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In most sports, the difference between making it to the finish line and making it into the record books is less than a second. In fact, more often than not, it’s milliseconds.

Yes, You Can!

Yes, You Can!

The small difference between good and great is also true in many other areas of life and work.

It’s certainly true for speakers. By speakers I mean parents, teachers, coaches, salespeople, trainers, mentors, doctors, nurses, attorneys, as well as professional platform and keynote speakers.

What separates good speakers from great speakers? Leadership. Does this surprise you? It shouldn’t, because everything depends on leadership, including speaking–and this is true whether you are speaking to your children or to a room full of people.

How do you know if you have what it takes to be a great speaker? Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

•  As a speaker, your chief goal is to influence people. How well do you influence and lead yourself?
•  People want to hear speakers who are fired up and passionate. Do you care about your message?
•  Great speakers are masters of nuance. How do you make use of non-verbal communication and silence?

Great speakers master their material and they master themselves, which allows them to instinctively know when to adjust their message in order to meet the audience right where they are.

Did you know that when you teach and mentor others, you actually learn your material even better? Why? Because when you teach something you’re passionate about, you want to ensure that what you pass on is accurate, insightful, and meaningful.

Becoming great at anything takes time and practice. Practice with commitment, diligence, and patience. Over time, consistent practice becomes habit, and good habits can lead to mastery. It will not happen overnight. In fact, it will take years. Many years. There is no other way. But if you’re diligent, it will happen!

I’d love to hear from you. Tell me about speakers you admire and why. Use the comment section below or let’s start a conversation on Twitter! Follow me on Twitter and Facebook to continue the conversation! Twitter: http://twitter.com/gloriaburgess Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/drgloriaburgessPhD. And feel free to learn more about me and Jazz, Inc. by checking out my website: http://gloriaburgess.com. Have a fantastic week!

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What separates great leaders from average leaders? Is it years of experience, a degree from a top-notch university, or an impressive title?

It’s none of these things.

Lead from Within

Lead from Within

The difference between average and great leaders begins long before they assume the mantle of leadership. In fact, you can be a great leader even if you do not have a leadership title or position.

How is that possible? Because great leadership begins from within. It begins with who you are. Who you are when no one else is looking. Your core values and how you act on those values will distinguish you as a leader—every single time.

How do you know if you have what it takes to be a great leader? Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • What do you value most about yourself?
  • Do you go along with the crowd—even when you know in your heart that you should choose differently?
  • Do you consistently look out for the best interests of others?

Great leaders have these things in common: self-awareness, core values that guide their choices and actions, and giving to others what they have received. Great leaders are also intentional. They look within first and are focused on living with purpose and passion.

So, ask yourself: What one thing can I do today to be more intentional?

May you enjoy the blessings of increasing your awareness each day… and reaching out to help someone else do the same—just a sampling of the many blessings of leadership.

I’d love to hear from you. Tell me about leaders you admire—in your family, in your community, or at work. Use the comment section below or let’s start a conversation on Twitter! Follow me on Twitter and Facebook to continue the conversation! Twitter: https://twitter.com/gloriaburgess Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/drgloriaburgessPhD. And feel free to learn more about me and Jazz, Inc. by checking out my website: http://gloriaburgess.com/index.html. Have a fantastic week!

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I trust that your January is off to a glorious start. Very soon, I will lead a seminar on “Resolutions” for the New Year. Rather than the usual definition of resolution—to make a promise or an oath—I will invite people to consider the musical definition. Mount Rainier - reflected in lake

In music, resolution means to bring something that is out of tune, discordant, or inharmonious into a state of being harmonious & in tune. In order to bring our lives back into a state of harmony, sometimes we have to let go of something else. Perhaps we need to let go of old habits, negative thinking, too many things or possessions, or life-draining relationships.

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • What is out of tune, or out of alignment, in your life right now?
  • What do you have to do to bring your life back into harmony?
  • What small step can you take today to resolve the discord in your life?

When you take a step away from discord, you take a step toward harmony.

May you enjoy the blessings of letting go, so that this year you can move in the direction of your dreams.

