Monday, December 31, 2012

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


http://www.blackpast.org/files/blackpast_images/John_F__Kennedy.jpg

The most important step to becoming a leader 
is to find
something greater than yourself and dedicate yourself to it.

--- Anthony Silard

With race riots consuming Birmingham, Alabama, in May 1963, Robert F. Kennedy warned his brother John that if he did not act soon, they would spread to many cities across America—especially in the North. JFK sent Congress a groundbreaking civil rights bill that lost him the backing of the millions of white Southern voters who had helped him achieve a narrow election victory three years earlier. John acknowledged to his brother that he might lose the 1964 election because of his decision, and then declared, “If we’re going to go down, let’s go down on a matter of principle.” Here is a clear example of a leader believing in something greater than himself so strongly that he was willing to go down with his ship over it. Go down he did, yet the ship he built is still navigating the rough waters toward racial equality.

What do you believe in that’s greater than yourself? Write down something you feel so strongly about changing that you would be willing to suffer for it. What about the world makes you feel uncomfortable, even angry? Channel this energy into an unbridled passion to work for change. Don’t let these thoughts ramble into, “But someone else is more appropriate to do this,” or “I don’t have the time right now. Someday….” Change begins with you, in the only moment that exists—the present. Get started.

What do you want to change in the world with your limited time here? How has your motivation to work for change evolved throughout your life? What are you prepared to do about it now—starting in this New Year? Tell us about it in the comments.

______________________________________________

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 24, 2012

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


http://thegirlbythesea.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/cloud-fluffy-lamb.jpg 
Those who dream by day are cognizant of many
things
 which escape those who dream only by night.

—Edgar Allan Poe

Pick a situation and ask yourself if you are integrating time to rest into your daily schedule or jumping from one activity to the other without creating opportunities to connect with your inner longings. The simple act of asking yourself, “How am I feeling?” periodically throughout your day and then thinking or writing, “I feel…” and following it with whatever you are genuinely experiencing in the moment will create a vital link to your heart and the deeper feelings within. These feelings—often shoved to the wayside when you solely engage in activity without allowing time for emotional renewal—will grow proportionally to the attention you give them, and inform you what your life truly means to you.

“This sounds great, but where will I get the time for all this?” you may be thinking. “I’d love to take all this time to feel, but there are these little things called results that my boss holds me accountable for.” Your self-time doesn’t have to be extensive to be impactful: even five or ten minutes out of your schedule every hour or two will enable you to connect with your deeper motivations. Schedule a few breaks into your schedule today. Note how differently your day flows when you punctuate your list of tasks with short periods to rejuvenate, replenish your energy, and recapture your passion.

Do you take many breaks during your work day? How long do you usually break for? How do these breaks help you? Tell us about it in the comments.


______________________________________________

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 17, 2012

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


http://raymcdonald.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/looking-in-mirror.png

If you want to meet the right person,

you must first become the right person.

--- Anthony Silard

So many of us bounce from one relationship to the next, sharing our woe-to-me-the-victim stories with our family and friends: “He was too this…”, “She was too that…,” and so on. Yet we deny the true role of an intimate relationship in our lives: as a mirror to the soul. Many of us will spare no expense to avoid gazing into that mirror. We are constantly trading in what we have for a newer version, only to find the same problem soon sprouting up in the next relationship. We become like the person who perpetually slams their foot on the clutch in every car they drive, and then develops the erroneous perception that all cars have substandard clutches. The last thing we think of doing is evaluating our driving skills. Yet it is our approach to relationships—beginning with our approach to our relationship with ourselves—that does not determine, but influences more than any other factor whether we are able to sustain a healthy intimate relationship.

This week, take some time out of the mix to reflect on how you can become the right person. Ask yourself this tough question: “What has been the clutch I’ve been slamming my foot on in just about every relationship I’ve been in?” Identify what you have to work on to become more compassionate and loving toward others. Take your first step by becoming more compassionate and loving toward yourself. Then venture forth once again, with an open heart and a new lens with which to experience intimacy.

What has helped you to develop a healthy intimate relationship in your life? What have been some of the obstacles? Share your successes and challenges in this area with us in the comments.


______________________________________________

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 10, 2012

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


http://www.ppchero.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/chain-links.jpg

The chain of destiny can only be
grasped 
one link at a time.

--- Winston Churchill

The Nazis weren’t defeated because Churchill hemmed and hawed and did a lengthy cost-benefit analysis of the situation in Europe. They were defeated because he stood up for the values he believed in and took action. So here’s the secret: Do something! Do anything that moves you in the direction of your Vision. Live your values—in as small a way as you’d like. Instead of thinking about it for a moment longer, grab the first link on the chain and get started! It really is that simple.

Yes, I know this is easier to say than do. You may be used to sitting around and watching the world go by. You may spend year after year waiting for a promotion, or to be “discovered,” or for the person of your dreams to stumble into your life, or for that dream job to drop into your lap. Once you become accustomed to spending your days stumbling around in the terrain of your mind—an appealing endeavor because your thoughts are under your control, do not bring rejection, and do not require you to actively confront deeply entrenched fears—developing a propensity for action is no easy task. Make a pact with yourself this week to stop kvetching about what you ought to be doing with your life and to instead grasp one link in the chain and make it happen. In so doing, you will create a new chain that will lead you toward a new destiny.

How do you spur yourself into action? Tell us about it in the comments.


_____________________________________________

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).


Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Top Five Communication Books of All Time: Number 1

When I came across this book in an off-the-beaten-track bookstore in a small town, I wasn't expecting much. For one, it predates almost all the communication books that define the modern genre and I had never heard of it. Was I in for a surprise: Robert Bolton's simply titled People Skills is so full of useful communication strategies it should be designated a bible for the field. It appears a bit dense at first, but with a bit of patience you will discover a model so comprehensive you will swear all the other authors must have read it over and over again with a fine-toothed comb before putting pen to paper. Not only that, but the emphasis on feelings and needs is laid out with so many ancillary, aligned strategies that you could spend a lifetime practicing them: not a bad idea, actually.

