5 Inspiring Traits of Successful People

There are a few universal traits of successful people — and you may be surprised to learn they aren’t all that mysterious.


Wondering what makes successful people tick? Don’t miss these 5 inspiring traits of successful people, including tips to emulate these qualities.


What makes a successful person, well, successful? We all know someone magnetic. They’re good at what they do, firing on all cylinders, passionate, and engaged. But what are the traits of successful people (and how can we get some of what they’re having)?

When we meet a successful person, they’ve “got it.” But sometimes, we might also see familiar flickers in these qualities. The truth is, we all have the capacity to become successful and to fully live the life we want to pursue. Yes, there may be logistical hurdles, but everyone has infinite potential.

So, how do we tap into our potential? How do we emulate the traits of successful people so we can enjoy the same high-quality results?

Defining Our Idea of Success

We all know when we meet someone who’s successful. Sometimes it’s hard to put our finger on the quality, but when we connect with inspiring, dynamic, successful people, we’ll likely notice that they all share some commonalities.

  • Successful people are magnanimous.
  • Successful people know how to “work the room.”
  • Successful folks know how to draw people in.
  • Successful people own it.
  • Somehow, the most successful people make every person they meet feel essential and vital to their mission, project, or task.

These universal traits of successful people aren’t all that mysterious. The question is how they acquired these qualities, and is it possible for us to tap into the same dynamic?

Before we examine the traits of successful people, it helps first to define what it means to be successful. Does a successful person make a lot of money? Are they at the pinnacle of their career? Are they attractive? Popular? There are a lot of different definitions of success, and most of us can probably agree that the markers of success may vary.


But in the most significant sense, all successful people are fulfilled. The most successful people are vision-driven. They’re leaders. Successful people have a sense of purpose.


Are these bastions of success happy all the time? Of course not! (Who is?) However, they’re generally positive and enjoying their life. They’re engaged and extracting the most out of every moment. Successful people might feel satisfied and confident in what they have and what they’ve achieved, but they also drive themselves forward to keep reaching the next milestone. Successful people don’t rest on their laurels; they strive for the next peak and the chance to tackle their next goal.

What Makes a Person Successful in Life? 5 Traits of Successful People

1. Successful People Know Their “Why”

Successful people understand their raison d’être: their reason for being. They know why they get up every day and why they want more. Successful people have a larger mission. They have a vision of where they want to end up.

One of the universal traits of successful people is that a higher purpose generally drives them both in their professional life and personal goals. Now, “higher-purpose” doesn’t mean they’re always religious or even spiritual. It means that they understand their true calling and impact on the world. They’re heeding the call, and it propels them forward. They’re not focused on the simple, temporal rewards that will only get them ahead in the here and now.

Successful people are mission-driven with their eyes on the prize. They stay laser-focused on their larger mission, even if it’s broad, lofty, or nearly unattainable.

2. They’re Willing to Fight

When we say that successful people are willing to fight, it might seem to contradict what we mentioned above. After all, didn’t we just say that successful people were magnanimous and driven by a higher purpose? That doesn’t sound like a person who’s argumentative or angry.

But there’s a distinction between being willing to fight FOR someone or something we believe in and being a petty, angry, or argumentative contrarian. Fighting for something means that we aren’t afraid of conflict because we recognize that conflict is sometimes a necessary step toward reaching a larger goal.

For example, it’s healthier for both parties when we fight for the betterment of a relationship (rather than zoning out or resorting to passive-aggressiveness). Similarly, it can be healthy and productive when we’re fighting for a cause or idea that we feel passionate about at work. We might even be the one who saves the company from a disaster rather than silently watching the ship sink.

Successful people aren’t doormats. They don’t ignore problems; they stand up and get their point across. They also handle their frustration responsibly—they don’t demean others or engage in collusion, bullying, or gossip. Instead, they rally and inspire others to their cause. They share the vision and engage in conflict because they believe in their cause and are willing to fight for it.

3. They’re Present in the Moment

Our lives are full of distractions, but successful people don’t let their distractions get in the way of fulfilling their yearnings. Successful people are mindful, present, and work to stay in the moment. Mindfulness roots us in the here and now rather than replaying the past or fearing the future. Mindfulness connects us with what we want—our deeper yearnings.

“If you’re not in touch with your yearnings…you may waste time and energy complaining to friends about how your company is being run by shortsighted leaders. Or you might miss that moment to love and to matter in your child’s life when you’re tucking her into bed, and she wants to talk, but your mind is jumping to all the “to do’s” left at work. Or maybe you dash off a hurried peck on the cheek to your mate on your way out the door and miss the opportunity to really see and appreciate each other for a moment while nourishing your yearning to love and be loved. When you are truly in harmony with what you yearn for, you experience every moment in a deeper and more fulfilling way.”
Transformed! The Science of Spectacular Living

Successful people don’t allow themselves to veer off course and waste time. They’re productive and focused. They don’t while away the hours with soft addictions like television, social media, and other methods people use to distract and numb themselves from reality. Instead, successful people stay fully engaged. They go for it! They’re in the moment because they know each moment gives them a chance to grow, explore, and get more out of life.

4. Successful People Practice “Know Thyself”

Now, depending on how we define success, we know that not all “successful people” are self-aware or self-actualized. Take a look at the current political climate or the latest corporate scandal! But people who are the most successful and get the most satisfaction out of their lives practice a growth mindset.


A growth mindset means learning from our mistakes and constantly exploring ways to be better. We’re figuring out our drivers, yearnings, and what our heart truly wants and needs to feel a sense of purpose.


Successful people identify ways to get what they want—what will bring them a sense of satisfaction. They aren’t afraid to roll up their sleeve and do the work to get to where they want to be.

When we learn new things, we form new neuropathways. These new experiences reshape and grow our brains. Without learning and growth, we become dull and stagnant. We may show signs of aging and cognitive decline. We start to disengage and checkout. We find ourselves on autopilot. When we stop growing, we experience the antithesis of success.

On the other hand, successful people explore their inner workings because they want to understand themselves. They aren’t afraid to do personal growth work. They work with coaches, mentors, allies, and peers to understand who they really are. Successful people know that unlocking the secrets of our personality, motivations, and yearnings helps us build up our emotional intelligence—our superpower!

5. They Listen and Lead

When we’re around successful people, we often feel more successful ourselves. It’s almost like osmosis. Transformational leaders become powerful because they share their vision of success with others. They don’t dictate their goals and tasks, but they lead people to realize their own visions. Then, they explore how those visions align and overlap to bring success to the entire team.

Successful leaders don’t bark orders at people. They don’t talk over others or treat them down. They’re assertive to be sure—they say what they want, but they also listen. They work to hear and understand their peers. They want to learn what drives others and what makes them tick. Successful people know that they’re only as good as their team, spouse, and social circle. Their bosses love them because they make their boss look great!

Listening is a powerful tool for success. Often, we want to power through our discussions with others and drag them toward our point. Yet, listening, suggesting, and guiding would get us better results and allow others to share in the success. We can learn to listen by practicing with others—stay in the moment, engage, and really hear what they’re trying to express. We can share our vision and figure out a path together to get what we both want.

Success isn’t a trait we’re born with or inherent talent. To become successful, we have to work and focus. We must be willing to grow, change, listen, and lead. The traits of successful people aren’t mysterious or secretive. The path to success is clear and attainable for anyone willing to do the work.

If you’re ready to find success, don’t miss our resources at Wright Now! We have courses and materials to help you bring out your best in your career, relationship, and personal life. Get more of what you want today!

 


About the Author

Judith Wright receives the Visionary Leader Award from Chicago NAWBO.

Dr. Judith Wright is a media favorite, sought-after inspirational speaker, respected leader, peerless educator, bestselling author, & world-class coach. She is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.
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The Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential is a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Foundation performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

What is Life Coaching?
Do I Need a Life Coach?

