On October 12, 2018, Facebook publicly announced that they had experienced a data breach affecting 30 Million users. The breach happened in September of this year when hackers gained access to Facebook’s servers and took advantage of software loopholes to steal personal information from user profiles. This data breach is particularly serious because the hackers stole information which makes people vulnerable to identity theft and fraud. The hackers stole a variety of data including names, gender, location, birthdates, devices used, academic details, professional details, messages and more.

It’s Time to Act:

For some people, hearing that Facebook got hacked isn’t really a big deal because they are cautious about how much they post online. But for many who’ve made a habit of sharing their lives completely online, news of the hack is devastating. Thanks to multiple recent data-breach scandals, Facebook and social media in general have suddenly found themselves at the center of the debate about people’s right to privacy. If you are among the many people who want things to change, you can either wait for new laws and regulations to get passed in order to preserve your online privacy, or you can take responsibility for your own safety and decide to be selective about how you participate in social media. Quite frankly, it would be much easier for you to take matters into your own hands.

Don’t Do it for the Likes:

There’s nothing wrong with having a Facebook profile, or using social media in general. In fact, social media can help build and maintain meaningful relationships in our lives. However, if things get to the point where you crave approval for every moment of your life by constantly posting your experiences online, you will probably end up oversharing to the point of being exposed to hackers. Getting millions of likes on social media might make you feel important, but if that prestige comes at the expense of giving up your privacy to corporations and hackers, it’s not worth it.

There has never been a more urgent time to become smart about how you share, and protect, sensitive personal information with others. While congress and corporations go through their own long process of sorting out privacy problems, here are some common sense precautions to take in order to protect yourself from cyberattacks:

1. Don’t Volunteer Information: Don’t scatter your personal information on each and every website which asks for it. The less corporations like Facebook know about you, the smaller the target on your back.

2. Maintain your Devices: Always makes sure to update the operating systems on computers/smart 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 hack into devices. Unless you are actively using Wi-Fi, make sure to disable it before setting it aside, or switching it off.

4. 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. If you notice anything peculiar on a web page such as typos, altered format or inconsistent information, stop browsing immediately.

It’s time to face facts. Hackers mean business, and they’re not going away any time soon. You can either allow yourself to be a sitting duck and deliver all your personal information to them by oversharing online, or you can protect yourself by being responsible about your online behavior. Learn to be happy in your own truth. Learn to live in the moment and be content about your life without chasing likes. It might feel strange at first after spending so much time on social media, but in the long run it will definitely keep you safe from hackers.

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There are only two types of people in this world: those who are in debt, and those who haven’t been born yet. It’s natural to assume that financial debt is a bad thing because the idea of owing money is often stigmatized. But the truth is that debt is a natural part of life in the 21st century. In fact, it’s impossible to achieve social mobility or acquire any assets of any real value in life today without taking advantage of loans or credit. For example, if you want an education, you’ll probably have to take out a student loan to pay for a degree. If you want to buy a car or a house, you’ll have to sign up for a note or a mortgage before you can own any of these properties outright. In this sense, debt is directly instrumental to the quality of life that every member of society enjoys.

Things can Get Real:

When managed responsibly, debt actually enables everyday people to gain access to transformative and essential resources in life. Unfortunately, not everybody has a gleaming success story about how credit has impacted their prosperity. Sometimes it’s because of negligent borrowing, and sometimes it’s because sudden emergencies create the need for unexpected spending, but the truth is that there are scores of people in society today who feel crushed under the weight of unpaid bills and past-due notices. No matter how desperate you might feel about your situation however, don’t give up if you happen to be in debt. It takes time, and it takes discipline, but it’s still possible to regain good standing financially if you’re willing to makes a few tough decisions about your financial habits. Here are seven things to do in order to reduce and repay mounting debt:

1.       Learn to Distinguish Between Wants and Needs:

Spending money on things you don’t need is the quickest way to burden yourself with mushrooming credit balances. If a spending decision won’t have any impact on your health and well-being, pause to evaluate whether you can actually do without it, and don’t be afraid to say “no” if it’s not something you need.

