Archive for October, 2010

THE POWER OF THE TONGUE by Chris Widener

Posted in General Management, Life Management, The Power of the Tongue with tags , , , , , on October 29, 2010 by Robert Finkelstein

In addition to the inspirational quotes, the beautiful images, my own personal and business blogs, the recommended reading list, and information on my consulting business, I would like to share some of the writings of various thought leaders.

THE POWER OF THE TONGUE by Chris Widener

There is an old proverb with a lot of wisdom. It says, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and whoever loves it will eat its fruit.”

It is so true. What we say has the ability to create situations, emotions, and thoughts in others. A kind word helps people, negative words hurt – sometimes for a very long time.

But here I want to talk about this concept in relation to ourselves. How does what we say affect us? Tremendously. There is a simple principle here. Only say things that will create in you positive emotions, thoughts, feelings, and ultimately, actions.

Let me give you a good example. We do not allow the words “I can’t” in our house. Why? Because we CAN! The very minimum is “I’ll try.” We ask our kids to say “I’ll try.” If we allow our kids, or ourselves, to fall into the trap of saying “I can’t,” guess what? We won’t! And that’s not good, is it?

Do you tell yourself negative thoughts during the day? Most of us can fall into that temptation, can’t we? I was working the other day and I was brewing over something bad that had happened and I was just getting bent out of shape. So I stopped, realized I had the power to choose what I was saying to myself and began to think about and tell myself good things. And my day changed for the better.

Have you ever been in your backswing on the golf course and said to yourself, “I am going to shank this one.” What happens? You shank it. This actually happens to me. So what do I do? I stop my backswing, reset myself, and tell myself I am going to hit it straight down the fairway. What happens? About half the time I hit it straight, the other half, I shank it, but increasing your ability is a future article! At the very least I increase my chances of performing better. Bad thoughts almost guarantee my failure, while good thoughts increase my chances for success dramatically.

A salesman may see someone walk through his door and say to himself, “I’m not going to be able to make this sale.” I can’t. I won’t.

Some of us aren’t even aware that we talk negatively to ourselves. Take some time today to think about what you say to yourself. Maybe ask a close friend if you have this habit. If you find yourself doing this, it is time to change!

Now, don’t get me wrong. Self-talk is not a substitute for effort and ability, but it is a strong helping factor. Find some simple phrases that will help you get through the day with more success. Whatever your situation or work is, I am sure there are specific things you can say that will build you up and stick you on the road to success!

The words that you use and the conversations you have with yourself create things in you. They can create positive things or negative things. It is our choice. The tongue has the power of life and death. This is why it is so important to be diligent in using the power of the tongue to create a positive force in our lives.

Remember, your tongue has power. Use it!

– Chris Widener

If you’re interested in a complimentary 30-minute business strategy session, for more information, please refer to my Behind the Scenes Consulting. If you have questions, please email me at Consulting@RobertFinkelstein.com. I welcome your comments below. Thank you.

HOW TO CREATE A NEW YOU by Deepak Chopra

Posted in General Management, Life Management with tags , , , on October 28, 2010 by Robert Finkelstein

In addition to the inspirational quotes, the beautiful images, my own personal and business blogs, the recommended reading list, and information on my consulting business, I would like to share some of the writings of various thought leaders.

HOW TO CREATE A NEW YOU by Deepak Chopra

Anything is possible — but we reject certain alternatives without a second thought. We’ve convinced ourselves — or social conditioning has convinced us — that rejecting these options is necessary or proper.

Examples: An unemployed office worker might automatically reject a blue-collar job… a retiree might automatically decide he’s too old to go on a backpacking trip in the mountains.

We need to dislodge our negative beliefs if we wish to weigh all of our options, overcome the power of “no” and elevate our lives to a higher level. Here are the negative beliefs that are holding us back and what to do…

Negative belief: We’re stuck with our habits. A habit is simply a shortcut imprinted on the brain. We cook our eggs the same way every morning or sit in front of the television every evening because we have done this so many times that we now do it without making a conscious choice.

