Knowledgeability is the cornerstone of any leader’s credibility. There are many things a leader can do to earn people’s admiration, ultimately however, genuine knowledgeability is the only characteristic that intrinsically maintains respect for a leader’s position. The moment employees feel or discover that their superiors have limited knowledge, it becomes tempting for said employees either to disregard or undermine their leadership’s authority. Even though there are situations in which a manager can’t possibly develop more technical expertise than a subordinate, it is possible for managers to demonstrate unequaled proficiency on some level that legitimizes their prerogative to lead.

Never stop learning

This is why continually working to expand knowledge is vital to effective leadership. Firstly, striving for knowledgeability enhances aptitude on an individual level. Secondly, it also creates the opportunity to empower others and thereby improve professional performance on a large scale. Business convention tends to emphasize tangible resources, such as finances or raw materials, as the most integral forms of a company’s capital. Knowledge, however, is just as indispensable a resource as any other, if not more so. Knowledgeability sparks innovation. Knowledgeability encourages progress. Knowledgeability challenges organizations to expand into new activities strategically. Without the pursuit of knowledge, people would be condemned to mediocrity in the work they do.

There are no excuses

Life in the information age makes expanding knowledge easier than it has ever been before. Virtually everyone has access to educational institutions and programs, either on-site or online. Even without academic instruction, basic research can yield substantial information that is reliable enough to develop any person’s knowledge base. It all starts with motivation. It all starts with the fundamental desire to take even the smallest initiative and improve oneself. As one good deed begets another, every bit of knowledge gained will lead to efficient and beneficial decision-making that helps everyone over time. Being tactical about gaining and applying knowledge sets the stage for meaningful self-improvement in two ways:

1. It sets the stage for Personal Improvement:

Seeking out knowledge specifically to increase individual intellect bolsters legitimacy in a leader and sharpens occupational skills. Within the professional context, managers should especially do as much as possible to learn about their companies’ products, services, competition, historic performance, industry conditions, projected output, and other such specialized operational information. Comprehensive institutional knowledge can be directly leveraged into power and influence in an organization. The more leadership understands about their business, the better positioned they are not only to oversee and guide employees but also to direct overall growth and maintain a competitive advantage.

2.It sets the stage to Empower Others:

No organization can possibly function without collaboration. Leaders need followers to carry out specific tasks, whereas followers need leaders to make critical decisions. Given this interdependent dynamic, when a leader is paired with knowledgeable followers, the overall productivity of the entire team multiplies. In addition to personally seeking out knowledge, therefore leaders should also create opportunities for their employees to gain knowledge with the aim of corresponding advancement. This creates a situation whereby a company grows in size at the same time that its workforce grows in capability.

Knowledge is a seed. A seed which when nurtured can germinate and bear fruits of empowerment and prosperity. Pursuing profit alone positions a leader to accomplish immediate goals through standard means. On the other hand, pursuing knowledge in addition to profit, positions a leader to accomplish ambitious goals through groundbreaking means. Ultimately the choice between mediocrity and excellence is yours. Join RISE Programs to learn more about how to strengthen your leadership through practical skills.

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10 Time-Management Techniques to Try Right Now

We’ve all been there. Collapsed on the couch at the end of a long day. Completely unable to relax thanks to the brick of regret weighing down your gut. Absolutely nothing to show for how you spent your time except for aggravated murmurs into the ceiling. There’s nothing quite as disappointing as waking up with the best intentions for your day, only to slip into a cycle of procrastination and wasted time. The bad news is that these types of moments are unavoidable in life. The good news on the other hands is that we all have the power to do something about it.

All it takes to gain control of how you spend your time is some planning. This might sound complicated but even a slight effort to add some structure and efficiency to the way we spend our time can end up reaping substantial benefits in the long run. A decision as small as using an alarm clock in order to wake up early can actually cascade into positive lifestyle changes, especially considering that one good decisions always begets another. Here are ten foolproof time-management strategies that are sure to help transform your daily routine for the better.

  • Evaluate your natural activities before creating a schedule:

Self-improvement can only be implemented successfully on a foundation of self-awareness. If you want to change how you spend time, create a journal of your activities then review your findings in order to isolate specific areas that need change.

