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Our Blog Posts will help you reach your full potential in becoming a confident conversationalist. New topics each week.

Learn from a Leader: Building Confidence

I never thought of confidence as a skill. I assumed it was something you acquired with age, wisdom and experience. I believed that confidence was something you needed to earn either by virtue of personal accomplishments or because of a status you obtained.

I didn't know how wrong I was about all of those ideas until talking with high-performance psychologist Michael Gervais during a Learn from a Leader interview.  

"Confidence comes from one place and one place only. It's what you say to yourself." 

Mind blown. 

Confidence isn't something that just happens. It's cultivated. It's also a skill leaders need to develop. The confidence you have in yourself directly impacts how you lead others. 

Take a look at the short clip from Michael's interview for more perspective. Register for the next Learn from a Leader session to get access to the entire library of interviews. 

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Planning for 2021: Advice for Entreprenuers

Watching Seahawks practice is part of job, and something I look forward to throughout the season. It’s not as glamorous as watching a game but it does give me some insight – as long as I’m not watching the ball.

It’s a habit I developed when I was high school football official. If you watch the ball as an official you’ll miss what’s really going on.

As I stood at practice this week contemplating the Seahawks upcoming game and my own business planning and goals for 2021 I realized that was one of a few lessons from my time as an official that I still use as an entrepreneur and a broadcaster. Here are three officiating fundamentals I’ve inadvertently incorporated into how I make decisions and set goals for the upcoming year.  

Planning for 2021: Advice for Entrepreneurs 

  1. Stop moving to see clearly. If everything is moving or in flux you can’t possibly get an accurate read on what’s going on. As an official it’s not...
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Learn from a Leader Bonus Interview + Giveaway

It doesn’t matter who I talk to these days NFL athletes, venture capitalists, C-suite executives, my grandma or my best friend, the topic of mental health frequently comes up in conversations. It sounds different for everyone but most often it’s a question like “How are you handling things?”

It highlights the fact that all of us are dealing with feelings of stress, anxiety, loneliness, insecurity and fear. We’re all human.

Years ago I wrote a letter to Lisa Malosky, a sports broadcaster in Houston, professing my admiration for her work and my desire to become a sports broadcaster. I told her that I loved sports and I thought it would be so cool to talk to the athletes themselves. Her hand-written response included these words, “Athletes are people too.”

Twenty years into my sports broadcasting career I know exactly what she meant. I understand the role of empathy in seeing the human side of all people, whether I’m talking to athletes,...

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Learn from a Leader: Communication and Negotiation

Effective communicators and negotiators know their point of view isn't the only one to consider in a conversation.

It's important to communicate your value, message, solution, strategy, etc... but if you haven't considered how that fits with the objective and point of view of the other person(s) in the conversation you're talking, not communicating. 

Sports agent Kelli Masters explained how this factors into negotiating contracts for the athletes she represents. You don't need to work in sports for this message to resonate. 

If you don't consider or recognize other points of view during a conversation you're less likely to be effective in your communication tactics, as Kelli explains in the video. 

Kelli is a trailblazer in sports and she is now an author. Her first book is available for pre-order High-Impact Life: A Sports Agent's Secrets to Finding and Fulfilling a Purpose You Can't Lose. I've already ordered mine!

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Learn from a Leader: Sacred Selfishness

Self care is a popular term, but what if you take it a step further and practice "sacred selfishness?" Leaders need to place high value on taking care of themselves so they can lead others. 

And according to Jonni Ressler, CEO of Eleven 11 Solutions, it's one of the best habits you can develop as a leader.

For me, I’m selfish with the first 60-90 minutes of my day. I use that time to workout, journal, read have a cup of coffee and review my to-do list for the day. It’s the only quiet time I’m guaranteed to get every day so I make the most of it. 
 
What does sacred selfishness mean for you? 
 
