5 Phrases A Leader Should Use All The Time!

5 Phrases A Leader Should Use All The Time!

As a leader, your words are among your most effective tools. You can construct strong client relationships, build a strong and engaged organization and create a lasting and robust legacy as a leader.  Below are five easy phrases that every leader should use daily:

“Thank You.”

Demonstrating gratitude for a job well done is a key way for leaders to foster a sense of self-worth in the members of their teams. By acknowledging the team members’ efforts and expressing your appreciation, you not only give your team a morale boost, but you can also inspire a greater dedication to team efforts.

It has been proven in many studies throughout time, that team members who have received thanks from their manager saw significant increase in engagement and productivity. A simple “thank you” is an excellent and cost-free way to build a happier, more effective team.  It is very simple to do.    Thank you.

“I don’t know, but will find out for you.”

What sets a leader apart from the rest of the team? Would you assume that the leader is the one with all of the answers? If not, how could he or she be qualified to lead?

Every leader faces questions to which they don’t have answers. Every leader experiences periods of self-doubt. Admitting that you don’t have all the answers can be humbling, (and for some of you uncomfortable), but it can also bring benefits. Demonstrating a willingness to not know everything and a willingness to seek out the answers will build your credibility with your team, help your team members relate to you and allow you to gain trust and accountability as a leader.  Try this…it works.

“What do you think?”

Confident leaders are those who acknowledge that they are not always right and are willing to ask for someone else’s opinion. By presenting your problems to others and seeking out help to develop solutions, you can benefit from the expertise of those around you.

There is a great deal of freedom in recognizing the fact that you do not have to do it all alone. Demonstrate humbleness and a willingness to draw from other people’s experience and knowledge, and you will have the tools to make the best decisions for your team.  Seeking insights and opinions from others displays an approachability and flexibility that are keys to quality leadership.  So how does this sound to you?

“How did I do?”

A strong leader is one who is eager and willing to accept feedback from others. Easier said than done.  While constructive criticism can be difficult to acquire from your team—who wants to be the one to tell the boss that they messed up?—providing a means for honest feedback is essential to both personal and professional growth and development.  But this needs you to be open and listen to the feedback without getting defensive with the provider. 

By displaying the humility to seek out formal and informal feedback, whether it is challenging or encouraging, you will benefit from a greater sense of self-awareness and evolve as a leader.   The next time you have an opportunity, try this powerful question with a colleague or team member.

Silence is golden

How many times have you thought you were listening to somebody, but then realized you didn’t hear anything that they had said?  Perhaps the most significant indicator of successful leadership is found in the ability to listen. Just listen.  Great leaders are those who are able to proactively and intuitively listen to both their peers, team members, clients and anybody else.

Having the ability to truly listen involves not only actively listening to those who support your ideas and actions, but also those who confront and challenge you. When listening, focus on what is being said rather than preparing your own response. Allow yourself to be challenged and to learn something new.  

Shhh…..just listen.

Paul N. Larsen
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Paul partners with leaders across a variety of industries and within organizations of all sizes to build and expand their leadership strength with a deliberate purpose and cle ... Click for full bio

Here’s Why Bitcoin Won’t Replace Gold So Easily

Here’s Why Bitcoin Won’t Replace Gold So Easily

What a week it was.

First and foremost, I’d like to acknowledge the horrific mass shooting that occurred in Las Vegas, the deadliest in modern American history. On behalf of everyone at U.S. Global Investors, I extend my sincerest and most heartfelt condolences to the victims and their families.

The memory of the shooting was still fresh in people’s minds during last Tuesday’s Hollywood premiere of Blade Runner 2049, which nixed the usual red carpet and other glitz in light of the tragedy. Before the film, producers shared poignant words, saying that in times such as these, the arts are crucial now more than ever.

I had the distinct privilege to attend the premiere. My good friend Frank Giustra, whose production company Thunderbird Entertainment owns a stake in the Blade Runner franchise, was kind enough to invite me along. Despite the somber mood—a pivotal scene in the film even takes place in an irradiated Las Vegas—I thought Blade Runner 2049 was spectacular. Even if you’re not a fan of the original 1982 film, it’s still worth experiencing in theaters. Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch’s synth-heavy score is especially haunting.

CNET recently published an interesting piece examining the accuracy of future tech as depicted in the original Blade Runner, from androids to flying cars to off-world travel read the article here.

Still in the Early Innings of Cryptocurrencies

Speaking of the future, I spoke on the topic of the blockchain last week at the Subscriber Investment Summit in Vancouver. My presentation focused on the future of mining—not just of gold and precious metals but also cryptocurrencies.

Believe it or not, there are upwards of 2,100 digital currencies being traded in the world right now, with a combined market cap of nearly $150 billion, according to Coinranking.com.

