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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Achieve Greater Success in Your Business

There are no ifs, ands, or buts, the greater the success, the more the responsibility. Everyone cannot handle the success. Some may choose complacency over notoriety. They don't like criticism and they abhor pressure. But if you are the kind of person that desperately wants to be somebody, then go for it! Frankly, some people will never be satisfied with sitting on the bleachers cheering for others who are in the game. Locked within each of us is an inner ambitious intrigue not predicated on jealousy or intimidation. It is built upon an inner need to unlock a predestined purpose. These kind of people are willing to pay the price because they are compelled, drawn, and driven toward a hope and success.

You have heard it many times - "No pain, no  gain."

This means regardless of what it takes, what you have to readjust, what you must do to discipline yourself, and respond to the challenges that life throws at you, you do whatever it takes.

To underscore this issue, let's go over some important truths.
  • Huge stress comes with success in any area.
When you're building up to your success, you will definitely experience rejection, controversy, criticism, and maybe even isolation!
  • Count the cost.
Before I ask to buy a house I must first count the costs. I have to come up with closing costs, a down payment, etc. The initial cost to purchase and become a homeowner is much higher in comparison to renting! But then over time the homeowner definitely wins out. What do you think?

I am told that runners make long, steady strides and that their emphasis is on endurance, not speed. They take their laps and stretch their limitations, giving themselves over to committing their strength to a goal. Perspiration leaps out of their pores. The salty taste of exertion is in their mouths. Turning corners with agility, running shoes banging on the pavement, heads high, backs straight - They are in pursuit of a goal.

For any runners out there, let me know if you agree with this - as you near the finish line, there is a final burst of energy that kicks in.

Overall, realize that there has never been a day that lasted forever. You cannot afford to sit back and relax. A runner trains him or herself to achieve a goal, to break a record, win a trophy, or whatever it may be. Whether you win trophies or receive great accolades it doesn't matter. What matters is that you stretch your legs and run in the wind. It's only your shadow that you're running against. And it is your own destiny that you stride beside.

Monday, October 25, 2010

What do you do when things don’t line up between all three—your head, your heart and your gut?

What do you do when things don’t line up between all three—your head, your heart and your gut?

Realization is the epiphany. It’s when you realize your happiness and success, even survival, begin with you. I’ve been down on my luck plenty of times, and I know it’s easy to blame others. But that moment of realization is when I get honest with myself and take responsibility for my actions. That may mean saying I’m sorry, or evaluating my involvement in a situation.

Assessment is the process of taking stock—not in what you have, but in who you are. If your self-esteem is telling you that you are anything other than priceless, you’ve got to make some changes. Assess your skills, your attitude, your beliefs, and if you don’t like what you see, don’t be afraid to remodel. Tear things down and start over if you need to. Give yourself an appraisal and allow yourself to see who you are—and then trust who you are.

It's all about motivation. You may know people who aren’t all that talented but are exceptionally successful. Those who aren’t successful aren’t motivated. The key to finding success is to find your motivation. Your motivation is the fuel that will keep you going.

To find your motivation and to acquire and maintain the creativity and positivity required for success, you have to find a method of self-renewal. When you’re stuck, take yourself out of the situation. Get away for a day or two. Stop and smell the roses. That pause gives you the time you need for self-renewal. And it gives you the space you need in order to get a clear perspective and to find your motivation.

Once you have your head, your heart, and your gut in order, you have to take action. You can’t just talk about it; you have to step up to the plate and take your best shot.

Are You In the Driver's Seat? Six Steps to Turn Desires into Gold

Understand the difference in being the driver and being in the passenger seat.

You see, passengers are free to do a lot of things the driver cannot do.  As a driver, your focus needs to be on the road and not on the distractions.  As the driver, you no longer have the right to "mess around", such as listening to loud music, even though it seems ok to do that as a passenger. 

The same principle applies when you become a leader. You are no longer a passenger, you become the driver. Even though your responsibilities increase when you become a manager, you lose some of the rights and freedoms you may have enjoyed in the past. 

As a leader, you must identify accountability to:

  • Your dreams
  • Your goals
  • Your family
  • Your future

In the following are six definite, practice steps, used as a method by which desire for riches can be transmuted into its financial equivalent. These instructions are taken from the classic book, "Think and Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill. You will notice how detail oriented you must be. Saying you're going to do something is not enough. In actuality, when you write things down you commit to doing them If you simply say what you want to do, there is really no commitment to getting it done.

Step 1             

Fix in your mind the exact amount of money you desire. It is not sufficient to merely say "I want plenty of money." Be definite as to the amount. (There is a psychological reason from definiteness.)

Step 2             

Determine exactly what you intend to give in return for the money you desire. (There is no such reality as "something for nothing.")

Step 3             

Establish a definite date when you intend to possess the money you desire.