I’d love to hear from you. Tell me about your resolutions in the comment section below or let’s start a conversation on Twitter! Follow me on Twitter and Facebook to continue the conversation! Twitter: https://twitter.com/gloriaburgess Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/drgloriaburgessPhD. And feel free to learn more about me and Jazz, Inc. by checking out my website: http://gloriaburgess.com/index.html. Have an wonderful week!

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You get a call from your dream company. “We’ve reviewed your resume and would like for you to come in to speak with the interview team.” Your heart races with excitement. You’ve made it through the first hurdle!

Then your happy buzz fades as the sobering reality sets in: You now face a second and more challenging hurdle—the Interview.

What should you wear? WHAT questions will they ask? How should you respond to their questions? What questions should YOU ask? Your Career

As you sit down to sort through the varying outcomes of each of these questions, you start making lists of “Shoulds” and “Shouldn’ts,” of “Dos” and “Don’ts.” Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there were lists already made for you? Lists you could mold to fit your particular needs? Lists that serve as starting points in your preparation?

I want to see you land your dream job! To make your life a little easier, I’ve compiled several lists to help you as you enter the land of The Job Interview. In Part 1, we’ll explore the things you should and should not ask once you step into that room.  I hope these guides serve you well.

Questions you SHOULD ask during your interview:

  • Can you describe the position in more detail? Even better: do some research on your own and preface this or any other question with information you’ve discovered about the company. For example, “I see that your company is rapidly expanding… I’m curious if the position I’m applying for is new or is it an existing position?”
  • Can you describe a typical day for the person in this position?
  • Would you provide an example or two of the types of projects I’ll be working on?
  • Will I be primarily working with a team or on my own?
  • Can you describe your ideal employee for this position?
  • What’s your company’s 3- or 5-year plan, and how does the department I’m applying for fit into that plan?
  • How does your company show that it values its employees?
  • Does your company offer professional training and development?
  • When do you hope to fill this position?
  • If I were to start tomorrow, what would my top priority be?

 

Questions you should NEVER ask during your interview:

  • Do you pay overtime?
  • When will I be eligible for a raise?
  • How often does the company give raises?
  • Will you check my Facebook page?
  • Do you do background checks?
  • Do you pay overtime?
  • Will I be able to work from home?
  • How much sick, holiday, and vacation time is allocated? Actually, it’s OK to ask this question, but MUCH later in the process after the company has expressed interest in you.
  • Avoid questions that start with “Why,” because they put people on the defensive.
  • Do not ask questions that you can easily find information about on your own with a quick Google search.

Interested in learning even more interview tips and tricks? Follow me on Pinterest, particularly my board I’ve dedicated to helping you “Ace That Interview.” http://www.pinterest.com/drgloriab/ace-that-interview/

I hope you enjoyed today’s post! Care to chat more? Follow me on Twitter and Facebook to continue the conversation! Twitter: https://twitter.com/gloriaburgess Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/drgloriaburgessPhD. And feel free to learn more about me and Jazz! Inc. by checking out my website: http://gloriaburgess.com/index.html.

Until next time… keep on keepin’ on. And let me know what’s happening with you.

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This week’s blog comes from my good friend and colleague, Adriana Girdler. We welcome her contribution. Thank you, Adriana!

Data and Intuition…the Perfect Business Partners

Have you ever been presented with so much data, graphs, chart, and numbers that instead of things starting to make sense it starts to become confusing?  In fact, more questions start to arise, your reasoning becomes cloudy and you become paralyzed by the data and are struggling to figure out what to do next? Adriana Girdler

Whether you’re a senior executive or an accountant, a sales representative or lawyer, we all want to move forward in business. The ultimate goal is to move your organization, department or career from good to great. Making the wrong decision can debilitate an organization and/or career as much as making a right decision can catapult it to the next level. But in the information society we live in today, sometimes too much information stops us from making decisions and moving forward. So how do we get over this issue in the business world? Try following your intuition along with your intellect. John Naisbitt, who invented the concept of “Megatrends” in 1980 and has been the world’s best known observer and analyst of global trends for more than 30 years,  suggests intuition becomes increasingly valuable in the new information society precisely because there is so much data.
What Is Intuition?

