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How to Know Your Leadership Style is Working

The secret to a productive and healthy workplace is an effective leadership style. We can think about this using an image of a teacher and her/his students. If the teacher does not put enough effort into teaching the students, we can expect them to perform poorly on exams.

When applied to the workplace, this concept reveals that the success of employees depends on their superiors. If you are in a leadership position within your workplace, you might find yourself constantly searching for ways to empower and motivate your workers. You may even wonder if your approach is effective.

Effective Empowerment in the Workplace

There are many forms of leadership within the workplace, and the one best suited to you depends on your work setting’s atmosphere. Is it a creative environment or more business-inclined? In some cases, you may even have to alter your leadership style to suit your career and workplace specifications. For instance, in a creative environment, you may lead in a way that inspires creative flows.

As a leader, you are tasked with the responsibilities of ensuring your workers are on task and engaged with the job. Of course, engagement is not easily achieved. To ensure that your workers are engaged, you may want to create a “family” feel. It is human nature to feel more inclined to take part in group-related activities if we feel as though we belong to the group.

To determine your leadership’s effectiveness, you can simply analyze your workers’ productivity and make it your duty to reach out to them. When the superior does not make an attempt, workers typically have a lower output and feel disconnected from the job. To better understand this, imagine a situation in which you were working for a superior who did not check up on you or only gave orders and critique. The negative feelings associated with this image are generally what workers feel when they work under such a superior.

The workplace can be either a productive or dreadful setting, depending on the enthusiasm of the superiors. Emotions are often contagious, so bringing your best attitude to work may just have the impact you desire; however, if your workplace is already successful, your leadership style may be doing its job. 

Bill Gates on 4 Essential Life Choices for Success

By almost any metric, Bill Gates is among the most successful individuals of the last hundred years. While he is perhaps most famous for his long run as the richest person in the world, he has also made a number of more tangible contributions to human society. From his role in the tech boom of the last century to his current focus on philanthropy, he has always been a larger-than-life figure.

Given his unquestionable success, it seems Bill Gates is someone we should listen to when he goes about offering advice. According to him, there are certain traits that allow a person to turn their lofty goals into concrete realities. Here are the four choices that, according to Gates, separate the doers from the mere dreamers.

Foster Curiosity

Gates thinks that success is easier to achieve for lifelong learners. In order to learn new things each and every day, you have to maintain a basic curiosity about what’s going on around you. By fostering that curiosity and then satisfying it through learning, you become a more capable individual. A lack of curiosity, on the other hand, will only lead to intellectual stagnation.

Empower Others

Being a good leader is essential for anyone hoping to make major waves in the world. Nobody ever changed society all on their own. The people who accomplish the most are those who can inspire others to follow them into the trenches. The very best leaders learn to foster this ability over time.

Delegate Tasks To Compensate For Weaknesses

Even the most incredible people in the world have their flaws. Gates recognizes that everyone, including himself, needs to compensate for their weaknesses. The best way to do that is by delegating tasks to trusted, confidant companions. Trying to do everything yourself will only result in failure, while knowing how to build a coherent team is essential for success.

Focus On What Really Matters

No matter how well you avoid procrastination and organize your time, there are still only twenty-four hours in a day. Gates thinks that the most successful people understand how to rank their priorities. They ignore meaningless or petty concerns to focus on the big-picture issues that truly define their goals.

How You Can Support Texas Following the Power Crisis

The brutal winter storms in Texas are causing blackouts, and many residents have been left without power and water. These need to help residents cope with life in the crisis amid the pandemic. Below are several ways to support the state no matter where one is location-wise. Although there are organizations and relief funds to work with, use the choices below before finding them.

Donate to Mutual Aid Fund

Some of the mutual aid funds helping people in Texas during the blackout crisis include Austin Mutual Aid, Feeding the People Dallas, and Mutual Aid Houston. People are burning their furniture and clothes for warmth and boiling snow for water. The mutual aid funds are mobilizing venerable residents giving them food, clothes, and shelter. Local volunteers in Austin relocated the homeless population in hotel rooms.

Support Food Banks

Texans are running out of food since the weather crisis is disrupting the supply chain. The grocery stores and food pantries are empty. The stockpiled in houses is spoiling since there is no power to operate the refrigerators. Supporting food banks such as Feeding Texas will provide food to families in need.

Give Grants to National Organizations

National organizations one can support include Salvation Army, American Red Cross in North, South, and Central Texas. Monetary donations contributed to these organizations serve the most vulnerable people in this community during the natural disaster.

