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Why Your Managers Should Become Opportunity Managers

To successfully recruit, hire, train, retain and build the capacity of Opportunity Youth, organizations need a strong corps of frontline managers who have unique skills to successfully supervise, support and develop these young adults. We call these managers “Opportunity Managers”.

Opportunity Managers build strong working relationships with their team members. They are kind and empathetic, set clear (and high) expectations, and create an inclusive culture with high levels of support. These leaders are also strong at the day-to-day tactics of people management including coaching, giving and receiving positive and constructive feedback, communicating effectively with their team, and creating an environment where entry-level employees can grow over time. Given the skills that Opportunity Managers possess, it is no surprise that these managers frequently have a profound impact on the lives and the careers of the young adults that they supervise.

Becoming an “Opportunity Manager”

At Grads of Life, we believe that strong managers are “made”, not “born”. Skills such as relationship-building and effective communication are skills that can be learned. We have developed the Opportunity Manager Training (OMT). The OMT is an engaging, relevant, and actionable online training to help frontline managers learn to effectively supervise and support their team. The training is 100% online, self-paced, and contains actionable modules that frontline managers can begin using immediately.

One such module highlights the impact that a frontline manager had on one of her team members.

The Return on Investment

Kelly’s experience is a powerful example of how skilled managers can help their team. Research shows that when frontline team members – especially Opportunity Youth – feel supported, the business thrives. In 2007, The GAP created the This Way Ahead Initiative to recruit and train Opportunity Youth to work in its stores. The initiative has expanded over time because participants stayed with GAP twice as long as their peers and have higher employee engagement scores. Given the high cost of turnover and low employee engagement scores, it makes business sense to engage with new ways to improve on retention and engagement metrics.

Having frontline managers who effectively manage diverse teams also benefits the managers themselves. McKinsey surveyed frontline managers and found that over 80% of them are unhappy with their performance. The study found that the majority of managers surveyed are not engaged in “high value” practices such as coaching their team members, a practice that ultimately improves the performance of the organization. As managers become more effective in their work, and as their team members become more productive, these managers will likely enjoy their work more. This pattern can lead to a virtuous cycle.

When strong managers support their team, their team members have greater workplace engagement and higher performance rates. When team members perform better, not only does your business grow but you now have a pipeline of committed, high-performing individuals who can grow your business and grow with your business. It’s a win-win-win.


Learn more about our Opportunity Manager Training, and how Grads of Life can help your organization grow your frontline talent.

Philip Price is the Product Management Lead at Grads of Life. He designs, builds and develops online programs and face-to-face trainings to help workplaces become more inclusive and effective. This past year, Philip designed and built the Opportunity Manager Training, an innovative program designed to help frontline managers more effectively supervise and support diverse young adults in the workplace. Prior to joining Grads of Life, Philip designed and developed online training programs for frontline healthcare workers and built leadership development programs for managers at Fortune 1000 companies.

Philip is an educator at heart. He is committed to serving young people who have not traditionally been served well. He has led schools in Philadelphia, PA and Providence, RI and has worked with young people as a teacher and outdoor educator in Providence RI, New York City, Florida and South Africa.

Philip holds an MBA from American University, and MA from Columbia University Teachers College and a BA from Brown University. He lives in Philadelphia with his family.

Source: Why Your Managers Should Become Opportunity Managers

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The 80/20 Rule And How It Can Change Your Life

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What is the 80/20 Rule and could it actually make 80% of your work disappear?

If you’ve studied business or economics, you’re well familiar with the power of the Pareto Principle.

The Man Behind The Concept

Vilfredo Federico Damaso Pareto was born in Italy in 1848. He would go on to become an important philosopher and economist. Legend has it that one day he noticed that 20% of the pea plants in his garden generated 80% of the healthy pea pods. This observation caused him to think about uneven distribution. He thought about wealth and discovered that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by just 20% of the population. He investigated different industries and found that 80% of production typically came from just 20% of the companies. The generalization became:

80% of results will come from just 20% of the action:

Pareto’s 80/20 Rule

This “universal truth” about the imbalance of inputs and outputs is what became known as the Pareto principle, or the 80/20 rule. While it doesn’t always come to be an exact 80/20 ratio, this imbalance is often seen in various business cases:

• 20% of the sales reps generate 80% of total sales.