A habit is just a choice that is ingrained for practical purposes, but the fact that our habits have become ingrained does not mean that we cannot pursue alternatives.

What keeps us trapped is the “spell of no.” We voluntarily renounce the power to change, while at the same time blaming our bad habits as if they have an independent will. The spell that our habits hold over us is one that we have created and thus one that we can break.

What to do: Examine your unwanted habits objectively, as if they belonged to someone else. Ask yourself why you have chosen a bad habit. Search for a hidden benefit that it provides. Does this habit make you feel like a victim, a convenient way to avoid taking responsibility for your problems?

Spend six weeks doing what you want to do, rather than what your habit encourages you to. After six weeks, the new way of doing things will be imprinted on your brain in place of the old habit.

Negative belief: Our obsessions are not really obsessions. People tend to believe the term “obsessive” applies only to those with mental disorders. We certainly don’t consider ourselves obsessive. In truth, many of us are obsessive — we simply chose to overlook our obsessions, because we believe that the things we obsess about are things that deserve this much time and energy.

Examples: Obsessions that people tend to view as positive include obsessions with health and safety… career or income… religion… their children’s success… or a political or charitable cause.

There might be positive aspects to these obsessions, but having any obsession robs us of our ability to make objective choices — automatically saying yes to spending our time and resources on an obsession means automatically saying no to alternatives. This blunts our ability to evolve and get the most from our lives.

What to do: Stop taking pride in your consistency or single-mindedness even in pursuit of a good cause. Engage in activities that reduce your stress levels, such as meditation or hobbies. Relaxed minds are more open to new alternatives.

Negative belief: Our fears are valid because they seem valid to us. External threats aren’t what make the world seem unsafe — it’s the concerns and beliefs that we project onto every situation that create our fears. If we worry about crime, then everyone we pass on the street becomes a potential mugger. If we’re afraid of heights, then even a small stepladder may seem too dangerous to climb.

Our fears deny us our most basic freedom, the freedom to feel safe in the world. They encourage us to reject possibilities that deserve our consideration by making them seem too risky. Some threats are real, but our fears don’t help us identify these. Our fears deprive us of our ability to rationally evaluate dangers.

What to do: Don’t try to fight your fears at times when you feel afraid — that’s when fears are most powerful. At these times, just remind yourself that fear is a passing emotion that soon will be released. Later, when you are calm, recall the fear for objective examination. With long-standing fears, remind yourself that the fact that you have worried about something for years does not mean that this thing is especially dangerous — it just means that your mind has had a lot of time to blow it out of proportion.

Show yourself compassion about your fears. Fear is not a sign of weakness. It affects everyone.

Negative belief: People don’t change. Most of us think this from time to time when those close to us chronically repeat mistakes or misbehavior. Yet paradoxically, most of us believe that we, personally, are capable of change and growth. We cannot have it both ways — if we are capable of change, then other people must be, too.

In fact, not only are people capable of change, we all change all the time. When we think, People don’t change, we’re just giving in to resignation and defeatism. Thinking in this way could dissuade us — and those around us — from attempting positive growth in the future.

What to do: View yourself as in a perpetual state of change. Search for options for anything in your life that seems fixed and unchangeable. Don’t listen to naysayers when you attempt change — their warnings and criticisms are rooted in defeatism, not reality. Encourage attempts to change by others, particularly when these changes are new and fragile.

Example: If a seemingly stingy friend finally offers to pick up a small check, don’t make a joke or belittle the effort. Choose to view this person as generous and offer a heartfelt thanks. Your positive reaction could reinforce your friend’s attempt to change and encourage greater generosity in the future.

Negative belief: “Bad” thoughts are forbidden and dangerous. Many of us waste energy repressing thoughts that we wish we didn’t have. These “bad” thoughts might be feelings of jealousy, rage, lust or a desire for vengeance. Trouble is, repressing thoughts doesn’t make them go away — it allows them to grow.

