There is one book that I go back to again and again when I need to do less and be more.
This week I want to introduce you to your coach who, of course, is the most wonderful human being on the planet.
Over the last couple of weeks we’ve been looking at the topic of gravitas – last week I shared an exercise to help us get grounded which is a good place to start the journey towards more gravitas.
Last week I shared Caroline Goyder’s gravitas equation with you. As a reminder, it’s knowledge+purpose+passion (minus anxiety).
Gravitas is something we can all learn to have more of and as most of you know by now that one of my mantras is to ‘just take the first step’ I want to share three exercises with you over the next three weeks to help you make a start.
One of the most popular topics I’ve written on this year is Leadership Presence – three articles in April led to a lot of follow up emails and conversations so it’s clearly a topic that’s of great interest! Much as we might belief we should be judged on our actions, our experience, our knowledge, our performance…. we must have presence too.
And now this is backed up by hard data in Sylvia Ann Hewlett’s book Executive Presence
Indeed she defines Executive Presence as ‘a dynamic, cohesive mix of:
- Appearance (how you look).
- Communication (how you speak).
- Gravitas – (how you act)’ – With this being the most important one by a long way
I love that word gravitas – we know it when we see it. But how do we define it?
Caroline Goyder in her book Gravitas describes the gravitas equation as:
Knowledge+purpose+passion (minus anxiety) = Gravitas
I think this equation describes it rather well! And the great thing is – it’s something we can all learn to have more of.
To download this article click the following link – The Three Essentials of Executive Presence
There has been so much written on feedback and how, when and why to give it so I don’t intend to re-invent the wheel. (But, seriously, if you’re still using the ‘feedback sandwich’ you need to stop it NOW).
Here instead are two questions that are simple, powerful and fit for purpose.
‘What can I do, starting today, to be a better leader/team member/colleague?’
When you get an answer to that question all you need to do is say ‘thank-you’ and then:‘If I started to do that, what would the impact be?’ (on you, your team or anybody else).
‘When I’m operating at my very best, adding real value to you and the business, what specifically am I doing?’
Make sure you get the specifics, here.
But here’s the thing……
If you’re thinking ‘they won’t tell me the truth’ – ask yourself why. Is that what you really want for yourself? To be the person who doesn’t hear the truth? Do people trust you enough to be honest? Can they speak their truth without fear of retribution or punishment?
If not, what does that say about you? Or the environment you are creating or tolerating?
And what are you going to do about it?
To download this article click on the following link – Feedback made simple
I’ve written a lot about focus over the last few months – focusing on the ‘big rocks’ , managing energy not time, the power of rituals and so on. It’s a mission of mine to beat overwhelm and do the things that really matter – and get rid of the stuff that drains my energy.
And rituals play a big part in this.
But then I moved house (one of my ‘big rocks for this year’!) and the morning ritual was lost!
And how I’ve missed it!
Now, like many of you I hate routine and predictability in most things. But the routine-ness and predictability of my 5 minute morning ritual was really important to helping me get grounded, focused, ‘in the zone’ and ready for the day ahead. It was hugely powerful.
And very simple.
Some deep breathing whilst boiling the kettle, a few words to myself about the day ahead whilst looking at the view from my kitchen window – simples!
New kettle, new view – but the ritual is back again.
I’d love to know about the rituals that help you each day – email me at email@example.com
To download this article click on the following link – Without rituals Im lost
Time Flies but you are the Pilot
One of the best books I read in 2013 was the New York Times Bestseller ‘The Power of Full Engagement’ by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz.
Their thinking is based on solid research and I’ve found that their ideas really do work – for me and many of my clients.
Their basic premise is that energy is the fundamental currency of high performance and we need to focus on four sources of energy as follows:
- Physical Capacity (quantity of energy )
- Emotional Capacity (quality of energy – in my world we call it Emotional Intelligence)
- Mental Capacity (how and where we focus our energy)
- Spiritual Capacity (spiritual in the sense of ‘our connection to a deeply held set of values and to a purpose beyond our self-interest’ rather than in the religious sense)
Now there’s a lot in the book I could share with you – but there are two key things that I’ve found most helpful in my quest to be more focused. I hope you find these tips useful.
- Work each day in 90 minute bursts and then take a 30 minute break. So, work more like a sprinter than a marathon runner (and of course there is a lot in the press at the moment about working at high intensity and then having recovery time). This really helps me get things done and avoid distractions.
- Create some energy rituals. A ritual is something we do every day (or week/month) that is predictable. It becomes as automatic as cleaning our teeth. Here are some examples:
- A colleague of mine puts her swimsuit on under her clothes each day. Which means she automatically goes for a swim on her way to work.
- A client has committed to listening more. Her ritual is to start each meeting with two questions (and listen to the responses) rather than her sharing her own view of the world (challenging – she’s got blisters from biting her lip!!)
- Another friend is writing a book so commits to writing one page before she turns her computer on in the morning.
- I do two minutes of deep breathing each morning as the kettle boils for my morning cuppa. Helps me get ‘in the zone’ for the day.
Rituals are simple, easy to incorporate into daily life and they don’t take a long time. Rituals rock!
Don’t believe it? You need to work on your beliefs then
Leaders – All You Need is Love
“Staying in love gives you the fire to really ignite other people, to see inside other people, to have a greater desire to get things done in other people. A person who is not in love doesn’t really feel the kind of excitement that helps them to get ahead and to lead others and to achieve. I don’t know any other fire, and other thing in life that is more exhilarating and is more positive a feeling than love is.”
So says Jim Kouzes, co-author of The Leadership Challenge in an interview with Martyn Newman.
You can read the whole interview here in a free ebook The Challenges of Leadership.
Leo Babauta says:
Your first thought as you look at this article will be, “I’ll read this later.”
But don’t. Let the urge to switch to a new task pass. Read this now.
It’ll take you two minutes. It’ll save you countless hours.
I’ve written the book on ending procrastination, but I’ve since come up with a very simple technique for beating everyone’s favourite nemesis. It is incredibly easy, but as with anything, it takes a little practice.
Try it now:
• Identify the most important thing you have to do today.
• Decide to do just the first little part of it — just the first minute, or even 30 seconds of it. Getting started is the only thing in the world that matters.
• Clear away distractions. Turn everything off. Close all programs. There should just be you, and your task.
• Sit there, and focus on getting started. Not doing the whole task, just starting.
• Pay attention to your mind, as it starts to have urges to switch to another task. You will have urges to check email or Facebook or Twitter or your favourite website. You will want to play a game or make a call or do another task. Notice these urges.
• But don’t move. Notice the urges, but sit still, and let them pass. Urges build up in intensity, then pass, like a wave. Let each one pass.
• Notice also your mind trying to justify not doing the task. Also let these self-rationalizing thoughts pass.
• Now just take one small action to get started. As tiny a step as possible.
• Get started, and the rest will flow.