10 traits shared by Great Leaders and Great Followers alike

climb the ladder of success

The traits of great leadership are to be admired. And often they are a prerequisite to manage a high performing team or to take a start-up from humble beginnings to roaring success. But the healthy relationship between leadership and followership is critical. Standing alone, a leader achieves nothing but mediocrity. Click this link for the 10 traits shared by great leaders and great followers alike. Together, they work in concert….

Kevin Baum

The One Thing Successful People Never Do

Success winner womanSuccess comes in all shapes and colours. You can be successful in your job and career but you can equally be successful in your marriage, at sports or a hobby. Whatever success you are after there is one thing all radically successful people have in common: Their ferocious drive and hunger for success makes them never give up….

Click here for complete article by a great influencer, Bernard Marr http://tinyurl.com/n43rfhn

Know what Brings you JOY ~ Do those activities EVERY DAY!

Excited Baby Girl


There are lots of easy ways you can boost your happiness level. Here are a few to help you get started.

1) Know You Deserve Happiness and Make It A Priority

Do you believe you deserve to be happy? Do you allow yourself to be happy? Well, you do deserve happiness and you must allow yourself bliss! In fact I believe it’s a huge priority with an even bigger payoff. There’s no downside to increasing your positivity. What can you gain? Only a more fulfilling life and better business!

2) Uncover and Release What’s Draining You

Do you have responsibilities or circumstances in your life that drain you that you can let go of?   Are there negative people in your life you can release? You’d be surprised how freeing it can be to get rid of the gunk that’s holding you back.  Surround yourself with people and things that inspire you to be great!!

3)  Happiness is a CHOICE!  YOU are responsible for your own happiness.  When you accept accountability you understand that you can CHOOSE HAPPINESS whenever you want or need to. Stop allowing life’s little annoyances – like a long line at the bank or just missing the subway – ruin your mood. How you react to others and what’s happening around you is up to you. Make it work for you!

4) Do More of What Makes You Happy

Do you know what brings you joy?  You need to know what brings you pleasure and do more of that regularly!  One way to tap into it is to create a happiness list of things that delight you and then DO those things more. It can be as simple as buying yourself fresh flowers once a month, or calling a friend more regularly.  These small actions can have a big impact.


Once you’ve amped up your happiness, you’ll feel more confident and comfortable in your own skin.  And that translates into a more dazzling you that will attract potential new clients and business partners.

“The Joy of the Lord is My Strength!”  Nehemiah 8:10

Ask … How? When? Why?

Ten Techniques for Building Quick Rapport With Anyone  was a very helpful article in the professional online magazine, Inc.com . “It’s Not All About Me” will be my next book!

My Number ONE take way was: Demonstrating thoughtfulness in words and actions with everyone in our lives is a simple and effective way to improve our relationships

ten techniques for building quick rapport

**Warning – the content in this post is so effective that I encourage you to think carefully how it is used. I do not endorse or condone the use of these skills in malicious or deceptive ways**

I’m not quite sure how I came across Robin Dreeke’s It’s Not All About Me but I’m glad I did.

Robin is the lead instructor at the FBI’s Counterintelligence Training Center in all behavioral and interpersonal skills training.

And he wrote an awesome book on how to master the skills of communication.

His process not only includes research into social and evolutionary psychology, but it’s been honed from years of field experience.

I’ve been trying these out over the last few days and I’ve already noticed an improvement. Most importantly, I’ve put away my phone and focused on the person with whom I’m talking. This simple act of giving people my undivided attention has made a world of difference.

There are not many places that teach these techniques and I couldn’t have asked for a better guide than Robin.

1. Establishing Artificial Time Constraints

I suspect you’ve sat in a bar at one point or another and been approached by a stranger who tried to start a conversation. My guess is you felt awkward or possibly even uncomfortable. This is because you didn’t know when or if the conversation would end.

The first step in the process of developing great rapport and having great conversations is letting the other person know that there is an end in sight, and it is really close.

When you approach someone to start a conversation most people assess the situation for threat before anything else.

