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Getting you to the Ivy League : A Comprehensive Guide to Getting into the Ivy Leagues

Published on February 6, 2023

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Getting you to the Ivy League : A Comprehensive Guide to Getting into the Ivy Leagues

Introduction

A young American high school student gets into 7 out of 8 Ivy League Schools and still feels horrid about missing that 1 school, leading them to question their worth. Sound familiar? Maybe that’s because there have been more than a few movies and TV shows that have used this trope. Still makes for an interesting movie though. Ivy League universities have fascinated students for generations. But why are Ivy League Schools so darn sought after?

There are 8 Ivy League universities, all of which have been around since the 1950s and are located in America. They are known for their reputable education, status, exclusivity, and not to forget – their notoriously low acceptance rates. The powerful alumni networks, world-call and leading research material, great starting salaries and a solid headway on your career path make Ivy League universities extremely sought after for most students. 

So if you want that head-start in your career with an Ivy League school, this article is just for you! We’re going to tell you all about how you can crack that admission to the Top 8 schools in the world. 

The key to getting into your dream school lies in early prep. 

The Ivy League colleges are some of the most selective and prestigious institutions in the world, attracting a large number of applicants, on average about 23,000 applicants each year. By starting early, you’ll have more time to research the colleges and gather the necessary materials to make your application stand out. Preparing early for Ivy League college applications will increase your chances of being admitted and ensure that you have a smooth and stress-free, (that you will need) application process.

So what are the stages of Ivy League college applications?

Now that you’re here, getting started on your journey of Ivy League applications isn’t the most important step, but it is the most crucial one in your application process. This step is the one that will put your organizational skills to the test. Get those excel sheets out and start planning. 

Start by researching the Ivy League colleges that interest you and learn about their admission requirements, application deadlines, and unique programs and opportunities. Don’t worry too much, because this step takes a LOT of time. We want you to do the course you’ve always dreamed of doing, and nothing short. 

Another important component to note while doing your research is to excel or plan out the weightage each of the 8 universities places on the different components of the application process. Some universities place greater importance on your letter of recommendation, while some place more weight on your statement and essays. So, plan, research, and write accordingly. Remember, they will ALL need to be customized for each university. 

Once you are clear on your shortlisted colleges and courses, make clear and concise notes of the specific requirements for each college you’re interested in, including the required materials and application fee for each of them. 

Then you will need some time to gather the necessary materials for your application. This includes transcripts, test scores, letters of recommendation, essays, and any other required materials. We’ll get to a few of these in more detail, in a bit. Give your teachers and counselors ample time to write strong letters of recommendation.

It’s super important to keep following up with the colleges. Keep track of your application status and follow up with the colleges if necessary, once you are done submitting all your documents. 

Then comes the big wait: receiving admissions decisions. We’re sorry, but the wait might just take the life out of you. But you can expect to hear back from the universities with their decisions between December and April. 

Now for the last and final straw of your application process: making a final choice. After you receive your admissions decisions, compare your options and make a final choice based on your goals, financial situation, and overall fit with the university. You can also talk to the alumni of your chosen universities and get a good understanding of your cultural fit in the college. 

Let’s break down the components and weightage of Ivy League colleges 

The components and weightage of Ivy League college applications vary depending on the specific college. We suggest getting that excel sheet you made at the beginning to understand the different weights for each college. But typically, they include the following:

Academic performance and transcripts: This is the most important component of the application, and it is usually given the most weightage. Colleges will look at your grades, courses, and academic record to assess your academic ability and potential.

Standardized test scores (SAT/ACT): Ivy League colleges usually require either the SAT or ACT, and test scores are typically given a moderate weightage in the admissions process.

Extracurricular activities and leadership experience: Colleges are interested in applicants who are well-rounded and have demonstrated leadership and involvement outside of the classroom. This component of the application is usually given a moderate weightage. We’ll discuss this in more detail in some time. 

Letters of recommendation: Letters of recommendation from teachers, counselors, and other professionals can provide valuable insight into your character, abilities, and achievements. The weightage of letters of recommendation varies depending on the college.

Essays and personal statements: Essays and personal statements allow applicants to showcase their personality, interests, and goals. The weightage of essays and personal statements also varies depending on the college, but they are often given a moderate amount of weight. We’ll discuss this too, in the next section.  

Now, how do you write that perfect essay and personal statement?

Your essays and personal statement for Ivy League college applications are essentially a reflection of you. They want to know you, they want to know your goals, your strengths, weaknesses, and interests. What moves you? Why should they choose you, out of the 22,999 applications they get? 