2.       Pay Attention to Your Spending:

The first step to financial literacy is deciding to be proactive about analyzing and recording your spending habits. At least once a month, you should makes sure to file and study your bank statements and receipts to gain a better understanding of how cash flows through your hands. If you notice any heavy or unusual spending, do something about it.

3.       Go High-Tech:

There’s no need to let your budgeting get inundated by piles of paperwork and hardcopy receipts. Designing a spreadsheet to keep track of your personal spending can speed things up and help you get organized in an efficient way. It also allows you to keep extensive records without having to use bulky folders or stationery.

4.       Prioritize Your Outstanding Debt:

Not all debt is created equal. If you happen to owe money to multiple different parties, it’s a good idea to rank which of your debtors can inflict serious consequences on your daily life and pay them off first. As a general rule, it’s usually a good idea to pay back debt based on the following sequence:

·         If you owe money to the IRS, pay them before you pay anyone else. They have the ability to jail you for defaulting on your debt.

·         If you we student loans, pay them with extreme urgency because the government also has the power to garnish your wages if you default.

·         If you owe any personal loans, pay them after considering government debts because personal loans directly influence how much your friends and family trust you.

·         If you have a mortgage, prioritize it after considering personal loans because defaulting on a mortgage can leave you homeless.

·         If you have a car note, prioritize it after mortgage debt because vehicles are essential for travel, but they can easily be replaced by public transportations.

5.       Go Above and Beyond the Bare Minimum:

Paying back debt has nothing to do with meeting minimum payments, and everything to do with clearing an outstanding balance in its entirety. If you choose to pay back a loan strictly through the minimum payments that are due, you’ll end up paying too much cash on interest charges, and you’ll also end up paying back small debts for years and years. Nobody’s saying you have to pay back everything at one go, but every now and then, pay back more than the minimum balance due.

Trying to figure out how to eliminate debt can feel overwhelming. But it’s not impossible. You just have to be willing to reevaluate your spending and actually do something to change your financial habits. The more organized you become, the better decisions you’ll ultimately make about your money. 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 The RISE Programs Academy for Business Coaching and Leadership Training can help you break past your daily struggles and start soaring in success.

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There’s no turning back. The internet has transformed into the most instrumental frontier of human interaction ever, and it would be a mistake to ignore this fact as an entrepreneur. According to research conducted by The Nielsen Company, census data estimates that there are 7.6 Billion people on earth. 54 percent of this population, which is roughly more than half the world, are regular internet users. Out of this number, 2.7 Billion people actively use social media for a variety of reasons. Regardless of whether their reasons are personal or formal, if a person wants to carry out a given transaction, there’s a good chance it can be done online. From dating to education, from commerce to entertainment, all aspects of human life are increasingly facilitated by the internet.

These numbers mean so much more when you realize that all of these billions and billions of internet users actually represent a readily available market for products. Thanks especially to the wide reach of social media, it’s theoretically possible to convert hordes of internet users into loyal clients. All it takes is a willingness to be strategic about tapping into online networks with an alluring message. The right approach can allow anyone to harness social media’s potential and turn it into a valuable marketing asset. In fact, the majority of companies today integrate some form of social media outreach as a standard way to advertise and engage with consumers. There’s very little to lose, and everything to gain, from taking advantage of social media as a way to make money. Whether you’re running a quiet side-hustle, launching a small startup, or managing an established company, her! e are five ways to turn your social media posts into profit:

1. Take it Seriously:

There’s a reason why the 21st century is called the information age. People today are educated and inclined to appreciate sophisticated media content. If you’re going to delve into social media as a marketing tool, make an effort to present high-quality content with substance and style. Edit your videos and pay attention to your lighting. Double-check your writing to keep out typos and errors. The cleaner your message, the more attractive it is to consumers.

