C-Suite Network™

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Best Practices Growth Marketing

AI = Your Content Creation Catalyst

AI = Your Content Creation Catalyst

Artificial intelligence is a transformative force in content creation, particularly for those either swamped with writing assignments or wrestling with the mental block that often plagues writers. Where AI shines is in its capacity to automate tasks that are frequently time-consuming and repetitive. Imagine the freedom you’d experience when a machine efficiently scans vast datasets for you, verifying facts or even generating initial outlines. This time-saving aspect allows you to concentrate more on adding your unique narrative voice and emotional depth to your content rather than getting entangled in the web of endless research.

Similarly, AI is not just about raw computational power; it also offers advanced analytics that can deepen your understanding of your readership. This information helps you tailor your writing to better align with your audience’s needs, enhancing reader engagement and satisfaction. It can pinpoint trends and suggest styles or topics that are more likely to resonate with the audience.

But let’s not lose sight of why this complementary relationship between human creativity and artificial intelligence is so valuable to you. By leveraging AI to handle the heavy lifting—data collection, initial drafts, and audience analytics—you can devote more of your energies to the creative and emotionally nuanced aspects of your work. Essentially, AI is an invaluable partner, allowing you to fulfill the ever-increasing demands for high-quality, engaging content without sacrificing the personal touch that only a human can provide.

This balanced approach paves the way for a more efficient and compelling content creation process. You get to combine the best of both worlds: the computational efficiency of AI and the emotional intelligence and creative flair you bring to the table.

Categories
Best Practices Growth Marketing

Mastering AI for Optimal Content Creation

Mastering AI for Optimal Content Creation

When we discuss artificial intelligence in content creation, we’re often caught up in its output—what it produces. However, comprehending how it gets there is equally illuminating, especially for those who aim to harness its capabilities for more insightful and precise text. There are, essentially, four major elements when an AI model generates text.

The first is the training data, a compilation of extensive and diverse text samples from multiple sources. This is the foundational layer of AI with a broad base of existing knowledge. The role of this data can’t be understated; it serves as the raw material on which all subsequent activity is based.

The next element is the algorithmic interpretation of this data. Unlike the human mind, which comprehends and processes information organically, AI relies on mathematical formulas to sift through its training data. The algorithm identifies patterns, gauges context, and forecasts subsequent text, albeit without real comprehension. Essentially, it excels at determining what text is likely to come next based on statistical probabilities.

Then comes the user input, a crucial pivot in the AI text generation process. When you present a query or a prompt to an AI model, it matches your input against the patterns it has unearthed during its training. This doesn’t mean the AI is surfing the web to find real-time answers; instead, it leverages its internal database of pre-learned information to formulate a relevant response.

Lastly, we reach the output stage, where the AI produces the text after the steps mentioned earlier. The primary objective is to ensure the output is coherent, contextually appropriate, and grammatically sound.

So, why should any of this matter to you? The more you comprehend the intricacies of AI writing, the better equipped you are to fine-tune your queries for more accurate and meaningful responses. Being aware of AI’s capabilities and limitations enables you to tailor your input to elicit detailed output, thus amplifying the quality of the resultant text. So, while AI may not replace the unique qualities of human creativity, it can certainly act as a powerful tool for those who know how to wield it effectively.

Categories
Best Practices Other

How’s This AI World Treating You? Good? Bad? Indifferent? What the Heck is AI?

How’s This AI World Treating You?

Good? Bad? Indifferent?

What the Heck is AI?

 

In the digital whirlwind of modern life, a new breeze has blown so intricately into our daily experiences that it’s sometimes hard to make sense of it. This gust of wind is Artificial Intelligence (AI), and it’s shaping our world in profound, subtle, and undeniably complex ways. But how is this AI world treating us? Are we benefiting from its advancements, grappling with its challenges, or simply indifferent to its pervasive presence? And for those still puzzled by the term, what exactly is AI?

Let’s start at the beginning: AI is the simulation of human intelligence in programmed machines to think like humans and mimic their actions. It’s a broad field that encompasses everything from the voice assistant on your smartphone to the predictive algorithms that recommend your next favorite show on streaming services.

The Good

For many, AI is a boon. It’s the convenience of asking a digital assistant to play your favorite music, the safety of advanced car driver-assistance systems, and the personalization of online shopping experiences. In healthcare, AI helps diagnose diseases with precision that matches and sometimes surpasses human doctors. AI algorithms analyze data for businesses to provide insights that inform strategy and drive growth.

