Aspiring to Grow as a Leader

Growing as a leader calls for sacrifice. You have to give up old ways and be willing to learn new and better ways of doing things. It means admitting you do not know everything and willing to learn even from the people you lead. Leaders at every level should desire for opportunities for growth.

Are you a leader yearning for growth? Here are some valuable insights to guide you.

Listen to feedback. A leader should enable a conducive environment that encourages the sharing of feedback. As a leader, do not mistake feedback for criticism. Sincere feedback provides a leader with valuable information that leads to better decision making.

Cultivate a cocktail of skills. Leaders cannot be one-dimensional. Best leaders have multiple skills. Also, they are always upgrading their existing competencies. Comfort-zone is never their thing.

Find what motivates you. People are motivated by many things. It could be internal or external. As a leader, identify with what motivates you. Self-motivation provides the daily drive that keeps you going even when you face setbacks.

Learn from your past. People say experience is the best teacher. The mindset of good leadership is to view every experience as an opportunity to learn. To grow as a leader, you must take lessons from previous experiences and apply them in current situations.

Let the sky be the limit. To grow as a leader, do not settle for mediocrity. Stretch your limits. Hold yourself accountable to nothing short of excellence. Constantly exceed expectations.

Do not shy from asking questions. Seek clarity when things are not clear. Leaders are not all-knowing. Growth involves asking the right questions to make informed decisions.

Accept failure as part of leadership. Man is to error, and so are leaders. Growing as a leader entails holding yourself accountable for your failures. However, this does not mean failures should hold you back. Learn from them and respond appropriately.

Listen to those above you. To grow, embrace mentorship from people with more experience. They could be internal or external. The more you walk with those with experience, the more the leadership shoes will grow into you.

Growth as a leader is a personal challenge. It calls for a lot of self-motivation. However, the tips highlighted above can go a long way into helping you grow to become a great leader. Put them into practice. If you fail, dust yourself up and try again until you become what you aspire to be.

Does Your Astrological Sign Actually Mean That?

The year 2020 has meant that many things are coming and going out of trends. A big one that seems to have made a comeback are astrological signs. Now depending on whether you go off the old chart with the original twelve symbols or you have crossed over to now recognizing the 13th Sign, many can often wonder, how true does your astrological Sign fit to you and your personality? 

 

The Original Signs 

 

The original signs comprised of: 

 

Capricorn 

Aquarius 

Pisces 

Aries 

Taurus 

Gemini 

Cancer 

Leo 

Virgo 

Libra 

Scorpio 

Sagitarus 

 

All have their traits and personalities. The “newest” signs of Ophiucus (Oh-Fee-U-cus) and Cetus (See-tus) were never actually viewed as part of the astrological calendar due to the Babylonian followed a 12-month calendar and assigned the 12 constellations of zodiac signs. The constellation of Ophiucus is from December 6th to December 31st, while Cetus is from May 12th to June 6th. However, don’t go into a panic, thinking your zodiac is wholly messed up now. Many still follow the standard “old” zodiac chart. 

 

Personalities

 

 Many firmly believe that their zodiac sign plays a huge role in what makes up their personalities. 

 

Sun Sign

 

Your sun sign dictates your personality.

 

Moon Sign 

 

It is believed that your moon sign plays a part in determining your emotions and how you handle things in everyday life. 

 

Ascendant Sign (rising Sign) 

 

Your ascendant sign helps to determine your social personality. This Sign was on the eastern horizon at the date and time that you were born. It also represents your outward style and appearance. 

 

All of these signs combined are supposed to create you as a whole, but do they? A lot of the time, horoscopes and zodiac profiles are made up of entirely vague paragraphs that you may or may not relate to. Whether you believe them or not is entirely up to you. However, this year alone, many have been flocking to see their astrology makeup and determine if that is true to their personalities. 

 

In an article written on The Guardian, writer Jessa Crispin explains how we are living through an astrological boom, where many books are coming out regarding the subject, the craze of celebrity astrologers, and the numerous astrology apps that have come out, and ever major fashion organization has taken to writing a regular horoscope column in their magazines. You can’t even go on social media without feeling attacked by dozens of astrology pages and memes. Whether astrology holds will continue to be a widely debated topic for as long as we still talk about it. 

