How to Set Goals Which You Make a Reality with Paul Cummings

How to Set Goals Which You Make Reality with Paul Cummings

On today’s podcast, we are joined by Paul Cummings where we discuss his new book It All Matters: 125 Strategies to Achieve Maximum Confidence, Clarity, Certainty, and Creativity.

This book took a decade to write, and stemmed from something which his grandfather told him. “When you decide what you really want, then and only then do you know that it all matters”.

Things that are important to you are defined by what you want out of your journey to reaching your goals, and this book is all about maximising your journey to achieve what you want.

On today’s podcast:

  • The magic number – 86,400
  • Making a difference in people’s lives
  • The determination you need to make your goals a reality
  • The power of optimism
  • It All Matters: 125 Strategies to Achieve Maximum Confidence, Clarity, Certainty, and Creativity
  • Self-awareness and self-reflection


The magic number – 86,400

A friend once told Paul that 86,400 is how many seconds are in a day, and Paul says that once you manage your minutes then your life becomes magical.

If you have an idea which you’ve been thinking about, and you sat down for 15 minutes to really consider it and write things down, that could be the catalyst for a real positive change.

When you sit down and focus yourself to say “today is a new day”, it can truly give you a new beginning. It’s never too late to become the person you want to be, and that 86,400 renewal every day is a very uplifting and inspiring opportunity.

Making a difference in people’s lives

Paul says that goal-directed people operate with a uniquely different perspective, and he works on getting people to understand the power of goal setting and understanding the formula.

You need to understand the premise of goal setting as a real thing, write them down with a start and end date, and it’ll get you out of the “I should” business. Having a goal defined makes you live by “I will”.

The determination you need to make your goals a reality

When goals are deeply ingrained into a person and have become real, they inform every choice which is made. They define what you say no to, which is more important than what you say yes to.

Paul says that small steps are monumental, as people often get discouraged when goals are upsized so much we can no longer see them. You have to make sure goals really mean something to you, not to someone else.

The power of optimism

Paul says there are four things which he makes everyone he works with believe: you’re remarkable, you’re extraordinary, you’re someone special, you’re one of a kind.

You need to have certainty about the ability to you have, activate your awareness, be genuine, and be authentic.

If you ask better questions, you can put your negative voice to sleep. You have the capacity to do anything, it’s a fact and is the truth.

It All Matters: 125 Strategies to Achieve Maximum Confidence, Clarity, Certainty, and Creativity

When Paul was 19, he started journalling. Every day he would write down what he learned, what he gave, and what the lesson of the day was. He has done this for 41 years, and this is where the 125 strategies in his book have come from.

He says that when you get knocked down, that’s when you learn about yourself. Life happens to all of us, and every loss is a lesson.

Self-awareness and self-reflection

When talking about self-awareness and self-reflection, Paul says he’s not sure we do enough of it. Have the courage to reflect and be candidly honest with yourself about the areas where you need to get better.

Be the president of your own fan club, but in a genuine way and not an egotistical way. Taking 15 minutes in the morning to think about what you want to do and what you’ve done is a powerful tool.

Developing Routines to Action Your Priorities and Accept Realistic Expectations with Elizabeth Saunders

Developing Routines to Action Your Priorities and Accept Realistic Expectations

On today’s podcast, we are joined again by our resident expert in time management Elizabeth Grace Saunders.

We’ve been thinking about how to invest our time, and in the third installment, we discuss how to apply our previous topics, action-based priorities and setting realistic expectations, in practical ways.

Our priorities are things which are important to us, or things we value. We can action these by putting the time in our calendar for them to create a routine. When we think about having realistic expectations, it is making sure we’re living in the limited time we have.

On today’s podcast:

  • Routines and acceptance of realistic expectations
  • Identifying when you need more routines
  • Valuable routines to help you be successful
  • How do routines help?
  • Best tips for developing a routine
  • When you can’t stick to a routine
  • Divine Time Management: The Joy of Trusting God’s Loving Plans for You


Routines and acceptance of realistic expectations

When we’re being our best self and thinking in a righteous way, we are aware of our values and priorities, and of what’s important.

If we’re honest, most of the time we’re not necessarily in the mindset of “what does my best self-want to do?” as we get bogged down with other things, so our best self isn’t actively present in our mindset.

When we set routines in our best self-state which supports what we want to do, we can make progress to act in accordance with our best self at all times. By setting a routine and adding it to our calendar, that priority becomes a recurring event in our calendar which puts accountability in place.

Elizabeth says that routine comes naturally for some people, but building routines are something everyone can improve on. We can all improve our ability to create a routine with consistent and persistent practice.

Identifying when you need more routines

If you’re living your dream life and everything you want to get done is happening, you probably don’t need routines.

But, if you think there’s more you want to get done or you find things stressful as you’re missing things out or completing things at the last minute, you probably need routines to make things a lot easier.

Valuable routines to help you be successful

Elizabeth says that self-care is essential, and everyone should have a bedtime routine and set times when they’re going to eat and exercise.

She has also found that everyone can benefit from planning a weekly or daily routine to think ahead about what you’re focusing on for the day or the week. This is essential if you have something in your life which you believe to be a priority but you’re not moving ahead with it.

Set time aside for your priorities, find a consistent way to put it into your calendar to move it forward, and commit to it.

How do routines help?