2. Be Original:

One of the easiest things to do when it comes to content production is to imitate, copy and paste. This is a disastrous approach considering that the only way to get people’s attention is to stand out. If you’re going to create content through social media, develop a format which makes you recognizable to the audience you intend to reach.

3. Create Some Synergy:

There are several social media platforms to choose from, and it’s not unusual to use them all simultaneously. If you decide to spread your message out through multiple channels, remember to establish a unifying theme with all of them. Use your different social media profiles to direct traffic through each other, and ultimately to your point of sale. Use a design scheme which projects coordination and professionalism to your following. These little details help build trust in your brand, and in your product.

4. Be Consistent:

If you’re going to get involved in social media, be prepared to commit for the long-haul. It takes time to build a large following. Not only that, once you do have a sizable following they expect new or compelling information on a regular basis. Rather than publishing content erratically, do it on a schedule so that you can prevent dissatisfaction or loss of interest in your outreach. Consistency also allows you to maintain control over your message without being reactionary.

5. Use Analystics:

Pay attention to the numbers. Analytics make it possible to modify your message in a way that appeals the most to your following. If numbers show a positive reaction to something you’ve published, explore more ways to capitalize on this trend. Analytics help to sculpt your messaging in a way that benefits your central goals.

At the end of the day, don’t forget to be authentic. Don’t get caught up in trying to manipulate the process so much that you forget to be organic about the way you communicate with your following. After all, social media works best when everyone involved is sociable. 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 The RISE Programs Academy for Business Coaching and Leadership Training can help you break past your daily struggles and start soaring in success.

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In a perfect world, every leader would have ready access to all the tools necessary to achieve their objectives. However, we all know that dreaded feeling. That knot in your gut when the fact sets in that you don’t have enough to meet expectations. It happens in all areas of life, and business. For instance it can happen when you realize you don’t have enough capital to finance your plans; or when you have to run a department while critically understaffed; or even when you have surplus inventory to sell off, but trickling demand. Dilemmas like these constantly punctuate the experience of leadership, and can cause what seems like insurmountable stress.

If you have difficult goals to meet as a leader, never forget that the power lies within you to overcome and succeed, regardless of the circumstances. In fact, every person in this world has a hidden instinct that specifically makes survival possible in the face of crisis. This instinct is called resourcefulness. If you learn to hone it, you will eventually grow capable of leveling any obstacle that stands in the way of your ambitions. Here are five essential traits of resourcefulness that can help any leader stand firm under the pressure of severe expectations:

1.       Embrace Knowledge and Stay Informed: There is an age-old proverb that says knowledge is power. This argument especially rings true when it comes to exercising resourcefulness. The more you know about the work you do, and the environment in which you function, the more strategically positioned you become to make valuable and efficient decisions. Take every opportunity you can to expand your knowledge whether casually, or through formal schooling.

2.       Nurture Relationships: Being a professional involves more than just practicing technical expertise. It’s about having an ability to work sustainably with other people, as well as having an ability to persuade consumers to trust the brand or product you sell. Both of these processes can only transpire desirably if you build, and nurture, meaningful relationships with others. In moments when you have no choice but to improvise and be resourceful, good connections are often the only way to escape being stranded.

3.       Be Open-Minded: Resourcefulness can be defined as having the ability to solve problems through creative improvisation. By its very definition, resourcefulness is a characteristic that demands ingenuity. It simply cannot be accomplished without a willingness to think outside the box. Turning away from convention can feel excruciating, however there are moments when this is unavoidable in order to solve problems. The more open your mind is to do the unexpected, the more possible it becomes for you to achieve the unexpected.

4.       Be Efficient: Tolerating wastefulness in business is tantamount to driving a vehicle that has a flat tire. The more you do to conserve available resources and prevent misuse, the more you stand to gain from making your assets last. If you can figure out how to think efficiently, work efficiently and consume efficiently, not only will you become able to endure scarcity, you will multiply profits to their highest possible levels as resources become more abundant.

