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From the Vault: Read Your Way to Success

Before we take a step into the new year, the possibility of free time arises! The way in which you choose to engage your time towards rest, relaxation and recovery for 2020 can be up to you. 

Books, whether in physical, digital or audio form, are an excellent go-to for relaxing and skill-building. Some books offer insight into the journey of others, while some help in understanding the best tactics for tackling tasks in industries.

If you are interested in developing your leadership, managerial and business skills over the break, spend some time gleaning tips from the following titles:

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People 

by Stephen Covey

Covey describes efficacy as the balance between producing favourable outcomes and taking care of what generates those results. He explains this by referring to the goose laying the golden egg. 

How to Win Friends & Influence People

by Dale Carnegie

Criticism is futile because it puts a person on the defensive and usually makes them strive to justify themselves. – Dale Carnegie

You can go after the job you want and get it! You can find yourself in any situation — and make it work in your favour! Carnegie’s concrete, time-tested advice has helped numerous people climb the ladder of success in both their business and personal lives. 

The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done 

by Peter F. Drucker

Drucker tells us that the executive’s metric is the capacity to “get the right things done.” Generally, it involves doing what other people have neglected and minimizing inefficient things. Competence, creativity and comprehension could all be wasted in an executive job without any of the habits of mind that have been acquired to turn them into results.

Leadership and the One Minute Manager: Increasing Effectiveness Through Situational Leadership 

by Kenneth H. Blanchard, Drea Zigarmi and  Patricia Zigarmi

This amazing, easy-to-follow book is an invaluable guide to innovative, strategic leadership that brings out the best performance from your team — and the best outcome for any company. The book introduces the art of contextual leadership to managers — a simple system that disproves the conventional management rule to treat all workers equally.

Leadership, Taught by Miss Universe

2019 saw South Africans celebrate and unite as Miss Universe 2018 crowned Miss South Africa Zozibini Tunzi as her successor. 

Born in Tsolo, eSdwadweni in the Eastern Cape, Tunzi decided to enter Miss SA with her natural hair as a symbol of firm confidence in the reasonable portrayal of any shape and structure. She stated that her rationale behind the decision was to motivate individuals to stay true to themselves at all times.

Tunzi went further than simply wearing confidence and inspiration in the competition. She made it a mantra. When asked what she feels we should be teaching young girls of today, she responded in a powerful one-word answer: 

Leadership.”

She stated: 

“The most important thing we should be teaching young girls today is leadership. It’s something that has been lacking in young women and girls for a very long time, not because we don’t want to [lead], but because of what society has labelled women to be. I think we are the most powerful beings in the world and that we should be given every opportunity, and that is what we should be teaching these young girls – to take up space. Nothing is as important as taking up space and cementing yourself.”

Zozibini Tunzi

What does “leadership” mean?

At the point when we consider leadership, numerous individuals like to take a look at explicit attributes, qualities, or practices that characterise successful leaders. The issue that comes in with this is that those traits are often dictated by circumstance and the value can change from organisation to organisation. Characteristics that work well in one situation might be suited to others. If we look at the common trait which goes beyond quality and attributes that overcomes circumstance, we arrive at one point:

Leadership.

What makes a leader great?

While we all have different backgrounds and have different timelines, we always look to leaders for direction and guidance.

Some of the most important qualities and skills to look for in a great leader are:

  1. Communication
  2. Integrity
  3. Accountability
  4. Self-Awareness
  5. Humility

Tunzi’s journey highlights the importance of humility and self-awareness in particular. 

Extraordinary leaders focus on critical thinking and group elements substantially more than ‘looking out for number one’. 

A good leader will never be viable on the off-chance that they’re more worried about themselves than with the prosperity of others. For an excellent leader, the concept of success goes above and beyond what can be achieved by one individual, and the focus shifts towards society as a whole:

I grew up in a world where a woman who looks like me, with my kind of skin and my kind of hair, was never considered to be beautiful. And I think that it’s time that that stops today. I want children to look at me and see my face, and I want them to see their faces reflected in mine.”

Zozibini Tunzi

The bottom line

In order for you to make your mark as a great leader, you need to be conscious of how you act and what qualities you have and portray. As Tunzi puts it, leaders need to know how to “take up space”.

