If you want to model successful people, the first thing you should be looking at are their rituals. Look at every detail including such minor things as:
Take 15 minutes and watch the video on this page. It will change your life if you let it.
The amazing part about massive success to me is that people are trying to hard when it is one of the easiest things that is attainable. Watch people that have succeeded before you and copy them.Read More
A lot of people want to make a difference in the world. But I can tell you from personal experience that the best you can do is to try and make a difference in a single life. Find someone who desperately needs something you have: Street smarts, intelligence, business wisdom, a shoulder to cry on, etc. Give THAT to a single person and you will make a world of difference to them. Don’t try to change the world. Make life better for a single person at a time. Your ripple will make the world better in ways you’ll never fully be able to realize.Read More
In this episode I was lucky enough to track down Sharí Alexander in Southern California . She is one of the very experts you will find on the important topic of personal and professional influence. This is a subtle skill that the most successful people in the world have mastered and it has allowed them to have better control their environments and their outcomes. Grab a notepad as we hear Sharí tell us why this is a skill we need to have, and how we can start using it to our benefit. Click play on the podcast to start the show.
For more information about Sharí at Creative Live, Click Here.Read More
Four and a half years ago, I was in a mental hospital. A combination of a tumor forming in my pituitary gland altering my brain chemistry and an abusive relationship situation proved to be my breaking point. I needed help. Thankfully, I asked for it.
The three days and three nights I spent in that hospital were some of the worst of my life. I won’t go into details here, but it wasn’t a place for my healing. When I finally escaped (which is what it felt like) I went to an intensive outpatient group therapy program where, for 10 hours a week, I learned to manage my illness, change my thought processes, and how to understand what was going on in my mind (neurotransmitters and synapses and uptake—oh my!).
In recovery, you learn not to beat yourself up (in my case, literally) for what you “should” have done because, quite frankly, if you were capable of making a better choice at that point in time, you would have done so. My therapist would stop us mid-sentence if we used the s-word, “No should-ing!” she’d say.
This lesson, more than others, stuck with me. And as an entrepreneur, I find myself caught into the should-ing trap more than I’d like to admit. I try to stop using the s-word.
Start counting the times during a day where you put this conditional word into conversations. In the majority of cases it’s not a healthy word, and it’s also relatively powerless as a language tool.
“I should’ve picked a different website theme.”
“I should think about alternative sources of income.”
“I shouldn’t have rushed that report.”
We’re should-ing all over ourselves!
If you knew that the theme you chose wouldn’t satisfy your business or aesthetic needs when you made the decision, you would have chosen differently. Should-ing this is nothing more than a veiled complaint at best, and an excuse for further lacks in productivity at worse.
“A website theme with X functionality would better suit my needs.”
“I will brainstorm additional sources of income.”
“I need to manage time better so I don’t rush reports.”
And then, of course, take action on these statements.
Or, even worse—we should all over others!
“You should’ve ended that relationship a long time ago.”
“You should change your business model.”
“You shouldn’t have hired that consultant.”
There’s little to no benefit that can come from this powerless, conditional word. At the absolute best, you get someone to realize that you think he made a poor decision and therefore he evaluates his actions in hindsight (but only after realizing that he has lost standing in your eyes). At worst, you’re belittling someone’s decision, placing blame, and giving no direction whatsoever.
The words we use speak volumes. When you’re working with clients, you want to communicate confidence. When you’re talking to a friend, you want to communicate empathy. “Should” does not fit into either of these scenarios.
In the words of Yoda “Do or do not. There is no try.”
Be proactive with your language. Give direction, not condition. Use powerful words that give advice, not powerless words that place blame.
Stop should-ing. Start doing.
Jill Schiefelbein, Impromptu Guru, is a communication expert who doesn’t like should being thrown at her. She helps others communicate with confidence and be prepared to speak well any time and every time. Learn more at impromptuguru.com or watch her in action on YouTube.
