To My Readers: I’m honored to republish, with permission, an article by Rodger Dean Duncan that first appeared in Forbes January 16, 2019. In it, he interviewed me about my strategy to non-public improvement. That is the primary of two posts; the second half of the interview will submit subsequent week.
— Frank Sonnenberg
You Are What You Eat … And What You Learn
By Rodger Dean Duncan PhD with Frank Sonnenberg
As we ease into a brand new yr, I discover myself—perhaps such as you—contemplating what I need to do with the subsequent 12 months. Positive, I’ve some objectives. A few of them I even anticipate to succeed in. Like studying.
Final yr I learn greater than 100 books. Do the maths. That’s about two books per week, or one each three or 4 days. Perhaps not rather a lot by Invoice Gates requirements, however, hey, he’s a billionaire and apparently has lots of time on his palms. But nonetheless a good effort.
Studying, I discovered at an early age, is sweet for the soul. If, that’s, you learn issues which are worthy of your soul.
Satirist P. J. O’Rourke gave this additional perspective: “All the time learn one thing that may make you look good should you die in the midst of it.”
Along with stacks of books, my studying consists of articles, information studies, opinion items, and numerous weblog posts.
The weblog posts run the gamut on topic and viewpoint. One venue that I’ve discovered to offer a every day dose of uplift is a weblog by Frank Sonnenberg. Its focus is on character, private values, and private duty. Like I stated, one thing good for the soul.
Nothing syrupy right here. Sonnenberg, who serves on a number of boards and consults for corporations you’d know and respect, writes about points essential to your success. His content material comes throughout as a favourite uncle speaking to you throughout the kitchen desk. No ram-it-down-your-throat lectures. Simply simple (and temporary) observations and recommendation on issues that matter.
FrankSonnenbergOnline was named one of many “Greatest 21st Century Management Blogs” and is among the many most regularly shared gadgets on the Web. Frank has written a number of books, together with Soul Meals: Change Your Considering, Change Your Life.
I reached out to him to study extra about his strategy to non-public improvement.
Rodger Dean Duncan: You say the aim of your work is to share invaluable classes to spice up individuals’s happiness and success. How and when did you determine to pursue this ardour?
Frank Sonnenberg: I’ve all the time been a scholar of life and proceed to take each alternative to study and develop. Way back to I can keep in mind, I’ve requested myself questions corresponding to: How do individuals construct belief? What makes a superior position mannequin? What are the character traits of an efficient chief? What’s the distinction between success and happiness? And I’ve made it my enterprise to seek out out.
My mission is straightforward: To reawaken our dedication to character, values, and private duty. It’s necessary to notice that this isn’t a enterprise; it’s my ardour. I merely need to make a distinction by sharing what I’ve discovered.
Duncan: In one in every of your essays titled “You Get What You Anticipate” you write about Roger Bannister, the good runner who proved that a four-minute mile is feasible. How widespread do you consider it’s for individuals to permit “typical knowledge” to carry them again? What’s a superb antidote for that?
Sonnenberg: Did you ever discover that whenever you’re out there for a brand new automotive, you appear to note automotive advertisements greater than ordinary? The identical is true for preconceived notions. Whenever you anticipate a specific consequence, you search for proof to help that view. That may have a big impression in your conduct and on outcomes. For instance, in the event you consider you’re going to achieve success, you’re going to view your prospects in a different way than in case you assume individuals like me by no means stand an opportunity.
It’s very straightforward to get caught up in groupthink. The issue is, what makes you assume that others are wiser than you? Perhaps they’ve a chip on their shoulder or a hidden agenda. Comply with their lead at your peril. Be your personal individual. Garner the power and braveness to face alone and decide your personal future. Consider in your self and your means to achieve success. Your mindset issues greater than you assume. Spend money on your private progress. Every little thing you study is like cash within the financial institution. Meet challenges head-on. Show you can overcome robust challenges. That offers you the power and willpower to satisfy challenges that lie forward. Make good decisions. Your life is decided by the sum of the alternatives that you simply make.
Duncan: The essays you write are upbeat and constructive. To what extent are they autobiographical? Are you speaking to your self in addition to to your viewers? In that case, how does that have an effect on your selection of subjects?
