All they need is praise. A simple way to motivate your people

praise recognition employee morale and motivation

We all know that one person who has “the watch.”

They spend a good portion of their lives working day after day, month after month, year after year for a company.

When it is finally over, their employer shows how greatly appreciated the employee was, by giving them a time piece.


Before we move on, here’s a short story a friend once told me:

I can remember the day my grandfather and I donated his watch to the local thrift store. I was in my mid teenage years at the time and beginning to put a lot of thought into what I wanted to do with my future as far as a career. I had the understanding that retirement was a huge goal and an accomplishment anyone would be honored to achieve.

After driving a few blocks, I finally asked the question, “Why would you just give away something that was given to you as a reward?” My grandfather told me that if the company would have really appreciated him at all, they would have made it known long before he had retired.


A survey by an interesting company called O Great One! showed that:

  • 82 percent of people do not feel like they receive enough recognition from management for their contributions.
  • 40 percent of people with a job said they would apply more effort into their work if they were recognized more.

One can easily understand why an employee would not want to go above and beyond when it goes unnoticed.

I don’t think a celebration needs to be thrown every time a person simply performs a task they are paid to complete.

But, how difficult would it be for a supervisor or team leader to go a bit out of their way to make sure their staff feels appreciated?

A bonus or pay raise is always nice, but sometimes an individual handwritten note can go just as far. A pep talk that points out what has already been completed, instead of what still needs to be accomplished, can ignite a fire that increases productivity for weeks.


There are many ways to create a feeling of respect and usefulness amongst employees. Here are a few suggested by O Great One! (love the name :)), based on their experience and research.

  1. Taking the time to ask them questions and actually listen to their answers will create a new attitude in the workplace. Even if the answers they give are not helpful or productive, simply giving them time in your schedule will make them feel like they are contributing.
  2. Share information with employees, as much as possible. As Sam Walton said, “The more they know, the more they’ll understand. The more they understand, the more they’ll care. Once they care, there’s no stopping them. If you don’t trust your associates to know what’s going on, they’ll know you really don’t consider them partners.”
  3. Celebrate and acknowledge small wins and not just big accomplishments. Make it public.
  4. Make recognition fun and personal. What do you think people will appreciate and talk about more, a pen, or a coffee mug with a funny and personalized note about them?
  5. Another important thing to remember is that taking the time to recognize others is not something that has to be scheduled. You don’t have to wait for the next quarterly review. A surprise, thank you or pat on the back can mean a lot more. The spur of the moment is always a great time to make sure someone’s effort is both noticed and appreciated.

One of the key secrets to being a good leader over a supervisor is easy. Take the time to make sure people feel like more than just a body taking space.

It won’t take too much of your time and results will make you happy. Just try it.

Who is the boldest (leader) of them all?

women boldest leaders in business

Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the boldest leader of them all?

According to a study, when it comes to leadership, women are bolder than their male counterparts.

The study was conducted by Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman, the CEO and President, respectively, of Zenger/Folkman, a leadership consultancy business.

The study’s findings seem to challenge the way people have thought about men and women leaders.

It has always been thought that men tend to be bolder and take more risks, while women typically avoid risk-taking in the business world.

Zenger and Folkman involved 75,000 leaders from all around the world to conduct their study.

From that, they were able to conclude that women were bolder than men in leadership roles, after using 360 degree assessments of each leader to help compile a “boldness” index.


The index was based off seven different leadership behaviors:

  1. Challenges standard approaches.
  2. Creates an atmosphere of continual improvement.
  3. Does everything possible to achieve goals.
  4. Gets others to go beyond what they originally thought possible.
  5. Energizes others to take on challenging goals.
  6. Quickly recognizes situations where change is needed.
  7. Has the courage to make needed changes.

what makes good bold leader


In an article published in the Harvard Business Review, Zenger and Folkman discussed what they found.

On average, women rank in the 52nd percentile on the boldness scale while their male counterparts rank in the 49th percentile.

While a three percent difference between men and women may not seem like a significant difference, Zenger and Folkman note that the difference is significant “because ‘men take more risks’ is so ingrained in social science.”


So, where are the boldest women in business?

Women who work in sales recorded the highest boldness score, while women who work in engineering and safety recorded the lowest boldness score.

