Monthly Archives: June 2018

Walking the Fine Line Between Authenticity and Hypocrisy



There is a fine line between authenticity and hypocrisy. It’s important to be aware of what you are communicating in order to make sure you achieve the best results. My guest this week is Ed DeCosta, a powerful executive coach and an engaging keynote speaker here to offer some important pieces of information on how to make sure you always deliver authentic messages.

On today’s podcast:

  • The quest for authenticity
  • Always defend your point of view
  • If you permit hypocrisy, you promote it
  • Steer clear of acquiescing

Links:

The quest for authenticity

One of the foundations of successful leadership is being authentic.

Authenticity is about being real, honest, truthful. The opposite of that is being false, dishonest. A hypocrite is someone who says one thing and does another.

One of the goals of our communications is to evoke emotion.

Sometimes your politeness can be misinterpreted. The same goes for silence.

Always defend your point of view

Situational awareness is extremely important. You should ask yourself:

  • What’s going on?
  • Where am I?
  • Who am I?
  • What is my role? What am I supposed to do?

If somebody confronts you and says, “I believe this about an issue you talk about”, this is a situation where it’s socially acceptable to share your view.

If you don’t share your opinion, and you pretend that you agree, that’s a sign of hypocrisy. You have an opportunity to defend your point of view, but you choose not to.

If you permit hypocrisy, you promote it

If someone behaves out of alignment of what they say their values are, they are perpetuating hypocrisy.

If you permit someone’s hypocrisy, you promote it as well.

Self-leadership is vital. You have to be honest with yourself. You have to realize that you’re either being honest, or you’re not.

Steer clear of acquiescing

Have values you actually believe in. Do whatever exercises you need to do to sink those values deeply into your fabric, your soul. Too many people acquiesce. They don’t say what they were thinking because they believe it wouldn’t have been appropriate. Then they’re full of regret and remorse.


Don’t Sacrifice Your Career for Your Job



Are you aware of the habits that are limiting your career advancement? If you want to have more influence and more power, it’s time to put an end to certain patterns of thinking. To help you achieve that, I’ve invited someone I truly admire: author and executive coach Marshall Goldsmith.

On today’s podcast:

  • The profile of the leader of the future
  • Don’t always add value and listen to your people
  • Don’t sacrifice your career for your job
  • Become aware of what is limiting your career and start making changes

Links:

The profile of the leader of the future

The leader of the future has to have four attributes, according to Marshall:

  1. The ability to think globally and being able to manage people in a global setting.
  2. Cross-cultural appreciation. Diversity is not just about dealing with minorities in the US, but also about dealing with different cultures all around the world.
  3. Being tech-savvy. We can no longer hide from technology.
  4. Being able to build alliances and partnerships. Nowadays leadership is much more across, instead of being top-down.
  5. Shared leadership. In the past, leaders assumed they knew more than the people they led. Today the leader is no longer superior. Leaders of the future have to quit being the smartest person in the room.

Don’t always add value and listen to your people

In his job as an executive coach Marshall gives people a lot of feedback. His clients pick the areas in which they need to make the most changes, and he helps them with that.

He says that managers have a constant tendency of giving too much value. It’s very hard for smart, successful people not to constantly add value. Your suggestions as an executive become orders and you can end up diminishing the ideas of your employees.

Before you speak, breathe, and ask yourself, “Is it worth it? If I am not the expert on this topic, why am I speaking? Anything I say will probably end up doing more harm than good.”

Don’t sacrifice your career for your job

Marshall’s latest book, “How Women Rise: Break the 12 Habits Holding You Back from Your Next Raise, Promotion, or Job”, is a collaboration with Sally Helgesen. The idea was to create a book for any woman who is ready to advance to the next level.

One of the brilliant concepts in the book is sacrificing your career for your job. Women are much more likely to do this than men. They can get so wrapped up in doing a great job, that they don’t really invest in their career. They tend to have this naive assumption that if they do a good job, it should be the best thing to advance their career.

What you should be doing is always looking at that next job. If you’re not careful, you can become indispensable. Then you’re really stuck. Indispensable means, “We can’t get rid of her, she’s adding too much value.”

Become aware of what is limiting your career and start making changes

Women are much better than men at giving credit to others and saying we instead of I. This is generally a good thing. The only problem is that sometimes you need to get promoted.

If you want to make a bigger, more positive difference in the world, you need to have more power. You can’t influence people with no power.

If you want more power, you need to be aware of the things that stop your career. If you think, “I love my team so much, I’m ashamed to be promoted”, you ultimately limit your career and the influence you can have in the world.

We hold on to mental models too much. If we say, “That’s the way I am” with no intention of changing anything, then we will always get what we always got. We always have a choice. If we want more power and more authority, we need to change this way of thinking.


From Being an Expert to Becoming an Authority



We are all stuck with each other on this planet, so we might as well learn from each other and be willing to share our expertise. A firm believer in the power of mentorship is my guest and good friend, Simone Vincenzi. Join us as we explore the unlimited possibilities of what a good coach has to offer.

On today’s podcast:

  • Focusing on a good work-life balance
  • The difference between “rubber” and “glass” activities
  • The best ideas come to you in the most unexpected moments
  • Differences between American and European leadership development styles
  • Simone’s principles
  • Simone’s podcast and classes

Links:

Focusing on a good work-life balance

Simone is motivated by serving his clients. He is helping experts become authorities in their fields, and this is what makes him happy.

