How can Leaders develop Resilience in their followers or teams?

Life does throw us a difficult challenge every now and then that tests our emotional mettle.

These challenges can come in the form of anything really. Lack of funds to finish college, unemployment or loss of a job, a breakup or divorce, death of someone close, injury, illness, failure of a business venture we were upbeat about…the list goes on.

The way we respond to this maze that is life, varies from one individual to the next.

Some of us curse and dwell on the negatives, never seeing a positive in anything. Others adopt an indifferent attitude, and prefer playing it safe than taking on life and bearing its scars in the process. And then there are those who never seem unfazed no matter what hits them. They always appear to be up to the challenge and manage to give off this impression that they have some innate adult secrets to help them manage challenges, secrets the rest of us were never privy to.

The latter lot, we all admire. We look up to them to help provide the life answers we always seem to miss. They motivate and inspire us.

In the process, however, some of us miss an important point. These inspirational figures who seem to go through life unruffled also face challenges. Many challenges. But it’s how they respond to those challenges that makes the difference.

A Lesson. Or two…

But there are things we can learn from these inspiring people. Looking at their life stories, we can pick up a thing or two from their blueprint.

One is attitude. We are always reminded that a change in perspective can make a world of difference.

Another is resilience. The grit to get back on our feet when the rug of life is pulled from under our feet.

And, of course, we cannot forget determination. Some will say hope. Either has a remarkable power on us. Incredible to say the least. An image that comes to mind is that of Louis Zamperini, the Olympic athlete-turned-bombardier cast in the wartime drama Unbroken that is based off an astounding true story.

Andrew Marr: My Brain and Me

The focus here is not on Zamperini, but on another man whose remarkable determination and resilience in life has seen him overcome great adversity.

The man in question is Andrew Marr, and anyone who follows British politics should have an idea who he is.

But allow me.

Andrew Marr is a journalist and one of the most respected political broadcasters in Britain. His flagship politics show on Sunday morning, The Andrew Marr Show, sees him play host to some of the most high-profile political figures around.

But the veteran host has become famous for something else other than his engaging show on the BBC.

In 2013, he suffered a severe stroke that paralysed his left side. The illness forced him to take a nine-month hiatus from his show in a bid to recuperate, the first two of which he spent in hospital receiving extensive physiotherapy to help him walk again.

Through sheer determination, his mobility has gradually improved, although – in a typical dry wit – he describes his walk as more of a ‘drunken sailor’s lurch’.

Recently, the veteran journalist took the extraordinary step of sharing his challenging story of recovery on national television in a one-off documentary dubbed Andrew Marr: My Brain and Me. He has previously said he didn’t fancy being the ‘poster boy’ for stroke recovery, maintaining that he just felt he owed it to other stroke victims to document his experiences in public (given his profile) for their benefit.

The Highs and Lows

In the film, he details the ups and downs of his path to recovery and the private determination he has had to conjure to do so. He hasn’t made much progress in the last year, and it is for this reason he decides to seek a range of trailblazing stroke treatments in Florida in a bid to see if his left side will improve.

He makes a return to the hospital that saved his life for the first time where he meets the consultant who informed his family he might not make it.

He also encounters other stroke survivors whose brains have been affected in different parts (and ways), and joins doctors who are trying to make inroads in solving not just the mysteries of the different effects of stroke, but also the mysteries of the most complex matter on the planet: the brain and the resilience it requires to recover. There are others who are hit so hard that they are reduced to dependency on other people. Some though (about one in eight) die within a month of suffering a stroke.

Never Say Never

Anyway, all through the film, Marr is not deflated and downbeat. Quite on the contrary actually. He’s focused. Upbeat. Never feeling sorry for himself.

‘There is no human crime like self-pity’, he says.

And in a heartfelt ending, he shares some wise words with all viewers:

‘If there’s any lesson from this, it’s worth never giving up.’

Looking at the journey he’s been through, and the way he soldiers on with determination, Andrew Marr is nothing short of admirable, inspiring and one of the most resilient people of our times.

It is definitely an attitude Leaders could borrow to navigate through the challenges of life & business.