 

Outfits to Rule the Boardroom

So you have graduated from college and you are getting ready for your first job in the corporate world. Congratulations first off! But now you need to know what you should wear to make you look like the fierce businesswoman that you are set on being. What can you wear that still reflects your personality but is proper for a business board room? Take a look at these fashion tips that will not only make you look smart but give you the confidence to rule the boardroom or rock an interview. 

 

Boardroom Formal 

 

If you are just getting out of the world of college and stepping into the world of professionalism you are going to hear the words boardroom formal quite a bit. Be aware of the dress code especially if you are still going out on interviews. If they don’t mention it in the interview email don’t be afraid to ask what the attire is for the interview. Most professional offices the dress code is formal or business professional. Most times this means a blazer, dress slacks, or a dressier skirt, and a blouse is appropriate for this case. Make sure when you are going for an interview you look clean and polished to promote a professionalism vibe. Your outfit can convey a lot about you, and having that perfect matching pantsuit can often make the hiring professional view you as detail-oriented and organized. 

 

Dress for the job you want 

 

Dressing for the job you want is probably the most heard phrase when job hunting. If you are in a job where they let you have a bit of free-range with the fashion, it is ok to still have the mentality of, yeah I am in this job and I can wear what I want, but I am still going to put together a look that makes me look a little bit better than the person next to me. This may show those above you that you put effort into yourself and how you present yourself. When you dress well it shows that you want to make a positive impression on those that are around you. 

 

Say the CEO of your company comes into your office once a week, they see you in passing, maybe it’s in the elevator or potentially in the break room, but they see you and without knowing you they are able to gain an impression of you just by the way you dress. 

 

But my office allows us to wear jeans? 

 

If your office allows you to wear jeans you can still dress them up or give the jeans look an added flair. Try adding colored denim to your wardrobe, this will allow you to still be able to wear your jeans but have some added style to them. If colored jeans are not your forte try a more high waisted fit with a white button-down top slightly tucked into the front. This is a classic look that you can’t go wrong with but with the right accessories, you can easily dress this lookup and give it more appeal. 

 

If you are allowed to have fun with your outfits, if you have an office with a more lax dress code this can easily give you tons of room to play and experiment with your style. Try new things but remember to keep them in a professional range. While they may say they have a lax dress code there is still a dress code.

  

Business Tips For Female Entrepreneurs

Women are still actually quite new to the world of business. We are not far from the time where it was accustom for the women to stay at home with the kids while the husband went off to work. We have now evolved into the breadwinners just like the men. But that does not mean we do not have our fair share of challenges when it comes to being apart of the business world. Women have to work twice as hard as the men do, we also have to put in the extra footwork when it comes to owning our own business. So what are some tips that will help us climb that uphill battle when in the world of business?

 

Get Social 

 

Social media has quickly climbed the ladder as one of the bused and most important strategies for business marketing. Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, even Pinterest are great ways to promote your business, generate sales leads, create third party endorsements, and even conduct sales. If you are unfamiliar with using social media for marketing there are tons of online courses that you can take to help you learn the best ways to use it. 

 

Networking

 

Networking is one of the most important tools when owning a business. Making sure that you have a reliable support system will help you to navigate through the tricky world that is business. Having a mentor who also understands what struggles you are dealing with is also important. When you join groups in your industry it allows you to create a reliable web of contacts who can help to support you and give you great advice about how to navigate possible problems that may come along down the road. If you don’t have a lot of time to do this in person there are lots of apps that can help you in this area. 

 

Home Life 

 

A lot of business professionals will tell you to not bring your home life into your work life, however, this can be a useful tool that you can use to your advantage. Many women have their own responsibilities at home to take care of, things like kids, and daycare can be stressful especially while you are in the beginning stages of trying to open a business. A lot of women use this to their advantage by taking a sense of inspiration to things that they deal with at home. Women are the CEO of the household. When you translate something that already comes naturally to a lot of women this allows you to create a seamless transition to balance everything all at once. 

 

Knowing Your Worth

While the world of business may for now be run by men, women business owners should know that they are worth it. Did you know that the approval rates for women to get a business loan approval are between 15 to 20% lower than it is for a man to get approval for a business loan? Most would think that would tear women business owners down, but for many this makes women strive harder to be successful.

