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

There’s No i in Team But There is in Win

Team Work“There’s no i in team but there is in win” – a great quote by Micheal Jordan. As good as Micheal was on a basketball court he still understood that you’re only as good as the team around you. The really great managers and leaders, like the really great coaches and players, understand that it takes a great supporting cast to accomplish your goals and objectives. No one succeeds in a bubble.

Worth Remembering … “Coming together is a beginning – Keeping together is progress – Working together is success” – Henry Ford.

The really great managers and business leaders are also great team players. They understand that everyone on the team has a role to play. It wasn’t until Hockey Canada adopted a different philosophy of choosing their team players – that they started winning Team Canada men and women’s olympic gold medals and world hockey championships.

Worth Remembering … “Each individual is a vital link in your chain. You or your organization are only as strong as the total sum of its parts.” – Brian Smith

What makes a good team player? If you had to put a list together of what it takes to be a good team player – what would you put on that list? Do you expect a good team player to be honest, trust worthy, fair, treat everyone with respect and be open-minded and flexible? If you expect that from a good team player are you prepared to do the same? Would you want you on your team? If you are going to do the “talk”you must do the “walk”. What is good for the goose has got to be good for the gander.

Copyright (c) 2015. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Are you or someone you know looking for a keynote speaker who can entertain and inform on a variety of soft-skills topics? Call me. Let’s talk http://briansmithpld.com

Nothing Comes Naturally – It Takes Commitment and Hard Work

PassionateExcuse me Sir – How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice and more practice. (great line) There’s no such thing as an overnight success. Nothing comes naturally. Anyone who has every excelled at anything, did it by committing themselves to putting in the time and doing the hard work. You aren’t born knowing what you need to know to accomplish what you want to accomplish. But you are born with the ability to learn. However, if you aren’t willing to put in the time – then don’t bother – because without it – anything you do will be a total waste of your time. No one got anywhere by wishing and hoping. They got there by having a plan and working their plan.

Worth Remembering … “The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor” – Vince Lombardi

I believe anyone can do anything that they set their mind to. Tiger Woods didn’t become the best golfer on the planet by just showing up. He got there through a commitment to excellence, practice and hard work. Lennon and McCartney didn’t become the best song writing and composing duo of their generation by just picking up a pen and paper. They got there through a commitment to excellence, practice and hard work. Wayne Gretzky – “The Great One” didn’t become the “Great One” by just putting on a pair of skates and shooting a puck into an empty net in his back yard. Like Tiger and Lennon and McCartney, he got there through a commitment to excellence, practice and hard work.

Worth Remembering … “It was character that got us out of bed, commitment that moved us into action, and discipline that enabled us to follow through” – Zig Ziglar

Think it, act it and eventually you’ll become it. You have within you all the tools you’ll need if you truly want to excel. The question is – Are you willing to do what ever it takes to realize your full potential? Are you willing to dedicate yourself to the pursuit of excellence, practice and hard work? Are you willing to get back up every time you stumble and fall and press on? If you’ve answered yes to any of those questions then you have the basis of a great beginning. The only person getting in the way of you being successful – is you. This is your wake up call.  It’s time to get after it.

Copyright (c) 2015. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Are you looking for a speaker who can deliver an entertaining and informative presentation or 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. http://briansmithpld.com

Resolutions Don’t Work Unless You Do

2015It’s that time of year again when you look back at the year that was and look ahead to the year that will be. I gave up putting a list of New Year Resolutions together a few years ago after reading a Chris Brogan post. Instead of taking the traditional route Chris suggested that you pick 3 action words to help you stay on point. Every action you take throughout the year should be a reflection of one or more of those 3 words. If they aren’t – then don’t waste your time.

If you’re having trouble accomplishing your goals give this method a try. It worked for me and I’m sure it will work for you. Concentrating on those 3 action words helped me stay focused and I ended up accomplishing more. Accomplishing your goals is a planned event, wishing and hoping won’t make it so. It’s not enough just to say it – you’ve got to live it.

Here are the 3 things I’m going to concentrate on in 2015.

Expand my circle of influence: I love what I get to do for a living. I get to work with people who want to learn how to communicate and interact more effectively: and who want to discover how to get the best out of themselves and others. I’ve grown my training and consulting business mostly by word of mouth. A satisfied client or someone who saw me speak at an event – mentioned me to someone – who mentioned me to someone – who helped grow my circle of influence by hiring me for their event or they passed on my contact information to someone else. If you’re self-employed and not marketing yourself, then chances are you aren’t growing. And if you aren’t growing you won’t be in business very long. One of my goals for 2015 will be to “Expand my circle of influence” by working with a marketing expert to help me reach more perspective clients.

Improve my golf swing: One thing that I was able to do in 2014 was play more golf. I love playing golf. It’s the one thing I like to do to get away from it all. You need to step back once in a while to recharge your batteries. It’s also a great way to network in a social setting and expand your circle of influence. For those who enjoy playing golf you know it can be a humbling experience. Just when you think you’ve got it figured out – it has a way of reminding you that you still have a great deal more to learn. One of my goals for 2015 will be to strengthen my core muscles and take golf lessons to “Improve my golf swing”. I want to be able to hit more consistent shots and lower my score. If you are going to spend your time doing something, you might as well take the time to learn how to do it right.

Spend more time with my family and friends:  I have a son and a 4-year-old grandchild. One of my goals for 2015 will be to manage my time more effectively by blocking off at least one day a week to hang out with my son and grandchild. The older I get the more I realize how important family and friends are. When I first started out it was all about work. My family came second to my career. Work was a priority for me because I wanted to be able to provide for my family. Mission accomplished. It’s now time to shift priorities and “Spend more time with family and friends”. (Now if I could just get my son interested in playing golf that would be the best of both worlds :-))

What 3 things would you like to accomplish in 2015?: What 3 action words would you pick? What 3 action words will help you stay focused and accomplish those things that are most important to you? What 3 action words would you pick that will give you the best return on your time investment. You only have 168 hours in the course of a week – no more or no less. Those who accomplish the things in life that are most important to them, have learned to invest their time wisely. Spending time on things that won’t get you closer to accomplishing your goals is a waste of your time. Put a plan together and then work your plan. Resolutions don’t work unless you do.

Copyright (c) 2014. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Are you or someone you know looking for a speaker who can entertain and inform on a variety of soft-skills topics? Contact Brian today – http://briansmithpld.com