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Top Five Communication Books of All Time: Number 2


No other communication book has ignited an entire movement as has Marshall Rosenberg's Nonviolent Communication. His model seems simple from the outset, but when you try to implement his strategies you will see how nuanced it is. Marshall encourages us to connect with our feelings and needs, and communicate in a more disarming, open way that truly forges connections with others. He is an ardent advocate of world peace and truly has an expansive vision of a world in which people communicate from the heart. Unlike most modern-day prophets, his vision is coupled with cohesive strategies that just might bring his vision a little closer to the reality you experience in your home and office.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Top Five Communication Books of All Time: Number 3

Harriet Lerner's The Dance of Connection is such an excellent book for people who want to improve their personal communication style and, hence, their relationships, that I'm not sure where to start. A more anecdotal book than her foundational The Dance of Anger, I would start with this book and then, for a deeper understanding of her model, continue on to her earlier book. Lerner's books are purportedly for women to break dysfunctional patterns in relationships, but I believe every one of us who wishes to connect with the people they care about can benefit from her useful strategies.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Top Five Communication Books of All Time: Number 4

Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton and Sheila Heen of the Harvard Negotiation Project have written one of the best communications books ever for people who want a general introduction into how to improve their communication skills. Difficult Conversations has more versatility than most. It's filled with many excellent communication strategies to internalize and practice daily.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Top Five Communication Books of All Time: Number 5


For a long time, people have been asking me to post the books I most recommend for participants in our Collaborative Communication courses. I've decided to post what I consider the best five books ever written on communication, one per day for the next five days.

An important note: My Top Five Communication Books of All Time List is intended for those people interested in improving their skills in personal and/or business/professional communication. The strategies in these five books can be adapted (with some care) to either personal or professional settings.

Since Strangling Isn't an Option is #5 due to Sandra's helpful analysis of different types of communicators (e.g. ourselves and the people we deal with every day), and also because it's infused with her very friendly and convincing writing style.

Monday, December 3, 2012

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


http://www.nikhathi.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Albert-Einstein-albert-einstein-1280x1024.jpg 
I never came upon any of my discoveries

through the process of rational thinking.

--- Albert Einstein

Which method do you use? Do you rely on your thoughts, or do you step back and trust your feelings to guide you—often toward the breakthrough you’ve been seeking? To understand how your thoughts can lead you in the wrong direction, envision what you’d like to become in your career. Picture yourself as a lawyer, a doctor, a ballerina, a lion tamer, or whatever. Imagine you already are now what you want to become. Which feeling comes to your mind more quickly—happiness or pride? If you imagine yourself feeling happy, this career warms your heart and emanates from your true inner purpose. If, alternatively, you envision yourself feeling proud of your career, it’s because you’re doing what you think others think you should be doing. Not what others think, which you never truly know, but what you think they think. Building your life on such far-fetched speculation is like trying to build a castle on sand. Not only will this “should” path not lead you to where you want to go (since you’re walking toward a destination you can’t accurately describe), but it will transform you into a shell of a person.

This week, ask yourself this simple question a few times each day: “How am I feeling?” Start your response with “I feel…..” and finish the sentence. Do this at regular intervals throughout the day, and record your responses. What do your feelings tell you about your desired life direction?

How do you balance your thoughts and feelings, and let their guidance move your life in the right direction?  Share your successes and challenges in this area with us in the comments.

_____________________________________________

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 26, 2012

Smile, It's Monday: Your Weekly Wake-up Call to Make a Difference in the World


http://events.stanford.edu/events/298/29823/495145-hands-framing-the-earth-in-a-global-team-theme.jpg

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful,
committed citizens can change the world; 
indeed,
it’s the only thing that ever has.

--- Margaret Mead

The greatest social change I have ever witnessed firsthand has always come from the initiative of a few individuals. Every healthy community also functions well due to the determination of a few people who insist on doing what’s right and refuse to let things slip through the cracks. The same is true for organizations: accountability at the individual level is at the heart of every successful company or organization. What does all this mean? Your actions are extremely important. You can either perpetuate the status quo or transform it depending on whether you choose to merely exist in a life of comfort and mental numbness or to sacrifice short-term pleasure for a search for and willingness to act on what’s right and true. Change will not come to the world through sitting back and waiting for others to initiate it: change must come through you.

What can you commit to doing this week to be part of the solution, to helping to make this world a better place? What do you believe in so strongly that you have been waiting for the right time to act on? Wait no longer: make a pact with yourself to do something—anything, no matter how small—to move your life and this world toward what you know they can be.

How do you jump-start yourself out of complacency to do something for others? Tell us about it in the comments.

_____________________________________________

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 19, 2012

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


http://www.thebridgemaker.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/self-love.jpeg 
The only love that will save you 
is the
love that emanates from within yourself.

--- Anthony Silard

Love comes in many forms. Instead of insisting on it being in a different form than the form in which it is currently showing up in your life, recognize the love that is right here, right now, right in front of you. Who reaches out to you with an open, loving heart? Your father or mother? A sibling? Friend? Co-worker? The greatest and most unconditional love in your life will always come from within yourself. Yet love is always around you, only often not in the form you desire it in. The more you can recognize and then allow the love that is currently present in your life from others whom you may be taking for granted to permeate into your heart, the more your Self-love will grow. And if you want to meet the right person, or to have more genuine friends in your life, it is your love for yourself that will attract them and keep them around.

This week, take some time to detect the people around you who offer you love simply because they value who you are and what you add to their lives. Make a pact with yourself to spend more time with these people, to allow their love to influence your love for yourself, and to cultivate and cherish this love deep within your heart.

How do you cultivate your love for yourself? How does this Self-love influence your relationships? Tell us about it in the comments.


_____________________________________________

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 12, 2012

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


http://powerofpositivity.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/setting-the-bar1.jpg 

Most people create a bar that’s too high for
themselves 
and then spend their life staring up at it.

--- Anthony Silard

A client once told me he has to exercise every day or he won’t do it at all. More CEOs than I can count have shared their plans with me to make a lot of money and then give most of it away after they retire. I tell them all that their goals are unlikely to happen. This is the tyranny of perfection. Waiting for any complete state before choosing to act is like waiting for snow in the Sahara. You never start because you always feel there’s more that must first be in place. If you were asked the question “Why are you so far behind in writing your thesis, or creating a new plan to improve your company, or completing a long-term project?” you might say, “I still have more information to obtain” or “I need to do more research” or “I still have to get it approved by so-and-so.” In other words, you would focus on what you don’t yet have instead of the specific actions you can take now to move closer to your goal. Alternatively, you may say to yourself, “I’m not ready yet. I have to be patient.”

