Tag Archives: Leadership

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When I was in my early teens, I read a lot of books. One of the books that I read was Gandhi’s autobiography. A quote from that book hit me all of those years ago and has remained a guiding principle for my life: “Be the change that you want to see in the world.” It made so much sense as a teenager as I felt a lot of people talked but didn’t live by their words. What an utter test of authenticity! I am in China and had a day off from work so spent an hour climbing around on the Great Wall and then, returned to Beijing to wander around the Forbidden City. How can one possibly absorb the amazing history and phenomenal  Read the full article…

Under Your Core Influence

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I always start the year by investigating what others have to say about the future human, economic, technological and socio-political trends. It’s fascinating how, according to the analysts, each year continues to be “one of the most significant years in world history”. Maybe it IS part of the human condition to want to continuously experience renewal and meaningfulness. Surely, 2014 must be more worthy than “just another year!” I, too, intend to have a new life in 2014. This year, I want to live free from fear of loss and embarrassment. I yearn for more youthfulness, humour, core connections, freedom and fun-filled creativeness. I intend to create this in my life and for those around me, regardless of what the world of economics throws our  Read the full article…

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  I have a Great Dane named Ziva whom I take for daily walks. However, the only time we can walk is at 5:30 AM when, at that time, it is very dark outside.  I live in the countryside so there’s a street light at the beginning of the road, one at the end of the road, and a lot of dark dirt road in between.  One day there was no moon and it was cloudy and so very, very murky! I was standing under the streetlight and I could see everything very clearly. I could see the direction in which we needed to go. As I walked out of the light and into the dark, I noticed a little bit of that primordial fear  Read the full article…

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So much of what we do at work has to be done by, with, or through other people. It’s a fact of life. Relationships can be temporary, such as with an ad hoc team, intermittent, as with cross-functional project teams, and daily, as with either dotted or direct line reporting. Those relationships can be anything from antagonistic, to cordial, to a lot of fun, to close. Human beings are social creatures. We like to “hang out” with people we like! We tend to distance ourselves from people we perceive to be weird or different. Take my word for it, there are a lot of weird people out there! What we don’t think about when we’re reacting to one of these “weirdos”, is the negative impact  Read the full article…

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Many definitions of leadership involve the word INFLUENCE. “Leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less.” (John Maxwell) What does influence have to do with leadership, though?  A leader needs to do two things: build or maintain relationships, and get things done. What is common to all cultures is the need for a leader whom people trust and admire. But in the global organizations that exist today, what makes someone trustworthy and admirable when you have five different cultures in the room as those attributes are viewed differently across cultures? Also, there are various personality types in addition to cultural differences. Lastly, don’t forget the various levels of dysfunction that exist in most corporate cultures! Therefore building or maintaining relationships can get complicated. So how do  Read the full article…

The Power of Words

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When teaching and coaching people on leadership and influence skills, we normally tell them that words have the lowest impact in face-to-face communication when influencing another person. Body language has the highest impact, and tone of voice is the next level of impact. Sayings like: “It’s not what you say it’s how you say it,”  have common sense meaning to most people. It’s nice when research backs up common sense. That’s not to say that the words don’t matter. Of course, they matter! It’s a complete message when I say something and it means the same thing to all people in a group.  It’s congruence when my words, music (tone) and dance (body language) all have the same meaning. A friend of mine has cancer.   Read the full article…

What is Influence?

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We all influence on a daily basis be it at home or at work. Wherever you have personal objectives to meet you have opportunities to influence those around you. It can be said that any communication that has an intended outcome can be considered an attempt to influence. In business, task focus and the achievement of outcomes with and through others is a continuous activity. Influence is pervasive, whether we are conscious of it or not and regardless of the label applied to it. Excellent influencers fulfill their personal objectives while maintaining and nurturing important relationships. That sounds simple, but in practice it can be extremely challenging. Many people achieve their influence objectives only at the expense of important relationships. Others habitually avoid challenging influence  Read the full article…