Showing posts with label Personal Strengths. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Personal Strengths. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Personal Strengths of a 12 Year-Old Boy

Ned, watching birds with his camera (photo by Charm Peterson)
Last weekend I was in charge of a bird-watching (aka “birding”) field trip to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The 100 participants ranged in age from 12 to 92. Talk about diversity!

Often when preteens or teens attend, they’re accompanying parents who are eager to introduce them to the world of birds.

In this instance, two 12 year-old boys brought their mothers along. I knew one of the boys, Ned, because he’s a member of our local bird club. He’s been an avid birder for two years and has accompanied my husband Lee and me for Audubon bird counts.

Ned is not like most boys his age. As I watched him in action over the weekend, I was awed by his maturity and the personal strengths he exhibited.

Ned doesn't use binoculars to look at birds. While this is a must-have piece of equipment for most birders, Ned uses his camera exclusively. He’s taught himself to expertly zoom in and out to view a bird and take a picture at the same time. Pretty ingenious. I've never seen anyone else do that.

People who are serious birders keep a list of birds they've seen. When they encounter a new species, they call it a “life bird.” Some folks count birds that they barely see because they’re eager to add to their numbers. Not Ned. He holds himself to a very high standard. He only counts birds that he can photograph. He wants documented proof that he’s seen a specific species. As handy as he is with his camera, he’s been able to get a shot of almost every new species he encounters.

The host hotel offered a hot breakfast every morning, starting at 6:00AM. My husband Lee and I arrived at 6:10 both days. Ned was already there, by himself (his mother and buddy slept in), finishing up his morning meal. No one had to prod this kid to get up. He wanted to make the most of his time, so he arrived at the earliest possible moment. After clearing his table off, he scurried out the door to stand on the large deck just outside the breakfast room, looking for birds and capturing pictures of the sunrise.

Unlike many kids who have the attention span of a gnat, Ned was able to be still for long periods at a time and just WAIT. Whether he was sitting on a bench waiting for the sunrise or out in the field waiting for birds to show up, he seemed to just enjoy the moment and relish in whatever came next.

Because of the number of attendees, we divided into smaller groups for the field trips. No matter which group Ned was in, he brought an infectious enthusiasm that spread to others. This young man LOVES birding. He’d rather do that than almost anything else. You won’t see him with any electronic gadgets, playing video games or texting his friends. When we’d mention species that we might see on a particular trip and it was a new bird for him, Ned’s excited face lit up the room.

Yes, Ned left quite an impression on everyone, a very positive impression. You might say he was a phenomenon.

He certainly inspired me to appreciate the beauty around me - and life in general - in a more profound way.

"Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better." - Albert Einstein

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Why Nature Filmmakers Have My Respect

Without a doubt, my favorite TV programs are shows about the world of nature. What passes for “reality” shows can’t hold a candle to these, where you can see the moment-by-moment struggle for survival that creatures in the natural world face every day.

I like to call this Nature At Work.

Recently, as I was watching “Magic of the Snowy Owl” on the PBS Nature series, my attention alternated between two adult owls’ valiant attempts to raise their young in harsh conditions and the filmmakers working in those same harsh conditions to capture the year-long story.

Whether they’re covering frigid regions of the Arctic or blazing heat of the desert, those who brave the elements to bring us this rare footage have my eternal respect and gratitude. Because of their efforts, millions of people like me can witness marvels of nature that would otherwise be inaccessible.

As I see the world through their lenses, I often think about the personal strengths required for individuals who take on these challenges. These three stand out...

COURAGE. Many of these locations are remote and treacherous. It can be risky just to get to the destination. The dangers are real, even life-threatening at times. These adventures are not for the faint of heart! Lucky for us viewers, these hardy souls say “yes” to the opportunities and don’t let fear stop them.

Often the fears we experience in life are due to our own thoughts and imagination. Unlike the filmmakers, the dangers we perceive do not exist in reality. Examine your fears and figure out what you can do to work through them and take action.

“The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding go out to meet it.” - Thucydides, Greek historian (C. B.C. 460-400)

PATIENCE. What we see on the screen in a two-minute clip may have taken weeks or months of waiting for just the right moment. It’s about being in the right place at the right time, allowing the action to come to them and not trying to rush the shot.

Do you sometimes want to hurry things along, just to get to closure according to your own time frame? Not everyone moves at the same pace you do, and you may need to let things unfold in their natural way. Trying to push can be counter-productive. 

