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Management

Incredible: How I Manage Disagreements In My Team

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Manage disagreements

Part one

As a leader of a team you are responsible for all the members in your team. And to have a great team, the members must get along with each other. Two people may absolutely disagree given the competing and different interests, needs, and agenda.

It is ideal to talk to those in disagreement to resolve their disagreement without getting yourself involved. But when you decide to intervene it is important you adopt and project your mediation skills rather than your authority. Make it clear to each member of the team that their disagreement is harmful to the success of the organization and themselves as well.

See also: Powerlessness corrupts corporate environments

Dictating what people should do in conflict resolution will only lead them to become more dependent on you, to figure out their disputes for them. Also, they are more likely to own the decision and follow through with it, if they’re involved in making it.

There will be times when you’ll have to put aside your mediator role and decide how the conflict will be resolved especially when all other avenues have failed to resolve the conflict.

See also: This is why i want to slap my boss

By Rebecca Essilfie

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Management

This is the Most Important Decision You Will Ever Make

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how to make decisions

Taking responsibility for your own life is the fundamental step needed to change.

One of the most important decisions you can ever make is to become your own CEO. I’m talking about taking complete responsibility for your life and not blaming others or your circumstances for past results or where you are right now.

This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur by Matt Mayberry

It’s mindboggling to me how someone can go year after year, month after month, day after day complaining about their laundry list of misfortunes but do absolutely nothing about it? I hear so many people say they want to be great, achieve more success and make more money. But they never do anything about it. The main thing that most of these individuals do is whine and complain about their sorry lot in life. They sit back and let others make their decisions.

Granted, I understand there are situations and issues in peoples’ lives that may prevent them from achieving their dreams. There can be circumstances that are beyond their control. Certain family issues, disabilities, and extreme illnesses to name a few. I’m not judging people when I see them living in undesirable situations. It’s possible life has dealt them a bad hand and they can’t navigate their way out. I get it, and I do not mean to sound preachy.

 On the flip side, I see others who could do something about their lives if they just tried a little harder.

Related: 10 Stories of super successes who overcame failure

Throw away the excuses.

“I don’t have any talent.”

“I can’t ever seem to get a good job. Someone better always gets the job.”

“I can’t make enough money to pay my bills.”

“I don’t have any luck at all.”

“I feel like the world is out to get me.”

“I am worried about what others will think.”

Does this sound like anyone you know? They make you want to kick them in the butt and say, “Stop feeling sorry for yourself! You can change your destiny! You can change your life!”

The list of examples can go on and on, but you get the point. Making excuses has never crowned anyone a champion. The day that you decide to throw away all excuses once and for all will be the day that changes your life forever. A simple but extremely powerful transformation begins to take place.

Related: Franchising is a an easier way to start a business and expand an existing business

Just do it!

Nike’s slogan “Just Do It!” is one of the best in advertising. Getting up off your butt and going out there to make things happen is the way you become the leader of your life.

Sure, I know. I agree with you. I’ve been through it, so I’m speaking from experience. One of the hardest things to do is take full charge of your life and be the leader of your destiny. But when you do, you force yourself to look at your life and say, “I am not where I want to be because of myself and the choices and decisions that I have made.” Your next comment may be, “I am going to do something about it and make a positive change.”

When you do this, you take ownership of where you are and where you are headed. That’s not an easy thing to do, trust me. One of the hardest things I ever do is force myself to look within when times are not the best. Heck, when I was 16-years old and a fullblown drug addict throwing my life away I could barely look at myself in the mirror. I was so despicable. Things began to change when I finally had had enough. That is when I developed the courage to truly look within myself. Slowly but surely, I became the CEO of my life — the leader of my destiny.

Becoming my own leader redefined my philosophy of life. It will redefine yours, as well. There is absolutely nothing you can’t do or overcome when you choose to be the CEO of your life. Being the leader of your destiny is rejecting the easy road and opting for what’s worth it in the long run.

