Monday, March 31, 2008

Learn the Art of Dynamic Leadership

Author: JS Anandrahi

Leadership is art of leading a group of people to attain a certain goal. Without leadership qualities it is very difficult to write a big success story either in business or in politics. Progress of a country or success of a business depends on its leadership. This world is full of talented and hard-working humans. There are brave persons in every street or block of every colony. But if they don't get a good leader they won't be able to combine themselves into a dynamic force. Without a good leader the best of the businesses or the mightiest of the forces start crumbling. The history is replete with examples how the personality of a leader plays an important role in making or breaking an empire.

Good leaders are needed and respected in every field - politics, business, army, social reform movements etc. Great leaders are not born, they acquire greatness with total commitment to their purpose and by getting the support of others. Any sensible person can become a dynamic leader by cultivating a few qualities with diligence and persistence. Unless you develop these qualities you will find it very difficult to manage people and get ahead in any field.


'Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.' These words of great American philosopher Emerson carry weight. Unlimited enthusiasm can give you unlimited success when it is focused and directed towards the aim of your life. People rarely want to follow a dull or unenthusiastic leader who is unable to arouse their feelings. An unenthusiastic leader is like a dark night that makes you take rest and sleep. How can such a person lead a group of people?

In fact enthusiasm is the biggest trait of a leader. See the speeches of the great leaders or very successful business executives they all are very enthusiastic person. Enthusiasm is actually a combination of several things: interest in the subject and the people, determination to achieve certain goals, self-confidence.


What will happen if nature starts breaking the barriers of discipline. The planets will collide with one another. The whole universe will be totally disorganised and there won't be any human civilisation on any planet. Strict discipline keeps the universe throbbing with life. Actually without swallowing the bitter pill of strict discipline it is hard to gain the respect of people. If you are really a big leader people may tolerate your habit of reaching late. They may wait for you for hours to have a glimpse of your great personality and ready to clap even for your late arrival. But late arrival of great leaders is also resented if it happens again and again.


Napoleon, one of the greatest warriors and conquerors in the history, was almost crazy for books. He ordered latest editions even in the battlefield. Amazing! His hunger for information became legendary. It is wisely said that knowledge is power. All successful managers, military generals and political leader always keep themselves informed. Without adequate information you can neither analyse the facts properly nor launch any rational operation.

Do your best to get as many facts from as many sources as possible. If your have information power on your side you can easily defeat a more powerful enemy or competitor. The richest person of the world till date John D. Rockefeller gave great priority to details. Alexander the Great spent a lot of time in getting right information and only then he launched his attacks. Akbar the great of India and Catherine the great of Russia always surrounded themselves with wise men - the men of knowledge. Meet any successful person today you will be surprised to know how well-informed that person is. Right information has always proved the biggest power and success tool of most of the great men and women.


Anger not only makes enemies but also loses followers. You may be a very wise and pure-hearted person but if you have a habit of losing patience over trifles you will antagonise people. They will always pull your legs and run you down. You can imagine how difficult it will become for you to lead people to achieve your goals. And anger is not that bad in case it is under control and chennelised towards the evils of the society. It is senseless and uncontrolled anger that is always immensely harmful. By willingness and constant practice you can learn the art of managing your anger. Repeat 'OM' ten times before allowing your anger to burst. Also visualise your anger to be melting down. This simple formula will help you to manage your anger.


Charismatic leaders are more popular. Charisma mesmerises everybody as it generates hope in the power of a leader to do something for the public. Charisma is in fact an attractive personality and it can be developed. Many leaders get such a nice upbringing and atmosphere from their parents that they get a good personality without making much efforts to develop it themselves. But there are others who work very hard to develop it. Prophet Mohammed, Guru Nanak, Napoleon, Mao, Mahatma Gandhi, Lenin, Bill Gates, Dhirubhai Ambani, all of them had to work very hard to inject the light of charisma in their personality.

To make your personality charismatic you need to take the following steps: 1.Have immovable self-confidence in you, 2.Keep all the facts to give you an air that you know all, 3.Surround yourself with capable persons, 4.Maintain an air of power with the help of money and material, 5.Give extra care to dress sense, 6.Be near the people and help them to solve problems.


If you want to become a good leader you need to maintain a healthy distance from the people. Don't be too friendly with anybody otherwise it may dampen your charisma. People have faith in their leader as they think their leader can do or achieve anything. Keep your problems to yourself. Never show the scars or injuries of your heart to your followers. They are not there to solve your personal problems but to take your help in solving their problems. If personal meeting is arranged advise the person to say everything in brief. Talk less and listen more.


Who wants to follow a person when there is no gain. A leader is a person who is capable enough to lead others to achieve a certain objective. A leader successfully convinces the people that he is the only one who can help them to solve their problems and lead them to success.

A leader understands people, knows their needs, arouses their hopes and shows them the right path, and above all he is willing to sacrifice his life for his followers. It is, therefore, necessary to tell the people what they will get if they keep faith in you. And you have to create confidence in them regarding your abilities. It sometimes takes years of efforts. You must be sincere and honest to them otherwise nobody is going to believe you. Prophet Mohammed and Mahatma Gandhi were recognised real leaders when they were past fifty. It took them decades of hard work and convincing before they were able to attract large number of followers.


Admire your followers often and they would love to follow you. Every person thinks that he is wise and does certain things in life which must be admired. Criticism dissuades and repels the people. Hard criticism may make them afraid for some time but secretly they start plotting against you and damage your winning potential. So give admiration whenever needed. But beware of flattery as it will lower your image and make the people suspect your objectives. A subtle dose of praising words, for a person or team who did a good job, is enough.


The biggest and most effective tool of a leader is art of speaking. Good public speakers are equally praised by the people and the media. They make the people spellbound with their words. But the million-rupee question is how one can acquire the art. Some leaders become well-versed in this art by helpful and positive surroundings in a natural way. Others have to work very hard to master it. Everyone knows that the greatest leader of our country Mahatma Gandhi shivered to his bones whenever he got up to speak a few lines even before a small group of known persons. But with determination and constant practice he became one of the best speakers of the world. Follow these points diligently to become efficient in the art of speaking.

1. Get knowledge of the subject on which you want to speak. What will you say to your audience till you know what to say? Try to add some interesting information. 2. Practise your speech alone at your home before a mirror, before a small gathering of your family members and friends. (The great American leader Abraham Lincoln practised it by speaking loudly before the trees in the peaceful atmosphere of the jungle where he lived with his poor family.) 3. Your pronunciation should be good. You can acquire it by reading a newspaper loudly everyday. Take the help of a learned person if needed.


Trained thousands of persons to get great jobs, improve personality and achieve goals in business. CEO: News of India Network Director: LSE-India (for Communication Skills and Personality Development)

Best-selling Books written by Anandrahi : 1. Think Your Way to Wealth and Power , 2. Fire of Success in Your Mind, 3. Speak English and Influence People (To get an ebook write an email).


About the author: Anandrahi

Trained thousands of persons to get great jobs, improve personality and achieve goals in business. CEO: News of India Network Director: LSE-India (for Communication Skills and Personality Development)

Best-selling Books written by Anandrahi : 1. Think Your Way to Wealth and Power , 2. Fire of Success in Your Mind, 3. Speak English and Influence People (To get an ebook write an email).

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Leadership or Management?

Author: Arthur Cooper

Leadership or Management? by Arthur Cooper (c) Copyright 2005

If you are a good manager, does that make you a good leader?

If you are a good leader, does that make you a good manager?

Does being good at one imply being good at the other? Do they necessarily go together or are they quite different in character? What are the characteristics of leaders and managers?

These are some of the questions I shall try to answer in this article.

At one extreme management can mean the organisation of the smooth running of a routine function. It can mean arranging schedules, assigning tasks to individuals, and checking that work is done according to the defined procedures. It may mean nothing more than this. It may be a vital and valuable function, but nevertheless not one requiring huge amounts of trail blazing or leaps into the unknown.

The majority of management jobs do require much more than this of course. When you add in the control of staff, the liasing and negotiating, the planning and the measuring, the reviewing and decision making, and so on and so forth, you begin to see the complexity and difficulty of the role.

But, fundamentally, good managers get things done. Managers are practical and analytical. They work out how to put into practice the ambitious visions of their leaders.

Leadership by contrast has other characteristics. Leadership means being visionary and inspirational. It means deciding what the goal should be. It means choosing the direction to go towards that chosen goal and convincing others to follow. It means always being ahead of others and pointing the way. But it doesn't mean working out the practical details of every step along the way.

Whilst the leader inspires the team the manager organises the team. A good leader is a master of the What and the Why. A good manager is a master of the How.

Neither is more important than the other and in a business organisation they complement one another.

Naturally there is an overlap in the functions of leaders and managers. Few managers would succeed without showing some degree of leadership and few leaders would succeed without having some management competence. Many people are to some extent both leaders and managers. But the distinction is there all the same and truly outstanding individuals are often extremes of the one or the other.

