Five Traits of Superior Leadership

People look up to leaders. People seek out leaders and leadership, especially in times of crisis. But leadership is not about power, privilege, or ego. There are traits of leadership that can make you a better leader.

Here are five must-have traits  if you hope to be an excellent leader in both your personal and professional life.

1: Integrity

noun in·teg·ri·ty | \ in-ˈte-grə-tē \

1: firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values: INCORRUPTIBILITY
2: an unimpaired condition: SOUNDNESS
3: the quality or state of being complete or undivided: COMPLETENESS

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Six Ways to Find More Meaning in Your Work

Too many people give up on finding meaning and fulfillment in their careers.

For most, the purpose must be built, not found. Working with a sense of purpose takes thoughtfulness and practice.

If you want to find more meaning in your work, keep reading.

emotional intelligence

1. Build knowledge about what you do.

It takes work to build knowledge. Regularly read industry news, commentary, and studies. Go beyond the prominent outlets. Do your research and uncover independent and lesser-known organizations that support your enterprise.

A few ways to accomplish this:

  • Follow journalists and outlets on Twitter.
  • Set-up Google alerts.
  • Network with like-minded people on Linkedin.

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Who Are You Really? And How Does Identity Affect Your Life?

I remember a client working in sales saying to me, ‘But I’m not a sales person.’ Imagine the affect of not identifying with what we are doing in the world? Another example, someone attempting to quit smoking while saying, ‘But deep down inside I’m really am a smoker.” Can you see how undermining identity issues can be to something we are trying to accomplish? Or how important aligning our identity with our values can be? To distill it, there is real value in taking the time to know who we are…or who we think we are. In other words, what is the story you tell yourself about who you are? Read more

3 Ways to Take Your Career to the Next Level

If you have been struggling to take the next step in your career, know that you have not exhausted all of your options. The Ignite Your Potential career-coaching professionals have curated three simple tips that are guaranteed to help you.

1. Relocate

The reality is, sometimes, you have to relocate to move up. No matter how hard you work or how much potential you show, it can be tough convincing people you are worth more when they have seen you in the same position for so long.

2. Add New Skills

Many employers will help you gain more skills and may even reimburse you for tuition or an educational course. It is also important to note that many qualifications can be studied during the evenings, to refrain from interfering with work. Knowledge is power and the more you expand your expertise, the more valuable you become to an employer.

3. Network

The saying, “It’s not what you know, but who you know” still rings true today. Networking is an important ingredient to success, so be sure to make new connections in the industry as often as you can. There are several ways to network, including attending conferences and taking part in team-building exercises. When networking at company events you could be entrusted with more responsibility, projects, and considered for promotions.

After reading this article, may you be inspired to take your career to the next level. And remember, all of the award winning coaches at the Ignite Your Potential Centers offer a complimentary 25-minute phone session to help you meet your life goals and career goals. We are the #1 career coaches in San Francisco and Los Angeles, let us show you how we earned that praise. Contact us at either of our locations, SF: (415) 343-4658 and LA: (310) 602-7612.

4 Steps To Get The Mindset Of The Top 5 Percent

success mindset

We are all guilty of it—wondering why not me?

Our coaching professionals have come up with four habits the prosperous exemplify. Below are a few things that top earners do—and equally as importantly—what they do not do.

1. Pick Up A Self-Improvement Book

Warren Buffett, the third richest man on the globe, has a goal to read 500 pages every single day. He understands that knowledge gained is power. The world’s most successful people attribute their success to their continuous need to learn more. So put down that remote and check out a book that will teach you something.

2. Focus On Getting Paid By Your Results

Results are the real currency of the world, not effort. It does not matter as much if you are the best at a job, if you are not contributing to the bigger picture or the bottom line. To stand out among your peers you have to keep your focus on your impact.

3. Don’t Be Frugal with Your Future

As a multi-millionaire consultant Dan Lok said, “You don’t have a saving problem, you have an income problem.” Start seeing your money as a tool, a resource that can be used to get you where you want to go. Additionally, remember not to focus on your lack of money, but the abundance of money all around you. Put your money to work! Invest in yourself and your future by hiring a career coach.

