We are proud to announce our partnership with B1G1.  This is our first official charitable organization going into the new year.

 

 

  • B1G1 moves giving from an ad-hoc, event-driven model to a very specific transaction-based giving model — a world where every transaction gives back and makes a difference.
  • It means that giving becomes an effortless habit, changing our lives and making a difference every second, every day and in every way.
  • B1G1 brings the power, resonance and ‘connected-ness’ of transaction-based giving and Impact-Based Giving to the literal hundreds of thousands of small-to-medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) that form the backbone of every economy.

 

Please check out there site at www.b1g1.com and donate as appropriate through our web link.

http://www.b1g1.com/buy1give1/businessstory?companyID=100149

More to come in 2012….

Y’vonne Ormond

Director, Smart Mentoring

 

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Hi Smart Leaders–

To round out our year Barbara and I would like to share our gratitude challenges with our global community.

While we made some great traction in the Global Mentorship Pilot program we are still personally wishing we had more time to dedicate to our community.  We appreciate Grace Ocean our LI moderator for her leadership and moderation activities.

It was a year of challenges for Barbara and I.  Between the two of us we experienced, broken relationships, death of loved ones, balancing diagnosis and special needs children, move to new geographic regions and sick parents.  We thank you for being leaders and fostering great conversations in our community.  It’s all of you that contribute that made our passions achievable.

I’d like to recognize our SLN Program Volunteer community.  For those of you that aren’t aware we had 11 dedicated volunteers across the globe that gave the gift of their free time in a variety of activities for Smart Leaders Network in 2011.

Glen Turner

Roxanne Kichar

Andrea Anderson

Donna Wocher

Michelle Dib

Neelesh Mehta

Grace Ocean

Lisa Rubenstein

Shannon Pruitt

Anne Islan

Kristin Austin

Additionally we have 12 teams of volunteers (24 individuals) that make up our pilot program currently running.  Each of you play(ed) a role in evolving SLN in 2011 and we’d like to say we couldn’t have done it without you.

In the new year we have some firm goals and great ideas we’d like to share for 2012.  They aren’t fully vetted so any and all ideas are welcome. If you find these ideas as something you’re interested in supporting feel free to reach out.  Happy to build a broader program volunteer community.

2012 Goals:

  • Complete the Global Mentorship Pilot by April 2012 and determine lessons learned; IN PROGRESS
  • Set up business entities in USA/Canada and Europe/Asia Pac – We need to formalize our business licenses, decide on financial operations and determine how to manage a charitable and profitable services; IN PROGRESS
  • Start our “Women in Leadership” series – I have a variety of interesting and successful women from all paths of life lined up for us to profile on our website.  In addition Barbara is working on establishing a sub group to Smart Leaders in LinkedIn for broadening our reach and community targeted at women.
  • Increase our global reach the leveraging our voice through relationship building and social media
  • Increase “rich” content on our web site

Ideas:

We have a variety of ideas we need to develop a plan and approach for.  Barbara and I wanted to share as this early stage.

  • Recruit volunteers for guest blogging and webinars on the Smart Leaders Network website
  • Leverage current volunteer base to provide social awareness of our group and causes
  • Bring together a concept called “I sell Myself”; Offering up a skilled professional leader in the community through an auction of “man hours” to grow a business or individual with all costs going towards charity
  • And more to come….

As we gain your ideas and develop our 2012 focuses we’ll ensure we community to all of you in our community.

It’s been a pleasure working with all of our volunteers, in our community and mentor/mentee teams.   Have a nice and restful holiday period with your loved ones and we look forward to what 2012 brings.

Barbara Nowark – Rowe – Smart Leaders Network Co-Founder/Managing Director

Y’vonne Ormond – Director, Smart Mentoring

http://smartleadersnetwork.com/

Twitter: yormond & smartleaders

 

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All -

Thank you all for your patience in allowing the Smart Leaders Program team the time to set up the Global Mentorship Program Pilot.  We’ve now come to the place where we’d like to engage all of you that showed interest in being a Mentor, Mentee or both.

if you previously showed interest in our program, in the next couple weeks you should be contacted by a member of the SLN HR Team listed below with more information.  In preparation to HR related activities, I’d like to ask each of you to fill fill out a NEW Volunteer Information Form (VIF). Secondly, if you haven’t already sent me your Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) please fill that out (signed) and send it our way as way.  I’d like to request that you DO NOT send the forms to me but to our HR email address at the following: slnhrteam@gmail.com.  This will ensure it does not get stuck in my email box and is taken actioned on.

