4 WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR PRODUCTIVITY Craig Johns

4 WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR PRODUCTIVITY

FUTURE 8 – 2X2X2X2

IMG_2473

4 Ways To Improve Your Productivity. You are what you repeatedly do and what you repeatedly do ultimately forms the person you are. It defines the things you believe in, your personality and the way you move.

Every day we make small decisions and perform actions that form habits. Our life is the sum of our habits and research by Duke University has shown that 40% of our behaviours every given day are a result of them.

Habits are formed through a simple neurological loop pattern of a cue, routine and a reward, as discovered by MIT researchers. The cue is a result of a trigger that initiates the behaviour. The routine is the action you take and the behaviour that is formed. The reward is the benefit you gain from performing the behaviour.

“Success is the sum of small parts, repeated day in and day out.”

ROBERT COLLIER

It is vitally important to use your positive habits to be in the NOW and focus on what you are currently doing. However it is more important that you develop new habits, by planting new seeds, to ensure that you are continuing to GROW every single day.

We have developed a formula that is based on growth habits that allow you to improve your well being, expand your knowledge, build your networks and make a difference to people. The Future 8 daily formula involves performing a minimum of 2 actions of the following four areas each day:

  • 2x CONNECT – contact someone new or reconnect an old acquaintance
  • 2x ENERGY – action something that supports your health and fitness.
  • 2x PERFORMANCE – learn something new
  • 2x SHARE – pay it forward by sharing your knowledge, thoughts and wisdom

CONNECT (2X)

It is important to build your network and work on your relationships. Pick up the phone, send a text or write an email to someone you would like to connect with, whether it is to enhance your knowledge, skills and understanding or to speak with a prospective consumer. We quite often forget that it is important to put time and energy into those who are already consumers or friends of your network. Reconnecting with those who already have a connection with you leads to retention, which is the best form of growth. Who are you going to call today?

ENERGY (2X)

When we get busy, we become tired and start craving unhealthy options. These options might be fast food, no rest breaks during the day, deciding to put off that run or going to bed late. Your mind and body require energy to be exerted and rest to recover for it to perform at its optimum each day. It doesn’t matter whether it is productivity in the workplace, you have a personal fitness goal you are aiming for or a relationship, you want to be able to perform at your best. Start the day with a 30min run or gym session, go for a walk through the park at lunch, have a bowl of fruit, take the time to play with your children before dinner or do a 15min meditation session at morning tea are all ways to recharge and allow both your body and mind to perform brilliance. What will you do to energise your day?

PERFORMANCE (2X)

For you to continually grow you need to add some water each day. It is very common for most successful people to read every day. Bill Gates reads a new book each week, Oprah Winfrey started the Oprah’s Book Club, Mark Cuban reads three hours a day and many successful people now tune into podcasts each day as a way of learning while resting the eyes. Pick a new topic to learn something new each day. Try reading an article, listening to a podcast, discussing with a colleague, or watching a video on something that either improves your work performance, healthy lifestyle or broadens your intellectual horizons. What will you learn today that you didn’t know yesterday?

SHARE (2X)

The more you give, the more you get. Focusing on helping someone else first will mean you gain more in the long-term. Planting a seed in someone else is more powerful than watering our own seeds. Write a blog post, share an article on your LinkedIn page, call someone who would learn from your wisdom or talk to a stranger on a plane. What is even more powerful than sharing your knowledge, thoughts and wisdom, is to make them laugh and smile while you do it. Make it fun and enjoyable and they are more likely to remember and learn from their interaction from you. Who will you share your knowledge, thoughts and wisdom with today?

It is as easy as starting the day as you would like to finish it. To begin with it is really useful to write down the 2x2x2x2 15min before you go home from work each day to ensure that you have checked everything off. If not, you still have time to complete the day in style.

FUTURE 8 Formula – 2x2x2x2

  • Who are the 2 people you are going to call today?
  • What are the 2 things you will do to energise your day?
  • What are the 2 things you will learn today?
  • What are the ways you will share your knowledge, thoughts & wisdom with today?

