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Designing the Superior Man: 15 Powerful Qualities (Part 3)

Designing the Superior Man: 15 Powerful Qualities (Part 3)

This is Part Three (of Three) describing 15 qualities of superior men. Each part will discuss 5 key qualities to embrace in order to design the superior man.

Read Part One here (Part 1).

Read Part Two here (Part 2).

The superior man is willing to take massive action, step out of have his comfort zone, and do whatever it takes to accomplish those things that have never been done before. Additionally, the superior man has the ability to separate how he feels from what he does, or even how he leads.

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Jim Collins describes how great leaders transform others in his best-selling book Good to Great. In his book, Collins discusses the Level 5 Leader.

Part Three is dedicated to those Level 5 Leaders in my life. To those who continue to inspire me to this day, even in death. I dedicate this post to those great men. These are the Level 5 Leaders and the key qualities they represent. They are truly superior men.

1. Puts things into perspective

“To lead people, walk behind them.” – Lao Tzu

Asking “did anyone die?” really puts things into perspective. A great leader in my life repeatedly solicits this question. It is amazing how this simple question completely puts things into proper perspective. This leader has the awesome ability to see through lesser men and is always able to put things into perspective.

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2. Lives the virtue of all virtues – humility

“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.” – C.S. Lewis

Humility may just be the most difficult quality in life. Yet, it is one of the most discussed and pursued qualities. One of the most important leaders in my life lives this quality better than anyone I know. He is the role model for role models. This superior man is someone we should all strive to become.

3. Not afraid to run into danger

“People say everything happens for a reason, so when I reach over and smack you in the face, remember… there was a reason.”

The superior man is one who is not afraid to run into danger. He is a man who confronts those things normal people refuse to. He is a man who recognizes that, if he does not run toward the enemy, no one will.

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A good friend of mine was killed protecting those he loved. He was killed because he was not afraid to fight. He was the type of man who runs toward danger when everyone else runs away.

4. Not afraid to stand alone

“A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be.” – Rosalynn Carter

The superior man is one who is not afraid to take a stand, even if he must stand alone. He is a man who recognizes that standing alone does not mean being alone. It means he is strong enough to stand for things; things that are right and just; things other men know are right, yet are afraid to stand for.

5. Chooses to live on a higher level

“When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace. I believe I have made that effort and that is, therefore, why I will sleep for eternity.” – Nelson Mandela

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You can immediately tell when someone is good. They live and breathe on a higher level. Just being around the person lifts you up and inspires you. I met one of the greatest leaders to ever enter my life a couple years ago. I was only around this man for one year, yet he was the ultimate superior man.

The first time my wife met him, she was inspired. As a military spouse, she has seen all types of leaders. She holds the ability to immediately identify who is a good person and who is a bad person. This leader was not just good, but great.

Colonel Eugene L. Montague died in May 2016. This three-part series of superior men is dedicated to him. He is the ultimate superior man and I want to personally thank him for providing me the inspiration to keep learning, dreaming, and to one day become a leader he would be proud of.

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Dr. Jamie Schwandt

Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt & Red Team Critical Thinker

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Last Updated on September 17, 2018

How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

Today we are expected to work in highly disruptive environments. We sit down at our desks, turn on our computer and immediately we are hit with hundreds of emails all vying for our attention.

Our phones are beeping and pinging with new alerts to messages, likes and comments and our colleagues are complaining about the latest company initiative is designed to get us to do more work and spend less time at home.

All these distractions result in us multitasking where our attention is switching between one crisis and the next.

Multitasking is a problem. But how to stop multitasking?

How bad really is multitasking?

It dilutes your focus and attention so even the easiest of tasks become much harder and take longer to complete.

Studies have shown that while you think you are multitasking, you are in fact task switching, which means your attention is switching between two or more pieces of work and that depletes the energy resources you have to do your work.

This is why, even though you may have done little to no physical activity, you arrive home at the end of the day feeling exhausted and not in the mood to do anything.

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We know it is not a good way to get quality work done, but the demands for out attention persist and rather than reduce, are likely to increase as the years go by.

So what to do about it?

Ways to stop multitasking and increase productivity

Now, forget about how to multitask!

Here are a few strategies on how to stop multitasking so you can get better quality and more work done in the time you have each working day:

1. Get enough rest

When you are tired, your brain has less strength to resist even the tiniest attention seeker. This is why when you find your mind wandering, it is a sign your brain is tired and time to take a break.

This does not just mean taking breaks throughout the day, it also means making sure you get enough sleep every day.

When you are well rested and take short regular breaks throughout the day your brain is fully refuelled and ready to focus in on the work that is important.

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2. Plan your day

When you don’t have a plan for the day, the day will create a plan for you. When you allow outside influences to take control of your day, it is very hard not to be dragged off in all directions.

When you have a plan for the day, when you arrive at work your brain knows exactly what it is you want to accomplish and will subconsciously have prepared itself for a sustained period of focused work.

Your resistance to distractions and other work will be high and you will focus much better on the work that needs doing.

3. Remove everything from your desk and screen except for the work you are doing

I learned this one a long time ago. In my previous work, I worked in a law office and I had case files to deal with. If I had more than one case file on my desk at any one time, I would find my eyes wandering over the other case files on my desk when I had something difficult to do.

I was looking for something easier. This meant often I was working on three or four cases at one time and that always led to mistakes and slower completion.

Now when I am working on something, I am in full-screen mode where all I can see is the work I am working on right now.

4. When at your desk, do work

We are creatures of habit. If we do our online shopping and news reading at our desks as well as our work, we will always have the temptation to be doing stuff that we should not be doing at that moment.

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Do your online shopping from another place—your home or from your phone when you are having a break—and only do your work when at your desk. This conditions your brain to focus in on your work and not other distractions.

5. Learn to say no

Whenever you hear the phrase “learn to say no,” it does not mean going about being rude to everyone. What it does mean is delay saying yes.

Most problems occur when we say “yes” immediately. We then have to spend an inordinate amount of energy thinking of ways to get ourselves out of the commitment we made.

By saying “let me think about it” or “can I let you know later” gives you time to evaluate the offer and allows you to get back to what you were doing quicker.

6. Turn off notifications on your computer

For most of us, we still use computers to do our work. When you have email alert pop-ups and other notifications turned on, they will distract you no matter how strong you feel.

Turn them off and schedule email reviewing for times between doing your focused work. Doing this will give you a lot of time back because you will be able to remain focused on the work in front of you.

7. Find a quiet place to do your most important work

Most workplaces have meeting rooms that are vacant. If you do have important work to get done, ask if you can use one of those rooms and do your work there.

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You can close the door, put on your headphones and just focus on what is important. This is a great way to remove all the other, non-important, tasks demanding your attention and just focus on one piece of work.

The bottom line

Focusing on one piece of work at a time can be hard but the benefits to the amount of work you get done are worth it. You will make fewer mistakes, you will get more done and will feel a lot less tired at the end of the day.

Make a list of the four or five things you want to get done the next day before you finish your work for the day and when you start the day, begin at the top of the list with the first item.

Don’t start anything else until you have finished the first one and then move on to the second one. This one trick will help you to become way more productive.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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