Saturday, December 31, 2016

#1 Motivational Book: Project You Words of Wisdom

Also #1 Self-Help Book in Kindle Store 

We are amazed and thrilled that we have the #1 Motivational book and the #1 Self-Help book in the Amazon Kindle store as the year comes to an end.

Thank you to all our readers who have read either the Kindle version or the paperback version and then recommended the book to colleagues, friends, and family.

Project You: Words of Wisdom is full of motivational quotes, tips and ideas on how to Live A Determined Life.

Top ranked motivational and self-help book in Amazon Kindle store
Top-Ranked Motivational Book in Kindle Store 

To celebrate, Project You: Words of Wisdom will be FREE in the Kindle store through January 3, 2017. After that the price reverts to $3.88. The paperback version is also available at $6.45.

Copies available at:

Please share this and let's help everyone get off to a great motivated start to 2017.

The Reasons Personal Change Initiatives Fail

Overcoming the Hurdles to Personal Change 

The New Year is a time for a fresh start, a new set of challenges, a new list of personal objectives and goals. 

Typical New Year’s Resolutions lists include actions such as losing weight, paying off debt, exercising more, changing jobs, getting better organized, traveling to a particular place, and reading more books.

All of which, of course, require personal change.

Unfortunately we all fail, at times, to successfully make a personal change in our respective lives. Sometimes we learn from these failures; other times we do not.

Perhaps the most obvious example of failed personal change initiatives takes place during the annual New Year's Resolution ritual. Despite an abundance of motivation and sense of purpose assigned to these, the fact is that the large majority of New Year's Resolutions are abandoned within the first 90 days of each year. 

Why is this so?

There are many reasons for this, but the main ones we believe that contribute the most to any personal change effort failing to achieve the desired outcome are: 
  • People do not make them top of mind -- every day. 
  • Too many initiatives are attempted simultaneously. The typical New Year's Resolution list often reaches double-digit figures. 
  • No prioritization. 
  • People are not willing to say "no" to distractions and other initiatives. 
  • No action plans. Often New Year's Resolutions lists are merely just wishing thinking that change will somehow magically happen. 
  • We do not make the change into a daily habit. 
  • We do not allow others to hold ourselves accountable, preferring to keep our change initiatives private to ourselves. 
  • Goals are not quantifiable, and there are no interim milestones set. 
  • We do not track our progress or keep journals, so we don't know what is working and what is hindering our progress. 
According to some scientific research, it takes on average 66 days for a new behavior to become a new habit. That's a little over two months! 

Now wonder so many people give up and abandon their personal change initiatives before reaching success. They typically quit too early in the process, often because they underestimate the time required to fully inculcate and instill a new behavior or a new change into their daily routines. 

Do not let this happen to you. Use the above list as a guideline to help ensure that you do not let these typical hurdles become hardened obstacles that prevent you fro successfully achieving your personal change initiatives. 

For more tips on how to overcome these hurdles, see our 7 Key Success Factors for Implementing Personal Change.

And read yesterday's blog post on the 8 Steps for Making Successful New Year's Resolutions

These tips and techniques will help put you on a more successful path for achieving all you want to accomplish in 2017.

Lastly, to help you get and stay motivated throughout the year, our book Project You: Words of Wisdom, the current #1 motivational and self help book in the Amazon Kindle store, is free in Kindle format from now through January 3rd. It's also available in paperback for just $6.45. Get your copy now by clicking this link:  Project You Words of Wisdom

We wish you continued success in 2017. 

Friday, December 30, 2016

8 Steps for Making Successful New Year's Resolutions

How To Make and Keep New Year's Resolutions 

It’s that time of year again. Time to wash away the past 12 months and start the New Year afresh with new (or revised) goals, desires, and plans. 

And that means it is time for the annual ritual of New Year’s Resolutions. 

This ritual reportedly began with the ancient Babylonians, who made promises to the gods in order to receive their favor and start the New Year off right. Of course, back then a new year began in March with the first full moon following the vernal equinox. 

While New Year’s Resolutions may be an annual ritual, it is not a very successful practice. Research shows that the large majority of New Year’s Resolutions are abandoned within the first 90 days of the year. 

To help you keep your own personal New Year’s Resolutions going past the end of March, here are 8 steps for making (and keeping) successful resolutions: 

1.  Understand the WHY behind each of your goals and desires. This takes a bit of time and reflection, but it is crucial that you internalize why a goal is significant and important to you. If you don't, it is too easy to toss the resolution aside when you hit obstacles and hurdles. 

