Month: August 2014

August 28, 2014

How to Recharge Your Creativity

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Jack London once said of creativity, “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” Waiting around for a spark of motivation or creativity isn’t always an effective option when you have clients to attend to. Sometimes you need to go out and find the inspiration yourself.

Being creative can be exhausting, and sometimes the best way to recharge is to step away from the project or task for a while. You might be surprised at how stepping away can aid in your creative flow. Focusing on one task can sometimes lead to a narrow-minded view and can impede your creativity. Exiting the task for a short while and returning to it can often lead to new ideas and a fresh perspective.

In the same vein, break away from your usual routine if you’re finding yourself stuck. See a movie in a theater you haven’t been to before, read a new book or visit a local park or beach in a different area than the norm. You might find upon your return the sense of familiarity can make it easier to sit down and pick up where you left off.

If you find yourself struggling with an idea, share it with someone else. Seek out a new creative perspective by having a team member comment on how they’d envision the project heading. Sometimes sharing the details of your idea can allow others to aid you in connecting the dots in new ways.

There are also many apps to help promote creativity. Take advantage of new technology and tools available, such as ways to store your notes, visuals to display your presentation, and brainstorming exercises to help you break away from mental roadblocks.

Always remember to take care of yourself, and rest when needed. Sleep can do amazing things for the mind, and some challenges are better undertaken after a good rest. Avoid tackling important projects until you get a proper sleep, so your mind can be up to the task.

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August 21, 2014

Top Tips for a Winning Sales Presentation

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We are Cydcor, the recognized leader in outsourced sales services.

An effective sales presentation is more than show-and-tell. You need to be strategic about how you present and illustrate an understanding of your client’s needs and wants. You also need to analyze the possible competition that client might be speaking to. It’s vital you have a clear pitch to present that demonstrates why your service or product is better, and why it is in the best interest of the customer to go with you.

The first step to a winning sales presentation is to know when to best present it. A common mistake is to launch into your pitch immediately. What needs to occur prior to a pitch is a brief discovery phase. Even if you’ve spoken to the client previously regarding their wants and needs, it’s important to clarify in person prior to the presentation to see if anything has changed. Perhaps they have recently met with a competitor or a part of their process has changed since you last spoke.

Speak directly with your client and ask questions to understand their challenges, desires and methods. You can determine from this conversation the best way to approach your pitch by understanding fully what they need, and whether you are able to adequately provide the solution.

Don’t get so wrapped up in your presentation that you stop paying attention to your client. Remember to look up, make eye contact, and look for body language that might signal they have a question or aren’t following you, such as a slightly raised hand or facial expression. Stop your pitch and let them ask a question. What they have to say is more important than what you have to say.

Always be courteous of your client’s time by being concise and to the point. Rambling at great lengths can often lead to an aggravated customer. Get to your key points and illustrate why the client will benefit from what you can offer.

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August 19, 2014

Cydcor Reviews ‘Mind Amplifier’

Based in Westlake Village, CA, Cydcor is the premiere outsourced sales solution for Fortune 500 clients. For more information, check out Cydcor on Twitter.

Here is Cydcor’s review of Mind Amplifier: Can Our Digital Tools Make Us Smarter? By Howard Rheingold.

About Mind Amplifier: Author Howard Rheingold asks the question, does designing and using online and digital media make us smarter? Mind Amplifier examines the origins of digital mind-extending tools, and then explains how such technology can and will advance in the future.

This TED book provides an accessible overview of some of the key ideas of online media, along with some history regarding people’s relationships with tools. From learning to create language all the way to the printing press, he makes the argument that because of the unique capabilities of the human brain, humans can and do co-evolve with their tools.

Why Cydcor recommends this to future leaders: This is a quick 62-page read that provides an excellent example of how media and social interactions are changing. Mind Amplifier asserts that, if we hope to achieve a global sense of progress, people need to adapt to such innovations.

Rheingold compares the effect of the Internet with other similar mind-changing revolutions throughout history. It presents both sides of the impact of the Internet on our mental and emotional abilities.

Our favorite part: “It sounds dizzying, but reflective awareness of one’s own thinking processes is the fundamental mind-tool, useful in mastering higher-order methodologies.”

