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Thanks to https://www.allbusiness.com/social-responsibility-plan-startups-124055-1.html

By Ryan Ayers

In the past, companies could mostly stay neutral on topics like politics, social and environmental issues, and other cultural concerns. Those days are over. Today, consumers expect companies to contribute to the good of society and take a stand against injustice.

In an era where brands have to be politically correct and activist in order to appeal to a millennial and Gen-Z population, companies have to get on board with social responsibility. Consumers will know if your company doesn’t have a plan and they will penalize you for it.

For some time, the topic of corporate social responsibility (CSR) has made the rounds through business circles. It’s clear that communities benefit when companies do the right thing, but what is the benefit of CSR for companies? Well, authentic and successful CSR initiatives can actually lead to improved profits and increased customer goodwill.

DON’T MISS: The Surprising Business Lesson I Learned From Salmon Conservationists [Business Insider]

As a business leader, your actions directly correlate to the success or failure of your enterprise. Today, social responsibility from corporations is a hot-button issue you can’t afford to ignore. As you build your organization, it’s important to create a CSR plan and stay true to your organizational values as you grow.

Moving beyond feel-good initiatives

Any company can say that they want to do the right thing. Many organizations only adopt CSR initiatives because they know they’re what customers are looking for. But these insincere, “feel-good” initiatives are usually nothing but fluff, and companies risk alienating customers by using CSR solely for their own interests or by sending inconsistent messages.

To really create the win-win situation that CSR can deliver when it’s done well, you need to move beyond feel-good initiatives. Companies need to really consider their organizational values and make concerted and consistent efforts to support those values.

For example, any company can create a cute marketing campaign about going green, but the companies that really value environmental stewardship take it much further and overhaul their everyday operations to become more environmentally friendly.

Other Articles From AllBusiness.com:

Prepare for CSR success

Before you create a CSR plan, it’s important to understand what works and what doesn’t.

While you can align yourself with a cause that isn’t related to your business’s product or service, it’s generally much better to leverage your organizational competencies to contribute to social or environmental causes. A good example of this in action is Campbell’s Nourish, a product that was created to address hunger and is only distributed in food banks. The goal of reducing hunger aligns with the brand’s values and direct ability to give back.

Another way to prepare for CSR success is to realize you can’t spread yourself too thin. You might feel passionate about several projects, but it’s better to concentrate your efforts on one specific cause. You’ll be much more effective at creating real change if you’re not trying to do everything at once.

Finally, your organization can’t just get involved at the surface level. You need to understand the issues on a deeper level, gather research and resources for your customers, and create your plan with the complexity of the issue in mind. You can further build credibility by partnering with experts who can provide more knowledge and help you truly make a difference.

Getting started with CSR

There’s a growing interest in movements that improve the quality of life for humanity. For instance, consumers will invest $300 billion in socially responsible enterprises every year by the year 2020, according to McKinsey & Company.

Not only does CSR matter for consumers, who are more likely to buy from socially-responsible companies, but it can make a difference with investors, stockholders, and stock prices. For this reason, you should set up a social responsibility plan carefully, understanding that the way you approach your programs could make a big difference in whether or not your company grows and in the talent you attract.

To get started on your CSR plan, your first step is to identify a cause that aligns with your brand. Sometimes, this is simple, while for other businesses it can be challenging to find the movement that will resonate with your organizational values and your customers.

Think about the intent of your organization and the values that it was founded upon. Does your organization care deeply about the environment and sustainability? Does your organization care about education access? Perhaps your organization cares about hygiene and health. Identify what it is that truly aligns with your organization’s values and pursue a CSR plan based around that.

Not only does it just make sense to put your energy toward a cause that’s related to your for-profit business, but it also helps your customers understand what you’re doing. About 58% of U.S. consumers don’t understand brands’ CSR initiatives, largely because they are not aligned with what the brand does or the it hasn’t been explained well. A simple initiative, like planting trees for every item sold (or ten, as in the case of outdoor apparel retailer tentree) or donating products to people in need is easy for customers to support.

