JOURNAL FOR SUCCESS: YOUR “HOW TO” GUIDE

Through coaching, I’ve noticed that the most successful individuals are those who are highly intentional about the future they want to create for themselves. We can all do it; sometimes we just need a little help visualizing our path, charting our course, and navigating the journey.

Typically, when we meet with new clients, we provide journals and some thought provokers to help encourage the first step in the self-discovery process. In our EDGE3 blogs, I’ve talked about the journaling I do, and not only does it help me get my thoughts out and reflect on things, I also refer back to it for a variety of reasons – inspiration, goal setting, clarity, a shift in perspective – and that’s a helpful tool (a map of my thoughts, if you will).

Whether it’s moving up the corporate ladder, starting a new business, achieving a physical goal, or hitting a life milestone… there’s only one person that can define your success… YOU!

So, how do you get started using a journal as a support tool for your success? Take a break from your “To Do” list and focus on the “What I’ve Done” list! It’s time to examine your successes to date, and build on the momentum.

Here are some thought provokers to start your journey:

STEP 1: DEFINING SUCCESS
• What’s my version of success?
• Who are my heroes & role models?
• What are the traits that I admire in the people I respect the most?

STEP 2: LOGGING YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS
• What personal traits make me proud?
• What was my proudest moment?
• What have my big achievements been, to-date?

STEP 3: RECOGNIZING THE PATTERNS
• What skills have contributed to my success?
• Where have I been most successful?

STEP 4: DREAM BIG!
• If failing weren’t a possibility, what would I do?
• Where do I want to be in 6 months? 1 year? 5 years?

STEP 5: LETTING GO
• What’s holding me back?
• What do I need to let go of to move forward?

STEP 6: START NOW
• What is one small step that I can take today?

Committing time daily to check in with yourself, and record your thoughts will help finely tune your focus toward the goals you set for yourself.

Need a hand with the process? We have a complimentary EDGE3 journal and a ½ hour coaching session for the first 10 people who contact us.

Happy Journaling!

daveDavid Graham works with leaders to build high-performing super-focused teams. A book club hosted by Dave enables teams to learn new business strategies, develop powerful action plans and to understand each other on a deeper level. 

 

BOOK CLUB: “DEEP WORK”

We live in a highly distracted world. With social media, email, and text messages constantly demanding our attention, most of us spend 60% of our work week engaged in electronic communication and searching the internet.  The author of “Deep Work,” Cal Newport defines this as Shallow Work; tasks that don’t challenge us intellectually that we can perform even while we are distracted. This work is easy replicated and doesn’t really require us to challenge our full intellectual potential or what we are trained to do.

Deep Work on the other hand is defined as, “Professional activities performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that push your cognitive capabilities to the limit. These efforts create new value, improve your skill and are hard to replicate.”

What are the tasks that you consider to be deep work and what would be the value if you could do more of it?

Here’s a look at Cal Newport’s 4 basic rules that lead to deeper more meaningful work:

  1. Work Deeply
    • Determine how many deep hours of work you need and then put it in your calendar
    • Find the ideal location that you use only for depth
    • Create a ritual for yourself to support deep work
    • Be lazy – down time is equally important to deep work, so schedule the time to recharge and renew, too
  2. Embrace Boredom
    • When we get bored, we typically flee the work and give in to distractions. Determine the amount of time that you will commit to deep work and challenge yourself to stick with it
    • Working deeply requires commitment and training so start with a smaller amount of time to start
    • To give yourself a fighting chance, eliminate pop-ups and notifications and put your phone on silent mode
  3. Quit Social Media
    • Understand that social media is designed to be addictive and we get hooked on that dopamine rush when we get an email, a like or a retweet
    • Break it down…identify the benefits of each social media outlet, consider if it has a positive impact, a negative impact or little impact and schedule your time accordingly
    • Be mindful. If you are using it for entertainment or as a distraction – set a time limit
  4. Drain the Shallows
    • We need to respond to our clients in a timely fashion, but if we don’t limit our email time it can occupy our entire day. Schedule time for email and determine the importance of the response time
    • Consider using a sender filter or auto-reply email. This could either set the expectation that you may not respond right away or you can share timelines of when the sender can expect a response to emails
    • Rather than going back and forth, send one longer email that outlines all of the details. It may be more work up front, but it will save you time in the long run
    • Don’t respond to unimportant emails

Deep Work is rare, and it’s becoming even more valuable in today’s economy; those of us who can shut off the distractions and commit to deep work, have a huge competitive advantage.

Need some coaching on how to best structure your work day, give the EDGE3 Team a call.

daveDavid Graham works with leaders to build high-performing super-focused teams. A book club hosted by Dave enables teams to learn new business strategies, develop powerful action plans and to understand each other on a deeper level. 

 

LEADERS, EMBRACE YOUR VULNERABILTY

In walked my newest client, a self-assured executive with an air of confidence that suggested that the was not easily rattled. Clearly this is a no BS, get it done kind of guy.

After exchanging a few pleasantries, we got right to the point. “What are some of the challenges that you’re facing right now?” He gave me a stock answer, but I noticed a subtle emotional shift behind the veil of confidence, so I dug a bit deeper. “What’s emotional about that for you?”

His eyes welled up and he had to turn away to avoid the flood gates from completely opening up. I realised in that moment that in his position perhaps he didn’t have someone in his life that he could share his deepest challenges with; certainly not his boss, his team, and maybe even his wife. He had worked hard to create this confident, “never let them see you sweat” exterior – the hallmark of a senior leader and provider.

