Ralf Weiser's Blog – Shake Up Your Snow Globe! ©

Stop doing, shake your globe, ponder, dream, start reaching your full potential – live on purpose and do it with a smile!

12 questions fostering servant leadership in business leaders

12 questions fostering servant leadership in business leaders Smaller FB

What is a servant leader? This is a leader-manager who understands that he is the one who serves his team and not the other way around. It is great to see and hear that more and more old fashioned toxic working environments with their command-and-control antics are being thrown to the curb.

Servant leadership has a solid foundation in self-awareness of the leader. But how can you pursue it? The best tool in your servant leadership tool box is reflection and meditation. Know thyself is a phrase that you should make your mantra. Please find below a variety of questions we should ask ourselves frequently:

  • What were the most annoying traits of my past managers? Take this list and devise a plan avoiding to make the same mistakes.
  • What can I do to have my feedback meetings on time? Timely feedback reviews and making them a priority is key to team members feel that they are taken just as serious as an “important” customer, or project.
  • How can I show that I really am listening to my conversation partner? Being present in any one-on-one or team meeting is one of the main commitments we must make to our team members. Body language and mimics and the phone not being on DND can be a major obstacle in creating great rapport.
  • How should I prepare a meeting such that my team members can constructively partake in it? Is my meeting about a conversation for understanding, interpretation, exploration of opportunities, or for action? How does the meeting facilitator make sure the meeting is about the “is” condition and not about the “should-be’s”? How can I make sure we start and stop our meetings on time?
  • How do I as the leader get the respect of my team members? How do I get to know what they do every day and would I be able to do what they do?
  • What is my best method approach to getting buy-in and collaboration from my team members towards minor and major changes in the organization or the team?
  • How do I make sure a yearly feedback meetings, one-on-one meeting and department meetings are held periodically?
  • How do I best provide feedback on how and when to deliver performance feedback to the people I serve as quarterback?
  • How and what do I do to show that I appreciate each individual’s personal contribution to the team’s effort?
  • When an employee says something, what is he/she really saying? What and how (also how much) something is said is often indicative of personal, process, product, or team issues.
  • How can we best facilitate change – any change? How do we guide our employees through resistance, sorrow, exploration of opportunities, and finally the commitment to change? The direct path from A to B for change is a leadership illusion.


Here is my request to ponder the questions and finding answers for them that we can implement expediently. Can you see the underlining issues dealing with communication, prioritization, meeting preparation, job shadowing, servant leadership, and perhaps a few more challenges that any leader-manager struggles with? No one is an exception to the rule, and I know that I am frequently challenged and reminded of my own short comings. Key to becoming a great leader-manager is a greater self-awareness. We owe this to the people whom we serve.


Success or significance. Which one are you after?

Success or significance. Which one are you after? Ralf a

Most societies put a lot of peer pressure on people when it comes to careers, education, and personal / societal status. The pressure is on all of us to succeed. Succeed in what though? What does success look like? How does significance fit into this scenario? Feeling a little confused yourself?

The following 2 different mental approaches may help guide you towards more clarity where you want to draw the fine thin line.

Let’s take a quick look at 5 brief questions/ scenarios that will get us started pondering “success”:

  1. Who were the last 5 recipients of a Nobel prize (name any that come to mind)?
  2. Who were last year’s 5 top earners in the United States?
  3. Name 5 Emmy winners from last year?
  4. How about 5 Oscar winners for the same time period (your choice of any category)?
  5. Name the last 5 Heisman trophy winners?

These individuals truly embody success. How many did you remember? In pondering all 5 categories myself, I had some significant issues coming up with even a few names.

Now reflect upon the next list of scenarios and take some time to write the results down. By the end of the exercise you will know why.

  1. Name 5 people that you really enjoy spending time with.
  2. List 3 to 5 teachers that have impacted your life the most.
  3. Think of at least 3 friends who have helped you through tough times.
  4. How many people can you think of that changed your life forever?
  5. Name 3 folks for whom you would give your life, because they are so special to you.

Which list affected you the most? The former list certainly is in a league of its own and no one will argue that any of the people you came up with are extremely successful. One thing that probably struck you is how fast the world of the successful passes us right by: Isn’t it amazing how few of them we remember even though their achievements have been very recent.

Wouldn’t you agree that the second is the one that captures significance best? Take a good hard look at the people whose names you wrote on a piece of paper. Some of them will be in your thoughts (and prayers) for as long as you live.

There are two things I would like for you to do. How many of these folks are alive today? If they are alive, do they know how much they mean to you? Please go out of your way telling them this right away. Secondly, ponder what kind of a legacy you want to be known for. Here is an exercise you can use to get there.

How did this mental jogging work for you? Remember that you hold your own life’s snow globe in your hands. Give it a good shake.



5 strategies how find out what is going on in your children’s lives

5 strategies how find out what is going on in your children’s lives Smaller FB

Wouldn’t you want for your children confiding in you what is really bothering them instead of them just going to their rooms in silence once they come home from school? That is one of many challenges facing parents, but this one can really hurt. There is a powerful antidote to this phenomenon that is as effective as it is simple, at least on a conceptual level: You keep earning their trust.

Yes, I know. This is easier said than done, but there are a few strategies that can help get you positioned in a sweet spot where you keep getting enough information so you know what is on their minds.

  • Keep yelling to a minimum. Once you go overboard there is enough distrust for them to no longer see an incentive to telling you the truth if they get yelled at for revealing something that may get them into further trouble.
  • Spend the evening dinner together with no TV on. A shared meal with no distractions can sometimes reveal troublesome information from your short ones.
  • Bedtime, make it count: What was really fun today? What wasn’t? Two really important questions to ask your young folks. The older they get, the tougher it is getting the answers, but their answers will most likely take your breath away.
  • Time to trust them. Yup, this is another tough one. Letting go as a parent is just as tough as for e.g. teenagers trying to find their own identity. Make sure to let them do stuff totally on their own. This is really important as your children are evaluating whether or not they can trust you – just as well as you are reviewing their activities.
  • Start early. The sooner you start you trusting and encouraging them, the longer and the more they will trust and confide in you. Trying making a change when they are already teenagers may be a little too late to have a really close relationship. It may not be impossible, but ultimately it is very difficult to regain trust.

If you want for your children to change and keep/ start trusting you, you first must make the effort to change yourself. Does this take some extra time? Sure thing. That is why we are calling this parenting though and not baby-sitting.


7 ways of overcoming your fear of public speaking

7 ways of overcoming your fear of public speaking pablo-2

Photo credit: Pablo by Buffer

If you are anything like me at all, you are probably afraid of public speaking to some degree. Problem is that public speaking is one of the most important tools in making progress career wise. So what can you do to overcome the fear of public speaking?

  • Ironically enough the most effective way overcoming your fear is to holding more presentations.
  • Start out speaking in front of smaller groups.
  • Knowing the audience helps feeling and getting support when you need it the most.
  • Know your stuff. Another great outcome is that knowing your stuff necessitates that you really dig deep into a subject matter. Own it and you feel more secure and a presentation becomes a breeze.
  • Give a test presentation in front of people whom you really trust. Exercise builds your confidence.
  • Just before giving your talk walk around a little. Stand up and stay up. A little positive tension is ok (actually it is necessary). Take a few deep breaths.
  • Look around the audience and seek out a few friendly faces that you can cycle back and forth from while looking at the rest of the audience. Even better yet, try mingling with your crowd before speaking.

You are not alone in your fear of public speaking. While some folks appear to be blessed with a knack for naturally speaking well, you can do this too. All it takes is making a plan using a few of the above prepping strategies and you can excel at this as well.


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