CSR should not be profit focused

The most successful CSR programs ultimately come from a place of integrity and goodwill. Although CSR is now all but mandatory for business success, it should never be done just to prove how much your company has done or to increase profits.

That being said, it is important to highlight and showcase your company’s good deeds. Use social media, email marketing, and advertising to let your current and future customers know what you’re working toward. Highlight whom and what you’re helping and why.

Measure your impact to learn, not to brag. As you build your startup’s CSR plan, start to collect data and see if there are any improvements you can make. Perhaps the following year you develop a larger and more far-reaching plan. Creating a successful CSR plan takes time—but it’s time well spent.

RELATED: Is Your Business Ready to Make a Positive Change in the World?

About the Author

Post by: Ryan Ayers

Ryan Ayers is a researcher and consultant within multiple industries including information technology, blockchain, and business development.

Connect with me on Twitter.

The post Your Startup Needs a Social Responsibility Plan to Compete—Here’s Why appeared first on AllBusiness.com

The post Your Startup Needs a Social Responsibility Plan to Compete—Here’s Why appeared first on AllBusiness.com. Click for more information about Guest Post.

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Thanks to https://www.allbusiness.com/social-responsibility-plan-startups-124055-1.html

By Ryan Ayers

In the past, companies could mostly stay neutral on topics like politics, social and environmental issues, and other cultural concerns. Those days are over. Today, consumers expect companies to contribute to the good of society and take a stand against injustice.

In an era where brands have to be politically correct and activist in order to appeal to a millennial and Gen-Z population, companies have to get on board with social responsibility. Consumers will know if your company doesn’t have a plan and they will penalize you for it.

For some time, the topic of corporate social responsibility (CSR) has made the rounds through business circles. It’s clear that communities benefit when companies do the right thing, but what is the benefit of CSR for companies? Well, authentic and successful CSR initiatives can actually lead to improved profits and increased customer goodwill.

DON’T MISS: The Surprising Business Lesson I Learned From Salmon Conservationists [Business Insider]

As a business leader, your actions directly correlate to the success or failure of your enterprise. Today, social responsibility from corporations is a hot-button issue you can’t afford to ignore. As you build your organization, it’s important to create a CSR plan and stay true to your organizational values as you grow.

Moving beyond feel-good initiatives

Any company can say that they want to do the right thing. Many organizations only adopt CSR initiatives because they know they’re what customers are looking for. But these insincere, “feel-good” initiatives are usually nothing but fluff, and companies risk alienating customers by using CSR solely for their own interests or by sending inconsistent messages.

To really create the win-win situation that CSR can deliver when it’s done well, you need to move beyond feel-good initiatives. Companies need to really consider their organizational values and make concerted and consistent efforts to support those values.

For example, any company can create a cute marketing campaign about going green, but the companies that really value environmental stewardship take it much further and overhaul their everyday operations to become more environmentally friendly.

Other Articles From AllBusiness.com:

Prepare for CSR success

Before you create a CSR plan, it’s important to understand what works and what doesn’t.

While you can align yourself with a cause that isn’t related to your business’s product or service, it’s generally much better to leverage your organizational competencies to contribute to social or environmental causes. A good example of this in action is Campbell’s Nourish, a product that was created to address hunger and is only distributed in food banks. The goal of reducing hunger aligns with the brand’s values and direct ability to give back.

Another way to prepare for CSR success is to realize you can’t spread yourself too thin. You might feel passionate about several projects, but it’s better to concentrate your efforts on one specific cause. You’ll be much more effective at creating real change if you’re not trying to do everything at once.

Finally, your organization can’t just get involved at the surface level. You need to understand the issues on a deeper level, gather research and resources for your customers, and create your plan with the complexity of the issue in mind. You can further build credibility by partnering with experts who can provide more knowledge and help you truly make a difference.

Getting started with CSR

There’s a growing interest in movements that improve the quality of life for humanity. For instance, consumers will invest $300 billion in socially responsible enterprises every year by the year 2020, according to McKinsey & Company.

