Female Leadership, Increasing Employee Productivity Through Wellness, Seeing the Positive in Tragedy and Turbo Charging Businesses

Best Seller TV, the only show dedicated to covering today’s best-selling business books on C-Suite TV, is announcing its October lineup featuring in-depth interviews with leading business authors Jill Griffin, author of Women Make Great Leaders: Real World Lessons To Accelerate Your Climb, Brian Hazelgren, author of Healthy Habits of Highly Productive Employees: Thriving in Health, Wealth and Self, Kristiane Cates, author of The Golden Thread: A Memoir and Terri Levine, author of Turbo Charge: How to Transform Your Business as a Heart-repreneur.

Jill Griffin, author of Women Make Great Leaders: Real World Lessons To Accelerate Your Climb offers twenty-four lessons for women to become great leaders, stand their ground and learn how to say no. Griffin argues that many women seek to be people pleasers and have a hard time saying no. She encourages women to find male champions who are “two or three rings” above them because that’s how you get on the corporate radar and emphasizes that women shouldn’t ask, they should just do. Griffin says that “women have been making strides” in becoming great leaders and that a pipeline must be built in order to get more women moving into the c-suite and corporate boards.

Brian Hazelgren, author of Healthy Habits of Highly Productive Employees: Thriving in Health, Wealth and Self talks about how an employee’s health has a direct correlation with their level of productivity. As the owner of a health and wellness company and a former 4-sport athlete, Hazelgren is aware of the impact one’s health has on the rest of our lives, including job performance. He saw the need to create a wellness program — not just to boost morale, but to give employees a bonding experience. This program is something employees have to buy into, but the ability to stay focused and create a balance in life…

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Going Beyond the Sale: Managing Partnerships for Greater Impact

As a mission-driven organization, it can feel like a continuous struggle to manage both project impact and the needs of partners and/or donors. Resources will always be the gateway to accomplishing mission-driven work, so the need for fundraisers, partnership developers or donor managers is unavoidable. In order to manage these relationships properly, being a salesperson is critical. For those who care deeply about the mission at hand, however, considering sales a key element of the project can seem downright fraudulent. Resource constraints mean that all potential engagements are on the table, and thus in order to deliver good, meaningful work, building relationships and focusing efforts on those organizations that can fund into the future is necessary. To move past the sale, and focus on the mission delivery at all costs, there are several approaches that will help:

1. Find the intersection between the goals of potential donors and partners and the opportunities to affect change via the mission at hand. Consider the matchmaking process like creating an algorithm for impact: where a donor or partner’s interest lies, there must be an opportunity to deliver mission relevant work that matches across geographies, substance and/or benefit to humanity. Don’t feel as though it’s about chasing the funding. Simply calculating the best return on investment for a partner, which is both necessary for the success of the partnership, and provides assurance that work will get funded longer term, is what it’s all about.

2. Balance partner demands with delivery demands. Different personalities will come through in times of stress or excitement, and being prepared to manage each constituent (i.e. partner/donor AND funding recipient) so as to protect the partnership and also the integrity of the work is important. Relish in the mediator role. Certain mission-driven work is highly stress-inducing, so utilizing a connection point between partner/donor and delivery outlet as an opportunity to keep everyone engaged in an actionable and productive way will be useful.

3. Being reminded repeatedly that we are all humans, with an instinct to make tomorrow a better day than yesterday, and the future more meaningful than the past, helps avoid the doldrums of the sale. Maintaining the integrity of the work and the needs of the people served helps move the sale forward towards the ultimate aim, which is delivering impact.

I share the path it took me to understand these nuances in my book, ChangeSeekers: Finding Your Path to Impact. When I formulated the concept behind my company, Connective Impact in 2013, I was desperate to make this bold idea to transform how partnerships developed to effect change into something actionable. My thoughts are always the same: take risks, be bold, be curious, ask questions, be a good listener, never stop learning, follow your gut, and keep moving forward at all costs.

In addition to sharing the journey I took in forming Connective Impact in order to make partnering less scary and more effective, I also include stories of others whose journeys are laden with determination, a willingness to test the status quo or take risks. Many of these leaders represent mission-driven organizations that are struggling with the right approaches to partnership, as well. Their laser-like focus on making a positive difference and seeking impactful paths for themselves, is inspiring. As is often the case with effective collaboration for social, economic and environmental impact, finding the “right” fit, and prioritizing the right partnerships with the help of a convener like Connective Impact, can make outcomes, goals and visions a reality for any business leader.

