Positive Leadership has also been recognised as a Top 50 Leadership Expert to Follow on Twitter.

Follow us on Twitter @posleadership


Friday, March 30, 2012

Positive Leadership: The Secret of Enduring Companies

While it's fun to be the flavour of the week, eBay's top executive, John Donahoe looks up to companies that manage through the tough times as well. 

‘Enduring companies do the "basics" really well: They listen to their customers, have strong cultures with a clear sense of purpose and well-defined values, and have highly engaged employees. But I think great enduring companies also have organizational "character" -- and exhibit this by not being afraid to face up to adversity and embrace difficult change……… But how companies win matters, too. Enduring companies are great because of their purpose, values, culture and leadership.’


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Positive Leadership: #gostanford Pre-Game Speech

Good luck to the Stanford Men's Basketball team in tonight's NIT final.

With pre-game speeches like this they should be in good shape!


Positive Leadership: Why Clients Work With Us

Clients use Positive Leadership to help execute business strategy and corporate transactions successfully in situations of high pressure, where proven leadership is the key to optimising results.

We have developed a proprietary values led approach to optimising business results. For us, it is the interaction and close synergy between leadership values and business strategy that optimises results. The Values of Positive Leadership™ are the result of our extensive research and many years of business experience.

We help leaders throughout the organisation excel under pressure.

For more information, please contact: graham.watson@positiveleadership.co.uk


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Positive Leadership: Freedom

Today, The George W. Bush Presidential Centre launches The Freedom Collection – a ground-breaking effort to document the struggle for human freedom and democracy around the world. In anticipation of the launch, Dr. Condoleezza Rice talks about the importance of the Freedom Collection and what freedom means to her.


Positive Leadership: Attitude Matters More Than Skill

“Most new hires do not fail on the job due to lack of skill,” says Mark Murphy. Attitude is a bigger issue than skill. 

Consequently, most of our approaches to selecting the right people for the job are dead wrong. 

In Hiring for Attitude, Murphy lists the top five reasons why new hires failed:

  1. Coachability (26%): The ability to accept and implement feedback from bosses, colleagues, customers, and others.
  2. Emotional Intelligence (23%): The ability to understand and manage one’s own emotions and accurately assess others' emotions.
  3. Motivation (17%): Sufficient drive to achieve one’s full potential and excel on the job.
  4. Temperament (15%): Attitude and personality suited to the particular job and work environment.
  5. Technical Competence (11%): Functional or technical skills required to do the job.
Naturally, we should be concerned whether or not a candidate can do the job, but it should not be the main focus. “Because even the best skills don’t really matter if an employee isn’t open to improving or consistently alienates co-workers, lacks drive, or simply lacks the right personality to succeed in that culture.”

What attitudes work in one culture may not work in another. Attitudes are culture specific. So you first need to discover your organisation’s unique attitudes. Think about the “attitudes that separate your high performers from your middle performers and your low performers from everybody else. You’re not trying to create a laundry list of attitudes but just the—three to seven—“important critical predictors of employee success or failure for your organisation.”

Murphy talks about the kinds of common questions you should never ask—the “tell me about yourself” questions, the behavioural “tell me about a time when” questions, the hypothetical “what would you do if” questions, and the oddball “if you could be any superhero” questions—and how to create the questions and evaluate the answers that differentiate people by the attitudes that are the most important to success in your organisation.

A benefit of determining the attitudes that work best in your organisation is that you can begin to clearly communicate those attitudes to your current employees and develop high performers throughout the whole organisation.


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Positive Leader: Becoming a Global Leader

For aspiring leaders who want to become global citizens and increase their global fluency, here are some suggestions to get started:

1. Target at least one fundamentally different culture. While it may be tempting to live in a culture similar to your own — for example, Britons working in America — the most compelling learning experiences come from living in cultures that are sharply differently from your own. Chinese professionals working in South Africa, for example, will find their existing cultural assumptions challenged as they gain increased humility by learning local languages and coping with different norms.

2. Spend time studying overseas. Studying in different cultures enables young leaders to understand cultural nuances and become actively engaged with global organisations. Global organisations prefer candidates who have studied abroad because these early experiences will broaden your perspective about seeking fascinating global opportunities throughout your life. Look for opportunities, and if you're already out of university, ask if your organisation offers programmes to give you experience abroad.

