Phoenix Rising

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8 Signs of a Positive Leader

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Yesterday I added my two cents on sensationalism across so many aspects of our lives.    Today - I want to share my perspectives on the signs of a great leader. Not the sensationalism oriented gurus that seem to be popular today. Those approaches may not be the best to follow. As Dale Carnegie said, " Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain -- and most fools do." So how do we know when we're following a true leader? Well, that's something we all have to decide for ourselves. But I have some ideas about what it takes to excel- as an expert and a leader.

Little White Lies

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There's nothing wrong with a little white lie, right? So we deliver an upbeat message to our team to keep everyone engaged. Why share the reality that the we're in a bigger mess than we want to admit, even to ourselves? It will only make things worse. Or we over-promise our capabilities to win a new customer. We will find a way to satisfy their needs, and they'll just love us when they get to know us. Maybe we stretch the truth about ourselves - our experience, our skills.    We're sure we can learn on the job and do well - we always have before.   But no more. 

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No DMs Please

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Just when I thought it was bad - it got worse. We all know how annoying all the Twitter 'Thanks for following' DMs are, right?    Mine have become downright out of control these days.    I miss my friends DMs thanks to all the SPAM in my DM column. It's worse than email because I can't block Tweets. wouldn't mind the DMs so much if they really were thanking me and/or offering something valuable. But we know that's not true either.  Recently I've been paying a bit more attention to those pesky DMs.   Obviously not. Can I help?

A Lesson From a Ski Hill

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I learned a lesson at Squaw Valley yesterday. It was a rough day. Over a foot of our famous Sierra Cement and more coming down.    Sierra Cement is heavy, heavy snow - think skiing slurpies. It changes with every inch - sometimes you move along, sometimes you get grabbed and stop suddenly.    It's an art to find your balance and stay down the hill when you're getting thrown all over the place. Even the tiniest mistake and you get slammed. I was skiing with my good buddy Jim - who also happens to be a Mountain Guide and one of the best skiers I've ever seen. 

Rebel Rant: What's up With All These Kopy Kats?

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The Power of a Whisper

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Life in the Stream

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I watched the Super Bowl at home last night. I'm sick with a flu bug so I stayed away from the party rather than playing the role of Typhoid Rebel.    Wow!    What an eye opening experience that was.    Not because of staying home alone. And not because of the game - which was great. The WOW was  because of what I learned. It all started out simply enough. I was Tweeting with a couple of gal friends as the coin was tossed, then the game began - and then the ads started.That's when the fun began.   It was the ads!  Imagine that.

Stuck in a Rut?

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I sure was! I was in Tahoe last week as four BIG storms brought over ten feet of snow.    It was slick as a gut, drifted so deep in places that even Thelma (my F-250 turbo diesel truck) had a hard time getting through. After they plowed the roads, it was still a mess with melting, freezing and lotsa black ice. skied every day. To get to the hill in the morning - I had to constantly change Thelma between  4-Wheel Drive High and Low.    It took 4WD Low (with my wheel hubs locked) to get moving in my driveway and down my side street.   That got me thinking.

Changing My Game

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Hanging onto old recipes limits our success. We all have old recipes running around in our brains.    It's human nature to find and follow a pattern. We creatures of habit feel more comfortable that way. became aware of an old, and dangerous, recipe in my own life not too long ago. I've helped companies grow for over two decades now as a consultant.    Must be my name.    When I began to write Defying Gravity , I wanted to self-publish, primarily to have control of my content and direction.  know my audience and I understand the value I offer.

Recipes for Success

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Those B School recipes for success need an update. First of all - we're moving too fast to follow any set recipe. What was true last month may be old news today.    Even as our value slides from 'Oh Wow' to 'Ho Hum' in a matter of months, our markets spin in new directions.    Buyers change, fads change, the economy changes.    Market ingredients will change, so wed better be ready to improvise quickly. Following that recipe just may end up cooking our goose!  Every business situation is unique. The Bottom Line?

Rebel Rant: Are They At it Again????

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Rebel Rant: Are They At it Again????

