Seven Traits of Highly Effective Leaders

Every leader requires a remarkable amount of time and efforts to become a leader. There are certain traits and habits that make a leader what he is. Some people have to work hard to gain that position. Either way the position is gained after a tough struggle. A leader is never arrogant; although he is well aware of his position. You have to lead with your head and heart as well to gain the position. Great leaders are always self assured and confident about themselves. They have a strong sense of self-confidence but never even go close to becoming over confident or over efficient. The employees or workers are naturally drawn to their leader because of his abilities and especially his communication skills. They are always committed and dedicated people with strong passion and enthusiasm. The following are the basic fundamental traits of an effective leader:

Optimistic Approach:

The basic recognition of a good leader is his optimism. Even in the darkest hours, a great leader never leaves hope. Hopelessness is basically a failure’s trait. There is nothing impossible for a leader as he knows that he can overcome what is torturing him today. He does not only have an optimistic approach but he also plays a vital role in transferring this trait into his staff as well. This makes up for a healthy work environment and it is an initiative for unleashing the natural creativity locked up inside each individual.

Facilitate Your Team:

There are certain people who only work on their nature and abilities and hope that they would one day turn into great leaders. This is not the case with good leadership. You are responsible for providing and facilitating your team members. They are your staff and therefore, you have to cut them loose some times. Your staff should be capable enough to be bold and true to your face. They should have freedom for expression. You have to constantly support your employees and encourage them for a better tomorrow.

Be Decisive:

You have to take this trait as a duty to be an effective leader with a good approach. You have to be decisive at all the times. You have to look at situations from different perspectives to be assured of the circumstances and consequences while making a risky decision. It doesn’t matter which company or industry you’re in, what matters is that you have the ability to make quick and easy decisions and you do not have to regret for it later. You can change your decision within a short amount of time, provided that the reason is highly compelling.

Communicative:

For people working in any kind of organization, it is important for you to work on your communication skills. Good communication skills does not in any way mean that you start acting unprofessional. The point is to raise your voice whenever you feel uncomfortable with something in the work environment. Good communication skills come with good relationships with the staff or the employees. You also have to keep yourself updated with the current situations of the environment. After all, knowledge is power. You have to provide two-way communication channels for your employees to actually speak up to you.

Responsible:

You have to be true to your employees at all costs. A good leader is responsible enough to treat all of his employees in the same manner. You are basically responsible for your staff’s performance. You have to keep a responsible check on everyone and help them in their time of need. The problems related to work should be discussed in a professional manner and therefore, you have to find the solutions to them quickly and efficiently. When something goes wrong, be sure not to degrade your staff by blaming them, instead look for the solution to the problem.

Organized Behavior:

Being an effective leader, you have a certain set goal which you want to achieve. A leader always focuses on his vision and it should be an inspiration to him and his team as well. You have to organize the roadblocks to your vision for your team to see clearly what you are striving for. A good leader always makes full proof planning in order to achieve what he desires. You have to think of the scenario through different perspectives and it requires analytical thinking skills and research. Therefore, all of this can be achieved if you have an organized behavior.

Honesty:

Honesty is always the best policy. Therefore, you have to be an honest leader in order to flourish in life and career as well. The foundation of success lies with honesty and integrity. It is an ethical behavior which is responsible for the success of many people before time You can join the successful rankings of other renowned leaders by building your foundation upon honesty. You have to be honest about the condition of your industry with everyone, especially your employees, in order to gain their trust.

They Demonstrate Integrity:

The most important thing that an employee demands from his leader is integrity. You have to treat your staff in a similar manner, with no discrimination whatsoever. Favoritism makes you lose your employees. You have to remain ethical throughout your professional life, in order to be a great leader. They shouldn’t be self promotional, instead they should promote their staff members to encourage them to work better and happily. They might consider you ‘boring’ but it is advantageous to be predictable, so that your staff knows about the consequences. Integrity enforces the employees to be stable and relaible in their field. Therefore, if you have immoral actions towards anyone, it would cause you to lose your staff.
Some leaders are born effective, while others have to gain certain traits by working hard for them or you can practice or adopt those traits from another effective leader.

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The Current State of Public Education

The post is analysis of Sir Ken Robinson’s video on Education, which you can link to above.

Society is desperately trying to reform education, so students can compete in the 21st Century. The problem with the current model of education is that it’s based on old assumptions. This model, based upon the Industrial Revolution, claims if you study hard and get a degree you will be offered a high paying job. Students and parents now know this is not always the case. The economic conditions over the last ten years clearly supports the fact that this is not the case. This is why companies like Apple have training programs available right out of high school.