Step 4             

Create a definite plan for carrying out your desire, and begin at once, whether you are ready or not, to put this plan into action.

Step 5             

Write out a clear, concise statement of the amount of money you intend to acquire, name the time limit for its acquisition, state what you intend to give in return for the money, and describe clearly the plan through which you intend to accumulate it.

Step 6           

Read your written statement aloud, twice daily, once just before retiring at night, and once after rising in the morning. As you read, see, feel, and believe yourself already in possession of the money.

Overall, be a driver, not a passenger. Until you accept total responsibility, no matter what- you will not be able to put plans in place to accomplish your goals.

How To Grow Your Action Habit

In the following is some content pulled from "7 Ways to Grow the Action Habit".

Don’t wait until conditions are perfect – If you’re waiting to start until conditions are perfect, you probably never will. There will always be something that isn’t quite right. Either the timing is off, the market is down, or there’s too much competition. In the real world there is no perfect time to start. You have to take action and deal with problems as they arise.

The best time to start was last year. The second best time is right now.


Get down to business immediately – It’s common practice for people to socialize and make small talk at the beginning of meetings. The same is true for individual workers. How often do you check email or RSS feeds before doing any real work? These distractions will cost you serious time if you don’t bypass them and get down to business immediately. By becoming someone who gets to the point you’ll be more productive and people will look to you as a leader.

Seize the Initiative

It takes courage to take action without instructions from the person in charge. Perhaps that’s why initiative is a rare quality that’s coveted by managers and executives everywhere. When you have a good idea, start implementing it without being told. Once people see you’re serious about getting things done they’ll want to join in. The people at the top don’t have anyone telling them what to do. If you want to join them, you should get used to acting independently.

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Be accountable. If you can’t be accountable to yourself, than find someone who will make you get it done.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

How to Master the Art of Focus and Decision-making

Time-Management is not only something for managers and leaders. It is a topic that everyone can benefit from, especially if we want to get ahead and make a difference in our lives: "Where should I spend my time on? What is important?"
Everyone also has questions such as, "How can I spend my time in the best way possible? How can I get the most out of it?"

It is the the art of focus and decision-making combined with effective productivity.

Overall, it boils down to the the art of focus and decision-making combined with effective productivity.

I had a bad habit of wanting to please everyone and having a hard time saying "No". So what happens is that the last person to hand you a “priority” gets bumped to the top of your to do list. However I have found that if you don’t set your own priorities, you will be tossed like a bottle on the sea. 

Stephen Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and First Things First popularized the concept of a Time Management Matrix. This book has been one of the cornerstones in personal development and success strategies.  

The Matrix helps me focus on the most important tasks by letting me classify them as important vs. unimportant and urgent vs. non-urgent.

First define: 

What is urgent? Urgent are all tasks determined by external pressures and requirements that need your immediate attention. But are they important or not important?
What is important? Important are the tasks that are in harmony with our goals and our life-balance. In essence, what is important are tasks that contribute the very most to your long term future. 

In the process of managing your time, separate and list the urgent from the important. 

You will have a lot that fall in the category of urgent but not important, and these type of activities take place during the work day and are easily confused with "real work" because no matter how many urgent but unimportant tasks you engage in, you contribute nothing to your work or your company.

Other activities such as reading the newspaper at work or taking a long lunch are neither urgent nor important. Be aware that spending too much time on these activities can be harmful to your career because they consume your valuable time which could otherwise be invested towards getting results for which you are paid and upon which your future depends!

For those who are not familiar with it, here’s a picture and a brief overview.

Covey's matrix allows any individual who uses it to easily see where they are spending their time so they can make adjustments. 
Let's recap. Here's how to develop time management skills using the matrix.
  • Important & Urgent - Do them now the best you can
  • Important & Not Urgent - Set focus here, whenever you can
  • Not Important & Urgent - Learn to say "No" or delegate tasks in order to maintain focus on the important; not urgent
  • Not Important & Not Urgent -Avoid these for sure
"The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” – Stephen Covey

Monday, October 4, 2010

What kind of leader are you?

Today, and especially in my generation, there are many that want to be leaders. Many want positions, but no one wants to put in the work to develop the character and skills that are crucial for effectiveness. 

I'm sure you've all heard of the saying, wearing too many hats is bad for business. Everyone wants to be a leader but they're afraid to delegate and hire people smarter than them because they maybe think it will make them look too small. Does that sound like you?

In fact, the opposite is true. Let's help identify, what type of leader are you? Understanding this will guarantee you to see better and work smarter.

To be honest, I’ve probably been all four of the following types of leaders at some point in my life. However, for the past several years I’ve made the decision to develop as a “Skillful Servant.”

