread the word by sharing this post. If you like what you just read from our blog, you’ll love the various informative workshops and events listed on our website and social media. Whether you’re interested in personal development, or overall improvement of your business, give us a ca! ll at 1 (888) 823-7757 to find out how RISE Programs can help you break past your daily struggles and start soaring in success.

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HOW TO USE APPROACHABILITY TO STAND OUT AS A LEADER

One of the most important components of leadership is inspiration. Leaders have a responsibility to galvanize their followers and motivate them into consistent, energized action – especially in situations of pressure. Most people assume that leadership is predominantly about decision-making and delegation. However, the human component of being in charge of people means that the more approachable a leader is, the easier it becomes to persuade and inspire devotion from followers. This is because people instinctively relax about obeying someone with whom they clearly share history, interests, perspective or worldview. Approachability helps establish common ground that not only unites leaders and followers, but also enhances the reputation of a leader beyond the boundaries of professional performance. If practicing approachability happens to be a challenge for you, here are a few pointers to guide you towards connecting with others in an accessible way:

 

1. Have an Open-Door Policy

Approachability starts with the basic initiative to make oneself available to others. When it comes to management, this can be achieved successfully by establishing an open-door policy. It may sound cliché, but simply making it known that the leadership of a company is prepared to listen to employees without any restrictions creates an atmosphere of transparency that endears leaders to their followers. An open door policy isn’t just about literally listening to employees speak however. It’s also about responding efficiently and comprehensively to all forms of communication whether in real-time or not. Every memo, email, text message, voicemail, fax, phone call, video conference, letter and so on should be treated as a priority that deserves attentive feedback. It takes effort and commitment, but it is worth it to emphasize the message ! that reaching out to you won’t result in rejection or indifference.

 

2. Give Praise Generously

Professional environments place a lot of expectations on employees. Everyone has deadlines, quotas and targets to satisfy, not to mention the fact that all of this happens under foreboding supervision. Experiencing such conditions constantly in the absence of any validation is enough to waver any reasonable person’s confidence. This is especially why proactive acknowledgment of good employee performance is crucial, not just for approachable leadership, but for effective leadership in general. The more praise a leader gives to employees who deserve it, the more excited and encouraged employees become to give their best efforts. Positive reinforcement yields gratification in people that directly amplifies their productivity which is a why any good leader should never hesitate to congratulate someone for a job-well-done.

 

3. Project Optimism

In a perfect world, life would never present any problems. The reality is however that everyone, and by extension every organization, goes through ups and downs over time. In the face of unpredictability, people naturally look to leadership to provide a sense of stability and direction. One of the most meaningful ways to fulfill this expectation is to offer reassurance to others when things are either difficult or going wrong. Making an effort to be optimistic is uplifting. It is encouraging. Done the right way, it enables people to step out of their self-absorbed paranoia and refocus their energy on success rather than failure. When optimism is expressed by a leader, it translates into compassion that draws adoration from followers.

 

4. Socialize

The burden of responsibility often compels leaders to distance themselves from followers in order to maintain formality. Whereas some detachment is prudent, having zero casual interaction with the people being led only corners leaders into a position of alienation. It serves well for leaders to humanize themselves with a measure of personal disclosure. Finding a way to engage with employees that isn’t hinged on professionalism creates the opportunity to form social bonds that make it easier for employees to dedicate sincere loyalty to their leadership.

Even the smallest effort to be approachable is like planting a seed. It may seem small and insignificant in the present, but following through with it stands to produce flourishing benefits that bear good fruit in the long run. Even if leading others is difficult, just being able to do so in a context of openness and transparency eliminates countless variables of hostility that would otherwise make conflict much likelier. Check out more of RISE Programs’ Blogs for helpful advice on leadership, and remember to spread the word by sharing this post. If you like what you just read from our blog, you’ll love the various informative workshops and events listed on our website and social media. Whether you’re interested in personal development, or overall improvement of your business, give u! s a call at 1 (888) 823-7757 to find out how RISE Programs can help you break past your daily struggles and start soaring in success.

