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Category: Leadership

The Evolution of Adaptive Clothing: A Night with Solomon Page and Runway of Dreams

Filed under: Big Ideas & Innovation, creativity, innovation, Leadership, News, Persistence, Professional Women, Social Impact, Success

On June 25th Solomon Page hosted an event dedicated to the exploration of adaptive clothing. The evening included an intimate cocktail reception and featured guest speaker Mindy Scheier, founder of Runway of Dreams Foundation, an organization dedicated to a future of inclusion, acceptance and opportunity in the fashion industry for people with disabilities.

Lloyd Solomon, Managing Director for Solomon Page, interviewed Mindy following a brief video that introduced Runway of Dreams’ history and mission. He opened the discussion speaking to our philanthropic spirit as a company. Solomon Page felt a relationship with this organization was an organic fit—our main core values closely align with those of Runway of Dreams’.

As Mindy explained during the Q&A, the inspiration for the concept was her son, who suffers from Muscular Dystrophy: though he wanted to wear jeans like his classmates, it was a struggle to take them on and off by himself. Thanks to patience and perseverance, Mindy was able to construct a pair he was able to slip in and out of without her help. As an audience member who also has a son with physical disabilities joked: “When my son wanted to wear nice clothes, I just got them tailored; I didn’t try to revolutionize the entire fashion industry.”

Realizing the desperate void to better accommodate people with disabilities, Mindy took it upon herself to address it. She explained that even though people with physical disabilities are a huge and underserved population–one in 20 people in the U.S. has a disability that affects their ability to dress themselves—mainstream brands were not actively selling in this market. But after some determination and research, Mindy partnered with Tommy Hilfiger in 2016 to build an adaptive clothing line, Tommy Adaptive.

As Mindy discussed, there were three main design factors to consider, that her son, and most people with physical disabilities, battled with: adjustability, closures, and alternative ways to put clothes on. The clothing is adaptable in a sense that it’s adjustable by size and length, mimicking an “internal hemming system” – she lamented that, during her research, she discovered people with disabilities can spend hundreds on tailoring. She also found that zippers, buttons, and hooks posed problems, so she added closures that were more user-friendly, such as magnets. Lastly, many people with physical disabilities, especially people in wheelchairs, are usually unable to stand up and pull clothes over their head, so she designed clothes that presented alternative ways to take on and off.

Many of the audience members resonated with Mindy’s vision, and her son’s personal struggles: people cited elderly parents who struggled to dress themselves in anything fashionable, or other family members who had disabilities. Mindy revealed that businesses are beginning to recognize that people with disabilities are a vastly untapped market: creating the ability to serve over one billion people globally, while presenting a potentially lucrative business opportunity for astute companies.

Click here to learn more information about Runway of Dreams.

Some photos from the event:

Mindy Scheier shows a short introductory video about Runway of Dreams before opening the floor to questions.

A menu of the speciality cocktails served during the event.

The charcuterie board served at the event.

The entrance to the event.

Lloyd Solomon, Managing Director, chats with Rachel Tigges, VP of Marketing.

The bar during the event.

The crowd gathers in the main room for cocktails and appetizers.

 

7 Skills Managers will Need in 2025

Filed under: Leadership, Leadership and Management, Professional Development, Relationships, Strategy

We all know that the work landscape is changing. The jobs that will be in demand are shifting as more are automated by artificial intelligence, machine learning, and robots. Teams are becoming more disparate and globalization has added new collaboration challenges. At the same time, more millennials are taking on management roles, and even our work spaces will undergo changes between now and 2025.

“Change will be happening so quickly that 50% of the occupations that exist today will not exist 10 years from now. So we’re going to be living in an environment that is extremely adaptable and changing all the time,” says Liz Bentley, the founder of Liz Bentley Associates, a leadership development consulting firm.

Amid all of this flux, managers are going to need new skills, too. The staid, hierarchical structures of the past aren’t going to work, she says. So as you plan your future managerial career, be sure to keep these skills at the forefront.

TECHNOLOGY MANAGEMENT SKILLS
Technology is going to “grow alongside of us,” says Bentley, and there will be no job that is immune from its effects. Of course, it won’t be a straight line from where we are now to machine learning and robots taking over the workplace, but technology will become an ever-present factor in the workplace. That will create new challenges, conflicts, and opportunities related to skill building, workplace roles, data management, privacy, and others. Managers will need to understand technology enough to keep abreast of and anticipate emerging issues.

Some technological developments will work, some won’t, and some will evolve, she says. But the constant is that managers will need to not only be comfortable with embracing new technology, but they’ll also have to be adept at managing the changing relationship between people and emerging tech.