3. Learn the local language. As English becomes the language of business, it is tempting to get by with limited knowledge of local languages. That's a mistake. Learning local languages enables you to appreciate cultural nuances and develop more personal relationships. Being fluent in multiple languages makes it easier to learn new ones and opens up career opportunities.

4. Don't judge cultural differences or local people. When your new environment is sharply different from prior experiences, it's tempting to make snap judgments about your experiences and stay attached to your own culture. Resist that temptation by observing, listening, learning, and understanding rather than judging. Use your insights to improve local ways of operating, but don't rush to criticise.

5. Share international experiences with your family. Living in new countries brings your family much closer together and will be a time for growth, bonding and learning as a family. Hold parties for your local neighbours join a local church and get involved in your children's school. Host regular visits from parents and close friends. Balance breadth and depth in your travels to explore many different areas and countries, and spend time talking with local people. But don't travel so much that you fail to get deeply involved in your new community and explore its richness.


Monday, March 26, 2012

Positive Leadership: Purpose is Fundamental to Winning

A 'first' from the best university won't guarantee success if you don't have purpose. Purpose is fundamental to winning. Without it, you won't have a clear idea of where you're going and getting to your destination will be much more challenging. At Positive Leadership, our Purpose is: "To help leaders excel under pressure"

We recently came across a post by a young motivational speaker named Jullien Gordon which got us thinking about the scores that really matter in life. According to Jullien, the first (or 4.0 GPA) that really matters relates to personal, intellectual, social and financial capital. Like an academic GPA, you're in complete control and can increase your score by developing each of these areas:

Personal: Get to know yourself. Here are our three 'killer' questions: What's my five year dream? When am I at my best? What will I never do?

Intellectual: Develop your areas of expertise. Be curious. Be creative.

Social: Grow your social network. This has nothing to do with Facebook and everything to do with the people cheering you on, supporting your professional and personal growth. 

Financial: This is the intersection of the other three areas - when the right people are aware of your skills and strengths, financial opportunities will start appearing.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Positive Leadership: Is Ambition Good For You?

People who are considered ambitious attend the best colleges and universities, have prestigious careers and earn high salaries, but they don't necessarily lead more successful lives, according to new research by Timothy Judge, professor of management at the University of Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business.

The lead author of "On the Value of Aiming High: The Causes and Consequences of Ambition" forthcoming from the Journal of Applied Psychology, Judge seeks to create a better understanding of ambition--a commonly mentioned but poorly understood concept in social science research-- and its consequences.

Is it a virtue, or is it a vice? Both, says Judge.

"If ambition has its positive effects, and in terms of career success it certainly seems that it does, our study also suggests that it carries with it some cost," Judge says. "Despite their many accomplishments, ambitious people are only slightly happier than their less- ambitious counterparts, and they actually live somewhat shorter lives."

Tracking 717 high-ability individuals over seven decades, Judge uses multiple criteria to measure ambition during periods of participants' lives ranging from childhood to young adults just beginning their careers. Their education ranged from attending some of the world's best universities -- Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, Columbia, Cornell, Northwestern, Berkeley, Oxford, and Notre Dame. – to more modest educations, including high school diplomas and community college degrees.

"Ambitious kids had higher educational attainment, attended highly esteemed universities, worked in more prestigious occupations, and earned more," Judge says. "So, it would seem that they are poised to 'have it all.' However, we determined that ambition has a much weaker effect on life satisfaction and actually a slightly negative impact on longevity (how long people lived). So, yes, ambitious people do achieve more successful careers, but that doesn't seem to translate into leading happier or healthier lives."

Judge's new ambition study tracks individuals born in the early part of the last century and continued to follow them throughout their lives, which is how the mortality measure was derived, however it doesn't address the underlying reasons for the higher mortality of ambitious people.

"Perhaps the investments they make in their careers come at the expense of the things we know affect longevity: healthy behaviours, stable relationships and deep social networks."

