Archive for the 'Leadership' Category



Don’t Quit – Just Do It!

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So often we find ourselves excited about the prospect of starting something new. Human nature requires that we break large task down to a manageable size with the tendency is to avoid being overwhelmed and limiting our success.
Let’s see if this applies to you? We’ve created a short questionnaire to assess how effectively you manage your time. Take a moment to answer the 18 questions below. Add up the points to see if you score 5 or higher, indicating how well you utilize your time. If you score 4 or below, you might review how you’re approaching projects. Be honest with yourself as this is meant to be helpful.

OK, Let’s GO:

1. Are you laser focused on the project without distractions? (+1 point)

2. Do you find yourself being distracted with other things instead of starting on the project? (-2 points)

3. You work hard but feel uncertain that you’re getting the right

information. (-2 points)

4. You work hard and feel good about what you’ve accomplished. (+1 point)

5. You have limited yourself to 3 projects and put all your effort into getting them finished successfully. (+1 point)

6. You have a lot of catching up to do and have 15 different projects to finish. By the end of the day nothing is done. (-2 points)

7. You take action to get the job done. (+1 point)

8. You talk about your actions, but never really get started. (-2 points)

9. You give 50% effort because you’re apprehensive about committing to the project. (-2 points)

10. You give 100% effort to the project. (+1 point)

11. You celebrate after the project is completed. (+1 point)

12. You celebrate before you begin the project. (-2 points)

13. You try to figure out a plan while you’re in the midst of

the project. (-2 points)

14. You have a clear plan before you start. (+1 point)

15. You are inconsistent in working on your project. (-2 points)

16. You are consistent and make good progress. (+1 point)

17. You have clear goals to accomplish. (+1 point)

18. Your goals are not clear or you haven’t set them up. (-2 points)

 

As an example, see if this situation or something similar has happened to you. How did you handle it?
 You’ve decided to assemble a desk or computer stand. The project comes with instructions and over 200 parts, some you have no clue what it is. If you find yourself with the objective to finish putting it together in an evening, make a plan. 1. Confirm you have the space, all the pieces and tools necessary to put it together and no distractions; 2. Carefully read the instructions to ensure it makes sense, 3. Carefully assemble the computer stand step-by-step as noted in the directions. If you begin to second guess yourself and decide you’ve never done anything like this before, you can easily talk yourself out of succeeding. Stay focused and see how much you can accomplish.
Statistically 32% give up – determining that they don’t know how to do the task. They often create “busy work” that derails their success.
Time management is a powerful tool that allows everyone to achieve success no matter how great or small the task.
Allow yourself to recognize the size of your project. If it is big, so may be the challenges that you meet along the way.
”We all have the same 24 hours in a day to get the job done” – Farshad Asl

Time Management

You hear people say “there aren’t enough hours in the day”. Managing your time is an art. It requires discipline and consistency. The main thing to remember is that we all have 24 hours in a day. Successful people like Bill Gates, Nelson Mandela and Abraham Lincoln all had big goals to accomplish and all had the same 24 hours in a day.

Some people  accomplish more, some will accomplish less and some may never accomplish anything. If I ask you what you are going to do for the next 60 days, you probably will give me your plan. But if I ask what you would do in the next 60 days if this were your last 60 days of life, the answer would most likely be different.

The key to productive work and successful life management include:

“Sense of Urgency” – Treat each day like it will be the last to do what’s important. Act immediately – because procrastination kills momentum.
“Power of 3” – There is an amazing power in preparing yourself mentally, physically and emotionally. Remain laser focused, ready to take action and remain passionate in the belief you are doing something important to succeed.
“Prioritize”Select 3 projects for the week or month, based on the size of the project
“Patience” – Don’t get ahead of yourself – anything worthwhile doing, takes time.
“Write Your Goals” – When you write your plan, project or goal down, it becomes real, actionable and measureable. You are committing to getting the project done.

“When it comes to productive work and the management you do everything with intent and purpose.” – Farshad Asl
Share your project with someone. Make yourself accountable and share what you are doing with others. Be aware of the uphill road, taking a look at every challenge as an opportunity. When the challenge seems larger, it’s probably because your project is larger.

