Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Greatest Christmas Gift



It’s ironic that, in America, the day after Thanksgiving—a day of gratitude for what we have to appreciate in our lives—is dedicated to the acquisition of more. We’ve even given this day a name: “Black Friday.” Whether the term originated due to massive traffic jams on the day after Thanksgiving or because it was the day many merchants’ accounts went “in the black” as they began to turn a profit for the year, our actions on the highest-shopping day of the year sometimes have dark undertones.
This year, a woman pepper sprayed 20 competing customers in Los Angeles for a discounted Xbox. During 2008’s Black Friday, a Wal-mart worker was trampled to death and four people were taken to the hospital—including a woman eight months pregnant—after throngs of people stormed the front door as the Long Island superstore opened early Friday morning.
The practice of Black Friday, which commences with waiting in line—often in the bitter cold—from unseemly hours of the morning and, for some, culminates in a “hot deal,” has also provided a much-needed boost to a fragile economy: America’s retailers generated revenues of $52.4 billion—up 16.7 percent from last year—on this year’s Black Friday.
America’s shopping culture—already in overdrive compared to just about any other nation—has recently injected itself with steroids. Macy’s just announced it will be open 24 hours a day for the 83 hours leading up to Christmas eve, only to be outdone by Toys ‘R Us (112 hours). My wife and I made a trip to the shopping mall on Saturday and I was surprised to learn that many other stores have been open all month until 11 pm, up a few hours daily from even a few years ago.
Black Friday used to mean that retailers opened at 6 am; in 2011, for the first time in history, many retailers, including Macy’s, opened at midnight the day before. Even before these extended shopping hours, America had built a reputation—highlighted by the massive numbers of people who come here from all over the world on shopping trips—as a nation of convenience, and one of the best places on the planet to consume what you want, when you want it, at the lowest price.
In most countries, merchants don’t keep these kind of hours because their employees and customers like to have, well, a life. The Black Friday incidents and the increasingly porous shopping hours betray a cultural shift that is stealthily affecting us: our acquisitiveness is becoming desperate. While it’s true that many of us aren’t doing as well financially as we were a few years ago, we must remember that to internalize the downturn is a choice. When we can’t find our worth on the inside, we futilely seek it on the outside. Buying things for our loved ones is a way of trying to convince them—and ourselves—that we are still doing OK, that we still have value.
Both we and our popular merchants are desperately attempting to demonstrate our continued relevance, and it’s difficult to determine who is mimicking who. One thing is certain: the bricks-and-mortars merchants are emulating the online merchants, who are always open 24-7, not just during the holidays.
The mania retailers feel is understandable: our government’s decision not to tax online vendors like amazon—which already has the advantage of not paying prime storefront rent, or any retail rent for that matter—unfairly threatens their existence, and their place in our local communities. In this sense, at least, one positive of Black Friday is it’s the one day when many of us step out from behind our computers and actually interact with other human beings while engaging in real (e.g. not virtual) commerce. There are many stories of new friendships initiated while standing in line next to a stranger in the wee hours of the morning.
Yet whether all this consumerism is truly in “the holiday spirit” is debatable. Most of us are over-working ourselves in order to maintain our current lifestyles in a troubled economy to the extent that we no longer have time for the people we love. To compensate for our lack of attention, we shower them with gifts while we distractedly check our smart-phones.
We focus on giving others our presents, when what they truly want from us is our presence. In many families, the first has become a substitute for a lack of the second. In fact, many of us no longer spend any significant amount of time even choosing presents to give, and instead email gift certificates—which are useful but mostly soulless. An amazon gift certificate is one shade short of giving cash, since you can buy just about anything (the purpose of legal tender) on their website. There is a reason most of us made the shift years ago from giving cash to giving gifts: a gift signals that you actually took some time to think about the other person. That feeling—that the other person put a lot of care into your gift—has become for many a fading fantasy.
We have become so disconnected from both ourselves and others that we shop as yet another form of distraction, as if we needed one. For many of us, shopping is like dating: it’s the thrill of the chase rather than enjoying the catch—and, whether it’s a potential mate or a discounted laptop, we’ll stay out all night in the hopes of conquest—that keeps us coming back for more.
One of my favorite cartoons is of an old man on his deathbed saying to one of his family members, “I should have bought more crap.” What we most deeply desire from others is love, not material possessions. A study of happiness by Richard Layard of the London School of Economics has documented that while families that earn $50,000 per year are measurably happier than those that earn $10,000 per year, and families that earn $100,000 per year are slightly happier than those that earn $50,000 per year, families that earn $500,000 per year have no measurable increase in happiness over families that earn $100,000 per year. These studies yield the same results whether survey respondents are all in the U.S. or the UK, or by international cross-country comparisons.
David Geffen once said, “Those who think money buys happiness don’t have money.” The happiness studies demonstrate that Geffen is only partially right; the other part of the equation is that those who think money is unrelated to happiness have a lot of money. It seems we need a balance of presence and presents, with a strong tilt toward the former.
I recently saw Thich Nhat Hanh, the 85 year old Vietnamese monk who Martin Luther King, Jr. nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, speak at the Warner Theater in Washington, D.C. The Buddhist monk asked the sold-out crowd, “What is the greatest gift you can give to the person you love?” After a hushed silence, he shared: “To be fully present.”
To be fully present with others, we must first be fully present with ourselves. We are so quick to externalize our challenges, whether it’s our shrinking checkbook or our fear about our jobs. Before we Occupy Wall Street or Occupy the Shopping Mall, we need to Occupy Ourselves. How do we do this, and become fully present? By taking an inner detour, slowing down a bit, and learning how to spend quality time with ourselves—not online, not seeking the next best deal; simply befriending the silence rather than running from it.
In my leadership conferences, I often call this principle “Schedule Solitude.” It is this silence that connects us with our deepest values and life Vision. When we become fully present with ourselves, we become less interested in amassing things or even amassing knowledge. Instead, we connect with our inner wisdom that signals what we most deeply value.
Once we increase our comfort with being alone and reflecting on what gives our life meaning, we naturally become ready and available to listen with empathy, to truly care about what others value, and to also learn to speak authentically and give voice to what lies deep inside so we can make a genuine connection with others that creates meaning in our lives. This is the greatest gift we can offer to the people we love.
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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 each 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 19, 2011

Who Was the Real Steve Jobs?

