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How To Raise Your Standards And Avoid Being A Useless Slob

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Raising Your Standards Article

Your success is predicated on the building blocks of your personal standards. The quickest way towards making progress in your life, which ultimately will lift your happiness levels, is to force yourself to become conscious of your standards, and then to redefine them.

There are so many useless slobs that exist all around the world and I don’t say this to be mean to them, but I do say it to get you to take action, and not become one of them. Even useless slobs can change their level of success as long as they stop procrastinating.

The standards that you currently have in your life can be very hard to change because they have been programmed in you for a long period of time.

First of all, who cares what success other people are having because nine times out of ten they are only telling you the good bits about their life, and behind all the fake money, cars and Instagram selfies, they’re life probably sucks big time!

Raising Your Standards Picture Quote - Tim Denning
 

Why raise your standards?

Your entire life is the result of the one percenters that you do each day. Having a Coke while watching a movie may seem harmless, but the twenty other things each day that you do that also don’t serve you, are the reasons why you are guaranteed for failure if you don’t do anything about them.

Until you make the bold decision to redefine your standards, your life is going to suck one way or another. Your life is going to feel draining and you are not going to be able to smile at anything. Since I raised my own standards, I find myself smiling at people a lot for no good reason.

You’ll know when you have raised your standards to the right level because you will feel like your life is working and that you have progressed in some way, hopefully, over a short period of time.

If I look at who I was just six months ago, I am now a totally unrecognisable person.

When I catch up with people that I haven’t seen for a while they often comment on how they can hardly recognise me both physically and through the way I talk. This, my friends, is where you want to get too and I believe you can. Hopefully, you can see why you must now raise your standards!

Here are the nine ways to raise your standards from today onwards:

 

1. Write down your current standards

The first way to raise your standards is to acknowledge honestly what your current standards are. Think about what time you go to bed, how many hours you work, what you eat, who your closest friends and colleagues are.

These are the areas where your current standards are formed. Once you know what they are, rewrite them with a slightly higher standard. For example, if you currently go to bed at 11 pm, rewrite this to say that your new standard is now 9:30 pm to go to sleep.

If you have trouble raising your standards, then make the adjustments to your current standards in a less drastic way. Using the above example, you could start by making your bedtime 10:30 pm instead of 9:30 pm to begin with.

 

2. Stop being a victim

The biggest barrier to raising your standards is whether you are behaving like a victim or not. By thinking that others should give you money (parents, lovers, friends) or expecting the government to help you in life, you are living the life of a victim.

Victims expect everyone else to take the action for them and hold their hand in life. All of us, including me, have some element of victim behaviour in our life and we all need to drop the excuses. You are where you are right now because of you and no one else.

The beautiful thing is that you have the power to change it all and it just starts by changing one standard for how you are going to live your life going forward. The keys to the kingdom are within your reach as long as you start taking responsibility.

Victims are the lazy slobs you see wasting their life away in gambling venues, or going to shopping centres and spending money that they don’t have, or money that would be better put into some other income producing purchase instead.

I’ve got your back and we are going to succeed at life one blog post at a time, but just make sure you drop that victim mindset.

 

3. Insist on doing things that are uncomfortable

Lazy slobs are obsessed with always being comfortable. They can’t go outside because they are scared it’s too cold, or too hot, or too something. Continually being uncomfortable is a critical component of raising your standards.

My standard for weekends, for a very long time, was to try and forget about the weekdays. I did everything in my power to forget, and drown my negative thoughts with parties and alcohol. Where did that get me? Absolutely nowhere and I made zero progress throughout this period of my life.

It’s hard to change your ways or live life differently. It’s challenging to avoid social activities, and stay at home and work on your dream. It’s hard to get up and talk in front of hundreds of people.

The Reality Of Not Pushing Yourself And Being Uncomfortbale - Tim Denning Quote
 

If you don’t know where to start then think about it this way; what are all the things you have avoided doing or that you fear? Then, just go do all of those things right now! Don’t think about them just schedule them in your diary.

A classic example for me is going to the hospital. I absolutely hate having to go for any reason and avoid it like the plague. A new standard, by embracing that uncomfortable feeling, is just to book it in and then not think about.

The more I think about hospital, the more I don’t book in my appointment, and the more I live in fear of having an illness take over my life. I try and find the good in the activity so it makes being uncomfortable worth it.

The act of going to the hospital for me is now reframed as a chance to take a day or two off work and do nothing but read books. Hospital now equals, time to relax, time to learn, and time to grow. Pretty powerful huh?

 

4. Get away from emotionally challenged people

We all have emotionally challenged people in our life who are not in control of their emotions. They are either constantly depressed, always angry, or not caring towards others, or even worse, all of the above.

These people will drain your energy and force your standards even lower without you knowing. There are only two ways to fix this problem; either get rid of them or minimise your exposure to them. One of my best standards is not to associate with toxic people. This standard serves me the most.

 

5. Analyse where your time is going

Your standards have a lot to do with how much time you have. To raise your standards in a particular area of your life, you need to spend time in that area. For three days, try writing down everything you do in a day and the amount of time you spend on each activity.

You will quickly see where your time is going and then all you need to do is set a new standard, and cut out activities that don’t meet your new standard. A simple example of this in my life is TV. I make sure this is the last thing I ever do and I will only ever let myself consume a maximum of thirty minutes of TV in one day.

My goal is to reduce this to zero and based on the sixty minutes of TV I watched for all of last week, I feel like I am nearly there. I have now reallocated this time into reading one chapter of a book per day, and I actually feel a bit smarter already…haha.

 

6. Check in on your energy levels

Lazy slobs, who have low standards, all have one trait in common: they have very low energy levels. When your body has to operate on low amounts of energy, your mind and emotions are often all over the place.

The only chance you have to raise your standards is to lift your energy levels. The quickest way to do this is by doing the following: getting more sleep, eating more plant-based foods, doing more exercise (even if that’s only walking more), and by being around people that have higher levels of energy.

When your energy levels increase, it’s much easier to begin the process of raising your standards. What makes someone a slob is a lack of energy and I know that’s just not you. An easy hack I use to have more energy is always to try and sit up straight and walk with a straight back. This might sound incredibly dumb but it works well – try it for yourself.

