By on December 18th, 2014 | Comment on this post

If you Google “gift ideas for your boss,” you will find pages of results, mostly from companies that sell gifts.

However, if you search “should I get a holiday gift for my boss,” the consensus answers seems to be “absolutely not!”

At least according to Miss Manners (Judith Martin), Emily Post, Ask a Manager (Alison Green), and the Evil HR Lady herself (Suzanne Lucas), all very credible workplace etiquette experts. They say it’s either blatant sucking up, or could at least give the appearance of sucking up. Holiday office gifts should be given “down” but not “up.”

On the other end of the boss gift giving continuum, you find holiday gifts that will impress your boss. While I think the idea of giving a holiday gift to impress your boss is pretty slimy, I have to give the author credit for being transparent.

Where do I stand on the issue of holiday gift giving for the boss?…

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By Jane Perdue on December 18th, 2014 | Comment on this post

Feeling like everyone but you is being promoted? Wondering why your team has lost its spark? Questioning how few people at work are interested in your ideas and opinions?

Perhaps it’s time for a leadership practice checkup.

Professor and author Michael D. Watkins offers seven topics for leaders to take into account as they assess their leadership practices. These methods require maintaining an equilibrium between analytical thinking and conceptual mindsets—a fundamental necessity for leading as well as managing effectively. If your career growth and influence are stalled out, reflect on your answers to these seven questions.

1. Are you working as a specialist or a generalist?

Vikram Mansharamani notes that “the future may belong to the generalist.” A fast-moving, quickly changing business environment requires the ability to deal with a broad range of uncertainty. “Ideological reliance on a single perspective appears detrimental to one’s ability to successfully navigate vague or poorly-defined situations (which are more prevalent today than ever before).”

2.

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By on December 18th, 2014 | Comment on this post

If you’re not getting leads from your website every day, you’re doing something wrong.

Presenting a strategic website is the fast track to driving inbound leads and growing your audience. And it doesn’t have to require a total website overhaul to make this happen. Inbound marketing brings leads to you, and your website is the front door. Make sure it’s ready for business!

There are so many ways to drive leads with your website. A website properly paired with inbound marketing tactics takes more than a couple of nice blogs and a monthly newsletter. Find out how to generate leads with a few strategic tweaks. These are simple changes to make to your site today.

Click to subscribe

Your blog is probably the most powerful tool in your belt for lead generation. Convert website visitors by encouraging them to subscribe to the blog with the simple click of a button.…

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By on December 17th, 2014 | Comment on this post

Adrian had been looking for a solution to an issue at work in her head for months (and months). She was, in her words, a perfectionist who was looking for a way to control the issue without negative consequences. She didn’t just ponder how to deal with it, she obsessed about it. It was beginning to impact her leadership and her personal relationships. Wishing that her obsessive thoughts about the issue would stop didn’t work; in fact, it made her more frustrated.

She discovered a way to find answers to the issue that worked for her and allowed her to take action. Once she did, she was able to come back to the technique she used over and over again, increasing her ability to make faster decisions and her effectiveness as a leader.

Very few leaders will claim to get stuck, but realistically we all do at some point. The decisions you don’t make are as important as the ones you do.…

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By on December 17th, 2014 | Comment on this post

ECCA_header_v1Two original content pieces about the Maker Movement struck a chord with SmartBrief readers this year. Our readers voted and chose two winners for SmartBrief’s first annual Educators’ Choice Content Awards. Makers in the Classroom: A How-To Guide by Aaron Vanderwerff and Project-Based Learning Through a Maker’s Lens by Patrick Waters were chosen from among 20 original content pieces written by educators, for educators.

Earlier this year, SmartBrief Education editors introduced the Editor’s Choice Content Awards, a monthly program honoring two original content pieces that inspired readers to engage, innovate and discuss. Last month, we asked readers to pick their favorite of the 20 stories; nearly 3,000 voted. In addition, members of ASCD’s Emerging Leaders program — a group of diverse, forward-thinking educators — weighed in on their top picks.

Aaron Vanderwerff is a K-12 makerspace and science coordinator at Lighthouse Community Charter School in Oakland, Calif.

“I am honored to be recognized by my peers who are helping us to elevate awareness of the importance of Making in education,” Vanderwerff said.…

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