Archive for March, 2011

Success Plan or Settle?

What is it that you really desire?

Do you know exactly what you prefer in a mate or even a date? Have you written a list of the exact height, body type, and maybe even hair color? In the case of men, you may have even specified that they do have hair. “Terry, you should call for a date at least 2 days in advance and preferably 4 or 5 days in advance,” “No, it is not flattering to be treated as a last minute Molly.” “Elaine, I don’t always know my schedule in advance. It has to be a last minute call.” Have you ever been a party to a similar discussion?

When it comes to dating or selecting a mate, many of us know the precise physical characteristics and the way we prefer to be treated on a first, second and fifth date.

When we plan our vacations, it is not uncommon to plan the exact route we will travel and probably the transportation method. We may reserve the lodging in advance and perhaps even schedule the sight seeing tours or at least the points of interest.

How many people do you know who plan their career with the same detailed precision? Do you?

Without an organized vacation plan, you might wander around until you discovered you were either out of time or out of money. You could end up stranded miles away from home or discover that you were out of time to do the things you really wanted to do. Without a success plan, you will be extremely unlikely to achieve your goals. The old adage “unless you have a plan to succeed, you are planning to fail.”

Dating follows the same principles. Unless you stay focused on the ideal you may end up settling for someone or something you did not want. Either design a specific success plan and remain focused on the ideal or you seriously diminish your chances for success.

You career objectives require the same detailed success plan. When you were in high school or a young adult, did you have dreams and goals? I did. At that point in life, everything was possible. As the years slipped by, either progress was made toward the goal or you were running in place. Have you taken a job because it seemed like a good idea at the time and found that you stayed even though you were not happy? Why stay if you are unhappy? Was it easier to stay with the known even if you did not like it than to exert the effort to change? Status quo may be easier than reaching for your dream. Ask yourself if you are settling for following your success plan. Oh yes, I have heard all of the reasons, many were cleverly disguised excuses. There were bills to pay and obligations. Where are you in your life right now? Are you truly happy and excited to pop out of bed each morning and engage in your day or are you dragging yourself reluctantly out from under the covers and moping toward the shower?

If you are on your path toward your ideal career, excellent. If you are running in place at a job which is not moving you forward in learning, income or even emotional satisfaction, stop and ask yourself a serious question. “If not now, when?”

Do you even know what your dream is anymore? I challenge you to find it and start pursuing it. Even if the success plan is a paper pursuit at this moment, allow yourself to dream and plan.

“Life is an attitude, choose to have a good one” has always been my motto. What motto are you living right now? Why? Regardless of what you choose to do, I challenge you to find something you are truly passionate able doing and follow your dreams. You may be delightfully surprised at the positive results. Instead of running in place, you may be reaching the first, second or even third mile markers in a short time.

If you need help inspiring yourself, your team or your company, hire Elaine Love to speak at your next event. Hire Elaine Love as your personal coach and mentor. Go to www.ElaineSpeaks.net or www.Elaine4Success.com. See you in the winners circle.

Visionary Leaders Influence

John Maxwell, renowned as the number one authority on Leadership, said “Leadership is influence.” Leadership has an element of performance, an element of strategic thinking and even an element of highly encouraged nudging. More than anything else, leadership becomes a matter of influencing others. You may have heard it stated that if no one is following you, you are not leading but rather taking a walk. Visionary leadership requires more than followers, it requires developing new leaders.

Genuine visionary leadership requires that others be groomed to assume the mantle of leadership. It requires passing forward the ability to influence others in a positive manner. Teaching others how to discover their own unique characteristics of leadership and helping others discover how they may best inspire and instruct other new leaders is a critical element of the process.

Influence goes beyond business and reaches its tentacles out into every aspect of our lives. Reflect for a moment whose influence you are allowing in your life. Whose thoughts, opinions and directives are you giving free rent in your head? Interesting thought isn’t it? Our five closest associates are intentionally or unintentionally influencing us every day. The mere fact that they are friends or associates indicates something in common with them. It is frequently stated that your income will be the average of your 5 closest associates. Carefully examine your associations. Does this average match with your aspirations?

If you were to step aside and put your child or a very dear loved one in your place, how would your feelings change regarding your close associates? Are these the individuals you would ideally choose to influence your child? Amazing how that changes the view of the situation. Sometimes what we are willing to accept for ourselves differs widely from what we envision for our children.

Acknowledge the good in every individual and every situation. Challenge the content of the influence if it is not aligned with your path and your goals. There can be a fine line between acceptance and challenge.

