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Weekly Wrap: Entrepreneurship Edition

 

According to the Harvard Business Review, entrepreneurship “is the pursuit of opportunity beyond resources controlled.” Pursuit implies relentless focus. Opportunity refers to an offering that is novel. Beyond resources controlled implies resource constraints. In other words, entrepreneurship is the process of starting a business from scratch. It’s an exciting, complex time where the truly determined individuals power through. Starting a business requires focus, sacrifice and a relentless passion. 

In this week’s Wrap we take a unique approach to looking at why millennials are more entrepreneurial than prior generations, the addictive nature of entrepreneurship and advice for making it on your own.

Let’s dive in.

Business News Daily

Millennials are More Entrepreneurial than Gen Xers, Baby Boomers

According to a study by the Independent Bankers of America, 46 percent of millenials are interested in starting and running a small business. Only 34 percent of Gen Xers and 17 percent of baby boomers said the same. As the most entrepreneurial generation by far, over half of Eco Innovation resized 600 those surveyed said they would prefer to meet the president of a local bank who could help fund their dreams, as opposed to meeting the president of the United States. Explore this interesting read to learn what differentiating perspectives millenials hold in comparison to those from prior generations.

Forbes

Is Entrepreneurship Addictive?

A recent report from Syracuse University professors surveyed that reasonably successful entrepreneurs display habits characteristic to that of addicts. Those involved within the survey examined that the entrepreneurs had obsessive thoughts and experienced moments of extreme euphoria. Surprisingly, when asked why they were so committed to their business endeavors, the entrepreneurs explained that it simply makes them feel better. See why these individuals are addicted to the feelings and experiences that empower them as they work.

Entrepreneur

Don’t Try Be What You’re Not

Entrepreneurs are successful because they work to become the best visions of themselves; they are not focused on becoming anybody else. This article is an important reminder about human nature. If you try to become somebody else, it won’t work, it will come across badly, and you will risk losing whatever it is that makes you special. No matter what stage you are within your entrepreneurial endeavor, remain true to yourself. Explore your entrepreneurial genius and embrace your own magic.

Sometimes an entrepreneurial adventure promotes success but sometimes it ends in failure. At the end of the day, it’s about perseverance. In the 21st century, millenials are committed to the bottom line. While being an entrepreneur appears to have addictive characteristics, it’s important to stay true to yourself. As always, thanks for wrapping up your week with us. What fundamental lessons have entrepreneurs taught you in your own life? Share with us in the comments below!

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Julia Pizzutti is an intern for WordWrite Communications. You can find her on Twitter @julzutti93

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A Changing Scorecard: To Recapture B2B Success

 

For November’s editorial focus on all matters “strategy”, t­­he author here is reprising one of his blogs from 2009. Now, as then, the need is great to strategically build more robust dimensions of business value.

For more than a generation the brass ring of American business culture has been to do it “cheaper, better and faster” than the competitor. This pursuit has played out in dozens of ways both big and small. Six Sigma, strands of globalization, Friedman’s “flat world” and even the debate about American immigration policy are tightly linked to this mother of all business ambitions. Marketing and business communication has done its part to establish this sentiment as a “common good” ideal. Alas, we may now be learning that like all things once thought wonderful, the lifespan of “better, cheaper, faster” (BCF) is waning. describe the image

To be sure BCF has a rightful place in many parts of the American business economy. But it can’t singularly define what is successful or desirable for an entire economy—especially in the B2B sector. The monolithic thinking behind BCF production is fertile breeding ground for disengaging creativity, creating “comoditisized” products and services and eroding legitimate points of competitive distinction. Providing anything that might be deemed “value-added” (presumably the heartbeat of B2B operations) is increasingly difficult, clients become underwhelmed and vendors grouse about the loss of margin. Some type of dumb-downed or narrowly applicable end product or service is indeed produced more cheaply and rapidly than what preceded it, but questions mount about how “better,” or valuable, or even relevant it is!

