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25 To Do Lists to Stay Productive

25 To Do Lists to Stay Productive
I come across many services a day while researching for Solution Watch, and as many of you know, I take a lot of notes to organize my thoughts about them. Until recently, the only method that I used to keep organized with the services I wanted to write about was by reviewing my notes and email, then selecting one from the list. Now, I’ve learned to review all my notes at the end of the day and add each service that I would like to review to an organized to do list. The problem I was having was that I would write all these notes, but I wouldn’t always get to writing about the services I wanted because sometimes I simply forgot (A Not-To-Do List) or the service got carried to the bottom of my notes archive. I then started to use a to do list and now I am much more organized and every day open my to do list and get a clear overview of what’s on my plate to review. There are a few things I look for when working with an online to do list. Top 5 To Do Lists: (No Specific Order) To Do Lists

YOUR VISIONARY LIFE: MANAGE Work or family, manage the mission…not the people. ~ @alyandrea #visionary #empower You are on a mission to lead a Visionary Life. In order to live your life to its fullest, you’ll need to surround yourself with great people. Whether working to accomplish office sales goals, or rearing your family, the strategies are the same. Manage the mission, and lift up the people. Know what you intend to accomplish.Inform your team/family/closest mentors about what you intend to accomplish.Inspire them with WHY.Empower them to help you with tasks, but allow for autonomy.Hold them accountable to the deliverables. Hint: None of us are robots, so we don’t like to take orders.

12 Most Annoying Excuses for Mediocrity “Mediocrity is crowded, but there’s a whole lot of room up in excellence.” ~ Lisa Nichols Daggers flew through hundreds of hearts as those words left the lips of the keynote speaker. Many in the audience realized that they lived in crowded quarters. People who live extraordinary personal and professional lives do not live in the space of mediocrity. Here are twelve of them we’ve all heard before… some of us may have even spoken them. 1. We’re not all meant to be Einstein. 2. Hello? 3. Money can make some things easier but it doesn’t rule everything. 4. “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” 5. In the time of social media, the theory of six degrees has been cut down to two or three. 6. People who don’t receive help are generally the same ones who don’t ask for it. 7. This is an excuse of the industrial age. 8. Unwillingness to take on a challenge is the proclamation of the complacent. 9. The masses will choose to hide behind the familiar. 10. Many of us lead busy lives. 11. 12.

Seven Suggestions for Teachers to Make Their School Leaders More Effective - Teacher in a Strange Land Recently, I've been asked to review several books--new publications, second editions and drafts in the pre-publication process--about teacher leadership. Since my life's passion is bringing the voices of experienced teachers into the policy process, at all levels, this little cottage book-review industry has been really gratifying and fun. Most interesting are the books' underlying perspectives: I've read a string of books that assume, often without explicitly saying so, that it's school leaders who engender and nurture real teacher leadership. Most books on teacher leadership are written by people who aren't in the K-12 classroom--administrators, researchers, scholars, professors--although nearly all authors take pains to share their teacher credentials and experience. I've never read a book on the reverse idea: that teachers are already experienced leaders who could engender and nurture more effective leadership in their administrators. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Postscript: Yes, I know.

12 Most Exemplary “E” Embodiments of Excellent Leaders This post continues my Letters of the Alphabet Leadership series. You can read the 12 Most Dazzling “D” Differentiators of Great Leaders to catch up. 1. To be ebullient is to be both exuberant and irrepressible. 2. Some organizations may want leaders with a laser-focus and very specific experience. 3. Perhaps it is over the top to expect our great leaders to be outright joyful. 4. Ecumenical leaders are inclusive and unifying. 5. Whether it is advanced degrees, certifications, or lessons from the “school of hard knocks”, leaders leverage their education to avoid mistakes — and learn from the mistakes they do make. 6. Leaders could have every attribute in this 12 Most post, but they will still be judged on their effectiveness. 7. Bern William stated Man never made any material as resilient as the human spirit. 8. There is no need to pull out the French cuffs and nice china dining set. 9. We sometimes think eloquence requires extended vocabularies. 10. 11. 12. Brian Vickery