These days, he finds it a challenge to do many of the things he once took for granted, be it physical activity – he does not swim anymore, neither does he cycle, or ski – or perform as simple a task as tying his shoelaces or even slicing up his own steak in a restaurant.

But what the hell – he can work well, he can get on the tube, follow his hobbies, get up and down the stairs, and generally he has a good life, he says, while not oblivious of the fact that there is a big chance he may never get his whole range of movement back.

Talk about focusing on what you got rather than what you haven’t got!

Last Word

And this, dear readers, is the message I want you to reflect on.

Life may never be as picture-perfect as we may want it to be, but there is always something worth living for. However small. The difficult part is trying to establish what.

And that is where resilience comes in.

Rather than being negative and bitter, we can choose to replicate those inspiring figures who never seem deterred by setbacks.

And the key to that? – attitude and resilience (you can also throw determination and/or hope in there if you like).

These two go hand in hand, and the best thing about them is that they are not reserved for a select few. They can be learned. By anyone!

Six ways to make it big on your own!

Business opportunities are like buses, there’s always another one coming.Richard Branson


There’s nothing like making it big on your own steam. In fact most of the super successes of the world have been of people who had the courage and conviction to march to their own drumbeat. Most people would however tread the more familiar and comfortable path of aligning their cause with somebody they perceive as being strong enough to carry them along the path that they have charted.

That is why the majority of us would rather have jobs than be entrepreneurs. This saves us from exposure to risk; while at the same time provides us with the means and wherewithal to lead life with a modicum of comfort and security. This is a trade off most people agree to notwithstanding the fact that the greater reward and glory belong to the entrepreneur.

If Columbus had continued to believe that the world was indeed flat and one would fall off the edge if one ventured too far out on the ocean, the New World would not have been discovered, and there would have been no United States of America either! However, it is all very well to want to go out there and lord it over the world; but the question is what can we do to achieve that dream ourselves?

Here’s what makes successful entrepreneurs different from others-

  1. Result Oriented: Successful entrepreneurs are no wishful dreamers. They have the ability to turn their dreams to reality, and they do so by being both extremely focused and practical. They will never dream an impractical dream.
  2. Research the environment: Entrepreneurs are great believers in thorough research. They usually have the demographics of their target market broken down and analyzed to the last detail. This is the reason why they are usually able to achieve what they set out to.
  3. Gregarious: You will know an entrepreneur from the way they talk. They are gregarious and like to be with people. Their obvious passion and enthusiasm for their work is infectious and this makes them great team players.
  4. Dexterous: For all the positive vibes an entrepreneur may give off, the fact is that they operate in a highly tense and competitive environment where no quarters are given or asked. It is therefore essential that an entrepreneur be highly dexterous and versatile. For this reason you will probably find that it is probably far easier to suppress a politician than a smart entrepreneur.
  5. Great entrepreneurs are personalities: Look around you. You will find that most of the highly successful entrepreneurs are usually very interesting people with fascinating life stories. Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, Donald Trump and so all have certain unique personality traits that have contributed in making them what they are.
  6. Doggedness: Perhaps the greatest quality of an entrepreneur would be doggedness. While there may be others with equally good ideas and skill; it is the sort who are dogged, tenacious and bloody-minded who are able to last and thrive. Being an entrepreneur is not a bed of roses, and only those who have the ability to take the rough and the smooth with equanimity are able to survive and thrive.

Can you?

WOMEN TO THE FORE – “For most of history, Anonymous was a woman -Virginia Woolfe”

There have always been women of substance in the world. From the beginning of recorded history and from every part of the world.  They have ruled over empires and shaped the destiny of millions. From Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt and Joan of Arc, who helped liberate France to Golda Meir, first woman Prime Minister of Israel and ace astronaut Sunita Williams; there have been many women leaders who have left their mark on the destiny of mankind. Yet the kind of progress that has been achieved from the twentieth century onwards has been unprecedented. There is hardly a profession where you will not see women.  In fact there are no male bastions left to storm.