Not only does CSR matter for consumers, who are more likely to buy from socially-responsible companies, but it can make a difference with investors, stockholders, and stock prices. For this reason, you should set up a social responsibility plan carefully, understanding that the way you approach your programs could make a big difference in whether or not your company grows and in the talent you attract.

To get started on your CSR plan, your first step is to identify a cause that aligns with your brand. Sometimes, this is simple, while for other businesses it can be challenging to find the movement that will resonate with your organizational values and your customers.

Think about the intent of your organization and the values that it was founded upon. Does your organization care deeply about the environment and sustainability? Does your organization care about education access? Perhaps your organization cares about hygiene and health. Identify what it is that truly aligns with your organization’s values and pursue a CSR plan based around that.

Not only does it just make sense to put your energy toward a cause that’s related to your for-profit business, but it also helps your customers understand what you’re doing. About 58% of U.S. consumers don’t understand brands’ CSR initiatives, largely because they are not aligned with what the brand does or the it hasn’t been explained well. A simple initiative, like planting trees for every item sold (or ten, as in the case of outdoor apparel retailer tentree) or donating products to people in need is easy for customers to support.

CSR should not be profit focused

The most successful CSR programs ultimately come from a place of integrity and goodwill. Although CSR is now all but mandatory for business success, it should never be done just to prove how much your company has done or to increase profits.

That being said, it is important to highlight and showcase your company’s good deeds. Use social media, email marketing, and advertising to let your current and future customers know what you’re working toward. Highlight whom and what you’re helping and why.

Measure your impact to learn, not to brag. As you build your startup’s CSR plan, start to collect data and see if there are any improvements you can make. Perhaps the following year you develop a larger and more far-reaching plan. Creating a successful CSR plan takes time—but it’s time well spent.

RELATED: Is Your Business Ready to Make a Positive Change in the World?

About the Author

Post by: Ryan Ayers

Ryan Ayers is a researcher and consultant within multiple industries including information technology, blockchain, and business development.

Connect with me on Twitter.

The post Your Startup Needs a Social Responsibility Plan to Compete—Here’s Why appeared first on AllBusiness.com

The post Your Startup Needs a Social Responsibility Plan to Compete—Here’s Why appeared first on AllBusiness.com. Click for more information about Guest Post.

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Thanks to http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/SmallBusinessTrends/~3/qV7-2d9VORw/types-of-leadership-skills.html

10 Types of Leadership Skills You Need to Have

Leaders possess skills that may not always easy to define. But we know leadership when we see it.

As a result, those with leadership abilities share several qualities that make them successful and stand out. For example, they remain anchored by a clear set of principles and values about themselves, the people in their lives and their place in the world.

The great world leaders: Kennedy, Gandhi, Mandela, Merkle, May and esteemed business leaders: Cooke, Sandberg, Gates, Winfrey all offer answers to the question of whether great leaders are born or made. There is significant evidence to suggest that both are true. Many are born into leadership and others are born with the qualities that propel them into leadership.

The leaders from all walks of our lives that step up in their communities, cities, and workplace to help others and change lives make as much if not more impact on who they serve as world and business leaders.

Types of Leadership Skills

Here are 10 types of leadership skills that we need to have that are are essential to leadership success.

Competency

Whatever our expertise may be, our success and effectiveness lies in our ability to do the job based on our competency. Do we have the preferred skills, training, attitude and personality to master the job and excel at it? It’s not enough to only have hard skills in today’s workplace. Workers must be able to fit into evolving cultures of diversity, personnel changes, new products and services and being committed to staying personally current and relevant.

Composure

Are you cool under pressure or do you get flustered when things get tough and  intense? Leaders need to handle several things at the same time, which means being prepared and ready to work smart daily. Being ready to handle and deal with our responsibilities and the unforeseen things that will come up and having a team of people who we can count on for feedback and support only makes us stronger and more effective under pressure.

