Leaders: Do You Equip Your Board for Success?

Equipping For Success

We admire pioneers who are not afraid to blaze the trail of success, create their own blueprint for progress, and forge through adversity to breakthrough barriers.

However, nine times out of ten, they have not shared their success with others.

According to John C. Maxwell, nothing of significance that adds value to people’s lives is ever achieved by an individual acting alone (2010).

So Now What?

Recall the people you know who have achieved noteworthy success. Who did they equip to help them achieve their success?

Take a look at a success story. Jennifer Wenzke is the leader and the founder of So Now Network. So Now is a dynamic alliance of “Professional and Executive Women Striving to Empower others to Unite and Raise Up into their Unique Greatness!”

When leaders found organizations, sometimes the ideas are vivid but the name of the organization is not. That’s what happened to Wenzke. Her organization “So Now” was actually born without a name. Wenzke thought it would be a good idea to gather a group of women together at a local country club to network, connect, have fun and generally to help each other.  At the end of the event, she said,

“Thanks for coming!”  The reply back from attendees was, “Wait, can’t we do this again?”

To name her new-found group, Wenzke chose the name of the facility Stone Oak. She called her little group Stone Oak Network of Women.

But that name seemed too long, so she simply made an acronym of that name and changed it to So Now.

Growing Influence And Challenges

As the first anniversary of the group’s founding approached, Wenzke challenged those in attendance (35-40) to bring at least 100 women to the event. She equipped them with a challenging goal. And the result; over 180 women showed up!

As a leader,Wenzke knows the importance of equipping her women with challenges. She continues to equip the women as the network grows.

Here are a few highlights and results of the equipment(s) of the women of So Now:

  • During year-one, the network successfully implemented two projects.
  • Year 2 saw the release of a mentoring program.
  • In year 3, the network started growing rapidly.

o   The announcement of a scholarship program was introduced

o   So Now for Men (Snow Men) started

o   So Now expanded to include lunchtime meetings

o   So Now formed a Board of Inspiration

This is one example of how she implements equipping.

Equipping For Success

All great leaders have great teams that are equipped for success. But what happens when you are a new leader who is unknown?

“Does this mean that if you have a team that does not know you; or you have a flailing team, that you cannot equip your team for success?”

No it doesn’t! In 2007, I was the newly elected president of Sigma Alpha Pi (SAP), for the local chapter of the National Society of Leadership & Success. I had never held a position of this magnitude before.

I knew one person on the team and for the exception of that one person, no one else knew me. Because I was so passionate about SAP, what SAP represented, I knew I wanted to make a difference for the organization’s betterment.

But, where was I to start?

I started with my team. I knew one thing for sure, if I equipped the team for success, they in turn would want to carry out the organizations mission and vision.

Did I know how to equip this team for success? No, but it didn‘t take me long to figure it out. The team was already in place therefore, I made a commitment to myself and to each person, to get to know them.

As a result, I got to know every team member personally. We matched every person and their unique attributes to roles and responsibilities that would enhance overall success. Then, each person made a personal commitment to invest his or her talents in SAP.

Be Wise, Recognize

Another important equipping tool is recognition. Recognition is very important to everyone, and it is a powerful tool for leaders to use. SAP would not have reached a level of success that year if it had not been for this amazing team! Therefore, I recognized every Board member for his or her personal attributes and contributions.

SAP measured their success by the goals they accomplished:

  • Increased membership
  • One hundred percent participation in leadership training
  • Choosing a community organization to make a donation.

At the end of my term as president, the SAP team was equipped to carry its legacy forward.

Leaders, are you dedicated to equipping your Board? Is your Board equipped to handle the charge of responsibility?  Is your Board equipped to meet challenges with courage and creativity? I would love to hear your comments.


