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Mental Health Personal Development Self Improvement

8 Ways to Help Maximise Your Potential part two

Motivational Quotes

To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream, not only plan, but also believe.” – Anatole France.

 

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.” – Serenity Prayer

 

Cease to ask what the morrow will bring forth, and set down as gain each day that Fortune grants.” – Horace.

 

Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That is why it is called present.” – Unknown

 

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain.

 

“Failure is blindness to the strategic element in events; success is readiness for instant action when the opportune moment arrives.”  – Newell D. Hillis.

This is the second article of a two part series on 8 ways to help maximise your potential. A quick reminder of the definition of the world potential according to the oxford dictionary “potential is having or showing the capacity to develop into something in the future“.  Personal development and growth is a vehicle that you can use to help maximise your potential. We are all built with potential, that is waiting to be unleashed and maximised. “The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential.. .these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence” – Eddie Robinson. Lets get straight into it and see what the remaining 4 ways are:-

Know Yourself

You will be amazed to learn that many of us do not know ourselves very well. It may sound absurd that am talking about knowing yourself but it is very important that you know yourself and have total control of your being. I believe that self knowledge is the starting point of maximising your potential. It gives us an insight into understanding our capabilities. Knowing your self will help you understand where your natural strengths lie and how well you can combine them to take advantage of the prevailing opportunities.

Donald O. Clifton and Paula Nelson in “play to your strengths” outline five different ways in which we can discover our strengths as outlined below:-

  • Listen for yearnings – normally our yearnings are often triggered when we hear or see someone doing something we would like to do or feel we can do it better. You will agree with me that there is something you are yearning to do but do not realise it because you have not paid attention to your self.
  • Watch out for satisfactions – what really satisfies you? When you get a glow of satisfaction from doing something (work related off course) even though we may not understand why, this is most likely one of your strengths.
  • Watch out for rapid learning – a strength is usually characterised by rapid learning. Am very sure that you do have things that you learn more easily than others. This will usually continue for a longtime if not a life time.
  • Be aware of moments of excellence – position your mind to be alert to your moments of excellence. I believe that each and everyone of us has had a moment of excellence in their lives.
  • Watch for total performance of excellence.

Over the years I have learned to be a student of my self. Learning is a continuous process and so from time to time I do a personal re-evaluation. This process has so far proved to be very important and of great use to my personal development and growth.

Make the Change for New Things

Don’t get stuck in the survival or maintenance modes of personal development and growth. You need to make the change for new things in order to maximise your potential.  We live in an ever changing world and the only way to keep moving forward is to embrace change. Most of us have a reputation of resisting change. I know that change comes with at a price but it must be embraced as it usually comes with different opportunities. “Your current conditions do not reflect your ultimate potential” – Anthony Robbins.

Life demands that we move with time and everyday is a new day. It is also important to be always reading and improving your skill set. Knowledge is key to success and you should always be willing to learn on a daily basis. There instances when you cannot change some situations due to various factors but you can change your mind set and behaviour. The only factor that you have control over is yourself. Many of us fail because we do not want to change our habits and behaviours to accommodate the ever changing environment.

Set Your Goals and Stick with Them

Perhaps the starting point to maximise your potential is goal setting. The importance of goal setting cannot be over emphasised. This is one of the cardinal principles in personal development and growth. When your have set your goals it is important that you stick with them and do not be distracted from achieving them. Persistence and perseverance will be key in achieving your goals. Stay focused and motivated as you pursue your goals.

You should set goals that are realistic and achievable. However, you should not limit yourself to setting goals that will not challenge your ability. You are capable of achieving more than you can image. God made you to be a solution to the world and the way I see it now the world needs more solutions than ever. For more details on goal setting please read click here.

Take Action

Continuous effort! not strength or intelligence, is the key to unlocking your potential” – Winston Churchill. Maximising your potential requires that you take action. A journey of a thousand miles requires that you make the first step in the right direction. Regardless of what your plans are for your life just get started. Its only when you take action that you begin to realise your potential. Without taking action you will never realise your full potential and a later on maximise it. Taking action is the fuel to living your dream. Once you get started on your journey there will be obstacles that you will encounter. These obstacles should not stop you from re-focusing.

You should make a commitment to achieving your intended life’s purpose. Your success will only be achieved by taking action. Do not let procrastination still your success. Do not let failure stop you from achieving your goals. Instead make a commitment to pursuing your goals and live to enjoy the fruits of your labour. I know for a fact that everything worth while does not come on a silver platter. There is much joy in living your dream without short cuts. I always try to do things right and straight it makes my life much easier and leaves me with a piece of mind. So far so good.

I have made a commitment to ensure that this blog becomes one of the preferred sites in the areas I have fashioned it to be. This commitment is for life. I will continue to write and post articles on this site for as long as I possibly can. I know for a fact that it is helping someone out there and that is the biggest motivation for me. This site is one of my contributions to help change the world for the better.

Conclusion

Consult not your fears, but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you have tried and failed in, but for what is still possible for you to do” – Pope John XXIII. There are many ways that you can use to help maximise your potential, the 8 ways mentioned in both articles are just some of them. I recommend that you develop the habit of reading and have an open mind to learning. Remember that personal development and growth is not a competition but a personal journey to be walked by you alone. Bye for now and  as usual “standout tall and be counted”.

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Its time to review your resolutions
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Goals and goal setting

 

Categories
Personal Development

8 Ways to Help Maximise Your Potential part one

Motivational Quotes

To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream, not only plan, but also believe.” – Anatole France.

