Starting a Revolution of Awesome

In May, I stepped onto a stage in front of over 250 corporate professionals in Switzerland with one goal in mind: To inspire them to own their awesomeness and then act on it. I got personal on stage and shared the story of how I was 1 of 3 people to make it onto a lifeboat from a sinking ship last year. Oh, you haven’t heard that story yet?  Let’s change that right now:   There are days when self doubt, uncertainty and frustration fill our work space,  when its easy to forget the big picture of who we are and why it matters. These days lead to brilliance being muted, ideas lost and talent walking out the door. Lack of engagement & purpose is a plague invading our boardrooms. And, things have got to change.   It’s time to start a revolution to discover, own and sell our awesomeness at work. Its time the brilliant ideas are voiced and talent is showcased in order to drive growth and service. I’m committed to starting a Revolution of Awesome and I need your help. Here’s my invitation for you to take inspired action right now: 1. Please comment/like & share this  youtube video with 5 people if you care about them being seen and heard. There’s brilliance to be uncapped and no time to lose. 2. Forward this blog post to someone who is keeping their talent too hidden. If it can help/ignite them in some way, its worth it. 3. Spark a conversation about owning the inner salesperson with a colleague. Lets take this message to the masses so that it helps...

Boardroom Body Language

We are always communicating, even when our lips are sealed. Many of us are aware of the role body language can play in our messaging however how often do we consciously choose our gestures, posture and facial expressions? Ready to ramp up your leadership presence at work? I heard a virtual “oh yeah!” You can leverage body language to be a powerful tool at work. Take team meetings for example, there are multiple ways you can communicate agreement, encouragement or distaste and protest to colleagues using your body as the loud speaker.  In fact, I’d like to share with you body language hacks you can start using in team meetings starting today. Check out this video below.   Announcing our new Leadership Show! This is the first episode. You can expect monthly episodes packed with the latest leadership content & action-oriented challenges that you can implement at work to stand out starting today. Have a topic idea for the next show? Put it in the comments below or email us at...

The Art of Leadership for Women

Earlier this week, I attended the Art of Leadership for Women Conference held in Toronto, Canada. All day, the stage lit up with female voices- Gretchen Rubin, Tara Mohr, Leeza Gibbons and Suzy Welch to name a few.  I felt inspired and re-energized walking away from the conference so I’d like to share some of my key learnings with you in the hopes that you are inspired to action as well.   My two biggest learnings from the conference:   1. Don’t underestimate the Second Act of Life. Both Suzy Welch and Leeza Gibbons spoke vulnerably and candidly from stage about their lives- as women in media, female leaders, wives and mothers.  Sharing their personal journeys and lessons to a room full of female professionals was inspiring as they created space for vulnerability to linger in the theatre. To be honest, I hadn’t heard of Suzy other than from her famous last name ( married to Jack Welch, former CEO of GE) however as her story unfolded, I realized she has accomplished more in half of her career than most do in a lifetime. A journalist, Bain & Co consultant then editor-in-chief of the Harvard Business Review and now best-selling author, Suzy stands brilliantly tall in her heels in any boardroom. I admired her informal style of storytelling which was structured around 4 key mistakes she wanted to share with us.   Here are some tweetable words of wisdom from her talk: Area of destiny is what you are uniquely good at + what you love doing Click To Tweet “Don’t hire the best people, hire the best human...

Journey to TEDx

Ever wonder what goes into preparing and delivering a TEDx talk?     It’s a journey from the moment you agree to do it up until you walk off stage with the afterglow of delivery. I’d love to share my journey with you.     After you share your story on stage in front of 300 people, you often wonder—- How did I do? What was the impact? I chose not to keep myself in suspense so I  went to the audience to ask how they felt after the talk and what action they would take next. Here’s what they said:   Its how people FEEL and what they DO after an interaction with you that is a measurement of success.     Stay tuned for the link to watch the full TEDx talk ( sign up if you want the link emailed directly to you!)   If you are wondering what resources to tap into along the way, here are a few excellent tools that can help:  How to define your idea  Powerfully communicate via your slides Pinpointing your storyline  What to wear for your TEDx talk Remember to reach out to people to bounce ideas off them and rehearse with them. People WANT to be part of your journey, so let them!   If you have additional tips to share, please offer them in the comments section. If you had the chance to walk onto a TEDx stage, what idea would you share? ( Declare it below and watch magic happen)    ...

Laugh for your life

” There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humour.”   – Charles Dickens One day many years ago, my dad was driving my sister and I to school when he burst out laughing. The first 5 minutes he laughed, I thought he was crazy. But then the magic of laughter spread and my sister and I had joined in on the random laughter.   No, he wasn’t crazy- he was just doing some morning laughter yoga.  He had heard all about Dr Madan Kataria’s Laughter Yoga practice the day before on the radio. Fast forward ten years…. I am sitting in a yoga studio in Bangalore, India with 35  professionals from 13 different countries and we are laughing. Really loud for a really long time. We are all becoming globally certified Laughter Yoga Professors and receiving our training from  the Founder himself- Dr Madan Kataria. So just what is Laughter Yoga and how do you do it? I interviewed Dr Madan Kataria to ask him how laughter yoga can impact us both at home and in the boardroom.   Did you find yourself laughing?  Good!  My invitation to you TODAY:  laugh a little bit longer today and notice how you feel. Interested in trying out some laughter yoga with friends or colleagues at work? Great!  Contact me at tania@taniadesa.com  and let’s bring more laughter into your...

