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Behavior Engagement Freedom Leadership Productivity

Why control is an illusion

So you have decided to become a leader.

You may have made that decision many years ago, perhaps not so long ago, or you’re still deliberating the decision to jump in the pool and start leading people.

Or it was never a conscious decision. Your supervisor came to you, and before you knew it, you were leading a group of people.… Read the rest

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Communication Conflict Conversations Dialogue Productivity

What would it look like if you did win?

There’s a commercial on Dutch TV about the risk of polarization. It’s short, cute, and full of great intentions.

You witness friends and a father and daughter argue over climate and immigrant issues. A voiceover enters the scene and states:

“What will it look like when you win this argument?”

It was followed by making the point that our world is becoming increasingly polarized and that it’s really up to us to do something about it.… Read the rest

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Behavior Discipline Growth Mindset Productivity

30 minutes

Are you a procrastinator?

Do you have days that go by without accomplishing anything? Days that you just looked at the work you needed to do, but in the end, you didn’t do anything?

You’re not alone.

The Google term ‘what is procrastination’ results in over 43 million hits. Procrastination is something that has always been there and always will be there.
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Culture Curiosity Human Resources Performance Productivity

The trucks running through your head

Do you have, get, make time to think?

Or is your head mainly a six-lane highway full of traffic and trucks trying to make their way through day in and day out?

The highway metaphor and the cultural components from the book More Time to Think by Nancy Kline.

Proverbial highways with trucks that create a constant noise always seem distracting, preventing you from focusing. … Read the rest

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Choices Leading Self Life Productivity Purpose

The illusion of busyness

Recently I had to say goodbye to a family member.

Relatively sudden. 

I won’t write about the circumstances, no worries. I’ll just write about a sudden shift in priorities when something like this happens to you.

From one moment to the other, things change dramatically. What mattered yesterday is suddenly not that important anymore. … Read the rest

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Life Mental health Mindset Productivity

Blue Monday? Now I know.

Good news!

The most depressing day of the year is behind us.

Last Monday was Blue Monday, the third Monday of the year. And apparently also the most depressing day of the year.

I was not aware. 

Until I met with a client at 5 pm that day during a video call.… Read the rest

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Choices Freedom Leading Self Productivity Self awareness

You’re busy! Are you productive too?

Let’s talk busyness.

I spent some time traveling the last weeks, visiting hotels with conference facilities.

I love hotels with conference facilities. They’re a source of inspiration for stories.

Not only are the hotels happy Covid is under control, but so am I. 

It’s mad busyness. And I love to watch it.
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Choices Discipline Mindset Productivity Self awareness

20/20/20

You’re the most important person in your life.

Erikjan Lantink

When you agree with this statement, great! Read on and be inspired.

When you disagree, here’s why I’d like you to reconsider.

You may consider family, partner, friends, cats, or dogs more important in your life, but if you weren’t there, they would still continue living.… Read the rest

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Culture Execution Freedom Productivity Self awareness

Good busy

Last week I asked a business partner how he was doing. 

His answer was, ‘I’m good busy.’

I asked him what that meant.

He explained that he was almost always busy, ranging from extremely busy to good busy.

Good busy meant that work was not crazy but did not allow much thinking or reflection time.… Read the rest

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Asking Questions Conversations Feedback Productivity Team effectiveness

Seven do-or-die questions to run a great meeting

I thought I would never write this insight.

Frankly, I still can’t believe that I do. 

If there’s one thing I would expect that any team leader knows how to do well, it’s to run a meeting.

But unfortunately, running an effective meeting is in the top two underdeveloped skills for leaders.
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Execution Impact Mindset Productivity

Chopping 10 trees at the same time

Have you ever seen a woodchopper running around in a forest trying to chop ten trees simultaneously?

Imagine the scene.

Every time he gets to a tree, he chops at it a few times, and then he goes on to the next tree. After some considerable time running around, all ten trees are still standing, and the woodchopper is worn-out and on his last legs.… Read the rest

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Culture Leading Self Mindset Productivity

How busy are you?

Interesting article by McKinsey last week with the following heading:

“If we’re all so busy, why isn’t anything getting done?”

Followed by the first paragraph:

“With endless meetings, constant emails, and casts of thousands, companies have mastered the art of unnecessary interactions. Winning in the next normal requires much more focus on true collaboration.”… Read the rest

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Learning Mental health Productivity Reflection

How I learned to enjoy being in the moment

I like to meditate in the morning.

It’s a relaxing and calm way to start my day.

Over time, I noticed that I’m more focused on what I aim to do that day when I meditate in the morning.

It’s hard to explain, but it feels like I’m more in control of my actions.… Read the rest

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Asking Questions Books Productivity Reflection

What’s the best book you (did not) read this year?

There’s still one month to go in 2020, and I’m already in book review mode.

Perhaps a bit early and out of the ordinary, but let’s face it. Things are off this year anyway, so why not talk about book reviews in November?

Who saw this coming?

If you predicted one year ago what 2020 would look like and you expected this mess, you should put some money on the stock exchange immediately.… Read the rest

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Leading Self Mindset Performance Productivity

Less is More

When you give a TED talk, you get 18 minutes to share your message. You get on your red dot, and when you start your talk, a big clock you can’t miss starts counting down. The good news is that you know this so that you can prepare for it.

When I prepared for my TED talk, I had divided my text into eight blocks.… Read the rest