The Number One Leadership Tool Needed For Sticking With Your New Year’s Resolution

As 2014 wraps up- millions of people around the world will make a resolution. But how many will truly succeed?  From losing weight to getting a new job, there really is just one simple leadership tool needed to help achieve your resolution and that’s education.

I am not talking book knowledge. I’m talking about educating yourself on well- YOU. You are the subject matter at hand and it should be the topic you are most interested in excelling at 🙂

By educating yourself on who you are, you create that self-awareness all good leaders have. Self-awareness will enable you to help achieve your goal(s) for the new year. Self-awareness is created, fine-tuned and strengthened by the knowledge you learn about yourself. It gives you the tools you need to set the resolution and plot a course of achieving it.

So how does education help us keep our resolutions?

* Learning about you unfiltered. What are your strengths and weaknesses? Make an honest list and look at it. What is holding you back on the resolution you want to achieve? What do you possess that can help you achieve your goal? You need to focus on both your positive and negative so you can avoid patterns of actions that can lead to failure.

* What kind of actions have lead you to where you want a change? Write them down. Be honest. Actions in the past cannot be changed, what’s done is done. The key to this education step is learning from it and avoid repeating. Mistakes are actions you do over and over again not learning from them. If you learn what you are not doing correctly and fix it, the action is what I like to call a “misstep” 🙂

* Gives you the push to keep going.  Knowledge of what makes you tick, the acceptance of your missteps and learning from them is very empowering. Confidence is built and is a accumulation of knowledge and experience.

I truly believe there is a fire to succeed in everyone’s belly. It just needs to be fed. Self-doubt, excuses and lack of motivation are junk food. Knowing who you are, loving yourself to try and try again are the super foods needed to stay the course and keep your resolution.

So grab a pen and pad. Make your resolution list but before you set out in 2015 take some honest, insightful notes on you 🙂

If you like what you read and want truly learn more about tapping into your inner leader, please pick up “Opportunity Knocking”. Here’s to achieving your resolutions and goals!!


Three Questions Every Good Leader Needs to Ask Themselves

When a culture at a business is broken, employees look to their leaders to help fix it. Unfortunately, more often than not its the managers themselves that created the sick business environment. Is it apathy? Laziness? I think it’s a combination of both. Nothing is more disappointing than working for someone who lacks the passion to take your department to the next level, support you or recognize you for a job well done. But eventually I believe these individuals either “fail up” (they are promoted out of their current position because they stink and another person is brought in to make the decisions which is another blog in itself) or they’re let go.

I have seen first hand the positives and negatives of good leadership- both in and out of the newsroom. In order to be a good leader you have to ask yourself these three questions:

1- Define your leadership style: What kind of leader would you want follow? Would you follow an arrogant, self-absorbed, door shut manager?

2-  How do you motivate, encourage and support your team? Team- that’s one of the key words here. Team equals togetherness. Team means support. What would motivate and encourage you to do a good job? Is it a shout out in the company meeting for a job well done? Is it buying lunch for the staff?

3- Collaboration = vested = passion. How do you create an environment for collaboration? Good leaders find ways to make their team feel vested in the success of their company. Be it offering a scheduled meeting to offer ideas as a group so the team can listen, support and build on the ideas, leaders encourage members to work together playing on their strengths. A team is an eclectic bunch of people. While they all share the same passion for success and they embrace a central vision, their talents are different and compliment each other. 

Make these three questions the first you ask yourself so you can start creating a solid, positive culture for you and your team to achieve world domination.

If you are inspired by what you read pls click here and order your copy of Opportunity Knocking for more leadership strategies on being the best YOU can be 🙂




The Biggest Principle to Growing Your Business and Have a Fulfilling Life

Attitudes are contagious. Are yours worth catching? ~Dennis and Wendy Mannering

Leaders are people who others want to follow and want to be around. I like to call it the kavorka (thank you Seinfeld). Good leaders exemplify the seven layers of the “Opportunity Pyramid” with their positive attitude. The road to success is not an easy one so having a healthy and positive mindset is key.


Their drive, confidence, self-awareness and approach to seizing opportunity is woven together with the golden thread of a positive attitude. How can you succeed if you only see the negative? You can’t.

In order to grow you have to look at yourself and ask that question I have posted above. Successful leaders lead by example. Leaders get out of their offices, they delegate; they motivate; they don’t sit on their laurels waiting for an opportunity to come by. Leaders don’t follow. They lead.

We control our destiny. The strategies and direction we take in acting out a plan is of our device. Is it easy? No, but it is in our control. The right attitude helps fortify your foundation as you build your opportunity pyramid. The only person in the way of you achieving world domination is yourself.


If you are inspired by what you read pls click here and order your copy of Opportunity Knocking for more leadership strategies on being the best YOU can be 🙂

Making that Connection

In order to be a successful leader in your company or the organization you work for, you have to be able to make a connection with your colleagues or boss. You do that by being positive, exuding confidence and being a team player.

The way you approach your staff, boss or a colleague the tone you use is extremely critical in your leadership persona. No one likes to be jumped on, barked at or talked down to. I have seen first-hand how this back fires quickly. That person loses their ability to be a smart communicator and the staff writes them off almost immediately. If you believe leading by instilling fears in others- being cocky and condescending your will alienate yourself and will have turnover. You don’t want to be that “workplace cancer”.

