Schlagwort-Archive: best

The CEO of a billion-dollar brand shares his best strategy to help anyone find a great business idea

You probably won't have a Eureka! moment. Neil Blumenthal pictured. Neil Blumenthal

There's nothing magical about starting a company. In all likelihood, you will not have a Eureka! moment in which you discover the next world-changing business idea.

That's not to say you won't discover the next world-changing business idea — you'll just have to be proactive about it.

Neil Blumenthal, a cofounder and co-CEO of billion-dollar glasses brand Warby Parker, recommends a specific strategy for finding a business idea. In an interview with Business Insider at the Success Makers Summit in April, hosted by American Express OPEN, Blumenthal explained how it works:

"Every day, write down a few frustrations. And then at the end of the week, you'll have maybe 10 problems. By the end of the month, maybe you have 40 to 50 problems. And then you can spend time thinking about: Is there a viable business in solving any of these everyday frustrations?"

Blumenthal said he and his cofounders didn't use this exact technique — the inspiration for Warby Parker came when cofounder and co-CEO Dave Gilboa lost an expensive pair of glasses. The cofounders asked their friends if they'd ever had a similar experience and discovered that overpaying for glasses was a relatively widespread problem.

But Blumenthal emphasized that "successful entrepreneurs are pretty methodical about the problem they're trying to solve." He went on:

"Sometimes, it's not that they just started it in high school or college, because they've actually needed to live a little and experience a little bit of life to identify where there are problems that need solving.

"For every Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook, there's 30 other entrepreneurs that started their business after working for several years."

In other words, coming up with a solid business idea — never mind actually building the business — probably takes more time than you think. A combination of patience and a can-do attitude is a must.

 

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This Is Officially the Best City in the World for Women Entrepreneurs

This Is Officially the Best City in the World for Women EntrepreneursThis Is Officially the Best City in the World for Women Entrepreneurs

When Aquila Leon-Soon was in the early stages of launching her startup, she was rejected for a loan by three different banks. She also knew that another funding option, venture capital, was not a realistic one: Black women like her only raise about .01% of the VC money pulled in by the average successful startup.

Luckily for Leon-Soon, she lives and works in New York City. Through resources provided by the city, she was able to find workarounds to replace the traditional avenues of funding, instead growing her business using government certifications, grants, and mentorship programs.

Happily, Leon-Soon's experience—she now runs her own consulting firm, Advance Talent Solutions—is not unique. —more any other U.S. city. In fact, Dell's new Women Entrepreneur Cities Index (WE Cities), released on Wednesday morning, ranks NYC as the world's best possible place to be a female entrepreneur. WE Cities measures a city's ability to attract and support high-potential female entrepreneurs—women who want to grow and scale their businesses. To create the ranking, research firm IHS partnered with Dell to come up with a scoring system and used it to rate 25 global cities. These cities were pre-screened for being generally entrepreneur-friendly based on previous Dell research, with the new WE Cities research providing an added gender lens.

"We wanted to find out why women-owned businesses scale better in one city than in another one," explains Elizabeth Gore, Dell's entrepreneur-in-residence.

The research team looked at 70 indicators that fell into five major categories—markets, talent, capital, culture, and technology—to come up with the scores for each city. Even the top places had "mediocre" scores: New York got a 58.6 out of a possible 100, the Bay Area was slightly lower with 58.3, and London got a mark of 50.4. "Even the best cities haven't cracked the code" for women entrepreneurs, says Gore.

Still, New York City is by far the highest scoring in terms of government policy, says Cris Turner, Dell's head of government affairs for the Americas. (The Bay Area, on the hand, is strongest in talent and technology.) "I really wasn’t surprised by the results given the amount of attention New York has placed on driving entrepreneurship," he says. That attention comes in three major forms: people, policies, and programs.

People

The city's digital director, its department of information telecommunication and technology commissioner, and its CTO are all women. Moreover, more than 70% of the 27 city agency commissioners are women. Having so many women in the city government "has been huge in changing the culture associated with women starting businesses," says Turner.

Policies

Since 2014, the mayor has launched a number of initiatives supporting female entrepreneurs. One example is a certification called Minority & Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBE), which gives special status to businesses owned by minority groups. Mayor Bill De Blasio's administration has made a commitment to award more than $16 billion to MWBEs over the next decade.

Programs

The list of city-based programs is long, but some of the biggest include Women Entrepreneurs NYC (WE NYC), which provides women entrepreneurs with free master classes, networking events, and mentors, and Tech Talent Pipeline, which attempts to reach the next generation through specialized training and internships for women in STEM fields.

Of course, the push to get more women to start businesses hasn't changed New York overnight, and the city that never sleeps continues to be a hotbed for male ambition. "At the end of the day, it's finance, construction, and those [industries] are still dominated by men," says Leon-Soon, who is both MWBE-certified and a member of WE NYC. Yet she remains optimistic that even that will change.

