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Why Verizon is losing more cellphone customers than ever

By Brian Fung April 20 
 
Verizon reported a profit and revenue miss in their first quarter, as well as a loss of subscribers despite re-launching unlimited data plans. (Reuters)
For the first time, the nation's largest wireless provider is losing customers faster than it can replace them.

It's a major milestone for Verizon, which on Thursday reported a net decline of 289,000 cellphone subscribers over the past four months.

Even though Verizon usually loses some cellular customers every quarter, it has historically lured enough back to be able to report growth in that part of its business. But recent months have seen hundreds of thousands of customers defect to competitors such as T-Mobile and Sprint, analysts say.

Things could have been even worse if Verizon hadn't suddenly reintroduced unlimited data plans in February, according to Verizon's earnings numbers. In the first six weeks of the year, Verizon lost nearly 400,000 wireless customers, according to its latest earnings report. But once the new plans became available, they helped blunt those losses by bringing in about 110,000 new subscribers, Verizon said.

Verizon's reluctance to bring back unlimited data and its sudden about-face this year reflect rising competition in the cellular industry that is forcing large incumbents to adapt. The telecom giant has long argued that consumers are willing to pay a premium for a quality wireless experience, in contrast to budget carriers such as Sprint.

[The government just wrapped a major auction that'll shape the future of the Internet]

But aggressive moves by smaller carriers to build out their networks are paying off, said Roger Entner, an industry analyst with Recon Analytics, meaning that such companies as T-Mobile are chipping away at Verizon's network advantage. In a recent federal auction of wireless airwaves, T-Mobile emerged as a major beneficiary, spending $8 billion to acquire rights to radio spectrum it will use to expand its mobile Internet capacity.

“At least three of the four nationwide carriers [are] inching closer to network parity in the major markets,” Entner said.

In addition, fewer customers are choosing to leave the smaller carriers for Verizon or AT&T, Entner said. This is important because in a market such as the United States, there aren't many new customers left; most people already have cell service, and as a result, carriers have been forced to engage in costly price wars to poach subscribers from one another. These duels have led to escalating promotions and competing terms of service that reduce corporate margins — to the benefit of consumer.

The cutthroat wireless market has prompted cellphone carriers to look to other industries for expansion. Hoping to make money by mining and selling customer data, Verizon has moved to purchase AOL and Yahoo for billions of dollars. By the same token, AT&T purchased DirecTV and is seeking regulatory approval for its acquisition of Time Warner.

In this strategy, wireless companies could raise their revenue by selling more services, such as television and Internet bundles; mining Internet users' behavioral data to sell targeted ads; or selling that data to other marketers.

Verizon’s losses underscore the urgency with which the company must make that evolution as it seeks to diversify beyond its traditional role as a provider of connectivity, said Jeff Kagan, an independent telecom analyst.

"This change in the marketplace is a threat to both Verizon and AT&T," he said

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Give Them Their Daily Bread

God knew what I needed, even if I didn’t know myself.

Written by Hope on 12/05/2013
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Daily Bread, God, Jesus, Prayer, Service
"The Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.” (Romans 8:26)

More than once, I’ve been too upset or in too much pain to pray with words. However, I’ve never felt like God abandoned me; I never felt out of communion with Him. I felt like something in me was still calling to Him, even though I couldn’t even express what I needed. God knew what I needed, even if I didn’t know myself.

Daily Needs
One of the sentences Jesus taught His followers to pray was, “Give us today our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11) this can be a form of requesting that God meet all our needs. Of course, “bread” was not all Jesus ever asked the Father for; and we need more than just food. It’s so wonderful that the Bible gives us so many examples of Jesus praying, so we know that we, His followers, can also come to the Father with all our prayers.

Needing Salvation
Before He died, Jesus prayed, “for all who will ever believe in Me through [the Disciples’] message. … May they be in Us so that the world will believe You sent Me”(John 17:20-21). The most important thing every person needs is God’s salvation – the chance to know and live for Jesus. Many people do not know there is a God, let alone that they need the Lord.

Share Your Bread
When you share your faith with friends, they might not be able to tell you what they need. You can let them know that it’s okay not to know, that Jesus covered it in the Lord’s Prayer with “daily bread,” and that Jesus told His followers that the “Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask Him!”(Matthew 17:20-21) . Maybe your friends will let you pray over their needs – both spoken and unspoken – with them. What a great witness!

