Category Archives: sales
The numbers are in and last week’s performance set a new company record! Great job team.
Also, the team’s reaction to our new remodeling was priceless!
Founded in April of 2012, Empire is based out of Lombard, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. Since, Empire has grown in response to its clients demands for an increase in market share using Empire’s personal, “results driven” marketing techniques. Empire provides client acquisition and retention support to national clients through marketing/sales management and campaign support.
Empire’s main client is a retail division of the leading wholesale energy marketer and energy service provider. They focus on the physical natural gas, electricity, coal and crude markets operating across North America. The client provides competitive electricity and gas supply to retail residential, commercial, and industrial customers. The client offers several plans to fit each customer’s needs. At Empire, representatives work closely with client account holders to the best solution to their business and consumer needs.
Since opening, members of Empire have been taking part in charity events both locally and nationally. President of Empire, Mark Chern, explains, “While hitting our goals with our clients is our first priority, I wanted to make sure the company was making an impact on the community as well. I want to make sure we take time to give back and continue to do so as we grow.”
Operation Smile is a children’s medical charity with presence in over 60 countries. Founded in 1982, the charity is comprised of medical professionals and volunteers devoted to providing free reconstructive surgeries and related medical care for children born with facial deformities such as cleft lip and cleft palate. Operation Smile has provided more than 3.5 million patient evaluations and over 200,000 surgeries.
The Operation Smile charity night was held at Empire’s head office. Participants donated a $20 entry fee for a night of games including cards, RockBand, bags and more. This event was one of many Empire charity events organized to raise money for Operation Smile.
In addition to continually helping raise money for Operation Smile, Empire has participated in several other charity events helping to raise money and awareness for such groups as St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Feed The Hungry Foundation, and St. Baldricks Foundation. Empire expects to double in size by the end of the year and according to Chern, the company will continue its philanthropic efforts for years to come.
Leadership is not an accomplishment you check off your daily to-dos. At the heart of leadership is the omnipresent, bold belief that influence, relationships, dialogue and faith in people call forward our best leadership abilities. Leadership is inspiring others to give their best effort despite what they believe to get things done.
Yet, there are many well-intended (and some not so) people who hit barriers to their leadership abilities. At the risk of being yet another voice in the echo chamber, I want to share ten less obvious barriers to effective leadership. On the surface they seem obvious. Truth is, however, many of us are unwilling to look at these barriers. Going a step further, many of us are unwilling to admit some of these hold us back.
Your own leadership becomes great when you tend to your own internal well-being. That’s where things get tricky. Depending on where your attention lies when improving your internal well-being, you either entrench the barriers or move them aside.
Read the following ten barriers to get a sense of where your intentions must lie to amplify your leadership.
Need to be liked
Effective leaders understand unpopular views are necessary. The need to be liked interferes with the ability to see two steps ahead from where the team is and effectively navigate the team to the next level of performance and success.
Inability to decide
Admittedly this one is obvious. But a leader who can gather input or know when to unilaterally make a decision can gain trust, respect and signal confidence to followers. Poor decisions or no decisions causes anxiety, frustration, anger, and weakens confidence in the leader.
Unable to manage workload
Do more with less is an overused mantra in most organizations today. Effective leaders pay attention to the demands on their people and make changes when the workload is causing unmanageable stress, weakens quality, and becomes an expense to people and the organization.
Unclear on personal values
Values are the anchor that help us weather the drama, disappointments and temptations in the workplace. To not know your values leaves you susceptible to inconsistencies that baffle and anger you and your team.
No clear team purpose
Purpose is the why for the team’s existence. If the team’s purpose is not clear and only plucked from everyone’s intuition, then anyone can sway the team unproductively. That’s a problem.
Business has always been built on the back of relationships. It’s a weak excuse to blame workload and endless meetings for the reason you don’t network with other managers or divisions. Know what’s going on around you so you can prepare your team or position your team for success.
Don’t take a stand
Malcom X said, “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.” If you don’t know what you stand for you and your team will never reach its full potential. Unnecessary hardships are wasted.
Don’t consider what’s at stake
Decisions to act or not act must be made when considering what actions to take. Without knowledge of what’s at stake, you appear erratic, too spontaneous, careless. What’s at stake for your team, the organization, the customer, for you? These are good places to look.
Don’t demand best from your people
Who has time for one-on-ones or give feedback? Effective leaders do. In today’s “do more with less” work environments, effective leaders help their people grow in their jobs. This only happens with care and intention to build up great people and teams.
It’s about you
Leadership is not about you. It’s about others. Ineffective managers fail to lead when they place their needs above what’s needed for the team, the organization, an individual. This is hard to swallow.
SUCCESSFUL people seldom get to the top on their own.
Advice from older family members, books and mentors has all helped shape the people who rule the business world.
In a series of articles from the most renowned CEOs and managers from around the globe, LinkedIn has published the advice that helped get them to the top of their game.
Founder of Virgin Group
“The best advice I ever received? Simple: Have no regrets. Who gave me the advice? Mum’s the word.”
