Monday, February 20, 2017

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

What chance gathers she easily scatters.
A great person attracts great people
and knows how to hold them together.
---Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Reflect on the high points in your career. They are most likely the times when you felt you were a part of a strong, effective team.

Your employees, board members, and even your significant investors or sponsors feel the same way: they seek community, a sense of belonging, the opportunity to be a part of a maverick group that’s making a difference in the world.

Strong core values are the glue that creates this group cohesion.

Shared values unique to your team are what generate feelings of “We’ve got to stick together,” and “I’m willing to put so much of my time and effort into this organization because nobody else is doing what we’re doing!”

Consider the words of former CEO George Weissman: “Other than my marriage, [working at Phillip Morris] was the passionate love affair of my life. I don’t think many people would understand what I’m talking about, but I suspect my colleagues would.”

Weissman and many of his executive colleagues continued to come in regularly, mostly because they enjoyed spending time together.

This level of group cohesion is unimaginable for most of us working in today’s highly mobile workplace where the average tenure is under two years. Yet it is possible.

Reflect on the steps you can take to create a cohesive team of people who, someday, will look back and consider their time together to be one of their most meaningful experiences in providing the sense of connection and belonging they so value in life.
_____________________________________________
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, February 6, 2017

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

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. 
Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow.
Just walk beside me and be my friend.
---Albert Camus

Do you sometimes feel frustrated or disappointed that someone you thought was a good friend doesn’t take the time to call you back, or no longer seems to make you a priority in their life?

Sometimes we develop an idea in our mind of someone who is supposed to be our “best” friend or one of our closest friends. Then a period begins where they don’t return our calls or make much effort to see us. We wonder why they are avoiding us. We feel sad, rejected, and lonely.  

Yet it is the nature of friendships to ebb and flow. Sometimes a friend needs space to grow, to distance, to become more independent without us around.

Perhaps you have a caring partner and they don’t. Perhaps you have children and they don’t. Perhaps your children are well-adjusted and theirs aren’t. Perhaps you have a job you love and they are stuck in a dead-end job that is slowly and methodically killing their spirit.

Friends are always making social comparisons with each other. There are 101 reasons why friends sometimes need space and sometimes need proximity. For this reason, the social distance between you and a friend is a constantly shifting parameter.

This week, take stock of the people in your life who are making an active effort to develop a friendship with you. Reflect on each person and calibrate the effort you would also like to make to develop the friendship. Select a few social actions and make them happen.
_____________________________________________
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, January 23, 2017

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

There are two key steps to success: 
First, figure out what you love to do.
Second, find someone to pay you to do it.
---Anthony Silard

My definition of a genius is a person who is able to get paid for what they would be willing to do for free. If you can pull that off consistently, you will exponentially increase your happiness and enjoyment of this thing called life.

Here’s the problem that prevents most of us from feeling successful: We skip the first step and instead focus our energies on the second. When you set making money as your goal, you become like a cat chasing its tail: you go in circles.

When you take the alternative approach of just doing what feels true and right to you, money again becomes like a tail. The difference is that, like the tail of a cat resolutely moving along its path, it follows you wherever you go.

When you do what you love, the money follows. When you pursue money, on the other hand, love is unlikely to follow. Rather, the opposite occurs: People see right through your motivations and are reluctant to trust and believe in you.

The reason: the pursuit of the mighty dollar, euro, or pound is a relatively selfish exercise. Other people may be attracted to your ambition because you can help them with your financial resources; however, they may also attribute your energy to a self-serving motivation. This perception does not tend to generate love and respect from others.

This week, take some time to reflect on what you love. Then think about how you can better integrate it into your career.
_____________________________________________
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, January 9, 2017

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

Enlightenment lies on the 
other side of boredom.
---Anthony Silard

Have you ever heard someone say something along these lines: “I can’t believe they left me all alone,” or “Last weekend wasn’t a lot of fun. No one was around.” Many of us associate solitude with boredom. We don’t realize that within our boredom lies our freedom.

To reach a breakthrough in our lives, we have to break through boredom. I have taken many trips alone that have initially been characterized by boredom and loneliness and what-am-I-doing-here-in-the-middle-of-nowhere questions.

These anxiety-producing, uneasy experiences in the first hours and sometimes days have been followed by chance encounters, long walks that have enabled me to process the events transpiring in my life, self-understanding, the gradual emergence of inner peace, and finally resolve about what I value and how to proceed with my life once back in the mix.