If you don’t feel ready to pursue an important goal, do something this week to make yourself ready. Turn off your inner chatterbox—which is very adept at talking you out of going for what you truly want—and get started living the life you desire.

Do you sometimes create unrealistic goals? How do you balance ambition with pragmatism? Share your successes and challenges in this area with us in the comments.


_____________________________________________

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 5, 2012

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


http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_3CUtu3X86nY/S8MTl3Hv6hI/AAAAAAAAAOU/cbF6NPf_aSo/s1600/empathy.jpg 
The superior man is firm in the right way, 
and not merely firm.
-- Confucius

The right way is with empathy. Understanding the context of the other person. Conveying your feelings with language, facial expressions, gestures, intonations, and a sense of humor others can relate to so they truly hear you. When people interact with their leader, their primary need is to feel safe. When you first listen with empathy, you demonstrate that you value and respect the other person. Your genuine concern for the uniqueness of each person’s situation makes them feel protected by you as their leader, and expands their desire to understand what you are asking for and to help you accomplish it.

Make a commitment this week to practice more empathy with each person you interact with. Transform this goal into action by asking at least one question in each interaction you have about how the other person feels about something important to them. Once you start to elicit their true feelings, stay with them rather than responding autobiographically with, “I know what you mean, I often …” Keep the focus on them and open yourself to the most important education you will ever receive in your life: learning how to uncover the nuances and motivations of another human being.

How do you practice empathy in your daily life? Share your successes and challenges in this area with us in the comments.


_____________________________________________

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 29, 2012

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


http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-N9aqqbtP7Zg/T1URJKKalyI/AAAAAAAAAIM/LD9Zg4HUJnY/s1600/thinker+close.jpg 

Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged
in a fortnight,
it concentrates his mind wonderfully.

--- Samuel Johnson

Are you aware of how limited your time is on this earth? As long as you think the time you have left is infinite, there’s no need to get started doing what really matters. Until you realize you may not have the time you think you do, you won’t know how to truly live today. Before you hit your big deadline, or get married, or your kids go to college, or have their own kids, you’ll always be in this position: no guarantee you have any days remaining; capable only of enjoying today.

Take a break from work for ten minutes and go outside for a walk. Internalize this awareness of your mortality and let it focus your mind now on what you truly value. What, at the end of the day (or your life), is most important to you? Who do you most love that you would like to spend more time with? Which disadvantaged people in our global society do you want to see make positive changes in their lives? How will you become a part of a process that helps them make these changes? What legacy do you wish to leave to your children, or other people you love? Do you want to be remembered as someone who efficiently did all their work day in and day out, or is there something greater you aspire toward? How will you translate this higher goal into compelling action now while you still have the opportunity?

What larger goal has been beckoning you for years that you never seem to find the time for, yet is critically important to leaving the legacy you wish to leave on this earth? Tell us about it in the comments.

_____________________________________________

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 22, 2012

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


http://reelybored.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/door-web.jpg 

When fear knocks on the door, 
courage opens it and sees no one.
--- Italian proverb

I once listened to Les Brown, the motivational speaker, speak about fear in a church in Oakland, California. I’ll never forget one of the lessons he imparted on that day: FEAR stands for False Evidence Appearing Real. Fear is like a group of little barking dogs. If you run away from them, they will chase you for the rest of your days. If you confront them, they will run away. The scariest moments of our life never actually happen. It’s commonly understood in psychology that many dreams are “dress rehearsals” for what we anticipate will happen in our lives. This is in large part because life offers no dress rehearsal; on the contrary, the dress rehearsal is your life. What fear truly means is we doubt our ability to handle what’s coming down the pipeline.

The antidote for fear, then, is trust, love, and self-confidence (the literal translation from Latin of which is “trust with ourselves”). All of these come from one common source: faith. Just as you will never “prove” to yourself that God exists, you will never prove that you are worthy, or capable, or of value. You have to just take this leap of faith. Then, and only then, will you stop focusing your energies on all the false evidence to the contrary. Those who seek to prove their worth say, “I’ll believe it when I see it.” What they don’t realize, and what I issue to you as a challenge this week, is to do the opposite.

How do you handle those moments when you feel afraid, or your self-confidence is shaken? Tell us about it in the comments.

_____________________________________________

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 15, 2012

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


http://thesoulsjourney.ca/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/iStock_000011532245XSmall.jpg 

Discipline is not just doing what your Vision guides you to do.

It’s refraining from doing what your Vision guides you not to do.

--- Anthony Silard

Identify your everyday habits that are taking you in the wrong direction and preventing you from experiencing the intimate relationship you know is possible in your life. If your weekends with your partner frequently decay into the next episode of The Same Old Argument, take a moment to acknowledge what is transpiring and the insecurity, fear, or resentment underlying it. If you are hunched in front of your computer looking at potential mates online until the wee hours of the morning, recognize your habit and the loneliness at its root. Then visualize what you imagine intimacy could be like in your life.

After taking time to reflect on how you want to be, how you know you can be, integrate your new thoughts into an inspiring Vision to guide you from this day forward. Create a goal in your Action Plan (my book The Connection includes a guide to designing your own Action Plan),  such as, “Check internet dating sites a maximum of two times per week and turn off the computer by 11 pm” or “Go on at least ___ dates and spend at least ___ months with someone before allowing the relationship to progress physically,” or “When I feel like reacting, take a few moments to calm down, and gradually relinquish my need to defend my point of view. Work on practicing empathy instead.” This week, create a new goal for the intimate part of your life. Then review whether you are achieving it daily until you internalize it.

Is the intimate part of your life aligned with your greater life Vision? Why or why not? What can you do about it? Tell us about it in the comments.