  • The “There’s No One Else” Leader. This is the person that is in a position because for any number of reasons, there is no one else that can do it. They aren’t necessarily qualified or possibly even interested. Most of us have been and will have to be that leader at some point because we may be specialized and have those "God given" skills and talents. 
  • The “Passion Without Preparation” Leader. This is the leader that is given leadership responsibility because of their passion for an area and then finds themselves in over their heads because they are unprepared for the totality of the position. The heart is there but they’re lacking the skill. This person has hope.
  • The “Ego Without the Expertise” Leader. This is probably my least favorite. This is the leader that thinks they know everything there is to know about their area of responsibility, however everyone else knows (and clearly sees) the real truth — they have no idea what they’re doing. They’re erroneously correcting everyone and everything all the time. They’re unteachable and unfruitful.  Who wants to follow a leader like this? Not many, because people follow a leader's actions not their words. 
  • The “Skillful Servant” Leader. This leader is competent and prepared, and has the character to match. They are teachable, open, and flexible. They utilize the strengths of their team members, and are not threatened by the skills of others. They lead by serving with humility and in result, they leave a legacy.
Which category do you fall into?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Are you living up to your name?

I saw something absurd the other day. A highly engineered and specially designed high-performance race car stuck on a 35-mile-an-hour downtown street.
That is not what that car was made for. That is not what its creator (Enzo Ferrari) envisioned for it.
This 6-speed, F140 Aluminum V12, 4700cc engine with 660hp was built to go 0-60 in 3.8 seconds and race at 217 miles an hour (2010 specs). But here it is… stuck.

Sometimes it’s not the car; it’s the one given the responsibility to drive it.

Are you even aware that you are a race car? You were specially engineered and designed for speed… to race. You were built for greatness. I’m not kidding. You are a miracle of machinery. Yes, you… the one reading this. It’s likely you have never even experienced half of what your top speed is.

In the same sense, I have to ask... are you living up to your name? 

Our name we were given is important to us.  Have you ever been somewhere when a person used your name, perhaps in conversation with someone else across the other side of the room? A common reaction is to suddenly pay attention. Are they talking about you? Are they trying to get your attention?

We all have an earned name, a reputation. A person's name is associated with their character. It is important to remember that reputation is not about our image in front of others. A truly good name comes from qualities that go beneath the impressions made on the surface. It is the result of integrity, depth of character, and sincerity. So, whenever you feel stuck, just think of the Ferrari and remember, you were built for greatness.

One of my favorite authors, Stephen Covey, said this:
"Ineffective people live day after day with unused potential. They experience synergy only in small, peripheral ways in their lives. But creative experiences can be produced regularly, consistently, almost daily in people's lives. It requires enormous personal security and openness and a spirit of adventure." -Stephen Covey
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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

True Belief Requires Action

The perspective looking forward always seems longer than the perspective looking back.

Do you remember as a kid what it felt like to anticipate the arrival of Christmas day? The Thanksgiving feast and Christmas seemed like forever to your childhood perspective. But it always came. And once it arrived, you were sure it was only yesterday that you had been eating holiday turkey and watching the Thanksgiving Day parade on your mother's lap.

I have the same feeling when I'm driving or flying somewhere on a trip. Going en route to the destination always seems to take long but in contrast, the trip back home seems so quick.

Action speaks our true belief

As adults we're not too different from children. We look at the future as if it will never come. Intellectually we believe it will, but only action speaks our true belief. 

Here is a very interesting story I read about recently.
During the 19th century there lived a dynamic tightrope-walker and showman named Charles Blondin. He was undoubtedly the greatest funambulist that ever lived. (A funambulist by the way is an acrobat who performs on a tightrope.) His thirst for new and daring stunts was unquenchable. In 1959 at the age of 35, he became the first person to cross Niagara Falls on a tight-rope, 1100 feet long and 160 feet above the water! History reports that Blondin accomplished this feat numerous times, always with different theatrical variations. Such as being blindfolded, in a sack, on stilts, carrying a man on his back, and sitting down midway while he cooked and ate an omelet.
He dazzled everyone with his brilliant skill. They were amazed. He made every crossing without a hitch. One day as the crowd gathered, he stepped off the wire, grabbed an empty wheelbarrow and stepped back onto the perilous wire. Again he proceeded to amaze the crowd as he pushed the wheelbarrow back and forth high above the crashing waterfall.  After he made his way back to the crowd, he stepped off the tight-rope a second time, looked straight at the astonished people, and asked this question. "Who believes I can walk across this wire with a wheelbarrow?" Every hand shot up. Because they had just witnessed this masterful feat.  While all the hands were still raised, he pointed at a young man in the front row and said, "Please sir, get in the wheelbarrow." Quickly everyone's hands went down and the young man slipped away and escaped to safety.
If it had been me I would have done the same for safety. As crazy as the story is, the point goes to show that often times our belief is only intellectual. In all areas of life, it's also true that without commitment and action, our beliefs will only be beliefs. It's not enough to say, "Knowledge is power." The reality is, "Applied knowledge is power."