"We're doing something about it," she says. "The city's making moves."

“ The creation of a unique financial platform dedicated to the empowerment of women entrepreneurs and the people who invest in them . My team of young women is genuinely committed to growing our unique ecosystem of female entrepreneurs and driving meaningful change and innovation within their industries but also in their life "

Perfect the power of positive thinking, value love more and its power to change life . Chris Alexander .

Founder Brickell Capital Women Division – Crowd Funding Women Entrepreneurs. Funding Fashion and Social Influencers

Entrepreneurs
 Chris Alexander Chris Alexander

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The 10 best smartphones of 2017 so far

Samsung just revealed the new Galaxy S8 while all the rest of the major announcements have been completed over the past two months. By Matthew Miller for Smartphones and Cell Phones | April 4, 2017 — 13:14 GMT (14:14 BST) | Topic: Mobility

The Apple iPhone tends to take the top spot in most of my biannual lists, with Samsung making an appearance every once in a while. With continued innovation in the Android space and much of the same from Apple, the advancements in technology outweighed simplicity this time.

It is not easy to pick the top phone when so many great options exist. While you may not agree with my particular order, it's likely you have most of these in your top 10. I was fairly certain of my top pick this year, especially after attending the launch event in NYC last week, but I still posted a Twitter poll that confirmed my top two phones.

1. SAMSUNG GALAXY S8/S8 PLUS
samsung-galaxy-s8-gear-vr-gear-360-dex-bixby-11.jpg
I actually had the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 at the top of my last list in December 2016, but after two recalls it was removed from consideration. The Samsung Galaxy S8/S8 Plus takes first place this time for many reasons.

Samsung's Infinity Display looks fantastic and minimizes the top and bottom bezel while removing anything on the sides which roll down from the front to the back. We see ample RAM and internal storage with the ability to add inexpensive microSD cards, new Bixby assitant and a hardware button dedicated to its use, improved front facing camera, Samsung Pay payment technology, wireless and fast charging, IP68 dust and water resistance, a USB Type-C standard port, and traditional 3.5mm headset jack. There is nothing missing from the Galaxy S8 and it deserves the top spot.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 can be pre-ordered now and will ship in the next couple of weeks. The S8 is priced at $750 and the S8 Plus at $850. Pre-orders include a free Samsung Gear VR and controller too.

My Galaxy S8 Plus review will be posted in a couple of weeks. I'm picking this as the top device based on my limited time with the S8 at the launch event and my extended time with the S7 and S7 Edge.

2. APPLE IPHONE 7/7 PLUS
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Whenever I need to make sure I have a phone that does it all and gets me through a long day, I regularly pop my SIM into the Apple iPhone 7 Plus. The water resistance, improved cameras, more RAM, a larger capacity battery, a faster processor, and stereo speakers are all compelling features.

However, the iPhone 7 ends up in second because it has no fast charging technology, internal storage is locked to whatever capacity you purchase, there is no standard headphone jack, there is no wireless charging, Apple Pay has limitations, and the phones are quite large for the display sizes.

The Apple iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are also the most expensive smartphones available today, when compared to similar flagships.

Check out the my full review of the iPhone 7 Plus (9.3 rating) and Jason's iPhone 7 review (9.0 rating). CNET also has reviews of the iPhone 7 Plus (8.8 rating) and iPhone 7 (8.7 rating).

3. LG G6
lg-g6-hardware-8.jpg
LG was the first to get its flagship out to customers with the new 18:9 aspect ratio and after using one for more than a month I considered it as a possible number one contender. It is priced the lowest of these top three at just $650 with a microSD card slot, incredible performing dual rear cameras, shock resistance, minimal bezels and a pocketable form factor, wireless charging, and dust and water resistance.

The LG G6 has a rather thick uniform body and doesn't have anything that particularly makes it stand out from the crowd. The LG UX is OK and is not too intrusive, but LG doesn't have a great track record with regular software updates and there is still something for LG to prove in 2017. But the LG G6 is a wonderful device to show that LG is able to compete with Samsung and Apple.

Check out my full review (9.5 rating) of the LG G6.

4. GOOGLE'S PIXEL AND PIXEL XL
It's hard for me to pick a phone for the top three that six months after release still has a back order from four to five weeks. The Google Pixel and Pixel XL are outstanding devices and for about a month I owned a Google Pixel XL.

google-pixel-100416-pixel-xl-1307.jpg
Image: CNET
The Pixel has a 5 inch display while the Pixel XL has a 5.5 inch display. Both are powered by a Qualcomm 821 processor. Other key specs include 4GB of RAM, 32 or 128GB of internal storage, 12.3 megapixel camera and 8 megapixel front facing camera, and Android 7.1 Nougat.

