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Leadership Spotlight: Bill Gates

by 9:44 AM

William Henry “Bill” Gates III is an internationally-known business leader, philanthropist, and innovator. He is the co-founder of the Microsoft Corporation, the world’s largest software manufacturer for personal computers. Starting from humble origins, Bill grew Microsoft into a global force, and is now worth an estimated $86 billion, making him the wealthiest person in the world. Bill has held that distinction off and on for the past twenty years.
Bill’s Leadership Style
Like many of today’s great leaders, Bill Gates is known for his transformational style. In the transformational leadership style, there are several attributes that distinguish it from other styles. These include:
  • Being able to put together a strong team
  • Identifying something that needs to change
  • Creating a vision for that change from thought to reality
  • Leveraging the power of the team to bring ideas to life

For Bill Gates, Microsoft was the culmination of his love of computing. He was able to “see the writing on the wall” as personal computers were just being introduced to households around the world. He wanted to make them better and more useful, so he set off to transform the industry. By identifying what needed changing, he revolutionized PCs and the way we use them. He was also able to assemble a great team who shared his vision.
The primary attribute of any leader, regardless of style, is to be able to work hard until a project is completed. Bill has developed a reputation for his tireless work ethic. He studied demographics of typical computer users, then sought to develop solutions to make their jobs easier and more efficient. The result was Microsoft’s wide range of software products. Each product spearheaded by Bill and his company address a specific business or entertainment need. From operating systems to office task software, gaming systems, and educational platforms, Bill and Microsoft were able to develop incredible solutions that resonated with users.

Seeing into the Future

A truly great transformational leader has the ability to gauge the direction of industry futures. Bill Gates embodies this ability, overcoming challenges and pitfalls along the way. Bill developed a long-term strategy for his work and for his company. He was able to foresee aspects of the computing industry before many of his peers and rolled out solutions in a timely manner.
Bill has a vision that he shares with the team around him. The team is invested in the continued success of the company and continues to dominate the personal computing world. New products and new solutions are a small part of the transformational style Bill has demonstrated throughout his lengthy career. This applies even to his philanthropic efforts, primarily in providing computers to schoolchildren around the world. The Bill Gates Foundation has been instrumental in preparing the next generation of computing experts. Bill Gates transformed an entire industry through hard work, vision, and a team that was flexible enough to address challenges as they arose. In short, Bill is one of today’s great leaders.


Leadership Spotlight: Elon Musk

by 10:34 AM

Elon Musk is an internationally-known businessman, inventor, and CEO with an estimated net worth exceeding $13 billion. He has been ranked by a number of prominent publications as one of the wealthiest and one of the most powerful people on Earth.
What many people don’t realize is that his leadership style differs from other magnates of the business world. Mr. Musk’s style can best be described as “transformational leadership”. His revolutionary approach to a variety of needs has given himself and his companies a firm foothold across market sectors. Read on to learn details of Mr. Musk’s transformational leadership style and how that translates into success.

What is Transformational Leadership?

In any leadership role, guidance of others is a critical component. In transformational leadership, there is so much more than mere guidance. A transformational leader has several key attributes, including:
  • The ability to put together a team
  • Identifying something that needs changing (the transformation)
  • Creating a vision that takes the change from idea to reality
  • Bringing the change to life with the help of the committed members of the team

In Elon Musk’s case, several of his more ambitious projects were the result of identifying a particular need, whether it was technology-based or was geared toward environmental stewardship. When he founded the company that eventually became PayPal, Mr. Musk had the vision to understand that an online payment processing solution would support the shift toward Web-based shopping. Similarly, his work in space exploration arose from his vision that government-sponsored space programs were often too expensive and too poorly-managed from a financial perspective. Musk believed that the private sector could find more affordable ways to launch and recover space vehicles.

Believing in the Vision

A great leader can rally his or her subordinates and inspire them to carry ideas from thoughts to fruition. Elon Musk has received acclaim from his peers as well as his employees by having the ability to get people to deeply believe in his visions. He approaches every project with an infectious passion. He can flesh out abstract concepts to the point that the people working on his team understand the complexities and prepare solutions for overcoming challenges.