 

7. Find the hidden cause

To be able to raise your standards you need to find the hidden cause of the habit that is not serving you.

For example, if you want to give up coffee then you need to find out why you drink coffee. In my life, the root cause went like this: I would need coffee because I was tired, which was because I went to bed late, which was because I was out drinking booze two nights in a row, which was because I was unhappy with life and because I couldn’t say no to invitations from friends out of fear that I would upset them.

The reason you are not raising your standards in life is probably because there is a host of contributing factors. Lift the carpet of your standards and analyse the hidden causes about why you are living the current pattern of your life.

You are going to upset people in the process who don’t agree with your new standards but that’s a problem with them not with you. You want to change the world and you’re prepared to build your life one layer at a time.

 

8. Redefine the niche of your passion

A lot of the reason why you want to raise your standards is so you can have more success within the niche that relates to your passion. My recommendation is that you do whatever you can to redefine the niche of your passion and change people’s perception of how things have always been done.

Many years ago I was an emerging dance music producer and I never got to the level of success I wanted. Looking back, the reason was that I tried to copy other types of dance music rather than redefine the category as a whole.

Back then, the artists that were having all the success – like Eric Prydz, Deadmau5 and Axwell – all redefined dance music and you could tell a song was made by them from a mile away. Whatever your passion is, you need to redefine your niche and stop copying what everyone else is doing.

“Approach your passion from an entirely different angle. Redefining your passion will help you raise your standards by focusing your mind on what’s important and honing your skills in one area of growth” – Tim Denning

Your standards will become like the rules for how you operate when time stands still, and you are engaged in your passion.

 

9. Put your indulgences at the end not the start

Falling down the rabbit hole of distraction is easy when you let your indulgences always come first. I see so many people who want to sit down to work on their dream but insist on indulging in some other useless activity before they get started.

This pointless activity – like social media, cleaning the house, or shopping – then wastes the small amount of time they have before they return to the job they hate, and they never make any progress on their dream.

How do you overcome this? Simple, you flip the equation back the front. Hard work on your dream, equals a quick reward of some indulgence, rather than indulge first, and work later. This is a powerful life hack that is not hard to implement right away. Again, dream first, indulgences and distractions later.

How have you changed your own standards? What are some of your new standards? Let me know in the comments section below or on my website timdenning.net and my Facebook.

Tim is best known as a long-time contributor on Addicted2Success. Tim's content has been shared millions of times and he has written multiple viral posts all around personal development and entrepreneurship. You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net

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19 Comments

19 Comments

  1. Christine Zacharias

    May 2, 2016 at 1:25 am

    This was a great article. What we view as our standards could be completely off to what our actual reality is. It is no wonder people wake up one day so dissatisfied with themselves. I know that that being honest about the time we spend indulging things that are not really conducive to work can be hard. I have a bad habit of cleaning and workout if I need to study for my classes. I can be twice as more productive if I study first, and do that stuff later. I definitely took some time out of the day to go through each point and see what I am doing in life. One thing I noticed is that I might want higher standards but I am not creating the habits and daily tasks that make me reach the next level. I hopefully can get the ball rolling for the next few weeks!

    • Tim Denning

      May 3, 2016 at 5:04 am

      Thanks for sharing your story Christine and I can definitely relate especially when it comes to cleaning. One part that can be a challenge is sitting down to do something creative like writing and not being able to concentrate because your workspace is a mess. There is definitely research that shows have a clean workspace creates a ZEN kind of feeling but anything outside of the space I rok in, I wait till later to clean.

      Glad you liked the article!

  2. Sam

    Apr 26, 2016 at 8:50 am

    Wow, point 9 is spot on. Whenever I plan to study, code or learn something new, I have a habit of wasting first 30 mins on social networking & shopping online BUT I wasn’t aware habit is so common. Glad that this article made me realise that I have a problem and I need to improve. Thanks 🙂

    • Tim Denning

      Apr 27, 2016 at 2:43 am

      Sam we all suffer from point 9. It’s not a problem for you though, its actually an opportunity to progress further than you are right now. The fact that you have realized what you are doing and committed to take action in a new direction is where the true power lies my friend.

      Thanks for reading

  3. Sathish

    Apr 25, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    Hi Tim,

    great article, your nine steps are surely a great way to raise standards. I like the 6, 7 and 8 those are something in my opinion we overlook when trying to raise our standards.

    Thanks, sathish

    • Tim Denning

      Apr 27, 2016 at 2:40 am

      Thanks Sathish for taking the time to read each point and I’m glad some of the advice resonated with you 🙂

  4. Zachary Walsh

    Apr 23, 2016 at 3:02 am

    Thanks for the insight Tim, definitely something everyone can relate to. Even if you do “Raise your Standards” there is always more you can do.

    • Tim Denning

      Apr 27, 2016 at 2:39 am

      Not a problem Zachary. Defining your standards and raising them is a never ending process but each time you do, you one-up your life at the same time.

  5. Keith

    Apr 22, 2016 at 9:37 am

    Thanks Tim. I especially love your use of the word “indulgence” to describe those distractions that we allow ourselves take. Live for the dream!!

    • Tim Denning

      Apr 27, 2016 at 2:38 am

      Cheers Keith for reading! The word “indulgence” is one of my favourites

  6. Stefanie

    Apr 22, 2016 at 6:42 am

    Another great one, Tim! I changed one of my standards last year by deciding on going to work by bike (13 km one way) instead of taking the subway, and I feel so much better! I noticed that it’s really important to back up your new standard by creating the circumstances to really make it work. In my case, it meant checking out where to shower at work, getting the equipment, preparing a delicious green smoothie in the morning.

    • Tim Denning

      Apr 27, 2016 at 2:37 am

      Sounds like a great daily habit you have created Stefanie. I am also a sucker for a morning green smoothie / juice 🙂

  7. Jim LaValley

    Apr 21, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    Tim,
    Another great article! I appreciate the topic and can empathize with your statement about your old weekend standards. Keep up the great writing!

