Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World By Cal Newport

According to Cal Newport, Deep Working is “Professional activities performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that push your cognitive capabilities to their limit. These efforts create new value, improve your skill, and are hard to replicate.“.

What is Deep Work?

Deep Work means that we must learn to focus intensely on a single task for long periods of time without distractions and without breaking concentration.

Deep Work:

  • Requires a sense of confidence and a conviction that you will succeed.
  • Is at a disadvantage in a society that values social media.
  • Is not a trend but it can make you more efficient and transform a boring job into a satisfying one.
  • Is rare but is valuable in today’s economy. Deep Work ethics in the workplace is rare as well. Most people have embraced distraction because it is easier and allows us to avoid planning and concentration.

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World By Cal Newport #books #bookreviews #success #focus #productivity #motivation #leadership #leadershipskills #leadershipmatters

How to train your brain and build habits for Deep Work

To create real value and to get ahead in this economy, it is imperative to develop an ability to:

  1. Learn and master hard things quickly.
  2. Produce at an elite level.

There are several rules to Deep Working and to replacing distraction with focus.

Rule #1: Work Deeply daily 

Deep Working is about building habits and rituals that go beyond willpower and that will help you sustain focus.

Personal desires such as eating, sleeping, sex, television and music are the main cause for distractions. Willpower is not sustainable enough to fight off distractions because your will will eventually be strained.

That is why Deep Work necessitates rearranging your schedule. You can schedule Deep Work by:

  • Minimizing shallow obligations from your day to day.
  • Dedicating a full day or more to concentrate on a task and to shut out all exterior noises.
  • Routinely going deep everyday at the same time and for the same amount of time.
  • Fit in Deep Work wherever and whenever you can.

Besides scheduling your Deep Work and to maximize your success, you must also establish how, what, where, when, for how long you want to practice Deep Work.

Rule #2: Embrace boredom

Deep Working requires that you focus on a task and reject all distractions in a world where your brain has been conditioned to research distraction.

Outside of Deep Work sessions, you have to take care of your mind, embrace boredom, learn to meditate, schedule a break from focus to give in to distractions, rewire your brain to resist distractions.

Surprisingly, embracing boredom will help you improve the limits of your concentration abilities.

Rule #3: Quit social media

There are many benefits to social media.

However, Cal Newport states that modern technology is to blame for shallow work and suggests that social media should be intrinsically used as a tool.

He also emphasizes that you must assess your priorities in life and the impact of social media on your life.

To regain control of your time and attention, you can apply the law of the vital few over your network tools then avoid using Internet to entertain yourself.

Rule #4: Drain the shallows

A deep life is a good life. - Cal Newport in Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World Click To Tweet

Shallow Work can be damaging to your life. Shallow Work can be defined as “Noncognitively demanding, logistical-style tasks, often performed while distracted. These efforts tend to not create much new value in the world and are easy to replicate.

To identify and remove the shallowness from your life, you must apply the following strategies:

  1. Schedule your entire day to avoid spending time on autopilot and to fully benefit from Deep Work.
  2. Determine how mush time you are spending on shallow activities and eliminate them.
  3. Become hard to reach via your network tools.

Review

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World By Cal Newport #books #bookreviews #success #focus #productivity #motivation #leadership #leadershipskills #leadershipmatters

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, Cal Newport explains all the strategies you can implement to become more productive and more focused in this economy .

Cal Newport takes most of his analogies from educators because they have to go in depth in their field of choice and provide quality work.

However, this book is written for bosses and leaders who want to go to the essential, be more productive, efficiently organize their day, improve workplace culture and who want to achieve their highest potential.

It is sad to see that meditation, Deep Working and deep thinking have disappeared from and been perverted by the corporate system.

Indeed, corporate culture promotes shallows activities. People are busy as ever but are often distracted by network tools and forced to break from their concentration.

Furthermore, people –if they are not the person in charge–who practice Deep Working are not well perceived in the workplace even though they are high achievers and improve productivity.

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport is a good reminder to stay focus and to go to the essential in life.

Let me know below what you think about this book!

Favorite quote(s)

A deep life is a good life.

Deep work is at a severe disadvantage in a technopoly because it builds on values like quality, craftsmanship, and mastery that are decidedly old-fashioned and nontechnological.

The deep life, of course, is not for everybody. It requires hard work and drastic changes to your habits. […] But if you’re willing to sidestep these comforts and fears, and instead struggle to deploy your mind to its fullest capacity to create things that matter, then you’ll discover, as others have before you, that depth generates a life rich with productivity and meaning.

