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~ Allen L. Howard, CLU, General Manager, New York Life Insurance Company

Archive for the ‘Success’ Category

Integrity and Honesty — For YOUR Sake

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

Integrity and HonestyIn his new book, The Leadership Crisis And The Free Market Cure, John Allison defines Integrity as, “the harmony of mind and body” and says that, as a principle, it “guides us to act consistently with our beliefs.”

After a brief but brilliant explanation regarding how one cannot act with integrity if one’s values are either contradictory or not aligned with reality, the former BB&T CEO, now CEO of the libertarian think tank, Cato Institute made what I felt was another profound point:

“Many people view integrity as some form of duty. Integrity is not a duty. It is a means to improve the probability of being successful and happy.”

I find that statement to be powerful because if one displays integrity simply out of obligation to others, he or she cannot truly be happy. It’s only when one lives in integrity because it is congruent with their own values and how they wish to relate to the world that it can lead to happiness and personal fulfillment.

The extra benefit to living with integrity is that others respect you; they trust you more…and are more likely to want to be in relationship with you.

Mr. Allison’s teaching reminded me of wisdom from another person I also greatly admire, the late, Harry Browne.

Mr. Browne, whose classic on sales is – like Mr. Allison’s book on leadership as well as a recently-reviewed book by Russ Roberts — a spectacular treatise on understanding human nature wrote:

“Honesty is not a self-denying virtue. It’s one of the greatest assets a salesperson can have.”

There are two parts to this, as well. First, you are honest not for the sake of others (though, that is also very important) but because it is congruent with your personal value system. This allows you to be happy. And, in the end, happiness is what we as human beings ultimately desire.

The additional benefit to being an honest salesperson is the degree of trust you earn from your prospective and current customers and clients. This results in their gladly buying from you and just as enthusiastically referring you to others.

Yes, living with integrity and honesty certainly makes you more valuable to those whose lives you touch and influence. It affects you, however, on a much deeper level.

Because, when it comes right down to it…

It allows you to genuinely feel good about yourself and live with a sense of joy, peace of mind, and happiness.

Your thoughts?

Position Yourself As The Authority in Your Field

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

Authority AlchemyLast post we looked at some of the key points and takeaways from the recent David Neagle Accelerate Live event Kathy Zader and I attended in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

David also brought in several terrific speakers. Two of them were the team of  Jack Mize and Brian Horn of the highly-regarded business and personal positioning firm, Authority Alchemy and hosts of the extremely popular podcast by the same name.

How does one position themselves as the expert and authority in their field? We learn, first from Jack Mize, the big mistake most make and that the answer — while somewhat counterintuitive — makes a lot of sense:

Powerful! Indeed, by taking the focus off yourself and instead advocating for your prospects and clients, you create the proper environment for your own expert positioning, or being the authority.

And, what about utilizing both traditional and online media to help in the positioning process? According to Brian Horn, who has been featured on media as far-reaching as The Howard Stern Show to Huffington Post and the major television networks, the good news is that whether your desired platform is local or national, you can build upon your small successes in order to go (and grow) big.

Great concept — “The Authority Snowball.” Love it!

What were your biggest takeaways from Jack and Brian? And, what can you begin to apply right now in order to position yourself as the Authority you know you can become?

Abundance Mindset – Powerful Influencer

Friday, November 7th, 2014

David NeagleThis week I attended Accelerate Live, a four-day event held by David Neagle. The Founder of Life is Now, Inc., David is a very highly regarded income acceleration mentor and giant in the personal development field.

Having mentored a large number of hugely-successful proteges, he has certainly unlocked the door to financial success as well as other areas where success can be defined and measured.

The entire event was extremely well-staged and choreographed, and with a support team in place — including his team of personally-trained coaches — that allowed David to do what he does best…teach from stage.

On a personal note I found it very cool that his mentor was Bob Proctor, upon whom the character Pindar in John David Mann’s and my book, The Go-Giver is loosely based.

While the event’s theme was Influence it was really all about living a life of both personal and professional success. The first two days were more about mindset; the last couple of days more about strategy. Yet, even within the strategic how-to…there was always mindset.

Why? Because it’s always about mindset. We are all human beings constantly dealing with ourselves as well as with other human beings. If we don’t feel good about ourselves; if we don’t see ourselves as winners, if we don’t feel abundant then it’s awfully difficult to influence another person that they will be better off by doing business with us.

Of the many gems shared by David here are just a few:

  • “Create in your mind what you want to accomplish, then grow into the person who accomplishes it.”
  • “Most will only go after what they think they can accomplish; not what they really want.”
  • “How does your prospective client know — just by being in your presence — that you can help them?”
  • “People hear with their ears but they listen with their emotions.”
  • “Hope or wish is {a representation of} internal or external discomfort. It doesn’t mean they want to change.”
  • “Help them get to the point where they can choose to change for themselves.”
  • “When around negative people, the moment you stop consciously rejecting it, you start subconsciously accepting it.”

