I hear from business leaders every day that they are struggling to make the most of their time during the business week. It often happens that I get asked for some advice about how to manage that time to get the most out of a day or out of a week. Here is another brief list of behaviors that will lead to greater success for entrepreneurs and business leaders.
Design a Plan – Have a plan. Some people say planning is a waste of your time. So long as you recognize that your plan will change, often, and rapidly, you will be ready to adjust proactively and anticipate changes so that you can react positively to them. By the way, I think people who say that you don’t need a plan, that all you have to do is to show up each day energized and ready to react, are missing the boat. Frankly, I see people like that every day, and they never get anything meaningful done. Have a plan, but be prepared to adjust on a dime. Adjust proactively and stay a step ahead of the whirlwind!
Emphasize Strengths – Leverage your advantages in life, by thinking about and accentuating your many strengths first. Once you have extended your lead over your competition by emphasizing your strengths, you can then go back to work on a weakness or two and turn them into strengths over time with the help of your coach or mentor. Don’t waste all of your precious time and energy working away at hiding or eliminating your weaknesses. It is exhausting, and building on strengths is easier and faster. Once you’ve built up a cushion, spend a small amount of your time working on one weakness at a time.
Serve Others – Remember that you are not at the absolute center of the universe and the planets do not orbit you. Get over yourself, and realize that it’s not about you, it was never about you, and it will never be about you. Do you want to know whom it’s about? OK, sure, here you go. Let me tee it up for you. It’s about your prospects and customers! It’s about others! It’s about the economy, stupid! (Sorry, I’ve wanted to work that into an article since forever…) Seriously, if you serve others first, and go first in serving others, you will set an excellent example for others to follow. I have found that serving others feels great, fills my tank, and leads to one positive thing after another. Give it a try, and over time, your ROI will grow steadily as you prove your worthiness to the marketplace.
Make It Count – If you’re going to take a swing at the big prize, make it matter. Don’t waste your ‘at bat’ on a bunt. Swing away! Let it fly! Don’t hold back, go large or go home! Don’t fritter the opportunity and do something that will have a lasting impact.
Character and Mental Toughness Beat Talent – The things you say and do will get you noticed whether they’re positive or negative. Make sure that you get noticed as a thought leader and a person of influence who knows how to wield that influence to lead positive change and help people. Don’t sit back on your haunches and figure that you’ll let your innate talents carry you through. Accelerate all the way through the finish line by working harder than anyone else, smarter than anyone else, and do not let an obstacle knock you off of your game. Your resilience in times of struggle will get you over any obstacle if you have character and focus on doing the right things. You’ll find that when you fall, your supporters will be there to give you a hand if you’re a person of integrity and character. People cannot wait to help the people who have helped them along the way. Build up your relational capital with people through great behavior, and it will come back to you tenfold.
Welcome Struggles and Mistakes – The smart person realizes that they’re going to make mistakes, so they make up their minds that if they’re going to make mistakes, they’re going to make them outstanding mistakes that lead to brilliant learning. Mistakes are the price we pay for getting REALLY smart and focused, don’t you think? I have noticed that I am NEVER as clear and motivated as I am after a tremendous mistake that taught me an important lesson. So, don’t dilly-dally around, get about the business of taking some intelligent risks that might blow up on you, but if they do, you know you’re going to learn something wonderfully helpful. In the words of the great John Maxwell, Fail Forward!
Take The First Step – Don’t hang back at the back, get out front! Go first! Somebody has to show others how to climb El Capitan, somebody has to set a new all-time company record for margin produced in a year. It might as well be you! Get started and get out front! Enjoy the journey!
Michael loves to help Emerging Leaders and Business Leadership Teams to maximize their productivity and make fabulous choices about how to spend a business day or a business week. Nobody enjoys crossing things off of a to-do list more than Michael, but his real joy is helping his clients to cross nine or ten items off of THEIR most-important list! Michael is going to be hosting a half-day workshop for business leaders on ‘Time Management’ at his offices in Prior Lake on Friday, January 27 from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM Central Time. If you’d like to come and begin the process of mastering your domain and becoming a choice management expert, we’d love to have you. Space is limited to eight (8) attendees and they are filling up fast. So if you’re interested, just send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get you signed up.
We’d love to hear your comments about the list above. Feel free to suggest something that’s missing or provide your viewpoint on whether any of the points on Michael’s list above makes sense to you or simply stinks. Join the conversation and let us know what you think!