Category Archives: Leadership

7 Mental Shifts That Allowed Me to Become a Millionaire at 22

As of this writing, I’m 22. In the last 12 months I’ve generated a million dollars in commissions in one of the most competitive industries on the planet, where my average competitor is at least double my age with 10 times the tenure in the business. I have a master’s degree from a prestigious university, which I received when I was 20 after fast-tracking four years of school. I’ve traveled to more than 50 countries, completed 13 triathlons and have an extremely happy, stimulating life.

Things are very good — but the future wasn’t always so bright.

When I finished graduate school, I moved to California’s Orange County to launch a new office for my family’s commercial real-estate business. The first couple of months were brutal, and I quickly came to the conclusion that the success we’d have (if any) would be astronomically more difficult than I could ever have imagined. Despite being an overachiever all my life, I found myself wondering how to truly excel in the real world when it all finally mattered.

After reinventing the wheel for myself time and time again I’ve come to realize that the secret to millennial success in the business world is a combination of grit and creative thinking. Here are the seven mental shifts I implemented to turbo-charge my growth.

1. Age is just a number.

Embrace your youth wholeheartedly. If you spin your age as an asset, which can be done in a variety of ways, it can be an extremely powerful differentiator. The moment you begin to give yourself an excuse for not being successful is the moment of almost certain failure.

If you believe you can really make it then you will make it. Besides, there is nothing people want to see more than a hard-working, intelligent and dedicated young professional who succeeds. Create a snowball of momentum that makes people want to be a part of your life.

2. Reinvest in yourself.

The safest investment I’ve ever made is in my future. Read at least 30 minutes a day, listen to relevant podcasts while driving and seek out mentors vigorously. You don’t just need to be a master in your field, you need to be a well-rounded genius capable of talking about any subject whether it is financial, political or sports related. Consume knowledge like air and put your pursuit of learning above all else.

I also believe that it is critically important to spoil yourself to a healthy extreme in order to reward your hard work and avoid burnout. Consider splurging on memorable experiences and luxuries that will enhance your lifestyle. I get a weekly massage like clockwork, and it is one of the best productivity hacks I employ.

3. Avoid decision fatigue.

Attention is a finite daily resource and can be a bottleneck on productivity. No matter the mental stamina developed over time, there is always going to be a threshold where you break down and your remaining efforts for the day become suboptimal.

Conserve your mental power by making easily reversible decisions as quickly as possible and aggressively planning recurring actions so you can execute simple tasks on autopilot. I know what I am wearing to work and eating for breakfast each day next week. Do you?

Related: 7 Surprising Lessons About Success Learned From Interviewing More Than 65 Millionaires

4. Build a resilient mind.

The biggest differentiator between mediocrity and meteoric success is the ability to work productively for hours at a time. These long stretches are when important work is almost exclusively completed. Focus is paramount and, without intentionally developing mental stamina, you won’t be able to effectively compete with those who have systematically built up their endurance over decades in the business world.

Fast track your skills by being mindful of distractions and recognizing when you begin to wander out of focus. Perform a thorough analysis of your daily activities each night and aggressively seek opportunities for improvement.

5. Think big. Be big.

The science behind goal setting and its remarkable ability to accelerate success is infallible. If you don’t already have your one-, five- and 10-year goals written out and visible to you on a daily basis, do so right now. I read mine the second I wake up every single morning. Now ask yourself, what would have to happen to accomplish your 10-year goals in just one year?

The inherent power in maintaining consistency with your acknowledged goals can work both positively and negatively, and is cause for concern if you anchor yourself to a slower timeline of achievement. Be mindful and diligent in charting an optimal path that pushes you to your limit.

6. Be methodical.

Plan your work and then work your plan. Perhaps my biggest breakthrough was large-scale automation of my marketing systems. I created a process that allowed me to quintuple my marketing output while increasing my conversion rate considerably.

The simplest way to put your own content plan in motion is to create a multi-step campaign that touches a prospect through a variety of different mediums every week for at least a month. Follow a logical order and craft your content in a persistent way, while never becoming annoying.

