Vulnerability Expert Brené Brown explains how to be a braver leader

Vulnerability Expert Brené Brown explains how to be a braver leader


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<p> I made exactly zero attempts to <a href= hide my love for Brené Brown . Last week I was lucky enough to interview her with one of my favorite Salesforce customers, Eric Rodriguez of the Coliving platform Common .

The conversation turned out to be feasible and inspiring. Here's a beautiful visual summary from a listener – Melinda Walker on One Squiggly Line – and check out some of my favorite tips below.

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1. We must give priority to communication

Like so many companies, the coliving platform Common had to redefine its business practices during this pandemic. Eric Rodriguez, Vice President of Operations, opened our discussion by sharing how the company changed operations early to help customers and at the same time committed to protecting the health and safety of its employees.

Rodriguez emphasized the need for both quick decisions and the transparency of leadership. His suggestions for customer communication were really inspiring. Listen to an excerpt from my interview with Eric below.

2. We must be braver leaders

The pandemic has put everyone on alert. If you are a leader and are not scared at the moment, do not pay attention. How should small business executives respond? Brown exclaimed: We need braver leaders and braver cultures. "There is no fear that stands in the way of courageous leadership," she said. "What stands in the way of courageous leadership is armament – what do we do when we are afraid?"

When we are afraid, our neurobiology ARMOR UP screams. Everything shouts: "Self protection!" As Brown says, if we want to consciously trust ourselves, we don't have to say armor. We have to double in order to be both transparent and vulnerable. If you're feeling beaten up, you're in good company. The simple thing is to protect yourself, but if you want to keep moving towards your mission, you need to refuel.

3. Gratitude is particularly important in a downturn

Brown's research background came out when she explained that sometimes we are afraid to take our foot off the pedal because we lose our sense of urgency. But data shows the opposite : Gratitude actually helps you celebrate victories and avoid burnout.

Prioritizing gratitude can sometimes be a real challenge, like in global pandemics. However, it is a tremendous relief to take time each day to consider what you are grateful for and to let others know how much you appreciate them. Thanks to Brown's memory, we are now starting team meetings with moments of gratitude, and it was both exhilarating and inspiring. But remember: As Brown says, “Gratitude is not an attitude or a choice; it is a daily practice. "

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4. Have tough conversations with empathy

So many companies currently have to make difficult decisions about downsizing, so a viewer asked for advice. Brown reminded us so nicely: "Make reductions in the most generous way and with the dignity that you can muster." This approach has two advantages. First, it is of course the right approach for people who lose their jobs. Second, you also create a safety net and an infrastructure for the people who stay.

As managers, it is important to lead with empathy and to have support for your employees who have lost their colleagues, friends and partners. Allow them the space to feel sadness. We were conditioned to believe that those who keep their jobs will be overwhelmed with gratitude, but that is not the case. Those who stay also see tremendous leaps in fear and fear.

5. Supporting mental health requires a culture of courage

A viewer asked about mental health and how managers should provide access to additional support. Brown replied that companies should not only have the structure and resources to get help, but also a culture that supports asking for help.

Unfortunately, when people find the courage to express their mental struggles, this often meets with resistance. We need to normalize mental health problems and prioritize wellbeing. This goes back to building courage and vulnerability. We have to promote and support the necessary hard talks.

6. "There is no courage without vulnerability"

This line is Vintage Brown: “To lead means to be vulnerable every minute of every day; There is no courage without vulnerability. “Here Brown suggests that companies operationalize their corporate values ​​- take every value and translate it into three visible behaviors. This exercise will help you figure out what kind of leader and person you want to be.

There is no playbook for this pandemic. Managers need to learn things and make decisions in a snap. It is important to be honest and transparent. Instead of making empty promises, say (and mean) things like "Here's what you can rely on" and "I don't have all the answers right now, but I can promise to keep in touch."

With Salesforce, you can find more customers, win their business, and keep them happy so you can be successful. Learn more about our CRM solutions for small businesses by following us on Twitter LinkedIn and Instagram .

You can find more inspiration about companies and executives in our entire series Leading Through Change .

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Stories about resilience: Mark Cuban shares advice for small businesses

Stories about resilience: Mark Cuban shares advice for small businesses


I recently had the pleasure of interviewing the owner of Dallas Mavericks, the judge at Shark Tank, and the famous investor and entrepreneur Mark Cuban. Cuban was a champion for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), answered questions personally on LinkedIn and Twitter and shared expert tips and even encouraged his network ] Shop small .

