December Business Tip

How to Reduce Stress over the Holidays

If you spend the holiday season rushing about like a panicked lemming, it’s time to apply some time management strategies.
For many, the holiday season is the season of stress. There are just so many things to do, and a limited time to do them in. Working people may feel especially harassed, trying to cram holiday activities into their already limited “leisure” time.
If you’re one of those people feeling more frazzled than festive, taking the time to use a few time management strategies can really reduce stress over the holidays and you’ll feel as if you’re in control.

1) Make a list.
Divide a page into two columns. List the things you have to do to prepare for the holiday season, such as gift shopping, on one side of the page and the things you want to do, such as special holiday baking, on the other side of the page.

2) Pick and choose your holiday activities.
Many of us do what we do during the holiday season just because we always have, turning the entire month of December into a mad whirl of non-stop holiday preparations and activities. If the things on your list that you have to do outnumber the things that you want to do, it’s time to make your list more manageable by eliminating some of these holiday activities.

3) Get an early start.
There’s no rule that says that all holiday activities have to be crammed into one week. You can decorate your home for the holiday season in November if you want. Food for the holiday season can be bought in advance, and gifts can be bought any time of year.

4) Get help.
Who says that you personally have to do all the baking, and/or do all the holiday season decorating? This year, give yourself the gift of holiday stress relief by patronizing a local bakery, hiring a cleaning service to clean your home, or even having your holiday season party or festive dinner catered. Think about how much your time (and sanity) is worth, and contract out accordingly.

5) Avoid rushing around in a holiday frenzy.
To reduce stress, pre-plan and coordinate your journeys. You can easily combine running errands with shopping, for example, so why make separate trips? And why go shopping 10 or 12 times? Use your list and make your calls to cut down on the hours you need to spend shopping.

6) Turn chores into events.
Everyone finds some holiday season activities that have to be done drudgery. Make whatever it is you find drudgery more enjoyable by making it special and different.

7) Build time to relax and enjoy the festive season into your schedule.
Take the time to drive around and enjoy the incredible displays of holiday lights, attend a special holiday concert, make snow angels with the kids, or just take a long hot bath. Your holiday stress will drop considerably.

By Susan Ward

November Business Tip

Techniques for Increasing Motivation
Increasing motivation in your workplace can help improve performance, raise morale and boost productivity. While different motivators work for different types of employees, there are several common techniques for getting employees excited and energized for their jobs. If in doubt, ask employees what you can do for them to help them feel more motivated about their professional setting.

 

Creative a Positive Work Environment

Motivate employees by giving them an upbeat, positive work environment. Encourage teamwork and idea-sharing, and make sure staffers have the tools and knowledge to perform their jobs well. Be available when employees need you to be a sounding board or a dispute mediator. Eliminate conflict as it arises, and give employees freedom to work independently when appropriate.

 

Set Goals

Help employees become self-motivated by helping them establish professional goals and objectives. Not only does this give employees something to strive for, but your business benefits when goals are tied to corporate contributions. Make sure goals are reasonable and achievable so employees don’t get discouraged. Encourage them when they hit notable milestones.

 

Provide Incentives

Increase motivation by providing incentives to work toward. You can create individual incentives for each employee or team incentives to motivate employees as a group. Financial incentives can include cash prizes, gift cards or restaurant gift certificates. Nonfinancial incentives can include extra vacation days, compressed work weeks or choice office space or parking spots.

 

Recognize Achievements

Celebrate employee achievements through employee-of-the-month or star performer awards. Make a big deal out of accomplishments by celebrating at staff meetings. Print certificates or engrave plaques, issue a press release or post a notice on your company website. Recognize team accomplishments as well as individual efforts.

 

Share Profits

Motivate employees with the incentive of a profit-sharing program. In this way, employees increase their earnings when they help you increase yours. This approach simultaneously promotes collective goal-setting and teamwork. It also gives employees a sense of pride in ownership and can improve performance and reduce turnover as well as raise morale.

 

Solicit Employee Input

Regularly survey employees about their levels of satisfaction. You can conduct anonymous polls or hire an independent party to conduct a formal focus group. This will help you catch potential morale breakers before they get out of hand. Soliciting employee input also shows staffers that you care about their opinions and want to continually improve working conditions.