Humans have genetically survived because of this. This is a strong reason why these techniques work; they are specifically designed to lower the perceived risk to a stranger.

2. Accommodating Nonverbals

This is a pretty simple one. You want to look non threatening. The number one nonverbal technique to use to look more accommodating is to smile.

This isn’t new. It’s the second of six principles in Dale Carnegie’s book, How to Win Friends and Influence People.

You can however accentuate your smile in a subtle way.

Adding a slight head tilt shows the other person that you have comfort with them and trust them. Another nonverbal to try and maintain is a slightly lower chin angle.

High chin angles make someone feel like you’re looking down at them.

Another key nonverbal is body angle. Standing toe to toe with someone else can be intimidating.

A slight body angle or blade away from the individual you are engaging will present a much more accommodating nonverbal.

How you shake hands matters too.

An accommodating handshake is one that matches the strength of the other, and also takes more of a palm up angle.

3. Slower Rate of Speech

Speaking fast may mean you’re excited. It may even mean that you know what you’re talking about. However speaking slowly gives you more credibility.

Whenever I have a conversation that I believe is important for me to be credible in my content, I purposely slow down the delivery and take pauses for people to absorb the content of what I have just said.

4. Sympathy or Assistance Theme

If you’re like most people, you’ve felt a bit of regret for turning down someone seeking help.

Think for a moment about the times in your life when you have either sought assistance or been asked to provide it. When the request is simple, of limited duration, and non-threatening, we are more inclined to accommodate the request. As human beings, we are biologically conditioned to accommodate requests for assistance. The compulsion is based upon the fact that our ancient ancestors knew that if they did not provide assistance when asked, the assistance would not be granted to them if requested at a later date.

5. Ego Suspension

This may be the most rewarding and most difficult of all of Robin’s techniques.

Suspending your ego is nothing more complex than putting other individuals’ wants, needs, and perceptions of reality ahead of your own. Most times, when two individuals engage in a conversation, each patiently waits for the other person to be done with whatever story he or she is telling. Then, the other person tells his or her own story, usually on a related topic and often times in an attempt to have a better and more interesting story. Individuals practicing good ego suspension would continue to encourage the other individual to talk about his or her story, neglecting their own need to share what they think is a great story.

6. Validate Others

There are many types of validation. Robin identifies three of them.

Listening This is the simplest and one of the most effective. Just listen to someone can produce amazing results. Where we run into problems is keeping our own thoughts, ideas, and stories out of the conversation.

True validation coupled with ego suspension means that you have no story to offer, that you are there simply to hear theirs.

And there is another benefit. When the focus is on the other person and we’re not anxious to tell our own story, we also tend to remember the details. We’re mindful.


… few people naturally use this to its fullest potential, and, most of the time, we don’t realize when it is being used; all we know is we really like the person who gives it.

Demonstrating thoughtfulness in words and actions with everyone in our lives is a simple and effective way to improve our relationships.

Validate Thoughts and Opinions This technique is quite difficult because of “our innate need to correct others and the difficulty we have suppressing our own egos.”

But if you remember that we like people who are like us, you’ll immediately grasp the power of validating thoughts and opinions of others.

The best way to get someone to do what you want them to do is to have them come up with the idea. The best way to have them come up with your idea is, no surprise, to honestly understand the other person’s point of view and then build upon that base with your ideas.

7. Ask … How? When? Why?

It’s hard to answer these questions with a simple yes or no.

Once the individual being targeted in the conversation supplies more words and thoughts, a great conversationalist will utilize the content given and continue to ask open ended questions about the same content. The entire time, the individual being targeted is the one supplying the content of the conversation.

This means suppressing your ego and listening to what people are saying. You’re not thinking about what you’re going to say next. You’re not thinking about how the person is wrong. If you’re really listening then asking open ended questions based on the content of what they are saying should be pretty easy.

8. Connect with Quid Pro Quo

In the context of a conversation this means giving up a little information about yourself in order to further the conversation and get a little from others.