When I speak about Steve Jobs at conferences, I have taken to using the term "the folkloric Steve Jobs leadership style." There is much talk in the media about "Good Steve" and "Bad Steve." The "Bad Steve," we are told, parked in handicapped spaces and publicly humiliated employees who weren't performing up to his standards. No drive for success is worth mistreating people along the way, we think, and we are right. Yet who was the real Steve Jobs?

We are told that Steve had no time for charity, yet it is unclear whether the truth is that he didn't care about charity or that he didn't care about promoting himself for caring about charity, as so many others commonly do today.

When I watch his commencement speech at the 2005 Stanford graduation, I wonder what this mythical icon of our technology age was truly like; and I admit to myself that I'll probably never know.

I am also inspired. There is a lot in his speech for us to digest, in particular some excellent messages about pursuing our dreams and believing in our potential to accomplish what we set our minds to. I love the question he asked himself daily - "Am I happy about what I am going to be doing today?" - and his willingness to make changes when the answer was consecutively no for a number of days. I am also inspired by his interest in calligraphy as a dropout taking courses at Reed College, which led to his idea of multiple fonts for the first Macintosh, and how he transformed his passion for style and detail into a quest to make technology simple and attractive.

Steve Jobs had a unique blend of visionary and obsessive leader that permanently altered the way we perceive technology and how we integrate it into our lives. He deserves credit for that. He also re-engineered significant "failures" in his life, like being fired from the company he created (Apple), only to create other immensely successful companies (Pixar and NeXT), and then, like a Phoenix rising from the ashes, return to steward Apple through the most successful period in its history and turn the music and cell-phone industries on their heads.
Jobs says in the commencement address that being fired from Apple “freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life….The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again.” Jobs is living proof that what one person calls ‘failure’ is evolution and positive growth to another. That's an important message for each of us to take to heart as we accept where we haven't reached our expectations in 2011 and start making our plans for the new year.

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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 each 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).







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




Your dreams set the ceiling for your existence.
--- Anthony Silard

You can only achieve what you first conceive. Think about it: how could you possibly rise higher than your imagination, or exceed your self-perception? Where will you find the determination or internal compass to navigate through obstacles and keep pushing on toward a destination unless you instinctually know what the destination looks like and have faith in your ability to reach it? If you are buying into this way of thinking, then you also know how important it is to set your ceiling high. Yet you may not be convinced. I understand, and know this isn’t easy. It’s hard to have hope and want something again after being disappointed. Somewhere along the way, many of us become disheartened and weary, and lose our courage to dream. Alternatively, we just say to ourselves, “Why make all that effort, and allocate so much of my emotional, financial, and physical resources just to end up with nothing. I have better things to do.” You never end up with nothing. The learning you experience along the way always brings you one step closer to realizing your dream. Always. Even when it seems like it’s just too much, and you don’t deserve to be experiencing the suffering that’s unexpectedly come your way. Make a commitment to undergo a sea change in your thinking, and shift from “Why me?” thoughts to “Yes, me, and this is what I’m going to do differently in the future.” Take some time this week to reflect on what you are capable of, and what you want to create in your life for yourself and others. Let the sky be the limit, throw all the “shoulda, coulda, woulda” thoughts to the wind, and envision what could be possible if only you were to believe in your ability to bring it into existence while learning from what transpires along your path every step of the way. Sit with these thoughts over the holidays, and then start designing ways to translate them into meaningful actions that will enable you to live the life you have imagined.

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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 each 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).

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Announcing Anthony Silard’s New Simon and Schuster Book, The Connection

Your passion is the one thing you offer the world that can never be duplicated, outsourced, or silenced.

With soaring unemployment rates, many people now find themselves without a job or with employment that is unsatisfying, tenuous, or even in conflict with their values. Now from leadership expert and President of The Center for Social Leadership, Anthony Silard, The Connection offers a clear guide to discovering your passion and integrating it into your professional and private life.

With a simple set of exercises, The Connection will help you:

· Build a career that aligns with your values.
· Create a holistic view of success.
· Transform your dreams to goals, and your goals to reality.
· Bring purpose to every aspect of your life.

The Connection will help you pinpoint the true source of your passion and motivation to build a foundation for change, and, ultimately, the skills to cultivate a truly authentic life.

The Connection is an affirmation of the beauty and higher calling within each of us. It will help the reader firmly ground him- or herself in values that spring from deep within, and then embark mindfully on a path toward meaning, joy, and unconditional self-acceptance.”

—Tara Brach, author of Radical Acceptance

In stores January 10, 2011. Preorder your copy of The Connection now at Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble.

