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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

6 Situations When a Phone Call Can Be More Effective Than Email

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While we know to a large extent, business runs on email these days, or if you’re under the age of 30, you’ll be using mobile apps as much as you can. Neither an App nor email completely replaces the value of a telephone call. In this article, you’ll learn the telephone call is not dead!

So when is a phone call is more effective than email, and why is it important to recognize when it can make a big difference to your communications?

While our preference in business is to send out a quick email, the real message can be lost in translation; therefore, sometimes it’s essential to take the extra step and pick up the phone. With that in mind, here are some occasions when a phone call can be more effective than an email.

When trying to convey authority

No matter how good you are at writing, it can be hard to convey the correct tone via email. All of your words are up for interpretation, and different readers are going to interpret your message slightly differently, even from the same email.

When you speak to someone on the phone though, you can convey tone much more accurately, giving your message greater authority.

When you want to convey an important message

You might know from personal experience that people’s inboxes can be messy affairs. There are lots of unopened messages, and any new ones go into a queue to be dealt with at some stage.

If you’re trying to send an important message though, you don’t want to be sat hoping the other person has got it. Instead, you can pick up the phone and know for sure the other person received the message.

Therefore this is just one of the reasons why today’s businesses still need to make sure they’re investing in their phone services through companies like Kortek Solutions. Your most important messages should be delivered via the phone rather than email.

When you’re apologizing

Apologies are tricky things, and they’re something you want to get right.

While emails give you the advantage of being able to spend time picking out the exact words, they often miss the more human elements that an apology needs. Part of an apology is fronting up and facing the person you’re apologizing to, and this is much better achieved when you pick up the phone.

When someone has questions

When you’re emailing someone about something complicated, then it’s likely, even preferable, they come back with questions. However, you don’t want a constant trickle of questions dripping into your inbox. Instead, you want to be able to get them answered as efficiently as possible.

If you’re explaining more complicated ideas by phone, then you don’t have the back and forth of email and can explain things much more quickly.
When you’ve taken too long to respond

Sometimes you forget to reply to an important email; it happens. However, at some point, you’ve got to get back to the person, and you want to show that despite the fact you took a long time to reply, you’re still taking their email seriously.

In these cases, it’s a great idea to pick up the phone and give them a call. It shows that you’re taking things seriously and you’re ready to deal with the issue at hand.

When it’s something personal

Few people want to hear personal news through an email. Confidential information should be given a personal touch, and a telephone call is much more useful for this.

It’s just as easy to pick up the phone, and people will appreciate the time you took to be more sensitive with the personal information you wish to convey. The other option is to use video conferencing, not that takes communication to a new level.

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Mindset

How To Be A Role Model In Your Business

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When we’re young, and during challenging times, we all look to our role models for assurance and guidance. Roles models are everywhere; they are found in your family, friends, social influencers, celebrities, community and political leaders.

You may call them your mentors, or ‘big brother or sister’, the name is not so important, it’s what role models do that can be the difference between civility or mayhem.

Movements like the #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter, and pandemics like COVID-19 are life-changing, and our role models guide our actions, some positive and some negative, and this is where life is a balancing act.

Role Models In Business

In business, it’s much the same, as we also need role models. From the top-down everyone needs a role model. Uncertainty within global and local economies can stir up feelings of apprehension and mistrust in the workplace.

If left unchecked, workers can give in to their insecurities and believe ‘they’re next in the firing line,’ i.e. it will be them out the door in a round of redundancies! Forget about worker productivity it will nose-dive too without clear leadership, and this is where role models step up and provide reassurance.

Without adequate communication, positive affirmations and confirmation that everything is being managed to the company’s best ability,
the workforce is left to their thoughts, and understandably they will fear the worst. If this sounds like the environment at your workplace, you can make a difference, by becoming a role model. You don’t need to be high up the hierarchy as anyone can show empathy when it’s most needed.

What are the attributes of a good role model?

Good Role Model Traits

One false assumption is all leaders are good role models. We can all name leaders, particularly politicians that are far from positive influencers in our lives and we can not wait to see the back of them come to the next election!

So what should a good role model have in their soft skills toolkit?

According to the Seven Traits of a Role Model, you’d be expected to have these characteristics:

Empathy

You will need an abundance of empathy in all your dealings that impact on the lives of humanity. Acknowledging another person’s feelings does not mean you will stop what you’re doing or change your position, but you’re not bulldozing over them to get your way.

