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Leadership is the most critical component of building a thriving business. However, there is a difference between an average leader and effective Leader.

I’ve been away on holiday recently near the Indian Ocean, north of Durban, South Africa. Known as “Umhlanga” the area is famous for its warm coastline and bronze sandy beach, making it a fantastic family getaway.

Anyway,

… …during my time away, (much needed) again it hit me, just an environment can influence a person outlook.

 

I’m not really an early morning jogger. I’m not a jogger at all…  but somehow the fresh ocean air, the athletic locals, roused me out of my comfortable five hotel bed and there I found myself jogging almost each morning.

Amazing feeling!

 

Something else most locals do in Umhlanga, ritualistically.  It’s a must stopover. The small Kiosks, positioned along the neatly paved side path, decorated by the most vividly coloured tropical vegetation, right there is the famous “Jacksonville Coffee Shop!” Now you talking. Coffee my thing!

Standing, and waiting in line for my ‘medium sized, Americano, no milk, no sugar!’ There’s no other way for the connoisseur.

I wondered, “how many coffees do these guys sell per day?” Business is booming.

Smooth and easy as they flow,  I pitched a question, “so tell me…?” “Yes sir!” the barista replied,  “just how many coffees do you sell a day?” As he rolled his eyeballs up, he replied, “…mmm, about a… 1000 to a 1500 cups a day… I guess.”

I made a quick calculation… “If they sell a thousand cups of coffee a day, that’s  8000 plus coffees per week, that’s about four hundred thousand cups a year,  Wow!”  No wonder these guys are so smooth at what they do!

And my point,

… ..after going at the same thing, all the time, it’s clear you get to know a thing or two the average person does not know…. about being a coffee barista.

 

The same principle is true about anything in life;

 

Including leadership!

 

I’ve been studying the subject of leadership since 2008. Leadership is a passion. After examining the lives of some of the world’s greatest leaders, I’ve observed something that has helped me in my personal leadership.  All effective leaders have three characteristics in common, I call the Trinity of Effective Leadership. Regardless of where they  lead, all successful leaders understand and operate with thefollowingg three principles:

 

The Trinity Of Effective Leadership:

 

#1. Great Leaders Demand Results

 

This sounds harsh, but it is true. All effective leaders demand undeniable results that can be counted, measured and felt by the people they lead. Even their competitors glean from their wisdom and come to respect them (even if it is secretive.)

In the end, it is not about effort. Efficiency and effort are not the same things.  Effort no doubt is good and very much needed, but what counts is what is accomplished.

Leaders  are responsible for delivering results, period!

Over the years I’ve come to know the voice of the  average, it sounds like this, “we are doing our best,”  “we are trying.” Sounds sincere… But effective leaders, understand there’s a difference between activity and productivity, activity and productivity.  Great leaders spend their energy on the most effective activities to achieve the greatest outcomes.

Remember, action orientation is good, but being orientated on the right actions is better. Don’t just be busy; be a busy leader who gets results! It’s called productivity.

 

 

#2. Great Leaders Don’t Just Grow In Results, They Grow People

 

Wow! This is what I love the most about being a leader. Great leaders don’t just hit the numbers, they lift the people, the teams and organisations.

Someone once said, “If you want to go fast, go alone if you want to go further, go together.”

If you want to do big things, it requires effectively getting work done through others. If you maintain a mindset of, “If you want it done, you must do it yourself.” Stop! You need to become better at delegating and learn how to accomplish things through others.

This requires developing the people around you. Create an environment where people don’t get discouraged or burnt out, but equip people to become what they never thought they could become and achieve what they never thought they could achieve!

 

 

#3. Great Leaders Don’t Just Grow People, They Grow Themselves

 

This is the secret of legendary leadership. Personal development.

For an organisation to reach its full potential, the leaders must grow first. Developing and growing people is a leader’s highest calling.

However, a leader cannot take people where he has never been before. Self-discipline cannot be easily taught to other leaders it must be demonstrated by you.

One of life’s greatest tragedies is seeing a great vision or talent fail because a leader has not improved themselves.

 

Consider which of these three values you might need working on?

Remember, “smart leaders learn from their own mistakes. Smarter ones learn from others’ mistakes—and successes.”