We are so excited to get started on the “meaty” portion of the program.  As part of the pilot we ask for your support in supplying us feedback what works in the process and areas of opportunity for process/activity refinement.  THIS WILL BE KEY TO MAKING THIS A LIVE CHARGABLE SERVICE IN 2012 WITH PROCEEDS GOING TO CHARITABLE ORGANIZATIONS.

In regards to the charity piece, we still have much work do to in parrellel to the Mentor/Mentee activities.  I can’t answer all your questions on how it will work but please make sure you ask as I’m happy to address them.
HR Team Members:
Glenn Turner
Andrea Anderson
Roxanne Kichar
Donna Wocher

Please send your completed forms over to our HR Team by September 18, 2011 if you’d like to participate in the pilot.

Thank you all all in advance for participating in our pilot and we look forward to working with you.

Y’vonne Ormond
Director, Smart Mentoring
Twitter: yormond & smartleaders

 

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This week’s Guest Blogger is from Smart Leader Networks Mentorship Program Marketing Lead Kristin Austin.  Kristin is an marketing entrepreneur working for herself living in Australia. Her detailed profile can be seen on our Volunteer Organization page under the Mentorship Program.

Thank you Kristin for this week’s blog and sharing your experience with our community.

Y’vonne Ormond

Director, Smart Mentoring

 

Transform your business in five words 

Want to transform your business? Read on. I’m about to show you five critical, oft overlooked words that really can transform your business – but only if you really commit to them. So, what are they?

What’s…In…It…For…Me?  or WIIFM. These five words are your key to more and better business. Believe it or not these are the most important five words for your customers, no matter what it is you’re selling.

First though, think back to when someone has attempted to sell you something and you sat there thinking “they just don’t get what I need.”  Even if you were initially interested, all that talk about themselves, their product or service and how great it or they were, was just, well, dull. Once you were bored all you wanted to do was excuse yourself and get out of there. It might have been different if they’d been a little more interested in your needs, but they weren’t. They lost you and you’re unlikely to give them a second chance. Compare that with the last thing you bought, lock stock and barrel.

What was the difference? You were.

So many organisations put themselves first – it’s all about them, not their customer. How many presentations or brochures have you seen that are all about ‘them’. ‘They’ are boring – you want to hear about you. You want them to talk to you, about you and your needs. Sure it’s important their information tell you something about ‘it or them’, it has to be couched around your needs.

Well, I hate to be blunt, but what if that’s what the last 2, 3 or 10 prospects thought when you spoke to them? They smiled politely, promised to get back to you, but you still haven’t heard from them. Maybe you sent our your new brochure, launched your new website, put on an expo, full of great products and ideas, but the phone’s just not ringing and people aren’t taking your calls.

Perhaps there was more in your brochure for you rather than them. I know, your product or service works a treat, but what does it do… FOR THEM? Actually, before you’re too hard on yourself, it can be quite hard to be objective about your product or service enough to take yourself out of it. But, if you’re to succeed in your quest for more or better business, you must.

