12 Ways to Become a Better Leader

12 Ways to Become a Better Leader

Do you manage a team of employees? Being in a position of authority, management or leadership comes with a lot of responsibility. You are ultimately accountable for the performance, efficiency, success and morale of your team. It is easy to be “in charge”, but it takes a lot to be a good leader. So here are 12 ways that you can be a better leader in your position – starting today.   12 Ways to Become a Better Leader   1. Listen More, Speak Less First and foremost, your team wants to know that their ideas and opinions are heard and valued. The more you listen, the more you will find that your team listens when you speak.   2. Know Potential When You See It In a leadership role, it’s fairly safe to assume that you’re also in the hiring position. Therefore, pay attention to your employees’ potential. Don’t just scan the resume looking for a needed set of skills. Build a team that can grow, encourage growth, and you’ll see so much more engagement.   3. Be Liberal with Positive Feedback, Frugal with Criticism In this great article, the author writes, “It sounds corny, and maybe you can overdo this one, but I honestly believe many employees in young companies need constant encouragement. We live in complex, competitive times and people are inundated with too many tasks and not enough time. Technology and business life can be overwhelming, so it’s important to point out any “wins” no matter how small. And, if you do have to criticize, think seriously about the impact first.”   4. Avoid Gossip...
Friday Wine Down: Martin Craig Luminist Chardonnay

Friday Wine Down: Martin Craig Luminist Chardonnay

Welcome to the Friday Wine Down! What a week it’s been – doesn’t a glass of wine sound perfect right about now? Here at GiftTree, we’re collectors, sippers and enthusiasts, and when we find a very special bottle, we just can’t keep ourselves from sharing! From Chardonnay on a casual night out to a rare Cabernet for special occasions, every week we’ll feature a fantastic wine available in our gifts. Onward!   This Week’s Friday Wine Down: Martin Craig Luminist Chardonnay About This Wine With a brightness that can only be claimed by Sonoma County’s sun-soaked Russian River Valley, Luminist Chardonnay is a limited-release boutique wine. It’s made in collaboration renowned winemaker Glenn Hugo. Sonoma County’s prestigious regions for growing Chardonnay offer a distinct profile, and the Russian River Valley brings elegance and richness. Tasting Notes Aged in new French oak barrels, this is a vibrant Russian River Chardonnay. Boasts radiant aromas of orange blossom and lemon zest. Balanced by apricot and peach notes, with a light oak finish. Light-bodied and food-friendly, Luminist shows a focused, brilliant acidity on the finish. Blend 100% Chardonnay Suggestions for Serving & Pairing The refreshing acidity in Luminist pairs perfectly with poached salmon topped with lemon aioli, tiger prawns sautéed in garlic butter, a warm vegetable risotto terrine, or bay scallops in a tarragon cream sauce.   Try Martin Craig’s Luminist Chardonnay in a few of our favorite gift baskets – The Monterey – where it’s paired with three more companion wines and a whole lot of gourmet pairings.   Comment Below Have you had a chance to try the Luminist? What did you think? What’s...
Dining Al Fresco: Tip, Tricks & Recipes

Dining Al Fresco: Tip, Tricks & Recipes

Ahh, summer. Nothing beats dinner on the patio on a balmy summer evening. But there are a few things you need to know! Here are some helpful hints, tips, hacks and even a couple meal plans to make your backyard dinner extra special. TIP #1 Take It Easy Dining outside is all about letting the atmosphere set the tone for the evening, so keep your recipes simple (and you’ll be able to relax and enjoy yourself more, too). Dining al fresco usually means that there’s lots of fresh produce in season. Therefore, showcase it by preparing it simply. Grilled corn on the cob with butter, crisp asparagus with sea salt, and a colorful, flavorful caprese salad come to mind. TIP #2 Make It Sustainable Yes, it is a little more work, but glass plates, cloth napkins and heavier glasses are much better for the environment than one-use picnic supplies. Plus, everyone hates how those cheap paper plates go limp immediately after dishing up. This tip is actually a two-for-one deal – since you’re not using paper plates, paper napkins and disposable cups, congrats! You’ve wind-proofed your outdoor meal, too! TIP #3 Light It Up If you plan to eat outdoors during the evening, some nice lighting will be needed. There are lots of ways to set the mood – candles, lanterns and string lights come to mind. Get creative! Check out Pinterest boards for patio lighting and have fun. If you can keep the scent of the candle or torches away from the table, citronella does double duty of repelling mosquitoes and adding light. Which brings us to our next...
Ten Amazing Gifts for New Homeowners

Ten Amazing Gifts for New Homeowners

Aren’t new beginnings the best? Whether it’s the first or the third, buying a new home is a great thing! A fresh start is cause for celebration, especially after enduring all the stresses that home buying brings. Congratulate those sellers, welcome the new owners with a housewarming gift they’re going to appreciate and remember. Here are 10 amazing gifts for new home owners!   Personalized Housewarming Gift Ideas   Gourmet Housewarming Gift Ideas   Memorable Wine Gifts Even More Unique Gift Ideas   If you are a Realtor, a Lending Officer or just a friend, give a housewarming gift that will make them feel welcomed into their home and make you look...
2019 Business Gift Trends

2019 Business Gift Trends

The holidays are not the only time to give business gifts! All year long, employees, clients and colleagues deserve to be recognized and appreciated. It’s the way we strengthen and reinforce business bonds! That’s why it’s so important to remember birthdays, send thank yous, and reward a job well done. A great business gift reflects the very best of your company. And when your gifts are memorable, your company will be, too. To get with the times and make sure you’re always making an impact with your gift, let’s take a look at some of the best business gift trends this year.   Company “Swag” is Out… For the most part (and of course there are some exceptions), corporate “swag” does not have the clout that it once did. Overall, most employees view logo’d pens, frisbees, flash drives and coffee cups imprinted with the company logo as pretty thoughtless. Actually, promotional swag can send the opposite of your intended message! Instead of saying, “you’re valued and appreciated”, cheap logo’d items like stickers and mouse pads send a message that says “we didn’t put much thought into this gift, because we don’t put much thought into you”. Ouch. But Branded Gifts are In. Show your clients you really appreciate their business! Tell your employees that their role makes a huge difference! Face the facts: your company’s success rides on the backs of hard-working employees, great customer service and loyal clients. If you recognize that you wouldn’t be where you are without your team and your customers, prove it. Make business gift giving part of your business strategy, and not with...