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What Makes Great Entrepreneurs, Salespeople, and Business leaders?

While there are key similarities among highly effective entrepreneurs, sales people, and business leaders, there are also differences.

Some key differences, as pointed out by Waverly Deutsch in his article What Great Entrepreneurs, Salespeople, and Business Leaders Have in Common (Fall 2018 Chicago Booth Review), include:

Entrepreneurs 

  • Motivated by a desire to own outcome
  • Thrive in uncertain environments
  • Natural salespeople with high persuasion skills
  • according to Butler’s Insights CareerLeader Study

CEOs 

  • Make decisions with speed and conviction, even when lacking data
  • Engage for impact by aligning people around the goal of value creation
  • Adapt proactively by thinking about the long term and acting quickly to change
  • Deliver reliably on commitments and create accountability
  • according to Kaplan and Serensen’s Insights gh Smart Study

Salespeople

  • Enable others to act by collaborating on value creation
  • Model the way by reliably meeting commitments
  • according to Kouzes et al.’s Leadership Challenge Study

What leadership behavioral skill will you focus on? Whether you are an entrepreneur, CEO, or sales person, I encourage you to take time to reflect on what matters most to you and your team – so that you show up as more mindful leader, someone who brings out the best in oneself and others by consistently showing up grounded, present, and calm – especially in difficult situations.

For a deeper dive, read Waverly Deutsch in his article What Great Entrepreneurs, Salespeople, and Business Leaders Have in Common (Fall 2018 Chicago Booth Review) where he focused on 41 dimensions of leadership looking at leaders’ traits, and skills, interests.

Why Meditate? Reduce Stress, Increase Focus, and Be Nicer to Yourself and Others!

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR 28 DAY MEDITATION CHALLENGE, STARTS SEPT 22nd!

“When we’re in tune with our inner wealth ­– the qualities of compassion, contentment, patience, and so on – it’s endless, it’s timeless. Those are qualities that we’re all born with. Everybody. The whole process of meditation is all about trying to dig into this inner wealth, to access it.”   – Trinley Thaye Dorje

Based on my work with clients, benefits of meditation include:

  • A self-awareness and awareness of the environment around you
  • A calmer, more grounded executive presence
  • Improved ability to regulate emotions, navigate difficult situations, and manage conflict
  • Gains in creativity and innovative thinking
  • Deeper active listening skills (being more present and patient)
  • More compassionate towards others and less critical of one’s self
  • Improved concentration and clarity of focus
  • Enhanced perspective (the ability to see different sides and points of view)
  • Stronger, richer, and more fulfilling relationships

What Is Meditation? Meditation is the practice of setting aside quiet time to calm our mind and relax our whole body by focusing on our breath and/or an intention. During meditation, we learn to let our thoughts flow, without analyzing them, obsessing over them, or striving to hold onto them.

What is Mindfulness? While the term “mindfulness” has become somewhat trendy, meditating is an ancient ritual dating back 5,000 years. Ancient people used meditation as a form of spiritual practice that enabled them to connect to their divine energy. In today’s world where things move at the speed of light, connecting to your own energy can be as simple as sitting still in a quiet place for five minutes and focusing on your breath. In fact, numerous research studies have shown that a regular meditation practice will lead to a positive impact on the body.

The Mind-Body Connection Routine stressors in the workplace – an abrasive email, a contentious conversation, a high-stakes meeting – feel as real and as threatening to us today as a potential attack from a saber tooth tiger did thousands of years ago. Whether it’s a tiger or an angry colleague, we have basically the same physiological response – that is, we get triggered, stressed, and go into a “fight or flight mode.”

To better understand how meditation positively affects your physiology and helps manage your triggers, consider these scientific findings:

Brain – The amygdala, an almond-shaped structure in the brain, is responsible for handling our emotions. When we become triggered, we experience an “amygdala hijack.” Blood literally leaves our brain and moves towards our limbs, so we can either fight or flee. This also negatively impacts our memory and cognitive function.

A regular meditation practice will improve your mental clarity and reduce the intensity and recovery time of stressful emotional triggers.

Heart – When we become triggered, the stress hormone cortisol is released, making us more susceptible to heart attack, stroke, and hypertension.

A regular meditation practice will help you manage stress and its harmful effects by reducing cortisol levels in the bloodstream. This leads to slowing your heart rate and lowering your blood pressure, helping you control your breathing and remain calm.

Immune System – A strong immune system is critical to maintaining overall health. Antibodies, which fight bacteria and viruses, are critical to a strong immune system.

Meditation has been shown to boost activity in the areas of the brain that command the body’s immune system, making it work more effectively. Studies have also shown that meditation boosts antibodies in the blood.

Give Meditation a Chance! Consider signing up for a 28 day meditation challenge that starts September 22 by clicking here or see Amazon for my recent book Show Up as Your Best Self: Mindful Leaders, Meditation, & More!

Be Generous, Be Joyful, Make a Difference, and Get Back to Work!

Our family met Ari Weinzweig on a recent visit to University of Michigan while we were eating at his restaurant (he was the water boy, refilling our glasses!). Humble, approachable, and kind – we had no idea that Ari was the founding partner, along with Paul Saginaw, of Zingerman’s Community of Businesses with + 600 employees. He even handed my son his business card and offered to help him if he needed anything. I was inspired by Ari’s focus on community values, artistic creative expression, prolific writings, and business success.

Check out two inspiring videos by clicking on the links below to learn more about Zingerman’s philosophy on business and community leadership, generosity, joy, and making a difference

Key themes

  • While vision, values, equality, customer service, marketing, and making money are all important, they believe that what we believe makes a big difference
  • An organization’s purpose is to serve the people who are part of it – not the other way around
  • Being a good human being is good business
  • Generosity is self-perpetuating
  • Little things matter the most
  • It is a life long challenge to manage ourselves effectively
  • Work hard at learning
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