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Five Things You Can Do To Support Your Team Right Now

April 24, 2012 at 11:39 am PST

It’s not enough just to hire the best people for your business; good managers become their guide, coach and cheerleader as well.

Your employees want to do well and you have the opportunity to help them. Here are five things you can do to encourage them. When you are getting the best out of everyone on your team, you will also succeed.

1. Give Your Team a Clear Purpose

How your business performs is by and large dependent on its people, and those people need to know that their individual goals are helping move the company forward.

Derek Johnston, senior executive at the Centre for Competitiveness, recommends that all team members need to know exactly what they are trying to do, just as a sports team agrees what the objective is (get the ball in the net, cross the line first). This is one of the first things you can do to make team members work effectively.

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Let the Game Begin: Download the CiscoEvents Mobile App #ragancisco

April 17, 2012 at 1:47 pm PST

On May 8th and 9th, come to Cisco Headquarters to learn advanced social practices, mingle with old friends and make new ones at the 2012 Advanced Social Media Strategies for PR, Marketing and Corporate Communications Summit. Hang out with us and other attendees in the real and virtual worlds as we explore topics like how to:

  • Adapt to the social business model: the key to real culture change
  • Hone in on the “social” aspect of social media
  • Build a collaborative case for social media to persuade your C-suite
  • Use carrots—not sticks—to get buy-in for a social media marketing strategy
  • Take risks, measure results and meet marketing goals using social media
  • Track the ROI of social media Read More »

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Improve Your Leadership Skills with Help from the Experts

April 11, 2012 at 8:15 am PST

It’s hard to improve your leadership skills when you are stuck in the trenches actually doing the leading! Since making time to learn can be a challenge, we pulled together some of our best recorded information from the experts who offer specific tips for building your skills.

UPDATE: The Ken Blanchard Group has just announced a new event on April 25th. Register here. After the event, watch here.

They are all available on demand so you can watch whenever you have a few minutes.

Yesterday, in part one we focused on goal setting, vision and leadership. Today, in part two we take a look at motivation and team dynamics. Each tip has an on-demand WebEx you can access at any time -- you don’t need to download any software to participate.

Step 4: Tune up your leadership effectiveness

Best-selling authors Ken Blanchard and Mark Miller offer four keys to increase influence, impact and leadership effectiveness. Based on their book, Read More »

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Great Tips for Using Video Conferencing to Demo Your Product

March 14, 2012 at 8:58 am PST

Online meetings are a great day to deliver a product demo. They can save time and money, but doing a great job requires you adapt your skill set so you do a terrific job.

In addition to the marketing and public relations skills you already have, you’ll need to learn to embrace the tools you have for the online demo and then pump up the volume on your “wow” factor since having a nice lunch afterward isn’t on the agenda.

Lessons from the Front

Software product manager Gopal Shenoy writes about his recent experiences conducting three demos during online meetings. Two went well and the third “was an outright disaster”.

The bottom line: You can choose to avoid doing the homework to your own peril or spend the time during discovery to start building effective relationships with your prospects.

Nate Westheimer at Innonate offers some firsthand tips (and examples) for pulling together a great demo.

It pains me when people come to demo and, instead of putting on a magic show — showing off how humans (themselves) and software interact — they try to inspire the audience through their words and by speaking about their ideas; or, just as bad, they flip through a bunch of preloaded tabs in an effort to “show” the product, as if pre-loaded tabs are any better than PowerPoint slides.

Technology Do’s and Don’ts

1. Find out some basics before you set up the WebEx.

Will they be in an office, a conference room? Are there likely to be distractions? Do what you can to help them control their experience so you will be heard and you’ll have their attention. Dialing in on a phone line is probably optimum for them to hear every nuance (it also helps if you decide to record the meeting).

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Meet Stephen Speirs: Data Center and Cloud Blogger Expert

March 2, 2012 at 2:39 pm PST

Based in the Glasgow Cisco Scotland office, Stephen is a distinguished blogger from the Data Center and Cloud team in Cisco Services.  Stephen joined Cisco in the year 2000 via the Atlantech Technologies acquisition and was Senior Manager within Product Management in Cisco’s Network Management R&D team, and he focused on IP/MPLS service provider network management. 

During this time, he brought to market the unique Cisco MPLS Diagnostics Expert product, taking it from (literally) a corridor conversation through definition to launch, and on to win multiple industry awards.   He has over 20 years of industry experience in IT, Data Center, and Service Provider Network Management which he shares with the world through his writing. By keeping customers’ new technology adoption challenges at the forefront of his mind and weaving novelty into his blogging best practices, Stephen has gained the popularity of many of his readers and established himself as a role model for many other Cisco bloggers.

Stephen’s Customer-Centric Vision

Blogging is no one-way conversation for Stephen. He has the customer in mind at all times and is always conscious of their careabouts. Prior to writing, he interviews customers and partners to better understand their viewpoints and present a more well-rounded perspective.

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