Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Amateurs Wing It, Professionals Prepare...

Have you ever been to a meeting, presentation or event that you walked away saying to yourself "that was a total disaster". I'd be willing to bet that there was a serious lack of preparation on the part of the leaders involved in the event.

Many leaders believe that they can "wing it" and create a success. The best leaders don't buy into this and spend serious time preparing for meetings, presentations, and events. They subscribe to the philosophy that PROFESSIONALS PREPARE.

Preparation is not taught in college, graduate school or on the job leadership training. It is a critical leadership dimension that is often overlooked, but never forgotten once you see it not occur and lead to an unsuccessful event.

What does preparation look like?
Here are some tips to assist you, A LEADER, to prepare and increase the odds that you will be viewed as a professional,organized and "buttoned up" leader.
  1. When planning for a leadership role in an event, break the event into 15 or 30 minute intervals. For each interval, plan the work/discussion so the entire event planning does not overwhelm you. You eat an elephant one bite at a time and this interval approach can break that huge preparation into much more manageable pieces.

  2. Keep in mind the adult attention span. Most resseach I have seen states that adult attention span is 45 minutes (I know, it feels like 45 seconds sometimes...). Prepare to this attention span. Don't create 2 hour brainstorming sessions or a 4 hour conference call on one topic. You will lose people, their energy and support.

  3. In your preparation, focus on the sections that will lead to success. These include goals and objectives, processes to meet the goals and objectives, tasks, time allotted, budget, resource requirements, change management plans and monitoring/validating techniques,

  4. Buy a lunch and listen to a leader that is successful in leading events. Guarantee that leader prepares! Ask for tips and techniques on what they do to prepare for an event. You may learn something new to add to your preparation or validate what you are already doing. I am a huge proponent of setting aside the ego and asking successful people for their advice. No need to re-create the wheel. Just ask open ended questions and listen!!

  5. Use a colleague, team member, or mentor to critique your preparation and give you feedback. Again, set your ego aside and let others "poke holes" in your preparation. You will only get better if you listen and take action on the advice. Remember it's business, not personal.
Use these tips to be seen as a top notch, professional leader not an amateur. We all want to be involved in successful meetings, presentations, training and events. It takes the leader's preparation to ensure this will happen. Make it happen - spend the time preparing, consider it part of the role of a great leader.

It has been called "The Secret" on steroids. If you would like to discuss or have questions, please shoot me an email at chris@destinyahead.com

As always, Control Your Destiny or Someone Else Will!!!!

Your Self Image

A critical part of your self-image is your self-ideal. The self ideal is the ideal image or picture you have of yourself on a daily basis. In other words, your self-ideal is composite of the very best person you could see yourself being and living your life to the fullest.

Your self-ideal is made up of two major dimensions - your wishes, hopes, goals, and fantasies about your life and the qualities you admire most in yourself and in other leaders.

Find Positive Role Models

In a longitudinal research study conducted years ago, the researchers found many men and women who had successful and prosperous lives had been avid readers of the biographies and autobiographies of successful people. We have a natural tendency to identify with the hero in any story. People that immerse themselves in the stories of men and women who have accomplished great things, tend to absorb their values, behaviors and qualities into their personality.

Define your Life Values

The life values you choose and the way you define those values, shape and influence your personality and your achievements more than any other single factor. Take time to develop absolute clarity about the key life values and qualities you admire the most and wish to incorporate into your life. This will allow you to shape and direct your personality and determine the success you achieve in the future.


The second part of your self-concept is your self-esteem. Self-esteem is the feeling or emotional component of your personality. Your level of self-esteem determines the energy and power of your personality which drives your performance. Your self-esteem is affected by many factors. The most important is the difference between your self-image and your self-ideal. How are you versus how you want to be.Whenever you feel your current performance and behavior is consistent with the best person that you can possibly be, your self esteem goes up. You feel more exhilarated and fulfilled. You have more energy, enthusiasm and optimism.

Using this Information Activity
During this think reflect and write down the values, skills, and qualities of other people that you most admire.
What actions could you take to incorporate those characteristics into your personality?

Until next time, Control Your Destiny or Someone Else Will...


Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Golden Rule Principle…

The third ingredient in the recipe for tremendous success is to have a philosophy of servant leadership. I am a big fan of Zig Ziglar’s statement – “You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want”.

Some practical behaviors we can put in place in our lives to be role models of the Golden Rule philosophy include:

• Asking others their opinion on decisions that impact them
• Using other opinions and feedback to make decisions
Sincere recognition for extra effort – “thank you” or other encouraging words go along way
• Genuinely listening to other people. Be in the moment with that person and give them 100% attention
• Do not promise or commit unless you will honor the commitment
Share the credit and acknowledge the contribution of others
• Don’t hide information, if appropriate. Give complete answers to a question if possible
• Offer to help people
• Learn about others by asking them about their interests and goals

We have many different facets in our life – business, family, social, physical, spiritual and so on. They are all interwoven into our life and have an impact on our overall success. Making the philosophy of the Golden Rule principle will lead to your success as well as the success of others. Definitely a win/win outcome.

Next week, I’ll discuss the fourth and final ingredient in the recipe for success.

Until next time, Control Your Destiny or Someone Else Will...http://www.destinyahead.com/