Part I. Leadership Research: # 1 skill for Becoming Extraordinary Leader

High-Resolution Leadership a research study conducted by DDI identifies that “the single most important skill of a good leader may not be what you think. Although it is important to be visionary and a strategic thinker, a new study suggests that it’s more rooted in their daily conversations and interactions with people”.

According to DDI research on leadership, the leader who’s most effective in having successful conversations is most likely to do the best in developing their team and creating a successful business. “By the end of each day, leaders likely have had multiple conversations with a range of their constituents,” DDI’s researchers write. “Each of these interactions will collectively determine their ultimate success as a leader.”

This conclusion comes from a report called High-Resolution Leadership, which is the result of synthesizing assessments taken by 15,000 participants being considered for leadership from the front lines to executive levels at 300 companies in 18 countries. DDI evaluated the data from personality and intelligence tests as well as from “day-in-the-life” simulations that allowed participants to demonstrate their skills.

 

STOP the War Talk– Republican Presidential Candidates must Remember the words of IKE and JFK.

” Mankind must put an end to war before war puts an end to mankind”.

John F. Kennedy

Pay Any price for control is the mantra of the power elite in the Republican party. Since 9-11 we have spent 4 trillion dollars on endless wars to keep America safe. Really. My perspective is that having an “endless war ” strategy  has led to enormous power and wealth for the “Military Industrial Complex”. The “Military and Industrial Complex” according to warnings by IKE back in 1961, will become the greatest threat for undermining  two cornerstones of Democracy:

President Eisenhower said in his farewell speech of 1961 some the following which holds true  today than ever before:

” A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction.

Our military organization today bears little relation to that known by any of my predecessors in peacetime, or indeed by the fighting men of World War II or Korea.

Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.

This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. Since 9/11 we recognize the imperative and need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very success of the experiment of our democracy.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and resources will persist until we realize that we can’t be the policemen for the world. We must stop being involved in other countries civil wars.

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together”.

Daily Quote and Reflections: Just Thinking and Musing about Self–Renewal and Meaning in Life…John Gardner

Extended excerpt from a speech presented to the respected and renown consulting firm of McKinsey in 1990. Don’t miss the closing remarks on living a meaningful life because this is a great example of how to  use story telling to connect with an audience in a memorable way.

“Personal Renewal”
Delivered to McKinsey & Company, Phoenix, AZ
November 10, 1990 

” Nothing is ever finally safe. Every important battle is fought and re-fought. We need to develop a resilient, indomitable morale that enables us to face those realities and still strive with every ounce of energy to prevail. You may wonder if such a struggle — endless and of uncertain outcome — isn’t more than humans can bear. But all of history suggests that the human spirit is well fitted to cope with just that kind of world.

Remember I mentioned earlier the myth that learning is for young people. I want to give you some examples, In a piece I wrote for Reader’s Digest not long ago, I gave what seemed to me a particularly interesting true example of renewal. The man in question was 53 years old. Most of his adult life had been a losing struggle against debt and misfortune. In military service he received a battlefield injury that denied him the use of his left arm. And he was seized and held in captivity for five years. Later he held two government jobs, succeeding at neither. At 53 he was in prison — and not for the first time. There in prison, he decided to write a book, driven by Heaven knows what motive — boredom, the hope of gain, emotional release, creative impulse, who can say? And the book turned out to be one of the greatest ever written, a book that has enthralled the world for ever 350 years. The prisoner was Cervantes; the book: Don Quixote.

Another example was Pope John XXIII, a serious man who found a lot to laugh about. The son of peasant farmers, he once said “In Italy there are three roads to poverty — drinking, gambling and fanning. My family chose the slowest of the three.” When someone asked him how many people worked in the Vatican he said “Oh, about half.” He was 76 years old when he was elected Pope. Through a lifetime in the bureaucracy, the spark of spirit and imagination had remained undimmed, and when he reached the top he launched the most vigorous renewal that the Church has known in this century.