Start contacting, actioning, learning and sharing two thing each day and you will be surprised at how much your performance and productivity improves.

FUTURE 8 YOURSELF TODAY!

2x2x2x2

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Top 5 CEO Sacrifices

The Top 5 CEO Sacrifices

Top 5 CEO Sacrifices

The Top 5 CEO Sacrifices

There is no easy way to the top of Everest and it is the same in business. CEO’s have all made sacrifices to get to sit in the big seat. The big question is, “are many of the sacrifices made actually necessary”?

So often we see people putting in long hours, pleasing the boss, fueling their ego and trying to get a step ahead of their colleagues, like it is a game. So, how much productivity is lost through people being overworked, over-stressed and caught in a negative frame of mind?

Many people only see the successes of a CEO, rather than what lies below the surface. Hard work, dedication, discipline, persistence, failure, disappointment, sacrifice and failure are what it takes to get to the top in any industry.

Recently we surveyed a number of CEO’s, Senior Managers and Business Owners (CEO) on “What are the top 5 CEO sacrifices you have made, that you would take back in a heartbeat?”

The top 5 sacrifices are:

#1 limited time with children and family,

#2 not prioritising my own fitness,

#3 a lack of time to look after my health and wellness,

#4 forgetting about my friends, and

#5 working during family holidays.

When you take a look at this list, you notice a number of aspects that so many people value, especially family, but when it comes to the crunch people often choose work first. It is common for people to make the choice to work as they think there will always be time for family and friends.

“Spending too much time with accountants and lawyers (it took time away from people that really mattered).”

There is more and more research showing that sleep, as well as psychological and physiological recovery, are major ingredients in mental and physical performance. Why do we then sacrifice the most important aspects of growth to overwork our brains?

 “Pure vacations, as business owner there is no pure down time”

Not having enough time for hobbies and personal development were also common. Many people wait until they are retired before they focus adequate time on themselves and what they really want to do in life. In many cases they lack the energy to really do what they want when they retire as they have neglected their health, wellness and fitness for some many years as they ground it out every day at work.

“Exercising more and less procrastination when thinking about exercising”

It was interesting to hear that a number of CEO’s say they sacrificed a lot of time with negative colleagues and Board members. They noted at times it made their life miserable, as it took the enjoyment and time away from their innovative and creative mind.

“Not being aggressive about Board of Directors composition. I need a Board that adds value, not just meet and waste my time. It was a sacrifice because it made my life miserable.”

The one aspect the resonated a lot with us, is that a number of the CEO’s felt they didn’t say ‘thank you’ enough, to those that really matter. Gratitude is an important part of being a successful leader. We sometimes forget that a lot of other people in our lives are making sacrifices to support our drive for success.

“Not saying thank you enough – to my family, my friends (many were neglected) and employees (who really made the company work).”

You have a choice, you can commit to the hard slog and burn the candle or you can put measures in place to ensure your productivity is high and you have the time for the important aspects that matter in life.

Stay tuned as we begin to open you to a different way of approaching work so you can deliver a high level of performance in all aspects of life.

What are your CEO Sacrifices?

READ MORE ARTICLES

Have We Got The Hiring Process Totally Wrong? Link
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Be A Rookie Link
Why Change? – Change Series Part 1 Link
I Make No Apologies This Is Me! Link

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Are leaders born Craig Johns Nelson Mandela

ARE LEADERS BORN?

nelson-mandela
Nelson Mandela – Photo Credit: Seattle Globalist

ARE LEADERS BORN?

Nature (our DNA) and nurture (environmental influences) both need to be taken into consideration when trying to understand how a leader is formed. The way I like to look at whether leaders are Born or Made, is by looking at leadership capability through the concept of a bell-curve.

At the bottom of the curve, there are ~10% of people that will struggle, no matter how hard they try, to be a good leader. Their DNA is just not wired to lead and every amount of training is unlikely to get them to a position where they can lead effectively. On the top of the bell curve are the ~10% of people who are born to lead. They are born with an innate instinct to lead. As they grow and develop they tend to continue getting better and better.