For example the entrepreneur who builds up his business from nothing is often a leader - inspiring, visionary, - but careless of and uninterested in details. He knows where he wants to go but is not interested or competent in the details of how to get there. More importantly, once one goal has been reached he is off aiming at the next one and is less interested in the routine or mundane job of consolidating the gains so far.

Those who go on to become truly successful realise their shortcomings and hire good and effective managers to look after the smooth running of the day-to-day functions. Those who don't are often frustrated by an inability to make the major leap forward with their companies. This is a shame because as a result they cannot grow their businesses beyond a certain level.

Managers can motivate their teams, cajole and encourage. They can knit a group of individuals into an efficient working group. They can implement the leader's vision.

Each needs characteristics of the other to some degree, but they are fundamentally different.

About the author: Arthur Cooper is a business consultant, writer and publisher. For his mini-course 'Better Management' go to: h ttp://

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Humor Minus Credibility Equals Doofus: 12 Back to Basics Leadership Principles Anyone Can Follow

Author: Lonnie Pacelli

From the book Humor Minus Credibility Equals Doofus at

Ed was just appointed team leader in a public works organization of the federal government. In preparing for his first meeting with his new team, Ed thought long and hard about some of his prior managers' leadership styles. One characteristic that he particularly admired in several of his managers was the ability to connect with the team through humor. He decided on a strategy that would help the team accept him as a leader--he would show his human side and use humor to connect with them.

Ed had his first meeting with the team and was very satisfied with the results. The team seemed to really like him. The meeting was filled with laughter and both the team and Ed seemed to really be enjoying themselves. Ed was very happy and believed things were getting off to a great start.

With each passing meeting, though, there seemed to be a growing concern among the team. While Ed seemed to connect with the team, he didn't see the cooperation on getting things done as he had hoped. There were also a couple of team members who asked for permission to interview for positions outside of the group. Ed was growing concerned over the trend and asked Betty, one of the team members, what she thought was the problem. Betty's counsel hit Ed right between the eyes: ""Ed, you're a great guy and people really like you, but I just don't know if you've got what it takes to lead this group. We're kind of feeling like you may not have the skills needed to lead us, which is creating a lot of concern among the team."" While Ed's focus on using humor to connect with the team is great, he didn't take the time to establish the necessary credibility with the team.

Any one of us can think about an influential figure we've had in our lives, whether a parent, boss, or religious leader, who used humor to build camaraderie and inspire people. Leaders who have a sense of humor motivate those around him to want to participate in the journey. The problem arises, though, when a leader tries to connect with a team of people prior to establishing himself as worthy of being followed. If a leader fails to establish his worthiness by gaining credibility with the team, the team may only stick with the leader when things are going well and there are no problems on the horizon. The moment that problems start cropping up, team members will be more apt to defect because they won't have faith in the leader to navigate the storm. Credibility breeds acceptance, humor fosters inspiration.

So why is the failure to establish credibility such a massive issue? Here are the biggies:

Team members need to trust that the leader can get from origin to destination - Being a leader means knowing the plan and leading the team down the field. The leader not only needs to know the plan and how to execute, she needs to communicate the plan to the team and ensure the team understands and believes in the plan.

Team members need to feel secure that the leader will navigate well through stormy issues - Think of an airline flight you've been on where some unexpected turbulence hit. While the plane is rockin' and rollin,' the pilot speaks to the passengers with incredible calmness and control. His job is to make you feel that things are well in hand. Imagine if turbulence hit and you heard the pilot scream ""HHHEEELLLPPP!!!"" I'd be heading for the exits. Having credibility with the team gives the team greater security that the leader will get them through sticky issues.

Use of humor by a credibility-starved leader will exacerbate the credibility issue - When leaders continually use humor as a means to connect with a team without establishing credibility up-front, the use of humor itself becomes a credibility inhibitor. Teams will tend to see the use of humor as the leader trying to ""cover up"" the fact that he may not know what he is doing. Thus, each time the credibility-starved leader cracks a joke, he is actually reinforcing this lack of credibility issue with the team. Rather than seizing the opportunity to gain credibility, the leader uses it to brush up on his lounge act. Appropriate use of humor is a great means to inspire a team to perform, so long as the credibility has already been established. Use the following tips to help you get over the credibility hump:

Start with listening - Gaining credibility doesn't mean you have all the answers before you understand the questions. In fact, not taking the time to listen can actually hurt your credibility campaign and brand you as arrogant (we'll talk more about this in lesson #2). Demonstrating a clear understanding of team concerns and issues is a great credibility builder in that the team learns to trust you as a leader.

Use humor sparingly up front - The team first and foremost wants to know why they should be following you. Use those initial opportunities with the team to connect through understanding the issues they are facing and gaining an understanding of the most important things for you as a leader to focus on. As you build the credibility, feel free to introduce more humor to move the team from accepting you to being inspired to follow you.

Don't be so gun-shy of using humor that you are viewed as a stick-in-the-mud - Being cautious about using humor shouldn't give you a reputation as stern, mean, or stoic. By all means, be pleasant, approachable, and engaged in your interaction. The team will find it easier to talk to you and will get a more comfortable feeling that you understand their problems.

Use a bit of self-deprecating humor - I use this technique a lot particularly when I am doing presentations. I will frequently tell of a situation where I did something really foolish or where I publicly embarrassed myself in front of a group of people. This demonstrates that you're secure enough with your own abilities to share them with other people. It also shows that you are able to laugh at yourself and not take yourself too seriously. One note of caution here: don't be self-deprecating to a point that the team sees you as having a self-esteem issue.

Avoid humor which tarnishes the credibility of others - Using humor which trashes other people or competitors creates problems in a couple of ways for you as a leader. The first has to do with the trustworthiness of the leader. While team members may see destructive jokes as funny, they can develop a viewpoint of ""so what does this person say about me when I'm not in the room?"" The second has to do with the questionability of your motivations. When you trash talk others for a laugh, you can be viewed as attempting to build your credibility at the expense of someone else through your own insight and wit. For credibility to be well entrenched in the team it needs to be absolute, not relative. Otherwise, you're only demonstrating that you are worthy to lead a team until someone better or smarter comes along. Not a good foundation to establish credibility.

Look, none of us wants to follow a leader with all the personality of cottage cheese. Having a leader who is able to share an occasional joke and laugh with a team is huge in moving a team from acceptance to inspiration. Just ensure that you as a leader take the first step to establish credibility with the team and garner their trust in you before you get too liberal with the funny stuff.

Get all 12 Back to Basics Leadership Principles Anyone Can Follow at

About the author: Lonnie Pacelli has over 20 years' experience with Accenture and Microsoft and is currently president of Leading on the Edge™ International. Lonnie's books include ""The Project Management Advisor: 18 Major Project Screw-Ups and How to Cut Them Off at the Pass"" and ""The Truth About Getting Your Point Across"". Get the books, leadership products, other articles, MP3 seminars and free email mini seminars at

Friday, March 28, 2008

Leadership & Teamwork

Author: Kim Olver

Strong, positive teamwork is defined by a leader who has a vision and the ability to inspire his or her team to work toward the realization of that vision.

The leader is not threatened in the least by the expertise and diversity of his or her team. Rather, a good team leader engages his or her teammates in a discussion about what quality looks like, what is needed to perform and complete the job, and empowers the team members to always strive for quality improvement.

Let's break all that down into its component parts. The first is a clearly defined leader. I believe every team must have a leader. There must be someone who is in charge and makes the ultimate decisions.

Team members may take turns being the leader as long as everyone is clear who the leader is on any given day. Another variation of that theme is to have certain people be the leader for projects that are in their area of expertise. However, in every event, there can be no question among teammates who is the leader for that day or project.

The leader needs to have a vision. This is similar to Covey's second habit, ""Begin with the end in mind."" A true leader creates the end product twice---once mentality and then in its actual form. It is impossible to lead toward a fuzzy vision. People are simply not inspired to follow uncertainty.

Having the vision is not enough to inspire teammates to strive toward the same goal. A good team leader knows how to help each teammate see how the end product or service will be useful and what, exactly, their individual contribution is toward that end.

How does the janitor contribute to fans' enjoyment at a professional baseball game? By providing a clean, neat bathroom experience---that's how. If the janitor sees himself as a critical cog in the big picture goal and he receives positive recognition for it, then he is more likely to perform his job with enthusiasm.

Another component of being able to inspire one's teammates is having a clearly defined mission that everyone, preferably, has had a part in developing, but if not, then at least team members can agree to the previously established team mission.

This becomes important in times of conflict between team members. When there is a dispute to be solved, it is helpful to have an already established way to measure the solution. Solutions are always held up against the mission and whether or not it will move the team closer or further from the ultimate goal.

The other advantage of having a mission that has been agreed upon by all team members is that it can enhance cooperation. One of the most difficult things to manage on a team is an individual ego. There can be petty jealousies and a competitive spirit that can kill the cooperation of the best team. The mission statement is a way to minimize this potential for disaster.

The mission remains the focus that everything else is compared to. An individual's action is either helpful or hurtful to the mission and dealt with accordingly. The group's goal must always be placed above any individual's desires or ego. Jealousy and backstabbing have no useful place on a team.

