Category: Leadership

Give People Second Chances

Posted by tomdowd - July 15, 2014 - Leadership, News
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second chance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I always seemed to wind up working for people who looked out for me
and were willing to give me second chances. Even as I griped about my
managers and blamed them for many of my downfalls, I was still asked to
go with them as they changed jobs within my company. In a corporation
employing thousands of people, I had many years in which I seemed to
work for people willing to give me second chances at a time in my career
when I thought I was making too many mistakes. I thought, at times, that
they were protecting me. What I found was that these special managers
were not protecting me—they were willing to give me a second chance
because they knew my strengths better than I did. Over the years, as I
gained confidence and learned more about the business on my own, they
saw my maturity even before I did. The people who gave me a second
chance knew I would give everything I had for the business, and knew I
was learning from my mistakes. Additionally, I was learning to own up to
my mistakes and was making it an active practice to teach others by sharing
what I had learned from my lessons.

In one of my first positions managing managers, I was new and naïve
to the role. I was previously a micromanager and I had stayed steadfast to
personnel policies. When I should have been a level higher than where
I was in order to manage managers, I was really a glorified version of a
manager because I knew the technicalities of the business but did not
understand how to manage it.

My manager invested his time with me, as I was new to the role. He
had a certain tone he used when I made mistakes, but sought to make
them teaching opportunities. I still couldn’t break out of the glorified
manager mentality, even though I was supposed to be a level higher. Mistakes
were made, and we both felt I was not coming up the learning curve
quickly enough. However, he made the effort to make me better and gave
me opportunities even though I was convinced I had not reached his
expectations. When he left the department, I appreciated his time and
dedication, and told him I would continue to make the effort to improve.
I was a little surprised when I got a call to join him in his new department.
I had previously worked in that department and could bring my
job knowledge. But why would he want me when he knew exactly what I
was—and was not— capable of? I’m now convinced that that was why he
made the call to me. He knew exactly what I could and could not do, and
he still saw the potential.

I thought then that I was still too naïve to truly lead the department,
since I needed to develop my own confidence level. I began to think that
I was being harder on myself about being perfect than I needed to be, but
I still lacked confidence. I was surrounded by tenured peers who I let take
control of meetings and drive the conversations. My confidence was not
growing, but my frustration was.

We used to have an annual event that was supposed to be fun, I did not engage in the event as much
as I should have. My avoidance of the event, which was supposed to
include tasteful practical jokes, only caused more unwanted attention
directed my way. As a result, I became an unwilling target. I felt an obligation
to defend myself and my team and went on the offensive halfway
through the month, after giving in to the pressure to participate. My
team and I devised some creative practical jokes that walked a fine line
of professionalism and ultimately landed me in hot water with Human
Resources. I pushed the limits out of frustration rather than simply playing
along from the beginning.

Whatever frustrations I had with the event remained bottled up
until my manager had to sit me down and explain his concerns about my
actions. I let it all out, including my disdain for the event, my growing
disrespect for my peers, and the fact that I felt forced into doing things
I was not comfortable with. I came to the realization that I was the only
one accountable to make the decision to do what I had done. I didn’t
think through the unintended consequences and the impact I would have
on my team and my peers. I vented and he listened, then we had a phenomenal
conversation. The conversation was straightforward and should
have occurred prior to allowing the frustration to build up.

As much as I was embarrassed that we had to have the HR discussion,
I needed it. I maintained my job with a solid slap on the wrist, and
learned some lessons. However, I was not convinced that I would ever
work for this person again, since it was a pretty big mistake in my eyes
relating to people management.As is the nature of our business, he moved on to another department.

I received another call six months later. He wanted me to work for him
again in a department that was full of newer managers. I jumped at the
chance because I wanted to prove myself to him, and I saw an opportunity
to teach all of my new peers to avoid my past mistakes relating to
people management. I saw my chance to give back and be the leader I
wanted to be. For three months, I was able to accomplish this and a lot
more. I felt like I had made a name for myself in this new department and
that I was there making a difference. I was asking questions and driving
the business. My questions landed me in a three-month task force that
lasted for over two years. Guess who joined me after I left his department,
two days later? You guessed it—he moved to my new department as my
manager, again. He apparently had had some inkling as to his next move
and wanted me to be there with him. He knew exactly what he was getting,
and he seemed pretty happy to know who had his back.

