Gratitude Makes You A Better Leader


Image courtesy of

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, as we all reflect on those things in our lives that we’re thankful for, why not take the time to ponder how this mindset can also apply to our professional lives.

At every moment of your day, you have a decision to make. You can focus on what’s right, or you can focus on what’s wrong. You’ll find that most people tend to focus on the latter, because that’s what they know and that’s how they’ve been taught to think.

But what about that small percentage of people who always seem to see the glass as half full, even in the most stressful of situations? How did they get there? And how are they able to remain so calm under pressure and see the good in every single situation? Simple. They make a conscious effort to make gratitude a priority in each and every situation they encounter.


Great Leadership is A Daily Practice.

Leading with gratitude is more courageous than leading without – it can be extremely difficult even at the best of times. Looking at business through a lens of gratitude does not come naturally to anybody – it is a learned and practiced trait, taking a lifetime for the majority of people to master as a daily practice.

In every situation, you’re always going to catch yourself looking at the negative aspects first. But as soon as that happens, you’ve got to be able to catch yourself right in that moment and shift your perception. Kind of like a car’s radio, you’ve got to be tuned into the correct frequency if you want to listen in.

Every situation, properly perceived, is an opportunity for growth. That mindset is how the greatest leaders of our time have been able to inspire revolutionary innovation in their teams. By focusing on everything that is good with the world and finding something meaningful in nothing, these leaders created organizations that empowered those around them to unlock their full potential.


Keep your ego in check

There’s a great deal of power in a little bit of humility. While it may feel good to vent, complaining leads you nowhere and feeds a sense of hopeless and helplessness in the workplace, whereas gratitude fuels promise and potential amongst your team. The greatest leaders know how to check their ego at the door and reject the traditional hierarchy of business as part of their leadership style.

Ego is a funny thing, we often view it as a strength and a crutch, when it is really the thing that holds us back the most and becomes our undoing. Being angry, hurt or offended creates the same negative atmosphere that made you feel angry, hurt or offended in the first place. The way to truly transform any situation is to throw your ego in the back seat and lead from the heart (but you have to be smart about it too – after all, you do have a bottom line to protect).

Following the impulses of your ego is a sure way to rob your team of happiness and fulfillment in the workplace.

Your Leadership Style is Contagious

As a leader, the traits and qualities you exemplify set the standard at every level of your organization. If you have an explosive temper and offer harsh, unfiltered criticism to those around you, that behaviour will be displayed to their teams, and stretch outward to the most junior level of staff in the organization in a domino effect.

If you know that you can often share harsh words and stick your foot in your mouth, simply being conscious of this characteristic is your best defence. In a situation where you must give corrective feedback to a member of your team, highlight the strengths of the individual while presenting the correction as an opportunity for growth, rather than disciplinary action.

The best stand up comics are able to get away with saying just about anything because they make fun of themselves first, and that makes them appear more relatable to audiences and shows that they’re also in on the joke. This can also be a great practice as a leader where you bring more humanity to your role by offering transparency into your own areas of growth.

By displaying to your entire team that you look at your leadership role through a lens of gratitude, you are encouraging others to do the same. Small changes in the way we think and perceive minor, everyday situations can have a world of effect, not only in the bottom line of your business, but also in the personal lives of your employees.

A revolution of gratitude within your organization is always possible, but it all starts with you.

Why Metadata Matters To You


Behind every photo is much more than simply a filename. In our industry, the important data behind each media file is called metadata. But what is metadata and why does it matter to you?

Metadata is a highlight of our service and one of our key differentiators. CleanPix uses file metadata to produce effective keyword searches which means less time hunting for files. CleanPix both automatically reads existing file metadata and allows you to define your own such as copyright or usage instructions.

When looking at metadata on your computer, it might be referred to as either file “properties” or “info.” It is this background information that can help you properly title your brand files or even make it possible to search for them in the first place. Digital media management is all about using the power of this background metadata to find and share brand files when you need them most.

In the world of marketing, timeliness and accuracy of information are two of the most critical pillars of success. When you receive a file, it is important to be certain that the author and copyright fields have been correctly attributed to keep yourself out of any potential legal messes. This information is vital to ensure you’re sending the correct file… the first time.

