You can't just post stuff has become my go-to phrase when I'm passing down social media wisdom (yes, there is such a thing!). Your social media content has got to be engaging and your goal should be to create a conversation. Remember: conversations lead to sales.
Great advice, Megan. Now what? The next step isn't coming from me. I found this AWESOME social media exercise on LinkedIn. This offline exercise - yep, you read that right, shut off the electronics - is designed to use teamwork to create better online content.
I can't wait to test it out with my team. Do the same and let me know how it goes!
Link to exercise: http://forums.techsoup.org/cs/community/b/tsblog/archive/2017/07/19/an-offline-social-media-exercise-that-improves-online-content.aspx?utm_content=57737084&utm_medium=social&utm_source=linkedin
I have a friend who works in a blame game culture. People at his office save every single e-mail just in case. They call it their CYA policy. This isn't a healthy environment but what can he do to change it (besides the obvious answer of leaving)?
1. Emphasize the Future
Moving forward, don't revisit the past, use mistakes as lessons and move on. When something goes wrong, don't get wrapped up in pointing fingers. Focus on what should be done to resolve the issue and avoid similar problems in the future.
2. Create the RIGHT Relationships
Make friends and work closely with those who don't throw others under the bus. Try to get on projects with those people and create a strategy of shared collaboration and accountability.
3. Just the Facts, Ma'am
It can be difficult when you feel you're chronically being blamed. Don't let your emotions get the best of you. Stand tall and use your facts. Give an accurate description of the events with no emotions involved. Be specific and include time lines. Follow that with "here's what I could have done better". It'll get your point across and also show everyone you understand what happened and the part you played in it.
4. Messed up? Admit it.
Everybody makes mistakes...even if I love to say "I'm practically perfect in every way like Mary Poppins", I'm not. Be the first to step up and say "This was my fault." Tell the team what you learned from the mistake and create a system so it doesn't happen again. You'll cultivate a no-nonsense reputation and people respect that.
5. Don't Be That Manager
As a manager, you are responsible for your team's successes AND failures. If you're at fault, tell people. If it's someone on your team, work with them to create a plan of action to fix the mistake and to ensure it's not repeated. To prevent the blame game, set clear goals with timelines. Each member of your team should know their responsibility and due dates.
It's okay to make mistakes as along as we accept them, learn from them and don't repeat them. Let's all agree to stop playing the blame game and starting using mistakes as a learning tool.
Do you have any blame game stories? I'd love to hear them in the comments below!
We live in a GO, GO, GO world. The rapid evolution of technology has turned us into an "I want it now" society (Hello, Veruca Salt!). When I say I work in a fast-paced environment, I mean lightning speed. Like nothing you've ever seen. Everything is needed yesterday. First person to invent a time machine will make a whole bunch of money from my company! I kid, I kid. Let's get back to the story...
The scene: sitting in a conference room discussing a brochure for a product set to launch in October.
"YES!" I am silently screaming to myself thinking we have time to be creative and plan for this project. The meeting goes smoothly with no surprises and I have a vague idea of direction in my head. Then, as we are heading out the door, I ask "What's the deliverable date for this?" I hear the time-old dreaded response...
"How quickly can I get it?"
Big sigh. I know from previous experience this means we need to have the entire brochure written, created, proof and ready for print by the end of the week.
Yes, we can do it. No, I'm not happy about it. Why? Simple: my team needs time to create.
Creativity moves us forward and creativity takes time. If you have a basic, productive marketing department, you're not doing it right. Productivity gets work done in a short amount of time - that's okay sometimes. But if your team is missing time for creativity, you're missing the key to innovation and success.
Creativity propels us forward and drives the metamorphosis of your brand. In this day and age, we need to be constantly challenged, moving our products and marketing efforts to the next level.
How do we do this? We give marketing teams time to brainstorm, work together and present the BEST concepts they can. Unfortunately creativity doesn't have an on/off switch. Teams can't just say "Creative Powers Activate!" and produce usable, transformative ideas. Let the team take the time and sit with the ideas, let them ruminate and I promise you, you'll get a stunning result.
So, instead of asking "How quickly can I get it?" ask
"How much time do you need?"
