As an entrepreneur, it is hard to succeed without having a great team. Depending on your business, your team may be large or small or even outsourced, but it is still a team nonetheless. And ensuring that your team is working in the best way possible is critical.
But, how do you know that your team is functioning at maximum effectiveness? Over the years, I've found that there are 3 signs of a great team.
1.) They are respectfully, brutally honest.
Great teams are respectful of each other, but are not afraid to hold each other accountable and be brutally honest with each other. They do this because they care and genuinely want to see everyone on the team and the business succeed.
2.) They are on the same page marching in the same direction.
Great teams operate in lock step, not in silos. They all believe in the mission and vision. They are all in on the goals for the company and are clear on their role in helping to reach them. The work as a unit and ensure that they are meeting and exceeding their responsibilities. They are driven and focused.
3.) They understand the bigger picture.
Great teams not only understand each person's role, but they understand how it fits into the bigger picture. Thus they are hungry to ensure that they do their best as an individual or leader, but also do everything possible to help those around them be their best. The know they are part of creating something great and are dedicated to making it a reality.
When you build a team, whether with employees, partners, or outsourcing, you should do your best to apply these principles and foster them. Let people know you respect them and want their honest feedback. Make sure everyone is on the same page for the mission, vision and goals. Show them the bigger picture and how what they do has a big impact on reaching it. Communicate these things consistently over time and you will build a great team.
No one is perfect. We all develop habits that may not neccessarily be the best for us. This typically happens over time and eventually those bad habits can affect our lives and businesses.
But, the good news is you change things. You can choose to move away from these bad habits and put yourself on an even better path.
Several years ago, I interview Tom Ziglar, Zig Ziglar's son and now the CEO of Ziglar Training. We got into a great discussion about habits in our lives and how they impact us. I asked him, "What is the best way to stop a bad habit?" He paused and then said, "The best way to stop a bad habit is to replace it with a good one." I loved the simplicity of that answer and it makes complete sense. All you have to do is start developing a good habit and stop doing the bad one and the good one will eventually take its place.
Now, sometimes that is easier said than done because, as they say, "Old habits die hard." But, they can die. And creating a new better habit is the first and best step to replacing them. It doesn't mean you won't have to work at it or will not fall prey to the old bad habit, but if you can incrementally get better and increase the new good habit in your life, eventually the old one will fade away.
Imagine if just for one year, you picked bad habits in your life and replaced them with a good ones. Where would you be 1 year from now? How would your life change? How much more successful could you be?
Try it. Start today. Choose the habit you want to replace and choose the new habit you want to replace it with. You'll be amazed where you are even a week from now.
How bad do you want it? How bad do you want to achieve your goal or goals? Do you wake up every day energized and determined to make it? Do have a burning fire inside you that will not let you stop or quit - almost like an obsession of reaching the levels you aspire to?
If you do, you have what you need to reach your goals. The #1 thing that determines whether you will reach your goals is the deep burning desire to reach them. A desire so strong that nothing can quelch it. It is desire that drives you and moves you every day to keep going not stopping until you have achieved the goals you want.
But, how do you get "desire?" Can it be coached? Is it something you just have to have? It's really a little bit of both. Coaching desire is really helping someone or yourself fully understand what you want and gain clarity around it. But, the other piece is that once you are clear on what you want - you cannot stop thinking about what you need to do to get it. You cannot stop working at it and finding ways to make it a reality. You innovate and work through problems. You use adversity to your favor to fuel the fire to reach the goal even more. You have to want it and want it bad. As noted above, in some ways, it becomes an obsession - albeit a healthy one.
If you've ever read Think and Grow Rich by Napolean Hill, he states that the secret of the book is right there for you throughout the book. That secret is to have a "burning desire" for something. If you have a true burning desire, you cannot help but go after what you want. And you will know it if you don't, because you won't wake up each day thinking of every way possible to get it.
What is it you really truly want? Think deep and hard on it. What is the thing that sticks in the back of your mind more than anything else? Better yet, what is it that you know you should be doing and maybe are too scared to step out of the comfort zone and do - but you can't stop thinking about? Figure it out, follow your desire to get it and let it take you to whole new possibilities.
I saw a great thread the other day on Twitter discussing how to be extremely productive and the steps to do so. It was posted by @Copywriting_Dad and I wanted to give you his advice. You can view the tweet at https://twitter.com/Copywriting_Dad/status/1579811799041728512, but here it is below.
1. Start your day early
Fix your schedule to wake up at 5 AM
This'll help you key in 3 hours to day
Adopt a morning routine that’ll keep you motivated during the day
• Set a timer
• Drink a litre of water
• Have a morning walk
• Read a book you've planned
2. Interrupt distractions as they occur
Before you settle for any focused work, modify your environment
• Set timer before undertaking tasks
• Turn off notifications
• Focus on a single task
This'll scale your productivity 2x better
3. Work during your peak hour
Identify when and what get you energized.