Support the First Responders

First responders and medical practitioners work day and night to support the communities. The Austin EMS Association is receiving monetary donations to feed its personnel. Many medics are working more than 24 hours without going home as call volume has doubled. It has become difficult for medics to search for food. First respondents also need food. They have to make sure roads are passable before going home.

Support the Fund Emergency Supplies

Find emergency supplies such as the Austin Area Urban League are receiving donations to provide emergency food, clothing, shelter, and other supplies to Texas residents. Austin Pets Alive is also accepting monetary donations to keep animals warm and safe during the storm.

Thousands of Texans are still in need of relief. Showing support through any of the highlighted ways will alleviate the States suffering to some extent.

Supporting Organizations That Assist Minority Founders of Startups

Several organizations that are among the leaders in building businesses are assisting American minority entrepreneurs. In their efforts to encourage these minority entrepreneurs to be successful, they assist startup companies and obtain the necessary funding. Among the most prominent of these organizations are the following:

Techstars Foundation

Working toward increasing the numbers of minority founders in the tech community, Techstars, an American seed accelerator, has launched a nonprofit division named Techstars Foundation that works to improve the representation of tech founders who are minorities by affording this group grants, scholarships, and sponsorships. Today, Techstars’ vast network of startup companies that number 762 with a collective funding of more than $2 billion can make sizable contributions to diversity in the world of technology.

CODE 2040

A nonprofit organization that robustly pursues its goal of representing Blacks and Latinos in the areas of technology, investments, and entrepreneurship, CODE 2040 places college-level minority computer science students in top tech companies’ internship programs. This organization has also initiated a one-year Residency Program that provides minority entrepreneurs financial help and support from experienced entrepreneurs and investors in building companies in their communities.

500 Startups

Since its beginnings, 500 Startups has invested in startups led by minorities and women such as AllDay Media, Mayvenn, and Walker & Co. To date, 15 classes have graduated from 500 Startups. In May of 2020, 500 Startups launched its Diversity & Entrepreneurship Summit, part of a conference series connecting minority entrepreneurs with founders and leaders of the tech startup community and venture partners. Additionally, the organization launched a $25 million micro fund for investing in startups that were beginning and led by minority founders.

Black Founders

As a national network of African-American founders, Black Founders works to increase black entrepreneurs’ numbers in technology. To do so, this organization generates networking events, educational programs, and a conference series throughout the year. One program begun by Black Founders is HBCUHacks, a series of weekend hackathons that provides students attending historically black universities and colleges opportunities to develop computer science skills so they can invent software and apps. One-fifth of those participating students who graduate with a degree in engineering have benefited from this successful program.

Managing Stress

These days, it’s difficult not to become overwhelmed, whether it be variables within your daily bubble, family, friends, and interpersonal interactions. Or maybe it’s stressors from work, or perhaps it’s the pain and tragedy in the news. The human experience for all its remarkability is often stressful. Stress is an unavoidable part of life; the goal isn’t to eliminate it but to learn how to manage it. Managing your stress can be difficult, and it takes practice, but it is necessary in the end. 

Exercise

Exercising is a beautiful way to help manage and adjust to stress. Exercising releases endorphins, a feel-good chemical that improves your mood and can help your body relax post-workout. Focus on setting attainable fitness goals that can fit realistically into your schedule. Try some of the following options for your fitness goal:

  • Yoga
  • Running
  • Walking
  • Biking
  • HITT Workouts
  • Dance Workouts
  • Aerobics
  • Swimming

Deep Breathing

Deep breathing is a beautiful way to help calm you down in the moment. A life full of stress can often lead to panic when it comes to specific events. Follow and practice these steps the next time you’re hit with intense moments of stress. 

  1. Sit in a comfortable position. Either laying on the floor or sitting comfortably in a chair with your hands in your lap and your feet grounded on the floor. 
  2. Close your eyes
  3. Imagine yourself in a beautiful place. Either a constructed scene like the beach or in the woods. Or perhaps a location from your memory that brings you peace. 
  4. Slowly breathe in while counting to five
  5. Slowly breathe out to the count of three
  6. Repeat for 3-10 minutes, or until you feel sufficently relaxed. 

Talk to Someone

The worst thing you can do when you are stressed is keeping it bottled up inside. Don’t be afraid to talk to someone and open up when you feel overwhelmed by stress. Whether it’s your partner, parent, friend, or boss don’t be afraid to be transparent and honest. If you feel like you may need more professional help, seek out a counselor or therapist, they’re there to help you and improve your life.