  • Eliminate Time-Killers:

Keep an eye out for habits or activities that take up unusual amounts of time. It can help to eliminate distractions such as social media, TV, or perfectionism.

  • Use the right Tech:

We live in a digitized world but this doesn’t necessarily mean that all technology is helpful. Unwitting reliance on inefficient technology actually consumes time rather than saving it. Get rid of any technology that only offers style over substance.

  • Set prioritized goals:

Setting out to accomplish any ambitious task without defining clear objectives either results in wasted effort or meaningless exertion. Make sure to constantly keep your most important goals in mind as a way to stay focused on why it is you need to use time wisely.

  • Use a flexible schedule:

It’s easier to plan on doing something than it is to execute. This simple fact leads many people to draft schedules for themselves that are too taxing. Don’t stretch yourself too thin by arranging to do too many things at once.

  • Take breaks:

Just because you’re trying to save time doesn’t mean that all of it should be used on work. Rest is an integral component of stamina and follow-through. In the process of modifying your activities, remember to set time aside for some relaxation. This is essential for rejuvenation and morale.

  • Be realistic and learn to say no:

One of the most common reasons that people get saddled with busy schedules is because they simply don’t know how to say no. Don’t bend over backwards just to accommodate other people’s expectations. Concentrate on your own priorities.

  • Expect the unexpected:

Before committing to a structured way of functioning, remember to keep an open mind about how realistic it is to follow schedules without deviation. Keep an open mind about strict schedules and don’t punish yourself for having to deal with the unexpected.

  • Stay focused:

Don’t allow yourself to be distracted by early celebration, fatigue or intimidation. Take things one task at a time, one day at time, until success is realized

  • Reward yourself:

When you accomplish something ambitious in good time, celebrate it. This is a good way to stay motivated about maintaining any new habits necessary to use time effectively.

Time management is more about productivity than effort. Rather than working hard, work smart to make the most out of available resources with the least exertion possible. Check out more of RISE Programs’ Blogs for helpful advice on leadership, and remember to spread the word by sharing this post.

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Sales Secrets

Know Your Clients

If you are not taking care of your customers, your competitors will

– Bob Hooey

Every business owner should understand that potential clients will always have two fundamental expectations.

They expect you to:

– Know your own product and your company.

– Know something about them and their individual needs.


It is also helpful to know about your competition. Small efforts like conducting some background research before a sales meeting can help determine customers’ values and needs. Being knowledgeable about customers and the environment they transact in is a trait that every sales person must possess. The more analysis you conduct as a salesperson, the better positioned you are to solve your clients’ problems comprehensively.

Conducting primary research by collecting data from the customer themselves is usually cheap and quick. This process can be as simple as asking them for their ideas, their comments, and opinions. Customer opinion is very important. If you observe how consumers handle your product, you could discover the product’s most valuable features. In turn, this would enable you to better take care of the clients’ specific needs.

Customer Value

What is customer value? Consumers all benefit from the products they choose, but at a cost. That is, the purchase price paid for a given product. Customer value can be defined simply as the traits that a customer requires from their purchases, in exchange for the money they spend.

What are some of the things that customers value? Here are the top 5:

  • Ease of doing business (People pay for convenience)
  • Quality of the product/service
  • Reliability of product and provider
  • Customer service
  • The overall value for the amount of money spent (meets their needs and solves their problems)

Immerse yourself in their world, and understand all aspects of your product in their eyes. You should also fully understand all of the disadvantages to your product’s use, as well as any alternatives that may lie with your competition.

Another way to determine the needs of the customer is to simply ask them. Explore what their ideas or suggestions are for the product. This will better help you present your customer with viable solutions and build rapport with the client.

Set yourself up for success by KNOWING YOUR CLIENT!

Richard Martinez

Transformation Expert

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Business Wellness Program

Health and wellness are central aspects of anyone’s life, including at the workplace. As a business owner or manager, having healthy employees is of great benefit to your business. This is because having employees who are happy and healthy is integral to consistent operations that can sustain a profitable bottom line.

Implementing a health and wellness program at your business will decrease the company’s healthcare costs. In turn, having healthier employees will not only reduce overhead, it will improve employee morale, increase production, and create an atmosphere that is conducive to operations. Healthy employees are far better placed to establish good relationships not only with one another, but with clients as well. Healthy employees are freer to develop creative ideas and solutions to the various problems encountered in the regular course of business. Just think about it. When you feel on top of your game, healthy, passionate and energetic, how much more can you produce? How good is you attitude when you feel well and strong? Now imagine that for all your employees!