Rheingold’s at his best when he’s providing the framework for thinking about how we might best harness the tools to work collectively to solve many of the current problems we face. The author doesn’t sugarcoat the digital age; he acknowledges that technologies have been used in damaging ways, yet he remains optimistic and mindful of how such tools can change lives for the better.

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August 15, 2014

TED Talk: The Puzzles of Motivation

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Dan Pink’s Puzzles of Motivation TED Talk asserts that the ways of “sticks and carrots” motivation is outdated and that people’s reaction to incentives has changed. To achieve peak efficiency in tasks, Pink suggests three tactics: autonomy, mastery and purpose.

Autonomy, in Pink’s definition, is “the urge to direct our own lives.” Mastery is “the desire to get better and better something that matters.” And purpose is “the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves.”

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Pink references the early 1900’s, speaking on the scientific management premise that worked during a time period when work more than likely consisted of simple, boring tasks. Back then, managers deduced that in order to get people to take on these tedious tasks they had to incentivize them properly and monitor them closely.

Put even more simply, Pink says that business owners knew that in order to get the most production out of your workers, you rewarded behavior you wanted and punished behavior you discouraged.

As Pink notes, this suggests “human beings aren’t much different from horses – that the way to get us moving in the right direction is by dangling a crunchier carrot or wielding a sharper stick.” But according to Pink, this is no longer the case, and today people are motivated differently.

So what does motivate modern-day people?

Allowing autonomy to workers lets them feel and be more in control of their production. Some studies have indicated that letting workers hold themselves accountable for finishing tasks (rather than being micromanaged) and allowing for ‘creative’ days results in workers that are happier overall.

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Mastery allows employees to become better at something that matters to them. People like to extend themselves and develop their skills, and they also often enjoy working in an environment where learning and development are encouraged.

Purpose means taking steps to fulfill one’s natural desire to contribute to a greater cause. A person who understands their company’s purpose and vision and knows their individual role contributes to this vision is more likely to be happy at work.

August 14, 2014

Cydcor Trailblazers: What Makes a Leader

Cydcor-What-Makes-A-LeaderDreamers and entrepreneurs are separated by one simple thing: the ability to successfully execute an idea. Assembling the right team to implement an innovative idea takes a strong leader at the helm to make it a reality. The term ‘leadership’ has various definitions, and everyone will have an opinion on the qualities a great leader should possess. However, there are universal key factors that the most successful trailblazers should have.

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Confidence: Those put into leadership roles might worry that showing too much confidence can come across as egotistical or arrogant to their co-workers. A reality is that everyone wants to know and feel that their leader is both capable and secure in their decisions and knowledge. Showing confidence in your posture and presence along with using positive language is also vital. There is also poise in those leaders who are capable of saying, “I don’t know” to their co-workers. It takes great confidence for a leader to admit to not knowing the solution; it also requires having trust in their team to kick into gear and help out.

Communication: A trailblazer can have a lot of ideas, but are they capable of clearly expressing their thoughts effectively to others? Honing communication skills is vital, as you want to be able to succinctly designate and describe what needs to be done in order to produce the idea and meet the goal. Being unable to relate a vision to a team can lead to severe miscommunications and misunderstandings.

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Create a productive atmosphere that focuses on everyone’s communication ability. Open door policies, daily updates and check-ins—and making those in decision-making and planning roles available for discussion—can all contribute to a healthy interoffice environment.

Obligation: Lead by example. A leader has an obligation to stay committed to their goals, and there is no greater motivation for a team than seeing their leader get down alongside them and muscle into the workload. Proving commitment to the brand and idea can earn a leader respect among their workplace. Create a reputation for working hard and keeping promises.


August 12, 2014

Cydcor Reviews ‘Radical Openness’

Here is Cydcor’s review of Radical Openness: Four Unexpected Principles for Success by Anthony D Williams and Don Tapscott.

About Radical Openness: The authors of Radical Openness, Anthony D. Williams and Don Tapscott, are thoughtful leaders on business, government and society, and speak on the technologies that can achieve new opportunities. They offer real world examples to show an application of their ideas and how to fulfill a vision.

