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Lessons from Necker Island with Sir Richard Branson

Alexandria Joy - Monday, November 02, 2015
At the start of the year I compiled a list of 50 leaders that I wanted to meet, interview and bring to you to share their insight, wisdom and energy.

Of course being an entrepreneur myself the #1 person on my list was none other than Sir Richard Branson. In early 2015 I was delighted to discover myself and my great friend Melissa Histon, Founder of The Sista Code, had been successful in being accepted to attend a Virgin Unite Leadership Gathering called "When bold minds and big thinkers come together" hosted by Business Chicks on Sir Richard's private island Necker. 

Virgin Unite is the entrepreneurial foundation of the Virgin Group, uniting people and ideas to create opportunities for a better world to shine a spotlight on unacceptable issues; to incubate disruptive collaborations and to empower entrepreneurs to change business by giving access to skills, support and capital.

Headed up by the super smart Emma Isaacs, Business Chicks was created to bring like-minded souls together – to give us a chance to swap ideas, share stories, and spark inspiration. They're a tribe of explorers and a band of big thinkers and I couldn't think of a better group of people to travel to a leadership conference in the British Virgin Isles with!

From the moment I arrived on Necker until today I have felt a definite surge in energy, an expanded reality about what's possible and a new way to view workplace environments. In the spirit of service and sharing I bring you my learnings and insights from meeting and talking to none other than Sir Richard Branson. 



Who inspires you? Who would you like to most meet? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Be bold, think big, serve the world

Love 

Heidi Alexandra Joy

UQTV - How to Become an Awesome Employee

Alexandria Joy - Monday, October 19, 2015

If you're on the hunt for a new position or you want to become an indispensable employee who shines, then you want to understand the key traits that managers and CEOs look for in star employees. 

Some of the key traits they might be looking for are these three H's:

  • Happy: No one wants to work with an unhappy person. Energy drainers can bring down their team with their drama, mood and poor attitude and it's no way to earn brownie points. Do a quick self assessment - do you find yourself smiling at work, relaxed and conversing with open body language or are you closed, frowning and frantic all the time?
  • Hungry: No I don't mean you are in the kitchen snacking all the time! As the old adage goes, time is money. Leaders want people who are driven and hungry, who chase the sale, make the deal and get the job done efficiently and effectively. Do you make the most of every second? Do you hustle in your job duties? 
  • Honest: As an employee, you will be entrusted with inside information that's going to move the company forward. A leader doesn't want to have to second guess if you are going to deliver the work they're paying for and that you're not playing hooky or entertaining the competition. In short don't lie on your resume. Don't lie in your interview. Don't lie after you're hired. Companies don't run well and culture get toxic and poisonous when they don't have honest, decent employees in them. 
So how do you go to the next level and get known as a batteries included, star employee? Follow these three tips in this week's episode of UQTV.

Unique Annual Reports - More Than A Reverse Mullet

Alexandria Joy - Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Have you ever sat in the waiting room of a client or service provider and noticed their Annual Report sitting on the coffee table in front of you? Bet you weren't even slightly tempted to pick it up for a browse (unless of course you hadn't prepared and done your research on them!) 

Why? Because typically these are drab boring documents aimed to serve a legislative or corporate governance mandate not to delight, educate or entertain. 

Imagine seeing a document instead that served as a piece of art, a design masterpiece or a magnificent representation and extension of that company's unique brand and essence. Would you be more likely to pick it up and flick through a page or two?

Annual reports are seeing a resurgence amongst a number of savvy brands. Once only the domain of publicly traded companies and non-profits these reports were typically single-color, and had a plain, boring design. I once had a designer tell me that an Annual Report is typically formatted as a “reverse mullet” ie: the “party in the front” via photography and interesting design, with “business in the back” where financial data was displayed. This trend grew well into the 1990s until Microsoft sounded the death knell by having their annuals available online, setting a steep downward trend in printed annual reports’ significance.

In the past couple of years, I’ve noticed a wonderful trend: a resurgence of companies creating both online and print annual reports just for the fun of it. No other obligation than to share their year’s experiences in a bold, daring and totally on-brand way. 

And we’re not just talking cutting edge print, paper and design techniques for the sake of being arty farty – we’re talking uniqueness that builds on the company’s point of difference. Check out today's episode of UQTV and you'll see what I mean with two cutting edge reports. 

Tweet This: Annual Reports don't have to be reverse mullets says @UQPower

Hungry to see more? Check out crowd funding website Kickstarter's year in review, and  email marketing company MailChimp's reports online.

So next time you are planning a company annual report or website or any brochure for that matter don’t just design and print your standard same old same old thing. Really sit back and think about what makes your company unique, what do we stand for and why do we exist, what do we want to be known and remembered for and build it from there. Your impact and strengthening your brands UQ will be worth it in the long run!

