Goal Processing: Og Words of Wisdom (Part 3 of 3)

Our final set of thoughts from Og Mandino as you work on your 2008 resolutions and goals...

Og Mandino Quotes (Part 3)

201. This day is all you have and these hours are now your eternity. Greet this sunrise with cries of joy as a prisoner who is reprieved from death.
202. This is the place.
203. This is the time.
204. This too shall pass.
205. Time teaches all things to him who lives forever, but I have not the luxury of eternity.
206. To conquer fear I must always act without hesitation and the flutters in my heart will vanish.
207. To enjoy success I must have happiness, and laughter will be the maiden who serves me.
208. To multiply your value you must multiply your actions.
209. To surpass the deeds of others is unimportant; to surpass your own deeds is all.
210. Today I begin a new life.
211. Today I shed my old skin which hath too long suffered the bruises of failure and the wounds of mediocrity.
212. Today I will multiply my value a hundredfold.
213. Today I will surpass every action which I performed yesterday.
214. Today you will be master of your emotions.
215. Today, I will act.
216. Tomorrow is the day reserved for the labor of the lazy.
217. Tomorrow lies buried with yesterday.
218. True wealth is of the heart, not of the purse.
219. Try again, make one more attempt to close with victory, and if that fails, make another.
220. Try, and try, and try again.
221. Understand and recognize the moods of others. Make allowances for their anger and irritation for they know not the secret of controlling their minds.
222. Unless you act you will perish in a life of failure, misery, and sleepless nights.
223. Unless you put your skills, mind, heart, and body to good use, you will stagnate, rot, and die.
224. Victory comes only after many struggles and countless defeats.
225. We must have the night to appreciate the day.
226. Weak is he who permits his thoughts to control his actions; strong is he who forces his actions to control his thoughts.
227. Welcome happiness for it enlarges your heart; endure sadness for it opens your soul.
228. What can take place before this sun sets which will not seem insignificant in the river of centuries?
229. What is success other than a state of mind?
230. When an act becomes easy through constant repetition, it becomes a pleasure to perform, and if it is a pleasure to perform, it is man's nature to perform it often.
231. When I am burdened with wealth I shall tell myself that this too shall pass.
232. When I am moved to praise, I will shout from the roofs.
233. When I am puffed with success I shall warn myself that this too shall pass.
234. When I am strangled in poverty I shall tell myself that this too shall pass.
235. When I am tempted to criticize, I will bite on my tongue.
236. When others cease their struggle, then mine will begin, and my harvest will be full.
237. When you are heavy with heartache console yourself that this too shall pass.
238. Where dry desert ends, green grass grows.
239. Where there are idle mouths I will listen not; where there are idle hands I will linger not; where there are idle bodies I will visit not.
240. Will my concern for this day not seem foolish ten years hence?
241. With each victory the next struggle becomes less difficult.
242. With love I will tear down the wall of suspicion and hate which they have built round their hearts, and in its place, I will build bridges so that my love may enter their souls.
243. Within you burns a flame which has been passed from generations uncounted, and its heat is a constant irritation to your spirit to become better than you are, and you will.
244. Yesterday's joy will become today's sadness; yet today's sadness will grow into tomorrow's joy.
245. Yesterday's success will not lull me into today's complacency.
246. Yesterday is buried forever, think of it no more.
247. You are a unique creature.
248. You are here for a purpose and that purpose is to grow into a mountain, not to shrink to a grain of sand.
249. You are nature's greatest miracle.
250. You are rare, and there is value in all rarity; therefore, you are valuable.
251. You can accomplish far more than you have, and you will.
252. You can overcome seemingly impossible obstacles with ambition.
253. You have been given eyes to see and a mind to think.
254. You have but one life and life is naught but a measurement of time.
255. You have unlimited potential.
256. You may encounter failure at the thousandth step, yet success hides behind the next bend in the road. You will never know how close success lies unless you turn the corner.
257. You must fail often to succeed only once.
258. You must have objectives before your life will crystallize.
259. You must nurture your body and mind in order to fulfill your dreams.
260. You only have time to love.
261. You were conceived in love and brought forth with a purpose.
262. You will become great.
263. You won't know how close success is unless you turn the corner.


Goal Processing: Og's Words of Wisdom (Part 2 of 3)

Just a few more thoughts from Og Mandino as you work on your 2008 resolutions and goals...Og Mandino Quotes (Part 2)