2.   Visualize the outcome and your results. What will success look like? How will you feel when your goal is accomplished? Who will you tell? How will they react? Focus on your feelings, for positive feelings are powerful motivators and you can call upon these if you lose momentum or hit some temporary setback.

3.   Create specific details for each goal on your list:
      a) write out the purpose of the goal (i.e. feeling better about yourself may be the purpose for losing weight).
      b) write down how you will make this goal a priority throughout the coming year, or until it is accomplished.
      c) list the Key Action Steps you need to take (with specific deadlines if appropriate).
      d) list all the available resources to help you achieve the goal
      e) create a list of additional resources you may need (this may include people, knowledge, tools, funds, or even time).
      f) make a list of reference links to information, tools, data, and motivational quotes you may need to call upon.
4.  Use our Personal Change Action Plan template to create a 30-60-90 day action plan for each goal. It’s free. It’s easy to use. You can modify it to suit your needs if you want. No more excuses. Go to our Personal Change Action Plan, copy it, and use it.
5.   Prepare yourself mentally and emotionally for the journey to success. Most likely the road will not be smooth and even. There will be bumps, hurdles, and obstacles along the way. How will you overcome these? What are your personal sources of motivation? Need some help in this area? Our book Project You: Words of Wisdom is free in the Amazon Kindle store (Dec 30, 2016 – Jan 3, 2017). In it you will find a wide range of motivational quotations on all aspects of life. Download Project You: Words of Wisdom now. 
6.  Make a commitment to yourself — a PROMISE to yourself —that you will maintain resilience and perseverance until your goal is accomplished.
7.  As you progress toward your goal, focus on accomplishments, not gaps. Hence, if your goal is to lose 15 pounds, and by the end of February you are down five pounds, focus on this accomplishment, not the 10 more pounds left to go.
8.  Celebrate achievements and milestones along the way. Lost that first five pounds? Good, now go celebrate. Reward yourself. Even with a slice or two of pizza if you want (but not the whole pizza!).

Here are two other articles to help you achieve your 2017 New Year’s Resolutions:

We wish you continued success in 2017.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Relationships Take Intimacy

14 Types of Intimacy to Build a Strong and Intimate Relationship 

Today it is far too easy, and acceptable, to quit a marriage when things start to go astray. Relationships are difficult, and marriages are often the height of difficulty.
Successful marriages focus on a range of shared intimacy between the partners. 
Not everything on the list below needs to be checked, and not each of these facets of intimacy is necessary for a marriage relationship to work. 
Nevertheless, this list is a pretty good starting point for couples (married or not) who want to build a solid interpersonal and intimate relationship, one which will help ensure they are able to keep their family unit together and functional:
Emotional intimacy: an ability to identify, tune into, and accept each other's emotional needs and range of emotional expressions.
Commitment intimacy: an equality of investment by both partners in the relationship based on trust and the manner in which each partner invests emotionally, mentally and spiritually in the relationship.
Experiential intimacy: sharing of relaxing, playful and enjoyable experiences, such as holidays, hobbies, sports, plays, concerts, events, and even exercise. Also the ability to share aesthetic pleasures such as art, culture, dance, music, and literature.
Intellectual intimacy: sharing ideas and thinking on major issues and topics of the day, plus an ability to share views openly and honestly with one another when opinions differ (combined, of course, with the willingness to accept that it is okay for the other partner to hold a differing view).
Communication intimacy: an ability to share openly and honestly on all levels about all things. More important is the ability to listen openly and fully to all communication from the other partner and to be completely engaged in all conversations.
Physical intimacy: sharing and exchanging physical closeness and connectedness through hugs, cuddling, touching, holding hands, etc.
Sexual intimacy: sharing sexual passions and desires without fear of rejection or harm, including a mutual willingness to experiment if mutually desirable.
Creative intimacy: sharing and participating together in creative activities, including home renovations, gardening, crafts, cooking, and other pursuits. Where one partner has no personal interest or involvement in a creative pursuit of the other, then the non-involved partner shares the other's passion through support, conversation, encouragement, and expressed interest.
Family intimacy: sharing bonding time together as a family unit, both at home and on holidays. Creating shared memories of family experiences that involve all members of the family unit, exclude non-family members, and center around common interests and doing things together.
Contribution intimacy: a shared interest in contributing and giving back to the local community, specific charities or causes. As above, when one partner has no personal passion for a particular cause or activity that interests the other, the non-involved partner supports, encourages and expresses interest in what their partner is doing and why.
Work intimacy: best when applicable to the professional pursuits of each partner (without the aspect of bringing work problems home, unless help and support is needed on these), but also applies to sharing (not splitting) of household chores and tasks such as shopping, cleaning, washing, and other regular or routine work.
Conflict intimacy: the ability to face, cope and even struggle together with differences and problems as they arise.
Crisis intimacy: the ability to face, cope and even struggle as a team when pain, injury, sickness, tragedies, and death strike.

