Good small business reads #35: Be a better leader, increase your productivity, and reward customers – plus a new feature

Welcome to the February 2014 issue of Good Small Business Reads. Having written several recent posts about leadership, I was very interested in an article a young friend shared on Facebook last week entitled “Does Your Staff Respect You – or Fear You?” This article is great reading. I thought it was particularly interesting that the person who shared this was a Gen Y-er. While leading through intimidation was never a good idea, I think it is probably even less effective with younger generations. The article offers tactics for making sure intimidation is not part of your daily modus operandi.

Next up is “14 Ways to be More Productive in 2014” by my friend Rieva Lesonsky. One of my favorite among her suggestions is this #8: Dump distractions. When you really need to focus and get work done without checking your email or Twitter feed every 10 minutes, harness technology to give your willpower a boost. RescueTime is a great all-around tool that measures where you spend time online, shows you your biggest time-wasters and even shuts off digital distractions for a time period you specify.

Rieva also provides good advice in this article on “5 Ways to Reward Customer Loyalty.” We’re all familiar with the customer loyalty programs that restaurants and other retail locations have. But Rieva provides ideas on how to reward customers even if you don’t have a retail business.

Finally, the growing use of infographics is very interesting. An infographic provides a visual look into a topic, and I think they are a great way to quickly absorb useful information. We all take in information in different styles, so for those of you who find visual representations of data more accessible than verbal, I’m going to include an infographic in each issue going forward. This month’s infographic is about the true cost of bad customer service. I hope you find it helpful.

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