In the spirit of online transparency, and for those paranoid about organizations watching your every move, a new tool from Mozilla lets you monitor who is following your digital footprint.
We’re all conditioned to avoid conflict and say yes, even to counterproductive requests and assignments. Janet Kestin and Nancy Vonk of creative leadership lab Swim argue for the power of no and explain why and how saying that little word can lead to longer-term success.
Everybody knows Evernote and Dropbox. Here’s a sneak peek at the next wave of productivity apps that top entrepreneurs like Tim Ferriss, Seth Godin, and Guy Kawasaki are working with daily.
It’s time to face the music as a manager: You don’t always have all of the right answers. Your “it’s my way or the highway” approach to management isn’t going to encourage anyone to help you in your problem solving endeavors.
Managers and leaders are often referred to synonymously, but only leaders allow their employees to solve problems with their own insight. The truth of the matter is this: Every leader may not be a manager, but every manager should be a leader. It’s easy to see that leadership and management aren’t the same thing, but a manager who lacks effective leadership traits will drive a business into the ground faster than you can count to 10.
Change doesn’t happen overnight when it comes to transforming managers into leaders. It takes time and energy to improve the way you manage and utilize more leadership characteristics on a daily basis.
Here are some tips to help you make the necessary improvements:
1. Managers give answers, leaders ask questions. There’s nothing certain to turn your employees against you faster than shouting orders at them. Why not spare yourself the impending resentment and simply ask your employees this: “What would you do?” or “What do you think of this idea?” Allowing people to participate in the decision-making process will not only transform what could have been an order into something more easily swallowed–it also inspires creativity, motivation, and autonomy.
2. Managers criticize mistakes, leaders call attention to mistakes indirectly. It may seem more efficient to point out your employees’ mistakes directly, but this will only leave them feeling embarrassed and frustrated. You should really be giving them the chance to learn and grow from through your critiques. Instead, give your employees the chance to address their mistakes.
For example, say a project was sent to a client and you receive back a disgruntled message. Calmly ask your employee about the clients concern and whether they feel what was provided was on par. This will give them a chance to provide their input, while also improving for the future.
3. Managers forget to praise, leaders reward even the smallest improvement. Praise pays off when it comes to increasing the overall success of your company. Finding time to recognize your employees for even the smallest accomplishment will only increase their interest in what they do. If you’re interested in ensuring your employees take pride in all that they do, regular feedback and recognition is certain to do the trick. Everyone wants to be genuinely appreciated for their efforts.
4. Managers focus on the bad, leaders emphasize the good. This really comes down to seeing the cup half empty or half full. If you’re only willing to point out the flaws of a project or an employee, you’re not giving them much interest in learning or improving. Instead, create a sandwich effect. Start with some form of praise, follow with the criticism, and end with praise.
5. Managers want credit, leaders credit their teams. Managers who lack leadership abilities are always first to take credit. But effective leaders understand the importance of crediting their teams for the big wins. This pays off in the long run for creative a workplace with a more positive company culture and employees who are driven toward more successes as a team.
Management shouldn’t be approach through force, but rather through influence. Put these techniques in place to improve the way your employees perform.
What do you think? Do you ask questions instead of giving answers?
About Ilya Pozin:
Founder of Ciplex. Columnist for Inc, Forbes & LinkedIn. Gadget lover, investor, mentor, husband, father, and ’30 Under 30′ entrepreneur. Follow Ilya below to stay up-to-date with his articles and updates!
LinkedIn Polls are a helpful free tool offered by the professional social network to facilitate market research, industry polls, and other types of surveys.
LinkedIn members can create up to 10 free polls at a time, each with one question and up to five possible answers. The responses of other LinkedIn members are displayed to the creator in the form of a graph.
To create a LinkedIn Poll:
- Move your cursor over “More” at the top of your homepage and select Polls.
- Click “Create a new poll” on the left.
- Enter your poll question in the “Ask a question” field.
- Specify up to five answer choices.
- Choose where you want to share your poll.
- Click “Create Poll.”
LinkedIn offers a set of best practices to help users create more effective polls and distribute them for maximum response:
- Keep questions and answers brief. According to LinkedIn, shorter, well-written questions have higher response rates.
- Ask specific questions and try not to lead people to a certain type of response.