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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

Debra Olejownik
Debra Olejownik is a consultant with DJC Core Consulting, LLC
She helps clients identify comprehensive solutions to problems that inspires change
Email |  LinkedIn | Twitter | Web

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Are You A Sleep Sick Leader

Sleeping Under Desk

An important aspect that helps lower our stress levels is getting regular, restful sleep. Sadly, many leaders experience periods of inadequate sleep that can last from just a few days, to several weeks or even longer.  

When this happens, leaders ability to deal with stress weakens.

Additionally, the frustration of not being able to either get to sleep, or stay asleep, adds to leaders source of stress and can eventually lead to burnout!

Some Serious Questions

  • Leaders, are you part of the Sleep Sick Society?
  • Do you ignore the fact that you are tired?
  • Do you do too much, and stress yourself to the point of exhaustion?

Millions of people suffer from sleep sickness. According to Dr. William C. Dement’s research; we are a sleep sick society! It’s a very common problem; here are some startling sleep stats.

Some Causes of Interrupted Sleep?

  • Stress eating - Stress unleashes hormones that have an effect on what we eat. When stressed, we have a tendency to grab the high fat, sugary “comfort foods.” Wheat is also a culprit according to Dr. William Davis in the book Wheat Belly
  • Physical tension – Stress can result from many things: a high-pressure job, relationships, financial problems, and personal changes in our life.
  • Surfing the Internet before bed - The bright light of our computer screens may alter our body’s biological clock and suppress the natural hormone production of melatonin that’s critical to the normal Sleep-Wake Cycle
  • Excessive caffeinated products –  Caffeinated beverages; stimulants that block adenosine (energy transfer). According to Psychology Today, your brain does not sense exhaustion and it receives a gradual stream of alertness-inducing adrenaline. You typically experience caffeine’s greatest effects within 30 minutes to an hour, and the extra pep boost may last up to four to six hours
  • Overworked – Taking your work to bed with you will definitely keep you awake at night.
  • Emotional Strain – Anxiety, depression, worrying, anger and resentment, and PTSD are all symptoms of emotional strain that keeps us awake at night.

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Consequences of Interrupted Sleep

“Did you know that sleep is the single most important factor in predicting how long you will live?” ~ William C. Dement

If sleep is cut short:

  • Cognitive abilities are compromised
  • We wake up less prepared
  • Have difficulty making decisions
  • Short-term memory becomes clouded
  • We feel like we are in a mental fog

“Lack of adequate sleep, or sleep deprivation, also reduces leaders workplace productivity, public safety, and personal well-being.”

Good Sleep Hygiene Habits

The most important sleep hygiene measure is to maintain a regular sleep/wake pattern seven days a week. Leaders need to get the proper amount of rest, 7 – 8 hours of sleep per night. Do you know when your mind is in a subconscious mental state of relaxation? Before you go to bed and when you wake up in the morning are times when your mind is relaxed.

“When you are playing mind games, exercising (earlier in the day), taking a hot shower/long bath, or just relaxing, your mind is in a relaxed state. “

Other things you can do to clear your mind before bedtime; keep a pen and pad on your night stand and write down goals you want to achieve. This will take the mental stress of what you want to accomplish off your mind so that you can sleep better. Additionally, try exercising your mind.

Brain Aerobics

What are brain aerobics? Challenging your brain with novel tasks (anything new or different). In order for an activity to be considered brain aerobics, three conditions must be met. The activity needs to:

  • Engage your attention
  • Involve more than one of your senses
  • Break a routine activity in an unexpected, nontrivial way

Feeling Sleepy?

Ever Try Reading Something Upside Down or Backwards?

.noitca gnillifluf-fles, evitisop a si yppah eb ot ediced oT .sevlesruo nihtiw seil ecruos sti dna, erawa-fles eht fo noitidnoc eurt eht si ssenippaH .pael siht ekam ot rewop ruoy nihtiw si tI .tahw seod ohw ro sneppah tahw rettam on, yadot yppah eb ot ediceD

Opposite Hand Tasks - If you are right-handed; try brushing your teeth with your left hand. If you are left handed; try writing a letter to yourself with your right hand.

