Monday, July 17, 2017

Smile, It’s Monday: Your Weekly Wake-up Call to Balance Work and Life

If youth knew; 
if age could.
---Sigmund Freud

It was a beautiful fall Monday morning. I would usually jump right into work, but I had presented at a conference the previous Friday night and all of Saturday. I needed a break.

I drove out to Great Falls, Virginia, a beautiful state park near Washington D.C. I was dealing with some difficult personal issues, and the walk under the iridescent, brightly colored fall leaves by the Potomac River was doing me a lot of good.

Every once in a while, I passed either a group of children on a school trip or an elderly couple walking together.

It dawned on me that the only people out in nature enjoying one of the most beautiful days of the year in Washington were children on school trips and seniors. Everyone else was busy working and being ‘productive’.

I thought about how ironic it is that we shut ourselves off from the inner guidance that is more readily available to us while walking in nature during the years when we most need it.

This week, get out your planner and start making meaningful commitments to schedule less work and more time for yourself and the people you love.

The only time you can influence your capacity to find balance is in the present moment. Embrace one of these moments now.
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Anthony Silard is the president of The Global Leadership Institute and the author of the Simon & Schuster book The Connection: Link Your Passion, Purpose, and Actions to Make a Difference in the World. To receive Smile, It's Monday every other week in your inbox and a free copy of Anthony's new audio CD, "The Surprising Source of Your Passion", enter your email here (1-step only).

Monday, June 26, 2017

Smile, It’s Monday: Your Weekly Wake-up Call to Build Meaningful Relationships

The best friend you can have is like a brother or sister.
The best brother or sister you can have is like a friend.
---Anthony Silard

At any point in time, some of our friends desire to be closer to us and some wish to be more distant.

The irony of craving for less social distance from specific friends is that there are other friends who crave the same from us whom we routinely ignore.

Instead of continually playing a role in this food chain where less social distance is the coveted gourmet meal, you can make the decision to step off the hamster wheel of incessant striving for unreciprocated closeness and open your eyes to those people who, right here and now, are making the effort to spend time with you.

The others, if they are true friends, will eventually come around. If they don’t, the friendship was not much more than a mental construction you needed to cling to in order to feel less lonely in this world.

You can now make the choice to move on and appreciate those who both share your desire for closeness and have the capacity to co-create a healthy and meaningful relationship with you.

Stop and take a moment to bring a specific friend into your mind. Try to recognize the level of closeness they want with you in this present moment. Acknowledge the level of closeness that you, in turn, desire with this friend.

Visualize a few steps you can take to develop the friendship given your perception of the social distance both you and they can handle.

This week, take some of these steps.
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Anthony Silard is the president of The Global Leadership Institute and the author of the Simon & Schuster book The Connection: Link Your Passion, Purpose, and Actions to Make a Difference in the World. To receive Smile, It's Monday every other week in your inbox and a free copy of Anthony's new audio CD, "The Surprising Source of Your Passion", enter your email here (1-step only).

Monday, June 12, 2017

Smile, It’s Monday: Your Weekly Wake-up Call to Become a More Effective Leader

Trust is the currency of leadership.
---Anthony Silard

When you build “Trust Accounts” with others by committing to what you can deliver and then delivering on what you commit, you earn the currency of leadership. When you give your word to someone and then don’t deliver, you withdraw currency from this Trust Account. 

A good image of leadership is a highway. This highway has many toll booths, and you need one and only one currency—trust—to pass through them. Every time you keep your word or act with integrity, you earn a coin. Every time you don’t, you lose a coin. 

You can only travel on the leadership toll road if you have these coins. As soon as you run out, you are out.

Think about it: Why would you ever support the idea of allowing someone to be your leader if you did not trust them? You wouldn’t have confidence in them, an easily understood phenomenon: this word literally means “trust” (fidere) “with” (con). 

Trusting someone who does not keep their word would make your life unsafe, and security is the feeling people most look to their leaders to provide

A leader must protect and ensure this security if they wish to continue in their role. You can make mistakes, you can refuse to listen for a while, you can even fail to inspire, but if you lose their trust, you’re done. 

This week, think about how the choices you make as a leader from day to day reflect a deeper integrity.
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Anthony Silard is the president of The Global Leadership Institute and the author of the Simon & Schuster book The Connection: Link Your Passion, Purpose, and Actions to Make a Difference in the World. To receive Smile, It's Monday every other week in your inbox and a free copy of Anthony's new audio CD, "The Surprising Source of Your Passion", enter your email here (1-step only).

Monday, May 29, 2017

Smile, It’s Monday: Your Weekly Wake-up Call to Live the Life You Have Imagined

Many things which cannot be overcome when they are together, 
yield themselves up when taken little by little.
---Plutarch

What has been looming large on your conscience that you know could be life changing if you could just get to it? Even if all you can do right now is something small—it doesn’t matter. Do it anyway.

Consider something you’ve desired for a long time—whether it’s to act in a play, or to reconnect with your father, or to move an initiative in a new direction—and make a vow to take a small step in the next week to generate forward motion toward your goal.

“OK, but how do I get started?” you may be thinking. I am often asked this question by people in sales or fundraising. They share their dilemmas by saying, “Sometimes I just don’t feel like being ‘on,’” or “It’s hard to get myself motivated to talk someone into a deal when I’m tired and didn’t sleep well the night before.”

I advise them to start their day by calling or meeting with a few less-important clients and then work up from there.

