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Want to be more strategic in 2016? Start thinking like a drone.

It’s easy to get stuck trying to find our way out of the wilderness every day.

T ry this approach to gain perspective and think more strategically.

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They say more than a million drones were sold over the Christmas holiday.

Some for fun, some for mischief … but many offering innovative solutions for a wide array of challenges.

They’re being used to check ski slopes for snow coverage … to look for cracks and repair requirements at the top of wind turbines … and to accomplish video rooftop inspections to save thousands of hours and complete repairs more quickly.

If you don’t have a drone …

Maybe Santa left your drone off his list? No worries. You can add it to your birthday list when the time comes around.

In the meantime, there is one critical lesson you can take away from all of the hullabaloo around this revolutionary invention.

Keep reading to learn this technique ….

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Leadership & Productivity | 4 Ways to Create More Time for Actual Thinking

If you don’t take time to think, someone else will do the thinking for you … maybe your competitors.

L ike every Effective Leader, you need to make time to do the things ONLY YOU can do.

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Protect the Castle from the Intruders

From the unusual amount of email I received following It isn’t Technology Creating all the Distractions. It’s us., I realize we share a universal revulsion for the distractions that confound our days.

You’ve taken the first step to taming the behemoth by trying to understand these forces and how they derail our focus and productivity.

Leadership & Productivity are Sleeping Together

Keep reading to learn the 4 Defenses You Need to Get Time to Think

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Steve Jobs Got It Right: Get Rid of All the Crappy Stuff

Do you spend too much time juggling projects and tasks you’re unlikely to ever tackle? Maybe it’s because there’s stuff in there not worth doing?

S ome people call it re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. I say, throw ‘em overboard!

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In What is the cornerstone of your strategy?, I discussed how important it is to nail down the key elements of your strategy.

When Paul McCartney was feted at the Kennedy Center honors, I shared with you my thoughts on how we become remarkable.

In both cases, I referred to Steve Jobs’ well-known phrase about how Apple is so intensely focused on its products … and how proud he is that the entire product line fits on a single table.

A Single Table?

Everyone always asked Steve Jobs with wonderment,

  • How do you do it?

Keep reading to see why you need a weed-whacker to get more done ….

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It isn’t Technology Creating all the Distractions. It’s us.

We’d like to think that technology has become our enemy and is the cause of the distractions that keep us from getting things done.

N ice try, but this is an age-old problem that’s on us, not on the technology that surrounds us. Screaming about distractions and the lack of productivity didn’t help them in ancient Rome, either.

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I’m really trying hard to do only one thing at a time, like writing this blog post. I’m trying hard not to glance at the red icon that announces that new e-mail has arrived and how much has arrived since the last time I checked.

In fact, I’m closing down e-mail right now. I’m ignoring all of my social media connections, putting on a little Norman Brown and Ahmad Jamal jazz in the background, a fresh cup of Philz’ Jacob’s Wonderbar dark roast coffee. Life is good … isn’t it?

If I could only focus ….

Oh, if it were only that simple, and I could keep blocking out all those pesky little distractions.

Keep reading to learn about Hamlet’s Blackberry…

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The Power of Checklists | One Simple Tool to Overcome Brain Freeze

Checklists? You mean those lists I prepare each day that don’t do anything to help my productivity?

No, it’s not that kind of checklist I’m talking about.

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Are those the Checklists you mean?

Or … do you mean those checklists airline pilots use to keep me from getting killed?

Now, those I like. I like the ones that keep doctors from getting me killed, too.

Checklists are invaluable

In the Value of Checklists, I discussed The Checklist Manifesto, a book by Atul Gwande inspired by issues found in operating rooms, but expanded to the many areas where simple checklists enhance productivity and eliminate errors and oversights.

Keep reading so you don’t miss 4 ways to make yours work without fail…

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The 4 Do-or-Die Principles of a Leakproof Productivity System

When you look at this image, do you see your Personal Productivity system at work?

