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.

 

Leadership Skills Training Expert Debbra Sweet Speaks on Growing Business by Referrals

This Thursday, February 5th, Debbra Sweet will be one of the featured speakers at the upcoming BNI San Diego Event in recognition of International Networking Week 2015.

Yesterday kicked off the 2015 International Networking Week, filled with events taking place globally to recognize the impact that word of mouth networking (referrals) has had in the businessbusiness-card-exchange community.

Part of that global celebration includes a local event taking place Thursday, February 5th from 11:30 am until 5 pm at the Handlery Hotel in Mission Valley, hosted by BNI San Diego.

Debbra Sweet, a leadership expert, who specializes in change management in the areas of body, mind and business, was invited to speak on the topic of the ‘Growing Your Team” as part of the event.

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”.

Sweet is has been a Director Consultant for the local BNI region for 10 years, and has been involved with this organization for close to 18. She is a Certified Trainer in Word of Mouth Marketing and will be delivering a workshop designed to teach attendees on how to effectively grow their networking team, contact sphere and client base through a strategic approach that leverages time and delivers results.

This is a day of interactive attendee participation workshops featuring the topics of:

• Embrace Quality
• Grow Your Team
• Seek Engagement

Dr. Ivan Misner, founder & BNI Chairman of Board will open the session via webcam. He will address “3+1 = Member Success”, and will be taking personal questions from the attendees.

A successful business owner of a few different companies, Debbra Sweet is located in San Diego County. She is also a best selling co-author of the New York Times Best Seller “Masters of Sales” and the lead author in the “Power of Leadership” book series

Sweet specializes in working with business owners and executives. At Sweet Marketing Solutions she helps them increase their profitability through planned, targeted, effective marketing. At Thrive Right Consulting, she works with individuals, companies and organizations to help them create a solid foundation to Thrive in body, mind and business.

If you have a simple or complex problem that requires high-level thinking, Debbra has the insights, skills, attention to details and resources to provide solid solutions.
She’s ready to dig deeply into a problem or situation, sorting through the variables and nuances. Then she takes the time needed to figure out a solution. When she presents solutions and options, it will be carefully considered and presented in a rich, dynamic way with substantial content.

For more information on Debbra Sweet go to: www.DebbraSweet.com

Word of the Year 2013: Discipline

Each year, I seem to identify with a specific word or a specific phrase that becomes my personal mantra Discipline2for the year.

It’s not so much that this is a mantra, it is more like a focal point that ties in with personal, business and spiritual goals I have for the year.

This year’s word is discipline.

When most people hear the word discipline the first thing that they tend to think about or recall is being disciplined or reprimanded by a parent or an authority figure.

Discipline by dictionary definition is:

1. training to act in accordance with rules; drill: military discipline.
2. activity, exercise, or a regimen that develops or improves a skill; training: A daily stint at the typewriter is excellent discipline for a writer.
3. punishment inflicted by way of correction and training.
4. the rigor or training effect of experience, adversity, etc.: the harsh discipline of poverty.
5. behavior in accord with rules of conduct; behavior and order maintained by training and control: good discipline in an army.
6. to train by instruction and exercise; drill.
7. to bring to a state of order and obedience by training and control.
8. to punish or penalize in order to train and control; correct; chastise.
Origin:
1175–1225; Middle English < Anglo-French < Latin disciplīna instruction, tuition, equivalent to discipul ( us ) disciple + -ina -ine2

The choice of the word discipline as my word for 2013 has to do with the discipline required to stick to commitment.

Diligence brings about the discipline to be able to focus and to ignore or remove distractions when needing to stay on purpose and on point.

In this case the discipline is not a harsh word.

In fact, discipline is one of the key things you will find that is a personal core value or personal attribute  in most successful people.

And by successful people –I am not talking just about financially successful people. I am referencing people who have often overcome hardships in the life, as well as people who have decided to stick to the commitments they made-whether big or small.