In addition, women ranked higher than men in boldness in all business functions that were measured.

In female-dominated functions such as HR, the difference between men and women was minimal. However, in male-dominated functions (e.g. R&D, facilities, IT, and manufacturing), women were much bolder leaders than men were.

women better leaders than men


To take it a step further, Zenger and Folkman analyzed the top eight male-dominated functions and the top two female-dominated functions, to find out whether women were bolder from the beginning of their career or if the boldness developed over time.

They found that women who were 30 and younger in male-dominated professions were in the 62nd percentile on the boldness scales, while the same age group in female-dominated professions ranked only in the 42nd percentile.

Both Zenger and Folkman think the reason behind their findings is that being a younger woman in a male-dominated profession “requires a fairly bold personality — a willingness to challenge the status quo, push harder for results, and do something out of the ordinary.”

Bad Days At Work: What Squashes Happiness at the Office?

happiness at work asia

WooHoo Inc. released some interesting findings in a survey it conducted involving 700 people from around the globe.

The survey was about bad days at work, how common they are, and what qualifies them as “bad days.”

Some might argue that a bad work day has nothing to do with the actual job itself. And, that’s probably true sometimes.

The survey specifically asked, “The last time you had a bad day at work, was it bad because of the factors at work or the factors outside of work?”

Seventy-four percent of respondents said it was factors at work.


So, here’s the ultimate question. What about our work makes us unhappy? According to the survey, these are the top five ways to kill happiness:

  1. Horrible bosses (lack of support and communication).
  2. Negative relationships with coworkers (complaining and bullying).
  3. A lack of direction (uncertainty about vision and strategy).
  4. No praise for work (lack of recognition).
  5. A huge workload (stressed and busy).

The lowest ranking factors for bad days at work, were lack of perks and also bad physical work environments. This fact confirms that workers are more interested in meaningful work than, for example, doing nothing all day or goofing off.

Something that should also be taken into consideration is that pay didn’t make the list. Is there a relationship between pay and happiness?

A study done that involved more than 200K employees suggested that a 10 percent increase in pay is only associated with a 1-point increase in satisfaction.


So, are you wondering how to not kill happiness at work?

According to a research study from Professor Teresa Amabile from Harvard Business School, it actually comes down to everyday things that managers and leaders do and say.

Amabile studied the diaries of 238 professionals in 26 project teams from seven different companies, in order to learn about their personal work lives.

Overall, she found that people are enriched by a fulfilling daily work life and are powerfully influenced by particular daily events.

Her study found that the top five leader behaviors that have a positive influence on people’s feelings are:

  1. Emotional support.
  2. Positive feedback.
  3. Public recognition for good performance.
  4. Active listening and respect for individual opinions.
  5. Collaborating on work.

Results from Globoforce’s new WorkHuman Research Institute support the Harvard Business School results – especially the emotional support when it comes to employee happiness.

Workers who know that their company/leader cares about them as a person are 17 percent more likely to be happy at work and are nine percent more likely to be happy at home.

This survey shows that appealing to workers’ humanity and also trying to build a more positive work environment can provide rewards when it comes to employee happiness.


All of these studies confirm one thing, and that one thing should really be obvious to most people today — a miserable work environment can put a serious drain on time, money, and resources.

Companies and managers who want to stand out and make their employees happy should focus on the leader behaviors that are outlined above, if they want to experience the benefits of a happier workforce.

Making employees happy isn’t a hard task. It doesn’t take much time, it just takes some thought and dedication. Having a happy, positive work environment will be healthier for both leaders and employees, so why not make it a priority?

9 Interesting and Well-Rated Business Books You Should Read

great business books to read manager entrepreneur

As a business manager or owner, you know that there are many books on the market for you to read.

You also know that time is finite, and that there are only so many hours in the day that you have to devote to reading.

Because of this, we have compiled a list of books that you should add to your list and along with an overview of why they are great reads.

  1. Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t written by Simon Sinek

This book is a great read if your business takes a team approach. (Which business doesn’t? 😉 )

It helps to give you insights into why some teams work together wonderfully, and why others are unable to do the simplest tasks without a problem.