 

Provide Professional Enrichment

Encourage employees to continue their education or participate in industry organizations. Provide tuition reimbursement or send employees to skills workshops and seminars. If an employee is motivated to an upward career path, offer mentoring and job shadowing opportunities to keep them focused. Promote from within whenever possible, and create opportunities to help employees develop from a professional standpoint.
by Lisa McQuerrey, studioD

 

October Business Tip

Motivating Quotes on Success
Success……We all want it in some way.

But how do you find success? And what is success?

Here are 25 thought-provoking and motivating quotes on success.

  1. “Success means doing the best we can with what we have. Success is the doing, not the getting; in the trying, not the triumph. Success is a personal standard, reaching for the highest that is in us, becoming all that we can be.”
    Zig Ziglar
  2. “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”
    Herman Cain
  3. “Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.”
    Richard Branson
  4. “Success is simple. Do what’s right, the right way, at the right time.”
    Arnold H. Glasgow
  5. “Victory is sweetest when you’ve known defeat.”
    Malcolm S. Forbes
  6. “Action is the foundational key to all success.”
    Pablo Picasso
  7. “The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny.”
    Albert Ellis
  8. “I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure which is: Try to please everybody.”
    Herbert B. Swope
  9. “You’ve got to get up every morning with determination if you’re going to go to bed with satisfaction.”
    George Lorimer
  10. “Success is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.”
    Winston Churchill
  11. “If you want to make an easy job seem mighty hard, just keep putting off doing it.”
    Olin Miller
  12. “The successful man is the one who finds out what is the matter with his business before his competitors do.”
    Roy L. Smith
  13. “Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”
    Lucille Ball
  14. “Success is not measured by what you accomplish, but by the opposition you have encountered, and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds.”
    Orison Swett Marden
  15. “Success does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time.”
    George Bernard Shaw
  16. “I attribute my success to this: I never gave or took any excuse.”
    Florence Nightingale
  17. “Love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is done well.”
    Vincent Van Gogh
  18. “Follow effective actions with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.”
    Peter Drucker
  19. “You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.”
    Albert Einstein
  20. “Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.”
    Stephen King
  21. “Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”
    Abraham Lincoln
  22. “Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”
    John R. Wooden
  23. “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
    George Bernard Shaw
  24. “Not he who has much is rich, but he who gives much.”
    Erich Fromm
  25. “Spend eighty percent of your time focusing on the opportunities of tomorrow rather than the problems of yesterday.”
    Brian Tracy

 

 

 

September Business Tip

Effective business networking is the linking together of individuals who, through trust and relationship building, become walking, talking advertisements for one another.

Keep in mind that networking is about being genuine and authentic, building trust and relationships, and seeing how you can help others.

Ask yourself what your goals are in participating in networking meetings so that you will pick groups that will help you get what you are looking for. Some meetings are based more on learning, making contacts, and/or volunteering rather than on strictly making business connections.

Visit as many groups as possible that spark your interest. Notice the tone and attitude of the group. Do the people sound supportive of one another? Does the leadership appear competent? Many groups will allow you to visit two times before joining.

 

Hold volunteer positions in organizations. This is a great way to stay visible and give back to groups that have helped you.

 

Ask open-ended questions in networking conversations. This means questions that ask who, what, where, when, and how as opposed to those that can be answered with a simple yes or no. This form of questioning opens up the discussion and shows listeners that you are interested in them.

 

Become known as a powerful resource for others. When you are known as a strong resource, people remember to turn to you for suggestions, ideas, names of other people, etc. This keeps you visible to them.

 

Have a clear understanding of what you do and why, for whom, and what makes your doing it special or different from others doing the same thing. In order to get referrals, you must first have a clear understanding of what you do that you can easily articulate to others.

 

Be able to articulate what you are looking for and how others may help you. Too often people in conversations ask, “How may I help you?” and no immediate answer comes to mind.

 

Follow through quickly and efficiently on referrals you are given. When people give you referrals, your actions are a reflection on them. Respect and honor that and your referrals will grow.

