Are you an experienced leader looking to brush up on your skills? Or maybe you’re brand new in this space and want to gain the tools to help you succeed.
In this article, you’ll discover the key leadership skills you should leave leadership training with along with the benefits of taking a leadership training course.
What is leadership training?
Leadership training refers to specialized courses designed for novice and experienced leaders to learn new – or brush up on – skills and techniques, such as communication, decision making, and conflict resolution.
Why leadership training is important?
Leadership training is valuable to anyone who currently or aspires to hold a supervisorial role. The qualities needed to succeed in a leadership role don’t just appear once you’ve been assigned the role. In fact, you should be exhibiting these qualities long before you step into it.
This is why taking a leadership training course can be valuable, even if you don’t oversee any direct reports.
For fresh managers, it’s an incredibly valuable resource that will arm them with the tools and strategies needed to motivate and inspire their teams. Leadership training is also a good setting for new leaders to discover leadership styles and determine which one fits best for them.
For experienced leaders, it’s an opportunity to learn new tactics that will help them improve their leadership style. For instance, psychological safety has been prioritized by many companies within the last few years, much more than before.
As such, it’s a big part of many leadership training courses available out there today.
Leaders also have an ethical responsibility to stay on top of their game. How can you expect the best from your team if you don’t also push to be the best version of yourself?
What are the benefits of leadership training?
At this point, you know why leadership training is valuable in a general sense. If you’re wondering what are some key benefits for you specifically, here are a few:
- You’ll have access to new techniques and skills.
- You’ll identify or refine your management style.
- You’ll gain more confidence in your leadership ability.
- You’ll develop a stronger understanding of what makes a successful leader.
- You’ll get ahead of common mistakes made by leaders.
What to Expect from Leadership Training
1. Improving your communication.
One of the first things you should expect to learn in leadership training is how to effectively communicate with your team. Effective communication build trust and rapport while poor communication creates tension and discord.
Communication is fluid – it can take place in many different ways, formats, and styles. This is what makes it such a complex topic that is never fully exhausted.
Leadership training will teach you how to:
- Create an environment that facilitates communication among your team.
- Identify your direct reports’ communication styles and how to respond accordingly.
- Be transparent with your team without divulging too much information.
And that’s just to name a few. As far as communication goes, it’s one aspect of leadership you can always gain new insights on.
2. Identifying or improving your leadership style.
How would you define yourself as a leader? Are you a commander or visionary? Are you a servant or a coach?
Every leader you ask will likely offer a different answer. That’s because there isn’t one approach to leadership. Every style can work in a specific environment with a specific group.
The earlier you identify your leadership style, the earlier you can start to refine it and discover how to build on it for the success of your team.
3. Building psychological safety.
One of the most important aspects of being a successful leader is creating a safe and positive work environment for your team – this is known as psychological safety.
There are four pillars of psychological safety:
- Safe to be yourself
- Safe to learn
- Safe to contribute
- Safe to challenge
A psychologically safe workplace is one where employees can bring their full selves to work, feel welcomed to share ideas, and challenge the status quo.
In addition, research has shown that when an organization welcomes diversity in thought, the company performs better. So, creating this environment is not only key to employee satisfaction but also contributes to the growth of the company.
4. Navigating difficult conversations.
One of the hardest things about being a leader is having tough conversations with your team members. These conversations can be difficult because they often involve conflict or criticism.
However, you can’t exactly avoid them.
Leadership training will give you the resources to navigate these conversations and lead to positive outcomes. A key part of this is by nurturing empathy and emotional intelligence to identify the root of certain issues and address them before they progress.
5. Managing Conflict.
Conflict is a natural part of any working relationship.
However, it is important to learn how to manage conflict effectively in order to maintain a positive and productive work environment. This can look like setting boundaries, mediating disputes, and more.
Leadership training will teach you how to do just that.
To recap, you should leave your leadership training with improved communication skills, better conflict management skills, greater creativity, and enhanced problem-solving abilities.
Even if you’ve taken one before, you’re sure to come out the other side with a fresh outlook on what it means to be a leader.
The Biggest Ad Fraud Cases and What We Can Learn From Them
Ad fraud is showing no signs of slowing down. In fact, the latest data indicates that it will cost businesses a colossal €120 billion by 2023. But even more worrying is that fraudsters’ tactics are becoming so sophisticated that even big-name companies such as Uber, Procter & Gamble, and Verizon have been victims of ad fraud in recent years.
So what does this mean for the rest of the industry? The answer is simple: every ad company, no matter their size or budget is just as at risk as the big guns – if not more.
In this article, I summarize some of the biggest and most shocking cases of ad fraud we’ve witnessed over recent years and notably, what vital lessons marketers and advertisers can learn from them to avoid wasting their own budgets.
The biggest ad fraud cases in recent years
Let’s take a look at some of the most high-profile and harmful ad fraud cases of recent years that have impacted some of the most well-known brands around the world.
Methbot: $5 million a day lost through fake video views
In 2016, Aleksandr Zhukov, the self-proclaimed “King of Fraud”, and his group of fraudsters were discovered to have been making between $3 and $5 million a day by executing fake clicks on video advertisements.