Writing the perfect essay and personal statement for Ivy League colleges can be a challenging but rewarding task. The process of writing a personal statement and essay, also allows you to understand yourself better. Yes, this is challenging, but think about the bigger picture. Who are you? And what will you bring to the world?  Here are some tips to get you cracking on that perfect essay or personal statement.

Know the prompt: Before you start writing, make sure you understand the topic you’re being asked to address. Read it carefully and make sure you know what the college is looking for in your essay. Take your time to read, understand, research, and write. But most importantly, write in a way that shows who you are. 

Be yourself: The essay is an opportunity for the college to get to know you better. Be authentic and honest in your writing, and avoid trying to impress the admissions committee with overly formal or grandiose language.

Show, don’t tell: Instead of just telling the admissions committee about yourself, use specific examples to illustrate your experiences and achievements. This will help bring your essay to life and make it more memorable. Set the context, use references, and paint pictures through your words. 

Highlight your strengths: Use your essay to highlight your unique talents, experiences, and accomplishments. This will help set you apart from other applicants and demonstrate your potential as a student.

Be concise: Ivy League colleges always receive a very LARGE number of applications, so it’s important to be concise and direct in your writing. Avoid excessive use of unnecessary words or sentences and focus on the most important information.

Proofread: Before submitting your essay, make sure to carefully proofread it for any typos, grammatical errors, or other mistakes. A well-written essay is important, but a flawless one can make a strong impression on the admissions committee.

Seek feedback: Finally, consider seeking feedback from a trusted teacher, counselor, or mentor before submitting your essay. They can help you identify any areas for improvement and provide you with constructive criticism. Also send it to your friends and family, those who know you, to see if your essay is a true reflection of yourself. 

How can you budget to attend your dream school?

We all know that attending an Ivy League isn’t cheap. While colleges, in general, can be expensive, there are several financing solutions to help take you through your determination of graduating from an Ivy League school. Look at scholarships and grants, there are several of them available. You can also take a look at financial aid opportunities offered at your dream Ivy League school.

It’s important to start thinking about finances early in the college application process to ensure that you have a clear understanding of the cost of attendance and your options for funding your education. Remember to factor this in your excel sheet while deciding on schools. Seeking guidance from a financial advisor or college counselor can be extremely helpful in navigating the financial aspect of attending an Ivy League college.

Ivy League colleges are among the most expensive in the country, with high tuition, and room and board costs. Before applying, make sure you have a clear understanding of the cost of attendance for each college you’re interested in and determine if it’s within your budget. Don’t forget to also factor in your boarding, living expenses, and all of the things you’ll want to do there. But the good thing is that Ivy League colleges offer financial aid and scholarships to help offset the cost of attendance for students who demonstrate financial need. To be considered for financial aid, you may need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You can also get student loans and financial aid options to cover part or all of your expenses. Be sure to keep an eye out for these in the early stages of your application, as you will need to write a few essays, and statements and show proof of financial aid. 

Many Ivy League colleges offer work-study programs, which allow students to earn money while attending college by working part-time on campus, which is a great option if you decide to apply to go to school mid-career. If you’re not able to pay for college through financial aid, scholarships, or work-study, you may need to take out student loans to help cover the cost. Make sure to thoroughly research and understand your loan options before borrowing.

If you’re a student dependent on your family for funds, your parents may be required to contribute to your college expenses. Make sure to have a conversation with your parents about their expected contribution before applying to Ivy League colleges. 

Between all of these options, we’re sure you’ll be able to figure it out! 

Now, how can you come across as a well-rounded individual in your essays and personal statements?

The extracurricular activities highlighted in your essay and personal statement have tons of weightage in the admissions process. The admissions committee is looking for folks who take part in extracurricular activities that align with their goals and dreams. They also compare your extracurriculars with your scores and tests, because a marker of a well-rounded individual is their ability to balance workload with extracurricular activities. 

Extracurricular activities demonstrate that a student is well-rounded and has interests and skills beyond academics. This can help to round out a student’s profile and give the admissions committee a better understanding of their personality and character. They also demonstrate a student’s passion for certain interests and how dedicated they are to pursuing them. This can demonstrate leadership, initiative, and a strong work ethic, which are all qualities that Ivy League colleges are looking for in applicants.

