If you want to have even more energy and laser like focus when building your business, a book that we highly recommend is The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan.
Usually in any given week, month or year there is an overarching One Thing that needs to be kept as a top priority. The One Thing I do today may be different from the One Thing I have to do in a month, and that may be different to the One Thing I can do right now.
When I read the book, I liked how the approach is so simple and cuts through the multi-tasking mindset we have been trained to believe is productive. Many times we feel obliged to act on other people’s agendas – to react, rather than respond. The multi-tasking mind becomes a ‘monkey mind’, over stimulated and hectic, and it’s too easy for us to end up as victims of such an overly busy mind and life – counterproductive if we want to make real strides forward.
You may be aware of the Pareto Principle that states 20% of your activities produce 80% of your results. The One Thing pares that down even further.
‘Of the 20% of my highly leveraged activities what is the One Thing that I can do that will make the biggest difference to my business? To my personal life outside of work?’
This book talks about scaling down your ‘ToDo’ list and instead creating a “Success list”, usually just 20% of the To Do List and then filtering out that One Thing you need to focus on today or this week or this month. So the ‘ToDo’ List could be 20 actions. The Success List will focus you on about 4 of those highly leveraged actions, and The One Thing is the Key action that will make the biggest difference to your day.
The book states “Thinking informs actions and actions determine outcomes” so it is important to think in the right way by asking resourceful questions.
Ask Big questions and you will get Big answers or ideas.“Dont fear Big, fear Mediocrity”. The book mentions how we over-plan and over-analyze when success is based on just a handful of things we need to do well.
The key question in the book goes something like this: “What’s the One Thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or even unnecessary?” If you read the sentence it relates to what you “can do” and not relying or depending on someone else.
There are many variations of this same question but the authors propose asking yourself a version of this one question every day if you truly want success.
I hope you can see the power in asking such an excellent question of yourself.
A powerful reminder to stay focused could also be useful “Until my One Thing is done, everything else is a distraction”. This is a great reminder because for most of us we are distracted and go into reaction mode so quickly. The question helps to keep you on track on the important project or activity.
By asking your One Thing question, to add more power to the process, visualize the end result and simulate the steps along the way. Its a kind of mental flow charting of the process, which helps to get your thinking more focused and clear.
A very important consideration mentioned in the book is the importance of time blocking. In fact the authors suggest you “time block with a vengeance”. Meaning: do all you can to protect your time, no matter what.
And here at EnergizedCEOs.com we actively encourage you to not just time block your work time, but time block your time to re-charge. This is one of the number one ways CEOs and Leaders burn out and get ill by NOT doing so.
Check out our other article about time blocking time in the morning to take care of your body and mind using an acronym called the 4Fs. It’s a proven approach to gaining back more of your valuable energy.
And don’t stop there! Make it a daily practice (and eventually a habit!).
Time block your one important thing. Time block your thinking or planning time. Remember “until the One Thing is done everything else is a distraction”.
A good time block question is “What’s the One Thing I can do to protect my time blocks every day such that by doing so everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”
Like all things, this type of thinking and approach requires mastery and practice. Doing this once a week may help you improve at work, however, to think and act this way on a daily basis by asking that One Thing question each day will lock into your nervous system a new way of being effective and more energized as a CEO.
As a coach to business owners I hold my clients accountable to the One Key Thing they commit to agree to do between sessions. Having accountability like this helps to boost this level of focus and productivity.
So I’d love to know, what is the ONE THING you need to get done: Today, This Week, This Month, This Quarter in order to do the ONE THING you really want to accomplish this year? Please tell us in the comments! Consider it your Day One for Accomplishing your One Thing!
As technology develops at an accelerating pace today, CEOs and business leaders run the risk of being left behind. It seems there is ever more pressure to make strategy and system changes, just to keep up with the lightening speed of their markets.
We find that business leaders are either in heavy “transition” or “transformation” mode, as a result. They report to us it’s nearly impossible to keep up with today’s innovative trends, brought about by the innovations of artificial intelligence and robotics into business systems. Companies such as Facebook, Google, and Amazon are introducing leveraged technologies with conversation bots, augmented reality, AI systems, network sensors, and so much more. And, our clients are looking for their edge more than ever.
Business owners are being forced to make very important changes to stay relevant. In many cases there are no clear frameworks for leaders to make the deliberate jump to the next level for their organisations. At the same time, while dealing with all this external change, many CEOs and business leaders are striving to become the next better version of themselves as leaders and people, but often they don’t know how or where to start to make all these important changes.
Reading about or talking about transforming is one thing, but actually embodying and feeling the transformation to ensure it sticks is a totally different ball game.
To make lasting transformations in life and business requires rigorous inner game changing. This means lots of mental awareness and practice. Once the inner game changes, the outer-world game is impacted in a more positive and sustainable way. The key to transformation is working on changing one’s inner consciousness to clear up any inner sabotage that stops or slows you down as a leader.
We have coached a number of CEOs, and the feedback that we receive is that at times it’s too easy to lose perspective of the bigger vision. It’s a challenge to fully separate thoughts from feelings.
A key area for CEOs is to focus on the highest leverage opportunities and have the cognitive awareness to be open to opportunity, while someone can keep them accountable throughout the process. It’s important to monitor and manage the shifts along the way so that optimal choices are made at each point in the journey, to be able to learn quickly from setbacks or failures.
Coaching and supporting a CEO not only helps the CEO stay motivated to take action. Taking lots of actions is one thing, but also cultivating awareness to know how to navigate the roadblocks and emotional pains is another. It requires the skills of awareness and mental re-framing so that the business leader has cleared the path to make their desired transition or transformation.
A transition could be to raise the profit levels of the business by 40%. A transformation would be bigger such as taking a few transition steps to systemize the business so as to raise the profit levels with the ultimate purpose of selling the business within 2 years. This is a more radical but powerful growth cycle for a CEO and all who are part of the business. Therefore, coaching and support is significantly different between a transition to raise profits versus a transformation to systemizing and selling the business.
Support in a transition tends to require less time compared to a transformation. A transformation is like building the next floor of a high rise. The transition part is ensuring the concrete posts and simple framework is in place before the full implementation of the floor is initiated like with the windows, office partitions, design, furniture, technology etc. I use the metaphor to better illustrate the differences between a transition and transformation when it comes to how we address the inner and outer world work we do with our CEO clients.
If you are ready for that next level it’s important to know if it is a transition or transformation you are after. Also it’s important to have the tools, mindset approach, and a sense of the right kind of framework in order to step up to that next level.
Wanting and hoping for a transformation is one thing but doing the work, handling the mental and emotional changes when going through a transformational dilemma, and getting acclimatized to the new levels of progress requires commitment and courage. It also requires both inner work AND outer work, whether you’re seekingor a successful and sustainable transition or transformation.
We’d love to hear your feedback. Please comment on the post below or head to the contacts page, leave your name and email and let us know how we can get your the resources and support to get ready for and start your next-level shift.