Think about it. It will be a shame if you gEt to the final stages of your life with nothing but your excuses for why you didn’t follow a passion or a dream. It breaks my heart to even think about this, but it happens all the time.

Related:9 Ideas to make a side income while growing your business

Maximize opportunities.

Becoming the leader of your destiny opens the floodgates of opportunity, and life seems to become a bit easier, because others will join in and help when they can.

For example, let’s say there are two young men named John and Chris. John is the leader of his destiny. When something goes wrong, he doesn’t make excuses or place the blame on someone else. John doesn’t focus on the negative. He constantly searches for ways to better himself and elevate his position in life.

Chris is a totally different story. He has a long track record of letting his failures define him. Every chance he gets, he makes excuses or blames someone else for his misfortunes and lack of success. It truly is a negative, energy-draining experience for anyone who comes in contact with him.

Out of the two men, who do you think is more likely to receive more opportunities to get back on the right track and have others want to help in any way they can? The answer to that question is obvious. People gravitate toward positive people. They’re attractive and make you feel good. On the other hand, it’s difficult to be around negative people because they’re a liability to your happiness.

Related: How to make money on your own: self-employment strategy

Make the decision.

One of the most rewarding decisions you can ever make is to become the leader of your destiny, your own CEO, and take complete responsibility for everything that happens. Once you do, it won’t be long before your opportunities begin to expand. And others will go out of their way to help you, even if it’s something simple. Being the leader of your destiny is a trait that all champions possess.

This piece is adapted from Matt Mayberry’s book Winning Plays, published by Hachette/Center Street.

Source: Entrepreneur

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Business

The Co-Founder of Gilt on What Her First Job at Ebay Taught Her About Running a Company

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how to run a company

Now the founder of Project September, Alexis Maybank explains why fortune favors the bold.

As the co-founder of Gilt.com, which brought the big city sample sale experience to a massive online audience, Alexis Maybank has a unique understanding of how to reach digitally savvy style mavens — and disrupt an industry.

The Gilt Groupe pioneered the flash sale model, in which luxury items would be highly discounted for 24 to 48 hours. At its peak popularity, the site reached users in more than 90 countries and had relationships with more than 6,000 designer brands. At the point the company was sold to Hudson Bay in 2016, it had a base of 9 million users.

Recently, the fashion industry veteran returned to her startup roots to disrupt again. Her latest venture, launched last year, is Project September, which takes the classic fashion spread you would see in magazines like Vogue, and turns it into a streamlined shopping platform, with specialized green dots highlighting which of the items users can buy. If something catches your eye, you can shop for it right away.

Users can scroll through curated images from major industry influencers like Project Runway judge and Marie Claire editor Nina Garcia, model and activist Christy Turlington and Instagram star and entrepreneur Patrick Janelle. The platform has more than 20 million SKUs and has partnerships with more than 7,000 brands. Users who curate pages can earn 6.5 to 10 percent commission when people click through to buy the clothes or accessories in question. Since the company’s launch this past fall, the users base has been growing 30 percent week over week.

We caught up with Maybank and asked her 20 questions to figure out what makes her tick.

This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur by Nina Zipkin

Related: 10 Entrepreneurs Reveal What They Wanted to Be When They Grew Up

1.    How do you start your day?
I have three small children and a startup. Both are 24/7 hour jobs. I look at my schedule for the day, get sufficiently caffeinated, make sure the kids are set for their day, and then I head into my first meeting. I have always identified personally as an athlete, and since my mornings tend to start with a bang at 6.00 am, I do my workouts in the evenings.

2. How do you end your day?
It’s a little flipped with how people start their day. I put kids to bed, finish up work and then I go catch up on the morning news and work out.  I was very influenced by the HBR Article, The Making of a Corporate Athlete, that studies how people in business have sustained high performance across long careers.

While the study focuses on many elements, and I definitely recommend this reading, one conclusion reached was that typically people push themselves too hard mentally and emotionally daily, but not hard enough physically. They found that this linearity erodes your effectiveness and resilience and this resonated with me. When I feel strong and fit, I feel focused and so much more prepared for anything that might come my way each day.

