Tuesday, December 15, 2009

When Big Isn't Big Enough

Picture your drive way with 80,000 rubber squids dropped on the driveway by a delivery truck the size of Kentucky. How would you move them all?

Let me introduce you to Steve Spangler a science aficionado. He loves to share the fun of science with teachers and kids around the world. He creates experiments that explode and makes science an art to be explored. Check him out at stevespanglerscience.com.

Steve is a good example of how thinking small but pushed to big gets awesome results. See Steve decided to create some small rubber squids for his science activity SQUIDYtm. He set about to get a mold made and when told he had to buy in quantity, he agreed. For after all, how hard could it be to sell 500 of them?

What he didn't expect was 80,000 of them dropped at his driveway with a $20,000 price tag to be paid in 30 days.

This "error" forced Steve to think far bigger than he originally planned. Today his experiments are in 1,000 stores and over 20,000 educational catalogs worldwide.

All because Steve couldn't "afford" to sit on this quantity. He needed to make money fast so he could pay the $20,000 invoice.

When do you think too small? In what ways are you trying to play it safe and be in the 500 quantity range rather than in the 80,000 Oh-my-gosh-what-are-we-going-to-do range?

Live large rather than just playing safe!

Anne Warfield
More on becoming innovative by Anne Warfield

Meaning to Be Happy or Happy to have Meaning

There is an old proverb that has a couple traveling to a new town. Halfway they find an old man and they ask him what the next village is like. He says, "what was your last village like?" They respond, "It was awful. The neighbors were rude." He responds, "You will find the same thing in the next village."

A few hours later another couple comes upon the old man. They two are traveling to the same town as the previous couple. They ask the man what the next village is like. He says, "What was your last village like?" They respond, "it was wonderful. We hated to leave the love and friendship of all our neighbors." He says, "You will find the same thing in the next village."

The proverb was to show us that the village contains what we bring to it- you bring misery and you will get misery; you bring joy and you will get joy.

Marshall and Kelly Goldsmith just did a study on happiness and meaning and they found that happiness and meaning has more to do with WHO you are rather than WHERE you are.

So gone are the excuses and the blaming. Instead you need to look in the mirror and own the baggage you are carrying with you.

They found the number of hours being worked and even the quality of the work didn't have bearing on the happiness. What did was the meaning the employees gave the work they did.

Another interesting point was those that were happy at work were generally happy at home and those that were miserable at work were generally miserable at home as well.

So, think of yourself, like a snail. You carry your entire world with you each day. If you want it to be happy and to have meaning, look no further than inside your own shell!

Anne Warfield

More on developing leadership by Anne Warfield

Fall from Grace

Celebrity scandals abound and even if you don't like gossip you can't help but be inundated by news of the latest scandal.

The latest fall from grace, of course, is Tiger Woods. Think of all the years Tiger Woods has spent building his brand. In the industry you knew that if his name was tied to something it had to be of the utmost quality. His perfectionism and drive spoke louder than his words.

Yet in just one night his ratings plumeted to 80% of people having a negative impression of him. Prior to the "crash" and women coming out of the woodwork saying they are mistresses of his, only 2% of the public had a negative impression of him.

Can he ever recover?

The reality, based on history, is NO. He will never reach the height of trust and respect he had just one short month ago in November of 2009.

There are several business lessons for you to learn here:
1. Trust crumbles easily- your words and actions must match or they will catch up to you. And when they do people don't like feeling like they have been duped by you.
2. Quality & Perception relate- people will relate your companies quality to their perception of the quality of the individuals you hire. Make sure their attitudes match the perception you want.
3. Actions not Words Count- People will look for the actions to match the words. If they don't, the words mean nothing. Just last month Woods gave an interview on the value of family. Now that same interview is being used to "mock" his actions.
4. Morals & Values do count- Kanye West went from 17% of the population having a negative impression of him to over 81% of the people having a negative impression of him after he humiliated Taylor Swift at the awards. I wouldn't be surprised if his career never recovers.

So the moral of the story is THINK. Your reputation and brand is directly tied to your actions. Yes, people will interpret the value of your brand through how they interpret the value of EACH and EVERY interaction they have with your employees.

All it take is one poor interaction with one person to lose a life time customer. So my advice to you, is to take care of your employees so they take care of your customers.

Anne Warfield

More on managing your message by Anne Warfield

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

How to manifest the life you want

As you have noticed from my blogs, they are all designed to spark thinking. For all change starts with a change in thinking. You can not change on the outside long-term if you don't change on the inside. They go hand in hand.

The other day someone was telling me about what kind of team they wanted at work. He knew exactly how they wanted it to operate. He wanted a team that operated with a high degree of accountability, respect, and accuracy. I asked him what he was doing to make that "culture" happen, and he told me he couldn't make the culture change because he didn't have the right people. His solution was to keep firing people and hiring new people- which he had been doing for over 3 years!

In his mind, he didn't have the right people. The real problem isn't the people, it is the thinking that is now infiltrated in to that department. Imagine if you are one of those team members. What they are seeing is that you stick your nose in your job and just protect it because you could be axed. So problems become buried because no one wants to be the one fired. He is actually creating a culture of fear rather than a culture of accountability.

