6 Ways to Motivate Contribution. There are plenty of people who want to make a difference but haven’t put their vision into action. Contribution is tied to action. You have to actually do something to get anything done. A friend, author, and small business expert, Mark LeBlanc, says, “Done is better than perfect.” What a great statement. We can become paralyzed, because we want something to be perfect. I am all for excellence, but sometimes a line needs to be drawn between finished and perfect. Even while I worked on my book project, I thought of all the research that I had not shared. There are compelling stories coming out every day that are pertinent to this topic. At some point, good enough and done becomes better than perfect and not done.
8 Tips for Effective Listening | Trust in Leadership
Growing up on the farm as the youngest of six kids, I learned how to eat fast, talk fast, and interrupt my siblings. Listening has not always come easily to me, and I’m not alone. Effective listening is a fundamental skill of genuine success, and it’s hard to be great or trusted without it. The benefits of listening include more trust, better understanding, stronger marriages, happier kids, and increased respect at work. Still, being a good listener is hard work! Keep reading about tips for effective listening.
Personal Mission Statement – How to Create Yours
What is a personal mission statement? A personal mission statement is something to continually strive for. Everything you do in life should come back to your mission and your personal mission statement. If this is not the case for you, maybe it’s time to change your mission.
1. Gives focus.
2. Keeps us accountable.
3. Encourages us to do the best things rather than just the good things.
4. Simplifies our lives.
5. Increases productivity and morale.
Create a personal life mission statement based on your deepest convictions and beliefs. What are your objectives? What do you want to be known for?
For more self-development ideas, take a look at The Daily Edge
The Value of a Trusted Mentor While Surfing in Kauai | Trust in Leadership
I have dreamed of surfing since I was a teenager. One problem – I grew up in Minnesota. My state is the furthest from any ocean in North America, so waves were not easily accessible. Having been recently invited to speak on the island of Kauai, where surfing originated, this bucket-list opportunity was primed. On top of that, my wife Lisa’s childhood friend, a school teacher and surfing instructor, now lives in Kauai.
12 Tips for Clear Communication
In the world today, clear communication is hard to maintain. People trust the clear and mistrust the ambiguous. Much of the time, communication is done via email, phone, or messaging. Clear communication is a hard skill to learn and it has become increasingly more difficult in the technological climate of today. Many of us struggle to finish a conversation without glancing at our phone, watching the TV in a restaurant or any number of other distractions available to us today.
Anyone familiar with the academic side of communication can tell you, it’s very difficult for any two people, much less groups, to accurately convey meaning to one another. Our minds are too filled with our own assumptions. For example, suppose I asked you to think of a person riding a horse. Some of you, by virtue of your background or imagination, might picture someone galloping through the mountains. Others of you might instinctively envision someone else, jumping gates in an arena. Your mind’s eye colors things differently than others based on your experiences. No two people ever perfectly communicate. However, the more clear our communication, the greater the ability to trust.
Now think about your life. Whether you are having a face-to-face conversation, talking on the phone, or responding to an email, it can be extremely difficult to set your ego aside and show the other person that you care about what they have to say. All the variables that go into clear communication need to be practiced. Even if you are a naturally good listener, it still is something that you need to continually work on to become a great listener. If you are great at asking questions, you may need work on simplifying or deciphering the answers to those questions.
12 Tips for Clear Communication
3. Avoid manipulation. Don’t overstate or understate
4. Speak honestly and without exaggeration
5. Stay focused and avoid distractions
6. Ask questions
7. Glean information from the non-verbal communication
8. Keep an open mind and do not jump to conclusions
9. Do not criticize
10. Simplify the complicated
11. First seek to understand, then to be understood
12. Mean what you say
Clear communication is difficult for another reason. Some studies suggest that over 90% of the meaning we derive comes from non-verbal cues that one person gives to another. That means only 10% of communication is based on words we say! Clear communication is work.
“The vision is really about empowering workers, giving them all the information about what’s going on so they can do a lot more than they’ve done in the past.”
Prioritize Your Goals to Be Most Effective
While Ben Franklin’s idea, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” is agreeable, countless companies have wasted time and money on strategic plans that are collecting dust. People spend lots of time planning but very little time turning those plans into daily actionable tasks. To prioritize your goals is to put them at the front of your mind and actions. Some suggest that putting your goal in the mirror so you see it every day will make it come true. Your mission statement belongs on your mirror, and your goals and tasks associated with achieving your mission are meant for action.