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Does Meeting Goals Equal Success?

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Find Your Power RebelationsTV

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Does Meeting Goals Equal Success?

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Efficiency at What Cost?

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Think Again

Efficiency at What Cost?

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Rebel Rant: What's up With All These Kopy Kats?

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Rebel Rants RebelationsTV

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What Spring Skiing Taught Me About Business

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In an Instant

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Life changes - in an instant. I was riding the Headwall lift at Squaw Valley last week. It was a gray snowy day, but all us locals were out playing in the storm. noticed a gang of the local hotshots up on the Light Towers, a series of gnarly chutes off of the Slot - a famous Headwall run. The kids here ski those chutes as baby-training and I'm always amazed at their ease and grace. Darn it!

Phoenix Rising is EVOLVING!

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To all my readers! On Monday, April 12 Phoenix Rising will transform into Rebelations - my new blog focused on Life, Leadership and the Pursuit of Growth.    You'll see that my new website and the blog , as well as RebelationsTV are now all integrated into a single platform. Unfortunately, I've encountered some issues with FeedBurner and my current blog provider during the transition.    Please take the time to stay with me - I so appreciate your following my blog! Thanks much!!!

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Phoenix Rising is EVOLVING!

Phoenix Rising

To all my subscribers! On Monday, April 12 Phoenix Rising will transform into Rebelations - my new blog focused on Life, Leadership and the Pursuit of Growth. The content focus won't change that much - only the formats - and you'll see my new website as well as part of the Rebelations page. We had some issues with Feedburner during the transition - the system seems to have lost my Phoenix Rising feed.    The feed is still active - but as of now I can't automatically forward  you to Rebelations.  So I'm stuck. Thanks much!!!

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Leading for Success in a Changing World

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Our markets continuously change, driven by any number of dynamic events; buyer behaviors, fickle brand preferences, or economic pressures—just to name a few. Competitors and. partners are changing as well. New competitors emerge as. older ones fade—or become stronger. Once powerful partners fall as new ones appear on our horizon.    To thrive in this ever-changing horizon, we must be dynamic as well! When we listen to our markets, evolving our plan. becomes a natural endeavor.    Think about it. shift course, even if your plan said to stay the course. Wouldn't it be.

Leading for Success in a Changing World

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Our markets continuously change, driven by any number of dynamic events; buyer behaviors, fickle brand preferences, or economic pressures—just to name a few. Competitors and. partners are changing as well. New competitors emerge as. older ones fade—or become stronger. Once powerful partners fall as new ones appear on our horizon.    To thrive in this ever-changing horizon, we must be dynamic as well! When we listen to our markets, evolving our plan. becomes a natural endeavor.    Think about it. shift course, even if your plan said to stay the course. Wouldn't it be.

The Plan was a Success but the Business Died

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Whether it's in our personal or business lives, we often just plain need to change our plans to be successful. The question is, do we alter our course, or do we just keep going according to plan? tended to stick to the plan -  no matter what. I was a typical goal-oriented, over-achiever for most of my younger life.    When I was first working as a sales rep for computing systems, I was over quota, always. Once I dug in, I wouldn't let go.    No matter what - I met the goals, delivered on my plan and far beyond. No matter what it took. Now ask yourself.

The Plan was a Success but the Business Died

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Whether it's in our personal or business lives, we often just plain need to change our plans to be successful. The question is, do we alter our course, or do we just keep going according to plan? tended to stick to the plan -  no matter what. I was a typical goal-oriented, over-achiever for most of my younger life.    When I was first working as a sales rep for computing systems, I was over quota, always. Once I dug in, I wouldn't let go.    No matter what - I met the goals, delivered on my plan and far beyond. No matter what it took. Now ask yourself.

3 Leaders Who Follow the Signs

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Market leaders follow the signs. Leaders are always on the alert for Signs of shifting markets. When they sense a subtle shift in their audiences or their own value, they respond and keep moving forward. When there's a sign of a major shift, they throw their status quo beliefs to the wind, focus forward—and adapt. Many point to Apple and Google and Amazon as innovators who follow the signs. But there are so many more great companies out there. Here are three of my favorite leaders who follow the Signs. NU SKIN: NuSkin is growing in a bad economy.    Why?  And they work.