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6 ESSENTIAL COMMUNICATION SKILLS EVERY LEADE SHOULD HAVE

One of life’s greatest ironies is the fact that change is an absolute part of the human experience. From the moment we’re born, we change through growth. Not only do we change as individuals, but our environments change, our relationships change, and the overall expectations we are subjected to change and evolve. All these changes we go through have implications on every facet of our existence, including business. Considering that change introduces unknown challenges and circumstances to cope with, the only way an organization can survive change is with leadership that understands how to receive and adapt to it.

You Can’t Lead Without Communicating

Strong interpersonal communication is a skill that is fundamental to cope with change, especially with regard to those in leadership. When leaders understand how to communicate well with others, it positions them strategically to reduce uncertainty that is instigated by change. When people are transparent and interactive with one another in situations of change, it allows them to share information in ways that prevents misunderstanding and conflict. This is why when leaders have strong communication skills, not only can they mediate constructive interaction amongst employees, they can also set agendas that inform how employees perceive and respond to the unknown. Some of the basic benefits of effective leadership communication skills include:

· Keeping leaders grounded and in tune with employees’ needs.

· Building trust with peers and subordinates.

· Motivating employees.

· Maintaining long-term mutual understanding with employees.

The only way leaders can build fruitful relationships with relevant stakeholders in their business is by practicing deliberate, conscientious communication. More specifically, leaders should possess the following crucial communication skills:

1. Public Speaking:

Being in charge of a group of people demands an ability to address them all simultaneously. It could be to issue instructions, or it could be to connect with them regarding other issues. Either way, public speaking skills are part and parcel of interaction with employees.

2. Storytelling:

Compelling leaders don’t just communicate with others in technical ways. They understand how to appeal to an audience through anecdotal narration. Being a good story-teller is endearing. It is a technique that can be used to motivate and inspire people without resorting to tangible incentives.

3. Composure:

There are moments in which leadership and unpopularity go hand-in-hand. Leaders often have to make difficult decisions that subject them to hostility from others. Being able to keep one’s cool is an invaluable quality under such circumstances. The more composure a leader can exercise in stressful situations, the more stability they project towards the people counting on them.

4. Negotiation:

Leadership is seldom ever a process of routine administration. At some point or another, every leader is saddled with the responsibility of having to achieve compromise regarding a critical dilemma. Being able to negotiate increases the likelihood of beneficial decision-making should such conditions arise.

5. Active Listening:

Listening is one of the most habitually neglected components of communication. People tend to be so focused on self-expression that they end up ignoring just how important it is to hear and comprehend other people’s speech. Leaders who know how to listen not only convey an image of compassion, they gain the opportunity to discover insights into what their employees actually think and feel.

6. Versatility:

Versatile communication means understanding how to interact with others through a variety of channels. For instance some people favor face-to-face interaction exclusively. Others lean towards using written messages by way of email or texting. Instead of being pigeon-holed into one preference, leaders who can adapt to any method or platform of communication stand to connect more closely with the people they encounter.

Communication can seem like a complex ritual, but it’s just a matter of practice. The ultimate goal is to be sincere about understanding the perspective and experiences of the people you communicate with. The more you focus on listening and appreciating the needs of your audience, the better the outcomes of your communication will be. Check out more of RISE Programs’ Blogs for helpful advice on leadership, and remember to spread the word by sharing this post. If you like what you just read from our blog, you’ll love the various informative workshops and events listed on our website and social media. Whether you’re interested in personal development, or overall improvement of your business, give us a call at 1 (888) 823-7757 to find out how RISE Programs can help you break past your! daily struggles and start soaring in success.

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HOW TO BUILD A CONNECTION WITH WORKERS THE RIGHT WAY

Leadership is essentially defined as the act of assuming command, or taking charge, over a group of other people. By this definition, leadership is a duty that inherently depends on interacting with others. This means that having the capacity to build strong interpersonal connections is a skill that directly contributes to the effectiveness of a leader. The more people a leader is responsible for overseeing, the more obligated a leader is to show accountability. The easiest way to demonstrate accountability furthermore is to build relationships that are marked by openness, trust and mutual respect.

