Habits that Destroy Happiness

“Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.”
~ Dale Carnegie

As a business owner, the success and growth of your business or organization often relies on your personal happiness. Sometimes we make choices that can become detrimental to our happiness and create a negative cycle that can take a toll on you and your business. Understand and correct a negative habit that can take over your ability to achieve balance and happiness in your work life.

In the business world, comparing your business to other businesses in an unrealistic way can be easy to do when you are trying to improve your brand. This can be self-defeating and create unnecessary stress. Always remember that we each have special talents that make us who we are: try to take in consideration your perceptions of yourself and others. Never allow yourself to lose happiness over something you can’t control or an unrealistic view of the competition.

We have all thought and feared something that happened in the past or something that is going to happen in the future. Live in the present instead of dwelling on the past, this can be a big factor in our level of happiness.

When it comes to working in an office environment, it’s important to understand the type of people you should surround yourself with. Toxic relationships can destroy a positive atmosphere and put you in a negative mindset. Make sure you are around people who you enjoy mutual respect with and care about you.

Happiness is important in overall success and fulfillment. Remember to be your own best advocate, learn from past missteps and surround yourself with diverse positive people.

Kelly D. Scott
Chairman/CEO
Vistage Florida
better leaders ● decisions ● results

“Ready” to Retire?

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”
~ Soren Kierkegaard

Knowing when and how to end your career and transition into the next chapter of life in retirement may seem like a simple goal to accomplish. The confidence needed to go from a life of work to a new leisurely life of golf, sailing or other hobbies or spending your days with friends and family should take time and patient planning.  Are you financially, socially and emotionally ready to change your life? Retirement can be anything you are ready for.

The financial considerations are, of course, the most important factor for most people to consider. The typical, steady cash flow of traditional income changes to other forms of income and spending habits. Retirement is in some ways what your whole career has been planning for. Utilizing savings, investments and having a solid plan to help you live a comfortable life for hopefully at least the next 20 years should be the goal.

One major objective that should be considered is paying off debts. Do you have any loans, credit lines, mortgages or any other long term debt connected to your finances that would be best paid off or best left alone?  At the best case, attempt to utilize your retirement funds for life costs instead of worrying about making large payments during your retirement years.

Healthcare is, of course, a serious consideration in this changing world. Other plans should include investigating long term care facilities and nursing home care in your area. Have a plan and of course be proactive in taking care of your health now more than ever.

Retirement can be an exciting time for you and your family. It can open up many doors to a new life of exploring the world while enjoying much needed time rediscovering yourself with friends and family. Learn how to best evaluate your time, money and resources to live a long and healthy life.

Kelly D. Scott
Chairman/CEO
Vistage Florida
better leaders ● decisions ● results

Internship Programs

“Sometimes it’s the smallest decisions that can change your life forever.”
~ Keri Russell

Internship programs can be a very effective recruitment strategy for businesses of all sizes. Hiring interns can be an exciting experience for both the company and the intern and breathe new life into a stale atmosphere while aiding in a possible career path for a college student. Understand how to start an internship program in your office to grow your company or organization.

Introducing new ideas, skills and innovations are all possible when hiring interns. When planning for interns, make sure you review your needs as a business. Basic items like work space, time allotted to train and supervision should all be discussed to plan the best experience for all involved. This will help your team determine the best places to seek interns, the hours you will need and the background that will produce the best fit along with the proper office resources to support another employee.

Another factor to consider is the understanding that paid internships are, of course, more attractive to most students but unpaid internships are also possible. Creating an hourly rate that your business can justify while being reflective of what talents you are looking for and the help you are offering is the first step in deciding the compensation.

One big benefit of internship programs is that most young college students tend to be technology oriented which can be a benefit in your organization and can help you stay innovative and fresh in your approach no matter what market or industry your business operates. Job fairs at local universities and their career services are great places to start your search.

Taking this step in innovation in your business will help you grow and give back to the community.

