Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Core of Leadership (Homebusiness Ideas)
Character is core to leadership, but before reviewing leadership character it is important to clarify and nullify the myths facing potential leaders:
The position myth: "I can not lead if I am not at the top"
The destination myth: "When I get to the top, then I will learn to lead"
The Influence myth: "If I were on top, then people would follow me"
The Inexperience myth: "When I get to the top I will be in control"
The freedom myth: "When I get to the top I will no longer be limited"
The potential myth: "I can not reach my potential if I am not the top leader"
The all-or-nothing myth:"If I can not get to the top, then I would not try to lead"
These are all negetive belief system, you can lead from wherever you are; a discussion for another day
There has been a lot of discussion lately about character and leadership. Most political elections today seem to have an element to them wherein one candidate suggests that the other doesn't have the character that it takes to lead. Just a glance at the business page in the newspaper shows a major discussion of character and ethics in the corporate world. Schools and churches are rocked with scandal. Everywhere you turn today it seems as though there is a lack of character.
"What is character?"
Here are a few definitions of character:

1. Strength of mind; resolution; independence; individuality
2. Moral or ethical strength
3. Who you are when no one else is around

In other words, a person of good character is a person who has a strong moral base and acts on it. They have the core inner strength, fortitude and determination to do what is right, whether anyone else is there to validate it or not. They operate out of what is good and right, not out of personal expedience.
Once we have defined character, we must also ask: Why is character important? Character is important because it is what we place our trust in when dealing with other people. When we decide to follow a leader, we evaluate their life, their skills, etc., and then make a decision to trust them. We trust that they are who they say they are. We trust that they will do what they say. Trust is built on good people who are consistent in their goodness. Those are the people we can trust - and the leader/follower relationship is, at its fundamental core - one of trust.

Six Essential Traits of Good Character

The following are what I believe to be the basics of good character. Miss one of these and you will find a weak link in your character -

1. Integrity. Integrity is a good catch word that is similar to character but provides us with a different way of looking at the idea of character. The root word of integrity means "whole" or "undivided." That is a terrific way to help us understand what integrity is--it is a life that is undivided. For example, you don't act one way in one situation and another in a different situation. There is integrity and wholeness to your life. Living this way will build trust in your followers. Another use of the word integrity that provides insight for us is when the word is used in regard to a physical structure. A wall or a building that is strong and has no cracks is said to have integrity. The same could be said for great leaders.

2. Honesty. It is regularly said that, "Honesty is the best policy," but I would add that honesty is the only policy for great leaders. Think about it. Why do people hedge the truth? Usually for a few basic reasons--one, they are afraid of the ramifications or two, they are trying to hide something. Either way, it results in the fact that you destroy the trust of those who follow you. Even if you tell them the truth but they know you have lied to others, it will destroy the trust you had with them. They find themselves thinking, "If he will lie to them, will he lie to me?"
I have never understood what people hope to accomplish by being dishonest. As the good Book says, "Your sin shall surely find you out." Eventually people come to know that you are not honest in your dealings, and that is what you become known for. And your reputation is what your leadership is based on. When we are honest and live transparently before our followers, they are able to see us for who we are and make solid decisions to follow.

3. Loyalty. People of good character are loyal people. They have a "stick-to-it" attitude when it comes to others. Anybody who knows human nature knows that people fail. It is just a matter of time, no matter how talented someone is. A person of good character stays with their friends even in the down times. Anyone can be friends with others when times are good. People of good character stay with them when they need it most. Where this translates into making you a good leader is this: people want to follow a leader who will stretch them beyond where they are now, but who will also allow them to try--and to fail. When we are loyal to our followers, they will be loyal to us and make every effort to succeed on our behalf and on behalf of the organization. There are few things that strengthen the leader/follower bond more than when a leader shows his or her loyalty to a follower who needs it.

4. Self-Sacrifice. Lee Iacocca became a legend when he said that he would bring Chrysler back from the brink of bankruptcy and would take only one dollar a year in pay. This was a classic example of a leader sacrificing for the followers. It also showed his understanding of empathizing with the average line worker. And the workers of Chrysler rewarded him with an incredible following as they built Chrysler into one of the world's leading car companies. What is it about self-sacrifice that breeds followers? Followers do not mind putting in the hard work. They don't even mind a leader making more money or reaping benefits from their work. What followers do mind though, is when the leader is using them for his or her own personal gain. People of good character do not use other people--period. So when a leader shows sacrifice of personal gain, it says to the followers that he or she is willing to come along side of them - and followers reward that almost universally. A person of good character shows that they can give up personal gain for the good of the whole.