Daily clarity leads to accomplishing the most important things every day. Difference Making Actions (DMAs) are the best way I have found to be clear on a daily basis. They will keep you from having a day where you feel like you are busy but getting nothing done. The following idea comes from Charles Schwab, the first American to be paid a million dollar salary.
Five Ways to Build Your Character
In order to build character in anything, you need to first notice what you are struggling with. If you are struggling with humility, find resources that can help you learn how to be more humble and practice. If you struggle with self-discipline, set goals and work towards accomplishing them in the right way.
Taking steps to build your character is no simple task. People notice those who do what is right over what is easy. It can be easy to slack off when nobody is looking and difficult to do what is right on a consistent basis. Here are five ways to build your character:
Humility is the beginning of wisdom. In order to build your character, you must be open to new ways.
Live out your principles and values.
Whether it’s “love others,” or ” do the right thing,” living by your principles will make decision making easier and your character more steadfast.
Integrity does not happen by accident. We are all products of our thoughts and habits. Be intentional about filling your mind with good thoughts. Create a habit of this internalizes principles and breeds high character.
Practice self discipline.
Being of high character takes the ability to do what is right over what is easy.
Surround yourself with people who have high expectations. Be responsible for yourself first. Lose the pride. Open yourself up to accountability. Let others push you to high character.
Continue practicing these five tips to build your character. Realize what your shortcomings are and find different ways to improve yourself. Remember a lack of trust is your biggest expense and everything of value is built on trust.
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6 Ways to Improve Competency
When we quit learning, in some ways, we start dying. No matter what degree we’ve earned, or what initials come after our name, we must find ways to improve competency on a daily basis.
The first step to increasing your personal and professional competence is to understand you have not arrived. If you believe you have no room to grow, you won’t grow. Once you see there are areas for improvement in your life, growing your competence in those areas is really quite simple.
Here are a few quick and easy ideas for improving your competence.
1. Consider every circumstance an opportunity
Napolean Hill, foremost success authority, said, “Every adversity brings with it the seed of an equivalent advantage.” If you’re willing to see every conflict, every delay, and every frustration in this light — your whole life becomes a learning opportunity.
2. Join a mastermind group
The power of a group is hard to argue. For years we’ve seen powerful leaders and thinkers emerge, not as individuals, but as groups. Surround yourself with people who are more successful, more competent, and more qualified than you — you’re guaranteed to grow your competence.
3. Find a mentor
Nearly every leader can point to a mentor who has played a key role in their success. If you don’t have a mentor, and you would like one, generally it’s just as easy as asking the question.
4. Use time wisely
So much time in our day is wasted doing mindless things: TV or YouTube videos, sitting in traffic, waiting for a meeting to start. Set yourself up to take advantage of those moments by listening to podcasts in the car, loading books onto your computer or phone for those down moments, and not allowing yourself to mindlessly watch garbage on TV.
5. Take advantage of technology
I heard of someone recently who listens to books on tape at two-times speed so he can finish them faster. Technology is constantly improving. Take advantage of the opportunities it provides to learn.
Mark Twain famously says, “The man who doesn’t read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them.” Become a consumer of good books. Read books that challenge you.
What other ways have you found to improve competency in your field?
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Own Your Day | The Daily Edge
Have you ever reached the end of a day and felt like you got nothing done? It’s a horrible feeling! Frustrating days like this leave us with a laundry list of people and circumstances that caused our unproductivity. Rewind the clock to your morning coffee and write down your current #1 push forward priority. Then write the numbers 1-5 and list the five most important tasks you can complete in order to come closer to accomplishing your goal. If you could do the frustrating day over again, chances are you would handle your meetings, conversations, and even your individual work time differently. A day in which you accomplished five specific tasks that brought you one step closer to an important goal is a great day.
Trust is a Business Asset | Trust in Business
The impact of trust on the economy can be witnessed at the corporate level. Bear Stearns, AIG, and Lehman Brothers were at one time considered trust-based businesses. Each of these companies relied on the trust of the market to establish the firm’s value. As trust goes down, value goes down. For instance, the $236 million purchase proposal for Bear Stearns by JP Morgan Chase came just hours after Bear Stearns’ market capitalization was $3 billion. Interestingly, just over a year ago that market cap was $20 billion. As trust in the market tanks, so does the value of the business.