Category Archives: Choices

Three Ways to Become One of the Cool Kids, Part III

The three P’s of Empowerment are:

  • Preparedness
  • Principles
  • Promises

My most recent posts have been about becoming one of the cool kids after my District 2 win in the International Speech Contest. In case you’ve missed them: Part 1  Part 2

This post focuses on the third P – Promises.

PROMISES:

Promises and commitments are harbingers of happiness. Empowerment happens when we live true to the promises and commitments we make.

In the midst of my childhood and experience with abuse; and even into the healing phase of my abuse years later, I always knew if I just made good decisions that I would have a chance to be happy. I counted on blessings from God if I obeyed His will. I also felt that if I didn’t keep my promises to Him, that I would be forfeiting possible blessings.

That being said, I have had many trials. In fact, it seems that I’ve had more challenges than most. But maybe we all feel that way. In the midst of these challenges, I’ve wondered when the blessings were going to come. I was preparing as best I could; I was living by my values and principles; l was doing good for/to others – when would I be blessed?

There is a song written by Ryan Miller, Adam Gardner and Brian Rosenworcel that fits my life, and even the current situation I’m in as I prepare for the next level of speech competition in Las Vegas to an international audience. These three men just happen to be members of my favorite alternative pop band, GUSTER.

I share with you the words of this song, with an opportunity to listen to them as well. Can you tell why this song might have some appeal to me?


 “ALL THE WAY UP TO HEAVEN

He said to only look up; He said to never look down

Down is where we came from

He said to hope for the best; and take a load off my chest

Soon I could be happy

And go all the way up to heaven; and go all the way back home

He thought I might need his help; no one gets high on themselves

I just seemed so lonely

He’s just trying to be nice; and spread around his advice

I could be that happy

And go all the way up to heaven; and go all the way back home

Stay the way I am today, it’s certain more disaster

He can tell a fairy tale, it’s happily ever after

Just relax, and greener grass will grow here for a change

Maybe then we’ll last a million years or more, or more, or more, or more

And go all the way up to heaven; and go all the way back home

Yes, I do believe what He says

I want to be happy

I could sure use His help; no one gets by on themselves

He can make me happy

And I will always look up (It’s a warm summer breeze)

And I will never look down (it’s weakness in your knees)

Down is where we came from (It’s a perfect place above – full of everlasting love)

And I will take that advice (Nothing to fear; nothing to hide)

And take a load off my chest (You just say what’s on your mind)

We could make that happy (Needn’t think before you speak. This is how it’s meant to be)

You know we needed his help (Ever high, never fall)

Now we’re not high on ourselves (you can do no wrong at all)

I will know that happy (In this heaven up above filled with everlasting love)

Into the light

To the light


So many parts of this song are sung right to me. The day before the competition I came down with laryngitis. I’ve never had it so bad. Based on advice from others I drank teas with lemon and honey, and I sucked on zinc lozenges. I drank hot water with vinegar, lemon and honey, and I took anti-inflammatory medications. All this to no avail. The morning of the contest I was no better.

I tried to speak as little as possible. I could not practice my speech out loud, but only meditate and visualize myself on stage saying what I’d practiced. At competition time, my throat and chest had loosened and opened. My voice was not as strong as I’d hoped, but the microphone made up for the rest.

I’m so glad I was able to deliver my message, albeit in a different way than I’d imagined. Perhaps it was the sexy, low voice I had that influenced the judges.

Guster’s song reminds me that I had to depend on a greater strength than my own. I believe that was Father in Heaven. He kept a promise to bless me despite the trials and challenges that came that day. He helped me deliver a message about fairy tales that perhaps He’d prepared me to give my entire life. I needed His help, because I could not get by on myself.

As I move forward in the competition, I will only look up. I will never look down. Whatever happens, I will take His advice and try to be happy.

Promises. We’ve all made them. We all must keep them. When your promises are kept to others, you will be given assurance of promises kept to you from a power greater than yourself.

Empowerment comes through the the three P’s:

  • Preparedness
  • Principles
  • Promises

Please comment below about how these areas have empowered you.

Empowerment is the E in the acronym SELF in SELF Centered Leadership: Becoming Influential, Intentional and Exceptional. If you haven’t read it yet, I encourage you to do so. Perhaps my message will provide some ways for you to empower your life as you try to be one of the COOL KIDS!

