Posts Tagged ‘business’

“8 Core Beliefs of Extraordinary Bosses” by Geoffrey James

April 23rd, 2012

We are re-posting this excellent article from Geoffrey Jamesoriginally published in Inc. Magazine. We all aspire to be an extraordinary boss, and if we aren’t there yet, this article is a great inspiration for guidance.

sherri franklin muttville

Sherri Franklin, Founder and Executive Director of Muttville Senior Dog Rescue, is one of my examples of an extraordinary boss

 

The best managers have a fundamentally different understanding of workplace, company, and team dynamics. See what they get right.

 

A few years back, I interviewed some of the most successful CEOs in the world in order to discover their management secrets. I learned that the “best of the best” tend to share the following eight core beliefs.

1. Business is an ecosystem, not a battlefield.

Average bosses see business as a conflict between companies, departments and groups. They build huge armies of “troops” to order about, demonize competitors as “enemies,” and treat customers as “territory” to be conquered.

Extraordinary bosses see business as a symbiosis where the most diverse firm is most likely to survive and thrive. They naturally create teams that adapt easily to new markets and can quickly form partnerships with other companies, customers … and even competitors.

2. A company is a community, not a machine.

Average bosses consider their company to be a machine with employees as cogs. They create rigid structures with rigid rules and then try to maintain control by “pulling levers” and “steering the ship.”

Extraordinary bosses see their company as a collection of individual hopes and dreams, all connected to a higher purpose. They inspire employees to dedicate themselves to the success of their peers and therefore to the community–and company–at large.

3. Management is service, not control.

Average bosses want employees to do exactly what they’re told. They’re hyper-aware of anything that smacks of insubordination and create environments where individual initiative is squelched by the “wait and see what the boss says” mentality.

Extraordinary bosses set a general direction and then commit themselves to obtaining the resources that their employees need to get the job done. They push decision making downward, allowing teams form their own rules and intervening only in emergencies.

4. My employees are my peers, not my children.

Average bosses see employees as inferior, immature beings who simply can’t be trusted if not overseen by a patriarchal management. Employees take their cues from this attitude, expend energy on looking busy and covering their behinds.

Extraordinary bosses treat every employee as if he or she were the most important person in the firm. Excellence is expected everywhere, from the loading dock to the boardroom. As a result, employees at all levels take charge of their own destinies.

5. Motivation comes from vision, not from fear.

Average bosses see fear–of getting fired, of ridicule, of loss of privilege–as a crucial way to motivate people.  As a result, employees and managers alike become paralyzed and unable to make risky decisions.

Extraordinary bosses inspire people to see a better future and how they’ll be a part of it.  As a result, employees work harder because they believe in the organization’s goals, truly enjoy what they’re doing and (of course) know they’ll share in the rewards.

6. Change equals growth, not pain.

Average bosses see change as both complicated and threatening, something to be endured only when a firm is in desperate shape. They subconsciously torpedo change … until it’s too late.

Extraordinary bosses see change as an inevitable part of life. While they don’t value change for its own sake, they know that success is only possible if employees and organization embrace new ideas and new ways of doing business.

7. Technology offers empowerment, not automation.

Average bosses adhere to the old IT-centric view that technology is primarily a way to strengthen management control and increase predictability. They install centralized computer systems that dehumanize and antagonize employees.

Extraordinary bosses see technology as a way to free human beings to be creative and to build better relationships. They adapt their back-office systems to the tools, like smartphones and tablets, that people actually want to use.

8. Work should be fun, not mere toil.

Average bosses buy into the notion that work is, at best, a necessary evil. They fully expect employees to resent having to work, and therefore tend to subconsciously define themselves as oppressors and their employees as victims. Everyone then behaves accordingly.

Extraordinary bosses see work as something that should be inherently enjoyable–and believe therefore that the most important job of manager is, as far as possible, to put people in jobs that can and will make them truly happy.

Social Media Marketing or Traditional Marketing…or a Little of Both? What Works for You?

August 12th, 2011

I get alot of potential clients who find me because they are fans or followers of my existing clients, and they commonly say things like “I need to get my business on Twitter!!” or “How in the world do you do all those things on Facebook?”

My first response to the majority of these inquiries is, “Why?”
Why do you want to get your business started on Twitter?

If your answer is “Because everyone else is using it”, you may be surprised by my advice. Here are a few tips I’d like to share to help you decide what are the best marketing strategies for you and your business.

Choose a Marketing activity because you know you will enjoy doing it. If you were never interested in tweeting for fun, then you most likely won’t be effectively tweeting for your business. There are dozens of other marketing strategies that you are likely not doing, why not choose one that is appealing to you. Do you like to read magazines, newspapers, or blogs? Try starting a Digg or Delicious account where you can share articles you’ve read, as well as find articles and learn of new sources. Unless you are enlisting the services of a consultant like Switchblade Creative Studios, if you plan on managing your own social networks, it is best to select the ones that won’t feel like a “chore”.

