5 GOLDEN RULES TO MANAGE AND LEAD EFFECTIVELY


With a continuously evolving environment and multiple business functions at the workplace, every professional today can expect to assume the responsibility of a leader at some point in their career.

Irrespective of the position you hold currently, there will come a time when it will be incumbent for you to motivate, inspire and challenge your subordinates… to lead! However, for being an effective leader, you first need to excel in different areas of management – from planning and organization to communication and delegation. While technical skills are a requisite for you to climb up the ladder, it must be complemented with good managerial and human skills for a sure-shot at career ascent.

One of the most powerful leaders today, Indra Nooyi, CEO, PepsiCo, once said “Leadership is hard to define and good leadership even harder.” This can’t be truer. There is really no hard-and-fast guide to effective management and leadership; however, there are some golden rules that might make it easier for you to know exactly which trick you need from your bag of skills on the hardest of days.

Here are some of the key skills that will help you become a successful manager and encourage the people around you to trust you enough as a leader to follow you willingly:

1. Communication
Effective communication is critical to express your ideas comprehensibly and coherently and guide your team to a better understanding, which makes it a key management skill. More than anything else, a potent manager should possess the ability to listen and maintain an open dialog with his or her co-workers and subordinates. This will not only increase your credibility within the organisation, but also garner respect for you as an effective leader.

2. Strategic Thinking
One of the most important requisites of being a manager is to be a strategic and tactical thinker. You should be able to use critical thinking to anticipate potential issues, identify their roots, and develop sound action plan while making decisions and solving problems.
To be able to think strategically and see the bigger picture, a manager must also possess high levels of emotional intelligence (EI). It will not only improve your interpersonal skills, but also enable you to become a rational leader while de-escalating a difficult situation.

3. Motivation
According to Nelson Mandela, a leader is like a shepherd who stays behind the flock and lets them go ahead without them realising that they were being directed by him all along.
Being a manager or a leader doesn’t necessarily imply that you have the authority to control. It is, in fact, an opportunity to let your team flourish by recognising their good work and providing them a second chance upon failure instead of criticism or flak. Creating a positive environment will motivate your fellow workers to perform better.

4. Conflict Resolution
For effective management, it is essential to handle issues that may disrupt the functioning of your team with a level-headed view. Playing favourites is most likely to foster a negative environment and inhibit motivation; hence leaving the team dysfunctional. While it may be a challenge to remain fair and consistent while resolving conflicts, adhering to a strict moral code will allow your team to feel at ease around you and define you as a successful leader.

5. Lead with Example
In one of his books, John Maxwell has written “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” To lead your team to excellence, you must first aspire to excel as a manager and hold yourself to the highest standards of professionalism.
It is your attitude towards your role that will set examples for your team members and determine their behaviour. So, if you wish your team to work together and give their 100% to any assignment that comes through, all you need to do is do the same FIRST.
Adopting these practices in your everyday work-life will ensure that when the time comes, you will emerge as an effective manager and a leader who is looked upon and respected.

SIMPLE WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR PUBLIC SPEAKING SKILLS

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When it is time to climb the corporate ladder, one of the most sought-after skills that will help you on your ascent is the art of public speaking. Be it pitching your ideas in a meeting or motivating the team; speaking effectively is the key to connect with your audience. From Steve Jobs to Indra Nooyi, nearly every leader around the world brings impeccable oratorical skills to the table.

Even though public speaking is a challenging game to perfect, practice can go a long way to help you get things right. As you work towards becoming an effective orator, you will realize that it really is the little things that matter.

Be prepared

Few things are worse than being caught off guard. Knowing your content inside out can be the difference between an evocative presentation and one that falls flat, leaving your audience not only bored but confused as well.

Read up as much as you can on the topic that you’re going to talk about. Focus not only on the content of your speech or presentation but also on rooting it with a strong context. Explore the topic from multiple angles, even if you don’t touch upon those in your actual talk or presentation. This way, not only are you well informed but you are also well equipped to answer any questions that crop up.

Know your audience

What you speak is more about your audience than you, yourself. Your choice of words, body language, level of information and other relevant things will depend on who you are talking to. The way you speak to one group of people may not be as effective for another group. So before you craft your speech, or just set out make an impromptu announcement, make a note of who you are speaking to. Consider, their age, gender as well as the general cultural milieu and keep these factors at the top of your mind before you craft your words. It might be a good idea to think of some apt catchy phrases and one-liners that will attract your audience’s attention.