Kelly D. Scott
Chairman/CEO
Vistage Florida
better leaders ● decisions ● results

Give Yourself a Boost

“Accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory.”
~ George S. Patton

No matter what type of profession or field you are in, we all can benefit from a boost to push ourselves to reach the finish line. Giving yourself incentives for the completion of tasks can motivate you in some cases however, often obstacles can be frustrating and become road blocks to success. Take a step back and understand specific strategies to improve your inner drive.

Creating a daily reminder to have a positive attitude and to strive towards future success can be a great motivational tool. Create a notebook or vision board on your personal social media accounts to keep track of what you want your future success to look like. Ideas such as a picture of a dream vacation, more time with family and friends or a promotion or higher degree of education may be your idea.

Strong support systems, whether it’s in the office or at home, will create a path for you to seek guidance when your motivation is down. Surround yourself with like-minded people who will motivate you and keep you focused on the road to your goals.

Balancing a work and personal life may be overwhelming at times and can take a toll on your motivation. Getting enough rest, and taking care of your health will support higher energy levels and mind focus.

Take time out of your day and focus on how to give yourself a boost to create opportunities to grow.

Kelly D. Scott
Chairman/CEO
Vistage Florida
better leaders ● decisions ● results

Making Meaningful Connections

“Nonsense and beauty have close connections.”
~ E.M. Forster

Making connections among fellow coworkers is important for creating a more exciting and enjoyable place to come to each day. Striking up a conversation with someone new can sometimes feel uncomfortable but, as with most things, practice makes perfect.

Whether you are interviewing a new employee or having a casual conversation, train yourself to ask and answer with authentic dialogue so you can get to know someone on a personal level.

Developing a meaningful, well thought out conversational style allows us to have in-depth conversations that are beneficial in many ways. No matter what kind of business or personal situation you are in, form questions that open people’s minds to creativity and honesty.

For example, asking more probing questions such as: What was your biggest fear as a child?  What are you most proud of? What is the failure that you learned the most from? can often open up a round of in-depth discussions.

Don’t fall into the trap of losing someone’s interest by asking weak or typical questions. Learn to ask interesting questions in any situation to make the most meaningful connections and to get the most interesting answers.

Kelly D. Scott
Chairman/CEO
Vistage Florida
better leaders ● decisions ● results

Emotional Intelligent Business Leaders

 

“The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.”
~ Albert Einstein

Intelligence is a quality easily claimed but, it’s important to also include emotional intelligence in your communication within the business world. Being a strong leader requires intelligence in all aspects of the business world and while having responsibility for hundreds of people, emotional intelligence is often forgotten. The capacity to be aware of and control ones’ emotions and to handle relationships with discipline, empathy and an open mind is often not natural and is a learned and practiced skill.

Take a few simple steps to become an emotionally intelligent business leader to improve productivity, alliances and performance in your organization.

Being self-aware of certain emotions and knowing the ways to handle those emotions will help grow your emotional intelligence. Instead of reacting to a situation in the heat of an argument, emotional intelligent leaders process their thoughts and take time to respond with respect and without negativity.

Emotional intelligent business leaders develop an empathetic side to their reactions to create a stronger workplace. Paying attention, listening and reacting in a positive way can be the simplest and greatest key to success.

To thrive in the workplace as a strong emotionally intelligent leader requires you to be self-aware of your emotions while learning to connect with others on a personal level. Evaluate your reactions and your consideration level and learn to become an emotionally intelligent business leader.

Kelly D. Scott
Chairman/CEO
Vistage Florida
better leaders ● decisions ● results<

Working with Others

“We cannot accomplish all that we need to do without working together.”
~ Bill Richardson

Whether you sit behind a desk and have daily meetings or interactions with many different people, we have all come across someone we find difficult to work with. Communicating with difficult people can be a tough task to handle on your own. When a problem is noticeable to a group of people a compromise is much easier to identify and implement. Learning to diplomatically deal with difficult people with professional courage can make your office a happier place.

Learning to work with different kinds of people is a key to success in the ever-changing business world. We might not all agree on the same issues or ideas but problem solving, compromising and listening to other peoples’ opinions with an open mind can help us all.

