4 Steps to Effective Networking

 Step 1. – Focus on the 1 you are talking to. Don’t look around the room or be distracted by your phone. Focus only on the 1 person in front of you. Step 2 – Follow the rule of 2. In an effort to make the conversation about them & not about you. Anytime they share something about themselves, ask 2 questions before you share anything about yourself.   Step 3 – Say their name 3 times. This will help you remember their name, so weave it into the conversation 3 times.   Step 4 – Do something 4 them. Find a way to connect them to someone, share an article or book they would enjoy – find a simple way to do something 4 them.
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Are You A Leader Who Enables or Empowers?

I believe the most important leadership role anyone has in this life is that of a parent. As a parent my ultimate goal is to raise productive, self-sufficient adults, who go on to achieve and contribute more to the world than I do. If you think about it, shouldn’t that be the goal of every business leader as well? Ralph Nader said, “The function of leaders is to produce other leaders not just other followers.” And that is the essence of a true leader – is one who not only inspires followers but empowers them to go on to be great leaders. So how do we do that? Well, let’s think about it from a parents perspective and there are three simple strategies that I think move us away from enabling and into the empowerment process. #1. Allow For Collaboration in Decision Making As a parent you need to let
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Four Reasons Leaders Are Readers

I was recently in the CEO’s office of a billion dollar company and on his desk were a stack of books. I asked him what he was reading and with excitement he grabbed a book and told me all about it. Then on a plane ride home, I was seated next to the Vice President of an international business and we discussed the book she was reading and her favorites she had read recently. As we are talking she said a phrase that I have heard over the years – Leaders are readers. I have also heard it said – Earners are learners. Regardless of how you say it, I have found that a great habit of the highly successful is that they are always reading and growing. There are four main reasons that leaders are readers. 1. Leaders read for Enlightenment. Books can be an amazing source of wisdom,
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Choose Your Words Wisely

Have you ever thought about the connotations of the words you use? Words have an innate power. Words sell and words repel. Words lead and words impede. Words heal and words kill. When I lived in Portugal and learned to speak Portuguese, the leader or our mission made a rule that we couldn’t use the word “Dificil” which means difficult. Instead he had us use the word “desefiador” which means challenging. At the time I didn’t think much about it but now I realize the genius in it. When things are difficult you feel defeated, but a challenge is something you step up to meet. The connotation of those words changed our mindset. In my house we don’t say, “I can’t” It’s a simple thing but I don’t want my kids to mentally stop themselves when they have the capacity to do it. I don’t want to allow myself to
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You Can’t Elevate Yourself By Putting Others Down

  One of the biggest problems in our society today is a false belief that you elevate yourself by putting others down. You see this in politics. It is almost comical when you watch a political debate; when a candidate is asked a question, they typically respond by bashing their opponent and they never answer the question. But it goes beyond politics. In business, I hear people who bash their competitors and somehow believes that makes them look better and create loyalty. It actually does the opposite. One example in our culture is the portrayal of men. Watch any sitcom and they portray men as lazy, stupid and helpless. This is another example of a flawed approach that stemmed from feminism. Feminism is about elevating and empowering women and we don’t do that by bashing men. In all scenarios – remember – you can’t elevate yourself by putting others down.
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The Foundation For Sales Success

What is the key to success in sales? Is it product knowledge? Is it selling benefits instead of features? Is it your ability to ask questions? To present? All of these are important skills and make an impact but I would say there is a foundational key to success for any sales person regardless of what they are selling. In my twenties I built a multi-million dollar sales organization. In my thirties I have spoken for hundreds of sales organizations. I have spoken to salespeople who sell cars, insurance, skin care, advertising, software, houses, medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, tractors, beverages, pest control, home security, nutritional supplements, clothing, and much more. The commonality that all of them share and the key to sales success is recognizing that Business Is Based On Relationships.  Our ability to build relationships, to win people over and to make connections is the key to success in all
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10 Ways to Become a More Influential Leader

No matter your company, or the role which you play in it, you are in the business of people. Because of that, leadership is a driving force behind growing your business.  You become a solid leader through influence, but you become a successful leader by using influence to engage and inspire others. Here are my top ten ways to become a more influential leader. Understand that Leadership is not about you – it is about the people that you lead Become the most passionate person that you know – it will be contagious! People do business with people they know, like, trust and VALUE – Be the one to add value Constantly work to develop yourself. Leaders are readers – Earners are Learners When it comes to your communication – change your goal from perfection to connection with your audience Have integrity – Do what you said you would do,
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10 Storytelling Secrets

People love stories. More importantly, stories engage emotion which prompts people to respond, take action or buy your products.  Stories engage emotionally and people take action based on emotion.  These 10 Storytelling Secrets will help you on your way to becoming an effective communicator. In storytelling your focus is on the audience. Tell it for them not for you. The goal of storytelling in business is not perfection, but rather connection with your audience. Your purpose is to engage your audience. Without engagement there is never any influence. Find your voice and strike a balance between credibility and relatability. An influential story is struggle to solution. You hook them with the struggle and you help them with the solution. Keep your stories concise and compelling. Audiences have short attention spans, so the quicker you get to the take away, the better. You don’t retell a story—you relive a story. Make
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The Four Elements of An Effective Team

It’s my personal favorite time of year – March Madness!  I love tournament time and always look forward to watching my favorite players.  While there are great individual players in college ball, they win as a team and I love watching the great teamwork that prevails in college basketball.  Great teamwork is what sets apart the winners. The old acronym for TEAM is T- Together E- Everyone A- Achieves M- More While I agree with the sentiment – it is only true if the team learns to work together. I have been part of teams in business, sports, community efforts as well as church and service projects. Some have been effective and some haven’t. So what makes a team effective? There are Four Elements of An Effective Team. It is the acronym GRIP – (Too many acronyms – I know Grip stands for: G- Goals R- Roles I- Interpersonal Relationships
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The Key To Growth, Change and Achieving Your Goals

An MIT psychologist named Kurt Lewin is often called the father of social psychology. It was his research that resulted in Force Field Analysis, a formula that explains why people – and businesses – either stay in the same place or move in a new direction. He postulated that, “An issue is held in balance by the interaction of two opposing sets of forces – those seeking to promote change and those attempting to maintain the status quo.” In other words, if the driving forces and the restraining forces are equal, it’s like pushing the brake and the gas pedal at the same time. The vehicle isn’t going anywhere. Only when the power to move outweighs the power to remain stationary does progress happen. The simplicity of the analytic lends itself to an easy-to- understand diagram. In the drawing below, the goal is in the middle, flanked on one side
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