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Networking for introverts

Posted on Thursday, 26 June 2014 in Business Skills

Being successful in business largely depends on your ability to maximise your strengths. In the competitive world of entrepreneurs and small businesses, this means getting out there and selling yourself, being seen and making the right connections. If the very of thought of networking makes you cringe, help is at hand. In an article posted on Entrepreneur.com, Jacqueline Whitmore provides tips that make networking easy for anyone, and  shows that there is more than one path to success. 

 

“Visibility is a natural part of networking,” says Whitmore. “However, this doesn’t mean that you need to be the centre of attention.” If you’re more introverted, it’s a good idea to manage your expectations, so if networking events make you nervous – don’t set yourself impossible targets. You don’t need to make 20 contacts and have the entire room roaring with laughter at your witty repartee; one quality conversation is worth more than 20 superficial ones. 

Contributor to Forbes Online, Carmine Gallo, recently posted a fascinating case study of a business (and it’s CEO’s) transformation, from an environment where the leadership style was more dictator than democratic, to a culture where the happiness of employees is the most important factor in the business. 

 

Tony Gareri had worked in the family business, Roma Moulding for 12 years. Established in 1984, Roma Moulding had carved a reputation as North America’s premier manufacturer of hand crafted custom picture frames and had thrived through several economic downturns. 

 

Veteran start-up mentor, Marty Zwilling, recently wrote on Huffington Post that entrepreneurship is more about building a business than inventing a product. It’s about execution as opposed to the quality of an idea and most importantly, being a proactive leader who connects both to his team and his customers. 

 

In his recent book, “Infectious: how to connect deeply and unleash the energetic leader within”, business coach and author Achim Nowack talks about how today’s technology allows leaders to communicate at a furious pace, tweeting, emailing and texting more than ever before. And yet, too many leaders know less than ever about how to connect and get others to commit to their business or product. 

One Skill to Master Them All

Posted on Wednesday, 12 February 2014 in Business Skills

Could there really be one integrally important skill that eclipses all others? A discipline which, if mastered, will enable all the other skills you possess to flourish? Maryling Yu believes there is. In her article, The Most Important Skill in Life (It’s Not What You Think), Yu argues that the ability to become happy and stay happy is the number one key to personal development.

 

Yu’s logic is simple. While many others, when questioned about the most valuable skills in the workplace, will likely respond with focus, communication or leadership skills, Yu believes that none of these capabilities are truly effective unless you have learnt to master your emotions.

Why size matters

Posted on Wednesday, 12 February 2014 in Business

“Bigger doesn't necessarily mean better in the business world”.  This is an opinion, which has been tossed around quite a bit lately, but does it really hold any true significance? Andrey Grehov believes it does, and in his article, “Stay Small to be Big”, recently published on the Huffington Post, he explains exactly why. 

 

Using the analogy of renting a small apartment rather than a large one, Grehov explains that the expense and time required to run large businesses are significantly more. The energy required to sustain a big business is considerable. What's more, in a constantly changing business environment, flexibility is a significant advantage for smaller businesses. 

 

Looking at some of the most dynamic and successful companies in the business world like Instagram and SnapChat, we can see just how effective a smaller team can be. Not only does it mean that your business model is easier to change, but also that you are able to adapt to external and internal changes far more quickly. Less communication is required to spread important messages and information. 

It takes significant mental strength to run a marathon, so too, to run a business. In his article titled Five Business Lessons from Marathon Training, recently published by Forbes, David Schnurman argues that there are valuable business lessons to be learnt from marathon training. Schnurman confesses to having made every excuse in the book when it comes to exercise, but over the past three years has run over 1000 miles and three marathons. His secret? Accepting 100% responsibility for his life and honouring his commitment to run.

 

Here are a few insights from his journey which he feels can also be useful in business:

Encouraging Productivity in the Workplace

Posted on Tuesday, 03 September 2013 in Business Skills

Entrepreneur Magazine recently published an article discussing the ways in which company owners can hamper the productivity of their employees. The author of the article, Jason W. Womak, found that employers play a massive role in how effectively their workforce functions.  He lists micro-management, lack of acknowledgement and interruptions amongst the worst productivity downers. 

 

While this is an aspect of the work environment to which employers need to pay careful attention – the success of the business is reliant on the output of the people who work there – this can be a tricky issue to navigate. One only needs to take a look at Womak’s suggestions below to see that a great boss who strives to encourage productivity amongst their workforce needs to know where the fine line is between being involved and being too involved. 

How can employers establish stronger relationships with their employees? This was the question posed in an article recently published by Entrepreneur. While vision and drive are vital leadership qualities for any ambitious entrepreneur, truly successful leadership also relies heavily on the development of healthy relationships with your employees. If these don’t succeed, neither will your business.     

Today’s topic focuses on the importance of networking both on a business and personal level.  According to Lewis Howes in his article on the 7 key habits of Super Networkers, “the ability to network successfully can be one of the greatest assets in business.”  Networking not only helps you connect with people within your company and within your industry but it also makes other people aware of you and your skills and capabilities, which can help boost you up the career ladder. Furthermore, it is a great way of meeting new people,  gathering knowledge and insights and developing and improving your interpersonal communication skills.

Five ways to become the leader your team needs

Posted on Wednesday, 15 May 2013 in Leadership

In today’s competitive business environment, a great team is essential in ensuring an organisation’s success in achieving its business goals.  A great team leader can be the difference between having a motivated team that works together well or a fragmented team of individuals all pulling in different directions. As Mark Sanborn, a leadership development coach, points out, there are not many natural born leaders, but many team leaders train themselves by learning from others and through personal experience, in order to improve their team leadership skills.

Richard Stengel’s book Mandela’s Way – Lessons of Life illustrates Mandela’s leadership style:  “Leadership at its most fundamental is about moving people in a certain direction – usually through changing the direction of their thinking and their actions.  This is not necessarily done by charging out front and saying “Follow me”, but by empowering or pushing others to move forward ahead of you.  It is through empowering others that we impart our own leadership and ideas.”

 

 

Do you feel like your employees have fallen 'out of love' with the organisation?  We have summarised a few points on why they’re just not that into you

While most managers and executives know how crucial personal branding may be in positioning themselves, they often don't know how to extend that concept to the web when presenting their profile. Being business savvy does not necessarily translate to competence in the online positioning of their professional image, which may put them at a disadvantage.

 

Three questions recruiters must ask

Posted on Monday, 04 June 2012 in Talent

In the article below Maxwell asks three critical questions of candidates for the presidency of the US Government.  We at Fusion Consulting don't interview candidates for president (although we'd love to) but we do interview people who must be decisive and passionate leaders in their new positions. 

In a global survey by PriceWaterhouseCoopers, results show that 24% of CEO's globally have directed delays or indeed cancellations on key strategic corporate initiatives due to talent shortages. 

It is no surprise that skills shortages are a 'top threat' to business growth and in a developing country like India, a sibling to South Africa in the BRICS, it is one of the top strategic issues. 

The article below, published in the Business Standard, outlines some of the reactions of Indian executives and the key industries affected. 

Statistics in  employment show that, for women at least, 50 is the new 30! There are more employed women in the age bracket 50 - 64 in the market than at the beginning of the global recession in 2008.  

These savvy and bright go-getters are being dubbed the Madonna Generation and we think they are rather in vogue.

See the article below for more stats on this refreshing phenomenon.  

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