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Lessons from the top

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How do I lead my company? What are my beliefs about leadership? How do I treat my customers? How do I compete? How do I get maximum performance from my staff? How do I communicate? How and why do I network? How do I deal with change? How do I recruit my staff and then reward them?

Answers to all these questions come back to five lessons, which I apply with total discipline and dedication.
1. Be the person you want to be.
Be open to help and good advice but let no one take you over. My focus was I had only one life and one journey and I was going to take charge without a husband, father or banker controlling my destiny. In my mind, it was better to drive my car and pick up my boyfriend than to have him pick me up. There were people who wanted to change the way I dressed, the way I spoke and so on, but I was happy being me.
2. Use empowering words in your self-talk.
Don’t underestimate the potency of empowering self talk.  We can choose to be positive or negative. If most of our self-talk is positive, we will act in a positive, can do, manner. I have a passionate belief in the power of words to give you strength.
3. Never stop learning.
Work harder on yourself than on your job. I was guided by the message of yet another motivational speaker: the pain of discipline weighs ounces, the pain of regret weighs tons. I drew from this the determination to educate myself, to discipline myself with my savings, to find mentors who could inspire me to visit stimulating places, to read good books and listen to uplifting music and to go to as many motivational seminars as I could find about ‘how to develop your self esteem and self image’.
4. Associate with positive people
Positive people are those who smile easily and always have a go at things. The negative people are their opposites. Don’t let negative people suck you into their world of darkness and doubt. If you can’t find many positive people to associate with, read books written by positive people. Here’s a little trick - wear a rubber band around your wrist. When you say something negative - I wish I were smarter ... or it’s too hard for me to do .... give that rubber band a snap so it stings your wrist.  You can measure the extent of your negativity by the number of red welts.
5. Never take it personally
Never think, why me? Never accept someone else’s negative opinion of you, because it will drain you of your strength. It will fill your mind with self-doubt.  Have the positive attitude that whatever they say about you, it’s only their opinion. If it’s a question about your capacity or your ability, take the attitude it is you versus your mind.  You can do anything if you put your mind to it. It’s not what happens to you, it’s what you do about it that counts.
These five life lessons have inspired my leadership. If you think you can, you’re right and if you think you can’t, you’re also right – it’s up to you to choose.

Published on: Wednesday, May 22, 2013

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