19 Signs You Are Meant To Be A Self-Employed Leader

If you are reading this, chances are that you have been pondering for a long time whether or not you should go out on your own or keep your 9-to-5 leadership job…

Making the decision to be self-employed is a difficult one since everyone is not cut out to go out on their own and the risks are extreme.

However, staying in your current 9-to-5 contains risks of its own:

  • You are not sure if you will get laid off or not.
  • You are financially dependent.  
  • You are responsible for things that you don’t really care about.
  • You are in a cubicle and around people you don’t care about.
  • You suffer from a unhealthy work-life balance.
  • You are being underutilized, under-challenged and are underperforming.

Wondering if you are meant to work for yourself?

19 Signs You Are Meant To Be A Self-Employed Leader #leadership #self-development journeytoleadershipblog.com

1. You are all about growth

You are focused on yourself, on your growth and on the expansion of your business.

When others create drama or partake in office politics, you are too busy listening to books, reading my blog, self-development and business books.

2. You think as a brand

You need to start thinking about yourself as a brand and as a business.

Everything you say or do is connected to your brand and purpose.

3. You enjoy taking risks

The people closest to you will try to talk you out of being self-employed because they are afraid of the unknown.

If you have to take risks, it is better and safer to bet on yourself.

4. You love to learn

Whether you are reading books or taking classes, you are always open to learn.

You believe that there is always room for improvement.

5. You are good at many things

You don’t want to be stuck in one position or with the same role.

Your skillset is transverse, you want to apply yourself in different fields and you often outdo your job description.

6. You understand sacrifice

Sacrifice is necessary to get where you cant to go.

You won’t be able to go out or stay in bed as much as you want to because you are willing to get down in the trenches and put in the hard work.

7. You require flexible hours

You want to be able to handle your own hours and not punch in.

You want a healthy work-life balance.

The tricky part about this is that you are your own boss, wont take much time off, have to be self-disciplined enough to follow your schedule and achieve your goals.

8. You make your own rules

If you have been in the workplace, you will encounter rules that don’t make sense, that consistently protect one group or people and that create or encourage bias.

You want to walk to the beat of your own drums without having to be like other people or having to comply to crazy and counterproductive rules.

You want to create a culture with clear guidelines that makes more sense and that will help people succeed.

9. You want more control and visibility

You don’t want to constantly look for validation or permission.

You need all the information you can get to make the best decisions.

You need control and visibility to perform at your best. 

10. You want ownership of your work

You are sick and tired of giving away your ideas, intellectual property, time and energy for a small paycheck.

Thanks to ownership over your work, you take pride in what you produce daily.

11. You cannot hold down a regular job to save your life

Because you follow your own rules, are good at many things and are frustrated with the status quo, it is hard for you to keep a job.

You don’t like taking orders, are uncomfortable with the status quo, you get fired a lot or quit often.

12. You value financial independence

You respect money and enjoy making money.

You don’t like depending on someone else than yourself for income.

13. You don’t fit in

You are not a team player, have a hard time getting along with others or stand out like a sore thumb.

You generally speak your mind and end up leading a project.

You have and value your own mind.

14. You genuinely love what you do

You want to do your best in your field of expertise.

However, in the workplace, you have no room to explore your passions or to demonstrate full enthusiasm for your field.

15. You take responsibility for your actions

You enjoy making your own decisions and understand that there are consequences for their actions.

When you make wrong decisions, you don’t shift blame, you learn from your failures and you are able to move on.

16. You are self-disciplined

You don’t want for people to tell you what to do or when to do it.

Even when you don’t feel like it, you manage your tile effectively, don’t procrastinate and go through your task list.

17. You enjoy working alone

Working alone is scary for some people but you embrace freedom and solitude.

You know that you can achieve more in less time when you are on your own.

18. You are resilient and resourceful

You expect the unexpected and believe that there is room for everybody to succeed in this world.

You see obstacles as challenges and are able to face different situations on a daily basis.

You don’t dwell on your failures, you celebrate your success and push through.

19. You are burning out

Your work environment has become toxic and is burning you out.

Your stress levels are very high and you feel like you are leaving your best self at work.

Something or someone at work is draining all your energy.

Last Words Of Advice!

If you are considering going out on your own, you have to be honest with yourself and assess your character and skills.

Before leaving your 9-to-5, make sure that you can survive without a job income or that your side hustle is making enough money.

 

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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Four Red Flags Wrecking Team Success and Cohesion

Four Red Flags Wrecking Team Success and CohesionBuilding an ideal team is one of the most complex but also one of the most rewarding and advantageous responsibility of a leader.