Knowledge

A thirst to know more and not being afraid to step outside their comfort zone to get it. Plus surrounding themselves with smart people and undertaking challenging tasks are all done to reach a goal.

Accept Mistakes Will Happen

Stretching the boundaries to achieve more, does come with risk, and mistakes will be made. A good role model will be humble and accept responsibility for their errors and move on as it’s all part of growing and eventually reaching the right outcome.

Confidence

Having the confidence to take action shouldn’t be confused with arrogance. A good role model needs the self-belief to step up and do what others can not do, i.e. lead and take responsibility for the actions of others and maybe the whole company.

Be Your Person

Being unique and living life your way gives you a unique perspective on your role as a leader and role model. Following the crowd will not develop your leadership skills however you will need to know how to be a supportive follower too as that is what is required of your workers and they will look to you for guidance and encouragement.

Gregarious

If you’re a loner, it will be harder for you to communicate with your followers. A genuine interest in your peers and people provides the opportunity to hone your communication skills. Take on leadership roles outside of work. Either with a community group, sports association, or something else like a hobby or particular interest group challenge yourself to take on positions of responsibility and commitment.

Summary

Everyone can be a role model; some people become one by accident, others by design If you want to be a role model in your business, sharpen your skills and accept the challenge to make a difference in your life and work.

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Mindset

How To Get Your Entrepreneur Mojo Back

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What is an Entrepreneur’s mojo and have you lost yours? Well, for starters let’s consider the word mojo and why it’s popular. Mojo is a noun and means magic or a spell so it’s not tangible but used to insinuate special powers when used in the way we have in our title how to get your entrepreneur’s mojo back.

It’s a popular word too, used a lot in recent times, with mojo now a famous coffee brand and the name of an Australian advertising business as well as a club in Hamburg Germany, and in arts and movies. However in this article we’re are only interested in how one’s mojo is personal and with it, entrepreneurial flair or spirit will guide you to success.

Your mojo is essentially your confidence, and with it, business challenges are easily overcome, tricky decisions are solved and sales are made. Belief in yourself is the foundation for everything in life and business.

Trusting yourself to choose the right people for your business, spend enough to attract sales and invest in strategies that take the business forwards can happen on autopilot until you fall into the trap of doubting yourself.

When doubt creeps in, nothing you do is easy and straightforward. What were the right goals for the business now seem ridiculously out of reach and unless something changes and quickly there won’t be a business, so how do you get your mojo back?

Mentors

Make sure you surround yourself with people who believe in you and what it is you’re doing in business. A couple of mentors can be the sounding board you need at times when you don’t trust your won judgement. A business mentor can help you keep the focus and provide inspiration and assurance that what you’re doing is the right thing to do in order to reach your goals.

A personal mentor will assure you, you’re the right person for the job that you have, i.e. the conspirator and leader in a new enterprise that requires that certain ‘spark’ or ‘magic’ aka ‘je ne sais quoi. A person’s outward appearance can suggest all is well with them, however internally, it can be a different story, they may be a bundle of nerves, or not nearly as on top of the world as they are presenting.

We all suffer highs and lows and a drop in confidence is expected all we need to know is how to turn it around so we get our mojo back as soon as possible. Mentors are carefully chosen for their ability to support, encourage and offer wisdom when it’s most needed.

Exercise

Taking time out away from your usual environment is key to rejuvenating the mind, and exercise plays an important role in providing energy as in oxygenating the blood. Go to the local gym and work out, do a minimum of three twenty-minute aerobic exercises every week. If you enjoy cycling or running, as Nike says ‘just do it’. There is a correlation between exercise and self-esteem, with the two interlinked. Raising your energy levels improves your outlook and positivity.

As the saying goes: healthy body, healthy mind and to get your mojo back you need that healthy mind to ward off negativity.

Mind

We are what we believe, and where there is negativity there is also positivity.

Yin and Yang is the Chinese philosophy of duality. Contrary forces can be complementary and interconnected so we accept where there is light there is also dark. Where there is the presence of ‘good’ there will also the presence of ‘bad’. Controlling the mind is fundamental to success in everything in life. We are what we think, so we need to focus on what we want and believe and avoid negative thoughts and actions.

Focus

Accept not everything will go to plan all the time, and things out of your control will test your tenacity and will power. Stay strong and true to your mission and goals and when there’s doubt, accept and then focus back on what you want to achieve and why you’re doing it.

After all, it’s not easy being an entrepreneur, you’re made of steely stuff, and where would the world be with you.

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