Author: Dan Negroni

5 Top Leadership Tips for Next Gen Leaders

Leaders always want to up their game. They want to become high performance work athletes!  Whether they’re new to their leadership position, switching teams or companies, or just want to level up and be their best, real leaders know they have to put in the work to see the results. Use these 5 simple and proven leadership tips to up your game and create the impact you want to have at work this year. 

Leadership Tip #1: Use Your #1 Communication Tool

What is the #1 communication tool in any leader’s toolkit? Simple – your ears!

Great communicators are great listeners. They listen in order to understand, to make the other person feel heard, and to inquire about solutions with great questions. If you find yourself talking more than you listen, start there. Houston, there is a problem. Challenge yourself to recognize when you are overtalking and really listen to the people around you, your team, your bosses, your customers, family, etc. Then, stop, breathe, and shift to ask one great question that deepens your understanding and insight of your audience. Guaranteed you will be surprised how the simple act of listening changes results for you.

Leadership Tip #2: Let Go of Making it All About You and Needing to Always Be Right

Many leaders are leaders for a reason. They like to be in charge and to take control of situations and solutions. So, one of our most effective leadership tips to simply let go of that need to always be right and replace it with the desire to serve others. Accept and expect that your answer or your idea isn’t always the best one. You need to include diversity of thought. If you create space for others to step up and make their own ideas heard you will win every time. People want to feel that what they do matters, that they are contributing and creating impact. Part of your job as a leader is to simply back off and allow it to happen in the way that makes the most sense at the time.

Leadership Tip #3: Figure Out What People Want

The Platinum Rule has replaced the Golden Rule and it reminds us to treat people how they want to be treated, not how we want to be treated. Start by figuring out what it is your people want! As their boss or manager, figure out what motivates them and their passions, skills, and values. The simplest way to figure that out is to ask them: turn your organization upside down. Having your audiences’ desires firmly in mind will allow you to frame your conversations and interactions accordingly. If you know one team member wants to be a manager, this allows you to tailor your communications and coaching to move them toward that goal. Likewise, if you know someone desires to be home with their family as much as possible, you know you can appeal to them by offering greater flexibility with the time and place of work.

Leadership Tip #4: Improve Your Communication Skills

To step up as a leader who creates real-deal impact, focus on improving your communication skills this year. Learn the art of the question, make a habit of using inquiry to go deeper, listen twice as much as you speak, and use our GPS communication strategy for tough conversations. If you need help and guidance to get you where you want to go, reach out to us about our personalized and on-demand coaching. We ask our client to ask themselves what is in it for the them (WIFThem): the audience.  And then to continue to use inquiry as a tool to solve and bridge any gap. 

Leadership Tip #5: Adopt Simple Systems

On a recent podcast I was asked about my best leadership tip and it is this:

KISS. Keep It Simple Stupid.

The principles of leadership are easy. What’s not easy is the execution. Adopt simple systems to support growth and sustain permanent change. Our launchbox coaching systems focus on actionable and easy to implement 3 – 4 step processes each time. We provide a practical approach not a theoretical one. Our systems meet our clients where they, and their workplace culture, are. It’s been finetuned and tested thousands of times.

Don’t overthink the problem. Tap into something that is proven to work so you can start making big leaps in your career.

Taking the next step in your leadership journey starts with you. Implement our best leadership tips to drive your success and reach out to us to learn more about our leadership coaching for driven and motivated individuals.

Coaching as a Vehicle for Workplace Transformation

If 2020 was a massive shakeup, then 2021 is the year of shift and impact. To maximize your results and position your company to compete in the new workplace of the future, take the time now to create a coaching culture of connection within your organization. Coaching is the new connection currency. Our launchbox Coaching Systems will spur your launch plan for success and real-deal impact. Here are just a few of the transformations coaching can create in your organization:

Transformation #1: Develop the Real Leaders Within 

Our launchbox Coaching System will meet your employees and teams where they are and then develop the leadership behaviors they need to succeed in “YOUR” workplace of the future. We start by helping each of them establish the baseline with themselves and in your organization right where they’re at. Otherwise it does not matter. Then, we invite them to take the journey to shift their mindset. Mindset shift starts from within and we guide that through our proprietary Strengths & Story framework which helps them get to know themselves, what they’re about, and articulate their strengths, skills, values, and passions. When they really understand who they are, they’ll have confidence in their ability to articulate their value and lead with all of their talents from a place of strength.  

Transformation #2: Better Communication

We believe story is connection currency because our brains are wired to digest, receive, and engage with stories. And, understanding your own personal story allows you to form connections with others. It is the root foundation because when you can communicate through story you can connect and that bridges all these gaps that exist between ourselves and others. Understanding and articulating that story is the precursor to great communication. However, navigating the workplace of the future requires adding in highly effective tips and strategies for better communication. We teach audience-focused communication and skills like trust and empathy. Then you have a recipe for real-deal team and client success. We’ve seen even the most disconnected teams learn to effectively bridge the gap through their investment in our launchbox Coaching System. 

