Tag Archives: Priorities

Exceed Normal Expectations

This is part 10 of a 12 part series that I call the 12 X’s of Leadership.

We have all heard the old phrase, “Never promise more than you can deliver and always deliver more than you promise”.  It is one of the first business quotes many of us learned when we got out first jobs. And there is a lot of truth to it.

It has to do with managing the expectations of others and then exceeding those expectations to leave them with a great experience and great feeling of working with you.

What is interesting to note is that exceeding normal expectations many times does not have to be a herculean effort on your part with gut wrenching upheaval in your life. It sometimes means just doing a little bit better.

For example, do you know what the difference is between a baseball player that hits .200 for his career, makes just enough money to cover food, and never leaves Single A division and a player with a career .300 batting average, making seven figures annually, and in the Hall of Fame? Just one hit in every ten tries!

When I encourage people to exceed normal expectations, I mean to simply focus on making little improvements all along the way…not necessarily huge life changing shifts.

It’s like a horse race. I went to the Kentucky Derby two years ago. Now, I am not sure how much prize money is actually awarded, but let’s just say the first place horse won a million dollars and the second place horse got a half million.

In order to get twice the reward did the first place horse have to run twice as fast? Did it have to run twice as far? Did it have to train twice as long? NO.

How much better did the first place horse have to be than the second place horse? Just a nose.

Is there room in your life today to be just a nose better than yesterday?

Exchange Non-Essentials

This is part 3 of a 12 part series I call the 12 X’s of Leadership

For the last 23 years, one of the most frequently requested training programs I have conducted is an advanced time management and personal organization workshop entitled “I’m Spread So Thin You Can See Through Me”. In this amazing course I literally teach people how they can learn to manage every detail of their life and never have anything fall through the cracks.

Tens of thousands have participated in it and I typically ask attendees why they sign up and come. Without a close second, “It is because of the title.” they say.

Can you identify with it? Most certainly do.

It seems these days there are more demands on our time, energy, and effort than ever before. I mean think about it…Are you busier right now than ever? Most people answer with a resounding “YES—I’M DYING HERE!”

It seems we have more meetings, emails, commitments, and to-do’s than ever before and not only is the volume greater, but everything seems to be “the most important thing.”

Stress and burnout are at all time highs and it seems that everyone is trying to do more with less, faster, cheaper, safer, and better. The result is a world full of folks who are living on the ragged edge.

Sleep is more difficult to attain because we have trouble turning our minds off. Then if we do fall asleep, better pray that you don’t wake up at 3:00am, because if you do, you will not be able to fall back asleep as the mental to–do list starts racing through your mind as you think about all your commitments.

We have got to learn to purge, or as I call it here — Exchange Non-Essentials. In his best selling book, Good to Great, author Jim Collins introduced a principle that has truly entered into the mainstream of society:

“Don’t let the good things rob you of the best things.”

There are many good things in which to be involved. Special projects at work, committees at church, environmental efforts, social causes, the list goes on and on…these are all GOOD things. But if they are interfering with the BEST things (time with family or friends, your health and well-being, whatever you determine is the BEST), then you would be wise to purge them from your life.

Yes, it hurts. Yes, it is tough to do. But in hindsight you will be so glad you Exchanged Non-Essentials.

The 3 Keys to Effectiveness

Years ago I learned a very simple formula for helping me stay focused on what I truly needed to be working on. I wish I could remember where I learned this 3-step process, as I would certainly give that person a shout out right now. Anyway, suffice it to say, this is not my idea at all, but one that bears repeating.

The three keys to effectiveness are:

  1. Determine the most important task for now.
  2. Concentrate on it.
  3. Forget the rest.

That’s it.  Sounds easy enough doesn’t it? So why do so many people struggle doing it?

It really boils down to three separate issues: setting priorities, reducing distractions, and possessing a self-management and personal organization process that ensures nothing will fall through the cracks.

These are the very skills that we teach in two of our hottest programs entitled:

“I’m Spread So Thin You Can See Through Me”


“My Inbox is Full and I Can’t Get Out”

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