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Leaders – How to Get Your Team’s Motivation to Go Viral!

August 8th, 2011 10 comments

There are different types of teams in the world.  Each team is lead by a leader.  Some teams are wildly successful.  Everything they touch turns to gold.  While other teams seem to wallow in mediocrity, never rising above the norm.

What makes teams so different?  One difference is the level of motivation.  The successful team appears to be brimming with motivation.  Get out of their way, because they are steaming towards their goal!  While the other team seems to be only going through the motions.

I’ve heard it said that motivation comes from within.  This is true.  The sign of a great leader is one who will find this motivation lurking inside each individual and pull it out of them with gusto.

I’ve had leaders ask, “how can I reach this motivation.  I’ve tried contests and money rewards and I can’t seem to get them motivated.”  Contest and money doesn’t work for everyone or every situation.  Some occupations work better with these kinds of rewards.  Some personalities respond better to competition and fiscal rewards.   If you have competitive action personalities on your team, they are more likely to work for those kinds of incentives.

The more creative the project, the less likely contest and rewards will work.  For these creative projects, we need to roll up our sleeves and use a completely different approach.

Get your team actively involved in the crusade

The most successful people in business and life are those with a cause.  Something they can believe in and commit to.  People will work harder for a crusade or cause then they will for money.  The great leaders have discovered their own crusade and how it’s going to make people’s lives better.  It could be righting a wrong, or they’re working to make the world a better place.

A great leader figures out the crusade and then gets their team’s emotions involved with this crusade every day.  Great leaders understand that people respond to directing their own lives.  These leaders, also, recognize and respond to their team’s individual initiatives in moving the crusade forward.  Everyone wants to be a part of changing the world.  People will work harder to be a part of history.

Leaders must be in touch with their own dreams and goals.

The leader should recognize each member of the team’s strengths and how these strengths can fit into the big dream.  The leader should know the steps it will take to reach the dream, but never discourage anyone on the team’s contributions.  Individual initiatives may even discover a better way to accomplish the goals.  The dream needs to be big enough for everyone on the team to have an active part in it.

Everybody wants to be somebody.

Not only do they want to be somebody, but they have the desire to get better and better at something that really matters.  Everyone wants to be remember in the history of the world, at least in their world.  We must never forget this desire when we lead our teams.

To create an explosion of  viral motivation, we will need to inspire those around us to reach inside of themselves and pull out the best they can be.  People’s desire to be involved in something bigger than themselves and fight for something they believe in is a strong motivating force.  We can look for the best in our team and encourage them to make a difference each and every day.

I have a video of Dan Pink’s talk at Ted on motivation.  He brings some surprising things to light.  They are controversial things which most business don’t believe or don’t know about.  I’ve worked in sales fields where we were compensated monetarily.  At first, I didn’t agree with him (as if my research department is bigger than his). After contemplation, I can see how this fits. Leave me your comment and let me know your thoughts.

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5 Tips – How to Use Vince Lombardi’s Back to Basics Technique to Explode Your Business

August 1st, 2011 37 comments

Going back to basics was the hallmark of the great Vince Lombardi.  Those of us who enjoy hearing success stories on our quest for self improvement are very familiar with this legendary American football coach.  He was the head coach of the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League from 1959-67, winning five league championships during his nine years. Following a one-year retirement from coaching in 1968, he returned as head coach of the Washington Redskins for the 1969 season.

One of the things which separated Mr. Lombardi from the pack of other head NFL football coaches was his passion for going back to basics.  Every year, at the beginning of the football season, he would stand in front of his players and say, “Gentlemen, this is the football.” It is impossible to get much more basic than that.  He did this, not because he didn’t think his team of NFL superstars  knew what a football was, but because he knew it was a vital for their success.  He realized the only way to explode his team’s success was to go back to the basics every year.

Why is it important to take, not only ourselves back to basics every year, but, also, our team?  Mr. Lombardi said, “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence”

Here are 5 reasons why this is an important endeavor for anyone, or any team, to do when striving for excellence.  When we go back to basics,

1.  We learn something new or forgotten.  This past week, I’ve had the privilege to take Dan Nickerson’s 22 Day Boot Camp.  Even though, I’ve been online with my blog for 2 years, I discovered some things in his boot camp I didn’t know.  I, also, found some important tactics I had forgotten about with the passage of time.  Important things which will have a positive impact on my business.

