Why Organizations Fail to Develop Women for Leadership?

 

 

 

 

Many organizations around the world have one thing in common; they are run by men.
These organizations do not see female promotion into senior positions as a strategic business
imperative. Thus, leaving women stuck in mid-level positions while the men in the company
promote upwards. There are a few reasons that this bias exists whether the organization is
aware of it or not.

Reason #1: Limited Focus Initiatives
Organizations may have programs in place to develop leadership skills, but they are often not
fully executed, or they are enormous and difficult to follow. They may also have a limited focus
or train employees on lower-level tasks that mid-level employees may have already mastered.
Another issue with some initiatives is that they are not properly communicated as employees
move from entry level to mid-level positions. Therefore, employees are not aware of the
opportunities that exist.

Reason #2: Accountability
The organization is not “walking the talk” or following through with their promises. Women are
shown opportunities to excel in the workplace, but the opportunities are never actually
presented. This happens many times when an inside hire for an upper-level position is given
directly to a man and not opened to other qualified employees, including women.

Reason #3: Power Struggles
Research has shown that women struggle with delegating tasks. Recent studies have shown
women see delegation as more aggressive and assertive, which many think will hurt their image
in the organization. Women are much more empathetic towards their colleagues, whereas the
men are assertive and dominant to get things moving. Men, who are often in the higher
positions, allow this power to be seen as their dominance in the office setting, whereas women
don’t always have the same thirst for power and often seem much more civil with their
subordinates. This is a good quality and one which women can mentor to their male peers!

Reason #4: Risk Takers are Favored
Women have been taught not to advocate for their positions and themselves because society
has taught them to be docile, quiet, and kind. They have been taught to be more accepting.
The women of the organization then feel oppressed, as if they cannot take the risk to bring up
ideas during meetings or take on assignments due to this lack of power and worth to the
organization.

Reason #5: The Full Plate
Along with execution, women are expected to multitask, taking on a multitude of projects at
once because they multi-task well. Unfortunately, with a large number of projects, the
organization often avoids including a woman who has multiple projects already in a leadership
role on new initiatives. Women often use collaborative influencing to aid in the large
multitasking operation and are perceived as not taking a stance on changing the way
production is handled or pushing for new initiatives.

Organizations have much work to do to help women evolve into leadership positions. Some
organizations like Enspire Energy, in Chesapeake, Virginia, are on the up-and-coming women
lead business lists. The opportunities were presented and taken by Mary Hensley and Julie
Hashagen, with their vast experience and knowledge, they decided not to be oppressed
anymore by large organizational life and start their own business to strive.

These Books are the Key to Unlocking Your Leadership Potential

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Courtney Rosenfield of Gig Spark

Hoping to make a change? Leading your community into a better tomorrow is a serious
challenge, but it’s a necessary one. We need people willing to take charge and help us imagine
how the world could be. We’ve gathered these resources to help you find great books you can
borrow and read for inspiration, get into the habit of reading regularly, and unlock your
potential:

Inspiring Individuals 
These memoirs and biographies can help you figure out what kind of leader you want to be: 

– Here’s a list of biographies from Forbes to help you develop leadership in the
workplace.
– These books about women who changed the world challenge our ideas about
who can lead well.
– Memoirs like these help you to learn more about the activists who sparked
change in our nation’s history.

Unlocking the Leader in You 

Check out these guides to finding and using your greatest strengths:

– Start with these books on discovering and recognizing your strengths.
– Then check out these books on developing leadership skills at work and in your
community.
– These books on networking can help you build relationships that lead to effective
change.

Developing a Reading Habit
If you’re not already in the habit of reading regularly, these tips will help:

– Start small by reading an especially gripping book or re-reading an old favorite.
– Set a goal to read a certain number of books each month, and track your
progress.

Other Tactics for Reaching the Next Level
We live in an age where information is at our fingertips. Tap into some other opportunities for
growing and developing your inner leader:
– Could you use a consultant? Managing Communications Consulting offers
leadership support through business development services, marketing, and
strategic planning.
– Educational podcasts are a terrific tool for stretching your mind and learning new
skills.
– Online learning programs offer the opportunity to expand your education and
capabilities at your own pace.

