There is Greatness in You!

world-greatnessEach one of us is equipped with something special, something that cannot be duplicated by another. I’ve found many people somehow overlook their uniqueness and fall into the pattern developed for the “normal” people. Robotic work, doing the same thing, over and over again. Giving the same results, over and over again. Now some people may be comfortable with that, but not you. You see, you are reading this post because you believe the title. You know you have something spectacular brewing inside and you are hoping this post will shed some light on that rough where the diamond lies. I will certainly try.

My mother was very strict. She taught me many things without saying one word. I watched her. How she remained silent when I felt she should speak up. How she just hummed when I knew she had a lot on her mind. How she continuously gave her last for people I felt had no appreciation for her generosity nor did they deserve it. When she passed away, it became clear. Her gift to the world was not simply being a great mother to children she didn’t birth, it was her heart. Her desire to make a difference and having the audacity to see it through. Somewhere along the way she grasped the importance of her uniqueness and how she could impact the world, even when it seemed there was no one else willing to do the same. You can too.

Naturally, there will be times when pursuing your goals can become overwhelming and uncertainty tends to seep in, giving rise to doubt and discouragement. Keep going. These are natural hurdles to face. Don’t let them get the best of you. You see, challenges are opportunities to show your strengths, not excuses to make it easier to give up.  Each one of us was born with a certain set of qualities and skill that cannot be duplicated by another. There is only one you. One heart like yours, one idea like yours, one strategy only you can think of. Just one.

Don’t let fear get in the way of reaching your full potential. It’s easy to find yourself pushed into a box, meeting the demands of others who understand their potential. And maybe that’s your purpose. But what if there’s something greater in you, being suppressed by doubt and fear? You know exactly what I mean. That itch. That desire to do greater things; to make your stamp on the world. Don’t let that sparkle dim. Never allow others to overshadow your uniqueness with their negativity. Remember, there is only one you. There is no competition, there is only opportunity for you to highlight your strengths, leading to enhanced visibility proving necessary to make your mark.

You don’t need a parade or a stadium of followers to believe in your dream. The truth is, some people won’t get it until you’ve done it. How can they when only you can think of such a thing? Purpose is designed to be measured through impact. Until you execute the vision inside you, you cannot impact the lives of others. The greatest creations began with just a thought. A thought someone had the nerve to make into a reality.

In the end, people won’t so much remember the jewels, luxuries and material treasures. They will remember you. The impression you made in their lives, what you taught them – maybe without even saying a word. You see, greatness is found in what you do, not in what you say. The crazy thing about greatness is, it’s only deserving of the title once it’s impacted the life of someone else. So what great wonder will you produce today? What will your legacy be?

I’ll leave you with these great words:

If you can’t fly, then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk, then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.” -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

See you at the top!

20140717-133139-48699513.jpgMary V. Davids is Principal Consultant at D&M Consulting Services, LLC., and creator of the Honest Model™. Mary has over a decade of experience in cultivating employee engagement, enhancing workplace performance, career coaching, leadership coaching and training & development. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management. To connect with Mary, you can follow her on twitter @MVDavids or you can email her at maryd@dm-professional.com

5 Personal Branding Tips to Help Boost Your Career

BUILDING YOUR BRANDEverything you say either helps your brand or hurts it. When you post comments or thoughts on various social networking sites your connections get an idea of who you are. Through such communication people form an opinion about you and make a mental decision whether they want to further engage with you or distance themselves.

Your exposure doesn’t simply end with your approved connections. The internet is fair game.  Google your name to see what comes up. There may be more out there than you think!

About 2 in 5 employers look candidates up online before they make a decision about hiring them. Some employers even spend time reading content to observe how often candidates post so they can get learn more about their personality or character. Too many opinionated posts can be a negative. A hiring manager may assume you are easily distracted. Not enough posts could mean you are not tech-savvy enough (depending on the position you are needed for).

If you have any desire to further your career, you will need to be strategic about your online presence.

The best way to reinvent yourself and move full force towards building your brand is to attract the right audience. The only way to get people to take interest in what you’re doing is to get their attention by finding ways to connect with them personally. A great way to connect with like-minded professionals is to join groups within your industry on social media platforms such as LinkedIn. On other social sites like Twitter you’ll find chat sessions hosted daily or weekly by organizations looking to boost engagement with followers. Take advantage of these opportunities to engage with other professionals by sharing your thoughts and opinions as well.

Not sure where to start? Hire a professional to help you.

In the mean time, I encourage you to take these small steps in changing your image online:

Tip 1: Stay positive when you share your thoughts. Like the saying goes, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all!