Productive Work
 You are laser focused
 You work hard and feel good about it
 You have 3 projects and put all your energy into all three and finish them successfully
 You take action
 You give your 100%
 You Celebrate after the project is done
 You have a clear plan before you start
 You are consistent
 You have clear goals

Busy Work
 You are all over the place
 You work hard but you feel lost
 You have 15 different projects and by the end of the day nothing is done
 You only talk about your actions 
 You give 50%
 You celebrate before even starting and you never finish timely
 You try to figure out a plan while you start
 You are inconsistent
 Your goals are not clear

Lastly, get rid of your “To Do List” and start your “To Stop List”. When you change your habits, the world around you will change.

 

I am LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/farshadasl

“The Art and Science of Selling” – Dispelling the Myths

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I know what you’re thinking, there’s an “Art and Science” to selling? “YES”, there is…When you hear the word “Selling”, it often suggests that someone is trying to get you to buy something you’re not sure or think you want. The fact of the matter is that everyone sells in one way or another. That’s why I want to share “The Art and Science of Selling” with you. It’s as simple as “A, B, C”. It begins with the right mindset, followed by a big heart to help others and last but not least, a lot of ambition to follow through with your promises. People in the sales profession have a product or service and understand the profound impact it has on the economy, people and our lifestyle. Believe it or not, sales can influence our future and sometimes heal the past. Imagine when an insurance agent delivers a life insurance check to the family having just lost their mother or father. Or the family has a loved one who requires care in a nursing home. The risk has been transferred to the insurance company to pay the expenses. These are a few examples of why I feel selling is the most amazing profession in the world! 

 

A few statistics quoted from Zig Zigler, one of the greatest sales people of our time, shared that:

  • There are more sales people who are millionaires than doctors
  • In the first year of your business, successful sales people earn between $20,000-$30,000 or more
  • Charles Schwab was a master salesman, earning over $100,000 in his first year

There are many myths about sales people and the negatives. I’d like to share a couple of them with you.

Myth #1 – To sell, you must be an extravert/outgoing and can talk about anything.

Actually, it’s been found that introverted people outsell the extraverts 100 times out of 100. They connect with the client, know their information, tend to be better organized and detailed, and find what the customer needs.

 

Myth #2 – You are who you are and cannot change. Not true, with anything, you can learn a subject, trade or technique. Apply an optimistic and positive approach and people can adapt.

A survey was taken at the Forum Corp. in Boston, Massachusetts regarding sales:

  • 341 Sales People were surveyed
  • 173 were Top producers
  • 168 were Average producers
  • They all had 5 years minimum experience
  • They came from 11 different companies and 5 different industries: petro chemical, banking, life insurance, real estate and 1 other

They all had the same sales skills to get the prospect, set the appointment, demonstrate the features and benefits, close the sale, and handle the objections. The dramatic difference was “trust”. The top producers understood that it wasn’t about selling to the customer, but instead, building “trust”.

“Selling is essentially a transfer of feelings” – Zig Zigler

Take a look at these four (4) important circles which represent a successful sales dynamic for the entrepreneur, supported from the center by Leadership because as an entrepreneur, you’re also a leader. Take a look at how “The Art and Science of Selling” is explained below.

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The “Art” of Sales

  1. Culture – establish the culture, understand why people behave and act the way they do and make good choices. Culture is a mannerism of the entrepreneur/sales professional. Whether you’re in an organization or one or two individuals in business, it’s important that you have a good work ethic, clear vision, positive attitude and uphold strong core values to have a winning culture.
  2. Marketing – is made up of three components:
    1. BRAND – A very important area that will build both you and the company’s reputation in the market. What are you doing to brand yourself?
    2. CUSTOMER SERVICE – “Good” is no longer acceptable. People are looking for “Excellent” customer service.
    3. CLEAR PLANS – Successful sales entrepreneurs have at least three different plans designed to assist and help them with clients and customer service.

The “Science” of Sales

  1. Product Knowledge – Successful sales individuals know the features and benefits. They are willing to invest the time needed to learn, and go the extra mile to become an expert. Product knowledge is important to provide the features and benefits that will help the customer.
  2. Sales System – No matter how much you know or how good you are with the product or service, it will not sell itself. The sales system is a process.
    1. Warm up/build the relationship
    2. Ask questions /identify the needs
    3. Present the product/service
    4. Show the benefits
    5. Close and actively listen to any objectives
    6. Warm down – continue to build the relationship and get referrals

As a sales professional, you must stay laser focused and overcome any distractions that will interfere with your business. You are responsible for the outcome and management of your success.