Sonnenberg: A few of my essays are based mostly on my deep-rooted philosophy and experiences, whereas others are based mostly on my observations as a marketing consultant or on analyzing challenges that I see others face.
I maintain a operating listing of subjects with me always, and it doesn’t look like I’m going to expire of material any time quickly. Once I end one, I merely undergo my record and select one which intrigues me in the intervening time.
Once I write about subjects similar to karma, win-win relationships, or the significance of honor and integrity, they don’t seem to be platitudes; they’re rules that I care deeply about. Ethical character is the DNA of success and happiness, and I’m right here to show it to you.
Duncan: Your messages are sometimes temporary—typically solely two or three paragraphs adopted by a quick record of motion steps. In teaching others, what hints can leaders take from this strategy?
Sonnenberg: I’ve spent as a lot time occupied with tips on how to talk as what I’m going to say. Individuals have totally different preferences for a way they wish to obtain info. For that purpose, I assemble my messages in a number of codecs: a quote of the day, free downloadable posters, weblog posts, and books. My essays run roughly 650 phrases, by design, in order that they take not than 5 minutes to learn. As well as, quite than lecturing everybody about ethical character, values, and private duty (boring), I weave these rules into real-world situations to make every lesson related. I incorporate bullet factors for skimmers and hyperlinks for many who need to study extra. I additionally be sure that each essay incorporates actionable recommendation. Final however not least, earlier than I write each bit, I arbitrarily choose three individuals and mentally write to them to maintain the writing fashion private.
Distinction this with how some leaders talk in enterprise. First, they isolate themselves in closed-door conferences and hold forth their technique. They put together elaborate PowerPoint shows that go into exhaustive element about how and why they need to embark in a brand new course. Then, with out a lot forethought, they ship out a tedious memo or video (that’s so lengthy it may be made right into a miniseries) to staff. Management assumes that staff will cease what they’re doing and assessment the supplies. Moreover, they assume that staff will perceive the rationale regardless that it’s by no means introduced. Then they’re stunned when the initiative lacks dedication and worker buy-in.
Duncan: You recommend surrounding your self with constructive individuals as a result of their power is contagious. What recommendation do you might have for somebody who, at the least within the brief time period, works in an environment the place relationships are poisonous?
Sonnenberg: Poisonous waste has an incredible impression on the setting. Now contemplate the influence that poisonous individuals have in your life. They will strip you of your confidence and affect you to decrease your requirements or compromise your values.
Once you have been a child your mother and father influenced your conduct. If you grew up, your mates crammed that position. Now it’s time so that you can take the baton and reside a life that makes YOU proud. Don’t let your conduct be influenced by others who don’t share your values; maintain your self to a a lot greater normal—your conscience.
The very fact is, individuals can’t make you do issues with out your permission. Set excessive requirements, be true to your values, and take heed to your conscience. That’s why you could have one. On the finish of the day, it’s your life to stay. Personal it. It’s a must to reside with your self for the remainder of your life.
This text first appeared in Forbes. It’s republished, with permission. (© 2019 Rodger Dean Duncan. All rights reserved.)
Rodger Dean Duncan is the bestselling writer of LeaderSHOP: Office, Profession, and Life Recommendation From Immediately’s Prime Thought Leaders.
About Rodger Dean Duncan
For the previous 40 years I’ve consulted and coached leaders from the manufacturing unit flooring to the boardroom in a few of the world’s greatest corporations in a number of industries. Principally, I assist individuals get great things carried out whereas avoiding the Dilbert Zone. Early in my profession I coated politics and enterprise for Texas newspapers, and freelanced for publications starting from The New York Occasions and The Nationwide Observer to Boys’ Life and Parade journal. Then I used to be a college professor, labored on Wall Road, served in two White Home administrations, suggested a number of U.S. Senators, and headed worldwide communications at Campbell Soup Firm. My Ph.D. (Purdue College) is in organizational conduct, however my orientation is the actual world of actual work. My bestselling ebook is CHANGE-friendly LEADERSHIP: The best way to Rework Good Intentions into Nice Efficiency. Comply with on Twitter @DoctorDuncan
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