Monday, December 12, 2011

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




If you suspect a man, don’t employ him,
and if you employ him, don’t suspect him.
--- Ancient Chinese proverb

Here’s one of the burning questions that I have observed keeps leaders up at night: “How can I be sure the people doing the work are really doing the work?” Many of these leaders come into work the next day and—reacting to their insecurity about whether everything is getting done up to snuff—ask questions about how much work has been done, such as “Did you get Isabel’s feedback on the proposal yet?” or “When do you think you’ll have the report?” These transactional conversations are necessary at times, but when they become the centerpiece of the employer-employee verbal exchange, they sap the same energy these employers so desperately need in their employees for their companies to be successful. This week, take stock of the transactional conversations you have with your employees, and reflect on how you can make these dialogues more transformational. Ask yourself how you can punctuate the targeted questions you ask your employees with more reflective, open-ended questions that enable them to question the purpose of their work and how it contributes to the organizational mission and the betterment of society. Consider how you can rise to one of the greatest challenges every leader faces: to help people connect with and then live their higher selves.
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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 each 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 5, 2011

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




Success is the ability to go from one failure to another
with no loss of enthusiasm.
-- Winston Churchill

The word “failure” is so laced with judgment and negativity that I propose we erase it from our vocabulary altogether. Instead of using the word “failure” or “problem,” I suggest you use the word “challenge.” While the first two words make you feel badly about yourself (I don’t know about you, but the expressions “I’m a failure” or “I have a problem” make me want to climb into a hole and take up permanent residence there) the word “challenge” inspires you to work hard to overcome it. “Challenge” is also the only word that literally contains the word “change” within it. Also consider this insight from China: The word “crisis” is written in Mandarin with two characters. One character signifies danger and the other means opportunity. This is the choice you have whenever you face a crisis: surrender to the danger or find the opportunity. To find the opportunity, draw a table with two columns. At the top of the left column, write “Challenge.” At the top of the right column, write “Opportunity.” Write down some of the greatest challenges you have faced in the past few years in the left column, and then, in the right column, their corresponding opportunities. Next, write down your current challenges (in the left column), and then, in the adjoining column, the opportunities located within them. Repeat this exercise periodically, especially when you are feeling frustrated with the turn of events in your life, or down about yourself, or a lack of energy or motivation.

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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 each 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, 2011

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




Don’t spend your life trying to be better than others.
Spend it trying to be better than yourself.

--- Anthony Silard

The only way to find the time to reflect on life in our over-stimulated society is to break out of the mix. It’s not enough to do things differently. Resilience is about doing the right things in the right ways at the right time based on how your environment and the people around you—whether it’s your customers, employees, friends, or intimate partner—are changing. Your inner wisdom that illuminates the right path forward will surface more often when you take time to reconnect with yourself. Like any other relationship, your relationship with yourself—picture a small child inside you waiting for your attention—needs nurturing and special time allocated for its growth. The more you develop this relationship, the more solid your core values and life Vision will become. Your values are the anchor in your life that informs you what you won’t change, and, in so doing, liberates you to change everything else. Dedicate some time this week to turn your gaze inward and reflect on what you most value. Even small amounts of time—a half-hour walk in between meetings, fifteen minutes of meditation in the morning, ten minutes to stretch and walk around after going for a run or to the gym—hold tremendous leverage, and will help you process your daily emotions and feel more centered and attuned to the change you need to embrace 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 each 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 21, 2011

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




Silence is a friend who will never betray.
--- Confucius

Ask yourself this question and try to answer it with brutal honesty: “How do I feel about being alone?” Do you embrace being alone, or do you go to great lengths to avoid yourself? Like a friend from whom you’ve become estranged, it can take awhile to reestablish your comfort with silence. Yet it’s important that you do. Consider music. It would lose its soothing quality if there were no periods of silence between the notes, and would become just noise. Similarly, your life will become an unbearable cacophony of noise if you refuse to give yourself time to relax, recover, and process what life has sent your way. No matter where you are, you can access these moments of silence that transform the noise of your life into a beautiful symphony. One strategy I practice daily is to pause for a few moments before entering a house, building, or car. I stop for five or ten seconds, look at the sky, and take a few deep breaths. After I walked in the front door of my building one day, the receptionist, Janet, asked me, “Anthony, why do you always do that? You stop and look at something, but you’re really not looking at anything.” This simple practice reminds me to not take myself too seriously, to breathe, and to appreciate the beauty of life. The vastness outside helps me connect with the vastness inside. While this may sound minimal, these few seconds of silence interspersed throughout my day make it easier for me to also pause for a few moments in more difficult circumstances—such as when someone puts me down or lashes out at me in anger, and I’m feeling a strong emotion like insecurity, anxiety, or resentment and need to reconnect with my higher Self before acting. Design a simple practice you can begin integrating into your schedule this week to embrace the silence in between the notes of 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 each 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 14, 2011

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


misspeak, word vomit, oops

Sharing thoughts without a purpose is like driving without a
direction: you can end up just about anywhere.
--- Anthony Silard

Being an authentic person does not mean “letting it all hang out.” If you are thinking about distancing from a longtime friend because of how he’s been acting lately, or telling the person who has been pursuing you that you just don’t find them attractive, or sharing a controversial view on an issue not core to your campaign, or taking your company in a completely different direction that you still need to think through, you do not need to share these thoughts in the name of authenticity. While being authentic means being honest when you share information, it doesn’t mean disclosing every piece of information that floats across your mind. You share only what you genuinely think; yet you also think about what you share. You most likely understand this in your career. If you want to move your company toward a compelling Vision— whether it’s to develop the most user-friendly real estate software on the market, or build the most versatile football team in the league, or enable thousands of at-risk youth to attend college—then your interactions with your employees, board members, and coworkers must emanate from that Vision. The same is true in your relationships with your family members, partner, and friends—if you also want to move those relationships in a healthy direction. Feeling obligated to communicate every thought that crosses your mind—whether it’s aligned with your Vision or not—is not being authentic. Why? A thought based on a temporary mood or a negative emotion such as insecurity, anger, or fear, or a thought that would unnecessarily harm another human being, does not reflect your deeper, more intact self—where your authenticity resides. Spend some time this week reflecting on what authenticity means to you and how you will practice it 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 each 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 7, 2011

