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Investment Capital Growth is dedicated to the personal and professional development of C-Level Executives and the management teams that run modern business. Our blog shares insights and strategies culled from years of entrepreneural and executive experience. Our thought leaders regularly publish business articles to inspire and empower.

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How to Speak Well… and Listen Better

Posted by Cliff Locks On September 12, 2018 at 10:05 am / In: Uncategorized

How to Speak Well… and Listen Better

Every one of us knows the importance of being attentive with colleagues, clients, and family members. We must be attentive if we must learn new ideas, listening is also a sign of politeness. However, it can be so difficult to keep quiet, we want to make our opinions known, and we seem to have the answer.

You can learn to be a better listener by talking and paying attention. Listening could come in the form of showing interest such as ‘explain your idea more, any other suggestion or what makes you think in that manner?

Whenever you exhibit interest while talking, you will not only gain new knowledge. Also, you will seen as a highly esteemed as a cooperative leader at your place of work.

I recommend you consider reading How to Win Friends & Influence People: Dale Carnegie – Amazon.com or listening to the audiobook How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age (Unabridged)

Could you use an expert in your corner? Please keep me in mind as your life coach, openings for senior executive engagements, and board openings. If you hear of anything within your network that you think might be a positive fit, I’d so appreciate if you could send a heads up my way. Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com

Executive Presence – Casual Friday Conundrum

Posted by Cliff Locks On September 5, 2018 at 10:05 am / In: Uncategorized

Executive Presence – Casual Friday Conundrum

When you look at your CEO or Founder do you think “I will look just as amazing if I had a special stylist.” And if you happen to share the same sentiments with me, or if you are not so sure of the clothes to put on a simple Friday, here is some help.

Let’s get started, as a senior executive heading for a conference out of the city; you’d need to pack clothing for business sessions, golfing outfits and probably a cocktail dinner. A stylist’s job is to assist him/her concentrate on a professional business dressing, ensuring that he/she has a fitting representation in every area.  He/she would like to ensure that every component of her dressing, shoes, jewelry and other accessories complements each other; for instance, you would want to avoid patterned or bold designs which distract peoples focus from the presentation. You would like to ensure that your audience is paying attention to you.

With regards to the golfing session, I suggest that you are a bit conservative since you will be playing with other business executives and then for the cocktail dinner, don’t forget that it’s a business dinner, and you should put on something handsome/beautiful.

Ask yourself have I upgraded my shirts and suits in recent time? Have they become old, are they dated? Have you purchased new ties? Have you add or shed weight? It is very crucial to put all that into consideration because tailoring plays a big role in how good you appeared in your clothing.  Are you still using your old glass or you’ve just bought a new one? The new glass will make you look fresher and modern, and you have to consider that. Then do you have good shoes? Are they suitable for your kind of business? Well-polished shoes with newly done heels.

Sorry men but then the media has always been paying so much attention to women fashion. My suggestion, every woman needs the services of specialists who can give them a personal evaluation of the look that suits them best. Women need to provide answers to certain questions like; is my clothing reflective of the position I’m occupying? Is this cloth appropriate for my shape, body style, and age? If presented the same cloth again, would I buy it? And then if you don’t like the styles and the colors of the clothes shown in the fashion magazines, you don’t have to buy it. Make sure you only buy clothing items that are beautiful on you and also make you comfortable.

What about the accessories? Do you have shoes that enhance your appearance or those that make it worse? What about your bags? Are they big enough to contain all your paper presentation? Do you have a smaller bag to contain other essential items?

Many of us are confident to some extent with our style and sense of fashion for normal business meetings, however, we often become confused on casual Fridays when companies permit us to dress down or maybe even adorned jeans. So how should we dress on casual Fridays?

I believe that this is one area where several people both men and women alike, are so confused about the right thing to wear. If you work in an organization that allows you to wear jeans, I think any black jeans or dark wash jeans would be fantastic, and certainly not those ragged ones you wear at home for gardening or yard work.

For the men, a beautiful, and maybe a dark stripe shirt blended with a nice sweater together with a navy blazer will always be a fantastic choice. You can put on more casual shoes. However they should be suitable for the position you occupied, nice belt and a well-polished loafer complements the dressing.