“Look at your first few calls or meetings as ‘batting practice,’” I suggest. “Trust your instincts. You’ll know when you’re in your groove and it’s time to pitch to more important clients.”

Similarly, it’s better to leave home and go to a few job interviews than to stay home and wait for your dream job to appear.

This week, start taking batting practice.
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Anthony Silard is the president of The Global Leadership Institute and the author of the Simon & Schuster book The Connection: Link Your Passion, Purpose, and Actions to Make a Difference in the World. To receive Smile, It's Monday every other week in your inbox and a free copy of Anthony's new audio CD, "The Surprising Source of Your Passion", enter your email here (1-step only).

Monday, May 15, 2017

Smile, It’s Monday: Your Weekly Wake-up Call to Build Meaningful Relationships

We are not what other people say we are.
We are who we know ourselves to be, and we are what we love.
---Laverne Cox

There are many times in our lives when we experience emotions that are difficult to process, such as when a relationship loses steam, or a key project is passed to someone else, or we realize that what we thought motivated us in our work no longer does.

These emotions often threaten to steer us off-course and away from balance.

Perhaps never are we tested so strongly than when we lose someone we love.

One of the most basic tenets of emotion, including the emotion of grief, is that we only feel emotions in relation to what we care about. If someone is not important to us, no emotions are stimulated when we think of them.

The strong emotions that arise when we care so deeply can feel overwhelming. At times, we need a respite from such profound feelings so we do not over-identify with them and forget that they are a part of who we are, but not all of who we are.

Sometimes, the simple act of laughing with a friend or seeing a romantic or funny movie that makes you smile is enough to enable you to regain your composure and return with more inner strength to your thoughts about the person you miss so much.

You may be devoted to always honoring the memory of the person you lost. When you do, also honor the love you gained by having them in your life.

Most importantly, honor them for teaching you how to love, as this is your life’s purpose.
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Anthony Silard is the president of The Global Leadership Institute and the author of the Simon & Schuster book The Connection: Link Your Passion, Purpose, and Actions to Make a Difference in the World. To receive Smile, It's Monday every other week in your inbox and a free copy of Anthony's new audio CD, "The Surprising Source of Your Passion", enter your email here (1-step only).

Monday, May 1, 2017

Smile, It’s Monday: Your Weekly Wake-up Call to Become Your Greatest Fan

When one has much to put into them, 
a day has a hundred pockets.
---Nietzsche

People who confront boredom never seem to have enough time for everything they want to do.

Others don’t take the time to think about what they really value, and instead do just about everything else.

They are afraid to be bored. They unquestioningly perceive dealing with themselves to be a hell on earth that is always right around the corner unless they avoid it, which they attempt to do at all costs.

This week, try to make your peace with the idea of spending time alone. Once you take this bold step, you will observe a sea change in your relationships.

The reason is that you will begin to spend time with others not because you need them around to help you get through the day, but because you value their inherent characteristics and want to share your time with them.

Once you make this change in how you socialize, you will be pleasantly surprised to find that others seek you out more.

Why? People read you like a book. When you are uncomfortable spending time alone, your ravenous need for companionship drips from every word that spills out of your mouth.

A learned skill in today’s society—which many have masterfully developed into an art form—is how to avoid such people.

Develop your comfort with being alone and the words you speak will emanate from a strong, stable center that instills confidence in you among the people you genuinely desire to be in your life.
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Anthony Silard is the president of The Global Leadership Institute and the author of the Simon & Schuster book The Connection: Link Your Passion, Purpose, and Actions to Make a Difference in the World. To receive Smile, It's Monday every other week in your inbox and a free copy of Anthony's new audio CD, "The Surprising Source of Your Passion", enter your email here (1-step only).

Monday, April 17, 2017

Smile, It’s Monday: Your Weekly Wake-up Call to Become a More Effective Leader

It’s easier to be a friendly leader
than to be a friend and a leader.
---Anthony Silard

Sarah Wright of the University of Canterbury in New Zealand and I discovered in a recent empirical study that the higher the position an individual occupies, the less they experience genuine friendships within the organization.

Let’s face it: employees just don’t want to hang out with the person who controls their livelihood on a Saturday night.

While professional distance can be frustrating for leaders as it reduces the connection they have with followers, it is often necessary in the leadership role. Unfortunately, this learned leadership behavior can lead to anxiety and loneliness.

Concerned about their words being used against them, many senior executives are unable to express their emotions and invariably keep themselves sheltered from self-disclosure.

In addition, many leaders face deep insecurities—including fears of being wrongfully judged, or being found a fraud—despite their impressive skills, qualifications, and operational success.

As a result, leaders often wear a mask at work that camouflages their more authentic self.

This mask can often manifest itself in the leader’s personal life, with many successful executives having trouble experiencing genuine intimacy or friendship anywhere in their lives.

One solution is for leaders to join groups of peers—i.e., other leaders—with whom they can share their war stories from the front line and connect without fear of reprisal.

This week, take some time to think about how you can develop or join a network of people whom you can support and vice-versa during your challenging leadership moments.
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Anthony Silard is the president of The Global Leadership Institute and the author of the Simon & Schuster book The Connection: Link Your Passion, Purpose, and Actions to Make a Difference in the World. To receive Smile, It's Monday every other week in your inbox and a free copy of Anthony's new audio CD, "The Surprising Source of Your Passion", enter your email here (1-step only).