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We spend a significant amount of time in the office, meaning we’re spending a significant amount of time with the same people on a daily basis. When we look back at good and bad jobs, it often boils down to the people we worked with either making even the worst jobs manageable and the bad jobs nightmares that live with us for the rest of our lives.

In fact, people spend a third of their lives in the office. Who wants to spend all that time either sitting around silently waiting for five o’clock or arguing and bringing all that stress home? It’s much easier mentally to be friendly with the people you’ll have to see again and again. We feel as if we’re truly part of a team out to make a difference when we’re all looking at work from a positive point-of-view.

Businesses rely on employees being friendly with each other as well. Functional teams who know how to work together get more done throughout the day and work more efficiently than teams who are unable to work together, stay organized, and focus more on avoiding one another or arguing, which takes away from the more important tasks that keep a business running.

The health benefits from being friendly with the people you work with are also extremely important to consider. Stress levels are lower, which helps keep blood pressure low and the risk of heart attacks low. When people come home from work stressed, it takes a toll on one’s health and also has an effect on the people around them.

Here, we’re going to break down GetVoIP’s 12 science-backed benefits from making friends at work that will hopefully motivate you and everyone you work with to be better people in general.

People who are friendly with each other tend to have less anxiety, lower blood pressure, fewer headaches and are less likely to be depressed. These all play a significant role in our work lives, even though they aren’t always the most obvious symptoms of a poor work environment. Many people believe that tension at work is commonplace, and in some cases it is; however, if you’re coming home every single day stressed and tired and living for the weekend, it’s probably time to consider working elsewhere if all hope seems lost.

However, if there is a chance of solving stressful issues at work, there’s little reason not to try. Friends pick you up when you’re down; friends help ensure the team stays productive as possible. When productivity is high and the work is running smoothly, there’s very little reason to complain. If all it takes to be more productive is to be friendly with one another, and your business or employees aren’t making the effort, or feel as if the environment they work in doesn’t call for friendly relationships with one another, it’s time to change that mindset.

There is a direct correlation between employee experience and customer experience. If employees are coming into work happy, they’re going to interact with customers in a more positive way. If customers are working with happy employees, they pick up on that and they’re more likely to do business with you. Happiness is contagious, and it’s time to start taking advantage.

The post 12 Science-backed Benefits from Making Friends at Work appeared first on Gordon Tredgold.

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No one knows the business as well as you do, so you might as well retain control over everything, right? If you give someone a task to do, you need to look over his or her shoulders the entire time, making sure the employee is doing it the way you want.

That’s called micromanaging, and it’s one of the worst leadership styles out there.

So, why do employers micromanage? It comes down to trust and confidence. They don’t trust the employees they have hired, and they don’t have confidence in themselves as leaders. They are so afraid to give up control that they look over their employees’ shoulders at every turn.

The micromanagement continues to deplete the manager’s confidence, and it’s awful for the employees, too.

Micromanagement leads to disengagement. If you constantly look of an employee’s shoulder, he or she will assume you don’t trust the work. Then, the employee will become disengaged, and that will cost you.

Just how much? Well, the book “12: The Elements of Great Managing” puts the cost at around $600,000 a year for a standard 10,000-person company. That $600,000 comes from days when disengaged employees don’t perform any work at all.

Enough with the doom and gloom. Let’s see how you can finally stop micromanaging so you can become a more effective leader.

How to Stop Micromanaging

You might think, “I’ve been micromanaging for years. It’s just who I am.” Maybe it’s who you were, but it’s not who you are. You can change it right now and become a more effective leader for your employees.

Step 1 – Reflect

As with all important changes, you need to start the process with some reflection. Why are you micromanaging your team?

There’s a good chance it’s insecurity, and you might want to push that feeling back down. Let it come up, though. It’s normal to be afraid that your team will make a mistake and it will reflect badly on you. While it’s normal, it’s not healthy. Micromanagement is a form of overcompensation.

Once you know the reasons you micromanage, it’s time to counter them. Come up with counterpoints for each of the reasons so you’ll remember why it’s important to avoid micromanagement.

Step 2 – Talk to the Team

If possible, hire a third party to come in and talk to your team about your management style. Make the process confidential so your subordinates will open up. Have the third party ask the team if you micromanage and what impact it has on them. This will help you understand your true management style and what you need to fix.

