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Category Archives: Business

7 Top Jobs for Younger Workers

From childhood all the way through college and beyond, many people are pressured to come up with a response to the age-old question, “What do you want to do with your life?”

While some people know from an early age what they want to do with their careers, others have a hard time figuring out the right path. A new study from CareerBuilder revealed that nearly 25 percent of high school students choose their career based on something they saw on television or in a movie. The research also shows that one-third of full-time employees regret the college major they chose.

When young workers are deciding what type of career to pursue, Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder, says they should be asking two questions:

  • What am I passionate about?
  • Does data show that this occupation is growing and pays well?

“The more informed you are about your options and what it takes to get to where you want to be, the better the outcome,” Haefner said in a statement.

To help set young professionals on the right path, CareerBuilder analyzed data to determine the top occupations for younger workers based on jobs that are growing quickly, pay good wages and have a solid concentration of workers between the ages of 19 and 24.

“There is a world of opportunity open to younger workers in business, technical and creative fields,” Haefner said.

Based on the data, these are the top 7 jobs for young workers:

Social science research assistants 

  • Number of 2017 jobs: 29,494
  • Growth in jobs from 2013 to 2017: 5 percent
  • Average hourly earnings: $21.96
  • Percentage of workers employed who are ages 19-24: 28 percent

Coaches and scouts 

  • Number of 2017 jobs: 233,107
  • Growth in jobs from 2013 to 2017: 7 percent
  • Average hourly earnings: $19.50
  • Percentage of workers employed who are ages 19-24: 22 percent

Adult basic and secondary education and literacy teachers and instructors 

  • Number of 2017 jobs: 68,590
  • Growth in jobs from 2013 to 2017: 5 percent
  • Average hourly earnings: $25.90
  • Percentage of workers employed who are ages 19-24: 22 percent

Environmental science and protection technicians, including health 

  • Number of 2017 jobs: 35,352
  • Growth in jobs from 2013 to 2017: 7 percent
  • Average hourly earnings: $22.28
  • Percentage of workers employed who are ages 19-24: 20 percent

Forensic science technician 

  • Number of 2017 jobs: 15,033
  • Growth in jobs from 2013 to 2017: 12 percent
  • Average hourly earnings: $29.04
  • Percentage of workers employed who are ages 19-24: 18 percent

Camera operators for TV, video and motion picture 

  • Number of 2017 jobs: 20,616
  • Growth in jobs from 2013 to 2017: 7 percent
  • Average hourly earnings: $27.85
  • Percentage of workers employed who are ages 19-24: 15 percent

Physical therapist assistants 

  • Number of 2017 jobs: 87,426
  • Growth in jobs from 2013 to 2017: 13 percent
  • Average hourly earnings: $26.59
  • Percentage of workers employed who are ages 19-24: 15 percent

9 Inexpensive Gifts Your Employees Will Love

Bonsai tree set

Bonsai trees are a calming presence in any office, and a great gift for the resident green-thumb. Watch these characteristic trees grow along with your business.

Oojra home fragrances

For the homemaker in your office, Oojra home fragrances offers a line of scents that will brighten any home. As the company says “home fragrances are the finishing touch on your decor — but the first thing anyone notices.”

Yatra Aquatune bluetooth speaker

Aquatune’s line of bluetooth speakers are designed to withstand the outdoors; they’re weatherproof, portable speakers with a high quality sound. The Aquatune 5712 is an inexpensive, durable model that your employees will love.

Broadway Basketeers Token of Appreciation tower

Who doesn’t love sweets? If your staff is the snackable kind, look no further than Broadway Basketeers Token of Appreciation Tower, to show your employee’s how appreciated they truly are. Gift tower includes: Milk Chocolate Bavarian Pretzels, Double Dipped Chocolate Peanuts, Chocolate Drizzled Popcorn, Vanilla Caramel Kiss Taffies, Cappuccino Chocolate Chip Cookies, Brownie Crisp Cookies, and Sea Salt Flavored Pita Chips.

Heat changing coffee mug

Have a stargazer in your workplace? Gift them this heat-changing constellation mug, which lights up like the night sky when coffee, tea or any other hot beverage is poured into it.