Maybe you’ve reached a crossroads in your life. Perhaps you’re at a stuck point in your career or relationship. Maybe you’re not sure what you want to do next. You find yourself asking, “Do I need a life coach?”


Before you decide to engage with a life coach, it’s important to understand what life coaches do (and what they don’t). Life coaches can be instrumental at certain points in life, especially when you’re in the right place to fully use their services.

So what is life coaching? What should you expect out of coaching?

What is Life Coaching?

What is life coaching? If you’re asking yourself, “do I need a life coach,” you may be looking in the wrong direction. Life coaching isn’t something that emerges from a need. You don’t NEED life coaching. It comes from desire—a desire to get MORE out of life and be your best.


If you think you need life coaching to fix your problems, chances are you may actually need a therapist or counselor.


Just like an athlete needs a physical therapist to work an injured area of their body, a therapist helps you work on the areas of your mind and emotions you need help with.

A coach, whether sports coach or life coach, helps you bring out your best, so you can perform at your optimum level. Coaches help you improve your life by focusing your efforts on what’s already working. Coaches help you get to what you want to accomplish and achieve. A career coach coaches you on your professional goals; a relationship coach or marital coach coaches you on your relationships, just like a basketball coach helps your team reach the championship.

As with any sport, it’s difficult (if not impossible) to coach yourself to the top. We’d laugh if a professional team showed up and said, “We’re just going to coach ourselves this year.” Yeah right!

If fans heard that, they’d sell their season tickets and expect the team to fall apart. Similarly, we can look at Olympic athletes. If they have an athletic talent or skill that they want to refine to make their way to a gold medal, they need a coach. In fact, when it comes to Olympic dreams, athletes need the very best coach that they can find.

If we want Olympic-level lives, we need the same level of coaching. Succeeding and getting the most out of life requires the mastery of many skills—social, emotional, and physical. For an Olympic quality life, we need a coach in our corner. Even the most talented athlete can’t coach themselves to a championship, so why would we expect to coach ourselves to a championship life? A good life coach will help us discover what we need to do to unlock the door to a win.

What Does a Life Coach Do?

So how does a life coach help us unlock those big wins? Is it accountability or something else? If we have strong relationships with our friends, do we still need an outside life coach too?


A professional life coach helps in many ways beyond simple goal setting, accountability, and achievement. Life coaching isn’t only about checking in regularly or receiving advice. A good life coach doesn’t give advice at all.


An excellent life coach helps clients explore how they feel about their world and how they feel about themselves. More importantly, a great life coach won’t simply tell clients the answer or solve their problems—instead, they help clients evolve and work through their problems, empowering them to find their own solutions. In life coaching, we understand that the best answer is one someone discovers for themselves.

A professional life coach will help clients build on their strengths and identify their paths. A life coach won’t lay out the path for their clients and hand them a map, but instead, they help them find their own road along their journey. A life coach isn’t someone who gives advice or tells people what to do. Instead, they help people examine what they want and where they want to go with their life. A great coach will help their clients engage and fully live their life.

Who Does Life Coaching Help?

While life coaching doesn’t replace therapy or counseling, life coaching is for everyone. Yes, it can be most effective at discovering and playing up strengths, but coaching can work at any time. Often when we try a new endeavor like taking a class or reading a book, we apply a few of the ideas for a while. Then, when we don’t get lasting transformation and change, we think to ourselves, “Well, I tried, and it didn’t work.”

Instead, it can be helpful for us to reframe the thought pattern of “it didn’t work” to look at what we can learn and take away from the experience. We can examine the results that the experience did bring about, and those results can help us extract more from our other life experiences. Everything we read, try, and work on gives us more knowledge and ultimately brings about a result. It may not always be the result we want, but we always get a result.

Perhaps we’ve been through some life changes or reached a make-or-break point in our career. Or maybe we need to resuscitate our social lives because we’ve become “all work and no play.” Perhaps we’re entering back into the dating game after a divorce or a breakup. Or maybe we want to work on our relationship with our spouse because we feel it’s become strained or lost the “spark.” A life coach can help us navigate through all these struggles.

A relationship coach guides us through conflict and helps us figure out the real heart of the fight. (Hint: conflict isn’t always a negative sign—it can actually mean engagement and growth!) A relationship coach can help us discover more intimacy and a greater connection with our partner to regain that magic and take it to the next level.

We might be the most successful person in our workplace. We might be at the top of our game. We might have a great marriage, a wonderful connection with our kids, and fulfilling social life, but we might still be nagged by the feeling that there could be MORE.

Life coaching can help us discover how to extract even MORE goodness out of the good things in our lives. It can help us level up and get even better.

How Does Life Coaching Work?

So, how does life coaching work? What should we expect when we engage with a life coach? Do we look up coaching online and go with it?

If we feel like we’re going through the motions—wondering if this really is all there is—it may be time to investigate work with a life coach. A coach helps us get more out of life. They can help us focus on our vision and work toward a path of greater meaning and purpose.


Getting started with a coach means finding someone who is professional, experienced, and who understands us. At the Wright Foundation, our students work with our Chicago-based life coaches one-on-one.


They also do peer-to-peer work in small groups. Our approach to life coaching is based on neuroscience. We explore how our brains process and experience different interactions and use that exploration to reframe and change our mindset. Through mindfulness—not just awareness, but deep, intentional engagement—we can all live life more fully. We can start engaging at the speed of life.

Our approach also offers a way for our students to engage with others at the top of their careers, trying to take it to the next level. Like a professional sports team plays together, relying on their individual strengths to help each other move towards a goal, our Chicago life coaches and peers help each other maximize their potential. Our students discover untapped resources and social and emotional strengths that help them find success in their career, sales, marriage, and life in general.

Working with a life coach can help us bring out the best in all areas of our lives. A great coach helps us reflect on past experiences and look beyond our current circumstances to find the next mountain to climb and the next beyond that. Working with a life coach helps us get better and better. Whether we work in sales, we’re an entrepreneur, work in tech, accounting, or education—anyone can benefit from transformational thinking. It’s all about learning to think beyond ourselves, transform ourselves, and reach out to transform and bring out the best in others.

If you’re ready to take the next steps toward living your best life, explore our coaching resources. You can learn about our Chicago-based life coaches and discover more about our workshops and educational offerings. We offer courses for download at Wright Now, so don’t miss the opportunity to get ahead in your career, relationships, and life.


About the Author

Dr. Bob Wright

Dr. Bob Wright is an internationally recognized visionary, educator, program developer, leadership and sales executive, best-selling author and speaker. He is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.

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Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

 

4 Reasons You’re Miserable at Work…and What to Do About It

Do you hate your job? Are you miserable at work? Do you get the “Sunday scaries” and dread the office on Monday? Are you wondering if it’s time to throw in the towel?

Miserable at work? Don't give up hope! Here are four reasons why your job makes you miserable and what you can do to turn it around.

 


 

Many of us are looking at our job satisfaction and wondering if we shouldn’t be getting more out of our work. We may think of moving on but feel afraid of the career and financial consequences. So we trudge in each day, accepting that we’re doomed to feel miserable at work.

If you’re unhappy at work, there are a few points to examine. Here’s why you might be so dissatisfied with your job.

Is It Me or Is it the Job?

As a coach, I often hear people complain about their job situation. Many people have told me that they’re miserable at work. But what does that really mean?


Underneath that misery could often be feelings of frustration, anger, hurt, and even boredom. It turns out we feel more satisfied when we’re challenged.


When we’re just going through the motions, trying to make it through the day, it might be time for a step back.

The first question is—does work have to be miserable? After all, it’s called work, not fun, right? Absolutely not! I’ve worked with hundreds of people who were satisfied, stimulated, and purpose-driven in their work. They had fulfilling job experiences, whether they were a CEO, an entry-level intern, or serving up coffee behind a counter.

4 Reasons Why We’re Miserable at Work

When we look at our mindset, we can often turn those feelings of being miserable at work into feelings of fulfillment, growth, and betterment. Are we getting in the way of our career satisfaction? Here are a few reasons we might feel miserable at work.

