Monthly Archives: December 2016

3 ways to win over your employees

It’s the people who make a company successful. Your employees are the ones who interact with customers, so if your employees aren’t happy or engaged, they will not effectively sell the company to the customer. This is the main benefit to improving your relationship with your employees, but the second reason is another costly error. A recent Ernest & Young survey said 2.7 million employees leave their work place per month in the US alone because of a break down in the relationship with their boss.

Here are three ways to improve your relationships with your employees:

1. Truth, Trust & Transparency
Employees want to know the people above them or around them are being honest and that they can trust them. I recommend two processes that you can start to help the process: firstly, hold 10/20 minute weekly meetings with your employees where you can have an honest and transparent two-way conversation about movement in the company. The second process is answering every email that the employees send you, this will show that that you are always trying to communicate with them and are interested in what they have to say.

2. Praise when nobody is looking
One of the key techniques you can use to engage employees is to notice good work or effort when nobody else is looking. Often a boss will only notice an employee when they do things wrong or have finished a project, but by engaging them through recognising their effort during the process will allow them to be happy and feel valued for what they have achieved.

3. You must direct
Like a film, you must direct your story (company) and to do that you must lead the cast (your employees). To do this, you must give each employee direction, responsibility and support through mainly the first technique I provided. If you’re directing your employees, this means you must take blame for all responsibility. This will show your employees, that you’re willing to trust them and work hard for that direction to be successful.

“Everyone talks about building a relationship with your customer. I think you build one with your employees first” Angela Ahrendts.

What do you do to build the relationship?

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Three signs you’re ready to grow

Albert Einstein stated “If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got”. This quote is as relevant today as it was back then, his experiments led to him being one of the most famous physicists in history due to this theory. People talk about achieving their goals without taking the steps towards growth, therefore just doing the same thing they have always done.

Here are three signs you’re ready to grow:

1. You know your vision of what you want and why you want it

Firstly, you must know where you want to go, as your current state is not where you want to be. With personal development, you should write down a small description of you now and one of where you want to be in a specific time. This will give you direction on where you want to be in the near future.

2. You’re meeting established goals

If you’re reaching your current goals, it is time to push harder. The only way you will grow is by pushing yourself beyond your current ceiling as there is no room to move in a comfort zone. When setting goals, you must ensure it is what you want to do and that it can realistically be achieved.

3. You fail the “Last day of your Life” test too often

Steve Jobs at Stanford University expressed “if today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today? And whenever the answer has been “no” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something”. This quote really hit home, that above all you are only going to grow if you enjoy what you do. Many of you, make choices on what you want to do – meaning that there may be times that you have to make choices you don’t like but you will identify the best choice for you. If you keep saying “No”: change, adapt and grow – make the choices for you to be content because when that happens you will grow to reach your vision. Forget the IPhone, this is by far the most powerful concept Steve Jobs presented to you.

I am going to use Steve Jobs to finish here as I feel he really nails the point with this quote as he stated “Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make big choices in life”. If that doesn’t motivate you to grow NOW, I am not sure what will. The signs may or may not be there for you but there is never the right time to grow – we are a clock and time is not on our side. We must therefore, keep growing to ensure we make the best of our life as what ever you believe – this will be our only chance.

5 ways of turning your vision into reality

A dream is a wish; a vision is the looking. In other words, a vision is more believable, intentional and structured in assisting us to reach our goals. When building our vision, we must initially know where we want to go – this is the first stage of the formula of success. The formula to success becomes easier when its broken down into steps, then when these are pieced together you have a plan of action to follow. Like anything, once you complete the first step, the second, the third, the next steps come naturally and effortlessly.

Here are 5 ways to help you achieve your vision:

1. Own your vision
If you’re going to be successful – you must first have a vision. This vision must be the thing you want to achieve and you must be able to visualise yourself reaching success. Visualisation is a technique in creating what you want from life using the power of imagination. I always use the Jim Carrey success story, for many years he would drive down Mulholland Drive to see the big houses and the entire city of LA to visualise what his life could be like if he could reach his dream of being a global actor. Carrey’s vision gave him the goals to empower his career. You must visualise it, believe it and breath it to be successful.

2. Make you unstoppable
To make you unstoppable you must build your mind-set. The mind is the most powerful tool you possess and can be your biggest strength or weakness depending on how you use it. The first aspect is to realise the only thing holding you back is your ego – the ego is that inner voice you hear saying you can’t do it. If you’re to be successful, you must quieten that voice and encourage it to pass on thoughts to your human part of the brain. The only way to control your mind is to set it free and using this technique will help you be unstoppable.

You are wherever you are, right now, reading this.

Please re-read it, and it could be combined with a feeling that you’re feeling more calm, relaxed and at peace.

Please keep re-reading the line, focusing your awareness on each word, letter and space when re-reading it. Now you should notice that you’re breathing more slowly and your heart rate has slowed as you deepen your feelings of peace and experience. This is called Mind Choice by David Taylor.