Prayer, Care and Share Jesus
If you cannot physically assist someone in need – Pray Now!

Scripture: " "Is anyone among you in trouble? Let him pray. … Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective." (James 5:13, 16-17 NIV)

Sometimes we can’t solve the problems of people around us by using what we have. But we can go to our greatest resource – God. No matter what a person's problem is – fear about a test, money for a pressing need, a broken down car, illness – it can be brought before God in prayer.

Praying silently for someone's need is a good first step if you have not prayed out loud before. But our encouragement is to pray out loud when you can. Start today!

God gives great joy when you pray out loud with someone! For example, you can say: "Let's just ask God to help us with your need." Then pray briefly closing your prayer by saying, "in Jesus name."

Rarely will someone say "No" to your prayer offer. But if they do, just say: "OK". Then give a very friendly goodbye and pray silently for them as you walk away.

You will be amazed about the positive response of most people.

A Helpful Tip:Don’t worry if, at first, you feel you can’t ask people out loud to pray for them. Pray silently and ask the Lord to help you make the connection. The Lord helped me get over my fear to pray for a friend about a need. It was a “wow” moment. And from then on, I could do it more and more!

Pray this week:

You will have the courage to ask the person in need if you can pray for them about the issue.

It is easy to share our time, energy and money with people but harder to 'share the Good News'. Why do you think that is? What will you do to point the world to Jesus today? Not sure? Ask a Christian for help to learn more.

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Facebook Pushes Outside Law Firms to Become More Diverse

A Facebook event in Berlin. The company is requiring that women and ethnic minorities account for at least 33 percent of law firm teams working on its matters. Credit Tobias Schwarz/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Like other Silicon Valley giants, Facebook has faced criticism over whether its work force and board are too white and too male. Last year, the social media behemoth started a new push on diversity in hiring and retention.

Now, it is extending its efforts into another corner: the outside lawyers who represent the company in legal matters.

Facebook is requiring that women and ethnic minorities account for at least 33 percent of law firm teams working on its matters.

Numbers alone, however, are not enough, under a policy that went in effect on Saturday. Law firms must also show that they “actively identify and create clear and measurable leadership opportunities for women and minorities” when they represent the company in litigation and other legal matters.

Those opportunities “include serving as relationship managers and representing Facebook in the courtroom,” Facebook’s general counsel, Colin Stretch, said in an interview. The legal department, he said, has for the last few years been working on increasing diversity at all levels.

“Firms typically do what their clients want,” he said. “And we want to see them win our cases and create opportunities for women and people of color. We think the firms are ready — our articulation gives not just permission but a mandate.”

For Facebook, the move on outside lawyers is happening even as the company’s efforts at improving diversity in its own work force have so far shown little progress.

According to statistics released last year, blacks and Hispanics last July accounted for only 3 percent each of senior leadership, and women made up an additional 27 percent. Hiring for the 12 months beginning with July 2015 showed something of an improvement: Of those newly recruited to senior leadership posts, 9 percent were black, 5 percent were Hispanic and 29 percent were women.

To improve those numbers, Facebook announced last year that it would focus on recruiting and retention. The company is also establishing programs to help underrepresented college students, as well as younger students in public schools nationwide, develop interests in coding and engineering. In addition, Facebook is reaching out to families who want to learn more about programming.

And when it comes to improving diversity among its outside lawyers, Facebook is part of a growing trend.

A number of general counsels across corporate America are pressing their outside firms to make their teams more diverse — in terms of ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and even disability — at all levels of seniority, not just among junior associates.

MetLife says it is announcing a new policy this month; HP in February adopted a more stringent program. The moves are an acknowledgment that the numbers of women and minorities at law firms have barely budged over the past 20 years.

“Law is the least diverse white-collar profession,” said Jean Lee, the chief executive of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association, an organization that focuses on the hiring, retention and promotion of diverse lawyers. “A lot of companies made a concerted effort to increase diversity internally, and now they are demanding diversity at the firms they use.”

“One of the challenges in the legal profession is that, despite all of the focus, the lack of diversity is a stubborn and persistent problem,” said Kim Rivera, HP’s general counsel. “We think we can help if we can be clear and unambiguous and hold firms financially accountable.”

