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Posts by Jason Kulpa

The best texts on leadership

In today’s world, leadership is needed more than ever. If you want to stand out and achieve success as a leader, you should try reading the following texts:

 

“Getting to Yes” by Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton

This groundbreaking work is based on the Harvard Negotiation Project which was a 1981 book. The strategies for dealing with conflicts in personal and business life set William Ury apart from the industry in terms of teaching negotiating by focusing on interests instead of positions in a deal.

 

“Getting Things Done” by David Allen

If you are having problems staying organized, then David Allen’s text is the first thing you should read. The way to get your ideas and papers in order is to have a framework. This system that Allen lays out is easy to follow and simple to understand. Anyone can turn around their life if they read through to the end and put the tips into practice.

 

“Emotional Intelligence” by Daniel Goleman

In today’s world, it is less about what you know and more about how you can control your emotions. Those that have a solid emotional intelligence score can communicate and progress in work and life more easily.

 

“Crush It!” by Gary Vaynerchuk

 

Gary Vaynerchuk has quickly gained recognition for his ability to cut through the excuses and help people take action in their lives. His book is all about getting through obstacles and never quitting in your pursuit of success. It’s a book every leader should read.

 

“Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill

This classic on leadership and wealth should be a desktop reference for anyone looking to lead in their lives. The tips are timeless and the writing is succinct and to the point without speaking down to the reader.

When it comes to leadership, it is a process not one event. You must always be looking to get better in your life and career. Reading is a powerful way to do that. Don’t fall behind your peers. Instead, capture opportunity by reading the texts above and taking your ability to lead to the next level.

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Three tips for building rapport with a new employee

The addition of a new employee can be an exciting time for your workplace. Current employees are given a chance to make a new acquaintance while you, as a leader, are able to watch a recent hiring decision pay off for both the hiree and your company. During this period, it is crucial to make new employees feel welcome and comfortable, as the first week at a new job can be stressful and, in some cases, nerve wracking.

Here are some tips for building strong rapport with new employees.

 

Make an effort

As a company leader, it is not great practice to simply throw a new employee to the wolves in terms of workplace integration. Make an effort to learn about these employees; ask them about their personal lives, their interests and hobbies, and their goals in joining your company. The quicker you develop this bond, the quicker you will lay a foundation for this employee’s comfort as a contributor.

 

Give them time

Getting to know a new employee is important, but so is the idea that every worker has a different transition process. Some individuals have trouble adapting to change at the drop of a hat, and therefore, it is important to be cognizant of this notion when dealing with an introverted new employee. In many cases, this employee is probably just adapting to a gauntlet of social interactions with their eager new co-workers. In time, your empathy and patience will pay off once this employee begins to speak up in meetings and actively engage his or her peers.

 

Be available

A new employee is likely going to have a lot of questions in the first days, weeks, and even months of their new role. Though it may seem tedious and exhausting to answer potentially elementary questions, you must be open-minded and remember that these basic matters are, in fact, probably foreign to a new worker. Keep yourself as available as possible to all inquiries; this should be a regular part of your leadership role anyway, regardless of the employee in question. Furthermore, follow up on questions and confusions to make sure they have been fully resolved and that the employee is back on track. Again, this approach will facilitate both employee comfort and productivity.

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Red flags to watch out for during the hiring process

It is easy to experience mixed emotions during the hiring process. On one hand, you may feel stressed out as you search for a candidate that perfectly fits your expectations. On the other hand, you might be excited at the seemingly endless possibilities; for all you know, your next hire could have exceptional work ethic and a likeable personality.

Generally, with the latter in mind, hiring should remain positive and optimistic. However, you must still keep your eyes peeled for a variety of red flags in candidates that may be weak, risky, or simply unfit for the role in question.

Here are a few crucial red flags to watch out for during the hiring process.

 

Negative demeanor

Though this warning sign may seem vague at first, it is important to identify candidates exhibiting a negative or unhealthy demeanor. Common traits of this nature include, but are not limited to dismissiveness, condescending tonality, excessive self-deprecation, and pessimism. You want to focus on candidates that are confident, but not too confident. At the same time, be sure to avoid the common trap of perceiving a insecurity as modesty. In most cases, neither of these candidates will serve your business well.

 

Lack of research

Put simply, your ideal candidate should not only be familiar with the advertised position, but also well-versed in your company as a whole. A lack of proper research will be easy to spot as you ask necessary questions related to both the position and company culture. These candidates present an added gamble in terms of their ability to perform their jobs efficiently, and they are best avoided for this reason alone.

