Nancy J. Lewis, MS, SHRM-CP, PHR, RCC
Today more than ever before, it is important to make sure you keep some
basic principles in mind whether you are a business owner or corporately attached. The world is getting smaller and smaller and it is vital that you
strive to make sure you are a principle centered business professional. Following are three core principles I feel are essential for building sound relationships that can help you in your career and business.
1. Honoring and keeping promises. It is critical that before you make a commitment or promise you plan to keep it. So often we say I will call you back or get back with you in the next day and it does not happen. Now we all know that life happens and if an emergency situation occurs, you may not
be able to fulfill the commitment. But because we live in a digital age, a text or email informing others of what happened would be helpful. To simply not respond is impacting your reputation and integrity level. The world is very, very small and it is important to ask yourself the following questions before you commit:
1) Why do I need to attend this event?
2) How will this help me in my strategic business and career goals?
3) What is the demographics of the persons in attendance?
4) Would my time be better utilized working on marketing and follow up with clients?
Based on your response, you might want to say no. Remember it is better
to under promise and over deliver. Integrity is a lot easier to maintain than
2. Take responsibility for your actions. When you make an error or miss a deadline, instead of making excuses take ownership of what you did and get busy with action steps to fix it. Remember you either win or learn. When mistakes occur where you fall short, simply step back from the situation and analyze what happened and accept your part in the dilemma. It allows you the ability to spend time looking for ways to resolve the situation as opposed to trying to blame others for what you didn't do. The true mark of a leader is being accountable and responsible for his/her actions.
3. Keep a positive attitude. Choose to embrace each day with an attitude of gratitude. It doesn't always mean everything is going great in your life, but is shows how you have determined you will handle it. It is having the courage to not whine and instead, choose to win. It is choosing to make your obstacles your steppingstones to greatness and letting your trials develop in you the resolve to triumph and walk in victory.
By Nancy J. Lewis, MS, PHR, RCC
In this fast paced, ever changing world where we must learn to do more with less, we must be grounded in who we are. To cope with the changing world of work, diverse customers and employees, the generational divide, rightsizing, downsizing, whatever the term used, we must have a strong sense of self.
Developing a better you requires recognizing that everything begins from within. We must remind ourselves of the unique gifts we possess that make us special. Too often, we focus on our failures and forget the successes we have had in life. Our failures help us grow because they challenge us to find a way to persevere until the victory is won. Our successes propel us forward to continue to run the race before us because we have what it takes to succeed.
1. Believe in yourself.
You must know that you are unique and decide to validate yourself. You must have positive self-talk and recognize that failure is not final, merely a steppingstone to greatness. Commit to measuring yourself with yourself and not someone else. I once read you can be a first rate you or a second rate somebody else. Affirm today, I am confident, courageous, and capable.
2. Surround yourself with positive people.
People with negative attitudes are energy draining and when your energy is zapped, you have to go and get recharged. Is it always easy to have positive people around? Absolutely not! We must continue to help others by suggesting sources of inspiration such as self-help books, motivational tapes, and spiritual literature. Then we must challenge individuals to be willing to take charge of their life and the things they can change. Often, you will find yourself spending less time with persons because you can see they really do not want to change. These negative people are often dream busters and if you let them, they will chatter your dreams. Be careful who you share your dreams with and do what you must do for yourself to remain focused and positive. Each you must decide to embrace life with an attitude of gratitude. Affirm today, I will focus on the positive things in life.
3. Visualize success.
In order to visualize success, you must see your dreams and goals with clarity and have a plan. Steven Covey states you must begin with the end in mind. The Bible states where there is no vision the people perish. Is it so important to have a blueprint to guide and direct your path as you work towards achieving your dreams and goals in life. Commit to developing a plan for the dreams and goals you have set for yourself in your personal and professional life. Affirm today, I will take one positive action that will lead me one step closer to reaching my goals.
4. Welcome and embrace change.
How many of you love change? Most of us resist change because of uncertainty and the risks it brings. The only constant in life is that things will change. Our ability to cope with change will help us reduce the stress change often brings. Many of us our currently facing some form of change in our lives, empty nesters, taking care of aging parents, family crisis, jobs being downsized or eliminated, mergers and acquisitions and the list goes on and on. It is vital we find ways to embrace and welcome changes that will take place on our personal and professional lives. Change allows us the opportunity to expand our boundaries and grow. Affirm today, I will welcome and embrace change.