The leader has to select the team to ultimately create the best results for the organization, in light of the company’s culture and of the personality, motivation, commitment, values, performance, integrity level of his or her potential team members, with respect to his or her leadership style.

When the team is built, the leader has to look out for red flags that can destroy the synergy of his or her team and easily create a lasting toxic climate.

Wondering how to detect these red flags, avoid toxicity on your team, how to extract the best results from your team members and to become the best team member you can?

A few years ago, I worked on a year-long project, under a boss who used demotions and other measures to punish some of his employees when mistakes occurred. For example, he would quickly and sadistically withdraw work responsibilities from someone he did not favor to give to someone else.

Four Red Flags Wrecking Team Success and CohesionAs a result, the team was a unsalvable shipwreck: every man for himself, searching for a flotation device, fighting to get on land. My former boss manipulative behavior created a toxic climate where people were continually in flight or fight mode, were mistrustful towards one another, would turn on each other, retain information and sabotage every other person efforts to succeed, were obliged to seek his “affections” and to continually prove their loyalty to him in order to feel safe in their position, were more focused on office politics than on their work, were always on the lookout of a scapegoat, were afraid of speaking up and being transparent.

The lack of trust, commitment, performance was noticeable on a daily basis. By trust, I mean the ability of the team members to admit their mistakes, acknowledge their strengths and weaknesses, stay open, transparent with one another without any repercussion on themselves or their career.

RED FLAG #1: Lack of Transparency

In Speaking Truth to Power, James O’Toole states that “In essence, trust is hard to earn, easy to lose, and, once lost, nearly impossible to regain”.

Teams must be able to understand each other, to interpret their respective behavior and to be candid with one another.

To enable transparency, leaders have to:

  • Ask their team to reveal something personal and relevant about themselves. It can relate to their failures or successes, to their worst or most embarrassing experiences at work.
  • Encourage team building to better understand one another and enable bonds.
  • Assess and apply their team strengths and weaknesses by using profiling tools to get more insights into their behavior such as the DISC assessment, Social Style model, Right Path Profiles, Insights, MBTI).
  • Define a clear purpose for the team.
  • Explain major decisions from the organization to their team and include them in the flow of relevant information.
  • Maintain trust overtime and create unanimity.
  • Consistently tell the truth to their followers, be comfortable with it and practice integrity.
  • Value openness, empower those who tell the truth and must not reward those who do otherwise.

RED FLAG #2: Fear of conflict

In teams, conflicts do exist, are raw and real, are to be expected, and shouldn’t be avoided. In addition, they occur because we were born into different generations, backgrounds, with different personalities, values and morals.

Furthermore, conflict is always seen in a negative light or as a destructive process.
However, conflicts can be healthy and productive too. And even though conflicts are uncomfortable and make you feel under attack, they are necessary for personal and organizational progress, are used to generate the best decisions for the organization and to make team meetings mire engaging. In order to establish a conflict culture, it is imperative that leaders:

  • Create a structure where it is safe for their team members to express themselves without feeling the need to attack.
  • Hold their team accountable to the conflict system established.
  • Focus the conflict on the issue at hand to avoid personal attacks.
  • Assess each team member conflict capabilities/profiles with MBTI to develop the appropriate approach.
  • Ask their team members directly how they deal with conflicts.
  • Define conflict resolution, ease anxious team members in the face of conflict and find courage to speak truth to power.

RED FLAG #3: Lack of Commitment

Commitment is the willingness to achieve common goals as a team, the ability of team members to align themselves with the organization purpose, values and strategies even in disagreement with the decision taken.

To enhance team commitment, leaders must:

  • Embrace conflicts, divergent opinions, ideas and perspectives.
  • Among conflicting ideas, make wise decisions and be unafraid to displease some team members.
  • Before making a decision, understand and consider all ideas.
  • Clarify their decisions with the team and write down them down to avoid ulterior assumptions and ambiguities.

RED FLAG #4: Lack of accountability

Team members must keep each other accountable for their behavior, their mistakes and lack of performance. If no one is held accountable, team members gradually lose respect for each other and moral decreases. Leaders must:

  • Lead by example, call out mishaps, low results and misconduct.
  • Make every team member aware of each other contributions and functions on the team.
  • Track everyone’s progress and accurately measure performance.
  • Measure team success using objective and liable means.
  • Measure progress with timelines.
  • Focus on areas of productivity.
  • Make sure that the collective interest in results exceeds the individual needs of the team.

