Tuesday, May 21, 2013

212 has Record Week!

I want to take the time to personally thank and congratulate everyone on our BEST WEEK EVER!

Last week our organization produced over 100k in revenue!

What does that mean???

1. We were able to reach over 10,000 customers
2. We secured over 900 customers for new services for our clients
3. Our closing ratio is at nearly 10% (versus the average 1% which is common amongst the more traditional forms of direct marketing and sales)
4. This will make our clients over 2.7 million over the next 2 years
5. We are getting bigger and better!

I want to specifically recognize our managers in NYC. Running at over a 35% profit margin! (--in the most expensive city :) ) A hard feat and deserved of a TON of positive recognition...FYI a certain well known company (named after a common fruit...) ran at around 37% last quarter...

All in all a great week. Thank you all for the hard work.


President/Captain/Boss Lady/Your Biggest Fan

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

212, Inc. Participates In Charity Event To Raise Money For Operation Smile


12 Inc., a sales and marketing firm in the Boston area, will be participating in a charity event for Operation Smile. The company will be attending a holiday party in Boston’s financial district to raise money for the charity.

212, Inc. is a premier outsourced sales and marketing firm located in Wellesley, MA. As a privately owned and operated firm, 212 focuses on providing opportunity to Fortune 50 clients as well as its associates. 212’s policy is to promote from within so they can continue to grow in the years to come.

212 Inc.’s main client is the global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless as well as wireline communications services to businesses, wholesalers, mass market and government customers. The client offers bundles services providing Internet access, telephone, and television over a fiber-optic communications network. The client was one of the first major U.S. carriers to offer fiber to the home.

Operation Smile, founded in 1982, is an international charity for children in need of reconstructive surgery to repair facial deformities such as cleft lip and cleft palate. With the help of a mobilized force of medical professionals, the organization has provided more than 3.5 million comprehensive patient evaluations and over 200,000 free surgeries. Since inception, medical volunteers and donations has made Operation Smile one of the most prominent charities for children in the world and with a presence in over 60 countries.

Members of 212 will join other companies, friends, family and members of the community in a charity Halloween party for the cause. The event will take place at Market Lounge in Boston’s Financial District. Attendees will donate a $10 entry fee. All profits will go directly to Operation Smile.

This is not the first time 212 Inc. has done philanthropic work. Earlier this year, members of 212 attended a leadership conference in Miami and participated in a charity dodgeball tournament that helped raise over $3600 for the Operation Smile. The company has also worked with the Salvation Army and their Adopt a Family program.

212 Inc. plans to continue its charity work throughout the coming years and will be participating in a charity flag football tournament to raise money for Operation Smile.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

212 Is Growing!

We are excited to be adding new members to our management team and, with the added leadership, we are expanding to more locations.  We would like to give some recognition to the team members that have worked hard for their promotions.  

Congratulations Oliniyi on your promotion to Assistant Manager!
Great Job Okletey on taking on the expansion of a new location in New Mexico!
Congratulations Tiffany  and Armand on your upcoming promotions to Management and leading the expansion to two new locations.

We are excited to see these expansions close to double the size of the organization.  Great job to a hard working team.  Keep up the good work.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

6 Ways Successful Teams Are Built To Last


Glenn Llopis, Contributor

It takes great leadership to build great teams. Leaders  who are not  afraid to course correct, make the difficult decisions and establish standards of performance that are constantly  being met – and improving at all times.   Whether in the workplace, professional sports,  or your local community, team building requires a keen understanding of people, their strengths and what gets them excited to work with others.   Team building requires the management of egos and their constant demands for attention and recognition – not always warranted.   Team building is both an art and a science and the leader who can consistently build high performance teams is worth their weight in gold.

History has shown us that it takes a special kind of leader with unique competencies and skills to successfully build great companies and teams.  In the sports world, the late John Wooden set the standard for great coaches, leading UCLA to 10 NCAA national basketball championships in a 12-year period — seven in a row.   His success was so iconic, Wooden created his own “Pyramid for Success” to help others excel through his proven wisdom. In the business world, we can look to Jack Welsh,  who was the Chairman and CEO of General Electric between 1981 and 2001. According to Wikipedia, the company’s value rose 4000% during his tenure.  In 2006 Welch’s net worth was estimated at $720 million and in 2009, he launched the Jack Welsh Management Institute  at Strayer University.

Building companies requires the know-how to build long-lasting teams.   This is why most managers never become leaders and why most leaders never reach the highest pinnacle of leadership success.   It requires the ability to master the “art of people” and knowing how to maneuver hundreds (if not thousands) of people at the right place and at the right time.  It means knowing how each person thinks and how to best utilize their competencies rightly at all times.  It’s playing a continuous chess match – knowing that every wrong move that is made can cost the company hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars (just ask BP and Enron).

