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

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2022

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.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2022

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

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2022

So Smart But…: How Intelligent People Lose Credibility – And How They Can Get It Back by Allen K. Weiner

Credibility, the quality or power to inspire trust and belief, is essential and strategic to career evolution.

Credibility is so difficult to acquire and to maintain but so quick and easy to lose.

So Smart But...: How Intelligent People Lose Credibility - And How They Can Get It Back by Allen K. Weiner #books #bookreviews #success #successmindset #leadership #leadershipdevelopment #selfdevelopment #selfimprovement #journeytoleadership journeytoleadershipblog.com

Credibility is 45% how you look, 45% how you sound and 10% what you say.

credibility2

In agreement with McCroskey, scholar in West Virginia University, there are five factors of credibility:

1. Competence

This quality is acquired when an employee has succeeded to champion the company’s vision, engage in innovation, focus on performance and results, and to build a high performance organization.

With competence, an employee is able to explain concept with the appropriate message and to calibrate a message to a specific listener.

credibilitylost

Credibility is easily lost if someone:

  • Is not understanding or is reacting inappropriately to an issue at hand.
  • Is lacking better judgement in order to make the right decisions.
  • Reflects too long before making a decision.

2. Character

This quality is acquired when an employee has succeeded to foster a climate of innovation, to foster and model the company’s values.

credibilitylost

Credibility is easily lost if someone:

  • Is lacking passion and drive for their work
  • Is arrogant. This character flaw can be corrected by changing your words when addressing your colleagues, expressing interest in them, asking for advice, listening more in conversations and sharing your personal weaknesses.
  • Cannot manage emotions very well.
  • Has it out for some people in their organization.

3. Composure

This quality is acquired when an employee has succeeded to manage workforce performance and delegate appropriately.

credibilitylost

Credibility is easily lost if someone:

  • Is not timely (not punctual with deliveries, appears frantic and rushing,…).
  • Cannot manage emotions very well.
  • Maneuver their body language to manifest their belonging.
  • Decorate and manage their personal space.
  • Does not look the part by not applying the company’s dress code, by not grooming oneself when coming to work or even by not working out.

4. Sociability

This quality is acquired when an employee has succeeded to demonstrate interpersonal skills.

5. Extroversion

Extroversion as defined in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).

This quality is acquired when an employee has succeeded to passionately drive the company’s strategy.

Review

So Smart But…: How Intelligent People Lose Credibility – And How They Can Get It Back by Allen K. Weiner is a self-development book is very relatable, accurate and was very difficult to read since I have met up with most of the scenarios and possess some of the corporate personality flaws discussed in this book.

Allen N. Weiner, in So Smart But…, provides tips on how to preserve and enhance your credibility in the workplace.

Furthermore, every argument is properly illustrated with realistic workplace scenario and is not gender biased.

According to Allen N. Weiner, to climb the social ladder, it seems that one needs to :

  • comply to too many non written rules, indicative of a rigid and intolerant society that is the corporate world. Is it possible to apply every single one of these rules to the cost of spreading oneself very thinly?
  • be likeable to succeed when, in my opinion, likeability can only take you so far. Indeed, in my experience, it is preferable and more effective to be respected in corporate culture because being liked puts you on equal footing with your pairs, constitutes additional emotional work and subjects you to fluctuating and random external opinion. Nevertheless, according to Allen N. Weiner, people who are not liked are trying to find excuses instead of trying to be liked.
  • adapt, be accepted by your pairs or fitting in. Fitting in is very hard to do but not impossible to do. Check out the article Signs that You are a good fit for your new job.

Let me know below what you think about this book!

Ratings 4/5

About the author

Allen N. Weiner

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2022

The Calling Journey by Tony Stoltzfus

There is a timeline model for every leader’s journey…

The Calling Journey by Tony Stoltzfus #purpose #faith #books #bookreviews #success #journey #journeytoleadership journeytoleadershipblog.com

Indeed, a leader’s journey can be divided into successively seven distinctive steps.

1. Natural Promotion

Natural promotion is the timeline during which leaders advance without difficulties with their innate abilities.

2. Valley of Dependence

The Valley of dependence relates to where leaders strengthen their faith in God.

3. Preparation Stage

In the Preparation Stage, leaders learn new skills.

4. Valley of Wholeness

In the Valley of wholeness, leaders let go of any character flaw that would arrest their personal progress.

5. Releasing Stage

The Releasing Stage is the moment when leaders are promoted to their area of calling and expertise.

6. Valley of Identity

In the Valley of identity, leaders start distinguishing their identity from their purpose.

7. Fulfillment

Finally, in the timeline of Fulfillment, leaders reach their full potential and accomplish their destiny.

Review

The Calling Journey by Tony Stoltzfus is a Faith-based book that helps you understand, through multiple biblical figures, the plan and the life purpose of most leaders’ journey.

This inspirational and encouraging book is written for purpose driven leaders and provides us with a new understanding and a new mindset.

Thanks to this book, readers can firstly learn to trust God and translate God’s message for their calling.

Then, will they be able to acquire patience and other virtues throughout struggles by mapping out the journey with a personal calling timeline.

They will also be able to renew their mindset, gain a new perspective on events and look beyond circumstances and shift focus from self to purpose.

The Calling Journey by Tony Stoltzfus will help in removing the pressures of life and in finding the right career path right away.

Tony Stoltzfus teaches readers to take each and every traumatic experience to transform into something productive and find your calling.

Finally, this book takes us through the life of renowned leaders and biblical characters such as Joseph and mother Teresa in order to show us that finding your calling is a lengthy process.

Let me know below what you think about this book!

Favorite quotes

Much of the pain we experience in times of adversity is not from the events themselves, but from our kicking back against the pricks life is making to our ego and our beliefs. Instead of meeting God in the event, we waste energy agonizing over the wrong questions. Am I a failure? Has God passed me by? Is he even out there? Will my dreams ever come true? What is wrong with me? When we don’t squirm and struggle to get out of the places God has us, so we can get to the completely different places that we think he wants us. Understanding what God has planned makes a huge difference.

Ratings 2,5/5

About the author

Tony Stoltzfus

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2022