Relaxation Day!

Relaxation Day!

Mark National Relaxation Day (August 15), on your calendars! This day serves as a reminder to take it easy. Making time for relaxation is not only beneficial for mood, but also has long-term benefits. Stress can cause many problems and common illnesses. Leaders who know how to relax have a better handle on their good mental, emotional and physical health.

Life can be very fast pace at times and we all need a day to celebrate like this one. So go ahead, you can let yourself have this day for yourself. You deserve it. Just kick back and relax. Get rid of that hectic lifestyle and enjoy this day. 

If you need ideas, check out the following 10 tips on relaxing to make celebrating this holiday a breeze:

Simplify!

Simplify!

It is said that simplicity is the virtue of removing the extraneous to reveal the essence.

The beginning of August is National Simplify Your Life Week. Entrepreneurs and business professionals can use this period to streamline their work and home life. That's because simplicity is a test of whether you're clear about your priorities.

Our immediate environment is a reflection of our mindset - a neat and organized office reflects the discipline with which we approach our vocation. Clutter, on the other hand, betrays our sloppiness. Today I’m sharing 3 suggestions on how to simplify. 

Clarity for Change

Clarity for Change

We started the month of July sharing 3 obstacles to change: Negativity, Exclusion, and Confusion. Then followed up with how to turn Negativity into Positivity, and Exclusion into Inclusion. Today we are sharing why clarity is important for change and how to have clarity instead of confusion. 

A lack of clarity makes us feel uncertain, so rather than risk making a mistake, the natural human response is to say 'NO'! Learn how to use clarity for change.

Inclusion

Inclusion

Traditionally, many organizations think of the term inclusion as part of their diversity efforts. I want to share what Federick Miller and Judith Katz, Ed.D — who did a joint presentation at an Organizational Development Network Conference a few years back —  consider inclusion to be. They see inclusion as an inclusive value system that needs to become part of the organizational culture.

As a leader you are responsible for helping people feel included, to feel part of the “we” that forms the organization. Today we’ll share Inclusion’s three main components:

How to turn Negativity into Positivity

How to turn Negativity into Positivity

Negativity is one of the main roadblocks to personal and organizational change. Negativity can work as a virus “infecting” everybody. Today we are going to see how you can conquer negativity by encouraging and sustaining a positive culture that promotes positive attitudes and feelings. Organizations that encourage a culture of positivity, flourish. 

Setting the standard for a positive culture should be a major focus for leaders in any organization. Here are a few strategies for creating and maintaining a positive work culture. They are based on common threads running throughout published research, scholarly articles, and my own experience in organizations.

3 Obstacles that can derail your change efforts

 3 Obstacles that can derail your change efforts

If you are trying to implement any kind of change, for yourself or for your organization, and are having a hard time doing so, this post is especially for you.

As I go into different organizations a common complaint I hear is how much people resist change. Do you also think change would be a lot easier if there were no resistance to it?  

Today we talk about how eliminating 3 obstacles can greatly improve the success of change.

Beyond Holidays and Long Weekends: Independence equals Responsibility

Independence Equals Responsibility

Independence Day around the world usually involves grand ceremonies and epic celebrations — and rightfully so! Commemorating the birth of a nation is an occasion of joy. It also makes for the perfect opportunity to reflect upon our own reasons for celebrating.

The idea of independence has evolved from being a political ideology fought for by our forefathers, to a personal mantra we now live by. It has become a mindset we all aspire to apply in our lives. It represents the freedom to fight for what is most important to you, to be liberated from what you see as negative and to create a personal and business life that is most ideal to you.

Having experience lack of freedom growing up in communist Cuba, I am very appreciative of the fact that I am now a citizen of this country (USA) and therefore, I can live in freedom.  I feel so fortunate to live in what I believe is the greatest country in the world. But, I am also concerned by what I have been seeing lately with regard to those who are abusing their freedoms by mistreating others in so many arenas without giving it a second thought. I'm saddened by those that feel they have the freedom to express their own opinions, but feel that anybody with a different opinion is "evil," or "wrong." 

Therefore today I want to reflect on how independence and responsibility have to go together for a country, a business, or a family to experience true freedom.

What does it mean to be independent?

in·de·pend·ence: To have the power to do things on your own; to be able to choose your own path without anyone telling you what you can or can’t do; to have the privilege to be heard by others and the ability to act upon those words.

With freedom and independence comes the right to do and be and live as we choose.  We are free to choose our political views, our religions, our work, etc.  We have the right to vote for whom we wish to represent us and what laws should govern us. 

For many, their responsibilities stop with making sure they have their "rights."  They want their freedoms as long as they don’t have to do anything to earn them or support them or work for them.  They want peace in the world but that is for someone else to figure out how to get.  They want  many things in their lives but are not willing to work for it in the same way as so many before us who fought for our independence and who struggled to make a life for themselves and their families in this land of opportunity.

What about Responsibility?

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Responsibility is a character trait by which a person is able to respond for his actions, is able to take up duties and to face the consequences of the actions that may occur. Oxford dictionary defines responsibility as the state or fact of having a duty to deal with something or of having control over someone.

You are not born responsible.  Responsibility has to be cultivated; it has to become a part of your personality. Lack of such a trait of character or even its absolute absence was never considered to be a positive feature. When you are responsible it is easier to gain the respect of yourself and others.  