A good leader is in no way threatened by the expertise and diversity of his or her team. The best leaders are always seeking information from the front line people who are doing the actual work. Without information from team members, the leader's hands are tied behind his or her back.

It is also critical to use team members in their areas of expertise. Leaders can't know everything about everything. There will be team members who have skills and abilities that surpass those of the leader in certain areas. A good leader will ask for help when it is prudent.

This is also a time to value diversity. Having a team made up of people who all do the same jobs in pretty much the same way really has no value. One person could more easily do the job than assembling a homogenous team.

The value of a team comes from its heterogeneity. Getting feedback and suggestions from people who do things differently is what will spark the creativity and the genius of the team. This is what masterminding is all about. Tap into the wealth that is already there.

Finally, a good leader holds the bar high. He or she does not ask his team to be average or mediocre. Average and mediocre can be easily replaced. The leader asks his or her team to collectively do their very best and when they are done, the leader asks them to always strive for continuous improvement. The work is never done. The team should always be evaluating what has been implemented and be comfortable making suggestions for ways to do it even better.

Previously, I mentioned that a good leader empowers his or her teammates. Creating a need-satisfying environment does this. Team members must get along and know that the leader and the company have their best interests at heart. They must feel important, listened to and respected. They must have the freedom to make choices within the context of their assignments and they must have some fun in their work.

It is also critical for team members to feel safe. This means that they are not fearful in any way. The team leader is critical in fostering this environment for the empowerment of the entire team.

If you are interested in training your employees in the area of teamwork, contact Kim at 708-957-6047, email at or visit the website at

About the author: Kim Olver is a licensed professional counselor in two states. She helps others make positive changes and triumph through difficult periods of their lives. She has maintained a private counseling practice and in 2004, decided to move into the field of coaching, where there are a greater number of individuals more highly motivated to make the changes they seek. To learn more about Kim visit or call her at (708) 957-6047.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Balancing Technology, Management, and Leadership

Author: Jim Clemmer

""The art of progress is to preserve order amid change and to preserve change amid order."" -- Alfred North Whitehead, 19th century British mathematician and philosopher

As Achieve (my first consulting company) was working with our Clients to implement Toward Excellence (the cultural change process we had developed in conjunction with Tom Peters) I was growing increasingly uneasy. Something didn't feel right. In In Search of Excellence, Peters and Waterman presented a powerful case against ""the rational model"" of management. It forcefully argued (among other things) for focusing on people (customers and those serving them) rather than processes, action instead of analysis, and becoming values rather than numbers driven. Sure there was a strong need for managers to move away from the overstuffed bureaucratic, controlling, and hierarchical approach many companies had fallen into. But I also knew of companies that were entrepreneurial, exciting, people-oriented, customer-driven -- and they struggled or even went down the tubes because they used a shoebox for an accounting system and yesterday's technology. Some of these managers came from the we-must-still-have-money-because-we-still-have-checks-left school of business mismanagement. It seemed to me the real issue was balance. So as I went to work on my first book, The VIP Strategy, I developed an early version of the ""triangle model"". After using it with numerous management teams to frame key organization improvement issues, and continuing to study, speak, and write about the performance balance, we have since further refined the model: Performance Balance Triangle Technology -- an organization's core technology is the expertise and/or equipment that produces the products or services that its customers buy. Supporting technology may include web-based applications, software, telecommunications, robotics, production equipment, and the like to produce, deliver, or support the organization's core technology. Personal technology is the technical expertise I bring to the production, delivery, or support of either core or supporting technologies. Management Systems and Processes -- organizational processes are the flow of materials, work activities, customer interactions, or information across an organization to produce, deliver, or support the products or services that its customers buy. Organizational systems are the underlying feedback and measurements loops, performance improvement methods, and organization structure. Personal systems and processes are the methods, habits, and approaches we all use to get things done. People (Leadership) -- this includes those people an organization serves, the people they would like to serve, people in the organization doing the producing and serving, key external partners (such as distributors, strategic alliances, suppliers, etc.), everyone in the organization supporting the producers and serving the servers, shareholders or funding partners, and (very deliberately last) management. In top performing organizations, each area is strong and constantly improving. For example, in our technological age, we all need to ensure that we're constantly upgrading our technical expertise and technological tools. We can't afford to fall behind. In my case, my notebook computer has been a huge help with email, managing my time, storing and easily retrieving information, keeping contact and project records, maintaining our database, developing slides for presentations and workshops, and accessing a multitude of information and research through the Internet. Without it, I'd be 30 - 40% less productive and would need much more administrative help. But as with any technology, just automating sloppy personal habits and disorganization will mean we'll just mess it up faster. If our understanding of our customer expectations are only partially accurate, expensive technology and ""reengineered"" processes will only deliver partial results. If people in our organizations can't communicate face-to-face, electronic communications won't improve communications very much. If we haven't established the discipline of setting priorities for our time or organizing ourselves, a notebook computer or other wireless mobile device won't do it for us. Systems and processes is also an extremely important area. An organization can be using the latest technologies and be highly people-focused, but if the methods and approaches used to structure and organize work is weak, performance will suffer badly. People in organizations can be empowered, energized, and enlightened, but if systems and processes (and technologies) don't enable them to perform well, they won't. Developing the discipline and using the most effective tools and techniques of personal and organization systems and processes is a critical element of high performance. The Performance Balance triangle has people or leadership at its base. That's very deliberate. In well-balanced, high performing teams or organizations, technology, systems, and processes serve people. For example, as information technology (IT) specialists study why so many huge investments in equipment and software haven't paid off, they find the problem comes back to how the technology is designed and used, by whom, and for whom. An executive in California's Silicon Valley summed up an important perspective making the rounds there, ""we used to say people need to be more technology literate. Now we say that technology needs to become more people literate.""

About the author: Jim Clemmer is a bestselling author and internationally acclaimed keynote speaker, workshop/retreat leader, and management team developer. Jim's five international bestselling books include The VIP Strategy, Firing on All Cylinders, Pathways to Performance, Growing the Distance, and The Leader's Digest. His web site is

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Your Experience + The Leadership Talk = Great Leadership

Author: Brent Filson

PERMISSION TO REPUBLISH: This article may be republished in newsletters and on web sites provided attribution is provided to the author, and it appears with the included copyright, resource box and live web site link. Email notice of intent to publish is appreciated but not required: mail to:

Word count: 770

Summary: The author asserts that most leaders neglect the human relations aspects of the challenges they face, diminishing their results-generating potential. He provides a tool that's been working for leaders for more than two decades to achieve great results by developing great relationships.

Your Experience + The Leadership Talk = Great Leadership by Brent Filson

To best communicate an idea, wrap it in a human being. Words can be superficial aspects of communication. True communication, for better or worse, happens through deep, human interactions that transcend words. Even though words may be exchanged and at times be necessary, they are not sufficient to explain or promote communication's aggregate opportunities.

For instance, you're having an argument with someone. You're getting angry. You're saying things you're hardly aware of, things to defend yourself and attack the other person. You feel injured and want to justify yourself and make the other person see your side and maybe even hurt that person. You're borne along on a current of hot emotion. Later, you may regret the words you used. Or you may get even angrier over the words the other person used. Later, you may think of something biting you should have said. The point is, the words, like froth on the roiling river of your being, were really a partial aspect of your experience. The words may have provoked anger in you and the other person, but the anger itself, the experience of it, the pain of it, the all consuming nature of it, and even quite possibly the perverse pleasure of it, goes beyond words.

This is a leadership lesson. Working with leaders of all ranks and functions worldwide for the past 22 years, I've seen that most either misunderstand this truth of human nature or miss it altogether. When communicating with others, they primarily go for a narrow band of information dissemination and overlook what can be of tremendous benefit to them, the broadband of human relationships and the rich development that can take place in those relationships.

The irony is that as human beings, we swim in relationships --good, bad or indifferent relationships --every day. However, relationships are so familiar to us, we ignore their uniqueness and their importance in driving leadership results. We grasp at meager bubbles while all around us and beneath us lies an ocean teeming with results-engendering opportunities.

How do we seize these opportunities? I teach a process to do just that. That process is the Leadership Talk.

The Leadership Talk has one objective: to help leaders get great results -- far more results than if they do not use it. I call it, ""More results faster continually."" Leaders can only get more-faster-continually by mining relationships through Leadership Talks.

The Leadership Talk is based on the idea that leaders speak 15 to 20 times and more a day: across a desk, at a water cooler, at lunch, in meetings, etc. When those speaking opportunities are manifested through Leadership Talks, the effectiveness of the leader is dramatically increased.

In my articles and books, I've explained the inner workings and the personal and professional benefits of the Leadership Talk. Suffice to say, whenever you intend to communicate as a leader, you should assess not only the information you want to impart but also the human relations aspects of how you will go imparting it -- and then use the Leadership Talk to further those relationships and the results they engender.

For instance, the Leadership Talk teaches that the best way to get results is not to order people to do a job but to motivate them to choose to be your cause leader in doing that job. This is an obvious point. What's not obvious is how you do it. One way is to transfer your motivation to others.