Obviously not all of these cryptos will survive. We’re still in the early innings. Last month I compared this exciting new digital world to the earliest days of the dotcom era, and just as there were winners and losers then, so too will there be winners and losers today. Although bitcoin and Ethereum appear to be the frontrunners right now, recall that only 20 years ago AOL and Yahoo! were poised to dominate the internet. How times have changed!

It will be interesting to see which coins emerge as the “Amazon” and “Google” of cryptocurrencies.

For now, Ethereum has some huge backers. The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA), according to its website, seeks to “learn from and build upon the only smart contract supporting blockchain currently running in real-world production—Ethereum.” The EEA includes several big-name financial and tech firms such as Credit Suisse, Intel, Microsoft and JPMorgan Chase, whose own CEO, Jamie Dimon, knocked cryptos a couple of weeks ago.

To learn more about the blockchain and cryptocurrencies, watch this engaging two-minute video.

Understanding blockchain in two minutes

Will Bitcoin Replace Gold?

Lately I’ve been seeing more and more headlines asking whether cryptos are “killing” gold. Would the gold price be higher today if massive amounts of money weren’t flowing into bitcoin? Both assets, after all, are sometimes favored as safe havens. They’re decentralized and accepted all over the world, 24 hours a day. Transactions are anonymous. Supply is limited.

Have gold and bitcoin peaked for 2017

But I don’t think for a second that cryptocurrencies will ever replace gold, for a number of reasons. For one, cryptos are strictly forms of currency, whereas gold has many other time-tested applications, from jewelry to dentistry to electronics.

Unlike cryptos, gold doesn’t require electricity to trade. This makes it especially useful in situations such as hurricane-ravished Puerto Rico, where 95 percent of people are reportedly still without power. Right now the island’s economy is cash-only. If you have gold jewelry or coins, they can be converted into cash—all without electricity or WiFi.

Finally, gold remains one of the most liquid assets, traded daily in well-established exchanges all around the globe. Every day, some £13.8 billion, or $18 billion, worth of physical gold are traded in London alone, according to the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA). The cryptocurrency market, although expanding rapidly, is not quite there yet.

I will admit, though, that bitcoin is energizing some investors, especially millennials, in ways that gold might have a hard time doing. The proof is all over the internet. You can find a number of TED Talks on bitcoin, cryptocurrencies and the blockchain, but to my knowledge, none is available on gold investing. YouTube is likewise bursting at the seams with videos on cryptos.

Bitcoin is up 350 percent for the year, Ethereum an unbelievable 3,600 percent. Gold, meanwhile, is up around 10 percent. Producers, as measured by the NYSE Arca Gold Miners Index, have gained 11.5 percent in 2017, 23 percent since its 52-week low in December 2016.

Related: Gold and Bitcoin Surge on North Korea Fears

Look Past the Negativity to Find the Good News

The news is filled with negative headlines, and sometimes it’s challenging to stay positive. Take Friday’s jobs report. It showed that the U.S. lost 33,000 jobs in September, the first month in seven years that this happened. A weak report was expected because of Hurricane Irma, but no one could have guessed the losses would be this deep.

The jobs report wasn’t all bad news, however. For one, the decline is very likely temporary. Beyond that, a record 4.88 million Americans who were previously sitting out of the labor force found work last month. This helped the unemployment rate fall to 4.2 percent, a 16-year low.

Have gold and bitcoin peaked for 2017

There’s more that supports a stronger U.S. economy. As I shared with you last week, the Manufacturing ISM Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to a 13-year high in September, indicating rapid expansion in the manufacturing industry. Factory orders were up during the month. Auto sales were up. Oil has stayed in the relatively low $50-a-barrel range, which is good for transportation and industrials, especially airlines. Small-cap stocks, as measured by the Russell 2000 Index, continue to climb above their 50-day and 200-day moving averages as excitement over tax reform intensifies.

These are among the reasons why I remain bullish.

One final note: Speaking on tax reform, Warren Buffett told CNBC last week that he’s waiting to sell assets until he knows the plan will go through. “I would feel kind of silly if I realized $1 billion worth of gains and paid $350 million in tax on it if I just waited a few months and would have paid $250 million,” he said.

It’s a fair comment, and I imagine other like-minded, forward-thinking investors, buyers and sellers will also wait to make huge transactions if they can help it. Tax reform isn’t a done deal, but I think it has a much better chance of being signed into law than a health care overhaul.

Frank Holmes
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Frank Holmes is the CEO and Chief Investment Officer of U.S. Global Investors. Mr. Holmes purchased a controlling interest in U.S. Global Investors in 1989 and became the firm ... Click for full bio