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




I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.
---Confucius

I take Confucius’ words of wisdom to heart when designing leadership development programs. Many of the participants in my conferences learn more about leadership in our “leadership laboratory”—where they are placed in real-life leadership scenarios—than from any set of theories. Their preconceived notions of how a leader should act—which they learned from observing their parents and former teachers, coaches, and bosses—play out. During this “mental rewiring” process, each person refines their personal leadership style. Why does this work? Because you don’t become a leader, an astronaut, a ballerina, or anything else by just talking about it. To develop a deeply rooted understanding of your vocation that will stay with you when you really need it—that is, when you’re under pressure or the next crisis hits—you have to practice acting out your role. Reflect on an important goal that you want to pursue in your life. What role do you need to fulfill to achieve it? How will you get started this week acting out this role? Write down a few tasks to get yourself out of the starting gate and give this role a try. Incorporate what you learn along the way to further develop your acting skills.

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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 each 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, October 31, 2011

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




When there is no light at the end of the tunnel,
it becomes very dark.

--- Anthony Silard

One of life’s greatest dangers is to not have the faintest clue what to do next. You’ve no doubt seen movies about celebrities who lose their way and succumb to drugs, self-destructive behavior, and even suicide. They achieve their goals beyond their wildest expectations, find themselves without anything left to aim for, and enter a personal hell. Consider the trajectory of Johnny Cash’s life as depicted in the movie Walk the Line. Celebrity brings a rush of excitement to the life of a former door-to-door salesman from Arkansas, which is quickly followed by depression and an addiction to pills. What pulls him out of it? A compelling Vision to improve the lives of prisoners and to love a woman. Did the Man in Black ever finish helping prisoners and then say, “Been there, done that. Time for a new goal”? No way. Did he run out of love to give to June Carter? Never. What unattainable Vision do you have that you will never stop working toward? To be a loving and devoted parent? To be an excellent doctor on the cutting-edge of health care treatment? To help people attune to their inner energy through the most compassionate yoga instruction possible? I realize this is a hard sell. I’m asking you to buy a ticket to a destination you’ll never reach. I know it sounds counterintuitive. So why buy your ticket? Because it’s the journey—not the destination—that gives your life meaning. To step on board, ask yourself this question over the next few days: “What will I never attain, yet willingly pursue for a lifetime?” Answering this question will help you discover your deepest passion and life Vision.

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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 each 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, October 24, 2011

Smile, It’s Monday: Your Weekly Wake-up Call to Create the Intimate Relationship You Desire




Don’t tell me, show me.
--- Lyndon B. Johnson

Whatever he tells you he is usually is either how he wishes he were or how he perceives himself, but not how he truly is. In our microwave society, many people have come to believe that you can just add water, have a few dinners and—poof!—you understand another person. The only true indicator of how someone will act in the future is how they act in the present—especially when they have to handle adversity—which is only revealed over time. Have you ever heard the saying, “Watch how your date treats the server. It’s how he will be treating you in six months”? Whether it’s a romantic interest, a new friend, or a potential business partner, there are no shortcuts to building trust. A farmer can’t throw seeds on the ground and expect a good harvest. There is no express lane to understanding another person. The only tried-and-true method is to patiently observe their daily actions over time. Dedicate some time to getting to know someone a little better this week by asking them a few open-ended questions about their life, and then listening to what they have to say without judgment. Alternatively, just spend some time with them by going for a walk together or sharing a meal. These encounters, when repeated often over time, are the only way to build the necessary trust to create a healthy, meaningful relationship.

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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 each 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, October 17, 2011

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


Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick
themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened.

--- Winston Churchill

When you dream, you experience moments when the future rushes in and you see what your life can become—if only you pay attention. To dream is to enlarge and expand these moments when you stumble over the truth; to put the activities you attach so much importance to on hold; and to plumb the depths of and attempt to understand the deeply rooted feelings these quiet moments evoke within you. Why is it so important to dream? Because going for what you really desire in life isn’t easy; it means putting an end to keeping your dreams at bay and your ceiling low. It means that just when you thought you wouldn’t be able to find any further reserve of effort within, you dig a little deeper until your metal detector starts buzzing and lighting up. It means no longer saying: “If I aim too high and don’t get what I want, I won’t be able to live with myself. It’s safer for me to just stay where I am and not think about something greater. This way, I won’t be disappointed.” If you insist on living this way, get ready for a life you don’t have to get ready for. Instead, take some time this week to design a few unique strategies to integrate time to dream into your daily life. Write down a few small, concrete ways to think regularly about what you most want to bring into 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 each 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, October 10, 2011

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


Freedom is not free.

--- Inscription on the Korean War Memorial in Washington, D.C.

To develop your own Vision for your life and relentlessly pursue it is the only freedom I know of. Like anything of import, it’s not free. The cost is to drill down to the core of your suffering. Why do this? Because confronting the pain that lingers inside you is precisely what liberates you from it. You will then be able to discover your passion for what you want to change in the world. “But why go through all this pain to confront even more pain that’s better forgotten?” you may be thinking. “I’d rather focus on what makes me happy.” I realize what I’m asking you to do isn’t easy. Let’s face it: “Confront My Suffering” probably isn’t the first thing you want to put on your “To Do” list. Yet it’s worth your time to fight the human tendency to avoid thinking about the pain you’ve experienced. Once you integrate these periodic self-dialogues into your schedule alongside “Meet Mary for Tennis,” your life’s mission—like a mountain lake after the sediment has sifted to the bottom—will start to become clear. Where you once saw an abundance of time and a scarcity of opportunities, you will see the opposite. Most importantly—for you and the rest of us you share this planet with—you will find a sense of meaning in the brief amount of time you have left on this earth, which will guide you toward thoughtful, compelling action. Take some time this week to think about the suffering you’ve experienced in your life, what it has taught you, and what this learning guides you to change in your life and the lives of others.