It’s in the extreme vested interest of B2Bs to get off this merry-go-round and establish a new approach that signals the provision of client value. We advocate a shift from BCF to what we term “smarter, comprehensive and authentic” (SCA). These ideals self-define what makes (or at least can make) the B2B enterprise highly valued again by the client. To be SCA implies study, analysis and custom building client solutions in relevant day-to-day business contexts. It also implies a sincerity of purpose in arriving at these conclusions. It is real. And, it is really needed if B2Bs wish to again be widely viewed as helpful business partners.

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John Durante is marketing services director for WordWrite Communications.    

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Weekly Wrap: Innovation Edition

 

There is a lot of talk in today’s technology-connected world about the concept of innovation; but what exactly is it? Does innovation refer to the new, exciting and applicable? Or perhaps it refers to something that is smarter and more accelerated?

Innovation doesn’t have to completely revolutionize the way human beings do business or be a world-changing invention. Innovation can also be simple in nature. It encompasses a new idea or potential solution to an existing problem faced by companies on a daily basis. Innovation creates value for a business and its customers, employees and stakeholders. In this week’s Wrap we take a look at innovation principles from Google, the new patterns of innovation and why great innovators are relentless rule breakers.

Think With Google

The Eight Pillars of Innovation

Google, the tech giant of the 21st century is an American multinational corporation specializing in Internet-related products and services. As the holy grail of creativity and productivity, Google embraces the unknown. No problem is too big or too small. With extraordinary management practices, the company’s success is sparked from its continuous commitment to finding solutions. Take a look at this Think With Google article to see Google’s eight describe the imageinnovation principles. Perhaps one of these driving attributes will flicker some imagination within your business efforts.

Harvard Business Review

The New Patterns of Innovation

Managers who are skilled at executing clearly defined strategies are often ill equipped for out of the box thinking. Does this surprise you? Harvard Business Review explores the business patterns that drive innovation. Explore the helpful ways to structure a conversation about developing innovative initiatives with a data-centric focus. As you read, keep this fact in mind: the faster technology advances, the more opportunities pop up.

Business 2 Communication

Great Innovators are Relentless Rule Breakers

Originally written in 1975 by Freddie Mercury, the famous Bohemian Rhapsody song is masterful and innovative. When first proposed that the song be released as a single, Queen’s producers quickly rejected the idea. Since radio stations typically only played songs that were no longer than three and a half minutes, the mere thought of playing a nearly six minute long one was unfathomable. Unwilling to settle, Queen bypassed their record producers and went straight to DJ Kenny Everett. This article is a must read to remember why creative geniuses don’t listen to the demands of critics, bosses or customers. Learn how a legendary British single that broke all of the rules was able to skyrocket to fame.

Making predictions about the future can be difficult, but it is safe to assume that innovation will continue to remain a forefront to business success. Learn as much as you can about the world around you, recognize where opportunities are present and take a dive into the pool of innovation. As always, thanks for wrapping up your week with us. What innovative techniques have brought success to your workplace? Share with us in the comments below!

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Julia Pizzutti is an intern for WordWrite Communications. You can find her on Twitter @julzutti93 

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Weekly Wrap: Learning is Life Edition

 

At WordWrite, we pride ourselves on our belief that no story is ever too small. Ending this week with a bit of humor, let’s remind ourselves that learning is a part of being human. Little stories build upon one another, translating into one big experience called life.

In this week’s Wrap we take a look at lessons learned from Taylor Swift’s Instagram, Election Day and the television show, The Walking Dead. Get ready to smile.

Ragan

5 Lessons from Taylor Swift’s Instagram Campaign 

Taylor Swift is a 21st century country music sensation. With fans of all ages, Swift is a megastar
who knows how to tell a story. Released on October 27, Swift turned to Instagram to cleverly
tell the meaning behind her new album “1989.” She launched a 13-day visual countdown priordescribe the image to the music release date. Each day she promised to reveal one set of lyrics per track with a related image. What can you learn from Swift’s unique approach to drawing attention? See why this singer-songwriter has a knack for storytelling.

PR News

It’s Election Day. Here’s what Communicators can learn about Media Relations from Politicians.