Let’s look at the seven steps for getting to WIIFM

  1. Take a hard look at your materials (presentations, brochures, website) – through the eyes of your customer. Who does it really talk about them or you? How many times do you use the word you and your  vs the number of times you use we, our, my, etc.
  2. Have someone not connected with your business (or industry) tell you what your product or service delivers and why that’s important – (this is where external consultants can really help)
  3. For every claim you make about your product/service (fast, cost-efficient, one of a kind) ask yourself “So what? Why is that important to my customer?” You should come up with reasons like (and these aren’t necessarily the right answers for you)
    • fast – gives your customers more time with to spend with their family or on their boat,
    • cost-efficient – because they’ll have more to money spend doing the things they love; or
    • one of a kind – they’re the envy of their friends.
  4. Use emotions!! Paint pictures using those emotions. Don’t kid yourself that B2B buyers don’t buy on emotion. They do – it’s just a different kind of emotion. They want to succeed, have a bigger staff, be the one who saved the company all that money, get that promotion, or just have less stress or more time with their family, boat, doing the things they love, rather than pfaffing around over a piece of equipment, technology, staff member who’s not performing as promised.
  5. Once you know what you really deliver your customers – try it on a couple of your best customers. Ask their thoughts and really listen – people love giving their opinion and they’ll love you even more for asking.
  6. Once you’re clear on your message, use the same words and emotions in your brochures, sales calls, website, etc. Tailor it slightly for each customer – not everyone will have a boat (or a family). Find out what’s important to them and refer back to it from time to time.
  7. When you write or produce something or plan a presentation, make sure your customer is at the heart of it – every time.

Think about why your customer is talking to you, reading your materials or visiting your site. What are they hoping is in it for them? All you have to do to transform your business is to make them feel they’re the most important thing in your world and then deliver your stuff.

If you liked Kristin’s article and would like to talk to her further, she can be reached at kristinlaustin@gmail.com.

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I am a mom of a special needs child.  I like to say it doesn’t define me as a person but it does play a HUGE part in our lives.

In the Spring I wrote an article for a special needs community I’m part of (SPD Bloggers Network) about my youngest son.  I think that article is not only valuable for parents struggling but leadership development overall. We all strive to evolve as people and I feel I never personally stop learning how to be a better mother, leader, friend, daughter, wife and so on.

In our lives we all get to points where we are frustrated, don’t feel like we have a path or things are running in circles.  I feel like this often at home in regards to my youngest son.  So I’d like to share a personal story and leadership series book that really helped me through the process.  I hope you all enjoy.

Y’vonne

Patience is Not My Virtue; Focus on Your Strengths

It has been in a particular month of very stressful low ends of the of the bell curve for my littlest guy.  He’s becoming more and more difficult for me to handle.  I’d say some of it is being three years old but a lot of it is he is changing and I need support changing with his changing body.

Transition has always been very difficult for him.  Anything different in his routine is very difficult for him to handle and getting him to change activities (from eating to changing clothes, getting from the house to the car..etc.) takes a lot of time and patience on my part.  I’m struggling with finding the right technique and patience to work with him.  I’m doing it but it’s completely wearing me out and every activity can take a long time.  For example the other day it took me two hours to get him to pre-school and it was a disaster.

I thought I might have some magic solution if 1) we made some changes based on his occupational therapists recommendations and 2) he will be in special education pre-school per his psychologist recommendation on his individual education plan (IEP).  He’d get the tools he needs (and so would I) in turn resulting in a little more patience for both of us.  Then of course we hit a HUGE IEP roadblock.

I felt that I had the wind was just knocked out of me and there were any options available.  I sit in my office at 5am and I keep thinking how “patience is definitely not my virtue” but I’m not giving up on finding what works for my littlest guy.  I look up on the shelf on my desk and see this book called “Strength Finder 2.0 from Tom Rath.

 

Strength Finder 2.0 is a book (one of many) I used as a tool when I was working in the corporate world that comes with a framework that helps identify what an individual is good at.  It has 34 themes (or characteristics) that an individual can carry attributes of and highlights four strength areas for you based on a quiz you take.  Once your characteristics are highlighted it talks about it and then identifies “ideas for actions” and “how to work”.

The reason I bring up this book is it was staring at me as I sat down to write about not having patience and my son’s struggles.  So of course I picked it up and started scanning through the characteristics I remember I fell into.  ARRANGER, BELIEF, CONNECTEDNESS & RELATOR.  So basically to sum them all up for me:  I face complex situations and come up with solutions in creative manners.  I have a very strong belief system that can’t be “rocked.  I connect with “chosen” individuals I have lifelong relationships with I can relate to that have similar passions and would do anything for them.