Start Now: Preparation leads to confidence and success.

Therefore, don't fall into the trap of believing you have plenty of time before you need to start acting. The time will pass by more quickly than you think. It is wise to position yourself so that when you come to that point in your life, whether it's ten or twenty years from now, you will have choices. And those choices will be the ones you desire, not ones forced upon you due to lack of planning.

How do you prepare for your missions? Are you mission-ready? Do you execute a well-prepared plan, or do you fly by the seat of your pants and simply react when adversity strikes? Preparation is a critical factor to reaching your potential. 

  • Study your competition
  • Stay current on new technologies
  • Attend seminars on personal development
  • Leverage social media to build your brand and practice responses to business objections before heading into battle.  
When you rehearse for success, you’re much more likely to achieve it. Preparation leads to confidence and confidence builds trust. Trust sells.

Thanks for reading!

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Monday, September 20, 2010

Keeping Critics in Perspective

In any job, you will be criticized at some point. But the fact is that nobody likes criticism. However there is constructive criticism and destructive criticism and it's important to assess both types. Here is how you keep critics in perspective:

1. First of all, consider the source. Should this person's opinion even matter to you?

2. If it does matter to you, take a few minutes to consider whether anything helpful can result from the criticism. Others can often see things that we have overlooked. Use their keen eyes to your advantage. Too often, people instantly reject an idea, phrasing, or strategy without truly listening attentively to the entire thing.

3. Critics serve their purpose. Sometimes they serve a larger purpose, and sometimes they serve their own purpose. A good example is Simon Cowell from American Idol. He was very critical of the performers on the show but was fair and honest and the show is not the same without him.

4. Everyone has an opinion. In most cases, it's not worth the paper it's written on.

5. If the opinion is worth the paper it's written on, and it's written in a paper people are buying and reading, then realize that if people didn't find you interesting enough for public consumption, they wouldn't be taking the time to criticize you. Think of their criticism as a compliment, proof of your significance.

In the 2007 film "Ratatouille," Anton Ego, a notoriously harsh English food critic sums up the picture of keeping critics in perspective. He says, "In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the new. The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations..."

I credit the inspiration of this post to Donald Trump, someone who knows about "Surviving at the Top"!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Attitude Is Basic to Survival

Who you are is not entirely determined by how you look, where you live, or who your parents were.  There's that common statement that we are all products of our environment and there are various factors that make up who we are, yet I want to emphasize that who you are is a function of specific choices that you have made. You are where you are and what you are because of the dominating thoughts that occupy your mind. 

Several years ago, a plastic surgeon friend of mine made a study of the people whom he had performed cosmetic surgery. These individuals had come to him asking for some change because they were unhappy with how they look. 

As a surgeon, he gave them new noses, took away their wrinkles, or made some other significant changes in their appearance.

But he discovered something quite unexpected: Most of the people thought the surgery had been a failure because they were still dissatisfied with themselves.

The conclusion is obvious:We are what we are - not what we appear to be on the outside. 

“No thought lives in your head rent-free."

You actually pay for your negative thoughts in money, energy, time, health and happiness.

If you want to move to a new level in your life quickly, begin by dividing your thoughts into two categories: empowering and disempowering. Observe them, and determine if they are supporting your happiness and success. Choose to entertain only the empowering thoughts, and refuse to focus on the disempowering ones. When a nonsupportive notion comes to the surface, replace it with a more supportive way of thinking.  This process  is called
“power thinking.”  If you practice it, your life will never be the same.

So, what is the difference between power thinking and positive thinking? The distinction is slight, but deep.

People use positive thinking to pretend that everything is rosy when they really believe it is not. With power thinking, though, we understand that something is neutral until we assign it meaning by creating a story.

With that said, we can now move on to applying this concept of "attitude".

The mind is a powerful tool, but it is also the greatest soap-opera scriptwriter in history. It creates powerful stories based on dramas or disasters that have never happened and likely never will.

As Mark Twain said, “I’ve had thousands of problems in my life, most of which never actually happened.”

It is important to remember that
you are not your mindyou are much bigger and more powerful than your mind alone. By learning to train it, though, you can conquer your fear, expand your comfort zone and dramatically increase your wealth.
T. Harv EkerNew York Times Best-Seller Secrets of the Millionaire Mind

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What is EXTRAORDINARY? A simple yet profound lesson.

I'm an avid reader and today this caught my eye. A post from Darren Hardy, Publisher of Success Magazine, about an interview he hosted with the one and only Donald Trump. This big company brought together 20,000 of its associates and probably paid close to $100,000 just to hear him speak live in person. To go to an event such as this, I myself would be eager to learn from a "Billionaire." But the simple lesson learned in this interview is so profound.
Simple, yet so profound!

