YOUR ATTITUDE HAS INFLUENCE ON THE BEHAVIORS OF OTHERS

Attitudes are contagious, is yours worth catching?

My wife and I recently spent a few days in New York City, enjoying the sights and sounds of Manhattan from our Madison Avenue hotel, and eating and spending time touring Central Park. One night I was sitting on the window sill, with the window open, 15 stories up (probably not what a safety professional should be doing), and couldn’t help but notice the amount of honking that goes on.  I initially became aware of it during our ride into the city from the airport. However, while I was sitting on the ledge, I realized something. When one person honks, it encourages others to do the same.  It became contagious.  One honk led to another and then another, and before long, it was a musical nightmare of various horns reverberating from building to building. All day, all night, people honked at all hours of the day or night. Recognizing this issue, generated a few rhetorical questions:

  1. Do people honk just because it is New York City and that’s what they do?
  2. What would happen if automakers remove the horn from vehicles?  Would the people of New York City be able to function?
  3. Is using a horn in NYC effective?  Didn’t seem so. Our driver was never affected by the horn.  He just did what he was going to do.  However, he did use his often.

Whether good or bad, your attitude will influence others.

A person’s behavior doesn’t dictate their attitude, but their attitude can dictate their behavior.

Attitude is contagious. Our attitude will determine our success or failure and the success or failure of others.  Attitude is more important than anything else, it is more important than money than any of your circumstances than your failures or your successes. It is more important than your appearance, your talent, or your skill. Your attitude will make or break you, and it will determine your ability to succeed in anything you do.

Winston Churchill said, ”Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference”

Change-Negative-Attitude-to-PositiveThere is a direct correlation between attitude and behaviors. A person’s behavior is affected by their attitude.  Specifically, a person may do what is required when they must. However, remove the “must” situation, and they do what they want? Our attitude has an effect on others. Just as when one person honks in NYC, we all honk, our attitude will be contagious to many.

In our quest to positively influence a person’s attitude and ultimately their behavior, we must understand what impact our attitude has to our personal leadership. Once we understand this, we can have a positive influence on the attitudes of others.

Remember these as you consider your influence through your attitude:

  • Our attitude is ALWAYS in play – Simply, our attitude has an effect on everything and everyone.
  • Attitudes can lift a person or tear them down – Chuck Swindoll said, “Life is 10% of what happens to us and 90% of how we react.”
  • Attitudes are contagious (good or bad)
  • Bad attitudes catch on and spread faster – Honking in NYC…
  • Identifying bad attitudes can be difficult – This is true, especially in ourselves.  We always justify our bad attitudes.
  • Rotten attitudes will ruin everything – Absolutely right! How many times have you gone into a meeting or had a conversation with another person when your attitude was horrible? It never ends well.

667fe4c3-4012-4050-a33b-b92682d6db17_lg-1Casey Stengel,  a successful manager of the New York Yankees, had a conversation with a rookie manager named, Billy Martin.gal-taurus-billy-martin-jpg He told Billy this, “There will be 15 players who will run through a wall of fire for you, 5 who will hate you, and 5 who are undecided. When you make out the rooming list, always room your losers together. Never room a good guy with a loser. Those losers who stay together will blame the manager for everything, but it won’t spread if you keep them isolated.”

Who will you influence with your attitude today?

6 Ways To Add Value To Your Team

Business team shwoing thumbs upI don’t think there is ever an instance where one person is the team, or where one person is responsible for the success or failure of the team. Whether at work or within the family, I believe it always involves a team effort.

As I continue my leadership journey, identifying areas of improvement within myself and when coaching leaders, I am convinced success is always a team effort. Sure, there is always someone who leads the way, but I believe they are supported by the team who is like-minded and supportive of their ideas and efforts.

Experiencing what it really means to add value to a group, I have identified 6 ways to increase the value as a team member.

