You don’t really want Success…do you?

How many people have you ever heard admit that they DON’T want success?  They don’t want to be happy, they don’t want successful businesses, they don’t want to advance at work, they don’t want more money, they don’t want to be fit, healthy or attractive and the list goes on…

Never!  I’ve never heard anyone SAY IT but I observe it in behaviours and actions (or lack of) every day.

So, if you want to know how much success is around the corner for you, watch this video, it’ll give you Richard St.John’s 8 tips for success in just 3 minutes.  Use it to determine your success potential…

Now you know what to expect so ask yourself – Am I willing to do what it takes?  Do I really want success?

To Success and Nothing Less!

Dave Lourdes

Lessons from a 9 year old…a 60 second distinction

You never know when and where you’ll find a dose of inspiration.  Thanks to Facebook I came across this update from my friend Sarah, talking about her 9 year old Charlotte:

What were you thinking about when you were 9?


My 3 takeaways from Charlotte:

  1. Charlotte has a goal;
  2. Her goal is top of mind; and
  3. Because of her goal she’s able to make decisions easily

So next time you’re out at the stock take sales, telling yourself you need retail therapy, or just itching to spend that hard earned bonus/pay rise:

  1. Hit the pause button;
  2. Think about your goals; and
  3. Ask yourself:  Is spending this money taking me closer or moving me further away from where I want to be?

By being conscious of your goals, and the results you really want, it increases your decision making speed because you know what to say No to, and what to say Yes to.

Of course this isn’t all about money, you should apply the same thinking to how you spend your time, who you hang out with and where you invest your effort.

That’s all for today but before I go please meet Charlotte, my inspiration for today’s post.  Thanks Charlotte and Sarah for sharing.

Here she is: Goal Setting Charlotte

To Success and Nothing Less,

Dave Lourdes

What Confidence ISN’T…

Whether I’m running a coaching workshop, facilitating a team off-site, teaching professional public speaking or coaching and mentoring a client one-on-one, the most common question I get asked is, “How can I become more confident?”

Now if you already consider yourself confident, PLEASE KEEP READING because you may be pleasantly surprised and get some great insights about what confidence ISN’T.

They couldn’t ask a better person because I was the absolute antithesis of a confident person.  Most people that know me find that hard to believe but it’s true.   This is me at the age of 18 visiting friends – quiet and shy hiding in the corner and trying to compensate for lack of confidence with the big hair.

Quiet, shy & lacking confidence

My answer usually sparks an annoyed or confused frown because the answer is devastatingly simple.

The answer – If you want to become more confident DECIDE TO.

Yep, that’s it; make a real decision to become more confident.  Just do it, slip on your ‘confidence coat’ and try it out.  The more you try it on the more natural it will feel.

Confidence isn’t just a quality  you’re born with. Now I know some people come across as confident BUT it doesn’t mean that they are, because no-one is immune to nervousness, butterflies and shyness.

Firstly, I want to dispel a myth; being an extrovert DOES NOT mean you are automatically confident and being an introvert DOES NOT mean you automatically lack confidence.

Now let’s first look at 3 common examples of what confidence isn’t.

  • TALKING – Talking a lot does not always symbolise confidence. It just means some people like to talk a lot. The underlying reasons of why people talk is the key. For example, someone may need to talk all the time because they’re uncomfortable with silence and this is common because it’s uncomfortable for some people to just sit, listen and observe (this is one of a myriad of reasons).
  • ROLE PLAYING – Another reason people may talk constantly is because they have taken on a role, like “I’m the life of the party.” You’ve all seen this person before and probably even know someone like this. They revel in doing anything that’s attention grabbing and outrageous because their loyal entourage will laugh, pat them on the back and give them the old “man you’re crazy” – which is music to their ears. Other roles people play include; the boss, the expert, the most experienced, Mr. Cool, tough guy/girl and so on.
  • LOUD – Being loud is one of the biggest myths of confidence. Being loud ALL THE TIME is just damn annoying, no matter how interesting, rich, intelligent, famous or important you are. Being loud is frequently used as a cover for insecurity and a strategy for maintaining control of your environment. Think about it, how often do you see the loudest person in your work and social groups ever get challenged?