101. I will work when the failure seeks rest.
102. If all things shall pass, why should I be of concern for today?
103. If I delay, success will become betrothed to another and lost to me forever.
104. If I have no other qualities I can succeed with love alone.
105. If I persist, if I continue to try, if I continue to charge forward, I will succeed.
106. If I stumble I will rise, and my falls will not concern me.
107. If you bring joy, enthusiasm, brightness, and laughter to your customers, they will react with joy, enthusiasm, brightness, and laughter and your weather will produce a harvest of sales and a granary of gold for you.
108. If you feel depressed - sing!
109. If you feel fear, plunge ahead.
110. If you feel incompetent, remember past successes.
111. If you feel insignificant, remember your goals.
112. If you feel poverty, think of wealth to come.
113. If you feel sad - laugh.
114. If you must be a slave to habit, then be a slave to good habits.
115. If you persist long enough, you will win.
116. If you waste today, you destroy the last page of your life.
117. Ignore the obstacles at your feet and keep your eyes on the goals above your head.
118. In setting my goals, I will consider my best performance of the past and multiply it a hundredfold.
119. Increase your knowledge of mankind.
120. It pays to be persistent.
121. Just as love is my weapon to open the hearts of men, love is also my shield to repulse the arrows of hate and the spears of anger.
122. Just as nature made no provision for your body to tolerate pain neither has it made any provision for your life to suffer failure.
123. Keep work and family separate.
124. Laugh and your life will be lengthened for this is the great secret of long life.
125. Laugh at goodness and it will thrive and abound.
126. Laugh at the world.
127. Laugh at your failures and they will vanish in clouds of new dreams.
128. Laugh at your successes and they will shrink to their true value.
129. Laugh at yourself for man is most comical when he takes himself too seriously.
130. Leave your problems at home.
131. Lift up a friend in need.
132. Lift your arms with thanks for this priceless gift of a new day.
133. Live this day as if it is your last. Seal up the container of life so that not one drop spills itself upon the sand.
134. Live this day as if it is your last.
135. Live today as if it is your last chance to prove your love and your greatness.
136. Look upon each obstacle as a lesson to be learned.
137. Look upon misfortune as opportunity in disguise.
138. Love the darkness because it shows you the stars.
139. Love will melt all hearts like the sun whose rays soften the coldest clay.
140. Love yourself!
141. Make every hour count and trade each minute only for something of value.
142. Make love your greatest weapon.
143. Make the hours ahead priceless!
144. Make this day the best day of your life.
145. Many face each obstacle in their path with fear and doubt and consider themas enemies, when in truth, these obstructions are friends and helpers.
146. Many succumb to despair and fail without realizing that they already possess all the tools needed to acquire great wealth.
147. Master your emotions so that each day will be productive.
148. Master your moods through positive action and when you master your moods you will control your destiny.
149. Meditation and prayer feeds the soul.
150. My desire to meet the world will overcome every fear I once knew, and I will be happier than I ever believed it possible to be in this world of strife and sorrow.
151. Nature knows not defeat.
152. Never allow yourself to become so important, so wise, so dignified, so powerful, that you forget how to laugh at yourself.
153. Never be satisfied with yesterday's accomplishments.
154. Never feel shame for trying and failing for he who has never failed is he who has never tried.
155. Never will I allow my heart to become small and bitter, rather I will share it and it will grow and warm the earth.
156. Never will I allow my mind to be attracted to evil and despair, rather I will uplift it with the knowledge and wisdom of the ages.
157. Never will I allow my soul to become complacent and satisfied, rather I will feed it with meditation and prayer.
158. Never will I labor to be happy; rather will I remain too busy to be sad.
159. Never will I overindulge the requests of my flesh, rather I will cherish my body with cleanliness and moderation.
160. Never will I scratch for excuses to gossip.
161. No longer shall my vocabulary include such words as cannot, unable, impossible, and quit.
162. No longer will I fail to call again tomorrow on he who meets me with hate today.
163. Obstacles are necessary for success.
164. Only a habit can subdue another habit.
165. Only action determines my value in the market place.
166. Only with laughter and happiness can I enjoy the fruits of my labor.
167. Only with laughter and happiness can you truly become a success.
168. People will always respond positively to joy and enthusiasm.
169. Persist and develop your skills as the mariner develops his, by learning to ride out the wrath of each storm.
170. Persist with the knowledge that each failure to sell will increase your chance for success at the next attempt.
171. Practice the art of patience for nature never acts in haste.
172. Put your uniqueness on display in the market place.
173. Rain cleanses the spirit.
174. Remember that as today's dead flower carries the seed of tomorrow's bloom so does today's sadness carry the seed of tomorrow's joy.
175. Remove from your vocabulary such words and phrases as quit, cannot, unable, impossible, out of the question, improbable, failure, unworkable, hopeless, and retreat; for they are the words of fools.
176. Rewards are great if one succeeds but the rewards are great only because so few succeed.
177. Seek constantly to improve your manners and graces, for they are the sugar to which all are attracted.
178. Set goals for the day, the week, the month, the year, and your life.
179. Should you concern yourself over events which you may never witness? Should you torment yourself with problems that may never come to pass? No! Tomorrow lies buried with yesterday, think of it no more.
180. Sleep in peace for you have not failed.
181. Small attempts, repeated, will complete any undertaking.
182. Smile and your digestion will improve.
183. So long as I can laugh, never will I be poor.
184. So long as there is breath in me, that long will I persist.
185. Strive for happiness and peace of mind.
186. Strive for happiness, to be loved and to love, and most important, to acquire peace of mind and serenity.
187. Strive to become better than you are.
188. Strong is he who forces his actions to control his thoughts.
189. Success comes to those willing to work a little bit harder than the rest.
190. Success will not wait.
191. Suffer me to know that all things shall pass.
192. The height of my goals will not hold me in awe though I may stumble often before they are reached.
193. The only difference between those who have failed and those who have succeeded lies in their habits.
194. The prizes of life are at the end of each journey, not near the beginning; and it is not given to me to know how many steps are necessary in order to reach my goal.
195. The problems of the market place will be left in the market place.
196. The slaughterhouse of failure is not my destiny.
197. There are good qualities in everyone.
198. There are lessons to be learned from failures.
199. There is no room in the market place for your family, nor is there room in your home for the market.
200. There is not time to hate, only time to love.


Goal Processing: Og's Words of Wisdom (Part 1 of 3)

Just a few thoughts from Og Mandino as you work on your 2008 resolutions and goals...

Og Mandino Quotes (Part 1)

1. Act now. For now is all you have.
2. Action is the food and drink which will nourish my success.
3. Action will destroy your procrastination.
4. All men must stumble often to reach the truth.
5. All nature is a circle of moods and you are a part of nature and so, like the tides, your moods will rise; your moods will fall.
6. All your problems, discouragements, and heartaches are, in truth, great opportunities in disguise.
7. Always let your reach exceed your grasp.
8. Always raise your goals as soon as they are attained.
9. Always strive to make the next hour better than this one.
10. Always take another step. If that is to no avail take another, and yet another. One step at a time is not too difficult.
11. Any act with practice becomes easy.
12. Apply all of your efforts to become the highest mountain of all and strain your potential until it cries for mercy.
13. Avoid with fury the killers of time.
14. Bad habits must be destroyed and new furrows prepared for good seed.
15. Bathe me in good habits that the bad ones may drown.
16. Be happy.
17. Be hungry for success.
18. Be prepared to control whatever personality awakes in you each day.
19. Become master of yourself.
20. Begin now to accent your differences.
21. Beginning today, you can increase your accomplishments of yesterday by a hundredfold.
22. Bury doubt under faith.
23. Cherish each hour of this day for it can never return.
24. Chuckle and your burdens will be lightened.
25. Concentrate your energy on the challenge of the moment.
26. Confidence will take away your fear.
27. Consider each obstacle as a mere detour to your goal and a challenge to your profession.
28. Consider each obstacle as a mere detour to your goal.
29. Count your blessings today.
30. Cultivate the habit of laughter.
31. Destroy procrastination with action.
32. Dismember fear with confidence.
33. Do not allow yesterday's success to lull you into today's complacency, for this is the great foundation of failure.
34. Do not be satisfied with yesterday's accomplishments or indulge in self-praise for deeds which are too small to even acknowledge.
35. Do not commit the terrible crime of aiming too low.
36. Do not dwell on the past.
37. Do not judge a man on one meeting.
38. Do not listen to those who weep and complain, for their disease is contagious.
39. Do not make vain attempts to imitate others.
40. Do not permit the petty happenings of today to disturb you.
41. Do not think of yesterday or tomorrow.
42. Do not waste a moment mourning yesterday's misfortunes, yesterday's defeats, or yesterday's aches of the heart.
43. Drink every minute to its fill; savor its taste and give thanks.
44. Drive a bad habit from your life and replace it with one which will bring you closer to success.
45. Each day will be triumphant only when your smiles bring forth smiles from others.
46. Each failure to sell will increase your chances for success at your next attempt.
47. Each frown you meet only prepares you for the smile to come.
48. Each minute of today will be more fruitful than the hours of yesterday. Your last must be your best.
49. Each misfortune you encounter will carry in it the seed of tomorrow's good luck.
50. Each nay I hear will bring me closer to the sound of yea.
51. Each rebuff is an opportunity to move forward; turn away from them, avoid them and you throw away your future.
52. Each struggle, each defeat sharpens your skills and strengthens your courage and your endurance.
53. Enjoy today's happiness today.
54. Failure does not course through your veins as you were not delivered into this world in defeat.
55. Failure no longer will be my payment for struggle.
56. Failure will never overtake you if your determination to succeed is strong enough.
57. For now you know one of the greatest principles of success; if you persist long enough you will win.
58. Forget the happenings of the day that is gone, whether they were good or bad, and greet the new sun with confidence that this will be the best day of your life.
59. Fulfill today's duties today.
60. Good habits are the key to all success.
61. Grant me compassion for weaknesses in others.
62. Grasp each minute of this day with both hands and fondle it with love for its value is beyond price.
63. Green grass grows where dry desert ends.
64. Greet the sunrise with cries of joy.
65. Happiness is the wine that sharpens the taste of the meal.
66. Have confidence that this will be the best day of your life.
67. I can accomplish far more than I have, and I will, for why would the miracle which produced me end with my birth? Why can I not extend that miracle to my deeds of today?
68. I consider poverty to be the mark of a lack of ability or a lack of ambition.
69. I have a choice and I will not let my life be fed to swine nor will I let it be ground under the rocks of failure and despair to be broken open and devoured by the will of others.
70. I have not time to hate, only time to love.
71. I need not wait for I have the power to choose my own destiny.
72. I shall live this day as if it is my last. And if it is not, I shall fall to my knees and give thanks.
73. I will acknowledge rewards for they are my due; yet I will welcome obstacles for they are my challenge.
74. I will be successful.
75. I will command, and I will obey mine own command.
76. I will do the work that a failure will not do.
77. I will encourage my friends and they will become brothers.
78. I will endure sadness for it opens my soul.
79. I will form good habits and become their slave.
80. I will greet this day with love in my heart.
81. I will greet this day with love, and I will succeed.
82. I will laud mine enemies and they will become friends.
83. I will laugh at evil and it will die untasted.
84. I will look on all things with love, and I will be born again.
85. I will love all mankind.
86. I will love all manners of men for each has qualities to be admired even though they may be hidden.
87. I will love myself.
88. I will love the ambitious for they can inspire me!
89. I will love the beautiful for their eyes of sadness; I will love the ugly for their souls of peace.
90. I will love the failures for they can teach me.
91. I will love the kings for they are but human; I will love the meek for they are divine.
92. I will love the rich for they are yet lonely; I will love the poor for they are so many. I will love the young for the faith they hold; I will love the old for the wisdom they share.
93. I will persist until I succeed.
94. I will persist and I will win.
95. I will say it is done before the failure says it is too late.
96. I will talk when the failure remains silent.
97. I will think naught of my profession when I am in my home for this will dampen my love.
98. I will toil and I will endure.
99. I will walk where the failure fears to walk.
100. I will welcome happiness for it enlarges my heart.


