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You’ll only succeed in continually improving your results if you’re focused upon continually developing those who work for you – and you’ll not be able to help them to develop unless your own self-development is almost obsessional…

Here’s a selection of articles for leaders on all aspects of self-development.

The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement

The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement

This is the best book I have read in years. Hands down, no competition, no doubt – you owe it to yourself to read this excellent work. I wish I had the intellectual scope to write books like this. In this genre buster David Brooks both entertains and informs in equally high measure as he looks into the nature of success – with particular emphasis on the unseen role of the unconscious mind. He starts by building an absolutely compelling story of the lives of two characters, Harold & Erica, following them throughout their entire lives and observing everything they do to achieve ultimate success.  This account of his incredibly well-drawn characters begins before either of them were born.  He tracks them from birth through their lives to the point at which they meet, and then beyond as they become a couple and pursue success in the world.  As he tells this engaging story with his equally engaging characters, he weaves in a review of everything that has been discovered in the last several years on the role that our unconscious minds play in everything we are and everything we do: explaining it all through the lives of his characters.  All of the most important developments in neuroscience are explored and explained in a way that is incredibly accessible – and yet none of this research is in the least ‘dumbed down’.  He tracks Harold and Erica’s emotions, the development of their characters, how they think – every aspect of who they are.  Thoroughly riveting. I love science and research – but this is not a science and research book.  I love a... read more
LEADERSHIP CHARISMA – FREE AUDIO BOOK – CHAPTER: 5

LEADERSHIP CHARISMA – FREE AUDIO BOOK – CHAPTER: 5

Chapter 5 of the audio book version of ‘Leadership Charisma’ is ready to download. If you missed any earlier chapters or the introduction to this series of free downloads please browse here to catch up.  Chapter 5 is entitled ‘Control Your Mind’. To listen to or to download the latest chapter press the ‘continue’ link. Test Driving ‘Leadership Charisma’ – In Audio Form Leadership Charisma is one of the most attractive books you’ll ever read – we produced it in full color, on great quality paper, to make the content more accessible (have a look at a sample chapter here), and to allow us to provide better illustrations of key concepts. So an audio version is not the ideal test drive! However, it will give you a great insight into the quality of the content of this step-by-step guide to becoming a more charismatic, engaging and productive leader. Over the next few weeks I’m going to upload recordings of the first few chapters of the book here to my blog, one chapter per week. If I get feedback indicating any sort of interest I’ll keep the series going right to the final chapter – if not, I’ll terminate the series. Throughout the audio program I refer to an accompanying handout – this is not available with the free version: the best approach to getting your hands on the figures and illustrations I speak about would be to buy a hard copy of the book. That way you’ll get the best of the content from combining the audio and print versions. So, when you’re ready to purchase a hard copy... read more
Business Proposals – Get the Detail Right

Business Proposals – Get the Detail Right

Winning business with business proposals is all about attention to detail. It’s not enough to be a good writer – you must also be something of a strategist and even a sales psychologist. This page will direct you to an ever-growing set of modules that don’t fit easily under any of the obvious heading associated with business proposals – the nitty-gritty details that can make all of the difference in the end. Naturally, core skills like analyzing your client’s requirements, developing a Winning solution, and writing great proposals are arguably of more importance. However, the modules you can reach from this page are like the seasoning in a meal – they can make the difference between something that’s eaten and quickly forgotten and a request of “can I have some more?”. Read on… Proposal Strategy Development (Click) The Collins English Dictionary describes strategy as ‘the art or science of the planning and conduct of a war’. In the sense that you will normally have stiff competition (enemies!) for any interesting business you use business proposals to pursue, and given that both you and your competitors will use coordinated campaigns to maximize your chances of winning that business, every deal situation is just like a war. When writing proposals you will want to ensure that you plan the use of your available resources, and the conduct of your campaign, in such a way that you maximize your chances of winning. In short, you will need a good proposal strategy. Here’s a practical guide to choosing a Winning proposal strategy. Writing Proposals – Getting Your Language Right (Click) It is critical that you write your proposals... read more
HOW TO MAKE SMALL TALK