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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 each 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, October 3, 2011

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




Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.
--- African proverb

Many venture capital firms are actually more likely to invest in an entrepreneur who has already failed in a prior business effort, as long as the entrepreneur can demonstrate how he or she learned from it. Why? The entrepreneur has experienced the learning curve that only ‘failure’ generates. It’s my experience that the most successful leaders all have one thing in common: they “fail wisely.” After being fired from the company he started at age thirty (Apple), Steve Jobs used the opportunity to build the most successful animation company in history (Pixar). He later returned to lead Apple through its most successful period and revolutionize the music industry. Jobs has said that being fired from Apple “freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life … The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again.” Jobs is living proof that what one person calls “failure” is evolution and positive growth to another. As adults we brood over our “failures”—which is precisely what keeps us failing over and over again. Our feelings of failure generate even greater feelings of low self-esteem that diminish our capacity to succeed. The next time you have a thought such as “I’m a failure” or “Look, there I go, messing up again,” mentally reengineer your negative thought by instead asking yourself the questions: “How can I fail wisely?” and “What must I learn from this experience to help me more effectively reach my goals?” Apply the inner wisdom that emanates from your responses to move more assuredly forward—with the new skills and learning you have picked up along the way—toward your goals.

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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 each 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, September 26, 2011

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




It’s better to not get what you want and act with integrity
than to get what you want and not act with integrity.

--- Anthony Silard

When you deliberately engage in actions such as not holding your company to environmental standards (taking the right of people to live in a healthy world) or demeaning a coworker (taking their right to be treated with respect), you end up hurting yourself. How does this happen? Your self-image evolves in the direction of your actions. You see yourself as someone who takes from rather than gives to others, as someone who has a negative impact on the people around them. As a result, your self-image suffers, and you lower the level of treatment you will accept from others. Why would you accept such treatment? You feel you are receiving what you deserve. This unconscious meritocracy is very real and present within each of us (with the exception of some extreme cases such as sociopaths, who can act without an overarching conscience) and sets the floor and ceiling of your existence. In other words, it determines the bandwidth of the love you will allow yourself to receive from others. It is the concrete explanation of the old saying “What goes around comes around.” Reflect on a time in your life when you acted with integrity, even at the cost of a short-term goal or desire. Also recall a time when you placed your immediate interests above what you knew was right for others. What were the outcomes of these two critical moments in your life? How did they influence your self-esteem and inner strength? Now meditate on how you have been acting toward others over the last few months. Ask yourself this question: “What has come first—my desire to get what I want, or my deeper conviction to act with integrity?” Envision how you will act going forward to assimilate the integrity you need to fill your life with the relationships you desire.

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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 each 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, September 19, 2011

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




Leadership is the capacity to build relationships
toward a common purpose.

--- Anthony Silard

The word “company” is derived from com (with) and panis (bread), and literally means “to break bread with.” A company is nothing more than a set of relationships. As these relationships are constructed, so is the company or organization constructed. Unaware of this dynamic, many people explode at others and burn bridges when they feel anxious or frustrated. Alternatively, they don’t deliver what they commit to, which erodes trust and, consequently, the very relationships they need to generate long-term success. How do you define a healthy relationship? What behaviors characterize such a relationship? Picture yourself twenty years from now, and the type of relationships you want your life to be filled with. Describe these relationships so clearly that you can feel, smell, touch them. Write down how you will have to act to create them. Also note which actions you will have to avoid, even when your mood du jour insists otherwise. Now consider the important relationships you will need to build to create the company, organization, volunteer group, school club, family, or political campaign you’ve been dreaming about for years. Get started this week creating the relationships that will enable you to live the life you desire.

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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 each 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, September 12, 2011

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




Never forget that your computer was designed by programmers living within the constraints of humankind’s current level of knowledge.
--- Anthony Silard

What you love to do is much more than crunching numbers or committing everyday procedures to memory. All the facts that you memorize can also be memorized by someone willing to work for 10 percent of your salary in a nation far, far away. They can probably even be memorized by a computer. Yet while knowledge can be outsourced, wisdom can’t. Thanks to information technology networks that span the globe, knowledge has more reach than ever before, although not necessarily more depth. Take some time this week to attune to what your heart responds to, what most motivates you and makes you feel content with your life, and how you want to spend the days you still have left. Ask yourself a few times per day, “What do I feel like doing right now?” Then allow your feelings to pour out and reveal what you truly enjoy. Also ask: “What is the impact I deeply want to make in society?” and “How do I want the world to be different as a result of my life?” Put aside the what-I-should-be-doing voice that drones on incessantly in your mind, and listen to the what-I-feel-like-doing voice that emanates simply and clearly from your heart. This is the only path to a career that will sustain you.

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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 each 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).

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

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




If you chase two rabbits, both will escape.
--- Old proverb

What is the one thing in your career that you will never sacrifice? How about in your intimate relationship or marriage? What is the most important thing that defines what you and your partner are creating that you will always stand up for and honor? How about in your family relationships? Your friendships? Whatever is most important to you, schedule it first. If other things don’t get done, so be it. Identify the one thing you will do your level best to make happen, day after day. Visualize what you most want in your life, and then start making decisions that move your life in its direction. It really is that simple. To transform what you most desire into your reality, you must maintain a laser-like focus on attaining it – and do it first. I have observed that many people schedule what’s most important to them late in the day. When you do this, the chances of it not happening are high, as other things come up or take longer than you think. The message here is straightforward and yet elusive for most of us: Whatever you value most, go and do it. Then work your way down in terms of priority to your other tasks.

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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 each 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).