Goal Processing: Resolution Help...

As you are working on setting your '08 goals, priorities and resolutions, review the 17 Goal Processing posts from the PLI blog in 2007.

2007 Goal Processing Posts

A few highlights...

  • When you start telling yourself you can't do something, flip it into a positive and shorten it.
  • Keep commitments to yourself first.
  • As you reach for your personal and professional goals, a powerful question to ask yourself is this, "For what am I willing to sacrifice average?"
  • How does leadership fit into your goals?
  • Your job as a leader is to step back and look at where you and your team have your focus - is it on unchangeable conditions or solvable causes?
  • God grant me... Processed Goals to live purposefully.
  • If you can't be excellent at IT, don't be IT at all.
  • You not only need to write down your goals, but you also need to write down the benefit of reaching each goal. Keeping your eye on your goal is important. Keeping your eye on the outcome of reaching your goal is more important.


General: 200 Words To Lead By

This is the Personal Leadership Insight's 200th post. So, here are exactly 200 words to lead by. These are the important ones.

inhale process exhale

soak up life

turn off the noise and just think

hug a loved one for more than five seconds

ask questions I should know the answer to

make eye contact

stop yelling for once in my life

inhale process exhale

call her

say I’m sorry

find out all the details this time

drive a different route

think before I eat

pray before I eat

think and pray before and after bed

stop talking about them

they aren't going to change

inhale process exhale

I'm not as important as I think I am

call people back earlier than later

be bold with my projects and tender with my people

help someone

get out of my little world

things are as bad as I think they are

but it could always be worse

inhale process exhale

stop whining

they just want to know I will be there for them

let someone else take the glory

just learn how to do it

he doesn’t dislike me

he dislikes everyone

she struggles just like me only she has the guts to show it

it will be okay in the end

if its not okay then you know its not the end


Innovative: Get In The Box

Pick up the January 2008 copy of the magazine Fast Company and flip to Chip and Dan Heath's monthly article (Made to Stick authors).

Basically they are making a point for getting in the box instead of getting out of the box when you need to get specifically creative. The secret is to just pick the right box.

I experienced this recently with the phenomenal student leaders known as the Wisconsin and Indiana FFA State Officers. Every fall I work with FFA leaders to create content and sharpen their delivery skills for spring banquet talks. These students will reach thousands of FFA members traveling their respective state.

Part of the training includes helping the students develop their speech topic, their main points and a list of potential supporting material. This creative process is exactly what Chip and Dan are talking about. Any moments of inspiration and innovative content creation came from working on a specific part of a speech. The inspiration didn't come from staring at a blank sheet. It was born from thinking about how to say this word better or that concept in a new way.

Processing Questions for PLI Curriculum Teachers/Trainers:

1. What area or project in your life needs some innovative or creative thinking?

2. What time and environment will allow you to just focus on this task?


Innovative: Fish Smoking

Find a creative way to say the same old thing and you are moving closer to earning attention instead of stealing it...

Processing Questions for PLI Curriculum Teachers/Trainers:

1. What is one topic or issue that people talk about so much that it gets ignored by most?

2. Come up with ways to express that topic or issue in a new way that grabs people’s attention.


Goal Processing: Compare Yourself...

Goal Processing: Compare Yourself...

...to the Last Year You.

Are you a healthier person?
Are you a wiser person?
Are your relationships stronger?
Are you more valuable at work?
Are you closer to your goals?
Are you a better person?

When you start your '08 goal planning, start with the answers to these questions.


Masterful Communication: Memorization Station

I don't often advocate memorizing content for presentations. However, there are times when you do need to memorize a portion of a presentation and very often presentation outlines need to be memorized. Following is a formula you can use to guarantee recall during your next keynote, workshop, class speech or professional presentation.
Memorization Station

You will remember any written text if you follow this formula. The Memorization Station works because of repetition, input varieties and word anchors. I once memorized a 30-page sales presentation using this formula.

Persistent Preparation Prevents Poor Performance
Your content should be as complete as possible a minimum of 21 days before your presentation. Complete doesn’t mean that you won’t make adjustments in the final three weeks, but this formula only truly works if you don’t make major adjustments mid-stream. The three week time period allows the material to make its way deeper into your memory.

Read it, Write it, Speak it, Hear it
Write your content out word for word at least once. You can type it for organization, editing and saving purposes, but actually write it out for memorization purposes. Next, read your content, word for word, out loud a minimum of 20 times start to finish. This step is really working on your brain strengthening the synapses created when you wrote it out. When you read a sheet of paper, your brain is taking a picture of that entire page and storing it in its entirety; even though you have to read it one word at a time.

Chunk it Down
Put your content into paragraphs. Number your paragraphs. Begin memorizing them one at a time. Do not go on to the next paragraph until the one before it is totally memorized and you can say it on command. Write out each paragraph on an index card and keep the one you are currently memorizing (and only that one) with you at all times. This step disciplines your brain to think about that piece of content as one piece of information. Therefore, if your content contains 10 paragraphs, your brain is essentially only needing to recall 10 unique elements during your presentation.

Outline it
After you have thoroughly memorized your content, take an index card and number out only the first words of each paragraph. This one card should be all you need to study from this point on. Most people stumble in a presentation trying to recall their very first words and/or when they have to move from paragraph to paragraph (major thought shifts.)

Good luck!


Fostering Relationships: 25 Cent Fundraising

Let's say you agree to give $.25 to a friend so they can buy a soda. What can the dynamics of that simple transaction teach us about effective fundraising?

