The customer whom a business desperately needs to fire is often perceived by others as a perpetual victim and corrosive influence. Consequently, their tales of woe and great injustice may be discounted by friends, colleagues and even family.
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"Leaders are focused." Truth: Leaders create a shared focus.
If your team isn’t focused, it doesn’t matter how focused you are on doing what matters. A manager is usually focused, but a leader creates shared focus and doesn’t waste resources by allowing team members to do work that doesn’t matter.
Being focused is about self-responsibility and discipline. Creating shared focus is about engaging others in the leadership agenda and making it specific to their jobs.
Read all seven here.
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Encourage employees to disagree with you.
Companies get into trouble when everyone is afraid to speak truth to power. “If all you hear is how great you’re doing, that should be a danger sign,” says executive coach Ray Williams.
Empower the people below you, then leave them alone. “A good part of leadership is stepping back,” says Bill Pasmore, senior vice president at the Center for Creative Leadership. “A good leader leads from front and back.”
When people err, don’t destroy them.
But make sure they learn whatever lessons there are to be learned from their mistakes.
"Develop strong interpersonal relationships at work, so employees have some meaning attached to the work they are doing," Williams says.
Vow to be constantly learning and curious.
Pasmore advises taking risks and asking yourself, “What is it that I don’t know that I should know? How do I learn it and test it out in situations that are not necessarily safe?”
"Just like you can’t start a weight-loss program without getting on a scale, you must begin your journey by learning the truth about yourself," says executive coach Tasha Eurich. "We’re often the worst evaluators of our behavior." Adds Pasmore, "One of the biggest problems I see is a real lack of self-awareness. Executives often aren’t aware of who they are as people and the impact they have on others."
Stick to one goal at a time. “Leaders often choose too many development goals. Give yourself the greatest chance for victory by developing one thing at a time,” Eurich says. “It is far better to make progress in one area than to make little or none in five.”
Get rid of poor managers.
"Of the 60 top executives at Continental, I probably replaced 40 who were not team players," says retired airline CEO Gordon Bethune. "Don’t tolerate factionalism, backstabbing or prima donnas. Everyone wins, or no one wins."
Practice leadership skills daily.
"The amount of deliberate practice you choose will be proportionate to your improvement," Eurich says. "It’s like learning a violin concerto. You have to learn the concepts, then you practice every day to create beautiful music."
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We’re looking for feedback: How do you define an entrepreneur?
Reblog this post with your answer or include #ENTtweetback in your tags and your responses may be featured in an upcoming issue of Entrepreneur magazine. We will let you know if your answer was selected.
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By Kate Taylor
Bringing a franchise to New York City can be fraught with challenges for any franchisee. For a fried-chicken chain with conservative leanings and a history of anti-gay comments, the struggles are even greater. However, none of that is stopping Chick-fil-A.
The chicken chain announced plans to move into New York City in 2014, where it currently has only one restaurant inside a New York University residence hall food court. Chick-fil-A plans to open 108 restaurants total this year, primarily in urban locations, with a “sizeable chunk” reportedly in New York City.
Expanding into New York City is no easy feat for any franchise. Dairy Queen, which plans to open its first Manhattan location in May, noted the necessity of increasing over-the-counter speed and providing enough seating in urban locations that lack traditional drive-thrus while costing exorbitant amounts in rent. But for Chick-fil-A, the pressure of making it in New York has not been directed on individual franchisees’ performances. Instead, the chain has been forced to focus on shifting the franchisor’s reputation.
Two years ago, Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy made headlines when he condemned same-sex marriage. In the past, the company has donated millions to groups that oppose marriage equality. Today, Cathy is changing his tune, telling USA Today that “all of us become more wise as time goes by,” and, “I’m going to leave it to politicians and others to discuss social issues.”
Chick-fil-A’s leader’s stance on gay marriage isn’t the only thing the company is updating in attempts to appeal to urban markets outside the South. The chicken chain is rolling out grilled chicken for the first time ever, after 12 years of testing grilled chicken recipes. Chick-fil-A is on ahealth-conscious roll: last month, it announced plans to sell only antibiotic free chicken within five years and is testing the removal of high fructose corn syrup, artificial ingredients and dyes from products.
Chick-fil-A appears to believe that to succeed in New York City and other urban markets it needs to adjust to locals’ socially progressive and health-conscious sensibilities. Urban locations also promise to have more natural wood and some will outfit chefs in chef’s coats instead of traditional uniforms.
Loyal customers who have long supported the chain’s fried chicken and social conservatism will be relieved – or disappointed – that one thing is staying the same: the chain still promises to remained closed on Sunday, for practical and spiritual reasons.
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Yelp’s emoji search works well with food-based searches – enter the spaghetti emoji and Yelp will provide you with an array of Italian restaurants nearby, as demonstrated in the screenshot below. Other emojis that clearly represent objects also produce good results: the eyeglasses emoji leads to recommendations of eyewear stores and optometrists, the diamond ring emoji showcases jewelry stores and the Statue of Liberty emoji presents the landmark.
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If you wake up on Monday morning with a groan and struggle to get on with the workday, you may have a case of the Monday blues. There’s no wondering why we hate Mondays — it always seems to sneak up on us, just as we’re starting to relax and enjoy our weekend. While for most of us, Monday is the least productive day of the week, Carla Wood, business coach and founder of ALL Strategy, says it doesn’t have to be.