Use visual aids wisely

An audience that is unengaged is rarely receptive to what you have to say. The best ideas can die a silent death at the hands of a lackluster explanation. Think of a situation where you are having a conversation with your friend and instead of talking to you, your friend is reading out notes from a piece of paper.

Did you lose interest?

Your audience will too, if you rely too heavily on visual aids. Use visual aids like presentations, for the benefit of the audience. Leverage audiovisual content and innovative formats to keep the audience engaged. Do not use visual aids merely as tools to help you remember what to say next.

Package your message right

The way you present your message is more important than what you have in mind. Use a nice and catchy story or incident to open. You need to grab your audience’s attention with the opening line itself. Interact with them from time to time. This will make sure that you avoid any cognitive backlog. Make your presentation feel like a story and not a lecture to your audience. You can add some relevant anecdotes to establish a firm connection with your audience, and make sure you build on this connection at multiple points during your talk.

Remember that the more often you speak, the better you will be able to ace the art of public speaking. You may not be able to shake off those nerves at once, but you will surely learn how to minimize them with time and by having command & expertise over the area you are speaking about.

We, at Pearson Professional, offer career programs and other certificate programs around new-age skills from leading international universities to prepare you for the challenges that you would face in real life, make you a better leader and help you gain an edge over others to stay ahead in your career.

SKILLS REQUIRED FOR NEW-AGE SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGERS

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With the emerging technological advancements and fundamental shifts in supply chain activities, it is safe to say that the supply chain landscape is not the same as it was a decade ago. New evolutions in technology such as 3-D printing, autonomous vehicles, the Internet of Things (IoT), big data analytics and omni-channel retailing have brought about tremendous change in supply chain management.
Take the e-commerce giant Amazon for example, which has been working on a drone-based delivery system. The retail corporation Walmart has also developed a global satellite system that collects and shares its real-time store data. While these companies have taken that early step towards redefining their supply chain for optimal success in the future, most industries are finding it difficult to prepare themselves for today’s ever-evolving, exponentially more complex supply chain industry.
The question is why?
According to industry analysts and experts, so much progress so quickly calls for new skills in supply chain management and leadership. Unfortunately, most supply chain organizations are unable to meet this demand currently.
Hence, the need of the hour is an advanced workforce who can integrate innovation and technology with their working knowledge of supply chain tools, activities, and goals to carry out strategic, higher-level supply chain activities in the very near future.
Here are some skills that are required for a new-age supply chain manager:

1. Understanding of Information Systems

In the words of Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft, “Information Technology is at the core of how you do your business and how your business model evolves itself.” This stands true for supply chain industry as well. Thus, it is important for supply chain managers of tomorrow to gain expertise and adeptness in packaged software systems like WMS, ERP, TMS, etc. for better decision support.

2. Technological Expertise

In the wake of technological revolution, it has become imperative for supply chain managers to gain knowledge in areas like Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things, Robotics and Automation, and know how to effectively utilise them to advance their supply chain. Take Alibaba for instance, which was able to reduce the human workforce at one its facilities by 70% by increasing robotic labour.

3. Strategic Planning and Big Thinking

Another capability quickly becoming indispensable in supply chain leaders is data analytics mentality or Big Thinking. The knowledge of advanced analytics provides them the ability to draw on the data sets and information created by supply chain activities to anticipate market trends and make better, faster, holistic decisions while say, optimising their production runs and distribution plans.

4. End-to-End Supply Chain Management

Unlike a few years ago, a supply chain manager today needs to understand the complete end-to-end supply chain – from sourcing to production, planning to delivery and service – through collaboration and networking. This real-time experience can enable future managers to align all key supply chain partners, identify potential risks and address issues as they arise for effective operations.

5. Risk Management Expertise

As new and improved products, processes and services are entering the market, risk management is fast becoming an important asset for supply chain managers. While different businesses will have an array of different potential risks, the knowledge of risk management can help supply chain managers ask the right questions relating to business, quantify risks, and build contingencies effectively.