Post Submitted by Joanne Sonenshine

Tis the (Peak) Season for Packages – Are You Ready?

There are two months to go before the holiday season and the large shipping companies are gearing up. All indications are holiday sales will be up over last year, with e-commerce continuing to grow. This could be costly for retailers of all sizes with both UPS and FedEx planning surcharges during the busy season. This means your business could use a shipping and logistics strategy. With about two months before the holiday season hits, Spend Management Experts is offering a no strings attached, zero-cost analysis on your shipping costs.

To read the full article Click Here.

Maximize Your Brand on the Lowest Budget Possible

In this webinar of The Business Storm, listen in as Jeffrey Hayzlett, Chairman of the C-Suite Network and former Fortune 100 CMO discusses with Thomas White, Co-Founder and CEO of the C-Suite Network on how to “Maximize Your Brand on the Lowest Budget Possible”. Uncover the importance of being an authentic brand and generating content. Jeffrey Hayzlett presents the 4 steps to the secret formula for maximizing your brand that you can start incorporating into your brand development strategy today. Listen Now!

10 Things Robots Can’t Do Better Than Humans

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There’s been a lot of hype about AI, robots, chatbots and the like. And I admit I cover this topic. I speak on this topic as well – and I think it’s an exciting time in technology. But I’m getting tired of the hype of artificial intelligence.

While we talk up robots, AI and there is nothing like being served by someone who seems to genuinely want to be serving. One reason we are so excited about robots, automation and self-service technology is we’ve been trying to create space between brands and customers for years. Dealing with customers can be expensive, resource draining and time consuming.

The idea is: “how can we push as many people as possible through the same experience while keeping our operating costs as low as possible?” But let’s have a straight talk about robots and automation. Would you want a robot giving you an important medical diagnosis? Would you want to go to a theater and watch a cast of robots perform for you? Let’s talk about stuff robots can’t do and calm down with this dystopian view of the future where people lose their usefulness.

10 Things Robots Can’t Do

1. A robot can’t look you in the eye

Machines will not destroy man as long as we remember machines are in service to mankind. Last night I was watching the film “Hidden Figures” – in the movie the actor who plays astronaut John Glenn says regarding the IBM mainframe that shot out potentially incorrect trajectory information for his landing “you can’t trust something you cant look in the eyes.” He’s right. Would you trust something that can’t interpret events, actions, or tones as much as a human? Machines are in service to us. It should always be that way. When we let technology loose without much management or interference from a human – it usually doesn’t end well.

2. Consider the feelings of the other person

If an interactive voice response (IVR) program (a phone tree) could consider and interpret the feelings of customers on the other end of the phone, the robot might malfunction in shock. Many people have thrown their phone on the ground, tired of an IVR that doesn’t understand what they (the customer) are requesting. Or the IVR doesn’t offer what the customer requests. Customer service can be a messy business because you are dealing with human emotions. There’s a gray area. As customer frustration and anger goes up, a human being should be able to gauge that, sincerely apologize and offer some kind of appropriate service recovery. Service recovery means I will give you X for your inconvenience. Robots cannot consider feelings – genuinely, like a person can. Today millions of companies settle for terrible IVR experiences, keeping their customers at bay – never realizing how many customers they lose overnight because of these hard of hearing robots.

3. Make a person feel seen or heard

Sometimes working in customer service is like being a psychologist….

CMO Today: Marketers Seize More Control; Web Firms Buoy Ad Spending; Apple’s $1 Billion Content Budget

Good morning. President Donald Trump’s response to the violence that erupted in Charlottesville this weekend continues to dominate the headlines and present tough questions for companies assessing the brand risk of having ties to the administration. As The Wall Street Journal reports, recent events have “sparked a new round of soul-searching in U.S. corporate boardrooms over whether they should keep working closely with the White House.” One crisis management expert in the article is recommending corporate clients avoid any official Trump advisory panel or White House gathering of business leaders altogether.

