Use this tool to Motivate You

Stale…stuck…spiritless. That is what an organization becomes when it loses its mojo.

Simply launching a new product in this hypersensitive, over-communicative society isn’t enough anymore. Opening a new building and hanging a sign out front is old and tired. Marketing to people through the “three screens” — television, computer, mobile phone—has lost its impact because people now have the power to immediately TiVo or delete you out of their space.

According to Kevin Roberts, CEO Worldwide of Saatchi & Saatchi, “You’ve got three seconds to impress me (the customer), three seconds to connect with me, to make me fall in love with your product.” That’s all you have, O Brilliant One — three seconds.

The moment customers interact with your organization, they will instantly judge if it is an authentic experience or the same old dry, dull, disjointed encounter. In their minds, it’s been there, done that.

Getting everyone on board

In my travels, I observe organizations that spend untold hundreds of millions of dollars reinvigorating themselves. Often, after launching the new television/Internet commercial, shifting their collateral material from paper to online, and announcing to the world that they are “new and improved,” customers experience and know the truth: it’s old wine in new skin.

Meanwhile, everyone inside the organization is waiting for sparks to fly and be launched into the stratosphere. Yet in a few months’ time, reality sets in and the brand “star” comes crashing back to earth. Why does this happen? Because too many organizations and leaders believe that reinvigorating with a new vision is a top-down rather than a bottom-up proposition.

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customer experience, Personal & Career Prosperity, Shift

Virtual Fist Bump – A must read book

Good morning O’ Brilliant Ones,

I just finished reading Drucker & Me – What a Texas Entrepenuer Learned From the Father of Modern Management by Bob Buford.

I learned so much about the brilliance of Peter Drucker. WOW…he was truly one of a kind. I also really enjoyed Bob’s journey and transformation as a result of Peter’s mentorship.

Click here to get your copy -

I really believe that you will enjoy it.

Live, Love, and Lead,

Simon T. Bailey

leadership, Personal Accountability

Why Introverts Make Effective Leaders

Have you ever thought that your naturally introverted tendencies may impede your growth in the business sphere?

You see extroverts around you who get what they want, and are actively socializing enough to forge connections, which is something you find difficult, and it probably makes you think that you can never get to the top if you go on like this. Well, you couldn’t be more wrong.

Some of the greatest leaders are introverts; take two of the wealthiest and most respected entrepreneurs, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, who started out with just like you, and have managed to use their quiet natures to make huge fortunes for themselves. Other great leaders like Martin Luther King and Mother Teresa are thought to have been introverts, as is Barack Obama. In fact, Dr. Jennifer Kahnweiler has carried out a long study detailing how introverts are more effective leaders than extroverts. Still not convinced? We’ll give you three reasons why this is so.

They listen more than they speak

Introverts are prone to reflection, and in everyday conversation, they listen, consider what has been said, and then speak. This is helpful in business meetings where everybody is pitching in their two cents, the introvert ponders over what everyone has said, and usually provides thoughtful and well-reasoned comment that stands out amid the cacophony and helps the meeting move forward. Listening also allows the leader to consider what everyone has to say, and they don’t go into a meeting prepared to be the loudest in order to drown out other people’s ideas. An introvert’s economy of words also means that when they do speak, everyone listens since they know it will be important.

They are prepared

Unlike an extrovert, an introvert does not leap and act impulsively. They are prone to preparation and so, they always appear to exude quiet power. No matter what the situation is, they have a placid exterior, and project a reassuring confidence. Nobody else knows how nervous or shy they may be, because their extensive preparation allows them to get through anything. Before meetings, speeches, or any important decisions, they usually list down all their points and questions, rehearse multiple times, and speak softly and slowly, which gives them an advantage in a frenzied situation. People look to them for reassurance, and that is the number criteria for an effective leader.