Three Ways to Become One of the Cool Kids, Part II

On May 16, 2015 I competed at the District level International Speech contest, and I won! I will be moving on to the semi-finals in Las Vegas! That’s where the cool kids are!

In a previous post I illustrated how I made it this far by applying the Three P’s of Empowerment:

  • Preparedness
  • Principles
  • Promises

In that same post, I told you how I’ve prepared so far, and encouraged you to become a Preparation Partner for this next phase of competition. So many of you have said, “I’m IN!” and I’m overwhelmed by your support.

I’m taking on P number 2 today – PRINCIPLES

PRINCIPLES:

Toastmasters International lists their core values as

  • Integrity
  • Respect
  • Service
  • Excellence

These are principles I also identify in my book SELF Centered Leadership: Becoming Influential, Intentional and Exceptional. Your life, relationships and purpose are empowered when you live by core values and principles, and never compromise them.

As I considered the message I wanted my audience to hear when giving my competition speech, I was guided by principles I’ve adhered to my whole life. I decided to tell a very personal story about my tragic childhood. The message in short is that, “Love overcomes hate, fear and anger. No matter how your story begins, with love you can live happily, even after.”

The message is universal, and has been well received. I believe it’s because the message is true. It makes sense, and even if life has been tragic, we can see that the happy times have been sprinkled or frosted with love.

Whether you’re giving a competitive speech, giving a report to your HR Manager, or teaching your child a skill, your message must be true. Everything you say must be straightforward, clear, and honest. If you can accomplish this, you will be credible, and your life will be empowered.

Humility is not my strong suit, but as Lee Amatangelo and others helped me prepare my speech for different levels of competition, I had to be humble. I had to consider their suggestions, and try them. If they weren’t right, it was obvious quickly. Most suggestions were right, and my speech was enhanced when I implemented them. Mind you, I never compromised my principles. Instead, I let my principles guide me as I humbly considered the feedback of others.

I found during this process that the most important aspect to my message was genuineness. If I didn’t believe what I was saying, the audience knew it. And boy, I had to get really vulnerable! I had to avoid narrating my story, and instead bring the audience into the story with me. That meant that I must not “perform”, but that I needed to truly be in the moment of a past experience while on stage in the present. Not easy, and a part of my speech I continue to perfect.

Isn’t this how we should live life? Shouldn’t we be genuine, vulnerable and humble, while at the same time adhering to our core values and principles through every experience? Shouldn’t we take lessons from past experiences and allow them to guide us in the present moment? I believe so.

Consider your core values and principles. How have they guided you, and what was the outcome when you compromised them?

Now, I must write, and prepare to deliver a second speech. Please comment below with principles I should focus on as the subject matter of my next speech. For those of you who’ve read my book, is there another moving story contained therein that would make a good speech, or parts of a speech?

What topics inspire YOU the most?

What topics do you feel would appeal to an international audience?

If you haven’t yet read my book, you can order from my website, from Amazon, or you can get one from me when you see me next. Your purchase will help me eat when I’m in Vegas.

Please comment here on my blog with questions to the above questions. Part three – PROMISES will be posted soon.

Three Ways to Become One of the Cool Kids

Have you ever wanted to hang out with the cool kids? Be part of the popular crowd? Meet a person whom you admired and wanted to be like?

I’m going to tell you how I have been able to accomplish this, and provide three steps so you can do it as well. Let me start with a little personal background…

I have been involved in the non-profit organization, Toastmasters International, for almost eight years now. There are a lot of cool kids in Toastmasters – men and women who have achieved a certain level of communication and/or leadership that makes them revered and honored. They are celebrities within the organization, not reality TV star celebrities, but more like Paul Newman or Oprah Winfrey celebrities. They have accomplished feats that very few have – feats that have affected and influenced the lives of thousands.

From the website of the organization, Toastmasters International is:

… a world leader in communication and leadership development. Our membership is 313,000 strong. Members improve their speaking and leadership skills by attending one of the 14,650 clubs in 126 countries that make up our global network of meeting locations.

The world needs leaders. Leaders head families, coach teams, run businesses and mentor others. These leaders must not only accomplish, they must communicate. By regularly giving speeches, gaining feedback, leading teams and guiding others to achieve their goals in a supportive atmosphere, leaders emerge from the Toastmasters program. Every Toastmasters journey begins with a single speech. During their journey, they learn to tell their stories. They listen and answer. They plan and lead. They give feedback—and accept it. Through our community of learners, they find their path to leadership.

