How to make the most of your year

I recently found some tips on how to work smarter, manage your career and lead a more meaningful life, so I thought I'd share a few of them with you:

1.  Embrace gratitude as a business strategy
Almost everyone suffers from Gratitude Deficit Disorder.  We want to know that we matter, that our efforts make the world a better place, and so do your customers, vendors, coworkers, employees, friends and family.  So make an action plan to communicate your appreciation in 2012.

2.  Brand early, not often
An early investment in business branding is no different than taking the time and money to set up an operating agreement or purchase efficient machinery that won’t break down.

3.   Motivate your employees with workplace flexibity
Organisations that provide a healthy and robust work/life flexibility will win the talent war when it comes to finding and keeping good staff.   For example, try asking your employees for their opinion - it's likely you will find they aren’t actually asking for much.

4.  Hire your staff for their spirit, not just their skills
A leader can be coached on how to become more influential and engage their team to achieve great results; an employee can be trained for technical skills. But spirit is the set of 'soft' skills that can’t be trained effectively. People with the right spirit can be difficult to find, but they are necessary in order for a company to excel.

5.  Make small changes often
We often try to focus on the 'Big Picture' or our 'Goal', and that's good, but the best way to reach your target is by making little adjustments along the way.  Regularly making small changes is a lot easier to stick to than trying to make a big change immediately.

6. Do what you say you are going to do
Accountability is very important. If you say you are going to call, then call.  If you promise to send someone information, send it.  Finish a job when you promised you would - or earlier - with quality work.  Let people know as soon as you can when you are running late for an appointment.  If you say 'Let's get together sometime', make a note on your calendar in the near future to set something up - or don't say it at all.


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