MVP Seminars Blogs

Many people are open to learning, but not all are interested in developing.

You might ask, “Isn’t learning the same thing as development?” Not quite.

There are really two levels to learning.

  1. The first level occurs when you hear, see, and/or experience something interesting or novel. It is often followed by the comment, “Wow, I didn’t know that.” or “That’s cool.”
  2. The second level of learning takes the new knowledge and applies it. Personal development is all about translating insight into action. It is the process of doing something with the information, transforming and integrating it into new or different behaviors, habits, and mindsets.

Not everyone readily jumps into the second level of learning and undertakes true personal development. It takes time, practice, and a lot of potential discomfort.

The metaphor of a lobster shedding its shell is a powerful way of depicting this choice for real development.

As the young lobster grows, it becomes too large for the shell that protects it. The lobster must search for an area within the rocks on the floor of the ocean where it can feel relatively secure from any predators. Slowly, it begins to shed the shell, that which is stunting its growth.

When the shell is gone, just consider its plight. Its new shell, which began growing before the old one was shed, is still soft and provides little protection. During this time, the lobster is extremely vulnerable and at great risk from predators. It is completely exposed to its dangerous world. Yet, the alternative would be worse. Without the periodic shedding of its shell, the lobster would not be able to grow and ultimately perish.

As leaders, we are faced with a daily choice to grow. We are continually learning new information, and deciding if and how we do something with it.How can development be structured to create a safe environment for a leader to grow and shed their shell?

To help leaders make this important choice and feel that being vulnerable is worth it, here are 6 secrets for achieving lasting personal development. These principles can foster the right environment, attitude, and actions to achieve level 2 learning. These also become the foundation for lasting individual and company-wide training and development solutions..

6 Secrets to Personal Growth:

1. Every Day: Development is far more than a single event or training class, it is an everyday effort to practice, practice, practice. Spending time on a consistent basis is key to growing a skill or a new way of thinking. For example, learning to ask open-ended questions to foster more open dialogue on one’s team is not merely a single event. It is a new habit that can take weeks to achieve proficiency.

2. Aligned: Get in sync with your team, your boss, and your organization so your development can be supported and sustained. How many of us come back from a conference with a long list of great ideas and the next day they all go out the window? It is critical to gain the feedback and insight from others in the organization and what they value. They can advocate for you instead of against you. And aligning with the current power structure will best position you to appropriately push back, developing yourself and others simultaneously.

3. Motivated: Development should happen because you want it, not because someone told you to do it. If there is not an internal desire for personal develop, you may go through the motions but not receive much benefit. The notion for mandatory development rarely works. People need to want it for development to be effective. Reach deep inside, and find or create the motivation to learn and apply good ideas to help you be a better leader.

4. Positive: Spending time on development is in investment in the future. Engaging in development can and should be seen as a positive experience that will lead to a better way of working. Having the right attitude about development helps one reap the greatest value from it.

5. Tailored: Each person brings a myriad of unique experiences, successes, and concerns. Crafting development experiences to fit the needs of each person, effectively builds on their strengths and addresses their specifics areas for opportunities. The more tailored the development, the greater level of respect and value the leader will feel.

6. Discomfort: When speaking with groups, I sometimes tell them that I hope they feel uncomfortable today because that is a strong sign that development is occurring! Lasting personal development pushes one beyond their comfort zone. It stretches and expands one’s capabilities and is strong evidence that learning has transitioned into behavior-changing development.

How have you or your organization used these principles to build training programs or foster personal leadership development?

I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments below!

Click here to download a FREE resource we created for you!

Get the summary of the above 6 Secrets to Your Leadership Growth for you to download and even print for future reference, here.

*Note this article was originally posted on LinkedIn

About Daniel

Daniel Stewart a Leadership, Talent, and Change Consultant at Stewart Leadership.

He thrives in supporting top performing companies manage and retain exceptional talent, and coach the leaders of tomorrow.

About Stewart Leadership

Stewart Leadership is a talent management and leadership development consulting, coaching, and training company building leaders in start-ups to the Fortune 500. Click here to contact us and discover how we could partner with you.

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How to Hit Your Leadership Recharge Button

“If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn’t sit for a month.”?—?Teddy Roosevelt

An insightful experiment in learning retention was conducted at Wipro’s tech-support call center.

As reported in the Nov 2015 Harvard Business Review, Why Organizations Don’t Learn, Wipro invited new hires during their sixth through their sixteenth days in training to do something a little different.