Step 3 – Learn to Prioritize

Micromanagers tend to be awful at prioritizing. Everything is important, so they have to sign off on every little detail before the team can move forward. In reality, you don’t need to be involved in every little task, but you do need to be involved in some. Look at the tasks your team handles and how those tasks help you reach your overall goals. Then, determine which tasks are the most important.

For instance, strategic planning is critical, and you should be involved. Proofreading a presentation isn’t all that important, and you can leave that to your team.

By prioritizing the tasks, you will finally become a real leader. You will handle what you need to handle and sit back and let the team take the lead on less important issues. It will empower them without putting your company at risk.

Step 4 – Have a Conversation

You have to let your employees know what changes to expect. Once you know what you need to be involved in and what you’re going to step back on, let them know. Explain when they need to get approval and when they can take the lead themselves. This will empower your employees. They will be excited about taking ownership of certain aspects of projects. This will engage them, and they will get more work done than ever before.

If employees still come to you for approval on areas you’ve delegated to them, just tell them you trust them and back away. This will show them that you’re serious about your new management style.

The Takeaway

It’s important to be an engaged leader, but engagement and micromanagement are not the same things. You need to have trust your team to take on some of the less important responsibilities. That will free up your time to make sure all projects align with your overall goals. It will also empower your employees and allow them to take ownership of certain tasks. That ownership will give them a sense of pride. Also, as you start trusting your employees, they will start trusting you, too. That will make it much easier for you to be an effective leader.

PUBLISHED ON: MAR 12, 2018 Inc click here to read the original article.

The post If You Want To Boost Employee Engagement Then Stop Doing This appeared first on Gordon Tredgold.

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Over the past several months I’ve actually written very few articles on Leadership, and part of the reason for that is what we see going on in the world of politics, both in the US and UK.

What is passing for leadership defies all the currently held norms of what leadership is, especially good leadership.

One of the cornerstones of leadership is trust and you only have to watch a handful of news programs to see the trust levels of the current leaders is at an all-time low.

I have never seen things this bad before.

Sure there have been scandals or issues, Richard Nixon and Watergate, Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky, George Bush & Tony Blair and the Weapons of Mass destruction, etc., but things seem to be at a level we have never seen before, especially in Western Countries.

Bribery scandals, obstructions of justice, power grabs, spreading false stories, paying off porn stars, self-interest deals, isolationism, lack of clear strategy, challenging the rule of law, misleading people, lying, attacking people, firing staff you’ve recently appointed, a lack of unity within the government, weak opposition, criticizing the media, disputing verifiable facts, dismissing science, the list goes on and on, and it’s on both sides of the Atlantic.

These things have started me to question what is leadership, what is acceptable, what are the norms and what should they be.

For these leaders, there are millions of people who disagree with them and call them out, but equally, there are many people who support them and encourage them to go further.

We are living in a post-truth era, and for some people that just doesn’t matter, they are prepared to ignore that, as long as their chosen leader does what’s of interest to them.

I’ve just completed a draft of my next books, “20 Habits of Highly Unsuccessful and Ineffective Leaders”, and yet I can’t bring myself to send it to potential publishers, because nearly all of those habits are displayed by many of our current leaders. Who you could argue are successful given that they occupy some of the highest leadership positions in the world.

So what does this mean for leadership?

Is trust no longer a prerequisite?

Will people follow you even if you’re crooked, a liar, an adulterer, as long as they think you will deliver their agenda?

Are we living in a time where the ends do justify the means?

Leaders can do whatever they want as long as they deliver on the promise they were elected to deliver?

To be honest, I will not be changing my leadership style, I will still continue to lead in a way that I think is good leadership, but I am perplexed as to what the impact this will have on future leadership styles.

I write this article to ask you your thoughts, to get your insights and see what you are thinking, to help me increase my understanding.

The post Leadership: What the hell is happening? appeared first on Gordon Tredgold.

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Gordon Tredgold by Gordon Tredgold - 3w ago

To be honest, you don’t actually need a plan. You can live a great life just taking things as they come, leaving yourself open to opportunities as they arise. I know many people who take this approach, and it serves them well, very well in fact.