There is no water resistance or wireless charging capability, internal storage is locked to either 32GB or 128GB, and the bezels of the phone are quite large when you compare it to the new LG G6 and Samsung Galaxy S8.

Just like the iPhone, you will get updates to the Android software first on a Google Pixel or Pixel XL so if having the latest version of the software is important to you then you can't beat a Pixel.

The camera helps you take wonderful photos and that was the one reason I almost kept mine. However, there are too many other compromises with the hardware that I was not willing to make. The Google Pixel is priced at $649 and $749. The Google Pixel XL is priced at $769 and $869.

Check out the Jason Cipriani's full review of the Google Pixel XL (8.0 rating). CNET also has a review of the Google Pixel (8.8 rating).

5. MOTO Z/Z FORCE DROID
It's been a while since I've been impressed by a Motorola phone, but the Moto Z and Moto Z Force Droid look great, feel great, and perform well. These phones incorporate a modular design that actually makes sense and works well.

moto-z-force-droid-7.jpg
The Moto Z is available as a GSM unlocked phone for $699 with the Moto Z Force Droid a Verizon exclusive, available for $720 (32GB) and $770 (64GB).

The Z Force Droid edition adds a shatterproof display, which is something we don't see often today. Both phones have high resolution displays, leading internal specifications, a water repellent nano-coating, and battery life that lasts longer than an iPhone 7 Plus.

Motorola has done a good job updating these latest Moto Z phones with the operating system and monthly Android security updates. You can also use the Moto Z Force Droid in a Google Daydream headset for a VR experience.

The Moto Mods snap on and off easily and are very functional. Motorola has spent time and money fostering the Moto Mods development and we are starting to see projects on Indiegogo and elsewhere.

6. HUAWEI MATE 9
huawei-mate-9-launch-11.jpg
CNET/CBS Interactive
While I enjoy testing out Huawei phones as part of my ZDNet experience, I don't usually include Huawei phones on this list since they are rarely sold in the US. However, the Huawei Mate 9 is available for GSM phone users on Amazon and other US retailers for just $599.

If long battery life, high quality photos, and a big 5.9 inch screen are important to you then you may want to consider the Huawei Mate 9. You can now install the Amazon Alexa app and have another assistant to work with Google Assistant.

The Huawei Mate 9 has a powerful Kirin 960 processor, 4GB of RAM, 64GB internal storage with microSD card slot, dual rear cameras with Leica branding, and a massive 4,000 mAh battery to get you through two days of work.

7. GALAXY S7/S7 EDGE
galaxy-s7-9.jpg
While the Samsung Galaxy S8 may be the ultimate Samsung flagship, the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge are still fantastic smartphones that can be found at reduced pricing with the S8 soon hitting store shelves. These smartphones have industry leading specifications, refined design, and capabilities that had me almost awarding it a perfect 10 in my review. The only con I could come up with for the S7 was that it is a fingerprint magnet and for the S7 Edge that the edge screen sometimes facilitated inadvertent screen presses.

The Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge have extremely fast cameras that take excellent photos and video, responsive fingerprint scanners and advanced Samsung Pay support, water resistance without the fuss of ports, elegant refined design with the use of metal and glass, and also launched with sweet offers from US carriers and Samsung.

The S7 and S7 Edge still use microUSB and have a front physical home button, both of which may still appeal to some people.

CNET also awarded the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge an Editor's Choice award so there's little doubt that Samsung's year old smartphones are still some of the best smartphones available today.

8. BLACKBERRY KEYONE
blackberry-keyone-tcl-1
BlackBerry KEYone (Image: TCL)
The BlackBerry DTEK60 is a solid device, available at a great price, that offers a high level of security in an elegant design. However, I decided to award the spot on this list to the upcoming BlackBerry KEYone that brings a physical QWERTY back to BlackBerry customers.

The BlackBerry KEYone doesn't have all of the highest flagship specs found in the DTEK60, but it is a very capable device with an excellent camera. The KEYone has a 4.5 inch display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor, massive 3505 mAh battery, 12 megapixel rear camera, and fingerprint sensor built into the keyboard spacebar.

TCL is now making BlackBerry hardware and as I saw on the DTEK60 it is doing a fantastic job at providing monthly Android security updates, which is not something many Android manufacturers can say.

The BlackBerry KEYone was scheduled for an April release but with the latest news it may be delayed until May. It is priced at $549, which is reasonable for this unique BlackBerry device.