Spiritual intimacy: the sharing of hopes, dreams, visions, overriding concerns, personal values, and spiritual values without fear of rejection.
Pick two of these types of intimacy and focus this week on how to improve them in your life and intimate relationship. Next week pick two more! 
In a month you will be well on your way to building an intimate and strong relationship. 

This article is partially excerpted from our top-ranked personal development book Project You: Living A Determined Lifewhich is available in Kindle and paperback formats at Amazon. 

Friday, November 4, 2016

Building Committed Marital Relationships

Making Intimate Relationships Work Through Commitment

One of the key factors in the creation of troubled families is a relationship breakdown between the parents.
People define "committed relationships" as those in which one's love and sexual desires are committed to only their partner. 
But there's another aspect of commitment that is often lacking in these relationships. And that is the commitment to commitment  ──  the commitment to try, to act, to overcome hurdles and blips encountered on the way, to remain in a true partnership no matter what.
Famous basketball player and coach Pat Riley is certainly on the mark with his observation that, "There are only two options regarding commitment. You're either IN or you're OUT. There's no such thing as life in between."
What Riley says about life and basketball is certainly true about committed intimate relationships and marital situations.
There are two components to commitment ── preparation and persistence.
Persistence is what frequently separates successful relationships from those that are not. 
According to Dale Carnegie, "Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all." The same rings true for successful intimate relationships that last the long haul.
Too many people are ready and willing to discard their aims, desires, dreams, and even their purposes in life by casting everything overboard as the first signs of difficulty or misfortune manifest. They see obstacles and failures as defeats, or even worse as misinterpreted "signs" that things are not meant to be the way they had planned, hoped or dreamed. 
As the Japanese proverb goes: "Beginning is easy, continuing is hard.
What steps are you making this week to commitment to being committed to your intimate or marital relationship?

This article is partially excerpted from our top-ranked personal development book Project You: Living A Determined Life, which is available in Kindle and paperback formats at Amazon. 

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Becoming A Visionary Parent

Making A Success of Life's Biggest Job

According to Mark Victor Hansen, of Chicken Soup for the Soul fame, “To be a visionary parent, we need to keep working on ourselves, becoming forever new and improved.” 
One wonders though, how many parents actually pause to reflect and reinforce their beliefs and values about parenting. Perhaps if more did so, parenting would become more of a planned activity, rather than one that is predominately performed as a reaction to events and happenings. This is why proactively working on your parenting skills, and becoming "new and improved" in this aspect of your life, is an essential part of the Project You Life Journey process.
Essential because, as Denis Waitley has written, “What you leave in your children is more important than what you leave to them.”
Adds Jim Rohn: “If you talk to your children, you can help them to keep their lives together. If you talk to them skillfully, you can help them to build future dreams.”
Lastly, C. Everett Koop, the former U.S. Surgeon General, hit the nail on the head with these comments:
Life affords no greater responsibility, no greater privilege, than the raising of the next generation.
Perhaps one of the best overviews on parenting and children comes from the poet Kahlil Gibran in his poem On Children in his book The Prophet:
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

As we wrote in the previous blog post about parenting, if your children look up to you as they enter the early years of adulthood, you have made a success of life’s biggest job. 

This article is partially excerpted from our top-ranked personal development book Project You: Living A Determined Life, which is available in Kindle and paperback formats at Amazon. 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Parenting: Life's Biggest Job

Give Children the Habits of Love, Humanity, Creativity and Spirituality. 