 

Late arrival

Weed out poor candidates from strong ones by disregarding those who showed up late for an interview. This tactic may seem nitpicky at first, but in most cases, a late arrival is extremely telling of a potential employee’s reliability. A job interview is normally an urgent and delicate opportunity for interested candidates, and being late essentially undermines the seriousness of the situation — not to mention it is a telltale sign of carelessness and irresponsibility. Aim for candidates that you can put full faith in as they work to meet deadlines and contribute to corporate goals.

 

Unpleasant surprises

Another obvious red flag in the hiring process is a lack of cohesion between a candidate’s interview and resume. For example, a candidate may include an impressive, albeit short stint with a company in your field, only to surprise you mid-interview by telling you he or she was fired for excessive tardiness. In these situations, it is best to move on to other candidates.

 

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Underground Elephant’s Favorite Sales Quotes to Live By

Underground Elephant Sales Quotes

Underground Elephant Sales Quotes to Live By

We love quotes here at Underground Elephant. From the funny and absurd to sweet and inspiring, insightful quotes help us stay motivated and keep our eye on the prize. Enjoy some our favorite quotes below!

“Make a customer, not a sale.” – Katherine Barchetti

This quote is a great reminder that relationships don’t end with the sale. Continue to value your customer and stay as helpful as possible even after the sale has been made, and you may see dividends from your behavior. You can’t buy a good reputation!

“The most unprofitable item ever manufactured is an excuse.” – John Mason

Yikes. This quote can feel a little harsh, but it’s true. As tempting as it is to make excuses, owning up to problems or mistakes will be the better choice every time. Everyone makes mistakes, so don’t be afraid to go to a trusted manager or advisor for help when you need it.

“There’s no lotion or potion that will make sales faster and easier for you – unless your potion is hard work.” – Jeffrey Gitomer

There is no magic pill in sales. Every sale needs to be earned through hard work, dedication and persistence. Sometimes it’s tempting to look for the sales shortcut, but there’s no way around hard work.

“Treat objections as requests for further information.” – Brian Tracy

This quote is a great reminder to stay tenacious. Sure, this quote could be taken too far, and it’s important to listen to your customer and really understand where their objection is coming from. As hard as rejections can be to hear, however, some initial “no’s” are knee jerk reactions and the client can be persuaded to turn that no in to a yes.

“Big shots are only little shots who keep shooting” – Christopher Morely

It’s tempting to think that some people are just naturally winners; everything comes easy to them, and they’ve never encountered a setback in their life. But that’s not true. Everyone faces challenges. Everyone has failed at one time or another. The difference between winners and losers are that winners learn from their mistakes and keep going.

Do you use quotes to motivate your sales efforts? We’d love to hear your favorites.

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Hiring The Right People and Keeping Them Motivated

People

Question: How do you make sure you hire the right people? 

Jason Kulpa: Understand your own company’s culture and looking for those traits in a potential hire. During the interview process, ask questions that will highlight the aspects you are looking for within a candidate. Although a candidate might appear great on paper, it’s important to take a holistic approach to the hiring process and look for other qualifications such as their values or interpersonal skills. I like to look for people with “an entrepreneurial spirt”, it show innovation and a desire to work.  

Question: If a team member has done great work, how do you showcase that in a way that the whole team can rally behind without resentment or favoritism? Please discuss how you achieve this in your business.

Jason Kulpa: On the last Thursday of each month, our entire company gathers for an all-teams meeting to discuss company happenings, events, and highlight team achievements. At this time, two employees are selected and presented with handmade “Certificates of Achievement” based on an outstanding performance that month. This moment at our company meeting is a lighthearted way to recognize employee achievement in front of the company, while also encouraging others to work hard to receive the certificates the next month

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Jason’s Advice for Job-Seeking Millennials

Millennials

Q: What’s one unconventional piece of career advice you would give to millennials entering the workplace?

Jason Kulpa: Look for a company that will make a difference in both your life and the community. The company should also be a place where you feel like you can make an impact. Make sure the company’s mission aligns with your aspirations, and look to see if you will be important in the company’s overall journey.

Does the company have a mission that you believe in? Are you important in the company’s overall journey? Choose a company that has an open position that fits your skill sets and desires. This way, you’ll be engaged and motivated to work every day to not only fill that role, but to also to expand and transform it.

Look for companies with professional development options — that’s a sure sign they are committed to investing in employee growth. Encouraging this type of growth shows that your company wants you to stay for an extended period of time.

You want to work somewhere you’re happy to go every day, so it’s crucial to look at how the company is run and what the culture is like. A company that emphasizes mentorship is important, too, especially for millennials. This can help you find your true passion at work.

Read more of Jason’s advice in his Glassdoor article here

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About Jason Kulpa

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