Oft-cited as the biggest digital ad fraud operation ever uncovered, “Methbot” was a sophisticated botnet scheme that involved defrauding brands by enabling countless bots to watch 300 million video ads per day on over 6000 spoofed websites.
Due to the relatively high cost-per-mille (CPM) for video ads, Aleksandr and his group were able to steal millions of dollars a day by targeting high-value marketplaces. Some of the victims of the Methbot fraud ring include The New York Times, The New York Post, Comcast, and Nestle.
In late 2021, Aleksandr Zhukov was sentenced to 10 years in prison and ordered to pay over $3.8 million in restitution.
Uber: $100 million wasted in ad spend
In another high-profile case, transportation giant Uber filed a lawsuit against five ad networks in 2019 – Fetch, BidMotion, Taptica, YouAppi, and AdAction Interactive – and won.
Uber claimed that its ads were not converting, and ultimately discovered that roughly two-thirds of its ad budget ($100 million) wasn’t needed. This was on account of ad retargeting companies that were abusing the system by creating fraudulent traffic.
The extent of the ad fraud was discovered when the company cut $100 million in ad spend and saw no change in the number of rider app installs.
In 2020, Uber also won another lawsuit against Phunware Inc. when they discovered that the majority of Uber app installations that the company claimed to have delivered were produced by the act of click flooding.
Criteo: Claims sues competitor for allegedly running a damaging counterfeit click fraud scheme
In 2016, Criteo, a retargeting and display advertising network, claimed that competitor Steelhouse (now known as MNTM) ran a click fraud scheme against Criteo in a bid to damage the company’s reputation and to fraudulently take credit for user visits to retailers’ web pages.
Criteo filed a lawsuit claiming that due to Steelhouse’s alleged actions — the use of bots and other automated methods to generate fake clicks on shoe retailer TOMS’ ads — Criteo ultimately lost TOMS as a client. Criteo has accused Steelhouse of carrying out this type of ad fraud in a bid to prove that Steelhouse provided a more effective service than its own.
Twitter: Elon Musk claims that the platform hosts a high number of inauthentic accounts
In one of the biggest and most tangled tech deals in recent history, the Elon Musk and Twitter saga doesn’t end with Twitter taking Musk to court for backing out of an agreement to buy the social media giant for $44 billion.
In yet another twist, Musk has also claimed that Twitter hid the real number of bots and fake accounts on its platform. He has also accused the company of fraud by alleging that these accounts make up around 10% of Twitter’s daily active users who see ads, essentially meaning that 65 million of Twitter’s 229 million daily active users are not seeing them at all.
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6 Lessons marketers can learn from these high-profile ad fraud cases
All of these cases demonstrate that ad fraud is a pervasive and ubiquitous practice that has incredibly damaging and long-lasting effects on even the most well-known brands around the world.
The bottom line is this: Marketers and advertisers can no longer afford to ignore ad fraud if they’re serious about reaching their goals and objectives. Here are some of the most important lessons and takeaways from these high-profile cases.
- No one is safe from ad fraud
Everyone — from small businesses to large corporations like Uber — is affected by ad fraud. Plus, fraudsters have no qualms over location: no matter where in the world you operate, you are susceptible to the consequences of ad fraud.
- Ad fraud is incredibly hard to detect using manual methods
Fraudsters use a huge variety of sneaky techniques and channels to scam and defraud advertisers, which means ad fraud is incredibly difficult to detect manually. This is especially true if organizations don’t have the right suggestions and individuals dedicated to tracking and monitoring the presence of ad fraud.
Even worse, when organizations do have teams in place monitoring ad fraud, they are rarely experts, and cannot properly pore through the sheer amount of data that each campaign produces to accurately pinpoint it.
- Ad fraud wastes your budget, distorts your data, and prevents you from reaching your goals
Ad fraud drains your budget significantly, which is a huge burden for any company. However, there are also other ways it impacts your ability to deliver results.
For example, fake clicks and click bots lead to skewed analytics, which means that when you assess advertising channels and campaigns based on the traffic and engagement they receive, you’re actually relying on flawed data to make future strategic decisions.
Finally – and as a result of stolen budgets and a reliance on flawed data – your ability to reach your goals is highly compromised.
- You’re likely being affected by ad fraud already, even if you don’t know it yet
As seen in many of these cases, massive amounts of damage were caused because the brands weren’t aware that they were being targeted by fraudsters. Plus, due to the lack of awareness surrounding ad fraud in general, it’s highly likely that you’re being affected by ad fraud already.
- You have options to fight the effects of ad fraud
Luckily, as demonstrated by these cases, there are some options available to counteract the impact and losses caused by ad fraud, such as requesting a refund or even making a case to sue. In such cases, ad fraud detection solutions are extremely useful to uncover ad fraud and gather evidence.
- But the best option is to prevent ad fraud from the get-go
The best ad fraud protection is ad fraud prevention. The only surefire way to stop fraudsters from employing sophisticated fraud schemes and attacking your campaigns is by implementing equally sophisticated solutions. Anti-ad fraud software solutions that use machine learning and artificial intelligence help you keep fraud at bay, enabling you to focus on what matters: optimizing your campaigns and hitting your goals.
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