As Election Day 2014 led this past week’s discussion, politicians may hold some media savvy lessons that PR execs can relay to senior managers. When preparing for a key speech or presentation, politicians keep their messages strategic, leave their personalities out and add some levity that promotes a can-do attitude. Pay close attention to how these candidates present themselves in the spotlight. Read more so that the next time you watch a campaign speech you’ll have an inside glimpse into what works and what doesn’t.

Huffington Post

Business Lessons Every Entrepreneur can learn from the Walking Dead

Even if you haven’t seen the TV show The Walking Dead, don’t fear. You can still learn the lessons shared each week. To begin, remember lesson one: the dead never sleep. Much like successful business owners and CEOs, high-functioning individuals are the first to enter work and the last to leave. Lesson two: extreme focus pays off. While the walking dead always have their next victim in mind, business professionals are (almost) the same. They keep their goals as their main priority and eliminate time wasting activities. Check out what else you can learndescribe the image
from a TV show about a world being taken over by zombies.

At the end of the day, remember that learning is fun. Even if you aren’t in college, taking enrichment courses or traveling the world for business, lessons can be learned from the little
moments of life. From your favorite pop star, the CNN news channel or the ultimate scary show, remain open to the unknown. It’s important to laugh and learn from even the most unexpected sources. Small stories lead to big ones, and the lessons may surprise you.

As always, thanks for wrapping up your week with us. What was the last lesson you learned from a surprising source? Share with us in the comments below!

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Julia Pizzutti is an intern for WordWrite Communications. You can find her on Twitter @julzutti93.

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Weekly Wrap: Employee Engagement Edition

 

As the economy continues to recover and strengthen, companies have recognized the importance of collaboration as examined in last week’s Wrap.

By promoting openness and innovation, employee engagement helps ensure that employees are committed to their organization’s goals and values. Fostering growth, education and a teamengagement img resized 600 spirit is pivotal to 21st century business success. It’s a give-and-take relationship; companies must give to be able to receive.

Forbes

True Employee Engagement Requires an Employee Feedback Loop

David Niu understands what it feels like to lose passion for a job. In desperate need of a mental break, he bought one-way tickets to New Zealand for his family to travel the world for six months. Throughout his journey, Niu interviewed dozens of entrepreneurs in a variety of countries. He spoke about managing people, culture and leadership. His findings from the entrepreneurs he spoke with included: their main competitive advantage was their people, they experienced pain around managing their people, and each recognized the need to maintain a positive culture. Read more to understand why Niu’s journey taught him the importance of employee engagement in the workplace.

Talent (TLNT): The Business of HR

Friends at Work Make for Happier Employees and a Better Bottom Line 

Due to the fast pace of daily life, work and family responsibilities ultimately override the priority of maintaining a friendship for many individuals. As a result, the office space ultimately becomes the fertile field for growing valuable ties with friends. According to TLNT, “companies can do a lot to water that social soil — resulting in happier employees and a healthier bottom line.” The best workplaces recognize the importance of friendships and implement employee engagement systems accordingly. The payoff is increasingly clear. Read more to see the necessity of camaraderie in the workplace.

Huffington Post 

Nine Tips to Keep in Mind When Developing Employee Engagement Programs

Every company is working to attract, retain and motivate a high performing team of professionals. No matter what region, industry or profession you may be in, employee engagement is a driving force to success. Focusing on the greater goal of the organization is necessary to developing unique initiatives that work. Happy employees equate to a happy company. Some of my favorite tips from the suggestions include: there is no magic formula, beTeam pulling up arrow resized 600 flexible and adaptable, don’t lose momentum and communicate. Read more about these nine tips to develop employee engagement programs.

In the workplace, there are three types of employees. There are the engaged employees who work with enthusiasm and embrace a commitment to their company. There are the disengaged employees who do the bare minimum to get through the workday, while putting little care into their work. There are also the actively disengaged employees who are consistently unhappy at work and voice it frequently.

With the variety of types and personalities, creating a high-performing work environment is a complex challenge. At the end of the day, working towards a successful employee engagement program is a step in the right direction. We would love to hear your thoughts. How has employee engagement impacted your business efforts?

