Top 5 – Leadership Considerations


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This weeks Top 5 – Leadership Considerations

  1. Define the differences between managing and leading
  2. Identify what level of leadership you are in
  3. Be careful with how you use your power
  4. Get feedback
  5. Manage your external influences.

Explore each top 5 here

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TOP 5 – To Increasing Your Financial Literacy

FinanceMeasuring the financial success and viability of a business is not just the role of the Finance Department, in fact the most successful organisations make it part of each departments overall responsibilities.

You do not need a degree in accounting to help count the ‘beans’ and help steer your business to financial success.

Below are 5 examples of common business units within an organisation and some top tips on how they can measure their financial health.

1. Revenue
Revenue, also known as your ‘top line’ is simply a reflection of your sales. Most organisations measure this in dollars but you could also measure it in any unit of measure that is relevant to your business.  Eg Kilos sold, hours billed or cartons sold. Most organisations measure revenue performance as a percent increase or decrease on the previous year.

Departments that this would be most relevant to are the Sales and marketing teams of a business.

2. Costs of Goods Sold (COGS)
Refer to the raw material costs a business incurs to make its products.
For example the cost of stock in a bottle shop, the cost of wood for a furniture maker or the costs of parts to build a car.  It is often calculated by measuring opening and closing stock positions measured via stock takes.   It can be expressed by the formula; Beginning Inventory + Inventory Purchases – End Inventory = Cost of Goods Sold

Departments that have the greatest influence over this financial measure are the procurement and operational teams.

3. Gross Margin
Gross Margin = Sales Revenue – Costs of Goods Sold.  It is a measure of how much a business gets to keep from every sale made. The aim is to maximise the sale price whilst minimising the input prices.

This measure is key to the sales and operations teams.

4. Cost of Doing Business
This refers to all the expenses it costs a business to make and sell it’s goods and or services. A business needs to focus on keeping each cost line as low as possible to maximise margin.  Some examples of cost lines include, rent, wages, utilities, insurance etc.

This measure is key to the operations and support departments of the business as they have the greatest ability to influence this area of finance.

5. Net Profit or EBIT
EBIT or Earnings before interest and taxes is the net profit or loss of an organisation.

EBIT can be expressed as EBIT = Revenue – Operating expenses (OPEX) + Non-operating income.

EBIT is all profits before taking into account interest payments and taxes.  Some organisations use EBITDA which is earnings before interest and tax minus depreciation and amortisation of assets. In simple terms EBITDA is the end result of an organisations financial profitability.

This financial measure is the responsibility of each department as they all contribute to the EBIT or EBITDA.

The bottom line is often the most important driver in any organisation and managers in all areas of an organisation need to make effective decisions to maximise equity. Happening People offer a very successful program “Finance for Non-Finance Managers” This program will provide participants with the knowledge, skills and confidence to be financially literate. For more information click here or contact us on 1800 68 67 69 or

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Top 5 – Tips for Getting Started in Social Media in 2013

iStock_000021574578XSmall (1) Still undecided as to whether to hop onto the social media bandwagon? Well it’s here to stay and developing in leaps and  bounds. But you don’t have to be on every social media network just find the one or two places where your customers hang out and then start being “social”. The Key is being Social, creating an ongoing open and honest conversation about and around your brand, its products & services.

If you’ve been resisting Social Media because you think it’s a waste of time and just for those telling everyone what they had for dinner or where and who they’ve been out with, well it’s time to change your mindset.
Start viewing social media as being no different to reaching customers on the phone, via email or traditional media advertising i.e.  newspaper/radio – a part of your marketing mix. You’re pretty much using the same marketing techniques but with a public and instant response that allows a 2 way conversation with your customers and potential customer. To help you along, we’ve put together some tips on how you can get started.
1. Where to Start
Research others
Take a look at how other businesses, big or small are using social media. Note the type of content posted and the conversation taking place. You might like to take a look at our Happening People Facebook page or our Twitter account

What do you want to achieve
Now that you have a better idea of a company account as opposed to a personal social media account, turn your mind to what your end result will look like and then work forward. Why set up a social marketing strategy, what do you want to achieve, who is your audience, what do you want to tell them. Social media can be just another way to get your brand out there, link to your website or a blog you can showcase your expertise.

