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(Till 25 jan 2013)
BY:Sagar Sharma Email:Sagarhimself@gmail.com
The 50 Business + Life Lessons 2012 Taught Me
2012′s coming to a close. It was a hard year for people behaving as victims. And a superb year for people like you showing up as leaders (and world-builders). I‟m in reflection mode as I review the past 12 months, record what I learned in my journal and set precise and clear goals+plans for 2013. I wanted to share 50 of my best lessons learned (or reinforced) from 2012. So here you go: Hard work is a force multiplier. Don‟t participate in recessions. Exercising for 20 minutes first thing in the morning is a game-changer. If you‟re not innovating daily, you‟re on the path to obsolescence. If you want an A-Level company, you can‟t afford to hire B-Level players. Procrastination is an escape mechanism for people scared to do their best work. Give your customers 10X the value they expect and they‟ll tell everyone they know about you. Don‟t do it if you‟re not having fun. If you‟re not scared a lot you‟re not growing very much.
Invest the time to create great social media content and your base will go global + viral. There‟s never been a better time to be a social entrepreneur. It‟s never been easier to be of service to a large amount of people (and few things are as rewarding). When no one else believes in your vision, you absolutely must stay true to your vision. (Have the guts to stay in the game far longer than makes any sense). The quickest way to build a superb business is to quickly develop the leadership potential of every teammate. A job is only a job if you choose to see your work as a job. All work is a noble sport. (The reality is all work is a chance to express your genius–and to inspire the world). People are craving transparency+authenticity and community. Give it to them. Creativity comes in seasons. There‟s a time to harvest your ideas. And there‟s a time to let the field sit fallow. (I‟ve been working on integrating this lesson for years). Sometimes the most productive thing you can do is relax (When you relax, your brain shifts into alpha state–the time when million-dollar ideas present themselves). Change is hard at the beginning, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end. (And without change, there is no progress). Someone‟s going to win in your space. Why not you? 10X the size of your dreams because if you don‟t, you‟ll wish you did. Pursue excellence versus chasing perfection. Celebrate small wins and you‟ll unleash a huge amount of momentum and positive energy.
Learn for an hour a day, no matter what. That‟s not a waste of work time. It‟s a brilliant use of your work time because you‟re paid to know more than anyone who has ever done your job. Why go for good at what you do when you can stand for iconic? Transform your fitness and you‟ll transform your business. Delete victimspeak from your languaging. No more "I can‟t" and "It‟s not possible" and "It‟s so hard." More "I will" and "This is awesome" and "What‟s the opportunity here?" If you inspire one person each day, you‟re day hasn‟t been a waste. It‟s been a blessing. Living in the past is disrespecting your future. Build an amazing career but enjoy your lifestyle along the way. What‟s the point of becoming a business legend but a failed human being. Look people in the eyes when you talk to them. Smile at people when you see them. Say "please" to respect them. And "thank you" to appreciate them. Don‟t be on time–Be early. The person who tries to do everything achieves nothing. Focus. Focus. Focus. Spend the first 90 minutes of your work day on real work versus fake work. (Another game-changing tactic that served me so very well in 2012). Spend time in silence each day. You‟ll never do Jay-Z level work if you‟re overstimulated by technology. Goal-setting is mission-critical. (Review your Big 5, quarterly goals and daily goals constantly). Your daily behavior broadcasts your truest beliefs. To have the results only 5% of businesspeople have, have the guts to do what only 5% of businesspeople are willing to do.
World-class begins when you think you‟ve done a great job but know you can do a better job. Remember that your greatest gift is so much stronger than your deepest fear. Everyone‟s in Human Resources. And we are all paid to develop the talents of the people we work with. Mediocrity is a mindset. Avoid the mental viruses of negative people. Be the most honest person you know. It generally takes 30 years to build a fantastic reputation. And 30 seconds to lose it by a single silly move. Become a lion–not a sheep. People are always willing to pay for the best. The more devoted you become to serving others, the more your career begins to build itself. Problems come to test your commitment to your goals, hopes and dreams. As you become more successful, get more hungry. Join Traffic University. Use every possible moment in the car to upgrade your skills, polish your gifts and elevate your mindset. Use your life to make the world a better place. I hope these 50 ideas have helped you. And I so hope I‟ve been of service to you in your business and personal life this year. I enthusiastically wish you and those closest to you an even better year ahead. Let‟s make it wow.
The Project: An Unusual Poem On The 1 Thing Your Success In 2013 Depends On
Happy New Year. I‟m tucked away in the mountains. Snow falls. Life‟s paused. Words flow. And so I wrote these words for you on this first day of 2013: THE PROJECT By Robin Sharma Within each of us lies The Project. An idea longing to be nourished, cherished, launched and completed. Writing a novel. Starting an enterprise. Raising a family. Freeing a nation. Our deepest desire is to do The Project. To express our vision. To carefully and patiently watch it unfold. To present it to those who will benefit by it. And to experience the pride of the job beautifully done. Yet, a million distractions battle for our attention. And one hundred doubts fill our hearts. And so slowly and subtly, we recite the excuses that construct our reality. And we shelve The Project. Postponing it for a better day. But postponing The Project is life‟s greatest lie. Picasso and Basquiat, Einstein and Edison, Jobs and Jay-Z didn‟t wait for an ideal day to do their dream. They started. When it was hard. Though they had little. While they were alone. So many of the world‟s troubles are symptoms of The Project undone. Pain is the result of potential denied. And when you avoid The Project, you dishonour your gifts. Your Talents. Your Genius. A portion of you goes numb. Silent. Quiet. Scared.
The moment you start The Project, everything shifts. Purpose, focus, passion and peace returns to your life. Eyes sparkle. Energy explodes. Inspiration flows. And your days become supported by coincidence, power and peak possibility. This very day, the first of a fresh year–presents your greatest opportunity. To be a lion not a sheep. To walk with giants versus among the meek. To celebrate your best instead of succumbing to the worst. To lift others up versus tear others down. To pour creativity, mastery, courage and light into a world aching for marks of heroism. So please, step up. Release all chains. Dispute all doubts. Start The Project. Do the dream. And change the world. You are responsible for no less. Happy New Year! Your fan,
62 Tips to Get Unstuck in 2013
I‟m amped to do everything in my power to help you kickstart 2013 strong so you install superb habits of the mind, body and behavior.
Today is all about 62 quick, actionable and unforgettable tips that will move you to break free of old patterns, stop being the victim and leap into high gear to get your giant goals done.
62 Fast Tips to Get UnStuck By Robin Sharma Author of the #1 Bestseller “The Leader Who Had No Title”
Believe in your vision and gifts when no one else believes in your vision and gifts.
Start your day with 20 minutes of exercise.
Make excellence your way of being (versus a once in a while event).
Be on time (bonus points: be early).
Be a celebrator of other‟s talents versus a critic.
Stop watching TV. (Bonus points: sell your tv and invest the cash in learning and self-education).
Finish what you start.
Remember that your diet affects your moods so eat like an athlete.
Spend an hour a day without stimulation (no phone+no FaceBook+no noise).
Release the energy vampires from your life. They are destroying your performance.
Write in a journal every morning. And record gratitude every night.
Do work that scares you (if you‟re not uncomfortable often, you‟re not growing very much).
Make the choice to let go of your past. It‟s dusty history. And polluting your future.
Commit to being “Mozart-Level Good” at your work.
Smile more (and tell your face).
Do a collage filled with images of your ideal life. Look at it once a day for focus and inspiration.
Plan your week on a schedule (clarity is the DNA of mastery).
Stop gossiping (average people love gossip; exceptional people adore ideas).
Read “As You Think”.
Read “The Go-Getter”.
Don‟t just parent your kids–develop them.
Remember that victims are frightened by change. And leaders grow inspired by it.
Start taking daily supplements to stay in peak health.
Clean out any form of “victimspeak” in your vocabulary and start running the language of leadership and possibility.
Do a nature walk at least once a week. It‟s renew you (you can‟t inspire others if you‟re depleted yourself).
Take on projects no one else will take on. Set goals no one else will do.
Do something that makes you feel uncomfortable at least once every 7 days.
Say “sorry” when you know you should say “sorry”.
Say “please” and “thank you” a lot.
Remember that to double your income, triple your investment in learning, coaching and self-education.
Dream big but start now.
Achieve 5 little goals each day (“The Daily 5 Concept” I shared in “The Leader Who Had No Title” that has transformed the lives of so many). In 12 months this habit will produce 1850 little goals–which will amount to a massive transformation.
Write handwritten thank you notes to your customers, teammates and family members.
Be slow to criticize and fast to praise.
Read Walter Isaacson‟s amazing biography on Steve Jobs.
Give your customers 10X the value they pay for (“The 10X Value Obsession”).
Use the first 90 minutes of your work day only on value-creating activities (versus checking email or surfing the Net).
Keep your promises.
Remember that ordinary people talk about their goals. Leaders get them done. With speed.
Watch the inspirational documentary “Jiro Dreams of Sushi”.
Know that a problem only becomes a problem when you choose to see it as a problem.
Brain tattoo the fact that all work is a chance to change the world.
Watch the amazing movie “The Intouchables”.
Remember that every person you meet has a story to tell, a lesson to teach and a dream to do.
Risk being rejected. All of the great ones do.
Spend more time in art galleries. Art inspires, stimulates creativity and pushes boundaries.
Read a book a week, invest in a course every month and attend a workshop every quarter.
Remember that you empower what you complain about.
Get to know yourself. The main reason we procrastinate on our goals is not because of external conditions; we procrastinate due to our internal beliefs. And
the thing is they are stuck so deep that we don‟t even know they exist. But once you do, everything changes.
Read “Jonathan Livingston Seagull”.
Know your values. And then have the guts to live them–no matter what the crowd thinks and how the herd lives.
Become the fittest person you know.
Become the strongest person you know.
Become the kindest person you know.
Know your “Big 5″–the 5 goals you absolutely must achieve by December 31 to make this year your best yet (I teach my entire goal-achieving process, my advanced techniques on unleashing confidence and how to go from being stuck to living a life you adore in my online program “Your Absolute Best Year Yet”).
Know that potential unexpressed turns to pain.
Build a strong family foundation while you grow your ideal career.
Stop being selfish.
Give your life to a project bigger than yourself.
Be thankful for your talents.
Stand for iconic. Go for legendary. And make history.
This is YOUR time. Now‟s YOUR moment. Let‟s do this! :)
My Unusual Obsessions For Extreme Achievement By Robin Sharma Author of "The Leader Who Had No Title"
The window is open so I smell the sea. Fireplace is on so I feel the warmth.
And I write. And I write.
I‟m away from the world. I needed it.
Which brings me to you. And my devotion to helping you do the best work you‟ve ever done. And create a life that is no less than epic. And iconic. And uncommonly excellent.
