Embrace the Grind: Sometimes You Need to If You Want to Be Successful

“I hated every minute of training, but I said don't quit, suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion” – Muhammad Ali

Every now and then part of me wishes I was so talented I could just coast while achieving whatever I wanted to. However, I’m not and the perfectionist in me is never really satisfied with the standard I deliver with the things I’m reasonably good at and passionate about. This sees me caught with the challenge of trying to keep up and improve. I don’t consider this as a negative though. In fact, it’s something that’s essential to the makeup of me as a person that I’ve learned to use in a positive way.

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When Near Enough Is Just Perfect

“I'm not perfect.  Never have been.  Never will be.” - Louis Tomlinson

Steve Jobs’s defining quality was perfectionism. The early days of Apple saw the development of the Macintosh take more than 3 years due to Jobs’s obsession with detail. In many ways, this mindset was Job’s legacy that set Apple apart from their competitors. However, trying to replicate a similar mindset may not be appropriate for you. Should you also always aim for perfection or are there times when near enough is just perfect?

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Reasons Why Incompetence Absolutely Destroys Productivity

“It happens; incompetence is rewarded more often than not” ― Jeff Lindsay

A productivity meme is to “get it right the first time.” It’s why real productivity is more about outcomes and less about speed. However, it’s hard to be productive when the same or similar mistakes are made over and over. Does repeated incompetence frustrate you?

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Do you plan and schedule for success or failure?

“Plan your work and work your plan” - Napoleon Hill

I knew planning and scheduling were issues faced by many workers, but never in my wildest dreams did I realise it was to this magnitude. After recently writing Your schedule doesn’t replace the need to plan so many people have bravely contacted me to share their challenges. Do you plan and schedule for success or failure?

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Level of seniority has nothing to do with productivity

“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change” - Charles Darwin

It’s incorrectly assumed that senior managers are more productive than the people who work for them. While a manager might be the absolute best candidate for their specific job, title bears no correlation to a level of personal productivity. In fact, many senior managers are so busy that they’ve fallen into unproductive habits. When this happens it’s critically important to improve personal productivity to unlock the individual to drive targeted business outcomes.

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Cheating at work, it’s just not cricket…

“Cheating is a choice, not a mistake” - Unknown

The Australian cricket teams ball tampering affair put cheating at the forefront of country’s consciousness. Fallout has seen long-term suspensions, resignations and emotional apologies from each of the chief instigators involved. On one hand, we’re shocked the cheating occurred (they couldn’t be that stupid, could they?), but should we be as cheating happens every day in all forms of life. What responsibility should leaders bare when cheating occurs in the workplace?

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How to maximise outcomes between now and Xmas

“The true measure of the value of any business leader and manager is performance” - Brian Tracy

Depending on when you read this, there’s only 14 work days or less until Xmas. That’s great news if you’re on schedule or if you’ve already reached your targets – you can enjoy this time of the year and even look at making some inroads into getting ahead of next years’ goals. But it’s a completely different situation if you’re behind schedule.

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The workers who just don't do it

“When you make a commitment, you build hope. When you keep it, you build trust” - Stephen Covey

For my first office job, I was employed by Modern Printing Company (famous for the Spirax notebook) who at the time had been around for 100 years. It was a great place to learn fundamentals because most systems were processed manually so understanding interdependencies between processes and having an attention for detail were necessary skills. Modern Printing Company was the first time I encountered a colleague who had absolute clarity about what needed to be done but happened to be ineffective. I was young and thought the person had too much work to do (that’s because he repeatedly told me so). I was sympathetic to his situation but as I gained more experience I discovered the real issue was he didn't execute well.

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Productivity not a priority?

“Good leadership consists of showing average people how to do the work of superior people” – John D. Rockefeller

Recently I was talking to a friend who shared with me how his company wasn’t meeting their sales targets. This in turn put pressure on cash flow. What he was really frustrated about was his new boss had communicated the need for increased productivity. My friend explained how the focus was all wrong, the new boss just doesn’t get it, the real issue is they just need to sell more. He said: “That makes sense, doesn’t it?”

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What the top CEO expects from employees

Ever experienced working with the full spectrum of bosses – a great boss at some point and a terrible boss at another time? I know I have and the difference is night and day. What if you had the opportunity to work for the best CEO? On face value you’d be crazy not to consider it. However, let’s flip it and ask whether you have what it takes to measure up as an employee?

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Why your schedule fails and what to do about it

In order to lead others, you need to be able to manage yourself. Whether you’re a manager or not, many business people fail at managing themselves when it comes to successfully locking in their schedule and actioning the tasks on it. There’s a multitude of reasons but the 2 biggest are:

  • The schedule’s unrealistic
  • You’re not committed to the schedule
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10 ways leaders can reduce meeting & email time

In the book Rework by Jason Fried, Jason speaks about embracing constraints: “I don’t have enough time/money/people/experience.” Stop whining. Less is a good thing. Constraints are advantages in disguise. Limited resources force you to make do with what you’ve got. There’s no room for waste. And that forces you to be creative.”

At work we often seem to have too much to do for the time available. Do you feel like you could work 24/7 but not really make a dent in the amount of work that needs to be done?

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