HP now requires its outside law firms to have at least one diverse so-called relationship partner or at least one “woman and one racially/ethnically diverse attorney each performing at least 10 percent of the billable hours worked on HP matters.” (A woman who is also a minority will cover the requirements as long as she bills the requisite 10 percent.)
SEE SAMPLE PRIVACY POLICY
Failure to comply, under the policy, would result in a 10 percent “diversity holdback” of fees, but with a one-year grace period.

Ms. Rivera said the reaction to the new policy had been positive. “I’ve gotten dozens of calls and meeting requests largely asking how to partner with us to have the program succeed,” she said.

Zakiyyah Salim-Williams, the chief diversity officer for Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, which counts both HP and Facebook among its clients, said she was not fazed by the new requirements.

“We have a large number of diverse lawyers and we always try to staff our teams to reflect that,” she said.

Mr. Stretch of Facebook says its legal department will work with outside law firms in their efforts, tracking results, not surprisingly, through a variety of metrics.

It’s not just tech companies that are pushing their outside counsel. MetLife’s general counsel, Ricardo Anzaldua, will meet this month with representatives of some of the 50 firms the company retains to review an initiative to spur retention and sponsorship of women and diverse lawyers.

Under the program, the firms “must make sure that the junior diverse talent has sponsorship among the senior lawyers and that they get the best coaching and nurturing they can provide.” MetLife will evaluate the results in 2018; underperforming firms will have six months to improve or be dropped.

Mr. Anzaldua’s mandate echoes his own in-house initiatives. “A few years ago we began to identify and coach those with high potential to become the future leadership pipeline,” he said. “While the initiative doesn’t exclude white men, the proportion of women and people of color in that pipeline is more than 60 percent, reflecting the fact that we have an influx of talented women and people of color in the lower ranks.”
Some companies take a more fluid approach. While Verizon Communications has no numerical target, its general counsel, Craig Silliman, said, “diversity of the team is one of the specific criteria we use when we bid out a matter,” in addition to strategic approach, cost and other factors.

Morgan Stanley’s chief legal officer, Eric Grossman, in addition to encouraging diverse teams, also annually names one of its outside law firms as the recipient of a leadership award in diversity and inclusion. Firms vie for the award, which depend on a variety of factors.

“We put a lot of weight not just on the diverse and female attorneys who work on Morgan Stanley matters, but also on how many diverse lawyers they have in the firm and the depth of their sponsorship programs they have to promote overall diversity. We recognize that it just doesn’t happen on its own,” he said.

The possibility of a fee reduction or being dropped from the roster of approved firms could be an effective tool to make it happen.

“Companies are now using a carrot and stick approach because the carrot approach alone didn’t work,” said Ms. Lee of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association.

A version of this article appears in print on April 3, 2017, on Page B2 of the New York edition with the headline: Facebook Pushes Outside Law Firms on Diversity. Order Reprints| Today's Paper|Subscribe

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While I Kept Partying, My Parents Kept Praying – Part 3: Profession of Faith

My transformational moment

Written by Luis Palau
Tags: Salvation, Testimony
This article was written by Andrew Palau.

Six months after I read Say Yes! Dad invited me to a Palau outreach in Jamaica. While I had absolutely no interest in going to an evangelistic gathering, I reasoned, I love my folks. I love to travel. And I love to fish. And, then, to make the invitation even more enticing, it was freezing at the time where I lived (Boston). The thought of traveling to warm Jamaica was quite appealing.

I was 27 years old when I listened to Dad tell the Jamaican crowd about the difference that Jesus Christ makes in a life. I had heard that message hundreds of times before, but for the first time I sincerely wanted that difference. I made a profession of faith that day.

Despite my profession of faith and getting involved in Bible study, I did not feel a real sense of intimacy with the Lord. I’d ask Him, Why is this not working for me? I’m really sincere.

And then the Lord mercifully opened up my eyes to see what was keeping me from Him in an intimate way. I had never verbally confessed my sin. I just wanted it to go away. I finally apologized to my parents for the many ways that I had gone against not only their teaching, but also the Lord’s. It was a radical, 180-degree turnaround for me-a transformational moment.

What has happened in the last 14 years can only be attributed to the Lord’s amazing grace. I am following in Dad’s footsteps as a world evangelist and teacher. Me, the kid who once wanted the world much more than Jesus Christ.