For the women, once more I believed that jeans would also be a fantastic choice or maybe a cotton trouser, a light wool trouser and they could adorn a pretty blouse and sweater and maybe a set of sweaters, blending it all with flat shoes. Always have it in mind that you might need to meet your favorite client on a casual Friday, and you have to look your best.

Please keep me in mind as your life coach, openings for senior executive engagements, and board openings. If you hear of anything within your network that you think might be a positive fit, I’d so appreciate if you could send a heads up my way. Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com

Do You Ask Yourself…HOW AM I DOING?

Posted by Cliff Locks On August 22, 2018 at 10:04 am / In: Uncategorized

Do You Ask Yourself…HOW AM I DOING?

As a dad to three children, each has chosen to earn their Master Degrees (Social Work-LSW, Entrepreneurship-MBA, and Mechanical Engineering-MS), they are happy and fully independent, with two weddings within years’ time. Yes, my wife and I are a blessed, but it’s not luck, it was very predictable.

As an executive coach, I’ve been asked to be a parenting instructor on many occasions. I get asked ‘what’s our biggest blunder as a parent?’ To put it more clearly, as a parent what can I improve to be a great parent?

 

 

The challenge starts with us the parents because we don’t set high expectations for our kids and neither do we set one for ourselves. Therefore, as parents, we are not disciplined in our parenting responsibilities. For instance, when discussing how our kids relate with each other, they might call themselves terrible names, hitting each other and generally treating each other in an unkind manner and we do nothing to correct it, maybe because we think that’s they can’t become bettered manner or simply because we see it as a very challenging task to even correct this bad behavior.

So, the problem is that we set our expectations too low, so how then can we make our expectations high?

Well, that involve two parts, to begin with, you must have a vision of the way you will parent your kids, and this is what I referred to as parenting with a purpose. For instance, I could have a vision of raising kids that cares about the feelings and needs of other people. The other part involves having well-stated guidelines of how you want your kids to behave in a given situation. For instance, if we are going to visit our Grand Ma and Grand Pa we could tell our child, “when we get to grandparent’s place, ask her about her trip, inquire about her health, inform her about your school project and inquire from her if there is any game she would love to play with you, and when she is preparing dinner, ask her ask if there is something you can do to assist” most times, we tell people what they are not supposed to do rather than what they should.

It’s very important that we set good examples for our kids. Kids develop their attitude and lifestyle from our behavioral pattern, and how we react to situations, for instance, they can learn how to control themselves and how to cope with situations by observing the way we deal with situations when we are under pressure. If people upset us, do we rant at others or do we imbibe good strategies that help us to put our frustration in check?

Can you relate with this? Set high standards and be exemplary to your kids. It appears that the keys to excellent parenting and amazing leadership intertwined. Written goals will help in this endeavor. Yes, your children should have written goals in a marble notebook or loose leaf that is updated each semester in school, if not more often. My youngest son had write on – wipe off board with his goals written down in his childhood bedroom.

There is still one thing which is common for good leaders and parents, and that is they both look for experts for professional support. Please keep me in mind as your life coach, openings for senior executive engagements, and board openings. If you hear of anything within your network that you think might be a positive fit, I’d so appreciate if you could send a heads up my way. Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com

#1 HABIT OF SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE

Posted by Cliff Locks On November 11, 2017 at 10:53 pm / In: Uncategorized

#1 HABIT OF SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE

When it gets to certain stage in your career, it is not uncommon for you to hear about the kinds of habits displayed by successful people. Generally, these kinds of habits are many and comprise the newest ranging from the best attitudes in networking to focus. The best ten are generally clever in all honesty, and they are really lot more difficult than they seemed and many people have not been able to gain a mastery of them. Today I will be revealing just one and the best habit of the extremely successful leaders. As a matter of fact, it could well be something you have been doing and stopped along the line because you have so many other tasks taking your time.  It’s pretty easy and it what we all can achieve.

The topmost habit is known as lunchtime. Extremely successful individual don’t work round the clock. It is not in their habit to munched their sandwiches when they are on a conference call, what they do is go for real vacation to rejuvenate and revitalize. They apply wisdom while spending their vacation. You can apply the following strategies to put your lunch hour to wise use.