Stress is an entirely natural part of life, but that doesn’t make it easy to deal with. Remember to practice the skills mentioned above. Sometimes we just need to take life one day at a time. Be kind to yourself. 

Making a New Employee Comfortable

Try to think back to a time when you were a new employee. Perhaps you were excited, with a mix of first day jitters. Maybe your experience wasn’t pleasant, and you didn’t feel welcome by your new coworkers. The good news is that as an employer, you have the opportunity to help make your employees comfortable, including your brand new ones. 

Show Them You’ve Been Expecting Their Arrival

Sometimes when you arrive at a new job, you find that most of your new coworkers had no idea that you were starting. Or they encounter their supervisors scrambling to find them a workstation or supplies for their first week. It can be extremely disheartening to an employee and make them wonder why they are even wanted in the first place. You can avoid that discomfort by trying a few of the following things:

  • Making sure their workstation is prepped and ready to go. 
  • Give them a welcome present, maybe a gift card or some company swag. 
  • Make sure the entire company is aware of the new-hire and encouraged to make them feel welcomed.
  • Clear your schedule and make intentional time to show the employee around and make them comfortable. 

Provide Competent Training

Naturally, you plan to train your employee, but make sure you teach them the little job things a seasoned employee may take for granted. Ask around your office and see if there are things that employees wish they knew when they started. Incorporate some of those aspects into your training. 

Ask For Feedback

One of the most mutually beneficial things you can do as a leader is asking for feedback. At some point during the end of their first week, genuinely ask how they are feeling and ask for honest feedback. Not only will it make them feel welcome, but it will also help you grow as a leader and as a company.

Starting at a new job can be incredibly difficult and stressful. Anything you do to make that process easier and smoother will not only help your new-hire but stretch you as a leader as well. 

Volunteering As A Family

Volunteering as a family can be a dynamic experience. Adults and children alike can grow from the enriching experience of volunteering together. There are a plethora of reasons to get involved as a family, from health benefits to better quality time as a cohesive unit. 

Transmitting Values

In this stage of life, children learn best through observation and experience. It’s a very “monkey see; monkey do” mindset for children and adolescents. The things they see people they trust or respect doing is behavior they will model. When older family members display compassion and a desire to help those around them, it gives them a higher chance of mimicking and valuing that behavior in their own lives. Backing up the values you distill in them verbally is more helpful than just telling them what to do. 

Learning

Kids volunteering helps them learn beyond the classroom. They learn critical skills like leadership and teamwork. Being around other people in a compassionate mindset also helps grow interpersonal skills and essential habits. Volunteering can also help reinforce the information they learn in the classroom. For example, if your child learns environmental and nature facts in class, volunteering at a community garden can reinforce what they’ve learned about the plant cycle. 

So Many Options

It may seem like volunteering with children may limit what you can do, but you don’t need to volunteer with a mega-organization and fly to different countries to make a difference. Task as simple as visiting elderly patients who are lonely to bring them joy and companionship can make a world of difference. Check out some of the following options for volunteering. 

  • Making cards for hospitalized children
  • Sending care packages or letters to soldiers
  • Prepare and serve meals
  • Assist in cleaning up parks and other littered areas. 
  • Teach them how to save and conserve and gift abundance to other people.

Volunteering is a beautiful way to show your kids the importance of compassion and philanthropy. Not only that, but it can strengthen your bond as a family and create memories that will last their whole lives. 

Philanthropy Spotlight: Doctors Without Borders

Doctors Without Borders(DWB) is an amazing organization that primarily focuses on providing care to those who need it most. In the late spring of 1968, a group of young doctors traveled to help victims of major diseases and wars. They invented a new brand of humanitarianism that had the potential to reinvent the concept of emergency aid. They became Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), known internationally as Doctors Without Borders.

MSF was officially founded on December 22, 1971. 300 volunteers made up the organization: doctors, nurses, and other staff, including the 13 founding doctors and a plethora of journalists. According to the official Doctors Without Borders Website,

MSF was created on the “belief that all people have the right to medical care regardless of gender, race, religion, creed, or political affiliation and that the needs of these people outweigh respect for national boundaries.”