Here they are:

  1.  SUPPORT THE VISION – Support the vision and direction of the team leader or team itself.  You must be honest with your thoughts and ideas, but in the end be a verbal proponent of the team and the direction the team wants to head.
  2. RESPECT OTHERS – You must comply with the ideas and or concerns of others. Never just dismiss what others have to say or the direction they believe in.  But rather, listen to what they have to say and consider the overall impact it has on the team goal.
  3. BE PREPARED TO GO ABOVE AND BEYOND – Teams need members that are willing to go above and beyond.   You might have to do more, take more and work more.  Be prepared to give it your all to the success of the team.  Be a better planner.  Be a better goal and objective setter and by all means be prepared to hold yourself accountable!
  4. BE THE EXPERT – Great team members are informed by team members.  The best performing team is the most knowledgeable team.  What is our objective?  What do we want to accomplish? What is my role?  Remember, information is knowledge.  The more knowledgeable the Team is, the more likely they are to be successful.
  5. CELEBRATE SUCCESS – Most do not do this well. How often have you achieved a goal and there was no fanfare? No celebration?  It almost seemed success was expected.  Maybe so, however, I believe celebrating your successes (regardless of how small) is the key to future encouragement.  Honestly, don’t be afraid to tell others how much you appreciate their effort and help to accomplish the team’s goals and objectives.
  6. BE A GO TO PERSON –  People appreciate those they can go and talk to.  Individuals who can simply listen and those who convey confidence and support and who are viewed as discrete and trustworthy?  A person that you can bounce off ideas and concerns and know they will simply be heard.

Consider these when working with a team. Only small visions can be achieved without a team. However, one can achieve endless visions with active teams!

Creative Business Team Stacking Hands In Huddle

What Message Are You Sending? PART 2 of 3 – 11 Rules and Etiquette for Crafting and Sending Effective Emails

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The way you craft or respond to an email determines the effectiveness of your words. That drives the intended outcome and creates the influence you desire.

When replying to emails, consider these ten (11) suggestions:

  1. Organize your words and paragraphs to make it easy for readers to follow and understand.
  2. Reflect on the email content before replying. Your leadership effectiveness is reflected in your response.
  3. Don’t automatically hit “Reply All.”  This should only be used when needed and with extreme caution.  You should only use “Reply All” when everyone on the “TO” list requires your response.  Most of the time, it is sufficient to only respond to the person who sent the email.
  4. Be Careful with the “Bcc.” The “Bcc:” option allows you to “blind carbon copy” someone on an email without any of the other recipients knowing. It can be useful in some cases when you wish to keep email addresses private.
  5. Avoid Cursing. Cursing in an email is just wrong. Don’t do it. Swearing in an email comes off as being ignorant or showing a lacking intelligence.
  6. Use proper grammar.  Don’t write like you speak. Remember, emails are forwarded all the time.
  7. Respond Regardless. Everyone would deserve a response, even if the email were mistakenly sent to you.  A simple, “I got your email,” or “I think this was addressed to me by mistake” will let the sender know you got the message.
  8. Be leery of tone. Each person interprets email tone differently.  A well-written email can easily be interpreted as a negative with the use of various words.  Many people use all caps. Doing this implies YOUR YELLING AT SOMEONE.
  9. Don’t Be Cute There is no room for cuteness or EMOJI’s, inappropriate pictures, etc.
  10. Include a professional signature. Include; your full name, title, work address and phone number.  When using a quote or image, be careful that it does not offend.
  11. Read it, then reread it. Read and re-read your email. Make sure your grammar, spelling, and choice of words portray the intended tone and message.

Real Integrity

 

I was talking with a group of people the other day when one of them began talking about how much integrity they had and how they strive to do the right thing always. That statement caught me by surprise because I know this person and have had many discussions concerning their lack of integrity. It made me realize two things.

  1. If you have to tell someone you have integrity, you probably don’t.
  2. Authentic integrity is built within a person’s character through their actions.

Genuine integrity is the foundation of a person’s credibility. Credibility creates confidence, and that confidence allows influence.

“Integrity is what we do, what we say, and what we say we do” – Don Gater.

Someone once said,

“You are already of consequence in the world if you are known as a man of strict integrity”.

That’s how essential integrity is in your personal life. In fact, if you have nothing else, authentic integrity will catapult you past everyone else.