What few non-Toastmasters know is that there are speech and leadership competitions in the organization twice yearly. These contests begin at the club level – members compete against fellow club members – members who are often like family. The winner of the club contests compete against other club winners in an Area contest. The winner of the Area contests compete against other Area winners in a Division contest. The winners of each Division contest compete at the District level contest.

I am in District 2. There are approximately 3500 members geographically in Western Washington, and includes roughly 175 clubs. Three out of four yearly contests in District 2 (Humorous Speech, Table Topics Speech, and Evaluation Speech) end at the District level. However, the District winner of the International Speech contest will move on to compete against 10 other Districts in one of 10 Semi-Finals held at the annual Toastmasters International Convention. This year it will be held in Las Vegas.

On May 16, 2015 – three days ago as of this writing – I competed in the District level International Speech contest, and I won! I will be moving on to the semi-finals in Las Vegas! That’s where the cool kids are! There have been no more than 90 winners of the final contest – less than 90 individuals who have been crowned “WORLD CHAMPION OF PUBLIC SPEAKING”. In a few months, I will be in the company of the really cool kids – the World Champs of Public Speaking!

Many of the former champs will be at the convention, and they will make themselves available to the contestants. They will support and mentor the contestants in the delivery and content of their competition speeches. Who wouldn’t be excited for the opportunity to talk with Paul Newman or Oprah Winfrey, and receive advice from them?

How did this opportunity come my way? Through the Three P’s of Empowerment. I write about these three P’s in my book, SELF Centered Leadership: Becoming Influential, Intentional and Exceptional. Hanging with the cool kids, getting your dream job, and/or finding success in all you do will happen when you apply the Three P’s of Empowerment.

  • Preparedness
  • Principles
  • Promises

PREPAREDNESS:

Can you ever be too prepared? You can certainly be under prepared. Sometimes preparation takes a lifetime. Sometimes it takes place in a few minutes, days or weeks. The bigger the event or desired result, the more preparation required.

I began preparing for the International Speech contest in 2007 when I joined Toastmasters. I committed myself to working the program, speaking as often as opportunity would warrant, and I said yes when asked to serve and help in the organization.

Many people join Toastmasters for selfish reasons – they want to be better speakers. There’s nothing wrong with this mindset, and in fact, I had the same goal. However, those individuals who see the greatest results are those who begin early to give back. They are the ones who turn from selfish motives to those of a selfless nature.

The first three speeches a new member gives in Toastmasters will teach him/her how to tell a personal story, organize a speech, and how to determine the speech purpose – to entertain, persuade, educate, or inspire the audience. All that in the first three speeches!

Every member receives feedback, called evaluations, from other club members. This is how members of the organization learn in what areas they are improving, and in what areas of communication and leadership they need to focus more time and energy on. Learning how to give this feedback is just as beneficial as getting it.

It goes without saying that if you want to pass a test, win a race, or get the job of your dreams, you must study, practice and obtain the required skills.

The speech I gave at the district level contest is not even close to the speech I started with at the club level contest. The title, “Happily, Even After…” remained the same throughout the three-month process. However, the speech content, purpose and delivery changed at each level to appeal to different audiences.

I had a fabulous mentor – one of those celebrities in Toastmasters. He has won at the district level twice before, and won at the semi-finals once before. Lee Amatangelo unselfishly sacrificed time to listen to my speech, provide suggestions, and helped me discover the message the audience would benefit from hearing. His contribution to my preparation was the key to my win. Solo preparation is possible, but partner preparation yields greater results.

At the District 2 Conference last weekend, Patricia Fripp was our morning keynote speaker, and she also provided a workshop on presentations. She shared some outstanding tips where preparation is concerned:

  1. “Build rehearsal into your everyday life”
  2. “Practice makes permanent”

She asked us, “Are you practicing to improve…or to reinforce bad habits?” This is so eye-opening when it comes to preparation – make sure you’re preparing for the right opportunity, in the right way, by focusing on the right behavior.

As I prepare my next speech to a brand new audience, I must consider who they are. I will be competing against 9 other individuals from around the world. District 2 (that’s me) will be in Semi-Final #10, and I will be competing against a Toastmaster from the following districts:

District 18 – State of Maryland, USA

District 21 – British Columbia, Canada

District 45 – States of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, USA: and New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, Canada

District 48 – West coast of Florida, USA

District 55 – Austin, San Antonio, Corpus Christi and Central/South Texas, USA

District 62 – State of Michigan, USA

District 76 – Japan

District 77 – State of Alabama and the Florida Panhandle, USA

District 94 – Benin, West Africa

The content and delivery of my speech will need to be focused on connecting to this particular audience. Yikes! Preparation needed? You bet!

