I Hear You – What does it mean to be a leader?

The word leader has been getting some mixed definitions lately.

A leader is simply a person who has influence over other people. A leader is not necessarily a manager. A manager is a person who is hired to manage employees. Anyone can be a leader, but it is not easy to be a good leader. A good leader will listen to the advice of the other people in the group and act on that advice. Of course, you cannot please everyone all the time, but a good leader will always do what is best for the group in general. And the only way to find out the needs of the group is to listen.

Learn more Introvert Leader skills by reading Leadership for Introverts.

Failing to plan

How are you at planning?

I had several failed startups before my latest two entrepreneurial ventures, which have been very successful. The main thing I did different these last two times was planning. According to the Small Business Administration, 85% of all businesses will fail in the first 18 months. And, 85% of all small businesses have no plan. I do not think that is a coincidence.
There are steps entrepreneurs can take to better those odds. Start by working on your business. There are five basic questions you can answer that could make a huge difference in the success of your endeavors. They are: Why are you doing what you are doing, what are your core values, what is your mission, what is your strategic vision, and what is your strategy? Working on your business, especially when starting out, is just as important as working in your business. That is why I have created a series of free webinar/workshops (I call them Webishops) to help entrepreneurs at www.webishops.com. These Success Planning Webishops help you to answer each of those five questions.

But the videos are just a taste of what you can find in the book Leadership for Introverts.

Leadership for Introverts book

Book: Leadership for Introverts

Leadership for Introverts

my newest book, is now available for pre-order at Amazon Kindle here.

You can also read the first two chapters for free on Smashwords.

Leadership for Introverts should be available in all major formats by May 15.

Synopsis:

It’s time for Serious Growth as an Introvert Leader.

Introverts can make Great Leaders… with the proper training.
And Now there is a book specifically for Introverts on how to do just that!
Some see introversion as a weakness, but it is not. Quiet has Power (think about those awkward silences) and it is time to embrace the Power of the Introvert. Introverts make up half the population of the world, if not more. That means extroverted leaders are not communicating properly with half the people they lead. Let’s show the world how our quiet influence can shape the future.
Learn how to draw from your well of strength so you stop getting that anxious feeling in social situations.
Explore ways to take your Introverted Leadership skills to the next level.
In “Leadership for Introverts,” Ty Belknap (having a Doctorate in Leadership) argues that it is time for quiet, unassuming people to shed the shy title, rise up and show the world the Power of Quiet.
There are hints and tips for working with extroverts, recharging in high-demand situations, and even “For Extroverts” areas to help them understand introverts more.
Whether you need help working with teams, handling social situations, leading an extroverted child, or designing a retreat that will work for both extroverts and introverts, this is the book for you.
and with sections on how introverts can master networking, marketing, and even leading extroverts, “Leadership for Introverts” will forever change the way you see yourself.
Dr. Ty shows you how the power of coaching questions can propel your leadership abilities.

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#introverts #leadership #leadershipforintroverts #quietinfluence

Revolutionize Brainstorming

Brainstorming is a common practice in businesses, and brainstorming has come up with some amazing ideas and inventions. But there is one fundamental flaw in brainstorming: No new thoughts seem to emerge once one person comes up with a good idea. The main reason is because everyone bands together to refine and hone that one good idea into a fantastic revelation.

But what if you want several new ideas? What are good ways to keep the creative juices flowing? One way is to start the brainstorming session before everyone meets in person. Send out an email with details on the brainstorming session and allow members to submit suggestions before the session actually starts. There are a couple of benefits to this: First, it allows the introverts in the group time to think about new ideas. Introverts process internally, and too much talking while they are processing can make an introvert shut down and stop contributing during a meeting.  Sending out an email in advance will help them be more creative. Second, it gives the opportunity for more independent ideas to come forth. Rather than everyone banding together on the first good idea, it gives the opportunity for the group to look at many ideas.

Shaking hands

Every Day Can Be A Great Day

A Positive Outlook

I still remember the day I had a very difficult meeting scheduled. Two people I was responsible for had miserably failed to do some important tasks and, as a result, a large project was held up. I woke up that morning dreading the day to come. I visualized the meeting being absolutely terrible, and I was sure I would be let go because of the problems.

I did not lose my job that day, but the meeting did go as bad as I had visualized.

And I realized later that I had helped to make it bad. That was one of the situations that helped me to see that my mind will work to accomplish what I think about, good or bad. Now, each morning when I wake up, I visualize my day as being a great day. I imagine the meetings I will go to being happy and productive. I see myself doing my work and enjoying it, no matter what it is. I see in my mind’s eye customers that are happy because of what I accomplished, whether I actually see them or not. There are still problems that come up, but I have noticed that I now have less stress in difficult situations. And I enjoy helping others to see positive outcomes when big problems come up. I attribute that to changing the way I see my day when I wake up.