You’ve Lived

Its the last day of 2014. When the images of the year gone by run through your head, how do you feel? Today has magic. It’s the day when we reflect on moments gone by and mentally, emotionally prepare for a new year. A blank page in your storybook of life. I have two gifts for you today. First, sit back, close your eyes and take in this song: Second, grab your journal or a blank page or a new note on your iPhone. Create 5 min to interview yourself: DIY Interview: 1. What are you most proud of? 2. What was scariest thing you did this year? 3. What are you grateful for this year? 4. If you could sum up 2014 as an outfit/apparel, what would it look like? 5. What advice do you have for yourself for next year?    Wishing you gleaming pride in what you do and enthusiastic courage to go for a big dream next year. Happy New Year! 2015 has got your name all over it.     ...

Do you own your corporate ladder?

Work to become, not to acquire.  -Elbert Hubbard     Earlier this week, I was honored to be part of a leadership panel to spark a discussion around diversity and leadership in the workplace. I shared the stage with an accomplished employment equity lawyer and founder of The Hum Firm, Lai-King Hum and global gender equality specialist from Because I am a Girl Canada Mary Bridger.  With people spilling out of the doorway, we were asked to offer advice and personal stories of challenges and triumphs in climbing our own corporate ladders. Lively discussion ensued as we broke out in to roundtable discussions around the topic of diversity in the workplace and female leadership development.   Here are some of the highlights of the evening: How to Own Your Corporate Ladder from Tania DeSa on Vimeo. Gems from the night include: →  Be shameless when it comes to standing up for your career. →  Keep a list of accomplishments as a personal reminder to not undervalue yourself. →  Speak up at every meeting you’re in. Add something and make sure your voice is heard.   Give yourself permission to be new and learn. You don’t have to know everything on Day 1… Click To Tweet →  When you are new in the industry, say yes to opportunities- you never know what they could lead to.   Own your #worth then build a case to ask for what you want @ Passionigniter @NAAAPToronto Click To Tweet →  Mentors and sponsors are key to taking your career to the next level.   →  Start before you feel ready. You don’t need 100% of the...

3 Ways to Pitch Ideas at Work

Ideas are essential to drive change forward. You probably come up with a few brilliant ideas each week yet how many never leave your lips? The power behind ideas only comes when they leave you and touch others. In order to do that, you have to “pitch” your ideas so that others understand them then act on them. “We think good ideas to death, when we should be acting them to life.” – Brian G. Jett Pitching doesn’t have to be intimidating. In fact, here are 3 practical strategies to help you pitch your ideas more persuasively starting today.       Now, its time to leap into action.   What do you want people to know, feel and do @DanielPink @passionigniter Click To Tweet   Think of one idea that has the potential to inspire and instigate action in others. Choose one or even all three of the strategies you just learnt and ACT. Then tell us all about it below in the comments section. We’re your Leadership Peeps, we want to know.   For more info on Daniel Pink’s “To Sell is Human” click here or here.        ...

Living Room Leadership

In a recent blog post,  Richard Branson shared how he grew his business acumen and adventurous spirit from his mother. He stated “ we most commonly derive inspiration and character-shaping qualities from our home environments – whether we realise it or not. I am most definitely who I am today because of my parents.” Richard got me reflecting on how my parents have moulded me into the woman I am today and how my style of leadership has been influenced since birth. So here’s a summary of homegrown leadership lessons: My parents speak to EVERYONE. I’m sure my sisters and I were taught not to talk to strangers as children but as soon as it was safe enough, we were encouraged to talk to as many random people as possible. My parents modelled this behaviour so well. My mom’s energy is magnetic and my dad’s sense of curiosity makes him an outstanding listener. They are a conversation powerhouse, connecting with strangers is a natural gift that they have perfected over the course of my lifetime. I think their secret is to observe what’s going on around them, let curiosity lead and then to courageously ask a question without the fear of how the other person may respond. As a kid, I remember grocery store trips taking forever because my mom would talk to people in line or getting special treatment at the dentist’s office because my dad knew the receptionist’s life story. Talking to strangers has been rewarding for them. It has not only led to new friendships but also business opportunities and even free places to stay on their...

Mentors are overrated

It sounds harsh, I know.  Mentors are overrated. However we place SO much emphasis on mentors that we forget about other key roles to help us step into our leadership. The truth is I think mentors are an essential part of building your careerand everyone needs a few but calling every senior manager your mentor will not land you that promotion. A Sponsor will. A sponsor is someone influential who will advocate for you.    Mentors are a stepping stone to sponsors @passionigniter  Click To Tweet Many times a mentor will transform into a sponsor. In fact, this is the perfect way to seek out and build sponsors. A Sponsor must witness your brilliance and believe in your potential. After all, they are using their own social capital when they advocate for you. That’s what is amazing about sponsor relationships- they are win-win relationships.  Sponsors back top talent and help leaders move up the ranks and by doing so, they grow their own leadership equity.   Sponsors grow their own leadership equity when they help you @ passionigniter  Click To Tweet   “High-potential women are overmentored and undersponsored, relative to their male peers,” observes Christine Silva, a Catalyst senior director. “Without sponsorship, women not only are less likely than men to be appointed to top roles, but may also be more reluctant to go for them.” (Fortune article) A few years ago, as a marketing manager in Europe, I remember hearing from our division General Manager how a VP in the US was acknowledging me and highlighting my contributions after a presentation I had given his team. While he had commended...

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