This global IT consulting firm had each trainee spend the last 15 minutes of their day reflecting and writing about what they had learned that day. The company also created a control group, who just kept on working for the last 15 minutes with any journaling.

Guess what happened?

Trainees who reflected each day performed more than 20% better, on average, than those in the control group on their final training exam.

Is this a coincidence?

Not at all! Learning through self-reflection is one of the most important skills of being an effective leader.

As you hit the ground running to tackle all of your leadership challenges in 2016, my invitation is to pause and reflect?—?now and on a regular basis throughout the year. Regular reflection positions us to minimize the trouble or lack of learning we cause ourselves. Make sure that you are not the one standing in your own way.

But what should you focus on while you pause and think about the day? How can you best hit your leadership recharge button? What can you do on a regular basis to help you show up as the kind of leader you know you can be? For starters, focus on the positive!

Martin Seligman, who is the father of positive psychology, in his book,Flourish, suggests a key exercise to maximize the power of reflection called Practicing What Went Right.

The exercise has three simple steps:

Step 1: Start by writing 3 things that went right last week.

You can focus on all aspects of your life or just what happened at work.

For example you could say:

  • I had a successful crucial conversation with a colleague
  • I completed our budget on time
  • I included data in my presentation that really connected with my audience

Step 2: Identify what habit or behavior you did to cause those things to go right?

For example:

  • I created a written plan for my crucial conversation and minimized the drama
  • I scheduled a meeting where all decision makers were present to expedite the budgeting process
  • I blocked the first 30 min of each day to prepare and research for my presentation.

Step 3: Answer the following questions:

  • How can I make something like that happen again?
  • What habit do I need to put in place or cultivate more of?

Some examples could include:

  • I chose to check the story I was telling myself and focus just on the facts
  • I decided to not wait for permission but to be proactive
  • I allowed myself to not respond to email or texts for 30 minutes

Next, do the same exercise but on what has gone right thus far today.

Identify what habit or behavior helped those things go right and what you can do to help those things happen again.

“Reflect on your present blessings, on which every man has many, not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.”?—?Charles Dickens

We are often very good at focusing on what is going wrong or what is missing in our life. Flip the perspective and catch yourself (and others!) doing something right!

Your level of happiness will increase, your leadership strengths will shine, and your higher level of gratitude will be contagious.

As you strengthen your leadership this year, choose to reflect, choose to learn, and choose to lead better!

Recharge your leadership with gratitude and you will bring more joy to yourself and to those you lead. Happy 2016!

To assist you with your leadership success and reflection in 2016, we have created a complimentary set of self reflection worksheets for you.

It’s easy to print and will help you easily complete the 3 step exercise described above! Click here to download the FREE worksheet.

Note: This article first appeared on LinkedIn.

About Daniel

Daniel Stewart a Leadership, Talent, and Change Consultant at Stewart Leadership.

He thrives in supporting top performing companies manage and retain exceptional talent, and coach the leaders of tomorrow.

About Stewart Leadership

Stewart Leadership is a talent management and leadership development consulting, coaching, and training company building leaders in start-ups to the Fortune 500. Click here to contact us and discover how we could partner with you.

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Several years ago, I was facilitating a talent review meeting with a room full of executives.

After hours of great dialogue, we all settled on where their people fit on the 9 box talent grid.

The leaders were engaged in the process and were excited to be able to make more informed talent decisions to match the organization’s strategies.

And then came the moment of truth:

What do we say to those being reviewed?
  • Do we tell them which talent box they were placed in?
  • Do we tell them which position we pictured them filling, in 1-3 years?
  • Do we leave it up to each manager to decide?
  • Or, do we not say anything to them at all?

After much dialogue, the eventual decision was to tell everyone how much the organization valued them… and that was it!

This approach worked well for the leaders in the room, but it was not very helpful, or engaging, for the people being reviewed.

So what is the best approach in having talent conversations? 

Each organization chooses to answer this question differently. Yet there are best practices that, when followed, can build the credibility and effectiveness of the talent process. They can help you inspire and motivate and also increase the engagement and commitment of the employees being reviewed.

This will require courage of you as the leader, but it can pay off massively for your talent, team, and organization.

Below are the three talent conversations that you must have to help inspire, engage, and retain great talent.

We've also included a complimentary printable Leadership Conversation Guide at the end for your convenience.

What’s the key message for me to convey?

“We want to invest in you and your growth.”

Who should I have this conversation with?