A student’s extracurricular activities can also give the admissions committee an idea of their potential for future success. For example, involvement in a sports team may demonstrate teamwork skills, while involvement in a club may show leadership abilities. Extracurricular activities can also help to bring diversity to a college campus. Ivy League colleges value students who bring a unique perspective and background to the campus community, and extracurricular activities can demonstrate this.

Essentially, extracurricular activities are an important part of the Ivy League college application process because they help the admissions committee to understand the applicant as a well-rounded individual with a range of interests and skills, and potential for future success.

Final thoughts and advice for Ivy League applicants

Always start early. The Ivy League college application process can be competitive and time-consuming, so it’s important to start preparing early. This will give you enough time to gather all the necessary information, write a compelling essay, and submit your application by the deadline. And don’t forget to have a master sheet with all your research in hand. 

Research everything about each Ivy League college! If you’re interested in a few colleges, do a ton of research to determine if you are a good fit. Think about the academic curriculums, the cultural fit, and the extracurriculars you can pursue on campus. See if they align with your goals, visions, and dreams. 

If you aren’t tired of hearing this already: be yourself. In your essays and throughout the application process, be yourself and let your unique personality and experiences shine through. This will help you stand out from other applicants and demonstrate why you’re a good fit for the college.

Show your achievements. Make sure to highlight your achievements, both academic and extracurricular, in your application. This will demonstrate your potential as a student and help you stand out from other applicants.

If you’re feeling stuck, ask for help. If you need help or have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to college counselors, teachers, or other trusted adults for guidance. They can provide you with valuable advice and support throughout the application process.

While it’s important to take the Ivy League college application process seriously, it’s also important to not stress too much about it. Focus on doing your best and let the admissions committee determine if you’re a good fit for their college.

By following these tips, you can put your best foot forward in the Ivy League college application process and increase your chances of being accepted into the college of your choice.

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Grades vs Extracurriculars

Published on February 2, 2023

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Grades vs Extracurriculars

During a recent panel discussion with parents and mentors at the Harvard YLC Conference, Mumbai – a question that kept popping up constantly was – “Are grades more important than extracurricular activities for admissions in Ivy League schools?”

Grades or Extracurriculars? Which is more important?

Straight answer?

Both. 

 Grades are important for you to cross the first line of vetting. Once you cross that, how do you set yourself apart from the thousands of other students who have similar high scores?

 That’s where your extra-curricular activities come into play.

Quoting verbatim from Harvard admissions page, “We seek to identify students who will be the best educators of one another and their professors—individuals who will inspire those around them during their college years and beyond.”

Another quote, “We look for students with intellectual curiosity, who have pursued and achieved academic excellence. We also look for students with strong personal and extracurricular accomplishments.” – Princeton Admissions

Okay great. We can safely say that extra-curricular activities are important, a potential decider. Now they can be literally anything under the sun, from skiing to pottery to stamp collecting.

How do you choose? 

Below we are listing a few activities that we believe (based on extensive research) will take your portfolio to the next level!

Community service or volunteer work

Colleges are interested in admitting students who are actively engaged with their communities. Whether it’s a school community, local community, or otherwise, a connection to the outside world and an understanding of something greater than oneself is a trait that invariably leads to better Ivy League candidates.

Model United Nations

If a student’s theme involves anything about history, diplomacy, international relations, or political science, Model UN can be a powerful addition to his or her application. Model UN is unique because it is an activity almost universally favored by admissions officers for the wide breadth of benefits it presents.

Sports leadership

 Sports are good extracurricular activities because they promote teamwork, dedication, and perseverance.  Therefore, students must be extremely discerning and honest about their ability and potential in a given sport before deciding to undertake the enormous time commitment.

Political activism
Ivy League colleges love to see active students, so activism is one of the most powerful extracurricular activities to include on an application. Political activism demonstrates a student’s engagement in the world around him or her, the dedication and initiative to take action in building a better world, and most importantly, a true interest in the betterment of society.

Starting a club

It is great if there is a theme applied to an application and the more specific that theme, the higher the chances of success. However, finding a very specific club may prove difficult. For example, a science club may exist, but a biological anthropology club most likely doesn’t. Art clubs may exist, but digital art may not. If a student and a few of their friends are interested in a subject, why not start a new club?

Research paper

One of the very best and most impressive ways to seal the deal on an Ivy League application is to include a research paper on a topic related to the student’s theme. A long, well-researched, well-cited paper is certainly worthy of regard, and is considered a big accomplishment for high school students. However, top colleges have recognized this trend.