Tip 2: Remove/un-tag any unfavorable pictures of you that may be on the internet. The last thing you want a prospective employer to see is you downing drinks at a frat party.

Tip 3: Update your professional profile/web page at least once a month, even if it is an updated picture or a positive comment.

Tip 4: Consistency is key. Commit to regularly posting about industry hot topics and sharing articles posted by top influencers.

Tip 5: Revamp your LinkedIn profile to highlight your strengths and abilities; ensure your bio and experience is consistent on all social media platforms.

These tips should help you get on track and ensure you have a professional appearance online and boost your confidence in person.

Need help with your LinkedIn profile or bio? Hire a professional today!

MDD-160

Mary V. Davids is Principal Consultant at D&M Consulting Services, LLC., and creator of the Honest Model™. Mary has over a decade of experience in cultivating employee engagement, enhancing workplace performance, career coaching, leadership coaching and training & development. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management. To connect with Mary, you can follow her on twitter @MVDavids or you can email her at maryd@honestleadership.org

Why Honesty in Business Equals Success Part 3

Honesty requires courage.The road less traveled

Have the courage to say No. Have the courage to face the Truth. Do the right thing because it is right. These are the magic keys to living your life with integrity. ~ W. Clement Stone

No one is void of error. So you would think it would be more acceptable when we make mistakes right? I bet you can turn on the television this very second and find one political party bashing the other for what they consider to be a mistake in judgment or policy. Imagine how difficult it is for someone being publicly condemned for making a mistake to come out, admit the mistake and be truthful about their fault. It takes a heck of a lot of courage to do such a thing, yet there are those who stand up and face the fury anyway.

An honest person does not allow circumstance to compromise integrity. Those who remain truthful regardless of the outcome are often viewed as our greatest leaders, recognized as hero’s and admired for their good work.

Take a look at American leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and President Abraham Lincoln (“Honest Abe”). These leaders adopted honesty as a way of life. While serving, they courageously remained consistent in their beliefs of integrity and righteousness. Even through many tough times, they never backed down or compromised their integrity to please others. There was simply no question about who these men were and what they stood for. Today we hold their legacy’s in high regard, many of us hoping to impact the lives of others just as they have impacted ours. I believe this is still possible; even in the today’s society. (See the Honest Model)

“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality.” –Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Honesty requires a bravery only possessed by great leaders. Not everyone is up for the challenge, nor are they equipped with the wisdom, discernment and compassion it takes to deliver such a service.

Like dishonesty, honesty is a risk; however there is clear distinction between the two. While an honest person will take control of a situation; mentally preparing themselves for a reaction, be it good or bad, a dishonest person will leave a reaction to truth up to chance. Instead they choose to be unprepared to face the havoc likely forthcoming when they least expect it. Now I wouldn’t call that a guaranteed success strategy, would you?

Having experience and knowledge doesn’t make a great leader; these qualities make a great worker. A great leader is courageous; consistently displaying good character, morals and a genuine heart. Knowing the difference can make or break your legacy.

“If you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” –Abraham Lincoln

Have you read part 1 and part 2? 

Why Honesty in Business Equals Success Part 1

Why Honesty in Business Equals Success Part 2

MDD-160Mary V. Davids is Principal Consultant at D&M Consulting Services, LLC., and creator of the Honest Model™. Mary has over a decade of experience in cultivating employee engagement, enhancing workplace performance, career coaching, leadership coaching and training & development. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management. Mary also serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the South Florida Chapter of the National Association of African American’s in Human Resources. To connect with Mary, you can follow her on twitter @MVDavids or you can email her at maryd@honestleadership.org

June Book Pick!

Don’t forget to subscribe to this blog for your chance to WIN a copy of this book! 

the-people-factor-VAN-MOODY-2This month we picked Van Moody’s The People Factor. Here’s what Van Moody helps the reader to discover:

  • How to have healthy relationships
    with unhealthy people
  • How to positively engage at work and
    advance your career
  • How to identify and thrive in a “toxic”
    relationship
  • How to know when helping someone
    is actually hurting you
  • How to set compassionate
    relationship boundaries
  • How to end relationships in a healthy
    and respectful way

“To build and maintain deep, substantive relationships, people must know themselves, be honest about themselves, and share their true selves with others.” – Van Moody

Don’t forget to subscribe to this blog for your chance to win an electronic copy of this book for your Kindle device!

**If you have a book you would like to recommend for next month, send an email to info@dm-professional.com for consideration. 