One of the best ideas I‟ve learned in a long time is this one:
WE GET THE BRAINS WE‟VE EARNED
I know that‟s an unusual line. Maybe it irritates you a little (good–I‟m here to disrupt your normal beliefs and behaviors so you make the changes that will change your world). Perhaps it scares you (even better–our greatest fears deliver our finest growth). Or maybe you totally get what I mean.
What I‟m suggesting to you–with that line–(and with the awesome respect I have for you as a reader of my blog) is that the brains we currently have are far less the result of genetics and luck and FAR more the result of our daily habits and the routine influences we expose our minds to.
Brain scientists have been making large leaps in their understanding of the concept of neuroplasticity. They‟ve realized that–contrary to common belief–the brains we‟re born with are not the brains we‟re stuck with for life. No. Our brains are plastic. They can be shaped, grown and sculpted into things of beauty (that serve our excellence brilliantly). By the way we use them.
Which brings me to Darwin. And Picasso. And Michelangelo.
Not one of these people were born into genius. The whole idea of natural born talent is mostly a lie we sell ourselves so we don‟t have to rise up and feel the fear of doing something great in our work and with our lives. In truth, you can walk with the giants and play amongst the gifted–if you start making the different choices that will yield different results.
These people were pure ordinary-ness (ok–so I made up a word). But here‟s what they did to make themselves "special". They followed their "inclinations". In other words, they pursued the work that made their hearts sing rather than doing the things others wanted them to do. And they had the audacity to become the people they wanted to be versus the people others wished they‟d become.
BONUS TIP: one of the biggest ways we limit our potential and deny our genius is following The Herd and modeling The Crowd. If you want to win in 2013 and transform the way you work + live, you absolutely MUST break free of The Cult of Mediocrity. You absolutely must stop listening to the chattering voices of the cynics around you. You absolutely must trust yourself–and your instincts.
And that‟s what EVERY Master does. They trust their gut. They follow their "inclinations"–those things that when they do them, their work doesn‟t feel like work. Instead, it‟s joy. Bliss. And LOVE.
And because it feels so good when you have the guts to pursue these activities, you do them a lot. You "work" really really hard at your "work". You no longer see your job as a job but as your craft and your calling and your devotion.
And because of this, your devotion eventually becomes your BEAUTIFUL OBSESSION.
You practice it daily. Constantly. Consistently.
You have no time for TV and Call of Duty video games and Twitter or gossip. You need and hunger to do that thing that fills you. That inspires you. That gives you precious glimpses of your greatest self.
And as you do this, you stop living society‟s life. You step into YOUR life. The life meant for you. The days of your destiny. This is how genius unfolds. No magic. Just trusting your passion. And putting in the work.
I so hope I‟m not boring you. These words just poured out of me. As the waves cascade. As the sea air moves. As this fireplace flickers.
So please allow me to finish this post with A STATEMENT OF MY 6 UNUSUAL OBSESSIONS. These are the unusual commitments that govern my life. They are not so popular in this world we live in but they mean a lot to me. And my guess is they mean a lot to you.
MY 6 UNUSUAL OBSESSIONS #1. THE MASTERY OBSESSION. Commit–TODAY–to becoming a master. Ask yourself what are you best at? What things do you do that when you do them you feel happy + at peace–and sense your creativity and gifts pouring out of you. We get the life we‟ve settled for. We get the brains we‟ve earned. Start looking for those things in your work (and life) that you can become a Picasso at. Life shifts once you do.
#2. THE PROGRESS OBSESSION.
Yes, I‟m obsessed with progress. With making every day better than yesterday. With making this year 1000X better than last year. Drives my team crazy. Sometimes irritates the people around me. But I fiercely believe we are built for growth (not stagnation). For expansion (not contraction). Good enough just isn‟t very good as far as I can tell. The whole nature of the game is to see how far we can go–and to express our potential so we create the lives of our dreams. And elevate the world in the process. (Failing to realize your gifts makes the world less of a great place to be, no?).
SPECIAL NOTE: If you‟re truly ready to make this year radically better than last year, read about the very big opportunity for you below and get onto The Priority Access List for Your Absolute Best Year Yet, my revolutionary 12 week online program for extreme achievement and real Mastery. The level of interest has been nothing like I‟ve ever seen. Registration opens up next week and this is a fantastic opportunity for you to make this year the best year of your life so sign up to get a chance at one of the limited memberships below.
#3. THE EXCELLENCE OBSESSION. My friend and colleague Tom Peters made this word even more famous in the circles we work in. But here‟s my take on it: leave everything you touch better than you find it. Surround yourself with excellent people. Use excellent words. Drink excellent coffee. Read excellent books. Wear excellent shoes. Create excellent projects. Be an excellent parent. Think excellent thoughts. You deserve no less.
#4. THE HAPPINESS OBSESSION. Yes, I‟m obsessed with being happy. No, I‟m not happy all the time (I‟m human after all). Sometimes people tell me "you don‟t live in the real world". My reply: "Who wants to live in the real world?" A world with negativity and wars and greed and chaos. I want to create a world of my own making–while living in this very real world. I want to do work that matters and live with the people I love and
pursue my highest ideals and live the life I have envisioned. I want to be happy– and so I block out the noise. So I can do so.
#5. THE CREATIVITY OBSESSION. We are designed to create. We are all Artists. Each of us is a Creative (not just the people in advertising and design). Accountants and firefighters, math teachers and breakfast servers. We are all meant to innovate + ideate and use our brains to birth our best ideas into the world. I write and record ideas everywhere. On flight sickness bags on airplanes. On paper napkins in restaurants. In my journal that follows me much of where I go. Yes, I‟m obsessed with creativity. And that‟s my encouragement for you too.
#6. THE CONTRIBUTION OBSESSION. This one‟s my oxygen. I‟m revealing it to you here. My Dad instilled this value in me. Deeply. As I grew up, he spoke of Gandhi. And Mandela. And Martin Luther King Jr. And Mother Teresa. And other Saints of Humanity who on my best days I acutely remember. My father told me that the real purpose of life is to serve. To be of use. To uplift those around us. To be helpful. And for this ideal–I owe my Dad the greatest debt of gratitude. Yes, I run a business. Yes I want to win. But above all else, I want to serve. It‟s my obsession. And I make zero apologies for it. Ever.
I really hope this post has moved something within you. To stop playing small with your gifts, talents and Dreams. Think about what I‟ve shared. Talk about this post with your team + family. Share it with your friends. And then go out and change the world. Please.
What makes an elite performer isn‟t how you show up when Plan A‟s working. What reveals a true superstar is the way you deliver when your best laid plans are falling apart. These are messy times. Days of intense volatility. A period of immense uncertainty. And one of the dominant themes in work + life these days is distraction (a constant stream of activities begging for our attention that in the end amount to nothing). So the fight we face as Leaders Without Titles and as human beings on a mission to express our absolute best talents is to block out the noise so we get real work done. Here are some of my best strategies to help you do this: #1. Get Great at Reverse Engineering: Engineers working with technology startups are masterful at taking a competitor‟s product and breaking it apart – piece by piece – from the finished version to its initial components. After study, they then make their own product even better. Truly productive people do the same thing with their most valuable opportunity. They know the final result they are after and maintain acute clarity on it. Armed with this awareness, they reverse engineer this big goal into a series of small and actionable steps that they then put into a 1-2 page plan of execution. This strategy works for them. And it‟ll work for you. #2. Abhor Distraction: I fiercely fight distraction in my own life and teach the teams I work with at companies like Starbucks, Coca-Cola and Oracle along with the billionaires I privately coach how to do the same. Everyone‟s fighting for your focus. And too many people are stealing your attention. Don‟t be so generous in giving it to them – unless it‟s for something that truly matters. So, clean out the distractions in your workspace and personal life. I just read that special forces on a military mission are kept in isolation from other teams and denied access to TV/Newspapers/Internet. Why? To PROTECT their focus so they deliver perfection on their mission. Pretty great metaphor for you and I, no? So please remember: Distraction is the greatest thief of time. And time is a non-renewable resource. #3. Stop Multi-tasking: A recent case report shared a story of a medical resident who was using her cellphone to input data about the dosage of a patient she was attending. She was interrupted with a text message from a friend inviting her to a
party. The resident replied and started a conversation. The only problem was she forgot to get back to her patient who then began receiving a near-fatal dose of the medicine. Open-heart surgery saved his live. But the larger point is that so few of us are fully present to the work/activity in front of us anymore. I see people on airport runways checking their Twitter feed. I see taxi drivers reviewing their emails. A huge competitive advantage falls to the 1 in 100 performer with the brilliance to develop the skill of becoming massively focused on the one thing in front of them. Truly a game-changing move. #4. Build Rituals: Ok, this is another valuable tactic to unleash your productivity. When I studied the lives of People of Great Output like Stephen King, Winston Churchill and John Irving, I saw that they didn‟t leave their productivity to the fleeting winds of inspiration. Instead, they instituted precise rituals into their daily lives that allowed their creativity to flourish. Stephen King, for example, sits down to work at 8 am every morning, in the same chair, with his papers set in the same way. His belief is that this obsessive consistency sends a signal to his mind to focus and deliver serious results. #5. Launch at Beta: So many of us procrastinate by waiting for ideal conditions to get big things done. Here‟s what I‟ve learned from some of the software enterprises we‟ve consulted with: launch at beta and then iterate to perfection. What I mean by that is stop waiting for perfect conditions or the perfect product before you get to market. Yes, I stand for ensuring anything you offer is best of breed. But sometimes putting off a project until it‟s flawless demonstrates nothing more than your fear of success. And we both know you‟re so much larger than that. #6. Practice Productivity: When I was learning to ski, my instructor taught me about muscle memory. He made me practice many tiny moves over and over again sharing “this is going to build your muscle memory”, meaning that if I practiced the technique relentlessly, a time would eventually come where I could perform it swiftly, elegantly and unconsciously. Same applies to your productivity. Practice doing work that matters. Practice sitting in one place for many hours focused on a single result. Practice running rituals and elite performance routines that will lift you into the realm of world-class. Because as I know you know: Genius isn‟t so much about genetics as it is about work ethic and sheer practice.
I hope these strategies have been of service to you. The world needs you at your productive best. Stay Great,
4 Tips to Build a Winning Team
The Transcript of 4 Tips to Build a Winning Team
Hi, it‟s Robin Sharma, the author of “The Leader Who Had No Title.” I would like to welcome you to this issue of Robin Sharma TV. Well this issue is all about four tips to build a winning team. I mean I‟m here in Stockholm, Sweden. I‟ve just had the pleasure of spending three and a half hours with almost 700 people, talking about Lead without title and Stockholm is a gorgeous city that I finished the presentation and I went for a great ride and got to know the city even more, smelled the smells, got lost a little bit and really just savoured the moment on this tour. The tour started off in Dublin then went to Macedonia over to Stockholm, Paris tomorrow, then down to Mauritius.