AI’s presence has also given rise to new industries and job opportunities, from machine learning engineers to data annotation specialists. It’s in the way we can now fight climate change more effectively, with AI monitoring environmental data to predict and mitigate disasters.

The Bad

However, not all is rosy in the AI garden. With its growth, privacy, surveillance, and data security concerns have become increasingly pressing. AI systems are only as good as the data they’re fed, and biased data leads to limited outcomes, often perpetuating societal inequalities. The labor market also faces challenges; AI’s ability to automate tasks can lead to job displacement and requires a workforce to adapt to changing skill demands.

There’s a more existential worry: the fear of AI becoming too advanced, encapsulating scenarios where machines surpass human intelligence, popularly known as the singularity. While this is still the stuff of science fiction, it sparks debates about ethics and the future governance of AI. Remember the Borg? Or The Terminator?

The Indifferent

For some, AI’s infiltration into daily life has been met with a shrug. It’s there, it does its job, and life goes on. The silent workings of AI in backend systems, security, and logistics might not demand attention but still impact efficiency and convenience. This segment might not ponder the AI revolution but reaps its benefits through smoother services and better products.

So, What’s the Verdict

The AI world treats us in various ways, and our experiences are as diverse as AI’s applications. It’s crucial to maintain a vigilant yet open-minded perspective. Embrace AI’s benefits, be aware of its challenges, and participate in shaping its role in society. After all, AI, at its core, is a tool, and its impact is primarily determined by how we choose to use it.

AI’s story is still being written, and we hold the pen. So, as we continue to weave AI into the fabric of our lives, let’s ensure that it enhances the human experience, not diminish it. How is this AI world treating you? The answer may be as complex as AI, but it’s a question worth exploring as we stand at the crossroads of a new era.

 

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Best Practices

Become a Master of Change: Transform Your Business with These Five Controversial Tactics

Hey there, fearless entrepreneurs and high-flyers! Baz Porter here, the powerhouse behind R.A.M.S by Baz, where we don’t just talk about success—we make it happen. Today, I’m diving into a topic hotter than a jalapeño in a heatwave: becoming a master of change. You’ve come to the right place if you’re ready to transform your business and leave your competition in the dust. Buckle up because we’ll get natural, raw, and controversial.

1. Own Your Business and Personal Operating System (P.O.S.)

Let’s kick things off with a truth bomb: if you don’t have a solid operating system for your business and personal life, you’re screwed. You’re like a ship without a rudder, drifting aimlessly in a sea of chaos.

The Systematic Approach

I’ve seen it repeatedly—business owners running around like headless chickens, putting out fires left and right. The solution? A defined, organized system for everything from marketing funnels to client interactions. This isn’t just about business; it’s about your life. You need a Personal Operating System (P.O.S.) to stay grounded and focused.

Imagine this: you’re a mighty oak tree in a tempestuous storm of change. With solid roots (your systems), you stand tall and resilient. Without them, you’re a flimsy sapling at the mercy of every gust of wind. Get your systems in place, and watch your ability to handle change skyrocket.

2. Resist FOMO Impulses

Here’s a controversial take: sometimes, being late to the party is better. That’s right, I said it. In a world obsessed with being first, I tell you to chill out and take your time.

The Myth of FOMO

FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out, is a killer. It drives people to make hasty, ill-advised decisions. But here’s the thing: careful, thoughtful, and methodical implementation often leads to greater success and wealth. I’ve made a fortune by coming late to the party and avoiding the stampede of desperate early adopters.

Remember when everyone slapped “A.I.” on everything and watched the dollars roll in? Sure, some got rich quickly, but many crashed and burned just as fast. Don’t be a Walmart shopper at 5 a.m. on Black Friday. Stay cool, be methodical, and watch the competition trip over themselves.

3. Be Cautious About Temporary Conditions

Temporary changes can feel like the end of the world, but overreacting is a surefire way to make permanent mistakes.

The Long Game

Think about the market shifts during the COVID-19 lockdowns. Restaurants pivoted to take-out, and businesses scrambled to adapt. But now, many of those temporary conditions have passed. If you make drastic, irreversible changes, you might regret it.

Every new media was supposed to kill the old ones—TV was going to kill movies, the internet was going to kill everything. Spoiler alert: it didn’t. The lesson here? Don’t overreact to temporary conditions. Stay the course, keep your principles intact, and be ready to pivot back when the storm passes.