12 Most Dazzling "D" Differentiators of Great Leaders “Good leadership consists of showing average people how to do the work of superior people.” ~ John D. Rockefeller Great leaders are doers and difference-makers. This post continues my Letters of the Alphabet Leadership series. 1. Great leaders know when to be conservative and when to be daring. 2. To dazzle is to shine brightly and arouse admiration with an impressive display. 3. Team members want to know they picked the right leader who will not waffle when it comes to decision making. 4. I think dedication is even more important for the small business leader. 5. Great leaders are deft negotiators and communicators. 6. It definitely is not a prerequisite for great leaders to be engaging and delightful. 7. Speaking of “body of work”, it is rare that a great leader simply bursts onto the scene. 8. Great leaders know how to make the bad people disappear! 9. Research shows that star job performers are no longer strictly motivated by compensation. 10. 11. 12. Brian Vickery

12 Most Captivating "C" Characteristics of Leaders The letter “C” is chock full of cool characteristics to define great leaders. This 12 Most post continues my Letters of the Alphabet Leadership series. You can read the 12 Most Bodacious “B” Behaviors of Great Leaders to catch up. 1. Leaders should celebrate the highs and be consoling during the lows. 2. Canny leaders are both prudent and shrewd. 3. The Art of Enchantment by Guy Kawasaki remains one of my favorite books. 4. People want to follow leaders with ceaseless energy and belief in their vision. 5. Leaders are charitable with their time, their talents, and their praises. 6. Classy means elegant and stylish. 7. It would defeat the purpose to have a captivated audience in awe of your ceaseless work ethic…and then be incoherent! 8. Employees can sense when they are working with a resume-padding, upwardly-mobile manager. 9. Great leaders are not meant to be babysitters or counselors. 10. This may be a personal preference, but I like leaders with a little “chip on the shoulder.” 11.

12 Most Bodacious "B" Behaviors of Great Leaders This post continues my Letters of the Alphabet Leadership series. You can read the 12 Most Awesome “A” Attributes for Great Leaders to catch up. Meanwhile, let’s check out the Bodacious “B”s… 1. Mother Teresa said that “Peace begins with a smile.” 2. Believable leaders exude both sincerity and high integrity. 3. We all want to succeed in life. 4. Let’s get back to that smile. 5. We live in a competitive world. 6. George Eliot said “Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving us wordy evidence of the fact.” 7. Sorry folks, I’ve loved this word since I was a teenager… and a man should take every rare opportunity to use the word bodacious! 8. Boffo means to be extremely successful or sensational. 9. Boisterous can mean downright rowdy and rambunctious, but it also means being exuberant and in “high spirits.” 10. Virgil stated “Fortune favors the bold.” 11. A bountiful leader is “liberal in bestowing gifts or favors.” 12. Now, go be BODACIOUS (I love that word)!

12 Most Awesome “A” Attributes for Great Leaders When I wrote the 12 Most “In Words” to be in Leadership, I knew I wanted to get around to an alphabetical series of adjectives describing strong leaders. Doing my simple math, that would be 12 x 26 = 312 adjectives to print out and keep in a desk drawer — or make a mural! In my opinion, if we carry off just 12 of these adjectives our teams will flourish. I will try to throw some curves — some “reaches” — just to keep the readers guessing. So let’s get started with the “A’s,” shall we? 1. I’m starting out with a little humor. 2. Avuncular leaders treat their team members with kindness while indulging in their individuality to the point where it contributes to a positive team dynamic. 3. Team members need to know their leaders are accessible to them. 4. Leaders should exhibit appropriate behavior at all times. 5. Leaders are unyielding in their commitment to team goals and morale. 6. Leaders should be agreeable when team members present new ideas. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. Brian Vickery

The Hardest Question Any Leader Can Ask Is it worth daring to be great? No buzzwords, no ambiguity, just a simple question that couldn’t matter more. Business model innovation starts by realizing you are contributing to a movement that is bigger than you. It’s global, self-organizing, and transformative. Lead by letting go. The first and most important step in the business model innovation process requires a change in perspective for both you and your organization. Business model innovation must be a strategic objective or it won’t happen. When John F. Business model innovation is an epoch journey and requires daring to be great. I’m reminded of Michelangelo saying, “every block of stone has a statue inside and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it”. Greatness comes from within and starts with the lighting of a fire. This post appeared on the Fortune Magazine site here and is adapted from my new book, The Business Model Innovation Factory. image credit: amfmconsulting

