Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Greatest Leadership Trait of Successful People
Written by Jack Canfield

Our lives improve only when we take chances—and the first and most difficult risk we can take is to be honest with ourselves - WALTER ANDERSON, Editor of Parade magazine for 20 years

I want to really dive into the one common trait that all successful leaders share and that trait is the ability to identify what’s not working and deal with it quickly.

As someone in a leadership position – whether you’re a trainer, corporate manager, MLM distributor with a downline, owner of a small business, manager of a sports team, or parent – you want your team to thrive while working together to generate great results.

That means you need to have a strong understanding of what’s working – as well as what’s not.

It’s sometimes tempting to focus only on the positives and ignore the negatives in the hope they’ll magically resolve themselves. On rare occasions, that actually happens. But, far more often, a negative situation left untreated will fester and grow into something that threatens the health and performance of your entire team.

Great Leaders Deal With What Isn’t Working As Soon As Possible
To create an environment where all of your team members work in complete alignment with each other, genuinely care for each other, and work together to accomplish incredible goals, there’s one incredibly important step you need to take:

You’ve got to face what isn’t working and deal with it as soon as possible.
  • Do you defend or ignore how toxic your work environment is?
  • Do you make excuses for your team members’ poor performances?
  • Are you in denial about a personal conflict between individuals that’s negatively impacting the dynamics of the team?
  • Has a team member developed a bad attitude that’s affecting others?
Great leaders face these circumstances squarely, heed the warning signs, and take appropriate action, no matter how uncomfortable or challenging it might be.

Great Leaders Pay Attention
Pay attention to the “yellow alerts”.

Yellow alerts are the little signals you get that something’s not right. People aren’t speaking up in meetings. Team members talking in low voices fall silent when you enter the room. When you make a presentation, people looked bored and disengaged. Sales are down for the third quarter in a row. Great Leaders Face the Uncomfortable Situation Head On

Sometimes we choose to acknowledge these alerts and take action, but more often than not, we simply choose to ignore them. We pretend not to notice that something’s amiss.

Why?

Because to face what’s not working in your team, organization, or own personal leadership means you’re going to have to do something uncomfortable.

You might have to confront somebody, risk not being liked, demand respect, let someone go, or maybe even quit your job. But if you aren’t willing to do these uncomfortable things, you’ll end up tolerating a situation that doesn’t work to the point where it causes serious damage.

Jack Canfield, America's #1 Success Coach, is founder of the billion-dollar book brand Chicken Soup for the Soul©Inspirational Books)© and a leading authority on Peak Performance and Life Success. If you're ready to jump-start your life, make more money, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get FREE success tips from Jack Canfield now at: www.FreeSuccessStrategies.com/.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Not all Dividends are created equal

The word "dividend" is often thrown around so loosely that its meaning gets confusing. Thus it is important to note the difference between Life Insurance Policy dividends and Investment dividends.

Investment Dividends
An investment dividend is a payment made by a corporation to its shareholders, usually as a distribution of profits. When a corporation earns a profit or surplus, the corporation is able to re-invest the profit in the business and pay a proportion of the profit as a dividend to shareholders.

Cash dividends are the most common form of payment and are paid out in currency, usually via electronic funds transfer or a printed paper check. Such dividends are a form of investment income and are usually taxable to the recipient in the year they are paid. When the dividends are reinvested, like in an IRA, the taxes can be deferred to a later date.

The main thing to note here is that investment dividends are taxable. If you bought the shares via a broker, that broker will send you a 1099 at year’s end telling you and the IRS how much you received during the year.

Life Insurance Policy Dividends
Policy dividends are a "return of premium," which means that if your insurer had an overall good year, it will give you back part of the premium you paid for your insurance policy. However, it is important to note here that dividend payments received from life insurance policies aren’t subject to taxes by the IRS, since the insurance companies generated the gains off of their policyholders. In essence, the dividend payments are treated as refunds for over payment of the premium. So, if you are receiving life insurance dividends, you are being deliberately overcharged to pay for them.

Don’t be fooled
A dividend as it relates to investing is a payment to you and a dividend as it relates to life insurance is a return of some of your over payment that you made to them. Life Insurance was never meant to be an investment and your insurance and your investments should be kept as far apart as possible. I mean, if you have health insurance, auto insurance, homeowner’s insurance – do any of these products have a savings element with them? No, because it doesn’t make any sense. And it shouldn't make sense with your life insurance policy either.

Here are some ways that life insurance companies make policy dividends look so good:
  1. By using the word dividend in the first place, it just sounds like a good thing.
  2. They might also tell you that with stock dividends, they are only concerned with paying the shareholder. However, with policy dividends, we are more concerned with paying our policy holder.
  3. Furthermore, they often pay dividends to keep customers from defecting to other insurers. They think a check at the end of the contract year — no matter how small — is incentive enough for policyholders to renew their coverage and not seek lower rates or better coverage elsewhere. (If they only knew it was their own money.)
Insurance companies pay dividends not only to pass on perceived savings to policyholders, but also to get a substantial tax break. Karen Horvath, vice president at A.M. Best, an insurance ratings company based in Oldwick, N.J., says that dividends are subtracted from a company's income, thus lowering the amount of taxes it must pay.

The Bottom Line
Keep your Insurance and Investments separate. Buy lower cost Term Life Insurance and you will surely have more money for, perhaps, putting it towards dividend-paying investments.

I'm so excited to share this information with you. If you have enjoyed the information or feel that it would benefit someone else, please share it. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me.