Best Self: Be You, Only Better By Mike Bayer

What is your Best Self?

Your Best Self is unique, positive, evolved and aligned with your truth.

When you are being your best self, you are being your most authentic and at your core.

Best Self: Be You, Only Better By Mike Bayer #books #bookreview #selfesteem #selfimprovement #leader #leadership #selfdevelopment #lifecoaching #lifecoach

1. How to connect with your Best Self?

Connecting with your Best Self takes time and requires patience. To get in touch with your Best Self:

  • Express gratitude frequently to get out of a negative space. Make a gratitude list of everything that puts you in a good mood or elevates you in any kind of way.
  • Embrace change. Everybody can change if they want to, they just have to apply the right motivations.
  • Identify your fears. Once you have identified your fears, put them to the test to see if your assumptions are true, if they are rational, if they help you succeed, or if they serve your best interests.
  • Recognize any signs of egotistical behavior. Once you have acknowledge your behavior, assess the origins of it and get your ego in check.

2. Assessing your Best Self

“SPHERES stands for Social life, Personal life, Health, Education, Relationships, Employment, and Spiritual life”.

The SPHERES tool, create by Mike Bayer, is a screening tool used to assess your Best Self in all areas of your life.

Your social life 

In the SPHERES tool, your social situation determines how well you project your Best Self to the world.

It then becomes imperative to analyze how you interact with people. You can also assess your ability to send clear messages, to listen to others, to embrace human emotions, to handle highly charged situations, to give and receive feedback.

Your personal life

Your personal life contains your self-image, your self-talk, the level of compassion and respect you have for yourself.

To create the personal life that you want, you will have to:

  • Rewire your brain to think positively by challenging your internal dialogue.
  • Get familiar with what you are constantly telling yourself.
  • Identify the messages you tell yourself when you are under pressure.
  • Log your thoughts and your self-talk, identify the common themes and tones.
  • Be compassionate with yourself. Take care of yourself and monitor your stress levels before they snowball. If you take care of yourself, you will definitely be able to take care of others.
  • Connect with your passions. Your passions will vary throughout your life. Your passions will allow you to express yourself, to strengthen your bond with your Best Self and vibrate at a higher frequency. To find your passions, explore new things, challenge yourself and get out of your comfort zone.

Your health

Prioritizing your well-being allows you to be present, keep a clear mind and achieve your Best Self.

Your education

Remaining in a “lifetime learning mode” will help you evolve into your Best Self and become more self-aware.

Once you find your passions, you will take pleasure in acquiring knowledge in that field.

Your relationships

Your relationships reflect who you are as a person.

Your Best Self will gauge who you want to be around, judge the health of a relationship and help you make the tough decisions.

In order to stay connected to your Best Self in all relationships, you must define your core values, exercise them and identify the people who live up to them.

Your employment

We spend most of our days at work.

So, when we are not able to fully be ourselves, our work life tends to become draining.

It somehow becomes important to nurture our Best Selves at work or create a career path that allows us to maximize our potential at work.

Review

In Best Self: Be You, Only Better, Mike Bayer encourages people to be their Best Self.

In addition, Mike Bayer shares tips and tools to help you achieve your Best Self. He helps you make a diagnostic of all the aspects of your life and provides practical solutions to your problems.

Furthermore, Best Self: Be You, Only Better is a workbook that teaches you how to fix what’s inside to fix outside. It is on point when it comes to assessing people’s behavior and can conveniently be revisited several time in your life.

Best Self: Be You, Only Better is ideal for leaders who want to improve their leadership skills and bring their best selves at work. It becomes clear that if you are your best self, you can create the best teams, take care of others and create the best organization.

With this workbook:

  • Get in touch with your Best Self.
  • Reach your highest potential.
  • Find more balance in your life.
  • Evolve, change, reinvent yourself and improve your life.
  • Learn to handle adversity and crisis.
  • Discover your truth and your purpose.

Let me know below what you think about this book!

Favorite quote(s)

Many of society’s “rules” simply don’t apply to us as individuals, and if we spend all our energy on trying to be, do, say, and act like society wants us to, we are simply wasting time we could be spending on discovering and connecting with our Best Self.

Self-care is foundational to living your ideal life.