Life is full of choices, and what you make of them determines your entire experience. Sometimes you may swim against the current, and other times you may go with the flow. Recognizing that the outcome of your life is a product of your decisions is what accepting personal responsibility is all about.

You can choose to be the victim of your world, blaming—complaining and finding excuses for your choices—or you can take responsibility for achieving your goals and accepting responsibility.  Owning your choices and accepting responsibility increases your self-esteem and elicits positive emotions of empowerment.

Taking responsibility Is the highest mark of great leaders

Great leaders have the mindset that says, “I am the person who must make this happen,” whether it stems from your belief or because your job requires this of you, or there is some social force binding you to this obligation.

      What is responsible behavior?

The responsible leader exhibits this behavior in multiple directions. It influences how the leader behaves with subordinates; it affects the relationship with an immediate boss and with other departments in the organization. Finally, it encompasses an overall set of values and attitudes an all aspects of the leader's life.

      With subordinates. . .

  • leaders manifest the quality of responsible behavior through a willingness to take charge and not shirk from decisions.
  • It means staying on top of problems and not assuming someone else will step in.
  • It means having a results-based view of the leader’s role. No matter how great a human being you are, your effectiveness is ultimately defined by the results your team produces. The responsible manager ensures the group successfully drives for results.

      With upper management. . .

  • Accepts criticism for mistakes. Takes steps to fix problems and make amends with those who have been inconvenienced. Doesn't blame subordinates.
  • Acts as a buffer from pressures that come from above or outside, and fends off unreasonable demands.
  • Informs in a timely manner those at higher levels of performance shortfalls and needed resources.

      With other departments. . .

  • ensures that activities do not fall between the cracks between departments. Does adequate communication and follow up.

      What is a responsible attitude?

A responsible attitude involves having an overall attitude of responsibility. It begins with the leader’s visceral connection with the organization. The leader feels pride when the organization succeeds and is obviously pained during challenging periods. The bond is strong.  Personal goals always are subordinated  the broader organizational needs.

A responsible attitude includes doing things for which there is no immediate reward, but that are in the organization’s best interests. For example, many companies have found no efficient way to reward executives who take the time and energy to develop upcoming leaders. Fortunately, many leaders continue to take that role very seriously, despite the fact they may never receive any tangible recognition or reward for this work.

Remember. . .

As a leader, You will have more power when you earn it through your responsibility.  The combination of your responsible behavior with your responsible attitude gives you powerful influence, and accelerates your leadership growth.

Happy 4th of July!

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7 Mistakes that crush effective business communication-1

7 Mistakes that crush effective business communication-1

Effective business communication costs very little and the results can transform both you and your business. Communication and interpersonal skills are at the top of the list of what matters most today in leadership. Yet there are costly communication mistakes that are behind some of the worst problems leaders encounter. By learning to correct them, you will save time and money, your influence will increase, and you will have better relationships.

Today I'm going to share the first 3 and next week the next 4 mistakes.

The Effective Ripple Effect of Dialogue

The Effective Ripple Effect of Dialogue

June is Effective Communication Month!

Since that is one of my most favorite topics, I will spend the month of June sharing important principles and practices that can encourage more effective communications in the workplace.

As human beings we spend most of our time taking in the world and making sense of it through that everyday civilized activity we call “conversation.” We’re wired for dialogue and, under the right circumstances, getting engaged in a good conversation is among the most automatic and irresistible of human activities.

If this is true, how come leaders don’t use this powerful tool more?

How to lead a healthy workplace for employers and workers

How to lead a healthy workplace for employers and workers

Workers represent half the world’s population and are the major contributors to economic and social development. Their health is determined not only by workplace hazards but also by social and individual factors and access to health services.

Why should you find ways to promote a healthy workplace? Dr. Maria Neira says it succinctly in a very practical way: “The wealth of business depends on the health of workers.” (Director, Department of Public Health and Environment, World Health Organization).

4 Tips For Managing Stress, Anxiety, and Depression in the C-Suite

4 Tips For Managing Stress, Anxiety, and Depression in the C-Suite

When it comes to mental health, high-pressure roles and leadership traits, Dennis Miller has been there, done that. Here are four tips taken from his personal experience to help you and your colleagues manage the pressures of the C-Suite life

7 Leadership Lessons from being a Mom

7 Leadership Lessons from being a Mom

Being a mom has been, and continues to be, one of the greatest joys of my life. I’ve experienced many highs, suffered through some lows, doubted myself, learned much, and have been stretched to grow in ways I couldn’t have imagined when I first started this journey almost 40 years ago. 

As I reflect this mother’s day on the lessons that have taught me to be a better mother, I realize that many of the same principles apply to being a trusted and successful leader. Here are 7  leadership lessons I’ve learned from being a mom. . .

The shocking truth about executive mental health

The shocking truth about executive mental health

May is mental Health Awareness Month, observed since 1949. This seems like a great springboard to get people talking and thinking more about mental health and leadership. Therefore, for the rest of the month my blog posts will speak about this.

Because leadership is hard work that requires immense sacrifice, many times CEOs are treated like heroes to celebrate or gods to worship. This mode of thinking perpetuates the pressures put on CEOs to be superhuman, and conceal their vulnerabilities and challenges behind closed doors, with some times fatal consequences. But when the cameras aren’t rolling, the immense pressures of the job and the psychological extremes needed to get there start to reveal themselves.