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10 Great Apps Every Leader Needs to Be Effective

BY SHAWN MURPHY, CEO and founder, Switch & Shift - 

It's not enough for twenty-first-century leaders to focus on getting things done. They must also connect with employees to inspire performance. Digging deeper, top management today needs to marry purpose and meaning to each employee's contribution. Amid these expectations, and these are but a handful, it's easy for a leader to overlook herself.Apps

A leader depleted of energy is no good to anyone. Turning to digital for solutions, the list below recommends apps to help you be more effective in your life professionally and personally.

The recommended apps are broken down into six categories to increase your leadership effectiveness.

Personal Growth: Deepen your skills through personal development
Communication: Increase clarity, awareness, and understanding within your team
Productivity: Get more done and have energy left to be who you need to be to people important in your life
Inspiration: Know how and why to inspire people
Creativity: Add fulfillment in your work through creating solutions to business problems
Collaboration: Strengthen how you get things done through others. Work is a team sport.

1. Personal Growth

The Leadership Challenge: Hands down the best leadership app out there. Developed by the authors Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner and based on their best-selling book of the same name, this app gives you tangible actions to grow your leadership according to five leadership practices: Model the Way, Inspire a Shared Vision, Challenge the Process, Enable Others to Act, Encourage the Heart. Excellent app if you want to grow as a leader.

Igniter: There's a saying, "Know what you stand for, or you'll fall for anything." To accomplish the first part of the saying, you need to know what your personal values are. Igniter, from Luck Companies, takes you through an automated process of identifying your core personal values. You ought to know what you stand for. Values are your true north.

Day One: Keep track of what's important to you. Capture ideas. Record memories. Day One is a journaling app to help you develop a routine of reflection. The best leaders take time to reflect.

2. Communication

Slack: My team of seven is completely virtual. Rather than overwhelm email with small requests or updates, of which there are many in a day, we use Slack. Think of Slack as texting on steroids. You can sync many other apps to Slack: Dropbox and Drive, for example. Try /giphy for some fun. Decrease unnecessary meetings and emails. Free up time to focus on higher-value leadership actions.

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Jabra expands SPEAK series to simplify collaboration

Jabra announced today availability of Jabra SPEAK 810, a speakerphone solution designed to mitigate traditional difficulties of conference collaboration and eliminate poor sound quality.  Jabra long

"Businesses are becoming more focused on creating working environments and cultures that better enable them to compete,” Holger Reisinger, Head of Business Solutions, Jabra, said. “As a result, office environments are changing and becoming more dynamic, demanding and technology-enabled. New ways of working are adding flexibility to working spaces, practices and hours. Yet productivity must also remain a priority for business success and for this reason so should enabling effective collaboration and concentration.”

Important features include a directional microphone with a 15 foot range; connectivity through USB, Bluetooth and 3.5 mm jack cables; USB charge out for charging mobile devices; and a Kensington lock slot option.

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AlienVault and Intel Collaborate to Expand Enterprise Threat Intelligence Sharing

AlienVault, a crowd-sourced threat intelligence and Unified Security Management provider, announced today collaboration with Intel Security in which Intel Security will integrate AlienVault Open Threat Exchange and the two companies will share real-time, actionable threat data.

"Intel Security is committed to industry collaborations which will help provide critical threat intelligence and better protection to our customers. Working with AlienVault will enable us to exchange threat data and enhance the level of customer protection delivered via McAfee's Global Threat Intelligence system," said David Coffey, vice president for GTI, McAfee Labs, part of Intel Security.

AlienVault OTX supports 26,000 participants globally with more than 1 million threat indicators daily, and the Intel Security GTI cloud provides active protection to more than 6 million customers in myriad customer deployments.

AlienVault suggested an increasingly complex threat landscape requires robust cybersecurity measures and more collaborative sharing of threat data.

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Dropbox Offers Comment Option to All Users

Dropbox announced today its new comment feature is available to all users, after Dropbox for Business users tested out commenting over the last month.Dropbox Logo

Comments on Dropbox are key to improving collaboration, as multiple people can comment on the same Dropbox file, keeping the conversation with the document.

Through Dropbox comments, users can mention others to connect or continue the conversation; stay up-to-date with email notifications for each comment; manage access to commenting; and make changes in a Microsoft file opened through Dropbox in Office Online or the desktop app, with changes saved directly back to Dropbox.

Step-by-step instructions are available here.

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Open-Xchange Opens Eyes at Parallels Summit 2014

RafaelLaguna portraitI was able to meet with Open-Xchange CEO, Rafael Laguna (pictured) this afternoon at the OX booth in the Parallels Summit Exhibit Hall, and it was a rather eye-opening experience. First of all, Laguna spoke to me about the history of his organization.

Laguna is one of the founding members of OX, which began as a company in its own right in 2005, but that it started as a smaller organization. He explained that their story was a little backwards, as they got the customer first, noted hosting company, 1&1, Inc., and then launched their new venture. Having 1&1 as the launch customer gave OX an edge, as they had to scale with 1&1’s well-known growth.
Open-Xchange was originally started as a US Inc., but has most of its operations in Germany. Laguna then explained he and his fellow co-founders started with the idea that email is a major asset. He compared email to phone numbers, in that you can take your number with you to any carrier, but email is stuck. OX was also ahead of its time, in that all solutions were browser-based to begin with.

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LogMeIn’s App Adds Cloud Recording, Sharing recording home screenLogMeIn has unveiled the first in a series of new capabilities that extend the collaborative benefits of beyond online meetings through LogMeIn’s secure cloud file sync and sharing app, Cubby.  First up is cloud-based recording and sharing of any online or audio meeting. The new features offer a simple, secure way to capture and share real-time collaboration sessions, either as a follow-up for participants or as a means of sharing the meeting’s content with a broader audience.

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Citrix Releases Webcast Service for NorAm, Europe

citrix-logo1Yesterday, Citrix announced the release of two new services for their GoTo solution suite. GoToWebcast, a new audio and video broadcasting system and GoToWebinar/GoToTraining HDFaces beta, both of which are generally available in North America and Europe.

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TalkPoint and BlueJeans Network Integrate

Yesterday, TalkPoint and Blue Jeans Network announced that they have entered into an integration agreement. This agreement will allow for TalkPoint’s cloud-based webcasting tech to work with the video collaboration services of Blue Jeans.

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WebDAM Solutions Releases Updated Digital Asset Management Solution

WebDAM LogoLast week, WebDAM Solutions announced the release of their enhanced Digital Asset Management solution at Macworld/iWorld Conference in San Francisco, CA. This announcement expands the company’s solution in the areas of user experience, team collaboration and search/discovery.

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Mavenlink Announces New Financial Reporting Tools

MavenlinkToday, Mavenlink, Inc. released a series of enhancements to their signature project management application. These enhancements offer Mavenlink users greater control over financial management and reporting within their organization.

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