Sarang Ahuja | Finance

Leader, Financial Expert, Game Changer

Tag: leadership

How To Educate Employees on Personal Finance

How To Educate Employees On Personal Finance

Personal finance is one of the most important subjects to learn about. There are many who struggle to understand the different aspects of personal finance in their lives. Many companies are starting to invest in training resources for employees on this subject.

There are several studies that show employees who struggle with their personal finances are less productive at work. Looking at the situation from this viewpoint, it makes financial sense for companies to help employees with their finances.

Debt

Perhaps the biggest area of concern for many people is high levels of debt. The average student graduates with thousands of dollars in debt from college. Few people make a concerted effort to immediately pay this debt.

In addition, the average credit card balance is starting to increase again. This is a major warning sign for the overall economy. Teaching employees about the dangers of debt is a great way for them to take this problem seriously. The average person can pay down a lot of debt in a short period of time if they just get organized.

Employees should be taught to write all of their debt down with the amount next to it. From there, they can plan how to attack the debt to pay it off. Working an extra job is a great way to pay down debt quickly.

Investing

Few people are investing enough money to reach their financial goals. Investing is the best way to build wealth over a long period of time.

One of the biggest reasons that people do not invest is that they do not understand it. Few people want to risk their money in the stock market, and it is hard to read about investing theories if you have no background in the subject.

The good news is that investing is more simple than many people realize. Instead of risking money in speculative investments, employees can make a lot of progress simply by investing in a 401(k) option through work.

Getting Organized

There are many people who make enough money to reach their financial goals if they stay organized in this area.

However, without organization, it is hard to develop a plan for the future. Companies that invest in the education of employees will see a high return on investment. Not only will employees be more productive at work, but they will also have higher morale. This is a great way for companies to make a positive impact in the lives of employees.

What I Did During My Summer Vacation—Sarang Ahuja

What I Did Over My Summer Vacation (Wasn’t An Internship)

If you’re a college student, then a paid internship is the holy grail of a summer vacation—a way to make money while also advancing career prospects. It’s a rite of passage for many students, and it can be devastating to see others land their ideal internships while you’re stuck with nothing to do over the summer.

Worry no more; if you’re a college student looking to advance your career over the summer, there are plenty of other avenues available to you that are guaranteed not to require getting other people coffee.

Find Odd Jobs

I don’t just mean mowing lawns or walking dogs (though that is an option). Look for temporary work in your area geared toward your interests. Even if it’s for a nonprofit group, doing work for their benefit can give you something to boost your resume. It’s also a great way to learn how the working environment functions, something that can be hard to gauge through college classes. Take the time to research specialty jobs that may be relevant to you; for instance, if you’re a writer, local papers may need assistance covering stories.

It’s also worth considering day long shadowing opportunities to get another good look at the workplace environment in your industry.

Volunteer

Speaking of nonprofits, pursuing volunteering experiences can be valuable for a resume even if it isn’t necessarily in your area of expertise. Not only that, but there are often leadership opportunities available through nonprofits. Consider spearheading a project and giving yourself something to be proud of.

Complete Summer Classes

Ease the burden of your college career by taking summer classes! Even if your college is far away, consider looking into knocking out a few requirements online or at your local community college. If your schedule is a bit hectic, it can cut down on your stress and even save money in many cases. For that matter, you can even use your extra time to complete an internship later on.

Research

Many colleges and universities offer undergraduate research opportunities over summers. For an individual considering grad school, research is a big standout come application season. Even outside of this, research offers an in-depth look at the working of industries even beyond math and science. Consider asking about grants that your school offers to help support you in these endeavors.

Start a Business

The growth of technology has allowed for the spread of ideas at an unprecedented rate. If you see an opportunity in a field you’re studying, or even just have a solid grasp of a particular skill, consider becoming an entrepreneur. From writing to design to building websites, there are many skills that you can hawk to those interested, all while earning money and learning.

Study Abroad

Not every life experience has to relate to work. By studying abroad for a summer, you demonstrate to employers your willingness to venture outside of your comfort zone and try new experiences. Plus, it gives you more opportunities to learn and work toward that sweet, sweet college credit. Consider some of the places you’ve always wanted to see, and form experiences that you’ll have for the rest of your life!

Personal Finance for Children

Kids and MoneyIt has long been discussed at what age people should start learning how to manage personal finance. It was only recently that some high schools began to require personal finance courses for graduation. Also, of course, there is the ever-popular list circulating the internet stating ‘Things I Never Learned in High School,’ most of which is related to personal finance. High schoolers, college students, and recent graduates are almost demanding that some personal finance that will be pertinent to the future is taught in school, yet the question of how early to start teaching it still remains. A new report suggests that the ideal time to start teaching personal finance may be earlier than anyone has thought before.