During our conversation, Cubans shared stories and actionable insights for small businesses that are building resilience during this time. Below are some answers from his webinar. To hear all of Kuban's advice, read the full interview .

1. How should small business executives lead team members through this confusion?

Mark Cuban: If you lead your team, you should also want to know what they think. Ask them: what is your vision? Where is your head Your team will have to paint the picture for America 2.0 after this (pandemic) is complete. So it's time to think about how it would look for your customers or for your industry.

If we look back after all of this in 10 years, we will found five, 10, 15, 20 or even 30 amazing companies. This idea could sit on the zoom screen of one of your team members – all you have to do is ask.

2. Which sales strategy would you recommend now?

Mark Cuban: Now is the time to combine more than to sell. Every single person in your CRM system or sales platform is scared. Every one of them wants to hear a soothing voice. Call them, email them, or text them, especially if you already have a relationship with them, and ask how they're doing. You don't have to sell to them now and ask when to buy.

Being nice pays off for everyone in the universe. If you are the company that communicated during this time and was nice to the customers, they will get back to you in due course.

3. What inspires you and what should others read for inspiration at this time?

Mark Cuban: Heroes are born during this time. When it comes to reading, I'm more focused on what's next. I think Artificial Intelligence (AI) will have a stronger presence in the future, so the book I'm reading is Restarting AI . I also take Coursera courses on AI and take tutorials.

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Regarding inspiration, I find my inspiration by connecting with people and helping wherever I can. When you see someone who is depressed and the mood suddenly rises, it's as inspiring as it gets.

Looking for more detailed advice from Mark Cuban? View full interview .

With Salesforce, you can find more customers, win their business and keep them happy so you can be successful. Find out more about our CRM Solutions for Small Businesses by following us on Twitter LinkedIn and Instagram . Also join the Small Business Strong LinkedIn Group a global network for small businesses to access and connect with resources.

You can find more inspiration about companies and executives in our entire series Leading Through Change .

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Empathy Marketing: 4 Ways SMEs Can Master Digital Approaches

Empathy Marketing: 4 Ways SMEs Can Master Digital Approaches


Empathy is powerful. The ability to put yourself in someone else's position, to better understand their situation and perspective, can build connection and trust.

When your small to medium-sized business (SMB) goes back to normal, it's important to be sensitive to your customers. You already trust your brand, and digital marketing can make it easy to stay connected when routines are broken or when your team is ready to get back to work.

If you want to use the power of digital marketing to empathize with customers, there are four options:

email with compassion

You have probably received a variety of emails from brands you do business with, many of which are titled "Our Answer to COVID-19". It appears that each brand sent one in the first month of the pandemic. But what can you say if you go forward and go beyond the original answer?

Some of the best email marketing deals we've ever seen come from brands that run with empathy. Acknowledge that this is an arduous time that we can all go through and join together to help each other. Talk about what your brand is doing for your employees and the community. Donate to Health organizations support non-profit organizations or help children who need to bring lunch ? This gives customers a sense of connectedness with what your brand stands for, your corporate values ​​ and who you are as fellow human beings who share this experience.

Then focus on how you support your customers. Clarity in communication is crucial during this time. So keep your emails clear and precise. Explain what measures you can take to help customers and how they can connect with you and be supported.

A good example of a small business that does just that is Fireclay Tile . A few weeks later, the company sent a simple email to its customers saying, "How's it going?"

Then they shared with their customers ways to stay calm and collected. While they enforce the fact that they are always there for them.

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<p style= An e-mail with fireclay tiles to customers at home

After check-in, they provided resources to help customers stay positive – including color samples of tiles, coloring books, and Zen videos.

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<p style= Next from Fireclay Tile: a coloring book and videos

Ask yourself: Is your brand currently bringing something positive into the world via email? Can you use your product to provide resources that keep people calm and collected?

Use content to stay connected

Many brands had big spring campaigns that they suddenly had to pause for. With digital marketing, you can still offer customers amazing content to connect with at home.

To find out what content to create, look around your industry to see what is currently working for customers.

For example, Headspace, a meditation app, launched a page to help customers and prospects get through these difficult times. They not only offered 1.2 million health professionals in the NHS a full subscription to their services, but also curated a library of crisis management meditations, and each morning offered group-led meditation led by the CEO and co-founder became Andy Puddicombe.

"Write it down:

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  • How to support your customers
  • Resources and information for your customers to use now and in the coming months
  • Links to external resources and information in your industry or community
  • Contact information that may differ from the usual

Many companies have changed their ad strategies or even stopped ads altogether. The most important consideration is to make sure that your content is relevant to what your customers are going through. In other words, avoid becoming deaf. When you create new content to serve your customers, you should set up all ads to direct incoming traffic to that content.

