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

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Q. What is one important leadership lesson we can all learn from stories like the recent Amazon profile(s)?

yec_Shavin Parikh1. Be intentional with your culture

Different companies have different cultures and expectations. There’s no “right” way to run a business. However, whatever your culture is, be intentional about it. Document your values, communicate them to new hires, and celebrate them over and over again throughout the company. If employees know what to expect, they’ll likely be happier. — Bhavin Parikh, Magoosh Inc

yec_Andrew Thomas 32. Empower people instead of pushing them

Pushing people and grinding them down is not as effective as empowering them to greater heights.…

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SmartBrief Education editors and writers sift through thousands of sources each day, reading a variety of content, including blogs and commentaries written by you and your peers.

To recognize some of the innovative education bloggers in the field, our team nominates their favorite content each month from which we choose two winners for the Editor’s Choice Content Award. These award winners are in the running for our annual Educators’ Choice Award.

Now we need your input! Select the one original content piece from our survey that makes an impact on you, challenges you to think outside the box and inspires you. The two with the most votes will be named the Educators’ Choice Content Award winners of 2015. Vote by Dec. 9. Winners will be selected and announced in early January.

Cast your vote.

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In the first part of our series on vocal delivery, we introduced the basic components of vocal expression (power, pace, pitch and pause) and provided some expert advice for improving each.

This week, we’ll share some vocal exercises that will get your voice into shape for your next presentation. And you’ll also learn some surprisingly easy strategies to make your voice sound more confident and compelling.

Get in training with vocal exercises

Whether you want to prepare for one high-stakes presentation or be ready for hours of daily conference calls, it’s essential to train your voice for its best performance. Just like exercise prepares your muscles for a challenging event like running a marathon, your voice needs training to get in shape for the demands of public speaking.

Vocal coach and owner of Command Communication Helen Moses, who also has a background in opera singing, shares some easy and effective vocal training exercises.…

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From sprawling suburban supercenters and warehouse clubs to shops and stalls on city streets, retail space has always been varied. But as urban lifestyles move further beyond the limits of traditional cities and prime real estate gets harder to find and more expensive to rent, many food retailers are turning to concepts meant for smaller spaces and more specific consumer groups.

Last year, six of the top 10 fastest-growing retail banners were small-box store formats such as CityTarget and Wal-Mart’s Neighborhood Market, according to a report from Planet Retail, and smaller-format stores remain one of the key trends in retail this year, commercial real estate lawyer Craig Swanson told GlobeSt.

“Challenged by local jurisdictions trying to curb sprawl, retailers are adapting to these economic, demographic and regulatory changes by moving away from their prototypical stores and developing smaller formats for infill locations,” he said. “This trend will have broad-reaching effects for urban consumers, local governments and CRE companies alike, providing consumers with more diverse shopping options closer to home.”

For Wal-Mart, establishing a smaller-urban footprint is already paying off.…

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How important is the parent voice when it comes to preparing students for college and career? Are parents participating in these programs, or are they spectators? And what resources are families relying on to get information and make decisions? We posed these questions to SmartBrief on EdTech readers this month to get a sense of how this is working in their schools and districts.

Thirty-eight percent of readers’ schools and districts actively involve parents in these programs, while 18% work exclusively with parents. Forty-four percent have hybrid programs — some that include parents, others that are geared just at students.

Teachers and school resources and events are the top information sources used by parents and families, according to our poll. Fifty-three percent of respondents rely on teachers for direction while 24% rely on school events and resources.

Take a look at the full poll results:

Does your school or district actively involve parents in college- and career-readiness programs?

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