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Lead Up

Cool your mood and keep your productivity with a S.O.D.A.

Cool your mood and keep your productivity with a S.O.D.A.

By Carolina Lozada

Click aqui para español- >¿Te ha pasado que un evento externo o una combinación de ellos puede llegar a “dañarte” el día?

Have you experienced one or a couple of external situations that have ruined your day?

You cannot always control what happens around you. However, you can always control how you respond to the situation and therefore you can control and keep being productive.

The following method is based on neuroscience and can be very helpful when you feel that your mood is starting to go from a good to a not so good mood. It’s known as S.O.D.A., which stands for Stop, Observe, Detach, and Act. It has been proven effective, and takes only 1 minute to put in practice. You and your body will thank you for it.

STOP: 

Stop for a moment and...

If you are sitting in a meeting, move your body slightly from front to back.

If it’s conversation on the phone, walk.

Drink a glass of water.

Observe: the situation as if you were outside it to gain perspective and rationality.

Detach: The emotions associated with the event like frustration, sadness

Act: Take the most convenient actions to adapt or manage the event.

The objective of these actions is to send a different signal to the brain and distract it from the “getting angry” signal. A sudden change of mood is interpreted by the brain as a threat, so it sends a message to your whole body of “fight or flight”, which reduces your ability to make rational decisions and increases impulsivity.

Consequently, in the short term, you will lose much of your physical and mental energy feeling literally as if you had been in a physical fight. This leaves you exhausted, which takes recovery time and affects your productivity. A long term consequence is that, you are at risk of saying or doing something that you will regret later once the event has passed.

Is Leadership Only for Those in the Workforce and in Management Positions?

Is Leadership Only for Those in the Workforce and in Management Positions?

By Carolina Lozada

Click aqui para español- >¿Es cierto que el liderazgo es solo para las personas que trabajan y/o que están en altos cargos?

Nowadays, there are leadership concepts that seem to be exclusive to those in the workforce, but overall these concepts are useful to everyone.

The reality is that the courses and classes are geared towards people in positions in management because of a marketing strategy that assumes these employees are the ones with the money to invest in learning these strategies.

 

Here at VIVA NOLA Magazine, we understand leadership is necessary for all aspects in life, and we offer this “Lead up” section as our commitment to offer information and tools for everybody in any role in life. A leader could be someone at a school, at a market, within their own household, or in a place of employment, but a leader is most necessary in everyone’s own life.

Let’s think about school. You usually remember that one teacher who really wanted you to learn, the one who was calm, and the one you could tell was enjoying what he or she was doing. This teacher was inspiring you to learn and made his particular subject interesting and meaningful to you.

You most likely liked that class the most because the teacher was able to convey a love and an interest for his job. Some of the traits displayed by the teacher are found in leadership traits.

There is a model of leadership that has lasted over time called “The Extraordinary Leader.

This model was created by Zenger Folkman, a global company dedicated to leadership training, and its founders describe this model as a simple, scientifically validated model to achieve greater achievements.

 

The Extraordinary Leader is based on 16 competencies that distinguish 10 percent of the best leaders worldwide. These competencies are grouped into 5 dimensions, which we show in the graph.

The good news is that anyone can develop or strengthen these dimensions and doing so can make everybody exceptional in the different roles of life.

Pathfinder, a business and personal development coaching company, and VIVA NOLA have partnered to offer a master class, at the end of June, to identify your strengths within the five pillars of The Extraordinary Leader and what you can do to develop them.

For more details about the master class, e-mail  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Step by Step! Let’s Get There!

 

Step by Step! Let’s Get There!

By Carolina Lozada

Click aqui para español- > ¡Pasito a Pasito! Vamos rapidito

When it comes to new, big, complex, heavy, but at the same time, exciting challenges, as it could be  project at work, or changing your lifestyle, studies have shown that the secret to success lies in  defining a plan and dividing it into small steps, and each time you achieve one of them, celebrate it almost as if it were the end of the overall goal.