 

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.” – Serenity Prayer

 

Cease to ask what the morrow will bring forth, and set down as gain each day that Fortune grants.” – Horace.

 

Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That is why it is called present.” – Unknown

 

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain.

 

“Failure is blindness to the strategic element in events; success is readiness for instant action when the opportune moment arrives.”  – Newell D. Hillis.

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around” ~ Leo Buscaglia. We are all blessed and possess skills and abilities that nobody else has quite as we do.

God made each one of us unique and we all different have roles to play in the world. Just like the body has different parts that make it whole, the world has different components that make it complete. Those components represent you and me.

We are all gifted with unique talents and gifts, whether this is a talent to show on the world stage, or on a small stage as someone who makes a difference, does not necessarily matter. What is important is for one to play their part and not deprive the world of their talents.

All these talents and abilities if not expressed are just potential. Since we are all blessed with these unique talents the question is how do we then make the most of our personal potential?

Let’s start by defining or rather establishing the meaning of the word “potential”. According to the oxford dictionary “potential is having or showing the capacity to develop into something in the future“. If you have something then you have something to show.

There is no point in showing something that you do not have because it is not possible. You may not currently know what your talents are until you fully understand and explore your personality.

If you have to fulfill your dreams it is imperative that you learn how to maximise your potential. The following methods might just be the answer if you have been on the quest to fulfilling your potential.

Happiness and Goals

“Look to this day for it is life, the very life of life. In Its brief course lie all the verities and realities of your existence; The bliss of growth; The glory of action; The splendor of beauty; For yesterday is but a dream, and tomorrow is only a Vision: But today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness, and every tomorrow a vision of hope. Look well, therefore, to this day!” ~ From the Sanskrit.

One of the greatest hindrances for failing to maximise our potential is living an unhappy life. You see, happiness is a choice. You choose either to be happy or otherwise.

I have learned that happiness is an antidote for success. From the time of great philosophers such as Aristotle, happiness has been linked to the achievement of goals.

That is the more reason why we find so much happiness and pleasure in the work that makes us achieve our goals. Happiness and goal setting cannot be substituted for anything if you have to maximise your potential.

Living a happy life will surely motivate you to maximise your personal potential. Click here to read more on happiness. There is no success without happiness.

I think that what drives most of us to succeed is happiness. The joy we get when a goal has been attained. Happiness is, therefore, a very important driver to maximizing one’s potential.

“I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good therefore, that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to my fellow-creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again” ~ William Penn.

Personal development and self-improvement are do it yourself activities. However, you look at them, if you have to maximize your potential; you have to learn how to do it yourself.

I have noticed that most of us would rather not do even the easiest of tasks for fear of failure. Yet, we would rather be credited with someone else’s success. From my working experience, most of us do not want to take responsibility for our actions especially if they are negative ones.

I believe that to maximize your potential you need to learn and know how get the basics done. I do not know about you but I enjoy doing most of the things on my own.

It actually gives me great satisfaction and pleasure when I have accomplished something on my own. I am basically a do it yourself person. This does not mean that I do everything, no no no. I am very much aware of my skillset and know my limitations.

If you are in a leading position you must learn how to delegate and supervise your subordinates. One of the greatest skills you need to possess as a leader is the skill of delegation and supervision. As a leader, you must learn to give direction and motivation to your followers.

Create Your Destiny

“That a man can change himself, improve himself, re-create himself, control his environment, and master his own destiny is the conclusion of every mind who is wide-awake to the power of right thought in constructive action” ~ Larsen.

“Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not something to be waited for, but rather something to be achieved” ~ William Jennings Bryan.

Maximising your potential entails creating your own destiny. We live our destiny by the little things that we do every day. Always remember that your destiny is not a destination but rather the journey that you live.

Philosophers and great thinkers have in the last centuries pondered and puzzled over the extent to which our lives are in our own hands and the extent to which they are pre-ordained.

There are many thoughts and arguments but the main thought that comes out very clearly and distinct is that we can all set ourselves on the path we want. This has been proven that even in the most limiting societies we still have a free will to try.

For if you are trying to achieve something then that is your first step to creating your destiny. If you are like me and are learning to maximise your potential then you are living your destiny.

Improve Yourself

“Rely on your own strength of body and soul. Take for your star self-reliance, faith, honesty and industry. Don’t take too much advice — keep at the helm and steer your own ship, and remember that the great art of commanding is to take a fair share of the work. Fire above the mark you intend to hit. Energy, invincible determination with the right motive, are the levers that move the world” ~ Noah Porter.

Even though nature compels us to improve, there are two opposing forces at play; to stay where we are and consolidated what we have gained or to explore what is still possible to achieve and know how far we can go.

The majority of us would rather not venture with the second force. We would rather take the safe and secure one, yet continue wondering what we might have missed out on.

We sit on our potential and die with it. Those who take the second risky path go on adventures seeking to maximise what they possess. This though comes at a cost and it is worth paying for.

Have you ever noticed that the good things in life are not free? If you are not exploring your talents then I can assure you that you have taken the comfort zone. Get out there and explore your talents.

You might just be the answer the world has been waiting for. I know the most common excuse that most of us have is; I have no money or resources. If you think your idea is good enough, go for it and start living your dream.

Conclusion

I will end here for now. Look out for part two in which I conclude with the remaining four ways to maximise your potential. Remember to always standout tall and be counted“. Revised on 26/02/2021.

