Saturday, July 10, 2010

Friday, July 09, 2010

Fort Wayne Site of the Day

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Thursday, July 08, 2010

Real Leaders Give

It's not because of your title, or even your job. The real leaders are made not born, and you can become one.

I evaluated and re-evaluated my own business plan and discovered that the more I gave away, the more I received.

When I used to focus on what to charge people for my consulting services, it created a wall that some folks were not comfortable with until I built a door and window so we could continue to work for their best interests without having the question of "how much is he going to charge me" run through their heads.

Check this out from the DLM Blog:

14 Ways to Expand Your Influence

Posted: 02 Jul 2010 08:06 AM PDT

Before we try to expand it, we need to first define it. What is influence? What does it mean to you? says influence is:

(Noun) The capacity or power of persons or things to be a compelling force on or produce effects on the actions, behavior, opinions, etc., of others.

(Verb) To move or impel (a person) to some action.

Bestselling author John Maxwell says, “Leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less.”

If Leadership is influence then the reverse must also be true, influence is leadership. Or is it? I’d add influence is only leadership when that influence is leading someone towards a positive destination or outcome. After all, influence can go two ways. It can be positive or it can be negative. It can be self serving and manipulative or it can be liberating and uplifting.

Our thoughts and our actions determine which it will be.

Influence comes from more than just our intention to lead or the words that we say as we instruct those who follow, it comes by what people experience and see in us each day. It comes by example and is often witnessed then repeated.

While there are many ways to expand influence, here are 14 various ideas that I believe are a good start:
  1. Understand It
    First you have to recognize that regardless of your position, you have influence into the lives of those around you. Sometimes we never realize the impact we have on others directly or indirectly but recognizing that we do and conducting ourselves accordingly is key.

  2. Be a Person of Integrity and of Values
    Let who you say you are be reflected in all that you do. Stay consistent. Don’t take short cuts. Make a stand for your brand and give others an example to follow. Values determine your actions which ultimately determine your influence.

  3. Be Authentic and Transparent
    Don’t put on a show. Be real. Be honest. Trust is built that way and trust amplifies influence.

  4. Accept Responsibility
    Don’t make excuses. If you are at fault, accept the blame and do it proactively. Being a leader doesn’t mean being perfect. Learn from mistakes and show others the way.

  5. Be a Solution Seeker
    Don’t sit around complaining about what doesn’t work or about all the problems around you, instead seek solutions. People are attracted to solution seekers and by being one you will help influence others towards a new perspective.

  6. Be Proactive
    Don’t sit around expecting someone else to take the lead. If you want to create positive influence then step out. Be the one who generates new ideas, who takes a risk, and who creates movement towards a desired future or outcome.

  7. Practice Empathy
    Take the time to understand the feelings of others. What motivates them? What do they care about? They won’t care about you and your ideas unless you care about them in return. But here’s the deal… it must be genuine. You really have to care. People are more important than numbers.

  8. Appreciate & Recognize Others
    A simple THANK YOU goes a long way in person and even further when done publicly. Choose to recognize the efforts of others and lift them up as shining examples for others to see. By doing so you are influencing others by reinforcing what works and what was done right. We all want to be valued and appreciated.

  9. Respond vs React
    People are watching. While you can’t always control your circumstances, you can control how you respond to them. How you respond is what others see. Don’t react, slow down, take a second and think through your options. When you respond you do so considering the outcome.

  10. Bring Out the Best in Others
    This should be a no brainer but in order to avoid influence that is self serving and manipulative, you must leverage your influence more for the good of others than for yourself. Pour into those who follow you. Use you influence as a catalyst to spark something bright within someone else. You might see potential in them that they do not. Help them bring it out.

  11. Practice the Golden Rule
    Treat others the way you want to be treated. Don’t just read over this as a nice ideal. Put it into practice. If you want grace extended to you, extend it to others. If you want someone to respect you, respect them. It’s reciprocal and it sets an example.

  12. Be a Giver
    Don’t hoard what you know, share and equip others so that they can build upon the knowledge you’ve acquired. Give freely, give often. Show the way.

  13. Go Above and Beyond
    Good enough is really not that good at all in many situations. Hold yourself to a higher standard and watch that standard trickle down to others. When we raise the bar by our own actions, we end up challenging others to do the same. Give a little more (time, effort, etc.) and perhaps you’ll encounter those around you giving a little more as well.

