Saturday, January 5, 2013

Speak Up!

Are you looking for a promotion in 2013? Are you having a hard time moving up? Try speaking up!
Despite the hard work we may put into our current job, there are still barriers that may impede our upward mobility, such as:

1) Perception of being a great technician but not a leader.
2) Unseen value of our work.
3) Low credibility.

If you are confident that you’re the person for the job, you should not let these barriers mark your end. Believe it or not, you can remedy most, if not all, by improving the way you communicate. Our communication leaves a lasting impression on decision makers. Enhanced communicative skills can set us apart through the following:

1) The demonstration of higher-level communication ability.
2) The visibility of worth.
3) Strengthened credibility.

Leaders know how to convey their ideas to a wide demography of people. While technicians can orchestrate codes, leaders orchestrate people with language seasoned to taste. Because the higher you go, the more you will be dealing with people rather than computers, you’ll want to be able to demonstrate this skill when talking to a decision maker. Communication sets leaders apart from technicians.

You may be doing a lot of work, but so is your home heating unit. I don’t believe you pay much attention to the amount of work that unit is doing either. However, should you start freezing at night because the unit stopped working, it would get your immediate attention. The point is we, as people, don’t pay much attention to input, but we are very motivated by output that directly impacts us. Effective communicators are able to articulate the value of their work and remind their leaders how cold it would be without their efforts.

You may have heard the saying “perception is reality.” How you are perceived by people will generally become their reality of you. If that is the case, then you want to be sure to be perceived as credible. Great communicators tend to be perceived as credible as opposed to their counterparts. Great communicators come across as more confident, knowledgeable and influential. The higher you want to move up, the more of a requirement these traits are. By the way, if you are not a trustworthy person, people will eventually see through any front you put on.

If you want to make an investment in your communication in 2013, below are five tips:
1) Read books on effective communication.
2) Read other books to build vocabulary.
3) Watch your use of grammar, and use lively language that appeals to your audience.
4) Join a communication group, like Toastmasters.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Preparing for the Interview!

Yesterday, I delivered a 40 minute presentation on preparing for a job interview to a group of 20-25 pharmacy graduate students.
Some of these students had just driven down from Atlanta Georgia and North Carolina.  It was a delight to share some helpful tips to a bright group of young individuals.

After my presentation each of the students had the opportunity to be test interviewed by one of 6 professionals who volunteered for the event.

For anyone who may be pursuing a new job or career and would like some tips, here are a few nuggets of wisdom in helping you prepare for the interview:

1) Research the company and the specific position for which you are applying.

2) Expound on what is on your resume

3) Dress to impress but don't lose yourself.

4) Tell stories to answer questions when appropriate (stories are memorable).

5) Leave them with your value proposition.  What will be gained by their hiring you?  Make sure both you and they know before you leave the interview.

We all want our ideal job, we just don't want to have to interview to get it.  Of course, sometimes circumstances will line up and you won't have to interview; however, if you prepare for successful interviewing you'll be ready to snag your best next move regardless of the circumstances.

I would love to deliver on this topic or one of my many other captivating and interactive presentations at your next event.  Just send an email to

If you like this blog please follow.  Thank you.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Winnies Wisdom

Have you ever had that dreaded feeling of racing out of the house when suddenly you're grabbed by the thought that your keys aren't on you?

You go back in panic and start frantically opening and closing drawers throwing socks and jewelry everywhere only to accomplish losing five more things you'll look for that evening.

What do you do when you can't find what you're looking for?

I am more of the frantic type of searcher, but some of you may be the meticulous searcher who lifts one paper or book at a time and marks each off until you eliminate all other options. Others of you may be the thinking type who will stand still and play the entire day through your head to pin point whatever it is you're seeking.

Whatever your method, one thing we all share is that when we are looking for something we want to find it as soon as possible. Another phenomenon we may have all experienced is the irony of finding all the other precious items we looked for in the past while conducting our current search. Not that you mind finding all the other stuff, but this time you're looking the keys you need NOW!

Before I go on with this thought, if you watched the special "A House on Pooh's Corner,"  you might remember the scene in which Pooh, Piglet and Rabbit are lost in the Hundred Acres Woods looking for home and keep circling back to pit? After three rounds Pooh tries to convince Rabbit that since they keep finding the pit when searching for home, they should search for the pit and they might find home.

That was the scene I was watching when I finally figured out the key to finding something you're looking for: LOOK FOR SOMETHING ELSE!