    JIM

    • Tim Denning

      Apr 21, 2016 at 8:26 pm

      Thanks Jim. I don’t miss those old weekends and I’m sure you don’t either 🙂

  8. Katherine

    Apr 21, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    Omg this is golden. I love number 4! 🙂

  9. Ram Vijay

    Apr 21, 2016 at 6:54 am

    Worth reading all the steps ! Great article indeed

    • Tim Denning

      Apr 21, 2016 at 8:26 pm

      Thanks Ram for taking the time to read it.

  10. Gokul

    Apr 21, 2016 at 2:29 am

    This is one of the best article I’ve seen. So great if you Mr. Denning to share such a great insight.

    • Tim Denning

      Apr 21, 2016 at 8:25 pm

      Cheers Gokul I’m glad you like reading it.

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Success Advice

A Must-Read Guide for Avoiding Burnout

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Burnout. We’ve all been there. It happens to all “workaholic” entrepreneurs like you and me. But please allow me to provide a reality check: You’re not a machine. And regardless of how much you think you’re like Gary Vaynerchuk, you need to take breaks in order to function at maximum capacity. Non-stop hustle without ever taking a break is dumb. That’s why it’s called a “break”. Because if you don’t eventually stop, that’s exactly what will happen. You will break!

Here are 5 simple steps to avoid burnout once and for all:

Step #1: Build A Sustainable Work Schedule

Scheduling your work around your breaks (not the other way around) is the most effective way to avoid burnout. Now to be clear, I’m not saying “don’t work hard”. I’d never tell you that. But rather, to work in a sustainable fashion.

In other words: Prioritize your breaks the same way you would prioritize your work. For example, LinkedIn’s CEO, Jeff Weiner, schedules two hours of breaks throughout each of his workdays (in 30 to 90-minute blocks). How many breaks are scheduled in your day?

“Burnout is what happens when you try to avoid being human for too long.” – Michael Gungor

Step #2: Practice Gratitude

If you’re reading this, you have eyes. Be grateful for them, some people don’t. Remembering what you already have is critical, because gratitude is a divine quality and awakens our sense of true abundance. Work hard and be mindful of every gift that you have in your life. An attitude of gratitude is the path to true happiness.

Step #3: Remember Your WHY Power

Why do you do what you do? Why do you go the extra mile, get up early, stay late, and work around the clock? Only once you’ve answered this question will you have isolated your “why power”.

For instance, do you want to retire your parents? Is your why power to become a billionaire so you can fund cures for diseases? My suggestion to you would be to prepare a pocket-sized list of your whys and re-read them whenever you’re feeling low on energy (you’ll know when the list is long enough when you read it and feel recharged).

Step #4: Meditate Twice (Daily)

If you only take away one thing from this article, please let it be this: Meditate, twice daily, 20 minutes (per session). Personally, I meditate once in the morning and once in the afternoon. Like exercise for the brain, meditation compounds and is truly a life-changing activity. You’ll experience unparalleled clarity by activating your brain’s “reset” button, which will allow you to focus on your work and get infinitely more done in a fraction of the time.

But like all worthwhile things in life, it requires consistency. To help with getting on a consistent schedule, I’d highly suggest purchasing a physical calendar and making a big red “X” on the days that you meditate. How many days in a row can you meditate without fail? If you’re new to meditation, I’d suggest starting with 10-minute sessions and using a guided video (I love this one on YouTube by the Chopra Center).

“Your mind is a powerful thing. When you filter it with positive thoughts, your life will start to change.” – Buddha

Step #5: Remember That You’re Going To Die

Newsflash: You’re dying. You’re not going to be here forever, so stop acting like it. I don’t know how old you are, but I’d please ask you to take a quick moment to teleport to age one-hundred. Feel free to close your eyes right now and do this.

As you’re on your deathbed, do you have regrets that you didn’t accomplish your goals, leave a legacy, and serve more people? Which of your dreams remain unfulfilled? Now, open your eyes and teleport back to the current moment. Alright, now go make it happen — and avoid that dark future from occurring!

I hope you found this article helpful. If you did, please feel free to share with a friend or co-worker!

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Success Advice

5 Simple Mental Tricks to Help Leaders Deal With a Heavy Workload

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Entrepreneurs and other business owners put in a lot of work. In fact, many entrepreneurs report spending over 60 hours a week (or more than 12 hours each day) working on their business. These hours are busy — no extended breaks for browsing Facebook or watching funny YouTube videos. Becoming a successful entrepreneur requires a lot of work, and a lot of learning. Of course, having such a heavy workload and so many responsibilities can quickly become overwhelming.

So how do successful business owners manage? A lot of it comes down to the right mental practices. By working smarter, not harder, leaders can effectively manage even the most seemingly insurmountable workloads and achieve their company goals.

Here’s a closer look at the mental practices you can apply to better manage your responsibilities:

1. Stop Multitasking

When you have a lot of work on your plate, it can be tempting to switch back and forth between projects so you can make progress on each one. But this is actually one of the worst things you can do for your productivity. Research has consistently found that multitasking actually slows down your work, rather than speeding it up.

According to the American Psychological Association, “Although switch costs may be relatively small, sometimes just a few tenths of a second per switch, they can add up to large amounts when people switch repeatedly back and forth between tasks. Thus, multitasking may seem efficient on the surface but may actually take more time in the end and involve more error … even brief mental blocks created by shifting between tasks can cost as much as 40 percent of someone’s productive time.”

“The key is not to prioritise what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” – Stephen Covey

2. Start Your Day With the Hardest Tasks

Each task and responsibility you’re faced with will have varying degrees of difficulty and time commitment. It’s all too easy to save the hardest tasks for last, but if you wish to maximize your productivity and get through your workload, you should actually start with the tougher challenges.

Many of the most successful entrepreneurs take care of their toughest tasks first thing in the morning. For one thing, most of us have more energy when we first start the workday. The later in the day it gets, the harder it becomes to maintain that same drive and focus, making it all too easy to procrastinate. Knocking out a hard assignment early in the day also brings a sense of accomplishment, which can provide additional energy for powering through future tasks.

