Lead Yourself, Lead Others, Lead the Leaders: Little Known Factors That Could Affect Your Leadership Results

This is a saying I’ve vocalized for many years.

This is more than just a focused statement for me.  It’s a value based approach I’ve lived for many years now.  “Lead Yourself, Lead Others, Lead the Leaders.”Lead Yourself Debbra Sweet 1

I first introduced this statement in the first version of  “The Power of Leadership in Business Networking”.

Initially, this theme was just a chapter in the book. I was talking about how to really be a leader when you are networking. In that approach to building your business, there really is a flow to how a person builds credibility in order to get referrals.

Over the last few years however, I have really come to understand the depth of this statement. In all aspects of our life, if we are truly going to be our best, walk with integrity of body, mind and self; if we are to live a balanced, fulfilled life, understanding the importance of this ‘flow of leadership’ is important.

I personally believe that the majority of people in our country are living a life that is not in true harmony between their inner self and their outer self. Too many people are living under a shield of ‘survival’ without knowing it.  Their inner self yearns for one type of life, yet their outer self resides in a world, a way of living, based on other people’s beliefs and values.

How do I know this? I lived that way for years too.  I have also learned how to let go of other people’s beliefs for me – and learn to embrace what are really my core beliefs, value systems and vision for my businesses, my life. Now I love to help others make that same transformation.

Mind you, I recognize that not every single person experiences this disconnect. I have met people who are blessed from a very young age to know who they are, know what they were born to do, and have had a support system around them to help make that happen. I love meeting people like this because it gives me a different perspective about life.

However, in my world, the majority of the people I coach, teach, consult with, are not in alignment. They struggle with things like: lack of health, (too much weight, too many meds, and increasing health issues due to their body being out of balance.).  I work with people who had a vision for themselves, but gave it up to the dreams and input of others around them.  Then there are others who are visionary, and always on the go- but are not sure how to create a team around them to make their vision a reality. They are great at doing, but not clear on how to inspire others to do the same.

In all these situations, the mindset (mantra? value system? concept?) of Lead yourself, Lead Others, Lead Leaders comes into play.

Whether your life is out of balance with your physicals (your body), your way of thinking or perceiving things (mind), and in your day to day profession (business)- the way to make a change that is lasting is to first slow down and make the commitment to: Lead Yourself.

What area(s) in your life need to get into a state of balance and vitality first? 

Do you lack health? You know you do if you are overweight, have many health symptoms and are unable to operate at peak performance. All these ‘symptoms’ are  ‘tells’ from your body that it needs attention from you.  To be your best for others, you must be your best for yourself first.

How you think affects all you do. This is a deep subject (One I’ve written about before), and will write about again. Your thinking encompasses more than just your day to day conscious thoughts. It gets into the deep, stored thoughts, beliefs and ideas you may not even recognize are the filters of your thinking.  Your thoughts dictate your actions, words and choices.

To lead yourself, not only might you need to change habits that relate to your physicals, but you might need to change your habits of your thinking.

Yes, this is not always easy or comfortable- but the outcome, the benefit of taking the time to learn to lead yourself so you live a life that is full of vitality, optimal health, resonate with an inner peace that shows in all your actions, words and outcomes- is worth every step of growth and temporary discomfort you may feel when letting go of old habits and beliefs.

To lead yourself takes time. The good news is: for lasting results, if you have the right kind of support in your life, you can experience a transformation wherein the journey is just as rewarding as arriving at the end destination.

When you understand and experience how to make changes in how you live, you then can inspire others. You begin to lead others – often as simple as them watching you.  When your thoughts, words and actions are in alignment; and when your inner and outer you are aligned- the power of you choices and way you present yourself each day- is remarkably motivating for others to do the same.

Finally, you can reach a point of leading leaders if you so choose.

I do my best to live in a state of integrity of the inner and outer me, aligned with my vision and values. I do not claim to be the expert that knows everything, but I do coach, teach and train from a place of experiential compassion, understanding and patience.  Along my journey I’ve discovered tools, systems and resources that can help you thrive in Body, Mind and Business.

What area in your life or profession would benefit by improving your thoughts, actions, words?

  • Do you seek optimal health (without drugs, deprivation, ‘dieting’?) If so, let’s talk. 
  • Do you seek to be a better leader in your life or business? If so, let’s talk.
  • Are you already leading and you want to improve results with your time and efforts in your business so that you are more profitable and have more money? If so, let’s talk.

As we delve into how to be a leader when networking, the real depth of understanding of “Lead Yourself, Lead Others, Lead Leaders” will be revealed.