Resourcefulness is a state of mind. It is a deep-seated desire to survive in the face of challenges or resistance. Often all it takes to practice effective resourcefulness is a dose of optimism, and a willingness to be tactical about thinking fast, and acting faster. No matter what trials you may be facing as a leader, don’t throw in the towel just because things are difficult. Search within yourself for the resourcefulness necessary to stand firm, and persevere. 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 The RISE Programs Academy for Business Coaching and Leadership Training can help you break past your daily struggles and start soaring in success.

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We all experience it in our own unique ways. Some of us draw a complete – and total – blank. While others toss and turn endlessly in the middle of the night with dread. Some of us squirm with knots and butterflies in our stomachs. While others sweat profusely in gripping anxiety. Its symptoms might be different from one person to the next, but it stands as one of the most universally shared anxieties in the world. It is the ever so infamous, ever so imminent, ever so petrifying, fear of public speaking.

It’s not as Bad as you Think:

One of the most well-known statistics circulated about glossophobia is the allegation that most people fear public speaking more than death itself. As sensational and astounding as this statistic sounds, did you know that there has never been a single recorded incident of fatality directly caused by speaking in public? In fact, the vast majority of people survive and overcome the jitters that come with public speaking anxiety. Communication Theorist and Forbes Magazine contributor Nick Morgan estimates that only ten percent of people are legitimately paralyzed by fear of public speaking. The remaining ninety percent either relish it, or tolerate it despite being nervous.

Take Charge of Your Emotions:

It’s understandable that fear is an intimidating emotion to experience. However, fear is unique in that it is one of the few emotions that can actually be channeled into constructive behavior. This is because fear naturally activates the fight or flight instinct within us. Faced with these alternatives, always remember that it’s entirely within your power to choose fight. Instead of allowing yourself to be overwhelmed by fear of public speaking, draw from it. Use the agitation it causes to concentrate on the task at hand. Use the apprehension it triggers to be alert. Reset your attitude about your own inherent resilience, and it might surprise you just how capable you are of flourishing as a speaker. Here are ten tips to help you conquer your fear and perform well as a public speaker:

1.       Know your Audience:

Before you address a gathering of people, take some time to analyze exactly who they are, and why they have convened to listen to you. The more formal your speech is going to be, the more important it is to understand your audience and how best to relate to them as you speak.

2.       Practice, Practice, Practice:

The more fluidly you can recite or express the subject matter of your speech, the more effectively you will connect with the people listening to you. Never deliver a speech impromptu unless you have no choice. Practice your timing, practice your delivery, practice your posture and you will reduce the chances of getting frazzled.

3.       Stand Tall:

Remember that public speaking is a simultaneously visual and cognitive experience for an audience. They’re not just there to listen to you, they’re there to see you as well. This makes it important to project confidence in your posture and demeanor, even if nerves have you feeling otherwise. Even if you have to fake it, stand tall.

4.       Focus on Your Topic:

One of the most common mistakes people make when giving speeches is thinking too much about audience-reactions. Dwelling on this aspect of the experience immediately triggers a fear of rejection. On the other hand, concentrating on the details of your topic allows you to tune out the gaze of the crowd and provide what’s important, an articulate message.

5.       Breath:

Be conversational as you address your crowd. People often become so mechanical when delivering speeches that they actually forget to pause between sentences. Don’t become so exasperated that you end up gasping for air during your speech. Forgetting to breath can actually make you faint in the pressure of the moment.

6.       Take your Time:

Public speaking is so excruciating that most people just want to get it over and done with. Regardless of whether or not you’ve practiced your timing, when the big moment comes, slow down and be eloquent. Even if you don’t feel like your speaking quickly, chances are that you’re rushing through it. There’s no harm in compensating for this tendency by taking your time in order to get a clear message across.