Most parents want their kids to be ambitious, attend the best schools and eventually have successful careers, and while it certainly isn't wrong to have those parental hopes and dreams, Judge cautions that we shouldn't delude ourselves into thinking they will make our kids happier.

"If your biggest wish for your children is that they lead happy and healthy lives, you might not want to overemphasise professional success. There are limits to what our ambitions bring us- or our children." 


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Positive Leadership: Leadership Lessons from Coach K

Duke University basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski now has most NCAA career victories (903). Krzyzewski has been called “the modern-day John Wooden” by Louisville coach Rick Pitino and “a coach’s coach … a guy I think every coach in America looks to and respects,” by Kansas coach Bill Self. He has led the Blue Devils to 11 Final Four appearances and four national titles. In this extract from an interview with Jerry Kavanagh for Athlon Sports, Krzyzewski showed an appreciation for literature in speaking about his coaching style and leadership.

'In the book Absinthe and Flamethrowers, the author, William Gurstelle, writes that managers who take the greatest risks are the most successful. Do you agree with that?

I think you have to be careful when you say that. Somebody might think that to be a leader or a manager, “I need to take a lot of risks, or else I’m not good.” I think you can’t be afraid to do what’s necessary. Some people would equate that to taking a risk because it goes against the grain or it’s not something that is normally done. But my feeling is that a leader has to take the course of action that’s necessary to produce a positive result after doing an analysis and preparing himself to take a look at that situation. The world might call that a risk; a leader would call that the appropriate action that needed to be taken. I think when you just take that one statement (by Gurstelle), you can make a mistake by saying, “I didn’t take a risk today. I better take one.” I think you go boldly in the direction that’s necessary and in the direction that you’re prepared to go in.

You often talk about leadership. Napoleon defined a leader as “a dealer in hope.” I read where you said, “Leadership can be lonely.” Can you explain that?

Well, leadership is lonely because you don’t discuss everything. Part of it is that in your moments of doubt or in your moments of being nervous or wondering if this is the right thing that you’re doing, you never want to show weakness to your group. And you don’t share that because it’s not the main feeling you have, but because you’re a human being these feelings hit you. Leadership can be very lonely, but there’s a certain amount of time that you have to be by yourself, it has to be yours as you’re looking into it, before you present something to your group. I think that’s a price that you pay.

Some of the statements you have made have an application beyond basketball. For example, “Fear can change you.” What do you mean by that?

Some people are afraid of fear, so they avoid it. They don’t try to do anything. They’re very cautious. And when you get into new situations, there’s an element of fear that can excite you. It can freeze you or stop you from doing something, because it’s new. It can be exciting, but there’s still some fear involved. And I don’t think that you have to face fear. You know, part of being courageous is facing fear and doing what you’re supposed to do. People have different fears — fear of speaking, fear of heights, a bunch of fears — and when you face those fears, you can turn them into your strengths. That’s how you evolve as a person and how a group evolves as a team.'


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Positive Leadership: The Importance of 'Organisational Socialisation'


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Positive Leadership: 'Cometh the Hour, Cometh the Man'

This is an inspiring piece from Henry Winter in The Daily Telegraph:

"The Glaswegian has been an inspiring leader during these troubled days, not simply in the support he has shown [Farbice] Muamba’s family and the way he has tended his distressed flock.

Coyle has handled the media adroitly, always exuding positivity. In times of darkness, football needs beacons of hope and Coyle has lit them across the land.

A humble character, Coyle will hate this sentiment but it needs chronicling for all time that he has embedded himself so deeply in the affections of the Bolton public.

As a player, Coyle lifted Bolton up once before, helping them rise to the Premier League via the play-offs in 1995.

As a manager, Coyle has now lifted the club off its knees.

The nation has also seen and admired somebody assuming responsibility when most required. So ‘66 was a great year for English football: Owen Coyle was born.

This is a man of principle, a figure who inspires trust amongst his players.

It is astonishing to consider that earlier this season Coyle’s leadership credentials were being questioned. Not now. Not after these past few days.

Whatever fate befalls Bolton this season, and the feeling endures that they could be acquiring the quickening resolve (as well as players like Rio Miyaichi) to scrap their way out of the relegation basement, Coyle’s reputation has been enhanced. His critics have been scattered.