"Donald has a reputation of being a tad bit capricious in his commentary and particularly rough on interviewers. So I was ready, I had my knives sharpened in case he started throwing down. He didn’t. In fact, he was really a sweetheart of a guy.

I was asked afterward what surprised me most about the interview. I shouldn’t be surprised anymore, as every time I interview an extraordinary superachiever I walk away with the same realization. There really isn’t anything that extraordinary about them.

What I mean is their answers to all the probing success questions are usually the same, simple and not extraordinary.

What is extraordinary is that they actually DO the simple principles of success—relentlessly, passionately and consistently. And unfortunately that IS extraordinary."

Read the rest of the article at

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

How today’s young creative professionals stay fresh and come up with new ideas

How can you nurture yourself so that you bring out your best side and your best work? Here are some tried and tested ways that have helped me and many of my friends:

Provide Lots of Free Time to Think

I've begun meeting every week with friends who I consider big dreamers. We gather for an hour to simply talk about the big ideas we have and how some of all of them might come to pass. This chance to bounce stuff off one another is quickly becoming one of my favorite times of the week. Even if it looks like it's just a bunch of talking, it is really the stirrings of the next important idea.

Creativity is a difficult thing to force. While young professionals have always faced the challenge of coming up with fresh new ideas, the time crush in today’s hectic business world makes it even tougher.

So what do you do if you’re stuck for an idea for that next campaign? The hustle and bustle of work have to be balanced with some quality downtime if you want higher-quality creative output when the clock is ticking. That’s why you’re going to the cafĂ© next door for a quick cup of coffee…

Encourage Risky Behavior

Every year, the company BrightHouse holds an event known as March Fourth. On that date, each employee is encouraged to do something -- jump from a plane, scuba-dive, start writing a novel -- he or she has never attempted. "If we're known for anything, it's possibilitarianism," says CEO Reiman. Maddock Douglas, meanwhile, gives an annual Fail Forward award, which is designed to celebrate endeavors both ambitious and disastrous.

Think about it, starting a business or coming up with a new fresh idea IS risky. However the dividends are phenomenal. Bill Gates is a perfect example. Twenty years ago, nobody really owned computers. When they were first invented I'm pretty sure that the concept caught a lot of controversy. Now, every single household owns a computer, probably more than one. You can't even run a business effectively without a computer.

Hire Smart

Creative folks enjoy applying their talents to noble causes -- and, increasingly, their employers keep them happy by providing opportunities to do so. Rewarding people for thinking outside the box truly brings value back to the business. To promote creativity it's better to reward people not for the hours they put in but for the size of their hearts.
As an entrepreneur, finding someone who thinks like you isn't easy, so when you do, make sure you involve them in every aspect of your business. I follow what I call the "hit by a bus" philosophy. Imagine you got hit by a bus. Would there be someone there to take over the business while you recovered? There should be. Thinking about it this way will force you to mold a person to handle even bigger responsibilities, once again freeing you up to tackle the future.

Most entrepreneurs, innovators, inventors and the like aren't born business people. They are born to create. The problem is that their business can sometimes get in the way.

So make it your business to not let it.

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Monday, August 23, 2010

The Story About Persistence

We all have the power of spirit. In Rich Dad Poor Dad, Kiyosaki pinpoints that for someone to move to action, he or she needs a reason greater than reality. He says, if you ask most people if they would like to be rich or financially free, they would say “yes.” But then reality sets in. The road seems too long with too many hills to climb. It’s easier to just work for money.

Story About Persistence

At the age of 66, Colonel Sanders lost his business and began to live on his Social Security check. It wasn’t enough. He went around the country selling his recipe for fried chicken. He was turned down 1,009 times before someone said “yes.” And he went onto become a multimillionaire at an age when most people are quitting. He was a brave and tenacious man…

What drives people to accomplish what seems the impossible to many?

There was a young woman who had dreams of swimming for the U.S. Olympic team. The reality was, she had to get up every morning at 4 a.m. to swim for three hours before going to school. She did not party with her friends on Saturday night. She had to study to keep her grades up just like everyone else.

A reason or a purpose is a combination of “wants” and “don’t wants”. In order to have the persistence to overcome any adversity, you must identify your deepest emotional reasons. Come up with the list of “Don’t wants” because they actually create your “wants” list.

Here are examples of “don’t wants”:

I don’t want to work my whole life.
I don’t want what my parents aspired for, which was job security and a house in the suburbs.
I don’t like being an employee.
I hated that my dad always missed my games because he was so busy working on a career.
I hated it when my dad worked hard all his life and the government took most of what he worked for at his death.

Examples of “wants”:

I want to be free to travel the world and live the lifestyle I love.
I want to be young when I do this.
I want to have freedom.
I want control over my time and my life.