A leader should put his or her team’s interests before his own, if he wants them to succeed. The author uses examples to help explain how your role as a leader of the team plays a part in getting your team to function in a well-oiled manner.

  1. Thinking, Fast and Slow written by Daniel Kahneman

This is a great read because it helps you to understand how the human mind functions.

It covers situations where you use fast thinking, such going with your emotions or gut, as compared to slow thinking, such as being more logical and using critical thinking.

It then looks at how you can use the different ways of thinking, to improve your decision making.

  1. The First Time Manager written by Loren B. Balker

Another great read, especially those who are expanding their business by taking on more employees, as it helps set a good foundation for managing.

Learning by trial and error isn’t the only way to become a great manager, as you can learn from the mistakes and triumphs of others.

This can even be a great read for someone who has been managing for a while, but is looking to improve on ways to handle their team.

You can expect to learn about time management, motivation, hiring and firing employees, and more.

  1. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less written by Greg McKeown

There is so much going on today, and people often feel pretty overwhelmed by everything they have going on in their lives.

Are you feeling as though you have too much to do, but never really get anything accomplished in your day?

This book should probably shoot up to the top of your to-be-read list, as it can help you to learn more about the discipline needed to eliminate your busy tasks and focus on what is more important to your life and business.

This is not going to offer help with productivity or time management, but will teach you to do more in your day in less time.

  1. Contagious: Why Things Catch On written by Jonah Berger

This is a great read if you are fascinated by why things go viral and become trends.

The author is a marketing professor and has been studying marketing for years.

Specifically, he has examined why some things become popular, and others do not. This book will help you to use what he has learned about these trends, in your own business endeavors.

This can help with your marketing messages and advertisements. It can help keep your ideas fresh, and show you ways that you can get your particular products/ideas to trend.

  1. Originals: How Nonconformists Move the World written by Adam Grant

Being original is not always the easiest thing to do today.

It can be hard to have an original idea, as there is already so much out there and some people are simply set in their ways.

This book offers you the tools that you need for coming up with your original ideas, and seeing them through.

It helps people to have more original thoughts, look at traditions, policies, and practices in new ways, and, above all, to speak up about your original ideas.

  1. The Industries of the Future written by Alec Ross

This book is excellent for those who are curious about what may happen in the future based on today’s innovations.

Some of the topics that the author discusses include big data, cybersecurity, genomics, robotics, and digital technology.

The author delves into how these different areas will impact our economy and the markets. Learn about how the world is adapting and how these changes challenge us.

  1. Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges written by Amy Cuddy

This book is perfect for people who are finding themselves to be a little lacking in how they handle life and the challenges they face.

A little confidence and actually presenting yourself with that confidence can go a long way towards making others stand up and recognize you.

Learn about techniques to help you present your most confident self to others and put aside your fears and worries.

  1. Financial Intelligence: A Manager’s Guide to Knowing What the Numbers Really Mean written by Karen Berman

This book is an essential read for any manager who is not from a financial background, but has to make decisions based on the numbers presented to them.

The author of this book helps you to not only understand what financial speak means, but will help you to understand what you are looking for with the numbers.

After reading this book, you should no longer cringe when seeing this type of data hit your desk.

Developing this ability can multiply your effectiveness as a leader

leadership success empathy

Unfortunately, many leaders lack one basic quality that holds them back in their business practices: EMPATHY.

For some people, they fail to see the good in the word, and simply relate it to being too “touchy-feely,” and as counterintuitive to the assumed masculine, ROI-centric world of business leadership.

However, more and more research is beginning to suggest that empathy is key to being a successful business leader.

The Harvard Business Review recently published a study that found a link between empathetic leaders and overall performance.

After analyzing research results from over 84 companies about their CEO’s character, which put compassion and forgiveness as key indicators, it was found that CEOs with strong characters outperformed their peers by a huge margin of 500%.

Other aspects of the study suggested that empathy also led to better manager performance, marketing, and product development.


Empathy is defined as the ability to understand or share other people’s experiences and emotions.

To master this important ability, you have to constantly practice it. Recently, a study was done to help people better understand the process behind cultivating and developing empathy.

The study interviewed leaders within the MIT Leadership Center to ask how they built connections with not only customers, but also members of their teams.