Think about your moment of conversion – when you finally surrendered to God and His will for your life. What struggles did you experience in the days and weeks following? How did God gently draw you closer to Himself? 

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Trusting God’s Wisdom

He is Infinitely Wise

Written by Dan Lee on 10/01/2017
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Wisdom, Hope, Sovereignty
Who can measure the wealth and wisdom and knowledge of God? Who can understand his decisions or explain what he does? “Has anyone known the thoughts of the Lord or given him advice?

Romans 11:33-34 CEV
We as human beings are constantly faced with tough decisions, and situations. It’s the nature of living in a fallen world. However, through all of the turmoil, God is still sovereign and is truly wise.

If we doubt that God has infinite wisdom, we will be tempted to despair when things go wrong. On the other hand, understanding God’s wisdom helps us to trust Him and be secure in any situation.

Here are some areas we see God’s wisdom demonstrated, and why you should trust his Wisdom:

Creation – Past and Present
By wisdom the Lord founded the earth; by understanding he created the heavens. (Proverbs 3:19)

From the distant galaxies to the tiniest insect, everything we see is a product of God’s perfect design, not random chance. Every area of human knowledge, from mathematics to physics to biology, is just a tiny sliver of God’s great wisdom. All of our study in these and other fields, is an attempt to discover more of the wonders of His creation. “The heavens keep telling the wonders of God, and the skies declare what He has done.” (Psalm 19:1)

Some people believe that God created the world, then left us to fend for ourselves. But Colossians 1:17 says this about Jesus: “God’s Son was before all else, and by him everything is held together.” (Colossians 1:17)

Human History
If the presence of evil rulers bothers you, think of Pharaoh, who was cruel and oppressive to God’s people. Yet, “In the Scriptures the Lord says to Pharaoh of Egypt, 'I let you become Pharaoh, so that I could show you my power and be praised by all people on earth.'” (Romans 9:17). Yes, even Pharaoh, the wicked oppressor of Israel, was appointed by God to bring glory to Himself. And so it continues with today’s kings and kingdoms. God is still in control.

Our Relationship to God
One of the most “foolish” things to many people is the idea that God came to earth in human form, and then willingly allowed himself to be killed for the salvation of mankind. Yet 1 Corinthians 1:25 says that God’s “foolishness” is greater than human wisdom.

In His infinite wisdom, God sent Jesus to die for your sins. All God's children should take great comfort from this. Those who have not yet decided to follow Him should realize that His plan of salvation, strange or even foolish as it may seem, is true and is intended for you. Humbly accept that God is infinitely great and wise, and seek to follow Him.

Pray this week:

Lord, forgive me for thinking I know better than You. Even though I can barely see or understand Your greatness, by faith I submit to Your great wisdom and Your plan for my life. Teach me through Your word to understand more and more, and to walk in greater confidence every day.

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How More Than 160 Fortune 500 Leaders Schedule Their Days

When you’re in charge of a business, you’re all too familiar with that feeling of racing to catch up. But no matter how hard you push or how much you work, you never seem to reach the finish line.

There’s always more marketing to do, more emails to send, another meeting around the corner, more prospects to qualify…

Terminal “behinderness” is an affliction that generates heart-pounding stress and makes you wonder how the most successful founders and leaders manage to be so productive while you feel like you’re constantly drowning.

A lot of it comes down to how they structure their days.

Curious about how some of the top business leaders spent their time, John Rampton (CEO of Due) and Chris Stowell (VP of the International Center for Management and Organization Effectiveness) conducted a survey of 163 Fortune 500 companies to find out how leaders in the industry schedule their days to stay productive.

Survey respondents included leaders of Adobe, American Express, AT&T, Bank of America, Boeing, BP, Delta, DHL, FedEx, Google, HP, John Deere, Kellogg’s, Johnson & Johnson, and Twitter.

Here’s how the respondents’ average day stacks up – and things you could learn to make your day more productive.

The average leader rolls out of bed at 6:15 a.m. to get an early start on the day. Those early hours are important because they tend to be free of most distractions and give you an opportunity to get focused.

If you really want to maximize this window of opportunity, get up just a bit earlier. A 5 a.m. wake-up time will allow you to squeeze in more time for reflection, breakfast, exercise, and getting a jump-start on communication.