Passing knowledge on to one’s progeny has been an age-old concern. Epictetus, a Greek Stoic philosopher from the 1st Century, wrote, “Be careful to leave your sons well instructed rather than rich, for the hopes of the instructed are better than the wealth of the ignorant.”
Years later, English philosopher and educator Richard Whately wrote “A man who gives his children habits of industry provides for them better than by giving them a fortune.” 
That was probably a good philosophy for the industrial 19th Century, when industriousness was needed to sustain one’s family. Today, in the globally linked Information Age of the 21st Century, our children need the habits of love, humanity, thinking, creativity, and spirituality. These are the core values that will sustain our children, and our children’s children, into the middle of this century.
In more recent times, David Blankenhorn, founder and president of the Institute for American Values, stated, “The most important domestic challenge facing the U.S. at the close of the 20th Century is the re-creation of fatherhood as a vital social role for men.”
The words of famed educator and former President of Columbia University Grayson Kirk certainly ring true in today's rapidly changing world: Our greatest obligation to our children is to prepare them to understand and to deal effectively with the world in which they will live, and not with the world we have known or the world we would prefer to have.”
Of course, parenting is not something we learn in school or at university. While there are many books on parenting, none of us really have a fool-proof parenting book at hand. 
Perhaps one pundit got it right when he said, “If the new American father feels bewildered and even defeated, let him take comfort from the fact that whatever he does in any fathering situation has a fifty percent chance of being right.” 
Unfortunately, the cynical comments of clergyman Charles Wadsworth also have a ring of truth to them: “By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he’s wrong.”  
If your children look up to you as they enter the early years of adulthood, you have made a success of life’s biggest job.

This article is partially excerpted from our top-ranked personal development book Project You: Living A Determined Life, which is available in Kindle and paperback formats at Amazon. 

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Your Family Life

Families Build Each Other 

Vic Conant, the President and CEO of Nightingale-Conant, the premier publisher of audio personal development programs in the world, wrote: “If you’ve had wonderful family relationships, you will be able to call yourself a true success in life no matter what else you’ve achieved.” 
Edith Schaeffer, a Christian author and co-founder of L’Abri (an evangelical community that welcomes people who are seeking answers to questions about God and the meaning of life) wrote:
A family is a formation center for human relationships. The family is the place where the deep understanding that people are significant, important, worthwhile, with a purpose in life, should be learned at an early age.
The following concept from the author Gail MacDonald is one that would go a long way in fixing some of the dysfunctionalities found in many families:
Once, when our children were about five and eight, they were caught arguing. I can remember my husband stopping them and saying, “This is home. Now, outside of these four walls people are going to hurt you, they’re going to call you names. But inside these four walls we build each other. Do you understand? We build each other.”
Many people seem to operate their families as some sort of organizational enterprise, where all they do is rush from one sporting event or commitment to another, or try to get by day-to-day without some sort of emotional confrontation.
It is little wonder that, if asked to play the word association game, the first word many people would apply to “family” would be dysfunctional. Not laughter. Not love. Not joyousness. Not even happiness. Simply dysfunctional.
When it comes to our own families, perhaps these words from Jim Rohn can provide guidance: “Your family and your love must be cultivated like a garden. Time, effort, and imagination must be summoned constantly to keep any relationship flourishing and growing.” 
For the following week, make your family life your#1 priority. See what a difference this makes in how you think and feel about your family.  

This article is partially excerpted from our top-ranked personal development book Project You: Living A Determined Life, which is available in Kindle and paperback formats at Amazon. 

Friday, October 21, 2016

Respect In The Work Place

The Benefits of a Respectful Working Environment 

One cornerstone of Values Based Leadership is respect. Everyone in the organization, but particularly those in leadership positions, should foster respect for everyone (both within and external to the organization).
Unfortunately, this is not always the case. A University of Michigan study of 1100 workers reported that 71% experienced incidents of incivility or disrespect in the workplace. In another report, over half of 14,000 workers around the world said they had felt disrespected in the workplace during the prior week. And a British Workplace Behavior Survey estimated that nearly 2 million workers in Britain had experienced some form of violence at work over a two-year period.
Showing respect for everyone you come into contact with, including indirect contact such as phone calls and email, is essential for developing productive relationships and managing conflict in the workplace. There should be no tolerance for especially damaging and degrading forms of disrespect in the work environment such as bullying, harassment, backstabbing, sabotage, harmful comments or denigrating gossip.
Former Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat once said, "There can be hope only for a society which acts as one big family, and not as many separate ones." 
The same can be said for all organizations, whether large or small. One of the best ways to break down the silos found in an organization is by establishing firm ground rules that promote respect amongst all co-workers, and between the organization's employees and its customers, suppliers, vendors, partners, regulators, and all other external parties.
In a respectful work environment the following traits can be found: 
·         Personal differences are put aside to focus on solving problems and creating solutions.
·         Everyone treats all others with respect at all times.
·         Open and honest constructive communication takes place.
·         Differences in opinions and ideas are tolerated and respected.
·         There is no talking behind another person's back.
·         When problems between individuals arise they are handled forthrightly, constructively and openly.
·         It is assumed that everyone is doing the best they can with the resources at hand and that everyone's heart is in the right place for the good of the organization and its workers.
The main benefit of a respectful working environment is that less time and energy is spent handling conflicts (particularly personality conflicts and people issues), resulting in more time available for productive work and getting the right things done. 
A respectful working environment is also less stressful, which results in higher employee motivation, fewer sick days and absenteeism, and overall higher levels of productivity. 

