Archive for the ‘Meetings industry’ Category

Are You Headed For Prison?

April 18, 2013

                      cell                

The Boston Marathon bombings have shaken
each of us to our core and left us wondering where it will all end….
Once again fear is at the forefront of the news.
 
As a motivational speaker for business groups at meetings and conferences, I talk alot about being fearless – taking risks to succeed at work and be happy in life. Fear can make us a prisoner of our imagination.
 
Terrorists are yellow-bellied cowards filled with hate and fear of anyone not like them. Chances are you don’t know one.
 
North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un is trying to prove himself using provocative nuclear and missile actions. Odds are you’ll never meet him.

Know-It-All Dictator Boss
doesn’t leave room for disagreements out of a sense of personal insecurity, arrogance, or both. The loyalty of the few cronies he or she has is built on fear, and so it isn’t authentic friendship. You may be familiar with this one.
 
I believe people’s insecurities show up as aggression, shyness, controversy, aloofness, arrogance, bullying, incessant chatter, rudeness, and otherwise unwanted traits.

At the essence of this defense mechanism behavior is the fear of not being good enough. The common result? Isolation, emotional instability, unhappiness.

The first step to solving a problem is to admit it exists. Do you see any of these traits in anyone you know? Errr, yes….especially if you take a look in the mirror.

Don’t let fear build walls around your ability to live, laugh, love and be happy.

Love like you’ve never been hurt, dance like there’s nobody watching, yada yada yada…

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Aha! For A Second, Change For A Lifetime

February 5, 2013
 
                                                 HADOA
I’m off to speak in Montana….
where I hear it’s a tad chilly.
OK. It’s freakin’ freezing!
Out with the faux fur.
 
February is national heart month and the American Heart Association is hosting a slew of Go Red For Women events across the country. I’m the luncheon speaker at the Billings chapter where 350 women are attending the fundraiser.
 
Did you know that heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women in the USA? (yes, more than cancer)
 
The half day event includes workshops on healthcare, exhibitors and survivors sharing their stories. Then it’s my turn….
 montanaThey hired me to supercharge the energy in the room and close the event on a positive note.
 
For 30 minutes the audience is going to forget their problems and focus on possibilities. For 30 minutes they’re going to be uplifted, entertained, inspired and educated. After 30 minutes they’re going to leave happy they attended and hopeful for the future.
 
Thirty minutes isn’t very long to plant seeds for a lifetime – but it only takes one aha! moment to be a game changer for one person.
 
Gotta be grateful for my life, my health and my gifts that I get to share in such awesome ways.
 
Look out Montana……you’re about to get a whole lot of hot stuff!

ARE YOU GAME?

January 29, 2013
sloane
Sloane Stephens

The Australian Open is over.                                           Some dreams were dashed,  others fulfilled.

For 19 year old Sloane Stephens a dream came true.

Can you possibly imagine what it would be like to not only meet your idol but compete against her on the same court while the world watched? What would be going on in your mind?

Mine would be mush with fear.

On the morning that Sloane Stephens was to play against the legendary Serena Williams, she woke up and said to herself: “I can do this”. That’s a bold and fearless attitude for such a young player. And she did. Sloane beat her idol and earned herself a place in the top 20 tennis players of the world. It didn’t matter she didn’t win the Australian Open. She won something more valuable: self confidence.

What’s devil angelYOUR dream? Have you got a bucket list of things you’d like to do? Is there a voice in your head saying why you’ll never accomplish any of them?

In a recent after dinner speech I told the story of how eighteen months ago I walked into the Memorial Park Tennis Center in Houston and asked if they had group lessons. I hadn’t stepped foot on a tennis court for 30 years and I was terrified of making a complete fool of myself…….especially since the other women in the class were all perky young girls of 25.

Do you know how annoying perky young girls are???  They run fast, they jump high, they don’t sweat, puff or pant. Aaaargh!Theresa tennis small!!                                           

Fast forward to now….I’m playing five times/week, having a ball (literally), meeting great new people, feeling vibrantly alive and energetic and those perky young girls are nowhere to be seen.
             
Watch out for negative self talk. It can cost you life’s most precious gift: Happiness.

Game, set, match.

