Posts Tagged ‘leadership keys’

Profound lesson learned from Darren Lacroix. (And Jim Rohn)

August 24, 2015

Speech giver: Darren Lacroix. (Toastmasters speaker, comedian, motivational speaker and general all-round super-hero good guy).

Organization: (International) at TM International Conference: August 13-16, 2015.

Venue: Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas, U.S.A.

Purpose of this post (Acronym: R O S E):

  1. To Retain this valuable information for posterity.
  2. To Offer inspiration to people.
  3. To Share the wisdom gleaned from motivational and inspirational speech givers at such events.
  4. To Effect positive changes in the world.

This short speech (I think I actually may have shortened it to its essence), was given by Darren Lacroix, Key note speaker at Caesar’s Palace during the just completed International Toastmasters Conference in Las Vegas, U.S.A. I’m not even sure that it had a title, or if, in giving you the title, due to its depth, conciseness and clarity, would just give away the purpose of this post! He in turn, learned the lesson from Jim Rohn….

Darren is a popular motivational speaker in his own right ( and his information is at the same time profound as it is inspirational in that it allows people to move ahead due to its clarity, purpose and wisdom.

Anyhow, this is what I learned at the above venue from Darren Lacroix (think about it for a minute or two):

You are the average of the five people that you spend the most time with.

Now that should cause you to think about who you think about, why you think the way you do, and even more importantly, why you are not achieving what you want to in life! Now that’s worth thinking about! Maybe even about those ’crabs’ in the bucket, that won’t let you out for whatever reasons, including insecurities of their own.

Maybe you should reconsider who you would like to spend most of your time with. In my view, this includes the books (‘friends’) you read, and the social media interactions (mine include Twitter, Facebook, and WordPress) that you ‘associate’ with. These can be wholly positive or detrimental to your future put in the above light.

Why not make wiser choices about how and with whom you spend your valuable time? Choose carefully!

Best wishes,

Nilesh Shreedhar.

NeilShreedhar’s Blog:


Arfath Saleem’s “To be a Legend.”

August 23, 2015

Speech giver: Arfath Saleem.

Organization: (International) at TM International Conference: August 13-16, 2015.

Venue: Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas, U.S.A.

Purpose of this post (Acronym: R O S E):

1. To Retain this valuable information for posterity.
2. To Offer inspiration to people.
3. To Share the wisdom gleaned from motivational and inspirational speech givers at such events.
4. To Effect positive changes in the world.
This speech was done by Arfath Saleem and it is called “To be a legend.” during the just completed International Toastmasters Conference in Las Vegas, U.S.A.

Here it is as best as I can recall….

Arfath Saleem’s “To be a legend.”

Just three words…That’s all it takes….
Arfath fell in love 15 years ago with his math teacher. He had a gambling problem…at a tender age and became the school’s so-called ‘favourite’ student. Well, not exactly….

They kept him back since he was too busy gambling, not studying. His mother became very concerned and she introduced him to a student tutor named Samantha. Samantha said: “I’ll help you…” From that day those three words changed his life. Samantha devoted 15 hours per week to help him study. She made him feel smart! Result: he aced all is subjects!
In the process she had changed who he was…he said, she was his jackpot and quickly realized she was the type of person having the stuff legends were made of…Samantha became his hero.
Some time later Aunt Jenny came to him with the same problem – her son was having difficulties in school. ….Arfath, all grown up, now himself tutored school subjects. He ran to her and spoke the same three words that Samantha had spoken to him many years back…the same three words that changed his life…I’ll help you, he said. He met her son for only 15 minutes every week and with that he was able to score 93 on his math paper.
Ms. Samantha had become legendary enabling Arfath to be a conduit to help others. Like Dr. Ralph Smedley who first offered help to those who had difficulties standing up and giving speeches creating Toastmasters in the process.
Isn’t that in fact, what legends do? You just need three words to be a legend, not a special degree….I’ll help you!

Nilesh Shreedhar.

“If you are Speaking, you are Selling”

April 9, 2014

Jeremy Tracey.  “If you are Speaking, you are Selling.”

Hazel McCallion C, Delta Hotel, Meadowvale, Ontario.Toastmasters Spring Conference.

April 5-7, 2014.

 “If you are Speaking, you are Selling” 

“Every time you speak, whether it is at your Toastmasters club or not, you are selling something,” so began the riveting learning workshop by Jeremy Tracy, one of Canada’s foremost professional speakers. If you ever get a chance to attend one of his speeches, by all means do attend, you won’t be disappointed.

I learned three useful formulas, including two useful acronyms, useful for daily life, in getting people’s cooperation. This includes that of spouses, children, family members, and almost anyone that you come across from home- to work- life.

Without further ado, here is one of those tips (more tips in later write-ups – I’m excited to share this with you):

In this example, let’s say you are trying to get your spouse to cooperate…for a specific example… maybe you desperately could use a vacation?

  1. Take them through your pain. (Make it bad).
  2. What is the benefit? (Make them want whatever it is you are recommending – tangible or intangible idea).
  3. Stop and Ask – what made the difference? (Engage the person(s))
  4. Share your long road. The person (or audience) will want to take the shortcut.
  5. Offer it up. What is the value of the tool or idea?

In brief and for general use, this can be summarized as PAIN, PAY, ASK, ROAD, OFFER.

What does it all of this mean? It means that before people change their way of doing things, they want to know how it will benefit them.

In order to see the benefit, they will want to ‘live’ through your eyes and experiences, so they can take a short-cut. Otherwise their traditional way will do just fine. After all, we are creatures of comfort!

Try the above method when you are ‘selling’ one of your ideas to someone – anyone! Remember, as one of the audience participants himself noted, after years of disliking those who sell, ‘sell’ is not a four-letter word.