Take Tesla, for example. While electric cars were already being produced by several major automakers, Elon Musk had the vision to create affordable cars and the infrastructure needed to support them. Tesla revolutionized the electric car industry, and it plans to sell electric powertrain components to other automakers in a bid to get more electric-powered vehicles on the road. Musk knew that there would be incredible challenges in taking on the large automakers, but he and his team were able to take a vision and prepare elegant solutions. Today, Tesla is worth about $22 billion in total assets, thanks to Elon Musk, his transformational leadership, and his dedication to solving today’s problems.

3 Leadership Skills for 2017

by 9:00 AM

In the world of business, trends come and go. This is even true in leadership – what is billed as the “next great leadership trait” one year will fall out of favor the next. With this ever-changing playing field, leaders need to be aware that the operating world around them is also changing. The key is to be flexible, yet still provide guidance and support for the team members who depend on that leader. 

While these are not trends, there are several core skills that leaders need to master. Here are three leadership skills that have risen to an important level in 2017:



Skill #1: Employee Performance Management


Let’s face it: just about everyone hates the annual performance review. It is difficult for managers, especially those who have many employees under them. Employees tend to hate them because the process is filled with stress and fear (“Am I doing an OK job, or am I about to be terminated?”). Because many annual performance review systems are unwieldy, more and more companies are forgoing them.


That being said, performance management is a critical component of the company’s operations. Whether or not you use a formal performance review instrument or not makes no difference – the point is that employees need regular feedback on their work performance and expectations of the company’s management. Good leaders provide guidance and feedback on a steady basis throughout the year. One of the ways leaders can reinforce great performance in their employees is by telling them they’re doing a good job. Regular praise, and gentle correction if there’s a problem, are two time-honored ways to build morale, strengthening the team you’ve worked so hard to develop as a leader.



Skill #2: Managing Telecommuters


The ever-shifting business realm has become global in its scope. Because of global business, employees are expected to travel on work or to work from home in many cases. How does a good leader manage employees who are scattered around the world?


Various studies have shown that employees who are considered “mobile workers” or “telecommuters” are happier than those stuck in an office environment all week. So, there will be increased pressure from employees to gain telecommuting opportunities. One of the best ways leaders can stay in touch with their mobile workers and to keep them happy is by using regularly-scheduled teleconferences. Even a weekly Skype chat to share feedback and updates helps manage the scattered workforce effectively. Your employees will appreciate the feedback, and you can be sure you’re getting the best performance out of them, no matter where they are in the world.



Skill #3: Handling Emotions


Something leaders have struggled with since the dawn of time is the emotional component in employee-employer relations. Recent studies have indicated that today’s employees tend to be emotionally fragile; they don’t respond well to criticism and they don’t readily bounce back from failure. This is referred to as “emotional resilience”. 


Constructive criticism is important, but too few leaders use the tools available to them out of fear that their employees will react negatively. Rather than yelling or accusing, leaders should take the time to understand their employees’ concerns. By providing feedback in a gentle, positive manner, the interaction can avoid any meltdowns and hurt feelings. 


Do you have something awesome to share about leadership? Feel free to submit a post in the comment section!


Weekly Spotlight: Why is Leadership Important?

by 2:20 PM
What makes leadership so essential?

In any organization, effective leadership is critical in enhancing productivity and shaping the operational culture. Without a leader, a business or non-profit organization cannot effectively operate over the long term. Great leaders provide inspiration, guidance, and support for the individuals working for the company. No matter the organization, leaders are of absolute importance in the structure.

Leadership Challenges

Natural leaders may make management look easy, but in reality, true leaders understand that it requires the ability to take on any challenge as it comes. Even in the best of times, an organization is made up of many components, and leaders keep things running smoothly. When challenges arise, such as downturns in the market, equipment or personnel failures, or external factors that influence performance, leaders step up to ensure the continued success of an organization. It is how these leaders address challenges that define them as effective leaders; the best ones understand that they are not alone and have a team to rely on to overcome any obstacles.

