Jozelle Luster Booker, President and CEO of the Mid-South Minority Business Continuum
You (yes, you!) could help create community wealth today and become a history maker of tomorrow.
Jozelle Luster Booker, President and CEO of the MMBC Continuum, says the first step is to research your industry and determine opportunities for business growth. From there, she says, clearly communicate your product or service offerings, understand the vendor and supplier requirements for your industry, and have a customer service and communications plan. Hint, hint … we create communications plans.
And after you’ve decided what and how, a recent report in Black Enterprise Magazinesuggests Memphis is the right spot to set up shop!
Twenty-eight women who’ve achieved their goals against all odds.
“Women Who Won” by Bill Ellis is an invaluable compendium of inspiring and motivating examples of achievement.
Profiling 28 women from around the world – some of whom are icons and others who will be new to readers – this book brings compelling and intriguing people to life. Every story delivers profound insights for us to learn from and apply in our lives – no matter our gender.
A book that can be read from cover to cover in one go, or savoured story by story, “Women Who Won” is for those wanting to live their best life and achieve their greatest dream.
To increase employee engagement, leadership needs to demonstrate its values.
According to Gallup, 70% of employees at U.S. companies feel disengaged.
One reason: many feel senior executives are out of touch with their employees. To increase engagement, employees need to believe in their employers’ stated values. It’s not an issue of whether employees know and understand their stated values, it’s that they don’t see those values being demonstrated.
It’s possible to measure the level of disengagement at your organization and dig deeper to identify sources and develop a plan to address those sources. When employees are fully engaged, they are motivated, committed and passionate in everything they do.
Crises can arise at any time and through no fault of your own. Protecting your personal brand is always at the center of good crisis planning.
As long as we rely on technology, we leave ourselves open to threats, including the most recent data breach at Equifax that potentially affects nearly 150 million people. We receive phishing emails regularly, and every time you swipe a credit card, you open the door to disaster.
There are resources available outlining the proper steps to mitigate these potential crises as to not affect you, your family or your business for years to come.
Once you’ve identified your personal brand, you are ready to market yourself in an authentic, not braggadocious, way. This self-promotion showcases your expertise. It is said that luck is where preparation meets opportunity. Marketing yourself creates that luck.
How? Become an expert. Build your network. Engage in social media. Learn to communicate. Make your personal appearance congruent with your brand. Recognize opportunities to strengthen your brand. Be generous with your talents. Volunteer. Ask for help. Be remarkable. Your brand is your highest priority, your essence. It’s the foundation upon which you will build your professional career and personal existence.
This is part three of a three-part video series on personal branding. We hope you enjoyed!
The time when a new mother returns to work after maternity leave is called the "Fifth Trimester."
Returning to work after having a child can be a challenging transition. Regardless of which state or federal workplace laws apply, employers should consider these best practices for welcoming back new mothers:
– Talk to expecting employees about how much leave they will take and whether they may need flexible work hours when they return.
– Consider increasing a new mother’s workload gradually instead of expecting her to return to work at full capacity.
– When possible, avoid scheduling meetings beyond normal work hours, especially without notice.
– Allow breaks for mothers to pump breast milk in a comfortable, private space – not a bathroom.
To hone in on your personal brand, try this simple exercise with a friend or colleague. Simply jot down five adjectives or verbs that describe you. Ask your friend to do the same. Then compare notes. Once you understand how others see you (and how you see yourself), ensure your descriptors and actions sync. Then you are ready to market yourself.
Using this information, you can then write a 30-second positioning statement, highlighting your personal brand. You will understand which unique strengths you possess, allowing you to use them to authentically position yourself in the business world and beyond.
A recent survey finds that there’s a benefit to taking action on important societal issues.
Corporate social responsibility remains a priority for many businesses, and research has shown that employees want the corporate entities they work for to take a stand on societal issues.
Recent research from Povaddo suggests that 57% of surveyed employees feel corporate America needs to play a more active role in social issues. A majority (62%) would also be more likely to recommend the company as a place to work if its CEO makes a real effort to make a difference.
The other 43% feel that Corporate America needs to strictly confine its activities to being financially prosperous and providing employment.
Leadership Memphis' FastTrack class, for emerging leaders, begins in September.
(Photo courtesy of Leadership Memphis)
Nicole Harris is now a Biloxi-based digital producer, but she gained a ton of experience while being a member of Leadership Memphis’ FastTrack class in 2012. The FastTrack program engages emerging, high-potential leaders who are hungry to make a difference in the community.
“The FastTrack program at Leadership Memphis is the gateway to leadership in every possible way,” Harris said. “I walked away with a deeper appreciation for my community and a greater sense of purpose.”
Now is the chance to join a life-changing program, which runs September through December. Get more information and application instructions here.
Everybody knows Barbie and what she stands for. A personal brand communicates who you are, what you are good at and how you can help others. A brand is important to tell others what you stand for, allowing you to advance.
How do you identify your personal brand? It starts with figuring out some key things about yourself and how you would like to convey them. Think about your values, mission and unique strengths. With these pieces, you can start to tell your story.
A word of advice: maintain authenticity and avoid empty socializing, and success will follow.
Direct your competitive spirit inwards, as well as outwards.
Competition in business is inevitable, whether you are first to market with a new concept, product or service, or whether you are entering an existing playing field. What is optional, however, is your approach to it.
