The Best Juggler Wins – The Tale of Six Rocks 1

images (18)Forget about living a balanced lifestyle. I don’t believe there is such a thing. But you can keep your life in balance by learning to juggle. Pretend for a moment that you are juggling six rocks; health, wealth, relationships, volunteerism, brain and hobby. Each rock is important, some rocks may be more important than others at times,  but the secret to creating a balance in your life is to make sure you spend some of your time nurturing each rock. The key is not to spend too much time on one rock, at the expense of ignoring another, because that may put you out of balance. Sometimes too much of a good thing is not a good thing. We all have 168 hours in the course of a week – no more or no less. Your challenge is to schedule your time effectively and efficiently so that you spend some of your time on each rock. You don’t need to spend an equal amount of time on each, but you need to spread it around.

Worth Remembering … “Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony.” – Thomas Merton 

The best juggler wins a life that is in balance and as close to perfect as you can get.

Health: You need to take care of yourself. You need to eat right, exercise right and sleep right. If you aren’t right – then what’s the point.
Wealth: Yes your career is important – it affords you the money you need to be able to live the kind of life you envisioned for yourself and your family. But don’t sacrifice one for the other. When the time comes to reap the benefits of your hard work, you’ll want someone to share it with.
Relationships: We are emotional beings. We need to “connect” with others. Reach out – when you show an interest in others, others will show and interest in you. People like to work with and do business with people they like.
Volunteerism: Give back. Paying it forward is a great way to  build up your self-esteem and self-esteem in others. It’s the law of attraction. You get back what you give out.
Brain: Never stop learning. The moment you think you have nothing else to learn is the moment you fall behind. Your brain is a muscle. It needs exercise.
Hobby: You need to schedule “Me” time. You need to be able to step back from your day-to-day activities and recharge your batteries. Find something you enjoy doing other than the work that you do, and spend some of your time doing it. Lighten up – have some fun.

Worth Remembering … “Be aware of wonder. Live a balanced life – learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work everyday – some.” – Robert Fulgham 

How you manage your time is how you manage your life. Learn to juggle because the best juggler wins.

Copyright (c) 2014. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Brian is available for keynote speeches and facilitating workshops on a variety of soft-skills topics including: communication, time management, coping with stress, problem solving, dealing with difficult people and challenging situations better and developing the leader in you. To find out what he can do for you visit. http://briansmithpld.com

Checkmate – How to Become a Better Leader in Four Moves 2

Leadership Cycle Coloured 2Whether you are in a management position or play a leadership role in your organization, the challenges remain the same. New leadership skills are required for the workplace of today and for the forseeable future. Success in managing or leading others is no longer dependent on your technical abilities alone. Soft-skills, your ability to communicate and interact more effectively with others, build collaborative teams, problem solve, resolve conflict and deal with difficult people and challenging situations better, now plays a more pivotal role in your success and the overall success of your organization and your people.

I believe to be a really great manager or leader you need to master all four disciplines of my “Four Step Leadership Development Model” (c) . The work environment is changing and you need to adapt to keep pace with those changes. You must have exceptional people skills and be able to bring people together, communicate often, teach others what they’ll need to know and then learn to get out of their way and let them do it. Don’t get left behind – learn to manage and lead the 21st Century way.

Congregate: “To collect into a group or crowd; to come together into a group, crowd or assembly.” – Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Your success and the overall success of your organization begins and ends with your ability to bring people together. If you can’t connect with others on an emotional level, then you stand little chance of assembling a cohesive team. You are only as good as the people around you. Each individual is a vital link in the chain. Get to know your people for more than the job that they do. People like to work with people they like. Successful managers and leaders know how to develop those all important relationships and build collaborative teams.

Communicate  “To convey knowledge of or information about; to cause to pass from one to another.” – Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Communication isn’t just something – it’s everything! If you can’t communicate – you can’t manage or lead others. I can’t think of a more valuable skill set for managers and leaders to have, than the ability to communicate effectively up, down and across the organization. If you can’t send the message and have it received the way it was intended – then what you said means absolutely nothing. The words you choose and how you go about saying them can be the catalyst for action or inaction. 

Educate “To train by formal instruction and supervised practice especially in a skill, trade, or profession.” – Merriam Webster Dictionary. I don’t believe there is any such thing as common sense. The only thing common about common sense, is that it’s not very common. We should call it “Life Sense” because it seems the older we get, the smarter we get. We aren’t born knowing what we need to know, to be able to teach someone else what they need to know. I believe having the ability to teach someone else is a learned behavior. Successful managers and leaders are great teachers and coaches.

Delegate “To entrust to another; to appoint as one’s representative.” – Merriam-Webster Dictionary. If you fail to delegate you are robbing your people of their opportunity to grow. Successful managers and leaders understand that they aren’t the end all and be all. Successful managers and leaders understand that they must give up control to get control. Resist the urge to micro-manage others. Your ability and willingness to delegate effectively are essential to freeing up your time, so you can carry out your duties and responsibilities as a manager or leader.

Any time is a great time to start a new beginning. Which one of these four disciplines; congregate, communicate, educate or delegate will you need to improve upon to be a more effective manager or leader? Don’t get left behind – you can become a better leader in just four moves.

Copyright (c) 2014. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Excerpts from Brian’s soon-to-be-published workbook “Leadership Lessons from a Reformed Control Freak – The Art of Managing and Leading in the 21st Century(c)”. Brian is available for keynote speaking or facilitating training sessions on a variety of soft-skills topics including: communication, time management, problem solving, dealing with difficult people and challenging situations better and developing the leader in you. To find out more visit http://briansmithpld.com