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Why the best business leaders care about philanthropy

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Corporate philanthropy makes sense and more businesses than ever are involving themselves and their employees in charitable activities. But it doesn’t stop there.

Many of the world’s top business leaders have made philanthropy part of their lives; entrepreneurs such as Sukhpal Singh Ahluwalia of Dominvs Group, Leonard Ainsworth of Aristocrat Leisure and Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou of Easy Jet, to name just three.

But why do great business leaders care about philanthropy, especially when they’ve reached the top? Here are just a few reasons why giving back is something that the best entrepreneurs genuinely care about.

The world is changing and their support is needed fast

Often business leaders are some of the first to understand that you can only affect real change by tackling the root causes of a challenge. That means many are focused not just on supporting disadvantaged people but understanding issues such as climate change, its effects on our environment, and its long-term impacts on the people’s everyday lives.

Australian companies gave $867m to charity last year, and in fact, according to the CAF World Giving Index, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand are the top three giving nations on earth. So it should come as no surprise that some of the world’s top individual philanthropists are living in the region.

Business leaders who do step up to the plate worldwide are impressive. One such philanthropists is Sir Stephen Tindell, founder of New Zealand’s largest retail group. His foundation is helping to reconnect New Zealanders to their natural environment. Since its foundation in 1982, the fund has donated more than $145m and supported initiatives including donations to develop sustainable farming and plant millions of trees.

We sorely need more people like Sir Stephen right now because when you look across the board, environmental philanthropy lags way behind other forms. In fact, it’s estimated that in the UK, only 3% of all giving goes towards the environment.

Giving back as a duty and responsibility

Many business leaders are self-made and have been on a very long journey to success. Some were immigrants who fled violent regimes as children; others worked their way out of extreme poverty.

These experiences often give them a sense of duty and responsibility to help others and the planet. John Paul DeJoria is one of the world’s richest people but his early life was a huge struggle. In foster care, in street gangs and homeless, one point he was so poor that he lived in his own car. But despite the odds he went to build a series of successful businesses including John Paul Mitchell Systems, Patron Spirits Company and the House of Blues nightclub chain.

DeJoria says: “People say you give away all these millions, but I don’t give them away. I invest it, in people,” he says. “I don’t mean I get the money back, but our planet will. We have to take care of one another. And that’s what we do.”

Setting an example for their peers and the next-generation

One of the most fascinating developments over the last 10 years has been the number of ultra-rich who are prepared to talk openly about their philanthropy. It’s easy to speculate about why they have begun to do this, but one of the reasons is likely to be that family business owners especially are looking to inspire the next generation along with their peers.

The Giving Pledge is the most visible example of this. Created in 2010 by three of the world’s most outstanding philanthropists, Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett, it encourages billionaires to sign a pledge to give away the majority of their wealth over their lifetime. To date, 204 of the world’s wealthiest individuals, couples, and families have signed the Pledge including Elon Musk, Brian Chesky and Mark Zuckerberg.

One signatory to the Giving Pledge is long-time Scottish philanthropist Sir Tom Hunter, a self-made entrepreneur who started his first business by selling sports trainers from the back of a van. He built the business up to be Europe’s largest retailer. His written public pledge reads: “We don’t want to be the richest guys in the graveyard we want to “do good” while we are still alive. Why let others have all the fun? For those who are thinking about this. All I would say is seeing a project we have helped work is a bigger sense of achievement than any business deal I have ever done.”

Business leaders give vast amounts of their own money to good causes for a huge variety of reasons but it’s clear that the majority do so because they care a great deal about using their business experience and wealth to help others and the planet. For business leaders, philanthropy makes sense not just on a corporate level but on a personal one too.

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Mindset

Negotiation Tips – How To Get What You Want

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Much of the success of a business is founded on negotiations, therefore hone this skill and your business will be rewarded with stronger relationships and a better bottom line.

Is the ability to negotiate an inherent quality or is it learned?

Is it about gender, are men better negotiators or is it women who are better at it?

In this blog article, we answer these questions and provide a few basic tips so you can get a better deal for your business and yourself!

We are all born negotiators, from the moment we can have a voice we’re at it, screaming to be fed, or cuddled and other requirements we need from our carer.  As we grow and hone our skill, some people develop it further and they become expert negotiators.

How we negotiate differs by gender too with our inherent qualities coming to the foreground and play a role in the whole process.

Male/Female Inherent Negotiating Qualities

Before we ask the question:  Which sex is better at negotiating? let’s first consider the inherent qualities of men and women that play a part in negotiations.

Men Are Better Liars

In this Forbes article, males have assumed the better negotiators as they are considered better liars than women and in a conflict situation which men also feel more comfortable with than women, lying their way out convincingly is a successful trait for negotiation.

