Wednesday, September 29, 2010

What it takes to be an effective and successful leader?

A good leader is someone who achieves results! Winston Churchill, Richard Branson and Mother Theresa all had radically different leadership styles. However, they each achieved results in their own way.

There is no magic or mystique to leadership, great leaders are not born nor are they specially gifted at influencing people. They are simply people who are passionate about being a great leader and they are willing to do the little things that matter. That's what makes a good leader.

Timeless Advice
How to Win Friends and Influence People is one of the first bestselling management books ever published. Written by Dale Carnegie and first published in 1937, it has sold 15 million copies globally. The ‘little things’ he believed made a great leader were

1. Begin with praise and honest appreciation.
2. Call attention to other people's mistakes indirectly.
3. Talk about your own mistakes first.
4. Ask questions instead of directly giving orders.
5. Let the other person save face.
6. Praise every improvement.
7. Give them a fine reputation to live up to.
8. Encourage them by making their faults seem easy to correct.
9. Make the other person happy about doing what you suggest.

So, the answer the question what makes a good leader?
A good leader is someone who is willing to make the changes to the way they work by attempting different techniques and learning from their experiences. Is this you?

Friday, September 24, 2010

How much Propinquity do you create when networking?

What a great word, no, not ‘networking’ but a word I have recently been introduced to – propinquity. For those who don’t know the meaning of the word, let me share.
Propinquity means physical or emotional proximity, a kinship between people, or a similarity in nature between things. Two people living on the same floor of a building, for example, have a higher propinquity than those living on different floors, just as two people with similar political beliefs possess a higher propinquity than those whose beliefs strongly differ.

When we attend business events our key objective should be to build new or on existing relationships. When you find you support the same team, have the same aged children or both love scuba-diving then you have found common ground; you’ve created propinquity. When this situation arises and you find someone who may need your services or products in due course you have to be a preferred supplier when the right moment comes.

We get people to like us when we show genuine interest, ask motivating questions and give our full attention throughout the conversation.
Let the other person do most of the talking; be a good listener and encourage others to talk about themselves. (From ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie).

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I can't be bothered to network today!

Some say networking is a core business skill. I see it as something we do every day. it is simply building new relationships or on existing ones. It is not just a skill for sales and marketing people but also a skill for everyone in whatever line of business they are in. Since it has become a 'must-do' part of business it has however been adopted by people who confuse it with 'selling'. They hand out their business card as though they are on a mission to beat a record they created at the previous event. A numbers game for many, 'networking' is now a functional task, something we can switch on or off…all so wrong.
Penny Power founder of Ecademy recites the story, “ The other day, at 7.15am in the morning on my train to London I had someone selling me 'CRM Software', he launched straight into his pitch, silently being mocked by onlookers. He excused himself by saying to me 'you're a networker aren't you; you know what it is all about!'
That sad little man with his sad little view of life was actually trying to transact, not network.”
Networking is being friendly, it is being open to people and listening and chatting about random events and thoughts. It is not a transactional opportunity. The skill of networking is to have no agenda at all. The only motive should be to listen and learn from the person you are meeting and listen out for aspects of their life that you identify with or know someone who would. Where you spot an opportunity, think ‘help’ not ‘sell’, keep asking questions and when you feel it may be worth a follow up get-together ask permission to call to arrange.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Don't network, don't succeed! Fears and concerns...continued

Fear of Rejection

Most people won’t make that first move for fear of rejection. Fear is an acronym; it stands for False Expectations Appearing Real. We walk into that room full of negatives. ‘No-one will talk to me’ ‘I am not going to be interesting’ ‘What if I’m judged and found wanting?’ Most people are friendly and polite so leave those words behind when you arrive.
All I say is believe in yourself walk in and tell yourself you are a nice person and remember most other people are nervous. If it is a business event they want to meet you like you want to meet them

You will meet the rare lesser-spotted R.I.P. This is the rude ignorant pig who will reject you, walk off or just ignore you. Give them short thrift and when you encounter that behaviour…move on.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Don't network, don't succeed! Fears and concerns...continued

Fear of the Unknown

Walking into a room where you have been before and knowing no-one is scary. I hate walking into a room full of strangers so I always avoid it. How? Simply by planning my day carefully and arriving early. I have presented for a decade asking tens of thousands how they feel and I can confidently say 98+% of people have similar fears
Every room you have ever been in and every event you attend in the future is always formatted in exactly the same way. There will never be more than 6 formats. There is the single person standing against the wall. Couples stand in open and closed formats as do trios. Then there is the scary groups of four or more. My advice is avoid the closed-formatted groups unless you know someone in there. Approach singles or open groups with a smile, good eye contact with a phrase like “Please may I join you?” or “Please may I introduce myself?”

On Friday 10th September we will go through the 'fear of the rejection'.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Don't network, don't succeed! Fears and concerns

Apart from the negative press networking has created, we all have 3 basic primeval fears when it comes to walking into a room full of strangers.
1. Fear of failure
2. Fear of the unknown
3. Fear of rejection.

Let me share with you some tips and ideas to help you overcome those fears which should then give you more confidence to attend more events

Fear of failure

You won’t fail when you spend time asking good questions, listening carefully and following up in a professional manner when an opportunity arises. When you focus on the other person and show interest people start to like you quickly. You need to be genuinely interested and when the conversation comes to an end move on in a polite manner. When you hear something you don’t understand ask them to explain in more detail what they mean. People love talking about themselves and showing they know something you don’t. This will endear you to them. You only fail when you don’t turn up, you do too much talking, you are impolite or, in my view worst of all, don’t follow up when you think you could move the relationship to it’s next stage. When you ask permission to contact someone after an event and they say ‘yes’ no-one will ever accuse you of pestering or annoying them.

On Wednesday 8th September we will go through the 'fear of the unknown'.