Still another example is Winston Churchill. At age 25, as a correspondent in the Boer War he became a prisoner of war and his dramatic escape made him a national hero. Elected to Parliament at 26, he performed brilliantly, held high cabinet posts with distinction and at 37 became First Lord of the Admiralty. Then he was discredited, unjustly, I believe, by the Dardanelles expedition — the defeat at Gallipoli– and lost his admiralty post. There followed 24 years of ups and downs. All too often the verdict on him was “Brilliant but erratic…not steady, not dependable.” He had only himself to blame. A friend described him as a man who jaywalked through life. He was 66 before his moment of flowering came. Someone said “It’s all right to be a late bloomer if you don’t miss the flower show.” Churchill didn’t miss it.

Well, I won’t give you any more examples. From those I’ve given I hope it’s clear to you that the door of opportunity doesn’t really close as long as you’re reasonably healthy. And I don’t just mean opportunity for high status, but opportunity to grow and enrich your life in every dimension. You just don’t know what’s ahead for you. And remember the words on the bronze plaque “Some men and women make the world better just by being the kind of people they are.” To be that kind of person would be worth all the years of living and learning. 

Many years ago I concluded a speech with a paragraph on the meaning in life. The speech was reprinted over the years, and 15 years later that final paragraph came back to me in a rather dramatic way, really a heartbreaking way. ”

A man wrote to me from Colorado saying that his 20 year-old daughter had been killed in an auto accident some weeks before and that she was carrying in her billfold a paragraph from a speech of mine. He said he was grateful because the paragraph — and the fact that she kept it close to her — told him something he might not otherwise have known about her values and concerns. I can’t imagine where or how she came across the paragraph, but here it is:

“Meaning is not something you stumble across, like the answer to a riddle or the prize in a treasure hunt. Meaning is something you build into your life. You build it out of your own past, out of your affections and loyalties, out of the experience of humankind as it is passed on to you, out of your own talent and understanding, out of the things you believe in, out of the things and people you love, out of the values for which you are willing to sacrifice something. The ingredients are there. You are the only one who can put them together into that unique pattern that will be your life. Let it be a life that has dignity and meaning for you. If it does, then the particular balance of success or failure is of less account.” 

Self-Doubt –Learn to Use the Challenge Response of Self-Efficacy

” Self-efficacy is the belief in one’s capabilities to organize and execute the sources of action required to manage prospective situations…remember self-belief does not necessarily ensure success, but self-disbelief assuredly spawns failure…People who regard themselves as highly efficacious act, think, and feel differently from those who perceive themselves as in-efficacious. They produce their own future, rather than simply foretell it…People with high assurance in their capabilities approach difficult tasks as challenges to be mastered rather than as threats to be avoided.” Dr. Albert Bandura 
From Social Foundations of Thought and Action: A Social Cognitive Theory., 1986.

A concise summary by psychology.about.com describes why the theory of self-efficacy is so important in the psychology of self is because  self-efficacy can have an impact on everything from psychological states to behavior to motivation. Most people can identify goals they want to accomplish, things they would like to change in their behavior, and things they would like to achieve. However, most people also realize that putting these plans into action is not quite so simple. Bandura and others have found that an individual’s self-efficacy plays a major role in how goals, tasks, and challenges are approached.

” People with a strong sense of self-efficacy:

  • View challenging problems as tasks to be mastered
  • Develop deeper interest in the activities in which they participate
  • Form a stronger sense of commitment to their interests and activities
  • Recover quickly from setbacks and disappointments

People with a weak sense of self-efficacy:

  • Avoid challenging tasks
  • Believe that difficult tasks and situations are beyond their capabilities
  • Focus on personal failings and negative outcomes
  • Quickly lose confidence in personal abilities”
Self-Doubt is a difficult burden to carry around everyday. The next time you have self-doubt challenge this negative thought or opinion about you. To survive and thrive in this life means that you need to find your own inner compass of strength and build unshakable confidence and BELIEF about who you are and what your strengths are for building a fulfilling and meaningful life. Don’t let other people define who you are and how you need to live your life.

MISTAKE #1: Accepting Other People’s  “Wrong Opinion” of You

In our desire to please people and get along, most people early in life decide it is more to their benefit to accept a bad opinion of themselves from a  parent, peer or teacher. – even if it’s not true, so as to be accepted and stay out of trouble.