9. ONEPLUS 3T
There are a number of excellent Android smartphones available today in the $400 range and one of the best is the OnePlus 3T. OnePlus has recently sold some special color options, including midnight black, in order to satisfy customers looking for a unique device.

oneplus-3t.jpg
Image: OnePlus
The OnePlus 3T feels much like an HTC 10, but the customization, more RAM, and longer battery life make it compelling. It does have a 1080p display so the resolution is not as high as an HTC 10, but it is priced significantly lower.

The OnePlus 3T has a Snapdragon 821 processor, 6GB RAM, and 64GB/128GB of internal storage. There is a 3,400 mAh battery to keep you going, along with Dash Charge for quick top off when you need it.

OnePlus has shown it can update the phone regularly as well with a few updates already made since its release. It has some awesome customization options and is one of my favorite low price smartphones.

Sandra Vogel gave it a 9/10 rating in her ZDNet review. CNET awarded the OnePlus 3T 9.0/10 in its review.

10. HTC U ULTRA
For many years I was an HTC fan and purchased most of the One series. The HTC U Ultra was released over a month ago and while it looks gorgeous it is a bit of step back from the HTC 10 and doesn't compete well with the current flagships.

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Like the HTC 10, the HTC U Ultra provides a fantastic audio experience with dual stereo speakers and an included USonic headset that maps the specifics of each of your ears.

The U Ultra has a 5.7 inch high resolution LCD display in a 162.41 x 79.79 mm form factor. Despite the size of the phone, you will only find a 3000 mAh battery inside that didn't even let me make it through a full day of work.

The price is a bit high at $749, especially when you compare the HTC U Ultra to other flagships. The back glass, an unusual move for a company that set the bar with aluminum unibody designs, is stunning. However, it is also a major fingerprint magnet.

There is no level of water resistance, wireless charging is not present even though the back is glass, and there is no headphone jack.

I awarded the HTC U Ultra a a 7.0/10 in my review, while CNET awarded the HTC U Ultra a comparable 6.8/10.

While it's always fairly clear which devices are in the top five, the second five are a bit tougher and some devices get left off the list. I didn't expect a BlackBerry and an HTC device to be on the list this year, but could also add in some more affordable Motorola and other devices. What other devices would you recommend for this top ten list?

Related ZDNet top 10 smartphones articles

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Fasting for three days can regenerate entire immune system, study finds

Fasting for as little as three days can regenerate the entire immune system, even in the elderly, scientists have found in a breakthrough described as "remarkable".

Although fasting diets have been criticised by nutritionists for being unhealthy, new research suggests starving the body kick-starts stem cells into producing new white blood cells, which fight off infection.

Scientists at the University of Southern California say the discovery could be particularly beneficial for people suffering from damaged immune systems, such as cancer patients on chemotherapy.
 
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It could also help the elderly whose immune system becomes less effective as they age, making it harder for them to fight off even common diseases.

The researchers say fasting "flips a regenerative switch" which prompts stem cells to create brand new white blood cells, essentially regenerating the entire immune system.

"It gives the 'OK' for stem cells to go ahead and begin proliferating and rebuild the entire system," said Prof Valter Longo, Professor of Gerontology and the Biological Sciences at the University of California.

"And the good news is that the body got rid of the parts of the system that might be damaged or old, the inefficient parts, during the fasting.

“Now, if you start with a system heavily damaged by chemotherapy or ageing, fasting cycles can generate, literally, a new immune system."

Prolonged fasting forces the body to use stores of glucose and fat but also breaks down a significant portion of white blood cells.

During each cycle of fasting, this depletion of white blood cells induces changes that trigger stem cell-based regeneration of new immune system cells.

In trials humans were asked to regularly fast for between two and four days over a six-month period.

Scientists found that prolonged fasting also reduced the enzyme PKA, which is linked to ageing and a hormone which increases cancer risk and tumour growth.

"We could not predict that prolonged fasting would have such a remarkable effect in promoting stem cell-based regeneration of the hematopoietic system," added Prof Longo.

"When you starve, the system tries to save energy, and one of the things it can do to save energy is to recycle a lot of the immune cells that are not needed, especially those that may be damaged," Dr Longo said.

"What we started noticing in both our human work and animal work is that the white blood cell count goes down with prolonged fasting. Then when you re-feed, the blood cells come back. So we started thinking, well, where does it come from?"

Fasting for 72 hours also protected cancer patients against the toxic impact of chemotherapy.

"While chemotherapy saves lives, it causes significant collateral damage to the immune system. The results of this study suggest that fasting may mitigate some of the harmful effects of chemotherapy," said co-author Tanya Dorff, assistant professor of clinical medicine at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and Hospital.

"More clinical studies are needed, and any such dietary intervention should be undertaken only under the guidance of a physician.”

"We are investigating the possibility that these effects are applicable to many different systems and organs, not just the immune system," added Prof Longo.

However, some British experts were sceptical of the research.

Dr Graham Rook, emeritus professor of immunology at University College London, said the study sounded "improbable".