But let me get right to the point. At the session after the event I had dinner with some of the executives, or lunch rather with some of the executives who had showed up at the Lead without a title presentation and one of the questions I got was how do you build a winning team? How do you
motivate your team? How do I get teammates who are inspired to wow they‟re customers, to be great teammates, to do great work, to help me build a great company that does our part to change the world. Four specific tactics were my reply.
Number one. LBE; Lead By Example. So a lot of CEOs come to me and say, “Robin I‟d like to have more engaged employees.” Well the real question is how engaged are you? A lot of CEOs come up to me or managing directors saying, “Robin I wish I had employees or teammates who work like Picasso painted.” And I look at them and I feel like saying “well do you work like Picasso painted?” Lot of CEOs come up to me and say, “Robin you know I wish my teammates were more passionate about the work they do.” And I feel like saying “well how passionate are you?”
And so this force point is really this. Few things are as powerful as leading by example. If you want innovative employees, if you want excellent employees, if you want ethical employees, if you want passionate employees, if you want employees who win, then you be the change you want to see in your employees to sort of paraphrase what Gandhi said. So the first point is really, the game-changer is, lead by example. I mean you model the behaviour and the performance that you want your employees or the rest of the team to live and the more you do that, the more you will do whatever a leader without a title does, which is influence people.
Number two. The second thing I said to this executive if you want to have a winning team do what one of our clients, Ritz Carlton does every morning. Before the door is opened up for the hotel, they have a huddle and there are a few things they do. In that huddle, they talk about one of the Ritz Carlton values. They just talk about one of the core values. You know maybe it‟s customer wow and they talk about what it looks like, what it means and that simply just reinforces that key value in the minds of the team first thing in the morning. Second thing they do, they come up with a customer service story. You know one employee at Ritz
Carlton doing something that made a huge difference in the life of a guest. Then another thing they do is they celebrate birthdays, something human. So the second tactic for building a winning team, a morning huddle. Do it from maybe 9:00 to 9:15 everyday. Pick a value you want to coach your team on. Pick a story that you want to inspire them on and then celebrate your team because as we know the team that celebrates together is the team that wins together.
Third tactic; coaching. Well we could spend a whole session here on Robin Sharma TV talking about coaching, but really your job as a leader is to grow more leaders. Your job as a leader is to inspire your team to do work they never thought they could do. Your job as a leader is to leave a trail of leaders behind you.
So the third tactic, the third tactic to building a winning team is find some time everyday, even if it‟s 3 minutes, to coach someone on your team. And don‟t say “you did something wrong”, say “I have an opportunity for you to get to your next level of wow.” Build a coaching organization where literally part of the culture is you developing talent, coaching talent. I mean here‟s what the latest researches say. The number one thing your talent wants is to be coached, to be developed, to do challenging work. It‟s not money. They want to do work that matters and it‟s your job to coach them everyday, to develop them, and help them get to the highest point of their own abilities.
Then the fourth tactic that I want to share with you to build a winning team is to have fun. I remember having dinner with a billionaire. He built a fantastic technology company. I said what was the single most important thing you did to build a world class organization, and a winning team and he said, “Robin, the company that celebrates together is the company that stays together.” And he called it shared human moments. We‟re in a world right now with all the technology that‟s out there, where your teammates are craving community. They‟re craving human connections.
So find some time to have pizza lunches together or find some time to go to a restaurant together. Find some time to maybe go for a run together, and don‟t talk about business. Have fun together. Have fun with your team. Laugh as a team. Get to know them as human beings. Get to know their family. Get to know their hopes and their dreams. The more you can connect with human beings at a very deep human level, the more they‟re going to come back to the office and they‟re going to like you, and they‟re going to trust you, and they‟re going to listen to you. They‟re going to buy into your version because they truly care.
Those are four specific tactics to help you build a winning team because as you know so well, if you don‟t understand people, you don‟t understand business and the bigger your dream, the more important your team. So take the time to develop a great team.
If you want more tactics on high performance team building or peak performance or leadership or productivity or if you just want to get more inspired, go on over right now to robinsharma.com. You can grab a copy of my 120 page e-book. It‟s helped people from around the world, get some game-changing results as my gift to you for free. I will see you again in the next issue of Robin Sharma TV. Thank you for watching. All the best to you. Bye bye.
21 Tips to Become the Most Productive Person You Know
21 Tips to Become the Most Producitive Person You KnowI wanted to help you create explosive productivity so you get big things done (and make your life matter).
Here are 21 tips to get you to your best productivity.
#1. Check email in the afternoon so you protect the peak energy hours of your mornings for your best work.
#2. Stop waiting for perfect conditions to launch a great project. Immediate action fuels a positive feedback loop that drives even more action.
#3. Remember that big, brave goals release energy. So set them clearly and then revisit them every morning for 5 minutes.
#4. Mess creates stress (I learned this from tennis icon Andre Agassi who said he wouldn‟t let anyone touch his tennis bag because if it got disorganized, he‟d get distracted). So clean out the clutter in your office to get more done.
#5. Sell your TV. You‟re just watching other people get successful versus doing the things that will get you to your dreams.
#6. Say goodbye to the energy vampires in your life (the negative souls who steal your enthusiasm).
#7. Run routines. When I studied the creative lives of massively productive people like Stephen King, John Grisham and Thomas Edison, I discovered they follow strict daily routines. (i.e., when they would get up, when they would start work, when they would exercise and when they would relax). Peak productivity‟s not about luck. It‟s about devotion.
#8. Get up at 5 am. Win the battle of the bed. Put mind over mattress. This habit alone will strengthen your willpower so it serves you more dutifully in the key areas of your life.
#9. Don‟t do so many meetings. (I‟ve trained the employees of our FORTUNE 500 clients on exactly how to do this – including having the few meetings they now do standing up – and it‟s created breakthrough results for them).
#10. Don‟t say yes to every request. Most of us have a deep need to be liked. That translates into us saying yes to everything – which is the end of your elite productivity.
#11. Outsource everything you can‟t be BIW (Best in the World) at. Focus only on activities within what I call “Your Picasso Zone”.
#12. Stop multi-tasking. New research confirms that all the distractions invading our lives are rewiring the way our brains work (and drop our IQ by 5 points!). Be one of the rare-air few who develops the mental and physical discipline to have a mono-maniacal focus on one thing for many hours. (It‟s all about practice).
#13. Get fit like Madonna. Getting to your absolute best physical condition will create explosive energy, renew your focus and multiply your creativity.
#14. Workout 2X a day. This is just one of the little-known productivity tactics that I‟ll walk you through in my new online training program YOUR PRODUCTIVITY UNLEASHED (details at the end of this post) but here‟s the key: exercise is one of the greatest productivity tools in the world. So do 20
minutes first thing in the morning and then another workout around 6 or 7 pm to set you up for wow in the evening.
#15. Drink more water. When you‟re dehydrated, you‟ll have far less energy. And get less done.
#16. Work in 90 minute blocks with 10 minute intervals to recover and refuel (another game-changing move I personally use to do my best work).
#17. Write a Stop Doing List. Every productive person obsessively sets To Do Lists. But those who play at world-class also record what they commit to stop doing. Steve Jobs said that what made Apple Apple was not so much what they chose to build but all the projects they chose to ignore.
#18. Use your commute time. If you‟re commuting 30 minutes each way every day – get this: at the end of a year, you‟ve spent 6 weeks of 8 hour days in your car. I encourage you to use that time to listen to fantastic books on audio + excellent podcasts and valuable learning programs. Remember, the fastest way to double your income is to triple your rate of learning.
#19. Be a contrarian. Why buy your groceries at the time the store is busiest? Why go to movies on the most popular nights? Why hit the gym when the gym‟s completely full? Do things at off-peak hours and you‟ll save so many of them.
#20. Get things right the first time. Most people are wildly distracted these days. And so they make mistakes. To unleash your productivity, become one of the special performers who have the mindset of doing what it takes to get it flawless first. This saves you days of having to fix problems.
#21. Get lost. Don‟t be so available to everyone. I often spend hours at a time in the cafeteria of a university close to our headquarters. I turn off my devices and think, create, plan and write. Zero interruptions. Pure focus. Massive results.
I truly hope these 21 productivity tips have been valuable to you. And that I‟ve been of service. Your productivity is your life made visible. Please protect it.
The 50 New Rules of Work
You are not just paid to work. You are paid to be uncomfortable – and to pursue projects that scare you. Take care of your relationships and the money will take care of itself. Lead you first. You can‟t help others reach for their highest potential until you‟re in the process of reaching for yours. To double your income, triple your rate of learning. While victims condemn change, leaders grow inspired by change. Small daily improvements over time create stunning results.
Surround yourself with people courageous enough to speak truthfully about what‟s best for your organization and the customers you serve. Don‟t fall in love with your press releases. Every moment in front of a customer is a moment of truth (to either show you live by the values you profess – or you don‟t). Copying what your competition is doing just leads to being second best. Become obsessed with the user experience such that every touchpoint of doing business with you leaves people speechless. No, breathless. If you‟re in business, you‟re in show business. The moment you get to work, you‟re on stage. Give us the performance of your life. Be a Master of Your Craft. And practice + practice + practice. Get fit like Madonna. Read magazines you don‟t usually read. Talk to people who you don‟t usually speak to. Go to places you don‟t commonly visit. Disrupt your thinking so it stays fresh + hungry + brilliant. Remember that what makes a great business – in part – are the seemingly insignificant details. Obsess over them. Good enough just isn‟t good enough. Brilliant things happen when you go the extra mile for every single customer. An addiction to distraction is the death of creative production. Enough said. If you‟re not failing regularly, you‟re definitely not making much progress. Lift your teammates up versus tear your teammates down. Anyone can be a critic. What takes guts is to see the best in people. Remember that a critic is a dreamer gone scared. Leadership‟s no longer about position. Now, it‟s about passion. And having an impact through the genius-level work that you do.
The bigger the dream, the more important the team. If you‟re not thinking for yourself, you‟re following – not leading. Work hard. But build an exceptional family life. What‟s the point of reaching the mountaintop but getting there alone. The job of the leader is to develop more leaders. The antidote to deep change is daily learning. Investing in your professional and personal development is the smartest investment you can make. Period. Smile. It makes a difference. Say “please” and “thank you”. It makes a difference. Shift from doing mindless toil to doing valuable work. Remember that a job is only just a job if all you see it as is a job. Don‟t do your best work for the applause it generates but for the personal pride it delivers. The only standard worth reaching for is BIW (Best in World). In the new world of business, everyone works in Human Resources. In the new world of business, everyone‟s part of the leadership team. Words can inspire. And words can destroy. Choose yours well. You become your excuses. You‟ll get your game-changing ideas away from the office versus in the middle of work. Make time for solitude. Creativity needs the space to present itself. The people who gossip about others when they are not around are the people who will gossip about you when you‟re not around. It could take you 30 years to build a great reputation and 30 seconds of bad judgment to lose it. The client is always watching.
