Tag Archives: resiliency

Do You Know Your Own “Why”

As a leader of others, do you know your own “Why”? Are you committed to this core belief? Are you able to communicate this belief clearly and consistently? Leaders are not leaders unless they have followers and people will not follow us unless they embrace the fundamental “Why” of our actions

In his book, Start With Why, Sinek describes this dynamic as the Golden Circle and maintains this is not just opinion but actually well grounded in the study of how our brains work. While on stage, he draws out 3 concentric circles on a flip chart. The “Why” is the center powered by our Limbic (emotional) brain. The next circle illustrates the “How” – the mechanics of how things get done. Finally, the outer circle is the easiest to describe – that’s the “What” we produce – the products or services.

As a business owner and leader of several community initiatives, I can easily relate to what Sinek is suggesting. When I seek to inspire and engage others to follow me in a cause or project, I am very mindful of what they are listening for – what is the “Why”? What is my purpose? What drives my commitment to them?

Sinek reminds all of us as leaders that people buy from us or work for us not for what we provide or for how we do it. People only commit to us when they believe and embrace the “Why” of our intentions and actions.  They are inspired and that is the power whether we are the leader or the follower.

I challenge you (and me too) to step back this week and think about the “Why” of what we do. We may be surprised with our insights and how they may change the future of our work.

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Start with Why

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, Simon Sinek, 2009.

Simon Sinek has captured a powerful concept that can take our leadership influence to an amazing, higher level. He challenges us to look deeply into the “Why” of our work first before ever addressing the “How” or “What” of what we do. He makes us think – and it all makes sense. So if we want to engage and inspire others in any way, we need to start with the “Why”. Try it and let me know how it’s working for you!
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Robots vs. Leaders with Empathy

Speaking from my years of experience working with people, families and communities as a professional coach, trainer, psychotherapist and social worker, I’ve always appreciated that our human needs are very clear – we want to be seen, have a voice and be able to contribute in a meaningful way.

And a robot or computer simply can’t provide that connection in any significant way and never will be able to. A robot is no competition for the human touch, the human heart and the human ear.

As leaders, these subtle but critical sensibilities show up as empathy. Empathy is the core of all social & emotional intelligence: true inspirational leadership never happens without it. Empathy is the ability to see the situation from another person’s eyes and heart. It’s the ability to set aside your own agenda, to listen deeply without judgment and to be able to genuinely understand and appreciate the perspective of another.

Do all leaders have this ability? No, they do not but the ones who do are remembered for their ability to engage and inspire us to always be at our best. We will work our hearts and souls out for that leader who genuinely hears us, values us and gives us the opportunity to use our talents to contribute in meaningful ways.

Can empathy be learned? Yes, it can, with daily practice and an authentic belief and enjoyment of others. It’s part of what clearly differentiates us from any computer program, machine or data package.

A robot can’t compete or replace us when we as leaders are at our best and humanly connected to others.

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Create An Upward Spiral for Yourself

Initiating changes in our lives takes work. And it’s easy to get discouraged if we are striving for a big goal that seems overwhelming to achieve. We may even be tempted to not start in the first place justifying it to ourselves in multiple ways.

But we can be successful in attaining these bigger goals if we are willing to use our time, energy and creativity on a daily basis in a very strategic way. Using the core philosophy of Tom Roth in his newest book Eat, Move, Sleep: How Small Choices Lead to Big Changes we can use the power of choice to build upward momentum. Here’s how . . .

  1. Clarify one thing that is really important to you right now. For example, physical health may be a priority for you at this time.
  2. Identify three choices you could make on a daily basis that would complement each other and lead to improved physical health. For example, eating more fruits & vegetables; walking each morning and increasing sleep by 30 minutes each night.
  3. Commit to doing these three actions each day for one week. Keep a written log or use another accountability system (ex. check-in with a friend) that works for you. Do all three each day giving each equal attention.

How do you feel now? Hopefully, your efforts have had a significant ripple effect all week so that each subsequent day was even better than the day before. It’s amazing how the momentum of one change affects the other changes you are making. You are sleeping better so you feel like walking in the morning and then the exercise helps you chose healthier food throughout the day.

The result is you feel better all day long and into the next day as well. Each choice works together rather than in isolation increasing your success rate substantially.

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3 Ways to Retrain Your Brain Each Day!

All through my professional work history as a child abuse social worker, psychotherapist, corporate trainer and career/leadership coach, I have always embraced the power of positive emotional health. It is critical in all areas of our lives. And we as individuals have the responsibility to protect but also strategically develop our emotional well-being each and every day.

Taking care of ourselves in this way has a wonderful positive ripple effect on our families, our work and in our communities. Here are my favorite 3 ways to retrain our brains each day.

  • Before you get out of bed in the morning – identify 3 things that you are grateful or thankful for in this new day.
  • Do a small act of kindness each day . . . and don’t tell anyone else about it.
  • When you go to bed at night – identify 3 things that went well that day (Seligman’s What Went Well exercise).

Do these three things for a full week. What do you notice? How has your thinking shifted? I hope you are noticing less negative thoughts and a few more positive ripples in the chatter we all hear in our heads during the day. Enjoy the change!

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