This is the conversation with highly talented individuals who deliver beyond expectations and have great potential.  They want to be challenged and expect greater expectations to come to them.

How can I best convey this message?

Your discussion points could include:

  • You have a long runway and you add tremendous benefit to the organization.
  • We like what we see and we want to see more in the future.
  • We as a company want to provide opportunities, resources, and support to develop and hone your leadership ability.
  • I want to meet with you regularly, identify and discuss your career goals, and work through a personal individual action plan.
  • Senior leaders will be cheering you on and paying attention to your current and future successes.

A Word of Caution:  The caution with this conversation is not to promise, directly or indirectly, any specific position.  Do not mention specific titles for future jobs. This will create expectations that are beyond anyone’s ability to keep.

What’s the key message for me to convey?

“You are a valuable and solid contributor!”

Who should I have this conversation with?

This is for the steady performers, those with longer tenure, and/or those with great knowledge of the organization’s history and practices.  They are often the glue that holds teams together during the ups and downs.  They know their position and specific function well.  They are subject matter experts and can have strong relationships with others throughout the organization.

How can I best convey this message?

Your discussion points could include:

  • You are greatly appreciated for all of your contributions.
  • You are a strong performer.
  • You provide great stability for the department and team.
  • You have strong expertise in your field and the organization recognizes and values your knowledge and abilities.
  • I want to make sure you feel supported and engaged.
  • You are in the right place to optimize your value to the team and organization.
  • I want to help you feel challenged within your current position.

A Word of Caution: Do not lead them to think they are getting ready for a promotion. Clarify with them that they will be able to add value in their current or similar position for the near future. Questions about future positions can be addressed case by case.

What’s the key message for me to convey?

“Your performance needs to be better.”

Who should I have this conversation with?

This is for the underperforming individuals who are not delivering what the organization needs.  They are not consistently hitting the expected bar for quality, cost, or timeliness. 

The conversation does not address potential; it is all about performance.

How can I best convey this message?

Your discussion points could include:

  • I want to help you be successful.
  • Your performance is not where it needs to be.
  • We will focus on the short-term, the next 1-6 months.
  • Let’s inventory your skills, strengths, and motivation to make sure it is a good match for the position.
  • Let’s write down very clear expectations and set very specific and measurable performance goals.
  • We can identify logical check-in points to assess improvement.

A Word of Caution:  Avoiding this kind of conversation can negatively impact the high performers because poor performance can pull down others’ engagement and their confidence in leadership.

Final Note:

Employees who have been in the organization or in their position for less than 6 months are typically too new to be put into any of these conversations.  After 6 months, you will have a much better idea which of the three conversations you need to have with them.

The best thing for you to focus on with new employees is to ensure that they have the resources, expectation clarity, and leadership support to achieve quick wins.

Our Gift to You

We've created a complimentary Leadership Talent Conversation Guide for you to download and use, absolutely free!

Click here now to download the guide now.


I'm a Leadership, Talent, and Change Consultant at Stewart Leadership. I thrive in supporting top performing companies manage and retain exceptional talent, and coach the leaders of tomorrow.

About Stewart Leadership

Stewart Leadership is a talent management and leadership development consulting, coaching, and training company building leaders in start-ups to the Fortune 500. Click here to contact us and discover how we could partner with you.

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  • Note: Don't miss the complimentary checklist at the end of this article.

“Are they ready for the next level?”

This is a common question on the minds of great leaders and HR professionals. But the answer may not be as easy as we'd like.

Determining talent potential and readiness is vital to putting the right people in the right positions at the right time; but it can be a tricky business. No wonder we immediately default to looking at past performance, and assume that a strong track record will continue in the future, even in new, elevated, or enlarged positions.

But performance really is only part of the equation — performance is not necessarily an indication of future returns.

So to assist you, we’ve compiled a list of four key indicators and attributes of talent potential that will provide a foundation for leaders and decision-makers during talent management and leadership development conversations.

These four attributes should always be considered when attempting to determine if someone has leadership potential and is ready for the next level.

1. Self-Awareness

The first step in any leadership development effort is self-awareness.

Do they know how they react in good and stressful times? Is the person aware of how their actions impact others? Are they able to adjust their behaviors to fit the needs of the situation?

This involves a powerful combination of IQ and EQ. Too often successful people are technically gifted (IQ) but may lack the experience or awareness of how that translates in a team or peer setting (EQ).

Being able to be aware, to reflect and to manage the perceptions others have of them is a key indicator of someone who has potential for more.