Riddles – Figure out riddles that require you to think outside the puzzle content itself and use knowledge of language, experience, and other “external mental activities” to solve it.

For example: “What is yours yet others use more than you do?”

Leaders, are you part of the Sleep Sick Society? What is interrupting your sleep? Do you practice good sleep hygiene habits? Have you ever tried brain aerobics? I would love to hear your comments.

>>> Answer to Riddle: your name


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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

Debra Olejownik
Debra Olejownik is a consultant with DJC Core Consulting & Support Services, LLC
She helps clients identify comprehensive solutions to problems that inspires change
Email |  LinkedIn | Twitter | Web

Image Sources: visualphotos.com

On Leadership, Bullying and Abusing People

Workplace Bullying

There is a silent epidemic afoot in organizations that is eating away at productivity, performance, and bottom-line results.

This silent epidemic is bullying in the workplace.

The Silent Killer

Workplace bullying is a cancer eating away at some of your most productive people in your organization. It can be an all-controlling force that feeds from fear and casts it shadow on the people who are trying to get stuff done.

Those who have witnessed the behavior are cowed into silence by the phenomenon. Bullying is status-blind harassment, and many states do not have anti-bullying legislation.

According to the Workplace Bullying Institute:

“Workplace bullying is repeated, health-harming mistreatment of one or more persons (the targets) by one or more perpetrators.”

The Modus Operandi

Workplace bullying takes on one or more of the following forms:

  • Verbal and nonverbal abuse
  • Offensive conduct/behaviors such as: Threats, intimidation, violent gestures, and Sexual – either physical or through innuendos, degrading, humiliation, or undermining of another person(s)
  • Work interference in the form of sabotage – which prevents work from getting done
  • Creates a risk to the health or safety of the employee(s)

Uninvited Predator

According to the healthyworkplacebill.org, bullying has invaded the life of 37% adult Americans without invitation. Those who suffer from severe forms of bullying inherit many stress-related health complications:

  • Hypertension
  • Auto-immune Disorders
  • Reduced self-esteem
  • Depression
  • Burnout
  • Phobias
  • Musculoskeletal Problems
  • Sleep
  • Digestive disturbances
  • Anxiety
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

“Compounding affects of bullying further complicates a person’s immediate job and often their career may be disrupted, causing financial problems due to absence. As a result, family stress and tension start to mount.”

The bully can make life unbearable for the person at the receiving end. Bullies by nature display an obsessive compulsive behavior. They can be anyone in the workplace but typically, the bully is in a position of authority.

Deconstructing the Bully Monster

As a leader, getting to the root of the problem of a bullying workplace and solving it is often times simply a function of understanding the bully, decoding the needs, and supplementing those needs with a better prescription of behaviors.

Bullies Have Needs

Bullies have a need like everyone else, to connect and belong. Their need for power and control drives their behavior. According to The Virginia Journal of Education, a person who is less skilled has more need for power, and bullying offers a way to achieve it, although irresponsibly.

What matters most to the bully is challenging authority and asserting their own independence.

Digging deeper and understanding Why bullies bully unveils the fact that this type of behavior serves two needs for the bully:

  1. It’s fun to do
  2. To help them feel safe

You could almost say bullies get a euphoric feeling when they bully their targets. Additionally, it is a way to feel safe. A bully does not want to feel trapped or victimized; the safest way to protect themselves from this type of behavior is to bully others.

Self-Esteem, Personality, and Emotions of a Bully

Most people believe that bullies have low self-esteem but according to (Allen, 2006)

“Bullies have a pathologically high self-esteem that is unstable.”

This leads to a number of personality problems, from narcissistic personality disorder to obsessive-compulsive tendencies. Their personality problems may stem from deeply seeded emotional reactions from their childhood. Not knowing how to manage their emotions in many cases leads to quick tempers, outbursts, and socially unacceptable behavior.