I invite you to follow my blog for updates about my preparations leading to my semi-final speech. Let’s call it INTERNATIONAL SPEECH WATCH 2015. To follow my blog, you need only subscribe on either the left or right side of this post. Super easy!

Tune in for the second part of this post. I will focus on the second P of Empowerment – PRINCIPLES.

Getting to Vegas is going to cost me a little money. If you haven’t purchased my book yet, I’d sure appreciate you doing so. Then I can eat while in Vegas this summer. Just go to Amazon and make your purchase. If you want a signed copy, email me, and I’ll bring you one, or have a signed copy shipped to you. There are no excuses!

I hope you’ll join me on this journey. If you’re in, please comment below “I’m IN!” We will be partners in preparation….

Three Basic Leadership Skills and How to Have Them

I once worked for two oral surgeons who had decided to make changes in a benefit that their employees had enjoyed for many years. Prior to any official announcement to the team, rumors began to circulate, leading employees to panic because the changes sounded drastic enough to affect our paychecks.

The manager of the office alerted the doctors to the quickly sinking morale in the office and suggested that rumor may be worse than reality, and that they should make an official announcement. The doctors set aside time from the surgical schedule to gather for discussion about the amended policy.

At the appointed time for the meeting to commence, the team members gathered in the front office waiting for the doctors to join them. Then, through the front window of the office, we noticed that the doctors were leaving the office, getting in their cars and driving away.

The office manager sheepishly entered the front room and was greeted by angry team members who now knew that the rumors were true. Rather than courageously face their team and respectfully explain why changes were to be made, the doctors had delegated the ugly task to the office manager. We all felt betrayed and belittled with no chance for open discussion to ensure understanding. It was obvious that the doctors knew they were hurting their employees, and didn’t care.

Being a leader, CEO, business owner, or manager is not easy. And if responsibility for such a title is taken lightly, the role becomes even harder.

I suggest three basic skills that all leaders should strengthen in themselves. They are COMMUNICATION, DELEGATION and APPRECIATION.

Communication:

  • After one airplane mysteriously disappeared and another was tragically blown up, Malaysia Airlines tried to appeal to travelers’ sense of adventure in a year-end promotional campaign this past November: “Want to go somewhere but don’t know where?” the airline tweeted.
  • As the SARS super-pneumonia swept Hong Kong, the local tourist board continued to use the slogan, “Hong Kong will take your breath away.”

We’ve all made communication blunders. The key is to minimize mistakes.

As a leader, you must have the ability to concisely state your vision and mission so the team sees it as clearly as you do. Communication is less about the words you use, and more about the way you use those words, and the actions you take to illustrate your words.

  1. Write a vision and mission statement. Introduce these statements to your team; allow time to discuss; encourage understanding and buy in.
  2. Use simple words and ask your team to explain your vision and mission in their own words.  Clarify any misunderstandings.
  3. Communicate in person more than email. Email cannot relay emotions and is a communication method that will most likely lead to miscommunication. Discipline in private and praise in public.
  4. Behave as you want your team to behave. Be consistent, positive and available.

Delegation:

Peter Drucker said, “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things”

What is the right way to do the right things in leadership when it comes to delegation? You must supply the WHAT, WHY, WHEN and HOW to those to whom you are assigning tasks. In other words, a leader clearly defines:

What the task is.

Why the task is important, and the risks to not doing it.

When the task needs to be completed, and when to report back as specific milestones are met.

How the task is to be accomplished. This means that the tools to implement and complete the task must be supplied.

Part of making sure your team has the right tools is by providing training and opportunity for advancement. Show them that developing skills to do more will be rewarded with more – more pay, more benefits, more responsibility – whatever makes sense in your case.

Delegation requires follow up and feedback.

Appreciation

In a pole given to employees around the nation in varied genres of business, they were asked to rate what’s most important in keeping them engaged at work. You may think that number one would be wages, and you’d be wrong.

Clearly defined job descriptions, recognition and appreciation all rank higher than salary when employees are asked which aspects of work are most likely to keep them engaged at work.

Most recent stats in the American Workplace Report tells us that only about 17% of the American Workforce is engaged. Imagine how this lack of engagement affects profitability. Imagine how much company profits would increase if employee engagement was increased?

