Monday, May 26, 2014

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

Success in parenting is what
your kids do when you’re not around.
Success in leadership is what
your employees do when you’re not around.
--- Anthony Silard

I’m sure you’ve heard the popular saying that keeps many leaders up at night: “When the cat’s away, the mice play.”

In part a response to this very human dynamic, effective leaders clearly communicate three vital pieces of information to their employees: what must be achieved for the company to be successful (a few large, ambitious goals); how this success will be measured (specific objectives aligned with each goal and linked to measurable results); and how it will be rewarded (incentives their employees have been brought into the process of creating).

Effective leaders also establish a clear, periodic feedback loop so their employees regularly know how they’re doing and what they need to improve on to reach their objectives.

Just as children seek security from their parents, employees seek security from their leaders. They seek clarity rather than confusion about how to grow in their positions. A clear system that defines success, how it will be measured, and what the rewards will be provides employees with this security.

This week, take stock of the “success formula” in your organization. Ask yourself, “Is it clear to each person what their goals are and how these goals will be rewarded?” and “Are the rewards tangible and motivating?” Then ask these same questions to your employees.

Consider how you can upgrade the setting, evaluating, and rewarding of goals that equate to superior performance in your organization so you can become proud of what your employees do with their time when you’re not around.

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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, May 19, 2014

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

Inactivity, in the right doses,
will yield more results in your life
than any form of activity.
--- Anthony Silard

Studies have shown that most people do not make their most significant work breakthroughs when they’re in the office. Ironically, their most creative work ideas come to them when they’re hiking in nature, walking on the beach, or just enjoying a relaxing vacation.

You may conceptually believe this to be true, yet in practice find it difficult to free yourself from your ultraviolet productivity chamber.

It stands to reason that if you don’t take time out to think, you’ll only perform actions that don’t require new thoughts. Like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, you’ll act out the same day and get the same results over and over again into oblivion. You’ll lose your edge. Your habitual patterns will reign over you and hold court for a long, relentless dynasty that leaves you a submissive shell of the person you could have become.

Why would you allow this to happen and resign yourself to such a dystopian fate? Because you’re afraid to slow down, leave opportunity on the table, and accomplish less than the next guy.

Herein is a counterintuitive, elusive truth that contradicts the basic tenets of capitalism: Too much action can weaken you.

This week, come up with at least one new strategy to integrate more time to recover, replenish, and renew your energy into your schedule.

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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, May 12, 2014

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

The poverty most likely
to destroy your life is psychological.
--- Anthony Silard

We are the owners of the thoughts we allow to take up residence in our minds.

When you are paralyzed by what your family will think about your choices, or willing to let an innovative idea die because it might not be accepted, or reluctant to share your genuine feelings because others might laugh at you, or willing to compromise who you are to keep your so-called friends by your side, you are living in the worst possible type of poverty: the kind that takes control of your mind.

You don’t have to live this way. Instead of suffering for even one more moment, design your exit strategy from poverty. Shift your mental paradigm and take the leap into a spiritually affluent life that is rich, vital and authentic.

Start by viewing approval and disapproval as equally tangential to your life goals. View both as unsolicited commentaries from people in the stands that have the potential to prevent you from ever getting on base.

The next time anyone says something critical to you or about you, initiate a three-step process: First, filter their comments through your value system. Second, learn from any part you consider relevant to your growth. Third, discard the rest.

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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, May 5, 2014

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

Wise men speak because they have something to say;
fools because they have to say something.
--- Plato

Communication is like music. Sing “And she’s buying the stairway to heaven” to yourself without any pause whatsoever between the words. Now try it again with pauses the way Led Zeppelin sings it: “And…she’s…… buy... ing…. the….stair….way……..to…. heaven.”

Just as music does not sound mellifluous without pauses between the notes, conversation without short periods of silence for reflection becomes stressful, anxiety-provoking, and meaningless.

The ancient Greek mathematician and philosopher Pythagoras said, “Silence is better than unmeaning words.” Do you sometimes say things you later regret when you ‘fill the gap’ during a lull in the conversation with words that are long on syllables but short on meaning?

This week, make an effort to allow yourself to sit with the natural pauses in conversation without feeling awkward. The more you develop this ethereal skill and let go of the need you may have to always either direct the conversation or have the perfect response to any question you might be asked, the more naturally the conversation will flow.

Pauses in conversation during which you think calmly and confidently about what you want to say next are like the brief moments of silence between notes: without them you create noise, not music.

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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).