Prejudice and Pride by Jim Stovall

All of us want to be accepted and valued by those around us. This acceptance is based upon other people’s judgments. They can judge us on how we look, how we act, or how we perform.  

Possibly the best way to judge and be judged came from Dr. Martin Luther King’s powerful dream that his children be judged based on the “content of their character.” This is a difficult judgment to make as it takes a lot of time, effort, and energy. Unfortunately, too many people in the world don’t make the commitment to honestly judge everyone, and therefore, they engage in the practice of prejudging or prejudice. This is highly inaccurate, fallible, and dangerous. At its best, prejudice is a lazy mental shortcut.  

Sound Wisdom Staff Reads: The Fifth Trimester: The Working Mom’s Guide to Style, Sanity, & Big Success After Baby by Jennifer Janechek

Recently, I purchased Lauren Smith Brody’s The Fifth Trimester: The Working Mom’s Guide to Style, Sanity, & Big Success After Baby(Doubleday, 2017). My husband and I just had our second child, and I was hungry for advice about how to navigate working motherhood with a new baby, even though I had done it once before. I really enjoyed all the practical wisdom, insight, and, most of all, the emotional support it offers. It contains advice on everything from how to pump on an airplane, to how to ask for a raise after being on maternity leave, to how to work at home and actually get stuff done—and it’s not just from Brody; much of the insight comes from the 700+ women who answered a 50-question survey she posted online (some of whom she then followed up with). The Fifth Trimester is for all moms, whether they work in an office, at home, or don’t work at all and just need some help finding confidence and feeling more like themselves again after giving birth and while taking care of a tiny human while running on fumes. I won’t detail all the techniques for being more productive while working at home, but I do want to highlight some of the advice Brody offers about navigating the emotional terrain of working at home after baby.

Here Is the Best Gift You Can Give Anyone by Shawn Doyle, CSP

In my church, there is something I always find very moving: we turn to each person around us and shake their hand, saying, “Peace be with you.” It is actually wishing all the people around you peace. I just think it is a great gesture, and I really focus on being sincere about it. I don’t want to just go through the motions; I want to mean it. I think, I am giving you peace from my heart to yours. 

The Twelve Book Rule by Jim Stovall

Here in the 21st century, we don’t get compensated for how hard we work. We get compensated for how much we know. Becoming an expert on even a very small thing is generally better than having some basic knowledge of a lot of things. A brain surgeon may not know how to change his oil, turn on his vacuum, balance his check book, or run a washing machine. The brain surgeon may know very little about virtually everything, but if he or she knows virtually everything about brain surgery, that person will probably have a profitable, satisfying, and fulfilling life. 

From English PhD to Entrepreneur: An Interview with the Founder of Runners Love Yoga by Jennifer Janechek

When I started my PhD program in 2012, I managed the stress of the coursework by running every morning before my classes. Running gave me a clarity unlike anything I had ever experienced, dramatically reduced my anxiety, made me noticeably more alert and responsive during classes, and kept me focused during grueling research and writing sessions. Around the same time, I started taking hot yoga classes at a local studio. I noticed that doing yoga a few days a week really helped my running: I was able to increase my mileage without getting too tired or experiencing an injury. 

Brand Reputation Is Your Brilliant Edge by Simon T. Bailey

In this era, a brand is more than the product or services that are provided to your customers. A brand is an emotional connection, perception, and memory of your company. Every interaction that a customer, prospective customer, or supplier has with an employee, product, or service reinforces trust in your reputation. As a business leader, everything that you and your staff do is a touchpoint that leaves an imprint on the heads, hearts, and hands of your customers. 

“Soft Skills” Are Crucial for Success in Business and STEM Jobs by Jennifer Janechek

Not too long ago, The Washington Post published a report on the findings of a study Google conducted in 2013 on the most valuable traits in its top employees. Called Project Oxygen, this study examined all of Google’s hiring, firing, and promotion data since 1998. The result? Not what you might expect—and not what Google, founded on the idea that “only technologists can understand technology,” expected either: in terms of the eight most important qualities that determined the success of its employees, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) expertise was not first, second, or even third in importance—it was dead last. The top seven determinants of success were all what are traditionally called “soft skills”—communication and other people skills that require social and emotional intelligence.

Five Ways to Free Up More of Your Time as a Small Business Owner by Jennifer Janechek

Far too often, small business owners find themselves in a position where they are spending more time working in their business than on it. They aren’t able to expand or develop their organization because they are losing too much time to the day-to-day tasks that should be delegated to other employees. They miss important family experiences because they have not automated their business operations. They feel like they are chained to their organization, unable to enjoy the freedom that should come along with owning your own business. 

When Did You Stop Learning? by Shawn Doyle

Today I am going to address a topic that very few people are talking about right now. I have a unique perspective because I do about 100 training programs a year. Here is what I am seeing. In class, I will ask, “Who has read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People?” Out of a group of thirty people, one hand will go up. I am not asking about an obscure book but one that has been on the business bestseller list for thirty years. The rest of the class has never heard of it.

6 Excuses That Limit Your Success by Adrean Turner

For most individuals, it’s much easier to think of ways something can’t be done versus how it can be done. Many of us have a series of excuses that we can pull out of a hat at a moment’s notice. We make excuses mostly to protect ourselves and to justify our current circumstances. But these limiting beliefs limit our chances for success. Consider these excuses and commit to the solutions:

Eight Tips on Giving Presentations Like a Pro by Shawn Doyle

I am a professional speaker, and I get many chances as I travel around the country to see other people give presentations. When I see professional speakers give presentations, they’re always very well done and professional. Of course these presentations should be great because they are delivered by professional speakers. Sadly, in most cases, I see exactly the opposite with others—terrible presentations that are boring, dull, dry, and go on way too long. You know what I’m talking about because you have seen it. 

The Art of Presentation by Jim Stovall

Every great professional understands the difference between information and presentation. We all live in the information age and regularly deal with the advantages and the challenges that it offers us. If you only want to deliver information, a memo, e-mail, or even a text may suffice, but if you want to deliver emotion, attitudes, and impact, you need to employ the art of presentation.  

Tips for Organizing Your Freelance Projects by Jennifer Janechek

Successful freelancers often juggle multiple clients and projects simultaneously. Without an effective organizational system, freelancers risk falling behind on work, missing deadlines, and working at less-than-desirable times to compensate for poor planning. Below are some tips inspired by chapter 6 of Rachael Doyle’s Organize Your Business—Organize Your Life (2017) to help you better manage your freelance projects. 

Side Hustle Is the New Normal by Simon T. Bailey

All employees need to reconfigure their mindset to see themselves as self-employed employees. Corporations love talent, but they are no longer committed to keeping employees on the payroll for the sake of the good of the company. They’re now looking at how they can shave costs or increase their margins to grow a healthy bottom line. If that something means hiring the best talent that is available at the best time, for whatever length of time, they will do it.