• 20% of customers account for 80% of total profits.

• 20% of the most reported software bugs cause 80% of software crashes.

• 20% of patients account for 80% of healthcare spending (and 5% of patients account for a full 50% of all expenditures!)

On a more personal note, you might be able to relate to my unintentional 80/20 habits.

I own at least five amazing suits, but 80% of the time or more I grab my black, well-tailored, single-breasted Armani with a powder blue shirt. (Ladies, how many shoes do you own, and how often do you grab the same 20%?)

I have 15 rooms in my house, but I spend about 80% of my time in just my bedroom, family room, and office (exactly 20%).

I’m not sure how many miles of roads are in the small town where I live, but I bet I only drive on 20% or less of them, as I make daily trips to my kids’ schools, the grocery store, the bank and gas station.

On my smartphone, I have 48 different mobile apps pinned to the tiles, but 80% of the time I’m only using the eight on my home screen.

When I go grocery shopping, I definitely spend the most time in the aisles that are around the edges of the store: produce, the fish market, dairy, breads—and generally skip the aisles in the middle of the store (except for health and beauty).

As a massive introvert, I don’t actually socialize too much, but when I do, 80% of my time is spent with the same 20% of my friends and family members.

In my research into the productivity habits of high achievers, I interviewed hundreds of self-made millionaires, straight-A students and even Olympic athletes. For them, handling every task that gets thrown their way—or even every task that they would like to handle—is impossible. They use Pareto to help them determine what is of vital importance. Then, they delegate the rest, or simply let it go.

How You Can Use It

So how can you apply Pareto’s principle to gain more time in your life?

Are you an executive? You’re surely faced with the constant challenge of limited resources. It’s not just your time you need to maximize, but your entire team’s. Instead of trying to do the impossible, a Pareto approach is to truly understand which projects are most important. What are the most important goals of your organization, or boss, and which specific tasks do you need to focus on to align with those goals. Delegate or drop the rest.

Are you a freelancer? It’s important to identify your best (and highest-paying) clients. Of course, you don’t want all your eggs in one basket. But too much diversification will quickly lead to burnout. Focus on the money makers and strengthening those long-term relationships.

Are you an entrepreneur? The temptation always exists to try the new and exciting. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, but it boils down to your goals. Are you trying to grow your current business? Would an 80/20 mindset help you to stay focused on your strategic plan and spend less time chasing endless new opportunities?

No matter what your situation, it’s important to remember that there are only so many minutes in an hour, hours in a day, and days in a week. Pareto can help you to see this is a good thing; otherwise, you’d be a slave to a never-ending list of things to do.

So, what 20% of your work drives 80% of your outcomes?

 

8 Time Management Hacks to Optimize Your Life In and Outside Work – The Oracles

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Time is everyone’s most valuable and scarce resource. Managing it effectively can be the difference between success and failure. These Advisors in The Oracles share how they manage their day to optimize their business success and personal life. To really manage and maximize your time — to squeeze every opportunity out of it — you have to appreciate how much you have. Take control of your time, and don’t allow others to. Get family, friends, colleagues, and employees to agree on the most important priorities……..

Read more : https://www.entrepreneur.com/slideshow/322152

 

 

 

 

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How This Millennial Came To Realize The Value Of Old-School Management – Chris Myers

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Youth is a funny thing. No matter how many mentors you have, classes you take, or books you read, you always think you know better. It doesn’t matter if you’re talking about business or simply life in general, the young are genetically programmed to reject the wisdom of their elders. It’s only when you accumulate enough life experience and begin to become an elder yourself that you begin to realize that much……

Read more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/chrismyers/2018/10/17/how-this-millennial-came-to-realize-the-value-of-old-school-management-techniques/#23d85b7627cd

 

 

 

 

 

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How to Stop Wasting Your Life Watching TV & Do Something Worthwhile With Your Downtime – Elizabeth Grace Saunders