A thing to be noted is that while top universities want to see that you are able to apply yourself in a variety of areas, they are more interested in a dedication to excellence than simply a long list. This usually means really excelling at just one or two activities even if you are a part of many more.

PS – Don’t forget those vital letters of recommendation. Colleges look at them for confirmation of activities undertaken!

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Entrepreneur in focus: Ritesh Agarwal, CEO & Founder, OYO

Published on January 11, 2023

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Entrepreneur in focus: Ritesh Agarwal, CEO & Founder, OYO

Childhood serves as a window through which many dreams and aspirations can enter. However, as children, we have a lot of goals and aspirations for who we want to be. Similar to that, Ritesh likewise aspired to be a pilot. He had aspired to do something different and unique since he was a child, and as they say, there are events in life that can change your entire perspective on how you think. Something coincidental occurred to him, his sister once attended a business festival shortly after he found himself curious about the term “entrepreneurship” and what it really meant. From flipping through the dictionary to find its true meaning to being one of the most successful ones out there.

The creator and CEO of the most affordable hotel chain in the world, OYO, is an Indian billionaire named Ritesh Agarwal, who is only 25 years old and has already made it to the list of the 100 Most Powerful People in Global Hospitality. He began his journey at the age of only 20 with the intention of building a solution for travelers looking for inexpensive hotels all over the world and has succeeded in doing so efficiently. His story from a college dropout to a billionaire has been

an inspiration for all the young entrepreneurs of today. “I’m lucky to be living in a generation where it doesn’t really matter how old you are,” Agarwal said of his success as a young entrepreneur. “If you’re really making a positive difference, there is a significant amount of capital chasing you. We were lucky that we were building a good business, and people found out about our good business, and when they found out, they tried to put their capital to work on the process.”

With a keen interest in technology from the very beginning, Ritesh began programming at the age of 10. Along with that, traveling the world was another passion he had discovered, and what better way to combine both? He observed and recognised the demand for inexpensive hotels that offer respectable services and amenities like air conditioning, WiFi, cosy beds, and breakfast options. He saw the opportunity and took it upon himself to build something that has never been experienced before. The hunch to solve this problem led him to combine his love for travel with his expertise in technology to make something extraordinary.

Ritesh Agarwal holds court as the youngest male self-made billionaire in the world and comes in second as the world’s youngest self-made billionaire. His work was recognised and he was mentioned in Forbes’ “30 under 30” under their consumer tech sector listing. His story is one of perseverance, commitment, and not losing sight of the big picture. “Challenging the status quo in any industry to make a positive difference is something that can create a lot of value,” he believes, and he is eager to deliver on his promises.

Ritesh, also known as the startup hero in India, has mentioned 5 business rules which are:

  1. Innovate to Solve, Don’t follow the crowd
  2. Hire the best
  3. Remain strong and fight on.
  4. There is no perfect timing, start as soon as possible and lastly
  5. Follow your dreams because they know the way.

These are simple things in life, but they have been proof enough of what success really means: hard work and perseverance.

His work philosophy is quintessential: “I have always been a believer in the big cause that we’re trying to build here at Oyo,” Agarwal said in a recent interview. “This is a company that will fundamentally redefine how hospitality and real estate [are] seen by consumers and asset owners across the world.” The investment, he said, will “double down” on his commitment to the company and emphasise his interest “in trying to make a long-term impact” in the hospitality sector. Oyo has rapidly expanded into China (500,000 rooms across 10,000 hotels as of June), the Middle East, and Europe as it acquired traction in India (85 hotels in the U.K.). Ritesh Agarwal And his ambitious projects are backed by investors such as Sequoia Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Softbank. According to the founder, around 20% of the company’s revenues come from Europe. He added that these figures were essential to the company’s entry into the US market earlier this year. The corporation operated 68 hotels in 40 American cities as of June 2019. In addition to all of this, OYO launched Weddingz.in to help couples plan hassle-free weddings, and OYO Total Holidays to help people put together travel packages. This is just the beginning.

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Tapping into the skill of Market Research!

Published on November 14, 2022

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Tapping into the skill of Market Research!

There is no universal definition or understanding of the term market research. Many businesses, however, include it in their marketing strategy. It is commonly understood as the activity in which a company gathers information and then researches market acceptance of specific products or services. It can be done online or in person, and it can include various types of research about people and organizations using multiple methods and techniques to gain market insight.