1. He asked. Seems simple, but how much money has your organization lost simply because you haven't asked for it.

2. He asked for exactly $.25. You don't want to limit what people could possibly give, but it helped your transaction tremendously when he said he only needed a quarter. An unclear amount expectation can be a big wall.

3. He is a friend. Your relationship with your buddy applied the grease that made the transaction run quicker, smoother and with very little friction.

4. He had a very specific need. You knew exactly where your money would go.

5. You could relate with his need. Your friend was thirsty; a state of being you have been many times. This personal experience allowed you to sympathize for him and made it more likely for you to give.

6. You had the quarter on you and could hand it to him. This is about logistics. Dealing with if your potential givers will give is important and so is can your potential givers give?

7. You trusted he would use the $.25 to actually buy a coke. Why should your target market trust you? How have you built this trust? How will you continue to foster trust?

Master these dynamics and you are on your way to knowing how to get people to give you and your cause money.

Processing Questions for PLI Curriculum Teachers/Trainers:

1. Who have you been forgetting to ask?

2. What amount do you need or are looking for?

3. What are some ways that you can begin to build relationships with potential sponsors?

4. What value can you add to this relationship with your potential sponsors?


Masterful Communication: Confidence

Regarding giving presentations, you can't improve confidence by dealing with confidence. You improve your confidence by absolutely knowing your subject and by making a connection with your audience as soon as possible and as often as possible.

Processing Questions for PLI Curriculum Teachers/Trainers:

1. What skill or subject matter in your presentations could use some improvement?

2. Who are some people that could help you grow in this area?

3. What other resources are available to you to help you grow and build confidence in this area?


Integrity: What Produces Competency and Trust?

(Download and hang up the PDF...)

Processing Questions for PLI Curriculum Teachers/Trainers:

Know yourself

1. What is your personal mission statement?

2. What is your leadership philosophy?

3. What do you excel at? What are some of your strengths?

Grow yourself

1. Who is a person that can serve as your personal coach for skill you want to develop?

2. Who is a trusted individual that can serve as a mentor and can help you develop a growth plan?

Know others

1. What is the value of knowing the personalities, strengths and weaknesses of those you work with?

2. How can you go about getting to know those around you better?

Grow Others

1. How can you be a mentor to others?

2. Who is someone you can help develop?

3. What is the value in helping others succeed?


Teaching PLI: Breaking Down Personal Leadership Insight

Personal Leadership Insight is the curriculum we teach to thousands of students, educators and business professionals every year. The definition of PLI explains how Expert leadership works.

"Personal Leadership Insight is our understanding of how to positively influence people and situations to create value and growth."

Let's break down this definition to find the meaning behind it...

1. Understanding - Every time we teach PLI in our keynotes and workshops, we are working on the audience's intellectual and emotional understanding of leadership. Our disclaimer is, "This material only works if you do." Improvement in the area of leadership is just like improvement with any physical task. You can learn about golf by reading a golf book or attending a golf seminar, but you can only improve by physically doing it.

2. Positively - Leadership has both a positive and negative effect. By studying and applying the PLI Essentials, you learn how to maximize the presence and the impact of your positive influence. Expert leaders focus on, encourage, expect and draw out the positive.

3. Influence - Leadership is influence; this is the core mechanism that allows leadership to work. Expert leaders are very self-aware of their influence type and size.

4. People - Leadership is a team sport. Leaders come in all different shapes, sizes and personality types. Some are extroverts and some are introverts. However, the constant in leadership is that it involves people. Five out of the ten PLI Essentials are either totally or partially about understanding human relations. Expert leaders love people and love leading people.

5. Situations - Although leadership is primarily about motivating and moving people, there are many instances when a leader's impact is made through their competence in tasks. Expert leaders understand how to maximize their positive impact in a variety of common and uncommon situations.

6. Create Value - Throughout the PLI curriculum we teach leaders how to be more valuable to their organizations (family, friends, business, associations, community, etc.). Expert leaders constantly have their "how can I add value here" radar on.

7. Growth - This final portion of the PLI definition provides context for value creation. Expert leaders invest their emotional, intellectual and physical energy in growing their organizations, people, resources, skills, and influence. Expert leaders understand there is always room to grow and they clearly see how to get there.
Processing Questions for PLI Curriculum Teachers/Trainers:
1. What are some ways you can help increase your understanding of leadership?

2. How can you help develop others in a positive manner?

3. What are some ways you can remind yourself on a daily basis to stay positive?

4. What is your influence type? How do YOU influence others?

5. What can you do each day to spread your positive influence?

6. What is the value in building relationships with those around you?

7. What are some things you can do each day to strengthen your relationships with others? How can you add value to their life?

8. What skills could you improve in order to maximize their impact?

9. What resources/people are available to help you improve in these areas?

10. Why is it important to add value to your organization (Family, friends, business, association, community, etc)?

11. What can you do before the end of today to add value?


Skill Assessment: Where is Your Focus?

Leaders are constantly interested in improvement. Making things better drives their thinking, their value system, and their behavior. However, you can't change something (for better or worse) unless you can measure movement.

So, how can you measure how far you have progressed on the road to being the most effective leader you can be? Try thinking about that in terms of what your primary focus is every day. There are four options:

1. Focused on Growing Self. You feel your primary task in the area of leadership is learning. Knowledge aquisition. Understanding and applying the basic principles. What is this world all about? If you are here, your focus is on where you are headed and what you need to get there. Your satisfaction is derived from closing your knowledge gaps. Your confidence comes from other people acknowledging your learning.

2. Focused on Knowing Self. At this stage, your learning is sharply directed inward. You spend your disposable leadership development energy on becoming keenly self-aware. Where are your talents, strengths and abilities most needed? Where do you fit in the world? Your satisfaction is derived from closing the gap between where you are and where you think you should be in both your personal and professional leadership initiatives. Your confidence comes from achieving goals.

3. Focused on Knowing Others. Leaders in all areas of life reach a point where relationships are paramount. Not only in terms of personal importance and satisfaction, but also in terms of achieving their leadership initiatives. If you are at this point in your journey, you are primarily focused on understanding how to get the most out of others, how to deal with the challenges of working in teams, etc. If you are here, your focus is on your relationships and the impact they are having on your journey. Your satisfaction comes from developing healthy relationships. Your confidence comes from seeing those relationships create value for everyone involved.

4. Focused on Growing Others. The pinnacle of leadership is being focused on growing the leaders around you. Taking your finely tuned leadership abilities, your knowledge of self and your knowledge of human nature and assisting in, encouraging, and actively participating in the development of others. If you are here, your focus is simply on helping others navigate their leadership journey and doing so is the ultimate satisfaction. Your confidence is on auto-pilot at this point.

Two keys when thinking about your leadership journey using this metric:

Key 1. These are progressive; they build on the others. At focus level four, you are primarily focused on growing others, but you continue growing/knowing self and knowing others.

Key 2. If you are struggling with the focal point of a level, the first place to look for a remedy/answers is the focal point of a previous level. So, if you struggle with knowing others, you need to start with growing and/or knowing yourself.


Integrity: The Final Thoughts on Leadership

The Final Thoughts
by Rhett Laubach

(This is from a slide show I use in my keynotes. To view the actual slide show, click here.)

Take time to relax… you deserve it.

Grow trust… everything grows from there.