CEO of LinkedIn Group
“As a child, I can’t recall a day that went by without my dad telling me I could do anything I set my mind to. He said it so often, I stopped hearing it … It wasn’t until decades later that I fully appreciated the importance of those words and the impact they had on me.”
CEO of Gallup
“The best advice I ever received came from my dad, Don Clifton. It was actually a piece of simple, yet profound wisdom that has shaped my life. ‘Your weaknesses will never develop’, he told me, ‘while your strengths will develop infinitely’.”
T. Boone Pickens
Chairman of BP Capital Management
“If I had to single out one piece of advice that’s guided me through life, most likely it would be from my grandmother, Nellie Molonson. She always made a point of making sure I understood that on the road to success, there’s no point in blaming others when you fail.”
Founder of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia
“The best advice I’ve ever received was from my father when I was 12 years old and willing to listen. He told me that with my personal characteristics, I could, if I set my mind to it, do anything I chose.”
President at the World Bank
“I received some great advice from Marshall Goldsmith, one of the preeminent authorities in the field of leadership. He told me this: ‘If you want to be an effective leader, listen to and accept with humility the feedback that comes from your team’.”
CEO of Zillow
“The best advice I have ever gotten was to always hire people who are even better than you. You have to try to be comfortable enough with your own position that you hire people beneath you who are extraordinary.”
President and CEO at Intuit
“I was finishing college and facing a ‘make or break’ decision. I was agonising between two job offers I had received, and was fearful that I would make the wrong choice, propelling me down a doomed career path forever more. My dad sat me down to give me a few pointers about choosing the best course.
“He advised me that choosing the right job was not a sudden lightning bolt of realisation, nor was it for most of us something we knew we wanted to do since we were kids (oh, how I envied those kids). Rather, it was a process of trial and error – a voyage of discovery.”
One former senior level political appointee, Linda Springer, recently observed that a common set of successful characteristics of private sector leaders – being decisive, directive, and a risk taker – could actually undermine success in the public sector. So what works best in the public sector?
Here are seven characteristics the most successful government leaders share:
Characteristic 1: Self-awareness.
Taking the Myers-Briggs personality test is only a start! The Emotional Intelligence Quotient, popularized by Daniel Goldman, and Marcus Buckingham’s command to draw on your inner strengths, are also important ways to begin understanding yourself. One of the best pieces of advice I received was to never blame someone else, or the circumstances, for your failures, but rather to analyze what I did or didn’t do to allow the failure to happen.
Characteristic 2: Authenticity.
Look at any leader you admire. One of the traits you’ll likely see is their ability to empathize and connect with colleagues. Many of the most successful leaders share their personal vulnerabilities and lead with their heart as well as their head. Being passionate about your work and agency’s mission can be part of this and is closely tied to the next three characteristics…
Characteristic 3: Reputation.
Would you follow someone you knew had little to no knowledge of your agency’s mission or policy domain? This can often be the case when political appointees take charge of an agency. Having the right professional skills and credibility in the eyes of your peers, employees, and stakeholders is an important element for effective leadership. Yet, there are ways the uninitiated can succeed – just look at Charles Rossetti’s leadership of the IRS in the 1990s. He was the first non-tax lawyer to head the agency and led a successful turnaround. But it’s rare. Just look at the “heck of a job” done by past leaders of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and how their reputations colored their leadership…
Characteristic 4: Ethical behavior.
It’s a question you wouldn’t think you have to ask—but you do: Can your employees, and those for whom you work, trust you to do the right thing? The best leaders solicit feedback from those above and below them in the chain of command, always seeking to establish trust and, as a result, the ethical standards for individuals and the organization.
Characteristic 5: Willingness to listen.
Listening is a skill (a skill not easily mastered). It is more than just hearing someone else talk, it is a casting aside of the ego to allow oneself to sincerely care about what another has to say. Virtually all of the most senior leaders I’ve met are master listeners (and, by extension, learners). Fortunately for all you talkers, there are plenty of training resources on this topic.
Characteristic 6: Ability to communicate.
Creating effective ways to communicate your vision — directly, through incentives or through symbolic acts – can be one of the most powerful elements of getting action on key priorities. The Reinventing Government effort in the 1990s, led by Vice President Al Gore, relied not only on his speeches at events but also a set of principles. He got people to adopt these principles by sponsoring an award for teams of feds who lived up to these ideals. He called it the Hammer Award, named so to symbolize the breaking down of bureaucracy. It became a powerful symbol that communicated his vision to the front lines of government.
Characteristic 7: Optimism.
A “can do” positive outlook – even in the face of immense challenge – is often a defining characteristic of a good leader. I used to work at the Government Accountability Office, so I didn’t come by this characteristic naturally. But with constant urging from a wonderful leader at the National Performance Review, Bob Stone, I learned the value and power of optimism. He was perennially optimistic about everything and seemed to be generally right. In fact, he called himself “energizer in chief,” adopting the Energizer Bunny as his spirit animal. With this philosophy, things I thought were not possible actually happened, oftentimes because we started from the premise that they could!
I’m sure there are more key characteristics but this is a start. Feel free to offer your suggestions in the comments below!
Empire wants to recognize our outstanding team members: