Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit Of Less by Greg Mckeown

“Less but better” embodies the ethic of Essentialism.

The essence of Essentialism

Essentialism is a way of thinking that drives success, that replaces false assumptions that we can do it all, that being busy means being productive, that we must accept every single opportunity that comes our way.

Essentialists understand that they have the ability to choose before they feel helpless and let someone else make decisions for them.

They acknowledge that hard work does not necessarily pay off or lead to great results. Essentialists therefore learn to distinguish among all opportunities the best and most appropriate, most essential.

They also understand that decisions are made by design and not by default.

They focus their energy and time on a small portion of activities, and refuse those that won’t help them achieve their goals.

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit Of Less by Greg Mckeown #books #bookreviews #essentialism #discipline #prioritization #journeytoleadership journeytoleadershipblog.com

The exploration and selection process

Essentialists give themselves the liberty to explore everything and anything before making a decisions on what to focus their energy, before committing to one option.

To do so, they:

  • Set aside time to think, to focus on different possibilities, to create space for intense concentration, to read, to meditate.
  • Visualize the bigger picture and notice the larger issues that matter.
  • Listen deliberately and observe intensely.
  • Write a journal, with restraint, until it becomes a habit to keep track of the small changes implemented and to memorize the important events and information.
  • Take time to play. In the workplace and in adulthood, playing has become trivial and undermined. However, playing sparks creativity, opens people up to see more possibilities, “challenges old assumptions and makes us more receptive to untested ideas”, alleviates stress, improve overall corporate skills.
  • Make sleep a priority to counter-intuitively remain productive, to increase creativity and sustain a healthy mind.
  • Apply the 90 percent rule, if unsure of a decision, to avoid committing to too many options in our personal and professional lives. “think about the single most important criterion for that decision, and then simply give the option a score between 0 and 100. If you rate it any lower than 90 percent, then automatically change the rating to 0 and simply reject”. For example, the 90 percent rule is useful to hire the right people and make sure that they are fit from the start.
  • Say no to the unwanted opportunities that come your way.
  • Fight the fear of missing out.

The elimination process

Furthermore, Essentialists find the courage, strength and conviction to firmly and resolutely say no to external pressure when they believe it is right and eliminate the nonessentials.

They clarify their goals, their personal and professional mission statements, make them concrete, measurable, meaningful and memorable, identify the activities that align themselves with their mission statements.

Clarifying their goals and missions improves their relationships, their motivation, sense of cooperation, sense of purpose, their jobs, roles.

It also helps them focus their energy and time in one direction and therefore increase productivity.

In the workplace, employees without a clear mission or values tend to play politics.

Often Nonessentialists are afraid of missing out on an opportunity or are afraid of conflict, of not being conform to expectations, to social norms, but saying no will increase your effectiveness and the respect level.

Nonessentialists would be better off if they:

  • Separated the person from their decisions.
  • Found different ways to say no politely but firmly. It is critical to be prepared for reactions of annoyance, disappointment or anger from the other party. However, respect usually replaces those emotions in the long run.
  • Traded the denied nonessential opportunities for better ones.
  • Realized that respect is more valuable than popularity.
  • Exercised discipline to remove distractions, cut their losses and stopped investing time, money and energy in nonessentials, dead-end activities.
  • Broke free from a false sense of ownership to a project and object.
  • Avoided staying somewhere just because they are afraid of wasting time, losing their investment and ownership.
  • Admitted their mistakes.
  • Avoided trying too hard to fit in.
  • Challenged the status quo.
  • Took a break before responding to someone and taking on a new commitment.
  • Set boundaries and viewed them as liberating. Essentialists write down their red flags, deal breakers, lay down their priorities and take heed of negative people.

The execution process

It is critical to come up with a system to execute your essential activities, the right things the right way.

To prepare for wet days or to allocate time to respond to the unexpected, Essentialists create a buffer.

The buffer is a contingency plan for difficult circumstances, works as a risk management strategy, ensures some wiggle room to execute their activities.