Beat Burnout & Tackle December Successfully

Burnout

It’s a term which inspires thoughts of stress, anxiety and overwhelming amounts of work. And somehow, despite the negative connotations of these feelings, burnout has become glamorised. Perhaps it’s as a result of a high-pressure society where having back-to-back meetings and stuffed calendars mean that you are successful. Or maybe it’s because having a lot to do is celebrated as ambition.

Whatever it is, burnout is not positive or helpful. At all. Instead, it slows motivation, hindering productivity. Innovation and inspiration take a back seat to stress and work become hard and not smart. 

It’s also unsurprisingly common in most working professionals. 

And while it’s frequently seen, burnout doesn’t need to be inevitable. Taking the right steps can help in reducing the pressure build-up, keeping burnout at bay.

Set Clear Boundaries 

Make a list of what needs doing this year and stick to it! Don’t add anything that can wait until 2020. The more you pressure yourself to do before the year ends, the more likely it will overwhelm you. Focus on what’s pressing, and get to the rest when you can.

Work on Your Passion

Find inspiration in your daily runnings. If you are fortunate enough to find passion in your 9-to-5, thrive on that inspiration and focus on that feeling. If you are finding it difficult to motivate enough energy before the festive holiday kicks off, look to find excitement in other aspects of your life and work towards achieving your passion-project goals!

Find Inspiration in the Little Things

Similar to passion, inspiration can be hard to come by at the end of the year. Waking up knowing that there are only several more weeks left in the year can make it difficult to push through the day without faking enthusiasm. Freshen up the fired-up feeling by reflecting on one good thing which happened to you at the end of each day. 

It might seem like a trivial task, but focusing on good things helps keep you on the lookout for more good things! The ripple effect can be something of true inspiration, which might be just what you need to kick stress and burnout to the curb and move forward with new zeal.

Think about Others

What you might need to beat the burnout is simply a readjustment of your thinking. It might take giving of your time – and your thoughts – to others to break the cycle of internal pressure. Offer your time to someone in need, think about what present you might buy for a loved one or consider how you can give back to your community. Every little external thought helps bring a new perspective to your life, which helps distract you from the little plaguing worries threatening burnout.

2019’s Popular Learning Promising to Impact 2020

One part of moving forward includes looking back at what we have done and how we can grow from it. This is relevant in all spheres of your life, including your career.

In this, we need to explore the major skills trends of 2019 and how they will continue to be relevant going into the new year.

Customer Service

The customer service industry expects employees to have various soft—or relational—skills. Regardless of whether you interact with clients face-to-face, on the telephone, or through email or online chat, it’s crucial that you have the ability to identify with others on a human level. It is important for customers to feel as though they are connecting with somebody who truly cares and wants to solve their problems. 

Building up these skills and highlighting them in an interview can assist you with rising to the top of the job market competition. The customer service experience can represent the manner in which your organisation is seen. Also, when done badly, it has a significantly greater effect. This implies you need to strive to avoid negative client encounters or your business will suffer.

Our Business Management short course takes a look at tested strategies in customer relationship management in order to give you an understanding of the crucial role that customers play in your business. 

Change Management

As technology progresses, it is crucial to keep up with it to remain relevant. With 2020 on the horizon and numerous tech developments on the way, we can expect major changes in the workplace. The very nature of employment is also changing, with an increase in remote work and the prevalence of the gig economy.

Change can be overwhelming, but there are ways to help employees more effectively navigate and accept change.

The Risk Management short course covers how to make a coherent risk strategy to adjust your organisation, how to align that strategy with a vision of how you will serve your next-generation client.

Communication Skills

Communication skills are now, and always will be, one of the most significant soft skills for an employee. This includes all of the facets associated with the communication in and around an organisation. The capacity to convey a message verbally and in written form is a need in almost every industry and in every work environment. Communication skills can be learned and improved with the correct training. It may require some investment for employees to learn effective communication skills, especially on the off chance that they have a normally timid disposition.

Communication is a vital element of a well-managed project. The Project Management course will guide you in communicating through the development of a thorough project plan, from conception to delivery and assessment, and the significance of effective communication in order to maximise success and minimise risks.

Human Relations: Cultivating Company Culture

Company culture is what separates you from your competitors, and it is the key factor that aides up-and-comers’ decisions about where to accept an offer.

Human Resource Management will assist you with increasing a basic understanding of the individuals that make up the organisation and manage human asset issues successfully. Here, you will get familiar with the importance of consistent preparation and development of your team, which will increase the value of the business.

