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?

E. Roosevelt quote-freedom requires responsiblity.png

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!





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.

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. . .

       Come clean: It's National Honesty Day!    April   begins with a day that celebrates falsehoods –   April Fool’s Day  . End it with a day that celebrates and acknowledges the importance of honesty – Honesty Day.   Celebrated annually on April 30, the day was created in the early 1990s by M. Hirsh Goldberg, the former press secretary to the state of Maryland in the United States and author of  The Book of Lies..   Honesty does not need to be a lonely word, or celebrated only once a year. Truthfulness can increase trust and also strengthen relationships and make them more productive.   WHY WE LOVE NATIONAL HONESTY DAY    A. Honesty builds trust   Honesty goes a long way. People get ahead by making the right choices and showing that they are trustworthy. This builds trust, which is essential for teamwork.   B. The worst truth is better than the best lie   Sometimes when you lie, it can start a snowball effect, and you're ultimately found out. Trust in the notion that the truth always finds a way to surface, so just own up.   C. We can’t read each other’s minds   Being honest doesn’t just mean telling factual truth, but also being truthful about the way you’re feeling. When we don't tell the truth, we leave a lot to supposition, which many times only complicates communication.    SUGGESTIONS FOR CELEBRATING NATIONAL HONESTY DAY    1. Answer questions truthfully all day long     Go on, try your best to keep truthful. It shouldn’t be that difficult if you’re a good soul.   2. Open up to someone truthfully   Been holding something back, aching to tell someone something important? Go for it today. Some times being truthful can be uncomfortable, but ti's always the best policy.   3. Be more transparent   If you’re a leader in the workplace, it’s a good time to be transparent by communicating less over email and become more personally engaged with your employees via face-to-face and/or video interaction and with greater frequency. This will not only build trust, but more importantly set-forth a precedent that will establish a new type of loyalty and attitude that will ripple throughout the organization.   SOME INTERESTING FACTS    NATIONAL HONESTY DAY -  SURVEY RESULTS       
























     Seems that lying has plague humans. For example, just in our country, there have been lies even from some of our most cherished historical figures.  Here are just a couple of M. Hirsh Goldberg's findings about historical lies:  * Our most revered figures are suspect. Benjamin Franklin, author of Poor Richard's Almanac who preached that ''a penny saved is a penny earned,'' lived lavishly while in Europe and admitted to a dirty little secret: Frugality, he said in 1782, was ''a virtue I never could acquire in myself.''  * J. Edgar Hoover repeatedly fudged the truth to build up the FBI and himself by making the bureau and himself appear to be instrumental in the capture of highly visible criminals, such as Machine Gun Kelly and the kidnapper of the Lindbergh baby, both of whom were caught without the FBI.  We perceive and are concerned with the increase in deceit and deception in society today. Cheating on income taxes is now the biggest crime in America, dwarfing drug trafficking. The Federal treasury now loses upward of $88 billion a year from under-reporting of income and other tax evasions. Politicians, and even the media lie on a regular basis.  The political landscape is getting shadier. The public seems to be losing faith in its elected representatives. A Parents magazine survey found that after the last national election only 10 percent of those surveyed believed the presidential hopefuls had been honest.   The savings-and-loan scandal, the insider-trading practices on Wall Street, consumer scams (fraudulent telephone selling schemes now cost the public $1 billion a year) -- all plague our nation and cost government and the private sector dearly.  If you buy a used car or truck, you now stand a one-in-five chance of being the victim of odometer rollback. And your health-insurance premiums are being forced up because fraud now costs the health-care industry an estimated $10 billion a year. False or inflated claims are said to be escalating, and the fraud is not so much by patients as by the health-care providers themselves.  I'm sure you can think of many other examples. A National Honesty Day may not stem such a tide, but it can help renew and refresh our sense of values and ethics.    Remember. . .    Today, and always, b  e truthful. Embrace truth and honesty.   Leadership needs to have trust at its base. Having open dialogue where everyone can feel safe and free to speak their truth is the best way to build trust. I invite you to learn more about the Do's and Don'ts Dialogue attractively presented in an infographic.     

Come clean: It's National Honesty Day!

April begins with a day that celebrates falsehoods – April Fool’s Day. End it with a day that celebrates and acknowledges the importance of honesty – Honesty Day.

Celebrated annually on April 30, the day was created in the early 1990s by M. Hirsh Goldberg, the former press secretary to the state of Maryland in the United States and author of The Book of Lies..

Honesty does not need to be a lonely word, or celebrated only once a year. Truthfulness can increase trust and strengthen relationships and make them more productive.

Get Better at Stress!

Get Better at Stress!

Numerous surveys and studies confirm that occupational pressures and fears are far and away the leading source of stress for American adults and that these have steadily increased over the past few decades.

Since stress is so prevalent, I want to pass on to you a wealth of information I recently discover about dealing with stress

When I realized that this month is celebrate diversity month I decided to write a blog about it. The problem I encountered, though, is that the word diversity has many meanings, depending on context and experience. It also has negative connotations because some look at it as if you are for diversity, you must be anti-white male.

It should not be that complicated! Here is the thing, humans are ALL different and diverse. So, instead of getting caught into the whole controversy about diversity as mandated, encouraged, trained, etc., I decided to candidly share what it means to me.

Why leaders need brain awareness

Why leaders need brain awareness

This past week was International brain awareness week. Many leaders coast through life on automatic pilot and never stop to become aware on how they can optimize the power of their brains tp be better leaders.  

It turns out that the brains of effective leaders exhibit similar electrical patterns. Subjects rated "inspirational" by their employees generate high levels of coherence in the right frontal part of the brain. That's the region which is responsible for interpersonal communication and social relationships. It's the region where language and interpersonal capabilities such as empathy, co-operation and strategizing happens.