My Interview in New York City last week just went live!

My interview in New York last week just went live! 🙂

Check it out here: https://youtu.be/m56tQY-JY6M

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Dogs are Overrated

-A Good Leader...

For too long people have said that dogs are man’s (or woman’s) best friend. Not true!

Don’t think I’m a dog hater because I’m not (cats maybe but not dogs! Actually I don’t hate cats either) but I think the best friend thing is overrated. At the end of the day, a dog is just another dependent that you have to feed, care for, watch out for, worry about, and bail out of trouble repeatedly. There are rewards for that for sure, but they are insufficient to call a dog your best friend.

Think about it. Many people remember a pet with fondness but who has really impacted your life? Usually it has been a teacher, coach, mentor, parent or other relative, boss, spiritual leader, co-worker, neighbor, or spouse, etc. Usually it was multiple people over time. They may have impacted you with their books, their words, their example, their coaching, their love, or just their humanness but somehow they influenced you so profoundly that it altered the course of your life and made it better than you had ever imagined was possible before they came along.

The common thread, of course, is leadership which always starts with self-leadership. At least during the time when that person was impacting you, they were behaving as a leader whether that reflects their normal operating mode or not. The best ones are those who are always working to improve themselves and their leadership because they can impact you repeatedly over long periods of time and in many circumstances.

While how they effect you is important and while timing is often critical, the “how” part of what they do is secondary. The primary element is their “why”. Why do they do what they do? Why are they willing to expend the effort to develop themselves? Why are they willing to make themselves available to help you?

If their “why” is self-serving, whether their focus is financial, being adored, or whatever, they may still have helped you in the short-term but a long-term, ongoing influence for good is unlikely. That’s where pets fall into the equation because it is a relationship based on need or desire. In other words, it is based upon dependency not friendship. While that is ok and healthy when dealing with an animal, it doesn’t work well with people.

Worse yet, if you want to be needed so badly that you gravitate to this sort of situation, that is co-dependency and will lead you nowhere good in the long-term. You see, you too must exhibit self-leadership in order to benefit fully from the skills of your coach, mentor, etc. You must be a true friend to both yourself and that person and call it like it really is, whether they like it or not, if their “why” is self-serving.

If, on the other hand, their “why” is to truly help, encourage, coach, mentor, and improve the lives of those they work with, that’s where true friendship happens. As you look back you will see that the people who most impacted you, especially if they continue to do so, are those with this type of “why”. While money or other value may have been exchanged (and usually should be because this type of thing works better when both parties have some “skin in the game”), that is not their “why”.

The best of these have truly helping you as their primary motive. These people are the ones I refer to as “Real” leaders and a real leader is actually a man’s (or woman’s) best friend. So do yourself a favor. Find and work with as many of those people as you possibly can. Your life will be better for doing so. Try it. It works!

Cevin Ormond, “The Master of Self-Leadership”, is a Speaker, Coach, Trainer, Expert, & Best-Selling Author of “Me, Inc. – Your Life IS YOUR Business!”. He can be reached at Cevin@CevinOrmond.com His website is: CevinOrmond.com

It Pays to be Silly!

-Silly is Your Natural State...

While this seems to be a bit counter-intuitive, silliness is something every good leader needs to cultivate in themselves and their people. There are many reasons why this is true and many ways to develop this particular self-leadership skill. Here are 3 quick examples or “3 ‘Sillies’ for Leaders”:

  1. It’s silly to invest in your people when they will just leave and go to your competition or become your new competitor! You’re just wasting resources running another organization’s training program for them.

Reality: Sometimes that is true. The problem is that you (and even your people themselves) don’t know when that sometime is. In the meantime, if you don’t invest in your people, the good ones will leave and the ones you wish would leave won’t because they aren’t as mobile.

Instead of retaining your best performers you are sending them off to become part of your best competition while your workforce becomes more “me too” and average. Plus you end up paying the other hidden costs of replacing them with the likelihood that the replacement will not be able to perform as well as the ones you lost.

  1. Silliness is “Not Professional”.

Reality: This is another common myth based upon a poor definition of words. First of all, what does “Professional” mean? Dictionary.com defines it as “following an occupation as a means of livelihood or for gain”. That definition says nothing about HOW you do that. Anyone who plays the “Not Professional” card has one agenda and one agenda only – CONTROL! Pure and simple!

As long as the “Silly” behavior is not illegal, immoral, or unethical and is not disrupting operations to a significant degree, silliness is beneficial. It makes coming to work fun, staying at work fun, and gives you something to talk about in social situations (a real boon to engineers, accountants, lawyers, etc. As an engineer myself I must admit that the reputation for social dullness and ineptness is not entirely without some element of truth!

A classic story about this is the time Herb Kelleher, former CEO of Southwest Airlines, received a complaint letter from a woman passenger who thought the Southwest flight attendant’s typical jovial pre-flight safety briefing was “Not Professional” and that if he, as the CEO, did not do something to change it then she would no longer be flying on Southwest. His handwritten reply letter was 3 words, “We’ll Miss You!” – an absolutely perfect response! We all know how successful Southwest Airlines has been.

  1. If I’m silly my employees, customers, vendors, etc. won’t respect me.

Reality: Whether they respect you or not is completely beyond your control. It’s their choice not yours and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it. In other words, your opinion of me is none of my business! It’s your business!

That doesn’t mean I won’t treat you with respect, because I will (that’s my choice). That doesn’t mean I won’t provide the best products and services I can, because I will (that’s also my choice). That also doesn’t mean I won’t deal with you fairly and with integrity, because I will (my choice again).

Additionally, Norman Cousins discovered that silliness and laughter are good for your health, happiness, and general well-being when he used humor to improve his condition despite his “hopeless” diagnosis. And Herb Kelleher discovered that it is also good for business. So the real question you have to answer is, “Would you rather be healthy, happy, and successful or would you rather stay stuck?”

Truly it Pays to be Silly!

Cevin Ormond, “The Master of Self-Leadership”, is a Speaker, Expert, & Best-Selling Author of “Me, Inc. – Your Life IS YOUR Business!”.  He can be reached at Cevin@CevinOrmond.com His website is: CevinOrmond.com

What I’ve Learned

I’ve been having some Amazing things happening that have helped me Learn some Incredible things that I wanted to share. I think there are some Lessons in this that can Benefit You too.

First, Deadlines and Goals are Essential to Producing Results!

I think we’ve all heard that and most of us believe it (I Know I do) but… it’s so Easy to get busy and Forget to do it! That’s where Coaches, Mentors, and Accountability Partners come in. They can give us a “Gentle Push” when we are reluctant or just getting a little sloppy about things.

My Coach said, “Just set a Date for Launching Your Book, work toward it, and good things will Start to Happen. You know what? She was Right!

I took her Advice and set an aggressive Launch Date of January 27, 2015 about 2 months ago, started working, and Suddenly, Magical things started to happen!

The People, Tools, and Resources Started Showing Up – Just when I needed them most! I have 3 More Days to get ready and I’m Going to Make it! I wasn’t sure I would until just A Few Days Ago but NOW I can see in Reality what I only saw before in my mind!

Second, It’s SCARY to Broadcast Your Intent and Your Progress (or lack thereof!) to your friends, family, and the World!

But that’s EXACTLY what is Necessary even though others will then know if you fail. When you Broadcast Your Intent, Goals, Deadlines, etc. 2 things happen:

1. People now know what is going on and how they can Help You! Most people are good and generous and are willing to help if they know How.
2. The Universe Responds with Inspiration, Ideas, Resources, and Possibilities!

Finally, You WILL get Discouraged and You WILL want to Quit or, at least, ease off a bit But…

YOU MUST KEEP GOING and GOING and GOING — Just Like the Energizer Bunny UNTIL your Deadline comes! Then, whether You Succeed or not You Will Know You did all You could!

Now none of this is New but it is Revolutionary because a Revolution Changes Things and that’s what following these 3 Steps has done for me and what they WILL do for You if You do them too!

And NOW I Know even better than I did before that These Ideas and Practices Work!

I’m Living Proof!!

My Book Launch IS HAPPENING and it’s happening This Tuesday, January 27th!

I just Wanted to Share this Experience with You and Encourage You to Follow My Lead and try it for Yourself With Your Own Personal Goals! It Works in a Miraculous way!

Give it a Shot!

Warmest Regards,

Cevin Ormond
“The Master of Self-Leadership”
Speaker, Expert, & Author of
“Me, Inc. – Your Life IS YOUR Business!”
http://www.MeIncBook.com
http://www.CevinOrmond.com
My New Facebook Page – Help Me Reach 1,000 Likes!

Note: Just a quick update – My launch happened and the book hit #3 on Amazon! So now I am not only an author but I am a Best-Selling Author! Wahoo!! 🙂

P.S.: I’m hosting a Book Launch Online Party all day on Tuesday, January 27th so You can drop in or out at will and Check It Out! (There MAY even be some Surprises!) so Mark It on Your Calendar and Come Join The FUN! (Details to Follow)

Duplication

Handoff
As I’ve stated before, one of the biggest problems in all businesses, but especially in small businesses, is the lack of leadership. Most small business owners do not even fully understand that leadership and management are not the same thing much less what constitutes good leadership.

That being said one of the most critical areas where this can hurt you as a small business owner is in the area of duplication because creating other leaders in your organization is one of the primary tasks of a good leader. Essentially you need to duplicate yourself.

There are several reasons for this. First, in most small businesses the business owner – their skills, talents, time, contacts, etc. constitute the biggest and most important asset in the business. In other words, their business is built around them and what they personally do. This creates huge problems for the both the business and the business owner.
For the business owner it means they cannot easily take time away from the business so they are essentially stuck there working 60-80 hours a week or more since the business won’t run without their presence. It also means they are unable to take regular vacations and other things that can recharge their batteries which means they are often under stress from family issues as well since they don’t have the time or energy to properly deal with those issues. Also this can effect their health in negative ways.

This also creates problems when the time comes that the business owner wants to retire or sell the business. If no one else can run or handle it, how can they sell or retire? This leaves them with really only one option which is to close the business which is often not what they want and something they may not easily be able to do.
The business is also at risk if the owner gets sick or dies as there is really nothing there for the family and the employees since no one is able to step in and effectively run the operation.

This is why one of the most (if not the very most) important leadership tasks is to develop other leaders – leaders who can run the business while the owner is away on vacation or for an illness, and who can either take over and purchase the business from the owner or who will remain with the business after the owner sells it to maintain the continuity necessary for an ongoing successful enterprise.

The bottom line is – duplicate yourself and do it as quickly as you possibly can. If you have any questions about how to do this please contact us – we can help.

Why and What vs. How

Question

I’ve been thinking a lot about the difference between management and leadership lately. These differences are sometimes difficult to see and understand for those who don’t have a lot of experience in this arena. Let me see if I can help you clear that up.

One of the big differences between leadership and management is that management is about how. How do I do this? How do I do that? How do I best manage my time, for example? How do I manage my resources? How do I manage my cash flow? How do I get more sales? How do I attract the best employees? How do I best serve my customers? In other words, management is about how? How? How?!

Leadership, on the other hand, is not about how. It’s about what and why. What is the best direction for my company to follow? What is the vision that we have? What group of people do we want to serve? What’s the best way to serve them? What’s our next best step to move us toward our vision?

And then there’s why. Why are we doing this? Why are we expending our resources in this manner and will it take us toward the vision that we have? Our vision, in many ways, is our why. So having a strong vision produces that why for us. If our vision is to provide the best possible product at the lowest possible price to serve a particular group of people, for example, then that provides the why for us. In other words, why we exist and why we’re doing what we’re doing is to accomplish that vision.

The problem is that our human nature is to immediately jump to how and skip the most important steps of why and what. It’s like trying to climb a ladder and skipping the first rungs. Without first climbing those rungs of the ladder (what and why), we never really get to the proper how. Whatever how we are then using is not necessarily going to lead us where we want to go. Stephen R Covey talks about climbing the ladder of success and then discovering that the ladder is leaning on the wrong wall! That happens because why and what (the leadership questions) are not properly answered in the first place. Don’t fall victim to that mistake. Contact me if you need any help with that.

(BTW I’ve got a new book coming out soon. Contact me for details.)

Are you working on it or in it?

workers at sunset 02

There’s a huge difference between working on your business and working in your business and it relates directly to the difference between leadership and management. As a business owner your most important job is doing the things that relate to working on your business. Most of the things relative to working in the business can and should be delegated to others where possible.

For example, determining the answers to questions like, “Where do I want my business to be this time next year, in five years, etc.? “, or, “Is our product mix the best to help us reach our long-term goals with this business? “, or, “Do I want to run this business myself for the next 20 years or sell it in five years and retire? “, etc., can only be answered by you as the business owner while questions like, “Should I send this shipment by air freight or ground?”, or, “Should I pay this bill now or wait a week when my cash flow is better? “, should be decided by other employees of the business.

Your primary job as the business owner is to work on your business. However, if your businesses small with only a very few employees it is necessary for you to wear many hats. The key here is to make certain you schedule regular time to work on the business and to work on those things that will help you reach your goals and not just on the busyness of day-to-day operations. This is critical not only for the long-term viability of the business, but also to help you, as the business owner, avoid personal burnout.

If you are having difficulty finding the time to work on your business or are unclear about exactly how to accomplish this, we can help. Please contact us at http://www.smallbusinessdoctors.com for coaching and other helpful services.