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Training That Inspires


Success doesn’t come from aiming at success.
Success comes from doing what you’re passionate about to the best of your ability.
--- Anthony Silard

In the nonprofit world we often are driven not by money or fame, but a passion to change the world. Make sure to provide your staff with a training that not only teaches practical concrete skills, but also helps you re-connect with your passion to improve outcomes.

Work with The Center for Social Leadership to create a dynamic, interactive training experience that will be educational and inspiring. Choose from over 35 workshops in the area of nonprofit/business development and tailor a program fit for YOU (Your Organization Uniquely).

To see a full list of workshops and conference models please visit our website at www.socialleaders.org or contact Executive Director, Lauren Berg, 202-241-6721 / Lauren@socialleaders.org
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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 each 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, August 29, 2011

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




Focus on the actions you take, not on how
others take your actions.
--- Anthony Silard

Guglielmo Marconi is testimony to Emerson’s prescient words, “Genius always finds itself a century too early.” The Italian inventor was taken to a mental hospital for believing he could ‘send messages through the air.’ After he was discharged, he invented the radio. To get an idea of how innovative Marconi’s invention was at the end of the nineteenth century, consider how Einstein helped people to understand it: “You see, wire telegraph is a kind of very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles...Radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat.” Are you willing to believe in something and stick with it even if others laugh at you, or you don’t get the immediate results you desire? If you are unwilling to risk others taking issue with what you say or do, save yourself some time and take self-fulfillment and making a breakthrough off your list of potential results you will experience in this lifetime. Reflect this week first on what you feel you want to do, and then on what you think you should do. The former is your deepest voice speaking; the latter, the voice of others. Determine which voice will guide you.

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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 each 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).

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Slowing Down + Focusing = Achieving Your Most Important Goals


If you want to achieve your most important goals as quickly as possible, slow down.
--- Anthony Silard

We race around without a minute of quiet; Checking emails and taking calls while we drive, walk, and even when we are trying to relax. We are so busy we don’t have time to reflect on whether or not all this movement is moving us in the direction we want to be going in. Anthony Silard can work with you to make sure your energy and effort is leading you towards your most important goals.

Priorities are like friends – if you have too many you end up with none.
--- Anthony Silard

We are pushed or driven to work on so many different things that nothing actually gets done with quality. This constantly leaves you unsatisfied and searching for more to do and accomplish. Anthony Silard will work with you to bring your most important priorities into focus.

Leadership guru and president of The Center for Social Leadership, Anthony Silard, has been working to help individuals slow down and focus on what is most important to them for over seventeen years.

To learn more about life coaching and executive coaching options with Anthony Silard visit our website www.socialleaders.org or contact our Executive Director, Lauren Berg, 202-241-6721 / Lauren@socialleaders.org

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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 each 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, August 22, 2011

Smile, It’s Monday: Your Weekly Wake-up Call to Create the Intimate Relationship You Desire




Dating is a pendulum that swings back and forth between guilt and rejection.
--- Anthony Silard

Trying to find the right partner is like entering a massive food chain: either you like them more than they like you (rejection) or they like you more than you like them (guilt). Since everyone becomes both the hunter and the hunted, the food chain operates more like a pendulum. Here’s how the pendulum works: When you experience rejection, you swing toward someone who likes you more than you like them (you try to stave off your feelings of rejection by calling someone whom you know will be responsive, a “Plan B”), which eventually lands you in guilt because you don’t have genuine feelings for them. When you experience guilt, you swing toward someone whom you like more than they like you (because the recent attention you’ve been receiving makes you feel invincible, like anyone in their right mind would want to be with you) and you eventually land in rejection. To avoid becoming trapped in the arc of this endless pendulum swing, focus on your long-term goal of finding the right partner, and act in the present in ways that are aligned with this goal. This week, remind yourself that your thoughts about what didn’t work in the past or your fears about what might not work in the future get you nowhere. Call someone because they have the potential to fulfill what you are looking for in the long term, not as a reaction to guilt or rejection. Be honest with yourself: embrace that you want to find the right person, and accept that you can’t sit at the edge of the jungle in a lawn chair to do that. You have to ignite some fires, and accept that some will flicker out quickly and others will burn you. Know that both guilt and rejection are short-lived emotions that distract you from your most important task: to keep on lighting fires until you find the one that keeps on burning.

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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 each 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).

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Turn Off the Judgmental Tape-Player that is in Your Head


Total Connection will aid you in not only controlling your “outer voice” but also your “inner voice”. Come to learn and practice techniques on how best to deal with conflict and anger as well as how best to recognize and nurture your strengths. Gain strategies around how to be more patient with others and yourself. Get in touch with your own needs and become more aware of the needs of others.

In this cutting-edge workshop series, you will have the opportunity to clarify your most important values, turn off the judgmental tape-player in your head, and revitalize the latent part of yourself – which you may have subordinated ever since your early childhood when you were more vulnerable with others and less concerned about getting hurt – that trusts in the human spirit and the capacity of human beings to act with love and compassion toward each other.

For more information on Total Connection and how you can choose the right model for your business or your family, please visit our website www.socialleaders.org or contact our Executive Director, Lauren Berg, 202-241-6721 / Lauren@socialleaders.org

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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 each 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, August 15, 2011

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




Live 365 days per year, not one day 365 times.
--- Anthony Silard

It’s easy to understand why change is not high on our list of priorities. It’s no big surprise that most of us, when confronted with the daily choice of Turn my mind off in front of the TV and eat some ice cream or drink a beer versus Think about the dysfunctional, entrenched patterns that keep me stuck in my life and actually do something about them, opt for the former. We avoid change because it requires us to exert a higher level of effort, step out of our box, and do things differently. Yet anything we perceive as positive in our lives – love, earning a decent livelihood, improving a relationship, communicating our needs with compassion and understanding the needs of others – requires immense effort. What we consider negative – angry denunciations of others, violence, sex without love – is almost always a lack of effort, a lethargic “giving in” to our baser instincts. Reflect for a moment on what positivity means for you. What important life goal compels you to dig deep into your soul and make a real, concerted effort to achieve it? Take some time this week to identify a goal that will motivate you enough to embrace and weather the change you will encounter on your path while pursuing it.

