Nicole Monturo is an accomplished executive and leadership expert.

Tag: leadership skills

Why Positive Reinforcement Matters

Treats, candy, ice cream, pats on the back, and compliments. These rewards probably bring a puppy or child to mind, which are the audiences most commonly affected by positive reinforcement. Not as common, is the concept of rewarding in the workplace. Those holding managerial levels should take note from parents and pet owners, as the benefits of positive reinforcement can move mountains when it comes to employee satisfaction.

Giving praise and even rewarding, when deserving, has the ability to not only make an employe smile but ultimately gives them a sense of self-worth. The Houston Chronicle specifically highlights giving praise in areas previously needing improvement. Such actions allows the employee to realize that any strives they have made in enhancing their work has been recognized. Alleviating any self-doubt presumably creates a healthier work environment for the employee.

In particularly tedious jobs, creating and maintaining morale amongst team members is often difficult to achieve. When they see hard work being praised or rewarded, often times a trickle down effect takes place. Similar to dominos knocking down one another, when one employees receives positive reinforcement, others are likely to follow their lead and take actions they know are appreciated. Specifically when a working environment requires teamwork and reliability from employees, positive reinforcement can become a driving force behind the coexisting nature of the group. Not only can morale become affected but levels of productivity are prone to improvement as well. Good luck finding a boss who isn’t satisfied with higher levels of productivity!

Engaging an employee by opening lines of communication in regards to work performance gives them confidence they may not have previously possessed. With the newly added confidence, an open relationship can come to light between supervisor and employee.

Empowering employees at all levels of the company gives even the most entry level position a voice. There are countless stories of world-renowned innovation coming from the lowest tier of a team, all due to the boss having faith in his employees and allowing their creativity to flow.

As a leader, it is important to remember the hardships it may have taken to get where they are and the support system needed along the way. Positive reinforcement is crucial in maintaining work morale, productivity and innovation. Employees feel more inclined to dedicate their efforts and time to an organization when they feel their work is being recognized and appreciated. The power of positive reinforcement goes a long way for just a little bit of effort.

4 Best Blogs on Leadership

The internet is a wonderful thing. It provides us with boundless resources on any topic you can conceive all available with the press of a finger. However, this is just as much a curse as it is a blessing, because with boundless information comes the burden of sifting through irrelevant, poorly written, and dishonest content until you find what you’re looking for. That’s why I’d like to make your lives (a little bit) easier by sharing a few of my favorite blogs that cover the topic of leadership. While this is only one subject and there are millions out there for which I cannot offer any assistance, leadership is something about which I am very passionate and well-informed. If you are interested in reading more about leadership, check out a few of the blogs on leadership that I regularly like to read!

  • Great Leadership
    • If you’re looking for a go-to resource for information and opinions regarding leadership and management, Great Leadership is your answer. The blog was created by leadership development expert Dan McCarthy who sought to share his 20+ years’ worth of knowledge with other, aspiring leaders. For the past two years, he has earned the honor of being named among the Top 10 Digital Influencers in Leadership. His expertise makes for one informative read.
  • Michael Hyatt
  • Leadership Now
    • At Leadership Now, they’re seeking to change the narrative that “leaders” are people we only see in professional settings to one where leadership in all its forms is recognized and celebrated. The site is run by Michael McKinney, who wants to tear down the notion that the only people who can lead are figures of authority, and his blog offers tips on how to look outside the context of yourself and lead those around you.
  • Extreme Leadership
nicole monturo twitter

Leadership Twitter Accounts to Follow

With the internet being the wealth of information that it is, it can sometimes be hard to even know where to start looking for things. If you simply search for “leadership advice,” you’re going to be greeted with a barrage of ‘how-tos’ and advice from people ranging from well-seasoned professional executives to high school students. So how do you know where to find timely, knowledgeable resources that will give you the answers that you need? Well, many people use Twitter.

Since I’m also a huge foodie on top of my day job, I regularly tweet about primarily recipes I’ve tried or foods that look particularly yummy. However, as much as I turn to Twitter for food inspiration, I also use it as my source of daily inspiration and resource for all things leadership. While I follow a lot of accounts, there are a few leadership Twitter accounts that I’ve found to be particularly helpful and insightful. Here are my favorite leadership accounts to follow.

If you’re looking for prime leadership advice from all the top experts in the field, the Forbes Leadership Twitter account is one for you. Their bio boasts “Insights on leadership in every aspect of business and life for executives, aspiring leaders, and everyone else from Forbes,” and they live up to their words. Their most recent tweets include tips on dressing like a leader, the importance of connecting as a team, and how to navigate company culture, all important things to consider and be aware of as a leader.