To start with, move around. Being stationary for the whole day will cause harm to your body, therefore, move away from your table and if there is no time for you to go to the gym just take a stroll instead.

The next habit you must inculcate is eating together with other people. Make use of the lunch hour to network with fresh colleagues or to develop current relationships.

Have you been making use of your lunch hour wastefully, turn your lunch hour to a great habit and pretty soon you will realize just how really efficient you can become.

An additional resource: Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

The Importance of Selling Yourself

Posted by Cliff Locks On October 18, 2017 at 5:16 pm / In: Uncategorized

The Importance of Selling Yourself

If I mention the word “self-promotion or probably “marketing yourself” what exactly crops up in your mind? Several people believe that self- promotion is not a good term; selling yourself has some negative meaning. Though this channel of selling can be utilized for bad purposes, it can as well be utilized for good. Moreover, when there is no selling, we won’t have the opportunity to have several amazing things since virtually everything we have and uses were sold to us. The clothes we are putting on, our mobile phones, jewelry, etc. if you really have something tangible to offer in your place of work, then it is about time to conquer your hatred for selling. I will reveal 3 strategies to overcome your hatred for selling today, in order to be able to offer your wonderful service and talents to a whole lot more people.

Listed below are three strategies to take out the not so good that is associated with selling and include the good.

To start with, repackage selling; begin to see selling in a different light. Have a change of orientation. Begin to realize that selling involves giving or offering service, when other people realize the different ways through which you can be of service, they would like to patronize your services

Next to that is the need to concentrate on making a difference. Whenever you talk about the services you render, concentrate on the influence you can make, the results you can achieve, the advantages you offer. People love to purchase things that are useful to them. In conclusion, be enthusiastic; people love to make their purchases from those that are genuinely passionate about the service they render. If you talk with passion, vigor and enthusiastically about your services, many people will easily buy into your ideas and invest in your passion.

If you render your services with the right attitude, for the right purpose and to the right folks, selling won’t have any inkling of evil. As a matter of fact, selling your special abilities and priceless contributions can really make a big difference in the world.

Many thanks for taking time to read this blog post, if you enjoyed it, I consider sharing it with your loved ones and colleagues, by kindly posting it on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook, and tweeting it.  I’m Cliff Locks, a professional executive advisor and Board of Director.  As I say, be passionate in everything you do, model great leadership for others, understand your strengths and use them, set positive goals, make definitive plans based on them – and execute, it’s ok to admit when you fail and move on, and always motivate others. Let’s work together to enhance your leadership skills potential, visit Investment Capital Growth.com and click on the chat app on the lower right, so we can schedule time together to help you fulfill your vision of success and opportunities help your company achieve its goals.

How To Negotiate With Colleagues

Posted by Cliff Locks On at 4:08 pm / In: Uncategorized

How To Negotiate With Colleagues

Making deals in the place of work is every task. We all wish that our suggestion to be accepted, we fight for scarce resources, we wish to have access to those who call the shots, therefore we naturally have to make deals. Making negotiation at the place of work is worlds apart from negotiating the cost of a condo or car. At our place of work, we make negotiations with our colleagues and supervisors and at times our buddies- we have a long-term relationship with these folks. Today I will be revealing 3 strategies for making negotiation with your colleagues in the workplace and thereby maintaining your relationship as well.

You can apply the 3 strategies discussed here to maintain your relationship while making negotiations. The first one is that you need to concentrate on a collective future. Generally, people are more inclined to be a bit fairer if they are aware that you are together with them for the long haul. Always reiterate collective interest that will be beneficial to both of you down the road. You could say something such as I’m quite aware that both of us are devoted to effecting changes that will enhance our performance in the long-term.

The second strategy is that you must steer clear of anything that will make them angry. It is totally unreasonable to say something that will make them angry when you are to develop a long-term relationship. Keep away from those topics that will get them worked up. Never say something such as all you are interested in is your final profit.