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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 each 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).

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Planning A Training? An Upcoming Conference?


You don’t want the same old results, so don’t give your staff the same old trainings.

Work with The Center for Social Leadership to create a dynamic, interactive training experience that will be educational and inspiring. Let the Center for Social Leadership find out from you and your team which trainings you need most. With that information we can work with you to choose from over 35 workshops in the area of nonprofit/business development.

I would definitely recommend this conference to other nonprofit directors. This is real world information and speaks directly to the nonprofit arena.
Laurie Andres, Children’s Nurturing Project

Thank you Tony for helping me find my passion!
Forty years of not knowing and to finally have
an “ah ha” moment!
Pam Smart, Connections for Life

This conference has dramatically broadened and encouraged my plans for my nonprofit enterprise... Thank you. A life-changing experience.
Art Shields, Lifesavers World Inc.

If you aren’t getting similar reactions to your current trainings, contact The Center for Social Leadership and let us work with you to not only train, but inspire your staff. To see a full list of workshops and conference models please visit our website at www.socialleaders.org or contact Executive Director, Lauren Berg, 202-241-6721 / Lauren@socialleaders.org

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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 each 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, August 8, 2011

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




Those who move in all directions move in no direction.
--- Anthony Silard

Pick a situation and ask yourself if you are keeping your life focused on what you most value or becoming overextended by saying ‘Yes’ to too many people or activities. If you love playing basketball or tennis, are you making enough time to truly enjoy your time on the court or are you going through the motions to jam it into your schedule along with all your other priorities? If being a nurturing parent is important to you, are you hurriedly reading your children bedtime stories while your mind drifts from fairytale land back to the preoccupations of your job, or are you devoting your full energy to both the story and the inquisitive line of questioning from your child about the characters? When you try to fit too many things into your day, your life begins to feel stuck rather than dynamic as you experience yourself living a convoluted, distorted version of your desired life. Take a moment to draw two columns on a piece of paper. Write ‘No’ at the top of the left column. Below it write down a few things you want to say ‘No’ to in your life. At the top of the right column, write ‘Deeper Yes’. Below it, write down what are you saying a ‘Deeper Yes’ to by saying ‘No’ to the corresponding action in the left column. Meditate on how the entries in your Deeper Yes column are aligned with your Vision for how you want to live 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 each 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).

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Connect Your Daily Actions to Your Life Vision


People with no center move in all directions.

--- Anthony Silard

Is everyone pointing you in a different direction? Does it feel like the arrows in your head are crisscrossing and spinning you around? Is your internal compass wavering as to what direction is true north? Anthony Silard is ready to work with you so that your arrow is pointing directly at your values, passions, goals, and dreams. He will help lead you to your path so you are not zigzagging down someone else’s.

One-on-one life and/or executive coaching helps you to clarify your purpose and direction. You will feel satisfied at the end of the day knowing your daily actions were connected to your larger life vision. You will spend less time thinking about what to do and more time doing. You will spend less time thinking about how to be and more time being.

Life coaching and executive coaching are ways to bring direction, serenity and greater success into your life.

To learn more about life coaching and executive coaching options with Anthony Silard visit our website www.socialleaders.org or contact our Executive Director, Lauren Berg, 202-241-6721 / Lauren@socialleaders.org

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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 each 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, August 1, 2011

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




Integrity is the shortest distance to where you need to go.
--- Anthony Silard

Make a commitment to be truthful with others and you will be pleasantly surprised by how much easier it is to go about your day without having to worry about what you told to whom and how to cover your tracks. Although it may take more time in the short term to speak genuinely and honestly, you will reduce the future prevaricating and second-guessing that always accompany the alternative. All other benefits aside, you will just plain feel better about yourself. You will also attract more people into your life who also act with integrity and whom you can securely build your life and career around. To bring more integrity into the way you lead, create your ‘Integrity Index’ for the week. To fill this index, ask yourself questions such as: “How will I measure my integrity?”, “What constitutes honesty in my book?” and “What do I have to do to earn a perfect 10?” Give yourself a rating from 1 to 10 each week based on how well you are realizing your Integrity Index. Each week, ask “Am I fooling myself here, or is this real integrity I’m aspiring toward?” The higher the standards you hold yourself to, the longer will your affair with leadership last. Continue to upgrade your Integrity Index each week until you are comfortable with it.

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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 each 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).

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Nurture Your Passion. Increase Your Social Impact. Enjoy Yourself.


Allow us at The Center for Social Leadership to learn directly from you and your staff about what your organization needs most. Then work together with us to tailor a conference or workshop series that speaks directly to your staff and your organization’s needs.

With a training program fit for YOU (Your Organization Uniquely) you can expect to get your needs met in any area of nonprofit development from team building to strategic planning, from reducing burn out to increasing financial resources. President and lead facilitator for The Center for Social Leadership, Anthony Silard, has been coaching nonprofits for over seventeen years. Anthony, along with our team of consultants, will work diligently with you and your staff to make sure all training is poignant and relevant to your current situation.