5. Accountability. People of good character do not mind accountability. In fact, they welcome it. This is the act of allowing others to have a say in your life, to speak to you straight about your life and conduct. The brutal truth is that we have blind spots and need other people to be in close relationship with us so we can advance down the road of success. The need for accountability doesn't prove lack of character. Rather, it proves the presence of character. G.K. Chesterton said that, "Original sin is the only philosophy empirically validated by 3,500 years of human history." The person of good character knows this and invites others to speak into his or her life.
We see this is especially true now with all that has gone on among our leaders lately. Followers are growing tired of those leaders who will have nothing to do with accountability. They do not mind leaders who make mistakes. They do mind leaders who will not take responsibility for those mistakes by being accountable. When we allow ourselves to be held accountable, our followers know that we are serious about keeping our own house in order and thus will do a good job in leading the rest of the organization.

6. Self-control. The ability to make decisions - good decisions - about what we will and will not do with our actions is at the core of what we become in regard to our character. There will be plenty of options to participate in things that are not moral. Everybody has temptations, but the person of good character knows well enough to exercise self-control, literal control over his or her choices. When people do not exercise self-control, they sabotage their ability to lead. People lose respect for them and will follow less, if at all. Self-control is the ability to choose to do the things we should and to refrain from doing the things we shouldn't. When we exhibit self-control we again build trust in our followers. They respect us and want to follow us.

You can strengthen your character. We are born with clean slates. As we grow, there are many influences that shape our character--our parents, teachers, friends, and choices all mold that inner character. The good news is that no matter where you are right now, you can decide that your character will grow stronger. You can choose to be around those people who will challenge you to become better. You can choose to put positive materials into your mind and heart. You can begin making choices that reflect a change in lifestyle, and thus, in character. No one is "stuck." You can change - the choice is yours!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Essentials: Effective Presentations.

1. Have a goal: Are you there to inspire? Encourage? Challenge? Comfort? Motivate? Deliver bad news? Good news? Is it just informational? Are you trying to motivate them to action? If you know where you are going and where you want to take the audience, you can then work back from there and create your presentation. Like Stephen Covey's old axiom, "Begin with the end in mind." Be sure to know your goal.

2. Keep it simple: Be yourself - take slow deep breaths you don't have to be someone else. One mistake many people make is in trying to emulate the style of another person. This rarely, if ever, works. Why? Because you are not that person! Be yourself. That is, who others are expecting.
Do not attempt elaborate presentations. Maybe when you've mastered your skills, you can get elaborate. But even the most polished professional speakers rarely get elaborate. The Zig Ziglar's, Brian Tracy's and Nido Qubein's. You can be simple and be very good at the same time. So be sure to keep it simple. Remember the world would not fall apart if you do a rotten job.

3. Be passionate about your topic: People want to see that you are passionate about your topic. Aristotle said that there are three areas integral to persuasion: logic, ethics and passion. You need to be a person of good character, have logical reasoning, and say it with passion. Also, be optimistic. Napoleon said, "Leaders are dealers in hope." As presenters, we pull people in and bring them along by giving them hope. Be sure to let your passion and optimism come through! Understand that you are your own worst critic.

4. Balance the format of your information: Use facts and figures and use stories. Include lecture as well as audience participation. In this day and age, with waning attention spans, we do well to change up the format on regular intervals. People are used to modern media which makes single-person speaking a tough act. Be sure to use different formats in your presentation.

5. Tell stories: The best way to start with a crowd is to make them laugh, the audience becomes more relax and receptive. The joke does mot have to be related to the topic. When you think of Jesus, the greatest teacher of all time, you think of a man who told stories to help root the principles into the minds and hearts of those who heard him. Stories are things that people can connect with. They can remember them. They see them in pictures. What would you be most apt to remember two weeks after hearing a speaker: The exact percentages of his or her statistics, or a well-told story? Be sure to build stories into your presentation so people remember the points you want them to remember.

6. Mastery of your material: This is the foundation of an effective presentation: It tells people you are serious about the topic, that you care about it, and you are qualified to speak to them about it. Fear comes from wondering if you will make a mistake, know your material. You will feel more comfortable and will come across as very credible. Audiences are looking for credibility and can see through someone who is winging their way through a presentation. Be sure to know your material.