Mary V. DaviMDD-160ds is Principal Consultant at D&M Consulting Services, LLC. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management. Mary has over a decade of experience in cultivating employee engagement, enhancing employee motivation and workplace performance, leadership coaching and training & development. She also serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the South Florida Chapter of the National Association of African American’s in Human Resources. Book Mary to speak at your next event or hire Mary for leadership & professional development consultation today. Follow Mary on twitter @MVDavids.

Keep Moving Forward

Keep Moving Forward

Mary V. DaviMDD-160ds is Principal Consultant at D&M Consulting Services, LLC. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management. Mary has over a decade of experience in cultivating employee engagement, enhancing employee motivation and workplace performance, leadership coaching and training & development. She also serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the South Florida Chapter of the National Association of African American’s in Human Resources. Book Mary to speak at your next event or hire Mary for leadership & professional development consultation today. Follow Mary on twitter @MVDavids.

Love – Lift – Lead

LOVE LIFT LEADA grand mistake often made in business is separating leadership from love. Ah yes, the great divide of emotion from the workplace. Here’s the real deal: True leadership starts from a loving place with roots grounded in lifting others up when they fall and showing them the way to greater journeys ahead. Without possessing a genuine love and desire to help others succeed, there is no true leadership. Instead there is aimless guidance disguised as leadership in hopes to gain blind followers; sometimes referred to as “management”.

Leadership is a three-step process. It starts with a genuine love; secondly a desire to help others grow; and lastly establishing and maintaining an influential relationship with others.

So how can one achieve this ultimate leadership experience? It starts with who you are and what you desire to accomplish. Leading without love is selfish and having a self-fulfilling goal is the opposite of a good leader.

Leadership requires genuine love

Often employees are held to unreasonable expectations to perform without having the proper resources available to do so. Although we may not call it “love” in the workplace, a good leaders’ actions mirror what’s in their heart. Love is shown through what you offer an employee. Being considerate of child-care needs; health benefits, making healthy foods available, encouraging exercising or offering flexible work arrangements; these are gestures of love in leadership. Giving employees the resources and tools to be the best performers are how we show our employees we genuinely care about their success.

Desire to help others grow

Intentions often get lost during delivery. While it may appear people want the best for others and have a desire to see them grow; often they end up indirectly (or directly) preventing them from doing so. Managers require timely production and adherence to deadlines – leaders focus on the developmental steps necessary to reach the goal. Cracking the whip is not an example of good leadership. Yes, accountability is a necessary role in progression, but it should not mean damaging the spirit of others in the process. Good leaders encourage employee input, making them feel valued and appreciated. This acceptance helps employees to become more engaged, therefore more productive and knowledgeable.

Establishing an influential connection

When you’ve developed trust with your employees, they begin to value your relationship and trust your judgment. They become loyal and committed to the vision of the organization. This connection creates an influential bond, making it easier to implement change and take on new opportunities. Be transparent, yet kind in your approach when speaking with employees. Pour back into them in areas where they need improvement. Be a support, an encouragement and a reality-check when needed. Not only must we create a welcoming environment, we must display empathy and give undivided attention to those who need it most. Good leaders strive to lift others up, not tear them down. Having influential relationships with employees allows leaders to focus on the future without facing resistance from employees.

Not everyone having a leadership position, is meant to lead. Leadership is much more than skill and knowledge. It requires integrity, honesty, willingness to do good unto others and having an expectation of others to do the same.

MDD-160Mary V. Davids is Principal Consultant at D&M Consulting Services, LLC. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management. Mary has over a decade of experience in cultivating employee engagement, enhancing employee motivation and workplace performance, leadership coaching and training & development. She also serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the South Florida Chapter of the National Association of African American’s in Human Resources. Book Mary to speak at your next event or hire Mary for leadership & professional development consultation today. Follow Mary on twitter @MVDavids.

Excuse me, Can you Please Stop Interrupting Your Success?

Business Man Talking to HimselfThe one thing I find many of my clients and colleagues have in common is excuses. I often hear of goals, life objectives and hopeful achievements during our conversations and when I pose the question inquiring about the action behind the goal, I receive a slew of reasons why they haven’t achieved them.

I’ve found that generally it’s not other people getting in the way of our success, its us!

We limit our opportunities with poor excuses of why we didn’t seize them. Instead of going the extra mile to accomplish something, we delay and procrastinate. We allow unimportant things to take our attention away from our mission and goals. We overlook, we compromise and we choose to find other reasons to describe our clear lack of motivation. I know this because I too have been subjected to what I’ve labeled as “self-interference”. I define self-interference as the interruption or hindrance of activity, movement or actions caused by oneself.

