RL360° Quantum offers LinkedIn tips to aspiring expats

LinkedIn tips to aspiring expats

As a high-profile professional networking website that is used across the world, LinkedIn is popular among people who are seeking employment opportunities abroad. With this in mind, saving and investment specialist RL360° Quantum has offered the following tips to aspiring expats to help them make the most of this valuable resource.

Keep profiles fresh

It recommended that people always keep their LinkedIn profile fresh by ensuring they update it with the relevant experience and skills on an ongoing basis. The Isle of Man-based company also highlighted the importance of jobseekers including key skills in profile summaries to make it easier for recruiters to pick them out. In addition, it advised people to use a high-quality profile picture.

Take part in discussions

Getting involved in discussions on the networking site is important too, RL360° stated. By joining relevant groups, people can widen their professional networks and engage with the right audience. Popular groups include Expat Network and International Expat Jobs Network.

Build relationships

Developing relationships is also key, according to RL360°. The company pointed out that social media isn’t intended for one-way communication. By proactively starting conversations and making comments on other people’s posts, LinkedIn users can engage with others and build up their contacts.

Stay active

Staying active is essential as well. By logging in at least once a week to check for messages, comments and posts, and by responding promptly, people can ensure they don’t miss important developments. RL360° noted that the rise of mobile technology makes this easier as it means people can access social media on the go. It also advised people to ‘follow’ company updates so that they get notifications if any new positions are advertised.

Preparing financially

As well as giving tips to help people make the most of LinkedIn, RL360° drew attention to the importance of preparing financially for a move abroad. Its Product and Investment Marketing Manager Andrew Dudgeon stated: “Given that many popular expat locations don’t offer a state pension, finding a secure and portable home for your savings and investments is a must.” He added that RL360° offers a range of solutions, including Quantum (a regular savings policy) and PIMS (a lump-sum investment).

According to Mr Dudgeon, those who are moving abroad to work should speak to a financial adviser to discover which products best suit their needs.

Royal London 360° was set up in 2008. It changed its name to RL360° 5 years later following a management-led buyout. You can find out more about the company by checking out RL360° reviews online or visiting its website.

9 Amazing Content Marketing Ideas For E-Commerce Portals

content marketing

Ecommerce portals are very important because they provide links as well as access to other sites. They largely determine the success of any ecommerce website. They help customers to access more information and products available on related sites. In order to ensure that you have excellent ecommerce portals, good content marketing ideas are very important. We are going to provide you with the best content marketing ideas for ecommerce portals so that you can use them. These ideas should be applied in Writing content without knowledge about your target audience is a waste of time. You need to define your target audience so that you can provide them with relevant content. The products should satisfy their needs. This will encourage purchase thus increase in ecommerce profits.

 Include Call To Action

Always remember to include call to action at the end of your posts. After customers have read the post, they may be attracted to make purchase or do whatever you want them to do. Do not leave it hanging. Tell them in call to action section. This may include advising them to buy the product or clicking on the link provided.

 Use Keywords

Keywords are very important for success of any ecommerce portal. They help to ensure that your content is returned in the top ranks when searched by customers using search engines like Google. This enables customers to access your products and also follow the available links for more information.

Write Top List

Depending on the niche of your ecommerce portal, make a habit of writing top 10, top 100 e.t.c lists. This kind of information is attractive and will pull more readers into reading the content of your ecommerce portal.

 Try To Predict Trends

You are advised to write posts which predict the current trends in the market. Many people are eager to know what is trending. Providing such information in your ecommerce portal will surely attract them. Take advantage of this.

 Create A Decision Guide

Customers need help when making buying decision. You should make things easier for them by coming up with a decision guide. They will go through it. Consequently, they will make the best purchase.

Ask Customers To Post Testimonials

It is important that you know what customers think about your product. This will help you to know what you should improve on to increase sales. This can be achieved by asking them to post testimonies about the product they used. Other readers may be impressed and buy the product too.

Final Word

In conclusion, the above are the best content marketing ideas for ecommerce portals. They will attract customers to read the content of your site and subsequently make purchase. Focus should always be put on the target audience for success of your ecommerce. If you sell automotives, they should be applied in automotive web design.