Ratings 4/5

Author

Mike Bayer

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Your First Leadership Job: How Catalyst Leaders Bring Out the Best in Others by Tacy M. Byham and Richard S. Wellins

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Your First Leadership Job: How Catalyst Leaders Bring Out the Best in Others acknowledges the hardship of a first-time leadership position plus strives to guide and assist new leaders in:

  • Becoming “Catalyst Leaders”. “Catalyst leaders represent the gold standard—energetic, supportive, forward-thinking mentors who spark action in others”.
  • Coping with the transition from contributor to leader, dealing with the uncertainty of the new position
  • Building or improving leadership skills,
  • Communicating effectively with your team and your bosses,
  • Working with members of your team, coaching them, engaging with them and motivating them in order to obtain results,
  • Navigating organizational politics.

Several self-assessment tests, quizzes and diagnostics are implemented in the book to make light of a challenging situation, to evaluate and enhance your leadership skills.

Your First Leadership Job: How Catalyst Leaders Bring Out the Best in Others by Tacy M. Byham and Richard S. Wellins #book #bookreview #leadership #leadershipdevelopment #success #successmindset https://journeytoleadershipblog.com

According to Your First Leadership Job, the catalyst leader should follow the following steps to ensure success:

  1. Learn your organization’s culture and get to know your team and your bosses to get a better understanding of your role, your priorities, the expectations from your team and from upper management, the current reputation of your team, their preferred communication methods and finally, their good and bad habits.
  2. Make a first good impression the moment you step into your new role. Judgement by your team will instantly be formed about your capabilities to lead.
  3. Develop a leadership brand. In order to develop a leadership brand, be authentic (show your integrity through your actions), bring out the best in people (understand and improve your team skills, encourage, motivate and coach them), be receptive to feedback.
  4. Address and meet your team personal needs. To do so, use the five Key Principles: Maintain or enhance self-esteem motivate the team. Listen and respond with empathy to diffuse negative energy and create a positive environment.Ask for help and encourage involvement to show that you respect and value your team’s opinion, knowledge and skills.Share thoughts, feelings, and rationale to build trust. (to build trust)Provide support without removing responsibility. (to build ownership)
  5. Implement or improve your common leadership interaction styles.
  6. Start seeking performance results and meeting the company’s requirements/needs by developing an execution strategy (focus on the three major priorities at a time, manage time accordingly and measure task progress with indicators, create milestone for the team, by holding your team accountable for their own results)
  7. Learn how to hire new candidates for a job by asking the right questions during the interview.
  8. Develop a good working relationship with your boss.
  9. Master meetings and make them meaningful.  Your ability to lead will be estimated by your ability to organize and run a meeting.
  10. Give positive or developmental feedback.
  11. Learn to handle difficult employees.
  12. Delegate tasks and the authority associated to the task accordingly to achieve results faster and more effectively. Delegating also helps to save up your time for higher priorities a tasks.

Review

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Your First Leadership Job: How Catalyst Leaders Bring Out the Best in Others  by Tacy M. Byham and Richard S. Wellins is a self-help book destined to potential, first-time or frontline leaders.

Your First Leadership Job: How Catalyst Leaders Bring Out the Best in Others is a clear and methodical how-to book that does not only define leadership but also shares tips on how to become a “Catalyst Leader” and how to withstand challenging situations that most first-time leaders encounter.

I largely recommend it to introverted, shy, unexpected leaders who don’t always know how to navigate office politics along to women who are ambitious but not confident in their leadership skills.

For my part, as an introvert and a woman, I have been in three unofficial leadership positions that started successfully but ended in failure. Before reading this book, I was not able to pinpoint my weaknesses nor able to fix my situation.

Your First Leadership Job has been resourceful, reassuring and has given me hope that I can still pursue my journey towards leadership. I now have a positive perspective on my experiences.

As a result, I am currently learning how to earn my team’s trust, convey a message and share a vision with my team.

Favorite quote(s)

“Catalyst leaders represent the gold standard—energetic, supportive, forward-thinking mentors who spark action in others”.

Earlier in this book we pointed out that what makes you a successful leader may have nothing to do with what made you successful in the past. The challenges you face as a leader are much different—and they can be extra tough.

Ratings 4/5

Authors

Tacy M. Byham

Richard S. Wellins

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The Four Agreements By Don Miguel Ruiz

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz gathers four “agreements” to live by to ensure a better lifestyle, a deeper understanding of life, a life in the moment.

What is an agreement?

The four agreements come from the Toltec teachings of wisdom. The goal of this book is to make each agreement a habit.

An agreement is:

  • a programming of the mind.
  • a language, a code that helps us understand each other.
  • a belief system that has domesticated us.

It represents the rules that we abide to, that we pass down from generation to generation.

Unfortunately, we have not chosen the agreements that we live by. Most of the time, they have been chosen for us and have existed longer than we have.