To create a buffer, Essentialists:

  • Accurately estimate the time of the activity by adding half the time that is expected to accomplish your tasks.
  • Identify early all obstacles in their plan and remove them beforehand.
  • Take small steps, increase positive interactions and congratulate themselves and their team for small wins.
  • Design a routine to improve their ability to execute the essentials, to render the process easy and unconscious, to remove obstacles, to save their energy in the long run, to enhance their creativity and innovation.
  • Stay in the present, avoid doing too many thing at once as opposed to doing many things and focusing on one thing at a time.

Favorite quote(s)

the pursuit of success can be a catalyst for failure. Put another way, success can distract us from focusing on the essential things that produce success in the first place.

Discerning what is essential to explore requires us to be disciplined in how we scan and filter all the competing and conflicting facts, options, and opinions constantly vying for our attention.

By definition, applying highly selective criteria is a trade-off; sometimes you will have to turn down a seemingly very good option and have faith that the perfect option will soon come along.

Essentialism is not about how to get more things done; it’s about how to get the right things done. It doesn’t mean just doing less for the sake of less either. It is about making the wisest possible investment of your time and energy in order to operate at our highest point of contribution by doing only what is essential.

Review

In Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit Of Less, Greg Mckeown teaches us to hone our decisions making and time management skills in order to achieve more to do less and to do better, to filter out the noise and distractions, to find out what we really want out of life and pursue our dreams the most effective and disciplined way possible.

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit Of Less by Greg Mckeown is destined to overachievers, to ambitious people, and to those who feel like they are spread thin in their personal and professional lives.

Indeed, when we want to be successful, we have a tendency of accepting every opportunity that comes to us, we fear that we will be missing out and we worry about everything.

Greg Mckeown shows us that we have the power to choose, that it is OK to turn down a mediocre option, with the faith that a better option comes around.

Also, this book administers practical advice, applicable to leaders, illustrated with great examples, and made me realize the number of things that hinder my productivity and my time management.

At last, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit Of Less cannot be compared with New Years resolutions but provides a new way of thinking, a new way of life.

Ratings 4/5

Author

Greg Mckeown

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56 Things Leaders Need To Quit To Simplify Their Lives

It comes a time where we feel overwhelmed by life’s difficulties and desire to simplify our lives but we just don’t know how…

Wondering what are the things that you can stop doing as a leader to simplify your life?

56 Things Leaders Need To Quit To Simplify Their Lives #leaders #leadership #leadershipdevelopment #journeytoleadership journeytoleadershipblog.com

1. Not being self aware

2. Neglecting your unresolved issues

3. Giving too much importance to your professional life over your personal life

4. Saying yes to everything

5. Doing too many things all at once

6. Working until you burn out.

7. Not making time for yourself or your loved ones

8. Disregarding the essentials and what matters most to you

9. Avoiding your emotions

10. Giving too much room to your emotions

11. Mistreating yourself

12. Mistreating others

13. Stressing out

14. Transfering your emotions to other people who could potentially help you

15. Trying to please people

16. Comparing yourself to people

17. Competing with other people

18. Running someone else’s race

19. Moving at someone else’s pace

20. Trusting the wrong people

21. Micromanaging and not letting people do their jobs

22. Making assumptions about people

23. Spreading and believing rumors about others

24. Making up lies

25. Worrying about your image and reputation instead of the work you produce.

26. Faking it until you make it.

27. Shifting blame

28. Creating drama

29. Stepping on other people to feel better about yourself

30. Wanting to be right all the time

31. Thinking that your solution is the best solution

32. Being resistant to change

33. Being too transparent

34. Being fearful about everything

35. Being overbearing

36. Being crowded all the time

37. Spending time around toxic people

38. Doing things that you hate

39. Getting distracted

40. Avoiding exercise

41. Choosing unhealthy foods

42. Allowing and participating in groupthink

43. Seeking control over other people

44. Seeking only power over others

45. Taking too long in the commute

46. Inviting clutter in your home

47. Holding to clutter on your office space

48. Letting emails stack up

49. Letting small tasks stack up

50. Doing all your tasks all at once

51. Setting boundaries with people

52. Managing your time effectively

53. Giving too much importance to deadlines

54. Constantly tracking progress

55. Not being flexible enough with your time

56. Not taking responsibility for your actions

Last Words Of Advice

Just remember, you cannot stop all these things at once.

But once you start simplifying your life, you won’t want to stop.


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.