Competitive spirit, when harnessed properly, is a motivating force that can save us from complacency. But rather than direct it outwards, use it inwards to set clear objectives, targets and metrics. The best runners are not only trying to win the race, but also break their own record. Pushing yourself to peak performance is the best way to leave your competitors in the dust.
Being a good leader takes practice and dedication.
Are you a leader, or poised to be one? As such, you can create fear and confusion or inspire and motivate. To achieve the latter, lead by example, creating a vision and setting a clear path for achieving it. The most effective leaders are excellent communicators, not afraid to do the work required to achieve success. Other key qualities of leadership include:
And you will earn the respect of those you lead with authenticity, aligning what you say with truth and reality. Leadership is not always innate, but can be cultivated with practice and dedication.
Strong company culture benefits you, your employees and your clients.
Focusing on the company culture of your business has benefits both in and out of the office, if done correctly.
– Hiring: More than ever, people, especially millennials, are looking at company culture as a major influencer when applying for jobs.
– Show clients who you truly are: This is your opportunity to shine to potential clients. Through social media and branding, display your company culture as a representation of your values.
– Employee engagement: A strong company culture gets employees of various levels interacting with each other more. This leads to increased creativity, retention and all around happiness for the entire team.
Small business doesn’t have to mean less business. Check out the best ways to promote your brand.
Small business marketing presents unique challenges. Budgets and resources are typically smaller but don’t have to be barriers for effective marketing. Here are some tactics to promote your name while growing your customer base:
Social Media: Vital in today’s digital world – it’s the best tool for communicating directly with customers, presenting your brand and reaching large audiences with boosted content.
Community Involvement: Engagement in local activities provide platforms for promoting your business, networking with fellow entrepreneurs and building customer connections.
Added Value: What can you give customers your competitors aren’t? Loyalty programs, personalization options, educational content? Go above and beyond.
Frame your argument thoughtfully if you want people to pay attention.
Convincing someone to see things your way is more complex than you might think. In fact, neuroscientists and social psychologists have long asserted that people alter facts to align with their preconceived beliefs.
According to George Lakoff, retired UC Berkeley professor of cognitive science and linguistics, if you want to create messages to persuade, you have to understand other worldviews, and facts and rational debate have less value than you’d think. We can use this when seeking to persuade.
Arguing from our worldview can cause others to dig in and defend their position. Seek understanding, then frame your argument accordingly.
A crisis cannot be successfully handled without a capable writer.
When managing a crisis, the first thing you need is a solid writer. They must be able to impart empathy, honesty and relatability in a few paragraphs.
During a crisis, you’ll be deploying messages across multiple channels – CEO statements, social media posts and internal employee emails. Good writing is the crux of these. Here are three things your writer must know.
1. The real reason for the crisis. If your writer doesn’t have all the facts, the writing could gloss over, or completely ignore, crucial issues.
Engaging with your community is beneficial to your business.
One of the best things you can do for your brand is to actively volunteer in your community. Regular community participation yields benefits in multiple ways by improving brand awareness, better engaging employees, showcasing corporate social responsibility, building beneficial partnerships and finding new business opportunities.
Whether it is volunteering at a homeless shelter or donating your business’ time and resources to the local food bank, you’re helping strengthen the community. Strong communities generate loyalty, and your business should be in that loyalty mix. Most importantly, you’ll know the joy of helping those in need, which is something everyone should experience.
Working from home has its perks, but don't let your comfortable surroundings get in the way of productivity.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 25% of all employed Americans do some or all their work from home.
It has its bonuses: low overhead, no commute, flexible schedule and reduced daycare costs. However, at-home employees can get distracted by household tasks, procrastinate and lack creative collaborations.
Tips for at-home efficiency:
• Develop and follow a timed schedule
• Schedule household tasks on breaks
• Pack a lunch so you don’t overindulge
• Schedule conference calls regularly with co-workers/clients/vendors
• Create a real office space
Follow these directives and you’ll optimize your workload from the comfort of home.
Three out of four respondents agree a company can take actions to both increase profits, and improve economic and social conditions in the community where it operates.
Trust in business can be difficult to come by, and per the 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer, the general population’s trust in business, government, NGOs and media has rapidly declined recently.
Trust in business dropped in 18 countries and credibility of leadership roles dropped to an all-time low of 37 percent.
To maintain trust with clients, businesses must keep consistent, reliable, open communications. By directly addressing issues you can instill trust and loyalty in your audience that you have their best interests at heart.
Grab a handmade bath bomb or three at Bubble Bistro.
(Photo courtesy of Bubble Bistro)
Hidden in Midtown on the cusp of North Memphis sits Bubble Bistro, a booming skin food business owned by native Memphian, Andrea Johnson.
Women flock to her store daily to purchase the best in fresh body butters, skincare products and bath bombs. Handmade with natural ingredients onsite, Andrea Johnson’s products have been a labor of love since she lived in St. Croix nearly 10 years ago. She moved back home to pursue her dream of creating an experience for her customers they could call their own.
Internships go way beyond being a glorified assistant. (Courtesy of Henson Consulting)
Gone are the days of interns tirelessly running errands and making coffee (well sometimes) — interns are more valuable to a business than you think.
Increased work efficiency. They will be hard-pressed to say no, so present them with a challenging task. It will get completed and in a timely manner.
New insight. As college students or recent graduates, interns will bring fresh perspectives on your company’s established tactics.
Business advocates. Recent graduates are all about showing the world how cool their new internship is through social media, which makes them the most cost-efficient brand ambassadors for your business.