10 Tips to Boost Your Confidence

Are You Feeling Confident?

10 Tips to Boost Your Confidence

Leadership and confidence usually go hand in hand. But sometimes you feel awkward or even silly. You may feel silly and awkward inside, but you can learn to overcome those feelings. The inside feelings don’t necessarily have to show up on the outside. You can develop the ability to both look and feel confident even though you feel a little silly from time to time.

Researchers tell us that the number one fear of most people is the fear of public speaking or some other public exposure. Now, in full disclosure, I will admit that I have never suffered from that fear. I was a “theater guy”. I loved being on stage. Many years ago my wife and I owned our own business where I was a paid professional public speaker. I have made a living standing and talking in front of a crowd. It doesn’t scare me – it energizes me. But I realize that I am the oddball in this regard. (Maybe some other regards as well . . .)

10 Tips for Improving Your Confidence

Here are 10 tips and suggestions to boost your confidence and to help you get over the fear of looking silly and also help you gain confidence and portray confidence to those around you.

Stand Up Straight and Tall — It is easier to exude confidence when you have a confident posture. No matter how awkward or embarrassing the situation you may be in, standing tall through it all will make people respect you for your ability to keep walking through the fire of adversity and hold your head high, no matter how scared you may feel inside. Remember what mom always said – – “Don’t slouch.”

Apologize, But Only Once — Being over-apologetic about a little mess-up just gets irritating after a while. Simply acknowledge your mistake, apologize genuinely, and continue on with whatever you were doing. This is a trait that I have seen with many “sales type” individuals. They seem to think that by apologizing they will be perceived as being more open, likable, trustworthy, or vulnerable. This is not the case. Instead, they just get annoying after a while.

Click here to read the rest of the article »

Is it Time for a Post-Mortem?

Consider it for the living!

IS IT TIME FOR A POST-MORTEM?

OK, the title is a little morbid. Especially in light of the fact that I have been really sick with the flu and now I find myself in a part of the world where Malaria is all too common for those of us without a natural immunity. In fact, I had a Malaria Test Kit waiting for me and sitting on the desk in my room when I returned to the hotel several days ago. That always makes you feel good!

But have no fear. I am alive and well. So please stick with me for a minute or two. Because I want to discuss a tool that I have used many times with clients when I was more actively involved in consulting. This particular approach that I recommend that you try attempts to take a look at what exactly happened during an “event” so that all of the stakeholders can understand it clearly. Not all will see it the same way. But, with enough individual views, a collective view will emerge.

This approach can be particularly helpful when there is already an acknowledgment that there are a number of issues that need to change. This approach requires a high degree of trust among the team because it can naturally focus on the negative of what took place. It is very similar to the critiques we used to receive in the theater at the end of a performance or a rehearsal.

A Post-Mortem in a Leadership Context

The kind of review that I am referring to today is different from those that we used in the theater. The kinds of critiques that I am suggesting are a little more interactive and participatory. The best critiques included all of the components below: 

Click here to read the rest of the article »

ADHD and Evernote

Can a tool like Evernote really help?

ADHD and Evernote

One of the things that is becoming more and more clear to me as I get busier and busier with my “day job” and the growth of Leadership Voices is the need to become more and more organized. I have always been a fan and an aficionado of organizational tools throughout my entire adult life. Because great organizational ability is needed for great leadership success.

I was an ADD/ADHD kid. When I was in school we didn’t get medication for ADHD, we got sent to the principal’s office and we often got paddled. So, I learned at a very early age to curb the “H” piece of that little 4 letter acronym. But the “AD” piece and the inability to focus on tasks in an orderly and organized fashion has plagued me my entire life.

When Organization Doesn’t Come Easily

I will never be the neat freak and have a spotless desk with every scrap of paper tucked away some place neatly at the end of each day. But that doesn’t mean that I cannot be an organized person. It just takes more effort for me than for most.

The key for me has always been “writing it down”. I have seen many systems. I have used Day-Timer, Day Runner, Franklin Planner, and I have even tried developing my own custom organizational system. I have had the greatest success when my paper system was somehow related to my electronic system.

Click here to read the rest of the article »

How to lose 20 pounds in 24 hours!

Leadership Is Like Losing Weight

Leadership Is Like Losing Weight

Do you want to know how to lose about 20 pounds in less than 24 hours?  If so, read on!

