Posts Taged productivity

Weekend Love, November Fourteenth.

iStock_000028624632Here are some of the great nuggets that I’ve found on the web recently. This handful of links takes you to tools or insightful content. Occasionally I’ll include one from my “save” file if it fits the mood.

I call it “How to think Outside the Box.”  Dan Rockwell calls it, How to Eliminate Stupid Rules. I like his title.

Susan Cramm writes a very heady article about the differences between scarcity minded leaders and abundance minded leaders.  You’ll want to take some time to absorb her insights in Wanted: Leaders Who Use Their Powers for Good.

When most people think about life coaches, they get a picture in their head of somebody like Will Smith in Hitch.  The truth is, it’s more like this. Click here if the video isn’t showing.

As I think ahead to gorging myself over Thanksgiving, I have enough guilt that this article by Mark Sisson makes a lot of sense.  Give up on setting goals.  Go for immediate gratification. This is a quick read on exercise called  Why Getting Fit Isn’t the Best Exercise Motivation (and 10 Better Reasons to Move Today).

Most people won’t care about this, but I’m stuck on food things these days.  Maybe I’ve just adopted Texas.  Read about Chipotle Cranberry Sausage Balls.

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Weekend Love, October Twentyfourth

iStock_000059747146Here are some of the great nuggets that I’ve found on the web recently. This handful of links takes you to tools or insightful content. Occasionally I’ll include one from my “save” file if it fits the mood.

Leaders think differently from other people.  Eric McNulty identifies three key was in his article, Thinking Like a Leader: Three Big Shifts.

Want to change a habit?  Having trouble?  Robert Middleton provides so simple steps in his article, How to Develop New Success Habits – Part 2 .

Are you starting to dream about being wildly successful next year?  Got a plan?  Dan McCarthy has a powerful overview in 7 Elements of a Strategic Plan.

I sometimes find it hard to describe coaching without the dump truck answer to a question.  The International Coach Federation is helping with their new microsite, .  If you are interested in adding more coaching to your leadership style, give it a whirl.

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Weekend Love, October Seventeenth

A group of people in the shape of a collar shirt, a flash mob.

Here are some of the great nuggets that I’ve found on the web recently. This handful of links takes you to tools or insightful content. Occasionally I’ll include one from my “save” file if it fits the mood.

Who wouldn’t like to get more done when working?  Torri Myler offers some hope with 6 Tips for Developing Stellar Productivity at Work.  Psst–she also mentions some great apps to help you in your quest that include a team tool and project management tool.

I sometime wake up and discover that I’ve gone back to a bad habit.  I sign and start over working on it.  Leo Babuta recently made a similar discover about one of his habits.  He write about I’m Returning to Single-Tasking. I really like the simple and yet profound steps to solve his issue.

When we were leading a direct sales team we occasionally talked about “Dressing for Success.”  Tom Pandola has a new take on that topic.  It’s not quite what you expect.  Please read Are Your Employees Dressed for Success?

What is life coaching?  This quick video from the International Coach Federation helps explain. Click here if the video isn’t showing.


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Four Tiny Habits for Successful People

tiny habitsOne of the old clichés that we’ve all heard is that “The devil is in the details.”  That is really true when it comes to the habits of successful people.  You might think the differences between successful and unsuccessful people have to do with large chunks of their lives.  On the contrary, success is generated from little things that are built into habits.  Here are four of the important ones.

Successful people plan.  Successful people might not have a to-do list, but you can bet on them creating a top priorities list before they go to bed or very soon after they get up.  Setting goals and accomplishing tasks is a daily activity.  While they may have several items to “work on” they will have 2-3 top prorities to accomplish every day.

Successful people focus. They don’t multitask.  If anything, the opposite is true.  They compartmentalize.  Work is on one thing at a time.  There is a focus on the task-at-hand.

Success people read.  Reading is a habit that forces you to step away from doing and become mental (in a good way).  Reading gives you new ideas and connects old ones in new permutations.  Listen to someone you consider successful on YouTube or live.  You will hear several references to what they are reading or have recently read.

Successful people spend time away from work.  They unplug.  No one on their death bed says, “I wish I had spent that free weekend at the office.”  Successful people know that.  They spend time with loved ones in leisure activities.  When work is demanding, leisure may come in small bites, but it is there.

Think about two of the most successful people that you know well.  What are the little things that they do often?  Spend a little time making a list that can become delightful details for success.

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Weekend Love, May Thirty

reading for leadershipHere are some of the great nuggets that I’ve found on the web recently. This handful of links takes you to tools or insightful content. Occasionally I’ll include one from my “save” file if it fits the mood.

As a direct sales coach, I often have a discussion with clients about working with two companies at the same time.  Naomi Dunford provides a well thought out answer to that questions when she says to Never Look Back.

I’m a visual learner and I even like to read for relaxation.  Michael Hyatt thinks there are Five Ways Reading Makes You a Better Leader.  What can I do but agree?

Love (or compassion) is a key social skill for working well with others.  Didn’t your teachers tell you that?  Susan Cramm provides an update when she writes about What’s Love Got to Do with Business.

I loved the title, 12 Pieces of Advice for Giving Talks That Have Impact and thought it was going to be a video.  It turns out to be a quick summary of a TedWomen session hosted by Courtney E. Martin called “The 19th Minute.”   It’s great advice to look up before you have to step in front of a group.


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Weekend Love, May Sixteenth

iStock_000001055722Here are some of the great nuggets that I’ve found on the web recently. This handful of links takes you to tools or insightful content. Occasionally I’ll include one from my “save” file if it fits the mood.

Feeling a little down?  Frank Sonnenberg offers 17 Action Steps to Take During Hard Times.

