Wednesday, January 27, 2010

8 Master Steps Towards Becoming The Leader You Need To Be by Diego Ortiz

An important part of success in life is the ability to lead. It is important that we not only be able to lead others but be willing to lead ourselves. No one succeeds in life by simply following others. Sometimes we simply must strike a bold new path for ourselves.

Being a good leader is more than simply being at the forefront of the crowd. A leader must act. Too often in America, we simply accept that someone looks or sounds like a leader and too rarely do we actually look at the actions that leader performs—and that is the true test of leadership.

However, in order to become good leaders ourselves, we need to concentrate on actions rather than simple appearances. The title of this article refers to eight steps, but do not think of these as progressive steps like so many recipes or instruction manuals describe. Instead, think of these as actions that you must take on a regular basis.

First, be alert to new potentials. “Reality” is not absolute but rather subject to constant change. Think about inventors, explorers, and agents of social change who have achieved greatness. Some might simply say that certain people are successful because they are lucky to be in the right place at the right time. Maybe so, but if they hadn’t had their eyes open for the opportunity, then it wouldn’t have mattered if they were in the right place.

Second, accept inspiration from wherever it comes; even your opponents. The wisest leaders constantly study their competition. In war, politics, and business we constantly see examples of this research and reconnaissance. Too many times though a certain study, many concentrate on finding a weakness to exploit. If you want to a be a leader of positive change don’t fall victim to this trend. Instead, if you find a weakness, make sure to avoid that pitfall yourself. If you find the strength then find a way to strengthen your own qualities to match.

Third, learn something new and promote in new ways every day. This means you must continually seek to expand your horizons, internally and externally. Feed your mind with new lessons and knowledge, but constantly expand your social horizons as well. Seek out and meet new people and immerse yourself in new social situations. You never know when these new experiences will help you in your leadership role.

Fourth, search for and find answers in subtle clues. Look beneath the surface and constantly question. This is an extension of the third step in that you are seeking new knowledge. But this also means that you will need to step off the traditional paths of knowledge. Don’t simply read books in the literary canon or the bestsellers list. Take seminars rather than classes as there is more room for questioning and debate. Seek out the unconventional thinkers, teachers, and writers.

Fifth, improvise if no existing solutions are available. No excuses. Necessity is the mother of invention. How do you know it won’t work if you’ve never tried it before? Remember, not all approaches need to come from the front. Look at your problem from all sides and systematically attempt different solutions in various combinations.

Six, make at least one person you care about happy every day. If you make it a point to be thoughtful and caring for one person every day then soon this thoughtful, caring behavior will become a habit and that habit will spread to the others around you. Making someone else happy also feeds your own personal happiness. Just imagine how much better the world would be if we all did a little bit more to spread happiness.

Seven, offer help, even if there’s no apparent advantage to you. This means more than writing a check. It means giving of your time and energy and yourself. Sometimes it will mean helping someone you don’t know and sometimes it can be a very personal action.

Finally, never let negativity be your last word on the subject. If your final words are negative than no matter how hopeful you may be about the potential of a project or action the lasting impression you give to others is one of negativity. Accentuate the positive and you are more likely to see a positive outcome.

If you follow these eight action steps not only you will be a better leader but also lead yourself to a more successful life.

Diego Ortiz is a professional coach and founder and CEO of Ortiz Research International.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Special Recession-Busting Offer On Mind Movies!

Mind Movies

You are not going to believe the exciting news I just got from my friend Ryan at Mind Movies...

I’m not sure if this applies to you but Ryan was sharing with me how he’s heard from so many people that they are immensely happy that 2009 is over at last.

It’s really tough reaching all your goals when you’re looking down the barrel of a world wide economic crisis.

Now you may not know this about Ryan but he is a really good guy and genuinely wants to help as many people as possible turn the tables and make 2010 a rewarding, happy and amazing year.

This is where the exciting part comes in.

So after Ryan and the whole Mind Movies team racked their brains together they came up with an awesome Recession Busting Mind Movies Offer...

The entire online version of the Mind Movies Creation Kit for only…wait for it…$20!

Yep, you heard right, $20…PLUS he’s throwing in $1000 worth of additional bonuses!

Of course he’s not offering this to the whole world, just Mind Movie subscribers and close friends of Mind Movies and only for a very limited time.

Plus, Ryan is also including 6 pre-made Mind Movies so you can start watching these right NOW.

This honestly takes applying the Law of Attraction to a whole new level.