Intuition has been called many things: gut feeling, instant knowing, inner voice, and instinctive knowledge. Simply put, intuition is the ability to KNOW – beyond data, reason and logic – the truth of any question or situation. It’s available to everyone, an invisible, powerful intelligence free for the taking. Have you ever disregarded a ‘feeling’ or ‘sensation’ and regretted your decision? “I should have followed my gut.” That’s your intuition. Logic and analysis only provide partial answers. Intuition is our most reliable compass on life’s journey and everyone has it so why not use it, especially in business.

Intuition, when used with data, can confirm business direction, product ideas, new hires etc. As we know, a business decision is as much an art (intuition) as it’s a science (market research). Knowing how to use the two together is what distinguishes the good businesses from the great.

How Can You Use Intuition in Business?

  • Fine-tune your vision and mission statement and confirm that you’re on the right path
    • Intuition will allow you to tap into your feelings and confirm what truly resonates with you so you are motivated and passionate about what you do. This is critical to move yourself or an organization forward.
  • Evaluate team dynamics and find the most beneficial way to bring everyone together
    • Use intuition to guide you to find the right solution in bringing a team together and getting them to work cohesively. You can feel when something is off or when people are not feeling part of the team, don’t ignore this but use your intuition to fix it and get your team back in performance mode.
  • Create success through insightful hiring decisions
    • Ever hire someone that looked great on paper but you knew something was off and this feeling was confirmed the first few days at work? Stop the unnecessary task of hiring the wrong people which impacts your business negatively. Trust you intuition when something doesn’t feel right.
  • Identify areas and/or departments that need specialized assistance to ensure organizational goals remain on track
    • Why is it we can ‘see’ the solution to everyone else’s problems/issues but not our own. Your intuition can guide you in ‘seeing’ the issues before you. You need to be open to listening to the clues that are presented to you every day.
  • Establish and/or confirm business plans (Sales, Marketing etc.) content and strategies that will allow you to obtain the vision for your organization
    • Use intuition to confirm your plans. When revisiting ideas and examining them in a different light (via intuitive techniques) you will receive greater insight, allowing you to change direction which gives you that winning business idea.

When the top business leaders are asked what makes them successful, of course they answer the expected response, “hard work, great team, amazing idea, passion, long hours, but they also say they followed their intuition.  Something inside them was guiding them and they choose to listen to it. So if you don’t believe me that intuition is your best business ally, then maybe you will listen to the words of Steve Jobs, Apple co-founder:

I began to realize that an intuitive understanding and consciousness was more significant than abstract thinking and intellectual logical analysis. Intuition is a very powerful thing, more powerful than intellect, in my opinion. That’s had a big impact on my work.

Stop relying on just one way to look at things. Using just the intellect in business will only get you so far. Combine and use the power of intuition along with intellect. This is key to moving your ideas, decisions and organization to the next level.

About Adriana Girdler

Adriana Girdler is the President of CornerStone Dynamics Inc and an expert in business efficiency, helping leading corporations streamline internal processes to work smarter and improve productivity. Learn more about Adriana Girdler at: http://www.cornerstonedynamics.com/adriana-girdler/

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I want to see you land your dream job!

To make your life a little easier, I’ve compiled several lists to help you as you enter the land of The Job Interview. In Part I, we’ll explore tips to make your cover letter stand out from the rest. I hope these guides serve you well.

 Write an Effective Cover Letter

Think of your cover letter like a business card—it makes a first impression. It should pique a prospective employer’s interest in you. Be sure to highlight your skills and experience into the context of the position for which you’re applying. Another way to think of your cover letter is like a movie trailer. It provides a preview of coming attractions, so to speak, without revealing everything. Just enough to make you want to buy that ticket, right? Success or Failure

Tip #1: Keep It Brief

Your cover letter demonstrates that you are an effective communicator. Instead of elaborating what is already listed in your resume, highlight a few key points that will make a recruiter or hiring manager want to learn more about you. Write a brief introduction, then jump right into what you have to offer and why you should be hired for this position. Aim for three well-written paragraphs.

Tip #2: Keep It Relevant

In highlighting what you have to offer, focus on three key factors: what got you into this field, the accomplishments that exemplify why you are the best candidate, and why you are an excellent fit for their organization. Be sure to include a couple of sentences on what strikes you about their specific company.

