Hope on the tarmac: How I practiced optimism and why and how you can, too

Hope on the tarmac: How I practiced optimism and why and how you can, too

Ever get stuck in a seemingly hopeless situation?

Ever get stuck in a thinking funk?

Today, I’ll share my story of how I experienced both, and what I did to get unstuck and see the bright side. Plus, I’ll show you why and how to get yourself in a more optimistic mindset to produce better results.

First, my story...

Hopeless in Houston: How I got my thinking unstuck and got my plane to take off (well, sort of…)

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4 common listening sins to avoid (if you want to build or strengthen your work and personal relationships)

4 common listening sins to avoid (if you want to build or strengthen your work and personal relationships)

I’m going to describe the four common listening sins to you, but first, a challenge:

Is there a chance that maybe, just maybe, you do this too?

If you’re being honest with yourself, your answer should be “Yes.” Because we all commit these listening sins from time to time.

Here are the four common listening sins -- do you recognize them? 

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Leaders: nurture your naysayers (and avoid CEO Disease)

Leaders: nurture your naysayers (and avoid CEO Disease)

Do you live in a ‘happy bubble’ in which everything is wonderful and all your ideas are perfect?

If you said ‘yes’, you might be a typical leader. And I must warn you: you might have CEO Disease.

You see, many leaders find themselves isolated, sheltered, and unaware of problems. Usually, it’s because the people they’ve surrounded themselves with are classic ‘yes-men’ and ‘yes-women’. They aren’t given contrary information, they’re sheltered from problems, and rarely if ever does anyone say ‘no’ or disagree with the.

Sheltered from negative information, these leaders struggle to gain the perspective necessary to make informed decisions because employees keep them in the dark about negative or contrary information.

In this post, Halelly Azulay explains what CEO Disease is, how you might get it, and 5 tips for avoiding it by nurturing your naysayers. Read on!

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Haters gonna hate: why courageous leadership is not a popularity contest

Haters gonna hate: why courageous leadership is not a popularity contest

Have you ever received feedback from hundreds of people on your performance? You work very hard to design the product or presentation, you prepare, and you rehearse or practice.

You try your best to deliver on the pre-established expectations and meet the established standards. And you succeed – if measured objectively – because the vast majority of people feel satisfied with your delivery on promises and appreciate your contribution toward addressing their needs. But… There are always those few that are not feelin’ it. So, what should we do in the face of unfair, or personal, or harsh criticism? This blog post tells my story about a recent situation where 'haters' criticized me and lessons for what you can do if this happens to you, from other experienced leaders in my network as well as from my experience. Give it a read and chime in!

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3 tricks for breaking through procrastination

3 tricks for breaking through procrastination

Ever struggle with procrastination on important, but not urgent, projects or tasks? Many of my clients do, and I do as well. In this short vlog, I share three actionable tricks that can help you break through your procrastination to achieve those important results that can add value to your business or personal life.

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Asking your boss for feedback? Here are some Dos and Don'ts to keep in mind

Asking your boss for feedback? Here are some Dos and Don'ts to keep in mind

It might seem scary to ask your boss how you’re doing at your job—especially if you’re the kind of person who responds emotionally to criticism or breaks out in hives at the thought of it. But the experts agree: regularly asking for feedback is the easiest way for you to improve at your job, and get a clear understanding of what value you’re providing. You just need to know a few tricks of the trade to make sure you’re maximizing the ask—and timing it well. Here, we break down the dos and don’ts. By author: Corie Hengst, levo.com

[I was interviewed for this article, which originally appeared on levo.com and is re-posted here with permission. ~Halelly]

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Leaders: Don’t let your meetings suck!

Leaders: Don’t let your meetings suck!

Too many leaders let their meetings suck.

They have meetings that aren’t necessary, and don’t have agendas or specified roles. Their meetings are too long, and they don’t invite the right people. They don’t ensure that meetings achieve their objectives as effectively and efficiently as possible.

Please. Please don’t be one of those leaders who let their meetings suck!

Here are some suggestions for what you can do instead, to have less crappy meetings where things actually get done.

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Paralyzed by fear? How I talked myself off of a cliff and what you can learn from it to overcome your fear

Paralyzed by fear? How I talked myself off of a cliff and what you can learn from it to overcome your fear

I have a fear of heights.

I don’t know when I picked it up, because I spent my childhood in treetops in my neighborhood and climbing rocks on family hiking trips.  But somewhere, with adulthood, came an irrational fear of heights that has been growing stronger with each passing year.