The way you do one thing defines the way you‟ll do everything. Every act matters. To be radically optimistic isn‟t soft. It‟s hard. Crankiness is easy. People want to be inspired to pursue a vision. It‟s your job to give it to them. Every visionary was initially called crazy. The purpose of work is to help people. The other rewards are inevitable byproducts of this singular focus. Remember that the things that get scheduled are the things that get done. Keep promises and be impeccable with your word. People buy more than just your products and services. They invest in your credibility. Lead Without a Title.
17 Tips To Double Your Productivity In 14 Days 1. Turn off all technology for 60 minutes a day and focus on doing your most important work. 2. Work in 90 minute cycles (tons of science is now confirming that this is the optimal work to rest ratio). 3. Start your day with at least 30 minutes of exercise. 4. Don‟t check your email first thing in the morning. 5. Turn all your electronic notifications off. 6. Take one day a week as a complete recovery day, to refuel and regenerate (that means no email, no phone calls and zero work). You need full recovery one day a week otherwise you‟ll start depleting your capabilities. 7. The data says workers are interrupted every 11 minutes. Distractions destroy productivity. Learn to protect your time and say no to interruptions. 8. Schedule every day of your week every Sunday morning. A plan relieves you of the torment of choice (said novelist Saul Bellow). It restores focus and provides energy. 9. Work in blocks of time. Creative geniuses all had 2 things in common: when they worked they were fully engaged and when they worked, they worked with this deep concentration for long periods of time. Rare in this world of entrepreneurs who can‟t sit still.
10. Drink a liter of water early every morning. We wake up dehydrated. The most precious asset of an entrepreneur isn‟t time – it‟s energy. Water restores it. 11. Don‟t answer your phone every time it rings. 12. Invest in your professional development so you bring more value to the hours you work. 13. Avoid gossip and time vampires. 14. Touch paper just once. 15. Keep a “Stop Doing List”. 16. Get up at 5 am. 17. Have meetings standing up. Stay Productive and Make Your Work Matter! Kindest regards,
Get clear on a dream • Don‟t listen to people who laugh at you • Be a great friend • Live to read and learn • Deal with your fears • You are special
#1. Be Real Call it being authentic. Call it being yourself. The fact is that few things are as powerful as standing in the presence of a person who is really really comfortable in their own skin. What I‟m suggesting is that you speak with your unique voice and that you live under your true values and that you present the real you to the world around you. Please trust me on this one. I promise you that when you get to the last hour of your last day, you will regret having lived the life society sold you versus the life that you knew deep within was meant for you. #2. Smile Sure this sounds obvious. But what makes greatness is the daily executing around simple ideas. And if smiling during good and hard times was so easy, then why is it so hard for most people? I travel across the planet constantly. But no matter whether I‟m in Qatar or Napa, Buenos Aires or Malaysia, Mumbai or Amsterdam, a quick and genuine smile to a stranger always connects. Unites. Uplifts. #3. Use People‟s Names The fantastic Dale Carnegie taught us well. He observed that a person‟s name is the sweetest sound to their ears. And yet, it‟s so very easy to forget to go the extra mile and remember – and then use – someone‟s name. World-class communicators get that when they address people by name, it brings them closer. And makes them stand out.
#4. Look People In The Eye Okay. I really need to rant mildly on this one. Sure we all have our smart phones and iPods and PCs. But this new way of communicating where our mouths move while we speak to the person in front of us but our eyes stay on the screens before us sends a message to that person that they just are not that important. The best gift you can give a customer+teammate+loved one is the gift of your presence. In this age of easy digitization, giving the human being you‟re communicating with 1000% of your attention is a spectacular method to lead the field. So, look people in the eye. Engage with what they are saying. Make them feel special. No, make them feel–for the brief moments they interact with you – that they are the most important person in the world. #5. Be Honest Again, simple, I know. But leadership and success really does come down to the daily doing of a series of fundamentals staggeringly well. Be the most honest person you know. Let your ethics drive your behavior. And please remember, anyone can be honest when times are easy. The true measure of your leadership is how honest you are when everything‟s falling apart. #6. Choose Good Words I was up in the mountains last weekend. Wanted to get some breakfast. Walked into a new Italian restaurant that advertised breakfast until 11:30 am. It was 11:40. I asked the man behind the counter: “Is it possible to still get breakfast?” His instant reply: “Absolutely not.” Now I understand this man wasn‟t trying to be rude. He was most likely unskilled with his words. Just not a great communicator. But his words had impact (as all words do). A more effective communicator could have said, “I wish we could but we‟ve just switched over to the lunch menu. I think you‟ll love it. C‟mon in and give it a try.” It‟s all in the languaging. Instead, his words caused me to try his competitor. And to think that this is a restaurant that just doesn‟t care that much. So there you are Great Communicator. Six pretty fundamental yet powerful ways to amp up the impact of your communication during this month focused on
appreciating relationships. Try them. Apply them. And innovate around them. Those around you will be grateful you did.
http://www.robinsharma.com/blog/02/do-your-best-work/ 15 Ways For You To Do Your Best Work
Do your best work by challenging the way you did things yesterday. Do your best work by allowing your passion to see the light of day. Do your best work by becoming part of the solution versus growing the problem. Do your best work by expecting nothing less than you playing at world-class. Do your best work by giving away the credit (especially when you crave it) Do your best work by practicing your skills so you become a virtuoso. Do your best work by releasing excuses and doing important things. Do your best work by getting up when you‟ve been knocked down. Do your best work by keeping your promises; to others and to yourself. Do your best work by showing integrity. Do your best work by delivering more value than anyone could ever expect from you.
Do your best work by making time to refill your well. Do your best work by having a strong foundation at home. Do your best work by becoming as fit as a pro athlete. Do your best work by doing work that makes a difference and inspires others to do the same.
As Chuck Palahniuk once said: “The goal isn‟t to live forever. The goal is to create something that will.”
Too many people are living their neighbors‟ lives. So many amongst us are building our futures based on a definition of success sold to us by society+the media+our peers. That‟s fine if you‟re consciously choosing to live by those values. But what if – at truth – you have a different set of values. And the success you are currently chasing actually has little to do with what will make you happy when you review your life at the end?
My encouragement is to take 60 minutes over the next few days and rethink what you are investing your mental focus and physical energy on. Are you spending your time on work that matters and personal pursuits that are moving the needle forward? Or are you stuck in the thick of thin things? Being really busy being really busy? A life is a tragic thing to waste. Yet too many of us – born into the potential to live soaring lives as well as contribute to raising the lives around them – waste our best hours on mindless distractions, needless interruptions and activities that are nothing more than an escape. I also encourage you to play with the definition of success that has been transforming the lives of those using “The Robin Sharma Success System“, an online 21 day training program. In it, I teach that success isn‟t just about making money and climbing the social ladder (the data actually confirms that people making $5 million a year are only incrementally happier than blue collar workers). Sure money matters. But I invite you to also focus on these dimensions of your life if you‟re serious about REAL success: Personal development Family connections Being world-class at your work Having a network of friends who elevate you Creating a phenomenal lifestyle And using your life to make a difference. That last metric is the key. What‟s the point of having success but failing at Significance? Yes, chase your dreams and rise to lofty heights in the world. But please remember: greatness comes from living for a cause larger than you. And leaving our world better than you found it.
The Big 5 Opportunities of This Down Cycle
OK. We‟re in some challenging times. Economies are shifting. Businesses are reconfiguring. And deep uncertainty dominates many peoples‟ mindsets. But smart leaders get that crisis breeds opportunity. And so they train their brains to focus on nothing else. Here are 5 of the NBO‟s (Nice Big Opportunities) I‟ve been sharing with my clients: 1. It Has Never Been Easier To Stand Out
Everyone is negative. Customer service is being pulled back. Innovation is shutting down. So, great rewards will come to you as you stay positive, client-centered and wildly creative. 2. It Has Never Been So Easy To Retain and Secure Superb Talent A great team of spirited people can achieve extraordinary results. Now is a fine time to build that team. 3. This Down Cycle Is An Excellent Time To Open Up New Markets Not every region is in a recession so now might be the perfect time to expand into an emerging economy. 4. With All the Turmoil, This Is An Opportunity to Get Back to the Fundamentals Create strong value for your stakeholders. Build a business based on integrity. Renew deep family relationships. Savor life‟s simpler pleasures. 5. This Is A Fantastic Time Invest In Your Learning Learning boosts passion and engagement. In the up-cycle, you may have been running so fast you made zero time to invest in yourself. Yet, to be a better leader become a bigger person. Keep Leading Without A Title.
The Best Advice I Ever Got
April 13th, 2012
I hope you‟re great. Four things I wanted to share with you to help you do fantastic work and create your best life during these volatile times: #1. Below you will find an idea-rich article called, “The Best Advice I Ever Got” that summarizes the powerful insights that exceptional business leaders use to win.
