Leadership Tips…Tell It Straight

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Tell it straight and walk the talk.

If you’re open and genuine, if you say what you mean and mean what you say, then people will always know where you stand, what to expect from you, and where they stand with you. If you also consistently follow through with actions, then you’re transparent, honest, and impartial. That, to me, means you’re fair.

That also means you don’t tell people what they want to hear, take the easy way out, sugarcoat, spin, BS, play political games, or behave passive aggressively.

by Steve Tobak for Inc.com

Get Organized!

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It’s a new year! What better way to prepare to reach your 2019 goals than to get organized?

  1. Purge – Throw away the things you don’t need.
  2. Label – Find things quicker by labeling shelves, files, bins,etc.
  3. Clear your Desktop – Both on your computer screen and your physical desktop, create files and only put back the things you need daily.
  4. Restructure – Your file system may need to be revamped. Store things digitally to cut down on paper.
  5. Clean out your drawers – Throw away old notes, pens that have dried-up, expired snacks, organize paper clips, notepads, etc.
  6. Delete – Old files and unnecessary emails.

Use this list to do a weekly assessment and stay organized all year long.

First Impressions Count

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In most competitive sports, getting off to a good start can mean the difference between winning and losing. Our hyper-competitive world of work is much the same. Getting off to a rough start with a new boss, colleague or client can put us at a distinct disadvantage.

As a team of psychologists from the United States, Canada and Belgium discovered, negative first impressions are particularly difficult to shake, even if we do get that second chance. The research showed that a positive impression made after an initial negative one is limited to the specific context in which it was made, while the original negative perception will continue to count against us in all other contexts. In other words, we must find many different opportunities in varying contexts in which to make a positive subsequent impression to sufficiently weaken an initial negative one.

The good news is that we never run out of opportunities to make first impressions. Think about all the people you meet at networking and industry events, at new jobs, at interviews and client pitches, and at investor presentations and contract negotiations. That’s just in your professional life.

To ensure you make the best of these many opportunities, I recommend three simple yet powerful strategies.

  1. Kindness
  2. Competence
  3. Value

Full article

Have No Regrets

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I’ve regretted the moments when I backed away from a bold, exciting risk. Regret makes you feel like you don’t belong somewhere; you’re here now, but you keep thinking, I should be over there. And so, when it comes time for me to take another risk, I force myself to relive that regret. I imagine feeling it again, a regret plastered to my body. I hate that feeling. I don’t want it ever again. So then I give myself an option: Feel that awful regret, or be free of it. Take a leap, and be free.

By Jason Feifer for Entrepreneur Magazine

Make A Bold Move

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People say they like to push boundaries, but they rarely push those boundaries. They like the idea of change more than they like change. They call themselves risk-takers but always play it safe. You know the difference between successful entrepreneurs and everyone else? They don’t just flatter themselves with talk of their bold hearts and daring intentions. They make hard, necessary, real decisions. They produce things nobody has seen before. They push and they scrape and make holes in the wall. They act.

by Jason Feifer for Entrepreneur Magazine

Leadership Tips…The Rules of the Game

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Establish the rules of the game.

There’s nothing worse than trying to play a game when you don’t know the rules or they keep changing in some arbitrary way. Not only isn’t it very fair, it can be extremely frustrating and a significant drain on employee morale and organizational performance. That’s especially true of hiring, performance reviews, and promotions.

When it comes to anything organization or company-wide: goals, strategies, plans, processes, culture, rules–whatever–establish them, document them, and communicate them. Then be as even-handed in your execution as you reasonably can without becoming overly bureaucratic.

by Steve Tobak for Inc.com

Office Furniture is Tax Deductible Under Section 179

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The end of the year means filing your tax returns is just around the corner.

We are excited to share the great news that office furniture purchases, financing/leasing is tax deductible under Section 179.

It is a use-it or lose-it write-off so you need to act now!

Acceptable Equipment List:

  • Equipment (machines, etc.) purchased for business use

  • Tangible personal property used in business

  • Business Vehicles with a gross vehicle weight in excess of 6,000 lbs (see Section 179 Vehicle Deductions)

  • Computers

  • Computer “Off-the-Shelf” Software

  • Office Furniture

  • Office Equipment

  • Property attached to your building that is not a structural component of the building (i.e.: a printing press, large manufacturing tools and equipment)

  • Partial Business Use (equipment that is purchased for business use and personal use: generally, your deduction will be based on the percentage of time you use the equipment for business purposes)

  • Certain improvements to existing non-residential buildings: fire suppression, alarms and security systems, HVAC, and roofing

Make sure you do your homework to verify that your company is leveraging the Section 179 Deduction this year. More info

7 fun ways to celebrate Halloween at the office without breaking the bank

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So you got the go ahead to do something at the office for Halloween. But what can you do that isn’t too disruptive and won’t break the bank?

Here are seven ideas:

1.Employees can bring in their favorite Halloween candy to share.

2. Have an office/cubicle decorating contest. Facebook followers or the boss can judge.

3. Allow employees to dress in costumes for $1.00. The money will go to a designated charity.

4. Play a Halloween music playlist.

5. Have a costume contest.

6. Bring in themed breakfast donuts for the team.

7. Allow employees to leave an hour early to get home in time to get their kids ready to trick-or-treat or themselves ready to party.