Elephant Mindset

When I was 19 years old I had a mentor who taught me a lot about the importance of correct thinking. He told me that anything was possible if we had the right thinking. What Henry Ford said is true: “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right!” One way my mentor helped me to understand the power of your thoughts was through the example of elephants. He said, “When a baby elephant is born in captivity, the captors will use a large, heavy chain to tie the elephant’s leg to a solid post, driven deep into the ground. The baby elephant will pull and pull with all its might, but will not be able to break the grip of the chain. After enough pulling, the elephant learns that it can’t escape and begins to think, “What is the use in trying. I’ll never break free.”
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Build People Up, Don’t Tear People Down

People with integrity focus their attention on building up others as opposed to tearing them down. They avoid criticism, complaining and gossip and instead they celebrate the successes and praise the strengths of those around them. It is easy to get caught in the trap of gossip or negative speaking, but I love what Will Durrant said when he stated, “To speak ill of others is a dishonest way of praising ourselves.” Do you build people up or tear people down? To illustrate this point further, let me tell you about an interesting study. Friends Gary Hamel and C.K. Prahalad wrote about a study conducted with a group of monkeys. Four monkeys were placed in a room that had a tall pole in the center. Suspended from the top of that pole was a bunch of bananas. One of the hungry monkeys started climbing the pole to get something to
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Great Leadership Is Driven By Passion

If the Number One thing we want is committed people, we need to start by looking in the mirror. Leaders who lack passion will have followers who lack commitment. You’ve heard it said that the speed of the leader is the speed of the pack. That is especially true when we look at the attitude, the work ethic, the energy, and commitment of the leader. Pure passion will permeate your team, it will rub off on them, and it will inspire them. The word passion originated at the time of Jesus Christ and was used to describe Christ’s suffering. Knowing the etymology of the word gives us a unique insight into its meaning. Passion means being willing to suffer for something that you love. The kind of passion that inspires commitment shows up early, stays late, finds solutions, engages the team, and gets the job done. Save Save
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3 Types of Influence

Whether it’s at home, at work, at play, or anywhere in between, our influence on those around us will fall into three categories: Situational Influence – People follow you because they have to. Position and authority most often determine this kind of influence. A political leader, for example, or a CEO, or a school teacher, or a traffic cop. This is the most common type of influence, based on position, title and authority. It is influence bequeathed, not personally earned, and exercising it can be done lazily because following is not a choice. When people are forced or compelled to follow you in a particular situation, the most you will ever get out of them is compliance. And as Dondi Scumaci likes to say, “Compliance will never take you where commitment can go.” If you are an influencer who has a position of authority, step back and ask yourself this
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3 Things Service Does For You

At this time of year many people are service oriented and look for ways to make a difference for others. It is one of the reasons I love the holiday season. And although service is about helping the other person, providing service is truly reciprocal. Here are three ways service also serves the server. Service Makes You Happier When I was in high school, I decided that our DECA club needed to do something that brought us together and provided service. As we discussed it, one of the girls suggested we provide Christmas for a family who needed it. We all got on board, soliciting donations, money, and food. With a monumental effort, we showed up Christmas Eve at the front door of a tiny home in downtown Denver with three SUV’s packed full of Christmas. We had toys, candy and clothes for the four kids, food to fill their
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Service Leads To Influence

One of the quickest ways to increase your leadership status is to become a service-oriented person. I know what you are thinking – “What does service have to do with leadership?” Well, it is actually proven that becoming a contributor increases your influence. Below I’ll explain using a quick excerpt from my book – The Power of Influence A study at the University of Kent in southern England was dedicated to figuring out how givers are perceived. Researchers conducted an experiment called a “cooperation game” in which participants were each given a small amount of money and asked to contribute to a common fund. Next, the researchers doubled the common fund and passed it out equally to members of the group. In this game, the best thing for everyone is to continually reinvest their money and keep doubling the fund. But if you’re crafty, rather than cooperate you’ll be tempted
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Influence Comes Down to The Three C’s

Have you ever wondered what makes someone influential? Why did people follow Gandhi? Or Martin Luther King Jr.? What makes leaders, entrepreneurs, politicians or salespeople influential? These are the questions I have asked myself for years. In my career I have had a chance to work with and share the stage with some of the greatest influencers in the world and I’ve studied them. I’ve watched their way of being, their interactions, the way they treat people and I’ve tried to understand this elusive quality we call influence. The great thing that I’ve discovered about influence is that it comes down to just three things. More importantly though, these are things that we control. So if you want to be more influential, then work on improving the three C’s. – Character – Competence – Communication 1st C – Character Billionaire John Huntsman once said, “There are no moral shortcuts in
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Should You Give Sales Presentations or Have Sales Conversations (Part 4)

Now let’s dive into particulars of turning sales presentations into sales conversations. (To see previous parts of this topic – see earlier posts) Most sales presentations are done on a one or one or small group basis. So a key to making these conversations is learning the art of asking great questions. First off, you need to understand a key to influence and it’s this – Focus on Being Interested, Not Interesting. One of the best ways to show interest, to personalize a sales presentation and to make it about the prospect is to ask questions. The following is an exerpt on asking questions from my book – The Power of Influence. As we strive to build our influence and rapport with people, we all need to know more of what other people are feeling and thinking, wanting and planning. To do this, we need to use questions that “open”
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Leadership From The Follower’s Perspective

I believe that leadership is our scarcest resource and yet our most needed commodity. In business, politics, education, church & family – everything rises and falls on leadership. Today I wanted to explore leadership from the follower’s point of view, with three questions that every follower, consciously or unconsciously, asks about the leader. In a recent interview John Maxwell posed these questions – stating that every follower asks: -Do You Care For Me? -Can You Help Me? -Can I Trust You? Question #1 – Do You Care For Me? A follower first looks at do you care for me? Do you have a heart for me? What are your real motives? As a leader our motives need to be pure and we need to truly care for those we lead. Our heart comes through to those we lead in subtle ways. Are we inward focused (selfish) or outward focused (selfless)?
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Be Present

How do you feel when you are talking to someone and they keep looking around or checking their phone? Now how many of us are guilty of doing the same thing to others? This weekend I had a chance to speak at the same conference as Nigel Risner. Nigel is an entertaining speaker who made a lot of great points but the one that stuck out to me was the importance of being present. In my book – The Power of Influence, I talk about focusing on being interested, not interesting. And being present in a conversation; when someone else is talking – is one of the best ways to focus on being interested. When we are present we validate the other person. We make them feel important and appreciated. When we are not present – what messages are we sending people? – You are not important, I don’t care
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