In my experiences, there are really only two types of situations where I have utilized quid pro quo. The first and more common of the instances is when you attempt to converse with someone who is either very introverted, guarded, or both. The second instance is when the person you are conversing with suddenly becomes very aware about how much they have been speaking, and they suddenly feel awkward. In both instances, giving a little information about you will help alleviate some of the issues.

9. Gift Giving

This is conversational reciprocation in action.

Great rapport builders and conversationalists use this desire proactively during every conversation. This technique, coupled with ego suspension, are the cornerstones for building great relationships. This is also the easiest technique to utilize, because gifts come in many forms, from non-material compliments, to tangible material gifts. Gift giving, or reciprocal altruism, is hardwired in our genetics.

The key is to do this without an agenda. If you have an agenda you’ll come across as insincere.

10. Manage Expectations

Regardless of the situation, whether it is an altruistic intention or not, there is an agenda. The individuals in life that are able to either mask their agenda or shift the agenda to something altruistic will have great success at building rapport.

The surest way to avoid disappointment is to lower expectations.

If you’re looking to improve the connections you have with others, give it a read.

by Shane Parrish


The practice of goal-setting is not just helpful, it is a prerequisite for happiness

Ask people if they believe in the power of written goals. Every hand will shoot up. Ask how many of them have written goals for this year, very few hands go up.

Michael Hyatt… continue to read more …

The Beginner’s Guide to Goal Setting

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/vernonwiley

Those who write their goals down accomplish significantly more than those who do not write their goals.  Some of this, I suppose, is just inertia. But from years as a corporate executive and now as a mentor, coach, and occasional consultant, I know that most people have just never been taught how to write effective goals.

With that in mind, I wanted to offer a basic goal-setting primer. You can find plenty of advice online, but these are the five principles I follow in my own practice:

  1. Keep them few in number. Productivity studies show that you really can’t focus on more than 5–7 items at any one time. And don’t try to cheat by including sections with several goals under each section. This is a recipe for losing focus and accomplishing very little. Instead, focus on a handful of goals that you can repeat almost from memory.
  2. Make them “smart.” This is an acronym, as you probably know, and it is interpreted in various ways by different teachers. When I refer to smart goals, I mean this. Goals must meet five criteria. They must be:
    • Specific—your goals must identify exactly what you want to accomplish in as much specificity as you can muster.
      Bad: Write a book. Good: Write a book proposal for The Life Plan Manifesto.
    • Measurable—as the old adage says, “you can’t manage what you can’t measure.” If possible, try to quantify the result. You want to know absolutely, positively whether or not you hit the goal.
      Bad: “Earn more this year than last.” Good: “Earn $5,000 more this year than last.”
    • Actionable—every goal should start with an action verb (e.g., “quit,” “run,” “finish,” “eliminate,” etc.) rather than a to-be verb (e.g., “am,” “be,” “have,” etc.)
      Bad: Be more consistent in blogging. Good: Write two blog posts per week.
    • Realistic—you have to be careful here. A good goal should stretch you, but you have to add a dose of common sense. I go right up to the edge of my comfort zone and then step over it. (If I am not out of my comfort zone, I’m not thinking big enough.)
      Bad: Qualify for the PGA Tour. Good: Lower my golf handicap by four strokes.
    • Time-bound—every goal needs a date associated with it. When do you plan to deliver on that goal. It could be by year-end (December 31) or it could be more near-term (September 30). A goal without a date is just a dream. Make sure that every goal ends with a by when date.
      Bad: Lose 20 pounds. Good: Lose 20 pounds by December 31st.
  3. Write them down. This is critical. There is a huge power in writing your goals down even if you never develop an action plan or do anything else (not recommended). Henriette Anne Klauser documents this in her fascinating book, Write It Down and Make It Happen. When you write something down, you are stating your intention and setting things in motion.
  4. Review them frequently. While writing your goals down is a powerful exercise in itself, the real juice is in reviewing them on a regular basis. This is what turns them into reality. Every time I review my goals, I ask myself, What’s the next step I need to take to move toward this goal. You can review them daily, weekly, or monthly. (I review them weekly.) It’s up to you. The key is to do let them inspire and populate your daily task list.
  5. Share them selectively. I used to advise people to “go public” with their goals—even blog about them. But in his 2010 TED talk, Derek Sivers makes the compelling case that telling someone your goals makes them less likely to happen. Now I counsel people not to share them with anyone who is not committed to helping you achieve them (e.g., your mentor, mastermind group, or business partner).