Through my career, I’ve sometimes perceived that I’ve been in the
wrong place at the wrong time, and sometimes I’ve felt that I’ve been in
the right place at the right time. I was learning to go with the flow and
learn from my mistakes. I also learned to give second chances. As a perfectionist,
I know that no one, including myself, is perfect. We can all
strive to do our best. I have always been appreciative of people willing
to give me tough feedback, even when I didn’t think I wanted to hear
it. I became a manager known for openly sharing my mistakes to help
others. In fact, a few times when I thought my people were holding back
out of fear of making mistakes, I started a regular event in our weekly
staff meetings to share our “MOW: Mistake of the Week.” We shared what
we had learned through the week and found that we all made mistakes.
We were willing to take calculated risks, work together as a team, and be
more creative. I now actively recruit people I know have made mistakes,
who are willing to own them and learn from them. I have found that giving
people second chances only strengthens the team and the individual’s
efforts.

 

 

Thomas B. Dowd III’s books Displacement Day:  When My Job was Looking for a Job, 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),  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- 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

Post from Transformation Tom- Get to Know the People You Work With: Chapter from “The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas”

Posted by tomdowd - March 28, 2014 - Leadership, News
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get to know people

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are far more people I have managed whose names I can’t
remember than people whose names I can. Besides having a poor memory
with names (I’m working on it), the key driver is the fact that I did a
poor job early in my career of getting to know the people I worked with
as real people. I knew them as employees. I knew their statistics, the way
a baseball manager might know his players. I knew their tendencies. I
knew their strengths, and their potential to improve.

As I changed teams or people came and went, I would pick up on the
statistics and begin the exercise to get to know the new numbers. I had
failed to truly get to know the people I worked with. I once had a senior
leader say, “Us being friends is merely a convenience.” He meant that our
personal relationship was not important. Since I had heard this prior to
being a manager, I took it seriously and was self-driven to find my way to
get to the next level. Once I became a manager, I steamrolled through the
people I worked with to drive them to maximize their statistics the way I
had when I was in their shoes just a few months before.

I did not get to know the people who worked for me at a personal
level. As their manager, I was missing part of each of my employees’ stories.
If I had learned the value of knowing the personal side of people
early in my manager experience, I would have known what makes a person
tick. I could have adapted my feedback to better meet their style, gain
more buy-in, and probably gain their respect. We would have had more
to talk about and I could have built up our relationship. Instead, we simply
talked statistics and I would ask, “How was your weekend?”, although
I really didn’t want a real answer to the question. I was missing a chance
to become a more effective leader and, more importantly, I was missing
a chance to get to know the people to build a lasting relationship that
would assist in everyone’s growth—mine included.

I have matured enough to learn to get to know the people I work
with better. We have personal conversations. I ask pointed questions
about their pets, kids, or spouse. I remember things better because I have
been more engaged in the conversation. I like the people better, because
I actually know them. I had gone too long being professionally driven. I
was given the unfortunate advice, “We do not have to be friends to succeed.”
I didn’t go to work to make best friends. However, we all need relationships
in our lives. If you nurture these relationships, everyone wins.
If you happen to get a good friend out of the deal, then you will be better
off. If you happen to only strengthen a working relationship, then the
organization and both individuals are still better off.

Leaders flexible enough to tailor their styles to each individual’s drivers
and motivators are an asset to any company. I am now in a much
better position to motivate the people who work with me because I
understand what inspires them to come to work each day. In fact, many
times, I simply ask the question, “Why do you come to work every day?”
There is nothing like getting straight to the point. Now, I know whether
the person is working because of family, pride, money, promotions, or
simply a pat on the back.

 

 

 

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- Surround Yourself With Pictures: Chapter from “The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas”

Posted by tomdowd - March 14, 2014 - Leadership, News
0

 

picture collage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I once went to a work seminar on organization. One of the suggestions
the instructor made was to not have any pictures around you. The premise
was that the pictures can cause distractions. Since this class took place
during my first few months of being a manager, I took it seriously. I even
mentioned the concept to people who had pictures on their desks and
suggested they remove them. I didn’t win a whole lot of points with these
suggestions, but I did practice what I preached. I spent years with a desk
devoid of pictures because I didn’t want to be distracted. For the most
part, I didn’t feel distracted, so I reasoned that it must be working. What
I failed to realize at the time was that I was not married, did not have any
pets, or children, so I was not actively looking to put too many pictures
on my desk anyway. I was fully dedicated to the company.

About five years later, I got married. I had the first picture dilemma.
Did I put a picture of my wife up on my desk? She was beautiful and
special, and I couldn’t resist. I was going to take the chance and see if I
truly was distracted. We got a black Lab to add to the family. One of my
favorite pictures of all time came a couple years later. It was a picture of
my first born daughter in a tide pool with our dog looking over her. My
family grew over the next few years with two more beautiful daughters
entering my life. I never stopped putting pictures up of my family and
dogs, pictures of celebrated work events, and friends.