The Four Agreements By Don Miguel Ruiz

The First Agreement

The first agreement is to be “impeccable with your words“. This means that you must be careful of not using words against yourself and others.

Indeed, there is power in the words that you use. Matter of fact, it is the most powerful tool at your disposal. 

You can use your words to create beauty or to wreak havoc.

“What you dream, what you feel, and what you really are, will all be manifested through the word”.

What you dream, what you feel, and what you really are, will all be manifested through the word. Click To Tweet

Purpose of the agreement

Being “impeccable with your words” helps you suppress any toxicity from your mind, free your mind from fear and doubt, and filter out negativity.

Implementing the agreement

Furthermore, words grow and take root in your mind if you are not careful. So:

  • Be true to yourself.
  • Be careful of the words that you use on yourself.
  • Do not speak against yourself.
  • Avoid gossiping and don’t believe gossip.
  • Accept and love yourself so you can demonstrate love and acceptance toward others.

The Second Agreement

The second agreement is to not “take anything personally”.

Often times, people are preoccupied with their own beliefs, feelings and opinions about themselves that they take out on others.

Even if they insult you directly, it is wise not to take their insult personally.

Purpose of the agreement

This agreement is necessary to avoid burdening yourself with people’s problem, setting “yourself up to suffer for nothing”.

Acquiring this habit will help you free yourself, keep your heart open, see people for who they really are, and be unaffected by fear.

Implementing the agreement

Understand that:

  • All opinions about you are not necessarily true.
  • Opinions about you depends on the person and on their moods.
  • We can choose what to believe and what to agree with.
  • You must trust yourself and don’t need to trust anyone else.

The Third Agreement

The third agreement consists in not making assumptions.

Undeniably, assumptions are not the truth and breeds problems.

Purpose of the agreement

The third agreement will help you build better relationships and increase your communication skills.

Implementing the agreement

To properly implement this agreement:

  • Ask for clarifications rather than making assumptions.
  • Remember that it is OK to ask questions.
  • Collect the right data about people and situations first.
  • Don’t assume that people can read your mind.
  • Ask for what you want, expect yes or no. Understand that you can say yes or no as well.

The Fourth Agreement

This fourth agreement encourages you to always “do you best” and consolidates all previous three agreements.

Purpose of the agreement

Forming the habit of always doing your best will:

  • Save you from harsh self-judgement.
  • Increase your production.
  • Mature your self-love.

Implementing the agreement

Keep in mind that:

  • Your best will fluctuate all the time. It will depend on your mood, on your energy level, on your health and on your situation.
  • You must take action without expecting any rewards. This way, you will be able to enjoy your actions better.

Review

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz provides a very powerful perspective on life. It encourages self-transformation, self-awareness, self acceptance, and the understanding of others.

I found out briefly that The Four Agreements, yet short, is thoughtful and goes straight to the point. It calls out society’s hypocrisy, fear and domestication.

Everyone I know who have read this book has felt elevated. It was therefore hard to resist reading it and I have to say that I did not regret it.

As you read, you will find that you already had the knowledge and the wisdom within you but have been holding it back. You will learn to trust yourself and set yourself free.

Favorite quote(s)

The word is not just a sound or a written symbol. The word is a force; it is the power you have to express and communicate, to think, and thereby to create the events in your life.

Whatever people do, feel, think, or say, don’t take it personally.

Even the opinions you have about yourself are not necessarily true; therefore, you don’t need to take whatever you hear in your own mind personally.

All the sadness and drama you have lived in your life was rooted in making assumptions and taking things personally.

Action is about living fully. Inaction is the way that we deny life. Inaction is sitting in front of the television every day for years because you are afraid to be alive and to take the risk of expressing what you are.

Ratings 4.5/5

Author

Don Miguel Ruiz

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Transparency: How Leaders Create a Culture of Candor by Bennis, Goleman, O’Toole and Biederman (part 3)

Transparency: How Leaders Create a Culture of Candor is a collection of three essays written by BennisGolemanO’Toole and Biederman.

The new transparency by Warren Bennis

The new transparency, by Warren Bennis, is the third and last essay of Transparency: How Leaders Create a Culture of Candor. This essay defines digital transparency, focuses on the effects of the “digital revolution” and how it has made transparency quasi inevitable in modern day organizations.

Transparency: How Leaders Create a Culture of Candor by Bennis, Goleman, O’Toole and Biederman (Part 3) #book #books #bookreviews #transparency #candor #companyculture https://journeytoleadershipblog.com

What is the upside of the new transparency?