An abundance mindset with a true focus on bringing value to others leads to powerful influence. Terrific event and valuable lessons!

Doing Persuasion Right

Friday, October 31st, 2014

Doing Persuasion Right - Bob BurgWe often see people say and do things when attempting to persuade that bring them the very opposite results they desire. They’ll argue, plead, beg or scream before finally walking away in anger and frustration.

It’s much more fun to watch someone really doing it right.

Even better, through observation we can use their example to more effectively handle our own similar potentially difficult situations.

It was about 8:00 a.m. as I brought my cup of coffee and a book into the lobby of the hotel. My program wasn’t until late afternoon and it seemed like a great opportunity to relax and do some reading. Sitting across from me, unaware of my presence, with a cell phone to her ear and jotting notes, was a woman with a pleasant smile on her face.

If I hadn’t been eavesdropping…er, uh, I mean sitting in a place where I couldn’t help but overhear her talking :-) I’d have thought by the look on her face that she was on a call with her spouse or best friend. She wasn’t. She was trying very diligently to straighten out an issue that left someone without some important documentation.

She pleasantly (that word again) hung up and went to the front desk to ask if they would send a fax for her. Granted, this was a wonderful, service-driven hotel, but even if not they wouldn’t have turned down her request.

She came back to the chair opposite me and, for the first time realizing I was there, very sweetly apologized for bothering me by “talking while I was reading.” I told her it was quite alright, absolutely no bother at all, and that I was enjoying watching her so excellently handle this obviously difficult situation. With a genuine sense of peace she explained that it would all be handled and that everyone involved was being very patient with her.

Influence and Persuasion Lesson: People tend to reflect your attitude right back to you. Or, “As water reflects a face back to a face, so one’s heart is reflected back to him/her by another.” (Mishlei/Proverbs 27:19)

The process included several more trips to the front desk and calls to various people. She apologized when she had to, encouraged when she needed to and smiled genuinely the entire time. Her mission — whatever it actually was — was accomplished.

Of course, before she left, I had to ask her the secret to her great attitude and way with people. She summed it up in two phrases: “I live in gratitude,” and “Most people are nice if you treat them as such.”

Simple, elegant, influential, and persuasive.

Human Nature, Happiness and Adam Smith

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

How Adam Smith Can Change Your LifeIt’s his “other classic”…the one that few in our modern times have ever read. Including most economists!

After all, how could Adam Smith, the “Patron Saint of Capitalism” have written a book dealing not with economics but with…self-help!?

Yet, the author of The Wealth of Nations did indeed write The Theory of Moral Sentiments. That book looked deeply into the connection between understanding human nature and how one can live a happy, peaceful and fulfilling life.

Fortunately, in Russ Roberts newest book, How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life: An Unexpected Guide To Human Nature And Happiness we are provided with insights into the brilliance of the 18th century Scottish philosopher. However, these have little to do with economics and everything to do with understanding life, ourselves, and others.

Roberts’ writing style is warm and friendly. He helps us understand these principles by combining Smith’s timeless wisdom with compelling, modern-day examples.

As shared previously, human nature is that we all seek happiness as we individually understand it, and within the available choices we perceive. Successful people do not deny human nature but rather respect and work within it. This means we must also take other people’s desires into consideration.

What are some of the many lessons we learn in this book that can help us to live a happier life based on Smith’s insights? Just a few include:

  • While we are inherently self-interested, “we also care about other people’s happiness.”
  • “Man naturally desires, not only to be loved, but to be {worthy of being loved}.”
  • Exactly why pursuing money for its own sake is much more likely to bring about sadness than one might even imagine.
  • Why “Self-delusion is the source of half the disorders of human life.” And, how to most effectively guard against this.
  • “Emotional interaction is a duet in which we are constantly fine-tuning our volume to match that of our fellow.” Yes, it turns out Smith was also a master of what today we would call Emotional Intelligence.
  • The VERY counter-intuitive way to make the world a better place.

The author, Russ Roberts, hosts the very popular and award-winning weekly podcast, EconTalk. A Stanford University Hoover Institution Research Fellow, he has also written three economics novels. And, he co-created the amazing Keynes-Hayek rap videos which have been viewed over seven million times on YouTube.

My concern with writing book review posts for books I’ve fallen in love with is that I cannot possibly include everything deserved in this short a space. After all, there’s a reason it’s an entire book. So, if I may, let me just suggest that, if your goal is to learn about happiness, and from two of the brightest men I’ve had the pleasure of learning from, get this book.

I love books and love wisdom — rarely have I been touched this deeply by both!!