As you evaluate the sustainability of the team(s) you lead and its real impact on the organization you serve, here are six ways successful teams are built to last:

1.       Be Aware of How You Work

As the leader of the team, you must be extremely aware of your leadership style and techniques.   Are they as effective as you think?  How well are they accepted by the team you are attempting to  lead?  Evaluate yourself and be critical about where you can improve, especially in areas that will benefit those whom you are a leading.

Though you may be in-charge, how you work may not be appreciated by those who work for you.  You may have  good intentions, but make sure you hold yourself accountable to course-correct and modify your approach if necessary to assure that you’re leading from a position of strength and respectability.

Be your own boss.  Be flexible.  Know who you are as a leader.

2.       Get to Know the Rest of the Team

Much like you need to hold yourself accountable for your actions to assure you maximize performance and results, you must make the time to get to know your team and encourage camaraderie.   In my “emotional intelligence blog,” I discuss the importance of caring, understanding the needs of your team and embracing differences and helping your colleagues experience their significance.  In this case, gathering intelligence means learning what defines the strengths and capabilities of your team –  the real assets that each member brings to the table, those they leave behind and those  yet to be developed.

All great leaders know exactly what buttons to push and when to push them.  They are experts at activating the talent that surrounds them.  They are equally as effective at matching unique areas of subject matter expertise and / or competencies to solve  problems and seek new solutions.

Fully knowing your team means that you have invested the time to understand how they are wired to think and what is required to motivate them to excel beyond what is expected from them.

Think of your team as puzzle pieces that can be placed together in a variety of ways.

3.       Clearly Define Roles & Responsibilities

When you successfully complete step 2, you can then more effectively and clearly define the roles and responsibilities of those on your team.  Now, don’t assume this is an easy step;  in fact, you’ll often find that people’s ideal roles  lie outside their job descriptions.
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Each of your team member’s responsibilities must be interconnected and dependent upon one another.    This is not unlike team sports, where some players are known as “system players” – meaning that, although they may not be the most talented person on the team,  they know how to work best within the “system.”    This is why you must have a keen eye for talent that can evaluate people not  only on their ability to play a particular role – but even more so on whether they fit the workplace culture (the system) and  will be a team player.

For example, I once inherited an employee who wasn’t very good at his specific job.  Instead of firing him, I took the time to get to know him and utilized his natural talents as a strategic facilitator who could keep all of the moving parts within the department in proper alignment and in lock-step communication.   This person helped our team operate more efficiently and saved the company money by avoiding the bad decisions they previously made because of miscommunications.  He was eventually promoted into a special projects manager role.

A team should operate as a mosaic whose unique strengths and differences convert into a powerful united force.

4.       Be Proactive with Feedback

Feedback is the key to assuring any team is staying on track, but more importantly that it is improving each day.   Feedback should be proactive and constant.   Many leaders are prone to wait until a problem occurs before they give feedback.

Feedback is simply the art of great communication.  It should be something that is part of one’s natural dialogue.  Feedback can be both formal and informal.    In fact, if it becomes too structured and stiff, it becomes difficult for the feedback to be authentic and impactful.

Remember that every team is different, with its own unique nuances and dynamics.  Treat them as such.  No cookie-cutter approach is allowed.   Allow proactive feedback to serve as your team’s greatest enabler for continuous improvement.

Take the time to remind someone of how and what they can be doing better.  Learn from them. Don’t complicate the process of constructive feedback.  Feedback is two-way communication.

5.       Acknowledge and Reward

With proactive feedback comes acknowledgement and reward.  People love recognition, but are most appreciative of respect.   Take the time to give your teammates the proper accolades they have earned and deserve.   I have seen too many leaders take performance for granted because they don’t believe that one should be rewarded for “doing their job.”

At a time when people want to feel as if they are making a difference, be a thoughtful leader and reassure your team that you are paying attention to their efforts.   Being genuine in your recognition and respect goes a long way towards building loyalty and trust.  It organically ignites extra effort!

When people are acknowledged, their work brings them greater satisfaction and becomes more purposeful.

6.       Always Celebrate Success

At a time when uncertainty is being dealt with each day, you must take the time to celebrate success.    This goes beyond acknowledgment – this is about taking a step-back and reflecting on what you have accomplished and what you have learned throughout the journey.

In today’s fast-paced, rapidly changing world of work, people are not taking enough time to understand why they were successful and how their success reverberated and positively impacted those around them.    I have seen leaders fall into the trap of self-aggrandizement – because of what their teams accomplished – rather than celebrating the success stories that in many cases required tremendous effort,  sacrifice and perseverance.

Celebration is a short-lived activity.  Don’t ignore it.  Take the time to live in the moment and remember what allowed you to cross the finish line.

Leaders are only as successful as their teams and the great ones know  that with the right team dynamics, decisions and diverse personalities, everyone wins in the end.

