12 Rules for Self Leadership

Laura Novakowski  -  Jul 04, 2012  -  , , , , , , , , , , , , ,  -  No Comments

Source: Unknown

1. Set goals for your life; not just for your job. What you think of as “meaning of life” goals affect your lifestyle outside of work too, and you get whole-life context, not just work-life, each feeding off the other.
2. Practice discretion constantly, and lead with the example of how your own good behavior does get great results. Otherwise, why should anyone follow you when you lead?
3. Take initiative. Volunteer to be first. Be daring, bold, brave and fearless, willing to fall down, fail, and get up again for another round. Starting with vulnerability has this amazing way of making us stronger when all is done.
4. Be humble and give away the credit. Going before others is only part of leading; you have to go with them too. Therefore, they’ve got to want you around!
5. Learn to love ideas and experiments. Turn them into pilot programs that preface impulsive decisions. Everything was impossible until the first person did it.
6. Live in wonder. Wonder why, and prize “Why not?” as your favorite question. Be insatiably curious, and question everything.
7. There are some things you don’t take liberty with no matter how innovative you are when you lead. For instance, to have integrity means to tell the truth. To be ethical is to do the right thing. These are not fuzzy concepts.
8. Believe that beauty exists in everything and in everyone, and then go about finding it. You’ll be amazed how little you have to invent and much is waiting to be displayed.
9. Actively reject pessimism and be an optimist. Say you have zero tolerance for negativity and self-fulfilling prophecies of doubt, and mean it.
10. Champion change. As the saying goes, those who do what they’ve always done, will get what they’ve always gotten. The only things they do get more of are apathy, complacency, and boredom.
11. Be a lifelong learner, and be a fanatic about it. Surround yourself with mentors and people smarter than you. Seek to be continually inspired by something, learning what your triggers are.
12. Care for and about people. Compassion and empathy become you, and keep you ever-connected to your humanity. People will choose you to lead them.


Generate Results That Catapult You Forward

Laura Novakowski  -  Mar 21, 2012  -  , , , , , , , , , , , ,  -  No Comments

Zig Ziglar, whom many considered to be not only an expert salesperson, but an inspirational individual, once remarked that “Every choice you make has an end result.”

Reviewing results is an ongoing process, an opportunity to review the choices we have made. Some of those choices may have resulted in exceptional accomplishments, while others possibly failed and caused us to “hit the mark.” Why not look at your current results to identify what is holding you back.

Taking the time to identify the wins are indescribable. The value of evaluating the counterproductive thoughts and behaviors can help us course adjust. The emotional highs that we receive in many cases helps to sustain us through those emotional lows.

The evaluation begins by first about some key questions that help us evaluate how our thoughts have affected, positively or negatively, our success in life and work. Next, we can reflect on how our choices have affected our ability to catapult ourselves forward and achieve amazing results.

Quote:  “All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.”  Buddha

The questions:

  •  What is my purpose in work and life?
  • What gifts do I bring to the table?
  • What behaviors do I consistently demonstrate that help me to achieve success?
  • What behaviors do I consistently demonstrate that hold me back from achieving success?
  • What does the big picture of my work currently look like?
  • What does success mean for me both personally and professionally?
  • What are some of my dreams?What are some of my goals?
  • How have I succeeded?
  • Where have I fallen short?

By taking the time to answer these questions, you have taken the first steps to catapult yourself forward.  These questions can help you to stay on target, make better decisions and take much more focused action. You are becoming more aware of your thoughts and choices to best determine how they affect your actions. Now, you will generate the different and better results to fit YOUR life and work. This can catapult you forward towards extraordinary success.

Making Strategy an Accelerator, Not an Anchor

Laura Novakowski  -  Feb 08, 2012  -  , , , , , , , , , , , ,  -  Comments Off on Making Strategy an Accelerator, Not an Anchor

How does the success business use strategy as an accelerator, not an anchor?

Businesses today have an opportunity to use strategy to their advantage. Whether we take an advantage of using our strategy to move our businesses towards growth and success. Or, use that strategy to hold us back – now those becomes interesting options.