You see the message that is sent when you fire people rather than work on changing what needs to be changed is that "you are dispensible so don't disrupt the flow."

If you want to manifest the changes you want, you need to start with YOU. Anything you see happening around you that you don't want to be a part of figure out what you are doing to contribute to it. I know this manager doesn't see what he is doing that is causing this but instead is focusing outward on "I just need the right people."

So here is a great line to ponder: You don't get in life what you want; you get in life what you are.

Make sure you ARE what you WANT.

Anne Warfield
More on effective leadership by Anne Warfield

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

You need to reVerse to move Forward

There is one person more important to you than anyone. I want you to take a moment right now and picture in your mind who, for you, is that person.

You most likely thought of your parents, your children, your significant other or a good friend. But I don't think that is the one person that is more important to you than anyone.

Here take this quick test: When the person you pictured in your mind is in a photograph with you, do you first look at them or do you look at how YOU came out in the photo? Most likely you checked out you first. You most likely criticized how your hair looked, your smile, your teeth and your stance or you smiled pleased as punch at how good you came out and then and only then did you look at how everyone else in the picture came out.

My point is not that you don't love the other person, but that your first instinct when thinking is to think of YOU. You want to make sure you come out okay.

This need to have yourself look good and to take care of yourself causes some big problems in your thinking with others.

When we look at others and try to figure out what they meant by what they said or did, we automatically filter it through, "now why would I have done that if I were them?"

We then move forward putting our judgment on their actions and assume that is the truth. But alas, it is only the truth as we perceive it.

In order to move FORWARD with your THINKING you need to start working in REVERSE.

Here are the steps to start Thinking in REVERSE:

1. Listen to your thoughts. What you think about other people is EXACTLY how you think of yourself. If you are critical of how people dress, then your mind is critical of how you dress. If you watch to make sure people don't cheat you, then that means you have cheated people.

2. Stop negative thoughts immediately. Literally say "Stop, Stop" and change the thought to a positive.

3. Make note of any negative thoughts you have during the day. These thoughts are what are driving your behavior. If you don't own them, they will own you.

4. Once you have selected the thoughts you want to change, start immediately changing them. For example, if you usually look for hidden meanings when others talk, start working on NEVER having hidden meanings when you talk. As you get rid of your negative habits your thoughts will start to change as well.

We get back what we sow so make sure you plant good seeds. Reverse can be your new way forward.

Anne Warfield
More on managing your message by Anne Warfield

Monday, December 7, 2009

You Can Teach An Old Dog New Tricks

You can't teach an old dog new tricks. How often have you heard that statement? It has been around since Socrates, I believe.

Well, new reseach on the brain is blowing that statement to smitherenes. They are now finding that if you repeat certain thoughts or beahviors, neuro-connections are made and repeatedly strengthened so that you essentially restructure your brain or that element of your brain that deals with that behavior.

So in a sense, you can think your way out of anything.

So look at your life. What is not the way you want it to be?

Take time, right now, to write out how you want it to be. Then start training your brain to believe it IS that way already. Your brain will literally start to modify your behavior to align with the new thought.

Anne Warfield
More on improving productivity by Anne Warfield

Third Belief: All Conflict Needs to Be Resolved

World Peace. It is the number one answer beauty contestants give when asked what they want in the world.

In corporations you hear people saying they want peace in the office. For most people that means, no conflict. So we all play to get rid of conflict or to resolve it so all people are happy.

The third belief that is a fallacy in conflict is that you need to have all conflict resolved.

Not all conflict is resolvable nor should it be. Having differences is healthy. In order to be creative you often need to be pushed so hard that what you did before no longer is acceptable to do.

I believe our economy is actually helping businesses reinvent and become better simply because what worked in the past no longer does work.

Have you ever wondered why your "divorced" friends look the best they ever have? Why suddenly do they lose the weight, join a gym, and buy new clothes? As they shed their old life, they shed the old way of doing things and start a new path.

So conflict doesn't need to be resolved. It does need to be handled. It does need to be addressed. And, yes, at times it needs someone to just say, "this is how it will be."

May you go forth and see conflict as a source of learning, growth, and creation rather than as a stumbling block.

Anne Warfield
More on the perception of conflict by Anne Warfield

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Challenge To Change The Game

Today I heard an ad from Ultimate Electronics. It is turning a concept and tradition on its head by challenging the fundamental level of it.

The concept they are challenging is Black Friday. The tradition they are turning on its head is the idea that people want to scour ads, wake up early in the morning, stand out in the cold in line, and then poke and prod their way to the product that is the early bird special.

The question they asked is, “What would happen if people didn’t have to do that? What if they knew all week they could get those items at our store for the block buster price?”

So they are running ads telling you they will shop all the electronic competition and will offer those same door buster prices on those items all week long. No need to rush. No need to lose sleep.

My questions to you are:
• What traditions or concepts do you need to challenge in your business?
• What could you gain by taking on those challenges?
• How could you change the game with your competition?

