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5 Languages that the Most Successful Leaders Speak (Other than English)

5 Languages that the Most Successful Leaders Speak (Other than English)

If there’s one thing in common that all successful leaders have, it’s communication.

Communication can be broken down to multiple aspects, including verbal or non-verbal cues, but the core essence of communication is language.

You can be the best communicator in the world, but if you can’t speak the language of the person on the other side of the table, your influence and success is limited. This is becoming increasingly more important as globalization is spreading faster than ever.

To prevent you from putting a glass ceiling on your potential, and to maximize your success, we’ve broken down the top 5 foreign languages that successful leaders must learn.

1. Spanish

Leaders who speak Spanish: Michael Bloomberg, Will Smith, Paul Bulcke (CEO, Nestle)

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There are over 45 million people speaking Spanish as their first or second language in the United States, and it’s the top 3 most spoken language in the world.

Needlessly to say, learning even the basics of Spanish will improve your life personally and professionally. South America is a quickly growing market economically, and you’ll have 400 million people you can communicate with immediately upon learning the foreign language.

Luckily, there are an abundance of resources that you can check out, including free Spanish classes online or websites like Rype, where you can get unlimited private lessons online with a personal language coach.

spain bulls

    2. Mandarin

    Leaders who speak Mandarin: Mark Zuckerberg, Kevin Rudd (former Prime Minister of Australia), Herbert Hoover (former U.S. president)

    If you thought there were a lot of Spanish speakers, double that in Mandarin! There’s over a billion speakers around the world and you can bet that it’s growing fast.

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    You’ve probably heard in the news the strength of the Chinese economy (the U.S. owes over a trillion dollars to China), and the opportunities that will reside in the future are limitless.

    Whether you’re a business owner, aspiring leader, or simply someone looking to expand your opportunities professionally, the benefits of learning Mandarin make the decision a no-brainer.

    Beijing-skyline-AP

      3. Russian

      Leaders who speak Russian: Regina Spektor, Ho Chi Minh, Lokesh Chandra

      This may seem unexpected, given the countless great languages that are out there. But when it comes to learning a foreign language to maximize success globally, learning Russian (the biggest country in the world) shouldn’t come as a surprise.

      For one, Russian is a very creative language. Its grammar is very close to other Slavic languages like Ukrainian, Belorussian, Czech, and even Polish. Similar to how learning Spanish can make learning French, Italian, or Portuguese easier, Russian can open up the doors to more foreign languages.

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      More importantly, because of how closed-off Russia is compared to the rest of the world, you won’t be able to speak to native Russians in English like you can with other foreigners. So, while most people can often get away with knowing just English, you’ll have a major advantage if you can speak Russian.

      sunset-st-basils-cathedral-red-square-moscow_main

        4. German

        Leaders who speak German: Charlize Theron, Natalie Portman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt

        Welcome to the most thriving country economically in Europe. Germany is home to the biggest brands in the automobile industry, airline industry, and many more.

        The global impact it has in business, entertainment, and politics is only continuing to thrive, and the opportunities are endless.

        Not only is German a fun language to learn, but it’s quite similar to English, moreso than most people acknowledge.

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        In fact, there are many words that have the exact same spelling and meaning. Here are just a few examples:

        • abnormal
        • bitter
        • fundamental
        • global
        • horizontal
        • rational
        • sexy (;))

        germany-city-landscape-wide-new-hd-wallpapers-free-desktop-germany-photos

          5. Hebrew

          Leaders who speak Hebrew: Natalie Portman, Ivanka Trump, Marilyn Monroe

          Ever been to Israel? If you’re an entrepreneur, then you’ve probably heard about all the excitement happening in Tel Aviv.

          Israel is at the forefront of cutting-edge technology and research. While many people there can speak English, understanding the basics of Hebrew will help tremendously if you’re looking to do business deals or seek opportunities.

          If you’re a fan of literature or religion, then it should be worth nothing that Hebrew is the oldest language in the world, and the language of the Bible.

          New_York_Worlds_Fair_August_1964

            What’s your favorite foreign language?

            Which of these foreign languages excite you the most? Can you already speak any of the ones we’ve listed here?

            Share with us below!

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            Sean Kim

            Sean is the founder and CEO of Rype, a language learning app. He's an entrepreneur and blogger.

