Archive: April, 2014

Post from Transformation Tom- Keep a Notebook Nearby—Chapter “From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking

Posted by tomdowd - April 18, 2014 - Leadership, News
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Notebook

 

 

 

 

 

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“From Fear to Success” Audiobook = Keep a Notebook Nearby

 

Ask me what I had for dinner last night and there is a really good
chance I won’t remember. Not many of us can easily come up with what
we ate without really thinking about it. Now think of the greatest speech
idea you ever had, but can’t remember. How many times have you been
driving down the road or woken up in the middle of the night thinking,
“Wow, I need to remember that,” or, “I should do a speech on that,” or
some other iteration, then kept on driving or fell back to sleep and never
remembered what it was? The easiest way to solve that problem is with
a notebook or folder nearby. I keep a notebook on my nightstand and
a folder in my laptop bag, which is typically always near me. I simply
jot the idea down and toss the paper back. It can be one word or a short
sentence. Write down whatever is enough for you to remember. Notice I
didn’t say write out the entire speech. You can let the idea stew and grow
in your mind while it’s in the notebook or folder. The idea will continue
to nurture and develop itself over time. Go back to it when it is time, and
start outlining the message and content. You will be shocked how easily
the speech flows because your mind has been running in the background
with this topic, simply because you wrote it down.

 

 

Thomas B. Dowd III’s books The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas: Growing from a Cynic to a Professional in the Corporate World (Honorable Mention at the 2012 New England Book Festival) and From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide (2013 Axiom Business Book Awards Gold Medal Winner and 2013 Paris Book Festival Honorable Mention).  Audiobook version of “From Fear to Success” is also available! See “Products” for details on www.transformationtom.com.  Book and eBook purchase options are also available on Amazon- Please click the link to be re-directed: Amazon.com

MP3 Downloads of “From Fear to Success:  A Practical Public-speaking Guide” are available at Apple iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, Emusic, Nokia, Xbox Music, Spotify, Omnifone, Google Music Store, Rdio, Muve Music, Bloom.fm, Slacker Radio, MediaNet, 7digital, 24-7, Rumblefish, and Shazam “From Fear to Success” MP3 on CD Baby

Post from Transformation Tom- Balance Being a Leader and a Doer— You Can’t Do Both at the Same Time: Chapter from “The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas”

Posted by tomdowd - April 11, 2014 - Leadership, News
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leader doer

 

 

 

 

 

 

On my mentor and networking monthly rotation, there was a question
I asked of two leaders who had some familiarity of my background
and reputation. I asked, “What would it take to get to the next level?”
since I felt all of my recent moves were lateral. I was surprised to hear
similar answers from these two respected leaders. I was told that I had a
reputation of being the “clean up guy.” I was the one willing to get in the
trenches and find the issues that needed to be fixed. I was independent
in my thinking and did not need a whole lot of direction. I could execute
whatever task needed to be done. I took these comments as a compliment.
The comments were really intended to inform me that I was good
at what I was doing as a “doer,” but the question remained: What was I
doing to prove that I was a leader? There is nothing wrong with being
a doer; there is always significant need in every business for someone
to come in and diagnose and improve. However, there is a distinction
between a “doer” and a “leader” and I wanted to explore how to be the
latter.

There were a couple of points being made. First, I continued to accept
new positions at a lateral level, so the consensus was that I enjoyed project
management and that I could execute on the deliverables. Second, I
had not adequately built up the reputation that I could lead when given
more complex job responsibilities. The job always got done when I was
there, but that was because I had a tendency to step in and start doing it
myself. I was not leading a team or project; I continued to be in the way
as the doer, or in team situations the micro-manager and meddler. It is all
right to want control of every detail, but this can cause frustration within
a team. In addition, it had the potential of sending a message that I did
not trust my people. It always crushed the creative juices of the collective
group if I simply pushed my own agenda onto them or moved them out
of the way. Both mentors told me to set clear expectations, and then get
out of the way of the team. I had the skills and potential to be a leader,
but first I had to stop being the doer, especially when I was the supposed
leader.

I was involved in a leadership program that diagnosed and identified
my certain tendencies as a leader. To no one’s surprise, I found that I liked
to roll up my sleeves and get dirty. We were asked to lead an initiative and
play toward our weaknesses. I had identified a project that needed to be
implemented. I assembled an extremely strong team, identified a competent
project manager, and watched from the sidelines. I made myself
available for periodic updates and attempted to eliminate road blocks.

With clenched fists and a constantly bitten lip, I watched everything
unfold in front of me. I allowed the process to run its due course. The
leader did a phenomenal job. The project was completed on time and had
greater business impacts than originally projected. I was able to allow
the team to present their findings and recommendations to the senior
leaders. All the while, I was there for support, suggestions, and debate.
Although I had the most experience and job knowledge, I remained silent
for the most part and allowed the team to shine. My name was listed as
the project leader, and that’s who I wanted and needed to be. I successfully
lead the project team members and was finally not a doer.

The first thing that was said to me after the presentation was how
smoothly this had run and how much we accomplished as a team. The
senior leaders praised me for being such an active leader in driving the
process. It had always seemed counterintuitive to let others do the work
because it may not turn out exactly as I had envisioned, but it made more
sense now that I’d experienced it in action. I could be detailed-oriented,
I could be intelligent about my business, and I could be there to lead the
business. I did not have to be a micro-manager and watch every detail
if I built the right team and set the right expectations. I needed to take
accountability for the final project, but if I did my job right, the success
for the project would take care of itself with a more satisfied team and a
better end result. I learned that I can’t be the leader and the doer at the
same time.

 

 

Thomas B. Dowd III’s books The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas: Growing from a Cynic to a Professional in the Corporate World (Honorable Mention at the 2012 New England Book Festival) and From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide (2013 Axiom Business Book Awards Gold Medal Winner and 2013 Paris Book Festival Honorable Mention).  Audiobook version of “From Fear to Success” is also available! See “Products” for details on www.transformationtom.com.  Book and eBook purchase options are also available on Amazon- Please click the link to be re-directed: Amazon.com

MP3 Downloads of “From Fear to Success:  A Practical Public-speaking Guide” are available at Apple iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, Emusic, Nokia, Xbox Music, Spotify, Omnifone, Google Music Store, Rdio, Muve Music, Bloom.fm, Slacker Radio, MediaNet, 7digital, 24-7, Rumblefish, and Shazam “From Fear to Success” MP3 on CD Baby

 

 

Post from Transformation Tom- Brainstorm: The Friends-and-Family Effect—Chapter “From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide”

Posted by tomdowd - April 4, 2014 - Leadership, News
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brainstorm

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“From Fear to Success” Audiobook = Brainstorm: The Friends-and-Family Effect

 

Who knows you better, outside of yourself, than your friends,
family, and colleagues? When you are searching for topics or trying to
fine-tune a passionate presentation, invest time with the people closest
to you. Throw ideas against the wall and see if they stick. Use the close
relationships to ensure that the messages you want to convey truly
come across as intended. You should not fear feedback because of the
comfort in realizing that if this group of people can’t provide you with
the gift of their honest opinions, then who can? It is impossible to do
it alone.

I spent the first year and a half after joining Toastmasters practicing
my speeches in the car and in front of mirrors. Although both are
good tools, they can’t compare to the eyes of your spouse or significant
other staring back at you. I learned that if I could do it well in front of
my wife, then a couple hundred people would be easy. I finally shared
a competition speech with my wife right before I got in the car to drive
to the competition. The speech typically took six and a half minutes
to perform. For her, I did it in five minutes because of my anxiety,
since I really wanted to impress her. Within the speech, I had the line,
“Millions of dogs and cats”; instead, I said, “Millions of dogs and a
cat.” We laughed together after the speech. I knew she was a supporter
of my public speaking, but didn’t realize how much I could rely on
her. After I became more comfortable with my dependence on her, I
learned to have healthier dialogues regarding subjective feedback. In
another speech, I had the line, “My first legal adult beverage…,” and
my wife said it was too obscure and lacked the punch I wanted. She
suggested using, “My first beer….” I fought her on it until a friend suggested
the exact same line. Somehow, I had known she was right, but I
had refused to listen (I still have work to do in listening to my wife). I
have now become an open book to friends and family, especially to my
greatest supporter, my wife.

 

 

Thomas B. Dowd III’s books The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas: Growing from a Cynic to a Professional in the Corporate World (Honorable Mention at the 2012 New England Book Festival) and From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide (2013 Axiom Business Book Awards Gold Medal Winner and 2013 Paris Book Festival Honorable Mention).  Audiobook version of “From Fear to Success” is also available! See “Products” for details on www.transformationtom.com.  Book and eBook purchase options are also available on Amazon- Please click the link to be re-directed: Amazon.com

MP3 Downloads of “From Fear to Success:  A Practical Public-speaking Guide” are available at Apple iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, Emusic, Nokia, Xbox Music, Spotify, Omnifone, Google Music Store, Rdio, Muve Music, Bloom.fm, Slacker Radio, MediaNet, 7digital, 24-7, Rumblefish, and Shazam “From Fear to Success” MP3 on CD Baby