Anne Warfield
More on taking on challenges by Anne Warfield

Monday, November 23, 2009

Right versus Wrong: How this Second Belief Blocks You With Conflict

If you are just tuning in you want to read back to the blog on “Three Beliefs that Block Your Effectiveness with Conflict.” This blog will talk about belief number 2: You must get the person to understand where they are wrong and you are right.

When you believe you need to get the person to see where you are right and they are wrong you are making two critical assumptions that shut down your ability to listen. They are:
1. You are assuming there is a right or a wrong. This means you will only listen for data and facts that fit what you see as right or wrong. Much of the valid data you need for critical thinking will be lost for you as your brain won’t even be able to “hear” or “see” it.
2. You are better or have better information than the other person, and therefore you have the right perspective. Think back to the Allegory of the Cave by Plato. The person looking at the shadows saw the “truth” of the shadows on the wall. The person looking at the wall couldn't even begin to “hear” about what was casting the shadow because to them, the shadow was the truth. Which person are you- the person seeing the shadow or the person seeing the real object?

You want to be able to take in as much information as possible so you can see the possibilities in the conflict rather than the improbabilities.

In order to shatter this belief you have to get rid of the belief that there is a right or wrong AND that you need the other person to validate your position.

Instead of focusing on the “but or however” start focusing on the “And”.

Stay tuned tomorrow for the third belief and how it trips you up when dealing with conflict.

Anne Warfield
More on developing effective communication skills by Anne Warfield

Friday, November 20, 2009

Three Beliefs that Block Your Effectiveness With Conflict

We act as though conflict is a bad thing. We are taught that we must resolve all conflict. The goal that is implied is peace- no disruptions.

I disagree. I think conflict is good, even necessary if you are to be innovative and creative. To be innovative and creative means you have to question all that is and try to create what doesn't exist. In and of itself, this means you will disrupt the lives of people that like to have things stay consistent without much change.

So, if you don't have any conflict, then most likely your team is filled with yes people and you are stretching your imaginations to the limit. Now having said that I want to make sure we all have the same definition of conflict.

Conflict, to me is about duality. It is about the differences between things that give us new insights and possibilities. I believe conflict should be a building block, not a stumbling block.

The majority of people handle conflict poorly. This stems from three fundamental beliefs that block you in handling conflict:

1. In conflict you must get the person to see and , best case scenario, agree with your side in order to resolve the conflict.
2. You must get the person to understand where they are wrong and you are right.
3. All conflict needs to be resolved so we are at peace as a team.

In the next three blogs I will be taking one of these at a time and showing you how this belief freezes your mind and blocks you from dealing effectively with conflict.

Belief #1: You need to get the person to see and agree with your side in order to resolve the conflict.

Why? It causes you to do things that derail the conflict.

1. This approach causes your brain to immediately move to making a laundry list of all the reasons they should agree with you. It is a faulty premise and leads your brain to defense thinking.

2. As you list all your reasons their brain moves immediately to defending their side and finding the holes in your argument.

3. They may never be able to see or understand your side because they have not experienced it. They say the Indians couldn't see the Mayflower as it approached because their brain couldn't even conceive of a ship that big. Therefore, the Pilgrims were able to land without the Indians being any the wiser. Trying to argue your side when someone can't even see it is likely trying to share the Mayflower when a person can't see it. Save your breath.

4. As you try to get them to see your side, all of your energy and focus is on YOU, not them. Not a good way to magnetically get them to connect with you.

In order to shatter this belief you have to see conflict not as opposing but as enlightening. It is a way to expand your thinking, not contract it. It is a way for both you and and another party to create and build what was not there before.

Stay tuned for more on the conflict beliefs and how to shatter them.

Anne Warfield
More on developing your conflict management skills by Anne Warfield

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

From Birdseed to Seed Money

Birdseed. Imagine if in 1981 someone asked you how much money you could make selling birdseed. Seems to be a limited market doesnt' it? I mean imagine the retail space you need to rent and the amount per square foot you would need to generate in order to make it profitable.

The only way it will work is with one magic ingredient-one that costs no money. Jim Carpenter knew what that ingredient was so he took the risk and launched his business. This "little" business now does $120 million dollars a year in revenue s Wild Birds Unlimited.

Seems to be amazing, especially when you consider how much business he did BEFORE the internet took off. He had to get all bird lovers in an area to come to his physical store and he did it with his secret ingredient.

You, too, can have his secret ingredient if you tap in to the right part of you. He had passion for birds. He loved all aspects of them and he wanted to share that passion with other bird lovers. That is how he started his store.

His passion drove people to come to his store to buy birdseed as well as to learn about birds.

Other companies have had this magic formula and they went away from it in order to have more efficiency and profit. Think of Sears.In the tool department, they used to hire men that loved to build things. You knew you could go to Sears to find a hammer and get a lesson on the nails and other equipment you need to build the proper deck. Most of the men in a neighborhood bought Craftsman tools.

Then Sears when to building center kiosk for selling and hired high school kids to man their floors. Suddenly the "extra" you went to Sears for was no longer there. See they didn't GO for the Craftsman tools- they went for the information and passion that came free with the Craftsman tools. The use value a person got from that experienced salesman on the floor is what made them fork over the money to buy the tools.