Knowing exactly what your ideal goal will look like when it is completed starts the process. Think about your life like an ideal vacation. Actually it is not uncommon for people to spend more time planning their vacations than their financial future. Your vacation has a starting point and an ultimate destination. You decide on the number of days you will be on vacation, your travel method or methods to reach the destination, where you will stay and probably which special sites you will visit along the route.

Apply this same logic to your life. You know where you are and hopefully where you choose to arrive at the end of your life. Choose carefully whose influence you will require to achieve each checkpoint on the journey. Choose one or more visionary leaders to assist you as you travel your path to victory. Unlike a vacation which may be repeated every year or every few years, your life, in my belief, is a one time journey.

This does not mean that you do not use course corrections; however, wild detours will certainly delay reaching the goal. Selecting visionary leaders whose influence smoothes the path is highly desirable.

For a leader who walks the talk and knows how to smooth your path and influence you to reach the goal you choose, hire Elaine Love to speak to your next event. Hire Elaine Love as your personal coach and mentor. Go to www.ElaineSpeaks.net or www.Elaine4Success.com.

Visionary Leadership Changes

Leadership is recorded in the American Heritage dictionary as a noun; however, in practical terms, it is a verb. To lead requires action. Nouns are persons, places or things. Verbs represent action. Leading does not mean sitting in the shade eating bon bons or taking a nap.

In the1980s the generally accepted thought pattern was that the leader set the example and people were expected to follow. The best example would be a guide leading a group of hikers up a mountain. The leader picked the trail, set the example and called a halt at periodic intervals to check in with the group.

In the 1990s leadership became more of a lead along side. Everyone was moving across the open meadow in more of a horizontal line rather than a vertical line. This represented a great theory more than reality. If you have ever seen an inexperienced group marching in a parade and carrying a long horizontal banner, you would notice that the banner was rarely at an equal height on both ends. Picture a professional basketball player carrying one end and a 4 year old boy carrying the other end. You see the angle and the difference in stride, thus the height difference and the 45 degree angle. I experienced that sight at a recent St Patrick’s Day Parade. The marchers resembled a herd of cats more than a precision drill team. It would have been even more laughable if I had not been marching with the group.

Reality reveals this same diversity in leading a group. Different individuals work at different paces and with varying degrees of creativity. Management assumes that all individuals are alike; however, leadership knows that everyone is different.

In the 2000s leadership made another shift. Leadership evolved into the team concept. Golf or skiing may be individual sports; however basketball, football and baseball are all team sports. Leadership now focuses on the group advancing together as a team.

Management was getting others to do what they did before only quicker and more cost efficiently. Leadership is inspiring people to want to do what is best for the individual as well as the entire company.

Visionary leadership involves responding to the changing needs within the economy, the company and the individual. In the 1970s there were few if any leadership books, only management books. As the decades progressed and awareness grew about the changing needs of the individual within the workplace, leaderships books emerged. Leadership itself has evolved in response to the economy and the individual.

Visionary leadership is based on ethics, integrity and authenticity. Add a dash of humanity, humility and humor and the workplace becomes a much more enjoyable and productive atmosphere.

To discover the way your company or social organization can thrive under visionary leadership, hire Elaine Love to speak to your next company meeting. Hire Elaine Love as your personal coach and mentor. Go to www.ElaineSpeaks.net or www.Elaine4Success.com.

Confidence Factor

Your most important sale is always to yourself. If you have been involved in sales training, motivational seminars or even reading mindset books, you have heard the phrase, “I am sold myself.”

Point of consideration – Whether you are selling a product or service, interviewing for a job or asking someone for a date, you must first convince yourself that you are worthy. Granted, you may stammer and hesitate when you ask the object of your affection to go out with you; however, if you do not believe in yourself, why should they believe in you?

During my years as a single lady, especially with the last name “Love,” I have encountered a wide variety of “come on lines.” The demeanor of the man ranged from shy to confident to absurdly arrogant. One of the most unique was Don A. He confidently walked into the doorway of my office at March Tire and stated his purpose, “Are you the owner’s wife?” “No,” I replied. “Are you anyone’s wife?” “No,” I stated with an amused grin. “May I sit down?” Confidence means being courteous but getting to the point of the conversation. We enjoyed each other’s company for many years.

Interviewing for a job requires you to be confident of your abilities and confident of your capability of successfully mastering the duties of the job. Be prepared to present examples of prior successes as they relate to that specific position. Answer questions honestly and clearly. There are more candidates than positions available during a challenging economy. Don’t waste your time or the interviewer’s time by not being prepared.

Selling a product or a service requires a positive mental attitude, knowledge of your product and belief in the product. It does not mean that you have to know every tiny detail of your product. It certainly does not mean that you immediately start expounding upon every bit of knowledge you do possess. Very few people, certainly no one that I know, want to be pressured by a hard sell approach. When someone accosts me with an “I will not take no for an answer” attitude, I am immediately searching for the nearest escape route. Used car salesmen, insurance salesmen and even some network marketing salesmen are reputed to be so pushy and forceful that people avoid them.