So when I look at this book it reminds me that even though I haven’t been feeling patient I know it’s a result of the fact that my current plan didn’t work and I need a new one.  So I go back to the actions page and some up with a new plan of attack for my son based on my reminded strengths….:) The book put me back on track.

So if you’re a professional, aspiring leaders, mentor, mentee or parent, I definitely recommend this framework and book.  It’s not for just for corporate individuals.  Anyone can find or be reminded of their strengths.  It helped me to remember that even though “patience is not my virtue” I have to refocus with my strengths and be patient to get to the next chapter.

THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I NEEDED AND I WANTED TO SHARE IT WITH ALL OF YOU!

Y’vonne Ormond

Director, Smart Mentoring

Twitter: yormond

 

 

 

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This post is the first in our guest bloggers series.  It comes to you from one of our Program Volunteers Glenn Turner.

Top 5 reasons to utilize a Business Coach

Executive coaching is being utilized by business leaders and professionals to achieve improved results. The choice to utilize executive coaching services is often influenced by answering the following question. What is in it for me? There are numerous benefits but as the title of this blog states here are the TOP 5 in no specific order:

  1. Increased revenues and productivity. People look to executive coaches to achieve improved business results. A focus of the coaching process must be given to organizational or professional goals. The ability to spend at least three to six months with a client will allow time to be spent creating and implementing goals and action steps designed to bring about an increase in revenues and productivity. Numerous articles have been written documenting the positive results achieved in this area. http://www.managementconsultingnews.com/articles/battley_coaching_roi.php
  2. Goal directed focus. Coaching is not therapy. Your past is only relevant as it affects your ability to achieve future goals. The ability to set organizational and professional goals in a meaningful and productive manner. Success will look different to individuals within the same organization. A focus on overall organizational goals as well as meaningful goals for the professional development of the person being coached allows for a true win/win situation.
  3. Ability to understand and utilize the core strengths each person has in an effective and efficient manner. Highly successful people realize what their core strengths are and learn to utilize them more frequently. Many people will refer to this as being authentic. Imagine being able to engage in the types of activities that you truly enjoy more often. What would this mean to your results?
  4. Understanding that attitudes are something that each of us controls. Ideally, creating more positive attitudes allows us to look at possibilities instead of problems. The best news is that we can learn to develop more positive attitudes. Think of a highly successful person in business, sports, entertainment, and politics or in a spiritual setting. Virtually all of them are positive minded people.
  5. Overcoming obstacles to change. Change can be a stressful and difficult process. The ability to understand change and look at it as an opportunity for improvement is crucial for business sustainability. A leader must not only understand how to manage change for him/herself but also for other members of the organization.

 

Glenn Turner is a member of our Human Resource Team. and additionally is the President of LDG Consulting Inc., which provides professional value oriented facilitation services through a series of processes designed to improve communications, leadership, management and executive management skills.  If you liked Glenn’s article and would like to talk to him further, he can be reached at glenn@resultswithldg.com.

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Smart Leaders Network would like to start a series of guest bloggers.  We are looking for individuals or companies that have proven experience in leading and and coaching others to write articles for us to share with our community.

Our community is globally focused and will benefit from a variety of shared experiences in the are of leadership, team work, business and transition coaching articles.

If you have an interest in sharing your experience through YOUR writing with our community please contact me at yormond@gmail.com

We are looking forward to sharing valuable feedback so our community can continue to grow personally.

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Smart Leaders -

We are still looking to round out our Mentorship Pilot program and recruiting Mentors and Mentees.  As an Organization we have a simple set of Guiding Principles I’d like to share in all our Volunteers:

  • Always keep in the “forefront” we are International and focused on Charitable donations
  • Individuals that join the organization or program will have a passion aligned to our vision
  • Our Mentors will be “World Class”
  • Encourage new team members to join that:

–Possess a similar passion and desire

–Are genuinely interested in helping others

–Are committed to putting the client first
–Want to Pay It Forward

If you possess the same principles and want to work with industry experts, leaders and inspired future leaders; Please contact me for more information.  We’d love to have you help us in our Pilot Program this year.

Y’vonne Ormond

Director, Smart Mentoring

yormond@gmail.com

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