He doesn’t want to work all the time. His solution to a good work-life balance is focusing on work when he is working, and focusing on relaxing when he is on holidays. Simone also makes sure he carves out pockets of time for his wife.

The difference between “rubber” and “glass” activities

After reading “The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results”, Simone understood the importance of scheduling and prioritizing.

The book talks about different ways of scheduling your time and finding out what’s really important to you. It classifies activities as being “rubber” or “glass”.

Rubber activities can be postponed, they are not made of glass. Glass activities can break, and relationships and family belong to this category.

The best ideas come to you in the most unexpected moments

Entrepreneurs often feel that they never have enough success. Simone has also fought with this feeling for a long time, and he needs to constantly remind himself that he has enough success.

When you’re very passionate about what you do, opportunities open up everywhere. You feel like you don’t want to miss out on anything.

Sometimes you just have to stop for a moment and feel good about your work. We come up with the best ideas when we don’t actively think about solutions.

Differences between American and European leadership development styles

Simone noticed massive differences in leadership development between the US and Europe. In the US, people tend to be go-getters. In Europe, they are more relaxed, sometimes too relaxed.

He moved from Italy to London, because he finds London much more similar in terms of mentality to the US. In Italy, people love complaining, without really seeking a solution to their problems.

In the US, there is an active approach when it comes to leadership development. In Europe, the approach is more reactive. However, the trend seems to be changing nowadays.

Simone’s principles

Simone believes in a few fundamental principles:

  • If you don’t grow, you die.
  • We are in this together. Unfortunately nowadays we are getting more and more isolated. With technology, we have the false feeling that we are more connected, while in reality we are more and more disconnected. Together we can achieve greater things.

Simone’s podcast and classes

On his podcast, Explode Your Expert Biz Show, he interviews leaders and experts and asks them for tips and strategies on how to grow a business, particularly one based on personal brand. The show is full of practical, implementable steps.

If you want to learn more, you can also take one of Simone’s courses. You can find the list here


How to Be a Successful Speaker



Communication is both a science and a fine art. Here to help you better understand its mechanics is Matt Abrahams, a passionate and innovative coach.

On today’s podcast:

  • There is no right way to communicate
  • Public speaking as a potential threat to our future
  • How to prepare for a talk
  • How to tame anxiety
  • The trap of procrastination
  • Have a goal-driven, structured approach

Links:

There is no right way to communicate

Communication has to be at the foundation of our leadership toolbox if we aim really high.

Matt teaches leaders how to be comfortable with themselves when it comes to their communication. Many people don’t feel comfortable doing presentations or speaking up in meetings, but that can be changed.

Many people also feel that when they are communicating they are performing, that they have to do it right. In fact, there is no right way to communicate. There are certainly better or worse ways, but if you put the pressure on yourself to do it right, you’re actually undermining your ability to do it at all.

We perceive speaking as a threat

We tend to see speaking in front of others in high-stake situations as threatening. It’s a threat to our potential future. For instance, entrepreneurs are afraid that they will not receive funding or support.

A lot of our anxiety around speaking is the threat that we feel from the potential negative future outcome.

Many people, because of their perceived inability to communicate effectively, feel that they are not as worthy or as valuable as other people, even when they have fantastic ideas.

How to prepare for a talk

What can you about it? You can start by saying:

  1. I have interesting and valuable information to share.
  2. It’s not about what I want to share, it’s about what others need to get. The audience-centric approach focuses on the needs of the people you’re communicating with and it can really help you get out of your negative space.

Preparation is key to feeling confident. When it comes to preparing a high-stake communication, you have to figure out what your goal is. A goal has three fundamental parts:

  1. Information – what do I want my audience to know?
  2. Emotions – how do I want them to feel?
  3. Action – what do I want them to do when I’m done?

Take the time between now and when you’re presenting and divide it in half. The first half is preparation time, the second half is practice time.

How to tame anxiety

You then have to learn how to manage the anxiety you feel. You have to take a two-pronged approach:

  1. Managing the symptoms of anxiety
  2. Managing the sources of anxiety

Many of us when we present, we blush or we perspire because we’re nervous. It’s an automatic result of our blood pressure going up. We can reduce the sweating and blushing by simply holding something cold in the palms of our hands.

There are lots of sources of anxiety. One is feeling evaluated. If we could do something to distract our audience’s attention, then we can feel better. For example, if we start a meeting by taking a poll or showing a video, we can take the attention away from ourselves and we can put it on whatever that activity is. In doing so, we also get to engage our audience.

The trap of procrastination

Many of us procrastinate because we don’t like feeling anxious. It’s easier to just put things off. In reality, it just makes them worse.

The insidious part about procrastination is that it builds in an excuse. If you have a major presentation coming up and you delay preparing it, and then you give it and it doesn’t go well, you can always say to yourself “If only I put more time in.”

If you want to fight procrastination, first, create a plan and stick to it. Second, publicly commit to that plan. Also, give yourself a reward every once in a while if you’re sticking to the plan.

Have a goal-driven, structured approach

So how do you know if your message was successful? Ask yourself “Did I accomplish my goal?” Having a goal-driven approach provides you with a way to assess success. After the communication, you also need to reflect on what worked and what didn’t.

Structure is very important. Any effective communication needs to be structured. Matt’s personal favorite structure is the “What? – So what? – Now what?” structure.

In this structure, you define what it is you’re talking about, then you provide the reason why your communication is important, and finally you talk about the next step, the approach you want people to take.