- Avoid overlapping ranges or values to prevent confusion.
- Try adding “All of the above” or “None of the above” to account for cases where none of the supplied answers fit the respondent.
- Do not create self-promotional polls; LinkedIn will not publish them.
Proofread the poll before publishing; LinkedIn does not allow edits once the poll is created. This prevents the manipulation of data. As with any business communication, spelling and grammar are important.
Once your poll is created, it can be shared straight to Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. A simple piece of code allows marketers to embed their poll in blog posts on or their website.
To see the results of your poll, including votes, comments and respondent demographics, choose “Polls” from the ‘More” dropdown menu on the homepage. Click on the name of the poll you would like to analyze. LinkedIn protects the privacy of users by removing identifying from their analysis, though poll creators still have access to demographic data.
Each person who voted on the poll is able to view the results. For this reason, it is a good idea to keep polls general and avoid company-specific questions. LinkedIn Polls may not provide data as specific as that a marketer could gather using SurveyMonkey or another poll of their own, yet the expanded reach allows for greater datasets on general topics.
Use polls to take the temperature of professionals in your industry and gain valuable insight into trends among specific demographics.
Have you ever used LinkedIn Polls? How useful was it for your business?
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As of January 31st, LinkedIn will no longer offer LinkedIn Answers, their on-site, Quora-like community sourced Q&A resource. The change was announced in a brief message on the Answers homepage:
In another short message in their Support resources, LinkedIn explains, “As of January 31, 2013, the LinkedIn Answers feature will be retired from LinkedIn. We’ll be focusing our efforts on the development of new and more engaging ways to share and discuss professional topics across LinkedIn.”
LinkedIn Answers was a great place to quickly find information and expert advice from professionals. The real opportunity for companies, though, was that it was a fantastic way for individuals to showcase their own expertise and establish credibility. This has long been important for businesses large and small.
In the B2B (business-to-business) space especially, LinkedIn Answers offered a valuable venue for marketers to answer the questions of others, who might have included potential clients, industry influencers, suppliers or others.
The closing of LinkedIn Answers will affect some marketers more than others, though there are still plenty of places to connect across the platform.
The first is your own LinkedIn Company Page. Here, you can offer details about your products and services, share company news, pose questions to and share information with your following, and more. This is also the right place to offer contact information and share a link to your company’s website, making it simple for those who have found you on LinkedIn to connect in other ways.
LinkedIn Groups are another great place to connect and have conversations with people in your industry or those interested in learning more about it. There are currently more than a million LinkedIn Groups, many with over 100,000 members. Marketers might choose to join relevant groups and participate in the conversations there, with the emphasis on providing helpful information, not advertising. Another option is to establish a group of your own on LinkedIn, where you can more effectively drive conversations and establish a reputation as a thought leader.
LinkedIn Ads can then help drive targeted traffic to the Group, Company Page or an external website. In fact, social ads on this network can even target members of specific Groups.
Wherever you connect with LinkedIn members, be sure to offer high quality, engaging content, whether in video, visual or text format. Answer questions where appropriate, but also start conversations. Respond to questions or comments on your Page and in Groups to which you belong. Share content that offers value to the people with whom you want to connect: those who can help you achieve your business goals, whether in sales, brand building, exposure, or other areas.
See our How to Engage Your Audience on LinkedIn series for more helpful advice on using the professional network for maximum benefit.
Will you miss the LinkedIn Answers section of the social network? Share your thoughts about it in the comments.
Follow me @rpilney
Online video is more than a passing trend or the latest fad. Businesses around the world are using video to attract, engage and convert customers.
Making a great video is one thing, but the social web has allowed brand videos to absolutely explode in popularity, with users doing the work of promoting advertising content through social sharing. In October 2012 alone, US adults watched 37 billion pieces of video content and viewed almost 11 billion video ads.
In order for videos to be most effective, they must be relevant and engaging for consumers, according to SundaySky. Their research shows that viewers spend more than double the time on video clips they find personally relevant.
How can your business tap into your audience’s desire to be entertained and informed via quality video clips? Take a page from these B2C brands; they’re seeing massive successes with their video content.
Barbie YouTube Channel Demonstrates Accessibility
Do you have customers in multiple languages? The official Barbie YouTube channel offers their popular videos in both English and Spanish, to meet the needs of their consumer base. Barbie’s channel has over 75,000 subscribers and their videos have been viewed over 131 million times! Make your content accessible to all of the people you are trying to reach.
