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Category: Embodied Leadership

Embodied leadership means you bring out the best in yourself and others, as you’re always fully aware of what your mind and body are saying to you and them.Embodied Leadership involves the way you speak, the language you use, the way you position your body, the harmony you feel by being fully present, and the calming and reassuring messages you convey to others. When you practice embodied leadership you’re able to value, motivate, and bring out the best in yourself and others.

Can Leadership Be Learned? YES, If You Hone These Qualities and Skills

Can leadership be learned or do you have to be born with it? Definitely, YES, leadership can be learned. Asking this question shows you have curiosity, which is one essential leadership quality. Now it’s time to unlock the other leadership skills and qualities within you. Here are ten ways to do it…“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” ~ John F. Kennedy

You’ve seen them…the ones who seem to be natural born leaders. They instinctively know how to keep their heads when things go wrong, and they can draw exceptional performance out of everyone on the team. If that’s not you, don’t despair. Leadership can be learned, because leadership is a process of applying specific skills and qualities and any process can be learned.

 

How can leadership be learned? Let’s examine 10 leadership qualities and skills and find ways you can enhance these in your life.

 

  1. Leaders are decisive. Constantly ask, “Do I know what I need to know about this topic/situation?” If so, weigh your options and make your call. Don’t agonize, overanalyze or second-guess yourself. You can always make adjustments as needed.

 

  1. Leaders are innovative and creative. Increase your self-awareness so you recognize limiting thoughts when they arise and then consciously change them. Fine-tune your flexibility, curiosity and adaptability, and then you’ll be in a position to act when you see opportunities.

 

  1. Leaders inspire confidence. When things start to unravel and fall apart, people need to know everything will be all right. Learn to model a can-do attitude so you stop negativity, procrastination and hopelessness before they get a foothold. Act like you know what you’re doing, because deep down you do know what needs to be done. It’s a matter of identifying and owning the scary parts. Be courageous and bold and people will follow you.

 

  1. Leaders are empathetic. Leaders are in the people business. You have to understand how they are feeling, not how you would feel in that circumstance. This takes communication, deep listening and vulnerability. When you are able to see things as they do, you’re much likelier to come up with a solution that they can get behind.

 

  1. Leaders have emotional control. Yes, leaders get frustrated and angry, but they buy time to cool down and respond rationally. So, write that scathing letter or email, but don’t send it. Blow off steam and then look for your emotional triggers and how you can suspend judgment as you mindfully manage those emotions.

 

  1. Leaders are persuasive. When you can express the reasons why something is important, you’ll have a persuasive argument that convinces others. Yes, there may be many ways to accomplish something, but trust that your way is worthy and valid. Being a people pleaser can really get in the way of aggressively selling your vision. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.”

 

  1. Leaders seek advice. No one has all the answers, so it’s essential to seek counsel. Yet many people have their own agenda. That’s why it’s wise to collect a group of people who have earned your trust to advise you. Then they can point out any blind spot in your thinking.

 

  1. Leaders invest in continuous learning. Read a wide range of books that stimulate your curiosity and creativity. Warren Buffett credits much of his success to reading – spending 80% of each day doing it. 

 

  1. Leaders embrace authenticity. You’ll wear yourself out if you pretend to be something you’re not. You win respect when you showcase your unique gifts and talents, whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, methodical or spontaneous. People can spot a phony from a mile away, so be true to yourself.

 

  1. Leaders remain humble. When you’re in an executive position, it’s easy to get puffed up and forget about your humble beginnings. This is inflamed by flattery from others. Keep your eyes on the good of each individual in your organization and bring out their best, promoting their growth and achievements.

 

Can leadership be learned? Definitely YES! That you ask this question shows you have curiosity, which is one essential leadership quality. Are you ready to unlock the leader within you? I’d love to invite you to our upcoming Foundations of Life Coaching and NLP. It will be held in Ashland, Oregon, so make plans now to attend this life-changing, 3-day event. Nando and I will help you hone YOUR gifts, talents and skills so you can make a real difference in the lives of others.

Rediscover Your Intellectual Curiosity – Be the Innovative Thought Leader Everyone Wants to Consult

It’s time you rediscover your intellectual curiosity, since it’s the hallmark of great leaders, innovative solutions and better relationships - here’s how“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” ~ Walt Disney

“Why?” If you’ve been around a little child any length of time, you’ve been plagued with that question. Many parents get tired of it and start saying “because I said so,” just to get them to quit.