How to be an effective team member?

  • Develop your communication skills.

  • Make sure that you are understood and are open to clarifying misunderstandings.

  • Monitor your non verbal communication. Keep your body language positive and opened.

  • Look at the person you’re exchanging with.

  • If a problem occurs between you and someone else, fix it before the problem festers by talking to that person as soon as possible. This shows that you are willing to work through issues, that you are a problem solver instead of being inappropriate and ineffective.

  • Give sincere and appropriate positive feedback to your team members.

  • Develop your listening skills.

 

To demonstrate your interest in learning new skills, to better understand the other person, you have to:

  • be willing to listen more that you speak and voice your opinion in due time.
  • Implement the conversation with probing question.
  • Request other people opinion before giving yours.
  • Avoid planning your responses during the conversation.
  • Encourage the conversation with nods, smiles and eye contact.
  • Manage your tasks and time.
  • Put your understanding of the team task into writing in order to clarify immediate issues and to have a reference for time and deadlines measurement.
  • Own up to your actions.

 

Failing to follow through on your team assignments is synonym to letting your team down. To stay accountable for your part:

  • Keep your promises.
  • Offer to help coworkers in time of need.
  • Avoid procrastination and do not hesitate yo ask for help.
  • Avoid blaming others for your mistakes take the blame if you have done something wrong.
  • Find solutions to issues instead if creating them.
  • Learn from each and very situations and move on group them.
  • Avoid repeating past mistakes.
  • Work on interrelationship skills.

 

Last Words Of Advice!

In the team, you have to cooperate with your coworkers and work well with your supervisor. To do so:

  • Treat everyone with respect.
  • Avoid stereotypes and jumping to conclusions.
  • Avoid gossip and keep confidences.
  • Share your knowledge with your team.

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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Goal Setting & The 80/20 Principle — 18 Ways To Apply This Principle And Change Your Life

Strangely, this week, I found myself explaining the 80/20 principle to everyone I know. Though this principle is well-known by leaders, it is rarely applied. Leaders around the globe get flooded with information, sometimes more than they can handle. However, they have to make swift decisions and keep their most important objectives in mind.

To extract value and positivity in every situation, to improve our daily life, our institutions, our efficiency, our processes, our achievements, it is detrimental to understand the 80/20 Principle.

Wondering how to generate goals and focus on the most important ones using the 80/20 Principle?

Goal Setting & The 80/20 Principle

What Is The 80/20 Principle?

The 80/20 Principle is actually known as the Principle of Imbalance, the Principle of Least Effort or the Pareto Law, uncovered in 1897 by Vilfredo Pareto, an italian economist. In the 19th century, in England, Pareto noticed that 80% of the wealth and income was accumulated by only 20% of the population.

Furthermore, Pareto remarked that the wealth was not evenly distributed and that not only wealth was distributed in this manner. The Pareto Principle was consistently reproducible in different countries, in different times and with different sets of data.

The Pareto Principle :

  • has been justified by Professor Zipf who demonstrated that 70% of marriages happened to people living 30% within each other.
  • has been used by Joseph Moses Juran during the industrial revolution, in Japan, in order to improve the quantity, the reliability and the value of customer goods.
  • is illustrated in every cause to effect relationship. For example,
    • 20% of employees or customers are responsible for 80% of the company profits.
    • 20% of criminals commit 80% of the crimes.
    • 20% of your clothes in your closet will be worn 80% of the time.
    • 80% of our achievements happen in 20% of our time.

According to Richard Koch, author of The 80/20 Principle The secret of achieving more with less, the principle either requires 80/20 Analysis or 80/20 Thinking:

  • 80/20 Analysis: Before taking action, Prior analysis of the non linear relationship between cause and effort. This analysis is time-consuming but more detailed.
  • 80/20 Thinking: Before taking action, intuitively identify what is most important, then verify the usefulness of the 80/20 principle in the given situation. This is faster.

Why It Will Change Your Life

Generally, the 80/20 is used to prioritize, to set goals, to achieve more in less time and with less effort. It can be applied in business, in life, in any social grouping and in various cultures. For instance, in business, it helps you identify the areas where you lose time, money and where it is possible to cut your losses.