An easy way to think about this is to picture a watermelon, for example. The watermelon is big and delicious, but if you were to eat it, you could not do it in a single bite, right? It would be more viable to break it into small pieces and enjoy each one of them.

The key to success is backed by neuroscience. When we achieve these small steps, there is an effect of joy and the brain, in return, gives you motivation, emotion and a feeling of “I can do this and much more.” That’s when you enter the productivity zone. No matter how many obstacles you find, you will feel the confidence within you to move forward, you begin to see mistakes as opportunities to do things differently next time, and suddenly you become the person who achieves the purpose.

Try it. Make of your brain your best ally!

So, what should the steps to eat that big watermelon be?

1.Check if there is previous information about that big project or idea that you want to execute.Investigate!


2.Prepare the plan by dividing it into small activities until you have fully executed it.Write it!
 
3.Define which are the most important.
Prioritize!

4.Check at the end of each step how things are going, what is working, what you can change, what you can do more of, what you can do without. Revise!
 
5.Give yourself the gift of happiness of what has been achieved. Celebrate!

IKIGAI. What’s your reason for getting up each morning?

IKIGAI. What’s your reason for getting up each morning?

By Carolina Lozada

Click aqui para español- > IKIGAI. ¿Cuál es tu razón para comenzar el día?

How did you feel this morning when you began your day? What was your reason for getting up each morning? The Japanese have the term IKIGAI, which roughly translates into a "reason for being," encompassing joy and a sense of purpose and meaning and a feeling of wellbeing. Iki means life and gai means realization of hopes and expectations. IKIGAI is applicable to the small details of daily life, as well as to long-term goals and accomplishments.

So, let me ask you: Is the reason you woke up this morning a source of joy in your days? Does your motivation make you wake up even before your alarm goes off?

Look at the images below. Observe each one of them, taking your time to find the answer to each IKIGAI element.

Element 1. What you love to do HEAD IN SAND

Element 2. What you are good at PERSON BIG LAUGH

Element 3. What the world needs JIRAFFE

Element 4. What you get paid for HAND IN DOUGH

Bet on yourself and do what you love doing! Be dedicated and share your talent with others and you will start to see money will follow. If you are doing things driven only by money, that may be the reason you often feel tired, lethargic and with lack of motivation.

Increase your Daily Productivity

Increase your Daily Productivity

By Carolina Lozada

Click aqui para español- >Aumenta tu productividad diaria

Do you have a time during the day when you feel overwhelmed by information in your mind, so you find yourself involuntarily closing your eyes, moving your head, or taking off your glasses? This is a reaction to a signal sent by your brain asking you to take a short break Here, we provide you with some options that will allow your brain to relieve that overload, oxygenate, send the body more energy and, therefore, increase your productivity to continue your day. You can do all the options at once, or you can select them throughout the day. These will only take a couple of minutes and your whole body will thank you!

OPTION 1. STAND

Repeat 10 times each. (Total duration 30 seconds). Gently move your head from left to right to stretch your neck. Open and close your arms slowly. Take one step forward. Lean your body forward and stretch your back leg. After counting to 10, switch to the other leg.

OPTION 2. BREATHE

This is a method used by soldiers in the army to reduce stress. (Total duration 1 minute). Inhale counting to four. Hold your breath counting to four. Exhale counting to four. Hold your breath counting to four. You can repeat a couple of times.

OPTION 3. CONNECT

Connecting your senses distracts your brain for a moment allowing you to relax. Count five things you see. Count four things you can touch. Count three things you hear. Count two things you smell.

OPTION 4. VISUALIZE

Set a two-minute alarm, so you won’t be worried about exceeding your time. Close your eyes and visualize that you are taking a walk through a place surrounded by nature. This will provide a fresh breath of air to your brain, since it cannot differentiate between reality and imagination.

3 Signs Your Strategic Planning Process Is Incomplete

3 Signs Your Strategic Planning Process Is Incomplete

By Blanca Robinson

Click aqui para español- >3 señales que su estrategia de planeación está incompleta

Strategic planning is the development and implementation of various operational plans by companies or organizations, with the intention of achieving objectives and goals. These plans can be short, medium or long term. A sound strategic planning process includes three elements. If your organization does a poor or incomplete job on any of these areas, your process is incomplete and won’t get the results you expect.

