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Leadership: Four Principles Mentoring in a Transactional World
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One: Be a mentee first.
To be a strong mentor you need to have been a mentee. At every stage of our professional journey, we can learn from someone around us with wisdom and experience in a new area. We can also mentor others who desire to learn from our perspective.

Two: Be a servant leader.
I encourage you to embrace the servant leader principle of giving forward especially with our mentees and trusted circle. They are those key professional people with whom we share our time, network freely and know that due respect will be given. And, it does not need to be clear how we will gain a tangible benefit as we mentor.

Three: Share from personal experience.
You need to share from personal experience while not betraying the confidence of others. Share perspectives and wisdom. This is more helpful then providing advice or recommendations. Ask questions, share examples of related experiences and let the mentee make their independent decisions as they build their own path.

Four: Have mentors external to your work place.
You can only mentor fully when you are not personally vested in the outcome of the mentees choices. If you find that you have a conflict of interest, you need to find your mentee another mentor. Because of the need for independence and objectivity, you also need mentors outside your department and outside your company.

Lisbeth McNabb, Guest Blogger
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Managing: Tips for Today’s Business Challenges

Business is harder today than ever before and with high unemployment rates and families faced with financially challenging times, a business owner must think carefully about how to keep their market share. There are day to day issues that must be dealt with in business, carefully think about each issue and determine a solution that will give you the best result.

Important tips to consider:

1. Always control your expenses in all areas of business to increase the profit margins. Inventory costs, labor costs, supplies, and all direct and indirect expenses. Everything can and should be negotiated. Money saved will add thousands of dollars in additional profits.
2. Sell your products or services many different ways: online, storefront, wholesale, trade shows, home parties, corporate sales, sales promotions and incentives, joint marketing, and on consignment to name a few.
3. Always add new products and services for business growth. Protect your intellectual property properly with copyrights, trademarks and patents.
4. Listen to your customers and ask your customers what they want, they will tell you and give you new ideas that will inspire change.
5. To retain customers, make it easy for them to do business with you. Deliver on time and do what you promise. Go out of your way and do things that you normally would not do. Always exceed your customer’s expectations and give them a reason to come back.

These are a few ideas. Please share other things that have worked for you?

Julie Brander - Business Mentor, SCORE New Haven
Julie has been a SCORE volunteer since 1997. She has 20 years of experience in business, starting a manufacturing, wholesale and retail jewelry company. After selling her business, she dedicated herself to helping other entrepreneurs start and expand their business. | @juliebrander | More from Julie


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