Wednesday, October 14, 2015
Tuesday, October 13, 2015
BY ANDY PREISLER
BY ANDY PREISLER
Whether we disagree with their leadership styles or not, all true leaders have one thing in common. They are naturally curious people who are life-long learners, and they satiate their need for knowledge through reading books. If you are interested in bettering your leadership skills, you may wish to add reading to your list of daily habits. Better yet, you should considering adding these 10 books to your reading list. They are certain to help you boost your leadership skills quickly.
1. The Leader Who had no Title – Robin Sharma
Robin Sharma has worked as a leadership consultant for multiple fortune 500 companies. In this book, he teaches his readers what he has taught employees at major corporations for years. This is an amazing book if you are ready to tear down the barriers of what a leader should be and who can become a leader. Did you know that you don’t need an official title to be a leader? You don’t even need people working underneath you. The author explains in detail how you can build the emotional and mental strength, among other personal traits (including compassion and purpose), to lead and influence people no matter where you are in your career path.
2. Emotional Intelligence 2.0 – Travis Bradberry
You won’t find too many motivational books that include a testimonial by the Dalai Lama. Of course, that is only one reason to add this book to your reading list. You have probably heard of emotional intelligence. It is a measurement of your EQ that tells you how well you function and relate to others on an emotional level. The higher your EQ, the better you are able to lead others by becoming a more empathetic, socially aware individual.
3. The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership – John C. Maxwell
This is another book with an impressive endorsement. This time, Stephen Covey steps in and provides a great forward. However, even without this endorsement, this is a great book. It uses compelling stories of leadership to help illustrate Maxwell’s 21 laws of leadership. You’ll be influenced and enlightened by the time you put this book down.
4. Leaders Eat Last – Simon Sinek
A great leader isn’t a person who can get people to do what he or she wants. Anybody with power can do that, and power does not equal leadership. A great leader builds a team of people who want to succeed because they feel valued, that they are making a contribution, and that there own personal and professional development is a priority. This book is a great primer on obtaining success through treating people well.
5. Principle-Centered Leadership – Stephen R. Covey
You can’t go wrong by picking up any of Covey’s books, but this one is especially inspirational. One of the most difficult challenges you will face as a leader is healing strife within your team. Through stories of great leaders, Stephen teaches you how to make people connect with one another and work together in even the most contentious of circumstances.
6. Bold – Steven Kotler and Peter Diamandis
Exponential technologies are technologies that have the ability to generate change and improve lives in ways that their creators could have never imagined. The personal computer and the internet are two examples of these technologies. In Bold, you will learn how to use exponential technology, especially the internet, to make your visions a reality.
7. Drive - Daniel Pink
As you develop your leadership skills, one of the most important things that you will learn to do is motivate others. Unfortunately, many leaders don’t understand what it is that actually motivates people. Daniel Pink defines both the intrinsic and extrinsic factors that drive motivation. Then, he provides helpful guidelines on using intrinsic motivation to produce and increase drive in ourselves and others.
8. Never Eat Alone – Keith Ferrazzi
Effective leaders build relationships with their team members, peers, and others. In this book, Keith Ferrazzi not only explains the importance of developing meaningful relationships in the workplace and elsewhere, he also provides action steps you can take to make this happen. After reading this book, you will find yourself better prepared to make connections with others.
9. Zero to One – Peter Thiel and Blake Masters
This is a book especially written for future leaders who are also entrepreneurs. All too many brilliant people come up with great, potentially world changing ideas, but thanks to conventional thinking, never let those ideas come to reality. Instead, they tame and reshape those ideas until they come to fruition as yet another uninspiring business. You don’t have to let that happen to you or your ideas. Read this book and learn to build your startup your way.
10. The One Thing – Gary Keller
If you are struggling to find success as a leader, you may be trying to do too many things. The author, Gary Keller asks you to focus on one thing. This is the one thing that you can do right now that will make things easier and better. That is what should become your focus. When you are done reading this book, you will be able to apply this principle to all areas of your life.
Featured photo credit: Germán Poo-Caamaño via flickr.com
Friday, October 9, 2015
BY STEPHANIE VOZZA
BY STEPHANIE VOZZA
Wednesday, September 30, 2015
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
BY KERRY PETSINGER
BY KERRY PETSINGER
Mark Cuban is a billionaire American businessman and investor. He owns Landmark Theatres, Magnolia Pictures, the Dallas Mavericks basketball team, and is one of the “shark” investors on the popular TV show “Shark Tank.”
Here are some words of wisdom from the successful Mark Cuban to lead you to success.
He speaks about persistence:
1. “Every no gets me closer to a yes.”
2. “It doesn’t matter how many times you have failed. You only have to be right once.”
3. “It’s not about money or connections. It’s the willingness to out work and out learn everyone. And if it fails, you learn from what happened and do a better job next time.”
