Blog Articles

The Truth About Burnout

It’s been a while. I’ve neglected my blog unhappily while writing to the subscribers of my Anger Newsletter. There are just so many hours in a day, have you noticed? But now I’ve found a way to get back in touch in a hopefully helpful way.

Anger Newsletter? What’s with anger? Well, I’ve been working on and with anger for many years, and suddenly find myself dubbed an ‘anger expert’. I am able to teach people how to convert their anger into peak performance wherever they want it. I speak and write a great deal on this subject. People are enjoying my articles on how to use anger for peak performance, so I’ve decided to share them with you in this blog as well. And in the meantime, you may want to download the Anger Guide off my website: www.lesleystephenson.com

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Up To The Next Level

On a walk near the Swiss mountain village of Gstaad, I passed several lovely old farmhouses. It was an icy, grey New Year’s Day, not many folk about because anyone sane was safely indoors drinking hot chocolate by the fireside. But I was rewarded for braving the cold. Some of the houses had wise sayings carved into their wooden facades, and one of these stopped me in my tracks. Translating from the old High German in which it was written, it said: It’s nice to settle in with your friends. But if you want to improve in life, you’ll need to spend time with others whose expertise surpasses your own.’ I smiled when I read this sign, because its message →

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Use Your Anger Energy!

In earlier articles in this series, I explained that anger itself is not a bad thing. Poorly managed, though, it can turn really nasty. Let’s remember that there’s only one little letter separating anger from Danger! So, did you make your list? You’ll need that list of goals now because we’re ready to take the next step towards turning your anger energy into peak performance. You see, the difference between performing your activities well and performing them at the peak levels of your ability is not always a question of talent. Very often it’s about discipline and staying power, sustaining the energy needed to see your goals through to the end. And there’s no better place to reap that type →

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Using Anger to Create Peak Performance

So, let’s look at that first step for converting your anger into peak performance. As I said before, anger is a truly powerful emotion with a lot of energy attached to it. Usually, when we get angry, that energy is used destructively against ourselves and others. But it can also be used as positive fuel to drive us further towards reaching our goals and fulfilling cherished dreams. How can we do that? In order to harness the energy of anger and to convert it into positive performance, we first need to have a list of the goals or projects we’re working on. When I say list, I don’t mean a list of vague hopes and aspirations somewhere inside your head, →

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The Myths about Anger / Part 1: Anger is Evil!

One of the first things I explain to my audiences about anger is that it is not something inherently evil. This comment does not go down well with people who’ve been raised to believe that anger is something bad, that you must not display it in public, and so on. But it’s true: anger is ‘just’ a powerful human emotion which arises when we feel threatened in some way. And it doesn’t appear alone. When we are threatened, both fear and anger result, and they are there to protect us. Take away anger and all we are left with in the face of threat is fear, which is unlikely to help us deal with the threat successfully. So again, anger →

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Your New Best Friend

Your New Best Friend

When I returned to my office a couple of weeks ago after a lengthy absence in Australia, I met a curious sight as I walked down the path. I’ve saved it for you in the picture above. My goddaughter had prepared this for me, and at first sight it looked like Death of a Dolly (or Grave of Godmother, rather more worrying). Afterwards, though, I realized that it was a very special symbol of change, and most appropriate for the changes I’ve seen deriving from some of my work this year. One of the subjects I discuss in my keynote speeches is anger, a taboo subject for many. Were you allowed to express your anger as a child? Or were →

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STOP! Move Away from the Overload Blues

I have a kitsch cookie jar called Gus. He has a bright cheery kitsch face, and is dressed in a shiny blue patrollman’s uniform. He is short and squat, an American style cop. The lid of the jar is his head and policeman’s cap, which is hinged to his body. If you raise his head to look inside or take a cookie, he says loudly:’ STOP! Move Away from the Cookie Jar!’ He’s wonderful.

Gus also inspired today’s blog entry. It’s been a long time since I posted, but a good time. Let me tell you why.

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Lessons from Ethiopia

I have just returned from a working trip to Africa. As my husband and I run a charity for special projects in Ethiopia (Ethiopian Enterprises), this is nothing new. I travel to Ethiopia at least twice a year, and have taught both teachers and entrepreneurs in northern Ethiopia. What was different this time, though, was that I was invited to speak to an audience of academics at the University of Mekelle on the subject of Recognition: my first keynote on the African continent! And as always when speaking to an audience in a different cultural environment, I learned a lot. In this case, I was particularly reminded of how important it is for speakers to remain calm, even in challenging →

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2 Cures for Filler Disease

I have spent a lot of time recently speaking and training in the Asia-Pacific region. Particularly in Australia last month, I saw how popular and common the use of podcasts and live film/video in websites has become. I also saw the spread of a dreadful contagious speakers’ disease: the dreaded Filler Disease. Filler Disease won’t kill your body. But it will harm your professional success and your status as a speaker or representative of your industry. If you even THINK you might have this disease (some of us have it without knowing), then please read on to check the symptoms and especially the cure! Speakers with Filler Disease use ‘Filler Words’ to fill even the tiniest pauses in their speeches, →

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My Secret Army

How are you feeling as 2010 comes to an end? Exhilarated by the successes of a year nearly over? Full of energy and excitement at the thought of doing it all again in 2011? Or are you feeling run down, overloaded, or – in the worst case – burnt out? I’ve worked with a number of leaders this year who reported either past experiences of burnout, or who were showing many of its forerunner symptoms! Interestingly enough, many of them were leaders who were still trying at some level to fulfil the impossible role of a hero leader: the leader who knows it all and does it all – alone! The days of the hero leader are over. In fact, →

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