Apple CEO Tim Cook takes his early mornings to the extreme by starting each day sending and responding to emails at 4:30 a.m.

Anna Wintour, Editor-in-Chief for Vogue, starts her mornings at 5:45 a.m. with an hour-long tennis match.
You always hear that exercise should be a part of your daily routine because it controls weight, boosts your mood, provides energy, and can help you focus. Don’t ignore that advice.

Thanks to technology, we sit a lot nowadays. In fact, those working in tech-related jobs or office positions spend an average of 9.3 hours sitting each day. That doesn’t take into account the sitting you do at home after the workday ends.

This type of activity is so bad for your health and energy that Harvard Business Review has called it “the smoking of our generation.”

If you think you don’t have time to exercise, think again. Those extremely busy executives, CEOs, and founders fit in an average of 45 minutes of working out every day. If they can fit almost an hour of exercise into their jam-packed schedules, then you can manage a 30-45 minute workout.

In Tim Ferriss’ 2010 book The 4-Hour Body, Ferriss spoke about a meeting with Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson, where Ferriss asked him how he could be more productive. Branson responded with “work out” and explained that his workout routine gave him at least 4 more hours of productive time each day.

Leading by example, former National Geographic CEO John Fahey regularly invited his employees to join him on a daily afternoon bike ride.

70% of top leaders take the time to eat breakfast to fuel their day. Among those who eat in the morning, most will take something with them or eat on the go. Breakfast is a crucial part of getting a strong start each day, especially if your morning routine includes exercise.

Add a balanced, protein-rich breakfast to your routine and reap the health benefits, such as:

Balanced blood sugar levels, which helps maintain your energy throughout the day
Improved short-term memory and mood
Faster recovery and renewed energy after workouts
John Mackey, founder of Whole Foods, starts his day with a nutrient-rich breakfast smoothie consisting of kale or spinach leaves, soy milk, almond, oats, and fresh fruit. Take a cue from those Fortune 500 leaders and fill your tank before you head out.

Making Better Use of the Commute to Work

Being the boss gives you the freedom to work wherever you’d like, but most of the time, you’re probably in the control room at your business or traveling from one location to another. That means you have a regular commute to and from work.

The average leader has a commute time of around 25 minutes, and they make good use of that time as part of their workday. Some of the ways you can be productive during your commute include:

Catching up on podcasts or listening to business-related audio books
Hands-free calling to get a head start on critical or time-sensitive issues
Reading and responding to emails (for those who use public transit)
Researching and preparing for presentations
Any work-related activity completed during your commute can free up precious time for other projects later in the day.

The act of simply paying attention to other people while you’re on the go also offers a lot of insight and creative inspiration, which could help you be more productive at the office. “By simply keeping your eyes and ears open while you travel, you can get a grasp of what people are reading/wearing/listening to,” notes Paul Ellett on the popular Successful Blog.

Setting the Day’s Pace By Eating a Frog
When some founders and executives arrive at the office, they immediately dig into their email and jump into morning meetings, leaving the more complicated tasks for the afternoon. If that sounds like your typical morning, then you’re making a common mistake in managing peak productivity vs. optimal energy.

Research has proven that the first few hours after waking is the time when your brain is at its sharpest and you’re more likely to stay on task. Why waste that time on meetings or reading email?

This research is backed by other studies that found that participants perform their best early in the day.

Human psychology researchers confirm that our willpower is a finite resource. Once you deplete it, it’s gone for the rest of the day. That’s why you need to focus during early hours on the highest-priority items of your to-do list.

This is why many of the leaders who responded to the survey set aside their early morning hours for creating goals and strategies for the day, week, month, or year. The average leader dedicates about 25 minutes of their morning to strategizing and planning.

During that time, they tackle important tasks and projects while holding off on emails, calls, and texts until lunchtime.

A famous Mark Twain quotation goes something like this: “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”

That should translate to using your energy and focus to get your biggest tasks or hurdles out of the way first and foremost.

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That’s the approach Lifehacker founder Gina Trapani takes. Each day she starts out with a list of critical items that need to be completed. When she finishes her day, she creates a new list for the next day.

Learning to say no is also an important part of managing your day and staying productive. Patty Stonesifer, former chairwoman of the Smithsonian Institution Board of Regents, has a secret for getting more done each day: know what not to do.

