JLM & Associates offers personal development counseling to help you take control of your personal and business success. Learn how to seize the kind of income you deserve and achieve the successful future of your dreams.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Need For Leadership

With the 2008 election getting closer every day and with Presidential and Congressional approval ratings at historic lows there has never been a time in our history with so much at stake. Yet no candidate in either political party is showing what this country and the world needs the most; Leadership!

The Republican candidates are busy pandering to their conservative base and all the Democratic candidates are busy pandering to their liberal base. They are all doing the same thing; Doing whatever it takes to get elected, but no one is showing any leadership.

To be fair, maybe none of them know what true leadership is? So let's define it for them. Leadership begins with trust, and trust is based on honesty. A leader whether in business, the home, or the government, must trust those he or she has been given to lead.

A true leader facilitates growth of those he or she leads. That is, like a good parent, his or her attitude toward those he or she leads is, “You can be whatever you most want to be. You can grow as great as your abilities will permit. My job is to help you become what you want to become.”

True leadership is a matter of interdependence, rather than dependence. That is, if people have a really good leader, they do not have to be dependent, or feel that they are dependent upon the leader figure. Rather, they have a feeling of freedom based on honesty and trust, and they feel that they are interdependent, dependent on each other.

For example, suppose I invite a friend over for dinner and serve her refreshing sprits and a delicious dinner. Then I invite my friend for dinner a second time and then a third for yet another evening of spirits and dinner.

Following the third dinner she invites me to dinner. I refuse. She invites me again, and I still refuse. She then get angry with me. Why? Why should she be angry with me when I've had her to my home for dinner three times, given her the best food and drinks I possibly could. How can she be angry with someone who has done this for her?

She's angry because she has been forced into the role of a dependent; I have robbed her of her opportunity to reciprocate, to prove that she is not dependent upon me, but, rather; we are interdependent. It's fine to lean on someone, no one minds leaning on you, too, if you are to feel worthy and valuable as a person.

For example, a small child simply takes. He or she receives care and cannot care in return. No adult wants to be forced into the role of a child. A person's work should strengthen his or her image. A true leader realizes this.

Every person fears of being hurt in some way. Because of this, he or she has built-in defenses ready to leap into the picture at any time. A true leader is someone who brings about a reduction of defenses in those he or she leads. People feel that they don't have to be on the defensive with him or her; they can be themselves. A true leader builds trust in those he or she leads.

A true leader gives those he or she leads the opportunity to identify with the competence and problem-solving skills he or she as a leader demonstrates. A leader permits those he or she leads to identify with him or her. A leader sets that sort of example.

As of right now I am not seeing this sort of example from anyone in either political party. As proud Americans we should all demand and not settle for anything less then true leaders in all levels of our government.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Become Interested Instead of Being Interesting

I met a very interesting man who attended my seminar in Atlanta, Georgia last week. His name is Arthur and he has been in sales and sales management for the last thirty years.

We talked at great length after the seminar and one of the things he told me is that during his sales career he has seen a lot of good people fail and the main reason is that they tried to be interesting instead of being interested.

I thought this was a very important point coming from such a successful individual. You see every one of us is engaged in selling in one way or another. For example, parents are trying to sell their children on the advantages of doing things the right way, husbands and wives are always trying to sell each other on their own points of view or something they want.

People in the world of business are selling every day. The higher the position the better the person is at selling his or her ideas and plans. The children with the most friends are the ones who are the best at selling themselves. Selling is just another word for human relations and communications.

People are successful in life to the extent that their communications are interesting. This is true in both your business and personal life. Because of this, every person should try to be more interesting in his or her conversation and communications.

How do you go about being interested instead of being interesting? One of the best ways is to see what a person is talking about from his or her point of view. It might sound easy, but it isn't. It is called empathetic understanding, understanding with a person, not about him or her.

The idea is to emotionally crawl into the other person's skin and see what he or she is talking about from his or her point of view. You then communicate with that person or sell him or her from his or her own standpoint.

When you do this, you immediately become the most interesting person he or she has talked to in months or even years. Again, this is not an easy thing to do. Your natural impulse is to see everything in your world from your own standpoint, but the minute you can completely forget yourself and think not only of and through the other person some amazing changes will start taking place.

