What Game Of Thrones Can Teach Us About Corporate Leadership

May 22, 2019

The corporate world is not so different from the world of Westeros; there can be battles in the boardroom just like the battles to take the Iron Throne – but hopefully, with less bloodshed. Whether you’re pro Lannister or Dothraki, backing the Iron Fleet or fighting for the North, or even team White Walkers, one thing each group has in common is the fact they are all united under one leader. 

And each leader has their own distinct leadership style. Just as the characters of GOT divide and conquer, strategize or deliver empowering speeches to head their armies, so to do business leaders. 

Daenerys Targaryen: The Democratic Leader 

Daenerys leads with grace and fairness – and a certain fierceness that just naturally comes with having dragons at your command. Like a true democratic leader, she is equitable in considering advice and opinions as she communicates all the way through the chain of command but still holds final decision-making responsibility. 

Mastercard president and CEO Ajay Banga could be considered an everyday democratic leader. Banga is known for being able to break down traditional barriers between executives and middle management, promoting inclusivity. Under Banga’s leadership, Mastercard ranked fourth on DiversityInc’s 2018 list of the top 50 most diverse companies and has committed to closing the gender pay gap. 

Cersei Lannister: The Autocratic Leader

Autocratic leadership is based on the idea that there is one boss, and that boss generally embodies the ‘my way or the highway’ mantra. Cersei is Queen and she doesn’t care what others think of her and stands by her choices. Autocratic leaders often make decisions on their own, communicate those decisions to subordinates and expect prompt execution – with little to no flexibility. 

In his time heading the Trump Organization, Donald Trump has been labelled an autocratic leader.…

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Workplace Violence: How Your Business Should Prepare and React

May 21, 2019

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), workplace violence is defined as any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation or other threatening disruptive behavior that occurs at the work site. 

Workplace violence can range from threats and verbal abuse to physical assaults and even homicide, making it one of the leading causes of job-related deaths. OSHA said that nearly 2 million American workers are the victims of workplace violence each year. This number can be reduced by implementing proper workplace violence procedures and training. 

“Employers should make safety and prevention a priority by encouraging employees to take responsibility for their own actions and outcomes, creating an environment where employees feel comfortable reporting a problem, and showing employees that when they report a problem, it is promptly addressed,” said Julie Croushore, vice president of risk management at Engage PEO

Violence in the workplace is not limited to a company’s current or former employees; for example, it may be perpetrated by a customer, family member or even a stranger. Because of this, it is important that employees are aware of the best practices for dealing with workplace violence in each scenario. 

You can prepare for potential workplace violence by identifying high-risk industries and employees, creating a workplace violence plan and training your employees on the guidelines. 

Identify high-risk industries and employees.

The first step in prevention is to identify what leads to workplace violence and what industries are most susceptible. Although no company or employee is completely immune to the risk of violence, Suzanne Singer, partner at Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell, said there are some factors that leave certain employers and industries at a greater risk. 

“Among those [at a higher risk] are employees who exchange money with the public, and those who work alone or …

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Business After #MeToo: What's Changed and What Hasn't in the Business World

May 20, 2019

Started by civil rights activist Tarana Burke, the #MeToo movement, rocked the business world in 2018 and culminated in, according to the New York Times, 201 men getting fired and replaced. Of course, the majority were replaced by other men, and not women, but at least action was taken. Unfortunately, movements are short-lived in the era of the 24-hour news cycle, and many of the men who were publicly accused of harassment are back in the workforce, while countless others were never disciplined at all.

We’re taking stock of the effects of the #MeToo movement on workers everywhere, HR representatives, and of course, small businesses.

#MeToo has inspired people to speak out and organize

The most obvious positive outcome of the #MeToo movement has been the platform it’s provided for women and men who face sexual harassment and violence. Discussing traumas, especially when speaking up can jeopardize employment, has always been a huge obstacle to resolving sexual harassment issues. The creation of a shorthand phrase (#MeToo) for such experiences has made it easier for people to share their struggles and connect with others who are in the same boat.

Activists and community organizers have mobilized around the hashtag, too, by creating new outreach organizations, taking to the streets in protest and drawing attention to existing support groups. Heal Me Too is one such organization, which provides people with resources for PTSD following sexual harassment or assault, and works with other outreach groups like RAINN, After Silence and PTSD Alliance.

Positive changes one year after #MeToo

Online movements are often criticized for being all bluster and no bite, but the effects of #MeToo appear to be going strong IRL. The Society for Human Resource Management did a follow-up survey of more than 18,000 workers and …

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Small Business Professionals Split on Immigration's Impact

May 14, 2019

One of the most debated topics in immigration is the impact immigrants have on the American economy and small businesses. Business.com surveyed the small business community on the pros and cons of immigration and found that professionals are generally split on the subject.

Business professionals split on immigration, but still face similar challenges

In one of the most illuminating aspects of the survey, 38.7% of small business professionals said immigration was good for business, 42% said it was bad for business, and 19.3% said it had no effect on their business. This split reflects the polarized attitude toward immigration as the Trump administration pushes for a border wall and Democrats push for DACA protection measures.

This split was apparent in the open-ended responses section, where we asked how immigration has impacted each respondent’s local community and business.

“Immigrants work hard to succeed and are grateful to be here,” said one business professional. “They seek care with open hearts and mind.”

While there were many positive responses, there were several negative ones as well, focused mainly on illegal immigration.

“Legal immigration is fine. Illegal immigrants lower the pay scale for everyone,” said another professional. “It’s difficult to compete with cheap labor when trying to build a business legally.”

One-fourth of the respondents call themselves immigrants, and 87% of those professionals said they felt welcomed by their local community. Despite the overall split in attitude toward the effect of immigration on business, both immigrant and non-immigrant business professionals said they faced similar challenges in running their businesses.

The biggest challenge for both immigrant and non-immigrant business owners was hiring and managing employees. The second biggest challenge for both groups was establishing a customer base for their small business. Immigrant-owned businesses, however, ranked their third biggest challenge as managing finances, while non-immigrant business …

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Red Flags to Watch for When Hiring a Freelancer

May 13, 2019

Sometimes you get what you pay for and other times, you don’t. Over time, it is possible to build a reputable pool of freelancers that you trust and can work with easily.

Yet, finding freelancers when you don’t have any experience, or are looking for new talent, is difficult. Luckily, there are a few red flags to avoid when hiring freelancers, no matter their specialty, that can save you from hiring someone who may not fit your company for whatever reason. Below, members of YEC share the key red flags they look out for when reviewing freelancer profiles and resumes.

1. Unrealistically low rates

Wise men say you get what you pay for. If the rates are too low, this should cause suspicion. There is the reason why their service is so cheap, and you won’t save any cash by hiring an under-qualified person. You might even spend more money on fixing all the mess they’ve made. Always hire based on the value that a freelancer can bring to the table. – Solomon Thimothy, OneIMS

2. Hourly rates

Hourly rates versus rates based on deliverables are key red flags for me. Whether I’m hiring an attorney, a programmer or a contractor, I always make sure they charge me based on the final completed project. I stay clear of professionals who charge by the hour as there is little accountability for their time and I find I often end up getting invoiced to death for incomplete work. – Thomas Minieri, Minieri & Company

3. No pending jobs

You might be hiring a talented freelancer to outsource to an already reviewed their rating and work done. However, if they are as good as they say they are they will always be in demand and already working on multiple projects. Being

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