Not in a sales role? You can take a similar approach to any analytical, creative or administrative position by developing rigid organizational systems that help improve your efficiency when faced with repetitive tasks.

7. Believe in yourself.

If not you, then who? Someone has to make it, and nothing is stopping you from being the person who accomplishes your wildest dreams. Nearly every person who has ever failed has had an excuse. Successful people have stories of the challenges that they overcame with creative solutions. The moment you confidently feel that there is nothing you can’t learn or develop to solve the most complex of problems is the moment of guaranteed greatness.

If you still aren’t sure how to begin, start with a promise to work towards the achievement of consistent excellence each moment of every day. This is the basic building block and mentality with which I am building my career.

Keep it simple and remember that success is not an entitlement. If you really want to excel, you have to get out there and earn it every day for the rest of your life.

Source credit : Tucker Hughes

The 5 Books Bill Gates Wants You to Read This Summer

When it comes to his reading habits, Bill Gates is an open book. As he does every year around this time, the brainy billionaire Microsoft co-founder has once again released his summer reading list. Unsurprisingly, it’s comprised of challenging intellectual volumes — no easy, breezy reads for the beach.

Think nerdcore science and math. Then think harder about mitochondria and the meaning of life. Gates says he did while poring over the books on his list, usually late at night.

“The following five books are simply ones that I loved, made me think in new ways, and kept me up reading long past when I should have gone to sleep,” he writes in a new post on his blog, The Gates Notes.

Here are the five books that made the cut for Gates’s summer 2016 reading list:

1. Seveneves, by Neal Stephenson
Why he recommends it: “The plot gets going in the first sentence, when the moon blows up. People figure out that in two years a cataclysmic meteor shower will wipe out all life on Earth, so the world unites on a plan to keep humanity going by launching as many spacecraft as possible into orbit … Seveneves inspired me to rekindle my sci-fi habit.”

2. How Not to be Wrong, by Jordan Ellenberg
Why he recommends it: “This book has tons of good stuff in it for non-mathematicians. [Ellenberg] updates you about the world of math, what advancements have taken place. His enthusiasm comes across.”

3. The Vital Question, by Nick Lane
Why he recommends it: “[Lane] argues that we can only understand how life began, and how living things got so complex, by understanding how energy works. It’s not just theoretical; mitochondria (the power plants in our cells) could play a role in fighting cancer and malnutrition.”

4. The Power to Compete, by Ryoichi Mikitani and Hiroshi Mikitani
Why he recommends it: “To me, Japan’s fascinating. In the 1980s and ’90s, the Japanese were just turning out engineering and doing great stuff. How did they lose their way? Why haven’t these companies not been more innovative?”

5. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, by Noah Yuval Harari
Why he recommends it: “There’s a lot of things about early human history that a lot of people haven’t been exposed to and [Harari] is good and succinct on that. He goes off in many directions, like ‘Are we happier than we’ve ever been?’ and a lot about robots. It’s got the broad framework. It’s a great book.”

Do These 8 Things Daily to Increase Your Efficiency 1000%!

There are 24 hours in a day. 1,440 minutes. Which at first seems like a lot, but dwindles with every passing second as you race to accomplish as much as possible before the sun sets. And it’s not just work. There’s always something else to do, whether it’s finishing assignments, honing your passion project, spending time with your family or just taking care of yourself by getting enough sleep.

Finding the time for everything is a struggle we can all identify with, from full-time office workers to freelancers to stay at home parents. And though the activities that fill our lives are different, we all need the same skills to make the most of our time. If you want to make every moment count, include these eight things. Because this is your life, it’s worth your time.

1. Make a task sheet.
Before GPS, plotting your path on a map was essential for long excursions. The road of life is no different (and we’re still waiting on GPS for it). It’s important to know where you’re going and, if you get lost, how to get back to the trail. An itemized to-do list is your map that can make all the difference.

I like create my list on Sunday night, right before the week starts. I’m at my most relaxed and refreshed, so it’s easier to take stock of what’s coming up and prioritize. For extra preparedness points, try splitting it up into sections that cover daily, weekly, or even yearly goals and projects. Of course, things will come up that weren’t on your list, but you’ll find that planning for known quantities in advance makes it easier and less stressful to deal with the unknowns.

