To Succeed, Ignore These People

“You can’t live a positive life around negative people.”

So begins Marc Chernoff’s post, 7 Negative People You Need to Ignore, at marcandangel.com. Marc and Angel regularly post great stuff that makes you think and can help you live a happier life. So, who are the 7 people Marc wants you to avoid? Here is the list:

  1. The hopelessly hostile drama queen. Our tendency is to confront those who are hostile toward us. Don’t react, respond if you must deal with them. Keep your cool and look for resolution, seek to be kind.
  2. The person you have failed to please a hundred times before. All of us have some people in our life whom we cannot please. Perhaps they don’t want to be pleased by anything you do… who knows? Don’t hate them, just ignore them.
  3. The naysayer who always dumps on your dreams. Why are we so eager to listen to others when they put us down? If you listen and accept what others say, you will become what they say. And that’s not what you want, so ignore them!
  4. The manipulator. These people are trying to force you into their plans. It isn’t wrong to take part in other people’s plans, but do so because it fits into your plans. Otherwise, stay away from them!
  5. The stubborn one who insist you should be someone else. Some people want to force you to change, others won’t let you change. Either way, you are living to someone else’s expectations, not your own. Grow because it is what you want to do. If you are changing to please someone else, you may become bitter with time if they change their mind about who you ought to be.
  6. The unforgiving friend who refuses to forgive you for your mistakes. Mistakes are part of life. Friends help one another grow past mistakes and become better for it. If people hold too tightly  the past and not forgive you your mistakes, they are making a grave one themselves.
  7. The inner critic. Yes, this is you. Sometimes you need to ignore yourself. We humans love to compare the best in others to the worst in ourselves. We also tend to take on the six roles above when dealing with ourselves. When you do, shut that person up and move on with your plans.

If you are to grow and become the person who will achieve the great big goals and visions you have for your life, you have to decide who you are now and who you are going to become. Avoiding people who do not want you to grow is crucial to your transformation.
Oh, and if you really want to make sure you avoid these people, find others who will support you and give you room to grow. The best way to avoid bad friends, like bad habits, is to replace them with good ones.
7 Negative People You Need to Ignore by Marc Chernoff at markandangel.com

Advertisements

Own Your Life Through Your Rituals

I have been reading a lot lately about the power of daily routines: morning routines, bedtime routines, etc. This seems to be a popular topic in the leadership and wellness literature lately. In this article by Alan Henry at Lifehacker.com, I saw not only a great method for helping you to create one, but Alan goes into why you ought to have little rituals… habits that control your day.

Why have rituals? First, they help you de-stress. I am sure that stress creeps into your life from time to time. If you don’t have positive ways of dealing with it, you will adopt negative ways. And that leads to the second reason to adopt rituals: having positive ways of dealing with stress leaves less room for negative ways to creep in. As the Og Mandino said in The Greatest Salesman in the World, “If I must be a slave to my habits, I will form good habits and become their slave.”

Alan shares a three-step process for creating a ritual-habit for dealing stress:

  1. Track your mood and identify your stress points. Find out what causes your stress by keeping a log or journal about your mood. Try to pinpoint what causes the stresses in your life. Are there common themes?
  2. Define your “Interventions,” or rituals you want to pick up. What can you do to take a break from the stress? Something that can be done almost anywhere, so that you can deal with stress even if you aren’t in a familiar environment? As you find these things that can help you deal with the stress, figure ways to automatically trigger the response when the stress goes off. Psychologist Heidi Grant Halvorson, PhD calls these “if-then” plans. Planting them into your mind will create triggers to help you when the stress begins.
  3. Make it a habit. Now take your budding rituals and make them part of your routine, using them even when you don’t have stress. When you can call your calming ritual to mind even when you are not stressed, soon the stress will have less power over you because you have developed a means of being calm even before the trouble hits. This detachment leads to emotional stability.

One other reason to create rituals is that they can keep you in touch with the things you value most. How many of us get caught up in the day-to-day and lose sight of the things we value? Stopping and taking a little time out, whether for self-care or self-study or anything else you value ensures that you will live your value… and become a slave to them…

What rituals have you developed for yourself? Why not share them in the comments section below?

How Personal Rituals Can Improve Your Health (and How to Build Them) by Alan Henry at Lifehacker.com

Its the Dog’s Life for Great Communication

Sam the happy British Lab and sage teacher.

Sam the happy British Lab and sage teacher.