Rosabeth Moss Kanter is a Harvard Business School professor, so it’s not surprising that she re-tweets the Harvard Business Review regularly, but her curated tweets are a wealth of information on being a leader and inspiring change in others. She’s also the author of the book MOVE: Putting America’s Infrastructure Back in the Lead.

Bill George tweets often on the importance of collaboration and teamwork in business. He is a Senior Fellow at Harvard Business School and previously served as the CEO of Medtronic, so he’s got many years of leadership under his belt. George is also a bestselling leadership author; his book, the wildly popular “True North,” features interviews with over 100 other leaders on the merits of “authentic leadership” and has earned a place on the Warren Bennis Books Series.

U.S. Senator Cory Booker from the great state of New Jersey tweets a lot about politics – obviously – but it’s his leadership insights and words on finding the best in one another that really make his account worth following. He’s a proponent for the underdog and advocates for equality and positive change.


nicole monturo kindergarten

Leadership Lessons You Learned in Kindergarten

Becoming a leader of any form takes practice, patience, skill, insight, and time. It’s not something that happens overnight. While it does take a lot of specialization to become an effectual leader, a lot of the fundamental ideals and principles taught are not new concepts; many of us have been receiving little lessons in leadership from the time we were old enough to go to school. Although we were not being told explicitly that what we were learning were leadership based, these more or less ‘common sense’ lessons we’re taught at a young age lay the groundwork for some important leadership ideologies. While we may not have become experts at the time, here are a few of the leadership lessons that you learn as early as kindergarten.

  • When you mess up, you say sorry.

When a child makes a mess or breaks something that belongs to someone else, they’re taught to own up to their failure and say that they’re sorry. When it comes to being a leader, by this point you’ve likely realized that human beings, yourself included, aren’t perfect. Unfortunately, there’s no leadership tip that tells you how to be perfect, so the best that you can do is take ownership of your errors and apologize for any resulting problems.

  • Sharing is caring

One thing that effective leaders know is the importance of helping others, and this simple human kindness is one we’re taught as children. Leaders must demonstrate sharing in several different ways. First, most leaders are looked to as sources of knowledge or information. To effectively lead those looking to you for guidance, you need to share the wisdom and lessons you’ve learned with them. The second type of sharing is more external: as a leader when someone on your team does a particularly good job or finally overcomes a hurdle, it’s your job to share in their excitement, share their good news with the rest of the team, and have them share particular insights about what made them successful. Your job as a leader is to call forth the best in your team and help them actualize their potential. This includes encouraging them during moments when they excell.

  • Slow and steady

Much like the classic fable taught to children about the tortoise and the hare, in life most things cannot be rushed. Children are taught the importance of hard, consistent work over rushing through tasks, and this lesson carries importance through life. Good things take time, and if you try to rush them, your work at the end won’t be your best. When planning a project that will require input and assistance from multiple people, take the time to make sure that everyone fully understands his or her responsibilities. While some people will be chomping at the bit to get started, it’s more important to make sure everyone is up to speed than to get a speedy start.

nicole monturo leadership

Five Leadership Lessons to Help Your Business Boom

Leadership is not only a skill, it’s an art. It takes practice, patience and perseverance. If you’ve committed to working hard and realized what it takes to be a leader, you will become a great one. Businesses need good leaders in order to ensure the success and growth of the business. Successful leaders are able to motivate and inspire others to make a positive impact through sharing ideas and inspiration. Here are the top five lessons I’ve learned about leading.

  • Team Work

The biggest factor that I stress within the workplace is teamwork. Many people don’t realize that teamwork is essential in a successful business. A lot of leaders tend to get too caught up in their work, and forget that they have a team of people who are focused on the same goals and objectives as you are. A true leader never forgets about their team mates. A leader tends to refer their projects as “we” and not “I”. Establishing a team oriented community will allow members to complete their tasks in their roles, overall establishing a relationship and trust.

  • Encouragement

As Jack Welch once said, “ Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” Leadership is like being a mentor within your team. It is important to encourage others within the workplace to establish a relationship in which your team members will learn and grow by speaking their minds. Through encouragement, members are able to learn better through establishing a sense of self-esteem and confidence when they know that they have someone who supports them.

  • Investing In Yourself (and Others)

The most important thing you must do is to constantly invest in yourself, so that you can invest in others. As leaders, we are always learning and growing. Education never ends, therefore it is essential to find a way to invest in yourself. Anything that allows you to learn and practice new things is an investment. Investing in yourself will allow you to invest in those around you. Part of the leadership role is to teach others and help them grow. You’ll be able to pass on information that will be resourceful to others and create an overall community of thriving people.

  • Trust

Trust is an important matter that goes both ways. As a leader, you should trust your members to do their work and come to you with any challenges or problems, but those around you should trust you as well. You can gain others’ trust by always keeping your word and being a transparent person. You will encourage others by doing the same and creating an overall establishment of trust that will lead to success.

