The Young Entrepreneur Council is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses. Read previous SmartBlogs posts by YEC.

yec_Dan Price1. Find the truth

When you get negative feedback, it can be emotional, so give yourself time and space to process the feedback. Then, realize there’s truth behind every single piece of feedback you get — no matter where it comes from. — Dan Price, Gravity Payments

yec_Brennan White2. Act like a CEO

Regardless of the level, managers should respond to negative feedback like good CEOs would. They should get more data to confirm or deny the feedback, and if the negative feedback is true, they should unemotionally set a plan to rectify shortcomings by a specific date and use the same reports to judge their progress. Agree in advance what the remedies are if progress isn’t made. (read more…)

This post is an excerpt from “Communicate to Inspire” (February 2014, Kogan Page) by Kevin Murray.

Communicate to Inspire Be yourself better

Authenticity as a leader is crucial. Followers will not commit if they do not trust you and believe that you have integrity. So, even if you are a highly introverted individual, you will have to learn to speak with more passion, talk to your values and stand up more often to speak to your beliefs. Followers must feel your passion and believe that you believe. When you are clear with yourself about the things you really care about, you cannot help but talk to them with passion.

Most leaders have not spent the time articulating those beliefs, yet the ability to draw on and display that passion and commitment, consistently and predictably, counts for more than skills at oratory and communicates more effectively than even the most perfectly crafted words. You have to be true to yourself, but you also have to learn to ‘perform’ yourself better. (read more…)

How do others experience you as a leader? According to psychologist Kathryn Cramer, every leader has a “signature presence,” a set of leadership assets that are as unique as your handwritten signature. Just as your autograph telegraphs who you are, so, too, do the daily actions that comprise your leadership presence.

Think about your signature for a moment: how has it morphed over time? As a young girl, my signature was a near carbon-copy of what I’d learned from my third-grade teacher, Mrs. Durr — a replica of what I’d been taught was the “correct” way to form the letters that comprised my name. As the years wore on, my signature began to reflect more of my personality and life’s experiences. No doubt, yours has as well.

Our handwriting also shows tell-tale signs of stress or distraction: just look at a document that was signed during a hospital stay or in a time of crisis. (read more…)

Like any seasoned sales professional working in the industry for more than 20 years, I’ve managed to learn a thing or two about running a successful sales department. Granted, my greatest lessons were derived from my greatest mistakes, or more to the point, all of my lessons are hard lessons. If someone were to ask me my most important pieces of advice collected over the years, I would give them these top 10 solutions to common mistakes seen all too often in sales departments:

1. You need more coverage than you think. Managers often realize they need a greater sales capacity by the time it’s already too late. The general rule of thumb is that you always want to have more quota coverage than expected because it’s almost guaranteed that some representatives will over-perform and some will come out under the mark. Consider staffing 25% more quota coverage than your operating plan financial metrics call for every quarter. (read more…)

Happy Equal Pay Day!

Seriously, there is such a thing as equal pay day, and it’s today, April 8.

What’s going on with equal pay anyway? Isn’t it a thing of the past since women have achieved relative parity in the workforce?

Well, no. Despite the fact that women make up half the entry-level workforce, they do not yet represent half of the leadership tiers and they do not receive equal pay for equal work. But of course when we look under the covers to examine the data more carefully, we see that the issue of promotions and salary are complicated by the fact that women carry more of the family responsibility and have more sporadic careers because of it.

There are other factors at play, however, which include the cultural disincentives women have to negotiate aggressively for themselves, and employers’ profit incentive to acquire good talent for low prices. Sheryl Sandberg, author of “Lean In,” quotes male CEOs as chiding her for writing a book designed to get women asking for more because “now all the women that work for me want a raise.”

Women can, in fact, close the wage gap for themselves by getting smarter about how they negotiate their value. (read more…)