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Learning Leadership Skills Systematically


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Outlines an emerging Leadership program for present and future leaders as applied in an educational, non profit, military, business or any leadership setting. However, this foundational training is universally applied knowledge that can be systematically applied in any setting where people work together to accomplish goals. Topics: teaming, storming, leadership, participation and teamwork attributes, the Deming cycle, cycle of respect, types of power as well as conflict resolution and goal setting.

Author John Schmied proposes that "foundational leadership training is key to future advancement & educational development". Akin to Maslow's hierarchy of needs in personal life, foundational knowledge, skills and abilities (KSA's) are key basic learning necessary for for a person's ability to progress successfully in any setting.

Author's leadership background: Military command, non profit leadership, public educational leadership, Director STEM environmental summer camps,Diving and Salvage Officer, Oceanographic operations, Ship Operations, Ice Operations, CG Maritime Law Enforcement, Personnel & Recruiting.

Published in: Education

Learning Leadership Skills Systematically

  1. 1. Learning Leadership Skills Systematically v2.5b  Foundational Training for leading:  Leadership  Participation  Teamwork jschmied©2016
  2. 2. World of Work Why leadership skills? LPT Issues vs Academic Issues KSA = Knowledge Skills Abilities “Foundational K.S.A.” jschmied©2016
  3. 3. Why do Foundational (LPT)Training? Foundational training:  includes key knowledge, skills & abilities people use:  when learning or engaging in issues in the world of work  in their personal lives.  focuses on improving key processes in three areas:  Personal Leadership  Personal participation  Teamwork jschmied©2016
  4. 4. Good Leadership, Participation & Teamwork skills:  Gives higher satisfaction in the workplace.  Improves learning – Individual & Class  Helps resolve conflicts productively  Builds Trust  Increases promotability  Yields long term success jschmied©2015
  5. 5. Base Elements for LPT skills review  Commit to Continuous Improvement:  Consistent process of improvement.  Take small steps forward all the time.  “Present”  Mentally and Physically  Prepared – come with your “tools”  Positive Attitude  Willingness to improve  Cooperation  Self Practice  Goal => Visualize success jschmied©2015
  6. 6. jschmied©2016
  7. 7. Forming Storming Norming Performing All teams go through four key stages. This is a normal process. Always happens in new teams or ones that haven’t worked together in awhile. jschmied©2015 Bruce Tuckerman, Developmental Sequence in Small Groups.
  8. 8. Forming jschmied©2015 Team members are: • Start to work together. • Leader plays big role to help team move forward. • Roles & responsibilities not clear. • Some excited to get to work! • Some anxious - don’t understood the work or know the people • Mostly positive & polite Can last for awhile until: • People get to know each other.
  9. 9. Storming • Members on task to experience stress (due to lack of support & lack of relationship). jschmied©2015 Pushing against norms created when forming causes: • Conflict between team members' natural working styles. • People to not understand how to do work or feel overwhelmed • Resistance to do tasks. This is the stage where many teams fail.
  10. 10. Norming jschmied©2015 Members start to: • Resolve differences • Appreciate other’s strengths • Socialize together, • Ask for help • Provide constructive feedback • Commit to team goals Team begins to make steady progress to goals Leader begins to get support
  11. 11. Performing Hard work leads to the achievement of the team's goal. (no internal friction) jschmied©2015 • Team helps develop each other • It feels easy to be part of the team • Norms & processes support goals • People join or leave team & do not disrupt performance.
  12. 12. Forming Storming Norming Performing All teams go through four key stages. High performing teams: jschmied©2015 Bruce Tuckerman, Developmental Sequence in Small Groups. • Go through stages faster • Self monitor & • Re-norm to perform their very best.
  13. 13. Forming Storming Norming Performing Some teams storm a lot & rarely perform their very best. Brainstorm why & how this happens. jschmied©2015
  14. 14. Teams are composed of individuals. Each has their own strengths & weaknesses. Participation Teamwork Leadership jschmied©2015 The individual & the team work to maximize team member strengths & overcome weaknesses.