Appreciation is the key. Showing appreciation is done through listening, understanding, giving feedback, mentoring and team building. The most successful companies are those who focus on their TEAM ahead of their CUSTOMERS. When the team is happy, your customers will automatically happy. When the focus is reversed, the outcome is not as predictable.

Three basic skills of leadership are COMMUNICATION, DELEGATION AND APPRECIATION. You may readily see how you can improve in these areas, AND I’m sure you can identify employees who would be more effective in their responsibilities if they were to improve in these areas. Empower them to do so by showing them how.

The 10 Essentials of Leadership

A Chinese Proverb says,

“To get through the hardest journey we need take only one step at a time, but we must keep on stepping.”

Beginning of journey

What would you take with you on your hardest journey?

Boy Scouts and survivalists will tell you there are 10 Essential Items you must have to travel safely on a journey.  Some items vary, but the typical 10 Essentials for Survival are:

  1. Map
  2. Compass
  3. Flashlight
  4. Food
  5. Clothing/Raingear
  6. Sun protection
  7. 1st Aid Kit
  8. Knife or Multi-tool
  9. Fire Starter(s)
  10. Water

Leadership is a journey wherein you must keep stepping, albeit one step at a time. What do you need to have on a journey of leadership? Are there 10 essentials for that?

Yes! Keep reading for The 10 Essentials of Leadership.

Vision
No journey should begin without a map, and any leader that begins leading without a vision is going to find him/herself lost before very long into the journey. A vision is a plan, such as: “I’m going to write a book about Leadership so that greater leaders will be developed and ready to inspire others”

Antique Compass

Mission
A mission statement for a leader is like a compass to a hiker – essential for staying on the right path. You must know what action to take, and why you’re taking it. And, a compass can help you avoid pitfalls and cliffs you may not readily see. If your vision is “I’m going to write a book about leadership”, then your mission is to describe the chapters, the stories, and the lessons you’ll teach in the book.

Foresee-ability
An exceptional leader is someone who can look ahead and see a potential problem, and then take steps, or encourage team members to take steps, to get around the problem before it happens. If you’ve ever tried to find your way through a darkened space, you’ve probably experienced bumps and bruises. Like using a flashlight, a leader that can foresee obstacles in the distance will be less likely to need an ice pack or first aid kit.

Nurture-ability
Leaders not only lead, they feed. Once something is learned, an exceptional leader will then teach. The ability to nurture will lead others to be successful, and that success only increases the leader’s success, it never diminishes it. Positively feed others with kindness, knowledge and motivation, and you as leader will increase the same in yourself.

Raingear

Preparation
The first P of my Three P’s of Empowerment (found in my book) is PREPARATION. Can you imagine going on even the shortest journey without some kind of preparation? Enough said.

Courage
Sunscreen protects our skin from the suns powerful rays. However, it only works if you apply it BEFORE you need it. Courage in leadership is like that. Courage must be obtained before it is needed. And the time will surely come when it’s needed! A leader must be willing to stand up for his/her guiding values and principles in any situation. Otherwise, a painful burn will be the result.

Humility
When those burns, bruises and scrapes happen in leadership – and they will happen, the first aid kit a leader needs on hand is the balm of humility. Accepting our faults, blemishes and mistakes is never easy, in fact it HURTS! But if the wound is allowed to scab over without proper cleaning, medication and dressing it will surely fester, infect and impact our lives later on. It’s best to deal with it as quickly as possible. A humble, sincere apology is often the best cure for mistakes.

Knowledge
A leader does not have to know everything in order to influence and inspire others. In fact, some of my most influential leaders have been individuals who admitted their lack of knowledge on many things, but they knew where to look for the answers, and were not afraid to discover the answers with me. Having basic knowledge is sufficient – like a camper having one tool that is capable of helping with many tasks, an exceptional leader knows how to change and adapt to circumstances, and he/she learns from every experience!

Waterproof matches

Innovation
Have you ever awakened in a sleeping bag inside a tent after a long night of rain? It’s worse if you have to potty, right? You know you have to get up. You know it’s going to be cold. You know that a fire will warm you. You know that fire will not start by itself, and that the dampness will make it a challenge to get the kindling lit. Knowing all of this, the exceptional leader will gather his/her gumption and discipline, and find an innovative way to start a fire. YOU must be that fire starter! The reward will not come without the necessary sacrifice and work. Be innovative and warm the lives of yourself and others!