 

Call those you meet who may benefit from what you do and vice versa. Express that you enjoyed meeting them, and ask if you could get together and share ideas.

 

By Stephanie Speisman.  Stephanie is a Success Coach who coaches groups and individuals in business networking skills based on her booklet “99 Tips for Successful Business Networking.” 

August Business Tip

Memorize something everyday.

Not only will this leave your brain sharp and your memory functioning, you will also have a huge library of quotes to bust out at any moment. Poetry, sayings and philosophies are your best options.
Develop an endless curiosity about this world.

Become an explorer and view the world as your jungle. Stop and observe all of the little things as completely unique events. Try new things. Get out of your comfort zone and try to experience as many different environments and sensations as possible. This world has so much to offer, so why not take advantage of it?
Remember people’s names

So that they feel appreciated and for your own future benefit when you want something from that person. To do this, say their name back to them when they introduce themselves. Then repeat the name in your head a number of times until you are sure you have it. Continue to use their name in conversation as much as possible to remove any chance of forgetting it. If you’re still having trouble, make up a rhyme about their name: “Dan the Man” or “Natalie flatters me.”
Learn to focus only on the present.

The past is unchangeable so it is futile to reflect on it unless you are making sure you do not repeat past mistakes. The future is but a result of your actions today. So learn from the past to do better in the present so that you can succeed in the future. Even 10 minutes ago is the past. If you live purely in this moment you will always be happy because there is nothing wrong in this split-second.
Smile more often.

Whenever you get a grin on your face, your brain is releasing serotonin, the happy hormone. Smiling is the natural way to force yourself to be happy. Many people even smile for five minutes straight in the morning to get themselves in a great mood for the day. It is a very powerful tool that is utilized less and less as we grow older and need happiness more than ever. Just remember that while happiness leads to smiles, smiles also lead to happiness.
Think positive thoughts.

When you find yourself thinking a negative thought, stop it immediately by any means necessary. Slap yourself in the face, yell something positive at the top of your lungs or jump up and down. Do whatever it takes to get back to a positive mindset as such is essential for continual happiness and success.

Help others.

  • Helping people has a ripple effect. If you help someone they will feel more obliged to help someone else, and so on. Pay it forward
  • You grow by giving and helping others. It can change you in ways you never expected
  • Your relationship with that person will become stronger
  • It’s the most fulfilling thing you can do on this planet. It not only feels amazing physically, you also feel like a good person
  • You might be able to call in a favor later when you need some help
  • Karma (if you believe in it)
  • Because there are more people in this world than just you
Be honest at all times.

Lies lead to nothing but trouble. Being known as trustworthy is an excellent trait to maintain and essential to having integrity.
Start your day off right.

Wake up and set aside an hour for personal development activities (meditation, self-introspection, observing nature, etc.) Do the things that make you feel blissful, optimistic and empowered so that you can set a positive tone for your day. I guarantee that once you start doing this, your days will be more enjoyable and fulfilling. Today is going to be the best day of your life.
Utilize ‘The Burning Method.’

Whenever a fear or worry or complaint comes to mind, close your eyes and imagine writing down the thought on a piece of paper. Then proceed to light the paper and fire and watch it disintegrate. Even better, actually write it down and burn it. You won’t have any problem ridding your mind of the thought after doing this.
Develop the ability to forgive.

Forgiveness is something that most people fail miserably at even thought it’s so simple. Grudges only bring more misery to those who hold them and prevent good relations with the target. YOU make mistakes all of the time so why not have mercy when other do? Remaining angry feels horrible while forgiving someone brings a refreshing sensation to the mind and healing to the relationship.
Keep a journal/diary.

It sounds like a very monotonous habit at first, but when you get into it, that little book will become a great way to organize your thoughts and track your growth over the years. Most of us already stay awake in bed at night pondering the events of the day anyways so why not document those thoughts in an organized fashion? That will allow you to look back and observe how your way of thinking has changed over time.
Read something inspirational right before bed and after waking.

This will set get you in a great mood for sleep and for the day. Read anything from a famous speech to your favorite self-improvement book. Try to read something that get’s you really excited in the morning especially so that you’ll leave your house beaming with energy and wonder.
Keep your brain sharp.

