UF SBVDR Blog

Are You Poised for Excellence? This New Leadership Book Removes Guesswork

International Professional Development Expert Talks Leadership In Boardroom and Beyond
By Kathey Porter, MBA, CPSD

Karima Mariama-Arthur is founder and CEO of WordSmithRapport™, an international consulting firm specializing in professional development and strategic corporate advisory services. An internationally recognized expert in cutting-edge adult education and complex consulting, she brings more than two decades of comprehensive, blue chip experience in law, business, and academia to the field of professional development and human capital asset growth. Her clients include Fortune 500 companies, as well as leading corporate, government, academic and non-profit entities in every continent around the globe. She is a member of the Forbes Coaches Council and her work is regularly featured by the Human Capital Institute, Forbes, Entrepreneur, Success, Black Enterprise and Speaker magazines.

Her new book Poised For Excellence: Fundamental Principles of Effective Leadership in the Boardroom and Beyond is one of the hottest new releases in leadership. I had a chance to catch up with Karima and learn more about her take on leadership and what readers, and leaders, can expect to gain from her book.

There are a million books on leadership. What makes your new book ‘Poised For Excellence’ different? How will reading it help someone become a more effective leader?

Leadership is an evolutionary process that can be learned, developed and perfected over time with practice. The book provides insight into leadership effectiveness using 40 different principles that can be leveraged to increase effectiveness, regardless of industry or expertise. It examines developing leadership excellence through four core areas: 1) Focused introspection; 2) Disruptive paradigm shifts; 3) Benevolence, collaboration and value-based service to others and 4) Fundamental calls to action.

Anyone who desires to become a more effective leader and maximize their influence, can use the book as a guide to navigate the performance challenges associated with leadership and transform their thinking and behavior at a high level. Achieving that, however, will take more than merely reading this book, or any other book for that matter. Putting what is read into practice—into action—is what distinguishes extraordinary leaders from just average or mediocre leaders.  Introducing principle-based leadership as an introspective and didactic methodology, empowers readers to take ownership of the leadership development process.

Is there one principle in particular that is common among leaders that you encounter and/or coach?

Yes…Principle 34—Say No and Own It. Most people have a lot on their plates because, well, they put it there! Most people struggle with saying no, which ultimately results in regret, as well as other priorities suffering.  I always encourage leaders to exercise the courage to walk away when others try to commit them to their agendas.

How did your background and experiences segue into opportunities to advise others on leadership?

I began my career as an advisor, but on legal matters, as a corporate attorney. I realized, though, that effective leadership was always at issue, especially where corporate governance was involved. In my current role, I am able to leverage my skills and experience as a legal advisor, along with other key professional experiences amassed in my wheelhouse over time to bring value to my clients that represent industry leaders around the globe.

What was your motivation for writing the book?

I wanted to create a body of work that could provide value to professionals, even if they were not clients. Leadership is really the foundation for everything we do in professional development and is one critical area where professionals usually need the most support.

What is the one thing you want readers to know about the premise of the book?

Leaders are made, not born. With learning and practice, you can exceed internal and extraneous expectations about what you are capable of achieving. The book is a powerful testament to this sentiment.

Poised for Excellence is available on Amazon.com and wherever business books are sold.

Office of Supplier Diversity Presents the Inaugural Gainesville Supplier Diversity Exchange

~ Free event helps small businesses connect with state and local government buyers ~

Gainesville, FL – The Florida Office of Supplier Diversity (OSD), in collaboration with the University of Florida’s (UF) Division of Small Business & Vendor Diversity Relations, announces the inaugural Gainesville Supplier Diversity Exchange on March 8 at the Reitz Union. This free event aims to help area small business owners better understand and secure state and local government procurement opportunities. The Supplier Diversity Exchange includes presentations from government buyers and MyFloridaMarketPlace and also provides an opportunity for small businesses to network. During the event’s Business Exchange, small business owners can market their goods and services directly to local and state buyers during scheduled one-on-one interviews.

“We are thrilled to bring this event to Gainesville as it provides an excellent opportunity for small businesses to gain insight on how to do business with government entities and become actively engaged in government buying,” said OSD Executive Director Hue Reynolds.

“We are excited to partner with the Florida Office of Supplier Diversity to present this event in Gainesville and expose small businesses to the multitude of opportunities that exist throughout Florida,” said Kathey Porter, Director of UF’s Division of Small Business and Vendor Diversity Relations.

March 8, 2018
8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
University of Florida – Reitz Union
655 Reitz Union Drive
Gainesville, FL 32611

More information is available on the event’s website.