The Best Advice I Ever Got All it takes is a single idea to change the game. One insight, shared in one quick conversation, can transform the way you think, work and live. One piece of wisdom from an epic performer – or a thoughtful producer – can dramatically alter the path of your career and your personal life. And, as with all big ideas, the simpler the better (simplicity is the trademark of Genius). When I was about 21 years old, I was blessed to have a brilliant bond trader as a best friend. He was older than me, more instinctual and had developed the acute courage to live his life on his own terms (versus following the crowd). A true original, in my eyes. And a man who influenced my perspective deeply. We used to take long walks along the ocean and talk about business, creativity and getting big things done. One morning, he said something that still speaks to me this day: “Robin, you have to run your own race.” To me, that advice meant a few things, trust my own instincts, live by my own values, do my own dreams (and quickly dismissing the chattering opinions of the critics around us). Too easy to buy into society‟s definition of success and miss out on our own. So easy to get distracted by what other people are doing and get off the clear vision we‟ve set for ourselves. And I have to admit that I‟d rather fail at my own “race” than win at someone else‟s. To keep you encouraged, focused and at peak inspiration as you pursue what‟s most important to you, I‟ve set out some of the best “advice I‟ve learned” from some of the best businesspeople on the planet. Here you go: Elon Musk, the visionary founder of Tesla – the electric supercar manufacturer – told FORTUNE magazine that the single best piece of advice he ever received came from the book The Hitchhiker‟s Guide to The Galaxy. “Don‟t panic” were the words that jumped out at him, and that have guided his world-class career as an entrepreneur. He shared that emotion causes imperfect decision making since we don‟t see the facts clearly. As for bad advice he said: “My parents advised me to ignore bullies. That doesn‟t work. You have to punch them in the nose.” Leonard Lauder, Chairman of The Estee Lauder Companies learned an outstanding piece of advice from his mother that guided his career, “If you have something positive to say to someone, put it into writing. But if you have something bad to
say, tell it to them to their face.” An example comes from his experience as chairman of The Whitney Museum in New York. He was upset with one of the trustees and wrote a letter that he left on his desk. An assistant found the letter and mailed it, causing the trustee to resign in disgust. Lauder says he still regrets writing that letter to this day. Terry Lundgren, CEO, Macy‟s: “You‟re not going to do this forever. There‟s a finite amount of time you‟re going to be doing this. Do this really, really well.” (from an interview in The New York Times). Tony Hsieh, founder of Zappos.com: “Hire more slowly and fire those who are harming the culture more quickly. Our #1 priority is company culture. Our belief is that if you get the culture right, then most of the other stuff like building a great brand and great customer service will happen naturally.” Warren Buffett, the iconic investor, was profoundly influenced by his father Howard, a stockbroker. One of the maxims his dad would recite regularly came from the philosopher Emerson: “The great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.” This drilled into Buffett‟s thinking the importance of thinking for yourself and contrarian investing. “When you‟re the first person whose beliefs are different from what everyone else believes, you‟re basically saying, “I‟m right, and everyone else is wrong.” That‟s a very unpleasant position to be in. It‟s at once exhilarating and at the same time an invitation to be attacked.” Larry Ellison, founder of Oracle (by the way, big thanks to the team at The Oracle CIO Summit in Dallas for your invitation to present the Lead Without a Title message to your much-valued leaders). “Twenty five years ago I wish someone had told me about the exponential factor of time: that every year over forty years of age goes twice as fast and every year over fifty goes ten times as fast.” Harold Evans, former publisher, Random House (from If I Knew Then What I Know Now by Richard Edler)
A few final – and random – pieces of advice people have shared with me along the way that have formed my thinking: Genius has little to do with luck and everything to do with practice. Health is the crown on the well person‟s head that only the ill person can see. Fly 1000 miles for a 10 minute meeting (you can‟t build great relationships via email). Miss a meal but don‟t miss reading. What separates the best from the rest is how they manage the gift of their time. Too many people live the same year 80 times and call it a life. Life is short. Be of use.
The 44 Master Moves of Remarkable Entrepreneurs http://www.robinsharma.com/blog/03/44-master-moves-of-remarkableentrepreneurs/
I‟m completely amped to help you shatter any limits that are holding you back from becoming a Remarkable Entrepreneur – and building a fantastic company so you get to live the life of your dreams.
So…I‟ve written down 44 of my BEST ideas and insights learned from over 15 years with many of the SMARTEST entrepreneurs in the world and as founder of The Remarkable Entrepreneur SuperConference.
Read them + SHARE them with your team and then live them. Hope they really help you win:
THE 44 MASTER MOVES OF REMARKABLE ENTREPRENEURS By Robin Sharma
1. They get that the #1 way to build a global brand is one customer at a time.
2. They obsess around having an impact vs. growing their income (and so their income soars).
3. They listen more than they speak. And they deliver more than they promise.
4. They use their most valuable hours to do their most valuable work (don‟t check email first thing in the morning).
5. They get that you can‟t have an A-level company if you hire B-level people.
6. They are deeply aware that jealousy is the tribute mediocrity pays to Mastery. And so they fearlessly pour their Genius into the world.
7. They understand that what the amateur calls genius, the professional calls practice.
8. They are fanatics around building a systems-driven company. Everything has a system built around it. This ensures consistently fantastic results. And allows the entrepreneur to take extraordinary amounts of time off. [I've recorded a powerful training video that will show you how to really grow an ultra-successful company while you live a much better life. It's called "The Napa Valley Adventure". Watch it now: http://www.theremarkableentrepreneur.com/napavalleyadventure]
9. They trust their vision when everyone else is doubting their vision.
10. They provoke their teammates to do work they never imagined they could do.
11. They know that good enough just isn‟t good enough. Outright perfection is their ideal.
12. They have discovered that extra hard work is Success‟ true best friend.
13. They use flight time to get ahead and review their plans vs. playing Angry Birds and watching bad movies.
14. They get that progress often shows up in failure‟s clothing.
15. They invest deeply in their education and development knowing that the fastest way to double your net worth is to triple your rate of learning.
16. They focus on value versus cost.
17. They hold themselves to performance + ethical standards higher than anyone could ever expect of them.
18. They make the time to think, plan and prepare – understanding that clarity breeds mastery. And there‟s no point in brilliantly executing the wrong things.
19. They get that their 3 most valuable assets are their mental focus, physical energy and internal creativity. And so they protect them ferociously.
20. They are “Apple-like” in their willingness to think differently and ensure their products leave customers breathless.
21. They stick to their convictions – especially in the face of criticism.
22. They relentlessly stay true to their clearly articulated vision – even when confronted with the most heartbreaking of obstruction.
23. They adore the mantra: “How may I best serve the most people?”
24. They challenge the way they worked yesterday for the sake of even bigger work tomorrow.
25. They get that either you disrupt the status quo in your industry (and within your life), or you will be disrupted. And it will hurt.
26. They spend their days doing real work versus fake work. And getting important things done versus being really busy being busy.
27. They know that if they‟re not frightened a lot they‟re not achieving a lot.
28. They appreciate that Leadership‟s no longer about ensuring compliance but inspiring connections, being of service and getting great things done.
29. They work hard to craft a high-performance culture, understanding that the culture of the organization stages the performance of its people.
30. They are more fascinated in building a company that will endure the generations than an enterprise that is hot for a few quarters. Iconic is their obsession.
31. They get that failure is the foundation of innovation.
32. They are acutely aware that the winning formula that made their company successful just might be the one that makes their company obsolete. And so they break what works. And stay foolish and hungry.
33. They deliver results versus voice rationalizations.
34. They view angry customers as breathtakingly great opportunities to create fanatical fans.
35. They know that if people are not laughing at your 24 Month Magnificent Obsession (More on that and all these ideas at The Remarkable Entrepreneur SuperConference 2012 in Toronto, Canada June 2+3 – see below for details to grab a seat while you can – I really want to help you win this year!), you have the wrong vision.
36. They perceive connections with their community as the main aim of commerce.
37. They are devoted to getting into their absolute best physical condition. They have zero desire to be the richest people in the graveyard.
38. They understand that the greatest gift you can give a teammate (or a customer or your child) is the gift of your undivided attention.
39. They know that logic is the dream killer. Instead, they trust instinct, creativity and passion to lead them to where they need to go.
40. They have learned that few things feel better than the pride you‟ll feel on a job beautifully done.
41. They are good at starting things. And even better at finishing them.
42. They get that confidence grows via the doing of difficult things. And so they pursue discomfort.
43. They identify themselves as virtuosos. Best in World is the only place they play.
44. They bravely donate their lives to a cause larger than themselves. And – in this way – transform the world through their presence.
5 One Minute Productivity Tactics 1. Have the courage to get great at saying “No Thanks” to any activities that don‟t advance your priorities. 2. Take 60 seconds every morning to do a written game plan for a productive day. “The things that get scheduled are the things that get done.”, from The Greatness Guide. 3. Take a few seconds each day to turn off all your technology and work deeply on a key project with zero distraction. 4. Take 60 seconds to breathe deeply and focus on your progress. This will reenergize and refuel you. 5. Take 60 seconds to un-clutter your work area so you create space for your creativity to flow. Keep Leading Without A Title! And thanks.
1. Don't focus / give attention to Criticism. It takes time and creativity away from you, preventing you from achieving your mission. 2. Just remember that criticism is often a compliment. "KMF" / Keep Moving Forward. 3. Use it as a leverage to achieve even more. 4. Just remember when somebody criticizes you, those people are likely to be living in their fear. 5. Focus on your vision to achieve your mission. Lead Where You Are Planted
All too often, we wait until ideal conditions appear before we show up at our best. We promise to display more initiative once we get the promotion, become a superb teammate once we get the raise and do world-class work once we receive the applause. But true leadership is about doing your absolute best under imperfect conditions. And leading where you are planted. An example. On my last speaking tour, the final event was in Johannesburg. Post-workshop, our CEO and myself went out for a meal in Nelson Mandela Square. The sun was shining, the food was pretty good, the service was fine. But it was the awesome display of one distinct Leader Without a Title that still resonates in my mind. And that I need to tell you about. As I walked into the washroom, I was greeted by a young man with a 1000 watt smile. His job was clearly to keep the place clean. Some would call him a janitor.
But to me, he viewed himself as an inventor… innovating and iterating within his sphere of responsibility. “Welcome to my office,” he spoke, with a sparkle in his eyes. “It‟s nice to have you visit.” His uniform was impeccable. His counters were immaculate. And his manners, superb. He could have made excuses to deny his enthusiasm. Could have complained about the base position, the lack of authority, the limited power. But he didn‟t. Instead, he assumed his power-to influence all those he met, to impact others by his excellent example, and to inspire all by transcending his conditions. This young man did his work like Rembrandt painted, Beckham bends the ball, like Colombus explored. My true point? No job is just a job, unless it‟s viewed as just a job. All work is a platform to express creative potential, offer value and make a unique contribution. But we each face a choice each day as we walk out into the world: we can play a victim or we can step up to leadership. And in this messy, disrupted world we now work within, leadership at every level has become the single best way to win. Keep Leading Without A Title.
What I Learned from Richard Branson…
Robin Sharma and Richard BransonI hope you‟re great! Just finished an event with Richard Branson in Bucharest (a city known as the “Paris of The East”) and
wanted to share my takeaways with you to help you take your career and life to its next level of wow.
Richard was polite and larger than life. A pleasure to share time with. And a man who clearly adores all he does. I encourage you to read his autobiography “Losing My Virginity” as well as his book “Business Stripped Bare” if you haven‟t gone through them yet. Uber-inspiring. For people who want to become Remarkable Entrepreneurs – and express their absolute best.
Anyway, I‟ll get right into some of my observations as well as the ideas we discussed. Please don‟t underestimate the power of these simple ideas – superbly executed, they yield brilliant results.
1. Politeness Matters. As mentioned, Richard Branson was unfailingly polite. He mentioned to me that when he was a kid, if he criticized someone, his mother would make him stand in front of the mirror at home and say, “what you‟re seeing in others is really what you‟re seeing in yourself. So look in the mirror.” This educated him on the key leadership habit of looking for – and then encouraging – the gifts and talents within other people.
2. Be Massively Independent. When Richard was just four years old, his mother stopped her car and instructed him to find his own way home, over many miles. When he was about 12, she told him to cycle 100 miles to Bournemouth alone, to visit a relative. He expressed to me that these childhood experiences were his mother‟s way of growing his self-reliance. And building the invincible inner core that has served him so well as an entrepreneur.