4. Have High Immunity to Criticism and Being Laughed At

Let’s get real for a moment. If you’re in business to make everyone like you, you’re in the wrong game. You need a thick skin and a high immunity to criticism.

The Power of Persistence

What works for you? No one else’s opinion should sway that. I don’t use the internet or a cell phone personally, and some people think I’m a dinosaur for it. Do I care? Not one bit. I use every online media for my clients because it works for them, but I choose not to have it as part of my personal life.

Your time is yours, and everything you do should demonstrably earn its keep with ROI. Ignore the naysayers and stick to what you know works. If you let criticism dictate your actions, you’ll never achieve greatness.

5. Principle Governs Strategy, and Strategy Is Applied Through Tactics

Here’s the golden rule of mastering change: have unchangeable principles that guide your strategies. Without principles, you’re just flailing around in the dark.

The Hierarchy of Success

Your principles are your foundation. They govern your strategies, which in turn are executed through tactics. For example, if a principle of your dental practice is never to let a patient slip by, your strategy might include having easy, immediate access to friendly, helpful humans who convert every incoming call into an appointment.

Walt Disney’s principle was to be “THE Happiest Place On Earth.” This guided a portfolio of strategies and prohibited many others. Most business people are tactical to their detriment. If you can’t trace what you’re doing back to a strategy and that strategy back to a principle, you need to rethink your approach.

Master Keys to Riches

Now, let’s unlock the treasure chest. Here are two master keys to getting rich as an entrepreneur and a marketer:

Master Key #1: We Know Nothing

Yes, you heard that right. The most successful entrepreneurs approach every day as “Day One.” They don’t take anything for granted. They know that what worked yesterday might not work today.

Master Key #2: We Test Everything

Never assume you know the outcome. Test, test, and test again. Split-testing in marketing, trying new approaches, and verifying your strategies are essential. For example, I once increased conversions by 40% just by having salespeople speak with British accents instead of American ones.

You’ve explored the realm of transformation, discovering that true mastery of change often requires embracing bold, unconventional tactics. Let’s recap the five game-changing strategies that can propel your business to new heights:

  1. Break the Rules: Ditch the traditional playbook and forge your path. Innovation thrives in environments where boundaries are pushed.
  2. Prioritize People Over Processes: Empower your team by focusing on their growth and well-being. Exceptional results come from motivated, inspired individuals.
  3. Leverage Disruption: Take advantage of market disruptions. Stay ahead of the curve by anticipating change and responding with agility.
  4. Embrace Failure: View failures as opportunities for growth and learning. Each setback is a stepping stone toward greater success.
  5. Cultivate Radical Transparency: Foster a culture of openness and honesty. Transparent communication builds trust and drives collective progress.

These tactics may be controversial, but they can revolutionize your business. Now, it’s time to take action and transform these insights into reality. Your business’s future lies in your willingness to embrace change and lead with courage.

Call to Action: The Adventure Call

Are you ready to become a master of change and transform your business? Step into the CEO Impact Zone, where you’ll receive expert guidance tailored to your unique challenges and goals. This isn’t just a consultation—it’s your gateway to unlocking unprecedented success.

Click here to embark on your transformative journey: The Adventure Call

Seize the opportunity to lead with boldness and innovation. Let’s make your vision a reality together.

Categories
Best Practices Leadership Negotiating

Why “A Man in Full” Reinforces the Need for the Art of Feminine Negotiation

The new highly anticipated Netflix series, “A Man in Full”, demonstrates the desperate need for a new reframe on negotiation success. In fact, watching the show reminded me why I launched my mission for the Art of Feminine Negotiation. ™

While the series should play as a parody of masculine toxicity, sadly, it rings true for much of what passes as strong leadership these days. Whether it’s the business tycoon, the banking hotshot, the simpering loans officer, the mayor, or legal counsel, the male leads can hardly be called protagonists. Each in their own way are antagonists or anti-heros, displaying behaviour that is neither acceptable nor productive.

The men in the show put on a full-on display of toxic masculine conditioning run amok. Not surprisingly, there is an inordinate amount of references to balls and pricks with a corresponding number of F-bombs or derivatives thereof thrown into the mix. The language reflects the behaviour.

The men brag about their relative abilities to ‘kick another man’s ass’ (both literally and figuratively) and are hell-bent on destruction of their ‘opponents’. Ego and testosterone abound in virtually every interaction between the males in the show. As in real life, this does not end well.