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            Last Updated on November 3, 2020

            20 Best Mac Apps for Productivity You Need in 2020

            20 Best Mac Apps for Productivity You Need in 2020

            Whether you use your Mac for work or just for your personal projects, you’ve likely found yourself wondering how to improve your productivity. There are only so many hours in a day, and so much mental stamina you can muster before you run out.

            There are dozens of tricks you can use to improve your own productivity and outlook, but if you’re looking for a more objective, comprehensive fix, the best thing to do is equip your Mac with productivity apps designed to help you do more in less time.

            This Lifehack-exclusive list has some of the best productivity apps to help you feel less tired, improve your energy, and ultimately help you get more done every day.

            What Makes For the Best Productivity Apps?

            Beyond productivity tips, there are dozens of productivity apps to choose from too. With that in mind, here are some of the core aspects of ideal productivity apps that have formed this list.

            • Non-intrusive – you want a productivity app to weave seamlessly into your workflow and not cause disruptions. From using the app to the overall display, it shouldn’t cause any interruptions.
            • Good interface – Again, you want to be able to use these apps easily and have them benefit you. The easier you can navigate around these apps, the better.
            • Fair pricing – Many of these have free trials that allow you a good chance to test before you buy. If you do decide to pay for it, the monthly pricing plans should be reasonable for what you are getting.

            1. Todoist

              Available for all iOS devices, Todoist is a note-taking and organization app that can keep you on top of all your projects—both personal and professional.

              Its best features are all free to use, including browser extensions, task creation, and interactive boards you can use to organize all your notes.

              If you want to pay the optional $29 yearly fee, you can get even more advanced features like backups and automatic reminders. Even with the free version, you’ll stay far more organized.

              Download: Todoist

              2. 1Password

                You may not realize it, but you probably spend a ton of time recalling your passwords, especially if and when you forget one to an app you use on a regular basis.

                1Password is an app for Mac that saves and remembers all your passwords for you in one place, so you can access all your favorite sites with a single click.

                You’ll save time and keep all your accounts secure simultaneously. A personal plan is $2.99 per month.

                Download: 1Password

                3. Bear

                  Bear is a unique kind of note-taking app designed to make it easier for Mac users to jot down notes on the go. With it, you can create to-do lists, give yourself reminders, and outline concepts for future brainstorming sessions.

                  It comes with many different inline styles so you can customize your notes to your personal preferences, and remember the context in which you wrote them. The core version is free, with a $14.99 per year version available as well.

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                  Download: Bear

                  4. Hazel

                    Hazel by noodlesoft is an automated organization tool designed for Mac that will help you automatically organize your files based on any custom rules you want to create.

                    For example, you can set it to move untouched items from one folder into another folder labeled “action items” if they haven’t been addressed within a week. It can save you hours of organization over the course of a few weeks. A single license is a flat $32.

                    Download: noodlesoft

                    5. Alfred

                      Alfred is an all-in-one app designed to save you time with Mac shortcuts and convenient custom actions. You can use it in a variety of ways.

                      For example, you can access Alfred’s clipboard memory so you don’t copy and paste the same material over and over, or set up custom workflows to automate some of your most repetitive tasks.

                      It’s a paid app, with multiple price points based on the features you desire.

                      Download: Alfred

                      6. TextExpander

                        TextExpander does exactly what the name suggests; it allows you to type a short snippet of text, and expand that text automatically.

                        For example, you can create a custom expansion that allows you to conjure a full paragraph you type repeatedly by simply typing a unique abbreviation. Once you get used to your custom combinations, you’ll spare your fingers from typing thousands of words.

                        An individual account is $3.33 per month.

                        Download: TextExpander

                        7. Backblaze

                          If you’ve ever experienced a crash, or theft of your Mac, you know how much time a system restore can cost you. You’ll spend hours replacing the files you lost, and lose thousands of files that are irreplaceable.

                          Backblaze is an automated, inexpensive way to back up your entire Mac for just $5 a month.

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                          Download: Backblaze

                          8. Keyboard Maestro

                            Keyboard Maestro is an older app that still has the power to make your life easier. With it, you can automate any number of tasks based on a certain trigger (such as a hotkey combination, or an event like connecting to a wireless network). A single license only costs $36.

                            Download: Keyboard Maestro

                            9. Snagit

                              There are many applications for a good screen-capture app, whether you’re trying to illustrate a tech problem you have or just want to make an interesting meme. Snagit makes it easy, with built-in editing for both still images and video. A single license covers two machines, and costs $49.95.