Viewing some of our own thoughts as bad also encourages us to divide ourselves into a good side and a bad side, creating an inner struggle that we can never win.

The truth is, we all have thoughts that we wish we didn’t have. That doesn’t mean we’re bad people, as long as we don’t act on these thoughts.

What to do: Understand that it is not in our power to stop “bad” thoughts. It is in our power to let these thoughts pass rather than repress them or act on them. Don’t believe that the thoughts drifting through your mind define who you are — these thoughts are not you.

– Deepak Chopra

If you’re interested in a complimentary 30-minute business strategy session, for more information, please refer to my Behind the Scenes Consulting. If you have questions, please email me at Consulting@RobertFinkelstein.com. I welcome your comments below. Thank you.

THE POWER OF FOCUS! by Lisa Jimenez

Posted in General Management, Life Management with tags , , , , , , , , on October 26, 2010 by Robert Finkelstein

In addition to the inspirational quotes, the beautiful images, my own personal and business blogs, the recommended reading list, and information on my consulting business, I would like to share some of the writings of various thought leaders.

THE POWER OF FOCUS!
by Lisa Jimenez

Remember when the “experts” told us that the key to success was multi-tasking?

It was a lie!

I bought into the whole philosophy of doing ten things at once. Check my emails while answering the phone, listen to my son while he tells me about his day, write a marketing letter in my head, wonder if I sent that proposal, shoot up a quick prayer, practice the speech I’m presenting next week, return an IM, all while I’m visualizing my dream life!

Ha! It was insanity. And it was keeping me from a breakthrough success.

Does your life look like a gyroscope, spinning around at a frantic pace but not experiencing completion and a real presence of power?

Busyness is the enemy that keeps you from a life of power!

Think of it scientifically. We all know that diffused light has little impact. But when you focus its energy, you have a profound impact.

A magnifying glass harnesses the power of the suns rays and can set a piece of grass on fire. (Or if you had older brothers like me… cause an ant to explode!)

A laser beam is focused energy that can cut through steel.

That’s the power of focused energy!

Now, apply this principle of focused energy to your life. Diffused energy (busyness and aimless distractions) has little power or impact. But when you concentrate your energy by focusing it, you have created a laser beam of power.

But guess what?

Most people are afraid of that power. That’s why they continue to live a life of busyness and aimless distraction… so they won’t ever have to come into their true brilliance.

Don’t let that be you! It’s time to be different. It’s time to own your power and let yourself BE genius!

If you know in your heart that you were born for more and you realize you’ve been holding yourself back with aimless actions, busyness and lack of focus; stop it now! Just stop it and begin honoring your work space, your actions and your brilliance.

Remember back to the days when you were five years old? You lived in the world you wanted to create. If you wanted to be a fire fighter, you were one—right then at that moment! If you wanted to be in Africa, you were—right then at that moment! You created your perfect world instantaneously.

This ability to use your imagination was your first experience of the power of focus. You still have that power. You just have to give yourself permission to tap into it.

What would your life look like this week if you chose to focus your energy?

Instead of checking Facebook AND talking to a prospect, you were completely focused on the prospect and listened generously.

Instead of answering the phone AND writing a sales letter, you had single focus on the writing and let the phone go to voice mail.

Instead of multi-tasking, you chose to focus your energy on ONE task until it is completed.

What would your results be at the end of each day?

You can just imagine what you’d get accomplished! That sales letter would be written and sent out. That prospect would have all they need to make an educated decision. That friend, lover and child would feel they are really loved. That closet, garage, office would be organized and free of clutter.

And more importantly, you can just imagine how you would “feel” about yourself, your business and your life…

You would feel accomplished, powerful, brilliant, loving and…

Successful!

You are the one who gives yourself permission to be successful and choose to focus your energy like a laser beam! Have a fun tapping into your brilliant, focused energy this week.

– Lisa Jimenez

If you’re interested in a complimentary 30-minute business strategy session, for more information, please refer to my Behind the Scenes Consulting. If you have questions, please email me at Consulting@RobertFinkelstein.com. I welcome your comments below. Thank you.