Host a virtual event that builds a community.

Do you have a physical event that must now be reinterpreted as a digital experience? Or have you always wanted to host a physical event but limited resources have prevented you from holding it? Connect with your customers through a virtual experience.

PepTalkHer a small company focused on closing the gender pay gap uses virtual events to convince its users and the public of its value.

The founder and CEO of PepTalkHer Meggie Palmer has curated a series of daily #PowerPepTalks to remind people of their value and to offer quick tips and tricks for your skills during your downtime. Then Meggie and her team lead registrants via Salesforce and log them as leads in their system.

Think about brainstorming virtual events that can help raise awareness and lead to your brand and offerings. Most virtual platforms – including Google Meet Zoom and on24 – are currently available for free or at nominal cost.

Here is a short list of things to consider when planning a digital experience:

  • What would you like your customers to benefit from?
  • What content or experience should your customers have?
  • Duration: Think of more bite-sized content than a two-hour presentation.
  • How can you use social media for activations and live interactions?
  • What or how will you contact your participants after your event?

Take advantage of our lessons from transforming our World Tour Sydney conference into a virtual event.

Stay positive on social despite distance

Social media marketing is another great way to connect with your followers during this time. Your customers are online more than usual and spend a lot of time on social media to stay connected. This is a great time to try new content and strategies to see what works and what doesn't. Don't be afraid to connect!

Everylwell, a brand that developed the first COVID-19 home test kit, uses its platform to not only inform the audience about the results of their product, but also to build a community. Her Instagram Handle provides actionable steps to stay healthy and inspiring, uplifting advice to keep people moving.

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<p style= A current shopping list on Instagram

Some tips to keep in mind when you are (certainly) socially online:

  • Just like email marketing, it helps to recognize what is happening and to run each post with empathy in order to connect with your audience in a meaningful way.
  • Many brands – such as authors musicians and entertainers of all kinds – are currently based on live videos. Trying out a short live stream on a platform you are already familiar with can be a quick and easy way to reach customers directly.

A digital connection is one way to support your customers now. Brands that send their messages correctly will contribute a lot to customer loyalty in the long term. Keep empathy and connectedness in the foreground when supporting customers and adapting digital marketing strategies, and you will create a path to continued success.

With Salesforce, you can find more customers, win their business, and keep them happy so you can be successful. Learn more about our CRM solutions for small businesses by following us on Twitter LinkedIn and Instagram .

You can find more inspiration about companies and managers in our entire series Leading Through Change .

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The best employee your small business can offer

The best employee your small business can offer


The competition for great talent is at its peak, and so many companies are trying to strengthen each other with desirable employment packages. Signing bonuses, flexible work policies, outrageous perks – how can a small business compete? The answer comes in the form of a growing trend: education as employee benefits.

Employees are curious today; They like to look for new ways to grow personally and professionally, which makes educational opportunities a kind of magnet. If your small business wants to attract and retain dedicated and loyal employees, prioritize learning. Can small businesses really afford to offer the growth and development that today's workforce desires? Yes! Here are three ways to make education a top achievement for employees.

Educational Aid

At Salesforce, we always believed that business could be the largest platform for change ; We are therefore delighted that entrepreneurs are developing profitable new models that serve the common good. A good example is Guild Education, which brings employers and nonprofit universities together to offer education as an official achievement for employees.

Guild helps companies turn traditional tuition support programs into a value-adding recruitment and retention tool. Not only does Guild work with a large network of nonprofit universities that understand the schedules of working adults, it also offers a team of trainers who help every employee find the right program and be successful in higher education. What a gift to help employees achieve their career and education goals – debt free.

Repayment of student loan

The college is said to be compensation – not an albatross – but recent statistics suggest otherwise: student loan debt is at its highest point ever the average monthly payment is now $ 393 and the number of Americans over 60 with student loan debt has more than doubled in the past decade .

Employers can help today. Institutions have emerged in recent years to combat the student debt crisis by helping companies offer student loan repayment benefits. One such company is Gradifi, which helps employees pay their student debts through flexible employer contributions. Another example is FutureFuel, which helps employers offer benefits to reduce student debt with technology-driven solutions.

86% of employees say that they would work for a company for five years to get help with student loans. Why not offer employees an advantage in the fight for talent that makes them happy and committed?