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You get home from work, eat dinner, clean up, flop on the couch, and doze off watching TV or mess with your phone. Then you repeat the same routine Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Before you know it, you’ve hit the weekend, and it felt like all you did all week was work. In reality, you had an hour or two to do whatever you wanted each night. But because you didn’t consciously invest that time in meaningful or satisfying activities, every day felt like a grind……

Read more: https://www.fastcompany.com/90244574/how-to-stop-wasting-your-life-watching-tv-do-something-worthwhile-with-your-downtime

 

 

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Social Media Content Management: How to save time sharing quality content on social media – Ruby Rusine

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For most people, it’s somewhat a non-issue to let time pass them by as there’s still another tomorrow to try. But for busy business owners and project managers, lost time is tantamount to money lost. If you are a business no matter the size, it’s likely that you devote a good part of your day scheduling content for your brand’s social media profiles along with other sundry tasks you need to do…..

Read more: http://socialsuccessmarketing.com/how-to-save-time-sharing-quality-content-on-social-media/

 

 

 

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Why Taking Time Off From Work Is Good for Your Productivity – Timothy Sykes

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Great news: taking time off is good for your career.

Usually, taking time off is considered the antithesis of a good work ethic. You’re supposed to be productive, and that means busy at all times, right? But as it turns out, busy is always be better. As author Alan Cohen wrote, “There is virtue in work and there is virtue in rest. Use both and overlook neither.”

Source:  https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/318978

 

 

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How To Spend Your Working Day Wisely And Actually Get Things Done – Bryan Collins

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Time doesn’t discriminate.

The CEO of a Fortune 500 company with an overloaded schedule and a college graduate procrastinating about starting a business each get 168 hours per week to spend as they see fit.

Some people are able to accomplish a lot from Monday to Friday (or to Sunday if you count weekends) while others struggle to get much done at all.

So what’s the best way to spend your time wisely and divide the working day so you can achieve what you want? And how do other successful people spend their 168 hours every week?

By Habit

“Don’t expect to be motivated every day to get out there and make things happen. You won’t be. Don’t count on motivation. Count on discipline.” – Jocko Willink

Author, former Navy seal and podcaster Jocko Willink gets up every morning about4:30 a.m. to exercise intensely before working on his business or the most important task for the day.

On Instagram, he posts black-and-white photographs of his wristwatch displaying his rising time. Willink also posts black-and-white photographs of “the aftermath” of his workout, for example a sweat-drenched towel or a barbell. Typically, the photo captions tell his many thousands of followers to “Get after it.”

Willink has cultivated a habit of rising early. Although getting up at 04:30 is an extreme rising time, you can still cultivate a habit of getting up early and working on your most important task for the day each day.

Then, like pennies filling a jar, these early mornings will accumulate over time!

By Energy Level

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin

Portrait of Benjamin Franklin (1706 -1790), American politician, United States of America, engraving by Vernier from Etats-Unis d’Amerique, by Roux de Rochelle, L’Univers Pittoresque, published by Firmin Didot Freres, Paris, 1837.

American founding father, inventor and writer Benjamin Franklin wrote about personal development long before Tony Robbins or Jim Rohn.

In his autobiography, Franklin described how he got maximum value from a regular working day.

Like our favorite Navy seal, Franklin rose about 05:00 a.m. and worked on what he valued most first thing. Typically he started each day by asking himself, “What good shall I do this day?”

In the late evening, Franklin put things back where they belonged and reviewed how his day went. He also reflected on his accomplishments or failures.

In other words, Franklin understood when he had the energy for attending difficult tasks (morning), when he was best suited to administrative tasks (afternoon) and when his mind was geared toward reflection (before and after sleeping).

By Theme

“The great opportunities and great ideas…get crowded out because you say yes to too many things.” – Tim Ferriss

A master of productivity, Tim Ferris is a believer in the power of deep work.

When in the midst of a project, such as writing a book, he sets rules for himself, whereby he goes on “no meeting diets,” or “no conference call diets” and so on and works instead on that one thing.

Thirty minutes into this podcast episode, Ferriss explains, he avoids activities unrelated to his book project while focused on that project.

Although you might not be writing a book, you could still dedicate a single day or even an entire week to an important project or theme and say no to everything else, like Ferriss.

For example, you could spend Mondays on business planning, Tuesdays on customer research, Wednesdays on marketing and so on.

