Sunday, June 30, 2013

31 Business Lessons You Usually Learn The Hard Way

31 Business Lessons You Usually Learn The Hard Way is the name of an article I saw that intrigued me. I would rather learn things through the experiences of others than by hard experience. Here are a couple of the lessons - the rest are in the article.

"The only way to get other people to care about you is to care about them first." This reminds me of so many Zig Ziglar quotes that instruct me to put others first and to help them and then it comes full circle.

"The difference between success and failure is just a decision to keep trying." Perseverance - a large subject but one worth spending some time with. I am always surprised at how quick people are to give up on trying to do something or finish something. An extra question or an extra call can make all the difference.

"Negativity isn’t reality. Not for you. Not for your critics." Being negative is easy and spreading negativity is easy. Many, if not most, of the most successful people I have ever met see the good in people and situations. Being negative just hurts me and doesn't help anyone else.

Not all 31 lessons are great but they are worth a quick read.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Steve Jobs: The Most Important Thing

What would Steve Jobs think is the most important thing to learn? Obviously Steve had a huge impact on our world because he saw products and services differently than the average person does. So when I saw him talk about this most important thing, I listened and thought it was worth sharing.


Friday, June 14, 2013

The Most Successful Leaders Do 15 Things Automatically, Every Day

Here is the opening line from a Forbes article that I read recently. "Leadership is learned behavior that becomes unconscious and automatic over time." In the last 23 years I have gone through many changes in my personal and professional life and in hindsight this statement appears to be right on. There are challenges I can face today that five or ten years ago would have been overwhelming and I expect that today's overwhelming problems will seem small in the future.

If it's true that leadership is learned and we can improve, I would like to share some things that leaders do and by extension we should be doing. The ideas come from a Forbes article entitled The Most Successful Leaders Do 15 Things Automatically, Every Day.

I will only cover three of the points so click on the link above and read the entire article.

Make decisions. "They focus on “making things happen” at all times – decision making activities that sustain progress. "

Lead by example. "Successful leaders practice what they preach and are mindful of their actions. They know everyone is watching them and therefore are incredibly intuitive about detecting those who are observing their every move, waiting to detect a performance shortfall."

Problem solve; avoid procrastination. "
Successful leaders tackle issues head-on and know how to discover the heart of the matter at hand.    They don’t procrastinate and thus become incredibly proficient at problem solving; they learn from and don’t avoid uncomfortable circumstances (they welcome them).
Getting ahead in life is about doing the things that most people don’t like doing."

Thursday, June 6, 2013

5 Ways to Become a Better Speaker Overnight

In my job I have the opportunity to speak to small and medium sized crowds. It is exciting and fun when the crowd is involved and connected - the energy is a rush. But if the connection is not there, it is painful. The pain isn't only with the speaker it is also with the audience. So how do you improve as a speaker? Below are 2 of 5 ways taken from Jeff Haden who is a writer for Inc. magazine. Click here for the other 3 ways to become a better speaker.

1. Find one thing no one knows.
I have never heard someone say, “I was at this presentation the other day... the speaker’s Gantt chart was amazing.”
I have heard someone say, “I was at this presentation the other day... did you know when you blush the lining of your stomach also turns red?”
Find a surprising fact or an unusual analogy that relates to your topic. Audiences love to cock their heads and think, “Really? I had no idea...”
2. Share a genuinely emotional story.
Many speakers tell self-deprecating stories. Many go farther, detailing their personal Tom Cruise “talk to me Goose” moment (1:45, NSFW) when all their bad decisions missteps and poorly timed flybys over an Admiral’s daughter finally came to a head... and they turned a corner and became the amazing person they are today.
Admitting a mistake is great, but not when used just to highlight how great you are now.
Instead tell a story (directly related to your topic) and let your emotions show. If you were sad, show it. If you cried, say so. If you felt remorse, show remorse.
When you share real feelings – which even the most inexperienced speaker can do – you create an immediate and lasting connection with your audience.
Genuine emotion trumps polish every time.