Woman motivational speaker Theresa Behenna: Fail your way to Success!
    Kickoff conference speaker 
         Theresa Behenna

 PROFESSIONAL MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER THERESA BEHENNA     IS PERFECT FOR:

Conferences * After dinner

Women’s groups * Awards banquets

Association meetings

                                                                
Theresa@TheresaBehenna.com Tel: 713.627.7821  http://www.TheresaBehenna.com

New Norm for the New Year

January 23, 2013
 
From left: Craig Beskid Exec.Dir. EHCMA,
Mark Byrd Shell Oil, yours truly, Todd Monette LyondellBasell & John Parkinson PetroLogistics

Recently I spoke to a group of engineers that made up the East Harris County Manufacturers Association (EHCMA) at their annual awards banquet.

My topic: “Extraordinary is the New Norm!” covers the five principles it takes to be the best on the job in today’s economy:
1.   PASSION
      Engage & motivate  employees
2.  PERSEVERANCE
Overcome challenges & consistently deliver more value
3.  ATTITUDE
      Be willing to learn from each generation & stay likeable
4.  PEOPLE
      Develop a strong team culture through servant leadership
5.  FOCUS
      Keep goals in mind but be open to innovative ideas       

The challenge at this awards event? Keeping them awake after an open bar and steak dinner.  
 C’mon, we’re talking engineers here! 

They booked this Houston piano playing, funny speaker for three reasons:

  • liven up their meeting 
  • give ’em a message they can use  
  • make everyone feel glad they came
Mission accomplished – thanks to key audience members being great sports (Chevron guys rock & Dupont men rule!) Gotta luv ’em!
 
SINCE 2008 THE MEETINGS INDUSTRY has taken numerous kicks in the proverbial err, wallet. The AIG scandal was the final straw. Budgets tightened and professional speakers were canceled as organizations were scrutinized to justify the expense.snooze

Now people are tired of dry facts ‘n’ stats industry speakers that amount to one big snooze fest.
With the popularity of the Ted Talks and audiences demanding an EXPERIENCE versus simply attending, 2013 will herald major changes for meetings and conferences.
  • Got funny?  
  • Got content?  
  • Got a singing dog?
Extraordinary: The New Norm for the New Year.

 

Teamwork that Works

October 23, 2012
 

Helping hands in the kitchen

In my speeches on extraordinary work performance I emphasize the importance of teams to achieve goals and deliver outstanding customer service…… 

 
Serving lunch to 500 of Houston’s homeless was a lesson in what makes up a good team. (It was also a kick-butt reminder to be grateful for all
I have!) 
Downtown Houston

Downtown Houston (Photo credit: telwink)

 
1. Show up
Reliability is severely underrated today.
People say they’ll do something but don’t follow through. It’s not just annoying, it’s weakness of character and ultimate failure for a team/organization. The leader at the homeless shelter said our team was the best of all groups that volunteered there because we had 100% team turnout 100% of the time resulting in 100% productivity.
 
 
2. Attitude
Success starts with having the right attitude.
One of our team members had to leave early. She was in the middle of our kitchen ‘chain gang’ serving bread. The woman next to her serving vegetable side dishes immediately took up the slack by taking on the bread duties. No complaints. Employees need the team attitude of  ‘all for one and one for all’ making the company goals a priority versus individual agendas. Whiners should be weeded out before they destroy team productivity and morale.
 
3. Appreciation
At one point in my presentations I talk about the power of praise.
I tell the story of how a few words of appreciation for a job well done made the world of difference to a disgruntled oil company employee. Business management guru Marcus Buckingham said people join companies but leave bosses and the #1 reason is they feel unappreciated. The team leader at the shelter was generous with his praise of our efforts (despite the sloppy mess I made scooping spaghetti) We worked hard. We left fulfilled.

Organizations need to cultivate a strong team culture.

Managers need to nurture team members.

Team members need to be willing to pull together for the sake of the company ‘coz without the company they don’t have jobs.

  

WHY FRANK SINATRA SHOULD BE PART OF YOUR HEALTH CARE PLAN

October 17, 2012


sinatra 

As a professional speaker that has played piano since the earth was cooling, I’m constantly amazed at the power of music and how it transforms people and events.

I was speaking to a group of healthcare professionals at their annual conference and told the story of when I was hired to perform a 60 minute musical program for Alzheimers patientsand their care givers. The audience age ranged from 40 to 75 years old.          

Hamburg Steinway D-274

Hamburg Steinway D-274 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some patients were in the advanced stages of the disease and couldn’t remember their own name. Caregivers were stressed out and close to compassionate fatigue. The energy in the room was heavy and somewhat sad. Within seconds of playing ‘New York, New York‘ it happened…

Blank stares became bright eyes. Droopy heads lifted up. Toes tapped and hands clapped in tempo. Patients with no memory sang along perfectly to the music. Worn out care givers became energized and animated. Suddenly the atmosphere was alive and vibrant.