The current model of education is also causing an alarming amount of attention disease among students. These children are being drugged up in staggering numbers. Some of the culprits include Video Games, IPhones, Tablets, etc., because they need the stimulation to break free from boring and repetitive academic teaching. There is also a correlation between more standardized tests and attention disease as well. Mr. Robinson calls these routine teaching methods “Aesthetic”, meaning lack of engagement. He calls some teaching (ART for example), Esthetic, because it forces children to learn in the present moment and it brings your senses alive. The more direct student engagement, the better. Esthetic teaching can wakes up what is already inside of you. Mr. Robinson also speaks about production line teaching. This is where kids are lumped together solely by age instead of natural abilities and desires. Finally he wraps up the video and talks about Divergent Thinking. This is sadly something children are not taught in the regular education program.

Here is an example of Divergent Thinking. “Tell us all the ways you can use a paper clip”. A great divergent thinker may come up with 200 different ways and ask questions like, “Can the paperclip expand 200 feet and be made of rubber?” He is talking about open minds, collaboration, and creative solutions. The sad part is that Kindergarten children scored nearly perfect on divergent thinking tests. The higher the grade level the worse the results became.

Sir Ken Robinson has many great ideas on how to improve public education.

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School Budget Woes for Pennsylvania Schools

School Budget Woes in Pennsylvania

School Budget Woes in Pennsylvania

There are new school budget woes for Pennsylvania Schools this year. As this website has told you, revenue shortfalls cannot keep up with expenses. The troublesome areas are obvious. The state wants to provide relief property tax relief and the same level of education. These are two competing interests. So instead of directly confronting the problem, they plan on just shifting the tax burden. Under the new proposal, tax payers will receive an additional $700 in property tax relief by increasing the state tax on purchases. Renters will suffer the brunt of this proposal, because they get no relief from property taxes. The other interesting fact is that most of the revenue will be generated from southeastern Pennsylvania (about 50 percent). However, this region will not receive the same amount of proceeds in return (The Mercury Opinion 11-15-22).

The biggest change requires that any school tax increase will need to be approved by the voters; even the ones that are within the state imposed cap. The problem, with this change, is that most of the increases are mandated by contract or law. This includes salary increases, benefit increases, pension contributions and the requirement to fund charter schools. If school districts cannot rely on stable funding from the state education programs will need to be cut.

The Pennsylvania school board association said it best. “There are too many unfunded and underfunded state mandates and these types of referendum are really only shifting the tax burden instead of addressing it head on. Referendum treats the symptom of unpopular property taxes without treating the cause of the problem — an inadequate education funding system and too many unfunded and underfunded mandates, the Pennsylvania School Boards Association wrote in an analysis of the referendum proposal (The Mercury Opinion 11-15-22)”.

PSBA noted that not only are referendums an exercise in shifting blame for taxes, they also don’t work in the long run.

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Seven ways to motivate your workforce

Employee Motivation

Employee Motivation

A motivated workforce is a great asset that leads to better productivity and a great working environment. If your workforce is not motivated, you will never end up reaching your company’s objectives. Employee motivation is an ongoing challenge, especially in firms which fail to embrace employee satisfaction. Leaders get the best from their employees and know how to recognize and reward them.

Here are 7 different ways that you can motivate your workforce:

1. Support new ideas

When an employee comes up to you with an idea don’t disregard it. Listen carefully to what the person has to say and encourage them to pursue it. Employees coming up with ideas mean that they care about the company and if their views are valued they will be motivated.

2. Create attainable goals

Setting goals is important and fundamental for organizations. It is important however that goals are set in a realistic way. Setting hard and unclear goals will only result in a demotivated workforce.

3. Professional Development

Employees are thirsty for personal and professional development opportunities. Allowing employees to have a voice, in their personal development, is good for the company and for business. Develop a culture of constant learning and improvement.

4. Promotion

There is nothing employees value more than being promoted. This makes employees feel that their contributions are meaningful and recognized. At all times look to promote excellent employees from within the organization, before looking outside.

5. Recognition:

Each individual has their own preferences and not all individuals will be motivated by money. Some people value recognition more than money. It is important to recognize high performing employees.

6. Company Perks:

Top organizations have been allowing employees to go the gym on company time, take naps and even provide full time day care at no cost. The reason why is It works. This allows workers, who meet their objectives, a way to handle stress in the workplace.

7. Financial Motivation:

Mostly, employees are motivated by their salary. If the financial rewards are congruent with job performance and contributions, this goes a long way in making an employee happy. However, even if you cannot reward employees monetarily, always recognized them for a job well done, even in a small way

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Five Steps to Personal Excellence

Personal Excellence

Personal Excellence

Five Steps to Personal Excellence

If you master these five steps you will obtain personal excellence, and achieve your goals and dreams. This applies to all areas of your life. Self- discipline is the hardest part, but achieving your goals is very rewarding.

