I was once working with a CEO to help get his senior leaders to be more open to input from multiple sources, including younger employees.
“Nobody has a monopoly on good ideas”, he said.
“Wow!”, I thought. What a great mantra for diversity, inclusion, leadership, management and just common sense.
But as Winston Churchill once remarked, “Nothing is as uncommon as common sense”.
Well, the human mind is hard-wired to consider ideas and perspectives from our own tribe as superior to those from outside. This human tendency leads to political partisanship, regardless of the facts, and can lead to a senior leadership team that looks the same and thinks the same. The dangers of this ‘we are right, everybody else is wrong’ mindset are obvious; especially in times of rapid change, when past ways of doing things are losing or have lost their relevancy. Read more on unconscious...
I clicked on the link in the email and the video from a motivational speaker began to play; it revealed a surprising truth.
This well-known ‘Success Coach’ starts by telling us that he works with billionaires with the big houses, cars and expensive watches, BUT these people are empty and insecure on the inside. In guru-like fashion he tells me that:
“The door to success doesn’t open outward, but inward”
He goes on to expand on the virtue of working on our mental, emotional, spiritual and physical self.
So far, so good. As a Self-leadership author and Motivational Speaker, myself, I’m fully aligned with the message. But then, comes the twist.
In the next part of his pitch, he tells us that if we do all this ‘inner work’, we can have the houses, cars and expensive watches. That my external wealth will be in direct proportion to my inner growth!
"WHAT THE BLEEP!"
Did he not just tell us that all the people with the big houses, cars and...
In 2010, a shy Spanish-speaking South American woman, leaves her home and family to start a challenging new job in Singapore.
I asked her, what she was thinking and feeling at that time. “I was very afraid” she said. “But I thought I would be good, because I was invited to be part of a big project.”
Then, what was she afraid of? “Of meeting people better than me”, she said.
Does this resonate? Do you compare yourself with others, and give them more credibility than you give yourself?
I asked Victoria (not her real name, not her photo) what she thought she brought to the job, what strengths she had that would enable her to be good.
“I am very focused and understand the complexity of projects, I can work with different people from different cultures and build trust.”
I asked her, “How many people in the world can do what you do, the way you do it?” And her answer was, “Not very many”. So, I asked why she...
In our 2012 book 'Self-leadership' my co-author, Ana Kazan Ph.D. and I make the following statement:
"There are no fairy godmothers - If you want to be transformed, to be free, you must do the work; you are the hero, you are your own savior."
It is a truism that Life is not fair. We are not all born with parents who validate our self-esteem and provide opportunities for us to learn and grow; sometimes circumstances are downright cruel. But success is measured not by what you have but how much you have grown inside, and this comes by motivating yourself to overcome obstacles and live with purpose.
In fact those that have ‘moved the dial’ or ‘achieved the delta’ by going from a D grade to a C, and a C to a B are much more resilient than those who have always gotten A’s.
Mythologist Joseph Campbell tracked the hero's journey, a common theme in all cultures (and Hollywood), which is the process by which...
I’m often asked, how I got started as a Motivational Speaker and Self-leadership champion, and so I’m sharing this interview by Success Resources, Singapore, which answers these questions for you.
Sure, I started my career as a Physiotherapist in the U.K. in the early 80’s. I was working with sports teams and athletes and soon realized that success was as much mental as physical. I studied psychology, NLP, hypnosis, meditation and even Chinese medicine to help my clients get the competitive edge. When I moved to Australia, I continued to coach athletes but kept getting asked to coach business-people to use their mind to be successful. Because of the impact I was having on performance on-and-off the field I began to coach and to speak about my approach and my Self-leadership Methodology.
To succeed in any organization, you must understand 'office politics'. The first rule is to be visible, doing good work is not enough if you're not associated with it. You must learn to shine.
Let me tell you about Chris who's an experienced pharmaceutical Healthcare Executive. He's delivered results as a sales head early in his career and had been moved to head office in Europe in an administrative role.
Chris made everything run smoothly. However, he did it in an under-the-radar manner, so when he wanted to step up to a country manager role he was not deemed ready.
Chris had not followed the first rule of office politics:
How could Chris have gained visibility instead of just quietly making things efficient?
Executive Coaching is effective for leadership development, because leaders require high levels of Self-awareness and behavioral flexibility.
Executive Coaching comprises of a series of confidential conversations focused on facilitating strategic self-awareness about what underlies behavior, actions, reactions, and interactions. Coaching facilitates the 'coachee' to gain insights into how they execute business strategies, and manage change, conflict and people.
Having a trusted confident (Executive Coach), who can provide feedback and, through questions, clarify intentions, values and objectives is invaluable to a leader.
Without coaching, many executives plateau in their development of critical interpersonal and leadership skills, because they have been promoted for behaviors that are no longer effective at the leadership level.
Leadership development is often hampered, surprisingly, by too much winning. People are promoted for...
In 2017 it was my pleasure to interview the legendary Brian Tracy on Self-leadership - a topic I have been speaking and writing about since 1999.
In case you don't know - Brian Tracy is a motivational speaker and self-development author of over 70 books. His popular titles include; 'Earn What You’re Really Worth', 'Eat That Frog!' and 'The Psychology of Achievement'.
You can watch the video of my interview of Brian above, and here is the transcript of his definition.
"Self-leadership is the starting point of everything. Self-leadership means that you decide exactly who you are and what you want, and then you write it down and you make a plan and a goal, and you work on it every day. And especially Self-leadership means you accept complete responsibility for your results and outcomes; you don't blame other people, you don't make excuses, you say, 'I am responsible", I'm in control, I'm in charge of my own life.'
And when you do that,...
Global leadership is the new standard. When companies were just national, you could make it to senior level or even the top with a mix of competence and confidence (of course a few good connections could also help).
Today, successful companies are international or global and to be leader requires something extra. Just doing a good job on your home turf is no longer enough, you have to be visible and you have to have impact.
For example, a senior manager in India or Indonesia, could be successfully managing thousands of people, meeting targets, but have no visibility in a global organization. On the flip side, an American or European manager may fail to lead in Asia or South America, because they just don’t understand how to get things done in those cultures.
I was recently having a conversation with a US based, charismatic, ‘C-level’ executive of a global company, about the direct reports of his peer who worked in Asia. He expressed his frustration that these...
I remember being impressed by 9 critical leadership truths that were being promoted at my children’s school. What impacted me was the fact that as a leadership coach and consultant, I am often talking about these very same qualities and skills with my ‘adult’ clients.
This image (taken by my daughter, Tasha) shows the school's ideal student with a combination of qualities and skills – wouldn't it be great if managers and leaders valued the same qualities and worked on their skills?
Leaders, and children develop from the inside-out (Bryant & Kazan 2012) and so it is great that being self-aware is promoted. The school sees self-awareness as developing self-discipline, self-esteem, self-confidence, reflection – all great qualities for today’s leader. With self-awareness we can become a self-manager which includes the skills of; meta-cognition, independence, perseverance, diligence, organization and responsibility.
If you were to get a report...