4. Surround Yourself with Achievers

Mark Ambrose once said, “Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.” Who you spend the most time with is who you will become, so be intentional. Surround yourself with positive, supportive people who have achieved the goals you are setting for yourself. Develop friendships with those who know it can be done. Look around and make sure your community is focused on self-development, self-improvement, and accomplishing exciting goals.

7 Steps to Go Beyond the New Year’s Resolution

 

People will often ask what we at Ignite Your Potential think about a New Year’s resolution. While there are times when a firm determination about a goal can set the course for great change, we know that 92% of people will fail their resolutions.

new year's resolution
Don’t let your fiery spirit be put out!

In fact, January 12th is the day by which most people give up what they swore they would change. So how do we make sure we go beyond the New Year’s resolution?

There are three reasons people backslide. It may seem counter-intuitive but it’s not because of a lack of willpower or gritty determination.

  1. Most people don’t put a sufficient plan in place. (This strategy doesn’t have to be elaborate. The simpler the better. Break the goal down into small doable steps; include plans for obstacles and frustrations that will show up.)
  2. While folks don’t realize it, they may not be fully committed to making the change (which is to say they’re not clear about: why they want to make the change and if they’re willing to pay the cost of the change.)
  3. The key focus for most people is on changing behavior. The mistake we make is not considering the need to change who we are being. In other words, it’s equally important to envision ourselves embodying the change.

When you have a goal in mind…. be thoughtful, create a strategy that includes a deeper dive at why you want what you want. Understand what might get in your way and how to plan around obstacles. Set yourself up for success by working with one of our coaches or read the book Change Anything: The New Science of Personal Success.

But how does one address the BEING side of change?

One way is to ask yourself: Who Do You Want to Be? 

new year's resolution
Take time to discover who you want to be- meditation helps!

Some people will experience a tragedy or near-death experience that wakes them up…and they go on to live lives that are true and meaningful to them. Why wait for an existential epiphany? Here are 7 Steps to get you started:

1. Listen to your inner voice. We all have an ongoing internal dialogue. Begin to observe this interior conversation and you’ll find it comes from many parts of you (or many parts of your brain)… sometimes from a deeper, wiser place, other times from a place of fear, and then everything in between. By observing your inner dialogue you have a chance to cull this inner chatter and identify the inner guidance grounded in wisdom. Listen to this inner voice. Learn to identify the messages that are useful and truthful about who you want to be and what is important to you.

2. Now ask yourself: Who are you really moved to become? Who are you called to be? Are you called to be a leader? An admired executive? A healer? A teacher? A champion of a cause? A change maker? A homemaker? A rockstar mother? Someone healed and healthy who models impeccable boundaries? A defender of the masses? A person of presence who models embodiment? A person who treats her body with care? A turned-on person who follows his bliss? A funny light-hearted person who brings joy to others? Who are you really moved to become? 

3. The next step involves being candid with yourself: Who are you currently being? How are you showing up in the world? If your life ended, how would you be remembered? Take a brief inventory of your day to day interactions and behaviors…what does that say about who you are actually being in your life?

4. As you go through these questions, are you in alignment between who you want to be and who you really are? If not, how will you become more congruent? How will you become who you are meant to be? You can change your behaviors… that’s definitely how we create change. But you also need to begin seeing yourself differently.

new year's resolution
Set your intention and imagine your already that person.

5. The next step has two variations depending on your preference or you could choose to do both. Create a short list of intentions for who you want to be, that resonate, meaning they don’t feel like shoulds, and then turn this list into affirmations (positive, present-tense statements, declarations that affirm this goal already having happened.) If it works better for you, you could jot down cues that prompt a visualization of you being changed. In other words, a few prompts to help you imagine, in your mind’s eye, you, already having accomplished this goal. Already being who you will be once you get there. Obviously, we’re using our imagination here, but keep in mind that Olympians have used this very technique to improve their performance. Because… it helps our brain make the change.

6. Each morning for the rest of January, take out this list. Get into a mindful space by using your mediation of choice. Then read each affirmation out loud, trying your best to get into the felt-sense that this affirmation is already achieved. Likewise, if you prefer, use mental imagery, see the change having already occurred.

