Business leaders pay a great deal of attention to communication. Mastering what you need to say and how you need to say it are important factors if you’re going to be an effective communicator. However, one element of spoken communication is often overlooked—the way you speak.

We’ve all heard people whose voices are too grating, soft, or fake. Some people’s speech is so unpleasant that they undermine the speaker’s message entirely. However, you can take steps to improve the quality, tone, and expression of your voice, and how you express yourself vocally. It just takes a little know-how and practice.

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The size of your success is measured by the strength of your desire; the size of your dream; and how you handle disappointment along the way.
Robert Kiyosaki
Work finally begins, when the fear of doing nothing exceeds the fear of doing it badly.
Alain de Botton
What we hope ever to do with ease, we must first learn to do with diligence.
Success is not built on success. It’s built on failure. It’s built on frustration. Sometimes its built on catastrophe.
Sumner Redstone
Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.
Warren Bennis


Plan any event and chances are one in five of the people you invite will be late.

A study done at San Francisco State University found that about 20% of the U.S. population is chronically late—but it’s not because they don’t value others’ time. It’s more complicated than that, says lead researcher Diana DeLonzor.

“Repetitive lateness is more often related to personality characteristics such as anxiety or a penchant for thrill-seeking,” she says. “Some people are drawn to the adrenaline rush of that last-minute sprint to the finish line, while others receive an ego boost from over-scheduling and filling each moment with activity.”

In her book Never Be Late Again: 7 Cures for the Punctually Challenged, DeLonzor says our relationship with time often starts in childhood and becomes an ingrained habit.

“Looking back, you were probably late or early all of your life—it’s part physiological and part psychological,” she says. “Most chronically late people truly dislike being late, but it’s a surprisingly difficult habit to overcome. Telling a late person to be on time is a little like telling a dieter to simply stop eating so much.”

DeLonzor says the majority of people have a combination of late and punctual habits—usually on time, but with a frantic rush at the last minute—but we can all learn from those who are chronically punctual. DeLonzor shares four traits that always on time share:

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To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.
Winston Churchill


Have you ever received an amazing email, one that you’d like to print out and pin to your wall, one that made you grin from ear to ear or slow-clap in appreciation and reverence?

When I come across these gems, I drop them into a “Snippets” folder. I study them, I swoon over them, and I borrow bits and pieces of them to send better email.

Now imagine that every email you send is as great as these occasional all-stars you receive.

Impossible? Not at all.

Worth shooting for? Definitely.

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You probably know someone who’s always a step ahead of the game. She can tell, somehow innately, when bad news is coming, or when to take the risk that no one else would touch.

These people are dialed into their “gut instincts,” and are never wrong—almost annoyingly so.

The International Association of Administrative Professionals and OfficeTeam surveyed 3,500 administrative professionals and 1,300 senior managers, and found that 88% make decisions based on gut feelings.

The ability to intuit future problems before they become serious can be an invaluable trait in the workplace. “Any manager will tell you that having an assistant who anticipates his or her needs and offers solutions without being asked is virtually indispensable,” says Robert Hosking, OfficeTeam executive director.

There are five types of intuition:

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