As we kick off 2013-I ask you: What resolutions, commitments or goals have you made?

What do you need to do or change to give yourself the space, time, effort and energy to be disciplined and follow through on those things?

For me, this is a year of Quantum Growth. The foundations have been laid for many years. Now we build and launch. 🙂

Here’s to discipline– and seeing new big growth goals come to pass!

Debbra Sweet 

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

Money Motivated or Financially Focused?

This summer I took my boys on a cross country train trip to visit family for a while. It was an interesting trip. Over the years I have had the chance to travel a decent amount however this was my first long distance train trip.

Many people ask me how the trip was and my answer is always introflective (yes this is a Deb word: introspective and reflective).  It was very interesting and worth doing one more time.

Part of my decision to take the train was based upon a budget I had set aside for the whole trip.  At the time one way tickets for each of us were about $1000k each.  I was going to need between 6-8 of them by the time this trip was done.  When you are used to paying  up to $200-300 for round trip tickets, those one ways, with all the airplane travel delays and distractions, was more than I was willing to invest.

Knowing that I would have to cover costs on transportation to our destination, car rental while there, gas, food, transport back home- I set an appropriate budget from the get go.

When realizing that my initial plan to get us there was going to be more than 4 times my whole trip budget, I decided to get creative and think outside the box.

In fact, I made it a game with myself to see what other options we could work out to stay in my budget- yet have a fantastic time.

I worked out many ‘mini plans’ in my head and on paper- and in one of those was the consideration of the train.  I was pleasantly surprised to see how affordable travel by train was to be. My real motivation though behind this decision, was the opportunity to spend a few days with my boys being able to experience parts of our country that we would never see if we would have chosen to fly by plane or to drive on the highway.

Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to travel throughout most of the United States. As an adult I am so appreciative to have had those experiences. Now, I want to give to my children an opportunity to create memories of their own that they one day too, can look back upon and enjoy.

We spent 36 hours on the train with a coach full of Boy Scouts and frequent Amtrak travelers across the country.  One of my goals that was set forth for this trip was truly achieved. We saw some amazing countryside and met some really interesting people.

Once we were at our destination I stayed with my boys and my parents for about another 10 days.  It was during this leg of our journey that my youngest son came to me with the declaration that Grandma said to him that I was “Money Motivated”.

That surprised me- and caught me off guard a bit, because the least thing I am is money motivated.   I definitely am financially focused. There is a difference.

My Personal Motivation:

My understanding of someone being money motivated, is that all they think about is money- and everything they do is about making money.  Money that they will keep for themselves for the purpose of materialistic gain.

For people who take the time to get to know me- they will quickly discover my true motivation. It is to help others who wish to help themselves. The motivation for me, that is the deepest part of me,  is the desire to encourage people to grow- and then to be there for them in order to help them achieve their own personal growth. 

People who look at me from the outside will see that trait, as well as I have publicly declared it many times over. 

I do not hide the fact that I have big vision to accomplish things that in fact, should make a lot of money. However- the purpose that those finances will serve- is to give right back to others in order to create opportunities for those individuals to personally grow.

It is interesting at times to hear some feedback from people who have a limited perspective of understanding about why I do speak of money and building a solid business.   Part of what I do as a marketing and business consultant is to help businesses make money.  If we don’t have those conversations, and we are not able to talk about money, how is the business is supposed to make money?

My business motivation:

In running my own businesses, as the CEO- I have to have  conversations that are financially focused . They’re tied directly to how the business will be running for the next quarter, the next year- and even for many years down the road.  Having a solid business and marketing plan that you execute and implement has to be measured.  One area to measure of businesses successes or shortcomings has to do with making money.

Today our world is filled with an upcoming generation – and even current generations that operate businesses- who never received the benefit of solid financial training. Often these are the very clients who hire me to help them build, cleaned up, turn around, and consistently market and promote their business so they can make money!  

