Company leaders are facing a crisis. Nearly one-third of employees don?t trust management. In addition to this, employers now have to cater to the needs of the millennial generation. On average, after graduating from college, a millennial will change jobs four times before they are 32. Most of them also don?t feel empowered on their current jobs.
It?s clear that many leaders are failing to foster a sense of trust and loyalty in their employees. Fortunately, that doesn?t have to be the case. Managers who show great leadership qualities can inspire their teams to accomplish amazing things, according to Daniel Wang, the creator of Loopring Protocol and founder of the Loopring Foundation. Loopring is a decentralized automated execution system that trades across the crypto-token exchanges. The platform reduces the cost of trading and shields users from counterparty risk. I?ve distilled my conversation with Wang to eight of the most essential qualities that make a great leader.
1. Sincere enthusiasm
True enthusiasm for a business, its products, and its mission cannot be faked. Employees can recognize insincere cheerleading from a mile away. However, when leaders are sincerely enthusiastic and passionate, that?s contagious. For instance, someone who worked with Elon Musk on the early stages of his SpaceX project said that the true driver behind the success of the project was Musk?s enthusiasm for space travel.
Wang says being enthusiastic helps a leader identify existing key problems in his industry. ?Any innovation starts from these problems and ends with products and services, with some of the key issues resolved,? he said.Today In: Under 30
Whether it?s giving proper credit for accomplishments, acknowledging mistakes, or putting safety and quality first, great leaders exhibit integrity at all times. They do what?s right, even if that isn?t the best thing for the current project or even the bottom line.
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?When people see evidence that leaders lack integrity, that can be nearly impossible to recover from,? Wang said. ?Trust lost is difficult to get back.?
3. Great communication skills
Leaders must motivate, instruct and discipline the people they are in charge of. They can accomplish none of these things if they aren?t very skilled communicators. Not only that, poor communication can lead to poor outcomes. Leaders who fail to develop these skills are often perceived as being weak and mealy-mouthed, according to Wang. It?s also important to remember that listening is an integral part of communication.
The best leaders understand that true loyalty is reciprocal. Because of this, they express that loyalty in tangible ways that benefit the member of their teams. True loyalty is ensuring that all team members have the training and resources to do their jobs. It?s standing up for team members in crisis and conflict.
?Great leaders see themselves as being in a position of service to their team members,? Wang said. ?Employees who believe leadership is loyal to them are much more likely to show their own loyalty when it matters.?
A good leader isn?t simply empowered to make decisions due to their position. They are willing to take on the risk of decision making. They make these decisions and take risks knowing that if things don?t work out, they?ll need to hold themselves accountable first and foremost.
Further, bosses who aren?t decisive are often ineffective. Too much effort working on consensus building can have a negative effect. Rather than simply making a decision, many leaders allow debate to continue, and then create a piecemeal decision that satisfies no one.
6. Managerial competence
Too many organizations try to create leaders from people who are simply good at their jobs. To be clear, those who emerge as being very good workers often have important qualities. They are the ones who have a strong understanding of the company?s products and services. They understand company goals, processes, and procedures. All of these are important.
On the other hand, being good at one?s job doesn?t prove that someone possesses the other competencies they need. For example, can they inspire, motivate, mentor and direct? Wang illustrates with major league baseball. While nearly all coaches have backgrounds as major league players, the most winning players aren?t necessarily the most successful coaches.
A good leader has faith in their ability to train and develop the employees under them. Because of this, they have the willingness to empower those they lead to act autonomously. Wang says this comes from trusting that their team members are fully up to any challenges they face. When employees are empowered, they are more likely to make decisions that are in the best interest of the company and the customer as well. This is true, even if it means allowing workers to go a bit off script.
Simply put, people are more likely to follow the lead of those they like. The best leaders are well-spoken, approachable and friendly. They show sincere care for others.
?People at all levels of an organization find it easy to relate to them and follow their lead,? Wang concluded.