Definition of a Health and Wellness Program

Understanding the meaning of a health and wellness program is the first step to effective implementation of one. Every year companies spend massive amounts of money on avoidable health-related issues. A good health and wellness program can alleviate some of these expenses.

What is a Health and Wellness Program?

So what exactly is a health and wellness program?

A health and wellness program is a corporate program that is implemented to enhance physical, emotional and mental health. There are many types of health and wellness programs, each of which offer various benefits depending on the specific program. They can help reduce health insurance costs, safety incidents, and even absenteeism. According to the National Safety Council, nearly one million workers a day are absent due to stress, costing American companies nearly $300 billion a year in loss of productivity, and the cost of temporary help.

RISE Programs knows the value and power of introducing a health and wellness program to the workplace. The difference this can make with morale, teamwork and production is immeasurable. This is why we have created a program that helps businesses RISE to new heights of efficiency and production. For more information call 1-888-823-7757.

Here are 3 things you can start doing NOW!


1.-Prepare and distribute a list of healthy dining options within a 2-mile radius of your office

Create a list of all the nearby restaurants which serve healthy food choices. You could also go a step further and list examples of healthy food that is available at these restaurants. Pictures help!  

2. Bring fresh fruits and veggies to the break room

Have fresh fruits and vegetables periodically delivered to the break room for employees to eat for free. If that costs too much money for the company to implement, start a healthy-food fund where each employee chips in a certain amount of money every month for healthy snacks.

3. Negotiate corporate discounts for health club memberships

Many businesses partner with various health clubs in their community so that employees can get discounts on memberships. For instance while regular members might have to pay $20 to $30 per month, most corporate discounts give employees the chance to join for $10 or less per month.

Richard Martinez

Transformation Expert


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Solving Problems

You don’t need to be a professional “salesman” in order to sell something. In fact, you’d actually be surprised at how often you participate in sales on a daily basis. Life is all about sales! Whether it’s convincing your boss to give you a raise, persuading a potential client to accept your proposal, pleading with your spouse to change the radio station, or encouraging your child to do their homework, almost any negotiation that happens throughout our daily routines requires some degree of sales-related skills.

Many times the technical connotations of the word “sales” intimidates us from projecting natural confidence that is necessary for sales itself. This is why it’s important to change your perception of sales. Don’t look at it as a specialized process; rather look at it as a way to build relationships and SOLVE PROBLEMS.

Sales = Problem Solving

If you want to be valued by your customers, you have to solve their problems. Customers who need solutions to high-priority issues are willing to pay for those solutions. But first, you must identify the customer’s problems. What are they missing or needing? Then you must analyze said problems. What causes the problems? What could solve the problems? Then you need to formulate several options to remedy the situation for the customer. Which products/services will solve their problems? And lastly, assist the customer to choose the solutions that best suits their needs.

Think of the emotional connection people make with a product or service as the ultimate benefit of sales. People are mostly interested in how your product solves their problems and what emotions it makes them feel.

No matter how well you think you can persuade others to adopt your point of view, there is always room for improvement. Keep practicing, connecting through relationship-building, and SOLVING PROBLEMS.

A great problems solver = a great salesman

Richard Martinez

Transformation Expert

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Every one of us has role models in life; icons whose leadership we ardently admire. These role models hail from different backgrounds no less. They could be politicians, athletes, celebrities, distinguished professionals and so on. Regardless of who they are, chances are we look up to them for one fundamental reason, they get things done. They exemplify success. They show us what it looks like when someone actually sets their mind to accomplish something ambitious, and actually realizes their goals to completion.

There’s a simple expression for this quality in a leader. It’s called follow-through. Leadership devoid of follow-through is nothing but an exercise in wishful thinking. Any person who aspires to become an effective leader must possess the basic initiative to tangibly execute their plans for success. This may sound easy enough, but the sad truth is that not everyone practices meaningful follow-through in their approach to life. In fact, arguably every last person knows what it feels like to grapple with the problems of procrastination, hesitation, and second-guess after second-guess. If you are looking for ways to strengthen your resolve and become the type of leader who finishes what they start, here are six foolproof strategies to inform your thought-process.