Transparency notoriously drives success, effectiveness and trust between members of an organization.

The emergence of internet has been able to fill the cultural need for transparency, to break down old rules and traditions, to erase borders and social status barriers.

In particular, the rise of blogs has transformed the mainstream media. Blogs shape the public opinion. Moreover, mainstream media now rely upon them to exchange and to create loyalty amongst their viewers.

Furthermore, the rise of blogs has transformed politics (for the better?).

Indeed, blogs have increased transparency over the years: in many countries, the government and politicians can no longer hold secrets, maintain exclusive power and absolute control over citizens.

Blogs have become a political and diplomatic tool to fight corruption and power abuse. They were able to:

  • Expose insiders “secrets to outsiders” in corporations: most bloggers whistleblow freely, safely and anonymously.
  • Change the societal game. Protests happen in the streets as well in the cyberspace.
  • Evenly distribute information and knowledge. Seeing that knowledge is power, blogs have created a new power that have made leaders “lose their monopoly on leadership”. Blogs have given a digital platform for people from  different nationalities, social categories and spheres of influence to express their opinions.

What is the downside of the new transparency?

First of all, the digital transparency incites a lack of privacy. Most individuals’ confidential information (credit card number, personal records,…) transits openly on internet, which makes them vulnerable to hacking and allows misuse of information and illegal tracking of their information.

Also, the “digital realm is wild and minimally policed”. Some users take advantage of the anonymity of internet to dishonestly compete, to openly attack an institution, organization or another individual under false pretenses.

Digital transparency has devalued, through the mainstream media, “authentic expertise by treating ordinary viewers and readers as the equals of those with genuine insight and experience” to enhance their viewers’ loyalty.

Unfortunately, it also impedes their viewers from comprehending or appropriately analyzing complex facts and events.

Warren Bennis denotes that blogs, acquiring greater influence and outreach than news paper, will substitute the latter if the content “commit to high standards of accuracy, fairness, and conduct”.

On the internet, where there are no secrets, where information persists for several lifetimes and where truth is relative, users are able to decide the perimeters of transparency, to fabricate the truth and to create the persona they want.

However, users are unable to vet and verify the actual truth.

To read the review on the first essay Creating a culture of candor by Warren BennisDaniel Goleman, and Patricia Ward Biedermanclick here.

To read the review on the second essay Speaking truth to power by James O’Tooleclick here.

Review

SearchTransparency.jpg.jpegThe new transparency by Warren Bennis is a proper conclusion to the book Transparency: How Leaders Create a Culture of Candor that delivers impartial views on the internet and the blogosphere.

While reading his book, several contemporaneous examples came to mind such as the Black Lives Matter Movement that started in summer 2013, in the United States and has since then spread itself to different countries, to different nationalities and cultures.

Social Media and blogs have definitely given the Movement the tools that it needed to speak up about police brutality on African-Americans, to show proof of police misconduct, to syndicate and organize itself and finally, to resist oppression.

One example of the misuse of the internet platform is cyberbullying.

Cyberbullying is the bullying of an individual over the internet, through blogs or social media. Many victims of cyberbullying have spoken publicly over this issue but due to the anonymity and the lack of regulation of the internet, the government has not yet found a way to penalize the abusers.

Favorite quote(s)

Transparency would not be a problem in a world in which everyone is decent and fair-minded.

Ratings 3/5

Author

Warren Bennis

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Transparency: How Leaders Create a Culture of Candor by Bennis, Goleman, O’Toole and Biederman (Part 2)

Transparency: How Leaders Create a Culture of Candor is a collection of three essays written by BennisGolemanO’Toole and Biederman. To read the review on the first essay Creating a culture of candor by Warren Bennis, Daniel Goleman, and Patricia Ward Biederman, click here.

Speaking truth to power by James O’Toole

Speaking truth to power, by James O’Toole, is the second essay from Transparency: How Leaders Create a Culture of Candor.

Speaking truth to power has been a long-standing issue throughout History. It is a very common and complex matter that has direct repercussions on an individual’s life, career and health.

In this essay, in order to illustrate the concerns raised by a lack of transparency, many examples have been extracted from literature, from 2500 years of History and from James O’Toole‘s personal experience during his research in corporations.

Transparency: How Leaders Create a Culture of Candor by Bennis, Goleman, O’Toole and Biederman (Part 2) #book #books #bookreviews #transparency #candor #companyculture https://journeytoleadershipblog.com

Why speak truth to power?

Speaking truth to power creates a healthy and successful company culture in any given organization.

What makes speaking truth to power so convoluted?