Cube alarm clock

If you have an employee who’s habitually late but has a good sense of humor, gift them this alarm clock to help them get out of bed on time! Work in an office? Even better! The cube shape will remind them to hustle up and get to their own cubicle by the start of the workday.

Travel charging kit

For employees who are always on the go, this travel charging kit is a thoughtful and practical gift. With this kit, you can charge three devices via USB ports using one outlet or an auto cigarette lighter, and all of the parts are easily organized in the included travel pouch.

Toffee

A box of chocolates is nice, but if you want to give your employees a more unique confection, this gourmet chocolate and pecan-topped toffee should be at the top of your list. Handcrafted in Newport Beach, California, B.toffee products are sold online and in major food retail stores.

Phone dock and cord wrap

Anyone who keeps a spare phone charger at the office knows how easy it is to lose it among all the other clutter stashed away in a desk drawer. With a MonkeyOh cord wrap and smartphone dock, your employees’ charging cables will be easily accessible and ready to use — and their workstations will look a little neater, too.

7 Ways to Give a Kickass Business Presentation

Business presentations don’t have to all be the same, and being in the audience during one doesn’t have to be sleep-inducing. It is possible to make every business presentation entertaining, informative and enjoyable for all parties involved.

Experts shared their best tips for creating and giving a killer presentation that will engage your audience and help you land the sale.

“A good business presentation … has one main point and everything is structured around that point. It doesn’t rely heavily upon PowerPoint or slides filled with text, and it allows time for discussion and asking questions.”

“No secret sauce, tech or gimmicks. What makes any presentation engaging and effective is to put the bottom line up front and then provide whatever backup data may be needed. I’ve seen many presentations where the story is dragged out and tension is built, as if the person was trying to make a movie. But … people are busy and need to deal with the issue and then move on.”

“Focus more on what you will say and how you will say it rather than on having the coolest slides. Not everything you say should be on your slides. No more than three sentences per slide. Present your best data, or no data at all – but not all your data.”

“The true meaning of the presentation is to engage with people and persuade them to your point of view, not just deliver chunks of information. Every presentation, no matter the subject, must be tailored specifically to the people you are talking to. If you tell an anecdote, don’t simply repeat the same story wherever you are – not only will it become stale, you’ll also fail to make a connection to the people you’re addressing.”

“What makes a good business presentation is practice, practice, practice! It’s just like sports. You have to repeatedly practice your presentation to improve it.”

“Authenticity is engaging. Too many presentations are technically proficient but lack heart. If you are not genuine, there will be an unbridgeable gap between you and your listeners. Authenticity is the most important element of an effective communication in any context.”

“A high energy level (is) the most important step to take in presentations. This applies to any type of speaking, any size audience and any topic. If you seemed bored or tired, that vibe will translate to your audience.”

The Top 7 Workplaces for Women

As gender equality continues to take the spotlight in workplace issues, more women are seeking job opportunities with companies where they’re most likely to receive equal pay and treatment.

InHerSight, a workplace ratings and matching site for women, collected user ratings data on 27,000 U.S. companies across five main categories: equal opportunities for men and women, salary satisfaction, maternity and adoptive leave, top leadership, and management opportunities for women.

While InHerSight used its data to rank the best workplaces in each category on a five-point scale, the top 7 workplaces for women overall include:

  1. Title Source (4.6)
  2. Procore Technologies (4.4)
  3. The Boston Consulting Group (4.2)
  4. The Motley Fool (4.0)
  5. Netflix (4.0)
  6. Facebook (4.0)
  7. NetSuite (3.9)

According to Ursula Mead, CEO of InHerSight, female representation in leadership and management opportunities for women, as well as equal opportunities and salary satisfaction, are strong predictors of women’s satisfaction at work.

Last year, several high-profile companies announced improvements to their parental leave programs, so maternity and adoptive leave became a highlighted factor for InHerSight. Mead hopes that trend continues in 2017.

“The great news about many of these larger companies is that they’re always hiring, and often hiring for a lot of open positions,” said Mead. “For example, a quick look at the Netflix careers page shows hundreds of open positions right now. Of course, there’s a lot of competition for these jobs, but that shouldn’t stop you from applying.”

