December 28, 2015
What’s Your Name
I’ll never forget the lesson I learned from a rather famous book entitled, How to Win Friends and Influence People. Granted, this book is almost a rite of passage for some industries and now sits among others on the shelf of great books. There are many lessons you can learn and practical tips you can take away from this author’s suggestions and advice. One of them which I doubt I will ever fully master (though I continue to try) is the importance of remembering a person’s name. One of the quotes from the book perfectly encapsulates this idea:
“Remember that a person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”
If this is the sweetest and most important sound than what a tremendous opportunity to demonstrate that you also find them important. Simply remember their name. There are of course numerous ways to attempt to do this. I’m sure you’ve experienced the sad, and awkward occurrence when someone tries to remember your name by repeating it at you over and over through the course of a one minute conversation. Clearly this is somewhat embarrassing and a bit annoying. They’re attempting to use a technique which has been around forever. Remember this?
“Repetition aids learning. Repetition aids learning. Repetition aids learning.”
This advice, though accurate, can be detrimental to the relationship if used inappropriately or done too obtrusively. Therefore, remember the importance of learning someone’s name but also the importance of doing it the right way.
A person’s name is special. Even though there may be millions of Davids, or Steves in the universe to each individual that name is special and unique. If there is one way to improve your relationship with someone then prove that they are important to you by remembering something special to them: their name. It’s almost an offhand conversation starter. What do you do when you meet someone for the first time? You ask their name. You’re probably not even listening to the answer because you have already moved on to the next question in your mind or the next thought you want to share. But this is a mistake if you want to build a relationship (and all those times when you don’t know if you want to build a relationship). Because you don’t always know where a road will lead.
Asking someone their name therefore is your first chance to build the right foundation for a relationship. Don’t take the opportunity lightly and don’t let the moment pass you by. Ask with care, ask with purpose, ask and then…listen. Your first question is also your best chance to start right. Take a moment the next time you ask: What’s your name?
May 13, 2014
[R4S] Reading For Success
This is the start of a ridiculously fun series about reading for success. I hope to share insights and advice I’ve received from various business books. If you struggle to find time to read or what to read maybe this series will help.
I should begin by sharing that I love to read. In fact is one of y all time favorite things to do and I’m pretty fast. (Interested in how fast you are? You can take a very quick test here for free. If you’re curious I’ll share what my average normally is.) And thankfully I can retain most everything I read and recall it later.
I thought perhaps others would be interested in an abbreviated list of books and summaries I’ve found to be helpful as they relate to business and personal success. Please don’t think I’ve been successful with all of these or have already mastered the advice. I merely hope to share things that I find interesting or helpful.
Ok, without any further delay, let’s jump into the first book.
The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership
By John C. Maxwell
“Everything rises and falls on leadership,” says Maxwell. “These laws carry consequences with them. I’ve seen them at work in more than ninety countries around the world. Apply the laws and people will follow you. Violate or ignore them, and you will not be able to lead others. But here’s the good news: every one of the laws can be learned.”
In this book John Maxwell highlights 21 principles he’s uncovered throughout his business career. He applies these principles to various situations throughout history and provides anecdotal applications based on these 21 principles. Many of them are logical and easy to understand.
Some of these “laws” you’re probably already aware of, Maxwell simply gives it a name and applies to to a particular situation to make it easier to grasp. Overall, I found this book to be an easy one to read and held some good applicable concepts which I could relate to and apply to my own business.
I highly recommend this book and have personally found many great applicable ideas. Especially when looking at the power of an open source community and examining how some of these dynamics relate to an open source situation. If you have the time you should definitely pick up a copy (ebooks are great).
Here are the 21 laws as defined by the author. So many of these are of incredible importance and help define a strong leader.
- The Law of the Lid
Leadership ability is the lid that determines a person’s level of effectiveness. The lower your ability to lead, the lower the lid on your potential.
- The Law of Influence
The power to influence lies in the ability to get people to participate. If no one follows then you are not leading. Management is part of being a leader, but managing is not the only requirement of a leader.
- The Law of Process
This law demonstrates what matters most is what you do for the long haul. A good leader requires a lifetime of dedication and perseverance. Truly successful leaders are demonstrated in the day-to-day.
- The Law of Navigation
Leaders are navigators. They count the cost before making commitments for themselves and for others. Anyone can steer. Leaders chart a course.
- The Law of E.F. Hutton
When real leaders speak, people listen. Learn how a person became a leader: their background, who, what, where, when, why.
- The Law of Solid Ground
Good character builds trust. Trust is the foundation of leadership. To build trust a leader must demonstrate: competence, connection and character.
- The Law of Respect
People naturally follow leaders who are stronger than they are. if people do not trust you they will not respect you and they will not follow you.
- The Law of Intuition
Leaders see things with a bias. Leaders instinctively know what should be done in a situation. Leadership intuition separates the great leaders from good leaders.
- The Law of Magnetism
Who you are will define who you attract. People follow leaders with whom they share several key areas (e.g. attitude, generation, background, values, life experience etc…)
- The Law of Connection
Strong leaders touch hearts before asking for hands. Each connection is between individuals and the relationship between them is what matters most. Six keys to connection are provided.
- The Law of the Inner Circle
A leader’s potential is determined by those closest to him. Look for greatness in others. Find people you should include in your inner circle.
- The Law of Empowerment
Secure leaders give power to others. If a leader is able to give away power the organization becomes more powerful. Only empowered people reach their full potential.
- The Law of Reproduction
Leaders are the ones which help others become leaders. Leaders develop others to see the big picture, attract other leaders, create an environment which nurtures leadership.
- The Law of Buy-In
People follow worthy leaders who promote worthwhile causes. The leader and the vision always go together. A leader must have people believe in them and the vision before becoming a reality.
- The Law of Victory
Leaders find ways for their team to win. There are 3 components to victory: unity of vision, diversity of skills, encourages others to reach potential.
- The Law of the Big Mo
Leaders develop momentum. Leaders concentrate on what they can accomplish not what they can’t. They celebrate victories regardless of the size. Leaders endure under pressure.
- The Law of Priorities
Leaders recognize the importance of organization. Leaders follow the 3 R’s when prioritizing: required, return, and reward.
- The Law of Sacrifice
Leaders are willing to give up to go up. Sacrifice is the true nature of strong leaders.
- The Law of Timing
Leaders understand knowing when to lead is just as important as knowing what to do and where to go. The right action at the right time is what bring success.
- The Law of Explosive Growth
Explosive growth requires the ability to develop the right leaders. Leaders who develop leaders position themselves for explosive growth as compared to leaders who develop followers.
- The Law of Legacy
A leader’s lasting value is measured by succession. A team of good leaders is required to succeed long-term. Always be developing your successor. A good leader knows when to walk away.