Iliyana's Blog

Forget Government, NGOs and the Media: In Business We Trust. Or Do We?

[fa icon="calendar'] 07-Nov-2017 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Brands and Business, Leadership

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As a society and individuals, we widely distrust businesses, governments, NGOs and the media. 

In fact, according to the 2017 Edelman TRUST BAROMETER, trust in these institutions to do what is right is at an all-time low. 

The situation is so bad that two-thirds of the 28 countries Edelman surveyed are now considered "distrusters" and the majority of respondents lack full belief that the overall system is working for them. This climate has increased people's fears both about society and the economy. We live in a trust crisis that's causing a systemic meltdown.

Such an environment, Richard Edelman explains, leads to a rise in populist action and nationalism as the mass population wants to take control away from the "elites". From an exalted position as a savior in the wake of the financial crisis, government is viewed today as incompetent, corrupt and divided, and is the least trusted global institution at 41 percent.

What I found most interesting, though, is that business is found to be in the best position of all institutions expected to make a change and somewhat trusted to make a difference. 

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Two of the Best TEDTalks I've Seen Lately: Happiness & Leadership

[fa icon="calendar'] 31-Oct-2017 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Personal Development, Leadership

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Admit it, you love TEDTalks. 

I do too. I'd love to have the opportunity to do a TEDTalk one day. In fact, this is in my 30 before 30 list where I've added things I want to do or achieve before I turn 30. 

Lately, I've been traveling a lot (pretty much every week) and as such, I've found a new way to spend the spare time at the airport. Instead of working on my laptop and dealing with emails or reading the next business book, TED has been a saviour. You all know how we've moved to interactive content formats - video has probably become the most favourite learning and entertainment vehicle for us. 

So what I want to show you today are two rather unorthodox TEDTalks that I saw recently because I believe they can both inspire and provoke you personally and professionally. 

The lines between work and personal life are blurring and as I always say, I believe we should be striving for work-life integration and not work-life balance. If you are not happy at home, you are not going to do well at work. Conversely, if you have troubles at work, you'll probably bring these back home. 

The two speakers are very much opposites in pretty much every aspect so watching the two videos one after another is quite impactful in two different ways. You'll see what I mean.

Let's start with happiness; then we'll get to the leadership lessons from war. 

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Leadership Journey in Sketches

[fa icon="calendar'] 08-Aug-2017 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Leadership

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A while ago, I discovered a very interesting blog that represents everything in sketches. (Check it out here.)

What impressed me the most was the author's (or maybe I should say the artist's) work on leadership. 

Being such visual creatures, content as images grabs us a lot more than just simple text. I randomly found one of those sketches on Pinterest and directly went to the blog where I probably spent about an hour browsing the leadership posts and picking sketches to share with you.

These sketches are still text but the learnings are highlighted in such a way that is much more pleasurable and almost addictive to consume. 

I haven't seen sketches being used much by marketers but I'm beginning to think that they can play a role outside of the typical photography or infographics that we're all so used to. 

Let me take you on a leadership journey in sketches and you can decide for yourself if you could repurpose the idea in your marketing efforts. 

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The 7 Essential Questions for Better Business Communication

[fa icon="calendar'] 06-Jun-2017 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Personal Development, Brands and Business, Leadership

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I recently finished listening to The Coaching Habit: Say Yes, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever by Michael Bungay Stanier. (It's funny to say "listening" instead of "reading" but hey, in our busy lives we optimise everything and so when I walk to work, I often listen to books. Thanks, Audible!) 

The book was written for managers to help them be better leaders, communicate more effectively with team members, provide better support and coaching and so have more impact. Achieving this comes down to seven key questions that the author identifies as the essence of leading. 

I believe, though, that these seven questions can be an effective technique in any business relationship that requires communication. 

When speaking to customers (especially over the phone or Zoom or skype), these seven questions can help you get to the bottom of what the problem really is and how you can help. The same applies to consulting. I've always said that the best form of consulting is question-asking.

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Leadership is Failing: The Persistent Lack of Trust and Action

[fa icon="calendar'] 04-Jul-2016 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Leadership

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We live in some pretty turbulent times. Think Brexit, fleeing refugees, bombing all over the world... It's pretty scary out there. 

No wonder then that there's a crisis of leadership that's been going on for years. You want evidence? I've got it for you: the latest annual Leadership Communication Monitor by Ketchum is out and reveals for the fifth year in a row that "a low-trust, high-expectation gap is the new normal for leaders and leadership concerns have a direct, sizable impact on both bottom-line and political outcomes."

It's the fourth time I'm covering the KLCM research.

In 2013, leaders were too stubborn to start embracing change, new media and the digital reality.  

In 2014, the need for a new style of leadership arose – a feminine one.

In 2015, the era of title-less, shared leadership at the speed of now began, where not just CEOs, but anyone in the organisation can be a leader. 

In 2016, a worrying picture of lack of political leadership and some serious blocking barriers to equal corporate leadership arises. 

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