Their answers reveal some excellent practices that can help you maintain empathy in your business practices, which will lead to high-value benefits.


You Must Make Time for Customers

Take a step back and determine how much of your day is devoted to accessing how customers experience your services and products.

If you are spending less than 25% of your day doing this important task, you will fail to keep customers in the same way more proactive companies do.

To develop truly innovative ideas and a great customer experience, that will set your company apart, understanding and analyzing customer ideas/opinions is essential.

Typically, the higher a manager gets on the food chain, the more disconnected they become from the consumer base.

Managers have to avoid becoming disconnected from their consumer base, or they risk becoming irrelevant.


Keep Asking Questions

Empathetic leaders are always asking questions.

Whether it be customers, peers, direct reports, or colleagues, asking questions that are catalytic is essential to growing a business’s effectiveness. Questions are the conduit through which empathy flows, and through which innovation is unlocked.

Asking questions to your team can allow you to gain valuable insight into how they work. With this information, you can improve team effectiveness and also find solutions to personal leadership challenges.

Constantly ask your team what’s working, why it’s working, and how you can make things better and more effective.

It is important to remember that no question is asinine. Even a question as simple as “what is your favorite part of the workday,” can lead to insights.

Once you start asking questions regularly, you will begin finding insights in the most unexpected corners of the workplace.


Invite Employees to Ask Questions

It’s not enough to ask your employees questions. To be a truly effective leader, you need to open yourself up to constant inquisitiveness.

Those in leadership positions will often find themselves wrapped in a false sense of security. People only tell them what they want to hear and this is often limited to things which are positive/comfortable. To avoid this, you need to invite employees to ask the tough questions, instead of fretting to question people in leadership positions.

By being open to questions and challenges, you can gain accurate perspectives of how your employees/teams/work practices are functioning on a day-to-day basis.

So set up a safe environment for employees to ask questions of people in leadership without any potential backlash.

Multi-year study identifies 4 qualities of extraordinary leaders

Qualities of a good Leader

Sometimes, despite the massive amount of effort put forth by executives/leaders, they still fail.

With this in mind, can looking more closely at the behaviour and characteristics of leaders, help us understand what distinguishing features set apart successful executives from unsuccessful ones?

This is possible, according to a ten-year long study by the consulting firm Navalent, which was discussed in the Harvard Business Review.

The study identified 4 correlated dimensions, which are present in exceptionally successful leaders/executives.


A Complete Understanding of the Business

Successful leaders know exactly how the pieces of a business fit together to deliver results.

Many executives reach their position after spending a lot of time in functions such Marketing, Operations or Finance.

It is common for them to rely on experiences and lessons gained within those functions. They also tend to favour and focus more on those parts of the business, since that’s where their familiarity and comfort-zone lies.

Successful leaders do not fall into this trap. They strive to get exposure to different parts of the organisation and focus on increasing integration and coordination between functions, while minimizing fragmentation.


Knowing the Industry Inside and Out

Great leaders stay on top of the ever-changing aspects and trends of their industry at all times. They also:

  • Maintain awareness of their organisation’s competitive position and unique selling points.
  • Stay vigilant for data that disconfirms commonly held assumptions about their organisation.

Such leaders can envision a multi-year horizon of emerging possibilities and competitive threats.

This prevents them from missing out on the right opportunities, getting outwitted by competition and making poor investment decisions.


The Ability to Form Deep Relationships

In every company there are leaders who are simply a pleasure to work with.

These executives create such demand through their ability to form deep and trusting connections with everyone around them, no matter what their level on the business totem pole may be.

They go about their daily activates in a way that benefits others in the organisation and not just themselves.

Leaders who are not as successful, often fail in this area. They spend too much time on gaming/politics and managing perceptions. They are more selfish and less genuine.

Such behaviour is often rooted in fears of political attacks, not achieving enough and appearing incompetent.


Being a Great Decision Maker

Truly successful executives are able to put forth their views clearly, while also engaging in other people’s ideas.

They can also glean key insights from available information/ideas, weigh the alternatives, make timely decisions, communicate them effectively and take responsibility for the course of action.

Such leaders master the fine balance of relying on instinct vs. analytics, and learn to “trust their gut.”

