What circus arts and business have in common

What circus arts and business have in common

Have you ever seen someone leaping off a 25 foot platform, swinging by their legs then somersaulting into the air? Or even better, have you tried it yourself?  Two weeks ago, I did (let the photo above be exhibit A).  It was terrifying, exhilarating and amazingly fun at the same time.  Let’s face it, that mix of feelings is more common in life than most of us think. Whether you’re giving a big presentation to executives at your firm, interviewing for a promotion or asking for VC funding for your growing startup, there’s a mix of fear and hope rushing through you.   “Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark, professionals built the Titanic.” – Unknown   So, similar to the circus performing trapeze artists, how can you harness the fear AND hope to drive business performance?  Here are 4 principles to keep in mind: 1. Focus on the outcome:  its easier to visualize yourself grabbing the bar and swinging into a perfect somersault when you are standing at the top of the trapeze platform. Sometimes,  its the vantage point that helps you more distinctly define the end goal. Clearly deciding and articulating the outcome you are looking for in any situation will help your mind focus on the real reason you are doing this crazy, fearful activity. It immediately reminds you of the positive result you are seeking and helps you break down the process into little steps that lead to success. By clearly visualizing the end result, a little bit of fear transforms into excitement. It may be just enough to propel...
Does your company grow you?

Does your company grow you?

When we think of the mandate of most companies, we mostly think profitability and creating value for shareholders & the community at large. Yet, for developmental organizations, one of the primary goals is to make their employees better human beings.  Who wouldn’t want to work for a company who is completely invested in growing you as a person?   Imagine going into a team meeting where your colleagues and manager know your goal is to overcome your fear of public speaking so they create a safe space to encourage you to step up during the meeting and offer you feedback not only on your business content but on how well you faced your fear and what it means.  These companies actually exist!  They bridge the tug-of-war between work life balance by acknowledging that by working on yourself, you will be adding even more value to the business. Its a simple idea with the focus being on everyday execution.   If your company isn’t a developmental organization YET, but you want to work on yourself at work, the first step is an analysis of what you are doing well, how its adding value and noting areas you want to improve in the future. So, here is a simple formula to help you identify all this in under 5 min ( hint:perfect to do before your next performance review so you know where to focus your development training)         Now that you know how to pinpoint your strengths and link them to business outcomes and impact, what are other areas you want to grow in? How can your strengths...
What 7 experts taught me about success

What 7 experts taught me about success

  Yesterday wasn’t the average Wednesday at the office.  I joined 5000 professionals in a convention centre to soak up knowledge from 7 global experts all around the theme of Success. It was a jam packed day of insightful wisdom, game changing ideas and high energy. In the spirit of sharing and offering actionable tactics to create change in your life, I’d love to share my key learnings with you.  (Full disclosure, I’m also using you as accountability buddies to ensure I go through my messy notes and translate them into inspired action for myself!)  As Les Brown shared how his drive to offer his mother a better life motivated him to succeed even when self-doubt was slamming down the door. One particular phrase resonated deeply with me: Someone’s opinion of you doesn’t have to be your reality @LesBrown @Passionigniter Click To Tweet Les brought to light the fact that we are not defined by how others define us. We have control and autonomy to label ourselves as we wish ( and as big as we can dream). Les also spoke about the benefits of living full and dying empty. Citing that the wealthiest place is in fact, the cemetery. It is  the largest deposit of unrealized dreams, wealth and achievements. This truth instantly touched me as I lost a friend and mentor earlier this week. Scott Dinsmore  was a great example of someone who lived fully, although he tragically left us too soon and with so much left in him to give. The only woman to take the stage at the event was also the one to receive a...
The most forgotten leadership skill

The most forgotten leadership skill

As an ambitious professional, I’m guessing that you’ve taken some fascinating and insightful leadership courses in your life— perhaps a workshop on public speaking or how to have courageous conversations. Maybe you’ve completed a self assessment on your personality type at some point.   But, have you ever been for “Appreciation Training”?   Probably not. Appreciation awareness and training is often left off the development checklist. In fact, appreciation is such a forgotten leadership skill that it can be considered the root cause of many horrifying employee engagement statistics.  In a study by Kelton Research , they found that 56% of employed Americans  say that apart from compensation and benefits, being appreciated would motivate them to stay in their current position – even more so than an opportunity to advance their career (46 percent).   Feeling appreciated for the work you are doing matters. It grows pride in your abilities and project outcomes. A little appreciation goes a long way in the currencies of empowerment and motivation.   Many organizations have solid recognition systems but lack simple appreciation reminders. We explore the differences between recognition and appreciation in this episode of the Leadership Lounge ( and also give you a simple 3 step proven process to master the art of appreciation!) Remember, Be generous in your praise and you’ll notice you’re on the path to greatness.@passionigniter Click To Tweet Here’s where you can kick it into action: Think of 1 person you can appreciate TODAY then use the SIP method to declare your appreciation. It can be at work or at home ( there are probably opportunities for more appreciation all around you).  Let...
Giving back in a time crunched world

Giving back in a time crunched world

    “Not everything that counts can be counted. And not everything that can be counted, counts.” – Albert Einstein   Giving back to the community is on your to-do list. You have every intention of giving back, volunteering and making more of an impact. Yet, it feels impossible to fit another thing into your hectic week so how do you address that gut feeling of wanting to give back?   Wouldn’t it be great if your employer supported you in giving back to the community- with time, recognition and even financial support? It’s not just a distant fantasy.  Julie, an employee at a major telecommunications firm, has found the key to balancing volunteering with corporate and personal life. Check out this month’s episode of the Leadership Lounge where we meet Julie and hear tips for how giving back can be easier than you think:     As an employer, there are benefits to encouraging employees to participate in community activities. They become brand ambassadors of the company vision and values ( like Julie). You offer them skill building opportunities outside the cubicle. You encourage them to find areas they are passionate about thereby increasing their exposure to new people and projects which can help identify new customer gaps or solutions. You offer them diverse experience which they will bring back into the workplace and share with others, thereby sparking new conversations, ideas and solutions. You contribute to the community in which your company belongs, strengthening the links between profits and purpose.   If you are pumped and excited to jump on the volunteer band-wagon, here are some ways you can...