Transformation #3: Increased Client Focus and Profits

When your team communicates well, effectively bridges the gap (between generations, genders, cultures, clients’ pain, solutions, etc.), and shows up as their best selves every single day, everyone benefits. It doesn’t matter if you’re a B2B or a B2C company – when your house is in order, when you can tell a story that connects and communicate clearly, you can shift your focus from worrying about alignment and internal challenges toward truly carrying out your mission and vision for your organization externally. It’s not surprising that if you can use communication and stories to bridge the gap internally, well then external results will follow. This leads to increased client success, bigger profits for your company, and ultimately, greater impact on the world.  

Transformation #4: Enhanced Culture of Engagement and Wellbeing

If the last year has taught us anything, your workplace culture really, really matters. People need to feel safe, supported, and heard in the workplace. They need to feel like they belong and have a belief that you and they are growing together. All of us together. And how do you do this? Well we all come to the table with a different set of experiences owing to our age, gender, culture, education, etc. In the workplace of the future, diversity of experience is something that should be valued and celebrated. Knowing how to use simple communication tools to bridge that gap through alignment, trust, empathy and communication systems allows you to unite the best parts of your team’s varied backgrounds, reduces friction between individuals, and connects them to meaning and purpose within your organization. 

Transformation #5: Team and Organization Connection 

The worker of the future doesn’t want just any job. They want to feel that what they do matters and see the meaningful nature and tangible effects of the work they’re doing. In sum, they want to connect their own meaning and purpose to organizational impact. Coaching systems can provide a unique and personalized framework that meets them where they are, helps them discover themselves, and then gives them the tools to show up as the leader they want to be so they can create impact. It also helps them learn to coach themselves so they can sustain that system and keep creating massive impact every single day.

Interested in what our Coaching System can do for your organization this year? Reach out to us to schedule a free consultation and hear more about our client successes.  

Learn to Love Your Performance Review and Up Your Game

Have a performance reviewing coming up? The first step is to take a plain and simple DEEP BREATH: just RELAX. Performance reviews aren’t bad – they are AWESOME. WHY? They are pure, unadulterated opportunities for you to learn and grow. If you really want to crush your goals and up your career game, you have to change your mindset. Here’s how to love them and see them for the true opportunity they are. Use our tips to get the most out of your performance review:

Take a Breath and Receive the Feedback

Instead of getting nervous, wound up, defensive or even angry, take a breath and really set your mindset to engage and listen to what they’re saying. Receive, breathe in and absorb the feedback. If you understand it as one-on-one coaching and training, you can take the BS emotion out of it and really hear what they want you to do to own your success. Even the positive feedback is something you need to really hear and digest. Continuing to double down on your strengths while implementing the ideas your boss has for you to learn and grow is how you will continuously up your game at work. 

Make It About Them

Once you’ve taken that breath, received the feedback, and removed the emotion from it, it’s time to make it about them. What does that mean? It means you need to serve your audience, the reviewer, and cement your relationship. What does your boss really need and want from you? Why is it important that they get it? When you can understand where THEY ARE coming from, you can really see that the feedback they’re giving you is really to help you grow and become better. We call it WIFThem. What is in it for them?  If you understand that, you create greater trust and connection masterfully. If you can do that, they will want to help you even more along the way. That is what you want – more help and support. Which brings me to my next point…

Believe They’ve Got Your Back

Your boss truly does want you to succeed. They’ve got your back. They’ve invested time and money into training you. They want you to be part of their company. They want you to deliver more output, to be happy, to make their job easier, to help them be seamless. If they are smart, they will take it seriously. Serious grooming and training require serious and real feedback that may be hard to digest. Nonetheless, you’re aligned with them. It’s in your interest and theirs for you to be better. By the way, having someone’s back isn’t about blowing smoke up your ____ and telling you how great you are. It’s about supporting you and helping you realize your potential. Having honest, authentic conversations and being transparent about where you can do better. That’s having your back!  If you can understand how to give and take feedback, your game will be better than the rest. So how to make it better? Use this one simple tip…

Ask Great Questions

Now that you’ve accepted and internalized the feedback, you must go deeper and use curiosity to level up. Learn the single best communication tool: how to ask great questions. This is your opportunity to go deep and create trust by showing you understand, respect and value their feedback. Demonstrate that you hear what they’re saying and that you really want to understand so you can implement. So summarize or repeat what you heard and then double down on asking great questions like: what can I do to help you become more successful? Are there any books I could read? Where could I learn additional skills that might help? Can I help with the team? How do I better serve you, etc?  Speaking of serving….

Deliver and Create Impact

This last step happens after the performance review is done, AND it’s one of the most important steps to loving a performance review. After the performance review, it’s time to start delivering and creating impact based on the feedback. Take what you’ve heard and learned and use that to coach yourself to take things to the next level. If you can implement and execute on what you were told would help, you will create massive value for your boss and you will strengthen their trust in you. You will demonstrate that you’re someone who can not only receive feedback but execute. That is why we love performance reviews. Where else do you get to learn, bond and then deliver exactly what they need?

Need some help to up your career game, change your mindset around your upcoming performance review, or help with communication? Or need a little guidance to really implement the feedback you’ve received? Our one-on-one coaching provides you with the personalized, on-demand support you need to quickly level up in your career and life. Click here to reach out to us about getting started. 