Monday, October 8, 2012

i4u.com Recognizes 212, Inc. for Charity Work with Operation Smile http://www.i4u.com/2012/10/boston-ma/smile-operation-212-money-tournament-raises-dodgeball-inc-charity

212 Inc., a sales and marketing firm based out of Wellesley, MA, traveled to Miami for a national client hosted conference. The weekend is an annual event geared around rewarding the country’s client vendors. In addition to dinners, a talent show, free jet ski rides and awards ceremony, there was a charity dodgeball tournament to raise money for Operation Smile.

212, Inc. is a premier outsourced sales and marketing firm in the greater Boston area. As a privately owned and operated firm, 212 is dedicated to providing opportunity to Fortune 50 clients as well as every associate.

One of the main clients at 212 is the nation’s leading provider in the telecommunications industry. The client provides bundled Internet access, telephone, and television services. 212’s focus is to acquire and retain account holders for the fiber-optic communications division of the company.

212 is hired because its clients look for "an edge" in advertising. 212, Inc. helps fill the gap between client and customer that advertising leaves. 212 achieves its results by conducting live presentations one on one with client account holders.

Operation Smile, a non-profit organization founded in 1982, is an international charity for children. The organization is a mobilized group of doctors and nurses who provide reconstructive surgery for children born with facial deformities such as cleft lip and cleft palate.

Since inception, Operation Smile has created a presence in over 60 countries and has helped more than 2 million people with evaluations as well as conducted over 200,000 free surgeries.

The dodgeball tournament involved several teams of 6 competing in a best out of three bracket style competition. Each team paid an entry fee of $100 to play. One hundred percent of the donated entry fees went to Operation Smile.

“It is always exciting to give back. Operation Smile is such an inspiring organization of extremely selfless people. I am glad we were able to be a part of the event and I look forward to continuing to work with Operation Smile in the future,” explains Andrea Atkinson, President of 212, Inc.

The event helped raise $3600 and the winning team got the honor of presenting the total donations in their name. 212, Inc. has also volunteered with the Salvation Army’s Adopt A Family program and will continue its philanthropic work in the months to come.

Monday, October 1, 2012

212 Inc. Raises Money For Operation Smile In Charity Dodgeball Tournament

212 Inc., a Massachusetts based sales and marketing firm, traveled to Miami and participated in a charity event for Operation Smile.

212 Inc., a sales and marketing firm based out of Wellesley, MA, traveled to Miami for a national client hosted conference.  The weekend is an annual event geared around rewarding the country’s client vendors.  In addition to dinners, a talent show, free jet ski rides and awards ceremony, there was a charity dodgeball tournament to raise money for Operation Smile.

 212, Inc. is a premier outsourced sales and marketing firm in the greater Boston area.  As a privately owned and operated firm, 212 is dedicated to providing opportunity to Fortune 50 clients as well as every associate. 

One of the main clients at 212 is the nation’s leading provider in the telecommunications industry.  The client provides bundled Internet access, telephone, and television services.  212’s focus is to acquire and retain account holders for the fiber-optic communications division of the company.

212 is hired because its clients look for "an edge" in advertising.  212, Inc. helps fill the gap between client and customer that advertising leaves.   212 achieves its results by conducting live presentations one on one with client account holders.

Operation Smile, a non-profit organization founded in 1982, is an international charity for children.  The organization is a mobilized group of doctors and nurses who provide reconstructive surgery for children born with facial deformities such as cleft lip and cleft palate.

Since inception, Operation Smile has created a presence in over 60 countries and has helped more than 2 million people with evaluations as well as conducted over 200,000 free surgeries.

The dodgeball tournament involved several teams of 6 competing in a best out of three bracket style competition.  Each team paid an entry fee of $100 to play.  One hundred percent of the donated entry fees went to Operation Smile.  

“It is always exciting to give back.  Operation Smile is such an inspiring organization of extremely selfless people.  I am glad we were able to be a part of the event and I look forward to continuing to work with Operation Smile in the future,” explains Andrea Atkinson, President of 212, Inc.

The event helped raise $3600 and the winning team got the honor of presenting the total donations in their name.  212, Inc. has also volunteered with the Salvation Army’s Adopt A Family program and will continue its philanthropic work in the months to come.

Check Out What's Been Going On With 212 Inc. This Month

Client Hosted Neon Party at National Conference in Miami, FL

212 Visit To California

Free Jet Ski Rides at National Conference in Miami, FL

Charity Dodgeball Tournament To Raise Money For Operation Smile 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

5 Ways To Find Your Strengths To Be An Exceptional Leader


Samantha Cortez

In order to become better leaders, people typically focus on improving their weaknesses. But now, research is showing that developing your strengths is actually more effective.

John Zenger, Joseph R. Folkman, Robert Sherwin, Jr., and Barbara Steel—authors of the book How To Be Exceptional: Drive Leadership Success By Magnifying Your Strengths—believe that working on strengths dramatically improves one’s leadership skills and leads to more successful business interactions.

"If you concur that leadership is a set of skills and not a body of knowledge or a personality type, then learning leadership skills probably has much in common with learning any other set of skills," they say.