“You can provide information to others and be a great educator, but information only won’t sell the product or service, that’s why we need the entrepreneurs’ ~Farshad Asl

 

Now that you see where you’re standing, take a moment and rate yourself. Use the diagram above and rate each circle on a scale of 1-10. If you score at least a “7” in each of the four areas, or are willing to invest in the areas that need help, you have a good chance to succeed in the sales profession.

If you’ve thought about it but are teetering on the edge of whether to become a sales person as an entrepreneur, feel free to contact me directly. I will help you take your career to a new level with coaching and mentoring you on “The Art and Science of Selling”, so you can live your dream life like millions of people out there. Create the well-deserved balance in your life and in your business.

“The Art and Science of Selling” – build your success!

“A good entrepreneur knows how to communicate, connect and coach the client to make the right buying decision” – Farshad Asl

 

I am LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/farshadasl

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Independence Day, July 4th

 

It’s a special time to celebrate, reflect and remember how truly blessed we are to live in America. It was 238 years ago that our fore-father’s fought for our independence. To this day, many fight for their democracy and seek freedom in this great land. I am so grateful to live in a country that promotes the growth of the human spirit to succeed in all that we do. From my family to yours, we wish you a safe and joyful celebration this 4th of July – “Happy Birthday America!”

 

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Leadership – ‘Momentum Builders’ and ‘Momentum Killers’

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Most people go to work five days a week to do a job. What makes that job fulfilling is the momentum and desire to make a difference and succeed. I have been blessed to work with a wonderful group of leaders in my organization. We strongly believe that MOMENTUM IS THE KEY TO A SUSTAINABLE GROWTH and share in the passion to build MOMENTUM among our teams. We have built one of the largest sales organizations in the country, through consistency focused on two primary areas.

  1. Creating a strong environment rich in growth for everyone on the team.
  2. Building and sustaining a momentum driven environment throughout the organization.

 

Start now and ask yourself, “How do we build momentum? Here are my eight steps to Sustainable Growth.

It takes:

  1. A Leader to create the Momentum (Leadership)
  2. Vision to build the momentum (Direction)
  3. Effective Communication (Connect)
  4. Achievable Goals (Laser Focus)
  5. Small Wins or Victories along the way (Recognitions)
  6. Consistency (Discipline and Build Trust)
  7. Passion and Compassion (Love)
  8. Integrity to sustain the momentum (Core Values)

 

“Connect and remember that you must touch the heart before you ask for the hand.” 

I feel that Momentum is the key to building and sustaining success – it’s what makes the difference between winning and losing. Position your team to experience winning! The right attitude is everything!

“The BIG push means being able to develop and sustain MOMENTUM toward your goal; it is the process of actively replacing excuses with winning habits, the ultimate excuses blockers. Moreover, it is being willing to go to the wall for what you want or believe in, to push beyond your previous mental and physical limits, no matter what it takes.” ― Lorii Myers

 

It’s important to ask yourself these two very important questions:

  1. How can you build and then sustain momentum?

Whether you’re an entrepreneur or work for someone else, identify what you can do to create and sustain your momentum. Momentum Builders are critical to positioning your success.

  1. Identify what are the Momentum ‘Killers’?

Lack of motion or inertia. Newton’s Law of Motion states, matter remains in its state of motion and direction unless acted upon by a force.  This law is important in defining how things behave around us giving momentum or inertia.

According to Newton’s first law, an object at rest will remain at rest unless acted on by an unbalanced force. An object in motion continues in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force. This law is often called “The Law of Inertia”.

 

John Maxwell says it best in his book, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, in the chapter, “The Law of the BIG MO: Momentum is a Leader’s Best Friend”.