When I was selling insurance I was looking for ways to make me successful and add to my bottom line. I had no luck- I kept circling to a pit of financial turmoil. Through the encouragement of friends around me, whom I saw looking to benefit the needs of others, I was able to make a change. I sought to give to people, seeking nothing back. I went from wanting to sell a life insurance policy to making people improvement my policy. Some six months later I had a multiple thousand dollar in sales month. I couldn't believe it, I was able to pay my employer half of the debt that I owed.

I didn't make it in the insurance business, but the relationships I found in seeking to help people- aided in my finding better relationships that bridged a gap to a better career.

I learned an important lesson: the vanity of continually looking to meet your own need can lead to a lot of frustration. However, seeking to help other people can take your mind of your own self fish pursuits long enough to find it right under nose.

Best wishes in finding what you're looking for.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Speaking or Leaking

Have you ever experienced water damage on good furniture, or walked into a flood in your own bathroom or kitchen only to find that one of the pipes was leaking?

I experienced that within the last couple days, only it was in my van. My wife had noticed that the carpet on the front passenger's side was soaked in water, but the windows weren't down and it hadn't even been raining. This puzzled us.

I eventually had to start disassembling the interior of the van, pulling up the carpet to find out from where the water was coming. Turns out an interior hose related to the AC system running along the floorboard had a leak. What a MESS!!! The underlayment was drenched. I wrung out nearly a half a gallon of water.

I can tend to love water at one moment and hate it at the next. When it's downloading from the shower head to run dirt off my back and hands I love it. When it's flowing from a fountain to extinguish my thirst, I adore it. When it's being used to wash dishes I'm so cool with it (as long as I'm not the one who washing). However, when water is leaking, I can't stand it. It's damaging. It stains rather than cleans, it annoys rather than refreshes, it creates work rather than aids the work. Can you relate?

That’s the vast difference between a stream of water turned on for a purpose and channeled to specific location to serve a task, and water being dumped just because an opening was found in its path.

I can't help but draw the comparison between water and our words. When spoken intentionally and directed at the right audience at the right time, words can refresh, heal, and edify. However, when we carelessly let thoughtless words fall out of our mouth just because there is a hole underneath our nose we can create a lot of damage.

I’ve been known for sticking my foot in my mouth and sometimes I wish that it would just stay there to clog up the leak. I've learned the hard way that many times it's better to say nothing than to speak just for the sake of it. I want to be speaking not leaking. I wish the same for you.

Use your words to channel a positive energy into the lives of people. Let it not cause floods and damage that only needs to be cleaned up later.
I would love to hear your comments.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

No Price Too High.

What is that one thing that you would give anything for?
10 days ago I received an email advertising a seminar that would be delivered by the 2005 Toastmaster's World Champion of Public Speaking, Lance Miller. The event was scheduled for 7pm on Friday, February 24th in Deland, FL, 240 miles from my home in Tallahassee FL.

Going to this event would mean taking time off from work, leaving immediately after running a speech contest that day, traveling 8 hours and arriving back at 1 am, and waking up at 8 am to go and teach at a church gathering the next morning.

So how much thought did I have to put into this before deciding whether I would commit to going to the seminar? None, at all!!! I had put the thought into it a long time ago. If I ever had the opportunity to go and meet a World Champion Speaker live, I would take it in a heartbeat.

What type of sacrifice would you not even flinch at making? What is it that you would stay up all night to complete? What have you already set your mind to do since a long time ago? We each have something that we will suffer for.

It was a pleasure to hear Lance Miller share about his success and failures at speaking; however, it was quite apropos that he spoke about passion as suffering.

Whenever Lance is not making a connection with his audience, he is making a flight connection for his next engagement. He'll speak in three different major cities in one day on many occasions. However, Lance calls this suffering his passion, and quite frankly his pleasure.

"Life is lived awake." Lance commanded to the captive audience of 80 people. "I've never remembered a good night's sleep."

He emphasized that we don't remember times of convenience. What we do remember are the moments where we pushed ourselves beyond our assumed limits and accomplish great feats.

I want to speak to improve the lives of individuals. I don't want to deliver speeches, I want to deliver people. That is the passion that burns deeps inside- I've already made the commitment of a Passionate Pursuit of this mission.

The question I pose you is what is yours? What is that one thing that you would give anything for?

Lance embodies what is means to be a public speaker.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

House of Mirrors

Two young highly attractive college women enter an italian restaurant to meet over lunch (One a brunette and the other a red head).  After sitting down and facing one another, both simultaneously breathe a sigh to release the frustrations of the day.  The brunette, who is highly self conscious, brushes her nose just in case she might have had anything in her nostrils.
Her friend, thinking this was a sign to rub something off her own nose, quickly rubs her nose to wipe it away. The brunette interpreted the red head's action as a sign that she indeed had something in her nose which was still there; so she takes another rub at her nose.  Well, the red head made the same assumption that the brunette's gesture was indicating that she needed to take another stab at rubbing her nose. 

