Business Tips and Tricks

Are You An Effective Leader?

leaders

Deep down I believe we are all leaders.  Now, for some it may be a little deeper than others.  You know there are people who leading seems to come naturally, right?  Then there are others who struggle with doubt in their abilities to lead.  Which one are you? Or do you fall someplace in the middle.  I will admit, depending on the situation I can fall in either category.

The truth is, the only qualification for being a leader is “you make decisions which influence other people”.  Yup, it is as simple as it comes.  Since we are all leaders, we might as well work on being a great ones, right?

The key to becoming a great leader is not to focus on becoming “a great leader”  but to focus on whether or not you are someone worth following.  This can apply to anywhere you are a leader – our home, your job, your community or in your own business.

Every since Andy Andrews was a speaker at Thirty One’s National Conference, I have been diving into his books and his ideas.  He says there are THREE key qualities of someone who is worth following and they are:

unknown 1. They are truly transparent
This seems to be the new “buzz word” in the business world.  Being transparent means you always take ownership of your mistakes and shortcomings in front of the people you’re leading. You don’t pretend to be perfect and you admit when you’re wrong.  I am definitely transparent!

A truly good leader will also know the difference between a mistake and a bad choice.  Do you know the difference?  A mistake is something accidentally done, but with good intentions. A bad choice is something purposely done.  I tend to make more mistakes than I do bad choices although when it came to my addictions I would have to say it was more bad choices.

Knowing how to handle the consequences of both by being transparent builds your followers’ loyalty.  When people understand your thinking and see you are human, they will want to follow you.

images   2. They know how to get back on track
Leaders along with their followers make mistakes and poor choices.  A great leader will know how to get not only themselves but also their followers back on track when they are negatively affected by a mistake or bad choice.

Leaders can shift perspective back to the big picture when things go wrong.  Leaders remain calm in the face of confusion and crisis.  When we are transparent, followers feel safe coming to us with their own mistakes and bad choices.

6a00e54f8c25c9883401157249b1b2970b3. They take advantage of teachable moments.
To remain a leader and help people grow, great leaders take advantage of opportunities to teach.  Don’t we do this as parents?

How many times have we let our “bad mood” handle a situation inappropriately?  The end result is not good and usually leads to a screaming match, right?  How often have you used a moment like this to be transparent with your kids.

As a single mom who was a recovering addict, I needed to acknowledge my bad choices and ask forgiveness.  If it was just a mistake, a simple apology worked to make things right.  If I made a bad choice, I didn’t wait to be transparent.  I easily shared what was happening with me and the fact it was no excuse for how inappropriately I had acted. I will admit, many thought I shared way too much with my young daughter BUT it always strengthened our relationship. The valuable teaching moments rarely occured at convenient times.  So, it meant stopping what I was doing, checking my emotions, and taking a sharp detour. Great leaders seize teachable moments, whether they’re inconvenient and uncomfortable.

It is easy to focus  on ourselves when we think about effective leadership but it can be overwhelming at time.  So, shy not shift from a “ME” perspective to an outward focus.

Ask yourself:

  • Who stands to gain from my improved leadership?
  • How will my leadership help those following me?
  • How would a steady, calm presence of leadership make those around me become more effective?

Picture those people in your mind—your family members, your co-workers, your employees, or whomever else you might be leading. They will give you all the motivation you need to become someone worth following.

Who do you follow?  Picture one of those leaders from your own life, right now.  What did they do to make you want to follow them?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Weigh to Goal

The NEW Weight Watchers

TGIF

It has been a busy week filled with vendor events, part-time JOB, working on some preliminaries for the NEW part-time position, and finishing up Christmas shopping.  In just 4 days, the girls will be here and I will be officially taking some time off to enjoy the holidays.  Okay, so maybe I will sneak in some work but there will definitely NOT be set office hours.

It has been a LONG time since I talked about my weight loss journey.  I have been stuck for months – okay, maybe a year.  The number on the scale has slowly crept away from my goal weight.  I have blamed it on health issues and just about anything else that I could find to blame.  The truth is that I lost sight of my goal.  I refused to take responsibility for what was happening.  Old habits crept in and I developed the “I got this” attitude.  My goal was always a lower number on the scale and a smaller clothes size.  That goal hasn’t changed BUT I want something more now.  I want the lower number, the smaller size AND I want to feel good about ME!  Can you believe that with 108 pounds gone, I still wasn’t feeling good about me?  I was still seeing the 295-pound momma.