3 Leaders Who Follow the Signs

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Market leaders follow the signs. Leaders are always on the alert for Signs of shifting markets. When they sense a subtle shift in their audiences or their own value, they respond and keep moving forward. When there's a sign of a major shift, they throw their status quo beliefs to the wind, focus forward—and adapt. Many point to Apple and Google and Amazon as innovators who follow the signs. But there are so many more great companies out there. Here are three of my favorite leaders who follow the Signs. NU SKIN: NuSkin is growing in a bad economy.    Why?  And they work.

Signs

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  I wa s on the KT lift at Squaw Valley when a friend said "Wow! Look at that!"  Directly above us, was a perfect 'X Marks the Spot' vision. My buddy joked, "Its a sign!    We're in the right place" Funny thing is, I'd just been wondering if I was in the right place.    On this gorgeous spring morning, I was having a twinge of guilt. I was fretting that I should (there's that word) be back home working. looked up, saw the 'sign' and got over that!    But then that got me thinking. That's silly! 

Signs

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  I wa s on the KT lift at Squaw Valley when a friend said "Wow! Look at that!"  Directly above us, was a perfect 'X Marks the Spot' vision. My buddy joked, "Its a sign!    We're in the right place" Funny thing is, I'd just been wondering if I was in the right place.    On this gorgeous spring morning, I was having a twinge of guilt. I was fretting that I should (there's that word) be back home working. looked up, saw the 'sign' and got over that!    But then that got me thinking. That's silly! 

Is Yesterday's News Preventing Your Success?

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My good friend Bob Burg, and his co-author John David Mann, opened my eyes to the concept of receiving. Thanks to their wonderful series of Go-Giver books, I learned about my very own unconscious belief pattern that was blocking my receiving. Yes, I've always received enough to have a good life, but never better than good. While I was helping clients and their investors make fortunes, I didn't allow myself to receive more than 'just enough' everyone I know had a big hit. Everyone but me.   I gave and gave and gave - to clients, friends and family. Musings Think Again

Is Yesterday's News Preventing Your Success?

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My good friend Bob Burg, and his co-author John David Mann, opened my eyes to the concept of receiving. Thanks to their wonderful series of Go-Giver books, I learned about my very own unconscious belief pattern that was blocking my receiving. Yes, I've always received enough to have a good life, but never better than good. While I was helping clients and their investors make fortunes, I didn't allow myself to receive more than 'just enough' everyone I know had a big hit. Everyone but me.   I gave and gave and gave - to clients, friends and family.

I'll Do It Tomorrow

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We assume we'll have tomorrow. In our personal lives, we put off things like laundry, paying the bills, cleaning out that nasty kitchen drawer - until tomorrow. personally put off laundry for as long as I can…. We do the same in business when it comes to prioritizing actions. We choose the comfortable things, things we know how to do as our first choice. We’ll begin an exciting new endeavor as a first priority as well. But we put off facing that sticky situation, digging into that gnawing problem until another day. We make excuses for our declining product value. Think about it this week.

Where's Your Focus?

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2010: The Year of the Positive We move so gradually to the dark side that we don't realize we're expecting the negative. Do you notice how many people around us are grumbling - sometimes even in expectation of something yet to come? Negative is the enemy of success. Negative attitudes spread through an organization like a virus.    The grousing and groaning become part of the company's culture. The next thing you know there's an excuse for every slip or stumble. We lose responsibility for our actions while we do the very thing to bring us down.

A Day Without Social Media

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Yesterday I decided to take a 'day off' from social media.    I wanted to see what would happen.    Would I show signs of withdrawal, be unable to focus as I frantically wondered what was happening out in the Twitterverse?    Would I miss out on a fact of earthshaking importance from @LeadToday? In reality - I didn't take a day off.    I started my day as always with a few Tweets and updated my FB status. I  popped in for the afternoon to share a few St Paddy's day tributes. Quite the contrary. Lesson learned. 