3 Tips to Help You Effectively Work From Home

3 Tips to Help You Effectively Work From Home

(Guest Post by Tracie Johnson)

Are you in the position of having to work from home? This is a trend that already on its way to becoming more prevalent. However, the recent global pandemic has made it even more common. More and more people are making use of an office in their house. Here are 3 great new tips to help you work more efficiently and effectively from home.

1. Use a Comfortable Headset

One of the best things that you can do to improve your home office efficiency is to buy a headset. This is a really good idea if you happen to need to talk to people on a consistent basis while working. For example, you can make use of a Plantronics office headset to keep your hands free while you confer with your boss, team members, or clients.

Using a headset will give you the freedom that you need to multitask. You can bring up info that your client needs on the web while continuing to explain to them their various options. You can also use your headset to maintain your own comfort during the day. Wearing one will help you keep your posture at the correct level as you work.

A headset will also keep you in closer touch with your work culture. As you work by yourself, you may tend to drift off and lose focus while surfing on the web. But if you continue to communicate with clients on your headset, you’ll be intimately connected to the task at hand. This can be a great impetus for continued efficiency.

2. Make Sure Your Room is Comfortable

When you are compelled to work from your home, you are essentially setting up a part of your property as your new headquarters. Like any work environment, the setup needs to be clean, well organized, and tightly focused on efficiency. However, what many home workers tend to forget is that it also needs to be as comfortable as possible.

The best way to increase your home office efficiency is to organize your space in a way that is conducive to a high level of comfort. All of the tools that you need to do your job should be placed as close to you as possible for easy access.

Meanwhile, your desk and chair should also be modern and comfy. After a full day of working at your new desk, you don’t want your back or thighs to ache. Make sure that you have something comfy to sit on as well as plenty of space to move around in. The last thing you want to feel is cramped and miserable while at work in your own home.

3. Take a Break But Stay Focused

Just the same way you used to break for lunch at the office, you’ll need to schedule a few rest periods at your home office. During this time, you can adjourn to your kitchen for a quick lunch. You should break for a few minutes at a time during other periods in the day. This will allow you to relax and consider your next move.

Rest breaks are necessary because you can’t continue to plow full speed ahead for hours at a time without fatigue. The burnout factor is a real threat for people who work from home because they always seem to forget about the need for a short break here and there. This is a rookie mistake that will cost you in the long run.

Every couple of hours, log off for a few minutes. If you have a couch in your office, sit down on it and exhale. A short break will give you time to relax, regroup, and gather energy for the next few hours. It’s the right move to keep you from burning out.

Staying on Track is the Key to Success

Your success while working from home will always come down to your being able to stay on track. It will be up to you to do all in your power to maintain a tight and productive focus. You can do this by making use of these handy new tips and tricks. These have been specially designed and tested to help you stay on a profitable course.

About Tracie:

Tracie Johnson is a New Jersey native and an alum of Penn State University. She is passionate about writing, reading, and living a healthy lifestyle. She feels happiest when around a campfire surrounded by friends, family, and her Dachshund named Rufus.

5 Performance Review Tips for Managers

5 Performance Review Tips for Managers

Now that we’re back to work for 2021, it’s performance review season! Whether formal or informal performance reviews or day-to-day coaching, it’s important you really understand how to discuss performance in a manner that serves the employee. Specifically, performance discussions must connect with and make a difference for your employee. Your people want to do a good job for you, and they want these 3 simple things:

  1. To feel safe on the employment journey
  2. To feel like they belong to a team
  3. To have the ability to learn and grow.

So, show them how! Use these 5 tips to make sure you’re having great performance reviews and discussions which encourage your employees’ growth and fulfillment in the workplace.

Make It Relevant

Performance reviews must be relevant and directly correlated to the employee’s experience and their growth journey. You should be discussing things you’ve covered with your employee all year long and, although you can and should talk about new places for improvement, make sure that’s not all you’re talking about. Remember it’s about their growth and their journey.  Help them gauge whether they’ve been aware and conscious of the feedback as the first step.  Have they corrected or improved their behavior and results since you last discussed? Remember: your people want to learn and grow so make sure they understand that you have their back and show them the way!

Make Them Feel Safe

Few people, unfortunately, enjoy and look forward to having performance reviews or discussions. That’s why it’s important your employee feels safe from the very beginning. The safer they feel the more they will receive the information and start to understand that these discussions are gifts along the journey.  As I mentioned above, your people do want to learn and grow. So, remind them that’s all a performance review/discussion is – an opportunity to discuss areas of improvement so they can be their best. Even if you’re giving a positive performance review for someone who’s exceeding expectations, there’s always opportunity to learn, grow, have an aha moment and do better. Make sure your employee understands the performance review is about them and not about you – you’re sitting down to mentor, coach and show them the ways where they can level up, create impact, and make a bigger difference.