  • Accept Uncertainty as a Part of Life:

Fear of the unknown is one of the most paralyzing emotions in existence. If this fear doesn’t discourage people to the point of inaction, it intimidates them into over-thinking in the name of preparing for the worst. It is an absolute fact, especially when it comes to business, that it’s impossible to make a rewarding decision without assuming some risk. Living to avoid uncertainty only intensifies ambivalence. Learning to accept and adapt to it as a part of life on the other hand, emotionally immunizes oneself against fear of the unknown.

  • Give yourself a Deadline:

When used reasonably, deadlines are actually profound behavioral motivators. Consider filing taxes for example. Every year, the IRS sets a strict deadline for the public to file returns. Even though they may procrastinate, the majority of people scramble to meet this target within time, so much so that accounting professionals count on tax season as a guaranteed period of income. Even if it’s an unofficial one, setting a deadline for desired tasks provokes initiative and commitment. It reminds leaders not only to make the most of their time, but also to be accountable for how they use it.

  • Take the Plunge:

Making plans is easy. Sometimes it’s even fun to brainstorm and come up with idea after idea on how to solve a given problem. However, all the elaborate plans in the world can never accomplish anything without the conclusive will to act on them. Strong leaders recognize that there is a time to plan, and there is a time to act. When the time to act arrives, reluctance and indecision frustrate progress instead of enabling it. The best way to actually gain anything from a decision is to intentionally go through with it in the first place.

  • Set Realistic Targets:

There’s nothing wrong with thinking big. After all big dreams can eventually translate into big success. However, understanding what limitations are insurmountable is in imperative component of level-headed leadership. Strong leaders know how to draw the line between pushing the limits of their potential and biting off more than they can chew. Setting realistic targets is important because it creates the opportunity to accomplish small victories that inspire exponential achievement.

  • Take Things One Step at a Time:

There is an ancient Chinese proverb that offers indispensable advice when it comes to leadership, “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” When it comes to completing elaborate tasks, thinking about things in the big picture tends to overwhelm – especially when the stakes are high. It’s good to understand the requirements for success but rather than being the type of leader who tries to get everything done all at once, focus on one task at a time, one day at time. Being moderate is the key to consistency and endurance.

  • Concentrate:

Regardless of how well or how poorly a project evolves, always remember that it’s not over until it’s over. Don’t quit until the job is done, and don’t celebrate until the job is done either. Completion is the single most inherent ingredient of follow-through. A strong leader should always exercise the discipline necessary to disregard all distractions and pursue their plans to a logical conclusion. Interrupting progress without just cause creates a window for doubt or hubris to disrupt any hard work that has already transpired.

Follow-through is all about balance. It’s about figuring out exactly how much to plan, and exactly when to take bold action. It’s about being able to push limits or expectations without settling for less or selling oneself short. Most importantly, it’s about having the commitment and discipline necessary to facilitate closure. Check out more of RISE Programs’ Blogs for helpful advice on leadership, and remember to spread the word by sharing this post.

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Sales is the single most inseparable component of business . It doesn’t matter who you are, in order to have a successful business, one of the most important things  to  master is sales because sales equals profit. For a long time I avoided anything that had to do with sales. Because of past experiences with unpleasant salespeople I  developed a twisted belief and negative view of sales. I thought that practicing sales meant being pushy and annoying. I thought it meant pestering people into submission and I certainly didn’t want anything to do with that! This belief blocked me from succeeding in business until I heard someone say, “sales is relationship-building”. Such a simple statement  impacted me and changed my perspective. Relationship-building is something that anyone can do and actually enjoy! Discovering that I had the choice to be myself and not be “salesy” really got me excited.

Sales is much more than providing the customer with goods, in exchange for money. Sales requires a relationship not only between sales representatives and the customers, but also with the company and the customer. Customers don’t just blindly look for what they need out of products, they also have an instinct to buy into the person who is selling them a product. Sales is all about capitalizing on this instinct in a balanced way. In sales, we cannot be too weak, insecure  or passive. Neither can we be  too aggressive, pushy and annoying. Where is the balance? The balance in between PASSIVE and AGGRESSIVE, is called ASSERTIVENESS.


