Monday, July 30, 2007

I'll Do it Myself

A fabulous Thought Leader Scott Stein dropped into my office the other day, grabbed a whiteboard and started to chat about the art of delegation.

As we were talking I started to think about a 5 step process we use when asking some one else to do something. Here it is:

1. Outcome. Let people know what you want and what you consider a good outcome to be.

2. Time. Tell them when you need it done by and if it’s a big task - break it down into a series of mini-deadlines.

3. Actions. Start to scope up the different tasks and actions involved in getting the job done.

4. Sequence. Help people to know what the immediate next steps are. Your experience will give you an intuitive idea of what to do next. They may not have this intuition.

5. Design.
The more you can collaborate with someone on the design of the steps, tasks and projects, the more of their intelligence they bring to the project. This will slow things down initially, but with the right people, is guaranteed to develop ability.

We had the first 3 points before Scott dropped by, and with his help, added the other 2.

So, next time you ask someone to do something, check off in your head that you have addressed each of the 5 steps. I kind of resist acronyms, so chose not to force-fit the steps into 5 letters to create the word share. Oh OK. For those who need it……..

S – State what you want done
H – Have a clearly defined time frame
A - Actions create results
R - rate actions into their appropriate sequence
E – Engage the other person in the design of the project

Seriously, just learn the 5 steps and share the workload.

Monday, July 23, 2007

The Power of Models

Take the time to create a visual model of your ideas.

Creating context above every point you want to make, is a master Thought Leaders tool. Whether it’s a quadrant, some concentric circles, a pyramid or even a simple triangle, a model helps you make more than one point. It helps define the conversational boundaries of any discussion.

Some great models;

  • Maslows hierarchy of needs
  • Dr Stephen Coveys First things first model
  • Robert Kiyosaki’s Cash Flow Quadrant model
Become a forensic model scientist. Capture and clipboard every model you see. Dissect the anatomy of models, tracking their structure, their design and intent.

Basically....Learn to love models!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Manage Your Energy

We all have the same time each day, yet some seem to get more done with their time. Managing time is one thing, however managing energy, will take your life to a whole new level.

Here are five keys to having more energy.

1. Stop doing something. Knowing what to delete from your day rather than add into your day, is more important now than it’s ever been.
2. Eat more food that feels alive. It should be colourful and as close to its natural form as possible.
3. Spend a little to make more. Walk, swim, run. MOVE more and you will have more energy.
4. Don’t waste it. Stop stressing. Don’t buy into someone else’s urgency. Breath and stop before you respond to anything.
5. Harness the energy of other people. Learn how to let go and delegate.

Energy is a major currency, so take the time to become vigilant to the use and loss of it.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

A Case For Power Point

OK, so here it goes. Nearly every communication guru on the planet says you will kill your talk by using power point. I don't agree.


  • Do not read power point
  • Do not use power point as a memory jogger as you speak or train
  • Do not fill power point with text
But....know this.

If someone is willing to place a 3 x 4 metre background behind you, then you are mad not to own it and harness it to give your message more impact!

  1. At the very worse, put a logo behind you (One slide)
  2. Get 5 high quality emotive images. Place your logo over the top of each and put them on a slow automatic transition that runs for the length of your talk. Every 6 minutes they should transition.
  3. Get into the production qualities and create beautiful image-based slides that support your act. You may even want to use a Mac to ensure this (the Apple Keynote presentation software is phenomenally good).
Seriously…. it’s another tool. Rather than loose it, learn how to use it.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Keep your head up, no matter what

I had a tough week last week. A few things didn’t go the way I had hoped. Needless to say, it can take the wind out of your sails. I while ago I developed a quick 4 step process to help me through the tough times, so I thought I would share it with you.

My personal slogans and strategies for managing tough times;

1. Tough times don’t last but tough people do. Often allowing a bit of time to pass, is all you have to do in tough times. Hold off on sending that email, ignore that report for a day. STOP doing!

2. Everything happens for a reason. So, ask yourself how does what has just happened help you? Imagine you, at some metaphysical level, invited the experience into your life. What can you learn from it?

3. Those things we resist, persist. Don’t fight the current. The harder things get, the more you should surrender and learn. Go to the movies; take a break; go for a walk. Do less and achieve more.

4. Share the love. When we get caught up in our situations, we forget to acknowledge others efforts. Next time you feel overwhelmed, unsupported or stressed - go on a Gratitude crusade. Say thank you to more people and appreciate every contribution they make to your life.

Finally, in the words of Friedrich Nietzsche “That which does not kill you makes you stronger.”

Keep your head up no matter what.

More from Less

Leverage is an obsession! Well at least it should be! In every activity there is the chance to make more from less. Leverage is such an on trend concept. Three specific indications for this are:

Indicator 1: The inherent truth that we can’t keep depleting natural resources without an eye for how to make more from less.

Indicator 2: The fact that so many people complain of not having enough time to get everything they need to do done.

Indicator 3: The social move from an information age where data was respected (IT was the career to choose now it’s being outsourced) to a world where creative use of data and interpretation is the new currency – let’s call it the AGE of transformation.

Each of these indicators when viewed collectively point to a need for three new skills:

  • The skill of making more out of less
  • The skill of creating meaning from detail
  • The skill of managing growth and change

But it’s the first that creates the space and time for the others to be developed. We have to get more done in less time and we need to do so with less physical resources. This is a great thing and not something to be feared. It’s great because it moves the focus of wealth creation from depletion and scarcity to abundance and creativity. If you want to future proof yourself then obsess about how to get more done in less time – LEVERAGE!