1. You’re Not Taking Personal Responsibility for Your Own Happiness

We are all responsible for our own actions. But what does personal responsibility at work mean?

Taking personal responsibility is the act of declaring: “I determine how I react to the world. I am responsible for my own self-care. I don’t expect others to take care of me, AND I take responsibility for my emotional responses.” In our work life, we could also add, “I’m personally responsible for giving work my all, every day.”


When we feel miserable at work, we should ask ourselves if we’re really pushing ourselves. Have we become stagnant in our work? Are we learning and growing with new challenges? If not, how can we take personal responsibility to ask for more challenging, engaging tasks?


When we don’t take personal responsibility, we enter a state of victimhood. We get stuck in a drama triangle, where we’re the helpless victim. We stop analyzing our situation and making choices to become more effective and happier. Instead, we are disempowered, in a hole of our own unhappiness. We’re blaming others for our problems without doing our part to improve our situation.

It turns out that people who are unhappy at work are often the same people with the least to do. Boredom is anger turned inward. When people take that attitude to work, they aren’t set up for success. They’re spinning their tires on the ice rather than moving forward and accomplishing tasks. When we face challenges and complete a task for the day, we feel accomplished and excited. These achievements lead to pride, joy, and job satisfaction.

Personal responsibility is about understanding that we each own our emotions and reactions at all times. We can make work a fun game or see it as drudgery. For example, I once hired an acquaintance and two temps to help with an envelope-stuffing project. The work was monotonous, but the acquaintance would stuff 300 envelopes at a time. When he finished his goal, he’d reward himself with a quick walk outside or a snack. Then he’d come back a get right back to work.

On the other hand, the temps viewed the task as dull and frustrating. My acquaintance ended up stuffing more envelopes than the two temps combined. He was much happier too. He didn’t complain or blame the task. Instead, he got to work and turned it into a game.

If we want more satisfaction at work, we must start to shift our perspective about what’s “fun.” How can we set a goal and work towards it? Setting a timer, creating a milestone, or seeing how efficiently we can complete a task can make the time pass quickly and leave us feeling satisfied.

2. You Have Authority Issues

When we were kids, we may have heard that we had a problem with authority. It happens to many people, me included. Like many of our childhood memories and ideas, our pushback and rebellious streak can continue to manifest in adulthood.


But just because our boss is bossy (or even a jerk—and they are out there), it doesn’t mean we need to be unhappy. We need to look at how we’re reacting and get honest with ourselves.


If we have issues with authority (if we’ve had similar feelings whenever someone else is in charge), we’ll probably react to any boss, supervisor, or manager in a volatile way. Whether that means we shut down and withdraw or resist and defend, we’re likely to face continuous conflict unless we explore our feelings.

There are two steps we can take to get a handle on our authority issues:

First Step: We can deal with our unfinished business. All of us carry unfinished business with us. These issues are often unresolved from our childhood (even if we had happy childhoods), and they can come up when we experience feelings of powerlessness or frustration.

Yes, our “jerk boss” might be overly aggressive or even a bully because he’s unhappy with himself. But we don’t have control over that. We can only control our actions and reactions. Some folks can really struggle with this area, and it’s essential to get to the root of the problem. It could stem from residual childhood issues with authority. Perhaps our boss brings up negative feelings we had about someone in our past (an older sibling, a teacher). Becoming aware of these emotions and projections helps us get on the right path to control our reactions and make confrontations constructive.

Second Step: Deal with it. It may sound harsh, but sometimes we face people who are just jerks. If we’ve done work to become conscious of our projections and emotional reaction, but our boss is still a problematic bully, then the real question is—is it worth it? Can we deal with it? Can we put aside the feelings and work with this person productively?


When we focus on effectively doing our job rather than the emotional ups and downs of the day, we might find a greater sense of empowerment and control.


We can ask about our performance and spark a conversation with our boss down the road. This presents a less-heated opportunity to confront our boss about their attitude honestly and openly.

How will the boss react? They may respond positively or negatively, but when we’ve honestly expressed our feelings in a responsible manner, we own them. Our boss may not listen, and they may not change, but these opportunities can teach us powerful lessons about our inner strength, skillset, and even how to do a better job. If the situation is genuinely unworkable, then it may be time to liberate ourselves from the job and find something that’s a better fit.

3. You Aren’t Recognizing and Honoring Emotions

Sometimes our misery at work doesn’t stem from our boss or the drudgery of the job. Sometimes we feel miserable at work because we aren’t connecting with others—customers, vendors, and coworkers. We’re letting our emotions take over without examining their origins.

Take, for example, if we feel really angry at a coworker. When we engage our emotional intelligence, we own, examine, and understand our emotions. We explore where our anger comes from, and we own our part in it. As a result, we can engage in productive, honest conflict with the other person and find a proactive way to resolve the situation. We can learn and grow from every interaction, thus nourishing our emotional and social intelligence.

Where do these emotions and projections come from? Childhood lessons and values can project onto our adult selves and influence our interactions with others. People often become their childhood selves while interacting with those who remind them of certain family members or friends. One person may stir feelings of comfort and happiness—like a favorite aunt. Another person may evoke feelings of inadequacy, like our demanding dad.

When we examine everyone we have issues with at work, we might discover some distinct familiarities with our relatives and friends from the past. Examine these issues to determine what we might be projecting onto others, whether good or bad. Recognizing our emotions can help those emotional intelligence skills grow.

4. You Don’t Have Social Intelligence Skills

Social and emotional intelligence skills help us understand people’s emotions and reactions. Social intelligence is the ability to understand what other people are feeling, then learning to influence them positively and productively.

If we want to explore our social intelligence skills, we can ask ourselves questions like:

  • Am I a contributing team member?
  • Do I ensure my colleagues are working effectively?
  • Do I support the team?
  • Am I helping everyone win by contributing?
  • Am I open and honest in communications with everyone at the company?
  • Do I try to better both my work and myself?

Some people lack social intelligence skills because they lack emotional intelligence too. They don’t understand their emotions and reactions. One leads to the other, and both skills are essential for happiness and satisfaction in work and life.

For example, if we feel like we’re on a team that drags us down, we can turn it around and ask, “What have I done to lift my team today?” That’s part of that social and emotional intelligence in practice. If we take responsibility for ourselves, even when others are not, we can be socially aware and carefully, responsibly, and clearly communicate our feelings. We can start to understand our colleagues and how they might react and then engage with them accordingly.

How to Stop Being Miserable at Work

All these reasons go hand-in-hand with why we might feel miserable at work. I’m not interested in just helping people be “happier” at work. I’m interested in helping them have a wildly successful career of fulfillment and satisfaction. Most of us won’t be happy every day with every task, but we can shift our mindset to find purpose in every task.

The 4 reasons for being miserable at work are in a very specific order for a reason. The first step is taking responsibility for ourselves. Then we must deal with our authority issues, increase our emotional awareness, and build our social and emotional intelligence.

Learning these social and emotional intelligence skills allows us to create joyous work, practice gratitude, learn and grow in an adventuresome way. We will discover more about ourselves, others, and our world every day.

To build up your career satisfaction, don’t miss the courses available at Wright Now. We have insightful resources to help you increase your satisfaction in your relationships, career, and with yourself. Don’t miss the opportunity to live a life of more!


About the Author

Dr. Bob Wright

Dr. Bob Wright is an internationally recognized visionary, educator, program developer, leadership and sales executive, best-selling author and speaker. He is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.


Learn more about Wright Living’s Career & Leadership Coaching in Chicago & Career Coaching Courses in Chicago.

Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

How to Be a Leader Wherever You Are

Many of us want to be a leader—at work, at home, amongst our social group. But we may assume that we’re not in a position to lead.


Be the boss outside of work too. The Wright Foundation can teach you how to be a leader wherever you are.


Maybe we’re new to the group. Maybe we’re around people whose personalities are more assertive and more dominant. Perhaps we’re just starting a job at the entry level.