Every one of these qualities is absolutely essential to great leadership. Without them, leaders cannot live up to their full potential. As a result, their employees will never perform as well as they can either. Because of this, organizations must learn the best ways to identify and also to develop these necessary traits in existing and emerging leaders.
I am a millennial communication and leadership coach. I consult for companies and help millennials become confident communicators, power networkers and dynamic leaders? Read More
- ? 2020 Forbes Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.
164,415 views|Dec 2, 2019,04:02pm EST
Financial Goals By The Decade
Retirement planning can be stressful at any age. It may seem like retirement is an awful long way away when you are in your 20?s or 30?s, but starting to plan early is crucial for a successful retirement. And if you are in your 40?s, 50?s, or 60?s, thinking about retirement can be overwhelming ? it?s getting closer, and closer, and there tends to be a voice at the back of our heads whispering, ?do I have enough?? Even if you?ve been working for a couple of decades, it?s never too late to start planning, setting goals, and holding yourself accountable to them.
Creating a plan early may sound straightforward enough, but decision-making can be complicated when it comes to your financial life. So, when looking at creating a comprehensive retirement plan, it?s important to set goals around major life milestones you expect to hit at various ages. A great place to start with retirement planning is using Personal Capital?s free financial dashboard ? it?ll give you a sense of where you stand by calculating your net worth, and help you plan for retirement using our Retirement Planner calculator.
Most investors tend to procrastinate, and these planning items sneak up on them. Many people also underestimate the ?real? future costs of retirement.
Since retirement is a major financial goal for most people, it?s important to take a step back and think about what little steps you?re taking at your age to better align your long-term goals for retirement. In that spirit, here are a few things that you should have set up or in place to address based on your age:
Your 20?s: Start Contributing to Your 401k
The sooner you start contributing to your 401k, the more you?ll get to benefit from the power of tax-free or deferred compounding. Many companies will have matching and if you are not contributing, you are missing out on free money. Try to contribute as much as you can ? the limit is $19,500 in 2020. It may be unrealistic for people in their 20?s to save up to the annual limit, and that?s ok. But, if your employer offers a 401k match, really strive to save at least as much as the match.
The earlier and more you can save into your 401k, the bigger your nest egg will be down the road. Compounding is no joke! To see the potential impact of compounding in a 401k, see Personal Capital?s article on the Average 401k by Age.
Your 30?s: Pay Down Non-Mortgage Debt
This is the time to really focus on paying down credit card debt and student loans, so you?ll enter your forties with better positioning to start building your nest egg. In general, we recommend that you pay off the loans with the highest interest first. Usually this is high-interest credit cards. Next, focus on any personal or student loan debt you may be carrying. If you have significant student loan debt, you might consider refinancing in order to shorten the amortization schedule and get them paid off faster. However, if you have a Federal student loan, make sure you consult a fiduciary professional to see if refinancing is the right option, as sometimes it?s actually best not to refinance Federal loans. Also, try to pay off any personal loans you may have outstanding, like car loans. This is especially true if you have a long-term car loan of six or seven years or a variable rate car loan.
Also, now is a good time to consider insurance needs (like life insurance), as well as starting to get your estate planning in order. This might involve setting up or updating your will or considering estate planning using trusts.
Your 40?s: Beef Up Your Savings
This is the decade to beef up your savings and really make some significant progress towards your long-term goals. Some of these long-term goals might be retiring by a certain age, putting your kids through college, buying an investment property, and personal or family goals. How you approach long term vs. short term goals will be different in terms of saving, investing, or other methods of building your wealth. For long-term financial goals, we generally recommend that you invest in a holistic, well-balanced portfolio that?s appropriately adjusted for your time horizon (when do you need the money) and your risk tolerance (how aggressive do you want to be?). For short-term goals, saving in more liquid investment vehicles like a high-yield account, CDs, or money market accounts might be something to consider. Make sure you also have a solid emergency fund of around 3 to 6 months? worth of living expenses so you can avoid tapping your portfolio if something unexpected should happen.