“Some things arrive on their own mysterious hour, on their own terms and not yours, to be seized or relinquished forever.” - Gail Godwin, American novelist (1937- )

PERSEVERANCE. There must be moments when the crew is tempted to throw in the towel and say, “That’s it! No more!” Like when hundreds of mosquitoes are attacking their exposed skin. Or toes and fingers are getting frost-bitten. Adverse weather conditions and physical discomfort would send less committed people running for the hills. And yet these dedicated individuals stay until they get the job done…no matter what.

What kinds of obstacles cause you to quit? Can you stick with it just a little longer even when you feel like giving up? Often breakthroughs come at the moment when you feel you can’t take one more step. 

“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hold a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” - Harriet Beecher Stowe, American novelist (1811-1896)

Next time you watch a nature program, think about the courage, patience and perseverance required to capture those moments, and you will have a deeper appreciation for the unique opportunity you’ve been given to see “nature at work.”

Friday, October 19, 2012

2 Core Abilities Successful Entrepreneurs Must Have

As a business owner since 1982, I’ve learned an important truth: You need to be strong on the inside to make it as an entrepreneur.

This means, even though you may be busy putting out fires and acquiring business know-how, you also have to constantly work on your own personal development.

You can absorb enormous amounts of information about marketing, sales, leadership, and management to help you run your company. But applying this knowledge can be really challenging.

That’s because the world you live in is a constant barrage of obstacles and setbacks. It takes grit, determination and a host of other personal strengths to follow through.

So you have to be smart, and you have to be strong—at the core of who you are.

Recently I had a chance to talk with Rick Zanotti and Gina Schreck on their weekly vidcast, SchreckTeck, about a system that helps entrepreneurs develop two core abilities.

Watch the program, and you’ll discover:
  • Why personal strengths and people skills are critical in every aspect of a business
  • How to use a three-step process to create new habits 
  • The value of a Coaching Network to support you in your development

I encourage you to check out Strong for Business if you want to build the strengths and skills needed for long-term success as an entrepreneur.

"The place to improve the world is first in one's own heart, head and hands." - Robert Pirsig, American novelist (1928- )

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Personal Strengths Are Behavior Patterns, Not Passive Qualities

When it comes to character development, people often use words like “quality” or “trait” to describe personal strengths like honesty, integrity, courage and perseverance. But these terms miss the mark.

The reason: The only way others can really tell if you’re honest or courageous when you face a challenge is by observing your behavior.

What do you actually DO when you’re in a situation that requires you to tell the truth or take a calculated risk? It’s not about what you say you value, it’s how you act in the moment.

Reading books to get inspired will only take you so far. And it’s not enough to think of yourself as a person who values decisiveness, compassion, and initiative. The real test is: Do you consistently make decisions in a timely manner, treat others kindly and take appropriate action without being asked to?

Many character education programs in schools these days fall far short of helping students actually become people of character. They may teach the importance of fairness, excellence, commitment and personal responsibility. But they don’t give kids the opportunity to actually develop these behavior patterns.

You build physical strength by repeatedly exercising certain muscles. Whether you’re working with a trainer at the gym or going through work-out DVDs at home, practice and repetition are keys to getting in shape.

In a similar way, you develop a personal strength by repeating a behavior pattern until it becomes comfortable. You’re actually wiring a circuit in your brain that enables you to do it automatically.

Here’s why that kind of repetition is so important.

When you face a difficult situation, you don’t always have time to think through how you’ll respond. That means you often react with a pattern you’ve ingrained over time. So what kinds of patterns have you established?

Let’s say someone asks you if you got a specific task or project done. If you didn’t, will you admit the truth or try to cover up to save face? If you’ve developed a pattern of being honest most of the time, you’ll be more likely to tell the truth in this situation.

Or you’re upset because another person didn’t follow through with something they promised to do. Do you keep your cool and maintain your composure, or do you fly off the handle and react emotionally?

So what behavior patterns related to personal strengths have you established? Have you created habits that make it easy for you to do the hard things in your work and personal life?

Until now there hasn’t been a system for helping people build these core personal strengths. Our ProStar Coach program provides the content and the structure to help you develop 40 different strengths. If you’re committed to being a lifelong learner, you owe it to yourself to check it out.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The One Thing You Cannot Outsource or Delegate

These days, you can outsource almost anything you don’t want to do.