I have recently dropped about 20 pounds and I did it in less than 24 hours.  Hard to believe, I know.  But it is true. But, just like the late night infomercials that are on TV, you need to read the fine print if you want to know the whole story. I truly have lost the weight. And it has taken less than 24 hours. However, the truth of the matter is that those “24 hours” have been spread out over the last 3 months and were expended in 20-30-minute workout sessions that consisted of running and walking up to 2 and 1/4 miles each time I worked out.

Sorry to disappoint you. I really wish it were easy enough to accomplish in one 24 hour day. But it just doesn’t work that way.

Having said that, losing weight is easier than you think.  At the end of the day, it is a mathematical computation. Each pound of fat that you want to lose equals burning about 3500 or 3600 calories MORE than is required for you take in over a period of time. Simply figure out your daily calorie requirement to maintain your current weight and physical activity. Figure out the amount of weight you want to lose. Decide how quickly you want to lose each pound. Then do the math. Subtract your daily intake from your daily requirements to maintain your current weight and take that number of calories and divide it into 3500 calories and the result will be the number of days it will take you to lose that pound of extra weight.

What is the leadership lesson here?

Click here to read the rest of the article »

Today’s Task: Sharpen Your Sword

Sword

Stephen Covey popularized the notion in his book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, that we must take time to stop and sharpen our saw from time to time if we are going to successfully cut down the trees and saw the logs that are before us on a daily basis.

And here is one of my favorite sources for quotes, Sir Winston Churchill. He said,

“When the battle drum beats, it is too late to sharpen your sword.”

So, today, I stop and address the topmost task on my ToDo List today: Sharpen the sword.

There are few places as inspiring and motivating as Leadercast when it comes to allowing us a time to stop and listen to some folks with very sharp swords. It also provides me some time and the opportunity to interact with folks who are equally concerned about putting an edge on their swords. Today, I join with many thousands of leaders from all walks of life in participating in one of the Leadership local simulcasts.

I do not know when the battle drum will beat and I will need my sword and will need it to be sharp. So, in the lull between battles, I find the time to tend to that task.

What is the leadership lesson?

The leadership lesson is

Click here to read the rest of the article »

The Business of Ethics

MM - Ethics

I am sure there has been much written about ethics in leadership but I wanted to share some insights recently revealed to me.

I had a visit with some dear friends who have been in leadership positions and one is currently writing a book on “ethics in the university”. He is a retired professor and is a dear friend so, jokingly, I asked him if he had discovered any, to which there was a resounding NO.

The chats usually go with the state of our country then circles around to business models and ethics.

First, I’m not sure why we call it “business ethics”.

Is the place we learn business ethics, in business, or is it too late then?  Our conversation had me asking that question, “Where do we learn” ethics?

Well, I got the standard business answer we all should expect and the one you are thinking. We teach them in college and have training classes and seminars. Which isn’t bad, I might add!

As you may guess at this point in the conversation, I still had plenty of questions. So, one immediate question was; at what age do we start to teach ethics?

Where and when do “we” learn ethics?

Click here to read the rest of the article »

My Greatest Organization and Productivity Booster for 2015

For many of us, getting organized and increasing productivity are two of our biggest goals entering each new year. They are probably only topped by “losing weight” or some other fitness goal. And I can’t really help you with those per se. The good news is that I can help you with organization and productivity in the coming year.

One of my goals for Leadership Voices in 2015 is to become even more practical in our approach to leadership development. And this article is the first in a series of articles that you will see in the coming days, weeks and months on one of the greatest productivity tools that I have come across since I purchased my first Day-Timer back in 1979.  I began using it in 2014 and it has had a profound effect on me and my personal productivity.  It only gets better the more I discover ways to integrate it into my daily life.

I am talking about Evernote. Evernote has become integral to everything that I do here at Leadership Voices. It would be integral to my day job, but for some strange reason, some folks there have not seen the value of Evernote yet.

To be completely transparent, you can do most of what Evernote does with other note-taking services such asMicrosoft’s OneNote, but (in my opinion) Evernote wins out with its huge platform compatibility – particularly with the mobile apps; and with the many integrated third party apps available across platforms also. And it’s FREE.

For the sake of organization and productivity, we want to be more efficient with the time and resources that we have, to enable us to spend more time doing what we want – in my case, spending time with family, leadership coaching, and writing. Evernote allows me to do a lot of “side-line” work while out and about and still keep everything together in one place that is accessible anywhere.

Click here to read the rest of the article »