Lead Yourself – Personal Responsibility be your own volunteer

When you volunteer to do something there is usually an overriding desire to achieve, to get something done for a better purpose. A passion that drives you on.

There are a number of influences that have driven me to write this post:

  • Talking to Jamie Dunn about the difference between formal and self education
  • Personal reflection on the topic of Lead Yourself, part of the new Leaders Workshop I am working on with Kai Roer
  • And starting to listen to ‘Leadership Great Leaders Great Teams Great Results’ by Stephen R Covey, where he talks about the concept of employees being volunteers and therefore needing to be lead rather than managed to get the best out of them.

All of these got me writing…. It all starts with Personal Responsibility.

Being part of a voluntary organisation in my spare time, I often hear ‘they are volunteers, you can’t expect x,y,z they are not getting paid for it’

Personally I think I can have expectations as it’s nothing to do with money it is about giving your word. As a volunteer myself I do expect those around me to do what they commit to, if they don’t it impacts my volunteered time and energy, but it goes further than that, let me explain.

In a company you are contractually bound to do your work, if you don’t the long and short of it is you get fired. (After a fair and documented process obviously!)

If you volunteer to do something in a voluntary organisation you are personally bound to do it. You are responsible for your own word and for ensuring the task is done.

The only carrot or stick influence involved in a voluntary organisation, is to you and your reputation, you either do (and improve/maintain your reputation) or you don’t (and damage it)

If your situation changes, protect your reputation and let people know, communicate, share, re-attribute the work. (They only need to know about the tasks, your personal details are your business, a simple ‘I can no longer complete the task’ is sufficient)

This is your personal responsibility when you take on the task.

This lead me to the thought that this in essence is all you really ever need to do.

Lead yourself, be personally responsible for your word and your actions in everything you do, your relationships, your studies, your work, your play. When you do this you will set yourself up to succeed at everything you put your mind to, there is no one else to blame, to make excuses for, to hide behind.

So be your own volunteer, decide what better purpose you want for yourself and do something about it. Once you have committed to doing it respect yourself and put your best efforts into it. If your circumstances change admit it, realise the impact of those changes and re-attribute your tasks (personally or externally)

It is your life so live it and be responsible for it, live it to the fullest.

Acknowledge your successes by saying ‘Thank You’ back

Part of recognising what resources you have and what you are truly good at is being able to acknowledge when someone gives you praise and thanks you. This is what I believe to be part of true value behind saying thank you.

Thank you is an overused, under appreciated phrase that is usually drilled into children without any understanding of why. Each time they ask for something they are prompted for the magic ‘please’ and when they receive the requested x, y or z it is either not actually released until the thank you is applied or there is a swift follow up of ‘what do you say?’

Does this teach the real value of the words? (I think you have already guessed my answer)

These days there are loads of ways to acknowledge  the completion of a successful completion of a task, cheers, ta, nice work, that’s great etc etc and again do any of them really convey why we should say it?

Too many people brush off praise with false modesty, which is bad for the person giving it and worse for the person receiving the praise.

Instead of:
Jane – Thanks for your comments on the report, they really helped.
Fred – Just doing my job
Jane – Thanks for your comments on the report, they really helped.
Fred – Thank you, always happy to add value.

Instead of:
Tom  – You look great in that dress
Lorna – nah, this old this old thing had it for ages
Tom – You look great in that dress
Lorna – Thanks, I’ve had it for ages, and it always make me smile when I wear it.

In both of these situation the in first version the compliment is dismissed, doing nothing for the for the person receiving the compliment and potentially  offending the person giving it. (By dismissing it they are almost saying ‘I do not value your opinion’)

In the revised version, the compliment is accepted, acknowledged (internally re-enforcing positives for the person receiving it) while at the same time giving a compliment back (the unsaid ‘I appreciate and value your opinion’ )

When you get into the habit of saying thank you (while understanding why you are saying it) you will immediately start to identify more areas where you add value to those around you.

So remember,
When someone says something positive about you, do yourself (and them) a favour by saying ‘Thank You’ back

Make better use of your time.

We all receive a myriad of information on a daily basis, Text, Twitter, Facebook, Emails, even good old fashioned newspapers and book.

Working out the best way to cope with all this information, ensuring you are able to quickly and effortlessly absorb and understand it is vital to managing your time efficiently.

So what can you do about it all?

One simple solution is to be able to process it and decide if you need to know it faster. The thing you need to know from this blog post is check out the JCI Reading Speed Reading workshop on 30th June.

Where you will have your reading speed measured, be introduced to the basics of speed reading and have a chance to practice and improve your reading speed.