Routines help because they reduce the decision-making process. If you have an action for a priority in the calendar, you don’t need to think about how or when you’re going to do it.

You can also reduce resistance to spending time on your priorities if it’s scheduled, as it’s already clear what’s happening. When you follow a routine, time will naturally be aligned with your priorities.

Best tips for developing a routine

When developing a routine, start small. Only begin with one or two new routines you want in your life and put it in your calendar. Practice it for two or three weeks, and observe what does and doesn’t work.

After you have assessed what works, you can keep adapting and adjusting until you get something which sticks.

Elizabeth says people often try to create ten routines at once or try to train for a marathon before they’ve started exercising, which leads to frustration and quitting. Consistent practice is essential, get a coach in the form of a friend or coworker, and track your progress.

When you can’t stick to a routine

The minimum length of Elizabeth’s time management programme is three months because it’s natural for things to happen and for your routine to start slipping.

When you do go off-track, accept what’s happened, realize that you couldn’t control the situation, ask what you can learn, and think about how you can get back on track as quickly as possible.

If you go off-track for a day or a week, reflect on what happened and start again. Life is going to happen, so understand it, get over it, and get back to the routine.

Divine Time Management: The Joy of Trusting God’s Loving Plans for You

Elizabeth’s new book is about the journey to recognizing that there are things we can do to improve our lives to help us be successful.

She wrote it because she felt like she wasn’t telling the whole truth, as there were times in her own life where her time management skills weren’t enough. Elizabeth admits to misestimating or feeling overwhelmed, and shares that it is prayer which carries her through.

This book is to help people realize they don’t have to be on 24/7. Be at peace with what’s happening in your life, and accept and embrace who you really are.

Breakdown or Breakthrough? Jen Welter on the Pressure of Being the First Female NFL Coach

Breakdown or Breakthrough? Jen Welter on the Pressure of Being the First Female NFL Coach

On today’s podcast, we are joined by Jen Welter the first woman to coach in the NFL. She set the example for others to follow, as being the first meant she had no one to aspire to.

Jen tells us about women playing football, and how they do it for the love of the game. The first cheque she ever got for being a professional football player was when they won the Superbowl, and that cheque was for $12.

Her experiences translate into the game of life. If you have a passion, you shouldn’t see any door as being closed because of a perceived difference such as gender. Every opportunity she’s had to step up has been driven by those women in her team who inspire her and give fuel for her fire every day.

On today’s podcast:

  • Making the transition from playing football to working for the NFL
  • Setting the standards for others to follow
  • Lessons in Being Limitless
  • Could you walk a mile in these shoes?


Making the transition from playing football to working for the NFL

Jen wanted to take her practical experience of playing football and use her psychology background to provide a unique perspective to help athletes on their journey to greatness.

She says the NFL was larger than life and she never imagined she would coach, as she had no women to look up to so didn’t see it as a possibility.

She ended up coaching after playing men’s football for a season, which taught her to be a great teammate when she wasn’t a star as she was on the practice squad. Jen caught the attention of a coach when he was impressed by the dynamic of how close she and her team were, and he offered her a position as a coach.

Initially, Jen said no. She wasn’t prepared. But, he wouldn’t let her not do it so he took the job on her behalf and told her she couldn’t quit.

Setting the standards for others to follow

Jen had no one to aspire to, as she was the first female coach in the NFL, and she thought it was important to show that it could work for any other women who wanted to step into that role.

Brian Arians talked to players about bringing her in, and when they agreed he worked up to the top to tell them everyone was on board with having a female coach. By doing this, he put his reputation as a leader on the line, and the way he did it set the tone of it being a good thing and not a publicity stunt.

When Jen joined, she didn’t force the players to listen to her as they had chosen to. They knew she had something to add, and she was brought in because everyone believed it would work.

Lessons in Being Limitless

Jen has documented her journey to being the first female coach in her book Play Big: Lessons in Being Limitless from the First Woman to Coach in the NFL. Women playing football had been described as the “best-kept secret in sports”, but she didn’t want them to be a secret anymore.

She saw the book as a great opportunity to tell a story, and not a football story but a life story. There are many parts in the book which could be for anybody working hard for a dream.

Jen promised to stand up to any challenge presented to her throughout her career, which made her willing to make small steps forward towards bigger accomplishments.

Could you walk a mile in these shoes?

In her book, Jen wants people to find things which can be translated into their own lives. Can you have a great impact and be a good teammate, even when you’re the underdog?

She hopes for people to realize there’s a point in everyone’s lives where it’s either breakdown or breakthrough. Breakthrough comes when 99.9% of people would break down, and all you need is one more ounce of faith that will pull you through to find success.

How to Connect With Your Authentic Self, Personally and Professionally with Jenn Lederer

How to Connect With Your Authentic Self, Personally and Professionally

On today’s podcast, we are joined by motivational speaker and leadership coach Jenn Lederer about how to be your authentic self in your personal and professional life. She runs the Weekly Alignment podcast, which is described as ‘your source of accidental inspiration’.

Jenn says that people often only live from their neck up and don’t connect with anything below that. They become obsessed with how people observe them but don’t observe themselves. If you learn to connect with yourself, you are able to run a business which doesn’t overwhelm you.

When you are your authentic self, you no longer have to struggle. Jenn shares her top five tips for connecting with your authentic self, with actionable steps you can take in your life right now.