Now is also a time to revisit your financial planning strategy – have you revisited insurance coverage? Your estate planning documents? Are your 401k contributions maxed out?
Your 50?s: Make Larger Contributions Towards Retirement Accounts
When you hit your 50?s, you become eligible to make larger contributions towards retirement accounts. These are called ?catch-up contribution? ? make sure that you take advantage of them! Catch-up contributions will be $6,500 in 2020, up from $6,000 in 2019. So if you contribute the annual limit of $19,500 plus your catch-up contribution of $6,500, that?s a total of $26,000 tax-deferred dollars you could be saving towards your retirement.
If you have children, this decade is a good time to set priorities and expectations on how you plan to help them after college and through adulthood. Do you want to put aside some money to help them with a down payment? Do you want to be able to leave your adult children or grandchildren significant assets in your estate plan? Where will you keep these assets? Are you and your spouse?s wills and estate planning documents up to date?
Your 60?s: Hone in on What Retirement Looks Like for You
By your 60?s, you should have a better idea of what retirement could look like for you and what it really means for you to be ?retired?. Do you want to keep working as long as you can? Would you like to slow down? What are your Social Security benefits and when is the optimal age to start taking them? Are you eligible for spousal or survivor benefits?
At 65, make sure you visit and understand Medicare whether you intend to use it or not. When it comes to worries about retirement, we found in a 2018 survey that people are most concerned about encountering and paying for high healthcare bills. To learn more about how much healthcare might cost and how to approach planning for healthcare in retirement, read our article on the topic here.
This is also a good time to make sure you have a solid plan for how you are going to replace your paycheck in retirement. As you transition to retirement, your main source of income usually switches from being a salary to Social Security, Pensions, and portfolio withdrawals. In order to make your money last as long as possible, it?s important to have a plan for when and how to start withdrawing or taking money from these various sources to maximize income and minimize tax impact. As a rule of thumb, withdraw from taxable accounts first, then tax-deferred, then tax-free. This is generally a good guideline, as it allows your tax-deferred and tax-free assets to grow tax sheltered for a longer period of time, but it?s important to caveat that advice with the fact that there is no ?one-size-fits-all? solution here. Each person has a unique financial situation that must be looked at holistically when determining a withdrawal order strategy.
Personal Capital offers a tool called Smart Withdrawal? to our clients, which will help you develop a withdrawal order based on your personal situation and allow you to scenario-plan by adjusting certain variables, like when you want to start taking Social Security.
Your 70s and Beyond: Revisit Legacy & Estate Planning
As you reach your 70?s and beyond, make sure that you are keeping your estate plan up-to-date and revisiting it semi-frequently. We usually recommend reviewing it once a year to make sure it?s still accurate.
In this decade, putting away some money for your Grandchildren could be a big part of your financial plan. Any philanthropic goals or organization that you care about? Legacy planning and charitable giving goals are often priorities in this decade.
As you enter your 70?s, Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) will be a factor whether you are still working or not. RMDs can potentially have a negative tax impact if you don?t plan for them properly, so make sure you?re talking to your financial advisor and running the Smart Withdrawal tool.
Working With a Financial Advisor on Retirement Goals
While these are all good general guidelines for ensuring a comfortable retirement, we all know life is just not that simple. We have unexpected life events, medical expenses, decide to go back to school ? there are any number of things that can complicate your financial life and your retirement planning. But the good news is, there?s help.
Personal Capital offers free, no-obligation introductory consultations in which we review your financial plan, your portfolio, and your goals. We?ll also help you better understand your current investment allocation and present our recommended portfolio allocation based on your specific goals and financial situation. This will also include a projected retirement value ? our wealth advisors are here to help you chart a course to a successful retirement. To set a consultation, first sign up for free tools.
If you?re not ready to talk to an advisor, using Personal Capital?s free financial tools is a great place to start planning and setting goals for a successful retirement. You can even calculate your ?retirement score? using our Retirement Planner tool, which will help you understand, based on your actual information and goals, what percent chance you have of a successful retirement.