So here is your take action:

1.Define what you are passionate about.
2.Figure out how to let others see and feel it so it has a "use value" to them.

When they feel the "use value" that causes them to want to do more business with you, work closer as a collegue with you or to follow you as a leader.

Anne Warfield
More on Sales Training by Anne Warfield

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Story is in what you say and what you hear

Aesop's Fables have lived on for so many years because we remember the moral or lesson due to the story.

When presenting we are taught to create and craft a story to help anchor our message in the audience's mind. But there is another important aspect to story telling that we often don't think about as leaders but it is a vital one.

Leaders spend so much time telling stories that they forget to listen for stories. How well people embrace your corporate values, directions and goals can be heard in the stories that people tell.

Each week encourage people to share with you a story that will give you better insight. Do this by asking a thought-provoking question such as, "Share with me a customer story you experienced that demonstrates phenomenal customer service."

In everything there is duality, so ask for a story on the opposite side as well- "share with me a story that shows customer service that frustrated our customer."

Listen and don't interrupt the person. You aren't trying to edit their story but instead to let it unfold. Think of interrupting as having about the same affect as someone stopping you kissing to coach you on how to kiss. This is the time to just experience the kiss of the story.

Try to see some parallels in the stories you hear. Are there disconnects with what the company says versus what the customer experiences? How about the employees? Do they experience from management the same high level of service that you expect them to provide to your customers?

Think about how these stories can be creatively used- to give live "testimonials", to highlight employees, to launch new directives.

Your company is a wealth of stories; the question is are you maximizing the riches of them?

Anne Warfield
More on Leadership Development from Anne Warfield

How to Flip Your Brain from Defense to Offense!

Is there a way to train your brain to say the right thing at the right time every time?

If you have ever put your foot in your mouth or stood with a wide eyed look because you don’t know what to say next, then you will want to tune in.

You will learn why your brain does what it does and how to unleash the full power of you.

The brain is your most powerful instrument yet ironically it is actually designed with communication to work against you rather than for you…unless you know the secret switch to power it up in a dramatically new way.

Join us for this enlightening webinar designed to help you flip your brain to the offense.

Take 30 seconds to RSVP for this “NO-COST WEBINAR” on Thursday November 19 at 1:00 cst.

Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/960134002

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

How to Transition a Team When YOU Must Let People Go

Letting a person go can kill your team's productivity by a whopping 60% according to recent surveys. You can't afford that especially in today's economy.

Listen in to find out how to avoid the common mistakes made when letting people go; how to avoid themand what you need to do to transform the team you have so they can soar rather than flounder during tough times.

As you can imagine with the economy, the response to this webinar has been explosive! I had to let you know about it. I have added more lines and opened up additional spots for you and your entire team.

Take 30 seconds to RSVP for this NO-COST WEBINAR on Thursday, September 17, 2009.

PS: Feel free to pass this invitation on to your family, friends and Associations for this one-of-a-kind-webinar experience.

Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

What Does the U.S, China and Mexico Have in Common?

When the book The World Is Flat came out everyone marveled that China or India was going to take all of America's jobs. So it got me thinking, what happens when a company or country suddenly does take a lead? Do they start to run in to rising costs? Higher demands from employees? Do they retain their edge or lose it?

In 2005 AlixPartners did a study and found that items entering from China were 22% cheaper than those produced in the U.S. By 2008 that gap had dropped to only a 5.5% edge to China. Hmm, is it still worth the trouble to do manufacturing outside the U.S.

Now an even more interesting phenomenon has happened. Mexico is now 20% cheaper for production than China!

So the cycle begins again. I bring this up just to remind you that what is will not always be. You need to constantly re-evaluate your business. Ask yourself, are you giving the best to your customers? Are you unique? Do you make them feel special?

For in the end, there will always be someone cheaper but the question is, where there be someone better?

Don't wait for your China or Mexico to come along and put you out of business. Start today to create that unique space that is solely yours.

Anne Warfield
More on Leadership from Anne Warfield

Monday, June 15, 2009

Who Is This Person?

Have you ever wondered where is the opportunity that is knocking for you? What if it has and you closed the door?

Let me share a story and you spot the two opportunities this person took advantage of and try to guess who the person is.

She was a under UCLA drama student. One of her professors was leaving for vacation and he wanted to have a great dinner party. So nine drama students agreed to go and entertain the guests. After the performance as she was standing in line a male guest asked her what she wanted to do with her life. She told him she wanted to act in New York. When he asked what was stopping her, she told him she didn't have the money to even get from LA to New York.

He and his wife offered to give her the money to go to New York provided she follow three conditions: 1) if she was successful, she was to repay the loan without interest in five years, 2) she could never reveal his identity to anyone, and 3) she was to pass the kindness on to someone else in a similar situation when she was able to do so.

Well she went to New York. She became frustrated with agencies saying, "don't call us, we will call you." When would the perfect part find her?

Finally she decided to skip the traditional route and put on her own variety show with all of her jobless theatre friends. They would invite all the agents to the the show and run it for three days. After the show ran three agents called with job offers. She had created her own opportunity.