LOYALTY by Seth Godin

Posted in General Management, Life Management, Loyalty with tags , , , , , on October 25, 2010 by Robert Finkelstein

In addition to the inspirational quotes, the beautiful images, my own personal and business blogs, the recommended reading list, and information on my consulting business, I would like to share some of the writings of various thought leaders…in particular, one of my favorites, SETH GODIN.

LOYALTY by Seth Godin

Loyalty is what we call it when someone refuses a momentarily better option.

If your offering is always better, you don’t have loyal customers, you have smart ones. Don’t brag about how loyal your customers are when you’re the cheapest or you have clearly dominated some key element of what the market demands. That’s not loyalty. That’s something else.

Loyal customers understand that there’s almost always something better out there, but they’re not so interested in looking.

Loyalty can be rewarded, but loyalty usually comes from within, from a story we like to tell ourselves. We’re loyal to sports teams and products (and yes, to people) because being loyal makes us happy. Why else be a fan of the Cubs? Some customers like being loyal. Those are good customers to have.

Loyalty isn’t forever. Sometimes, the world changes significantly and even though the loyal partner/customer likes that label, it gets so difficult to stick that he switches.

I think there’s no doubt that some brands and teams and politicians and yes, people, attract a greater percentage of loyal fans than others. Not because they’re bigger or better, but because they reinforce the good feeling some people get when they’re being loyal. Hint: low price or supermodel good looks are not the tools of choice for attracting people who enjoy being loyal.

Rewarding loyalty for loyalty’s sake–not by paying people for sticking it out so the offering ends up being more attractive–is not an obvious path, but it’s a worthwhile one. Tell a story that appeals to loyalists. Treat different customers differently, and reserve your highest level of respect for those that stand by you.

– Seth Godin

If you’d like a complimentary 30-minute business strategy session with me, for more information, please refer to my Behind the Scenes Consulting. If you have questions, please email me at Consulting@RobertFinkelstein.com. I welcome your comments below. Thank you.

Quotes and Images – Updated

Posted in General Management, Inspirational Quotes and Images, Life Management with tags , , , , on October 22, 2010 by Robert Finkelstein

“He who cannot change the very fabric of his thought will never be able to change reality.” – Anwar al-Sadat

My Quotes and Images page is updated daily.

To see the entire list of 100s of great quotes and beautiful images, please click on this link.
Quotes and Images

I invite you to subscribe to my blog, “Behind the Scenes – Operate at a Higher Level” You’ll find the “Email Subscription” box on each page of my blog. If you have any business questions or comments, I’d love to hear from you. Thanks.

CHARISMA: WHAT IS IT? WHAT WILL IT DO FOR YOU? by Dr. Tony Alessandra

Posted in "Charisma: What is it?" by Dr. Tony Alessandra, General Management, Life Management with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 15, 2010 by Robert Finkelstein

In addition to the inspirational quotes, the beautiful images, my own personal and business blogs, the recommended reading list, and information on my consulting business, I would like to share some of the writings of various thought leaders.

CHARISMA: WHAT IS IT? WHAT WILL IT DO FOR YOU? by Dr. Tony Alessandra

You’re squirming in your seat, wondering if the next speaker can possibly be less inspiring than the preceding one, when, suddenly, the room falls silent. Looking poised and confident, the next presenter smiles and then begins.

Instantly, it’s clear that he’s good:
His strong, measured voice, his relaxed tone, his precisely articulated and well-chosen words, even his classy but understated appearance seem to fixate the crowd. You think, “Wow! Who is this guy?” And then you realize it’s just not what he is saying, or how he looks. It’s his whole being. As his voice and gestures signal that he’s nearing the high point of his remarks, you feel yourself soaring, rationally as well as emotionally, along with the ideas he presents so passionately… so much so that you know you’d probably follow him to a convention of cannibals if that’s where he wanted to lead you. This guy has it!