It doesn’t matter if you are the CEO of a Fortune 500 company or a T-ball coach. Life presents us with leadership opportunities. I have been in education for 15 years. I’ve been a head coach for football, basketball, and track. However, the one role that has taught me the most about leadership is being a father of six. Fatherhood has taught me three important lessons on what it means to be a true leader.
People want to know they matter to you. Time is the greatest indicator of value we have to give. But what I’ve learned is that quality matters more than quantity.
At this moment I am a teacher and football coach. I spend two hours at home during the workweek that I can give to my family. I have more time on the weekends, but I have work responsibilities, too. There is no way I can give time to every child, every night. I don’t even try.
I DO make sure my children have my full attention – no cell phone. I make the conversation about what is going on in their life. Or with my younger kids, I let them choose the book to read before bed, and I make sure I tell them, in some form that I love them.
You might not want to start a staff meeting with the words, “I love you, guys.” But you can tell people they matter to your organization by turning off your phone before you engage in conversation. Ask questions about life outside the office. It is not easy to give time to everyone, but it is worth giving people quality time as a leader because people want to know they matter.
This lesson is not about steps that make things run smoothly. It is about connecting to the purpose of the routines we establish, whether it is having a monthly meeting or doing tackling stations every practice.
Here is an example; people are always amazed that our family is always on time. We have a morning routine that allows us to be on time. My wife and I get up an hour before our kids. We wake our kids with enough time for them to have breakfast and get ready for the day. When we have a rough morning, instead of yelling at the kids, we reinforce that we need to be on time. It doesn’t always make the morning easier, just that the kids do understand why, and we stay on schedule.
In leadership positions we create routines, but many times we don’t communicate to others why we are doing it. Sometimes we even create routines because others have done it that way. Spend a little time investigating the routines you have. Can you express why they are there? Are there things you want to improve? Implementing a new routine, with a clear understanding of why, will help in that area. One aspect of being a true leader is achieving outcomes; connect how you achieve those outcomes with the why.
We all know we should eat right, exercise, and drink more water. This is hard to do in the simple busyness of life. Add a leadership role to the schedule, and now it seems to be impossible. But it has to be done.
This summer I went to see my doctor because I was just not feeling right. I knew it wasn’t the flu or allergies. It was a blood pressure reading of 165/120. Hypertension. Easily fixed with medication and improving my eating and exercise. This is where being a dad really made an impact. When I got home my little girls all wanted to know if I was OK. All I could think of was how I needed to be here in good health to see my kids grow up.
Being at our best means taking care of ourselves; especially for the people we have the honor of leading.
I don’t know that I am a thought leader . But I was called one about eight months ago. It is not something I was working on – it just kind of happened. It is not something I am going to brag about in books or put behind my name in every conference presentation. I think that the “status: kind of just developed over time. But my insight may help you to see how to get your thoughts noticed.
If you were to talk to my close friends and family, they would probably tell you that I am “argumentative”. Of course I’ve never seen it that way, and what do they know right? But I do tend to look at conversations and situations from a jaded point of view. Or at least from a point of view that most people do not approach. When people say that “A B C are facts” I’ll tend to challenge them and make the conversation go deeper. When I go to conference after conference and I see experts on stage all saying the same thing about a topic, I tend to start investigating the topic on my own time and see how much of what they say is fact and how much is self-aggrandising speaker hot air. ( I hope other speakers and conference attendees do that about what I say. I might be lying! )
About a year ago I was having drinks with a very smart gentleman named Corey Perlman who is a brilliant social media speaker. We are both members of the National Speakers Association and were both at the same annual conference. (Sidebar: You should look at joining the NSA. There is no better place to network with successful speakers). He said something to me that I’ll never forget:
Patrick – I love the stuff you post online. You are such a contrarian.
“Wow” I thought. Corey is a pretty popular guy in his field so to get a compliment from him felt pretty good. Plus we were a bunch of professional speakers out having drinks and the truth usually comes out when we’ve had a few.