Little did she know that the idea she bore out of frustration would become her lasting tribute to the world for that one little event spun the idea for the Carol Burnett Show which brought laughter to all for years.

Make your own Carol Burnett moments today!

Anne Warfield
Learn More

How Can Cutting Off Feet Make You $300 Million?

Sara Blakely was frustrated. She wanted her bottom to look better in white pants. There was nothing on the market to help her so in frustration she took a pair of pantyhose and cut the feet off. Eight years later her company, Spanx, is exceeding $300 million in sales.

I have found over the years that there is unique mixture to success. It comes with a blend of frustration at that problem, persistence in solving it and then execution in acting on your solution. Notice that her solution is not one that no one has done before. It isn't even one that is that brilliant. What is brilliant is her belief that other women, like her, were solving this same problem one at a time. All she did was be the one to stand on the rock and say, "here is the solution!"

For years my Mother-in-law has been taking shower caps from hotels and using them as caps on plastic containers. Lo and behold today those same little "shower" caps are made by glad and sold by the millions to consumers.

So I ask you, what problem do you see people facing that you can solve? Remember your solution doesn't have to be big or expensive; it just needs to be desired.

Take Action today and look for problems you can solve. If you are in sales, talk to your client about the problems they face and look for the simple solutions you can do whether it is shipping a new way, adding a small feature, or combining resources.

Anne Warfield
Learn more about Sales mind sets:

Monday, June 8, 2009

What is Eatting Your Productivity? http://ow.ly/bph6

Anne Warfield

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Mistakes that become Genius

In 1850 a cook became frustrated with a whiny customer. You know that type of customer- the one who is never pleased with what you do; the one that has perfection standards that would even put God shame. Well that customer was in his restaurant. That customer was complaining that his potatoes weren't cooked properly. So the disgruntled cook decided to fry the potatoes to crispy to tick the customer off.

But it backfired. The customer loved it and that was the birth of the potato chip!

Today the potato industry is a $3.2 billion dollar industry. Wouldn't you love to have one of your mistakes fail like that? Matter-of-fact over six pounds of potato chips are eaten by Americans every year!

Now let's take the above facts and I will show you how you can use them to open different discussions and presentations.

Scenario One
You have to present to prospect a new product. They have told you they believe their old product works great.

You open with: The average American eats six pounds of potato chips a day. The amazing fact is not that American's consume so much but rather that, if it weren't for an error in 1850, they wouldn't even have existed. The only reason we have potato chips today is because someone took a risk and made a potato in a whole new way. We feel that the XYZ is going to impact the market in the same way the potato chip revolutionized potatoes.

Scenario Two:
You have to start a brainstorming session and you want lots of new ideas.

You start with: The best inventions and ideas often come from the oddest of circumstances. Velcro came from a person noticing how burrs stuck to his dog's fur. Postit Notes came from a failed experiment trying to make a strong glue and in 1850 a $3.2 billion dollar industry was born due to a disgruntled cook that was irritated with a whiny customer. The customer kept complaining that his potatoes weren't crisp enough so the cook did what any one would do- he fried them to a bloody crisp and the potato chip was born.

Today we are here to put our heads together to come up with new ideas and new ways of doing things. Remember all ideas are good, marrying two ideas can be revolutionary and just turning something on its head can make it completely new. So let's take some time to be innovative, collaborative and creative. Enjoy your potato chips and let's get started!

Scenario Three:
Trying to get a person to break out of their old thinking.

In front of you is a small mistake that became a great innovation that today is a $3.2 billion dollar industry. Up until 1850 potatoes were either baked, sliced and cooked lightly in oil, or boiled. It wasn't until someone accidentally fried the potatoes in oil until they became thin crisps that potato chips were born. It is by breaking out of our old habits and thinking that new ideas are born. Today we need to look at how to break out of how we have always done things in order to make our product better.

Take Action: Take a small concept or fact and look at how you can spin it creatively for an opening.

Anne Warfield,
Learn more

Friday, June 5, 2009

What is Eatting Your Productivity?

A recent study by Lynn Taylor shows that the average worker spends three hours PER DAY worrying about the fate of their job. This means that if you have a company with 1000 employees averaging a $40,000 salary, you are losing $1.2 million in unproductive time EACH MONTH.

Any company that focuses on cost cutting as a primary source right now is leaving themselves open for employees to operate under the fear of losing their job.

What are other repercussions of this? You will start to see more silos, more protecting of turfs, reduced collaboration, more glory hogging and more protective feuds.

Now is the time to focus on building a collaborative innovative culture that is based on exploding the business instead of just protecting it. When people focus on protecting they limit their listening. More importantly they limit their brains ability to be creative. Literally think of it as having your brain shrink right in front of you.

So Take Action: Think about what kind of culture you are creating- is the conversation about the bad economy or the opportunities? Are you looking for who fails or exploding who excels? Are you encouraging risk taking and teaching how to do it appropriately or are you creating risk aversion?

This is truly a time that companies will explode if they have built a solid culture of positive brain power.