During your peak hour;
• Tackle the hardest task.
• Improve the work system
Work on improving the efficiency on undertaking your tasks.
4. Plan before
Spend 20 minutes in your evening to make a list of 3 most important tasks.
• Pick a pen and a paper
• Write down all activities to undertake
• Cancel out the most important to be left with 3+
Have your plan run in 1 day, 100 days and 1000 days.
5. Write a daily to-do-list
Make your to do list short and actionable
• More specific
• Have a sense of urgency
• Simplified with digestible tasks
A to-do list act as a roadmap to task completion.
6. Avoid multitasking
Focus your attention on one goal at a time.
This helps you;
• Get less overwhelmed
• Boost your productivity
Energy flow where is directed.
7. Learn how to build flow state
Finish minute tasks
How to create flow state;
• Pick a task
• Set a timer(50 minutes)
• Aim at short term target
• Get rid of distractions
• Take 10 minutes break
• Repeat until you finish the task
8. Set deadlines
You work 5x faster with deadlines.
If you set a deadline for 4 hours, it'll get done in 4 hours.
• Know what you want to achieve
• Get what you need
• Set aside time
Deadlines help you measure outcome and improve your systems.
9. Learn how to boost your mood
When you feel overwhelmed, do activities to cheer you up
• Take a cold/warm lavender shower
• Prepare a cup of coffee/green tea
• Take breaks and regular walks
• Free dance to your favourite song
What gets you in the mood?
This past weekend, I participated in my last Ironman race of the year. It's been a great year. I was fortunate to compete in the world championships to start the year and had a solid finish. I then built upon that with a top 100 finish at Ironman Alaska. And just this past weekend, I achieved a new personal record at Ironman Indiana. By all accounts it was a great year and improved my overall world ranking over last year.
But, with every race there are great lessons to learn that apply not only to racing, but life and business as well.
I missed qualifying for the World Championships at Indiana by 4 minutes! 4 minutes! If had pushed a little faster on the bike or the run, I would have qualified. I know I set a new personal record for time, but 4 minutes faster is definitely achievable.
Make no mistake, I am very proud and grateful for how well the race went for me, but as I do with every race, I look back and rip it apart to see where I could have done better.
In this case, I found a number of things, but there are 3 lessons that can apply to life and business.
Lesson #1: The Little Things Matter
In a race like Ironman when 4 minutes can be the difference between a qualifying slot for the World Championship and being on the bubble, every little things counts. A faster set of transitions between the disciplines can be a few minutes. A 10 second per mile faster pace on the run can give you all you need. Every little thing you do from your ensuring a consistent strong swim stroke to keeping a steady effort on the bike or a solid pace on the run that doesn't falter can be the difference between you being at Worlds and not. It is the same in life and business. The little things matter. If we don't take care of the little things in business, especially the ones we know we need to do, but don't want make a huge difference. They can be difference between a growing, thriving business and one that stagnates. In life, the little things are just as important. Not apologizing for something you know shouldn't have done or said, can sour a relationship. Not being attentive to the little things in your household can grow into larger problems. The little things matter so don't neglect or procrastinate on them.
Lesson #2: You Can Always Push Further
As I looked back on the race, I saw a few key areas I could have gained my 4 minutes. First, I had my best run time in a race ever, but I know I could have pushed to be 10 -15 seconds per mile faster. Second, I could have had faster transitions between the disciplined changing out of my westsuit and into my bike gear and then from bike gear to run gear. I know what I need to do to improve there. Third, I know I can improve my training so my fitness is even better making it easier to succeed. I realized this once I stepped back and looked at things from the outside. We can always push further and get better in life and business, but the best way to do it is to take a step back and get out of the day to day and look at things from the outside.
Lesson #3: Enjoy the Win, No Matter How Big or Small It is
Initially, after just missing the cut for worlds, I beat myself up a little bit. Really Dave, 4 minutes??? But, I also had my overall finish and race time ever. I made big jumps in improvement each race I've done and I improved my overall ranking to be top 5% in the world. That needs to be celebrated! So, I stopped beating up on myself, gave myself a pat on the back and now I'm back to work and working harder to ensure I make it next time. We must do the same in our lives and business. We should celebrate the wins no matter what size they are and use them as stepping stones to the next level. By all means, have your 5 minute funeral if needed, to get over it, but don't lose site of the good things, lessons to be learned, and improvements that can be made to get even better. Take the time to celebrate the wins and then get back to work!
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