#startwithU

Heidi Alexandra


Four Steps To Leading During A Downturn

Alexandria Joy - Monday, December 08, 2014

At UQ Power we imagine a world where people wake up every day inspired to go to work and return home at the end of the day feeling fulfilled and as though they have had an opportunity to use their unique strengths. 

Sadly this is often not the case. During turbulent times and economic challenges, many organisations and their leaders hunker down and resort to container style management - restriction, rigid policies and procedures, cost cutting and endless accountability trails. 

I recently wrote an article about the ill effects of poor leadership that struck a nerve receiving around 55,000 views and 500 comments about how the quality of your manager is more important to your health than the quality of your doctor. In fact studies from Europe and the US are showing that when people say “my boss is killing me”, quite literally this could be the case. 

The challenge during these tough economic times, particularly here in Australia where businesses who are heavily reliant on the mining, manufacturing and industrial sector are feeling the pinch, is not to fall into this trap and instead continue to inspire and engage people to create a healthy, productive workforce.

So what is the opportunity inherent in the current crushing economic climate and mining downturn? One thing we are discovering through our work at UQ Power is more and more people committed to finding new ways to clarify what matters most, to respect people and their individuality and to experiment with new ways to do things. This change in focus creates what we call a four way win: improved performance at work, at home, in the community and for the self. 

Could the current downturn make it easier to experiment with new attitudes and serve as a catalyst for your own reinvention as a leader? Watch this week's episode of UQTV for four ways you can continue to lead during a downturn. 

 


Now it’s your turn. What opportunities or silver linings have you found during your toughest economic times? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


WHY THREE HEADS ARE BETTER THAN ONE

Alexandria Joy - Tuesday, November 11, 2014

One of my favourite strategies for helping leaders increase their capacity, forward thinking and commercial awareness is to encourage them to create and participate in masterminds both within and outside the organisation. 

Personally I have actively pursued and participated in several international masterminds for over a decade and attribute much of our success at UQ Power from the benefit of collaborating and connecting with other ambitious business owners and entrepreneurs who are playing a big game. 

I first became aware of the concept of masterminds about 15 years ago when I read classic leadership and success book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. 

While masterminds have become a big part of my strategic thinking, a recent discussion with a client at a large financial services organisation left me realising that many people are unfamiliar with the concept of a mastermind and how they can be of benefit.

If you've ever wondered about the benefits of creating or participating in a mastermind then this episode of UQTV will answer all your questions:  

Now I’d love to hear from you. 
Can you identify things in your life that could benefit from a group like this one?
Have you already participated in a mastermind and what were the key benefits and growth you gained from doing so. Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Dream big!
Heidi Alexandra 
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PS - Why are you struggling alone when help is available? The Leading Ladies Business Coaching Program has been running successfully for over 5 years - you can find out more about our 2015 program and our special offer which EXPIRES AT 5:00pm AEST 28 NOVEMBER 2014 here.

UQTV: Unique School Helps Kids Learn Real Life Skills

Alexandria Joy - Monday, October 27, 2014
Have you ever had a passion so strong that you felt compelled to create a product or a business to bring it to life?

Well today we’re going to behind the scenes of a small business to spotlight a young woman who has pursued her passion and created something really unique and special. If you've ever read Robert Kiyosaki's Best Selling Book Rich Dad, Poor Dad then this story will resonate with you.

Watch this episode of UQTV to see how this woman has disrupted the traditional education model to re-imagine education with great results.


Now I’d love to hear from you. 
  1. Where can you be more attentive to your customers unique needs? 
  2. How can you disrupt the market you are in?
  3. When has persistence really paid off for you?
Remember keep on building a life, business or career that plays to your unique strengths – the best thing you can do to change the world and become a great leader worth following is to #startwithU.

Curious to find out more about Kids at Switch unique financial and literacy education program for primary school to early high school students? Then check them out here.

Heidi Alexandra 
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(By signing up you will receive a free download of our video on Soft Skills Gone Hard and we promise to never rent or sell your information to any other third parties.)

LESSONS FROM A BRAND GONE GAGA

Alexandria Joy - Saturday, July 05, 2014

What is one of the most memorable experiences you have had with a brand?
What was memorable about it? 
How did it make you feel?
Did it have lasting impact on you? 

Creating memorable brand experiences can set great brands apart from average and even good brands. Many marketing and business leaders tend to over complicate everything about marketing. Because they over complicate what should be simple, they wind up falling to strategies and tactics that do anything but create what is a memorable and meaningful brand experience.

There’s lots we can learn from strong brands and the music industry is fertile ground for creating and moulding unique, personal brands. Watch this video to glean three simple brand lessons that we can glean from this pop stars meteoric rise to fame that you could apply to dominate your market niche and create raving fans.