HOW TO MAKE SMALL TALK

Does your small talk ever let you down – do you ever struggle to keep a casual conversation going? For some people small talk and engaging in casual conversation comes absolutely normally – it’s as natural to them as breathing.  Nothing fazes them.  Is it nature or nurture, genes or upbringing – who knows? What I do know for sure is that if small talk and casual conversation doesn’t come naturally to you then, from time to time, you find yourself at a disadvantage if yours is a life in business – especially if you aspire to be either a leader or a salesperson. I’m one of those people who used to struggle with small talk.  I have never had much difficulty speaking when in front of a group, but for smaller casual conversations with strangers I used to have to work hard at it.  But not now – mainly because of a simple piece of advice from my Dad many years ago. The 3 small talk subjects everyone likes to talk about In ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’, a book which has dominated the bestseller lists since 1932, Dale Carnegie said ‘Speak in terms of the other person’s interests’. My Dad’s simple advice took this idea very much to heart – he said: “If you ever get stuck for what to say next to keep a conversation flowing, son, always remember the three subjects that everyone wants to talk about – me, myself and I”.  Never a truer word spoken – when you’ve got a tough conversational nut to crack, say with someone who’s reserved, someone who’s simply not... read more

‘SCREENR’ – A VERY USEFUL LITTLE TOOL

Dario Priolo, Chief Marketing officer of Profiles International, recently introduced me to a nifty little tool, Screenr. Screenr is a screen capture tool that allows you to quickly and easily create narrate screen-based presentations. With the free version, available at www.screenr.com, there’s a 5-minute time limit on the recordings – and I’ve found this limit forces you to be as brief and concise as you can when you’ve something to say.   Once you’ve made your recording you can either directly upload it to your YouTube account or even download an MP4 directly to your machine. So quick and easy to use. If you need to make longer recordings, or to make a library of your recording available online. there are a number of good value paid-for account options. Given what it does I thought I’d use Screenr itself to demonstrate the basics of how it works – check out the simple Screenr recording above. Since Dario introduced me to it I’ve used the free version it for quick ‘just in time’ training interventions, for quick briefings that would have taken me so much longer to write, for talking through a software specification for a freelancer on Elance, and even for narrated illustrations for some of my posts. A simple but useful tool for casual recorded communications. Check it out. Are there any free tools you use that really help you day to day? Please share your tips below in... read more

OPPOSITE OF A LEADER? A PESSIMIST!

Positivity is an essential constituent of inspring, engaging leadership. After a post entitled ‘A magic number for leaders’ a few weeks ago I got a lot of emails asking for more information about ‘The Losada Line’ and its usefulness to leaders wishing to develop a leadership approach that would engage their people more effectively. Here’s a 6-minute video extract from a recent talk where I spoke on the essential role of positivity in leadership. Have you ever met anyone a successful charismatic leader who had a negative outlook?   No! And you never will. Positivity and optimism are characteristics that are absolute essentials for sustained charisma – and optimistic leaders make a point of creating positive environments where people thrive. No one is attracted by someone who makes them feel less good about themselves or their situation – we don’t need anyone’s help to feel bad, we can achieve that all on our own if we want to! Inspiring and charismatic leaders impact others with the power of their positivity – that’s engaging leadership. Positivity Is Decisive Positivity is obviously a good feeling – just looking at the face of an optimistic person tells you that straight away.  Optimists glow with the positive effects of their disposition. They have endless energy, enthusiasm and belief in themselves and others. Get talking about the future with an optimist and they’ll paint you a rich picture of a much better time and place – somewhere you’d really like to be, and somewhere that you’d likely be willing to invest a little extra energy (and engagement) in reaching. We all want to be inspired in... read more

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