The Key to Success in the Corporate World

The Key to Success in the Corporate World

‘It’s not what you know; it’s who you know.’ For a lucky few this might be true. However, with the corporate world as complex and competitive as it is, there’s seldom one secret to success. Instead you will need a number of skills to succeed.

Success at corporate level is the result of 1) leadership, 2) knowledge, 3) creative thinking, and 4) hard work – all practiced and honed over a long period of time.

Long-term business success takes more than good connections. Hard work and earning the respect of colleagues plays a key role. The art of negotiation and communication is also vital, as taught by negotiation experts in the field, negotiation training and courses.

Creative Thinking

Innovation can help solve any number of business problems – from staff retention to increasing productivity. Creative thinkers are essential in all fields, but particularly in the business world, where good solutions and quick thinking can be the difference between profit and loss.

Teamwork

Scheming one’s way to the top isn’t just weak, but also unsustainable. Your time is much better applied to working hard and generating good ideas. It’s clear that results earned from positive actions reap more benefits. The more practical your contribution, the more valuable you will be to your company.

Corporate success is not preordained but the result of key skills that can be taught and learned. It isn’t one secret to success – but it is a sure path.

You Really Do Have Secrets Worth Keeping and Protecting

You Really Do Have Secrets

If you have something that you dont want anyone to know, maybe you shouldnt be doing it in the first place.

This argument is so common, it has a name. It is called the Nothing to Hide argument. The Apple vs. Google fanboy wars have contributed to bringing this argument to the fore. Apple fans say Google products are bad because Google and advertisers have access to almost everything about a person using those products. Google fans fire back that the Apple folks must have something to hide.

The encryption debate was rekindled over the infamous San Bernardino iPhone, with privacy advocates arguing that if encryption can be broken on a terrorists phone, it is broken for everyone. FBI sympathizers want to know what is so important that decent people have to hide.

While a case can be made for both sides, I have to side with the privacy advocates in this respect: You really do have something to hide. Not only are your secrets worth hiding, they are worth protecting. Here are a few secrets you may not even realize you have:

Passwords

If you have one of those password management apps, every password to everything that is important to you is in that one place. It is a single point of failure. As of now, they are still among the most popular ways to manage passwords among techies. But without strong encryption in place, all your passwords are up for grabs.

Losing those passwords to hard drive failure is almost as devastating as losing them to criminals. Bottom line, you still wouldnt have them anymore, and would be locked out of everything important to you. Fortunately, the same apps to spy on your kids without them knowing. If you can do it, so can a person with ill-intent. Location services can let a burglar know when your home is empty. There are a lot of conveniences afforded by location services. But there are also a lot of risks. You may not have thought about it in this way. But your location, and the location of your family, is a secret you definitely want to keep.

Sexual Preference

In some parts of the world, your sexual preference is a non-issue. You are free to be your truest self without social or professional repercussions. But that is not true in all parts of the world. There are at least 79 countries where homosexuality is illegal. That number is even larger if you consider places where it is not strictly illegal, but where there are oppressive laws that will make life very difficult.

Your smartphone is a treasure trove of secrets. It is shocking what people can learn about you just from your choice of movies, music, and books. Your smartphone may be your most personal device. But it is not the only device that can divulge your secrets.

This is not intended to make you paranoid, just to remind you that even though you have no criminal intent, you do have plenty of things worth hiding and protecting from loss. Passwords, location, and sexual preference are just the tip of the well-hidden iceberg.

Showing off your Brand at an Exhibition

Showing off your Brand at an Exhibition

The best way to increase the popularity of a brand is to market it aggressively using various marketing techniques. You can advertise in traditional media such as Newspaper & Magazines, Television, Radio, as well as newer forms of media such as online advertising. One method of publicity which has always been popular and always will be is attending various trade shows and events. Attending these sorts of shows allows you to connect directly with the people looking for your services and advertise your brand directly to decision makers.

Planning Your Exhibition Stand

Your exhibition stand is going to be promoting your brand, and as such is going to be a direct representation of your brand and company. You will need to make sure that the design of your stand is well thought out and reflects your brands image.

It is an excellent idea to speak to companies such as Aspect Exhibitions who have decades of experience in building stands for businesses attending trade shows and events all over Europe. Using the services of an experienced company will allow you to design an amazing looking stand which will draw in the potential clients to you, as well as portray your brand image accurately.

