5 Leadership Lessons to Excel at Work

Posted by Paul Grewal on Feb 11, 2016 9:00:00 AM

Are leaders born or made?

Leadership combines a sense of responsibility, persistence, high goals and strong values. If you are able to guide a group of people towards achieving a positive outcome without needing to be prodded along by an outside force, you very likely have a strong capacity for leadership.

Leaders, by definition, tend to rise in the hierarchical ladder. This means that they're challenged, criticized and often doubted. Do you have the guts for it? Leadership per se creates a small gap between the leader and the followers, who are the other members of the team. This is often regarded as a leader/servant relationship.

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Topics: Career, Work, Leadership

7 Reasons Why Your Employees May Have One Foot Out the Door

Posted by Paul Grewal on Feb 10, 2016 9:00:00 AM

Employees don't quit their jobs unless they have a very good reason to (and winning the lottery is not often the case). Letting talented people slip through your fingers is not wise. One thing business owners fail to think is that their company runs thanks to the endless efforts of the workforce. It wouldn't be a successful business without a team.

Here are some of the top reasons why employees begin considering a career change:

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Topics: Work, Culture, Employee Happiness

Hiring and Culture Lessons from Stripe and Pinterest

Posted by Paul Grewal on Feb 9, 2016 9:00:00 AM

What are the qualities that separate a dynamic company from the rest of the pack?

For starters, the team behind the curtains must not only be tightly bonded, but also highly articulate as well. Good communication is always a major factor that determines the course of a specific business.

Pinterest and Stripe started out as two-person companies. How you start is one thing, but how you grow is the crucial aspect of whether the principles can succeed in the long term.

What are your guiding principles?

Building up the team is the key to success. Why? Because the brand is properly supported by the team and the outcome is successful only when the employees share the same core values. So, the hiring process is of the essence.

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Topics: Hiring, Culture, Stripe, Pinterest

Effective Stress Management at Work

Posted by Paul Grewal on Feb 5, 2016 9:00:00 AM

Stress has, unfortunately, too often become a staple of modern living. It's one thing to experience a certain level of anxiety over a particular project, but it's an other thing entirely when you have significantly reduced productivity and feel sick due to stress.

Stress signals are flashing. Do you see them?

Stress management is the process of gaining control over excessive anxieties. Why is it important? Simple: stress has a major impact upon your work performance, mood, and overall behavior. Becoming addicted to chain smoking or pills are not a viable solution.

Here are some questions to ask yourself about effective stress management at work:

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Topics: Work, Stress, Balance, Stress Management

What a Top Coder Does Differently Than Everyone Else

Posted by Paul Grewal on Feb 4, 2016 9:00:00 AM

All tech companies are currently searching for excellent coders. 

And nearly all of these businesses seem to have the same problem: they can't find enough of them.

So, what is it that a top coder does differently than everyone else?

An elite coder knows that most code can be regurgitated. Most functions that can be done have already been written. That’s why one thing an elite coder does differently than everyone else is keeping more of the code they’ve already written in the past. An elite coder knows that nothing they write is very likely to be a one time deal, so they keep a collection of their own past projects on hand to modify, tweak, and reuse in the future.

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Topics: Coding, Computer Science, Web Development, Software Engineering

What Motivates Employees Beyond Money

Posted by Paul Grewal on Feb 3, 2016 9:00:00 AM

Is cash truly king? Or, are employees motivated to show up to work each day by something deeper?

Interestingly, studies on this topic have shown that there are quite a few types of non-monetary incentives that are actually better motivators for employees than money is.

Opportunities to lead projects or teams was one of the non-monetary incentives found to be a bigger motivator than money with employees. This really creates a major win for the company as well in that it helps tailors employees to be successful within the company. It fosters feelings of loyalty, ownership, and responsibility for the company that technical training, job experience, and field knowledge alone cannot possibly assure.

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Topics: Recruiting, Culture, HR, Money, Motivation

How to Eliminate Distractions at Work

Posted by Paul Grewal on Feb 2, 2016 9:00:00 AM

Distractions can be a real problem in the modern workplace, especially if it’s in an open office environment. Without being able to do your work in a quiet, distraction free place, it can be difficult to gain the necessary focus to complete your tasks efficiently.

Three major common distractions at work are surrounding noises, disruptive coworkers, and social media. Each of these distractions can be eliminated easily through following some basic steps.

Surrounding noises like coworker conversations, electronic devices, intercom music, and other office sounds can prove to be a distraction for those that find they work best in quiet. A frequent solution to this is using headphones. This may be due to an improvement in working memory, as suggested in a study that treated monkeys with Mozart. Another way you can minimize the effect of workplace noises is by wearing noise reducing ear plugs.

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Topics: Work, Time Management, Culture, Distractions

How to Give Constructive Criticism at the Office

Posted by Paul Grewal on Jan 29, 2016 9:00:00 AM

Constructive criticism can be hard to give in an office setting, especially when it involves an employee that you find it hard to see eye to eye with. However, everyone in a managerial or administrative position owes it to their junior employees to help oversee their weak areas and strengthen them — so they can thrive and grow in the workplace.

Since giving negative feedback can be such an emotional process for both parties to undergo, why not make sure that you both are as comfortable as possible with navigating the situation?

Of course, it all starts with your attitude towards your fellow employee. If the employee is someone that you find hard to understand, it may help to remember that we all have different perspectives and flaws, and be open to learning about what makes them tick.

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Topics: Career, Work, Transparency, Culture

3 Tips to Create a Strong Organizational Culture

Posted by Cary Magaram on Jan 28, 2016 9:00:00 AM

In the era of the unicorn startup, founders and investors just can’t wait to get that billion dollar valuation tag attached to their companies.

Growth is important, sure; but if it’s not sustainable growth it can become a huge problem. The foundation better be rock solid before you start putting heavy beams up on the 40th floor.

What I’m getting at is this: A company’s culture is the foundation upon which it is built.

Get it right and you get to retain your top talent. Miss the mark, and you can kiss them goodbye. Often times, they will end up at a direct competitor of yours. Young professionals are currently changing jobs at a remarkable rate comparative to prior generations. The burden is now on the company to make sure you keep your employees happy.

Here are three practices to instill healthy organizational cultures:

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Topics: Career, Work, Leadership, Culture

Advancements in Artificial Intelligence

Posted by Paul Grewal on Jan 27, 2016 9:00:00 AM

The past few years have been landmark years for advancements in artificial intelligence. Recently, tech giants like Facebook and Google have created their own AI labs to produce robots capable of learning to play video games without any instructions.

Google now has their own form of AI called Deep Learning, which in 2015 doubled in the amount of projects using it. A huge focus right now for startups and giants alike is to learn how to use AI to help better automate a machine’s ability to solve problems on the fly.

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Topics: Computer Science, Futurist, Artificial Intelligence

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