While it might be difficult to get a job at many of the bigger-name places on the list, that doesn’t mean that you can’t have all those benefits at your current or future company. InHerSight found that reviewing salaries and correcting pay gaps was the policy change women wanted the most at their current employer (more than 31 percent).

“Companies aren’t mind readers – if you want to see changes to benefits or initiatives, you may have to initiate that conversation with your manager or HR team. Most companies want to know how they can better support their employees and will welcome that dialogue,” Mead said.

She also suggested that women hoping to make a change at their company do some initial research on how their company’s policies compare to others and what the options are. “It’s also important to think about your request from the employer’s perspective to demonstrate awareness of what some of their concerns and constraints might be so you can both be solutions oriented.”

Women on the job hunt have access to a lot of information that can help them determine what job or company is right for them. Sometimes all it takes is doing a little research to uncover what could potentially be the perfect match.

“If you know people at the company, talk to them,” Mead advised. “If you don’t, there are a lot of great resources online to help you find the right company and for you to learn more about their culture and benefits. It’s important to keep in mind that a company can have great benefits on paper, but how those policies are implemented matters a lot.”

How to Protect Your Data from Tax-Time Hackers

Protecting your data is especially important during tax season, when sensitive information about your business and your employees is susceptible to attack by would-be identity thieves. Faux calls and emails from attackers posing as representatives of the IRS or even managers within your organization are commonplace and can lead to the theft of information from unsuspecting employees. Luckily, there are steps you can take to bolster your security during this time of increased vulnerability.

As Eric Cernak, U.S. cyber and privacy risk practice leader at Munich Re, noted, W-2 phishing attacks are just one popular method of thievery amongst digital ne’er-do-wells. Ransomware is also increasingly popular amongst hackers, he said. In a ransomware attack, hackers generally infiltrate a system and encrypt large swaths of a company’s data. They then demand a payment in cryptocurrency, usually Bitcoin, in return for decrypting and returning the stolen data.

“These types of attacks can be costly for a (small business) in terms of productivity and dollars,” Cernak said. “Additionally, with the current value of virtual currency, ransomware attacks are costing small businesses more and more in terms of real dollars, not to mention the interruption to their business income and cost to restore files should they decide not to pay the ransom.”

While these types of attacks are particularly prevalent during tax season, cybersecurity is no seasonal game – it’s a 24/7/365 defensive slog, said Adam Levin, chairman of data protection company IDT911, which is now known asCyberScout. He added that small businesses might feel as though they aren’t a prime target because of their size, but that hackers often target small businesses to gain access to bigger companies they work with. As a result, every business large and small must remain vigilant.

“As a business you are a defender, and as a defender in the cyber world we live in, you have to get everything right,” Levin said. “As an attacker, you just need to find one point of vulnerability that might only be open for a moment or two, but then you’re in.”

It sounds scary, and indeed it is, that a breach of your business’ system could lead to a complete destabilization of your entire company and, in the worst case, its total failure. That’s precisely why developing a culture of security, constant monitoring, testing for vulnerabilities, retesting and constantly adapting is so important. As hackers are always evolving and adapting new techniques, so too must businesses in order to adequately defend themselves.

“The first thing a business has to develop is a culture of security from the mailroom to the boardroom,” Levin said. “That involves employee training, and a sense of employee responsibility for security.”

While implementing secure systems and utilizing effective monitoring tools is a must, Levin said, humans are often the easiest vulnerability for hackers to exploit. Educating employees, then, is imperative.

“This has to be an almost daily event,” Levin said. “The system is only as good as the weakest link, and humans tend to be the weakest link.”

By keeping several best practices for security in mind, you can reduce the odds that your business becomes a victim of a cyberattack. Moreover, you can implement policies and technology to mitigate the damage of any successful attack, turning a potentially catastrophic event into nothing more than a minor irritation.

Based on our expert sources’ insights, here are eight steps you can take to better secure your business data right now.

1. Secure your computers: Using up-to-date software and effective monitoring tools is essential to maintaining a secure browser. Ensure that software updates are installed promptly when available.

2. Use two-factor authentication: Multi-factor authentication is a key strategy to avoid falling victim to an attacker using stolen credentials. Oftentimes, two-factor authentication means the employee logging in will receive an additional authentication request, often via smartphone, to confirm their identity.