You can imagine that this went on for a little while until both decided to go in the bathroom and take a look in the mirror.

This may sound funny, but boy is it ever a reality of life.  I call it the house of mirror effect.  If you've ever been in a house of mirrors you would know that it's hard to deciper the real source from its reflections.

In the story above each of the women thought they were reading a genuine prompt from the other.  What they did not realize was that these 'prompts' were nothing more than a reflection from the signals that each was giving off.

Have you ever thought someone did not like you, based on some presuppisition, be it true or not?  Did that cause you to treat that person with indifference?  Perhaps this person responded to your indifference with their own indifference towards you.  And then, you conclude, "Aha!  I knew it!  That person does not like me."

We are like mirrors, we merely reflect images from signals we receive.  The source of these signals vary, but primarily we experience them from other peoples body language & energy, our own thoughts, what we see on T.V., spiritual beliefs, preconceived ideas and feelings, a vision, etc.,

Notice how hard it is to not smile when someone smiles at you or contrary not to look offended if someone scoffs at you.  We work like mirrors merely reflecting images that we see.

Knowing people operate like this can help us in our Passionate Pursuit to creating a better life.  Smile more around the people who seem grumpy; if you want people to show you favor, show them favor; if you'd like respect, show respect.  Others will gladly reflect back to you the image that you potray.

You might be asking "well, if one is grumpy and the other is joyous who will reflect the other?"  The fact is each will inevitably make an impact on the other.  However, in examples like these, you can assume that each person is reflecting an image other than their immediate physical surroundings.  Perhaps the grumpy one is still meditating on a fight with their spouse earier that day.  The joyous one is probably meditating on the elated look of someone they just surprised.

I say whoever's mental image is clearer will be less impacted than the other, for they will continue to reflect that mental image they see; however they both will end up reverting back to the mental image they initially carried.  That is how powerful mental images are.  They last much longer than the temporary changes in our external environment.

Knowing this, if you want to have greater control on the image you give you off, and be able impact people with them you need to:

1) spend lots of time focusing on changing your thoughts to give off the image you desire to be reflected back.

2)  hang around more people who will give off the image and energy you desire to have and emit.

Lastly, when people consistently treat you in a certain way (be it good or bad), check to see what signals you may be giving off in your beahvior.  If it is not what you would like to get back, find ways to change the image you are emitting.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

No Offers On Signing Day?

Signing Day is a thrill! It's the wedding day, where the pursued (college athletes) get to put their stamp of approval on one of the schools which was courting their talents for the last year (or 4 years, and for some top blue chips, since they were in middle school) .

Though the days taken off from school for a college visit, countless personal cards from recruiting offices, and nationwide media press can be both flattering and exhausting; there is nothing like the feeling of being wanted. Anywhere from 3 to 5 offers are extended to a typical athlete on signing day.

However, there are many prep athletes who spend signing day with no offers to contemplate. Such was my experience back in 1996 as a high school senior (except an offer to walk-on the USF football team on their inaugural year of having a football team). No one was scouting me, so I made a decision to pioneer a path to the school where I always wanted to play football; I chose to walk-on the FSU football team.

There is a vast difference between the experiences of receiving promises from recruiters soliciting your commitment to their program and having to make cold calls begging for a no-guarantee opportunity to walk on with a university; you might not even get repetition at practice.

Deep within us all is that desire to be pursued as top prep athletes are during this season of their life. However, that is not what life presents to most of us. We have to go looking for job ads, we go searching on, and we beg friends to like us on Facebook or subscribe to our YouTube channel.

The reality of life is that if we want to wear that dream jersey, our journey will involve more of a walk-on path than that of a recruited scholarship athlete.

If you want to start your own business you're going to need to seek out the prospective investors, you'll have to offer free written articles to the local newspaper to earn your spot on a column, you'll have to swallow your pride and call that girl (and be a gentleman about it) if you feel you're meant to be together.

The gripping tension within us all is that we know exactly what we want but we're waiting for someone to make us an offer. We may even have our three to five options but none is exactly the true desire of our hearts.

What do we do in this situation? Do we limit ourselves to what is presented, or can we remain committed to what we really want and create a path to get there when that is warranted?

I saw many recruited athletes during my college years meander through four years at FSU and hardly played a down. Some even left to go somewhere else. But for me, is was a PASSIONATE PURSUIT to make my dream happen that helped me to become a team captain of the '2000 defending national championship FSU football team.

Offer or none, Pursue your Passion!