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No One Understands You and What To Do About It by Heidi Grant Halvorson

We seldom are perceived the way we see ourselves or the way we want to be perceived.

Contrary to popular belief, our facial expressions are not always readable, our emotions are not that obvious and we don’t communicate as much as we think we do.

No One Understands You and What To Do About It by Heidi Grant Halvorson #books #bookreviews #communication #skills #communicationskills #selfimprovement #journeytoleadership journeytoleadershipblog.com

Guided Perceptions

There are many heuristics and assumptions that guide our perceptions and create inaccurate interpretations of people.

Assumption #1: The confirmation bias

Some people look at you and see what they expect to see, taking into account the stereotypes of the groups to which you belong, your culture and their past experiences with you.

Assumption #2: The primary effect

Other people forme their perceptions of you using their initial impression of you.

With this assumption, first impressions are lasting impressions.

Assumption #3: Stereotypes

Stereotypes are the beliefs about categories of people to “better understand” them.

Assumption #4: The halo effect

The halo effect is the belief that someone, with one powerful positive trait, has a lot more positive traits.

Assumption #5: The false-consensus effect

The false-consensus effect is the belief that others think and feel the same way that we do.

The Two Phases of Perception

There are two phases of perception that exist in every interactions: Phase 1 or System 1 and Phase 2 or System 2.

Phase 1 or System 1 is the automatic and effortless ability to recognize strong emotions in someone’s facial expression and voice, to identify, categorize and interpret a given behavior, to attach that given behavior to “some aspect of your personality, character or abilities”.

First impressions are made in Phase 1.

Perception often stops at Phase 1 and people, being busy, tend to rely heavily on heuristics and assumptions.

Phase 2 or System 2 is the ability, through complex and effortful mental operations to get a complete and accurate understanding of someone, by taking into account additional factors about yourself.

This effort has to purposefully be motivated by an attention-grabbing circumstance.

Distortion of The Phases of Perception

The level of trust, the possession of power and the size of the ego tend have an impact on these phases of perception.

However, these distortions can be averted by understanding the circumstances and the wanted results of each interaction.

The level of trust

Most of the time, people are not just trying to make assumptions about you but are trying to find out unconsciously if they can trust you, especially in the workplace: are you a friend or a foe?

The decision to trust is made unconsciously in Phase 1 of perception and depends on the way that you project warmth and competence.

To increase trust to the people around you:

  • Convey warmth indirectly by giving subtle but genuine complements, by providing assistance whenever you can, by showing interest in others feelings and thoughts.
  • Demonstrate empathy by acknowledging someone else’s perspective.
  • Manifest your trust in people first by being cooperative, talking about your vulnerabilities and challenges.
  • Transmit competence by making eye contact while speaking.
  • Show will power by showing self-control.
  • Avoid overconfidence by showing modesty and restraint.
  • Adopt a power pose in order to take up most of the space, to signal your competence.
  • Emphasize your potential for greatness and for success.

The possession of power

Having more or less power changes the impressions that we form about one another.

Powerful people tend to be overwhelmed with responsibilities and have no time to spare, to be focused on their goals, rely heavily on stereotypes to categorize people, stay stuck in Phase 1 of perception.

Furthermore, the sad truth is that powerful people don’t pay much attention to less powerful people.

To get noticed by powerful people and to increase your influence:

  • Be instrumental to their success.
  • Find out how you can align your. objectives with those of the powerful.
  • Ease their burden.
  • Anticipate their needs and challenges.
  • Avoid complementing them because they don’t care.

The size of the ego

Perception is distorted by the size of the ego in such ways that you must come out on top, feeling good about yourself.

Your ego has the purpose of protecting and enhancing your self-esteem.

To control the way people perceive you through their ego, you will need to:

  • Help people enhance their self-esteem.
  • Evaluate the threat that you and your abilities pose to your colleagues.
  • Be humble about your accomplishments, past and current difficulties. Avoid tooting your own horn, playing dumb or acting like someone else.
  • Affirm other people by praising them and their achievements.
  • Avoid stereotyping other people.

The eager reward seekers and the vigilant risk mitigators

The safety and security of our personal situations also poses a threat to our perceptions of people, of our colleagues and of our career.

On one hand, the eager reward seeker looks for opportunities everywhere, are effective, risk takers, rule breakers, adventurers, optimistic, motivated, innovative and often creative.