4. “It doesn’t matter how many times you fail. It doesn’t matter how many times you almost get it right. No one is going to know or care about your failures, and neither should you. All you have to do is learn from them and those around you because all that matters in business is that you get it right once. Then everyone can tell you how lucky you are.”
He gives advice about customer service:
5. “It is so much easier to be nice, to be respectful, to put yourself in your customers’ shoes and try to understand how you might help them before they ask for help, than it is to try to mend a broken customer relationship.”
6. “Treat your customers like they own you – because they do.”
7. “What makes a good salesperson? Let me be clear that it’s not the person who can talk someone into anything. It’s not the hustler who is a smooth talker. The best salespeople are the ones who put themselves in their customer’s shoes and provide a solution that makes the customer happy.”
He talks about having a strong work ethic:
8. “Work like there is someone working 24 hours a day to take it all away from you.”
9. “I worked hard and smarter than most people in the businesses I have been in.”
10. “In sports, the only thing a player can truly control is effort. The same applies to business. The only thing any entrepreneur, salesperson or anyone in any position can control is their effort.”
11. “What I’ve learned is that if you really want to be successful at something, you’ll find that you put the time in. You won’t just ask somebody if it’s a good idea, you’ll go figure out if it’s a good idea.”
12. “There are no shortcuts. You have to work hard, and try to put yourself in a position where if luck strikes, you can see the opportunity and take advantage of it.”
13. “I love to compete. To me, business is the ultimate sport. It’s always on. There is always someone trying to beat me.”
14. “I still work hard to know my business. I’m continuously looking for ways to improve all my companies, and I’m always selling. Always.”
15. “It’s not in the dreaming, it’s in the doing.”
16. “Relaxing is for the other guy. I may be sitting in front of the TV, but I’m not watching it unless I think there is something I can learn from it. I’m thinking about things I can use in my business and the TV is just there.”
17. “Companies don’t fail for a lack of cash or attitude. Companies fail for a lack or brains and effort.”
18. “What does it take to be a successful entrepreneur? It takes willingness to learn, to be able to focus, to absorb information, and to always realize that business is a 24/7 job where someone is always out there to kick your ass.”
19. “One thing we can all control is effort. Put in the time to become an expert in whatever you’re doing. It will give you an advantage because most people don’t do this.”
He mentions doing what other people are scared of:
20. “Always wake up with a smile knowing that today you are going to have fun accomplishing what others are too afraid to do.”
He advises you to love what you do and to become obsessed with it:
21. “Don’t start a company unless it’s an obsession and something you love. If you have an exit strategy, it’s not an obsession.”
22. “Sweat equity is the most valuable equity there is. Know your business and industry better than anyone else in the world. Love what you do or don’t do it.”
23. “Wherever I see people doing something the way it’s always been done, the way it’s ‘supposed’ to be done, following the same old trends, well, that’s just a big red flag to me to go look somewhere else.”
24. “If you’re prepared and you know what it takes, it’s not a risk. You just have to figure out how to get there. There is always a way to get there.”
25. “What I’ve learned is that if you really want to be successful at something, you’ll find that you put the time in. You won’t just ask somebody if it’s a good idea, you’ll go figure out if it’s a good idea.”
He values originality:
26. “I create offbeat advice; I don’t follow it. I rarely take third-party advice on my investments.”
27. “What I do know, at least what I think I have learned from my experiences in business, is that when there is a rush for everyone to do the same thing, it becomes more difficult to do. Not easier. Harder.”
28. “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.”
29. “When you’ve got 10,000 people trying to do the same thing, why would you want to be number 10,001?”
He advises to push past fear:
30. “Don’t let fear be a roadblock.”
Featured photo credit: Mark Cuban/JD Lasica/https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/ via flickr.com
BY CONOR NEILL
BY CONOR NEILL
I spent a day with the world’s number one ultraman Kilian Jornet back in 2010. He told me about the difference between his life in the mountains and the life he sees in the city.
Kilian spends most of his life in the mountains. He will run up and down Everest next year. He has already run up and down Kilimanjaro, Aconcagua, Montblanc and Cervino (setting the record for the fastest ascent on each). He says that he knows his destination, but is often doubtful about the exact path – he is very aware of surroundings, of changes in the weather, of loose rocks. He is constantly adjusting his path.
He told me that a few times a year he arrives into the city of Barcelona in his campervan. He parks. He gets out. He sees people walking confidently up and down the street. Everyone is walking with such confidence. They look so sure in their intention. They are sure of their steps… but they have no idea where they are going.
This is one of the differences between busy people and productive people. Read on to find out what this difference is and to get to know 10 more differences.
1. Busy people want to look like they have a mission. Productive people have a mission for their lives.
Busy people hide their doubt about the destination of their lives by acting confident in their little steps.
Productive people allow others to see the doubt in their little steps because they are clear on the destination.