The authors also speak on the importance of organizations embracing transparency with customers and society to foster trust. They also speak at length regarding innovation and successful companies that dissolve corporate boundaries.

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Why Cydcor recommends this book to future leaders:  This is a good introductory read for anyone who is considering the implications of openness and transparency for either themselves or their organization. It also focuses on dynamic platforms to provide opportunities for people to collaborate with and contribute ideas to one another.

The book also speaks about digital technologies and how they reduce costs by allowing new ecosystems of companies and organizations to work together in a new way. Today, companies are able to tap into global talent pools via social media—something that was never so easily possible in the past.

Our favorite part: Tapscott and Williams offer example after example of how people are harnessing contemporary communication, consumer engagement and transparency tools.

Tapscott also acknowledged that there may still be proprietary information that needs to be protected, but increasingly companies default “toward an open position.” They cited Ikea, which engages customers in co-designing its products.

“It’s called ‘prosumer.’ You turn your consumer into a producer, by engaging customers and providing them with information they need to produce.”

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August 5, 2014

Cydcor Reviews ‘That’s Not What I Meant’

We are Cydcor, the outsourced sales leader providing clients with proven sales and marketing strategies that get results. Follow us on Twitter @Cydcor.

Here is Cydcor’s review of That’s Not What I Meant: How Conversational Style Makes or Breaks Relationships by Deborah Tannen.

About That’s Not What I Meant: The book explains the old saying “It’s not what you say, but how you say it that counts” with a revolutionary thought process about how words and their tones can make or break relationships.

Tannen looks to demonstrate how something very small and insignificant can turn an entire conversation upside down, bringing the opposite result of what was expected. Between family, co-workers, friends or partners, she shows how everything from how our body language, hand gestures and tone can bring successful communication with those around us.

Cydcor recommends this book to future leaders because:

The author looks to have those be aware of how they habitually communicate, and the reasons behind why they communicate in such ways and what to look for to correct them. A poor communication style can break a professional relationship, so it’s relevant to leaders to have each piece of communication broken down and to explain how it effects others. Tannen does a terrific job of providing clear, understandable information in an entertaining tone.

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Our favorite part:

Tannen helps us understand how we don’t just pay attention to the words spoken: in fact, we pay less attention to the message than what she calls the “metamessage”: the implied and inferred meanings that each utterance evokes.

An example provided is the question, “Does this dress make me look fat?”, as there is no right “yes” or “no” answer, as the question is not about the affect a particular garment has on one’s appearance.

The real question, what Tannen calls “metamessages, is about whether the listener still finds the questioner attractive. Miss the real question, and conflict follows.


August 1, 2014

The Secrets of Effective Motivation

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We are Cydcor, the recognized leader in outsourced sales services. Check out our open job positions at the Cydcor CareerBuilder page.

A lack of motivation at work is a difficult problem for many. There are many elements that can contribute to it: perhaps you feel overwhelmed with many tasks or have personal and family stressors that make it challenging to come into work raring to go.

Get your motivation back by incentivizing yourself. Schedule something mid-day with co-workers, such as lunch or a quick trip for coffee. Make plans to do something fun after work, like a nice dinner or a meet-up with friends. Having something to look forward to is a great motivator to start your day off with a positive attitude.

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If you’re struggling to feel productive, choose or create one goal that you can get excited about. It will be a lot easier to put time and energy into an objective if you’re invested in the outcome and not just going through the motions. You’re much more likely to be motivated towards something that you genuinely want to achieve, and starting and finishing such a project is a great way to transfer that momentum to other tasks.

Many feel they are great at multi-tasking; however, it can sometimes be difficult to get everything done when there are too many goals involved. Write down one priority goal each day. It is much easier to focus on one goal at a time, giving it your full attention. Don’t overload yourself trying to do several important asks at once—instead, prioritize. When you do complete your goal, check it off and move to the next one.

Your environment can be a sneaky de-motivator. Check your desk and office space for things that might be a distraction. A messy space can often pile on extra stress without us realizing it. Talk to your boss about different options available as well, such as changing to a window desk, organizing your area, or the possibility of working from home on some occasions. Sometimes a clean, refreshed environment can promote a better mind-set, thereby increasing motivation.