So, I took the leap and joined Weight Watchers AGAIN!  I am about 20 pounds away from goal weight.  Not too bad but enough to be a reality check.  I was hearing a lot about the NEW program and was curious.  I joined online since life is crazy and I wasn’t sure I would get to meetings.  I joined for 1 month to see if I would really stick to it.  My goal is to be back at goal weight AND to feel good about me. No, I don’t think I will be at goal after 1 month but if I am not going to make the commitment, then I don’t want to spend the money.

I have to admit, the first day on the new program was a SMACK in the head.  I used all of my NEW daily allowance AND most of my weekly points. Day 2, I became more committed.  I watched the videos on how the program had changed.  I pre-tracked meals to see what the day would look like and if I would stay in the target range.  It hasn’t been easy.  Many of my treats and go to foods have increased in points.

I didn’t have any action steps or a plan.  I had a goal and I just “assumed” that the rest would fall into place.  Since that clearly was not working, I put some action steps into place.  I now pre-track for meals – sometimes early in the morning and sometimes the night before.  I have begun checking points BEFORE I eat something instead of after.  I will definitely be cutting back on carbs AND things with sugar.  More fruits and veggies.  More protein.  I need to add some movement into my day.  Just 15 minutes a day will help.  Baby steps.

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If you are on Weight Watchers, I would LOVE to hear your best tips on the new program.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Budgeting

Budgeting

Does that word make you break in a cold sweat?  Do you have visions of missing out on things because it is “not in the budget”?  Do you have a business budget and NOT a household budget?  Or vice versa?

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I have to admit that this word used to bring me to tears – lots of mixed emotions. As a grant writer & program person for over 25 years, budgets were my friend. Budgets kept me on track and allowed our funders to know exactly where their money went.  I was good at making budgets and sticking to them!

Now, move HOME where that word took on a totally different meaning.  Why is it that something that made perfect sense at work NEVER worked at home? Am I the only one? Creating a list of expenses and knowing what to pay was the easy part, living within the budget was the tough part. There were lots of excuses – single mom, didn’t make enough, and the list goes on. In reality, I never learned (until recently) how to live within my means. Credit cards were my friend and I used them a lot to provide for my daughter (wants as well as needs).

Fast forward – daughter grown and still have credit card debt with new excuses.  With ALOT of patience from hubby, I am NOW learning to live within my budget. See you can teach an old “dog”, new tricks.

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Several years ago, I took Dave Ramsey‘s financial class and it was AWESOME.  I was still working full-time getting a regular paycheck and I made it work.  Then I went from full-time work to my own business.  Should have been a no-brainer, right?  I am slowly adjusting to receiving commission checks from my business instead of the bi-weekly checks. Not an easy adjustment but this “old dog” is re-learning a new trick!   Mind you, I have a hubby who is debt-free and LIVES by budgets. We have only been married 3 years and I have decided to be solely responsible for any past debt. YIKES!

One of the biggest problems that I now have with Ramsey’s envelope system was that I make stops without planning – I know not good right?  If I want to stay on budget, I would love to have the envelopes with me so I only spent what was in the envelopes.  So now instead of carrying envelopes, I carry Thirty One’s All About the Benjamin Wallet with dividers in it for: groceries and gas since these are the typical unplanned stops.  My credit card slots are empty with the exception of a occasional gift cards and my business debit card.

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As for my business, I am applying my grant writing skills to my direct sales business.  Here are some tips:

  • Know your averages: It’s important that you know not just what your average income is but also what your the average expenses are.
  • Know your fixed and variable costs: These are the things that you pay for each month, quarter, or year?
  • Write it all down:  TRACK!!!  See “tracking” is vital in all areas of your life – business, personal and weight loss.  It is essential that you keep track of the money coming in and going out from your business.
  • Be conservative in your estimates: It’s important to have some extra income set aside for unanticipated expenses, so you have some flexibility in your business.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help whether it is with your personal budget or your business budget. Find a system that works and stick with it.  If you have debt, it will take time and patience to reach financial freedom but it can be done.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day.