leaders

& their qualities

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Last year, my first blog post was about leadership quantities and it’s fitting to write again about leadership and it’s qualities because of a compliment a co-worker gave me. Today, a co-worker told me “Kendal Ann, you are the most considerate person I know.” That’s the best compliment I’ve received in a long time.

If you ask 10 people what three qualities a good leader must posses, I bet you will come back with 20 different answers. For me, a good leader must be a good communicator, enthusiastic and considerate. More often than not, people don’t think of being considerate as a trait for good leaders, but to me it’s one of the most important.

There is evidence that leaders who are considerate in their leadership style are higher performers and are more satisfied with their job (Schriesheim). We should also note that consideration and structure are independent of each other, thus they should not be viewed on a continuum (Stogdill). For example, a leader who is more considerate, it does not necessarily mean that they is less structured. When thinking of a considerate leadership style, understand this could also mean leaders typically exhibit concern for employees’ well-being, status, and comfort.

A year later, I still believe we are all leaders, and it just takes some of us a little longer to get there than others. Leaders do not fit into a perfect mold. Leaders are born every day. Each day, you can make yourself become a better leader though expressing gratitude, by having an open mind, and being courageous and take positions on controversial topics.

 

trains, planes and automobiles

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

What do you think of when you hear the word “train” in a transportation sense? Maybe you think of the metro, subway or Amtrak, but hardly ever does our generation (Millennials) think of the proper term of train. Train, n:a series of railroad cars moved as a unit by a locomotive or by integral motors. I have something new to hit you with when you think of trains, Millennial Trains Project. This is a new initiative that  aims to turn the journey into a mechanism for learning and social change.

Background: A part of the journey the train will visit 7 cities over the course 10 days–that’s a lot of ground to be covering especially when your mode of transportation is a train. The itinerary includes Seattle, Detroit and Cleveland. In each destination, passengers will have 5-6 hours to work on their projects. In between stops, the group will participate in workshops and mentoring sessions to help build on their ideas. I am not entirely sure what happened once the projects are completed and if there is any follow up, that would be interesting to look into.

The real benefit to programs like these might not be the actual projects they spawn, but the people they educate and shape. It’s really interesting stuff, follow the Train’s journey live and learn more about the inspiring entrepreneurs on board.

quirky

it’s the only word to describe it

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Wisconsin is full of strange things, but here’s an article that was shared with me from a coworker about quirky and hardworking family business owners. The article from Slate tells you about Carl Corey and his family business. Corey began meeting family business owners while documenting Wisconsin bars for his book, Tavern League: Portraits of Wisconsin Bars. Inspired by the experience, Corey decided to seek out family businesses all over Wisconsin, from hardware stores to bakeries to organ builders. Corey’s new book, For Love and Money: Portraits of Wisconsin Family Businesses, comprises portraits of single families who’ve owned their business for at least 50 years.

After a coworker showed this to a fellow Wisconsinite and me, she decided to buy the book. I really excited to see it. In addition to her buying the book, she told us all of the places she has to check off her list…and let me tell you she’s doing a well!

 

pro tip

always follow up

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

I will let you in on a little secret. Networking can virtually occur in any settings. But networking might not be the most important part of making contacts, my friends, it is essential to always follow up. An initial contact is great, but you aren’t really networking if the relationship does not continue. To achieve success in your networking efforts, it is vital to follow up.

You want to cultivate those relationships and the solution isn’t more networking, but rather spending more time networking with a follow up system in place. Honestly, your business or career may even depend on it. Let me fill you in on a few best practices.

Take notes

More than likely, you exchanged business cards, if not get in the habit of doing that. At the very least get their business card. Immediately after the event, jot down a few quick notes about the people you met. I write these directly on their business card. It’s important to do this shortly after the event so the conversation is still fresh in your mind.

Send an email 24 hours after meeting

When sending your first email, you want to demonstrate that you are thoughtful, reliable, and consistent. Just like you put the effort in to make a good impression at the event, continue to do that in your email. Of course, make sure there are no typos, spelling errors or run-on sentences. Sharing useful data, offering further help and focusing on the receipt of the email are all things to keep in mind when writing this exchange.

Connect on Social Media

The next step is to connect with the person on LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ or follow their blog. Once I am connected with someone on LinkedIn or Twitter, for example, I am less likely to lose touch with them and they will be reminded of me every time I post something. Plus, both are excellent tools for remaining “top of mind” with people in your extended network.

Follow-Up & Add Value

The hardest part about following up with people who you still don’t know that well is finding excuse for contacting that person without sounding like a car salesman. When you follow up with your contact, add value to your outreach.  A few ways to do this could consist of sending an information article, making an introduction or inviting them to an event. Again, it’s hard to make these follow up connections but know that everyone is in the same boat. Here’s another useful article about adding value from the NYTimes.