As the child enters school, she’s taught to look up answers not find them for herself by thinking things through. She memorizes then forgets, as each test comes and goes. Before too long the child learns to repress her curiosity as she merely mimics what others say. Her joy of learning has been squelched.

We should never lose the ability to ask questions, for it reveals the greatest secrets of life. Great inventors, scientists, researchers, and leaders all wonder why something works while something else doesn’t. It’s how they discover wondrous, new things. They nurture their intellectual curiosity.

Intellectual curiosity inspires us to solve problems and think creatively. It takes us on a joyous journey of discovery. As Academy Award-winning filmmaker James Cameron said, “Curiosity is the most powerful thing you own.” We should do everything in our power to keep it alive.

You’ll be amazed at what you can learn by looking at things that people don’t usually pay attention to. Use the following suggestions to rediscover your intellectual curiosity. This process can be used in closely examining every aspect of life, from  relationships, to systems, to tangible objects.

1. Observe people with mindfulness. You can learn a lot, without becoming intrusive, as you notice what people do and say, wonder why they do it, and how it makes the participants feel. You’ll begin to notice behaviors, emotions, and patterns that give you insight into what makes people tick.

2. Ask questions that promote observation. Look at a situation with fresh eyes and consider:

  • Where does this work? Where wouldn’t this work?
  • Why does this work? Why doesn’t it work?
  • When does this work? When doesn’t this work?
  • Who will this work for? Who doesn’t this work for?
  • What elements work? What elements don’t?

3. Ask the question that promotes change – “what if?” People daily encounter frustrations that need solutions. You could be the catalyst for change by simply identifying an innovative solution. How can you do this?

  • Train yourself to make notes about every frustration you see, anything from communication breakdowns to products that don’t work. Just create the habit of note taking what you observe.
  • Identify the underlying problem that creates this frustration.
  • List possible solutions. What if it was bigger, smaller, faster, slower, kinder, or more forceful? Let your imagination run wild with possibilities.
  • Mentally or physically take it apart to see if it’s a feasible solution. By dissecting every aspect of your solution you’ll identify places that need more work.

Remember, this process of mindful intellectual curiosity works not only for tangible objects but also for examining your life experiences and processing what’s happening with your emotions, too. It allows you see all sides and make adjustments as needed.

It takes practice to keep your intellectual curiosity alive. Why not choose an idea, product or service that is an unexpected success and apply the above suggestions. That will get you started. If you’d like to delve deeper into how you can become a great leader, please feel free to contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype).

Become Indispensable – 8 Steps to Fearlessly Tackling Any Project

If you want to become indispensable at work or in any relationship, develop a can-do self-starting attitude that moves you to execute your goals effectively“If you want something done, ask a busy person.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

Isn’t it true that the world is full of people with good intentions? Yet the ones who accept a task and execute it promptly are rare. In that way, they become indispensable at work or in any relationship because you can count on them to follow through and not let you down.

Is that the kind of person you’d like to be known as?

First, it’s important to determine what’s getting in the way of executing your goals. Do you procrastinate or get distracted? Too often our minds are so full of “stuff” we lose focus. Or maybe you don’t know something, so you get stuck on the “how” and stall out.

Perhaps your past is getting in the way? Maybe you’ve been discouraged by a lifetime of others putting you down. On the other hand, overindulgent parents might have spoiled you, making you think the world owes you a favor. Just remember, those behaviors are their choices, not yours.

You have a choice to make: blame others or build a fire in your soul for developing the attitudes and habits that make you indispensable. How?

It all starts with developing the character to view everything you do as worthwhile. No matter what the job is, do it cheerfully. Appreciate the opportunity to see your strengths and make note of them.

When you work at excelling at everyday tasks, extraordinary opportunities will come your way. When you use each assignment to hone your natural talents, you can turn them into a discipline that you master. This may well become your “calling” in life, if it brings you great joy and it serves the needs of others.

The secret to becoming indispensable is to take action without hesitating. Practice the following steps until they become a deeply imbedded system in your life:

  1. Accept the assignment and get started. Don’t wait for all of the answers. As you proceed, you’ll often find better solutions than if you had mapped it all out at the beginning.