The third strategy is that you must always maintain your calmness. Behavior is infectious; hence if you speak quietly and with calmness, the person you are making negotiation with will be more inclined to accept. If your partner becomes a bit angry or tempers start flaring, slow the conversation down and speak in a reduce tone. This will go a long way in calming the flaring nerves. Allow everywhere to become quiet and then tell your partner that you love to resolve the problem with them.

We are all aware that careers thrive on relationships, there when making deals with your colleagues, always to maintain and even enhance your relationship with them. In future, you might have forgotten what the negotiation is all about, but how you treated the feelings of the partner you negotiated with will never be forgotten.

Many thanks for taking time to read this blog post, if you enjoyed it, I consider sharing it with your loved ones and colleagues, by kindly posting it on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook, and tweeting it. I’m Cliff Locks, a professional executive advisor and Board of Director. As I say, be passionate in everything you do, model great leadership for others, understand your strengths and use them, set positive goals, make definitive plans based on them – and execute, it’s ok to admit when you fail and move on, and always motivate others. Let’s work together to enhance your leadership skills potential, visit Investment Capital Growth.com and click on the chat app on the lower right, so we can schedule time together to help you fulfill your vision of success and opportunities help your company achieve its goals.

Achieving Your Goals

Posted by Cliff Locks On October 5, 2017 at 10:18 pm / In: Uncategorized

Achieving Your Goals

As a society, we are often obsessed with setting goals. It is not even impossible that you are not happy with yourself because you haven’t made sufficient progress on your list of goals for the year, or in your case, maybe you have too many goals that you don’t even have the faintest idea of where to take off and what you should be concentrating on. From one year to another, we are constantly falling short because of the goal trapped we set for ourselves. Rather than following this pattern, let’s have something different this year; let’s replace our vast goals with just one or two goals that can really make a real difference in our choices.

Start by relaxing and two-part exercise to work through during the fourth quarter and the upcoming end of year holiday period.

Exercise one: select two words to define this last year. As an individual, 2017 was exciting and a little disconcerting.

Exercise two: select two words to explain how the New Year will be for you. As an individual, 2018 will be amazing and impactful.

How many goals do you currently work on? Is it working for you?

If you need help in accomplishing your goals, let’s talk. schedule a call: www.calendly.com/clifflocks

There’s Just One Key To Happiness

Posted by Cliff Locks On September 29, 2017 at 1:48 pm / In: Uncategorized

There’s Just One Key To Happiness

You’ve possibly heard may be on too many occasions on how you can achieve happiness. As a matter of fact, it seems to be the latest Holy Grail. You already know that the quest for fame or wealth does not lead to happiness. But it is not impossible that you are pondering if it is really necessary to have deep reflections and keep a thankfulness diary in order to attain that much desired happy state. Well, due to a Harvard research that has been closely monitoring the lifestyles of over 700 for almost ten decades, we currently understand that there actually exists just one big key to happiness, do you have an idea of what that is?

There is no other big key to happiness other than interpersonal relationships. In the research, it was discovered that the individuals who have the most robust working relationships were not just happier, they were also healthier. Now these kinds of relationships were not just with spouses and family members but also with best friends and colleagues. Do you ever spend quality time with your friends?  23% percent of Americans admitted to not having anyone to discuss with; how terrible. We   all can do something about this ugly situation.

Let’s spend lesser time with television and spend more qualitative time with people. Obviously, internet relationships have not done to make us happier.

Let’s become more familiar with our neighbors. One of the most important achievements to my personal life this year has been a book society as well as spending time with my neighbors down in the hallway.

Let’s welcome our co-workers to have coffee breaks with us. Relationships in the workplace bring a lot of considerable transformation to our happiness and this is awesome. Study shows that having a high five, fist bump or handshake with friends in the workplace will make the friendship bonds even stronger.

Attaining happiness is actually not too complex. It’s about one basic thing, opening ourselves to others and equally allowing others to open themselves to us.

Thanks for taking time to read this blog post, if you enjoyed it, I highly recommend you share with your loved ones. I’m a professional mentor; enhance up your leadership potential by making an appointment to talk. I look forward to helping you define your vision of success and achieving it. Schedule a Call: www.calendly.com/clifflocks