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Leadership

Leaders Can Cry Too!

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It was instant devastation the day I cried at work in front of one of my employees! I was very new to a management role and it had been a very long week of dealing with an emotionally exhausting scenario. I was obviously wearing it, because this employee asked me if I was okay and I completely lost it. I had kept it together all week, and that one simple question led me to my breaking point. In my haze of devastation and sobs, I profusely apologized to this staff member, and I will never forget her response….”Leaders can cry too”. GASP!!! I had never been faced with this before! I have always encouraged open communication with my employees and have always viewed crying at work to be a sign of passion and trust…. but not by the leader of the organization! This was a first for me and it left me questioning whether showing my emotional side was right or wrong!

So I did what any new leader would do….I asked more seasoned leaders the question “is it okay for a leader to cry at work” and I received feedback from both sides of the debate:

Leaders should NEVER cry at work:

Many believe that being in control of your emotions at work communicates to your team that you are a strong leader and gives you more power and control over any situation. A few of the people that I spoke with communicated that they were often in fear that their emotions may undermine their professional authority and would be perceived as incapable of handling their high-pressure job. I have found this fear is especially real for women who feel an increased pressure to prove themselves as being confident, professional role models. A colleague suggested that when a leader cries, they give away power, and women do not have the extra power to give. She admitted to sneaking out of meetings for a good cry in the bathroom or closing her office door when she starts to feel emotional, but never to be witnessed by anyone.

Another woman I spoke to suggested that crying at work, especially in front of male counterparts, is the most humiliating professional mistake that can ever be made. She explained that a female leader could easily lose their executive presence and credibility in the workplace by simply crying once. For this reason, she told me several stories of how she let her emotions fester at work, which lead to several unhealthy relationships, both personally and professionally.

In general, the leaders on this side of the debate believe that a leader should never let their emotions get the best of them at work. It should always be about business, never personal feelings, even if it means your loved ones pay the price when you get home from work.

It’s okay for Leaders to cry at work:

A few of the people I spoke to on this side of the debate were very much in support of the belief that a good cry at work can be healthy. One leader suggested that in a “safe” and healthy workplace, crying is seen as a powerful and strong emotion and only creates and sustains a close-knit team who will always have each other’s backs. A colleague who in her own organization has created an extremely healthy culture, talked about the importance of open and honest communication, and that means the occasional happy and/or sad cry at staff meetings.

I also had extensive discussions with leaders around the importance of a good self-care plan that includes the need to not let your emotions get the best of you, but also not allowing them to fester within. It’s not a leaders job to make sure everyone around them feels comfortable all the time. A good leader will make their own health and well-being a priority and in turn will create and sustain a team who is accepting of a good cry once in awhile.

Even though it can be stressful to show your emotions at work, it can also have positive upsides- including professional growth opportunities and the chance to “get it off your chest” and improve your mind-set at work. Many of the people I spoke to suggested that when a leader lets their guard down and shows a bit of their human side, the workplace becomes stronger and more compassionate…and I couldn’t agree more!

I used to think that crying at work (especially as a leader) was by far the biggest professional mistake ever…until the day that I did it, and I have to tell you how pleasantly surprised I was to actually feel so much better! To be clear, I’m not saying that it’s okay to cry every time you are frustrated, challenged and don’t get your own way. What I am saying is that you’re only human and leaders can cry too!

Abuhuraira Ramay is founder & CEO of The Brand Wire, a branding agency. Abuhuraira is also an author & a public speaker, and has a vast experience as a trainer & coach. He is often invited as a speaker to share his views by reputed organisations, leading institutions & academia in Pakistan and overseas. Abuhuraira has successfully navigated the social-media world with an extensive online . Being An award-winning journalist, his freelance work has appeared in Time, Thrive Global, Dawn, Express Tribune and other national publications.

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Entrepreneurship

How A 20 Year Old is Building a Billion Dollar Company

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Every one of us has been involved in a business deal before. It does not always go the way we want. However, despite this, entrepreneurs are killing it in business and continue to do so. Some of them build multi-million dollar businesses at a very young age, and we are left to wonder how they do it. An excellent example is venture capitalist and personal branding expert, Josue Arteaga.

