Mid-year Leadership Review

Halfway through the year is a good time to look back on your accomplishments and challenges as a leader and determine what adjustments you can make to end the year on a wave of success. As an organization dedicated to the advancement of young professionals, the Jaycees strive to develop leadership characteristics among its members throughout the year, and re-defining your goals and action plans as a leader is an excellent way to make sure your ideas become projects, and your projects finish as wins for yourself, your local chapter, and your community.

Blog Mid year Leadership ReviewWill Yakowicz, a writer for Inc. magazine recently discussed three of the top leadership trends of 2014, and how they are positively impacting the way leaders conduct business. Take a look at his analysis to determine ways you can integrate these successful concepts into your management style.

  1. Unlock hidden strengths. Today’s best leaders are spending time understanding their employees, and finding unique ways to bring out their hidden strengths. Through building relationships and discovering their full capabilities, employees develop a sense of ownership over their work, along with a greater sense of well-being. The psychological impact can have a significant effect on work output and performance.
  2. Give second chances. More and more companies are reversing the practice of not hiring individuals who have been out of work or on welfare for an extended period of time. Management is benefiting from higher employee retention rates, State and local governments are benefiting from reduced pressure on assistance payouts, and new employees are benefiting from a greater sense of self-worth and accomplishment. It’s the definition of a win-win-win.
  3. Implement democracy. Leaders are increasingly tuned to the fact that autocratic management styles where employees lack a voice and participation is a thing of the past. People want to work for organizations where their opinions are both heard and valued. Not only does it empower individuals to make better decisions, but employees end up contributing more because of a greater sense of equality and organizational justice.

Make the second half of 2014 your best six months ever. Learn more about ways to improve your management style, and be the leader ahead of the curve in adopting new techniques to improve your company’s overall productivity. Not only will you help your employees become more satisfied with their work, you’ll feel more empowered to reach for even greater goals in 2015.

Share your leadership techniques and strategies with your fellow Jaycees. Start the Facebook and Twitter discussions and we can all learn from each other. We look forward to hearing from you!

Avoiding the Summer Business Slowdown

Traditionally summertime has represented a slowdown for businesses and employees. From vacation to more responsibilities with the kids to feeling the hot days of summer, it just seems that you get less done. While not always a bad thing, in today’s business world you can never afford to be stagnant. The good news is there are ways to stay busy, improve your organization’s productivity, and have a little fun this summer…other than Jaycee meetings, of course.

Check out the suggestions from Lisa Barone at Small Business Trends and make your 2014 summer one of the best ever! She recommends that you should:

Blog Avoiding the Summer SlowdownGo to Camp – there are plenty of professional camps offered each summer that help individuals learn and refine their skills in industries ranging from service to technical. Just like in your youth – summer camps can be fun and rewarding!

Create Cross-Promotion Incentives – work with other businesses in your area to increase customers for both of you. Coupons, special events, marketing…all can be shared to reduce expenses and increase revenue.

Do Something Crazy – test a new marketing strategy, promote to a group you’ve never sold to before, host local outreach events. The summer is your opportunity to take some risks that you are too busy to consider during other seasons.

More Social Media – spend some time redoing your most popular social media pages. Give folks a reason to come back and check you out again. Join a new social media channel to reach a potential group of customers you’ve never been exposed to.

Research New Forms of Marketing – if you’ve been a mailer person, look into another form of advertising. Never made a YouTube video? Now’s your chance. Take a shot at something new for your marketing strategy and you might be paid off with rewards in the form of increased traffic, sales, and local visibility.

Don’t resign yourself to an unproductive summer. Do something different from the usual business strategy and open up some new areas of opportunity. It can help your career, and your organization’s bottom line. When you come up with something good…share it with us on Facebook and Twitter. We love great stories!

BzzzTour 2.0

John Bradshaw said, ” Children are curious and are risk takers. They have lots of courage. They venture out into a world that is immense and dangerous. A child initially trusts life and the process of life.”

When I first attended a partner summit with Nothing But Nets in 2012 they had a marketing campaign that showed a mom and her son from the US on one side and a mom and her son from Africa on the other side. The caption read, “I taught my child to give so your child could live.” To me it stemmed who we are as a family. I have a precocious 10 year old who has dedicated his last two summers to saving children in Africa. Who believes that, “Service to Humanity is the Best Work of Life!!!”