Pet owners know that you can learn a lot from your animals. My wife and I have been “renting” Sam, a British Labrador Retriever — actually watching him for my sister-in-law since February who is selling her home and relocating near us. I recently wrote a blog about Sam and what I learned about communication and leadership. You will enjoy the full article, here, but let me summarize the points for you:

  • Make your needs known. Sam knows I cannot read his mind. When he wants something, he gets my attention and doesn’t stop until I acknowledge his need.
  • Tomorrow is another day. Hope springs eternal with dogs. If I don’t play fetch with him now, it doesn’t mean he won’t ask again later. No isn’t forever.
  • Make time for those you care about. Dogs (and kids) start acting up if you don’t make time for them. But give them time and you get enriched AND a well-mannered pet (kid).
  • Love one another. I don’t have to do anything but show up and Sam loves me (see his tail wagging in the picture?) His gratitude is infectious.  Gratitude is a form of love. Who are you grateful for? Do you show them love?

Sam will be moving out soon, but his lessons will stay with me. I hope that we can continue to have a great relationship here on Leaderclip. I hope these posts are useful and enjoyable, and that you get as much from them as I do. I would love to had a dialog with you, so please feel free to share your thoughts on this or any other post. I’ll reply…

What Man’s Best Friend Can Teach Us About Communication and Leadership by Dwayne Baptist at dbaptist.com

The Three Stooges Communicate!

I was reading on my iPad using Zite, a news aggregation application you can tailor to get information that interests you (I find many of my Leaderclip post subjects via Zite), and came across today’s article. What caught my attention wasn’t the title so much as the graphic — Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk! (Which you see here…)

If you want to talk about three rules of anything, one great way to attention (at least of middle-aged white guys) is to show the Three Stooges. Fortunately, Mike Figliuolo of ThoughtLeaders LLC wasn’t offering silly ideas when presenting Three Rules for Successful Communications. Here they are:

  1. Its always three things. As Mike suggests, even if you have 47 things to share, break things down into three major points. Some people can keep track of a bunch of things, but keeping organized so that there are only three things keeps you (and your audience) focused.
  2. They have to hear things three times. Why do you think your high school or college speech teacher told you when planning a speech, “Tell them what you are going to tell them. Tell them. Then tell them what you told them.”? People need some repetition to understand and process your message.
  3. After three emails, go have a conversation. If you have to keep going back and forth, there is probably something that can be handled much more deftly if you talked to one another than continue to waste a bunch of time typing emails. Relying solely on email just slows things down and invites misunderstanding.

Yes, Mike really kept it to three things. You can be a stooge, or you can adopt these simple rules to help you improve your communication with others.

Three Rules for Successful Communications by Mike Figliuolo at ThoughtLeadersLLC.com

How to Ruin a Business (or Any other) Relationship

Woman-profile-trashOver at the Inc.com blogs, Chester Elton and Adrian Gostick recently posted a great piece about how to mess up business relationships. They share two great ways to screw up a business relationship: inattention, and not being 100% present.

To illustrate their first point, they share a story about a friend, “Sam,” a great guy but he doesn’t get around to responding to responding to emails or phone calls with any rhyme or reason. This can threaten relationships if people begin to believe you don’t really care about them. They then point to a survey their company did with 10’s of thousands of employees for client companies and found that one of the biggest problems affecting employee satisfaction was perceived disrespect from their bosses. When you are too busy to make time for people, they perceive that you don’t value them. Don’t be careless with your relationships, like Sam. Decide what is important to you and work on those things. Don’t let the urgent get in the way of doing what is important.

Which brings us to the other thought, being 100% present. There are tons of things that scream for our attention during the day, especially with 24/7 access to information, it is easy to let the urgent chirp or vibration of a text or email distract us from meetings or other work we may be doing. But is it wise to sneak that peek or tap that quick reply. When you do, you are telling those around you that they are really not as important as that other message. Once again, you are showing disrespect, however unintentional it may be.

John Maxwell says that connecting with people is hard work. If you value a relationship, give it the attention it deserves, and show respect for your connection. This is true whether a colleague, customer, or significant other.

…I guess I need to catch up with some people this next week! How about you?

How to Ruin Business Relationships by Chester Elton and Adrian Gostick at Inc.com

The King of Happiness

Chip Conley at TED. From chipconley.com

Chip Conley at TED. From chipconley.comI was stuck, looking for some inspiration on a project today and sought out some TED talks for inspiration. If you aren’t familiar with TED, it is a non-profit and acronym for Technology, Entertainment, and Design. Well, I came across a talk called Measuring what makes life worthwhile by Chip Conley. It did not disappoint.