  • Listening

Listening is a huge aspect when it comes to establishing a relationship made of trust. People can hear you talk all day, but it’s important to give them a chance to speak their minds that are full with ideas. Listening can also benefit you to think of new ideas and help solve problems. It also shows your that you care. Listening is an essential role that comes with the responsibilities of leadership.

nicole monturo professionalism

10 Tips to Be More Professional

Your bosses, coworkers, and clients all have certain expectations for you. They expect you to perform the duties of your job, but they also expect that you’ll perform those duties in a certain way–in a word, they expect you to exhibit professionalism. While being professional can mean different things in different fields, below is a list of ten items that can help you be more professional in any occupation.

  1. Be punctual: Lateness is a sign of disrespect, so be sure to always come to work and meetings on time. Don’t be afraid to be early, either!
  2. Be prepared: If you don’t have the tools and materials to do your job, it looks like you don’t care about your job. Organize yourself and come to work ready to overcome any challenge.
  3. Body language: The smallest details of how we interact with others can have the most impact on their impression of us. Look people in the eye, stand up straight, and always maintain good posture.
  4. Dress appropriately: Just like with body language, how you present yourself makes a tremendous difference with how others perceive you. Wear clothes that show you take your job and yourself seriously.
  5. Have a good attitude: Staying positive and treating others with respect shows that you can handle challenges and setbacks responsibly and that you value your peers.
  6. Communicate well: Be sure to respond to messages in a timely fashion. If you ignore phone calls and emails and take days or weeks to apply, you look like you don’t care about the person who sent it or what they have to say.
  7. Criticize constructively: When you want to point out something that a coworker or client has done incorrectly or could improve upon, do so in such a way that doesn’t insult them, but empowers them to do better next time.
  8. Follow up: After meetings or completing a task, for example, be sure to check-in and go over what you discussed or did so that everyone involved is on the same page and that expectations are clear.
  9. Celebrate success: When you achieve a certain milestone or a coworker does a good job, acknowledge the moment! It demonstrates that you are proud of both your work and your coworkers.
  10. Go above and beyond: When you do only the minimum required of you, you show that you don’t really care about what you’re doing. Exceeding the call of duty can inspire others to do the same and shows that you’re committed to doing exemplary work.
nicole monturo leadership

What Your Dog Can Teach You About Leadership

Dogs are man’s best friend. The communication gap that exists between us is readily closed by trust, compassion, and loyalty. You might be wondering what on earth dogs could teach us about leadership in humans, but when it comes to who’s in charge, you might find we have more in common than you previously thought.

  1. Nicole Monturo Leadership

    My dogs have a way of making me feel like they can understand me even though they don’t know the words I’m saying.

    Dogs listen. Even if they can’t understand the words that we’re saying to them, dogs look at us while we’re speaking to them with their concerned faces that make us feel as though know exactly what we mean. One trait of effective leadership is the ability to not only talk and have people listen to you, but also the ability to take the time to listen to others. Communication is a two-way street, and if people don’t feel like they’re being heard, they’re less likely to listen to you.

  2. Dogs are forgiving. Even if you have to leave them for a week while you’re on vacation, when you return, dogs are always happy to see you without resenting you being gone. As a leader, it’s important to forgive the issues that are forgivable and let them go. Holding onto grudges will inhibit you from being your best, most attentive self, and can even infringe upon your duties as a leader. While it’s human nature to get angry, it’s also important to move past the anger and work to remedy the situation
  3. Nicole Monturo Leadership

    As pack animals, my dogs always work together to achieve their goal – in this case, their goal was napping!

    Dogs work together. By nature, dogs are pack animals, and they work together by observing each other’s emotional responses and being receptive of one another’s needs. They protect one another and guard one another unconditionally whenever the need arises. Just like dogs, leaders need to keep the best interests of their ‘pack’ in mind.

  4. Dogs are happy when they make others happy. Dogs are naturally happy creatures with perpetually wagging tails and happy faces. What makes dogs really happy is when their people are happy. Effective leaders know that the best and hardest workers are workers who are engaged in their work, so they make sure the work environment is conducive. If you treat your employees well, they, in turn, will do whatever they can to help you.
  5. Sometimes dogs lead, sometimes dogs follow. While dogs are always eager to take the lead and blaze a trail, they also recognize that there are times to fall in line behind someone else. If you are in a position of leadership, 9 times out of 10 you’re going to be taking charge. However, you need to know when it’s okay to step back and let someone else take the reigns.

Not only do dogs protect one another, they are always willing to accept new people with open arms. They look for the best in everyone, even strangers, and if nothing else, that’s a trait that we as humans could learn from them.

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