2. Translating Learning-to-Action

People often like to learn and hear about new findings and trends. However, it is something quite different to hear a new idea and then find ways to try it out, to tailor it, and to implement it.

This involves a willingness to take risks and a keen understanding of the future (and often unmet) needs of customers. It requires an ability to quickly see the value in something new and the boldness to turn it into something useful.

This ability often involves a searching for newness and a preference for variety, resulting in thought leadership for the team, organization, and industry.

3. Drive to Succeed

Sometimes called “fire in the belly,” it is the motivation to achieve and to meet high standards of excellence.

These standards are often internally set and managed. They don’t shift or become diluted when times get tough, but are championed so others are inspired as well. Challenges are exciting and rewarding experiences.

Opportunities to develop are viewed with a sense of optimism and confidence. Yet, this drive needs to be tempered so it is not just about them. This indicator describes leaders who bring themselves and those on their teams to consistently deliver high quality results.

4. Reading the Room

This is a sixth sense that enables a person to know when and how to introduce an idea into the organization to optimize adoption.

It describes an ability to know the needs of others and the right timing to share feedback on an initiative. This is more an art than a science and involves a keen understanding of organizational culture and relationships.

Far more than just preparing for and facilitating a successful meeting, it speaks to cultivating trusting rapport with key decision makers and being agile with the cadence of projects and ideas.

We have a special FREE gift for you

We've created a checklist of these 4 Key Talent Potential Indicators for you to download and use immediately, or keep it for future use.

It's our gift to you!

Click here to download.

Note: This article first appeared on LinkedIn.

