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

An Emerging Theme In Thematic Investing

An Emerging Theme In Thematic Investing

Exchange traded funds (ETFs) are popular vehicles for market participants looking to engage in thematic investing. Thematic investing looks to take advantage of future growth trends, including disruptive technologies. Given that forward-looking approach, stock-picking in the thematic universe is equally as hard, if not harder, than in traditional market segments.

Go back to the late 1990s, before the bursting of the Internet/technology bubble. Back then, investors stood an equal chance of selecting E-Toys over Amazon or some no longer in existence networking equipment maker over Cisco.

“History is littered with examples of prospering industries with no indication of which company will come to dominate the industry,” according to Nasdaq. “This suggests that successful thematic investing is more about selecting baskets of investments rather than single securities.”1

The ALPS Disruptive Technologies ETF (DTEC) provides basket exposure to a broad swath of thematic investments. DTEC features exposure to not just one or two emerging technologies, but 10 such themes on an equal-weight basis.

Disruptive Efficiency

The 10 themes represented in DTEC are as follows: 3D printing, clean energy, cloud computing, cybersecurity, data and analytics, fintech, healthcare innovation, Internet of Things (IoT), mobile payments and robotics and artificial intelligence (AI).

Generally speaking, fund issuers have been quick to respond to disruptive and transformative technologies, bringing products to market to tap these themes. Prior to DTEC coming to market late last year, there were ETFs devoted exclusively to cloud computing, cybersecurity, robotics and other themes featured in DTEC. However, few use the basket approach to themes employed by DTEC.

Related: Getting Paid to Play The Energy Patch

February, a rough month for U.S. stocks, highlighted the advantages of DTEC's multi-theme methodology. Seven of the 10 themes found in the fund finished the month lower, but DTEC was able to outperform the S&P 500 on a monthly basis.

Focusing on individual themes can be rewarding over the long-term, but not all investors have the risk tolerance for such a strategy. Consider this: the Indxx Global Robotics & Artificial Intelligence Thematic Index jumped more than 48% in 2017. That type of performance is enough to seduce many investors, but that same benchmark slipped 7.60% in February, generating monthly volatility of 34.10%.Said another way, that robotics and AI index's February slide was more than triple the loss experienced by DTEC during the month.

More Advantages

While it probably is not accurate to call the indexes devoted to individual disruptive themes “old,” many use old school weighting methodologies. For example, the two largest components in the ISE Cloud Computing Index are Netflix, Inc. (NFLX) and Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN). Only two members of the S&P 500 have larger market values than Amazon while Netflix currently has a larger market cap than Wal-Mart (WMT) and McDonald's (MCD).

Holdings subject ot change as of 12/31/17

For its part, DTEC not only equally weights its 10 disruptive themes, but its 100 components as well, potentially reducing single stock risk in the process. As the chart below confirms, equally weighting stocks is rewarding across sectors and market capitalization segments.

Past performance does not guarantee future results

Annualized returns for the past 10 years show seven of the 11 S&P 500 sectors, when equally weighted, outperform cap-weighted equivalents, according to S&P. Three of those seven sectors – financial services, healthcare and technology – are prominent parts of DTEC's roster.

1 Source: Nasdaq Dec. 28, 2015 https://www.nasdaq.com/article/what-thematic-investing-is-and-its-strengths-and-risks-cm559209

2 Source: ETF Replay data


An investor should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses carefully before investing. To obtain a prospectus which contain this and other information call 866.675.2639 or visit www.alpsfunds.com. Read the prospectus carefully before investing.

An investment in the ALPS Disruptive Technologies ETF (DTEC) may be subject to substantially greater risk and volatility than investments in larger and more mature technology companies.

There is no assurance that the market developments and sector growth based upon the themes discussed in the article will come to pass.

ALPS Disruptive Technologies ETF shares are not individually redeemable. Investors buy and sell shares of the ALPS Disruptive Technologies ETF on a secondary market. Only market makers or “authorized participants” may trade directly with the Fund, typically in blocks of 50,000 shares.

ALPS Advisors, Inc. (AAI) has engaged IRIS Werks, LLC (IRIS) to produce analysis and commentary on ALPS-advised ETFs. IRIS currently has a compensated business relationship with AAI. AAI is not affiliated with IRIS.

The content and opinions expressed in this article are that of the author and not the views and opinions of AAI.  In addition, AAI assumes no responsibility to ensure the accuracy of the content written by the author.

There are risks involved with investing in ETFs including the loss of money. Additional information regarding the risks of this investment is available in the prospectus. Past Performance is not indicative of future results.

The fund is new and has limited operating history.

ALPS Portfolio Solutions Distributor, Inc. is the distributor for the ALPS Disruptive Technologies ETF. AAI is affiliated with ALPS Portfolio Solutions Distributor, Inc.

The author is not an investment professional and this article should not be considered investment advice. While the information and statistical data contained herein are based on sources believed to be reliable, the author takes no responsibility to ensure the accuracy of the content. Additionally, this article should not be relied on or be the basis for an investment decision. Information that is historical is not indicative of future results, and subject to change.

S&P 500®: A capitalization-weighted index of 500 stocks designed to measure performance of the broad domestic economy through changes in the aggregate market value of 500 stocks representing all major industries.

S&P SmallCap 600®: A capitalization-weighted index that measures the small-cap segment of the U.S. equity market.

S&P MidCap 400®: A capitalization-weighted index that measures the mid-cap segment of the U.S. equity market.

Indxx Global Robotics & Artifical Intelligence Thematic Index: The Indxx Global Robotics & Artificial Intelligence Thematic Index is designed to track the performance of companies listed in developed markets that are expected to benefit from the increased adoption and utilization of robotics and Artificial Intelligence ("AI"), including companies involved in Industrial Robotics and Automation, Non-Industrial Robots, Artificial Intelligence and Unmanned Vehicles.

Tom Lydon
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IRIS Co-Founder and Editor and proprietor of ETFtrends.com. Tom is a frequent contributor to major print, radio and television media including Forbes, The Wall Street Jou ... Click for full bio