Monday, October 28, 2013

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




In school, you learn the lesson and are then put to the test. 

In life, it’s the opposite:
you are put to the test and then learn the lesson.

--- Anthony Silard

There is much irony in this disconnect between education and reality. In real life it’s constantly brand-new material, so there’s no reason to get down on yourself for making mistakes. As the Bohemian-Austrian poet Rainer Maria Rilke perceptively observed: “There are no classes in life for beginners; right away you are always asked to deal with what is most difficult.” Yet most of us are accustomed to using the word ‘failure’ in association with our performance. How did this start? We began judging ourselves from our first days in elementary school based on the marks our teachers gave us to indicate their perception of our performance; and we haven’t stopped since. When you received a ‘D’ or an ‘F’ on a test, you were told that you ‘failed.’ You have most likely perpetuated this internal line of reasoning – “When I don’t perform well, I am a failure” – to this day. Reflect this week on your self-voice – the procreator of your voice with everyone else. When you catch yourself in the act of beating up on yourself, stop in your mental tracks and remember that there’s no dress rehearsal for life, and the important thing is not whether or not you made a mistake, but whether you embraced the necessary learning to move further toward your goals.

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Anthony Silard is the president of The Global Leadership Institute and the author of the Simon & Schuster book The Connection: Link Your Passion, Purpose, and Actions to Make a Difference in the World. To receive Smile, It's Monday each week in your inbox and a free copy of Anthony's new audio CD, "The Surprising Source of Your Passion", enter your email here (1-step only).

Monday, October 21, 2013

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

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

One of my clients once told me, “I’m just not able to say ‘No’ to my boss. I stay late at the office most nights to meet his expectations, and then return home late to my wife and children and don’t feel good about myself. They don’t feel good about me either.” To help him change his schedule, I first had to help him become aware that he was constantly making choices. Every minute after 6 pm, he was making the decision to stay at the office. Life is a series of choices, and what you choose creates your destiny. When you say ‘No’ to something, you are almost always saying a ‘Deeper Yes’ to something else. My client had to learn that to say ‘No’ to his boss was also to say ‘Yes’ to his wife and children; and, conversely, all the times he had said ‘Yes’ to his boss he had also been saying ‘No’ to his family. Another client became the ‘go to’ person in the office as she was not able to say ‘No’ to her employees requests for support throughout the day, and as a result was never able to progress toward her company’s larger strategic goals. Saying ‘No’ is particularly difficult for those of us who love to please others and crave their approval. Yet when you are unable to say ‘No,’ everything becomes your priority, which means nothing is your priority. Reflect this week on what you must learn to say ‘No’ to in order to say a ‘Deeper Yes’ to what you most value 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, October 14, 2013

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




Your desire should be not for desire,
but for the other person.

--- Anthony Silard

I understand this quote well because I’ve been there. I have felt the perilous self-doubt that follows the other person leaving in a relationship; the feelings of inadequacy, of aimless wandering and confused wondering about what I did wrong that never yield a conclusive lesson. I have desired to feel attractive again; have defined myself by the attention and approval I received from the opposite sex; have chased others for the love I couldn’t find within myself. We all have had our moments where we doubt ourselves and try to locate on the outside what we can’t provide ourselves on the inside. It never works. On your next date, ask yourself if the other person’s desire is to experience desire or to be with you for who you uniquely are. Ask yourself the same question about your own desire. We often use desire to get our emotional needs met as rapidly as possible, yet, like a farmer hastily throwing seeds onto the ground, we are unlikely to meet our expectations. A true emotional connection grows at its own (usually much slower) pace. We often accelerate into intimacy because it feels like we have to wait an eternity to feel intimate love once again. Be patient and also persistent. Put yourself out there: participate in group activities you will enjoy – such as hiking, skiing, bicycling, practicing Arabic or French, joining a philosophy discussion – whether you meet someone or not. (A great source of these activities is www.meetup.com.) When you least expect it, expect it: someone will come along whom you desire for who they are, not for the feelings about yourself that you futilely hope they will bring into your life, which will never come from an outside source.

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Anthony Silard is the president of The Global Leadership Institute and the author of the Simon & Schuster book The Connection: Link Your Passion, Purpose, and Actions to Make a Difference in the World. To receive Smile, It's Monday each week in your inbox and a free copy of Anthony's new audio CD, "The Surprising Source of Your Passion", enter your email here (1-step only).

Monday, October 7, 2013

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




Every great institution is the lengthened shadow of a single man.
His character determines the character of the organization.
--- Ralph Waldo Emerson

You must have character to inspire others to have character. I have observed the truth of this dynamic in organizations large and small: if the CEO is not direct with people and hides out in their office, the same behavior will be visible in almost every person in the company, silos will take over, and you won’t get a straight answer from anyone. If the CEO is supportive and nurturing in her approach yet resolute about achieving a clear set of goals, again you will find this behavior and attitude throughout the organization. So if you want to have people of values working for you, be a person of values. If you want to manage people who are sensitive to the needs of others, be sensitive to their needs. Treat your people with old-fashioned honesty, courtesy and decency, and they will be much more likely to treat your customers with old-fashioned honesty, courtesy and decency. Start this week by identifying a few values you want to actualize each day in the way you interact with others. At the end of the week, take a personal inventory of how well you’ve done. Continue this process each week to determine the values you most want to assimilate into your personal leadership style.

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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).