T-Mobil Taps Into the Entertainment Factor
What do (awkwardly) dancing dads have to do with cell phones? Not much. Yet T-Mobile’s channel and videos are wildly popular, thanks to their entertainment value for their target audience. Each of the videos in this series is short, funny and easily shareable. Make your customers laugh and they’ll not only watch, but share with their friends, as well.
Dior Offers Social Fans a Little Something Extra with Video
Social fans love to follow brands who offer them something they couldn’t get anywhere else. It’s a very good thing to make your customers feel truly connected with your company by giving insider access to how the business works or what goes on behind the scenes. Fashion brand Dior does just that by filming social content that gives viewers a sneak peek at what goes on backstage at their shows. Give your customers an exclusive, behind the scenes look at your company to show them how much you value their loyalty.
GEICO Creates Series of Videos to Encourage Further Viewing
Organizing brand videos into playlists is a great way to get viewers watching more videos, for a longer period of time, as GEICO well knows. They’ve been rewarded with over 46 million video views. In one series, pictured above, the insurance company created an entire series, called The Gecko’s Journey, to journal the travels of their lovable mascot. Create a video series with the idea in mind that one should logically lead viewers to the next and tell your brand story over several videos to keep people watching.
Home Depot Wins Over Social Fans by Providing Useful Information
Provide fans utility and they will keep coming back for more helpful information from your brand. Home Depot uses videos to show fans how to perform different home renovation projects, as in their Painting 101 series. In video, they are able to walk viewers through projects that just can’t be as easily explained in text or images. Add value to your social presence by being a helping hand for fans; build your reputation as the expert in your field by sharing your knowledge and information.
Use this lessons from B2C fans to make your online videos more meaningful and engaging for fans. Once you’ve created great content, don’t forget to share it across your company’s social networks, on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and elsewhere.
How do you use video in your content marketing strategy? Share your tips in the comments!
In our How to Engage Your Audience on LinkedIn series, we covered a number of strategies for mastering your business presence on the growing social network of professionals. You learned how to get started with a Company Page, create an interesting content mix, find quality conversations in which to participate, and use LinkedIn analytics to gauge the success of your efforts.
Company Updates allow you to connect and share information with your followers on a regular basis. Truly inspiring, engaging updates may be shared by followers amongst their own networks, which helps attract new people to your page.
Follow these five best practices to ensure the status updates published on behalf of your company are engaging and meet the needs of your audience, in order to serve your business goals!
1. Be authentic and stay true to your brand voice.
This is especially important to keep in mind when more than one employee or business partner are involved in updating the LinkedIn community with your company’s news. Whether the update is actually about the company or shares curated content relevant to your followers, it should be personalized for your audience, in keeping with your brand voice.
Train all members of your social team to add commentary to posted news stories, for example, and respond to comments or questions as you would have front-line customer service staff handle any other request, on or offline.
2. Stay in touch regularly and often.
People who follow brands via social channels come to expect a certain type and frequency of content. Deviating too far one way or the other by posting either too little to too often can either annoy followers or result in their forgetting about you.
Keep your audience in mind when posting; try to post at the beginning of the workday if you are hoping to reach people at work, or later in the day or early evening if you hope to reach people checking in from home.
3. Keep it brief and relevant.
LinkedIn launched Targeted Updates last year to assist marketers in reaching specific audience segments with relevant content, so take advantage of the feature!
In the status update box, choose to share with “Targeted audience” instead of All Followers. Note: this functionality is only available to Company Pages, not personal LinkedIn profiles. LinkedIn will allow you to display the update to follower segments based on company size, industry, function and other parameters, to ensure your content reaches the most relevant audience possible.
4. Use analytics to drive your content strategy going forward.
Which company updates resonate best with your audience (or particular segments thereof) based on your LinkedIn analytics? Determining which earned the greatest shares, likes or comments can inform your future updates.
5. Use multimedia to offer variety and boost engagement.
Alternate text posts and links to outside content with images and video updates to offer extra value to followers. LinkedIn members can view videos inline, meaning they don’t need to leave the site and can play the video right in their newsfeed.