Let me know how your results go. I will be sure to share other gems on this website on how to get more out of life and how to improve your overall results in its various areas. Wait for two more tips from Jeremy Tracey and good luck!

If you want more information about Jeremy and what he does, check out the following links:;




Shreedhar on Clemmer’s “Wallow, Follow or Lead” – HR Professional, Aug/Sept 2009.

April 7, 2012


Review of “Wallow, Follow or Lead” HR Professional, Aug/Sept 2009

 According to Jim Clemmer, keynote speaker, workshop leader and management team developer on practical leadership, workers fall into one of three easy to recall categories.

He makes the distinction that leaders come in all shapes and sizes, and that some of the people we naturally think of as leaders, because of their titles, aren’t necessarily leaders in the real sense. This is because quite often some of the best leaders “don’t have formal leadership authority.” In fact, “leadership ability shines clearest when facing turbulence, adversity or change,” and it is during those times that we “wallow, follow or lead.”

Briefly then, wallowers take a situation and make it worse by focusing on the negative elements; typically they point fingers, remember the way things used to be, and live in a world of hurt and worry. Unfortunately they believe most people are bad and can’t be trusted. They focus on weaknesses and gaps and often play the victim. Here are your conspiracy theorists who talk of being gotten by them and complain of never being listened to… who would?

On the other hand, followers are sceptics who may require some direction. They are hopeful, and analytical, but need assistance to understand what happened and what to do about it. However, with the right encouragement they often can step up to the plate; under the wrong influences, they will start down “the slippery slope of cynical pessimism” and wallowing.

It is often said that there are groups at work, crucial to influence positively, like the swing vote in an election, or the undecided kids at school who flourish under the right conditions but who flounder academically when they’re with the wrong crowd. So it is with the workplace as well.

Leaders take initiative and make a situation better by doing what they can with what they have, or what is available to them. Words to describe effective leaders are: able to live in ambiguity, explorative (of options), living in the moment, and preparing for the future. They are self-aware and self-disciplined and continually improving. Unlike the wallowers, “they believe that most people are good and trustworthy, until proven otherwise and focus on reinforcing and leveraging their strengths. They praise and encourage others to higher performance…and face tough situations squarely” (while) focussing on the positive.

Mr. Clemmer provides other excellent adjectives and characteristics to describe effective leaders, but the essential ones are described above. On a more philosophical but potentially life-altering note, he states that “the choices we make are the glasses we put on to view our situation…these choices create our reality”

For deeper insights, read the article; it will be time well spent! Try this link, or Google (most of) the title above if necessary:

– Nilésh (Neil) Shreedhar.; or Google: Neil Shreedhar.

Shreedhar on Maxwell’s Leadership Key #8 – Enlarging Others

March 4, 2012

Review of Maxwell’s Leadership Keys: #8 – Enlarging Others


He’s a New York Times Bestselling management-guru and in “The 17 Essential Qualities of a Team Player” John C. Maxwell writes about being relational, or, as he puts it at the preface of the chapter, quoting Rabbi Harold Kushner: “The purpose of life is not to win. The purpose of life is to grow and to share. When you come to look back on all that you have done in life, you will get more satisfaction from the pleasure you have brought to other people’s lives than you will from the times that you outdid and defeated them.”

He relates Sir William Wallace of Scotland’s story. He dared to oppose King Edward I of England in 1313 (Maxwell, 2002, p.65).” In Braveheart, the movie, William was actually portrayed as a daring and determined fighter who valued freedom above all else. As second born, he had been groomed to enter the clergy and developed a resentment of the English after his father was killed and his mother was forced to live in exile. His decision to become a fighter came after a group of Englishmen tried to bully him and by his early twenties he was considered a skilled warrior.

His early ideological foundation was based on the high value he placed on freedom and allowed him to inspire his countrymen: He “had an unusual ability. He drew the common people of Scotland to him, he made them believe in the cause of freedom, and he inspired and equipped them to fight the professional war machine of England ((Maxwell, 2002, p. 65).”

His life was ultimately sacrificed in the battle against the English, and he was brutally executed in a manner worse than depicted in the movie, but his spirit lived on (to this day, 700 or so years later), so much so that another man, Robert Bruce, a nobleman inspired by his example, claimed the throne of Scotland the following year rousing both nobility and peasants to win Scotland its independence in 1314.

As above, here is what team players who enlarge others do: they value their teammates, value what their teammates value, add value to their teammates, and make themselves more valuable. 

In valuing their teammates; Maxwell notes how Charles Schwab once observed, “I have yet to find the man, however exalted his station, who did not do better work and put forth greater effort under a spirit of approval than under a spirit of criticism ((Maxwell, 2002, p. 6).”

Maxwell illustrates how enlargers value what their teammates value by pointing out how such people listen to what their teammates talk about and understand what they spend their money on. This knowledge, along with a desire to relate to their fellow players creates a strong bond between teammates.

The previous characteristic allows an enlarger the perspective in order to assist others in improving their abilities and attitudes and add value to their teammates. Looking for the gifts, talents and uniqueness in each individual, he helps them increase these abilities to the benefit of the entire team allowing them to get to a whole new level.

Finally enlargers make themselves more valuable by working at it and in doing so they are able to make others better too. A great player such as Karl Malone is assisted by a great passer like all-time assist leader John Stockton. Maxwell advises that to make others better be better yourself. 

Maxwell’s final commentary on the above views on enlargers is particularly instructive as he empathizes that it is not always easy to be such a person; it takes a person who is self-assured and unafraid of giving – not one who believes that enlarging others somehow hurts one and one’s opportunities for success. 

If one is able to overcome this hurdle, he has a few other interesting pointers to increase your abilities in this important area in the chapter which you might read to find out….

Nilesh (Neil)Shreedhar.

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