Plan your ideal week. Designate the what and when of your week and day. Limit instant communications by turning off your notifications. Set boundaries by letting people know in advance that you are going offline for a period of time to focus.
References | How People Learn II: Learners, Contexts, and Cultures | The National Academies Press
Use technology to block technology. Listen to the right background music. Take charge of your day. Free to Focus is one of the best books you will read in order to take control of your life. You will find downloadable tools for each step of the process. Good is often confused with competency.
But it is really a character issue. You can be good at your job but doing good is a character issue.
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Doing good is not just no being bad but intentionally creating more good in the workplace and especially in others. Tjan begins a discussion by trying to define good and to build a framework and language to talk about what good is. Truth: A mindset of humility that makes you teachable. Self-awareness and integrity between your thoughts and actions based on that self-awareness. Compassion: An open mind that without bias allows you to understand the actions of others. To practice empathy and act on that empathy with a generous spirit that gives people what they need.
Wholeness: Involves gratitude for the people around you that leads to an outgoing concern for others.
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Caring and nurturing the growth of others. Having the respect to fulfil your obligations to yourself and others and acting with a degree of wisdom. Knowing what is important. As leaders this is easier said than done. Daily we face tensions that have to managed as we try to implement our ideals real. Tjan lists five core tensions :. Pragmatism versus Idealism Our ambitious goals versus reality.
Neither one is good or bad. They are a productive tension. Character is a long-term investment. Good people grow by continually seeking to improve themselves and help others to become fuller versions of themselves. While good people value competency, they place a premium on character and values. They commit beyond competency to character and values of truth, compassion, and wholeness.
Good people are realists and find the balance between competing priorities and tensions. Learn to balance the tensions that exist in leadership. These five things are the Good People Mantra. They are five promises. As leaders we need to break from our role as leader to follower and relate to others human to human. Goodness come from building it in yourself and inspiring it in others.
Getting some time for yourself is a challenge. But if we are going to lead effectively, we need white space. We need solitude. I know none of us have any extra time, but there is overwhelming evidence that taking a time-out to simply think is foundational to your success. Raymond Kethledge and Michael Erwin explore some solid reasons why you must make the time to think in Lead Yourself First. Clarity is about what is true.
What is signal and what is noise? Solitude facilitates that distillation process. It helps you to eliminate or deliberately deemphasize all distractions. That alone will help you to make the time to think. Clarity and focus go hand-in-hand. That kind of focused attention is often best done alone. Intuition complements analytical thought.
Clarity is important for decision-making but it is also critical for understanding who you are—strengths and weaknesses. It helps to connect you with your core values and understand your place from that perspective. Solitude opens the path to creativity. People make such an effort to copy what other people do, because we have so much access to information. And people copy them. Creativity is doing something differently than the norm. Solitude allows us to get away from the inertia of our environment and connect to new possibilities.
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Emotional Balance Emotional balance requires you to respond rather than react. General James Mattis finds a lack of reflection the single biggest problem facing leaders. Finds himself merely blown from one thing to another.
But the leader who steps outside events is a leader who can change them. Solitude allows you to reflect on what is making you emotional and provide clarity on the issue. Often what you are emotional about is more of a distraction than an issue. Instead of allowing our emotions to adversely affect our leadership, it is wise to move away and deal with them in private.
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Our emotions will find an outlet somewhere. And that is best alone than in decisions made through unfiltered emotions that affect those around us. Solitude allows you to slow down and be clear and firmly convicted of your values and beliefs. When those criticisms come along that are design to enforce conformity, it is easier to weather the storm when you know that what you are doing is the right thing to do for the right reasons.
It is the power to rise above. Reclaiming Solitude. I could chart the ups and downs of my quality of life personally and professionally and the amount of time I spend in solitude.
We are continuously bombarded by pressures— both personal and social —not to stop and reflect but if we lose our solitude, we will lose who we are. It can be a closed room, the library, a park bench, and even a waiting room. We have a responsibility to seek out periods of solitude. We owe it to ourselves and those we lead. And where we find that disconnect we limit or even derail our leadership potential. In The Leadership Gap , Lolly Daskal addresses this gap—what it is, why it happens, and what we can do about it.
The gap is always there but at some point, it comes the surface to sabotage us. The problem is that one day, suddenly, what once worked so well to propel their rise stops working. And the very same traits that had worked for them actually start working against them. It is at this point that we need to begin asking ourselves some questions.
And when there is that gap between how we want to be perceived and how we are actually being perceived, we need to take action. Either way, an understanding of what drives can give us the insight we need to avoid our leadership gaps. Daskal invites us to look at who we are being and the instincts that drive our behaviors. She has developed seven leadership archetypes to help us gain some clarity as to what drives our beliefs and therefore our behaviors.
The Seven Archetypes. The Rebel who is driven by confidence.