Life Insights

The last couple days have involved some it’s-nowhere-near-Spring cleaning.  This morning, I tackled my office.  In one pile of papers, I found a four-page leaflet titled, “Leadership Insights”.

Whether you think of yourself as a leader or not isn’t even relevant here.  A number of these are simply worth considering for any person who’s about to look back on one year and ahead to another.

Here are a few of the best bits from this long-buried sheet…

  • “How can you say what you are trying to say with 10% of the words, time, and money you are using?  This is a real fog-cutter in all of your communications, proposals, speeches, literature, etc.  Simplify.”  (Obviously, this is business-geared, but what are you hoping that your life expresses to the world around you?  And what could/should be stripped away to de-clutter and clarify that message?)
  • “Life is a constant struggle for balance.  Balance is a result of one word… schedule.  Typically you determine your own schedule.  Therefore, you schedule your own balance/imbalance.”
  • “Of all the things you have said you will do in the future… what do you ‘really mean’?”
  • “When you are doing something that someone else on your staff could do 80% as well, you are probably wasting your time.  Learning to delegate effectively is even more important in determining the size of your contribution in life than your native intelligence is.”  (Obviously, this isn’t specifically relevant to all of us, but something in there rings true regardless.)
  • Tom Skinner says this: “I spent a long time trying to come to grips with my doubts and suddenly I realized that I had better come to grips with what I believe.  I have since moved away from the agony of questions that I cannot answer, to the reality of answers that I cannot escape… and it’s a great relief.”
  • “Fun is ‘uninhibited spontaneity.’  Things that are inhibited and not spontaneous seem boring.  Think back to the last time you were having fun.  Why was it so much fun?  The activity was uninhibited and spontaneous.”
  • “You can learn 80 percent (approximately) of what you need to know about a a subject by asking the right 10 people the right 10 questions in less than 10 minutes each.” (Think of this as a guard against bogging down in unnecessary details.)
  • “Negotiating typically implies ‘more for me… less for you!’  Never negotiate.  Work toward a ‘triple win’ where all three parties involved come away ‘winning’.”
  • “Plan to ‘peak’ ten years from today.  And, each year on your birthday move it out a year.  On your 50th birthday, plan to peak at age 60.  On your 80th birthday, plan to peak at age 90!  Keep growing.
  • “You are God’s student, not life’s victim.”
  • “If you ask profound questions, you get profound answers.  If you ask shallow questions, you get shallow answers.  If you ask no questions, you get no answers at all.”
  • “A high percentage of all stress is caused by indecision or lack of control.  What are the three main things in your life that are out of control?   What are the three primary decisions you have to make in the next six months?  Focus on these areas and you will find your stress reducing.”
  • “Double the strength of the weakest link in a chain and you double the reliability of the entire chain.”
  • “God’s timing is perfect… even when it differs from our plans.”
  • “To turn an organization around in thirty days… hire one desperately needed person, fire one visible problematic person, stop something that everyone on the team knows should have been stopped long ago.  The bottom line may not turn around in thirty days, but the team morale will and profits should be very close behind!’ (I’ve never worked in a day in big business, but I love the “go after it” mentality of this one.)
  • “An activity is work… only when you would rather be doing something else.

Any favourites?

Any line there that could affect how your 2010 unfolds?


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4 thoughts on “Life Insights

  1. cool.
    I always think wait to find out what Tim and John think is cool before I say what I think is cool… so my favorites are Skinner and the fog cutter.

    Actually, Skinner, the 80%/delegation one, and 30 days.

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