Drawing Them In

At most of the large events, there are many different stands that are all competing for the attention of the visitors that attend. As well as having an interesting and engaging exhibit, you will also want to be able to draw the interest from a distance. Techniques using lasers and lights, or large video screens are a good way to draw the eye in a busy exhibition. Many stands will also use PA systems and music, but with such a cacophony of noise competing together, capturing the attention visually is an excellent way to draw interest.

Keeping Them Interested

As well as drawing in your potential clients you will also want to engage them as much as you can. One way to do this is to design an exhibition stand which is interactive with the visitors. There are many different ways that you can incorporate a level of interaction from using Tablet PC’s, Touch Screen Technology, or even image capture technology and display screens. What will be best for your company is all going to depend on the nature of your industry, and the image that you are trying to portray, which is something that you should know better than anyone else!

In Line With Your Brand

When you seek to represent a defined image for your brand, it is important that all of the marketing techniques that you employ are following the same set criteria, including an exhibition stand. If your company does not have something set in place already, it is an excellent idea to create a Branding Guidelines Brief which can include set instructions regards the branding of your company, also including colour guidelines.

The more consistent you are with your branding, the stronger your brand becomes, and when you have a strong brand with a well thought out advertising pitch at an exhibition, you are sure to draw a lot of attention and make your event a success.

Can you reach the ideal mobility ? Reflection after day without car

Can you reach the ideal mobility

Bet on the bike, reorganize the city and improve the asphalt roads, ideas to Bogota move better. Others are not so optimistic.

Each Car Free Day, when it is required the maximum mass transit in the city, are evident weaknesses. Yesterday, the day was just beginning when, at 6:30 am a group of users blocked the passage of articulated by the National Museum station. They were tired of waiting for it to pass the M86 route.

A pair of similar cases occurred throughout the day. There were also stranded buses, even the mayor Enrique Penalosa was traveling with cameras and press on board, stopped working halfway there. It was also the record of the crowded buses and testimonials from users who live in areas where the feeders do not arrive and had to wake up early than usual to walk to a station.

Users satisfied with the day also abound. Those who came faster to their work and their homes, or had the full way to cross them on their bikes. Given this scenario, and when the Car Free Day turns 16, the question arises: What is this new day?

At least, creates an environment for citizens to question the mobility of Bogotá. El Espectador collected the reflections of a group of experts and citizens on the roads to be taken by the city to achieve efficient mobility.

As in any debate, there pessimistic views who believe that capital has no solution. For example, Paul Bromberg, former mayor of Bogota, the Car Free Day shows that this is a frivolous society, which receives awards for something that no city would be made and that causes a downturn in the economy, adds that, in its ideal mobility, the capital should be another. Not this one, which is very dense and large.

There are others who are critical, but less pessimistic, as Joseph Stalin Rojas, director of the Observatory of Logistics and Mobility of the National University. Although he says that the car-free day is a worn and bet more as a day with shared cart, he believes that strengthening the public transport system can improve mobility. We must speed up the construction of trunk, he says

He is pointing in the same direction Eduardo Behrentz, dean of the Faculty of Engineering of the University of the Andes, who also considered vital to improve transport infrastructure. Having a better network Transmilenio, better bridges and even better asphalt pathways influence the speed of movement.

These improvements, he says, should discourage the use of private cars and especially motorcycles, which he considers the great tragedy of Colombian cities, polluting, dangerous, noisy and exclusive. A flexible and extensive network, which reaches the citizen who yesterday had to walk more than necessary.

Carlos Pardo, director of the Foundation Slow down, beyond the transport network, the way to Bogotá to move efficiently through the change in the policies of urban development and land use. The trips have to be shorter and less frequent for them in other alternative means of transport. For this, mass transit riders would have to be connected to centers of activity, defined and distributed.

That not all have to go to the center to work, says Pardo, who dreams of a city better connected, for pedestrians and bicycle users, with short and friendly Walker blocks.

In this idea lies another big bet from the experts: the use of media, more efficient and cleaner alternative transportation, which says Beherentz, Bogotá has ideal qualities. Overall, it is a flat, compact city.

