5 Ways to Improve My Leadership in 2014

Soon, 2013 will be gone and we’ll be welcoming 2014 into our lives. As I near the end of each year, I like to take a few hours and assess my leadership effectiveness for the past year. In doing this, several years ago I made a commitment to myself. I pledged that, each year, I would become a better leader than I was the year before. I realized that every year I made mistakes. I was also aware that, in most cases, I was able to identify the cause or causes of those mistakes. Sadly however, it became far too clear that I rarely made the necessary changes to prevent the same mistakes in the future.

Hammer-plans

Work-the-System-photo

Work the System: The Simple Mechanics of Making More and Working Less (Austin, TX: Greenleaf Book Group Press, 2011)

Work The System: The Simple Mechanics of Making More and Working Less, guides the reader in modifying his or her perception of the world, moving from a false vision of chaotic conglomeration, to a more accurate one: that life is an orderly collection of individual linear systems each of which can be improved and perfected. The reader is guided through the process of ”getting” this new vision, and then through the specifics of applying it via a ”system improvement” protocol. For start-ups or existing businesses the methodology is simple, believable, and mechanical; not mystical or theoretical. Carpenter developed this “Systems Mindset” protocol in the business he purchased in 1984 and still owns today. With that company, he moved from an 80-100 hour workweek to a 2 hour workweek, while multiplying his income dozens of times over. He is CEO of an international business consulting firm and several other businesses and non-profits, each operated in the same systems mindset fashion. With a diverse background in engineering, construction, publishing, telecommunications and journalism, he calls his approach a “workingman’s philosophy.” Seeworkthesystem.com/testimonials.

Work the System: The Simple Mechanics of Making More and Working Less will show business owners how to achieve a positive macro result by looking at their business and work on a micro level; by analyzing and refining each of the internal systems, the systems that, added together, comprise the whole business entity. Readers will learn how to tweak this “system of systems” in order to maximize profits, create client loyalty, and develop autonomous employees. The strategies also help individuals dramatically improve performance as well as decrease the stress of being overtaxed and disorganized, ultimately resulting in a substantially shorter work week and a much improved bottom line. See testimonials of readers at workthesystem.com/testimonials.

The_Power_of_Habit

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business (New York, NY: Random House, 2012)

We’re all familiar with habits. Most often we think of habits in the negative sense… as in, bad habits. Of course, there are good habits as well as those not so good.

In his book, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business, New York Times reporter Charles Duhigg shines light on the research of habits. He shows us the science behind why habits exist and what we can do to change them. As we read this book, we begin to gain new understanding regarding if and how we can change.

Duhigg looks at both companies and individuals. He uncovers why some never successfully execute change regardless of how hard they try, yet others achieve transformation with seemingly little effort.

Duhigg pulls back the curtain and allows us, the readers, to more clearly understand how habits really work. He gives us hope – the hope that we can change. We can rid our lives of those bad and unproductive habits that are dragging us down and replace them with behaviors that will create success in our lives and businesses.

This is definitely a must-read.

Review of Calendars 5 by Readdle

My entire life is in my calendar. I can’t imagine not having immediate access, regardless of where I am, to my schedule. That’s why I use a calendar that syncs between my Mac, my iPhone, and my iPad. All I do is enter an appointment on one of my devices and, like magic, it shows up on all my devices. Syncing, of course, is not new. It’s been around quite some time, but it is nonetheless, critical to me – and I suspect many others.

While reliable syncing is a non-negotiable in terms of my scheduling, another key factor is the actual tool itself – the calendar. For quite some time, I’ve used Calendars+ by Readdle. Calendars+ works great. I love it. It has made my life much easier. If you’re a Calendars+ user, you know what I mean. Calendars+ offers lots of advantages over the built-in iOS calendars on the iPhone and iPad.

Calenders-5

Startup CEO

Startup CEO: A Field Guide to Scaling Up Your Business (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley & Sons, 2013)

I don’t care if you’re a first time CEO or a veteran of the corner office, you need to read this book!

While big company CEOs are usually groomed for the job for years, startup CEOs aren’t—and they’re often young and relatively inexperienced in business in general. Author Matt Blumberg, a technology and marketing entrepreneur, knows this all too well. Back in 1999, he started a company called Return Path, which later became the driving force behind the creation of his blog, OnlyOnce—because “you’re only a first time CEO once.”

Now, more than a decade later, he’s written Startup CEO. As the fifth book in the StartUp Revolutionseries, this reliable resource is based on Blumberg’s experience as a startup CEO and covers a number of issues he’s faced over the dozen years he’s been a CEO.

  • Offers valuable insights into how the CEO sets the overall vision and strategy of the company and communicates it to all stakeholders
  • Discusses how to build a company’s human capital by recruiting, hiring, and retaining the very best talent
  • Examines how a CEO must align available resources with the company’s strategy in order to ensure success
  • Addresses what it takes to master the “How” of being a CEO—from leading an executive team to managing in any type of market

Engaging and informative, this book is essential reading for any, and every, CEO.

Click here to purchase Startup CEO: A Field Guide to Scaling Up Your Business

Why I Still Use Things (as my task manager)

It seems every time I go online, there’s a new task manager app available. Some to them look pretty good. Some, well… not so much. I’m sure there are some fantastic apps out there to help me manage my To-Dos, but I really don’t want to take the time to learn another system. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve tried lots of other task management solutions. I download the free trial, give it a shot for 30-days, then realize it’s either no better that what I was using or it’s just too complicated and I’m not getting (and may never get) the full benefit of all the product’s bells and whistles.

Things-cropped

Four Steps to Your Most Productive Day Ever

Today, we’re all busier than ever. Technology has not reduced our workload. In many cases, it has added to the amount we’re expected to accomplish each day. In the midst of our  chaotic days, we don’t have to look very hard to find the latest advice regarding how to be more productive. The problem however, is we don’t have the time to learn a new productivity system. So, what do we do?

Productivity-cropped

How to Survive as a Leader: Seven Things You Should Do

Lots of people want to be a leader. A leader of something. Many have the idea that being a leader means you have all the power or you can tell everyone else what to do. Often we confuse leadership with dictatorship. I sometimes hear, from leader “wannabes,” things like, “If I was in charge, here’s what I would do.” Or, “If I was the boss, I’d change that, and that, and make everyone do this.” Ah, if only it were so easy.

message-in-a-bottle-cropped