The Amazing Women in Business

For years the business industry has been solely male-dominated. Recently, women have started to take over the business industry, with women entrepreneurs making their names known and fighting back against the stereotypes, with an “anything you can do, I can do too.” attitude. With this, their mission does not seem to be slowing any time soon. Women around the world are becoming CEOs and setting Fortune 500 records; these are some of those women. 

Dr. Celeste Fralick – Data Perseverance

Dr. Fralick is both an author and the Senior Principal Engineer and Cheif Data Scientist for McAfee. She helps to create a technical, analytic strategy that is used to integrate into McAfee consumer and enterprise products along with internal Business Intelligence. With almost 40 years of experience, Dr. Fralick has developed things like Machine learning and Deep Learning for analytics for eight different market types. She also holds a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Arizona State University, with a concentration in predictive analytics and neuroscience she is currently working on authoring Springer’s text on “Intelligent Analytics.”

Marina Tognetti – Entrepreneur 

Marina Tognetti is both the founder and CEO of the website mYngle.com. While originally from Italy, Tognetti has managed to learn six languages and has lived in numerous countries. After spending almost 18 years working in a corporate career for Procter & Gamble, she decided to take the leap into becoming an entrepreneur and launched her website called mYngle in 2007. The site is a live language education system offering custom language learnings through video conferencing. With this program, you can learn 45 different languages from anywhere in the world. 

Mina Jeong – Business 

Mina Jeong helps to advise different companies who want to find the right customer audience, building a reputation, and getting them in the right markets. As a B2B/B2C Tech and Consumer PR specialist, she has over 20 years of experience under her belt. She is also the current president of the Kora Public Relations Consultancy Association (KPRCA). 

Radhika Jones – editor in chief of Vanity Fair Magazine

The successor after Gradon Carter, the first editor and chief of Vanity fair, Radhika Jones, has made the magazine hers by driving it towards articles that are a bit more relevant. More articles today are based on what’s currently going on in the world rather than who wore Dior last week. She has pushed for less stylized and glamorized style to promote the magazine towards more modern times and embracing the everyday. 

Ursula Burns – Chairman and Executive Officer of Xerox Corporation

Ursula Burns served as the CEO and chairman of the Xerox corporation from 2009 – 2016. She was the first African American woman to hold this position at the Fortune 500 company. She was the first woman to gain to the position of the CEO of such a company after the progression of another female. Raised in low-income housing in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Burns was one of three children raised by a single mother. Throughout her life, she excelled in math and earned a mechanical engineering degree from the Polytech Institute of New York University in Brooklyn. The same year Burns earned her degree, she went on to gain a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Columbia University and then joined Xerox that summer as a mechanical engineering intern. In 2007 she was named the CEO, and in 2010 she went on to become chairman of the board. 

 

With the world around us continually changing, more and more women are taking on prestigious positions. These inspiring women help the younger generation know that with hard work, they too can become successful and possibly be world leaders or the head of a significant fortune 500 company. 

 

Are Companies Really Incorporating Diversity?

It’s become more and more common hearing the words cultural diversity being thrown around in the workplace. But why does it matter? The benefits can far outweigh any negative connotations that it might have. So let’s start by discussing what cultural diversity IS? It is when a population of differences is represented well within a company; this should include those of different races, ethnicities, ages, gender, ability, language, nationality, socioeconomic status. To be diverse, the group diversely represented by different groups. 

Why Does It Matter?

These diverse backgrounds can have various perspectives when it to the workplace, and their contribution allows situations to be viewed from more angles providing innovative results. For diversity to strengthen the company, it should be valued in the businesses philosophy and must integrate into every aspect of the companies practices. But for diversity to best work, all coworkers must be willing to be open-minded and non-judgmental. 

Commitment to Diversity

Without a firm commitment from all employees, this can cause a group to weaken and create poor communication between employees. When situations like this arise, it can result in hostile conditions where often, people can jump to conclusions and misinterpret others’ behaviors.