Influence feeds on the type of connection a leader can establish with followers. This is primarily because having strong connections with employees bolsters trust. When employees trust their leaders, it’s easier for them to focus on achieving organizational objectives with discipline and concentration. Consequently, investing in good relationships with employees is one of the best decisions a leader can make in pursuit of success. Transcending the formal relationship between manager and employee in order to form a more sincere social bond creates mutual loyalty. Four central principles can be relied upon to guide any attempt to establish connections with employees. They are as follows:

1.       Demonstrate Integrity: An honorable person is the easiest person to trust or be aligned with. Practicing basic ethical behavior such as honesty, respect, transparency, kindness, and so on, communicates a desire to be genuine with how you relate to employees. This is a message that is essential for employee morale and professionalism because whether consciously or not, employees are inclined to reflect the character of their superiors towards colleagues and clients. The more integrity a leader demonstrates therefore, the more integrity employees will pra! ctice in kind.

2.       Exercise Emotional Intelligence: The phrase “out of touch” is often used to describe leaders who are experiencing ineffectual relationships with their followers. Being out of touch is a general way of describing a situation whereby someone isn’t using emotional intelligence to make others feel appreciated or understood. Emotional intelligence is the capacity to empathize by considering other people’s needs before one’s own. As is the case with integrity, the more emotional intelligence a leader displays, the more admiration employees will show! back in kind. When employees feel appreciated or understood by leadership, the sense of loyalty generated will make their work feel validated beyond a paycheck.

3.       Make the First Move: The golden rule is infamous – do unto others as you would have them do unto you. The idea behind this universal rule is simple. Expecting other people to do things for you, that you aren’t willing to do for them, is unreasonable. This idea applies to employee relationships. If a leader expects to connect with followers, said leader has to be willing to engage proactively and convey what type of a connection is desired with others. In a world full of passive people distracted by endless information and busy schedules, being the t! ype of person who steps up first to build relationships sends a strong message of earnest initiative.

4.       Remember to Lead: Friendship my help people lead with compassion, but leading is a responsibility that doesn’t always call for friendship. In the effort to connect with people, always remember that above forming friendships, people look to leaders for decisiveness, guidance, and strength. Getting caught up in forming interpersonal connection more than projecting leadership can undermine authority irreversibly depending on the environment.

Strong leadership is a balancing act. Finding the happy medium between firm authority and compassionate friendship is the key to building sincere relationships with employees. There is no instant solution to the question of how to establish good connections with a workforce. Every meaningful approach to this issue requires dedicated, continuous effort. If you like what you just read from our blog, you’ll love the various informative workshops and events listed on our website and social media. Whether you’re interested in personal development, or overall improvement of your business, give us a call at 1 (888) 823-7757 to find out how RISE Programs can help you break past your daily struggles and start soaring in success.

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QUICK GUIDE: WHAT TO DO ABOUT SEXUAL MISCONDUCT

On October 5, 2017, the New York Times published a news story that shed light on decades-long sexual misconduct allegedly committed by renowned Hollywood Film Producer Harvey Weinstein. This story, which outlined multiple accounts of how Weinstein habitually harassed women in the film industry, emboldened even more victims from all walks of life to step forward and publicly share their painful experiences of sexual harassment. The many accusations that ensued not only identified other influential people who have committed sexual misconduct in the past, they also revealed just how prevalent the problem of sexual harassment actually is in the workplace.

What is Sexual Harassment?

One of the biggest lessons to learn from the controversy surrounding the Hollywood Sexual Harassment Scandal is that harassment can happen to anyone, anywhere at any time. Moreover, sexual harassment is not a problem confined to the past. There are countless people suffering in silence today, either because they don’t know what to do about it, or they’re too intimidated to speak out. Harassment of any kind in the workplace is a serious issue. Not only is it unethical, it is illegal. Acts of harassment violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, (ADEA), and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, (ADA).

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) defines sexual harassment as any unwelcome or offensive conduct of a sexual nature. Such conduct typically includes:

      • Physical Contact
      • Unwanted Advances
      • Offensive Humor
      • Slurs
      • Name-Calling
      • Threats and intimidation
      • Ridicule or Mockery
      • Display of Offensive Objects or Imagery
      • Interference with Work Duties

It’s important to note that the law does not prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that bear no reasonable consequences. However, harassment becomes illegal when:

  1. It is committed with the intention of influencing employment status or an employment decision.
  2. It is so frequent or severe that it creates an intimidating and hostile work environment.

