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Five Challenges with Today’s Elementary Schools and Five Guiding Principles for Future Education

Posted by Cliff Locks On September 19, 2018 at 10:07 am / In: Uncategorized

Five Challenges with Today’s Elementary Schools and Five Guiding Principles for Future Education

As kids worldwide head back to school, I’d like to share some thoughts on the future of education. Without question, the #1 driver for Education = Inspiration.

This blog covers five subjects related to elementary school education:

  1. Five Issues with Today’s Elementary Schools
  2. Five Guiding Principles for Future Education
  3. An Elementary School Curriculum for the Future
  4. Exponential Technologies in our Classroom
  5. Mindsets for the 21st Century

Excuse the length of this blog, but if you have kids, the details might be meaningful. If you don’t, then next week’s blog will return to normal length and another fun subject.

OKAY, let’s dive in…

Five Issues with Today’s Elementary Schools

There are probably lots of issues with today’s traditional elementary schools, but I’ll just choose a few that bother me most.

  1. Grading: In the traditional education system, you start at an “A,” and every time you get something wrong, your score gets lower and lower. At best it’s demotivating, and at worst it has nothing to do with the world you occupy as an adult. In the gaming world (e.g. Angry Birds), it’s just the opposite. You start with zero and every time you come up with something right, your score gets higher and higher.
  2. Sage on the Stage: Most classrooms have a teacher up in front of class lecturing to a classroom of students, half of whom are bored and half of whom are lost. The one-teacher-fits-all model comes from an era of scarcity where great teachers and schools were rare.
  3. Relevance: When I think back to elementary and secondary school, I realize how much of what I learned was never actually useful later in life, and how many of my critical lessons for success I had to pick up on my own. (I don’t know about you, but I haven’t ever actually had to factor a polynomial in my adult life.)
  4. Imagination – Coloring inside the Lines: Probably of greatest concern to me is the factory-worker, industrial-era origin of today’s schools — programs so structured with rote memorization that it squashes the originality from most children. I’m reminded that “the day before something is truly a breakthrough, it’s a crazy idea.” Where do we pursue crazy ideas in our schools? Where do we foster imagination?
  5. Boring: If learning in school is a chore, boring or emotionless, then the most important driver of human learning, passion, is disengaged. Having our children memorize facts and figures, sit passively in class and take mundane standardized tests completely defeats the purpose.

An average of 7,200 students drop out of high school each day, totaling 1.3 million each year. This means only 69% of students who start high school finish four years later. And over 50% of these high school dropouts name boredom as the No. 1 reason they left.

Five Guiding Principles for Future Education:

I imagine a relatively near-term future in which robotics and artificial intelligence will allow any of us, from ages 8 to 108, to easily and quickly find answers, create products or accomplish tasks, all simply by expressing our desires.

From ‘mind to manufactured in moments.’ In short, we’ll be able to do and create almost whatever we want.

In this future, what attributes will be most critical for our children to learn to become successful in their adult lives? What’s most important for educating our children today?

For me it’s about passion, curiosity, imagination, critical thinking and grit.

  1. Passion: You’d be amazed at how many people don’t have a mission in life… A calling… something to jolt them out of bed every morning. The most valuable resource for humanity is the persistent and passionate human mind, so creating a future of passionate kids is so very important. For my 7-year-old boys, I want to support them in finding their passion or purpose… something that is uniquely theirs. In the same way that the Apollo program and Star Trek drove my early love for all things space, and that passion drove me to learn and do.
  2. Curiosity: Curiosity is something innate in kids, yet something lost by most adults during the course of their life. Why? In a world of Google, robots and AI, raising a kid that is constantly asking questions and running “what if” experiments can be extremely valuable. In an age of machine learning, massive data and a trillion sensors, it will be the quality of your questions that will be most important.
  3. Imagination: Entrepreneurs and visionaries imagine the world (and the future) they want to live in, and then they create it. Kids happen to be some of the most imaginative humans around… it’s critical that they know how important and liberating imagination can be.
  4. Critical Thinking: In a world flooded with often-conflicting ideas, baseless claims, misleading headlines, negative news and misinformation, learning the skill of critical thinking helps find the signal in the noise. This principle is perhaps the most difficult to teach kids.
  5. Grit/Persistence: Grit is defined as “passion and perseverance in pursuit of long-term goals,” and it has recently been widely acknowledged as one of the most important predictors of and contributors to success.

Teaching your kids not to give up, to keep trying, and to keep trying new ideas for something that they are truly passionate about achieving is extremely critical. Much of my personal success has come from such stubbornness. I joke that both XPRIZE and the Zero Gravity Corporation were “overnight successes after 10 years of hard work.”

So given those five basic principles, what would an elementary school curriculum look like? Let’s take a look…

An Elementary School Curriculum for the Future

For the purpose of illustration, I’ll speak about ‘courses’ or ‘modules,’ but in reality these are just elements that would ultimately be woven together throughout the course of K-6 education.

Module 1: Storytelling/Communications

When I think about the skill that has served me best in life, it’s been my ability to present my ideas in the most compelling fashion possible, to get others onboard, and support birth and growth in an innovative direction. In my adult life, as an entrepreneur and a CEO, it’s been my ability to communicate clearly and tell compelling stories that has allowed me to create the future. I don’t think this lesson can start too early in life. So imagine a module, year after year, where our kids learn the art and practice of formulating and pitching their ideas. The best of oration and storytelling. Perhaps children in this class would watch TED presentations, or maybe they’d put together their own TEDx for kids. Ultimately, it’s about practice and getting comfortable with putting yourself and your ideas out there and overcoming any fears of public speaking.

Module 2: Passions

A modern school should help our children find and explore their passion(s). Passion is the greatest gift of self-discovery. It is a source of interest and excitement, and is unique to each child.

The key to finding passion is exposure. Allowing kids to experience as many adventures, careers and passionate adults as possible. Historically, this was limited by the reality of geography and cost, implemented by having local moms and dads presenting in class about their careers. “Hi, I’m Alan, Billy’s dad, and I’m an accountant. Accountants are people who…”

But in a world of YouTube and virtual reality, the ability for our children to explore 500 different possible careers or passions during their K-6 education becomes not only possible but compelling. I imagine a module where children share their newest passion each month, sharing videos (or VR experiences) and explaining what they love and what they’ve learned.

Module 3: Curiosity & Experimentation

Einstein famously said, “I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.” Curiosity is innate in children, and many times lost later in life. Arguably, it can be said that curiosity is responsible for all major scientific and technological advances — the desire of an individual to know the truth.

Coupled with curiosity is the process of experimentation and discovery. The process of asking questions, creating and testing a hypothesis, and repeated experimentation until the truth is found. As I’ve studied the most successful entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial companies, from Google and Amazon to Uber, their success is significantly due to their relentless use of experimentation to define their products and services.

Here I imagine a module which instills in children the importance of curiosity and gives them permission to say, “I don’t know, let’s find out.”

Further, a monthly module that teaches children how to design and execute valid and meaningful experiments. Imagine children who learn the skill of asking a question, proposing a hypothesis, designing an experiment, gathering the data and then reaching a conclusion.