Chris Mason, Professor of Regenerative Medicine at UCL, said: “There is some interesting data here. It sees that fasting reduces the number and size of cells and then re-feeding at 72 hours saw a rebound.

“That could be potentially useful because that is not such a long time that it would be terribly harmful to someone with cancer.

“But I think the most sensible way forward would be to synthesize this effect with drugs. I am not sure fasting is the best idea. People are better eating on a regular basis.”

Dr Longo added: “There is no evidence at all that fasting would be dangerous while there is strong evidence that it is beneficial.

“I have received emails from hundreds of cancer patients who have combined chemo with fasting, many with the assistance of the oncologists.

“Thus far the great majority have reported doing very well and only a few have reported some side effects including fainting and a temporary increase in liver markers. Clearly we need to finish the clinical trials, but it looks very promising

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Porsche is celebrating its best year in history by giving every single employee a bonus

Porsche is giving 21,000 employees a great bonus to celebrate its best sales year ever.

Every employee, including janitors and assembly line workers, will receive a 9,111-euro ($9,825) bonus, Porsche wrote in a press release. The bonus is a nod to the 911 — Porsche's stunning sports car that's been in continuous production since 1963.

Porsche increased its deliveries to 237,778 vehicles in the 2016 fiscal year, bringing its revenue to 22.3 billion euro ($24 billion). Porsche's record year was largely due to its crossover SUV sales — the automaker sold 80,000 Macans and 73,000 Cayennes.

The bonus was negotiated by Porsche's Works Council. In Germany, a works council can be set up in all private workplaces with at least five employees.

Works councils exist to ensure key decisions aren't just made by the employer, according to the European Trade Union Institute. Works councils must be informed and consulted on specific issues and can make proposals to employers. They are primarily involved in the organization of hours, holidays, and payment methods.

"In the end, no one in our large VW family received anywhere near as large a bonus as our employees at Porsche," Uwe Hück, chair of Porsche's Group Works Council, wrote in the press release. "We had to walk a very fine line during the negotiations…. The result was this extraordinary and one-off, but completely justified, bonus."

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These 10 Leadership Habits Have Been Found in the World’s Best Leaders

Where are you in your own journey as a leader in relation to these characteristics?
  
     By Marcel Schwantes 
Principal and founder, Leadership From the Core@MarcelSchwantes

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CREDIT: Getty Images
  
If you're not familiar with the leadership movement known as servant leadership, you might want to grab a cup of java and pull up a chair. This may just transform how you lead your tribe moving forward.

What we are finding is that organizations around the world are changing their attitudes toward leadership. Yes, it's been written and talked about for decades, with great authors defining it in different ways, calling it different things.

In the end, most of these "thought leaders" have been talking about the same things–that leadership (and life, really) is about human relationships.

Consequently, servant leadership has emerged over the last 30 years on a grand scale in some of the most admired and successful companies on the planet, including many named to Fortune Magazine's annual listing of "The 100 Best Companies to Work For." Companies like Zappos, The Container Store, and Southwest Airlines have successfully integrated servant leadership into their corporate cultures.

To immortalize the movement, world-renowned management thinker Danah Zohar, in her groundbreaking book Rewiring the Corporate Brain, called servant leadership "the essence of quantum thinking and quantum leadership."

Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due
Before I give you the 10 practices of a servant-leader (or, if you can't wait, scroll down to "The Gold Mine" for the good stuff), I need to frame this article into its proper context and give credit to the right people.

Robert K. Greenleaf is the first person that needs distinct accolades as the founder of the modern servant leadership movement. Without his work and research, I don't have a basis for my work or speaking engagements.

As his bio states, Greenleaf's work continues to have a lasting impact on fields as diverse as systems thinking, management, leadership, organizational development, religion, assessment and evaluation, and scores of other disciplines.

Legendary management consultant Peter Drucker, Greenleaf's good friend and collaborator for over a decade, called him "the wisest man I ever met."

But there's another person worth noting in this conversation.

Meet Larry Spears
Allow me to introduce you to Larry Spears. He is deserving of his own bust on the Mt. Rushmore of servant leadership for advancing the movement after Greenleaf passed in 1990.

Spears, a prolific author and editor, has been called today's foremost authority on servant leadership. Through his writings, millions have been introduced to servant leadership. It didn't hurt having Stone Phillips interview him on NBC's Dateline in front of ten million viewers back in 2004.

After Greenleaf's death, Spears spent years combing over a truck-load of Greenleaf's personal papers and discovered previously unknown and unpublished essays written by Greenleaf over a fifty-year period.

This…was…a gold mine.

Chief Human Resource Officers take note. In his analysis, Spears was able to identify the ten characteristics of the servant-leader as being of critical importance to transforming an organization.