2. Busy people have many priorities. Productive people have few priorities
Nobody is ever too busy, if they care they will make time. Life is a question of priorities. If you have 3 priorities, you have priorities. If you have 25 priorities, you have a mess.
The pareto priniciple is that 80% of your desired results come from 20% of your activity. Henry Ford built a fortune not by building better cars, but by building a better system for making cars. Busy people try to make better cars, productive people develop better systems for making cars.
3. Busy people say yes quickly. Productive people say yes slowly
Warren Buffet’s definition of integrity is: “You say no to most things”.
If you don’t say “no” to most things, you are diving your life up into millions of little pieces spread out amongst other people’s priorities. Integrity is that your values are clear and that your time is going to serve those values.
4. Busy people focus on action. Productive people focus on clarity before action
To focus on the top 20% of activities, you must gain clarity about what those activities are for yourself. The greatest resource you will ever have to guide you to live a good life is your own personal experience – if well documented. Sadly, most people only document their life in facebook status updates. Keep a diary and take 5 minutes every day to reflect on the past day, on what worked, on what didn’t work; and some time on what inspires you.
5. Busy people keep all doors open. Productive people close doors
As a young person it is good to open options. It is good to want to travel, to learn languages, to climb mountains, to go to university, to work in tech, to live in another country. However, there comes a point in life where one must let go of most options and focus. If my goal this year is to learn spanish – I will speak spanish at the end of the year. If my goal this year is to speak spanish, earn 30% more, travel to 10 countries, get fit, find a girlfriend, go to all the concerts… I will not speak spanish at the end of this year.
6. Busy people talk about how busy they are. Productive people let their results do the talking
Stephen King says: “A writer is a producer of words. Produce words: you are a writer. Don’t produce words: you are not a writer”.
It is a clear binary thing. Talking about writing is not writing. Published authors don’t talk about their next book – they are focussed on producing it. I have grown to have less and less interest in what people tell me that they are going to do – I ask them what they have already done. Past performance is the only good indicator of future performance.
Feeling productive is not the same as being productive. This is important. I can feel productive while I’m playing minecraft. I can feel unproductive while I’m producing an excellent blog post that will help others take better actions.
7. Busy people talk about how little time they have. Productive people make time for what is important
Any time we spend on excuses is time not spent on creation. If you allow yourself to practice excuses, you will get better and better at excuses. Productive people don’t use time as an excuse. An action either supports their highest values and mission, or it does not. If it does not, they don’t do it – even if they have a whole day off.
There is an Irish saying: “It is better to do something than nothing”.
This is a lie! It is better to do nothing than to do an action that doesn’t connect with your highest values. Sit still.
8. Busy people multitask. Productive people focus
Productive people know about focus.
Do you know about the Pomodoro technique? It is brutal, but it is effective. Identify a task to be done (for instance, write this blog post). Set a timer to 20 minutes. Work on the task until the time sounds. Any distraction (I must check email, I must get some water, I must go to the bathroom) and you reset the timer to 20. How many pomodoros can you complete in a day?
9. Busy people respond quickly to emails. Productive people take their time
Email is a handy list of priorities. The problem: they are other people’s priorities, not yours. If you respond to every email, you are dividing up your life into a thousand tiny bits that serve other people’s priorities.
There are 3 choices when you first review your email inbox: Delete, Do, Defer. This is not a post on email management, here are a few on managing email overload from Gigaom, Harvard Business Review, Entrepreneur.
10. Busy people want other people to be busy. Productive people want others to be effective
Busy managers measure hours of activity, productive managers measure output. Busy managers are frustrated by others looking relaxed, looking like they have time, looking like they are enjoying their work. Productive managers love seeing others enjoy their work, love creating an environment in which others can excel.
Busy people are frustrated. They want to be valued for their effort, not for their results.
There is a Hindu saying: “We have a right to our labour, not to the fruits of our labour”.
We have a right to enjoy being excellent at our work, not a right to enjoy the car, the house, the money that comes from doing good work. Productivity is about valuing the journey towards excellence, not any moment of activity.
11. Busy people talk about how they will change. Productive people are making those changes.
Kilian Jornet doesn’t spend much time talking about what he will do. He talks about what he has done, what he has learnt, what inspires him.
Spend less time talking about what you will do and dedicate that time to creating the first step. What can you do now that requires the approval of nobody else? What can you do with the resources, knowledge and support that you have now? Do that. It is amazing how the universe rewards the person who stops talking and begins.
We are born with incredible potential. At the age of 20, the best compliment that can be paid is that you have a lot of potential. At the age of 30, it is still ok. At 40, you have a lot of potential is becoming an insult. At 60, telling someone that they have a lot of potential is probably the cruelest insult that can be made about their life.
Don’t let your potential go to waste. Create something amazing. This is its own reward.