Commit to Improve

Leo Tolstoy, the Russian novelist, famously wrote, “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”

I’ll follow up with this question – how are those New Years Resolutions going that were made only a month ago?  Funny how we recognize the noble cause in looking to change ourselves; however, we get so caught up in everything else around us needing change that we tend to immediately forget the change that needs to occur first and foremost within us.

Tolstoy’s pronouncement is a useful starting point for any businessperson committed to climbing their way to the top. By heeding his advice, you can better understand the transformative nature of leadership communication. If you expect to move someone closer to your cause, you first have to move to a place you’ve never been to yourself.

After years of working with a variety of organizations in multiple industries worldwide, I’m convinced that personal transformations often falter because individuals overlook the need to significantly improve their ability to persuasively communicate. They focus on improving their technical skills and don’t concern themselves with what they perceive as the “softer” side of business. Communication is often neglected because it is not perceived as a skill set critical for success. That attitude has caused countless individuals to reflect, rethink, and regret the negative impact it had on their careers.
Reconsider Your Goals This Year

Hey, it’s only a month in, I still consider this a perfect time to rework goals – and let’s be honest, you should never hesitate to re-visit, re-work and re-energize your goals.  So, in addition to all the “hard skills” you want to improve and master for your career, consider the skill that, if ignored, could unintentionally stunt your career growth.

Don’t realize too late that the higher someone rises in a company, the more their success is measured through effective communication skills rather than the mastery of their subject area. It’s not that domain expertise doesn’t matter. It does. But those that merely satisfy minimum communication requirements often don’t have the speaking skills required to ascend into the top spots.

When things go wrong, you can usually trace the problem to a breakdown in communication. When things go right, it’s often great communicators who help generate the most lasting results.

Commit to change yourself.  Embrace some communication self-development.  Face your anxieties if you have them.  Find the opportunities to speak and prepare for them.  Become not only better at communicating, but GREAT at communicating.  When you do this, it’ll make all the difference for you in your life and your career

Learn more about applying the Ten Commandment of Public Speaking into your life this year by visiting

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