What are yours??


About Matt Sileno: Matt Sileno, the President/Founder of The Intuitive Group, Inc. is no stranger to hard work and overcoming adversity. He has taken his small Sales and Marketing Firm to new heights working directly with Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 companies across the U.S.
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Thursday, August 5, 2010

It is hard to listen with your mouth open

There's a reason God created us with 2 ears and only 1 mouth!

Are you the person who interjects into each and every conversation? Do you feel the need to correct someone who is speaking immediately? Do you find yourself sometimes speaking before you actually know what is going on? If so, you are no different than 95 or 96% of the population. You are not a great listener.

I picked up this great material from an accomplished keynote speaker Darren Hardy to help us learn something new today.

Contrary to what many might think (and many practice), the most important job of a leader is not to speak, preach, direct or advise….

The most important job of a leader is to listen.

I personally believe if we just developed and improved the habit or listening, active listening, then the world would be a much better place. Have you ever gotten into a misunderstanding or dispute with someone, only to regret saying things you didn't mean? Statements were made in anger, and yet those words can't be taken back. As a result of lack of listening, people tend to invalidate and hurt each other.

Don’t be an Offender, Intruder, Blockhead or Egoist.

The Offenders. These people are the worst. They make it clear you are so unimportant or they are so bored by your conversation that they look at something else while you talk (BlackBerry, e-mail, brochure, someone else over your shoulder, anywhere else but directly in your eyes).

It is well-known that one of Bill Clinton’s most compelling traits is his ability to listen deeply to whoever is speaking to him, no matter who else or how many other people are in the room. It is said that if he is talking with someone, he won’t even break eye contact to reach for his glass of water. He will feel his way to it, but he will never, ever break eye contact. He treats you and makes you feel like the most important person on the planet when you are talking. We all should strive to be that influential.

The Intruders.
These are people who can’t be bothered to let you finish your sentence before cutting you off, figuring out (falsely) what you were going to say, and giving your their interrupted opinion.

The Blockheads.
They spend the conversation thinking about what to say rather than listening at all. They will scan the conversation, lock onto a point they want to make and shut off hearing you at all so they don’t lose their mental point—making it obvious with their facial expressions and body language that they are impatiently waiting for you to (finally) take a breath or end your (dang) sentence. They then respond, and you realize they didn’t listen to you and missed the point completely.

The Egoists. Instead of listening to you and caring about your story, your feelings and experience, they “me-ize” your comments and respond with their similar experience, problem or yarn.

These are the most fun to watch (and most common), as people will volley from person to person changing the conversation to them rather than listening and engaging the original storyteller.

Recognize anyone in the above? Friends, colleagues, family members—yourself?

Don’t be an Offender, Intruder, Blockhead or Egoist.
Listen so intently that the other person feels they are the most important person in the world while they are speaking.

What do you do to make people feel heard, validated and important while they are talking? What are your best listening practices?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

"Self-esteem that is deeper than self-protection"

"Self-esteem that is deeper than self-protection"

Protecting oneself from outside forces and influences is a natural reaction. But sometimes people allow that to come at the expense of their own self-esteem. They protect themselves by going along and not standing out. This is contrary to true leadership. Leaders must be able to stand out and, by doing so, put themselves in a vulnerable position. Having the self-esteem to stick to your core convictions may leave you vulnerable, but no true leader ever succeeded under a roof of self-protection. Leaders are more of risk takers because in order to rise above you cannot settle for the status quo.

Be Nimble, and Willing to Fail

"I make mistakes faster than anybody," says Matt Sileno, founder of The Intuitive Group, Inc. a marketing company based in Vienna, VA. "I think, go, do," he continues. "While the competition is figuring out what to do, we've tried two different things and have figured out the right one."

As a leader, it's essential to me that when I make a mistake, I want it to be brought to my attention. I am comfortable admitting my mistakes.

Being myself is important

Self-esteem is critical to your career success. You need lots of it at all stages of your career - whether it's for a job search, as a new employee, working with others, or dealing with stress and deadlines. If you're like most people, you may wonder if you've got enough self-esteem to reach your career goals. Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to build and strengthen your self-worth.

1. Understand yourself

2. Improve your awareness

3. Work on your attitude

4. Believe in yourself and your potentials

5. Develop your skills

6. Set your goals

7. Begin with the end in mind

I interviewed a friend who is now an entrepreneur and used to do retail for many years. He said, "Before I started working for myself, I didn't know I had low self-esteem. I used to think I was just being negative. I was unhappy with my job but did not have the confidence to leave it. It made me aware that the way I react to situations is based on how I feel about myself."

Self esteem was once viewed as a purely psychological need, but now it’s also economic. With rapid changes occurring in the global economy, the number of choices and decisions we make on a daily basis is increasing. With that, so does the urgency and importance of self esteem. By knowing and recognizing your self-value and worth, you will become more independent to make the best possible decisions for yourself. This is exactly what is needed to succeed in this rapidly changing and competitive world of ours.