Remind Them That You’ve Got Their Back

In order to make your employees feel safe during their performance review, show them you’ve got their back. Be vulnerable. Share your experiences and for God’s sake, demonstrate gratitude for their service. Everyone needs that type of empathy. In this new world of work, people want to work for bosses and managers who are authentic, transparent, and who demonstrate over and over again that they want to see their team succeed. That is what we call other focused leaders. A little reassurance goes a long way, especially for your Millennial and Gen Z employees. Focus on creating trust within the conversation. For a roadmap on what NOT to do, click here to check out a list of common behaviors that actually create feelings of mistrust.

Ask Deep Questions to Spur Thought & Accountability

Nobody likes to be talked at or even worse, talked down to. To ensure you’re being heard and understood, make sure to ask “great” questions. And not just any questions. Good, deep questions that are open-ended, nonjudgmental, supportive, and ask them to grow and become accountable, are what constitutes a “great” question. Understanding the art of the question is one of the most important tools a next gen leader can have in their toolbox. Practice it now during this round of performance reviews and daily thereafter. There is no more important skill a real leader can learn.

Use Our GPS Communication System

Systems really work. They are the best tools one could ever use. GPS is our favorite communication tool here at launchbox because it friggin’ works. GPS stands for Gratitude, Permission, and Shared Experience. Using GPS allows you to deepen your relationships with anyone through effective communication. With our teams working remotely during COVID-19, it’s more important than ever that we get this right. Click here to check out more about our GPS communication strategy and download your free worksheet to put it into practice today.

Liked this post? Want more actionable ideas, tips, and tools? Reach out to us and ask about our virtual keynotes, remote workshops, and personalized one-on-one coaching. We can help every member of your team start creating success now. Get in touch!

8-Step Framework for Success: Execute “The Purposeful Comeback” for Your Organization

8-Step Framework for Success: Execute “The Purposeful Comeback” for Your Organization

With 2020 officially behind us, it’s time to focus on the opportunity of 2021! The workplace has a good, albeit flexible handle on the fact that we must provide new skills for employees, teams and cultures to meet the demand of the future. Let’s go 2021!

Remote, socially distanced, outside or in lock down, businesses and their leaders are ready to make up for lost time and navigate the future. The theme with which we are all approaching our comeback is a combination of gratitude, caring, people, community and impact for others.

Both individually and organizationally we are craving, wanting, needing, planning and orchestrating “The Purposeful Comeback.” It’s a framework to create next generation leadership that will see our organizations into the future. Mastering “The Purposeful Comeback” roadmap and tools below will help you create real and lasting success, growth, business results, and engagement for your people and workplace culture.

1. Winning Mindset and Energy

Companies don’t outperform their leadership and the same is true of teams. Creating a purposeful comeback in 2021 starts first with focusing on leadership using integrated purpose as the path to organizational success. We as individuals must show up every day as our best self. That means putting on your oxygen mask first – you can’t help anyone if you don’t first help yourself.

Mindset:

Your mindset really, really matters. Everyone from Marcus Aurelius to the Buddha to Victor Frankl and lately the best, Mel Robbins, has shown us how important thoughts and beliefs are in creating success for ourselves and others. To stage “The Purposeful Comeback” in 2021 we must cultivate a mindset that is positive, self-aware, growth-minded (see Carol Dweck’s phenomenal book, Mindset), and other-focused. Changing our mindset is about changing that talk track in our head.

Physical Energy:

We know that moving your body daily has a positive effect on the mind. Studies have shown that “exercise improves brain function, structure, and connectivity. These brain improvements are directly linked to improved learning, memory, and cognitive function.” Showing up as a leader in 2021 starts with taking care of the temple and setting aside time for the essentials: exercise and nutrition, adequate sleep, and recharging. We must make them a daily habit.

2. The Audience is the Hero of Any Story You Tell…So Make Them One!

Want to become a real purposeful leader? Figure out how to create meaningful followers.   Create meaningful followers through this simple basic tool: learn how to build relationships from the inside out. First, with yourself and then with others.

You know the Golden Rule: do unto others as you would have done unto you. But do you know and understand the Platinum Rule?

The Platinum Rule says this: treat others how they want to be treated. It’s other-focused and becoming other-focused is what you need to really succeed in the year ahead. Putting the focus on treating others how they want to be treated will help you build stronger relationships and relationships are the key to success. Make them the hero because they are! Use these two principles to help you:

-Remember WIFTHEM: This is an acronym for “What’s in it for them.” In every interaction, positive or negative, you must consider what the other person wants and how they are looking to benefit.

-Consider the Action: What action do you want your audience to take that can and will benefit them? This action will benefit you, too, of course.

3. Know Thyself to Help Others

Impact is created by working from the inside out. If you want to help others you must Know Thyself. If you don’t know or understand yourself, you’re almost guaranteed to get it wrong with others.

So, how do you start? First, just START. We teach the following framework to our clients inside our new on-demand coaching product, Hooga. Knowing yourself comes from really understanding and being able to articulate the following four core concepts about yourself:

  • Strengths
  • Values, Passions, and Skills
  • Brand
  • Story

This is the value you bring to others and the world. Getting really clear on this allows you to demonstrate your value to your peers, team, and clients.