These are just 3 examples that are most common at work and in our day to day lives. There are plenty of other things that people incorrectly attribute as being a hallmark of confidence like, speaking your mind ALL THE TIME, being opinionated, cockiness, having a string of qualifications, knowing famous people (name dropping), etc.

Check out this example of overconfidence gone wrong.  This is Mike Huckabee, he was a candidate for the US Republican presidential primaries in 2008.  He was speaking to the National Rifle Association when his speech was interrupted by a loud noise offstage.  Check out how he handles it.  Needless to say he subsequently made an apology for the inappropriate joke.

I could keep going on this topic for hours but I’ll make it a feature of future blogs so if you have specific things you’d like me to write about in relation to gaining TRUE confidence leave a comment and I’ll start posting content to directly answer your questions.

To Confidence and Nothing Less,

Dave Lourdes

Can you admit it? Or are you too cool?

Office politics (playing the game) is something that we’ve all heard of, been on the end of and even had a hand in (c’mon you can admit it). Now this post isn’t the A to Z guide of office politics however, I do want to touch on a couple of aspects that are at the root of many political games – the cover up, the finger pointing and pushing the barrow because admitting your mistakes, acknowledging you’re wrong and saying sorry is an unacceptable admission of weakness in a working world where the facade of perfection must be switched on all the time.  The bad thing about that is that behind the perfect facade are scared people waiting to get caught out.

It reminds me of the Fonz (I’m showing my age now) from that classic sitcom Happy Days. The Fonz was the Mr Cool of his day and he was so cool and perfect that he could never admit he was wrong nor could he say “I’m sorry”. Check him out…

How many times have you seen dumb decisions made in business? I’m talking about the whole realm of decisions that have a negative impact in your team or organisation. So, everything from small ones, like double booking a meeting room to the monumental ones, where some senior executive makes an investment decision that results in people losing their jobs. Or what about the projects that cost millions and go through to implementation just because the project sponsor has to save face.  If you had 2 minutes to make a list, I have no doubt you could come up with at least 10 dumb decisions that you’ve personally been involved with, witnessed or heard about in the last month alone.

Now let me ask you this, how many times at work have you heard someone admit they made a mistake, acknowledge they’re wrong or heaven forbid say sorry? In my 20-year career I can honestly say “none”. Imagine all the time, energy, effort and money that goes into covering up mistakes. Here’s a few that we all know of  that cost billions collectively; BP, Toyota, Goldman Sachs, Johnson & Johnson and can we ever forget James Hardie. Covering up mistakes has become an art form and its own industry.  So why do we find it so hard to say we’re wrong and just admit our mistakes?

For starters, to be successful, all businesses require people to be able to work together effectively, but what happens when people work together in any team or organisation? Human beings are inherently insecure AND human beings are also ambitious. So you get two key drivers that are working against each other, insecurity and ambition. Any time you have insecurity and ambition, you get office politics and when you have office politics you get MASSIVE time wasting, because people spend more time managing their ego instead of getting on with the business of kicking goals that result in real bottom line profit.

So don’t be part of the stupidity and do your bit to stop negatively contributing to your company’s culture by stepping up, admitting your mistakes and saying you’re sorry (without any justification) the next time you stuff up. You may suffer some short term pain but I bet you’ll also feel a whole lot of RELIEF getting it out there and moving on.  You may even inspire those around you…

Say NO to being a robot and YES to being human!

Success and Nothing Less,

Dave Lourdes

Emotions are Contagious…how can you protect yourself?

How many times have you been dragged down by another persons bad mood, negativity or attitude? It doesn’t even have to be something that’s been said to you, it could just be a look or their body language that says it all.

Often it’s intuitive like walking into a lunchroom or a meeting and you instantly feel tense and on edge because you just know something is Not Quite Right (NQR). You may even be thinking, whoa – what is going on here?! You know how it is – it’s a vibe.

Some people in your team, organisation or life are likely to be perennial offenders and you don’t know what you’re getting from one day to the next with them. You make eye contact with them or just get near them and you instantly think, here we go again.

Aaargh!