Women Feel Quilty

Of course, women, can and do lie too, but they’re more likely to end up feeling guilty and then end up giving in. Sigh!

Affinity, Collaboration & Win-Win Works For Women

It’s not all bad for women though as their inherent qualities of collaboration, affinity and desire to get a win-win for all is very much needed in business as it is in life.

Strong customer and supplier relationships rely on win-win outcomes.  In life as in business, where would we be if we were all focused just on our own success!

Men Are More Confident

However, in a lot of business dealings, getting a better deal does require confidence especially in conflict and this is where men are often more willing to go the distance to come out on top. It might be why there are many more men than women in politics.

Tips To Be A Stronger Negotiator

Face The Challenge Head On

It’s hard to look past the ten tips of negotiating by Ed Brodow so check them out. In the meantime here are our thoughts on some of the qualities you can learn to take your negotiating skill up a notch or two.

Women more so than men need to find the courage to stand up for what they want.   This can be learned, though working on fighting fear itself.

Men will face the challenge head on however they may need to temper their communication style so they are less aggressive but still assertive.

Do Your Homework

Knowing the subject matter well provides added confidence, so do your research, formulate your arguments and be in a position to provide supporting evidence.

Men are more likely to wing it in much the same way as President Trump.  🙂 However, the risk of failure is higher when all you’ve got is your fight.

Listen

The power of listening and then responding as opposed to the other way around is critical in negotiating.  While you know what you want, you don’t know what the other needs and remember it’s a negotiation, not a fight.

Ignore How The Other Person Is Behaving

Have you ever heard of emotional blackmail?  It’s a form of manipulation and in behaviour, it can escalate to aggressive, verbal abuse or threats.  Ignoring the bad behaviour of the other person and focusing on the issues will allow you to concentrate on achieving better outcomes.

Take Your Time

A good deal takes time.  Avoid hurrying the process and as a result, ending up with less than you could get for you or your business.  Don’t settle for a bad deal just because you’re fed up with how the negotiating are working out.

Be prepared to walk away and come back to the negotiating table when the other party is willing to reach an agreement that also works for you.

Summary

We do have inherent traits and we rely on them in negotiations.  When we’re consciously self-aware of our strengths and weaknesses we can do what we need to get a better deal every time.

Practice your newfound knowledge in simple negotiations in your everyday life to build your confidence.  Before you know it, it will become second nature to you and you’ll see the difference it makes at work and in life.

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Mindset

Entrepreneur Newcomers Join Billionaire Rich List

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Tough trading conditions in 2018 didn’t stop 195 newcomers joining the ranks the ultra rich in 2018. Among them are many outstanding entrepreneurs who made it through hard work, self belief and focus. We list five of them.

Youngest

The youngest billionaire is Kylie Jenner, a 21 year old, who is now one of the most most world’s most influential celebrities in fashion and on social media.

She became a household name starring in the reality TV series: “Keeping up with the Kardashians” for more than a decade and has since foundered a successful company: Kylie Cosmetics. Kylie has leveraged her fame to build business and her wealth.

Tech

Spotify’s Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon are now on the list. Daniel’s working class background meant he has worked hard from the ground up. A self taught software developer, at the tender age of sixteen, his first enterprise was building and hosting websites.

A self made millionaire by the age of 23, he retired and enjoyed the life of luxury. Though not for long, it bored him so back in the game it wasn’t long before he surrounding himself with likeminded entrepreneurs. Daniel’s tech business Spotify has proved to be his ultimate winner.

Vaping

Juul Labs’ James Monsees and Adam Bowen, created a $15 billion company with the cigarette alternative – vaping. This business has made vaping cool with it’s small devices similar to a USB drive, and flavour pods packed with nicotine.

Snacks

Mexican-American Daniel Lubetzky, became a billionaire with his snack company Kind LLC. Born in Mexico and moving with his family to the U.S. as a teenager he was a top student graduating from Stanford Law School.

While there, he created a business with watches, but it was his interest in healthy snack options that lead to his business becoming the fastest growing snack company in the U.S.

Daniel focus on philanthropy has seen him recognised with awards including The Koshland Fellowship by World Economic Forum, and being named on many lists as an entrepreneur changing the world.

Richest newcomer

The richest newcomer joining the ultra-rich ranks is Colin Huang, the founder of Chinese discount web retailer Pinduoduo. An ecommerce business, just three years old, has found a niche among the heavyweights Alibaba and JD.com. It’s target market is lower income customers and Pinduoduo’s offerings include group buying and awards for bulk buying. Who doesn’t like a great bargain!

This is not Huang’s first venture, his three previous startups, did well though it’s Pinduoduo that’s a standout and the difference this time around maybe Huang’s connections with China’s Tech power base.