Ratings 3/5

Author

Cal Newport

Advertisements

Fast Focus By Damon Zahariades

In Fast Focus, a quick-start guide to mastering your attention, ignoring distractions, and getting more done in less time!Damon Zahariades provides tools and strategies to manage your ability to focus.

What is focus?

Focus is the concentration required to consciously block out the noise and the distractions while performing a task.

The ability to focus can be a natural talent. But for most of us, it is a built-in habit, a skill which means it can be learnt.

Why do you need to effectively manage your attention? 

Focus can positively impact your life. A lack of focus will reduce your effectiveness and your work quality.

Lack of focus or mind-wandering is not all negative. It helps us get in time with our creative side and find solutions to difficult circumstances.

However, gaining better focus will help you finish all your tasks on time, make better decisions, solve problems, become more productivity, get a successful work/life balance, embrace failure and learn  from your mistakes.

By improving your focus, you can reserve your energy for relationships, build stronger connections, become more present, increase your memory, achieve greater self-confidence, handle and overcome adversity.

Why are people so unfocused?

Nobody is impervious to distraction. People are easily distracted because they usually:

  • lack interest, are unable to commit or stay engaged to a particular task.
  • lack emotional intelligence and are submerged by fear.
  • are disorganized and don’t structure their day.
  • lack energy. They don’t sleep, eat or exercise correctly.
  • lack control or discipline.

Creating an environment to focus

Designing the proper environment is the first way to zero in on your task and to harmonize your workflow:

  1. Light up your work environment and always take advantage of your natural light. A low lighting makes you drowsy, strains your eyes and decrease your learning abilities.
  2. Some people feel comfortable working with background noises while others enjoy silence. Experiment and find out which one works best for you.
  3. Consider your level of physical comfort. To do so, you can adjust your clothes, your stationary, your sitting position, your sitting time and your sight line.
  4. Monitor the temperature of the room. For example, a too warm room will cause you to sleep.
  5. Breathe clean air.
  6. Practice aromatherapy. Some scents have a direct impact on your mood, mind and effectiveness.
  7. Avoid social situations if you want to work. Human nature makes us drawn to people but interacting with people decrease your focus.
  8. Organize and declutter your workspace. Clutter affects your focus more than you think because it decreases your processing abilities, hurts your creativity and occupies your memory space.
  9. Monitor your time to measure your progress.
  10. Write down your ideas and tasks so they don’t monopolize your thoughts.

Fast Focus By Damon Zahariades (3)

Strategies to overcome mind-wandering

There are several tactics to increase your focus, to relax and to avoid the biggest distractions in your life.

  1. As stated above, it is essential to monitor your time, to set realistic deadlines, to reward yourself and break down your tasks in smaller steps.
  2. Don’t set too many daily goals and limit yourself to 5 tasks daily or else you will feel overwhelmed and pressured.
  3. Identify the purpose for every task.
  4. Exercise first thing in the morning.
  5. Avoid ignoring the ideas and thoughts floating around in your head. Log them down quickly before you forget them.
  6. Identify “internal or external stimuli” that break your concentration.
  7. Record every task that you must undertake by putting them down via a to do list.
  8. To sharpen your focus, to enter the zone and boost your performance, listen to music or nurture silence.
  9. Take regular breaks and naps to refresh your mind, to refresh your mind and to avoid boredom.
  10. Restore your focus by taking a short walk instead of remaining at your desk.
  11. Multitasking is valued by society. However, attacking one task at a time will help increase your performance and your work quality.
  12. Pack all similar activities into one and execute them in a row while monitoring your time.
  13. Break down your day into several tasks and allocate the time necessary for each task.
  14. Stay away from internet.
  15. Spend less time in meetings or avoid meetings all together as they can clog up your day and as they hold little value.
  16. Set boundaries and expectations about your time and your focus.
  17. Turn off your phone for long periods of time.
  18. Observe how your energy fluctuates during the day and use moments where your energy is high to achieve high productivity.
  19. Mediate and take care of your inner peace.
  20. Stop checking your mails frantically. Instead, keep track of your inbox once or twice a day.
  21. Define a daily routine and follow it. Routines facilitates your life, enables ow brain processing. You can use that same brain power to accomplish your tasks.
  22. Stay away from perfectionism.
  23. Completely edit the first draft then come back to correct your mistakes.
  24. Stop “consuming too much caffeine” because it is unhealthy and reduces your ability to concentrate.

Review

Fast Focus, a quick-start guide to mastering your attention, ignoring distractions, and getting more done in less time! is a pragmatic, complete, quick and easy to read self-help book.

In Fast Focus, a quick-start guide to mastering your attention, ignoring distractions, and getting more done in less time!Damon Zahariades shares valuable tips on how to increase your productivity and your focus.