Arteaga has already built a multi-million dollar business and is in the process of expanding it into a billion-dollar company. He is the vice president of Disrupt Media and helps multi-millionaires, celebrities and entrepreneurs achieve six to seven-figure personal brands. It is in venture capitalism that Arteaga is building the billion-dollar company, which the man refers to as his long term plan. So how exactly did he get here very young?

Investing in His First Business

Arteaga came from nothing. A rather sad situation influenced his venture into business, and it motivated him to be who he is today. His mother needed surgery when he was around 17, and the father could not help since he had just lost his job. The problems in the family triggered a need to change things in Arteaga. It took him about three years from then to start making money and afterward went into personal branding where he was making $17,000 annually. By the age of 19, Artega was making $144,000, and this when he decided to save up invest in his first business.

An old high school friend approached Arteaga and asked him to invest in his dad’s Mexican meat market and grocery store. Arteaga started saving up, and this meant he had to cut off his expensive habits. With the bad habits paused, he put together $60,000 in nine months, invested in the meat market and joined as a partner. This action set the pace for him as a venture capitalist, and he did not stop there.

Building the Billion Dollar Company

With his branding business going so well, Arteaga is looking to hit the Billion dollar mark with the meat business. He is currently managing two million dollars in revenue from meat markets. As a result, Arteaga has become a top one percent earner in his age bracket, which is quite impressive. All these accomplishments have just motivated him to aim higher as an entrepreneur.

Arteaga has big dreams for the meat business in the next seven years. He wants to expand to owning 1,000 meat markets and make a billion dollars in revenue annually. It sure sounds like a crazy fete but not impossible for the genius venture capitalist. If it does not work out this way, Arteaga thinks $10 Million in revenue a year won’t be a bad idea. His other ambition is to turn his online business into a need-based business. He wants to teach other entrepreneurs how to do what he does.

Tips on Investing

Arteaga’s money philosophy is that online money is fast money. Shopify stores, Facebook ads, Ecom, social media, are sure ways to make quick cash online. He advises entrepreneurs to get into these industries to learn how to create a business, make money fast, save it, and then invest it in something more long term.

The people doing good in those industries get put on but fall off quickly. Facebook ads eventually die out, Shopify stores get successful fast because of trends, influencers come and go, and Ecom is all about who is at the top of the search just like Amazon. All this is just a peek, and if you go about it the right way, it can set off the rest of your sustainable career. 

Conclusion

Arteaga has proven to be the creme de la creme of venture capitalism at a very young age, which is not easy. He is the right mentor to all millennial entrepreneurs. By venturing into business, Arteaga was able to rise from the ashes. He made sure to bring his family along with him to the top, which is what most of us want in life. He is a pure genius of his generation.

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Entrepreneurship

Why Thousands of Dog Owners Trust No Flap Ear Wrap

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Founder and inventor of No Flap Ear Wrap, Julie Haught, has changed the way dogs recover from ear injuries. Haught’s dog Archer, one day had an ear injury so the vet gave him a vet wrap but he could never sleep properly in it and he always found a way to take it off. That is why she designed and sewn a dog ear wrap from some fleece and velcro. Her vet was so impressed by it that she immediately applied for a patent. Now, No Flap Ear Wrap is a family-owned business that has sold over 65,000 ear wraps to help thousands of dogs from all over the world. Here are Haught’s future goals. 

When was the first time you tasted success?

It all begins at the end of 2013 when we accidentally rescued a boxer named “Archer”. The first person who noticed my accidental product was Archers Veterinarian Dr. Davis. After surgery on his pinna (ear flap) that required 11-12 stitches, we were constantly having to have his ear re-bandaged as he could easily escape the bandages and E-collar. After going to have him re-wrapped either every day or every other day, I asked her, what was the most important thing we could do for his ear. She said, “We just need to keep his ear from flapping. (hence the name No Flap Ear Wrap) We must keep it wrapped to stop the flapping motion from forcing blood into the ear flap which in turn forces it to find an exit.”  I went home knowing he would eventually escape the bandaging again. 

