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Leaders Are Listeners

 

Listening is a powerful and magnetic force. Have you ever noticed this? The people who listen to us are the ones that draw us closer. So, it makes sense why improved listening skills can make you a more effective leader. Whether you’re listening to your kids or in a meeting receiving feedback from your employees, it’s essential that you listen carefully and become more mindful of what others are saying between the lines.

As a leader, it’s not always easy to know what subordinates are thinking. It's quite common for those who speak out about their concerns to be labeled as complainers or having a bad attitude. Depending on the culture, there may be fears or frustrations around communication.

But, the leader who can listen clearly will develop relationships of trust and let others know their voice has value.

One of the ways a true leader can listen is by learning body language, being able to discern moods, facial expressions, and knowing behavioral issues....

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When Growing Is a Pain: Structural Growing Pains and How to Stay Ahead

Ask any small-business owner what he sees as the major challenges to growing his business, and chances are he'll say: winning more sales. Ask any medium- or large-business owner what her major challenges have been, however, and she'll probably say: structural growing pains -- putting into place the necessary processes and structure to accommodate a higher volume of business. In fact, one of the most common reasons businesses plateau at a certain level is their inability -- or unwillingness -- to develop the structure needed for growth.

But aligning structural changes with sales growth is not simple. It is often more of an art than a science. The systems, processes, staff, and organization changes needed to grow are ongoing and dictated by myriad factors such as the nature of the business, its capital requirements and, ultimately, customer demands. Nonetheless, certain structural growth concerns -- excluding financing and office/production space issues -- are shared among all growing...

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