Monday, February 27, 2012

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




“Failure” is a failure to find an opportunity in any given situation.
--- Anthony Silard

The word “failure” is a failure as a concept. Why? It’s rooted in using present-moment thoughts to evaluate past actions. It translates roughly as, “I feel like I failed because I didn’t do (yesterday) what I feel (today) I should have done.” But if you felt like you should have done something differently yesterday, you would have done it differently yesterday! You did the best you could yesterday given the psychological, emotional, and material resources available to you yesterday. Now that you are armed with your experience of what happened yesterday, you will act differently today and in the future. This learning recasts “failure” as an essential ingredient for growth. I can’t speak for you, but I can say in hindsight that the times in my own life when I most felt like I “failed” were the times when a part of myself was underdeveloped and needed to grow. I was in need of a deeper learning that I would never have obtained otherwise. The events that others might label “failure” were my most profound teachers—calls to action; bright murals on the wall insisting that I take notice of them; reminders of major changes I needed to embrace to set my life on a better path. Go back and take a look at the events you have labeled “failure” in your own life. Ask yourselves these three questions: “What was the benefit to me of what happened?”, “What type of person might I have become if it hadn’t happened?” and “How did this event help what I most value to crystallize?” Use your responses to recognize the true identity of “failure”: the necessary learning you need to move forward 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, February 20, 2012

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




Sell your cleverness and purchase bewilderment.
--- Rumi

Selling your cleverness is easier said than done. “My cleverness is what got me to where I am today,” most of us think, basking in our own complacency. The problem with becoming successful is that we begin to believe our own press. We get caught up in our ego instead of humbly persevering toward our most important goals. We lose sight of what we most value and then wonder why we’re no longer moving toward it. Horace Greely, a newspaperman during Abraham Lincoln’s presidency, gave this description of Lincoln: “He was not born king of men but a child of the common people, who made himself a great persuader, therefore a leader, by dint of firm resolve, patient effort and dogged perseverance … He was open to all impressions and influences … no matter how adverse or unwelcome. There was probably no year of his life when was not a wiser, cooler, and better man than he had been the year preceding.” In Lincoln’s own words: “Still the question recurs, ‘Can we do better?’ The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present … As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew.” Compare yourself this year to yourself last year. How have you changed? What do you do better this year? Do you handle conflict more calmly? Do you emanate more stability and grace to others? Do you more effectively balance your personal and professional life? If you want to continue growing in your career and life, leave your ego at the door and be willing to learn again with the wondrous curiosity you used to have when you were a child. Apply this learning as you develop new strategies to continue pressing forward toward your life 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, February 13, 2012

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




Self-discipline is the creation of an inner civilization.
--- Anthony Silard

Many of us rebel against discipline. We think, “This discipline thing isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Why not just live and let live?” This is a good question. Why exercise self-discipline at all for that matter? Because we’re civilized. What we call civilization is the discipline of a society. We enact laws and elect a government to set parameters on what we can and cannot do based on (in theory) values we all hold dear. We then entrust this government to use these parameters to control the passions, prejudices, and harmful tendencies of our fellow citizens. These laws, in an ideal society, provide us with necessary feelings of security and safety. Self-discipline is an effort to provide yourself with the security of knowing that your actions will not stray from predetermined parameters in the name of certain truths you hold to be self-evident. Just as the goal of a civilized nation is for its citizens to live harmoniously with one another, your self-discipline enables your emotions, thoughts, and motivations to live in harmony. Just as any citizen in a civilized society must accept that they will not always get their way, neither will your desire, anxiety, anger, or any other emotion always get its way—yet it must live in harmony with your thoughts and beliefs and accept your Vision Statement as its guiding constitution. (For a guide to creating your own Vision Statement, see Anthony Silard’s book The Connection, published by Simon & Schuster on January 10, 2012.) The next time you feel an emotion pulling you away from how you want to be as a person, take a step back from the situation to assess the emotion in relation to your core values and life Vision. Keep a log this week of how well you are doing in terms of being the person you want to become rather than allowing your emotions du jour to propel you in another direction.

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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).

Friday, February 10, 2012

Anthony Silard Video on Slow Leadership


The guiding theme for this video clip, taken from one of my webinars, is "If you want to achieve your most important goals as quickly as possible, slow down." As Karla and I are running around San Miguel de Allende and Queretaro (Mexico) doing our wedding planning, this is a good reminder for me right now .... Enjoy!

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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).

Results from Book Launch Party---Scholarships for Low-Income DC Youth

We want to thank all of the approximately 100 people who joined us at this wonderful event! 

We raised almost enough for one youth scholarship for our Young Leaders Program. We still need to raise 20 more scholarships at $1,000 each so we can offer our summer 2012 program to 35 low-income D.C. youth. If you can provide a full or partial scholarship (every donation helps no matter how small!) please make a contribution on our website.

Thank you!

Monday, February 6, 2012

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




People don’t remember what you say.
They remember how you made them feel.
--- Maya Angelou

Any human quality—including empathy or authenticity—becomes negative when over-applied. The person who over-practices empathy becomes submissive, a doormat for others. The person who over-focuses on authenticity is soon perceived as aggressive and insensitive to the needs of others. If you want to become assertive, you must strike the delicate balance between empathy and authenticity. Which is more difficult for you—to be empathetic and listen to others, or to be assertive and express your genuine thoughts and feelings? Take a few moments to ask yourself why. Don’t get down on yourself: I know very few people who do not have a major problem with one or the other of these two vital qualities for healthy, effective communication. In almost two decades of coaching leaders, I’ve observed that many people have trouble identifying and then expressing what they truly want, and hide behind empathetic listening to keep themselves from becoming vulnerable. Repeatedly asking others questions about themselves camouflages their fear of putting themselves on the line and sharing their authentic feelings. And the rest? Most of them relentlessly barrage others with what they think they know. Their constant insecurity about how others perceive them and their need for approval render them incapable of slowing down enough to give others the necessary time and attention to voice their own views. This week, take some time to identify which is a greater challenge for you—empathy or authenticity—and then design some strategies to work on this character quality so you can create 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).