Social networking doesn’t have to be online. Before there was the Internet, the term social networking already existed! Don’t forget that everyone can be a potential client. If you are a parent, get to know other parents through your child’s activities, participate in school volunteer activities, or join PTA type groups. We also strongly recommend volunteering with local non-profit organizations. Not only are you donating your time and services to a worthy cause, but it is also a great opportunity to meet new people who may become or recommend potential clients. The online resource Meetup.com has also helped revive “offline” social networking. Find interests groups that meet in person for regular meetings, outings, and social activities. And lastly, professional network groups, like BNI, are still proven to be a very effective way to grow your business’ clientele. Remember, everyone can be a potential client.

Social networking goes both ways. Whether you are socializing with online or offline networks, remember to give as well as receive. Imagine if everyone was only broadcasting: writing blogs, sending tweets, writing Facebook posts, passing out business cards….then nobody would be reading, commenting, responding, or sharing. If you want others to be a fan of your Facebook page, then be sure to Like other Facebook pages, share their wall posts, comment! If you want someone to recommend your business, it should be just as important to you to recommend clients to your network colleagues.

Don’t Try To Do Everything Yourself. Regardless of which marketing activities you choose to engage in, trying to do too many can end up being a waste of time. Thinly spreading your time ineffectively means that every effort appears half-a$$. Choose a few marketing activities and do them well. Or better yet, leave the marketing to experts. A complete marketing strategy that incorporates both offline and online strategies can be a key factor in the growth of your company.

Article Resonates With Switchblade’s Own Philosophy About Philanthropy and Business

March 17th, 2011

We’d like to applaud this article written by Tiffany Finley, “The Business Benefits of Philanthropy” written for the website TriplePundit.com. They profile the company Epic Media Group for their smart business strategy that also aims to improve business ethics and morals.

The article reminds us that “One of the chief misinterpretations of corporate charitable giving is that it must always be in monetary form. Volunteering, fundraising events, and publicity are also ways in which business, big or small, can help bring awareness to charitable work in their community.”

To expand on the idea of philanthropy being good for business, the charitable work that Switchblade devotes to non-profit organizations and causes we care about has introduced us to clients we really enjoy working with because of shared philanthropic views and activities.

When I was once employed at large corporate entities, it seemed appropriate to keep our personal interests separate from work culture. Now as a business owner, I see the value in utilizing the tools of professional services as a means of providing a valuable contribution to society and being a worthy footprint in the universe. Our time is valuable, so why not use the best hours of our days to provide services as  a means of making a living to enrich both our financial well-being and spiritual well-being.

I thankfully learned of this article through a tweet from Clare Munn, CEO of The Communicaitons Group (tcg)

How to Link your Business or Employer’s Facebook Page to Your Profile

February 9th, 2011

With the new and “improved” Facebook profile page design, under your name at the top of the page, you will find all your main profile information: Employer, City/State, birthdate, etc..whatever info you chose to share. I’ll use my own page as the example, shown below.

Most of us probably shared info about our employer. If you love where you work, whether its because you work for a super cool startup or you own a business or two, you want people to know it.  Now…have you ever clicked on the link to your business or employer name to see where it goes? Most likely it links to a blank page. Now this really sucks if your employer or business has a great Facebook page with lots of fans.  The standard admin tools don’t give you the option to change the link. How do you change the !@md311.phpwebhosting.com#$ link ?!?  Figuring this out can drive a person insane.

How to link the Company Name in your Profile to its Facebook Page
You probably realized by now that the solution doesn’t lie within Facebook. Hopefully, you use Firefox as your web browser. There is an Add-On tool for Firefox called “Web Developer” that you will need to install. Download it from this page.

After installation, you will see a new toolbar above your tabs with dropdown menus called “Disable”, “Cookies”, “CSS”, “Forms”, “Images”, and a few more going across your browser. If you see these new tabs, great! You’ve installed them properly.

Now, back to Facebook. Go to your company’s Facebook page and look at its URL. We need to locate its unique ID# assigned to it by Facebook. If the page has a custom URL, then it won’t be shown in the URL. Whether the page has a custom URL or not, you can easily get the ID# by hovering over its profile pic to see its Title text. The # usually proceeds “id=” and it is usually about 12 digits.

Once you’ve got the ID#, go to your FB profile page and click “Edit Profile”. Next, click “Education and Work” in the sidebar to the left, as this is where the employer info is found.

In the search bar above the name of your current employer where there is a light gray text that reads “Where have you worked?”,  type any gibberish text and do NOT select any of the “suggested names” it may pop up under the search bar, scroll down to the bottom where it says “add (your gibberish text)”.  New fields will appear to enter Position, City/State, etc. and a button that reads “Add New Job”. Don’t enter any info or click the button.

Now back to the new toolbar you added to Firefox. Find the tab called “Forms”. Click it to see a dropdown menu. Highlight the first item that reads “Display Form Detail”. After doing so, you should see something like this on the page:

In the first empty gray field with code that reads <input name=”employer_id”>, enter the unique ID# of your company page. There is another field with the same code on line 6. Replace the numbers in it with your ID#. Now you can scroll down and click the button that says “Add New Job”. You can also go back to the Forms tab and highlight “Display Form Details” to turn it off.

The gibberish name you typed should now be replaced by the company name and its profile pic thumbnail. You can now enter all the company information. You probably also have 2 entries for the same company. Delete the old entry.

If this was useful for you, please share it and let us know by “liking” Switchblade’s Facebook page and leaving us a comment here or on our FB page.