To him, the emotion probably felt like weakness, but what I saw in that moment was not weakness, but real strength. A man whose character was defined by being there for those that mattered most to him. A man who desperately wanted to do the right thing.

With each question, we were able to draw out his thoughts, uncover his concerns and face his fears head on. By having a short break away from his desk, he was able to fully process his struggles and life challenges so that he could more effectively navigate the path ahead.

As a coach, I’ve learned that the most valuable thing that I can do is to be there in the moment, to meet my client exactly where they are and to hold space for them without judgment or advice.

So, do I require tears from my clients for a good coaching session?

No, but I consider it an honour when someone is comfortable enough to go to a place of truth and discovery; a place that most leaders can’t go in the boardroom. Ultimately, my hope is that the coaching process leads my clients to more confident decisions, greater authenticity and stronger, richer relationships.

What are the burning questions that you need to explore?
What would the value be in bringing more vulnerability to your work?
What fears are holding you back from having a bigger impact?

daveDavid Graham works with good leaders who want to become spectacular leaders. He also works with leaders to build high performing, super-focused teams. 

 

The Entrepreneur’s Inventory – Isolate The Issue!

Sometimes we get out of our groove. I found myself disengaged and demotivated. But why? I love my work! I am very connected to my purpose! So what gives here?

I went to my archive of tools I’ve developed for entrepreneurs that I have coached and thought, this may be helpful when you feel out of sorts.

SELF COACHING EXERCISE

Grab your journal, find the stillness, and ask yourself these questions…

1. What is weighing me down?
2. What opportunities are available to me?
3. What decisions am I regretting that I need to let go of?
4. What gives me the greatest sense of purpose?
5. Who do I want to be?

After you run through this inventory, I encourage you to put the pen down, close your eyes, breathe deeply and reflect on these thoughts. How much am I loved? What am I most grateful for? How can I be of service?

You and your business are a work in progress. Take the time to isolate your thoughts, and refocus on the things that matter most. Now get back in your groove, your network needs that special something that you have to offer.

daveGrowing your business and juggling the countless demands on your time and energy? The EDGE3 Team can help. David Graham works with entrepreneurs to help them find that perfect balance.

 

Am I the Teacher or the Student?

It’s overwhelming trying to boil down my coaching adventure to Uganda to a couple of blog posts. Words don’t seem sufficient in trying to describe the people, places, and emotions I experienced during this entire journey.

The overall experience of coaching the young people of Nikibasika was both enriching and enlightening. I was excited to meet the young people who I’ve been raising money for several years now… but nervous whether my coaching skills would jive with this group. I committed to staying curious to what I could learn from them. I had a feeling that perhaps I was meant to be the student on this journey, not the teacher – I was not expecting how much I would learn from them.

Such a caring and loving group. There were tears, embarrassed giggles, wide eyes, and confusion at times – but such innocence. On the other side of the innocence though, these young people carried an unparalleled wisdom and hope that only comes from enduring extreme hardship, and being part of difficult moments that most of us could never imagine. As I helped each of them craft their career plans, each and every one of them included helping others less fortunate. This is a level of resilience that is difficult to truly understand, but so humbly impactful, and inspiring.

“I will forever look at the world differently because of them.”

One of the group members, Rogers, a kind hearted, beautiful young man, knit me a scarf and spoke poetically about the light of the moon when he gave it to me. He said that the moonlight shines down on him and reminds him of Nikibasika because like the moon, it has lit his path and showed him the way, adding, “The light will always shine on those people who are grateful and loving, and to people who help each other.” Such wisdom!

While I travelled halfway around the world to learn from these young people, I wonder how many of us in leadership positions are willing to reverse the roles and learn from their ‘students’? As humans, we all have so much that we can learn from each other when we give ourselves permission to be open and stay curious.

daveLooking at becoming a more compassionate leader? The EDGE3 Team can help. David Graham develops good leaders who want to become spectacular leaders!

 

More Alike Than We Are Different

Since I was a kid, I’ve dreamed of visiting Africa. Couple that with my 7-year involvement with the TriAdventure and Nikibasika Learning Development Project, Uganda became a must visit stop on my bucket list. I could hardly wait!

One of the first experiences that we had arriving in Uganda was a Team Coaching Session with the KIBO Foundation, a company focused on developing leadership skills and unleashing the capacity of their youth. As an organization that supports many of the kids from Nikibasika, we are big fans of the work that KIBO does and were happy to support them in their growth as a team.

I partnered with Cate Creede of the Potential Group and Bonnie Ho, this year’s chair of the Triadventure, to facilitate a workshop on Fearless Leadership.

Feeling a little anxious about the experience, I mentioned to EDGE3’s Devon Domanski that I was curious to understand their challenges and how they may be different than the teams we work with in Canada. She said, “When you’re there, I encourage you to notice not how different the challenges are, but how similar they may be. What connects you?” A very wise colleague indeed… she certainly provided with a scope that shifted my perspective.

KIBO was an impressive team, indeed. Like many small business, each player must wear many different hats and to remain extremely agile in their approach. I was inspired by their respect and care for one another, their ability to approach challenges creatively and by their unwavering commitment to serve and commit to a common goal.

So, what did the team walk away with from our session? An impressive strategic plan cranked out in record time by Cate Creede…nicely done, Cate! And in the spirit of coaching, they seemed to have a renewed confidence in themselves and an awareness that the answers have been within them all along.

Go KIBO! Continue to inspire young leaders in Uganda; we are rooting for you.

daveLooking at becoming a more compassionate leader? The EDGE3 Team can help. David Graham develops good leaders who want to become spectacular leaders!