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Categories
Leadership Personal Development

The 9 Must Have Life Skills part 3

Motivational Quotes

To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream, not only plan, but also believe.” – Anatole France.

 

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.” – Serenity Prayer

 

Cease to ask what the morrow will bring forth, and set down as gain each day that Fortune grants.” – Horace.

 

Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That is why it is called present.” – Unknown

 

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain.

 

“Failure is blindness to the strategic element in events; success is readiness for instant action when the opportune moment arrives.”  – Newell D. Hillis.

Welcome to part 3 of “the 9 must have life skills”.  This is the final part of the 3 series. Let’s start with a quick recap of the past two articles. In part one I mentioned the first three life skills namely, influencing; delegation, and persuasion.

We went on to describe these in detail click here to read part 1. In part two I talked about the next three life skills namely; coaching, feedback and conflict handling click here to read part 2.A general is just as good or just as bad as the troops under his command make him” ~ General Douglas MacArthur. “A leader is a dealer in hope” ~ Napoleon Bonaparte.

The last three life skills are the ones that expose your inner being, to the outside world. Remember you work from the inside out and not vice versa. You are made of what is inside you.

You must know that all growth is from within. You cannot give out what you do not have. People will only judge you from what they see and how you present yourself to them. I will now present the life skills as below:

Presentation

Presentation is an area that can be a challenge to many. We all make judgement by seeing or rather analysing the presentation by a colleague or friend. In my own humble definition, I regard presentation as way to send and receive information in a way that makes people want to hear what you are saying or doing.

Presentation can come in many different forms. In fact, we are always presenting ourselves on a daily basis, be it at work or to our customers, friends, spouses, children and the list is endless.

Presentation is about getting your message across a section of society. In doing this, you should ask yourself what you want to achieve. A good leader should also be a good presenter.

If you are in leadership this is the skill that will influence your team members to appreciate or agree with your philosophies. The key to being a good presenter is knowing what you want to achieve.

To effectively get your message across, it is important to consider these two perspectives;

  •  What do you want to say?
  • What is the expectation of your audience?

Dale Canergie, once said, “there are always three speeches, for every one you actually gave. The one you practiced, the one you gave, and the one you wished you gave”.

As I mentioned before, the skill of presentation is mainly to deal with the public. The public in this instance are the people you come into contact with every day. If you want to create a lasting impression on people you need to be a good presenter.

Facilitation

What is facilitation? This is a life skill that is needed and mostly used in a meeting environment. Facilitation is the art and science of helping a group or team in their thinking, planning, and decision making.

Imagine the chaos and confusion there would be when you are holding a meeting without a moderator or facilitator. Very often we do not realise the knowledge and potential we have within a given grouping or team.

In many cases, the insights and knowledge needed to resolve problems and or identify innovative ways forward, are just within the team. The skill to unlock this potential knowledge and solution is most times found in facilitation.

A good facilitator will strike a balance between dominant personalities and those that are less dominant.

Facilitation mainly focuses on progress rather than arguments. It is very common during meetings to drift away from the point being discussed and so it is very important that the facilitator does not lose focus.

There are 3 main elements to effective facilitation:

  • Focus on Progress – the key to successful facilitation is to focus on progress.  To achieve this you need to set the right tone of the meeting and ensure that the participants are motivated from the start to end. You will also need to use your feedback life skills to ensure that information is flowing smoothly and at the end of it all a consensus has to be built.
  • Interpersonal Skills – to manage progress you need not only keep things on track but, you also need to use good interpersonal skills. These will include having a good command of; rapport building; effective communication verbal and non-verbal; listening actively and how you use your question technique.
  • Personal Characteristics – we all have different characteristics though I feel that the following are a must have to achieve better facilitation; ability to learn; sensitivity; openness to change; self-awareness; friendliness and off-course some sense of humour.

Team Meetings

The last and final life skill set is rather not a skill but something I feel should be acquired in your life “team meetings.” As a leader, you will need to have regular meetings with your team or group.

The key to an effective team meeting is to know why the meeting is being held. So before you call for a meeting ensure that your mind is clear and certain as to why you are calling for the meeting.

I will not go into details of what a meeting should be but they could be formal or informal.

As a leader only hold meetings when necessary. I have worked in companies where meetings are held unnecessarily. Meetings if not well planned for can be a share waste of company time as they take away the time for doing other duties.

The best way is to have planned meetings with set targets. Only “bosses” call for unnecessary meetings.  Another key factor is to call only people you think need to be present or will make a worthwhile contribution.

You see when you call for a meeting it is your reputation at stake. Make sure you build a reputation for handling meetings very well.

Leading team meetings effectively requires a wide range of skills. These skills could include the ability to focus on how the meeting is progressing and blending it with your own interpersonal life skills and characteristics.

To achieve this you need to build your knowledge base and step out of the box. In fact let’s just say remove the box altogether; think about what you are doing as a group and get a lot of practice.

Conclusion

I hope you have learned something from the three series I will end with a Chinese proverb ~ “Tell me and I will forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand”. Until next time remember to “standout tall and be counted”.

Related Articles

The 9 must have life skills part 2
The 9 must have life skills part 1
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Categories
Leadership

The 9 Must Have Life Skills part 2

Motivational Quotes

To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream, not only plan, but also believe.” – Anatole France.

 

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.” – Serenity Prayer

 

Cease to ask what the morrow will bring forth, and set down as gain each day that Fortune grants.” – Horace.

 

Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That is why it is called present.” – Unknown

 

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain.