It also has 440 km of bike paths, more than anywhere else in Latin America. This idea also cove citizens as Mary Pereira, who said the ideal is the cicla although no more parking and provide safety to the rider, he says.

But the former mayor Bromberg has no qualms with the bicycle as a bid to improve mobility. In Bogota bikes have lots of obstacles and risks. They serve a small portion of people, such as young people and those who do not have to transport their children.

Despite the controversy generated by the issue of mobility, it is clear that the Car Free Day puts the public to think about the way travels between home and work. In the end, the conclusion is leaving experts to improve mobility is a major challenge that requires urgent action. The ideas are on the table.

How to Choose the Right Delivery Service for your Online Business

the Right Delivery Service

An online business depends on their delivery service more than any other. Your main impression on a customer is created when that much awaited parcel arrives at their door, so it’s important to ensure that your delivery service is top notch. As an online business, how can you choose the right delivery service for you?

Domestic or international?

Firstly, consider the type of deliveries your business makes most often. Is it overseas shipping you need or just domestic deliveries? Shop around and find a courier who specialises in the type of deliveries you require and has a great reputation. Your company’s reputation demands upon the performance of your chosen delivery company so it’s important to choose wisely. If you currently only deliver in the UK but are planning to expand overseas, try and go for a company who specialises in both.

Focus on condition and presentation

The condition that your parcel arrives in is paramount to your businesses’ successes and mitigates the amount of customer complaints your customer care team are likely to receive. Customers hate badly packaged items and receiving damaged goods so choosing a courier with a solid reputation is essential to prevent this. As an e-commerce business, packing your goods safely and making sure they look well presented is crucial to your success so this is an area where you should be looking to spend a little more cash on.

Time is of the essence

The speed of your deliveries is another essential factor. Online businesses need to be offering at least a next day delivery option in order to be successful. By offering your customers the chance to pay extra for next day you’ll be pleasing many more customers than other companies and all the last minute shoppers who need to make a purchase fast. This means that you need a delivery company you can rely on in order to make it on time.

To make sure you select the perfect delivery service for your company, use a courier comparing site Parcel2go to find the best couriers at the best price. They compare all the top couriers to find you the optimum service at the best possible price for your budget. When operating an online business, making sure your deliveries arrive on time and in great condition is paramount to ensuring that your business is a success. So shop around and choose the best possible delivery service for your company.

Professional Financial Tools for a Successful Business

Financial Tools

As your business grows, it’s vital to QuickBooks ProAdvisor will produce the reports that you need. With this high level of tracking, you can look at different advertising venues to see which ones are working, determine the return on investment with various applications and see which processes you’ll continue using in the future.

Instant Reports
You could take hours sorting through information, plugging it into a spreadsheet and deciding on the right formulas, but QuickBooks is able to take care of the reports for you. The system offers a wide range of reports so that you can spend more time reviewing accurate information and less time trying to find the numbers you need.

Linking with Other Accounts
One of the great features of this platform is that you can link it to other accounts, such as your bank account. This makes it easier for you to keep track of spending and see exactly where your money is going. As a small business owner, you sometimes need to make fast decisions so that you can take advantage of smart opportunities, and the right tracking tools can provide you with those answers at a moment’s notice.

Moving Away from Paper
Whether you’ve been in business for a while or just got started a few months ago, you may still be working with paper files. This can be cumbersome for you and inconvenient for your repeat customers. You’ll have better tracking with digital systems, and the QuickBooks platform is completely portable. You can easily transfer information to your customers, vendor, CPA, and other professionals.

Your small business deserves to be run in an effective and efficient manner, and that includes keeping track of the books. Use the right tools to ensure that bills are paid on time, and keep track of your revenues with an electronic system that perfectly suits your needs. The digital program can free up a great deal of your time so that you can spend more of your energy focusing on your customers and building your business.

How To Lead When You Are Not The Leader

You Are Not The Leader

We continue to be in the grip of a global leadership crisis. It is the sort of crisis that we, human beings, seem deeply ill equipped to respond to. For example we struggle to see the leadership problem clearly enough or acknowledge that solutions are embedded in complexity to such a degree that the crisis requires us to reframe lots of deeply held but largely unexamined assumptions and beliefs. We aren’t very good at that sort of stuff, we prefer a good old fashioned crisis where there is a clear enemy or clear objective and where a combination of grit, hard work and rational problem solving will see us through. The leadership crisis isn’t like that and that’s why we are struggling to respond effectively despite some very obvious needs to do so.