Find balance… it does exist.

Smile… you’ll look much better.

Seek knowledge, not data… data is cheap, knowledge is priceless.

Be enthusiastic… others will follow.

Enjoy your friends… you’ll have more.

Be a student… your brain will thank you for it.

Risk before value… value before valuable.

Communicate clearly… clear is rare.

Buck the system… or the system will buck you.

Create something beautiful… I need to be inspired.

Keep going… the view is phenomenal.

Everything is connected… neglect nothing.

Be a friend… to everyone.

See things differently… you’ll see different things.

Be a team player… the team will let you play.

Make a splash… make it big.

Leave your mark… leave it today.

Ask why… there is a much more to know.


Final Thoughts Slide Show

Your Next Speaker Final Thoughts

From: rhettdean, 3 minutes ago

This is a slide show we use in our leadership keynotes. If you like the content, you will love our programs. Check us out at www.YourNextSpeaker.com.

SlideShare Link


General: Student Leader Questions

At a recent FCCLA event, a few student leaders asked these questions...

How do I keep from procrastinating?

  • Chunk down your duties into bite-size pieces and move your projects forward one bite at a time. Don't wait to work on something until you can do all of it at once. You will be waiting forever. Do the most difficult things first and use the TCOIN method of spending your time. Take Care Of It Now. If you can do something in two-minutes or less, do it now! (Refer to David Allen's Getting Things Done for more ideas like this one.)

How can I be friendly with people around me that have traits I don't like?

  • Focus on common ground you have with that person. How are you the same?

How do I get everybody to participate in fundraising events?

  • 80% of the work in any organization (particularly volunteer-based) gets done by 20% of the people. Your goal is not to get everybody involved. It is to give everyone the chance to get involved, make it easy for them to do so and then reward and celebrate those that do (your 20%).

How do I handle it when I don't have an answer for someone who looks up to me as a mentor?

  • People will respect you more when you are honest with them. Therefore, just tell them you don't know the answer, but take steps to help them found out the answer. Just because you don't know something doesn't make you less of a leader. There are literally billions of things you don't know.

(There are more to follow...)


Service Minded: Best 10 Minutes of Your Morning

This week spend 10 minutes each morning thinking and/or journaling about one and only one thing: how you can repay three to five people who have helped you to get where you are today.

That's it. Simple. Pure. Powerful.


Goal Processing: Baby-Step It

When you start telling yourself you can't do something, flip it into a positive and shorten it. Baby-step it.

Replace... "I can't communicate better with my boss."

With... "I can make better eye contact with Jim."

Replace... "I can't lose 40 pounds."

With... "I can eat only half of my meals today."

Comment back with some goals you are struggling with that are long-term and overwhelming and I will help you shorten and flip them...
Processing Questions for PLI Curriculum Teachers/Trainers:
1. What is the value of baby stepping your goals (shortening and flipping)?


Goal Processing: Keep Commitments to Yourself

Keep commitments to yourself first. This isn't a statement advocating selfishness. This simply means we can get too good at breaking commitments to ourselves. Once or twice, this isn't detrimental. Over time it causes serious damage to our motivation, our happiness and our stress level.

Don't disappoint yourself.

Processing Questions for PLI Curriculum Teachers/Trainers:
1. What self commitments are you having trouble keeping?

2. What can you do to help keep these?


Emotional Maturity: Why Regret is a Double-Whammy

Regret is so detrimental to our emotional well-being because it is a today feeling about a yesterday action. It is a state that is both changeable (how I feel now) and unchangeable (what I did then.)

Regret can also be a double-whammy. If it doesn't change and you continue to let it live knowing you should change it, you now feel bad about what you did then and how you are feeling now.

This double-whammy effect is why regret should be vaccinated quickly. Some vaccination techniques...

1. Get your mental and emotional focus on something else.

2. Look for and celebrate the upsides of the situation.

3. Use positive language when talking about related events.

4. Don't put your focus on the regretful event. Don't bring it up in conversation (either with yourself or with others.)

Processing Questions for PLI Curriculum Teachers/Trainers:

1. Do you currently have a regret? If so what is it?

2. What about it do you wish you could change?

3. What personal changes do you need to make in order to ensure that the situation is not repeated?

4. What have you learned from the situation?


Skill Assessment: How Do You Do "I Don't Know?"

Effectively managing what we don't know is an important part of positively influencing others.

There are two forces at work here:

1. I don't know something that I need to know.

This is what David Allen calls an "open loop" - something we know needs to get done that is unfinished. Too many of these and our stress goes through the roof. The powerful part of closing knowledge-based open loops is, unless you forget it, that loop is closed for good. Once you know something, you know it forever, regardless of whether you have retained the ability to access it or not.

The next time you are faced with a situation where you can learn something you know you need to learn, stop and take time to close that loop.

2. I know there are literally billions of things I don't know.

"Effectively smart" people are those people who leverage their knowledge for meaningful good. A big part of their effectiveness comes from their ability to simultaneously juggle three dynamics:

  • Knowing they don't know everything about everything.

  • Being okay with and actually frank about this fact (because another part of their effectiveness is derived from their specialty knowledge - being really, really smart about a handful of subjects.)

  • Being able to not worry about the things they don't know, focus on the things they do know and surround themselves with people who can fill in the blanks.

Processing Questions for PLI Curriculum Teachers/Trainers:

1. What open loops are in your life?

2. What actions can you take to close them?

3. What are the subjects that you do know?

4. Why is it important to surround yourself with people who can fill in the blanks?


Emotional Maturity: Never Give In...

"This is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy." Winston Churchill


Teaching PLI: Take a Deeper Bite of PLI Via Del.icio.us

If you are a regular reader of the Personal Leadership Insight blog, you are already aware of our Del.icio.us tags. If not, please peruse the PLI Del.icio.us Tags in the right hand column.

Del.icio.us is a social bookmarking system where I share other PLI-relevant web pages. I read 40+ blogs per day and as I come across a post that is related to one of the PLI essentials or just leadership in general, I "tag" it. These tags are tracked under the PLI Del.icio.us Tags section. Here are our current numbers:

Total PLI Del.icio.us Tags (as of Sunday morning, October 28, 2007): 369

By PLI Essential:

Vision: 12
Integrity: 25
Innovative: 59
Wise Judgment: 24
Service Minded: 16
Goal Processing: 35
Skill Assessment: 29
Emotional Maturity: 29
Fostering Relationships: 37
Masterful Communication: 98

Finally, if you are a teacher, trainer or speaker and use the Personal Leadership Insight system to teach leadership, I highly recommend you leveraging the depth of the Del.icio.us tags to add additional power and learning to your PLI teachings.


Integrity: When Attending Conferences Is a Bad Thing

During the busiest month for conferences and conventions (October), it is relevant for us to take a quick look at the biggest downside of attending conferences - particularly leadership or other training conferences.

Attending conferences can be a bad thing when you don't keep the promises you make to yourself once you get back home.

One of the upsides of attending conferences is you get to learn new ideas, new methods, and challenge yourself to do better, perform better, and be better. However, if you fail to follow through on some or all of these commitments, you might as well have stayed home in the first place. Our most detrimental broken promises are the ones we break with ourselves.

So, set big goals, bring out the best in yourself and keep it out even after you get back home.
Processing Questions for PLI Curriculum Teachers/Trainers:
1. Why do we not always follow through on what we learned at conferences?