Team Building

One of the most important components in effective leadership is the strength and vision to create a cohesive team. Lacking a leader, an organization’s employees may not be as productive or as effective; so many moving parts must work together to achieve goals. Strong leaders select team members that can both handle adversity and bring unique skills to the overall operation. Even the best leader doesn’t have all the answers; by choosing the right team members, he or she can make sure that the team is prepared for whatever challenges may occur.
Another aspect of leadership in the team-building effort is that effective leaders help their employees grow. By encouraging new ideas, fresh ways of looking at problems, and instilling a sense of purpose, leaders can influence the daily actions of their employees. These factors strengthen the team model, producing a group of individuals that works together in the most efficient way possible.

External vs. Internal Culture



In most discussions of effective leadership, the focus is often on how leaders influence internal organizational culture. However, external culture can indirectly benefit greatly from a leader. Employees working under a great leader become invested in the business processes. Fostering transparency and the sharing of ideas encourages employees to perform at their peak, and customers of that organization gain real benefits. Employees who believe in the team operation will do whatever they can to please customers, enhancing customer loyalty. These employees, backed by great leadership filled with passion and commitment, can become “brand ambassadors”. In other words, when employees feel good about their role, they are more likely to share information about their business and their team operations with others. This is a powerful marketing tool that can outpace even the most expensive advertising campaign. When you are a leader and your team believes in the big picture you have fostered, great things happen. Productivity rises, sales increase, and customers benefit from a powerful organization that strives to be the very best it can be.

Weekly Spotlight: Thought Leadership

by 8:53 PM

In the world of business, the expression thought leadership is bandied about. The expression means different things to different people, and there can be some confusion about its true nature. There are many misconceptions about thought leadership, both in and outside the workplace. To get to the bottom of what makes a thought leader, and how thought leadership can benefit business, it is important to understand the attributes behind those leaders.

What is a Thought Leader?

In very simple terms, a thought leader is a person or an organization that changes the entrenched behaviors and attitudes of a particular sector. Take, for example, a corporate executive who rewrites the playbook, creating a new way of doing business.
Thought leadership is not a style of leadership, nor is it a part of something else like market research or advertising. Doing something radical or disruptive in a given marketplace does not make one a thought leader; rather, it is the comprehensive approach of a true thought leader to transform all aspects of management, benefitting the company’s products and services.

What Are the Traits of a Thought Leader?

Traditional leadership abilities are traits that a thought leader must possess to be successful. However, there are unique traits that let thought leaders stand out from others. What are some of these traits?

First, a thought leader defines him- or herself, rather than allowing critics to define them. This makes them more appealing to stakeholders and can use their reputations to leverage emerging markets while enhancing performance in existing markets.

Secondly, thought leaders are opinion molders; in other words, their actions and beliefs influence policymakers and media contacts alike. Their actions make changes happen, creating opportunity for the company or organization they work with.

Third, a thought leader is both approachable and discoverable. Thought leaders are masters of networking, leveraging professional and personal relationships for the greater good of the company. They must also be able to share their work; if a leader’s hard work and vision isn’t known by others, it cannot have the proper impact. A thought leader’s credibility and trust is influenced by how many people are aware of the work being done.

Finally, persistence is the key to success, both for thought leaders and others in leadership roles. Not every idea will pan out. Giving up before transformative actions change the way business is done can lead to failure. Thought leaders are known for their intense personal willingness to never give up, even in the face of adversity. Leaders need to have a strong drive to perform and to motivate others to do the same.


With these traits, thought leaders bring innovation and transformation to the companies or organizations they work with. Their actions build brand trust, and their leadership influences others in a positive way. Organizations with known thought leaders can have significant market advantages over competitors, building value for the stakeholders involved in the company.
Watch a great thought leader speech here:

Notable Leadership Conferences of 2017

by 11:35 AM
leadership conferences 2017

Great leaders know that their job is never done. Continually improving the processes and responsibilities of leadership is what helps truly great leaders stand out from the pretenders. One of the greatest ways leaders can learn new skills and develop positive attributes is by attending leadership conferences. Conferences and leadership seminars are designed to allow leaders to share their personal stories, share advice, and interact with other leaders in a safe, comfortable environment. By attending these conferences, leaders are able to bring their skills back to the companies for which they work for, helping to improve processes.

