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20 Rules For 2020

1. Be a good human

Whatever you do, always remember that your number one job each day is to strive to be a good human being.


2. The truth about resilience.

Resilience isn’t about just “pushing on through”. It’s about looking after ourselves so that we can.


3. Slow down to speed up.

The busiest individuals we know are rarely the most productive. The most effective people in the world take a deliberate and planned approach to structuring their days, weeks and years.


4. Less is always more.

Take on fewer projects but execute them with military precision. Go to fewer meetings but make them uber-effective. Commit to fewer social engagements but be totally present when you do. Read fewer books but study them more deeply.


5. Don’t make stuff worse than it is.

Things don’t always go to plan in business and life, so why make things worse by reacting with negative or angry emotions? Don’t react for the sake of reacting and don’t flail around like a victim. Take a breath, make a plan and move on.


6. Learn how long things take.

Stuff always takes longer than we think it will. We always think we can deliver more than we can in the time available. Learn how long things really take and make promises that you can over-deliver on.


7. Have the courage to do nothing.

Bill Gates attributes much of the success of Microsoft to his thinking weeks (read about them here). Learn from some of the most successful people in the world and schedule time in your diary to think, reflect and plan without any interruptions.


8. Get clear on your values.

As leaders we frequently operate in the grey areas where there is no definitively right or wrong answer. The only way to act consistently and congruently as a leader is to get explicitly clear on our core values.


9. Challenge conventional corporate wisdom.

Neuroscience and psychology are proving that much of how we operate on a day-to-day basis in the corporate workplace is highly inefficient. Be bold, experiment and do things differently.


10. Prioritise sleep.

The science is clear – adults need between 7 ½- 8 hours sleep per night. Any less and you’ll be performing sub-optimally in every aspect of life.


11. Exercise – when you think you don’t have time.

The times when we think we don’t have the time to exercise, are the times when we most need to exercise.


12. Embrace conflict.

Avoiding conflict and challenging situations has zero upside. In doing so, we create sub-optimal products, services and solutions whilst making personal relationships much worse in the long run.


13. Plan your days.

Start every day with ten minutes of reflection and planning. Without it you’ll simply be reacting to the world around you and working on other people’s priorities. And remember, your inbox is not your to do list.


14. Drop your mask.

It’s true that the job of a leader is to inspire those around us and be the steady hand on the tiller during stormy times. But those that we lead also want to know who we truly are and see that we’re human too. Drop your mask from time to time and let people see the real you.


15. Get really hungry…

…for growth and improvement. The best leaders have an insatiable appetite for learning and growth. The moment that you think you’re done learning is the moment that you’re done leading.


16. Know what your job is.

At its most basic, the job of a leader is to deliver the results AND to look after those that we have the responsibility and privilege to lead. Always remember the duplicity of leadership.


17. Send more Thank-You cards.

Doug Conant, the former CEO of Campbell’s Soup, wrote 30,000 cards in his ten-year tenure at the firm. By my maths that’s around 58 cards per week. Start by sending one each week.


18. Protect your mindset.

The media that we consume has a huge impact on our mindset; most of it negatively so. Carry out a media audit and ditch everything that doesn’t have a positive effect. If you want to know more, email me and ask about my 3PM Audit.


19. Ask for help.

Leaders don’t need to have all the answers. Asking for help and idea’s is not a sign of weakness; it’s a sign of inner strength that tells those that you lead that you trust-in and value their input.


20. Remember rule #1

Whatever you do, always remember that your number one job each day is to strive to be a good human.

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