 

  1. Ask for clarification. Asking a question isn’t a sign of weakness. Work out what you can and then ask the right questions to fill in the blanks.

 

  1. Outline a plan of action. Keep in mind your ultimate objective; strategies for achieving it; breaking it down into manageable bits; making a step-by-step checklist; and measuring your progress.

 

  1. Don’t be afraid to expend some resources and ask for help. Worthwhile objectives usually cost money, time, and help from others. If it’s worth doing, do it right.

 

  1. Measure your progress. When you get stuck, show what you’ve done so far and ask for feedback. If you’re off course, this will put you back on track. Even if you don’t answer to anyone, review your progress and see if you’re still on course.

 

  1. Set reasonable expectations and always exceed them. If you want to be trusted with vital tasks, develop a reputation for getting the job done better, sooner and at a lower cost than expected.

 

  1. Accept mistakes as the cost of learning. Perfection is unrealistic. Mistakes are simply information not judgments on your character. Reflect on what they teach you.

 

  1. Be proud of your work. Remember your wins. Find the harmony between action and fear. Courage isn’t the absence of fear but rather the ability to act despite it.

You will become indispensable when you’ve integrated these action-oriented habits and attitudes into your life. If you’re ready to accelerate your rise to excellence so you become indispensable, respected and trusted, please feel free to contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype). I’d love to partner with you on this journey.

Leadership 101: How to Inspire a Shared Vision

If you want to make a difference in the lives of others’, learn how to inspire a shared vision with them by helping them see themselves in the big picture.“I believe the risks I take are justified by the sheer love of the life I lead.” ~ Charles Lindbergh

What does the family who goes on the vacation of a lifetime have in common with the company that consistently exceeds its marketing goals? On the surface…nothing. But when you look deeper, in each case you’ll see a leader who knows how to inspire a shared vision. If you want to make a difference, this is an essential skill you’ll want to master. Let’s take a closer look at each story…

Within the family, the mother sees that the kids will soon be leaving for college. She knows that once they’re out of the house, they may get so busy with their own lives they might not have another chance. So she shares her vision of a great family vacation with her husband. He agrees and together they work out how to make it happen. As the family discusses it, they excitedly pitch in their ideas. Because they’re on the same page, working toward the same goal, it’s not a hardship to stick to a budget or schedule. Their shared vision becomes a success.

In the business setting, the marketing department brings a new strategy to the boss, and she thinks it’s a great idea. She takes that visionary thought and lays out a plan to her employees. She details the vision to them and gets them excited to do their individual and collective best. She knows it won’t happen unless all departments are on board with the idea. And because she connects with each one on the level of their specialty, each department excels.

On the other hand, perhaps you’ve experienced the frustration of working with someone who tries to lead but keeps the details to themselves. You don’t know why something is important and you don’t understand the process because you don’t know all the steps. As a result, the “vision” never succeeds, because you couldn’t clearly see your role in it.

In any case, progress won’t happen by chance. Inspiring leaders acknowledge and welcome the strengths of each person and create an environment were talents can flourish.  They give a clear objective so people know what to do. They give a clear reason why it’s important, so everyone remains motivated to get it done. It’s not enough for the leader to have a vision. An effective leader inspires others by knowing how to share the vision so that it takes on life in the hearts of all those involved. They can see themselves in the picture!

First-class leaders learn to look far into the future, not merely seeing the end of a current project. Instead they see how each project impacts their organization years down the road. In the above example, the mother saw her family slipping away, so she took action to bring them back together. The far-sighted boss saw how one marketing campaign would boost morale and generate customer loyalty. Because they took into account the hopes and wishes of others, those involved became very supportive.

Effective leaders see that it’s important to make time to look ahead and not get consumed with day-to-day busyness. They also don’t feel that they have to be the visionary. But they know that it’s their job to get everyone involved and keep them working at the top of their game.

It’s not always easy to communicate your vision in a way that draws others into it so that they adopt it for their own vision. However, it’s easier if you incorporate metaphors, word pictures, and stories that people relate to. Don’t be afraid to express the depth of your emotional involvement and excitement, because it’s that passion that will fire up others.