Not many executives seem to hold the rare skill of being good decision makers. According to McKinsey research, only 28% of respondents felt the quality of strategic decisions in their firm were good.

As an aspiring/existing leader, keep in mind that these 4 qualities can be learned and improved upon. Start right away by looking at the areas you need to develop the most and create an action plan to start improving.

Bosses, avoid a high pressure and cut throat environment. If you want successful teams, do this instead

boss positive work environment leader

As per an article by Emma Seppälä (Stanford University) in the Harvard Business Review, many managers/companies fall into the trap of running a cutthroat, only the most aggressive get ahead, sort of work culture to try to gain success.

However, research focusing on positive psychology continues to show that such environments are actually toxic for teams and workplaces trying to get ahead.

Positive work environments, on the other hand, are consistently shown to help teams/companies boost their bottom line, and the overall happiness of their employees.

As a manager you may see the act of pushing your employees to the limit as an act that unlocks high performance. However, there are many hidden and negative effects as a result of this.

Health care expenditures at high-stress, high-pressure companies tend to be up to 50% higher than their lower-stress counterparts, according to the American Psychological Association. Additionally, 60% of workplace accidents, and 80% of employees’ visits to a doctor’s office can be directly attributed to stress factors in the workplace.

Highly stressed workers are more likely to get diseases, disabilities, or disorders that will negatively affect their ability to put forth their best performance.

Disengagement is another major negative effect of cut throat work environments. While tons of pressure from higher-ups may create brief engagement with work, it will inevitably lead to high stress levels that will lead to disengagement.

Given the following statistics on the effect of disengagement on employees, gathered by the Queens School of Business, the amount of pressure and stress in a workplace becomes troubling:

Disengaged workers were found to have and/or lead to:

  • 37% higher absenteeism
  • 60% more errors and defects
  • 49% more accidents
  • 37% lower job growth
  • 65% lower share price over time
  • 18% lower productivity

Loyalty is the third major factor that is affected by toxic workplace environments.

In fact, companies/teams with such environments have been found to have up to 50% more voluntary turnovers. Given how costly the replacement process for these workers can become, companies can most certainly profit by creating a workplace environment that reduces the need for replacements.

In fact, according to a study by The Center for American Progress, replacing even one single employee can end up costing the company up to 20% of that employee’s salary.

As a leader/manager, to ensure you avoid these downfalls in your teams and company, you must focus your efforts on creating a positive and healthy workplace, where wellbeing is a top priority.

What characteristics should you strive for, to create such a positive environment? According to research the following 6 things are essential:

  1. Showing interest in, caring for, and being responsible for workmates as friends.
  2. Providing support for each another, including providing help when others are struggling.
  3. Staying away from blame and forgiving mistakes.
  4. Inspiring each another.
  5. Highlighting the meaningfulness work.
  6. Treating each another with respect, integrity and trust.

As a leader/manager, to encourage these principles here are some things you can do:


Boost Social Connections & Interactions

The more positive social connections you have between the employees in your workplace, the better the stress levels and overall engagement will become.

Studies show that employees who work in a socially connected workplace lead much healthier lives overall.


Create More Empathy

A recent brain-imaging study has found that employees experience negative emotions and increased stress levels when recalling times when their bosses have been unkind or have lacked empathy toward them.

The opposite is true for bosses who show empathy.

Another study concludes that by showing empathy and compassion towards employees, managers can create teams which are very resilient, especially in tough times.


Help Whenever You Can

Some bosses will ignore the need for extra assistance in their workplace, leaving their employees to fend for themselves.

As per research at NYU, by going out of your way to help your employees, you will create teams that loyal and committed. They will also reciprocate/demonstrate such behaviour with you, as well as other colleagues.


Invite Employees to Open Up to You

Simply putting aside some time during the day where you talk to your staff, especially about problems they are experiencing can be very helpful.

Such a stance of openness and safety, results in better outcomes for performance and learning.

The more positive you can make a workplace, the better the wellbeing of both you and your employees. Begin focusing on the efforts listed above today, and you will begin seeing higher profits tomorrow.

This factor could be slowing down your rise to leadership

Executive Presence promotion leadership

In a recent study of over 4,000 senior professionals working at large corporations, it was revealed that ‘Executive Presence’ accounts for 26 percent of what it takes to get that promotion you are chasing.

