Amy Vetter Blog | Keynote Speaker on Authentic Leadership, Work-Life Balance
Putting the soul back into business, Inspirational work-life balance keynote speaker for business leaders, entrepreneurs. TEDx speaker, author of the book, Business, Balance & Bliss, third-generation woman entrepreneur, business executive, CPA and yogi. One of the most powerful women in accounting.
The importance of community is well understood. We have heard the many quotes before, such as:
But community often goes much deeper than the physical spaces which they occupy. Communities are held together by relationships and a shared vision. And if you’re working toward a personal goal, it might take the power of a group of people working together, or at least supporting you in that goal, to make it happen. Sometimes we find that we are not good at asking for the help we need from our family, friends or co-workers. However; if we don’t speak up, no one knows we need their help and they won’t be able to guess our needs unless we let them know.
Whatever you’re working on right now, whether its a personal project or a professional one, answer these questions below to evaluate how strong the relationships are around you to support you. Your communities can include family, friends, cultural/spiritual communities, online communities, people with whom you share interests or work with, and the local community where you live. Since our lives are complex and intertwined, many of these communities might intersect. Take this into consideration when you’re thinking through the list and note who the person or people are that you think of as you answer each question.
Do the people around me:...
Support one another and communicates often?
Feel they can be open and honest with one another?
Challenge one another to be better?
Are there for each other during difficult times?
Positively influence and act as role models...Read More
How do they do it? Simple: they create work environments that motivate employees to be more productive and dedicated. In other words, their workers enjoy what they do and where they do it, and thus are not always looking for the next career move.
One ranking of the 50 best companies to work for found that most place a premium on employee satisfaction. And it's not just offering generous benefits, employee discounts, and flexible hours. These companies support their employees in all aspects of their lives and careers with the idea that being invested in their staff is one of the best ways to invest in the company's future.
Here are some best practices from top corporations with high worker satisfaction ratings that you can try for your business:
Behind every great athlete there is an even greater coach. There isn't a top athlete--from Muhammad Ali to Tiger Woods to Serena Williams--who did not need a mentor to help them reach the top of their profession.
If you think about it, your business is similar to that of an elite athlete. You may have the drive, the skills, and the vision, but there are times when you need professional guidance to ensure you stay on the right path, and how to best utilize your talents and work on your shortcomings in order to reach your goals. An executive coach can be that person.
No matter where you are on your career path--from eager up-and-coming manager to a seasoned senior executive to an entrepreneur--there will be times when you can benefit from some professional coaching.
I hired an executive coach midway in my career when I had sold my accounting practice and was trying to figure out where to go from there. It was easy to fall back into what I had done before, but I felt at the time that I needed an independent perspective from someone who didn't know me and could give me some ideas on my next steps
An executive coach can offer many benefits, according to Randy Walton, social entrepreneur with The Walton Group. They can be a mentor and motivator, independent observer who keeps you on track, or a safe place to get feedback on your...Read More
I’ve worked for companies big and small. I’ve started businesses, sold businesses, and I’ve become an entrepreneur. And among the many incredibly important things I’ve learned through all of my experiences, there’s one common thread that stands out when I think about what works. There’s no doubt in my mind that culture — however prominent, however pronounced — is one of the most powerful tools business owners and self-employed people anywhere have at their disposal. The importance of culture and budgeting for it has been written about ad nauseum. But it’s not just about money or a pool table and snacks, , it’s about creating a culture that is real and people feel comfortable being themselves and maintaining a culture that can stand the test of time.
However your business is set up, and however you decide to invest to make that culture grow, there are a few faux pas to watch out for when you’re envisioning or revisiting this topic. Of course it’s important to have strong core values that you and your team can really get behind to establish a strong company culture. If you’ve noticed that you can’t easily define your culture or if you asked each team member how they define it for your workplace and its not consistent, it might be time to think about how to create a vision that can play out in the here-and-now.
It’s just...too much
When people talk about the culture of your company, they should never have reason to whisper the words “just drink the Kool Aid.” It’s great to have tradition. In fact, traditions are a fun way to bring people together. But overly ceremonial cultures can make employees — and onlookers — pretty uncomfortable. Celebrating a team member can be as simple as sending an email saying good job, or picking...Read More
We may complain all the time that we need a vacation, but when it comes to actually taking off time, we tend to get cold feet.
A recent survey found that employees who receive paid vacation take only about half of those days in a given year. The percentage of people who don't take all their vacation days continues to rise, and has jumped from 42 percent in 2013 to 54 percent in 2016, according to one study.
You have earned some downtime and you are not doing yourself (or your business) any favors by not taking it. So why do we take the time to take time off?
The excuse many workers give for skipping vacation days is that they fear getting behind on their work when they return, they fear no one else can do their work like they can while they're out, and they fear being disconnected from work for any length of time.
I plead guilty to this. I know that I function better after I take regular breaks, but so often the thought of thousands of unread e-mails waiting for me is more stressful than work itself. Additionally, I wasn't as good at delegating work and trusting that the business could function without me.
But you need to give yourself permission to take downtime. Think of time off as a business investment. Taking adequate downtime can make you healthier and...Read More
Life is full of challenges. Whether it’s something small like a crossword clue that you just can’t figure out, or a larger issue like a particularly taxing project at work, we all have to deal with problems that frustrate us. When you encounter these difficulties, do you recoil and throw your hands in the air? If so, maybe developing a little more resilience could be a good thing.