They Require Solitude

A well known feature of introverts is that they cannot be around people for too long, and need to spend some time alone in order to recharge. You may think that this is a bad thing in a world that functions on connections and socializing, but it is actually a great advantage. Because of social exhaustion, an introvert must spend some time mulling over what has been said and done, and in doing so, often unlocks an idea or strategy that nobody else could have. These regular breaks help fuel their creativity and innovation, allowing them to take well-reasoned approaches.

Think of Don Draper from Mad Men, and how his quiet demeanor allows him to succeed and excel in a way that is unmatchable by others around him. Think of the aforementioned list of introverted leaders, and then understand that one day, you too can be included in that list. For more information, you can read Dr. Kahnweiler’s book, The Introverted Leader or follow this link for a free audio sample of her teachings. As an emerging leader, you should be aware that you have certain qualities that set you apart, and it is your job to identify and play on these strengths.

leadership, Personal Accountability

Four Ways Cheetahs can Save Your Business

I’ve been thinking about cheetahs and hippos recently.

No, I didn’t visit the zoo. I listened to an online presentation given by distinguished Ghanaian economist George Ayittey (pronounced I-yit-tey) who is a professor at American University in Washington, D.C. In his presentation (, Ayittey stated that the future of Africa rests on the shoulders of the emerging Cheetah Generation rather than the current Hippo Generation.

He then went on to describe the Cheetahs as a new breed of Africans who take their future into their own hands and don’t wait to be empowered by government. The Hippos, in Ayittey’s opinion, have ruined postcolonial Africa. He describes them as stuck, lazy, slow, ornery, complacent and greedy.

Well, as you can imagine, I was intrigued by Ayittey’s passionate and inspired description of an emerging generation that will forever change the face of Africa. Something leaped inside of me as I thought about my country, The United States of America. I wondered, how many people – in both the current and emerging generations – see themselves as Cheetahs?

By now, I’m sure you’re wondering why the reference to cheetahs. What makes them so fantastic?

The cheetah is indeed a truly amazing animal. According to the Cheetah Conservation Fund, the cheetah is the swiftest land mammal on the planet and can reach speeds of 70 mph in mere seconds. It covers 20 to 25 feet in a single stride, with only one foot touching the ground at a time. In fact, at two points in the stride, none of its feet touch the ground!

However, what most fascinates me about this protected species that lives primarily in Africa are its unique physical characteristics:

¨        Flexible spine;

¨        Oversized liver;

¨        Enlarged heart;

¨        Wide nostrils;

¨        Increased lung capacity;

¨        Black “tear” marks under its eyes.

For just a moment, reflect on these characteristics of the cheetah, and how they relate to humans:

  • Flexibility is the key quality of all globalization and Life 2.0. As you encounter and experience change personally and professionally, can you mimic the cheetah? Can you contract, expand, bend and turn in any direction? Increase your personal productivity in business by being flexible in your decision making and moving swiftly to meet the needs of your external and internal customers. If you don’t, they will find someone else to do it for them.
  • The liver has an almost miraculous ability to biochemically transform virtually any chemical it is exposed to. It not only breaks down, stores and eliminates toxins, but also produces beneficial chemicals the body needs in order to function. The cheetah’s oversized liver is a crucial component in its highly efficient and effective physiological system. What about you? Is transformation a part of your daily language and consciousness? Are you able to transform yourself so that you can efficiently and effectively adapt to any given situation? Never be satisfied with the status quo. Instead, be a seeker of the unknown and commit to ongoing transformation.
  • While the cheetah’s enlarged heart pumps more blood to give it additional speed and power, an enlarged human heart overflows with abundance. It seeks to give rather than receive, to serve rather than be served. Enlarge your heart and infuse those around you with your spirit of optimism. Infuse your community with a spirit of service. Infuse your business culture with a “can do” attitude.
  • How big is your nose? Smile! Having wide nostrils is in vogue. Why? It means that you can pick up on the scent of opportunity and the smell of possibility. You must sense where things are heading and make split-second course corrections that will take you into the future. Improvise and innovate. Stop waiting for someone to give you the green light. You have to make something happen for yourself.
  • The cheetah strategically stalks its prey. It carefully maneuvers into a position to pounce and then gives chase with a burst of blinding speed made possible by its increased lung capacity. Do you methodically stalk what you want? Are you expanding your capacity so that when the time is right, you can muster the speed and the skill to give chase and capture your dreams? Expand your capacity by improving yourself one day at a time. Identify the cheetahs in your life and learn from them. Do what is in front of you with all your might. Take on what you have rejected in the past for what you will become in the process.
  • You may be wondering about the black “tear” marks which run from the inside corner of the cheetah’s eyes, down the sides of the nose to the outside of its mouth. Their purpose is to keep the sun out of the cheetah’s eyes to aide in hunting. How do you keep the sun – i.e., distractions – out of your eyes so that you can stay focused on your heart’s desire? Ignore the naysayers and Brilliance Blockers. Rid yourself of all excuses that prevent you from stepping into your brilliance. Accept personal responsibility for where you are and how you think.