So when you wake up each day (or right before you go to sleep), visualize a great day. What meetings will you have? Who will you see? Visualize those interactions going surprisingly well. Imagine everyone smiling and laughing, happy for the time spent together. There is nothing you can do about what happens around you, but you have the power to control how you respond.

Costume

I’m not Joking

Feel like nobody listens to what you say? There are three actions you can use to be taken seriously.

  1. Take others seriously (meaning: Listen). We tend to talk more when it seems like other people don’t take us seriously, spending more time explaining what we mean by what we say. One way to be taken seriously is to listen intently about what the other person is saying.
  2. Talk less. I had a client who admitted that she felt like she talked a mile a minute but never seemed to be saying anything important. Through coaching, she learned to say a lot less and get to the point quicker. By talking less, she felt she was being heard more by others.
  3. Pick a topic and stick to it. Don’t talk about four or five different topics at the same time. What may make sense to you could be very confusing to others, so stick to one topic at a time.

Combine all three of these together to become a conversationalist that people will listen to. Listen to what others are saying then respond specifically to what they are talking about. Stick to that subject, and try to stay on point with fewer words.

brunette woman with flowers

Relationships: Taking a Break

Opposites attract, and that is proven when an introvert and an extrovert get together. Introverts and extroverts in a relationship have the opportunity to discuss how they relax, or recharge. Extroverts love to be in groups of people, happily talking about nothing in particular. That is how extroverts recharge their batteries. The batteries of an introvert, however, will drain very quickly in the same situation. Introverts need time alone to recharge their batteries.

Time alone for an introverted parent, especially when young children are involved, is very important. Let’s say there is a family with one extrovert parent and one introvert parent, which is pretty common. The extrovert parent may come home to loud, rambunctious children and fondly imagine having some alone time for a bit. The introvert parent, however, may desperately need it to stave off insanity.

Communication is important. Introverts incorrectly assume that everyone knows they need to be alone at times. And extroverts sometimes don’t understand how important it is for introverts to have alone time. Introverts need uninterrupted alone time every day, and that can be difficult when young children are involved.

If this sounds like you, carve out some alone time. Then, when your batteries are recharged, have a conversation with your partner. Find out what they need for alone time or social time with you and friends. And discuss with them how you need alone time. Find a compromise. Remember, you are in this together.

Businessman holding coffee cup

Entrepreneurs and Small Business: Do You Have an Elevator Pitch?

The elevator pitch is important in today’s business settings; it is a way to tell people what you do without spending a half hour doing it.

“I help people create their amazing tomorrow.” There are many different ways to create an elevator pitch, and everyone has a different slant on how to do it. Personally, I like the elevator pitch that makes the listener want to ask questions.  I could say that I am a business, career, and life coach, but coaching is still one of those professions that seem ambiguous. The elevator pitch should say exactly what you do in as few words as possible. A humorous pitch, if done right, works also. A local drain cleaning company has the pitch: “I get the **** out of your life.” Be careful with humor, however, it can backfire. Spend time creating the right elevator pitch. I would say it can be up to 60 seconds, but 30 would be ideal. You should include your business name at the end and have a business card ready to hand to the listener.

Developing an elevator pitch is extremely important for introverts.

We tend to get flustered when we do not have a reply ready to go (extroverts, ever ask a person what should be an easy question, but you get that “deer in the headlights” look back?). Developing your elevator pitch will not only give you something to say, it will help you be more comfortable in networking settings.

Ah, Nature! (or not)

It is a fact that people who live near nature are happier, except those that are not. It comes down to whether you are an introvert or extrovert. Introverts are more comfortable in quiet surroundings and prefer to be closer to nature. If you are an introvert and live in an apartment in the city, it is a good idea to plan getaways to quieter surroundings on a regular basis. It doesn’t have to be a week-long vacation. A day trip to a park might be the ticket.

And, on the opposite side, if you are an extrovert that lives in the wilderness, a different kind of getaway is prescribed. Find out where the party is, and find a way to get to it. Any social gathering will do, as long as there are a lot of people and the conversation is flowing.

To-Do List

To-do lists can help a great deal, and it is important to categorize your to dos by importance.

But, there is one thing that takes a higher priority than the to-do list; your calendar. So once your to-do list is done for the day (or week), schedule the items on your calendar. Not only will this make it more likely that you will get the items done, but you will also have a better idea about how much of your day will be taken for each item.

Do you find it difficult to get to sleep sometimes? Do tomorrow’s to-do list before you go to bed. Writing the items down will help get them out of your mind so you can relax better before bed.