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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.




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



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.



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.



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.



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



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.



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?



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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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!


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Finding Your Passion One Week at a Time

at_the_topToday, we welcomed Sean Aiken to The Bigg Success Show. Sean graduated from college a little over a year ago but didn’t know what he wanted to do. So he decided to work a different job one week, every week,  for one year. In the process, he raised over $20,000 for charity. His journey has been covered by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp, The New York Times, Good Morning America, Radio France, The Australian Radio Network, and too many more to mention.


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Are You a Born Leader or a Born Boss?

By Bigg Sucess Staff

Leadership Skills


Some people seem born to lead; others appear born to boss. It’s not necessarily innate; it is also shaped by attitudes, perceptions, and experiences.

Some people think that they are leaders because of their position. However, by definition, you can’t be a leader if no one willingly follows.

That’s what bosses don’t get. Barking out orders doesn’t accomplish much in the long run. Especially in a tough labor market.

Leaders make requests because they can. They don’t demand because they don’t have to. Their people willingly follow them because of a clearly communicated vision coupled with mutual respect. And you can’t expect others to show you respect if you don’t show respect to others.

Remember the old saying, “People join companies; they leave bosses.” You may have heard that quote with the word “managers” substituted for “bosses”. But note that you’ve never heard “leaders” instead of “bosses”.

Do you suppose there’s a reason for that?

Hear today's lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show. 

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Leadership is Action, Not Position

By Bigg Success Staff

Timeless Principles


This great quote comes from Donald H. McGannon, who ran the Westinghouse Broadcasting Corporation and served as President of the National Urban League.

No one can declare you the “leader”; you have to earn it. No position will make you a leader; you have to have followers.

People follow people, not positions. They respect people whom they trust. They tag along with people in whom they believe. They follow people who have demonstrated they deserve to be followed.

That requires action, which doesn’t require any certain “position”. You have to take action that inspires people to follow you. Nobody follows anybody who doesn’t do anything; people follow people who do something of significance.

You can’t just talk about it; you have to do it. When people see you accomplishing something worthwhile, they will follow.

Yes, leadership is action, not position. Anyone can be a leader. You just have to do things that make people want to follow you.

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V Is For Victory: Spell It Out For Your Troops

By Bigg Success Staff

Leadership Skills


We recently did an article entitled 7 Steps To Lead Your Troops To Victory. Leaders guide their troops to success just like generals lead their soldiers into battle.

Great leaders clearly define victory. They spell it out for their troops so everyone has a clear understanding of what success means. This is the starting point for attracting followers.

Your troops have to know what is expected of them or they won’t perform well. They also need to see that you are worth following. They want to be part of something special – something that makes a real, positive difference.

Know your vision of success
Before you can spell it out for your troops, you have to know what victory means to you. This will require you to dig deep within yourself to determine what you want. You have to start internally because if you’re not excited by the mission, no one else will be either.

Then, you need to do some research to determine what is possible given the resources available to you and external forces. You can’t expect your troops to work miracles. Great leaders challenge their troops, but they don’t overextend them.

By merging what you want with what is possible, you’ll be able to define success.

Keep it short, compelling, and memorable.
Your vision of success should be short enough to fit on a cocktail napkin. A great rule-of-thumb is to keep it to ten words or less. You want a concise statement so that it’s easy to repeat, memorize, and internalize.

It needs to be grand enough to persuade your troops to take action when they hear it. People don’t line up to follow leaders with small dreams. They get excited by bigg visions of a great future. Your vision should light a fire under your troops.

It should be stated so that they can easily recall it. Use short, rich words. Keep it to one simple sentence. Use words that imply movement and progress.    

Clearly communicate it to your troops.
Your vision of victory won’t serve any purpose if you’re the only one who knows what it is. You have to explain it to your troops so they understand it and buy in. Plan your presentation carefully.

Make it a special event so it stands out in the minds of your people. Give them the opportunity to ask questions and make comments. Keep the conversation focused on the purpose of the session – to come to a meeting of the minds on exactly what you will accomplish together.

Paint a picture of what victory looks like and what it means.
You want your troops to be able to visualize success in their minds. As you discuss your vision, they should feel as if they’ve already been victorious. Appeal to all of their senses so it makes its greatest impact.

Now help them understand why success is so important. Explain the high cost of falling short of the mark. Show them what a difference victory will make in people’s lives.

Great leaders spell out victory for their troops. When your people understand what you’re trying to accomplish and why it’s so important to do it, they will follow you to the victory you desire!

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