 

“Failure is blindness to the strategic element in events; success is readiness for instant action when the opportune moment arrives.”  – Newell D. Hillis.

Welcome to part 2 of “the 9 must have life skills.” In part 1 I talked about the first three life skills namely; the skill of influencing; the skill of delegation and the skill of persuasion. Click here to read “The 9 must have life skills part 1.”

As mentioned in part 1 this article will be more of help to those in a leadership role. “Leadership does not always wear the harness of compromise” ~ Woodrow Wilson.

In this article, we will look at the next 3 life skills. You may wonder why I call them life skills and not leadership skills, this is because we are all born leaders and we have these skills in us.

The skills are listed randomly even though they are related.

The Skill of Coaching

This is perhaps one of the most critical skills to have in relation to delegation. If you are in a leadership position you will or may have delegated some work to your subordinate(s) and the most critical area is to have confidence in your colleague.

The only way confidence can be created is by way of coaching. You will only have confidence in someone if you know that they were properly coached and more especially if the coaching was done by you.

By definition “coaching is a process which supports people in developing their skills and achieving their skills”. The subject of coaching is a wide one that needs a dedicated article. I promise to do more research on this topic.

There are several approaches to coaching and they all tend to be in agreement that it involves:

  • Activities to develop someone’s skills and abilities. This could be either on a one on one or group basis.
  • Developing targets that are both individual and group-oriented. This is very common in sports-related activities.
  • Focus on improving performance, this could be individual or team.

I believe the skill of coaching is equally important even in parenting. These days our children are very clever and they need to be coached in order to get the maximum benefit from their academic work.

The speed at which they learn is amazingly fast and as a parent, you just need to keep up with them. A good leader should be able to coach, that is imparting some of his skills to his colleagues.

A good leader is judged by how knowledgeable and skilled his team members are. If you are a leader you will be judged by the results your team is achieving.

Feedback

Feedback is inter-linked with the skill of coaching. I regard feedback as a form of communication. Feedback serves two main purposes:

  • Motivation – when a team is performing well, feedback can increase confidence and encourage the team to perform at the same high or even higher level.
  • Correction – this is also true when a team is not performing at the expected level, feedback can be used to assess how to change and improve performance for the better.

This skill (feedback) can be very critical in the following instances;

  • When providing coaching support. At this point, there is feedback from both the coach and the student. As coaching involves the setting of goals the student has to give feedback on the progress and what difficulties are being encountered. The coach also has to give feedback on the modification of the program if need be.
  • Reviewing how a delegated activity is progressing. When you delegate work there is a need for feedback from both ends to ascertain that the job is being done correctly and the person delegated has understood the instructions.
  • Conducting management reviews and appraisals. In a work environment as a leader you will be required to conduct employment appraisals for your juniors. Appraisals are a two way assessment. The person being assessed gives feedback to his appraiser and vice versa.
  • Handling conflict – this is discussed below.
  • Facilitating – this is also discussed in part 3.

For feedback to be appreciated it has to be positive. The following are a few tips for ensuring positive feedback:

  • Feedback has to be specific and to the point.
  • Feedback has to be fair and sincere. This will ensure maximum or intended results to be achieved with minimum difficulty.
  • Feedback should be descriptive and focused on action and not on an individual.
  • Feedback can also be futuristic. This is especially important for corrective feedback.

Remember that feedback is a very vital skill for both good leaders and managers.

The Skill of Conflict Handling

The final skill to be dealt with in this part is the skill of handling conflicts. I would be safe to assume that every one of us have had to resolve some feud of some sort. It doesn’t matter how it was resolved but it was done.

Conflict handling is vital to all human beings whether in leadership roles or not. Yet this is one skill that many of us do not want to have or use. A good leader should know how to resolve conflicts among his team members. This is vital because unresolved conflicts can be very detrimental to the team as a whole.

The first step in handling conflicts is to be aware of the possible reason behind the conflict. A mini investigation can be conducted to ascertain the cause. By definition, some conflicts are easier to handle than others. Some cases can be very difficult to handle that you may require a third party to help resolve them.

Firstly you need to understand as the person in charge that conflict is not necessarily a bad thing. There are bound to be conflicts where two or more people are gathered.

You will also appreciate that if conflicts are resolved properly they can add a lot of motivation to the group, by making the team understand each other even better.

There are however different approaches to handling conflicts. I know for sure that most of us do not want to handle conflicts or would rather find the easy way out. Unfortunately, there is no shortcut.

I believe that conflicts have to be faced or handled head-on. Whichever method is used please ensure that the parties involved are satisfied with the resolution. I know that it is impossible to please all but always look at the bigger picture and what is beneficial to the aggrieved parties.

Conclusion

I feel that the topic on coaching has not been done much justice. I will be writing a whole article on this very challenging topic so you can have an insight of what coaching is all about.

The skill of coaching is a must have for all. “I believe that the mind-set that allows you to spend your working life thinking and congratulating people rather than being unpleasant to them is the mainstay of good leadership” ~ Tim Waterstone. Bye for now and remember to always “standout tall and be counted.” Revised on 01/03/2021.

Related Articles

The 9 must have life skills part 1
The 9 must have life skills part 3
Self-belief is key to personal success
Do more things that make you happy

Categories
Leadership

The 9 Must Have Life Skills part 1

Motivational Quotes

To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream, not only plan, but also believe.” – Anatole France.

 

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.” – Serenity Prayer

 

Cease to ask what the morrow will bring forth, and set down as gain each day that Fortune grants.” – Horace.