3. Screw It – Just Do It. What makes a great company (and great life) isn‟t so much the inspiring idea as the flawless execution around the big idea. As Edison once
said: “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.” Richard shared that much of his success came from his philosophy to disregard the naysayers and those telling him his dream was impossible and just get the dream done. (Please remember: the impossible is generally just the untried). This is a man with a giant bias towards action.
4. Lavish Praise on People. I know you know this: the bigger the dream, the more important the team. Having worked with many of the best entrepreneurs in the world, I‟ve learned that every single one of them gets that you can‟t do it alone. Beautiful to have a brave vision. But the real key is finding the genius-level talent to get that vision delivered into reality. And if all you know how to surround yourself with is mediocre people, you‟re destined to experience mediocre results. Richard is brilliant at finding the right people that bring his targets of opportunity to life. And he confirmed that once they are on his team, “I lavish them with praise.” Our takeaway: relentlessly celebrate+develop+inspire your people.
5. Be a Radical Innovator. When he was a young entrepreneur with nothing more than the little college newspaper THE STUDENT, he still showed a lust for disregarding all the rules. He challenged the status quo. And disrupted what was considered normal. An example: he somehow was able to get John Lennon to do an original piece of music for him. He then put the song on a special disc and packaged it into the newspaper, right next to the interview he‟d done on the rock „n roll legend. At Virgin Records, he recruited the Sex Pistols and reinvented a whole category of music. At Virgin Atlantic, he gave passengers massages on airplanes and dropped them home in limos. And with Virgin Galactic, he‟s taking people into space. Very cool. Fantastically bold.
At the Bucharest meeting, he told the 2500+ people in the concert hall that “sometime in your lifetime, every one of you will have visited other parts of the universe.” And I believe it.
6. Build Your Brand. Richard Branson gets branding. He knows what he – and the Virgin name – stands for. Fun. Good Value. Strong customer service. And so at every possible opportunity, he evangelizes all it stands for. Oh, and he‟s also clearly a master of getting attention. From hot air balloon adventures that made global news to showing up at a press conference nearly naked to promote Virgin mobile, this Remarkable Entrepreneur gets the value of owning a share of our brain cells.
7. Find Your Necker Island. Get this: Branson paid roughly $300,000 for his beloved Necker Island. He and his then girlfriend Joan were visiting the Caribbean on a getaway. They fell in love with Necker – but it was about $4,000,000. But he wouldn‟t give up (let‟s never discount the power of a ridiculous amount of persistence around your most closely loved goals). A few months later, the owner needed cash. Branson made his deeply discounted offer. It has served as his retreat away from the world for many years. Here‟s the real point: in the world of so much noise and complexity, find your personal retreat (even if it‟s an aged wooded bench in a public garden) where you can withdraw to think+create+renew+rest.
8. Lucky Wins. We make luck. Enough said.
9. Don‟t Do It If It‟s Not Fun. Branson wears a smile pretty much all the time. He laughs naturally. And radiates happiness. Zero doubt: he loves his life – and all that‟s in it (George Clooney said he‟d swap his life for Richard Branson‟s – much to the delight of Richard‟s wife). The lesson for us: life‟s just too short to be doing work that destroys your soul. This is the best time in the history of the world to become an entrepreneur. Find work you adore. And get busy changing the world with it.
10. With Gifts Come Responsibilities. OK, so Richard Branson‟s one of the richest people on the planet. But he gets that being good trumps shiny toys. He mentioned
to me that, “with great wealth comes great responsibility.” And so he‟s spending a lot of his days evangelizing Virgin Unite, his foundation that helps kids in need. Reminds me of what my amazing father taught me – using the words of the great poet Tagore – growing up: “Robin, when you were born, you cried while the world rejoiced. Son, live your life in such a way that when you die, the world cries while you rejoice.”
So there you go. What the iconic Richard Branson shared with me on a sunny Wednesday in Bucharest. I hope the lessons also serve you well.
Do Your Part Posted on June 7, 2012
Big question for you: “what are you doing to help build a new and better world?” Don‟t blame the politicians. Don‟t blame those around you. Don‟t blame your parents or your background. Doing so is playing the victim and this world has far too many people playing the victim when they could be shining and making a profound difference. Mother Teresa said it so much better than I ever could: “if each of us would only sweep their own doorstep, the whole world would be clean.” Nice.
Blaming others is excusing yourself. Telling yourself that you – as an army of one – cannot have an impact is giving away your power. A couple of college kids got their hands on empty school buses and drove them into New Orleans when everybody else said the city was unapproachable. A little man in a loincloth named
Mohandas Gandhi freed an entire nation. A college student named Richard Branson took some initiative to start a record label on a shoestring that has since morphed into the Virgin empire. You are no different from them. We are all flesh and bones – cut from the same cloth.
In a recent issue of Vanity Fair, Jennifer Aniston said that she gives herself one day to play victim after a challenging event. After that day of feeling sorry for herself and powerless, she wakes up and takes ownership over the way her life looks. And if she doesn‟t like a piece of it she sets about to change it. That‟s personal leadership.
What don‟t you like about your life or the organization you work for or the country you live in? Make a list. Write it down. Shout it out. And then do something to improve things. Anything. Start small or go big. Just do something. Today. Now. The world will be better for it. The Myth of Personal Transformation Posted on June 7, 2012
Too many people believe that playing their best game as a human being requires them to revolutionalize their lives. And for most of us, that‟s a scary thought. No one wants to make massive changes to the way they think, feel and behave. Human beings love staying within the comfort zone. But guess what? In my work as a success coach with people around the world, I‟ve realized that lasting personal change does not require you to turn your life upside down.
The best way to get to your greatness is through small, continuous steps-what I call the “1% Wins”. If you improve your health only 1% each day for the next 30 days, you will see a 30% increase in that dimension of your life in only 1 month. Same for every other area of your life, from your relationships to your career. Doesn‟t
seem so scary now does it? Can you make those little improvements in the areas most in need of improvement? Absolutely.
World Class Language Posted on June 7, 2012
Language offers a framework for meaning. Please think about that powerful idea. We understand the world through words. The words you use determine the way you perceive reality. If you call a stumbling block a “problem” or “a big mess” you will create a different emotional state within you than if you call the issue “an opportunity” or “a challenge that will only make me better.” I have the privilege, as a success coach, to work with many extraordinarily successful people from around the world.
One of their core traits of greatness is that the vast majority of them understand the power of the word. They use world-class language. Not only do they refrain from using profanities, but they use the language of passion. They use the language of leadership. They use the language of possibility. They use the language of love.
Live Fully Now Posted on June 7, 2012
Too many human beings postpone living. We say that we will live our best lives when we have more time or when we finish the pressing projects that are consuming us. We tell those around us that we will be more loving and passionate
when things slow down. We promise ourselves that we will get into world-class physical condition and eat healthier food when we have a little bit more time. Yet, deep within us, each one of us knows that there will never be a better time to live our biggest life than now. And if not today, then when?
Getting What You Want While Loving What You Have Posted on June 7, 2012
Some pundits encourage us to enjoy the moment and appreciate what we have, suggesting that constantly striving for more is unhealthy and the primary source of our discontent. And others say that, as human beings, we were built to push beyond our comfort zones each day and reach for something higher. I‟ve struggled a lot with this issue, as I articulate a personal philosophy that I will live my life under.
I think I‟ve found the answer, a solution that feels right to me: it‟s a balance. I call it The Mandela Balance. Nelson Mandela, a hero of mine, once said: “After climbing a great hill, one finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can only rest for a moment, for with freedom comes responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk has not yet ended.”
To me, Nelson Mandela is suggesting that it‟s all about a balance. Enjoy the view from where you are at. Savor how far you have come. Be grateful for where you are along the journey that is your life. But, remember that with the gifts that reside within you come great responsibilities. I believe that every human being has a Duty to Shine. We must walk out into the world and do our best to be of greater service to others and greater citizens in the world. We must continually walk
towards our fears and make more of our lives. We must constantly play a bigger game. This drive to realize more of our greatest selves has, I believe, been knitted into our DNA and to deny it is to deny our human nature.
And yes, as we set higher dreams and raise our personal standards, we will create discontent. But this world was built by people who felt some discontent with the way things were and knew they could do better. Think Gandhi. Think Mother Teresa. Think Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. Think Einstein. Think Mandela.
So love what you have. And then go for what you want.
What is Leadership? Posted on June 7, 2012
Leadership has nothing to do with the title on your business card or the size of your office. Leadership is not about how much money you make or the clothes you wear. Leadership is a philosophy. It‟s an attitude. It‟s a state of mind. And it‟s available to each one of us.
Here‟s an example. I spend a lot of my life on airplanes and traveling so I‟m hard on my luggage. The handle on my carry-on luggage broke after my tour of Russia a few months ago (you have to put a visit to St. Petersburg on your list of places to visit before you die). Anyway, I take the piece in to Evex, a dealer in Toronto. The
young man at the counter treated me wonderfully and within a few days, the handle was fixed.
While in New York a week ago, the handle broke again. I assumed that I‟d have to pay for the repair when I went back into Evex. Most business put clients through so many hurdles: if you haven‟t saved the receipt you are out of luck, if you don‟t know who did the initial repair we cannot help you etc etc. Well Evex is different. They just get it. They understand that without treating their customers well, there is no business.
When I explained that the handle broke again, the young woman at the counter – without a moment of hesitation – apologized for the problem I faced. She them said: “We will promise you that you will have your carry-on in perfect order within 3 days. And of course Sir, there will be no charge.” No bureaucracy around needing the receipt from the previous repair. No hassles. No issues. Just great service, with a giant smile.
This woman showed leadership. She quickly diagnosed the problem, assumed personal responsibility and made the right decision. And she wowed her customer in the process. What will you do to be the leader that you are destined to be, today?
21 Tips to Become the Most Productive Person You Know
I wanted to help you create explosive productivity so you get big things done (and make your life matter).
Here are 21 tips to get you to your best productivity. #1. Check email in the afternoon so you protect the peak energy hours of your mornings for your best work. #2. Stop waiting for perfect conditions to launch a great project. Immediate action fuels a positive feedback loop that drives even more action. #3. Remember that big, brave goals release energy. So set them clearly and then revisit them every morning for 5 minutes. #4. Mess creates stress (I learned this from tennis icon Andre Agassi who said he wouldn‟t let anyone touch his tennis bag because if it got disorganized, he‟d get distracted). So clean out the clutter in your office to get more done. #5. Sell your TV. You‟re just watching other people get successful versus doing the things that will get you to your dreams. #6. Say goodbye to the energy vampires in your life (the negative souls who steal your enthusiasm). #7. Run routines. When I studied the creative lives of massively productive people like Stephen King, John Grisham and Thomas Edison, I discovered they follow strict daily routines. (i.e., when they would get up, when they would start work, when they would exercise and when they would relax). Peak productivity‟s not about luck. It‟s about devotion. #8. Get up at 5 am. Win the battle of the bed. Put mind over mattress. This habit alone will strengthen your willpower so it serves you more dutifully in the key areas of your life. #9. Don‟t do so many meetings. (I‟ve trained the employees of our FORTUNE 500 clients on exactly how to do this – including having the few meetings they now do standing up – and it‟s created breakthrough results for them). #10. Don‟t say yes to every request. Most of us have a deep need to be liked. That translates into us saying yes to everything – which is the end of your elite productivity.
