Real Leaders

5 Ways to Elevate Your Voice

As we emerge from a year of confusion and muted voices, who better to keep us inspired than those who never lost their voice — keynote speakers.

Draw inspiration from these 5 speakers who deliver words of wisdom to help you lead better than before. Many celebrities and politicians have lost their appeal over the past year, as people seek more authentic voices that resonate personally. Keynote speakers have positive, can-do attitudes that are a perfect fit for our brave new world.

1. The Power Woman / Pegine

Everyone can be a leader — unique and valuable. We have all been ground down and polished to shine. Often, I find that leaders don’t recognize that they have to continually polish and shine themselves. If you want to lead well, then follow what positive, great leaders do. Real leaders study themselves, constantly working on their behaviors, gaining insights into their strengths and weaknesses. They choose to change. Great leaders choose to engage their team, employees, and stakeholders by positively influencing, impacting, and inspiring. Great leaders know that the results they achieve are a direct result of their mindset, taking full responsibility for results. Great leaders celebrate the success of the team; they acknowledge others publicly.

You are called to lead. You are asked to lead. You have a choice to be a great, positive leader or just okay. Choose great. Invest in yourself; you will find a wonderful person. Invest in your team, clients, and community, and you will find amazing supporters. Invest in thinking positively, proactively, and with mindfulness, and you will have positive results. Invest in a celebration for others. Take the time to appreciate, applaud, and acknowledge others. Be great.

2. The Live F.R.E.S.H. Recipe / Frank Kitchen

How do you define leadership? I define leadership as the ability to educate, energize, and empower individuals or groups to live a dream. I love the opportunity to work with organizations around the world that want their people to break through mental and physical barriers to live the dreams they hunger for. I developed a recipe for how leaders should lead called F.R.E.S.H. — Focused, Resourceful, Enthusiastic, Strong (mentally), and Honest. When you lead this way, you are committing your time, talents, team, and treasures to live your dreams, while also helping others live theirs. You can be a positive difference-maker and life-changer in your community, organization, or workplace. We all have this ability, but it’s an active choice you must commit to. Leadership isn’t about a title or position. Leadership is about action. Leaders are not remembered for what they say or think; they’re remembered for how they live and the results they “cook up.” Do you want to be a leader known for producing the tasty results everyone talks about and attempts to emulate? Then stop talking about it and commit to living your leadership dream. When you do, you will inspire and motivate others to do the same.

3. The Values-Driven Visionary / Carrie Fox

I used to think that one of the key pillars to success was to surround myself with like-minded people. Surely, those who thought like me and had similar education and careers would be my best sources of insight and information, right? I thought I was right, until I knew I was wrong. It started with a workshop, where I was asked to examine a list of 10 people I trusted the most. No relatives — just peers, mentors, and friends could be on the list. What I found shocked me. Everyone on my list looked like me. They had similar education, political beliefs, and socioeconomic backgrounds. The lack of diversity floored me. I vowed to do something about it.

Diversity is not a box we check, and it’s not a nice-to-have. On the contrary, diversity is the most wonderful part of humanity. Yet, most of us have intentionally sorted ourselves out of diverse networks, which widens our gaps in understanding and empathy for one another. But, if we know better, then we must do better, especially around the dangers of like-mindedness. When we’re surrounded by people who tell us what we want and believe what we do, it’s very easy to accept that something is true because enough people around us say it’s true. Instead of wrestling with hard questions or challenging norms, we simply settle for answers without ever questioning why. What would happen if, instead of shying away from the difficult, we vowed to get comfortable with the uncomfortable? Could significant change happen with minor adjustments to our habits? It can. And it starts with you.

4. The Power of Positive Leadership / Jon Gordon

As a leader, you will face all kinds of challenges, adversity, negativity, and tests. There will be times when it seems as if everything in the world is conspiring against you. There will be moments you’ll want to give up. There will be days when your vision seems more like a fantasy than a reality. That’s why positive leadership is so essential.
When some people hear the term positive leadership, they roll their eyes because they think I’m talking about Pollyanna positivity, where life is full of unicorns and rainbows. But the truth is that we are not positive because life is easy. We are positive because life can be challenging.

Pessimists don’t change the world. Critics write words, but they don’t write the future. Naysayers talk about problems, but they don’t solve them. Throughout history, we see that it’s the optimists, the believers, the dreamers, the doers, and the positive leaders who change the world. The future belongs to those who believe in it and have the belief, resilience, positivity, and optimism to overcome all the challenges in order to create it. So choose to lead positively today, and it will help you create a better tomorrow.

5. The Trailblazer / Charlene Wheeless

Leadership lesson: Work is personal. We’ve all heard it before, probably many times over the years: “It’s not personal; it’s business.” I acknowledge that even I have used this phrase more than once. Yet, I have come to believe over time that it’s the coward’s way of delivering a less-than-positive message. Whenever there are people involved, it’s personal. Period. “It’s not personal, it’s business” is the corporate equivalent of an emotional breakup that starts with “It’s not you, it’s me.” The fact of the matter is that it is you. If you were not part of the problem, there would be no need for a breakup! So, let us agree that work is personal, and we, as leaders, managers, and coworkers, need to remember this message and lead with humanity, compassion, and empathy. To quote Dr. Maya Angelou, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” In short: Bust up stereotypes, break down barriers, and flat-out refuse to be ignored, pigeon-holed, or forgotten.

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