The truth is that we can be a leader wherever we are. So what does it take to be a leader? The capabilities are inside all of us. It’s a matter of unlocking our inner-leader and learning how to build rapport with the group.

Today we’ll explore what it takes to be a leader and how to be a leader from any position. If you’re ready to take the reins, here’s what you need to know.

Identifying Leadership Opportunities

When should we step up to lead? Is it appropriate to lead in any situation, or do we need a signal, title, or training to be a leader?


Leadership opportunities present themselves all the time—both in our careers and in our personal lives. We may not realize it, but we can embrace an opportunity to lead in almost any situation.


I’ve talked to people struggling to discover their inner leader—people wrestling with leadership conundrums in their lives, even if they aren’t the highest-paid person on the payroll.

Leadership is within each of us, and there are chances to lead in any situation. Any time we’re in a group, we’re presented with an opportunity to be a leader. Will the group always respond positively to our leadership? Not always, but as we learn how to build transformational leadership skills, we’ll start to lead in a way that inspires at motivates. When we lead with emotional intelligence, we help each group member bring out their vision and their best—including our own.

So the big question is: what is a transformational leader? What does it take to lead with vision, inspiration, and emotional intelligence?

Transformational leaders display certain universal qualities. To be a leader, we don’t need to be the funniest person in the room, the loudest, the smartest, or even the most inventive. Transformational leaders can motivate others because they engage with them. They see each person on the team and help them bring out their best.

A transformational leader:

  1. Walks the talk—they do what they say, keep their commitments, and lead with integrity.
  2. Has a sense of vision, and they share that vision with those around them.
  3. Are interested in the well-being of each individual in the group. They keep everyone engaged.

When we see a transformational leader at work, we might notice they don’t walk in the room and demand attention. Instead, they command attention. There’s a subtle but significant difference. Commanding attention means listening and engaging with others. It doesn’t mean getting their ideas out first or with the most confidence and bravado. The best leaders are good at getting things done because they are open to all possibilities. They allow everyone in the group to bring their very best to the table.

Leaders Understand Culture on Multiple Levels

We hear a lot about culture these days—whether it’s a discussion on a person’s background and culture of origin, the company culture, or the zeitgeist of the moment. If we want to discover what it takes to be a leader, we need to understand culture from all aspects. There’s a lot of reward for those who understand culture—not only in terms of their teams. Many consultants are highly paid to help business leaders understand company culture and shore up gaps for their employees.


Transformational leaders understand the culture of the country where they’re working. They know the city’s culture, the company culture, and the culture of every individual in their purview.


Successful businesses get that way because their leadership understands the importance of culture to their organization. Culture is an unspoken society, rules, and atmosphere of an organization. It’s the personality.

In any group where we want to lead, we need to connect with the culture of each member. Culture is different than understanding their race or religion. It’s about engaging in a deeper understanding of what makes them tick. When we connect with someone on that level, we can truly bring out their best. We start to understand their motivations, their fears, their concerns, and their needs. We prioritize their well-being and see them for who they are.

The company’s rules, roles, and expectations must be clearly outlined for all of those operating within those parameters. As the organization’s culture builds and grows, employees should start to identify and understand the culture. When I hear complaints about employee behavior, it’s often because the employees are operating with no idea what the rules and expectations of management really are. The parameters haven’t been defined, and the culture is nebulous and unclear. If the expectations aren’t clearly outlined, we aren’t setting up our group for success.

How to Be a Leader and Motivate a Team

We’ve all been part of a team where everyone is pissing and moaning about the way things are done. They complain about the expectations of management. Nothing productive happens. It’s incredibly frustrating.

When a transformational leader is stationed with a group of whiners, they don’t fuel the fire. They acknowledge the feelings of the group and listen, but they don’t contribute to the frustration. Instead, they focus on the future. When we’re faced with a situation where everyone is feeling demotivated, we can say something like, “I know no one is happy about the situation. We can either figure out a way to get it done professionally and productively, or we can piss and moan and spin our wheels. So what are our next steps?”

Whether we’re faced with a room of two-year-olds or forty-two-year-olds, offering a choice is always motivating. No one (at any age) likes to be told what they must do. People don’t respond well to orders and barked directions. Instead, we can articulate the dilemma, understand and acknowledge the feelings of the group, and then help them choose to move forward and stay productive.

If we opt to relate by joining in on the whining and collusion, we keep it going. We continue to perpetuate the cycle of unproductive behavior. It’s far better (and more efficient) to acknowledge and validate feelings and move forward with the plan. The project may indeed be daunting and even unpleasant. Team members may validly be upset at the situation. All feelings are valid (there are no bad or wrong feelings), but when we must move forward, it doesn’t help to dwell in the negative space.

Instead, we can appeal to the group’s hearts and minds. Alfred Adler theorized that by giving people a choice, we help create motivation. A choice invites people to feel self-respect and gives them a chance to jump in and offer new solutions to the problem.

Be a Leader by Understanding & Connecting

When people feel unmotivated, it can indicate that they’re out of touch with their emotional intelligence. In many cases, they may be holding back out of fear. Either they fear failure or fear that they aren’t being heard and their needs aren’t being met.


Every person yearns for certain things. They may yearn to be seen and heard, yearn for respect, love, security. Transformational leaders understand those yearnings and acknowledge them. They understand people’s fears and concerns and reassure them that they’re being heard.


We can still take a leadership role when we’re part of a group where we aren’t the designated leader. For example, when our manager or boss is faced with a naysayer or an adversary, we can support them in what they’re saying. We can show that we’re behind them and rooting for the success of the entire team. I’ve been in many situations where a whole room will start to hear someone out simply because they see me supporting the speaker and siding with them.

There will always be people who will balk at leadership and management. In any given situation, there will likely be pushback. Sometimes it’s for a good reason—for example, someone isn’t leading with values or integrity. Other times it’s because the team member is negative and difficult. Rather than allowing those negative people to dominate the conversation, we can co-lead by helping the group support and align with the leader’s vision.

When management sees how we support them and share their vision, they’ll listen with respect and hold us in the same regard. When we use our leadership skills to bring out our best and the best of those around us, we can succeed in any situation.

If you’re ready to discover more about yourself and unlock your leadership skills, don’t miss our courses at Wright Now. We have many different resources and online classes to help you discover more about your career, relationships, and yourself. Start getting more out of life today!

 

Tips for Professional Networking Events You’ll Actually Enjoy

Professional networking events—we’ve all been there. Here are some new ways to think about making business connections.

 

Looking for tips for your next professional networking events? Here are some new ways to think about making business connections.


Professional networking events—we’ve all been there. Usually, we mull around the room awkwardly, a glass in our hands, trying to munch on a few crackers and talk to strangers between bites.

We’ve all read the tips for professional networking events, too, like “practice your elevator pitch” or “remember to ask for a business card.” Perhaps we follow a mnemonic device like picking out a color on someone’s tie to associate them with what they do or repeating their name three times during the conversation.

But do networking tips ever really work? Does anyone actually enjoy networking events, and do they even pay off? Are we just wasting our time?

The Secret to Better Networking

If we really want to be better at networking, we can throw most of the standard tips for professional networking events out the window. The goal of networking isn’t about how many contacts we can make or how many business cards we can collect. The real goal is to build a real, quality connection.

If we walk out of the room with one great, authentic connection, it’s far more valuable than ten business cards that we’ll toss in a drawer and forget. The truth is, we can build that great connection with almost anyone. Will it always be a relationship that will pay off professionally? Perhaps. But if we’re only looking for new customers and clients, we’re approaching professional networking with the wrong mindset.

We should look at events as though we’re the host. What does that mean? It means we assess the needs of others in the room. We may welcome them; we might ask if we can get something for them. Most importantly, we show a genuine personal interest in them—not because we want to “sell” them something or because we want to get their card, but because we actually see them for the person they are. We sincerely want to get to know them.