Dwight Eisenhower said, “The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible.”

I agree with Eisenhower. I cannot emphasize enough about the importance of having genuine integrity if you want real leadership in your life.

Integrity gives you so much credibility, trust, confidence, influence and much more.

Be a person of integrity and be a person who people want to follow.

10 Actions To Increase Your Influence With Others

Want to be influential? Do these 10 things.

  1. ENCOURAGE – Start every conversation with something positive about the person or group you are addressing within the first 30 seconds. People are motivated by encouraging words.
  2. UNDERSTAND YOURSELF – When I think about what needs to happen or take place, I reflect on how my actions, my conversations, and my vision will affect others. I’ve realized that my performance is a direct reflection of my leadership.
  3. KNOW WHAT OTHERS GO THROUGH- Understand the trials and troubles others go through by being a part of their day. Good leaders become someone who listens to their people, not to reply, but to understand. Get in tune and know the people you lead and you will increase your influence.
  4. REALIZE EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT – They understand Good Leaders Ask Great Questions (read this book from John Maxwell). The right questions will uncover a person’s interests and what motivates them. I think it is important to connect by finding common ground and nurturing relationships.
  5. HELP OTHERS – I have learned when we are first to offer assistance and aid, we begin connecting in such a way that our relationship allows us to influence. Zig Ziglar said, “You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”
  6. ADD VALUE – Add value by finding out what is important to those you lead. The value will look different in every situation. A good leader will ask great questions to identify what value looks like.
  7. SHARE STORIES AND EXAMPLES – As a speaker, I’ve learned the importance of sharing good relevant stories. As a leader and professional, I’ve recognized the importance and effectiveness of sharing good stories with those I influence. People want to see the human side of leaders. I believe stories create a sense of belonging and connect us through life’s similarities.
  8. NO STRINGS ATTACHED – Christopher Reeve said: “Success is finding satisfaction in giving a little more than you take.” When we give without any strings attached, we will benefit professionally and personally and professionally.
  9. REMEMBER NAMES -Learn the names of those you meet and associate with. Few sounds are as sweet to a person as hearing their spoken name, few sounds are as irritating when you refer to someone by the wrong name. Remembering names, shows you value them.
  10. ACKNOWLEDGE STRENGTHS – I think one of the best ways to gain influence is to recognize a person’s strengths. Areas of their personality or employment that seems to tie them well to the organization. In fact, they will want to “Exceed Expectations,” not just meet them.

InfluenceWe all have influence, big and small. We all have things we are gifted or talented. Things we leverage by adding value to others. Whether it is our attitude, problem-solving skills or simply just our ability to laugh, we should be sharing our knowledge, experience, and influence. Employees respond to influence. We should work hard to increase our influence by adding real value every day. Do this, and you will improve your leadership. You’ve heard it before, “Leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less.” People respond to influence. We must work to increase our influence by adding value every day. Do this, and you will increase your leadership. You’ve heard it before, “Leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less.”

We must work to increase our influence by adding value every day. Do this, and you will increase your leadership. To lead others, you must influence! Do these 10 actions regularly, and watch your influence grow!

TRANSFORMATIONAL INFLUENCE. The Unexpected Changing of Lives in the Midst of Hurricane Harvey

RAIN TOTALS

As a Native Houstonian, I am experiencing survivor’s guilt. It is heartbreaking to see family and friends suffering, houses being lost from flooding every day. I moved from Houston 6 years ago, and there is very little I can do but pray and encourage. I am also a first responder in my heart. God has given me the talent to keep people safe, and I am unable to do that. Even though there are things I can do to help and support (and I am), I know that friends and families are struggling, anxious at not knowing what the future brings. As of writing, there is still the possibility of an additional 15-30 inches of rain. Pray for their safety, peace, and sanity. Pray that they will know that ultimately good will come out of this catastrophic disaster.

In fact, I already see the good being done. In a nation where there is a focus on the debate over race, religion, and income equality. In a time where the country criticizes every decision made by local, state and federal governments. Where unity is but a distant hope, I see the people in the nation’s fourth largest city and surrounding areas, banding together in solidarity to help their neighbors, friends, and family.