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Summer is an excellent time to take a long, introspective look at your career. Spend some time with yourself as a client. Do a realistic assessment of your job performance. Jot down current career goals and project five to ten years out where you will be in your career. Ask yourself if you are using your skills to their best advantage and take action if you are deficient. Is your current organization where you belong, or is a move imminent? Are you waiting to be chosen for a leadership role in your organization, or does your performance and persona speak loud and clear that you are an emerging leader? Before I opened APLS Group, I saw myself through the eyes of others. I depended on superiors and clients to provide the feedback that attested to my competency. I was confident about my ability to deliver business content in a professional manner and to satisfy the client with the appropriate company product. I thought my proficiency would be seen and rewarded, which is not an unusual expectation in the workplace. It wasn’t until I found myself on the wrong side of a few downsizing situations that I decided I needed to value my competency more and seek validation less. The mind-switch was the pivotal turnaround in my professional career. I became an emerging leader in search of opportunities to showcase my talent and exercise my leadership skills. Fifteen years ago, I took a gigantic leap away from traditional corporate ladder-climbing and opened APLS Group. It is a move I have never regretted. Jack Welch, former GE CEO, is quoted as saying, “Control your own destiny or somebody else will.”    It is complimentary to be selected as a future leader in an organization, but sometimes the hierarchy overlooks competent people. It’s not necessary for you to wait to be noticed; if you see yourself as a leader, cultivate the work skills and the people skills necessary to become an effective leader. This is the time to take charge of your own professional development. Create your “aha moment.” Start planning your trajectory up the corporate ladder, or begin to develop your entrepreneurial talent.  Either path will identify you as an emerging leader--one who’s ready to grow, learn, and succeed.  
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If you've read my book, The Secret Side o f Anger, or attended one of my lectures on the topic, you know that while there are thousands of events that can trigger anger, there are actually only three root causes: hurt, fear, and frustration. In any given circumstance, you can trace anger back to one or more of these causes. For the purpose of today's show, I've going to cover seven erroneous belief systems and/or behaviors that fuel our outrage, how we can relinquish them, and what we will gain by doing so. Give up: 1. Limiting or inaccurate beliefs: It's not uncommon to make statements such as "It's impossible" or "I can't do that." In doing so, we are putting constraints on life's possibilities and restricting our chances for success. Beliefs such as "I'm not good enough" erode our self-esteem and lead to a life of depression and failure. Feelings of hopelessness (the very definition of anger) and frustration (a root cause) lead to anger, outrage, and despair. Gain: A positive outlook allows for unlimited possibilities and fuels desire, hope, and effort. Excitement, determination, and accomplishment replace hopelessness, self-loathing, and anger. Self-confidence rises out of our continued successes. 2. Complaining: By its very nature, the act of finding fault with a situation or person focuses on the negative. Our expectations of how things should be or how another should act have not met our standards. Negative thoughts can only lead to negative feelings such as disgust, disillusionment, and anger.  Gratitude is the antidote to criticizing. Gain: Finding something, anything, to be grateful for enables one to see the goodness and benefits that surround them. In that way, one experiences joyfulness and gratitude rather than disdain. 3. Need to be right: Like kerosene to a flame, the need to be right is a guaranteed accelerant of anger. Rooted in low self-esteem, one needs to prove their level of intelligence, their worthiness, and/or superiority over another in order to feel good about themselves and to maintain a particular image in front of others. When two parties disagree, needing to prove one's authority over the other will invariably end in a fight. Disagreements do not necessarily equate to issues of right or wrong but may instead indicate a person's preferences or opinions. Work on strengthening how you feel about yourself and the need to be right will vanish. Gain: This one simple shift will dramatically improve the quality of your relationships as others   begin to feel more comfortable in your presence. Your confidence enables you to be more open-minded and relaxed while enjoying the other person's company more. The possibility of offending or alienating the other person is dramatically reduced.  4. Control: The need to control is based in fear. It's normal and healthy to be concerned about how one's life progresses as we all worry about our own well-being. In any situation, we try to create the outcome that will be best for us (and others if possible).The one who has greater control appears to have greater influence on the outcome. One lacks trust in the natural progression of life or in the capabilities of others. The need to have a predetermined result leads to anxiety and worry, underlying causes of anger. Gain: Letting go and allowing life to unfold naturally means having faith and trust in one's ability   to adapt to their changing circumstances. Additionally, it illustrates a faith in God that what is meant to enter or exit our lives is always for our higher good. Relinquishing control makes way for a relaxed and peaceful approach to life. 5. Judgment: We are typically harsh in our assessment of others. We form critical opinions that create a hierarchy of value among us. Judgments are formed through the practice of comparisons: we compare others with ourselves or with what we consider to be normal or acceptable. We fail to allow for individual circumstances, personality traits, beliefs, abilities, etc. Judging creates tension in relationships on every level.  Negative and unkind thoughts about others lead to resentment, anger, disgust, and so on. Replacing judgment with understanding allows one to be more compassionate and supportive. Gain: One immediately gains self-respect when they choose to no longer criticize or compare    others. Allowing each person to navigate their own life in their own time and way reduces stress and arrogance within the critic as they become more compassionate and kinder beings. One's reputation for being non-judgmental serves them well in every aspect of their life. Additionally, personal relationships become less confrontational and more enjoyable. 6. Resistance to change: Many people don't like change because along with change comes the fear of the unknown. It's not actually the uncertainty that people are afraid of but more specifically how they will be affected by it. When change is forced upon them they seek to maintain the status quo and become angry and resentful at the thought of someone forcing something upon them. Even necessary variations can cause anxiety and fear, underlying causes of anger. Accepting that change is both necessary and beneficial can help alleviate one's fears. Building self-confidence, the belief in one's abilities to thrive in any new circumstance, is empowering and freeing. Gain: The more accepting one is concerning any of life's conditions the less effort is expended in resistance, anger, bitterness, and fear. One is free to live a relaxed life eager and willing to face     every new adventure life has to offer. A spirit of courage and enthusiastic anticipation allows for joyful living. 7. Blame: People are often eager to hold others accountable for any unfavorable events that occur. They blame others for how they feel, the poor choices they've made, and the sad condition of their lives. Blame renders one powerless as it transfers authority to another. If someone else is responsible for the condition of my life then that indicates that I have no power or control over myself. That is simply not true. I have intellect, free will, and choice. While I may not be able to fully control what occurs around me, I always have control over how I respond to it, perceive it, use it, and allow it to affect my life. Personal responsibility is where our personal power lies. Blame implies one is powerless (another definition of anger) and that invariable leads to distrust, bitterness, resentment, and self-pity. Gain: Those who take full ownership for their feelings, choices, and life in general definitely feel stronger and more effective. They understand that they have full authority to change whatever is not working for them. In this way, their determination and perseverance will eventually provide the kind of life they are seeking. When you give up each of the above mentioned behaviors, you will discover that there is greater ease to living, an improvement in most relationships, a greater sense of gratitude and joy in life, higher levels of self-esteem and confidence, and a new-found respect for one's self. But the greatest gain in this process is inner peace.  This is by far the most  precious gift one can acquire in life. For without inner peace, nothing else truly matters.  
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© 2015 Mark T. Sorrels Having been raised in the beautiful state of Kentucky, though not a consumer, I do know a little about the process of making bourbon. Though it must be made of at least 51% corn mash and must be stored in charred oak barrels, the process that leads to the end product can take anywhere from three years to twenty! Depending on the distiller’s desire for taste, the influence of the mash and the charred oak barrels is a process that may take a long time. The first two installments of The Basics of a Leader’s Influence focused on a leader’s presence and power. This final installment seeks to help us understand the leader’s influence on others is a process. In order for you to see the result(s) of your influence as a leader, be prepared to wait. Why? Influencing people is a process. Few things in life come immediately or quickly and a leader’s influence is no exception. It may be weeks, months or even years before you celebrate the fruit of your labor. Thought patterns and lifestyles of people do not change quickly. So, in order to see the result(s) of your influence as a leader, be like a master distiller; be aware of the process; be willing and prepared to wait.
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Arthur T. Demoulas, known as Artie T, believed it was his job to take care of people and drive corporate performance.  As a consequence of his servant leadership style, he helped Demoulas Supermakets, Inc (Market Basket) achieve an annual revenue of $4.6 billion, of which $1 billion in profits were returned to shareholders between 2000-2010, and a 6th best chain rating in the U.S. Corporate climate depends on a number of personalities in the organization and is a reflection of how employees think and feel about their organization.  As people come and go, changes in attitude occur. When leaders change, particularly those at the top, they can have great impact on an organization. When that person is a servant leader and beloved like Artie T., the impact can be much more profound, as Demoulas Supermakets, Inc. has experienced in recent months.  With Artie T.’s recent removal from his CEO and leadership position, the climate has changed for the worse and Market Basket finances look increasingly dire. The reason for Market Basket’s demise stem from the ouster of a CEO who cared about his employees, which was reciprocated by the loyalty and trust those employees feel for their leader. Here are a few suppositions about servant leaders.  They (are):
  1. more highly regarded by their employees,
  2. feel better about themselves, and
  3. accomplish more.  
In Artie T.s case, we know that at least two of these, most likely all three, are true. Tom Crea is a Leadership Speaker and Performance Coach who works with groups of managers who want to build teams and lead.  He served a career in the U.S. Army where he specialized in developing leaders, improving communication, and building teams. 
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Do Your Barriers to Change Have an Expiration Date?

