Zero Tasking for Relentless Results

I’m going to keep this one short and sweet, because I am currently on vacation with my beautiful family in the Bahamas!

Does it drive anyone else crazy when you’re in an interview and the candidate says they are great at multi-tasking? Perhaps I’ve just had too much of the Gary Keller/The One Thing kool-aid (which by the way is delicious), but multi-tasking is a myth. Being able to multi-task is not a strength! You know what I want to hear in an interview? I want to hear that you are a master at zero tasking. I want to hear that you are so good at saying no and not doing anything, that you have figured out how to do everything. Zero tasking is the ultimate leverage.

Zero tasking is the ability to stop and clear your mind in the midst of chaos to allow you to just think, communicate, and lead, and NOT do. What can you do to eliminate tasks from your life? Zero tasking does not mean that you just sit around on a beach (though being a master at zero tasking can help with that. Hello, I’m in the Bahamas!). Zero tasking means that you aren’t DOING. You aren’t creating an endless checklist. You aren’t working in the business, you are working on the business.

Whenever someone comes to me with an idea or problem, my mind goes first to WHO can do that? I have no interest in adding a task or deliverable to my agenda. But I do believe in using the brightest minds around me to solve complex problems and then hold them accountable to the results. Think about how much more I can accomplish that way. Zero tasking is such an amazing way to see relentless results. Instead of trying to do it all – go to the best resources and maximize your reach. I am able to zero task and stay 100% committed to my goals because I have surrounded myself with the best people on the planet and continue to do so.

Ready to start zero tasking? Write down everything that is not in your strength zone or that you simply hate doing. And go find someone to leverage those tasks to. And if you’re ready for the next step, start saying no to anything that takes you away from the few things that you should be doing – thinking, communicating, leading, and most importantly working on your self (meditating, writing, reading, exercising, etc.).

I’ll never forget when Gary told me that one day I would just go into the office and spend my morning reading and thinking. Now that’s zero tasking.

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When You Play the Blame Game, No One Wins

One of the huge benefits of training for an Ironman is all the time logged biking and running – which means I’m getting through 1-2 (sometimes more) audio books a week. Pretty awesome! This week, I was listening to Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender by David R. Hawkins and it got me thinking a lot about blame and why people blame others in the first place.

Here’s one thing I know. When people play the blame game, no one wins – and the person who loses the most is the one that is doing the blaming. Think about a time when you blamed someone else for the situation you were in, or blamed an external force like the weather, a bad review, or your kids. What does blaming accomplish? By not taking responsibility for your actions, you are dis-empowering yourself. Are you not responsible for your actions? When you blame others, you are telling the world you can’t control yourself, your thoughts, or your actions. Where’s the power in that?

blameSo why do people blame in the first place? I think there are several key reasons way people place blame – for financial gain, to gain sympathy from others, to be right, to not be wrong, to save face. This is true even when the person you are blaming is yourself.

Blaming actually feels pretty good, though doesn’t it? That’s why a lot of us go there first. It’s immediate gratification.We secretly get satisfaction from pity, excuses, resentment, anger, and blame.  It instantly takes the focus off our mistake and puts it on someone or something else.  In an effort to protect our psyche and our sense of self, we blame. Hell, society supports us! When we play the blame game and act the victim, society tells us “it’s okay” and “it’s not your fault.” We get to feel pitied and supported emotionally. There are also financial rewards from playing the victim card. Our society is so litigious – everyone and their mother is sue-happy! Why? Because someone needs to be right and someone needs to be wrong (and they must pay).

But there is are real cost to blaming that has nothing to do with money. By giving in to these negative emotions, we lower our state of consciousness and we create a belief system that we are victim, that nothing goes right for us, and everyone or everything else is to blame. And guess what? When you play the victim – you become a victim. Instead, take control, let go of blame, and forgive.

The idea of blame starts in childhood. If something went wrong for whatever reason, a child will immediately go to blaming someone else. If not, it means that they must be at fault. The child, and the mind, are simply trying to protect themselves. But here’s another idea for you – no one has to be at fault. Blaming is a choice. We do not have to blame ourselves or others; placing blame is not necessary! How about we take responsibility for our actions and for our consciousness instead? Why must someone or something always be wrong? Perhaps a decision you made or choice you made was the right one at the time, but it just didn’t turn out that great. So what?  The concept of “wrong” doesn’t have to exist when there is an undesirable situation. Unfortunate events may have just happened. Accept them. And let it go.