3. Know Your Limits

While hard work is essential for entrepreneurial success, you don’t want to run the risk of burnout. Continually pushing yourself beyond your boundaries can cause chronic exhaustion, anxiety, relationship problems and even heart disease.

“Everyone has different limits,” notes Jason Bliss, co-founder of Healthy Living Network. “As a serial entrepreneur myself, I’ve seen far too many people overwork themselves to the point of exhaustion, thinking it will help them succeed. In reality, overwork usually makes their results worse, not better. Learning the warning signs of burnout has helped me know when to step back — even for a short break — so I can come back later when I’m feeling refreshed.”

4. Plan Out Your Day

Knowing which task you want to start your day with isn’t enough — you also need to plan out the rest of the day. Catherine Adenle recommends “breaking your day into sessions, of maybe two or three hours. Take regular walk breaks after each session. First thing in the morning, when you get to the office, begin your day with a plan and assign tasks to each session.”

By dividing your day into more manageable chunks and planning corresponding activities, your workload won’t feel as overwhelming. You’ll be more likely to stay on track with everything that needs to get done. For best results, organize tasks based on urgency, deadline and the time they’ll take to complete.

“Plan your work for today and every day, then work your plan.” – Margaret Thatcher

5. Understand Proper Delegation

As a business leader, you have a significant resource that few others enjoy: a support staff that can assist you with your responsibilities. Asking for help or delegating tasks can help you maintain focus on the activities that matter most for your business. Though you should be mindful of your employees’ pre-existing workloads and clearly communicate project expectations, delegation can significantly improve company productivity.

The problem, however, is that many leaders are reluctant to delegate. They worry about employees’ abilities to complete a task, or feel they could handle the work quicker and more effectively on their own. It is essential that you develop the humility needed to delegate to your staff.

Research from Gallup has found that employers who delegate, effectively experience significantly higher growth than their competition. By leveraging employee strengths to lessen your load, you can enjoy major improvements to your bottom line.

Adapting the way you approach your workload will require a fair amount of effort. There may even be some failures and setbacks as you change how you manage your work. But if you wish to obtain lasting success, few things will be more important than improving your mental approach. By implementing these tactics, you’ll be able to work more effectively and achieve higher-quality outcomes.

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Success Advice

Positivity & Self-Ownership: Your #1 Factor for Success

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Leaving a reliable 9-5 job and risking a steady, biweekly paycheck to live out a dream and pursue a totally different lifestyle can be terrifying. However, there is no reason to fear, aspiring entrepreneur!

All successful entrepreneurs understand a few simple principles that enable them to achieve their goals, including how positivity along with taking ownership and accountability for your attitude, actions, and outcomes play a major role in your success.

The Power of Positivity

Never underestimate the power of positivity. Thinking positive thoughts, embodying a positive and healthy lifestyle, and reciting positive affirmations everyday enable you to tap into a higher level of your subconscious.

This is in line with the law of attraction, which says we attract into our lives what we manifest and put our energy into. You attract the energy that you put out into the universe, so the more positivity you put out, the more positivity comes back.

Here are some examples of positive affirmations that are meant to promote success:

  • I have the power to create change.
  • I refuse to give up because I will succeed.
  • I deserve the best and I accept everything that has happened up until now.
  • I am unstoppable and I will achieve all of my goals.

Replace your “I can’t”s with “I can.” Replace your “I won’t”s with “I will.” Speak positive things into existence, and watch your life turn around and have those positive thoughts come about. When you make the effort to make a positive change, the universe will conspire to help you succeed.

What Does It Mean to Be Accountable?

Accountability means to take responsibility and accept ownership for your actions and decisions. This means that you are responsible for the fate of your business. Do you feel that things aren’t taking off as quickly as you originally hoped? Work harder. Not selling thousands of products? Sell harder. Don’t have enough clients? Conduct more cold outreach. Keep your word.

Set goals and intentions and follow through with them. Be responsible and hold accountability for your actions. When you accept responsibility for your actions, you’ll feel rewarded when things work out, and you’ll close more deals, sell more products, and your dreams will come true.

“The price of greatness is responsibility.” –  Winston Churchill

What It Means to Take Control of Your Life & Business

In order to take control of your life and the fate of your business, you must understand your purpose in life and be willing to fulfill that purpose. It’s not enough to only desire a certain lifestyle.

You must stay true to what you really want to do in life. This means that you are mentally prepared to take on everything you need to in order to succeed. You follow strict self-set rules and guidelines that will help to keep you on track toward those dreams and goals. You don’t give up.

You keep going when things get tough, and you never see failure as an obstacle. You aren’t discouraged. You accept minor bumps in the road on the way to your destination, because you know you will ultimately reach your goal, and you won’t stop until you get there.

Here are three factors that personally helped me succeed:

1. Becoming more organized

Prior to organizing my tasks and goals, I was just flying by the seat of my pants and wondering why I wasn’t progressing at all. That’s because I didn’t have a set direction.

Becoming more organized helped me to prioritize what needed to get done in order to grow my business to the place where it’s at today.

2. Starting my off my day with positive affirmations

Positive affirmations are more powerful than you may believe. I started each day reading and reciting a quote that was positive and inspiring in nature, which exponentially increased my motivation and mentally prepared me to take on each day.

“Make each day your masterpiece.” – John Wooden

3. I developed long-term goals and stuck to them

Instead of working every day toward the unknown, I decided to set long-term goals. The kicker in helping me stick to these goals was creating smaller milestones that kept me on track and focused which gradually led me up to the ultimate goal.

Although I recognized that the ultimate achievement (of growing my business) was still at hand, my behavior was reinforced by a consistent sense of accomplishment upon completing these smaller goals.

If you are willing to stay focused, motivated, commit the time, effort, and energy toward reaching your goals, and you truly believe that you can and WILL achieve them, then there is nothing that will stop you in your path toward success.

As William Earnest Henley’s famous poem “Invictus” states, “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.” You are the master of your fate and the captain of your soul. Once you wholeheartedly believe this, then you will harness your true power, unlock your full potential, and begin to live out your truth and reach the level of success you’ve always dreamed of.

What is success to you? Let us know in the comments below!