In many ways, professional networking events are akin to speed dating. It’s a quick snapshot of another person.


Most people try to “work the room” looking for someone who will be useful to them as a customer or who will be the next person who can give them something. But we’ve found that it’s far more engaging (and authentic) when we flip that idea on its head.

When we hold events at the Wright Foundation, we help attendees take a different angle. Even if our events are career-focused, we know that authentic engagement doesn’t simply come from reporting what we do or talking about the nuances of our day-to-day tasks. If we want to really network with people, we need to find better ways to connect with them on a deeper human level. We need to focus on human networking, not just professional networking. That means looking at who the person is. It means listening and engaging, not on a superficial level, but in a genuine way.


What if we look at networking as a chance to find out what the other person needs and how we can deliver it to them? What if we gave ourselves the challenge, not to see how many people we could meet, but how deeply we could engage with just one person at the event?


What if we went beyond the elevator pitch to discuss the real struggles our peers are facing in their careers? We might find out far more if we asked about the biggest challenge they have at their office or the largest roadblock they’re facing right now. Will we be able to help them with that problem? It’s hard to say, but chances are that when we start to really engage with each other, we’ll find ways to help each other now or in the future.

Engagement by Authenticity

When we begin many of our events at the Wright Foundation, we start by discussing and filling out the C.A.R.E. personality profile. The profile isn’t simply about what people do and their career goals, but who they are in any situation. It helps people understand how they interact with each other—are they Cooperators? Do they tend to be Analyzers? Are they Regulator types who want to be in charge? Or are they Energizers who lead the crowd with enthusiasm?

When people start to reach deeper into their personality type, they begin to talk about those bigger-picture concepts—who they are, what they value, where they struggle. It gets to the core of their emotional intelligence, their values, and their vision. In other words, things get real. Instead of putting forth a polished, professional, generic answer to questions, they start to really open up and talk about their approach and perspective on business and, more importantly, on life.

We may think that our business life and personal life are entirely separate and never cross over, but the truth is that most of us display very similar personality traits, whether we’re at home or the office. We don’t turn into a different person when we lock our office door and drive home. Many times, our relationships at work are similar to our relationships with our family and friends. We may have similar challenges, communication styles, and reactions. We may even find that certain work connections mirror certain relationships in our family life. Our boss might be very similar to our mother, or a coworker may remind us of the relationship we have with our brother. We often see these dynamics repeat in different areas of our life.


So it stands to reason that the personality we bring to the networking event should be the same personality we have all the time. Rather than presenting a curated “professional” persona, what if we were simply our true, authentic selves? What if we actually answered questions honestly and truthfully?


Like professional networking, when we go on dates, we often have this idea of putting our polished selves out there. We might dress a certain way, answer questions with what we think our date wants to hear, or we may try to order something from the menu that seems “appropriate.” But what if we were open and honest about who we were and what we really wanted? What if we weren’t trying to seduce someone with a concept of who we might be, but instead, we made it a goal to engage with them as our true selves?

It seems funny at first to think of walking into a date wearing sweatpants and saying, “I have $20,000 of student loan debt, four cats, and I would like to order the lobster, please.” But what if we did just that (assuming it’s reflective of who we really are)? After all, after a few dates, chances are our love interest is going to discover the cats and see us in sweats. Presumably, at some point, they will also discover our student loan debt, and we will eat something expensive and messy in front of them. What if we cut the crap and got to the truth right away?

Becoming radically honest in our interactions may seem challenging. Or we may even think, “Okay, maybe that’s fine for our social lives, but not in professional settings.” But if we’re living our best lives and reaching our fullest potential, why not embrace our authentic selves in our interactions?

Make Your Next Professional Networking Event Fun

So how do we apply these tips and ideas to our next professional networking event? In the past, many of us may have gone in with a goal like “get the most business cards” or “get x number leads.”

This time we can make it a game to see if we can instead push ourselves to have better engagement. Instead of thinking of a business networking event as a serious event when you need to generate leads, take the pressure off. Instead, focus on better human engagement and building stronger connections. Make it an event that’s actually fun and exciting—treat it as an experiment and a new adventure!

What will this mean when we’re working the room? Instead of rushing through conversations, really listen. Instead of asking superficial questions about the weather, what the person does, or general topics, really go for the deeper discussions right away. What if we asked people, “What is your biggest problem? What do you need right now? How are you REALLY doing?”

From there, we can listen with intention. Ask ourselves how we will see the other person for who they truly are? How will we hold space for them as they engage with us? More critical than practicing “active listening tips,” where we’re trying to retain information (and waiting for the next break in conversation so we can share), simply listen. Focus on what the other person is saying. Get to know them and when asked for information, communicate with the same openness and candor.


When we start to really see people not as business cards or potential leads but as beautiful human beings who are waiting to engage with us, we’ll experience a paradigm shift. The way we communicate will change.


If we want deeper engagement with others, we don’t need to wait for a special “networking event” either. We can find opportunities to engage with others throughout our day. Build your network of social connections by finding ways to engage with the barista at the coffee shop. Talk to the person next to you on the train. Strike up a conversation in the elevator that goes beyond, “nice weather we’re having.”

Our network builds our net worth. The more social ties we can cultivate and grow, the stronger our engagement skills become. Our circle of influence will broaden, and we’ll enjoy all the benefits of the networking event called life.

For more personal development ideas and opportunities to boost your career, explore our courses at Wright Now. We offer an array of class selections to help you discover a life of MORE.


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The Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential is a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Foundation performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

What Does it Mean to Be Authentic?

Research has proven that authenticity is one of the most critical traits for good leaders.

Want to be a better leader? In order to be effective, you must answer the question: what does it mean to be authentic?

 


Displaying authenticity and integrity leads to better, more effective direction and management. But before we delve into the importance of authenticity, we must define it. What does it mean to be authentic?

On a similar note, what are the qualities of an authentic person and how can we implement those qualities in our lives every day in order to be more engaged and connected to those around us?

Honesty and Authenticity

Several years back, I worked with a guy named Ray, who attended one of our men’s basic training sessions. He worked with the top Fortune 500 companies. After attending our weekend retreat, he found himself facing a major client who was having some operating issues in his company.

Now, during our training, we tell hard truths. We get extremely honest with each other—very real and straightforward. We urge our attendees to start delivering honest criticism with vision and to stop holding back out of fear of rejection. The shocking discovery is that consistently, people trust those who are honest, even if they’re critical, more than those who tell them what they want to hear. Ray was so inspired by what he’d seen during his weekend coursework that he decided to apply it in his meeting with this big-wig client.

Rather than glossing over some of the harsher truths about how the client was operating, he went in straight-forward and laid it out on the table. He told the client exactly what his observations were about the business—what was working and what wasn’t.

He later related to us that he was absolutely terrified while he was doing it. Like many top dogs, this client was used to hearing people kiss up and tell him what he wanted to hear. He wasn’t as used to the harsh truths and honesty that Ray was handing to him. But lo and behold, the client absolutely appreciated the honesty. In fact, he thanked Ray right there on the spot.

Years later, their professional relationship was still going strong. In fact, this client trusted Ray more than any other consultants that he worked with and their work relationship formed into a friendship. The client often contacts Ray for personal advice and more—why? Because he trusts Ray to be an authentic, integrous person.

Dr. Tony Simons of Cornell University discussed the need for integrity in leadership in the hospitality industry. In his research, he discovered that integrity is one of, if not the most critical leadership skill that can lead to an actual bottom-line business return; he refers to as the “integrity dividend.” What’s more, the value of integrity is actually very high. Honest leaders that display integrity and authenticity in their interactions are rare, and thus highly prized.

Leaders who actually do what they say they’re going to do and who follow through with their plans are trusted by their employees, coworkers, and clients. As a result, their companies perform better financially. There is truly a payout for operating with integrity, honesty, and authenticity.

