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The Five Keys To Momentum

When it comes to mastering the power of mindsets, genuine communication and influence, Chris Helder was on fire at the 2014 Leaders With A Life Conference.

As the opening speaker, he set the scene in a powerful and practical way for this significant two-day event held in Adelaide.

This was the second time that I had listened to Chris weave his practical-magic to a leadership audience, and I must admit, he has only gotten better over the last 4 years! Delegates were raving about him.

The subject matter was momentum for life and leadership, and he focused on five practical strategies, which he called ‘IDEAS’ to either create momentum or continue momentum. Mainly concentrating on improving relationships, the five ‘IDEAS’ were:

  1. Matching Body Language
  2. Focus On The 1%
  3. Adapt To People
  4. Know Your Sunset
  5. Have A Daring Adventure

The five ‘IDEAS’ made sense for both professional and personal application. Here are Chris’ five ‘IDEAS’ in more detail…

1. Matching Body Language

Communication is primarily made up of three parts, 7% words, 38% tone of voice and 55% body language. The obvious challenge is to make sure our body language is telling the same story as our words and the tone of our voice.

Often, we focus so much energy on getting our words correct without even considering what our body language is saying.

Using the story of meeting friends at a pub, Chris skillfully articulated how we communicate with body language first and foremost, yet for most of us, we are not aware of our own.

He highlighted the point of matching the body language of other people around us. Doing this increases connection and communication. Being conscious of this, and adapting ourselves to others is actually a skillset to work on and improve over time. His argument was; ‘If we match it; we make it!’

2. Focus On The 1%

The 1% are the simple low effort yet high reward tactics that make a difference in our relationships. The 1% tactics, which Chris discussed, are posture, eye contact, smile, gratitude and energy.

Our posture is related to our actual physical posture or how we carry ourselves. Using examples on stage of walking ‘standing-tall’ and having an ‘open’ body stance, he asked the audience to rate themselves on a scale of 0-10 (10 being exceptional).

It’s apparent that our physical posture carries inspiration to others – so be inspirational!

Leveraging the modern technology disruptors, Chris challenged the audience to be present when speaking with others. Our eye contact shares our story to others.

If we are flicking between Facebook and their face, they’re thinking what? Making eye contact and focusing on others builds a bridge of trust for both parties!

If you’re happy and you know it… tell your face! Our smile breaks barriers, opens dialogue and creates a warm atmosphere conducive to great communication.

So, even if you’re not happy… tell your face to… smile! Remembering that a huge EGO is a smile killer.

Much has been written about the importance of gratitude. One psychologist says that gratitude is the gateway to happiness. Our challenge is to be thankful or gratuitous toward ourselves, others and life in general.

It’s an internal decision that has external consequences. So, next time you feel down, focus on the things you do have rather than the things you don’t.

The final 1% tactic is our energy. Our energy level is in response to the question, ‘How do you feel at the moment?’ Chris’ assertion is that energy is a choice! He believes that we can control our energy by simply believing we have it.

For Chris, he travels extensively overseas and confronts the dreaded jetlag. He simply believes it’s not real. As in, jetlag does not exist for him. So, maybe energy is simply our choice. Choose energy!

3. Adapt To People

Acknowledging the people-diversity around us is critical if we are to create momentum in leadership and life. Chris unpicked the people differences in a funny and powerful way as he introduced the four types of people in this world.

The four different types of people in our professional and personal worlds are red, yellow, aqua and blue. He highlighted that we need to know who we are, who they are and begin to bridge the gap!

Red people are those who like to achieve. Typically they are thinking of the next thing and looking to get stuff done. Red’s tend to operate in the future, not focusing on the past or others feelings.
Yellow people are those who like to engage. That person in your team who sings (out loud), they’re yellow! They love a good time and are typically visual in the way they communicate.
Aqua people are those who like to listen. Loving peace and harmony, the aqua person will know where everyone is, emotionally! They are warm, friendly and value one-on-one connection.
Blue people are those who like to process. Wanting the detail in most things, the blue person will connect the dots in business and in life. They’re organised and they love to have plans.

4. Know Your Sunset

Knowing your sunset involves going out into the future before it happens. Interestingly, the ability to be forward-looking is very much a highly rated characteristic of admired leaders, and that is exactly what knowing your sunset involves: forward-looking.

Try this. Assuming you have a partner (if not, a close friend), imagine proposing this idea to them…“In 3 months time you call your best friend and say, ‘I’ve never been so happy in my life!’ What were some of the things you changed or moved or adjusted, to create this happiness?”

The answer to this question creates momentum toward the sunset. This conversation takes you to a sunset (into the future) and brings clarity for positive change to occur. Some of the changes may be uncomfortable, however, they are definitely worth acting upon to create momentum in life.

5. Have A Daring Adventure

Quoting Helen Keller, Chris challenged the audience to live a daring adventure: “Life is one of two things; it’s either a daring adventure or absolutely nothing!”

An adventure means leaving the known or place of safety, embracing something new and unusual, which involves risk and growing from the whole experience.

This daring adventure is what speaks to something deep within the human heart, it opens up the possibilities of life and makes us stretch to achieve.

For most, however, this daring adventure becomes nothing more than a childhood dream, or a fanciful flirt with a crazy ideal.

Chris passionately challenged and encouraged the Leaders With A Life audience to reconnect with our personal dreams, embrace the daring adventure and grow as a result.

He reminded us of the importance of not going it alone, stating, “This daring adventure is always best when shared!”


The five ‘IDEAS’ from Chris Helder, to create and increase momentum in life and leadership were a timely challenge for all who listened.

They were simple enough to comprehend quickly and profound enough to challenge closely held assumptions.

Once we have momentum in life and leadership, it’s amazing. However, when we don’t, it sucks! Choose one or more of the five ‘IDEAS’ to either create or continue your own momentum, both personally and professionally.

And remember, if you’re happy and you know it tells your face!

From Chris Helder’s presentation at the 2014 Leaders With A Life Conference.

By James Koch


Proteus Leadership is one of Australia’s premier leadership training and development companies. Proteus Leadership provides leadership courses and management training to a range of industries and assists organisations to build positive workplace cultures, implement change and Create Great Leaders. Proteus also facilitates a range of world-class management courses, workshops, conferences and events across Australia and beyond with the sole purpose of bringing leaders together to connect and grow.

“Our core purpose is to Create Great Leaders that will in turn build Great companies and develop Great teams.”