Share with us in the comments below!

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Julia Pizzutti is an intern for WordWrite Communications. You can find her on Twitter @julzutti93

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Companies like Chipotle thrive because of “why” they exist, not “what” they make

 

During the last year, I’ve made a concerted effort to get back in shape, which has led to some sacrifices when it comes to meal choices.

Gone are the days of eating at Wendy’s, for instance.

Sometimes, however, you need to go the quick and easy route, leading to my new obsession with Chipotle. Invariably I need a speedy meal at least once a week, and Chipotle has been my go-to fast food place (although I believe the proper industry term for establishments like Chipotle is “fast casual.”)Food with Integrity

The restaurant chain’s success has flown in the face of conventional wisdom that says people want their food faster and cheaper to minimize the inconvenience of eating out for lunch and dinner.

I don’t know about you, but I’m usually in a line out the door when I visit Chipotle, and the cost is at least the same, if not more, than other fast food options available.

A primary appeal of the restaurant obviously rests in the fresh ingredients and overall quality of the product. But it goes much deeper than that, which is why so many have gravitated to Chipotle.

The chain has positioned itself as beyond reproach when it comes to a focus on fresh food, ethical production and honest positioning of its values to consumers (a major misstep in social media strategy from last year notwithstanding).

Chipotle’s cups and bowls tout their eco-friendly composition. A Willie Nelson cover of Coldplay’s “The Scientist” highlighted Chipotle’s emphasis on sustainable farming and concern for local farmers in what was the company’s first national ad.

People don’t wait 15 minutes for burritos from Chipotle instead of hitting up Taco Bell because Chipotle’s burritos taste so much better than Taco Bell’s. That’s a matter of personal taste, and personal taste is always hard to measure objectively.  It’s the emotional significance for consumers that drives repeat business to generate “brand loyalty.”

In his book, “Start with Why,” author Simon Sinek explains how most companies can always win minds by offering details of their product’s features and benefits, but winning people’s hearts is much more challenging.

To quote Sinek directly, “People don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it.”

For some reason (perhaps a need to seem less ostentatious) Chipotle’s founder and CEO Steve Ells recently told Fast Company magazine that he downplays the significance of the company’s “Food with Integrity” mission, yet the article’s author, Robert Safian, appropriately points out this mission is exactly why the burrito chain stands out.Cultivate a Better World

“‘Food With Integrity’ animates every decision the company makes, from the slaughterhouse to the food line at your local outlet to the strategic planning at the Denver headquarters,” Safian writes. “When Ells, who's a chef himself, launched Chi­potle 21 years ago, he focused on fresh ingredients. That evolved over time into an awareness of all the different forms of exploitation inherent in traditional fast food – of animals, of the environment, and even of customers.”

At WordWrite, we operate along a similar line of thinking when advising our clients. The foundation of any organization is inextricably tied to its authentic Story, with a capital “S.” “Story” is who you really are to your customers and clients.

Your authenticity can’t be measured by how your customers tell you to be more authentic. Rather, authenticity stems from a strong belief in why you do what you do and what you’re selling. A “Story” must describe a company’s true identity and purpose. It starts from a place of truth. As Sinek would say, “It starts with WHY.”

To reinforce that point, on Chipotle’s own website, Ells discusses what makes his company unique, and not once does he mention the type of food the restaurant makes, how much it costs or even the type of ingredients it includes in its products.

“‘Food with Integrity’ is our commitment to always look closer, dig deeper, and work harder to ensure that our actions are making things better, not worse. It’s our promise to run our business in a way that doesn’t exploit animals, people or the environment. It is the philosophy that guides every decision we make at Chipotle.”

That is why people choose Chipotle, and not because of the number of avocados it uses to make its fresh guacamole each day. We connect with Chipotle on an emotional level because it shares many of our values. By the way, it also happens to make great food.