You can fix this leaky bucket. It’s not that hard if you faithfully and relentlessly apply these basic principles.

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Over the last several years working with Bay Area CEOs and with members of the Exkalibur Leadership Forum, I’ve learned that personal productivity improvements are one of the most important ways in which every CEO and business executive can Become a More Effective Leader.

Why?

Two Major Reasons … but many more.

First, it allows you to devote more time to the things only you can uniquely do … whether as a business leader, CEO, mother/father or spouse.

That’s why they’re paying you the big bucks – to do the things only you can uniquely do. If you don’t what only you can do, why do they need you?

Keep reading for the 4 Do-or-Die Principles of a Leakproof Productivity system

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Fun Friday | Why don’t people return phone calls?

It’s remarkable that so few people return their phone calls on a timely basis. Why is that?

Are we just lazy? Too busy? Did I mention lazy? Don’t give a rip? “If it’s important, they’ll call back?”

 

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Are you eyeballin’ me? Of course not … not you. You return all your calls. Right?

Wanna think about all the time we invest in phone tag? Nah, me neither.

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Ok, let’s do it anyway. Talk about a time sink … keeping track of all those who …

  • don’t return the call,
  • are out of the office,
  • traveling,
  • on vacation,
  • sick,
  • already on the phone …

… what a bother, huh?

If you’re like me, you’ve probably got dozens of these floating around at any one time.

What if they don’t return phone calls at all?

Keep reading if you need a few more reasons to NOT return phone calls

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The 8 Most Powerful Letters in Your Productivity Toolkit | Video

Just when I thought we had covered the waterfront with respect to accountability, I’m reminded of the linchpin of true accountability – the very simple concept of FOLLOW UP.

During my conversations with CEOs, I’m repeatedly reminded of how remarkably little attention is paid to this simple concept.

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Why do we ignore follow up?

It seems so obvious I wonder why I’m writing about it … and yet, routine follow up is often ignored in the hustle for the next opportunity or when there just isn’t another finger to put in the dike.

This isn’t a new problem and it stretches across all of the aspects of our lives. Five years ago, the New York Times even lamented about the lapse in our social manners reflected by people’s failure to respond to RSVP invitations, much of which I’d chalk up to this follow up laxity.

It’s a process that is halfheartedly pursued by so many that it’s no wonder so few things get done on time – or at all.

We expect the other person to get it done

There are a number of reasons for this you may recognize in yourself.

Don’t miss the video & the 7 Simple Steps to create a powerful Follow Up routine

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Starting Today – The 5 Tools I Can’t Live Without

I’m old enough to remember how awesome it was to have several female friends who would help me sneak into the girls’ dormitory after curfew.

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It was a bit tricky to traipse though the bushes with a small flashlight to find the back door … you prayed none of the “dorm mothers” were hovering … but it was exhilarating when you found the door slightly ajar and no adult supervision in sight.

It was a risky gambit because you knew those dorm mothers were particularly vigilant and relished nothing more than trapping a male intruder and banishing him to the Dean’s office the next morning. It wasn’t a visit you wanted to make, particularly because the Dean’s first call would be to your Mom.

We persisted nonetheless.

I know what you’re thinking … what could be more exhilarating than a late night tryst? Lucky guys, you guys.

Keep reading so you don’t miss our FREE mini-course, 5 Tools I Can’t Live Without

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Leadership Insight | What are we doing to help you?

“There is nothing more exhilarating than to be shot at without result.

Winston Churchill

Why do you have your own business?

Winston Churchill could have been an entrepreneur to have so eloquently dramatized the thrill associated with building a business.

Whether you own it yourself or share it with partners, it’s yours to build, to mold according to your dreams and values.

You may be building it from scratch or seeking new opportunities to jumpstart a mature company. In either case, I hope this will help you on your journey.

Want to build your own boat?

Why do you have your own business?

Independence, many will say, the chance to run my own show?

Be my own boss?

Do things my way – maybe because you’ve seen them done the wrong way and you can do better? (more…)

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