So develop the necessary mindset and follow these five steps:

1. Evaluating Your Strengths and Weaknesses

It is a good idea to be self-aware of your strength and weaknesses. You need to work hard and diligently on self-improvement. If a star basketball player can’t make free throws he will devote hours on becoming better. Now a former weakness becomes a strength.

2. Self-Discipline

Self-Discipline is a powerful tool in your arsenal. A great writer will wake up early and not miss a day of practicing his/her writing skills. This dedication will happen for months and years without taking a break. The key is to practice, work and refine your skills day after day. This alone will lead to self-mastery.

3. Visualize Success

Humans need to set goals and actually visualize themselves reaching them. This is a well- known psychological principal that all successful people follow. Pretend you actually have achieved your goals, like they already happened.

4. Time Management

Successful people are organized and manage their time well. They dedicate themselves to what is important and do not waste their time on trivial matters. How you plan and prioritize your time will definitely determine your effectiveness. Efficiency is a formula determined by the quality of work done within a fixed timeframe – so make sure you stick to it.

8. The Time Is Now

As a last step to achieving personal excellence, you must know that the time is NOW. In order to achieve personal excellence you must begin today and not wait for the perfect moment. There is never a perfect time, there is only now.

In the end, you should also know that all skills are learnable in life, and we are all put in this world with equal potential. We may not have the same circumstances, but we are all born to be great. Committing to your goals and being persistent will lead to personal excellence.

Joseph J Tramontana Hamilton New Jersey

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Seven Essential Qualities Of Great Supervisors

Seven Essential Qualities of Great Supervisors

Seven Essential Qualities of Great Supervisors

There have always been some poor and mediocre bosses. However, when it comes to great supervisors, the most important thing they all share is knowing what goes on in the organization, having the power to change that and fit in the organizational hierarchy perfectly well.

The technical knowledge in terms of the basic principles of management such as planning, directing, organizing and motivating are also a part of the technical knowledge every great supervisor has. But deep beyond the surface of what a great supervisor really represents, there are these seven qualities:

1. Emotional Balance – The main role of a supervisor is to handle authority and leadership well. This includes meeting targets and deadlines, which are situations that can easily be affected by emotions. That is why a proper self-control and balance is what every great supervisor must have.

2. Proactiveness – With many objectives to be achieved, planning things in advance is not easy – which is the exact reason why every great supervisor has to be committed, take responsibility and dedication to fulfill everything on-time without passing the blame to others.

3. Creativity – Coming up with responses and special efforts to many situations triggers the creative part behind every great supervisor – which should never be a compromise.

4. Self-knowledge – Being aware of the personal attributes and linking them with the job position, strengths, weaknesses as well as objectives and deadlines is what lies in every great supervisor as their own view of the job role.

5. Managerial skills – This portion of skills includes the technical, human, conceptual, diagnostic and political skills altogether as the ultimate recipe for a great supervisor. The methods and procedures in terms of technicality, the understanding and motivation when it comes to human skills as well as the abstract and general ideas are all skills that define a great supervisor.

6. Mental agility – Grasping the problems quickly and thinking about new strategic ways in the same time are all beneath the process of mental agility in every great supervisor.

7. Learning habits – Last but not least are the learning habits. Despite that the supervisor role involves directing tasks and organizing people, a great supervisor is always prone to learning how to be independent as a leader and be independent in giving the right decisions.

In the end, every supervisor is a leader and a decision maker. That is why this role is vital to the company and in order to guarantee a successful future, a great supervisor must always dominate with these personal advantages.

Joseph Tramontana School Business Administrator.

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How to address Work and Life Conflicts

Work and Life Conflicts

Work and Life Conflicts

Employers must learn how to address work and life conflicts. Organizations understand the difficulties their employees face in modern society. Society is filled with complex personal issues and problems. Many families have both spouses working, which means child care is a real concern. Employees also have to care for their aging parents in nursing homes. In today’s marketplace, employees want choices, and organizations should be prepared to offer some. Companies need to be flexible when accommodating the personal needs of their employees. Because both parents are working, family obligations become more complicated. It is also important to realize that there are many single parents in the work force as well.

There are many ways companies are beginning to address these issues. Some initiatives include flexible scheduling, telecommuting, off-site work arrangements, and employee assistance programs. Childcare and eldercare are two items at the top of the list and with today’s technology, offering alternatives has become easier. Examples include Microsoft Office, Go to Meeting, Video Conferencing, and others. Collaboration has never been easier. Companies can even monitor productivity remotely.

These policies not only support a better work/life balance, but they also can help attract quality employees. Many organizations see absenteeism rates improve, fewer disability claims and workplace accidents. These alternatives result in less time commuting, reduced stress, fewer distractions, and the ability to deal with issues like family illnesses. However despite the benefits it can be very tempting to slack off working in a home environment. Therefore, programs need to be carefully put together. One best way would be to develop a hybrid approach. For example, part of the week an employee could work in the office and the other part of the week at home. Also, employees could work from home on days they are ill, so productivity is not totally lost.

