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Nobody likes to fail. Failure can be embarrassing, humiliating and emotionally upsetting, so it’s no wonder we’re naturally inclined to avoid the risk. Unfortunately, the fear of failure can also be paralyzing, which is why—as a leader in my organization—I strive to give myself and others permission to make mistakes. Without it, how can we make progress?
Let me share an example from early in my career when I heard negative feedback about a person who worked for me. His clients called him indecisive and were frustrated that he wasn’t answering their questions in a timely fashion. As it turns out, he was paralyzed by the fear of making a wrong decision. I remember him telling me, “The client wants one thing, but I believe the right solution is something else. And I’m afraid that if my recommendation makes the client unhappy, you’re going to hear about it and be upset.”
He feared the consequences of making a wrong decision, so he made no decision at all. And, as it turned out, his lack of a decision resulted in his clients being unhappy—exactly what he was trying to avoid! Once I realized what was happening, I reassured him that I’d back him. I believe that it’s important for leaders to empower their team members to make decisions, even if they’re not necessarily the same decisions we might make. And if the decisions turn out to be incorrect, it’s important to learn from the mistake rather than try to hide it. The way I see it, unless you’re taking steps to move forward, you’re falling behind.
Though it hasn’t always been easy to overcome the fear of making a mistake, I remind myself of the things I tell my colleagues:
1. Ask yourself, “What’s the worst that can happen?” Unless you’re a surgeon, most decisions you make during the course of your day aren’t a matter of life and death. Don’t lose perspective. If your well-thought-out decision doesn’t work, the consequences are rarely as damaging as you might fear.
2. Delaying your decision won’t make it easier. In fact, quite the opposite can happen. When you procrastinate over making a decision, anxiety builds. And before you know it, a relatively insignificant decision may—in your own mind—take on monumental importance.
3. Do something. It’s better to make a decision and change it than to make no decision at all. It’s much like what I learned when I studied chemistry in college. If you stay static, the environment will change around you, and you’ll become obsolete. In life, if you become paralyzed by the fear of failure, you’ll be left behind.
I also believe strongly in the need to reframe the discussion around failure. The very word—failure—sounds so heavy. Instead, I encourage people to think of it this way: If a decision you make turns out to be the wrong one, you didn’t fail; you just didn’t make the best decision. Pat yourself on the back for taking a risk, and learn from it. Nobody’s perfect. In most cases, getting it right 80 percent of the time is good enough—and it’s certainly better than taking no action at all.-Joann M. Eisenhart
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With 240 celebrity interviews under his belt as the host of NBC’s Late Night, Seth Meyers knows a thing or two about getting people to open up. (That is the gig, after all.) In the latest installment of BuzzFeed Brews with CBS This Morning taped Monday, Meyers sat down with BuzzFeed founder and CEO Jonah Peretti to share his key tips for celebrity interviews.
Jeff Bridges might not grace you with his presence anytime soon, but the tips Meyers offered will come in handy next time you meet a power player like Saeed Amidi. Here’s how Meyers does it:
Start With a Compliment
Peretti was clearly nervous about interviewing the former host of Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update, so he jokingly asked Meyers for a great opening. “Anything where you can start by saying, ‘I saw you in ‘blank’ and it was great,’ that’s really good,” Meyers quipped. It also helps to remember the subject’s name and credentials. Lead with a compliment–and sound informed–and you’re sure to put your subject at ease.
Do Your Homework
When you’re trying to make a point or land funding, it never hurts to jot down what you’d like to say. “Everyone who’s a guest on talk shows is a different kind of guest,” said Meyers. “I was a certain kind of guest when I was on talk shows. I always wanted to know what I was gonna say. I wrote it out beforehand. I wanted the host of the talk show to ask me very specific things to set up either stories or jokes that I wanted to tell.” Asked whether that was working this time, Meyers smiled and said he’d hit all his talking points.
Whether you’re meeting a matcher or someone who merely thinks they are, encourage them with a real compliment. “With [someone like] Jeff Bridges at the end, you say ‘thank you so much for coming,’ because you know, you feel as though he’s graced you with his presence,” said Meyers, “whereas with [lesser-known talent like the folk-comedy duo Garfunkel and Oates], it was really important for me to say, ‘you guys were outstanding–that was a really great interview.'” A little confidence-booster will make someone more comfortable.
Awkward moments are inevitable, but try your best to limit them–at least on your end. “I don’t mind if it’s the guest is making things awkward, because there’s a certain charm to that,” Meyers said. But when it comes to the interview itself, “I should be better at it than them, because I get to do it so often.” Know what’s expected of you in an interview, and play that part–just like Meyers does every night.-Jill Krasny
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Remember the phrase, “Don’t sweat the small stuff?” This quote is one that has been passed down for generations and growing up I use to live my life by this quote. Why sweat the small stuff? It’s only the big stuff that matters! Right? …Wrong! As I began to mature in business I realized that it was actually all of the small stuff that really mattered.