A popular buzzword for this is grit. Grit has nothing to do with natural aptitude. Instead, it comes from the willingness to face life’s challenges head on, no matter the stumbling blocks along the way. “Grit is passion and perseverance for very long term goals,” says Angela Duckworth, professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. “Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future.” And Duckworth should know because she wrote the book on grit.
Develop The Will to Stick With It
I have found that perseverance is not an intrinsic skill. Sure, some of us may be born with a little more than others, but everyone can cultivate a sense of toughness if they want to. A lot of it comes down to mindset and how bad you actually want something. When you approach challenges as stimulation, rather than a source of anxiety, you lay the mental groundwork to increase your grittiness. It’s about enjoying the journey to get to the end result and celebrating the small wins along the way.
That’s not to say that you wake up one morning and decide to be the type of person who never quits. It takes time and effort. You have to be willing to accept feedback, look hard at...Read More
They say all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. And it's true -- hobbies make you more interesting and fun to be around and keep your body and brain rested and renewed. But your activity of choice also makes you better at business by improving essential skills like memory, creative thinking, and overall job performance.
Hobbies also help us keep learning. This is key as we tend to stop learning as we get older. Research suggests that by age 25 our brains tend to get "lazy." It's not that our gray cells can no longer learn new things, but rather we rely on a set number of neuro pathways to do our thinking. In other words, we get stuck in a brain rut.
However, it's possible to break free and become new learners and hobbies can help. For instance, one study that focused on 200 older adults found that learning a mentally challenging skill can improve memory. In this case, the people took up hobbies like photography and quilting that required them to complete cognitive demanding and complex tasks.
Hobbies often can make you a more valuable worker. Another study suggested that people who spend time on hobbies tend to perform better on the job. They also are more likely to come up with creative solutions to problems at work and are more...Read More
Whether your past is marked by privilege and abundance or poverty and struggle, every single one of us has a story to tell. It’s a safe bet that everyone you meet, no matter your first impressions, has gone through tough times. You’re not unique in that way, and it’s important to understand the turbulent nature of the human experience before you can really start to let go and move on.
It’s incredibly important to share our stories, discuss our challenges, and break the cycle of abuse in all its forms by building one another up. We can seek to experience less guilt about our own pasts when we can empathize with the stories of others — no matter the magnitude of those stories — and we can learn how to overcome challenges and take the steps necessary to create a better future. However, our stories should not hold us back. They are just that; old stories. Instead, they should embolden us to work harder, live intentionally and be present, and seek out people who share the vision of brighter days.
It’s hard to break away from your past and pave your own way. For some people, feeling sorry for themselves is easier than moving forward. For these people, the hope of ever reaching the same level of success or fulfillment is blocked by the past. For others, memories can be dark shadows that weigh down your self-confidence and make it difficult to push through.
A bit about me
I get it. Like you, I’ve struggled and I’ve overcome.. One of my lowest moments in my life was when my parents decided to divorce after many years of turbulence in our family when I was younger. When this happened, everything changed financially for us. We were in debt, we had to sell our house, everything inside of it — including my bedroom furniture — and at 16, I was juggling three jobs, school, orchestra, swimming, and taking care of my younger brothers. I ended up having to decide to give up...Read More
One of my favorite quotes comes from the Dalai Lama is: "When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new." I do my best to follow this sage advice every day in my business, however; as we all know, with constant interruptions and information coming at us, it is sometimes hard to do.
One of the worst experiences to have in business is to prepare for a meeting and the other person is checking their phone, email, or is otherwise distracted. It gives the message that what that person has to say is not important, even if it is unintentional.When you listen --and I mean really listen where you are engaged in what a person says and how they say it -- you can learn so much that can improve how you conduct business and provide new ideas for innovation.
A good listener is also a stronger leader. Virgin Group founder Richard Branson has said, "Great listeners are often terrific at uncovering and putting in place strategies and plans that have a big impact." Successful business personalities, like Branson and others, understand people's needs, strengths, weaknesses, and challenges. They do this by listening to what they have to say and then acting on it.
Strong listening skills can also help you save money. How much? SIS International Research estimates that a business with 100 employee spends an average of 17 hours per week clarifying communication. That amount of repeating and revisiting information translates to a cost of $500,000...Read More
It's never too late to take the time to reflect on our business and life successes and shortcomings, learn from them, and begin to plan for a new (and better) year. When I look back on my articles in Inc.com from 2017, what stands out are the topics that people found most interesting and helpful for their lives and careers.
The ones that were most popular are varied--from exercises that improve brain power to the importance of having a hobby. Yet, these stories share a common theme--they offer insight from top business leaders and science on how best to improve your business and career skills by ensuring you stay mentally sharp and find ways to stay present and be more productive.
So in case you missed them the first time (or need a reminder), here are four tips from my top stories this past year that can help you prepare for a more successful 2018.
1. Try slow movement fitness over cardio for added brain health.
But exercise doesn't have to be all treadmills and free weights. There are great benefits from doing slower movement type activities such as tai chi, yoga, ballroom dancing and even walking.
Not only can these activities challenge you to move out of your comfort zone, but they can improve your brain health in ways that traditional exercise programs don't. For example, a 2017 study showed that an 18-month dance training program created greater brain neuroplasticity...Read More
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