You can hire others to perform all kinds of domestic or personal tasks:
  • clean your house
  • prepare your meals (grocery store or private chef)
  • maintain your lawn 
  • make interior or exterior repairs to your home 
  • take care of your children 
And in business, you can hire employees or build a virtual team of people to perform jobs for you so you can focus on your own “genius” work, utilizing your unique talents and abilities.

The number of business skills you can outsource or delegate is limited only by your imagination and could include:
  • web design
  • bookkeeping
  • marketing and sales
  • customer support
  • social media management
Outsourcing is smart because you want to make the most of your time each day. It’s great to have others with expertise in areas you either don’t have or don’t want to develop.

But there’s one thing you can’t hand off to someone else to do because it’s an inside job.

No one else can become a stronger person for you

Your personal development is your own responsibility. It’s up YOU to react appropriately when you’re in a situation that requires composure, patience, self-discipline or compassion.

Yes, you can have teachers, coaches and mentors who show you the way. And you can read books, watch videos and listen to audios to learn strategies and get inspired.

But the real work rests with you. You're the one who has to apply what you learn in actual situations.

"Every day you miss playing or practicing is one day longer it takes to be good." 
- Ben Hogan, American professional golfer (1912-1997)

Because, if you haven’t taken time to develop them, you may not be able to automatically engage the necessary personal strengths when you need to.

A few examples …

When you have a great opportunity, you first need awareness and open-mindedness to recognize it. Then courage and self-confidence are required to take advantage of the moment.

And then there are the challenges that you alone must work through. When the going gets tough, will you apply focus to stay on task and perseverance to keep going in the face of setbacks, failures and disappointments?

When you have a decision to make, do you use thoroughness to do the research and collect the facts, then engage both intuition and rationality to check your feelings and logic before moving forward?

These are just a dozen of 40 personal strengths you need for maximum effectiveness during your lifetime. Yet these are not taught in our educational system, so most people haven’t learned how to do them well.

If you’re on a quest to become stronger as a person – so you can take advantage of the good things that come your way and deal effectively with the bad – then you owe it to yourself to check out ProStar Coach. This virtual coaching system gives you incredible resources and a proven process for building 40 different personal strengths as well as dozens of people skills.

You’re probably outsourcing at least some tasks at home or at work. What are you investing – in time, effort and money – to develop the most important resource you have – your own mind?
"Ever since I was a child I have had this instinctive urge for expansion and growth. To me, the function and duty of a quality human being is the sincere and honest development of one's potential."
- Bruce Lee, Chinese actor (1940-1973)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Larry Winget – Truth-telling at Its Best

I’ve always been attracted to people who can articulate the truth with utter clarity and simplicity.

Larry Winget is that kind of person, and I was spell-bound as I listened to him speak at the GKIC SuperConference in April. What made him unique was his ability to incorporate humor into serious subjects. The truth goes down easier when you can laugh along the way.

The titles of his best-selling books tell you all you need to know about his unique approach:
Shut Up, Stop Whining, and Get a Life
You’re Broke Because You Want to Be
It’s Called Work for a Reason!
People Are Idiots and I Can Prove It!
Your Kids Are Your Own Fault 
Larry likes to reduce important truths to their simplest form.

He found 500 books on “the secrets of customer service.” His summary: BE NICE.

For the 600 books on “the secrets of selling,” he boils it down to: “ASK. If they say no, ask again. If they say no again, ask somebody else. Don’t be stupid.”

And he really got my attention when he talked about taking personal responsibility and raising children to be successful adults.

Not many speakers would be willing to state this to an audience, for fear of offending someone: “If your 30 year-old still lives in his bedroom at your house, you’re a failure as a parent.”

If you agree that the ultimate purpose of parenting is to produce independent, responsible adults (which I do), then he’s absolutely right.

He also poked holes at ideas often proclaimed as truth by motivational speakers. Here are my two favorites.

Myth: You can have it all.
Reality: You cannot have it all. You have to choose. You HAVE to say no to some things.

We’re told we can GET rich or GET skinny or GET successful. But you have to give up some other things in order to GET the results you want.

Larry outlined a simple 3-step plan that requires only 3 sheets of paper. Invest the time to give thoughtful answers (99% of people won’t do this), and you’ll see exactly what changes you need to make.

1. Where you ARE in every area of your life now – e.g., financial, relationships, health, business, personal life

2. Where you WANT TO BE in all these areas

3. What you’ve got to give up to get from where you are to where you want to be

Myth: As long as you’ve got a good, positive attitude, you’ll have a good life.
Reality: No, a positive attitude “doesn’t keep crap from happening” to you.