Being a successful leader also requires being a good listener. Leaders have a high level of self-awareness of their actions. You need to be thoughtful, humble and patient. Colleagues and employees want to feel valued and good managers and employees do this by truly listening and giving their undivided attention. This is something I even tell my children. How can you truly contribute to a discussion if your mind is distracted with other things?

In a world where texts have replaced calls and emails and tweets are the way many folks get their news and communicating in hashtags is the norm, it’s time to look at our physical connections. A smile, face to face contact cannot be replicated or substituted. So, the next time instead of sending that email, get up out of your chair, walk across the room and talk.

If you are inspired by what you read pls click here and order your copy of Opportunity Knocking for more leadership strategies on being the best YOU can be 🙂

Culture of Positivity Starts with You

To be a leader and successful in life you need to be positive. Of course things don’t go your way all the time but the bottom line is you need to be glass half-full at all times. It is very easy to fall into a “woe is me” mentality. In order to seize on opportunity you need to be positive and take the necessary seven steps I layout in the “Opportunity Pyramid”. If you are negative, you are clouding your judgement by being so insular in thinking how can you ever achieve success if the fog of negativity is shutting out the light of opportunity?

pyramid pic

What got me thinking about this was a question I got at a speaking engagement this weekend. She asked how she could seize on opportunity after being out of work for five years. She spoke about the challenges of being out of work but then said something that perked up my ears: She was just about to finish up and graduate from paralegal school. But she automatically went negative saying she didn’t know if there was opportunity out there because she was out of work for five years.

I told her to start focusing on the positive. She went back to school to better her life. She was already creating her opportunity pyramid. She had a goal, building her knowledge by going to school. She then said once she graduates, the school was going to help place her for a job. I said, that’s the positive she needs to focus on and that there are millions of people out there who are out of work just like her but she should be proud because she took control of the situation by getting an education for a new career.

I explained to her the true unemployment rate is really closer to 12%, not the 6.3% the BLS came out with in May. Why? Because not everyone is counted in that job pool measurement. A number of economists look at what’s called the “U-6,” which takes into account the “total unemployed, plus all marginally attached workers plus total employed part-time for economic reasons, as a percent of all civilian labor force plus all marginally attached workers.” Plainly stated that number is the unemployed, the underemployed and the discouraged. When I broke down the unemployment picture her face brightened. I told she yes it will be tough to achieve her goal but she is trying and she needs to continue to stoke that passion and be positive to move forward. (another two critical layers in the pyramid)

Will this women succeed? I don’t know, but she has the tools to do so. It’s a matter of her believing in herself, staying the course and being positive to put the best foot forward. A culture of positivity starts with you at home. If you are not positive, why would an organization hire you? A crucial piece in building your first level of the pyramid- Knowing Yourself is loving yourself and being positive and supportive of yourself to achieve your dreams. There are enough naysayers in the world- why pile the negative on yourself? Acknowledge the challenges that lie ahead, but don’t chain those challenges to your ankles so you drown.

If you are inspired by what you read pls click here and order your copy of Opportunity Knocking for more leadership strategies on being the best YOU can be 🙂

Why Vision is Essential To Success


Vision is essential to achieving what I call “world domination”. A compelling vision is what rallies a staff. Every leader I have interviewed always has one common piece to their foundation: vision.

Without vision how can you develop a mantra? How can you achieve a goal or strategy? You can’t define yourself if you don’t have vision. Every decision you make needs to go back to your vision- will it help or not?

You can’t wing it. Take the time and define yourself and your vision. It will be your beacon. Your true North. Without it, you’ll be floating aimlessly.

Defining Your Goal

It doesn’t matter if you are the owner of a corner deli or a multi-billion dollar business– every leader should have a defined goal, an end game. When I asked this question to Stifel Financial’s Ron Kruszewski, he did not hesitate when describing his endgame to me: “I always say I want to be able to double the firm tomorrow if I have to. And that’s how I approach my business. I have the people and the plan to be able to increase the firm very quickly in terms of our capability; I just don’t know when it’s going to take place. If you set the right culture and thought process, growing a company with people who are nimble and thrive on change is self-selecting.”

I recently had a great conversation with a friend who is an entrepreneur of an up and coming company and is looking for ways to take her business to the next step. He is the advice I gave her.

First and foremost, how would you define your end game? If you can’t say it in a simple sentence you have a problem. You need to have a distinct destination point when it comes to achieving success so you can plot a course in order to obtain it. There are three simple steps to do just that:

Define who you are

What products or services do you offer? What makes you special? How can you differentiate yourself from the competition? What do you ultimately want to be?


What do you stand for? Do all of your employees believe in your plan? You need to have everyone on board. Teamwork and passion will help you get through the highs and lows of your journey.

Every single decision goes back to your definition and mantra. If the decision doesn’t enhance what you are trying to achieve then it’s an “opportunity” worth passing up.

By adhering to these three principals you should be able to chart a course for you to achieve your endgame. Just remember the journey can be full of detours, slowdowns and potholes. That’s where your team and passion come in to help you keep your eye on how you will achieve World Domination.

Looking for more inspiration, leadership strategies and lessons? Please order a hard copy or Kindle version of my book Opportunity Knocking Lessons from Business Leaders