Image credit courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Success Advice

The 3 P’s of Irresistible Leadership: Passion, Persistence, and Panache

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If any of you reading this have ever studied the theoretical underpinnings of leadership, you will have come across several theories such as the great man theory and charismatic leadership theory. Over the decades, leadership has evolved more from an art of telling people what to do to that of subtle influence, suggestion, and rendering by example.

In my new e-book “High-Octane Leadership: Pole Position Performance,” I mentioned that the goal of the manager is to create followers, but the goal of a leader is to create new leaders! This is a relatively new concept in leadership! There are many new and emerging micro theories of leadership that can be expounded upon and useful to individuals looking to assimilate a leadership style.

Here are the 3 P’s of irresistible leadership:

1. Passion

No great achievements, no illustrious undertakings, and no works of genius have ever occurred without the infusion of passion. Passion creates connections where none existed before.

Passion heightens the desire in the individuals who have opted to follow, and it has moved individuals forward toward a common vision. Leaders such as Steve Jobs, have to demonstrate a sense of passion in everything. Although his passion could be somewhat subdued, there is no doubt that when it came to any Apple products, he was the number one salesperson, champion, and evangelist.

“When you’re surrounded by people who share a passionate commitment around a common purpose, anything is possible.” – Howard Schultz

2. Persistence

For years when I was in direct sales, I had an 8.5 x 11 sheet with a cartoon on it hanging over my desk. It was a crane (that’s the bird, not the machine) who had a frog in his rather ample bill. However, the frog’s arms came out of the side of the crane’s mouth and were clutching the crane by the throat so that he (the crane) couldn’t swallow the frog. Underneath this caption where the words, “never, ever give up!

Leaders persist! They understand that there is always a way to solve the problem. Following this understanding, there must be subsequent action that follows, and this can lead to enthusiasm and optimism!

3. Panache

Leaders are self-confident people. They have systematically developed confidence over the years. In situations where they don’t feel confident, they make themselves feel confident. Confidence is learned. It’s a mental model and a cognitive mindset of how we approach problems.

Leaders understand and know that they will solve the problem before them; it’s not a matter of guessing, it’s a matter of knowing.

“Positivity, confidence, and persistence are key in life, so never give up on yourself.” – Khalid

If you buy the notion of passion, persistence, and panache as attributes of irresistible leadership, the question before us now turns on how do we develop those skills?

Here are a few behaviors that leaders use on a consistent basis to develop new skills:

  • Awareness – Great leaders and irresistible leaders always have their antennae up. They are always looking for ways to improve. They understand that self-improvement is a never-ending process to be embraced, even if the execution of the new behavior is difficult!
  • Repetition – Irresistible leaders practice their new skills. They will practice them in front of their subordinates, their family, and in front of themselves while staring at their face in a bathroom mirror! They understand the way to install a new habit of behavior is like with any habit, repeating it over and over again.
  • Feedback – Irresistible leaders are not afraid to ask how they are doing. And, they are not afraid to hear the answer. They understand that the best answer is that they are doing well but the next best answer is that they are not doing well, instead of not being told about their potential flaw. They understand that input in terms of behavioral awareness is one of the singular most important things one can attribute to leadership performance and style.

Try this: take an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper and draw three columns. Atop each column write passion, persistence, and panache. On the left-hand side in the margin of the page, write awareness and 1/3 of the page down, write repetition, and then at the bottom one third the word feedback.

Writing solidifies thought, and it is that solid thought that motivates us into action. You will find yourself becoming more aware of opportunities to develop in each of the 3 P’s of irresistible leadership. Document them! Then jot down ideas down about how you can repeat those new behaviors. Finally solicit feedback and document what you’ve heard.

In the span of several weeks you will have developed new and exciting leadership attributes. Continue this new and exciting habit for other leadership development opportunities.

Which one of the 3 P’s do you need to work on most and why? Let us know in the comments below!

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Success Advice

A Must-Read Guide for Avoiding Burnout

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Burnout. We’ve all been there. It happens to all “workaholic” entrepreneurs like you and me. But please allow me to provide a reality check: You’re not a machine. And regardless of how much you think you’re like Gary Vaynerchuk, you need to take breaks in order to function at maximum capacity. Non-stop hustle without ever taking a break is dumb. That’s why it’s called a “break”. Because if you don’t eventually stop, that’s exactly what will happen. You will break! (more…)

Alex Edson is a 19-year-old entrepreneur from Phoenix Arizona who has scaled two multi-million dollar companies from nothing. Alex began his entrepreneurial journey during his sophomore year of high school, founding a YouTube talent management agency from his apartment that would later grow to over 10 billion annual views. Today, Alex is the Founder and CEO of MailTag.io, a startup that helps sales and business people track their emails in real-time, for free. You can connect with Alex on his company’s blog https://blog.mailtag.io or by email Alex@MailTag.io.

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19 Comments

19 Comments

  1. Christine Zacharias

    May 2, 2016 at 1:25 am

    This was a great article. What we view as our standards could be completely off to what our actual reality is. It is no wonder people wake up one day so dissatisfied with themselves. I know that that being honest about the time we spend indulging things that are not really conducive to work can be hard. I have a bad habit of cleaning and workout if I need to study for my classes. I can be twice as more productive if I study first, and do that stuff later. I definitely took some time out of the day to go through each point and see what I am doing in life. One thing I noticed is that I might want higher standards but I am not creating the habits and daily tasks that make me reach the next level. I hopefully can get the ball rolling for the next few weeks!

    • Tim Denning

      May 3, 2016 at 5:04 am

      Thanks for sharing your story Christine and I can definitely relate especially when it comes to cleaning. One part that can be a challenge is sitting down to do something creative like writing and not being able to concentrate because your workspace is a mess. There is definitely research that shows have a clean workspace creates a ZEN kind of feeling but anything outside of the space I rok in, I wait till later to clean.

      Glad you liked the article!

