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Showing posts from May, 2015

Why is Learning How to Write Well in College Important?

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Students often ask why they should develop strong writing skills when they are studying business, and its principles take precedence. Students have a hard time understanding how grammar, spelling, formatting, sentence structure, and focus can improve their job prospects.If they know it but can’t say it, they are going to have a hard time highlighting themselves. What they miss is a perspective of how writing impacts every other action they take at work. Whether one is writing an email, creating a resume, finishing a report or preparing a speech writing is a major part of communicating in a way that improves effectiveness. If a person cannot communicate well, they are also unlikely to obtain the highest paid jobs. Effective writing communication is a sign of clarity of thought. A person who can write concisely, powerfully, and with focus is seen as a person who understands the material. If a paper mixes topics, is hard to follow, and is full of errors it is unlikely that it will b

Putting the Power Back in Pensions

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Pensions are a primary source of retirement savings throughout the nation. Poor management decisions, recessions, and cronyism have depleted these funds to a point where they now become a significant risk, not only to those who rely on them, but to the local economy as well. Chicago recently became aware of the devastation of their policies when faced with a pension budget shortfall of $6 billion that neither they or the State of Illinois can afford. Difficult choices will need to be made that will likely upend entire networks of people and companies that need and profited off these pensions. The problem with pensions is that when they go South there are few win-win situations, and reform comes with a significant cost; especially to those of older age. The cost either falls on the states, on employees, or on the national economy. As the risk of multiple pension implosion rises at a time when national debt is high, the Great Recession is coming to a close, and international strife i

Emotional Intelligence's Influence on Military and Company Management

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Emotional intelligence is as important in the business world as it is in the military battlefield. When times get tough, it is emotional intelligence that keeps the team moving forward to accomplish goals. Executives and officers who show empathy and self-reflection have higher levels of emotional intelligence that can garner support when times are tough. Whether you are at war on the battlefield or the boardroom emotional intelligence can make all the difference. Emotional intelligence is that which stops us from making quick and irrational judgments without engaging our more rational processes. A surge of feeling can lead to outbursts of anger, berating employees, or a poor decision that impacts the rest of the department/company. Those with emotional intelligence can gain influence through their ability to deal effectively with others. Emotional intelligence can be dividing into four core competencies that include (Goleman, Byatzis & McKee, 2013): -Knowing one’s emotion

Effective Methods for Managing Workplace Conflict

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Conflict is a natural part of being in a society and regularly occurs  in personal and professional arenas. In the workplace, disputes can be especially destructive as issues spread to other members and damage the ability of people to work together. Learning to develop a healthy style of conflict management helps minimize damage quickly and keeps the company moving in the right direction. Collaborating with others is one of the best methods of managing a business as it solves problems and helps keep people focused on goals (Paul, et. al., 2004/2005). When all parties are interested in resolving differences and finding an equitable solution, stronger companies emerge. The collective action of solving conflict forces the organization to get stronger as it reaches to overcome issues. Conflict management styles determine the  preferred approach when problems arise that cannot be easily rectified. People react to challenges in different ways but fundamentally take an obliging, in

Short-term versus Long-Term Strategic Thinking

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Strategic thinking is a major component of business planning that sets the course of action that leads to either business success or business failure. Short-term thinking can be problematic as resources are wasted fixing potholes and gaining immediate results without considering long-term solutions. Executives that focus exclusively on short-term results sometimes leave their organizations in worse shape. A great portion of our day is engaged in crisis management where new problems arise and we must deal with them immediately before the they spread. This process can be effective in the short run but can damage the company in the long-term when the root of the problem is not addressed. The crisis situations will continue to spread and grow as the underlying issues spread. A strategy should focus on limiting the damage caused by crisis problems while ensuring the root problem is still being addressed. Executives who think short-term will see immediate results but will often damage

Do You Have an Opinion or a Persuasive Argument?

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What makes the difference between an opinion and a persuasive argument? People love their opinions, but are based on thoughts, feelings, and wishes of the individual and don’t always have validity. It doesn’t matter if one is in college, a seasoned manager or running for political office, creating a persuasive argument leads to credibility. Their emotions may drive people, but it is their logic that makes them worthy of your ear. Persuasive arguments are reinforced by substantial information that is reasonable and logical in its construction of the conclusion. The average person can see the argument as reasonable based on shared knowledge. They can follow the information and make the same conclusion as the speaker. Opinions based on emotions and quick judgments often lack enough supportive information to be worthy of attention. They can use emotions to draw a crowd into a frenzy but lose their appeal once people start to question the logic. Over time, the emotional appeal f

Collaborative Investing in Local Clusters Leads to Economic Development

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Group investment is not a novel idea but can be significant in developing stronger local growth models . A “ hot ” market is one that draws substantial investment interest that encourages growth among market relevant businesses . Pack investing offers opportunities to create multiple points of capital infusion that lead to the growth of a battery of related companies . Companies do not work in a vacuum and rely on different local stakeholders to feed the building of their business . They need resources , human capital , science , facilities , suppliers, partners , and customers to develop momentum . If they lack the right environment , their business is doomed to failure before it gets started . Pack investing offers the opportunity to take a local core competency with a solid industry base and infuse large amounts of capital at various points to encourage mutual growth . Multiple investors may

Studying for Career Success-Knowing What You Know

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Everyone who attended formal schooling knows that studying is a grueling and often not so fun process. For a few out there who enjoy learning they seem to slice through their books like a knife through butter. Despite the motivated few the vast majority of students either don’t know how to study or don’t study to maximize their future potential. Studying is one of those activities that comes along with attending any type of formal educational program. The professor typically steers the student to certain conclusions, but it is up to the student to do the leg work so they can learn the necessary background information to reach those conclusions. Understand what the professors says is different than understanding why he/she says it. Not reading the text or outside sources is apparent in the level of depth in discussion and papers. Length is not the same thing as depth. Depth means a student can cover the required concepts succinctly and with enough substance to justify their main p

Poem: A Cottage of a Thousand Years

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Dr. Murad Abel Even though each of us are unique we are part of a larger collective of people. Our perception is limited when looking from inside a generation but when we stand back and get a wide angle view we can see a moving, living, breathing organism made of all the people within a society. Even though some generations are more successful than others all live within a chain. Generation after generation is born and transfers information from one to the next creating collective knowledge. Newer generations build off of the knowledge of the old to develop a better world for themselves. It is the same with each generation and it will continue as long as we adapt and grow. Decisions at one time and in one area have an influence on the entire organism. People may believe they are different and the values and characteristics they hold make them better than each other. In the end we are only one generation on a path of generations. In the collective nature of our lives we are all

The Heart of an Entrepreneur

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  By Dr. Susan Sasiadek (March 13, 2015) While working on my MBA it was clear to me that the number one goal for all companies was to turn a profit.   I remember learning early on that owning a business is much like the game of Monopoly; as long as you have money, you re in the game. Once you are out of money, the game is over. So why then wouldn’t the focus of owning a business be centered on profits?   For many companies this is exactly where the focus is. However, there has been a dynamic shift in the thinking as to why entrepreneurs set out to create a business and how to maintain a successful organization. One of the beliefs that lies within the hearts of many entrepreneurs is to do what you have a passion for and the profits will follow. A similar concept I have often shared with young college students; do what you love and the money will come.   Although this sounds easy enough, many times people and organizations lose their focus of what it is they set out to ac