In this blog post, I described how I became paralyzed by my fear of heights while hiking this weekend, what I did to talk myself off that cliff, and how you can use the same techniques to walk yourself off of any kind of 'cliff' - to overcome fear and move forward courageously.

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Top 10 Takeaways for High Performance from the Tim Ferriss Show Live in L.A.

Top 10 Takeaways for High Performance from the Tim Ferriss Show Live in L.A.

Last week I attended an incredible event here in Los Angeles: mega-popular best-selling author, blogger, and podcaster Tim Ferriss hosted a live podcast recording event at the famous Troubadour night club in Hollywood – his first live show ever. I was really lucky to grab one of the 25 VIP tickets and be among the hundreds of fans who attended this sold-out 4-hour podcast show (4-hour podcast, get it? get it?).

I got a lot out of the event, including a photo with Tim (I’m such a fangirl) and lots of Q&A time.  The guests on the show were Grammy-nominated DJ Kaskade, Olympian snowboarder/ skateboarder Shaun White, Poetry Slam Champion Sekou Andrews, and DJ Nu-mark of Jurassic 5. Yes, there was even dancing!

Here is a review of my top ten key insights, reminders, and takeaways for me that can also help you along your journey. I’ve divided them into three categories: General insights, Guest insights, and Q&A insights.

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The best question to boost your courage in the face of fear

The best question to boost your courage in the face of fear

In her book Lean In and the movement that it launched, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg challenges women to answer this question: “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”. I think this is a positive message that helps bring self-awareness to limiting beliefs and barriers to courage. And she does implore women to “then go do it.” And I want to build on it and extend it.

For one, I do not wish to only address women. I want to address men also. Because fear holds a lot of people back.

In my work as a leadership development strategist, speaker, and facilitator, I meet a lot of people. And unfortunately, way too many of them are playing too small, too safe. I see a lack of courage – not Courage with a capital C like the kind that makes you run into a burning building and saving babies and puppies. No. Small-c courage that lets you see your fears, face them square on, and take action toward your big, scary goals IN SPITE of that fear.

So I want to build on that question and make it more actionable. I want to "yes, and" it.

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Why you should stop distracted listening

Why you should stop distracted listening

Does listening involve just your ears? Halelly Azulay of TalentGrow says definitely not. In this short video blog (vlog), she describes the commonly experienced negative effects of distracted listening and why you should stop doing that to people you care about. This advice is crucial for leaders of all levels (but it will also help you in your personal relationships).

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FOCUS: The secret to crushing your goals in 2016 and beyond

FOCUS: The secret to crushing your goals in 2016 and beyond

We are living in a world of always on, always connected, information overload and constant distractions. Meetings, emails, web surfing, social media, reacting to other people’s priorities, and saying ‘yes’ to requests that don’t get us closer to achieving our goals are just some of the ways we get seduced into doing work that ultimately doesn’t “move the needle”. It doesn’t move us closer to achieving our goals.

I certainly struggle with achieving focus and avoiding the incessant distractions. Here are some of the best ideas and tips from science and experts that can help us all make 2016 our best year yet.

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Why email sucks (for really important conversations) [vlog]

Why email sucks (for really important conversations) [vlog]

Have you ever had someone react emotionally to an email you sent and catch you completely off-guard? Did you ever re-read and re-write the same email eleventy-million times before hitting 'send'? Do you want to communicate more effectively and not damage your relationships at work and otherwise? Watch this short video blog (vlog) to learn the common mistake many leaders and team members make when choosing email as their mode of communication when it comes to important conversations. Learn the science behind the negative reactions people often have to your carefully crafted emails and how to prevent these situations from happening. Improve your communication effectiveness and become a better leader.

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The 3 secrets of the value-creator mindset

The 3 secrets of the value-creator mindset

Great achievements are not easy. Most value creators are prepared to put in lots of hard work, effort, and energy toward their important goals. But many of us are caught off-guard when we experience fear, discomfort, or major set-backs. Learning to evaluate the risk and creating the resilience and grit necessary to push ahead will generate momentum and satisfaction with the progress of the journey, not just the rewards of the final outcomes.

Here are some tips and techniques to help you overcome fear and push through the discomfort that often accompany really big breakthroughs. You’ll see that failure is not only inevitable, it’s actually something you should NOT avoid at all costs.

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How to Be Indispensable as an Employee or a Leader [vlog]

How to Be Indispensable as an Employee or a Leader [vlog]

By making yourself indispensable (which means "absolutely necessary" according to the dictionary), you create a much higher chance for promotion, selection for prime assignments, and in general make yourself more employable. In this video blog (vlog), I share four highly actionable ideas for ways you could make yourself more indispensable at work.

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