Economically Beneficial 

When everyone works together in a diverse company culture, this has also been found to increase financial gains and can even lead to more awareness for your company. Each year 50 companies are selected by DiversityInc that have the most diversity. Diversity helps to drive profitability by helping to drive marketing, operations, and innovation. It is said that being on a successful team drives team success. The critical foundation of managing diversity has teams that are all set on achieving a common goal, often seen more with growth-orientated companies. These companies understand that to thrive is to fully embrace diversity as a sort of “fuel” to help drive their companies forward. 

Legal Costs

Diversity helps to cut down on legal costs due to it being illegal for employers to discriminate on any cultural, racial, or gender differences due to the Equal Employment Opportunity, that handles all complaints about workplace discrimination. 

 

How to Empower Women Leaders in the Workplace

For years, women have taken the backseat when it came to leadership roles in their careers. Time and time again, women were passed over for promotions and instead watched their male colleagues rise to hire positions. However, as women begin to fight for equality now more than ever, small businesses and large corporations have focused on empowering more women leaders. In order to promote diversity and equality in the workplace, this is how to empower women leaders:

Hire More Women

This first step to empowering and encouraging more women leaders is by hiring more women. If your women employees feel that they work in an environment dominated by men, they will be discouraged to pursue a higher position in the company. Make sure that every department and level are embracing equality. By having more women employed, it will encourage them to believe they have a shot at leadership and management positions.

Offer Women Mentors

Another great way to encourage more women to take on leadership roles is by introducing them to women mentors. When someone sees a person much like them or in a similar situation in a place of leadership and power, it helps them see where they could be someday. Being able to see a woman lead first-hand can have a remarkable effect on women in the workplace. Have women speakers come into the office or offer networking events for employees to get acquainted with. It’s important for women to see other women in leadership positions.

Discuss Leadership Roles

It’s important to sit down with women who have the potential to be great leaders in your business or company and discuss their future. By talking with them about where they see themselves headed in the company or if they would be interested in a leadership position, it is empowering them to take on more responsibility and work harder to put them into leadership. This also helps with employee retention. By enabling them to seek future leadership roles, it also encourages them to stay committed to the company.

 

The Rise of Small Businesses Owned by Women

 

Women are a growing force in the world of small business. They have become leaders in this industry as they carve out ways to tap into an industry that was once dominated by men. A large part of this has to do with the fact that women are tapping into so many different occupational fields.

 

The IT Crowd

A large number of women are gaining respect in the IT field with skills in programming, web designer, cybersecurity and system analyst jobs. This is a part of the small business world that women are embracing. There are also women that are opening small businesses that are training in things like software development and application usage for various programs. Women in IT are also working as headhunters for bigger companies.

 

Social Media

There are also women that are starting up their small businesses by promoting themselves through social media. Cosmetics have always been big business for women, but there is a greater level of control that women are taking in the business world now. They are posting videos about cosmetics, and they are giving makeup tutorials to build an audience. This ability to advertise this way has allows women to start small businesses from the comfort of home.

 

College Degrees

Women are also realizing their potential through education. They are going back to college as single mothers and learning more. They are moving away from roles as secretaries and administrative assistants inside of big corporations that are not paying them what they desire to make. These women are going back to school and getting degrees so that they can learn how to run their own businesses.

 

Food Trucks 

Higher education is a part of the growing number of women in the workforce that are getting into small businesses, but there are small businesses that thrive even when women do not have degrees. It doesn’t take a college degree to become a great cook. This is what a lot of women are discovering with the food truck business. Women love this because it doesn’t require as much money to invest in a food truck as it does to rent a commercial space for a restaurant and buy equipment. They have the freedom to be mobile and pay less in taxes. 

Q & A with Alexandra Arrivillaga

Alexandra Arrivillaga is a successful entrepreneur and businesswoman. She is no stranger to hard work having created a number of companies, including Owl Management Consulting and Lock It Up, LLC. Business ownership was all around Alexandra during her childhood, so it was no surprise that she followed in her family’s entrepreneurial footsteps. Alexandra’s family also stressed the importance of getting an education. The desire to learn led Alexandra to earn a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Management from Lesley College, a Master’s in Management from Cambridge University and a PhD in Business in Organizational Behavior at North Central University. Alexandra’s pursuit of higher education and sharp business acumen has helped her to build successful companies. Ms. Arrivillaga’s newest endeavor is LatinTouch Agency, which focuses on strategy and diversity consulting to ensure Latinos are positively represented in all businesses.