_____________________________________________

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 8, 2012

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


http://www.inc.com/uploaded_files/image/find-a-business-mentor-pop_2879.jpg 

Action generates feelings 
and feelings generate commitment.
--- Anthony Silard

When you open up to others about your book idea, or the new company you want to launch, or your desire to travel to Southeast Asia, your relationships evolve to make room for your dreams. “Not my relationships,” you may be thinking. “The people in my life get in my way.” The people in your life are the way. Without them, you’re taking a long walk on a short pier. This is why finding mentors is so important. If you want to have an intimate relationship that’s healthy, meaningful, and sustainable, observe someone who has an intimate relationship that’s healthy, meaningful, and sustainable and ask them how they do it. If you want to launch a successful company based on an innovative idea, observe someone running a successful company based on an innovative idea and ask them how they do it. And so on. You have to do more than think about something you want to do well. You have to feel what it’s like to be in the shoes of someone who does it well. And you have to start doing it.

Take some time this week to focus your mind on one of your most important goals. Then identify a mentor who has already achieved this goal or is living the kind of life you desire. Contact them and invite them to coffee or lunch (or request a phone call) so you can ask them how they have become so successful at what you value you so highly.

How many mentors do you have? How often do you meet with them? Alternatively, do you have trouble asking another person for directions, much less allowing them to be in a position of influence in your life? Tell us about it in the comments.


_____________________________________________

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 1, 2012

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


http://gov.cbia.com/images/sized/images/transportation/Toll-Booth_041912-572x368.jpg 
The foundation for making and keeping commitments
to others
 is making and keeping commitments to yourself.

--- Anthony Silard

A good image of leadership is … a highway. This highway has many toll booths, and you need a specific currency to pass through them. Every time you keep your word or act with integrity, you earn a coin. Every time you don’t, you lose a coin. You can only travel on the leadership toll-road if you have this currency. As soon as you run out, you are out. You can make mistakes, you can refuse to listen for awhile, you can even fail to inspire, but if you lose their trust, you’re done. The same is true with yourself: if you lose your self-trust, you stop following yourself; you stop believing in your ability to be the person you have imagined.

Identify a few small ways in which you will honor your word with yourself this week—whether it’s to wake up early, or exercise a certain number of times, or meet with a new person each day about an initiative you want to launch. Once you start building your self-commitment muscle, try making first smaller and then larger commitments to others related to what you want to create in your life. Make good on these commitments and you will be well on your path to leadership.

What helps you to make good on your word—first to yourself and then to others?  Share your successes and challenges in this area with us in the comments.

_____________________________________________

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 24, 2012

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


 
The only Zen you find on the tops of
mountains 
is the Zen you bring up there.

--- Robert Pirsig

This couldn’t be more true. The sunset, the mountain, the cool running stream do not enable you to dream—you enable you to dream! It’s not nature, after all, that makes the decision to open up your mind to your dreams. Even in the middle of a bustling city surrounded by people, you can close your eyes and walk to the top of a mountain, watch the sunset, or hear the sound of the ocean. Imagine you are stuck in a traffic jam and watch an elderly man step off a bus and meander along the street with his cane. You start to ruminate on what his life is like and are soon  reconnected with your deeper values and envisioning what’s important to you.

Take a long walk this week and let your mind drift for awhile. Then think about what you would do if you received two messages on the same day: first, you have inherited millions of dollars and never need to work another day in your life; second, you have a terminal illness and have only a few more years to live. What would you do with your time? This mental exercise will help you focus your mind on what you most deeply value. Reflect on this question, and use the answers to take a disarmingly honest look at how you are spending your time.

How do you find time to disconnect from your daily activities and reconnect with yourself? Tell us about it in the comments.


_____________________________________________

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 17, 2012

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


http://www.highonhealth.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/heart.jpg 

I would never join any club 
that would have me as a member.
---Groucho Marx

If you want to form a special society of people who truly love you and want to make you a priority in their lives, you have to become the first card-carrying member. Without self-love, hoping for other-love is fruitless. Why? The only way to lead is from the front, by example. Otherwise you’re expecting others to do what you’re unwilling to do yourself. Trust me on this one: I know because I’ve been there. I spent the first half of my life second-guessing others because I couldn’t believe they actually enjoyed being around me. Why? Because I didn’t enjoy being around myself. I couldn’t detect on the outside what I wasn’t familiar with on the inside—no matter what the evidence objectively stated. Just as you only hate in others what’s already inside you, the same is true for love.

What about you? In the workplace, does your self-doubt lead you to distrust your instincts and let opportunities to speak up and suggest important changes pass you by? Do you refuse to allow your creativity, imagination, and brilliance to surface for others to experience because you don’t believe in what you have inside? In your personal relationships, do you push others away by questioning their motives since, after all, they can’t genuinely love or care about you? Until you accept love from yourself, you won’t accept it from others. This week, meditate on how you can transform your self-voice into an enduring source of support in your life.

How do you build your self-esteem? How do you handle those moments when your self-confidence is shaken? Share your successes and challenges in this area with us in the comments. 


_____________________________________________

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 10, 2012

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


http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-y0EW63KOhMo/Ty7GPZt5cWI/AAAAAAAAAn0/AkLkizjlUS4/s1600/vision.jpg 

Your judgment in differentiating between a mood 
and a feeling will determine
 your ability to
bring success and happiness into your life.

--- Anthony Silard

While feelings are a make-or-break factor in developing a viable Vision, moods disguised as feelings often steer you away from your Vision. Your moods go up or down depending on the pleasure or pain you associate with any decision—rather than the decision’s alignment with your larger life goals. Feelings, on the other hand, are like love. They resonate deeply within you. They are congruent with and become a part of your Vision. Imagine you just met someone for the first time and are starting to have romantic feelings toward him or her. Moods are like those first rushes of emotion you’re not sure if you will act on. A protracted mood that can last for weeks or even months is similar to infatuation. You think about the other person all the time, yet there’s a voice deep inside telling you to slow down. To understand how feelings work, imagine you meet someone and get acquainted at a slower pace. Each time you see the person you share a little more of yourself, and he or she reciprocates. Over time, you feel more comfortable, strong, and passionate in the relationship. Even if your mind initially questions them, your feelings can feel so “right” and become so deeply entrenched in your heart that your Vision evolves over time to accommodate them.

This week, pick a situation and ask yourself whether a mood or a feeling is driving your actions. If a comment from your partner causes you to feel jealous or insecure, sit with your emotion and try to determine if it’s a temporary mood. Let it go, knowing if it’s a long-term feeling it will consistently return.