Have you tried LinkedIn’s Targeted Update feature on your company page? Share your tips and experience in the comments!
Dell™ Client System Update
With this application installed locally on your Dell Precision™, OptiPlex™ and Latitude™ systems, you can easily update your BIOS, drivers and system software.
( http://en.community.dell.com/techcenter/systems-management/w/wiki/1960.dell-client-system-update.aspx )
OpenManage™ Server Administrator
Manage your data center systems from a single console, local or remote, with this comprehensive software solution that interfaces with OpenManage Essentials and Dell IT Assistant.
( http://en.community.dell.com/techcenter/systems-management/w/wiki/1760.openmanage-server-administrator-omsa.aspx )
OpenStack Board of Directors Talks: Episode 5
In this ongoing TechCenter series, learn why 99cloud’s Yujie Du (aka Ben) believes OpenStack changed the world of cloud computing.
( http://en.community.dell.com/techcenter/b/techcenter/archive/2013/01/24/openstack-board-of-directors-talks-episode-5-with-yujie-du-ben-community-development-director-at-99cloud.aspx )
Video: Dell TechCenter Rockstars at Dell World
Top TechCenter members discuss building a successful online B2B community, as well as their personal motivations for interacting online with companies and other IT professionals.
( http://en.community.dell.com/techcenter/b/techcenter/archive/2013/01/07/dell-techcenter-rockstars-community-building-panel-session.aspx )
A tip of the hat to our top Microsoft Community Contributors on Dell TechCenter.
( http://en.community.dell.com/techcenter/b/techcenter/archive/2013/01/17/congrats-microsoft-community-contributors-on-dell-techcenter.aspx )
Follow Dell TechCenter on Twitter.
Learn how to create a Windows 8 backup in this short video.
( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIglSB9ZB_U&list=PLe5xhhyFjDPdlL08MTEMnYnCMBNEsBTED&index=1 )
Dell World Newsletter #7 – December 3, 2012
The organizers of Dell World are putting the finishing touches on three days of exciting keynotes, sessions and entertainment. Check out the highlights and plan your agenda today.
Read more > http://del.ly/6144p5Ua
Modernize Your IT
Paul Holland, global sales director of Application Modernization at Dell, talks about the importance of application modernization and the perils organizations face by ignoring the trend. “Legacy footprints are affecting an organization’s ability to be agile in addressing new business needs and implementing new technologies. They are costing organizations a disproportionate amount of money: 80 percent of IT budgets are typically spent maintaining and running these legacy environments.”
Watch the video > http://del.ly/6146p5UI
Develop a Cloud Strategy
Cloud computing is a key topic of discussion at Dell World 2012. Mark Clifton, director of Global Cloud Solutions Strategy for Commercial Business at Dell, discusses the cloud strategies and innovations you’ll learn about at the conference.
Read more > http://del.ly/6142p5U4
Take Control and Simplify Your Data Center
I/O virtualization can reduce rack cabling by 80%, lower capital expenses by 40% and lower you operating expenses by 60%. Join NextIO in the Dell World Data Insights Neighborhood Theater at 1pm on Wednesday or in the Cloud Neighborhood Theater at 12:30pm on Thursday to let us show you how. Ask us about our no risk, FREE 30-day try and buy offer
Learn more > http://del.ly/6147p5Uh
Meet and Tweet with Brocade, Emulex and MD3 Storage
Join fellow Dell customers and partners for a Meet Up and Tweet Up event at Bar96, from Brocade, Emulex and MD3 Storage! We’ll be talking all things “better together”: storage and networking, Fibre Channel, end-to-end management and the hottest sessions at Dell World. Bring a colleague and join the conversation!
Join us December 12 from 6-11 p.m. at Bar96 on Rainey Street.
Register here > http://del.ly/6146p5qy
Time is running out to register for our unique gathering of business leaders, CIOs, industry analysts, consultants and other IT professionals who will share ideas and best practices for making organizations more successful. Reserve your spot today to gain valuable insights on how you can use technology as a tool for innovation at your company.
