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Mastermind Course: Communicating to connect

July 28, 2012 in Business, Communication, Leadership, Personal Growth, Project Management

If you can connect with others- one-on-one, in groups, and with an audience – your sense of community improves, your ability to create team work increases, and your influence skyrockets. People who connect with others have better relationships, experience less conflict, and get more things done than those who cannot connect. Leaders who have learned the art of connection are able to communicate their ideas persuasively, establishing buy-in and attracting followers.

Learn how to improve your results, increase team performance and connect better with those you lead. 

Eventbrite - Everyone Communicates, Few Connects Course
Only 25 Seats Available

Join us for this 10-week course starting on August 15th, 2012 and learn the "how-tos" of connecting while we discuss the following principles and practices:

  1. Connecting Increases Your Influence in Every Situation

    Leaders who have learned the art of connection are able to communicate their ideas persuasively, establishing buy-in and attracting followers. You will only be able to reach your potential, regardless of your profession or chosen path, when you learn to connect with other people. Otherwise, you’ll be like a nuclear power plant disconnected from the grid. You’ll have incredible resources and potential, but you’ll never be able to put them to use.

  2. Connecting Is All About Others

    Before you can add value to others, you must first learn to value others. Instead of trying to conform others to your agenda, position yourself to see from their vantage point. As you gain awareness of the needs and hopes of others, you will be able to craft messages that connect with them emotionally.

  3. Connecting Goes Beyond Words

    You can’t merely pass along information; you must model the message you want to deliver. A vision cannot materialize through you until it has taken root within you. Owning a vision enables a communicator to move from informing others to inspiring them.

  4. Connecting Always Requires Energy

    To make the most of your communication opportunities, you must expend energy proactively. Leaders have responsibility to initiate the connection.  It’s also the leader’s duty to prepare so that he or she can communicate clearly when the opportunity arises. Preparation consumes time and energy, but its benefits far outweigh its costs.

  5. Connecting Is More Skill Than Natural Talent
    People aren’t born with the ability to connect, nor does it develop by accident. Connection happens when people hone their skills and mine their experiences. Great communicators make the most of their background, personality, natural abilities, and knowledge in order to engage an audience—whether in conversation with one person or when speaking to a gathering of thousands.

    Eventbrite - Everyone Communicates, Few Connects Course
    Only 25 Seats Available

  6. Connectors Connect on Common Ground

    Connecting with others is a matter of choice. Good leaders and communicators don’t isolate themselves, and they deliberately keep their people informed. They decide to make themselves available, to listen when their people speak, and to show others that they care. Over time, their thoughtfulness and humility attract people to their side.

  7. Connectors Do the Difficult Work of Keeping It Simple

    Being simple is hard work. Great leaders grasp the nuances and intricacies of tough issues, and condense them into simple statements that easily can be communicated to their people. To keep communication uncomplicated, leaders quickly get to the point, use plain language, and repeat their primary message.

  8. Connectors Create an Experience Everyone Enjoys

    In the Information Age, attention spans continue to shorten, and you have a limited amount of time before people choose whether to tune in or tune out.  Do everything within you power to engage your audience early. Once you’ve drawn people in, hold their attention by telling stories, showing pictures and inviting participation. People remember what they see and do much better than what they hear.

  9. Connectors Inspire People

    Vision without passion is a picture without possibilities. By itself vision doesn’t inspire change. It must be supplemented with visible passion on the part of the leader in order to compel people to act. Leaders set the tone for the entire team by the excitement and energy level they bring to their work.

  10. Connectors Live What They Communicate

    People buy in to the leader before they buy in to the message. You are the best advertisement for your cause. Whether you intend to show them or not, your true colors eventually shine through—onstage, at work, or at home. If you want to connect well with people, you must become the kind of person with whom you would like to connect.

ONLY ONE THING STANDS BETWEEN YOU AND SUCCESS.

It isn’t experience; it isn’t talent. If you want to succeed, you must learn how to connect with people. And while it may seem like some people are just born with it, the fact is anyone can learn how to make every communication an opportunity for a powerful connection.

Join us for this 10-week course starting on August 15th and learn how to improve your results, increase team performance and connect better with those you lead.

To be more effective, we're limiting the group to just 25 participants. Hurry up and secure your seat today.

Eventbrite - Everyone Communicates, Few Connects Course

How to Move from Positional to Permission-Based Leadership

July 7, 2012 in Business, Communication, Leadership, Project Management, Successful Living

Being a leader gives you great authority and power, but to truly lead, inspire excellence and voluntary engagement beyond a team member’s job description requires humility, tact and the ability to truly connect.