7. Timing: Focus on the first five minutes, this time is critical as it allows you to settle and get comfortable. One of the skills of an effective presenter is that they can craft their presentation to fit the allotted time and then discipline themselves to stay within that time frame. Starting on time and ending on time will show people that you respect their time. Speakers shoot themselves in the foot by not finishing on time. Be sure to always stay within your time limits and leave your audience wanting more!
Follow these seven rules and you will begin to see greater effectiveness in your presentations. I believe that everyone can become a better speaker and presenter if they practice their skill. And it doesn't require a tremendous amount of advanced training, either. Just mastering the basics will take you to the next level and allow you to become a much more effective communicator

Thursday, February 08, 2007

The Choices We Face


There has been at least six inches of snow today; all seems very unusual for London as the schools are shut, transport is delayed and many are taking the day off work. The question is why? Despite days of advance warning.
I thought I should share this:
Each of us has two distinct choices to make about what we will do with our lives. The first choice we can make is to be less than we have the capacity to be. To earn less. To have less. To read less and think less. To try less and discipline ourselves less. These are the choices that lead to an empty life. These are the choices that, once made, lead to a life of constant apprehension instead of a life of wondrous anticipation.
And the second choice? To do it all! To become all that we can possibly be. To read every book that we possibly can. To earn as much as we possibly can. To give and share as much as we possibly can. To strive and produce and accomplish as much as we possibly can. All of us have the choice.
To do or not to do. To be or not to be. To be all or to be less or to be nothing at all.
Why not do all that we can, every moment that we can, the best that we can, for as long as we can?
Our ultimate life objective should be to create as much as our talent and ability and desire will permit To settle for doing less than we could do is to fail in this worthiest of undertakings.
Results are the best measurement of human progress. Not conversation. Not explanation. Not justification. Results! And if our results are less than our potential suggests that they should be, then we must strive to become more today than we were the day before. The greatest rewards are always reserved for those who bring great value to themselves and the world around them as a result of whom and what they have become.

"In life we don't get what we need, we get what we deserve." ….. Jim Rohn

Knowing your purpose will helps influence your choice,but the key to finding your purpose is the inner peace.
1. Write down the activities that you enjoy
2. See if any of these activities can make you a living.
3. If you cannot find a way to make a living doing what you enjoy in life, try to find a line of work that has something to do with some of the activities.
Your purpose should be good, fun, focused and it should benefit you and the world in general.

Finding your purpose helps defines your burning desire,

And your burning desire is:
when you start a business two years before you knowwhat it means and you fail more than you can count and yet every single morning you wake up with a fresh new idea and you know your turn is coming.
It's when you do more than you have the immediate capacityto do because you know; you have faith, that it is all going to pay off.
It is when you're girl friend dumps you because she says youspend to much time on your dreams that are not paying you adime and not enough time on her, and you let her go becauseshe did not see you were doing it all for your shared futuretogether.
It is when you have a job and you put that job in jeopardybecause you dream too much, and you spend more time on yourlife than your job knowing fully the inevitable consequences of your actions and then you loose that job but not your dream.
It is spending more time developing yourself than on your job because you know it is the value you bring to the market place that pays you and not your job title.

It's when you know you are doing the right thing, you are in
the right place, but the world does not yet know.
Emmanuel Sodipo

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Time Investment

Time is the sum total of all the events around you. Manage your events and you will ultimately manage you time effectively. Although you can play a game of chess with rules, you cannot write a poem with one. Your creativity will take you to levels you cannot get to with rules, always strive to develop your USP (Unique Selling Preposition)

I was sent an invitation to a seminer recently; There are so many opportunities available if you will take the first step. Take a look at the headlines and the wide range of ideas:

" Here's who you'll meet;
* Drew, who's site gets a staggering 40,000,000 page views a month. (Yes, that is 40 Million.)
* Stacy, who makes $50k-$100k a month as an affiliate with a sneaky way of getting users to generate all site content and traffic.
* Dori, who very lazily pulled in over $800,000 in AdSense and affiliate revenue last year.
* Bob, a comedian with an incredible MySpace success story.
* Darren, who's part-time blogging hobby makes him a cool 6-figures.
* Jermaine, who built a list of over 200,000 loyal subscribers creating a "sticky" community.
* "Mr. X", who imports products from China to the tune of $30M/year.
* Glenn, who is quietly involved in 14 different niches and making a killing there even though he's only an expert in 2 of those market places.
* Andrew, Yanik's A/V guy from the past Underground event who turned out to have new, breakthrough techniques for eBay.
* Amanda, who stumbled onto a $2M/year pearl business.

And they're all coming eager to share their real in-the-trenches answers to your nagging problems, alert you to new opportunities, give you fresh ideas, and show you there's more than one way to make good money on the Internet!"

Create a leverage, manage your events, be unique and your time investment will reward you financially.