And then he stated my favorite line of the day:

“We need the ability to DEAL with all the crap that happens.”

Why did this resonate so deeply with me?

Because this one truth summarizes the work we’ve been doing in our company for the past 20 years. We know that people need to have inner strengths already established, so they can draw on these when faced with the challenges they’ll encounter. That’s why the tagline for our ProStar Coach system is “Strong for Work, Strong for Life.”

If you haven’t invested time in developing personal strengths like perseverance, composure, responsibility, flexibility, self-discipline, focus and courage, you can’t instantly turn them on when you find yourself in a situation where you need to use them. They are patterns of behavior that you develop over time.

So if you’re one of the 1% who actually takes time to complete the 3-step plan above, be sure to list the personal strengths you’ll need to develop in order to handle all the “crap” that you’ll face on your journey.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

What’s at the CORE of Your Abilities?

It’s taken a lot of effort for you to become the person you are today. As this diagram shows, you develop different kinds of ability during your life.

You began some of this learning when you were young, but the learning didn’t end when you became an adult. Later, you acquired know-how that you needed for your various roles, whether as a parent, an entrepreneur, a teacher or a scientist. But that’s not enough.

At the core of all your abilities are two areas that count more than any others: personal strengths and people skills. These are critically important to everything you’ll ever accomplish in life. And yet they aren’t formally taught in schools. They’re most often acquired through life experience, but usually not in a systematic way.

Why personal strengths matter 

You have to be strong to overcome the adversity you’re going to encounter when you do hard things. It doesn’t matter if you have good skills. If you’re not equipped to deal with the inevitable challenges that come your way, you won’t get the results you hope for.

Let’s say you play tennis and you want to get better. So you take lessons and practice until you get really good. But having the skill doesn’t guarantee you’ll play well when you get in a tough competitive situation.

That’s because the unexpected could happen. Your competitor may have better skills and energy…or you’ll make mistakes during play…or the match could go on longer than you thought it would.

Now what?

Skill alone isn’t enough. Under these conditions, you could become intimidated or tired. You might lose your cool. So besides skill, you’ve got to have personal strengths.

To win the match, you’ll need to maintain your composure, self-confidence, and focus. You have to keep giving your best effort and persevere, even when you start feeling tired or discouraged.

Think of it as the inner strength to execute your abilities in tough situations.

Personal Strengths are much more than passive qualities or virtues. They’re observable behavior patterns and life habits. For example:

- How do you respond when someone blows up at you? Or criticizes you in front of others?
- What do you do when things don’t go your way? Or you’re stuck in traffic or a long line?

Where people skills fit in

No matter what you pursue in life, you need the ability to deal effectively with others. This second core area has a huge impact on nearly everything you do.

To build and maintain strong relationships, you’ll need to develop skills such as listening, resolving conflict, giving encouragement, and receiving feedback.

Building personal strengths and people skills requires more than knowledge or having a positive attitude. It’s about DOING. You have to apply the behaviors over and over in the real world if you want them to get stronger and become your natural way of doing things.

And that’s why we created ProStar Coach. It’s an online virtual coaching system focused exclusively on helping you develop these two core areas – personal strengths and people skills. It’s got a proven structure for building the skill and rewiring your brain so a specific behavior becomes comfortable and automatic.

If you’re serious about your own development, you’ll need to address all the layers of ability. Just make sure you give adequate attention to the two core abilities. They’re the foundation for building all the others.
"Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength." - Arnold Schwarzenegger, American Actor (1947- )

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Use a Victory Log to Build Self-Esteem

When your inner critic is busy feeding your mind negative messages, it can be hard to maintain strong self-esteem. Keeping a "Victory Log"* reminds you about your accomplishments so you give yourself credit for the positives. Learn how easy it is to set one up and use it to strengthen your belief in yourself and your abilities.

*Special thanks to Judy Robinett, who introduced the term “Victory Log” to me. Judy served as the CEO and President of a publicly-traded biotech company for eight years and now helps obtain funding for start-up companies.
“There is overwhelming evidence that the higher the level of self-esteem, the more likely one will treat others with respect, kindness, and generosity. People who do not experience self-love have little or no capacity to love others.” - Nathaniel Branden, American psychologist (1930- )

“What a man thinks of himself, that it is which determines, or rather indicates his fate.”
- Henry David Thoreau, American philosopher (1817-1862)

“The best things in life are yours, if you can appreciate yourself.”
- Dale Carnegie, American author (1888-1955)

Monday, June 6, 2011

How to Go from Awkward to Automatic When Learning a New Behavior

As you’re trying to learn how to perform a new behavior or skill, it’s going to feel awkward and uncomfortable at first. In this video, you’ll discover why that is and what’s required to develop a habit so it becomes automatic.