  15. 15. Forming Storming Norming Performing Participation Teamwork Leadership Teams build on individual strengths, turning weaknesses into strengths by working together. jschmied©2015
  16. 16. Prochaska and DiClemente’s Stages of Change Model You often have to give up part of your “self” for you, or your team to succeed. A model showing the stages people go through when faced with change. Teaming & Personal Change It’s storming, but inside of you! It’s part of the normal process of change.
  17. 17. Making Team or Personal Change As an individual, or as a team:  Make a clear decision to change  Have confidence in your ability to change.  Set clear, concrete goals that are - SMART  Expect relapses => anticipate recovery  Realistically self monitor  Build on your Successes! jschmied©2015
  18. 18. Successful Goal Setting  SMART Goals  Specific  Measureable  Achievable  Realistic  Time Activated – has deadlines jschmied©2015
  19. 19. Making Team or Personal Change If you didn’t make a change so far there’s always hope! Thoughts?  Make time to change for the best.  Some barriers…. jschmied©2015
  20. 20. Goal setting & Barriers to Success  Three “de-motivators” that interfere with goal setting & achieving goals.  Fear of Failure  Fear of the Unknown (fear of change)  Fear of Success jschmied©2015
  21. 21. Goal setting & Barriers to Success  Fear – an unreasoning, unjustified emotion that paralyzes efforts to change.  Courage - the mental or moral strength to go forth, or persevere, in the face of adversity. jschmied©2015
  22. 22. Goal setting & Barriers to Success  In reality:  Failure is temporary  The unknown soon becomes known!  Success is a good thing! jschmied©2015
  23. 23. Process oriented Goal Achievement A simple, very powerful plan for Continuous Improvement Deming Cycle jschmied©2015
  24. 24. The Deming Cycle – the keys: • 1. Goals & a Commitment to improve. • 2. An intense focus on the process of continually improving your knowledge, skills & abilities • 3. Continuous improvement means learning from mistakes • Mistakes point to major areas of for improvement • 4. Constantly monitor your process. jschmied©2015
  25. 25. Your grades are not you…. Grades are the final result of the process of learning. This is a process you monitor constantly & continuously strive to improve…. (Foundational & Academic KSA’s) jschmied©2015
  26. 26. Example 1: Using learning data to improve your processes jschmied©2015
  27. 27. Example 2 – Using results to improve processes Data Table One - Redo statistics rate per period - Soil Quiz 3 Period Attempts Pass Fail Success Rate Did not Redo 2 19 9 10 47.4 3 3 17 12 5 70.6 3 4 12 8 4 66.7 3 5 10 7 3 70.0 2 6 14 10 4 71.4 7 NO NAMES 3 3 0 100.0 Total 75 49 26 65.3 12.7% jschmied©2015
  28. 28. Get data – Adapt your thinking & processes jschmied©2015
  29. 29. The Paretto Principle jschmied©2015 Efforts focused on these key areas yields: • Better Results Goal: Focus daily to identify “key result” areas, then do each. • Less Stress 20% of your efforts gives 80% of the results. • More Satisfaction in Life
  30. 30. Focus on the Process & results will come! jschmied©2015
  31. 31. jschmied©2016 1+ 3 Forms of Respect The other “Golden Rule”
  32. 32. Easy to lose – can be hard to earn jschmied©2016
  33. 33. jschmied©2016 The Most Basic Form of respect 1 + 3 - Forms of Respect Respect of self!