7.       Don’t Be Late:

If your speech is scheduled for a future date, don’t add to the stress of the moment by showing up late to your venue. Showing up early gives you time to present yourself with composure. The more relaxed you are, the more relaxed your audience will be.

8.       Be Interactive:

The easiest way to bore your audience to death is by depriving them the opportunity to actively engage in the speech you’re delivering. Strategically using Q&A sessions in your delivery encourages full participation from your listeners. It reminds them that you are there to connect, not lecture.

9.       Use Visual Aides:

Always remember that people internalize information in different ways. Some can easily grasp concepts purely by listening to raw facts. However most people need visual illustrations to understand new information easily. Including props or imagery in you speech can help break the monotony of the experience for your audience, while helping them comprehend the message you have to communicate.

10.   Take Some Classes:

You don’t have to go it alone when it comes to public speaking. There are countless resources available either to train or educate you on how to master this essential life-skill. For instance, RISE Programs offers specialized coaching both for novice and experienced public speakers. With the right instruction you’ll become unstoppable.

The first step towards overcoming fear is taking the initiative to confront it. When it comes to fear of public speaking, it all boils down to preparation and coordination. The more you practice and organize your speeches, the more you will eliminate the nerves that keep you terrified. 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 The RISE Programs Academy for Business Coaching and Leadership Training can help you break past your daily struggles and start soaring in success.

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There is immeasurable value in maintaining good health through physical fitness, but, there is also priceless value in maintaining your inward strength.

In the words of John Maxwell: “Outward strength will fade on you; as you grow older you lose some of that muscle. But inward strength, carefully taken care of, gets stronger.”


The word balance has come to mean “middle of the road”. Although this balance might sound nice it’s of no threat to the evil of the world, with little risk, and above all… it’s a cheap excuse that people use to keep up appearances and pretend that our squeaky-clean image is intact.

Balance can threaten your passion and potential to do amazing things.

Those with faith, passion and vision blaze a trail that threatens all of our comfort zones. True passion offends the stationary and what many call “balanced life”.

There’s something incredulous about what many call “balance” today – it is able to fulfill its own expectations. Living a “balanced” life is safe because it takes no risk and almost always gets what it expects…which isn’t much.

Make sure your “balanced” life is full of vision, passion, growth and contribution!


I’m sure you have noticed by now that you will never make a plan in your life that works perfectly 100% of the time. Life comes with unexpected changes and there is nothing you can do to stop it. Since life is full of changes, the only way you can survive imminent disappointments and frustrations is by learning to adapt to life’s moments and being prepared to accommodate change.

Flexibility not only allows you to face challenges that make you more successful, it reduces stress and gives you peace. Learn, and utilize, the power of flexibility.

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The English dictionary defines faith as a state of complete trust or confidence in someone or something. It is a willingness to believe in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of an entity. Faith is often contemplated in philosophical terms, however, it would probably surprise you to discover just how much faith you happen to place in things that are far from supernatural. Life in the 21st century has become so convenient that we take for granted just how many resources revolutionized both the way we conduct our daily routines, and how we perceive the world around us. There’s no greater example of this than how widely, and openly, people have embraced technology like the internet.

There was once a time when it didn’t make sense for anyone to own a computer for reasons that weren’t professional. Computers simply served no practical purpose beyond word-processing and data analysis. It was far cheaper, and far easier, for the average person to rely on libraries, dictionaries, directories or encyclopedias to retrieve basic information. Approximately 26 years ago, this entire paradigm would permanently change however. On August 6, 1991, Tim Berners-Lee launched the first ever web page on a NeXT computer at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). Compared to the behemoth of a network it has grown into, the internet was a crude system at the time. For that matter, Berners-Lee’s page entitled World Wide Web, did nothing more than provide explanatory information about the nature of the internet to an exclusivel! y academic audience. Eventually however, applications for this technology began to expand as programmers learnt how to use web pages to share files. Once web browsers were made available to the public in 1993, limitless possibilities were introduced to anyone fortunate enough to gain access to this technology. For example:

1.       Sophisticated search engines would allow people to explore information with an efficiency that surpassed hardcopy sourcing.