3. Avoid recycling passwords: Once you change a password, change it for good. Browsers often store passwords insecurely, and reusing a password increases the risk that a user’s credentials will be compromised.

4. Train your employees: Create a culture of security. Make sure each employee understands where they fit in the big picture. Security is not just something for the IT department to worry about, but should rather be a team effort.

5. Always encrypt data: Encryption thwarts many would-be snoopers and hackers because they cannot access your encrypted data without the proper keys. Encryption and other services, like virtual private networks, are important aspects in protecting your information.

6. Back up data: You’ll want to back up your data in case of a ransomware attack. However, it’s important to note that the devices storing the backed-up data should not always be connected to your network. Otherwise, they could be compromised during an attack. If your system is attacked, you can wipe your hard drives and then download your backed-up data, avoiding a catastrophic incident.

7. Manage portable media: When employees use their own mobile devices on your company’s network, it creates new opportunities for hackers. Mobile devices are also more likely to be lost or stolen outside of the workplace, further increasing the odds of security being compromised. If you’re a BYOD workplace, ensure employees are conforming to your company’s security protocols. Minimize mobile device use, or ensure all data stored on these devices is encrypted.

8. Destroy unnecessary information: Make sure you destroy any sensitive documents you no longer need. Hard copies of tax documents or financial information can be used to determine possible avenues of infiltrating your system. Any connected devices in your office should be secured and routinely cleared to ensure safety.

How Your Personal Traits Impact Your Salary

Think your attractive co-worker earns more than you just because of his or her looks? Despite previous reports suggesting that more attractive employees tend to make more money they tend, a new study shows that looks are just one component that can impact earnings.

The new research, which was recently published in Springer’s Journal of Business and Psychology, discovered that unattractive employees aren’t discriminated against just because of their looks. The study’s authors found that health, intelligence and personality traits also factor into the salary equation.

“The association between physical attractiveness and earnings largely disappeared once individual differences in health, intelligence, and personality were statistically controlled,” the study’s authors wrote.

For the study, researchers analyzed the U.S. National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health (Add Health). The data set measured physical attractiveness of all respondents on a five-point scale at four different points in their lives over 13 years.

The study’s authors discovered that workers who were healthier and more intelligent, and those with more conscientious and extroverted, less neurotic personality traits had significantly higher salaries than other employees.

“Physically more attractive workers may earn more, not necessarily because they are more beautiful, but because they are healthier, more intelligent, and have better personality traits conducive to higher earnings,” Satoshi Kanazawa, one of the study’s authors and a reader in management at the London School of Economics and Political Science in the United Kingdom,said in a statement.

The researchers also found instances of what they referred to as an “ugliness premium.” They discovered that workers who were rated “very unattractive” always made more money than those with “unattractive” ratings. In addition, there were instances in which those rated “very unattractive” also had higher salaries than their average-looking and attractive peers.

Mary Still, one of the study’s authors and an assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts in Boston, said there are several reasons their research contradicts previous studies that suggested there was a premium paid to beautiful people. Besides failing to take into account heath, intelligence and personality factors, the past studies also didn’t break those with “very unattractive” and “unattractive” ratings into separate groups. Instead, they simply categorized them all as below average.

“Thereby they fail to document the ugliness premium enjoyed by the very unattractive workers,” Still said.

Since the data sets studied only surveyed people up to age 29, the researchers admit that the wages of beautiful and less attractive employees may become more unbalanced as time goes on.

“If the beauty premium and ugliness penalty are cumulative throughout working careers, then they may show up in earnings of older workers,” the study’s authors wrote.

7 Public Relations Solutions for Small Businesses

A new business needs to get the word out that they not only exist, but offer services and products consumers need. Even established businesses need to continually market and attract new customers and clients. Some companies have marketing departments or outsource to marketing companies to accomplish this. But for businesses that may not have a large marketing budget, here are 7 do-it-yourself options that can drive your business to new heights.

You don’t need a full-fledged marketing team to launch a successful PR event. Check out Localist, an interactive online calendaring platform that aims to help small businesses with limited marketing resources manage promotional events.