This article is partially excerpted from our top-ranked personal development book Project You: Living A Determined Life, which is available in Kindle and paperback formats at Amazon. 

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Forgiveness Survey

Global Research Study on Forgiveness

The team at ProjectYou is conducting research into perspectives around the world on forgiveness. 

And we could use your help. Please participate by answering a few questions on forgiveness at:

This brief survey takes no more than 2-3 minutes to complete. 

The questions at the end regarding gender and nationality are strictly for statistical purposes. No individual data or responses will be shared in any way.

If you leave your email address at the end of the survey we will send you a copy of the top-line results when the survey results are published (probably in late November. 

Thank you for your time and contribution to this important research.

Again, the link to access this survey is:

Thanks in advance for your help.

P.S. Please spread the word to friends and family members and ask them to contribute to this research study as well. Thank you. 

Saturday, October 15, 2016

The Importance Of Values In Business

How an Organized is Led and Governed is Critical to its Success 

A report a few years ago titled Reputation Assurance: The Value of A Good Name, from PriceWaterhouseCoopers, stated, "A single-minded focus that seeks only to satisfy shareholders may ultimately lead to crises and erosion of shareholder value."
When business owners and leaders actively demonstrate strong values, they are better able to:
  • create meaningful relationships with diverse stakeholders to drive high performance as they build and develop internal talent, and
  • inspire and energize their employees and peers, by demonstrating what is expected of the team, and then simultaneously building and developing internal talent.
 Dov Seidman, author of HOW: Why HOW We Do Anything Means Everything…in Business (and in Life) believes there is a link between enlightened corporate behavior and performance. He argues that the most successful businesses of the future will also be the most moral ones, not as a result of formal Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives and programs, but from what he labels sustainable values. 
Unlike situational values, sustainable values are ones with sustaining human relationships built into their day-to-day practices and behaviors. In Seidman's view, how an organization is led, governed and operates is equally as important to its future success as the products and services it produces.
In fact, values are such an important item on the leadership agenda that astute leaders are now actively seeking new systems and methodologies for cascading critical values throughout their organizations. This is one area where smaller and medium sized businesses will have an advantage over monolithic, huge enterprises as it is much easier to cultivate consistent values-based behaviors across a workforce of 200 than 20,000.
Values are also very important to employees. In fact, the 2012 PWC Annual Global CEO survey reports that 59% of workers say they will seek employers whose corporate responsibility behavior matches their own values. This was higher than the 52% who said they are attracted to employers offering opportunities for career progression.
Values are important to employees. Values are important to consumers. Values are important to society.
It is little wonder that incisive and wise business owners and leaders are now deliberately and purposely using shared values as one of the best levers for optimal people performance within their organizations. As a result, they are creating great businesses that deliver significantly more than just money. 

This article is partially excerpted from our top-ranked personal development book Project You: Living A Determined Life, which is available in Kindle and paperback formats at Amazon. 