“…I do a short exercise with every request that comes through. I ask myself ‘If I had to do this today, would I be glad?’” says Stonesifer. “For most requests, the answer is no (because I know I should be working on the big stuff), which means I say no to most extraneous requests.”

Dealing with the Distraction of Communication

Email and texting have become the dominant forms of communication for business owners. The average leader of a Fortune 500 spends around 2.5 hours each day reading and responding to emails and text messages. Some spend even more time. That’s acceptable as long as it contributes to your daily productivity and keeps the workflow going.

Here are some ways the most successful leaders handle email and communication to stay productive:

Respond with brevity. Be concise in every response to reduce time spent on communication.
If a response will be lengthy or has the potential to require a discussion, make it a phone call instead.
Schedule time for emails. Leaving email open all day makes for quick responses but creates constant distractions.
Only spend time on communication when it’s scheduled. Don’t block out long, open windows, but rather small windows throughout the day to respond.
Hire a full-time or virtual assistant to handle your communications for you.
Taking Control of Meetings

The average Fortune 500 leader spends 2.5 hours per day in meetings. If you look at the previous statistic on time spent on email and the phone, 5 hours or more per day may not be allotted to direct work productivity, unless you design meetings and modes of communication to be highly productive.

In a 2011 interview with Wired, Google cofounder Larry Page discussed his decision to get rid of his assistant due to the excessive scheduling of undesired meetings. “Most people aren’t willing to ask me if they want to meet with me,” Page said. “They’re happy to ask an assistant.”

After that, if someone wanted a meeting, they had to approach Page directly.

Creating Structure and Order with a Winning Team

More than 50% of Fortune 500 leaders believe that teamwork is essential to meeting productivity goals, and they spend time each day directly engaging with teams and employees on their tasks. As a result, they only spend about an hour and 45 minutes on average on personal tasks and projects.

Cultivating teams and boosting collaboration are some of the most important skills of a successful, strategic leader. Team effort is important for any company with multiple employees to thrive, and it can significantly impact business strategies and productivity. The most effective leaders directly engage their teams and spend a good chunk of their time supporting employees and encouraging them to succeed.

Costco CEO Jim Sinegal is a normal guy loved by his employees. His name tag simply says “Jim,” he works in a plain office with no walls, and he has a single-page contract that clearly states how even he can be terminated for not getting his work done.

He even takes a modest six-figure salary, because he figured that he shouldn’t earn more than 12 employees working the sales floor. By working closely with employees and focusing on collaboration each and every day, Jim has grown the Costco brand at an impressive rate.

Bill Keller, former executive editor for The New York Times, understood that it took an exemplary team to get things done, and as such, he relied heavily on those who worked with him. “Of course,” said Keller, “that only works if you surround yourself with smart, competent people.”

Refueling During the Day

Leaders of some of the most well-known companies may not have the best dietary habits: 52% described their diet as “somewhat healthy.” Still, many understand the importance of keeping their energy up throughout the workday:

41% eat a snack in the morning
45% work an afternoon snack into their schedule
85% of leaders take a break for lunch in the middle of the day
Taking those breaks isn’t just about consuming nutrient-rich foods to maintain energy. Breaks for snacks and lunch are also some of the best times to reflect and strategize for the remainder of the day.

It’s also a good time to work on personal tasks. Jana Eggers, former executive for Intuit and cofounder of SureCruise.com, recommends dedicating some time each day to an activity or hobby that you find fulfilling.

“A fulfilling hobby can also be a healthy distraction from the day-to-day grind,” says Eggers. “It can be cooking, gardening, singing…something that you can focus on and master. The important thing is to pick something big and be dedicated to it.”

From Gaming to Gardening, Personal Development is Important

Maintaining some sense of work/life balance is crucial. Even the most successful Fortune 500 leaders and executives spend an average of an hour and 45 minutes each day on personal projects or tasks that are important to them.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that an entire block of time has to be set aside for personal development.

It can be scattered throughout the day, like the example above of using your break or snack time for personal projects.

Ram Shriram, one of Google’s founding board members, recommends keeping a diary to improve your personal performance. In an interview with Business 2.0, he said that you can’t focus on beating yourself up. Instead, use the diary as a point of growth to “create a kind of manual for what has worked and what hasn’t in your business. Documenting it ensures we’ll always remember it.”