Respect and dignity are not a factor in their negotiations. In fact, the over-riding goal in almost every negotiation featured appears to be the humiliation and belittling of the other side. Brutish bullying seems to be the go-to modus operandi even when it’s to the character’s detriment.

Winning is everything, but unfortunately their concepts of winning do not allow for best outcomes. Taking the most aggressive path is always chosen even when it doesn’t best serve the party taking that approach. Charlie Croker (played by Jeff Daniels) brags that ‘I may be a sore loser sometimes, but I’m a vicious winner’ as if this is a sign of his superior business acumen.

Don’t get me wrong. The production is fabulous, and the acting is exceptional. It’s the message I take issue with. I expect the hope is that the audience will see the folly in the traditional competitive and polarizing approach to negotiating (in business and life) and choose a better path – a more collaborative, creative path to a better future. Heck, that’s the point of the Art of Feminine Negotiation™ – to truly seek to understand and meet the needs of the other party in our interactions and negotiations. But I fear that the audience will take away the opposite lesson, believing that emulating this toxic, divisive behaviour is somehow a sign of power and success.

Allow me to spin some better lessons to take away from the show:

1. Surrender ego for better negotiated outcomes. Bumper-car egos are an impediment to good negotiating. Parking ego when approaching a negotiation will virtually always make space for better resolutions.
2. Build rapport and trust and with it, better results. Effective negotiation is all about connection. Personalized attacks destroy the possibility of connection that allows for bigger and better opportunities.
3. Empathy is key to getting to the heart of the matter and opening space for unexpected wins for all.
4. Holding all your cards to your chest (rather than allowing for transparency and vulnerability) may preclude your ability to find the real deal.
5. Be willing to be flexible. Staying too attached to one particular outcome precludes your ability to see better possibilities lying on the table for the having.
6. Aggressiveness is not the same as assertiveness. The former shows a lack of confidence in your knowledge of the subject whereas the latter comes from effective preparation and intention in showing up as the best version of yourself.
7. Curiosity is more effective than bullying in negotiations.
8. Everyone wants to feel seen and heard. Shutting down either is not an effective way to get your best result.
9. Integrity matters in negotiation and in life. I mean this in both sense of the word. Sacrificing our moral code inevitably backfires as does coming from a place not in keeping with our core values.
10. Machismo is not strength. In fact, the so-called ‘soft skills’ are the strongest way to best outcomes.

Hope these simple tips give some value in approaching your next negotiation.

Cindy

Categories
Best Practices Personal Development Strategy

How to Find the Right Executive Coach for You: An Unconventional Guide

Hello, ambitious leaders! Let’s cut to the chase. Finding an executive coach isn’t just about boosting your leadership skills or expanding your network; it’s about choosing a partner in your journey toward self-mastery and professional greatness. Today, I’m diving into the crux of this challenge, mixing a dash of controversy with a spoonful of humor while educating you with the principles of R.A.M.S—Results, Attitude, Mastery, and Systems. Ready to pick a coach who’s not just a guide but a game changer? Buckle up!

Identify Your Goals and Needs

Start by asking the big questions—and no, I don’t mean, “What’s the meaning of life?” (We’ll save that for another day.) I’m talking about: What do you want to achieve with coaching? Better communication? Stress management? Or perhaps you want to wield the charisma that could convince a cat to bark?

Knowing your goals isn’t just step one; it’s the foundation. In my R.A.M.S approach, we don’t just set goals—we chase them down, pin them to the ground, and tickle them until they give up their secrets. You can only find a truly equipped coach to guide you to victory by understanding your aims.

Look for Relevant Experience

This is where things get spicy. Don’t just look for any coach; seek out a coach who’s walked the path of fire—preferably in dragon-proof boots. You want someone who’s navigated the corporate jungles and emerged with their sense of humor intact. For example, if you’re a tech wizard, a coach who thinks Python is just a snake might not be the best fit for you.

Check for Credentials and Certifications

Sure, a coach with a wall of certifications might seem impressive, but let’s not confuse quantity with quality. Look for certifications that matter—the ones that scream “I’ve mastered this!” rather than just “I attended a seminar.” In the R.A.M.S framework, we emphasize Mastery, not just participation. Seek out coaches accredited by bodies like the International Coach Federation (ICF) because you want a coach who’s a black belt in leadership, not a white hat in attendance.