These are some of the things you might say to yourself when you’re around these sorts of people:

  • “Gee I feel drained around him/her”;
  • “He/She sucked all my energy”;
  • “I feel like all my energy is sapped”;
  • “He/She drains me”;
  • “He/She sucked the life out of me”;
  • “Energy sucker”;
  • “He/She’s so depressing”;
  • “I’ve got to get away”;
  • “I can’t stand being around him/her”;
  • “I feel tense and/or on edge around him/her”;
  • “He/she is so tiring”.

Sound familiar? Continue reading

Want to inspire your office? Start writing on the walls – seriously!

If you really want to motivate your team to achieve and maintain peak performance add a dose of creativity and fun to stay ahead of the competition.

I recently started coaching CIO, Marcus Darbyshire as part of my Private Partnership Program and one of the first things we did was my Whole Brain Intelligence package.  We did this so Marcus could understand how to unlock even more of his leadership potential and massively increase his level of performance and productivity to start achieving his most important goals with less effort.

As we were walking into his office I immediately noticed some writing on his glass wall and when I took a closer look I thought WOW!  Not because Marcus has above average intelligence – he’s a passionate Hawthorn fan :-) but because his office window had a MOTIVATIONAL ‘quote of the week’ to inspire himself and his team to kick goals.  The positive effect was so obvious that just walking through the office I could feel the ‘buzz’ in the air.

Marcus

I was really impressed and thought how cool is that?  As a CIO Marcus has done plenty of impressive things but it was his ‘graffiti’ style approach that I just loved because it sets him apart as a leader that’s willing to do out of the ordinary fun stuff to keep the energy, motivation and performance of his team up.

Keeping up motivation and performance is critical when you consider that Marcus looks after a team of over 50 IT professionals. He uses these motivational quotes to reinforce his company’s values and encourage his team to think POSITIVELY and talk openly about having the RIGHT attitude to business.   Don’t think he stops there either, Marcus also just installed a wall mounted LCD in his department to promote his team’s PERFORMANCE and customer testimonials.

Marcus reckons he has the BEST job in the company – and I think he MAKES it the best job in the company!

He’s also got an A1 profile page on LinkedIn, which also links to his technology blog…so check it out.  Did I mention Marcus is in the top 20 leading CIOs who are active bloggers?

Take a leaf out of Marcus’ book, add a dose of creativity and fun to your job and/or team.

Success and nothing less,

Dave Lourdes

Are Your Goals, Dreams or Resolutions UP THE CREEK Without a Paddle?

Whether it’s your last new year’s resolution, a goal you set yourself 12 months ago or even a dream you had when you were younger, if you haven’t achieved it yet or put it on the back burner (in some cases maybe you’ve just given up) the very first thing you need to do is STOP beating yourself up over it.  The reason is, it’s highly likely that you weren’t crystal clear about EXACTLY what you REALLY wanted in the first place.

Up the Creek Without a Paddle

I want to share something with you that I learned way back in 1990 from Tony Robbins, and it’s something that I accredit many of my business and personal achievements to.  By  APPLYING this powerful, yet devastatingly simple strategy that Tony refers to as the ultimate success formula, YOU WILL reap what I call your Resolution Rewards.

When you see the formula, you’ll probably say to yourself “oh that’s common sense”.  The only problem is, it’s common sense but NOT common PRACTICE, so don’t just read it and think you know it and understand it.  Knowing it and understanding it counts for absolutely NOTHING.  If you’re not going to do something with your knowledge you’re still up the creek!

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Ohhh Nooo…you’re on a different wavelength to me!

If you’ve attended one of my Coaching seminars you know I’m obsessed with the importance of Building Rapport, I’ve actually blogged about Rapport earlier and talked about how it’s an absolute  MUST if you’re serious about any kind of professional (and personal) success.

You have to be comfortable, confident and brilliant at building rapport if you want to:

  • Inspire and motivate a team of people working for you to GO to the next level (without you having to drag them there);
  • Sell MORE with LESS effort;
  • Have a difficult conversation with an underperformer;
  • Land a new job or more importantly, your DREAM job;
  • Enhance your reputation at work;
  • Negotiate with your boss for a pay rise;
  • Attract talented people into your business;
  • Build a legion of loyal customers;

…and the list goes on.