There is a fine line between being assertive and being aggressive. Not only can being pushy and overly aggressive  offend customers, it can also   scare away prospective clients. On the other hand, by being assertive and in tune with the customer’s needs, you can actually draw in more revenue.  

Before you begin asale, try to discern any objections or  concerns the customer may have and be prepared to respond. Provide all of  your supporting data when delivering  your sales pitch. Also remember to always be calm, positive, and honest about the product you’re pitching. This will convey the message that you are an authority in the field.

What do I mean when I say ASSERTIVE? Develop these attributes and watch your sales numbers go up!  

Assertive behavior:

  • Calmness
  • Confidence
  • Positivity
  • Enthusiasm
  • Honesty

Richard Martinez

Transformation Expert

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Emotional Intelligence is such a powerful ability that  always attracts  success  to your doorstep. Having emotional intelligence can save you from a myriad  of social problems and stress, especially when it comes to sales. A  lack of emotional intelligence is guaranteed to prevent you from establishing a connection with potential clients you may encounter in the field.

Do you have Emotional Intelligence?

What is emotional intelligence? It is the ability to identify and control one’s own emotions, and to recognize rather than react  to others’ emotions as well. In short, being aware of one’s emotions and being able to control them, along with having understanding and empathy for others, are signs of emotional intelligence. Emotional Intelligence creates  self-control that puts a stop to frustration about  how others behave. It keeps the power to maintain peace of mind in one’s own hands rather than putting it in the hands of others. It allows us to respond in uncomfortable situations rather than react.

People with high emotional intelligence are usually better team players, better problem-solvers, and overall better people-persons.

People who have high emotional intelligence are very aware of their own emotions. They know their triggers and are capable of controlling their emotions, even in stressful situations. This is a powerful thing! High emotional intelligence also demands  a motivation to understand others’ situations and empathize with them. It’s the ability not making about yourself in order to fully understand another.

This is one  topic that RISE Programs particularly teaches often because no matter what type of business you are in, Emotional Intelligence is vital to interaction. I encourage you to learn and grow in this area. Seek to understand yourself. Seek to understand emotions and where they come from. Seek to develop  awareness of your own emotions and of others. This is true power!

Traits of  high emotional intelligence:

  • Self-awareness
  • Self-regulation
  • Empathy

Improving all of these traits is important to developing  high emotional intelligence.


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In a perfect world, merit would completely decide how, and who, climbs the corporate ladder. Every boss would know what they’re doing, and how to get the most out of employees in a practical and likeable way. The sad truth however is that circumstances beyond anyone’s control often position people in management who aren’t well-suited for a leadership role. Most employees are all too familiar with the nightmare of having to work for a bad boss. Going down the list of traits that qualify someone as a bad boss would probably take years, but here are five general flaws that the majority of bad bosses tend to share.

Failure to Inspire

Being a good boss means having the fundamental ability to motivate a team. The role of a boss is supervision. Inherent in that supervision is having the necessary skills to prevent apathy and underperformance among workers. Even the most talented and capable employees need encouragement and guidance that keeps them focused on achieving their shared mission. When a boss constantly demands work from employees without inspiring any kind of passion within them, fatigue and frustration are likely to derail the overall productivity of their team.

Acceptance of Mediocrity

Beyond getting employees to fulfil the basic duties of their respective positions, being a good boss also means facilitating excellence out of people. Bosses exist to set the standards by which professional performance is judged. When bosses set low standards, workers are sure to deliver underwhelming results. On the other hand, when a boss sets high expectations for a team, it challenges people to push the limits of their abilities in order to deliver results that are exceptional. Mediocrity is a stumbling block that impedes the growth and survivability of an organization.

Lack of Clear Vision and Direction

A good boss should be the type of person who can keep their eye on the prize. When bosses set standards of expectation for employees, these standards must be founded on a greater vision of success for their team. Whereas employees are responsible for concentrating on mundane operational routines, leaders should never lose sight of the ultimate vision that guides the very existence of their team. Bosses who work without this sense of vision or direction are bound to burden the people who count on them with aimless and redundant work.

Inability to Cooperate and Be a Team Player

The authority that comes with leadership naturally instills a sense of power in those who wield it. Good bosses know how to stay humble and dignified when exercising power. In contrast, bad bosses easily fall victim to overly inflated egos when power becomes available to them. It takes discernment and strength of character to overcome the sway of a power-trip. Remembering to be a team player helps neutralize this alienation by keeping leaders grounded on how they relate with subordinates.