Module 4: Persistence/Grit

Doing anything big, bold and significant in life is hard work. You can’t just give up when the going gets rough. The mindset of persistence, of grit, is a learned behavior and I believe can be taught at an early age, especially when it’s tied to pursuing a child’s passion.

I imagine a curriculum that, each week, studies the career of a great entrepreneur and highlights their story of persistence. It would highlight the individuals and companies that stuck with it, iterated and ultimately succeeded.

Further, I imagine a module that combines persistence and experimentation in gameplay such as that found in Dean Kamen’s FIRST LEGO league, where 4th graders (and up) research a real-world problem such as food safety, recycling, energy and so on, and are challenged to develop a solution. They also must design, build and program a robot using LEGO MINDSTORMS®, then compete on a tabletop playing field.

Module 5: Technology Exposure

In a world of rapidly accelerating technology, understanding how technologies work, what they do and their potential for benefiting society is, in my humble opinion, critical to a child’s future. Technology and coding (more on this below) are the new “lingua franca” of tomorrow.

In this module, I imagine teaching (age appropriate) kids through play and demonstration. Giving them an overview of exponential technologies such as computation, sensors, networks, artificial intelligence, digital manufacturing, genetic engineering, augmented/virtual reality and robotics, to name a few. This module is not about making a child an expert in any technology, it’s more about giving them the language of these new tools, and conceptually an overview of how they might use such a technology in the future. The goal here is to get them excited, give them demonstrations that make the concepts stick, and then to let their imaginations run.

Module 6: Empathy

Empathy, defined as “the ability to understand and share the feelings of another,” has been recognized as one of the most critical skills for our children today. And while there has been much written, and great practices for instilling this at home and in school, today’s new tools accelerate this.

Virtual reality isn’t just about video games anymore. Artists, activists and journalists now see the technology’s potential to be an empathy engine, one that can shine spotlights on everything from the Ebola epidemic to what it’s like to live in Gaza. And Jeremy Bailenson has been at the vanguard of investigating VR’s power for good.

For more than a decade, Bailenson’s lab at Stanford has been studying how VR can make us better people. Through the power of VR, volunteers at the lab have felt what it is like to be Superman (to see if it makes them more helpful), a cow (to reduce meat consumption) and even a coral (to learn about ocean acidification).

Silly as they might seem, these sorts of VR scenarios could be more effective than the traditional public service ad at making people behave. Afterwards, they waste less paper. They save more money for retirement. They’re nicer to the people around them. And this could have consequences in terms of how we teach and train everyone from cliquey teenagers to high court judges.

Module 7: Ethics/Moral Dilemmas

Related to empathy, and equally important, is the goal of infusing kids with a moral compass. Over a year ago, I toured a special school created by Elon Musk (the Ad Astra school) for his five boys (age 9 to 14). One element that is persistent in that small school of under 40 kids is the conversation about ethics and morals, a conversation manifested by debating real-world scenarios that our kids may one day face.

Here’s an example of the sort of gameplay/roleplay that I heard about at Ad Astra, that might be implemented in a module on morals and ethics. Imagine a small town on a lake, in which the majority of the town is employed by a single factory. But that factory has been polluting the lake and killing all the life. What do you do? It’s posed that shutting down the factory would mean that everyone loses their jobs. On the other hand, keeping the factory open means the lake is destroyed and the lake dies. This kind of regular and routine conversation/gameplay allows the children to see the world in a critically important fashion.

Module 8: The 3R Basics (Reading, wRiting & aRithmetic)

There’s no question that young children entering kindergarten need the basics of reading, writing and math. The only question is what’s the best way for them to get it? We all grew up in the classic mode of a teacher at the chalkboard, books and homework at night. But I would argue that such teaching approaches are long outdated, now replaced with apps, gameplay and the concept of the flip classroom.

Pioneered by high school teachers Jonathan Bergman and Aaron Sams in 2007, the flipped classroom reverses the sequence of events from that of the traditional classroom.

Students view lecture materials, usually in the form of video lectures, as homework prior to coming to class. In-class time is reserved for activities such as interactive discussions or collaborative work — all performed under the guidance of the teacher.

The benefits are clear:

  1. Students can consume lectures at their own pace, viewing the video again and again until they get the concept, or fast-forwarding if the information is obvious.
  2. The teacher is present while students apply new knowledge. Doing the homework into class time gives teachers insight into which concepts, if any, that their students are struggling with and helps them adjust the class accordingly.
  3. The flipped classroom produces tangible results: 71% of teachers who flipped their classes noticed improved grades, and 80% reported improved student attitudes as a result.

Module 9: Creative Expression & Improvisation

Every single one of us is creative. It’s human nature to be creative… the thing is that we each might have different ways of expressing our creativity.

We must encourage kids to discover and to develop their creative outlets early. In this module, imagine showing kids the many different ways creativity is expressed — from art to engineering to music to math — and then guiding them as they choose the area (or areas) they are most interested in. Critically, teachers (or parents) can then develop unique lessons for each child based on their interests, thanks to open education resources like YouTube and the Khan Academy. If my child is interested in painting and robots, a teacher or AI could scour the Web and put together a custom lesson set from videos/articles where the best painters and roboticists in the world share their skills.

Adapting to change is critical for success, especially in our constantly changing world today. Improvisation is a skill that can be learned, and we need to be teaching it early.

In most collegiate “improv” classes, the core of great improvisation is the “Yes, And…” mindset. When acting out a scene, one actor might introduce a new character or idea, completely changing the context of the scene. It’s critical that the other actors in the scene say “Yes, and…” accept the new reality, then add something new of their own.

Imagine playing similar role-play games in elementary schools, where a teacher gives the students a scene/context and constantly changes variables, forcing them to adapt and play.

Module 10: Coding

Computer science opens more doors for students than any other discipline in today’s world. Learning even the basics will help students in virtually any career, from architecture to zoology.

Coding is an important tool for computer science, in the way that arithmetic is a tool for doing mathematics and words are a tool for English. Coding creates software, but computer science is a broad field encompassing deep concepts that go well beyond coding.

Every 21st century student should also have a chance to learn about algorithms, how to make an app or how the Internet works. Computational thinking allows preschoolers to grasp concepts like algorithms, recursion and heuristics — even if they don’t understand the terms, they’ll learn the basic concepts.

There are more than 500,000 open jobs in computing right now, representing the No. 1 source of new wages in the United States, and these jobs are projected to grow at twice the rate of all other jobs.

Coding is fun! Beyond the practical reasons for learning how to code, there’s the fact that creating a game or animation can be really fun for kids.

Module 11: Entrepreneurship & Sales

At its core, entrepreneurship is about identifying a problem (an opportunity), developing a vision on how to solve it, and working with a team to turn that vision into reality. I mentioned Elon’s school, Ad Astra: here, again, entrepreneurship is a core discipline where students create and actually sell products and services to each other and the school community.

You could recreate this basic exercise with a group of kids in lots of fun ways to teach them the basic lessons of entrepreneurship.