  34. 34. First: For others • Due all people for being a person 1 + 3 - Forms of Respect jschmied©2016
  35. 35. Second: for Authority • Due to persons in authority • Due to persons in leadership roles 1 + 3 - Forms of Respect jschmied©2015
  36. 36. Third: For Honor  Due to persons demonstrating positive qualities • Can only be earned jschmied©2016 1 + 3 Forms of Respect
  37. 37. Cycle of Respect jschmied©2016
  38. 38. Key Elements of Power jschmied©2016
  39. 39. Power Two sides:  Used to achieve success towards positive goals.  to manipulate, corrupt & destroy people & things.  Properly used, power gives you the ability to achieve goals.  Power provides strength to bring about change.  Skill in using power properly can be learned … and strengthened over time. jschmied©2016
  40. 40. Two types of power jschmied©2016 Internal Confidence Self-Knowledge Trust Self-Respect Knowledge Character Strength Competence Charisma External Respect Authority Admiration Wealth Access to information Network Reputation Control of Resources
  41. 41. Personal Power 2. Competence • Knowledge • Experience 1. Strength • Character • Ethics • Focus on Improvement . Personal Attraction – Charisma • Want to work with you • Being likeable jschmied©2016 power Comes from: 3. Confidence • Self Mastery • Ability to communicate • Develop influence
  42. 42. Position PowerComes from: 1. Role or Job • President • CEO 2. Control of Resources • Saudi Arabia => Oil • Boeing => Aircraft 3. Access to Information • Nat’l Security Agency • Banks 4. Network of people • Masonic Society • Jesuits 5. Reputation • Superstars • Heros jschmied©2016
  43. 43. … and Grit Internal External Will Power The Force Multiplier jschmied©2016
  44. 44. GRIT Passion Perseverance Will Power – the Meta Source of Power Based on Desire & Courage to Act Comes from within Can magnify every other form of power! jschmied©2016 Can be learned!
  45. 45. Use of Power - I Mental State Factors Controlling Actions - Caught in the Tides of Life. - It doesn’t matter… - I can’t get it… - It’s too hard… LCD = Lowest common demoninator In this example the individual or team allows “outside” factors affect their own performance. Result: Situation moves to lowest possible outcome. Low Results High Actions jschmied©2016
  46. 46. Use of Power - II Factors Controlling Actions - Taking Control of own life. - It matters… - I can do it… - One step at a time… - I refuse to give up! In this example the individual or team takes control of the situation. Result: Situation goes towards best possible outcome. Low Results High Mental State Actions jschmied©2016
  47. 47. You Have No Limitations –Recognize the Situation – Big Picture –Adapt –Improvise –Overcome! jschmied©2015
  48. 48. jschmied©2016
  49. 49. Participation Teamwork Leadership Leadership & YOU The Elements jschmied©2015
  50. 50. Base Elements for LPT skills  Commit to Continuous Improvement:  Consistent process of improvement.  Take small steps forward all the time.  “Present”  Mentally and Physically  Prepared – come with your “tools”  Positive Attitude  Willingness to improve  Cooperation  Self Practice  Goal => Visualize success jschmied©2015
  51. 51. Elements of good leadership 1. Model good leadership jschmied©2015
  52. 52. Elements of good leadership  2. Inspire yourself  3. Take initiative  4. Support others jschmied©2015
  53. 53. Elements of good leadership  5. Flexibility – able to change on the fly.  6. Resiliency – bounce back from failure  7. Learn not to fear failure - Improvise, Adapt and Overcome! jschmied©2015
  54. 54. Elements of good leadership  8. Carefully plan to make good choices  Be careful what you choose. You may get it!  Not making a decision is making a decision. jschmied©2015
  55. 55. Participation Teamwork Leadership Participation & You The Elements jschmied©2015
  56. 56. Active Participation  Must Demonstrate Reliability  Have Good listening skills Sharing in open discussions  Helps entire class see big picture ○ Know what every one is thinking. ○ Builds teamwork, makes for more effective improvement Use of Words  Use words constructively & positively  Craft words to create pictures to cause “emotion” to take action Cooperation  Willing to help more task forward in any way possible. jschmied©2015
  57. 57. Passive Participation Attitude  Positive – Open – Willing & Able There  “Present” & Prepared Active listening  Focused on intent of lesson as well as content  Take notes about concepts & future questions  Avoid lapses Focused on group togetherness  What’s the best way to do this well?  What’s possible? jschmied©2015
  58. 58. Participation Teamwork Leadership Teamwork & You The Elements jschmied©2014
  59. 59. Effective Teamwork  Developing & Storming  Trust Building - Relationship  Commitment to working with each other  Shared Vision ○ Joint Goals jschmied©2015
  60. 60. Effective Teamwork Maintenance –  Personal & Joint Motivation  Focused on Goals  Positive Communications & Relationships  Creativity – art of the possible  Adaptability – especially in stress  Safe  Overcome barriers together  Recognition – Share credit jschmied©2015
  61. 61. Forming Storming Norming Performing Storming • Getting on track when things go wrong! jschmied©2015
  62. 62. Key Skill Needed for high quality improvement in Leadership, Participation & Teamwork Conflict Resolution
  63. 63. We have to learn ways to deal with conflicts even when we are young! Some work better than others jschmied©2015 Forming Storming Norming Performing Rock, Paper, Scissors! Ways to Resolve Conflicts – K-6 school model
  64. 64. Forming Storming Norming Performing jschmied©2015 The key is to understand your mindset As well as others.