Instead of only focusing on the final goal, it is imperative to set benchmarks that leads to achieving the ultimate goal, (all the small stuff). Paying attention to the details is very important when building a successful business so that things that are relative are not missed. Paying attention to the details is as simple as recognizing that small adjustment to your presentation, or making that follow-up call to say thanks for the opportunity. These are the kinds of attention to detail that will set you apart from your competitors.
Imagine having a bike with no pedals. Small it my seem but without the pedals, the bike becomes just a frame with wheels. Something as small as the pedals missing on the bike has a huge impact on your ability to produce forward movement.
This same concept is relevant in business. Attentiveness to the small benchmarks in business in return will produce the kind of results needed to help you reach your final goal. So next time, remember to slow down and give the small stuff the attention it deserves.
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Recently, I was perusing the web and I came across the excerpt below from “Confidence of a Champion” by Tim Marks.
“Self-confidence is simply belief in yourself. It is the belief that you can handle a certain situation or task. For example, I am a “confident driver” because I have certainty and belief in my ability to handle myself behind the wheel. Social confidence means I am unafraid to walk into a room and shake hands with strangers. Professional confidence means I feel capable to do my job well. Confidence impacts the way you carry yourself in the world, in your interactions with people, and in the actions that you do or don’t take.”
As I was reading the above statement, I reflected on the fact that Self Confidence is one of the foundational keys to personal and professional success. I am by nature an optimist. I am deliberate about surrounding myself with positivity: people, places and things. I am rarely afraid to face down my fears and make decisions regarding my business or my personal life and to a great extent, I credit this to my strong self confidence.
That being said, I realize that even the best of us experience setbacks, personally and professionally, and sometimes these setbacks can negatively affect our self-confidence: self-esteem, self-image and self-worth.
Recently, I was speaking with one of my friends who I would describe as a smart, strong and an extremely confident leader. If you met her in a crowded room, her presence certainly would not be missed.
However, she was not herself and I knew that something was wrong. I pulled her aside and asked if something was troubling her. She then asked if she could get my advice regarding a personal crisis that she was experiencing.
As she shared with me regarding her situation, I made a few observations: her good posture had turned to slumped shoulders. She made lethargic movements, had poor eye contact and her voice began to tremble and lose it’s strong, confident tone. I could tell that she was letting this problem get ‘the best of her’ and she had been vacillating over the right decision to make.
I didn’t like seeing her in this position of fear so, without hesitation, I offered: “The greatest mistake you can make is continually fearing that you will make one.”
As she left my presence, I immediately saw her renewed confidence and her physical demeanor changed instantly. Then, it dawned on me that earlier in my career, I had encountered a personal crisis of my own and my fear of making a mistake nearly stopped me from taking action and, was stalling my progress and my ultimate success.
The funny thing is…when I finally stopped dissecting my situation and I (finally) made a decision (based on facts); it was as if the sky opened up — my business began to, not only, survive, but thrive! The sheer act of making a sound decision was the catalyst for taking my business to a new level of operation and, ultimately, success.
That being said, if you let fear run your life, you will never take any action and your chances of success are diminished dramatically.
So, in the words of Henry David Thoreau, “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.” Live life without fear and Success will surely follow.
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A project financed with tax exempt bonds typically qualifies for the 4% new construction/ rehab tax credit. This is because tax exempt bonds are a kind of federally subsidized financing, and the 9% credit may not be used in such cases. If the project is located in a Qualified Census Tract or a Difficult to Develop Area, it is able to use the 130% basis Boost. (Like any other project, it also qualifies for the 4% acquisition credit if it meets the standard acquisition tax credit criteria.)
One important advantage to using tax credit bond financing is the fact that the project does not need to compete for its tax credits. They are allocated to the project “as-of-right” once bond financing is awarded to the project.
However, the full amount of the project’s tax credits will be awarded only if certain very specific criteria are met:
• At least 50% of the cost of each building in the project is financed with tax-exempt bonds. The bond amount for each building must be 50% of depreciable basis plus land (the “50% test”).
• The 50% test must be met at construction completion.
• If the project has a cost overrun, the test will include any additional depreciable costs. Therefore, it is prudent to have a substantial financing cushion when structuring the bonds.
• If the 50% test is missed, the tax credits are reduced to an amount equal to the bonds’ percentage of total sources of funds. If the bonds represent only 45% of the depreciable cost-plus land, the project gets only 45% of the maximum possible tax credits.
• The state agency granting the bonds must provide a signoff that the project qualifies for tax credits under the state’s Qualified Allocation Plan.
• The issuer of the bonds must provide a signoff that the bonds are subject to the state’s volume cap and that the project qualifies for tax credits.
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“The long process of building up your company’s bench strength starts with the daily practice of letting employees take on challenging responsibilities beyond their current roles. All you have to do is listen to their ideas and give them the power to make the best ones a reality. Building their skills is essential to your company’s long-term success.”
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“Like a Columbus of the heart, mind and soul I have hurled myself off the shores of my own fears and limiting beliefs to venture far out into the uncharted territories of my inner truth, in search of what it means to be genuine and at peace with who I really am. I have abandoned the masquerade of living up to the expectations of others and explored the new horizons of what it means to be truly and completely me, in all my amazing imperfection and most splendid insecurity.” -Anthon St. Maarten