 

Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That is why it is called present.” – Unknown

 

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain.

 

“Failure is blindness to the strategic element in events; success is readiness for instant action when the opportune moment arrives.”  – Newell D. Hillis.

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader” ~ John Quincy Adams. Although there are no set standards of life skills set to have, in order to be successful, as we all have different skills set to see us through the hassle and bustles of life, there are a set of life skills that I personally feel you should acquire in order that you are distinguished from the rest. This set of life skills, I think is the distinction between success and failure. The skills mentioned in this article will be more useful especially to those in a leadership role. “I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people” ~ Mohandas Gandhi.

The Skill of Influencing

The first among the life skills is influence. Maybe let’s start by defining the word its self influence. Here are some dictionary definitions;

  • The ability to change someone’s views, attitude or behaviours
  • The power of a person to have an effect on someone else resulting from ability, position or wealth.

If you are a leader this is one skill that you will need and use very often. You need to know how to communicate in a way that “gains support”. Why do you want to gain support? Influencing a group of people should be distinct from coercion and trickery. People do not want to be tricked or coerced. If you to be a good leader you will use your influencing skill to gain support from your team or group of people. Let the people follow you willingly and you will gain their unwavering trust even in times of difficulties.

Influence goes hand in hand with power. As we have noted in the definition above. Power can be thought of in a number of ways, each relevant to the way leaders can influence others;

  • Expert power – this comes due to the knowledge one has gained
  • Personal power – this comes by way of what other people think about you. The more highly respected the more likely you are able to influence them.
  • Position power – this is gained through your position in an organization

Influencing skills are a combination of various other skills when brought together, these can help you change someone’s views, attitude or behaviour

Delegation

A good leader will always delegate some of his duties. What is delegation? “This is giving responsibility to someone to carryout tasks that you normally do yourself. By delegating you give others the authority to do things, but you remain accountable and responsible for their outcome”. Delegation encourages; communicating what is expected and builds trust between leader and subordinates among others. To understand delegation you need to have honest answers to the following questions.

  • How do you give responsibility to someone else?
  • How do you ensure that they feel clear about what they are being asked to do?

Delegation is a powerful tool. Many leaders do not understand why they should delegate. Here is why I think delegation is a great tool.

  • Delegation releases your time to concentrate on other important matters
  • Builds the capability of others in your team. Remember that no one is indispensable. The organization has to continue growing with or without you.

“No person will make a great business who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit” ~ Andrew Carnegie. Remember always that a leader is team player. In our society today we lack young leaders simply because there is no delegation from the top to help groom the young ones. Theodore Roosevelt says “the best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it”.

Persuasion

The final skill for this part is persuasion. “The act or process of encouraging someone to do or believe someone”. Aristotle broke down persuasion and separated it into three kinds of appeals.

  • An appeal to “ethos”  – the credibility person making the persuasive argument. This maybe how convinced you are by that person.
  • An appeal to “logos” – the use of logic to support a claim. How do the facts being presented add up?
    An appeal to “pathos” – the emotional or motivational appeal.

Being persuasive also means being able to sell a message. Those in the sales and marketing industry will agree with me that they use persuasion more often when trying to sell products/services especially to potential customers.

I love the saying by Professor Bob Sutton “argue if you are right, listen if you are wrong”. Many of the times we know when one has made a mistake. I think it is also very humbling to acknowledge as a leader that you made a mistake and allow your subordinates to make suggestions. Most of the answers we are looking for are just within our team or group.

Selling a message can mean; convincing your colleagues to a certain approach or methodology; like I mentioned above with the sales guys, persuading your would be customers to buy services or products and bringing your colleagues or members of your group to agree with your ideas.

We all have the skill of persuasion in us all it needs is to be awakened. Most successful leaders I have come across or read about are very persuasive. Remember persuasion can be used to influence people to do negative to society.

I do not advocate for negativity and I encourage you to use these skills positively and help change the world into a better place for all.

Conclusion

I am tempted to write more in this article, I will leave it at the 3 life skills for now and will continue in the next article. I do not wish to make my article very long.

As you read these articles reflect on the life skills that you have acquired this far and evaluate them if they are helping you to succeed in life.

There is no written down formula for success and there are no prescribed life’s skill set for success these are only suggestions. You are the formula and you shall succeed in whatever you do and always remember to “standout tall and be counted”.

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Improve your self esteem part 2

This is the final part in a two part series. In the first part I mentioned the importance of having goals; principles and success experiences and how these impact on your self esteem. I will mention the remaining 3 that is comparison with others; recognition and rewards and how these affect your self esteem.

Comparison with others

The fourth element of self-esteem is comparison with others. Leon’s study concluded that in determining how well we are doing, we do not compare ourselves with abstract principles and standards, but, rather, we compare ourselves with people we know. To feel like a winner, you must know for sure that you are doing as well as or better than someone else. The more you know about how well the others in your field are doing, and the more favorably you compare with them, the more you will feel like a winner, and the higher your self-esteem will be.

Successful people continually compare themselves with other successful people. In order to succeed you must have a mentor. They think about them and read about them and study their performances, and then they work towards improving their own failures. The best competition you cash have is yourself. Begin to compete with your previously achieved goals and improve on them. I believe that success is not a destination but a long journey.