Unfortunately, eager reward seekers are prone to fail and to underestimate problems.

On the other, the vigilant risk mitigators see danger everywhere they go, are vigilant, risk averse, reliable, thorough and deliberate, prone to analytical thinking and self-doubt.

To get the best of both types of people, simply adapt your language to each of them by making one see a potential for gain and the other a cautionary plan.

The clingy, anxious and the aloof, avoidant

The need for closeness shapes our relationship with others.

The clingy and anxious people tend to have low self-esteem, need validation, constantly seek closeness and are worried that the people that they have built a relationship with will leave them, see injuries and slights where there aren’t, fear rejection.

To accommodate them, practise empathy, don’t take it personally, clarify your speech, stay reliable to this person.

The aloof and avoidant people don’t foster close relationships but instead maintain emotional distance.

To accommodate them, don’t take their behaviour personally, restraint your own warmth, give them time to open up.

Correcting bad impressions and fighting misunderstandings

Finally, to correct bad impressions and start over on the right track, you can exhibit attention-getting evidence of the contrary evidence of you so they can notice and cannot deny reality.

You can also force people to revisit their opinion of you by making them feel that their judgement is unfair or unequal.

Finally, you can make people depend on you and need you to reach their goals.

Review

No One Understands You and What To Do About It by Heidi Grant Halvorson is a great self-development book that explores the prominent reasons why we are often misunderstood and gives useful advice on how to clean up our reputation, to clarify a difficult situation.

Every single conclusion that Halvorson draws is scientifically researched and illustrated with probing examples.

This book is intended for people who have made past mistakes with people and want to correct them.

It was absolutely hard to read because Halvorson revealed hard truths, reminded me of the stereotypes that pursue me on a daily basis and that keep interfering with my goals, forces me to question myself and my behavior.

In addition, this book made me more self-conscious about my presentation to the world and my decisions, more aware that first impressions are critical, that most people don’t think the same way I do, react the same I do, or perceive me the same way I do.

Furthermore, No One Understands You and What To Do About It was also cathartic and purging, helped me become a better judge of others, understand that the way people treated me in the past was not my full responsibility.

In No One Understands You and What To Do About It, Heidi Grant Halvorson explains how perceptions are born, describes a set of stereotypes and assumptions that affect how people perceive you, the different ways for correcting bad impressions and for overcoming misunderstandings.

Favorite quote(s)

Studies show that while very strong, basic emotions—surprise, fear, disgust, and anger—are fairly easy to read, the more subtle emotions we experience on a daily basis are not.
You are never really starting from scratch with another person, even when you are meeting him or her for the first time. The perceiver’s brain is rapidly filling in details about you—many before you have even spoken a word. Knowing this gives you a sense of what you’ve got going for you and what you might be up against. And the more you can know in advance about your perceiver’s likes, dislikes, strengths, and weaknesses, the better equipped you will be to anticipate what’s being projected onto you.

The benefits of projecting trustworthiness (and the costs of failing to do so) are Enormous, particularly in the workplace. Studies show, for instance, that the willingness to share knowledge with colleagues—a sticking point in most large organizations—is strongly predicted by feelings of trust among employees.

Ratings 4/5

Author

Heidi Grant Halvorson

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8 Self-Limiting Beliefs Hindering Your Personal Success

Everybody has their own definition of success.

At some point, we all want to be that definition of success.

Yet, most of the time, we don’t get to hit our deadlines and achieve our goals.

Even though we put our best foot forward, we just seem to be stuck, blocked at a particular stage in life and limited by specific beliefs.

Wondering what are the self-limiting beliefs that are hindering personal success?

8 Self-Limiting Beliefs Hindering Your Personal Success #success #goals #purpose #beliefs #mindset #successmindset #selfawareness #selfimprovement #leadership #leadershipdevelopment #journeytoleadership journeytoleadershipblog.com

1. You don’t know who you are

When you don’t know who you are, it’s difficult to know where you are going and why you are going.

You tend to focus on everyone else and monitor what they are doing.

When you don’t who you are, you are easily threatened by others.

You may easily be jealous or constantly compete and compare yourself with others.

You may project on other people to avoid having to deal with yourself or get to know yourself.

