Showing posts from March, 2021

Look Like a Leader

There are two steps to becoming a leader: YOU have to believe you CAN be a leader. THEY have to believe you ARE a leader. Simple, huh? The purpose of this email is to help with #2. This may seem obvious but ... people WILL treat you differently depending on how you dress, conduct, and present yourself. Toastmasters is a professional development organization. You come here to learn skills to help you advance in the workplace. Does dressing that casually and informally help you achieve that? If you want your boss to consider you for a promotion, they have to see you as a leader first. Put yourselves in the shoes of a guest that's coming to your club to learn how to grow their communication and leadership skills and they see a room full of people dressed in jeans, shorts, t-shirts, sneakers, or flip flops. Do you think they're going to feel confident that you can help them achieve their goals? This is especially true if you're a club officer. You should aim to dress a little m

Amazon's Leadership Principles

This one's a bit long but there's a lot of good information in here. Amazon's Leadership Principles It's amazing to think about. Just 20 years ago Amazon was a small little website that sold books. 20 years later and they're solid competitors, if not industry leaders, in retail, publishing, logistics, wireless, toys, devices, apparel, and cloud computing - just to name a few. Part of the reason for their success is their culture of hiring and developing leaders with a focus on the 14 Amazon leadership principles that have guided the company's decision-making. EVERY Amazon employee is expected to adhere to these principles. Many of these principles apply to Toastmasters as well. For brevity's sake I'll just talk about the ones that apply to Toastmasters. My comments will be in italics. You can find the full list of Amazon's Leadership Principles  here . Customer Obsession Leaders start with the customer and work backwards. They work vigorously to earn

Being truly humble

 Just heard a powerful quote that especially applies to leaders. " Humility isn't thinking less of yourself - it's think of yourself less. " In other words, being humble isn't downplaying your accomplishments. Truly humble people aren't thinking of themselves at all. They're busy thinking of others.

As a leader, you need diversity

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!!! Human nature being what it is, we have a tendency to live, work, and socialize with people that looks like us. As a leader, you can't afford to do that. As a leader you should never stop learning and the more diverse the people around you, the more you have to learn and leverage.  To illustrate the power of diversity, look at your hand. By itself, it's not very powerful. Each finger, by itself, isn't very powerful. But clench them into a fist and get all fingers working together and now you have power! The different fingers represent the diversity of different people on your team. The idea isn't to become like everyone else but to be willing to understand and entertain different thoughts, perspectives, and ideas.

3-step Process to Inspire Others to Take Action

In a previous post I talked about " The Mousetrap Way " by Manoj Vasudevan. This comes from that same book. When you're trying to inspire others to take action, remember  Now ,  Wow , and  How . Now What needs to change? What stories or anecdotes can you use to prove your point? Make them understand that doing nothing can be painful. Wow Help your team visualize the desired results. Focus on the end result - don't worry about the "how" just yet. Don't make promises you can't keep. How What actions need to be taken? Explain them in a way that makes them look practical and achievable. THIS is where you articulate your idea. Subtly challenge them so that they feel the urge to give your idea(s) a try. Example: A politician that's trying to get you to vote for them. Now  - The current situation is in our country is bad. Wow  - Together we can create jobs and prosperity. How  - Vote for me.

What I've Learned

(NOTE: This post was inspired by a conversation I had with our Toastmasters International Director towards the end of my District Director year. He asked me what I'd learned during my year as District Director. These aren't ALL I learned but they sprang to mind first.) Everyone is watching and listening. You may think you're no one special, the only time people listen is when you get up in front to talk. Don't be fooled. When you're a leader, EVERYONE is listening to what you say, and watching what you do ALL. OF. THE. TIME! If you're in a club meeting, or a speech contest, and you're on your phone checking FaceBook, or texting, or emailing - people will notice. They may not say anything to YOU, but they WILL talk to each other. Yes, you may BE bored to tears, or you didn't get a lot of sleep last night, but imagine what that brand new member, giving their Ice Breaker speech, thinks when they see the Club President, or the visiting Area Director, with th