  2. Sam

    Apr 26, 2016 at 8:50 am

    Wow, point 9 is spot on. Whenever I plan to study, code or learn something new, I have a habit of wasting first 30 mins on social networking & shopping online BUT I wasn’t aware habit is so common. Glad that this article made me realise that I have a problem and I need to improve. Thanks 🙂

    • Tim Denning

      Apr 27, 2016 at 2:43 am

      Sam we all suffer from point 9. It’s not a problem for you though, its actually an opportunity to progress further than you are right now. The fact that you have realized what you are doing and committed to take action in a new direction is where the true power lies my friend.

      Thanks for reading

  3. Sathish

    Apr 25, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    Hi Tim,

    great article, your nine steps are surely a great way to raise standards. I like the 6, 7 and 8 those are something in my opinion we overlook when trying to raise our standards.

    Thanks, sathish

    • Tim Denning

      Apr 27, 2016 at 2:40 am

      Thanks Sathish for taking the time to read each point and I’m glad some of the advice resonated with you 🙂

  4. Zachary Walsh

    Apr 23, 2016 at 3:02 am

    Thanks for the insight Tim, definitely something everyone can relate to. Even if you do “Raise your Standards” there is always more you can do.

    • Tim Denning

      Apr 27, 2016 at 2:39 am

      Not a problem Zachary. Defining your standards and raising them is a never ending process but each time you do, you one-up your life at the same time.

  5. Keith

    Apr 22, 2016 at 9:37 am

    Thanks Tim. I especially love your use of the word “indulgence” to describe those distractions that we allow ourselves take. Live for the dream!!

    • Tim Denning

      Apr 27, 2016 at 2:38 am

      Cheers Keith for reading! The word “indulgence” is one of my favourites

  6. Stefanie

    Apr 22, 2016 at 6:42 am

    Another great one, Tim! I changed one of my standards last year by deciding on going to work by bike (13 km one way) instead of taking the subway, and I feel so much better! I noticed that it’s really important to back up your new standard by creating the circumstances to really make it work. In my case, it meant checking out where to shower at work, getting the equipment, preparing a delicious green smoothie in the morning.

    • Tim Denning

      Apr 27, 2016 at 2:37 am

      Sounds like a great daily habit you have created Stefanie. I am also a sucker for a morning green smoothie / juice 🙂

  7. Jim LaValley

    Apr 21, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    Tim,
    Another great article! I appreciate the topic and can empathize with your statement about your old weekend standards. Keep up the great writing!

    JIM

    • Tim Denning

      Apr 21, 2016 at 8:26 pm

      Thanks Jim. I don’t miss those old weekends and I’m sure you don’t either 🙂

  8. Katherine

    Apr 21, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    Omg this is golden. I love number 4! 🙂

  9. Ram Vijay

    Apr 21, 2016 at 6:54 am

    Worth reading all the steps ! Great article indeed

    • Tim Denning

      Apr 21, 2016 at 8:26 pm

      Thanks Ram for taking the time to read it.

  10. Gokul

    Apr 21, 2016 at 2:29 am

    This is one of the best article I’ve seen. So great if you Mr. Denning to share such a great insight.

    • Tim Denning

      Apr 21, 2016 at 8:25 pm

      Cheers Gokul I’m glad you like reading it.

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Success Advice

A Must-Read Guide for Avoiding Burnout

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Burnout. We’ve all been there. It happens to all “workaholic” entrepreneurs like you and me. But please allow me to provide a reality check: You’re not a machine. And regardless of how much you think you’re like Gary Vaynerchuk, you need to take breaks in order to function at maximum capacity. Non-stop hustle without ever taking a break is dumb. That’s why it’s called a “break”. Because if you don’t eventually stop, that’s exactly what will happen. You will break!

Here are 5 simple steps to avoid burnout once and for all:

Step #1: Build A Sustainable Work Schedule

Scheduling your work around your breaks (not the other way around) is the most effective way to avoid burnout. Now to be clear, I’m not saying “don’t work hard”. I’d never tell you that. But rather, to work in a sustainable fashion.

In other words: Prioritize your breaks the same way you would prioritize your work. For example, LinkedIn’s CEO, Jeff Weiner, schedules two hours of breaks throughout each of his workdays (in 30 to 90-minute blocks). How many breaks are scheduled in your day?

“Burnout is what happens when you try to avoid being human for too long.” – Michael Gungor

Step #2: Practice Gratitude

If you’re reading this, you have eyes. Be grateful for them, some people don’t. Remembering what you already have is critical, because gratitude is a divine quality and awakens our sense of true abundance. Work hard and be mindful of every gift that you have in your life. An attitude of gratitude is the path to true happiness.

Step #3: Remember Your WHY Power

Why do you do what you do? Why do you go the extra mile, get up early, stay late, and work around the clock? Only once you’ve answered this question will you have isolated your “why power”.

For instance, do you want to retire your parents? Is your why power to become a billionaire so you can fund cures for diseases? My suggestion to you would be to prepare a pocket-sized list of your whys and re-read them whenever you’re feeling low on energy (you’ll know when the list is long enough when you read it and feel recharged).

Step #4: Meditate Twice (Daily)

If you only take away one thing from this article, please let it be this: Meditate, twice daily, 20 minutes (per session). Personally, I meditate once in the morning and once in the afternoon. Like exercise for the brain, meditation compounds and is truly a life-changing activity. You’ll experience unparalleled clarity by activating your brain’s “reset” button, which will allow you to focus on your work and get infinitely more done in a fraction of the time.

But like all worthwhile things in life, it requires consistency. To help with getting on a consistent schedule, I’d highly suggest purchasing a physical calendar and making a big red “X” on the days that you meditate. How many days in a row can you meditate without fail? If you’re new to meditation, I’d suggest starting with 10-minute sessions and using a guided video (I love this one on YouTube by the Chopra Center).

“Your mind is a powerful thing. When you filter it with positive thoughts, your life will start to change.” – Buddha

Step #5: Remember That You’re Going To Die

Newsflash: You’re dying. You’re not going to be here forever, so stop acting like it. I don’t know how old you are, but I’d please ask you to take a quick moment to teleport to age one-hundred. Feel free to close your eyes right now and do this.