Know where you’re headed, and every day can be another productive mile along the road to your ultimate destination.

2. Wake up early.
It may sound like a drag, but hear me out. Rising early gives you the opportunity to plan out your day, which helps reduce stress – and if you realize you’re going to be busier than you bargained for, you can use some of the time you’ve gained to complete your tasks. Having that head start puts you in control and gives you the time and freedom to stay ahead of the curve.

But even if you aren’t looking at your task sheet, having that extra time in the morning to pull yourself together is incredibly helpful. Athletes need to warm up their bodies, and your mind is no different. Give your brain something enjoyable but engaging to warm up with, whether it’s reading the news or just doing a few breathing exercises. That little bit of “you time” is just as important as what you’re doing for others later. And you’ll be thankful you took that time for yourself.

3. Work with people.
Life is collaborative. Being alone too much, or being surrounded by the wrong type of people, can distract you from your goals. To maximize your time, it’s crucial to spend some every day connecting to people that bring out the best in you. For full-time workers, this can mean seeking out the right group of people in your office, or sometimes, a new job. For full-time moms and dads, this might mean finding a club or group to participate in. In both cases, any time you lose to socializing is made up in the energy you’ll gain from building positive relationships with your friends, yourself and your goals.

For freelancers, this is a trickier balancing act. Working from home means no commute and little overhead, but it can waste your time in more insidious ways. When you combine your personal space with your professional space, you may find that the temptation to “work” on Netflix is too strong, or that you aren’t using your time effectively because you feel like you’re always at the office. Instead, consider going to a co-working space, coffee shop, library or any other setting where where you can surround yourself with friendly faces.

Being around people keeps you accountable, and there’s nothing like an interesting conversation to get your mental gears turning again when you get stuck – the biggest time-suck of all.

4. Give yourself something to work toward.
Goals like paying your rent and electric bill are fine, but they aren’t exactly inspirational. If you’ve started dragging your feet on a certain task because it feels like a chore, try orienting it towards something you want. Setting a reward or prize that you can earn through your efforts will make what you’re doing feel more like it matters — and having something tangible to prove it goes a long way.

This can be anything — finish your work before 5PM all week, and treat yourself to your favorite dinner on Friday. Get your spring cleaning done and reward yourself with a trip to the salon. Finish that novel you’ve been telling your friends and family about for years, and maybe you’ll finally earn that video game you’ve been dying to play.

Special goals should yield special results, but you can use this trick to maintain and build motivation for just about anything. Figure out what’s important to you, and what you’re willing to do for it. For me, celebration comes in signing up for a tri-state sprint. That may not seem like a reward, but…

5. Exercise, exercise, exercise.
Most people claim to be too busy for exercise, but making just 10 minutes a day for your body’s well-being can reduce stress boost your brain power. According to Harvard Medical School psychiatrist John Ratey, author of Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, working out offers an energy boost, builds your immune system, increases your physical and mental stamina and yes, it can help with those extra pounds, too.

But what’s the biggest benefit of exercise from the perspective of time management? The added structure is important, as is the burst of adrenaline that can propel you through the rest of your day. But above all, working your body clears and focuses your mind. It’s one way to find your Zen, which is critical if you want to stay productive.

6. Find your Zen.
We all work hard, and we often get so wrapped up in how busy we are that we lose track of the point of it. Reflection and contemplation can offer both relaxation and insight, getting you attuned to where you are and what you need to move forward, but it often feels impossible to find in the daily grind. That’s why it’s important to pull away from the chaos to find your Zen — to meditate, however you define it.

Because meditation is not restricted to closing your eyes and crossing your legs on the floor. The key to every relationship is communication, and the same is especially true when it comes to connecting with your body and mind. Some people start their days with stretching or yoga; others wind down by sitting in a quiet place and focusing on their breath. For me, concentrating on this simple but strenuous task grants me mental clarity with every stride, freeing me from my worries and responsibilities. It allows my mind the space and rest to make better decisions, and keeps my body tough enough to tackle any challenge.