How do you distinguish between moods and feelings in your life? Share your successes and challenges in this area with us in the comments.

_____________________________________________

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 3, 2012

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


http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_V3HAAzcgh9c/TNmk7bzx2KI/AAAAAAAAAOs/0g7AmipZauk/s1600/walking_away.jpg

It is no use walking anywhere to preach

unless our walking is our preaching.

--- St. Francis of Assisi

It was my first college literature course. My class at Berkeley had just read a story about an old man lying on his deathbed ruminating on his life. This man thought he had deceived the world his entire life because no one else knew about the evil thoughts he often had. He thought he had fooled others into believing he was good by being kind to them and suppressing his true, darker Self. I listened for over an hour to other students discussing how unfortunate it was that he couldn’t have been a better person. Then I had an epiphany I’ve never forgotten since. I raised my hand and exclaimed, “He was a good person!” “What do you mean?” another student asked, squinting at me. “If he was kind to other people his whole life, he was a good person.” I replied. “What does it matter what he thought? He was a good person because that’s how he treated others. He just never realized it.” I feel even more strongly today that the old man in that story was a good human being. His thoughts had very little impact on the world. His impact, or the difference he made in other people’s lives, was determined by his actions.

This week, take some time to reflect on the impact you want to make on the world in your limited time here. Take one action—any action, no matter how small—toward your goal. Experience the feelings your action generates—they will guide you toward more compelling actions in the future.

How do you jump-start yourself into action? Share your successes and challenges in this area with us in the comments.

_____________________________________________

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 27, 2012

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


http://www.aidanhiggins.com/images/growth.jpg

While most people go through life,
 leaders grow through life.
--- Anthony Silard

When you’re finished growing, you’re finished. To truly embrace resilience, you must adopt a mindset that expands rather than shrinks when exposed to change. The astronaut who led the first space mission to fly around the moon, Frank Borman, perceptively declared, “We have to earn our wings every day.” Do you put new strategies into practice every day to earn your wings all over again, or do you sit back on your laurels and just hope what you did yesterday will work again today? What got you here is unlikely to get you there. Leadership is an eternal journey of self-reinvention. The only way you will know that you haven’t arrived at your destination is if you think you already have.

Take a moment to recognize the writing that’s been etched on the wall for some time indicating you must make a significant change to how you approach your career, or how you manage people, or how you relate to your spouse, or how you develop your relationships with your kids, or even how you handle—or are handled by—your smart-phone or laptop. After taking stock of what you know has been true for some time, commit to making some concrete changes so you can start growing again.

How do you keep growing in your personal and/or professional life? Tell us about it in the comments.

_____________________________________________

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 20, 2012

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


http://cirasmith.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/happy-employee.jpg?w=450

Happiness is what arises within you when you take
the lead 
in the perennial battle between mood and meaning.

--- Anthony Silard

Do you have a larger life Vision that inspires you so deeply it actually affects how you feel every day? Alternatively, are you at the whim of your fleeting moods? The more you develop your relationship with your guiding values and higher Self, the more meaning you will derive from this relationship, and the more this sense of meaning—rather than a short-term mood of anger, jealousy, insecurity, or sadness—will become the foremost engineer of how you feel in any specific moment. This way of thinking counter-intuitively suggests that the more time you dedicate to this inner detour of reconnecting with your life Vision, the more comfortable your lead will become in the race between mood and meaning, and the happier you will become as a human being.

Take some time this week to take this inner detour and see where it leads you. Contemplate the level of meaning you derive from your career and most important relationships (beginning with your relationship with yourself) and how this sense of meaning affects your holistic outlook on life and your desire to truly experience and relish each moment with all of your being. Then compare the feelings generated from your sense of purpose with the ups and downs generated by your short-term moods, and ask yourself honestly which most prominently dictates how you feel from moment to moment. Leverage this learning to design some new strategies to encounter more meaning in your life.

What strategies help you to gain ground in the perennial battle between mood and meaning? Share them with us in the comments.


_____________________________________________

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 13, 2012

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


http://jameslayton.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/tears.jpg 
The issue is not the pain you’ve been through. 
The
issue is how you relate to the pain you’ve been through.
--- Anthony Silard

Befriend your pain, or the pain you’ve seen others experience, and you will receive a tremendous gift: a sense of purpose. Never again will you count the minutes until you go home on the clock at work or in class. Gone will be the days when you felt lost and confused about your life’s mission. You will wave good-bye to all the negative vices and self-recriminations that stem from an inner aimlessness. Why? Because once you acknowledge the suffering you’ve experienced in your life, you will have the necessary raw material to discover your passion, which will be to prevent yourself and others from experiencing more of this suffering. (This is why the word passion is derived from the Latin verb patire, which means “to suffer”.)

Make a commitment this week to re-engineer your relationship with your suffering. Instead of running or hiding from your suffering a minute longer, transform it into a friend who has shown up in your life to help you learn and grow; a friend who will guide you irrevocably toward your purpose, if only you allow him or her to assume this role. The alternative is to spend the rest of your days avoiding this friend and burying yourself in work, your computer, alcohol, shopping, or any of the other common escape hatches readily available in today’s society. The choice is yours.

How do you relate to the suffering you’ve experienced in your life? Do you allow it to naturally convert into anger, or do you transform it into a passion to change its cause in your life and the lives of others? Tell us about it in the comments.

_____________________________________________

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 6, 2012

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


http://www.oceanbound.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/checklist.jpg

Logic is sword, all blades and no handle. 
It 
bleeds the hand that holds it.
--- Rabindranath Tagore

If you go out with a person who hits all the marks on your “compatibility checklist” (which your mind, not your heart, creates) but leaves you feeling empty, loveless, and ultimately lonely, you will walk away with nothing but guilt and emotional scars. Similarly, if you study business because you think it will impress others, or bring up a sensitive issue because you think it’s “due” even though you instinctively feel it’s not the right time, or make any other decision based exclusively on logic, you will succeed only in bleeding the passion and joy out of yourself.