100 Ways To Show Boldness After reading Luciano‘s article about tackling any issue with a list of 100, which was one of the many articles in his recent Ebook containing some of the best material from Litemind in the last 2 years, there was no choice but to create one about boldness. I have written about boldness in this quote analysis, and this guest post, and so it was natural that it would be the topic of concern here. This list is a set of actions and communications that I feel represent showing boldness to ourselves and others. Although you might want to pick out a couple of items on the list to try for yourself, an item or two on the list might spark your thinking about something you feel it is time for you to act upon. I would rather you try one item from the list, or relate one item on the list to something that comes to your mind that you then take action on, than to only read the whole list through. The following is 100 ways to show boldness through your actions and communications: 1. 11. 15. 21. 26.

12 Most Effective Phrases Parents Can Borrow from a Professor I am a mom. I am also a communication professor. One would think that my expertise in the latter means that I have kid interactions sealed up in the former. Not so. Despite my best intentions, when my 8-year-old is writhing around and whining about her inability to add two-digit numbers, let’s just say my schooling on Gibb’s confirming statements takes a back seat after a half-hour. My college students don’t writhe and whine (at least not in front of me), but they do challenge me. If you are a fellow parent, borrow these phrases I use with my students—many of whom are the same age as your high school or college-age child—to expand those positive communication opportunities: 1. “I” versus “you” statements are a fundamental part of my interpersonal communication teaching. 2. Sometimes, I have to deliver bad news. 3. I ask this primarily when a student is stuck with research for a paper or flow of speech content. 4. Students have as many life crises as there are days in school. 5. 6. 7. 8.

- StumbleUpon In a world of constant changes, whether in our family or professional lives, everyone appreciates the salve of kindness. How can we find continued ways in which we can express and share kindness to better each others experiences? Being an interviewer at heart, I have found asking good questions will lead you to better answers. Like my mentor Tony Robbins teaches; if it is better results you seek, then you need to ask better questions. With this in mind, my post today will revolve around us asking ourselves better questions and lead our brains to uncovering answers that benefit all mankind. 1. How are you today? 2. Can I help you? 3. Where do you want support? 4. How can I see your perspective? 5. Can I see past the situation with love? 6. Where can I offer up generosity? 7. What door can we open to provide illumination? 8. Can I take that on for you? 9. How can I give the experience? 10. When is quiet peacefulness welcomed? 11. I serve myself while serving others 12. You ready? Photo courtesy of

12 Most Inspiring Sources of Inspiration for 2012 | While thinking of things that inspire us, often we look within. Digging deep into what gives us ideas, pushes us to new heights and helps us see things from a different perspective. It’s always easy to relate inspiration to our personal lives, but how often do we think of it professionally? In business, we all have our network of people that are co-workers, vendors, customers or members of the community. 1. I am continuously inspired by the ingenious thinking of my colleagues and friends; Tracey Jones and Lucia Rohrer Murphy. 2. Getting let go in June from my former employer, just before getting commission from the company’s largest single order in its history, after building from scratch their new subsidiary too. 3. I really enjoyed Chicago’s Idea Week. 4. has become a critical tool for me to communicate with our web designers about color. 5. 6. I was really inspired by the comedian Louis C.K., both directly by his comedy (just in laughing), and by his career moves.

How to Be More Charismatic: 10 Tips Some people instantly make us feel important. Some people instantly make us feel special. Some people light up a room just by walking in. We can't always define it, but some people have it: They're naturally charismatic. Unfortunately, natural charisma quickly loses its impact. But some people are remarkably charismatic: They build and maintain great relationships, consistently influence (in a good way) the people around them, consistently make people feel better about themselves--they're the kind of people everyone wants to be around...and wants to be. Fortunately we can, because being remarkably charismatic isn't about our level of success or our presentation skills or how we dress or the image we project--it's about what we do. Here are the 10 habits of remarkably charismatic people: 1. Ask questions. That's all it takes to show the other person they're important. Then when you do speak, don't offer advice unless you're asked. Don't believe me? 2. Because we do: We're all people. 3. 4. 5.