Related to entrepreneurship is sales. In my opinion, we need to be teaching sales to every child at an early age. Being able to “sell” an idea (again related to storytelling) has been a critical skill in my career, and it is a competency that many people simply never learned.

The lemonade stand has been a classic, though somewhat meager, lesson in sales from past generations, where a child sits on a street corner and tries to sell homemade lemonade for $0.50 to people passing by. I’d suggest we step the game up and take a more active approach in gamifying sales, and maybe having the classroom create a Kickstarter, Indiegogo or GoFundMe campaign. The experience of creating a product or service and successfully selling it will create an indelible memory and give students the tools to change the world.

Module 12: Language

A little over a year ago, I spent a week in China meeting with parents whose focus on kids’ education is extraordinary. One of the areas I found fascinating is how some of the most advanced parents are teaching their kids new languages: through games. On the tablet, the kids are allowed to play games, but only in French. A child’s desire to win fully engages them and drives their learning rapidly.

Beyond games, there’s virtual reality. We know that full immersion is what it takes to become fluent (at least later in life). A semester abroad in France or Italy, and you’ve got a great handle on the language and the culture. But what about for an 8-year-old?

Imagine a module where for an hour each day, the children spend their time walking around Italy in a VR world, hanging out with AI-driven game characters who teach them, engage them, and share the culture and the language in the most personalized and compelling fashion possible.

Bottom line, how we educate our kids needs to radically change given the massive potential of exponential tech (e.g. artificial intelligence and Virtual Reality), per Peter Diamandis and he is right!

Contributor: Peter Diamandis

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

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

RETIREMENT PLANNING: WILL I EVER RETIRE?

Posted by Cliff Locks On July 18, 2018 at 10:04 am / In: Uncategorized

RETIREMENT PLANNING: WILL I EVER RETIRE?

The term retirement is something that really frightens many executives, will I have sufficient money when I’m retired? What will be my daily activities after I retired? This blog will make retirement a little less frightening experience. Retirement is a great beginning and not a miserable end. You maybe asking yourself are people still going to retire? I think the word retirement has gone through a lot of transformations and needs to be redefined. In times past, retirement was all about picking that expensive gold watch and going on vacation and then relaxing in your backyard when you retuned from your vacation.  Well a lot has changed, and we are no longer inclined towards that direction. Our society has become multi-tasking and highly energized and people have no wish to slow down. Though they still go on retirement, but retirement now has a whole new meaning. So, what are people supposed to do? For individuals that are above the age of 50 like me, what are we supposed to do to get prepared for retirement? Well to start with, you need to revisit all your dreams and wishes and every other thing you promised yourself but have not been able to be accomplished, its time you picked them up and say “now I can make all these a reality” then you carefully analyze them to see what is realistically achievable and those that are not so feasible. Maybe your dream was to buy and RV and see America’s National Parks, is that still achievable? Or you need to just make few changes and to make it achievable and then you commence preparing for it. Well many of us are not prepared to start thinking about it yet; however, we have retired parents, so how can we be of assistance to them at this stage of their lives? My Dad is 90 years old and my Mom is in her late 80’s. It’s about family looking after them, in my case, I have four siblings and we are all involved in a gentle and supportive manner. My folks are still residing in the home I grew up in and enjoying life. Yes, they’ve slowed down somewhat; as their 11 grandchildren get married they attend all the weddings. You may know I’m industry Supply Chain expert with a concentration in Reverse Logistics. Well my Mom is defiantly driving volume of product returns. She loves shopping at Costco, Walmart, and Amazon, she must be returning 60%+ of her purchases. I have a hypothesis that product returns are more prevalent in our senior population. As the Baby Boomers retire, yes there are 65.2 million of us. The Reverse Logistics industry should be seeing a huge up tick in business. Let’s get back to your needs. Well, you must start by analyzing your present mental and financial state, to be sure your prepared. Don’t do it alone, if you need someone to talk to reach out to me. Remember it’s a new starting point, for the very first time in your life; you’ll be presented a wonderful opportunity for change in your life, you can go wherever you wish, do anything you want, assist other family and friends, realize that this an amazing time in your life and a start with an awesome stage of your life with limitless freedom and possibilities. Okay so when we finally retired, how are we supposed to start our lives in retirement? I believe it’s something that calls for celebration; you should celebrate yourself after several decades of putting in hard work into your careers and raising your families. A lot of positive attitude can go a long way. Please keep me in mind for senior executive engagements, board openings and coaching. 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

NEED MORE TIME IN YOUR DAY?

Posted by Cliff Locks On June 27, 2018 at 10:08 am / In: Uncategorized

NEED MORE TIME IN YOUR DAY?

Are you battling with shortage of time to accomplish all your set targets for the day? Most executives do complain of having to attend to many meetings daily that they have little time to carry out their work. If you belong to this category, I have found a way out for you: To start with, cultivate the habit of delegating some of your meetings; get a team member who will gain from such experience and exposure. Ensure that you fully briefed the team member about your expectations beforehand and arrange how you will handle whatever feedbacks arising from the meeting. Following that, you need to schedule and plan your working hours.  Working shouldn’t be left to when your calendar has a free space. If there should be any free space, another will surely schedule meeting for such moment, therefore, planned your time consciously. The periods you would like to be busy with work marked such moments in color and ensure that it becomes sacrosanct and unchangeable. When you deliberately planned your working periods, you will soon realize that you have extra hours to put to productive use. Please keep me in mind for full-time and consultative 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