While Chip had lots of great points to make about how people and organizations struggle to move up Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, he brought it all into sharp focus talking about the King of Bhutan. Shortly after the 17-year-old assumed the throne in the early 1970’s he was asked about his country’s Gross National Product (GNP – today called the Gross Domestic Product or GDP). The king responded, asking why should we focus on GNP, when we ought to be focused on the happiness and satisfaction of people? This has led to a movement called “Gross National Happiness.”

Of course, you cannot achieve what you do not measure, and for many it is especially difficult to measure an intangible such as happiness. However, the pursuit of happiness is exactly what Jefferson reminded us was a natural right. So, why shouldn’t we find a way to measure it?

In the end, Chip doesn’t offer any specific prescriptions for what people should measure, but he does offer questions you can ask yourself to begin to move in this direction, “…what less obvious metrics could we use to actually evaluate our employee’s sense of meaning, or our customers’ sense of connection with us?”  There are many things you can study to increase employee satisfaction with their jobs and customer/client connection with your company.

A key point is that you don’t have to choose between having either a great culture with happy workers and customers or a very profitable organization. Both are possible with some planning. And wouldn’t happy workers who find meaning in their work serving clients who value your products and services, not just for what they do but for how they make the customer’s life better lead to opportunities to make a fair profit for giving so much value to so many people?

What intangibles do you think show happiness and satisfaction for your life? For your organization? For your customers? Why not share some of your ideas in the comments section below?

And if you have about 15 minutes, why not enjoy Chip Conley’s TED Talk. You will be glad you did.

Chip Conley: Measuring what makes life worthwhile at TED.com

Connecting as a Solo-preneur

Are you a “solo-preneur” – someone who is charging off on that grand adventure of entrepreneurship all by yourself? You have probably realized that you cannot do it all by yourself, but need a supportive team if you are going to realize your vision and make your dreams come true. Antonio Neves, blogging at entrepreneur.com has some advice for you — ways to create community so that you don’t have to figure it all out by yourself:

  • Meet with like-minded masterminds: there are groups all over the country that offer opportunities to “mastermind” with like-minded people to get fresh perspectives on your problems and possible solutions. Some are open-ended, others focus on books or systems. I have run both types, and they have helped clients move businesses in directions they never realized were possible.
  • Seek out formal training and support: Neves points out that you probably need to learn skills as an entrepreneur. All across the country there are opportunities popping up to help nascent entrepreneurs, including incubators, accelerators, and formal schooling like MBA programs. Besides getting knowledge to help you will have an opportunity to expand your network.
  • Problem-solve with people who aren’t exactly like you: Our tendency is to surround ourselves with people just like us. Why not seek others in allied professions and get their reaction? You can probably help each other expand your thinking and insight.
  • Network with people you wouldn’t normally meet:  Neves mentions an event called Wok+Wine which brings people together who are interested in good food, wine, and conversation and allowing the magic to happen because you are now having to explain your concept to people who aren’t necessarily like you. Seek out ways to interact with people who aren’t just like you and see if you can’t get a fresh perspective on what you do, and maybe even some support, too.

What are you doing to create a community to help you succeed? Why not share your thoughts in the comments section below?

Where to Find a Community If You’re a Solopreneur by Antonio Neves at entrepreneur.com

 

Roles and Styles for Entrepreneurial Leadership

Do you realize that it takes many roles to succeed in an enterprise? Small businesses and entrepreneurial enterprises need leaders of all types. One of my mentors when I began management consulting taught me that leadership is not a position, rather it is a role. Therefore many types of people can be leaders. In fact, it is vital to have a variety of roles involved in a growing enterprise.

Martin Zwilling, an angel investor and entrepreneurial mentor shared some thoughts recently on a blog shared at entrepreneur.com. Talking about a book he read, Intelligent Leadership by John Mattone, Martin shared that you need to bring a variety of key roles onto your team. Here are 9:

  1. Helpers – those who want to guide others so that the team can succeed
  2. Entertainers – those who want to engage and win people over to a cause
  3. Artists – those who create and innovate
  4. Thinkers – those who analyze and study the world around them
  5. Disciples – those who work well with others, but need permission to act
  6. Activists – those who promote a positive vision and encourage others
  7. Drivers – those who take charge and take responsibility for getting results
  8. Arbitrators – those who bring people together and help them understand one another
  9. Perfectionists – those with high standards and ethics to ensure things are done well

Each role has its strengths and weaknesses, but the truth is you need all these roles filled (at the right times) for your venture to succeed.