Last week I read a news article about expiration dates on food and disposing of food when it passes the expiration date. What if we could assign "expiration dates" to barriers to change and intentionally remove them from an organization by that date? What would stop happening? What would people start doing differently? What choices would management have to make to intentionally remove these barriers?

Rather than offer answers to these questions here, I want to focus on this concept because it empowers management to increase profits and accelerate change in a whole new way. The speed of change would be radically different and management would be fully aware of their impact on profit, culture and change. If barriers to change were extracted like teeth that need to be pulled, organizations would experience a way of working together that few companies ever achieve. Management credibility would go through the roof and trust between management and the workforce (and within the management team) would reach unprecedented levels.
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I believe in helping others to build confidence, because confidence is a major factor in creating possibilities. While a variety of issues can factor into one's lack of confidence, I find that for many professionals with whom I speak, the most common missing ingredient is a sense of self. Most confident people:

•   Know who they are

•   Are Comfortable with who they are

•   Like who they are

•   Operate from who they are

Confident people are able to be 'who they are'. You will always be a better speaker or presenter, with more effective communication, when able to be yourself while doing it. For those lacking in confidence, the question is usually, "How do I become more confidant in who I am? Sharing yourself, your emotions and feelings, is important to confidence building, however, creating a genuine connection with others, can be a difficult challenge for those already unsure of themselves. In fact, it can be downright painful, increasing fear and tension, the very emotions that cause most of us to clam up in the first place. A confident, inspired and creative person will find his or her success rooted in the ability to express their life force and convey thoughts, feelings and emotions so that others are moved by them. How to do build confidence from a sense of self is an art, not a mystery. The good news is that it can be learned! The ultimate challenge for any great communicator is how to cause people to feel something, to have an experience. Once you begin to have a better sense of self, becoming more aware of who you truly are, you can then begin to develop an incredible, yet genuine, range of expression to impact the world around you. Learning such skills is invaluable. It will take time, effort and determination. Becoming acutely aware of your own specific emotional responses provides you more "emotional intelligence" and subtly (but surely) you will begin to project more self-confidence and self-esteem, giving others permission to put their confidence in you, creating even more possibilities.  
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