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).