7. Know when to call it a day…
When I said there are 24 hours in a day, I hope you remembered that eight of those hours should be spent sleeping. But those aren’t the only restful moments you should have. After a certain point, you will reach your limit. And that’s okay — you’re human. Where your limit falls differs for everyone, but what it is never changes: it’s that point at which your critical decision making has become worn out and you need to step back. You have to know yourself well to intuit when you’ve reached that point, which is why it’s important to find your Zen. But sometimes, as Zen as you may be, you just can’t know what you have and what needs doing until you’ve stepped away.

I cannot stress how important this is – DO NOT burn yourself out in the pursuit of productivity. It is tempting to keep pushing past your limit, but you risk damaging all the good work you accomplished previously and make more for yourself tomorrow. Learn to recognize when you have reached the end of your day, and if you’re not sure, follow the lead of those you’ve surrounded yourself with.

8. …and when not to.
Every rule needs an exception, and the addendum to the above rule is that sometimes, you need to push past your limits. Keeping too rigid of a schedule can be problematic. If you allow your limitations to define you, you deprive yourself of the opportunity to push and improve. Sometimes, you need to run that extra mile, if only to prove to yourself that you can.

If you’re asking yourself, “Can I do more?”, take an hour long break and step away. If upon returning, you’re still going in circles, it was probably best you stopped when you did. But if you find you’re raring to go that extra mile, then go for it. Just make sure to save extra copies of your work – that way you won’t lose your progress in case you’re more fried that you think. Ultimately, this one is up to you. Do right by yourself, and when in doubt, see step 5 and come back to it later.

Trying to be efficient with your time, treating it as the treasure you know it is, can be a lot of pressure. It can be tempting to obsess. But that is the opposite of being efficient with your time.

Above all, be kind to yourself. The road is ahead of you, and making every hour, every minute, every second count means continuing to move forward. Some days you may travel miles. Others only a few feet. But before you know it, the day is over, the drive at its end. And where you’ve ended up…

That’s what makes it worth it.

5 Ways to Remind Yourself How Powerful You Really Are

You, yes you, are far greater than any problem or disappointment that may be present in your life.

I don’t care who you are or what you have accomplished, we all go through disappointments in life and struggle from time to time with coming to the realization just how special we truly are.

Think about it: let’s say you have a goal that you desperately want to achieve, but three months down the road you find out that you didn’t reach your mark. What happens? You quickly rush to blaming yourself and questioning your abilities and talents. You start to listen to the negative voices that keep rolling in and out of your head. You feel powerless, and like a victim instead of a victor.

What you have to understand and never lose sight of is that you have more power and control inside of you than you think you do. Some people get hit so hard by the outcomes of life that they lose complete sight of their uniqueness and wonderful talents they have been blessed with.

Failures and disappointments aren’t present to degrade our confidence and love for ourselves. You can experience so much more in life when you don’t look at disappointments and failures as some terrible mishap. Learn how to make it “OK” to fail and mess up every now and then.

Look at Abraham Lincoln. How many times did he fail before he actually was elected president of the United States? Look at Steve Jobs. He was a remarkable man who went through disappointment after disappointment before he actually achieved success. When he achieved success, he was fired from the company he founded! Look at Albert Einstein. How many times did he fail before once and for all breaking through?

These are three remarkable men who achieved remarkable success and went through very difficult and tough times. What they didn’t do though is let the hits they took from life keep them down. When things went wrong, they didn’t go with them!

They never forgot how powerful and special they truly were. If you make the decision to tell yourself daily how special you are and list all of your unique qualities, no setback or failure will ever be able to hold you back.

Here are five ways you can start to remind yourself daily of how powerful you really are.

1. Write in a gratitude journal.
When things go wrong in life, being able to sit down and start listing all you are thankful for will rekindle your happiness and give you a sense of accomplishment. Even small successes will serve to remind you of your past successes and that you will be successful in the present and future.

2. Continually review and look at your long-term goals.
Short-term disappointments are less likely to derail your well-being when you pay mind to all you wish to accomplish in the future.

3. Strive and work to dig deeper in your spirituality journey.
We all have different beliefs, but working to strengthen your spirit will help reinforce how powerful you are. Going to church every Sunday, reading scripture throughout your day or tapping into the power of meditation can help paint a positive picture of yourself.