Give this experiment a try sometime this week to experience how the laws of consciousness work: Find someone that you have blamed something for in your life. It might have been years ago, but choose a person who you have blamed. And just start forgiving them. Say, “I forgive you.” You don’t need to let them know you are doing this unless you want to. This is for you. You will likely start to feel anger, jealousy, fear, sadness. Let it go and surrender to those feelings. It may not happen overnight, but by forgiving this person, you will be more free. Free to experience life at a higher level of consciousness and you just might be surprised by what positive things come into your life.

Let go of blame. Let go of the negative. If you don’t, the only person you are really hurting is yourself.

Four Things I F*cked Up in 2016

Well, another year is upon us. Another 365 days to crush our goals and to live the life we truly want – not in 10 years, but today, and every day. We don’t know how much time we have on this earth and it is arrogant to think that we do know. So make each day count.

I spent a lot of time last weekend just enjoying my family and getting outside without the pressure of emails. In fact, I purposefully didn’t send emails to my team because I didn’t want to infringe on their time with their families either. I also spent a lot of time reflecting on the last year – what went well and what I truly f*cked up. Each mistake, each failure is a gift, as long as you actually learn something from it, right?

Here are 4 things I f*cked up in 2016. I’m sure there are more (just ask my wife!), but these are the ones that hit hard and I will be pushing through for several months to come.

  1. Not holding my money as accountable as I should have.When your company gets to a certain stage, with certain staffing, it starts walking and talking and spending money on it’s own. You must have certain controls in place to ensure that your money is performing as it needs to for the good of the organization. This means employees paying for themselves. This means holding tight to a financial plan and if sales projections are not met, then cutting expenses to achieve the net income number you had decided upon. This means carefully reviewing contracts to ensure you are not on the hook for additional fees or pay-outs on investments that you had not anticipated. Can you see the hard lessons I learned this year?
  1.  Listening to the emotional, instead of the numerical story. Numbers paint a story. But the story your team (or yourself) tells is often much more entertaining to listen to. But numbers don’t lie. Sure, there is always a story surrounding the numbers, but you’ve got to cut through the bull-shit and listen to what the numbers are telling you. Should you invest into a particular deal or not? Are your sales numbers increasing month over month and can you count on that to happen again or was there one huge sale that skewed the financials? Look at the trends. Look at the downside (not the upside) of a deal and if you stomach the risk of the downside (and financially support it)- then go for it. If not, walk away. Better yet, run!
  1. Making bad hires. I took a chance on my gut instead of listening to what our recruiting and hiring process was telling me. I didn’t pay enough attention to track record, or lack thereof. I hired out of pain and did not slow down and ask enough questions before making the hire. I skipped over some steps in our hiring process and while it’s been some time since I parted ways with these individuals, I am still paying the price. The cost of a bad hire goes far beyond just the financial repercussions. It effects your team’s moral, your reputation, your emotional fitness, your family, and more. We have an outstanding recruiting and hiring process but it will fail every time if you don’t follow it. Slow down. Make sure your get your team’s buy-in on the candidate. And for god’s sake, don’t hire out of pain! It will bite you in the ass in the long run.
  1.  Not replacing myself before I moved on to other companies and ventures. Instead of hiring my replacement for one of my companies, I thought I could lead that company, while I was also moving on to build and grow three other companies. Well, I couldn’t, and that company suffered. I am now in the process of back-tracking and making that critical hire so that company has the right leadership in place to grow it even bigger than I ever could. All of your companies, divisions, etc. deserve a strong leader who’s sole mission is to facilitate the growth of those employees and that company. It is your job to make sure you hire that leader before you let go and move on to another venture.

So what does this mean for 2017?

In addition to learning from my f*ck-ups and creating actionable steps to mediate those issues in the future, I plan to focus on one big goal for 2017: VULNERABILITY. While I’m probably not going to share my daily journal with you, I am committed to sharing even more of my failures and faults. I am committed to taking off some of my armor and letting the world see even more of who I am – the challenges, the struggles, and the successes. No BS. Just the raw, real me. Get ready.

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