Winning Deal

I’m committed to establishing a sense of balance in my life. I looked at my mobile phone and noticed there were a lot of business apps.

My friends play with Fruits, Candy and Zombies in their downtime, so I figured Solitaire couldn’t hurt. I added it to my phone and started it up.

This was the first thing I saw:

Choose wisely. Photo credit Me.

Choose wisely. Photo credit Me.

How interesting. I get to choose what kind of deal I get. Of course, I chose “Winning Deal” and went all in.

I have never played with such abandon. I tried out new things, made interesting patterns with my cards, and when I missed a chance to finish out a pile, I didn’t care because I knew it didn’t matter to the outcome.

What if you played your life like that?

You have already been given a winning deal. You are the source of your success.

So what if you played all out, had fun making mistakes, and knew– in your heart of hearts– that it didn’t matter to the outcome?

You can always win, if you start from the right frame of mind. Photo credit Me.

You can always win, if you start from the right frame of mind. Photo credit Me.

It doesn’t.

It never has.

What happens is that we believe in other kinds of “deals”, like the ones above. And what you believe will show up in your life. I’m going for the winning deal, and I’m going to play full out.

Play your life all out because it doesn’t matter to the outcome. In fact, it makes the outcome better.

What would you do if you knew you had a winning deal?

Faith in the Real World

If you’re familiar with any spiritual teaching at all, you’ve heard of faith. It’s the substance of religion and spirituality.

fingers crossed

Have a little faith (and cross your fingers)!

Why do people who live in the midst of a material and physical world spend time, energy and money in the pursuit of the intangible, and many times, transitory? They have faith.

What is faith? It’s defined as belief in something without evidence or proof. Its word origin is more closely linked to the word “trust”.

Is that really true for you?

Do you really trust whatever god it is that you serve?

Many Christian songs talk about God’s deliverance, saying it’s been there before. But that’s based on past evidence. Who’s to say a new time, with different conditions, will produce the same results?

If your faith is only based on past experience, then at your core, you will have this question too. Past experience is not a true indication of present performance. Even in your own life, you know that the things you’ve done in the past may change now. Scientists don’t consider anything they’ve done a discovery until they can replicate it several times.

Faith based on past experience will be shaky. You know that’s the kind of faith you have if, throughout your entire journey, you have a roller coaster ride of emotions.

If you pray (or vision or plan) and while acting towards your goal, you are worried and fretting and frustrated, that’s not faith.

That’s force.

Faith is easy. It’s connected to an inner position of confidence. Faith in the real world isn’t just based on the intangible. It’s based on inner knowing.

It’s not just trust in God. It’s trust in yourself. If you’re not there yet, keep up the spiritual practice, and get to know yourself better.

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.

 

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.

Hidden Success in the Corporate Workplace

“How do you do it?” she asked.

One of my coworkers had approached me.

Amen

Amen.
Photo credit: Andriana Mereuta

“What?” I asked.

“How do you stay so cheerful?”

We both work in a high-stress, high-stakes environment with constant changes in priority—and one urgent issue after another.

Wow, I thought.

“It’s an inside job, “ I said. “If I paid attention to outer stuff, I’d be insane.”

That’s what I said.

What I meant was: I’m a spiritual woman who prays and listens to inspirational things, surrounds herself with like-minded people and trusts God to guide me so I feel connected to something that gives all this stress greater meaning.

But if I said it was God that would have started a conversation that I didn’t want to have right at that moment.

Because leaving things up to an invisible force is counterintuitive in a world that lauds superachievement and serial entrepreneurship.

Prayer and spiritual study is not seen as real work.  Those of us who are spiritual know that is a lie.

You can live exactly as you have been living right now if you do nothing. In fact, that’s what happens with most people. We see what exists, believe that is all there is, and live life within that worldview.

Every inspired, progressive life– every corporate success story– started with the person believing in something that did not exist yet and working to make it possible.

What is that if it isn’t spiritual?

The legendary Steve Jobs envisioned touchscreen technology, and made it a reality. It didn’t exist until he made it so.

What is that if it isn’t spiritual?

If you listen to the media, people who follow “God” are Westboro Baptists, extreme Zionists and suicide bombers. And “spiritual” people use crystals and channeled messages. I feel obligated to separate myself from those categories– but then I know that isn’t the majority.

I think we need better marketing.

A well-run business follows certain principles, but it’s made innovative when the person running it works those principles to make something greater.

We suffer when we hide the parts of us that are the most vital. My spirituality is the reason I live the life I do – and why I can work where I do and be the blessing that I am. My spirituality, like that of many others, is inclusive and inspirational. It opens my heart and encourages me to serve others. I follow certain principles in order to be part of something greater.

I’m coming out. I’m spiritual, and I do business in the corporate marketplace. How about you?

Why the Right People Don’t Care: Part 2

You got 'em!  Wait...You lost them.

You got ’em!
Wait…You lost them.
Photo credit: http://benedikawidyatmoko.wordpress.com via Bing

Last week, I posted 3 of the 6 great reasons the right people don’t care about your cause. If you missed them, read more here.

Today, I share the other 3, and one crucial thing everyone misses when looking for a sponsoring partner.

Who are the right people?

They are people with a) connections you need, b) the resources your cause requires or c) the talent that will take your cause to higher level of contribution to the community.

As stewards of their resources, they won’t invest in your cause without thought.

And you can’t change the world alone.

Don’t make these mistakes:

4.            You’re telling the wrong story.

Successful people and companies will not waste their time with someone who isn’t working on the things they care about. Once you get yourself in front of the right people, are you telling them the story that most aligns with their own vision?

5.            You’re depressing us.

Telling the most depressing story about your cause is not going to win you a deeper contribution. It will make a funder feel like they are dropping their talent or resources into a black hole of despair. Why should we invest if what you’re doing is hopeless? Find the light.

6.            You have no space for us.

This is the most important. You’re standing in front of the right person, you’ve wrapped us in a compelling, hopeful story, and your organization is going to save the day! Great!

Then why do you need us? Somewhere within your story you need to find a space for that right person. If not, you just told us a great story, and raised our awareness, but didn’t give us room to be a part.

Here’s the crucial thing that everyone people misses. Ask for a referral. Birds of a feather flock together. If you’ve won over one company (and even if you haven’t), they may know another organization that will also believe in your work. Ask to be introduced.

My hope is that these tips will help you make the connections you need to continue your great work. Click on the title above, and comment!