But what exactly is this term, Executive Presence, that is thrown around so often?

Performed by CTI, Marie Claire and Moody’s Foundation, the study pinpointed three areas professionals must focus on to improve their Executive Presence and to get ahead in their industry: communication, appearance, and gravitas.

Additional studies have supported these qualities as pillars of what makes authoritative personalities, who can set themselves apart as potential leaders.

Performance, sponsors, and hard work all help to get professionals recognized or promoted, but simply demonstrating your “leadership skills” in your work habits is not enough. To truly get ahead, you must be ready to both look and act the part of a leader.

Here is some interesting information associated with each of these “Pillars of Executive Presence:”


Gravitas:

This is the core characteristic of Executive Presence according to 67% of the senior executives surveyed.

To have a strong sense of Gravitas, you must exude the following six behaviors:

  • Able to exude confidence and “grace under fire.”
  • “Showing teeth,” and having the ability to act decisively.
  • Ability to show emotional intelligence.
  • The ability to project your vision.
  • “Speaking truth to power” by showing integrity in your actions.
  • Burnishing your reputation with pride.

Communication:

If you want to demonstrate your Executive Presence, 28% of senior executives surveyed agree that you need to have strong communication skills.

To show your strength in communication, you must have a grasp on these three verbal and non-verbal skills:

  • Excellent speaking capabilities.
  • The ability to read an audience.
  • The strength to command a room.

Appearance:

Your appearance is defined not only by how you dress and carry yourself, but also from your ability to communicate, and the strength of your gravitas.

By refining your skills in the above areas, your appearance will also become strengthened.

Although only 3 percent of leaders consider appearance an essential aspect of a strong Executive Presence, noticeable appearance blunders can severely affect your ability to present yourself as leadership material.

If you want to look like a leader in every situation, you must implement these practices into your day-to-day life:

  • Excellent grooming and hygiene.
  • Psychical attractiveness through exercise and dressing habits.

By refining your skills in these three pillars of executive presence, you will be on a better path to a future in leadership.

So pay enough attention to your gravitas, communication, and appearance in new and innovate ways ASAP. Once you have gained that awesome promotion you’ve been chasing, you will be glad that you did.

If you want to improve your character, a psychic cost is a subset of social costs that specifically represent the costs of added stress or losses to quality of life. That’s why there are lots of people end up saying I need a real psychic.


To be a good leader, you need to be a good learner

good successful leader

Successful leaders know that they need to constantly grow and develop while on the job.

In today’s changing world you need to keep improving yourself and changing, if you want to boost your leadership abilities and lead your company/team effectively.

This need for constant learning and development is stressed by research done at the Center for Creative Leadership at Columbia University. They study provides 5 key traits that are present in successful leaders who are agile/continuous learners:


Perform Consistently in the Face of Adversity

High-pressure situations will happen constantly when you are in a leadership position.

Agile leaders/learners rely on past knowledge/experiences to deal with these pressure situations quickly and effectively.


Innovate Constantly

Leaders who don’t take the time to innovate will find their business becomes stagnant.

By trying new and innovative ways to challenge their employees and themselves, they develop new perspectives and capabilities.


Stay Risky

Agile leaders/learners know that if they want to grow, they can’t afford to stay comfortable.

So they find opportunities to push their boundaries and put themselves in new/unproven situations.


Don’t be Defensive

They let their guard down when people suggest new ways to approach a situation.

Applying this openness to all of their business practices is a great way of ensuring that they facilitate following the many valuable points on this list.


Reflect Frequently

Although it can be difficult to step back and look at decisions given the amount of workload leaders have to take on, it is important to take time to reflect.

By reflecting on past decisions, actions, interactions, successes and failures, agile learners gain numerous insights.

As a Manager, Do you Reciprocate Favors, Hard Work and Loyalty?

favors loyalty promises boss workplace

While reciprocity is part of our moral code as individuals, in organizational settings, efforts, favors and loyalty are not acknowledged enough.

But if reciprocity is so common an occurrence in our daily lives, why is it ignored in the workplace?