But without a plan, the probability of achieving our full potential is small. Creating plans and the act of planning are hugely beneficial to us; they give us clarity about what we are looking to achieve, they open our minds to possibilities and help us reach our aims faster.

As a mathematician, I know that the shortest path between two points is a straight line, and it’s having a plan that helps us identify that straight line, that shortest path.

Without a plan, we are just wandering aimlessly, and wandering aimlessly is never going to help us find a short path let alone the shortest route.

Why do I mention this today? I say it because recently, that’s just what I have been doing, I’ve been drifting along, without a plan for about 9 months, seeing which way the currents are taking me. This drifting has led me to move back to Germany and to take a role that I am very good at, but not one that I find very inspiring.

When we stop to plan, we give up control of our destiny to chance, leave our fate to luck. As I said earlier, there is nothing wrong with that approach, as long as we are prepared to settle for what comes our way.

I did set some goals at the start of the year, one of which was to contribute to Forbes, something that I achieved in March, to land a Tedx Talk, which I recently signed on to deliver one at Belfort France in November.

So I know that when we put our minds to things, set goals, plan and then take action we can achieve amazing things, but in my recent malaise, I lost sight of that a little bit.

Today I’ve decided to change things, to retake control, to decide on the direction I want to go in, and the results that I want to achieve. I don’t want to live a life of regret thinking about what could have been.

This is why we need to plan.
This is why we need to set goals.
Because only then can we identify the shortest path to our goals, and start to take the actions to achieve them

The post Why We Need A Plan appeared first on Gordon Tredgold.

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Great leadership is about creating great relationships with your teams and inspiring them to go above and beyond. Here are 15 things that great leaders say to create highly engaged and motivated teams.

I’d love your input.

When we ask people to contribute, we show that we value their opinion, respect their expertise. There is the added benefit that they become more committed when they are more involved.

It’s time to go home we can get back to this tomorrow.

We all talk about work-life balance, but how many of us practice it with our staff. Yes there ae days when we need to work long hours, but we shouldn’t let this just become a habit as that will lead to burn out. If there is no need for the staff to be working late then let them go early, it will be much appreciated.

Sorry, my fault.

No one is perfect and by owning up to mistakes it builds trust, and it also sets a great example for the rest of the team. When accountability starts at the top, the rest of the team will model it.

Great effort, we will get there next time.

Recognising success is great, but not everything ends in success. If the team put in great effort but just didn’t quite make it, then we should at least praise the effort. What gets recognized gets repeated, and we want that great effort to be repeated.

I just told your boss what a great job you did.

It’s great to tell someone they did a great job, but you score extra points if you share that with others too, especially their direct boss. It makes the praise feel more authentic and genuine s you’re prepared to share it with someone else.

What do you need from me to make this a success?

This is my favorite approach to leadership as it clearly shows that we are in this together and that their success is one of our concerns, and we are more than happy to contribute to it. It also clarifies whether or not hey they everything they need to be successful. Once they say I have everything I need, then they have accepted accountability for the outcome which will help increase the probability of success.

I value your contribution.

Everyone wanted to feel valued and needed as it helps to build confidence and self-esteem. The more confident our teams are the better, as confidence is a key contributor to achieving success.

So what did we learn from this that we can use next time?

Mistakes are always going to happen, but by asking this question we avoid the blame game and we can look to learn from it and improve for the next attempt.

I have complete faith in you.

It pays dividends to let your teams know that you trust in their abilities as it will help them build trust in their abilities.

How could we do this better?

There is nothing worse than an arrogant know it all leader who thinks he’s cornered the market in great ideas. Trust me I know I worked for one. With this one phrase, you dispell that illusion and show that you’re open to input, and that collaboration will help us achieve the best results.

Are you sure that you have the capacity to do this now?

Too many people struggle to say no to the boss, often committing to the workload that is both unhealthy, and will not lead to success. By asking the question genuinely and with concern it will allow people to agree to what is achievable without seriously over committing themselves. It also acts to remind them that we are interested in their health and success.

Let me call my secretary to book us meeting.