After signing up for an account, you can input planned events, import your current calendar or upload events in bulk. Take advantage of time-saving features like recurring schedules, venue search and automatic event merging to avoid duplicates. To make your event even more successful, Localist also allows you to create an online community where attendees and target audiences can check-in to events, add comments, write reviews and upload photos. The platform is also Google Analytics-friendly, allowing you track conversations about your event, how many shares and follows events have and other valuable insights.

Share your expertise and get free publicity. Help A Reporter Out, commonly referred to as HARO by media folks, gives you direct access to reporters, bloggers and journalists from all types of publications and media properties who are looking for sources with your expertise.

Sign up as a source and HARO will send queries from journalists to your inbox in batches throughout the day.  If any of the queries is a good fit for your expertise and business, pitch your response and qualifications directly to the journalist by email for a possible interview or direct quote.

Find the right journalist and blogger to tell your story or become a source.MuckRack helps businesses search their database of more than 20,000 journalists and media contacts. Features include inbox alerts, direct email pitches to journalists, social sharing data and media list creation and organization.

Sign up as a PR pro or marketer by clicking on the “Find Journalists” button, then choose a subscription plan. Start searching for journalists by name, keywords and phrases, beats, outlets, Twitter accounts, hashtags, media properties and other categories.

Maximize your reach and attract new business online. PRWeb publishes press releases across the web on search engines, blogs, major news sites and websites — no tech or PR skills necessary. Write an effective and engaging press release for your business, announcement or event (PRWeb offers a library of resources to help you do this, including free tutorials and press release examples). Add video, keywords, extra distribution channels and other optional features. Plug your press release into PRWeb’s template and hit ‘Submit.’ PRWeb’s editors will then check your release and you’re good to go.

Reach highly targeted audiences by writing quality guest posts on major blogs. MyBlogGuest connects bloggers with brands and content creators to share their expertise, build links and cross-promote their offerings. Once you have a MyBlogGuest account, you can search for guest blogging opportunities or post an ad in the forums for free. You can also post content directly in the Articles Gallery for blog owners to find (requires a GO PRO account).

Find leads and discover your biggest social media influencers. HootSuite is a social media management tool that lets you manage multiple social media accounts in a single dashboard to help automate social media marketing, while increasing engagement. HootSuite can also help you monitor top content, likes and shares, traffic sources and other metrics with reporting modules like Facebook Insight and Google Analytics. Simply sign in with Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or your email address, then set up “streams” for each social media account.

You don’t need fancy software to track your business’s media placements and mentions — Google Alerts lets you monitor your presence online and find out where you appear on the web, what people are saying about you and how your PR campaigns compare to that of your competitors.

Create an alert by entering a search query — such as the name of your business, competitors, industry and other related keywords — and setting up the frequency and types of alerts you wish to receive. These Google Alerts are then sent directly to your inbox.

5 Data Breach Threats Your Small Business

 Securing sensitive information has never been more difficult with new malware threats that seem to pop up every single year. Data breaches affect even the most renowned companies like Yahoo, LinkedIn and Dropbox, to name a few.

For small businesses, in particular, being ready for a data breach is essential to survival if — or more likely, when — one occurs.

“Preparing for a data breach has become much more complex over the last few years,” Michael Bruemmer, vice president at Experian Data Breach Resolution, said in a statement. “Organizations must keep an eye on the many new and constantly evolving threats and address these threats in their incident response plans.”

Based on Experian’s Data Breach Industry Forecast report, here’s some of the cyber threats businesses can expect:

Experian predicts that “aftershock” breaches — repeated unauthorized logins after usernames and passwords obtained in previous breaches are sold on the dark web — will continue to rise in 2017.

To mitigate this risk, companies can implement two-factor authentication to verify users, which helps solve the password reuse problem. Secondary authentication methods can be password alternatives such as tokens, SMS alerts, geolocation confirmation or biometrics.

President Trump stated during his election campaign that he would be in favor of using cyber weapons in retaliation against enemy states. Experian expects cyberattacks to continue against the United States, and with no international agreement governing engagements in cyberspace, the number of attacks will increase and could possibly escalate already existing tensions between countries.”