The majority of people are stuck in ruts. They go to the same job everyday, hang out with the same friends and eat at the same places. While that may feel safe, it’s not the most stimulating lifestyle for your brain. Those synapses have been built up enough, so try something that you do NOT know how to do! Buy a model car kit, master the art of sudoku or crosswords, or go pick up another major at your nearest college. The point is you need to be learning new things to keep your brain honest. Form newsynapses by forcing your mind to work in ways it has not worked before. Just like physical workouts, doing too much of the same exercise will eventually give no results. Switch it up!
Meditate everyday for at least 20 minutes.

In this modern world where everyone is so connected to everything else via cell phones, TV and internet, most people rarely enjoy the beauty of silence. The ability to quiet your mind and relax your body is an art and skill that everyone should develop. Simply sit somewhere, preferably in nature, and focus on your breathing or try to think about nothing. This is going to be extremely hard at first! You might find it boring or just plain impossible to think of nothing, but you will get better and you will learn to love it. Post-meditation, you will feel extremely clear-headed and.. well, just plain wonderful. The only way to really understand this sensation is to try it.

by Jordan Lejuwaan

July Business Tip

If you run a small business, it’s likely that you’re operating on a relatively limited budget. Whether you bootstrapped your business or are trying to pay back loans you took out to cover your startup costs, it’s in your best interest to conserve money wherever you can.
Without a thorough budget plan, however, it can be difficult to track and manage your finances. This is especially true for any unexpected business expenses that may come up, as they often do.
If you want to keep your business operating in the black, you’ll need to account for both fixed and unplanned costs, and then create – and stick to – a solid budget. Experts offered their advice for small business owners looking to keep their finances in order.
Define and understand your risks

Every business venture has a certain degree of risk involved, and all of those risks have the potential for a financial impact on your company. Paul Cho, managing director of Headway Capital, said that small business owners need to consider their long- and short-term risks to accurately plan for their financial future.
“How will changes in minimum wage or health care requirements impact your workforce?” Cho said. “Do you operate in a geography at high risk of a natural disaster? Do you rely heavily on seasonal workers? Understanding the potential risks facing you on a short- and long-term basis is important for all small businesses. Once you’ve mapped out the threats to productivity, a clearer picture can be built around emergency planning, insurance needs, etc.”

Overestimate your expenses

If your business operates on a project-to-project basis, you know that every client is different and no two projects will turn out exactly the same. This means that often, you can’t predict when something is going to go over budget.
“Every project seems to have a one-time cost that was never anticipated,” said James Ontra, CEO of presentation management company Shufflrr. “It usually is that one unique extra item [that is] necessary to the job, but [was] not anticipated when bidding the job.”
For this reason, Ontra advised budgeting slightly above your anticipated line-item costs, no matter what, so that if you do go over, you won’t be fully unprepared.
“I go by the cost-moon-stars theory,” he said. “If you think it will cost the moon, expect to pay the stars.”

Pay attention to your sales cycle

Many businesses go through busy and slow periods over the course of the year. If your company has an “off-season,” you’ll need to account for your expenses during that time. Cho also suggested using your slower periods to think of ways to plan ahead for your next sales boom.
“There is much to be learned from your sales cycles,” he said. “Use your downtime to ramp up your marketing efforts while preventing profit generation from screeching to a halt. In order to keep your company thriving and the revenue coming in, you will have to identify how to market to your customers in new and creative ways.”

Plan for large purchases carefully and early

Some large business expenses occur when you least expect them – a piece of equipment breaks and needs to be replaced or your delivery van needs a costly repair, for instance. However, planned expenses like store renovations or a new software system should be carefully timed and budgeted to avoid a huge financial burden on your business.
“Substantial business changes need to be timed carefully, balancing the risk with the reward and done with a full understanding of the financial landscape you’re operating within,” Cho told Business News Daily. “An up-to-date budget and data-driven financial projections are important components that help guide when to make large investments in your business.”