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Speaking truth to power can be perceived as disloyalty, dissidence, insubordination or non-conformism because it challenges old assumptions, systems that are already in place, defies group-thinking and questions the authority, decisions and ego of the person in power.

 

Speaking the truth also implies having to make the person in power admit their mistake.

James O’Toole blames this impugning perception on the stubbornness, the stupidity and the hubris (arrogance of power) of leaders who reject good advice and are incapable of hearing the truth.

That is why, leaders must openly listen to their employees, understand their working conditions, rethink old assumptions and avoid group-thinking at all cost.

Speaking truth to power does not go without risks: most employees are not willing to report any misconduct or unethical behavior by fear of retaliation, by fear of being reprimanded, by belief that no action will be taken by management or by Human Resources (HR).

How to create transparency and trust within an organization?

According to James O’Toole, corporations should hire at leisure a “corporate fool”, term quoted by Verne Morland, an executive at NCR in the 1980s.

A “corporate fool” is a modern day jester that is capable and licensed to speak truth to power and create controversy.

The role of the “corporate fool” can be associated to the role of women in modern day organizations.

Indeed, women are unafraid to challenge the system and to speak truth to power in corporations as they have only recently been evolving in the male-dominating corporations and as a result have not learnt any ethical misbehavior. Not to mention, women have throughout History stood up courageously to authority at the peril of their lives.

The 7 characteristics of a transparent leader

Below are the characteristics that a leader must abide by to enforce transparency within their organization:

  1. Leaders must consistently tell the truth to their followers.
  2. Leaders must be comfortable with the truth.
  3. Leaders must practice integrity.
  4. Leaders must demonstrate appropriate respect towards their followers by sharing relevant information and actually including them in the flow of information.
  5. Leaders must gather the necessary information before making any type of decision.
  6. Leaders must value openness, empower those who tell the truth and must not reward those who do otherwise.
  7. Leaders at the top should not reward other leaders for their ability to compete nor congratulate leader’s misconduct.

Moreover, followers must be willing to put themselves on the line to be able to correct their bosses. “In sum, before speaking truth to power can be considered virtuous, the act must meet several criteria:

  • It must be truthful.
  • It must do no harm to innocents.
  • It must not be self-interested (the benefits must go to others, or to the organization).
  • It must be the product of moral reflection.
  • It must come from a messenger who is willing to pay the price.
  • It must have at least a chance of bringing about positive change (there is no virtue in tilting at windmills).
  • It must not be done out of spite or anger.”

Throughout History, organizations have punished those that speak truth to power, have challenged their loyalty, have put their sanity to the test, have labelled them as crazy or angry people.

So why blow the whistle?

Whistleblowers are loyal to their organization and not assumably to their leaders. When the leaders betray the values and the integrity of the organization, whistleblowers come forth and are ready to denounce publicly any signs of foul-play.

Is there an appropriate time for whistleblowing or for speaking truth to power?

The time is right when one is mature enough to objectively analyze the situation at hand and is virtuous enough to be able to temper his or her anger.

To read the review on the first essay Creating a culture of candor by Warren Bennis, Daniel Goleman, and Patricia Ward Biederman, click here.

Review

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Speaking truth to power is perfect for leaders who are looking to understand what transparency is all about and are starting to implement it in their organization.

In Speaking truth to power, James O’Toole makes us realize how far this issue goes back, how much human nature is to blame for a lack of transparency and why a step has not been taken to generally encourage transparency, even though success, effectiveness and trust should be incentives for corporations.

In reality, speaking from personal experience, most candid, virtuous and conscientious people do not climb the career ladder in corporations and sojourn at the bottom until they learn to moderate their opinion.

Otherwise, they are perceived by team members and leaders as being weak, insubordinate, insolent and disloyal.

I’ve seen many straightforward people being exemplary managed out of corporations while leaders kept asking their employees to be transparent and while those who did the leader’s dirty deed were promoted.

As a result, it created a toxic and unsafe environment where no one would speak up (not even HR) to the wrongdoings of management.

If candid people are not able to sugarcoat their opinion, they end up whistleblowing or leaving the organization. And so, I did.

Favorite quote(s)

In a recent scientific survey of a cross-section of American workers, over two-thirds report having personally witnessed unethical behavior on the job, but only about a third of those say they reported what they observed to their supervisors. The reasons given for their reticence range from fear of retaliation to the belief that management would not act on the information appropriately.

In essence, trust is hard to earn, easy to lose, and, once lost, nearly impossible to regain.

Ratings 4/5

Author

James O’Toole

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