The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say “no” to almost everything.
My word for 2014 is focus. I chose to focus on only three tasks in 2014—releasing a sexual abuse recovery book, beginning the Uncaged Podcast (still in the works), and ramping up my speaking.
Even with focus, I’ve run into a wall—and it looks oddly like myself. In the midst of launching a highly vulnerable book, I’ve invited the naysayers, and they’ve robbed me of productivity and joy.
Today, I was thinking back to perhaps the busiest time in my career: the first few months right after I left Thomas Nelson, almost three years ago. At that time, I was spending all day, every day buried in administrative detail—responding to emails, making travel plans, and filling out expense reports.
Finally, I decided I had had enough. Something had to give. I needed to take a different approach if I was going to get my head above water.
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Charisma may be useful in attracting a following, but it is largely useless when it comes to achieving a long-term, positive impact on the people and organizations we lead. For this, we need character. Effective leadership is an inside-out job.
In helping people build their platforms, I often meet individuals whose public image is better developed than their personal character. They are one person on stage and another when the spotlight is off. It is this fundamental lack of integrity that undermines their effectiveness and, left unchecked, can destroy their legacy.
I have had a love affair with the MacBook Air since I bought my first one in December 2010. I have loved the elegant design and super-thin profile. I upgraded three times in the last four years. It has been the best computer I have ever owned. Until now …
Right before Christmas I happened to be in the Apple Store and had a chance to play with the new 13″ MacBook Pro. I had actually switched from the MacBook Pro originally, so I couldn’t imagine going back. The Air was just so much thinner. But the new MacBook Pros are entirely different machines. Wow.
If it hasn’t happened to you already, it will soon. Eventually you are going to work for someone who is immoral, incompetent, or just mean—maybe all three!
The good news is that you often learn more from a bad boss than a good one. But only if you are open and teachable.
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The foundation of effective leadership is character. Nothing else has more impact. Nothing else has greater reach. And nothing else can make up for its lack—not education, experience, talent, or contacts.
Every now and then you hear a story about someone’s character that brings this principle into sharp focus. I had this experience just last night.
I have been making to-do lists since college. In terms of physical systems, I started with the Seven Star Diary, graduated to a Day-Timer, and then landed on the Franklin Planner. At the time, it was state of the art.
After reading David Allen’s book, Getting Things Done, I decided to go digital. I did almost everything in Microsoft Outlook and then, after switching to a Mac, Microsoft Entourage. But ultimately, I switched to Nozbe, which I have been using since 2007.
As a leader, you are going to draw fire. People will criticize you. Some will second-guess your decisions. Others will impute motives that aren’t there. A few will falsely accuse you.
If you are going to be effective as a leader, you can’t afford to be easily offended. Don’t take the bait! Nothing will derail you faster and consume your energy—energy you could be using to do what matters most.
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I have written on “5 Reasons Why You Should Take a Nap Every Day.” But this infographic describes how elite athletes sleep more in order to improve their performance. If you are a high-achiever, this might be the single most important tip I could give you for improving your productivity. (Thanks to ChurchMag for directing me to this.)
Question: How much sleep do you typically get per night? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
Let’s face it. One of the most difficult areas of most people’s lives is time management. We all want enough time for our work, our family, and ourselves. So how do the most successful people manage their time?
I’ve been lucky enough to interview over 130 millionaires. They know the value of their time, and use it to the best of their ability. I’ve curated the top tips on their time management to help you have more time to work, and more time to play and be with your family.