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Raise your People: Raise your Capital

Raise your People: Raise your Capital

The strive for profit can become a constant pressure in business. If you’re in a position of management or leadership, you’re probably familiar with the ever present need to push for growth.

What strategies actually work to not just boost sales and increase profits, but to raise the value of a business, to raise the capital?

Of course, you need to be attuned to the market place and ensure that what you’re selling, people want to buy. But this kind of thinking can also turn into a treadmill of external focus. Lose sight of what’s happening inside your organization, and you lose a golden opportunity to raise capital “from the inside out.”

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Managers and business owners have an innate sense of this. But there can sometimes be a problem with the language. There are conversations happening in board rooms and leadership meetings that circle around this sentence: How do we get our people to step up?

It implies that people are unmotivated or lacking in some way. And perhaps, in some cases, this is true. But more often than not, you’ll find organizations full of talented, hard working people who want to stretch themselves but aren’t given the right opportunities or tools.

But we provide a whole of PD for our staff—they’re always off doing some course or another!

That’s great. Training courses, coaching programs, external workshops, internal team building exercises—these all provide an experience of learning for staff. They might learn how to spot an opportunity or take the next step on their career ladder.

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But this kind of one-off learning usually produces one-off or limited results.

For far reaching results, that start to actually shift the culture of your organization, you may need to implement fundamental changes to learning. The key is you have to teach people how to think differently and think creatively.

This can be a huge challenge for some workers who have always played a passive role and been taught (implicitly or explicitly) to obey orders, wait for instructions and toe the line.

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Instilling a creative leadership mindset in your staff will give your organization a powerful edge. There are two very successful ways you can approach this kind of shift:

1. Implement an Emerging Leaders Program.

I’ve found this brings extraordinary results. Tap the people in your organization who show high potential talent and provide them with the chance to learn in a new way. The Emerging Leaders Program I’ve developed uses a combination of master class training sessions, 1:1 coaching and peer to peer guided facilitation supported by more experience leaders in the business.

This environment of collective energy and shared knowledge gives participants unique insights and can accelerate creativity and innovation. I recently ran an 8 month program with a company called Ridley Agriproducts. The aim was for each Emerging Leader to create a new offer or enhance an existing offering to their customers and stakeholders. The return of these individual commercial projects was reviewed and showed substantial results. As impressive as the commercial success was, just as important was the very clear increase in autonomy each participant gained.

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2. Do some intensive focus work with your Leadership Team

Great leaders lead by example. It’s crucial that you boost the skills and confidence of your leadership team on a regular basis. I worked recently with a large manufacturing company in Australia. We focussed specifically on developing their senior leaders to connect and engage with members and stakeholders in a more authentic way.

The commercial goal was to convert customers to clients. The great success of this initiative was a group led shift in language that named the outcome as: “casual customer to contented clients.”

Lifting the capability of your team—at management level and throughout the organization—is one of the most important and successful ways to raise capital. Once they truly understand and are enabled and empowered to stretch their own minds, the way they think, they will strive for ever increasing potential. This ultimately leads to raising financial capital. And the flow on is ongoing as people see and reap the rewards of learning to be more innovative.

Featured photo credit: structuredbusinessfinance via structuredbusinessfinance.com

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Last Updated on March 23, 2021

Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

One of the greatest ironies of this age is that while various gadgets like smartphones and netbooks allow you to multitask, it seems that you never manage to get things done. You are caught in the busyness trap. There’s just too much work to do in one day that sometimes you end up exhausted with half-finished tasks.

The problem lies in how to keep our energy level high to ensure that you finish at least one of your most important tasks for the day. There’s just not enough hours in a day and it’s not possible to be productive the whole time.

You need more than time management. You need energy management

1. Dispel the idea that you need to be a “morning person” to be productive

How many times have you heard (or read) this advice – wake up early so that you can do all the tasks at hand. There’s nothing wrong with that advice. It’s actually reeks of good common sense – start early, finish early. The thing is that technique alone won’t work with everyone. Especially not with people who are not morning larks.

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I should know because I was once deluded with the idea that I will be more productive if I get out of bed by 6 a.m. Like most of you Lifehackers, I’m always on the lookout for productivity hacks because I have a lot of things in my plate. I’m working full time as an editor for a news agency, while at the same time tending to my side business as a content marketing strategist. I’m also a travel blogger and oh yeah, I forgot, I also have a life.

I read a lot of productivity books and blogs looking for ways to make the most of my 24 hours. Most stories on productivity stress waking up early. So I did – and I was a major failure in that department – both in waking up early and finishing early.

2. Determine your “peak hours”

Energy management begins with looking for your most productive hours in a day. Getting attuned to your body clock won’t happen instantly but there’s a way around it.

Monitor your working habits for one week and list down the time when you managed to do the most work. Take note also of what you feel during those hours – do you feel energized or lethargic? Monitor this and you will find a pattern later on.

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My experiment with being a morning lark proved that ignoring my body clock and just doing it by disciplining myself to wake up before 8 a.m. will push me to be more productive. I thought that by writing blog posts and other reports in the morning that I would be finished by noon and use my lunch break for a quick gym session. That never happened. I was sleepy, distracted and couldn’t write jack before 10 a.m.

In fact that was one experiment that I shouldn’t have tried because I should know better. After all, I’ve been writing for a living for the last 15 years, and I have observed time and again that I write more –and better – in the afternoon and in evenings after supper. I’m a night owl. I might as well, accept it and work around it.

Just recently, I was so fired up by a certain idea that – even if I’m back home tired from work – I took out my netbook, wrote and published a 600-word blog post by 11 p.m. This is a bit extreme and one of my rare outbursts of energy, but it works for me.

3. Block those high-energy hours

Once you have a sense of that high-energy time, you can then mold your schedule so that your other less important tasks will be scheduled either before or after this designated productive time.

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Block them out in your calendar and use the high-energy hours for your high priority tasks – especially those that require more of your mental energy and focus. You also need to use these hours to any task that will bring you closer to you life’s goal.

If you are a morning person, you might want to schedule most business meetings before lunch time as it’s important to keep your mind sharp and focused. But nothing is set in stone. Sometimes you have to sacrifice those productive hours to attend to other personal stuff – like if you or your family members are sick or if you have to attend your son’s graduation.

That said, just remember to keep those productive times on your calendar. You may allow for some exemptions but stick to that schedule as much as possible.

There’s no right or wrong way of using this energy management technique because everything depends on your own personal circumstances. What you need to remember is that you have to accept what works for you – and not what other productivity gurus say you should do.

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Understanding your own body clock is the key to time management. Without it, you end up exhausted chasing a never-ending cycle of tasks and frustrations.

Featured photo credit: Collin Hardy via unsplash.com

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