 

Advertisements

The Rouse of the Rooster- Insights to Discipline in Leadership

When I get up, which often is in the wee hours of the morning, before the sun rises, I can hear the roosters in my 220px-Rooster_portrait2neighborhood doing their job of crowing.

It is interesting to me to hear them so proudly and fervently sing their rooster songs each morning. They are consistent and passionate about their crowing. It reminds me of how to continue to bring passion, commitment and consistency to everything we do as a leader.

One of the things that always impresses me when I hear them crowing in the mornings that it doesn’t matter what the weather is like outside. Whether it’s sunny and hot or rainy and cold the same roosters, every single morning, do their job and do it with excellence.

As humans we can learn a little bit about discipline from these roosters.

The job of the rooster is to protect the flock, and he takes the lead in doing so each morning by crowing.

The rooster is often portrayed as crowing at the break of dawn (“cock-a-doodle-doo”). He can often be seen sitting on fence posts or other objects, where he crows to proclaim his territory

The role of the rooster in animal husbandry has a long and illustrious history from the guardian of the back yard flock to the fighting cocks center ring.

Aristotle called the rooster alektora and sang its praises along with the likes of Theocritus, Pliny, Varro, and Aldrovandi (Lind1963). The rooster holds a time-honored place in the small flock, protecting the hens, announcing the day, and ensuring the next generation.

As leaders, one of the ways we can learn is by paying attention to some of our surroundings. Nature inherently prepared plants, animals and humans to have an instinct for leadership roles and hierarchy.

The discipline of how these roosters crow in the morning is a great example of how we, as leaders, can be approach our role of serving others and leadership daily.

Do you rise each morning with the mindset to announce the new day, care and protect those you are responsible for, and do things to ensure the succession of your leadership when the time is right?

Leadership takes discipline. It takes commitment to one’s self to improve. It takes courage to rise up each day and take the helm of your leadership role, regardless of the weather or how you feel.

There are about 5 different roosters in my neighborhood and each has its own call, it’s own ‘voice’. Two of them nearest me have very distinct crows. For the most part, one of them has a very dominant and confident sound. Yet, there are some days where I hear him crow in the morning hours and I think he may be sleepy or a bit under the weather as his sound is not quite as crisp or commanding. However, he still follows through each day.

The other rooster I hear has a bit of a funny, ‘broken’ crow. His song is not as smooth and flowy from start to finish like the first one. He has a stutter in a couple of places. That does not matter to him – or his flock. He too, each morning calls out with his crow and takes his place as the protector of his flock.

Both of these roosters are also there to make sure that the clutch of hens are profitable and successful in producing eggs and future little leaders.  🙂

As we venture into 2013, it is the time for more leaders to take upon their shoulders the ability to be disciplined with the same type of commitment to protect and ensure the success of the people that they serve.

Remember, leadership starts with yourself, then leading your family and then leading others at work and in the community.

In this day and age, many our so-called leaders seem to be practicing more leadership by simply fluffing up their feathers- and thinking that is good enough. It’s not. Vain puffery from the outside is short lived. The true leaders will be willing to be disciplined to rise early, announce the day, declare their protection of their flock- and then do what is needed to ensure the success of those they serve now and for future generations.

When you arise tomorrow, ask yourself, do you lead with vain puffery, or are you sounding your call of leadership with actions that denote confidence, provide security and ensuring opportunities for those you lead to grow?

What action steps can you take today to be a better leader tomorrow?

Debbra Sweet

Author & Speaker of  “The Power of Leadership”

The Leader of the Band

Mid Oct, 2012, one of the most influential mentors, teachers, a friend, was laid to rest.   It had been known for a247311_10152140902075464_2108242698_n few years now that he was sick – and true to form, up until this change of his season in life, he chose to live a life with vibrancy, passion and a love for helping others see their potential and then give them a way to grow.

It is rare to find such a genuine person in life. When you do… I encourage you to embrace what they teach- and pay attention to the things they don’t come right out and say.

This mentor of mine had may clichés and favorite sayings. One in particular was the declarative “This is a pearl of Wisdom”.  When he led a sentence with those words- you best pay attention. He always delivered.

His wisdom was not always directly related to the classroom curriculum he taught. In fact, his whole life was a testimony to how some of the best leaders lead.

It started with a genuine care and passion for doing what he loved. He loved music, he loved travel.  He loved helping share the impact and meaning music has played in the lives of generations.