I want to make one more last important note: self esteem and ego are not the same.
Self-esteem is an internal job. It is you telling you how good you are, whilst always maintaining a firm grip on reality. Ego is telling everyone else how good you are and is often driven by fear of rejection.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

What are some good strategies for boosting employee morale?

The Intuitive Group, Inc. really believes in promoting team environments and places great emphasis on recognition.
It is more important now than ever to focus on developing a positive relationship with employees. If your company has had layoffs, furloughs, or a hiring freeze, the workers who are left are probably working harder than ever as they absorb the work that former employees did in addition to their existing jobs.

What are you doing to keep spirits up around the workplace?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Step 3 to developing courageous leadership

"Spiritual sensitivity that is louder than popular opinion"

Many people try to check their spirituality at the door when it comes to work and leadership, when in actuality they are inseparable. Spirituality is the core of who you are. Unfortunately, many allow trends, popular opinion, or even a louder voice in the room win over what they truly know and believe in their heart. Spiritual strength is essential to establishing a firm moral foundation that cannot be blown over or toppled by the voices around them. This is so important because our words and actions reflect what’s on the inside. Our quality of leadership is built on this value system. Each of us was created with a specific purpose in mind.

Values – Yes They Still Matter

Situational ethics is now being taught in many of our public schools. One teacher, wanting to illustrate that human reasoning is many times wrong, gave the following situation to a class of high school students: "How would you advise a mother who was pregnant with her fifth child based on the following facts. Her husband had syphilis and she had tuberculosis. Their first child was born blind, the second child died. A third child was born deaf while their fourth child had tuberculosis. The mother is considering an abortion. Would you advise her to have one?" In view of these facts, most of the students agreed that the mother should have an abortion. The teacher then announced, "If you said 'yes', you would have just killed the great composer, Ludwig von Beethoven."

Spirituality plays a key role in ethical leadership. Moreover, spirituality demands that leaders cultivate and nurture a sense of self that recognizes interrelatedness of life and a sense of community.

Identity: Who you think you are? Self-awareness comes with an understanding of how you view yourself. The operative word in this question is think; that is, how do you perceive yourself.

Achievement: What have you done lately? There is a sharp distinction between what we think we achieve and what others think we achieve. If the two are not in parallel, we feel out of sync. The challenge becomes in finding meaning and satisfaction in what we do and harmonizing it with what we are challenged to do. No easy task.

Reputation: What do other people think you are? Reputation is the combination of identity and achievements as seen by others. Lucky for you if your self-image matches your public persona! But if you are like most of us, you have work to do to make certain that who you are and what you think you do matches the impact that you are having on others.

Acceptance: What can you change, and what is beyond your control? Goals are good, but they can sometimes prevent us from achieving understanding our inner selves. The challenge arises from learning what you can change (your behavior) and what you cannot change (other people). Acceptance becomes important; otherwise you will cause yourself and others around you much unhappiness.

A leader’s spiritual sensitivity can also help you instill accountability within the company culture. If you have values concerning behavior, then when someone steps out of line, you can call their attention to the inconsistency. There is clear communication that certain behavior is not tolerated. You have instilled values and you hold people accountable for living up to them. Conformity to values is critical because it becomes the platform upon which you ensure that people strive toward the vision and work at the mission; that is, people draw together.

Organizations that are successful in this regard integrate their values into performance objectives. That way employees know more than what they are supposed to do; they know how they are supposed to do it with respect for ideas, dignity for colleagues and trust in the system. And when those things are not in sync, you work to fix it.

Overall, spirituality and ethics will play an increasingly important role in the development of leadership for the future. With the increasing advancement in science, technology, and business, next generation leaders face a significant challenge to serve the interests of human development and the environment.

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About The Intuitive Group, Inc.
The Intuitive Group, Inc. is headed by Matthew Sileno and headquartered in Vienna, Virginia. The company specializes in direct marketing by bringing products and services directly to consumers. The company works with team members from day one to train them for the job and for the rest of their lives. The skills gained help team members excel in the company and in life. The Intuitive Group, Inc. is accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), adhering to BBB Code of Business Practices dedicated to sound advertising, selling and customer service practices that enhance customer trust and confidence in business. For more information about The Intuitive Group, Inc. please visit

The Intuitive Group, Inc.
8233 Old Courthouse Rd Ste 330
Vienna, VA 22182

Tel (703) 388-2863
Fax (703) 388-2894

Monday, July 19, 2010

Step TWO to developing courageous leadership

"Vision that is clearer than my doubts"

For any leader, vision is essential. A leader must be able to see where they are now, and look ahead to where they strive to be. This is a key in having a strong, clear vision. Someone who lacks vision won’t want to take any risks because they only see the short term outcome and not the long term results 6 months, 2 years, or 5 years down the road.