The Cheetahs are coming – into your organization, your community, your social circle – and they are hungry, focused and willing to step up. Will you be one of them?

If you’re not one already, decide today to become a cheetah in your thinking. Move it…Move it…Get to it! If you don’t, you will forever stare at the rear end of a Hippo!

Live, Love, and Lead

Simon T. Bailey

Personal Accountability, Shift

Igniting your passion through emotional (and rational) commitment

An important aspect of igniting your passion is making an emotional commitment — on top of a rational one.

What is the difference? Rational commitment is the “what” you agree to give an organization when you’re hired — your time and energy in exchange for financial compensation, professional development, and a chance to fulfill your career ambitions.

Emotional commitment is the “why” — the passion and the purpose behind the work. It’s what keeps you in the relationship with the organization. When you are emotionally committed, your confidence increases and your heart flutters with complete satisfaction as you enjoy your professional utopia.

According to a study by the Corporate Leadership Council, emotional commitment drives discretionary effort. The authors surveyed 50,000 employees from 59 different organizations in 27 countries, representing 10 industry groups. They revealed that discretionary effort means being willing to take on more work, offering to assist others when they are overloaded, or going the extra mile without anyone asking.

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leadership, Personal & Career Prosperity, Shift

How to become a CBO (Chief Breakthrough Officer) like Sheryl Sandberg and Indra Nooyi

After every breakup, there is a breakdown. And after the breakdown, there is a breakthrough.

When you tap into your passion, you will inevitably find yourself in a creative place, enjoying your work, and embracing your life. All this positive energy will inevitably lead to new discoveries, new ideas, and new solutions to old problems.

I was recently in the Delta Sky Club in Atlanta and happened to pick up a magazine. Inside was an advertisement to be a CBO (Chief Breakthrough Officer) by attending an executive course offered at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

We live in a knowledge economy. Organizations realize that their competitive edge lies in what their people have between their ears. Innovation is found within the minds of human beings.

Click here to read the rest - How to Become a Chief Breakthrough Officer


How to drive value and inspire your team

As the world changes, emerging leaders must move with the flow or risk being left behind. An organization can no longer remain complacent simply by developing a solid base of top-level managers and leaders to steer the company.

The new wave of leadership is geared toward continually discovering ways to drive value for the organization as a whole, pushing the envelope to achieve new heights, and inspiring everyone around you. In the process, this triggers chain reactions. Increased productivity has taken a whole new meaning.

While this wind of change does bring a lot of positives, it also means things have gotten much tougher for emerging leaders than they used to be. If you are an emerging leader and are readying yourself for a C-suite executive position in the near future, prepare yourself for one heck of a ride.

Click here to read the rest - Learn how to Drive Value and Inspire Your Team

leadership, Shift
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