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Jeremy Church is vice president of media and content strategies for WordWrite Communications. He can be reached at jeremy.church@wordwritepr.com and on Twitter @churchjeremy.Jeremy Church

WeeklyWrap: Collaboration Edition

 

In our weekly staff meeting at WordWrite, the topic of collaboration was introduced by Jeremy
Church, vice president of media and content strategies. He began to discuss the notion that as business professionals, our work with our customers is not a one-way street. In a sense, it’s agive-and-take relationship. Consumers ask a business to provide a service and that service is expected to be provided. But if there is no communication on the wants or needs from either end, what can be accomplished? Nothing. Without mutual reciprocity in the workplace, from the consumer, employee and business standpoint, there is minimal opportunity for growth. describe the image

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”

Helen Keller

If minds collaborate, a beautiful thing can happen. Ideas, innovation and the sharing of concepts can build a wave of momentum.

Huffington Post

The Unexpected Value of Business Collaboration

Having originated in the mid-19th century from the Latin word collaborare, collaboration is defined by Oxford Dictionary as “the action of working with someone to produce or create something.” In the workplace, collaboration spurs cultural innovation, original thinking and an actual ROI. It has allowed businesses to link employees, partners and customers together. Online tools and platforms have reinforced the benefits of collaboration by introducing some unplanned for value to businesses. See why it is a positive force for improving the outcomes of business activities.

PR News

Will PR and Marketing Get Married One Day?

Silos are restricting, conservative and forceful; they prevent open engagement and cross-communication efforts. In the present market, silos exist between the marketing and PR
collaboration resized 600 departments in the majority of businesses. With separate budgets, there’s a constant pull of competition. Marketing dives head first into its strategy, while PR sweeps to the opposite end of
the path. At PR News’ Social Media Summit, there was a consensus that marketing and PR need to partner more regularly, especially when it involves the rapid expansion of social media communications. These two distinct, yet seemingly interrelated, fields may need to get married one day out of necessity.

Virgin Entrepreneur

How Five of the World’s Best Business Brains Approach Collaboration

Collaboration should not be seen as a dirty word. Never be afraid of collaborating. Don’t forget customer collaboration. The world is getting smaller and collaboration is easier. Tackle a lack of diversity through increased collaboration. What do all of these sentences have in common? You guessed right; the concept of working together. Collaboration is currently experiencing a golden age, where brands big and small are looking to work closely with one another to reap mutual benefits. Read what top business leaders have to say about the positive impact sharing minds has within the workforce.

The supply chain is expanding, teams are global and the workforce is multicultural. As a result, there is no room for a narrow-minded, ‘every man for himself’ mentality. At its root, collaboration is a social activity. It emphasizes a power that brings positive change to organizations because two minds are greater than one.

We would love to hear your thoughts. How has collaboration impacted your business efforts?

Share with us in the comments below!

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Julia Pizzutti is an intern for WordWrite Communications. You can find her on Twitter @julzutti93

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8 simple steps to enhance your LinkedIn profile

 

If you’re reading this blog, then chances are you’re the type of person who already knows at least a little bit about LinkedIn.

However, our experience consulting with other businesses has taught us that many of a company’s employees don’t fully grasp the power of LinkedIn as a business development tool.Improve your LinkedIn

So why use it? LinkedIn is the No. 1 B2B social networking site in the world with 313 million members. But more impressive in terms of measuring ROI for your business, 77 percent of B2B companies have acquired a customer through LinkedIn

Those types of statistics convinced us that offering LinkedIn training for clients and their staff members might be a valuable exercise. As we’ve gone through the process of training companies both small and large, we’ve learned that sticking to the training script in the allotted time period isn’t always feasible, particularly because the knowledge gap between employees in terms of understanding the tool is so vast. Some want to go right into the Advanced Search tool for instance, while others are asking how you can connect with someone or upload their photo.

Therefore, it’s nearly impossible to cover the full spectrum of what you can do on LinkedIn in a single blog. You could write dozens of posts about the intricacies of the tool. But when it comes to covering the basics, we thought highlighting some best practices when it comes to enhancing your LinkedIn profile and building connections would provide a solid foundation for anyone who hasn’t dedicated enough time to maximizing his or her presence on LinkedIn.