Anne Warfield
Corporte Leadership Training

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Positive Way to Direct the Response You Want

My 2nd grader is so excited that her classroom is doing a program for the Dad's this year. They have sent home notices asking the Dad's to save the date. Like any little kid she is so excited that she can hardly wait.

So last night we are out to dinner. You could see that she wanted to remind her Dad about the event to ensure he would be there. Now, think about it, what is the number one thing a person says when they want to remind you of something?

It is usually a variation of , "Now remember you are..." or "don't forget.." Both of these can become exasperating after a while as the recipient can feel like you don't trust their memory or they can feel burdened by the event before it even happens.

No Michaela didn't use any of those. She looked her Dad square in the eye and with a big smile said, "Aren't you just excited about tomorrow and what you get to do?"

She made the assumption her Dad would remember but also nudged his memory by asking a proactive question.

Then this morning she did it again. She came down all dressed in black and told her Dad he could wear black if he wanted to match her today as she would be a black sheep in the play. Again a gentle nudge of a reminder in a fun loving way that got her Dad excited about the event.

So why do I tell you these? How do they relate to business?

In business the more you are able to nudge, remind, encourage and engage others in a way that makes them feel good and reaches your outcome is exactly what you want to do. You want to stay on the positive side so people are excited, enthusiastic and ready to go.

Take Action:
Look at your office meetings. Do you send out "reminders" of them or do you send encouraging and enticing lines that get people to sit up and take notice?
Look at your client mailings, meetings, and information. Do you have friendly ways for them to take advantage of all you have to offer? When you do this you stop selling and you start helping.

Either way, what you can see is that you can learn lessons and insights from others no matter what age they are!

Anne Warfield
Presentation Skills

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Bill Bartmann: What you can learn from someone that went from rags to billionairre to rags to millionairre

I am a big believer in shortening your learning curve by learning from those who have gone before you. Particularly I look for people and situations that require a person to rework their mind which reworks they behavior which, in turn, reworks their results.

Bill is one of those individuals. He went from rags to being a Billionaire who was one of the top 40 wealthy individuals in the world. Then the unthinkable happened. He lost it all. He had the media camped out at his home, his funds frozen, and his life uprooted. He said the year he lost it all he only got one Christmas card from one friend. The rest of the people all disappeared. His life was truly demolished.

At this point Bill had two choices:1) to roll up and feel sorry for himself or 2) to create the changes he wanted to rebuild his life and business to be what he wanted. Bill chose option 2. Today his goal is to be the first person ever to go from billionaire to zero to billionaire again. Never in history has someone made a billion lost a billion and then remade it again.

Because I believe there is a lot to learn from others who have re-crafted their brains I actually sent my t0p clients a link to take advantage of a special offer Bill Bartmann has today as he launches his new book.

So take action and start studying great minds and how they recover from losses. In today's economy it is a necessity that we all reshape our thinking to create opportunities where none existed before. This is your year and your time. Be like Bill and redefine what you want out of this time, and what you will do to make it happen.

Anne Warfield

Special Opportunity For Today June 2 Only

I want to let you know about a very short window of opportunity that's happening TODAY, June 2. You can get a highly unusual package of benefits by taking a small action today and simply buying a book.

My friend Bill Bartmann is launching his book on Amazon and is giving away a special bonus package, but only if you order his book today, Tuesday June 2.

You may have seen Bill on the cover of Inc. Magazine as the "Billionaire Nobody Knows", or watched him recently on major network TV. Bill's in the news daily because his book, "Bailout Riches", is creating a real stir. It's about how you can benefit--directly and fast--from the government bailout.

===> "What's the big deal about this book?" <===

Learn More Here

Take Care,

Anne Warfield

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Banana Principle

What is the Banana Principle, take a moment to watch.....

Anne Warfield

Accouuntability: Defined in Praise or Critque?

"Who screwed up?"
"Who approved this new date?"
"Who was suppose to follow up on this?"
"Why didn't we hit our numbers?"

At these times the big word is dropped...ACCOUNTABILITY. Ironically accountability is looked for in most organizations and pointed to when things go wrong. Is it any wonder that people don't get excited when they hear the word accountability?

So why not reverse it in your company? Start looking for those who ARE executing properly and celebrate their successes.

The truth is when you have high accountability you have high execution. The two go hand in hand. What we usualy do is bring up and focus our team's on accountability when we see a LACK of it rather than an abundance of it. Those who are executing are often ignored and time is spent on putting out fires instead.

So in order to execute you need to reverse how people see and view accountability.
Here are some interesting statistics on the work place:
Zogby Poll
One of every 4 working American's describes their workplace as a dictatorship
Only 52% said their boss treats subordinates well.
Only 51% said their co-workers often fell motivated at work
90)% of all people say that Senior Management Teams fail to define results.

Think about that last one..how can people be accountable for what they don't know?

Take Action: Make your strategic plans simple to follow and execute All people in your company should know what they are and what they need to do in order to execute to them. They should clearly know the rewards if these strategies are achieved.

Anne Warfield
Management Leadership

When Others Shrink You Go Big

I am at the ASTD Conference this year for the first time. I wanted to see what it was like and how people interacted, what sessions they attend and what booths they visit. What I saw so far in many ways surprised me.