As health care institutions deploy new mobile apps, it’s anticipated that they will introduce new vulnerabilities that will be attractive targets to hackers. It is expected that ransomware will be the main type of malware used. The HHS Office of Civil Rights has classified ransomware attacks as requiring consumer notification; Experian suggests that preventing data breaches will become even more important. Consumers who have never been notified of breaches are likely to react strongly to news of their information being stolen.

Payment-related breaches will continue, since many small merchants still lag behind in their transition to EMV chip and PIN. There are legitimate barriers to adopting this technology, such as having to manage more infrastructures, the need for software updates to accept payments and the impact on the checkout process. However, the risk of not adopting the technology is high, as attackers have demonstrated the ability to exploit older technology.

New regulations in Canada, Australia and the EU require companies to notify customers whose data has been stolen. Even if your business doesn’t sell to international customers yet, it’s wise to start complying with these new rules to ensure you are prepared in the event of an incident.

To prevent breaches, Experian advises all organizations to train employees on how to spot phishing attacks, keep all security software fully patched and have contingency plans for responding to a ransomware attack.

Why Workplaces Need Some Compassion

 Having a company culture with a little love and compassion can go a long way toward making a better workplace, new research finds.

A study recently published in theAcademy of Management Journalsuggests that businesses need to strike a balance between a lighthearted and fun workplace and one that is compassionate and caring.

While the researchers looked specifically at the life of firefighters and the culture inside fire stations, the study’s authors believe their findings are also relevant to less male-dominated workplaces.

The study found two types of workplace cultures inside fire stations: joviality and companionate love. A jovial workplace is one where employees can have fun and take a joke, as well as participate in pranks and practical jokes.

Conversely, a workplace of companionate love is one in which compassion, affection and caring in times of need are deeply important to its culture. The researchers said they were surprised to find that this type of culture permeates fire stations, considering they are typically filled with men.

“This seeming paradox – the presence of a strong culture of companionate love … illustrates the importance of adopting a more nuanced, contextualized view of masculine organizational culture,” the study’s authors wrote.

The study found that the best workplaces strike a balance between these two types of cultures.

“The positive aspects of a culture of joviality and a culture of companionate love can work together to temper one another and allow individuals to flourish,” the study’s authors wrote.

The research found that in fire stations where both cultures were strong, workers were significantly less likely to engage in risky behaviors off the job than was the case at stations where one of the cultures wasn’t as strong.

The study also found that a compassionate culture aided the physical health of workers who experienced a great deal of work-family conflict and coped with it by bottling up the emotions at work. Specifically, a strong culture of companionate love significantly lowers the occurrences of many common ailments, including insomnia, headaches, indigestion and fatigue. A strictly jovial culture tends to make those health problems worse.

For the study, researchers conducted group interviews at 27 firehouses in a major metropolitan area in order to find both prominent and hidden aspects of emotions.

The researchers found that the cultures were both strong in about 37 percent of the fire stations surveyed and both weak in about 30 percent of the stations. In 19 percent of the stations, joviality was strong and companionate love weak, and in 15 percent the opposite was true.

Olivia Amanda O’Neill, one of the study’s authors and an assistant professor at George Mason University, said she was surprised to see the culture of compassion and love in such a male-dominated workplace.

“I had previously done research on emotional culture among the largely female staff of a long-term-care facility, where companionate love was very much in evidence, and a question this raised is whether something similar would be true in a largely male workplace,” O’Neill said in a statement. “That this culture emerged strongly, in combination with a strong culture of joviality, was something prior behavioral research on men had not led us to anticipate.”

Although this research looked specifically at firefighters and fire stations, the study’s authors believe leaders in all workplaces would be best served to implement rituals, practices and policies that make compassion normal and appealing.

“First recognize that workplace culture involves not just cognitive values, like the need for teamwork or innovation, but emotions as well,” O’Neill said. “Then pay attention to the emotions you express every day, modulating them as needed. For example, our study found joviality to be associated with good group coordination, so if lack of coordination is a problem, those in charge should try to lighten things up.”

However, if stress is a problem, warmth and kindness should be more of a focus, O’Neill said.

The researchers believe a balance between the two cultures is critical, because without a strong culture of compassion, a completely jovial culture may emerge, which could worsen some negative tendencies often associated with masculinity.