Despite all this progress, if women’s issues are still being talked about, it is for a host of reasons. There needs to be a realization that for a lot of women there has been no progress at all. In the South Asian sub-continent, in parts of Africa and the Middle East the progress has been far from uniform. Women are often subjugated at home and denied access to education. Issues like honour killings, bride-burning and female infanticide are reminiscent of times and horrors we thought we had left behind. But they continue to haunt us and mock our claims of having come a long way. It is the moral duty of all of us especially those in positions of power to step up to the plate and work together to globally eradicate all forms of prejudice and put an end to the oppression of women, in any form or shape.

In times to come women and men need to evolve into a society where gender conflicts have become an anachronism. This can only happen if all nations and societies are brought on the same page. We cannot have a situation where women in the rich and developed world have the privilege to make all the choices in the world, while on the other hand the girl child is aborted even before being born in some forlorn corner of the world. At the same time women cannot have really been liberated till the culture of their objectification and the global scourge of human trafficking are eliminated as well. Are there some serious questions we need to ask ourselves?                


Why Routines Matter!

Routines are a tool that we can use to increase our productivity. They allow us to structure our time and to form positive habits through repetition. The key to our routines though is that they must be contributing positively to our self-improvement. The power of repetition does not distinguish between positive and negative habits. Repetition can reinforce our negative habits as easily as it can reinforce our positive ones.

Self-improvement through repetition is dependent on routines. Where repetition involves performing the same task over and over, it is through the structure of routines that this repetition is possible. Self‑ improvement will invariably involve learning something new and as John Wooden indicated, “The importance of repetition until automaticity cannot be overstated. Repetition is the key to learning.”

The key to self-improvement is repetition. We need to schedule it into our routine. Maybe the new habit we are trying to form is setting time for us to focus on our own progress or success or maybe it is getting at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. There are numerous ways that we can engage the power of repetition on our path to self improvement.

Maybe you will decide to set aside 30 minutes every evening to read a book or take an online course. At Help Yourself Associates, we have numerous online courses and e-books to help you on your path to self-improvement. Please check out our website today and allow us to become a part of your routine!

“Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.” Albert Einstein,

How do you define success? What does success mean to you?

Most people are striving for success, but do we really know exactly what it is that we are striving for? Success can mean different things to different people. In our financially driven world, success is often equated with wealth, but certainly there is more to success than just money.

It is important that we not confuse financial success with success in general. Financial success can be an important part of our overall success, as with financial success comes a level of security. With financial success, medical care may be more readily available; we may also have better access to nutritious foods. Financial success can allow us to pursue our passions without the burden of constantly worrying about our basic needs. Success though is bigger than just financial success.

In the words of Albert Einstein, “Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.” The message here is that it is okay to pursue financial success, but doing so should be a means to an end. The ultimate goal should be to bring value to our families, our communities, and the rest of the world. It is in being of value that true success is found. has numerous resources to help you on your path to success. Check out our speaking & motivational programs, our many e-books and online courses today and trainings too at . Success is within your grasp, and the world is waiting for the value you have to offer. Why not tap into it today?


Never stop learning because life never stops teaching!!

Never stop learning, because life never stops teaching.” ~Unknown

As the above quote indicates, learning should be a life long endeavour. The world around us is ever-changing and our collective knowledge about our world is ever-evolving. domain name information Be ready to learn something new today and open to questioning what you learned yesterday.

In 1543, Nicolaus Copernicus proposed that our planet Earth orbited the sun in his book, “On the Revolutions”. The generally accepted truth at that time was that the sun orbited our Earth, but Copernicus’ own study of astronomy had led him to question the wisdom of the day. He was ridiculed at the time for proposing such an idea, but his work had an impact on others such as Johannes Kepler, who continued to push forward the idea that our Earth revolved around the sun, and his own idea that the orbit was not circular, as thought by Copernicus, but actually elliptical.

Astronomers, throughout the years and continuing into today, have continued to build on the ideas presented by Copernicus and Kepler, arriving at our present day theories about our planetary system and beyond. The knowledge does not stop there though and there are many new discoveries left to be made.

Our lesson from Copernicus and Kepler is that we should not be afraid to question conventional wisdom. It is from those who are continually learning and questioning the way things are that new discoveries arise and new ideas blossom. It is in these new discoveries and new ideas that we move forward as a society.