Today’s Tweetables:

Now, it's your turn. 
Is quality your focus? What can you do to "Go Pro" in everything you do?
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No get out there and go gaga!
Heidi Alexandra

How to share WHAT YOU DO with power and authority

Alexandria Joy - Monday, June 09, 2014
I bet like me you get asked all the time “Who are you and what do you do?” 

Do you answer in a way that wow's them or do you struggle to clearly communicate your answer?

Whether you’re pitching yourself for a date, to land a new client, job or project, or just meeting new people at a networking event — being concise and compelling is vital.

FACT: You only have seconds to get that CEO, recruiter, potential date, client, customer or boss’s attention — and keep it. And in order to do that, you’ve got to simplify your message and wow them. 

If you’ve ever tried, you know this is no easy task. But never fear — UQTV is here!

To save yourself from the delivery of boring, snore worthy phrases or just stating your name, rank, and serial number, watch this week's episode to learn three steps to simplify your message and wow the crowd.



Now, it's your turn. 
How do you introduce yourself at a conference? Do you have a question, or ice-breaker? 
If you’re up for it, refine your message using the three keys and share your passionate intro that will wow the crowd in the comments below! Remember to tell us who you’re targeting so the UQTV community can workshop and share their suggestions with you.

Diggin' this content? Sign up here, it's free!

Be Unique
Heidi Alexandra

PS If you want to improve your soft skills even more then download our Free Report Eight Signs of Strong Emotional Intelligence. 

DELIVERING HAPPINESS DELIVERS PROFITS

Alexandria Joy - Monday, May 26, 2014

When it comes to positive workplace cultures and exemplary customer service, few it seems could rival the happiness seen in Las Vegas based company Zappos. It all started in 1999 when their founder Nick Swinmurn found himself walking around a mall in San Francisco looking for a pair of shoes to no avail and then searching online only to turn up nothing. So Nick decided to quit his day job and start an online shoe retailer... and Zappos.com was born! 

At Zappos they believe that the speed at which a customer receives an online purchase plays a very important role in how that customer thinks about shopping online again in the future, so at Zappos.com, they have put a lot of focus on making sure the items get delivered to customers as quickly as possible. In order to do that, they warehouse everything they sell, and unlike most other online retailers, they don't make an item available for sale unless it is physically present in their warehouse. 

In 2001 Zappos brought in $8.6 million.

In 2003 they reached $70 million in gross sales.

In 2004, they achieved $184 million in gross sales.

In 2008, they hit $1 billion in annual sales, two years earlier than expected.

In 2009, just a decade after their launch the company announced its plans to join the Amazon.com, Inc. family with a buy out worth around $940 million in stock and cash.

In this episode  of UQTV we take a look under the hood at Zappos "work hard, play hard" culture to find out how their rituals have delivered happiness and profits.

Tweet this: @Zappos say that customer service isn’t just a department @UQPower
Now it's your turn. 
1. Have you WOWed at least one person today?
2. What can you do to make it more fun in your workplace? 
3. How do you get your workers and co-workers to grow?

Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Diggin' this content - sign up here, it's free!

Be Unique
Heidi Alexandra

IS IT TIME TO KISS YOUR MARKETING GOODBYE

Alexandria Joy - Monday, May 12, 2014

It doesn’t matter what you make, write, craft, code, film, engineer, perform, produce, paint, invent, teach or build…at some point in your career or business lifecycle, you’ve probably experienced this.

You make something truly, utterly brilliant. You feel a buzz of excitement about it and you put it out there for the world to consume. And as you wait for the phone to ring, cash register to cha-ching or offers to bring wealth through your door, you realise you are hearing...

Nothing.

Yep that's right, the world has responded with absolute silence. Zip, nada, rien (it's French look it up).

It's deadly and it hurts. Which leaves you to wonder, is this thing called marketing all it's cracked up to be?

If you’ve ever died inside from the deafening silence and you're wondering if it's time to kiss your marketing goodbye, you’ll appreciate today’s episode of UQTV. 
 

Tweet This: Successful companies have kissed traditional marketing goodbye @UQPower

Now I’d love to hear from you.

Have you ever felt like your work and offerings were falling short of their potential? Where do your tribe hang out and are you providing them with a communal space where they can come together?

Share your experience and thoughts in the comments below with as much detail as possible.

Thanks in advance for being kind and generous in your replies and discussion. Your responses, shares and stories are what makes this one of the best, most unique tribes for the improvement of businesses, their people and their culture.

Diggin' this content? Then sign up here, it's free and you'll get a copy of my video to help you improve your EQ called "Soft Skills Gone Hard"

Be Unique

Heidi Alexandra

 

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    Heidi Alexandra has been the source of much information strategy and innovation that has seen me push the boundaries on social media internally and improved my local and national profile and that of my firm tremendously. Jeremy Kennedy, Director, Australian Business Lawyers and Associates
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