According to the American Marketing Association:

“Marketing research is the function that links the consumer, customer, and public to the marketer through information–information used to identify and define marketing opportunities and problems; generate, refine, and evaluate marketing actions; monitor marketing performance; and improve understanding of marketing as a process. Marketing research specifies the information required to address these issues, designs the method for collecting information, manages and implements the data collection process, analyzes the results, and communicates the findings and their implications.”

The History!

Market research has existed in some form or another for centuries because there has always been an effort to understand target audiences and cater to their needs, whether they are customers, members of an association or group, and so on.

Many experts believe that the modern understanding of market research was born in the early 1900s, as a result of the convergence of two seminal events: the United States Census introduced punch cards to tabulate data, and Literary Digest published what is thought to be the first national U.S. survey (for the U.S. Presidential Election). Market research has evolved and transformed rapidly since then and has become an integral part of making startups grow!

Why is Market Research Important?

Market research can aid in the proper utilization of all aspects of an invention. It provides a thorough examination of the various markets associated with the invention, the patent environment, and existing and future products. Thus, market research can add value to research and development operations, advancing them. Here are a few reasons why market research is important!

1. Reduced Business Risks:

To ensure that your business survives for a longer period of time, ensure that you have a steady flow of sales and customers. Market research is required for this. Regular market research will allow you to check in with current and prospective customers to ensure that you are still meeting their needs. Here’s how you can use it:

a. Before releasing new designs and products, put them to the test. Before you go all-in on a dramatic change for your company, test it on a smaller subset of your audience to see if the change will be welcomed. For example, if you intend to redesign a popular product, show the new design to your most loyal customers. Test or ask them if they prefer the new design over an alternative new design or the old design.

b. Discover why customers do not return. Your small business should ideally have repeat customers. If they don’t return, you can conduct a survey of previous customers or hold a focus group to figure out why you’re not getting repeat business.

c. Gain insight into problem areas. If your most popular product experiences a significant drop in sales for three consecutive months, you must figure out how to fix it before it completely destroys your profits. Find out where the problem is by polling your most loyal customers about the product. It could be anything from a drop in product quality to an error on your online store. Unless you ask, you’ll never know.

2. Setting Better Goals:

When business owners set goals for their company, it is usually to increase sales or customers. However, without market research, you won’t know if your goal is attainable or how to achieve it in the first place.

Say you want to double your sales by the end of the next quarter. How can you tell if this goal is attainable if you don’t know if your target market is larger than twice the size of your current customer base? Setting arbitrary goals without knowing the current size of your potential market is pointless. Market research will help you determine the specific directions in which you want to expand your customer base.

3. Do Better Marketing:

If you have ever wanted to know what images or text to use on your fliers, website, or social media accounts, thorough market research will provide you with the answers. Because your target customers have already expressed their wants, needs, and frustrations to you, you’ll know exactly what to address and how to address it when you begin developing marketing materials.

4. Spotting Business Opportunities:

After conducting market research, you’ll know who you want to reach out to (your target customers), how to reach them (your marketing channels), and what they’re interested in. Once you’ve defined these, you’ll be able to spot business opportunities with ease. 

Five Steps to Conduct the Perfect Market Research!

1. Determine your goals: 

When stated clearly, research objectives can provide the information required to solve the problem identified (described in the next point). All of your objectives should be as specific as possible to what you want to study in your market research.

Here are a few points that should be included in each objective:

  1. Specify who will be gathered information from.
  2. Always specify the information required
  3. Rephrase the question in light of the responses.

2. Pinpoint the problem:

If you’ve decided to conduct marketing research, this is the most important step. If the problem is not correctly defined, all other efforts will be futile! Remember that the need to make a decision necessitates decision alternatives. There is no need to make a decision if there are no alternatives. For example, suppose your sales are down by 30%, causing a problem with your revenues. You could also compare how well ad #2 performs in terms of sales to ad #1. Use secondary data sources to expand on your research ideas.

Create a focus group for a powerful way to pinpoint important problems and receive information all at once! This is why:

  1. It sparks new ideas
  2. It permits customers to observe their participants
  3. Comprehend a wide range of issues
  4. 3. Determine your research design:

There are five research designs from which to obtain the information you require: descriptive, exploratory, causal, and diagnostic research. Market variables are described in descriptive research. Exploratory research allows you to gather data in an unstructured manner. The goal of causal studies is to determine what factor(s) cause an event to occur. The sources of satisfaction and dissatisfaction are the focus of diagnostic research.