SALARY NEGOTIATION EXPERTISE

Posted by Cliff Locks On June 13, 2018 at 10:04 am / In: Uncategorized

SALARY NEGOTIATION EXPERTISE

In our country today, any discussion about money is a forbidden topic, it generally seems that we are more willing to discuss about our personal lives much more than our finances, but then, if we don’t find it at ease to discussing financial matters, we will never receive the kind of salary that we merit. I’ll share some secrets of salary negotiation and at the end of this blog post give you a powerful tool as my a personal gift to you. Why do we find it so difficult to have any meaningful discussion about our salaries and have the confidence to negotiate our remuneration? I believe that the major thing that is required of people is to have the mindset for negotiating salary. For whatever reason, most people don’t know that when they are searching for jobs that they are free to reject the offer proposed by their employers and make a counteroffer or maybe they lack the boldness to do such, but several organizations usually anticipate that a counteroffer will be made.  Let’s apply this to another area of our lives, you can’t enter a car dealership and requested for the price of a new vehicle, and they told you it is going to cost you $55,000; actually, you won’t say “that sounds fantastic.” No, because they anticipate a counter offer from you. Therefore you have to bring in your knowledge and negotiate till you arrive at a sensible figure. The same thing is applicable while job hunting, but here people tend to forget their negotiation skills… a research conducted on LinkedIn reveals that 39% individuals were very nervous about negotiating their salary. Are there any moments we should refrain from negotiating salary? Definitely yes, if you are undergoing a lateral move, or you are enrolling for an executive training program with a pre-stated salary which absolutely nothing can change, however, it has little to do with bad timing; it’s more about people carrying out their negotiation with the wrong approach Are you maybe asking what are we not getting right while negotiating our salaries? Here are some mistakes that people make. To start with, most people don’t carry out an adequate background research, since you are quite aware that you will have to negotiate your salary, you need to get adequate information, it is your best ally, the more information you can get about the market value of your skills, the better you will be able to negotiate Furthermore, many people tend to be extremely emotional while negotiating, the fact is you are not pleading to geta salary increase, you are not requesting for pay raise, and you are not stamping your feet and giving deadlines; it is purely a business judgment supported by research. But many individuals tend to turn it extremely personal. Pay attention, if you happen to be a middle manager trying to land your first C-level employment. Well that you still have a mortgage, saving for your kid’s college and a car payment, and your financially tight this is not a reason to request for extra pay. And if you happen to be older and are preparing for buying a summer home you’ve probably got your original mortgage obligation or whatever doesn’t compel your company to pay you more. They will only pay you according to the value you provide them. Here are my suggestions and strategies so you can get our deserved remunerations. People need to get back to do their research work; the more time you have to do this, the better. Let me give you a quick instance, I was having a discussion with this lawyer who happens to be a public defender but moved to a private firm and was given a pay increase of $20,000, well that’s fantastic I said, it’s a good offer. Will you put in a counteroffer? But then she took a good look at me and was like; it seems you didn’t hear what I said; I’m getting extra $20,000! And that is not dependent on the present salary; I became very curious made some findings, I discovered that the take-home pay of an average public defender is $50,000; also, the salary paid by an average private firm is $80,000. Therefore, while she might have gotten a pay increase of $20,000, but she was still poorly paid, and the sad part is that some bigger firms and firms in big cities might pay as much as $160,000 which means people are missing out on thousands of dollars. One more strategy I’ll like to recommend is that when you are not given any specific figure, its better you allow them to quote a figure first. Therefore, if they request you to state your requirements, you may put it back to them by asking them the kind of budget they have in mind. And to my last final advice, when you are seeking a pay raise, I want to emphasize again that you need to be well-equipped with information, and you should take note of that, make a record of all your achievements. That doesn’t require you to subject your resumes to weekly updates but take special note of those occasions when you receive a commendation from your boss, take special note of when you successfully negotiated a massive deal, note when you agreed to new contract, take special note of when you were very popular, ensure you accurately outlined the figures and what new skills you can bring to the table when making request for that pay raise, and don’t just end it there, use PowerPoint and Excel to state your case, build a convincing and accurate portfolio of your work and display it on your tablet or laptop to allow you to easily access, pass an information across and make a lasting impression. The Basic Principles of Effective Salary Negotiations Three presuppositions of this principle are:
  • Labor is an intangible
  • Salary relates to the level of responsibility
  • Employees must make more money for the company than they cost.
How much am I worth? Is only what’s fair and competitive for the quantity and quality of work you contribute. And since your contributions can be greater or less than another person’s in that same job, what’s fair and competitive is not a fixed price, but a range. You should aim for the top of that range. When you examine your present compensation or look at a new salary, consider holding this attitude: When I’m paid the very best my skills can get in this company in this market, I’m fairly compensated. That’s the basic principle of effective salary negotiations. It helps ensure that both sides will be happy. Good negotiations, after all, are always win-win negotiations. You don’t have to sweat it out; you can use my great resource ‘Negotiating your Salary, How to Make $1,000 @ Minute.’ (PDF) Visit Please keep me in mind for full-time and consultative 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

Cliff Locks joins Angel Investor’s Network as a podcast host.

Posted by Cliff Locks On May 30, 2018 at 10:06 am / In: Uncategorized

Cliff Locks joins Angel Investor’s Network as a podcast host.

I interview Scot Hunsaker CEO of the Ardent Group in St. Louis and author of Heroic Ownership: Build You Team, Plan Your Exit, Create Your Legacy. Podcast Angel Investors Network Podcast with Cliff Locks Ardent Group helps business owners prepare for a healthy succession and teaches their employees how to think like owners. His new book is available on Amazon and will help ensure your business a sustainable legacy. Please keep me in mind for full-time and consultative 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.

PERSONAL BRANDING GETTING EASIER

Posted by Cliff Locks On May 23, 2018 at 10:07 am / In: Uncategorized

PERSONAL BRANDING GETTING EASIER

I enjoy being an innovative pacesetter. I’m very fortunate that I have six special advisers that are on the ground to keep me abreast of the latest developments and that means I can keep up with what is trending globally in my fields of interests, which I’ve listed and is part of my branding message. Branding and Social Media   ♦ Artificial Intelligence ♦ Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and Immersive Technology ♦ Big Data ♦ Biotechnology and Nanotechnology ♦ Business Intelligence ♦ Composites ♦ Cybersecurity ♦ Fuel Cell Technology ♦ Internet of Things (IoT) ♦ SaaS Enterprise Software ♦ Sales and Marketing Growth Hacking ♦ Smart Grid and Battery Storage ♦ Social Media Software ♦ Supply Chain and Reverse Logistics You may be asking yourself what is personal branding. Let’s take a deeper dive, the majority of executives have given serious consideration to their brand, in fact, you may never thought you needed to pay attention to it. But the world has gone through a lot of changes, and we now have a high level of competition, and if we want to achieve success, we must stand out from the crowd. We have to distinguish ourselves and get ourselves established, and if we are going to achieve that, we need to have a brand and since people now know that branding is very important for their business. Therefore, imagine yourself in a social function where you have a chance of making acquaintances and developing new business partnerships, and you have a business card with your photo on it. When you give it to people, they will, of course, be pleasantly surprised as it much easier for you to be rememberable, right? Now think about adding your LinkedIn profile web address to make it easier to connect. In fact, to any information, you wish like your social media links. Therefore it’s a terrific way to refer people whatever you are offering. I’ve taken time to get educated and gain an incredibly deep understanding of social media. I believe the use of video is extremely hot right now, and it’s even getting hotter. An excellent way to get your message across to those who need to hear you by making use of videos. And think about it, you need to pass information to your boss, your team is scattered across the globe, and you must communicate with them, and you want to present yourself to people online beyond the written letters, how can you achieve this? Videos! It’s a powerful tool that enables you to be communicative completely; it enables you to bond emotionally with other people, it is far superior to your regular reviews, email messages and what have you. Therefore, it provides you a superior platform, and a means to be unique. Several individuals would say that videos make them uncomfortable, facing a camera makes them feel awkward; but we’re getting a lot more accustomed to it, right. We’re carrying out Skype and Zoom calls with colleagues and family, and so it’s a kind of desensitization; get yourself accustomed to it, you’ll be fantastic on video, and right now it is making all the difference. It’s time you have to come on board. Many thanks for viewing this blog. Please share with your friends and colleagues. I look forward to being your professional Advisor and Board Member and would enjoy working with you to enhance your leadership skills. Please click on the chat app on the lower right or use this link to schedule a call www.calendly.com/clifflocks together to help you fulfill your vision of success and opportunities for you and your company to achieve its goals

DO YOU DREAD NETWORKING?

Posted by Cliff Locks On May 2, 2018 at 10:02 am / In: Uncategorized

DO YOU DREAD NETWORKING?