To exploit its full potential, the 80/20 principle exerts us to:

  • Spot the most important and ignore the massive unimportant.
  • Understand that every action doesn’t lead to the same outcome or even lead to one.
  • Use and work on strengths rather than weaknesses.
  • Seek shortcuts instead of taking long detours.
  • Gain more control over our lives and thoughts, our work and career selection.
  • Relax, work less and “target a limited number of very valuable goals”.
  • Transform your work habits.
  • Target a number of valuable goals.
  • Develop a healthy business strategy.
  • It is always possible to improve your skills.
  • Multiply what is effective.
  • Apply it in business to reduce costs and to generate more revenue.

Putting The Principle Into Practice To Set Tangible Goals

The 80/20 is for those who want more of their life, for the ambitious, for the goal-oriented and for the self-disciplined. Being ambitious is not synonymous to bein overworked, busy, or sacrificing yourself. To harness the 80/20 Principle, to make your dreams more feasible and to grow exponentially in any field:

  1. Discover what you are more enthusiastic about in life.
  2. Avoid investing the same amount of energy in everything that you pursue. Be strategic and identify the best 20% and invest 80% of your effort.
  3. Most people believe that goals are wishes, mere desires that they don’t believe they can achieve. Get clarity and be specific on what you want. There is no unrealistic goals.
  4. Make your goals big. The bigger the goal, the bigger the impact on your life, the higher the motivation and the longer you can maintain the vision.
  5. Make sure that these goals are self-imposed.
  6. Keep your goals simple. Simple is rare but simple is effective. Choose simplicity first. For example, identify the simplest and most standardized product, nurture the simplest 20%, make it high quality and eliminate the rest. In addition, simple businesses are better than complex ones because they deliver better value and perform better.
  7. Find ways to make your goals achievements fun. Avoid spending time on easy tasks and tune out distractions. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said it best: “Things that matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least”.
  8. Avoid focusing on the negative and waiting for a positive outcome. It is necessary to let go of the customers, employees, products and processes that don’t bring profits
  9. Know your values and purpose. Then, align your goals with your values in order to feel more fulfilled.
  10. Analyze the reasons and the costs of these goals beforehand. Applying the 80/20 Analysis will indicate whether or not you would pursue them.
  11. Write down your goals for various parts of your life (career, work processes, leadership styles, lifestyle, health) and accomplish the most important goal. These goals must have value. Writing down goals allows you to solidify them subconsciously and to get everything into place.
  12. Write down what you really want and write it down as if you are writing it from the future, having already achieved your goal.
  13. Work on this one goal all the time. 20 Percent of your activities will result in 80 percent of our results. It is  a known fact that you shouldn’t put all your eggs in a basket. Instead, choose the basket to put all your eggs into.
  14. Review these goals on a daily to keep your commitment to yourself.
  15. Divide your goals into smaller steps to make your plan more coherent and easier to achieve.
  16. Identify the obstacles, the knowledge needed, the relationships that you have to build to achieve your goals.
  17. Measure your progress with parameters like money, time, energy, emotional investment. You can even create a deadline. If you miss a deadline, create another one.
  18. Share your goals with those that will implement it.

Last Words Of Advice!

Don’t beat yourself or your team up for not realizing all your goals. Have you used the 80/20 principle and what have you noticed? What is one of the goal that you want to accomplish?

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.

Goal Setting & The 80/20 Principle

 

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Are you self-sabotaging at work? 18 Tips to Learn to improve your work performance and climb up the corporate ladder

jonathan-pendleton-61209We all have a dream of outperforming ourselves at work and staying consistent and moving up in our career.

However, we have difficulties bringing our wishes and expectations to life.

Furthermore, in the fast and highly competitive corporate world, some of our attitudes, assumptions, values, flaws often render us completely ineffective, come in the way of us being the best version of ourselves, from learning new skills, from developing our talents.

The reality is that, despite our best intentions, we are often our worst enemies, are unable to improve our career, to achieve our definition of success, to satisfy our higher purpose.

We thereby harbor dissatisfaction, self-defeating thoughts and resort to self-sabotaging actions.

Wondering how to become a better performer, a better contributor, a better leader in the workplace and control the self-sabotaging tendencies?

Most of the time, self-sabotage takes roots from collaborators sometimes abusing substance, striving too hard for materialistic success.