Jeffrey Pfeffer, a Stanford professor, along with doctoral student Peter Belmi, conducted some research to dive into this exact question.

The study compared how people reacted to simple favors in business settings versus personal settings.


How Important Are You to Me Professionally?

During their research, Pfeffer and Belmi discovered that when a favor is done at work, the level of reciprocation from people is based on how important the favor-doer is to them professionally.

Even when it came to personal favors at work, the researchers realized that having business on the mind influenced how people reciprocated.

The research found that people wanted to do favors for people who could offer strategic/specific benefit to their career in the foreseeable future.

Another reason people are hesitant to reciprocate at work is because they are unsure whether the favor was genuine or tainted with other motivations.

When the researchers compared these findings to the results they got from studying favors in participants’ personal lives, the outcomes couldn’t have been more different.

When someone did a personal favor, the other person would reciprocate regardless of whether the person provided future usefulness to them or not. This was almost the exact opposite to what was found in the organizational context, Pfeffer said.


As a Manager, Not Reciprocating Causes Problems

Studies show that when employees feel like their managers/companies renege on their promises, or do not reciprocate favors, hard work and loyalty – they are more likely to quit. They will also be less productive, engaged and committed.

Pfeffer recommends that managers/leaders/companies should:

  • Cut back on the calculative way of handling employees and properly acknowledge/reciprocate positive behavior.
  • Be careful what you promise or imply, whether formally or informally. Because once you communicate something, you should do whatever is possible to deliver on that promise.

This will go a long way to help you develop a motivated, loyal and high-performing team.

Developing Leadership & Taking Your Career To The Next Level: Expert Interview with Mick Yates

singapore leadership development values

The business climate has changed irrevocably since the turn of the century with the integration of the Internet and our daily lives. It’s no longer enough for an employee or an organization to simply do the work and hope for the best.

Every company and professional needs to have a plan. They need to be a leader, establish authority, and stand out from the pack.

Leader Values is a non-profit organization that has everything for an individual or a business to establish themselves as leaders in their industries.

Leader Values’ Mick Yates took a moment to tell us about the company and how being a leader can help take your career to the next level.

singapore leadership development values


How did Leader Values get started? Where are you based out of? What did you feel that other career websites were missing that prompted you to start your own company?

LeaderValues was started in 1997 because I had then (and still do) a passion for leadership development. It was thus a pretty early starter in this field. It is a non-profit site and carries very little advertising.

At that time, there were few sites carrying “independent material.” Most were (and largely still are) the vehicles for consultancies and consultants. I wanted to create an online resource with a very wide range of materials from many sources.


Leader Value is intended as a resource for students, researchers and practitioners to help them achieve their leadership goals. Could you briefly describe what you mean by leadership goals? How can these goals be used to help someone advance in their career?

By leadership goals, I mean the objectives we all have to get things done.

As a CEO, that might mean defining the future strategy of a multi-national business. As the president of a hobby club at school, it could mean how best to engage the members and define weekly activities.

In every case, it is about getting people to engage and willingly do things on behalf of the enterprise. So since almost all of us are involved in “leadership” to one degree or another, any personal development in this area helps.


One of the themes of your articles is career assessment. What are some of the topics you cover under this theme? How can someone objectively assess their own career? 

On LeaderValues, we cover both personal assessment and career development advice. The former includes objectively assessing one’s own capabilities with tips for approval, using the views of many different writers and researchers in the field.

Career articles give more general advice on how to progress from many points of view – managing others, handling office politics and more.


Leader Values has recently expanded to incorporate coverage based on the use of Big Data analytics. For people who have not yet encountered this idea, could you briefly describe Big Data? What are some industries that have been taking advantage of this new area of study?

“Big Data” is the rather generic term to describe the data we create everyday, in increasingly vast quantities, with great variety from all kinds of sources, and in both structured (e.g. retail till records, government census records, scientific records) and unstructured forms (e.g. Facebook posts and phone calls).

A great example of an industry that uses it is retail, where the customer information analyzed from loyalty programs helps the retailer do a better job of meeting customer needs in pricing, retail store range and layout, and promotions.


You also have a category for the future of work. In your opinion, what is the future of work? What are some ways that people can start tailoring their careers to make the most of these changes?

