Best Articles of 2018: Our Top Leadership and Productivity Insights

By Emily Roner | Updated: 18 Dec, 2018

All year we've worked to craft engaging, action-packed content that helps professionals achieve their goals. Here are our most insightful leadership and productivity articles from 2018.

1. How to Use Delegation to Empower Team Success

According to Gallup, leaders who are effective delegators earn three-year growth rates that are 112% higher than those who don’t delegate at all or who do so poorly. This in-depth and downloadable article explains how to be an effective delegator.

Key Insights:

  • Delegating tasks is a great way to trust your team with more responsibility. Empowered employees are happier, perform better and are more loyal to their companies.
  • When you delegate, it’s crucial that you provide clear instructions and make sure your team member understands them before you start working. Otherwise, you risk spending more time answering questions and fixing their mistakes than you would if you completed the task yourself.
  • To improve efficiency, create processes for tasks that need to be completed on an on-going basis. This way, you can delegate the task once and know that it will always be completed accurately.


2) 5 Time Management Strategies that Will Unlock Your Productivity

 Everyone struggles to find enough time in their days to accomplish their goals and give enough attention to their personal lives. This article shares five research-backed strategies that will boost your productivity and give you more time to focus on the things that truly matter.

Key Insights:

  • To maximize your productivity, you need to start making fewer, more impulsive decisions. Your decision quality is unlikely to drop and you’ll save a ton of time mentally debating choices that don’t have significant outcomes.
  • Take breaks every hour or so. Though you may not think you have time for them, brief breaks refresh your brain and enable you to work faster.
  • Adopt a productivity system such as David Allen’s Get Things Done. Systems like this give you a structure to fall back on when your workload gets chaotic.


3) Patriotism and Globalization: How International Commerce Helps All Workers

 As a company with service centers in Guatemala City, Guatemala and Manila, Philippines, we’re firm believers in globalization’s ability to make the world a better place. In this article, our CEO, Eric Taussig, explains the benefits of international commerce and how we’re working to extend those positive outcomes for our employees.

Key Insights:

  • Since the business process outsourcing industry entered the Philippines there has been a 23.5 increase in the number of middle-class households.
  • For every dollar offshored, there is a $1.12 return for the US economy.
  • The BPO industry has catalyzed the infrastructure and partnerships needed to industrialize foreign economies and give their workers opportunities to earn sufficient income to keep their families out of poverty.


4) The Secret Sauce Behind Powerful Client Relationships

The key to any healthy company is having strong customer relationships. In this article, our lead account executive shares his secret sauce for building powerful client relationships.

Key Insights:

  • Help your clients in ways that have nothing to do with your product/service. Occasionally, they’ll come to you with requests you can’t solve. If you connect them with people who can and/or provide other recommendations, they’ll always remember you as someone they can rely on for support.
  • Seek to understand the nuances of your customers’ needs. Instead of giving prospects a generic pitch, ask them a series of questions to understand their challenges, then give them a personalized explanation about how your offering can solve them.
  • Invest in post-sale client satisfaction. Your relationship with prospects shouldn’t end once they become customers. To retain them, reach out periodically to ensure they’re satisfied. If they’re not, work with your product/service teams to fix the issue.


5) The Best Virtual Assistants are Empathetic. Here’s Why

When looking to hire a virtual assistant, most people consider a variety of factors including the assistant’s skillset, tools knowledge, hours, rate, etc. However, very few people think about whether or not their assistant will act empathetically toward them. This article explains why empathy is a key characteristic for virtual assistants:

Key Insights:

  • Empathetic virtual assistants proactively act in your best interest rather than passively completing tasks as they are assigned. For example, scheduling a half-hour lunch break on days that you have back-to-back obligations.
  • They quickly resolve issues as opposed to being complacent. For example, they’ll monitor your travel plans and, if anything is delayed, they’ll make new arrangements, reschedule meetings as needed, and take other steps to ensure your trip is successful.
  • You can rely on your assistant to try and see things from your perspective. They understand that you’re extremely busy and feel a personal pride for making your life easier.


6) How to Know if You’re a Micro-manager and What to Do About It

 As a leader, your time is best spent on coaching and strategic projects; you don’t have time to micro-manage your team. In this article, Laura Mendelow, an award-winning leadership consultant, shares her tips on how to avoid being a micro-manager.

Key Insights:

  • If you are operating as an individual on projects that your team could complete themselves, you are a micro-manager. As a leader, you need to provide the guidance and resources they need to succeed - not do portions of their work for them.
  • Give your team on-going training so you’re confident in their ability to succeed and don’t feel tempted to do tasks yourself.
  • If you notice that one of your employees is completing a project incorrectly, give them clear instructions to improve rather than taking over the project yourself.


7) How to Successfully Implement New Workplace Technologies

Selecting and implementing new technology can be a long and painful process. This article describes how to alleviate employee opposition to new technology and make the implementation process as smooth as possible.

Key Insights:

  • Involve influential employees in your technology selection process. Their insights will help you identify which tools are easiest to adopt and they’ll be an advocate once your team decides to move forward.
  • Tailor your implementation plan communication to employee pain points. Adopting new technology is disruptive. If you explain how the new tool will make employees’ jobs easier, they’re much less likely to resist it.
  • Leverage your account manager. They can walk you through how to use the tool to meet your goals and explain the easiest ways to teach your team how to use it.


8) 4 Strategies to Ignite a Culture of Continuous Improvement

The only way to succeed in a competitive industry is to constantly innovate your business. This article teaches you how to embed a drive for continuous improvement into your company culture.

Key Insights:

  • Over 40% of companies fail at implementing their continuous improvement plans. Many of these failures occur because companies do not tailor their approach to gain employee buy-in.
  • Holding every employee accountable for reaching stretch goals is an effective way to get them used to constantly looking for new ways to improve.
  • Respond to failures with constructive feedback. When you pressure employees to continuously improve, they’re inevitably going to try new things and make mistakes. Instead of getting upset, create learning experiences that prevent mistakes from happening again.


9) 5 Hacks for Sales Executives to Maximize Their Productivity

 As a sales executive, you must operate at your highest levels of productivity in order to maximize your time with prospects. In this article, our lead account executive shares his top productivity hacks.

Key Insights:

  • Fully leverage all of the tools you have access to. Research shows that high-performing sales teams use 3x as much technology as low-performing ones.
  • Develop a close relationship with your marketing team. It’s critical that their messaging is consistent with yours, plus they can provide you with an abundance of sales enablement materials.
  • Continuously follow-up with contacts. It takes an average of five follow-ups for prospects to re-engage in the sales process


10) How to Foster Focus and Loyalty During Organizational Change

 Major organizational change can stir a lot of tension and confusion within your organization. This piece explains how to maintain focus and loyalty during pivotal periods.

Key Insights:

  • Be as transparent as possible about what is changing and why. The less uncertain people are, the lower the risk of fear and rumors spreading.
  • Invest in morale-boosting activities. Efforts such as extended deadlines, team lunches, etc. can lower stress levels and reinforce to your employees that you are there to support them.
  • Involve influential employees in decision-making processes. Getting feedback from all levels of your company hierarchy reinforces your commitment to your employees’ well-being and will inspire their loyalty in return.