Monday, April 27, 2015

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


When a fundamental need goes 
unmet for a protracted period of time, 
we seek other means of satisfying it.
--- Anthony Silard

Gary is an investment banker who spends all of his time in the office and hardly ever sees his wife and children. After twelve years, his wife couldn’t live with her shattered dreams anymore and asked for a divorce.

When Gary reached his mid-fifties, he came to see me. He realized how disconnected he was from anyone who ever really mattered to him and that there’s not going to be anyone around who cares about him as he gets older.

When he tried to rebuild his relationships with his children, now in their 20s, they gave him a resentful look that said, “Excuse me, who are you?”

Gary did not give to the people who needed him during their critical years. Now they’ve learned how to live their lives without him and have moved on.

Who in your life needs something important from you that you haven’t found in your heart to give? If they are indeed of high value to you, consider this week how could you push yourself a bit out of your box to provide them more of what they need.

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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 20, 2015

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


Any system that rewards low performers
 the same as star performers
 will soon have many low performers
 and few star performers.
--- Anthony Silard

An organization, like a human being, grows based on what’s cultivated within. If you reward obsequiousness, you’ll get more obsequiousness. If you reward politics, people will play politics. If you reward bringing in solid results, that’s what will grow. You make the choice and the results follow.

I coached a CEO who once said, “I don’t understand why the incentives I’m offering aren’t spurring the kind of performance we need. I send some of my employees to expensive professional development programs, yet they still don’t work harder.”

His incentives weren’t yielding the results he desired for two reasons. First, he hadn’t taken the time to ask his employees what would most motivate them. For some of them, a training program simply wasn’t a motivator.

Second, the benefits of working harder were perceived as too distant. Organizational research by Richard Steers of the University of Oregon has found that incentives tend to be less effective the more the gratification they elicit is delayed.

This week, start asking your employees what would most motivate them to achieve high performance. Keep asking—verbally and through written questionnaires—until people really open up about what they want.

You will find that your employees have very different motivations: some may be motivated by influence, others by money, a flexible schedule, or tasks that truly challenge and enable them to grow. There is only one way to motivate each of your employees: to provide what each uniquely desires while maintaining the integrity of your company.

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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 13, 2015

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


Show me a guy who’s afraid to look bad, 
and I’ll show you a guy you can beat every time.
--- Lou Brock

Here’s why the former Cardinals outfielder and eight-time stolen-base record holder knows what he’s talking about: let’s say the person whose approval you seek (e.g. your parent) tells you they think you should go left, yet deep in your gut you know you should go right.

If you go left and fail because you should have gone right, make no mistake—they’ll blame you. And you will fail if you go left because you will not be acting with the conviction necessary to sustain your interest and motivation.

What does ‘going left’ (what you think others think you should do) mean in your life? What constitutes ‘going right’ (what you feel you want to do)?

Does ‘going left’ mean going to a top-name college that doesn’t interest you, or going out with someone who is intellectually and physically impressive but motivates you almost as much as cold soup in winter?

Securing approval from within means not waiting to see what others think before sharing your opinion. It means recognizing that when you say, “I should do this,” it usually translates as, “Other people think I should do this.”

This week, consider an important step in your life. Reflect on how you can focus less on whether you look good or bad, or what others might think about your upcoming decision, and more on whether the action you want to take is consistent with your life vision and deepest values.

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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 6, 2015

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


A lot of people like to do certain things, 
but they’re not that good at it. 
Keep going through the things that 
you like to do until you find
something that you actually seem 

to be extremely good at.
-- George Lucas, Movie Director

A young designer entered the fashion business in 1968—not a great year for fashion companies unless you were manufacturing cheap jeans and tie-dyed t-shirts for the hippie movement. Nonetheless, Calvin was determined to succeed. He rented a dingy one-room showroom on the sixth floor of a run-down building on Seventh Avenue, the heart of NYC’s fashion district.

Calvin called all the buyers and editors he had met over the year to see his work. A few came by, but there were no large orders and his money was about to run out. He decided to hang some of his samples on the door, hoping someone would walk by and notice his designs.

One day, the vice-president of Bonwit Teller, one of the largest retail stores in NY at the time, got off the elevator on the wrong floor and found himself face-to-face with Calvin’s designs. He was extremely impressed not only with the precise, classic look of Calvin’s clothes, but also with Calvin’s knowledge of the market and design. He invited Calvin to meet with the company’s president.

Rather than risk wrinkling any of his clothing in a taxi, Calvin wheeled his rack of clothes all the way uptown to the Fifth Avenue store. The president gave Calvin Klein an order for $50,000—higher than his yearly projected revenues—and the rest is history.

This week, stop waiting for the right opportunity to come along and make a plan to venture out into the world and find it.

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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).