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A Common Ailment Affecting Leaders Today

are you ready to lead for BIGG Success?There seems to be a common ailment affecting many leaders today. This ailment isn’t specific to industry. It has affected leaders in both the private and public sectors.

The problem with many leaders today is that they don’t lead. They follow. They respond. They react.

Public sector leaders

Our politicians look at the polls to decide on their positions. Of course, they need to be responsive to the people.

But we need leaders with BIGG visions. Their vision shouldn’t sway with the winds of public opinion.

It may not be popular at a given moment in time. Leaders don’t care.

They do care about importance. Great leaders help their people understand why achieving the vision is essential.

But as we said earlier, this ailment hasn’t just affected leaders in the public sector.

Private sector leaders

We’re told that marketing is everything. Business schools train future leaders to listen to their customers.

It’s now conventional wisdom. And, of course, it’s important. But it’s not enough.

We need leaders who know when to lead. As Henry Ford said, “If I would have asked my customers what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse.”

We need entrepreneurial leaders. We need leaders who see things that customers don’t.

We need inspirational leaders who bring innovative solutions to the market. We need leaders who bring customers products and services they never realized – and never would realize – that they needed.

We need entrepreneurial leaders – in the private sector and the public sector. The key to prosperity is leaders who have been cured of this ailment. It will lead to BIGG success.

Are you ready to lead?

Image in this post from stock.xchng

A View that Leads to Bigg Success

watchBigg success is life on your own terms. Our focus today is growth, one of the five elements of bigg success.

We tend to avoid information that’s not consistent with our beliefs. There’s been a long-running debate between psychologists:

Do people actively avoid contradictory information or is it a more natural process? For example, it may be that we don’t hear opposing views because we hang out with people like us.

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Some new research [PDF] (led by a psychology professor at the best school in the world, the University of Illinois) has answered that question.

If you seek opposing views, you’re in the minority

The research confirms that people do avoid ideas that disagree with their own. They did this study to “see … to what extent people are willing to seek out the truth versus just stay comfortable with what they know.”

The researchers found that two-thirds of us choose information that supports what we already think. However, the more interesting part of their research to us was this:

They found that two types of people are more likely to listen to alternative points-of-view:

People who are confident in their own beliefs

We were out with a friend right after we read this research. The timing was perfect. She’s very politically active – politics is one area the researchers cited that we’re particularly reluctant to consider the other side.

Our friend told us that she no longer subscribed to a certain magazine. She said that she found she always disagreed with their point-of-view. After further discussion, it was clear that she’s not confident in her opinions.

If she had confidence in her opinions, it wouldn’t bother her to read the other side. In fact, by reading the other side, she might gain confidence in her positions. Or she might change her mind, but be more confident in her new opinion.

The best way to confirm your opinion is to continually test it against all the information available. Talk with people who hold counter opinions. Read everything you can. Try to balance opinions on all sides of an issue before arriving at a conclusion.

Even then, continue testing that opinion with any new evidence you find, both pro and con. Then you’ll have confidence in your opinions.

People who have to defend their ideas in public

It’s interesting that the researchers cite the much-maligned politicians here. Politicians constantly have to defend their point-of-view.

They serve as an example to us. Don’t keep your opinions to yourself; defend them.

We should point out two things here:

  • You have to be careful discussing certain subjects with certain people.
  • We’ve talked about things here in very black-and-white terms. Obviously, many if not most issues are full of grey. That’s what makes for interesting discussion!

When you do discuss your ideas, you will hear other points-of-view that you can synthesize with your own. Your ideas will sharpen and grow. So will your confidence in what you believe.

That’s bigg success … as long as you agree with us!

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Thanks for reading our post today. Please join us next time when we’ll discuss what we can learn from cats about communication. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00438-071609.mp3

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(Image in today's post by adzica)

Political Sportsmanship

flag This post went “live” the day after the election in the U.S. However, in the interest of full disclosure, we wanted you to know that we recorded this show mid-morning on Tuesday, the day of the election. So we don’t know who won the Presidential race (or any other race for that matter). We don’t even know if anyone knows who won!