  14. Have Vision
    Proverbs says “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” This is imperative if you are trying to intentionally influence others. You have to know where you are going in order to get others to go there with you. Be clear. Set expectations. Communicate.
Influence is not just one thing. It’s the sum of many and it’s built over time. As Andy Stanley says, “Leadership is a stewardship … it’s temporary and you’re accountable.” If we are accountable for our leadership, a.k.a. “our influence,” then we should do everything we can to make that influence count.

What about you? What else would you add to this list?

Written on 7/02/2010 by Daniel Decker. Daniel is the President of Higher Level Group, a strategic marketing and implementation firm that helps authors, professional speakers and organizations who are doing good (making a positive difference in the world) to expand their influence. More importantly, he’s a husband to a great wife and father to two amazing girls. Priorities matter. : ) Photo Credit: andruby

Fort Wayne Site-of-the-Day

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Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Not My Job?

Words of Wisdom from Harvey Mackay:

Help each other out

By Harvey Mackay

Down on the farm, a mouse peeked through a crack in the wall and saw the farmer's wife open a small package. Thinking at first it might be a tasty treat, the mouse grew very concerned when he realized that it was a mousetrap!

The mouse immediately took to the farmyard to warn all the other animals, "There's a mousetrap in the house!" The response he got was not encouraging.

The hen clucked, raised her head and said, "It's not my problem! Mousetraps are of no concern to me."

The pig was no more helpful. "I am sorry to hear that, but all I can do is hope that you don't get caught in it. I hope that helps."

The cow was unsympathetic. "I am powerless over a mousetrap. It's really no big deal, as far as I am concerned."

The mouse was hungry by this time, and returned to his hole in the wall to wait for the farmer and his wife to go to sleep. Finally, when it was very dark, he ventured out in search of some cheese. The sound of the mousetrap catching its prey awakened everyone.

The farmer's wife rushed out to see what was in the trap. What happened next surprised everyone. In the dark, she did not see the venomous snake that had entered the house looking for a mouse dinner. But the snake's tail got caught in the trap, and the snake bit her. The farmer rushed her to the hospital, but when she came home, she still had a fever.

Figuring that chicken soup would be a good remedy for the fever, the farmer sacrificed the chicken for the soup. But her condition didn't improve, and friends and neighbors came to sit with her around the clock so the farmer could tend to his crops and animals. In order to feed them all, the farmer butchered the pig. Even so, the wife did not survive the fever. So many people came to her funeral that the farmer had to slaughter the cow to provide meat for the luncheon.

And the mouse watched the events unfold with great sadness from his little hole in the wall, because all the friends who had ignored his warning were gone.

We all know mouse stories like that: we see a problem and try to warn our co-workers but they don't see the big picture. Suddenly, or so it seems, the domino effect has tumbled through department after department and no one seems to know how it happened.

When one area of your company is in trouble, chances are good that the problems will trickle down to rain on everyone. Sales are slumping? Then production will be affected at some point because the product isn't moving. Similarly, production issues can cast a cloud on sales when products aren't available when customers need them.

Phone lines and websites that crash can shut down an operation in a hurry, even if sales are up and production is on schedule. A snowstorm, hurricane or flood will halt the most efficient, best-run businesses, unless contingency plans are in place for remote operation.

As one who deals in morals of the story, I think the moral here is very clear: All the parts need to work together to keep the whole body moving ahead.

Whether you are a one-person operation or a major corporation, there is one question that you should always ask -- and answer: What can go wrong? What can make your best-laid plans fall apart? What would be the worst-case scenario? And how can you respond to it?

If you've ever played the child's game "Mousetrap" you
know that you can progress through the obstacles until you almost reach the "cheese." Then, when you least expect it, the dreaded mousetrap falls.

Play "Mousetrap" with your staff. Think about likely as well as outrageous eventualities that you would need to address: The whole staff gets sick from tainted birthday cake and the office has to shut down for a week. A long-term power outage knocks out every machine and all communications on the planet. The city tears up the streets around your business during your busiest season. An asteroid hits your city. Your bank fails and ties up your payroll. Your biggest competitor builds a better mousetrap.

It's not so different from the lesson you learned in school -- the time to study for a test is before you take it.

Mackay's Moral: Be prepared, or be prepared to fail.

Fort Wayne Site-of-the-Day

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Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Tech Tuesday Tip

Backups. Everyone should do it. Most people don't.

My Mom worked for Texas Instruments 25 years ago. One of her duties at the end of the day was to make a backup disk.

I'm guessing she did it on a floppy disk like the one pictured here.