3. Know your sample size and plan of action:

Your sample plan should specify how each sample element will be drawn from the entire population. The sample size specifies how many people should be included in the sample. In other words, the sample plan’s purpose is to provide representativeness, whereas the sample size provides accuracy!

Here’s a simple but important step to take to avoid or minimize nonsampling errors: Re-contact your participants to validate their participation!

4. Analyzing the Research Data:

It’s always a good idea to go back and run tests on the information you have to screen out any potential errors. Once you have everything you need for the research (pie charts, bar graphs, statistics, surveys, etc.), you should make a report of it. Present the research report to the client in a way that communicates the findings clearly and accurately.

Popular Market Research Frameworks!

Market Research Frameworks are tools used by businesses and entrepreneurs to research the market for their products or services. Companies gain an understanding of the competitive dynamics of the market in terms of demand and supply of products and services, external factors of the industry, state of competition and degree of competition within the industry, future aspects of the industry, and differences between their organization and the competitors by using market analysis frameworks in detail. The BRG has compiled the three most popular and widely used market research frameworks for you:

1. SWOT:

SWOT analysis is a strategic mapping tool used in market analysis frameworks to evaluate an organization and its industry. It is an acronym that stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Threats, and Opportunities. Strengths and weaknesses are internal organizational factors, whereas opportunities and threats are external organizational factors. The SWOT model is especially useful in determining whether or not to embark on a specific project by analyzing its positives and negatives as well as how to move forward.

2. Porter’s Five Forces:

Porter’s Five Forces is a model that identifies and analyses five competitive forces that shape every industry and aids in determining an industry’s strengths and weaknesses. Five Forces analysis is frequently used to determine corporate strategy by identifying an industry’s structure.

Porter’s model can be applied to any sector of the economy to better understand industry competition and increase a company’s long-term profitability. Michael E. Porter, a Harvard Business School professor, inspired the Five Forces model.

Porter’s five forces are as follows:

  1. The industry’s competition
  2. Potential for new industry entrants
  3. Suppliers’ clout
  4. Customer Influence
  5. Substitute products pose a threat.

3. PEST:

PEST Analysis, also known as Broad Factors Analysis, is a critical market analysis framework for analyzing an organization’s external environment. PEST analysis is an acronym that stands for Political, Economic, Social, and Technological analysis. PESTLE analysis considers legal and environmental factors. Political factors include specific rules and regulations pertaining to the business’s political environment, such as ease of doing business, political stability, labor laws, trade policies, and political stability. GDP growth rate, inflation rate, exchange rate, capital markets, and so on are all economic factors. 

Social factors are those that are related to society and the people who live in it. It includes information on health, fashion trends, demographics, age groups, and gender ratios. Technological factors include advancements and recent technological developments.

Two Brands that Aced Market Research!

McDonald’s is one of the world’s largest fast-food corporations. McDonald’s frequently uses market research to make its customers happy in order to maintain its number one position in the fast-food industry.

In its market research approach, McDonald’s asks four key questions:

  1. What products are doing well?
  2. What are the most affordable prices for consumers?
  3. What are consumers reading and watching in order to effectively advertise?
  4. Which restaurants are the most popular, and why?

By answering these questions, McDonald’s can determine whether or not its customer base is growing. If not, it adjusts its strategy in order to satisfy customers and outperform competitors. For example, many McDonald’s customers were concerned about the lack of healthy and organic food options on the menu. So McDonald’s listened to customer feedback and added healthy options to the menu, such as apple slices. It even launched an advertisement campaign to demonstrate that its chicken nuggets and patties are made with real meat.

Starbucks is the world’s largest and most successful coffeehouse chain. However, it is no secret how it became the world’s leading coffee company. Starbucks became the world’s largest coffeehouse chain due to its market research value.

Starbucks’ market research strategy includes the following steps:

  1. Following cultural trends
  2. Social media monitoring
  3. Obtaining feedback from customers
  4. Product testing in-store

Starbucks has conducted market research over the last 12 years by soliciting consumer feedback through its My Starbucks Idea platform. This platform enables customers, potential customers, and employees to visit the website and submit any creative ideas they have. These suggestions can range from new products to minor changes to existing products.

Conclusion

Market research can be extremely beneficial to many different aspects of a business. Correct research can assist a business in developing products and services that the target market requires; developing marketing plans based on the information gathered in order to reach all potential customers in the most effective way. Well-executed market research can provide useful information that can help a business gain an advantage over competitors and ensure customer satisfaction.

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Exploring the different leadership styles!

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Exploring the different leadership styles!