3. What’s a book that changed your mind and why?
Machiavelli’s The Prince . It’s amazing how true it was in the 1500s in Italy as it is at times in the business world. It’s a good reference how you keep your own counsel to a certain degree and remember where and how to elicit the best feedback. It’s also that interesting mix between being loved and being respected, and how you think about that especially in a mission-driven startup environment.

4. What’s a book you always recommend and why?
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle  by Haruki Murakami.  It’s important to intentionally jolt yourself out of your routine and comfort zone.  I typically find myself reading articles and news, so I periodically force a work of fiction into my readings, particularly creative or surreal ones. I describe Murakami as akin to artist Salvador Dali if he had chosen to write literature instead of paint. I found myself thinking about other cultures, perspectives and perceptions in new ways in the time that followed reading his work.

5. What’s a strategy to keep focused?
In an environment where I’m juggling so much, I always try to have the three things, that no matter what pops up in a given week, I absolutely must get done. It allows me to follow through on the things that I really need to accomplish.

Related: 10 Entrepreneurs Share the Best Advice They’ve Ever Received

6. When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up?
I always thought I would be the next Jacques Cousteau. For me it was the exploration, the excitement, going to new areas. I thought I never wanted to work in an office. All of those reasons combined led me to think that  I wanted to be a world famous marine biologist.

I spent so much of my life exploring, typically in far-flung geographic corners of the globe, and I got this interest from my mother and grandmother. This turned out to be one of the best forms of training for entrepreneurship: how to navigate the unknown, learn in new settings, read people and make decisions with not enough information. What started as a desire to be the next Jacques Cousteau turned into a passion for exploration, a curiosity to learn new things, and a comfort in being out of my comfort zone.

7. What did you learn from the worst boss you ever had?
The importance of consistency. There is no worse feeling dealing with boss who constantly changes his or her mind, varying moods and reactions or changing strategic direction. A lack of consistency leads to so many losses, needless amounts of stress and just a negative political environments in that work context.

8. Who has influenced you most when it comes to how you approach your work?
I learned a lot working under Meg Whitman in her first four years as CEO at eBay. She was one of the first very senior women in Silicon Valley. Her ability and style as she worked across different teams made her a terrific leader, that allowed her to connect, motivate, challenge and really command the attention of so many groups and inspire them. Most importantly under her leadership of eBay the company went from 50, 60 people to tens of thousands. It was certainly a terrific experience that I was able to draw upon in my own context of rapid growth and managing everything from corporate strategy to business culture and do it well.

9. What’s a trip that changed you?
When I was 17, in high school, I went away for a month and lived on a glacier in Alaska. It was an unbelievable experience.  The independence at an early age, taking care of everything that you might need — from figuring out where you are going to eat to how you are going to get it. You need to be ready for just about anything. It gave me the confidence to believe that no matter what, I’m going to get to the other side.

10. What inspires you?
I have a line of very strong and inspirational women that came before me in my family. A succession of self starters, who were strong and carved their own path. They were innately entrepreneurial, and a huge source of inspiration for me at every turn.

Related: 10 Successful Entrepreneurs Share What Inspires Them to Keep Going

11. What was your first business idea and what did you do with it?
I think the first big business idea was in 2007 was when I co-founded Gilt Groupe. The idea was simple; it wasn’t big at the beginning. It was to bring the New York City sample sale to an online audience for the first time. We built something we loved for our friends, watched that catapult,  grow and spread very quickly to so many people around the country and after that, around the world. All of this transpired in two to three years, reaching millions of people globally.

12. What was an early job that taught you something important or useful?
I joined eBay a year after I graduated from college. I learned something that I still tell young people today, which is to go to where the growth is. At 24, working at eBay as it scaled through one of the fastest cycles of hyper growth, I worked for the co-founder. As they needed capable people who were willing to raise their hands, I was able to start two businesses for eBay. The first was eBay Canada, one of the first international businesses and eBay motors. If you’re flexible, it’s amazing how much you can take on early in your career — if you are at a place that is moving really quickly.