2.   We reconnect with or connect with our coach or mentor.  In my case, I’m enjoying the connection to a new mentor.  I have respect for Dan Nickerson.  He is the “ideas man” for Joel Comm.  I was introduced to Dan by of my association with him when I chose the Socrates Theme for my blog.  He has always been helpful and attentive. Over the past few months he has earned my respect and trust.  I have been enjoying his teaching style and his knowledge he is willing to share.

3.  Going back to basics is a refresher course which can re-ignite our passion.  When I started the 22 Day Boot Camp, I was lethargic in my business.  I kept all my goals, mission statement, and afformations in front of me, but I’d become complacent and without an urgency or passion for my chosen endeavor.  The refresher course has re-ignited me.  I feel the rumblings of passion deep in my guts again!  It helped me remember why I’d chosen this path.

4.  Catch up on advancements in our subject matter.  Many times, in our chosen professions, we are so busy doing the mechanics of our position that we don’t have an opportunity to stay abreast of advancements.  I found this to be true for me this week.  There were things he discussed which I hadn’t heard of before.  Learning these will have a positive impact on my business.

5.  Keeps everyone on the team on the same page.  When we are a leader of team, we must be on the same page with our team mates.  Going back to basics reinforces our leadership, our leadership style, and our expectations for our team.  This adds to the cohesiveness of our team and expands all of our expectations.

I’ve found in my many years of business, having a coach or mentor is a vital element to our success in any endeavor.  Find someone who has not only done what you want to accomplish, but has excelled in it.

Going back to basics, often, at least once a year, is a hinge pin of success in the quest for excellence.  As Vince Lombardi said, “The man on top of the mountain didn’t fall there.”

How often do you go back to basics?  What works for you and your team when you go back to basics?  Leave us a comment with some helpful hints and  your thoughts on the subject.

For your viewing pleasure, here’s a short 3 minute YouTube video on Vince Lombardi.  Enjoy!

 

 

 

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When Has Competition Gone Bad?

July 27th, 2011 12 comments

We live in a competitive world.  Competing can be a worthwhile endeavor.   It encourages the drive for excellence.   It has led to advances in science, from our walk on the moon, to the races for success in the business world.  The results leading to an advancement in our enjoyment of our personal living conditions.  It’s even present in our  everyday life when we compete with others for the chance to date and marry our special someone.

Some of us are more competitively driven than others.  There’s a special rush to winning!  While others don’t like the feeling of being compared or competing with someone else.  They haven’t experienced the good feeling which can be wrapped up in the art of competition.

It’s something we learn to enjoy or hate when we are children.  Positive parenting encourages it and is a role model of productive competition.  It’s important to remember the lessons we’re teaching as we watch and react to our children when they are playing sports.  How we behave and relate to competition speaks volumes to them.

Those who enjoy competing, understand the beneficial art of competition which can enhance our self esteem.  It’s one of the best ways to learn from our opponent, especially when we lose.  Competition brings out our opponent’s strengths and can pinpoint our weaknesses and the areas where we can improve.

We all know someone who has moved the love of competition from the fun beneficial endeavor to something much darker.  Someone who’s desire to compete has taken on frightening proportions and has moved into malevolent behavior.  The person who’s entire life is about competing and winning.  It becomes all consuming and effects even their loving relationships.

What are the signs to watch for in “competition gone bad”?  Here’s a few.

1.  Putting too much emotion into the loss or win.  Losses enrages them.  This bleeds over into their personal relationships with ugly mood swings, violent behavior, and the mistreatment of others.  Winning can turn into addictive behavior such as betting.  Addiction to betting can rob us of our financial and emotion lives.

2.  Competition becomes the only vehicle which triggers the emotions of happiness, well being, and self fulfillment.  When someone can’t relate to another individual without the need to compete with them.  This includes their spouses, children, co-workers, and friends.  It damages their loving relationships and ends up isolating them from their connection to their friends and family.  Their loved ones get fed up with everything being a competition.

3.  Putting too much emphasis on the competition and not on the experience and the lessons wrapped up in it.  Someone who has slipped into this self defeating mode will be critical of anyone they believe could beat them or overly verbally abusive when their perceived opponent loses.  They are consumed with winning at all costs.  This presents itself as bad sportsmanship.  Cheating to win, rubbing it in to an extreme when they win, or being mental or physical abusive when they lose.