The Office of Supplier Diversity certifies and assists Florida-based woman, veteran, and minority small business owners in better understanding and securing state government procurement opportunities. For more information about OSD, visit www.dms.myflorida.com/osd.

 

Gainesville Supplier Diversity Exchange

The Office of Supplier Diversity and the University of Florida’s Small Business & Vendor Diversity Relations Division are proud to present the 2018 Gainesville Supplier Diversity Exchange on March 8.

The Gainesville Supplier Diversity Exchange will include a panel discussion, networking opportunities, and one-on-one interviews. During the Business Exchange portion, small business owners can market their goods and services directly with local and state buyers at scheduled one-on-one interviews.

University of Florida Reitz Union
655 Reitz Union Drive
Gainesville, FL 32611

For More Details, click HERE.

 

The Cost of Managing People

Can your business survive three, six or nine months with one or two key employees absent? What about a lawsuit? Can your organization handle the expense and emotionally exhaustive, time-consuming process of an employment investigation into your organization’s workplace practices? If you are like most small businesses, the answer is no. For small to medium-sized organizations, such events can potentially devastate the business. Now, with multiple generations in the workforce, the likelihood of such challenges occurring is nearly triple what it has been in previous years.

Rather than focusing on accomplishing the organization’s goals and objectives, leaders are spending more time responding to employee disputes and complaints — and it is costing organizations big dollars. According to a recent study on Workplace Conflict by PP INC (publishers of the Myers-Briggs Assessment and the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument), U.S. employers spend nearly three hours per week dealing with conflict in the workplace, which equates to two weeks per year of lost productivity. For US companies, this translates to a loss of $385 million and $359 million in working days and paid hours, respectively.

The study further indicates that 70% of employees identify managing conflict as one of the most crucial skills a leader must have, but only 46% feel their leaders effectively address such challenges. Respondents also indicate that they do not feel that their leaders effectively manage their multi-generational workforce, often avoiding addressing issues when they surface. Many managers admit to being ill-equipped to handle such conflict or feel they are too close to the employee to resolve the matter in an objective manner. Some leaders admit to delaying taking action until the last minute, which is often too late for corrective action, resulting in voluntary or forced employment separation.

Conservative numbers indicate that it costs $20,000 to replace a millennial employee and as much as $70,000 to replace a mid-level employee. These expenses include not just recruiting costs but training the new hire, the investment lost from the previous hire including their organizational knowledge, as well as the wages of other employees involved in the training and hiring process. Other experts estimate replacing one employee can cost an organization 150% to 200% more than the employee’s benefits and salary. If you are a small to medium-sized business, this expense (and loss) can be even greater as employees are often tasked with performing multiple functions.

Also, let us not underestimate the role and power social media plays in managing personnel. A decline in customer service standards, employee morale, or the reputation of the company due to employees sharing problems on social media sites such as Facebook or Glassdoor, can negatively impact sales or damage recruitment efforts, thus causing irreparable harm.

Employees are the lifeblood of any organization, but managing them is an inherent entrepreneurial challenge. Regardless of size, businesses should not wait until a problem arises to utilize subject matter experts in managing a multi-generational workforce and resolving conflict in the workplace. Below are tactics that small businesses can implement to effectively develop and manage their people. If engaged early enough, these small steps can yield a substantial return on the “human capital investment” for your organization and go a long way to increase employee morale, keep staff motivated and increase confidence of managers and leaders, saving the company hundreds of thousands of dollars in the long run.

  • Be proactive. Hire an expert to train your leaders. If you are unable to hire an HR professional full-time, consider a contract HR professional or consultant.
  • Develop a process. Have a process and operation procedures for dealing with employee issues. Do not wait until issues arise to develop a plan of action.
  • Invest in E.I. – Emotional Intelligence. Adding this component to an employee’s overall development plan can potentially sustain them much longer than just training in their specific job function.

 

Kathey Porter, MBA, CPSD is the Director of Small Business and Vendor Diversity Relations for the University of Florida. She was recently appointed to the Florida Advisory Council on Small and Minority Business Development by the State of Florida Department of Management Services.

Krishna Powell is CEO of HR 4 Your Small Biz, LLC and is a subject matter expert on multi-generational workforce talent management.  She provides human resources consulting, has mediated numerous employment related cases for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and works extensively with leaders and their employees in universities, corporations, job placement and career development programs. She has managed the HR and talent management function for various Fortune 500 companies throughout the United States, France, China and Singapore.

