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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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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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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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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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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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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