If you found this video valuable, check out “The Crunch Point – The One Thing You Must Do to Change Your Behavior” by my business partner, Denny Coates. The process he describes for breaking a bad habit also applies to creating a new one.

“Habit is a cable; we weave a thread of it each day, and at last we cannot break it." - Horace Mann

“Every day you miss playing or practicing is one day longer it takes to be good." - Ben Hogan

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." – Aristotle

“Let him that would move the world first move himself.” – Socrates

Monday, April 25, 2011

Listening Skills for Phone Conversations

The listening skills you need for telephone conversations are not exactly the same as what you need for in-person meetings. Since the speaker can’t see you, it’s easy to get distracted and start doing something else when it’s not your turn to talk.

Discover three tips for helping you stay focused so you really hear the message when you’re on the phone.

What do YOU do to keep your attention focused on the speaker when you’re having a phone conversation?
“Boredom is what happens when I fail to make someone interesting.” – Warren Bennis, American author

Monday, March 28, 2011

Break Through Your Self-Limiting Beliefs

Your deeply-held beliefs about yourself and what’s possible for you determine what you attempt. Living within these self-imposed restrictions limits your ability to see opportunities that are available. When you discover how to break through these deeply ingrained thoughts, you can achieve the kinds of successes you deserve.

What one belief do you have about yourself that you need to break through to achieve greater results?
“Whatever you believe with emotion becomes reality. You always act in a manner consistent with your innermost beliefs and convictions." - Brian Tracy, American author

“Things don't change. You change your way of looking, that's all.”
- Carlos Castaneda, American author

“People begin to become successful the minute they decide to be."
- Harvey Mackay, American author

“Change your thoughts and you change your world.” - Norman Vincent Peale, American author

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Do Your Workouts Include MENTAL Weight Training?

Sometimes you find life lessons in surprising places.

I was reading Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by brothers Chip and Dan Heath to stimulate my creative thinking for marketing strategies. It’s a fascinating, clearly-written book that outlines six principles for helping people remember and act on the ideas you’re presenting.

And these ideas aren’t just for marketers. They apply to anyone who needs to communicate effectively, including leaders, parents, and teachers.

One of the principles is the power of stories to convey an idea. Because of my ongoing passion in my work to help people learn new skills and change behavior patterns, the following story was especially memorable.

A high school algebra teacher was participating in an online discussion forum with other math teachers. They were wrestling with a question they commonly get from their students regarding the application of a specific math concept or formula:

“When will I ever use this?” 

The algebra teacher shared how he responds when his students pose this question. It’s brilliant.
“This question used to really bother me, and I would look, as a result, for justification for everything I taught. Now I say, ‘Never. You will never use this.’

“I then go on to remind them that people don’t lift weights so that they will be prepared, should one day someone knock them over on the street and lay a barbell across their chests. You lift weights so you can knock over a defensive lineman, or carry your groceries or lift your grandchildren without being sore the next day. You do math exercises so that you can improve your ability to think logically, so that you can be a better lawyer, doctor, architect, prison warden or parent.

MATH IS MENTAL WEIGHT TRAINING. It is a means to an end for most people, not an end in itself.”
Some of the things we’re asked to learn may not seem to have immediate relevance in our lives, yet the mental work required to do them prepares us for future challenges. That’s because this “mental weight training” enables the brain to build the neural pathways needed to complete important tasks with less effort.

This process is exactly what my company has done with our online ProStar Coach program. We call it your “virtual gym for becoming stronger as a person” because it provides mental workouts in the critical areas of people skills and personal strengths. We recognized that a cycle of taking action and then reflecting on lessons learned from the action is critical to transforming a behavior pattern or ingraining a new skill.

What are you doing each day to stretch and strengthen your brain so you’re prepared for unexpected situations when they arise?

There could be one habit or behavior pattern that’s been holding you back from being as effective as you could be – maybe a lack of self-confidence, patience, composure or self-discipline. If you could strengthen this one area, it would make a huge difference in the results you achieve. 

You can do this on your own, of course. But you could get even greater results with the power of a virtual coach, combined with coaching from people who care about your success. You can get both types of coaching in ProStar Coach.