                              Download: TechSmith/Snagit

                              10. Bartender

                                Bartender is the cleverly-named app that helps you clean up and organize all your menu bar icons. You can also access them quickly with keyboard shortcuts.

                                If you’re like most Mac users, those icons get cluttered quickly and stop you from working efficiently. It’s free to try for 4 weeks, after which you’ll need a $15 license.

                                Download: Bartender

                                11. Otter

                                Otter is the Mac app for the note taker who hates typing. It’s an intelligent voice-recognition system and note-taking app that will help you transcribe your conversations, keep notes during meetings, and even take contextual notes to yourself in your own time.

                                Best of all, it’s free to get started!

                                Download: Otter

                                12. Flux

                                  Do you often find yourself feeling tired throughout the day, or feeling unable to get to sleep after a day of staring at your computer? That could be because of the unnatural blue light that radiates from your Mac.

                                  Flux naturally adapts your display to emit light that matches the time of day, so you can sleep better and feel less tired. It’s also free!

                                  Download: Flux

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                                  13. PDFpen

                                  If you deal with PDFs on a regular basis, you probably find yourself wishing for some kind of tool that can let you mark up those PDFs however you want. Without a dedicated app like PDFpen, this can be difficult.

                                  PDFpen lets you edit PDFs in almost any conceivable way, giving you more power and saving you time. A single license is $74.95.

                                  Download: Smile Software/PDFpen

                                  14. OmniFocus

                                    OmniFocus is all about task management. It has a clean interface that allows you to tag your tasks, schedule events, and even automate certain features.

                                    It’s one of the most comprehensive solutions on the market, so there’s a bit of a learning curve to get the most out of it.

                                    A standard license is $39.99, while the pro version is $79.99.

                                    Download: OmniFocus

                                    15. Franz

                                      It’s tiring to switch between dozens of different chat programs like Facebook Messenger, Slack, and WhatsApp, whenever you want to have a conversation with a different contact.

                                      Franz’s solution is simple; offer access to all these apps in one convenient package. And best of all, it’s completely open source.

                                      Download: Franz

                                      16. MindNode

                                        If you’re the brainstorming type, you need an app like MindNode to help you efficiently organize your thoughts. There are dozens of tools you can use to connect ideas in a mind map, or simply jot down notes for future reference.

                                        The core app is free, with in-app purchases available.

                                        Download: MindNode

                                        17. Focus

                                          The internet is a wonderful thing, but it can be awfully distracting. And if you’re like the majority of us, you’ve interrupted work on a project because of some attention-grabbing site or bad online habit. That’s where Focus comes in.

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                                          This app allows you to block the worst offenders with custom time limits and other constraints, so you can focus on the task at hand. A single license is $19.99.

                                          Download: Focus

                                          18. CleanMyMac

                                            Chances are, your Mac isn’t working as fast as it could, thanks to gigabytes of clutter and unnecessary files on your system. CleanMyMac helps you scan your Mac, monitor its health, and ultimately clean it up—so you can handle all your tasks that extra bit faster. A single license is $39.95.

                                            Download: CleanMyMac

                                            19. Grammarly

                                              A spelling error or grammatical mistake can cost you big time. It could be the source of a worse grade on a big paper, or compromise your credibility in the workplace. Thankfully, Grammarly can help you.

                                              This Mac-integrated writing assistant monitors all your writing and makes live corrections, so you’re alerted to your potential mistakes before they become permanent.

                                              A free version exists, but the premium version will cost you between $11 and $30 a month, depending on how you pay.

                                              Download: Grammarly

                                              Focus To Do

                                                Focus to-do is one of the top productivity apps for your iPhone around. It even has a desktop client that you can connect to effortlessly. The app is built around two things: the Pomodoro technique and task management. It achieves these things with amazing balance. All that you have to do is create a task and then set the timer right within the app itself.

                                                There is also great flexibility with the Pomodoro technique as well. You can choose whether to take a 5 minute break, take a longer one, or even skip it. On the task management side, you can also create reoccurring tasks, reminders, and place a priority on tasks too.

                                                Download: Focus To Do

                                                The Bottom Line

                                                These productivity apps should help you squeeze more productive hours out of every day, but they aren’t the only tools you’ll have to help you find success.

                                                Make the time to learn about and experiment with all the life hacks that can make you more productive. By improving your devices as well as your outlook and focus, you’ll be able to get far more done in a day, and feel better doing it.

                                                More to Boost Productivity

                                                Featured photo credit: Patrick Ward via unsplash.com

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