Networking activities, they could be very unpleasant, right? And we imagine we’re the only one who always feels stressed about networking. Everybody appears to be familiar with somebody; everybody else has somebody to talk with. Should you stop attending company functions and seminars? Absolutely not! Careers are developed on connections, and when we interact with executives far from our office, environment, there is the opportunity to reenergize and become innovative. I teach you four strategies to get your networking considerably less unpleasant. Irrespective of your knowledge or position, most individuals hate networking, why should this be the case? Personally, I think, networking is extremely ambiguous. Therefore I will reveal to you the strategies that will assist you in making networking a lot more exciting experience for you. To start with, have a particular objective. Do you wish to connect with one individual, or possibly two or more people? Secondly, go with a friend. This will assist you to divide and defeat. What exactly do I mean by that? Surely, to start with, entering into the function is a lot more exciting and secondly, you may separate, and as you’re circulating and talk with people, you could introduce one another to the people you’ve met. Recommendation three, how exactly do you initiate a discussion? There exists an unwritten law that says when you notice two people discussing, you stay out of the way. It might be a confidential discussion. However, if you notice 3 or more people, move close to the company, create eye contact with somebody and put on a smile. Should they make eye contact and also smile back, that is certainly their nonverbal signal that it’s fine for you to join them. As soon as you join the party, introduce yourself and get involved in the discussion. Or else people would believe you’re only there to listen without making any useful contribution. Now how can you make a great discussion, honest discussion? Ask questions, for instance, ask people what brought them to that venue, ask them if they have attended that event on previous occasions and also the major reason why they are at the event. And suggestion number four, how can you get out of a discussion? Share company cards, ask the individual if it’s possible for you to get in touch with them at some future date or simply excuse yourself. Here is a bonus – number five, read ‘How to Win Friends & Influence People’: by Dale Carnegie, you’ll quickly enjoy these 12 points, which I’ll elaborate on.
  1. Get you out of a mental rut, give you new thoughts, new visions, new ambitions.
  2. Enable you to make friends quickly and easily.
  3. Increase your popularity.
  4. Help you to win people to your way of thinking.
  5. Increase your influence, your prestige, your ability to get things done.
  6. Enable you to win new clients, new customers.
  7. Increase your earning power.
  8. Make you a better salesman, a better executive.
  9. Help you to handle complaints, avoid arguments, keep your human contacts smooth and pleasant.
  10. Make you a better speaker, a more entertaining conversationalist.
  11. Make the principles of psychology easy for you to apply in your daily contacts.
  12. Help you to arouse enthusiasm among your associates.

Fundamental Techniques in Handling People

  1. Don’t criticize, condemn, or complain. Human nature does not like to admit fault. When people are criticized or humiliated, they rarely respond well and will often become defensive and resent their critic. To handle people well, we must never criticize, condemn or complain because it will never result in the behavior we desire.
  2. Give honest and sincere appreciation. Appreciation is one of the most powerful tools in the world. People will rarely work at their maximum potential under criticism, but honest appreciation brings out their best. Appreciation, though, is not simple flattery, it must be sincere, meaningful and with love.
  3. Arouse in the other person an eager want. To get what we want from another person, we must forget our own perspective and begin to see things from the point of view of others. When we can combine our desires with their wants, they become eager to work with us and we can mutually achieve our objectives.

Six Ways to Make People Like You

  1. Become genuinely interested in other people. “You can make more friends in two months by being interested in them, than in two years by making them interested in you.” The only way to make quality, lasting friendships is to learn to be genuinely interested in them and their interests.
  2. Smile. Happiness does not depend on outside circumstances, but rather on inward attitudes. Smiles are free to give and have an amazing ability to make others feel wonderful. Smile in everything that you do.
  3. Remember that a person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language. “The average person is more interested in their own name than in all the other names in the world put together.” People love their names so much that they will often donate large amounts of money just to have a building named after themselves. We can make people feel extremely valued and important by remembering their name.
  4. Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves. The easiest way to become a good conversationalist is to become a good listener. To be a good listener, we must actually care about what people have to say. Many times people don’t want an entertaining conversation partner; they just want someone who will listen to them.
  5. Talk in terms of the other person’s interest. The royal road to a person’s heart is to talk about the things he or she treasures most. If we talk to people about what they are interested in, they will feel valued and value us in return.
  6. Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely. The golden rule is to treat other people how we would like to be treated. We love to feel important and so does everyone else. People will talk to us for hours if we allow them to talk about themselves. If we can make people feel important in a sincere and appreciative way, then we will win all the friends we could ever dream of.

Twelve Ways to Win People to Your Way of Thinking

  1. The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it. Whenever we argue with someone, no matter if we win or lose the argument, we still lose. The other person will either feel humiliated or strengthened and will only seek to bolster their own position. We must try to avoid arguments whenever we can.
  2. Show respect for the other person’s opinions. Never say “You’re wrong.” We must never tell people flat out that they are wrong. It will only serve to offend them and insult their pride. No one likes to be humiliated, we must not be so blunt.
  3. If you’re wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically. Whenever we are wrong we should admit it immediately. When we fight we never get enough, but by yielding we often get more than we expected. When we admit that we are wrong people trust us and begin to sympathize with our way of thinking.
  4. Begin in a friendly way. “A drop of honey can catch more flies than a gallon of gall.” If we begin our interactions with others in a friendly way, people will be more receptive. Even if we are greatly upset, we must be friendly to influence people to our way of thinking.
  5. Start with questions to which the other person will answer yes. Do not begin by emphasizing the aspects in which we and the other person differ. Begin by emphasizing and continue emphasizing the things on which we agree. People must be started in the affirmative direction and they will often follow readily. Never tell someone they are wrong, but rather lead them where we would like them to go with questions that they will answer “yes” to.
  6. Let the other person do a great deal of the talking. People do not like listening to us boast, they enjoy doing the talking themselves. Let them rationalize and talk about the idea, because it will taste much sweeter to them in their own mouth.
  7. Let the other person feel the idea is his or hers. People inherently like ideas they come to on their own better than those that are handed to them on a platter. Ideas can best be carried out by allowing others to think they arrived at it themselves.
  8. Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view. Other people may often be wrong, but we cannot condemn them. We must seek to understand them. Success in dealing with people requires a sympathetic grasp of the other person’s viewpoint.
  9. Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires. People are hungering for sympathy. They want us to recognize all that they desire and feel. If we can sympathize with others, they will appreciate our side as well and will often come around to our way of thinking.
  10. Appeal to the nobler motives. Everyone likes to be glorious in their own eyes. People believe that they do things for noble and morally upright reasons. If we can appeal to others’ noble motives we can successfully convince them to follow our ideas.
  11. Dramatize your ideas. In this fast paced world, simply stating a truth isn’t enough. The truth must be made vivid, interesting, and dramatic. Television has been doing it for years. Sometimes ideas are not enough and we must dramatize them.
  12. Throw down a challenge. The thing that most motivates people is the game. Everyone desires to excel and prove their worth. If we want someone to do something, we must give them a challenge and they will often rise to meet it.

