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.
At UQ Power our team coach many intelligent, articulate, experienced professionals on the art of a great job interview. And while many of the people we work with have skills for the jobs they are applying for, most of them had come for coaching because they felt they lacked confidence, finesse or experience in delivering a great interview.
One way to ensure you impress at interview is to be prepared for the questions - theirs and your own. There are a multiplicity of questions interviewers often ask, such as:
What is the greatest value you can bring to us?
Why do you want to leave your present position?
What is the most stressful situation you have experienced at work within the past year, and how did you handle it?
Critically then, you must prepare to ask your own questions of the panel or interviewer for example:
What is the most important thing I can do to help within the first 30 days of my employment?
What main factors do you attribute to your growth?
What makes you better than your nearest competitor?
That's a few ideas, want more? Then check out this weeks episode of UQTV where I share a few more that will really make you stand out at interview.
Are you looking to land a new job? Then you have to use your body! I'm not just talking here about how you suit up, I'm talking about how you show up and communicate through your gestures, facial expressions and movements we make with our bodies that indicate what we think and feel.
The way we walk, talk, sit and smile is part of our everyday communication and it becomes even more critical in all important job interviews, because everything we do is scrutinised more closely and because due to natural nerves, are often exaggerated more than ever.
There are several ways you can effectively use your body at a job interview from making a confident entrance as you enter the building, to giving a warm, friendly, not a bone crushing handshake on entry into the interview room.
Watch this week's episode of UQTV for three more body language techniques to help you put your best foot forward and be your best self in an interview situation.
Remember at the end of the interview to also leave a good impression, rise calmly, pick up your things without fuss, smile and nod your head to the panel. If shaking hands with everyone isn't convenient, at least shake hands with the person who brought you to the interview space or seeing you out.
Whether you're a job seeker, consultant or entrepreneur, LinkedIn can be a great resource and asset for your career. You can connect to over 43 million professionals in over 200 countries around the world.
LinkedIn doesn't just provide you with a space to house your virtual resume, it can also act as a cover letter, references document, database of your contacts throughout your life and a place where you can learn, share and interact in a professional manner.
It's important to remember that first impressions count so you want your LinkedIn profile to be a standout. This means you can't afford to have any spelling or grammatical errors and it should be completely filled out, leaving no experience or details out. Think of your profile as an asset and as a portrait of you as a professional who someone would want to possibly hire for a newly available job.
Another tip is to make sure you have a custom URL: that is your LinkedIn URL should appear as "http://linkedin.com/in/yourfullname." If it doesn't, you're missing a vital opportunity to have your profile rank higher in Google and to make it easier for people to find you. To do this, go to your profile and click “edit” and then next to where it says “public profile,” click “edit” again. At the top, you’ll want to click “edit” one more time next to “your public profile URL,” and then type in your full name, without spacing, and click “set address.” If the unique URL is taken, then try using a period between your first and last name or use your middle initial.
In the summary section make sure you include a brief paragraph summarizing your work experience, especially work experience that is relevant for the job you want.Make sure you boost your UQ Factor by sharing your unique abilities and differentiators, such as industry awards and honors. Then share your future career aspirations.
Want more tips to build a powerful personal brand on LinkedIn so that you attract the best network contacts and opportunities? Watch this week's video where I share 3 more tips to boost your brand online.
Happiness is an elusive goal; everyone seems to want it, but by all the "shelf help" books out there my guess is that we are still searching for it.
Sure it’s not easy to be happy most of the time and many of the solutions suggested in popular culture take a fair bit of effort and TIME, the one thing we all seem to be short of in modern society.
For example a commonly cited one is to do more exercise. A study cited in the book: “The Happiness Advantage” also confirmed the importance of exercise on our happiness level. Basically, this study looks into three groups of depressed patients found that exercise had the biggest effect in reducing depression.
Others suggest all you need to do is get more sleep. True we spend roughly one third of our lives sleeping, so you cannot underestimate the importance of sleep, in particular nanna naps. An interesting study in 2011 from BPS Research Digest showed how sleep affected our happiness, in particular that people who take an afternoon nap are desensitized to negative emotions and more responsive to positive ones. But who has time for a nanna nap and unless you work at Google is that acceptable behaviour in your workplace?
So what can you do if you're feeling a bit blue and you're time poor? Well you could ask Siri on your iPhone to tell you a knock knock joke (go on try it). Or you could just watch this 4 min video for my two happiness hacks that will have you faking it until you make it and get happy again in an instant:
There's a fine line between persuasion and manipulation and whether we choose to like it or not we are using one of these approaches in almost everything we do in business and human interaction. If you want to learn how to ethically and honestly influence people then read on.
In my latest book “It all starts with UQ Power” I reference a classic book on psychology, marketing and human behaviour known as Influence, the psychology of persuasion by Dr Robert Cialdini Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Marketing, Arizona State University. This classic book on persuasion, explains the psychology of why people say "yes"—and how to apply these understandings. (Note: I am not of Italian descent and yes I pronounce his name incorrectly - you can hear the proper pronounciation here! Hey I'm only human).
Dr Cialdini’s research found six universal principles that when applied will help you become a skilled persuader and get people to do what you want. In today's videoI want to focus on just three of the six principles.
Now it’s your turn. What’s your number one takeaway from these three principles of persuasion? Which one are you already applying in your life or business? Share your thoughts in the comments below, I’d love to know!
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:
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.
I truly believe there is a big difference between effectively managing and effectively leading.
We've all had a manager that doesn't do a very good job of getting people excited about coming to work in fact, you wonder how they ended up managing people in the first place. Perhaps they were a great individual operator or a technical whiz and through a series of promotions, ended up managing people. Managing (or being a people manager) often has many tactical components. Setting goals, monitoring productivity, ensuring the right people are doing the right things.
And then there is the leader. Here's few things I believe to be true when it comes to extraordinary leaders:
THEY HAVE PASSION - We all have desire within us to be, and do, something great, and when you find someone that is passionate, its easy to follow them.
ITS NOT ABOUT THE TITLE - A true leader stands out well before they have been called for leadership duty. Put them in any situation, and they will step up and lead without ever being asked, regardless of their title.
THEY ARE RESPECTED - Being respected and being popular are two totally different things. Being a leader is about making tough decisions and doing whats right. Leaders are role models to many and this comes with responsibilities.
These are just a few of the qualities I've noticed in the leaders I admire. Beneath these are two critical foundations required to form rock solid relationships Watch this episode of UQTV to see how you can develop yourself in these two areas.
I love nothing more than working on the human side of business by helping ambitious leaders and business owners to manage their most important resource – their people.
But what do you do when you’re an employee and your boss is driving you nuts with their micro managing and tight leash and they don’t seem to ever let up and just let you get on with the job? If you’re suffering under a container manager then I have good news for you. Today’s how to episode was created especially for you.
At UQ Power we believe it all starts with U, so how you negotiate, provide feedback and manage upwards is your responsibility. If you're at a loss and you just want to sack your boss then you'll love today's video where I share three ways to tell them that they suck...
I bear no responsibility should you choose to use the letter and it doesn’t go as hoped but perhaps just reading it will help you gain clarity on what it is they are doing that gets you fired up so much.
Now it’s your turn. What kind of managers that you have worked for drive you nuts? What are the things they do that frustrate you and leave you uninspired and demotivated? Share your thoughts with our community in the comments below.
Keep on building a life, business or career that plays to your unique strengths – the best thing you can do to change the world is to #startwithu.
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
I would recommend UQ Power to anyone that is seeking support, guidance and growth in their business. Catherine Miller, Human Resources Manager, Allightsykes