3. Be clear about what you want
To be clear about your vision, you must set goals to encourage you to go out and achieve them. There are four ways of assisting you with this one. Firstly, make the goals SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time based), this will ensure that you create goals that can be achieved by a set-time, while ensuring it is realistic to your current lifestyle. Next, prioritise the goals. This will ensure that you understand the importance of each one and the order in which they happen, as affects the outcome. Once goals have been set and prioritised, you must set key milestones in order to increase your confidence along the long path once you achieve each one. It will also help with dealing with failures as if you do fail at any time, you will be able to see where you have been successful and why. Finally, you must monitor your progress as this relates to your goals being measurable – the more you can measure the better. Monitoring progress will help reach the milestones and take the steps on the roadmap to reaching your goals.

4. Build a Roadmap
You must build the path to get to your empire. Building a roadmap will give your vision, your mind and goals direction and allow them to happen. When building a road map, you must ensure it is done through small steps, encouraging flexibility and an open mind to obstacles, distractions and hurdles that will arise. My biggest tip is map out key milestones to ensure you keep focused to the next checkpoint. If you take small steps and map out milestones you will always be able to take steps back if failure hits. Obstacles and failures are inevitable if your mid set see’s them in that way, programme your mind to see them as a learning curve – just remember to keep going towards your end vision, because like maps of the world there’s more than one way of getting to your destination.

5. Opportunities don’t happen, you create them.
Action is everything in your life. Many have grown up with everything handed to them on a plate, when in fact now you’re are an adult the only way of survival is to act. When I was in a leadership role at 21, people often said I was lucky to have got that job but what they didn’t see was everything I done to get that job. Firstly, the people that said that – I can guarantee I outworked them. I worked harder in terms of output, time and consistency as nothing would stop me reaching my goal. I made sacrifices I often missed nights out with friends and cut back the amount of hours I slept to ensure I had every opportunity of being successful. Finally, I was prepared to fail – failure has never frightened me because I know where I want to be. By understanding this you instantly realise that where you are now is not where you want to be and by following all five steps it can be achieved. In summary, everything I have done has been intentional and structured to reach my vision. That job was part of my roadmap – if you want further motivation to do the same, say this famous Tony Gaskins quote “If you don’t build your dream someone will hire you to help build theirs”.

Age doesn’t matter unless you’re cheese

People assume business experience can only be gained by age, and I feel this is beginning to change – if you want to be a modern, progressive and innovative company you will need to add a youth representative to the board.

Millennials represent the largest generation ever, in factbetween children and young adults it equates to half of the global population. Yet, very few of these two generations serve on company boards that sell to these age groups!

A recent study by the Financial Times highlighted that the average age of directors who govern the UK’s 100 biggest companies are over 57, while one in six board’s seats are taken by someone over 64 years old. It is even older when you look into smaller companies in the UK alone.

So why would companies change this now?

We live in a world that is ever changing with greater connectivity, social media and access, mainly provided with free movement, speech and technology (internet). This connectivity has allowed younger people to have a voice, innovate and control the solutions – a main reason more start-ups have been born and flourished. This adaptation hasn’t happened in all companies, with the potential and ability of young people untapped in many organisations. It is a scary thought to underestimate the value that young people can provide by simply engaging them in business decisions.

People are fearful of losing their jobs or being seen as weak, which are common reasons for not appointing younger people. I fear for those organisations. The companies who do not change and engage with current and future generations will not outlast their competitors. Young people are growing increasingly frustrated by their parents and older generations speaking on their behalf and it’s important to understand it’s never too early for anyone to influence an ever changing the world.

What are the benefits to have a young person (14-30 years old) involved in decision making?

• Unique & fresh perspective
• Understands markets you’re selling to (Millennials & Gen Z)
• Understands largest generation ever
• Understands new technologies and how to make the most of their potential – e.g. social media
• Understands engagement and motivation of younger staff

There are plenty of examples of young people being successful and beneficial on advisory boards. (I am sure some have also failed to, though I have yet to find one through my research):

Chelmsford Star Co-Op Society appointed 16 young people from local schools, who are known as a youth council, to report their ideas to the board. This was highly successful in the decision making of their social media strategy and company presence in the public domain.

Roundhouse, an international arts venue appointed a youth advisory board of 13-25 year olds, which is split into two age bands. One member from each age band is appointed to the main board to report back. The outcome of this has seen adaptations in the website, structure and pricing policies.

Chime Specialist Group appointed a 16 innovate mirror board model, in which every member is under 30 and the group meets twice a month. They bring their ideas once a month to the main board. Their focus is on motivation, happiness and engagement in the workplace.

Age diversity is often ignored and if you keep ignoring it, your bottom line will suffer over the next decade. The future generations are getting hard to retain with out-dated policies and culture. Also with recruitment costs rising, it is becoming more important to fast track young talent and give them a voice through opportunity, education and trust.

In summary, I am not saying you have to give them the world, I am suggesting you have to give youth the opportunity to have a voice in your company. You can appoint a mirror board, youth advisory or simply a member inside or outside of your company. This move will future proof your company for a sustained and better outlook towards the current, next and future generations.

Should young adults have a voice and able to make decision within a company?