Posts Tagged ‘Success’

Why the Pope rocks at business & how you can too

September 29, 2015

Pope Francis touching child in America (220x124)Regardless of your religious beliefs, social economic position, field of business, political views or your personal whereabouts last week, you heard about Pope Francis’s historical visit to America. Also regardless of all the above, you have to admit he crushed it. He knocked it out of the park. He rocked.

Why?

Because he connected with the masses. Not just the high brows. Not just the politically correct, the famous, the leaders. He genuinely cares about all people everywhere and it showed. His humility is so endearing yet so powerful, he influenced millions of non-Catholics in a very short time (are you listening Donald Trump?) His message was about inclusion, unity and compassion. Simple. Effective.

Why should you care?

When you express genuine concern about your team members, co-workers, customers and people in general, you can impact their lives in ways you never dreamed of. A few words of praise or appreciation can instill confidence,  attract more customers, boost teamwork and improve performance in the workplace and can seriously be life-changing for someone needing support and encouragement during tough times. As a motivational speaker I constantly hear about people joining companies but leaving bosses because they don’t feel valued.

Smart business is about connecting with people and building great relationships. The Pope totally gets that. Do you?

Reach out and touch someone. You never know where it could lead.

Hark, can you hear the angels sing? No, wait. It’s the sweet sound of success.

You had me at hello. Now what?

September 16, 2015

Tom Cruise as Jerry Maguire movie posterTom Cruise would totally have me at hello too. The only difference is I’d be a goo-goo-eyed bumbling mess unlike Renee Zellweger in the movie Jerry Maguire who ends up marrying him.

Oh well……. I’m too tall for him anyway.

So you’ve just landed a new customer/job. You’ve said your first hello and hopefully made a good impression. What’s next? How do you ensure your success? The answer is in a back-to-basics point I make in all my motivational speeches: you build great relationships. You connect with people on a personal level. You treat co-workers, customers and peers like you yourself want to be treated – with courtesy, kindness and respect.

Several months ago I was the keynote speaker at a customer service conference for a sizable electric company in Dallas where the staff turnover rate was almost zero. Everyone was so happy to work for this organization I wondered what was in the water! (just sayin’) I asked several employees why they still loved working there after 28 years and they all said the same thing: they were treated like family by the top management and all the way  down. They felt valued and appreciated. 

Sometimes we all need a reminder that it’s the simple human needs that have a HUGE impact on the success of an organization, an individual or a project.

Alrighty then. Now………………..show me the money!

How the ‘L’ Word can Supercharge your Success

September 10, 2015

As a professional motivational speaker at corporate and association meetings, I hear a lot about challenges between the generations in the workforce today. From the Millennials who think they rule technology to the Boomers who think they’ve been there done that, each generation seems to have a “know-it-all” attitude, resulting in poor communications, tense work environment, lack of cohesive teamwork and decreased productivity.

Super stressful. SO not fun.

Recently I spoke to a group of franchisees for a national chain of dance studios and their conference theme was “Back to Basics”. It was about using a more human aspect in marketing, managing and working together to attract more customers, boost teamwork and thrive as a small business owner. We talked about building great relationships as a way to personalize business and maximize employee potential. Gershwin photo at piano Since my background consists of many years in the entertainment industry, I made an example of what Lady Gaga, Fred Astaire and George Gershwin have in common as successful entertainers………

Likability.

Even with her super star status Lady Gaga still personally connects with fans, Fred Astaire always had a smile on his face, George GershLady Gaga in white costume CROPPED (173x260)win was humble about his talents as a pianist/composer.

When people like you they’re willing to help, do business with you, hire you, follow  you, be influenced by you, recommend you, buy your stuff, listen to your opinion, learn from you, bring you purple M & M’s.

In today’s marketplace we all have to learn new ways of working to stay ahead of the competition whether you’re 24 or 64 but, it takes humility to be teachable and it’s easier to play the “know-it-all” game. The problem is – no one likes a Know-It-All.

Get with the program and get back to basics.

Be the ‘L’ word.