Always take a step back and take a look at your reactions, think about your facial responses or verbal and written communications that might have put a wedge between you and this difficult person. Try to narrow down the issue and learn what triggers you to react the way you do. We can all learn lessons from examining our own behaviors. What we can’t do is control others.

Kelly D. Scott
Chairman/CEO
Vistage Florida
better leaders ● decisions ● results

 

Employee Think Tank

emp-think-tank-2

If you do things well, do them better. Be daring, be first, be different, be just.”
~ Anita Roddick, Businesswoman

In the ever-changing face of the workplace, the power of diverse thinking that can be expressed in employee think thanks may positively impact many types of businesses. Implementing an employee think tank creates a system where all ideas are welcome and considered as part of an organized system of meetings and may help foster a better more cohesive work place. Providing ideas can be part of every employees’ job and receiving ideas should be every manager’s job.

Starting with the implementation of small ideas instead of with big, aggressive and dramatic ideas will get more positive attention since these ideas may be carried out immediately. Small ideas are the steppingstones to bigger ideas and, taken together, small ideas can grow into a large competitive advantage for your brand. Create a structure of rounding up ideas through meetings and regular discussion groups, growing those ideas are the next step. No matter how small, ask every employee to share ideas and discuss which ideas should be refined and delegate responsibilities for them.

To make employees feel part of the team and valuable to the daily operation, recognize the results of ideas and solutions that work. Giving public recognition in a newsletter or on the office bulletin board provides a level of satisfaction that can be combined with small rewards of recognition such as gift cards or other tokens of merit.

With an open mind and a good system of exchanging ideas and recognizing results, your business will grow, your employees will be happier and a better bottom line may result.

Kelly D. Scott
Chairman/CEO
Vistage Florida
better leaders ● decisions ● results

I Don’t Have Time

time

“Create a definite plan for carrying out your desire and begin at once, whether you are ready or not, to put this plan into action.”
~ Napoleon Hill

The number one excuse we hear in the work force is “I don’t have time”. You can read and research about time management but in the end time management is subjective, based on inner experience rather than fact. Learn to remove any self-limitation about “not having time” to start, improve or promote your business or organization. Remember we all get 24 hours.

Throughout the day we are all pushed and pulled in many different directions that can throw us off course. Creating a diary including all your thoughts and ideas during the day can help you track where you are spending most of your productive hours and where you may need to decrease time wasting activates. Record start and stop times for important meetings or appointment to help you stay on top of your to do list. Do 1st things first and 2nd things never.

Another important tip is to stop, think and plan before going into an important phone call or meeting to allow yourself to decide your intention. This will help to reduce the time spent on this activity while increasing the overall objective. Make sure to record whether the goal was achieved and if not, decide how could you improve the outcome for next time.

The most important thing to understand while working towards better time management skills is; it can feel impossible to get everything done in a day. Eliminate the mindset of “I don’t have time”. Overcoming that one obstacle may help you realize all the ways to improve your productivity.

Kelly D. Scott
Chairman/CEO
Vistage Florida
better leaders ● decisions ● results

You Never Get a Second Shot at a First Impression

 “You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.”

– Henry Ford

There are hundreds of social media sites where you can spend hours researching all kinds of ideas, people, and news but not all that information can be beneficial to your business. Investing in your professional network involves using websites like LinkedIn, the largest professional network on the internet with over 400 million users, to create your online first impression.

 As a CEO or staff member, it has become increasingly important to keep an updated and positive online reputation on all relevant social media sites. The promotional benefits are endless however the amount of time dedicated to this task can also take over your day. Like all promotional enterprises, the balance of cost and benefit needs to be weighed to be effective. Time management is an ongoing skill to learn and refine.

 However, as we look into “LinkedIn” as an example we notice that every time we make a connection with other business leaders or employees, we allow that person to connect with an outreach network of thousands. These connections may have direct or indirect importance and can have beneficial impacts on sales, business and personal matters that are reachable with the simple effort of a keystroke.

It is easy to forget the huge impact a simple message, tweet, email or connection can have.  Before clicking that send key stop and think about the words and image you are sending out. Your integrity, reputation, ethics and personality are always important. Manners and social graces always matter. Today’s words and actions become your reputation.