Treat others the way you wish to be treated. What type of presenter appeals to you? Personally, I prefer that someone show genuine interest in me and in my needs. How do you do that? Ask questions and actually listen to the answers. Most people love to talk about themselves. When you are confident and possess a positive mental attitude about life, you can more easily shine the spotlight on others. Asking questions about their interests and how you might help them, builds rapport. What problem can you solve for them? It is not about what you have to sell, it is all about how you can serve them and help solve their problems. You will never know exactly what problems exist unless you ask questions and listen to the answers.

Being willing to focus on the needs and interests of others is a mark of confidence in yourself and a mark of respect for others.

Exactly the same principles apply whether you are selling a product or service, interviewing for employment or seeking a date. Be confident in yourself and what you have to offer. Demonstrate genuine interest in the other person and what problem you can solve for them. Build a relationship. High pressure is a turn off. Confidence is a turn on. Caring is a positive.

Hire Elaine Love to speak to your next event. Hire Elaine Love as your personal coach and mentor. Go to www.Elaine4Success.com or www.ElaineSpeaks.net to continue the conversation. Let me know how I can assist you.

Motivational Public Speaker

She Walks the TalkIs your knowledge a well kept secret? It may be more of a secret than you intend.

Unless you are effectively connecting with your target audience, they are still unaware of your knowledge. The most brilliant mind in the universe benefits very few unless he or she is able to communicate that knowledge to others. The most exquisitely worded book will never enlighten anyone unless others have the opportunity to learn of the contents. The rich content on a well researched and crafted web page will not assist anyone unless other people know of its existence.

How well are you connecting with your audience?

Have you ever attended a “blah, blah, blah” speech? Have you ever given a “yawn” speech?

By contrast, have you ever attended a delightful speech where you laughed and paid rapt attention throughout? The humorous speech may have been presented by a professional inspirational speaker or a motivational public speaker; it was most assuredly presented by an accomplished presenter. The fun speech may or may not have had any significant message but it was certainly more enjoyable to the listening ears.

Of course the goal of any professional inspirational speaker is to inspire the listener to take action and improve their life. The height of listening comes immediately following the laughter. Entertaining the audience in order to maintain their attention provides value to the speaker and to the audience. No, it is not necessary to have the audience rolling in the aisles 90% of the time in order to make an appealing presentation; however, some mirth is certainly highly desirable.

When the audience finds themselves focusing on reading and answering their email on their iphone instead of listening to the speaker, the experience is quite likely miserable for the speaker and the audience. Any speaker who is so self-absorbed as not to notice that the audience is otherwise occupied does not deserve the platform. The platform is a privilege not to be lightly regarded.

Have you ever been in a conversation where the other person spent the majority of the time looking everywhere except at you? How did it make you feel? Not very valued, right? That is exactly how the speaker feels when the audience becomes distracted. Is that distraction the fault of the audience? Perhaps to some degree. The responsibility to hold the attention of the audience sits solidly on the shoulders of the speaker.

Ed Tate, the 2000 World Champion of Public Speaking, once drew the time slot of speaking to the late night, graveyard shift. Some of the audience arrived with pillows. Ed said, “I made up my mind that their heads would not touch those pillows.” He kept them entertained, involved and engrossed in his message. Tough assignment? Yes, but he succeeded. Ed is a professional inspirational speaker and trainer. He accepted and achieved his purpose; he regarded the platform as a privilege and a responsibility.

The audience should at least give the speaker a fair chance. The speaker must be prepared to deliver an effective presentation which connects with the audience.

How effectively are you at connecting with your audience?

If you hear snoring when you telephone your prospects, revamp your presentation. Ask questions and listen intently to their answers. Keep your audience of one or a hundred engaged. Speak to provide value in a manner which will please as well as inform your audience. Exactly the same principles of audience engagement and enjoyment apply whether you are speaking to one or one hundred. Be present. Connect with your audience.

Questions, activities and paying attention to your audience make the audience feel more valued. Share your knowledge. Allow your audience to enjoy receiving the information.

For a demonstration of a fun presentation, join me at www.Elaine4Success.com. Hire Elaine to present to your group and to coach you on effectively connecting with your audience. Speaking is fun. It should be an enjoyable experience for both the speaker and the listener

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”Elaine spoke to our top leaders from 8 states, she gave us new and positive ways to connect with people
which is EXACTLY what we wanted. Thanks Elaine”
-Tom Fajardo, State Farm