A special update

This post is special for two reasons:

It's a special day!

It’s a special day!

#1: I am hosting a workshop session for my clients tonight.
#2: And, one of my clients decided to blog about my work with him, so you can get an idea about what I do.

Special #1: I’m going to tell you what we’re working on in this group session.

There’s a story about who you are. Then, there’s the truth of who you are. Get the story to align to the truth and your life will transform. In our interactive group session tonight, we’ll introduce the process of alignment. It’s a bit too deep to speak about here, but feel free to reach out to me for further details here.

Special #2: Here’s a window into the work I do one-on-one.

One of my clients, Michae Allen, is a dedicated husband and father of four who is investing in the launch of his business. Michae talks about my process here.

Want to know more? I answer all questions. (I know that sounds like a setup.) Just comment below.

 

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Be A Spider (4 Wise Moves for Entrepreneurs)

This blog post sponsored in part by the yummy food, great service and free Wifi at Gilbert’s on 17th Street Grill

Even though I’m a writer and creative consultant, I’m a scientist at heart. Most of my work comes from the revelations I have while studying nature and physics.

By David Maiolo (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By David Maiolo [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

On a walk the other day, I saw a huge banana spider suspended between a tree and a building. There was evidence in its web that it had already eaten a few creatures, and it was busy rebuilding the holes that were left.

On another tree close by sat an iguana.

Well, I thought, the iguana will have a healthy dinner.

But then I looked at the spider in the web again and realized I was wrong. There were four things that the spider had going for it that every risk-averse entrepreneur could learn.

1. Make your way by your strength.

Most spiders eat what they catch in their web. Others build traps and eat what gets caught there. Here’s the key: What they build sustains them. The most successful entrepreneurs aren’t selling someone else’s products. Build on the things that sustain you.

2. Know what is your bread and butter.

Spiders eat insects. So they build their webs where insects are: flying between trees, or in dusty corners of your house. Spiders test their success by what they catch—so even if a spider mistakenly builds a web across your doorway, once you walk through it, you’ll never see that spider web there again. If you’re not catching anything where you are, move.

3. Take a calculated risk.

Contrary to Spiderman’s web-slinging in the comics, spiders don’t shoot silk out to build webs across a space. They fling themselves out there, spinning silk behind themselves during flight. Even baby spiders build tiny little parachutes in a process called ballooning (aww) after they hatch and fling themselves into the wind to find new homes. They do that so that they can test the viability of the places they attach their web to. You can’t judge your market or your products with theory. You’ve got to get out there. One of the first things I tell my clients to do is look at what’s already working— but to use that to push themselves deeper into their market. I talk about that on my TEDxTalk here.

4. Stay on the Web.

The spider’s best strength is on the web. Its food gets caught there. It has a great vantage point on its environment. And the spider’s legs are so sensitive to it that any movement on the web alerts the spider immediately. That iguana would have to leap off of the tree in order to catch the spider… unless the spider comes off the web. Once you’ve found the work you are good at, get better at it. Use the gifts and strengths you’ve been given to protect yourself.

And here’s a bonus tip!

5. Have faith in the world around you.

Spiders that are ballooning were at first thought to plan their trajectory. After many years of research, scientists concluded that they don’t really have a plan. They just know they need to move, and move farther than they can jump. When you understand who you are, and what your strengths are, don’t be afraid to jump into the world. Wherever you land, you’ll bring all of that with you.

Be a spider. Just don’t get caught in my hair.

6 Things Leaders Can Learn From The World Cup

image

1. True fans will follow you everywhere.

I was watching the #ivorycoastvsjapan match and was amazed at how coordinated the fans were. They had a choreographed dance, shakers and costuming. This is an important game for the country. People knew that their “Elephants” needed their energy, so they came. The Ivory Coast did not disappoint.

Are you encouraging your fans to come along on the ride with you? Nothing great happens alone.

2. People love the story of an underdog.
Continue reading

How to Work a Crowd

In a previous post, I spoke about the number one leadership killer.

Although it’s crucial to be aware of that very common misstep that passionate visionaries make, it’s even more crucial to acknowledge a skill that is the backbone of leadership: crowd control.

We’re not talking “police officers on mounted patrol” type action. I’m talking about honoring a group of people who believe in your vision enough to give you their attention.

If you honor them, then you’ll treat their attention like the gift that it is and move them into a place they’ve never been before. That is “crowd control.” To do that, you have to build trust, and build it fast.

One way or another, a vision will attract attention and an audience. If you have a compelling vision, eventually you’ll stand in front of a group of people. It may be a group online, or it might be in person.

A good leader addresses these three types of people in the group in order to build the trust needed to move people where you need them to be:
1. People who have questions Continue reading

The Leadership Killer

I write on leadership because it’s my assertion that anyone can learn the skills to become a leader for a good cause. Not everyone is built for the task.

tombstone

Here lies leadership. Source: Columbia.edu

I design events and experiences for all kinds of audiences. I’ve spoken in front of and facilitated experiences for professionals, youth, government officials, private clients and the general public.