So…if you’re determined to make 2010 your best year yet, grab your Mind Movie Creation Kit for $20 plus $1000 in FREE bonuses here.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

How Happiness Happens by Marshall Goldsmith

Most parents will tell you they just want their kids to grow up to be happy (even if they're nudging them toward the Ivy League). But how does an adult achieve a high level of contentment while living a frenetic and distraction-packed life? The two of us have just reviewed results from our new survey designed to elicit insights into short-term satisfaction (happiness) and long-term benefit (meaning)—both at work and away from it. Our respondents weren't randomly chosen. They're well-educated (more than 60% have graduate degrees) managers, entrepreneurs, and professionals (split almost evenly between the sexes), numbering over 3,000.

Our findings were in many cases unexpected but clear-cut. There is an incredibly high correlation between people's happiness and meaning at work and at home. In other words, those who experience happiness and meaning at work tend also to experience them outside of work. Those who are miserable on the job are usually miserable at home.

The implication is unmistakable. Since work and home are very different environments, our experience of happiness and meaning in life appears to have more to do with who we are than where we are. Rather than blaming our jobs, our managers, and our customers—or our friends, family members, and communities—for our negative worklife experience, we might be better served by looking in the mirror.

One commonly expressed excuse for not getting more happiness and meaning out of life is: "I'm working too many hours." But our results show that the number of hours worked had no significant correlation with happiness or meaning experienced at work or at home. So much for that excuse.

Part of our survey asked respondents to rate their overall satisfaction level at work. Again, our findings paint a clear picture. The amount of time respondents spent solely on stimulating activities (high short-term satisfaction but low long-term benefit) had no bearing on their satisfaction at work. The same was true of more purposeful activities (low short-term satisfaction but high long-term benefit). Overall satisfaction at work increased only if both the amount of happiness and meaning experienced by employees simultaneously increased. This indicates that professionals don't gain satisfaction at work either by being "martyrs" or by "just having fun". Companies may want to reduce communications designed to encourage employees to make sacrifices for the larger cause. They may also want to cut out "fun" morale-building events that lack a meaningful purpose.

We had (mistakenly) guessed that those who spent more time outside of work in activities that produced more short-term satisfaction might score higher on overall satisfaction. After all, we assumed, people don't go home to find meaning; they want to relax. We were wrong. The correlations between happiness, meaning, and overall satisfaction at work and home were very similar. Those who were more satisfied with life outside of work were the respondents who reported spending more time on activities that produced both happiness and meaning.

These links between how we spend our time and how we feel may seem confusing, but specific patterns arose—some commonsensical, some not. Here are a few quick takeaways from our initial research:

- Reduce TV watching. It's stimulating but doesn't increase overall satisfaction with life—at work or home.

- Cut back on surfing the Web for non-professional reasons. It's negatively correlated with the experience of both happiness and meaning.

- Do as few chores as you can (whatever that word means to you).

- Spend time exercising and with people you love (respondents who did this had more satisfaction with life at work and at home).

- Feeling challenged is linked to greater satisfaction, so challenge yourself.

What can companies do differently? They might stop asking, "What can the company do to increase employees' experience of happiness and meaning at work?" which encourages dependency. Instead, managers can encourage employees to ask themselves, "What can I do to increase my experience of happiness and meaning at work?" This strategy may produce a higher return in employee commitment—and do so at a lower cost.

Marshall Goldsmith is an executive coach and a New York Times best-selling author. His forthcoming book is Mojo: How to Get It, How to Keep It, How to Get It Back When You Need It. Kelly Goldsmith is assistant professor of marketing at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

How To Inspire People

It is not easy to instill such work ethic and leadership abilities in others. It's very important to also understand that some people do not share the same goals and aspirations as you might. Keep and open mind and learn to use different techniques to inspire different people. Here are few ways that you can inspire your managers to stand up and lead.

- Challenge - Issue a challenge to motivate people. By laying down a challenge you also create a very clear and measurable goals for the manager to achieve.

- Appeal to more noble motives - Many employees can think that their work does not make a difference. By appealing to a noble motive you can increase morale while also setting higher standards for your managers.

- Be sympathetic - Never tell a person they are wrong. Rather listen and be empathetic to the other person ideas and desires.

- Evidence - Back up your ideas with proof. By providing evidence you can give instant credibility to your ideas. If you have evidence even the most hard to reach managers will take notice.

- Listen - Listen to what your managers have to say. Some employees may not have aspirations to reach top corporate positions, rather they are content if their opinions and ideas are valued.

"Keep your mind open to change all the time. Welcome it. Court it. It is only by examining and re-examining your opinions and ideas that you can progress." – Dale Carnegie

Contributed by Dale Carnegie Training.