Damon Zahariades shares his preferences and also incorporates practical links  and tools to enable your productivity.

It is a step by step guide, written for leaders, for people from all walks of life, for those who are easily distracted by social media, for those who procrastinate, who daydream easily and those with low productivity.

I like the fact that this books highlights the fact that so many things, concepts and institutions in life are purposely set up to distract us from reality: from the local bully to the background music in the stores to technology and internet.

All these distractions are the reason why most people procrastinate and never achieve their version of success.

Favorite quote(s)

When we lack a specific purpose, we become more susceptible to distractions. We focus on whatever our brains tell us to focus on, rather than the other way around. We become passengers rather than drivers.

Ratings 2.5/5

Author

Damon Zahariades

The Importance Of Motivational Leadership

Most uninspired leaders use money or fear in the workplace to motivate people, to force them to obey and do their jobs. Though these leaders reach their monthly goals, they lose the loyalty and respect of their employees. On the long run, employee satisfaction diminishes and these leaders become less effective and don’t last long before being “overthrown”.

Needless to say, being a motivated  leader lasts longer nad is much more impactful than directly requiring motivation from their employees.

Wondering how to effectively motivate your team?

The Importance Of Motivational Leadership

What is motivation?

Motivation is central to leadership. It is an active mental process, initiated by certain needs and wants. It solidifies expectations, shapes and encourages dynamic, unique behaviors, actions, habits to achieve specific goals.

Motivation relies on the learning process of an individual and his or her ability to observe the relationship between performance and outcome. Therefore, motivation is positively reinforced by experience and by seeing that the steps taken lead to success.

Being motivated means bein goal-oriented, being disciplined and committed enough to remember, to clarify and to pursue an objective.

Why is it so important?

Motivation is necessary to face high level challenges, to put out thoughts into action and paves the way to a vision, a goal. It improves self-confidence, self-esteem, self-discipline, job satisfaction, work performance, employee health, vision and purpose.

Motivation translates at work into carrying out assignments, measuring results, getting rewarded for good work (pay raise, praise, promotions, …).

It is necessary to motivate your employees when they feel dissatisfied with the status quo, when morale is low, when deadlines are hard to meet and when results aren’t reached.

How to motivate employees?

Because corporate is so competitive, it has a tendency to measure, to reward our performance, to promote some and to undermine others. It is always necessary to protect your sense of self-worth, to stay motivated on a daily basis. It even becomes detrimental to measure the degree of potential success before undergoing further work. To create a climate of high motivation at work:

  1. Be self-aware, self-disciplined, self-motivated to motivate others. By being your own energizer, people will intuitively follow your lead. Also, this will help you discover the areas where you lack motivation, the areas where you are either distracted, overworked, scattered or where you are multitasking and trying to please everyone.
  2. Know your own individual purpose and carefully pick and choose your battles.
  3. When met with difficulties, lead by example, shine a spotlight on what has been accomplished so far rather than what is missing, and focus on the numerous opportunities than can result from the chaos. Avoid using negative energy and worry to motivate your team.
  4. Develop and secure a harmonious life outside of the workplace. If you are happy and have peace of mind, you will be able to maintain harmony within your team.
  5. Demonstrate integrity. Do the right thing, especially when no one is watching.
  6. Stay close to your convictions and to your values.
  7. Treat yourself and your employees fairly and with respect.
  8. Avoid lying to your employees, making excuses and learn to keep promises.
  9. Avoid encouraging a culture of gossip, manipulation, distrust and disrespect.
  10. Keep learning and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
  11. Get to know your team and build strong healthy and mature relationships with them. Allow them to be themselves and not a dull version of themselves. Furthermore, avoid stereotyping them.
  12. Be loyal to your team. To get loyalty, you have to  be loyal.
  13. Explain to them first hand why they should work for you. To do so, it is imperative that you communicate your company vision and your mission through written statements.
  14. Invest in the people around you, show them the value of their contributions and don’t hesitate to show your appreciation for them.
  15. Listen to and understand your employees before seeking to be understood. Leaders have power and authority of their employees but they cannot come first all the time and restrain people’s freedom of speech. Sometimes, it is best to let your team members get their point across first.
  16. Place their needs before yours. Servant leadership has a bad reputation because it leaves the leader vulnerable and powerless. However, being the last served has real impact on the long run.
  17. Connect with people who are highly motivated and surround yourself who share your same systems of values.
  18. Identify the reasons why some people come to work daily. For example, make sure, even in the hiring process, that the interviewees values are aligned with those of the company and those of the leaders by asking the right questions. Also, during the hiring process, invite people to ask the right questions.
  19. Make sure that your employees are self-aware and honest about their strengths and weaknesses, about their blind spots.
  20. Put the people on your team in positions where their strengths are useful and maximized in order to stimulate them. People want to feel as if they are doing meaningful work and are part of something greater than them.
  21. Hire ambitious and self-motivated individuals.
  22. Challenge your employees and help them reach their goals.
  23. Give people the necessary power and authority to accomplish their job.
  24. Hold your team to high expectations, reward them for meeting standards and reward them for their positive behavior.
  25. Provide honest and positive feedback to your team. On another note, genuinely take input from your team. Ask probing questions and listen to the answers.
  26. Keep your employees and yourself accountable, especially when in power.
  27. Empower your team and involve them in the decision-making process so they can take ownership of their work. For example, use the word “we” when speaking about any project.
  28. Instill discipline in your employees and provide clear guidelines for their behavior. Discipline is a skill that can be thought and that develops in you set ways for your thoughts, actions and habits.
  29. Nurture motivational thoughts in your employees. Indeed, thoughts have a direct impact on behaviors and results despite circumstances.
  30. Invest in trainings and in the personal development of your team. There is no need to make these trainings compulsory.
  31. Welcome innovation. Being an advocate for change helps to increase the lifespan of your company and helps your employees to go through change. There is nothing sadder than a company that has peaked and that refuses to renew their methods.
  32. Let your employees manage their time and take breaks once in a while. Leaders cannot have control over every aspect of their employees life.

Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!

Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.

Motivational Leadership

Start With Why — How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action by Simon Sinek


In Start With Why — How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take ActionSimon Sinek explains the importance of identifying your personal purpose and extending this knowledge to different areas of your life.

Discovering your purpose will help you to avoid making bad assumptions about people, to make better decisions, to inspire people, to motivate people to achieve goals, to build great organizations and to mature into a successful leader.

Undeniably, most of us make unfair assumptions about other people, about the world around us and we tend to adjust our lives around these assumptions. Others attempt to gather information through polls, surveys, personal experience or external perspectives to make important decisions and to motivate people.

However, having the right data and all the great advice in the world doesn’t protect us from making bad decisions and underperforming. How to make the best decisions, achieve a desired outcome, motivate people and be successful, discarding all assumptions?

Manipulation for Motivation

Leaders achieve results by making decisions. When leaders don’t understand their goals or the way to achieve an outcome, they tend to manipulate others to reach their goals.

Manipulation is quite visible and effective in the business world, has become the norm and a flawed assumption in itself. For example, businesses either:

  • Drop their prices to attract customers in order to get rid of old products and to welcome new ones. This creates low expectations in customers who stop buying and wait for the next price decrease.
  • Give away free promotions with their products to entice customers. The promotional process is purposefully complicated to reduce the number of people getting the free product but to increase the number of random product purchase.
  • Use fear to motivate people, to make them obey rules, to understand the consequences of their actions and moreover to step away from unwanted products. Fear tactics are seen in advertisements and in politics.
  • Make us aspire to a better lifestyle with one product. This tactic has a positive intention but is still manipulative because it is only effective with insecure people.
  • Use peer pressure to make people believe that their product is the best and that they have no choice but to purchase it. This tactic is designed to make people feel like they are missing out on something.
  • Innovate in order to compensate for society’s need for change and to potentially boost sales. In reality, companies don’t invent new products but add features to existing ones.
  • Write conditions in fine prints , offer products at low tariffs to only rise the price later.

However, manipulation is a back biting and short termed method to get results. It guarantees transactions and not loyalty.

Inspiration for Motivation: The Golden Circle

Some leaders go against the norm and choose to inspire people rather than manipulating them. To do so, they follow the Golden Circle.

Inspired by the mathematical golden ratio, the Golden Circle rule has many applications in different areas of life, favors “order and predictability in human behavior”, helps leaders communicate their vision from the inside out.

The Golden Circle is a guide to vastly improving leadership skills, the corporate culture, the company’s hiring skills, product development, sales and marketing. It even explains loyalty and how to create enough momentum to turn an idea into a social movement.

Start With Why

The Golden Circle has 3 steps: first identify why,  then ask how and lastly ask what.

Ask Why

Leaders who know why they do what they do first build long-lasting success, are much more appealing, are able to communicate their belief, to include people, to drive positive decisions and to command loyalty. A lack of understanding of why leaders do what they do only breeds doubt, make decisions harder, make them resort to manipulation.

Knowing why will improve the leader’s charisma and confidence, will attract followers by giving them something to believe in, will inspire them but won’t be able to drive an entire movement.