Remember that time is money, too

One of the biggest mistakes small businesses make is forgetting to incorporate their time into a budget plan. Ontra reminded business owners that time is money, especially when working with people who are paid for their time.
“Timing underestimation directly increases costs,” Ontra said. “For us, the biggest underestimation is allotting time for client feedback. It is a Herculean effort sometimes to meet a deadline with lots of people focused on a single task. Then, the client needs to give feedback for us to proceed. If the client is distracted with other issues, feedback planned for a three-day turnaround, can become a week or longer. Not only do you start to lose time to the delivery schedule, your team also loses momentum as their collective thought shifts focus to another project.”
Ontra recommended treating your time like your money, and set external deadlines later than when you think the project will actually be done.
“If you believe the project will finish on Friday, promise delivery on Monday,” he said. “So, if you finish on Friday, deliver the work early and become a star. If for some reason time runs over, deliver on Monday and you are still a success.”

Constantly revisit your budget

Your budget will never be static or consistent – it will change and evolve along with your business, and you’ll need to keep adjusting it based on your growth and profit patterns. Cho suggested revising your monthly and annual budgets regularly to get a clearer, updated picture of your business finances.
“Regularly revisiting your budget will help you better control financial decisions because you will know exactly what you can afford to spend versus how much you are projecting to make,” Cho said. “Take into account market trends from the previous year to help you determine what this year may look like. Once you have a clear understanding of your business’s budgetary needs, you can accurately forecast what can be set aside for an emergency fund or unexpected costs.”
By Nicole Fallon Taylor, Business News Daily Assistant Editor 

June Business Tip

On the long, hard road to starting and growing a business, it can be easy to want to give up. You need support along the way, not just from friends and loved ones, but from people who’ve been down the same road before. You need inspiration.
Below you’ll find quotes from some of the world’s legendary business leaders and entrepreneurs.
“To swear off making mistakes is very easy.  All you have to do is swear off having ideas” – Leo Burnett, Founder, Leo Burnett Worldwide

“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said, “a faster horse”!” – Henry Ford, Founder, Ford

“It’s important to be willing to make mistakes.  The worst thing that can happen is you become memorable.” – Sara Blakely, Founder, Spanx

“You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing and by falling over”. – Sir Richard Branson, Founder, Virgin Group

“You only have to be right once.” – Drew Houston, Founder, Dropbox

Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning”. – Bill Gates, Founder, Microsoft

“It is not the strongest species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the most responsive to change”. – Charles Darwin, Naturalist

“We think, mistakenly, that success is the result of the amount of time we put in at work, instead of the quality of time we put in.” – Arianna Huffington, Co-founder The Huffington Post

“There’s no reason to be the richest man in the cemetery.  You can’t do any business there.” – Colonel Sanders, Founder, KFC

“Everyone talks about building a relationship with your customer.  I think you build one with your employees first.” – Angel Ahrendts, Senior Vice President, Apple

“I want to work for a company that contributes to and is part of the community.  I want something not just to invest in.  I want something to believe in.” – Anita Roddick, Founder, The Body Shop

“Train yourself to let go of the things your fear to lose.” – George Lucas, Founder, Lucasfilm, Ltd.

“The minute you start compromising for the sake of massaging somebody’s ego, that’s it, game over.” – Gordon Ramsay, Chef & Restauranteur

“A man generally has two reasons for doing a thing.  One that sounds good, and a real one.” – J.P. Morgan, Founder, J.P. Morgan & Co

“Neveer give up.  Today is hard, tomorrow will be worse, but the day after tomorrow will be sunshine.” – Jack Ma, Founder, Alibaba Group

“Before you become a leader, success is all about growing yourself.  After you become a leader, success is about growing others”. – Jack Welch, CEO, General Electric

“I only do what my gut tells me to. I think it’s smart to listen to other people’s advice, but at the end of the day, you’re the only one who can tell you what’s right for you.”  – Jennifer Lopez, Entertainer & Producer

“A mistake is simply another way of doing things.” – Katharine Graham, Lead Publisher, The Washington Post

“When you innovate, you’ve go to be prepared for people telling you that you are nuts.” – Larry Ellison, founder, Oracle Corporation

May Business Tip

Being able to quickly and deeply form personal relationships is a critical element to sales success. To this end, “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie is considered one of the seminal self-help books that have provided valuable lessons for salespeople and sales management. Its teachings still resonate today, even 77 years after it was first published. Here is a list of 20 favorite sales motivational quotes and sales leadership quotes from the pages of Carnegie’s classic.
“Don’t be afraid of enemies who attack you. Be afraid of the friends who flatter you.”