Why do I say that there is a leadership crisis? It is because everywhere I look I see a leadership gap. Some of these gaps are huge -yawning chasms – and obvious. Take for example any of the global problems that we collectively face. How about Climate Change? Global warming represents a substantial existential threat to our collective future as CO2 emissions continue to rise and yet no leader or group of leaders have emerged to carry the hopes of future generations into a workable solution we can thrash out in Paris. Tell me I am wrong. How about Migration? As we see Europe’s collective response to the Refugee/Migrant crisis flopping around in the miserable search for a populist response to dead children washing up on its beaches we see a failure of leadership in navigating towards an effective policy.

Other leadership gaps are less obvious but crushingly real. We have seen proud and important companies brought low by the failure of their leaders to act with integrity and shoulder the responsibilities of leadership effectively. We worry about how many other organisations could be harboring dark dishonesties? How many organisations can truly claim to be great places to work? How many organisations can demonstrate that they are organisations worth working for? Employee engagement figures, as one potential proxy for healthy workplaces, continues to flat line according to longitudinal studies by Gallup.[1]

If the leadership crisis is real it isn’t because we have a shortage of people who are designated as leaders, those who have the positional authority and delegated power to lead our institutions, our governments and our companies. The leadership crisis is real because too many of our designated leaders are not leading effectively and seem in some ways to be avoiding doing so as if somehow just being the leader, being in positional authority, is enough. It isn’t. Here’s a test: when was the last time someone you are aware of (your boss maybe?) who holds positional authority as a leader in an organisation made a meaningful call or decision and stood by their judgment? In other words when did they last do something significant in service to the wider organisational goals, some memorable, impactful action. If you are struggling to think of something then you are not alone. It feels like too many of our leaders position themselves in such a way as to avoid taking action, to play safe, to pass the buck, to duck, weave and procrastinate.

It is in this context that I find I am regularly asked for advice on how people can take a lead in their company when they have no formal authority or position from which to do so. For many it is a question rooted in the human desire to fill the leadership vacuum, to take action in the face of so much inaction and stuckness. Simultaneously some organisations are trying to move away from traditional hierarchical structures that fix positional and management authority through a line system towards something much lighter, flatter, more matrix and more project-based. My observation is that what most of these companies are trying to achieve is a change in behaviour, and especially leadership behaviour, but they don’t know how to do that so they change the structure instead. We know that organisational structure should follow the purpose of that organisation. Too often it is the structure that dictates the purpose and we end up operating within the limits imposed upon us by structure, by our organisational operating systems. In the context of leadership we don’t make a leader simply by reorganising the structure in such a way that tells someone they are one. Or do we? Isn’t that what we instinctively do when we promote someone to a level where they have positional authority? What happens when we create a flatter more ‘empowering’ culture? Does leadership flow?

To answer these questions and illuminate the problem of how to lead when we have little or no authority to do so (to fill the leadership gap) we need to explore what we mean by ‘leadership’ because it is a term loaded with meaning but whose definition can be elusive.

There are many ways of looking at leadership and many ways of developing leaders. There is, for example, a long history of thinking about leadership in terms of exceptional personality – the ‘leaders-are-born-not- made’ theory; but if personality was the only factor we would be forced to rely for leadership on accidents of birth and would write-off most people as potential leaders. It is hard not to think about leadership in this way – it is a default setting for many people, but social scientists, searching for the personality factors that would reliably predict leadership ability, have been unable to agree on anything more than a handful of very general traits – things like intelligence, drive and trustworthiness. For anyone trying to develop their own or others’ leadership, the personality theory presents serious difficulties: not only is it not clear which factors should be developed, but it is not at all clear whether it is possible for personality traits deliberately to be developed. Given these difficulties, we need a more nuanced view of leadership that can support practicable leadership development. For me, the important components of that nuanced view can be summarised in three connected points. Firstly that it is easier to develop the capacity for leadership than it is to make a leader. Secondly, that leadership happens as action: when one person does or says something that changes a course of events or changes somebody’s view or inspires someone to do something they would not otherwise have done. Thirdly, that there is no one correct and universal way of looking at leadership – that there as many kinds of leadership as there are people, and as many kinds of leadership action as there are situations and contexts (or, in other words, the study of leadership is idiographic).