Aspiring leaders can also benefit from the networking opportunities leadership conferences present. Not everyone is born as a natural leader, but the skills can be acquired. If one is planning on becoming a leader at his or her company, these conferences can kick-start the leadership process effectively.

There are many such conferences held around the world every year. Here are a few must-attend leadership conferences taking place in 2017.

The Human Gathering: this invitation-only conference takes place in Los Angeles April 6-8, 2017. The conference gathers over 300 of the world’s most influential business leaders and investors. Because of the nature of this conference, much of the speaking lineup is not made public. Attendees can expect three days of intense workshops where they can share ideas, learn new skills, and hone existing skills with their peers.

Leadercast: this event is held on May 5, 2017, in Atlanta, Georgia. Leadercast is designed to help leaders take their skills to the next level, providing inspiration and guidance along the way. It is attended by entrepreneurs, business executives, and those who are ready to be reinvigorated in the role of company leader. This year’s speakers include actor/writer Tyler Perry and Daniel Pink, the best-selling author of several influential books on management.

The Strategic Growth Forum: Held in Palm Springs, California from November 15-19, 2017, this four-day event has not yet published a list of speakers or workshops. Attendees from previous years indicate that this is one of the most engaging leadership conferences on the calendar, however, and this year is expected to be no less than excellent. In addition to leadership seminars, the event also includes workshops on entrepreneurship, investor pairings, and awards ceremonies.

World Business Forum: New York City is the host to this annual event, which takes place this year from November 16-17. It brings business leaders and influential industry giants together from all over the world. Speakers on the roster this year include retired Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps, Google’s Abigail Posner, and Stephen Covey celebrated author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Attendees can expect the expansion of knowledge and insightful looks into leadership trends as they mingle with their peers. 

Leadership Spotlight: Donald J. Trump

by 4:15 PM
Donald Trump Leadership

Donald J. Trump has had many roles in his long and dazzling career. His initial work as a real estate developer and entrepreneur eventually led to his success as an internationally-known television celebrity and now as the 45th President of the United States. In each of these career milestones, Mr. Trump has exhibited consistent leadership traits that have helped shape his success.

Trump’s Leadership Personality

Donald Trump is known by many people as a very dynamic, forceful personality. He has a “take-charge” attitude and a take-no-prisoners style that some people perceive as arrogance. However, this dynamic personality is actually an important part of his leadership style, one that has propelled him to billions of dollars of worth.
Confidence is the underlying component of that dynamic personality. Donald Trump is brimming with confidence in his abilities and his business acumen. Being confident influences others that depend on his leadership and pushes them to believe in their own abilities. A confident attitude can also influence business relationships; in Mr. Trump’s case, his skill in developing and negotiating complex deals was helped by his confidence that these deals were smart business moves. To watch his confidence in action, watch one of his recent speeches here.

Making Decisions as a Leader

As a leader, Donald Trump has had to make many tough decisions. These have included what projects he wanted to pursue, who he wished to deal with, and how he strives to maximize every business venture. Although he may seem to some as an impulsive character, it has been shown over his years in business that he is rather conservative in his investments and business dealings. As a real estate investor and developer, he often chose “safe” investments that would gain value in a slower fashion than other developments. He also understands that risky investments are a recipe for disaster if stock markets crash, the real estate bubble bursts, or the economy experiences a downswing. His ability to analyze an investment situation and make decisions based on that analysis have brought him incredible success over the years.