Two things surprised me:
1) Out of over 300 exhibitors only 4 are doing interactive talk sessions with chairs for audience.
2) In almost 80% of the booths the giveaways are pens, paper, highlighters, mints or candy.

Now I am sure they are all reacting to the economy so they may be going to stripped down versions for their booths thinking, "well at least I am still one of the people in the game, getting a booth."

Here are the errors in that thinking:
It is not enough to just show up today. Now is the time to differentiate and dominate in business. People who invested to attend this convention need a WOW in their life so give them one.

Unique gifts that get people talking about you and create excitement are critical right now. Things like waterproof cellphone holders that clip on your belt are worthwhile. Be the one that everyone says, "get to their booth right away because they may run out."

Lesson to you: Make what your company gives away equal to the value of your product or service. So in other words, if you are a high end product company have a high end give away.

Be interactive. Now is not the time to stand behind a booth and wait for people to come to you. Now is the time to excite, energize, and explore with people on how to make their life better. So it is not enough to just "show up." Now is the time to smash your market open.

Lesson to you: when all others pull back you push ahead.

A study was done that found that companies that INCREASED their advertising during our last recession achieved a 256% growth over the last 10 years. They also found that all companies that cut their advertising budgets during lean times came struggled through the recession and most lost tremendous market share or disappeared altogether.

So now is your time to be aggressive. Reinvest in being the best and dominating your market. Because as I can see at this convention, most companies are pulling back to "just enough" when your clients want the "WOW."

Anne Warfield
Sales Excavation Skills

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Tweet, Twitter and The Next Evolution

So what is Twitter exactly?

Twitter is really a way to global text. It is a way for people to stay in touch with what you are doing so they can connect with you if they want. It is bringing the social network a little closer.

There is a progression you should be seeing here of people wanting to zero in on what is most relevant to them in the way that is easiest for them.

It started with Google and Yahoo. They were great ways to search for information in a static form that you could use as you needed it, when you needed it.

Then Facebook and LinkedIn popped up. They were a way to connect with others by sharing some information about yourself and then linking up either personally or professionally. Interestingly enough Facebook started as a use for college students and has become overrun by professionals. I wonder what will pop up as the new Facebook for students as who really wants to be on the same site as Mom and Dad?

Then came YouTube- a way to visually post your thoughts, feelings, insights or learning for others. In just 6 months YouTube has posted more video then 60 years of all three original TV stations combined! Everything from "how to" to "isn't this interesting?" has popped up here.

Now it it Twitter. Twitter makes people feel connected with an entire network of like-minded individuals easily.

It is interesting to note the use of Google has dropped by 30% as people are moving to using Twitter, Facebook and YouTube more.

But here is the Outcome Thinking lesson for you: What are you doing today to reinvent how people access you or your information? The world is changing at a rapid pace and you need to grab hold before you spin out of control.

Anne Warfield
Sales and Marketing Approach

Friday, March 27, 2009

Do you invite thinking or evict thinking?

It amazes me how many people feel the necessity to strongly inflict their opinions on others. For me that is always a clear signal that they need to have other people validate them. Strong leaders are those who are willing to make quick decisions, listen carefully taking in all information-even contradictory information, and make each person feel they added to the conversation in a thoughtful way. Strong leaders know how to challenge without undermining who you are or making it personal.

So which are you as a leader? Do you invite thinking or do you evict thinking?

Here is quick test to see which one you are:
1. I have strong opinions.
2. I often speak over other people or interrupt.
3. I often reply to people with "no," "I disagree," or "That is not how I see it."
4. In a group I often take the most air time.
5. People often tease me that they always know where I stand on issues.
6. I have been told at times I am stubborn.

If you answered yes to those, you are more likely evicting thinking. You are more likely to be surrounded by people who will say yes to your ideas and not challenge your thinking. For leadership that means the brilliance of your group is really not the sum of the parts but rather a part.

Opinions and thoughts are good. You do need to stand for clear issues and be willing to stand up for what you believe in. When you state them so strongly as to overpower a person or group you leave them with two choices- either I agree with you or I disagree with you. What you lose is the mutual exploration ground that leads to new thinking that is much bigger than either party originally brought to the table solo.

So be a strong leader that is willing to invite thinking, that is willing to stand for things, and that encourages others.

Anne Warfield
Outcome Thinking for Leadership Transformation

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

So why is The Secret so big when it really isn't anything new?

The Secret launched and took over the world in a short amount of time. Why?

Is it that it is a profound truth that none of us knew? No. It was a conglomeration of quotes, facts and stories that have been around for centuries.

Is it because it we were in a time where we all needed hope? No, actually at the time it came through the economy was positively chugging away and life was good.

Is it that it had a stellar cast that just rocked? The cast was good but let's face it, there have been other programs and projects put together in a similar way with great cast that have NOT gotten so huge.

So what made it take off and what can you learn from it?

What made it took off was its simplicity. It simply focused on the fact that what you send out is what you get back. They took that theme and just showed it over and over and over again. The simplicity is what made people say, "I can do that."