And the best part? No pills needed.

As the kickoff speaker for that healthcare conference, and since I’m kinda funny and play piano during my presentations on workplace performance, the precedent was set for the whole event. Attendees left feeling happy.

Can you put a price on happy? Do you have a prescription for happy? If you’re a healthcare professional how do you define happy?

I’d be happy to hear your thoughts.

Doo-bee-doo-bee-doo…

How To Make Your Employees Feel Like Superheroes

September 25, 2012
As a professional speaker on workplace performance I found this blog to be spot on. Managers take note!  
 
– Fast Company blogger September 18th, 2012 

I once got this in a message from a former employee:

“When I worked for you, I thought I was Superman. I have occasionally reflected on why that was. Not sure I know all the answers, but the things I do know are that the environment was real, the energy was high, and the crap was low..”

It was wonderful to get that message. Those first 10 words sum up for me, in a pretty profound way, what I believe being a good leader is about.

I used to wonder why I was so lucky to have such remarkable, talented, experienced people want to work for me. I realized that a big part of it boiled down to what was in that note:

1. I got the right people in the right roles. 

2. I let them be amazing.

3. I got the crap out of the way (people really liked this!).

Here’s how you can tackle each step to foster employee satisfaction and a memorable culture:

1. Get the right people in the right roles. 

Are you leading the team you need? Or are you leading the team you have?

There is nothing more important as a leader than to build a team underneath you that is so capable that you can free yourself up to solve higher-order problems. Too many managers think the job is to make the best of the team they have. That is not the job.

The job is to develop, and if necessary change, the people–so you get individuals who are well suited for their roles, and a highly capable team that can do what the business needs now and in the future.

 If you find yourself needing over and over again to personally step in to make key decisions or do strategic work that you hoped one of your staff would handle, you have someone in the wrong role. You need to make a change.

 I realize this sounds harsh. But you have choices and you don’t need to be a bad person to build a great team. The good news is that getting the right people in the right roles is great for them, it’s great for you, and it’s great for the business. There is no downside except that it’s hard to do. So…

GUT CHECK: Is your desired outcome to grow the business or to keep people in their jobs?

Here are your choices:

Grow the business: If your desired outcome is to grow the business, then you need to get the right people in the right jobs and eliminate the people who are not capable enough.

Keep jobs: If your desired outcome is to have people keep their jobs you have two choices: 

  • Move them to different, lower, or sideways jobs, and free up the key jobs to be filled by stronger people.
  • If you can’t or won’t do this, then don’t waste time and energy signing your business up for strategic growth. If you are not going to change the people, find a less ambitious business model you can execute with the team you have.
2. Let people be amazing. 

Okay. Now that you have the right team of highly capable people, give them important work, support them, step back, and let them be amazing.

Don’t just delegate work. Delegate power.

Let people make big decisions and solve big problems. Let them do great work they can be proud of.

Give them recognition. Be an active spokesperson for their efforts. Show them trust and respect, and make sure they get the credit for their accomplishments–they will move mountains for you. Get out of their way!

3. Get the crap out of the way. 

As a leader a key part of your job is to create a work environment that is good to work in.

Uncertainty, worry, and unnecessary complexity all drain energy and trust out of the organization. If you want to create an environment where your people can thrive, you need to actively and continually remove the sand that creeps into gears.

Here are some ideas to get rid of the de-motivating crap:

Remove uncertainty:

* Make, clarify, and communicate decisions.
* Don’t let questions and rumors fester.

* Don’t leave people to wonder what is important, or which direction to go.

Remove negativity:
* Discourage unproductive, negative talk. No one can complain without offering a proposal.
* Eliminate people who drain energy out of the organization.

* Remove any managers who are bullies, or who block communication.

Be accountable:
* Have clear plans with measures and accountability.
* Address missed deadlines with consequences and action plans. (You’d be surprised how much positive energy this creates.)

* Face up to, and fix broken strategies.

Find the magic 

When you get someone in the right role right that aligns with their natural strengths, abilities, and ambitions, magic happens.They thrive. They grow. They do amazing things. They feel proud of what they do. They are motivated and energized.

When you get a whole team of people who are in the right roles, the team becomes unstoppable. And then you are free to look forward and lead (and keep vigilant at removing the crap, which takes actual time).

Your job as a leader is to create that team–a team that can amplify what you can do. Otherwise you are at the helm of a team that is constrained by you, not led by you.