This Building Blocks Report, by the Consumer Financial Protection Board, makes the assertion that personal finance should start being taught at age 3. That’s right; preschoolers should be encouraged to practice make-believe play in order to develop their executive functioning. Executive functioning is, in part, learning control and how to plan, which is very helpful in budgeting. It gives people the willpower to maintain control over their actions, so, the sooner it is developed the better. Some make-believe activities that may help children to develop this section of mental processes are setting up a pretend supermarket in your home, playing accountant, and giving children calculators.

Of course, preschoolers will not be able to understand more complicated personal finance lessons, but they will understand basic concepts. Some things that should be impressed upon them include exchanging money for goods and saving money to get something better later. Remember that this is only the first phase of personal finance lessons.

Once children reach their pre-teenager stage, allowance can be used to further teach about personal finance. For example, requiring those receiving the allowance to save a portion of it each time it is given will teach how beneficial saving can be. It can also instill in them the sense that impulse buys, while fun at the time, are not always the best choice. When kids reach their teenage years, purchasing decisions can really start being discussed. At this age, it is recommended to discuss spending habits in all family activities, from filling up on gas to eating at a restaurant. Teenagers should be helping the family make spending decisions, which will ultimately prepare them for making spending decisions with their own finances in the future.

While it is great that some high schools are making personal finance courses standard, it is clear from the above report that personal finance learning should begin even soon. For more information, check out this Forbes article.

Leadership and Management, Two Sides of the Same Coin

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Leadership is encapsulated in both an individual’s talent and energy. Through their knowledge, their skill-set, their experience, and their reservation on the job, these strong and talent individuals can inspire and ignite the necessary passion needed to cultivate a rich and efficient working environment. But what happens when you do not have that vibrant personality to spark ingenuity and passion? What happens when you do not have that organizational skill-set to manage the various logistics within the day-to-day? No matter how you slice it, leadership and management will always be necessary for success.

In the business world, leadership and management go hand in hand. As much as they differ qualities and objectives, they are, essentially, two sides of the same coin. In the grand scheme of things, they are necessarily linked. As much as they stand separate, they continue to complement each other by solving problems and strategizing new and creative ideas for success. Put it in this perspective; management administers, while leadership innovates.

But what makes these two characteristics out? Is one trait better than the other?

Perhaps there was a time when the calling of the manager and that of the leader could be separate. In fact, today, one of the most commonly used buzzer words within the corporate sector has been, and will continue to be, ‘leadership.’ But with the way business works, any successful business owner will tell you that if you want to run your business right, you need to have both a strong leader and an efficient manager to get your team on board. Having both skill sets will allow you to direct your team to your company vision in the most effective way possible.

So what is leadership? While it has become widely popular term, we cannot overlook the power that this characteristic has for a person. For leadership, we are talking about the ability to communicate, inform, and inspire action. That idea to believe in a goal is something that is incredibly difficult to cultivate, especially in the workplace. To do this effectively, many great leaders are incredibly transparent and honest with their employees. That, in turn, builds a sense of integrity and trust that continues to inspire your employees on the journey that you are taking them on. In addition to honesty, many great leaders are long-term thinkers. The ability to create strong, tangible, and viable goals is something that will constantly play a role in a leader’s success within the future. But the most important skill set of a leader is their ability to communicate. Communicating across a variety of departments will always be a sought out ability by every business firm and organization. The reason why is that a strong line of communication can handle any task given to them.

Now, as great as it is having those qualities and traits as a leader, none of it can be possible without strong and effective management. With management, it is more about administering task and making sure the day-to-day operations and logistics are happening, as they should. In order to be a strong, effective, and consistent manager, you need to be able to execute your goals. While it is great, as a leader, to have these overarching goals, all of it would be for nothing if you did not have a clear and strategic roadmap to follow and complete for your employees. In addition to strong and strategic planning, a strong manager needs to have the ability to direct. During the day-to-day, things will pop up. Your job will be to handle those tasks, review resources when needed, and anticipate future problems or hurdles for you and your employees. Much of this will require strong organizational skills, effective communication, and focused and processed management. Without these skillsets, a dream will continue to be a dream.

So, if you are looking to take things to the next level, make sure you find that game changer that has both the attributes of a manager and the vision and mentality of a leader. By framing your process in this way, your hunt for your next supervisor, director, or senior partner will be that much easier and beneficial for the success of your business.