It can be daunting for staff to book a meeting with the boss, especially if they have a secretary who guards theirs with the ferocity of a Pitbull. If you’re serious about having a meeting to discuss things, then be the one to arrange the meeting, it sets a completely different tone and shows that the meeting is important to you. Also, your secretary is much less likely to shuffle it if time gets tight.

Great job!

Two of greatest words any employee can hear from their boss. Simple, zero costs and massively impactful. The more you say it, the more you will have to say it as performance will improve.

Thanks

Politeness costs nothing. A lack of politeness, on the other hand, shows disrespect and a feeling of entitlement, neither of which is going to build trust and loyalty within the team.

How are you doing?

‘No one cares how much you know until they know you care’ is one of my favorite Theodore Roosevelt quotes and the best way to show you care is to ask people how they are doing.

Leadership is often seen as difficult and complex, but by just using these 15 simple phrases it will help you to keep it simple and create highly engaged teams.

Article first appeared in Inc in 2016

The post 15 Things You Can Say That Will Make You a Much Better Leader appeared first on Gordon Tredgold.

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Becoming a consultant of any kind can be difficult in today’s ultra-competitive climate, especially in a niche like photography where a certain level of expertise is an understood prerequisite. If you’re planning on becoming a photography consultant, hopefully you already have some experience as a photographer, and if not, you should be prepared to gain some if you want to be taken seriously by prospective clients. With that said, if this is something you’re passionate about getting into, consider the following 5 tips to get the ball rolling in your newfound career.

1.     Target the Mobile Photography Niche

As a conventional photographer, you might not be interested in the mobile side of things, but there is a huge gap left to be filled for consultants in this sector. With the iPhone and other mobile devices having new photography accessories and apps introduced every year, and mobile apps controlling photography drones, there’s a whole new consulting market out there just waiting to be conquered. You can use mobile tech blogs like Moblivious.com to follow trending tech in the mobile scene, which will help you stay knowledgeable and ahead of the adaptation curve for the benefit of your clients and your reputation.

2.     Have an Overwhelming Portfolio of Your Own

Nobody wants to listen to a consultant that has nothing to back their claims of expertise, which is why most industry consultants are seasoned veterans in their niche. The “fake it until you make it” approach can work in some niches, but photography consultants really have to know their stuff when advising other photographers because they tend to be a savvy bunch. Thus, it’s important to have an impressive photography portfolio on your website and social networking profiles to show evidence of your skills and give people a reason to contact you.

3.     Prove the Business Value You Provide

Proving your ability to take great pictures is one thing, but what most clients are really interested in is being able to sell their photography and make a living from it. Prospective clients want to see metrics, screenshots, testimonials, and any other kind of proof that’s shows you’re worth a consultation fee. Blogging about your promotional process and publishing case studies of previous clients are additional ways you can bolster your image as a photography consultant.

4.     Study Lighting, Angles, and Editing

Even if you already have decent knowledge as a photographer, brushing up on the skills side of the equation can go a long way in making you sound more knowledgeable during initial consultations. You want your clients to think “hey, this guy not only showed me how I can sell my photography but also how I can make it better.”

5.     Become a Master Marketer

Every consultant should know that half the job is all about marketing, as is the case with most other businesses. If you can become a highly proficient marketer, you’ll be able to help clients achieve their goals reliably using your promotional skill set to get the job done.

These 5 tips should help you become the photography consultant you’ve always dreamed of being. Now that you have the tools, it’s time to go out and show the world what you’ve got. Remember, every picture tells a story and yours are epic, so don’t be afraid to promote them. Yours is a story waiting to be told. Now go and tell it!

The post 5 Tips for Aspiring Photography Consultants appeared first on Gordon Tredgold.

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Just a few short years ago, artificial intelligence was seen as something of a fantasy more suited to sci-fi novels than everyday life. Looking around at the digital landscape today and AI has infiltrated many areas of our lives. Anyone who talks to Siri, asks a question of a chatbot or views adverts on Amazon has been touched by AI. But for all the progress of artificial intelligence, we’ve only seen a fraction of the opportunities it will provide.

A 2017 survey by Forbes found that CEOs felt AI/Machine Learning was more important than virtual reality, advanced robotics and nanotechnology. If you’re a business manager, you can’t afford to ignore all the change that AI is set to bring about.