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Political sportsmanship may sound like an oxymoron to you. It need not be. We should be able to accept the outcome of an election, and be a good winner or a good loser, no matter what the results are.

As kids, we were taught how to be a good sport. Don’t sulk if you lose because a sore loser loses twice. Don’t gloat if you win because the one thing worse than a bad loser is a bad winner.

As adults, we sometimes forget about this, and not just when it comes to elections. Maybe we propose an idea, but our group doesn’t go with it. We need to accept the outcome and be a good sport. 

Rituals of sportsmanship

In sports, the two teams usually shake hands after a game and talking with each other. For instance, after a football game, you’ll often see the opposing quarterbacks chatting. They have a common bond because of their position; they face similar challenges. It’s only natural that they would find things to talk about.

Whatever you may think of politicians, they are often very graceful in defeat. We hear their concession speeches and they often go above and beyond in congratulating their opponent on his or her victory. It sends an important message to their followers that it’s time to put the election behind and move forward united.

Burying the hatchet

There’s a tradition practiced in Sussex County, Delaware called Return Day. It started in 1792. People came to Georgetown, the county seat, to cast their vote on election Tuesday. The results were tabulated over the next two days. On Thursday, the people would return to Georgetown (hence the name Return Day) to find out who won. The competing politicians were there as well, and they buried a symbolic hatchet in the sand showing the race was over and it was time to move on together.

Isn’t that a fantastic idea? The leaders, with their followers, come together to put the past behind and move forward together for a better future. 

Celebrate the process

So let’s celebrate the process. We’re very lucky to live in a country where we can express our opinion every two years. We can remain engaged and contact our elect representatives, even if we didn’t happen to vote for him or her. You get a say in your government!

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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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There’s an expense that many companies are cutting back on. Next time, we’ll discuss why we think it’s a BIGG mistake. 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/00258-110508.mp3

Related posts

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(Image by jcolman,CC 2.0)

Does Barack Obama’s Favorite Music Make Him More Interesting?

Rolling Stone interviewed Barack Obama recently. He revealed his iPod play list, which included songs by:

  • Earth, Wind & Fire
  • Elton John
  • The Rolling Stones
  • Sheryl Crow
  • Yo-Yo Ma
  • Jay-Z
  • Bob Dylan
  • Stevie Wonder

He said Stevie Wonder is his musical hero. We learn more about him because he shared his musical taste. He’s in touch with the classics and brilliant musicians. He shows his age, yet he’s still in touch with artists of today. 


Mary-Lynn says …
When I think of Bob Dylan, I think of music with a message … that sense of activism.
When I think of Yo-Yo Ma or Stevie Wonder, I think of great musicianship.

And I think of the song, I Wish. How when I was working in radio, I was always excited when that song was coming up. I’d crank it when it was on and do my own boogie!

George replies … 
When I think of Stevie Wonder, I think about the Saturday Night Live skit where he was playing tennis! He got hit by a lot of balls!

Seriously, I think of Ebony and Ivory. I’m a lyrics guy. I can picture the keyboard with its ebony and ivory keys. And Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder singing it. It’s powerful!

Sharing opens up the conversation
So you see what’s happening here. Barack Obama revealed things about himself. Now we’re revealing things about ourselves. When you share, you open up the conversation because the other person finds things to be interested in. So they find you more interesting and get to know you better. And you connect with them.

So let’s take a page from the politician’s playbook – they look for every single way they can to connect with people.

George’s example:
I’m a husband, a business owner, a professor, a blogger, a podcaster, an alum of the best university in the world … the University of Illinois. And the list goes on. Kind of like Sonny & Cher’s beat!

It’s how people can relate to you, by finding things in common with you.

The more you share, the more you connect

That’s why one of our friends says that you should fill out your profile completely on social networking sites, when you join an organization, and at every opportunity. Share as much about yourself and your interests as you feel comfortable sharing.

We can learn a lesson from politicians on this – the more you share, the more you connect!