His patience, and I do mean extreme patience at times… when we were learning, goofing off, rehearsing, and then doing it all over again- was incredible.  The man who always gave you a smile did get mad- but that was rare.  If he was mad or upset at you- you deserved it.   The majority of the time though, he was always encouraging, teaching, inspiring and pushing you to reach and strive just outside of your comfort zone. He knew we had the capacity to grow.

When I heard the news of his passing, I was amazed at just how much of an influence his style affected my life. As his student, I knew he was one of my best teachers.   Through the reflection of him of the time I was his student I realized today that he:

Taught me how to discipline my thoughts
• He taught me the importance of consistency and striving to improve in all I do
• He taught me the importance of patience
• He taught me how to practice to improve with skill sets- and not just practice- but to do so with perfection.   Repetition of perfection so that when it was time to perform and share- what you share is so ingrained in you that you can simply give.

He knew that with focus and effort- you could discover your potential. In fact, he would see your potential often way before you did. He would push you to be better. He would encourage you to open your mind to grow.  He knew when you were frustrated and he knew how to get you to overcome your own stumbling blocks.   He knew when you were not giving your 100% and he would give you a look that would tell you he knew you knew you could do better.

When times arose where you needed a friend- and not just a teacher, he was there for you. 

He would lead you with confidence, fun and best of all- he would be right there by your side each step of the way.   He lived the life of  a living legacy leader.

To him, I say many thanks for all he did to open doors and opportunities for me that were above and beyond what many students get to experience.  I tip my hat off to you and say you will forever be the Leader of the Band.  🙂

Your inspiration, wisdom and teaching can be seen in all I do.

May we always continue to “Drum it!”

Debbra

www.DebbraSweet.com

Life Beneath the Brim- the Tip of Respect

This summer I had to start wearing hats is part of my daily wardrobe. I’ve enjoyed many observations from beneath the Brim. Beneath the Brim  Today’s post is part one of my sharing.

When I was younger I used to wear hats from time to time by choice. I had different styles and most of them were elegant ladies hats that you would wear for special occasions.

I never really looked quite right in a baseball cap when I was younger due to the style and haircut I had. My ears would stick out a bit so I never really wore them. The ladies hats with wider brims tended to look better.

I recall that I always had fun when I wore those hats.  There was something about covering up like that made you walk a little different.  Being one who never really was concerned about ‘fitting in’ it didn’t really bother me that when I wore those hats I often was the only person in town wearing them.  My purpose in adding them to my wardrobe at that time was purely for fun and to add a polished look to the ensemble I was wearing.

My favorite hat was a cobalt blue, wide brimmed, felt hat that had a scarf attached underneath. The scarf would gracefully hang around the face and tie under the chin.  This part of the hat was made at the same cobalt blue material. It was very elegant and every time I donned this hat,  it was almost like a throwback to the 1940s when women would take the time to attentively dress for their daily activities.

Currently my reason for wearing hats is not just fashion related. I am dealing with a slight personal medical condition where my eyes are not excepting light the way they normally would. 

I have not actually owned a real hat collection in many years, but lately I’ve had to develop a small one.  Most of the hats I am wearing are definitely wide brimmed as I need extra coverage to protect the light from hitting my eyes.

My hairstyle has changed since I was younger so I actually own a couple of female style baseball caps. I can wear these from time to time if it’s not too bright out.

What has been interesting about wearing hats every day for the last few months is the observations I have had when other people see me when I am in public.

Here in the San Diego area it’s a pretty big deal for ladies to wear amazing hats – especially in the summer. There is a tradition at the Delmar racetrack where on opening day of the races- it’s hat day. Women adorn themselves with the most outrageous hats in hopes of garnering recognition for the best hat.

We are not too far south of Los Angeles- where many stars are currently sporting a variety of hats. Most of those hats are fedora style – trading a bit more of a ‘boyfriend casual look’ instead of the wide brimmed hats you see at the races. Both females and males can be seen in fedora style hats.  It is rare to see others wearing wide brim hats after the Delmar race season is over.

I however, still am.

The conversations that start because of my hats and the looks I receive and can see from under the brim are very interesting.

Most of the time, what I observe from underneath the Brim, are surprisingly pleasant smiles.  In fact, it is very interesting how many people genuinely will smile and even engage in a conversation when they see somebody wearing a wide brimmed hat.

(I do not believe that their pleasantries are because I’m smiling- because quite often when I’m wearing these hats and I’m out and about- I am experiencing a very uncomfortable physical state so I’m not smiling all the time.)

When I first started wearing these hats in front of people who have known me for years- the reactions were incredible and very intriguing. Since I do not live to receive attention from drama, I have been very private about my situation so most of my colleagues have bee unaware of my physical condition. 