“You’re terrible at sports because your feet are too big.”
“You don’t have the creativity to be an artist.”
“Your too weak to get stay the course and make a living as an actor.”
“Just give up the this dream of being a musician you don’t have a good ear and are tone-deaf. Find something more practical to do.”

I’ve noticed that many people accept these statements even when they don’t agree with them.

Then they go out and do something they don’t believe in and try to live the life set-out for them or encouraged by others. They do this even if they are not interested or passionate about the suggestions. Living a life chosen by others is a terrible choice because it makes you feel dependent and reduces your ability to live an autonomous and responsible life. You always have the excuse “I am just doing what you recommended for me to do.” I am sure these advice givers had good intentions but they robbed you of learning first hand what was best for you to do given your strengths and self-desires. This backdoor excuse reduces your ability to make decisions and reduces your ability to take ownership for your life.

This approach can will crush your confidence instantly.Why? Because to be confident, you need to trust yourself to make decisions and be able to tell yourself the truth. This dependency approach thus limits self-awareness and self efficacy. This approach of dismissing responsibility for choices is the root cause of self-doubt. This decision to believe others can do major damage to your confidence and emotion health and the ability to life an independent and reality based life.

Case in point: An employee I worked with was disappointed and upset about her lack of promotion to Supervisor on an important audit for the firm. She just wasn’t getting the best assignments because the Manager’s had decided she didn’t have the experience and ability to hand supervision of others. (yet).

What’s the message you think the Manager on the Furr’s audit is sending?” I asked her.

That I’m not good enough or smart enough to supervise others,” she said.

And how ARE you perceiving your skills and abilities to handle this assignment?” I asked her.

I’m not myself at all. I’m always nervous when interacting with others I am not trusting my training or instincts and I’m messing up even the simplest work papers and discussions with other colleagues or the client.” she said.

So what is the issue self-doubt, lack of communication or lack of training to learn the way to do these things – guess what?

This employee came from one of the best accounting schools in the country where she obtained B grades. She didn’t lose confidence because her manager didn’t allow her to supervise others or get good assignments. She lost it because she KNOWS she is a smart and competent auditor, but decided to believe and buy-in to a different view of herself by managers in her firm. When you lose self-belief or buy-in do other viewpoints about your abilities its ‘game over’ for your motivation and confidence.

Your self-belief or self-efficacy is your basic tool for success and overcoming barriers in your life.Question what you KNOW to be true, and you’ll do terrible damage to your career and your self belief. Now I know what you’re thinking.

“Mark, if I have a boss who thinks I’m not smart or experienced enough to be included as the supervisor on a project, then how dare I second-guess him or convince him I am ready. “

Easy. Ask him what he needs to see from her to show him she is ready to supervise this audit assignment. After he responds, set-up a mutual agreed to performance and training plan to get the experiences and training needed for your success. Be more assertive about your skills and abilities. That’s what your manager is hoping for, and anything less is a disservice to both of you. Your boss may be the smartest person alive, but even he doesn’t have a crystal ball and cannot predict the future. Heck, even Michael Jordan got cut from his high school basketball team.

Remember, human beings are not built to persist and their belief in themselves and be crushed very easily by people they respect and look-up to. Unfortunately, many of us give up at the first sign of struggle, and the biggest struggle of all is believing in yourself even when no one else does.

You can change and in changing prove to others your competence and confidence to succeed where they thought you couldn’t. You can persevere and believe and with belief comes confidence and a positive self-fulfilling prophecy can be set in motion to change other people’s view and opinion of your abilities.

Daily Quote and Reflection: Are “SOFT SKILLS” and Emotional Intelligence the Missing Link for Your Life and Job Success in 2014?

Daily Quote:  “In the last decade or so, science has discovered a tremendous amount about the role emotions play in our lives. Researchers have found that even more than IQ, your emotional awareness and abilities to handle feelings will determine your success and happiness in all walks of life, including family relationships.” —Dr. John Gottman–From the book:  Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child

“Let’s say you work at a place that’s saturated with smarts. If all of your colleagues were always the brightest person in the room growing up, then what makes you stand out? One of the key factors for differentiating yourself from others in the workplace is the concept of emotional intelligence and self-awareness”. Drake Baer,  from Fast Company 

Reflection: Many studies are now pointing to emotional intelligence as a strong predictor of  productivity, effectiveness and success for people and the companies they work for.