4. Find time to read 10 to 15 pages of something motivational, inspirational or uplifting.
Just spending 10 to 15 minutes a day reading uplifting material can help renew your mind and enlighten your day. It alone can take your life to the next level.

5. Keep a note card filled with powerful and moving quotes.
Whenever I feel down or upset about something, I take my note card out and repeat over and over to myself the positive quotes that I had written on it. This habit helps to interrupt all of the negative thoughts that are trying to take control of your thinking.

You are powerful. Don’t ever lose sight of how powerful you really are. Life will knock you down and derail your path, but you don’t have to give in! Don’t let the tough times demoralize your beauty. You have a unique skill set that no one else possesses.

You are here to make a difference and make this world a better place. Just remember, you are far greater than any problem or circumstance that stands in your way!

3 Ways to Stay Motivated to Lead Your Business

Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, has said in interviews, “My biggest motivation? Just to keep challenging myself.”

Long after the thrill of starting a business is gone and you are immersed in the daily challenges of being an entrepreneur, it is easy to lose the motivation to keep going. Being a business owner has its indisputable benefits, but it is a grind and you constantly need to remind yourself why you decided to become an entrepreneur.

Long-established business mogul Branson may have it easier than most entrepreneurs, but here are three ways to keep yourself motivated, regardless of the size of your company:

1. Remind yourself of your desire to achieve.

A successful entrepreneur’s number-one asset is perseverance. When I asked around to learn about what keeps entrepreneurs motivated, ambition and perseverance are two words that kept coming up. The need to achieve and succeed prevented them from giving up after every failure and fueled their drive more than any other factor.

If you find it challenging to maintain your morale in the long run, look around you and identify the people who make up your success team. Whether it’s an older mentor who keeps you in line with your goals, or a younger entrepreneur who inspires you and fuels your energy, surrounding yourself with business cheerleaders helps turn every setback into a lesson, not a disappointment.

2. Set realistic goals.

If you are running a startup and your goal is to make a million dollars this year, then you might be setting yourself up for disappointment. Instead, set several smaller, measurable milestones so that you can track your progress.

Create a big-picture strategy for your company, and set realistic business goals on how to achieve them. Everything from creating useful partnerships, networking, marketing, ramping up your social media, or even hiring good employees takes time. Establish a plan and be prepared to tackle it one day at a time.

When you achieve the smaller goals, pat yourself on the back.

3. Take care of yourself.

Woman-MeditatingYes, having your own business means you’re invested 24/7, but invested and overworked are two different things. There is nothing more daunting than spending your day alone in your home office. Make time to take care of yourself.

Business owner Sharon Middendorf says what keeps her motivated is “ambition, exercise and meditation. This inspires and guides me through the days.”

Set regular times during the week to unplug, hang out with family and friends, sign up for a gym, take walks, read or watch TV. If possible, take a vacation! This gives your brain time to rest, recalibrate and be ready to run a successful business.

Ideo’s CEO On How To Lead An Organization Creatively

It comes as no surprise that Tim Brown, CEO of the design consultancy Ideo, believes that all organizations should be run creatively. This philosophy has brought Ideo success in both developing new products and fostering a global business. The company, which recently sold a minority stake to the Japanese-owned Kyu Collective, has been a pioneering force in design thinking—a methodology of building ideas that many companies have folded into their own repertoire.

“The traditional way we’ve thought about leadership—which I would describe as leading from the front, this idea that someone is at the top making all of the decisions—is not the most effective way of unlocking the creativity of an organization, whether it’s a traditional design organization, like an Ideo, or a company that’s trying to be more creative in the future,” he says. “The pace of change, the level of volatility, and the level of disruption across every industry requires that all organizations either constantly evolve, or they get out-competed by someone that’s fitter than they are.”

To Brown, successful leadership is like a dance. “It’s about the effective playing of a number of different leadership roles depending on the moment and the circumstances and having the skill to move between those stances as needs require,” he says. We spoke with Brown about the essential leadership roles needed to run a business creatively in advance of a new course that Ideo University—the design consultancy’s for-profit education program—is offering on the subject.