Altogether, these resources give you more than a hundred books to add to your reading list.
Dive in today and learn all you can about becoming a leader. Reading will give you the chance
to learn, reflect, and unlock your true potential.

For leadership strategies and communications services, call Managing Communications
Consulting at 757-513-8633, email susan@managingcommunications.com, or fill out our online
form.

Photo Credit: Pexels

How to Launch a Small Business in Your City

By Courtney Rosenfeld of Gig Spark

Have you always wanted to be an entrepreneur? There’s no better time to start than right now! Launching a local business is a fantastic way to give back to your community while escaping the rat race and creating a source of passive income for yourself and your family. Of course, getting a business up and running is no simple feat. There are many legal, financial, and operational details to consider as you prepare your business for launch.

Whether you’re launching a freelancing business online or as a retail space in your community, it pays to do everything right from day one. Thankfully, online resources and services like Managing Communications Consulting can help you get your bearings.

Your Startup Checklist

A lot goes into starting a business. Here are just a few of the steps involved and how to tackle them on your own.

  • Determine the viability of your business idea by researching the local market for your product or service.
  • Figure out how you’re going to fund your new business, whether it’s bootstrapping, business loans, or seeking investors.
  • Register your business and apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN).
  • To free up your time along the way, consider outsourcing some specialized work — such as email marketing — to professionals.

Establishing Your Business

Taking your product or service to market will require an online storefront like a website or a physical retail space. 

  • Determine how you’re going to source or manufacture your products.
  • Create a website and social media accounts for your business. 
  • If you’re opening a local business, set up a Google My Business listing so customers can find you when conducting a local search. 

Building Your Brand Story

The best way to stand out from all of your competitors is to develop an engaging brand story that resonates with your target audience.

  • A great brand story will foster trust in your business, turning indifferent shoppers into loyal customers.
  • LinkedIn is an invaluable resource for promoting your brand authentically and positioning yourself as a trusted authority in your industry.
  • Just remember to inject some personality into your branded content.

Running a small business is incredibly rewarding, but it’s also a lot of work. You’ll have to find funding, tackle your legal obligations, hire help, establish an online presence, and come up with a marketing strategy to get the word out about your brand. Take advantage of all the resources that are available to you! Business consulting from Managing Communications Consulting can help you establish a strong foundation for your new business. Give us a call to discuss your needs today! 757-513-8633.

Four Leadership Skills Important in Reopening Successfully

 

As if leaders don’t have enough to worry about with lost revenue from partial or complete closures during the last couple of months, we also have the realities of unrest in our communities and the fears and stress from potentially one of the most significant health issues faced by workers in their lifetime.

With Black Lives Matter on everyone’s mind after heartless deaths and an awakening of what monuments should go, what police units should look like, and for each of us, more awareness that it is past time for many Americans to understand the impact of history on our culture, we can expect a lot of employees are uncomfortable and confused. Remember, you also have employees who were not happy with their work, the way they were treated, their pay or other inequalities, before COVID-19 sent them home. Whether you view yourself as a strong leader or above average, you probably need to grow competencies in the following four skills to be prepared for changes in your business and workforce:

Lead with empathy. This new chapter in leadership requires a real effort at being empathetic to all employees. Try to take all of beliefs you have and pretend you are a sponge, just like you were when you were about five years old. Whether it was learning to catch lightening bugs, finding really cool rocks, or discovering how magnets work, you were engaged and ready to learn. Now is the time, to think like a five-year-old and truly listen to employees. Keep an open mind to their concerns, whether it is about how to take care of their kids this summer while they try to come back to the office or their fears that their own job might be eliminated because you have refocused your business to survive. Caring goes a long way even when you do not have solutions right now.

Lead with transparency. Show the lost revenue due to COVID-19 and specific steps you plan for recovery. Share specifics about your concerns, because if you sound like “everything will be fine”, you will lose their trust. Clearly communicate what you know as you all work together and provide frequent updates. You may find new ways to respond to changes in processes or provide opportunities for more or different employees to shine. Give employees more time to give input and share their concerns, but when you do that, remember it is okay to share your own, especially your honesty about your own lack of understanding.