The restoration of my relationship with myself has not been the only benefit of working through these challenging moments. The most important ideas I have come up with that have shaped my life and career have emerged in this way: by having the patience and inner determination to break through (boredom) to breakthrough.

Think about it: How will you find the creativity to better develop your relationships with others and enhance the impact you make in the world if you do not understand who you are and what you value?

This week, make a pact with yourself to break through your boredom. With some patience and a bit of luck, you will reach a breakthrough.
_____________________________________________
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, December 26, 2016

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

Language... has created the word ‘loneliness’ 
to express the pain of being alone. 
And it has created the word ‘solitude’ 
to express the glory of being alone.
---Paul Tillich

How do you feel when you are alone? In research I conducted on loneliness with Sarah Wright at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, we distinguish between loneliness and solitude.

Loneliness is subjective—a negative, distressing emotional experience associated with being alone. Solitude, on the other hand, is merely the objective state of being alone without the negative emotional experience associated with it.

To illustrate, suppose you are physically alone, for instance walking in nature or sitting by yourself in a room. You have the choice to be either in a state of solitude or a state of loneliness. If you do not feel any negative emotions associated with being alone, you are experiencing solitude; if you do feel the negative emotions, you are experiencing loneliness.

This week, make a commitment to develop your relationship with yourself. Each day, spend a little more time with yourself until you find the good friend that awaits you within.

Once you encounter this part of yourself, you will cease to experience negative emotions such as insecurity, fear, anxiety, and distress when you are alone. Accordingly, you will cease to experience loneliness.

In addition, make an effort to get out there more and meet people. New friends are unlikely to just show up and knock on your door. The connections you develop with the people around you will also fill you with joyful feelings when alone that will help you to replace loneliness with aloneness.
_____________________________________________
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, December 12, 2016

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

Boredom is the feeling that everything 
is a waste of time; serenity, that nothing is.
---Psychologist Thomas Szasz

I’m convinced there are two kinds of people in the world: those who see time as abundant and don’t quite know what to do with all the time they have, and those who see time as scarce and never have enough time for all of their projects.

Most of us endure a hand-to-mouth existence in relation to time where we struggle to fill our days with the excess of time we don’t know what to do with. Others don’t exist, but live, experiencing each moment with a wondrous curiosity not unlike what we had (and most of us have since lost) as children.

What many consider to be vices—drugs, alcoholism, casual sex, over-consumption, shopping as a second vocation—are merely attempts to avoid the self. Boredom is what we feel when we have not dedicated time to develop this relationship with ourselves.

Like most things you fear, boredom is similar to a barking dog. Fear it, and it will chase you for the rest of your days. Confront it, and it will run away.

When you confront your boredom, you work through the stored emotions you’ve been avoiding. You face the deeper issues that have been festering within and leaving you feeling disconcerted and irritable, not unlike the feeling of having put off a term paper for months and becoming aware that it must be turned in soon.

This week, do something that enables you to clear your mind and begin experiencing the feelings deep within that have been awaiting your attention.
_____________________________________________
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, November 28, 2016

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

To a hammer, 
everything looks like a nail.
---Old proverb

It all started way back. As children, we take cues from our parents and other adults who wield power in our lives. We internalize what we think they think into our self-view.

When people who don’t love themselves or possess low levels of self-esteem become parents, they don’t know how to convey love to their children since they never received much of it themselves.

Instead, they are critical. Why? Because we always criticize others when we are critical of ourselves, and vice-versa. Their criticism, whether open or indirect, roughly translates as I don’t love you the way you are and You cannot be your true Self if you want my love—you must change.

As a result, we begin at a very early age to believe that receiving love depends on meeting certain conditions. We adopt the belief that we are unworthy of love and must mold ourselves into someone else in order to obtain it.

And why don’t we stand up and object against this tyranny? Because when we were children, our parents were so large in our minds that they were our world.

If they acted in an unhealthy way toward us, we couldn’t disagree with them, because to believe they were unhealthy and misguided would be to entertain the thought that our world was unhealthy and misguided. That would be too painful and would sweep the rug from under our feet.

Rather than blindly plodding along in the life you’ve inherited, take a bold step toward living the life you create.
_____________________________________________
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).