The Qualities of Transformational Leaders

Authenticity is one of the most important variables in leadership. When researchers Bass and Riggio did their study of transformational leadership, they discovered that there were universal characteristics of transformational leaders.

Transformational leaders have a vision. They are able to articulate and share their vision with those they work with. They have a clear idea of where they’re headed and how they plan to get there. In each situation, they’re working toward a larger vision.


Transformational leaders want people around them to be engaged. When they come into a meeting (even if they aren’t the one’s hosting the meeting), they engage with others. They rally the team and get everyone involved. They’re interested in others and approach them with understanding.


Transformational leaders care about each individual they lead, and those individuals feel that care and know it exists. It’s easy to say, “I care about my coworkers,” but how many of our team members really feel that care? How many of them know how much you truly care about them?

Most importantly, transformational leaders walk their talk. This means they’re genuine. They understand what it means to be authentic and to act with integrity. They’re honest and truthful. They face up to their mistakes, admit them and learn from them. They’re accepting of themselves and of others. They really live and practice what they preach.

Those who work with and under transformational leaders are less likely to suffer from stress. Transformational leaders have excellent team-building skills and this sense of comradery and unity benefits the entire group. The group is able to build off strengths and easily overcome challenges. Best of all, both the transformational leaders and those who worked with them experienced greater job satisfaction and happiness.

The good news about transformational leadership is that each of us can display these traits. We don’t need to be in a c-level position to be authentic. We can engage, connect with others, and lead from any position and in any role.

What Does It Mean to Be Authentic in Our Daily Lives?

Whether we’re displaying authenticity at work or at home, the concept is the same—we must be true to ourselves and our vision. We must be honest with ourselves and honest with those around us.

Authenticity becomes the primary variable in transformational leadership and one of the most important qualities of a leader, but this isn’t limited to our work lives. Yes, work is often where we think of leadership qualities and skills as being important, but we are still the same person at the end of the day. We don’t change when we go out the door to our 9-5.


Learning how to be authentic means being honest with ourselves in our social lives and in our interactions with our friends and family as well.


Many people may believe they have a separate “work personality” or that their work personality is separate from their home life, but the truth is we’re the same person at work and at home.

One of the biggest illusions that people operate under is “that’s not really me.”  The “me” people like to deny at work is the me that has authority issues. At home, we tend not to feel or identify the same authority issues, so we think that we’re different. This perception is really an illusion.

If you’re not integrous at work, you’re probably not integrous at home. At home, you get to go on “autopilot” but are you really up-to-date and present with your spouse? Are you operating with honesty? Are you holding back out of fear or a desire not to rock the boat?

It’s similar to our feelings of holding back at work. We’re afraid of rocking the boat or being honest because we don’t want to lose our job. We go through the motions-working to make money—but failing to fully engage and embrace our role with honesty and authenticity.

In all situations, authenticity and honesty will lead to stronger connections and leadership. While we may not think of transformational leadership as something we can display outside of the office, it’s a universal skill in all aspects of our lives—work, home, socially, and beyond.

Living honest, authentic lives where we’re true to ourselves and others will result in bigger dividends across the board. If you want to live a richer, fuller, more powerful life, commit to operating with authenticity and genuineness.

For more ways to find fulfillment and joy in your life, please visit us at the Wright Foundation. Join us for an upcoming networking event where you’ll connect with others on their transformational journey. Go forth and ignite your world by living up to your fullest potential.


About the Author

Dr. Bob Wright

Dr. Bob Wright is an internationally recognized visionary, educator, program developer, leadership and sales executive, best-selling author and speaker. He is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.


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The Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential is a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

 

Looking Beyond the Midterm Elections In Quest for Humanity’s Master Code

The following is a Guest Blog by Dr. Don Beck, author of Spiral Dynamics. For more information, visit his website at: www.spiraldynamics.org

I want you to stand 30 years in the future and tell me if the America you see is the one you envisioned in November 2018.

Politics today feel like a tug-of-war. We need to look beyond the Midterm Elections in our quest for humanity’s Master Code.


Has the “us vs. them” polarization disappeared? Have we become a stronger union because of it, or did one side of the political spectrum overpower the other and forever silence it? If it’s the latter, then look closer and see what has become of the other side. Has it transformed ideologically or has its repressed voice become even a greater vehicle for division sowing seeds for another civil war?

The question posed here might have caught you by surprise, but it is the type of exercise that triggers a mass learning experience. I have used it in academic settings as a professor of social psychology to address the unrest we experienced in the 1960s. In later years it became a conversation started for large-scale systems change that take years if not decades to fully manifest as the next cultural expression of values.

As a doctoral student of Muzafer Sherif, one of the founding fathers of social psychology, I learned early in my career about the psychosocial characteristics of conflict resolution. Oftentimes, competition for political leadership can lead to negative prejudices, frozen stereotypes, and fractious interparty conflicts. These are the early signs of trouble. As competition increases, each side moves towards an-all-or-nothing endpoint making it difficult to find common ground. Under this type of political division, one side enjoys the spoils of victory, while the other waits in the wings for its turn ignoring the real damage the discord is causing to the very fabric of a country.

I have been a witness to these political dynamics several times in my life in many hot spots around the world. They were present in South Africa where, over a 10-year period, I helped the country’s leaders design conflict-minimizing measures to ensure a smooth transition from Apartheid. If you’ve seen the movie Invictus then you’ve seen the work I’ve done on nation-building through sports after years of helping Mandela and de Klerk create a future vision for South Africa. Similar efforts were undertaken in the West Bank and Israel.

In both of these initiatives, what gave people hope is the idea that a peaceful, conflict-free future is possible. This type of optimism and long-term thinking is exactly what is absent from today’s political debate in America. Just as the right vilified President Obama, the left is doing the same with President Trump. Both sides of the political spectrum have become closed-minded, set on demonizing the other side and rejecting any and all ideas on compromise regardless of their merit. Things can’t possibly get any worse.

But here’s where solutions begin: the creation of super-ordinate goals. This concept comes from one of Sherif’s research efforts called the Robber’s Cave Experiment. At the heart of this model is the idea that groups in conflict, who don’t see a compromise with the other side as a possibility, must be made aware of the bigger picture and the resulting consequences should division worsen.

The definition of a super-ordinate goal is one that both sides to a conflicting desire to achieve but cannot do so on their own and must enroll the help of the other. It is working together to avert disastrous outcomes that neither side desires. This is what responsible leadership at the highest level must undertake, but unfortunately, the world has not seen it happen too many times.

Historically when countries fail to properly formulate superordinate goals the results, at best have been further division and at worse devastating wars. Unfortunately, the belief systems of both political parties in America today have become so rigid that ideas, like saving the planet or stopping climate change as superordinate goals, don’t speak to all sides equally. These values are generally associated with the progressive liberal side of the political spectrum that has been demonized and thrown into the enemy camp. Similarly, ideas on merit, self-reliance, limited government, and jobs for all Americans receive the same level of vitriol as they become rigidly demonized into the conservative side of the political spectrum.

When there’s clarity on a nation’s superordinate goal, it is the middle that’s made up of pragmatists and conciliators on both sides that kept the system moving smoothly. Seniority and political craftsmanship was its hallmark. Unfortunately today, that middle has disappeared and those who hold seniority on both sides are choosing not to run for reelection leaving the nation more polarized.

The solution to our predicament does not lie in whom we elect in the midterms. It has more to do with a political system that needs to be informed by a new superordinate goal that speaks to the future. Our current political parties are beholden to values of a bygone era informed by the standards of the Industrial Age. This is the narrative that suppresses the emergence of new paradigms. The voices of our politically ambitious youth are muffled. The minute they declare their desire to change the system, they’re thrown into the dark rigid confines of the two political parties. The result is more of the same gridlock.

I can’t claim to have all the answer for, or to know the finer details of a superordinate goal that has a future pull for all of America. But I do know this: the future of American politics is not a fight between the left and the right. It is a fight between the future and the past and we have to make room for young leadership to emerge. Solutions in the future will be based on leadership that deploys the talents of the “best fit” that champion the values of “thrive and let thrive” not on rigid ideologies of the left or the right which today only produce “win-lose” outcomes and create further division.