Leadership is a difficult concept to grasp. It is easy to recognize when you see it, but it is difficult to quantify. Leadership components are frequently examined and observed, but the ability to predict successful leadership has so far eluded the confines of a repeatable recipe. Many approaches have been tried in an attempt to document commonalities among successful leaders, with varying degrees of success.

To begin exploring this critical distinction, let us first consider the definition of leadership. According to the Oxford Dictionary, leadership is the action or ability to lead a group of people or an organization.

And…

To lead is to cause (a person or animal) to follow one by holding their hand, a halter, a rope, or another object while moving forward.

As a result, leadership necessitates influence, direction, and action. However, in order for leadership to manifest so that others will follow, the leader, whoever or whatever that may be, must first influence themselves, provide self-direction, and act on that direction. When we talk about leadership, we almost always refer to it in the context of the workplace. The value of leadership and good leaders in society is grossly underappreciated. Leadership is not limited to the corporate setting. It should be extended to society as well because it began as a social phenomenon long before it became a professional phenomenon.

Leadership in society is essential because someone must be able to structure human society and help it develop and grow in a responsible manner. People have naturally been divided into leaders and followers, and the leaders make and lead the way for the followers while they complete the assigned tasks and contribute to the change. Leadership is critical to achieving social change because it is impossible to unite and inspire a group of people without the help of a good leader.

A positive and content society is created by good leadership. A leader with a high level of self-confidence can keep the people in his or her society motivated and aspired, and he or she will work for the betterment of the society rather than for his or her own benefit. People are in a better frame of mind when they have trust and faith in their leader.

What is a Leadership Style?

A quick internet search (psychology.com) reveals, that the majority of the various leadership theories that have emerged over the years can be classified into a handful of major types:

  • Great Man Theories
  • Trait Theories
  • Contingency Theories
  • Situational Theories
  • Behavioral Theories
  • Parcipitative Theories
  • Relationship Theories/Transformational Leadership
  • Management theories/Transactional Leadership.

There are numerous theories and models listed under each type, which are well worth investigating. The leadership style you choose can be a success or a failure depending on a variety of factors: what works with one personality in one environment may not work in another. Understanding the theories listed above (as well as any others that may be floating around) can help you clarify what you believe to be true about leadership and how you should approach your own leadership development.

However, within any of these theories, the individual leader and his or her preferences must also be considered. There are many leadership “styles” listed in the literature, in addition to the leadership theories that have been studied. 

The Different Leadership Styles:

Again, a quick internet search reveals some of the more commonly discussed ones:

  • Autocratic or Authoritarian Leadership
  • Participative or Democratic Leadership
  • Laissez-Faire Leadership
  • Servant Leadership
  • Transactional Leadership
  • Transformational Leadership
  • Situational Leadership

Again, these appear to be the most prominent; however, other leadership styles identified in the literature are worth investigating for yourself. I’ve included these in particular for two reasons: first, they appear to have the most written about them; and second, these are the styles I see the most frequently in my own leadership coaching practice.

Unfortunately, I see more examples of Authoritarian Leadership than I’d like, in which the leader makes decisions unilaterally and frequently unfairly. This never works outside of military or paramilitary organizations. The other styles listed can be more or less effective depending on the environment, culture, and people involved; it’s important to understand the differences.

Transformative leadership is one of the more recent styles to emerge, and it is frequently cited as one of the most effective. It is about motivating others and sharing a larger vision. Of course, this type of leadership is fantastic; however, it is frequently best balanced by a Transactional Leadership style based on role compliance and achievement incentives.

Why A Single Leadership Style Does not Work!

In any given situation, one leadership style is not the most effective. When it comes to effectively manage people, the atmosphere and type of work environment frequently require you to “switch” your leadership trait into a different gear. Good leaders understand what needs to be done and the people they are leading instinctively.

Much of what determines leadership in any given situation is determined by a few factors, such as whether the environment is stable, conservative, or constantly changing. The most effective leadership style for that team is determined by whether the work to be done is new or routine, as well as the level of skill possessed by your team.

Most people in management develop a consistent and fixed leadership trait. Your team may perceive you as bossy, picky, or easy to work with. The reality is that most environments are constantly changing, and in order to be most effective for the benefit of your company and team, you must recognize that it takes more than one leadership trait.

Three Most Common Leadership Styles:

Below, we have shed some light on the three most popular styles adopted by leaders!

