Give Interns Meaningful Work

Interns are often young, bright minds looking to get their foot in the door of their chosen industries, yet to often, they’re giving mind numbing mundane or unspecialized tasks and/or seen as a nuisance to manage. As an employer/company, why not fully take advantage of all this potential ingenuity?

This is advice that Elliot Holt, the founder of a medical-transcription company in Nashville, TN subscribes to. Initially as a business owner, Holt was apprehensive about the perceived benefit interns would bring to his company. Very soon after he accepted his first interns however, Holt now sees them as a valuable part of his company.

Getting the most out of your interns is all about giving them meaningful work according to Holt. Holt trains his interns like he would a perfect job candidate, which effectively allows him to build a skilled team of workers.

Much of Holts initial apprehension was due to time. As a busy business owner, he wasn’t sure if he had the time to dedicate towards teaching his interns. When he finally decided to do so however, he was pleasantly surprised to find out that these eager interns were driven enough to pick up the necessary knowledge in no time. Holt recommends that all entrepreneurs consider taking on interns and making good use of them. Giving his interns meaningful work and taking the time to teach them was an investment that produced more capable workers and more experienced students, a win-win for everyone!

How To Be A Great Leader Under Stress

Not everyone can be a leader, but great leadership is an impressive quality to have. There is no set guideline on how to be an effective leader, but there are qualities of good leadership that every effective leader should have.

One key aspect of good leadership is being able to handle stress. If you aren’t capable of handling stress, you’ll have a heard time leading a team, or responding to issues proactively. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind in order to do this effectively.

Be open

In a stressful situation, it’s okay to express emotion. Remember, you’re not a robot, so it’s perfectly acceptable to react. A good leader controls their emotions, so when you do react, a good leader will channel their emotions into something positive.

Work on your posture

You have to look the part to be an effective leader too, so never slouch or slump over. Stand straight, sit straight, and demand the authority you deserve as a leader.

Avoid over apologizing

This doesn’t mean distributing the blame to others, rather, it means don’t accept blame for things outside of your control or influence. Be confident in your leadership enough to acknowledge the mistake or error, and reassure your team that you’ve got things under control.

Take responsibility

Sometimes the mistake is completely your fault. As a leader, you can technically push blame to others, or even refuse to accept responsibility. A good leader however will take responsibility instead of passing the buck.

Emotionally Strong Leaders Have These Habits

Emotionally strong people circumvent common pitfalls that derail success. Let’s look at a few other mistakes that these leaders avoid:

1. They don’t waste time feeling sorry for themselves.

There is nothing worse than being in the company of perpetual bellyachers. Their complaints spread like a virus, infecting those around  them.

Do you know what else is contagious? Optimism. Resilience. But it takes emotional strength to build immunity against grumbling, and you need true leadership to inoculate the rest of an organization.

2. They avoid giving away their power.

Average people don’t like to see motivated people achieve. That’s why they try to lure you into another round when they know you have a 9 a.m. presentation, or temper your positive outlook with their negative energy.

Every time you give into them, you relinquish a bit of your power. If you keep letting them get to you, they’ll drain you entirely.

But as much as healthy relationships nurture dreams, unhealthy ones inhibit them. You might have to quit some friends, but it is a guarantee you’ll find like-minded companions to take their place.

3. They focus on what they can change, not what they can’t.

So many people waste energy fretting about things they can’t control—lost luggage, long lines, other people’s actions.

Will Bowen, an author and minister who founded the Complaint Free World movement has donated more than 11 million purple bracelets in 106 countries to remind people to silence their complaints, and spin that negative energy into something positive and productive. He says, “Complaining is like bad breath. You notice it when it comes out of somebody else’s mouth, but not your own.”

4. They refuse to repeat mistakes.

Mentally tough people are self-reflective people. They set aside a portion of each evening to review what transpired during the day. This exercise is not about dwelling on errors, self-chastising or longing for do-overs. Rather, it’s a way to take stock of what went well and how to replicate that success, and then analyzing what didn’t go right and how to prevent similar errors.

Trump Could Inadvertently Crush Cheap Solar

 

Investors in the bankrupt solar-panel company Suniva have invoked an obscure law that may wind up letting President Trump unilaterally jack up the price of solar panels. Bloomberg Businessweek has the details. Basically, this may let Trump slap a tariff on photovoltaic imports.

China has been trouncing American solar companies for years, producing panels at much cheaper prices. Taxing those imports would protect U.S. solar-panel manufacturers from foreign competition. Remember that Trump has promised to fight for American jobs by tearing up free-trade deals.

There’s a huge problem with this: Those cheap Chinese imports have been crucial in driving down the cost of solar energy and in spreading solar panels.

A Trump tariff could double the price of imported panels, according to the Bloomberg story, “potentially crippling demand for solar power.”

In other words, Trump may try to save some American solar manufacturers by wreaking havoc with the American solar market.

 

Bike Sharing In Diverse Communities

Bike sharing programs like the one sponsored by Hulu in Santa Monica, CA are often seen as a sign of gentrification. However, recent reports of bike sharing in more diverse neighborhoods still show that people of color rent these bikes at significantly lower rates than their white neighbors. For example, in Washington D.C., where half the population identifies as African-American, only 4% of Capital Bikeshare members were people of color.

The disparity is so marked that a study had to be done to see whether African Americans dislike bike riding in general (they don’t). Also, people of color had very positive views on the programs themselves. So why weren’t they using the service around Washington D.C.?

Most people who responded to a survey looking into the problem expressed a distinct lack of knowledge about the program itself, and the discounts and assistance that can be provided to cover the cost of it. Outside of that, many feared that using the bikes would be dangerous, not only because of traffic but because they worried about being the target of crimes or harassment.

This is just another instance of green technology not taking into consideration the particular needs of a diverse America, and how perceptions in one culture may different from those in another. Until environmental advocates start giving these groups more specific attention, going green will be yet another venture in which they are neglected or left behind by white America.