I have a sixth sense for group energy. I also have two certifications in adult and youth curriculum design and a degree in dramatic arts. So I can always sense the moment a speaker is losing the crowd, or leading them to a higher place.

Here is the thing killing your potential for leadership.

You’re not listening.

Really. I bet you think you’re listening.

You probably have a great cause. There’s something tremendously important that has to get done. You have a great vision and people have bought into it.

Now, some of those people are giving you feedback.

1) They have questions.

2) They disagree with you.

3) They may have been distracted and didn’t hear what you said.

All of that is feedback. If you push ahead and don’t address every one of those concerns, your leadership begins a slow death.

Or spirals down out of the sky like a kamikaze-driven plane.

People need to trust you. They need to know you’re paying attention to them. Even the dissenters. If you don’t address everyone, you’ll lose them ALL in some way or another.

How do you handle those three types of people giving you feedback?

I’ll discuss that in this post. For now, ask some questions. Tell me about the leaders you admire, and even the ones who you believe shouldn’t be leading. If you’re thinking of stepping into a new position, what’s your concern? Leave a comment, or share your insights.

 

If You’re Here, You’re Nearly There

I teach a class called Your Hidden Potential.

How do you know you're on the way?

You’re on the right track.
Photo credit: Pinellas Transit Authority

In it, I train professionals in very diverse career fields to use the true power available to them no matter what position they have– and no matter where they are financially or socially.

I use lots of analogies but my favorites revolve around storytelling.

If you understand your life’s story on a larger scale, the possibilities that open to you are tremendous. But most of us are only seeing what’s immediately in front of us.

I used to be that way — especially when it came to morning traffic.

Every morning, at a certain point in my route, there is a major bottleneck and traffic slows to a crawl. I hate traffic of any kind. In my next life, I’m going to be a Nascar driver so I can have an excuse to speed on an open road. But I digress…

The bottleneck happens every morning. There’s nothing to be done about it. At first, I used to get anxious that I’d get to work late. EVERY DAY. But soon, I figured out how to schedule my morning… and I’d be on time. Right after the bottleneck subsides, it’s nine minutes before I get to work.

We want the bottleneck to disappear. But it’s a landmark on the road to work. If I get there, it mean’s I’m nearly there.

So it is with our own lives.

You’ll encounter obstacles on the way to your fantastic life. How you meet them determines where you go and how fast you get there. The obstacles build your strength. They test your character. Sometimes, they even tell you who to let go of on the way to your brilliance.

Every hero must test her mettle before moving towards the prize– and the great news is– if you’re being tested, your prize is around the corner.

If you’re here, you’re nearly there.

What do you think?

Ever confronted a challenge and later realized it was just what you needed to get you to the next level? Comment below or hit the Facebook page and check in.

The Steadman Principle (while you #banbossy)

(with apologies to the Winfrey camp)

Men love us! Credit: Banbossy.com Campaign

Men love us!
Credit: Banbossy.com Campaign

Those who remember Janet Jackson’s hard-core days, when she dressed in all black and was part of the Rhythm Nation, may recall her song, “The Pleasure Principle”.

She was on to something.

We serial entrepreneurs and world-changers find ourselves in a quandary. We may still want the hot, masculine man to take care of our most fun needs—but the world needs us too.  So we also need a sensitive man who understands carbon footprints, the entrepreneur’s lifestyle AND our want to mentor that young girl who acts all hard-core but still loves stickers.

Where is that perfect mix of The Rock and Jai Rodriguez from Queer Eye?

He’s out there, sistren. He’s just not going to show up the way we expect.

We leaders are the new species of woman.  So, there’s a new species of man.

The old paradigm had men as our charismatic breadwinners, setting the vision for the household. Now the vision comes from us.

Who is the helpmate to the visionary, socially conscious woman?

A wonderfully sensitive, supportive and grounded man.

He is the Steadman to your Oprah.

Follow me a bit here.

I know you, visionary powerhouse, are looking for another dynamo so that you can be evenly yoked. He’s out there. And he wants to build a life with your awesomeness.

What kind of man is going to be patient with his own needs while you’re out knocking down barriers of injustice?

A spiritual partner. The “even yoke” is not material.

Being spiritually matched doesn’t mean your practical, daily needs aren’t met. In fact, they’re met easier. The right partner will challenge you to remain balanced.

Did you know Meryl Streep is married with children? Most people forget that, and that’s exactly what she wants. A beautifully fulfilling, relatively normal private life—and the right partner made that happen. Sparks may fly with other powerhouses, but who is going to tend your flames?

And really, let’s be frank: would Oprah and Steve Jobs have been compatible in a long-term relationship?

Women who lead are complemented by men who support. When we #banbossy, we can embrace love too. Help the women and girls in your circle do both.