On today’s podcast:

  • Don’t apologize for existing
  • Professional leadership and gender bias
  • ‘But’ vs. ‘and’
  • Stop deferring your pleasure
  • How does it get better than this?
  • Communicate your boundaries



Don’t apologize for existing

When you bump into someone, do you say ‘sorry’ or ‘excuse me’? By saying sorry, you are subconsciously apologizing for being in that space to another person.

Allowing yourself to take up space in your personal life is key if you want to go into the world and make a difference. If you don’t believe you’re worthy, you won’t go out into the world and take up more space. There is a ripple effect on how you lead yourself and others in your personal life by using ‘excuse me’ rather than ‘sorry’.

Teams do best when everyone feels like they’re allowed and have permission to be seen and heard. If you start by saying ‘excuse me’ rather than ‘sorry’ in your professional life, it stops other people from being expected to apologize, even if an idea isn’t a great one.

Professional leadership and gender bias

If you think about male and female professionals in the workforce, it seems like there may not be an equality there for women to be able to say ‘my opinion matters’, and this is something which Jenn is very passionate about.

To overcome the gender bias in professional leadership, women need to not agree with any preconceived notion that they are less than or not worthy. If you don’t agree with it, you won’t act like it.

People around you can have as many beliefs as they want, but if you’re in a room and you know you’re worthy and add value, you will speak that way. You can’t control preconceived notions, but you can control how you react to it.

‘But’ vs. ‘and’

By using ‘but’ rather than ‘and’ when sharing an idea, you cut yourself off at the starting line and are met with ideas of why it can’t or won’t happen.

This tip is based on the improvisation rule of ‘yes and’, where if someone gives you a reality you have to build on it with ‘and’ rather than ‘but’. Using ‘but’ makes the energy and possibilities of an idea drop, so if you get into a habit of saying ‘and’ you can discern what is workable from this idea and how you build on it, rather than shutting yourself down.

By using this tip in your personal life, you will begin to notice how often your critical voice takes the lead. The path to an authentic self-begins with permission. Give yourself permission to take some space to explore who you are and how you want to show up in the world by using ‘and’.

‘And’ has a benefit in your professional life as teams work better when there’s a sense of freedom to explore. By using ‘and’, there is no right or wrong answer and all ideas are built upon. This creates a mindset of everyone working together, rather than being placed against each other in competition.

Stop deferring your pleasure

If you are a type A person, you reside in the all or nothing zone of life. If you’re on, you’re all the way on, and if you’re off the world won’t hear from you. If you get into the habit of checking in and asking what you want and desire in this moment, you can look for how you can create it in your life.

Pleasure is a birthright, yet society teaches us it’s no pain no gain, and that you have to spend 40-50 years proving yourself in order to enjoy the last part of your life. This mindset isn’t productive. Tap into what you want and be willing to go after it unapologetically.

In your personal life, shutting down desires subconsciously tells your body what you want doesn’t matter and that they aren’t as valid as your to-do list or money. This makes you diminish your own value. You need to be seen for who you are, and if you see yourself as not valued you won’t be able to put yourself out there.

Cultivating a professional environment of self-care is crucial for growth, so have conversations with your team on how they are taking care of themselves and working towards their goals outside of work. Not prioritizing self-care will generate resentment towards the rest of your team, yet it is your job to do this for yourself. Asking yourself what you want helps to deliver better results and prevents burnout.

How does it get better than this?

Throughout your day and in all situations, ask yourself “how does it get better than this?”. If things are challenging, this question strengthens the muscles to start looking for something more. The universe hears the message and answers the question by sending ideas, inspiration, thoughts, people, and opportunities.

If you’re having a good day, you can still ask the question. We are infinite beings who can’t reach full maxed out pleasure.

Asking this question in your personal life creates the practice of remembering you’re always supported. If you’re scared of something, ask the question as there is always a source behind you ready to answer. When you feel supported, it leads to you being able to take bigger risks, and getting used to asking is when we give ourselves permission to do so.

When a professional team is stuck and think they have uncovered everything they can, asking the question makes creative problem-solving. It will get your team used to look where you think you don’t need to look.

Communicate your boundaries

Our favorite excuse for not taking care of ourselves is that we are needed by other people. We think we have to spread ourselves thin because we’re needed, and if we set boundaries the world will collapse.

People aren’t counting on you to save them, but to remind them to save themselves. When you set a boundary, you’re not there all the time as no person can be, and it gives someone else the opportunity to step up.

A type A person finds value in being needed, and it’s how they convince themselves they are worthy. This practice in your personal life reminds you that with or without being needed, you are always valued. If you engage in self-care, you are refueled so that you can fully show up when you step back into your job. Setting boundaries shows other people around you that they can do it too.

If you have clear boundaries with your team, you create a sense of safety and understanding. When everyone has set their boundaries within a working environment, it encourages respect and the ability to find a middle ground to focus on a productive space and what is important.

Identifying Mindset Blocks and Preventing Burnout

Identifying Mindset Blocks and Preventing Burnout with Christine Springer

On today’s show, we talk to Christine Springer about burnout and mindset blocks. Burnout happens in every occupation as we are increasingly more busy, stressed and disconnected, so how do we keep ourselves from burnout and stay productive?

