March 31, 2015

The Core Beliefs of The Delightfully Successful by Dharmesh Shah

Being successful is right at the top of my list of things to do with my life! When I saw this article by Dharmesh Shah on LinkedIn,  I just couldn't pass it up. And I'm glad I didn't! Here are 10 core beliefs, principles to live by to help you be successful.

  1. They believe they don't have to wait to be "selected." They can simply select themselves.
    You can do almost anything you have the desire and skills to do; you don't need to wait for someone else to discover your talents. You get to discover yourself.
  2. They believe being first matters less than being best.
    Focus on being the best one still in the game.
  3. They believe success seems predictable only in hindsight.
    "You can't connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dost will somehow connect in the future." - Steve Jobs
  4. They believe personal success comes from service, not selfishness.
    When you in it only for yourself, initial success is always finite and fleeting. When you're in it for others, they succeed - and so do you.
  5. They believe in doing a few things no one else is willing to do.
    Every time you do something, think of a few extra things you can do that others aren't willing to do.
  6. They believe that the depth of their network is more important than the breadth.
    Forget amassing a huge network, reach out to the people who really want to be a part of your professional life for a long time.
  7. They believe that ideas are important, but execution is everything.
    Craft a strategy. Set up a basic plan to implement it.
  8. They believe leadership is earned, not given.
    Real leaders are the kind of people their employees follow not because they have to, but because they want to.
  9. They believe in paying it forward.
    It is common for people to expect to be compensated more before they will consider doing more. Successful people see compensation as a reward fore exceptional effort, not the driver.
  10. They believe they will make their own history.
    When we're willing to try something new, someday we will look back with pride on the part we played in history.

March 24, 2015

March 18, 2015

10 Times You're Better Off Keeping Your Mouth Shut by Bill Murphy Jr.

Sometimes we talk too much. Sometimes we talk enough, but say completely the wrong thing. As the saying goes, there's a reason why we have two ears and two eyes but only one mouth. Sometimes we need to just be aware of when not to speak. And so this aptly-named article by Bill Murphy Jr. admonishes us to shut up...
  1. When the other side in a negotiation starts debating against itself. Keep your mouth shut and just stay out of the way.
  2. When you've asked a question. You can observe a lot just by watching, and learn a lot just by listening.
  3. When the other side misunderstands (and you don't have a duty to talk). Remember, you're not always obligated to correct others' mistakes.
  4. When you don't have any idea what you're talking about.
  5. When you need someone else to get the credit.
  6. When you are bragging, as opposed to sharing.
  7. When your comment is more about you than the other person.
  8. When you want someone else to grow. Instead of leaping forward to answer a thoughtful question, sometimes it makes sense to hold back and let others figure it out.
  9. When you are clearly boring people.
  10. When you begin a speech. A long pause often creates a level of discomfort, and then gets the audience rooting for you.

March 11, 2015

"Sometimes you have to be willing to just let things go."
- Me

March 3, 2015

"Charisma" by Tony Alessandra

In my never-ending quest to be able to give speeches, presentations, and interact in social situations, I ran across "Charisma: Seven Keys to Developing the Magnetism that Leads to Success" by Tony Alessandra. It really does a decent job presenting seven elements that charismatic people exhibit, and gives pointers to help apply those elements to you. Here I present a simple outline; I really do recommend reading the book for the full effect.


What is charisma? It is the quality that creates leaders. If people like you, even though they don't know much about you, you have charisma. Assess your amount of charisma by examining its seven elements:
  1. Your Silent Message - This is how you carry yourself. It can be broken down into five categories:
    • Your Emotional Self
    • Your Psychological Self
    • Your Intellectual Self
    • Your Spiritual Self
    • Your Physical Self
  2. Speaking With Authority - Know your material backwards and forwards. Follow these steps for preparation:
    • Identify Your Purpose
    • Know Your Audience
    • Know Your Material
    • Focus on the Big Idea
    • Get Your Audience's Attention and Keep It
    • Practice and Visualize
  3. Listening Skills - People listen at four basic levels of awareness:
    • Non-Listener (No effort to hear)
    • Marginal (Hears, but misses the meaning)
    • Technical (Makes and effort to hear, but not understand)
    • Active (Focuses on understanding)
    To become an active listener, focus on:
    • Concentrating
    • Acknowledging
    • Researching
    • Controlling Emotions
    • Sensing Non-Verbal Messages
    • Structuring
  4. Power of Persuasion - Understanding the "need gap" - the difference between the current situation and the desired one:
    • Discover Needs and Goals
    • Create a Solution
    • Commit to an Action Plan
    • Identify, Monitor, and Measure Results
  5. Use of Time and Space
    • In casual conversation, sit at right angles to facilitate gesturing and eye contact
    • In formal conversation, use a desk or table as a safety barrier to monitor non-verbals
    • Someone who is distracted by your behavior doesn't hear your message
    • Be aware of others' needs for personal space
    • Showing up late sends the message that you don't think their time is valuable; showing up early sends the message that yours isn't.
  6. Adapability - If you can identify someone's personality style, you can improve communication and build rapport:
    • Directors (dominant, take charge)
    • Socializers (fast paced, fun loving)
    • Relaters (people-oriented)
    • Thinkers (result-oriented, problem solvers)
  7. Vision - A visionary idea appeals to the values and needs of the people you seek to lead.
    • A mission will give purpose, context, and stamina to your vision
    • Setting and accomplishing goals is necessary to achieve your vision