Here are some tips they provided on improving leadership strengths:

1. Have humility. The authors believe that humility, or humbleness, is a difficult strength to improve on, but will make a good leader in the long term if mastered.

“It is difficult to come up with a plan for improving humility, and often leaders would write something like ‘just be more humble’ or ‘don’t be arrogant.’” Try exercises in and outside of the workplace where whenever someone describes a scenario or situation they’re in, you put yourself in their position. Do this over and over, and being able to relate to others will come more naturally.

2. Identify the behaviors that should be developed. “We propose a model with three important filters for identifying a behavior that could be expanded for strength. We label this the CPO model, where C stands for ‘competence (how effective you already are with this skill),’ P for ‘passion,’ and O for ‘organization need.’”

3. Ask for feedback. This will allow you to let your guard down and embrace open-mindedness. Good leaders should always welcome suggestions.

“A key competency of any successful leader is the ability to continually gather, accept and respond to feedback. Data collected from thousands of respondents on the coaching behavior of their boss confirm that asking for feedback is the behavior on which these leaders received the lowest single scores. Yet, when we look at the willingness of a leader to ask others for feedback, we find that there is an excellent overall leadership effectiveness.”

4. Take a behavior modeling class. An extremely powerful formal development process for teaching many leadership skills is behavior modeling. This technology utilizes video clips that show managers handling difficult situations well. The course content explains the key action steps that were being followed. The bulk of the learning process involves participants practicing and rehearsing these skills with one another.

5. Try cross-training. Once you've developed a particular skill to a high degree of competency, it's time to look at sharpening other skills which are complementary to the primary strength, such as communication or technical abilities.

"When athletes aspire to become more than just casual participants in a sport, they often turn to cross-training. Aspiring runners take up cycling, swimming, and weightlifting. Our favorite example is a football coach who scheduled several of the lumbering lineman to take ballet lessons in an attempt to make them more conscious of their footwork and acquire more agility."

Monday, September 10, 2012

212 Inc. Travels To Miami For A Combination of Business, Fun and Giving Back

Executives of 212 Inc. will be traveling to Miami Beach for an annual national conference and a bit of fun on the beach.

The weekend will be hosted at the Miami Eden Roc hotel and will include some brief meetings, a chance to relax on the beach, networking opportunities with several business professionals from all across the country, and two charity tournaments.

This year's charity events will include a beach volleyball tournament and a beach cornhole tournament.   These tournaments mark the 5th year the company will be attending a charity event at the client hosted national conference. 

This years charity will be a Beach Volleyball Tournament followed by a Beach Cornhole
Tournament.  Teams of six for volleyball pay an entry fee of $100 and each team of 2 for cornhole pay a $20 entry fee.  One hundred percent of the entry fees collected will be
donated to Operation Smile and the winning team will have the honor of presenting the donation check to Operation.

Congratulations to those hard working individuals who have earned the opportunity to attend this fun filled weekend.

10 Leadership Lessons From Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn

Jeanne Meister, Contributor

I had the pleasure of attending the first video pilot interview of LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner by Adam Bryant, New York Times Senior Editor for Features.

As a user of LinkedIn and loyal reader of Adam’s Corner Office columns I had high expectations for the live interview. I walked away feeling like a high school girl who experienced her first crush. And now I am writing a tell all!

Jeff’s open and compassionate leadership style keeps the company focused on growing at the rate of two new members every second (that translates into 175 million registered users in more than 200 countries) while reducing the business mantra to just two words: “Next Play.” Weiner borrowed the phrase from Duke University basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski, who shouts Next Play, every time the ball changes hands. Krzyzewski uses the phrase to make sure the Duke University Blue Devils don’t spend too much time celebrating a success or feeling down about a miss. Instead, they are coached to focus on one thing: the next challenge. During the interview with Bryant, Weiner described how powerful Next Play has been for the company. On the day LinkedIn became a public company, employees received a black T shirt with the company’s name and stock ticker written across the front and Next Play emblazoned on the back of the shirt. Even today 16 months after the LinkedIn IPO, employees continue to talk about their Next Play and stay focused on delivering results.

During the video interview, Weiner shared 10 lessons in leadership I think every businessperson should be aware of. They include:

1)    Define leadership in your company: At LinkedIn, Leadership is the ability to inspire others and achieve shared results. It starts with defining a clear vision. In the case of LinkedIn it is to create economic opportunity for the 3.3 billion people in the global workplace by matching skills with job opportunities.

2)    Understand how to evolve from a start-up to a public company: A CEO and the leadership team must understand the importance of growing their skills from solving problems to coaching others to achieve business results.

3)   Prioritize your business goals: Start with asking yourself and your team if we could only do one thing, what would it be? This is a lesson Weiner learned from Steve Jobs and practices every day. Weiner’s advice is to focus on doing fewer things, and do those things well.