2.       The introduction of commercialized web pages in 1995 would make it possible for financial transactions to occur on the internet.

3.       Hotmail’s web-based mail service propelled email to a staple of human interaction.

4.       As blogs began being published in 1997, the internet grew into a source for breaking news and discourse about current events.

5.       File-sharing through services such as Napster eventually made it popular to sell music and other multimedia files online.

6.       The birth of MySpace in 2003 would usher in the era of social media.

7.       Streaming video through platforms like YouTube transformed how video content is produced and consumed.

8.       Smartphones and other mobile devices turned the internet into a portable network accessible from any location at any time.

Slowly but surely, the internet has become an inextricable component of how we communicate, and how we make daily decisions. We trust this technology to give us accurate feedback whenever we type a query into a search engine. We trust that our vital and confidential messages will make it to their recipients the moment we click send. We trust that our transactions are secure whenever we proceed to checkout. We even trust that the GPS won’t send us to Timbuktu once we’ve punched in our coordinates. It’s amazing to imagine how much our lives have changed in the span of a few decades purely because of the internet. It’s even more mind-blowing to imagine what lies in store for us moving forward. 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 The RISE Programs Academy for Business Coaching and Leadership Training can help you break past your daily struggles and start soaring in success.

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Clickbait, post-truth, trolling, alternative facts, catfishing, fake news – the list goes on. Public discourse has become punctuated with buzzwords that signal a general erosion of the integrity with which people reason or communicate with one another. Gone are the days when individuals, or even institutions, could be trusted to convey information free of bias. If someone is talking, there’s a good chance they’re willing to lie just to grab your attention, which makes it all the more important to think critically in order to avoid the pitfalls of misinformation.

Critical thinking is an essential skill to have when it comes to leadership and decision-making. By definition, critical thinking is a fundamental ability to question. It is an inclination to constantly ask why, rather than accept new information at face value. Critical thinking enables leaders to distinguish between useful, and useless information, with the singular aim of developing conclusions that are based on factual investigation.

Those in leadership have a higher duty to embrace critical thinking given the fact that their choices impact numerous other people. Just by function alone, leaders juggle more responsibility than junior employees. They are expected to contemplate and resolve multiple problems simultaneously, a task which when contaminated by misinformation can produce disastrous results. Critical thinking lends itself to sober leadership. It fosters conscientious decision-making by suppressing impulse. Rather than being reactionary to events in the business environment, critical thinking empowers leaders to adapt to, or even leverage, unpredictability. Here are six basic Do’s and Don’ts of how to practice effective critical thinking.

Do be prepared to identify bad information:

Discerning leaders are always alert to if and when information they receive is inaccurate. A strong critical thinker is the type of person who can identify a problem immediately it becomes apparent. Within a business environment this is an invaluable skill when it comes to dealing with issues such as faulty accounting, false advertising, conflict resolution or contract negotiation just to name a few.

Don’t just listen to one side of an issue:

One of the easiest things to do when receiving information is to accept it without question. However critical thinking demands a willingness to explore every possible perspective of a given issue. It’s not just enough to identify bad information, leadership also requires the initiative to investigate and explore multiple arguments in order to develop the most relevant conclusion.

Do be logical about analyzing information:

Rationality is the bedrock of critical thinking. The only way to determine the legitimacy of a premise is to systematically and objectively evaluate its implications. Relying on assumptions more than facts to make final decisions increases the likelihood of employing bad judgement.

Don’t overthink the situation:

Thinking critically isn’t a mindset that should be used to get tangled in redundant questioning. Critical thinking has an aim, that is, to discover truth. Keeping sight of this objective is necessary to avoid becoming caught up in bullheadedness. Rather than debating over and over again about a problem or question, seek to solve it with finality.