“In some corporate contexts, the types of jokes and pranks we observed that were associated with a strong culture of joviality might be considered harassment or bullying,” the study’s authors wrote. “This possibility underscores the importance of the tempering effect of companionate love for harnessing the positive aspects of an organization’s emotional culture.”

5 Common Leadership Mistakes

 Being a leader comes with a host of responsibilities, including being a good influence on those you work with and who work for you. Whether you’ve recently landed your first leadership role or you’ve been managing employees for years, there are always lessons to be learned and improvements to be made.

Because a leadership role is important, you owe it to yourself and your staff to always be sharp. This means being wise enough to recognize your weak points, and humble enough to work on correcting them.

Here are five common mistakes that leaders at all levels struggle with, and how you can fix them.

Holding any position of power can be good for your ego, but don’t let that position of power create a false sense of security. It’s important that your employees know you’re not above your shortcomings.

“Leaders must not be afraid to recognize their own failures,” said Joe Chiarello, owner of two Murphy Business & Financial Corporation franchises. “We all fall down at some point, but what really matters is the way we pick ourselves up and learn from our mistakes. This is what helps us grow and makes us stronger.”

Leading by example and having transparency with your team if you do something wrong or make a bad decision can go a long way.

It’s easy to let your feelings about a situation influence the choice, and sometimes it makes sense to do so. But in business, using emotions as your sole justification for any choice is a bad practice. Your team needs to see the facts and logic backing up your choices if you want them to trust you.

“(When you’re) making decisions based on emotion … the team may not truly understand the rationale behind the decision being made, and in many cases, rationale may not exist,” said Christopher Ayala, partner at manufacturing company Gardner & Co. “This can lead to confusion, uncertainty of future roadmap plans or the validity of the decisions over time, slowly chiseling away at the effectiveness of the leader.”

When it comes to making a decision, he suggests taking a deep breath, stepping back and holding your tongue, then thinking.

Making emotional moves can lead to authorizing decisions without a full understanding, too. You don’t want to make decisions because you feel you have to. As a leader, you may find yourself in a position to make choices about things outside your area of expertise.

As a leader, you should be sensible enough to not make a final decision without consulting the people in your company who do have experience in these areas.

One of the most difficult adjustments a new leader has to make is learning how to handle disagreements or problems that arise within the group. You may want to come off as fair and balanced but avoid calling people out for their negative behavior to avoid potential conflict. Doing so will hurt your whole staff more if you don’t nip an issue in the bud.

“Managers often veer away from confrontation and try to avoid it at all costs. But when performance or personality issues go unaddressed, they fester and set an overall tone that minimizes the urgency of correcting mistakes,” said Mark Feldman, vice president of marketing at Building Engines. “If there is (an) issue, it’s best to address it right away when the situation is fresh.”

Feldman notes managers incorrectly assume that a problem is the result of incompetence or poor performance when in actuality it’s often a result of a misunderstanding of expectations.

Leaders are typically hired or promoted to their positions because they know what needs to be done and how to do it. This may be accompanied by the mentality of “if you want something done right, do it yourself,” which can be a dangerous attitude to have when managing a team.

Completing or tweaking your employees’ work because it’s not to your liking — or, similarly, failing to delegate tasks — not only creates more work for you, but also hinders your team from reaching its full potential.

“When leaders take on the responsibility of completing a team member’s work, they are actually doing the team and themselves a disservice,” said Nancy Mellard, national leader of CBIZ Women’s Advantage. “(It) is breeding ground for disengagement.”

According to Mellard, by getting into this habit, a talented team member may bring a project to only 75 percent completion, assuming the leader will finish the rest. As a result, performance will move in the wrong direction, while the leader takes on more responsibility for the team’s overall project demands.

You’ve been entrusted with a leadership position because someone else trusts your judgment. Consistently second-guessing yourself can rub off on others, and before you know it, no one trusts you. Don’t be afraid to obey your gut instinct when it’s right.

“While it’s important to listen to others, employees and clients alike, sometimes this can be very dangerous to an innovative startup. If you truly believe in what you are doing, it’s OK to listen only to yourself sometimes. (Be) loyal to your internal compass,” said Moran Zur, CEO of SafeBeyond.