The Power of Passion for Profit

June 4, 2015

If you ask J J Watt, Bill Gates and Taylor Swift what they have in common they will all tell you they started with the same thing: they had a passion for what they do.They will also tell you there is no such thing as an overnight success. These guys have been at their game since childhood and put in their 10,000 hours worth of practice while we were all watching re-runs of Will & Grace.

Do you love your work? Or are you one of the 74% of Americans unhappy with their job?

If you’re one of the latter with no options in sight, try this tip: find three reasons to fall in love with your organization.

As a motivational speaker I get to travel the country speaking to a variety of professionals in corporations and associations. Recently I was the closing keynote at a conference in Dallas for a group of accountants (yeah I know, right up there with engineers on the fun scale) These people were ready for a snooze fest after two days of stats and facts but I have a ‘no nap’ guarantee for my presentations that works every time: I play piano to emphasize points and involve the audience in the music. Result? Maximum engagement, very entertaining, high energy, fun for all.

We talked about how passion is the beginning of all success because when people love their work, they’ll do whatever it takes. I asked this group of number crunchers to give reasons they love their company and the three main answers were:

1) People. Most of them said they like their team members or bosses.

2) Fulfillment. Whether it was doing a good job for the team or knowing their work resulted in helping people, many said they liked the sense of satisfaction of a job well done.

3) Benefits. A steady paycheck sure helps reduce stress levels, health insurance is a great perk and bonuses never lose their sweet taste.

How about you? List three things on a post-it note  you really like about your organization and stick it on your computer to see every day. Be grateful you have a job.

Passion comes in more than fifty shades of gray.

Why Failure IS an Option

September 15, 2014
I just read a blog on ‘Embracing Failure’. Sounds weird, right?

Not so fast….          

One survey found  the happiest people are often those who have learned how to fail.  They’ve learned how to pick themselves back up after being knocked down, reflect on the experience, grow from it, and push on. The net result  is that people are paying more and more attention to the process instead of just the outcome.

Taking a systematic look at the process that has led many to their success, one of the common elements among them is the resilience they exhibited when things weren’t going their way.

How resilient are you? Do you give up too soon?

Failure becomes a problem when people are too afraid to take risks because they dread consequences that  may not ever happen.

And so they stay stuck. Stuck in a job they hate, a relationship that’s toxic or an unhealthy lifestyle.

Organizations that encourage innovation and calculated risks end up success stories like Apple and Virgin Air.

In my motivational speeches I use an example of making mistakes (some in front of celebrities like Andrew Lloyd Webber – see video HERE) and what I learned from the embarrassing experience. CROPPED Photo shoot The Forum Jan 2014 034

Using major mess ups as life lessons and stepping stones is key to success.  In my case it resulted in touring the world solo on a piano bench ending up here in the good ‘ol US of A (yay!)

Instead of allowing fear of failure to be an obstacle, I used it as motivation to survive. 

C;mon. What’s stopping you from taking a leap into the unknown? You never know …… you may just like it.

Why You Need to be Like the World’s Favorite Clay Boy

July 9, 2014

Who doesn’t love Gumby? Gumby with arms in air
Children love his adventures,
adults love the art form and
people everywhere love his kind heart and good nature.

Flexibility and Gumby are synonomous.

Last week I got a call at 9 a.m. from a distressed man who said the motivational speaker he had booked for his company’s quarterly executive meeting was stuck on a plane in Mexico and couldn’t make it. Could I fill in for him and deliver a 45 minute keynote after lunch that day? And by the way, we can’t afford your full fee.

No worries, said I.

With no time to prep or customize we lunched together so he could brief me on his organization Uchi Restaurants and explain the purpose of the meeting. The group consisted of managers, chefs and corporate executives from Austin and Houston.

Piano cartoon mouse playingWe talked about HOW TO RAISE THE LEVEL OF WORK PERFORMANCE using the same principles that it took for me to master the piano:  Passion, Persistence, Attitude, People, Focus and since I included the company’s core values the young (and very cute) guy that booked me was over-the-moon happy. Whew!

 
In today’s competitive job market we need to be flexible with a ‘can do’ attitude and a willingness to help out.

AHA Indiana - Theresa acknowledging audience applauseBeing a GOOD team member is about collaboration. Being a GREAT team member means going above and beyond what you’re asked to do. Why does it matter?