Some men are made for such moments. Again, Coyle will hate the praise. That’s not his style. Never has been.

In company, the former Republic of Ireland international is modest and bright, talking almost too quickly such is the abundance of ideas spilling forth.

Attending one of Kevin Davies’ golf days last year, I suggested a quick coffee with Coyle in the clubhouse and listened spellbound to his espousal of the passing game and of football’s role in the community.

Coyle enthuses people, especially players. It is little surprise that managers like Arsenal’s Arsène Wenger entrust him with youngsters like Miyaichi and particularly Jack Wilshere, who flourished on loan under Coyle.

Chelsea’s Daniel Sturridge also matured as man and player during his spell at the Reebok.

It is also little surprise that Bolton’s dressing-room is home to some of the more thoughtful souls in the game like Davies, Sam Ricketts, Stuart Holden, Nigel Reo-Coker and Muamba.

They enjoy working with such a shrewd teacher as Coyle.

If Coyle has been seen in the right light over the past few days, the game he loves and serves so well has been viewed in a different light…….”


Monday, March 19, 2012

Positive Leadership: Improving Your Presentation

In 2009, Haroon Mirza’s start-up, CognoVision,  was named most innovative company by the Canadian Innovation Exchange. He attributes the accomplishment, at least in part, to the pitch he delivered prior to being awarded the prestigious title.

Shortly after winning, Mr. Mirza’s facial-recognition software business was purchased by Intel for millions of dollars.

The pitch may be an art, not an exact science, but Mr. Mirza has a few simple techniques he says can help anyone improve their public speaking:

Say the pitch out loud as many times as possible in advance

Mr. Mirza always thought Steve Jobs was the best presenter in the world. “He looks so natural. I remember I read somewhere that he spent more than a month preparing for every presentation, and it made me think that if Steve Jobs spends that much time preparing, how does anybody wing it?”

If forgetting lines and feeling self-conscious in front of an audience are two things that make a presenter nervous, go through dry runs to get used to the content, allowing greater flexibility to articulate it, and familiarise yourself with performing.

You don’t know all the answers

And that’s all right. Meticulous preparation is important, and being able to answer any questions from prospective investors, venture capitalists or anyone else for that matter, speaks to a presenter’s confidence and knowledge of a product. However, not knowing all the answers does not mean failure.

“If someone asks you a question and you don’t know the answer, do not attempt to make it up on the spot,” Mr. Mirza advises. “These people can smell BS and as soon as they do, you lose credibility. The best way to handle the situation is to be honest; saying something like ‘I don’t have that information at the moment but I’ll look into it immediately and be sure to follow up.’”


Seriously. Mr. Mirza thinks of it as investing in yourself. When researching the people he thought were the best public speakers – Bill Clinton, Steve Jobs – he noticed one thing they had in common was that they were well-read. Exposure to so much material likely helped them articulate their own.

“So I started reading more, I expanded my vocabulary, I learned how to better articulate my ideas, and I think in this way the presenter earns the respect of the audience.”

Storytelling as a competitive advantage

The audience feeds off the energy of a presenter. When the speaker is nervous, so is everyone else in the room. A confident, measured delivery can help a presenter maintain control. That’s why Mr. Mirza tries to make each presentation like telling a story.

“Say you’re presenting to a venture capitalist. If you’re a great storyteller, you transfer that enthusiasm to the audience and you get them feeling involved in what you’re saying. Excellent presentation skills are an unfair advantage; when you’re really good and you make it look easy, it’s unfair to everyone else who has to present against you.”


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Positive Leadership: Attitude


Friday, March 16, 2012

Positive Leadership: Goosebumps thanks to Adele are Powerful

Music is a powerful mood setter, transcending time and place, and has the ability to evoke memories made yesterday or thirty years ago. We all know that music makes us feel, but what is it about music that gets us pensive, or full of life and on our feet and dancing?

British psychologist, John Sloboda, conducted a study where he asked participants to identify the parts of a song they thought were most powerful. The results showed that a significant number of the 'powerful song parts' were created by appoggiatura – a process which creates emotional tension in the listener.