Could You Be a Bully?

How to Identify Bullying in Yourself and Others

Here are some questions you can ask yourself. Are you or do you:

  • Enjoy confrontations
  • Charming in public – two faced
  • Find it difficult to trust others – need to control people
  • Department has high absenteeism or high turnover

Examples of Bullies Who Have Authority

  • Threatens to terminate others employment
  • Bad evaluations
  • Suggests others are incompetent, too sensitive, have emotional problems
  • Overwork with unreasonable timelines

What Can Be Done About Disruptive Behavior?

According to SHARP, leaders in organizations can intervene to build a collaborative safety culture by directing attention to safety and creating contexts where people can speak up and problem solve together.

The four levels of the Disruptive Behavior Pyramid consist of:

  • Informal Intervention – a cup of coffee conversation
  • Awareness Intervention – takes place after an apparent pattern develops
  • Authority Intervention – pattern persists and the person is unable or unwilling to respond
  • Disciplinary Intervention – restriction or termination of privileges related to policies and procedures

Impact Leadership

Setting the stage for success is critical to building a safe space, awareness, trust, rapport, and respect. Consistency and clarity in your message develops rapport. Allowing targets to bring all aspects of their self; spirit, goofiness, authenticity, and unique talents to work reassures them the work space is safe.

Impact leadership with patience and presence; finding out what targets need, is there enough space, and being present in the moment, lets them know you care, this builds respect and rapport.

Engage them in vertical learning and training that focuses on their strengths, this helps build trust. This is especially valuable when they can demonstrate it, however; if they are not getting it, encourage them to keep trying.

Alignment of purpose is seeing everyone as a leader.

Alignment helps us understand that everyone has different perspectives, even when agreement is not present. Alignment helps us understand and trust our purpose, connection, and to keep your head about yourself.

Is workplace bullying an issue in your organization, how are you handling it? Do you have methods in place to manage disruptive behavior and what do you like best/least about them? What approaches have you used to help targets reclaim their power? I would love to hear your comments and experiences handling this silent epidemic.


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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

Debra Olejownik
Debra Olejownik is a consultant with DJC Core Consulting & Support Services, LLC
She helps clients identify comprehensive solutions to problems that inspires change
Email |  LinkedIn | Twitter | Web

Image Sources:jessicajjohnston.com

Leaders: How to Grow a Spine and Say NO

Just Say No

We all have a tendency to overload our schedule; to put too much on our plate. We do this because it is so much easier to say “yes” than it is to say “no.”

But when we say “yes” too much, what does this underlying message say about us?

The YES and NO of the Matter

Let’s look at what saying “yes” too much could be telling others.

Saying “yes” could mean that:

  • You simply want to help out; that you don’t want to disappoint others.
  • You confirm to another’s request by agreeing to what they are asking.
  • You are trying to avoid conflict or negative consequences.
  • You are afraid of potentially missing out on opportunities by saying no.

As for me, I have known for years that I was afraid to say NO.  I didn’t really know how to say NO and make it stick. And, I never really understood the liberating power that this two-letter word carried until years later!

What are you telling yourself when you say yes all the time to others?

The Realities of Saying “Yes”

According to a recent post I found online:

  • When you say “yes” to something you don’t enjoy, you are putting yourself in the position of essentially saying “no” to things you love.
  • When you say “yes” to a job you don’t love, you are putting yourself in the position of essentially saying “no” to your dreams.
  • When you say yes to working overtime, you are putting yourself in the position of essentially saying “no” to your family or social life.

When you say yes to others, you are potentially saying “no” to peace of mind.

The Realities of NOT Saying No

Saying yes all the time could reveal you have not clarified your own intentions. Other people’s goals become more important. The best way to understand why you should or should not say NO is to ask your-self these questions:

  1. Does what I am being asked to do go against my values?
  2. Will it create internal conflict?
  3. Will the end result lead to a less desirable outcome that is out of alignment with my highest intentions?