Last week the MakeUseOf website published this helpful story, but I'm gonna tell you about a service that beats all of them.

ADrive. Click here for 50 GB Free!

4 Best Sites To Get 10GB Free Online Backup & Storage

by Mohan Ramkumar on Jun. 28th, 2010

In today’s digital world, our entire life — both work and home — are tied to computers. Hard disks are unpredictable and are prone to failures leading to data loss. Research shows that every year 43% of computer users lose valuable data. The best way to hedge your data storage risk is to store critical data on the cloud.

Cloud storage services offer paid monthly subscriptions either for unlimited storage or for hundreds of gigabytes of data. Most of us do not have that much critical data to backup and therefore it would be a total waste of money. And for those of us who have data which cannot be stored using the 1 or 2GB free space offered, we have a list of four of the best free online storage services that offer free space of more than 10GB.

Windows Live SkyDrive

Despite having a name that is quite a mouthful, Windows Live Skydrive is one of the most popular and extremely useful cloud based service from Microsoft. Windows Live Skydrive offers a hefty 25 GB free storage space to all users.

There is absolutely no need to install and configure a desktop client. All you have to do is log into the Windows Live Skydrive account wit your Live ID and you can just drag & drop files into the folders. In addition to having password protected private folders, you can create new folders, make it public and share the files with friends, family or coworkers.

Each folder has a unique weblink which you can mail to anyone you want and the files can accessed from any web connected device like a PC or a smartphone. You can read our review of Windows Live Skydrive here.


IDrive is a top notch remote online backup solution. Like all its competitors, IDrive offers 2GB free storage for users to evaluate the service. With desktop clients for Mac & PC, true archiving, continuous data protection, time line restore, versioning and many more world class features IDrive is a rock solid online backup platform. Wondering how IDrive is relevant in this list? Patience, dear readers is a virtue! Now immediately after signing up, we will be redirected to a sign up onfirmation and referral page.

You can refer IDrive to your friends by submitting the email login credentials of AOL, Gmail, MSN or Yahoo. If there are more than 5 valid email addresses in your address book, IDrive bumps up your account with a free 10 GB storage space. This referral space does not expire and is on top of the 2 GB free space of the basic plan. Contacts you refer get two emails from IDrive promoting their product and if you want to bypass this, sign up with an email id you sparsely use thereby not annoying your friends & family.


With its free account, humyo provides one of the best free 10GB online storage solutions. The free storage space is split into two parts – 5GB for media files (Photos, Videos, Music) and the rest of the 5 GB for non-media files. Since this being a free account, we will not have access to the desktop client. But fret not, humyo has a brilliant web-based file explorer that allows you to upload, share and download files in a jiffy.


Binfire offers a free 10 GB online storage space for all your files, which can accessed from a intuitive web interface. Just like Windows Live Skydrive, Binfire also lets you create and share multiple folders with your friends and family. You can also send emails right from within the Binfire account.

Each one of these services have their own strong suites. Personally, I use IDrive for backing up data and found it to be seamless & blazing fast. With the launch of Office Web in a few days, Windows SkyDrive is going to be a Google Docs killer. And, if you are a media junkie, humyo is the right fit as you can stream media and view images directly from your account.

If you need more storage than 25 GB, check out how to score 50 GB free storage space online from Wuala here. Do you know about any other examples of the best free online storage solutions that offer 10 GB or more free space?

Fort Wayne Site-of-the-Day

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Monday, July 05, 2010

Video Time: Singing into a Shoe

Yeah, it's Celine Dion:

Fort Wayne Site-of-the-Day

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Sunday, July 04, 2010

And now for a few words from your Founding Fathers

from the AOM blog recently:

Motivational Posters: Founding Fathers Edition

Independence Day, the Fourth of July, for those of us in the United States. So we thought it would be most appropriate to make a “Founding Fathers” edition of our motivational posters series. We centered in on three of this illustrious group’s most influential men-George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin. Not only did they produce great thinking on politics and government, they were also dispensers of truly sage wisdom about character and personal development. We gathered up some of their best and pithiest sayings and hope they inspire you to become a better man.

These men issued enough words of wisdom to fill several dozen posts. What’s your favorite Founding Father quote?

If you enjoyed these posters, be sure to check out other entries in the series:

Winston Churchill-Part I and Part II

Ernest Hemingway

Theodore Roosevelt

Black History Month Edition

George S. Patton

Bear Bryant

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Fort Wayne Site-of-the-Day

An appropiate site for this historic day... Click on Pic