4. What’s Your Story?


Humans have always told stories. From huddling around a fire to hieroglyphics to books to the vlogs, blogs, and podcasts of today, we have an innate desire to share our own stories and discover those of others. Storytelling allows you to captivate an audience, shape thoughts, and communicate purpose and value.

What do you do? Why do you do it? What impact do you create? Why does it matter to you, to your client, to the world?

Remember, your story is not a script. It’s not static or boring. It recognizes the audience and what’s important to them, then captivates them through the use of humor, drama, and narrative arcs. Want to learn to create impact? Then become your own best storyteller.

5. The New ABC’s “Always Be Connecting”: Bridge the Gap

We all come to the workplace with different life experiences, skills, and values. We come from different generations, cultures, and backgrounds. We are driven by the need for human interaction, to belong, to be part of a community. We are better together, and we know that (more on that in a second), yet technology, socioeconomic disparity, and generational differences easily divide us.

To seize the opportunity of 2021, we have to find a way to bridge the gap between us so we can pull together and connect. COVID-19 and remote work certainly hasn’t made this any easier. It’s also forced us to acknowledge the diversity (or lack thereof) in our workplaces and community64% of applicants say that they consider diversity and inclusion when considering a job, yet only 55% of people think their organizations have policies to promote it. Even more troubling, 90% of them say they’re not treated with respect at work, discriminated against, and even harassed.

This means it’s even more important that we make this the year we figure it out once and for all. Learn how to connect pure and simple. There are so many ways. Just one way we devised is our B.R.I.D.G.E. the Gap system, an integrated six-step plan that will help you unleash the potential of your employees and your workplace.

We cannot do it alone. You know that and I know that. Yet the greatest dysfunction of teams persists in our workplaces today. For some organizations, getting their teams to work together efficiently and in harmony is one of their greatest challenges.

Solving the team divide starts by focusing on and ensuring these principles are present in your workplace:

6. It’s Better Together: Teams

  • Do your people feel safe enough to share their ideas, true opinions, and feelings?
  • Is your workplace culture one that empowers, connects, and inspires?
  • Are your employees engaged and connected to the purpose and impact of their work?
  • Is everyone on the team working in alignment with the team’s values?
  • Is there a culture of trust in your workplace?
  • Do people communicate with each other effectively, openly, and often.
  • Do you empower accountability? Do you ask great questions?
  • Got a strategic vision or plan and is it shared universally?

7. Make Culture Last: Sustainability

In order to drive and sustain “The Purposeful Comeback,” you need to do the work and then create a system. An integrated system to sustain culture and engagement is necessary for our organizations.

Your system will need different parts, so ask yourself what that system would look like in your organization and what it should include. We recommend having systems to create and sustain purpose, to grow the next generation of leaders and develop their skills, to share in a purposeful vision and story and that all employees be able to articulate it and their own value, and to further coach employees to be their best, work from the inside out, and deliver on the organization’s core values.  Start now by devising your system.

8. Pay it Forward: Cultivating Disciples

Seizing the opportunity of 2021 and creating “The Purposeful Comeback” is about looking to the future of your organization. What comes next? Who will lead in five years? In ten? How will you continue to evolve and stay relevant in a changing world?

Create those next generation leaders (your disciples) from within. Get clear on your purpose, define it, live it, and then empower your people to buy into that purpose. When you can do that, then you’ll become known to clients, the market, and even potential employees. Look at all the top companies of today. Most were once unknown operations working out of someone’s garage. They got really clear on their purpose, wove it into the fabric of everything they do, and then the world caught on and embraced them.

You can do the same in your organization. You have all the tools you need. Start now with this roadmap to cultivating your Purposeful Comeback in 2021 and if we can help, please reach out. You control what happens to you, your team, and your organization this year. Start now to make it the best year yet and maximize your impact!

The 6 Simple Ways to Pump Up Your Career or Business for Success in 2021

New year 2021 or start straight concept.word 2021 written on the

2021 is here. The time of year where we pledge to take the lessons from the past twelve months to make ourselves better has officially arrived. Even though, between us, making ourselves better is every friggin’ day for types like us.

2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic shit show has changed absolutely everything about our lives forever. From the way we work, to the way we celebrate our holidays, and, most of all our lens for purpose-based behavior. So, looking for ways to reinvent your relevance, to pump up your career or business, and to create the impact and success you were meant to have in 2020?  Let’s go….

Focus on developing your skills with these 6 Simple Ways to Crush It in 2021. Know them, understand them, internalize them, and reach out to us for help implementing. We’ve got your back!

1. Create Good Habits

Good habits for you are foundational. You can’t make a difference or impact anyone else if you don’t take care of yourself first.

Good habits can slide, however, so it’s time to bring them back in the New Year! If your habits were a little lacking in 2020, now is the time to really commit and change your life.

Good habits look different for every person. Do what works for you.

At a minimum, they should include some daily commitment in each of these key areas: health, fitness, relationships, reflection, and growth. Want examples? Here are some keystone habits you might consider adding to your daily routine this year:

Exercise for 30-60 minutes every day.  Or just move for a set period daily!!!!

Eat With Awareness: Be cognizant of what you eat and how it makes you feel.

Meditate Daily.