Recognition

“When we come into a recognition of the Unity of all things and that the source of all power is within, we tap the source of inspiration” ~ Charles Haanel. The next element for self- esteem is recognition of your accomplishments by people whom you respect. To feel really great about yourself, you need the recognition of people you look up to and admire, such as your boss, your coworkers, your spouse and people in your social circle. Whenever you are recognized and praised for any accomplishment by someone whose opinion you hold in high regard, your self-esteem goes up, along with your eagerness and enthusiasm to do even better on the job. We all need a pat on back for the work well done. I am sure you have been to places were even when you have done your very best no one comes to congratulate or encourage you. It feels like you are just wasting your time and energy.

Recognition is a very nice feeling. Most of what we do if not everything, we all want to be recognized for it. At least I am talking about myself.

Rewards

Don’t we all want to be rewarded for our efforts? The final element of self-esteem involves rewards that are consistent with your accomplishments. You may work in a field where you receive financial bonuses, status symbols—larger offices, bigger cars—or even plaques and trophies for superior achievement. All of those symbols can have an incredible impact on raising your self-esteem and causing you to feel terrific about yourself. Expecting to be rewarded for your efforts comes naturally.

If, however, your existing situation does not offer the tangible or intangible rewards that are necessary for you to build and maintain your self-esteem, you must create rewards for yourself. One of the smartest things you can do is to design a system for giving yourself rewards for both small and large accomplishments as you move progressively toward your goals.

Whether or not your current environment provides the six elements of selfesteem improvement that is goals, principles, success experiences, comparison with others, recognition, and rewards; you need to establish your own structure and take full responsibility for building and improving yourself up on a regular basis.

When you have that foundation, you will experience a form of mental fitness and unshakable optimism that will sustain you through failure and propel you to success.

Conclusion

Improving your self esteem should be like physical exercising. To achieve and enjoy your life’s purpose you need to cultivate a high self esteem. Generally people with a high self esteem are more likeable and live a happier life than those with a low self esteem. Like I always say that personal development of self growth does not come over night so is a high self esteem. Keep working on your self esteem. You will never say I have arrived at the destination of high self esteem it is a continuous journey. Bye for now always remember to “standout tall and be counted”.

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Improve your self esteem part 1

Your self-esteem is probably the most important part of your personality. “Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope or confidence” ~ Helen Keller. It is the energy source or the reactor core of your personality, and how much self-esteem you have determines your levels of vitality, enthusiasm and personal magnetism. I have noticed that people with a high self-esteem are more positive, more likable and more effective in every part of their lives.

Everything that you do or say or think affects your self-esteem. It is important therefore, that you guard your self esteem jealously by having the right frame of mind on a continuous basis. Probably the best definition of self-esteem is “the level to which you respect and value yourself as an important, worthwhile person”. How much value to do you put on yourself? The value will usually be determined by the kind of life you lead. It is your level of mental fitness.

 To be at your best and feel terrific about yourself, you should be in a perpetual state of self-esteem building and maintenance. Just as you take responsibility for your level of physical fitness, you need to take complete responsibility for the content and quality of your mind.

I have developed a simple formula that contains all the critical elements of self-esteem building, and you can use it on a regular basis to ensure maximum performance. This formula is comprised of six basic elements. They are: goals, principles, success experiences, comparison with others, recognition, and rewards.

Goals

“Goals allow you to control the direction of change in your favor”. How much you like and respect yourself is directly affected by your goals. The very act of setting big, challenging goals for yourself and making written plans of action to achieve them actually raises your self-esteem, which causes you to feel much better about yourself. It is important to set goals for your life. Imagine how nice it would be like to play a video of your life and you being the main character achieving your goals one at a time.

Self-esteem is a condition you experience when you are moving step-by-step toward the accomplishment of something that is important to you. For that reason, it’s really important to have clear goals for each part of your life and to continually work toward achieving those goals. Each progressive step causes your self-esteem to go up and makes you feel even more positive and effective in everything else you do.

Principles

The second element in self-esteem building is having clear principle and values to which you are committed. I think that we all or rather a normal thinking person has their own set principles. These I believe are the driving force of each and every one of us. The difference is the level of commitment. Men and women with high self-esteem are very clear about what they believe in. The higher your values and ideals are, and the more committed you are to living your life consistent with those values and ideals, the more you will like and respect yourself, and the higher your self-esteem will be.

Lasting self-esteem comes only when your goals and your values are congruent-that is, when they fit into each other like a hand into a glove. Much of the stress that people experience comes from believing one thing and trying to do another. But when your goals and values are in harmony with each other, you feel a wonderful surge of energy and well-being, and that’s when you start to make real progress.

Success experiences

“My definition of success is to live your life in a way that causes you to feel a ton of pleasure and very little pain – and because of your lifestyle, have the people around you feel a lot more pleasure than they do pain” ~ Tony Robins. The third element in self-esteem improvement involves having success experiences. Once you have set your goals and principles, it is important that you make them measurable so that you can keep score of your small and large successes along the way. The very act of setting up a goal, breaking it down into smaller parts, and then completing those parts makes you feel like a winner and causes your self-esteem to go up. But remember that you can’t hit a target you can’t see. You can’t feel like a winner unless you clearly lay out the standards by which you are going to measure your success and then achieve those standards.

Let’s say that you set a goal to sell a certain amount or earn a certain amount of income in a given year. If you break that down into monthly and weekly goals, and then you achieve the first of those goals, you will feel great about yourself. Each time you reach another milestone, your self-esteem and ability to perform will increase, and you will feel encouraged and enthusiastic about the next challenge. The key is to keep encouraging yourself with tangible results. The more tangible results you can see the more self esteem you buildup.