Professional Development

The number of people seeking education and development is increasing every year, but the number of formal academic institutions has not grown at the same rate. Therefore, the institutions have modernized and offer flexible online courses to meet the needs.

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Khan Academy

became a sensation when a man's efforts to teach his cousins ​​online became a forum that now offers "free, high-quality education for everyone, everywhere." And here at Salesforce, we're excited that certain colleges are now offering credits for courses through Trailhead, our online learning branch.

Access to new ideas and information helps employees grow, keep them busy, and increase their job satisfaction. The key is to offer a variety of options, plus the time and * encouragement * to get out of it. Professional development can be as simple as giving employees time to watch free webinars. If the budget allows, look for full courses or conferences. You can consult a leader who offers a seminar directly in your office. Even an office yoga class is a helpful distraction.

Education: Invest in your employees and they invest in you.

Companies often use work benefits such as table tennis and bagel fridays as carrots to attract millennials. However, if you invest in the future of your employees, you will achieve far better returns. Offering educational grants, student loan support, and career development programs are a great way to not only improve loyalty, but also attract the caliber of people who prioritize their own growth and development – and that gets in ours Book an A +.

With Salesforce Essentials, you can find more customers, win their business, and keep them happy so you can grow faster than ever. Find out more about our CRM solutions for small businesses by visiting us on Twitter consequences. LinkedIn and Instagram .

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Small Business Sustainability Plan: How To Develop Your Own

Small Business Sustainability Plan: How To Develop Your Own


At Salesforce, sustainability is always on your mind – but what about the rest of our community? Salesforce Research recently surveyed more than 1,300 Dreamforce participants to find out.

We have learned that employees of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) take their employers' sustainability practices very seriously: 75% of respondents from companies with 250 or fewer employees state that corporate sustainability is a moral imperative. * On the other hand, it is far less likely than larger companies that SMEs have an actual sustainability program or strategy: While 69% of respondents in companies with more than 1,000 employees said that their company only had a sustainability program or plan 37% in companies with 250 or fewer employees said the same thing. * This is a big gap!

SMEs can certainly make a difference when it comes to helping the planet ( 99.9% of US companies are small businesses after all ), and it starts by drawing up a sustainability plan that controls your business. Whether you are a manager who wants to improve your green efforts or an employee who wants to motivate your team, here are five steps you can take to create a sustainability plan for your SME.

Step 1: Identify a sustainability leader

Earth-friendly initiatives are often left to employees to organize. Give yours a chance to fight by recognizing a sustainability leader or green captain to lead the effort. This is a tactical role, a point person who takes over the daily tasks, develops the strategy and follows the results. As your business grows, you can add a whole green team to your green captain. After all, more people means more impact.

Step 2: Get an Executive Sponsor

It is advisable to collect your squad before you start. This includes finding a Executive Sponsor who can ensure that your efforts are aligned with the company's priorities, receive support from other executives, and provide ongoing guidance when needed. While your green captain focuses on ideas and execution, the executive sponsor is much more strategic. Your influence will help you secure the people, time, and budget needed to build a successful program.

Step 3: Look at your current reality

As with any destination, it is necessary to determine your baseline so that you can find out where you want to be. Measure everything you can . How much energy is your company using now? Does it come from renewable sources? How many disposable cups does your office go through in a month? How big is your carbon footprint? The more areas you can measure and add details, the easier it will be to demonstrate the need for a formal program and identify opportunities for improvement.

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Step 4: Create a vision and set your goals

Once you understand where your business is now, you can design a way forward. That said, it's time to define your mission, outline your vision, and set goals.

  • What do you hope to achieve with a sustainability program?
  • How can your company or product be used for sustainable development?
  • Which key metrics can you measure and improve?
  • What will success look like?

Step 5: Develop strategy and take measures

Goals and Mission in Hand, now is the time to develop strategies to use corporate resources more efficiently and to take brainstorming initiatives to achieve your goals. Take into account possible effects, costs and levels of difficulty. Assign a leader to each planned initiative. This increases accountability and helps keep the initiative on track. Make sure you define success metrics and set a finite period to assess your progress.

No effort is too little

Every sustainability journey has to start somewhere; let your be here. Start with a few simple things and then move on to the more complex ones. You may not think that your SME can have an impact on climate change, but even tiny changes can make a big difference.

* Dreamforce Sustainability Survey, Salesforce Research, November 2019. Note: This survey included climate and environment, education, labor and economic development, human health and well-being, gender and civil society, and institutional, in addition to environmental sustainability Partnerships.