Artificial intelligence will soon have quite a few practical applications for business. These practical AI applications can manifest in all sorts of ways, depending on your organizational needs and the business intelligence insights derived from the data you collect. But it won’t be something you can decide on one day and implement the next. Your business must make specific preparations now to ensure you aren’t left behind

In this article, we highlight 4 things that your business needs to be doing to ensure you’re ready to take advantage of AI, even if the AI-based applications you end up using are still a couple of years off.

Learn what AI can do and what you want it to do

The first step is to take the time to become familiar with what modern AI can do. You, as a business owner, cannot afford not to understand the capabilities of AI. To do so could end up costing you a lot of great opportunities. Take advantage of the wealth of online information and resources available to familiarize yourself with the basic concepts of AI. Online courses are also available through institutions as prestigious as Stanford University and the Columbia Business School.

Once you’ve brushed up on what AI can do, you need to determine what you need AI to do. Start by thinking about how you can add AI capabilities to your existing products and services, with a particular focus on your current processes. Hold discussion groups within the company to find out which processes you can save time and money on by automating. Many of these processes may be time-consuming and laborious so it would be worth automating these tasks, allowing your employees to focus on higher-value responsibilities.

Sort out your data

The output that AI can provide for your company is limited to the quality and quantity of data you put into it. It simply isn’t possible to progress with AI until your data issues are fixed, and all companies have data issues that need fixing.

To give you a better understanding of how suitable your data is, ask yourself a few questions.

Is your data contextually relevant?

Most AI systems are good at determining correlations, but they don’t understand the surrounding data. To avoid any misinterpretation, you should give the AI both the data and the context. This will help it understand the facts surrounding the data and ensure the solutions it presents are relevant.

Is it structured?

However your company implements AI, you’ll need data that is consistently formatted and labeled. Start putting the right structure in place now so don’t have a huge mess to clean up later. Data management tools are great for connecting, collecting and unifying business data, leaving you with clean, easy to digest data that your AI can use. As Garth Laird, CEO of ZAP says,

“It is vital that corporations first invest in solutions that align their data to achieve a trusted data store.”

The more clean, classified and meaningful data you can gather now, the more you’ll get out of AI in the future

Is it enough?

Making predictions based on a small set of data will likely yield poor results. If you’re not collecting enough data, even the best AI technology won’t be of much use to use to you.

Plug your skills gaps

Using AI doesn’t have to require a major investment in systems and people. Most businesses are likely to have a good enough data infrastructure and people scattered across the organization who have the skills to leverage it. But it’s important that you encourage learning wherever possible through further training and education.

As well as increasing the chances of successful adoption of the new technology, investing in training helps your company stay competitive in the short-term and cultivate talented employees to become forward-thinking leaders in the future.

There’s a large number of online courses you could subsidize, as well as university classes or advanced degree programs. There are also on-site training sessions and workshops available. Make sure that all training and learning sessions are tailored to the needs of your company. You’ll need to consider your industry, company size, and data needs. Consulting with an educational expert about choosing a course may also prove beneficial.

Start small

When your employees are ready and your infrastructure is in place, it’s time to start building and integrating. If your goal is to build an all-knowing AI system that is able to solve your every business problem, you’re almost certainly going to fail. So it’s important to be realistic. Start small with AI applications with specific, discrete functions and keep in mind what your company is capable of doing at that time. Targeting low hanging fruit is a good place to start. For example, look for ways to automate laborious processes in order to free up time for your employees. You can refer back to the research you did at the start of this process.

Once you’ve got the hang of this, look for problems you can scale. Build on the data science techniques that others have used and see how you can modify these to suit your own needs. As you tackle these problems, you’ll be building the institutional knowledge required to solve similar issues in the future.

IBM, in conjunction with the TSA, built on simple object recognition technology with the aim of applying it to object detection for baggage screening. This new ‘visual’ recognition could then be taken further to answer more sophisticated questions about behaviour. For example, “What does preparation for a terrorist attack look like?” All that started from an AI that could tell the difference between an apple and orange. Automation will change your company, and by utilizing these four steps you may be surprised at how quickly you see results. More importantly, you’ll be creating an opportunity to grow your company into a stronger, more productive organization, both now and well into the future. Integrating AI isn’t an easy thing to do, but it’s also not something that any innovative organization can ignore for long.