5. Celebrate successes everyday in your life.
When you achieve a major milestone in your life, how do you reward yourself? Start a happy file, smile file, or success journal today. When someone sends you a note, an e-mail message, or a letter that lets you know they appreciate you, put it in that file. Start to focus on the nice things people say and do for you and help them begin their happy file by sharing with them in written form, a note of appreciation. When you start recognizing the successes and strengths of others, it is amazing how much more people start to recognize yours. What you send out to others returns to you. Begin the habit of rewarding yourself for the milestones that move you closer to your goals. These milestones may be big or small. It really doesn’t matter the size only that you recognize them. The important thing is to celebrate because small successes lead to big successes. Affirm today, I will start my happy file.
6. Love Yourself.
What kind of self-talk goes on in your head? What do you say about yourself to others? Learn how to look in the mirror and declare that you love the reflection you see. There is no one else like you in the universe. You are special and always remember that. Love you for the wonderful person you are. Affirm today, I value and love myself.
7. Maintain a winning attitude about life.
Life may not always deal you the hand you want, but learn how to play the hand you are dealt with a winning disposition. Maintaining a winning attitude means that when challenges come, you recognize there is a miracle in your struggle. When you are able to maintain a winning attitude about life, you draw people and circumstances that will be a blessing to you. In life nothing happens by chance, everything is divinely orchestrated. So go forward and keep your winning attitude about life and watch your garden of greatness grow. Affirm today, I will maintain a winning attitude about life.
Nancy J. Lewis is the president of Progressive Techniques, Inc. based in Fayetteville, Georgia where the theme of her company is
“Developing a Better YOU."
Nancy can be reached at (770) 964-5533 or email: email@example.com or website: www.progressivetechniquesinc.com.
Your Comments Are Welcome.
by Michelle Porchia
During the month of August many people will be traveling around the world, across the U.S. or participating in "staycations." Whatever the case may be, keep in mind the power of words. This video demonstrates it powerfully. The Power of Words Whether we're only engaging in self talk or speaking to others, always remember that words paint pictures.
On a lighter note, don't forget that words have different meanings in different regions. For example, "pop" in the Midwest is what "soda" is called in the Northeast. "Coke" down South tends to mean "soda" and you have to specify what type you want. Ask for a frappe in Michigan and you will get a very confused look (ask for a milkshake instead). So keep in mind when you use a word, depending upon where you are, it can have a very different meaning.
Words paint pictures. Whether it's on vacation, at home or at work, let's be clear on the words we are using and the pictures we are painting.
Your comments are welcome.
By Nancy J. Lewis, MS, PHR, RCC
In the complex world of change, chaos, and uncertainty, we must examine the attitude we embrace. One quick way to assess an attitude of another person is to ask yourself how you feel when they leave your presence? Do you feel inspired and charged up ready to take on the world or you do feel like the life has been zapped out of you? Ask yourself, how do people feel when they leave your presence? Each and everyday you must decide the attitude you will embrace. You maybe faced with challenges and difficult people, but it is still a personal decision as to how you allow the attitude of others to influence your attitude. Consider the following seven strategies for improving your attitude.
1. Surround yourself with positive people. Look at those people that are a part of your network and examine the weather (attitude) that they carry. If gloom and doom is all they bring to you consistently, give them a reality check and make them aware of what they are doing. So often people who are consistently negative are not aware of their negative energy. If they are non-responsive, you may have to minimize the time you interact with them. People who fail to change often become toxic and if you stick close to them that toxicity may rub off on you. Seek out those people who recognize the challenges of the day but continue to face them with a positive attitude. Strive to align yourself with people with energy, excitement for life and a positive outlook on the circumstances they face.
2. Read and listen to motivational and inspirational books and tapes. This is a great way to keep yourself inspired and focused on the possibilities of life. When you wake up in the morning, instead of turning on the television, spend those first minutes reading inspirational, biblical, or motivational books. If you drive to work, put in a CD or tape. If you ride the train or bus, read books or invest in a personal CD player and fill your mind with positive thoughts. You have no excuses because you can go to your local library and get books and tapes. Information on anything you want is on the Internet. You simply must have a desire to find ways to maintain a positive attitude.
3. Count your blessings. Recognize that no matter how things maybe, see the blessing in the midst of the chaos and confusion. As you reflect on the blessing that will help you get things in perspective and help you see the glass half full versus half empty.
4. Smile. Be mindful of your countenance and body language. What messages do you send to people when they interact with you? A smile says to others that you are approachable and it costs nothing.