I started thinking about how the bandaging worked and how the sticky tape was not beneficial to Archer’s fur. I had some fleece fabric, Velcro and a flexible cutting board. I knew I needed something that would attach around his face, that was not just a tube shape. It would need to attach around the face, around his neck and it would need support to keep it from slipping back.  I designed and sewed a wrap. It still had some bugs to work out so, after four tries, I landed it. Try as he might Archer could not get it off. He tried and tried but finally gave up.

We didn’t see Dr. Davis for at least a week. We walked into the office for our re-check and of course, everybody stared. The Vet Techs, in the office that day, asked us where we got the wrap. After seeing Archer, Dr. Davis was pleased with how well and quickly he was healing. She asked me if I could wait in the waiting area until she was done with one more patient. I said yes and was more than puzzled. She came into the waiting area and sat down. She was amazed at what I had created. Her advice to me was to get a patent attorney immediately as there was nothing like it on the market or in the Veterinary world. I sat there dumbfounded. Archer and I laughed all the way home. As did my husband when we told him. 

Why do you want to be successful and what’s your ultimate vision of success for yourself?

We hope that we can affect the industry at the protocol level. We would like to be the first-line protocol treatment for ear injuries (as opposed to an alternative solution). We have already achieved that with several animal hospitals, but we would like to achieve that with the bigger chains (VCA, and Banfield Animal Hospitals).

Any last words of advice for readers?

If there are other accidental inventors out there, don’t leave your work sitting in a closet. Share it with others and see where the road leads. Spend the money on a patent attorney. It is worth it. Lastly, always remember that you can’t succeed if you don’t even try.

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Entrepreneurship

Ravi Abuvala – Leveraging Systems to build a 7 Figure Agency

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Recently, I sat down for an Interview with my good friend, Ravi Abuvala. Ravi is a 7-Figure Agency owner, and has leveraged systems to scale and work less. We talked about running an agency, virtual assistants, systems, and much more. 

 

 

  • Hey Ravi, what does your company do?

 

 

Ravi: At Prospect Social, we help entrepreneurs systemize, scale, and outsource their business so they can see month-over-month growth while working less and less.

 

 

  • What systems has your company leveraged?

 

 

Ravi: Mostly O.P.T (Other People’s Time). If you can package your product or service so that it is easy to understand, duplicatable, and delivers results, you can then teach that same fulfillment method to a team of virtual assistants. 

 

 

  • How did you get started building systems? What are the best systems to put in place for entrepreneurs just getting started?

 

 

Ravi: I was working 16-17 hours a day for months on end, without ever really moving the needle forward. I learned that although it is important to work hard, it is even more important to work smart. I started looking at how some of the largest companies in the world did it (American Express, Amazon, and AT&T) and realized they were leveraging overseas work to get the most important stuff done at a fraction of the price. I started training my new employees how to focus on lead generation for my company and next thing I know we have 8-10 booked calls a day and we were hit record months consistently.

 

 

  • How did you start hiring virtual assistants? What skills do they possess?

 

 

Ravi: To be honest, I have a recruiter in the Philippines and we always try to pull them from the big companies over there. They have spent hundreds of hours training them and thousands of dollars updating them on the latest systems. We offer them better pay and the ability to work from home, it’s pretty much a no-brainer for them. Then once they start seeing success they tell all their old co-workers and it sort of snowballs from there.

 

 

  • What things did you do to scale your company?

 

 

Ravi: Focused on two things: setting appointments and taking appointments. Everything else is secondary. Appointments are what drives every company and if you can make 8-10 pitches a day, well even someone who is absolutely terrible at sales will start to see growth. Then it’s about packaging and delivering your service or product in the most efficient and streamlined manner possible for both you and your client. At that point you can remove yourself from your business and just make the larger moves up top.

 

 

  • What advice would you give to someone starting an agency? 

 

 

Ravi: Be ready to fail, it won’t be easy like all of these other gurus will have you think. That being said, if you persist and focus on what is important (setting appointments and taking appointments) it can be one of the most rewarding things you’ll ever do.

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