So the bottom line is this: metadata is key in telling the proper story behind your files. By proactively having organized metadata and a system of digital media management in place, you’ll be setting your entire team up for future success.


Client Spotlight: Visit Plano


Photo courtesy of

“We have enjoyed our continued partnership with CleanPix for photo management and distribution. The software is easy to use and reliable. Their team is always quick to answer questions too. I would highly recommend CleanPix for asset management.”

– Millerann Moya , Marketing Manager



Visitors. Meeting and event planners. Business travelers and sporting event organizers. There’s something about Plano that appeals to all of them. Actually, it’s a lot of somethings. Like them, you’ll enjoy unique and entertaining attractions, like the Southfork Ranch from the TV series “Dallas” and events like Texas’ largest Hot Air Balloon Festival. Plano offers a high-spirited day and nightlife. You’ll find restaurants for every taste and style, all the shopping you could ever hope for, as well as a host of hotel and lodging options. It’s quite a collection.


The Biggest Marketing Trend In 2016: Authenticity


“Special Offer (Lies)” by Paolo Fumagalli, 2010

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: Authenticity is the new cool. You can’t always spend a ton of cash and cleverly market your way to success these days. In the age of social media, no secret is kept forever and your words are incredibly difficult to take back.

Authenticity is definitely the biggest emerging trend in marketing right now, but it’s much more than just another trend – it’s here to stay. The demand for authentic marketing is a reaction from consumers based on decades of deception and deceit from organizations with slick marketing campaigns and and smooth interactions with the media. From cigarette manufacturers, food producers, banking and more recently, automotive, the public has become less trusting of the messages shared by corporations. What the public really craves is this: honesty.

Marketing is incredibly inauthentic by nature, as the entire industry is based on presenting brands in the best light, omitting any details that may portray a poor image. So how does a brand go about being authentic? The answer to this is complex and varies from industry to industry, but there is one common thread that runs through all authentic marketing: a people-first approach built on substance and purpose.

By humanizing your marketing efforts, your brand becomes more relatable to the public, who have become very skilled at deciphering when a brand’s claims seem too good to be true. Today, your customers expect a high level of openness when it comes to decision making in areas that may affect the lives of the public. They also expect you to own up to mistakes or acknowledge areas where you could do better.

Dump your one-way messaging in exchange for open conversation with the public. With the emergence of channels like Facebook and Twitter, this process has become much more simplified, giving brands and the public a two-way means of sharing commentary and ideas. By openly communicating with your customers, you’re not only building an unbreakable level of trust, you’re setting your organization up for success with an enthusiastically satisfied base of supporters.


Maintaining Brand Integrity Through An International Crisis

REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

Some days it truly seems like the news we read each day has gotten darker. Perhaps there are more terrible things happening in the world, but the media has also been mobilized like never before thanks to social media, making it much more difficult for the public to unplug themselves from current events. This isn’t a bad thing though – we are living at a point in time where we are much more conscious of what is happening in all corners of the globe.

During last week’s unfathomable terrorist attacks in Paris, Beiruit and Baghdad, the internet was a hotbed of social activity and conversation. During this conversation, it was quite apparent to myself how both personal and corporate users easily forget the power of their social influence. I’m sure that I was not alone in witnessing these influencers share content during the height of the crisis that came across as highly insensitive. Sometimes we all need a brief reminder that not everything is about us and that we are a part of a larger global community.

The golden rule of mitigating an international crisis for personal and professional brands is this: during the eye of a crisis, self-indulgent or self-promotional posting should cease as breaking details emerge onto social media. The purpose of this is to show respect for those involved in the situation unfolding. During this time frame, is is a best practice to only share critical information about crisis itself or post messages of support and solidarity for those who have been caught up in the event.

Not even a decade ago, it was still considered slightly taboo for corporate brands to show too much humanity in their marketing efforts. But with the seismic impact of social media, this has all changed. What was once considered overly “touchy-feely” is now appreciated and almost expected by the public. As the global community’s social purpose has been realized, we have become much more closely-knit. Today, business plays a greater role in building a better world and contributing positively to the places in which they work and do business.