Answer the BIG strategic planning questions. These include: Who are our customers; how can we better serve them? Who are our competitors; how can we beat them? What do we do best; how can we build on that edge? What are potential scenarios to consider for the future; how will we prepare for them? How can we defend against threats and seize opportunities? Some organizations come up with brilliant answers to these questions but can’t take them to the point of clear initiatives that get done. The BIG questions are worthless if they don’t result in a few clear, compelling strategic initiatives.

Set a few clear priorities and an overall strategic theme. The best outcome is to identify the most important priorities for the organization. Starting with a long list of potential priorities, the organization discusses the relative value of each, and hones in only a few key priorities. This discussion also leads to greater clarity about the big strategic planning questions, especially about what the organization should do best. During this phase, many organizations settle for a long list of priorities. This has the benefit that nobody feels excluded or insulted; however, it makes it highly unlikely that the organization will get anything done completely.

 Implement. The biggest complaint we hear about strategy is that it never seems to get executed. A few reasons why:

 - Neglecting to commit essential resources to the strategy, including capital, training, technology, and people.

- Failing to take things off the plate of busy employees, and instead just stacking more work on them. - Having lack of will to stop old initiatives that compete with the new.

- Not setting clear roles, responsibilities, accountability, and rewards systems.

- Giving up after a few setbacks or initial resistance. A sound strategy spends as much time on implementation planning as it does on the more glamorous work of answering the key strategic questions and setting priorities. Some organizations are strong at asking the big picture questions but fail to follow up. Some set too many priorities, and can’t say “no” to good ideas, despite limited resources. Which of the above areas is weakest in your organization?

 

-Blanca Robinson, owner of VIVA Consulting Group, is an Executive Coach and Business Strategist. For more information, visit www.vivaconsultinggroup.net.

The Struggle to Engage and Motivate Employees

The Struggle to Engage and Motivate Employees

By Blanca Robinson

Click aqui para español->La dificultad de involucrar y motivar a los empleados

Every leader faces this problem. In fact, it is a billion-dollar problem! According to Gallup, only 13% of employees worldwide are engaged, and 25% of employees report that they are actively disengaged. The costs associated with this are staggering in terms of lost productivity and the cost of replacing employees. Engaging and mobilizing employees can be a daunting challenge, but a few simple behaviors can make a huge difference to improve engagement.

It is frustrating to have to read minds

Many employees are frustrated because they feel like they must read their manager’s mind. They don’t know how they are doing and how they can improve their performance. The annual performance review is sometimes their only chance to find out, and that event is so stressful and formal that the environment is not always conducive for improvement.

Spans of control contribute to the problem

This situation is not completely the fault of management. In some organizations, spans of control have become so large that managers must complete formal performance reviews monthly.

The solutions are simpler than you think

There are many simple strategies to engage and mobilize employees. They cost almost nothing to implement, can be put into place immediately, and have huge impact. For instance, one opportunity that many leaders have – even at the C-level – is to give more frequent, informal feedback about how each employee is doing. That way, everyone in an organization knows what is expected of them and how they can get better.

The 7 questions

There are seven simple questions every leader must answer and communicate to employees frequently. Small, informal conversations about performance go a long way, especially when they include teachable moments about different situations and details.

What do I expect from you?

What are you doing well?

 What, if anything, could you be doing better?

What, if anything, do I want you to do better?

What will happen if you improve (e.g., more responsibility, more time with leadership, more desirable assignments?

What will happen if you don't improve?

How can I help?

While all these questions are important, the last question is especially important. It shows the employee that the leader cares and is not merely abdicating responsibility or shifting blame.

Blanca Robinson, Owner of VIVA Consulting Group, is an executive Coach and Business Strategist. For more information, visit www.vivaconsultinggroup.net

Leading When You Are Not in Charge

Leading When You Are Not in Charge

By Blanca Robinson

Click aqui para español->Liderar sin estar a cargo

Have you ever had thoughts like, "l bet I could solve this problem better, but the boss never asks me what I think; how can I influence my manager about what to do; what difference does it make if I like that or not — I have no power. I'm not the one in charge!"