“Talk to someone about themselves and they’ll listen for hours.”

“When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures bristling with prejudice and motivated by pride and vanity.”

“I have come to the conclusion that there is only one way under high heaven to get the best of an argument – and that is to avoid it. Avoid it as you would avoid rattlesnakes and earthquakes.”

“Names are the sweetest, most important sound in any language.”

“By fighting, you never get enough – but by yielding, you get more than you expected.”

“Actions speak louder than words, and a smile says, ‘I like you. You make me happy. I am glad to see you.”

“Action seems to follow feeling, but really action and feeling go together; and by regulating the action, which is under the more direct control of the will, we can indirectly regulate the feeling, which is not.”

“Only knowledge that is used sticks in your mind.”

“To be interesting, be interested.”

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”

“You can’t win an argument. You can’t because if you lose it, you lose it; and if you win it, you lose it.”

“The difference between appreciation and flattery? That is simply. One is sincere and the other insincere. One comes from the heart out; the other from the teeth out. One is unselfish; the other selfish. One is universally admired; the other universally condemned.”

“Criticism is dangerous, because it wounds a person’s precious pride, hurts his sense of importance and arouses resentment.”

“If some people are so hungry for a feeling of importance that they actually go insane to get it, imagine what miracle you and I can achieve by giving people honest appreciation this side of insanity.”

“The chronic kicker, even the most violent critic, will frequently soften and be subdued in the presence of a patient, sympathetic listener – a listener who will be silent while the irate fault-finder dilates like a king cobra and spews the poison out of his system.”

“Arouse in the other person an eager want. He who can do this has the whole world with him. He who cannot walks a lonely way.”

“Winning friends begins with friendliness.”

“Why talk about what we want? That is childish. Absurd. Of course you are interested in what you want. You are eternally interested in it. But no one else is. The rest of us are just like you: we are interested in what we want.”

“It isn’t what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it.”

March Business Tip

What’s the secret to building customer loyalty? According to a recent article in Harvard Business Review, many companies focus on making loyalty a strategic priority but fail to gain traction. The reason is simple. Their policies and processes don’t focus on making an emotional connection with their customers.
When you consider that emotionally engaged customers are three times more likely to recommend a product to others and return to make another purchase – finding a way to delight customers on an emotional level can be as important as the product you sell.
Customer Loyalty to the Moon and Back
The most persuasive case study on the subject, of course, is Disney, which achieves an amazing 70% return rate in customer visits, according to the Disney Institute’s book on the subject. And it’s all due to Walt Disney’s original promise to create happiness through “magical” experiences.
Those magical results are not based on Disney’s access to magic carpets and the like, but start with the company’s Seven Services Guidelines:
  1. Make eye contact and smile
  2. Greet and welcome every guest
  3. Seek out guest contact
  4. Provide immediate service recovery
  5. Always display appropriate body language
  6. Create dreams and preserve the “magical guest experience”
  7. Thank each and every guest
When Tone Trumps Procedure
According to the Disney Institute, there are four keys to delighting customers:
  1. Safety: Always first.
  2. Courtesy: Going above and beyond to exceed guest expectations.
  3. Show: Ensuring the area is show-ready for customers at all times.
  4. Efficiency: Performing the customer service role efficiently so the guest can get the most out of the experience.
The tone of their answer is also important, especially when trying to figure out what the guest is really trying to ask. When guests ask “When will the three o’clock parade start?” the answer is never a tired or sarcastic “at three o’clock.” When a guest asks a question like this, they generally want to know when the parade will pass by their current location. So Disney staff offer proactive advice on when to expect the parade and where to stand to get the best view.
Embrace Innovation
To create a magical experience for customers, it’s also important to stay current with customer-pleasing technology. For Disney, this means using MagicBands that allow guests to gain access to everything from their hotel rooms to rides and attractions.
But companies can never rely on technology alone. “It’s not the magic that makes it work; it’s the way we work that makes it magic,” former Walt Disney World® EVP Lee Cockerell said.
A magical customer experience doesn’t have to be limited to the “The Happiest Place on Earth.” Your team can be the reason customers are raving about your company to their friends and family, as long as you’re willing to make customer loyalty and experience a priority.
By Refresh Leadership on December 23, 2015, in Leadership and Management