Self-sabotage also stems from an inability to control extreme negative thoughts and emotions such as anger, guilt or resentment, and an inability to control other people. Indeed, in the workplace, low performing employees and leaders tend to either:

  • complain too much about circumstances,
  • not take action or initiative,
  • doubt their capabilities,
  • be addicted to praise,
  • struggle to live up to other people expectations. Not pursuing your true purpose and implementing somebody else dream cause you to subconsciously rebel against your current situation.
  • act impatient,
  • be unable to follow rules or respect authority figure,
  • be unable to handle the pressures of responsibility;
  • misinterpret the image they have of themselves
  • be busy or lack time management skills,
  • lack conflict resolution skills,
  • fear the unknown,
  • fear criticism, looking ridiculous or being embarrassed,
  • fear change or fear success,
  • feel rejected or reject their own being,
  • fear failure. Failures are usually blessings in disguise.

How to improve these bad habits and become an effective member of the workforce?

Becoming a better performer and contributor in the workplace doesn’t end at solely executing your duties and providing acceptable results, it also means working on your character and core values. To enable effective performance in the workplace, it is necessary to:

  1. Assess your strengths and weaknesses and ground them into reality. I cannot stress enough how self-discovery is an important and long life process that allows to:
    • upgrade your moral compass and create new ethical standards,
    • accept our unique distinctions,
    • evaluate your role and contributions at work,
    • assist, be assisted by coworkers or team members with a complementing set of skills.
  2. Understand your interests and abilities. This way you are able to develop your core capabilities, to choose the work that stimulates you the most, the workplace in which you best fit in and the team that complements you the best.
  3. Keep learning, grow your knowledge and your emotional intelligence that you may increase satisfaction at work, to envision greater possibilities, to overcome obstacles and to be successful in every area of your life by:
    • doing something new, something different, challenging your thoughts and your routine,
    • nurturing your natural curiosity about the world, about what you don’t know,
    • breaking routine and mindless actions to stimulate your imagination,
    • tackling your fears and negative emotions head and listing the consequences of your actions.
  4. Adjust your self-image to reality by writing down:
    • the qualities you have about yourself and the ones you want to acquire,
    • your trigger points. Don’t let identifying your trigger points to get discouraged and give up on yourself. Noticing your self-sabotaging habits is actually beneficial to you: you are probably not in the walk of life that you wish or supposed to be in.
  5. Act responsibility, be proactive, take initiative. Take on more responsibility and assignments, perform them with enthusiasm and motivation in order to become confident in your abilities, autonomous, dependable, emotionally mature and trustworthy. Indeed, the more you take on responsibility, the more you learn about yourself, the more you understand the consequences of your actions, the faster you admit your mistakes as soon as you notice them, the better you remain accountable especially when things go wrong, the more you grow, the more you gain competencies, the more you are willing to take initiative and even risks.
  6. Discipline yourself by inspecting and readjusting your thoughts, actions and behaviors to set standards, and dominating your immediate desires and impulses.
  7. Stay true to yourself. Avoid comparing yourself to others and competing with others.
  8. Allow yourself to think. In silence, without looking for distractions, confront yourself, make peace with yourself, strengthen your decision-making skills, observe bad habits, and therefore learn more about yourself, find your true purpose, learn to trust your intuition and inner feelings. Meditation, quiet contemplation, introspection are the key to staying alert, to increase your performance at work, to develop and recognize good ideas, to stay engaged and more conscious of your life.
  9. Define clear goals and seek better methods to become more productive, more competent in the workplace.
  10. Learn to insulate yourself from the noise in the workplace.
  11. Vary your experiences and get out your comfort zone.
  12. Take care of your physical health. Exercise regularly.
  13. Make a good impression, from day one, without overdoing it and running a political campaign, by dressing appropriately and being punctual.
  14. Respect and treat people the way you would like to be respected and treated. Uplift people instead of bringing them down or being considered as a toxic coworker in the workplace. Develop relationships and properly manage people emotions, don’t impose your emotions on others, don’t create enemies where you can have a supportive friend. As a result, you can become a good contributor and a valuable team member.
  15. Embrace change, renew your coping and self-defense mechanism.
  16. Expect to make mistakes, to learn from them and keep it moving.
  17. Avoid naysayers and haters like the plague. Change your circle of friends if they are the ones bringing you down.
  18. Service others. Servicing others doesn’t mean to submit to everyone and to every order. It means doing your best to get along with one another.

Last words of advice!

If you happen to abuse substance or are in emotional distress in the workplace, don’t be ashamed, you are not alone. Please talk about it to your closest family and friends, or find the nearest Workplace Help Center.

 

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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Start.: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average, and Do Work That Matters By Jon Acuff

In life, we must always take a step back and ask ourselves the following question: “Where am I?“.

Everybody successful person who has accomplished something in life went through the following 5 stages in life: Learning, Editing, Mastering, Harvesting and Guiding.