To be emotionally intelligent, Goleman and other researchers say, you need to have confidence. To have confidence, you need to know your strengths and weaknesses. Yet what does it mean to have confidence? It means to understand and believe you have the ability and belief that you can do the things that produce positive results. When faced with a decision or choice of what to do to be successful at a task or activity you believe you have the wherewithal to use your focused concentration, experiences and talents to complete the job successfully. This underlining insight is based on what Arthur Bandura calls self-efficacy. Working from a basis of belief in yourself provides a behavioral framework or platform of “I can do this”.

Self-Coaching Challenge: So your challenge for the New Year is to assess where you are on the Emotional Intelligence scale and then put together a plan for personal and emotional intelligence. Remember you can change your level of emotional intelligence because unlike IQ and other fixed variables our EQ is malleable but it will take more self-awareness and deliberative practice to improve you EQ level.

Want to learn more about EQ read this powerful article in Fast Company called: Emotional Intelligence predicts Job Success Do You Have It?  by Drake Baer.

http://www.fastcompany.com/3023335/leadership-now/emotional-intelligence-predicts-job-success-do-you-have-it#

 

Daily Quote and Reflection: Tribute to Nelson Mandela

 

Daily Quote :

“There is no passion to be found playing small–in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”

 Nelson Mandela

Reflection:

As President Obama said on Thursday on the passing of Nelson Mandela ” As a leader he achieved more than could be expected of any man… we’ve lost one of the most influential, courageous and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with,” Obama said. “He no longer belongs to us, he belongs to the ages … His commitment to transfer power and reconcile with those who jailed him set an example that all humanity should aspire to.”

“I am one of the countless millions who drew inspiration from Nelson Mandela’s life,” Obama continued, citing his own protests against apartheid as one of his first political actions. “I cannot fully imagine my own life without the example set by Nelson Mandela.”

Obama continued, “We will not likely see the likes of Nelson Mandela again.” See more at

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/05/obama-nelson-mandela_n_4393950.html

 

Self-Coaching Challenge: Listen carefully to all the lessons Nelson Mandela taught us by living his life as an honorable and peaceful man. After listening to the lessons choose one to incorporate into your daily life.  

Glasser’s Reality Leadership Model for Assessing 3 Styles of Leadership

How to use Dr. Glasser’s Realty Therapy for Self Coaching–Three critical questions to get started.

  1. What do you want?
  2. What are you doing to get what you want?
  3. Is what you are doing working and helping you get what you want ?

Let’s look at Glasser’s theory along a continuum from Authoritarian, Command and Control Leader to Laissez-Faire to  Empowering Leader

Empowering Leaders continually work to create an open environment which encourages participation by employees to solve work place problems and self-discover opportunities to do their best and reach their full potential. In addition, it is essential that the empowering leader is able to include and motivate their team to continually upgrade their skills, experience and systems of equality and two-communication that builds competence and trust.

The following grid is one example of how people in any organization can self-evaluate the “quality of their work place environment.  The diagnostic chart below lists many characteristics that describe leadership styles. In using this chart employees are encouraged to discuss their perception of various leadership characteristics and their impact on growth, development and excellence in the organizational system.

Characteristics of  Leadership Styles Command-Control “The Boss” Empowered Leader Laissez-faire
Relationship – coercive
– need-to-know basis
– externally motivated

– supportive and open                                         – builds trust through transparency

– internally motivated
– input involves others

– uncertain
– distant and hands off
– inconsistent and unstructured
Wants – dualistic thinking

-control and power over others
– my way is the only way
– narrow point of views profit motivation is king 

employees to do what they are told to do 

– group consensus
– participation and input for group problem solving 
– broad, many options

-focus on employee health and well-being 

– to delegate not tell people what to do
– agreement and support
– everyone to do their best.