At Help Yourself Associates, we are all about self improvement. We offer both individual learning solutions and corporate learning solutions, from motivational speakers, to online courses, and free   e‑  books, Help Yourself Associates is here for your training requirements. Visit us today to see all that we have to offer. “The future belongs to those who prepare for it today”. ~Malcolm X


Seek first to understand, then to be understood!

Have you ever zoned out during a conversation with someone and either had to cover it up with some vague reply when he/she stopped talking or had to admit that you had not heard what was just said and embarrassingly asked the person to repeat it?

Most of us have had this happen and one time or another. It happens and we can generally recognize that it has happened. There is another way that communication breaks down though during the hearing process and this second way is not always as easy to recognize.

Sometimes we hear what is being said, but we are not listening with the intent of understanding. Maybe  we are hearing just enough of what is being said to formulate our own reply or maybe we are making assumptions about what is being said based on our own experiences. site generator . Habit 5 in Steven Covey’s book, “7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” tells us, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” This is great advice from Dr. Covey.

So much of our lives involve interactions with other people, so it only makes sense that to be successful in life, we need to actively listen so that we can truly understand what other people are telling us. The problem is that this skill like many others does not come naturally to most of us. Most of us seek to be understood, rather than the other way around.

As a motivational speaker, I can help you and/or your organization overcome the negative thought patterns that hold us back from the successful life that we all deserve. For more information, please visit my website. Thank you!


Three Steps to Managing Your Day

We are all familiar with how this can happen, the best laid plans for your day are easily thwarted by simply opening email or walking past a colleague’s desk. Before you know it, you’ve lost countless hours to putting out fires.

Here are my three steps for keeping control over your day and your time:

1) Set a plan for the day. Spend five minutes before turning on your computer in the morning to write down what you want to accomplish that day. Be realistic. Schedule time in your calendar to get each thing done, putting the harder tasks at the beginning of the day.

2) Refocus. Every hour take a minute to stop what you’re doing, look at your list, and reflect on your last hour. Was it productive? What can you do to make the next hour productive

3) Review. At the end of the day after you shut off your computer, review your day and ask yourself what you were able to accomplish. What will you do differently tomorrow?

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The Five Traps of Performance Measurement

Most of us find performance reviews intimidating and sometimes outright threatening. As a result a lot of us will find ourselves falling into one or all of these five traps.


Trap 1: Measuring Against Yourself

The papers for the next regular performance assessment are on your desk, their thicket of numbers awaiting you. What are those numbers? Most likely, comparisons of current results with a plan or a budget. If that’s the case, you’re at grave risk of falling into the first trap of performance measurement: looking only at your own company. You may be doing better than the plan, but are you beating the competition?

To measure how well you’re doing, you need information about the benchmarks that matter most—the ones outside the organization. They will help you define competitive priorities and connect executive compensation to relative rather than absolute performance.

The trouble is that comparisons with your competitors can’t easily be made in real time which is precisely why so many companies fall back on measurements against the previous year’s plans and budgets.

One way is to ask your customers. Of course you have to make sure you don’t annoy your customers as you gather data. Think about how restaurant managers seek feedback about the quality of their service: Most often they interrupt diners’ conversations to ask if everything is OK; sometimes they deliver a questionnaire with the bill. Either approach can be irritating. Danny Meyer, the founder of New York’s Union Square Hospitality Group, gets the information unobtrusively, through simple observation. If people dining together in one of his restaurants are looking at one another, the service is probably working. If they’re all looking around the room, they may be wowed by the architecture, but it’s far more likely that the service is slow.


Trap 2: Looking Backward

Along with budget figures, your performance assessment package almost certainly includes comparisons between this year and last. If so, watch out for the second trap, which is to focus on the past. Beating last year’s numbers is not the point; a performance measurement system needs to tell you whether the decisions you’re making now are going to help you in the coming months.

Look for measures that lead rather than lag the profits in your business. The U.S. health insurer Humana, recognizing that its most expensive patients are the really sick ones (a few years back the company found that the sickest 10% accounted for 80% of its costs), offers customers incentives for early screening. If it can get more customers into early or even preemptive treatment than other companies can, it will outperform rivals in the future.