 

Here, Alexandra answers several questions pertaining to her business career and her personal interests.

 

What’s the most important thing we should know about you?

 Success means making meaningful work that promotes inclusivity and community.

 

Name the most impactful lesson you learned from failure.

To keep pushing forward.

 

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

The integrity and passion I have for volunteering to help people in my community.

 

What did you waste the most time on when you were first starting your career?

 Trying to fit the status quo when I am an innovative person.

 

Name a tool you use for work that you can’t live without.

 Coffee! 

 

What is your favorite hobby and why?

Salsa dancing because I love rhythm and self expression. 

 

What excites you the most about your industry right now?

The progressive and innovative changes in it. 

 

What concerns you most about your industry right now?

Latinos need to catch up with the latest technologies.

 

What’s the greatest risk you’ve ever taken?

I am an entrepreneur, so everything I do is risky. 

 

Name one small habit that positively impacts your productivity.

I look for change and I embrace it.  

 

What tip(s) do you have for getting a seat at the table?

Walk and talk like you deserve to be at the table — because you do.

 

What book has made the biggest impact on your life?

Proverbs in the Bible 

 

Do you value intelligence or common sense more? Why?

A balance of both is needed because everything in life needs balance. 

 

What would you consider to be the perfect day?

Coffee, positive vibes, meditation, a morning workout and an innovative, progressive day!

The Top Ten Latin American Companies & Why They Matter

 

The Top Ten Latin American Companies & Why They Matter

With booming tech scenes in major population centers like Mexico City and Sao Paulo, Brazil, it has been so secret in recent years that Latin America currently has one of the hottest start-up markets in the world. Here are just a few of the best companies operating out of the region, and why investors will be hearing a lot more about Latin companies in the decade to come.

 

  1. Apli

Based out of Mexico City, Apli is currently revolutionizing the Latin food industry by connecting workers with in-demand restaurant jobs. Apli has almost singlehandedly revitalized what many investors once saw as a stalled industry, and the company’s future looks very bright indeed.

 

  1. Rappi

Based out of Colombia and currently developing operations in a host of different countries, Rappi is changing the way that online deliveries are made in Latin America.

 

  1. Movile

As one of Brazil’s leading start-ups, Movile is providing a variety of services to Latin American nations; the company currently handles everything from food delivery to online radio.

 

  1. Grow Mobility

Another Brazil-based start-up with enormous potential, Grow Mobility’s founders took advantage of the poor transportation service operations in their home town of Sao Paulo to launch one of the most successful micro-transport companies in the world.

 

  1. Selina

Much like its direct competitor Airbnb, Selina is currently taking the user-based vacation rental market by storm in South America. Based out of Panama, the company is now worth nearly $1 billion and is growing rapidly.

 

  1. Ecoandino

Founded in Peru, Ecoandino aims to revolutionize the Latin American superfood movement with its healthy offerings; the company is also notable for its commitment to sustainability.

 

  1. PagSeguro

Another of Brazil’s most promising new companies, PagSeguro makes online payments simple and straightforward for its 12 million customers. In Sao Paulo’s thriving and competitive start-up market, PagSeguro is currently one of the best companies for investors to keep an eye on.

 

  1. Magazine Luiza

Like Ikea, Magazine Luiza is hoping to win over upwardly-mobile market demographics with great deals on stylish home furnishings. Another Sao Paulo-based company that is a favorite with investors, Magazine Luiza appears to be taking the Latin American market by storm, and its holdings of close to 800 stores is a testament to the company’s remarkable popularity with the public.

 

  1. Cliengo

As one of Argentina’s most promising start-ups, Cliengo is a client-services company unlike any other currently operating in South America. By connecting small businesses with clients via AI chat applications, the company has wowed investors with its commitment to using futuristic tech to serve a growing customer base.

 

  1. Nubank

By offering a pragmatic and cost-effective alternative to Brazil’s high interest credit card industry and limited financial system, Nubank has disrupted the personal banking world in Latin America in a very big way. Indeed, the company is now regarded as one of the most promising start-ups in the region.