Other realities of not saying NO; you may lack time management and organizational skills. You may have low self-esteem; you don’t value your time or yourself. If self-worth is low, then you don’t respect yourself, or your dreams and aspirations.

“If you don’t respect the things that mean the most to you, who will?

Know When to Say No

Often times when you are faced with the decision to say no, how do you know which activities to say no to and which activities to focus your attention on?

Here are some tips to help keep things in perspective:

The focal point should matter most to you

Look at your calendar, do you have time to fit something in? If you do, great! But if not, then pass.

Consider the yes-to-stress ratio 

How much of a time commitment is this new endeavor going to add to your schedule? If it’s a couple hours out of your day for one day, that is different from a long-term strategic plan that may require weeks of planning.

Get rid of the guilt 

Deciding to help should not be based on guilt or obligation, that only adds stress and feelings of resentment.

Sleep on it

Sleeping on a decision to help someone, gives you time to think about every aspect of how this request will or will not fit into your already full schedule.

Ways to Say NO

Just Say NoThe one thing you don’t want to do is avoid the person requesting your time, all this does is create more stress. The first time you say NO to someone, you may be surprised at how easy it is.

You may also be surprised at how understanding other people are when you say no.

Other people will respect you more when they know how much you value your time.

If saying NO is something new to you, then try these simple phrases:

  • I can’t commit to this; I have other priorities at this time. How about reconnecting on this day at this time to discuss options?
  • I will not be contributing to the gift for so and so; I don’t think our relationship has reached the gifting level.
  • Let me think about it first and I’ll get back to you.
  • This is not a good fit for me but I know who would be a perfect fit for this!
  • No, I can’t!

“You can always rephrase the request so that it is in alignment with your ideals and then say, “That’s a Brilliant Idea!”

The Power Behind Those Two Letters: N O!

According to the Mayo Clinic there is a lot of power in the word NO. Don’t be intimidated by the word NO, and be careful not to substitute NO with I’m not sure or I don’t think I can. When you do, you transfer power back to the other person.

Always be brief, honest, respectful, and be ready to repeat yourself. It’s not always going to be easy to say NO. Learning and practicing to say NO will help you manage your time better and reduce stress levels.

According to Success Magazine,

“Learning how to say “NO” to the smaller tasks in life creates a path to freedom and success, keeping your schedule free from mental clutter; and allowing you to focus your attention on the things you value most, that creates a sense of purpose and fulfillment in your life.”


How do you say NO and make it stick? When do you say NO and what strategies do you use? What are some of your most successful ways to say NO? I’d love to hear your comments and experiences with saying NO!


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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

Debra Olejownik
Debra Olejownik is a consultant with DJC Core Consulting & Support Services, LLC
She helps clients identify comprehensive solutions to problems that inspires change
Email |  LinkedIn | TwitterWeb

Image Sources: women-journal.com

On Leadership, Habits and Approachability


Are you approachable? Or have you unwittingly locked yourself into comfortable patterns and habits that are making you boring and impersonal? 

If you have, then it might be time to change! Your future may depend on it…

Change on a Personal Level

Fixed habits are hard to break.  Our habitual nature causes us to be fixed, rigid, and unwilling to change. I know my mind has fallen into this rut in the past, it’s happened to all of us at some point

Some of the habits I’m talking about are:

  • Having the same response to routine questions
  • Greeting clients with the same greeting you have been using for the past few years
  • Use the same words no matter what question you kids are asking

What kind of habits do you have when faced with essential conversations?

Research proves that habit rather than deliberation shapes over 40% of the decisions we make every day.”

Even though our natural response to our most frequent activities becomes a habit, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is always the most desirable.  Let’s think about this for a minute: A personal, authentic and heartfelt greeting to our family members is more meaningful than a standard fixed and boring auto-response.