While Brown believes that leading from the front—the traditional way a business is run—is essential, he frames that role as an explorer.

“There are moments when you as a leader need to point to the horizon and say let’s go explore in that direction, but that’s mostly about asking the question rather than having the answer,” he says. “The most effective way of leading from the front in an organization if you want to be exploratory is to ask the best questions. Sometimes that’s a question about what our purpose is. Why are we here? Sometimes it’s about a particular opportunity. In traditional design terms, it’s about setting the brief.”

Ideo believes that a company “gardener” is one of the most important hires for creating a culture of innovation. While the “explorer” leads from the front, the gardener leads from behind.

“It’s about nurturing the conditions in which creativity is most likely to happen,” Brown says. “That’s really about culture, environment, rituals—the sorts of things that give people permission to explore, that encourage open-mindedness, collaboration, experimentation, and risk taking. Those sorts of things that we know are important for creativity.”

Brown believes that many leaders begin to think about company culture and environment when things are already amiss, but the trick is to set the right conditions before a company is broken.

“The most effective creative leaders are the ones who think, do I have the right circumstances to make the team successful?” he says. “Have I set them up? Is there something about our culture and this organization that’s getting in the way that I have to compensate for? Do I need to make the conditions and constraints different for this team?”

The process of design thinking involves building up ideas, prototyping them, learning from the prototypes, and feeding the lessons back into the idea to hone the concept. To do that successfully, Brown believes a third leadership style is important, that of the player-coach.

“The best coaches today in sports are often ones that played themselves,” Brown says. “They understand what the players are going through. They can empathize, and we think that’s pretty important.”

Brown’s role, and that of the other senior people at Ideo, often falls into this category. It involves advising teams on whether or not they’re asking the right design questions, assessing if they have the right resources to design experiments, and offering feedback on next steps in the cycle of experimentation.

“I was speaking with the CEO of a German tech company last summer who believes in this approach, and he said, ‘The interesting thing is I need to know more about my business and our actual products and services today than I ever have in the past,'” Brown says. “It used to be that people would bring me a decision for me to bless, but now I actually have to help them with the thinking, and to help them with the thinking, I actually have to know about stuff.”

“Wherever one can shift people from a process mentality to a project mentality can make a huge difference whether those projects are large or small,” Brown says.

This strategy encourages creative problem solving and empowers employees—thereby unlocking more creative potential, Brown argues.

“Say you’re running a restaurant and the project, rather than having everyone turn up for their job every day, is how do we make the restaurant a better experience for our customers?” Brown says. “You have a team with a chef, a waiter, and another person could be from front of house and they work together on some ideas. That shift from ‘I do my job’ to participating in a creative project is hugely empowering. We’ve seen it time and time again.”

Brown also cites a scenario from his book, Change by Design (HarperBusiness, 2009). While working with the health care organization Kaiser, he enlisted the opinion of nurses and union reps in design-thinking exercises. The employees were dedicated to their work, but felt disempowered because of regulations and management practices. This helped boost engagement and ultimately devise stronger solutions. “It’s not just about your creative and technical people in R&D coming up with the future of the products and services of your company,” Brown says. “It’s how do we make the sales channel more effective? How do we make the customer experience better? There are so many places.”

6 Habits Of Creative Managers

Managing teams is tough enough. But when you’re managing teams of people who need to be highly creative to fulfill their job functions, a new level of complexity is added, says Michael D. Mumford, PhD. He is a professor and director of the Center for Applied Social Research at the University of Oklahoma and author of Pathways to Outstanding Leadership: A Comparative Analysis of Charismatic, Ideological, and Pragmatic Leaders.

Effectively managing creative teams requires the good skills necessary to manage most teams, but also requires technical expertise and an understanding of the creative employees’ work—and the culture necessary to foster it best. “If they perceive risks in their environment, people will refuse to be creative,” he says.

Are you faced with managing a creative team? Keep these six tips in mind.


Peer support and management support for creative ideas is important, Mumford says. While creative people are not, by and large, delicate flowers—rejection usually comes with the territory—if they feel that they’re not being managed by someone who’s looking out for their best interests, they often won’t do their best work. Mumford says that providing professionally challenging and intellectually stimulating work is also essential for creative teams.