Days of Week via Shutterstock

Spend Your Week Wisely

The trick to effective time management is deciding how and when you’re going to spend your time rather than letting other people decide for you.

You could create a habit you stick to each day, use self-knowledge to decide when to work on what or plan your days and weeks by project.

After all, depending on your approach, 168 hours is more and less than you possibly need.

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The Importance Of Time Management In Online Learning  | E-Learning, Instructional Design, and Online Teaching

Want to know about the importance of Time Management In Online Learning? Check how to master your time management skills when you’re an online student.

Source: The Importance Of Time Management In Online Learning  | E-Learning, Instructional Design, and Online Teaching

 

 

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5 Ways to Stop Wasting Valuable Time – Sheri Coburn

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If I had a penny for every time I have heard “I don’t have time”, “If only I had the time” or “I’ll have time when I’m dead,” I would be rich. This seeming lack of time has become the new politics: we are invested in complaining about it, yet feel powerless to change it. Our culture of martyrdom, perfectionism, helicopter parenting and over-scheduling has stolen from us the one thing we can’t get back.

Time.

And not just any time – our most valuable time. Because as we all know, “Time stands still”, “Time drags on” and “Can’t go by fast enough” the entire weekend our in-laws are in town for a visit.

The reality is that we have plenty of time for plenty of things. But in order to tap into this promised land of abundance, we must first be aware, and then be willing to stop or at least spend a lot less time doing the unnecessary and the unfulfilling.

Stop Saying Yes When You Want to Say No

Do an honest assessment of how much time you spend doing things you don’t want to do. Are you motivated by guilt, a misplaced sense of obligation, or fear of judgement? If yes, your time would be better spent learning to set boundaries, determining who (if anyone) you really “owe time” to, and partaking in some self reflection. Doing these things will actually save you time in the long run and free up time immediately to do the things you want with the people you enjoy.

Stop Being Resentful

When you have to say yes, own your yes. You own your time, and only you can decide when to give it away and for what price. So stop spending time being angry and resentful at the people and things that you allow to steal time from you. This includes being mad at the friend, family member or boss who “has no respect for your time.”

Time is not taken; it is given. We all have to do things sometimes that we don’t want to do. But don’t waste time on anger. You said yes: do it and move on.

Stop Trying to Prove Your Value

Know the difference between what you “want” to do and what you “need” to do to feel valuable. The things we “want” to do, we choose to make us feel good, productive, honest and responsible. The things we “need” to do, we do in hopes other people will think we are good, productive, honest and responsible. “Want” is about us taking opportunities to feed our already existing sense of value. “Need” is about seeking the approval of others to feel valued.

A tremendous loss of time happens when we don’t know our own value. Instead we rely on an endless search for the right validation from the right people, a time-sucking search that will never end if our only sense of value comes from external factors.

Stop Depriving Yourself

Live life under a new rule: short term gain, long term gain. No, I don’t mean short term pain for long term gain, unless of course you find the idea of taking care of yourself painful.

In a culture of perfectionism, people have bought the idea that taking a rest, going for a massage, packing a picnic lunch, walking the dog, practicing meditation or taking a 20 minute shower is solely for the self indulgent; that somehow running a full marathon is the only version of “self care.” I am not dissing long distance running, I am just suggesting that not everything we do has to be hard, challenge us or be about reaching our “personal best”.

Make daily brief “indulgence-driven” investments in yourself. This kind of investment takes ownership of our relationship with time and divorces us from the idea that our relationship with time must be conflictual and punishing. Learning to relax and see time as a gift, and not something that always needs to be managed and goal-driven, means that we will not always be fighting against time or looking to buy more of it.

Stop Waiting for Time

Not only does time not wait for anyone, it also doesn’t coming looking for us.

Take a look at steps 1 through 4. Where are you giving away your precious time?

  1. Do you say yes, when you really want to say no?
  2. Do you harbour resentments that take up space in your brain and time in your life?
  3. Do you spend time on exhausting efforts to solicit the validation and approval of others?
  4. Do you fail to engage in activities that remind you time is a gift not a punishment?

Make some small changes.Remember, time is of the essence.

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