Most people don’t follow these 5 stages and instead choose the Average Path. Why?

Because the Average Path is comfortable and effortless. People who go down the average path are just existing and don’t make decisions.

Start.: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average, and Do Work That Matters By Jon Acuff

How to get away from the Average Path?

To get away from the Average Path, you just need to Start no matter how old you are

In reality, the way you Start your journey in 100% in your control. You are sure of your Start but you will not know how it will end.

To have a good Start, you must first be realistic about your current situation and your goals in life.

You have to be focused and work hard on your Start.

You must also recover a childlike perception of yourself all while using the tools you have gained as an adult.

Do I Need To Know My Purpose To Start?

You don’t need to figure out your purpose to Start.

You don’t need to determine the end results before taking your first step because doing so puts too much pressure on you.

Furthermore, you will not want to do anything and will not want to fix your life before finding it.

The truth is you don’t need to find your purpose but just do everything with purpose. You can start anything you want without a purpose.

What Happens When I Start?

When you start going after the things you want, fear will show its ugly face.

It will make you question your self-worth and make your journey more torturous.

It will make you think that it’s too late and that you are behind in schedule.

It will tell you that everything needs to be perfect.

You honestly have to find a way to deal with your fears.

You have to live your life without regrets.

The Learning Stage

At this stage, you are in your 20’s.

You are still testing the waters and trying to figure out what you want to do with the rest of your life.

The Editing Stage

In your 30’s, you start looking back at your 20’s.

You select what matters most to you and going after what worked for you in the past.

You start focusing on your career and relationships. 

To edit your life, value what you have, search for your passions, find out what brings you the most joy and what activities align most with who you are at your core.

You don’t have to wait for outside to live the life you really want to live.

You don’t have to stay places where you grow as a person or where you have no passion for.

The Mastering Stage

In your 40’s, you mastered every thing that is important to you.

You are more self-assured and are certain about where you are going.

To master your life, you have to put in the hours and hone your craft by volunteering, taking up part time jobs and participating in hobbies that bring you closer to your goals.

In mastering your life, you will face many obstacles and challenges.

The Harvesting Stage

In your 50’s, you reap what you have sowed in your 30’s and 40’s.

In this stage, it is wise to:

  • Treat people right
  • Not get complacent or lazy
  • Treat your accomplishments as rewards and not reasons for what you do.

The Guiding Stage

At this stage, your are in your 60’s.

You are retired and enjoying the fruits of your labor.

You start mentoring, helping people on their journey and start giving back to your community.

But once you are in this stage, you have to return to the Learning Stage and start all over again. To guide people, you must ask people questions and listen to their stories.

Then, you can tie your guiding experiences to something you were always interested in. 

Review

Start.: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average, and Do Work That Matters by Jon Acuff is a funny book with great life lessons.

The principles behind the Start.: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average, and Do Work That Matters are very similar to those in The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey.

Jon Acuff‘s examples and introspective comments are hilarious but also liberating. He shares his strengths, his weaknesses and doesn’t take himself too seriously.

I truly recommend this book because it provides comfort and encouragement. In addition, at the end of the book, Jon Acuff shares a practical step by step guide for you to overcome fear and escape average. 

Let me know below what you think about this book!

Favorite quote(s)

the surprises life gives are always better than the things you think you see coming.

Average is so popular because average is familiar. We all know how to do average. Ninetynine percent of the people on the planet do average. The road is well worn, the decisions are obvious, and the next steps are crystal clear.

Every journey has a first step. Every dream has a first destination.

No matter what fear and doubt tell you, your identity is not at stake with the decisions you make and the actions you take as you learn.

Don’t buy the lie that changing the world has to be a chore or make you miserable. Be brave enough to have fun with whatever you whittle down in your life.

Ratings 4/5

Author

Jon Acuff

 

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Jon Acuff

MEET THE AUTHORJon Acuff is the New York Times Bestselling author of six books including his most recent Wall Street Journal #1 Bestseller Finish: Give yourself the gift of done and Start.: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average, Do Work That Matters.

The Importance Of Becoming A Self-Disciplined Leader

Self-Disciplined LeaderAs a leader and as someone always searching for innovative ideas, I have to say that I have been struggling with staying focused on one topic at a time, controlling my train of thoughts and filtering negative emotions.

Although I come from a very disciplined home, my mind is sometimes undisciplined: tens of thousands of ideas flash through my mind in a second, which makes it difficult for my team to follow me.

