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The Need to Lead – Part 2

career_opportunities On The Bigg Success Show today, we continued our discussion with Douglas E. Welch, host of the popular Career Opportunities, podcast. Last time, we discussed why Douglas has declared 2009 the “Year of the Leader.” Let’s get back to the conversation …

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georgeOne of the challenges we face is getting started. You’ve talked about inertia – we tend to remain inanimate unless we really push ourselves. One of your quotes that I love is that we need “leadership over laissez-faire.”

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douglasThere’s the old phrase that the only person who likes change is a wet baby. I see that every single day. It is so important. Newton had it right – objects at rest tend to remain at rest; objects in motion tend to remain in motion. I find that if I can get someone in motion, making the smallest step, the next step becomes all the easier. There is something about momentum and forward movement that builds on itself. Unfortunately, inertia builds on itself too. We can become really sedentary in our lives in a variety of ways – both physically and mentally. That’s part of the reason I write the column. Sometimes when I write, I picture myself giving that stone just a little bit of a push downhill. If I can get it to roll a quarter of a rotation, maybe it will start to roll a little bit further. That’s something we need to do in our own life and also cultivate in others.

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marylynnLeaders are admired for their ability to keep pushing, taking all the steps necessary to keep progressing toward goals. Does your knowledge in this area stem from a time when you didn’t push yourself enough?

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douglasI have to admit that I face this problem every day. I think we all do. There are days when we just want to sit down and do nothing. We just want the world to go spinning around us and not have to worry about whether we have groceries in the house or if that check has come in from that client. It just gets a little overwhelming to us. I grew up in a very small town – a rural town – in Ohio of about 2,000 people. Frankly, in a town that small, there’s a lot of inertia. There’s not a lot of push to go on. I found out very early, though, that I get bored very easily. If I don’t have a constant set of stimulus coming in, I can very easily settle down and just let the world go by me. So as part of learning about myself, I realized I have to have a new book to read, something new to watch, a new place to go to, a new area to go for a walk. I have to constantly have that new input so that I can continue to create the output that I do create such as my column, my podcast, and the other stuff that I do.

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georgeThat’s a great way of looking at it. Look at the inputs – the actions that you take – and then the results will come at some point.

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douglasThat comes from an artist coach that I had become friends with many years ago. I worked at Walt Disney Imagineering for five years as an IT professional in the computer department. One of the biggest perks I got at that job was that I had access to all of the art coaches that all the creative people did. One of the things we discussed was that you cannot output art or other great things in life unless you have enough input coming in. Those are the raw materials that you use for your creation. I really took that to heart and have lived that particular philosophy for a long time now.

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georgeAnd if you can’t afford a coach, find that friend who may be a little bit ahead of you in life or in their career. I have a friend who I meet for coffee. We would always say we needed to get together more often, but it never happened because we didn’t make it happen. So we finally said that we would meet at a particular time every month. That’s what made the difference – getting it pre-planned.

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douglasI started a whole new event here in Los Angeles specifically for that reason. It’s LA Friday Coffee. It is coffee and casual conversation between work and dinner. We meet at various coffee places all around the city. But at its essence, that is my attempt to get myself out on a Friday night to meet and talk to people that I don’t see often enough.

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marylynn
And boy you just can’t beat coffee!

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george
Unless it’s a martini!

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douglas
Anyone who follows my Twitter stream knows that I’m into coffee!

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george
We have to be, doing what we do. Right?

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douglasIt’s weird. I’m a geek in all things. When I find a new interest, I geek out on it as much as I geek out on technology or anything else I’m interested in. So I’ve read up on roasting coffee, how to make coffee, and the perfect espresso shot. My wife’s family is Sicilian and we’ve been to Sicily so I’ve tasted real coffee. That whole geekness kind of filters into my whole life as well.

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george
I’ll bet you make a mean cup of coffee though. When will it be ready? We’re on our way!

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Thanks Douglas for sharing your thoughts with us. He has started a free online resource called Career Camp where members of his community can share their expertise. We highly recommend it to you!

And thank you for taking time to read our post today. Until next time, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

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Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00333-021809.mp3

Related posts

The Need to Lead – Part 1

Seth Godin on Tribes: Part I

Are You a Leader or the Leader

Crisis Creates Opportunity for Great Leaders

The Need to Lead – Part 1

career_opportunities We are thrilled today to talk with Douglas E. Welch on The Bigg Success Show. Douglas is the host of Career Opportunities, a fantastic podcast where he helps people build the career they deserve. He is also a writer and computer consultant with articles published in Wired, MacWorld, and the Los Angeles Times. As if that’s not enough, he also conducts seminars on podcasting for schools and businesses.

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marylynnOne of the things we wanted to talk with you about today is that you have declared 2009 “The Year of Leadership.

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douglasThis year was a definite conscious decision to choose a theme. It started about three years ago when I decided that, working alone in my home office, I had really become disengaged from my community – both the tech community that I work in and the community in general. So for my own personal decision, I decided to make that year the Year of Reconnecting and Getting Out. In 2008, I stumbled across the idea of the Year of Visibility, which I also think is very important. It’s about people making visible what they do and how they do it. So when 2009 rolled around, I realized that this was getting to be a great idea for each year. I was already working on a column and a podcast on leadership. If there’s ever been a year in my lifetime when I really needed to exercise leadership and get that out of other people as well, this is the year. We’ve simply been lacking leadership in a lot of ways across the entire world.