 

Enhancing your LinkedIn profile

1. First, identify a list of keywords prospects would search for when looking for the services you offer (e.g. human resources, strategy, consultant, compensation, insurance, manufacturing, technology, financial advising, health care, retirement, defined benefit, etc.). Then, include those keywords throughout your entire profile.

2. Write an effective headline. For search engine optimization (SEO) purposes, this is where to describe exactly what you do and include additional relevant keywords. Don’t just restate your job title. For example, instead of “senior manager at XYZ solutions,” try something like “health care consultant,” “strategic communications and marketing planner,” “government relations and policy advisor.”

3. Include a professional photo to let people know you take LinkedIn seriously and are active on the network. This is a big one and easy to do. Many people won’t bother to connect with you if you don’t have a photo, because they assume you never use LinkedIn.

4. Write a detailed summary of who you are. Reiterate what you do, why a client should work with you and clearly differentiate yourself. Again, include keywords throughout.

5. Fill in your job responsibilities at each position you have listed.  Yes, this can be time consuming, but most info can be pulled from your resume or CV.

6. Connect, connect, connect. Make it a habit to connect with people who you really know or have actually met by using the search tool or “people you know” area on the right side of the tool. The more connections you have, the easier it will be for you to direct message others and reach out for referrals to business prospects. Remember, connections should represent your “real-world” contacts. When asking to connect to someone you don’t know, be sure to include a note in your request that explains why you’d like to connect with that person. Refrain from using LinkedIn’s generic invite text.

7. Add skills you have in the “skills” section so your connections can go to your profile and endorse you. Endorsements are less time consuming to give and receive than “recommendations” and are a great way to add keywords. Important note: Make sure you give and receive endorsements for skills you and your connections really have.

8. Finally, don’t skip the more time consuming process of getting “recommendations” that help build your reputation. You’ve included great content describing yourself. Recommendations allow a third-party to validate what you’ve said. Look at your connections and determine who would be willing to give you a recommendation. Then ask for one. Give recommendations to get them back. Connections will often reciprocate the favor.

Bottom line: These are some easy first steps to help you get found on search engines and enhance the SEO of your LinkedIn profile.  To keep these tips handy, click below to download “8 Steps to Enhance Your LinkedIn Profile.” 

 

Click to Download 8 Steps to Enhance Your LinkedIn Profile

 

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Jeremy Church is vice president of media and content strategies for WordWrite Communications. He can be reached at jeremy.church@wordwritepr.com and on Twitter @churchjeremy.Jeremy Church

Weekly Wrap: Leadership Edition

 

Leaders are a reflection of both the companies for which they work and the businesses with which they collaborate. They represent the ideals, work ethic and authenticity consistent with the organization’s mission. Therefore, it is vitally important for leaders to share their passion with colleagues and employees. Passion is infectious. When leaders talk about their motivations and inspirations, it fosters a spirit of goal-oriented actions from other employees and business partners. 

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.”

John Maxwell

This week’s Wrap centers on how leaders are chosen and the mindset they must maintain, as well as the fundamental principles that ensure their success.

Huffington Post

17 Things Every Successful Leader Says Every Day 

Leaders embrace collaboration and team achievement. They do not become adversaries or 
overpower their team with negative emotions. Successful leaders get that way because
they have a positive attitude that they use to build strong and enduring relationships. In order
to go from good to great, there are a multitude of sayings that successful leaders say every day. Some of my favorites from the list include: “Thank you,” “I’m proud of you” and “What can I do to help?” Essentially, a leader is the rock and the foundation of the organization. They bring unity to the team and foster collaboration and empowerment.

Forbes

How Leaders Pick Leaders: 3 Executives Reveal How Promotions are Decided

Have you ever asked yourself, “Why was so-and-so promoted over me?” It can be frustrating. While you may be working relentlessly long hours, building a tremendous portfolio and answering all of your company’s demands, sometimes the result is not as expected. You don’t get that pay raise with the senior title or you aren’t asked to lead the new client project. Have no fear; take what you have learned and follow the suggestions gained from the 6th Annual Asian MBA Leadership conference. The point remains firm: the ones who successfully ascend into leadership all possess strong relationships, recognition and an edge.

