Pushing Through The Glass Ceiling

shattered glassSuccess and being successful has nothing to do with gender, colour or social status. Success and being successful has everything to do with committment, hard work and a can-do-it-attitude. It’s nice to see that women all over the world are starting to push through the glass ceiling to take their rightful place managing and leading Fortune 500 Companies. Women are now out pacing men in starting small businesses. According to research  conducted by The Centre for Women’s Business – well over 10.1 Million firms in the USA are owned by women – employing more than 13 Million people.

“It may be the Cock that crows, but make no mistake that it’s the Hen who decides when and where to lay the egg” – Margaret Thatcher

Dee Dee Myers – author of “Why Women Should Rule The World” believes that women are more successful at running small businesses because women can make people accountable for their actions but, they can also be there to support them. “Females have that trait, where maybe most men do not”. What women seem to come by naturally is empathy – the ability to see things from another person’s point of view. An important 21st Century skill. Unfortunately most men still have to learn it. Mary Matalin, former counselor to President George W. Bush was quoted as saying – “Women around the World are rewriting history at a ferocious pace with or without mans permission”. It’s easy to argue that men haven’t been doing such a great job of managing things lately.

“Be selfish with your time. Learn to say no to things you do not have an interest in. You are not serving anyone when you spread yourself too thin. Your first obligation should be to yourself. You cannot be any good for someone else unless you are first good to yourself.” – Larry Winget

A very dear and close personal friend of mine likes to remind me now and again that she doesn’t need a man in her life to “complete” her. She’s capable enough to do that all on her own. After all – she’s be operating her own very successful small business now for over 30 years. She knows who she is and she’s not afraid to speak up and ask for what she wants. That’s one of the many qualities I love and admire about her. Men who feel threatened by that are neanderthals, still living in the past. They need to get over themselves and wake up to the realities of a new order of things where women have a seat at the table. It’s great to see that more and more women feel the same way. We are all going to be better for it.

Copyright (c) 2015. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Brian is available for workshops or keynote speeches on a variety of soft-skills topics. He’ll work with you one-on-one to insure your event is an overwhelming success. To find our more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization visit http://briansmithpld.com

Heart Trumps Talent Every Time

heart 2The will to win is often more powerful than the talent or skill to win. The difference between those who are successful and those who are not is that successful people never, ever give up. In spite of all the odds against them they persist in following their dream. They understand that every time they failed it moved them one step closer to achieving their goal. They understand that no one achieves anything great by staying where they are. You have to stretch yourself in order to grow. Think it, act it, eventually you’ll become it. No one is born knowing all they need to know to accomplish what they want to accomplish in life. Success and being successful is a learned behaviour. Once you decide on the “what” – the “How” will reveal itself.

Worth Remembering … “The depths and strength of a human character are defined by its moral reserves. People reveal themselves completely only when they are thrown out of customary conditions of life, for only then do they have to fall back on their reserves” – Leon Trotsky 

Attitude isn’t something – attitude is everything! Henry Ford knew all to well that if you think you can – you can. If you think you can’t – you’re right. Attitude is a choice. It’s 100% in your control. Only you get to decide how you want to react to every situation. You can decide to quit or not. It’s your choice. Only you get to decide if you want to put in the effort to achieve your goals or not. It’s your choice. No one can make you give up on your dreams but you. How bad do you want it? What are you willing to do to achieve your goals? There will be sacrifices. What are you willing to give up to move yourself closer to living your dream? Heart – your heart – trumps talent every time. It’s the difference maker.

Worth Remembering … “The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedeness or skill. It will make or break a company … church … a  home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past. We cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is your attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you … We are in charge of our Attitudes.” – Charles Swindell 

Copyright (c) 2014. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Are you looking for a keynote speaker or someone to deliver a workshop on a variety of soft-skills topics? Contact Brian today. He will work with you one-on-one to insure your event is an overwhelming success. To find out more about Brian and what you can do for you and your organization visit http://briansmithpld.com – or email: brian@briansmithpld.com

Mothers Are The Ultimate Control Freaks

IMG_20140511_145439A “BIG” high-five to all the Mothers out there. Without your love, guidance and dedication most of us would not be here. I hope everyone got the chance to be with their Mom or at least talk with her on her special day. I’m one of the lucky ones because I got to spend Mothers Day with my Mom. Having my four brothers and sister there was a bonus. It’s been more than 50 years since all of us where together on Mothers Day. Growing up in the 50’s and 60’s was an interesting time. Perhaps not as challenging as it is now – but with eight of us living under the same roof, it had its moments. And through it all my Mother was able to maneuver the ship through the occasional rough sea and stay the course without ending up on the rocks and sinking.  Mothers are the ultimate control freaks but they control in a very special way.

Mothers are Teachers: My Mom taught me the difference between right and wrong.  To be respectful of others. To be kind. To help those in need. She taught me how to be a man. And more importantly she taught me how to be a parent.

Mothers are Referees: In spite of growing up with four competitive brothers and one sister in the house my Mom still managed to keep the peace. She’d have to intervene once in a while and make us go to neutral corners and take a much deserved time out. My Mom walked quietly but carried a big stick. She just had to give you that certain look and you understood.

Mothers are Guidance Councilors:  My Mom was the voice of reason. She guided me with a soft-hand and a gentle push. I could always count on her to be my soft-place to fall so I was never afraid to venture out on my own and take chances.

Thank you Mom. I love you. I am forever in your debt.

Copyright (c) 2014. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Are you looking for a keynote speaker or workshop facilitator who can entertain and inform on a variety of soft-skills topics including: powerful communication strategies, time management and personal effectiveness or how to deal with difficult people and challenging situations better? Visit http://briansmithpld.com

Failure is a Detour – Never a Dead End Street

Pot of Gold“Failure is a detour – never a dead-end street”. I love that quote by Zig Zigler. No one – and I mean no one is perfect! We have all experienced failure at one time or another. In spite of all the pre-planning we do, nothing seems to go off without a hitch.  Getting knocked down has never been an issue for me. I get knocked down all the time. But not getting back up is. I look at the mistakes I’ve made – and trust me I’ve made plenty – as simply an opportunity to learn from them, make the necessary adjustments so I don’t make the same mistake too many times, and then begin again.

Worth Remembering … “I have not failed 10,000 times. I have discovered 10,000 ways that do not work.” – Thomas Edison.

How you look at failure – your failures and the failures of others, makes all the difference in the world. Attitude – your attitude and how you choose to react to any given situation, is a choice that only you get to make. You can beat yourself up over them – or you can choose to learn from them. No one can force you to react a certain way. When you get knocked down I want you to react in a way that is going to get you what you want. When you think about your failures – think of them as opportunities to grow.

Worth Remembering … “Your attitude determines your altitude.” – Covey

I can’t help but get inspired watching the Olympic’s.  The hard work and dedication that each athlete has put into preparing themselves over the last four years for this moment, is incredible. All they can do now, is do their best. All they can do is walk away from that experience knowing that they gave it their all. Winning a medal is a bonus. Discovering who you are and what you are capable of doing when you put your heart and soul into something, is the real prize. Believing in yourself – knowing that there is nothing that you can’t overcome – makes it all worthwhile. Always remember that failure is a detour – never a dead-end street.

Copyright (c) 2014. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Brian is available for keynote speeches and delivering seminars on a variety of soft-skills topics including: communication, team building, coping with stress, dealing with difficult people and challenging situations better and developing the leader in you. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you visit http://briansmithpld.com