And three ways to develop it

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Photo by Mike Kononov on Unsplash

The next industrial revolution is upon us as robotics, automation, and artificial intelligence disrupt every industry of the economy. We’re already seeing glimpses of the future—wearable technology, autonomous vehicles, drone delivery, connected supply chain, and smart farming. With these tools, companies are transforming into digital businesses powered by ever-growing amounts of data.

COVID-19 has accelerated these digital transformation efforts as companies have had to adopt new tools and processes to stay relevant while also protecting their employees and customers.

Even before this acceleration, however, many companies were struggling to fully achieve their digital transformation goals and of course many face even more challenges as their teams work remotely. …


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Photo by Hello I'm Nik 🎞 on Unsplash

I spent nearly a decade as a high school teacher and loved every minute of the job itself. What I struggled with was poor leadership, annoying politics, low pay and recognition, and the rigid day-to-day schedule.

Not surprisingly, these align with the top three reasons from a recent Indeed.com survey on why people make a career switch: unhappiness with the sector, desire for more flexibility, and desire for more pay.

The tipping point for me came when health concerns made doing my job as a teacher too difficult and I decided it was time for a change.

And I’m not alone. According to CNBC, nearly half of workers make a major career switch in their lifetimes. But it’s not easy to do and it takes planning and patience to pull off. …


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Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

It’s no secret that teaching is a career path that deserves more respect and compensation, but even more so in the time of a global pandemic. Many teachers are now having to choose between doing the work they love and putting themselves and their loved ones at risk. Needless to say, I predict there will be even more teachers wanting to leave the profession by the end of this school year.

Although I loved being a teacher, I left the profession over a year ago and a lot of people ask me how I was able to become a business consultant. …


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Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash

Being a leader in the new world of remote work is a challenging job. Remote work upended the way that most individuals perform their daily job and likewise leaders need to re-think how they now support their people.

One of the keys to successful leadership is building trust with your people, but this can be hard when you’re not physically in the same workspace. There are no casual pleasantries in the lunchroom and there’s no opportunity to walk by and check in on someone’s daily tasks.

“Employees in high-trust organizations are more productive, have more energy at work, collaborate better with their colleagues, and stay with their employers longer than people working at low-trust companies.” …


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Photo by Oliver Fetter on Unsplash

“Go outside, often, sometimes in wild places. Bring friends or not. Breathe.” — Florence Williams

We’re now nearly nine months into the work-from-home experiment — what started out as a health necessity has turned into a modern-day luxury.

Of course, the need to social distance still remains and no one knows exactly if or when it will ever go away, but one thing we know for sure is that work-life will never be the same.

But, as many people know, work-from-home has its own set of challenges.

For me, it was really hard to adjust to work-from-home in the beginning. I struggled to find the right balance and know when to take breaks. …


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Photo by Mikael Kristenson on Unsplash

Technology is disrupting every aspect of our lives, but COVID has shown us how far behind the education sector is in adopting these changes.

A Harvard Business Review article highlights how behind-the-times colleges and universities are in adapting to the modern life.

“One measure of this is that less than 5% of college budgets are dedicated to IT spending. According to U.S. Department of Education data, while one-third of all U.S. college students had some type of online course experience before the pandemic, the other two-thirds remained traditional campus-based lectures — little-changed from hundreds of years ago.”

As colleges and universities struggled to enact plans to manage the effects of a global health pandemic, many students were left caught in middle and frustrated with their options. …


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Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

In the blink of an eye, a deadly virus completely altered how we live — from how we work, to how we shop, and how we learn.

COVID shattered most of my daily routine and at first I, like most people, was annoyed and frustrated, but now I’m seeing the beauty of these broken habits.

In fact, COVID has actually helped me deal with other anxieties and stressors in life that I didn’t even realize were weighing on me until quarantine helped me relax.

Don’t get me wrong, the stress hasn’t gone away and work from home has its own unique challenges. But I’m learning to get over my type-A personality always needing to control everything and know all the answers, which has helped me slow down and live more in the present moment. …


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Photo by Andy Falconer on Unsplash

As schools are preparing for what is certain to be the most difficult start to the school year ever, many are wondering what to expect.

Parents are nervous about protecting their children while also allowing them the opportunity to connect with their peers and, for their sanity’s sake, get out of the house. They are also stressed trying to figure out how to help their children learn from home.

Teachers are anxious about protecting themselves and their students while managing a complete shift in their day-to-day job, whether they are fully remote, hybrid or fully in-person.

Students are sad wanting to see their friends and experience the typical joys of the school year. …


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Photo by Taylor Wilcox on Unsplash

One year ago, I made a courageous choice to leave my comfortable, tenured teaching position to start a new career.

And it wasn’t because of the students, like most would assume. No, the students were the best part of my eight years in the classroom and I miss them every day in my new job as a business consultant (adults are pretty boring compared to teenagers).

I made the choice to leave teaching not because I didn’t want to be a teacher. I loved my job.

I left teaching because personal health reasons made me realize how much I was sacrificing my own well-being to do what I loved. …


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Photo by Scott Broome on Unsplash

About two years ago, I was confronted with a new reality in my life when I started suffering from excessive pain and swelling in my joints at the age of twenty-nine (yep, you read that right).

At first, I thought it was simply from overuse of technology — carpal tunnel, perhaps? But even after I tried to rest, ice and take pain medicine, the symptoms kept getting worse.

It took almost a year of visits to different doctors and specialists before I was finally diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis — an autoimmune condition in which the body attacks its own joints.

And I’m not alone. …

About

Steven Hopper

Stories of a former high school teacher, now business consultant. Husband. Travel fanatic. Obsessed coffee drinker. And all-around nerd.

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