Spirituality
Water is the basic element to life. Water is so commonplace that we overlook its amazing life-giving power in our lives. Without water, we die. It’s pretty simple. Exceptional leaders recognize another source of life that is often taken for granted. It is the knowledge that there is a life-giving power greater than we can fully comprehend. Call this power God, The Great Spirit, Mother Nature, whatever you believe. It’s important to know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. You have power beyond your understanding, and that power is given to you by a source you cannot see. The greatest leaders are those who rely on this source.

Backpack

There you have it. The list of 10 Essentials of Leadership. How many are in your backpack right now? Which ones do you still need to gather? Don’t take a journey without these 10 items. Doing so could make your travel perilous.

Do you have a story to share, or a comment to make? Please engage with me and my other readers by sharing your thoughts.

Make your day fabulous!

“Keep believing, there’s no doubt in my mind, bro.”

Russell Wilson | Seattle SeahawksRussell Wilson, Quarterback for the next Super Bowl champs, the Seattle Seahawks, was mic’ed during the teams last game with the Green Bay Packers.

This video is a shortened version of the event.  In the last four minutes of the game, when it appeared that the Seahawks would lose the game, Russell led his team, against all odds, to victory.

He said the following, impactful statements in those last four minutes:

“We can still win this game, stay in it”

“Man, I want it! I hate losing!”

“Make a play! Make a play!”

“Keep believing, there’s no doubt in my mind, bro.”

“Live for the situation, live for it.”

“C’mon let’s go D! LET’S GO! LET’S GO!

After a winning touchdown that caused the Seattle Seahawks to win the NFC Championship game, Russell Wilson was heard to say…

“I told you, I told you. Thank you, Jesus”

“God made me for it, man. God made me for it.”

Russell Wilson 12 Man

Russell then grabbed a 12th Man flag and showed genuine appreciation for the fans that have so endlessly supported their Hawks!

1. Appreciation to God and Jesus

2. Appreciation to the fans

Wilson’s ability to lead, influence and inspire his team – and his fans –  is incredible.

I have learned a great deal from watching Russell Wilson.  What have you learned?

Go Sea Hawks | Superbowl

 

Your Odyssey Has Begun – Whose Eyes Will You Look Into?

Advice.  We’re surrounded by it.  With the advent of the internet there are friends, followers, gurus and goofballs who will tell you they have the solution to your every problem.

Perhaps you consider me a friend.  You may follow this blog, and I may follow yours.  There are some who call me a guru, and more who know me as a goofball.

I don’t have a solution to your every problem, but I have gained wisdom through experience that I’m happy to share.  In fact, many years ago I was asked by a counselor,

“Jackie, if you could speak to Heavenly Father right now, what would you ask him?”

My response then is the same response I’d have today:

“What do you want me to do now?”

The first time I was asked this question was at the finish line of emotional hell overcoming childhood abuse.  With a more complete perspective, I could see how my circumstances, experiences, and challenges of the past had shaped me into the person I was then.  I had always known that if I made it through that healing process I would have more strength than I could have ever imagined.

I was strong.  I had survived.  I was glad I had chosen to keep moving forward.  That odyssey was complete.

I was at the beginning of another Odyssey.  Where would I go, and what would I do?  How can I influence the lives of others?  These were the questions I would ask God, “What do you want me to do now?”

That wasn’t the last time I began an odyssey in life.  It wasn’t the last time when I’ve been able to look back and gain perspective.

There was the time when I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia 30 years ago.  That was the start of an odyssey.

There was the time I decided to start my business, Emerald City Consulting.  That was an odyssey.

There was the time I said yes to District 2 leadership in Toastmasters International.  That was an odyssey.

There was the time I wrote my book, SELF Centered Leadership.  That is the beginning of your odyssey.

Each time I’ve disembarked from one odyssey, I’ve embarked on another.  That’s the way life should be!

Please take a moment to watch this video featuring a song from John Denver titled “Come and Let Me Look In Your Eyes”

I invite you to embark on an odyssey to exceptional leadership by looking through my eyes.  I identify four traits that have helped me gain perspective from my challenges and experiences in my book, SELF Centered Leadership.  I invite you to read it.

It will help you answer the question,

“What do you want me to do now?”

 

Never Fail at This One Thing – Reason 1

If you’re like me, you want to be successful in all you do.  And, like me, you’ve probably also learned that success does not come without failure.

Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison was told by his teacher, “You’re too stupid to learn anything.”

Edison then went on to hold more than 1000 patents and invented life-changing devices like the phonograph, electric lamp, and movie camera.

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey was fired from her first television anchor job.  Forbes now estimates her worth to be 2.9 billion dollars, and she’s the undisputed queen of television talk shows.

Walt Disney

Walt Disney was told by a newspaper editor that he “…lacked imagination and had no good ideas”.  However, my childhood, and those of millions of children in the last 50 years, have been enhanced by the talents and ideas of Mr. Disney.

These are examples of failure (or at least, perceived failure at the time) that is sometimes experienced before success comes to fruition.

We may fail, or be only partly successful at the goals we attempt to reach, or in the accomplishments we set out to achieve.  Most of us will not invent a life-changing device, or become the king or queen of talk-show television.

But the truth is – we can be 100% successful in ONE THING!  What is that fail-proof thing?  You’ll have to read my book to find out!

SELF Centered Leadership is an easy, fun read.  My message is inspiring because it resonates truth.  I write of four traits you should master if you want to be exceptional.

My book is available on AMAZON and on my EMERALD CITY CONSULTING website.

In this post I have revealed the number one reason to read my book – never fail at this one thing again!

There are at least 29 other reasons to read SELF Centered Leadership listed below.  It’s easy to click on the links and learn all 30 reasons….

So why haven’t you purchased it yet?

#30 – You’ll learn to prepare for and survive an ODYSSEY!

#29 – You’ll learn how to spot IMITATIONS everywhere!

#28 – I’ll show you an APP to help you make tough decisions

#27 – I’ll introduce the Three P’s of Empowerment and how to apply them in your life

#26 – Wanna overcome regret?  I show you how!

#25 – I will illustrate how YOU can be heroic in your leadership!

#24 – You’ll learn my one-word definition for leadership

#23Friendship can sting.  I’ll tell you what I mean when I introduce you to Lexi and Debbie.

#22 – You’ll learn how to be EXCEPTIONAL!

#21 – You will know how to rise to the top of your fishbowl.

#20 – You will learn how to EMPOWER your life, your love, and your actions!

#19 – Love can be hazardous.  I teach you how to LOVE in a SAFE way.

#18 – My book makes a great stocking stuffer for anyone 12 and up!

#17 – You’ll be surprised to learn the 10 ways you influence others constantly!

#16 – You’ll learn to have charitable, brotherly love year round

#15 – You’ll learn the fishy art of caring for goldfish, and how to navigate your own fishbowl.

#14 – Learn to prepare for winter conditions

#13 – Learn how to communicate with credibility

#12Learn to lead with Intention

#11Learn ways to stop asking, and start helping

#10 – Help someone with oral cancer smile again by purchasing my book on www.smile.amazon.com  choose Oral Cancer Cause

#9 – Stop eating Styrofoam!

#8 – You’ll have access to the SACRIFICE or VICE chart for decision making

#7Pain, Pain, Go Away!

#6Service is the best medicine.

#5 – Learn the Five Imitators of Happiness

#4 – Know the SECRET to get out of bed on those tough day.

#3 – Witness the Power of YES!

#2 – Achieving STYX-to-it-ness!

STYX-To-It-Ness is Empowering! Reason #2

SELF Centered Leadership is my new book.  I’ve been  blogging about the 30 Reasons to Read it.  Today’s post is reason #2 – achieving STYX-to-it-ness.

Arny and Todd Sucherman

Todd Sucherman, drummer for the legendary band, STYX shares a story in my book that illustrates the principle of empowerment.   Whether you’re a Renegade, a Blue Collar Man or Miss America, Todd’s story discredits the idea that Nothing Goes as Planned. 

You might say that The Grand Illusion is that we think some Crystal Ball will give us success.  Not so.  Superstars always prepare, and they Don’t Let It End.   Todd’s preparedness has kept him Rockin’ the Paradise with STYX for many years.

In my book, you’ll learn that Love Is the Ritual of being prepared, and it’s empowering!  You’re just Fooling Yourself  if you think you can Sing For the Day without preparing yesterday.  It makes no difference if you’re a Lady or a Man in the Wilderness, you can create your Best of Times when you prepare!

Don’t be A Criminal Mind or Snowblind!   Come Sail Away on an odyssey to SELF by reading SELF Centered Leadership.  Todd Sucherman’s story will help you be the Queen of Spades in your own Castle Walls.  It’s time to Light Up  in your leadership, and get Your Boat on the River of STYX-to-it-ness!