Keep these things in mind next time you are next working and following up with those connections!

Presidents

Happy Birthday?

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

So, it is Presidents Day, but from my last post, you can sense a myth. For a long time, some arbitrary Monday in February has been deemed “Presidents Day”. After reading a few articles, the question of, “Is it really George Washington’s birthday or is it Abraham Lincoln’s birthday?” today has come up.

So the answer unfolds after reading many articles. President’s Day 2014 is today, February 17, but I have come to learn that today  is neither the birthday of Washington or Abe. In fact, Lincoln’s birthday was on 12 February, while Washington’s falls on 22 February. According to the US National Archives, the passage of Public Law 90-363 in 1968 moved the traditional observance of Washington’s birthday from February 22 to the third Monday in February. Since Washington’s birthday fell right after Lincoln’s birthday (February 12), many states chose to combine the two events into President’s Day, a day that is now used for honoring all former US Presidents.

Though it may not be George Washington or Abe Lincoln’s actual birthdays, Presidents’ Day is still a good excuse to raise a glass to our entrepreneurial first President, or anyone for that matter. Go on, grab your whiskey and raise a toast to our forefathers.

what we want

the millennial edt

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

If it hasn’t been evident before, I hope it is now– I am a proud Millennial. I am an advocate for Millennials. Unfortunately, Millennials get a bad reputation but I am sure that is that case with most rising-star generations. Being a Millennial is tough work, everyone is always downplaying your abilities and shooing you to the wayside. To make an impact, we need to focus on the positives. An article written by Global CEO of Deloitte Touche Tohmastu Limited, Barry Slazberg, recently wrote an article about Millenials. To be honest, going into the article I was skeptical, however, after reading the article I was pleasantly surprised.

Their findings in a nutshell

Millennials are ready to go their own way

Millennials want to make a difference

Millennials want to be leaders

Millennials want to be innovative

Millennials expect businesses to care

I support all of these findings. As a Millennial, I find it hard to stick with things that have always been. I want to pave my own path and create my own future. Sure, it’s not going to be easy to create my own path, but then again who said life was easy?

MLK, Jr

I have a dream

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Today we celebrate a big day. Martin Luther King, Jr delivered the “I Have a Dream” speech on August 28, 1963. In this speech he called for an end to racism in the United States. He delivered this speech to over 250,000 civil rights supporters from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington. This speech was a defining moment of the American Civil Rights Movement.

a mentor

Matt is a very lucky guy in many aspects. One in particular he’s been blessed with having not one, but two exceptional mentors in his short lived career. I’ve heard countless stories of both mentors and they not only are mentors to Matt while he was working with them, but they still contact one another. To me, an awesome mentor is someone who is trusted and someone you can talk about about more than your career and professional life. I want a mentor who I trust and can go to for advice across many subjects. One day, I hope we all have an opportunity to have mentors (or be mentors) like the one Matt writes about in his guest blog post below.

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

what makes a mentor

guest blog presented by: Matthew D. Shalbrack
You can find Matt on Twitter: @hamsterjockey; insta: hamsterjockey, make sure you follow him!

By definition, a mentor is “an experienced or trusted adviser” or even more descriptive, a “an experienced person in a company, college, or school who trains and counsels new employees or students.”

In my short 23 years, I’ve had two different types of mentors, both of whom were bosses of mine at one point in my career.

Both of these individuals, who shall remain nameless, are mentors of mine for different reasons. I think that aspect of this story is very important because I think there are some very important criteria that must be met in order to be considered someone’s “mentor.”

The biggest thing for me is that a person must trust you to do your job correctly just as much as you trust them to be fair to you when being your superior. It means relying on you to do not only the miniscule tasks, but the hard and challenging tasks as well. At the same time, it means that this person doesn’t act like a boss, they act as a friend until you screw up and they need to lay the hammer down, which they don’t have any problem doing. Another important thing that a “mentor” has in my opinion is that they trust your judgment, 100%, no questions asked.

One of the other important things that I find to be a characteristic of both of my mentors is that they bring out good qualities, the ones that you were hired for, in you to use them to not only help you grow, but to help the organization/company grow as well. They take all of your strengths and help you make them grow even stronger while taking your weaknesses and help you grow them into strengths. This person also always wants you to succeed no matter what, even if it’s for a different company. In turn, that desire for success applies to them from you, too.

Finally, this person always has time for you, no matter if it’s on the clock or off the clock. Whether it be sitting in their office after hours for 15 minutes extra or going out for a dinner to discuss not only work-related things, but to discuss life in general. That’s the type of mentor I want.