Be a Leader: How to Change People Without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment

  1. Begin with praise and honest appreciation. People will do things begrudgingly for criticism and an iron-fisted leader, but they will work wonders when they are praised and appreciated.
  2. Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly. No one likes to make mistakes, especially in front of others. Scolding and blaming only serves to humiliate. If we subtly and indirectly show people mistakes, they will appreciate us and be more likely to improve.
  3. Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person. When something goes wrong, taking responsibility can help win others to your side. People do not like to shoulder all the blame and taking credit for mistakes helps to remove the sting from our critiques of others.
  4. Ask questions instead of giving direct orders. No one likes to take orders. If we offer suggestions, rather than orders, it will boost others confidence and allow them to learn quickly from their mistakes.
  5. Let the other person save face. Nothing diminishes the dignity of a man quite like an insult to his pride. If we don’t condemn our employees in front of others and allow them to save face, they will be motivated to do better in the future and confident that they can.
  6. Praise every improvement. People love to receive praise and admiration. If we truly want someone to improve at something, we must praise their every advance. “Abilities wither under criticism, they blossom under encouragement.”
  7. Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to. If we give people a great reputation to live up to, they will desire to embody the characteristics with which we have described them. People will work with vigor and confidence if they believe they can be better.
  8. Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct. If a desired outcome seems like a momentous task, people will give up and lose heart. But if a fault seems easy to correct, they will readily jump at the opportunity to improve. If we frame objectives as small and easy improvements, we will see dramatic increases in desire and success in our employees.
  9. Make the other person happy about doing what you suggest. People will most often respond well when they desire to do the behavior put forth. If we want to influence people and become effective leaders, we must learn to frame our desires in terms of others’ desires.
Many thanks for viewing this blog. Please share with your friends and colleagues. I look forward to being your professional Advisor and Board Member and would enjoy working with you to enhance your leadership skills. Please click on the chat app on the lower right or use this link to schedule a call www.calendly.com/clifflocks together to help you fulfill your vision of success and opportunities for you and your company to achieve its goals.

Ditch Your 2018 Smart Goals

Posted by Cliff Locks On January 17, 2018 at 10:04 am / In: Uncategorized

Ditch Your 2018 Smart Goals

I’m going to commit a corporate profanation right now in this blog and this is it, I really hate the word “smart goals”. You might have got to know about it probably from one of the professional development trainers in your office. They often tell you to have smart goals, what does that mean? S means Specific M means Measurable, A means Accountable R means Relevant or Reliable, T means timely or Time bound. In all honesty, how many of you have tried out these five criteria in a different environment apart from a corporate setting? It is really intricate. Let’s stick with the basics and concentrate on achieving our goals and not just setting them. It is the moment to enhance your goal. First step: Consider the numbers. What is the number in regards to new clients acquisition and reduced churn? How much will this equate into increased revenue? Second step: Note it down, have it written down and post it in a place that you can easily see it every day. Third Step: Be responsible and seek assistance from your team, advisors and your board. When you are focused and approach things simply, you will get your goals accomplished. Many thanks for taking time to read this blog, if you enjoyed it, I highly recommend you share with your loved ones and colleagues, by kindly forwarding it, 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 www.InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com and click on the chat app on the lower right, or use this link to schedule a call www.calendly.com/clifflocks so we can schedule time together to help you fulfill your vision of success and opportunities help your company achieve its goals.  

An Easier Way To Succeed In 2018

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

An Easier Way To Succeed In 2018

Achieving more success usually seems like a great deal of work. On a daily basis, there is always a new book I come across having a three-point approach, a five-point approach, or ten proven ways to make progress at work. Now if you resemble me in any manner, number one, you are way behind in your reading and number two, you are very much still enthusiastic for additional success this year. I’ve uncovered a lazy approach to be successful and supported by research, no books, and no tricks. You will really like just how simple it truly is to be successful this year. All of us take great pride in ourselves on how special we are, however research reveals that we are who we are mainly because of the type of people around us . Those around us impact our actions beyond what we can even imagine. Consider it in this way; if you want to drop 10 lbs. this year, do you suppose you’re very likely to shed it if you are associating with your best pal who also wishes to shake off 10 lbs. or with a new guy that has actually succeeded in losing 10, and possibly 15 lbs. Research reveals that the biggest impact on our conduct and our professional achievements is people we associated with. So, what exactly is the lazy approach to transform your life this year? It’s easy, spend time with the people you wish to become like. Below are 3 suggestions to assist you achieving that. 1) Pick a senior colleague to have lunch with; somebody at the workplace that you esteem. 2) Create a new friend from somebody, an individual you’ve been appreciating from a distance for some time. 3) Be part of a group that is already doing something you want to do as participating in a group will certainly make things simpler to accomplish. And when you’re being lazy and creating positive transformations in your life this year, realize that any decision you make; regardless if it’s on working smarter, becoming more fit or voting intelligently will have a ripple and influence hundreds and possibly thousands of people. Many thanks for taking time to read this blog, if you enjoyed it, I highly recommend you share with your loved ones and colleagues, by kindly forwarding it, 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 www.InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com and click on the chat app on the lower right, or use this link to schedule a call www.calendly.com/clifflocks so we can schedule time together to help you fulfill your vision of success and opportunities help your company achieve its goals.

Ditch The Resolutions

Posted by Cliff Locks On December 27, 2017 at 10:06 am / In: Uncategorized

Ditch The Resolutions

This past year, did you make any New Year’s decision or resolution? Were you able to fulfill it? I mean seriously stand by it for the full year? If you were able to keep your resolution, well done, since you succeeded in defying a very difficult reality as far as making resolutions is concerned. New Year’s resolutions have relatively great chances for failure and it’s not surprising, we have a tendency to make these huge hairy audacious resolutions and we neglect to prepare the required support we need to stick to them constantly for the whole year. This year, dump the resolutions; rather take action that research shows will make you happier in 2017. Studies have discovered little things that we could accomplish conveniently. Things that truly illuminate the happiness centers in our brain, I’m going to break the rules, in respect of 2018, I have chosen 16 things that you could pick from to ensure a satisfaction boost. I decided on that many because I want to ensure there is one or more that resounds with you individually. Don’t be anxious; I will go through every one of them in a moment and just, so you understand, I have selected number 9 as the most important that will make me happier in 2017. I want to know which one you choose to make you happier. Here we go 16 modest things that will cause you to be happier in 2018. Number 1: be inquisitive. Ask many questions. It is the first skill to improve your network. Number 2: be on your own. Everybody requires some periods of tranquility, Create out some me moment to experience happiness and become effective. Number 3: clean up your desk. Get rid of the piles, put something attractive on your desk, and allow it to become a spot in which you delight in spending time. Number 4: give assistance to somebody. Give your assistance to a person that really needs it but may not have asked you. Number 5: eat healthier. Take a Greek yogurt rather than a donut, a fruit rather than a cookie, water rather than soda. Number 6: be a student. Discover a new challenge, it is going to rejuvenate your brain and make you feel even more proficient. Number 7: show appreciation openly. Say it many times daily and allow other people hear. Number 8: say your thanks silently. Each day take a peaceful time to be grateful for a good thing in your life. Number 9: communicate with your family. Give a call to your folks or siblings or somebody important in your life that requires your attention. Number 10: take a chance. Attempt something new or maybe something even frightening. Number 11: move around more, look for excuses to escape from your desk, use the stairs rather than the elevator. Number 12: do little acts of kindness; help someone with a cup of coffee, help someone open the elevator door; assist someone with a suitcase on the subway staircases. Number 13: endorse someone on LinkedIn. You don’t have to wait until you are asked, do it your own volition. Number 14: donate your money to a good cause. If there is a cause that is really important to you, spend your money on it. Number 15: give someone a gift. According to psychologists, we are often happier when we give someone a gift than we are mainly concerned about ourselves. And number 16: Laugh; the more you laugh, the happier you will become. Wishing you a wonderful holidays and a great year ahead! Many thanks for taking time to read this blog, if you enjoyed it, I highly recommend you share with your loved ones and colleagues, by kindly forwarding it, 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 www.InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com and click on the chat app on the lower right, or use this link to schedule a call www.calendly.com/clifflocks so we can schedule time together to help you fulfill your vision of success and opportunities help your company achieve its goals.