In this blog, I’m sharing with you  a snippet of an interview Andrew Denton did with Nigella Lawson.   It’s a perfect example of what NOT to do.

Now this is IMPORTANT…As you read the transcript ask yourself if Andrew is:

  1. Focussing on his guest, Nigella;
  2. Letting Nigella know he appreciates what she does;
  3. Helping her feel good in his company;
  4. Creating a good impression about his show;
  5. Concerned about his personal brand (and his show’s brand)
  6. Making Nigella feel like she’s important; and
  7. Treating her as a valued guest.

Nigella Lawson

ANDREW DENTON:

I have a bit of an awkward confession to make. I find food to be frankly an interruption to the day. It is not that I do not like it, but for me it is basically a fuel stop – and why that is awkward is that Nigella Lawson thinks exactly the opposite. She is a food critic, writer, broadcaster and all round food lover.   Nigella Lawson. Welcome Nigella.

NIGELLA LAWSON: Less of the all round please.

ANDREW DENTON: I do apologise. [laugh]

ANDREW DENTON: We’ve got off to a bad start. You say that food is about being alive. I clearly miss this point. What am I missing?

NIGELLA LAWSON: Well you clearly understand that in a sense you realise you need food to survive.

ANDREW DENTON: Mmm.

NIGELLA LAWSON: I’m sure that as much as you say that food is a fuel stop, you probably do have dinner with people because you want to spend time with them. You don’t just sit around an empty table. I presume.

ANDREW DENTON: No that’s true, but I do kind of like to be over quickly.

NIGELLA LAWSON: Yes I think that’s a great loss for you.

Now I’ve only written down the first couple of minutes of the interview for you so you get a sense of how he opened up with an “invited” guest.  I still clearly remember watching the show with my wife Lina as if it was yesterday.  We were both blown away with his intro and without saying a word we slowly turned and looked at each other with our mouths WIDE open – think Luna Park wide!

I’m NOT an Andrew Denton ‘hater’ at all and I’m not aiming to discredit him, I just want to give you a clear example of what NOT to do when you’re trying to build rapport with someone or even a group of people, especially if you have a different view.

Now go back to the 7 points I asked you to focus on while you were reading the transcript….how did Denton do on those seven points?

Well, in a nutshell the intro is all about him and food (what Nigella is known for worldwide)  is an interruption to the day.

FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL

Okay, I’m going to repeat that earlier sentence because I want you to get the key point, “the intro is all about him and food is an interruption to the day.”

Can you relate to that?  I hope not…I mean I hope you don’t do it or have ever been on the end of it.

So how do you approach people that seem to be on a completely different wavelength to you?

Come on…don’t just answer this in your head – go back and look at the 7 points and be honest about how you REALLY interact with people when you just don’t get their point of view or think their view of the world is warped.

Go out of your way to make someone’s day (go on REALLY DO IT) AND for practical tips on rapport check out my earlier post here – Rapport…your ticket to PLAY

Success and nothing less,

Dave Lourdes

Toxic Team Get Out of Jail Strategies

A few weeks ago I told you about The Top 5 Traits of Toxic Teams and since then I’ve had quite a few people email me about the Get Out of Jail Strategies that I promised so here they are.  And watch out for my offer of more info on Toxic Trait no 2 – Snakes in Suits.

Flip A Weakness Into A Strength with 4 Simple Steps

In last weeks blog I posted a short video clip.  Remember the mouse and cheese?

If you didn’t see it be sure to watch it because its less than 1 minute and 30 seconds and it’s what I’m talking about in this post.

That blog post was about turning a weakness into a strength or a problem/shortcoming to a positive.  I challenged you to give it a go and also promised I’d share one of mine.

So, here it is.  Quite some time ago I missed out on a speaking gig that I was in the running for.  And to stick with the mouse analogy this gig was my Havarti (my favourite cheese).  Man, let me tell you, I could smell it and taste it.  I really, really wanted this gig and my name was all over it.

BUT, I didn’t get it and I was shattered to say the least.

What's your cheese (weakness)?

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