4)   Practice time management: Weiner carves out 2-3 hours each day to reflect, think and see the big picture. Weiner’s advice if you do not carve out at least an hour you are fitting way too much into your schedule.

5)   Encourage all employees to think like an owner: Employees in a start-up must understand the business decisions they make are ones that have P&L implications. In the case of LinkedIn, this means understanding how the decisions they are making impact the company mission of connecting the world’s 640 Million professionals and making them more successful.

6)   Keep putting your customers first:  At LinkedIn, one of the values is simply stated as: Members First. So anytime the LinkedIn product team considers new enhancements the first question revolves around: Is this putting our members first, or is this putting the company first? “If it benefits members, it will ultimately benefit the company.

7)   Remember To laugh: Executing on a bold vision like creating economic opportunity for 3.3 billion people around the world is tough work. So humor needs to be a part of every executive’s day.  Make time to laugh with your team members. Weiner says he values his team members’ sense of humor and sometimes, on a tough day, that can trump their talent and expertise!

8)  Find time to reflect on what’s important to you: Working professionals should take time to ask themselves: “If you had to look back at your career 20-30 years from now, what do you want to say you have accomplished?” Weiner says he is amazed how many people he interviews cannot answer this question and worse yet have never thought about it. Instead, far too many focus on the next job role, next title, or next compensation package, without knowing what it is you want to leave the world. And Weiner believes once you take time to articulate this to yourself, you begin to manifest this to others and before too long, you start on a path to realize your vision.

9) Understand what makes you happy: Weiner lives by five keys to happiness: (articulated by Ray Chambers, an entrepreneur who helped create the leveraged buyout industry, as well as a number of non profits such as National Mentoring Partnership and Americas Promise) These include:

    Stay in the moment.
    Step back and become a spectator to your own thoughts.
    It’s more important to be loving than to be right.
    Go out of your way to serve others.
    Take time each morning, to write down what you are grateful for and read it throughout the day.

10) Communicate the importance of next play to your team: The faster a company grows, the more opportunity there is to experience both successes and failures. While it’s important to celebrate the successes, and reflect on a failure, you ultimately have to move on and focus on the “Next Play.”

So did Weiner share LinkedIn’s Next Play? No, for that, we will all have to log onto the site and see for ourselves. 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Happy Birthday To An Amazing Human Resource Director!

212, Inc. wishes a happy birthday to our Director of Human Resources, Renee!
Happy Birthday!

5 Things Business Leaders Can Learn from Tiger - Forbes.com - Jason Selk, Contributor


After falling off the performance roadmap for a few years, Tiger Woods has recently re-established himself as one of the top players in the world.  Not only is Tiger positioned to make history and become known as the greatest golfer of all time, but it also appears he is leading others to improve their game, as well. Here are 5 things business leaders can learn from Tiger:

1. Face Pressure Head On

When recently asked about how much pressure he was under for an upcoming Major, Tiger responded by saying, “The same. The same pressure as any other tournament, and the same pressure every other player faces.” Pressure is self-imposed and can serve as quite a distraction if not dealt with properly. The most effective method for working through pressure is to acknowledge that the stakes are high and then move on. Force yourself to focus on what you can control, rather than allowing your mind to fixate on what could go wrong or on what the competition is doing. Jim Weddle, Managing Partner of Edward Jones, knows all too well about dealing with pressure. In 2011, in the face of a tough economic climate in which most brokerage firms struggled to survive, Weddle lead the company to one of its most successful years in the firm’s history. Weddle exemplified an unwavering focus on working with long-term individual investors and emphasizing quality rather than allowing his mind to waver on the uncertainty of the market. If you find yourself focusing on the potential obstacles to your success, commit to replacing those thoughts within 60 seconds with an idea for one thing you can do to put yourself in the best possible position to move forward.

2. Learn to Give Credit Where Credit is Due

Self-confidence is the number one variable for positively impacting performance in the entire field of sport psychology. This principle extends to the business world, as well. Tiger is often heard giving himself credit for his “strong iron play” or having his “focus on-target.” Learning to give oneself credit is an extremely effective method of increasing self-confidence and, hence, improving the likelihood for strong future performances. Get in the habit of writing down at least three successes at the end of each day. Doing so will have a compounding effect on self-confidence, thus allowing you to bounce back from tough times more quickly.

3. Emphasize Preparation

Prior to his dreadful Thanksgiving disaster, Tiger was definitely the hardest working and the most prepared player on the tour. I was lucky enough to have access to his training plan, as well as that of 4 other tour players with whom I was working. Tiger was out-preparing 3 of the 4 players by more than 30%, and the forth he was outdoing by a whopping 50%. After working through some personal distraction, Tiger is back on track with his mental and physical preparation. George Paz, CEO of the “mega-pharm” company, Express Scripts, lead his team to unprecedented market cap growth by emphasizing industriousness. In an interview discussing the changes within the company, Paz referred to his task of ensuring that the quality of the level of service provided to clients remains strong as “my 8-to-5 job.” He went on to say, “My 5-to-8 job is what’s the next move?”  Work ethic and preparation will go a long way at determining the final score on the scoreboard. It is a fairly straightforward equation: if the work ethic is consistently there, the results are sure to follow. Are you outworking your competition?