To have a broader impact, leaders have to be authentic, to trust their gut and their purpose. Additionally, they have to diffuse their message, through commercials and through their logo, with a purpose and not with manipulation tactics.

Ask How

The second step resides in putting the purpose into action. To put their vision into action, leaders must gather a following and gain their trust. Therefore, leaders have to identify their core values and principles that guide their decisions, be disciplined enough to stick to these values, share their purpose, and show that they are not self-interested.

Followers having the same set of values as the leaders will have the opportunity to innovate, to trust the workspace and to go the extra mile. Having a loyal following provides peace of mind, increases trust, reduces the stress levels and the need for hard work.

Needless to say, leaders with different sets of values, often don’t fit in a particular culture. If they don’t belong, they won’t be able to make others feel like they belong, they won’t hire people who will embody their values.

Ask What

The third and last step consists in leaders remaining consistent and staying accountable to their values and principles.

Maintaining the Golden Circle

When leaders or organizations no longer have purpose, start feeling unsuccessful and start being untrustworthy, though having great achievements under their belts.

Leaders must fight to maintain the Golden Circle so that they can sustain trust, drive and purpose. To do so, they must maintain clarity of their vision, extract it and integrate it into the culture of the company and find a successor willing to preserve the vision.

Review

Start With Why — How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action, by Simon Sinek is a self-help book that help you understand the importance of having a purpose.

The Golden Circle classifies people in Why-types (visionaries), How-types (realists and executives) and What-types (employees). In addition, the Golden Circle clarifies the conception of great organization and the composition of all hierarchy. At the top of the organization, stands the leader representing the vision and imagining the destination. In the middle, are the executives who know how to bring the vision to life and imagine the route. Finally, at the bottom, are the employees who implement the results (money, profit, prices).

It is remarkable for people who owns businesses, for leaders who want to market themselves, to find their purpose and sustain success. Becoming successful without knowing who you are is almost impossible.

I would have to agree with Simon Sinek: loyalty and trust are the most valued and long-lasting qualities in relationships and in business. These qualities reduce our stress levels and the pressure to compete or to innovate.

Furthermore, it discloses real truths in marketing, in business and in corporate, observes what makes them successful and what makes them fail. It also shows us the numerous manipulation tactics that we have certainly fallen victims to.

Favorite quote(s)

We are drawn to leaders and organizations that are good at communicating what they believe. Their ability to make us feel like we belong, to make us feel special, safe and not alone is part of what gives them the ability to inspire us. Those whom we consider great leaders all have an ability to draw us close and to command our  loyalty.

Cultures are groups of people who come together around a common set of values and beliefs. When we share values and beliefs with others, we form trust. Trust of others allows us to rely on others to help protect our children and ensure our
personal survival. […]  A company is a culture.

What all great leaders have in common is the ability to find good
fits to join their organizations

Ratings 4/5

Author

Simon Sinek

Purchase

Simon Sinek

author

Simon Sinek is a motivational speaker. He is also the author of Start With Why — How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action (2009) and of Leaders Eat Last — Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t.

Tim Ursiny

authorTim Ursiny, PhD, is the president and founder of Advantage Coaching & Training. Tim Ursiny is also the Author of the Confidence Plan — How To Build A Stronger You, Mastering The Practical Skills Of Winning.

The Importance Of Demonstrating Authenticity In Leadership

Being oneself in corporate is difficult. Indeed, corporate is infamous for suppressing emotions, for promoting toxic behavior, for relying on military style hierarchy and for employing an oppressing and commanding leadership style. To humanize the corporate environment, organizations schedule team building events, ostentatious celebratory ceremonies, job satisfaction programs and other vain initiatives.

However, these events only disguise reality, don’t solve employee engagement, alignment and fulfillment, and almost often leave employees feeling alienated and manipulated. Lack of authenticity can easily become boring and even traumatic.

Whereas, enabling authenticity allows corporations to peak innovation, enthusiasm and creativity and to subsequently attract authentic customers.

Wondering how to avoid bending yourself to fit into the corporate mold, to be your authentic self at work, to make employees feel involved and celebrate their uniqueness?

The Importance Of Demonstrating Authenticity In Leadership

In the workplace, we take orders, hide our social lives, form superficial and hypocritical relationships, sacrifice our feelings and core values in order to make a living and to endanger the things that breathes life into us.

For example, leaders feel like they have to act their way through their role, they are unable to use their strengths, to be straightforward, to be genuine or to perform in accordance with their values and ideals. Subsequently, being consistent with their behavior becomes draining and unproductive.

But today, for millennial leaders, job satisfaction, self-fulfillment, authenticity have become a requirement. They are tired of the emotionless, depressing and cold corporate world, are skeptical about capitalism and resistant to the commanding leadership style, seek social progress and equity, voice dissent and unfairness.