Historically, we have called on the youth in the military to defend us against enemies. Today, we must help our youth create a positive superordinate goal and empower them to pursue it so when we stand 30 years in the future, we can look back and be proud of our actions today. That’s leadership at the highest level that’s sorely missing from politics today.

By Dr. Don Beck
drbeck@spiraldynamics.net
Nov. 4, 2018


About the Author

Dr. Don Edward Beck

Dr. Don Edward Beck is a teacher, geopolitical advisor, and theorist focusing on applications of large scale psychology, including social psychology, evolutionary psychology, organizational psychology and their effect on human sociocultural systems. He is the co-author of the “Spiral Dynamics” theory, an evolutionary human development model. He spent many years adapting the work of his mentor and colleague, developmental psychologist Clare W. Graves, Professor Emeritus in Psychology at Union College in New York.


 

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The Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential is a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

Find Your Strengths to Get Ahead at Work

 

We all have skills, right? I bet you can probably list them right off your resume.


You might think I mean typing or data entry or understanding HTML—and sure, those certainly are skills, but they’re not what really makes you shine.

I’m not even talking about the things you studied in school or even what you went to college for—although, I’m sure what you’ve learned has helped you on your career path as well. Whether you’re a nurse or a teacher, or if you have an MBA, you’ve probably acquired some very job-specific skills.

While these skills are useful and will serve you well, they’re not what will really make you stand out from all the other nurses or teachers or managers. Those skills are important, but they won’t help you get ahead.

I’m not talking about those “resume skills”…I’m talking about strengths. To be successful, we each have to identify our own unique strengths.

Our strengths come from our personality profile.

You might be a great sales guy or gal and maybe you know how to close a deal like no other.

Maybe they call you in when they need to pull a team together and rally the troops. Perhaps you have the ability to create harmony in any situation.

Or maybe you’re a cheerleader who can bring energy to every project and get the whole team excited about performing.

Perhaps you’re the type who can assess a problem, target a solution and organize technical data without becoming overwhelmed…and maybe you even like it?

These strengths are inherent to YOU. They’re the things that make you special and differentiate you from the rest of the crowd at your office. They’re your social intelligence skills. They help you communicate with others and they shape the way you engage and interact with those around you. These strengths are the “energy” you bring to your team.

There are four core personality types—Cooperator, Analyzer, Regulator, and Energizer (what we call the C.A.R.E. profile). For some of us, we may be surprised to learn our strengths aren’t where we thought.

The sooner you find your strengths, the sooner you’ll be on your way to advocating for yourself, building on your strengths, and overcoming areas that are not-so-strong. The sooner you identify your strengths, the sooner you’ll find your inner leader. Once you know your personality type, you’re taking your first steps toward emerging into your next, most radiant self.

Discover Your Leadership

Are you a leader?

Maybe you don’t think of yourself as someone who stands out. You might be an introvert. You might dread dealing with crowds or public speaking. Maybe the thought of talking in a meeting is enough to turn your stomach (or at least make you sweat).

Guess what? We can ALL be leaders. Each and every person has leadership within them. That’s right! Every person has the ability to bring a team together and inspire others to greatness. YOU can engage, you can listen, and you can inspire! You can lead from wherever you are.

Not everyone has to be the person who rallies the troops (the Energizer), or the one that goes in to make a hard sale (the Regulator)—but whether you’re leading your fellow IT members through a successful data mapping or you’re leading the nurses on your wing to more efficient procedures, there’s leadership within every person.

Learning to work within your personality type to play up your strengths and compensate for areas that might be less comfortable for you is part of increasing your social and emotional intelligence. The foundation and ability to achieve greatness is within each and every one of us.

We are all gifts. We bring our experiences, our knowledge, our strengths and our personality into each situation. We have a blend of experiences that’s uniquely our own. We can draw on those pieces in each new interaction and situation.

To discover your inner leader, you need to unlock your communication abilities and keep working on your social intelligence. Build on your personality strengths and use them as a launch pad for growth. Social intelligence helps you read and interact effectively with different personalities. It helps you “get along” with others…and it also helps you stand out from the crowd.


“We are all designed to live great lives. It is through being socialized that we limit our capacity. The good news is that we can reignite this natural capacity. We have no doubt that you’re capable of greatness. This is not starry-eyed optimism but pragmatic certainty. We’ve coached and trained many people who’ve achieved spectacular results in every area of their lives. They have learned to transform—that is, to consciously reignite their capacity to live ever-greatening lives.

If you think you want…to discover your next most radiant self, then get ready to have more fun, but also to get hurt more. There is no safety from pain—just a commitment to learning and growing from it. Radiance can take the form of laughter…Your next most radiant self will also be more open and less defensive and resistant, so you’ll experience more flow and aliveness. You’ll become increasingly real, sharing your pain and your joy, your anger and your fear, your gifts and your foibles. By continually developing emotional and social intelligence, you negotiate life’s inevitable knocks and problems with greater ease and benefits.”

Transformed! The Science of Spectacular Living


Is unlocking our personal strengths an easy task? Is it simple to discover our own personal power?

Yes and no. Transformation isn’t a switch you turn on and off, but a lifelong journey. Once you become your next most radiant self, you might realize there’s a NEXT even MORE radiant you beyond that, and beyond that…

Fortunately, as humans we have unlimited potential for greatness. We have the gift of neuroplasticity—the ability to grow and adapt our brains over time. When we reach adulthood, we don’t stop growing or learning, and in fact, the more we grow and learn the greater our capacity!

If you feel like you’ve stifled your inner leader, or you have the skills for the job but aren’t quite able to extract the leadership from your personality, examine where you fall on the profile, and use it as a guide to help you strengthen your social and emotional intelligence.

Within each person is a great leader. Find your strengths and challenge yourself to embrace them and you’re on your way to unlocking your next most radiant self!

For more on building your leadership, visit www.wrightliving.com. Go forth and ignite your world for a better tomorrow.


About the Author

Judith

Dr. Judith Wright is a media favorite, sought-after inspirational speaker, respected leader, peerless educator, bestselling author, & world-class coach. She is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.


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Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

What Motivates You?
Here’s How To Find Your Spark!

Finding out what motivates you is an interesting process, especially seeing as we’re all driven for different reasons. It’s about finding that deep down stirring that pushes you.

It’s what makes you get up in the morning, put your pants on, and get out the door.

Maybe you’re motivated by a desire to nurture and care for those around you. Some of us want power or control. Some of us are motivated by praise from our colleagues or boss. Some of us are motivated by cold hard cash (or think we are). Deep inside of each of us, though, something drives us.

We’ve all had days when we just aren’t feeling it. We phone it in, trudge off to the office, and give less than our best. We ALL have days like that. Maybe you didn’t sleep well, maybe you’re coming down with something, or perhaps there’s a personal concern weighing on your mind. Whatever it is, you know your heart just isn’t in your work. Your mind is off, and you just don’t feel like being there.

Having one or two days of feeling unmotivated isn’t such a concern. It’s normal, and it happens to all of us. However, weeks of feeling unmotivated and lackluster can indicate a deeper problem—a loss of desire, a loss of drive, and a falling out of touch with our yearnings.

We’re designed to be driven—but we must find our authentic selves. Maslow saw our drive as the desire for self-actualization and the realization of our full potential.

So how do you find what motivates you? What would “make” us be our best and give it our all every day? Psychologists have determined it’s about finding the meaning in our lives and embarking on a path where we’re constantly improving and growing as people. So how can you get there?

 
Designed to Transform

Our brains are pretty amazing. Deep within our neural circuitry, we’ve developed neuroplasticity: the ability to build new circuits and form new neural pathways, allowing us to learn, adapt, engage and constantly grow—and love the process! We’re not simply creatures of habit, or driven only by our biological imperatives and instincts. We are constantly learning and growing from each experience. We’re adapting and changing.

