When do you advise clients to start thinking about death planning? Have you breached this subject with your own loved ones? Not easy questions to process, are they?

As with many things, understanding the appropriate time to have these discussions with clients is both personal and widely varied depending on client preferences and generational differences. A recent Bloomberg article got me thinking about this topic specifically as it highlighted that many millennials aren’t currently purchasing life insurance, nor do they consider it a priority. Of course, this is partially due to younger generations marrying and starting families later in life; however, it also serves as a reminder of the role social media plays in helping financial professionals educate and advise certain consumer segments, particularly those who that may not be actively looking to make a purchase.

A new viewpoint for a new generation

What if firms viewed social media not as a chance to sell to younger prospects, but instead an opportunity to educate and build a relationship with them?…

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“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” The Great Gatsby

The year’s cadence naturally increases in September as workers return from vacations and student return to school. Take advantage of the crispness of fall by injecting new energy into your teams and refocusing them on year-end goals.

Students benefit from the excitement of new classrooms, supplies, teachers and subjects so there’s no reason those of us in the working world can’t grab onto a nugget of that crack-open-the-new spiral freshness and use it to attain this year’s annual goals and provide clarity to plans for the year ahead.

The following are five tips leaders can use to focus themselves and their organizations:

  1. Review your personal “Why” and that of your department or company.” Do they make you excited? Are they relevant to your environment? To the marketplace? Are they aligned? If not, figure out what’s changed and if the Why needs to change as well.
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digital literacyIt is more important than ever that educational leaders work with and fully support their teachers. Every teacher wants to improve their practice and be the best they can be for their students. We have the luxury of deciding how we accomplish that, so why wouldn’t we use the technology at our fingertips to drive instruction? To build confidence in our teachers AND our students?

Over the past few years, I have seen the power of next generation/online student assessment platforms and of putting student data to work to invigorate teachers, increase student interest and engagement and provide myriad opportunities for collaboration among staff.

Making the decision to move student assessment online was an easy decision for me; it was the implementation that gave me pause. Before diving in to the deep end with next generation student assessment, I knew I had to dip my toes in the shallow end, asking myself questions along the way to keep my head above water.…

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Anita Malik is vice president of content operations for ClearVoice, where she leads a team of more than 20 in-house journalists and hundreds of freelance subject-matter experts, bridging the technology and editorial vision for the platform. In this Q-and-A, Malik explains the ClearVoice platform and the role of authorship, authority and influence in social, content and search.

What is authorship and what is its value?

In the simplest terms, authorship is a writer’s collected body of written work published under his or her byline. Bylines tie content to authors, thereby helping authors to establish authority in their areas of expertise. In digital publishing, when the byline is coupled with a digital signature — primarily the Twitter “creator” tag — authorship is further established through search and social.

Why does it matter?

Building authorship in a particular vertical or niche amplifies a writer’s authority. By identifying writers who produce shareable, trending content, brands or publishers can tap into a writer’s authority and following.…

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SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 190,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our e-newsletter.

Last week, we asked: How comfortable are you asking questions you don’t know the answers to?

  • Very — I have no problem asking questions about any topic: 84.4%
  • Somewhat — I don’t do it very often: 13.42%
  • Not very — I tend to only ask questions I know the answer to: 1.34%
  • Not at all — I avoid asking questions as much as possible: .84%

Questions lead to insight. Early in our careers, we’re trained to always have the answer. As we assume larger leadership roles, it is imperative that we lead the thinking rather than leading the work. Doing so effectively requires you to ask the questions you don’t know the answers to. In so doing, you can take the team beyond their current understanding of the world and lead them to explore new ideas, new opportunities, and new risks.…

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