So this blog is from Aaron. Aaron sat down today with our assistant, Brandi and wrote how he felt about the trip this far and his adventures. So here is the BzzzTour according to Aaron…

We started in Tennessee where we met a lot of really nice people including Paul, who went to all the meetings with us. Also Montgomery County Jaycees hosted a pillow fight in the park that raised money for Nothing But Nets. The pillow fight was a great idea because everyone had a lot of fun and it was a great fundraiser. In Kentucky, I actually got to spend time with my mamaw so I wasn’t at the events. But I heard they were really fun!! In Virginia, we met Art, who went to the meetings with us. He was really nice and funny and was the first person to buy a ribbon for the Build A Net. After the meetings we went to an event where we met Jaycees from several chapters including Peninsula chapter. That’s where we met President Jodi, who I talked with about my fundraising and she had me make a video to challenge her girl scout troop to raise money for Nothing But Nets like I did. She also bought a ribbon for the net.

In Connecticut, we met a lot of nice people like President Traci and Past President Marc. They both took us to play Extreme/DJ Bingo to help raise money. Also we all went to breakfast with the Windsor Jaycees and talked to them about Nothing But Nets. They took us to see their town mosquito which was fun, it was a metal mosquito in a lake. I dressed up like Mozzie and we took pictures. In Mississippi we got to have dinner with the chapter in a place that had free video games. We talked about Nothing But Nets but we also played games.

In Louisiana, we got to go to a GO Kickball! event. All the teams were really excited to be involved in the game as well as be contributors to Nothing But Nets. Monica went with us to all the meetings and showed us around town. She ran the fundraising projects and was one of the refs for the kickball game. It was a lot of fun!!!! When we visited Texas we met a lot of really great people like Katherine from the Houston Asian Jaycees, who hosted a crawfish boil with a lot of fun games. I got to play games all afternoon. My favorite was when we did a crawfish relay with live crawfish and there were guts everywhere. I also liked when I had to race up and down the stairs balancing a ball on a spoon. All these games helped raise $1000 for Nothing But Nets.

At Arkansas, we met with John Baine who went with us to our meetings and then we did something fun. We went to the Chamber and mom got interviewed for the news. My favorite part was when I got to dress up as Mozzie and show everyone what a bed net looks like. The newspaper was there, and me, dad and mom were on the front page. In Missouri, we went to the Oran Jaycees Hall there were seven chapters there, where we talked about Nothing But Nets, had BBQ, and passed out gifts. The next day we went to a picnic with Crowley Ridge and they had a bounce house there. We went to Mexico in Missouri attended a Jaycee social and talked about Nothing But Nets and got a donation check. We went to Jefferson City to their fair grounds because they were cleaning up for their fair, wish we could stay for that. We got a big check there and I got to play with VP Erin’s dog that was lots of fun. Then we drove to Hannibal and had a BBQ with the Jaycees and the next day we got to rest and spend time with NVP Trisha that was lots of fun!!!

Today we are in Iowa and I have shot my video for Troop 1027 challenging them to raise money and we put it on Facebook and we put together this blog so I could say what I had done this summer. I did want to share that in Baltimore we officially kicked off the Build A Net (check out the picture of me and James, Miss Margaret from Nothing But Nets’ son) Aaron and James under Build A Netand have raised around $800 but are selling ribbons until Saturday night of GALS. Which I am excited I get to go too to present the net on Sunday!!! I have got to do a lot of really cool things because of my families work with Nothing But Nets including Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House, several trips to DC, Africa in October, but also traveling all summer and meeting all of you. I always like to say we have the ability to help people with $10 and if I as a 10 year old can do so can  you!!!!

Your Vacation Should Not Be Stressful

Blog Vacation StressIf you’re like many people around the country, the summer months represent a chance for you and your family to get out of town and take a few days to rest and recharge. That’s right, it’s vacation time! A week or two of relaxation in your favorite spot, or maybe someplace new, is just what the doctor ordered…or is it? Packing up the family and hitting the road or airport often leads to increased stress levels during what is supposed to be a happy event. Traffic jams, lost reservations, TSA, screwed up directions, flight delays, and fellow vacationers can have the effect of raising your blood pressure and make you long for the days of a nice, comfortable cubicle.

