For years I’ve been asked to write a book based on the principles of the Predictable Promotion™ System. I have been in ongoing negotiations with publishing companies, and hope to embark on authoring a full-length book in that not too distant future. But that kind of project is a full-time job, and these days I am more focused and preoccupied with running my two consulting companies.
Meanwhile the need and demand for a written manual or handbook about my proprietary process continues to grow. So I spent much of my year-end holidays finishing up an e-book manuscript, and celebrated New Year’s with the first chapter done. Soon the e-book’s rough draft was more than 100 pages long, and it recently entered the final phase of production.
Become your own career advocate and change agent. Maybe fear of taking the leap in today’s economy has been holding you back.
Perhaps you’ve been basing your goals on somebody else’s expectations. Or you could just be so busy treading water that you’re on the verge of exhaustion.
Uncover new sources of energy and vision that will empower you up the steepest of hills. Find a way to convert harsh life lessons into radical growth that will strengthen yourself and your leadership ability.
Find out about visualization techniques used by Navy SEALS that can help you push through obstacles and maintain poise under pressure.
Discover psychological insights that enable you to leverage the power of the unconscious mind to overcome deep-seeded fears and insecurities, generate positive life changes, and boost your productivity and professional performance.
Learn how to dwell on success, not failure, and to find a work/life balance that will give you more power and satisfaction you can use to fuel your momentum for the rest of your career.
The e-book is also chock full of valuable life lessons from sources as diverse and illuminating as Isaac Newton, Mahatma Gandhi, and inspirational writers like John Assaraf, Napoleon Hill, and James Allen.
You’ll derive exciting inspiration from ancient Greek philosophers, modern astronauts and neurologists, and even the team that won the 2012 Super Bowl.
I’ve helped thousands of people around the world to become CEO of their career destinies, and this e-book draws upon all of the lessons learned along the way. See for yourself how it can help you supercharge your life and your career. Just click on this link, and please let me know what you think!
Take a moment to look around yourself. Tick off a visual inventory of the items that jump out at you. Now ask yourself, why do you have those particular photos or mementos on your desk or those specific titles on your bookshelf? If you aren’t sure, then your potential clients won’t be sure either.
What does that mean? For one thing it says that you aren’t in full control of one of the most integral components of your personal and business brand. You need to leverage those potent visual communications to your advantage – otherwise it may say to others that your brand is vague, unfocused, or unaware.
You can read a great deal between the lines and gain a keener understanding of someone by studying their office or workspace. The ambience you create can give you a powerful way to broadcast your intentional image message in subtle but effective layers that bolster and enhance your image. But neglect those visible cues and you may inadvertently trigger unwanted doubts about your leadership brand in the minds of your potential clients, bosses, and employees.
Think of yourself and your personal brand as an individual culture. What does it stand for and what do you want it to remind others of that will reveal truths about you? Maybe you can put some of your awards on the shelf or a picture of you doing work with a favorite charity. Does it have a motto, a favorite destination, or a famous iconic leader? That’s why people showcase photos of them shaking hands with leaders of industry or have special motivational or business philosophy quotes on the wall.
How does that particular culture express itself artistically or creatively? Do you have trophies from sports activities, a favorite work of art, or pictures of you traveling overseas? Which books are in its library? Put books on your shelf or coffee table that reveal what you believe in and enjoy in your free time. What people have had the most influence upon it over its history? Photos of family, friends, mentors, and teachers say a great deal about who you are, where you come from, and what holds meaning in your life.
When I see sleek technology like the newest Apple products on someone’s desk, for example, it tells me that they are on the leading edge. The magazines in a doctor’s office reveal whether they are top-notch or behind the times. When you visit an attorney you expect to see diplomas on the wall, just as restaurants display a prominent health inspection certificate. Don’t just accumulate clutter, select items for your office that reinforce your brand and image. Choose accessories that tell a cohesive story about you, and you’ll be amazed how much it says about you!
Ask yourself this question: If there were a museum or gallery devoted to your leadership, what artifacts and pictures would visitors see there? Then start becoming the visionary curator of that image and brand museum!
Nobody wants to be perceived as having a one-dimensional leadership image. But without a robust online presence your brand may wind up as flat a pancake. So here are some tips of mine to help you supercharge your social media persona.
Don’t Be Generic
If you’re on LinkedIn, for instance, don’t default to the computer-generated “invite” message options. Recipients of those might think you are just trying to tick off another connection to add to your networking numbers – and nobody likes to be treated like a statistic. Take the time to write a personal note. Remind them how and where you met and let them know you want to learn more about their products and services.
Contribute to the Conversation
A great way to build your credibility is to answer questions on topics within your special area of expertise. Your voice will be heard, your insight will be valued, and people will start to seek you out for advice. Participating in this kind of interactive dialog can raise your exposure in your target market as well as in your industry. But it is also a great way to get the attention of bloggers and other members of the media who can then amplify your leadership brand all over the world.
Join groups where you’d like to build your professional network. If you belong to an organization, send them an invite. Also look to add to discussions or ask questions on a weekly basis to keep your presence active and energetic. Sharing and giving is the key to success, so don’t be stingy. Give great content and maintain a dynamic presence on social media sights. The value of your contributions will be returned to you many times over through mutual exchange.
Another good tip is that once you meet someone online, ask them to keep in touch in case you want to send referral business their way. They’ll realize there is something in it for them and be more prone to respond and reciprocate.
Take Away Exercise
Convert Your Connections:
You already know how to work offline with tools such as marketing funnels to convert prospects and leads into active customers.