If you are single, the next time you go out on a date ask yourself how you feel when you are with the other person before checking off how they fit with your preconceived preferences. Also reflect on other activities—with your family, friends, or on your own—that you enjoy and that bring good feelings into your heart. If you are married or in a long-term relationship, come up with an activity you can do with your partner this coming weekend that you both would enjoy based on what’s brought happy and positive feelings into your lives in the past. During the activity, or right before or after, give your partner a card expressing your feelings toward them. Regardless of whether you are partnered up or not, reflect this week on how you can bring your heart more into your life.

How do you integrate your heart into your dating life or your intimate relationship? Share your successes and challenges in this area with us in the comments.

_____________________________________________

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 30, 2012

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


http://remyvanruiten.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/6a00d8341e26ef53ef00e5518b4e098834-800wi.jpg
Any act of creative genius begins with the
door closed
 and ends with the door open.

--- Anthony Silard

Whether you are an author, a clothing designer, or a software developer, you begin a new project by closing the door to outside influence and connecting with your creative Vision or original intention for what you want to produce. Once you reach a comfortable level of inner clarity, you open the door and solicit feedback from others. Based on your calm analysis of this feedback, you determine how to adapt your book, clothing line, or software—without relinquishing your core intention—into a language others will understand so they can integrate it into their lives.

Are you currently tapping into your inner creativity—your deep desire to create something new in the world that will reach other people and add beauty to their lives? What creative project is beckoning you to stop going through the motions in other areas of your life and give it some of your attention? Take some time this week to go on a walk alone in a place that inspires you with its natural beauty. After you return home, write down one act of creativity you can take in the next few weeks. Go on a few more walks—keep the door closed—to allow your initial idea to germinate. When you are ready and feel the integrity of your idea has become more solid, open the door and share your idea with others.

How do you tap into your inner creativity? Tell us about it in the comments.

_____________________________________________

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 23, 2012

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


http://www.slymf.com/forum/attachments/58d1281385497-jeff-bezos-brain-behind-amazon-com-bezos.jpg

Profits are the lifeblood of a company but not the reason to
exist. 
You don’t live for your blood, but you couldn’t live without it.

--- Jeff Bezos, CEO of amazon.com

“It’s all well and good to focus on character,” you may be thinking, “but to survive I need to focus on profits!” The best companies do good and do well. As Norman Schwarzkopf said, leadership is a potent combination of character (doing good) and strategy (doing well), and only the former is non-negotiable. Character—which generates your raison d'ĂȘtre (“reason for being”), your larger life vision, your core values—is what you live for, and the most stable and enduring part of who you are. Just as you can’t squeeze an orange and obtain grapefruit juice, you can’t be an honest person and feel comfortable committing a dishonest act.

Consider an important decision you need to make this week in your career. Ask yourself which options will enable you to do good and which will result in your doing well. Are there any options that will generate both outcomes? Make your decision based on your deeper integrity that guides you to never sacrifice the needs of others to fulfill your own.

Have you experienced a critical life decision that called upon your deepest moral reserves? How did you handle it? Tell us about it in the comments.


_____________________________________________

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 16, 2012

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



Inspiration is much higher than reason, but it must not contradict it. 

Reason is the rough tool to do the hard work; 
inspiration is t
he bright light which shows us all truth.

—Swami Vivekananda

Would you describe yourself as a person who gets lost in their thoughts or as someone who gets carried away with their feelings? Which do you trust more—your mind or your heart? If you could only use one of these internal instruments to make your decisions from now on, which would you choose? Try this quick exercise: look straight ahead, point to yourself, and say with conviction, “This is who I am.” Really, try it. I’ll bet you just pointed to your heart, not your mind. This simple test demonstrates which part of your body you identify with more.

Ask yourself this question: “What can I do this week to honor my heart?” You honor your heart when you do at least some of what you truly feel you want to do rather than solely engaging in what you think you should do. Integrate some time into your schedule to do what fills your heart with joy—whether that means to go for a massage, or to a concert, or to watch some stand-up comedy, or to just hang out with someone you really care about and catch up about life.

How do you honor your feelings and take time to truly enjoy your life? Tell us about it in the comments.

_____________________________________________

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 9, 2012

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



It’s not a question of getting rid of the fear. It’s a question of tolerating it. 
You just say, ‘Yeah, my heart is pounding, OK.’ You learn to live with it.

--- Best-actress nominee Annette Bening,
when asked by an interviewer before 
the 2005 Academy Awards,
“Does the fear of failure ever go away?”

A Machiavellian strategy is to keep your adversaries close. By keeping an eye on them you can prevent them from becoming too unruly. Apply this same strategy to your relationship with fear. Keep it under close supervision so you can anticipate the direction it’s going to push you in next. “But if I open myself to the fear I feel inside, I will become paralyzed,” you may be thinking. Like the actress, you can learn to accept your fear and move forward anyway. To transform your relationship with fear, simply say to it, “I know you’re there, and I accept you as I accept any other emotion I naturally feel. But I will never allow you to control me again.”

Take some time this week to identify the fear that has been paralyzing you in an important area of your life. If you love singing but are afraid of being ridiculed, or want to further your education but fear you will prove yourself inadequate, or want to have a closer relationship with your father but fear his rejection, take the simple yet unparalleled step of naming your fear. Once you see it clearly, you will be better able to manage it. Start by asking your fear, “Why have you shown up in my life?” Listen to what it has to say, thank it for its wisdom, and then resolutely decide how to move forward in your life.

How do you handle your fear? Share your successes and challenges in this area with us in the comments.


_____________________________________________

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 2, 2012

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



You only know how strong a dam is 
when water is trying to push it over.
--- Anthony Silard

How do you treat others when you are in a bad mood, or not getting the results you want? Do you choose to act based on your long-term values or your short-term emotions? You only know how much integrity a person has when you observe whether they treat people with decency and respect when they don’t feel like it, or when one of their buttons has been pushed, or when they don’t need the other person’s allegiance for their strategic aims. The next time you are on a first date, or meeting with a potential business partner for the first time, observe how the other person treats the server. Why? As the old saying goes, it’s how they will be treating you in six months.

Take some time this week to reflect on the core values that will dictate how you act toward others. Then ask yourself this question: “How will I incorporate these values into how I act from moment to moment?” What strategies will you put into place to keep your emotions in check when they threaten to derail you from acting in ways you can be proud of later? Write down these strategies and read them over regularly—especially when your emotional triggers have been pushed and you are in danger of trespassing on the values you wish to guide your life.