The post 4 Things Every Company Needs To Do To Prepare For AI appeared first on Gordon Tredgold.

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Great leaders don’t just provide great answers to questions; they also ask great questions. You can learn so much by asking great questions, and this a fantastic habitto develop.

As well as helping you to increase your knowledge and understanding, it also makes your teams feel more involved because when you listen to them, it shows that you value their input, all of which increases their commitment and motivation.

Here are five great questions that great leaders ask.

Is there a simpler solution or a simpler way of doing this?

Many people have a natural tendency to over-complicate things, especially when under pressure, and as leaders you need to step back, take a pause and ask whether there is a simpler solution that we could implement.

Complex solutions are usually easier to find, and simpler solutions or simpler ways of doing things take a little bit longer. As a leader, you need to give your teams the time to take a breath and see if there is an alternative which could be easier.

The people closest to the problem often have the best understanding of it, but might not be involved in designing the solution, so it’s always good to get their input.

What you need is a solution that is going to work in practice not just in theory.

Can you explain the solution to me?

If something doesn’t quite add up, or you don’t understand how the solution is going to work ask the experts to explain it to you. If they can’t explain it, then they don’t fully understand the solution, and if they don’t understand it, who does. When you lack understanding into how our solution will work, you’re probably staring down the barrel of failure.

Also, when people explain things it requires them to think them through again, often at a deeper level, and I have often seen this increase their understanding of the solution, or they notice an issue that they were previously not aware of.

The better you understand the solution the clearer you can explain it, and if you can explain it clearly, then you can get everyone on the same page, all of which increases your probability of success.

What should we stop doing?

At every company I have worked there has been lots, and lots, of institutionalized bureaucracy which just adds unnecessary tasks which dilute effectiveness and efficiency.

You can see great returns when you ask your teams if they were in charge what would they stop doing.

But you need to be open to the answers that you get, and you should create an environment where people feel comfortable saying what they truly believe.

At one company where I worked, we had a regular monthly meeting where the senior leadership team spent two days locked in a room with the boss listening to presentations.

Every single person who attended told me that these meetings were useless, meaningless and an utter waste of time. However, whenever the boss asked us what things we could stop doing to improve our effectiveness no one ever mentioned canceling the meetings although we all believed it because we knew the answer would not be well received.

You need to give your teams the comfort to be able to tell you what adds no value, otherwise, the institutionalized bureaucracy will limit your effectiveness.

Is this urgent or important?

In today’s highly pressurized world you are bombarded with urgent things which constantly demand your attention, but quite often these are just urgent but not important.

As leaders, you need to ensure that the majority of your time, and the time of your team, is spent on the important items, whether they be urgent or not. Otherwise, you will always find ourselves under pressure.

A great approach that I learned early in my career, from one of the most effective bosses I had was, always try and start the day with a couple of things that are important, but which are not necessarily urgent.

One of the interesting things with important things is that eventually, they will become urgent, but if you can deal with them before they become urgent, you have more time to come up with a better solution.

Do you think our approach will be successful?

According to research into failure, 75% of the teams who were involved in projects that failed, knew the project would fail right from the start.

When people lack belief then this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, it is possible that some of these projects failed just because of people that it would fail.

So it’s good for you to ask this question because if the team are not confident, then it will give you an opportunity to be able to explain the approach, the solution, again and look to give the team the belief that they need.

It could also be that the solution is flawed or that you have missed something, and by asking the teams, you give them an opportunity to point things out you might have missed or raised their concerns, which then gives you the chance to address them.

As leaders, you do not have all of the answers, and no one expects you to, but they do expect you to ask the right questions. I have worked with many leaders who felt that asking these types of questions showed weakness, a lack of their understanding or their ability.

However, for me, this doesn’t show weakness it shows confidence. It shows that a leader is confident in the ability of their team and that they are prepared to appear vulnerable, all of which takes great courage.

PUBLISHED ON: MAY 23, 2017 on Inc. Click here to read the original article.

The post Five Questions That Good Leaders Ask appeared first on Gordon Tredgold.

