Monday, April 30, 2012

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



 
Mine honour is my life; both grow in one;
take honour from me and my life is done.
-- Shakespeare

I have reviewed thousands of surveys of executives in the private, nonprofit and public sectors, and the #1 quality they look for in their leaders—with no close second—is … honesty. Honesty and integrity breed trust, which is the currency of leadership. When you build “Trust Accounts” with others by committing to what you can deliver and then delivering on what you commit, you earn this currency. When you give your word to someone and then don’t deliver, you withdraw currency from this Trust Account.

Which key Trust Accounts do you need to deposit into this week? How will you get started?

Did you experience a moment in your life that taught you the importance of integrity? 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).

Monday, April 23, 2012

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




Your awareness of death can wake you up to life.
--- Anthony Silard

Being conscious of the fact your time is limited can bring you to purpose now while you can still do something about it. I have coached more than a few people who left dead-end jobs after the attacks on September 11, 2001 to pursue careers that really matter to them. I’ve observed many others make significant life changes—moving to a quiet rural town, traveling the world, reducing their work schedule to part-time—to spend more time with their loved ones. One of the deepest ironies of life is it’s not until you’re at risk of losing it that you give it the value it deserves. Most people look at life as a high school student looks at a term paper: they procrastinate and don’t think about it until just before it has to be handed in. Time and time again I observe that the people I know who have stared death in the eyes—struggling with cancer and going through chemotherapy, being hit by a car, or even one friend who was on a plane that ran out of fuel, plummeted out of the sky and miraculously landed—are the same people who most know how to live each moment, pursue long-held dreams and get the most out of the time they have left. 

Go for a long walk or to a meditation this week and think about your final days on this earth. What will provide you with the most meaning as you look back on your life? How will you wish that you had treated people? What will you want to be remembered for? To have accomplished? Write down some of your thoughts in your Vision Statement and then start transforming them into what you do every day. (Anthony Silard’s book The Connection includes a guide to developing your own Vision Statement.)

Have you experienced a moment that woke you up to make the most out of your life? 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).

Monday, April 16, 2012

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




Faith is to believe what you do not see.
The reward of this faith is to see what you believe.
—Saint Augustine

Self-esteem is the core of everything. All else flows from it. Your belief in your own worth will attract all you need in your life: caring friends and family members, an intimate partner, investors for your business ideas, career opportunities beyond your wildest dreams, and much more. A woman in her mid-fifties asked me at a recent conference, “How do you do it? How can you always stay so positive and encourage others to believe in their potential?” I put my hand on my chin for a moment as I often do when pensive, and gazed at a painting on the other side of the room. Then I looked back at her and asked matter-of-factly: “What’s the alternative?” You tell me. What’s the alternative to believing in your abilities to bring what you want into your life?

Make a pact with yourself to love yourself unconditionally—independent of how you perform anything whatsoever, or what anyone else says about you or to you, or the actions that others take toward, against, or away from you in your life. Observe the people around you with amusement the way you would actors on a stage. Taking this leap to self-faith is your life’s greatest challenge. Rise to it, and your other challenges will diminish in size and become more manageable.

How do you regain your self-confidence after a difficult moment in your life? 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).

Monday, April 9, 2012

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




What has been long neglected cannot be restored immediately.
Fruit falls from the tree when it is ripe.
--- Jack Kornfield

I was coaching a client recently who had gone through a very difficult time with her mother. Pained by the loss of her husband (my client’s father), her mother had become very depressed. When she spoke with her daughter, it was usually to find fault and criticize her for the choices she was making. After a year of a lot of therapy, my client was able to put a healthy psychological distance between herself and this situation and begin to move on with her life. Her boyfriend, whom she had spent less time with for over a year while tending to her mother, had become estranged from her, and had all but shut down emotionally. “What should I do?” she asked me. “I still love him, and I want us to begin again. I really want to be there for him now, but he is so closed to me. We have been together five years and I also want more of a commitment from him, but when I ask him about it he says he is not sure right now.” I advised her to begin with herself: to develop daily rituals to bring peace and happiness into her life. I also suggested that she leverage the power of gratitude and positive feeling, and start telling him how much she appreciates him, especially for being patient with her and staying with her through this difficult period. As she started sharing her gratitude and telling him how important he is to her, the negativity of the past year slowly dissipated.

Think this week about a person in your life who has become hurt and put up a wall in order to keep you safely on the other side. Ask yourself how both of you would benefit by your practicing patience and sharing gratitude with them. Don’t try to change the relationship overnight. Express small statements of appreciation at first, and then slowly expand your authentic expression—and the relationship—from there.

How have you practiced appreciation in an important relationship? 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).

Monday, April 2, 2012

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




I have been asked the question “What is the most important thing I must do to become successful?”thousands of times in my conferences. I always respond: “Identify the one question you will spend your entire life trying to answer, even though you will never fully answer it.”
--- Anthony Silard

The second-most-successful actress in history in terms of box office receipts, Julia Roberts, once said: “I love romantic comedies. I like to watch them and I like to be in them. It’s something that’s increasingly difficult to find that spark of originality that makes it different than the ones that come before.” What do you love so much that you would be willing to dedicate your entire life to continuously improving? Medicine? Dance? Law? Customer service? Graphic design? What’s your Unanswerable Question? For Julia Roberts, it’s “How can I help create the most moving and inspiring romantic comedies possible?” The Academy-Award winning actress will never fully answer this question, yet up until now has never stopped trying to provide a better response. My Unanswerable Question is “How can I most effectively help people to make a heart connection with themselves and others that enables them to create personal and social change?” What's yours? Is it “How can I provide the most effective holistic health care possible to my patients?” or “How can I bring so much grace and fluidity to dance that each person in the audience experiences a sublime sensation of beauty and flow?” or “How can I design the best websites possible to enable companies to develop a meaningful dialogue with their customers that translates into both increased loyalty and sales?” Take some time this week to reflect on the question that will guide your life journey to improve the lives of the rest of us who share this planet with you. Write down a few versions of your Unanswerable Question until you are satisfied with how the words resonate in your heart. Once you are comfortable with it, put your Unanswerable Question at the top of your Vision Statement. (For a comprehensive guide to creating your own Vision Statement and discovering your Unanswerable Question, see Anthony Silard’s book The Connection, published by Simon & Schuster on January 10, 2012.) Complete this simple exercise and you will take a huge leap forward toward experiencing unprecedented success and meaning 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).