The other ~80% of people in the middle have the potential to be good leaders, if not great leaders. They have to be prepared to work really hard on their leadership skills, especially self-awareness. This involves learning how to take a ‘birds-eye-view’ of yourself, be open to asking for feedback and developing great listening skills.

However, I do believe that the world’s most exceptional visionary leaders are highly likely to only come from the ~10% of people who are born leaders.

To try and understand some of the discussion points around whether leaders are born or made, let’s look at some of the theories and evidence that support either side of the coin or both sides.

“The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. They are the one who gets the people to do the greatest things.”

Ronald Reagan (Adapted) 

THEORIES

According to the Great Man Theory, popularised in the 1840’s by Thomas Carlyle and Trait Theory, people inherit certain qualities and traits, which are aligned with leadership. People are born with different qualities that predispose them to be a leader, which is similar to someone who with the natural qualities of a gifted musician or talented athlete. They will naturally excel and thrive when confronted with the appropriate situations, whereas other people will struggle. The most exceptional leaders, don’t become overnight successes, they were leaders from the onset.

Behavioural Theories emphasise that the process of teaching, learning and observation allow people to become leaders. They believe the concept of leadership is something that can be learnt, like a skill through training, practice, perception and making observations over a period of time. But, to what level can a person achieve, from a leadership point of view, if they don’t have the natural charisma, ability to influence, natural integrity, and ability to motivate and inspire?

“Leaders aren’t born, they are made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work. And that’s the price we’ll have to pay to achieve that goal, or any goal.”

VINCE LOMBARDI

SITUATION

Some people are very good leaders in certain environments, but not others. They may lead well when they know and trust a small team they are working with, whereas they struggle in a larger team of people they don’t know so well. Even exceptional leaders are only effective when they are in specific locations or environments, for example they could be in a family, societal, community, national, or global environment.

Leaders, sometimes, don’t always stand out from the crowd. They are the quiet achievers, who have an uncanny ability lead people away from the limelight and in a very subtle way. Their quiet, softly spoken and under-the-radar approach may have a profound effect on the way people behave, how they perform and decisions they make.

“Leadership is not magnetic personality – that could just as well be a glib tongue. It is not ‘making friends and influencing people’, that is flattery. Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to high sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.”

PETER DRUCKER

GENETIC

There are bodies of research that imply that 30% of leadership is genetic and 70% is learned. Although the percentage of genetic versus learned is likely to vary quite a lot between individual leaders, but it still implies that there is a major learning component to leadership.

Many leaders, tend to have an extroversion trait. They also tend to have high levels of empathy as well as social and emotional intelligence, whereas IQ is not always an important characteristic for a leader. As I discussed earlier, introverts can also be great leaders.

“Leadership is an observable, learnable set of practices. Leadership is not something mystical and ethereal that cannot be understood by ordinary people. Given the opportunity for feedback and practice, those with the desire and persistence to lead can substantially improve their abilities to do so.”

JAMES KOUZES & BARRY POSNER

GROWTH

Great leaders tend to be in constant growth, as they aim to improve every day. They tend to seek new experiences and a greater understanding of themselves.

People who are adjusted, social, ambitious and curious are more likely to become leaders. Their curious nature leads them to learn through mediums such as books, informal training from coaches or mentors, interpretations of life experiences, websites, observations, listening and formal training in an academic type setting.

“The leader must be able to know what followers want, when they want it, and what prevents them from getting what they want.”

BERNARD BASS

FINAL THOUGHTS

Leadership is a reflection of who you are and how you want to improve the world for the better. No matter whether leaders have come from a background of hardship and personal struggles or they have endured leadership through an abundance of resources, everyone can continue to develop their leadership skills through deliberate practice and experience.

Developing as a leader is no different to any other expert, where they grow through deliberate practice, struggle, sacrifice, hard work, and regular self-assessment.

Are leaders born?

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It’s Your Story Link
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Achieving Successful Change – Changes Series Part 3 Link
Change Tantrums – Change Series Part 2 Link
Why Change? – Change Series Part 1 Link
I Make No Apologies This Is Me! Link

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