6. Global Leadership

As the supply chain is becoming global owing to the technological developments and changes in the market, it has become vital for supply chain managers of tomorrow to develop a holistic leadership style. The ability to control the entire supply chain process as a single point of command, and work seamlessly on a multi-channel, multi-partner basis will enable them to drive change and action.

Currently, supply chain management positions are growing at nearly 270,000 opportunities per year, and there is only one skilled candidate for every six job openings. By 2030, the volume of jobs in the supply chain industry would have grown exponentially and the ratio of qualified candidates to job openings could be as high as 1:9.
The question is will you qualify to run the supply chains of 2030? How would you thrive, and not just survive in the rapidly changing and rather complex supply chain environment?
If you wish to accelerate your career and master these new-age skills to prepare yourself to lead the supply chain industry to 2030 and beyond, MIT’s Supply Chain Management Program is just the right choice for you. For more details, click here.

Sources:
https://www.amazon.com/Amazon-Prime-Air/b?ie=UTF8&node=8037720011
https://www.tradegecko.com/blog/incredibly-successful-supply-chain-management-walmart
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4754078/China-s-largest-smart-warehouse-manned-60-robots.html
http://pearson-professional.com/micro-masters/scm
http://supplychaininsightsglobalsummit.com/imagine-2030-supply-chain-talent/

How Important Is A Study Plan To Crack Any Exam

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Photo credit: LuYi_China

Exam time can be a very stressful time and with so much riding on its result, it requires a lot of hard work and dedication from a student. Some candidates find themselves in a tight spot when they keep postponing studying till the end. Planning ahead can sort out your study goals and give you ample of time for your hobbies. Whether it’s an entrance exam or a competitive one, following a study plan can keep you a step ahead in stressful times. It’s more insightful than a timetable as it includes your complete syllabus. Here’s why you should certainly stick to a study plan to crack any exam.

Provides A Plan Of Action

Often the syllabus is too huge to catch up so it’s easy for a student to feel lost in a pile of different topics. A study plan gives thorough insight in the curriculum and also sorts ‘what to study’ and ‘when to study’. Also, everyone has their own different study plan. It depends on the individual’s learning abilities, time management skills and personal goals. One feels more organised and in-command when they know why they are studying and what needs to be done in order to achieve those goals.

Brings In Motivation

When you achieve little targets set in your study plan, a sense of motivation to achieve the next one comes in naturally. It can make otherwise boring and stressful subjects a bit more fun by giving new challenges to accomplish every day.

Reduces Stress Extensively

It is very important that you don’t leave things for the last moment as it only leads to more stress and exhaustion. If you follow your study plan judiciously, then you can considerably reduce the scope for stress. The initial efforts of making a plan of action will eventually lead you to have a fuss-free preparation time. Also, preparing for exams becomes much easier and more productive when you adhere to your plan.

Increases Concentration

Studying methodically for regular hours increases concentration, which is the key to cracking any exam. Sticking to a study plan will inculcates a sense of discipline and there will be no need to panic and study during odd hours to finish off everything before exams. This ease of mind can further increase your confidence in how you approach your studies. It will give you a balanced    approach towards every subject considering the time-limits.

Putting in an effort to create a study plan and then not following it will take you back to the starting point so, it’s highly crucial to execute it well. To avoid tough situations, keep your study plan simple and easy to pursue. Don’t stress and keep some space for your hobbies in the plan to refresh yourselves. We’re sure you’ll come out with flying colours. All the best!

Fun things your kid can do during this summer vacation

Little boy learning about the world around him.It’s finally here – the time that most students pine for every single time they attend school has arrived. Summer vacations are inbound, and adolescents are finally free from the shackles of waking up early and attending school. They can finally stop calling themselves “students” and start calling themselves “children” – albeit for a limited time. The amount of free time that children have at this point seems like a boon to them.

However, this can turn into a curse as well.

After all, students are used to following a routine during the weekday. While it might seem somewhat liberating to not be bound by certain responsibilities during this time span, the fact of the matter is that most children will quickly realise that there are very few ways to pass the time. This can lead to a growing sense of boredom that can quickly become quite unbearable.

Therefore, it’s important to keep a child occupied during these vacations. Here are some of the major activities that can help engage kids in these holidays.