With life expectancy continuously on the rise, the idea of “retirement” at 65 is inappropriate. Life expectancy is already reaching the 90s in many places, and scientists predict that kids being born today will make 120 or more.

Add to that the increasing impact of technology and automation of work, and you can see the need for a variety of training, experiences and multiple careers. Being trained for a “job for life” is dead. Now, continuous training and re-training is needed.


You’ve written about social networks as well on Leader Values. What are some ways that people can use social networks to make themselves a more valuable employee? What are some industries that are particularly apt to use social networks to find new employees?

We are all a “brand” to one degree or another. When you bear in mind my comments above on the future of work, you can see how the use of social networks to get across an individual’s ideas, skills, experiences and interests can contribute to the “personal brand.”

Of course, it can also be a huge negative if used inappropriately.

Almost all recruiters in all industries use LinkedIn as a source, either for new candidates or for reference checks.


You wrote a post a while back about building communities through network weaving. Do you have any advice for people using the Internet for networking on how to make new contacts, without being annoying or pushy?

Decide on what you stand for in real life; your values, principles, and skills and experiences that are valuable to others. Identify your industry interest areas.

Then, create your profile consistently across both the real world of interactions and the social one. Be true to yourself.


What are some ways that human qualities – like commitment, dependability, and passion – are essential in today’s market? Do you have any advice on how someone can tailor their portfolio or profiles to reflect some of these qualities?

Yes, all of these are critical to your success in your career. But you can’t “invent passion, commitment or dependability.”

You either have these qualities or you don’t.

For example, I am passionate about photography, but have little interest in cricket. So be true to yourself.

You can, however, equip yourself with new skills, which could apply to many industries. For example, go read more about Big Data or the Internet of Things. Be curious, and your career will be rewarded.


As the business environment becomes increasingly competitive, how important is organization and efficiency for both workers as well as businesses? What are some tools and resources for people to reach optimal organization and efficiency?

Clear your inbox, make good lists of things you want to get done, and do them. Identify your longer-term learning objectives and career goals. Write things down. As to tools, I use Evernote to synchronize my notes across my various devices – desktops, pad, phone.


Why is it important for everybody, no matter what stage of their career they’re in, to keep growing their skill sets and resumes? What are some things someone might keep in mind when considering what areas to expand into?

We will all have multiple careers, technology will keep changing things around us, the world will get smaller. Either stay curious, learn new things, enjoy new experiences … or wither away. Change or die.

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7 Leadership Skills that Apply At Any Stage of Your Career

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Oftentimes people assume that as they progress in their career, they need to develop a whole new set of leadership skills. But on the contrary, certain skills play an important role throughout any stage in your career.

In a study that surveyed more than 300,000 people, 7 leadership skills emerged that took precedent over any others. In this post, we’ll highlight the 7 leadership skills that apply at any stage of your career.

These are great pointers to develop yourself as a leader and also to deliver effective leadership training which takes these overarching skills and helps people master them.


Motivating Others

A great leader finds a way to not only influence other people but inspire them to take action toward a goal. It is important to understand that motivating others is a learnable skill that can improve over time.


Powerful Communication

Excellent communication skills are vital to leadership. When someone is able to articulate their ideas and share them with other people they solve problems faster and get people on the right track without delay. This skill also minimizes wasted time.


Results Driven

If a leader doesn’t deliver results, they can lose face. Great leaders focus on the results and work relentlessly to succeed.


Honest and an Example of Integrity

If a leader is not honest, support for them will quickly erode. Honesty is important for any lasting leader. And integrity shows followers that the leader is not going to back down from their beliefs and commitments but follow them through to the end.


Values Teamwork and Collaboration

The leadership skill of fostering collaboration creates strong teams with committed players. Leaders must be part of a team as well as lead a team by example.


Solutions Focused

A great leader can analyze a problem and quickly come to an effective decision. A leader is always looking for a better way and is open to unique ways of getting there.


Relationship Building

If someone can build rapport with other people and strengthen bonds between groups of people, they have a skill that every great leader has. People make things happen and a great leader never forgets that. Instead they utilize that truth.

These 7 leadership skills play an important role in any stage of your career and must be a primary focus for any of your management and leadership training as well.