Register Here > ( http://del.ly/6140p5qM )
Tech Page One Launches
Join us for the launch of Dell’s Tech Page One, a portal for news and analysis at the intersection of technology, business and culture. Explore content from the best minds at Dell as well as leaders and creators from around the globe. Visit the Tech Page One booth inside the Solutions Showcase. http://del.ly/6147p5qT
While you’re at Dell World, stop by the SoloHealth Station, an interactive, self-service kiosk that screens vision, blood pressure, weight and body mass index in seven minutes or less for free. The kiosk provides an overall health assessment and access to a database of local physicians and actionable health recommendations. The station, available in locations throughout the U.S., was created in partnership with Dell’s OEM Solutions group. Read more > http://del.ly/6141p5qX
Dell Giving Showcase
Dell’s giving approach is simple: Be a powerful force for change and help connect the youth of today with a more promising tomorrow. The Dell Giving Showcase is an interactive area that will educate attendees about the four Dell Strategic Giving programs—Youth Learning, Children’s Cancer Care, Social Entrepreneurship and Disaster Relief—while also involving the public in a sack-pack-stuffing project to be donated to underprivileged children. Follow Dell Giving on Twitter.> http://del.ly/6145p5qb
Register Here > ( http://del.ly/6148p5qe ) #DellWorld
Can’t be in Austin December 11-13? Not to worry, attend the premier event virtually. > http://del.ly/6143p5qc
The Internet has transformed how people communicate, consume information, and build relationships. As a result, the way the world works is fundamentally changing. Nowhere is this more apparent than with consumer behavior on social networks. The abundance of choices, ranging from broad to niche, is inevitably causing fragmentation across these platforms. In this landscape, it isn’t always easy for advertisers to effectively connect with audiences as they try to engage consumers who are juggling multiple profiles and mindsets online.
So, how do brands attract and retain consumers’ attention in a world of information overload? That is the primary question marketers are asking today. LinkedIn sought to answer this question in a recent study and found that marketing to emotion should play a bigger part in how brands pursue consumers on social networks. Titled The Mindset Divide, the study homed in on two areas–professional and personal networks–and together with TNS, surveyed 6,000 people in 12 different countries.
Dell | The power to do more
Dell World 2012 | December 11-13 | Austin, Texas
Register Here > ( http://del.ly/6149pZ0t )
Dell World is only one month away! Time is running out to register for this unique gathering of business leaders, CIOs, industry analysts, consultants and other IT professionals who will share ideas and best practices for making organizations more successful. Reserve your spot today to gain valuable insights on how you can use technology as a tool for innovation at your company.
A Personal Invitation
Steve Schuckenbrock, president of Dell Services, extends a personal invitation for customers to Dell World and shares the benefits of attendance. “From cloud to security to apps modernization … we will discuss how organizations are investing in the future, transforming their businesses and furthering their foundations for growth.”
Watch the Video > ( http://del.ly/6144pZ0I )
Optimize Your IT
Convergence: it’s a hot topic in the technology industry. Tony Logan, a senior strategist with Dell Global Solutions Marketing, talks about Dell’s refreshing viewpoint on converged infrastructure, and how Dell’s solutions can optimize IT. “We don’t have one singular approach to solving for convergence. We believe that it’s more of a process, and that process should fit the customer.”
Watch the video > ( http://del.ly/6147pZ0F )
What Customers Want
Cheryl Cook knows what customers want. As vice president of Enterprise Solutions at Dell, she talks to them daily about their pain points and business goals. Cook shares what she’s hearing from customers, and gives her recommendations on what not to miss at Dell World.
Read more > ( http://del.ly/6148pZ02 )
Jim Stikeleather, executive strategist and chief innovation officer at Dell Services, discusses how converged infrastructure represents the future of IT. “While we do not know exactly what the future will look like… the seeds are to be found in the concept of an information fabric integrating capabilities in server and client technology with the capabilities in storage and network.”
Watch the Video > ( http://del.ly/6140pZ04 )
Relax, Recharge, Have Fun
The hallways of Dell World will feature spaces where attendees can take a break from their busy conference agenda. From a social media lounge to an arcade area, we’ve got an experience for you.
Learn More > ( http://del.ly/6142pZ0A )
Motoring with Dell
Current Motor Company’s Super Scooter, built in partnership with Dell, is an all-electric, Internet-enabled scooter that can travel up to 50 miles on a single charge. The scooter will be on display at Dell World. Learn more ( http://dellworld.com/newsletter/motoring-dell#.ULPbK2euWWg ) about this cutting-edge vehicle and its features.