  1. Making meals: Learning how to cook a meal is an important life skill that anyone should know, and developing this skill in a child is an excellent course of action to take. Aside from teaching a kid how to cook, parents can also engage him in a task that will keep him occupied, thus alleviating any boredom that could arise as a result.
  2. An outing amidst nature: Before we get into detail, let us state beforehand that the average human spends a whopping 41% of his life looking at a screen! It’s a startling statistic that should serve as a wake-up call to anyone who wants their child to grow up and appreciate life with their own eyes, instead of a screen. Planning a camping trip, going for a hiking expedition, or just allowing them to perform the seemingly mundane task of gardening is an excellent way for them to enjoy.
  3. Develop their creativity: There is a bevy of creative activities that kids can perform to expand their horizons. Everything from normal arts-and-crafts to building blocks can help shape, develop, and amplify a kid’s creative thinking.
  4. Scavenger hunt: This is a great activity that combines a lot of what we’ve already stated earlier. An A-to-Z scavenger hunt will compel a child to explore – something that is sorely missing in the age of technology, where everything can generally be found with a simple Google search. By making this act of discovery physical, children will find an outlet to develop their cognitive skills as well.

It’s true that summer vacation is a time for children to relax. However, it can also be treated as a way for these adolescents to explore different avenues of obtaining information developing valuable life skills that will serve them well in the long run.

#3: Teachers’ Perspective & The Challenges In The Path Towards Holistic Learning

As per Pearson Voice of Teacher Survey 2015 (an annual survey done by Pearson, the World’s leading learning company, that aims to voice the opinion of the teaching community in India), teachers seek changes to the traditional ways of teaching to adapt to the changing dynamics in the learning ecosystem:

–  57% teachers believe that students are not adequately prepared for employment.

–  There’s a collective call by teachers (75%) for industry collaborated curriculum restructuring.

– They urge for industrial training of teachers (44%) to impact employability of Indian students.

– Majority (66%) support technology adoption across levels; school teachers, specifically, consider installation of smart boards (77%) and bundled multimedia content (51%) as the key initiatives.

– Majority (52%) believe that India’s Education Assessment Framework lacks specific action points for teachers and parents to enable holistic education.

This clearly depicts that trainers, just like parents and students of today, are seeking progressive changes.

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The Challenges In The Path To Holistic Learning

According to a primary research done by Pearson that collated information from Indian schools on the basic challenges they faced in creating a holistic network for learning were as follows:

–   Lack of integrated tools inside the classroom which leads to reduction in the overall efficacy of the classroom teaching and learning.

–   Absence of an inter-disciplinary approach that helps builds stronger concepts and skills that last for life.

–     Learning tends to stop when the school gets over.

–     Parents are inquisitive to know what is happening inside the classrooms.

–     Assessment is still at a level of ‘Do more. Work hard.’

To tackle these challenges, with MyPedia, teachers are armed with a digital content & complete assessment/activity kit, so they can conduct activities smoothly, and measure the learning outcomes accurately.

Accepting New Methods of Learning & Teaching

The current education styles are mainly guided by the principle that passing a grade ensures complete learning of that level. A deeper introspection of what really fulfils the learning experience of a child is required. It is important to understand the nuances of the learning curve taken by each child. Any system that compels students to belong to a certain dominant lobby can suppress the spirit of innovation.

For students to evolve into skilled professionals of tomorrow, they need to be able to operate in a free atmosphere, exercise choices with a certain level of independence to shape their own lives. The idea is to look beyond the pass-fail binary. We don’t need just engineers, doctors and learners who attain the highest scores in an examination.

To put India truly on the global forefront, we need to nurture innovators, thinkers, philosophers, leaders and writers–to list a few–reflecting the diverse aspirations and dreams of a developing nation. For this, we need to establish newer ways of approaching education and reLauren_Rolwing_girl_reading_book_RGBdefine learning. MyPedia aims to implement these reforms, which are essential for smooth transitioning of students to skilled professionals of tomorrow.  

The first step to get closer to the vision of holistic learning is to embrace new methods of learning and teaching. It is important to familiarize teachers with newer concepts and different structures of delivering education.

Adopting an interdisciplinary approach will further substantiate classroom education and support holistic development of children as well as teachers. Introducing a framework of continuous assessments, regular and real-time feedback can drastically improve the performance of students and help them identify their interests early in life.

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