Please read my book! Here’s the other 29 reasons to do so………..

#30 – You’ll learn to prepare for and survive an ODYSSEY!

#29 – You’ll learn how to spot IMITATIONS everywhere!

#28 – I’ll show you an APP to help you make tough decisions

#27 – I’ll introduce the Three P’s of Empowerment and how to apply them in your life

#26 – Wanna overcome regret?  I show you how!

#25 – I will illustrate how YOU can be heroic in your leadership!

#24 – You’ll learn my one-word definition for leadership

#23 – Friendship can sting.  I’ll tell you what I mean when I introduce you to Lexi and Debbie.

#22 – You’ll learn how to be EXCEPTIONAL!

#21 – You will know how to rise to the top of your fishbowl.

#20 – You will learn how to EMPOWER your life, your love, and your actions!

#19 – Love can be hazardous.  I teach you how to LOVE in a SAFE way.

#18 – My book makes a great stocking stuffer for anyone 12 and up!

#17 – You’ll be surprised to learn the 10 ways you influence others constantly!

#16 – You’ll learn to have charitable, brotherly love year round

#15 – You’ll learn the fishy art of caring for goldfish, and how to navigate your own fishbowl.

#14 – Learn to prepare for winter conditions

#13 – Learn how to communicate with credibility

#12Learn to lead with Intention

#11Learn ways to stop asking, and start helping

#10 – Help someone with oral cancer smile again by purchasing my book on www.smile.amazon.com choose Oral Cancer Cause

#9 – Stop eating Styrofoam!

#8 – You’ll have access to the SACRIFICE or VICE chart for decision making

#7 – Pain, Pain, Go Away!

#6 – Service is the best medicine.

#5 – Learn the Five Imitators of Happiness

#4 – Know the SECRET to get out of bed on those tough day.

#3 – Witness the Power of YES!

Knock, Knock. You Gonna Get That? Reason #3

We’ve all heard it.  That knock on the door.   Our first thought is, “Who could that be?”

Opportunity Knock | Power of Yes

Do you ignore the knock?  Pretend you’re not home?

Or, do you open the door?  Is it a little crack to first determine if it’s safe to open further?  Or do you open to the visitor with wild abandon?

Opportunity knocks.  You may shrink at the unknown and stay secure in your current state, or you can empower your future by saying yes to new experiences.

Through personal stories shared in my book, SELF Centered Leadership, you’ll  see that my character was shaped by saying yes and answering the door.  You can grow by simply engaging in opportunity.

This is reason #3 in my 30 Reason to Read countdown.  It’s almost done!  Have you read my book yet?

#30 – You’ll learn to prepare for and survive an ODYSSEY!

#29 – You’ll learn how to spot IMITATIONS everywhere!

#28 – I’ll show you an APP to help you make tough decisions

#27 – I’ll introduce the Three P’s of Empowerment and how to apply them in your life

#26 – Wanna overcome regret?  I show you how!

#25 – I will illustrate how YOU can be heroic in your leadership!

#24 – You’ll learn my one-word definition for leadership

#23 – Friendship can sting.  I’ll tell you what I mean when I introduce you to Lexi and Debbie.

#22 – You’ll learn how to be EXCEPTIONAL!

#21 – You will know how to rise to the top of your fishbowl.

#20 – You will learn how to EMPOWER your life, your love, and your actions!

#19 – Love can be hazardous.  I teach you how to LOVE in a SAFE way.

#18 – My book makes a great stocking stuffer for anyone 12 and up!

#17 – You’ll be surprised to learn the 10 ways you influence others constantly!

#16 – You’ll learn to have charitable, brotherly love year round

#15 – You’ll learn the fishy art of caring for goldfish, and how to navigate your own fishbowl.

#14 – Learn to prepare for winter conditions

#13 – Learn how to communicate with credibility

#12Learn to lead with Intention

#11Learn ways to stop asking, and start helping

#10 – Help someone with oral cancer smile again by purchasing my book on www.smile.amazon.com choose Oral Cancer Cause

#9 – Stop eating Styrofoam!

#8 – You’ll have access to the SACRIFICE or VICE chart for decision making

#7 – Pain, Pain, Go Away!

#6 – Service is the best medicine.

#5 – Learn the Five Imitators of Happiness

#4 – Know the SECRET to get out of bed on those tough day.