Now ironically it is that simplicity that is exactly it's Achilles heel. People have scoffed at the fact that you just "wish for a necklace" and viola! it appears. Clearly that wasn't the point of the secret but that example is what really caused many people to pull away.

Why? Because it goes against the grain of the fact "you need to put in effort in order to get results." We all know you can't just dream things and they appear. We do know that when we set a goal and then prepare for it, it seems to happen. The "wishing" part was really the "focus" part. We set the focus in one direction and stuck with it.

So two lessons to learn here:
1) Do you have your information, presentation, marketing materials, etc focused on one key issue so that people can easily wrap their arms around it and make a "yes" decision.
2) Do you address the issues that could make people pull away or reject what you say in a realistic manner? The secret missed the emphasis it needed on this step to put it more in to "reality" for more people.

May you go forth and have a great day, filled with positive results!
Anne Warfield, www.impressionmanagement.com

Creative ideas for openings

Many of you travel a lot and you want to make sure you connect with each new audience. One of the ways to open and connect with an audience is to start with what you know about them, their industry or something that is relevant to them.

So what if you are traveling to a new city or even a new country? How can you tie what you want to say to what is happening in that town or country right now?

Simply go to newseum.org/todaysfrontpages/flash . Put your mouse on any city around the world and the headlines from that city pop up. Double click and the pages get larger so you can read what is current to that area.

Now when you arrive and you tie what you say to what is happening you will show that you invested in them before they ever invested in you or what you were sharing. This extra lock shows your listener that you care about them first and foremost.

Anne Warfield, www.impressionmanagement.com/presentation_skills.shtml

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Can a garden produce top fruit if it is never weeded?

There is an eerie phenomenon going on in our society. It is starting at a tender age and creeping into the business world as well. If left alone, it will eventually lead us to mediocrity.

It is the idea that people can learn accountability without ever having correction. That would be like saying you could work two years at your job and not be given feedback on what you are doing wrong but we want you to assume accountability for doing it right.

In schools today they are wanting to preserve a child's self-esteem so many schools are not correcting spelling. They believe that spelling will be corrected by the computer so there is no need to "deduct" points or to correct spelling. What happen to red pens? Do you remember getting your story back with the red corrections on it? Do you remember having to rewrite it without to correct the spelling? I do. It didn't demoralize. I KNEW it was expected. I KNEW it happened to EVERYONE. And the funny thing is, I learned to spell!

You can't grow a top level garden without pulling weeds. To simply ignore the weeds, or work around them undermines the fruit the garden is trying to grow. The weeds actually suck up some of the good nutrition from the soil and DETRACT from the actual outcome you desire.

I don't believe you can have accountability without correcting. The correcting is what TEACHES us the accountability. For if we never know what is the highest standard how can we ever reach it?

The 4 minute mile wasn't ever broken because every one believed it wasn't possible to achieve it. Then one man, one time, broke that record and the next year tons of people ran the mile under 4 minutes. Nothing changed except people's BELIEFS. People learned that it wasn't correct to assume you couldn't run the mile in under 4 minutes.

So why do we limit by trying to teach accountability without correcting? We need to strengthen self-esteem not by pampering it but by making it okay to make mistakes, to learn, to grow, to stretch. Accountability isn't learned in a vacuum and yes at times it hurts. It does mean at times you do your best but you still mess up. That is okay. All you need to do is stand up, dust off, and move on.

So this next week, take action. When you are about to let something slide, realize the message you are giving the person is that you believe that is the best they are capable of. It means if you don't correct it now, don't expect them to be accountable for it later on. If you want accountability you need to expect it is your job to help correct and fine tune so that success can be achieved. Now, of course, the flip side of this means you must always be coachable yourself.

Anne Warfield, www.impressionmanagement.com/about.shtml

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Mickey Mouse & The White House

Did you ever think Mickey Mouse and the White House would rock together? Well, last night Obama did another brilliant move. For the first time ever, he had a Kids Inaugural Ball. It was on Disney Channel for 1.5 hours. He had Miley Cyrus, the Jonas Brothers and numerous other stars on hand. He did video clips from Iraq soldiers and had their families on stage to say hello. His wife and daughters rocked out in the front row. Pure marketing brilliance!

My two daughters begged to stay up late so they could see the entire show. They are engrossed with watching him become President. Think about it, in eight years these are the kids that will be voting in the next President. He is setting up a new stage of thinking. He is growing the nations young minds at the same time he is reaching out to the more established minds. He is definitely a man who will not do things the old way. I have watched him build a solid network and to shake the traditional way of doing things.

Many of you may not know that he is one of the first candidates to use social networking in his campaign. He actually had games made that people could do on line just like they play Halo or Ruin Scape. All of that attracted the techno savvy younger voter. There are lessons for all of us to learn here.

Ask yourself, how you can apply innovative thinking to what you do. Why use the old tried and true channels? Why not zig when all else zag? Why do you have to do things the way they have always been done?

As Einstein said, "You can't solve a problem from the same level of thinking that created it." I for one am looking forward to a breath of fresh air, innovation, and creative thinking that is certainly on the horizon.

ACTION: Try to do something unusual and new today to break out of old molds.

Anne Warfield