If appoggiatura doesn't sound familiar, you'll be able to relate to it when we say it's the moment in a song when you feel shivers down your spine. If you've heard "Someone Like You" by Adele, you'll know what we mean. Appoggiatura creates an emotional connection with our brains which leads us to think that these are the most powerful parts of a piece of music.

What's really interesting is that listening to emotionally charged music, whether happy or sad, releases dopamine which makes us feel good. The more goosebumps you feel when listening to a song, the more your brain craves it.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Positive Leadership: Valuing Families and Work-Life Balance

Nancy Koehn is a professor of business administration at Harvard University.

The business community is due for a change in the way it values families and work-life balance, Koehn says. She addresses this in three parts. 

Large companies are struggling to retain top talent, half of whom or more are women, Koehn says. Improvement is needed in enabling a woman to maintain her career and have a life outside of work — including having and raising a child — that goes beyond “a kind of toggle switch” in which a woman leaves and then “tries to get back in.”

Corporations need to have open discussions about work-life balance, including what it means to have a family. It’s not enough to discuss “work-life balance” or “work-family,” Koehn says. What is needed is “a more nuanced dialogue that’s in keeping with the … difficulty and messiness of trying to work well and live well as a family member, a parent and a citizen,” she says.

Businesses don’t foster values that include men and women as units of a family, particularly among large corporations, Koehn says. Few include family as a core part of their mission or values, and “yet everyone has a family, and everyone is very much affected in terms of the possibilities and their paths by what that family is and what it becomes.”


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Positive Leadership: The Role of Imagination in Leadership

Fast Company's website 30secondmba.com is a great source of short video insights on leadership, business success, teamwork and innovation from some of today’s top business people. This "advice from the trenches" is a wealth of easily digestible information and a font of real experience.

One headline that caught our attention was the role of imagination in leadership. Senior leaders from Intel, DreamWorks and Current TV among others give their version as to how imagination is crucial to good leadership. 

Imagination allows leaders to see opportunities and obstacles that others can't, it fosters collaboration and creativity, and it creates energy, all of which lead to motivation. Imagination fuels success and a winning attitude. Imagination gives us the courage to wonder 'what if'.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Positive Leadership: Being a Role Model

As we head into another year of March Madness, remember that whether you know it or not, little eyes are watching you and little minds want to be just like you.

What kind of a role model are you going to be for them? 

NCAA legend, the late Coach John Wooden shares some thought provoking words in this video directed by Spike Lee.


This Little Chap Who Follows Me

A careful man I want to be.
A little fellow follows me.
I do not dare go astray
For fear he’ll go the self-same way.
I cannot once escape his eyes.
Whate’er he sees me do, he tries.
Like ME he says he’s going to be-
That little chap who follows me.
I must remember as I go
Through summer suns and winter snow,
I am building for the years to be-
That little chap who follows me.


Monday, March 12, 2012

Positive Leadership: Leadership is a Choice

"Leadership is not a talent or a gift. It's a choice. It's not complex, but it's very hard.", General Stanley McChrystal explains to a packed auditorium of 600 at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. 

McChrystal shares his perspective on leadership and influence discussing the importance of understanding culture, leading by example, building trust, and creating a common goal within a team.

It's important, he told the audience, for a leader to share in the critical aspects of a task. "If there's risk, you've got to share it," he said. "If there's pain, you've got to share it."

McChrystal is a four-star general and former commander of U.S. and international forces in Afghanistan. He also served as the former leader of Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC).


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Positive Leadership: One of the Leaders!

We are delighted that the Positive Leadership website (www.positiveleadership.co.uk ) and Blog (http://positiveleadershiplimited.blogspot.com ) both feature among the category leaders: 

Website Search via Google (www.google.co.uk)

Search term 'leadership consulting scotland' - page 1 - 3.5 million results
Search term ‘leadership consulting’ – page 3 - 33.6 million results

Blog ranking via BlogRank (http://www.invesp.com/blog-rank )

‘Leadership’ Blog URL #24 Positive Leadership Blog 
‘Leadership’ Blog Name #37 Positive Leadership Blog 

The Positive Leadership Blog has also had over 45,000 page views.