Let’s investigate some accelerators and anchors…


  • Change the business perspective – Just because last year had marginal results doesn’t mean the strategy for the next year is “fixing” all the old problems.  Get out of the office, the building. Got on a retreat, go to a play ground, or go kayaking.  Make it fun. Make it positive. Dream big!
  • Create a mastermind group – Reach into your vast network, or expand it, and find 4 to 7 successful, positive and energized individuals that would like to share ideas, help solve problems and serve as sounding boards for crazy and sometimes desperate ideas.  Masterminding can be done face to face or via telephone of Skype. Whatever the venue chosen be faithful, be committed and be collaborative.
  • Share your strategy. Communicate your strategy with each and every partner, investor, employee or interested party. Write it speak it. Sing it if you can. The more your strategy is shared the more likely you will succeed.
  • Strategy is a foundation not a prison. Last, but not least, be focused and yet flexible. The strategy may be a good one and yet something may come along that can galvanize you and your business to another level. Be open to suggestions and ideas.


  • Myopia – trying to solve the problem with the same mind that created it, to paraphrase Albert Einstein.
  • Isolationism – failing to reach out for help, feedback and/or objective assistance
  • Insulate – detaching and hiding in a cocoon. Holding the strategy so close that no one has any idea what you and your business are trying to achieve.
  • Rigid – the strategy cannot and will not be deviated from. Clients are leaving. It’s their problem – the strategy is just fine. Employees offering new ideas. Shut the door and shut out success.

Interesting dilemma, wouldn’t you agree. Comments on how to make strategy an accelerator, not an anchor, would be greatly appreciated.

Business Success -Winners Never Cheat

Laura Novakowski  -  Jan 18, 2012  -  , , , , , , , , , , , , ,  -  Comments Off on Business Success -Winners Never Cheat

Jon Huntsman, chairman and founder of Huntsman Corporation, built a $12 billion dollar chemical corporation on the premise that “Winners  Never Cheat – Even in Difficult Times.”    

Here’s some of Mr. Huntsman’s business and life philosophies that are practical and powerful:

“Circumstances may change but your values shouldn’t.” 

“There are many temptations but reminders help.”

“Treat competitors, colleagues, employees and customers with respect.”

If the common practices become about posturing and positioning, then  business are using smoke and mirrors and their guiding principles. Diversions away from the quality, service, abilities, and integrity become the rule of thumb.

Let’s get back to authentic business success.  Build business success on character, honesty, integrity and respect.  As a result, customer, employee and stakeholder confidence and satisfaction will escalate dramatically. Because – “Winners NEVER Cheat!”




Laura Novakowski  -  Dec 21, 2011  -  , , , , , , , , ,  -  Comments Off on TURNING CIRCUMSTANCES INTO OPPORTUNITY

“…the people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can’t find them, make them.” George Bernard Shaw

Have you ever been frustrated because the course of you life seems off track.?  Do you feel as if you are “locked” into a bad situation or you are on a endless treadmill that is taking you nowhere? Well, then it’s time to take those circumstances and turn them into opportunities.

If you think that you don’t have enough education or knowledge surrounding a topic – take time to learn it!  Whether it be acquiring a degree or certification or taking your current skills and education and applying that to your area of interest – find the opportunity to apply your talents and skills.

If you wonder why something that is obvious to you is not being done –  find out why!  Ask questions,  network with people who are already in the industry and benefit from their expertise.

If you  find that your suggestions or ideas are falling on deaf ears, that you know there is a market for a new idea, concept or service  – pitch it!  Do it first in brief written form, this will help you organize your ideas,  connect with a person, face-to-face and ask them if they would take some time with you to review the idea or concept.  Ask them what they think about the idea and then ask for  recommendations.

We all too often become “victims” of circumstances, allowing ourselves not to be listened to or believed in.  Don’t treat life like toss of the dice. Take take your talents and  techniques, your skills and strategies, your courage and commitment and get out there to make  circumstances stepping stones and opportunities a reality!



Too Much Disease, Too Little Health

Laura Novakowski  -  Nov 16, 2011  -  , , , , , , ,  -  Comments Off on Too Much Disease, Too Little Health

Today, the emphasis seems to be on disease. Disease in a person. Disease in a business. It seems that everywhere we go there is an emphasis on disease.  This macabre approach has caused me to invest perhaps a life time of study in attempting to understand what quite frankly makes very little sense to me.  My personal preference has always been to emphasis health, to seek opportunities and growth.