I see the rich and poor, people of all ages, races, religions and rising up hurricane-harvey_culture_getty-1150x724and becoming leaders within their homes, families, and neighborhoods. I see leaders taking time off of their jobs and coming from all over the United States to support and save lives. I see leaders donating money, food, clothes and goods and their time for those who have lost everything. I see leaders risking their lives for others. I see churches and organizations opening their buildings up shelter, clothe and feed those in need. I know there are some working and staffing those shelters that are facing or have lost their home, have family in desperate need and are experiencing the same anxious thoughts as anyone else. But rather sulk in their despair and hopelessness, they chose to serve others and make a difference.

I SEE PEOPLE SACRIFICING THEIR COMFORTABLE LIFESTYLES FOR THE BETTER GOOD OF MANKIND!

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What the Houston area is witnessing is called, Servant Leadership. Serving others unselfishly with little or no regard to their circumstances. Out of this Servant Leadership, I see something much deeper occurring. I call it Transformational Influence. Leaders making a difference in people’s lives by influencing through their generous serving of others, and positive and encouraging conversations. They possess a positive attitude regardless of the situation or circumstance. Transformational Influence is a term I created from witnessing the transformation of people’s lives through conversation, prayer, and commitment to others. Transformational Influence occurs when we affect the way a person thinks, acts or behaves through our conversations, personal actions or simply our intention.

How can you have Transformational Influence in a time of crisis?

  • Be genuine in your relationship with those you encounter – Focus on the individual’s needs and desires. You can only do that by being sincere, involved and curious.
  • Be intentional – Go out of your way to get to know a person. See someone hurting or sitting alone? Go sit with them and let them share their struggles with you. Ask to pray.
  • Be a servant – Serve them with your whole heart. Make it a priority to help them get settled.
  • Be humble – Realize that you are not them. You are not feeling what they are feeling.
  • Be encouraging – Encourage through your conversation or simply just be there for them. Sometimes the most encouraging thing you can do is simply sit there and not say a word.
  • Give them Hope – Regardless of the situation or circumstance, there is hope. Hope shines brightest when the hour is darkest. Let them see and hear hope for something better. Hope is our greatest asset and the greatest weapon we can use to battle our losses. Without hope, there is nothing.
  • Pray for Them, Daily and Often – Prayer changes people. Prayer changes situations. Even if you don’t pray with them, pray earnestly for their salvation and their success in life.

CalvaryUse this catastrophic and tragic situation to transform the lives of others through your Servant Leadership. Have Transformational Influence on those you come in contact with.

To the people of the greater Houston Area……..Continue to UNITE and Serve One Another! Show the world why Texas is the Best!

To those who have traveled to the area to assist……THANK YOU! Your commitment and service will be remembered for generations to come.

GOD BLESS HOUSTON, TEXAS!

Texas Helping Texans

Listen First, Listen Second, Speak When You Understand

isten firstListening, a task I struggle at. As a coach, trainer and speaker, I tend to be a problem solver. In fact, I think I’m so good, I’ll finish your sentence or thought for you. Why should you waste valuable oxygen. However, I’m finding the oxygen we breath gives a person the ability to take a breath and speak their thoughts, concerns and ideas. In fact, when I allow people to finish their sentence and thoughts, I find many provide valuable solutions or ideas. So as I continue to learn how to control my attention and listen more, I am finding that; from listening comes knowledge and from knowledge comes a true understanding. From understanding comes the wisdom to support or help. And from wisdom, comes the ability to solve problems. The common saying; “God gave you two ears and one mouth for a reason”, continues to be true throughout the ages. Learn to listen, and you will be more successful.

Self-Leadership, My Most Difficult Challenge

businesswoman hands holding sign find your way text messageWhy is leading myself more difficult than leading others? I ask myself this question EVERY SINGLE day!

Why do I say or do things I know are wrong (there is a biblical reference here)? It happens at home, work, with my wife, with my co-workers and those I love and lead.