In the spirit of improvement, I’ve devised a few methods to overcoming self-interference in hopes of getting you back on track towards success.

1. Schedule your success time. Yes, add it to your calendar just as you would a hair appointment or important client meeting. Use this time to go over your goals, measure your progress and tweak your strategy to include any life changes or environmental interruptions. It’s inevitable that things may not go the way we plan, but even through that, we must always stay focused on the goal. Adjust as you must, but always keep moving forward.

2. Find someone to hold you accountable. When I have writers block and my husband notices I haven’t written anything lately, he holds me accountable. He tells me “turn off the television and get to work.” I need that. Tell your friends and family your goals and aspirations. Ask them to check up on you during your process and remind you of the goals you’ve set. This will help you to get back on track. I’ve found that often people need a push from the outside to reignite the fire on the inside; even if they consider themselves as “self-motivated”. Remember, we are human too!

3. Be selective with your free time. Dinner parties, personal phone calls, last-minute invitations to gatherings, etc. Sometimes we have to pass on the fun to reach the goal. Ask yourself if these engagements and activities put you any closer to achieving your goals. Now I mention being selective because I want you to choose to treat yourself, not allow a good time to interrupt your process. Yes, it’s okay to take a few breaks. Just make sure those breaks rejuvenate, not derail you from your path.Working Mom

4. Prioritize. We have meetings, events, personal time, family obligations, etc….the list goes on and on I’m sure! Try setting a “must do today” list and highlight at least 3 things on that list you will not compromise on getting done. Knock those things out early if you can. You’ll find you are mentally prepared to handle the remainder of the day once you’ve completed your tasks.

5. Prepare yourself for greatness! The last thing you want is to work hard to achieve a goal or land an opportunity and being unprepared to receive it. Lay the foundation to build on the success you plan to achieve. If you are launching a business and desire to have 200 employees, make sure your office space can allow for that, your networking is set up to receive an influx of business and your email accounts can withstand such a vast growth. The last thing you want is to have a demand for your service or product and being unable to fulfill the request.

The road to success isn’t easy, but it is rewarding. The process towards success teaches us discipline and sacrifice. These revelations humble us and prepare us; not only to achieve greatness, but to maintain it. Success is a process, not a microwave mission. Going  through the process allows you to appreciate the outcome and protect it from failure.

Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great. ~John D. Rockefeller

MDD-160Mary V. Davids is Principal Consultant at D&M Consulting Services, LLC. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management. Mary has over a decade of experience in cultivating employee engagement, enhancing employee motivation and workplace performance, leadership coaching and training & development. She also serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the South Florida Chapter of the National Association of African American’s in Human Resources. Book Mary to speak at your next event or hire Mary for leadership & professional development consultation today. Follow Mary on twitter @MVDavids.

5 Reasons Why Social Media is Good for Business

social media graphic

Social media has changed the way we do business. It has expanded the local entrepreneurial reach and is the cause for many successes in business. According to LinkedIn recent study, 9 in 10 small businesses say they are currently using or plan to use social media to expand their business.

Most people, after meeting you and/or learning the name of your company, within seconds hop on Google to see what appears. What do they see about your personal brand or business? More importantly, what do you want them to see?

According to the Social Media Examiner’s 2013 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, the top two benefits of social media marketing are increasing exposure and increasing traffic.

86% of marketers say that social media is important for their business.

89% of marketers say that increased exposure was the number one benefit of social media marketing.

A recent LinkedIn study showed that 94% of small businesses using social media use it for marketing and 3 in 5 says social media helps to attract new customers.

With social media, you can brand your business on a wider scale, thereby connecting with consumers whom already use social media platforms personally and professionally. If they like what they see, they will connect with you and from there you can develop a stronger connection and business relationship. Here are some ways social media can help grow your business.

1. Exposure. Your reach is significantly further with social media. Social media is a global platform that allows you to connect with people all across the world. Hashtag’s are big in social media platforms such as Twitter and Google+. Create your own hashtag to put a stamp on your brand. Most companies use a hashtag vs. a slogan because it quickly identifies the company and it is easier to remember.

2. Developing Relationships. Connecting with people is essential in gaining new business. Utilizing social media will allow you to relate to your current customers and form new customer relationships. Release content that is relevant, funny, informative or controversial to start up conversation. Interact with your customer base by responding to comments and insight. Many company’s hire a social media person or team to keep the conversation going and remain engaged with their audience.

3. Access to Networks. Through social media, you and your company can develop connections with other networks and organizations. Building relationships on a higher scale by affiliating with well-known experts in your industry is a plus. More often a simple follow from a well known and recognized individual or organization can drive attention to your business and brand.

