Posts Tagged ‘motivation’
“The miracle power that elevates the few is to be found in their industry, application, and perseverance, under the promptings of a brave determined spirit.” – Mark Twain
Many motivational experts like to say that leaders are made, not born. We would argue the exact opposite.
We believe we are all natural born leaders, but have been deprogrammed along the way. As children, we were natural leaders – curious and humble, always hungry and thirsty for knowledge, with an incredibly vivid imagination; we knew exactly what we wanted, were persistent and determined in getting what we wanted, and had the ability to motivate, inspire, and influence everyone around us to help us in accomplishing our mission. So why is this so difficult to do as adults? What happened?
As children, over time, we got used to hearing, No, Don’t, and Can’t. No! Don’t do this. Don’t do that. You can’t do this. You can’t do that. No! Many of our parents told us to keep quiet and not disturb the adults by asking silly questions. This pattern continued into high school, with our teachers telling us what we could do and couldn’t do and what was possible.
Then many of us got hit with the big one, institutionalized formal education known as college or university. Unfortunately, the traditional educational system doesn’t teach students how to become leaders; it teaches students how to become polite order takers for the corporate world. Instead of learning to become creative, independent, self-reliant, and think for themselves, most people learn how to obey and intelligently follow rules to keep the corporate machine humming.
Developing the Leader in you to live your highest life, then, requires a process of unlearning by self-remembering and self-honoring. Being an effective leader again will require you to be brave and to unlock the door to your inner attic, where your childhood dreams lie, going inside to the heart. Based on our research in the area of human development and leadership, there are ten easy steps you can take to awaken the Leader in you and to rekindle your passion for greatness. They are:
1. Humility. Leadership starts with humility. To be a highly successful leader, you must first become humble and be willing to serve others. Nobody wants to follow someone who is arrogant. Be humble as a child, always curious, always hungry and thirsty for knowledge. For what is excellence but knowledge plus knowledge plus knowledge – always wanting to better yourself, always improving, always growing.
When you are humble, you become genuinely interested in people because you want to learn from them. And because you want to learn and to grow, you will be a far more effective listener, which is the #1 leadership communication tool. When people sense you are genuinely interested in them, and are really listening to them, they will naturally be interested in you and listen to what you have to say.
2. SWOT Yourself. SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Although it’s a strategic management tool taught at Stanford and Harvard Business Schools and it’s used by large multinationals, it can just as effectively be used in your own professional development as a leader.
This is a useful key to gain access to self-knowledge, self-remembering, and self-honoring. Start by listing all your Strengths, including your accomplishments. Then write down all your Weaknesses and what needs to be improved. Make sure to include any doubts, anxieties, fears, and worries that you may have.
These are the demons and dragons guarding the door to your inner attic. By bringing them to conscious awareness you can begin to slay them. Then proceed by listing all the Opportunities you see available to you for using your strengths. Finally, write down all the Threats or Obstacles that are currently blocking you, or that you think you will encounter along the way to achieving your dreams.
3. Follow Your Bliss. Regardless of how busy you are, always take time to do what you love to do. Being an alive and vital person vitalizes others. When you are pursuing your passions, people around you cannot help but feel impassioned by your presence. This will make you a charismatic leader.
Whatever it is that you enjoy doing, be it writing, acting, painting, drawing, photography, sports, reading, dancing, networking, or working on entrepreneurial ventures, set aside time every week, ideally two or three hours a day, to pursue these activities. You’ll find the time if you try. If you were to video tape yourself for a day, you would be shocked to see how much time goes to waste!
4. Dream Big. If you want to be larger than life, you need a dream that’s larger than life. Small dreams won’t serve you or anyone else. It takes the same amount of time to dream small than it does to dream big. So be Big and be Bold! Write down your One Biggest Dream. The one that excites you the most!
Remember, don’t be small and realistic; be bold and unrealistic! Go for the Gold, the Pulitzer, the Nobel, the Oscar, the highest you can possibly achieve in your field. After you’ve written down your dream, list every single reason why you CAN achieve your dream instead of worrying about why you can’t.
5. Vision. Without a vision, you perish. If you can’t see yourself winning that award and feel the tears of triumph streaming down your face, it’s unlikely you will be able to lead yourself or others to victory. Visualize what it would be like to accomplish your dream. See it, smell it, taste it, hear it, feel it in your gut.
6. Perseverance. Victory belongs to those who want it the most and stay in it the longest. Now that you have a dream, make sure you take consistent action every day. I recommend doing at least 5 things every day that will move you closer to your dream.
7. Honor Your Word. Every time you break your word, you lose power. Successful leaders keep their word and their promises. You can accumulate all the toys and riches in the world, but you only have one reputation in life. Your word is gold. Honor it.
8. Get a Mentor. Find yourself a mentor. Preferably someone who has already achieved a high degree of success in your field. Don’t be afraid to ask. You’ve got nothing to lose. In addition to mentors, take time to study autobiographies of great leaders that you admire. Learn everything you can from their lives and model some of their successful behaviors.
9. Be Yourself. Use your relationships with mentors and your research on great leaders as models or reference points to work from, but never copy or imitate them like a parrot. Everyone has vastly different leadership styles. History books are filled with leaders who are soft-spoken, introverted, and quiet, all the way to the other extreme of being out- spoken, extroverted, and loud, and everything in between.