Are you ready to do the mental weight training to get to the next level in your own development?
"Just as we develop our physical muscles through overcoming opposition - such as lifting weights - we develop our character muscles by overcoming challenges and adversity."
Stephen Covey, American author

Monday, January 17, 2011

John Wooden on Managing Your Emotions

John Wooden wasn’t just an exceptional basketball coach. He helped young men become successful human beings for life. In this video I share his wise words about what happens when you don’t manage your emotions and then suggest some ways to control them. If you’ve ever lashed out at someone when you’re upset or become unglued when things didn’t go your way, I hope you’ll pick up some tips you can use in future situations.

Who or what causes you to lose your cool? How can you apply these words from Coach Wooden to ensure that you think through potential consequences in challenging situations?

If this topic resonates with you, check out this post from Denny Coates, “Tip Clip #6 – How to Develop Mental Toughness.”
“It is better to sleep on things beforehand than lie awake about them afterwards.” - Baltasar Graci├ín, Spanish philosopher
“The beauty of the soul shines out when a man bears with composure one heavy mischance after another, not because he does not feel them, but because he is a man of high and heroic temper.” - Aristotle, Greek philosopher
“Every stroke our fury strikes is sure to hit ourselves at last.” – William Penn, British colonizer

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Role of Personal Strengths in Leadership

Having strong people skills is absolutely critical to being an effective leader. You’ve got to know how to give and receive feedback, listen well, and resolve issues that arise between individuals on your team. But there’s another element that’s equally vital, and it’s not addressed in most training and development programs.

In this third video in the series of interviews I conducted with Denny Coates, you’ll discover what personal strengths are and why they matter. It’s not easy to exercise patience with others who aren’t like you, have perseverance when you encounter difficulties, or maintain focus when there are so many distractions in a single day. But the ability and desire to grow stronger as a person will be a key to your success in getting things done through others.

Think of the personal strengths you need to exercise in your work and personal life. If you could become stronger in just one area, which one would make the greatest positive difference for you and those who interact with you?
“All the adversity I've had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me….You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you." - Walt Disney, American movie producer 
“Change not the mass but change the fabric of your own soul and your own visions, and you change all.” - Vachel Lindsay, American poet

“The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life – mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical.” - Julius Erving, American professional basketball player

“Life is a quarry, out of which we are to mold and chisel and complete a character.” - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German poet
In case you didn’t see the first two videos, you can watch them here:

#1 – 4 Vital Things Every Leader Must Do

#2 – Why People Usually DON’T Give Their Best Effort

Monday, September 6, 2010

Why People Often Don't Give Their Best Effort at Work

I once worked for a boss who brought out my strengths. I looked forward to going to work every day because he'd created an atmosphere that inspired my best efforts. At the time, I didn't analyze what was behind my strong motivation.

In this second segment from my interview with Denny Coates, I realized exactly what this manager did. Denny explains why most people do not typically contribute everything they're capable of in their jobs...and what leaders can do to engage their team members so they want to give 100% each and every day.

If you're in a position to influence others, it's a good idea to ask yourself on a regular basis, "What am I doing to inspire each person to give more than the minimum that's required?"

In case you missed my first interview with Denny, you can watch it here.

Monday, August 30, 2010

4 Key Actions An Effective Leader Must Take

There are many ways you can serve in a leadership position – whether you’re a business owner, a manager in a large company, on the board of a non-profit organization, a classroom teacher, a parent, or any other position where you need to get things done through others.

I’ve had my share of leadership roles over the years, and each had its own set of challenges. I’ve studied the topic of leadership extensively, and I’ve learned a lot from Denny Coates, one of my business partners at Performance Support Systems. In fact, today marks the 20-year anniversary of my first introduction to Denny. We met for breakfast on August 30, 1990, and ended up spending three hours in deep discussions about topics such as effective leadership and how the brain learns. We’ve continued having these creative exchanges ever since!

I recently sat down with Denny to capture his thoughts about what’s really involved in developing effective leadership skills.

In this first segment of this 8-part interview series, Denny shares the four key actions a leader must do to get people to perform at their best. As you watch, ask yourself if you use all four when you need to influence others to accomplish an important goal.

“I will pay more for the ability to deal with people than any other ability under the sun.” - John D. Rockefeller, American business leader

“A mediocre person tells. A good person explains. A superior person demonstrates. A great person inspires others to see for themselves.”
- Harvey Mackay, American author

“The world will belong to passionate, driven leaders—people who not only have an enormous amount of energy but who can energize those whom they lead.” - Jack Welch, American business leader