Simon Sinek: How Great Leaders Inspire Action

Simon Sinek presents a simple but powerful model for how leaders inspire action, starting with a golden circle and the question “Why?” His examples include Apple, Martin Luther King, and the Wright brothers — and as a counterpoint Tivo, which (until a recent court victory that tripled its stock price) appeared to be struggling.

TEDx Video: Bob Davids and Leadership without Ego

TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. For this particular TEDTalk video, Bob Davis, an American businessman and entrepreneur discusses the importance and benefits of strong leadership within a business. In this talk, Mr. Davis differentiates between leadership and management and discusses various experiences of what defines a true leader.

Building the Next Generation Business Leader

A business leader is an individual who is confident, persistent, and inventive in any field that they are in. They are the game changers who devote their time and energy in establishing their business in the best way possible. They are the motivators that inspire those around them to go above and beyond the expectations of what is acceptable. But most importantly, they are the innovators that actively and persistently defy the impossible dream to make it into a tangible reality. In this video, Garth Saloner, Dean of Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, discusses the challenge that business schools face in educating students for a new world of companies without borders. For Saloner, he believes that finding and training these high class individuals can be incredibly difficult, especially when cultivating their students to think critically and analytically.

 

The Secrets Of Leadership: Dean Of Harvard Business School Explains How To Lead

Three Tips to be a Be an Efficient and Effective Leader

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There is a famous saying that “leadership is not a position or a title a person assumes, but the action and example they set for all.” For great leaders, they have always been an integral part of society’s progress. In reality, our goals, dreams, and destiny rest in their hands.

So what makes a great leader? How does one assume that position, especially within the confines of the work place?

To be an effective leader, a person must go above and beyond the standards set upon them. They are individuals who not only accomplish various tasks on a consistent and daily basis, but also inspire change within the working environment. According to BCG’s leadership expert Roselinde Torres, today’s institutions and individuals who have the resources to help promote and cultivate great leaders are failing to do so. In her view, while the world is full of leadership programs, the best way a person can learn to lead is by creating a foundation that allots for change and development. It is then that a person can take it to the next level in their push for a thriving and ever-growing future.

During her Tedtalk, Torres spoke about a study she conducted to measure the effective use of leadership development programs in different companies all throughout the world. This entailed an in-depth analysis and international research in order to redefine what makes a great leader for today’s 21st century. After travelling all around the world and taking holistic observational notes on effective and ineffective leadership practices, Torres observed how cultural backdrops, geographical locations, and current events all played a factor in cultivating and shaping a leader and their course of action. She further dives into how of the 4,000 companies she surveyed, almost 60% of them have reported significant talent gaps for critical leadership goals. What is most disheartening about these statistics is not just the low numbers, but also the amount of time, resources, and training each company had invested in efforts to develop a strong leader.

While the results seemed shocking, Torres was able to leave her study with three key elements that will undoubtedly shape a better equipped, and more capable leader for the future.

1. Maintaining a Diverse Network

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” To be a great leader, it is vital that you assume the mentality of a student. At the end of the day, knowledge is the most powerful weapon you can use on the world. Great leaders are not born knowing everything. Instead, they are individuals who recognize that diversity, network, and knowledge are tools that they can utilize in the everyday work life. The ability to collaborate and learn from a variety of people of different backgrounds and work experiences can greatly increase the effectiveness and perspective of a person’s thinking.

2. Accept the Change

As a leader, the one thing that can be detrimental to your success is your ability to settle. Effective leaders never settle. Rather, they acknowledge the fact that time changes constantly. To be a strong leader, one needs to be adaptable to a variety of different speed bumps and hurdles along the way. Anticipating this type of change will lend to stronger strategies and decision-making for the betterment of your company. Never see these changes as problems. Only view them as windows of opportunities.

3. Always Look Ahead to the Future

Similar to the concept of change, it is vital that you recognize your mistakes and learn from them. The one big mistake some people do is that they often dwell on the past. Sticking to the antiquated ways of managing or running a business can hinder your growth professionally and personally. The key thing to do is to accept those events and learn from them.  Internalize the different avenues of what led you to that decision and the other options that you could have taken for success. By establishing that sense of mental reflection, you will be able to ultimately move forward and grow as an individual.

Sir Alex Ferguson Interview on Leadership

Whether or not you are a soccer fan, take a look at this interview with the former manager of Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson. He provides key leadership and management tips on how to succeed on and off the pitch.

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