Here are some helpful ways to maintain leadership composure during high pressure moments:

  • Don’t Allow Your Emotions to Get in the Way
  • Don’t Take Things Personally
  • Act Like You Have Been There Before

Self Improvement

Moving our careers in the direction we want them to go requires being at the top of our game, having great people skills, and staying connected and relevant. Continuing education, being an avid reader, networking and industry events are all important activities to regularly take part in. Be selective about which ones you go to. Get some referrals from your network and associates on what’s solid, new and exciting. Don’t be afraid to start a selective networking event with hand picked prospects. If you need to catch up on some self improvement ideas or revisit older ones consider these 25 Best Self Help Books to Read Anytime and these top 15 small biz podcasts.

Open Mindedness

It is essential to be informed and a trusted resource. Open-mindedness relates to the way in which we approach, respect and acknowledge the views and knowledge of others. The worst thing a leader can be perceived to be is “a know it all”. Being open minded and admitting that you don’t know everything creates an underlying sense of authenticity and humility and can enhance conversations with associates in many mutual ways.

Self Discipline

Self discipline is by far one of the top skills we need to succeed in work and life. We can set up all the systems and procedures possible by if we don’t have the personal commitment and discipline to use and follow them then why  bother? The ability to control and motivate ourselves, stay on track and do what is right cannot be periodic, half way or sometimes. It must be consistent, committed and conscious. It’s a manifestation of a serious, thoughtful leadership action plan.

Can you wake up an hour early before work each day to get to the gym?

Are you making sure you are confirming your appointments?

Do you consistently following up with customers and co-workers to see how they are doing?

Compassion

Kindness, caring, and a willingness to help others are all examples of compassion and    just might be one of the most important intangible qualities leaders possess. The ability to demonstrate compassion and care for those we work with and for builds loyalty, trust and respect.  A kind word, one on one conversations, taking time to listen, being mindful, expressing gratitude are examples of how to foster compassion and loyalty.  These are the magnets that attract repeat business, referrals and new customers.

Howard Behar, former President of Starbucks International and author of, “It’s Not About the Coffee” says “It’s impossible to lead in business – or in life – unless you genuinely care about people. That’s what matters. Period.”

Sense of Humor

According to a Robert Half survey, 91% of executives believe a sense of humor is important for career advancement and 84% feel that people with a good sense of humor do a better job. When our workplace and leaders cultivate humor and levity it just makes the workplace more fun and productive. For those of you looking for a great team-building activity, try heading to a comedy club or enrolling your team in an improv workshop.The team that laughs together thrives together!

Accountability

Taking responsibility for our actions, decisions and performance as leaders is a benchmark in evaluating our professionalism. Our accountability based on a strategy not just hope should be deliberate. Effective leaders set themselves and their teams up to win on many levels.

Some ways leaders can foster accountability are to:

  •  model the behavior
  • set up accountability review sessions
  • be a resource ally and cheerleader.
  • Set SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
  • Be consistent

People Skills

Great leaders combine competence, personality, vision and the ability to work with many different kinds of people. The balance of hard core technical skills and soft core people skills are an essential  formula for leaders to grow and thrive. People Skills add value to an organization by enabling people to get along with others through effective communication. These 29 Secret Techniques to Get the Most Out of Your Team can help.

Mentorship

Following the example of other successful people is simply smart. What are the key websites, blogs and events where people gather and congregate to share ideas and points of view? Study them. A great mentor willingly uses and shares their experience, skills and attitude to help others. To find a mentor, we need to know what we need to improve and what goals we need to set up to help get us there. Identify resources through websites, books, podcasts, local events and strategically reaching out with specific resources that can help them. Get involved and put yourself out there.        Stand out, get noticed, make a difference and be remembered.

Take stock of all of your assets and liabilities and be brutally honest about refining them. The most successful people and businesses take stock regularly of what is and what is not working and are proactive about making changes.

Don’t go it alone. Success is a WE proposition that makes effective leadership possible and sustainable by our commitment to helping and encouraging each other.

New Zealand’s youngest woman Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern 37, is leading a new generation of leadership.

“We seem to have resigned ourselves to accept that politics is a place for aggression and self-interest,” she shared. “I reject that. Why wouldn’t we want to see notions of kindness and compassion that we teach our kids in our political leadership instead?”

Image: Depositphotos.com

This article, “10 Types of Leadership Skills You Need to Have” was first published on Small Business Trends