13. What’s the best advice you ever took?
Susan Lyne, who oversees BBG Ventures, told me something that really stuck with me. Remember that a career is measured over many years. It’s not one moment when you’re feeling the highest sense of elation or your lowest sense of defeat. So stay focused on that and take solace in that. You’re going to be measured by what you do in totality, not in that one moment.

14. What’s the worst piece of advice you ever got?
Right as I was coming out of college, and I was going to work in a predominantly male environment as the only female. People would try to be kind, but would tell me that I must dress and act a certain way in order to fit in.I felt so uncomfortable and so not like me. A few years later I broke away from that and realized you are your own brand. And the more comfortable you are, the more confident and memorable you’ll be. You’ll be the most effective if you achieve your own personal style.

15. What’s a productivity tip you swear by?
Organization is not my specialty. Navigating through chaos, I’m better at. But I have two. I really love Instacart and my notes app and check list on my phone. They save me so much time.

Related: 10 Founders Share What Their Worst Boss Taught Them

16. Is there an app or tool you use in a surprising way to get things done or stay on track?
Project September, clearly. I use it to track everything that’s trending for events like fashion week and in street style.

17. What does work-life balance mean to you?
To me, it is a myth, it is a unicorn. Having two full-time jobs — my startup and my kids — it’s all about trade offs. Sometimes I’m a terrific professional or a terrific parent, but I’m almost never both at at the same moment. In any given day, decide which of the two are you prioritizing for that given period? You have to be willing to drop some balls along the way.

18. How do you prevent burnout?
For me, I have to force myself out of a routine. That’s usually done by getting outside, unplugging for a day or a weekend. You need those uninterrupted blocks of time to think through solutions or figure out how you’re going to tackle a problem. You just can’t do that in the four walls of an office space.

19. When you’re faced with a creativity block, what’s your strategy to get innovating?
Get out of your routine with some regularity to keep from getting creatively blocked.

20. What are you learning now?
On the work front, it is video, and how we can make that instantaneously shoppable and thinking of technologies that we haven’t seen yet. On the fun side, it’s how to do a kick serve in tennis

Nina Zipkin is a staff writer at Entrepreneur.com. She frequently covers media, tech, startups, culture and workplace trends.Read more

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Management

Saving Money through Effective Risk Management

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Risks affecting businesses can have consequences in terms of economic performance and professional reputation, as well as environmental, safety and societal outcomes, according to ISO 31000. This means that, managing risk effectively helps businesses to perform well (economically) in an environment full of uncertainty.

Cost of Risk Management

Risk management can be a simple activity such as ensuring that all computers of the business are password protected, to very complex and expensive ones which involve outlay of millions of dollars such as procuring new and improved assets (efficient processing plant, software, environmentally friendly manufacturing processes etc) and hiring particular caliber of staff. Companies also invest heavily in training programs to keep their staff up-to-date on risk identification, monitoring and control, because risk management is an entity-wide activity, and not a delegated function of just the risk management department. The cost often depends on the size of the business, nature of risk, expected impact among others.

The Cost of Failing to Manage Risk

The cost of risk to a business can come in various forms such as claims, fines, strike costs, legal battles, returned or rejected goods and others. Added to these are other intangible costs such as reputational damage, which in many cases can have the biggest impact. Severe reputational risks which drag over a long period (unrepaired) often lead to decline in sales and eventually the collapse of many businesses.

Invest in Risk Management and Save Money

Businesses (whether startups or big multinationals) which take risk management seriously as an ongoing practice often avoid fines, strike costs, legal battles and other unnecessary spending which could have been avoided in the first place. You are better off avoiding or limiting the effects of risks by spending a few dollars than later engaging in what many call ‘damage control’. Why control the damage when it could have been minimized or avoided altogether.

In my view, every dollar spent on proactive risk management is at least 5 more saved in the management of the impacts of risk. Proactive risk management does not only save you money, but saves you time to attend to the core business rather than dealing with the effects of crystallized risks.

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