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,

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 . 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,