“Who am I, really?” Philosophers, psychologists, and neuroscientists – not to mention poets and artists — have been trying to answer this question for centuries. The good news for business leaders is that they don’t need to turn into armchair psychotherapists, or get an advanced degree in metaphysics, to figure it out. Nor do average employees need to dig deep into their unconscious, or unleash their inner Freud.
In the business world, there is a far more straightforward way of working out who we are, at least when it comes to our professional personas: you only have to pay attention to how others see us.
Social science research says that who we are at work is predominantly defined by what other people think of us:
- how they measure the success of our behaviors and actions
- the way they perceive our characters and motivations
- how they compare us to others.
Whether we get informal advice from our peers or partake in formal assessment-related exercises, there is no better way to pinpoint who we are at work than to crowd-source evaluations of our reputations and personal “brands.”
Academic research indicates that people with high functioning and accurate self-perceptions incorporate other people’s opinions into their sense of self. This may run counter to popular advice, but the ability to present ourselves in strategic and politically astute ways is critical to succeeding in any professional context. Those who live by the mantra “don’t worry too much about what other people think of you” may hinder their career advancement. As academic reviews have highlighted, successful people (with the notable exception of Joan Jett) worry a lot about their reputations. They care deeply about portraying themselves in a socially desirable way.
When we enjoy the luxury of convening with colleagues and clients in person, others gain impressions of us based on our physical presence in a three-dimensional space, including how firm our handshakes are and how our voices sound in the acoustics of the room. Even our scents convey important social information to others. In those settings, we don’t have the opportunity to see ourselves exactly as others see us, and our feedback is only as good as the signals they convey (a smile, a yawn, more or less eye contact), or what they tell us directly.
Now that so much of our communication takes place on-line, we have all become our own “avatars” and have access to much (if not most) of the same information that others do. The mountain of data each of us produces on the internet is the raw material used to fuel the artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms that track our digital “footprints.” It’s also what other people — and organizations — use to make quick judgments about our personal and professional attributes, particularly when they decide whether to recruit us, hire us, invest in our startups, collaborate with us, or compete …read more
The Truth About Time Management: It’s Not About Time
We’ve all heard the expression, “There aren’t enough hours in the day.” In truth, we’ve likely all said it at some point. Time management is a struggle for everybody, but especially entrepreneurs, CEOs, and founders.
Interestingly, some people seem to get more out of our 24 hours each day than others. As author Idowu Koyenikan said, the key to making the most of our hours isn’t time management—it’s life management. People who do it successfully balance the things they love with tasks they need to complete to maintain a well-rounded, satisfying life.
To-do lists or any one of the countless books on time management can help you achieve this balance, but things will eventually fall apart unless you make a habit of productivity—and stick to it. This might mean writing down your top priorities for the day or week, using a productivity app, or creating a plan that works best.
The Truth About Time Management for CEOs
When it comes to time management skills and techniques, business leaders are among the worst offenders. This typically happens because of the nature of leadership positions. These individuals are driven by the feeling that they have to do everything or have all the answers. On average, they’re also responsible for a lot: CEOs work 9.7 hours per weekday and spend 79 percent of weekend days and 70 percent of their vacation days working.
Success doesn’t come from adding countless tasks to your calendar and putting in the longest possible hours. It comes from purposeful, intentional work, which means managing your time more effectively to focus on what matters. To get there, business leaders have to reset their time-management expectations.
Only using productivity tools doesn’t lead to better time management—developing concrete time-management skills does.
How Are You Managing Your Time?
While CEOs and business leaders have countless resources at their disposal, they frequently lack time. Here are four steps to improve your time-management skills and techniques to maximize the time you do have: continue reading…
Why You Should Have A Website And Not Just Rely On Social Media
No one could have predicted just how revolutionary social media would be when MySpace started gaining followers in the early 2000s. Even in 2006, when Facebook and Twitter became widely available to the global population, there were still lingering doubts about its longevity and potential as a profit-making vehicle.
In retrospect, it makes sense: after the meteoric rise and crushing fall of the 90s dot com bubble, it was still very much open to interpretation as to whether this new wave of interactive media would be able to survive (let alone thrive) into the future.
We know differently today.
As of early 2019, there were 4.2 billion internet users, of which 3.397 billion were active on social media.
To put this even further into perspective, consider that, on average, every one of those users owns 5.54 social media accounts and spends 116 minutes a day scrolling their news-feeds or chatting with friends.
And those mind-boggling numbers are still growing. Three hundred twenty million new profiles were created between September 2017 and October 2018, which works out to 10 new social media users every second. This figure alone is almost double the average number of human births per second.
That’s right. Social media growth is outstripping the global human birth rate.
You Do Not Own Social Media
We get it. Starting a Facebook page for your small business when you don’t have much working capital seems like a much smarter option than stumping up for a website. Not only is it free, it can also put you in touch with pretty much everybody you’d like to sell to. If you’re a local-oriented biz you can make a point of highlighting your location or some other specific selling point. Continue reading…