That is why places like Google and Apple have come up with new ways to encourage employees quirks and weirdness.

So how to demonstrate authenticity in your leadership, to appreciate authenticity in employees and translate it into the corporation?

Old corporations used to suppress emotions which seemed to lead to rational decisions, to value conformity and an ability to execute orders without questions. Back in the day, being authentic would be a luxury but nowadays it has become essential to success. To be more authentic in your leadership:

  1. Know yourself, your strengths and weaknesses. Take time off for introspection, meditation and prayer to get to know yourself better, to confront your blind spots and to quiet the noise.
  2. Learn to speak the truth, to be honest with yourself and edit the lies you have been telling yourself for years. Doing so is difficult because most role models on television, in politics, in advertisements, in our lives lie without expecting any repercussion. Hiding behind the persona that you are expected to be at work, at home, with your friends, with your family, with strangers and with people from different backgrounds end up draining you.
  3. Practice being yourself in all situations to build up your confidence. No need to take on a persona all the time. Identify what aspect of your life you are willing to bring at work.
  4. Trust yourself and listen to your instincts. Circumstances should not dictate your choices and decisions.
  5. Accept and love yourself unconditionally. Furthermore, adjust your self-deprecating lens and perceptions of reality to understand your true value.
  6. Find the strength within to do the right thing and build up your integrity.
  7. Increase your emotional intelligence to appropriately deal with your emotions and with difficult situations, to understand the impact of their behavior on others.
  8. Discipline your thoughts in order to focus on your goals and remain consistent through difficult situations.
  9. Be an Essentialist, avoid temptations, stay away from the media and remove distractions. Distractions impedes us from challenging the world and the status quo, from questioning leaders, finding your true inspiration, changing lifestyle. Instead, direct your attention to wise, inspiring and motivating sources.Allow differences in opinions and nurture dissenting voices to spark constructive discussions and innovation.
  10. Respect cultural diversity and difference of lifestyles. For instance, allow creativity, informal clothing and employees with tattoos and piercings. Also, create excitement within your organization and help employees show their playful and fun side to overcome boredom and to increase employee engagement.
  11. Identify your purpose. Purpose is mostly found in times of pressure, when you are forced to examine your life, your values and your walk in life. However, pressure points are not always stimulants. Purpose can also come naturally to you. With purpose, you are automatically motivated and interested in what you are doing and careful about the implications of your work.
  12. Take care of yourself, eat healthy and exercise regularly to properly manage stressful situations.
  13. Give yourself permission to explore different work environments, secure those that bring out the best in you and prosper in the right role.
  14. Stay humble no matter what and stay close to your family and roots. Know that the success of the project and the well-being of your team come first.
  15. Be transparent. Speak your mind, avoid playing games and manipulating your employees. Lead at work the same way that you will lead at home.
  16. Ask for advice and opinions from your colleagues before making major decisions.
  17. Know who your friends are and build deeper relationships in the workplace. Your true friends will appreciate your success, your authenticity, will help you move toward your goal, give good advice and provide different perspectives on one situation.
  18. Find ways to measure and to genuinely celebrate successThis will help to increase job satisfaction and employee engagement.

Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!

Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.

18 Innovative Approaches To Improve Your Positive Thoughts, To Change Your Work Life And Your Leadership

Thoughts, positive or negative, influence our character, our behavior, our vision, how we deal with setbacks, how we build and maintain relationships, has direct impact on our body and health, emotions. For instance, negative thoughts affect our daily lives more than we think and can send us down a spiral of despair, depression, insecurity, anxiety and self-sabotage.

Needless to say, most people want to improve themselves, to evolve, to get ahead in their work life but have a tendency to welcome negative thoughts or ignore how to shut them down. Unfortunately, they end up hindering their accomplishments and career advancements.

That is why it is necessary to control the damage caused by our mind, to discipline our thoughts and emotions, to build up a robust positive attitude and to find peace of mind.

Wondering how to process and control negative thoughts, emotions and how to use a positive mindset to get ahead at work?

18 Innovative Approaches To Improve Your Positive Thoughts, To Change Your Work Life And Your Leadership

Thoughts automatically appear in our mind. They come from past experiences and from the fact that we believe what people have previously said about us. They can be brought up by a word, an image or a memory and employ torture words that decrease our self-esteem, worsens situations, such as “should”, “must” and “have to”.

Because they are spontaneous, we think that they are true. In the long run, thoughts sometimes become rigid beliefs, absolute truths.