5. Take time to appreciate the simple things in life. Take a walk in the park and don’t just rush by the roses, instead take time to enjoy and smell them. Take time to watch a sunset and remember who to thank. Spend time with those less fortunate and seek opportunities to give words of encouragement to those who pass your way.
6. Believe in yourself. Recognize that you are special and unique. There is no one else quite like you. So let your positive attitude shine. Walk and talk with confidence and know that you have something special to contribute to the world.
7. Live each day to the fullest. Quit putting off some of the things you want to do in life and go for the gusto now. Learn to maximize the minutes of each day. Practice these strategies to help you maintain a winning attitude; an attitude others want to catch!
Your Comments Are Welcome.
By Debra Gould, MS
Ebony Speakers first successful creation was a book project entitled “Real Women, Real Issues: Positive Collaborations for Business Success” is a unique collaboration between four dynamic women coming together from many years of varied experience and from their mastermind group experience.
Out of that experience came the concept of communicating with other women on the importance of maintaining quality personal, professional and business relationships with other people who promote positive living.
Ebony Speakers is excited to announce that our second project was a recent webinar on Wednesday, June 18, 2014. It was just another example of the next level of connecting our audience to the powerful message of real women working in collaborations.
During one of our unique mastermind sessions we all determined that it was time to launch a webinar. We are blessed to have a technology savvy business woman like Carole Copeland Thomas to lead the way to address the program logistics to host this webinar series. Nancy J. Lewis agreed to take on the online registering process and it was onward to create the webinar entitled Savvy Sisters: Share Strategies for Everyday Life.
The day of the webinar Carole Copeland Thomas welcomed our guests to sharpen up their skills while moving forward in life. This important webinar will covered these topics.
Your Personal SWOT Assessment by Debra W. Gould
Taking Charge of Your Career by Nancy J. Lewis
Using INNOVATION to Get Things DONE by Michelle Porchia
Reinvent Yourself & Stay Relevant in Technology by Carole Copeland Thomas
Here are a few highlights of what we shared with our listening audience on June 18.
Debra's conversation on how can I use the SWOT Assessment to validate my strengths and opportunity to attack the guilty feelings every time I decide to take time for myself.
Nancy's conversation was discussed the difference between whining and winning and addressed the tough questions regarding taking charge of your own career.
Michelle's conversation discussed technology, tools, your game plan, and work boundaries.
Carole's conversation was on the rapidly changing world, connections, collaborations, and effectively using social media including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LInkedIn.
We realize seating was limited for this online registration at only $29.00 per person. If you missed out on June 18th due to meetings, business travel or whatever let me suggest a way to get you plugged into this informational, educational, motivational and inspirational webinar. Ebony Speakers still want to invite you to attend our exciting “special one hour” webinar held on June 18, 2014.
Here's how it will work:
First, register and purchase the webinar.
1. Go to www.ebonyspeakers.com
2. On the top menu bar drop down the Savvy Speakers box found underneath the Webinar Series Box.
3. Our Savvy Sisters Webinar is a Password Protected webpage on our website.
4. You can also download the slides on this page
All I can say is WELCOME and get ready to explore your ability to excel, enjoy the webinar and thank you to our guests.
Lastly, we are in the process of scheduling future webinars by Ebony Speakers. From years of experience in training, human resources and corporate consulting Debra W. Gould, Nancy J. Lewis, Michelle Porchia and Carole Copeland Thomas have crafted a power-packed business guide for women and men of all ages and ethnicities. We hope you'll join us for future webinar discussions!
Topics in the webinar toolkit include:
•Starting and Running A Business
•Working Through Difficulties and Challenges
Debra W. Gould, MS is the president of Debra Gould & Associates, Inc. based in New Orleans and provides management consulting and training services to commercial and government clients. Debra is one of the founders of The Ebony Speakers and co-author of the book, Real Women, Real Issues - Positive Collaborations For Business Success. Debra can be reached at: (504) 244-6576,
email: firstname.lastname@example.org and website: www:gouldassoc.com
Nancy J. Lewis, MS, PHR, RCC
In today’s world of business, it requires you redefining your process, redesigning your process, retooling and reframing how you do business. It is no longer business as usual, but rather business as unusual. So get over the way things have always been done and don’t think outside the box; throw the box away. One thing is certain, you must understand the VIP effect to propel your business or career forward in these challenging times. So here are my pointers on the VIP effect.
