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Archive for the ‘Influence’ Category

Kingmakers Instead of Kings

Tuesday, February 9th, 2016

King Chess Piece“Great leaders and top-producing salespeople develop tremendous influence because they focus their actions on looking out for the other person’s interests and serving their needs.

They prefer to give the credit away rather than take it for themselves.

Rather than aspire to be kings, they seek to be kingmakers.

They are constantly on the lookout for ways they can add value to other people’s lives—and in the process they become enormously successful leaders, influencers, and salespeople (not to mention friends, parents, and community members).

Think about the men and women you know who most embody the above. Feel free to share with us any personal stories and examples that come to mind.

Steve Harvey and Rechecking Our Empathy

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015

Miss Universe 2015I didn’t watch the Miss Universe Pageant this past weekend. Like most everyone, however, I couldn’t help but hear what happened at the end. Yes, Steve Harvey, the very popular television personality who was hosting the event mistakenly announced the wrong person as the winner.

Obviously, while not a tragedy in the true sense of the word, it’s still a highly embarrassing and…well, just a really unfortunate thing to have happened.

Being who he is, Mr. Harvey took full responsibility and apologized. (See this excellent article by my friend, Barbara Abramson.)

And, there’s no question that he felt (and still feels) absolutely sick about it!

Twitter Insults Afire!

While there were some encouraging tweets, basically, the Twitterverse and all social media lighted up with insults and other Steve Harvey-based negative memes.

What’s disappointing is that most of these people are generally charitable, kind, and would most likely come to the aid of anyone they believed to be in need. However, they eagerly participated in the Steve Harvey pile-on, laughing at the misfortune of others.

All it really takes is a bit of thought to understand why it’s inappropriate. No, make that a bit of feeling. A bit of putting oneself in another’s place.

We seem to have lost some of that empathy of late.

Now, of course, Steve Harvey will most likely not know of any one individual’s tweet, laughter, or derision.

However, There Are Many Others

Let’s take this situation and bring it closer to home. When someone we know makes a horrible mistake at work, or says something that embarrasses him or her in the eyes of others, or commits some kind of social faux pas, what do we do?

Do we laugh (out loud or even to ourselves)? Or, do we feel badly for them? Do we stand up for them publicly or — if that’s not appropriate or possible — take them aside and at least encourage them?

Do we teach our children to FEEL for those at school who are bullied or made fun of?

Do we keep from unnecessarily shaming a person? Do we teach our children the importance of same?

These are simply human questions.

Let’s all realize that when someone makes a mistake, the chances are they already feel ashamed. Let’s not shame them further. And, yes…let’s even empathize with them.

It’s part of being human. Just like Steve Harvey.

The Gratitude Tool That Works…Every Time!

Monday, November 23rd, 2015

Thank You NotesLong before the rise of email and social media I was extolling the virtues and value of saying “thank you” with handwritten notes. While certainly not an original idea (whose Mom didn’t make them write thank you notes for gifts?) :-) they remain — in my opinion — one of the best ways to express gratitude and make another person feel genuinely good about themselves and the value they provide.

I’m often asked, “But with email so accessible and so much easier to write than a handwritten, hand-addressed, hand-stamped envelope, isn’t it so much easier to just send emails?”

Absolutely! That’s even one more reason why handwritten, personalized notes are so much more effective. Talk about distinguishing yourself — and your message — from others!

Whether sending a thank you note to a service person, their employer, a customer, your salesperson, a team member, and especially to those people who typically don’t receive acknowledgement, not only do they feel great about themselves, they feel great about you, too!  No, that isn’t why you do it — it’s simply the natural result.

Truly Treasured

When speaking about this during sales and leadership conferences I’ll often hear from successful audience members who do this regularly. One of the most common stories is their discovering that many of those to whom they’ve sent these notes…have kept them!

Yes, people often keep them! Why?

Because…

  1. they’ve been acknowledged;
  2. they’ve  been acknowledged in a powerful and personal way;
  3. they received something from you they most likely have never received before.

In his excellent book, Creating Magic (highly recommended!!) former Executive Vice President of Operations for the Walt Disney World® Resort, Lee Cockerell — an avid note writer — shared a very touching story of a team member who had his note framed…and hung in his home!

Powerful!