2. How can we work to make sure that we get the most out of the conferences and help ensure our follow through?


Fostering Relationships: Tips From an Expert Networker

Business networking tips from Luke Martin, former Personal Assistant to the Governor of Oklahoma and current new business development officer for an architecture firm in Oklahoma City...

1) Never forget a person's name. This includes remembering the correct pronunciation.

2) Never go straight to business no matter how pressed they are for time. If they like you, you get as long as you need or as long as you keep them engaged. I always try to have at least two if not three things to discuss other than my true reason for the appointment. Things I try to work in the opening conversation are family (wife, kids etc., depending on the person this is the most important thing in their life - you need to know their names and ask about them every time you see them) and hobbies (fishing, cattle, golf, football etc., you need to know what you are talking about to truly be sincere - if you don't know, ask them about it to learn more, people love to talk about their passions.)

3) Some say never get into politics or religion. I completely disagree, but I came from there so I guess it depends on the person. I have always felt if you are sincere it doesn't matter what the topic because you can find more things in common than not.

4) If meeting with someone I have never met and intend to build a relationship with I try to meet on their turf, take a quick survey of the office and always find at least two things that are important to them to discuss (awards, college attended, hobbies, etc.) In my office is a picture of my wife, signed Eddie Sutton photo and a golf ball. These are more than enough for you to ask me about. And if you do ask me, I will like you for noticing and taking an interest in my passions.

5) Call me old fashion, but I am a strong believer in handwritten thank you notes. I think there is a time and place for emails, but not until you get to know someone very well. They should be sent the same or the following day. I send approximately 5-10 notes out a day. Nobody does it anymore so it sets you apart.

6) I read local newspapers and magazines. Anytime I see someone in the paper, I cut out the article or picture and send it to them with a note. This is one more opportunity to get your name in front of someone and you are not asking for a thing. As stated above, people love hearing their name, but love seeing it in the news even more. The more times a prospective client or future client can hear and see your name and that you care about them, the better off you are.

In my job now, I pursue business about 25% of the time and the other 75% of the time is spent networking. So, when people think they want to design or build a building they think, "Luke Martin, let's call him and see if he is interested." So, network, network, network and the business will come to you. A good networker today is so far ahead of everyone else it is almost not fair, but being good at networking takes practice and many failed attempts and rejections.

To sum everything up...

  • Become their friend, it is true people like to do business with their friends, so if you become someone's friend you can always get what you want.

  • You need to be sincere or they (client, contact etc.) will see right through you. Genuine people that like you are your biggest asset, they will introduce you to everyone they know if you ask and a lot of times without asking.

  • I try to do things when I can to help my key contacts, but I never keep score. I just help when I can. I have a list of my top 10 contacts that have helped get me where I am today. I look at the list weekly (or try to) and spend 10 minutes thinking is there anything I have heard of or read that I can tell them to help their business.

Processing Questions for PLI Curriculum Teachers/Trainers:

1. Who is on your list of top ten contacts that have helped you? What opportunities can you look for to help repay them?

2. What are some things you can start today in order to increase your network?


Vision: Just Lucky I Guess

People who think success is just a matter of luck are less likely to enjoy job and life satisfaction. The reason is because the control has been taken out of their hands. If success and failure are just based on pure happenstance, then there is no real reason to work harder or more efficiently or more productively. There is no reason to set goals and work to achieve them. And when you extract purpose and direction and motivation from any equation (let alone work), what you have left is very less than satisfying. When the risk and mystery is gone (either success is or is not in the cards for me), then the game is boring and completely disengaging.

At the same time, any successful person will tell you a part of their success is based on lucky situations or turn of events. I believe this to be true to the extent they had to do something either intentionally or unintentionally to be in the right place at the right time to reap the benefits of those "lucky turn of events."

To extract more satisfaction from our work life (whether that be professional work, school work, hobby work or personal relationships work), we need to...

1. Believe fortune smiles on the diligent in labor.
2. Be thankful when it does.
3. Keep an optimistic vision set on a future full of risk and uncertainty
4. Do whatever we can today to create our own "luck" tomorrow
Processing Questions for PLI Curriculum Teachers/Trainers:
1.What can we do to help ensure that we are in a position to make the most of “lucky” situations?

2. What are some past successes that you have had?

3. What did you do in order to have that success? (I got lucky, is not a good answer. What caused that luck?)


Integrity: Leadership is Improvement

Stan Clark, President of Stan Clark Companies and co-founder of the famous Eskimo Joe's in Stillwater, Oklahoma, passed on to me some simplifying leadership wisdom he recently received...

"Leadership is improvement."

Processing Questions for PLI Curriculum Teachers/Trainers:

1. What are you doing to improve yourself?

2. What are you doing to improve others?

3. What in your school, organization or work can be improved?


Goal Processing: One More Benefit of Conferences

Setting personal and professional goals in a conference environment is different than in a home environment. The reason is because we stretch ourselves, our dreams, and our hopes a little further when surrounded by positive talk, positive people and positive thoughts. We set bigger goals. We set more challenging goals.

Its not that we are being wildly unrealistic while at remote locations or strange conference centers. We are simply tapping into the best of our abilities and setting goals based on how hard we can work at something as opposed to limiting our view based on how we are normally (which is average.) When at an out-of-the-ordinary experience, like leadership conferences, we tend to focus on the best of ourselves and our hopes.

The real secret here is to...

1. Make a point to attend conferences annually.
2. Set stretch goals that push our mental, physical, emotional and social limits.
3. Stay committed to these goals even when we get back to our normal, daily routine of life back at home and work.

Processing Questions for PLI Curriculum Teachers/Trainers:

1. What can we do to help set these higher goals even when we are not at a leadership conference?


Masterful Communication: Experts Aren't Always the Best Choice

When you need to communicate the details of something (a product's benefit, a new project concept, etc.), asking an expert can be the wrong move. The reason is experts don't remember what it is like not being an expert. This leads to information overload and leaving out simple details.

It is similar to me trying to explain something on the computer to my grandfather. It can't happen. I know too much about computers and grandpa knows too little. I have to tell my dad, who knows enough about computers to understand me and to provide good explanations to grandpa. When I try to talk to grandpa about computers, I leave out too many basics that I just take for granted.

A good example of this dynamic is product cross-selling. Don't have the product expert try to explain the features and benefits to novices (unless they are great at making things simple and visual.) Utilize an intermediary as a go-between.
Processing Questions for PLI Curriculum Teachers/Trainers:
1. Have you ever faced a situation like this?

2. What are some strategies we can use to be sure that we do not fall victim to the curse of knowledge?


Unmade Leader: Some Switches On... Some Switches Off

The big idea behind our upcoming book The Unmade Leader is "leaders are born and then unmade." For more reading about what this means, just click here.

I have spent the week traveling Colorado and speaking to over 1,600 high school students. It is amazing to see the wide range of leadership abilities. We have seen students on both ends of all seven Leadership Switches we discuss in The Unmade Leader.

We have seen students who were...

Very trustworthy... and students who broke our trust.

Very energetic... and students who were totally lethargic.

Curious about leadership, business, and improvement... and students who could care less.

Walking around with eyes wide open... and students who spent the conference not even looking for meaning.

Attracting others with smiles and encouragement... and students doing everything they could to keep people away.

Making great decisions... and students making poor decisions.