Lead by example. If there is more work that has to get done in a particular area, and it would be helpful for you to dig in and help, do it. Though you do not want to get in the habit of spending your days in tasks, this is the time to show your abilities as a team player, not task master. That means running to the post office to meet a deadline, reviewing client files, or filing documents so your team can be more responsive, or taking over the cleaning spaces so others can finish a project. Leading by example also means being aware in every aspect of your business of any inequalities. How you treat the remote teams has to be the same as the ones who come to the work site, and that treatment has to be apparent to all. Nothing can be more damaging than a manager being late for a zoom meeting because he went for a long lunch with his boss, while reprimanding an employee who did not clock in on time for work. Flexibility in schedules may become one of your biggest nightmares if you do not follow the same expectations. You may also find that the simplest guidelines like wearing a mask becomes controversial because of how people feel about multiple issues. Whatever you do, wear a mask yourself, consistently, if that is the guideline, without excuses, and do not exclude yourself from social distancing.

Mentor, sponsor, and raise up more leaders. Change can bring positive results and opportunities for your employees. Shifting responsibilities for greater productivity could be an outcome from a slow, measured return to the office. Employees who may not have gotten noticed may show up on your radar. How can you or others on your leadership team provide more mentoring in your business? What leadership skills are lacking in the mix of your team? What can you do to use this time to provide additional virtual or online training to improve leadership skills? What can you let go and pass on to others with your sponsorship efforts to put the highlight on them?

Overall, leaders step up to challenging times. Avoiding, ignoring, or ‘freezing” on difficult decisions just do not give you the results you want for successfully finishing the year. When focusing on these skills during the worst conditions, we find renewal in our own work life and benefits for those we lead which can result in long-term rewards.

LinkedIn Could Never Be More Important than NOW!

 

If your marketing strategy is primarily focused on B-2-B, you are probably missing opportunities right now to continue to build relationships with your clients or to make an impact on potential new ones! Even engaging with your own employees and making sure that they are connecting with your clients is critical.

I want to help you get your profile updated, develop content strategies for branding your business, and train you in how to target your potential customers through LinkedIn!

Why is this important?

  • It will give you focus to accomplish authentic marketing while you and/or your employees are probably having more time for social media engagement…share in the effort!
  • More people are online now, which gives you that much more traffic.
  • LinkedIn continues to be the strongest platform for converting engagement to sales.
  • The strongest competitors in your industry, once we get beyond the coronavirus crisis, will be those who still have name and reputation recognition!

Welcome to LinkedIn Maverick Coaching!  I will use Facetime or another resource that works for you, to give you one-on-one LinkedIn Training so that we can build your brand! Here is the process:

A one-hour session will be $35 or for three sessions, a total of $90.

Send me a message in LinkedIn or email at susan@managingcommunications.com

I am offering sessions during the week:

Monday-Friday between 9 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. including what may be your lunch time. If none of the openings work for your schedule, I will also arrange for a Saturday session.

You will need to connect with me on LinkedIn if we are not already, so watch for my invite. Why? I am going to analyze your profile, and if you have one, your company page as well, before our session.

When we meet virtually, I will train you on key areas that look important for you to develop, assist you online while on the call to make changes, and recommend continued practice. If you find you want additional sessions, I am going to give you homework!

LinkedIn Mavericks

If you want to use LinkedIn to build more relationships and develop credibility for your brand in 2020, sign up for LinkedIn Mavericks 2020! We love having multiple people from the same businesses, gather those who can make an impact this year and bring 3 for $180! Check out our great panelists who will share how they manage time to be effective and other strategies they use to engage on LinkedIn! Get the details and register at: Register soon as we have limited seating!

You can also sign up with an individual fee. You will not find a LinkedIn Workshop where you “get stuff done” and learn from others how to gain ROI in 4 hours in Hampton Roads for this price!

Why are we doing this? Because MCC is totally convinced that the real source for social business marketing is through LinkedIn.

We want you to see the difference between this platform and Facebook, Twitter, and the rest.