  65. 65. Conflict 101 – The Basics A conflict is more than just a disagreement. It is a situation in which one or both parties perceive a threat (whether or not the threat is real). Conflicts continue to fester when ignored. Because conflicts involve perceived threats to our well-being and survival, they stay with us until we face and resolve them. We respond to conflicts based on our perceptions of the situation, not necessarily to an objective review of the facts. Our perceptions are influenced by our life experiences, culture, values, and beliefs. Conflicts trigger strong emotions. If you aren’t comfortable with your emotions or able to manage them in times of stress, you won’t be able to resolve conflict successfully. Conflicts are opportunities for growth. When you’re able to resolve conflict in a relationship, it builds trust. You can feel secure knowing your relationship can survive challenges and disagreements.
  66. 66. Healthy & unhealthy ways of managing & resolving conflict Unhealthy responses to conflict: Healthy responses to conflict An inability to recognize & respond to the things that matter to the other person The capacity to recognize & respond to the things that matter to the other person Explosive, angry, hurtful, & resentful reactions Calm, non-defensive & respectful reactions The withdrawal of love, resulting in rejection, isolation, shaming, & fear of abandonment A readiness to forgive & forget, & to move past the conflict without holding resentments or anger An inability to compromise or see the other person’s side The ability to seek compromise & avoid punishing Fear and avoidance of conflict; an expectation of bad outcomes A belief that facing conflict head on is the best thing for both sides Conflict resolution, Stress, & Emotions
  67. 67. • Manage stress quickly while remaining alert and calm. By staying calm, you can accurately read and interpret verbal and nonverbal communication. • Control your emotions and behavior. When you’re in control of your emotions, you can communicate your needs without threatening, frightening, or punishing others. • Pay attention to the feelings being expressed as well as the spoken words of others. • Be aware of and respectful of differences. By avoiding disrespectful words and actions, you can almost always resolve a problem faster. The ability to successfully resolve conflict depends on your ability to:
  68. 68. Core Conflict Resolution Skills Quick stress relief: The first core conflict resolution skill Being able to manage and relieve stress in the moment is the key to staying balanced, focused, and in control, no matter what challenges you face. If you don’t know how to stay centered and in control of yourself, you will become overwhelmed in conflict situations and unable to respond in healthy ways. Emotional awareness: The second core conflict resolution skill Emotional awareness is the key to understanding yourself and others. If you don’t know how you feel or why you feel that way, you won’t be able to communicate effectively or resolve disagreements. Knowing your own feelings may sound simple, however, many people ignore or try to sedate strong emotions like anger, sadness, and fear. Your ability to handle conflict, however, depends on being connected to these feelings. If you’re afraid of strong emotions or if you insist on finding solutions that are strictly rational, your ability to face and resolve differences will be impaired.
  69. 69. Core Conflict Resolution Skills Nonverbal communication & conflict resolution The most important information exchanged during conflicts and arguments is often communicated nonverbally. Nonverbal communication is conveyed by emotionally driven facial expressions, posture, gesture, pace, tone and intensity of voice. Using humor in conflict resolution Once stress & emotion are brought into balance your capacity for joy, pleasure & playfulness is unleashed. Joy is a deceptively powerful resource. Studies show that you can surmount adversity, as long as you continue to have moments of joy. Humor plays a similar role when facing conflict. You can avoid many confrontations & resolve arguments and disagreements by communicating in a humorous way. Humor can help you say things that might otherwise be difficult to express without offending someone. However, it’s important that you laugh with the other person, not at them. When humor & play are used to reduce tension & anger, reframe problems, & put the situation into perspective, the conflict can actually become an opportunity for greater connection & intimacy.