Look for a Good Fit

Now, for the fun part! Finding a coach isn’t like swiping right, hoping for a perfect match. This is more serious—it’s about finding someone whose vibes don’t just tickle your fancy; they light up your entire leadership circuitry. The right coach should resonate with your personality, challenge your ideas, and maybe even finish your sentences. It’s a relationship, after all, and every great relationship is built on understanding and a bit of mind-reading, right?

Ask for Referrals

Talk about controversial! Some say it’s not what you know but who you know. I say it’s who will vouch for you when the chips are down. Tap into your network. Ask the tough questions of those who’ve walked this path before you. And listen—not just to the successes, but to the tales of woe too. They often hold the juiciest insights.

Evaluate the Coaching Process

Before you sign on the dotted line, understand the battlefield. What’s the coach’s strategy? Is there a plan, or are they just winging it? In the R.A.M.S methodology, Systems are key. Without a system, you’re just a wandering nomad. Look for a coach with a clear, structured approach that matches your style—be it weekly check-ins, action items, or spontaneous midnight motivational calls (hey, we all need them sometimes).

Conclusion

Choosing the right executive coach is a quest—think of it as your personal Odyssey. It’s about more than finding someone who can merely advise; it’s about finding a catalyst to thrust you into the stratosphere of professional achievement and personal growth. Remember, the road to finding a great coach is paved with questions; the more you ask, the more precise your path will become.

And finally, keep your humor about you. The journey might be challenging, but with the right coach, you’ll not only survive—you’ll thrive, laugh, and maybe even conquer the world (or at least the boardroom). Here’s to finding your coach, your champion, and perhaps, your most formidable ally.

Ready to Ignite Your Leadership Journey?

Don’t just dream about excellence—make it your reality! Schedule your Adventure Call with Baz today and start crafting your path to success. Dive deep into the R.A.M.S method with Baz and discover how targeted coaching can transform your career and your entire outlook. Your adventure awaits—are you ready to answer the call?

Schedule Your Adventure Call with Baz Now

Categories
Best Practices Branding Marketing

10 Customer Engagement Strategies – How to Better Engage Your Customers

Engaging with your customers is a key component to growing your business and building a loyal following, and these 10 customer engagement strategies can help you increase that customer engagement factor. Effective engagement strategies can significantly boost customer interactions and overall satisfaction in this dynamic business environment. 

From innovative tech tools like customizable NFC BrandStands to classic techniques such as personalized content and loyalty programs, this article explores ten practical strategies to enhance customer engagement. These insights are tailored to help you connect more meaningfully with your audience and foster lasting relationships.

1. Leverage Customizable BrandStands

In today’s market, standing out is more crucial than ever. A unique tool like the BrandStand offers a smart solution. These NFC-enabled stands allow customers to interact with your business with just a tap of their smartphone. 

You can customize these stands with your branding and direct customers to any URL — from social media pages to special promotions. This not only enhances the customer experience but also puts your brand front and center in a tech-savvy, engaging manner. Find this cool innovative new product here:

https://brandstand.markitplace.co/

2. Create Compelling Content

Content is king, and engaging content keeps customers coming back. Develop blog posts, videos, and social media content that provide value to your audience. Educational how-tos, entertaining stories, and insightful interviews can make your brand a part of your customers’ daily lives. It takes less time than you might think!

3. Utilize Social Media Interactively

Social media is a great tool for engaging directly with customers. Use polls, stories, and live streams to create interactive experiences. Responding promptly to comments and messages personalizes customer interactions and builds stronger relationships. You don’t have to dominate from day 1 – just start with a post, and build as you have bandwidth.

4. Offer Exclusive Deals

Everyone loves a good deal. Offer special discounts or exclusive products to your loyal customers. This not only rewards them but also encourages others to join your customer base in anticipation of similar benefits.

5. Host Events and Webinars

Organize events and webinars that your customers can attend either online or in person. These gatherings are great for building community and educating your audience about your products or services. They also provide an excellent opportunity for direct feedback and customer interaction.

6. Implement Loyalty Programs

Loyalty programs reward repeat customers and give them an incentive to continue doing business with you. Points systems, special member discounts, affiliate programs and early access to new products are ways to keep your customers engaged and appreciated.

7. Personalize Customer Experiences

Personalization can significantly boost customer engagement. Use data analytics to tailor recommendations, content, and offers to individual customer preferences. This shows customers that you understand and value their unique needs and tastes.