Do embrace efficiency:

Critical thinking accomplishes the most good when it is guided by efficiency. Not only is it beneficial to avoid wasting time with endless questions, it’s also important to develop solutions that are easy and practical to apply. Remember that the shortest distance between two points is always a straight line. Embracing efficiency makes it possible to act on an issue with speed, and also to conserve resources in the process.

Don’t settle:

Being critical takes work. It often denotes going out of one’s way not just to question assumptions but to strive towards resolving any uncovered inconsistencies. This is an obligation that requires effort, as well as follow-through to fulfill any and all investigations to their logical conclusions. There’s no point to being critical if you don’t have the resolve to right any wrongs you may discover.

Critical thinking is vital to leadership because it is part and parcel of responsibility. Any leader who makes blind decisions without logically contemplating the validity of their assumptions is recklessly gambling with the public trust that has been placed upon them. Be the type of leader who looks before they leap. 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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Self-awareness is one of the most essential instincts necessary to achieve success in business. For instance, before a company can secure financing from investors, it has to demonstrate self-awareness by way of preparing a business plan. Even at the individual level, before landing a job, every employee of every company in the world has to demonstrate self-awareness through introductory protocol such as resumes, cover letters and interviews. This principle applies particularly to the responsibility of supervision. Before a manager can coordinate a team or department, they have to understand the personalities and skills of team members. Managers also have to speculate how each member’s individual characteristics could potentially affect cohesion. Virtually no idea in business can be seen through to its logical conclusion without a comprehensive understanding of the stakeholders or multiple ! external factors that influence general performance.

Don’t Just Guess, Make a Plan:

Understanding how to achieve self-awareness methodically is an invaluable skill which facilitates effective decision-making. Gaining self-awareness isn’t just a process of random assumption. Rather it should involve fact-based, honest examination of cause and effect. It is extremely important for leaders not just to identify the capabilities of their subordinates, but also to leverage any discovered talents advantageously towards a tangible purpose. Methodical self-awareness can be achieved through a variety of techniques. One of the most popular approaches is a method known as SWOT Analysis.

How SWOT Analysis Works:

SWOT is an acronym for the terms Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. When faced with an ambitious situation or event, evaluating each of these factors enables decision-makers to compose realistic objectives and position themselves to practically accomplish set objectives. Measuring Strengths involves defining any assets or resources which firmly establish strategic advantage. Measuring Weaknesses involves defining any obstacles which stand to hinder performance. Measuring Opportunities involves identifying external factors within a business environment which can! be capitalized on to accomplish goals quickly. Lastly, measuring Threats involves analyzing any external factors in a business environment which can impede the overall functioning of a team.

Whether or not a manager has had the luxury of assembling a team from scratch, conducting a SWOT analysis before taking on a project is a conducive way to assign responsibilities while drawing out the best possible effort from employees. Here are four steps to identify and take advantage of a team’s abilities:

1.       Develop Your Questions: Write down a series of questions that relate to each component of SWOT. The more questions generated, the more information can be collected. Be careful not to get caught up in gathering data however. Sometimes all it takes is a few responses to figure out the most important issues.

2.       Create Charts and Surveys: With a clear idea of what to investigate, print out charts and surveys that can be distributed to team members in order to document their answers. Charts and surveys are an organized way to categorize desired information according to the specific topics of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.

3.       Analyze Gathered Information: Once all responses to the questions have been documented, analyze and prioritize them according to relevance. For instance, information about strengths should be used to assign responsibility to people who indicate strong aptitude.

4.       Formulate and Apply a Strategy: With a clear idea of the team’s capabilities and limitations, develop an approach to your intended project which is considerate of information discovered from your analysis. Use your findings to pair up people in complementary ways.