Efficiency: Personal Productivity

Being able to get the most from your working day is crucial given the growing demands placed upon us. At work, you require productivity skills so as to deal with your time and remain centred to comply with time constraints.

Before you can lead others, it is important that you know how to lead yourself. Our Leadership Online short course means to empower you with the vital and operational skills expected to build a high-performing organisation. This course will also assist you in figuring out how to deal with your mental, physical and emotional state so as to turn you into an effective leader.

The Benefits of Online Learning for Adults

“You’re only as old as the wo(man) that you feel.”

-Groucho Marx

Some people presume that skills advancement is age-delicate and only applies to those beginning their professions or searching for a promotion. But this is only a half-truth. It is always a good idea to nurture your skills or those commonly found in your profession – if not simply to keep you on top of your game but also continually refresh your mind by keeping it active and sharp. 

Why Should I Study Further?

Type ‘self-improvement’ into Google and you will find over 10 pages filled with sites and pages showing you different methods. In order to get fit, you simply (or not so simply) eat healthy foods and exercise. If you want to gain physical strength, you train and lift weights. If you want to improve your memory, you have to ensure you get enough sleep and intentionally learn something new. 

But what do you do in order to better and grow your career? Education is an influential step in staying competitive and improving your skills. Whether you are starting out in your career or wishing to build on the years of experience you have accumulated, studying further helps you move forward and offers:

  • -Greater Employment and Financial Opportunities
  • -Increased Opportunities to Pursue Your Passion
  • -Improved Self-Confidence and Well-Being
  • -Developed Self-Discipline
  • -Improved Networking and Communication

How Will Online Short Courses Help My Career?

1. It makes for a better interview.

Employers and recruiters use interviews to determine the value you can add to the organisation, and most importantly, look at what sets you apart from the other candidates. It is not every day that an interviewer sees an online short course on the CV of a potential employee.

Adding relevant coursework to your resume will help you stand out. It also invites conversation, so prepare to answer a few questions. You may be asked:

  • -What inspired you to enroll for this online course?
  • -What did you gain from your experience?
  • -What can you do now that you could not do prior?

2. It displays a relevant set of skills.

Applicants often find it difficult to articulate what they bring to the table and how they can be an asset to the company. Having the ability to confidently speak about the skillset you have developed will help steer the interview in the right direction.

3. It shows character.

Choosing to further your studies in order to enhance your professional education not only helps develop critical skills but it is also a sign of good, diligent character.

Making the commitment and completing an online short course is admirable. It shows that you have the drive and determination, discipline, intellectual maturity, interest and inclination to learn. Interviewers appreciate an applicant’s willingness to go the extra mile as this shows passion, and passion represents principle.

Be mindful of the fact that this is only applicable if you have completed the course. This will make for easy conversation on what you have learnt and its relevance to the job spec.

Online Learning VS Traditional Classes

If you are reading this, it is possible that you are toying with the idea of committing to an online short course. Perhaps you feel that you may not have enough experience with this method of acquiring a skill. Perhaps the idea of receiving an education from a digital platform is unfamiliar to you. Despite this, there are amazing benefits to learning outside the classroom.

Traditional learning involves a teacher communicating with and giving instruction to students in a brick-and-cement facility. These students come together in physical classrooms or lecture rooms during a set timeframe to learn specific topics. It also has features such as:

  1. Face-to-face: This makes it easier to pick up on nuances that would not be detectable online. 
  2. Good routine: Following a schedule.
  3. Teaches social skills: Traditional classes allow you to meet people from different backgrounds. This makes way for social opportunities that are not available online. 

Online learning is exactly that: the students’ or participants’ learning takes place on an online platform. The convener will upload information or course content on the learning software and students will engage with it from a digital perspective.

Online short courses, as opposed to the traditional method of learning, has their advantages:

  1. Curation: Online learning offers robust libraries of content, organised in a manner that will make it easier for the participant to find what they are looking for. 
  2. Flexible schedule & environment: With online studying, you are able to choose and customise your learning environment to what works best for you.

Greater choice of course topics: Online learning is for your own convenience. This means that you no longer have to worry about class location dictating what you will learn next. Online short courses focus on your topics of interest while offering a wide variety of courses or programs from which to choose.