8. Encourage Reviews and Testimonials

Positive reviews and testimonials are powerful. Encourage your satisfied customers to share their experiences online. This not only improves your credibility but also attracts new customers who trust peer recommendations.

9. Use Email Marketing Wisely

Email remains a powerful marketing tool when used correctly. Send regular updates, but keep them relevant and engaging. Segment your email lists to ensure that the right messages reach the right people. Also, consider using automation to personalize these communications further. The best segmentation tool out there just might be Klaviyo, which has a generous free version to get you started.

10. Provide Excellent Customer Service

Outstanding customer service can turn a casual customer into a loyal one. Ensure that your team is responsive, empathetic, and proactive. Offering multiple channels for support — such as chat, email, and phone — ensures that you are accessible to your customers whenever they need you.

Engaging with customers is an evolving process. What works today might need adjustment tomorrow, so stay flexible and responsive to your customers’ changing needs and preferences.

Categories
Best Practices Growth Strategy

Why Operating as a Sole Proprietor Might be Holding You Back from Creating Generational Wealth

Why Operating as a Sole Proprietor Might be Holding You Back from Creating Generational Wealth

Are you striving to create lasting generational wealth but feel like you’re hitting a ceiling? If you’re operating as a sole proprietor, you might be unintentionally limiting your potential for financial success. Here are five compelling reasons why this business structure could be holding you back.

  1. **No Legal Separation: **

As a sole proprietor, there is no legal distinction between you and your business. This means that your personal assets are at risk if your business faces financial trouble or legal issues. By operating as a corporation or LLC, you can create a legal separation, protecting your personal assets from business liabilities.

  1. **Limited Tax Deductions: **

Sole proprietors have limited tax deductions compared to corporations or LLCs. With only 15-20 deductions available on a Schedule C or Schedule E, you could be missing out on significant tax savings. By transitioning to a different business structure, you can take advantage of a wider range of deductions, reducing your tax burden.

  1. **Inability to Build Separate Credit Profiles: **

Operating as a sole proprietor means that your business and personal credit profiles are intertwined. This can make it challenging to build a strong business credit profile, which is crucial for accessing financing and growing your business. By forming a corporation or LLC, you can establish a separate credit profile for your business, increasing your access to credit over time.

  1. **Higher Tax Brackets: **

Sole proprietors are taxed at individual tax rates, which means that the more money you make personally, the higher your tax bracket. This can result in a higher tax burden compared to operating as a corporation, which may offer more favorable tax rates and deductions.

  1. **Business Succession: **

If you pass away as a sole proprietor, your business dies with you. This can have significant implications for your family and the future of your business. By forming a corporation or LLC, you can ensure that your business can continue to operate after your passing, providing a legacy for future generations.

At Controllers, Ltd, we specialize in corporate structure, compliance, asset protection, tax strategies, and estate planning. If you’re ready to take the next step towards creating lasting generational wealth, schedule a call with one of our experts today. Visit www.calendly.com/stephan-controllers or call our office at (775) 384-8124 to get started.

Don’t let operating as a sole proprietor hold you back from achieving your financial goals. Contact Controllers, Ltd today and discover the benefits of a more strategic business structure.

 

Categories
Best Practices Sales Training Skills

Is Remote Training Putting Your Company Data at Risk?

 

By Evan Hackel

Data security has come a long way since December 2005, right? That was the month when somebody popped open a car trunk and stole a laptop that contained the records of 230,000 Ameriprise Financial customers.  Suddenly, data security became a big concern, executives heard the word “firewall” for the first time, and companies scrambled to protect themselves.

But how much has computer security really improved? You have to wonder. Only a few years ago, the records of 74,000 current and former Coca-Cola employees were compromised when laptops were stolen from company headquarters in Atlanta.

That’s really bad. But the most pressing question is, how secure is your company data? And because we are a training company, we need to ask . . .

Are your training platforms exposing your company to attacks from hackers?

It’s a troubling question, especially if you deliver training to employees in multiple locations:

  • Your trainees are logging onto Wi-Fi in Starbucks and other public places across the country. Does that expose you to risk?
  • You’ve got a powerful new distributed system that lets employees do their training on their smartphones. But is that safe? What if one of your trainees loses a phone? Does that put your company data at risk?
  • You maintain stringent security in company headquarters, but what’s going on in your regional offices? Can you be sure that laptops and workstations are secure? Remember the hard lesson that Coke learned when company laptops were lifted in Atlanta.