I had motivation. I had people to work hard for and support. I could
look at their pictures and see a smile when I was having a bad day. When
I needed advice, I could look toward my wife’s picture and know exactly
what she would think and suggest (I did not, however, get to the point
of talking to my pictures). I never felt distracted once. I felt moved and
driven to push harder to make sure they all had what they needed from
me. The harder and smarter I worked, the more I could provide for them.
As the years have gone on, I see my babies growing up into young ladies.
These young ladies will grow up to become adults someday and be successful
in whatever their hearts desire. I know I can’t stop now. The pictures
show me how quickly they grow and change and keep me motivated
every day.

Although it took years for me to figure it out, pictures add a new
dimension to my work space. They bring the comfort of home, and lend
familiarity and stability when you might need it most. Surround yourself
with pictures of good times with family and friends. I was given a
digital frame and immediately loaded it with over one thousand photos.
I periodically turn around and chuckle when I see a picture flash up that
brings back great memories. The pictures don’t distract me. The pictures
motivate me because they are of the people who mean the most to me.

 

 

 

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- Don’t Talk about Your Bad Day—Chapter “From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide”

Posted by tomdowd - March 7, 2014 - Leadership, News
0

Bad day

 

 

 

 

 

 

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From Fear to Success” Audiobook= Don’t Talk About Your Bad Day

 

We have all had bad days, whether we are not feeling so hot,
didn’t sleep well, or forgot to pick up the bread our significant other
asked for (sorry, honey). These days happen. However, in the publicspeaking
forum, your audience most likely doesn’t care. In fact, you
are giving your credibility a backseat to the messages you want to send
if you start your presentation with, “Please give me sympathy, or at
least understand that I’m not giving you my ‘A’ game.” You shouldn’t
announce it or even show it in your non-verbal cues. You can’t afford
to lose your audience. Never start a speech with an apology. Make the
effort to muscle through whatever it is and set a better tone right from
the beginning. You may be surprised to find that the audience’s energy,
which you are helping to create, may just solve whatever problem you
were having anyway.

 

 

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- Be the Bigger Person: Chapter from “The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas”

Posted by tomdowd - February 28, 2014 - Leadership, News
0

bigger person

 

 

 

 

 

 

I started working for someone who I felt talked behind my back and
was making a major effort to push me out of his department. Remember
the person who gave me Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff? Prior to him joining
our department, I had been put into a temporary position managing
managers and felt I was on my way to a promising future. My bad feelings
were confirmed after his arrival a little over a year later when I was
removed from my position and asked to take a step back. My backwards
movement was to some degree a self-fulfilling prophecy, because I was
not motivated to work for him. However, I also could not seem to break
through to find what it would take for him to change his mind.

Although I was not motivated to give him my best, I did try to hide
my outward frustration by burying my head in my work. My goal was to
work as hard as I could until something changed (e.g., the “Wait three
months” mentality). I knew he was under a lot of pressure to perform,
but I had the opinion that he spent too much time trying to impress the
upper management for his next promotion versus running his own business
well. I had some small wins, but I knew we would never find the
mutual respect needed to succeed as a team.

We crossed paths a few times over the years and I still boiled over
with frustration that he never seemed to respect my work. Years later, I
ended up working for him a second time. We had both matured. I saw
the relationship dynamic changing because he was not working for the
same people he had always been trying to impress. A situation presented
itself in which he needed my experience and job knowledge in his new
department. He gave me more responsibilities and the space to succeed.
He allowed me the chance to lead a task force of over one hundred people
in a completely different area, with a lot of reign in directing our road
map to success.

Our professional respect seemed to be growing. However, the entire
tenure of the second round always seemed to have an eight-hundred
pound gorilla in the room. It was the frustration from our first go-around
together. We should have had a sit down conversation and put it all out on
the table. We didn’t do that. We worked better together in this new partnership,
but there was still so much more we could have accomplished if
we had just hammered out our differences, or at least gotten over the past.
Soon after the merger, he left the company. I was actually the last person
to see him in the hall on his last day. He asked if I would help him take
a box from his office to his car. I had a quick thought of, “I can’t believe he
still wants to put me to work.” However, I knew that wasn’t his true intention
and he just needed a little assistance. Believe it or not, he did have an
underlying motivation—even with the impromptu run in with me. As we
were walking out, he said, “I’m sorry.” He went on to talk about all of the
pressures he had been under during our first time together and how he
had wanted to climb the corporate ladder as quickly as possible, even if it
meant stepping on people. He was confessing his own learning to me and
confirming that my original opinions weren’t too far off.