A key Leadership Talk process tackles this challenge. The process is called ""the motivational transfer."" Its aim is to interact with the people you lead in such a way that they become as motivated as you about tackling the challenge you face. You can make that transfer happen by (1) imparting information to the people, (2) making sure that what you have to communicate makes sense to them, (3) making your experience their experience.

The latter is by far the most effective way to promote a motivational transfer. You have your experience become their experience simply by remembering those experiences in your life that had a strong impact on you and that provided a lesson to solve the problem of their needs -- then simply communicating that experience and the lesson.

When your experience becomes their experience, you are on your way to delving into those deep, human, emotional aspects of their realities, aspects that are triggers for great results.

You are the absolute expert on your own experience. When that experience becomes a solution to their needs, it'll become their experience too; and when it does, you'll have laid the groundwork for becoming an exceptional leader.

2006 © The Filson Leadership Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

About the author: The author of 23 books, Brent Filson's recent books are, THE LEADERSHIP TALK: THE GREATEST LEADERSHIP TOOL and 101 WAYS TO GIVE GREAT LEADERSHIP TALKS. For more than 21 years, he has been helping leaders of top companies worldwide get audacious results. Sign up for his free leadership e-zine and get a free white paper: ""49 Ways To Turn Action Into Results,"" at ht

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Author: Ann Vanino

""The best leaders are those who understand power and people. They use this knowledge to make the world a better place. Leaders guide, mentor, organize, inspire and lead."" ~ Ann Vanino

How well do you understand people and power? To lead effectively in business, an awareness of both is crucial. Understanding people involves studying the way people work: what they want in return for their work, how they work best, what hampers them, their individual styles, what attitudes and perceptions they bring to work, how they interact with a team and the nature of their hopes, dreams and desires.

Do you know leaders who understand people? Truly effective leaders use this knowledge for the betterment of those who work for them. Often, leaders who appreciate people build effective teams. They know how to hire the best people. They can motivate people to work well together. They can communicate effectively with their team. Understanding power involves studying the nature of power and how people use it: how things get done, the subconscious attitudes and perceptions that affect personal interactions, how to influence people, and what needs to be done to get where you want to go.

Do you know leaders who comprehend power? Truly effective leaders use this knowledge to get things done. Often, leaders who understand power are successful in reaching their goals. They can quickly determine the playing field and make the best moves. They inspire others to success. They can overcome obstacles as they move forward.

Understanding both people and power does not always go hand in hand. The leader who has knowledge of people but not of power becomes ineffective. If they focus only on their team members and do not keep their teams moving successfully towards their goals, they lose. The leader who knows only to wield power may have a vision and know how to reach their goals but cannot build and motivate a team to get things done. What happens when leaders have an understanding of both people and power? WOW! You have a special leader that can motivate people and lead them to success.

Understanding both power and people is a dance. A leader must choreograph the building of an effective team and the mapping of a winning strategy. They must constantly keep sight of team member needs and what must be done to reach their goal. The effective leader is always working on both.

About the author: Ann Vanino is a well-known personal & professional coach, author, and speaker & the founder of Moving Forward Personal & Professional Coaching. Moving Forward is dedicated to helping clients create the lives they want & helping entrepreneurs & executives build successful, well-managed organizations. Ann authored ""Leadership On Trial: Lessons from The Apprentice"". Learn more at or 661-944-6329.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Small Business Owners Increase Productivity and Profitability Utilizing Free Leadership Tools and Resources Available Online

Author: Sidorov Petja

High quality leadership tools and resources have historically been cost prohibitive for small to mid-sized organizations. This resource problem has now been remedied by ( founder Richard Gorham said, ""Our focus is to empower today's leaders with leadership development and sales management tools that effectively assist organizations in growing their business and maximizing the quality of their results. The mission of is to become the premier provider of free and low-cost leadership tools, information and resources.""Visitors to enjoy a user-friendly tour of a wide assortment of products that are easily accessible to online visitors at no cost. The site is visited often by graduate students such as Natalie Wright who states, ""The 360-degree feedback leadership survey is excellent. This is exactly what I was looking for.

I am completing a leadership portfolio for a graduate course, excellent information."" Dana Coale, a United States government employee went on to say, ""The information that is provided on this website is extremely beneficial in continuing the pursuit of developing leadership within myself and those around me.""Small business team leader Rosie Hardy recently utilized the free performance appraisal tool and endorsed its effectiveness stating, ""Excellent, it gives you a clear outline of what is needed as well as what is expected. I greatly appreciate the free resource.""Some of the more popular downloadable tools include a 360-degree feedback leadership survey, leadership assessment, management development training assessment, succession planning and performance appraisals - and a free 800 page e-book entitled ""Pushing To The Front"", a self-help classic written by the late Dr. Orison Swett Marden. Gorham says he has a long list of value-added tools currently in process that he plans to add to the website throughout the coming weeks and also offers a free monthly newsletter entitled Leadership Tools Monthly News ( ml). Each issue is concise and to the point, offering a compelling leadership lesson that is supported by an exercise that assists team leaders in developing his or her respective team members.

The newsletter also provides insightful leadership quotes and inspirational stories that supports and motivates its expanding subscriber base.In today's highly competitive working environment, where good jobs are going to persons with more specialized skill-sets, it's more important than ever for people to take ownership of their individual training and ongoing education. Highly effective leaders are constantly seeking to grow in their knowledge and expertise. Leaders who don't continue to grow their arsenal of leadership tools and resources, soon find themselves trailing behind their industry peers. As a result, is one quality resource anyone can utilize to learn and grow, both personally and professionally.For additional information, visit . Richard Gorham can be contacted directly via the ""Contact Us"" link.About in September, 2002 by Richard Gorham, is dedicated to providing free tools and resources for today's aspiring leaders.

About the author: Internet marketing expert Petja Sidorov is the author of Power Linking 2005.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Collaboration: An Important Leadership Development Skill

Author: Stephanie Mead

Even with the best and most skilled managers, organizations must be able to tap into the varied skills and wider perspectives of other employees. So it is essential that leaders know how to collaborate and develop effective partnerships with others. It is one of the elements that makes a manager a true leader. Collaboration is the vehicle for sharing responsibility and combining knowledge, creativity, and experience of others. Through extensive research and observation, CMOE has found that the ability to collaborate is essential in an organization's Leadership Development or Transitioning into Leadership training program.

Establishing collaborative relationships is not always natural or easy, particularly because people have different lifestyles, backgrounds, and experiences. Effective leaders know how to collaborate when it isn't easy. The benefits of doing so can be significant. Leaders who believe in the power of collaboration can produce extraordinary results, while maintaining a healthy team environment. Fundamentally, collaboration starts with the leader because they must be willing to let go of some control. However, time demands and urgency can be a major stumbling block in opening up collaborative channels. Andrew Carnegie said: ""No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit for doing it.""

One of the most important things a leader needs to be able to do to collaborate with his/her team members is create a culture where members value and listen to alternative views and seek out win-win objectives. This can be accomplished by clearly identifying common needs and objectives; and certainly should occur on multiple occasions over time.

A leader can also foster collaboration by encouraging active involvement and the free exchange of information. The leader, also, must set the tone by keeping an open mind to different ideas. Furthermore, when the team members engage in collaborative activities, it is essential for the leader to validate and reinforce the collaboration in order to sustain the behavior.

In CMOE's Leadership Development books, programs, and workshops, we delve into the specific skills of collaboration and other important aspects of leadership. Leadership development topics such as this will expand collaboration in organizations and will be reflected in the organization's results and the commitment of its people.

For more information on how CMOE can help your organization create a powerful and successful Collaboration or Leadership Development program, please contact a CMOE representative. You can reach them at (801)569-3444.

About the author: Stephanie Mead is the Operations Manager for CMOE and has assisted organizations such as Pfizer, Delta Airlines, Cargill, and others in the area of collaboration and leadership development .

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Building Trust in the Workplace: A Valuable Topic for Leadership Training

Author: Richard L. Williams, Ph.D

Trust is the foundation of all successful interpersonal relationships, both personal and business. Trust is the confidence or belief a person feels toward a particular person or group. Trust is, therefore, one of the primary binding forces in any interpersonal relationship. It permits people to overcome doubts and unknowns and enjoy peace of mind. The absence of trust causes confusion, worry, inaction, and fear. When interpersonal trust is present, a person feels a confidence that everything will somehow work out. In the workplace, trust is a prerequisite for effective interpersonal communications. Without trust, employees may feel uncertainty, worry, and a sense of insecurity. No relationship, personal or business, can exist for even a short period of time if some element of trust is not present. Trust is an essential leadership training ingredient that binds any human relationship into an effective, working partnership.

Even though trust is fundamental to human relationships, it is actually misunderstood by many people. People use trust, or the lack of it, to explain good and bad relationships with others. Consider the cliché phrases: ""Don't worry, you can trust me"" and ""Just trust me."" Trust has become both a buzzword and an excuse in our society. Trust is as much abused as it is used in today's business world. It is used to define and explain; yet few leadership training programs have seriously considered what it is and what it is not.