Friday, March 09, 2012

Positive Leadership: Integrity

Li Cunxin recalls having integrity in life was something he was taught very early on in his childhood. Li notes that integrity is an essential trait for leaders in order to inspire and motivate those around you.


Thursday, March 08, 2012

Positive Leadership: Rethinking the Purpose of Business

Jim Stengel, former global marketing officer for Procter & Gamble, believes that businesses must rethink their purpose to achieve far better results. 

But not just the most apparent purpose, but a higher order ideal or purpose. For example, Johnnie Walker exists to make great whisky, but its higher order ideal is to celebrate journeys of progress and success.

Starbucks must make great coffee, but it must do more if it is to attract people and innovate in ways that make life better for the people they serve both inside and outside the organisation. “It’s necessary,” writes Stengel in Grow, “to want to be the best-performing enterprise around, with the highest standards, the best people, and the most satisfied customers. 

However, this simply doesn’t aim high enough and look far enough ahead. To hit higher targets and stay out in front of the competition requires an ideal. ”To that end, Starbucks also exists to create connections for self-discovery and inspiration. It’s what fuels passion and creates meaningful work.  A brand ideal of improving people’s lives is the only sustainable way to recruit, unite, and inspire all the people a business touches, from employees to customers.”

Stengel believes that a higher-order brand ideal must improve people’s lives in one of five fields of fundamental human values:

Eliciting Joy: Activating experiences of happiness, wonder, and limitless possibility; create moments of happiness that engage our thoughts and emotions as well as our physical senses. (Coca-Cola, Zappos, Lindt)

Enabling Connection: Enhancing the ability of people to connect with one another and the world in meaningful ways. Key concepts in this field are connect, listen, reach, and community. (Airtel, Fed Ex, Blackberry, Natura)

Inspiring Exploration: Helping people explore new horizons and new experiences. Helps customers learn, gives them powerful tools, and invites them to reinvent themselves and their world. (Apple, Discovery Communications, Pampers, Red Bull)

Evoking Pride: Giving people increased confidence, strength, security, and vitality; supporting self-expression and inspiring passion. (Calvin Klein, Heineken, L’Occitane)

Impacting Society: Affecting society broadly, including by challenging the status quo and redefining categories. (Accenture, IBM, Method, Seventh Generation)

Stengel’s bases his conclusions on a ten-year growth study involving 50,000 brands. The study tracked the connection between financial performance and customer engagement, loyalty and advocacy. The result was “The Stengel 50.” In the 2000’s, an investment in these companies would have been 400% more profitable than an investment in the S&P 500. “If you’re willing to embrace the same concept and align your business with a fundamental human ideal, you can achieve extraordinary growth in your own business and your own career. My research shows that your growth rate can triple.”

Stengel’s point is good psychology. Success is more complex than any one factor. More good decisions than bad (intelligent people make silly mistakes too); timing and luck all play a part too. And then great companies get off track, not because they were doing the wrong thing, but because they stop doing them or failed to adapt appropriately. The ideas presented in Grow are what worked for Stengel for the time he was at Procter & Gamble and properly applied may work for you too. Generally, if it is based on sound principles, it’s always worth consideration. And Sengel’s ideas are.

One implication of the study is interesting. Stengel reports that the “study challenged P&G’s paradigm of moving people around frequently. The companies that were growing the fastest had a different paradigm. In recruiting and hiring they looked for people whose values fit with their brands, and tended to keep people working in the same areas for much longer.”

He categorizes the people that run The Stengel 50 as business artists. “The fastest-growing businesses in the world have a leader whose relationship to the business is not primarily that of an operator, no matter how savvy, but an artist whose primary medium is an ideal.”

The business case for ideals is about playing a role in the lives of both customers and employees at a much more important level than the competition does. It’s about connecting with people holistically: rationally and emotionally, left brain and right brain.

Stengel recommends that you continually ask four questions:

1.       How well do we understand the people who are most important to our future?
2.       What do we and our brand stand for?
3.       What do we want to stand for?
4.       How are we bringing the answers to these questions to life?

The power is in the answers and executing against them. What is your primary purpose? What do the people you serve care about beyond what they buy from you? Could you benefit from discovering your higher ideal?


Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Positive Leadership: Combat Complacency

One of the things that we should constantly remind ourselves about is to be very aware of the good things in our life. It seems to be a part of human biological functioning to take good things for granted, especially those good things that are a part of our day-in, day-out lives.

You see, there is actually a part of our brain that is designed to screen out anything that isn't hurtful, fearful, or physically moving. A long time ago, it helped our ancestors stay alive and get ready to fight or run away.

Nowadays, this brain function may have something to do with our neglect of the good but very familiar things in our lives. So is there anything we can do about it? How can we combat this complacency?

Well, for one thing we can become conscious! We can stimulate our own awareness by making lists of the things we are grateful for, and by deliberately thinking about what we value and take pleasure from. In other words, we can take on the "Attitude of Gratitude."

We can express these feelings in words, or in other ways. We can express them openly, and in the process help others to remember their own reasons for gratitude. What are you grateful for in your life? How do you express your gratitude, and how often do you express it?

Are you taking your most important gifts for granted? If so, how could you change, and how soon?


Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Positive Leadership: Conscious Business

John Mackey, the CEO of Whole Foods Market chain, has loftier goals than getting Americans to eat healthy foods, one of the missions of his grocery empire. He is out to change American business as well, putting it on the path to higher consciousness.


Monday, March 05, 2012

Positive Leadership: The Rewards of Saying No

"It comes from saying no to 1,000 things to make sure we don't get on the wrong track or try to do too much. We're always thinking about new markets we could enter, but it's only by saying no that you can concentrate on the things that are really important." 

Steve Jobs, Apple Co-founder


Friday, March 02, 2012

Positive Leadership: The Power of Positive Thinking

Lindsey Vonn's Aha! Moment: The Power of Positive Thinking

As told to Jessica Silvester

From the February 2012 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine

‘After very different encounters with two childhood role models, the Olympic gold medallist skier learned the value of a winning attitude.

One weekend when I was 9, two of my idols from the U.S. Ski Team came to sign autographs at the ski shop in my Minnesota hometown. When I heard about the event, I couldn't believe I'd have the chance to see them in person—on TV, they seemed like superheroes.

Picabo Street, the downhill champion, appeared at the store first, and she was amazing. "Keep following your dreams," she told me. With those simple words, she made the idea of being an Olympian seem attainable. She signed a poster for me that I still have.

But the next day I went back to meet my other idol, who shall remain anonymous. I arrived at the tail end of her signing, and when I asked for an autograph, she coldly said no and walked away. I was crushed. My parents tried to console me, saying, "She's probably stressed. She must have had a bad day. Try not to think about it." But as an impressionable kid, I couldn't stop thinking about it. After having these opposite experiences—one so inspiring, one devastating - I realised what a difference your attitude can make.

That moment stayed with me. When kids recognize me now, whether they want an autograph, a high five, or to ask me my favourite colour, I never say no. If I'm at an event like the meet and greet I did last year in Vail, which lasted about three hours in ten-degree weather, I don't focus on the fact that I'm freezing. I remember that if you stay upbeat, it can have a huge impact on those around you.

I make the effort to stay positive in other areas of my life, too. If one of my friends gets hurt in a relationship, I try to point out something she can learn from it (although you'd have to ask my friends if I'm actually helping). And when I'm training with the U.S. Ski Team and feeling exhausted, I still try to give people support. Of course, I have my moments. But it's usually easier and more fun to be positive than it is to be negative—and it has served me well.

In November, while I was having lunch with students from the Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy, a 16-year-old boy named Parker politely asked if I would come to his homecoming dance that Friday night. I couldn't say no. And then there I was, dancing and having fun, after missing my own high school homecoming because I was busy traveling and skiing. Parker was a great date—and I was so glad I had said yes.’


Thursday, March 01, 2012

Positive Leadership: Sustaining Success

Trevor Moawad, IMG Performance Institute Director talks about management leadership skills in this video. "If we find success, it’s all about sustaining it. And if we are struggling, it’s all about responding." Moawad explains the main principle about adopting the correct attitude to affect the performance and being able to talk athletes into winning.


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