4. Believe

When Tiger was recently asked if he was surprised at his reemerging dominance, he simply answered, “No. Next question.” An old saying in sport states: “Positive thinking doesn’t always work…negative thinking does.” When you believe in yourself, you significantly increase your ability to achieve greatness. Easier said than done, yet replacing negative and self-doubting thoughts with affirmative thoughts will have a significant impact on your success. Consider adopting a mental training program to train your brain toward positive thinking.

5. Be Accountable without Deprecation

Tiger has learned to be accountable for mistakes without internalizing failures. Take for example his comment about losing a late lead in the US Open: “I had the lead, and I lost it. I’m not happy about it, but it happens.” Great athletes and leaders alike have a tendency to beat themselves up when they fall short of expectations. Individuals who spend too much time punishing themselves for shortcomings become poised for lowered self-confidence and emotional unrest. Jack Welch, the former CEO of G.E., has been famously quoted stating: “I’ve learned that mistakes can often be as a good a teacher as success.” Welch has used the solutions generated from his mistakes to put himself in a better position than when he started. Learn to own failures without making excuses, and then quickly begin focusing on solutions to increase the probability for improvement. There is no need or benefit in stewing about your shortcomings, so stop doing it.

Tiger Woods is an inspiring example of leadership and dominance in sport, and some of the principles of mental toughness he displays are also found in the most successful business leaders in the world. He has not always been on top, yet his relentless drive serves as a mold for success. Realistically, business leaders are not always going to experience success, and high times are going to be tempered with seemingly brick walls to climb. How these difficulties are handled separates the leaders from the ones who fall behind. Developing a plan to deal with pressure and keep confidence high, while consistently working hard will go a long way at putting you on the leader board in golf, business and life.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Learn the skills of a horse whisperer for leadership success - by Selina Denman


Tauseef Qadri first started exploring the idea of "equitelligence", or equine-inspired emotional intelligence, while studying management sciences at Loughborough University in the UK. Admittedly, Qadri was not your average management student. A keen horseman who began riding as a toddler and went on to study natural horsemanship under Ingella Larsson, one of the world's leading "horse whisperers", he was as familiar with the workings of horses as he was with the workings of human beings.

"I had to do a course on emotional intelligence and how we applied it in our own context. The world I knew was horses, so I thought about how I could apply those concepts to horses. I got a fantastic grade in that thesis, which encouraged me to think about developing those ideas further," he says.

Natural horsemanship involves communicating with a horse using barely perceptible signals and subtle shifts in body language. It demands that a level of trust be built between the two parties and that they develop a common, non-vocal language. "Horsemanship is about developing an innate understanding of the horse's perspective of the world. You have these two different worlds and in horsemanship you try to find a symbiosis."

But many of the key principles in horsemanship can just as easily be applied to human behaviour, particularly when it comes to the workplace, Qadri discovered. After completing his degree, he went to work for Xerox and then did a stint in the financial services industry, which brought him to Dubai in 2006. All the while, he was incubating his ideas on "equitelligence".

He subsequently developed a two-day intensive leadership programme based on developing emotional intelligence through interaction with horses, which has already proven popular with a number of high-profile corporations. "Usually the most experiential part of emotional intelligence workshops is when you interact face-to-face on a role play basis. But in that kind of context, both you and I know it's not real. Try telling that to a 1,200-pound animal. With a horse, you have to be absolutely authentic."

Qadri shared five key leadership skills that he believes can be developed through interactions with horses.


Part of the course involves grooming the horse and learning more about them. "This generates that elusive skill of empathy, which is so important in the workplace," says Qadri.

Physiologically, and often unconsciously, at this point people will start smiling, their pupils will dilate, they will start salivating and they will get a tingling feeling in their back. "Those are the biological signs of empathy – it means that you are really making a connection. And people seem to have that with horses; that species divide is transcended."

Body language

Horses communicate almost exclusively through body language, but more than 87 per cent of human communication is also purely physical. Participants learn the rudiments of horsemanship, which covers how they direct their energy, how they direct their focus, how they highlight to the horse that they are relaxed and how they increase their energy and transfer that energy to the horse.

Push versus release

Participants are invited to stand in front of their horse and make them walk backwards. "There is a rope connected to the halter and you just wiggle it increasingly vigorously; at a certain stage the horse will understand that he needs to move back. If people struggle with assertiveness, they will never go beyond a light wiggle. The horse will look at them and do nothing. Other people will swing the rope so hard that the horse will feel that jerk and literally run backwards. That's not what you want either. That's a reaction, not a response," says Qadri.