– Patty Azzarello, Author of Rise: 3 Practical Steps for Advancing Your Career, Standing Out as a Leader and Liking Your Life

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You and Betty White

September 17, 2012

If you don’t recognize this face you’re obviously not living on  planet  earth…….. Betty White is amazing. If this is what 90 looks like bring it on Baby! A busy actress, animal activist and author, Betty said the scariest thing she ever did was host Saturday Night Live which probably sounds weird to  ‘normal’ folks outside of show biz. How could someone so talented be nervous or afraid?

As a professional motivational speaker on workplace performance in Texas and around the country, I can tell you every time I’m about to step on stage at a conference or special event I get the proverbial butterflies in the proverbial tummy. Regardless of many years experience, it’s the norm.

“Top performers like Betty White move through the fear and do it anyway because fear is what you pass on the way to success.”

  • Are you terrified of that new software?
  • Do you dread giving a sales presentation?
  • Is the very thought of learning a new process so scary you’re paralyzed?

Change is the only true constant. Perception is often worse than reality. Take one baby step at a time and watch how your fear dissolves.

Who knows? Maybe YOU’LL end up in a super bowl candy commercial at 88 years old.

 

Who’s Looking At You?

August 15, 2012
 
flagThe Olympics are over. All the buzz and excitement of international competition is gone. Compelling stories of athletes overcoming adversity, failures and triumphs are already fading.
Feels kinda sorta like a downer, right?                                   
Merry Ole England did a bang up job of hosting the 2012 games. The royals were out and about, security was a success, traffic was smooth, athletes commented on how very polite the Brits were (natch Daaahling!) and they even built a special ‘Olympic Park’ at the airport terminal for departing visitors. By Joves, I say that’s a jolly nice touch, eh what?
spice girls
Closing ceremonies were quite spectacular, did you think? That is, after the opening vocalist, (whoever she was) singing a bunch of flat notes. You’d have thought it was me – and that’s not a good thing.
 
My favorite part was how singers performed while being chauffered around the stadium in a parade of Rolls Royces (my future car).
Pictured here are The Spice Girls giving it their best shot in front of a global audience of 300 million.                                                                           

Wearing the ‘gold’ from 2006 Torino Olympics

 
So what now?
 
Motivation to be great comes easy when you know the world is watching.   
 
Motivation to be great at work? Not so much.
 
As a motivational speaker at conferences I talk about how top performers give it their best shot all the time because excellence has become a habit.
 
Who’s looking?
 
 
Your customers/boss/team/colleagues/vendors/family/friends.
 
Go the extra mile. Bring home the gold.
  
 Read more of Theresa’s blogs HERE 

Your Olympic Best

August 8, 2012

Dale and police

Studies show the average employee wastes two hours a day on personal business like Facebook etc. That equals about three months of lost productivity per year, per person. Ouch!
 
As a motivational speaker on extraordinary Work Performance I explain how top performers go above and beyond what they’re asked to do by their bosses/clients to exceed expectations and succeed in today’s competitive market.
 
Extraordinary is the new norm in the 2012 workplace.
 
Extraordinary has always been the norm to win gold at the Olympics.
 
Pictured here holding the Olympic torch with police escort prior to the 2000 games Down Under, is my Aussie gal pal Dale Krieg Knappstein. Dale was a swimmer in the 1960 Olympics in Rome and here’s what she said last week during a speech she gave to an elementary school in Adelaide, South Australia:
 
“You have to be extraordinary to win.
  
7 billion people in the world                                     
19 days of competition
10,500 athletes
26 different sports
205 countries represented
302 gold medals

Out of all the people in the world the odds of getting the gold are almost an impossibility.

I came home from Rome without a medal. I felt I had failed my family and my country. Many years later I figured out that at the time, I was one of the top ten 100 meters freestyle swimmers in the world. That’s not bad! Now I’m older I realize that I didn’t fail. I gave it my best shot, others were just better.

Dale and Dawn
From right: Dale Krieg, top Australian athlete Dawn Fraser & coach Harry Gallagher

Today let’s celebrate the dedication and sacrifices needed to become an Olympian.

Then let’s celebrate all the people in this world who give it their best. Not just in sport but in every human endeavour.  We can’t all have gold, silver or bronze medals. (Hey – nothing wrong with silver and bronze!) but we can all give it our best and if we do, this world will be a better place.”

It sure sounds like the USA would be a better place if we all did our personal best at work.

Maybe then all the stuff at Walmart would be labeled

“Made in America”.