We all receive a myriad of information on a daily basis, Text, Twitter, Facebook, Emails, even good old fashioned newspapers and book.

Working out the best way to cope with all this information, ensuring you are able to quickly and effortlessly absorb and understand it is vital to managing your time efficiently.

So what can you do about it all?

One simple solution is to be able to process it and decide if you need to know it faster. The thing you need to know from this blog post is check out the JCI Reading Speed Reading workshop on 30th June

What is empowerment?

What is empowerment?

Empowerment is you recognising where you want to be knowing that you can get there.

As Individuals everyone has some form of dream, many do not write it down as a goal, many do not even say it out loud, then there are those that are scared to admit it even to themselves because they don’t believe they can have it. You go to work everyday to pay the mortgage but want something more. Let us find out what that is, and help you achieve it using the resources you already have.

If you are a businesses owner, I know you have a dream, you started your businesses for a reason, your reason. You wanted something in life that you thought running a business could fulfil. Are you on track? In all the hard work have you forgotten why you started? AIM to Succeed can empower you, getting you back on track to your dream goal.

When do you want to get started?

  • Have a look around
  • Take the first step and book a free call at a time that suit you, where we can find out what you want to achieve
  • or simply call us now on 0118 324 1010

Business Books and Audio Books

E-myth Revisited – Michael Gerber (About running your business not the Internet!)
The Slight Edge: Secret to a Successful Life – Jeff Olson (Make your whole life better – no really)
7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Steven Covey (It’s true)
Fish!: A Remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results – by Stephen.C.Lundin, Harry Paul & John Christensen (Motivation in the workplace)
Strengthsfinder 2.0 A New and Upgraded Edition of the Online Test from Gallup’s Now Discover Your Strengths
Neuromarketing: Understanding the Buy Buttons in Your Customer’s Brain
Networking Like a Pro: Turning Contacts into Connections by Ivan R. Misner
The 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris

Audio Versions

Remember the Ice – Bob Nicoll – The power of word selection – in particular why we should avoid saying the word “NOT”!
Focus: Achieving Your Highest Priorities – Steven Covey (Time management using Covey’s 7 habits as the basis)
Awaken the Giant Within– Anthony Robbins – The bestselling guide to taking control of your destiny

What do you need to Succeed?

SuccessIt is often said (with good reason) that you should have goals (personal and business), preferably written, but why?

The first thing you need to know is  what Success is.

The origin of the word Success is from the mid 16th century: from Latin successus, from the verb succedere ‘come close after’ (ref )

To come close to what?
Well that is where each individual or business has it’s own definition which will vary depending on the time frame you are looking at. To achieve or to come close, you need to know what you are aiming for and when you will get there.

Without one or both of these criteria you will always wonder if you have ‘come close’ or are still wide of the mark.
Therefore may achieve lots but you will never really know if you have succeeded.

In my last post ‘Where do you think you are going?‘ I asked you to answer the rephrased question of ‘Where do you want to be’ so you already have the outline of one of the criteria.

Which leads me nicely to asking you ‘When do you want to be there?’ : Tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, 5 years.

I will give you a day or so to think about these two components of success before moving on. In the meantime, you can follow @aimtosucceed on twitter, or our Like the AIM to Succeed fanpage on facebook, to ensure you get notified about future posts.

Where do you think you are going?

Following on from my last post ‘You can achieve anything you want‘ I will pose you the question ‘Where do you think you are going?’ and to make it easier for you to answer it I will rephrase it as two questions.

Where do you want to be?

Are your current actions getting you there?

Phrasing it this way takes away lots of the logical analysis and self criticism that usually rushes through peoples minds when they are posted with the question in the title of the post.


Therefore asking ‘Where do you want to be?’ enables you are able to truly let yourself go and dream your dream anything you want, not even the sky is the limit. 200 Billion pounds in the bank, having Bill Gates as your butler just because you can afford it, or more modestly, a house by the beech, able to look after those you love, surfing, diving or going out on your boat whenever the weather suits. Posing the question free of the shackles of self criticism empowers you to give the true answer.


Now the second question. A simple yes or no is all that is needed.

Are your current actions getting you there?


If you answered Yes – Congratulations you are one of the very few people that are already shaping their own world and that of those around them. (Was it an honest yes?)


If you answered No (to either ‘are your current actions getting you there?’ or ‘was it an honest yes?’) – You have just empowered yourself. Well done.


By admitting that what you are currently doing is not taking you where you want to end up, you can do something about it.


Keep following the AIM to Succeed blog or like the fan page for more idea and pointers

Say Hello to the Real You

Have you ever wondered what you are really capable of?

Do you have doubts or ambitions that you just can’t see how to get to?