#11. Outsource everything you can‟t be BIW (Best in the World) at. Focus only on activities within what I call “Your Picasso Zone”. #12. Stop multi-tasking. New research confirms that all the distractions invading our lives are rewiring the way our brains work (and drop our IQ by 5 points!). Be one of the rare-air few who develops the mental and physical discipline to have a mono-maniacal focus on one thing for many hours. (It‟s all about practice). #13. Get fit like Madonna. Getting to your absolute best physical condition will create explosive energy, renew your focus and multiply your creativity. #14. Workout 2X a day. This is just one of the little-known productivity tactics that I‟ll walk you through in my new online training program YOUR PRODUCTIVITY UNLEASHED (details at the end of this post) but here‟s the key: exercise is one of the greatest productivity tools in the world. So do 20 minutes first thing in the morning and then another workout around 6 or 7 pm to set you up for wow in the evening. #15. Drink more water. When you‟re dehydrated, you‟ll have far less energy. And get less done. #16. Work in 90 minute blocks with 10 minute intervals to recover and refuel (another game-changing move I personally use to do my best work). #17. Write a Stop Doing List. Every productive person obsessively sets To Do Lists. But those who play at world-class also record what they commit to stop doing. Steve Jobs said that what made Apple Apple was not so much what they chose to build but all the projects they chose to ignore. #18. Use your commute time. If you‟re commuting 30 minutes each way every day – get this: at the end of a year, you‟ve spent 6 weeks of 8 hour days in your car. I encourage you to use that time to listen to fantastic books on audio + excellent podcasts and valuable learning programs. Remember, the fastest way to double your income is to triple your rate of learning. #19. Be a contrarian. Why buy your groceries at the time the store is busiest? Why go to movies on the most popular nights? Why hit the gym when the gym‟s completely full? Do things at off-peak hours and you‟ll save so many of them.
#20. Get things right the first time. Most people are wildly distracted these days. And so they make mistakes. To unleash your productivity, become one of the special performers who have the mindset of doing what it takes to get it flawless first. This saves you days of having to fix problems. #21. Get lost. Don‟t be so available to everyone. I often spend hours at a time in the cafeteria of a university close to our headquarters. I turn off my devices and think, create, plan and write. Zero interruptions. Pure focus. Massive results. I truly hope these 21 productivity tips have been valuable to you. And that I‟ve been of service. Your productivity is your life made visible. Please protect it. Stay productive.
The Value of Dying Daily Posted on June 7, 2012
I don‟t want to be the richest person in the graveyard. To me, a life well-lived is mostly about being surrounded by people I love, staying healthy and happy (and no one‟s happy all the time except in the movies) and having an impact on the world around us. So how can you stay focused on the things that are most important to you? Die daily.
I wrote about this in The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari but the point of wisdom is simply this: connecting to the fact that life is short and no one knows when it will end is a great personal practice to stay engaged on your priorities. Waking up each morning and asking yourself “how would I show up today if this day was my last” is not some cheesy motivational exercise. It‟s a profound way to bring some urgency and commitment into your days.
Most of us let life act on us – we are asleep at the wheel of our own lives. And the days slip into weeks, the weeks into months and the months into years. Before we know it, we are laying on our deathbeds wondering where all the time went.
Die daily. Give yourself to life. Take some risks. Open your heart a little wider. Speak your truth. Show your respect for the gift of life that‟s been given to you. Shine brightly today. And then, wake up tomorrow and reach even higher. At the end, people will remember you as one of the great ones.
Get Some Skin in The Game Posted on June 7, 2012
I fail more than most people. I fail all the time. I‟ve had failures in business. I‟ve had failures in relationships. I‟ve had failures in life. I used to wonder why this happened. But now I get it. Failure is the highway to success. And the more risks you take in the pursuit of your dreams, the more you are going to fail.
Too many amongst us live our lives in what I call “the safe harbor of the known.” Same thinking for twenty years. Same conversations for twenty years. Same breakfast for twenty years. Same drive to work for twenty years. I have no judgment on that kind of a life. If it makes you happy, well that‟s a beautiful thing. But I don‟t know of anyone who is happy living like that. True joy comes when you put some skin in the game and take some chances. Yes, you will start to experience more failure. But guess what, success also starts to pay more visits.
Failure is just part of the process of getting to greatness. The best companies on the planet have failed more than the average ones. The most successful people on the
planet have failed more than average ones. To me, the only failure is the failure to not try and dream and dare. And I deeply feel that the greatest risk you will ever take in your life is if you never take a risk.
So go ahead, stretch today. Ask for the best table in your favorite restaurant. Ask for an upgrade into first class on your next flight (good luck). Ask your teammate at work for more understanding. Ask your mate at home for more love. Do it. I dare you. And just remember, you can‟t win the game if you don‟t even play.
The Power of Daily Practices Posted on June 7, 2012
Success, world-class health, internal fulfillment and sustained happiness don‟t just happen. These elements of your best life are created. All too often we look at a human being playing their best game on the playing field of life and assume they got lucky or were born into their lofty condition. What we don‟t see is all the devotion and discipline that went into crafting the extraordinary results we see.
What I‟m suggesting is that personal and professional greatness takes work. I‟m not someone who would ever tell you that you could get to your dreams without having to make some sacrifices and pay the price in terms of dedication and selfcontrol. The best amongst us make it all look so easy. I call it The Swan Effectelite performers make personal excellence look effortless and seem to make things happen as gracefully as a swan moves along the water. But like the swan, what you don‟t get to see is all the hard-work taking place below the surface.
The best way to create spectacular results in the most important areas of your life is through daily practice. In my life, I have a series of practices that set me up for a great day. Yes, sometimes life sends you unexpected challenges that knock you off track-that‟s just life happening. But with a series of practices to keep you at your best, you‟ll stay in a positive state much more often.
Practices that will lock you into your best state include a morning journaling session where you record your feelings, thoughts, and the blessings you are grateful for. Or you may start your day with a strong workout and an elite performer‟s meal. I often listen to music for 15 minutes, as it not only energizes me, it just makes life better. I also use success statements or affirmations to get my mind focused.
Success and joy and inner peace don‟t just show up. You need to create them. Find your series of practices, perform them with consistency. And then go out into this beautiful world of ours and shine.
Who Made Success a Bad Word? Posted on June 7, 2012
Too many people believe that there‟s something wrong with aiming to be really successful. I‟ve heard it a lot these days, the suggestion that if you strive for success, you must not be all that concerned with making a difference and being significant. It‟s almost as if being a go-getter is incompatible with being compassionate, socially conscious and good.
Well here‟s my take on the “success versus significance” issue: an extraordinary life contains both. Without success, I have a sense that the best part of you will feel a little hollow. Part of what makes us human is the hunger to realize our greatest gifts and live life fully. We were built to shine. And without significance, I believe that we will feel that we have walked the planet in vain.
Love Your Irritations Posted on June 7, 2012
The things that drive you crazy are actually giant opportunities. The people who press your buttons are actually your greatest teachers. The things that make you angry are actually your greatest gifts. Bless them.
The people or circumstances that take you out of your power have extraordinary value: They reveal your limiting beliefs, fears and false assumptions. How much would you pay someone who promised they could pinpoint exactly what is holding you back from your greatest life? How much would it be worth to get intimate information on why you are not exactly at the place where you‟ve always dreamed of being?
Here‟s the powerful idea: The things that irritate and annoy and anger you are entry points into your evolution and elevation as a human being. They are signposts for what you need to work on and the fears you need to face. They are gifts of growth. You can blame the people who trigger you and make it all about
them. Or you can do the courageous thing and look deeply into yourself to discover the reason for your negative reaction. The fears you don‟t own become your prison bars.
And as you begin to shed light on your personal weaknesses and take responsibility for them, you actually begin the process of shedding them. You become stronger. More powerful. More of who you were meant to be.
So the next time a co-worker sets you off or the next time your teenager gets you going, walk over to them, give them a hug and thank them for the gift they just gave you. Because they did.
Your Days Define Your Life Posted on June 7, 2012
Big idea: Your days are your life in miniature. As you live your days, so you craft your life. What you do today is actually creating your future. The words you speak, the thoughts you think, the food you eat and the actions you take are defining your destiny – shaping who you are becoming and what your life will stand for. There‟s no such thing as an unimportant day.
Each of us is called to greatness. Each of us has an exquisite power within us. But for this power to grow, we need to use it. The more you exercise it each day, the stronger it gets. The more this power gets tapped, the more confident you grow.
The best among us are not more gifted than the rest. They just take small steps each day as they march towards their biggest life. And the days slip into weeks, the weeks into months and before they know it, they arrive at a place called Extraordinary.
Problems Reveal Genius Posted on June 7, 2012
Problems are servants. They help you grow and lead to better things, both within your organization and in your life. To resist them is to avoid growth and progress. Embrace and get the best from the challenges in front of you. And understand that the only people with no problems are dead.
An unhappy customer yelling at you might seem like a problem. But to a person thinking like a leader, that scenario is also an opportunity to improve the organization‟s processes to ensure that doesn‟t happen again. So the problem has actually helped to improve the company.
An interpersonal conflict at work can seem like a problem. But if you think like a leader and use the circumstance to build understanding, promote communication and enrich the relationship, the problem has actually made you better. It has been fodder for your growth and served you nicely.
An illness or a divorce or the loss of a loved one might seem like a problem. Sure it‟s painful (been there, done that). But I‟ve been shaped by my saddest experiences. They‟ve brought me depth, compassion and wisdom. They‟ve made me the man that I am. I wouldn‟t trade them for the world.
Problems reveal genius. World-class organizations have a culture that sees problems as opportunities for improvement. A mistake is only a mistake if you make it twice. And world-class human beings use their stumbling blocks as stepping stones. They use their failures to bring them closer to success. They don‟t see problems. They see possibilities. And that‟s what makes them great.
Grow Leaders Fast Posted on June 7, 2012
Big Idea: The competitive advantage of your organization comes down to a simple imperative – your ability to grow and develop leaders faster than your competition. You need to develop a leadership culture if you want to win in your marketspace. And it needs to be done quickly.