It may seem counter-intuitive, but the best way to inspire others for a future project is to connect with them mindfully in the present. If you’d like to learn to inspire others and make more meaning connections in your life, please check out the Women in Leadership Retreat I’m leading with my close friend Nando Raynolds on May 20 and 21. It’s going to be life-changing!

Strong Convictions – The Secret to Becoming an Influential Leader in Your Community

Learn how you can model strong convictions in your leadership and experience greater success as you avoid alienating others by being wishy washy or arrogant“A leader has the vision and conviction that a dream can be achieved. He inspires the power and energy to get it done.” ~ Ralph Lauren

Have you ever eaten a dish of food that was ho-hum and boring, and then someone adds a secret ingredient that really gives it a zing of excellence? In life and business, the secret ingredient that gives you a zing and makes you stand out are strong convictions.

When you’re strongly convinced that what you do and say matter and that what you offer is of great value to others, your energy shifts and you become more attractive and persuasive. The people you work with feel more at ease. It engenders a feeling of security. It helps everyone concentrate on doing their best work, because they see that everything is under control.

In contrast, uncertainty – the opposite of conviction –is perceived by the brain as a threat. It actually causes a release of the stress hormone cortisol, which disrupts your memory, and puts your physical, emotional and mental health at risk.

How can you model strong convictions in your leadership without alienating others? If you lack conviction, you can gain it through introspection and self-awareness. If you already have strong convictions, you can learn to express them in a pleasantly persuasive and compelling manner. As you read the following section, give yourself a rating on the scale of 1 to 10 for each one, so as to determine your strengths and weaknesses.

 “The Seven B’s of Strong Convictions” that will make your leadership skills outstanding:

Be informed. Know your topic forwards and backwards. When you have an excellent grasp of a subject, you can be absolutely convinced that you’ve chosen the best course of action. You can effectively apply what you know about the subject to real life situations.

Be strong. Make a stand for what you believe to be important and you won’t be swayed by everything that comes along. Use your strength for the good of others. Have the courage to make difficult decisions, take responsibility and do what’s best for the people you’re leading. This means you don’t give up when the going gets tough. You’re willing to take the bullet for your people. You back them up, never shifting blame. Leaders with true conviction are able to encourage others to openly speak up and share their viewpoints even if what they say is hard to hear.

Be tuned-in to your intuition. Your intuition or “gut instincts” are like a sixth sense where you quickly read a situation because you recognize subtle cues. It’s not the same as jumping to conclusions. Rather it takes time and mindful effort to increase your emotional intelligence. Once you learn to identify when you’re being influenced by unfounded assumptions or unresolved emotions stemming from unrelated experiences, you can filter these out. Then you’ll be able to trust your intuition and stop second guessing yourself or playing the “what if” game.

Be positive. See the good in everyone and everything, even in difficult times. Positive thinking gives your brain a chance to focus on stress-free thoughts, quieting fears and irrational thinking. Learn to choose a positive state, and you’ll be amazed at how it boosts your energy level.

Be passionate. Believe in yourself. Believe in your ability to make things happen. Of course, realistically we all have limitations. But the trick is not to accept any limitation without constantly testing their boundaries. Maybe you can’t do it today, but with training, increased knowledge and experience you can do it tomorrow. Don’t give up on your dream.

Be humble. Jump in and do the dirty work when it’s needed. Only ask your followers to do what you’re willing to do. Support, inspire and encourage those around you. Through your actions, prove that you walk the talk, never adopting the “do as I say, not as I do” attitude.

Be friends with change. Change is not your enemy. It’s natural to want to feel in control rather than being at the mercy of what life throws at you. Life happens. It’s not a personal failure when you can’t control what happens. However, how your react to it is totally within your control. Focus on that.

When you act with conviction, everyone around you unconsciously absorbs this belief and emotional state. Whether you’re leading a team at work, or you want to increase your self-confidence and grow as a person, or even if you want to be a better role model for your children, conviction is essential to your success. It creates a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Get a jumpstart on fine-tuning your conviction by attending our special talk: Choose Life Enhancing Beliefs on Thursday, August 25th. Nando Raynolds and I will be meeting with you at 600 Siskiyou, Ashland, Oregon to share how NLP can expand your abilities for happiness and excellence. Learn more about it by clicking here or contact me for more details. We’re looking forward to seeing you there.


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