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georgeI love that you said you need to do this. When you announced this on your show, you were really clear that it was about personal leadership leading to engaging a community and getting other followers.

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douglasEverything starts at home. Sometimes I think we forget that. I could see in myself areas where I needed to lead more – whether that’s in my business, in my podcast, in my column or whatever. I think a lot of people have gotten the idea that leadership only exists “out there” somewhere. It’s something that takes place in the executive suite, in the boardroom, or in higher levels of government. The fact is that leadership is a fundamental aspect of our lives that we exercise – or should exercise – every single day.

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marylynnIn your Year of Leadership, what are some of the steps that you’ve been taking? What challenges have you faced?

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douglasI remember when I worked in a corporate office and lunch time would roll around and the question came up about where we were going to go for lunch. And no one would decide! It’s kind of a joke, but kind of not. One of the simplest things you can do is start making decisions. Too many of us abdicate our decision making. We don’t decide and face problems with that down the road. So most fundamentally, it’s just stepping up and making decisions. Now I realize why we don’t make decisions. We’re scared – scared of failing, scared of making the wrong decisions. The fact is there is no wrong decision because each decision you make brings you closer to what you need. If something doesn’t work, you say, “You know what, that didn’t work. We’re going to try this now.” The point is to keep moving forward and to keep making those decisions so you don’t suffer what I’ve heard described as “analysis paralysis.” You spend all your time looking at all the different options out there and never end up doing anything.

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marylynnI think one of the scariest things when you’re trying to step up your leadership role is that you might have to challenge the existing leadership. How do you tip toe around that?

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douglasOne of the ways is what we’ve already discussed. You start making decisions for yourself. It’s a relatively non-threatening way of pushing those decisions up the silo. One of the best things we can do as a human being is set a good example by our actions. As people see you making decisions, it helps them to take the reins as well and move forward.

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Get the tips and tools you need to be a BIGG success.
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

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Thanks so much for checking in on us today. Join us next when we continue our conversation with Douglas. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00332-021709.mp3

Related posts

The Need to Lead – Part 2

Seth Godin on Tribes: Part I

Are You a Leader or the Leader

Crisis Creates Opportunity for Great Leaders

How to Crack a Crabby Co-Worker

Bigg Challenge
Melissa e-mailed us about a co-worker that she works with regularly on projects. Her co-worker is never in a good mood. In fact, she’s often downright unfriendly to everybody. Melissa tried taking a personal interest and killing her with kindness, but it didn’t matter. She wonders how to deal with this difficult co-worker.

 

Bigg Advice
Ah, the crabby co-worker with the hard exterior shell that you just can’t crack! It seems like every office has one. We’ll offer some suggestions, Melissa, but just remember you can’t change anybody but yourself.

You’ve tried being nice, but it hasn’t helped. Sometimes the nicer you are to people like this, the meaner they get. They’re like the bully that we all picture from our childhood days.

So don’t be afraid to stand up to the bully. One of two things will happen when you do – they’ll either be more of a bully or they’ll respect you for standing up for yourself.

So confront her directly, but don’t be in-her-face about it. There’s a good chance you’ll catch her off guard, because bullies aren’t used to being called out for being rude.

When she says something curt, just ask, “Have I done something to offend you?” You can expect one of two responses:

  • She may say “Yes”.
    That gives you the opportunity to follow up. Just ask, “I wasn’t aware I had offended you, what did I do?”

    Now at least you can have a conversation. She may get it off her chest and you might become one of the few people she treats well.

  • She may say, “No, why?”
    That will open the door for you to say something like, “By the tone of your voice, I just felt like I must have upset you.”

    In some cases, bullies have behaved this way for so long (and gotten away with it), they don’t even realize that they’re doing it. By bringing it to her attention, she might change her attitude toward you.

No matter what, Melissa, be sincere. Don’t worry about her attitude and don’t take it personally – it’s her problem, not yours.

Lower the bar

On the show, George shared some advice that he learned from one of his mentors. This mentor said he discovered early in his career that he wouldn’t like everybody with whom he worked. However, he worked hard to not dislike any of his co-workers.

So lower the bar! Try to find ways to not dislike her. For example, maybe she’s really good at what she does and you can respect her for that.

Thanks, Melissa for sharing your bigg challenge! 

If you have some tips for Melissa, share them with all of us! Comment below!

Our bigg quote today is by Anais Nin:

“From the backstabbing co-worker to the meddling sister-in-law, you are in charge of how you react to the people and events in your life. You can either give negativity power over your life or you can choose happiness instead. Take control and choose to focus on what is important in your life. Those who cannot live fully often become destroyers of life.”

So don’t fret too much about your crabby co-worker. Plenty of people will melt like butter from the warmth of your personality.

Next time, in honor of Mother’s Day, we’ll talk about mom’s lasting legacy. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

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(Image by eschu1952)

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