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Hiring and Recruiting Talented Employees

Hiring Talented Employees

Hiring Talented Employees

One of the most important duties, of a Human Resources Professional, is hiring and recruiting talented employees. This is a critical process that goes far beyond advertising your vacancy in the help wanted section of the newspaper. Quality employees are the lifeblood of your company.

The best place to start your recruitment efforts is with a proper workforce plan. Before you turn your recruitment efforts to the outside we need to take a close look at current employees.

Start with these questions:

Are your employees strategically placed in your organization?
Do the employees have a specific skill set for their current position; or is there a better placement?
Do the employees enjoy their work or could they be better assigned?

One critical component, of successful recruitment, is to take a current look at your job descriptions. Duties and responsibilities change over time and job descriptions need to meet your current needs. Before you advertise for a new a position, it would be wise to thoroughly update the job description. For example if the opening is in the Finance Department, sit down with the Finance Officer and review the description in great detail before posting the position.

The next step is to advertise the position in places that will attract quality candidates.

These include:

• Your Company Website
• Job Boards
• Social Media
• Professional Associations
• Job Fairs
• College Campuses
• Recruiters

There are pros and cons to all of these sources and we will discuss them in future articles.

The next step is to carefully review resumes of the most promising candidates. Look for items such as specific achievements, professional development, and education. The problem many HR Professionals have is not reducing the list to a manageable level. Despite the volume of candidates, your company can only choose one person for the position. The next part of the process is the interview process. It is important to keep the questions consistent among candidates and not to ask unlawful questions. This includes the proper and legal way to conduct credit and background checks.

Staffing is critical to the ultimate success of your organization. Without the right employees your business will never reach its long term goals or be as great as the can be.

School Business Administrator

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Human Resources as a Strategic Partner

Human Resources as a Strategic Partner

Human Resources as a Strategic Partner

Human Resources as a strategic partner. The future Human Resources professional will continue to evolve as a valuable consultant and strategic thinker to their organization.

In the past HR professionals would focus on day to day routines such as processing employment applications. Today they need to study business trends by identifying long term goals and objectives. They need to think strategically about how their business model will change by identifying future threats, weaknesses and opportunities. HR professionals can get a better understanding of what their organization needs by consulting with the leadership of the company. They no longer can function in isolation, but must serve as strategic consultant. HR professionals should examine their competition and the latest business trends. From there, they can develop recommendations regarding policies, procedures, and staffing.

Technology is also changing the role of HR Professionals. Today’s HR computer software provide powerful tools that can supply a wide variety of data. This means the role of an HR professional will become more strategic. The data and the tools will be used to drive key decisions. For example, technology, in the past, focused on maintaining basic employee records. Today technology has the capacity to train employees at, very high levels, for a reasonable cost. Training individuals is not enough it must correlate to job performance. There must be a clear and identifiable pattern of how the training boosted employee performance.

HR Professionals should spend at least 20 minutes each day on how they can set their company up for future success. Then they can be regarded as a true senior partner as opposed to someone that just provides support services and processes paperwork.

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The amazing power of curiosity

Curiosity

The amazing power of curiosity

The older we get, the more we have a tendency to close down our creativity. We do not bring the same openness and wonder to learning as we did as children. Our minds are overflowing with too much information and data. As adults, we tend to gravitate toward safety and our daily routines. Children are naturally curious, because they love to explore. If they encounter a problem they just solve it.

According to Michael Dell, curiosity may be the most important attribute for executives to have. Dell was responding to a survey, along with a thousand other CEOS, that cited open-mindedness and curiosity as critical leadership traits. Executives need to expand their view wider and deeper than ever before. Leaders need to reclaim their natural born curiosity. Let’s face it, the world is complex and even the smartest will not have all the answers. However, bringing a curious attitude will help with keeping pace with our competitors.

The CEO is the person to set the tone of curiosity throughout the organization. Lead by example and question everything. This lays the groundwork for others to question the norm and see how things can be done better. Just imagine if the entire culture of the organization is rooted in wonder and open-mindedness. This will generate a massive amount of new ideas that can be implemented immediately. Curiosity has been around for decades and was one of the reasons for Walt Disney’s great success. He had the ability to use his imagination and reconstruct it into a physical reality time and time again.

Even before Walt Disney there was the ancient philosophy of Zen Buddhism that incorporated the concept of beginners mind. “In the beginners mind there are many possibilities, in the experts mind few.” This means that even if your studying physics and you have an advanced degree it is the attitude that counts. Bring an open mind and attitude toward the subject and be open to new ideas and creativity.

Joseph Tramontana School Business Administrator.

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