The practice of goal-setting is not just helpful; it is a prerequisite for happiness. Psychologists tell us that people who make consistent progress toward meaningful goals live happier more satisfied lives than those who don’t.

If you don’t have written goals, let me encourage you to make an appointment on your calendar to work on them. You can get a rough draft done in as little as an hour or two. Few things in life pay such rich dividends for such a modest investment.

Take Care of YOU!

Take some GUILT FREE time this weekend to do something JUST for YOU.
Re-charge a little, give yourself some attention. Take care of your body, your mind, & your spirit.
Sometimes we’re so busy taking care of the whole darned world there doesn’t seem to be much left for ourselves.  We forget when we don’t take care of OURSELVES, soon we can’t take care of ANYTHING!
So no guilt. No excuses. Take care of YOU!
by: Connie Podesta

10 Hot Buttons That Instantly Connect With Gen Y Job Seekers

How Millennials Think, and What To Do About It

You can gripe about Gen Y all you want. But if you can’t attract them, you’re going to lose the war for talent.   I have enjoyed reading Jason Ryan Dorsey’s book, Y-Size Your Business ~ How Gen Y Employees Can Save You Money and Grow Your Business.


10 Hot Buttons That Instantly Connect With Gen Y Job Seekers

1. Fun work environment.

2. Show them the types of challenges they will face in their first month and they will want the trophy.

3. Creativity ~ Allowing them to color outside the lines!

4. Opportunity ~ Show them alternative paths to where they can go.  They have BIG expectations for their future!

5. Ethics ~  Share your values; your company’s values and  mission statement.

6. Entrepreneurship ~ Give them a sense of ownership on the job.

7. Lifestyle!! Gen Y is looking for flexibility.

8. Diversity ~ Show them how you embrace all types of diversity.  They want to “be themselves”.

9. Technology ~ They love gadgets and trying out new technology!

10. Mission ~ Focus on your mission; the WHY behind your business.  When you bring your mission to life, you offer Gen Y a chance to be part of the difference and play a role in the results!

Author, Jason Ryan Dorsey

Who Are Your Heroes?


The 4th of July!  Our country’s celebration of Independence Day is a day to remember the beginnings of our nation.  This should be a time for reflection and a time for parades, picnics, for family and community gatherings.

Let’s remember our “heroes”.  The heroes are our soldiers in the field right now, defending our freedoms.  We should all be proud and should pray daily for their safe return home.  Pray for their families and for what their lives will be like when they return home. Those serving in the military and their families have a special place in my heart.

Who are your heroes?  Heroes are not famous, most of them aren’t. Most of them are just regular people.  Teachers, police officers, firefighters, and paramedics head up the list.  Heroes are moms and dads, animal rescuers, farmers, volunteers, foster parents, those who work with the homeless, the elderly, the disabled, the sick, or the dying.

Take a moment today to consider the writers and signers of our founding documents; they risked everything right down to their lives. They were afraid for themselves and their families, but they signed, they stood up, they persevered.  Since that day, and throughout our country’s history, it is every man and woman who worked hard, dreamed, stood up against the odds, and just showed up every day to keep things working right.

Make it your goal to be someone’s hero today!


Dream BIG!

Dream Big in sand

Dream BIG!  Every great dream begins with a Dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the Strength, the Patience, and the Passion to Reach for the Stars to Change the World!

Once you have the Dream in your heart, Set specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time sensitive goals to take you step by step toward your dream.  Daily action goals need to be evaluated.

Ask yourself,  “Is the business activity that I am doing right now taking me closer to my dream?”  If not, then make a switch.  Do the hard stuff first every single day!  Your Dream can and WILL become a REALITY!