A leadership culture is one where everyone thinks like an owner, like a CEO or Managing Director. This means they focus on getting to solutions rather than on the problems. This means they take personal responsibility for achieving results that move the business forward (whether they run the mailroom or sit in a boardroom). This means they shape culture, stay positive and lead by example.
Please hear me on this: I‟m not saying everyone needs to do the job of a CEO or Managing Director. Showing leadership doesn‟t mean every employee will run the organization. That would lead to chaos. All I‟m suggesting to you is that everyone needs to know their role (and then show up fully in that role – like a leader would). And when they do – when they think, behave and feel like leaders – good things will happen. And soon, your organization will get to great. \
Simplify Then Focus Posted on June 7, 2012
Henry David Thoreau shouted “Simplify. Simplify. Simplify” in his breathtakingly good book “Walden”. Nice point. One of the primary reasons that people and organizations fail to get to greatness is that they try to be too many things to too many people. I‟ll use the Confucius quote I often use here: “Man who chases two rabbits catches neither.”
The most successful human beings are wildly focused. They have a very clear picture of what it is they want to create by the time they reach the end of their lives and then they have the discipline (and courage) to stick to their knitting – saying “no” to everything that is not mission critical.
So my gentle suggestion to you is to simplify your life. Strip away all that is unimportant – these are the things keeping you from getting to your dreams. And then once you do your clean up, focus, focus, focus. You‟ll be surprised how good you will then get at being great.
How to Get Good at Life Posted on June 7, 2012
Life is a skill. And like any other skill, once you know the ground rules and make the time to practice, you can get better. If you really devote yourself to life, you could even reach a place of mastery. Some have.
I suggest to you that there are 3 simple things you can do to get good at life:
Pay attention to life. It‟s really easy to let life act on you – to fall asleep to life. Some people have lost entire decades this way. And they never got them back. Try and write in a journal each morning before you walk out into your world. Think about what goals you need to accomplish that day and write them down. Think about what are your most closely held values. Think about what lessons you‟ve learned from the previous day. What good is making a mistake if you don‟t learn from it? Engage in life. I‟ve learned something as I‟ve grown older: the more you give to life, the more it gives to you. Over dinner last night with some friends, we began to speak of goal-setting. “But why set goals when life can be so uncertain?” One asked me. My reply: “just because life is so unpredictable doesn‟t mean you shouldn‟t exercise your power to do your best. Set your goals. Make your plans. Take action and chase your dreams. That‟s what personal responsibility is all about. But once you‟ve done your best – let go. And let life do the rest.” She looked deeply into her pad thai.
Enjoy life. We take life too seriously. But at the end, the billionaire gets buried next to the street sweeper. We all end up as dust. And no matter how long you will live, each of us isn‟t here all that long in the grand scheme of things. So let‟s not take ourselves too seriously. Let‟s enjoy the ride.
Get Big on Self-Care
Leadership begins within. You can‟t do good at work until you feel good. You can‟t make someone feel great about themselves until you feel good about yourself. You can‟t be a source of positive energy if you have no energy.
On your next flight, listen to the flight attendant. “Put the oxygen mask on your mouth before you try to help anyone else.” The logic is clear: if you can‟t breathe, you are useless to everyone else. Nice metaphor for personal leadership. Make the time to care for yourself. Get into great shape. Read good business books and inspiring autobiographies. Plan and improve your skills. Spend excellent time with loved ones. Commune with nature. Enjoy life while you chase success.
By caring for yourself, you will be able to give more to others. By ensuring that you are on your best game, your leadership effectiveness will be guaranteed. And by making the time to enjoy life, you‟ll be more enjoyable to be around.
Get to Peak Productivity Fast
What makes an elite performer isn‟t how you show up when Plan A‟s working. What reveals a true superstar is the way you deliver when your best laid plans are falling apart.
These are messy times. Days of intense volatility. A period of immense uncertainty. And one of the dominant themes in work + life these days is distraction (a constant stream of activities begging for our attention that in the end amount to nothing).
So the fight we face as Leaders Without Titles and as human beings on a mission to express our absolute best talents is to block out the noise so we get real work done. Here are some of my best strategies to help you do this:
#1. Get Great at Reverse Engineering: Engineers working with technology startups are masterful at taking a competitor‟s product and breaking it apart – piece by piece – from the finished version to its initial components. After study, they then make their own product even better. Truly productive people do the same thing with their most valuable opportunity. They know the final result they are after and maintain acute clarity on it. Armed with this awareness, they reverse engineer this big goal into a series of small and actionable steps that they then put into a 1-2 page plan of execution. This strategy works for them. And it‟ll work for you.
#2. Abhor Distraction: I fiercely fight distraction in my own life and teach the teams I work with at companies like Starbucks, Coca-Cola and Oracle along with the billionaires I privately coach how to do the same. Everyone‟s fighting for your focus. And too many people are stealing your attention. Don‟t be so generous in giving it to them – unless it‟s for something that truly matters. So, clean out the distractions in your workspace and personal life. I just read that special forces on a military mission are kept in isolation from other teams and denied access to TV/Newspapers/Internet. Why? To PROTECT their focus so they deliver
perfection on their mission. Pretty great metaphor for you and I, no? So please remember: Distraction is the greatest thief of time. And time is a non-renewable resource.
#3. Stop Multi-tasking: A recent case report shared a story of a medical resident who was using her cellphone to input data about the dosage of a patient she was attending. She was interrupted with a text message from a friend inviting her to a party. The resident replied and started a conversation. The only problem was she forgot to get back to her patient who then began receiving a near-fatal dose of the medicine. Open-heart surgery saved his live. But the larger point is that so few of us are fully present to the work/activity in front of us anymore. I see people on airport runways checking their Twitter feed. I see taxi drivers reviewing their emails. A huge competitive advantage falls to the 1 in 100 performer with the brilliance to develop the skill of becoming massively focused on the one thing in front of them. Truly a game-changing move.
#4. Build Rituals: Ok, this is another valuable tactic to unleash your productivity. When I studied the lives of People of Great Output like Stephen King, Winston Churchill and John Irving, I saw that they didn‟t leave their productivity to the fleeting winds of inspiration. Instead, they instituted precise rituals into their daily lives that allowed their creativity to flourish. Stephen King, for example, sits down to work at 8 am every morning, in the same chair, with his papers set in the same way. His belief is that this obsessive consistency sends a signal to his mind to focus and deliver serious results.
#5. Launch at Beta: So many of us procrastinate by waiting for ideal conditions to get big things done. Here‟s what I‟ve learned from some of the software enterprises we‟ve consulted with: launch at beta and then iterate to perfection. What I mean by that is stop waiting for perfect conditions or the perfect product before you get to market. Yes, I stand for ensuring anything you offer is best of
breed. But sometimes putting off a project until it‟s flawless demonstrates nothing more than your fear of success. And we both know you‟re so much larger than that.
#6. Practice Productivity: When I was learning to ski, my instructor taught me about muscle memory. He made me practice many tiny moves over and over again sharing “this is going to build your muscle memory”, meaning that if I practiced the technique relentlessly, a time would eventually come where I could perform it swiftly, elegantly and unconsciously. Same applies to your productivity. Practice doing work that matters. Practice sitting in one place for many hours focused on a single result. Practice running rituals and elite performance routines that will lift you into the realm of world-class. Because as I know you know: Genius isn‟t so much about genetics as it is about work ethic and sheer practice.
I hope these strategies have been of service to you. The world needs you at your productive best.
The Eyes of Leadership Posted on June 7, 2012
The sad fact is that most people see the worst in others – they see them through the eyes of their own anger, fear and limitation. If someone shows up late for a meeting, they impute a negative intent on that person, saying “they are so rude”. If someone makes a mistake on an expense report, they grumble “that person is so dishonest”. If someone miscommunicates a point, they silently say “she‟s a liar”. Leaders are different. They look for the best in people.
I want to be clear. I‟m not suggesting that leaders do not confront reality. Not at all. What I‟m saying is that the best leaders see through the eyes of understanding. If someone is late, they try to get to the truth. Maybe there‟s a time management
problem to coach around or a sick child to help. An error on an expense account could be the result of a poor process in place or the employee‟s disorganization. The miscommunication might be all about the person communicating having weak skills in this area. An opportunity for improvement.
Today, rather than looking for the worst in people, I invite you to look for what‟s best within them. Sure some people really are inconsiderate or dishonest or uncaring. But in my experience – and I‟ve worked with a lot of people over the years – most people are good. Few human beings wake up in the morning and ask themselves: “What can I do today to mess up someone else‟s day or undermine my credibility?” Most of the mistakes people make are the result of a lack of awareness. And here‟s the payoff for you: as you seek out the good in people, not only will they want to show up more fully for you, but you will see more good in your world.
Your 4 Minute Mile Posted on June 7, 2012
The philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer once observed: “most people take the limits of their vision to be the limits of the world. A few do not. Join them.” Profound point. The life you see this very moment isn‟t necessarily the life of your future. You might be viewing things through the eyes of your fears, limitations and false assumptions. Once you clean up the stained glass window you see the world through, guess what? A whole new set of possibilities appear. Remember, we see the world not as it is but as we are. That idea changed my life.
Years ago, it was believed that no human being could ever break the 4 minute mile barrier. But after Roger Bannister broke it, many more replicated his feat within weeks. Why? Because he showed people what was possible. And then armed with that belief, people did the impossible.
What‟s your “4 minute mile”? What bill of goods have you sold yourself as to what‟s impossible? What false assumptions are you making in terms of what you cannot have, do and be? Your thinking creates your reality. If you think something cannot occur in your life, then there‟s no way you will take the action required to make that goal a reality. Your “impossibility thinking” becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Your perceived limitations become the chains that keep you from the greatness you were meant to be. And where‟s the leadership in that?
Lay Claim to Greatness Posted on June 7, 2012
Blame or claim-that‟s the choice each of us has to make each day. Blame what‟s not working or claim the gift in the seemingly negative situation. The world needs more heroes. And heroes spend their days hunting for the best. They see the best amidst adversity. They see the best in others. They dig for the best in themselves. They claim their greatness. And in doing so, they get their best lives.
An extraordinary life is not something only available for the chosen few-people with perfect teeth and royal pedigrees. You and I are destined for greatness. We are meant to live spectacular lives. That‟s hardwired into our DNA. But we need to do our part to make it all happen. Choice by choice. Step by step. Small gains eventually yield giant results.
So lay claim to your greatness. Drive a stake into the ground to mark your place under the sun. Stop being a prisoner of your past and commit to becoming the architect of your future. And remember, it‟s never too late to become the person you have always dreamed of being.
There‟s nothing wrong with being an elite performer and taking the steps required to become a remarkable success in this world. Success is actually a creative pursuit and a reflection of healthy self-esteem. And while you realize success, I invite you to stay devoted to elevating the lives you touch and leaving your world better than you found it. That‟s the significance piece. With both, you‟ll discover your greatest life. **********************************
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