I first became aware of Shelley Zalis from The Female Quotient at CES 2017. Shelley was given an achievement award from Women in Consumer Technology; when I heard her speak, I knew she was someone I wanted to emulate. Shelley has created an organization empowering women and hands out free advice like candy. I love, love, love it!
The Female Quotient (previously The Girls' Lounge) serves as a voice and destination for addressing equality in the workplace. It's a place where women can come together, have their voices heard, network, give/get advice and so much more. As Shelley told us at CES (I'm paraphrasing here), there's power in numbers and when we come together as a group, we won't be invisible.
So that's the quick background...but the real purpose of today's blog is to discuss their Modern Guide to Equality. This comprehensive document covers various aspects of equality in the workplace: return on equality, diversity, generational issues and more. This issue specifically covers leadership and how it can make the world a better place.
Ready to learn more?
Click the picture or visit
Taking some today time to reflect on the power of girlfriends. My girls are my rocks - they've been with me through it all. I'm lucky enough to have several groups of women supporting me through different phases of my life. Each group serves a different purpose and role in my life but they're all equally important.
These ladies know it ALL - they've been around from the beginning and they know all the embarrassing stories to prove it. They know everything about me and they know my family. In fact, some of them have become family. I can call them any time, day or night, and I know they'll drop everything to help.
High School Friends
In high school, I was luckily enough to meet what we call "The Crew". One of the things I love most about this group is that it's made up of siblings! I'm on the "older" end (we're all basically the same age but when you're two years older in high school, it seems so different) and my brother is on the "younger" end. This is the group I go to for all the laughs. We are so silly and they're the first people to turn my bad day around. Whether celebrating a birthday or just sitting on the couch staring at the phone, this group is always up for a hang.
Before I went away to college, I told my mom I'd never "buy my friends" by joining a sorority. That changed quickly when I met the ladies of TriDelta. I was just 17 when I started college and could not have made it through four years without this group. They've seen my wild side and loved (no, really, they did!) all of my pranks. These days, I am so proud of this group of women. Literally every one of them is a success in their chosen career field. They have the BEST job advice. Whether we're reminiscing about our "good old days", talking about marriage and babies or contemplating a new job, we're always supportive of each other.
I've spent the last 11 years loving all my ladies in the AV world. This strong, fierce group of women represents a minority in our industry with pride. They're so friendly, welcoming and always willing to lend a hand. I love that I can reach out to any one of them at any time for anything. While I've made these friends through work, these are friendships that have extended into home life and I'm proud to call this great group of women my tribe!
As I'm writing this list, I realized I have SO many girlfriends that don't even fit into one of these categories. There is nothing more powerful than female friendship and man I am lucky to have such an amazing squad. I challenge you to reach out today and tell your girlfriends how much they mean to you!
Stressed? Overworked? Odds are your team is, too.
I'm a big believer in downtime. Does that mean the team takes a week to slack off? Nope. But it means they get a break so their brains aren't in overdrive 24/7/365. Here are three quick tips on how to create effective "time off" for your team.
1. Don't Overschedule
Have a huge tradeshow? Don't schedule a project kick-off or critical meetings the next week. Giving the team time to breathe replenishes the brain’s stores of attention and motivation. This downtime is essential to achieving high performance levels.
2. Lead by Example
If you're asking your team to have a light week, don't be "that guy". Don't send them e-mails at midnight or stay in the office until 8 pm each night. By doing so, you're showing them it's not okay to take a break. Even if you are sending those late night e-mails, schedule them to go out first thing in the morning (trust me, they'll never know the difference).
3. Plan Something Fun
Everyone loves an out-of-the-ordinary experience. Do something your team will enjoy and show them you appreciate their hard work. Take them for a hibachi lunch, do an escape room or even plan a mid-day Zumba session! Whatever it is, make sure it's something that will create a bonding opportunity and doesn't place any additional stress on them (aka don't make mandatory fun after-hours).
After a big event, tradeshow, project, etc. the team NEEDS some time to slow down. A continual high-stress workplace leads to a team that is less focused and less creative. As Tony Schwartz says "human beings perform best and are most productive when they alternate between periods of intense focus and intermittent renewal.”
Have any tips for creating effective downtime? Share them in the comments below.
Megan A. Dutta