A scientific process is the best way for any manager to discover the capabilities of a team. Instead of making blind assumptions, be investigative and detailed about assessing strengths and weaknesses. Even without a formal SWOT analysis, such an approach serves as a strong guide for how best to allocate resources and assign responsibilities. 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 pas! t your daily struggles and start soaring in success.

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It comes as no surprise that people generally feel stressed these days. Between maintaining social relationships, pressure from work, fake news, real news, and the bottomless political drama unfolding by the minute, most of us probably can’t remember the last time we spent a day without a care in the world. The bad news is that stress happens to be an unavoidable part of life. The good news however is that stress is manageable. Habits such as balanced diet, exercise, hobbies, spiritual meditation and good rest, can help people cope tremendously. In spite of our best efforts to manage stress however, there happens to be one trigger that unfortunately goes neglected by many. That is, how much we filter the information we consume.

Living in the information age has empowered us with access to an unlimited supply of knowledge and raw data. Google alone seems to have the answers to every conceivable question. By the end of the day each one of us is certain to have read or watched at least one hour of media that isn’t entertainment. For all the benefits this knowledge delivers, there are actually negative emotional consequences associated with exposure to high volumes of information. Researchers define these negative emotional effects as information overload. Analyzing and internalizing excessive quantities of information actually induces anxiety and frustration which interferes with our decision-making process and general peace of mind. If you are conscientious enough to proactively manage stress in your life, being systematic about the information you receive, and how you ! process it, can help eliminate this hidden source of aggravation. Here are three simple tips to either prevent or gain control of information overload:

Accept that It Never Ends:

Human beings have a natural instinct to desire closure. Throughout life’s many experiences, we feel the most satisfaction when events comprise a distinct beginning, middle, and end. This characteristic within us creates an irony when it comes to consuming information because there will never be an end to the flow of data being transmitted in society. The news will never have a series finale. There will always be a new smart device, or app, or social network to adopt and figure out. There will always be new music to listen to, or new movies to watch, or new media that demands our concentration. Approaching infinite information with a desire for closure brings about a sense of drowning. It makes us feel overwhelmed at being unable to reconcile anything open-ended that we encounter. On the other hand, accepting that information is infinite conditions our minds not to lament over issues which ! have no resolution. Embracing such an attitude motivates optimism.

Manage Your Time:

One of the most common downfalls of trying to deal with information overload is poor allocation of time. This sounds like a technical issue, but we’ve all been there. We all know what it feels like deciding to watch one episode on Netflix only to end up streaming an entire season instead. We all know what it feels like to look up at the clock and suddenly realize we’ve been on Facebook for more than an hour. If you’ve ever lost track of time when involving yourself in a source of information, that’s a sign that you aren’t fully aware of how you distribute time towards activities. Instead of blindly taking on the day hoping to accomplish an unknown number of goals, learn to schedule how and when you access information with a timer – especially when accessing information recreationally. Using timers eliminates distraction that eats into overall productivity unnecessarily.


All information isn’t created equal. A lot of what people become absorbed in on a daily basis is actually trivial and gratuitous. Do we really need live updates on Hollywood divorces for instance? Should reading up on Which “Friends” Character you are, Based on Your Sign feature at the top of your to-do list? To make matters worse, we habitually sacrifice time that could have been spent being productive, preoccupied with unnecessary information. If you’ve ever found yourself procrastinating, chances are this is exactly what you were doing with your time. Replacing or postponing something important, with irrelevant consuming activity. Actively develop the discipline to identify information that doesn’t add value to your life. This is vital to overcoming information overload. If you’ve already heard about a news story in the morning, it! makes no sense to check up on it a hundred times over. If you know you have an important deadline to meet, stop putting it off with endless “breaks” on social media. Putting first things first is the only way to avoid losing track of your responsibilities.

Ultimately, it all comes down to effort. If you aren’t trying to continuously address the problem, it will end up boiling over into an insurmountable obstacle. Considering the fact that stress has the capacity to impact health, any opportunity to manage it should never be ignored. 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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