Here are the ‘Seven Truths’ about Momentum that I feel every leader needs to know:

  1. Momentum is the great exaggerator. Often success is exaggerated by momentum and things will look bigger than they really are. When you have momentum, don’t worry about small problems, while larger challenges tend to work themselves out.
  2. Momentum makes leaders look better than they are. Effective Leaders demonstrating momentum, have the appearance of being a genius.
  3. Momentum helps followers perform beyond their actual abilities. When there is momentum, people are motivated to perform at higher levels.
  4. Momentum is easier to steer than to start. Getting started can be a struggle, but once you’re moving forward, you can really start to do some amazing things.
  5. Momentum is the most powerful agent of change. Given enough momentum, nearly any kind of change is possible, because people like to get on the winning bandwagon.
  6. Momentum is the leader’s responsibility. Creating momentum requires someone who has vision, can assemble a good team and motivate them.
  7. Momentum begins inside the leader. It starts with vision, passion, enthusiasm, and spreads from there.

 

To apply the Law of the Big Mo, practice these three steps:

 

Step #1 – Model the attitude and work ethic that you would like to see in others. Take responsibility for the momentum in your area of leadership. Be passionate about your vision and display enthusiasm at all times.

 

Step #2 – Build motivation to develop momentum. Remove any obstacles that cause people to lose their passion and enthusiasm. Identify and put into action the specific elements that will motivate your team.

 

Step #3 – Help people celebrate their accomplishments. Make it a regular practice to honor people who move the ball forward. Take the time to acknowledge and praise effort, never forgetting to reward their success.

 

You know when you have momentum, you’re on top, hitting your stride, positive, focused, alive and heading toward your objective and true success.

In summary, work with the ‘eight steps to Sustainable Growth’, avoid ‘Momentum Killers’ and apply the “Law of the Big MO”. Finally, lead your team with the three steps that Model, Build and Help bring everyone to their fullest potential.

 

I am LinkedIn:http://www.linkedin.com/in/farshadasl

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The Art of Coaching

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I was looking for someone to help me, but didn’t have ‘the one’ person I was looking for who could lead me in the right direction until I sat down and defined what it was I needed. I narrowed it down to three options. Did I need a Teacher? A Mentor? Or a Coach?

Others have defined coaching as, “Closing the gap between thinking about doing and doing” – Curly Martin

I have often wondered what the difference was between these three. Without looking up the definitions in the dictionary, I would say they are similar.

I had to admit that I wasn’t exactly sure what they meant but understood the importance of having one. So I got busy and developed these definitions.

Teachers instruct using a textbook or reference materials to provide lessons. This is a very important role when you’re learning a subject or profession.

 

Mentors share in their wisdom and experience. They are willing to spend their time and expertise to guide the development of another person.

 

Coaches guide and/or train someone who is trying to excel in a specific area, i.e., an athlete, an actor, a business professional, etc. I’ve found that this term is often mixed up with mentoring, so I used one of the best-known examples I could find as an example for a Coach.

 

Coach John Wooden, UCLA’s brilliant basketball coach, was famous for his style of coaching and building brilliant athletes. John Wooden is frequently cited as an example of a values- based coach, one who’s positive and productive principles were intrinsically woven into his system. What he did on the court reflected who he was off the court.

 

I wanted someone like that and also knew I needed someone who would Coach me for my needs. To Coach is all about asking the right questions. It’s amazing to know the power of “question probing”. Coaches know ‘what to ask’, ‘when to ask’, ‘how to ask’ and ‘who to ask’ great questions to take you from where you are now to where you want to be. ”A good Coach asks great questions to help you remove the obstacles in your mind and to get you back on track in life and business” – Farshad Asl

According to the Harvard Business Review, a good coach can help you achieve life-changing results that yield success and significance.

The right coaching builds awareness and removes interference so you can perform at your natural best with NO EXCUSES! The formula is:

Your God-given Potential – Excuses = Performance for Success!

It was Benjamin Franklin who said, “He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.” Coaching will help you replace those excuses and limited beliefs with empowering dreams and boost self-confidence. Coaching is all about moving forward. Changing your old habits and developing true self-awareness.

“Helping you do your best” – Harry Paul

Coaching can help you to identify your values, discover your “why”, set ‘GOALS’, increase your self-esteem, and finding the balance in Life and Business.

Noting what Coaching is, I wanted to be sure I defined what coaching is NOT. Coaching is not Therapy, Mentoring, Consulting, Counselling or Problem Solving. That probably best falls under ‘self-help’.