4. Remaining Relevant and Current. We know that most people check a company’s online presence before doing business with them. Not having current and relevant content and news on social media pages will create a wedge and disconnect between the company and its customers. People want to know what is currently happening and what is to come. Often they look to companies they trust and do business with to deliver this information.

5. Knowing Thy Competition! If you want to remain competitive, you have to be willing to step inside the sand box to find out what’s going on in your industry. How can you compete without knowing what you are up against? Many businesses use social media as a platform to announce new products and services, even before they publish such information with a newspaper or television network. Want to grow? Stay in the know!

To remain successful, it is important to recognize and adjust to industry changes and standards. Growing requires change and change is a necessary element of sustainability. So get out there and tweet, google, facebook and link up on LinkedIn! See you soon!

Profile-Pic.jpgMary V. Davids is the Founder and Managing Member of D&M Consulting Services, LLC. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management. Mary has over a decade of experience in cultivating employee engagement, enhancing employee motivation and workplace performance, leadership coaching and training & development. She also serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the South Florida Chapter of the National Association of African American’s in Human Resources. Book Mary to speak at your next event or hire Mary for leadership & professional development consultation today. Follow Mary on twitter@MVDavids.

Achieve the Impossible

Achieve the Impossible

 

Profile-Pic_thumb1_thumb.jpgMary V. Davids is the Founder and Managing Member of D&M Consulting Services, LLC. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management. Mary has over a decade of experience in cultivating employee engagement, enhancing employee motivation and workplace performance, leadership coaching and training & development. She also serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the South Florida Chapter of the National Association of African American’s in Human Resources. Book Mary to speak at your next event or hire Mary for leadership & professional development consultation today. Follow Mary on twitter @MVDavids.

Good Leadership is Not About Being Right

Im-Right“Being right means nothing unless you’re the one that holds the cards.” That is what a great boss once told me. He learned that after being fired from a prestigious law firm after arguing with his boss over who was right. His boss said to him “You know what, your right – and you’re fired!” I later discovered that we never really hold all the cards. Even when we own our own companies, we are still at the mercy of our loyal customers our brand and those we hope to gain valuable relationships with in the future. Good leadership is not about being right, it’s about doing the right things.

A good leader understands the value in making mistakes. Being wrong is a humbling experience that teaches us what not to do the next time. Leadership doesn’t require you to know everything, rather it requires you know how to find the answers to questions you don’t know while working with those who do. The man who leads only to “yessers” is a fool. You simply cannot grow if you are never challenged beyond that which you think you already know.

Leadership requires many things, being right isn’t one of them. As a leader you must have the ability to:

Inspire. Bringing out the good in people and helping them to turn that into greatness is one of the most prominent traits of a good leader. Enhancing the lives of others; showing people how to become greater, reach higher and go beyond the norm is an invaluable treasure. People need to know they make a difference and they are valued. This is what leadership is about.

Effectively Communicate. Good leaders understand that effective communication is the difference between speaking to someone and having a conversation with someone. Communication doesn’t become effective if the recipient does not understand the expectations nor have they agreed to meet them.  Bring workers into the conversation, don’t just speak at them, engage them.

Delegate. You can’t do everything yourself. If you think you can, you’re only fooling yourself and wasting a lot of time and money in the midst. Delegation is one of the toughest things to do for someone who thinks “nothing will get done right if I don’t do it myself”. Trust that people will do what they say they have the ability to do. Create a check-in to see where they are with assignments and determine if they are going in the right direction. Give constructive criticism, encouragement and make adjustments as needed.

Be Relatable. It’s difficult for people to follow someone they cannot relate to. Strive not to become out of touch and unapproachable. Always stress an open-door policy in the workplace and initiate conversation with your employees. Don’t wait for them to initiate conversation with you. Share personal experiences and stories with your employees. This will draw them in and help you to create a personal connection, not just a surface interaction which only creates surface results.

Confidence is key in leadership. Don’t be afraid to say you don’t know. We must see the opportunity in not knowing and encourage others to work with us to find the answers. Together you will learn something new, becoming greater collectively and individually.

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Mary V. Davids is the Founder and Managing Member of D&M Consulting Services, LLC. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management. Mary has over a decade of experience in cultivating employee engagement, enhancing employee motivation and workplace performance, leadership coaching and training & development. She also serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the South Florida Chapter of the National Association of African American’s in Human Resources. Book Mary to speak at your next event or hire Mary for leadership & professional development consultation today. Follow Mary on twitter@MVDavids.