As you’re on your deathbed, do you have regrets that you didn’t accomplish your goals, leave a legacy, and serve more people? Which of your dreams remain unfulfilled? Now, open your eyes and teleport back to the current moment. Alright, now go make it happen — and avoid that dark future from occurring!

I hope you found this article helpful. If you did, please feel free to share with a friend or co-worker!

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5 Simple Mental Tricks to Help Leaders Deal With a Heavy Workload

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Entrepreneurs and other business owners put in a lot of work. In fact, many entrepreneurs report spending over 60 hours a week (or more than 12 hours each day) working on their business. These hours are busy — no extended breaks for browsing Facebook or watching funny YouTube videos. Becoming a successful entrepreneur requires a lot of work, and a lot of learning. Of course, having such a heavy workload and so many responsibilities can quickly become overwhelming.

So how do successful business owners manage? A lot of it comes down to the right mental practices. By working smarter, not harder, leaders can effectively manage even the most seemingly insurmountable workloads and achieve their company goals.

Here’s a closer look at the mental practices you can apply to better manage your responsibilities:

1. Stop Multitasking

When you have a lot of work on your plate, it can be tempting to switch back and forth between projects so you can make progress on each one. But this is actually one of the worst things you can do for your productivity. Research has consistently found that multitasking actually slows down your work, rather than speeding it up.

According to the American Psychological Association, “Although switch costs may be relatively small, sometimes just a few tenths of a second per switch, they can add up to large amounts when people switch repeatedly back and forth between tasks. Thus, multitasking may seem efficient on the surface but may actually take more time in the end and involve more error … even brief mental blocks created by shifting between tasks can cost as much as 40 percent of someone’s productive time.”

“The key is not to prioritise what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” – Stephen Covey

2. Start Your Day With the Hardest Tasks

Each task and responsibility you’re faced with will have varying degrees of difficulty and time commitment. It’s all too easy to save the hardest tasks for last, but if you wish to maximize your productivity and get through your workload, you should actually start with the tougher challenges.

Many of the most successful entrepreneurs take care of their toughest tasks first thing in the morning. For one thing, most of us have more energy when we first start the workday. The later in the day it gets, the harder it becomes to maintain that same drive and focus, making it all too easy to procrastinate. Knocking out a hard assignment early in the day also brings a sense of accomplishment, which can provide additional energy for powering through future tasks.

3. Know Your Limits

While hard work is essential for entrepreneurial success, you don’t want to run the risk of burnout. Continually pushing yourself beyond your boundaries can cause chronic exhaustion, anxiety, relationship problems and even heart disease.

“Everyone has different limits,” notes Jason Bliss, co-founder of Healthy Living Network. “As a serial entrepreneur myself, I’ve seen far too many people overwork themselves to the point of exhaustion, thinking it will help them succeed. In reality, overwork usually makes their results worse, not better. Learning the warning signs of burnout has helped me know when to step back — even for a short break — so I can come back later when I’m feeling refreshed.”

4. Plan Out Your Day

Knowing which task you want to start your day with isn’t enough — you also need to plan out the rest of the day. Catherine Adenle recommends “breaking your day into sessions, of maybe two or three hours. Take regular walk breaks after each session. First thing in the morning, when you get to the office, begin your day with a plan and assign tasks to each session.”

By dividing your day into more manageable chunks and planning corresponding activities, your workload won’t feel as overwhelming. You’ll be more likely to stay on track with everything that needs to get done. For best results, organize tasks based on urgency, deadline and the time they’ll take to complete.

“Plan your work for today and every day, then work your plan.” – Margaret Thatcher

5. Understand Proper Delegation

As a business leader, you have a significant resource that few others enjoy: a support staff that can assist you with your responsibilities. Asking for help or delegating tasks can help you maintain focus on the activities that matter most for your business. Though you should be mindful of your employees’ pre-existing workloads and clearly communicate project expectations, delegation can significantly improve company productivity.

The problem, however, is that many leaders are reluctant to delegate. They worry about employees’ abilities to complete a task, or feel they could handle the work quicker and more effectively on their own. It is essential that you develop the humility needed to delegate to your staff.

Research from Gallup has found that employers who delegate, effectively experience significantly higher growth than their competition. By leveraging employee strengths to lessen your load, you can enjoy major improvements to your bottom line.

Adapting the way you approach your workload will require a fair amount of effort. There may even be some failures and setbacks as you change how you manage your work. But if you wish to obtain lasting success, few things will be more important than improving your mental approach. By implementing these tactics, you’ll be able to work more effectively and achieve higher-quality outcomes.

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Positivity & Self-Ownership: Your #1 Factor for Success

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Leaving a reliable 9-5 job and risking a steady, biweekly paycheck to live out a dream and pursue a totally different lifestyle can be terrifying. However, there is no reason to fear, aspiring entrepreneur!

All successful entrepreneurs understand a few simple principles that enable them to achieve their goals, including how positivity along with taking ownership and accountability for your attitude, actions, and outcomes play a major role in your success.

The Power of Positivity

Never underestimate the power of positivity. Thinking positive thoughts, embodying a positive and healthy lifestyle, and reciting positive affirmations everyday enable you to tap into a higher level of your subconscious.

This is in line with the law of attraction, which says we attract into our lives what we manifest and put our energy into. You attract the energy that you put out into the universe, so the more positivity you put out, the more positivity comes back.

Here are some examples of positive affirmations that are meant to promote success:

  • I have the power to create change.
  • I refuse to give up because I will succeed.
  • I deserve the best and I accept everything that has happened up until now.
  • I am unstoppable and I will achieve all of my goals.

Replace your “I can’t”s with “I can.” Replace your “I won’t”s with “I will.” Speak positive things into existence, and watch your life turn around and have those positive thoughts come about. When you make the effort to make a positive change, the universe will conspire to help you succeed.

What Does It Mean to Be Accountable?

Accountability means to take responsibility and accept ownership for your actions and decisions. This means that you are responsible for the fate of your business. Do you feel that things aren’t taking off as quickly as you originally hoped? Work harder. Not selling thousands of products? Sell harder. Don’t have enough clients? Conduct more cold outreach. Keep your word.