Focus on Gratitude.

Connect With Others Who Lift You Up Daily: face-to-face or on the phone/Zoom with one person every day.

Learn and Grow: Spend fifteen minutes each day reading or listening to a podcast for self-development.

The list goes on from there. Need more ideas? Reach out to us anytime and we can suggest some micro changes you can make to your daily habits.

2. Know and Understand the Power of Relationships

Good and healthy relationships matter! They are the single most important life/work skill. So, work on them. Follow your ABC’s: Always Be Connecting. The most successful people in the world know, understand, and practice this. However, we generally suck at cultivating new relationships and strengthening our existing ones. COVID-19 and social distancing definitely has not made this any easier.

Great communication is one of the critical components of relationship-building. You can probably think of a few examples from your own life where poor or miscommunication contributed to hurt feelings, anger, and even relationship damage. This is why it’s so important we learn to communicate at a high level. We published a recent blog all about communication – click here to check it out and learn some new tools for success.

If we want to succeed in 2021, we have to put aside our excuses and commit to learning this critical skill. Don’t forget – one of the most important relationships is the one you have with yourself. This year, go deep with others AND yourself to create impact.

3. Understand and Leverage Your Strengths

If you’ve been through our Strengths & Story workshop or coached with us, you know we start by helping you identify your strengths. One of our favorite tools is StrengthsFinder, though that isn’t the only way to get a handle on what you bring to the table. Your friends, family, peers, and bosses can all help you identify the areas where you naturally shine.

Come up with a list of your 3-5 top strengths and then audit your life by asking a series of questions:

– How are you already using your strengths to your advantage?

– What areas of your job or career are a mismatch for your strengths?

– How can you do more of what you’re good at in the future?

To be successful in 2021, lean in to your strengths, what makes you uniquely great, and be able to articulate them. Knowing, understanding and explaining how to really leverage your strengths will help you help others. In turn, this will help get you exactly where you want to go, whether it’s a promotion, new job, or new business.

4.Know Your Values, Passions, and Skills

In our book, Chasing Relevance, we presented a simple equation:

Strengths + (Skills + Passions + Values) = Your Value to Others

Once you’ve identified your strengths, it’s time to focus in on identifying your values, passions, and skills. These four things together constitute the value you can bring to others. When you know and can communicate that value, you can create more impact, more success, and play a bigger game.

Start right here and now by learning the difference between values, passions, and skills and brainstorming a short list for each.

-A Skill is something we have that others would value or that gives value to others. A Skill is something learned, developed, or honed, rather than a natural predisposition.

-Passions are those things that make your heart sing, that light you the hell up. These are usually easier to identify and often found by considering the answer to this question: what would you do if money didn’t matter?

-Values are your real deal principles or standards of behavior. These are NOT the things you value like family, friends, and security. Your Values are your personal code or way of being.

5. Develop a Personal Brand

You might not think of it this way, but you have a personal brand and story. Just like a corporate brand, your personal brand says something about you. When people work with you, speak with you, interact with you, they have certain expectations of what that experience will be like. Just like how we look at the Apple logo and think quality, sophistication, and leading-edge technology, people look at us and form opinions of our brand.

The good news is, just like a corporate brand, you have control over your personal brand and story. You get to choose who you want to be and how you want to be perceived by the world. You just need to then deliver on that promise every single time.

After the rough year we had in 2020, you might be ready to reinvent and refresh your personal brand and image for 2021. We can help! Reach out to us to learn more about our on-demand coaching product, Hooga. It includes a great module all about finding and living your personal brand.

6. Learn How to Tell a Connective Story

In this hard and scary year that disconnected us from our teams, peers, clients, friends, and family, we learned the value of connection. Being able to form connection with others quickly, no matter the medium, is one of the most critical skills for our success in 2021.

At launchbox, we teach our clients how to tell their or their company’s connective story. A connective story is one that communicates your own value to others in a way that demonstrates the impact you can make for them. Think of it as an answer to the age-old interview question, “Why should I hire you?” While we might not be job hunting and going on interviews, every single conversation we have with others is built around versions of that same question. “Why should I listen to you?” “Why should I trust you?” “Why should I continue working with you?” Connective stories answer these unspoken questions. They also allow space for the other person to feel heard. Being able to listen and absorb feedback is as important, if not more important, than what you actually say.

After reading through this list, you might find that you’re doing okay in a few areas while lagging behind in others. Or maybe you’re struggling in all six areas.  That’s fine. Just start!!!!  Start from where you are and make a commitment right now to doing something about it. If you want tomorrow to be different than today, then you need to be different.

We want to help get you there. It is what we do. From personalized coaching, team training, leadership development, to on-demand training with Hooga, we can help you make this your best year yet.

Go ahead, test us. We’ve got your back with these 6 Simple Rules to Coach Yourself to Success.

What Are the Three Big Things Holding You Back from Success in 2021?

What is holding you back from launching?

One of our most popular blog articles ever is this one: The 5 Most Common Fears That Are Keeping You from Success. However, fear isn’t the only thing that keeps us from success. Well, what does? After training over 20,000 young employees and their managers, we found they were simply underdeveloped in three key areas critical to personal success.