-avoidance of too much supervision or structure

Present Behaviors

– uses harsh words and inflexible rules 
– set strict rules and regulations
-judgmental and management by exception 

Tell and sell approach 

severe-reprisals and punishment

– uses empowering and caring behaviors
– focus on group participation
– uses criteria,improves human relation systems
– combines both
– says okay
– unclear, does both/none
Evaluation – system of punishment
– criteria set by C/C leader

– develops system of self-development

– collaborative on evaluation and feedback 
– criteria by leaders/workers

– never the same
– inconsistent hands off “sink or swim” approach  
Planning – sets deadlines
– sets new rules goes by the book
– involvement based on strengths
– workers’ input appreciated
– what is deemed necessary “now”
– depends on the circumstances
 
 
Self-Coaching Challenge–Gather your leadership team together and assess where your team falls on this “quality of worklife ” and leadership style inventory.Then develop a plan for improvement with the team. Execute changes with a specific time table. 

Daily Quote and Reflection: Self-Belief

Quote :“If you believe in yourself and have the courage, the determination, the dedication, the drive, and if you are willing to sacrifice the little things in life and pay the price for the things that are worthwhile, it can be done…Every time a football player goes to ply his trade he’s got to play from the ground up – from the soles of his feet right up to his head. Every inch of him has to play. Some guys play with their heads. That’s O.K. You’ve got to be smart to be number one in any business. But more importantly, you’ve got to play with your heart, with every fiber of your body. If you’re lucky enough to find a guy with a lot of head and a lot of heart, he’s never going to come off the field second…I believe in human decency. But I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour — his greatest fulfillment to all he holds dear — is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious.Vince Lombardi

Reflection: Coach Lombardi is talking about great leadership being based on individual achievement to give your all and winning. The X factor for him in the success of a leader was to challenge yourself to have a positive mental map that focused on clear thinking, discipline, mental toughness, perfect practice and the desire to be victorious in what ever endeavor you pursue. His philosophy was reality focused based on the belief that we all choose what we do with our lives and that we are responsible for our choices. Responsibility is defined as learning to choose behaviors that satisfy our needs and, at the same time, do not deprive others of a chance to do the same. He was an assertive leader who at times pushed players to heights they did not think they could go. Yet, he was very well-respected and loved by all. He preferred players who were more self-directed and responsible for their development but showed how leaders need to respect the individual strengths of his players in finding the right formula for building a winning team. 

Self-Coaching Challenge:  What is your philosophy of leading? How does your philosophy compare to Vince Lombardi’s “win at any cost” but do it  fairly and within the rules of the game? If you belong to a team what has been your finest hour? 

4 Critical and Must Have Skills to Succeed in 21st Century Market Place

“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.” – Gandhi

Many of you have asked me why I keep saying learning to communicate and present to others in public are so important for career advancement. I have posted many ideas about how to overcome your fears and anxiety about speaking in public and now I was sent an article from Fast Company that lays out why this skill and a few others are critical for your success.  Checkout the ideas of founders of a few reputable companies have to say:  Let’s start with Presentations–

1) LEARN TO TALK IN FRONT OF PEOPLE

“Pandora co-founder Tim Westergren, who pitched his idea 348 times before securing crucial funding, reports that public speaking is one of the most universally useful skills. Why?

“Whether you’re pitching a group of investors, rallying your employees, selling a customer, recruiting talent, addressing consumers, or doing a press tour, the ability to deliver a great talk is absolutely invaluable,” he says.

And if you’d rather eat a microphone than have to speak into one, fret not: Quiet author Susan Cain is here to help cure your oratory woes”.

If you want to learn more checkout this article by Drake Baer in Fast Company magazine — http://www.fastcompany.com/3015338/leadership-now/successful-founders-share-4-must-have-skills-to-bolster-any-career

CHOICE— What Does EXCELLENCE Look Like In Your Life?

 

 

Modification and Update of Tom Peter’s In Search of Excellence 

EXCELLENCE is not an “aspiration.” Or “Purpose statement”

EXCELLENCE is … THE NEXT 5 OR 10  MINUTES

 EXCELLENCE is your next conversation.

Or not.

EXCELLENCE is your next productive presentation and meeting.

Or not.

EXCELLENCE is shutting up and listening—really listening.

Or not.

EXCELLENCE is your next customer contact.

Or not.

EXCELLENCE is saying “Thank you” for something “small.”

Or not.

EXCELLENCE is the next time you shoulder responsibility and give the credit away.

Or not.