Being financially focused is very important today- more so now than ever.  After the last economic side turn I would think that more people would be interested in learning how to have financial focus that allows them to grow professionally and personally.

I know not everybody is comfortable with that statement. However, if I can at least teach my children how to be financially responsible then I know I have done my part in this area to prepare them into adulthood .  On our trip, that is part of what we did. 

My children have become pretty understanding of the value of money. They know how to save, to to tithe, how to invest, how to budget, and how to steward that which they have received.  They also have learned about taxes and how to determine if what they choose to spend money on (or invest in) is a good value. (Cheap is not always cost effective. Frugality and sound money management requires knowing when to spend more and when you can go with a less expensive option.)

Although my children are now 10 and 12, they both have businesses that have been making them money. 

They both have done business plans, marketing plans and have tested their plans with focus groups.  They go out and find their own customers, they fulfill the orders- and then they reap the benefit of learning about human interaction, work ethic, communication, sales, marketing, time management, and yes- Money management and financial responsibility.

Financial_Focus

My encouragement to you is this: the next time you see somebody who is in business talking about making money- before you assume they are soley money motivated, take the time to ask a few more questions. Take the time to get to know them.

When you see the mom or dad in the grocery store who was shopping on a budget, living frugally, and doing the best of what they have, smile at them. It is not always easy to adjust our thinking and our habits to live within our means-and still maintain the vision for growth and prosperity.   However- it is doable. If more people took the time to understand the difference between being money motivated and being financially focused for fiscal fitness- we all would be in a better place.

I encourage you to ask yourself what is your motivation in life and in business?  The ‘Aha’ moment you discover may suprise you!

Have an amazing day,

Debbra

 

 

Be the Best Boss: New Leadership Skills for Supervisors that Drive Peak Performance

The Power of Leadership in Business Networking book sales and workshops I’ve been doing lately hasLeadership authenticity been creating more attention and interest from different organizations.

These have included requests to speak at national and international industry tradeshows on Leadership, Sales and Marketing. The leadership topic has also peaked the ears and interest of differnt HR Departments and HR Organizations.

With more people (customers, employess, bosses) demanding better leaders who understand accountability- and are not afraid to live that way, I have been asked to lead a national webinar for key personnel in HR. 

On Thursday, Dec 8th, 2011, I will be leading a webinar called:

Be the Best Boss: New Leadership Skills for Supervisors that Drive Peak Performance 

Being a highly successful supervisor requires a fundamentally different skill set than it did even five years ago. Your bosses are under new pressures to do more with less and drive more value from each employee. It can be hard for supervisors to think about being a progressive and inspirational leader when they are just trying to meet daily job demands.

Most productive employees leave an organization because of something their supervisor is doing — or not doing. Whether leaders find themselves too overwhelmed with responsibilities to take an active interest in employee development or haven’t received the proper leadership training to inspire creativity, take risks, and cultivate project ownership, the result is the same.

Don’t wait until your best employee walks out the door. Train your supervisors on how to better manage, motivate, and inspire in even the most challenging times. Have them participate in this 90 minute, risk-free, interactive Internet-delivered workshop, and they will learn:

  • How self-cultivate hidden leadership traits waiting to come out
  • Key principles of highly successful leadership, and how to apply them to your situation
  • The best ways to motivate others to follow, and accomplish goals and objectives
  • How to maintain a willing and winning team of followers
  • How to lead with confidence — every day
  • How to convey instructions and guidance while keeping team members accountable for their own work and success
  • How to build trust and confidence with employees

In just 90 minutes, your team will gain leadership skills to manage, motivate, and inspire employees. Register them now for this informative event risk-free.

If you know an HR Director or HR Manager that would like to learn more about this upcoming webinar for thier business or organization, drop me an email please. 🙂

Here’s to amazing leadership skills!

Debbra Sweet

www.PowerOfLeadershipTraining.com

 

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.