Dig in and be honest with yourself about where you could use some improvement – growth is essential and worth the work. We can support you so can start creating the impact you want to have on the world. Start now with the most common areas where we see people holding themselves back:

  1. You Don’t Know Your Strengths

We all have our own innate talents and strengths – yes, even you! However, if you’re struggling to see the results you want in your career, it might be because you’re not working from your strengths. This usually happens to people for two reasons:

  • You’re not aware of what your strengths even are so you don’t know how to leverage them in your current role.
  • You’re not aware of your strengths AND you’re currently in a role that’s mismatched for the strengths you actually have. In other words, you’re working outside of your “zone of genius.”

No matter what the reason, the first step to solving is to get clear on your strengths. At launchbox we love the StrengthsFinder test – we actually recommend it inside of our on-demand coaching program, Hooga. Start by taking the test to discover your strengths. Then figure out how to make them work for you. Just being aware of them might be enough to create change, but probably not. Do the work and really think about whether the strengths you have fit the role you’re in. If they don’t match up, you might want to think about changing positions, jobs, or even careers! If they do match up, spend some time thinking about how you can better leverage your strengths for success.

  1. You Don’t Know How to Articulate Your Story

Once you’ve identified your strengths, you need to get clear on your story: who you are, where you’ve been, and what you have to bring to the table (e.g. your strengths!) Your story is your “connection currency” – it’s how you build real deal relationships with other people and form connections. When you have a well-defined story, you can use it at any time to strengthen relationships with people you already know, make new bonds, pitch a client, etc. Humans are hardwired to tell stories – so make sure your story is your competitive advantage! Use these three questions to get you started:

  • Who am I?
  • What is my experience so far?
  • What value do I bring?

Want detailed help? Hit us up for assistance. Our app coaching program, Hooga, walks you through discovering and developing your story.

  1. You Don’t Know How to Communicate Effectively

Communication is a really, really big deal. We spend a lot of time here at launchbox not only talking about why communication is important, but how to do it better. Because quite frankly we suck at it.

Luckily for us though, better communication is a coachable and learnable skill. All of us are already in possession of the #1 most important communication tool we could ever need – our ears! Great communicators are great listeners. They also ask great questions. So, if something’s holding you back in your life and career, take a hard look at how you’re communicating. Are you talking more than you’re listening? Is it all about YOU? Do you ask questions and not really listen to the answers? It’s easy to slip into poor communication habits, but our relationships (especially in this virtual world of work) need us to figure this out. Click here to check out a recent blog we did with 5 more tools you need for great communication.

These are 3 of the most common ways we see people holding themselves back. For a more personalized evaluation and recommendations for improvement, reach out to us about our one-on-one coaching. We’ve helped hundreds of individuals kickstart the next chapter of their story through our high-performance coaching solution – get started today.

If you’re looking for a quick and easy to start improving your life now, check out Hooga. With Hooga you’ll build a strong, sustainable foundation that will allow you to unlock the best version of yourself on your terms. Try it now!

Communication is the Most In-Demand Skill for the Future of Work: Here’s How to Up Your Game

Communication by video conference. Close up photo of computer screen with people. Business colleagues discuss about economic trends by video conference from home. Distant work

Turns out, we were right! In a recent report from LinkedIn Learning, communication is the most in-demand skill for today’s job market. From day one we, launchbox, predicted that the most in-demand job skill people would need to get hired, promoted, or change careers would be great communication and connection with others. The Swedish job search engine, Jobbland.se, found that “effective communication was cited in job postings at more than 35 times the frequency of other soft skills such as empathy, conflict resolution, adaptability, and dependability.”

Communication is in demand now more than ever and that’s not changing anytime soon. When we peel back the layers and look at why this skill dominates recent job postings, we can see that while uncertainty, tolerance and diversity require communication, the pandemic has also increased the need for effective communicators.

The global workplace had been heading in this direction all along. With the increased use of AI and robotics in the workplace, a growing remote workforce, and technology allowing us to connect with people around the world, it’s never been more important that we know how to actually talk and listen to each other and establish connection. The ability to communicate along with the other soft skills like empathy and leadership will be your competitive advantage in the years ahead.

At launchbox, we focus on helping people bridge the gap by connecting with themselves and others. We have the tips and tools to help you increase the effectiveness of your communication, build stronger relationships, and create trust. In particular, we specialize in no BS, on-demand coaching that helps you quickly cut to the root of your problem so you can up your game and create impact for others. When it comes to better and more effective communication, put these 4 tips into practice this week and watch what happens:

Make it About Others

Remember WIFTHEM:  What’s in it For Them? This acronym is the backbone of great communication. It’s not about you anymore. People don’t care unless they know what’s in it for them. This is as true for the hiring manager on the other end of the phone as it is for your coworkers and clients. You must be able to demonstrate and articulate the value you bring to others. Before your next conversation or interview, take a moment to think about what the other person is really looking to achieve from their interaction with you and then DELIVER.