“No man is a leader until his appointment is ratified in the minds and the hearts of his men.”

Infantryman’s Journal (1954)

Throughout history we’ve seen leaders exercise power and authority purely from a positional perspective. And 90% of the time, it doesn’t end well for them. Using positional leadership only forces people to follow you as a leader within the stated boundary of the authority given by the position you hold.  It will not earn you the influence you need to realize your vision as a leader. This archaic style of leadership is at the heart of most of the revolutions that we have seen in the middle east and around the world (both in ancient and recent times).

As leaders, if we want to truly and whole heartedly engage our teams and followers, we need to rely on true influence which can only be earned.  And the only way to earn it is by addressing the top three Read the rest of this entry →

The writing on the wall – Do you see it?

June 13, 2012 in Business, Communication, Leadership, Personal Growth, Successful Living

A couple months ago, I started working with JetBlue as a consultant/business partner in a Project Management position. On the first day I stepped through the door, the first thing that greeted me in the reception area was a wall of art with several words written on it. This same identical wall was also visible all throughout the building. By the end of the day, I realized that the five words on all of those walls are the same.  Those simple but meaningful words beautifully painted on the wall are: Safety, Caring, Integrity, Fun and Passion.

When I asked about the walls, I was told that they are the JetBlue values that everyone strive to live by as a JetBlue Crewmember. These values also drive many initiatives within the company from which the first project I worked on, a Reward and Recognition system, was birthed.

That same day it hit also me. Why don't most people define the values they want to live by and filter their decisions and actions through them?  Most of us have some fuzzy idea of what our values are and want them to be but we never really take the time get any clarity on them. Though I've thought of mine before, I've never really taken the time to write them down.  On that same day, I resolved to set some time the next morning to reflect on and clarify my values.

Now why is this exercise important?

Over the years, my values have led me to initiate several projects and allowed me to make many of my major decisions without any regret. Today, they serve as a filter and a guide when deciding what to invest my time in.  Since I know what values I want to live by I understand my priorities better and feel better making my decisions.

Do I falter and miss the mark some times? You bet!  But I strive every day to live by those values. In Michael Hyatt's article "12 Ways to Know you're a Leader", one of the characteristics he covered is "You Walk your talk [as a leader] - not perfectly but sincerely and intentionally". That's what I strive to do and I hope you join me in doing the same.

The writing on your wall cannot be fuzzy and unclear if you want to live and lead with intention. So today I ask you: What is the "writing on your wall"?
________________
I'm sure you're wondering what mines are.  I have four major ones. I want to keep it simple; so it's not a long list.
1. Integrity - Trust and Character
2. Continuous Growth and Improvement - Growing myself & others.
3. Passion - Enjoying what I do and why I do it.
4. Positivity - Keeping a healthy attitude in everything I do and all of my interactions.

Related articles

The Big Rocks: Your Priorities, Your Success or Your Failure

February 25, 2012 in Business, Communication, Motivation, Personal Growth, Successful Living

"You are EXACTLY where you should be given the things you have done to get there" ~ Unknown

To follow last month's lesson from the Learn, Grow and Achieve Virtual Seminar with Rick Krug, "The History of Your Future", I thought it was appropriate to share this 10-minute video with you. This video will solidify the lessons from the call and also help you to see your world, your daily priorities and eventually your success from a different perspective.

During a training session I attended at JP Morgan Chase for new employees in early 2000, a trainer from Franklin Covey explained the concept of the Big Rocks. It made a lot of sense to me then and it still does today. Although I fail to put some of the lessons to use on occasions, I still strive to practice this principle everyday and its impact on my life has been enormous.

The Big Rock principle has helped me to focus on the things that really matter and also align my actions to my values.

Is this easy to do? No.

Can it be done? Yes.

Will you achieve more by taking this approach (focusing on the Big Rocks) instead of simply filling your day with the gravels or sands? Absolutely!

As you watch this video, put yourself in the lady's shoes and think about how you go about your day. You can almost feel the pressure of the many things in your life fighting for your attention, pulling you in many different directions. Most people live this way but when you ask them why, they say "I'm just living my life...taking it day by day". This is really just another way of them saying "my life has no purpose...it is meaningless". If that is you, I recommend that you read the "30 Days to Live" series. It will definitely help you put things in perspective.

