What Do You Want In 2014?

This is the time of year when we think about and talk about goals.

I wrote down six goals for 2013 around this time last year. I accomplished half of them. That’s 50% (I just did the math in my head).

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Some people might look at that and think that I failed. But I can’t believe how successful I feel. I made great progress this year and I am grateful for all of the work I put in. Even on those goals that I didn’t accomplish.

Here are some of the lessons I learned during the year while attempting to achieve my six goals. They’re not in any particular order. I hope you find them helpful as you reflect on what you accomplished in 2013 and for what you hope to achieve in 2014.

Hacking The Passion Gap

This is a guest post by Mike Myatt, author of the new book, Hacking Leadership.

Review any list of positive leadership traits and “passion” will undoubtedly rank near the top – rightly so. In most cases passion is an asset capable of carrying you through tough times, sharpening your perspective, revealing purpose, and helping you succeed in the face of overwhelming odds.

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You’ll find no shortage of content describing the positive attributes of passion, but few examine the downside of passion, and trust me, there is a downside. On more than a few occasions I’ve witnessed passion run amok resulting in untold harm. Virtually any positive trait when taken to extremes, misunderstood and/or misapplied can quickly become a liability.

You’ll find no argument from me that passion can almost single-handedly propel leaders to new heights of success. History is littered with accounts of marginally talented individuals who have risen to greatness based upon little more than being passionate about the pursuit of their objective. 

Time To Take A Leadership “Selfie”

The word “selfie” has been declared the Word Of The Year for 2013 by Oxford Dictionaries.

I am simply reporting that as news. I’m not sure if it’s good news.

The BBC reports it this way…

To qualify, a word need not have been coined within the past 12 months, but it does need to have become prominent or notable in that time. “Selfie” is defined by Oxford Dictionaries as “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website”.

Bolstered by social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and especially, Instagram, the #selfie phenomenon is creating a collage of self-portraits. It’s never been easier to capture yourself in the moment and share it with the world.

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The tools are easily at our disposal. We have cameras on our phones that we can point at our faces and see what we’re shooting. If you don’t like what you look like you can delete and try again. Or you can apply a filter to make the pretty parts prettier and the not-so-pretty parts…blurrier or grainier or…well…so many options.

I’m not necessarily down on the selfie. It’s actually a good substitute if you can’t find a mirror and you want to see if you still have a bit of popcorn in your teeth.

How To Inspire Others Without Saying A Word

Don’t underestimate the power of your example.

I’m often asked: Is example enough?

What do you think?

» Does the boss who says one thing and does another influence you?
» Does the person whose private life would destroy their public life seem like the type of person we want in leadership?
» Does the classroom, the lecture, the PowerPoint slides seem like the best way to learn?

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We can all see where example is powerful. A positive example is more valuable than a positive statement. It’s powerful because it is belief in action. It’s inspirational. It models behavior that can be imitated.

It can be difficult to prove something you believe. It’s a lot easier to point to a moment where you acted on that belief. 

Be Bold: Your “Future Best”

This is a guest post by my friend, Jeff Shore. Jeff is a highly sought-after sales expert, speaker, author and executive coach

“I do not try to dance better than anyone else.
I only try to dance better than myself.”
~Mikhail Baryshnikov

Your best is not the same as the highest you can achieve!

At some point in your childhood, you were probably told to “do your best.” While not bad advice, this phrase contains some potentially negative implications.

Perhaps most importantly, “do your best” is often delivered with the word “just” tacked on the front of it or at least with the spirit of the word attached. In this context, the word ‘just’ means: only, simply, or merely. Hmmm. Notice an opening for the concept of mediocrity there?

Challenged To Do More By Doing Less

I never realized I was doing it wrong for most of my life. It seemed obvious to me that you peeled a banana by pulling on the stem. Then one day, someone explained to me that there was a better way. I needed to start peeling a banana like the monkeys do.

It really is easier to peel a banana this way. My life will never be the same.

It’s this kind of AHA moment that has inspired me to slow down and try to do less. You see, I used to think that in order to be more effective, I needed to do more. I thought “more” was the path to “effective.” But that’s not true – “effective” is the path to “effective.” And in order to be effective, I need to do less.

Effective Offline Brand Strategies

This is a guest post by Rachel Matthews

Online marketing is all the rage these days and for good reason. Each day, more people are turning to the internet in search of the products or services they need. However, an effective brand marketing strategy should be multi-dimensional. Effective brand marketing involves not only making your business visible but also building trust in your brand.

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photo credit: pasma via photopin cc

Don’t neglect offline marketing strategies or you will end up losing potential customers. Here are some effective offline marketing strategies that will complement your online efforts by helping to build trust in your brand while making it more visible.

The Heart Of Leadership: Book Giveaway

I am grateful to be a part of the launch of Mark Miller’s latest book, The Heart of Leadership. I will tell you how you can enter into my giveaway for a free copy of the book below.

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The basic question each leader must answer is this: Are you the type of leader people want to follow?

The Heart of Leadership identifies five specific leadership character traits required for maximum influence and impact, and shows how to cultivate them.

In this fourth book of Mark Miller’s leadership series, readers are reunited with Blake Brown, an ambitious young man passed over for a promotion he desperately wants. With the help of his mentor and friend, Debbie Brewster, Blake begins to understand what leaders need to truly make a difference in the world. Debbie uses real life situations to steer him towards the practical path to moving forward in his career, and Blake ultimately realizes that the most effective leader has a willingness to serve others.

Where does this willingness come from? It comes from the heart.

This book focuses on a leader’s character. Like I’ve said before, you can be a leader without character…just not for very long.

You can download a sample chapter by going here.

You can also help Mark get the word out about this book by going here.

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Weaving Influence has partnered with Mark Miller and provided me with five copies of The Heart of Leadership to give to my readers. To earn your chance at snagging one, you must take the following two actions:

1. Leave a comment below. Answer the question at the bottom of this post.
2. Fill out the special form. I have set up a separate contact form to make it convenient for you to provide your mailing address. Please do not put your shipping address in your comment. This will automatically disqualify you. Please note that I can only ship to addresses in the United States.

On Monday, October 28, 2013, I will select five people at random. If you are one of those selected, I will notify you via email. If you don’t hear from me, you can assume you were not selected.

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UPDATE: The giveaway has ended. Thank for all who participated. While you won’t receive a book, I would encourage you to leave a comment below and add to the conversation!

Question: How does who you are as a leader impact what you do as a leader?