Comfortable with who they are... and students who were desperately trying to be somebody else.

The only downside of the type of training I do most of the time is I never really get to find out why students have their Leadership Switches turned on or off. No matter the reason, those of us who understand the power of the Switches need to just...

1. Work hard to keep our Switches on.
2. Remember the passive power of leading by example.
3. Encourage others that have their Switches already on to keep them that way.

Processing Questions for PLI Curriculum Teachers/Trainers:

1. Are any of your switches turned off?

2. What makes leaders turn off their switches?

3. What are some strategies that you can use to help ensure you keep your switches on?


Innovative: Dr. Burt Smith's Blog

My fellow NSA-Oklahoma peer, Dr. Burt Smith, is a marketing guru and a brand new owner of a blog! Check out his recent post on how it doesn't take much to be innovative...


Processing Questions for PLI Curriculum Teachers/Trainers:

1. Why is it important to be innovative?

2. When have you been innovative in the past?

3. What is something you use or do on a regular basis? How can you make it better?


Innovative: How to Create a Powerful Student Leadership Retreat

Denise Vaniadis is a master teacher, administrator and Student Council advisor (on the local, state and national levels) in Oklahoma. Her school has created a powerful student leadership retreat that is so popular they actually have to hold a lottery to decide which students get the privilege of attending. Only about 5% of their 4,000 student population can attend.

If you are interested in taking your local, state or national event to the next level, take some notes from Denise and her crew. This post is labeled under the PLI Essential of Innovative. Interestingly enough, you might not find her comments below that innovative. That is because it's not the ideas that make their event innovative. It is in how they approach the application of these points. The creativity lives in their passion, enthusiasm and attention to detail.

Here are Denise's five top reasons why her students are so emotionally tied into this annual two-day leadership training event...

1. Cascading Recruitment. We began with our Leadership Class students and recruited about 20 more kids we could identify as potential leaders. These numbers have continued to rise to the current level of 200+.

2. Curriculum Variety. While our focus is always character development, school spirit, personal development, and servant leadership, we vary the actual activities each year so that we could have kids for four years.

3. Indoctrinated Adult Staff. I am blessed to have a Principal who is a former Student Council advisor. He naturally buys in BIG TIME to what we do. Besides him, I went after the kids' favorite teachers to staff the retreat.

4. Amazing Setting. The camp ground is a fantastic environment with space for large and small group time plus recreation facilities.

5. Campfire Time. We built the evening campfire time to have a purpose and focus on tradition, school spirit, and legacy. The emphasis is passing the torch to the younger kids. They are instructed to give their "wish" to their class, their school in general, or to the underclassmen. They bring a "wish stick" to the campfire as a symbol. It's a very simple exercise, but it works powerfully year after year.

Denise would never add this sixth one, but I will tell you that her extreme professionalism, meticulus planning and over-the-top belief in the goodness of her students and in the power of high-level leadership training is a huge reason this event is a hit every year!


Wise Judgment: Have Mercy

We just presented at a leadership conference for 500 students in southern Oregon. We had eight of our best presenters working with these students for two full days on leadership and life skills. A good part of the students were respectful, attentive and ready to learn how to get better at life. However, there were certainly a large number of "squeaky wheels" that took our presentation energy and who spent their entire time at the conference being disruptive, disrespectful and, at certain times, just downright mean.

However, I have mercy for those kids. A teenager simply acts in response to their long-term environment. You can take a good kid, put them in a negative environment and, with enough time, they will make poor choices. And the reverse is true, as well. It saddens me as a trainer, speaker, coach and parent to see a young man disrespect a young woman in front of his peers because he simply doesn't know any better. Or to see a kid playing with his cell phone right through a life lesson that could have changed his entire life.

My wish is that every student leadership conference had mandatory attendance from the parents/guardians, as well. I firmly believe we are making a difference in the lives of young people with our Personal Leadership Insight conferences. I believe even more that for some of them, their parents/guardians need it much more.

With all that said, thanks to Asia and Cynthia and Tyler and all your positive peers for leaning into the conference and taking a ton away from the experience. We wish you the best.


Skill Assessment: The Little Things Make a Huge Difference

A few of my college buddies and I took a golf weekend trip to Scottsdale, AZ. We golfed 72 holes in 48 hours. We had a great time. Scottsdale is widely known as a golfing mecca. The courses were all beautiful and well worth the green fees.

However, the hospitality varied from some of the best I've seen at a golf course to leaving us wondering what grapefruit did the service training. One great example was on the last course of our trip and it demonstrates what can happen when an organization drops the ball in assessing and sharpening its customer-touch team's key skills.

The beverage cart came around and the lady asked us if we needed anything. We replied we would like her to take our picture. She quickly and shortly shot back, "OK. Are you going to get anything else?" It is difficult to transmit voice via text, but she did not act happy about this and did not have a smile on her face.

She took the picture and went on her way and received zero tips. All she had to do was to say something to the effect of, "I would love to!" Maybe put a smile on her face. Maybe even had some fun with it. Not only would she have received a tip for her services, we would have been more inclined to order something from her (resulting in more tips.)

It is amazing how the little things make a huge difference - especially when it comes to interpersonal relations. One little smile, a hop in her step and her results would have been totally different. This little tale is yet another testament to the fact that companies, organizations and associations need to make absolutely certain someone is watching to make certain the little things are working right.
Processing Questions for PLI Curriculum Teachers/Trainers:
1. Why is it that the little things can have a big impact?

2. When was a time you experienced a situation where a small change could have had a big impact?

3. In your life, what are the little changes that could be made to improve your quality of life?


Goal Processing: Sacrifice

As you reach for your personal and professional goals, a powerful question to ask yourself is this, "For what are you willing to sacrifice average?"

What do you want so bad that you will be willing to give up the anonymity, the comfort and the security of average? Within the answer to this question lies the energy and fervor (or lack thereof) of your journey towards your goal and, hopefully, greatness.

Processing Questions for PLI Curriculum Teachers/Trainers:

1. Why do people often settle for average?

2. For what are you willing to sacrifice average?

3. Now you will need to live beyond average, what does that look like for you?


Fostering Relationships: The Chicken Little

Chicken Little was confused and mistaken. He thought the cartoon acorn that hit him on his cartoon head was the cartoon sky. He thought the sky was falling.

There are chicken littles in the real world, too. They are also confused and mistaken. But they are most aptly defined by their contagious negative attitude. Chicken littles in the real world brighten a room whenever they leave the room.

You probably have one or more chicken littles in your life today, either at home or work or both. These are the people that always have something going wrong, they will always tell you why something can't or won't happen and they seemingly love to point out your faults. For a chicken little, every "sky" is falling somewhere.

What is the best way to deal with these little chickens? Can they have their mind changed? Why, out of all the emotions in the human spirit, have they chosen to allow a negative attitude define them?

Here are three "understandings" that should help you to deal with and make life bearable (and maybe even better) for you and for your chicken littles...

1. Understand they weren't born negative - they became conditioned over time. They learned this mode of operation slowly over the years. If you view your little chickens' negative attitude as a pervasive condition of their life, many times this makes it easier to deal with them because you know they don't have a beef with you, they have a beef with everyone and everything.

2. Understand they can't be "chicken big" overnight - it will take time. Chicken littles have perfected the art of negativity. Depending on their age, they may have been little for a long time. Don't expect overnight results or changes, but do expect them to respond (even in small, subtle ways) to your positive influence.