PR Week

The Way PR Engages has Changed and Trust is Key           

Times have changed in the 21st century. As PR Week notes, “This world demands trust above all and, alongside that, the right people in positions of power who understand the pressures.” Younger generations can no longer be intimidated or forced to respond to the same demands as before. In the current market, individual relationships count. Behavior is on public display, so customer interaction is imperative. Read more to see why it is time to develop a new style of corporate leader and build something more resilient.MBA Leadership resized 600

A remarkable amount of effort, time and money has been devoted to the study of leadership. Despite all of the research, opinions will always vary in regards to what leadership is and what traits prompt the most success. While there is an array of perspectives, the best leaders are optimistic, hold high levels of integrity, communicate openly and inspire action. They hold a passion that is magnetic and draws people in.

We would love to hear your thoughts. How has a leader in your life impacted your performance within the workplace?

Share with us in the comments below!

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Julia Pizzutti is an intern for WordWrite Communications. You can find her on Twitter @julzutti93

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How to figure out what to do with your life:

 

I cannot believe the time has come. I am a senior in college! Graduation is quickly approaching and in a short seven months my academic career will be behind me. With my diploma in hand, I will be eager to begin a new chapter in my life.

Clearly, it is time to face reality. Along with millions of other millenials, I am in the beginning stages of figuring out what to do with the rest of my life. Here is what I have learned up to this point, thanks to some helpful advice and experience:

Life is a process of elimination

Do I know what I want to do when I graduate yet? Honestly, no. I don’t know where I want to live, what type of company I want to work for or what position would be best suited for my personality and talents. And that answer terrifies me.

But I can say with full confidence that life is a process of elimination. Think back to the time when you were in the first grade. What did you want to be? A fireman, a scientist or maybe even a superhero? For me, I wanted to be a teacher. I loved math and enjoyed telling other
people what to do. Now fast-forward a few years to high school. What did you want to be? YourCareerPathAhead
answer probably changed. Perhaps you wanted to become a doctor, musician or a professional athlete. Personally, I wanted to be a vet. I loved animals and could spot a purebred from a mile away. And now fast forward to your first year of college. At this point, were you finally confident in what you wanted to be in life? Again, probably not! My major and career goals have changed quite a few times and I am sure you share a similar story.

The point is, as you go throughout life, you gain experiences. And with experience comes preferences. You slowly learn that you have a great memory, fantastic people skills or maybe even an artistic flair. You also learn what you don’t like. You don’t like speaking to a large group of people or you get squeamish around blood.

Ultimately, you are able to check things off your list that you are sure you do not want to do. And this is the key. Figuring out what you don’t like is a necessary part of the journey to finding what you do like.

Think it, dream it, be it

Growing up, my family and teachers always told me that I could do anything and be anything that I wanted. I always found this hard to believe, but now as a senior, I have much greater confidence. Uncertainty is apart of life and that is what makes everything so fantastic. Yes, I am terrified that I am a 21-year-old senior in college who does not have my entire future planned out yet. And I am sure I am not alone in the fear or hesitancy. But no matter your unique,
individual life stage, I am sure of one thing. If you combine your passion, dedication and perseverance into one, you will be an unstoppable force.

While it is okay to be unsure of what you would like to do in your career, remember to dream big.  It is all about gaining experiences that will continue to move you forward in your journey
of self-discovery. Do not limit your search! If you want to move to China, apply for that visa. If you want to work at a Big-4, write the strongest essays you can muster and challenge those interviewing skills.

Now is the time in your life where possibilities are limitless.  Do not say no to an opportunity just because it was not what you were envisioning; keep your eyes open.

Go with it. Update that checklist, dream big, trust the process and have fun while you are doing it. We would love to hear your thoughts. Do you have any advice for new graduates or those making a big life change?

Share with us in the comments below!

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Julia Pizzutti is an intern for WordWrite Communications. You can find her on Twitter @julzutti93

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