Conclusion

This is a two part article and I thought to end here. In the final article am talking about the remaining elements that is comparison with others; recognition and rewards. There is more you could do to improve your self esteem. Having a high self esteem is the gateway to a better life and living. It does not matter what you are or what you have when you put on a high self esteem you can move mountains. Until next time “standout tall and be counted”.

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5 Qualities of leaders and motivators part 2

This is the final part of a two part series. If you missed out on part 1 please click here before you continue. In part one I talked about the first two qualities and these are vision and courage. We learned that we are all born with these qualities and that the difference between leaders and followers is the expression of them to the world. I also talked about the importance of vision and courage in leadership. In this issue I will write about integrity; realism and responsibility as the other qualities of leadership and motivation.

Integrity

“In the arena of human life the honors and rewards fall to those who show their good qualities in action “~ Aristotle. My third quality is integrity. I believe integrity underlines all other qualities. The measure of integrity is determined by how honest you are in your critical areas of your life. How honest do you handle other peoples finances. Can someone trust you with their valuable possessions? Can you be trusted with handling say public matters even when it means that you will lose popularity in the short term?

Integrity means that you, as a leader, admit your shortcomings. It means that you work to develop your strengths and compensate for your weaknesses. Integrity means that you tell the truth, and that you live the truth in everything that you do and in all your relationships. Integrity means that you deal straight forwardly with people and situations and that you do not compromise what you believe to be true. “In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock”. ~ Thomas Jefferson

 Realism

True realism consists in revealing the surprising things which habit keeps covered and prevents us from seeing” ~ Jean Cocteau. The fourth quality of motivational leadership is realism. Realism is a form of intellectual honesty. The realist insists upon seeing the world as it really is, not as he wishes it were. This objectivity, this refusal to engage in self-delusion, is a mark of the true leader. A leader accepts situations as they are and transforms them to his advantage.

Those who exhibit the quality of realism do not trust to luck, hope for miracles, pray for exceptions to basic business principles, expect rewards without working or hope that problems will go away by themselves. These all are examples of self-delusion, of living in a fantasy land. Yes I know that miracles do happen but not without you playing a part. The part you play and the amount of faith you have will definitely be a determining factor.

The motivational leader insists on seeing things exactly as they are and encourages others to look at life the same way. As a motivational leader, you get the facts, whatever they are. You deal with people honestly and tell them exactly what you perceive to be the truth. This doesn’t mean that you will always be right, but you will always be expressing the truth in the best way you know how. There by excising your integrity in the process.

Responsibility

It is said by Brian Tracy that “the happiest people in the world are those who feel absolutely terrific about themselves, and this is the natural outgrowth of accepting total responsibility for every part of their life”. This is the mark of a true leader. The fifth of motivational leadership is responsibility. This is perhaps the hardest to develop. It is the duty of a good leader to accept responsibility no matter what the outcome is. In the same manner as when the out is positive he takes all the parting on the back. He should take the brunt when things have failed.

If, instead of accepting responsibility when things go wrong, you make excuses, blame someone else and simultaneously become angry and resentful and blow up, this may cost you. Personal leadership and motivational leadership are very much the same. To lead others, you must first lead yourself. To be an example or a role model for others, you must first become an excellent person yourself.

There is no dodging responsibility. Know also that you are responsible for your own life. Your very own life is in your hands. You are responsible for your actions. Wrong or right, bad or good they are your actions. If you want to become more, more of you is expected. “Life is a gift, and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give something back by becoming more”. ~ Tony Robins

Conclusion

Finally, take action. You know that all mental preparation and character building is merely a prelude to action. You become a motivational leader by motivating yourself. And you motivate yourself by striving toward excellence, by committing yourself to becoming everything you are capable of becoming. You motivate yourself and others by continually looking for ways to help others to improve their lives and achieve their goals. You become a motivational leader by becoming the kind of person others want to get behind and support in every way and remember that we all have the five qualities in us wake them up and see how far you can go. “Standout tall and be counted”.

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5 Qualities of leaders and motivators part 1

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader” – John Quincy Adams. This is a two part series in which I am illustrating the 5 qualities of leadership and motivation. We are all born with leadership qualities regardless of our situation the difference is how much of it, do we show the world. I thought to talk about these just so as to remind us about our leadership qualities. You may not be in a leadership position but you are the leader of yourself. If you are a parent like me then you are responsible for providing leadership to your family. Men and women are leaders and bot posses almost the same leadership qualities. Find herewith, the five qualities of leaders and motivators.

Vision
The first quality is vision. I have never come across great leader without vision. All great leaders have a vision. Perhaps vision is the single most quality that, more than anything else separates great leaders from average leaders.  The more vision you have the more likely you are to succeed. “All successful men and women are big dreamers. They imagine what their future could be, ideal in every respect, and then they work every day toward their distant vision, that goal or purpose”. ~ Brian Tracy. A good leader does not get caught up in the day to day activities this is the work for his followers. The Bible says “where there is no vision the people perish” ~ Proverbs.

But remember that we are all born with this quality called vision. If you focus in your area of interest it does not matter what area is, you will be a great leader in that respect. “Cherish your visions and your dreams, as they are the children of your soul; the blueprints of your ultimate achievements” ~ Napoleon Hill.