Failure to Walk the Walk

Integrity means everything to the reputation of a leader. A good boss should be the type of person who says what they mean, and does what they say. People need to be able to trust that a leader will not betray their word, or obligations. The more a boss lets down public trust from employees, and consumers alike, the less entitlement they have to make important decisions on behalf of others. A boss can only be respected when their actions sincerely reflect the principles which their leadership imposes on employees.

Being a good boss boils down to decency. In the face of every difficult decision, if a boss can remember to treat people with fairness, dignity and respect, there’s no justifiable reason why anyone who works for them should harbor resentment. Treating employees fairly creates an atmosphere of loyalty and mutual understanding. Check out more of RISE Programs’ Blogs for helpful advice on leadership, and remember to spread the word by sharing this post.

Author: Daniel Otianga

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Change cannot be avoided

Change is an inextricable reality of the human experience. Whether it is personally or professionally, every dimension of our lives goes through a continual process of development that transforms our existence from one status quo, to another, and another. As creatures of habit, human beings are not always receptive to the fact that things can never remain the same forever. In fact, all people have an instinctive tendency to view change as negative, and consequently, resist change depending on how much uncertainty it introduces to our lives.

Within the professional setting, managers have a particular responsibility to overcome the effects of change because if an organization is allowed to react to change without moderation, conflict ensues. Effective leadership requires emotional intelligence in order to recognize how and when employees need help to cope with change. Emotional intelligence, which is having the capacity to empathize by considering other people’s needs before one’s own, makes it possible to circumvent negative outcomes of change through responsible employee engagement.

Predictable vs. Unpredictable change

Circumstances in life can change in two fundamental ways, that is: predictably, and unpredictably. When change is predictable, individuals usually have an idea of how much adjustment is likely to happen to daily routine. As such, advance preparation for the unknown becomes possible in order to soften devastation over unexpected events. When change is unpredictable on the other hand, people do not have the luxury of adapting in advance to the unknown. Every adjustment that happens therefore has to be in reaction to new conditions that create an ultimatum between success and failure.

Whether or not change is predictable, leaders have a duty to build and maintain support amongst employees that makes their organization impervious to the undesirable outcomes of uncertainty. Strong leadership is the foundation for any group’s network of support. Absent of leadership, change can provoke misinformation and confusion that is debilitating to the normal functions of a company.

Support can only be sustained through communication

During times of change, the way a leader communicates is especially instrumental to stability within an organization. Effective communication helps reinforce support among employees, and reduces uncertainty by keeping people informed. Mastering certain principles of communication is vital for maintaining optimism at a level that keeps employees focused on surviving change rather than opposing it entirely. The nature of communication practiced by leaders should also coordinate with whether people are dealing with predictable or unpredictable change.

  1.     When change is predictable: There can never be enough preparation. Preparation helps circumvent friction and uncertainty about the unknown. If a leader intends to introduce change to a group they should:
  •       Actively persuade people about the benefits of change.
  •       Readily answer people’s questions or doubts.
  •       Encourage optimism at every opportunity in order to reduce anxiety.
  •       Regularly provide feedback, especially after change has been introduced, to enhance people’s acceptance of change.
  1.     When change is unpredictable: There can never be too much information. Providing people with information in the aftermath of unexpected events goes a long way towards keeping them focused on surviving, or even thriving under new conditions. When a leader has to maintain a group’s support systems in the face of sudden change, they should:
  •       Provide as much unsolicited relevant information as possible to prevent confusion.
  •       Generate a sense of community to produce a unified front against sudden challenges.
  •       Dedicate resources to provide social support to people significantly impacted by the change.
  •       Always be prepared to listen to people who have insights or questions.
  •       Project determination and hopefulness to withstand any setbacks brought about by change.

Every team, and by extension every organization, should have leadership that is willing and ready to engage its members in a sincere and interactive manner. Communication is the lifeblood every support system that exists in a group. Regardless of the situation, if a leader sets a precedent of transparent communication, it becomes easier to cope with and survive change. No challenge is unbeatable when a team is willing to relate to one another and cooperate.


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