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Leader ToC with Joel Sweeney

This month, with our third in the series of Leader ToC™ Blog Posts for 2017, we interview Joel Sweeney.  Joel is a truly longtime colleague and friend, and I am so thrilled that he has opted to weigh in on Leader ToC™ .  That being said, Leader ToC™ (Thoughts on Character) is our monthly series engaging leaders around the world on character, leadership and more.

Before we actually get started this month, here is last month’s edition with Ray Hollister (including a link to that with Stephanie Staples back in January) … and a compilation of the first six in the series from 2016.  This month makes our ninth issue.  We are thankful, and look forward to continuing the learning journey.  Enjoy.

INTRODUCING JOEL SWEENEY

We are indeed proud to say Joel is one of the earliest members of The CAST™.  Here is just a little of what we know of Joel.

Joel Sweeney is all about effective communications. He has been speaking, training, coaching and writing about it for over 20 years. He is the author of The Wedding MC Handbook and Little Helpings of Food for Thought. His third book, The Speaker’s Tool Box – Perfecting the Craft of Speaking, was released in the 2015. He is the owner of Professionally Speaking (established in 1995). Joel helps entrepreneurs and business professional become effective, engaging and confident speakers.

So, let’s get at it to …

Engage the Leader ToC™

BARRY LEWIS GREEN

Hey Joel.  Thank you so much for joining us on Leader ToC™, my friend.

JOEL SWEENEY

My pleasure Barry… glad to do it.

BARRY LEWIS GREEN

Joel, we always start with a question that goes something like, “Who are you and what is it you do?”

JOEL SWEENEY

Well Barry, as you know, I am an entrepreneur and the owner of Professionally Speaking. I have packaged more than twenty years of researching, training, coaching and writing into a product I call The Speaker’s Tool Box. Personally, I view speaking as a craft and I use that analogy to share my unique perspective on that same craft of speaking.  I know what it is like to have extreme speaking anxiety. I tackled that demon several years ago and I still remember the limitations it caused me.

BARRY LEWIS GREEN

Interesting.  So, you come from a true place of empathy.  That is powerful.  With that in mind, for whom do you do this work best?  In other words Joel, who is your best audience?

JOEL SWEENEY

I get the most excitement and satisfaction in helping successful entrepreneurs and business professionals become confident, engaging and effective speakers. Many of these individuals have put all their energies into their businesses and careers. They are at a stage where they want to proceed further. For entrepreneurs they want to become the face and voice of their business. For business professionals they want to advance into higher positions of responsibility or take on leadership roles with their professional associations. In order to move to the next level, many find that they need to be good speakers and/or presenters. However, they lack the skills and confidence to do it. I help them deal with that.

BARRY LEWIS GREEN

Much needed.  I like it.  Then, how do you best serve them in doing so?  In other words, how do you offer your services?

JOEL SWEENEY

Lately, most of my focus has been on group and individual coaching. During the past few months, I have been reworking my content and I now offer my products and services online. This is allowing me to reach a much broader market and have a greater impact.  I also use writing to get my message out to the world. I am the author of three books and am currently working on my fourth.

BARRY LEWIS GREEN

You have a substantial body of work Joel; which really leads me to my next question.  Based on your work over the years… in these times, what are the challenges and opportunities of leadership… from your perspective and experience?

JOEL SWEENEY

I think one of the big challenges of leadership today is the erosion of oral communication skills. The reliance on electronic communication such as email and texting have reduced the effectiveness of oral communication. At its worst, it can impact on both internal and external communications and negatively affect productivity. This challenge is also a great opportunity for leaders to differentiate themselves and their organizations from their competition and experience personal and organizational growth by availing of opportunities to improve their communication and speaking skills and those of their employees.

BARRY LEWIS GREEN

Indeed.  I see this so very much in my own work as a college business educator.  And, it impacts leadership.  So, when considering the strengths of leadership as they might relate to character… what virtues do you consider to be paramount as strengths and why do you believe them vital?

JOEL SWEENEY

There are a few virtues that come to mind when it comes to communication. The first one is commitment. If you decide to pursue coaching to improve your speaking skills, if you want to manage your speaking anxiety, you must be committed to the process and to doing the work. There is no ‘secret pill’.  I firmly believe that our virtues are infused into our communications, particularly when we speak. You have to be true to your virtues. You can’t communicate authenticity if you are not authentic. You can’t communicate passion if you are not passionate about what you are doing. Let your speaking style demonstrate your virtues. You can’t fake them. The virtues will be different for each individual.

BARRY LEWIS GREEN

We do have core and hard wired virtues and character strengths… each of us.  While we can practice all strengths of character and develop them like any muscle… some are certainly more natural to us as individuals.  I like that.  Given that, what is one piece of advice you might have for our readership on developing leadership and strength of character in these times?

JOEL SWEENEY

When you are in a position of leadership you are always being judged and assessed. Your actions and your words are important. Remember that you also communicate with your body language which includes eye contact and facial expression. It is important to ensure that your body language is in sync with your spoken word. They are both critical components of how you communicate with others. Always be prepared to put your best you forward. You can’t be effective as a part-time leader.

BARRY LEWIS GREEN

I could not agree more.  Integrity is about alignment and consistency.  It is so important to remember this.  I like where you are coming from and going to on it.  That being said Joel, we are almost out of time.  So, how can someone connect with you for more information on your work?

JOEL SWEENEY

My website is www.joelsweeney.com and my email is joel@joelsweeney.com I am also on Facebook and Twitter. Search for Joel Sweeney.

BARRY LEWIS GREEN

Will do, though I know where to find you. 🙂  To our readership, connect with Joel.  You will not regret it.  Again, my friend… I want to thank you and keep up the great and focused work that you are doing.

JOEL SWEENEY

I have enjoyed it Barry.  Thank you for the opportunity.

Leader ToC™ out…

Folks, check out Joel’s work.  You will be glad you did.

And… continuing through 2017, around the third or final Friday of each month… we will continue to engage and explore with experts and leaders around the globe.  We invite you to join us.

Until next month…

Peace, passion and prosperity.

Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™

Barry is ultimately a vocalist, strength coach and educator. His work is about exploring, identifying, practicing and mastering our strengths and building upon them through practical and powerful unity and resourcefulness. That is why Barry is The Unity Guy™. EPIC Engage™ is an extension of The Unity Guy™. The Epic work is all about building strong, united and inspired cultures lead by character… at school, work, business and community; where everyone matters and contributes everyday.

PS

Here are some additional resources that may be of use and\or interest:

PPS (Other Resources)

  • Our work is all about character. We work hard and joyfully to help build character driven, united and resourceful organizations and communities around the globe. As part of that work, we offer you …
  • and our buffet of FREE services and resources here.

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