Over the past year on The Launch Youniversity Podcast we've had some incredible conversations with intrapreneurs, entrepreneurs and solopreneurs. We've talked to business professionals in every stage of life and career... from leaders in Fortune 500 companies to people who just launched their first side business. Today, we've rounded up the top 20 pieces of advice from our conversations with our guests.
Leaders who are more emotionally aware will always outpace those who aren’t.
Every time a leader walks into the room they bring their leadership climate with them. Every leader has an emotional climate. Just in the way that a weather climate dictates the forecast, a leader’s emotional climate dictates the their team's forecast. The leader is the thermostat, they set the temperature. The team is the thermometer, they reflect the climate.
Considering a new role within your organization? If so, take some time to perform a "readiness" audit before you charge ahead. Here are 8 things you need to do:
1. Assess your personal brand.
The assessment may be similar to a scouting report for an athlete. What are you known for? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Do you have a reputation for managing projects well, for leading teams well, or for having deep subject matter expertise? Is your personal brand strong enough to merit a change at this time? If not, your focus needs to be on strengthening your brand first.
I received some great advice early in my career. I will never forget the conversation. I was fortunate to be traveling with our Vice President of Operations. We happened to be good friends and when you combine that with a two day trip, we were given the opportunity to engage in lots of conversations, one of which was how to get promoted. I simply asked him his thoughts on how to get promoted and I'll never forget the answer he gave me. I have shared his advice with most of the folks I have had the opportunity to lead over the years. He stated that there were three things that anyone needed to do to get a promoted:
Steven Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People said:
"Interdependent people combine their own efforts with the efforts of others to achieve their greatest success.”
From the small but effective teamwork of a basketball team, to the interdependent collaboration of a massive business to achieve a common goal... examples of teamwork and community are everywhere. The true value of this collaboration is sometimes missed. It's easy to forget, particularly in the busyness of launching something new, that we need teamwork and community to succeed and even more importantly, sustain that success.
f you've made it this far in the launch sequence, congratulations! You've done the hard part of making sure your idea, project or business isn't simply adding to the noise of the marketplace, but truly fulfilling a need. Brush up on the first four steps here.
If the understanding phase was the difficult part and the imagine phase was the fun part, the final step, the launch phase, is the most rewarding. You finally get the chance to experience the impact your product, service or business has on others. It's an awesome feeling.
But before you set sail to your big idea, there's one thing I want you to always remember. Always. Ready for it?
When I worked for an organization as its event marketer, I was flattered when I was invited to give my input in important meetings, honored when asked to create departmental organization charts and proud to be known as the guy with the creative solutions.
But after years of fielding questions and giving advice to everyone from the sales team to event producers to my supervisor, I started feeling undervalued and underappreciated. I was still called a “marketer,” yet I was doing so much more than what my title said I did.
At the peak of my frustration, I received John C. Maxwell’s book, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, and in it is a quote that changed everything:
This was a big year for Launch Youniversity. We did what we encourage others to do every day: We launched. It’s been an incredible few months interviewing other launchers on our podcast and sharing our experiences with you—both good and bad—through our blog and Facebook page.
Here are five things you might have missed:
David Farmer, a member of the Launch Youniversity team and leader of Menu Strategy at Chick-fil-A, shared his experience with us on what happened when his team changed the classic Chick-fil-A BBQ Sauce. One of our takeaways from this episode? Customer feedback is a gift, don't shy away from it.
Jeff shared with us the heartfelt story of his first business mentor and the lessons he learned from him. As launchers, this advice challenged us to think about how we work and why we work. It’s a blog post you don’t want to skip.
Shane’s collection of personality assessments, books and articles is exactly what the headline says: A toolbox for any launcher. If you’re reading the Launch Youniversity blog, then there’s a good chance you already understand the importance of investing in your own growth. Shane’s recommendations are great places to start. Have favorite tools of your own? Tell us in the comments.
Eryn was the first interview we featured on the Launch Youniversity Podcast, and one we refer back to often. If you are launching a business, this episode is a must-listen. Nobody better knows how to build and engage a social media community more than Eryn. We’re excited for how much you’ll learn from her.
Everyone agrees that mentors are incredibly important, but it’s daunting to think about finding one. Here’s a few tips. Spoiler alert: You don’t always need to meet with someone to be mentored by them.
Launchers, you are the heroes. We are so thankful that you’ve let us walk alongside you this year as you achieve incredible things. We can’t wait to bring you more content in 2017. Subscribe to our podcast to never miss an episode. If you have any ideas for topics you’d like to write about, interviews you want to hear, or know of a better way we can serve you, please let us know on our Facebook page.
We’ll see you in 2017!
After understanding the needs of your customers or audience, you might be asking yourself, “What now?”
This is where the true fun begins, friends. After recognizing the challenges and opportunities your customers face, the next step in this process is the imagine phase.
This is, perhaps, everyone’s favorite stage in the launch sequence because you have permission to allow your imagination to run wildly, entertaining those, “What if I…?” questions you've kept tucked in the back of your mind or scribbled in one of your idea notebooks.
So here are some ways you can maximize your imagine phase:
If you're brainstorming with a team, friends and family or a mentor...
One great way to generate ideas is to build on the ideas of your team members in real time. During our brainstorming sessions, one person from our team will share an idea and the next person has to say what they like about the idea and then share what they'd like to add to the idea. This keeps going until everyone, including our quiet team members, has a chance to contribute. This method is great for collective engagement and produces quality ideas.
If you're brainstorming alone…
A life coach once introduced me to the 21 Ideas Method. How it works: Ask yourself, what are 21 ways that can solve this problem? Setting a goal of 21 ideas forces you to entertain obvious solutions and hunt for new ones.
If you're looking to add onto an idea that already exists…
Use the Beg, Borrow and Steal Method to generate new ideas. With this method, you and your team write down three to 10 companies you admire (they don't have to be in the same industry). Then, write down two to three reasons why you love them. This can be anything from the way the company serves its customers to how it launches its products. Then, take those ideas and apply them to your idea.
Remember, the imagine phase only works if you've done the first step, the understand stage, thoroughly. If you find yourself stuck and lacking ideas, take a step back and tackle the first phase again. Once you've got a collection of great ideas, you're ready to move on to the prototype stage.
Ready, set, imagine!