Depending on which research you look at, spend on digital advertising has already eclipsed, or will overtake spend on “traditional” media this year. That inflection point, plus the heightened levels of scrutiny leveled at the online supply chain, has led to marketers increasingly taking back control of some of the digital advertising duties they once farmed out to their agencies, I reported for CMO Today. A survey from the World Federation of Advertisers found marketers have taken a range of actions over the past 12 months, such as setting up “hybrid” programmatic models — where they are building their own internal trading desks to handle a percentage of their digital ad spend — and adding clauses to their contracts about data ownership and audit rights. It’s important to note that agencies aren’t going anywhere any time soon. Marketers still benefit from their scale, expertise and experience dealing directly with digital vendors. But it can only be a good thing that more marketers are finally waking up to the fact that they need a complete handle over their digital activities.

Ad-funded internet companies are leading by example. Web companies increased their U.S. ad spending in the most-recent quarter at a “significantly faster pace” than other types of advertisers, according to Pivotal Research Group senior analyst Brian Wieser. That helped the overall U.S.ad market grow by around 5% in the second quarter, despite an estimated 1% decline in national TV advertising, double-digit declines for most print-based media and decreased spending among consumer packaged goods companies. Of course, the big spenders, like Google and Amazon, are also the online ad sellers benefiting from the wider digital advertising splurge. But all good things come to an end. Mr. Wieser says the double-digit growth in digital advertising we’ve witnessed in…

As Tile makes a long-term B2B play, its CMO says he’s right where he loves to be

In November of last year, Simon Fleming-Wood was named CMO of Tile, the company behind RFID hardware devices designed to help users keep track of things like lost keys or phones. In his role, the CMO oversees all marketing and communications efforts for the brand, including brand strategy, growth marketing, advertising and PR.

“It’s an exciting time to be in the role as the company is really expanding their retail footprint, introducing new products, making a long-term B2B play and really owning their category,” says Fleming-Wood. “That’s right where I love to be.”

Currently, Fleming-Wood’s team is focused on a brand strategy campaign that will launch during the holiday season.

“Tile has roughly 90 percent share of a category they created, but it’s still a category with low awareness overall, so there’s a real opportunity to build a meaningful brand here.”

Tile is also planning promotions around its Smart Location Platform. Launched last year, the new…

Video-Phobic Marketers: It’s Time to Get Over Your Fear of Producing Video

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Jeff Julian got his start in video at the ripe old age of 12. Video was a creative outlet for him during a challenging time … middle school.

“When I was in middle school, I went from an average size kid to a big kid,” Jeff explains. “I got picked on quite a bit. Playing with computers and electronics was a way for me to fit in and be creative. I began producing funny skits with my best friend. We impersonated ESPN, Saturday Night Live, and even Robin Leach from Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. Our videos became popular at school. No one else was doing it so those videos came to define me when I was a kid.”

After college, Jeff became a full-time software developer, but in his spare time he was blogging and recording video about technology – even before “blog” was a common word. Ultimately, he built what became the biggest technology blog community at the time: Geeks With Blogs. (Robert Scoble was an early influencer of the blog.) “I wasn’t a marketer,” says Jeff. “I was a software developer who created this community – and I had to learn how to sell advertising to keep it going.” Over time, Jeff migrated to marketing, ultimately founding a marketing-focused video blog called Enterprise Marketer.

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Jeff says marketers fear two primary aspects of video marketing. First, there’s tremendous anxiety about getting in front of the camera. He explains, “The fear of being judged scares people away from all video and audio media, even if they themselves aren’t the ones who will be in front of the camera.”

Also, Jeff says, marketers feel inadequate when it comes to transforming raw video assets into a final product. “I don’t think anyone’s afraid of things like cameras, lenses, tripods, or any technology on the recording end,” he says. “Their fear is about the production end of the process – the tools and expertise needed to make a complete project.”

Jeff shares his thoughts and tips on how to overcome that fear and learn to embrace video.

On why conquering fear matters more than ever

The way we consume content is moving more and more toward video, motion graphics, and audio. Of course, people have been saying this for years, but the growing sophistication of technologies like virtual reality, voice recognition (hello Alexa), and artificial intelligence means we will soon interact with screens very differently than we used to – and some screens will become obsolete. Add to that, younger generations are gravitating to video-based content in a way that will define how we publish in another decade. (Video-based recipes were uncommon even five years ago, but 30-second GIF recipes litter the web today.)

Content marketers need to look beyond the blog post, e-book, and print magazine; they have to adapt to the ways people prefer to consume content.

And I have not even mentioned live video or live streaming. Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube have all added live-streaming capabilities — and the format has taken off in popularity.

