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12 Leadership Quotes You Should Stick On Your Wall: Leadership – Off the Wall

Akash: The following post is by leadership speaker and expert Paul Thornton. Paul has coauthored the book, Public Speaking Tips from the Pros with me. This post is based on his book, Leadership-Off the Wall.


Leadership Off the Wall


Leadership Quotes to Lead and Live By

W. Clement Stone began as a shoeshine boy and became a multimillionaire.  He credits his success to three words: Do It Now.  He required everyone who worked for him to write those words on index cards and post them in their work area.

Over the past twenty years I have collected and analyzed many of the quotes leaders post on their office walls or keep on their desks. Here are a few of my favorites.

1.     “It can be done!”—Sign President Ronald Reagan kept on his desk in the Oval Office. Leaders are optimistic, upbeat, positive, and have a can-do attitude.

2.     No Whining”—Sign on the desk of James Parker, former CEO, Southwest Airlines. Leaders take responsibility. They don’t wine and blame others.

3.     “The Buck Starts Here!”—Sign on the desk of Donald Trump. Leaders see opportunity and take risks to active their vision.

4.     “Speak your mind—even if your voice shakes.” That quote is by Maggie Kuhn, the founder of Gray Panthers. Author and thought leader Leslie C. Aguilar posts this quote on the wall of conference rooms when she conducts seminars and workshops on diversity. Leaders find the courage to speak up even when they’re nervous.

5.     “Leaders are known for the questions they ask, not the answers they give.” —Sign on the office wall of Steve Arneson, Ph.D. when he worked at Capital One. Leaders ask questions that force us to consider new ideas and new possibilities.

 6.     “Be Realistic, Demand the Impossible”—Sign in the office of T. J. Rodgers, founder and CEO of Cypress Semiconductor. Leaders are demanding! They expect more than others think is possible.

7.     “A desk is a dangerous place from which to view the world.” John le Carré —Sign in the office of Louis V. Gerstner, Jr., former CEO of IBM. Leaders gain first-hand knowledge. Seeing the problem, touching the part, talking directly with employees and customers provides a reality you don’t get sitting in your office.

8.     “Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers who can cut through argument, debate and doubt, to offer a solution everybody can understand.” This statement was made by Colin Powell, former Secretary of State of the United States. Chris Bartley Men’s Varsity Basketball Coach, at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has thisquote on his desk. Chris states, “I read it a few times daily to keep me on track as a leader. I try to keep it simple and have a clear and compelling vision for our program at WPI.”

 9.     “Successful People are the Few Who Focus in and Follow Through” —Sign in the office of Stew Leonard, Jr., President, Stew Leonard’s Dairy. Leaders don’t just talk about change they implement change.

10.   “The time is always right to do what is right. Martin Luther King Jr.—Sign on the office wall of Michael Jansma, President GEMaffair.com. Leaders consistently stand up for their values and beliefs. It’s not a once in awhile thing.

11.  Learning, Honesty, Integrity, Respect —Sign on the office wall of Kevin Drumm, PhD, President Broome Community College. Kevin states, “These are values of the college. On a day to day basis I try to live these values by communicating from the heart, walking the talk, and not shooting the messenger.”

12.  “I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something: and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.”– Edward Everett Hale—Sign on the office wall of Michael S. Hyatt, CEO, Thomas Nelson Publishers. Michael states, “I like this quote because it reminds me to do something. Leaders focus on what they can do, not what they can’t do.”


Leaders Set Guiding Principles

Leaders have a set core beliefs and values that are the guiding principles for what they say and do.

So, what’s posted on your office wall? What are your guiding principles?


About Leadership Expert and Speaker, Paul Thornton

Paul Thornton is an author, speaker, and trainer. He is the author of numerous articles and 13 books on management and leadership. This article is based on his book, Leadership-Off the Wall published by WestBow Press a division of Thomas Nelson Publishing. His book is available at Amazon and from the publisher 1-866-928-1240.