2. You don’t think that you can do it

You may think that you’re not enough, that you don’t have the proper skills, or that you don’t have what it takes.

If you believe that you can’t, then won’t.

If you believe that you can, then you will.

3. You don’t take responsibility your life

Now, that’s a hard one.

Some people go through life blaming others for their shortcomings or for their failures.

However, blaming others is short-lived and doesn’t get anything done.

Taking responsibility for your life means taking control of your life.

It means managing your decisions, your actions, your thoughts and the people you allow in your space.

Taking responsibility for your life is difficult at first but gratifying in the long run.

4. You don’t care to learn

Learning helps your mind evolve and see new perspectives.

If you stop learning, you stop growing.

There isn’t just one way to learn.

You can search the internet, watch movies, listen to audio books.

However, reading is the quickest way to acquire the most knowledge in a short period of time.

5. You favor your comfort zones

Maybe you don’t like to try new things…

Maybe you just like the company of your 3 friends or 3 cats or your parents…

Maybe you just don’t like being bothered…

Nothing wrong with that but by doing that you don’t evolve, you stay in the same frame of mind, within the same circle, acting out the same behaviour, living out the same patterns that have kept you in the same spot.

6. You lack vision or an objective

Without a solid vision or objective, there is no plan.

Without a plan, there is no action.

Without action, you will unfortunately end up in the same place.

7. You procrastinate

Procrastinating is different from taking a break or going on a holiday.

Procrastinating can go from doing nothing to keeping busy in one area to avoid getting to the important goals.

Working on your goals is a choice.

8. You give up when you are closer to success

People often quitting sound like something only losers do.

But winners quit too: they quit things that are unhealthy for them, that aren’t improving their lifestyle and that are diverting them from their goals.

However, if what you’ve been doing isn’t degrading your lifestyle and is perfectly aligned with your goals, you might be giving up too soon.

You are always closer than you think to reaching your goals.

Last Words Of Advice

Just remember, success is available to everyone and great things take time!


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.

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#ENTRYLEVELTweet by Heather R. Huhman Taking Your career from classroom to cubicle

140 tweets…

140 inspiring tweets that give out helpful job searching tips to newly college graduates.

#ENTRYLEVELTweet by Heather R. Huhman Taking Your career from classroom to cubicle #books #bookreviews #interview #jobinterview #careeradvice #journeytoleadership journeytoleadershipblog.com

There are tweets for people who wish to identify and highlight their professional strengths.

There are tips for graduates who are applying for different jobs, scheduling job interviews, crafting efficient resumes, cover letter and any other tools necessary to get the job.

These tweets relate also networking and creating relationships with hiring managers.

For example, being present on various social media and using your profile in order to connect directly with the hiring managers is a skill that can be acquired.

Other soft skills such as managing different job offers without burning bridges and navigating office politics and making a lasting good impression on your boss and coworkers are introduced.

Review

#ENTRYLEVELTweet by career expert Heather R. Huhman is a fast and easy read and gathers both practical and motivational tips that, I believe, can be helpful to boost your job search.

#ENTRYLEVELTweet by career expert Heather R. Huhman is intended for newly college graduates with absolutely no idea how to transit from the classroom to the cubicle.

Heather R. Huhman is the founder and president of Come Recommended.

Introduced to the working sphere without guidance, she is adamant about helping recent graduates to launch their career.

I wish that there would be more practical illustrations and detailed tweets on how to navigate office politics.

Let me know below what you think about this book!

Favorite quotes

Tweet 2 Others, namely your parents, will “strongly encourage” you to take the first job you’re offered out of college

Tweet 5 Don’t beat yourself up for not making the right choice at first—most of us don’t!

Tweet 52 If you have large gaps in your résumé due to removing all unrelated positions, include them in Additional Experience. No bullets.

Tweet 112 Read industry publications and blogs. It’s important to keep up with the news and latest trends in your industry.

Tweet 131 If you are not entirely certain you understand what your supervisor wants when he or she has given you an assignment, speak up!

Tweet 132 Become the go-to person for something in the office, whether it’s building PowerPoint presentations or navigating social media.

Tweet 133 Keep your opinions to yourself, and be aware of negative “types” in the office. Don’t partake in gossip!

Ratings: 3/5

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