A quiet and simple Gandhi or a soft-spoken peanut farmer named Jimmy Carter, who became president of the United States and won a Nobel Peace Prize, have been just as effective world leaders as a loud and flamboyant Churchill, or the tough leadership style employed by The Iron Lady, Margaret Thatcher.
Be yourself, your best self, always competing against yourself and bettering yourself, and you will become a first rate YOU instead of a second rate somebody else.
10. Give. Finally, be a giver. Leaders are givers. By giving, you activate a universal law as sound as gravity; life gives to the giver, and takes from the taker. The more you give, the more you get. If you want more love, respect, support, and compassion, give love, give respect, give support, and give compassion.
Be a mentor to others. Give back to your community. As a leader, the only way to get what you want is by helping enough people get what they want first. As Sir Winston Churchill once said, “We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.”
Have thoughts about Boost Your Leadership Skills By Disciplining Yourself In The Way Of The Question Mark?
This short article will show you why taking delight in the people you lead is a powerful, albeit seldom used, leadership tool. However, delight should be manifested only when three principles are put into play.
Leadership entails getting results, and getting results entails human relationships. The more closely the people and the leader bond, the more results will usually accrue.
However, most leaders and the people they lead look at those relationships as a one-way street: charismatic leaders being commonly defined by sentiments bestowed on them from the people. But great leadership is really a two-way street, also involving sentiments going from the leader to the people…
We never know how good we are as leaders until we are delighting in the people we lead and, through that delight, leading them to get continually better results while they become continually better as leaders and as people.
To use this tool properly, three things must be kept in mind.
1. Delight must happen within the context of high results-expectations. In your delight, don’t be hampered by the bigotry of low expectations. Delight in your people not just for what they want to do but what you challenge them to do. After all, leadership is not about having people do what they already want to do. If they already did what they wanted, you wouldn’t be needed as a leader. Leadership is about having people do what they may not want or feel able to do and be committed to doing it.
2. Delight must be truthful. Don’t try to manipulate people through your delight. When the circumstances call for it, you must be able to be brutally honest. Honesty is a leadership lesson: have people see themselves as they should and need to be seen, not as they want to be seen. If your honesty helps your people become better at what they do, it is eventually accepted and even welcomed.
3. Delight must be practical. Always link the delight you find in your people with lessons learned in accomplishing jobs, missions and best practices that came from the lessons. Your delight isn’t meant to have people feel good about themselves alone but to motivate them to take actions to be continually better. In that striving to be better and, getting better in the striving, you and your people will bond. Clearly, there will be challenges along the way; but through it all, there is, in the back of most minds at least, the compulsion not to let a good leader down — and not to let each other down.
You may not have thought about delight as a leadership tool, but it is one of the most effective because it goes right to the heart of getting results through the strengthening of right relationships. Keep these three factors in mind when expressing your delight, and your leadership will be blessed daily with new opportunities.
Have thoughts about Delighting In The People You Lead? Tell us what you think! We’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment or post a review below.
Be SMART about your goals!
If you have not yet learned how to set goals using the SMART method for setting goals, you are missing something.
S.M.A.R.T. stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.
Specific goals have a greater chance of getting accomplished than general goals. Your specific goal must answer the six “W” questions:
1. Who: Who is involved?
2. What: What do I intend to accomplish?
3. Where: The location.
4. When: The time frame.
5. Which: Constraints and requirements
6. Why: The reason, purpose or benefit of accomplishing the goal.
Know in advance how you will measure progress toward the accomplishment of the goal you set. Measuring keeps you on track, helps you reach target dates, and allows you to celebrate the achievements of smaller steps that drive you forward.
Ask quantitative questions such as……How much? How many? …to know where you are.
If it really matters to you, you will commit to developing the right attitude, abilities, skills, and financial capacity to reach your goal. Previously overlooked opportunities seem to suddenly appear to guide you along the way.
When you break your goals down into small actionable steps you can achieve almost any goal you set your mind to. step by step wins the race.
When you are both willing and able to work toward your goal it becomes realistic. With regards to motivation, a high goal has greater motivational force than a low goal, which is why many small goals remain unaccomplished, so don’t be afraid to reach for what you really value.
If you have achieved similar goals in the past or have strong confidence in your ability to achieve it, it is another indicator that your goal is realistic.
In order to be smart, a goal needs to have a deadline or a time frame. When you establish a time frame for your goal your braincells go into action. “Someday” is not specific enough. When you choose a specific date – like July 4th – your unconscious mind starts working out ways to achieve it.
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Start the day with your intention(s) – It makes all the difference!
When you get up tomorrow morning, you should make a decision. Is this going to be another mindless day of chasing things you can never really grasp, another day of frantic business activity, of reactive relationships and a stressed out you?
Or do you say: Stop. Think. Choose.
And direct your mind with intention to being of value today, serving your clients and customers with clarity and patience, and giving them what they actually need.
You decide with that first thought in the morning, if this is going to be a day of giving – of yourself in the best way you know how – or another day of running after profits alone.
Think it through, it matters – for you and your quality of life in business.
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