To see a full list of workshops and conference models, please visit our website at www.socialleaders.org or contact Executive Director, Lauren Berg, 202-241-6721 / Lauren@socialleaders.org

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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 each 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, July 25, 2011

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




He who angers me controls me.
--- Chinese proverb

He or she who causes me to feel insecurity, or resentment, or fear, or jealousy, or envy, controls me. Yet here’s the news: no one else “causes” you to feel any of these emotions. No one climbs a ladder and steps into your brain and forces you to feel anything whatsoever. You choose to feel all of these emotions just as you choose to feel happiness, lightness, inner peace and grace. While others do stimulate certain emotions within you, the centerpiece of self-control is recognizing that you are the sole proprietor of your feelings. Pick a situation in your life and ask yourself whether you are practicing self-actualization or “actualization by others.” If you are having The Same Old Argument in a long-term relationship, or launching one in a new relationship at home or at the office, what is your role in perpetuating it? You are most likely very strategic when it comes to achieving your work goals. If you were to apply this same strategic thinking, combined with a healthy dose of love and empathy, toward the person in question, how might you act to defuse the tensions you are both experiencing and help bring the issue to resolution, or, if this is not possible, to a peaceful state of “Let’s agree to disagree”? Design some strategies this week to bring more harmony into this relationship.

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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 each 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, July 18, 2011

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




I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.
--- Thomas Edison

When you were a kid and were learning how to ride a bicycle, you probably fell off at least twenty times before you could even ride a block. Each time you fell off, did you stop and sulk for a few hours or days about how much of a ‘failure’ you were? I doubt it. Instead, I bet you got back up, dusted yourself off, and tried again. This time you had the benefit of just a little more experience and knowledge of how to ride (or at least how not to ride) which, with much repetition and openness to learning, finally enabled you to take off and ride like the wind. Now you hardly ever fall off your bike. I hate to break it to you, but it’s not because you are especially agile now. It’s because you went through the necessary trial-and-error period to learn how to ride gracefully. Pick an important goal in your life, such as trying to find a new job, or meet the right person, or launch a new product, or manage your employees more effectively. Imagine – right here in this moment – if you could stop getting down on yourself when you discover a way that doesn’t work. Instead, start seeing it for what it truly is: one of your many attempts – like those of the famous inventor of the phonograph and the light bulb – to find a way that does work. Each of these attempts enhances your cumulative experience, edges you up the learning curve a little higher, and brings you closer to successfully achieving your goal.

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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 each 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, July 11, 2011

Smile, It’s Monday: Your Weekly Wake-up Call to Create the Intimate Relationship You Desire




Emotion, which is suffering, ceases to be suffering
as soon as we form a clear and precise picture of it.

--- Spinoza

The only path to loving another person as they truly are is to confront your demons – the insecurity, self-doubt, guilt, remorse, and, of course, fear of being hurt again, and let’s not forget the worry about growing old alone – and say to them, “I know you guys are all here for a reason. Please tell me what that reason is.” Each of your emotions – even and especially those you label ‘negative’ – has shown up to teach you something. Believe it or not, they are each making themselves present for your self-preservation. Your worry about growing old alone may be there to say, “Stop fooling yourself and dating people who are emotionally unavailable. It’s time to choose someone who actually reciprocates.” Your self-doubt may have shown up to say, “You have to confront me first before you reach out to another person. I’m here to remind you of the importance of believing in the beautiful person that you are.” Every time a difficult emotion starts to consume your mental attention, ask it what it has shown up to teach you. Make some time during the week to go for a walk in the sunlight, or to meditate in a serene, comfortable spot in your home, or to just sit quietly somewhere, and identify the tough emotions you have been facing. Give each a name (e.g. “Fear” or “Self-Doubt” or “Grief”) and visualize it as a real-life image. Ask it why it has come into your life, and what the much-needed benefit of it hanging around is to you. Befriend these self-imposed obstacles to loving yourself, and the entire world will start to appear different. You will see others not for the need they can fill in your life, but for their intrinsic qualities. Once the lens through which you see potential partners shifts from need to want, you will see them as they are, perhaps for the first time.

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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 each 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).

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Bringing Strategies from the For-Profit Sector to You in the Nonprofit Sector


The newest trend in the business world is peer education groups. Senior staff from across a spectrum of corporations meet in small groups to discuss best practices, learn from real-life successes and failures, and get support from others that experience similar demands on a day-to-day basis.

The Center for Social Leadership is now making this model available to the nonprofit world. Peer Leadership Groups allow senior nonprofit leaders to learn from each other’s experiences and expertise. They create a trusting atmosphere where one feels at ease sharing the hardships and stresses of the often over-demanding, under-appreciated nonprofit sector.

Expect to gain:
• New ideas and best practices to implement in your own organization
• Genuine support for your unique situation
• Opportunities to collaborate with organizations outside your
usual circle
• Innovative fundraising strategies
• And much more!

To learn more about peer leadership groups in your area and how to enroll visit our website www.socialleaders.org or contact our Executive Director, Lauren Berg, 202-465-7447 / Lauren@socialleaders.org

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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 each 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, July 4, 2011

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




Your passion is most likely the only thing you produce that can never be outsourced.
--- Anthony Silard

Whether you have been laid off or are no longer motivated in a dead-end job and fear the consequences of making a transition, here’s the question you have to answer: What do you offer to the world that uniquely emanates from your heart? Why? Just about anything else you do with your productive time can be easily reproduced by someone who charges much less. Consider it a given that jobs comprised of tasks involving your mind and hands will move to countries where other minds and hands (and microprocessors) can perform them more cheaply. Your true calling, however, does not stem from your mind or hands. It originates in your heart and, for this reason, cannot be generated elsewhere. It’s your unique stamp, your signature product, and no one else can produce it any more than they can write a letter to your beloved as you can. The key to career security, then, is to connect your passion with what others value. Ask yourself this question: “When have been the two or three moments in my life when I have been the happiest?” Reflect on your answers, and consider what you truly enjoy doing with your time that could be put to good use toward a greater purpose you deeply believe in.

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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 each 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).