Christine has a medical background, which gives her the foundation of how she sees stress. Coaching others to avoid burnout started with a personal experience, as she thought her problem was due to needing a new productivity tool or to reassess her time management skills.

Instead, she realized that she had to change her expectations of herself and how she was engaging with her team in order to be more productive, present and happier at her job.

She now helps other people to change their mindset on how they relate to themselves and the people around them, to help them to keep doing the things they love. Burnout robs you of the desire and ability to do your job well, and Christine says she is “giving people their passion back”.

On today’s podcast:

  • What is a mindset block?
  • The most common mindset blocks which lead to burnout
  • Do personality traits make a person more susceptible to burnout?
  • How to identify a mindset block
  • Strategies to let go of mindset blocks and reduce burnout


What is a mindset block?

Your mindset is your thoughts and beliefs on rules of how the world works and how you operate, and a block is any thought you have which limits what you think is possible for yourself. Thoughts influence actions and lead to the results you get in life.

The biggest problem with a mindset block is that you don’t know you have one, as it typically hides as something you just think is the way it is.

Christine says the benefit of having a coach is that it’s hard to read your own label, and an outside perspective is needed to challenge the beliefs that are limiting you, to help you develop your leadership ability, and to avoid the spiral down to burnout.

The most common mindset blocks which lead to burnout

Christine says she sees regular mindset blocks which lead to burnout. The first is the belief of “if I can’t handle my workload, it means I’m weak or I suck at my job”, which is common amongst high achievers who are comfortable with working hard. They often feel guilty about resting or judge themselves for needing a break.

Needing a break is nothing to be ashamed of, and if you deny burnout is happening it will negatively impact your creativity. If you acknowledge it, it will improve your productivity and leadership.

The second mindset block which is seen often is the idea of “if I don’t do it myself, it won’t be done right”. This shows a person has fear of giving up control and can’t trust others, and also that they feel like they don’t have enough time to train anyone to do it as well as they can which leads to being worn out and overwhelmed.

Do personality traits make a person more susceptible to burnout?

There are three personality traits which increase the likelihood of someone experiencing a burnout:

Being a hyper-achiever: Self-worth is tied to the things you do and you feel lazy and worthless if you’re not doing anything, even if you recognize you’re tired and need a break.

  • Being a people pleaser: You have a fear of being viewed as lazy or not a team player if you say no and have trouble setting boundaries of what’s expected of you.
  • The imposter syndrome: Feeling like you don’t deserve the position you have, so you work harder to prove yourself.

How to identify a mindset block

The first way to identify a mindset block is by the language you use. If you use disempowered phrases like ‘I should’ or ‘I have to’ when you’re at work, it is a sign that you feel like you have to do something you don’t want to do.

If there is a persistent gap between what you say you want to do, such as taking a break, and what actually happens, as you end up working still, this is the second signal of a potential mindset block. We do the things we think are important, so if you don’t believe you’re worthy of a break, you won’t do it.

The third way to spot a mindset block is if you make excuses for why you have to be the person who is always taking on another task, even when you’re already overloaded.

Strategies to get go of mindset blocks and reduce burnout

You have to be responsible for your own energy, as when it drops so does your leadership ability, creativity, and decision-making. Christine recommends developing a mindfulness practice and mentions a PDF of mindfulness strategies at work which you can sign up for through her website.

Look at rest as a tool for performance and productivity rather than as a barrier, and get accountability through a coach, leadership team, or buddy. No one is ever objective about themselves, so accountability is good for connectivity and perspective.

How to Have Realistic Expectations for Your Time

How to Have Realistic Expectations for Your Time with Elizabeth Grace Saunders

Our resident expert on time management, Elizabeth Grace Saunders, joins us again on The Ultimate Leadership Podcast to talk about time investment and having realistic expectations with your time.

Last time we spoke to Elizabeth, she gave us some practical tips and tools we could use to effectively manage our time better. This time, we discuss how to approach organizing your time and how to stop feeling so overwhelmed and overloaded, to leave behind the guilt and to make you able to relax.

Elizabeth had her own struggles with time investment, as she didn’t have realistic expectations on how much she could fit into a day or a week, or on how to balance work with the company she was running with life. She overcame her time investment problems and has been helping other people overcome theirs for eight and a half years.

On today’s podcast:

  • The importance of have realistic expectations for your time
  • How to recognize whether or not you have realistic expectations
  • Tips on how to stop feeling overwhelmed and overloaded.
  • Be more organized with your time
  • Why do some people not want a sense of realistic time expectations?
  • Managing unrealistic expectations of others


The importance of having realistic expectations for your time

If you don’t have realistic expectations for your time, you will set yourself up for constantly feeling like a failure.

Elizabeth uses the example of how you feel when working on a project which you believe will take eight hours. If it ends up taking ten hours, you are left feeling frustrated. If the project takes the eight hours you expected, you feel good. But if it takes fewer hours, you end the project feeling amazing. These feelings aren’t associated with how long the project took, but with your expectation of how long it would take.

When you expect something to take a short amount of time and it takes longer, you beat yourself up unnecessarily, but if you are realistic with how long something will take you set yourself up for being and feeling like a success.

How to recognize whether or not you have realistic expectations

It’s likely that you have realistic expectations for your time if you are consistently able to meet the deadlines you set for yourself and if you are always feeling good about what you are achieving.