“Feeling safe does not mean that the leader is necessarily nice,” he says. “It is respecting the ideas and the competence of the person as a creator.”


The best creative leaders are technically quite good themselves, Mumford says. If the idea or work is bad or off the mark, they have enough experience to evaluate it and either reject it or fix it. They are able to identify weaknesses both in the work and on the team and either deal with them or compensate for them, he says. They inspire trust because the creative people on their teams know that they make the work better.


When you’re asking creative people to come up with solutions or ideas, you need to give them the time to do so, says Karen L. Mallia, associate professor of advertising at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. Jamming up the schedule with back-to-back meetings isn’t giving them time or space to do their best work, she says.

“Creative people need a venue for quiet thinking. That’s often not permissible in an [open-floor] office,” she says. And working remotely isn’t always possible when you need time to collaborate with peers. Therefore, it’s important that managers be good at helping team members strike that balance for their best performance.


It’s a common perception that creatives work best in a totally unfettered environment, Mallia says. Give them a task and let them have at it, without constraints or direction. The reality is much different, she says. Creative people typically work best when they have clear direction and understanding of the goals, Mallia says. To just set them loose is too overwhelming. She quotes former Ogilvy Creative Director Norman Barry: “Give me the freedom of a tight strategy.” So, providing clear direction, creative briefs, and specific feedback helps improve the work and avoid frustrated team members.


Creativity is stoked when new ideas and influences are present. And while human nature typically “drives us to like the like,” Mallia says that diversity within teams is an important component of creative work. Strong creative leaders seek out people who are different from each other and are able to build enough trust and credibility to unite them, she says. While people typically think of gender, race, ethnicity, and age as some of the primary areas of diversity focus, Mallia says it also extends to life experiences and skill sets, which can add breadth to the collective team’s understanding.


In addition to the day-to-day skills necessary to manage the team, you also need to be able to manage up and laterally. You have to sell the creative program to either investors or the organization. It’s not just selling it to get resources, you also have to sell the program to other departments and stakeholders to get their buy-in and support, Mumford says.

“If you’re building, let’s say, a driverless car, and you don’t get manufacturing and IT involved, it’s toast. That leads to mistakes. Frequently, creative leaders don’t try to sell their projects. They think the idea will sell itself,” Mumford says. That leaves too much margin for error. If you don’t sell your team’s ideas to the organizational entities they need to succeed, you’re undermining your group’s work.

6 Ways Businesses Benefit From Seminars

SeminarsPlenty of workers see seminars as ways to get out of the office for a few hours, but the truth is that conferences, seminars, and other industry-oriented events do quite a bit to help a business succeed. Everyone involved in business, from new entrepreneurs to entry-level employees to booming business moguls, has something to gain by attending appropriate gatherings of industry professionals. No matter what you do, there is an upcoming seminar that can help you do it better in these six particular ways.

Learn About New Trends

All industries change, and it is integral to the survival of your business that you change, too. However, anticipating the shifting tides of your industry can be difficult, and a misstep could drown your business. Though reading blogs, whitepapers, and books on your industry can help keep you informed, you will learn more, faster, by attending a seminar.

In-person lectures and round tables usually foster a deeper level of understanding because you are more likely to pay close attention and take notes. Plus, they require less time than digesting the miles of written material published every week. Giving up a week or weekend to a conference every few months is akin to devoting a few years to an advanced degree in terms of what you can learn to benefit your business.

Meet Industry Experts

Every industry has its superstars, and those icons usually congregate at conferences and seminars. The industrial mogul you have always admired will probably speak, giving you the opportunity to learn from your business idol directly. Even if you don’t have a particular role model, there will be dozens of experts willing and eager to share their trade secrets and make connections with promising up-starts. Your business definitely could benefit from others’ success gleaned during an industry seminar.