As a starting point, let’s look at some definitions of disease:

  1. A disorder of structure or function that affects the  condition of a human, living animal or plant body or of one of its parts that results in impaired normal functioning and is typically manifested by distinguishing signs and symptoms that affects a major system or function.
  2. A particular quality, habit, or disposition regarded as adversely affecting a person or group of people.
  3. A harmful development.

In  my opinion, these definitions can apply to a human or a business equally as well.  While it is extremely important to pay attention to issues, challenges, pathogens that can and do cause a great deal of harm  and distruction; it is becoming so prevalent that most of the dollars in healthcare and business are being spent on repairing disease because it has reared it ugly head so largely that a person or business can barely function let alone survive.

We fight disease to stay alive.However, in fighting disease, we are failing our health.

Now let’s look at some definitions of health:

  1. The overall condition of an organism at a given time.
  2. Soundness, especially of a body, mind or business.
  3. Freedom from disease or abnormality.
  4. The optimal level of functioning.

As with disease, these definitions for health can apply equally as well to humans and businesses.  The last definition for health is my personal favorite.  What person or business doesn’t want to “function at their optimal level“?

Unfortunately, when we focus too much on disease, we will always, always get not enough health.  Why not shift our focus to health and see if that doesn’t help to control the disease more effectively.

I would love to hear your thoughts.



Believe in the Underdog

Laura Novakowski  -  Nov 09, 2011  -  , , , , , , , ,  -  Comments Off on Believe in the Underdog

A young girl believed in a horse she found him wandering in a field.  He was nothing but skin and bones.  She named him Pippin.

Watch this video, it’s amazing.  The song is Underdog by Lost Trailer.


When Do We Need Chaos?

Laura Novakowski  -  Nov 02, 2011  -  , , , , , ,  -  Comments Off on When Do We Need Chaos?
Just because the world, the economy and perhaps even our businesses are in turmoil, does not mean that we have to succumb to chaos.  Instead, we can appreciate that the chaos around us affords so many opportunities.
Friedrich Nietzsche helps put our receptiveness to chaos into perspective…
“You need chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star.” 
So, when do we need chaos?
We need chaos when we…
  • have fixed on a plan and it’s the wrong plan
  • are in a relationship that is unhealthy
  • have found enough pain that something has to change
  • are settled in comfort and not prepared for a storm
  • have lost our perspective regarding what is significant and important
  • are acting on goals and objectives that are no longer relevant
What do you think?

Why Not Establish Key Elements for Leadership Success?

Laura Novakowski  -  Oct 26, 2011  -  , , , , ,  -  Comments Off on Why Not Establish Key Elements for Leadership Success?

“If your actions inspire others to dream more,
learn more,
do more and become more,
you are a leader.”
John Quincy Adams

Leadership is more than just a title or a position. Comprised of numerous and often undefined facets, leaders struggle until they define some simple, fundamental elements that can help to focus energy and talent around those leadership components that will have a positive impact on their business. For me, there are five elements that can help set apart the mediocre from the extraordinary in terms of leadership that can lead to ultimate business and life success.
    1. Results centered. The results centered person has not only clearly defined objectives and goals for themselves, but they always communicate and clarify those results to key stakeholders.
    2. Influence people. Not through coercion or manipulation, instead, the successful leader has the ability to inspire others to get on board with the key desired results.
    3. Initiate and manage change. Not waiting until the year end financials or customer service complaints arrive, successful leaders proactively measure and monitor consistently employee and customer interests and satisfaction.
    4. Business acumen. Understanding the critical elements of their business, successful leaders have an understanding of their products and/or services, as well as their roles and responsibilities.
    5. Build partnerships & teams. Leaders appreciate that without followers there is no need for leadership. Establishing strong relationships, selecting the right employees, the right partners and the right customers takes skill and talent.


Being labeled The Leader can be a daunting responsibility. Establishing key elements can help successful leaders focus time, talent and energy towards cultivating attributes that can lead to thriving relationships, growing business and sustainable communities. I thought I would share with you my key elements. Now, I am interested in learning what others identify as those key elements that have led them to business success.

I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

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