"Similarly, in a board meeting, you should know when to press the accelerator because you are trying to drive a point home, but you should also know when not to because you are going to elicit a reaction and not a response," says Qadri.


Because they are herd animals that are eager to please, horses will relinquish leadership if they understand what is required of them and think you know what you are doing. If you are inconsistent, they won't.

The role of recognition

There's a saying in horsemanship that is all-important: "The pressure will motivate but the release teaches." Participants must encourage the horse to take some kind of action, but if that action is completed, they must immediately take away the pressure. "You must be able to say to the horse at that point in time, 'Thank you, you've done a great job'. The more you can create that recognition culture, the more a horse will try harder for you," says Qadri.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Leadership lessons from Olympics by Dinesh Weerakkody


By Dinesh Weerakkody
With a little British pomp and a lot of British pop, London brought the curtain down on a glorious Olympic Games to a close. However, it was some of the great athletes at those games more than the pomp and the pop that really made a lasting impression on everyone by doing things out of the ordinary.
Many of us were inspired by each story that was covered, and impressed by athletes who overcame incredible odds to make it to the games. No matter what industry you are in, there are valuable lessons from the Olympics that we can apply to our businesses.
For example, when Usain Bolt crossed the finish line during his 200-meter final, he made one simple gesture. He didn’t point to the sky. He didn’t raise his hands in the air. Bolt merely held up his finger to his lips, making a gesture of silence to his opposition. He’d reached a new pinnacle in his career and his first reaction was to silence those who thought he’d never make it.
Although Usain Bolt could be seen as arrogant and full of himself, his actual performance matched his level of self- confidence. As a result, he is now become a legend.
Just as Bolt excels in sprinting, there are champions in every profession and business. It’s the difference between one who simply gets the job done vs. someone who gets the job done incredibly well, makes a lasting impression and also a big difference to the final outcome. 
While there are dozens of things leaders can learn from the Olympics, the following lessons can help to strengthen our organisations.
Leadership research says that learning agility is the largest predictor of long-term success. Great athletes are great learners. Learning and improvement are often about the small and simple things, great sprinters are very analytical about all kinds of little things - their start, stride, footwear, clothing, etc. Learning ideas become shared over time. Learning can be defined as the ability to generate and generalize ideas.
Once a sprinter has innovated something new, then those ideas will likely to be transferred to others. Leaders learn by both doing new things and by learning from others. Then some ability to success is learnable, some are inherent.
The best sprinters in the world have great abilities to learn, but they also have natural ability. Therefore, it is important to position people in jobs where their talents are more applicable and relevant to the role.
Sense of pride
The spirit of the Olympics brings out the best in most of the athletes. Many of those great athletes are so committed to their craft that they invest more than 10,000s of hours in improving their skill, confidence and also to make the most of their own potential. Success therefore is talent plus preparation and it seems the bigger the role preparation plays over talent in the final outcome.
Also, many of the successful athletes while they feel a sense of pride in the sport, they also have a huge sense of pride in representing their country. 
Likewise, companies need to invest time and resources to create that sense of pride within their organisations, to ensure that their employees do their best work for the company and also to help their employees to realize their full potential.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Great Job 212 Team - Employee Recognition For The Month

Congratulations to Rachelle and Kyle for being awarded with a trip to San Francisco for a leadership conference this month. You have done a great job and we are excited to send you to the West Coast for additional career training. Can't wait to see what you bring back. Have fun and great job!

Congratulations Rachelle on your newest promotion. We are excited to see how quickly you have grown with the company, We are looking forward to what you do in with your new responsibilities! Keep up the great work.

Great job Derek and Keith for receiving national recognition for your outstanding performance last week with our Fortune 500 client.   Keep up the great work!

Open Positions At 212, Inc.

Check out the latest open positions at 212, Inc. here - http://www.careerbuilder.com/Jobs/Company/CHN6046YY41MHSCX1SF/212-Inc/?APath=

212, Inc. Celebrates Over Five Years Of Success

 212, Inc., a New England based sales and marketing firm, is celebrating five years of successful business.  Over the years the company has expanded to over five times its founding size and expects to continue its growth in the months and years to come.

212, Inc. originally opened its doors in February 2007.  Now located in Wellesley, MA, the company has expanded to multiple locations from coast to coast from Rhode Island to California.  The company is a premier outsourced sales and marketing firm covering the greater Boston area.  As a privately owned and operated firm, 212 focuses on increasing market-share and retaining clients for Fortune 500 clients.

One of the main clients at 212 is the nation’s leading provider in the telecommunications industry.  The client provides bundled Internet access, telephone, and television services.  212’s focus is to acquire and retain account holders for the fiber-optic communications division of the company.

Over the past five years, 212 has experienced a growth increase of over 500%. In this time, the company has promoted five new members to its executive leadership team.  These additions have given 212 the ability to expand into 5 new market-shares and take on new clients from coast to coast.  Throughout this time, 212 has received several recognitions for outstanding national performance.