SBA Boots to Business

Are you a Veteran interested in starting or growing your business?
If so, you don’t want to miss out on this “Boots to Business Reboot Training“.

This is a 2 part training program that provides participants an overview of business ownership as a career vocation, an outline and knowledge on the components of a business plan, a practical exercise in opportunity recognition, and an introduction to available public and private sector resources.

Part one is a two-day introduction to Entrepreneurship course eligible to Veterans of all eras, Servicemembers, including members of the National Guard and Reserves, and their spouses. This course is instructed by SBA and its partners who are skilled business advisors.

For additional information about registering for the training, contact Natalie Hall at (904) 443-1902 or natalie.hall@sba.gov.
You must register in order to attend.
Click HERE to register.

 

 

Entrepreneurial Diversity Information Technology Program (EDIT)

The EDIT program will focus on supporting community members in launching business endeavors that have social missions. Throughout the program participants will be matched with industry partners who will serve as mentors, as well as computer science graduate students who will support the technical development of products.

 

For additional information, contact case@cise.ufl.edu or visit www.wedocase.org .

Women’s Business Mastermind Intensive

As a follow up to last year’s Women’s Business + Leadership Conference, we remain committed in our efforts to engage and develop women entrepreneurs. The Women’s Business Mastermind Intensive allows women to convene to identify challenges, evaluate solutions, strengthen networks and collaborate to find opportunities to move business forward with UF and beyond. We help women entrepreneurs win in business!

You must RSVP to attend. There is no cost to attend. Continental Breakfast & Lunch will be provided.

Please email Darlean Manning to RSVP. You may also call 352.392.0380 for additional information.

For small businesses, education and innovation go hand in hand

There used to be a time when creativity and innovation were only associated with artists, musicians, writers, and the like. It didn’t take much for an organization to stand out, as competition wasn’t so intense…as long as it was a little different, it was perceived as innovative, making it easy for someone to dominate the market. But with changing times, came a different mind-set. The need to ideate and innovate is pivotal now more than ever before. For businesses, it has become a game changer!

The 21st century innovation/technological revolution has changed the way we do business, becoming an integral part of every facet and detail of our personal lives and businesses – how we work, how we live, how we interact, how we conduct business, the types of businesses started, and more, making it vital for business owners to constantly learn new tools, skills, and techniques to maintain their competitive edge. But for small businesses who are short on time (and often, cash), how do you jumpstart your business education? Here are some education resources for every small business owner to get the information they need to help their team succeed.

Books and Podcasts
Access to practically anything that we want to know is available at the touch of a button. If you have the time, reading a book or listening to a podcast is a quick and easy way to brush up on a specific business topic.

Degree Programs
If you have the time to commit (and a few thousand dollars to spend), most college programs offer undergraduate and graduate majors in entrepreneurship. This provides the formal business education and training that potential partners, investors, employees, etc. find valuable. Additionally, many programs are incorporating opportunities to develop an actual business as part of the curriculum, combining business principles with applied, real-world experience.

Continuing Education Programs and Workshops
There are a number of free online courses that can be completed in a few hours a week, including those through edX, Coursera, US Small Business Administration, to name a few. If you need face time with instructors and classmates, check local programs for free seminars and guest speaking sessions sponsored by local small-business alliances.

Mastermind Groups
These groups, whether online or in person, allow you to be surrounded by like-minded individuals and trusted advisors who meet regularly with the goal of improving each other’s lives or businesses. The collective brainpower of the group, the “mastermind,” can solve problems and take advantage of opportunities in a way that an individual person may not be able to (think, two or more heads are better than one).

Incubators and Accelerators
Incubators tend to focus on startups and usually work best when focused in a specific field or industry. Accelerators provide that next step for a business to transition from start-up to full-fledge operation. These options tend to provide the close network, collaborative support and access to mentors, which have been proven to be successful elements for long-term business success.

In the hustle and bustle of entrepreneurship, it is not always easy to make time to take a class or do. But if you are to solidify your business’ competitive edge and demonstrate your position as an expert or thought, it is no longer a luxury but an imperative to develop a mindset receptive to new ideas and open to continual learning.

The University of Florida Small Business and Vendor Diversity Relations offers a wide array of learning opportunities for small businesses. For more information on the University of Florida’s program, go to https://sbvdr.admin.ufl.edu/. Follow them on Twitter @UFSmallBusiness and Facebook @UFSmallBusiness.

By Kathey Porter, MBA, CPSD, Director UF Small Business & Vendor Diversity Relations