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 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
Leadership: Know Your Style
By Debra W. Gould, MS
The word 'leadership' just might be the most overused word in management. Why? Because depending on the type of leadership being referenced, the meaning can be quite different. Many people never stop and think about it, but there are literally dozens of leadership styles.
Knowing the style you feel most comfortable with will help you become a more effective leader because you'll be using a style that fits your personality and work style.
Here are just a few leadership styles to consider:
1. Autocratic Leadership
Autocratic leaders rule alone, and don't usually take suggestions from staff. This style of leadership is largely outdated, but can be very effective when tight control outweighs collaborative efforts.
2. Charismatic Leadership
Charismatic leaders are beloved by their teams. They inspire the people they work with to do better, and they're very energetic. Charismatic leadership comes with a great deal of responsibility, and often organizations or projects can collapse if the leader leaves simply because the team puts so much faith into that one person.
3. Laissez-Faire Leadership
This style of leadership is very "hands off". Leaders let their teams or employees run the show, and they stay in the background organizing and monitoring. This style of leadership works best when the employees are very experienced.
4. Task-Focused Leadership
Task-focused leaders are concerned with one thing: getting the job done. These leaders are productive, but often suffer some of the same problems as autocratic leaders: they're unconcerned with staff needs, which often results in high turnover.
5. Servant Leadership
Servant leaders are the opposite of Task leaders. They're very focused on the needs of the team, and strive for democratic decision making. Servant leaders often lead by their values and integrity.
This is only a sample of some of the different leadership styles that can be used. If you're in a leadership position, then it's vital you identify which style suits you best.
Trying to lead one way, when your style warrants a different way will only make your actions half-hearted and inconsistent, not mention your results. Find a style that suits your unique personality and skills, and dive in.
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
Retooling Your Career
By Nancy J. Lewis, MS, PHR, RCC
Today’s workplace is filled with uncertainty, chaos, and change. We are seeing things happen in business and with employees that is unprecedented. Downsizing, resizing, mergers, organizations simply going out of business is becoming all too common. As a result of this you have more and more people looking for jobs in totally different industries.
So how do you retool your career? You look within and identify who you are, what your strengths and attributes are, and what you are good at doing and enjoy. Retooling is about being authentic and true to your core values and recognizing how to turn challenges into opportunities. What are you passionate and energized about relating to work? What dreams have you been sitting on? Now is an opportunity to see if you can align your dreams with your passion as you retool your career.
You must get into action and take steps to retool your career. It means reviewing and making sure your resume reflects your strengths and highlights your accomplishments and successes. It requires letting people in your network know you are looking for an opportunity to share your skills and attributes in a progressive company that values stars. This is not a time to sit back and hope someone finds you. Remember it is not what you know or who you know, rather who knows you and what they know about you. You must BRAND YOU!
You must be willing to learn and develop skills in areas that you have not been exposed to before. It might require going back to school for a degree, taking professional development courses at a local community college, or getting a mentor or a coach. It may mean having to do research/reading on an area of interest you know little about. The important thing to remember is you must commit to lifelong learning.
In retooling, you take your transferable skills and apply them to your next career opportunity. If you were good at marketing, technology, teaching, etc. how can you leverage those skills in your next career move? It is vital to build on what you have learned in life and be willing to utilize those same skills in a new career. You can no longer guarantee that jobs you have had in the past will be what you do in the future. You must be open minded and have a willing spirit to adapt to the constant world of change.
Retooling makes you look at what is important to you and then begin a plan of action for moving forward in the face of change to achieve greatness in your life. Remember to ask for what you want, engage others in your job search, commit to life-long learning, look at failure as a detour and not a destination, keep a positive attitude, and continue to walk in integrity and faith.
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Book Debra, Michelle, Nancy or Carole for your next speaking engagement or training event.