If you always feel like you’re behind, you’re not translating your work into your calendar to see if it fits, and you’re always saying yes to everything, Elizabeth says that you probably don’t have realistic expectations about how much you can fit into a day or a week.

Tips on how to stop feeling overwhelmed and overloaded

When you feel overwhelmed and overloaded by how much you’ve got going on, start out by identifying your time debt. If you are always running your schedule in time debt and committing to things which you don’t have time for, it will lead to stress.

In Elizabeth’s book How to Invest Your Time Like Money, she explains that you must list out all different parts of your life and put down how much time is invested in each thing. Once you have listed and tallied up every part of your life, you can compare it to the time budget available to you in the day or week.

Once you have figured out that some things don’t fit and have recognized you’re in time debt, you can start to take action from a place of empowerment rather than guilt. Make cuts from areas you consider to be lower priority, get to a balanced time budget and start to feel good about what you are doing.

Elizabeth recommends starting to say no at least once a week, either to others or to yourself, to begin to get towards a more realistic place with your time.

Be more organized with your time

One of the things which is essential for people who are typically late or disorganized with their time is to come to terms with the fact that organization takes time to learn.

It is important to remember that getting from one place to another takes time, as some people don’t think about the journey and how long it takes. Figure out what your step point is. If you’re often ten minutes late, tell yourself to be ten minutes early and aim for that. That way, you’re likely to be on time.

Get into the habit of setting aside time for rituals, like cleaning the house or taking time in your schedule to file some paper. Once you recognize that being organized takes time, you’re able to put yourself in a place of feeling on top of things.

Why do some people not want a sense of realistic time expectations?

A lot of people who are disorganized with their time think time has no limit, and so they get confused when reality wins and they end up being disappointed and overwhelmed.

People who don’t want a sense of realistic time expectations are often angry and can’t understand why they aren’t able to do the 500 things in their head. Once the feelings of anger have been acknowledged, then they can be worked on to reach a place of acceptance.

Managing unrealistic expectations of others

If you don’t tell someone they’re overloading you, they won’t know about it, so communication is essential. Take ownership of your time rather than putting yourself in a victim stance when you have too much on.

You need to say no nicely, as it’s part of setting expectations of what is and isn’t reasonable. Saying no doesn’t have to be abrasive or offensive, it’s about being clear and knowing your schedule. Elizabeth has tips on how to say no and how to let people know what is realistic with her ‘Learn How to Say No’ resource.

How to overcome fear to achieve your professional goals with Tricia Brouk

How to overcome fear of public speaking to achieve your professional goals with Tricia Brouk

How do you overcome a fear of the unknown in order to reach your goals?

After moving to New York city at the age of 20 to pursue a dance career, Tricia Brouk was faced with many obstacles while she was following her dream. She talks to us about embracing fear, rather than dwelling on it, and how using this technique has helped her success.

Tricia tells us about starting her second company, The Big Talk, and shares tips with us on how to put a plan together to reach your goals and how to manage fear within your career growth.

On today’s podcast:

  • Overcoming fear and achieving success
  • How to put a plan together to reach your goals
  • Discovering the power of social media
  • Tricia’s company – The Big Talk
  • Tips for embracing the fear of public speaking
  • How to manage fear and grow your success


Overcoming fear and achieving success

Tricia has rephrased ‘overcoming fear’ to ‘embracing fear’. She tells us that if you embrace the fear you feel about achieving your goals, it will make your ability to believe you can do it stronger.

When Tricia started her first company, her trick to succeeding was by not having fear of failing. She didn’t feel fear and dwell on it, she just did it. Tricia had the mindset of “If I failed, I would try again”.

How to put a plan together to reach your goals

When you have a goal that you want to reach, the first thing to consider is whether or not you are prepared for it. Have you done your homework? Have you researched? Are you really ready to take it to the next level?

Tricia says that once you have considered this, and if you feel that you are ready, then you need to just do it.

If you make a mistake along the way, ask for help. If you don’t know how to do something, ask someone who does. There are things within Tricia’s business which she doesn’t know how to do, such as embedding code, so has made sure she’s hired the right people to help her reach her business goals.

Discovering the power of social media

In the last year, Tricia has discovered the power of social media in promoting her business The Big Talk. Tricia only uses social media for business but was shocked at how people many people are driven to these platforms to promote and to connect.

If you’re scared of using social media for your business, let go of the fear. The power of social media exists, and you need to take advantage of it to market your business.

On social media, you won’t please everyone all of the time. But if your message is consistent and you use it in a positive way for your business, it will serve you well. You don’t have to use all of the social media platforms for success. Use a few which you love, and use them well to see amazing results.

Tricia’s company – The Big Talk

Tricia started directing Tedx talks and realised there was a need to help public speakers to identify their craft and deliver signature talks.

From this, she created The Big Talk to help clients to become more comfortable with writing and speaking. She then applied for her own TEDx licence, and TedxLincolnSquare was born.

When asked about leadership, Tricia tells us that she always felt like she wanted to help people, and believes she can lead people to see the best of who they can be as she is a natural leader herself.

Tips for embracing the fear of public speaking

The first step to overcoming the fear of public speaking is to acknowledge that you have fear. Know that it’s there and allow it to be there, but try not to get attached to it.

Tricia says that you have to rehearse your speech so that when the fear comes you don’t fall apart. Knowing that it’s there, and recognising it when it comes means that you can let it go.