Friday, October 14, 2016

Values Set The Context For Behavior

Values Based Leadership Helps Prevent Corporate Disasters 

Values are the catalyst for behavior. Basing collective and individual action on value goals, rather than stated performance objectives, has three important benefits for the organization:
                 1)          It helps to avoid wrong actions that lead to devastating consequences,
                2)          It helps everyone address dilemmas where there is no obvious, clear black and white correct path to take, and
                3)          It helps employees respond to the sentiments of others when strongly held opposing views come into play.
A few years ago, the high-powered leadership team at Enron was known as "the smartest guys in the room." But their lack of values-based performance led to the collapse and destruction of Enron, and carried the corpse of accounting firm Arthur Anderson with them. It also led to prison sentences for several Enron executives. 
Today, many people are questioning what the values were at Volkswagen which led some people in that organization purposefully install illegal software in their vehicles deliberately aimed at cheating laboratory emissions tests. This deliberate corporate malfeasance is going to cost Volkswagen over $15B just in the United States, plus several billions in other countries. 
Values set the context for behavior. By understanding the values your people bring to the table, and then aligning these with the vital values of the organization, you create teams of people more able to collaborate and work together to produce the results desired.
Great leaders know to monitor and measure the processes and behaviors producing results. They also know that when they modify behaviors that have slipped beyond the edges of the organization's agreed and stated values, their people performance and results return to the desired path and destination.
Values-based leadership is about sometimes taking the hardest path. It is about seeing the company's purpose as more than just a profit-producing machine. It also means putting people and values before profits and short-term "shady" tactics designed to meet quarterly or yearly numbers. As the great investor Warren Buffet said, "It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it." 
Without a values-based leadership approach, your organization's clock is permanently set at five minutes before disaster.  

This article is partially excerpted from our top-ranked personal development book Project You: Living A Determined Life, which is available in Kindle and paperback formats at Amazon. 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Leadership Based On Values

Shared Values Set the Context for Individual and Collective Behavior 

For those of you who get the opportunity to lead an entire organization, additional challenges will surface. Not the least of these is ensuring a corporate culture aligned with the collective values of its employees.
Recall the earlier quote from Henry Ford: "A business that only makes money is a poor business."
Without a doubt, this quote is more true in today's world of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), multiple constituencies, more knowledgeable customers, and a highly mobile workforce than it was during the "glorious" Industrial Age of the 1900s.
Likewise, the management philosophies and tools of the 20th century are no longer as useful or effective for leading a 21st century workforce. In fact, many leadership observers believe the pendulum has currently swung too far in the direction of the management ethos of "what gets measured gets done" and has resulted in too much emphasis on setting specifically measurable criteria for every aspect of business.
While goal setting and measurement tracking are still valid practices, the core leadership philosophy for business owners and managers today is best built on the values of transparency, excellence and caring for one another. How these core values are expressed through action and behavior differentiate one organization from another.
The Supreme Court in the United States has pronounced that "companies are people" with the same First Amendment rights and protections as individuals. While not every jurisdiction will go this far in granting organizations human qualities, the best business owners and leaders do see their organizations as living and evolving entities driven by shared values.
Each person on your team has their own inherent set of values. It is an unwise business owner or leader who expects his or her employees to park their individual values at the door upon arrival at work each day.
The astute business owner or leader, on the other hand, coalesces his or her staff around a set of shared values that set and define the context for individual and collaborative behavior.
Motorola Solutions is one such entity with a clearly defined set of shared various:
We are innovative
We are passionate
We are driven
We are accountable
We are partners
These values not only drive the decision-making process and collaborative efforts within this global, multi-cultural organization, they are also used as important criteria in the company's recruitment and talent development processes. 

This article is partially excerpted from our top-ranked personal development book Project You: Living A Determined Life, which is available in Kindle and paperback formats at Amazon. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Leaders Must Be Coaches and Mentors

Leaders Focus on Long-Term Initiatives and the Development of People

In order to develop the skills and talents of your people, you must become a good coach. A good coach will unleash the often hidden talents in a person, while also retaining the capability to provide counsel on wrong decisions and advice on fixing problematic performance issues.
Anyone can become a good coach; yet it takes a very special person to be a good coach.
Both of these seemingly contradictory statements are true.
You certainly already possess some of the attributes of a dynamic coach, and those characteristics that do not come naturally can be learned.
First and foremost, as is true with all teachers, coaches must themselves be active learners. The successful coach takes on the mindset that he or she will never stop learning, no matter how "far they have come." This means developing one’s specific work related skills, and increasing knowledge of general skills and talents through reading, taking formal classes and seminars, and by thoughtful discussion with peers.
When you enter a coaching relationship, you are taking on an individual with a package of talents, weaknesses, pluses, minuses, and probably contradictions. Your job is to nurture and develop that package to the point at which it produces maximum benefit for the organization and the individual himself. 
The aim of all coaching is personal growth so that the subordinate staff member can contribute maximum effort to the organization. Problems and confrontations can be major character builders. Part of the coach’s role is to help the staff member understand how a problem or a failed effort can be turned into a positive learning situation and experience. 
In world-class organizations, we have seen that the coaching function is capable of accomplishing some major organizational objectives. Successful coaching can:
  • Fully orient a new employee to the company and its culture.
  • Instill confidence through teaching general and specific knowledge about the company.
  • Confront troublesome situations.
  • Counsel an employee through rough and uncertain waters on a personal or professional basis.
Coaching accomplishes all of this through the power of the one-on-one relationship. The key is for your own subordinates to catch the excitement of learning when they see that excitement in you.
Here are a couple of questions to ask yourself:
How much of your time is spent on getting things done or focusing on ensuring results?
How much of your time is spent in meetings, on conference calls and answering email?
Add the percentages together. If your answer is greater than 85%, you may have a problem on your hands, because the time remaining is all that you have left to develop your people. 
This answer may also provide you with insights into how you can better prioritize your work activities, perhaps by delegating some of the "doing" work so that you can focus on long-term initiatives and the development of your people.