Boring and Impersonal

This is what an auto response is for communication, boring and impersonal. Yes, we know you are busy, but when you are busy, sometimes saying nothing is much better than saying something for the sake of it…

Social Media

Simply put, auto responses will put you on the highway to nowhere. Think about this for a minute: Social MediaSocial media is anything that gets people communicating, engaged in conversation, and to be a part of something.

Some of the most common forms of   social media are: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Blogs, and Interactive Webinars. One thing social media is NOT is auto-response.

Here’s one suggestion that will work better than an auto-response message to your followers on one of your social media sites. Let’s use Facebook for example and let’s say you have new followers and comments: Once a week post something like this on Facebook

Thanks for all the new followers and comments. We look forward to your continuing comments, keep coming back!”

Automated Tweeting and Blog Posts

According to Freelance Copywriter’s Blog, Twitter, a social media platform that allows us to communicate in less than 140 characters. However, when posting automated tweets or posts to your blog, take a few minutes to write one line and the link to your latest blog post – much more professional and social.

If you post or tweet just to put something out there, this is a bad idea and honestly the content looks bad when it’s posted.

If you are going to use an auto post for example, for your blog post, you might post the following on Facebook:

“We have some thoughts on auto responses. Click on over to our blog to read our thoughts. What do you think?”

This is much more attractive, welcoming, informative, appealing, engaging, and social ~ after all, that’s what social media networks are supposed to be doing.


Let’s translate this into the people we meet on a daily basis, whether they are our friends, clients, customers, colleagues, or co-workers.

How do you think they would feel if you greeted them with a half-hearted message? How do you think you would feel if someone greeted you the same way? What perceptions would you walk away with?  Would you feel as though the greeting was casual, random and mindless? And, would you want someone to greet you the same way you greeted them?”

Here’s what you can do: Put a little effort into your greeting.  Choose one or more of the following: make it new, inviting, invigorating, genuine, delightful, and heartfelt.  You may be surprised at how people will respond to you.

They will welcome you with a smile, expressive eyes, a sincere hand shake, and or a genuine greeting in return.

A small positive change in a habit or routine can attract sudden, overwhelming good fortune.

One Conversation at a Time

According to Scott Ginsberg, in his book The Power of Approachability, approachability is a way of life, a way of business, a way of communication, and a way of social interaction.

In other words, approachability is a two-way street; you must be approachable and you must approach others if you are going to communicate with them.

Scott talks about the how and why to be approachable and offers a new model to an old idea: the basic to all victory in interpersonal communication is how approachable – and how willing to approach others – you are.

According to Scott: “Approachability is a way of life. Become the epitome of it.”

I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences on some of the fixed habit greetings and messages you have sent and received; auto-responses; social media; and on your approachability.


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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

Debra Olejownik is a consultant with DJC Core Consulting & Support Services, LLC
She helps clients identify comprehensive solutions to problems that inspires change
Email |  LinkedIn | Web

Image Sources:shopsoco.com

Leaders: How to Get Power and Success

Emotional Intelligence

As a leader, when we continue to hone our leadership skills and abilities, we inevitably will  be networking with many other people from all walks of life.

It is in this learning realm where we really learn the secrets to long-lasting leadership power and success. It all can be found in relationships.

And if we are emotionally and socially intelligent in our leadership relationships, this will be our primary road map to success.

But if we are remiss in these areas, we will certainly run into constant dead-ends and frustrating journeys that lead to bitterness and divide.

To avoid frustrating journeys that lead nowhere and to be sure that we are ready for success, we need to understand that it is important to know the science of social intelligence to get the full appreciation of good relationships.

Becoming Emotionally and Socially Intelligent

So let’s start here first. In Daniel Goleman’s book Social Intelligence, he explains that good relationships cultivate us and support our health. Conversely, toxic relationships are like the flu; they make us sick.