7. After doing this exercise, ask yourself what simple goal you can do that day to nourish this vision. Write down what you come up with. Put it in your daily calendar as a way to track progress.

If you already had a list of goals for the New Year when you came across this post, consider adopting one or a few of these ideas to support you. Most important, trust your wisdom and be compassionate towards yourself. You’ll be surprised and thrilled with what you achieve.

Reflecting On Our Future: What Really Lies Ahead

We are living into an extraordinary decade ahead.

Are We On the Verge of Nuclear War with North Korea?
Famine In Somalia!
Protestors Pepper Sprayed By Police!
Syria: A Year of Horror!

News headlines such as these seem to shout out to us every day. But there is something important you need to know about your brain: the way it’s wired makes it natural for us to focus on the negative.

There’s an area of your brain called the amygdala, which plays a primary role in the processing of emotions and motivations…particularly those related to survival. And because of the way the amygdala functions, if we are presented with a dozen news stories, we will preferentially look at the adverse reports. Our mind pays attention to what is likely to be the biggest threat. Combine this with readily accessible sensational news and the result is a biased perspective; we tend to think the world around us is getting worse.

Peter Diamandis suggests that the sense that the world around us is degrading is in part a distortion caused by the amygdala. And while there are many great challenges and scary things happening in our human world…he uses this TED presentation to review some of our real human progress and to highlight the abundant possibilities.

Considering Dr. Peter Diamandis’s background, education, and track record, he is someone to listen to when reflecting on the future of our world. Recognized as a key figure in the development of the personal spaceflight industry, Dismandis is the Founder and Chairman of the X PRIZE Foundation, an educational non-profit prize institute whose mission is to create radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity. He is the co-founder and chairman of Singularity University which educates technology world changers in areas such as: AI, Robotics, Nanotechnology, Biotechnology, Medicine, Neuroscience, Networks and Computing Systems, Energy and Environmental Systems, and has earned numerous awards and notable achievements.

So following Diamandis, let’s take a look at human progress over the last 100 years:

  • The average human lifespan has doubled
  • The average per capita income has tripled
  • Childhood mortality has come down a factor of 10
  • We are living during the most peaceful time ever in human history
  • Global literacy has gone from 25% to 80%

We have redefined what poverty is in the United States. Today people who live under the poverty line still have electricity, running water, toilets, refrigerators, and televisions. Thanks to the widespread availability of affordable Gexa Energy plans and other electricity provisions, powering a property is significantly more affordable compared to the past. 88% have mobile phones. 70% have a car and air conditioning.

A huge part of this increase in our human advantages has to do with technology and Moore’s Law, which explains that any tool that becomes an information technology, experiences price and performance doubling every 12 to 24 months. That’s why the cell phone in your pocket is literally a million times cheaper and a thousand times faster and smaller than the supercomputers of the 70s.

Let me break this down further than Diamandis does in this TED video. Gordon Moore, the co-founder and former chairman of Intel, observed in 1965, that the power of computing devices was doubling every two years. Computer chips were becoming smaller and smaller and cost was dropping as a result. He predicted that this would go on indefinitely…nearly 45 years later this theory still holds. It’s an exponential equation (doubling every two years) that applies to all technology and that is why our world is ever changing, ever improving.

10 years ago, a computer that had the same performance of the smartphone in your pocket, would have cost $20,000.

Diamandis explains that if we objectively observe the world we really live in…abundance is inevitable. This abundance he speaks of is not about creating a life of luxury for everyone, but rather, creating a life of possibility.

Energy crisis? Yes we are currently in one. But we are on a planet that is bathed in 5,000 times more energy than we use in a year. 16 terawatts (a unit of power equal to a million megawatts) of energy hit the surface of the planet every 88 minutes from the Sun. It’s not that energy is scarce, instead our problem is about accessibility. The cost of solar generated electricity is 50% less than that of diesel electricity. The cost of solar (based on what the technology is costing us now) dropped 50% last year. MIT just published a study that showed that by the end of this decade, solar power will cost only six cents an hour, this will cause many households and families to switch over to solar energy providers similar to Sandbar Solar & Electric as well as the many others within the industry.