Say hello to the real you is an interactive workshop where you will be introduced (possibly for the first time) to the Real You.

We all have hidden talent and skills. Learn about yourself in a way you never imagined, what makes you tick and  influences the decisions you make so that you can harness these in your everyday life.

Build on the positives and learn to look at the old negatives in a new light.

By learning about yourself you will be able to  move forward with a new insight into ‘your’ world and how you are really in control of it. Setting you up perfectly to set new goals and ensure you achieve them.

The Workshop will be facilitated by Stephen Wells, founder of AIM to Succeed and 2011/12 President of JCI Reading.

Steve coaches Businesses and Individuals to help them reach their full potential by identifying previously hidden strengths and unbridled ambition.

In the Say Hello to the Real You workshop Steve will guide you through.

The current you:
All the things you are.
What made you think that is you.
What you have achieved so far.

The Real you:
Steve will then challenge you to step into yourself with new knowledge and identify who you really are, asking you to let yourself go and dream your dream.

This is your opportunity to ensure you know why you want to be where you want to be. Allowing you to set yourself ambitious and honest goals knowing that you committed to achieving them.

For dates of the next event please or to request a session for your business contact us on 0118 324 1010 

You can achieve everything you want,

You can achieve everything you want, you just need to know what you want to achieve.

Achieving your dreams is centred around knowing dreams. If you know where you are going, you can work out the best route to take, if you just “don’t know” you can only guess where you will end up.


Making your own connections

I first met Jamie Dunn (@JDEntrepenuer) via a random search on twitter on 20th Aug 2010. Having taken a look at his website I knew he was someone that would be going places and would make great achievements. So I offered him my support. (First Tweet – @JDEntrepreneur If i can help in any way, please let me know. ) We have been in regular contact since with Jamie being a keynote speaking at JCI Inspiration Day in Reading and providing each other with regular support and advice. Being able to give assistance to your connections when they need it inevitably leads to them providing assistance when you need it.


How did I know Jamie would be going places?

Well at the age of just 18 (at the time) he had clear goals. He had set himself targets and published them for all to see. He had committed to them personally, as well as publicly and was taking positive actions to achieve them.
Basically he was prepared to challenge himself and relished the opportunity to succeed.


So where is Jamie going?:
Ultimately, to the top, Jamie is going to be one of the influential people in business and social enterprise that you hear consistently about over the next 10-20 years.


In the short-term he is going travelling to spread the word and inspire young people in 19 countries. At the end of April Jamie Tweeted that he had a new idea. I have learnt that this is always a good good time to give him a call, so we had a chat. He had decided to visit 19 countries, in 19 days on a budget of £1000 with the goal being to proved that you can do anything, you just need to find a way to do it.

This fits in nicely with his position as BXL Youth Ambassador where he is responsible for actively inspiring young people to make their own choices and achieve their potential. Therefore this project is a great chance for him to stamp out the some of the yeah, but I can’t, its too hard, its it will cost too much, I wont get any support, statements that you often hear when an idea comes to life.


So is Jamie doing this alone? Yes and No.
Yes – He will be travelling alone
No – His first reaction to the idea, was who can help me achieve this? Who do I know that can give me ideas, help with the concept, work on logistics, give me ideas on what to do while I am there. He has even asked for a suggested list of books to read while travelling!


As I have mentioned, I have talked to Jamie about the project, I have reminded him to take advantages of his links with JCI, by talking to Solveig Malvik (JCI UK Marketing Director and 2011 Deputy National President). We are working with Jamie to get him contacts in some of the countries to enable him to share his message and the lessons learned from BXL to an International audience.


Jamie sets off on 19th June and you can follow his progress on the planning and on the actual trip on his website (http://www.jamie-dunn.com/uncategorized/19-countries-19-days)

He has set himself a clear goal and is well on his way to achieving it.

Therefore: What is your dream, Personal, Professional, or Business?

Once you have decided what it is, get on with it, talk to people, find a way to make it happen. If you would like some help feel free to contact me.

Mind Mapping

If you struggle to get ideas down on paper have a try at mind mapping. A simple imagery based technique that frees up ideas and increases recall using simple easy to spot prompts.


The layout and simplicity of a mindmap saves you time by highlighting rather than hiding the words you know you want to talk about.

A quick scan of your map and you know where your flow is going and what you still need to cover.

Have a read of the following books or even better have a play with the free software download.

The Buzan Study Skills Handbook: The Shortcut to Success in Your Studies with Mind Mapping, Speed Reading and Winning Memory Techniques (Mind Set)


How to Mind Map: The Ultimate Thinking Tool That Will Change Your Life