February Business Tip

The path to success isn’t always straight.
There are often bumps and turns and forks in the road.
But a little bit of guidance can help you find your way.
In fact, many of the most successful leaders are where they are today because they took advice from people they trusted!
Here are a few tips that executives have shared.
Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO, Berkshire Hathaway

Berkshire Hathaway board of directors member Thomas Murphy told him:
“Never forget Warren, you can tell a guy to go to hell tomorrow – you don’t give up the right. So just keep your mouth shut today, and see if you feel the same way tomorrow.”
From a 2010 interview with Yahoo!

Marissa Mayer, president and CEO, Yahoo!

“My friend Andre said to me, ‘You know, Marissa, you’re putting a lot of pressure on yourself to pick the right choice, and I’ve gotta be honest: That’s not what I see here. I see a bunch of good choices, and there’s the one that you pick and make great.’ I think that’s one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever gotten.”
From a 2011 interview with the Social Times

Terry J. Lundgren, CEO, Macy’s

Gene Ross, the man who recruited Lundgren at Bullock, told him:
“You’re not going to do this forever. There’s a finite amount of time you’re going to be doing this. Do this really, really well. And if you do this really, really well, everybody will see that, and they’ll move you onto the next thing. And you do that well, and then you’ll move.”
From a 2009 interview with The New York Times

Lloyd Blankfein, chairman and CEO, Goldman Sachs

His boss at Goldman during the 1980s told him:
“First, it’s good to solicit your people’s opinions before you give them yours. And second, your people will be very influenced by how you carry yourself under stress.”
From a 2009 interview with CNNMoney

Eric Schmidt, executive chairman, Google

“Find a way to say yes to things. Say yes to invitations to a new country, say yes to meet new friends, say yes to learn something new. Yes is how you get your first job, and your next job, and your spouse, and even your kids.”
From Katie Couric’s book “The Best Advice I Ever Got,” excerpted by The Daily Beast

Dave Kerpen, founder and CEO, Likeable Local

Several weeks into his first job as a salesperson for Radio Disney – where he was “failing miserably,” Kerpen’s mentor Peggy Iafrate said:
“How well are you listening to what your prospects have to say? How many questions are you asking them to better understand them? How are you showing them that you care about them more than you care about selling them?
“Remember this one thing: Shut up and listen.”
From a 2014 LinkedIn post

Arianna Huffington, cofounder and editor-in-chief, The Huffington Post

“Whenever I’d complain or was upset about something in my own life, my mother had the same advice: ‘Darling, just change the channel. You are in control of the clicker. Don’t replay the bad, scary movie.’
“We don’t have to wait until we move or change jobs to change our lives. Nor do we have to wait for large-scale, upstream change. We can initiate change right now. There are endless starting points.”

From a 2014 LinkedIn post

Brian Chesky, CEO and cofounder, Airbnb

When Airbnb was going through Paul Graham’s Y Combinator program, the legendary programmer and startup mentor told Chesky:
“Build something 100 people love, not something 1 million people kind of like.”
From a 2013 interview with Pando Daily

Richard Parsons, former chairman, Citigroup

APSteve Ross, the former CEO of Time Warner, told him:
“Just remember, it’s a small business and a long life. You’re going to see all these people again.”
From the 2008 HACR Roundtable

Mohamed El-Erian, former CEO, PIMCO

“I remember asking my father, ‘Why do we need four newspapers?’ He said to me, ‘Unless you read different points of view, your mind will eventually close, and you’ll become a prisoner to a certain point of view that you’ll never question.'”
From a 2009 interview with CNN Money