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5 Things That Really Smart People Do

5 Things That Really Smart People Do
Most people don't really think much about how they learn. Generally you assume learning comes naturally. You listen to someone speak either in conversation or in a lecture and you simply absorb what they are saying, right? But the need for learning never ends, so your desire to do so should always outweigh your desire to be right. 1. You know the one I am talking about. 2. If you can't quiet the inner voice, then at least use it to your advantage. 3. Some people are naturally curious and others are not. 4. No concept or theory comes out of thin air. 5. Often people shut out learning due to the person delivering the material.

Successful Leadership Skills For too long, we’ve thought of “hard skills” and “soft skills” as mutually exclusive. Hard skills are supposed to provide the value, and soft skills supposed to be subordinate, inferior, and all about feelings. Some frameworks of leadership reinforce this myth by encouraging positioning leaders as above the group and magically removed from doubt and anxiety. In reality, there is nothing “soft” about the skills needed to relate to people well enough to lead them. True leadership involves both hard skills and harder skills. Here’s what I mean. Defining Hard and Soft Skills “Hard skills” are often thought of as the occupational skills necessary to complete the tangible elements of a job. “Soft skills” can be seen as the behavioral ways in which people go about their occupational tasks. Hard skills can get the job done. Leadership’s Hard and Soft Skills Leadership’s Harder Skills Many leaders end up over-compensating. Improving Your Harder Skills 1. 2. 3.

12 Things Killer Employees Do Before Noon A recent study published in an American Psychological Association journal, Emotion, suggests that early birds are generally happier than night owls. More than 700 respondents, ranging from ages 17 to 79, were surveyed and asked about their emotional state, health, and preferred time of day. Self-professed "morning people" reported feeling happier and healthier than night owls. It's certainly true that the working world does. Do you want to be more like them? 1. [In Pictures: 10 Ways to Boost Work Productivity.] 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. [See 7 Work Habits That Are Making You Sick.] 7. 8.

How to Hang Onto Your Best & Brightest Entrepreneurs are fulfilling a crucial role by creating jobs. That’s great for our economy, and for our society as a whole, but for entrepreneurs themselves the real challenge is often retention. The key task, from an entrepreneur’s point of view, goes beyond creating jobs. It's creating jobs that will not only attract good people but also allow the company to retain, over time, the best and brightest. As an entrepreneur, you may bring people into your business before you really know what you need them to do. That means you need to get directly involved in retention. Start by deciding exactly who you need to retain. Hire from within Top talent typically assumes that they have to move out to move up.

The Noob Guide to Online Marketing (With Giant INFOGRAPHIC) “Get me to page 1 of Google, while emailing our customers a bi-weekly newsletter, engaging influencers on Twitter, maintaining a captive Facebook audience, capturing new leads, and putting out 3 blog posts a week.” Harsh? Yes. Familiar? Definitely. Everything a Non-Marketer Needs to Take a Business from Zero to Hero Online What you are about to read might be a little shocking. Let the story and the course begin... A typical marketing storyline You’ve just been put in charge of “Internet marketing” at your new sweatshop startup (don’t worry, I live there too - replete with rusty sewing machines and fake Nike stitching patterns). It’s much more than just one job. With that in mind, I’d like to present you with: A 15,000,000 pixel infographic (that’s fifteen million colored squares, which could make it the largest infographic in history). It takes a lot of work - although not as much as writing all this - so no whining please. Social media marketing (SMM) Email marketing Lead Generation Analytics

Accelerate! Perhaps the greatest challenge business leaders face today is how to stay competitive amid constant turbulence and disruption. Any company that has made it past the start-up stage is optimized for efficiency rather than for strategic agility—the ability to capitalize on opportunities and dodge threats with speed and assurance. I could give you 100 examples of companies that, like Borders and RIM, recognized the need for a big strategic move but couldn’t pull themselves together to make it and ended up sitting by as nimbler competitors ate their lunch. The examples always play out the same way: An organization that’s facing a real threat or eyeing a new opportunity tries—and fails—to cram through some sort of major transformation using a change process that worked in the past. But the old ways of setting and implementing strategy are failing us. We can’t keep up with the pace of change, let alone get ahead of it. What to do, then?