Competition can be fun and filled with learning experiences.  It can teach us how to do something better.  It can lead to emotional, scientific and technological breakthroughs which have a positive impact on our lives.  It can be a fun way to enrich our lives and improve our self esteem.  When it goes from fun and life enriching to the opposite, it’s time to address it.  Fix it before it moves into dangerous waters where only a professional can lead the way back to a more safe and fun place for competition to reside.

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5 Tips Every Entrepreneur Needs to Know to Starting a Business

July 6th, 2011 4 comments

All most everyone would like to own their own business.  Home businesses, small business, and MLMs (multi-level marketing) are on the rise!  Everyday of the week someone is starting a home business or a small enterprise.  Business ideas are rampant.  Business opportunities have never been as good as they are today  Why doesn’t everyone have their own business?

There are many pluses to business ownership such as; having equity in your career, possible unlimited income, calling the shots, and having mastery of your career path.  There are, also, many problems with being a successful entrepreneurs.  Many new businesses fail in the first 5 years.  How can someone have more control of their success?

Here are some business tips which will lead to greater success:

1.  Have a clear concise mental picture of what success looks like in your business.  What would your business look like when you succeed?  Know exactly how many transactions/sales have to be made to equal the cash flow you need to run your business, pay all your employees, pay taxes, etc.  It’s important to know exactly how much and where the cash flow is going.  How long will it take to get to this point.  Do you have a business plan and a mission statement?

2.  It’s important to prioritize the behavior which gets you to your goal.  It’s vital to know what your bread and butter activities are.  Once you discover what they are, it’s important to do those activities as much as possible.  If paperwork doesn’t make you any money, don’t do it.  I’m not saying let your paperwork reach the ceiling or sit unattended on your desk.  What I’m saying, is it might be more cost efficient for you to hire someone to do it which will free you up to do the bread and butter activities of your business.

3.  Set effective goals.  It’s very important to set goals with time frames.  A goal without a time period attached to it is only wishful thinking.  Goals will need to be long term and short term and broken down into the daily activities.  The daily activities should encompass the bread and butter activities that make the money, or you won’t be in business very long, or successfully.

4.  Have rewards and punishments in place.  Everyone likes the rewards, but where people fail is they don’t punish themselves if they haven’t accomplished their goal.  I’m not suggesting flogging oneself with the cat o nine tails.  I’m suggesting that if you haven’t met your weekly production goals, make yourself work on your day off.  Rewards and punishments are important for keeping yourself motivated day in and day out.  This step takes self discipline.  If you don’t have self discipline, you probably shouldn’t be working for yourself.

5.  Fall in love with your future outcome,  Sell yourself, everyday, on how wonderful it’s going to be when you succeed.  Use all your senses to sell yourself your dream life.  Put pictures of your dream life and dream business where ever you will see them every day.  Many cell phones are capable of taking pictures.  Take pictures of where you would like your office to be, what car you are going to drive, what school your children will go to, etc.  Put them on your computer.  Tools like mindmovies can not only build your perfect life movie, but the workbook helps you become clear on what it is you really want.

No one wants to become a statistic of another failed business.  You have control of what you do, everyday, to succeed.  Businesses succeed or fail because of daily habits.  Master your destiny by mastering your success habits.

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How Can We Eliminate or Minimize the Stress in Our Lives?

April 27th, 2011 2 comments

Stress is in every one’s life.  It goes beyond race, creed or color.  It is a universal phenomena.  Although stress is universal, how each one of us deals with it can be different.

Our stress levels are similar to pain levels.  Some people can withstand a tremendous amount of pain and not be phased by it.  Others, have low pain thresholds and small amounts of pain bother them greatly.

Some people can run multi million dollar companies and their stress level barely raises above the “calm” line on their stress meter.  While another can red line their meters giving a presentation to their peers.  What one person finds exhilarating, another would find to be a nightmare!

Another area of difference is what triggers our stress levels to climb. Not only are our triggers different, but how we handle our stress can go from one end of the spectrum to the other.  Some find stress devastating to their health.  They suffer from stress related diseases such as high blood pressure, heart disease, headaches, depression and many others.  It can, literally, shave years off our lives.