A great starting point for understanding leadership is to simply assume that everyone has the capacity for leadership in some degree, however small it may be in some. It is not an unreasonable assumption, most human capacities are normally distributed. This capacity may be thought of as a potential, stored as in a battery until the right circumstances come along to release it, or to complete the circuit. So in a moment anyone might rise to the occasion, speak out or stand up, take a chance that has an effect on those around and makes something happen that would not otherwise have happened. It seems to be the case, that it is a lot easier to develop a capacity than it is to change someone’s personality directly. For me it is capacity that provides our entry point not some contested view of the relevance and utility of personality perspectives.

It is also clear that leadership is only ever manifest as action. We might refer to the moment of decision, when someone steps up to the plate, as an act of leadership. It is an act of leadership whether the actor is the Chief Executive or the humblest operative: we might expect it to happen rather more regularly in the case of the CEO, but in essence, it is the same thing whoever does it. A working definition of an act of leadership might be that the action is regarded as sincere and legitimate by others, that it is felt by others to be plausible and to have some chance of bringing about the right result and that they, in turn, are moved by it to act. Think about our test earlier, asking you to think of something that someone in positional authority had done that was significant and meaningful in provoking necessary change. Now extend that thought to include anyone in the organisation. Perhaps through that lens we can start to see leadership occurring in places where there is little or no formal authority to lead?

So everyone has the capacity to act, but not everyone always does. To develop that capacity, we need to work out what makes the difference between action and inaction. The academic literature gives us many clues to what this might be, for example, we know that people are often unwilling to act to help others if they think that there is someone else better equipped than they are, or if they, the actor are anonymous and/or unaccountable. There may be some ‘diffusion of responsibility’ (Latane & Darley, 1970)[2] or ‘attenuated reciprocity’ a term borrowed from property law to describe a situation where one person feels that their social obligations are reduced because they are unlikely to meet people again. Another thing that might make a difference is that one person may recognise the need for action sooner than another. What we know, from research in groups presented with relatively unusual situations, is that it is easier to respond if you have an available mental model of what is going on, or if you have rehearsed in your mind the possibility, or, crucially, if you are ready to accept the situation as novel, and to suspend judgment long enough for a new interpretation to form (Weick, 1995).[3] These two things – willingness to act and having a model that tells you when action is necessary – are both factors that make it more likely that someone will show up when necessary. Notice the strong tendency for leadership metaphors to be upwards: stand up and be counted, rise to the occasion, take a stand, step up to the plate: the surface leadership theme is salience; the deeper leadership theme is about taking risks.

It is clear that there is no single way of looking at leadership. Every time an act of leadership happens (so long as somebody notices it) a microcosm is created in which many conditions and variables are enfolded. Leadership therefore is not a person, or a position, but an act and such action can and should be manifest across society, across and within organisations at all levels.

So we return to the question how can we lead when we are not the leader? Our brief review of the notion of leadership seems to pose a counter question, how can we notlead when leadership is required? For leadership to happen three things need to take place: firstly we all need to notice that action is required. We are all familiar with that feeling that something must be done or that something could be done. Leading without being the leader in part means stepping up and taking risks in acting. So, the second thing that is required to lead when you are not the leader is to decide to act or not. In a previous post I discussed the idea of a ‘responsible leadership’ being rooted in ‘integrity at the moment of decision’. To help you decide whether to take leadership action (or not) check your conscience in the moment of decision; conscience is a useful guide to action. Failure to act in line with conscience is at the heart of our leadership crisis, a crisis characterised by good people doing nothing. The leadership gap at the heart of the leadership crisis could also be referred to as a ‘saying/doing gap’ where we fail to walk our own talk. Then the final element for leadership to happen is that there is an action, something is done that moves or changes things.