Building a Team

He has made another important decision that has influenced his work in the business world and his nascent political career: the decision to build a team. Donald Trump has hand-selected most of the people he has worked with over the years such as managers and advisors. To the outside world, it may seem that he has surrounded himself with “yes men”, but this is simply not the case. Trump chooses business team members that share his vision and are willing to take the steps needed to ensure success. Sometimes, those team members will say “no” and provide valuable insight into why a particular decision needs to be made or scrapped in favor of something else.
Trump’s team-building skill comes from his ability as a character judge. He has a keen ability to detect motivation and drive in people, and those are the ones he selects for his team. The people on his team must be willing and able to work as hard as he does, make the same sorts of decisions, and commit to working together to further Trump’s business empire.

Final Thoughts

As Donald Trump transitions from a business tycoon and celebrity to the political leader of the free world, it will be interesting to see how he applies his previous experiences to the complex demands of the office of the President. Mr. Trump is a natural leader, and this natural ability has already served him well as he guides the federal government. He continues to build a team while making difficult decisions, and most analysts believe that he will serve as an effective leader of the United States.

Jim Lacey Westlake Village Entrepreneur Leads Berry Sleepy to New Heights

by 5:57 PM
Jim Lacey Westlake Village
James Lacey at Expo West
(WESTLAKE VILLAGE) -- Noted snack foods expert and business leader Jim Lacey was selected to help superfruits sleep aid company Berry Sleepy achieve new levels of success. Jim is the Managing Partner behind Healthy Ventures, LLC, a company that specializes in helping companies develop new products and new markets. With the Healthy Ventures team coming onboard at Berry Sleepy, industry analysts predict that the company’s sleep aid products will soon reach market dominance in their category.
Berry Sleepy was founded by Greg Doring and Tim Prier, and is headquartered in Prairie Village, Kansas. The pair established the company because they were seeking safe ways of getting some sleep while juggling the demands of work and home life with small children. They know the amount of experience Jim has in the consumer packaged goods industry and saw him as the perfect fit for their company plans. Jim served as the President and CEO of Crunchies Food Company in Westlake Village, California, guiding the company from a small office operation to an industry powerhouse within a decade. Prior to that, he worked with some of the biggest health supplements and consumer products companies in the world. Powerbar, Nestle S.A., Weider Nutrition International, and Gillette are some of a few of the companies Jim has helped over his long career. He has become known in the consumer goods industry for his innovative sales and marketing strategies and his exhaustive knowledge of market conditions. Spotting trends and moving to capitalize on them has proven to be a powerful tool for Jim, especially in the competitive snack foods industry. He has provided expert leadership and seen tremendous growth during his time with Crunchies and with the Snack It Forward company in the greater Los Angeles, California area.
With Jim’s help, the Berry Sleepy duo is moving toward an aggressive growth and expansion phase. The company’s line of products is slated to see further developments as well. Already, new products like the Berry Awake Fruit Energy Shot is eating into markets previously dominated by more established energy drink players. Berry Sleep Veg Caps are a popular choice with customers, and that company stalwart now comes in several package sizes for convenience. A two-serving blister pack of the Veg Caps is a new offering for the firm. Joining the existing products are the Berry Sleep Shots. Each is packed with five grams of probiotics and are available in strawberry and mixed berry flavors.  

James is looking forward to working with the Berry Sleepy team. He believes in the company and its products and wants to see it reach new levels of success. Jim knows that the science behind the company’s products is sound, representing a safer alternative to other sleep aids on the market. By combining the power of superfoods, probiotics, and natural vegetable proteins in their products, the Berry Sleepy company has a bright future with consumers around the globe.
To learn more about Jim, please visit https://www.jamespatricklacey.com/

Leadership is Getting Better Each Day

by 6:54 PM
This is a little trick for individual advancement. It's most likely to occur if you enhance a little at a time if you desire to make huge enhancements. Management advancement specialists inform us that seventy percent of the method we learn how to lead is on the task. That's real, and you can make that discovering much better with a bit of work.

I truly believe the world of leaders is divided into 2 groups. One group figures that they'll discover simply by doing. They do, however that knowing is much and random slower than it has to be. The other group of leaders consists of people who take control of their own management know-how. Since they put their mind to it, they find out the most essential leadership qualities quickly.

What Do You Desire to Improve On?