While by no means exhaustive, Spears says "they do serve to communicate the power and promise that this concept offers to those who are open to its invitation and challenge."

The Gold Mine
As I go over these, I want you to consider where you may be in your own journey as a leader in relation to these characteristics. Call this you new measure for leadership success.

1. Listening
Listening lands first on this list because it is a crucial yet frequently absent trait in leaders who are self-oriented. Greenleaf wrote that, "A true natural servant automatically responds to any problem by listening first." He further added, "True listening builds strength in other people." So practically speaking, this is a leader that automatically responds through active listening–to understand the other side. She will listen before she speaks, as she speaks, and after she speaks. In decision making, she listens completely before deciding. This takes practice.

2. Empathy
The second characteristic is empathy, which has been proven in this study to drive performance. Empathy is really an extension of listening, if you think about it. Servant leaders attempt to understand and empathize with others–to put themselves in others' shoes. This means listening without judgment. As empathetic leaders, workers are considered not only as employees, but as people who need respect and appreciation for their personal and professional development. This generates a competitive advantage.

3. Healing
What Spears meant by "healing" is that leaders recognize the opportunity to help make whole those with whom they come in contact. A servant leader tries to help people solve their problems and conflicts in relationships, because he/she wants to develop the skills of each individual. This leads to the formation of a business culture in which the working environment is characterized by dynamic, fun engagement and no fear from failure.

4. Awareness
Servant leaders have a strong sense of what is going on around them. They are always looking for cues, they know what's going on and will rarely be fooled. They're very self-aware.

5. Persuasion
Servant leaders don't take advantage of their power and status by coercing compliance; instead, they try to use influence to convince others. They are effective at building consensus within groups through influence and persuasion.

6. Conceptualization
This is the ability to look at a problem by thinking beyond the day-to-day realities. Greenleaf said that the servant leader can conceive solutions to problems that do not currently exist. They see beyond the limits of the business and focus on long term goals. They work their big hairy audacious goals, but they do it S.M.A.R.T.

7. Foresight
Foresight is the ability to foresee the likely outcome of a situation. It means understanding the lessons from the past, the realities of the present, and the likely consequence of a decision for the future.

8. Stewardship
This a commitment to not just serving the needs of others but also of the organization and its mission as a whole. It's holding your company in trust for the greater good of society.

9. Commitment to the Growth of People
Pretty self-explanatory. This is a demonstrated appreciation and open encouragement of others and their growth. In practice, this can include things like having a budget for personal and professional development, taking a personal interest in the ideas and suggestions from everyone, encouraging worker involvement in decision-making, and even helping out a laid-off employee find work.

10. Building Community
Servant leaders are what I call compassionate collaborators. They show appreciation and praise employees often for their contributions. They want to get to know what makes their employees tick, what drives them, what gets them up in the morning so that they can support them in those endeavors. As I've written before, building community can only happen through connecting and making relationships work.

Three Sections of the Full Spectrum
If you break down the characteristics into sections of the full spectrum of a servant leader, you'll see that the servant side of a servant-leader encompasses the listening, the empathy and the healing.

The leader side encompasses awareness, being able to persuade, conceptualization, and foresight. Every leader has to have those traits and be able to use them effectively.

And in the middle is where the two sides overlap into the servant-leader: stewardship, commitment to growing people and the building of community.

Put them all together, you have the best and most whole version of a leader, bar none.

A Few Questions in Closing
Now reflect, if you will, how you may have modeled some of these approaches in the last 24 hours. My questions in closing:

How have you been a servant leader reading the examples given?
What if we could think and act this way moving forward in our work? What would that do for your team, business, organization?
How would this change your roles as managers, executives, founders, board chairs, or even at home as spouses, fathers and mothers?

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This Study Reveals The 5 Biggest Regrets People Have Before They Die

 

John-Paul Iwuoha
FollowJohn-Paul Iwuoha
Author, Business Strategist & Champion for Entrepreneurship in Africa
Do you have any regrets?

Most people do.

But it appears our regrets gain a lot of weight as we approach the end of our lives.

For many years, Bronnie Ware – an Australian nurse and counselor – worked in palliative care; taking care of terminally ill people, most of whom had less than 12 weeks to live.

Her patients were typically old people with very serious illnesses, waiting to die.

And a lot of her work involved providing counseling and relief from the physical and mental stresses that come naturally when a human being comes face to face with their mortality.

Death is not a comfortable subject for most people. We prefer to not think or talk about it.

But the sad truth is, all of us will die someday.

Knowing you are going to die in a few weeks is a very bitter pill to swallow. And Bronnie noticed as her patients experienced a range of emotions that usually started with denial, and then fear, anger, remorse, more denial, and eventually, acceptance.