Using that same concept, come up with 2-3 methods for converting online contacts into offline networks. How can you make that social media friend a real business partner?
Will you meet for coffee, invite them to attend an industry event with you, or introduce them to a client who can use their services?
Once you make a good connection on social media, use your new strategies to arrange to meet face-to-face. That’s how to embark on a real world business relationship.
According to the Stanford Research Institute, knowing how to successfully manage relationships with people contributes more than 85 cents on the dollar toward your total income. One of the most complicated relationships to manage is the one you have with your boss. But developing that relationship and establishing a great synergy and rapport can be the key to your career success. Create a great working relationship with your boss and it will earn you a valuable seat at the table.
Connect with a Contribution
Every successful relationship is built on mutually beneficial connections and shared accomplishments. What is it that your boss really wants, and how can you help them achieve it? Where are the gaps in their skill set and the weaknesses in their leadership toolkit?
Where can they turn for candid, honest feedback and helpful critique, when they may be expected to constantly project an image of confidence? If times are unpredictable do they have someone near them who is a solid rock of support?
If you can use your own professional presence, reliability, and strength to complement your boss’s effectiveness, you’ll become a great team. Your boss will succeed and will know that you deserve the credit – so both of your careers will be rewarded
Remain Trustworthy and Supportive
One of the biggest issues that people in positions of power and responsibility wrestle with is a feeling of isolation. They often need to relax and be themselves, but they’re afraid to let down their guard or step outside of the role of being “Boss.”
What if they need advice, is there someone they can ask who won’t try to manipulate or exploit them? Who can they confide in and trust? When the office gossip starts, is there someone who ignores it and remains open-minded and nonjudgmental?
Become that reliable rock in your boss’s life and it can lead to a really satisfying professional partnership that teaches you priceless lessons about teamwork and strong leadership.
In some cases you may dislike your boss, but you’re stuck with each other, at least for the time being. The strategy that many less experienced employees default to in this situation is to pretend to get along by feigning respect.
But solutions like that, based on a false premise, are never advisable. They simply undermine your own authenticity and credibility – which will weaken your leadership in the minds of others who are on your team.
Great leaders must know how to work with all types of people and they especially need to learn ways to manage those above them. Invest the time, energy, and thought into figuring out how to create a scalable relationship with your boss, built around real meaning, substance, and mutual benefit.
Developing a positive, symbiotic relationship with your boss will exponentially accelerate your career path, because they have incredible leverage and influence when it comes to promoting you. Sell them on your value-add and they’ll do the harder and more complicated work of marketing your advancement onward and upward to top decision makers.
Leaders are exceptionally well-versed when it comes to the importance of budgets. You constantly study metrics and benchmarks to control profit margins, revenues, and debt. Nobody has to tell you the critical role that each of those plays in the bottom line. They also don’t need to remind you that how you deal with those determines your own personal earnings and income. But time is worth more than money, and many leaders don’t have maintain a commanding grasp of how they spend their time.
Your Work/Life Balance Sheet
No matter what your plans and aspirations are in life, one thing is absolutely certain. How you spend your time each day can add up to rewarding nest egg or leave you feeling broke. You do not want to look back over your journey to find that time usage regrets derailed your dreams. You have to be resolute about scheduling those vacation days, kids’ soccer games, and personal/professional development sessions and workshops.
Control Time or It Controls You
Unless you get control of your personal schedule you will not have the clarity and poise to be your best at work. Are you tardy to events for your children or late to dinner with your spouse? You wouldn’t dare show up late for a meeting with an important client or your board of directors, would you? Stop and reevaluate your time management commitments. Set priorities in life. Otherwise life will set them for you.
Don’t Confuse Time Consumption with Productivity
Lots of consumers confuse credit cards with cash and wind up deep in debt. Don’t make the mistake of doing the same thing with your time. Work too many hours, for example, and your productivity will fall. You may spend tons of hours at the office, thinking that you’re working harder. But your boss may interpret that as a sign that you are inefficient and disorganized. You may be cutting back on your personal time, thinking that will automatically boost your career. But it could be doing the opposite by setting you up for career burnout.
Get Out of the Red
I have clients who are so determined to use their time well that they fill in every 15-minute segment of their entire week. Time is money and they know it and value it. Sometimes you have to dig deep into the seat cushions or turn your purse inside-out, looking for extra change. Whatever it takes, find those extra minutes. You’ll enjoy spending more valuable time doing the things you love.
Take Away Exercise
One of the problems with managing time is that we don’t have a concrete idea of how we actually spend it. Jotting down your schedule hour-by-hour can be an invaluable, revealing exercise.
Mark down how you specifically use every minute of the day, as if you were participating in a clinical experiment or were in Army boot camp and had to stick to a really strict schedule.
At the end of the day study what happened and look for any uses (or wastes) of time that are surprising or unexpected. You might notice, for example, that if you dress 15 minutes faster every day you’ll be able to spend an extra two hours per week with your children.
Now make a list of the main categories of “time expenses.” Include such things as time spent online or using your phone, TV time, time talking to family, time driving, time sleeping, or time exercising. Each time you spend time in one of those categories, even if it’s only for a few minutes, make a note of the time spent.
At the end of the day tally up those minutes and hours in each category and convert it into a simple pie chart. Study the pie chart. Is your time diversified in the way you thought? Are there small adjustments you can make to get a stronger return of time investment in some valuable categories?
Do these exercises a few times, look for glaring problem areas where time is being wasted or not spent as wisely as you wish. Make adjustments the way you would if you were analyzing your personal budget with the goal of getting out of “debt” by strengthening your work/life balance.