Set goals and intentions and follow through with them. Be responsible and hold accountability for your actions. When you accept responsibility for your actions, you’ll feel rewarded when things work out, and you’ll close more deals, sell more products, and your dreams will come true.

“The price of greatness is responsibility.” –  Winston Churchill

What It Means to Take Control of Your Life & Business

In order to take control of your life and the fate of your business, you must understand your purpose in life and be willing to fulfill that purpose. It’s not enough to only desire a certain lifestyle.

You must stay true to what you really want to do in life. This means that you are mentally prepared to take on everything you need to in order to succeed. You follow strict self-set rules and guidelines that will help to keep you on track toward those dreams and goals. You don’t give up.

You keep going when things get tough, and you never see failure as an obstacle. You aren’t discouraged. You accept minor bumps in the road on the way to your destination, because you know you will ultimately reach your goal, and you won’t stop until you get there.

Here are three factors that personally helped me succeed:

1. Becoming more organized

Prior to organizing my tasks and goals, I was just flying by the seat of my pants and wondering why I wasn’t progressing at all. That’s because I didn’t have a set direction.

Becoming more organized helped me to prioritize what needed to get done in order to grow my business to the place where it’s at today.

2. Starting my off my day with positive affirmations

Positive affirmations are more powerful than you may believe. I started each day reading and reciting a quote that was positive and inspiring in nature, which exponentially increased my motivation and mentally prepared me to take on each day.

“Make each day your masterpiece.” – John Wooden

3. I developed long-term goals and stuck to them

Instead of working every day toward the unknown, I decided to set long-term goals. The kicker in helping me stick to these goals was creating smaller milestones that kept me on track and focused which gradually led me up to the ultimate goal.

Although I recognized that the ultimate achievement (of growing my business) was still at hand, my behavior was reinforced by a consistent sense of accomplishment upon completing these smaller goals.

If you are willing to stay focused, motivated, commit the time, effort, and energy toward reaching your goals, and you truly believe that you can and WILL achieve them, then there is nothing that will stop you in your path toward success.

As William Earnest Henley’s famous poem “Invictus” states, “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.” You are the master of your fate and the captain of your soul. Once you wholeheartedly believe this, then you will harness your true power, unlock your full potential, and begin to live out your truth and reach the level of success you’ve always dreamed of.

What is success to you? Let us know in the comments below!

Image credit courtesy of Twenty20.com

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The 3 P’s of Irresistible Leadership: Passion, Persistence, and Panache

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If any of you reading this have ever studied the theoretical underpinnings of leadership, you will have come across several theories such as the great man theory and charismatic leadership theory. Over the decades, leadership has evolved more from an art of telling people what to do to that of subtle influence, suggestion, and rendering by example.

In my new e-book “High-Octane Leadership: Pole Position Performance,” I mentioned that the goal of the manager is to create followers, but the goal of a leader is to create new leaders! This is a relatively new concept in leadership! There are many new and emerging micro theories of leadership that can be expounded upon and useful to individuals looking to assimilate a leadership style.

Here are the 3 P’s of irresistible leadership:

1. Passion

No great achievements, no illustrious undertakings, and no works of genius have ever occurred without the infusion of passion. Passion creates connections where none existed before.

Passion heightens the desire in the individuals who have opted to follow, and it has moved individuals forward toward a common vision. Leaders such as Steve Jobs, have to demonstrate a sense of passion in everything. Although his passion could be somewhat subdued, there is no doubt that when it came to any Apple products, he was the number one salesperson, champion, and evangelist.

“When you’re surrounded by people who share a passionate commitment around a common purpose, anything is possible.” – Howard Schultz

2. Persistence

For years when I was in direct sales, I had an 8.5 x 11 sheet with a cartoon on it hanging over my desk. It was a crane (that’s the bird, not the machine) who had a frog in his rather ample bill. However, the frog’s arms came out of the side of the crane’s mouth and were clutching the crane by the throat so that he (the crane) couldn’t swallow the frog. Underneath this caption where the words, “never, ever give up!

Leaders persist! They understand that there is always a way to solve the problem. Following this understanding, there must be subsequent action that follows, and this can lead to enthusiasm and optimism!

3. Panache

Leaders are self-confident people. They have systematically developed confidence over the years. In situations where they don’t feel confident, they make themselves feel confident. Confidence is learned. It’s a mental model and a cognitive mindset of how we approach problems.

Leaders understand and know that they will solve the problem before them; it’s not a matter of guessing, it’s a matter of knowing.

“Positivity, confidence, and persistence are key in life, so never give up on yourself.” – Khalid

If you buy the notion of passion, persistence, and panache as attributes of irresistible leadership, the question before us now turns on how do we develop those skills?

Here are a few behaviors that leaders use on a consistent basis to develop new skills:

  • Awareness – Great leaders and irresistible leaders always have their antennae up. They are always looking for ways to improve. They understand that self-improvement is a never-ending process to be embraced, even if the execution of the new behavior is difficult!
  • Repetition – Irresistible leaders practice their new skills. They will practice them in front of their subordinates, their family, and in front of themselves while staring at their face in a bathroom mirror! They understand the way to install a new habit of behavior is like with any habit, repeating it over and over again.
  • Feedback – Irresistible leaders are not afraid to ask how they are doing. And, they are not afraid to hear the answer. They understand that the best answer is that they are doing well but the next best answer is that they are not doing well, instead of not being told about their potential flaw. They understand that input in terms of behavioral awareness is one of the singular most important things one can attribute to leadership performance and style.

Try this: take an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper and draw three columns. Atop each column write passion, persistence, and panache. On the left-hand side in the margin of the page, write awareness and 1/3 of the page down, write repetition, and then at the bottom one third the word feedback.

Writing solidifies thought, and it is that solid thought that motivates us into action. You will find yourself becoming more aware of opportunities to develop in each of the 3 P’s of irresistible leadership. Document them! Then jot down ideas down about how you can repeat those new behaviors. Finally solicit feedback and document what you’ve heard.

In the span of several weeks you will have developed new and exciting leadership attributes. Continue this new and exciting habit for other leadership development opportunities.

Which one of the 3 P’s do you need to work on most and why? Let us know in the comments below!

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