There are some people who seem to let stress roll off of them like a fried egg on a Teflon skillet.  They seem to use stress to energize themselves and create masterpieces of passion in their lives.  What makes everyone so different?

Here are the most common stresses in people’s lives:

1.  Concern over world events
2.  Growing old
3.  Becoming terminally ill
4.  Chronic pain
5.  Fear of death
6.  Reliving painful experiences
7.  Loss of senses; vision, hearing, taste, etc.
8.  Concern for others; family and friends
9.  Career concerns and  job related events; promotions, presentations, interaction with co-workers, etc.
10. Loss; Death of a loved one, a job, a house, a pet, etc.
11. Finances and debt
12. Relationships
13. Loneliness

The list could go on and on.  You may relate to some of these stress triggers, or you may say “nay, I wouldn’t stress out about that!”  For those of you who can relate, how do we build up our stress tolerance levels?

Stress tolerance has a direct relationship with perception.  If we don’t perceive something as stressful, even if someone else sees it that way, we won’t react to it.  When the stress chemicals from our bodies kick in, we could see it as a warning sign, or we could look at it as a challenge to conquer.

Let’s look at some of the steps we could use to reduce our stress:

KNOW WHAT STRESSES YOU OUT

Make a list.  The first step in getting a fix on your stress is to know what it is that triggers it.  Take a close look at your daily activities.  Give each one of them a rating from low, “I can handle this all day long” stress to the red line, “My palms are sweaty, I can’t sleep at night” stresses.

ELIMINATE OR MINIMIZE IT

Look carefully at your list.  How many on your list could be gotten rid of?  How many on your list could you fix by just saying “no”?  It could be a volunteer project which stresses you out to try and fit it into your all ready busy schedule.

How many of your stresses are worries?  Can you change what you are worrying about.  When I find myself worrying, I ask myself, “can I change this?”  If the answer is “no”, than I make a decision to let it go.  As the quote goes, “Let go and let God”  The enemy of stress is meditation, or any relaxation, letting it go technique which works for you.

Looking at the list, are there any of these that you could lower your stress level by changing your perception of it?  For instances, instead of viewing the presentation you are going to give your work peers as stressful, view it as a great step in mastering another skill which will serve you in your career and look good on a resume.

DON’T PROCRASTINATE, PLAN AHEAD

A lot of stress is directly related to being unprepared.  Procrastination is a huge factor in high stress levels.  If we take time to prepare our presentation for our co-workers, the stress will decrease.  If we plan ahead for our party and start cleaning, preparing the food, and all the other things which can be done days before.

DEVELOPING A NETWORK OF LOVED ONES AND FRIENDS

Some stress can be relieve by developing a network of people who love you no matter what happens.  It is a fact, people with a strong network of family and friends have fewer stress related illnesses.  When we spend time with those we love, we can laugh, exchange ideas, and gain perspective.

DON’T PUT ALL YOUR STRESSORS INTO ONE TIME SLOT

Spread the stresses around.  Some people put every activity or thing which stresses them out into the same time slot.  It’s not a wise idea to have a presentation to get ready for in the same time slot as making and selling baked goods at the school function.

It wouldn’t be wise to moving out of your home by a certain date and on the road for your job at the same time.  Huge stress!

We can’t remove all stress from our lives, but if we can come to understand about what stress us out. Take the steps to eliminate it or minimize it.  We can stop procrastination and plan ahead being careful not to put all our stressful things into one time slot.

My all time favorite is, we must not forget to enjoy our network of loved ones and friends.  Enjoy a glass of wine.  Laugh and unwind!  It’s good for our bodies and our souls!

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How to Defeat the Siren Call of Procrastination

April 7th, 2011 No comments

We have all fallen victim to the procrastination bug.  I call it a bug, because like the flu it can make us sick and tired.  Sick and tired of not excelling, not making enough money, not having our projects done on time, and stress.

People procrastinate in different degrees.  From a once in a while thing, to complete break down of results.  Why do people procrastinate?

One reason may be, they don’t see a value or adverse consequences in having something done in the time frame it needs to be completed.  For instance, If a teacher gives the student a credit for a paper even if it’s a day late, is there an urgency to get it done on time?

Many times, procrastination stems from not being able to see or visualize the end result.  If we can’t see the end result and how good it will be, or feel, when it is completed, where is the motivation to do it?