We can literally change our brains and our minds, and what we believe, who we are, and how we live. We can transform.

The very fact that we have neuroplasticity lets us know that we possess these amazing capabilities. Our transformation circuits are only activated, however, with our conscious choice and intent, through the stimulation of novelty and focused attention, as well as through our yearnings and emotions, which signal to our brains, “Pay attention, this matters!” Such attention not only rewires the circuitry of our brains, but it also affects the expression of our genes.

We are designed to seek, to be curious, to discover. When we are thrilled about the world of ideas and divining meaning, our seeking circuits are firing, activating one of the pleasure centers in our brains. We are in a state of eagerness and directed purpose—a state we human beings love to be in. This thrill of anticipating reward motivates us to act…


…We are designed to be explorers, and when we explore, our brains light up with pleasure. It is the novelty, not the outcome, that most delights our brain and activates our neuroplasticity. Our brains are never “happier” than when we are learning new things, stretching just beyond our current capacities. This is where we build new circuitry and develop mastery.

Transformed! The Science of Spectacular Living


That transformational spirit and desire to explore, grow, engage and deepen our understanding keeps us moving. When we’re connecting with those around us, listening to what others want, and finding ways to work toward our goals and vision together, we’re going to feel that spark!

You know those moments when it happens. Say you’re in a meeting and you totally nail it. The words that come out of your mouth are confident and thought out. You have a clear picture of what you want. You’re listening to those around you and sharing in their vision as well as your own—there’s a dynamic atmosphere, a synchronicity that just can’t be denied.

Understand Your Yearnings, Find What Motivates You

So if you feel like you’ve lost your mojo, and you’re feeling down and just not reaching like you once did, it’s time to figure out how you can connect, grow and push yourself!

What does that mean for you? It means you need to get back in the game. Volunteer for a project you’re holding back on, sign up for professional development courses, or take classes and training to get you to the next level in your job. Even learning a new task or how to use new technology or software will give you a little bounce and boost.

As our brains learn and discover new things, we find out what we really want, and we become happier. Those neuropathways are formed and we start to feel more alert, more alive, and more motivated to achieve our goals.

Explore a deeper understanding of your yearnings. Our yearnings are more than simple wants or desires. They’re the very fabric of our motivation and they propel us forward toward our goals. Understanding the yearnings within our hearts can help us unlock the path to our goals. We can see what drives us and what accomplishments will give us the most pleasure and satisfaction.

To feel more motivated, we have to connect with those around us. We have to listen, hear them out, and gain an appreciation for their humanity. Does that mean you’re going to like everyone you work with? No, of course not, but you should be open to hearing everyone’s ideas around the table. When people know you’re listening, they’re more likely to share and find ways to reach a common consensus and goal.

Lastly, to stay motivated, we have to stay healthy. We can’t zone out in front of the television, check out by scanning social media, or get caught up in comparing ourselves to those around us. We have to care for ourselves by getting rest, exercise, and spending time doing the things that make us feel healthy, strong and ready to go.

Keeping up your motivation isn’t as difficult as it can feel on a Monday morning when your alarm goes off. Work to discover new things about yourself, make an effort to grow, and explore the inner workings of your heart—and you’ll find what motivates you, and get that spark back in your life.

For more on unlocking your motivation and discovering what you really want, visit us for an upcoming Foundations Training Weekend. Learn more at www.wrightliving.com.


About the Author

Judith

Dr. Judith Wright is a media favorite, sought-after inspirational speaker, respected leader, peerless educator, bestselling author, & world-class coach. She is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.
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Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

What is the
MORE Life Training
Weekend?

Think about what it might mean to have “limitless potential.” If you could have or be anything you wanted right now, today, what would it be?


Would you want to be the greatest husband or wife? Would you want to be the top salesperson in your department—or better yet, CEO of your own company? Would you want to help the world, heal the world, and/or help others around you find their own potential and path for growth?

No matter what your dreams are, they have one thing in common: YOU. To reach your aspirations, you’ll need a solid foundation built by developing core social intelligence and emotional intelligence skills. This foundation allows you to explore who you can become, unlock and map out your ideal self, and envision the path to get there.

Living Life to the Fullest

We often get asked about our MORE Life Training—what it is, what it means, and what it can do for you. It’s not simply a seminar, professional development, or a “leadership class.” It’s more than that. It’s a unique transformational weekend, where you will learn more about yourself than ever before.

At the Wright Foundation, we’re always offering new ways to help you bring out your best and live life to the fullest—whether it’s through personal and career coaching, seminars, group work, or helping you earn your graduate degree so you can go out into the world and help others.

MORE Life Training is the first step. If you’ve read our website or checked out one of our books or courses, chances are you have some questions about how you can start to apply the principals of transformational leadership and growth to your own life.

During MORE Life Training, you’ll have the opportunity to roll up your sleeves and do some real hands-on work to discover your purpose and bring to light some of the hidden dynamics behind WHY you do what you do…and perhaps why you haven’t yet tapped into who you could become. This is the first step in starting to work on your social and emotional intelligence and growth, and the path to unlocking your full potential. It’s all about discovering the core beliefs underneath who you are so you can envision and move toward who you can become.

“I want MORE out of life!”

Sound familiar? Time and time again, we talk to people who aren’t quite satisfied. Their life is basically good, but they’re feeling less-than-fulfilled. They’re working hard, they’re successful—even to the point of running their own company or organization—and yet, they still have an itch they just can’t scratch. Their relationships are lacking a connection and they feel like they’re “going through the motions” rather than fully engaging in life.

Look at MORE Life Training as a launchpad. You’ll develop the foundation and background you need to start a life of unlimited potential, meaning, and satisfaction. This in-depth weekend experience can help you figure out how to reach further, grow stronger, and stretch yourself as a person.


Want more? If you’re ready to take the steps to get more out of life, to become more fulfilled, to find a greater purpose, then MORE Life Training will help you start that process.


You’ll work with an amazing group of people who all want MORE—just like you. As you work on unlocking your own potential, you’ll meet people who are asking the same questions and working on the same goals. You’ll form friendships and partnerships, but more importantly, you’ll discover how to partner with yourself to push your own boundaries and be your own ally.

Our methodologies are based on the latest neuroscience and leadership theory. We explore the connection of psychology, leadership and entrepreneurship, and the neuroscience of engagement. We use social-emotional growth strategies to help you learn how to stand out from the crowd and lead wherever you are. You’ll learn how to be more dynamic, more engaging, and more transformative with every person you meet.

How Hard is MORE Life Training?

This weekend of training is intensive. It’s not a simple “weekend class on goal setting” that you might take or a
professional development course. This is about changing your life for the better. MORE Life Training will give you the tools to strengthen your relationships, to get more out of your work, and to bring more of yourself to your spouse, your children, and your friends.

You’ll explore your personality, and rather than taking a class to learn a skill, you’ll be working internally to unlock the deeper aspects of who YOU are. You’ll discover your social and emotional core and the things that drive you.

Once you start to reveal these inner workings of your personal psychology, you’ll learn how to understand your yearnings and create your personal vision. You’ll create concrete steps to work toward that vision and explore your own limiting beliefs and the things holding you back from grabbing the life you want to live.

Click to learn more with life training.

Join us for our next MORE Life Weekend to learn how you can apply the principles of transformation to your life. Learn how you can unlock your true potential, live the life you want, and achieve your goals.


About the Author

Barbara Burgess

Barbara Burgess is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Chief Vision Realization Officer (CVRO) at the Wright Foundation. As the CVRO, Barbara is responsible for designing and leading the strategic vision for the Foundation. Barbara is a corporate consultant, coach, trainer, and specialist in the areas of transformational leadership, transformative education, marketing, and employee empowerment. 


Learn more about Wright Living’s Career & Leadership Coaching in Chicago & Career Coaching Courses in Chicago.

Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.