What to do if you Feel Harassed:

It isn’t always easy to stand up for yourself, especially when you have a lot to lose by confronting people in power. However, it’s important to remember that not only can coming forward to report harassment end up saving your own life, it can prevent others from being victimized in future as well. If at all you are working in a situation where you feel harassed:

  1. If it’s safe enough to do so, tell the person harassing you to stop – but only do this as long as you feel comfortable confronting them directly.
  2. If confronting a harasser directly is too difficult or unsafe, find a copy of your company’s anti-harassment policy and review it. Once you understand what the company policy is, report and prosecute the harasser under that policy.
  3. If the company you work for doesn’t have an official anti-harassment policy, talk with a separate supervisor or authority figure who has the power to address the situation. They may be able to help stop the misconduct.
  4. If following internal procedures doesn’t provide a solution, file charges of discrimination with the EEOC.

How to help if you Notice Harassment:

Victims of sexual harassment do not have to be subjected to it directly for harassment to be relevant. Anyone affected by offensive conduct, including those who observe it, also have a right to complain about it. If you see something, do something:

  1. Document details of any harassment you see as soon as it happens.
  2. Collect any evidence you can, especially written evidence, of any sexual misconduct you observe. If what you witness ends up being litigated, this evidence could be of help to the victims of harassment.
  3. Privately reach out to the person(s) you witness being harassed and offer your support. They may be reluctant to fight back because they feel alone. There’s strength in numbers.
  4. Share what you know with the Human Resources department of your company, or an authority figure who can put a stop to any harassment you witness.

Passiveness has the unfortunate effect of enabling sexual harassment. If someone engaging in sexual misconduct isn’t reprimanded for it promptly, their behavior will likely escalate and recur until someone makes it clear that such behavior is unacceptable. If you like what you just read from our blog, you’ll love the various informative workshops and events listed on our website and social media. Whether you’re interested in personal development, or overall improvement of your business, give us a call at 1 (888) 823-7757 to find out how RISE Programs can help you break past your daily struggles and start soaring in success.

 

 

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LOVE YOUR CAREER

According to a Gallup study on the American workplace, two-thirds of employees are disengaged at work. They don’t enjoy what they do which represses them into doing the bare minimum and become ‘just enough’ employees. Ironically many actually like working under these circumstances whereas some tolerate it. Only a fortunate few are lucky enough to bypass this dilemma and find gainful work that they genuinely love.

Considering that work takes up most of our day, and lives, it’s a tragedy to imagine that so many employees get placed in miserable jobs that slowly drain their happiness. Don’t despair however if you happen to be in such a situation. You can still find enjoyment in your work by modifying your attitude and perspective. Doing so is very valuable to your life in many ways.

Here is an exercise that will help you to create your ideal career

Brainstorm these areas:

1.       Things you are passionate about

2.       Your Strengths and Abilities

3.       Things that help those around you

Things you are Passionate about

What activities bring you joy? What are you passionate about? What fills you with energy? What makes you come alive? What is your ideal environment? What types of people would you like to be around? When you love and enjoy your work, your desire and excitement will be a great motivation to keep moving forward.

Your Strengths and abilities

What are your strengths and abilities? What comes naturally to you and doesn’t really cost you too much effort? What have others told you that you do well?

Whether it is motivating people, art, dance, organizing things, public speaking, or cooking, figure out what that is for you and use it to your advantage. These are resources you have available now that will help you excel at what you do, increase your confidence, and build more success.

Things that help those around you

What could the world around you do with more of? In what ways could people benefit from your unique skills and abilities? What can you do or provide that people would be willing to pay for?

Now that you’ve done some brainstorming for each of the areas, carry out the following Venn diagram exercise.

 

 

In the top left circle, list Things you are Passionate about. In the top right circle, list Your Strengths and abilities. In the bottom circle, list the Things that help those around you. Lastly, in the inner overlapping circle, make note of a few items that cover all three areas. These are possible career goals you might want to consider! The items in the overlapping center are the Things you should do more of!