How do you manage difficult emotions when they show up in your life? Share your successes and challenges in this area with us in the comments.


_____________________________________________

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, June 25, 2012

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



You can choose to benefit from every single event that transpires in your life,
no matter how negative, difficult, or unhealthy it appears at the time.
--- Anthony Silard

This is a revolutionary concept. It means that a life-threatening illness can give you the resolve you need to start taking care of your health and to go for what you really want in your life. The death of a loved one can motivate you to stop working your life away and spend more time caring for those who are still around. A spate of hostile insults directed toward you can ignite your desire to teach others how to get their points across without abandoning compassion.

The next time someone betrays your trust, cheats on you behind your back, treats you like yesterday’s meatloaf, or takes you to the cleaners financially or emotionally, remind yourself that you have the choice every day of your life to either give in to your suffering or to bring good out of it. Stagnation or positive action—which will you choose? This week, reflect on your relationship with your life’s challenging moments and what you stand to learn from them.

How do you relate to the more difficult moments in your life? Share your successes and challenges in this area with us in the comments.


_____________________________________________

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, June 18, 2012

Smile, It's Monday: Your Weekly Wake-up Call to Make a Difference in the World


He does not believe 
who does not live according to his belief.
--- Sigmund Freud

The only ideas that will make any difference to anyone else in the world are those you act upon. The rest you will take with you unrealized to the grave. Even the man who spawned the largest stop-and-reflect-on-your-childhood movement in human history knew actions are the only way to make thoughts matter. People react to you based on your actions. The thoughts you do not translate into actions are exactly that—thoughts—and nothing more. A thought only becomes real when you act on it. Your actions are the only means at your disposal to manifest your thoughts in the physical world. This critical decision—determining which thoughts to empower into action—is where your power lies.

This week, make a commitment to something greater than yourself that you deeply believe in but have not been acting on. If you feel uneasy about the substandard education many children receive in low-income neighborhoods, or the lack of proper health care in many developing countries, or the loneliness of many elderly people relegated to nursing homes once they are no longer deemed “productive” in our society, and believe that something should be done about it, ask yourself how you will live according to your belief. Meditate on this question and then thank your thoughts for their wisdom, put them aside, and take action.

What have been the most rewarding moments in your life that involved helping others? What did you learn from them? Share them with us in the comments.


_____________________________________________

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, June 11, 2012

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




Interact less with your employees at the transactional level 
and more at the transformational level.
--- Anthony Silard

Transformational dialogue inspires each of your employees to own their work, to see you as a critical partner in their success whom they feel comfortable approaching for advice, and to increase their confidence in their own leadership style; transactional conversations turn you into a watchdog your employees deal with out of obligation to protect their jobs, and turn them into obedient, obsequious yes-people who do what you say and are too timid to take on real responsibility. One of the most effective ways to make the shift from transactional to transformational interactions is to add the word “feel” to any question. The next time you are about to ask, “Did you finish the report you were working on?” instead try asking, “How did you feel about the report you were working on?” Why does this work? Because feelings enable us to make a heart connection—the precursor of transformation.

In every conversation you have with someone at work and at home this week—whether it’s an employee, your boss, your child, or your spouse—challenge yourself to ask at least one question about how they feel about something—anything—that interests them. The first person you will transform is yourself: your transformation will begin when they share their genuine feelings, and you connect with them from the heart.

What strategies have you discovered that help you empower the people with whom you work and live? Tell us about these strategies in the comments.

_____________________________________________

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, June 4, 2012

Help Low-income Youth - Be a Panelist/Mentor in Our Young Leaders Program


Hi there,
I am writing you to ask for your participation on a panel of professional mentors to share their experiences in our Gallup Young Leaders Program - serving 35 low-income D.C. youth for an intensive full week at Gallup Corporation from June 25 – 29. We would like you to choose a session to join us for during which you engage in interactive activities with the youth. As you are aware, the economic situation - exacerbated by the current recession - is severe for the low-income residents of our city, most of whom are living in neighborhoods now experiencing over 40% unemployment. In short, this is our next generation and they need you to help them gain the leadership skills and networks to design their own exit strategies from poverty. This program really works - but only with your dedication and help!

Here's a summary of what happens in our Young Leaders Program, including the schedule.
We would love for you to be on a panel. Please read the description of our Panel Model and then download the PDF at the bottom of the page to see the questions panelists will be addressing on each panel. In summary, the four available panels are:

Monday June 25, 11 am – 12:30 pm: What does it mean to be a leader? Leadership Character Qualities: Passion, Empathy and Trust

Tuesday June 26, 11 am – 12:30 pm: Leadership Character Qualities: Self-Confidence, Resilience and Focus

Wednesday June 27, 11 am – 12:30 pm: Balancing School, Work and Life. Leadership Character Quality: Balance

Thursday June 28, 11 am – 12:30 pm: Race, Gender and Leadership. Leadership Character Quality: Authenticity 


Please email Kimberly Wong at kimberly.wong4@gmail.com to let her know which panel you would like to be on. Please include an alternate selection in case your first choice is already full. Kimberly will send you a confirmation email. 


All sessions will take place at Gallup Corporation at 901 F Street NW, near Metro Center on the red line.

We still need to raise 10 scholarships to enable 10 additional low-income D.C. youth to participate in the program. If you would like to help us make this program happen, please Make a Donation.

Thank you for joining us to help low-income youth in DC to take charge of their lives and become leaders in their careers and lives.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Warmly,
Anthony Silard

PLEASE FORWARD THIS TO FRIENDS AND COLLEAGUES WHO ARE EITHER SUCCESSFUL WASHINGTON D.C. METRO AREA PROFESSIONALS AND/OR WOULD CONSIDER MAKING A DONATION TO THE YOUNG LEADERS PROGRAM.

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


http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/41/You_are_here_-_T-shirt.jpg/800px-You_are_here_-_T-shirt.jpg
 
You have no future.
--- Anthony Silard

“What do you mean I have no future?! What is this?!” you may be thinking. Let me now dispel one of our most common myths: The future does not exist. Any moment in which you arrive at what you consider the future, it will still be the present. Present moments and nothing more—today, tomorrow, in three weeks, always—the only moments you will ever experience in your entire life! While some planning for the future is prudent, most of us spend so much time focused on what’s coming next that we lose our capacity to enjoy what’s happening now.