This article is partially excerpted from our top-ranked personal development book Project You: Living A Determined Life, which is available in Kindle and paperback formats at Amazon. 

Monday, September 19, 2016

You Lead People. You Don't Manage Them.

Lead People. Manage Things, Processes, Procedures and Policies. 

Most people who attain any level of success in their careers end up managing and leading others at some point. 
Those who are most successful in these endeavors are the ones who understand they are leading people, not inanimate departments or teams within organizations. In a nutshell, a good leader leads people and manages things, processes, procedures, and policies.
Another hallmark of a good leader is the knowledge that their role is not to create more followers, but to produce more leaders for the organization. Managers desire followers, not leaders. This is one reason why, in the eyes of leadership guru Warren G. Bennis, "Failing organizations are usually over-managed and under-led."
Once you are put into a leadership position (of a team, department, unit, or an entire organization), your primary role changes. Your key focus becomes a bigger picture combined with a longer term perspective, while your other main responsibility is to develop your people. 
Jack Welch described this transition in these words: "Before you become a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others."
Of course, not all your attention is paid to others. You still have the responsibility to continue growing and developing yourself as well. "Nothing so conclusively proves a man's ability to lead others as what he does from day to day to lead himself," counseled legendary IBM Chairman Thomas J. Watson (who reigned in a time when there were few, if any, women leaders in the business world and hence the gender stereotype of his remarks).
You can find millions of words, thousands of books and hundreds of training programs devoted to the topic of leadership. Here are a few of these words for your consideration:
The three "C's" of leadership are Consideration, Caring and Courtesy. Be polite to everyone. ~ Brian Tracy
The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority. ~ Kenneth Blanchard
The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not a bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly. ~ Jim Rohn
Men can be stimulated to show off their good qualities to the leader who seems to think they have good qualities. ~ John Richelsen
It is a fine thing to have ability, but the ability to discover ability in others is the true test. ~ Elbert G. Hubbard

This article is partially excerpted from our top-ranked personal development book Project You: Living A Determined Life, which is available in Kindle and paperback formats at Amazon. 

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Using Your Intuitive Skills

Checklist for Evaluating Your Intuition 

Here are some steps for using and evaluating your intuition whenever a hard decision is forthcoming:

1.    Write down the key issue or issues being faced.

2.   List the major benefits expected from a right decision and the major consequences probable if the decision is wrong.

3.   Identify as many options as possible.

4.   Analyze and review each option separately, listing the pros, cons and costs of each.

5.   Eliminate the options that appear too risky or have consequences beyond the organization's tolerance level.

6.   Discuss and obtain feedback of the remaining options from people whose judgment and wisdom you respect, both from within and outside the organization.  

7.    Do an internal intuition check by asking yourself:

a) all else being equal, which option would I choose? Why?
b) what motivates you to pick one option over another?
c)  what is the worst thing that can happen from a wrong decision?
d) how will you know if the decision is wrong? Would you be able to change course or direction if this occurs?
e) can you look those you respect in the eyes and honesty say, "I feel right about this decision"?

8.   Make your decision. If this is a team decision, present your findings and recommendations to the team.

9.   Make it work. But be willing to change course or direction if the results being generated do not live up to expectations.

Of course, in question 7a above, all is not going to be equal. Part of your implementation plan, therefore needs to make your preferred option as close to equal, or better than equal, to any of the other options. 

This article is partially excerpted from our top-ranked personal development book Project You: Living A Determined Life, which is available in Kindle and paperback formats at Amazon.