The best way to motivate others is to firstly motivate yourself. I have attended some personal development workshops and the first thing that strikes me is the level of motivation by the speakers. Believe me if you yourself are not motivated and are trying to motivate others it will show. Example you cannot talk to people about how to make money when you do not have the money to show for it. You must at least show some potential for earning the money or demonstrate that you are actually earning the money. I sometimes come across adverts in the streets, about how someone will give you some lucky charms for getting rich when they themselves are living in poverty.

One of the most powerful tools for all motivators is the commitment to excellence. The best motivational vision you can have for yourself and others is to strive to be the best. Be in business or in whatever area of leadership you are be the best. If you are not the best strive to be among the best at least standout.

Courage
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged” ~ The Bible. The second quality of a leader is courage and is the distinguishing characteristic of a true leader. You can often see it in a leader’s words and action.  A true leader speaks with courage and boldness. It is always easy to set a vision and standards for yourself. But it takes a lot of courage and humility to abiding to your aspirations. We all have what we want to be in life or rather achieve. At least I have formulated my life’s purpose and moving towards achieving it. The distinguishing factor is having the courage to make certain unpleasant decisions that will help us in the long run. When you set certain standards for yourself trust me temptations will come your way so as you compromise with your standards and this is when your show your courage by resisting them.

Remember when I said that we are all born with these qualities? It is the level of growth that differentiates leaders from followers. I believe that all growth is from inside. And that what we are, is as a result of what has developed from the inside.

The foundation of character is the combination of courage and integrity. The first form of courage is your ability to stick to your principles, to stand for what you believe in and to refuse to budge unless you feel right about the alternative. Courage is also the ability to step out in faith, to launch out into the unknown and then to face the inevitable doubt and uncertainty that accompany every new venture.

I give the example of Alexander the great, the king of Macedonia. He became king at the age of 19 and managed to conquer great nations with mightier armies than he had at the time. Simply because he refused to remain at home when his soldiers went to battle instead he was the first one to charge at the war front. He lead by example by letting his men know that he believed in the outcome of every war or battle they fought and that motivated the soldiers to do even more.

Conclusion
For now I end here. In the next series I will mention the remaining three qualities of leaders and motivators that is integrity; realism and responsibility. “You cannot discover new oceans unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore” remember to always “standout tall and be counted”.

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Inspiration leads to success part 2

Motivational Quotes

To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream, not only plan, but also believe.” – Anatole France.

 

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.” – Serenity Prayer

 

Cease to ask what the morrow will bring forth, and set down as gain each day that Fortune grants.” – Horace.

 

Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That is why it is called present.” – Unknown

 

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain.

 

“Failure is blindness to the strategic element in events; success is readiness for instant action when the opportune moment arrives.”  – Newell D. Hillis.

This is the final part on inspiration leads to success. In this article I encourage you to have positive thoughts and how they relate to inspiration. Note that pessimism, negativity, anxiety and apprehension drain the energy within you. So focus only on the positive side in every situation that you encounter; this way, things get done more easily and efficiently. So to sustain motivation, it requires rationalization that is anchored on positive outcome from endeavors. I know that sometimes we can yield negative results from our endeavors but this should be a stepping stone for improvement and or change of approach. To succeed in life failure must not be accepted. Our minds must be tuned to only accept positive results. Failure only becomes failure if accepted.

Find motivation and develop enthusiasm. Thinking positively is one way of finding your inspiration. Know in your mind and your heart what you are capable of accomplishing. If you doubt, then you lose the game right there and then.  You cannot ever accomplish anything when you first do not believe that you can. Success begins with the changing of your mind set. See article on change your mind and enjoy your success. The bible encourages us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. How do we renew our minds? one of the best ways is to read inspiration and motivational materials. The Bible is very rich in this aspect.

Keep in mind that every act begins with either a positive or negative thought, whereby positive thoughts gains positive results. Be very certain on what you want to do, to achieve and to become and concentrate on those thoughts each day. I would recommend a book by Napoleon Hill “Think and Grow Rich”. The book outlines some great principles you can use to help keep your mind focused on your intended purpose in life.

Be enthusiastic in everything that you do small or big things and remember that little things when put together, become one big thing. The Bible teaches us not to despise the days of our small beginnings. It is the small savings that when put together amount to large savings. Remember they say Rome was not built in one day.

Act on your goals! Take the necessary steps towards achieving it and begin now. Each day, set up a plan of action and then work on it.  At the end of the day, review what you have done and record it. You will be amazed at how much important it is to document your progress on a regular basis. Then return to your journal each week to see how well you are progressing, or if there are certain acts that needs revising or if you need to take another route.

Look at your goals each day and get inspiration from it. Never allow negative thoughts to invade your mind. Even when you see that you are not progressing, continue and be patient. Never let it discourage you.  Remember, as they often say “where there is a will, there is always a way”.  So stand firm and continue your struggle. Remember that each one encounters problems along the way; successful individuals however kept on going when others have quit.

Enhance your knowledge by indulging in inspirational and positive books, talk to successful people and never stop learning.  Keep on focusing on success, on your goals.  Minimize spending time with people of negative outlook in life as they will often drain you and bring you down.

Success is built on the inspiration of all your little dreams and decisions that you have made for a certain period.  Note that it will not come overnight instead, stone by stone; it is built, carefully, but surely.  So be patient, your time will come.

Conclusion
Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety nine percent perspiration” – Thomas Edison. Make that decision to succeed now. Look into yourself and see that fire burning, ready to be ignited by inspiration’s strength and ready to soar.  Take some actions now, or else, nothing will happen and they will just remain to be a dream. Always remember to “standout tall and be counted”.

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