Do a few things this week just because you feel like doing them, regardless of whether they fit with your preconceived plan or entrenched weekly rituals. Research some classes around town—in salsa, yoga, woodworking, art history, whatever—and attend one. Go see a movie just because you’re in the mood. Stop by a friend’s house unannounced with no agenda and just hang out. (Remember when you used to do that?) Pick up a guitar or saxophone and start playing. Go to a karaoke bar tonight and belt out a song. Write a card to a loved one. Do what you feel, and honor the vitality in your life that’s still inside you.

How do you balance planning for the future with enjoying the present? Are you able to break away from your routine and truly live each day—even in some small way? Share your successes and challenges in this area with us in the comments.


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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, May 24, 2012

From Face-to-Face to Facebook

In The World In 2012 issue of The Economist, Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, wrote an article where she, unsurprisingly, extols the benefits of Facebook and social media, pointing to the realms of our lives where it has brought us together: political rallies, online philanthropy, the sharing of photos, videos, and other information with the people we care about. She then declares that “The science-fiction writers of the last century envisioned a world where modernity led to alienation. In fact, the opposite has occurred.”

Sandberg’s treatise is not supported by a recent study by sociology professor Matthew Brashears of Cornell University, who asked 2,000 adults the number of friends with whom they could discuss “important matters.” The average response was 2.03, down from a similar study conducted just before the widespread use of the Internet and social networks in 1985, which yielded an average response of three close friends.

This news is not entirely new, it turns out. The National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, which has been conducting a General Social Survey of 1,400 American adults since 1972, compared responses from 1985 to 2004 and discovered that, on average, each person had 2.94 close friends with whom they could discuss important matters in 1985, and by 2004 their number of close confidantes had decreased to 2.08.  In the Chicago study, people who responded that they had no one with whom to discuss important matters more than doubled during this period, to nearly 25 percent.

If it is indeed true, as these surveys suggest, that we are, on average, losing 30 percent of our close friends in only two decades, then these surveys signal a shift toward social isolation that is disconcerting and needs to be addressed. Yet we must first accept the sobering reality of our lives in the third millenium: computers, the internet, and social media are here to stay. To argue against their utility would be as futile as railing against the existence of any new technology that gained widespread usage quickly, such as the typewriter in the 1870s, or the telephone or television in the 1920s.

Almost a century later, the computer—whether in desktop, laptop, tablet, or smart-phone form—is all of the above inventions wrapped up in one unprecedentedly addictive little package. Many of us have become like a child taking up residence in a candy shop, over-indulging in a novelty we never thought we would be able to avail ourselves of: even two decades ago it would have been unthinkable to access a video or information about just about anything we can imagine, with as much detail as an Encyclopedia Britannica (remember them? They just closed their print business and have gone online like the rest), within seconds.

To help you understand the significance of this historic moment, let’s take a look at another mass invention no one had dreamed of until it arrived. When Henry Ford developed an automobile that “the common man” could afford in 1908, his invention generated the nationwide development of highways, suburbs, drive-thru restaurants, and many other amenities for the recently mobile. After the car was invented, people sought any reason to be in one, making any excuse to go for a drive. It was all the rage, for example, to go to drive-in theaters. After many decades, people decided they really didn’t need to be in their cars while watching a movie, and drive-in theaters faded into obscurity. We are undergoing a similar acculturation with a new technology, and our current obsession with digital gadgets will, like our propensity to jump into our cars at the drop of a hat, not disappear, but diminish to a more manageable level.

Yet until we are able to step out of the candy store, my concern is that, for our generation of people, our experience of real life is being poignantly compromised. As the studies indicate, never in human history have we been in contact with so many people and connected with so few. People who, like the Facebook COO, claim that we have never been so connected with each other are missing a vital point: the people making all these “connections” through the internet and social media are, at the end of the day, sitting alone in front of a pixilated screen typing about what they enjoy rather than looking into the eyes of a human being and actually doing it.

I am a leadership and life coach, and at a recent conference I asked 300 people to share what they had done over the previous month that had most contributed to their happiness. There were about thirty responses—ranging from “spending time with my daughter,” and “going dancing” to “going for a long hike in the mountains”—not one of which involved time spent online.

Yet if computers, the internet, and social media are here to stay—and, like the automobile or any other innovation that has significantly increased efficiency for the masses at an affordable price, they are—then the million-dollar question is “What can we do to recover our friendships and our happiness in this uber-technology age?” I have been coaching executives and individuals on work-life balance for almost two decades now, and all of the strategies that I have seen people successfully implement to reclaim their lives from their digital addiction have centered around one principle: You control technology, not the other way around.

Your laptop, iPad, or cell-phone is merely a tool. An addictively fun little tool, yes; yet still just a tool. The critical challenge in the third millennium is the same as in the first: to develop a Vision for how you want to live your life. How does your best version of your Self desire you to spend your time from day to day? How do they want you to act toward the people you care about? What do they want you to be remembered for? Whatever emanates from this self-dialogue is how you should be spending your time. If you can use your clever online tools to achieve some of your most important life goals, then by all means do so. Yet every other moment you spend on your iPad, smart-phone, or laptop is as beneficial to your life as getting into your car and putting the pedal to the metal without a destination.

Every moment of every day you are making decisions about how you will spend your time. If your goal is to have close friends to share your life with, then determine how you will allocate your time to build those friendships. If you want to spend more time in reality and less time sitting behind a screen typing into a keypad about your interpretation of reality, then design some strategies to limit your virtual time, such as a daily maximum number of hours for computer-based activities.

When your laptop or smart-phone is adding value to your life, then you are at balance and headed toward a destination you can be proud of. The moment your addiction causes you to surpass this healthy level, it’s time to spend some time offline—in a place where you feel centered, serene, and inspired—thinking about what you value so you can truly reach your potential and live your desired life. This time alone—which, when practiced regularly, will enable you to connect with your heart and your deepest values—will guide you to spend less time in front of your computer, to spend more time making a heart connection with others, and to venture out into this vast, wonderful world that awaits you.

Do you control technology, or is it the other way around? How do you cope with the digital addiction? Tell us about it in the comments.

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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).