“The emotional radar we emit is a direct reflection of our success and happiness in all our affairs from on the job to friends and family.”

Our emotions are contagious; we can make each other feel a little or a lot better or a little or a lot worse.

“Our emotions emit an afterglow that stays with us long after the direct encounter ends. The afterglow has the ability to transform our inner gains and losses.”

As we participate in this interpersonal economy, the end result is a transfer of feelings. Many variations can occur, but it all boils down to our ability to change another person’s mood and they ours, hopefully for the best, and this is our goal in networking. A great book I found on this topic is called Power Networking

“We instantly become more attentive to the faces of the people around us, searching for smiles or frowns that give us a better sense of how to interpret signs of danger or that might signal someone’s intentions.”

Getting a Clue

Are You Picking Up The Vibe?

Social awareness runs on the continuum from instantaneously sensing another’s feelings to understanding feelings & thoughts of another.

 As leaders and networkers, we can make a special connection with others by being:

  • A great listener
  • Encourager
  • Communicator
  • Courageous
  • Have a sense of humor
  • Show empathy
  • Be decisive
  • Take responsibility
  • Be humble
  • Share authority

Power Networking

Understanding the Philosophy

The philosophy behind power networking is the spirit of giving and sharing. It’s about who we are and what we have to offer. It’s about our personal power, our inner strength. It’s an attitude, awareness that we are part of the bigger picture.

“The whole concept behind networking is to give power away.”

When we concentrate on supporting other people in our network, we receive an abundance of ideas, support, and referrals.

The most effective type of networking requires patience, persistence, and an attitude to nurture the relationship while it grows. The power of networking comes from people and the development of strong, solid relationships. As your network becomes strong you will find that more and more people offer support long before you ever get around to asking.

To gain the most from each contact follow-up promptly on leads and follow through on any promises you make to provide literature, a cup of coffee, or a brief meeting.

Getting Clear and Concise

Breaking Through the Small Talk

You can break through the small talk with a great introduction that is clear, concise, and personable. Doing this generates interest from other people about you.

Let me give you an example:

“Hello, my name is Deb Olejownik, nonprofit consultant. Our company consults nonprofit organizations by teaching and guiding organizations to their next level. We map your future by navigating you through change and guiding you to solutions!”

Your introduction helps break through the small talk and generate interest.

The No-No’s of Networking

To eliminate the roadblocks to success:

  • Beware of the networking mongrel
  • Putting friends, neighbors, or associates on the spot
  • Expecting something in return. – when you expect something in return it means there is no giving, no contributing to, and no supporting others while YOU keep score.

You are the hub of your network; know your own power as a networker. Know the important values and principles in your life. When you know what’s important to you, it propels you to action.

How to effectively utilize networking to achieve objectives:

Know at least 5 major accomplishments of your life of which you are proud. If you don’t let others know about your accomplishments, how will they know to call on you for support? What are your 5 major accomplishments?

When is it appropriate to call on a networking contact for a favor (someone you have met briefly through business)?

Call on a contact when you have a specific need. The more specific you can be the easier it is for people to respond. Be empowering not demanding or manipulative; be clear and not vague or overly broad; be straight forward, and hesitant.

One final thought:

60% of the general population consider themselves to be shy. Power Networking offers credible information to help one overcome shyness. How are you seen by other networkers? Take the Power Networking Self Assessment Test.

What I’ve learned:

Networking is like dancing, sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow, it’s a continual process.  Sharing your vision with others, gives you the unique opportunity to help others enhance their vision. You can apply/change your style to many different types of situations and still get the same benefits.

What challenges if any do you face with networking? Can you see yourself using the strategies of Power Networking? Will you encourage others to use Power Networking? I would love to hear your comments!


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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

Debra Olejownik is a consultant with DJC Core Consulting & Support Services, LLC
She helps clients identify comprehensive solutions to problems that inspires change
Email |  LinkedIn | Web

Image Sources: quackonline.net

Leaders: Is Your Hat Teachable?