While the statements above can be thought-provoking or feel very true to you, I am going to challenge your premise by saying that the only true statement is "I'm not the one in charge" (at least technically).

You can exert influence even when you're not the boss; it's all about learning how to Lead Up.

How, you might ask, can this happen? Simply put, being a leader isn't about something you have; it's about how you act and the attitude you have, coupled with strong working relationships.

Successful leaders know how to inspire others and find ways to unlock hidden potential in others.

They are willing to do what others won't. They personally invest in the work they do. This is especially evident in working with the boss, manager, or supervisor.

Having a strong relationship with your manager is critical in ensuring that you work together effectively, so that your influence up is exerted, and your voice is heard. If there are conflicts between you and your boss, or if you do not like your boss, there are two immediate and distinct questions:

First, are you willing to take 100% responsibility for the relationship? Often, in a conflict we tend to become victims and blame the other person or expect them to change. Like it or not, in the workplace, it is up to us to make the relationship work and to take full responsibility for our impact and the results we are achieving. We mustn't sit back and wait for the other person to act.

Second, are you willing to make the relationship work? If not, then you are effectively choosing to play the victim role by sitting back and tolerating the situation. Much like in personal relationships, such as marriage, any relationship requires an ongoing, conscious choice to make it work.

There are three things to keep in mind: 1) The relationship with your manager depends on both a strong business and personal foundation; 2) It is up to you to take full responsibility for the quality of the relationship with your manager; and 3) To strengthen the relationship with your manager, you need to fully understand what he or she values — both personally and professionally — and help him/her succeed.

Your first thought is probably why should I care if my manager succeeds? Keep in mind that even the CEO of a company has a boss — could be the biggest customer(s), members of the board, or some key employees. Everyone can benefit from taking time to assess their relationship with their superiors and how to improve it.

It is important to understand what drives your boss. How does he/she define performance, how does your boss measure success, how does your manager make decisions? The better you understand your manager's aspirations, communication and leadership styles, and definitions of performance, the better you can develop an accurate picture of your relationship with your manager. From there you can identify ways to strengthen the relationship. Are there certain behaviors from colleagues or other employees that are sure to upset your manager? What does your manager expect you to achieve? How would your manager say you are performing? How does your manager expect you to communicate progress, issues, and results? If you don't know the answer to these and other questions that may surface, either review them with a colleague

or plan a way to ask your manager directly. If you feel uncomfortable having a conversation with your manager about how he or she defines success, that says something about the quality of the relationship. Please keep in mind this is not how to suck up to your boss.

These are guidelines of how to understand what drives your manager to succeed so you may then influence decisions, ensure your voice is heard, and become an asset to your organization. This is how you can Lead Up.

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Publisher's Note

There is an idea that most Latino immigrants who come here lack education, and thus are bound to perform jobs that require more physical abilities than intellectual ones.

The laborers usually receive a negative stigma, even though the United States society requires these types of jobs to function properly. It is important to us to remember there is dignity in any job. 

In our Líders section, we feature Mari Alejos-Puente, an entrepreneur who is succeeding in the cosmetics’ industry. She graduated from Tulane University and Xavier University and she told me how her mother and her grandmother  were part of the cleaning crews at these institutions, respectively, and how proud they were to see her obtain her undergrad and master degrees.

It is a beautiful thing when you know ladies like this mother and grandmother work hard to give a better life to their children. I wanted to mention this as a side note, because it is important to highlight their efforts, just as much as the effort of the highly skilled professionals we are featuring in our cover story.

In our cover we feature three Latin American physicians who are giving individuals a second chance in life with through their commitment and work at the Ochsner Transplant Institute.

Let his note be a reminder that Latinos, in every field, are providing their skills, talent, and sacrifices every day to make the United States a culturally and economically stronger society.

AnaMaria