How do you motivate yourself?

That’s a question I sometimes get and when I do I like to give a three-word answer: Accentuate the positive! It’s the title of a Harold Arlen-Johnny Mercer tune from the 1940s.

Also consider the maxim that legendary basketball coach John Wooden used to preach: “Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”

That simple statement offers such clarity. So often we sabotage ourselves by thinking negatively. We may posit a lofty intention and then we de-loft it when we weigh the obstacles in our path.

Indeed the biggest obstacle may not be a boss or a circumstance — it is ourselves. And so we kill our motivational motor just as it begins to turn over.

Instead, learn to “accentuate the positive.”

John Baldoni is chair of leadership development at N2Growth, is an internationally recognized leadership educator and executive coach. In 2014, Trust Across America named him to its list of top 100 most trustworthy business experts. (read more…)

A manager who doesn’t appreciate the value of something or simply doesn’t want to do it will always find an excuse not to. And, when it comes to employee development, one doesn’t have to look far for a legitimate one! Organizations unwittingly create impediments to growing people — something that’s recognized as a competitive advantage and requirement for sustainable success.

Which barriers have you witnessed or experienced?

  • A corporate schedule requiring that hours and hours of development planning and conversations be forced into a short window — frequently in the same time frame as budgeting or other mission-critical activities.
  • Unnatural performance management systems and restrictions that result in good people receiving mediocre ratings.
  • Bottlenecks in the organizational chart that result in little opportunity for promotion — and even less for raises or merit pay.

These barriers are real. They’re frustrating. They aren’t likely to go anywhere in the foreseeable future. And they aren’t deal breakers for leaders who are genuinely committed to helping others grow. (read more…)

This post is sponsored by KIND.

 KIND, led by Daniel Lubetzky, Founder and CEO, is on a mission to make the world a little kinder one snack and act at a time. Through the KIND Movement the company has inspired more than one million kind acts since 2004. A pioneering social entrepreneur working to build bridges between people through innovative models, Daniel is also the founder of PeaceWorks Inc., a business that fosters cooperative ventures among neighbors in the Middle East, and co-creator of Maiyet, a fashion brand that partners with artisans to promote entrepreneurship in developing economies.

Here he talks with SmartBrief about the #kindawesome program and how the company is integrating this into their mission.

Question: Can you explain #kindawesome? How has it evolved?

Daniel Lubetzky: Our #kindawesome program empowers people to celebrate acts of kindness happening around them. It’s one of our favorite ways to spread kindness. (read more…)

How do strong vocal delivery skills enhance your presentation?

A voice that is both easy to hear and pleasing to listen to immediately grabs your attention. Think about it: How many times have you found yourself tuning out a speaker with a nasal or whiny voice, or one that’s too loud and aggressive, because it’s torture on your ears? On the other hand, a strong, confident voice is hard to ignore.

No matter how enticing your content, it’s difficult to accomplish your goals as a speaker without gaining and keeping your audience’s attention. Hands down, that’s the biggest benefit to developing great vocal delivery skills.

Beyond the prerequisite of merely getting the audience to listen, your voice also projects an image about you that can enhance your credibility and persuasiveness — or not. A high-pitched or timid-sounding tone can make listeners doubtful about your expertise. A bland voice with no vocal variety or lack of volume can convey laziness. (read more…)

The Young Entrepreneur Council is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses. Read previous SmartBlogs posts by YEC.

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Q. I want to help pay for employees to do more personal development (e.g. conferences, online courses, etc.) without making everyone do the same stuff. Any advice for planning or budgeting a perk like this?

yec_Diana Goodwin1. Ask employees what they’re passionate about

Ask each employee what they are passionate about and allow them to develop and become an expert in those areas. They can suggest a course or conference that aligns with their passions and get management to approve. Over time, you can accumulate potential courses and conferences based on learning topics that future employees can look at to get ideas of what they would like to learn more about. (read more…)