This practice doesn’t have to be limited to workplace productivity, as it can improve other aspects of your personal life, too. When something comes to mind, find a pen and get it on paper.

Get it out of your head so you can focus on more important tasks.

Stephen Gillett, former CIO of Starbucks and “Guild Master” for Google[x] recommends that you fit some multiplayer gaming into your daily routine and use lessons from gaming to teach you how to be a more effective leader.

In an interview with Wired, Gillett talks about how his position as a top Guild Master in World of Warcraft translated to a total immersion course in leadership: “I used to worry about not having what I needed to get a job now. Now I think of it like a quest; by being willing to improvise I can usually find the people and resources I need to accomplish the task.”

Researchers and scientists have long theorized that multiplayer games can teach players both leadership and problem solving skills in addition to sparking creativity and innovation.

Some of the most successful Fortune 500 executives make time for games like World of Warcraft – and so can you.

Winding Down and Letting Go

Every workday comes to an end at some point. For some executives, that means switching off when they leave the office. Others keep working until it’s time to sleep, which is around 11:40 p.m. for most Fortune 500 leaders.

How time is spent outside of typical working hours can vary, and it’s a little different for everyone. Carol Smith, CRO for Harper’s Bazaar, has a useful tactic for balancing productivity and free time. She comes into the office on Sunday for around 4 hours to tackle a lot of work without distractions, “…so when I come in on Monday, it’s like my vacation day.”

Before leaving the office each night, Kenneth Chenault, CEO of American Express, takes time to reflect and write down three things that he wants to accomplish the next day. This effectively sets up his attack strategy for the morning.

But what about when it’s time for the work to finally end?

Arianna Huffington refuses to burn the midnight oil. In an interview with Slate she says, “My single most-effective trick for getting things done is to stop doing what I'm doing and get some sleep. There is nothing that negatively affects my productivity and efficiency more than lack of sleep. After years of burning the candle on both ends, my eyes have been opened to the value of getting some serious shut-eye.”

At the end of the day, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong flips the switch and puts his work away. After arriving home from the office around 8 p.m., Armstrong spends time reading to his daughters. “They usually…get two or three books.”

Bill Gates takes a similar approach and believes that reading in the nighttime hours is part of the routine process of winding down to sleep. He reads topics ranging from public health to shipping containers to pull his mind away from business.

Before finally shutting down each day, Buffer CEO and co-founder Joel Gascoigne relaxes with a 20-minute walk in the evening to get exercise and disconnect from the daily grind.

This is a wind down period, and allows me to evaluate the day’s work, think about the greater challenges, gradually stop thinking about work, and reach a state of tiredness,” he writes in a post on his blog.

Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg believes that eliminating nighttime distractions will help you focus more on sleep, so she completely shuts down her phone at night even if, as she admits, it’s “painful to do so.”

Make the Most of Your Day

As you can see from some of the best, brightest, and most successful leaders’ daily routines, structuring your day to achieve maximum productivity isn’t just about what you do or how you do it between the hours of 9 and 5. The most accomplished business leaders create rituals for their days, starting from the moment their feet touch the floor in the morning, to the moment their head hits the pillow at night.

While everyone has a different routine that works for them, it’s important to formulate and sustain habits that will improve your work/life balance, professional focus, and personal development. These are all examples you can learn from and replicate in your daily schedule to achieve greater success both at work and at home.

WRITTEN BY 
Sujan Patel

Visit the Kairos webiste https://cabinet.kairosplanet.com/register/#111b0e

How These Awesome Tools Can Accelerate Your Business

The growth of the internet as a means of communication has brought about a profound change in the way business is done. Every industry, has grown by leaps and bounds over the last few years. In order to survive and grow amidst cutthroat market competition, you need to adapt to the latest tools being used in the industry. Some of them are mentioned below:

Tagove Live Chat
Allows screen sharing with customers

This advanced tool can significantly extend, as well as adjust, to the speed of the user’s website. The Tagove WebRTC and Flash Technology have the capacity to support all features of the Tagove tool in different browsers, tablets and Android mobiles.

Eliminates Communication Barriers

Live Text chat is the most effective method of communication and offers users a quicker live chat feature through which you can send your message to buyers without delay. Moreover, the tool has an instant file-sharing feature through which you will be able to share files with a customer.