10 Reasons Your Social Marketing Initiative Will Fail A 2012 study by the Social Media Examiner found that 83% of marketers said social media is important to their businesses. These folks have almost all initiated social marketing initiatives to connect with customers, prospects, and influencers via social media like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, and LinkedIn. But if these initiatives are so important, why do so many of them fail to bring value to their organizations, while siphoning valuable resources that could be used better elsewhere? Here are ten main reasons a social initiative falls flat on its face: Poorly-defined (or no) success metrics or goals. The social economy: Unlocking value and productivity through social technologies | McKinsey Global Institute | Technology & Innovation In a few short years, social technologies have given social interactions the speed and scale of the Internet. Whether discussing consumer products or organizing political movements, people around the world constantly use social-media platforms to seek and share information. Companies use them to reach consumers in new ways too; by tapping into these conversations, organizations can generate richer insights and create precisely targeted messages and offers. While 72 percent of companies use social technologies in some way, very few are anywhere near to achieving the full potential benefit. Exhibit Improved communication and collaboration through social technologies could raise the productivity of interaction workers by 20 to 25 percent. Enlarge Two-thirds of this potential value lies in improving collaboration and communication within and across enterprises. The amount of value individual companies can capture from social technologies varies widely by industry, as do the sources of value.

6 Simple Rituals To Reach Your Potential Every Day It’s Tuesday morning at 8 a.m. Two San Francisco entrepreneurs are pitching their ventures to potential investors today. They’d both agree that this is one of the most important days of their lives. Jane was up until 4 a.m. putting the final touches on her deck. Joe, on the other hand, went to sleep last night at 11 p.m., as he does most nights of the week. Which entrepreneur would you bet on? And, which entrepreneur most closely resembles you? Jane and Joe are fictional characters but having been immersed in the world of startups in both New York and San Francisco, I see a lot of Janes. This past weekend I had the opportunity to speak with my friend Mike Del Ponte, who resembles the character of Joe. "Every day I need physical energy, mental clarity, and emotional balance to tackle everything that comes my way," Mike said. Here are the six simple rituals he uses to perform at his highest, which you too can begin implementing right away: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Big data: The next frontier for innovation, competition, and productivity | McKinsey Global Institute | Technology & Innovation The amount of data in our world has been exploding, and analyzing large data sets—so-called big data—will become a key basis of competition, underpinning new waves of productivity growth, innovation, and consumer surplus, according to research by MGI and McKinsey's Business Technology Office. Leaders in every sector will have to grapple with the implications of big data, not just a few data-oriented managers. The increasing volume and detail of information captured by enterprises, the rise of multimedia, social media, and the Internet of Things will fuel exponential growth in data for the foreseeable future. MGI studied big data in five domains—healthcare in the United States, the public sector in Europe, retail in the United States, and manufacturing and personal-location data globally. Big data can generate value in each. For example, a retailer using big data to the full could increase its operating margin by more than 60 percent. 1. 2. Podcast 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Google+ Testing Social Sharing Bar Google is testing a social side bar on certain websites, allowing users to chat directly on the page and opening up the stage for a bigger advertising stream. is among the first websites to tout the new social bar, according to TheNextWeb. Notifications and sharing options — such as posting to Google+ — are positioned to the right, while the left is dedicated to page content. The news comes just six months after Google acquired social platform Meebo, and it was reported staffers would be joining the Google+ team. Google has not yet responded to a request for comment. Although the company actually shut down most of Meebo's services soon after the acquisition — including its mobile apps, messenger capabilities and widgets — it said it would keep its social bar in business. Image via iStockphoto, maxphotography

Why Your Employees Are Losing Motivation Business literature is packed with advice about worker motivation—but sometimes managers are the problem, not the inspiration. Here are seven practices to fire up the troops. From Harvard Management Update. by David Sirota, Louis A. Mischkind, and Michael Irwin Meltzer Most companies have it all wrong. The great majority of employees are quite enthusiastic when they start a new job. The fault lies squarely at the feet of management—both the policies and procedures companies employ in managing their workforces and in the relationships that individual managers establish with their direct reports. Our research shows how individual managers' behaviors and styles are contributing to the problem (see sidebar "How Management Demotivates")—and what they can do to turn this around. Equity: To be respected and to be treated fairly in areas such as pay, benefits, and job security. To maintain an enthusiastic workforce, management must meet all three goals. But security is just the beginning. 2. 3.

The One Conversational Tool That Will Make You Better At Absolutely Everything Ask yourself: If you could interview like Walter Cronkite, would you get more value from your meetings? Would your mentors become more valuable? Would your chance encounters with executives in elevators and thought leaders in conferences yield action items and relationships? The answer is yes. “As someone who had little to no experience in business--outside of running my own one-man freelancing operation--all that's really saved me (so far) from madness are the skills I used as a journalist,” says Evan Ratliff, who wrote for magazines like The New Yorker before founding his startup, The Atavist. Good questions can move your business, organization, or career forward. The problem is, most of us ask terrible questions. But we don’t have to. The following advice can make you a much better interrogator, not to mention conversationalist: Don’t Ask Multiple-Choice Questions When people are nervous, they tend to ramble, and their questions tend to trail off into series of possible answers.