 

When I Coach others, I normally like to use the TGROW model in my sessions.

  • Topic – clarification and exploration of the topic
  • Goal – setting specific goals, whether they are long, medium or short term, and can be used in the coaching session
  • Reality – clearly understanding where the ‘Coachee’ is now in relation to their goals
  • Options – exploring options for the purpose to move forward
  • Wrap- Up, -Will, -Way Forward – identifying and agreeing to a specific action plan

 

I strongly believe in the concept of coaching so much that I’ve chosen to be personally coached over the last several years and personally use the TGROW model. You might be surprised to find that fewer than one in 1,000 people have been or benefit from being coached. Are you ready to begin?

“Unlocking a person’s potential to maximize their own performance” – John Whitmore

Breakthrough all the barriers and start leading your life rather than just accepting your life.

“People are anxious to improve their circumstances but are unwilling to improve themselves, they therefore remain bound.” James Allen

 

http://www.linkedin.com/in/farshadasl

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“Transformational Leadership in Guatemala” The 1 Year Anniversary

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A year ago, I experienced the most remarkable week in my life! This is what happened. . .

 

It began when I joined a team of coaches who are the most genuine and wonderful people I could hope to be a part of and we traveled to Guatemala. Most of us did not know where Guatemala was or speak the language. We just knew that John Maxwell had invited us to go with him to a country that wanted to make a change.

 

I did have a moment or two when I questioned, why am I going? I’m only one person – how can I make a difference? At the threshold of going, my wife and daughters gave me the assurance that this was the right thing to do and that I should go.

 

That’s when I put my trust in God and knew he would take me where I was supposed to go. I promised myself “I would give my very best every day and let God do his part”. That’s when my transformation began.

 

In early 2013, when the President of Guatemala contacted John Maxwell to come to his country and bring the skills he is so well known for – ‘leadership and values’, he agreed to find out what was needed. John Maxwell spent time with the President, top people in government, businesses and the 8 families that controlled 83% of the wealth in Guatemala, and then made the commitment to return. His plan was to raise the values in the country and begin a life-changing event for many who comprised the 7 streams of influence, which included: government, business, education, arts media, family and religion. The task was massive, the time to start urgent, and the objective crystal clear – to raise the values for thousands of people in Guatemala.

 

Guatemala is a beautiful country with amazing, big-hearted people, located in Central America. The population is nearing 16 million with the majority of people living outside the city in extreme poverty, malnourished and without human rights. The average age in the country is 20.

 

So the team of coaches traveled from all over the world, for some, it took more than 24 hours to get there. Upon arrival, we met with John Maxwell and received guidance for the week. We then met with the President and Congress who then gave us their commitment and blessing to support our efforts.

 

Every day began early at 6:00 a.m., meeting in the lobby so we could travel to one of the many locations in the city or countryside.  I was assigned to Bantrab Bank, one of the largest banks in Central America, which employees 3500 people. I met with the highest-level managers and knew how important it would be to connect with everyone. I asked my interpreter to help me and not only translate my words but ‘hop’ if I ‘hopped’ and express my emotions to the group to extend past the language barrier. She was incredible. I realized we were connecting when 2 hours into our training, the Vice President of Bantrab Bank took the microphone.  When he spoke on behalf of the group, I was incredibly moved that in order to make a difference for Guatemala, the managers of the bank would continue this training for the next 30 weeks in round table training. It was an incredible experience. I could see the commitment, ownership and the willingness to CHANGE.

 

After the first day’s training, the coaches returned around 6:00 p.m. for dinner. We were so excited to share our experiences. During dinner a message was received that the Bank was requesting the same “guy” back to continue training the group for the rest of the week. I was so honored.

 

We continued training the next day and while I was going through some of the leadership values, I felt something unusual happening in the room. I was sharing stories that I had great passion for, not noticing it had become quiet. My translator had stopped speaking and had been moved to tears. I continued to express myself in English, gesturing and enthusiastically talking for about 3 minutes until I realized it had gotten quiet and some people were sniffing. Suddenly people began to giggle and I caught on that they had no idea what I had been saying! There was so much love and a great connection! It was wonderful!