Next, if we have abundant energy, we also have abundant water. Our planet is blue because we live on a water planet. 70% covered in water. Today humans fight over only a half a percent of this water…because 97% of the water is salt water. But we already have access to technology that can solve this problem…Dean Kamen has invented a solution that creates clean water from any source (polluted water, salt water, etc.) This machine, called Slingshot, is about the size of a washer machine and while it’s not currently low in cost… according to Moore’s Law… it soon will be.

Advances such as these are happening in all areas of our world: health care, education, communication, the list goes on.

The biggest force for bringing about a world of abundance is our human population. We just passed the 7 billion mark on earth and we know that the biggest protection against a population explosion is making the world healthy and educated. From the year 2000 to 2011 there was a growth in internet use of 528%. In other words, it went from 350 million users to 2 and a ¼ billion users. Consider what all these different and new minds can bring to table to help solve our world’s problems. We are becoming more connected and this is a good thing.

What encourages us to be confident about the future is that more than ever before, the individual, each and everyone of us, can take on problem solving the challenges we face within our world. The case for optimism is built on the fact that we have the tools of our exponential technology, we have the passion of the DIY inventors, we have the capital of the techno philanthropists, and we have billions of new minds coming online to work with us to solve the grand challenges. We are living into an extraordinary decade ahead.

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Do You Have the Most Important Ingredient for Success? Don’t Worry, It’s Something You Can Learn

Have you noticed that people who are successful are not necessarily smarter or harder workers? I’ve observed this over and over. I have known pizza delivery people, bicycle couriers, used bookstore clerks, and more (all with degrees), who could intellectualize their “superiors” under the table, any day of the week. I’ve known people with incredible ideas and powerful minds, doing all sorts of hard jobs that do not pay a living wage (if a living wage means you can live on 60% of the income, saving and investing the rest for retirement and emergencies.) To be clear, I am not suggesting that making money is the only way to measure success. Obviously some people choose to work certain jobs because they want flexibility to pursue their passion, or they are living by a value system where money or material possessions isn’t the focus, or any number of other valid reasons. To be clear, however you measure success, it is not necessarily correlated to the characteristics you would think.

Part of the recipe of success is just suiting up and showing up. Some people think about doing things while others just do it. Some feel afraid of making the next move and allow this to hold them back; others feel the fear and step forward anyway, thinking of the fear as excitement or something along the path they learn to tolerate.

Inspirational author, Joachim de Posada, in this entertaining TED video, introduces another compelling ingredient for success. In several studies, four-year-old children were given a marshmallow and told they would be left alone for fifteen minutes, and if afterward the marshmallow was still intact, then they would be given a second marshmallow. Preschool-aged children and fifteen minutes alone with a sweet, tasty marshmallow. Needless to say, two out of three could not resist and ate the white, powdery treat almost immediately. One out of three was able to wait the whole time. What’s fascinating comes next…they did a follow up study of these same children fifteen years later and found that of those who did not eat the marshmallow, one-hundred-percent of them were successful. They had good grades, were doing well in school, had good relationships with the teachers, etc.

So what did those children have as part of their temperament that made them different? They had the ability to delay gratification. They were able to discipline themselves. They realized that waiting for something can increase the enjoyment…and the payoff.

One of the exciting things about having this information, is that we can change; we can use this to make our lives more successful. Of course shifting our patterns is not always simple and with any change we can expect to feel some resistance. Sometimes we do things to reward ourselves because an area of our life is hard. Maybe, for example, you don’t like your job and so you over-shop to reward yourself for dealing with it. But what if the “rewards” are part of what’s keeping you stuck? Regardless of what has happened in the past, regardless our inclinations, we can begin again. We can create new patterns. We can clear space for new growth and success. We can break it down into step by step plans of action. So where in your life would you like to see more success? Where could you use more self-discipline, long-term vision, and the ability to wait for it? What are some concrete steps you are willing to commit to right now? And how will you track it and keep yourself accountable?

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