If you make it about you and you make fear control you, your message won’t be heard by the audience. Your message is a gift to the audience, so it’s important to be well-rehearsed and ready to recognise and let go of the fear when it comes.

How to manage fear and grow your success

Tricia’s big tip for managing fear and continuing your success is to show up every day. Connecting to everyone you’re working with will help you to maintain and manage success.

You don’t know what tomorrow will bring, so put yourself out there and pick yourself back up if you do fail. Every day has to be about being truthful, authentic, making a difference, and being who you are, not who other people want you to be.

Becoming a great female leader and the principles for success with Ria Story

Becoming a great female leader and the principles for success with Ria Story

How do we help women to shine within the workplace?

Today’s guest, Ria Story, overcame a tragic childhood to become a successful and confident leader, and motivates other female professionals to help them reach their full potential. She joins us to discuss gender bias in the workplace, the correlation between success and positive attitude, and confidence and authenticity.

Ria has published nine books, with her most recent one being Leadership Gems for Women: 30 Characteristics of Very Successful Women, and she works as a motivational speaker where she proves that “it’s not what happens to you, it’s who you become because of it.”

On today’s podcast:

  • The definition of leadership
  • Ria’s book – Leadership Gems for Women: 30 Characteristics of Very Successful Women
  • How important is authenticity in the workplace?
  • Success and positive attitude
  • Confidence tips for female professionals
  • Gender bias in the workplace


The definition of leadership

Ria used to have the impression that she wasn’t a natural or gifted leader, until she realised that leadership is defined by influence.

We influence everyone around us, so the key to becoming a great leader is figuring out how we can influence people positively. When you approach leadership in this way, you realise that leadership is indeed a verb, not a noun, and that in actioning it you can influence someone every day.

These principles apply in the workplace at all levels, as you can influence your peers, your team, and your manager, but also at home where you can influence your spouse and your children positively.

Ria’s book – Leadership Gems for Women: 30 Characteristics of Very Successful Women

The motivation behind this publication came from Ria wanting to write a book that contained concepts and principles of leadership which she wished she’d known when she started in her career.

As there are more than 30 characteristics of very successful women, she thought it important to pick the most impactful principles which would have helped as she transitioned and progressed in her career as it’s important to share wisdom, knowledge and experiences to others facing the same obstacles.

Ria says that her biggest challenge in the workplace which she needed to overcome to be able to improve herself and progress in her career, was herself and her own limitations. She wasn’t a natural communicator as she had grown up in an isolated and abusive environment, and wasn’t a natural in conversation. As she grew in her career, she worked to improve her communication skills as she recognised how important this is to be able to become a successful influencer.

Ria didn’t have the natural gift of communication and leadership but taught herself the key principles to make it happen. She claims “if I can do it, anyone can.”

Leadership is something in which we can all improve on and get better at, and the tried and true principles which have been around for a long time are all noted in Leadership Gems for Women: 30 Characteristics of Very Successful Women. The principles work in every situation, and it is a natural progression for influence to increase if we take the principles and do them well.

How important is authenticity in the workplace?

It is critical to be authentic in the workplace, and to represent yourself in a true and honest way. Authenticity is sometimes incorrectly perceived as a weakness as it does require us to be vulnerable, however if we are able to admit to not knowing an answer to something or to admit to making a mistake, it builds trust with people around us.

No one is perfect, and people want to know that leaders know they’re not perfect and are comfortable admitting that. We are all human, and we all make mistakes. Our influence increases when we can be authentic and acknowledge those strengths.

We don’t become better leaders by pretending we’re perfect, we become better when we’re able to overcome things.

Success and positive attitude

Being successful comes down to the attitude of being positive. When we’re positive while everything is going right, it doesn’t increase influence as that is what people expect. However, when things are going wrong and we’re positive, that’s when influence increases.

There are three ways to be more positive. These are with our thoughts, our actions, and our words. Embrace opportunities as a chance to be creative, read positive books and volunteer to help someone, and replace the word ‘can’t’ with ‘how can I…’.

Negative thoughts become negative actions and behaviours, so to influence people and to become a great leader it all stems from positivity.

Confidence tips for female professionals

We all have two types of confidence. The first is self-confidence which is our values, our beliefs, are confident in who we are and what we will stand up for. This is enhanced by lessons and experiences in life, and it doesn’t change regardless of environment.

The second kind of confidence we have is situational confidence. This is the knowledge we have and is more competency-based. This does change, as the situational confidence we have on the first day of a new job will be different to when we’ve been there a long time.

Ria’s advice is to balance both character and competency and to put time and energy into improving skills whilst not forgetting to improve the character as the latter is static and doesn’t change. Have a personal growth plan.

People work hard to put themselves in a position to be successful, but don’t put time into their own professional development to grow. If you’re not willing to invest in yourself, no one else will be either.

Gender bias in the workplace

Women feel a lot of pressure in the workplace to be the leader who has all the answers, and there is pressure on them to be leaders who give the impression of someone who has it all together.

This pressure can be relieved if men are authentic and admit to not having all the answers and making mistakes, as it then creates an open culture for women to do the same.

If we value the strengths and differences of our team regardless of gender, it opens up the opportunity to make the team strong as we work with our strengths together.

What we permit as leaders is what we promote, so there needs to be a lack of tolerance of bias from those who influence others.