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There are 1,440 minutes in a day. Do you have any idea how many of your minutes are spent actually contributing to your income? More importantly, do you have any idea how many of those minutes are contributing to the impact you make in the world?

Many entrepreneurs believe they have to hustle around the clock in order to make it and become successful.

That couldn’t be further from the truth.

The 24/7 hustle mentality is not only broken, but it is dangerous. Working around the clock leads to depression, burnout, and broken relationships.

Matt Kohn is the founder and Head of Growth at Different Hunger Media, a lifestyle brand that empowers digital agency owners to live more and work less through systems and automation. Matt himself transformed from burned out freelancer to 6 figure agency, and he did it – not from hustling – but from implementing systems and auditing his time on a daily basis. In fact, through this strategy, entrepreneurs are able to scale their businesses while working 20 hours or less per week. Today he gives us a rundown of how to leverage our time so that we no longer have to hustle your time and lifestyle away.

Know Where you Spend your Time

How can you change the way you spend your time if you don’t know how you spend it? Entrepreneurs are often guilty of going through the day working on a million different things without even realizing it. Self-awareness is critical to any change you want to make in life. So the first thing you have to do in order to break out of the hustle mentality is to track how you currently spend your time.

Keep a detailed log of how you spend every hour of every day for 4 weeks. For those of us working online, just use simple time tracking apps like Toggl to do this. Don’t overthink it. Just log it. Once you have your final log, you will be able to visualize exactly how much time you spend on every task you do. By the end of the 4 weeks, you should know how many hours you sleep at night, how many hours you waste by scrolling through social media and everything in between. When you tally up your log, you may have an “ah-ha” moment, and that is a good thing. Self-awareness is key to growth and change.

Filter your Tasks

There are many tasks that entrepreneurs and business owners must do to keep the business going. However, very few of those tasks are actually income generating activities. Sure, some of them may need to be done, but do you need to do them?

Now that you have your time log, take some time and run each task through the following filters:

  1. Can the task be eliminated? Is the task a valuable use of time that generates income or is otherwise required. Be honest with yourself here. We are often guilty of working on tasks that don’t really need to be done at all.

  2. Can the task be automated? With all of the technology advancements in the world, many repetitive tasks can be automated. From social media posts to accounting, a lot of tasks can be set up to be completed on autopilot for very little money compared to the time that you already invest in it.

  3. Can the task be delegated? If you cannot eliminate or automate, can the task be delegated? There are virtual assistants who charge by the hour available online, and their skills vary widely. You can find help for everything from content writers to website design to eCommerce store management.

The bottom line is that the only tasks you should keep for yourself are the ones that focus in on your zone of genius and strategically grow your business. You should be proficient at and enjoy everything that you choose to invest your time in. Most other tasks can be eliminated, automated or delegated.

Optimize your time

Now that you have run all of the tasks you work on through a filter, it is time to implement and optimize. Systemize your recurring tasks, delegate any low-value work or tasks that require skills you don’t have, and automate as much as you can through hiring or technology.

The tasks that are left over should be tasks that significantly contribute to your business growth and development. Examples of these tasks are things like high-level business strategy, product development, expanding into new markets, systems, and processes optimization, negotiating deals and partnerships, mapping sales funnels, etc.

The more systematic and structured your schedule is, the more time you will gain back to your day and the more flexibility you will ultimately gain. Build your schedule by grouping related tasks together and daily themes. Once your daily themes are established, assign those tasks to a timeslot in your calendar the same way you would with an appointment or meeting. They will become appointments with yourself, and you should honor those appointments the same way you would honor an appointment with a client or your doctor.

Conclusion

You do not have to constantly hustle to succeed as an entrepreneur or business owner. There are only 1,440 minutes in a day, and the truly successful people know that their time is their most valuable asset. When used wisely, there is enough time in the day to spend with the people you love, doing the things you enjoy and making an impact in the world.

The post Are You Spending Your Time On The Right Things? appeared first on Gordon Tredgold.

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It’s now confirmed. I will be speaking at TedX Belfort Nov 9th.
If you’d like to come and see me speak here’s the link to get tickets.
 
Venez m’entendre donner ma première conférence en français
 

The post Speaking At TedX Belfort Nov 9th 2018 appeared first on Gordon Tredgold.

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