Therefore, it becomes an imperative to gain control over them. Disciplining your mind, controlling your thoughts and generating emotions regardless of your environment, regardless the level of attack help you become more mature, make healthier decisions, become more creative, escape, heal bad memories.

 

Maintaining A Positive Mindset

Positive attitudes can become difficult to maintain in challenging situations in the workplace. But once acquired, it is a habit that can help you overcome bad situations.

Indeed, positivity ensures progress, diffuses situations, alleviates stress, reduces fear, increases endurance, increase self-esteem, attracts positive results and better opportunities. It requires inner work and is independent of external circumstances of the outcome.

There are many ways to bring positivity into the workplace and into your mind:

  1. Identify the source of your thoughts and check the memories that you store in your brain. Be selective about the information that come into your mind. Stay away from the news because they will negatively affect you. Have a joke of the day and send it to people who matter to you. Watch shows, listen to podcasts, audio books that will uplift you, inspire you and motivate you.
  2. Identify triggers, patterns in your thought process. How do they start? What my thoughts say about me? What are the consequences of my thoughts? What do you say regularly to yourself?
  3. Be aware of the content of your thoughts. Therefore, you will be able to interrupt them whenever they don’t help you, to delete the negative ones and replace them with forward-looking ones. Changing thought patterns is difficult because our brain generally resist change.
  4. Understand that you are not the prisoner of your thoughts. Be the one to change the atmosphere in the workplace. Don’t allow the environment to drain you or define who you are. Don’t let someone else control your behavior.
  5. Think about who you want to become and how you want to affect people. Write down 5 dreams that you have ever have, find 5 words to describe yourself and think about it several a day.
  6. Select and force your brain to redirect negative thoughts toward more pleasant alternatives. For example, think about the opposite of the negative thought, attach constructive emotions to an outcome, visualize a positive outcome for the situation or visualize the perfect life every day before you got to bed and everyday when you wake up.
  7. Focus on what is going right instead of what is going wrong. People give negative emotions more importance than the positive ones, which conditions our brain to bring up negative thoughts automatically and repetitively for a long period of time. You have the power to choose and train your brain to give positive emotions more attention.
  8. Accept the present moment and understand that it is inevitable. How to focus and stay in the present? Understand that panicking and worrying is useless, that the past is unchangeable and the future uncontrollable, that every experiences have made you who you are today.
  9. Give your thoughts a name and call them out whenever they send us down a negative spiral and challenge every single thought by speaking them out loud.
  10. It is easy to complain and whine, so be grateful that you have a job and show appreciation in your contribution.
  11. Learn to discern toxic coworkers. Don’t tolerate or focus on negative people.
  12. Get up early and work out before going to work to release the endorphins throughout the day.
  13. Create a positive work zone by insulating yourself with headphones for example. Also, avoid gossip at all cost, put up motivational objects around your desk. Take regular breaks from your cubicle to stop thinking, to meditate and go to the bathroom.
  14. Create a better work life balance to protect your home life. Leave the drama at work, be strict with your hours, avoid staying late and taking work at home.
  15. Behave positively as well. Meaning fake it until you make it.
  16. Separate yourself from the negativity and surround yourself with open-minded people with a positive mindset. Stick positive quotes on your wall of your cubicle or on your desk.
  17. Take a class after work or find a hobby so you have something to look forward to at the end of the day.
  18. Discreetly find a more comfortable and productive workplace.

The Need For Positive Leadership

Positive leaders have a moral compass, are purpose driven, communicate effectively, exhibit integrity and provide emotional safety. Because they inject good energy into the team, they instill an atmosphere of trust and openness they rip enthusiasm, motivation, transparency from their team.

Positive leaders are able to impact their company culture, improve results, increase performance and enhance job satisfaction.

Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!

Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.

change (1)

The Importance Of Fairness In Leadership

Not everything is fair in life or in the workplace. Sometimes promotions are passed by to someone who doesn’t deserve it but that is the boss’s best friend.

Sometimes someone spreads an absurd rumor about you, gets away with it and you and your career suffer the consequences of that rumor.

Other times, the boss takes credit for your hard work or you did not get a raise despite your hard work.

It even appears that unfair and unscrupulous people are thriving in the world of today. It makes us envy them and makes us want to become like them. Nonetheless, there is room for everyone.

Furthermore, fairness and a democratic leadership style are more and more required in the workplace because millennials don’t respond otherwise. That is why leaders, more than others, need to work on their character, lead by example and instill fairness in the workplace.

Wondering how to deal with lack of fairness in the workplace and most importantly apply fairness as a leader?