1. The Free Reign Style: The laissez-faire or delegative style of leadership is the most empowering. The delegative leader establishes an overall priority, goal, or instruction, but then steps back to allow things to happen. Using this style, a leader accepts responsibility for all decisions made while delegating decision-making to the team. This also implies that team members must analyze, evaluate, and change issues and problems as they progress. This leadership style is definitely appropriate for more mature or senior teams – those who have had the time to prove themselves to the leader and have the confidence to handle all issues. Failure is one of the most common pitfalls of this type of leadership.

In the delegative or free reign leadership style, you delegate specific tasks to workers or employees whom you believe are capable of handling the task. While you are still responsible for any decisions made, you recognize that you cannot handle every task on your own and place your trust in those who can.

 A good manager will not use delegative leadership style excessively, but only when necessary. This type of leadership frequently boosts morale by demonstrating to employees that they can be trusted to make decisions.

2. Relations-oriented/Democratic style: Participative or democratic leadership is a leadership style in which the leader still outlines a goal but allows input from the organization on how the goal will be achieved. However, a democratic leader requires approval for decisions made by any member of the team. A democratic style may work in situations where information is disseminated between the leader and team members. This style can also be used by an autocratic leader to transition out of that style without ceding complete control to the team. This leadership style is very empowering for teams that have not previously felt empowered.

Do you work to improve your employees’ skills and confidence? People-oriented leaders are those who are dedicated to organizing their teams and assisting them through good support and participation. This is an effective style for getting a team to collaborate and work together in a friendly, cooperative environment.

3. The Authoritarian style: Authoritarian leadership is another term for autocratic leadership. In this style, the leader usually outlines what he or she wants and how to get it. In many ways, autocratic leadership is a form of disciplinarian management rather than leadership. Is this style effective in certain situations? First and foremost, consider the organization. An autocratic situation may be effective if the organization is well motivated and mature. Assume you have the majority of the information you require, but you only have a limited amount of time to complete a task. You can probably give an autocratic order in a well-motivated organization without worrying about how it will be received – as long as this does not become your dominant style.

If you like to be in complete control of every situation, you will use the authoritarian leadership style to manage employees. When immediate action is required or time is of the essence, this can be an effective management style. However, you should avoid using authoritarian leadership in every situation because employees will perceive you as a control freak; it may also reduce employee dedication and motivation.

Elon Musk’s Leadership Style!

When it comes to leadership styles, Elon Musk’s is best described as transformational.

He believes there is always a better way to do things and strives for constant improvement. He has big ideas and wants to rally his team around his (sometimes ridiculous) vision and goals. From running an aerospace company that manufactures rockets and other spacecraft to disrupting the electric car market, it stands to reason that Musk’s approach includes unconventional ideas.

He’s known for being fearless and forward-thinking. And he expects every member of his team to innovate alongside him. Musk’s grandiose vision and lofty goals can be intimidating, but also inspiring.

“Most of us can’t imagine these things working; he can’t imagine them failing.” “Period,” said Jim Cantrell, SpaceX’s first engineer.

Many former and current employees admit that working for Musk is rigorous and demanding, but many credit it with shaping their careers. There’s a reason for this: Musk is an inspirational leader. While some of his ideas are unrealistic, he has the ability to excite people with his goals, projects, and plans.

“The thing that makes Elon Elon is his ability to make people believe in his vision,” said Dolly Singh, former SpaceX HR Head.

Musk is also said to have contagious enthusiasm and energy for his work, which means that his commitment and passion for pursuing the next big idea or source of inspiration are often shared by his employees.

Conclusion

None of the examples above may be an exact match for the type of leadership trait you employ. Others include the transformational leadership style, which many people believe is appropriate in most business or corporate settings. A manager who takes this approach is a good communicator, establishes clear goals, encourages and supports employees, inspires workers to look beyond their own needs in order to focus on team efforts, and recognizes employees for their efforts. It is critical that you use the leadership trait that works best in that situation.

There are several factors to consider when deciding on a leadership style. First and foremost, how much time do you have? If you’re short on time, a participative or autocratic style may be best. Of course, this is dependent on the team and its composition; if you have an experienced team with limited time, an autocratic stance is unnecessary. Simply explain and emphasize that time is of the essence. You should also consider who has access to information about the project or task at hand; if the information is shared amongst you, the leader, and the team, you may want to take a more active role. 

If your team has all of the information, take a delegative approach and let them use their knowledge to find the best solutions. Consider the type of task at hand as well: how difficult is it? When you compare this to the team’s skills, you should be able to select an appropriate leadership style.

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