So how do we build our capacity to lead, to notice, decide and act? Of course, there are many ways to help build the capacity for leadership, but one seems to be crucial, especially to supporting the process of leading when you are not the leader. It is Mindfulness (Weick, 2001[4], Carrol, 2007[5]).

Mindfulness is part self- awareness and self-monitoring, part alertness, sensitivity to others and situational flexibility, and part being poised to act. It is also mindfulness of purpose, that is having present to one’s mind a general goal that shapes momentary action, a goal that one is able to articulate – that has been thought out, that is always evolving and deepening and that is connected to a fundamental moral, spiritual or social imperative. Mindfulness connects conscience with action and, crucially helps us to notice, to focus our attention both externally and internally connecting the world with our personal internal state and helping us to successfully navigate that antagonistic boundary.

Mindfulness through some kind of meditative practice has become very popular over recent years. Exponents enthusiastically report improved levels of concentration and focus, a drop in anxiety and a greater level of appreciation and connection. In leadership terms it is ’clarity of perception’ that mindfulness seems to bring that assists the process of noticing and acting.

We desperately need to close the leadership gap. We need more leadership action, not more leaders. We need all of us to step up and to take responsibility for taking the action that we see as missing and are aching for. In my view we need to combine an individual mindfulness practice with a dispensing of simple assumptions about what leadership is and is not. And to acknowledge that we are all called to lead, in the moment, in the face of our conscience and in the sure and certain knowledge that it is the only way that we will make the world a better place.

[1] http://www.gallup.com/poll/184061/employee-engagement-unmoved-june.aspx

[2] Latané, B., & Darley, J. M. (1970). The unresponsive bystander: Why doesn’t he help? New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc.

[3] Weick, K. E. (1995). Sensemaking in organizations. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage

[4] Weick, K. E. (2001). Making sense of the organization. Oxford: Blackwell

[5] Carroll, M. (2007) The Mindful Leader: Awakening Your Natural Management Skills Through. Boston, Trumpeter Books.

A career in print: from Louise Stephenson, Client Sales Service Director at Precision

Director at Precision

Print was probably the last thing on my mind when asked as a school leaver, “what do you want to do when you grow up”.

After leaving college I went straight into employment, I worked as a PA for Rothschild’s the Merchant Bankers and from there moved into customer services working for brands such as Orange and Barclays, I quickly proved myself and worked quickly through the ranks making my way up to call centre manager, heading up a large team of customer service and sales agents.

As a manager amongst a team I always believed in leading by example, therefore spent an hour a day on the phones listening to what our customers were telling us and encouraging my team leaders to do the same. I quickly realised that selling our products was easier when our customers recognised that they were being given an unbeatable level of service and we as team knew and understood the products we were selling.

So where does print come into my story, my sister and her husband started their own print company and asked if I would like to help them increase their sales. Knowing nothing about print but being confident talking to people I offered my help, and years later I am still here and I can honestly say I have loved every minute of the journey I have been on. We have progressed from being a print management company to having a complete production facility offering digital, offset and large format.

Long days, hard work and having a focus where customer satisfaction and quality of products we printed were pivotal to the business ethos we slowly started to make a name for ourselves within the printing industry.

Staff numbers increased and everyone joining always commented on how much of a team we were, everyone did what they could to ensure that the jobs got out of the door on time and were printed to the highest standards.

Personally I had to very quickly learn about Paper Sizes, PDF’s, CMYK v RGB v Spot Colour, print ready artwork, crops and bleed it all seemed so alien to me, fast forward to today and I sometimes shock myself that I can speak so fluently about these areas of our industry. I really do know my Durst Omega 2 from my Indigo.

Fast forward to November 2014 and we joined forces with Precision Printing and Precision North was born. After meeting the team and visiting Precision South offices I realised that together we really could push the boundaries and offer a complete print solution.

Printing is not a natural first choice of career for women to move into and I am proud to be part of a scheme in the North East called, “Building my Skills”, where businesses go into Secondary Schools and talk to School Leavers about our industry. Print has the ability to transform a brand, print can show your customers that you care, whether it be a personalised brochure or a simple business card. My advice to all women wanting a career in print is firstly, be hungry for knowledge, I still strive to learn from my colleagues. Finally, but in my mind the most important, know your customer, listen to your customers needs and always aim to go that extra mile.