Psychologists are just beginning to learn how trust really works. Research suggests that trusting relationships are predictable, caring, and faithful. When a manager's behavior is consistent over a period of time and another person can reasonably predict that behavior, trust is possible. By contrast, it is difficult to trust a person whose actions are inconsistent or unpredictable.

Caring in a relationship involves actions that express consideration toward the other person. Through effective leadership training, a caring supervisor knows when final exams are scheduled at the local college and asks employees who will be taking the tests how much time off will be needed to study. A caring supervisor finds out about a birth, death, anniversary, graduation, or sickness and sends a card to the employee's home.

Faith is the belief that an employee's behavior will be in direct response to the trust placed in that relationship. Faith can be demonstrated by communicating clear expectations and then telling the employee, ""I know you and I believe you can accomplish this assignment."" Managers who have difficulty demonstrating faith in others typically have difficulty trusting them as well. Trust as a leadership training component can help change this.

Building trust in the workplace is vital for a long-lasting, satisfying, rewarding, and successful relationship. Leadership training helps effective managers practice behaviors that promote and build trusting relationships. They learn to do this with consistent actions each day. In return they obtain the benefits of high-trust employee relations. These benefits include higher morale, increased initiative, improved honesty, and better productivity. All are important aspects of a profitable and rewarding business experience. It's not uncommon for people to use the word ""trust"" to describe a feeling they have regarding some interpersonal relationships. Trust does not magically appear in a relationship without certain elements preceding it over time. And once trust has been breeched it is difficult and sometimes impossible to establish once again.

Three steps pave the path before enduring trust begins. The first step is effective communications. When we communicate effectively with another person we have an opportunity to move that relationship to the second step, which is real understanding. That is when two people have communicated to the point of honest and deep understanding. This can lead to the third step in the relationship of mutual respect. A respecting relationship demands that each person contribute enough respect that it can be reciprocated back from the other person. Unilateral respect in relationships is temporary and superficial. Mutual respect that can lead to trust is much deeper and must come from communicated understanding. Once a relationship has experienced mutual respect it is possible for the participants to experience enduring relational trust. This is a feeling that binds people together over time and through trials.

The four steps are dependent upon the actions or integrity of the individuals involved. Integrity is not only keeping agreements, but it is also ""walking the talk."" If, for example, a person communicates deceitfully, how much understanding will there be? And how much respect will the other person have? Ultimately trust will be lacking.

Enduring trust is a leadership training process that takes time and effort. It is clearly the essence of what fuels meaningful relationships.

Test your Trust. Answer the following five statements on a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is not true and 5 is completely true.

1. My actions each day demonstrate that I trust my employees.

2. My employees can trust me with sensitive or private information.

3. I would never betray a trust with an employee.

4. I keep confidences and would never share confidential information inappropriately.

5. I am able to trust my employees.

Tally your scores from the five items. A total score of 20 to 25 would indicate that you and your employees probably share an atmosphere of trust. A score of 15-19 would indicate that trust is present, but not in abundance. A score of 14 or less probably means that some additional leadership training efforts in building trust would be appropriate.

To learn how leadership training programs and building trust in the workplace can help your organization, contact a CMOE representative at (801)569-3444

About the author: Dr. Richard L. Williams has conducted more than 6,000 workshops to more than 250,000 managers and executives.

He specializes in building trust in the workplace, leadership training and development, performance coaching, and quality improvement.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Modern Managers Need Leadership Skills

Author: Mihaela Lica

Managers and Leaders - Are They Synonyms?

A manager is the person in charge of commanding and running a business or a project. Leadership deals with the interpersonal relations. Managing means planning, developing and organizing. In the contemporary society leadership qualities along with managing abilities are a must.

If there is one thing I've learnt during my career as a military TV redactor in the Romanian Ministry of Defence, that is that leadership has never been simple. In this day and age even military leaders are confronted with many challenges including bureaucracy, media influence, internationalisation and changes of cultural and economic patterns.

One thing is so far clear: a leader is not a ruler or a despot. His role is to guide, to inspire, to communicate, to build trust and to direct toward the achievement of goals.

Many managers consider themselves leaders. Well, that's not entirely accurate. When a manager is able to persuade a team to complete some objectives without forcing his authority, then he is demonstrating leadership qualities. While a leader can be a manager, a manager is not necessary a leader.

Make no confusions: to be in charge of a team doesn't automatically make you a leader. People choose their leaders naturally, based on personal feelings, most of the times subjective evaluations. There are some traditional patterns people look for in a leader: physical appearance, social and personal traits. Studies prove that tall and handsome men make charismatic leaders. Education plays a significant role, but not as important as individual qualities such as charisma, magnetism, reputation and tact. Such leaders have to be self confident and able to listen to their followers. While physical appearance cannot be changed, but slightly improved with the right clothing, other behaviours can be trained.

Leadership Training - Is That Really Necessary?

My answer is yes. Leaders are made, not born. There is no such a thing as a natural born leader - this is just a label used to describe a person able to influence others easily. Because everyone has a natural born capacity to lead, becoming a leader is not so difficult. To achieve this goal training and learning go hand in hand.

What should a leader learn? The art of communicating a message across effectively and clearly is a vital part of being a successful leader. Speaking is not enough. Important factors, such as understanding and using body language, listening and writing, fuse to generate the lifeblood of good communication.

A leader should learn to overcome other's people barriers when delivering a message. There are three basic rules to achieve this goal: be clear in your mind, deliver the message in plain language and make sure that the idea has been understood.

Cultural differences can make it difficult for some people to communicate effectively. Germans and Nordics are more restrained in gesture than many Latin nations, while Americans and Australians can say exactly what they mean. A ""be yourself"" approach can work - there is no better marketing than telling the truth. Be honest, but not impolite. Do not try to be anyone else or copy another one's style.

You've heard that often: first impressions are very important. In business and media that's a proven theory: the first five seconds of a meeting are more important than the next ten minutes. A faultless look, even if informal, makes always a good impact: matching decent colours, impeccable shoes and garments, a proper haircut and no exaggeration with cologne will not err.

Certainly there's more to leadership training than one can write in a short article: from learning the secret of clear communication both within the team and with the media, to understanding and using gestures; from learning how to listen to recognizing and overcoming prejudice (ground rule: think about the words you hear, not the person saying them); from reading efficiently to taking notes and improving memory; from using the phone to writing letters and much more.

Because the contemporary society is continuously changing, modern managers and leaders need to improve their skills constantly and to gather knowledge vital for their organizations.

Leadership Theories In 1960 the Douglas McGregor described two behavioural theories, ""Theory X"" and ""Theory Y"", in his book ""The Human Side of Enterprise"".

Theory X represents the idea of ruling by controlling, the so-called ""stick and carrot"" philosophy of management. According to Freud people are naturally lazy and need to be controlled or punished in order to work effectively. Some managers do believe these affirmations. In the modern society such approaches lead nowhere: employees get frustrated, feel uncomfortable at work, tend to introvert, perform just because they are afraid of some consequences and not because they are motivated. As long as this theory - you can find a better description of it on the web by typing Douglas McGregor in any search engine - will influence managers, the real potentials of an employee will remain hidden.

McGregor's Theory Y gives prominence to communication and human interrelations. Managers who create a harmonious working environment motivate workers. The idea is that a satisfied team will achieve goals faster and more proficient than a frustrated, fearful team. Adepts of the Theory Y give confidence to their followers, know how to listen and how to reward them and support initiative and creativity. The individual and organizational goals can be integrated. This is the kind of approach the modern society longs for. People need to be respected and valued for what and who they are. Although there are common traits for us all, it's a wrong approach to generalize.

Why Motivate?

Treat your workers as individuals and soon you will be able to harvest the fruits of their work. And don't forget: a ""thank you, well done"" motivates and wins a heart and a won heart means a step towards attaining loyalty.

To motivate means to understand human nature. Motivation is an essential factor in the existence and success of a company and it is a skill which must be learnt. Forget the idea that money is the prime motivator. Nowadays security is a major stimulus: unemployment determines workers to appreciate the security of a job. Well, sure employees will act positively to a raise or a money prize, but if they don't like the job, the company or (yes!) the manager is unlikely that they will perform at their best.


As people have a normal predisposition to follow certain attitudes, modern managers and leaders should be careful and conduct by example. In order to avoid the perception of inconsistency within the management team, training their leadership skills is a necessity.

About the author: Mihaela Lica is a skilled journalist and PR consultant, founder of Pamil Visions -

Previously she used to work as a military TV redactor for Pro Patria and the Military Media Trust within the Public Relations Directorate of the Romanian Ministry of Defence.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Listening Leadership Talk

Author: Brent Filson

PERMISSION TO REPUBLISH: This article may be republished in newsletters and on web sites provided attribution is provided to the author, and it appears with the included copyright, resource box and live web site link. Email notice of intent to publish is appreciated but not required: mail to:

Word count: 900

Summary: The Leadership Talk is an important tool for leaders of all ranks and functions. But some of the most effective Leadership Talks are not what leaders say but what the people they lead say. Here are three ways to give what is often the best kind of Leadership Talk, the Listening Leadership Talk.