  70. 70. 6 Tips for managing and resolving conflict Managing & resolving conflict requires the ability to Quickly reduce stress and bring your emotions into balance. You can ensure that the process is as positive as possible by sticking to the following guidelines: 1. Listen for what is felt as well as said. When we listen we connect more deeply to our own needs and emotions, and to those of other people. Listening also strengthens us, informs us, and makes it easier for others to hear us when it's our turn to speak. 2. Make conflict resolution the priority rather than winning or "being right.“ Maintaining & strengthening the relationship, rather than “winning” the argument, should always be your first priority. Be respectful of the other person and his or her viewpoint. 3. Focus on the present. If you’re holding on to grudges based on past resentments, your ability to see the reality of the current situation will be impaired. Rather than looking to the past & assigning blame, focus on what you can do in the here-and-now to solve the problem.
  71. 71. 6 Tips for managing & resolving conflict 4. Pick your battles. Conflicts can be draining, so it’s important to consider whether the issue is really worthy of your time and energy. Maybe you don't want to surrender a parking space if you’ve been circling for 15 minutes, but if there are dozens of empty spots, arguing over a single space isn’t worth it. 5. Be willing to forgive. Resolving conflict is impossible if you’re unwilling or unable to forgive. Resolution lies in releasing the urge to punish, which can never compensate for our losses and only adds to our injury by further depleting and draining our lives. 6. Know when to let something go. If you can’t come to an agreement, agree to disagree. It takes two people to keep an argument going. If a conflict is going nowhere, you can choose to disengage and move on
  72. 72. Tips for managing and resolving conflict Resolving Conflict Constructively and Respectfully Tips on how to manage and resolve conflict in a positive, respectful, and mutually-beneficial way. (Ohio State University Extension) How to Resolve Conflict Advice on resolving differences and managing conflict between individuals, small groups, and organizations. (Roger Darlington) Effective Communication Article on the art of listening in conflict resolution. Includes tips on how to make your point effectively and negotiate conflict in principled, positive way. (University of Maryland)
  73. 73. Leading Others Key: Match your leadership to follower readiness
  74. 74. 1. Believe & have faith in yourself. You live as you believe. If you believe you can fly, you can fly. → Make a Difference! 2. Take action systematically. Some people watch things happen. Others make things happen. Dream big dreams, but don't sit on them – start moving! Every step up will open new horizons!→ Principle of Achievement 3. Approach impossible as possible. Believe everything can be changed and approach the impossible as possible. Some people believe nothing can be changed & approach possible as impossible. You achieve according what you believe→ Great Achiever: 8 Winning Habits 4. Keep stretching. Compete with yourself! Choose progressively more challenging tasks & keep → stretching yourself to unlock your true potential. Whatever goal you are striving to achieve, whether you are working on a challenging project, or trying to → solve a difficult problem, or fighting a powerful enemy, or correcting your own personal weaknesses, you are a winner if you manage to overcome all the obstacles and make your dream a reality. 5. Focus on solutions and → opportunities. The distance between a big → problem and a hugely creative solution can be great or very short – it all depends on your mindset. When a problem arises, don't talk about the problem for too long; focus on creative solutions and opportunities. LPT for Learners
  75. 75. LPT for Learners 6. Develop a burning desire to achieve success. Problem solving starts with a burning desire to change something and an open mind. 7. Do your best. Make doing nothing but the best your habit and you will enjoy nothing but the best in your life. 8. Keep learning to keep succeeding. In today's rapidly changing World, the key to success is not what you know, but how fast you can → learn. If you keep learning from any sources, especially from feedback and failures, you can turn any experience into success. → The Wheel of Personal Success 9. Look forward, not backwards. You might have taken a step back yesterday – don't dwell on it. It's a lesson and a new reality. 10. Conquer your weaknesses. The Earth is the place to learn to conquer yourself, not others. External victories only bring temporary happiness. Conquering yourself brings lasting happiness. >>>
  76. 76. Have a big dream. Stretch your imagination. Don't watch news, create news. Pursue your dreams wholeheartedly and you will learn to fly! >>> Do what you love to do. You were born to pursue → your true passion and → make a difference. You are unique, so be unique! Don't let the vanity cacophony mute your life symphony! Love your audience, → love your customers, → strive to make their life happier and their business → more successful. → Amaze them with new inspirations, breakthrough opportunities and innovative routes to great success. Don’t teach, inspire! Help people and businesses make discoveries, → create new things, → innovate, and reinvent themselves. Help others shine. → Giving is getting. If you want to grow as a→ leader, help other people grow. The more you give, the more you get and the more you enjoy what you do. to be winners and achieve more than they may ever have dreamed possible. Ideas about building LPT skills -> for Leaders & Trainers