Fast forward to eight months ago. I was approached by one of the editors of Speaker Magazine (the official magazine of the National Speakers Association) who wanted me to write a featured article for one of the sections. Part of the email that encouraged me to write said:
A fellow NSA member, and friend of yours, recommended you as a thought leader on social media and marketing, if that helps sway your opinion one way or another
I’ve got an ego just like everybody else – of course this is going to sway me. That phrase had never been used on me before and it felt great.
Since that initial email the phrase has been used several more times about me – publicly and privately. I run a private Facebook group (click here to apply to join) that helps speakers market themselves better in the world. I’ve received constant praise for my work in that group. I didn’t think I was doing anything special; I’m just helping out a bunch of speakers in a quiet, spam-free environment. And that brings to me how I think YOU can become a thought leader also.
Here are the behaviors that I believe caused someone to call me a “thought leader” status:
Having a Voice – This is the most important step. Too many people in this world “talk about talking”. And few… very few… actually stand up and voice their opinion on a topic. Most people would rather keep their heads down and blend in . Life is safe when you just keep ducking and keep your mouth shut. However if you want to be recognized for your opinion or your accomplishments, you cannot be shy with your voice. When your become a blogger, a speaker, a teacher or a television personality you are going to have to get past your shyness and get on a platform.
Being a contrarian – If you ever hear something in a conversation that sounds stupid or read something on the internet and think “well that just sounds stupid” THEN SAY SO (even if it comes from me). Be tactful about it, but jump on it if it just does not seem right and share your opinion about it. There will be at least one person who will agree with you. But they don’t have the courage to say it. So when you do voice your contrarian opinion you are likely speaking for several people. (This is the reason that it has always annoyed me that Facebook only gives you a LIKE button and not a DISLIKE button.)
Don’t be afraid to call experts out – This is kind of like being a contrarian, but with the addition of addressing specific people that you do not agree with. When several popular experts tend to have the same opinion about a topic, it is time for someone to look at the other side. And if you don’t agree with what an expert says, feel free to call them out on their opinion via video, blogging or social media (or even in person if you get the chance). We tend to believe anybody that stands on stage and speaks. There is a dangerous trend in the world of speakers/experts. They tend to repeat each other. I’ll take social media as an example. All you have to do is go to about two social media conferences and you will like hear everything you’d hear at a future conference. Experts (of which I like to think I am one) tend to parrot each other. They/We will go to conference, see someone say something that appears insightful, and then repeat it to our tribe. This can be dangerous if the original source of the information didn’t have their facts straight.
I’d like to wrap this up with a great quote I heard recently.
You don’t have to be best in the world. You just have to be the best in THEIR (i.e. Your audience) world.
Being a thought leader means being the best you can be for YOUR tribe. If you follow my guidelines above will be on the right path.
You read it right. Start Selling Less If You Want To Sell More. It seems counter-intuitive. And I know there will be plenty of people who have been in sales for decades that disagree with me.
If you are “that sales guy/gal”, here are some general unscientific facts about how people feel about you:
Ladies and gentlemen I just found this great article for you to read:
Pay very close attention to #1. Write it down. Make it your backdrop and your screensaver. Tattoo it on your … well you get my point.
No skill you ever learn in life will get you as far as plain old people skills. The art of conversation. The art of listening. The art of shutting up. The art of using your eyes and ears twice as much as your mouth. If you are an introvert I am sorry – you are not going to make it far when it comes to business and entrepreneurship. And maybe you don’t want to. I am not trying to dog you if that is your thing. But if your goal is to be a star then you have got to start getting your mad crazy people skillz in motion.
When I think back of all of the successes I have had over the past two decades just about all of them came from my people skills, either directly or indirectly. I have contracts that started off as casual airport conversations. I have lifelong friends because of an humorous encounter in a coffee shop.
Hey you pushy sales guys this is for you: I am not heavily into being a salesman but I know all I need to know from the great lady that was my real estate broker. Right after I got my real estate license several years ago she was teaching us about how to fill our pipe. Her words – verbatim – where
The first thing you do is you make a friend. You then sell your friend a house.
Now go out there today and make 5 new friends. Do not eat lunch alone. I’ll even help you out. If you are in Oklahoma City drop me a comment here.Read More