Tip #3: Personalize

Make sure your cover letter speaks directly to the position for which you are applying. This means that you must write a new cover letter for each position for which you apply. An employer can spot a generic cover letter, so don’t do it or you will risk having your letter and resume tossed into the trash—the infamous File 13! Do not address your letter to “Whom It May Concern.” Do a little digging. A quick web search should surface the name of the person to send your cover letter to. If not–pick up the phone and call. Your prospective employer will appreciate your attention to detail.

Tip #4: Close Effectively

Be confident and assertive. Close your letter with something like this: “After you have reviewed my resume, please contact me to schedule an interview,” or, “I am excited about the prospect of working for you and would be pleased to discuss this opportunity at your earliest convenience. I will call next week to follow up with you.”

Closing comments, such as “I hope you enjoy my resume,” or “If you feel that I am a good fit, let me know” are weak. They don’t resonate with confidence. You know you’re a good fit, so SHOW it with a strong finish!

 Tip #5: Proofread, Proofread, Proofread

I cannot stress the importance of proofreading. Proofreading will ensure that your tone is appropriate. It will also ensure that you’ve touched on key aspects of your background and experience as they relate to the job position. Finally, proofreading will ensure that you catch silly grammatical errors and typos. After you’re satisfied with your letter, ask someone else to review it. Why? Because another person will often find things that you overlooked, such as missing words. Yes, missing words. When we proof our own work, we unconsciously “fill in” words as we read, because we know what we intended to write.

*  *  *  *  *

I hope these tips put you one step closer to landing your dream career. Do you have any tips you’d like to share, or would you like to keep talking about this topic? If so, please send me a note, using my comment section below or follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/gloriaburgess or Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/drgloriaburgessPhD

And stay tuned for Part II in the series. Now that you have a killer cover letter, will your resume match your expectations? I’ll help you make sure it does with my resume tips! Until then:  Walk worthy my friends!

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Leadership is difficult.

Contrary to popular belief, leaders aren’t born. They are made. You grow into leadership through the choices you make.

We stand in awe of leaders who can make tough decisions on a dime, especially when they say, “I just went with my ‘gut feeling’ on the matter.” What these leaders don’t say is that their gut feeling is honed through years of experience, learning through their personal and professional trials and challenges as well as through others’.

That gut instinct is also honed through doing a few critical things every day. Things that over time become automatic, such as their ability to lead effortlessly under pressure. These learned characteristics mold leaders, transforming them from good to great, and they are characteristics that anyone anywhere can incorporate into their daily lives. Leaders Exude Positivity

They Exude Positivity and Energy

In any organization, there will be snags along the road to success. A great leader doesn’t allow those bumps in the road to disrupt positive momentum. The workplace they create is uplifting and inspiring, and they constantly seek new ways to generate positive attitudes among team members. Each morning, they set the tone for the rest of the day. Whether it’s simply saying good morning to everyone and asking if anyone needs any guidance on their work or if it’s organizing the occasional “company offsite” to boost camaraderie on their team, a great leader never lets the opportunity to lift the team spirits slip through their fingers.

They Speak Up

Great leaders are aware that if they wait for the perfect moment to bring up a concern, voice an opinion, or act decisively that moment may never come. They aren’t afraid to make themselves uncomfortable for the greater good. If they have a concern, they’ll surface it in order to rectify a situation before it snowballs into something bigger and, possibly, worse for themselves, their team, and their organization. Typically, they’re the first ones to say out loud what everyone else at the table is already thinking. What’s the difference between them and you? They took the chance to speak up.

They Communicate Their Expectations

Do mind readers exist? Great leaders don’t think so. They recognize the need to properly translate their vision and expectations to their team members so that their expectations will come to fruition. They keep an “open door,” encouraging team members to communicate directly with them and among themselves. After all, everyone needs to be on the same page if they’re all in the same organization working towards the same goals. Great leaders constantly remind their team of the standards they’ve set, making it easy for them to identify high-performers and those who are not.

What are some things YOU’VE seen great leaders do consistently? I’d love to hear from you. Tell me in the comment section below or let’s start a conversation on Twitter! Follow me on Twitter and Facebook to continue the conversation! Twitter: https://twitter.com/gloriaburgess Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/drgloriaburgessPhD. And feel free to learn more about me and Jazz, Inc. by checking out my website: http://gloriaburgess.com/index.html. Have an uplifting week!

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