Proactive Steps to Take

It’s reassuring to know there are ways to make sure remote laptops, tablets and phones do not give hackers access to your company data. Here are some defenses to keep in mind:

  • Remember, the cloud can be a great defense. When your training materials reside in the cloud – in effect, on servers that are maintained by your training company, not by you in house – it is virtually impossible for hackers to use them as entry-points to get into your company’s servers or company records. And if your training modules are organized in separate “silos” so that trainees can access only one training area at a time, you have even more security.
  • Be sure that trainees are using two-step encrypted passwords to log into your system. “Two-step” means that each trainee must enter two individual credentials to start training – such as a username and a strong password that passes muster. “Encrypted” means that the username and password are “scrambled” so they cannot easily be copied over Wi-Fi or by remote hackers. Also, let trainees know that they are required to log off as soon as they complete different training units. That prevents phone thieves from stealing phones and having easy access to your training materials.
  • Make sure robust security protocols are being followed in all company locations. You know your company and its structure better than we do, so you know the obstacles you might be facing in this area.  To make sure that protocols are followed, you might have to deliver regular security training to divisional or regional supervisors. You might also need to have your training director take on the role of security officer by making sure that company security directives are being followed.

Prevention Is Better than Fixing a Breach

One certain thing is that it is much better to take preemptive steps to protect your security than it is to repair the damage after a breach has taken place. When selecting a training development company for distributed training, the best course is to choose one with the expertise to build security defense into your plans from day one.

Categories
Best Practices Growth Personal Development

A No-Nonsense Guide to Unsticking Yourself and Crushing Goals (For those who will only listen to themselves)

Get Over the Earwax? Sticking your pinky in your ear only to judge how much wax is building up won’t get S*** done—enough with the excuses and the self-pity. Feeling stuck is no excuse for inaction. It’s time to cut through the crap, face reality, and get your act together. I’m not here to coddle or sympathize; I’m here to kick your excuses to the curb and whip you into shape.

Get Over the Earwax? Sticking your pinky in your ear only to judge how much wax is building up won’t get S*** done—enough with the excuses and the self-pity. Feeling stuck is no excuse for inaction. It’s time to cut through the crap, face reality, and get your act together. I’m not here to coddle or sympathize; I’m here to kick your excuses to the curb and whip you into shape.

Get Specific or Get Lost – Quit the vague daydreams about success. Define your goals with surgical precision. Short-term, long-term – I don’t care. Make them Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound (SMART). No wishy-washy aspirations allowed. Break them down into bite-sized tasks, or quit wasting my time.

Get to the Meat and Potatoes – You can’t do it all. Figure out what’s crucial and what’s fluff. Stop procrastinating and start prioritizing. What goals will make a real impact on your life? Prioritize them and stop dilly-dallying on the insignificant. Forget the peas.

No More Navel-Gazing –  Take a brutally honest look at your life. What’s working? What’s not? It doesn’t matter if it’s yours or someone else’s; focus on what matters. Forget the fluffy introspection; identify areas where you’re slacking. It’s time to confront your shortcomings head-on. This isn’t therapy; it’s a reality check.

Execute or Evacuate Enough with the plans; it’s time for action. Develop a detailed, no-nonsense action plan for each goal. Break it down into steps and execute. No room for laziness here. Celebrate victories, sure, but only if they’re earned through sweat and effort.

Accountability: No More Lone Wolf Bull.You’re not an island, David. Share your damn goals with someone. A friend, a family member, I don’t care who, but let someone hold you accountable. No more hiding behind excuses. If you fail, you’re answerable.

Adaptability: Flexibility, not Weakness Life changes, deal with it. Be adaptable, but don’t use it as an excuse to slack off. It adapts to every situation, like steel’s strength and leather’s flexibility and durability. Adjust your sails when needed, but keep moving forward. If you’re not adapting, you’re stagnating. We don’t do stagnation.

Self-Care: Not an Option, It’s a Necessity Your well-being matters, but don’t use self-care as an excuse to become soft. Prioritize your physical and mental health, but don’t turn it into a spa day. Get enough rest, exercise, and relaxation, but don’t let it become a crutch.

 

This isn’t a gentle nudge; it’s a wake-up call. Get off your excuses, set tangible goals, and take massive action. Your growth and well-being depend on it. No more BS – it’s time to crush it. You’ve got this, but only if you’re willing to work for it.

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