I realized that if I had taken the first step by stating my opinion years
ago, I could have avoided a lot of the uncomfortable feelings we’d had. He
took the first steps and told me all the great things he appreciated about
me and the respect he had gained from my ability to work through the
difficulty he had put me through. I felt guilty for not making the first
move, but was proud of my ability to force my way through the hard
times. I also gained a lot of respect for him for taking advantage of the
current events to make a difference in our relationship.
I know it has a lot of similarities to a death bed conversation we
would have wanted to hear earlier in our lives from that person. However,
I had the luxury of still living in a small New England town with this individual.
Our interactions in town are cordial and personable. He ended
up getting a new job in one of our old buildings right up the road. I was
driving home and passed his building on a Friday afternoon. We stopped
and talked. He needed leadership help in his new business and asked if I
would join. I did not take him up on it, but carried the valuable lesson of
what can become of being the bigger person.

 

 

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- Make the Message Stick—Chapter “From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide”

Posted by tomdowd - February 21, 2014 - Leadership, News
0

 

Message Count

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“From Fear to Success” Audiobook= Make The Message Stick

Audiences learn and retain information differently. My youngest
daughter can sit back and absorb a presentation without taking a
note and repeat back everything—and I mean everything—she heard.
Others, like me, are consummate note-takers. Still others may need
some type of visual or auditory stimulation to retain information. It is
important to understand this learning diversity when preparing your
presentation. Depending on the type of presentation, if possible provide
multiple options that work best for information retention by various
learning types.

As a speaker, you must have an engaged audience. You can capture
their attention by getting them involved, possibly by having them out
of their seats to complete an action, or asking open-ended questions
that need responses. Additionally, you can have the audience repeat
key points you want emphasized or remembered. For some learners,
you should provide handouts; many of these learners want something
to hold and read from or want to fill in the blanks. Providing
paper and a place to take notes makes a big difference to someone like
me. Finally, you have people who sit on their hands until they see a
visual on the screen or hear music in the background. It’s important to
account for these visual and auditory learners. More importantly, it’s
essential to show flexibility for different learners in your audience. The
message sticks more when you are conscientious about your audience’s
needs and learning types.

 

 

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

Guest Blog Post by Professional Inspirational Speaker and Trainer Steve Gamlin: “Are You Clearing Hay Fields with a Weed-Wacker?”

Posted by tomdowd - January 9, 2013 - Leadership, News
2

This past Summer, just after my fiancée moved back to New Hampshire, I faced a dilemma. The back lawn at Tina’s house hadn’t been mowed in quite some time, and the neighbor’s plants had decided the grass was greener in her yard. The root system of the vines next door had invaded…with a vengeance (or is that a vine-geance?).

The Jurassic lawnmower in the shed had last been started during Clinton’s first term. It took just 2 pulls before the cord frayed and snapped, leaving me on my butt with the handle and 6 inches of rope still in my grip.

I instantly pronounced Tyrannosaurus Rust officially ‘extinct’.

Steve Gamlin blog picture

Dejected, I trudged to the car for my 100-foot extension cord so I could power up the electric weed-wacker. Needle in a haystack? That was me, as I was essentially trimming a hayfield one flailing swipe at a time.

After completing about 1/3 of the back yard in an hour (and dripping with sweat) Tina and I (mostly me) made a decision: it was time to invest in a new lawnmower!

A quick trip to the hardware store (with a cool coupon, Tina’s a smart shopper) meant a ride home with an extra passenger: a bright and shiny new Husqvarna self-propelled mower. After minimal assembly, and a check of this unfamiliar yard for rocks and branches, I was off!

It took less than 15 minutes to finish the job, completely and effectively.

Ever feel you’re trying to do YOUR job with inefficient tools?

Is your support team suffering a similar fate?

Are you lost in a huge ‘business’ hayfield armed only with a weed-wacker?

Perhaps this week you can invest in yourself, and your tool arsenal, becoming more efficient and empowered.

Could your technology use some updating?  Has a new book or audio product been created just for your industry?

Is there a conference which could serve to inspire and educate your team members to play at the top of their game?

Please do not continue weed-wacking in the endless hay-field of Big Business and the Web!

Here’s to YOU, my friends: may you honor your mission by arming yourself with more effective tools.

The most powerful one is your mind. That’s a good place to start.

Fire it up and clear out everything that’s in your way, powerfully and efficiently!

 

Steve desribes himself as,”I am a regular guy from a blue-collar background who followed his dreams, survived the speedbumps and a few rollovers.”  Steve is a professional speaker, entertainer and author,with a goal to become the most AUTHENTIC movtivational voice which has ever graced a stage.  As a fellow member of Toastmasters and the National Speakers Association, I can say that Steve’s voice is not only authentic, it is being heard by many audiences.  I applaud Steve’s success and wish to share his AUTHENTICITY with my own audience.  Thanks for your contribution Steve! Please feel free to share and add your comments.

 

Steve Gamlin’s contact information:

P.O. Box 5

Goffstown, NH 03045

(603) 560-3360

Steve@SteveGamlin.com

www.SteveGamlin.com