Elevating your leadership | If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. – John Quincy Adams

Proactively reward your top performers, your top 10%

Top performers matter. Your top 10% of employees matter the most as they are the ones who truly move the needle and make a positive difference in your strategy and operations. This is why you must be strategic and thoughtful when it comes to managing their careers in a sense.

Executive leadership must know who the best employees are at all levels and need to work with them to help them grow, learn and advance in their careers. Timing is extremely important as you must get to them before they decide to move on and work elsewhere. Once someone has arrived to the conclusion that they should move on you have lost that individual and it is nearly impossible to bring them back or having them stay and remain the positive force they once were. Manage your top talent strategically.

Speak openly, honestly and frequently

Speak openly, honestly and frequently. Think for yourself, leverage your experience, knowledge and education to arrive to your own conclusions.
Don’t simply follow the majority and fall into complacency, lack of action and lack of commitment. You should be represented by your own actions, not by actions of others. Stand up and speak up on items you feel strongly about and have experience in. Share your knowledge, your ideas and contribute to the overall success of your teammates, colleagues and organizations.

Why you should have a University Service Desk

All of your operations begin or culminate with customer service. The point of contact, and interaction between you and your clients or customers is where the magic happens and it is one of the most important aspects of every business.

With this in mind, you should create a single point of contact for all IT services and in due time potentially expand it to include all services your university or business provides. Enable and empower your clients (both internal and external) to always have one place to contact with all of their needs. While this decision requires investments, policies and training on the back end it will undoubtedly provide value to those you provide services to. Keep the needs of your clients in mind at all times.

Tell me about your worst boss ever

Never speak ill of someone you work for. No matter what may have happened, publicly, you always need to have your boss’ back. Privately, you will hopefully have an opportunity to speak honestly and share your thoughts, ideas and comments. Conversely, don’t allow anyone to badmouth you or your team especially if they haven’t approached you first or have nothing to substantiate those claims. Be accountable, respectable and professional and expect the same from others as that’s only fair.

Facebook dark posts will get you the traffic and awareness that you seek

Facebook provides some of the best marketing capabilities for businesses of all sizes. Potential return on investment (ROI) is even greater for those with limited marketing and advertising budgets.

Facebook dark posts will undoubtedly (if used correctly) bring you traffic and awareness, but it is still on you and the quality of your products and services whether that traffic will convert into sales.

Manage egos, collaborate, communicate and include others

Manage egos and put the needs of everyone ahead of any individual needs. Collaborate, communicate and leverage skills and experience from other teams, groups and departments for the betterment of the entire organization.

If other teams as asking to get involved, don’t take that as encroachment, but rather look at it as an extended, helping hand intended to contribute in addressing your responsibilities. After all, we all work best when we work together.

LinkedIn endorsements

Endorsements should be honest and sincere. Please only endorse people and their skills which you have witnessed first hand and can attest to.

This video is prompted by a trend where people are endorsing skills on LinkedIn (among other social networks) of people they have never worked with. While everyone enjoys and appreciates recognition and support, I don’t understand the value in such approach at all. Why do people do this?

Honor your commitments

Honor the commitments you have made to others. When it comes to your career you are as good as your reputation and your credibility. Always play the long game and look at least 3-5 years ahead (go further out if you can as well) and keep your goals in mind as you make decisions.

Show determination, commitment and endurance when it comes to projects, operations and even your entire employment history. Invest time, energy and effort into everything you do and move onto new opportunities only AFTER your current place is in a much better place then it was when you found it.

Sales will make you or break you

Sales is the name of the game. We all know that the overwhelming majority of organizations are in business in order to generate revenue and be profitable. In order to do so, they must invest in their sales teams with focus on increasing market share, attracting new customers and furthering their business development.

When it comes to selecting and training your sales force, please be extra attentive and don’t allow for their tactics to turn into harassment and nuisance. Contacting prospective clients repeatedly (especially after they expressed no initial interest) via phone, e-mail, LinkedIn…is not a good way to get their business as it can (and often does) backfire. Listen to your clients and respect their decisions.

To lead you must follow

To lead you must have followers, to have followers you must follow. Confused? Let’s explain it a bit better. Before you can become a leader you must know how to lead, you must know what works and what doesn’t. One of the best ways to learn this is by following others and experiencing how it is done well (or perhaps isn’t). You also must be humble and self-aware in order to ask others for help, suggestions and ideas as you don’t know everything and you never will.

Collaborate, communicate and lead together.