Tag Archives: 12 X’s

140 Characters

How would your tweets change if you thought 140 characters had the power to alter your future?

A few weeks ago, I read the most fascinating article in the New York Times. With the explosion of social networking, more college admissions view applicants’ Facebook pages and Twitter feeds as a part—officially or unofficially–of their review, which is causing some students to lose the opportunity of attending the college of their dreams. While this may be new to the world of college admissions, businesses have been screening job applicants’ social media usage for years. I’ve been amazed at the capacity for decent, polite, and respectful people to log on to the Internet and spew negative, hateful, and just plain mean speech.  I shudder to think what my 18-year-old self might have said if I had that kind of social platform in my formative years.

Social media is a great way to stay abreast of current events, keep in touch, and find links to thought-provoking articles and blogs (cough, cough). But even 140 characters can be wielded to tear down someone else’s reputation, and as this article observes, unintentionally damage your own image.

In my book Sticks and Stones Exposed, I talk a lot about the power of positive uplifting words. After reading the Times piece, I wonder what would have happened if the admissions officers had seen positive words on the applicant’s social media feed—encouragement to a fellow student, excitement for a campus visit, gratitude to a coach or a teacher. Likewise, if a hiring manager searched for an applicant’s blog and discovered insightful business posts or Facebook shout-outs thanking colleagues for their contributions to a big project. You see, in addition to inspiring others around us, positive words reveal what we can contribute to a group—be it a professional organization or a college campus. Positive words are the hallmark of the inquisitive mind, the team player, and the great collaborator. Which are exactly the kind of students universities want to accept, and later, the kind of professionals companies are clamoring to hire.

You may not be a “leader” in you business, school, or community, but you can be a leader to others in the way you conduct yourself online. Instead of tearing people down, laugh at yourself. Rather than complaining, share something that you’re thankful for. Your influence and attitude online has the ability to move you closer to achieving your goals or abandoning them—140 characters at a time.

Commentary on NYT Article “They Loved Your GPA then they Saw Your Tweets” and the power of words.

Perspective: It’s Funny How Things Change

Have you ever heard of Norman Vincent Peale? This Ohio-born preacher became one of the most influential clergymen of the 20th century, and even if his name doesn’t ring a bell, the title of the most popular of his dozens of books surely will: The Power of Positive Thinking. Published in 1952, the book is one of the all-time-bestselling self-help guides out there, with more than 20 million copies sold in 40-plus languages.

A well-circulated anecdote about Peale involves a man who phoned him one day, deeply depressed and looking for help. Peale invited the man to his office for a chat, during which the man told him he had nothing to live for anymore.

Peale smiled sympathetically at the distraught man sitting before him. “Let’s take a look at your situation,” he said, taking out a sheet of paper and drawing a line down the middle of the paper. He told the man on the left side they would list the things he’d lost in his life, and on the right, the things he had remaining.

“We won’t need that column on the right,” the man said. “There’s nothing in my life left to live for.”

So Peale asked the man when his wife left him. “She hasn’t left me,” the man replied, a bit taken aback. “Somehow, she still loves me.”

“Well, that’s a good start – ‘Wife Not Left,’” Peale wrote in the right-hand column. “Now, tell me, when did your children go to jail?”

“What?” the man asked, surprised. “My children aren’t in jail!”

“Great!” Peale replied, making more notes. “Then we’ve got another addition for things you haven’t lost – ‘Children Not in Jail.’”

After a few more questions along those lines, the man finally saw Peale’s point and even allowed a small smile. He said to Peale: “It’s funny how things change when you think of them that way.”

Learn to re-frame how you look at various situations and it is amazing to see how your perspective can change.

You Get What You Tolerate

We’ve all been there: Working or interacting on a regular basis with someone who always seems to suck everyone around them into a vortex of negativity. The tension, the underlying nasty currents, the whole vibe of the office, meeting, conference call, dinner table, wherever – just seems to shift the wrong way whenever they’re around. It’s like they bring a black cloud with them that darkens the atmosphere around them, too.