Time free from workplace obligations seems to become ever more difficult to keep. According to a recent study, 70% of workers struggle with finding a work-life system that works for them.

This means more than 2/3 of your staff are not proactive, distracted, and operating below their potential.

The solution,

For many in the workforce, achieving any type of work-life balance can seem like a myth, especially when technology has made us accessible around the clock and work has become boundariless.

But,

Despite the demanding realities our information industry forces upon us,  there are those that have managed to carve out satisfying and meaningful lives outside of their work.

Too often people believe that to achieve success, one needs to give up their personal life. (This is not true!)

They do not believe that work-life balance is possible in a meaningful way, but it is!

There is no better way to demonstrate this than to hear it directly from some of the most successful people in the world.

Here are some of the tools they practice: 7 Habits Of People Who Have Achieved Work-Life Balance.

 

7 Habits Of Successful People Who Have Achieved Work-Life Balance

 

 

#1. THEY LIVE LIFE BY DESIGN NOT DEFAULT

 

Most people treat “life” as something that just happens.  They’re victims, who react to life and let outside circumstances decide their fate, their agenda.   They live by Default.

On the other hand, there are those, no none achievers.  They walk into any situation and grab it by the horns. They determine the outcome of their day, their week. These people create the life they want to live and don’t accept anything less. They live by Design.

Instead of just letting life happen to you, make some choices to achieve work-life balance. Think about what you want from life and how you want to invest your time?

 

#2. THEY DON’T FOLLOW UNPRODUCTIVE CYCLES

 

Work-life balance going off the rails in your life is usually a result of allowing old and unproductive cycles to continue to control you.

Let old habits and old ways of thinking slide, or you will!

Endeavour to be intentional and uncompromising concerning this.

Winners who stay on top of the surf are good at staying on track by making conscious decisions to continually talk to the important people (mentors, spiritual leaders) in their lives about what is working or not, and make decisions to change direction if needed.

As they say, “when you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount” – get a new horse, and a new whip!

Life is progressive. Situations change. If you don’t realise this, you’ll end up in a place you don’t want to be.

 

 

#3. THEY INVEST TIME FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS AND IMPORTANT INTERESTS

 

People who have managed to carve out a work-life balance, that works for them don’t just wait to see what time is left over after work.

Make it a point to plan and book “time off,” to spend outside of work and vigorously guard this time.

Emergencies are unavoidable.

Unfavourable situations don’t need permission to show up in our lives, from work to other matters; learn to resist any intrusion of this time strongly.

It’s been statistically proven, one of the greatest regrets upon dying is the deep regret that:

“I wish I spent more time with the people I love.”

It’s easy to let that time slip away, but once it’s gone you can never get it back.

Besides, as Steve Blank author of the Startup Owners Manual stated it, “When you’re gone, would you rather have your gravestone say:

‘He never missed a meeting? or one that said, He was a great father.’”

 

I’m so grateful that I’ve learnt to protect this time, regardless!

 

 

 

#4. THEY HAVE DETERMINED THEIR SUCCESS SILHOUETTE

 

People who manage work-life balance have developed a strong sense of who they are, their values and what is important to them.

If your desire for success is greater than your desire to be principled, you will compromise on the essentials of true success.

Having a success silhouette for everything you do helps you determine what success means to you.

Listen to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on this point:

 

“Reconsider your definitions. We are prone to judge success by the index of our salaries or the size of our automobiles rather than by the quality of our service and relationship to mankind.”

 

Wow! That’s food for thought….?

 

 

#5. THEY DETECT AND DUMP DISTRACTIONS FAST

 

People who maintain balance are able to turn off their electronic devices to enjoy uninterrupted, quality time doing things they value and enjoy.

They realise that multitasking is a myth and focusing on the task at hand is the key to “living in the moment.”

They learn to “compartmentalise” their time.

Don’t confuse having a career with having a life or a family life. If you are a spiritual person like me, invite God into every department of your life.

Learn to be present in each moment, experience and savour life.

Consider the power of meditation (see my article: 7 Sacred Minutes with God), listen to more music (I love classical), do physical activity (I could improve a whole lot on this one) or some other interest that allows you to get away from the pressures of everyday life – to relax, rejuvenate and regenerate your spirit, soul and body.

Remember, “balance is not better time management, but better boundary management.”