As part of therapy, Bronnie would ask about any regrets they had about their lives, and anything they would do differently if life gave them a second chance.

Of all the responses she got from her patients, she noticed there were 5 regrets that stood out. These were the most common regrets her patients wished they hadn’t made as they coursed through life.

But the regrets of the dying can be sound and invaluable advice for the living.

And that’s why it’s a really good thing you’re reading this article.

One of the key revelations from Bronnie’s study is that we often take our lives for granted because we are healthy.

Health affords us boundless freedom very few realise, until we no longer have it.

But while her dying patients were helpless in the face of their regrets, you and I still have time to do something about our regrets, before it’s too late.

Let’s now look at each of the 5 most common regrets Bronnie observed:

1)    I wish I pursued my dreams and aspirations, and not the life others expected of me

According to Bronnie, this was by far the most common regret of all.

When people realise their life is coming to an end, it becomes easier to look back and see all those dreams they had but didn’t have the courage to pursue.

In many cases, their failure to pursue those dreams were often due to fitting into the expectations of others – usually family, friends and society.

One of her dying patients, Grace, made Bronnie promise that she would pursue all her dreams and live her life to its fullest potential without ever considering what others would say.

According to Bronnie, Grace was in a long but unhappy marriage. And after her husband was put in a nursing home, she was diagnosed with a terminal illness. And Grace’s biggest regret was that she never was able to pursue all the dreams she put on hold.

I think the biggest lesson from this regret is, if you know what really makes you happy, do it!

It appears that our unfulfilled dreams and aspirations have a way of silently stalking us, and eventually haunt our memories in our dying days.

And if you’re afraid of what people will say about your choices, remember that their voices will not matter to you in your dying days.

2)   I wish I didn’t work so hard

This one makes me feel guilty.

According to Bronnie, this regret came from every male patient she nursed. And a few female patients too.

As breadwinners, their lives were taken over by work, making a living, and pursuing a career. While this role was important, these patients regretted that they allowed work to take over their lives causing them to spend less time with their loved ones.

Their regrets were usually about missing out on the lives of their children and the companionship of their spouse.

When asked what they would do differently if given a second chance, the response was quite surprising.

Most of them believed that by simplifying our lifestyle and making better choices, we may not need all that money we’re chasing. That way, we can create more space in our lives for happiness and spend more time with the people who mean the most to us.

3)   I wish I had the courage to express my feelings and speak my mind

This one just made me so much bolder. 🙂

According to Bronnie, many of her dying patients believed they suppressed their true feelings and didn’t speak their mind when they should have, because they wanted to keep peace with others.

Most of them chose not to confront difficult situations and people, even when it offended them. By suppressing their anger, they built up a lot of bitterness and resentment which ultimately affected their health.

Worse still, harbouring bitterness can cripple you emotionally and stand in the way of fulfilling your true potential.

To avoid this type of regret later in life, it’s important to understand that honesty and confrontation are a necessary part of healthy relationships.

There is a common misconception that confrontation is bad for relationships and can only create division.

Not all the time.

In reality, when confrontation is kind, honest and constructive, it helps to deepen mutual respect and understanding and can take the relationship to a healthier level.

By speaking our minds, we express our true feelings and reduce the risks of building up unhealthy stores of bitterness that ultimately hurt us.

4)   I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends

This one is a regret many of us struggle with.

Bronnie found that her patients missed their old friends and regretted they didn’t give those friendships the investment of time and effort they deserved.

Everyone misses their friends when they’re dying.

It appears that when health and youth have faded, and death is looming, people realise that some friendships hold more value than all their wealth and achievements.

According to Bronnie, it all comes down to love and relationships in the end. Nothing else mattered to her patients in the last few weeks of their lives but love and relationships.

We live in a busy world these days. And the pressures and demands of work, city life and trying to raise a family can take its toll on some golden relationships.

Knowing this now, what would you do differently?

5)   I wish I had let myself be happier

This is a very humbling one, really.

Many of her patients didn’t realise until the end of their lives that happiness is a choice.

They wished they had known that happiness isn’t something to be chased and acquired through wealth, social acceptance and the trappings of life.

In their deathbeds, these patients realized they could have chosen to be happy, regardless of their circumstances in life – rich or poor.

To me, this regret is the most touching.

Throughout our active lives, we often focus too much on acquiring the things we would like to have – wealth, status, power and achievement. We often (wrongly) believe that these things hold the keys to our happiness.

When asked what they could have done differently, here’s the key message those dying folks shared: Learn to relax and appreciate the good things in your life. That’s the only way to find real happiness.

Happiness is a choice.

Is it possible to live a life without regrets?

This is the big question I’ve been asking myself.

As no human being is perfect, and I doubt there’s anything like a “perfect life”, I expect all of us would have some regret(s) in our dying days.

