Finding Success in the Corporate World
In the corporate world, two traits are critical to your success:
When you know what you want out of life, you have to first identify your strengths, and then be able to leverage those strengths to get the desired result and reach your goals.
In simple terms, successful people are successful in their field; they’re not successful at everything!
So, if you are good at following orders and playing by the rules (think traditional school setting), then double down on that. Erik Decker in Barking up the Wrong tree refers to this trait as being a filtered leader.
Struggling to find out what your strengths are? Ask yourself, “What am I good at that consistently produces the desired result”?
You have to be continually monitoring yourself (a weekly review or a project review tend to be best) to determine what you’ve done well, and not so well. For example, as a salesperson, did you find more success this week when reaching out via email or by a phone call?
Maybe your call success is better because you are personable and energetic, qualities which wouldn’t necessarily come out in written word.
So you start making more phone calls instead of emails, start seeing more success, start leaning into that method because you also enjoy it, and the upward spiral continues.
The environment in which you work in as just as important as your self-awareness. Your talents and abilities have to align with the office that will yield success for you.
For example, the move toward telecommuting by many companies has been a huge success for the self-motivated. But the lack of facetime and structure also found many standing in front of the fridge in their pajamas at 11 am, accomplishing very little.
Some people crave structure, some people despise it and depending on how a particular company is set up you could thrive or be an epic failure depending on what your ideal productivity environment is.
When these two inputs are aligned, magic happens. So turn the telescope on yourself, notice what you like and what you’re good at. Then turn the telescope on different companies and institutions to find out which ones value how you operate. The combination of the two is your winning formula.
How Fitness Makes You A Better Leader
The winter months are quickly leaving us which means its time to welcome spring and get onto losing those extra pounds you’ve accumulated over the winter.
Physical activity is the best way to improve cognitive functions and given that the majority of the workday involves problem solving and focus, executives who make fitness a priority will have the advantage over those who don’t.
All of the highest performing leaders we coach maintain good physical fitness all year round. These clients in the business world know full well the extra challenges of jet lag, restaurant meals and fatigue brought on by work travel demands. They definitely do not have more time than other people – they simply make it a priority in their life.
It takes energy to travel, to lead a team and a company and to stay sharp in long meetings. Apple CEO Tim Cook is a well known fitness buff and his commitment to working out shows. Apple staffers tell incredible stories of Cook’s stamina, especially on international trips where he remains the most energetic person in the room, even after 12 hour flights.
Exercise is just as good for your brain as it is for your muscles. We are now learning how exercise can improve concentration, learning, focus and memory, and can even prevent and treat mental illnesses.
Harvard psychiatrist Dr. John Ratey explains this concept in his book Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain. He says: “Physical activity sparks biological changes that encourage brain cells to bind to one another. The more neuroscientists discover about this process, the clearer it becomes that exercise provides an unparalleled stimulus, creating an environment in which the brain is ready, willing and able to learn.”
In fact, the time commitment required to add exercise to already packed day isn’t as much as you might imagine. We can program a results based workout program you can perform in 30 min 2-3 times a week that results in major payoffs.
At the end of the day, being strong, mentally and physically will enable you to get through those long days and make the decisions necessary to lead effectively.