You'll find people will start doing exactly what you want them to do and becoming exactly the kind of person you want them to be. Perhaps the most amazing part of all is that you will become intensely interesting to others.

By forgetting yourself and putting all your emphasis on other people and helping them get what they want, you will get what you want.

Getting along well with others is a lot of fun and enormously rewarding. This simple key to success is much too difficult for most people. You have to forget yourself.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Build Your Own World

People seek happiness in many different ways. They often seek it frantically as they would search for something they have lost. They're looking for something, that's very clear, but the best way to find something is to try to remember where you put it in the first place.

Many people have become unhappy about life solely and completely because they are not in control of their life. This is where you find the people who are most unhappy and even miserable. Life is moving along and controlling them.

On the other hand when you find someone who is happy, cheerful and strong, then, that is a person who is in control of his or her life. People who are in control of their own life are the happiest, whereas people who let life control them are generally unhappy.

Let's say for example that a young woman growing- up dreams of being married and having a nice home and family. She dreams of having a loving husband who would come home from work at night, she'd have dinner ready and the family and every aspect of their life would be happy.

Then one day she actually does get married and things don't work out as she had dreamed of. Her husband often comes home late, doesn't want to talk about anything with her, and life is not so happy. Somehow the light and laughter have gone out of the marriage.

What should she do? Should she get out of the marriage?

Well there are many things a person could do in this situation, and the least of them is to take a look at the environment. You look around and orient yourself in your environment; see yourself for what you are and where you are, and then try to make things better. The day when you stop building your own environment, when you stop building your own surroundings, that's when things cease to be happy.

In short, you look for happiness where you are, in what you have, by making where you are and what you have better. By beginning to build your own world with your own hands and mind you will find that you will, at the same time, be building your own happiness.

If you've been doing this, then, you know what I mean. Seemingly out of air, with nothing more than your mind and hands, you shape happiness and meaning where before there was nothing. It's as though you took a barren unattractive plot of ground and turned it into a beautiful garden.

This does not depend on whether or not you consider your environment good or bad only what you do with it.

The formula for happiness is: To take control your own life, don't let it control and dictate to you. Take whatever it is you now have and with your mind and hands make it somehow better. Sounds simple, doesn't it? It is. Most things in life are, we just have a way of making them more complicated than they are.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Using Your Imagination

In the Information Age that we live in today where life is often hectic and competition is so fierce an important success factor is often missing in people. Even though we live in a global economy life has become programmed for many people, especially in our education system. What's missing is the use of our imaginations.

Every day, millions of people start out pretty even in being able to succeed in whatever they are doing. Some will go farther than others, get more fun and excitement out of life, do more, see more, experiment more, and wind up with more. Those who do, whether or not they realize it, are using their imaginations.

Using your imagination is free and everyone has one, but some use it more than others. One of the greatest inventors of the 21st century Charles Kettering once said, “Where there's an open mind, there will always be a frontier.” The way I interpret this is that how a person uses his or her imagination is the difference between success or failure.

When it comes to using your imagination it's best to keep an open mind so that your imagination gets a chance to do a little work on its own. After your imagination has come up with an idea, a negative impulse will usually come into the picture. Fear is usually an automatic reaction to imagination.

It's quite normal that once an idea a person gets an idea, he or she begins to wonder what others will think of it, and since most people don't have a very high opinion of themselves, he or she starts tearing the idea apart and often discards it completely. Then a couple of years later that person will hear or read about someone who is a millionaire because he or she came up with the same idea but decided to develop it.

Once your imagination has come up with a good idea, your must have the courage and determination to develop it. You must have a fearless attitude that you are going to keep trying till you get it right.

It's important to understand that imagination is nothing more than a vision. When you stop to think about it, vision has been responsible for everything that's happened in the world. Without vision we'd still be living our evenings by candlelight.

Luckily for us, there are enough men and women with the courage to stick with their vision and keep the world moving forward.

So take the time to today to rate your imagination and along with it see if you have the courage and determination to develop your ideas. Imagination can make a lot of difference in your life.