  77. 77. Stretch yourself and others. Everyone can achieve much more then they think they can. No challenge no excitement. Stretch your goals, and your goals will stretch you. Approach impossible as possible and you’ll be amazed by → your achievements. Invent breakthrough approaches. Development of cutting edge solutions requires breakthrough approaches. In innovation, doing things right is often wrong. Generate wild ideas. Look for emerging breakthrough → opportunities. Your goal is to systematically create radically new solutions to inspire radically new customer desires. Experiment, observe, adapt. Innovation is 1% initial idea and 99% of entrepreneurial implementation. Focus on your big dream and core competencies while keeping both strategic and tactical flexibility. Build synergies. Combine your diverse competencies, capabilities, resources and → innovations with others to achieve synergy. Build synergistic partnerships. Experiment a lot, be playful, inquisitive, flexible and versatile to find new synergistic connections. Keep learning and inventing new things daily. If you stop → learning you stop learning how create history you become history. If you stop stretching → your creative muscles they will lose elasticity. Ideas about building LPT skills -> for Leaders & Trainers
  78. 78. Differences between Leading & Managing
  79. 79. Final Thoughts: Some techniques & tactics break down into simple lists of things that leaders have used successfully. Retired General Colin Powell, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, developed a collection of 'rules' he displayed prominently on his desk: 1. It ain't as bad as you think. It will look better in the morning. 2. Get mad, then get over it. 3. Avoid having your ego so close to your position that when your position falls, your ego goes with it. 4. It can be done! 5. Be careful what you choose. You may get it. 6. Don't let adverse facts stand in the way of a good decision. 7. You can't make someone else's choices. 8. Check small things. 9. Share credit. 10. Remain calm. Be kind. 11. Have a vision. Be demanding. 12. Don't take counsel of your fears or naysaysers. 13. Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier. jschmied©2015
  80. 80. French and Raven  Goal, to be more influentual and successful  1. Expert Power. This is the most valuable power base. If you have some particular skill or expertise that others value, then you will have power over them if they need/want what you possess. This is the power that professionals have over us – doctors, lawyers, your company’s IT guy. We do what they say because we believe they possess some skill or competence  Learning how to use this power base is key. Competence is a powerful force for success. Establish your expertise – your expert power base – make it known, but don’t boast about it. Expertise and humility are a powerful combination.  2. Reward Power. This is the power to give positive things to others – money, praise, perks, and other things that others need or want. Money is powerful because it is so valued by others. With wealth comes reward power.  We often, however, overlook the power of social reinforcement – giving a compliment, saying ‘thank you,’ a smile and a nod – can be a very powerful form of influence. Get in the habit of noticing when those around you behave positively, and give them social reinforcement. You will find that they will increase their positive behavior, and this is an important form of personal power, as we like people who reward us and treat us nicely.  3. Legitimate Power. This is the power that comes with a position. A synonym is authority. All leaders carry some level of legitimate power, but it is what you do with that authority that makes you effective. Be consistent, and again, be humble about it, and you can use legitimacy more powerfully.  4. Referent Power. This power base comes from being liked, admired, and respected by others. It is the power of strong relationships. This is the power of charismatic leaders who attract and inspire loyal, admiring followers.  There are two facets of referent power that are important for developing this personal power base. The first is to be a positive role model – someone who others would want to emulate. The second is to be a supportive and other-oriented friend or colleague – be a good listener, be responsive, be nice.  5. Coercive Power. Coercive power is the power to punish and force others to action. This is a dangerous power base to wield. To use coercive power effectively, it is best to be subtle. Think of the iron fist in the velvet glove – make it clear that you have the capacity to punish or inflict harm, but use it only sparingly. Remember, power is a potential. You don’t actually have to use it to be effective, and coercive power should only be used when absolutely necessary.  We all possess different levels of these power bases. Learning how to use them effectively is the key. 