How to Become a Master Negotiator

If you want to make the best out of any negotiation you engage in – and this is something we do all the time – then you need to know how to prepare your negotiation and how to conduct your negotiation.

Even more importantly, you need to know how to prepare your negotiation quickly – because what happens ‘in the moment’ is often what makes the biggest difference, only what has been thought about and mulled over for days, weeks or hours.

I can give you three top tips to help you secure greater success in your daily negotiations – they will help you become more persuasive and more effective. As a subscriber to Akash’s speaking blog, you’ll be delighted to hear that you can also use these preparation tips when you are planning a speech or presentation – whether at short notice or when you have more time.

negotiation techniques

Become a master negotiator

Photo Credit: U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv via Compfight cc

Become a Master Negotiator

So, let’s get straight into these very important top tips, because negotiation is such an important area of our lives.

Negotiation is about so very much more than simply buying and selling.  Negotiation is about so much more than money – pounds and pence, here in the UK; dollars and dimes too!

Being an excellent negotiator helps us in our daily lives many times a day – in fact, every time we have some form of human interaction…  Let me explain, because this is my first top tip.

So, on to our three top tips – here’s the first one…


Negotiation Tip: We are ALWAYS negotiating

Yes, I do mean ALWAYS!

Obviously a lawyer (like me) has to negotiate regularly.  It might be trying to reach a negotiated settlement to avoid a very acrimonious court hearing or, of course, like many others in business it may be negotiating client fees.  We all know that lawyers negotiate.  A lot.

We also know many different professionals and businesses require you to be a seasoned negotiator – for example real estate developers, manufacturing, professional services, IT and Human Resources.  Everyone really – we’re all trying to improve margins and profitability.

But negotiation is about much more than just money.  Think about all the relationships in your life – from loved ones, friends, family to work colleagues to suppliers, contractors customers and clients.


Every Human Interaction is a Negotiation

I believe that every single human interaction is, in one way or another, a negotiation.

‘How can that be?’ I hear you cry…  Well, let me explain.

Let’s start with when we meet someone for the first time. We like to be respectful and polite as a sign of being friendly and welcoming.  Or, here in Scotland, we show ‘friendly and welcoming’ by being almost the opposite, with cheeky insults and banter (said with a smile, of course!) so it’s important that we remember cultural aspects when negotiating…

However we do it, we do want to be perceived being friendly.  We want to be liked.  We want to start to build trust. We want a social or professional relationship with this new person – or we keep that possibility open in case we might one day.

I don’t know about you, but I love the work of the late Dr Stephen Covey, who sadly passed away last year.  In telling us about his ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People’, Dr Covey talks about the ‘emotional bank account’.  We need to make ‘deposits’, with goodwill and helpfulness, for example. By being ‘in credit’, when the time comes that we make a mistake (and we all do) we then have to make a ‘withdrawal’.

If we have built up enough goodwill with our plentiful advance deposits, the making of that withdrawal will be less damaging; we will still be in credit.

This applies to those we already know well in the same way it does to meeting new people.  We want to keep the relationship going, positively and smoothly.  So, we keep making deposits so that when the time comes, and it undoubtedly will, when we need to make a withdrawal…. Well, you get the point…

The negotiations we are engaging in with these perpetual human connections will lay the foundation for more difficult situations later or for more successes later.  That’s one large factor in why the experts say that it can take 5 or 6 different contacts in the sales and marketing process before anyone buys from us.


Negotiating when Dealing with Day to Day Conflicts

The other huge area of interpersonal relations where negotiation is essential is in dealing with day-to-day conflicts: building bridges, mending fences and moving on – which can be so much easier to SAY than to DO, can’t it?

You need to understand why, for example, the other person is unhappy with you and how you may have contributed to that.  We need to decide whether we accept part of the responsibility and whether to apologise.

All too often people are able to ‘express regret’ instead of apologise.  But that ‘regret’ really can be insulting if a full apology is clearly due.  When this happens we risk severing that relationship and damaging our reputation.