Summary

195 newcomers joined the billionaires rich list. These five entrepreneurs share many of the attributes we mentioned in the introduction including diligence, self belief, and desire. We also know entrepreneurs share a similar mindset with that of athletes. Check out this quote by Mexican footballer, Pele:

“Success is no accident. It’s hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all love of what you are doing or learning to do.”

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Mindset

5 Positive Impacts of Green Businesses On Employees’ Wellbeing and Performance

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While some businesses go green because of a true concern for the environment, others may be eager to tout their sustainable practices for public relations purposes or even to enjoy the financial benefits associated with reduced energy consumption and the like.

You may be thinking about taking big steps to make your business environment and practices more eco-friendly for one or more of these reasons, but there may be other benefits that you have not yet considered.

One important benefit that many businesses fail to initially consider is the positive impact that going green has on their employees. Your employees are vital to the success and profitability of your business. You may be surprised to learn about the many positive impacts that environmentally-friendly practices can have on each of your employees.

The Financial Factor

There are many ways for your business to reduce its carbon footprint and to become more sustainable. Beside the familiar methods, it is now popular to allow your employees to work from home. This reduces your company’s overhead while also providing them with a more comfortable work environment.

You may also invest in solar panels or purchase recycled supplies, which may each help you to save money and this financial savings could have a positive impact on your team.

With more available cash on hand, you have the flexibility to use this money in many ways. Product development and expansion are some options. These can give your employees greater opportunities for advancement within the company.

The financial impact of going green may enable you to provide your team with better benefits, such as a better health insurance plan. Another possible financial benefit for your employees is your ability to provide them with more substantial raises. Your team may not directly feel the impact of your green initiatives, but there can be a positive trickle-down effect that they will benefit from.

Improved Level of Job Satisfaction

While most workers are obviously motivated by money and seek excellent compensation when looking for a job, this is not the only factor at play. Workers generally want to feel a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment through their daily efforts.

When they work for a company that has a history of polluting the environment or creating unnecessary waste, they may have a neutral or negative feeling about working there. On the other hand, when the company shows a true concern for the environment and is ethical, they may have a high level of job satisfaction.

From your employees’ perspective, they may find more contentment in their position and be eager to continue to work for your company. From your perspective, you may find that employee retention rates are higher because of improved job satisfaction.

Physical Well-Being

Some green initiatives also play a direct role in your team’s physical health. Consider that some companies expose their employees to harsh chemicals. Office environments may have poor ventilation and may have unhealthy indoor air quality.

On the other hand, your green company may not use harsh chemicals and may have healthier, safer practices. The office environment may take advantage of natural sunlight and may even have numerous indoor plants to improve indoor air quality.

These and other factors directly affect your employees’ health and well-being. When employees feel ill regularly at work or when they are concerned about their health, they may be more likely to seek employment elsewhere. They may also have to take more time off work, and this impacts productivity as well as their ability to earn a living.

Better Work-Life Balance

One of the more common and popular steps that some companies are taking to go green is to hire a remote workforce or to allow current employees to work from home at least on a part-time basis.

Remote workers can reduce your overhead dramatically. You may find that the team is more productive as well. From your employees’ perspective, they may save a considerable amount of time each day by eliminating their commute. This simple benefit can save them money, reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions and give your team more time to spend with family.

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance can be challenging for many professionals. Some workers even leave demanding positions when they feel as though their job is creating a burden on their family life or detracting from their ability to care for children.

When you provide your team with the ability to improve their work-life balance, you may find that they are more eager to work hard for you and that they are more likely to continue to work for your company.

A Boost in Productivity

Many of these benefits play a direct role in how productive your employees are in their positions. As an employer, you understandably need your team to be as productive and as efficient as possible.

Employees also may find greater levels of job satisfaction through increased productivity. For example, when an employee is more productive, he or she can accomplish more each day.

Stress related to having too much to do or possibly falling behind can be reduced or eliminated. Employees may also feel more capable of performing job duties, and they may even complete these duties with more detail or with better overall results.

When your team is less stressed, they may be happier with their positions. They may not feel inclined to needlessly work longer hours to complete their tasks. When they are very productive and efficient, they may even be on a faster track for a raise or a promotion.

Some people use extra time freed up by improved productivity to expand their skillset in different ways. As important as it is for you to have a productive team, you can see that there are benefits there for your employees as well.

A Small Step for a Man and a Giant Leap for Your Business

Some companies will make a bold leap forward and make substantial green improvements all at once. Others will make gradual improvements as time and resources are available. You can see that going green can have tremendous benefits for your company as a whole as well as for each of your employees.

Now is a great time to assess your current level of sustainability and to examine ways to improve in various areas. Remember to communicate your efforts to your team so that they are aware of the considerable steps that you are taking. They may even have some great ideas about how the company can improve in this area that you have not yet considered.

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