An important question to ask yourself when putting together your strategic plan for the coming year is this: How does your business improve the livelihood of your customers and impact the larger global community? Asking yourself this question is not only the right thing to do, it’s also good for business.

You Spoke… And We Listened


We’re not one of those startup companies who just sit on their hands all day, watching funny cat videos on YouTube and raiding the company fridge. We’re constantly out on social media engaging with the public, chatting about how we can make our service better. You spoke up on a few key improvements we could make to CleanPix, and we listened.

We’re totally thrilled to announce that as of today it is now possible to save a preset message for outgoing media requests. Just save the default message in the preferences setting ( select “use default text” when replying to a media request

We’ve also added advanced settings to your public URL. Click on “link to specific categories” the next time you need to get the public URL.

But personally, I would like to think we’ve saved the best announcement for last: our team is so proud to introduce a full translation of the service into French. We understand that there are requests for other languages out there, but we rely on your feedback to make that happen. If your organization requires additional language support, let us know by sending us a tweet @CleanPix. We’re looking forward to continuing to evolve our one-of-a-kind service in the months and years to come.

Bouncing Back From A Social Media Disaster


You know that terrible “did I leave the burner on?” feeling you get when you know you’ve just screwed up? Nowadays that feeling also applies to social media. If you’re managing multiple social accounts, you’ve no doubt experienced that feeling when switching between profiles. Did I just sign into my own account… or my company’s account? What did I just post?

I’ve been in the position of having to clean up the mess after a wrongfully-sent tweet in my career, and let me assure you, it’s not fun. However, my experience with social media disasters is nothing compared to that of some of the biggest blunders in history.

We’ve all heard the horror stories of massive PR nightmares caused by social media blunders. While, as a society, we sometimes tend to get really worked up over minor misunderstandings, there have been a handful of exceptions where the public truly had the right to be offended. Companies like US Airways, Digiornio’s Pizza, Best Buy, American Apparel and HMV have all had to face serious consequences thanks to some rather unfortunate tweets.  Or who can forget #Susanalbumparty? A hashtag to promote the release party for Susan Boyle’s then-released album.

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So how do you pick up the pieces and move forward after a social media disaster? You start by acknowledging your error immediately. Take ownership for what was said on behalf of your organization. In some cases, you can turn a negative social media experience into a positive one by taking a leadership role. The Red Cross turned an unfortunate tweet in 2011 into a fundraising opportunity.

There’s no use placing blame on “an intern,” because the public is smarter than that these days. They know that companies don’t hand the keys to their reputation over to an unpaid intern. Donald Trump tried to blame “an intern” for a recent tweet sent out in poor taste and the internet reacted with a collective eye-roll. Part of Mr. Trump’s digital brand has been to insult and stir controversy, which seems to have worked in his favour on some fronts, but has also alienated him eternally from other segments of the population.

After you’ve apologized for your internet blunder, quickly announce how you plan to remedy the situation and issue an apology if necessary. Once you’ve done this, maybe it’s time to take a close look at how this mistake came to be in the first place. Perhaps you’ll want to institute a strict social media policy among your marketing department.

Authenticity always rules when it comes to communicating with consumers in this day and age. Speak with them, not at them. The approach of speaking down to customers will ultimately make your situation worse.

But whatever you do, ensure that your brand assets are at the ready. When a PR disaster hits, you’ll regret not being fully prepared. By having brand media ready to sent out on a moment’s notice will save you massive headaches in the hours following your organization’s day of reckoning.

Tips For Adopting A Digital Media Management System

Startup Stock Photo

It can be challenging to get an entire organization on board with a new digital media management/digital asset management platform. Most of us don’t love change in our routines or embrace it with open arms.

But as organizations race to produce more creative assets to get their brand out into the world, digital media management software has emerged as the best platform to coordinate assets and ensure that an organization’s brand is being presented in the best light.

No matter which platform you utilize for your digital assets, there are a few key tips to make note of to ensure that the implementation and adoption of your digital media management system goes smoothly.

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