V-Visibility is key. You must may sure people know who you are and what you do. A friend once told me the first rule of networking is you must show up; but once you show up what happens next. You must learn the art of connecting. Find ways to get your name or company name in the spotlight. It might be in newspaper articles, blogging, volunteering, etc. just get visible in ways that work for you.
I-Image is key. What kind of image do you radiate to others and does it represent the authentic you? You must make sure you are true to yourself and the image you project to others. How you dress, talk, act are apart of your image.
P-Performance is essential. Once you are visible and have the right image, you must be able to perform the job in the spirit of excellence. No excuses will do as you must autograph your work with excellence. Perform so people will tell others about how great you are.
Go for it and create a winning VIP!!
Your Comments Are Welcome!
By Debra W. Gould, MS
Working in this economy can be challenging. Most of us fortunate to have jobs must do more with less and take over roles our descriptions never called for. It can all leave you feeling like someone else!
Here are some suggestions to motivate you and a call to action:
- You must know yourself to make your job work for you and help you get things done.
- Engage in conversation with others and ask the question, “What it really means to "be real at work" and why 90% of working people struggle with this idea?”
- Find interesting opportunities to dialogue and ask others, “How to get through your day, everyday, positively no matter where you work (or who you work for)?”
Debra W. Gould, MS is the president of Debra Gould & Associates, Inc. based in New Orleans and provides management consulting and training services to commercial and government clients. Debra is one of the founders of The Ebony Speakers and co-author of the book, Real Women, Real Issues - Positive Collaborations For Business Success. Debra can be reached at: (504) 244-6576, email: email@example.com and website: www.gouldassoc.com
By Nancy J. Lewis, MS, PHR, RCC
Authenticity is a key to building sustaining and meaningful relationships whether in professional or personal settings. Authenticity is about being genuine and true to your core values no matter what. In today's world, often times we have difficulty in being authentic and transparent because it can come back and impact your career. Sometimes authenticity is not appreciated or celebrated because things are being done or said that make other uncomfortable. Consider the following questions on authenticity as it relates to your world:
1. Does the culture of your organization support and embrace authenticity?
2. Are people encouraged to bring their whole self to work?
3. Are leaders authentic in your workplace?
4. How is failure viewed in your organization?
5. Can authenticity and transparency be a reality for your organization?
Something to ponder as you realize the value authenticity can bring to your company. Authenticity has been linked to better work performance, engagement, and total wellness of employees. That is a good enough reason to create a culture that is open to employees being able to be authentic in the workplace.
We lose creative ideas, develop silos, and polarize work teams when we fail to embrace this important but elusive attribute.
I want to share five things to remember about authenticity.
1. Authenticity is about doing and saying the right thing even when it's not popular.
2. Authenticity is about being consistent with who you are no matter where you are.
3. Authenticity is about knowing what the non-negotiables are in your life.
4. Authenticity is about encouraging others as you operate from the abundance mentality.
5. Authenticity is about knowing how to lead from your heart.
Strive to live an authentic life as you move forward to greater success, peace, and love. One of the phrases I say a lot is, "Do you because everybody else is taken."
Your Comments Are Welcome.
By Nancy J. Lewis, MS, PHR, RCC
Leadership is a vital link in effective and successful organizations. Strong leadership is essential to moving organizations from mediocrity to greatness. As companies struggle with downsizing, rightsizing, capsizing, and resizing, leadership must be demonstrated to navigate the winds of change in the workplace. Cornerstones of leadership are integrity, respect, and accountability.
Integrity in its simplest form is walking the walk and talking the talk. It is about keeping your promises and doing the right thing ever when it is not popular. It requires making tough but fair decisions in difficult situations. Leaders must be willing to walk in integrity to lead, motivate, and retain a diverse workplace. It is not what you say that people remember; it is what you do.
Respect is a quality leaders must demonstrate when interacting with employees and colleagues throughout the organization. It does not matter what position, title, or rank employees hold, leaders must practice this attribute. It is about esteeming others and showing honor to them.
Accountability means when you mess up, miss a deadline, you own up to it, without making excuses or blaming others. You focus on solutions and review what needs to happen so this mistake does not occur again. There is no humiliation in failing as long as you learn from your experience. Leaders must understand through failure we grow and expand our comfort zones.
Cultivate an environment where integrity, respect, and accountability are the core essentials for building and sustaining a successful organization.
Your Comments Are Welcome
Book Debra, Michelle, Nancy or Carole for your next speaking engagement or training event.