I’ve been lucky this far in my career where I’ve had two people who have fulfilled all of those things and more for me. They’ve allowed me to grow, to harness my talents, help pinpoint my weaknesses and teach me how to fix them, all while not being afraid to keep me informed on the things that I need to work on or call me out when I screw up. People like this are irreplaceable in both life and the workplace. If you’ve met someone like this, a person that you can really call a “mentor,” you’re lucky. Those friendships will last a lifetime. If you haven’t yet, keep your head up because you’re bound to meet someone like this.

one of the greatest leaders

Nelson Mandela

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Nelson Mandela had many achievements, but there are arguably two that stand out to the world. First, he was the Mandelaworld’s most inspiring example of fortitude, magnanimity and dignity in the face of oppression. Mandela served 27 years in prison because he had the belief that all men and women are created equal. Second, the way he engineered the transformation of South Africa. South Africa went from a from narrowness into a rainbow nation. Here in this new nation of South Africa, no matter what your color you were entitled to be treated with respect.

You can utter the name Nelson Mandela from cost to coast, ocean to ocean and everyone will know who you are speaking of. Mandela was a miraculous man. I heard these words and allow me to paraphrase: It is hard to think of anyone else in the world where every single person, in every corner of the Earth, can somehow identify with him and his actions. He was, quite simply, a wonderful man.

This one is for you, Nelson Mandela!

If you are interested in reading more about Nelson Mandela and his leadership lessons, check out Forbes. Forbes has a very interesting article that talks about Mandela and his epic leadership lessons.

#givingtuesday

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

This is the first year I have heard about #GivingTuesday (#GT) and I wanted to share with you what I have learned. #GT is an awesome opportunity. First we had Black Friday, then Cyber Monday and now we have #GT— What do you think will be next?

For a little background this is a movement that has created a day of national of giving. Essentially, this day, GT,  is a way to start off the giving season. GT allows us to physically put something on the calendar which follows the mayhem of shopping. 2013 marks the second annual GivingTuesday. Like retail stores take part in Black Friday,  this is one way to allow for a community to come together for #GivingTuesday.

You can find all of this information on the website: http://community.givingtuesday.org/Page/FAQ. As I am sure a link might stop most of you from reading it, read below for the same information and enjoy. Remember, it’s never too little or too late.

Question: What is #GivingTuesday’s mission?

Answer: #GivingTuesday™ is a campaign to create a national day of giving at the start of the annual holiday season. It celebrates and encourages charitable activities that support non-profit organizations.

Question: How did #GivingTuesday start?

Answer: New York’s 92nd Street Y was the catalyst and incubator for #GivingTuesday, bringing the expertise of 139 years of community-management to the project and providing #GivingTuesday a home. The United Nations Foundation joined as partners, bringing their strategic and communications clout to the project. An amazing team of influencers then offered their ideas, contacts and wisdom to help shape and improve the concept. A powerful list of corporations and non-profits agreed to be founding partners, helping spread the word and committing to their own #GivingTuesday initiatives. Since then, countless organizations, friends and leaders have all added their support and talents to make #GivingTuesday a reality.

Question: Did #GivingTuesday make a difference last year?

Answer: In 2012, we had more than 2,500 recognized #GivingTuesday™ partners from all 50 states of the United States. The collective efforts of partners, donors and advocates helped fuel a marked increase in charitable giving on GivingTuesday.

Blackbaud processed over $10 million in online donations on 11/27/12 – a 53% increase when compared to the Tuesday after Thanksgiving the previous year. DonorPerfect recorded a 46% increase in online donations and the average gift increased 25%. More than 50 million people worldwide spread the word about GivingTuesday – resulting in milestone trending on Twitter. Not too shabby, right?

Question: Who can participate?

Answer: Everyone! #GivingTuesday is an initiative to start the giving season and we encourage everyone to be involved with it. However, to be an official partner, you must be a registered non-profit [a 501(c)3 in the United States] with a specific #GivingTuesday initiative, or a for-profit business, school, religious or community group who commit to spearhead a project that will benefit at least one registered charity or non-profit. Families and individuals are encouraged to be generous in whatever ways matter to them, whether that means volunteering at a local charity or donating to a favorite cause.

Question: Who can be a partner?

Answer: To be an official partner, you must be a registered non-profit [a 501(c)3 in the United States] with a specific #GivingTuesday initiative, or a for-profit business, school, religious or community group who commit to spearhead a project that will benefit at least one registered charity or non-profit.
 
Question: Can organizations get donations through the #GivingTuesday website?

Answer: No. #GivingTuesday is a movement. We are not an organization and do not accept or distribute donations. All donations need to be made through partner websites. Official partners are responsible for their own fundraising initiatives.
 
Question: I’m a member of the media. How do I connect to someone at #GivingTuesday?

Answer: We’d be happy to speak with you. Please click here to contact us.