Follow these strategies and eliminate the Monday blues for good:
Start your Monday on Sunday night. Wood says the reason Mondays are so hard is because of the shift in attitude and lifestyle that happens over the weekend. “We move into personal mode on the weekend. Having to ramp up again can feel overwhelming as you anticipate the mountain and having to climb it again at the start of the week,” says Wood. While you may want to suck up every last bit of freedom on Sunday night, taking a couple of minutes to mentally prepare for the week ahead can help you overcome the Monday blues.
Start prioritizing. Make a list of tasks to do on Monday and schedule it into your calendar as the first appointment of the day. Rather than starting the workweek with a blank slate, reminding yourself of the priorities for the day can help you avoid getting stuck in the busy-ness that can at times be overwhelming on Monday morning. Scheduling a team meeting to go over the priorities for the week can help everyone get into work mode and fight off the Monday blues.
Start the day with something that gives you energy. Going for a run or hitting the gym first thing Monday morning gets your body moving and creates positive energy to begin your day. Having the Monday blues doesn’t mean you hate your job, nor does it mean you’re depressed. “It’s more about being stuck and not yet in the momentum of the work week,” says Wood. Doing an activity that ramps up your energy can help put you back in the right headspace to be productive.
Reconnect with colleagues. If you run into the office and hit your desk first thing Monday morning, consider doing a social call first. “Just having that water cooler conversation sometimes can be a motivator to get in and get started because you’re looking forward to the social time rather than sitting down at your desk and cracking down,” says Wood.
Get a mentor. If your Monday blues are chronic, it may be a symptom of a larger problem. Wood recommends entrepreneurs, especially those who work alone, find a mentor to speak with about business goals and issues. “It allows you to have another perspective and some accountability,” she says. A bad case of “the Mondays” could just be a symptom of feeling overwhelmed. Finding a mentor to help you work through those underlying issues could help get rid of the blues.
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Think of the last time you struggled to focus on a boring or difficult task. Your wandering attention probably felt like it was outside your control, as if you suddenly lost the ability to focus and didn’t know how to regain it. We all feel that way sometimes.
Even in those moments, when you feel like you’re fighting against your own instincts, you can stop procrastinating and get focused. You just need to recharge your willpower.
"Willpower gives you the energy and endurance to deal with challenges, the ability to persevere in the face of setbacks, and the strength to tolerate conflict or stress that might otherwise make us run away from goals or projects we care about,” says Kelly McGonigal, a Stanford psychologist and author of The Willpower Instinct (Avery, 2011).
Your willpower works like a muscle — it needs to be trained, developed, and maintained. “A lot of people will tell me they have no willpower,” McGonigal says. “But nothing I’ve come across suggests a willpower gene.”
Anyone can learn to improve their willpower, so here are five tips to get you started:
1. Remember your goals. If your willpower feels drained, think of the task at hand as a necessary stepping stone to help you achieve your goals. “Willpower is very easily depleted if its disconnected from your values and goals,” McGonigal says.
For example, if you dislike invoicing, then viewing it as an isolated task will make it hard to muster the energy to do it. If you recast it as one of the many ways you build a thriving business, then the passion you feel for your business will help motivate you to focus on — and even enjoy — the invoicing.
2. Practice coping with stress. When you’re working toward a goal, you are bound to hit tough times. To reach ambitious goals, you need to persist in stressful conditions, even when anxiety, fear, or even boredom threaten to sap your willpower.
Mindfulness helps you cope with stress and strengthen willpower. Try mindfulness meditation, or better yet, do hot yoga to learn to stay with discomfort and find some serenity within it. “It’s almost like a willpower workout,” McGonigal says.
3. Forgive your mistakes. You are bound to make mistakes, but your willpower will be stronger if you take those errors in stride. “Forgiving yourself for your mistakes increases motivation and engagement with goals,” McGonigal says.
Treat your own failure with the kindness you’d offer a friend, but note the ways that you can do a better job next time. “That’s very different than the usual self-criticism or ego-boosting,” McGonigal says. It allows you to bounce back and grow at the same time.
4. Connect with colleagues. Willpower naturally rises when we feel recognized and appreciated for our work. “We think of willpower as being so tough and individual, but the more connected people feel, the more willpower they have,” McGonigal says.
When you feel unmotivated or distracted, go talk to a co-worker or invite your colleagues to lunch. The simple pleasure of working with people you care about toward a common goal is a surprisingly effective way to restore your willpower.
5. Trust that it will get easier. We often struggle to stay engaged during difficult tasks because we imagine, sometimes unconsciously, that they will continue to be just as hard in the future. We feel defeated or hopeless and give up.
To combat that feeling, remember that your skill improves with practice. “Appreciate that a task is difficult but don’t tell yourself the story that it’s always going to be difficult,” McGonigal says. Most likely, the task will be a little bit easier every time you try it.
Original article here.
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"You’re lucky to have a job."
If that’s how you really feel about any of your employees, then perhaps you’re the one who’s lucky to have a job. No one works well in an environment where they are made to feel like somehow they’re indebted to their employer. If it’s not working out with a particular employee then be a professional and deal with the issues at hand. Find a way to correct them or part ways with him immediately. The mentality that your employee should “kiss your ring” is immature and evidence that you lack leadership skills.
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