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Tag Archives: Success

Do What You WANT

swa

It was October 27, 2007. As I boarded my Southwest flight from Chicago to Los Angeles, my mind was cluttered. I was looking forward to the next 3 ½ hours to decompress, sort out my thoughts, and rest. The trip had been planned for weeks. Off to celebrate my best friend’s milestone birthday. A weekend away with old friends was just what I needed to get out of my funk.

Instead of resting and relaxing on the flight, though, my mind was racing. Stress and anxiety filled my body. My job was stagnating. I had been at the firm almost 4 years and did not see any real path for advancement. Finances were ho-hum. I made enough to live comfortably and save some, but nothing extraordinary.

My romantic relationship made me feel like I was stuck in mud. After nearly 3 years together, we had reached that proverbial fork in the road – were we walking down the same path or headed in different directions? Oh, how I wish I knew! My body was giving me signals, but I was ignoring them. I wasn’t working out or eating as well as I knew I should be, and my energy levels were low....

You Need to Take More Risks

risks

Sir Sterling Moss, arguably the greatest all-around racing driver in history and icon of the motorsports world, knew something about risks and reward. Out of the 375 competitive races Moss finished during his professional racing career, he won an astonishing 212. All those wins did not come by taking the less challenging route.

“To achieve anything in this game you must be prepared to dabble in the boundary of disaster.” – Sterling Moss

The same can be said for achieving spectacular results in life. How many times have you been richly rewarded for taking the safe and easy path? My guess – not many.

Wildly successful people are comfortable with risk. They embrace the challenge and uncertainly of risk. After all, with risk comes reward. But don’t be fooled. Not all risk is created equal.

Risk can come in multiple forms. Crazy ass or calculated. Dumb or smart. There is a time and place for both types of risks. In fact, people may characterize risks differently. You may characterize sky diving as a dumb, crazy ass risk. Who wants to jump out of a perfectly good airplane? (Actually, I do. It’s on my bucket list.)

Another person may believe sky diving in tandem with an experienced diver is actually a worthwhile calculated risk....

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Owning Your Worth

Money falling on a business woman

When someone asks you what are you worth, how do you answer?

If you are like most, the first thought that comes to mind is around your current salary, revenue projection, or perhaps the amount of money you hold in savings and investments. The financial aspect of “worth” is important and fundamental in how we perceive the value of our work. However, there is another aspect of worth that is actually more important than the financial data – your own BELIEF of what you are worth. 

We tend to underestimate the value of our worth, and, in the process, overcompensate to make up the difference.

How many times have you found yourself taking on more responsibility, putting forth more effort than your counterparts, or over preparing for a meeting or presentation? I’ve done it myself. You overcompensate to avoid the judgment of others that expect you to perform or live up to a certain ideal.

How can you combat this tempting ploy?

By knowing and living your deepest values, developing clarity on your purpose, and maintaining a strong, powerful belief in yourself.

Identifying your values allows you to turn the focus internally to gain clarity of purpose. When your values are compromised, your performance will be affected....

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What Type of Thinker Are You?

Businesswoman and question mark drawn in chalk on blackboard

Over the years, I have noticed that there are two types of thinkers. Knowing what type of thinker you are will greatly help your effectiveness as well as lessen your stress level. When the way you think is opposite to the culture of the organization you are in, it’s no surprise that you will feel frustrated. Honestly, once I figured this out for myself, it made it easy for me to see that the best place for me was entrepreneurship.

Are you a “Process Thinker?”

In this case, most of your conversations are about the process. Logic prevails. You typically are engrossed with the steps and following a specific plan. If you’re embedded in this type of thinking, you tend to rely on what has worked in the past. After all, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

There are exceptions. You can still be a process thinker with new ideas on how to change a process. However, if the organization is resistant to change, you will end up annoyed. Process thinking thrives in repeatable environments, for instance, manufacturing. In fact, many detail thinkers are process driven to create specific results.

Process thinkers congregate successfully in corporate organizations. The corporate mindset is built around process....

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The Importance of Leadership Culture for Success

Leader of Teamwork Background # Vector

Finding the right organization and culture to thrive in is a personal endeavor. What works for some, may not work for others. You have to be able to fit within the structure and character of a company to perform at your best. For women in male-dominated industries, this can be an uphill battle. But remember, you always have choices.

First, you have to figure out what you want. Get clear and focused on your own strengths, values, priorities, and goals. Understand your career aspirations and goals. Only you can determine what is best for you. Then, evaluate your organization and culture.

Ultimately, to be successful you need to find a corporate culture with men that have a strong desire to support and advance women. Culture is driven from the top down. Leadership defines the values, and more importantly, the behaviors of a culture and organization. These values show up significantly in overall decision-making and how to promote within.

Aileron, a national non-profit organization dedicated to unleashing the potential of private businesses through professional management, defines culture as the “values and beliefs as demonstrated through the real behavior of the organization.” This definition captures the heart of the issue.

An organization can have stated values and beliefs that define their culture....

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Building Rapport for Successful Leadership

Business woman at the office ready to work

Know any personalities at your workplace that rub you the wrong way? Chances are you do. Friction, by definition, is the resistance of motion when object rubs against another. There are plenty of high friction personalities in the business world. Some are successful, but their leadership methods are often shortsighted and fear inducing to their teams.

Successful leaders understand that building rapport is the grease that reduces friction in the machine of business. Whether you are in sales, marketing, engineering, finance, or human resources, reducing friction allows people to collaborate in a way that is forward moving and productive.

Rapport is an emotional bond or friendly relationship between people based on a mutual liking, trust, and an understanding that they share each other’s concerns. The best leaders create rapport with everyone – their team members, colleagues, managers, shareholders, stakeholders, customers, and clients. These leaders often generate win-win solutions that build upon that trust that was developed over time.

Fortunately, building rapport and the level of trust and understanding that great leaders embody is a skill that has been studied for years. Here are five proven ways to build rapport with everyone you meet.

1.  Pay attention to how you show up – physically, emotionally, and mentally.

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