And over the past decade, scientific research has supported what everyone who’s ever regularly been in the presence of such a person has known in their gut: That emotions and attitudes are contagious – especially bad ones.

When we simply stand back and put up with negative environments or atmospheres and the behaviors that can cause them to flourish, whether that involves unprofessionalism or racism or rudeness, it’s on us to take a stand. To react. To speak up. To do or say something to address and fix (or start addressing and fixing) the problem.

But I don’t like to rock the boat!, you may be thinking. I don’t want to be a tattletale or part of office politics!

Fine. But don’t expect for things to change much, either. Why? Because you get what you tolerate.

If we do not try to influence a negative situation to make it better, we’ll keep getting what we’ve been getting. This concept doesn’t just apply to the workplace, either. You get what you tolerate in all aspects of life: marriages, relationships with children and other family members, friendships.

Here’s the key: Recognize the difference between thinking I want things to change and I want to change things. The difference is you – playing an active not a passive role.

Introducing the Leadership Redefined Audiobook

Leadership Redefined Audiobook by Dave WeberI am pleased to announce that the Leadership Redefined Audiobook is now available for download!

Thousands of people across the country have read and been practicing the principles in my latest book Leadership Redefined: The 12X’s of Success for TODAY’S Leader.  If you have been holding out because you are always on the go and just don’t have time to read a book…good news, now you can listen to it wherever your day takes you!

This 5 hour, unabridged audiobook is read by yours truly and is sure to inspire and motivate you, regardless of if you see yourself as a leader or not.  You see, a leader is anyone who has influence…and that means you really are a leader!

Join with thousands around the country as we aim to redefine leadership across the board!  Get your copy of Leadership Redefined as a book, and now as an audiobook, and Lead Well!

Life Secret: Givers are Getters

I was visiting a friend in the hospital. I would love to tell you I was there because that’s just the kind of guy I am: one who visits others in the hospital, but that would be a lie. Truth be told, I had been having quite a pity party for myself. I had just lost my largest customer to a competitor, my retirement investments had taken a major hit in the market, I was worried about having to let some employees go in a bad economy, my car had logged 200,000 miles and was making funny noises, my son was developing a real attitude (and growing a Mohawk) – you get the idea.

While griping about all of this at a family gathering, my ever-wise mother-in-law looked me square in the eye and said, “David, sounds like you need to get your eyes off yourself.”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“Whenever I feel down, I just go and find somebody who is worse off than me, and I help them in some way,” she said. “You know what happens? My problems seem to shrink and I become very grateful for my blessings.”

Her words became the motivation to go to the hospital to visit a friend who was recovering from an illness. While I was there, a nurse came into the room and asked me to step out for a few minutes so she could take care of some tasks. I didn’t even want to know what that might entail – bedpans, bandages, and blood are all things I will gladly avoid.

So I began to roam the halls of the hospital. I wandered past the over-priced gift shop and meandered by the cafeteria. Eventually, I stumbled upon the interfaith chapel.

I pushed open the door, adorned with stained glass, and peeked inside. It was empty, so I stepped in. There was soft music playing, several rows of chairs, an altar with a kneeling pad, and a cross on the front wall with a table below it. On the table was a basket full of little cards upon which people had written their prayers.

Like a moth to light, I was drawn to the cards in the basket. I felt a little guilty as I picked one up, but I began to read it anyway: “If there is any way you can heal my baby, please, I beg you, do it.”

I picked up another: “Please take this away from my wife and give it to me.”

Card after card I read, my heart aching for people I would never know. Tears began to stream down my face as I continued to read. And then I came across a card I will never forget. Scrawled with a blue crayon were these words:

“Dear God, Please let Mommy live until Christmas. Love, Jenny”

My mother-in-law was right. Suddenly, I didn’t have any problems. I thought I had gone to the hospital to “help” someone else who was worse off than me, you know, to “give” of myself. And while my friend was touched that I had come to wish him well, I was the one who came away from the visit full. I received way more than I gave. That’s the secret that all givers know…in giving, you get.