EXCELLENCE is waaay over-reacting to a screw-up or other people’s inappropriate behavior

Or not.

EXCELLENCE is the donuts or flowers you brought to work today.

Or not.

EXCELLENCE is lending a hand to someone  who’s fallen behind schedule.

Or not.

EXCELLENCE is  learning  the way folks in finance or HR] think.and feel

Or not.

EXCELLENCE is waaay “over”-preparing  for a 10-minute presentation.

Or not.

EXCELLENCE is turning “insignificant” tasks into one-step at time significant changes and models of …

EXCELLENCE.

Or not.

SELF-COACHING CHALLENGE– How do you SHOW EXCELLENCE IN YOUR DAILY LIFE?

 

 

Secrets for Excellent Presentations—There are None. Just Lessons Learned.

I am going to share some idiosyncratic and insightful stuff today from Dr.Tom Peters, famed management and leadership guru for over forty years, In this rambling and some times incoherent reflections on Presentations and public speaking Tom nails a few great points for all of us to learn from in the art of speech giving. Here are a few of his ideas for you to noodle on today or review before your next speech.

Quotes that say it all:

“The only reason to give a speech is to change the world.”—JFK

“In classical times when Cicero had finished speaking, the people said, ‘How well he spoke,’ but when Demosthenes had finished speaking, they said, ‘Let us march.’”—Adlai Stevenson

Tom’s stuff  reinforcing the quotes— ” Reason’s for Total commitment to the Problem/Project/Outcome.

As JFK told us, above, keep your mouth shut unless you commit yourself 100% to moving a mountain—or at least a hillock.

Reason #1: Why bother to go through this hell unless “it” matters to you—a lot!

Reason #2: If you are not committed, somehow or other it will show through like a spotlight as you present. People can smell belief, passion and commitment and energy and determination—or the absence thereof .

Reason #3 . Fix Your Attitude before Presenting–Have you ever said to yourself before a speech I don’t want to be here. I have to be here. Well, that’s not true—except in a way it is. The peerless leadership guru Warren Bennis made an extraordinary assertion. He said: “leaders have no particular desire to be leaders. Instead, there is something they must get done. And to get it done, they must put on the leader’s mantle”. You could say the same thing about speechgiving—or you ought to be able to. I haven’t traveled my 5,000,000 miles or so to give speeches. I’ve traveled those miles to have the opportunity to present a set of ideas I care deeply about; and, at 70, I’m still traveling. (I assure you the thrill of air travel has long faded.) Change the world? That’s a bit grandiose. But, try to make a wee difference? That’s my story—and, within reason, I judge that it will be the case for any long-term successful speechgiver.

Reason # 4. Know what the hell you’re doing unless you specifically make it clear that you are merely providing early conjectures. JFK tells us not to open our mouths unless we aim to change the world. I’d add, perhaps unnecessarily, don’t open your mouth until you know what the hell you’re talking about. You’ve got to be clear, albeit indirect, that you’ve worked your ass off on this topic—and would not ask the audience to waste their time listening to you pontificate.

Reason #5. A compelling “Story line”/“Plot.” A speech, long or short, to an audience of 1 or 1,001, will only grab the recipient if there’s a powerful/compelling story-with-a-plot unspooling. First, evidence from the neurosciences supports this—our brain reacts to stories. Second, please listen up, research by the likes of Steve Denning reveals that stories are as important as hooks to techies and economists as to an audience, presumably, of poets. A good speech has a good story at its core. A good speech is, in effect, a string of stories that takes us from here to there—and makes us, in effect, say, “Let us march.” Stories. Stories. And more stories. Use personalized stories or short vignettes you believe in and are relevant to audience members.

Reason #6 Negative doesn’t sell. Period. Negativism can kill a speech in … 30 seconds.

Final Tips and challenges–

 Speech giving is a “One 2 One” conversation:

Talking and connecting to one-guy-at a-time with good body language on both of our parts,

I’m getting through to all 1,500 people. If I’m talking to “everyone,” from behind a podium, I’m getting to no one!

A Presentation is an Act. Never forget you are an ACTOR.

**********

Relax! Be yourself! ARE YOU NUTS? One of the most commonplace pieces of speaking advice is to “be yourself.” What a crock. No, you should not be stiff. Or look as if you were on the way to the guillotine. But you are performing a professional act.