If you’re like most Jaycees, you have a sense of adventure and won’t let the threat of a few problems keep you locked in for the summer – we don’t avoid problems, we solve them! So what are the best ways to ensure that the limited time you have to repair your sanity each year is put to good use?

The experts at Smarter Travel have put together a list of Top Tips for Summer Travel – guaranteed to save you time, money, and goodwill on your next vacation. Try these suggestions as you plan your next destination:

  1. Book airfare early – most airlines have their best sales 60 – 90 days from the date of travel, and there are no assurances that prices will go down the closer you get to departure date.
  2. Buy attraction tickets and passes in advance – you can save time and money by purchasing online before you travel. Plan early and avoid waiting in long lines to get into your favorite amusement park, campgrounds, or theater.
  3. Download road-trip apps – instantly access information on real-time traffic, restaurant or gas station proximity, and side-trips you hadn’t considered.
  4. Stay healthy – know where you are headed and the unique risks associated with that area. Nothing ruins a great vacation faster than a bad sunburn, or mosquito attacks, or food poisoning, or…
  5. Have bad weather back-ups – remember that time you couldn’t go to hotel pool and you had to stay inside all day and just relax? Your kids do, and they didn’t like it. Always have an alternate experience that avoids frantic, last minute searching for anything that resembles fun.

For more great tips and ideas on ensuring a memorable vacation, you can check out the rest of the article here. When you get back, make us jealous. Tell us about your perfect vacation and share your personal suggestions for other Jaycees on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

BzzzTour 2.0 Day on the Hill

“Without a sense of caring, there can be no sense of community.” – Anthony D’Angelo

It seems only a short time ago, that I was invited to be a member of the greatest young person’s organization in the world. And I am sure like some of you, it was with some reservations. Not knowing what being a member really meant at that time I needed a little persuasion and working at a Haunted House to scare people and then giving the money back to needy kids was just the icing on the cake. Just like most of our members I was deeply rooted in the community and wanted to see it thrive and really enjoyed giving back to people who were in need.

When I started my track as a member, I never knew it would lead me to where I am today. Having served as your 93rd National President and getting the distinct honor to travel this great country sharing who we are, what we do and why it is important to communities worldwide. We are so  fortunate to be  part of an organization that allows young people to be an active voice in their community and get behind things that are important to them and share that message with everyone, including government officials.

On June 24th we did just that! 35 of our members descended on Capitol Hill and with the assistance of Nothing But Nets staff we conducted 35 meetings with our Federal Senators and Congressman and their staff. We shared our passion about the fight against #malaria and how we were working with our members and members of our communities to share this message.

We shared projects that had been happening to raise funds, such as pillow fights, rock, paper, scissor tournaments, concerts, GO Kickball tournaments, crawfish boils and so much more! We shared about advocacy cards and how people from their state/district were filling these cards out online and on paper and we would bring them back to DC when we visited in June. We shared that our goal was 100 governmental visits and 100 chapter visits. We shared that we were passionate about a cause and as their constituents we wanted them to be as well!

We had a true group of powerhouses on the Hill that day. From National President Fay, to NVPs Eve and Joanne, to past State Presidents, current State officers, local chapter Presidents and general members. People who wanted to learn the process of a government meeting (and that it is not as scary as they may have thought) and who wanted to share that JCI USA is working hand in hand with Nothing But Nets to put an end to #malaria and we need their help!

It was so awesome to watch my group and hear the stories of the others of our members sharing their stories, including a fairly new member who had a family member pass away from #malaria and passionately told of how it affected her family. Members shared what they are doing in their communities and asked their government officials to get involved. It was an incredible and extremely important day for the #BzzzTour.

I feel so privileged to be conducting the tour again this year. To get to spend time with our amazing members and see them in their communities making a difference and creating positive change. It is really awesome to see the creativity of our members and their dedication to our organization and our partner Nothing But Nets. I am truly blessed and honored to spend time with all of you!! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for participating and being amazing as always!!!