Sign up today before the seats are gone!

https://linkedin-mavericks-workshop2020.eventbrite.com

Leaders Should Communicate the Organization’s Performance

Have you ever noticed how quickly employees seem to know something about a change before anyone has begun to communicate what is happening? Even in the best of organizations, the slightest change creates havoc because people don’t know the whole story, or how it will impact them personally, and they feel insulted because they are often the last to hear the news.

According to a 2018 Gallup Poll based on a random sample of over 30,000 full- and part-time U.S. employees, 53% of workers are not engaged and 13% are just plain unhappy. That 53% do the minimum required but will quickly leave their company for a slightly better offer. This is our workforce today, in a time of scarcity for talent in many industries.

So, whose job is it in your business to communicate the big picture (culture, vision, and business goals, as well as major changes and crisis)? The leaders, defined as the CEO, president, and officers of the organization, though I will be the first to say, any “leaders” in the organization are those who lead well.  In this case, those who create or respond to the big picture directly impact the results of communicating the organization’s performance.

I recently presented this overview to a group of leaders in Hampton Roads and was so encouraged by the interest and input for getting this core responsibility right! There are many reasons why leaders don’t communicate the performance of the company such as fear of saying the wrong message or not understanding the value of communicating performance throughout the entire organization, but taking the time to focus on this competency will make a significant difference next time there is a crisis or a downturn your industry.

When I watch TV, if I am not watching the news, I am totally wrapped in a mystery, murder, adventure so I am going to ask you to consider how you can nail your narrative with CSI! Here are three aspects of creating messages for communicating important information:

CREDIBLE: People need to believe your narrative. A recent SHRM 2017 Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement study showed that while 61% of employees rated trust as very important to their job satisfaction, only 33% were very satisfied with their level of trust toward their organizations.

SIMPLE: Many strategic narratives fail because they are too long or too complex.

INSPIRING: Why should people care? How does this impact their work? Keep in mind, that people make decisions every minute based on their hearts and their minds.

The faster the world becomes, the more we need leaders to be master communicators, identifying the gaps, monitoring effectiveness, mentoring with model behaviors, and evaluate the outcomes. This ongoing effort creates the strategy for a leader’s narrative…the messages which clarify and motivate for a cohesive understanding of the big picture AND all the activity which impacts the bottom line, turnover rates, productivity and much more.

If you would like to discuss with me in more depth about your specific challenges in communicating performance, please call to arrange for a complimentary consultation: 757-513-8633 or susan@managingcommunications.com.

Is Your Website Dead?

We hear how it won’t be long until branding is totally through social media or voice communications using the likes of Alexa. While much of may be true, are you going to take out the Ouija board to figure out when? Meanwhile, does it make sense to keep your current strategies up-to-date and useful as possible? We think so…

Our clients often start working with us because of their website. For some, they never update the site because they don’t have time or it’s so old. We often hear, “We only use because it is on our business cards or to respond when someone asks for one, because it would look really bad if we didn’t have one, right?” MCC then takes it to the next level…whether that is updating, adding relevant pages or starting all over to clean up an old HTML site.

The bottom line is you are saying volumes about your reputation, your values, and how you work when you have a website that isn’t competitive. The message is probably not what you want.

Here is what is important to start getting serious about your website:

Keep your content up-to-date. Your potential visitors and even technology such as Google do not like to see dated material. If they look at your blog or news page and see that you have nothing new for several months, you are showing a lack of attention to your business. If you say you have been in business for 15 years and it now has been 20…well, you have just lost a few years of value to some of your audience. If your website links to a Facebook page that you never update, again you are leaving a bad impression.

Make sure it is easy and logical to move around your site. You may have a new focus for products or services that your sales rep is talking about in meetings, but you don’t have it on your site in your list of services. Is it easy for your audience to know what is on a page? Do you have links that make sense to additional, related pages?

Mobile and Uncluttered. They kind of go together. There is specific design and technical elements to consider in making your website mobile. Additional, if you are still using an old HTML type site, you probably are not thinking about mobile at all…and today, that’s where you will be found the most often. Survey your tribe to find out what information is most important to them in searches from phones and other mobile devices.