And  as I—and FDR—said, you are an actor when you’re on stage. And you are putting on a performance. Can you imagine a coach telling one of his players before the Super Bowl,“go out there and be yourself”? I want to look as though I’m comfortable, sure, but I am also controlling every move and every breath to achieve an end that is a matter of professional life or death to me—not in terms of “success” or “failure,” but in terms of my determination to pass on a message I believe is of the utmost importance. Indeed, enjoy yourself—in the Green Room after the speech!

CONNECT! CONNECT! CONNECT!

You have all the time in the world to connect. Of course you don’t! But you must spend the opening minutes creating trust and camaraderie—not silly camaraderie, but something more like empathy. You can’t appear to be wasting time, but you must sink your personalized hooks to connect with others. (I am adding these examples of how to gather info and build rapport with audience members. Before the speech arrive early and talk with a few people to get a sense of who they are and what is relevant or important to them about managing others? Personalize the conversation by asking inquiry type of questions.. Where did they grow-up? Where did they go to school?. How long have they been with the company and in there present position? How much technical or management training have they been required to get annually? What is their biggest problem in managing others? What one thing or question if answered would make this a great speech? )

**********

Only connect! For example,

“ That was the whole of her sermon.

Only connect the prose and the passion, and both will be exalted.

And human love will be seen at its height.

Live in the fragments no longer.

Only connect …

—E.M. Forster, Howards End

I am sure if you read Tom’s full paper on presenting you will pick-up other stuff I did not touch on here. So do yourself a favor and read his entire piece because it is very insightful and we seldom get someone who for 45 years has been successful in captivating and inspiring audiences all over the world. Oh, and by the way Tom Peters receives 65,000 to 70,000 dollars in speaking fee his performances.

Have fun with his material and let us know what stuff you found important. Coach Mark

Weekly Self-Coaching Challenge: Focus on Improvement of Interpersonal Skills

Quote : “All of the top achievers I know are lifelong learners … looking for new skills, insights, and ideas.

If they’re not learning, they’re not growing … not moving toward excellence.” Denis Waitley

Self-Coaching Challenge: 

One of the main components of self-coaching is for you take responsibility and set direction for your own grow and development as a leader. Personal change and growth demands commitment to figuring out how to continuously grow as a leader of others.

So I want to challenge you to take 5 minuets at the end of each work day to identify what new interpersonal skills or insights are happening in your work life. Turn you observations into journal entries by focusing and answering these questions: What do I need to do more of… Less of… Keep the same…in regard to building more effective relationships with my colleagues and superiors.  During this exercise try to tune-in to your observation and listening skills. When you are in touch with people around you insecurity and stresses will decrease. This exercise teaches you how to obtain, process and give feedback to yourself.

Daily Quote, Reflection and Self Coaching Challenge: Mental Toughness and Your Belief in Yourself

Daily Quote: “If you believe in yourself and have the courage, the determination, the dedication, the drive, and if you are willing to sacrifice the little things in life and pay the price for the things that are worthwhile, it can be done.” V. Lombardi

 Reflection: When Coach Lombardi talks about “it” in the above quote I think he is referring to your dreams and goals in life. Although his focus and success was in professional football, there is know doubt that his commitment to excellence and winning provide many lessons on leadership. The X factor for him in the success of a leader was mental toughness. For him MT was the ultimate test of both the heart and the mind of a person in the face of challenges, pressure and stress. The key to success in stressful situations means facing your fears and pressure and “leaning-in” to be energized rather than becoming overwhelmed by the situation.

Self-Coaching Challenge:   Using the Stop, Identify, Reflect, then Act technique take the risk to tackle an ongoing problem in your life. The problem to work on is your choice–it could be a career issue surrounding a miserable boss, or your sense of non-engagement at work or a relationship issue with your partner or any other issue that you have been putting off or denying is draining energy and your sense of happiness. Some of you will need a little more structure or jump-start to get going so try this technique: Say it is a miserable job problem–imagine yourself in three different spaces, in each of which you can spend next year trying a job in which your passion and talents meet the needs of the world. What three jobs would you be excited to try? After this fantasy trip capture in your reflection and leadership journal the things that were different and exciting about these jobs, things that were about the same, and things that were worst. Now identify what you want to do and what is blocking you from getting started. Good Luck and keep us informed about your progress.  