Their reaction was always the same though. There’s quite a wow factor in their voice with many comments about how awesome the hat and the ensemble is.  ( I have chosen to add a few colorful and fun wide brim hats to my wardrobe so that when I am out in public, and in a professional setting, that the hat does appear to be a fashion statement- and not a coping mechanism for my eyes.) 

On top of that many more people approach me to say hello-and it at a the smiles are always very genuine.

In San Diego, the cultures of our locals are not typically like that.  People out here often avoid looking at others straight in the eye during their daily activities. There’s so much hustle and bustle that you take the time to genuinely engage in even a brief conversation while looking at the other person straight in the eye, is not often encountered.

Many locals in San Diego present themselves in a guarded way and they’re very self centric in their thoughts and actions with even the most simple things. They don’t seem to mind being amongst a larger population, but to slow down and engage in social graces – a most people will not take the time to do that.

I know from my travels but in smaller towns around our country, it is still common to have ‘everyone know everyone’ so their mindset and interactions are a little bit different. People in smaller towns will still take the time to say hello.

This consistent observation of how people have been treating me and being on the receiving end of the smiles- made me want to research a bit about how the protocol of hat wearing by ladies and gentlemen of yesteryear came to be. I was curious to find out social mindsets and reactions were the same back then as what I’ve been experiencing now.

I was curious to find out why the wearing of a hat like this would cause more people to smile, approach you and say hello. 

My research didn’t answer that question- but it did give me a lot of insight as to the how, the what, the why or the when of hat wearing.  In today’s more casual world, our recent generations seems to have never been taught the protocols and almost ‘language’ conveyed towards one another when wearing hats amongst peers.

Without going into the whole history here, the one thing I will share, regardless of what style hat you wore and whether you were a male or female- was that wearing a hat – and how you interacted with your hat – clearly communicated your respect (or lack thereof) towards another person.

Part of how this was communicated was tied to an action of tipping the hat. When a hat was tipped,  the style of hat, whether you were indoors or outside, in a public place or a private home, and whether the person you encountered was an established relationship or a stranger- how you tipped your hat, (or if you did not) was a way of delivering  respect (or lack thereof).

Giving respect to others is a core value attribute that many people today have forgotten.

Unfortunately, many people who live in the United States have come to adopt a mindset in an attitude of entitlement.

They have a ‘takers take’ attitude which is delivered with a lack of respect towards others- yet they expect to receive social graces and respect.  This clearly is a breakdown in our system of human interaction.  Teaching core values begins with observing and living by them individually, and then carrying on the tradition of good core values and ethics within the family unit. 

Leaders today and leaders of tomorrow- would see better results in their efforts if they were to start speaking with more respect towards others.   It is time for us as individuals to start walking more transparently- with respect as of the hats we wear.

Respect should be part of our daily wardrobe, and method of communication.  

If you don a hat of respect each and every day because you choose to- and then approach others with a genuine smile, because you choose to, think about the change you might see and experience in your day to day inter actions of others.

To have had the pleasure of being on the receiving end of unexpected genuine smiles – has been refreshing. It lets me know that there is still a human element out there were people do care about others. 

If more of us took the time and made an honest effort of giving out respect to others- without any expectation of return- more people would walk with genuine leadership. They would be the one giving respect, and then inspire others to do the same.

I encourage you today to gracefully cover yourself with the hat of respect, and tip it towards those around you that you interact with and see how what you give out brings back to you.

Debbra Sweet

Listening to God for Making Good Decisions – Skills Needed for Servant Leadership

When we talk to people about their views on leadership, many people do understand the best leaders are clear that part of their role and responsibility is to serve. Servant Leadership is taking on new popularity as more people want leaders who are ethical, honest, have integrity and can serve for the betterment of others.

 This is a video which talks about a key skill set needed to be a great servant leader. The video teaches about listening to God and uses off road dirt biking as an example.

God gives us knowledge, wisdom and instruction. Learn to hear from God through holy spirit. Christians should practice proactive thinking vs. reactive thinking for making good decisions under pressure. This takes focus and discipline.

As I continue to grow in my leadership roles, I practice this skill set daily. As an expert Christian public speaker on the subject of Leadership, I share with you insights that will help you too.

 For more information about my public speaking, training, consulting, or leadership work, visit: http://www.debbrasweet.com/speaking-leadership.html

Ride safe and be strong!

Debbra

Business Breakfast Club- I get to Speak on Power of Leadership Tomorrow.

Leadership Training Skills Workshop Join Me Tomorrow as I take business owners and professionals in the Vista area as we start the upcoming 4 month series going through the Power of Leadership in Business Networking book.