"There are no real mistakes, only misplans, weak-plans or no-plans" ~ Unknown

When you live without a clear mental picture of who you are, who you want to become and what you want to achieve with your life, you become enthralled with the pettiness of daily occurrences and emergencies. This, in turn, creates stress which lead to frustration and sometimes a sense of under-achieving or "in-achieving".

Go ahead...Watch the video and Go Lead Your Life!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jI87IEnwh4w?rel=0&w=640&h=480]

Do you have a plan for growth?

September 28, 2011 in Business, Communication, Leadership, Motivation, Personal Growth, Successful Living

Are you looking to grow?  Are you looking to be, do and have more in your life?  If so, below is a sample growth plan that my mentor and friend John Maxwell shared on his blog a couple years ago that I think you'll find valuable - especially for those of you who participate in my Mastermind Groups.

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Clipped from http://johnmaxwellonleadership.com/2010/02/08/do-you-have-a-personal-plan-for-growth/

On Twitter and Facebook on Sunday, I quoted my friend Paul Meyer, mentioning that he was the person who helped me create my first personal growth plan. In the hours afterward, I received dozens of requests, all asking the same thing: “How do you create a personal growth plan?”

The answer to that takes more than 140 characters, so I thought I’d post it here:

The key to a life of continual learning and improvement lies in developing a plan for growth and following through with it. Paul Meyer knew this. In fact, when I first met him and we had lunch, he asked me a question that changed my life: “Do you have a personal plan for growth?” Read the rest of this entry →

Freedom. It’s not what you think – wisdom from Scott Dinsmore

July 6, 2011 in Business, Communication, Leadership, Motivation, Personal Growth, Successful Living

Freedom is not what you think

For all the talk of "freedom" and "independence" going on this week, many are still not free.  The reason...?  There is a lack of willingness to dream and make some sacrifice to relentlessly pursue that dream.  Think of all the courage, sacrifice and willingness it took the fathers of this nation (USA) to fight until they achieved their dreams of freedom and were able to declare independence and for us to have and boast about this week.  They did something that mattered.

Today you don't need to sacrifice as much as they.  And so my question for you:

Are you willing to do the same to better your life and that of your neighbor?  What does Read the rest of this entry →

30 days to live – Taking actions on things that matter, Part 2

June 4, 2011 in Business, Communication, Motivation, Personal Growth, Successful Living

Vector image of two human figures with hands i...

Average Reading Time: 2.7 minutes

Focus on Relationship: Making things right

In part one of the series we explored some of the things that one might consider and action steps to take given only 30 days to live. We posed the question: How would your life be different had you only 30 days to live? We covered how we usually talk about the past and the future while forgetting to live today the best we can. The tendency that we have of exaggerating yesterday, overestimating tomorrow and underestimating today gives us a false perspective on how to best live life. What I urged is that you should start now, turn your intentions into actions and make today tomorrow’s ‘good old days’.

In part 2 of the series, we focus more on Read the rest of this entry →

30 days to live – Taking actions on things that matter, Part 1

May 23, 2011 in Communication, Motivation, Personal Growth, Successful Living

Average Reading Time: 3.7 minutes

"Live as if you were to die tomorrow.  Learn as if you were to live forever."
Mahatma Gandhi

If you only had 30 days to live, would you continue doing the same things that you are doing now?

How would your life be different?

What would become a priority for you?

As you think about these questions, you will realize that there are adjustments you would want to make in your life. Being faced with death has a way of Read the rest of this entry →

Do you respond or react to your situations? Lessons I learned from Bob Burg

May 19, 2011 in Communication, Personal Growth, Successful Living


Average Reading Time: 2.5 mns

Often you find someone ruining an important relationship because of his actions.  When you ask why he acted as he did, he says "I had to... because...".  That 'because' is usually followed by an explanation of someone else's action being the trigger for his reaction.  Between the trigger or stimuli (the other person's action) and his reaction is 'that moment' - a split second of opportunity to exert some control over the outcome of his situation. Read the rest of this entry →

Intentional Living – What is it all about?

May 7, 2011 in Book Reviews, Business, Communication, Leadership, Motivation, Personal Growth, Successful Living

I started this blog with the sole purpose of sharing with you one of my passions - leadership development and personal growth. This blog is called "Intentional Living" because not being intentional about our daily activities and thoughts mean that we are placing a lid on our potential. By being intentional we are putting ourselves on a path that will take us to Read the rest of this entry →

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