The Listening Leadership Talk by Brent Filson

For more than 20 years, I have taught the Leadership Talk to thousands of people worldwide. And maybe the most important thing I've taught isn't about talking -- at least the leader's talking.

I've taught there is a hierarchy of verbal persuasion. The lowest levels, the least effective, are speeches and presentations. The highest levels, the most effective, are Leadership Talks.

I've taught that speeches/presentations communicate information; Leadership Talks, on the other hand, have leaders establish deep, human, emotional connections with audiences -- indispensable in achieving great results.

Of course, the Leadership Talk is by definition about talking. But often there's a more effective dynamic to employ: listening. Not passive listening -- but listening for one purpose, so the other person gives you your Leadership Talk.

After all, it's not what you say that's important in a Leadership Talk but what your audience does after you have had your say.

And if they do the best thing not after you speak but after you listen, then you have given one of the most effective Leadership Talks of all -- a Listening Leadership Talk.

The Listening Leadership Talk focuses on what other people are invariably interested in, themselves. (Who isn't interested when they themselves are talking?) But here's the key: their simply talking is useless to your leadership. It is only useful when their talk is the talk you need for them to give.

Moving people from talking their talk to talking your talk -- and ultimately walking your walk --is the art of the Listening Leadership Talk. Here are a few tips to make it happen.

(1) Use question marks. Asking questions encourages people to reflect upon and talk about the challenge you face. After all, we can't motivate anyone to do anything. They have to motivate themselves. And they best motivate themselves when they reflect on their character and their situation and are also given the opportunity to talk about their reflections.

You may not like what they say; but often their answer is better in terms of advancing their motivation and your results than your full-stop sentence.

Furthermore, their answer may prompt them to think they have come up with a good idea. People tend to be less enamored of your ideas than they are of their own.

However, be aware of the difference between asking a question of somebody and questioning them. When asking a question, you communicate you're interested in the answer the person wants; when questioning, you communicate you're interested in the answer you want. And if the people you are interacting with think you are there not for them but for yourself, you damage the environment a Listening Leadership Talk can thrive in. (2) Create a critical convergence. This will help you avoid the ""herding cats"" syndrome. Once you get people talking, they may be all over the map, talking about everything but what you want to have talked about.

Keep things on track by establishing a critical convergence, the joining of your enthusiasms and theirs so they're as enthusiastic as you about meeting the challenges you face. Do that by understanding their needs as problems and seeking to have them voice solutions to those problems, solutions that advance your leadership concerns.

For instance, at a police academy classroom, the instructor passed a note to one of the recruits. It read, ""CLEAR THIS CLASSROOM OUT NOW!"" The recruit started shouting, ""Everybody out of the room!"" People looked confused. A few left. The remainder stayed. The instructor gave the note to another recruit, who pleaded, ""Please, everybody out."" Still, people remained there. Then the instructor gave a note to a third recruit, who developed a Listening Leadership talk by creating a critical convergence. He asked, ""What time is it?"" ""Quarter to twelve,"" someone answered. The recruit with the note simply shrugged and in the silence, let the idea emerge. ""Lunch break!"" the recruits called in unison and quickly cleared the room. Creating a critical convergence establishes and environment in which the Listening Leadership flourishes.

(3) Develop a Leadership Contract. This may be written -- from a few ideas scribbled on a scrap of paper to a more formal typed version calling for your signatures -- or the Contract may simply be an oral agreement, sealed with a handshake. Clearly, it's not a legal instrument -- nor should it embody legalese. It's just a spelling out of the leadership actions you both agree must be taken to accomplish your goal.

Here's the key: The best way to get that agreement is first to have them talk about actions they propose to take. Make sure they describe precise, physical actions. And not just any actions but leadership actions. Discourage them from talking about how they'll be doing tasks. Instead, encourage them to talk about how they'll be taking leadership of those tasks. (There is a big difference in terms of results generated between doing and leading.) Then ask how they need to be supported in those actions. Finally, ask them how those actions should be monitored and evaluated. In getting answers to these questions, you'll be putting together a Leadership Contract by giving a Listening Leadership Talk.

The Leadership Talk is the greatest leadership tool. But the tool has its gradations of effectiveness. Often your talking is not as effective as your audience's talking. When your Leadership Talk comes out of their mouths, not your mouth, you may find you are raising your leadership effectiveness to much higher levels.

2005 © The Filson Leadership Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

About the author: The author of 23 books, Brent Filson's recent books are, THE LEADERSHIP TALK: THE GREATEST LEADERSHIP TOOL and 101 WAYS TO GIVE GREAT LEADERSHIP TALKS. He is founder and president of The Filson Leadership Group, Inc. - and for more than 20 years has been helping leaders of top companies worldwide get audacious results. Sign up for his free leadership e-zine and get a free white paper: ""49 Ways To Turn Action Into Results,"" at ht

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Home-Based Business Leadership Skills

Author: Mark Shaner

Home-Based-Business Leadership Skills

By Mark Shaner

Home-based-business leaders make decisions quickly and change their minds slowly.

This has been my experience throughout my entire thirty-two years of managing my own businesses. Let's face it, there is an element of leadership needed in any home-based-business, and especially in income opportunity programs, as an individual must overall, stand ""head and shoulders"" above the crowd in their efforts in order to overcome the competition and generate maximum revenue.

This doesn't mean, however, that leadership is something that someone must be ""born with"". Quite the contrary. I have found that many great business leaders are made, not born. They take the lessons that life brings to them, incorporate it into their overall thinking and approach to life, and eventually become leaders in their business endeavors. Many great business leaders are simply ordinary people who have discovered how to be extraordinary!

So, how exactly does one become a leader and see more success in any home-based-business? While there are really no hard and fast rules, some guidelines can be established:

1. Practice! Honestly, this is a more worthwhile technique than others assume. Practicing making decisions quickly while still weighing all facts will soon become a habit if done on a continuous basis. It can start with simple things, like purchasing needed home-based-business supplies or even joining an income opportunity program and then move up to the larger decisions, such as hiring employees, and then delegating chores to these employees!

2. Employ the Power of Positive Thinking. That's right, much of what we say to ""ourselves"" in our own thoughts, does indeed turn into a reality! If you constantly catch yourself engaging in negative thought processes, negativity will surround you. If, on the other hand, you engage primarily in positive thought processes, positive outcomes will follow. Always be a ""can do"" not a ""can't do"" in the recesses of your mind.

3. Find a Mentor. This is perhaps the best method of developing home-based-business leadership skills. A good mentor will speed up the process and point out any shortcomings that an individual may have. A good mentor doesn't even have to be a flesh and blood person. Mentoring can successfully be accomplished through self-help manuals and other self-help mediums such as courses, CDs and videos. These types of materials abound in libraries and online, so avail yourself of them whenever possible. Some income opportunity programs also provide older members and support materials that help coach and consult the newer members, and this is a priceless offering.

4. Observe Others. This is a simple technique that can reap huge rewards. Find a home-based-business leader you admire/respect and observe their actions if you can. Pay close attention to how they present themselves, their mannerisms, and their overall interplay with others.

5. Overcome Shyness. Many times, being shy in certain areas of our lives holds us back. It prevents us from taking the risks we must to succeed. It's easier said than done, though, to simply decide we will stop being shy, and takes a determined effort to overcome any shyness. Small steps here, which take us outside our own comfort level work better than trying to will ourselves to do it all at once. An example: If you are terrified of public speaking, try speaking to a small group of friends and relatives first, before moving on to huge presentations in front of a large group of strangers. The same with phone shyness or other types of shyness. Start ""within"" your comfort level and slowly move outside it. Also, set up scenarios within your mind, of different situations that cause shyness, and work through these mentally first, keeping in mind how you will adapt to each situation as it happens.

6. Enlist Others as Backup. No man (or woman) is an island and no one can exist in a void. Having the input of others we admire and respect, whether it's family, friends, or other business people will make our decisions all the more balanced and lead us to the point where we have the greatest faith in our own decisions.

Well, there you have it, what I consider the six prerequisites to home-based-business leadership success. I practice all of these myself and have done so for decades, and encourage anyone reading this to try these as well. They have led to my success in my own income opportunity program and my own businesses and will undoubtedly propel others on the road to success!

About the author: Mark Shaner is a successful businessman who owns He offers advice to home business owners after attaining 35 years of experience. He may be contacted at His website can be found at

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Six Leadership Conversation Principles

Author: Judith Richardson

Six Leadership Conversation Principles Judith Richardson Leadership is an interactive conversation that invites people to explore personal responsibility, passion, accountability and commitment. Here are 6 principles to guide these capacity-building conversations:

1. In an authentic conversation change happens. Effective collaboration, discovery and coaching can happen on the dance floor of conversation.

2. Begin a conversation with questions that set the tone for a respectful exchange. Just ask to-the-point information-seeking questions, like: 'What is our intention? What are you here for? How do you want to spend our time together?' Be clear of your intention prior to the conversation.

3. Conversations are not meant to be structured. Be open to conversations that you are unprepared for and focused on the interests of the other person (not your purpose). You know all about yourself already - get curious about the other.