Contrary to the popular belief, that “leaders are born and not made” I believe leaders are “born-again.” Being a born again leader means having your mind transformed through a paradigm shift. A paradigm shift is a 180 degree shift in your perspective. People blind since birth that are suddenly enabled to see is what a paradigm shift feels like. What it does is stretch your mind. "A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions."— Oliver Wendell Holmes

The secret to creating visionary leaders is not to tell people what great leaders do hoping they will be able to do the same. Visionary leadership results naturally from the inner workings of the mind -drives, intentions, values and beliefs- not from being told what to do. A visionary leader acts based on values and intentions that are aligned with desired outcomes and that lead to impressive results.

While any vision comes with doubt, the doubt cannot be paralyzing to achieving the vision. There will be people that “rain” on your parade, however a visionary leader understands that the hard work and sacrifice made now will pay endless dividends later.

Magic Johnson is a great example of a visionary leader. Read his story here: Turning the Magic On: How Johnson Built an Empire

Friday, July 16, 2010

Step ONE to developing courageous leadership

Join us as we cover material on 10 steps to developing courageous leadership taken from an internationally respected leadership expert, speaker, and author who has sold more than 18 million books, John Maxwell. Let's break it down, learn, and most importantly apply each step. In contrast to the saying that "leaders are born", I actually believe that "leaders are built".

"Convictions that are stronger than my fears"

A leader is one who overcomes their fears. This may be fears of stepping out, fears of trying something new, or even a fear of standing up to what you know is right. Most everyone has convictions but many are too timid to stand up when those convictions are challenged. The fears created by our own minds restrict us from living a productive life.

To succeed as a leader your convictions must overrule your fears. Someone who is a crusader exemplifies this quality. When you think of crusader, you may be thinking of The Middle Ages in Europe when religious wars or the “The Crusades” took place. In essence, being a crusader is fighting for or working towards a cause bigger than you . You are way past the point of trying to determine how to do things to find results because your "why" is so strong that your beliefs are unshakable. No fear of failure or embarassment or negativity can overcome your desire to succeed. Thus, the way a leader has far-reaching political, economic, and social impacts is by leading a crusade.

Today I challenge you to face your fears and become a crusader.

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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Make the World Your Oyster

Have a Standard of Excellence to Live By

To differentiate from the majority of people who don’t like what they do, you have to actually enjoy what you do.

Start your day by doing your job the best you can, and try to do it for a week. Then come back next week and do it all over again. The best you can, not waiting for rewards, not asking for rewards. Don’t wait for results to come, just do the job the best you can. When you get positive feedback from your customers, when you close a new deal – ask yourself: What has changed?

You will start loving your job because success will come, first in small steps, but more and more, day by day it will grow. Your customers will start seeing you as a knowledgeable person, your colleagues will see you with different eyes, and you will realize that all of that is important, but most important are feelings inside of you that start building – good feelings about yourself.

You will feel worthy, valuable to your customers, colleagues, and you will build that feeling inside of you that you are valuable part of your environment.

Your Standard of Excellence Becomes Bigger

You will start feeling that you are helping others – your colleagues to be better, your customers to find the best solution, and by helping them you are actually helping yourself to become a more valuable member of the community. In my humble experience meeting with leaders of world class prestigious and established companies, leaders, founders, and bosses of these companies were polite, approachable, friendly, and open minded.

In business, inspire others. Support others. And draw support and inspiration from others…

Make the World Your Oyster

Your self-respect that you’ve gained with that new knowledge will make the world your oyster. Don’t wait for your employer to send you to a seminar. Be proactive, for yourself and your career. It will benefit you in the long term – with your career and most importantly you will see the difference in your wallet!
As a business owner, I maintain an open mind in order to attain new information to help me grow.

In the following I’ll share with you 3 bulletproof actions I implement in my business.

1. Set strong goals
2. Hit your goals
3. Be 100% accountable to yourself and family

Overall, I have learned that talent alone never beats the combination of ambition and action!

About The Intuitive Group, Inc.
The Intuitive Group, Inc. is headed by Matthew Sileno and headquartered in Vienna, Virginia. The company specializes in direct marketing by bringing products and services directly to consumers. The company works with team members from day one to train them for the job and for the rest of their lives. The skills gained help team members excel in the company and in life. The Intuitive Group, Inc. is accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), adhering to BBB Code of Business Practices dedicated to sound advertising, selling and customer service practices that enhance customer trust and confidence in business. For more information about The Intuitive Group, Inc. please visit

The Intuitive Group, Inc.
8233 Old Courthouse Rd Ste 330
Vienna, VA 22182

Tel (703) 388-2863
Fax (703) 388-2894