I am excited to see how the team here has evolved over the last five years.  Over the years, it is exciting to see the company continue to grow,” explains Andrea Atkinson, President of 212.   “I am most excited about seeing the individuals grow as the company grows.  We have seen several of our executives grow in their careers from the ground up and I am proud to see them get the promotions they have worked so hard to deserve.”

212, Inc. expects to continue this growth over the next few months and plans to expand to more locations by the end of the year.

Monday, August 13, 2012

How Introverts Can Be Exceptional Entrepreneurial Leaders


I had the honor and pleasure of sitting down with Josh Zywien of Open View Labs to talk about how introverts can be exceptional in entrepreneurial leadership roles, an area of importance to Open View as they aim to help entrepreneurs build great companies. This interview originally ran in the Open View Labs blog, and I wanted to share it here with all of you. Enjoy!


When it comes to introverts, there’s a common misconception that they lack the necessary qualities to be effective leaders. It’s a perception that leadership strategist and entrepreneur Lisa Petrilli disagrees with and, as a self-described introvert and a highly successful entrepreneur, it’s one she can legitimately disprove.

But being introverted isn’t about being shy or team averse, says Petrilli, who founded executive consulting firm C-Level Strategies in 2010 and authored The Introvert’s Guide to Success in Business and Leadership last year. Instead, it’s simply about drawing energy and creative juices from a different place.

While extroverts are at their best in more populated, bustling surroundings, introverts thrive in smaller group — and, yes, sometimes singular — settings and draw their energy from their inner world. Neither preference is wrong or better than the other, Petrilli explains, and both types of personalities can produce excellent leaders.

Petrilli recently sat down for a brief conversation with OpenView to discuss her experience as a successful introverted CEO, the roadblocks she faced along the way, and why she thinks possessing and communicating vision is the true foundation of great leaders.

As an introvert, did you find the leadership component of being an entrepreneur difficult early in your career?

Absolutely. In a business environment, you can’t escape the outer world that extroverts prefer. You have to exist and interact there if you want to be successful. For an extrovert, it’s an energizing experience to participate in larger groups and lead large teams. An introvert can be very successful in that world, but we don’t like to spend the preponderance of our time there.

Ultimately, leaders at companies of all sizes need to spend time every day getting out of their comfort zone if they want to be successful. I’m not suggesting that introverts have to become extroverts, but it’s important to get out of your office, motivate your team, and talk to the world about your company. If you’re the CEO of a growing company, those situations are unavoidable, and if you don’t embrace them at some point you’ll hit a career ceiling.

The good news, though, is that once you’ve done that, I absolutely think it’s important for introverts to return to their sanctums and explore their inner world of ideas. It’s really about striking a balance between your introverted preferences and the extroverted demands of corporate leadership.

What makes introverts particularly strong leaders in the startup and expansion stage phases?

I think introverts excel at creating and setting a vision for their company or product. Many people assume that the majority of CEOs — because they’re the figureheads of their companies — are extroverts. In my experience, that has not been the case.

Introverts — like a lot of entrepreneurs — tend to be creatively minded people who work well in innovative environments that allow them to dream up fantastic products and features. Early on, those people are great leaders because they’re comfortable communicating that vision to their small teams.

You talk a lot about the concept of “visionary leadership.” How exactly do you define it and how does it differ from other leadership styles?

I’m not sure that visionary leadership is a “style” as much as it is a foundation for great leadership. Ultimately, CEOs at the startup and enterprise levels need to know where they want to take their organizations. Executives may have a tendency to brush aside the idea of vision and turn it into a stock exercise that they execute with their team once a year.

That’s a big mistake. Your vision should be the framework of your business. It gets to the core of what you do, where you want the company to go, and what your market’s going to look like when you get there. Ultimately, a company’s leader needs to illuminate that path. If you look at Steve Jobs, he certainly did that with Apple. Steve Jobs was well known as a visionary and he created, communicated, and stuck with a very specific vision.

In the end, vision is about asking yourself how your business is going to make its customers more successful. When you think about your company as a medium for improving its customers’ lives, it can be hugely inspirational for you and your employees. Without that vision, your business will likely lack the internal fire that truly fuels long-term success.

What one piece of advice would you give early-stage CEOs — particularly introverted ones — about creating and communicating that vision to their teams?

I think the easiest way to summarize everything we’ve discussed is to say that what you bring to the table needs to be uniquely you. Whether we’re talking about leadership styles, personalities, or products, it’s critical to understand your strengths, embrace them, and deliver them in a way that is genuine and impactful.

Everyone assumes that innovation is about creating groundbreaking technology or that leadership is about being this boisterous personality, and neither is necessarily true. Ultimately, innovation and leadership are about being more of who you’re meant to be and less of who you’re not. If you can figure that out and clearly convey your passion, then you’ll empower your employees, investors, and customers to follow you.