In short: Any brand that isn’t embracing video internally and growing its expertise is going to fall further and further behind.

On the virtues of starting small

To begin, think of the smallest audience you can impact with a short video. We’re talking the “babiest” of baby steps. For example, create a walk-through video of an internal tool you want your team to use. With such a small scope for your first video, the fear of rejection or being judged is low. Just make sure it’s valuable to that audience and lets you experiment with new tools and techniques in video production. It’s the video equivalent of writing a paragraph vs. a 10-page essay to get you comfortable with the process.

Another idea: Film a customer case study. You only need a single camera setup and an external microphone. Stand the camera left or right and ask customers to talk about themselves. (Just about everybody can talk about themselves and the projects they are a part of.) Cut up the clip, add motion graphics (you’ll find plenty of online tutorials), and show it to your sales reps. Ask them if it’s something they can use. If the answer is yes, you have another medium to jump on.

On when to consider a professional

It’s possible you’ll need a professional, but not in the way you might think.

It’s tough (read: impossible) to be in front of the camera and behind it at once. Depending on the quality and scope of your video project, you’ll need someone to assist you. That person, whether a professional or an assistant, should be trained to capture video and audio competently. (And more complex video projects may require even more people.)

If you want to get best bang for buck, consider hiring an independent videographer as your assistant. A freelance wedding videographer, for example, can help you through your beginner fears. Of course, you need…

5 ways to balance technical & non-technical SEO

In SEO’s earlier days, technical SEO was largely about coding. For a fun throwback, check out this 2008 SEL article on search-friendly code by Jonathan Hochman, an internet marketer and computer sciences grad from Yale. Technical SEO was all about how to optimize (and often, manipulate) code, metadata and link profiles to achieve better results.

And you know what? That basic purpose of technical SEO hasn’t changed.

As black hat tactics and manipulation became less effective and more dangerous, they fell out of favor. This gave rise to the more creative, non-technical SEO tactics designed to show search engines the value and relevance of each piece of content.

Technical and non-technical should never be pitted against one another, as both are critical to the health of your site and the success of your campaigns. Technical SEO is the framework on which truly great content is built, ensuring that each piece is structured and optimized for search engine discoverability and human consumption.

Here are a few tips to help you find balance between the technical and creative:

1. Understand the role of technical SEO in your organization

Today, in most organizations, technical SEO is a function entirely separate from development. You might still have some spillover between development and SEO in small companies or with freelancers. Typically, though, SEOs are an entity unto themselves, tasked with working alongside:

  • the uber-technical IT team, who manage the reception and storage of critical customer data.
  • web developers.
  • the non-technical SEOs (including link builders…

Demystifying AI: Understanding the human-machine relationship

The artificial intelligence of today has almost nothing in common with the AI of science fiction. In “Star Wars,” “Star Trek” and “Battlestar Galactica,” we’re introduced to robots who behave like we do — they are aware of their surroundings, understand the context of their surroundings and can move around and interact with people just as I can with you. These characters and scenarios are postulated by writers and filmmakers as entertainment, and while one day humanity will inevitably develop an AI like this, it won’t happen in the lifetime of anyone reading this article.

Because we can rapidly feed vast amounts of data to them, machines appear to be learning and mimicking us, but in fact they are still at the mercy of the algorithms we provide. The way for us to think of modern artificial intelligence is to understand two concepts:

  1. Computers can ingest millions of data points per second and make instant calculations and predictions based on this data set.
  2. Very specific rules can be written to help a computer system understand what to do once a calculation is made. (Or, if training a neural network, very specific inputs and outputs must be provided for the data that’s being ingested.)

To illustrate this in grossly simplified terms, imagine a computer system in an autonomous car. Data comes from cameras placed around the vehicle, from road signs, from pictures that can be identified as hazards and so on. Rules are then written for the computer system to learn about all the data points and make calculations based on the rules of the road. The successful result is the vehicle driving from point A to B without making mistakes (hopefully).

The important thing to understand is that these systems don’t think like you and me. People are ridiculously good at pattern recognition, even to the point where we prefer forcing ourselves to see patterns when there are none. We use this skill to ingest less information and make quick decisions about what to do.

Computers have no such luxury; they have to ingest everything, and if you’ll forgive the pun, they can’t “think outside the box.” If a modern AI were to be programmed to understand a room (or any other volume) it would have to measure all of it.

Think of…