With Salesforce Essentials, you can find more customers, win their business, and keep them happy so you can grow faster than ever. Find out more about our CRM solutions for small businesses by following us on Twitter LinkedIn and Instagram .

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Credit marketplaces for PPP loans deliver funds faster and easier

Credit marketplaces for PPP loans deliver funds faster and easier


It's no secret that times are difficult for small businesses. Revenue swooped, if not flat. Unemployment has skyrocketed as restaurants, salons, gyms and other companies have had to close their doors. And perhaps most worrying is the uncertainty of when it will end. The good news, however, is that help and relief are on the way.

With the passage of the CARES law in late March, small business owners across the country began to apply for relief options in the form of catastrophe loans for economic injuries (EIDL) and the paycheck protection program (PPP ). Both offer cost-effective financing, with one difference: the speed with which a company receives the funds. The PPP loans are expected to be deposited into the business owner's accounts immediately. EIDL funds, on the other hand, could take 30 to 90 days.

A big question for many small business owners is where and how they can apply for a PPP loan. Due to the fact that the SBA and the US Treasury have opened the program to more financial institutions than ever before, borrowers have many more options, including online credit markets. As speed and access become more and more important, a marketplace is an efficient, optimized option for entrepreneurs to get access to their share of the available aid.

What is a marketplace?

Online credit marketplaces may be less familiar to many business owners who are used to doing business with banks and credit unions. However, over the past decade, online marketplaces have reinvented how to lend. Marketplaces expand a business owner's opportunities and opportunities to obtain funding, and most users already know the market concept and market experience – even if they don't know it.

An easy way to think about a credit market is to use a travel analogy. Travel websites like Kayak or Expedia offer similar user experiences. Travelers enter a destination, travel dates and other desired criteria and then generate options from the Internet and from several providers in one place. Travelers can then choose the best options for their vacation.

Online credit markets operate with a similar flow. A business owner fills out a single application, and then an extremely intuitive algorithm finds the best loans and lenders for the borrower. The business owner can then evaluate the loan options, terms and financing rate for each offer and choose the best one. The best marketplaces also provide an element of human interaction where a credit advisor works with business owners to collect the right documents, answer questions, and help choose the best credit option.

Where did marketplaces come from?

Ironically, the first credit marketplaces were born out of another crisis. It was extremely difficult to raise capital after the great recession, but small business owners still needed funding options . And when the banks weren't ready to dip their toes back into the lending waters, other lenders emerged. The only missing piece was a way to connect these online lenders to interested borrowers, and so credit marketplaces were born.

This new technology and model has not only helped many companies survive the 2008 recession, the popularity of credit markets has continued to grow over the past decade.

Now that traditional lenders are tightening their credit boxes again and small businesses everywhere are in dire need of capital to get through, the online credit market can flex its technological muscles.

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It is estimated that around 30 million small business owners will apply for capital over the next 90 days, both for standard cash flow requirements and for the relief of corona viruses. While many business owners are likely to turn to their bank for help, some may find that the financial institution of their choice does not participate in government programs or may not be able to meet the overwhelming demand. For example, Bank of America was one of the first banks to accept applications for PPP loans. However, to file an application, entrepreneurs had to have both a bank account and a Bank of America credit card . Similarly, Wells Fargo quickly announced that it had reached its $ 10 billion limit, which it limited to nonprofits and small businesses with fewer than 50 employees.

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<h2> Why use a marketplace? </h2>
<p> Traditionally, small business owners had to physically go to financial institutions and represent their case to prove that they were worthy of a loan. The paperwork and tire jumping were tedious, time-consuming and inefficient, because if they didn't get a loan, they had to start over at another institution. </p>
<p> Marketplaces solve many of these difficulties, <a href= balance the competitive conditions for entrepreneurs who have neither the time nor the resources to go from bank to bank and to apply for capital. The process enables an application to be used among a robust and diverse group of curated lenders, saving time and effort. And now that speed and efficiency are critical to aid financing, quick access to these funds will make a big difference for entrepreneurs at risk of closing their doors.

The best marketplaces also take an advisory approach and offer personal advisors to guide you through the application process, help you collect the right documents to ensure that your application is not rejected, and digitally process your application to ensure that this is not the case. & # 39; I don't get lost in the shuffle.

With millions of business owners dependent on aid, the credit industry will reach its limits. Funds are currently still available. As time progresses and its importance increases, it can be worthwhile for entrepreneurs to look beyond the boundaries of traditional financial institutions and to explore the opportunities that a market offers.

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