The Nuts and Bolts of Organizational Process Improvement with Blue-Collar Leadership’s Mack Story

The Nuts and Bolts of Organizational Process Improvement with Blue-Collar Leadership’s Mack Story

My guest has made his mark in organizational process improvement, and he contends that respect for people and relationship building are key in achieving extraordinary transformation.

Mack Story is the Co-Founder of Top Story Leadership. With 11,000-plus hours of experience leading hundreds of leaders and thousands of their cross-functional teams, Mack is an authority in organizational process improvement. He began his career in manufacturing on the front lines of a machine shop, and he authored the Blue-Collar Leadership Series to provide that niche audience with the tools to grow their influence.

Today we discuss the importance of buy-in when it comes to process improvement and the differences between Lean principles and practices.

On today’s podcast:

  • How John Maxwell’s mentorship influenced Mack
  • The significance of process improvement in a Lean organization
  • Team building as the first step in process improvement
  • Mack’s strategy to earn buy-in from a resistant team
  • The difference between Lean principles and practices
  • The unique niche of the Blue-Collar Leadership Series


Covey and Maxwell as Mentors

Mack started out as a Stephen Covey fan when he read the formative book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. John Maxwell was the second author he discovered in the space, and Mack was struck by John’s idea of putting everything “on the bottom shelf so everybody can have some.”

When Mack saw John present on video, laughing with the crowd and poking fun at low-impact leaders, he thought, “I could do that.” Mack credits Maxwell with inspiring him to become a consultant in the space, and lists his book, The 5 Levels of Leadership along with The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People as the foundation of his understanding of effective leadership.

The Role of Process Improvement

Every company is trying to get better, and Lean is simply a set of tools that “allows people to formally train and develop their people to improve processes in a methodical way.” Mack has spent the vast majority of his 11,000-hour career as a consultant leading 6- to 12-person teams, usually on the shop floor in a manufacturing facility. He goes in on a Monday, and by Friday they’ve accomplished an unbelievable transformation of either the space on the shop floor itself or some process – with a group of people who were not a team on Monday.

As the Lean benchmark of the world, Toyota teaches the two pillars of Lean:

  1. Continuous improvement, and
  2. Respect for people.

Mack argues that most companies focus on continuous improvement and bypass respect for people, but he believes that the respect component should come first. And respect involves more than simply being nice to your employees and giving them a turkey at Thanksgiving.

True respect means that you are committed to leadership development for every staff member at every level. John Maxwell teaches the precept of “leadership as influence,” and Mack stands behind the idea that every member of an organization should be seen as a leader.

Remember, leadership is a verb – the action you take to serve the people who work for you. Part of that action must involve supporting your team members in the growth and development their influence.

Relationships First, Process Improvement Second

Mack defines a leadership expert as “someone who knows how much they don’t know,” and has the passion to become a lifelong student of leadership. True leaders have the foresight to say, “I may need to adjust this process,” and they solicit input from their workforce before initiating process improvement.

When Mack goes into an organization on a Monday, he often encounters resistance: “They don’t like you. They don’t like each other. They don’t like the boss. They don’t like change.” Job number one is building a relationship. In fact, he employs the Mack Story 20/80 Rule, spending 20% of his time on personal growth and leadership development. This process of “priming the pump” prepares the team members to work together – and to work with Mack.

The relationship-building aspect of process improvement is an art form, and many leadership consultants are ineffective because they are lacking in this area. The team must buy into the leader before they will buy into the leader’s vision. Jim Womack, the guru of Lean in the US, explains that “Lean Leaders go slow to go fast,” whereas traditional leaders “go fast to go slow.” Take the time to build a relationship now, and you will see the results.

Earning Buy-In from Resistant Teams

Mack has had the experience of going into an organization on a Monday only to realize that the staff wasn’t given any notice about the event. In cases like this when he senses a lot of animosity in the room, Mack utilizes Covey’s principle, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” He lets them know that he appreciates how they feel by saying, “If you don’t like being in here, if you don’t like working at this company … anything that’s going on, you need to pay attention more than anybody.”

With only five days, Mack knows he needs to secure buy-in quickly, so he explains that what he has to teach will help the employees get a job somewhere else, if that is what they want. Not only that, it applies to relationships with family and friends as well. Process improvement methodology is relevant to all aspects of our lives and can be applied anywhere you go.

According to Gallup, up to 73% of our workforce is either disengaged or actively disengaged. Process improvement offers employees the tools to finally make the difference, to be the change agent on the front lines that can help the company change and grow. In most cases, these employees see their value and end up wanting to stay and be a part of the Lean Team that helps make the organization better.

Principles Versus Practices

Mack loves working with companies brand new to Lean. He loves changing the way people think, especially when they are skeptical: “What you see at Toyota won’t work here.” He teaches that there is a difference between principles and practices. There are thousands of ways to apply them, but the principles of process improvement apply everywhere – at the dentist’s office, when you mow your lawn, etc.

The same goes for leadership. As John Maxwell says, “Never tell a story without making a point, and never make a point without telling a story.” The story is the practice; the point is the principle. They work together, but the principles provide the foundation.

