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Great Leaders Will Say These 10 Things Every Friday

Great Leaders Will Say These 10 Things Every Friday

A good leadership tactic when working on any project is to have a weekly “wrap-up” meeting at the end of the week to assess how teams are coming together. Effective leaders use the following 10 things to encourage cooperation and success among team members.

1. “Thanks for all you’re doing.”

Great leaders express their gratitude for what a team is doing right. Instead of concentrating on the negatives, a great leader lets his or her team know what is being done correctly. In being gracious, teams are spurred forward rather than being brow beaten for that which has not been accomplished. Starting the weekly wrap-up on a positive note helps pave the way for discussing the negative.

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2. “Here’s what’s happening…”

Give an overall picture of what is happening with each team. Teams work better when each knows what the other is doing. It also prevents undue overlap of teamwork and gives focus to each team. Show the work each team is doing and the opportunities and challenges encountered. Note that units comprise the whole of the work that needs to be done.

3. “These are the challenges we are facing…”

Listing out problems as challenges keeps the meeting on a positive note. Each team needs to be well-informed of the big picture, as well as have a firm grasp on what the team’s objectives are. Note obstacles and how best to move forward. Hopefully, there is enough trust built in the teams to be able to talk about their team’s unique challenges.

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4. “These are our objectives…”

Although there is a place for the big picture, teams should remain focused on their objectives. These smaller goals should have reasonable end dates and should be checked on every week.

5. “These are our weaknesses…”

This is the time to discuss any problems that are being encountered by the team. Talk about obstacles and what needs to be done to overcome them. This is also a great time to brainstorm on ways to overcome identified weaknesses.

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6. “What do you think…?”

Keep the team on its toes by asking for their opinions on an area of their expertise. This kind of question also makes for good brain storming and may lead to answering tough challenges that are being encountered. Culling ideas from team members also lets them know that you trust them.

7. “Here’s what I think…”

The teams will be all ears to hear what you think of their work. Here is a good time to insert constructive criticism. Let the teams know, again, exactly what is expected of them and why. Team members will want to know where you stand on issues that affect team work.

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8. “This is what our competition is doing…”

As the leader you can provide insights into what the competition is doing. In those cases where your teams are outdoing the competition, make your teams aware of both the good and the bad. When comparing the competition to your teams, point out what is being done right and wrong to your team members.

9. “May I introduce…”

There may be frequent turnover as the team progresses. In such cases, always be sure to introduce the new team members or take the time to say goodbye to those who are leaving. It may be difficult to say good-bye to a teammate, especially if the person is being laid off. However, acknowledging the comings and goings of team members creates a more solid team.

10. “Congratulations!”

Just as the session began on a positive note, be sure to end on one.

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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Program Your Own Algorithms

Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

How to Form a Ritual

I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

  1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
  2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
  3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
  4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

Ways to Use a Ritual

Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

1. Waking Up

Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

2. Web Usage

How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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3. Reading

How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

4. Friendliness

Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

5. Working

One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

6. Going to the gym

If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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7. Exercise

Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

8. Sleeping

Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

8. Weekly Reviews

The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

Final Thoughts

We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

 

Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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