 

Richard Martinez

Transformational Expert

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5 COMMON SENSE WAYS TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM CYBERATTACKS

If you keep up with the news at all, the word hacking is something that probably rings alarm bells in your head by now. And if it doesn’t… it should. Recent trends indicate that virtually any and every computer system in the world is vulnerable to intrusion by unseen bandits lurking in the shadows. In fact, every new incident of data breaches is so sensational, it’s understandable if anyone is distracted from the big picture of how many people are cumulatively affected by this dilemma. Just to give a few notable examples:

  • Up to 70 Million Target Corporation customers lost personal information due to cyberattacks in November of 2013.
  • Up to 143 Million Equifax users lost personal information due to cyberattacks in May of 2017.
  • Up to 145 Million eBay users lost personal information due to cyberattacks in March of 2014.
  • Up to 152 Million Adobe Systems users lost personal information due to cyberattacks in October of 2013.
  • Up to 3 Billion Yahoo! users lost personal information due to cyberattacks in August of 2013.

For some who held simultaneous accounts with these, and the many other organizations that have suffered data-breaches, the risk of identity-theft and other problems is actually overlapping. There has never been a more urgent time to become smart about how you share, and protect, sensitive personal information with others. Here are some common sense precautions to take in order to protect yourself from cyberattacks:

  1. Don’t Volunteer Information:

One of the easiest ways for hackers to access sensitive information is by attacking companies that don’t prioritize safeguarding it. If you make a habit of providing detailed information to any website or company that requests you to create a profile, you’ll inevitably end up exposed by the fact that your data is scattered across a wide network of sites. When requested information on a form is optional, don’t fill it out. If it’s clear that a company only wants details about you for marketing purposes, don’t provide it. The less corporations know about you, the smaller the target on your back.

2.                   Maintain your Devices:

Smart technology has become a part of daily life. Not only does your computer contain sensitive information about you, but so does anything that connects to Wi-Fi, including: phones, cars, tablets, streaming devices, televisions, and so on. Always makes sure to update the operating systems on these devices and replace their default firewalls with sophisticated antivirus security suites.

3.                   Disable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth when Devices are Idle:

Wireless connectivity provides a backdoor for anyone with the right equipment to access and corrupt electronics without anyone’s knowledge. Unless you are actively using Wi-Fi on an a device, make sure to disable it before setting it aside, or switching it off. Not only does this significantly reduce the odds of hackers infiltrating your technology, it also decreases costs charged by service providers for data-use.

4.                   Use Two-Factor authentication:

Two-factor authentication is a security measure that requires multiple steps in a password-entry process. Rather than relying on a single password that can be easily deciphered by attackers, two-factor authentication generates a second temporary password via phone or email. This ensures that the user entering a password on a given account is genuine. Two-factor authentication makes it difficult for any hacker in a remote location to access a personal account.

5.                   Inspect the Webpages You Visit:

Before you ever decide to click any buttons on a webpage, always assess it to determine whether it’s been disguised for phishing. This is especially crucial before using any websites for financial transactions or sensitive communication. If you notice anything peculiar on a web page such as typos, altered appearance or inconsistent information, desist from browsing immediately until you can ascertain whether it’s been hacked.

It’s time to face facts. Hacking is a new frontier in criminal activity that isn’t about to diminish anytime soon. Considering that the bad guys aren’t about to let up on victimizing people online, we all have a responsibility as individual consumers to be tactical about our online activity. Any information about you is as valuable as currency in today’s society, so start treating it as such. Check out more of RISE Programs’ Blogs for helpful advice on consumer awareness and remember to spread the word by sharing this post.

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4 PRACTICAL WAYS TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY AS A LEADER

Responsible leadership is defined as governance or management that considers the impact of decisions on every possible stakeholder in a business environment, not just those who benefit from a given decision. Responsible leaders therefore, are leaders who don’t just seek to make as much profit as possible out of employees and consumers, they also seek to safeguard these people’s well-being and interests. Responsible leadership is courteous in nature. It is informed by ethics and upholds integrity as the most important trait a leader can exercise. Responsible leaders do not hesitate to do what’s right, even when what is right stands in conflict with what’s lucrative. Here are four important principles of responsible leadership that every leader should personify:

  • Understand the Difference Between Right and Wrong:

Without a moral compass, there is no limit to the amount of damage a leader can inflict on innocent people. Based on their authority alone, leaders are always entrusted with power and resources. The more a leader is entrusted with these elements, the more important it is for said leader to be incorruptible. This can only happen if a strong sense of right and wrong exists in a leader. At the very least, every leader must have a full grasp of three ethical precepts before exercising power over others:

      • Universal Moral Law.
      • Statutory Codes.
      • Organizational Codes of Conduct.
  • Stand up for What is Right:

It’s not enough for a leader to know what’s right and what’s wrong. Leaders also need enough of a backbone to be just. They have to relentlessly fight against pressures or negative influences that goad them towards unscrupulousness. It is extremely easy, almost instinctive even, for people to abuse power selfishly. However when a leader can consistently look past personal interests and always act for the greater good, they stand a good chance of leaving an enduring legacy at the conclusion of their tenure.

  • Understand who you’re Accountable To:

If responsible leadership can be compared to a house, accountability represents each and every brick of that house. Weak accountability makes for an irresponsible leader whereas strong accountability produces wise leadership. Leaders should always remember that they exist to serve. They exist to serve the consumers who rely on their products and they also exist to serve the subordinates whose collective effort endorses a leader’s authority. When a leader loses sight of this dynamic, they begin to impose unrealistic expectations on the very people who support and rely on them.

  • Understand the Consequences of Transgression:

Abuse of power isn’t just a problem, it’s a betrayal. It’s a betrayal of the trust that is placed in a leader, and it always has victims. This is a fact that should exist in the consciousness of every person who calls themselves a leader, regardless of how prominent their role. When leaders break the rules, it’s more than a violation of protocol or red tape. It could end up causing financial loss, personal injury and diminished quality of life to people who don’t deserve to suffer.

20th century author and activist Helen Keller once said, “I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.” This statement is one of the most succinct ways to describe what responsible leadership is all about. Not only do the little things matter, but paying attention to them makes a difference. Leaders who understand how to take responsibility for every facet of their mandate, not just what is glamorous, inevitably position themselves to achieve greatness. Check out more of RISE Programs’ Blogs for helpful advice on leadership, and remember to spread the word by sharing this post. If you like what you just read from our blog, you’ll love our many informative workshops and events listed on Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/o/rise-programs-10789866034 Join RISE Programs any time to learn how to break past your daily struggles and start soaring in success.

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4 EASY STEPS TO BE MORE PRODUCTIVE AT WORK

You’re at the office, clocked in and ready with your morning coffee. Before you know it, five o’clock has rolled around and you can’t help but wonder where the time went. What was supposed to be a productive day flew by with little to show for it. Often, the noise that surrounds us can derail our focus before we even realize it.

As a result, we lose track of our goals, projects take longer to complete, and it gets harder to move forward. The good news is that there are solutions! Check out the following tips to get rid of those distractions keeping you from progressing:

  1. Get rid of the clutter:

Physical Clutter

Are you really going to work on that budget analysis right now? If not, you’re probably not going to touch that stack of books anytime soon. Though we might think having these things out in the open will serve as a reminder to get them done, they may actually be hindering your productivity. There may be items on your desk that get you visually overwhelmed and though you might be focusing your eyesight on a specific area, something will still draw your attention. Visual distractions can be reduced by clearing your desk, your walls, and your home of unnecessary possessions. Cleaning up at the end of each day helps you remove clutter and improves your focus.

Digital Clutter

Alright, so you’ve gotten rid of your desk clutter so we’re all set, right? Not quite yet. Organizing your mind means organizing everything! Desktop icons, backgrounds, programs, apps, along with other digital distractions get in the way of getting your work done. Organize your files into the fewest possible folders and keep your computer desktop as clean as your actual desk.