Continue reading on Fast Company >>

Want Your Best Employees to Never Leave You? Give Them the 7 Things They Need the Most

Filed under: company culture, Leadership, teams

In the quest to crack the code on employee engagement, companies spend hundreds of thousands of dollars each year on wasted efforts to “develop their leaders.”

Since leadership development is broad, it needs to be clearly defined for business outcomes. The common denominator is teaching managers the fine art of people skills. After all, leading an organization is still mostly about people — its most important asset. Without mastering people skills, you simply cannot be a good leader.

But to do that, managers must have a basic understanding of human behavior. What science has already found is that positive emotions are at the root of human motivation. We are wired for it in our creation design.

Therefore, managers must acquire the knowledge of what makes people tick and what inspires human beings to perform at a high level.

1. People at work need to feel safe.
This is true especially as they start a new role or job. They need confidence boosters from their leaders. Emotionally intelligent leaders will build them up through encouragement, praise, and positive affirmation. They will show them hope for the future, ask them about their goals and interests, and give them assurance of a career path. Safety is a basic human need and the best employees want to know where they stand — now and in the future. The best leaders give them that hope by speaking to their needs.

2. People at work need compliments.
“I don’t like to be recognized,” said no human being, ever. Managers have to get into the habit of praising and complimenting their people for their good qualities and work. The companies in Gallup’s study with the highest engagement levels use recognition and praise as a powerful motivator to get their commitment. They found that employees who receive it on a regular basis increase their individual productivity, receive higher loyalty and satisfaction scores from customers, and are more likely to stay with their organization. How regular are we talking? Praise should be given once per week, according to Gallup.

Continue reading on Inc. >>

8 Secrets of the Boss Employees Genuinely Love to Work For

Filed under: Attitude, Behavior in the Workplace, Leadership, Professional Development, Relationships

I liked working for some of my bosses. But only one of them was a boss I genuinely loved to work for.

That’s because the bosses we love to work for have not just great technical skills but also qualities that make an impact where it matters the most: in the hearts and minds of the people they lead.

If you are a boss people genuinely love to work for, here are eight traits that set you apart.

1. You believe the unbelievable.
Most people try to achieve the achievable; that’s why most goals and targets are incremental rather than inconceivable.

The best bosses expect more, from others and, most important, from themselves. They show us how to get there. And they bring us along for what turns out to be an unbelievable ride.

Click here to read the rest on Inc. >>

9 Players You Need on Your Management Dream Team

Filed under: Decision Making, Leadership, Relationships, Strategy, teams

I’d like to believe that over the course of 20 years, my co-founder and I have done a fairly competent job of building a senior management dream team.

In doing so, we’ve borrowed liberally from the vernacular of baseball, track, football and basketball to define and describe the exact qualities and characteristics we sought in building the team. Here are the players I think you’ll need to win the next Super Bowl.

1. The five-skill player

In baseball, a five-tool player is someone who can run, throw, field, hit and hit with power. In my business, PR, a five-skill player can attract new business, deepen existing client relationships, help set the agency’s strategic vision, write, and edit.

2. The rabbit

In group track-and-field events, every team needs a rabbit. The rabbit is the person who sets an incredibly fast pace early in the race. She forces the real stars to keep up, enables them to finish strong and, hopefully, set a new world’s record in the process. She’ll constantly be smiling-and-dialing, attending conferences, brunching with prospects and, in short, doing everything in her power to speed up the business development process.

Click here to read the rest on Inc. >>

How to Dress Like a Leader in Any Work Environment

Filed under: Behavior in the Workplace, Career Advice, Leadership, Quick Tips

There was once a time when every professional, no matter his or her industry, put on a suit each morning.

But today, there are so many interpretations of formal and business casual that it can be easy to look sloppy or over-dressed if you’re not aware of the environment.

Sylvie di Giusto, founder of Executive Image Consulting, works with executives looking to improve how they present themselves and professionals hoping to impress their clients and bosses. In her new book “The Image of Leadership,” she breaks down the five levels of dress code that she uses with her clients.

We’ve represented them below, and included di Giusto’s insight into how to make your clothes work for you in the office:

Click here to read the rest on Business Insider >>

7 Phrases You Will Never Hear a Great Leader Say

Filed under: Attitude, Communication, Leadership, Psychology, Relationships

Great leaders know that how they communicate is almost as important as what they communicate. They’re constantly aware that everything they say will be taken to heart by their team, and that they’ll be measured against their own words.

That’s why you’ll never hear them say these common phrases.

1. Because I said so.

Great leadership means building a culture of collaboration and connection, creativity and communication. Relying on authority shuts all those things down.

Instead: “How do we want to tackle this?”

2. Who do you think you are?

Great leaders foster feelings of empowerment and engagement in their team, so everyone can reap the benefits of shared ideas and thoughts. There’s no room for ridicule or belittlement.

Click here to read the rest on Inc. >>