Video and Voice Chat for Website

Tagove Live Voice offers a one-click call button on your website through which customers will be able to communicate with you at no cost. The Live call feature also works with all browsers, even in situations when the internet connection runs haywire.

Online Product Tours for Customers

Tagove offers screen sharing and co-browsing features along with the Live call without the need for software installation. Our co-browsing and screen sharing features will allow you to track customer queries in real-time.

Instant File Sharing

With the help of a cloud-based technology, you will be able to share files with customers and the customer can also do the same with your executives on this platform.

Live Call Recording

Call recording is essential for maintaining outstanding customer relationship management (CRM). Proper training for customer care executives can help them to augment the quality of the CRM process.

Mento.io
Makes Product Promotions Easy and Efficient

This tool will enable you to format promotional activity for new products once they are added to your webstore or site.

Automates Social Media Marketing

The success of social media often depends on timing, which is a constraint for business owners. Mento will enable you to create content as per your convenience, no matter which platform it needs to be posted on. It will also enable you to set up promotional posts for new products that are going to be posted on your sites either days or weeks in advance.

Collaborate with Team Using Common Interface

The software will enable you to coordinate with your team in order to work on marketing as well as product promotions from a single interface.

Organize and Schedule Future Campaigns

You can devise and schedule future campaigns with personalized branding. 

Skyward CRM
This is one stop solution for all need of a sales person. 

Unique Sales Management

This helps sales people to use and manage customer history, database, and follow-up with efficient manner. 

Customization

Whether it is features, report or dashboard, you can customized everything both – on-premise and online version. 

Sales forecasting 

With full data mining features, it helps you predict sales forecasting and decide where to invest and put optimum resources. 

Criteo
Uses Sales Data and Consumer Behavior to Create Ads

Criteo makes use of the latest sales data and consumer behavior trends in order to create ads. The software utilizes an extensive publishing network of direct relationships with 16,000 publishers at the global level which offer access to the best ad placements.

Uses Post-Click Sales Model

Criteo makes use of the post-click sales model in which a conversion takes place only when a user clicks on the ad. One of the major advantages of using such a model, that according to search experts, is that sales managers can generate an impressive number of email alerts for visitors who come to their site. Sales staff can also detect the keywords that have been used by specific visitors to assist a person who has completed a form on their landing page to qualify.

Provides Digital Advertising Solutions

The software works seamlessly across numerous devices such as mobile, web and apps. It helps you to organize the visual elements of your brand instantly into ads that have a high probability of maximizing sales. The cost-per-click model followed is directly related to the performance of a campaign.

Customer.io
Sending and Receiving Messages Simplified

The software will enable you to provide more personalized messages and ensure that they are delivered to customers on time with the help of an advanced rules engine. As a result, you will be able to ensure a high level of customer satisfaction and retain your customer base. The quality of customer care service offered will, therefore, match the expectations of customers.

Integrating with Other Services Possible

A simple integration will enable you to send the user data from either your web or mobile app. Once the installation is complete, you can start sending emails. It can help you to maximize engagement and revenue, as well as to maintain customer experience.

Campaign Reports Available

The software will provide you with campaign reports, including analytics, which you can use for measuring your campaign’s level of success with opens, clicks and conversions.

Loyalis.co
Know About Customer Engagement

Loyalis will offer you with the opportunity to know your customers better through its CRM. It will allow you to gamify your board by initiating the use of a ranking board. Efficient tracking of customer behavior will be made possible through access to business intelligence tools. You will also get a social network breakdown for your most important and loyal customers. Engagement will be streamlined through perfect integration with your webstore.

Find Ways to Increase Loyal Customers

Loyalis offers users the feature of ROI analytics. Everything that the software does can be viewed on the dashboard. It will assist you with determining how your loyalty program can help in sales enhancement. You can review and track all interactions and detect the exact action in which the visitors perform the highest and where should you exactly lay emphasis. Loyalis also offers users with additional data in the form of shopper analytics. It will enable you to see what and how much your buyers like or share in social media, what type of products they review and the types of products they are using. As a result, you can devise your marketing strategies according to their activities across different social networking sites.
Sam Makad Sam Makad

Visit the Kairos webiste https://cabinet.kairosplanet.com/register/#111b0e