Receive Feedback for Ideas

Nearly everyone in business has had at least one phenomenal idea to enhance productivity, but sometimes, those phenomenal ideas aren’t as effective as you expected. At industry events, you can workshop your ideas before you put them to work, receiving feedback from peers and experts to improve your likelihood of success. Backed by their own experiences in business, visiting experts and fellow attendees will be able to provide different perspectives on your plans, mitigating the danger of failure and increasing efficiency and profitability.

Find Potential Clients

The networking potential of seminars goes far beyond industry peers and experts; you could easily find new clients by discussing your business in such a setting. B2B businesses are usually most successful at securing leads at industry events, as every attendee is looking for ways to improve operations. Still, B2C companies can spread awareness of their products and build an audience at any gathering of people. Face-to-face interaction is an intensely powerful sales method, and at a seminar, you can demonstrate your passion for your business and answer any client questions while you make sales.

Become Inspired and Motivated

Seminars are good for the imagination. Hearing others’ stories of success will make you hungry to reach new heights with your business in new and exciting ways. When you return to your daily grind, your mind will be buzzing with new ideas to increase sales and improve morale. You might even host your own seminar for your employees. You can use Leading Authorities Speakers Bureau to find and hire engaging speakers in your industry. Work becomes monotonous quickly, but a seminar with relevant guest speakers can motivate you and your employees to push for bigger and better success.


Most immediately exciting, seminars are full of SWAG: stuff we all get. B2B booths usually force small goodies on attendees; items like reusable water bottles, phone chargers, tote bags, and T-shirts are everywhere at conferences. As a result, you go home with a bunch of free, practical items, and businesses get to spread their brand message long after the event ends.

Your business can benefit from SWAG by producing a few handy items and distributing them at seminars. If you don’t have a booth, you can hand out smaller items like pens and flash drives, but you should remember that the more memorable and useful your SWAG, the better. Ideally, attendees will spread news of your business for you in their excitement over your amazing SWAG.

5 Ways That Leadership Is Like Acting

If you are a leader, you are a performer. You may not be conscious of it, but you are, and people are watching you. Your followers (remember the definition of a leader is that someone is following) trigger off you, your mood, your actions and every word you say. This means that you need to be a performer and an actor to carry your followers with you consistently and you need to do it in a way that is authentic and trustworthy–an interesting balancing act! Here are five ways in which you need to be a star actor as the leader:

  1. You need to be positive. No matter how you feel inside, to lead you need to see the positive and find a way through the maze. Some days it is easy because you feel positive, but on the days when you can’t see how to win, or you are exhausted, you need to get so good at personal transformation that your team cannot tell. If you lose faith, they lose faith. If you feel tired, they feel tired. On those hard days, you have to put yourself into character, step out onto the boards and act positive.
  2. You need to carry the crowd. As a leader, you are the one in front creating the passion and drive for your group. Being able to project an idea with conviction and charisma is critical to bringing a large group of people with you. Now, you do not have to be as good as Richard Burton playing Mark Anthony in the classic film Cleopatra, but learning some of Marc Benioff’s skills of whipping up a crowd will help you lead and carry your ideas into your audience.
  3. You need to stay on message. The bigger the company or group you lead, the more you need to be consistent and stick to the strategy message and brand. Whether you are in front of your team, on social media or being interviewed on TV, you must repeat your key messages over and over, and over again (sometimes until you are sick of the sound of your own voice!). Only after several reminders will your audience truly absorb and believe what you are saying, but you cannot afford to let it sound rehearsed. Whether it is the first time you say your spiel or the 27th time, it needs to sound as enthusiastic as the first time you ever said it.
  4. You need to select your cast.  No one wants to be on stage with someone without talent, and as the leader, you are the director. You have to decide whom to put on stage and who gets the lead role. Maybe you are the lead actor, or maybe your star is your CTO or your top sales girl. As the director, you need to know how to cater to your audience and when to take a back seat. At the end of the day, you are responsible for who is on your team and who is in the performance with you.
  5. You need to pay attention to your body. How you stand, how you sit, how you hold your hands (don’t fidget)–these things subconsciously influence how people see you. Hold yourself confidently, stand up straight because someone is assessing how you feel and how much you believe in what you are saying (or selling) based on your stance. Learn confidence poses like the Wonder Women: stand tall, legs in a wide stance, hands on your hips.