Join your target audience
Once you have decided on your social media strategy and found where your potential customers hang out, create your account. All sites will have a Help section to set-up your account, however link to other sites for helpful tips and up to date info like

2. Branding
There is so much going on in the Social Media world that you’ll want to have people quickly identify your company. Choosing which images best suit your company brand should be the first thing you do once you get started. You’ll want people to go “Ah ha! I know exactly what this brand is.” Says Randi Zuckerburg – former marketing director of Facebook and now CEO of Zuckerberg Media. Eg when people see they immediately think Happening People – specialists in corporate training. What is the personality of your company?

3. Content & Engagement
Your content will depend on what you want to achieve and which network you are using. Use whatever you have, videos and images, ask questions, give exclusive peeks into what’s coming up and ask for suggestions. Create original content that is of interest to your audience. It doesn’t have to a link back to your business every time, help others and give credit where due. Its about creating value for your followers.

You don’t need to be aggressive in pursuing fans/followers, but you do need to be proactive and over time you will see which type of content gets the best response from your audience. Keeping up the engagement will keep you up front with your fans so that when they are ready to buy, there you are!

4. Consistency
Consistent engagement with your audience doesn’t mean you have to check your account every 5 minutes, but it does mean responding in a timely manner. Don’t post and ignore, be alert for at least the next 5 minutes or so to allow a timely response, then check back later. If you are using social media to answer customer questions, then yes, you will need to set up your site so you can be notified and respond immediately.

Experiment with your posting times to find out when your audience is most likely to respond. You can use tools like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck to help schedule your posts early morning or late evenings and on weekends.

5. Transparency
You want people to build trust in your brand, it’s the first step to loyalty so be authentic, real and interesting. This will create the feedback and interaction you want, keeping you up front of your customers, when they are ready, they’ll turn to who they trust.

Setting up a social media strategy for your business can be daunting and like anything it takes commitment. View it as an extension of your Marketing and advertising efforts. Schedule it into your work plan like you would any other task. Keep it real, keep it consistent, keep it social all the while with your goals in mind and pretty soon you’ll wonder what all the fuss was about in the first place.

We’d love to hear from you once you get started with your social media efforts and if you’ve already started, we’d love you to share what’s working for you?


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Top 5 – Motivating Others

followIn today’s highly competitive world, a highly motivated team is vital for any business seeking to be number one.  Therefore it is a critical skill for managers and business leaders to be able to motivate others.

There is a long standing debate that begs the question ‘Do managers actually motivate their staff or are the staff motivated by the environment they are in?

It is more likely the latter, an effective manager and leader has the tools to create and impact the environment of the workplace to ensure it is a positive and sustainable one.

This week’s Top 5 looks at some of the best ways managers can motivate their staff.

1.  Give people responsibility
More than they think they deserve and as much as they are capable of handling. This will empower them assuming they are already motivated. Demonstrating your belief in them will boost their confidence and their beliefs about themselves.

2. Make them feel they matter.
Here are some ways you can instantly make the members of your team feel they matter. Take time for one on ones, use active listening, help them champion causes they believe in and provide feedback, support their career ambitions and ask them ‘what is it that I do that stops you from doing your job?’

3. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
Knowledge is power and power is motivating. You can never communicate too much but be careful on what and how you deliver the message to avoid  information fatigue. The optimum approach to delivering information is to remember that everyone  should know everything about the business that concerns them.  Ask your staff what they would like to know about and provide them with this information promptly.

4. Treat people with kindness and respect
There is an old adage that says ‘do unto others as you would be done by’. In other words treat people the way you would like to be treated. Demonstrate trust in your team and they will show you trust in return.  There are simple things you can do like ensure ensuring you handle personal problems in a sympathetic yet positive manner. Ensuring your teams salaries and benefits are looked after and paid promptly.

5. Find out what motivates them individually.
No two people are the same; some might like to head home to see family early on a Friday.
Others might like team drinks night once a month. The ability of a manager to recognise what motivates each individual is a contributing factor to the overall teams’ success.  As a manager you need to be aware of what these ‘motivational forces’ are.  Theorist Abraham Maslow grouped them into five areas. 1. Physiological needs (food clothing shelter etc), 2. Safety Needs (a sense of security), 3. Social Needs (interaction with other people; having friends), Esteem Needs (being well regarded and having the appreciation of others) and Self Actualisation (realising individual potential).

Motivating others through affecting the environment takes time and skill.  As a manager these skills can be gained or developed by attending our highly successful and sort after Happening People Leadership Academy.  Start the year with a real boost and develop a highly motivated work force.  We are looking forward to your call! 1800 68 67 69 or find out more by visiting

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