Mary-Lynn says …
As we prepared for this show, one of the things we talked about is how neither one of us has been listening to much music lately. This really surprises me about myself because I was a musician and a music disc jockey for many years. So music has been an integral part of my life.

George replied …
That begs the question, Mary-Lynn. Why aren’t you listening to more music now?

And I think I know the answer – you get to hear me sing in the shower! What more could you possibly need?

Mary-Lynn’s retort …
That’s not music to my ears, George!

I work at my computer a lot and whenever I am in the car they’re always playing the same songs on the radio. So I just flip to talk. 

Connect with yourself

Music is an opportunity to connect with others, but more importantly, it lets you connect with yourself. So make time for things that touch you deeply – in your mind, your heart, and your soul.
Whether that be music or something else.

What do you do to connect to others and yourself? Is there something you used to do that you need to reconnect with?

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Related posts

7 Ways to Tap into Your Creative Side

Does Your Hobby Work For You?

Stretch Yourself Anew

The Home Stretch

Make Your Daily Commute Productive

(Image by rollingstone.com)

Does Barack Obama's Favorite Music Make Him More Interesting?

Rolling Stone interviewed Barack Obama recently. He revealed his iPod play list, which included songs by:

  • Earth, Wind & Fire
  • Elton John
  • The Rolling Stones
  • Sheryl Crow
  • Yo-Yo Ma
  • Jay-Z
  • Bob Dylan
  • Stevie Wonder

He said Stevie Wonder is his musical hero. We learn more about him because he shared his musical taste. He’s in touch with the classics and brilliant musicians. He shows his age, yet he’s still in touch with artists of today. 


Mary-Lynn says …
When I think of Bob Dylan, I think of music with a message … that sense of activism.
When I think of Yo-Yo Ma or Stevie Wonder, I think of great musicianship.

And I think of the song, I Wish. How when I was working in radio, I was always excited when that song was coming up. I’d crank it when it was on and do my own boogie!

George replies … 
When I think of Stevie Wonder, I think about the Saturday Night Live skit where he was playing tennis! He got hit by a lot of balls!

Seriously, I think of Ebony and Ivory. I’m a lyrics guy. I can picture the keyboard with its ebony and ivory keys. And Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder singing it. It’s powerful!

Sharing opens up the conversation
So you see what’s happening here. Barack Obama revealed things about himself. Now we’re revealing things about ourselves. When you share, you open up the conversation because the other person finds things to be interested in. So they find you more interesting and get to know you better. And you connect with them.

So let’s take a page from the politician’s playbook – they look for every single way they can to connect with people.

George’s example:
I’m a husband, a business owner, a professor, a blogger, a podcaster, an alum of the best university in the world … the University of Illinois. And the list goes on. Kind of like Sonny & Cher’s beat!

It’s how people can relate to you, by finding things in common with you.

The more you share, the more you connect

That’s why one of our friends says that you should fill out your profile completely on social networking sites, when you join an organization, and at every opportunity. Share as much about yourself and your interests as you feel comfortable sharing.

We can learn a lesson from politicians on this – the more you share, the more you connect!

Mary-Lynn says …
As we prepared for this show, one of the things we talked about is how neither one of us has been listening to much music lately. This really surprises me about myself because I was a musician and a music disc jockey for many years. So music has been an integral part of my life.

George replied …
That begs the question, Mary-Lynn. Why aren’t you listening to more music now?

And I think I know the answer – you get to hear me sing in the shower! What more could you possibly need?

Mary-Lynn’s retort …
That’s not music to my ears, George!

I work at my computer a lot and whenever I am in the car they’re always playing the same songs on the radio. So I just flip to talk. 

Connect with yourself

Music is an opportunity to connect with others, but more importantly, it lets you connect with yourself. So make time for things that touch you deeply – in your mind, your heart, and your soul.
Whether that be music or something else.

What do you do to connect to others and yourself? Is there something you used to do that you need to reconnect with?

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Related posts

7 Ways to Tap into Your Creative Side

Does Your Hobby Work For You?

Stretch Yourself Anew

The Home Stretch

Make Your Daily Commute Productive

(Image by rollingstone.com)