Wearing Many Hats

We all wear many hats whether we are on our jobs, at home, or participating in extracurricular activities.  Some of us wear one or two hats, while others of us wear multiple hats.

Then, there are those unique situations that will cause us to flip from hat to hat several times in one day.

“Some examples of my hats consist of Parent, Business Partner, President of Alumni Board, and more…..”

A Hat for Every Head

Work Hats, Learning to Lead Hats, & Leading Hats

Most everyone wears a work hat, but what kind of hat do you wear when you work. What is the nature of your work? Some hats are labor intensive, some are foreman hats, and others are organizational hats.  When it comes to working, leading or learning to lead, does it matter where you are in the hierarchy when it comes to wearing a leader hat? No!

You can wear a lead hat and learning to lead hat from anywhere in the company. Even if you are at the bottom or in the middle:

“You can still wear a learning-to-lead-hat and a leader hat; it’s all about attitude not position,”

The 360 Degree Leader

According to John C. Maxwell (2005) on The 360 Leader, he writes that you can lead from your position in the company, where ever that position may be. You can make a difference even if you report to someone who is not a good leader. What does this mean?

“It means you can lead up, down, and all around.”

All you need is:

  • A good attitude
  • To be teachable
  • A good rapport with people
  • Initiative
  • Influence
  • Desire for change
  • To be available
  • Aspiration
  • Determination

Having a good attitude and being teachable is critical to your success when wearing a leader hat. Developing the initiative to build relationships with everyone can guide you towards directions you may have never thought possible.

Persuading yourself and others to embrace change and being available for those who need you throughout those transitions will allow others to see your hat at face value.

“It’s this face value that others will remember and that will fuel your aspirations and determination to lead from where ever you are in the company”.

Team Hat(s)

How Your Hat is Ranked by the Team and Others?

Too Many Hats?Leader hats must drive future success, and are responsible to get the most out of their teams. Does it matter if your team is an advisory or governing team? No! What matters is that every individual is linked and committed to the team’s common purpose.

“How you see yourself and how you are seen in the eyes of others are sometimes two very different views”?

According to William Stepanek from Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, your teams and others are judging you every day. According to Kouzes and Posner, (2002) on The Leadership Challenge, they expect you to walk-the-walk and talk-the-talk.

With this said, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you consistent
  • Do you capture the imagination of others
  • Are you innovative
  • Do you enable others to act
  • Do you inspire passion in others

How you communicate to others is critical to your success. This may require you to wear many hats. Wearing many hats is a fundamental aspect of leaders. Focusing on the mission everyday and making the environment collaboration eliminates unnecessary questions pertaining to the objectives at hand.  By exhibiting competence you not only build team confidence, you are better able to manage daily priorities and performance issues.

How Many Hats?

What Are The Challenges to Wearing Too Many Hats?

Are there challenges to wearing too many hats, it depends. It depends on the situation. One lesson I learned is not to wear two different hats to one meeting. It may be seen as a conflict of interest.

Even if your intentions are for the greater good of the company or organization, your unintentional conflict of interest may not be received well by all. It doesn’t matter that your honesty, integrity, and your word are in direct alignment with the mission, vision, and common purpose of the group, it may still be seen as a conflict of interest.

Take a Good Look at Your Hats

How many hats do you wear? Do you find yourself flipping from hat to hat several times during the day? How are you seen in the eyes of others? What challenges if any have you faced from wearing too many hats? I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences on the hats that you wear!


Never miss an issue of Linked 2 Leadership, subscribe today.
Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

Debra Olejownik is a consultant with DJC Core Consulting & Support Services, LLC
She helps clients identify comprehensive solutions to problems that inspires change
Email |  LinkedIn | Web

Image Sources:  filmscoreclicktrack.com, media.photobucket.com


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