 

By taking time out in the day solely for the thinking process, I have allowed myself to successfully manage my thoughts and become a self-disciplined leader.

Wondering how to acquire self-discipline or how self-discipline can successfully grow your career?

What is self-discipline?

Firstly, self-discipline is one of the most important component of leadership. Self-discipline develops in you set ways for your thoughts, actions and habits. Self-discipline means doing what needs to be done when you don’t feel like doing it.

In addition, it means that you accept your responsibilities and accomplish your goals because they are the best profitable option but not because you want to.

Self-discipline implies self-management or self-control, self-motivation, self-reliance, self-confidence and self-awareness and eventually, remains the basis for trust.

Secondly, self-discipline is an acquired skill, has several degrees to it and is not achieved overnight. It has to be practiced to become easier, to create routine and structure.

Lastly, early responsibilities in life, small tasks and assignments, given by parents or managers, allow people to gain discipline from a young age and shape their character.

Characteristics of self-disciplined leaders

Self-disciplined leaders are successful and ultimately become better at what they do. They are active, self-controlled, organized, are able to censor themselves and to build great relationships.

Leaders use self-discipline to sharpen their willpower and decisions making skills, to command respect from others and to lead by example, to achieve their goals regardless of their feelings, to gain profit and to look beyond hard work, to stick to their decisions, to evaluate themselves and place boundaries, to compartmentalize their emotions.

Furthermore, self-disciplined leaders have no fear of the future, are respected and dependable.

Self-disciplined leaders practice thoughts management, emotional intelligence, time management, character building, self-awareness and team building until they turn those soft skills into habits.

HABIT #1: MIND MANAGEMENT

Your thoughts, negative or positive, become your reality whether you want it or not. Self-disciplined leaders have peace of mind, no matter the situation.

For self-disciplined leaders, controlling your emotions is barely about becoming stoic, but about acknowledging your emotions, understanding them and keeping them in check before acting on them.

In order to control your thoughts:

  1. Nurture your mind with the right stimuli, with empowering thoughts and success stories. Remove distractions from your workspace. Block social media sites during working hours.
  2. Train your brain to handle different situations, and to prepare for both positive and negative outcomes.
  3. Meditate or turn to religion. Meditation brings a sense of contentment and allows you to accept and deal with your thoughts. In religion, controlling your thoughts is more about admitting God’s control over us and relinquishing our problems and emotions to Him. Which is why you need to keep your eyes on God and your focus on your purpose.
  4. Forgive yourself for past mistakes, let go of grudges and regrets,  and keep moving forward.

HABIT #2: EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE

Self disciplined leaders don’t allow their choices and decisions to be dictated by their impulses or feelings. Instead, they:

  • enhance their logical and emotional skills to be able to make sound decisions,
  • control their facial expressions,
  • resist and reject negative feelings,
  • handle stressful situations, conflicts and toxic individuals in a healthy manner,
  • adopt positive attitudes and behaviors.

To discipline your emotions:

  1. Control your thoughts and don’t leave them on autopilot. Pay close attention to your habits, especially in negative situations. Identify which behaviors you consider undisciplined and those that reflect your values ans goals.
  2. Change your self talk.
  3. Meditate on a daily basis, a least 10 minutes a day, to quiet the mind, gain serenity and suppress regrets.
  4. Cultivate gratitude. This will help you transform negative circumstances into positives.
  5. Change your sources of data that you intake and abstain from vain entertainment.
  6. Change or increase your social circle to individuals who possess the qualities and skills that you wish to acquire.
  7. Manage your health by taking care of the essentials. Your mind and body are interconnected and the health of the one impacts the other.
    • Sleep healthy hours and develop a steady night routine. Set an alarm at the same time everyday, put your phone in an unreachable area, don’t hit the snooze button.
    • Acquire a healthy diet.
    • Exercise regularly instead of procrastinating and drown your negative thoughts with dopamine.

HABIT #3: SELF-AWARENESS

Self-discipline allows leader to monitor their behavior in various situations and to assess their strengths and weaknesses, to find their purpose.

Without being aware of your strengths, you are unable to lead effectively. Trying to emulate another leader’s style, strengths destroys your natural talent, your uniqueness, your personality and your therefore your chances for success.

Furthermore, most leaders are blind to their own strengths and weaknesses. Some lead thinking that they possess a particular set of strengths and others lead blind to their own weaknesses.