Ask Great Questions

Another way of making sure you’re staying other-focused, or to understand what people need from you, is simply to ask great questions. Great questions are open-minded, non-judgmental, and supportive. They allow you to begin the process of going deeper, to drilling down below the surface level to uncover needs, motivations, and challenges. When you understand what’s really driving and motivating someone, you’ll know how to make it about them and create value. Asking great questions gets you there!  Lead employees, teams, clients and yourself all by understanding where to meet them.

Use Our GPS Communication Strategy

Having conversations, whether difficult, with or without conflict, or just to demonstrate support, is a way of life in business. Having conversations that end painfully is never productive. So turn it around and have winning conversations. Use our GPS communication strategy to make sure you’re delivering impactful messages that are moving the relationship forward, rather than damaging it. GPS stands for Gratitude, Permission, and Shared Experience. It’s one of the fundamental frameworks we teach inside our Strengths & Story workshop. To learn more about how to use GPS in your workplace, click here to read our blog and grab our free worksheet that will guide you through the process.

Own Your Story

Before you can hope to communicate more effectively with others and create better relationships, you must first work from the inside out to really understand who you are and what you have to offer. Your story matters. It is the connection currency that you use to increase trust, build stronger relationships, and ultimately get things done. Think about it this way: how can you possibly connect to others if you can’t even connect with yourself? Start now by doing the work to get in touch with your own story. If you need help, just reach out – we’ve had thousands of people go through our Strengths & Story workshop and we’re ready to help you, too.

The future of work is now. Seize opportunity and chase relevance by up leveling your communication skills. Whether you’re trying to get the job, changing careers, have your eye on a promotion, or are launching your own business, great communication really really matters. We can help. Contact us to learn more about our personalized, on-demand coaching program that will help you get the results you’re looking for.

How to Attract and Retain Talented Tech Employees

Two Engineers Using CAD Programming Software On Laptop

(Today we’re sharing a guest post from our friends over at Career Karma. Attracting and retaining talented employees is the name of the game for any business, but especially in the rapidly-changing technology sector. To help you compete and stay ahead of the competition, here are three ideas you can implement to help you hold onto your most talented employees.)

The American workforce is going through a period of disruption, the likes of which have never been seen before. Advancing technology was always going to merge with the workforce, that much was clear. However, the recent Covid-19 pandemic accelerated this change via the widespread integration of remote work at companies. Rather than first getting their feet wet with technology, many companies were forced to take the plunge.

Not surprisingly, traditional jobs have begun to decline more than they already were, as more and more companies see the importance of tech jobs. Online business is the way of the future, and securing tech employees who can propel your company above the competition should be the number one priority of any human resources division. The question, however, revolves around where to find this talent and how to attract them to your company. Fortunately, both aspects of that question have prominent solutions.

Source From Different Educational Backgrounds

Far too often, companies focus solely on going to universities and colleges around the country in an attempt to hire recent graduates who have no experience. However, one of the best ways to attract top tech talent is to show that you are willing to source employees from different educational backgrounds.

An alternative to the traditional four-year path, that has been rising in popularity, is attending an intensive trade school that prepares students for specific fields. In fact, CNBC discussed how the premium that comes with a college degree is declining while trade school attendees are able to become skilled workers and already have some industry experience.

Popular options such as General Assemblyoffer multiple courses in pressing tech fields such as web development and engineering immersion. An added benefit of attracting potential employees from trade schools is that they graduate far quicker than their college counterparts. When it comes to finding talented tech employees, the specialized training received from trade schools makes this a great option.

Offer Jobs With a Wider Variability of Tasks

In the past, employees with traditional jobs typically had one daily task that they excelled in. Tech students and employees are different than these traditional workers, though, and provide more freedom and variability in their work. Harvard Business Review discusses how employees of today want to feel as if they are performing meaningful work.

To that end, offering numerous tech jobs at your company can attract new types of tech talent. One such dynamic tech field is data science which is growing at an exponential rate. The day-to-day tasks of a job such as this change daily and can provide a great source of dynamic work to any talented employee.

As a company, numerous tech jobs need to be offered to employees to keep them interested in applying to your company. The best way to stay up to date on this is by modernizing your company and ensuring you are adapting to the times as they change.

Competitive Benefits

When it comes to actually retaining your employees, it is incredibly important to offer competitive benefits. Keep in mind that the different generations of your employees will require different things to retain them. Millennials typically prefer benefits that are structured to give them more freedom and paid time off.

Consistently offer feedback options amongst your employees and ensure that none of the criticisms that arise line up with some of the common reasons for leaving a job. This can help you to keep your company as an attractive place to work for tech talent. The most important key to retaining talented tech employees is to understand what they desire and to be knowledgeable about their specific demographics.

In the end, one of the best benefits of a job is undoubtedly the salary. It is also important to make sure that you are offering comparative salaries to your employees and not giving them less than they are owed.

When it comes to attracting and retaining talented tech employees, it’s important to think outside the box. The workforce is changing and so are the employees who make it up. Benefits and perks that attracted workers from past years are no longer relevant. Millennials and Gen Z are the future of the workforce and benefits that appeal to them do not appeal to older employees. Understanding the demographic of your company and where you are hiring your employees is important to take the steps needed to retain your talented workforce.