You can make 2 lists if you're going to begin preparing for your own advancement. Note your strengths and exactly what things you can find out that will develop on those strengths. List weak points that you should enhance on, either for your present task or the one you desire next. You'll undoubtedly have other weak points, however dealing with them will not enhance your efficiency much.

Discover A Little Bit Each Day

Here's one thing that's suited me for years. Adjust it to make sure that it helps you.

At night, recognize something that you wish to enhance or discover on the following day. Take down exactly what that is. I tend to utilize index cards for this due to the fact that they suit my pocket, now I keep the notes on my mobile phone. Throughout the day, describe your note and let it direct your action.

At the end of the day, take a minute or more to review exactly what you wished to do and how things exercised. Then duplicate the procedure. Do this day after day and you will improve practically without understanding it.

The secret is making it a practice to enhance every day. A bit today and a tad more the next day and one more enhancement the day afterward, stacking together for months and weeks and years. Unexpectedly you recall and understand how far you've come, one small enhancement a day.

Recognize Your Providers

You can determine sources of the understanding you require as soon as you understand exactly what aspects of your leadership you desire to enhance. Take a look at your notes from courses you've taken and your reading notes. Do a basic web search. YouTube has great resources as well. Don't limit yourself and great things will show for it.

Children's Birthday Party Tips by Fun World Bouncers

by 4:57 PM

Across the world, moms and dads have a hard time to plan, stylize, and manage birthday celebrations for their kids. Planning activities can develop an undesirable mood for the parents preparing the celebration. Instead of letting the tension get the very best of you, keep reading for a range of suggestions and techniques to make organizing your next birthday celebration as simple and as enjoyable as humanly possible:

1. Bouncy Houses - One of the best methods to obtain a birthday celebration began best is to consist of an inflatable bounce home. Naturally, smaller sized indoor events might not use the adequate area to have a moonwalk or a bouncer, however, if you are preparing an outside occasion, think about these inflatables as an option. There are numerous locally-owned bounce house rental businesses to make the most of, and kids will like the play time that these enjoyable inflatables provide.

2. Gift bags - Goodiebags for attendees is another terrific method to make your birthday occasion unforgettable. Gift bags do not need to be fancy or costly|pricey or sophisticated; a couple of little toys, some sweets, and a little bottle of bubble-blowing option are all that have to be consisted of in the bag. Each celebration individual gets a gift bag while they leave.

3. Provide name tags - Create nametags for every kid. Not all of the kids at the celebration will understand one another from elementary school or from around the area, so providing nametags assists to start the ball rolling. This is particularly essential if there are timid children present.

4. Arts and crafts - Crafts are a great chance to inhabit youth minds at birthday celebrations. Have kids create balloon animals, build a party-themed art piece to lug home, or produce puppets from aged socks and glue-on little bottons|glue-on little buttons and socks used. Celebration crafts for kids need to be easy, and there need to constantly be a mom, dad or grown up offered to assist.

5. Pinata bashing - A piƱata includes much more enjoyable and enjoys birthday celebration occasions of all shapes and sizes. Pinatas are generally offered in your area at party-supply homes or bigger markets. It is an excellent method to extend a celebration's style and to offer young kids something else to eagerly anticipate when all the birthday cake is consumed and the gifts are opened up.

While preparing birthday celebration occasions for kids, developing a style and party theme can be important. Numerous wise moms and dads understand that Star Wars stays a popular style choice, and we will supply a couple of ideas listed below!

One method to kick the party off is to sort party goers into Empire or Rebellion sections. With swimming pool noodles and duct tape, you can create economical lightsabers in a rainbow of colors for boys and girls to have imitation fights. Will the Rebels win, or will Darth Vader's Empire rule the occasion?

If you have it in your budget plan, speak with regional Star Wars reenactor groups like chapters of the 501st Legion to see if they may use a unique look from Darth Vader, a Jedi Knight, or a group of Stormtroopers. Absolutely nothing gets youth's creativities active than a costumed hero or even bad guys to appear at the celebration!
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