Changing Focus

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Change is a natural state. Seasons change, weather changes, our bodies change.    We change with age, with education,with experiences and with exercise, or lack thereof.    Relationships change, people change, everything about our lives change.    Our markets and customers change continuously as well - just like everything else in our world. So why does 'business focus' translate to a static response? Ask anyone about business focus and they'll begin talking about staying the course, sticking to the plan, 1, 3 and 5 year objectives.

Top 10 Drama Queens I've Known

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I've been talking about sensationalism in the place of positive leadership this week. Thanks so much for ALL of your comments and thoughts! Today I wanted to have a bit of fun, Letterman style, and share the Top 10 Types of Drama Queen, sensationalist leaders or gurus I've known. hope you giggle! Rebel's Disclaimers: All Drama Queens depicted in this video are based on fictional characters.    Any resemblance to anyone we know is purely coincidence. If you recognize yourself - you might want to take a look at your own leadership style:).

Sensationalism is not Expertise!

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Scott McKain wrote a post on Friday that got me going, I ntellectual Dishonesty. It's an eloquent rant concerning the growing negativity and sensationalism created by supposed industry 'gurus', all for the sake of ratings and followers. IN the end that behavior all boils down to MONEY and EGO. As I said in my comment to Scott's post - once you sell out your integrity for money - we all know what you are. Many of us have been discussing this sad state on our own blogs or behind the scenes of social media. I am not about to try and steal Scott's thunder here. Want an example?

All I Ask.

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Yesterday I wrote a post about my dilemma with a few vendors of late - wondering if I was expecting too much from my vendors as their customer. Your responses told me resoundingly that I was not expecting too much - that we all have some basic expectations when it comes to customer service.    Many of the folks who responded were even more outraged than I expected by the treatment I'd endured at the hands of these vendors. Wow  - I guess I'm not expecting too much after all.    That's so nice to know!  So, here we go. All I Ask of You Mr. or Ms.

Do I Expect Too Much?

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I was raised with some pretty specific rules about behavior. Say please and thank you, treat people as you would want to be treated, be courteous and polite. Then there was the 'be on time' dictate. My mom taught me that being late for a meeting with another meant my time was more important than theirs - so always be on time.    There were lots of other rules - but you get the drift.    Those rules did well for me  - in my personal as well as my business life. For me - it's simply common courtesy. So help me out, please! What has me so confused? Please.

If it Looks like a Duck.

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The freedom to share has increased our debates. used to think some people took a contrarian point of view just to feel important.    We all know those types. But thanks to social media  that behavior has expanded to include all of us. That's one of the powers of our connected world - we can all voice an opinion, share our perspective, debate an issue. Whether it's on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or the host of other social media sites. It's human nature - when we're empowered with new capabilities - we take advantage of them through lots and lots of practice. 

New Tricks

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Let's say your business is making some pretty major changes. Do you assume you can train our favorite employees - about new markets, new skills, new roles?    Even as you are operating a changing business?    Think about that. Sometimes we can retrain skills – especially when our change in course is minor.    Employees can learn on the job without risking too much forward momentum in that case. But what about when we take a major change in course? Let's say we're shifting from a focus on small business to corporate accounts.

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Convenient Commitments

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Remember when our word was our bond, and a handshake sealed a deal? We made a commitment, kept it and expected others to do the same. Even when it was inconvenient, we kept our commitments, in business and in our personal lives.    So much has changed. have a knack for committing to verbal agreements with people who later only remember what was in their best interest. It happened to me again this last week with my ski lease. Now, she's forgotten most of what we said.  She's even accused me of making up the conversations I documented via email.

Assumptions Anyone?

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There's an old saying about assumptions.    Remember? Have you ever found yourself disagreeing with someone - wondering how in the heck they could see the situation in their way? Only to find that your perspectives were based on dramatically different assumptions than your own? Now think about the impact of those assumptions on the task at hand. Social media gives power to our assumptions. Social media enables all of us to make our assumptions known. We can state them in blog posts, Tweets, FB posts and YouTube videos.   That made no sense to me.