Get to know yourself at a deeper level, increase your confidence, become more self-aware and quiet your ego:

  1. Renew your thought pattern, invest in your personal growth and don’t allow setbacks to mentally set you back.
  2. Reverting back to the memories of your childhood and recalling what you did well and with pleasure.
  3. Look for a common thread in the things that immediately and sustainably attract your attention throughout your life experiences.
  4. Read books and gain knowledge.
  5. Hire a professional to help identify your strengths and how to employ them.
  6. Take well-known online tests, such as StrenghtsFinder2.0 and StandOut, and cross-reference them.
  7. Asking the people closest to you.
  8. Surround yourself with supporting people. Stay away from yes men, undermining people or groups.
  9. Seek the truth about yourself and be unafraid of failure or the said truth.

HABIT #4: TIME MANAGEMENT

Successful individuals manage their time effectively to ensure that they accomplish their goals, allocate and maximize their time.

In the workplace, missing deadlines irritates and disrupts everyone on the team and makes you appear non accountable. So, to manage your time effectively:

  1. Define an achievable specific goal and apply timelines to it to create overviews of the milestones you wish to achieve. If you don’t have deadlines, create some for yourself.
  2. Make time to achieve your personal goals, follow-up on schedule and meet deadlines. Do not procrastinate, find excuses to postpone your work or allow anyone to distract you and squander your time. Instead, stay busy and focused, and put in the hours required to accomplish your goals.
  3. Prioritize your personal goals and accomplish the most important ones before hand.
  4. Implement a routine and stay focused on the prize.
  5. Make time to be proactive. With an increase in leadership responsibilities, people start pulling the leader in different directions, and the leader ends up doing more of what people desire than what is necessary to be done. Carve out an hour in the day or choose a day in the week to isolate or insulate yourself and execute your tasks that matter.
  6. Make time for yourself. Carve out another hour in your day to recharge your batteries to be more productive and efficient as a leader for your team. You may have to arrive earlier to work.
  7. Respect other people time.

HABIT #5: CHARACTER BUILDING

Not all hardworking and talented beings are disciplined. Therefore, not all hardworking and talented beings are successful.

On one hand, self-discipline helps in creating routine and structure, holding yourself and others to a high standard ( integrity and respect), remaining accountable for your actions on your job, executing your job in detail and delivering on time. Self-discipline also increases maturity and builds stamina and resistance to walk down the leader’s path. That means that you can take a licking and keep on ticking.

On the other hand, self-discipline makes you resilient. You are empowered to stick to your decision, are able to get up when you are knocked down and to keep going when you hear “no”. Building character is a gradual process:

  1. Be consistent with your values (integrity)
  2. Tenacity is also key. Don’t be discouraged or perturbed by obstacles, by failures, by the illusion that your goals are unreachable. Instead, resist the urges of giving in or giving up.
  3. Read, listen, watch motivational elements. For faithful people, turning to your belief system is a great way to stay on track.
  4. Draw lessons from your mistakes.
  5. Monitor what you say. If you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything.

HABIT #6: RELATIONSHIP & TEAM BUILDING

Being disciplined allows leaders to command respect from others, to work well with their team members, to handle interactions with employees or customers judiciously.

In order to minimize supervisors intervention:

  1. Define your responsibilities or tasks, avoid stepping on anybody’s toes, delegate tasks appropriately,
  2. Play by the rules, treat your team members as adults and with respect,
  3. Look out for the best interests of the company and your team members,
  4. Coach your team, promote self-discipline amongst them, encourage innovative ideas without even if they fail,
  5. Share your performance expectations with your employees and help them direct their focus towards achieving their goals
  6. Address unacceptable behaviors immediately without punishing or humiliating the perpetrators,
  7. Model yourself as the best leader, avoid taking your job for granting or taking credit for team success or outstanding performance, and stay humble and .

HABIT #7: EXECUTION, MOTIVATION & STRUCTURE

Self-discipline brings predictability, consistency and order to the leader. Self-discipline captures the meaning of the word expectancy and provides the leader with latitude for risk assessment and management. To create structure and improve task execution:

  1. If you are somehow already disciplined in executing task, share your timeline and your attention to detail with others and help them pick up the slack without micro managing.
  2. Clearly, your order brings a sense of control to the team. However, don’t impose your discipline to anyone else.
  3. Focus on starting tasks rather than completing them.
  4. Follow through on your ideas and finish what you have started. Also, track your progress: record the starting time and the end time of your tasks.
  5. Execute your plan in silence, and respect yourself enough to put your money where your mouth is and to come through on your promises.

The Importance Of Becoming A Self-Disciplined Leader

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

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