Repurposing content does not mean repeating content. Simply repeating the same content on different website pages or repeating a blog you wrote five years ago shows a lack of ideas and thought. Repurposing content has a lot of opportunities but takes some planning. Try reusing your most popular posts or blogs using Google analytics to determine what is working for you. Take an old topic, give it a new title and new examples to support your key messages. Break down a longer blog or article into separate blogs based for highly targeted audiences.

If you would like more ideas on how to improve your website, we would love to talk. Our services include:

  • Conducting an audit and report on the design and content of your website in relationship to your goals.
  • Build, redesign, or expand your website.
  • Identify creative ideas for visuals, pages, topics to engage your audiences.
  • Develop new, impactful content and visuals.
  • Write and maintain your blog and news while cross marketing with your social media.
  • Create and manage landing pages for offers and special promotions.
  • Identify opportunities for blogs, articles, and case studies…from interviewing key personnel or customers to writing the final, approved content.
  • Increase loading speeds and apply special applications such as intranets, ecommerce, and other technical aspects of website development.

For more information about content and technology management, visit our website www.managingcommunications.com

Content repurposed! But how?

Sometimes it’s not enough to simply boost a post on social media to reach a broad audience and to draw attention to a desired number of targets. That scenario is called “revamping”. In this case the content is used for the same purpose as it was used for originally.

Since the content we want to communicate seems important to our brand or a specific service/product, it is most likely information focused, written to be understood by the audiences who will make the most use of it, whether that means sharing it or engaging them to some sort of action.  We spent a lot of time creating the initial post, for example, so why not reuse it with updates to keep it interesting?  When the information is to be delivered a second or third time, a different channel of communication is the way to go. When we repurpose, we want to keep our subject attractive and relevant. We are changing the format of the content and we are in some instances, changing the target audience.

There are multiple options for repurposing content, but take into consideration, that learning styles of individuals vary, and that ties closely to the way a person should be approached with our messages.  A safe and economical use of content is most likely to engage more frequency with different people. Visual-, aural-, verbal-, physical-, logical-, or social learning styles can be catered to with the right tool. The goal is to be most influential and efficient, so the audience remembers and is interested in our actual content.

Assuming the first use of the material was for a blog to create awareness, it can now be communicated a second time with modifications using a daily email series to push the audience into a state of consideration and can then for example be molded in an in-depth webinar to trigger a decision.

Let’s say you own a painting company, and you want to target high-end homeowners who are renovating their older homes. You have two audiences but can often repurpose content for both and even engage both in some of the same content. What can you develop from that original visual of your work or message you posted about completing work within three days? How do you explain that because of your expertise, experience, and techniques you will save them the pain and time of doing it themselves?  You will need to dive deeper into content. What does it take to strip a wall with old wallpaper? How do you decide what color schemes will have the most impact in painting a room? Once you have enough content, you can create a series on a theme and then deliver it in a timely manner. Each key message can then be expanded and repurposed for other media such as a podcast, a video or the content for a webinar.

These are only three examples of presenting content to potential customers. “You can take that blog post and make it a GIF, or a Periscope, or a Tweet, or an Instagram Story, or an infographic, or a podcast.” And much more.

Different learning styles are tied to different persona segments and different stages of buyers, so it can be tricky to find the right mix. Only certain target segments can be catered to at the same time. The painting company would probably also like to engage the construction companies who renovate the structure of rooms in these homes to gain referrals or direct contracts. With every repeat and refocus of content we ideally reach a new audience with our multi-channel marketing.

Start thinking of all the different channels we have for repurposing content. The best way to handle this is to research what your target audiences read or where they spend their time. Select one or two new channels and monitor the results. Here are some of the channels to consider:

  • Articles in publications
  • Presentations
  • Infographic
  • Instructographic
  • Social media platforms
  • Repost on Quora
  • Daily tips for any channels
  • eBook
  • Guest post or blog
  • Podcast
  • Webinar
  • One pager or case study for your website
  • Slide share
  • Template with guide
  • Video
  • How to Checklist for Landing Page