The answer is simple. There are areas I don’t see until they sprout up. In fact, I believe there are times I don’t see myself from a realistic point. I see myself from my intentions, AND others see me through my actions and words.  I should probably also admit that I see my intentions from the training and talks I give.

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While I speak of myself, I am sure I’m not alone.  But how does one address this issue? Answer, look for the blind spots and deal with them! However, how do we identify the blind spots?  I look personally to three source for my self-leadership:

  1. Scripture
  2. My wife
  3. Co-workers and staff

These sources provide direct and/or indirect insights to the areas I need to change or improve.  With this information, I can apply these five principles.

  1. Control Emotions –  Like anyone else, leaders have  emotions.  In fact, I believe a leader’s emotions can be more powerful due to the passion and desire for success they possess.  However, a good leader knows how to control their emotions and display or delay them based on the situation.
  2. Meditate – Leaders are achievers.  And that means they hit the ground running, which leaves little time to stop and think.  Spend 30-45 minutes every morning mediating on the things that matter and planning your day.
  3. Focus Your Effort Where it Matters– A good leader wants to achieve more.  They are never satisfied with their achievements. For me, I tend to want to fix everything and solve everyone’s problems. However, to be effective we must learn to focus our efforts on what really matters.  I heard John Maxwell say, ” You can’t be 100% all the time.” I find that statement very true.  We must identify the times and events where we need to be 100% .  Everything else gets a good effort,  just not our best.
  4. Serve Others – Zig Ziggler said, You can have everything in life, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”  I am finding this to be very true.  Not from a selfish perspective, but simply from putting others first in every action or decision. Throughout my career, I have seen and reaped the benefits of putting others first by gaining their respect, commitment and dedication.  I simply look at it as, “you reap what you sow.”
  5. Get a Coach and/or Mentor – We all need to keep our minds sharp and our thoughts and ideas flowing freely.  Our minds can freeze or we experience those “blind spots” that throw us for a loop.  As a Coach and Mentor, I see the benefit from asking stimulating questions and the ability to seek wisdom and advice from others. I personally have at least five mentors that I can rely on for helping to address questions or walk me through situations.  I sleep better knowing I have access to these individuals.  I also can call several coaching colleagues for encouragement and guidance when needed.

Take the time to evaluate the effectiveness of your self-leadership to these five principles. Then establish a process where you consistently work to apply these principles and improve where needed.

A leader’s greatest challenge and most difficult task, is self-leadership. If you lead yourself correctly, you will influence others and they will follow.  Failure to manage your self-leadership will create a loss of respect and the inability to influence, causing people to leave and follow others.

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8 REASONS I’M A PASSIONATE PERSON

I’ve been told many times I’m a passionate person.  I guess that’s accurate.  I have a passion for my marriage, my family, for employees to work safely and I have a passion for leaders to lead . In fact, pretty much my entire life seems to always reflect my passions.  I can’t go anywhere or have a conversation with anyone without talking about my wife, my grand daughter, safety or leadership.

I want to passionately influence people!

Passionate people sustain their efforts until they make a difference.  It drives them to do more, accomplish more, learn more and put up with more.  One thing I often tell my coaching clients is,

“If you love what you do, you’ll do more of it, so find what it is you love”

I recently became intrigued as to why people think I am a passionate person.  As I sat down and begin recalling conversations and asking questions, I found that most answers pointed to 8 reasons why I am a passionate person.

Here they are:

  1. I love what I do!
  2. I strive to remain positive
  3. I inspire to motivate
  4. I bring the sunshine
  5. I seek to to grow spiritually, personally and professionally
  6. I persevere
  7. I am determined
  8. I strive to maintain a servants heart

We have all been passionate about something.  But maybe the passion has died or subsided through out the years.  My purpose for this blog is not to arrogantly announce that I am a passionate person, but rather it is an attempt to show you that passion is found in what you love.  Find what it is you love, cherish and hold tightly to.

John Maxwell ask these three questions to help others find their passion:

  • What do you sing about?
  • What do you cry about?
  • What do you dream about?

What are you passionate about?

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