 

The week concluded with the John Maxwell team being honored in the stadium followed by dinner in one of the most beautiful old palaces in Guatemala. We were honored by some of the Guatemalan leaders and thanked for our partnership in shifting the paradigm and bringing Transformational Leadership to Guatemala.

 

I reflect back on the amazing experiences that I shared with just a few people who then shared their experience with a few more people until an amazing 19,000 Guatemalans were trained that week. Today thousands of leaders have been trained in the round table program. News of the success has spread and additional interest has developed in 9 other South American countries looking for the same opportunity

“La Transformación Está en Mí”….“Transformation Begins With Me” and only me.

 

 

https://www.linkedin.com/in/farshadasl

 

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My Rule of 5

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I’d like to share “My Rule of 5” and the importance of Mentoring. These are some of the things I incorporate into my daily habits. The first is that I believe in the importance of being mentored. It’s invaluable to have someone to talk with and receive their guidance as you journey along your path. I feel so blessed to have been coached and mentored by a few people from my company, Bankers Life and the John Maxwell Team. The other part of the equation is my “Rule of 5”. These are concepts I’d like to share with you to embody in your journey to become the best version of you!

 

#1 VISION

Crystal clear “Vision” is to know exactly where you are going. It’s something you can’t wait to share with others daily. The excitement is infectious and others will want to be a part of your vision. Sharing my vision has given me a sense of purpose and direction as I leverage building a successful team around me. To stay focused, I use a vision board. I love to hear people describe theirs, often with objectives that focus on getting a dream car, home, vacation, or maybe some form of monetary gain.   There’s nothing wrong with that. My vision board was like that until I received coaching and identified that the objective changed. It shifted from measuring success with possessions to who I wanted to become. I learned that what I thought was important was no longer the case. It’s an amazing journey and I recommend that you take your vision to a whole new level. Review your perspective and challenge yourself to project 5 to 10 years out with your vision board. What an incredible shift you gain in your outlook. I believe the #1 reason for my success to this point is that I challenge myself to be the person I want to become.

“Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” ― C.G. Jung

 

#2 BRAND/MARKETING

What is your “Brand”, your purpose? In the past, it was common to “market” or advertise your products. The goal was to get more customers through this method. Today, marketing is important, but branding is even more so for your success. The consumer will buy you before they buy the product or service. So try to develop a brand and market yourself. It will take you to a whole new level whether it’s an entrepreneurial business, leadership, being a sales person, business owner, teacher, doctor or any business you may have. The key to your success is not advertising products, but about developing your brand. What are you known for?

My Brand I would like to say is “Leadership with Passion”.

 

#3 BE SELECTIVE

As a successful individual, you are best served to “Be Selective”. Pay attention to who you surround yourself with at all times. Are the people you’re with adding or subtracting value? I made the choice a long time ago to surround myself with winners. People who bring out the best in me and I in them. It’s exhilarating to interact with people who get you out of your comfort zone and challenge you to do something that helps you develop. If you’re the smartest person in the group, you’re in the wrong place and need to switch groups.

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Jim Rohn

 

#4 FOLLOW UP

The concept to “Follow Up” is very important to your success. This should become second nature in everything you do. Human nature is to procrastinate. Most people don’t follow up, they assume that others will do it or that it isn’t necessary. Assumption is a leader’s biggest enemy. To meet your expectations, follow up!

What kind of follow up system do you have?

 

#5 FOLLOW THROUGH

Follow Through” is a key factor to your integrity and credibility. Doing what you say you’ll do is crucial. If you promise to deliver something, no matter how big or little, and do not follow through, you create distrust and lose all credibility with your team. Lead by example and build a team of successful people to have around you.

“You have to have confidence in your ability, and then be tough enough to follow through.” – Rosalynn Carter

Remember these important qualities and be successful!

 

My Rule of 5

#1      Vision – Crystal Clear

#2      Brand/Marketing

#3      Be Selective

#4      Follow Up

#5      Follow Through

In everything you do, life or business related, remember these 5 concepts. They will impact your journey positively. It’s simple yet significant, how it will affect you. Learn them and live them!

 

Live with passion!

Farshad Asl

I am LinkedIn:http://www.linkedin.com/in/farshadasl