The Importance Of Fairness In Leadership

Being fair means being appropriate, just, free of favoritism, impartial with everyone, treating people with basic human rights. Fairness is based on someone’s cultural background, religious affiliation, cognitive biases/dissonance and prejudices, promotes healthy workplace culture. It repels the effects of negativity, prevents abuse of power and of justice, is contagious and promotes self-accountability.

Fair leadership doesn’t use power to make arbitrary and personal decisions, earn the trust and loyalty of their employees, lets everyone voice their opinion equally, receive and give the same amount of respect.

Fair leadership is the hardest and longest way but is the most profitable and most rewarding in the long run. In that case, fairness should be the tool that should drive any decision and settle any discussion.

However, there are downsides to being a fair leader. Fair leaders are not viewed as powerful and though enough to make hard decisions, to reward and punish effectively. Having a strong moral compass, core values and firmly believing that what goes around comes around can enable deep friendships but can block opportunities. Therefore, even though they are well respected, they don’t always get promoted to higher ranks.

Dealing with lack of fairness in the workplace

When a situation is unfair, when social norms, rules and beliefs are not respected, people tend to innately react emotionally, to feel punished, to justify their emotions and  to form definite opinions on whether something is wrong or right, good or bad.

Also, when a workplace is not fair, employees and leaders underperform, rely heavily on politics and employees are not gratified by their own merits.

Dealing with unfairness, especially coming from your boss and leader, is not easy. Especially, because we spend most of our waking hours with people who are not related to us, with people who are occasionally dysfunctional, with people who don’t have our best interest at heart or with people who simply compete with us.

That being said, the experience of unfairness can strengthen you or defeat you. It is how you react to it that will define your path in life, the outcome of the situation and potentially bring you closer to your goal.

To deal with lack of fairness the best way possible:

  1. Keep your self-discipline, self-respect and integrity in check. Don’t start lashing out, starting personal vendetta and neglecting your work because things are not going your way. Business is independent from emotions.
  2. Seek understanding of the situation. The situation will probably seem fairer if the reasons are legitimate.
  3. Remember your worth. Sometimes, when we are not promoted, we tend to immediately question our competencies, strengths and contribution within the organization. That is why it necessary to know yourself, your core values, your strengths and weaknesses, write them down and pull out that piece of paper in difficult times.
  4. Remember that you are responsible for your own welfare and happiness. At the end of the day, life is too short to be treated poorly and unfairly. If you see no improvements, it’s time to quit.
  5. Don’t let unfair situations make you give up on your goals. There are other opportunities that will present themselves.
  6. Take unfair events as a challenge, as a learning experience or as practice, and learn to overcome life obstacles.
  7. Don’t complain about your circumstances and don’t blame your circumstances on everyone else. Find way to grow and do better.
  8. Break the cycle of negativity, include fairness in your decision-making process and don’t reproduce unfair experiences on someone else. Even though life isn’t fair to you, it is better to remain fair to everyone else because you must avoid making the world a worst place and you don’t know what the other person is going through.

How to regulate an unfair situation and normalize fairness in the workplace?

The judgement of King Solomon, in the Bible [1 Kings 3:16-28], is a probing and famous display of fairness. Two women each conceive a baby at the same time, in the same place. At night, one of these women goes to sleep, rolls on her baby and kills it. The other woman rest her newborn on her chest and then goes to sleep. Later on that night, the first woman, noticing that her child was dead, took the other woman baby. The latter, aware of the trickery, brought the former in front of King Solomon. King Solomon sentenced that they should divide the baby in two and by the reaction of the two women, discovers who is the true mother of the child.

Having a firm but fair leader is idealistic even biblical. After an employee emotional reaction to unfairness, it is detrimental to the leader to:

  • Inform them of their behavior and get informed on the reasons of their behavior. Then, give them the time to work on themselves, to change the behavior.
  • Establish rules of ethics and performance for your employees.
  • Avoid letting problems fester longer than they should and forgive honest mistakes.
  • Constantly exercise and expect fairness. When people see leaders applying this system, they tend to replicate it.
  • Demonstrate trust and loyalty from day one.
  • Lead by example and model fairness in the organization from top to bottom to encourage positive changes, respect, accountability.
  • Advocate for their employees and not favor your employees.
  • Remain transparent, especially during performance reviews and encourage whistle-blowers.
  • Stay humble in order to accept upward feedback from employees.
  • Avoid gossip and nip negative rumor in the bud.
  • Provide a safe space at all times for employees to expose their grievances. Get all sides of a conflict, before making a decision. Keep in mind, making the perfect fair decision is impossible because we don’t have access to all the information.
  • If competing, fight clean, win fair and square.

Just remember, Nature Is Fair And, Sooner Or Later, Always Gives You What You Deserve!

Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!

Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.