4. Collaborate with potential rather than colluding with issues. Rather than getting pulled into solving problems that may not matter to the other person, allow time for the person to get to what's really important. Provide spaces where they can express their doubts and fears by being a thoughtful listener--without taking on the responsibility to fix or debate the issue. After all, you have invited the person to talk about what matters to her or him, not you, so allow time for the articulation of those thoughts and feelings.

5. Personal transformation happens when the right questions get asked--not by providing answers. When you invite people to answer their own questions, they discover what they were not aware of---and what is needed to move forward. When you focus on the solution, you are trying to sell the person something. Personal discovery is capacity building. Personal transformation leads to corporate transformation--one person at a time. 6. Claim value for the conversation. Articulating what you value from the conversation and inviting the other person to articulate what was valuable for them, creates a space of appreciation and acknowledgement. It also provides for reflection on the value of exploring ideas with others - building capacity for collaboration.

About the author: Recipient of International Coach of the Year and Canadian Progress Club Women of Excellence Award as Entrepreneur and Innovator, Judith works and plays across North America, Europe, Jamaica, Siberia, Australia, Sweden, Israel and Russia. A gifted speaker, teacher, organizational consultant, and executive coach, Judith Richardson combines exuberant, loving optimism and play with seriously-honed skills, limitle

Monday, March 17, 2008


Author: Bruce Prokopets

Civil war in Africa. This simple four word phrase seems to sum up the perception of most outsiders throughout the world when asked about the state of affairs on the African continent, the birth place of mankind. In the last 40 years twenty countries, or almost 50 percent of all nations south of the Sahara, have experienced at least one period of civil war. This state of affairs has stereotyped Africa as a doomed continent rife with ethnic and tribal conflict.

Though many attribute the source of these various conflicts to ethnic and tribal differences, researchers at The World Bank concluded, after a careful study, that failure at both a political and economic level are at the root cause of most civil conflicts. Ibrahim Elbadaur and Nicholas Sambanis wrote that political and economic development can effectively reduce or eradicate political violence in Africa.

Enter Gabon, which seems to be at the eye of this tumultuous African storm. Gabon is one of the few countries in Central Africa that has never -- since its independence from France -- been affected by an armed conflict. Gabon, an oil-rich Central African nation, with a population of 1,300,000 and a geographic area of 26,700 square kilometers, is considered one of the most stable in the region.

For almost 40 years, El Hadj Omar Bongo Ondimba has served as President of the West African coastal country of Gabon. Under his leadership, Gabon has become one of Africa's wealthiest and more prosperous countries fueled in part by the discovery of oil. According to the World Fact Book, Gabon enjoys a per capita income four times that of most nations of sub-Saharan Africa.

Critics attribute much of Bongo's success to his strong arming of the political system and his use of patronage throughout his own political party. It is hard to argue with his success however in keeping Gabon out of armed conflict with rival factions within the country.

Bongo rose quickly within the leadership structure of Gabon. He entered civil service in 1958, was promoted to Minister of Information and Tourism in 1966, and was named Vice-President in 1967. He took over the office of President a year later at the age of 32 after Leon M'ba, the country's first president, became ill and died suddenly.

Despite the troubles in the headlines of papers throughout the world concerning Gabon's neighbors like Cameroon, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria, and Zaire, Gabon has been a rock of stability. Although the country was initially constituted around a one party system in the early 60's, Bongo prodded the country to a multiparty democracy by 1990. Although it would have served him to maintain the single party system, Bongo legalized opposition parties at that time and Gabon has been a model for the rest of Africa since. Many have attributed the success story of Gabon's unprecedented peace, stability and economic status to Bongo's experience and leadership.

In the upcoming elections, in 2005, there has been some controversy about the nature of the election process itself. The opposition, headed by a former ally of President Bongo, Zacharie Myboto, has been critical of the two day election process. He points out that the military will be voting first, alluding to the fact that this could somehow sway the general electorate. However, the mere fact that the opposition can speak out against Bongo, without fear of recrimination, is a testament to budding democracy that is forming in Gabon under President Bongo's political leadership. Bongo is quick to remind his detractors that it has taken the U.S. over two centuries to develop a legitimate election process. He also points out that many Americans still have concerns over the fairness of both statewide and national elections.

President Bongo has not solely focused all his efforts on political change. He has also been a true early adopter where the rights of women in his own country are concerned. Due to the actions of Gabon's President real social reforms have occurred focused on equal opportunity for women. Bongo institutionalized the observance of women's rights and parity. He instituted compulsory schooling of all girls age 6 to 16 years. He created a Ministry for the Family, child welfare and promotion of the woman, and the protection of widows and the orphans. ""Where the men have failed the women must succeed"", stated Bongo on many occasions.

The President of Gabon has also been credited for his efforts to restore peace and stability throughout Central Africa, in particular the Republic of the Congo, Chad, the Central African Republic and Sao Tome and Principe. In October 2001, the former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, serving as mediator in the political and ethnic crisis of Burundi, entrusted Bongo with the mission to pursue negotiations with the armed movements of Burundi. Mr. Mandela has great respect and appreciation for President Bongo as Bongo was one of the few who supported him financially during his exile.

Recently Bongo, co-chaired the 60th anniversary of the United Nations, alongside Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson, which was held in September, 2005. Bongo opened the event with an appeal for worldwide action to prevent conflict and genocide. Bongo also focused his efforts on the plight of Africa, seeking more support for the promotion of human rights and conflict resolution. The 38 year president of Gabon, echoed the sentiment of Sweden's Prime Minister, calling on the Summit to ""act together to give our future generations a better world.""

The leader of Gabon has always had a strong interest in the welfare of those of African decent who now reside in the United States. Bongo, though a practicing Muslim, sought the assistance of Rodney Sampson CEO of The Intellect Group and founder of the World Christian Times, to develop a presence in the US whereby the Gabonese President could effect change in the lives of many Americans. The Living Legacy Foundation, a US non-profit organization based out of Atlanta and chaired by Bongo, has now been launched to train and raise up one million young leaders in the US, Africa and around the world.

The announcement of the organization has received broad support from a number of world leaders in politics, faith and business, including Bishop Mike Jocktane of France and Gabon and Bishop Carlton Pearson of the US. ""After I was approached by President Bongo's senior advisor Bishop Mike Jocktane, about representing and advising the President in North America and Gabon, my firm conducted extensive due diligence on both President Bongo and his country."", states Sampson. ""Simply put, Bongo gets things done and facilitates real change. This global leader doesn't just talk a good game, he delivers - locally and abroad. That is refreshing when talking about any head of state"".

Living Legacy will target the pop and hip hop culture within the US. ""We will accomplish our goals and objectives through a number of high profile international events, ""train the trainer"" training techniques, organizational partnership and strategic outreach,"" said Rodney Sampson. ""Our first major event, Leadership 2006, will be held next year in Atlanta.""

In direct contrast to how President Bongo's political opposition in the upcoming election portrays him, Bongo's inaugural event for the Living Legacy Foundation, LEADERSHIP 2006 is a major highly progressive global leadership event bringing together prominent leaders in business, politics, religion and government from all faiths, creeds and disciplines. Some dignitaries, celebrities and other prominent figures that have been invited to participate are: Former South African President Nelson Mandela; former US President Bill Clinton; Reverend Jessie Jackson; The Honorable Minister Lewis Farrakhan; Rick Warren; John Maxwell; actor Chris Tucker; Bono; and Kanye West. This divergent group will converge in Atlanta to exchange, contribute and plan the execution of real ongoing activities for cultivating tomorrow's leadership.

Despite criticism from his opponents, it seems that President Bongo's growing legacy is one of ""stable change for the better"". It is not always the loudest in the group that gets the most done. Sometimes the person who has been around the longest is the one who can get results in the real world. That about sums up Gabon and the leader of this Island of Tranquility, Omar Bongo.

Bruce Prokopets Executive Editor Press Direct International

About the author: Bruce Prokopets is the Executive Editor of Press Direct International

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Paddles, Portages And Pings On Leadership

Author: Kerri Salls

After 3 long days of a very intensive workshop in Toronto, a group of us decided to go canoeing for a day, up in Barre, Ontario (an hour north of Toronto) on the Nottawasaga River. It was a warm day, the water was warm, and no one else was on this pristine flat-water river winding through a protected swamp.

We had idyllic moments out of time, we had mishaps and laughs, and we had the slogs of carrying canoes and gear (called a portage) around logjams in the river more than a few times, as well the insufferable companionship of mosquitoes.

Why am I sharing this with you? I want to share some of the pings of the day, and the pings were all about leadership and the dynamics of leadership. It was reassuring and inspiring to see leadership arise from a number of different people in the group adding strength and depth all around.

Great leaders are always working on themselves. In this case, the leaders never stopped paddling. They led by example. In spite of the mosquitoes, they stayed focused on the objective of the day, 19 km through utter wilderness.