Executive Testing Overdose

Posted by Cliff Locks On December 20, 2017 at 10:05 am / In: Uncategorized

Executive Testing Overdose

  Every one of us concur that it is extremely vital to have an idea of what others think of us in our place of work, and this is the more reason why evaluations, often known as multi-raters or 360 have grown widespread as well as commercialized. However, my question is; can taking numerous 360 or multi meter evaluations hamper, instead of assistance the executives? I was in this executive office the other day when he opened this file drawer, and right inside were about 15 or probably 20 evaluations. These include but not limited to DISK, EQ, MBTI, leadership efficacy, competencies, strengths, half brain, whole brain, social status and whatever you can imagine, everything was there. I’m quite familiar with the majority of these tools. As a professional Advisor and Board Member. However, the problem is that you can’t find any multi rater evaluation online that really links to a professional accomplishment. I will be discussing 3 factors that make evaluations harmful in this blog, pay attention to the third factor; it is the most important of all. Our executives might not be achieving any success with multi rater evaluation. What could be the reason? The number factor is that it doesn’t have any objective or goal, so then what’s the need? If you visit your physician for your annual checkup, if your doctor decides to conduct extensive tests including a sonogram and an MRI, of course you will be wondering what the doctor is up to. Same is applicable to evaluations in the office. Most of the times, evaluations are conducted without any specific objective or aim. And without objective, it is definitely the wrong evaluation for the executive. Secondly, multi rater evaluations are demanding on your company. Let’s briefly consider the time cost; whenever one executive conducts an evaluation, at least 12 people spend about half an hour to conclude it. Now just 12 multiply individuals by 30 minutes, multiply by their hourly charges multiply every professional in the organization that have been involved in a leadership program, multiply by the number of leadership training just one professional will have to attend in in his lifetime and we will be dealing with a huge cost that is not in any way commensurate with the gains. Finally, evaluations have a brief lifespan. Usually following an evaluation, there is no or little feedback and in any case there isn’t any follow-up. Though there could be about a 20-minute somewhat discussion of the outcome, but then, the evaluation is put in the drawer, there it stays permanently with its colleagues and hardly surfaces again. What then is my recommendation? As a professional Advisor and Board Member, I have a feasible and extremely effective strategy to assist my clients to become conscious of how people perceive them in the workplace. To start with, I will never make use of a web based broad based multi rater evaluation except feedback is required in certain sections and I’m able to get an evaluation that matches the specific section for consideration. For instance, I could utilize an executive availability index or a private branding evaluation. Then I carried out an interview based, directed 360 where I can directly know more about the strengths of my client, the opportunities and also from their seniors, colleagues, and direct subordinates. All my questions are always kept open ended, allowing the team member to fully express him/herself. My clients always appreciate the unique and personal feedback I generate using this method. In conclusion, I utilize the information to assist my client generate a useful goal that can improve their leadership influence. Thereafter we can work jointly to develop an action plan that commensurate with enduring success. Of course, it is extremely important to learn all that I can about my client; however, evaluations must be utilized intelligently to get the best results. Many thanks for taking time to read this blog, if you enjoyed it, I highly recommend you share with your loved ones and colleagues, by kindly forwarding it, 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 www.InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com and click on the chat app on the lower right, or use this link to schedule a call www.calendly.com/clifflocks so we can schedule time together to help you fulfill your vision of success and opportunities help your company achieve its goals.

Lessons From The Empty Nest

Posted by Cliff Locks On at 10:04 am / In: Uncategorized

Lessons From The Empty Nest

Certainly, my nest has become empty. It provides me lots of moment for reflection. I’ve invested the past 20 years, accomplishing mainly two things; nurturing children and guiding executive leaders. And I’ve discovered that raising children and management both possess similar characteristics. Today I will share with you my four best lessons from nurturing 3 wonderful children. This advice is effective for parents and managers alike and ensure you view it until the very end where share a very personal matter. Below are my best advices for nurturing wonderful children or dealing with fabulous team members. Advice number one, always be happy on your own. Being parents that we are, most times, we are so focused on the happiness of our children, however if you desire happy children, you need to be happy on your own. Children do not need moms and dads who are burned out and distressed or dull and neither do your co-workers. Therefore, look after yourself, have adequate sleep, eat healthy and balanced, exercise regularly and ensure to find the time to go after your own passions and hobbies. Advice number 2, grant freedom. Allow your children to have a voice, while they are still small allow them to choose their own interests and guide develop their routines and as they mature assign duties to them, whether it’s for carrying out washing or making lunches or emptying the dish washing machine. It will not take much time before they will carry out activities like scheduling their own doctor sessions and taking care of their personal finances. And when you are in your place of work, apply the same rules, learn to let go and assign duties in order to develop your skills. Advice numbers 3, express your thoughts. Communicate with your children, have dinners or maybe take a walk and think about having a family time set apart for “no technology”. Allow your children to express themselves, more importantly; ask for what they think about some issues. When it comes to the place of work, the same is applicable. Advice numbers 4, love, on daily basis show love and be affectionate with your children. Obviously, at your place of work, we exchange public display of affection (PDA) with – public displays of appreciation (PDA) therefore involve, love and empower. Many thanks for taking time to read this blog, if you enjoyed it, I highly recommend you share with your loved ones and colleagues, by kindly forwarding it, 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 www.InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com and click on the chat app on the lower right, or use this link to schedule a call www.calendly.com/clifflocks so we can schedule time together to help you fulfill your vision of success and opportunities help your company achieve its goals.