After the french revolt of ’68 burst onto tv screens, the french pubic soon saw terrifying images that would set a new tone to empathy. They saw thousands of kids all over the world struggling from hunger and disease. In Nigeria, the southern region called Biafra seceded from the country. The Nigerian army surrounded the section, and the Biafran people were soon decimated by hunger. The Red Cross pleaded for assistance and help. The MSF realized that need was bigger than their neighbors or their country.

MSF’s first mission was to the Nicaraguan capital of Managua in 1971, when an earthquake decimated most of the city and killed between an estimated 10,000 and 30,000 people. In these first few missions, the weak points of MSF were soon realized. Members were going over without readily available support, and supply chains were fractured. The telltale signs were there; the movement was beginning to break. Soon it was hard to distinguish the MSF as a group of medical professionals or as a group of guerilla doctors. 

From this point, the new realist leadership of MSF would transform MSF into the professional organization it is today. Through various leaders and growing mains, the MSF has become a fantastic organization known as Doctors Without Borders. 

Tips for Re-Entry into the Workplace

Tips for Re-Entry Into the Workplace Jimmy Lustig

Since the coronavirus’ emergence in the United States in early 2020, life for many people has drastically changed. Very few businesses have been spared from the economic ravages of the virus, and after three months of sheltering at home, some offices are looking to finally reopen. While some are eager to return to work in what’s called “the new normal,” many others are rightfully concerned about what this means for their safety in an age of a highly contagious disease. Even with taking extra precautions to limit the spread of disease, psychological safety for employees is lacking. Workers are likely to be worried about more than just their health, but also about the financial stability of their company. 

To alleviate this fear, it’s a good idea to ease employees back into the workplace slowly. Employers can take a few tips from kindergarten teachers to help prepare their team for a successful transition. 

Early communication

Employers should reach out in advance before sending employees back into the office to work with information that tells them how they are going to maintain a safe environment. Even though communication has always been important, it is now crucial to be even more open than before. These messages should come from the company’s leadership, including the CEO and a direct manager. You can prepare your employees with pictures and descriptions of the updated environment to let them know how the workplace will look and feel. 

Re-onboarding

Use the first day back as a chance to rethink and reconnect the organization to the things that are most important. After a lengthy hiatus, it will be necessary to re-onboard and reorient everyone. We typically associate the onboarding process with new people, but remember that returning employees will be in a much different mental state now than they were three months ago. This is a great opportunity to reset expectations around the values and behavior of your company. 

Housekeeping 

In order to reopen safely, companies must implement new policies and protocols set forth by public health officials. It’s necessary to be conscious of these, but this needs to be integrated into the company culture. It doesn’t fall on the responsibility of just one individual to keep the whole company safe. By building a collective spirit, this holds everyone accountable. 

Originally published on JimmyLustig.com

Mutual Aid

Mutual Aid Jimmy Lustig

Often times, philanthropy is synonymous with charity. Those who are able to contribute will typically donate money to a cause, which usually takes the form of a non-profit organization. Did you know, however, that there are other ways to get involved that deviate from this framework? This is where mutual aid comes in. 

Mutual aid puts power in the hands of the people. In times of need, communities take on the responsibility for caring for one another rather than requiring individuals to fend for themselves. This form of organization is volunteer-run, transparent, and driven by the needs of the community members. Mutual aid is a symbiotic relationship where all people offer material goods or assistance to one another.

It’s important to distinguish mutual aid from charity. Under charity, a centralized organization serves as an intermediary between the giving and receiving parties where the recipient is often dependent on a relationship negotiating their access to access to resources. Many charities are funded in part by grants, which, in a sense is money with conditions attached. This money, often coming from wealthy individuals or corporations, comes with the intention to address social problems and serve the needy. As a result, however, it is these same entities that decide what strategies should be funded. 

While both charity and mutual aid seek to provide help to those that need it, key differences lie in the underlying structure of both frameworks. Mutual aid builds solidarity by allowing people to work together and participate in shared political education programming. By creating a space where people can come together based on shared need and work closely with those whose experiences differ from their own, mutual aid helps to cultivate solidarity. 

Collective care has existed throughout the history of humanity, but in modern times, this is a radical act. Most recently amid America’s climate of political unrest and the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve seen examples of mutual aid in action. Mutual aid funds have been circulating to secure donations and redistribute that money to populations made vulnerable by the economic closures resulting from COVID-19. Communities have organized aid groups by collecting and distributing supplies to at-risk populations such as the homeless and minority communities. As one organizer says, “What we need people to understand is that direct outreach and mutual aid is going to keep you safe.” 

Originally published on JimmyLustig.org