Jonni joined the Learn from a Leader series earlier this year. Get access to the full interview and entire library of interviews by joining the series
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5 Quotes to Inspire You to Find Your Voice

How do you find your voice?

It’s a topic I’ve shied away from in the past because I didn’t have a good answer and quite honestly wasn’t even sure if I’d found mine. Unless the question was directed at finding my voice as a broadcaster. I know how that came about.

I remember how unsure I felt early in my on-air career at hearing the sound of my own voice. It’s a weird feeling, even if it’s the job you’ve prepared for and the role you’ve always wanted. Hearing yourself on TV or radio sounds different that you might and it’s unnerving. 

I felt pressure to say the exact right thing and to sound like a broadcaster in the process. As a result, I didn’t sound like myself, I wasn’t connecting with the audience and I was too preoccupied to enjoy the moment and just have fun.

It took time, years as a matter of fact, to find my voice as a broadcaster both in what I said and how I said it. It took being on TV every day...

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Learn from a Leader: Self-Awareness as a Leader with Bobby Wagner

As a keynote speaker my favorite part of any presentation is seeing the "ah-ha" moment. Recognizing when the audience has heard the message in a new or different way. It's exciting and it's gratifying to watch a message land. 

As a leader you want to see those moments happen with your team. There's just one thing you should remember, each member of your team is at a different point in their journey. Just because you've had a light bulb moment doesn't mean you can trigger that for someone else if they're not ready. 

According to Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wager, it's part of the self-awareness needed to be an effective leader. The short video explains more. 

Commit to listening to the people around you, identify where they're at in their journey and then see where you can help and what you can learn. 

 

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Learn from a Leader: Leading Interns

Amid the chaos of 2020 it’s time for wine.(And I’m not just talking about the glass I pour for myself at the end of most days.) It’s harvest season.

It will be a long time before the grapes being harvested now are in my glass. It takes time for grapes to become great wine. There’s a process. 

Great always takes time. It’s true in wine and it’s true with people. Great success, great understanding, great talent all come after repeated attempts and experiences.

At this point you’re either nodding your head or rolling your eyes, because it’s obvious to you based on where you are in your career.

But what about your interns, or the younger people on your team, the newcomers to the organization or the industry? When talking to those people do you remember the time it takes to be great and the time it took for you to get to where you are in your career?

Leaders help people work through the process of becoming great.

One of the ways to do...

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5 Confidence Building Habits from Inside an NFL Locker Room

I intended to write this in January 2020. That’s when I originally gathered the interviews inside the Seahawks locker room. Had the Hawks won one more playoff game it would have happened.

I had talked to a handful of players about how they handle self-doubt. My plan was to write something I could go back to when I needed a confidence boost. I procrastinated. The pandemic hit. I lost my mojo. Their insights became even more relevant and valuable, but I couldn’t find the inspiration to write. (Insert palm to forehead emoji here.)

In an effort to get something done I took a look at the stack of papers on my desk (purely to move them to a different stack) and realized the formula for getting back on track and regaining my mojo had been there since January.

I work with NFL athletes. During a “normal” season I spend a lot of time in locker rooms. It’s the most testosterone driven environment you can imagine. What you can’t imagine is that every single...

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Practicing Leadership: Update Now?

Update Now?

My Ten Percent Happier meditation app asked that question every day for a week. Each day I clicked “Next time” because it just seemed like a hassle, like something that would take too much time, like something I didn’t want to deal with.

When I finally chose “Update Now?” it took less than 60 seconds and the app functioned better.

It got me thinking about other “Update now?” scenarios I have intentionally chosen to deal with “Next time.” My attitude is at the top of that list. There are also a few beliefs around work, my value and self-worth that need to be updated.

As leaders you probably don’t have the bandwidth to choose “Update now” for every situation, problem or challenge, but you also can’t select “Next time” every time and expect to maintain team morale, productivity or make a difference as a leader. 

Pick one thing you can choose to “Update Now” and give...

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