The Blue-Collar Leadership Series

Because most leadership books cater to the white-collar worker, Mack’s Blue-Collar Leadership Series fulfills a unique niche. His titles include:

  1.     Blue-Collar Leadership: Leading from the Front Lines for entry-level employees
  2.     Blue-Collar Leadership & Supervision: Unleash Your Team’s Potential for formal authorities
  3.     Blue-Collar Kaizen: Leading Lean & Lean Teams for leading teams
  4.     Change Happens: Leading Yourself and Others Through Change

You can learn more about Mack through his YouTube Channel and his website, He can be reached at 334-728-4143.

Ultimate Success: Strategic Leadership Excellence with Best Selling Author Chris Cebollero

Ultimate Success: Strategic Leadership Excellence with Best Selling Author Chris Cebollero

We have a very special show this week – your host will be me, Chad Weinstein, and our guest is Chris Cebollero, author of the new book Ultimate Success: Strategic Leadership Excellence, which has reached bestseller status on Amazon.

We discuss Chris’ new book, the lessons within it, and why continuous development is critical to leadership success.

On today’s podcast:

  • What motivated Chris to write this book?
  • The heroes that Chris has learned from as a leader
  • What were the surprises that came out of writing this book?
  • What can you expect from the book?
  • How should readers use Ultimate Success for their development?
  • Where to purchase Ultimate Success


  • Ultimate Success on Amazon

What motivated Chris to write this book?

Chris Cebollero’s first book, Ultimate Leadership: 10 Rules for Success, was about the rules he had to come up with through his leadership career that really grew from the lessons learned from his professional successes and failures.

In the new book, Ultimate Success, Chris set out to give the reader the skills and knowledge that they would need to develop into an ultimate success as a leader.

Are you born to be a leader or are you made to be a leader? Chris believes the answer is ‘yes.’ Leaders are born, but as we grow we are able to develop our leadership acumen – so both are true.

Chris wrote the book to act not only as a foundation but also as a resource that leaders can reference throughout their careers to continually help them to develop. So it is designed to be of value to seasoned leaders as well as those that are stepping into leadership positions for the first time.

Leadership is both an art and a science. You’ve got to know the science before you can paint the picture of success.
-Chris Cebollero

Especially true for new leaders. But also very relevant for experienced leaders as Chris is setting out his interpretation of the science through this book which will encourage you to look at leadership practices in a new way. It provides an opportunity to question and clarify your thinking.

The heroes that Chris has learned from as a leader

John Maxwell is a stand out example for Chris. When you think you know about leadership and you sit in front of John, says Chris, you realise how much you don’t know about leadership.

Chris is also inspired by leaders through history that went through tragedy and came out successful. Winston Churchill, Harry S Truman, John F Kennedy, for example. People that had to go through and deal with extreme adversity and come through successfully.

Coming from the public service realm, Chris was mentored by leaders in his chain of command who seemed to have all the answers. When he would come to them as a young paramedic or young supervisor, nervous and concerned at how to handle situations, it seemed that they always knew what to do to deal with a given problem. People like Ernie Rodriguez and Randy McCargar, and Jennifer Cordia that really impacted Chris’ career early on.

Another hero was his first boss when he left the military: Don Hopkins. Don was a rural hospital president who really set Chris on the path into the private sector with the tools of how to talk and interact with people in the proper manner. Don moved Chris’ mindset from a military one to a civilian one.

What were the surprises that came out of writing this book?

What surprised Chris was that as he was putting his thoughts and experiences down on paper, it brought him back to not only what he had to learn in the early stages of his career, but that he continued to enhance those learnings throughout his career with a huge amount of those experiences that go into honing your craft.

Going back through the stories and experiences that molded his career brought back some surprising emotions, but also reminded him of just how much you learn and develop through your life.

Chris has laid bare some of these experiences openly in the book as well as sharing the successes of those around him.

What can you expect from the book?

Ultimate Success is not so much a how-to, but rather a framework of tools based on the stories and experiences that he shares that the reader can fill in to develop their own success patterns.

At some points, it acts as an overview of a given topic – communication for example – and at others it goes more in-depth with clear takeaways and advice – like the section on presentation skills in both formal and informal situations.

It’s important to remember that as a leader you’re on stage as soon as you leave the house.

Every time you leave the house, it acts 1, scene 1, action!

– Don Lundy

Your work force is always watching every move you make – whether that be from a position of trying to emulate what you’re doing or from a position of noting your errors and failures and questioning your ability as a leader.

The book gives you the advice you need to put yourself in the best possible position to portray a positive public image and to ensure that when you join a team, the moral, collective attitude and performance goes up.

Leadership is not a noun. It’s not a position or an achievement. It’s an action – and you need to be able to develop that action every day to make sure your workforce can be the very best that they can be.

How should readers use Ultimate Success for their development?

This is a book you can read as a leader, get the foundational knowledge out of it and then share that knowledge with your workforce. This could be in the format of a discussion around one of the chapters in a weekly meeting, covering a particular topic and sharing best practices in a mastermind setting.

It can also be used as a reference when needed.

It’s important to remember that even as experienced leaders, we have to develop continuously or we’re establishing a status quo instead of moving forward. The book offers an opportunity to questions ourselves and continue to hone our craft.

Chris also provides guidance and coaching to individuals and leadership teams to help them implement these best practices within their careers and organisations. By assessing and determining core strengths and areas of weakness, Chris can provide actionable advice to help you address areas of your leadership practice to drive towards ultimate success.

If you’re looking to grow your professional development, you can find Ultimate Success on Amazon.