3. Understand you can't change a chicken little - only they can. Chicken littles are the way they are for a reason. More than likely they enjoy (even if in a very twisted way) the results they get from being negative. It is a safe place to play - never getting your hopes up and always having low expectations. It is also an easy place to play because chicken littles are all about problems and not solutions. The problems are easily recognizable and take zero work. Solutions are many times difficult to see and obviously require action to come to life. A chicken little will only change if they are presented with enough evidence that it is worth the change. Your positive behavior and language can be this evidence.

Just remember, little people talk about problems... big people talk about solutions. Be big.
Processing Questions for PLI Curriculum Teachers/Trainers:
1. Why do you think people have a negative attitude?

2. What are the benefits of having a positive attitude?

3. What are the steps you can take today to have a positive attitude at work? At home? In relationships with others?


Masterful Communcation: 5 Quick Speaking Tips

  • Index your information with keywords

  • Prepare, but don't overprepare

  • Make direct eye contact with the audience

  • Be authentic

  • Have a conversational speaking style

Click on the following link to watch an interview I did on September 10, 2007 for Oklahoma City's News Channel 5 about these speaking tips...



Integrity: The End Result of Authenticity

Read these words in the context of how others respond to you being yourself as a leader...

Authenticity leads to transparency.

Transparency leads to

Honesty leads to confidence.

Confidence leads to trust.

After all, trust is what it is all about.
Processing Questions for PLI Curriculum Teachers/Trainers:
1. What does being authentic mean to you?

2. How can you be more authentic?


Fostering Relationships: The Coach's Five Conversations

If you are called to lead or manage employees, add power to your employee evaluation process by including one or all of the following five questions in your meetings. What you will find is you will be more aptly called a coach and your evaluations will transform into conversations. Ask them the questions and then just listen. The words in parenthesis are what you are ultimately listening for...

1. What is challenging you the most? (Let them identify areas of improvement.)

2. What have been your best moments since we last spoke? (Let them celebrate success.)

3. If you could change one thing around here, what would it be? (Let them offer you advice.)

4. What do you need to do your job better? (Let them help you see process/system breakdowns from their point of view.)

5. Tell me some great things you've seen in other individuals. (Let them build up peers and self-identify areas where they can be great.)

Why is this approach powerful? Because most evaluation sessions are one-sided with the manager doing all the talking. The conversation approach interrupts this pattern and turns the evaluation meeting into a discussion of performance and puts the focus on the relationship, instead of just the result.


Integrity: The Clark Kent Effect


The corporate and education worlds are full of people who want to be Superman. They want to possess super leadership powers that will allow them to communicate at the speed of light, inspire others to leap buildings in a single bound and see straight through the walls people/competitors/potential buyers put up.

The challenge here is the Clark Kent Effect. If you want to be Superman, you have to be Clark Kent, also. You have to be okay with not being in power. You have to understand that Superman was a hero not because of his powers, but because of what he did with his powers. This strength of character, inspiring integrity and service-mindedness lived within Clark Kent. It just so happened he had the powers to help others in extraordinary ways as Superman.

If you want to be Superman (or Superwoman), be Clark Kent first. Be yourself. Be humble. Be a klutz. Be a person of integrity.

Processing Questions for PLI Curriculum Teachers/Trainers:

1. What is the meaning behind the phrase “Superman was a hero not because of his powers but because of what he did with his powers” and how does it apply to our everyday lives?

2. What strategies can you put to use today so that you too will be able to be a superman?


Emotional Maturity: The Danger of Pushing Back

Two people are standing, facing each other, hands raised to shoulder-height and palms open. They touch palms and lean towards each other. As the leaning begins, a balance is achieved to prevent either person from falling. Then something happens that disrupts the balance - someone starts pushing. This action not only breaks the balance, but it causes the other person to push back out of self-defense. Of course, this response is met with more pushing. And the cycle continues until someone is tired of either pushing back or being pushed.

This demonstration happens everyday in relationships. Things are going great. There are palms touched (making a connection with others.) There is a balance (mutual trust.) Then the pushing begins (aggression, broken trust, tempers, etc.) This action causes the other person to push back and things get out of hand.

So, how can you avoid this situation? Two ways...

1. When you achieve a balance with others, maintain it. Be truthful. Be respectful. Think before you talk. Thoughtfully consider their point of view. Understand that there is a "leaning" going on - that you are connected to others and that your behavior affects their life. Live outside yourself.

2. When someone starts pushing you or when you find yourself starting to push, step away. Don't make others push back and don't waste your energy pushing back. The secret learning in the analogy above is that as soon as one of the parties stops pushing, the pusher stops as well because there is nothing left to push on. This attention and tension break stops the vicious cycle and balance has a better chance to succeed again.

Processing Questions for PLI Curriculum Teachers/Trainers:

1. Why do you think the pushing starts?

2. When was a time that “pushing” ruined a close relationship in your life?


Masterful Communication: The Seven Speaking Skills

The following seven skills are at the core of what we teach to our professional, pageant and student presentation coaching clients...

Lady Speaking with Small Group

1. Authenticity is your number one goal. The best communicators know who they are, have a real-life bond with their content and strive to make a genuine connection with their audience. The biggest challenge on the road to speaking success is getting out of your own way and letting the best of the real you shine through.

2. Nervousness and excitement are chemically exactly the same. To the human body, there is no difference between being very nervous and very excited. Don't worry about getting rid of your nerves. Begin down the path of controlling your nerves by simply thinking about them differently. Accept that it is ok to be nervous and leverage your nerves to keep you on your toes.

3. Engage your audience quickly to control their attention. Almost as important as controlling your nerves is controlling the audience's focus. Get them involved in your presentation right from the start. Ask a question. Have them share with a partner. Get them physically moving. Make them laugh. Etc.

4. Send your message through the CVS test. In today's noisy world, the most effective messages cut to the core quickly. Make sure your messages are Concrete (don't make me search too hard for the meaning), Visual (help me see it) and Simple (I'm busy - your message shouldn't be.) The quickest way to achieve CVS is through good story-telling.

5. Master the art of indexing and filtering. Great presenters are great at preparing their content. They index information based on a set range of categories, topics, types of content, etc. they deem necessary for their presentations. We refer to these as buckets. Then they fill these buckets as full as they can. The important step comes during preparation - filtering down the information based on authenticity and the CVS test.

6. Your body language sends thousands of messages while your words only send a few. The most important body language is eye contact. You should make it with specific people and make it often. Think of any presentation as a string of smaller conversations with a number of different people. Beyond that, think moderation and variety when it comes to hand movements, walking, pace, volume, and facial expressions.

7. You can (and should) develop your ability to communicate. Communicating effectively is one-part technical, one-part mental and one-part habitual. No matter your experience level, all three of these can be sharpened and improved. More importantly, because our relationships, influence level and, in many cases, earning ability are dramatically impacted by our speaking skills, you should work to implement these skills this week. If you need more help, contact us. We would love to work with you.

Processing Questions for PLI Curriculum Teachers/Trainers:

1. What makes up the best you?

2. Why is it important to get your audience engaged early?

3. Who was the best speaker you have ever seen? What was their message? Why was it memorable?

4. What are some strategies for indexing your content?

5. Why is it important to make eye contact with individuals?