Lesson 16: Optimism is Learned

A story is told of a very old lady who looked in the mirror one morning. She had three remaining hairs on her head, and being a positive soul, she said, “I think I’ll braid my hair today.” So she braided her three hairs, and she had a great day. Some days later, looking in the mirror one morning, preparing for her day, she saw that she had only two hairs remaining. “Hmm, two hairs… I fancy a centre parting today.” She duly parted her two hairs, and as ever, she had a great day. A week or so later, she saw that she had just one hair left on her head. “One hair huh…,” she mused, “I know, a pony-tail will be perfect.” And again, she had a great day. A few weeks later, she looked in the mirror. Continue Reading

Lesson 15: What Goes Around Comes Around

“Networking is not about hunting. It is about farming. It’s about cultivating relationships. Don’t engage in ‘premature solicitation’. You’ll be a better networker if you remember that.”   Ivan Misner   In their book “Make Your Contacts Count”, Barber & Waymon describe networking as the deliberate process of exchanging information, resources, support and access in such a way as to create mutually beneficial relationships for professional and personal success. It’s easy to think about business networking as going out hunting. I have attended networking forums where you can clearly see those who are on the ‘prowl’. They are ready to fire off their 30 second elevator pitch, to thrust another business card in someone’s hands – clearly their goal is to ‘work’ the room. But business networking is more than just swapping business cards or working a room. At it’s Continue Reading

Lesson 14: Throw Off The Shackles Of Security

“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” — Helen Keller A story is told of a blind man who had been waiting a while at a busy road for someone to offer to guide him across, when he felt a tap on his shoulder. “Excuse me,” said the tapper, “I’m blind – would you mind guiding me across the road?” The first blind man took the arm of the second blind man, and they both crossed the road. When asked later, the first blind man, jazz pianist George Shearing, is quoted as saying, “What could I do? I took him across and it was the Continue Reading

Lesson 13: Communication: The Key To Leadership Success

“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others”   Anthony Robbins.       I have learned that effective communication is essential for success.  As a matter of fact, your ability to communicate effectively will be your greatest weakness or biggest loss. If you’re a good and effective communicator, you’re better able to persuade people, and influence others. You can inspire, motivate, and encourage. You can also make interesting conversation and network easier, speaking with self-confidence and credibility. The better your communication skills, the greater the leadership success you can achieve. The importance of communication skills cannot be understated, it is more than just a “nice to have” skill. So how do you ensure that you are communicating Continue Reading