One of the best ways to leverage our time is to find people who are willing to do things we’re not good at or things we should not be doing.
In order to do our best work, we have to be willing to spend more time doing our highest-value activities and find ways to reduce the amount of time we spend doing low-value activities.
As a business owner, low-value activities may include:
- Doing administrative work such as checking emails, checking invoices, paying bills etc.
- Booking travel.
- Going to the post office.
- Updating social media accounts.
- Shopping for office supplies.
There are many more things that could be added to the list. One activity that is worth doing is to make note of all the activities we do during a typical week and how much time we spend doing them. Then we can calculate how much it’s costing us each week to do those activities and whether it would be more beneficial to hire others who could do those activities better and quicker than us.
This is where having a team is vitally important. In today’s world, there is no need to have staff members work in the same office or space as us. With all the tools available now, having a virtual team can be a much better and cheaper option for most businesses.
It’s a widely known concept that our thoughts determine who we become and the reality we create in our lives.
Numerous books have been written on the power of our thoughts including:
- The Magic of Thinking Big
- As a Man Thinketh
- Think and Grow Rich
- The Power of Positive Thinking
- The Science of Getting Rich
As our thoughts dictate how and what we experience in life, it’s important that we become better at directing our thoughts in order to be more creative and become better problem solvers.
Many years ago, Voltaire said, “No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking.” The concept of critical thinking is just one technique that can be used to generate intelligent thoughts that can be directed towards creating positive outcomes and problem solving.
What is Critical Thinking?
According to the dictionary, critical thinking is the objective analysis and evaluation of an issue in order to form a judgement.
According to the Critical Thinking Community website, critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action.
Put simply, critical thinking is a process or way of thinking that facilitates the achievement of specifically defined outcomes.
Strong leaders have certain qualities that make them attract and likewise, poor leaders also have qualities that affect the way they lead others.
We tend to do better when we’re influenced by powerful leaders but not as well if we’re working for or with a weak leader. Having strong leadership skills is a necessary requirement if we want to have the influence or make the impact we want.
Becoming aware of poor leadership qualities can be a critical step as we strive to become better leaders and serve others as best as we can.
Many years ago, a manager I worked for displayed a mix of good and weak leadership qualities. On the positive side, he was knowledgeable of internal processes and supported many improvement projects in the business. He had good people skills and got along well with most of his team members.
On the negative side, he did not prioritise his day well. He tended to be unprepared during team updates or meetings, and was often disconnected from what his team members were working on. One thing that annoyed team members was he often played games like solitaire on his computer, while everyone else was under pressure trying to get things done on time.
When you hear the word innovation, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind?
If you’re like me, you probably think of well-known companies or brands like Microsoft, Apple, Tesla, Samsung or Amazon, to name a few, who have large budgets to spend on innovation.
While these companies may be setting the benchmark for innovation in the world, we can use their successes to bring more innovation into our lives. Innovation should not be left to big businesses or brands only. We can all innovate at different levels in our lives.
What is Innovation?
I like to think of innovation as a bridge from what we currently have to what’s to come in the future. It’s about never settling for what’s already here, and continuously seeking to make things better.
As the saying goes, “Good, better, best… never let it rest, until the good is better, and the better is best.”
The companies that are leading in the twenty-first century are the ones that are continuously innovating. If we want to improve our lives consistently, then we must be willing to continuously innovate and take ourselves to higher and higher levels.
One of the key responsibilities of anyone in a leadership role is to ensure their team members are utilising their skills, strengths and abilities as best as they can.
When dealing with different personalities, a leader must be able to support people through difficult situations, which may include dealing with change, improving performance, and meeting deadlines or objectives.
Stress and anxiety is known to affect many people in the workplace. A study conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health in America revealed that around 18.1% of the US population suffered some form of anxiety at work, with 22.8% of those cases being classified as “severe.”
Stress is caused when we react to a current situation whereas anxiety is what we experience when we react to an imagined negative event in the future.
As leaders, we don’t want our team members to experience anxiety while they are working, and it’s up to us to be aware of the costs of dealing with anxiety and offer solutions to manage it.
We all go through highs and lows in life, and it’s the low times that’s often intense and emotionally draining.
How we deal with periods of intensity, before, during and after, has a major impact on all aspects of our lives.
What Classifies as an Intense Time?
An intense time may include:
- A career change.
- A relocation.
- A major project that we’re working on.
- Meeting deadlines or expectations.
- End of a relationship.
- A major illness.
- Loss of a loved one.
The reality is life will go on and we’ll have new priorities to focus on. The better we’re able to recover, refresh and refocus on what needs to be done next, the easier it’ll be on us mentally, emotionally and physically.
It has often been said that first impression is everything whenever we meet and interact with someone for the first time.
The saying, “You will not get a second chance to make a good first impression” still holds true today but there are ways we can recover if we’ve blown our chance initially.
Consider these scenarios:
- Going for a job interview.
- Presenting a business proposal.
- Giving a sales presentation.
- Meeting the parents or family of your significant other for the first time.
- Going to a social or business networking event.
In each of those situations, the impression we make first plays a significant part in whether we achieve our objective or not.
The good news is it’s easy to leave a good first impression and it won’t take much effort at all to get it right.
A key responsibility for anyone who leads a team is to keep their team members motivated, while bringing the best out of them consistently.
Whenever there are issues in teams, it can be narrowed down to a few things, which may include:
- Lack of clarity or direction for the team.
- Conflicting priorities.
- Personality clashes between team members.
- Lack of communication.
- Poor leadership.
If we lead teams, we have to know our team members well so that we can leverage their strengths and achieve our team objectives.
This is not always an easy task especially if we don’t know what the strengths of our team members are.
The thought of doing silly things as an adult, especially in a professional setting, is not something most people would not dare to do.
As we grow older, the aliveness and vibrancy we had as kids is often replaced by our desire to be liked, accepted and respected by those we interact with regularly. Saying the right things and behaving professionally becomes our focus most of the time.
If we happen to do something that is outside our normal behaviour, it can often cause others to question if everything is okay with us.
There is an inner child in all of us that likes to have fun. The more we subdue our inner child, the harder it becomes for us to relax and be our true selves.
The good thing about being silly, while being aware and respectful of the situation or context we’re in, is that it will:
- Make us feel more courageous.
- Boost our self-confidence.
- Make us more likeable and attractive.
- Help us experience more joy in our daily interactions.
- Cause us to feel good about ourselves and our life.
As lack of confidence often prevents people from going after what they really want, we can start boosting our confidence by doing silly things and having fun in the process.
As our world is seeking better leaders now more than ever before, it’s vital aspiring leaders are aware of what to do and not do, in order to lead others effectively.
Those who can lead well are able to:
- Influence others to make new decisions.
- Inspire others to go beyond what they think they’re capable of.
- Elevate the performance of others.
- Encourage others to do new things.
- Provide the necessary support to help others achieve what they want.
Contrary to popular belief, no one is a born leader. People acquire leaderships skills through education and experience. Some people are naturally suited to leadership roles, however they still need to develop their skills in order to be a good or great leader.
On the other, there are people put into or given leadership roles who tend to struggle to bring the best out of people and also themselves. The difference may well be that they’re making some fundamental leadership mistakes.