But what does he have? What do real leaders have that can inspire you and draw you to them and can cause you to perform beyond expectations to accomplish goals? Is it speaking well… or being socially adroit… or projecting an attractive, exciting image? Actually, it’s all that—and more.

For lack of a better term, we often group such qualities under the term charisma. I’ve been studying, teaching, and writing about human behavior, especially in business, for more than 20 years now. As a result, probably like you, I know charisma when I see it—even if it’s sometimes hard to pinpoint. But here’s my definition: Charisma is the ability to positively influence others by connecting with them physically, emotionally and intellectually.

In brief, it’s what makes people like you and enjoy being around you… even when they don’t know much about you. This personal magnetism can exist at the level of mass movements—such as politicians and evangelists—or in the small-scale encounters of everyday life, such as the shop owner who makes you feel so comfortable and valuable that you cheerfully drive a few extra miles to her store.

I’m convinced that, contrary to popular wisdom, charisma is not something you’re born with, like having blue eyes or brown eyes. Instead, I think our personalities consist, let’s say, of a series of containers, like cups or glasses. Some are nearly empty, some brimming, yet others are partially filled to varying degrees. Together, they constitute our potential charisma.

If all the glasses were filled to the top, you’d be so charismatic people would think you were a god—and you’d probably think so, too. But nobody has a complete set of totally full glasses, although some really gifted people—JFK or, say, Churchill—may have come close to this ideal. But, for most of us, the glasses are filled a bit erratically, though we can add to them. Here, as I see them, are the seven main components of charisma—or, the “glasses,” if you will:

1. Your silent message…
You unconsciously send out signals to others. Maybe you look them right in the eye, or maybe you stare at your shoes when you talk. Perhaps you slump your shoulders, or maybe you square them confidently. You may fail to smile naturally or shake hands firmly, or you might dress in a way that’s not you. All these shape your image and affect the people you want to lead.

2. Your persuasive talent…
No idea, however great, ever gets anywhere until it’s adopted. Charismatic executives can distill complex ideas into simple messages so that even the guy who sweeps the floor understands what the company stands for and why that’s important.

3. Your ability to speak well…
You may have a zillion terrific ideas, but who will know if you can’t articulate them?

4. Your listening skill…
Rarely taught and infrequently practiced, listening is nonetheless a key to communicating and making others feel special in your presence.

5. Your use of space and time…

Again, though it’s often overlooked, use of spatial and temporal territories can make or break relationships.

6. Your ability to adapt to others…
Building rapport means understanding other people’s personalities, then adapting your own behavior to increase compatibility.

7. Your vision, your ideas…
Regardless of how strong and persuasive a speaker you are, how adept you are at connecting with others, how well you listen, use your space or time, or send out silent signals, you’ve still got to have something to say… or you’ll just be an empty suit.

So, it’s not a single ingredient that makes a person charismatic, and, more important, charisma isn’t based on IQ, genetics, social position, wealth or luck. Instead, it can be learned.

Why Charisma Matters
Learning to improve your charisma is more important than ever. Why? Change calls for strong, mesmerizing leaders.

In our age of startups, acquisitions, turnarounds, mergers, downsizing, and all other sorts of rapid, unpredictable change, especially in business, that’s more true than ever.

Television and our general emphasis on the visual make charismatic people more effective. (Remember: The physical is a big component of “the silent message” glass.)

Our expectations have risen. We’ve come to demand more from people than mere competence. When even the local car dealer or supermarket manager can be seen as articulate, personable, and persuasive in a slick TV ad, we no longer readily accept those who squirm, stumble over their words, and don’t quite look us in the eye.

The old-fashioned kind of hierarchy, the command-and-control environment, is passé. Even the highest-ranking officials need more than their title to get people to accept their ideas. Instead, in this era of “empowerment,” when empathy and support are revered, charismatic people stand out because they’re communicators who are able to see things from another’s perspective and, thus, continually seek to find the common ground.

Those with personal magnetism, or charisma, are usually self-confident optimists. Viewing almost all problems as solvable—focusing on desired results rather than possible failures—helps encourage people to step forward and convert fear into challenge.