Which role is your natural role? John Maxwell says in his Law of Magnetism that we tend to attract others just like us if we don’t find a way to connect people through a strong vision — something for them to have in common. What is your vision? How do you share it with others? Why not share your thoughts in the comment section? I would love to hear your perspective.

9 Leadership Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs by Martin Zwilling at entrepreneur.com.

 

DON’T Do These Things!

The Inc. Magazine blogs are a great source of inspiration and tips for running a business, or even doing your job better if you aren’t the boss. Writer Jeff Haden recently posted an article on 8 things you should not do every day. He was focused on productivity, and these will make you more productive. They are also great tips for leaders, and I’ll share why:

  1. Don’t check your cell phone when talking to someone. One rule leaders follow is to “be present.” Which is more important to you, the person you are with or something that might be going on elsewhere? If the answer is your phone, then maybe you should end your conversation and do the more productive thing. Anyway, how do you feel when somebody interrupts your conversation to check their phone?
  2. Don’t multi-task at meetings. Haden talks about how much you’ll learn because probably everyone else is multi-tasking, which is an interesting point. But as with point one, what are you communicating as a leader? (And if you don’t see yourself as “the leader,” what are you telling your leader?) If your time is more valuable spent elsewhere, do that. If someone “made” you go to the meeting, maybe they know something you don’t. If you want to be sure you get the most from any meeting, take a few minutes ahead of time and prepare for it. You will be surprised just how much more productive you will be at a meeting if you know why you are there.
  3. Don’t think about people who don’t make any difference in your life. Too many of us spend our lives worrying about what others think. I know I used to do it. One way to stop this problem is to know what you value and your goals so that you can be busy thinking about what is important. Need to think about people? Why not think about the people you are grateful to have as part of your life?
  4. Don’t use multiple notifications. Notifications are interruptions to your work flow, Haden reminds us. He makes the point about focus I made in the first two points. As a leader, you need to focus on what is important. Schedule the time you will be looking at email, etc.
  5. Don’t let the past dictate your future. When hiring, I am a big proponent of “behavioral interviewing” because the best indicator of what someone will do in the future is to see what they have done in the past. However, the big caveat to this dictum is when someone has had an intervening significant experience. If you have decided to change and you are on a path of change, you do not have to be shackled to your past. Others might continue to judge you based on your past, but remember #3 above…
  6. Don’t wait until you are sure you will succeed. When I teach people about goal setting, I teach them to find some small step to do that day that moves them toward their goal. Taking action is the only way to ensure success. Don’t wait. Act.
  7. Don’t talk behind someone’s back. Leaders don’t gossip. If you have a problem with someone, let it be between you and them. If you are willing to engage in gossip, others will wonder if you gossip about them, too. This does not strengthen your influence as a leader. Talk about things that matter and help move you toward your goals.
  8. Don’t say “yes” when you really mean “no.” One of your most important jobs as a leader is to have a vision and keep yourself and your team moving toward it. When you allow others to insert their priorities into your schedule, your agenda suffers. This was Rip Van Winkle’s problem. He was so busy helping his neighbors that he neglected his own duties. No wonder his wife was unhappy!

As leaders we are busy thinking about the things we should do, but as Jeff reminds us, there are things we really should not do, if we are going to succeed. At the Chic-fil-a Leadercast a couple years back, Jim Collins talked about having a “to-don’t” list along side your “to-do” list. These make a good start, but make your own list. What are the distractions that get in the way of you being more productive and successful? Why not intentionally remind yourself to steer clear of them?

 

8 Things You Should Not Do Every Day by Jeff Haden at Inc.

 

Whose the Leader? You’re the Leader!

A recent blog post by The Mojo Company reminds us that You’re the Leader We Need.

I used to work for a management consulting company that had four core values, one of which was “Lead.”  Our president, Mike Nigro, explained to us that everybody was a leader because even the most junior project team member was there to help our clients understand their problems, options, and recommend solutions. Our actions also provided an example for our clients and team members. While our clients (and supervisors) might want the right to make decisions, decision-making is not the hallmark of a leader. Influencing those who will make decisions is what leadership is all about.

As the Mojo article reminds us, we don’t need to be charismatic or outgoing to be a leader. Rather, leaders are people who can do the hard work of being an example and working to grow the team. People willing to change and grow.

All of this is part and parcel of what my mentor John Maxwell shares in his book The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership.

Are you willing to be an example? To change and grow? Your organization, your team needs you to. You can lead at some level. Will you?

 

You’re the Leader We Need at The Mojo Company