While I have a specific format for my personalized notecards, there’s no one correct way.

What’s key is forming the habit of sending them, and sending them often.

Have you experienced something similar either by being on the giving or receiving end of a personalized, handwritten thank you note?

Please feel free to share.

Leadership Lessons from Sarah McLachlan

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015

Sarah MclachlanI’m not particularly “cool.” And, when I say not particularly, I mean not at all. Hence, I was probably one of the few people not very familiar with singer/songwriter/entrepreneur/humanitarian…and leader, Sarah McLachlan.

Yes, of course I’d heard of Lilith Fair. However, I didn’t know anything more about it than that it was a massively-successful, all-women musical tour. (Refer back to first sentence.)

In 1997 Sarah founded Lilith Fair in response to the sexist world of radio and concert promotion that would not feature two female artists in a row. Why not, I don’t know. But in our often strange world it takes a pioneer; a leader to break through and set things right.

First, she booked a successful tour with fellow singer/songwriter, Paula Cole. Then, she launched Lilith Fair which turned out to be hugely successful both creatively and financially.

The vision and the guts to lead the field into unchartered territory, directly bucking the establishment is a great example of leadership right there…but let’s look at something else.

Stumbling upon the below video during a YouTube musical journey, I came to understand her magic and why she is so loved by everyone.

Take a look at this video from one of the latter Lilith Fair performances; this in 2010. She has just called the participants from that evening’s event to join her onstage. Based on many of the posts and interviews we’ve featured on this blog, what do you notice as some of her impressive leadership qualities?

Here’s what I saw:

  1. It wasn’t about her. Yes, she was the promoter. Yet, like the great leaders we study, she took the spotlight off of herself and placed it upon the others.
  2. They felt welcome. Sarah greeted everyone as though they were the most important person in the world to her. She most likely created that environment from the very beginning of her communication with them.
  3. She made the little girl feel special. My apologies; I don’t know who the adorable little girl onstage is or the context for her being there. However, I can only imagine that being onstage in front of all those people and with those luminaries — at that age — could be a bit intimidating. However, Sarah danced and sang with her, allowing her to feel totally comfortable.
  4. Acknowledgement of the audience. When she thanked the audience and advised them to drive home carefully…I got the feeling she really did care.
  5. Inclusivity. Perhaps more than anything else what came through for me was the energy of inclusivity that she inspired.

These five points alone can increase the effectiveness of any team or business, large or small.

So, Sarah has definitely joined my list of leadership heroes. What lessons have you taken from our brief look at this musical icon?

And, is there someone you know (or know of) who has done something similar within their own field of expertise?

A Great Start to Resolving Conflict

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015

Resolving ConflictRecently, I posted on my Facebook page:

“Focusing on how the *other person* views the situation is a great start to resolving a difficult interaction.”

Yet, this can be difficult because — in order to do this — we must step out of our emotional mind and into our calm and rational mind.

Not easy to do when caught up in conflict. However, those who can master their emotions and do this consistently are the most powerful and influential communicators.

Steps To Make This Happen

  1. Picture someone you know who embodies the above. It’s not a coincidence that they are very successful and highly respected.
  2. Picture yourself doing the same. Imagine how successful and highly (self)-respected you will be.
  3. Imagine future situations where you are in the midst of a very difficult interaction. The other person is becoming angry as they express their views.
  4. Imagine you — on the other hand — being very calm and in (self)-control. Now see yourself focusing on how they view the situation.
  5. Imagine yourself asking the right questions so that you fully understand, and then deciding how to proceed.
  6. See yourself handling the situation beautifully and bringing it to a win-win outcome.

Important Point: Focusing on the other person’s viewpoint is not the same thing as agreeing with them. It simply means that you are placing yourself in a better position of understanding.

I don’t think anyone phrased it any better than Dr. Stephen R. Covey in his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People when he wrote, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”

Master this and watch your influence soar. And that you won’t have to imagine!

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We love seeing all the new members of our Go-Giver Ambassadors Facebook Page. Every morning, my awesome business partner, Kathy Tagenel posts an inspiring quote from John David Mann’s and my, The Go-Giver series that is designed to start your day off right and give you something to keep in mind throughout the day. Check out today’s quote and photo at http://www.facebook.com/groups/GoGiverAmbassadors/