Another reason for putting things off  is not being invested in the outcome.  When it’s something we really don’t care about and haven’t invested any part of ourselves in the outcome, do we feel compelled to follow through?

Habitual procrastination can be a lack of self discipline or laziness.  Or, a lack of motivation to start or complete the project or task.  I know people who put off things they say they really, really want to do.  They can’t force themselves to make the time to do it.  A hundred other things seem to have a siren type hypnotic call; the unwashed dishes, laundry to fold, checking email one more time.  We follow the call and end up doing nothing about what should matter most.

Procrastination becomes a form of self sabotage.  When someone is overcome too many times by the call of procrastination, they realize it has resulted in a life of unfinished projects and mediocrity.  Then, out pops the cat o’ nine tails and the self flogging begins.  This results in a downward spiral of disastrous consequences.

Here are three things I have found which help me recover from the sickness of procrastination:

WRITE IT DOWN

I write down on paper what needs to be accomplished.  This is a way to clearly and concretely picture my project goals and tasks.  When I write down my list of things I want to accomplish, I become more invested in the outcome.

PRIORITIZE IT

After I write it down, I prioritize it.  There are, often, many things needing to be done.  If I write it down I can prioritize  the important tasks.  It helps create the steps needed to accomplish the task.  Prioritizing helps to weed out the less important tasks and focus on what needs to be done.

DO SOMETHING!

The most important step is to do something! Take action!  Anything to create a forward motion.  The hardest step in getting anything done is starting.  I know when I start a writing project, I pull up my notepad and stare at the white virginal screen.  I will stare indefinitely at it with nothing appearing on the screen, unless I move forward by typing something….anything…to get me started.  By starting, I gain focus and a sense of forward momentum.  If it’s not how I want it to read, I can always go back and fix it, but there won’t be anything to fix if I don’t get started.

Next time, when confronted by the bug of procrastination instead of fallen ill to its siren song, try writing it down, prioritizing it, and start doing something.  You may find the path cleared for excellence and less stress.  Try it, you’ll like it!

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How to Beat the Evil Twin of Success Also Known as Discouragement

March 29th, 2011 No comments

Goals and dreams are exciting!  They can light up our world.  They give us a reason to put our feet on the floor every morning.  Along with goals and dreams comes the polar opposites of discouragement and failure.  Everyone, no matter who you are have been, or will be subjected to them.

The difference between our successes and failures is how we each handle discouragement.  I have a dear friend, who when faced with failure, becomes fatally discouraged and quit whatever they were doing and latch securely onto the expressions, “I can’t”, I wasn’t born to do this”, or my all time favorite (I say with all the sarcasm I can muster) “It’s always been this way, why should I change?”

I heard a speaker once say, “if someone had a gun to the head of one of your children, would you just lay down and quit, say you can’t do it and let it go?” Most of us would say, “hell no!” But, when we let our dreams and goals go without a fight and slump into fatal discouragement, isn’t that exactly what we are doing?

Someone might not be, literally, holding a gun to the head of one of children.  But if we don’t learn how to deal with frustration and discouragement isn’t that a lesson our children are learning from us, which can eventually put a stop to their dreams and goals in their lives?

Face it, our kids watch us and how we deal with love, success, freedom, discipline, discouragement and frustration, just to name a few.  We are walking, talking lessons in life, whether we like it or not.

One of things I ask myself when I’m in the throes of discouragement and despair, is my goal or objective worthy or should I let it go? The more attached I am to my goal or objective, the easier it is to say “hell no, I’m not giving up!”

The second thing I ask myself is a perspective question.  If I can get through my discouragement, in 5 years what will I remember the most? The agony of the discouragement or the thrill of victory!

The third thing I ask myself is, how can I get around my discourage, work through it, or blast it out of my way? Once my mind is made up that I’m not going to quit, the discouragement melts away.  Resolve replaces it.  Solutions become apparent.

Life is journey!  It isn’t always easy, but it is worth it.  As Bob Proctor would day,  “Lack and limitation can only exist when we make room for them in our mind.” The same is true for discouragement.  Isn’t discouragement just another lack and limitation?  Doesn’t discouragement breed a lack of motivation and limits success?  The next time you face the evil twin of success, ask yourself the three question.  You might be surprised by your answers.

If you need a little more help to relax and let go of your tension and stress, click here!

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