This series of meetings is brought to you by the Vista Chamber of Commerce.

I am honored for the opportunity to do this. 🙂

Business Breakfast Club

Date: September 2, 2011 Time: 7:30 AM – 9:00 AM

 Event Description

Join us on Friday September 2nd for our Business Breakfast Club.  The Business Breakfast Club will be a Networking group that promotes, teaches, shares and practices “best practices” in Business.  Debbra Sweet, author of “Leadership in Networking” will be the guest facilitator/teacher.  The Business Breakfast Club will meet every other Friday at 7:30 a.m. at the Sunrise Cafe in Vista.

For more info about the Power of Leadership Books click here.

Leadership Skills Training Expert Debbra Sweet Speaks at RBBA on Leadership in Business Networking

This summer has been filled with the opportunities to speak at different organizations on the Power of Leadership in Business Networking.

The topic is based on the book I helped co-author and release last year. It’s exciting to see the interest in the subject. I am looking forward to the upcoming events where I will have the chance to deliver more valuable insights on this subject.

Here’ a press piece that was done about an event I spoke at in Aug:

On August 10th, 2011 the RBBA had Debbra Sweet, founder of Sweet Marketing Solutions and author in the Power of Leadership Book series, speak at their monthly luncheon on the Power of Leadership in Business Networking.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

debbra-sweet-the-power-of-leadershipPRLog (Press Release)Sep 01, 2011 – Lunch and learns for working professionals can be the forum to network with other like minded business pros.   The Rancho Bernardo Business Association   (RBBA) recently brought in Debbra Sweet, a leadership expert, who specializes in change management in the areas of marketing, business, leadership, and wellness was invited to speak on the topic of the ‘Power of Leadership In Business Networking’.

Sweet has developed a reputation as a leader who not only teaches, trains, coaches and consults on the subjects of leadership, business, marketing, sales and wellness- but she is one whose peers confidently share “She lives it.”

Those who have been clients, students or attendees at any of Sweet’s events say: “There are people talk about doing things. Then are people who do. Debbra is a doer.  What she says she’ll do, she delivers150%”

.

Others declare: “She has the ability to engage you from the beginning with confidence and comfort. You know standing before you is someone who will lead and who truly cares about you, your success and your results”.

A successful business owner of a few different companies, Debbra Sweet is located in San Diego County. She is also an author and speaker in the areas of leadership, business, marketing, sales and wellness.   Sweet’s popularity and demand for teaching on the ‘Power of Leadership in Business Networking’ is growing rapidly.

Businesses, schools, networking and industry organizations realize the importance of delivering high valued content to employees, students and members.  The climate and need for better leadership has become keenly aware amongst people who are concerned about the state of the economy today.

Word of mouth marketing, a subject Sweet is a certified trainer in, is even more important now than ever before. This type of communication has always been present, both in the business world and personal lives. Again, with concerns about the state and stability of current events, more business owners and heads of house holds are relying upon this type of community support to ensure they make better choices when it comes to making important decisions.

Sweet was invited to speak on at the August luncheon because she excels in the topics and skill sets of leadership development and word of mouth marketing, a.k.a. networking.

The attendee’s were riveted to the content she shared.  Sweet’s unique delivery engages the participants and grasps their attention.  “I speak to the participants and with the participants, not at them,” she explained.  Sweet’s positive disposition and upbeat personality left her audience craving more; more information, more knowledge, more Sweet!

A recent correspondence between Sweet and one of the RBBA attendees included a sharing to Sweet “I did my best to really apply what you taught us.  I remembered that my leadership roles and actions are needed everywhere- even in the check out counter at the grocery store! Thank you for speaking that day. Your insights were invaluable.”

The Power of Leadership in Business Networking topic that Sweet is being booked for a featured and keynote speaker and leadership skills development trainer is based on the book she co-authored.  That book is also called “The Power of Leadership in Business Networking”. It is book four of a twelve part series in development on leadership today.

For more information on Debbra Sweet or the Power of Leadership Book series, go to: http://www.DebbraSweet.com

Summary:
Leadership Skills Training expert, Debbra Sweet, is called “A People Mover”. She’s an agent of change; in life, business, marketing, sales, leadership, health & wellness.

A believer that change, on a larger scale, starts first with the individual Debbra Sweet is an advocate for the power and potential of human capital. She’s a living example of the unlimited creativity of mind, the resilience in the physical body and emotional spirit- and a supporter of systems for accountability that tie it all together. As an agent of change- her focus is single; to help others produce amazing results.