  1. Be smart about your e-mail notifications

We’ve all wasted time focusing on that unimportant email that somehow ends up setting us back in our whole day . You figure you’ll stay on top of everything by enabling email notifications on your desktop and next thing you know, your whole day is spent dismissing notifications – or worse – shopping that “ONE DAY ONLY exclusive sale” that ends in 4 hours, hurry before you miss out! Don’t let email takeover your life. Minimize the distractions by:

  • Turning off automatic email notifications for everyone and allowing them  ONLY for important contacts that you can’t afford to miss
  • Checking your email at specific times throughout the day
  • Having less than two email accounts
  • Unsubscribing from advertisements and newsletters that are no longer of value to you
  1. Schedule phone calls

How many days have slipped out of your hands because you were bombarded with phone calls? Yes, you’re working but by constantly answering your phone, you’re taking time away from crossing out tasks on your to-do list. Avoid taking every call you receive as it comes and instead, establish a specific time each day to return calls and messages.

  1.  Organize your environment:

We mentioned clearing your desk of clutter but if you want to take it one step further after you’ve done this, organize your entire environment! You’re only leaving a few things on your desk at this point, so make the most of them. Organize everything in a way that will improve your productivity. For example:

  • Position important documents or supplies within your reach
  • Label your shelves
  • Use folders for different articles and files instead of having them loose in your drawers
  • Store any books or magazines in a box or a drawer
  • Sort your mail by topic or sender

Investing a little effort into organizing your workstation will save you time in the long run. The more organized your desk is, the less time you’ll spend shuffling through piles of paperwork and the more time you’ll have to actually progress in your career!

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4 ESSENTIAL CHARACTERISTICS OF VISIONARY LEADERSHIP

The only way to truly succeed in life is to work hard and to work smart. Likewise, the only way to make a meaningful impact as a leader is to fuel those who follow with enduring incentive to provide their best efforts. There are many different ways to accomplish this outcome. One of the most effective methods is to practice what is known as Visionary Leadership.

What is Visionary Leadership?

Visionary leadership is a style of leadership that is characterized by a desire to push the envelope, and exceed the basic expectations of a team’s mission. Visionary leadership focuses on the future, and how to achieve success in the long-term. Whereas a basic leader only concerns themselves with immediate goals such as meeting sales targets or project deadlines, visionary leaders contemplate the overall impact of such activities and how they can be augmented to ensure the survival and prosperity of both their team and any external stakeholders who rely on their leadership. Here are four  characteristics of visionary leadership you should embrace in order to refine your aptitude as a leader:

1.- Foresight:

It is no coincidence that vision serves as the root word for the term visionary. Visionary leadership is only possible when a leader is inclined to be analytical and thinks about the future. The more a person deliberates and prepares for the future, the better positioned they become to capitalize on any assets they wield in the present. Developing a clearly defined vision for a team establishes a sense of direction that can guide the decision-making process beneficially.

2.- Emotional Intelligence:

Being visionary and being inspirational go hand in hand. A visionary leader is someone who bears a distinct ability to motivate others into committed, enthusiastic action. This is an ability that ultimately hinges on how well said leader understands the fact that different people have different natures. The circumstances that motivate one person into action may not necessarily motive another, purely because of personality. If a leader can figure out how to complement varying personalities collectively, they stand a better chance of drawing out exceptional performance from their followers.

3.- Innovation:

Visionary leaders should not hesitate to defy convention. They should be ready to think the unthinkable and try the unimaginable. To put it simply, it’s impossible to be a visionary leader without thinking outside the box. This isn’t just a standard that should apply to the work a leader does, but also to what a leader believes. There are moments in life when success can only be achieved through unusual methods. If a leader cannot actually apply these techniques, they can never break past being ordinary.

4.- Courage:

Considering the fact that visionary leaders take risks in order to accomplish their goals unless they have enough mettle to withstand the pressure that automatically accompanies risk, chances are they’ll be doomed to struggle with stalled plans and unfinished business. Visionaries must persevere under stress. They must be able to keep their eye on the prize even when everyone around them has given up on the dream. It is ultimately a leader’s responsibility to keep hope alive and provide an example that ensures others stay focused on the finish line.

The only way for dreams to come true is if people dare to dream in the first place. The higher the ambition, the higher the stakes are for a leader to strive for greatness. Being a visionary doesn’t just set high standards for a leader’s performance; it provides a team with meaningful motivation to go above and beyond with their duties. Check out more of RISE Programs’ Blogs for helpful advice on leadership, and remember to spread the word by sharing this post.

 

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