The quality of managerial decision making is another leading indicator of success. Boards must assess top executives’ wisdom and willingness to listen. Qualitative, subjective judgments based on independent directors’ own experience with an executive are usually more revealing than a formal analysis of the executive’s track record (an unreliable predictor of success, especially for a CEO) or his or her division’s financial performance.

Finally, you need to look not only at what you and others are doing but also at what you aren’t doing.  Good management is about making choices, so a decision not to do something should be analyzed as closely as a decision to do something.


Trap 3: Putting Your Faith in Numbers
Good or bad, the metrics in your performance assessment package all come as numbers. The problem is that numbers-driven managers often end up producing reams of low-quality data. Think about how companies collect feed- back on service from their customers. It’s well known to statisticians that if you want evaluation forms to tell the real story, the anonymity of the respondents must be protected. Yet out of a desire to gather as much information turn out to be lemons, as possible at points of contact, companies managers have rejected those rejections count as successes. routinely ask customers to include personal data, and in many cases the employees who provided the service watch them fill out the forms. How surprised should you be if your employees hand in consistently favorable forms that they themselves collected? Bad assessments have a tendency to mysteriously disappear.

Numbers-driven companies also gravitate toward the most popular measures. If they’re looking to compare themselves with other companies, they feel they should use what ever measures others use. The question of what measure is the right one gets lost.

Similar issues arise about the much touted link between employee satisfaction and profitability. The Employee-Customer-Profit Chain pioneered by Sears suggests that more-satisfied employees produce more-satisfied customers, who in turn deliver higher profits. If that’s true, the path is clear: Keep your employees content and watch those profits soar. But employees may be satisfied mainly because they like their colleagues (think lawyers) or because they’re highly paid and deferred to (think investment bankers). Or they may actually enjoy what they do, but their customers value price above the quality of service (think budget airlines).

Trap 4: Gaming Your Metrics

In 2002 a leaked internal memo from associates at Clifford Chance, one of the world’s largest law firms, contended that pressure to deliver billable hours could encourage lawyers to pad their numbers and create an incentive to allocate to senior associates work that could be done by less expensive junior associates.

You can’t prevent people from gaming choose to manage by numbers, no matter how outstanding your organization. The moment you choose to manage by a metric, you invite your your managers to manipulate it.

Metrics are only proxies for performance. Someone who has learned how to optimize a metric without actually having to perform will often do just that. To create an effective performance measurement system, you have to work with that fact rather than resort to wishful thinking and denial.

You can also vary the boundaries of your measurement, by defining responsibility more narrowly or by broadening it. To reduce delays in gate-closing time, Southwest Airlines, which had traditionally applied a metric only to gate agents, extended it to include the whole ground team ticketing staff, gate staff, and loaders so that everyone had an incentive to cooperate.

Finally, you should loosen the link between meeting budgets and performance; far too many bonuses are awarded on that basis. Managers may either pad their budgets to make meeting them easier or pare them down too far to impress their bosses. Both practices can destroy value. Some companies get around the problem by giving managers leeway. The office supplier Staples, for example, lets them exceed their budgets if they can demonstrate that doing so will lead to improved service for customers.  Another way of providing budget flexibility is to set ranges rather than specific numbers as targets.


Trap 5: Sticking to Your Numbers Too Long
Smaller and growing companies are especially likely to fall into this trap. In the earliest stages, performance is all about survival, cash resources, and growth. Comparisons are to last week, last month, and last year. But as the business matures, the focus has to move to profit and the comparisons to competitors.

It’s easy to spot the need for change after things have gone wrong, but how can you evaluate your measures before they fail you? The answer is to be very precise about what you want to assess, be explicit about what metrics are assessing it, and make sure that everyone is clear about both.


Keeping your business ahead in 2013

We have an extremely busy year planned and as ever we are looking to help even more businesses achieve greater success in 2013.If you want to boost your performance and kick-start the New Year with fresh ideas and brush up on some new skills, then why not check out our training courses here
Need to ask any questions or general enquiries? Call us any time on +44 208 166 8752. relevant domains