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?