Everybody Wants More Of It

Posted by Cliff Locks On December 13, 2017 at 10:03 am / In: Uncategorized

Everybody Wants More Of It

What exactly is the topmost thing that all CEO desires? The most important thing that every executive I have met desires is time. A longer time to work; extra time to sleep; a longer time to exercise; and more time to spend with loved ones. Nowadays work is 24/7 activity, it’s so tiresome and usually there’s no end in view. If your to-do list is unmanageable or is dominating your life, I have some helpful suggestions for you. Time is not just a precious resource; it is also a scarce resource. Therefore, similar to any scarce resource, you simply cannot misuse it, you need to manage it. Scheduling how your time need to be used enhances the possibility that you’ll use it wisely, in this area, it’s your calendar that’s your greatest companion. Accordingly I have three solid calendar suggestions for you. Calendar suggestion number 1: Plan valuable time. Valuable time indicates something which you cherish, it might be moment with your loved ones, your time to exercise, time to ponder and study. Begin by marking out important time on your calendar. Then fill it in with your best color and never allow anybody play with it. Calendar suggestion number 2: Plan your energy consuming work during times of high energy and low-energy consuming work during times of low energy. It appears so clear, doesn’t it? However it’s remarkable how often we misuse time, performing mindless works when our brains are prepared for serious work. Finally, my lowest effective clients, they look at their message the entire day and they become fully distracted. My most productive clients, they begin their day with the 30 minute e-mail check, and then they log off. They shut it down for some hours when they perform brain challenging work. I also have clients that use their talented Admin to handle their inbox, make time to meet during the day for items needing clarity. Calendar suggestion number 3: Each morning I first ask, what exactly are the three major things I need to do today? Jot them down, I love to jot them on a little yellowish paper and place it on my laptop. After that look at your calendar, in the event that these three items are not present on your calendar, plan them right away prior to you even beginning your day. If you end up complaining about getting so occupied you may need to have a look at your calendar and ask, does my calendar represent my values and personal preferences? Am I controlling my most scarce resource, time, as efficiently as possible? If you are not satisfied with the response, not to worry worries; it’s actually time to calendar more purposefully. I’m a professional Advisor and Board Member; let’s work together and enhance your leadership potential. Many thanks for taking time to read this blog, if you enjoyed it, I highly recommend you share with your loved ones and colleagues, by kindly forwarding it, 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 www.InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com and click on the chat app on the lower right, or use this link to schedule a call www.calendly.com/clifflocks so we can schedule time together to help you fulfill your vision of success and opportunities help your company achieve its goals.

Creating Exponential Growth At Your Company

Posted by Cliff Locks On December 6, 2017 at 7:04 pm / In: Uncategorized

Creating Exponential Growth At Your Company

 

We are local and linear thinkers in a global and exponential world.

Our biggest challenge as executives and entrepreneurs is to retrain our linear brains and project exponentially.

This isn’t easy… but it directly affects your ability to do big, bold things.

You are probably asking, what exponential growth actually looks like, and the radical power it can have.

Here’s the overview…

Our brain is excellent at extrapolating linearly.

It’s easy to predict where you’ll end up after 30 linear steps (30 meters away).

But if I asked you to predict where you’ll be in 30 exponential steps — where an exponential is a simple doubling… 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, and so on — it gets harder.

In 30 exponential steps you’ll be a billion meters away – put differently, you’ll circumnavigate the Earth 26 times!

Predicting exponential growth is not intuitive.

It’s probably worth memorizing the following:

  • Double something 10 times, you get ~1,000x
  • Double something 20 times, you get ~1 million-fold increase
  • Double something 30 times, you get ~1 billion-fold increase

Entrepreneurs who understand the power of exponential growth, and can hop onto an exponential growth curve, can benefit significantly where others do not.

Let’s close with a fun experiment… Ask a friend or colleague, consider giving them the following choice:

Option #1: Offer them $1 a day for the next 30 days.

Option #2: Offer them a penny on the first day, two cents on the second day, four cents on the third day, and so on.

Chances are, they take the first option.

$30 isn’t bad for zero work.

But if they took the second offer, what started out with a penny would result in $10 million on the final day.

Now we’re talking!

Remember these numbers and how vital it is to recognize exponential growth.

The same forces that enabled the fall of Kodak and the rise of Facebook can also lead to your next 100 Million Dollar opportunity.

I am interested in serving you as Board Member or work with you as an Advisor. I am a professional, easy to work with, always understanding of your vision and the big picture, and ready to pitch in to help you in ways that are appropriate.

Contact me for your no-obligation discussion. Schedule a call at: www.calendly.com/clifflocks.

Please buy Bold – How to Go Big, Make Bank, and Better the World By: Peter H. Diamandis (Audio), we can work on this together. http://adbl.co/2kjPS97

 

Contributor: Peter Diamandis

Three Ways To In Inspire Yourself

Posted by Cliff Locks On November 28, 2017 at 9:16 am / In: Uncategorized

Three Ways To In Inspire Yourself

What exactly inspires you? What really inspires the people under your supervision? The number one thing that one will think about is money or positions. They are what we refer to as extrinsic rewards. The trouble with extrinsic rewards is; they are completely not within our control; therefore, we cannot rely on them for inspiration. There can be something different that inspires us. It is that idea we get all energized about, it’s the thing that is important within us; an intrinsic reward. In this brief blog post, I will let you know about three intrinsic rewards and ways you can take advantage of them to inspire not just yourself but other people under your control as well as every other person you manage. In his well-known book “Drive” the writer Daniel Pink identifies the major three intrinsic inspiration; autonomy, mastery, and purpose or simply put AMP. Let’s begin with autonomy. Autonomy is an opportunity to get things done the way you want; nobody likes an interfering boss. When you’re responsible for something, you become inspired. Therefore, seek for places in which you will have the privilege of being in charge, to get it done the way you want. In case you supervise other people, seek the chance to allow them to have some freedom The following one is mastery; mastery is a chance to make improvements in something. While you’re developing, you become inspired. Therefore, if your job is not very interesting, seek an opportunity somewhere else to gain knowledge or experience something different at the job. You may think about volunteering for a team or enrolling some form of training. The third idea that inspires us is purpose. Having purpose signifies you feel you are making contributions in a useful manner. However, it’s this third one purpose that appears to confuse most of us. Since many of us have different jobs and we’re not saving the world daily. To identify a purpose that inspires you, take some moment to analyze both of these two relevant questions. 1. What type of association do you discover to be satisfying and essential to your success? 2. When do you make an influence that is actually important to you? Thinking about these questions can assist you to uncover your purpose. Once you’re encouraged, occupied and contented, you will become inspired and in similar manner, once you empower, involve and please your team members, they likewise will become inspired. Therefore, AMP it up, autonomy, mastery, and purpose in your life as well as in everyday life of everyone close to you. Many thanks for taking time to read this blog, if you enjoyed it, I highly recommend you share 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 www.InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com and click on the chat app on the lower right, or use this link to schedule a call www.calendly.com/clifflocks so we can schedule time together to help you fulfill your vision of success and opportunities help your company achieve its goals.

Asking Questions Will Allow You To Become A Better Executive To Your Team

Posted by Cliff Locks On November 21, 2017 at 2:58 pm / In: Uncategorized

Asking Questions Will Allow You To Become A Better Executive To Your Team

Learn the questions to ask that will ensure you’ll be a better business coach to your team. I can help you to become a better mentor to your employees, in terms of helping people deal with strategic issues. Watch this video prior to your annual employee reviews. You’ll find positive improvements! Visit: www.InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com Schedule a Call: www.calendly.com/clifflocks

#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