All of these are reasons for you to try to greatly improve your charisma. Remember that even if you never get a chance to head a corporation, spearhead a movement or even hold office in the local PTA, you can use your charisma, present or future, to do good for yourself and others, to make for positive change in ways large and small.

Connecting with People
A person who develops his or her charisma is likely to do well in all aspects of life. That’s because, on several different levels, they better connect with people. By definition, the charismatic person is more other-directed, more empathic. That gives them more personal power—and that’s a big plus for anybody.

Take basketball star Michael Jordan—certainly one of the most charismatic athletes of all times. Despite being the most-heralded professional player of his era, he quit the hardwoods to play minor-league baseball for a time. He didn’t make it to the big leagues, but he didn’t strike out with his millions of fans, who may have thought his ill-starred tenure with the Birmingham Barons made him, if anything, more human.

As you seek to improve you charisma and personal power, remember that when people feel someone is making them do something, they’re often frustrated and resentful—and as a result, they dig in their heels. The truly charismatic person strives to create feelings of collaboration and equality. They approach others interactively and try to give them a choice.

Be aggressively optimistic and willing to be the first to do something and to take the heat if it doesn’t work out. Charismatic people have heard all the bromides about why you can’t rock the corporate boat (“We’ve never done it that way before.” “It’s too radical a change.”), but they just pay less attention to them.

Instead, they relish a challenge, not just for themselves but for their followers, too, who wish to take risks and be allowed to make some mistakes. So if you give your people some control over resources and influence over how to do a task, you’ll help them build self-confidence.

In fact, the charismatic person often good-naturedly challenges, prods and pokes as he or she encourages others to stretch themselves. Again, take Michael Jordan. It was said, even in practice, that he was the loudest, most demanding player on the court, goading the other Bulls to give their all. It was his way of being inspirational; he never stopped competing, even when no one was keeping score.

The potential to be charismatic leader is within you, too. And the payoff for doing so has never been higher.

– Dr. Tony Alessandra

If you’re interested in a complimentary 30-minute business strategy session, for more information, please refer to my Behind the Scenes Consulting. If you have questions, please email me at Consulting@RobertFinkelstein.com. I welcome your comments below. Thank you.

IS EVERYTHING PERFECT? by Seth Godin

Posted in General Management, Life Management with tags , , , , , on October 14, 2010 by Robert Finkelstein

In addition to the inspirational quotes, the beautiful images, my own personal and business blogs, the recommended reading list, and information on my consulting business, I would like to share some of the writings of various thought leaders…in particular, one of my favorites, SETH GODIN.

IS EVERYTHING PERFECT? by Seth Godin

Greetings have traditionally been an acknowledgment of the other person. “I see you.” “Hello.” “Greetings.” Then, we moved on to, “how are you?” or even, “how’s business?”

Recently, though, our performance-obsessed, live-forever society has morphed the greeting into something like, “please list everything going on in your life that isn’t as perfect as it should be.”

In a business setting, this causes bad prioritization decisions. The owner of the bar says to the manager, “how was the night?” and the response is, “the cash register came up $8 short.” Suddenly, there’s an urgent problem to be solved. How to replace the eight dollars and who do we fire?

If the question instead had been, “what’s up?” (as in literally up) the answer might have been, “well, there’s a big party at table 12, another going away party. They’ve been buying champagne all night. And Mary told me she set a new record for tips. And the new beer we added on tap is…”

Highlighting what’s working helps you make that happen more often.

Perfect is overrated. Perfect doesn’t scale, either.

I’m not proposing you endorse theft or ignore the bad news. But it’s clear that one more going away party on table 12 is going to make up for that one piece of bad news, every time..

– Seth Godin

If you’d like a complimentary 30-minute business strategy session with me, for more information, please refer to my Behind the Scenes Consulting. If you have questions, please email me at Consulting@RobertFinkelstein.com. I welcome your comments below. Thank you.