Effective teamwork is crucial to any organization’s success.

And let’s face it, the bottom line is what pays YOUR bills.

Gumby is one smart piece of clay.

I wonder if he’s single…..?

Don’t Worry, Be Happy….really?

October 8, 2013

Girl in poverty India with dog

Looking at this picture it struck me how joyful this little girl is. She has a genuine big happy smile on her face and it appears her dog does too (ya’ think?)

And yet look at all the filth she lives in. This is how millions of people live in the slums of India.  

With government shut downs, high unemployment, slow economic recovery and rising gun violence, it’s easy to get caught up in the complaining game here in the USA right now.

Happiness is a relevant term.  

As a motivational speaker talking about taking risks to achieve more success, I look for inspiration in events, situations and people. This little girl is my inspiration for this week. I’m so grateful to live in a nice home with clean running water, electricity and a roof over my head that keeps me dry, safe and warm. All of a sudden car problems don’t seem like so much of a problem. After all, I have a car.

Since the only constant in life is change it means nothing stays the same – even problems.  

Be happy NOW. Really.

Wah! Wah! My Coffee Is Cold

September 24, 2013

Soldier crouching sad

Recently I read about returning soldiers having a tough time being civil to people complaining about their jobs, their kids, their life.

As a motivational speaker during my presentations I talk about taking risks to reach new levels of success professionally and personally. Stepping outside our comfort zone to learn a new software program can feel uncomfortable. Going to unfamiliar places to meet different people and make new friends can be scary to some.

Really?

The men and women in our military that risk their lives for our freedom are the people who truly understand fear, courage, discipline, teamwork, leadership and living in hardship.

Next time you want to whine about having to attend a meeting, another project on your desk, cold coffee or running errands, stop and think how lucky you are to be living in this great country where women can go to school, diverse religions thrive, government is elected fairly and people can speak out.

Really.

Trashy, Sleazy, Desperate: What Would You Do To Get Noticed?

September 6, 2013
miley
Robin Thicke & Miley Cyrus


It was the talk of Twitter,
the buzz of the moment,
a media frenzy….
Miley Cyrus’s performance at the Video Music Awards was nothing short of shocking. 

With her lewd gestures, tongue out, half naked, Miley showed the world she is no longer the Disney channel girl who was adored by millions of teens.

 Talk about a brand change.

 In my motivational speeches on Extraordinary Performance I talk about what it takes to reach the next level of success and how we need to keep learning and changing the way we work. In today’s competitive market we need to stand out from the crowd to get the job/client and keep the job/client.

Does this mean we have to strip off our clothes and act vulgar?     (OK, don’t answer that)

Successful people don’t need to shock anyone. They are self confident, open minded yet consistent with their brand/image.

Miley Cyrus looked like she wanted to win the sleaze award at VMA to outdo Lady Gaga and the all star line up.  

Or was she just desperate for attention?

Grab the attention of your boss/client by delivering excellence. Every time. Every interaction. Every day.  

 Now THAT’S Extraordinary Performance that won’t make the tabloids but WILL get you noticed………………..in a good way. 

What If You’re Swimming With Sharks?

June 5, 2013

shark boat

How would you feel if you saw this coming while you were swimming in the ocean? I’m guessing here …
but I think you’d be scared witless.

Oh wait. It’s only a boat.

As a motivational speaker that inspires groups about being fearless, I’ve found most people have fear of some kind – regardless of how good looking, wealthy and successful they are. Most commonly fear of rejection, failure, commitment, financial lack, growing old, being alone,  gaining weight, getting sick etc.
 
What if that thing you’re afraid of isn’t such a big deal?
 
What if you ended that toxic relationship, pursued more fulfilling work, took that scary class, began exercising, learned new technology, joined a social group, explored a hobby/sport/craft, tried a different recipe for the same ol’ dinner?
 
Fear is tricky – it’s usually much larger in our mind than
it is in reality. Fear has no substance until we give it power.
 
What if you took one little step towards changing something you’re miserable/reluctant/procrastinating about?Chances are it’s no big deal.

Chances are you’d be a lot happier.

OMG! Could you handle more happiness?