Have you noticed how hard it is to build up your reputation, often taking months and years, yet how easy it is to lose it all with one mistake?  Then, of course, it’s very difficult to rebuild that relationship and your reputation.


Negotiating with the Emotions

Now, you may be asking ‘What on earth has this all got to do with negotiation?’  The answer is simple.  People have feelings – everyone involved, including you.  Some people say we are human ‘feelings’ not human ‘beings’!

We therefore need to be able to what I call ‘negotiate with the emotions’.  Tap into how they – and you – are feeling and work around and within the feelings and emotions in a conversation.

How often do we get angry or frustrated or happy or sad or simply distracted by ‘life’ – sick parents, a child’s school activity, an argument with your partner at breakfast…  a good negotiator will learn to instinctively pick up the signals that the others in the conversation have other things on their mind.

You can decide to capitalise on that if you wish – and if you don’t want a long-term successful relationship with the other party.  If you do, it’s probably better to empathise and gently take a detour from the negotiation, out to where they are thinking, then bring it back to the matters in hand…  A to B is not always the fastest route!

In these daily people-interactions, we need to remember that we are in a negotiation.  Not just a friendly conversation or a business meeting.  It is also a negotiation.

If you are not deploying your negotiation toolbox and the other person is, then they will come out of that conversation with much more, because they were trying to.

That is not to say that we are always trying to win and manipulate and get one over on the other person.  In fact, it is quite the opposite. We should remain authentic and honest – and at the same time recognise that there is a relationship-building negotiation going on at all times.

Relationships are essential so we need to work hard at them – in business and in life.  We need to be continually taking active steps to build relationships, with active listening, offering support, giving and taking, showing interest, compromising and taking our turn; and, of course, enjoying ourselves at the same time.

You see, if we’re not constantly aware of this we might miss opportunities.  Opportunities for business, for friendship – for making goodwill deposits and empathising with others who have to make a withdrawal from our bank account, like we may one day need to do with their bank account…

The REALLY important part of this rapport-building and goodwill and reputation is that it will serve us well when we come on to a more difficult negotiation.  Maybe a big sale or purchase; maybe when we want to say to somebody, a friend or associate who is not quite convinced about one of your ideas, ‘trust me’.

Without that solid foundation they can’t ‘trust’ you – they can’t be sure that it’s safe to take you at your word.  They are not ready.  You have not earned their trust yet.

So, in saying that we are ‘Always Negotiating’, what I mean is that we are always building relationships, laying foundations and generating trust and goodwill – always.  Always creating a foundation for future negotiations – and, as we know, a house built on a foundation of sand is built on no foundation at all.

Of course, another benefit of this approach is that you are always practising your negotiations – honing and fine-tuning your expertise so that, when it REALLY counts, you will be ready.

Work on the foundations and next time I’ll have some more ‘nuggets’ for you.


Next in the Negotiation Series

In the next article we’ll look at the three positions you must have in your mind before you start ANY negotiation and I’ll give you a magic PxPxP formula that I learned from George Carman QC 20 years ago – and still use every day!

Until then, remember my friend – we are Always Negotiating


Negotiation Expert – Scott Johnston

Scott Johnston
LLB (Hons) Barrister-at-Law
The Always Negotiator

Scott Johnston qualified as a Barrister in 1990, being called to the Bar by Lincoln’s Inn, London.  For over 12 years he has been living back home in Glasgow, Scotland running his own business as a specialist in Employment Law.  He is also a regular trainer and trusted adviser on the difficult and challenging areas of personal and business negotiation and conflict.

There are lots of negotiation tips and techniques at  www.Always-Negotiating.net.  This will help you to take your negotiation prowess to the next level in no time at all because you can put ALL of these excellent tips and nuggets to good use immediately – and every day.

P.S.  grab your free Special Report here: ‘The 5 Massive Mistakes You Must Avoid in Your Day-to-Day Negotiations’. If the link does not work try this one or copy and paste into your browser – http://bit.ly/18dkCef