 

#6. THEY ARE PASSIONATELY GOAL DRIVEN

 

Many people go through life and get caught up in situations and circumstances that end up controlling them.

Generally, 80% of all of the activity that you are involved in right now is taking you nowhere.

Discern what is the 20 % of things that matter and move towards your dream and give yourself wholeheartedly to it.

Balance can only be achieved when plans are defined around time frames and a passionate determination to make some sacrifices to get what you want in the end. For example, many entrepreneurs typically plan to spend a substantial amount of time in the early part of their businesses.

Those that achieve balance down the road see this as a sacrifice that will allow them to spend extra time and energy in other areas they are passionate about once the business is established.

The greater the sacrifice the greater the glory of leisure!

 

 

 

#7. THEY SURROUND THEMSELVES WITH THE WISE AND CARING

 

People who have achieved good balance have surrounded themselves with other people who are wiser them they are (either through books or friendships.) As the ancient proverbs say, “Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.”

Gravitate towards wise people and move away from the unwise. How can you tell the wise apart from the foolish?

The answer is very simple actually,

The wise, have a consistent track record or a history of making wise decisions which are evident in their lives.

Don’t be fooled with titles, positions or money. Find a strategic life and business mentor and also built a strong support network, (family, friends, church family) they can depend upon to help them get through difficult times.

 

The most important person in my life next to my Maker is my wife. Listen to this piece of wisdom from, Sheryl Sandberg, (COO of Facebook),

 

“The most important career decision you’ll make is who your life partner is.”

I love this!

 

And finally,  as you endeavour to find work-life balance, learn to become more generous with your life, time, talent and money, wisely. Extend yourselves to help out others, serve your community and Church.

Have a variety of interests, don’t just live for yourself or your family. Always be open to new learning and possibilities.  I love this statement from Zuckerberg,

 

“I spend most of my time thinking about how to connect the world and serve our community better, but a lot of that time isn’t in our office or meeting with people or doing what you’d call real work. I take a lot of time just to read and think about things by myself.” ―Mark Zuckerberg

 

So there you have it, the 7 Habits of Successful People. 

Experience life to the fullest. Don’t just exist, live!  

 

Surprising facts about workplace productivity you must know. Most people I know are looking for ways to be more productive on their job.

In today’s inspiration, I’ve decided to compile a list of Thirty Facts about Productivity in the workplace from research I have been working on.

30 Facts about Productivity in the Workplace:

1. Happy employees are 12% more productive than others.

2. Unhappy workers prove 10% less productive.

3. Financial incentives aren’t enough to ensure highly productive employees.

4.Tuesday is the most productive day of the week.

5. Listening to music while working helps people get things done faster.

6. Multitasking leads to as much as a 40% drop in productivity, increased stress and a 10% drop in IQ.

7. Project management software is used by 87% of high-performing companies.

8. After working 40 hours in a week, productivity decreases by 50%.

9. People with a best friend at work are 7 times more likely to engage fully in their work.

10. People are more productive on days when they exercise before work.

11. Their productivity of 25% of office workers decreased in the summer time.

12. Adults who regularly get 7.5 to 9 hours of sleep per night are up to 20% more productive.

13. Office workers who sit near windows and in an air controlled environment are more productive and have lower rates of absenteeism.

14. Workers spend more than 25% of their day in reading and answering emails. If they check emails at set points in the day, it will increase their productivity.

15. Working for 90 minutes, followed by 20 minute breaks allows us to be more productive.

16. For maximum productivity, it’s necessary that every desk is organised.

17. Drinking sufficient amounts of water/liquid can increase your daily productivity by 14%.

18. Live plants in a work environment help productivity.

19. Productivity decreases 60% if we eat unhealthy food.

20. Strategic delegating of tasks increases productivity.

21. Starring at the colour green can make you more creative and productive.

22. Meditation can improve your productivity.

23. Employees with strong social support, both at home or work, tend to be happier and better at dealing with stress.

24. Most employees have mentally checked out from 4 pm – 6 pm.

25. Focus on critical tasks in the morning.

26. Vacations recharge employee’s batteries.

27. Productivity takes a hit one week before a major holiday.

28. You cannot force people into productivity.

29. Too many meetings hinder productivity.

30. Poor workflow management is the biggest culprit for loss in productivity and stress.