But I think the key is to have as few regrets as possible.

And the best way to die with very few regrets is to live life as if we would die today.

After all, almost nobody knows exactly when they’ll die.

By living our lives as if the end is nigh, we would realise that we really don’t have all the time in the world. As a result, we would procrastinate less, and pursue our truest desires, dreams and aspirations.

Also, to live a life of few regrets, we have to focus on and accommodate ONLY those things and people that make us happy. Because if we try to conform to the expectations of others and hide our true feelings, the regrets could haunt us later in life.

If you’re reading this article and you’re alive and healthy, you still have a choice.

Remember, you only live once!

Don't forget to share this article with people you care about. You may just save someone a ton of regrets.

I wish you an amazing life.

Best,

John-Paul

PS: Inspired by the regrets of the dying people she cared for, Bronnie Ware went on to become a writer and songwriter. The experience totally transformed her life and she is daring everyday to live up to her truest potential. She authored a full-length memoir about this experience titled ‘The Top Five Regrets of the Dying – A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing’.

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Cape Town voted best city in the world… again. #ProudlySouthAfrican

The Mother City is pulling out all the stops, flashing her beauty and appeal to foreigners and gathering awards around the globe for her sublime tourist offerings.
Most recently, the 2015/2016 Telegraph Travel Awards chose Cape Town as the Best City in the World for the fourth year running, dusting out Vancouver and Venice, which took second and third place respectively in the Best City category.

In Condé Nast’s highly acclaimed Reader’s Choice Awards, the Mother City also took the top honours as the number one food city in the world!

This is two places up to top spot from last year’s 3rd place in the Condé Nast World’s Best Food Cities list.

The publication hits it on the head saying, “From sipping regional rosé on Table Mountain to scarfing hake and fries at Kalky’s, there’s a breezy simplicity to Cape Town’s iconic eating experiences”.

As a cherry on top – literally – Table Mountain Aerial Cableway has also just launched a brand new free WiFi lounge on the very top of the mountain, making it so much easier for visitors to share their beautiful surroundings with the rest of the world.

But wait… there’s more.

The Mother City wasn’t only voted the best destination in the world in the Telegraph Travel Awards, but is also listed third in the Best Country segment, missing the top spots only to New Zealand and the Maldives.

The Telegraph Travel Awards are voted for by 75 000 readers worldwide.

Condé Nast again noted the variety of food offerings Cape Town has, from laid-back, lekker-local fish and chips in Kalk Bay to ultra-modern fusion at the Pot Luck Club in Woodstock.

The Pot Luck Club

So, whether you’re after natural scenery, or interested in indulging in the diverse food scene Cape Town offers, you won’t be let down.

Enver Duminy for Cape Town Tourism says the recognition will aid in creating more job opportunities for locals.

“These accolades pave the way for even more innovation, entrepreneurship and job creation within the tourism sector.

“They also accurately reflect the variety of experiences Cape Town has to offer visitors, from unparalleled natural beauty, to delicious, intimate culinary adventures in our many restaurants.”

Apart from the weak rand, which is making travel to South Africa very appealing to foreigners, Cape Town is only very accessible in terms of accommodation.

Cape Town currently has the 21st biggest Airbnb market in the world, and guests can stay in high profile Cape Town suburbs for a fraction of typical area prices – whilst also immersing themselves within local culture.

A high percentage of locals are also using Airbnb for staycations within SA’s borders.

For hotel stays, SA hotel prices low in comparison to other African hubs. The average rate for a hotel room in Addis Ababa is about R3 212 per night, which is more than double what guests would pay in Cape Town – an average of R1 448 per night, according to a 2015 survey.

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The Best Days and Times to Post on Five Major Social Networks

by Ayaz Nanji  |  October 17, 2016  |  1,190 

The most effective days and times for brands to post on social media vary significantly by network, according to recent data from TrackMaven.

Its report was based an analysis of 17.5 million social media posts made by 17,737 brands on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Brand posts made to Instagram garner the most engagement (likes, comments, etc.) at 7 PM EST, on average, and on Fridays, the analysis found.

Brands' Pinterest pins also perform best on Fridays, though they register the highest engagement levels around 1 AM EST.In contrast, brand LinkedIn posts perform best at 9 AM EST and on Wednesdays. Brands' Twitter posts and Facebook posts both garner the most engagement on Thursdays.

 

The best days and times to post to social media also varies significantly by industry, the analysis found.

For example, the most effective day and time for aviation brands to tweet is at 1 PM EST, and on Fridays, whereas for marketing and advertising firms it is 4 PM EST and on Thursdays.

To see industry-specific data for 75 verticals, check out the full report.

About the research: The report was based an analysis of 17.5 million social media posts made by 17,737 brands on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.

 

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