  81. 81.   Here’s the thing about personal power:  Some people leverage and use it to the max.  These people understand that their lives are their own.  They choose to take responsibility and do something about their lives.  These people are hard to hold down.  And…  Some people give it away.  These people believe they are controlled by others.  They choose to be victimized by being helpless and doing nothing.  These people feel lifeless, they are hard to pull up.  What about you?  Who controls YOUR emotions?  Who dictates the terms of YOUR existence?  Who is responsible for your happiness?  The more you exercise your personal power, the stronger you become!  Six Enablers That Will Strengthen Personal Power  1. Know what you stand for.  If you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything. Your personal power will evaporate because you’re not grounded, you’re not anchored to anything. Knowing what you stand for is about knowing what you value. Values are the emotional rules that guide your life, the fundamental basis for every decision you make. Values give your life focus and meaning and power. Exercise: Take some time to identify what you VALUE most.  Then, evaluate how much of your life is built around and dictated by these values.  Starting RIGHT NOW decide what you are going to do to fill in the gaps.  2. Believe in what you are doing.  Many of us end up compromising our most deeply held values at work because that’s what we think we need to do in order to get ahead, whether “ahead” means more money, power, pleasure, status or some other lure. When we end up doing things we don’t believe in it saps our personal power and we slowly become DEAD PEOPLE WORKING. Exercise: Do you REALLY believe in what you are doing at work?  Are you working on things that will matter five years from now?  Starting RIGHT NOW decide how you are going to engage in work that matters.  3. Find your sweet spot.  When you find your sweet spot—the synergy between what you are good at, passionate about, and what needs to be done—you tap into the joy and enthusiasm that increases your personal power. If you are stuck in a job because it’s easy or safe or pays well, but gives you no sense of purpose and passion, you are in the most difficult job of all—a job that constantly drains your personal power. Exercise: Have you followed your strengths and passion to find your sweet spot? Or…  Are you engaged in work you don’t love because you’re chasing the money?  Does time at your job fly by or drag on?  Starting RIGHT NOW ask yourself:  What would I be doing if I were engaged in work that leveraged my greatest strengths, work that I love, work that I’m good at, and work that makes an extremely valuable contribution?  How would this kind of work make me feel? Would I have more energy and vitality?  What’s holding me back, what’s keeping me from doing this kind of work?  Given the number of working years I have left, what price will I pay, will my family or loved ones pay if I don’t live and work in my sweet spot?  Exercise: Here are some questions designed to help you find your sweet spot:
  82. 82. About the author: John Schmied has been a secondary science & environment teacher for 20 years and is involved in developing practical, yet innovative, hands on curriculum for teens. He has created, developed and manages a 6 acre Environmental Center at his school site. John is also a Chemical Hygiene Officer. John’s presentations have been viewed worldwide & have been in the top 5% of Slideshare for multiple years. During this time John served as the Strategic planner for the Friends of the Hidden River a 501(C)(3) non profit. • Over the past 13 years Friends helped King County, WA design, fund, construct & develop the 14,800 sqft Brightwater Environmental Center in Woodinville WA. • John is the Director & a principal developer of the Ground to Sound STEM Environmental Challenge course, a locally popular cutting edge environmental program that merges, Science, Tech, Art, Multimedia and other disciplines with Leadership studies at the Center Prior to this period John served for 21 years as a Coast Guard Officer, primarily involved in ice, navigation, search and rescue operations. His specialties are Ship handling, Diving, Personnel, & Oceanographic Operations. John can be contacted via Linked In.