Mike Bundrant makes a strong case for not being a Polly Sunshine.  You can be positive and see alternatives.  Read The Truth Behind Positive Thinking for more insights.

Feeling Trapped in your job?  Hate that commute?  Jessica Sweet offers some Career Help for Trapped Professionals.  She has a great follow-up article in which she asks, Is Starting A New Career A Risk or An Adventure?

Top performers in every field know the importance of keeping themselves in the game.  Jon Espina makes a good case for you to Be Prepared For Your Big Break.


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Weekend Love, May Second

Details of the climbers hard on a wall

Here are some of the great nuggets that I’ve found on the web recently.  This handful of links takes you to tools or insightful content.  Occasionally I’ll include one from my “save” file that hits my mood.

Sometimes I come across an article that makes me reflect on “I wish I knew that when I was starting.”  I still find them good reminders.  Amy Gallo’s interview of Susan David is one of those as they talk about Overcoming the Toughest Common Coaching Challenges.

I love reading on self development, but, some of this stuff really deserves a red flag for unsportsmanlike conduct.  Tara Schiller agrees in her article on 4 Taboo Myths Of Self Development.

I thought about this article for David Witt as I was working on my blog post for Monday (no spoiler).  He has some 30 second insights into Leadership Transparency: 3 Ways to Be More Open with Your People.

Do you want to develop the habit of thinking and acting more strategically on a daily basis?  The Center for Management and Organizational Effectiveness has a three minute, must-watch video for you on Applying Strategic Thinking. [Click the link if you can’t see the video below.]




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Why Work at Self-Improvement?

Playing at workUnless your goal is to gain 100 pounds and become a couch potato, self-improvement is probably a good thing for your future.  The real question is not whether you should create change in your life, but what you should call the process of creating change in your life:  Should you call it work or should you call it play?

The word “work” creates a mindset that isn’t always the most productive.  Say, for example, you want to be more productive on the phone; you want to make more calls and close more sales.  When you call it work, you suck all of the energy out of the project.  Before you can start, you have to create a plan, set goals, block time for it, and make sure nothing is going to interrupt you.  You are fearful of failing and falling short of your goal, so your commitment isn’t whole-hearted.  Roughly two-thirds of American workers are not engaged in their work.  The same malaise may be affecting your commitment to work at self-improvement.

Now think about playing at self-improvement.  Let’s go back to our example of phone productivity.  Your commitment becomes one of jumping right in.  You check with others to see what they’ve been doing.  You want to try several options (time of day, number of dials before stopping, text before calls, etc.) to see what works.  You change from doing to learning.  Isn’t that what self-improvement is all about?  You want to learn a better way.  You are willing to risk more because you don’t care about failure.  You care about playing a better game the next time.

At the end of the day, when you play at improving, you are likely to get better results that when you work at it.  Isn’t that the name of the game?

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Five Ways to Lead More Effectively

iStock_000017068249LargeLeading a team is not always the easiest of jobs.  Some days you just want to go back into the field and work with vendors and customers.  You can get immediate gratification by being a “doer” and ignoring team issues for a while.  Unfortunately, they’ll always come back to plague your team’s development without you at the helm.  As a leadership coach, I work with my clients to take the path that they think will be most productive.  As you might expect, they seldom all go the same direction.

Here are five ways a team leader or can be more effective in leading their people to success:

  1. Create a compelling vision of what success looks like and then lead to it. Your responsibility as a leader is to paint a picture of your idealized future, support everyone in knowing and understanding that vision, and inspire your team to reach for it.  For example, a strong sales leader keeps the basics in front of the team and keeps a vision of building from those basics time and time again.
  2. Step into your leadership role so that your team sees you as a leader. Make decisions that make sense so that you can explain them to the team.  Your whole team will start to perceive you as the leader (in more than name) and look to you for visionary guidance.
  3. Keep your commitments and expect the same from others. Your commitments are a promise to your vision, to yourself, and to your team.  When you break your promises, what can you expect to have happen with your team?  Keep your commitments, and it will be easier to expect the same from others.  Support your team members in making commitments they can keep and praise them for doing so.
  4. Establish clear roles and responsibilities for each team member. One of the most important pieces for success is knowing what the target looks like.  Clear task and role expectations will prevent things from dropping through the cracks.
  5. Review, adjust, and repeat. Part of the leader’s vision is to keep everyone on track.  Your responsibility requires you to stepback, evaluate progress, and then adjust.  Then you do it again.

What can you expect?  While you aren’t guaranteed success, you can rest assured that you are closer to your ultimate goal than you would be otherwise.  Your team will be more engaged and productive that they would be otherwise.  In short, you are taking your best shot to get what you want.

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Weekend Love, January Twenty Four

Link loveWe’re going to start posting on the weekends some of the great nuggets we’ve found on the web.  Most will be a handful of links to tools or great content.  Occasionally we’ll include one from my “save” file that hits my mood.

Robert Cialdini’s book, Influence, is considered one of the best in explaining persuasion.  I encountered an infographic that highlights the six means of influence.  It’s true to Cialdini’s style, so if you like the infographic, pick up the book.

I love Ted Talks. I get their newsletter every weekend.  Last week they included a talk from 2011 on lying, spotting lies, and finding truth.  It’s a great 20-minute break.

As a coach, time management insights always pop up on my radar.  An article on HBR looks at some recent research on The Pros and Cons of Doing One Thing at a Time.  My favorite line in the article is “When tasks accumulate at a frantic pace, the multitasking really picks up, requiring a concentration level that can border on the manic.”

Naomi Dunford is a trainer/coach for entrepreneurs and marketers.  She’s also an engaging writer. This week she wrote on Success Generally Happens after This Part.

From the archives:  a year ago, Leo Babuta wrote on Letting Go of Judging People.  I heartily recommended this as a read.  I periodically return to it.

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