Category: Leadership

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

Posted by tomdowd - April 22, 2019 - Leadership, News
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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 workspace. 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 available in softcover, eBook, and audiobook (From Fear to Success only):

  • Now What? The Ultimate Graduation Gift for Professional Success
  • Time Management Manifesto: Expert Strategies to Create an Effective Work/Life Balance
  • Displacement Day: When My Job was Looking for a Job…A Reference Guide to Finding Work
  • The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas: Growing from a Cynic to a Professional in the Corporate World
  • From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide received the Gold Medal at the 2013 Axiom Business Book Awards in Business Reference
  • The Unofficial Guide to Fatherhood

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 - April 14, 2019 - Leadership, News
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bigger person

I started working for someone whom I felt talked behind my back and was making a major effort to push me out of his department. 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 backward 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. 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 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 available in softcover, eBook, and audiobook (From Fear to Success only):

  • Now What? The Ultimate Graduation Gift for Professional Success
  • Time Management Manifesto: Expert Strategies to Create an Effective Work/Life Balance
  • Displacement Day: When My Job was Looking for a Job…A Reference Guide to Finding Work
  • The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas: Growing from a Cynic to a Professional in the Corporate World
  • From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide received the Gold Medal at the 2013 Axiom Business Book Awards in Business Reference
  • The Unofficial Guide to Fatherhood

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 - April 4, 2019 - 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 available in softcover, eBook, and audiobook (From Fear to Success only):

  • Now What? The Ultimate Graduation Gift for Professional Success
  • Time Management Manifesto: Expert Strategies to Create an Effective Work/Life Balance
  • Displacement Day: When My Job was Looking for a Job…A Reference Guide to Finding Work
  • The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas: Growing from a Cynic to a Professional in the Corporate World
  • From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide received the Gold Medal at the 2013 Axiom Business Book Awards in Business Reference
  • The Unofficial Guide to Fatherhood

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

Posted by tomdowd - February 21, 2014 - Leadership, News
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Message Count

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“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
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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