Obama “plays to lose” by delaying Healthcare Implementation.

Obama Plays to Lose again. Delays Healthcare Reform implementation. This is a demonstration of ineffective and poor leadership. Some Democrats say they are stunned, blindsided, and confused that this decision was made with no information provided by the White House and while the President was in Africa.
Oh, by the way, did you know the Democrats won the election and corporations are at record high profits. Obama’s decision again puts the Democrats on defense and says to the Republicans  and naysayers on Health care reform you were right. The Republicans now have another year to try to make the delay permanent. This is another non-assertive and fearful decision by a President who has no swagger.
When we needed to push forward with a positive message and strong execution for the rights of millions without Healthcare the President looks in the mirror losses his nerve and says no we must wait.
As a progressive this is very disappointing and a big setback. I don’t want to hear more excuses of why this policy was going to be difficult to implement. What we need is an implementation team to act forcefully and implement changes as we go. All change can be difficult but it goes no where with out action. Maybe the President needs to ponder and reflect on what Peter Drucker, the father of modern Management and Leadership said, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.”  So how do we create the future by backing away from taking constructive action on Healthcare ?
Where is the courage and confidence to say, to the foot dragging Republicans, Healthcare is a “right for all” American citizens. Want to learn more about “playing to lose vs. playing to win see Life Principle #4  from my emerging Handbook on Living a Meaningful Life.

Part II: Learn to Be a Dynamic and Great Communicator and Presenter–Learn this Secret

“Research indicates the pitch, volume and pace of your voice affect what people think you said about five times as much as the actual words you used.”
—Stanford Business magazine

How about this for an upsetting fact about influencing and getting a message to stick with an audience? STOP trying to overwhelm them with facts, charts and other data. Don’t try to be the smartest person in the room. Just learn to connect.

Now let’s dig deeper and look at content vs. performance in regard to audience receptivity to your ideas or message.

Content vs. Performance

Presentation is a Performance Act. You are an actor. FDR said it about the A presidency: “The President must be the nation’s number one actor.” And you, my dear presenter, must be  #2! You are here for a serious reason. (Like the president.) The content, idea or cause, your beloved content etc. is a life-and-death matter for you. (So, too, for the president.) The methods of the great actor and performer (Remember Self 3)  are the methods of the great speech giver/presenter—standing before an audience of 2 or 22 or 220 or 2,000. In fact, the research evidence is clear: The acting and performer bit swamps the content bit. That is the “win” or “lose” outcome is driven far more by acting and presentation skills than by the quality of the content. If that upsets your mental map or appalls you, well … tough. Go with it. Believe in it. Study it. And never forget it if you want to be experienced as a great speaker or presenter. Performance is everything…Period !

 

Self-Directed Learning and Discovery Principles for Personal Change

Daily Quote: “The crux of leadership development that works is self-directed learning: intentionally developing or strengthening an aspect of who you are or who you want to be, or both.” Daniel Goleman, Author of Emotional Intelligence

Reflection: In my ongoing search for the essence of leadership and identifying what works and doesn’t is that leaders arise out of experiences, knowledge of how people work together in teams to accomplish more than they can alone, feedback from others on their success and failures and the willingness and openness to change.

We really don’t know how the world works either as leaders or followers. We only perceive how  organizations, teams and individuals work or don’t work from our unique perception; and our perceptual viewpoint , core values and beliefs our are based upon life experiences, who we are, what we are aware of and how we integrate all these things into our daily behaviors in the world around us. 

Here are the principles of  a self-discovery mental model that lead to changes and learning: 

1. Values and Beliefs influence our view of the world

2.  Perception of present and past experiences color our self- awareness. Thus awareness becomes our reality.

3. Reality sets our mental maps and suggests possibilities for the future. Possiblities open us to opportunities and away from problems. This mental set of possibilities generate alternatives for action.

4. Our choices determine our behavior and build habits and determine our impact and results.

 

Outcomes impact beliefs and facilitates openness to personal change.