Exemplary leaders don't push or manage a lot. They problem solve, then inspire and motivate the team. You can be a strong leader without being impolite. When a canoe capsized, a leader didn't wait for the organizer to suggest it, a leader just handed people life jackets and said ""Put it on"", because it was the right thing to do. Another leader figured out how to recover, right and empty the canoe.

Leadership means learning to be bold without being a bully. To build your influence, you've got to walk the talk in front of your group, team, or clients. You've got to tackle the first problem, seize the moment and make quick decisions. In our case, it was a leader choosing the portages.

Leadership also means learning to develop humor - but without folly. It's OK to be witty but not silly, to have fun and be funny without being foolish. A leader's response to the first person getting dunked in the river was to put a positive spin on the slight mishap -- just like we all do for a baby learning to walk or a child learning to ride a bicycle. This leadership skill was brought out in many of our leaders later on the trip when we kept sinking into the mud, or shoes got stuck in the mud. One leader unabashedly sang old songs on the portages as a distraction from mosquitoes feasting on us.

Leaders are good at dealing with reality. They accept life as it is. This is not fatalism or the opposite of optimism. It's practicality. It's a constructive approach to the truth. On the river, when the mosquitoes and logjams got to us all late in the day, there was a dramatic switch in group dynamics. Leaders recognized what had to be done, picked up the pace and just did it without discussion, negotiation or complaining.

In the end, I think we had more fun and the adventure was more memorable because of the challenges that brought out the strengths in each of us. As leaders, we want to inspire the people around us to bring out their strengths too. So what adventure will you organize to inspire the people around you?

About the author: Kerri Salls, MBA runs a virtual business school to train, consult and coach small business CEO's and entrepreneurs in 10 key strategies to make more profit in less time. Learn more at or sign up for a free weekly newsletter at

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Leadership Power Stress: (Part 2) Three Keys to Renewal

Author: Patsi Krakoff, Psy. D.

"Power stress is part of the experience that results from the exercise of influence and sense of responsibility felt in leadership positions." - (Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKee, Resonant Leadership, Harvard Business School Press, 2005)

Leadership requires the exercise of influence or power. It involves responsibility for the organization, and it requires the sacrifice of personal needs for those of company. Leaders are under continual scrutiny and evaluation. All these things increase the pressure and leads to power stress.

Without awareness of power stress, and what is needed to renew oneself, leaders are vulnerable to burnout and dissonance with the people they lead.

The Leadership Paradox

Daniel Goleman, authority on emotional intelligence in organizations, calls this the leadership paradox: "For leaders, the first task in management has nothing to do with leading others; step one poses the challenge of knowing and managing oneself."

This includes:

- Connecting with the deep values that guide us

- Imbuing our actions with meaning

- Aligning our emotions with our goals

- Keeping ourselves motivated

- Keeping ourselves focused and on task

When we act in accord with these inner measures, we feel good about what we do. Such emotions are contagious. When we as a leader feel positive, energized, and enthusiastic about our work, so do those we influence. But we can only maintain high effectiveness when we are able to manage the cycles of sacrifice and renewal.

Three Keys in the Renewal Process

Step one is to be vigilant and aware of when we are out of touch with ourselves and those we lead. We can't know this without having a highly developed sense of self-awareness and other-awareness, two key elements of emotional intelligence.

Honing the skills of awareness leads to mindfulness - becoming aware of what's going on inside and around us on several levels. Mindfulness is living in a state of full, conscious awareness of one's whole self, other people, and the context in which we live and work.

Two other elements contribute to recuperation and renewal: hope and compassion. Hope enables us to believe that the future we envision is attainable. Closely tied with an attitude of optimism, hope helps us to move toward our goals and visions while inspiring others.

The third critical element for renewal is compassion. Connecting with other people's wants and needs gives us another source of energy and recuperation. Compassion lifts a leader out of the small-minded worries that center on oneself. It expands our world by putting the focus on others. It is such connection and compassion that will prevent leaders from falling into the trap of arrogant self-absorption. That shift allows leaders renewal of spirit. And renewal of spirit is not only crucial for leaders in sustaining themselves, but also for maintaining the efficacy of leadership.

The Brain and New Age Rhetoric

Before you dismiss the concepts of mindfulness, hope and compassion as being new-age rhetoric, pay attention to the research. Recent studies in management science, psychology and neuroscience all point to the importance of the development of mindfulness and the experiences of hope and compassion. These practices are supported by scientific evidence.

It boils down to the brain. The brain processes information and sends signals to the sympathetic or parasympathetic nervous systems. These two systems create bodily reactions of either fight, flight, or relaxation and calm.

Optimal functioning involves both systems, those that lead to action, and those that lead to recuperation. Unfortunately, in organizations little emphasis or encouragement is given to renewal and recovery activities.

Here are some common recovery rituals that involve the parasympathetic nervous system responsible for renewal:


Walking (also a way of meditating)

Yoga and stretching

Sports (either team or individual, competitive or not)

Dancing and singing

Humor and laughing

Listening to music

Seeing films

Reading books (novels as well as business related)

Doing volunteer work

Teaching classes

Participation in religious or philosophical groups


Family projects

Of course, each of these activities involve the whole body and both nervous systems. The key is in one's attitude. It is possible to let ambition and competitiveness interfere with the relaxation and recovery processes at any time. Again, the key is in being aware and mindful of how we manage our thoughts, our bodies and our spirits.

There is a big difference between good leadership practices that can be defined and tracked, and trendy, empty words commonly found in popular magazine articles. These ideas - that leadership power stress can be managed by employing mindfulness, hope and compassion for renewal - are not only logical, but validated by scientific research.

As relevant practices, they are also applicable. They not only make sense, but they can be easily adopted in the context of a leader's work world. There are several exercises one can engage in to develop self and other-awareness, to increase mindfulness. Like many leadership development tasks, it is best to engage the services of a qualified executive coach.

This is part 2 of a 2 part article on Leadership Power Stress by author Patsi Krakoff. In part 1, we examined the causes of power stress.

About the author: Patsi Krakoff, Psy. D. writes articles for business and executive coaches and consultants. She provides articles on leadership and executive development for sale, and formatted into customized newsletters. Get Patsi's Secrets of Successful Ezines 7-Step Mini-Course to learn what you need to know to publish a successful ezine. ne_MiniCourse

Friday, March 14, 2008

Three Key Elements To Improving Leadership

Author: Kerri Salls

Great leadership is the key to success. Great communication is the key to great leadership. Think of any great leader in modern time: Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr, and John F. Kennedy come to mind immediately. They were powerful leaders because they could inspire people to follow them. It was their ability to articulate their vision that made them successful in achieving their goals.

In your organization you must be the leader who inspires the team to great heights. To get them to follow you, be sure they are listening to your values and your vision, and then establish the right environment for them to thrive and grow.


When I mention values, everyone nods their heads as if of course, Kerri, that's obvious. But, when I check up on this piece, I find the last time they discussed their values - personal and professional - with their team, was often in the interview before their people were even hired.

You must clearly know your personal values and your organization values to lead effectively. For example, do the answers to these questions come readily to mind?


1. What do you stand for? 2. What is most important to you? 3. What would you like your life to demonstrate? 4. What is your personal mission in life?


1. What do you stand for? 2. What are you willing to do to get new business? 3. What are you not willing to do? 4. Do you have a professional mission statement?

Quality leaders don't change their values over time or to achieve short-term success. Consistent core organizational value systems form the strong foundation for long-term success.

A simple definition is that your values are the rules by which you play the game. A well-defined value system makes all decisions easier and encourages your team to go where you lead.


It's easy to say you have a vision for your business. It's your lifeblood. You know it inside out. Writing it down is the next step. Sharing it widely with your team is imperative too. Even more importantly, your vision for the business must provide a unifying picture so that everyone on the team - regardless of job function - can see exactly where you're going and the importance of their role in getting there. Therefore, the clearer the concept and the clearer (i.e., short and simple) the message is, the more likely you, and your team, can achieve the goal. Your vision needs to answer three questions. And it must answer those three questions for everyone on the team.

1. What do we do? 2. How do we do it 3. For whom do we do it?

As Jim Collins proved in his book, From Good to Great, this is not a 30 minute, one meeting exercise. This requires 100% participation. It can't be a top-down decision. It must be iterative and inclusive.


Andrew Carnegie said: ""You must capture and keep the heart of the original and supremely able man before his brain can do its best."" When you understand what is at the core of your team members, you can serve them and allow them to reach their full potential. Value their uniqueness. Your team members are your internal customers. You must treat them at least as well as your external customers. This is the highest level of customer service.

Shape the right work environment and you'll have loyal team members to lead. That means, you have to create a work environment that respects each person, appreciates them and rewards their effort, and encourages an openness to change. Make it a safe environment, one which encourages trying new ideas. When you unleash personal creativity, each team member has a stake in the outcome. It's an environment that promotes growth at all levels. Combine all three elements and you have a formula for inspiring greatness and leading to breakthrough success. Do it now!

About the author: Kerri Salls, MBA runs a virtual business school to train, consult and coach small business CEO's and entrepreneurs in 10 key strategies to make more profit in less time. Learn more at or sign up for a free weekly newsletter at