INSIGHTS (on leadership/self-leadership)
Author Suzy Welch told CNBC: Make It about a life lesson she learned from Warren Buffett, in the oddest of ways. She was seated next to him at a dinner party, and as the two were sitting down, Buffett quietly pulled a 15-minute egg-timer out of his pocket, placed it between them, and said:
“That’s how long I get to talk with you before I lose you to your partner on your left. And not a minute shorter!”
When the timer went off, each turned to their other side, until the timer went off again 15 minutes later. When Welch and Buffett turned toward each other again, Welch was greeted with a “Goodie, you’re back!” from the icon. As Welch said, “He (Buffett) was the most important person in that room – and yet, he made me feel like I mattered as much as he did.” Welch went on to say the experience changed the way she viewed leadership. It taught her how powerful it is to show others that you care, that you value them, and that you’re listening.
To me, this is the platinum rule of leadership, and of being a good human being. Focusing intensely on being interested rather than interesting. Showing people they’re heard and then acting on what they say. Believing that everyone deserves to feel valued and valuable, worthy and worthwhile.
The privilege of leadership makes you a conduit — an instrument that can amplify the point of view, thoughts, ideas, feelings, opinions, hopes, and dreams of those that work for, and with, you. Buffett’s egg timer is a physical manifestation of this spirit. It’s a quirky approach that says “You’re important enough to me that we’re going to put a guardrail in place to keep us on course with our connection.” I encourage you to think of an egg-timer in your head before engaging with others in the future. Be fully focused and tuned in, until the “sand” runs out and it’s time for the next conversation.
IMPERFECTIONS (a mistake many make)
Trevor Moawad, a top mental conditioning coach for elite athletes and a man called “the world’s best brain-trainer” by Sports Illustrated, wants you to know one of his most transformative insights. It’s a truth that so many of us mistakenly fail to grasp.
The past is not predictive.
Read that sentence again. Say it out loud. Let it sink in. If you can learn to believe this, it changes so much about how you plan for, and act on, the future. As Moawad says, by internalizing this, “You’ll be able to let go of past failures and losses. You’ll instantly feel calmer. And the athlete, or employee, or parent, or spouse, who’s calmer, more times than not, will win.”
IMPLEMENTATION (one research-backed strategy, tip, or tool)
Here’s a simple test you can use anytime you’re worrying a decision you’re about to make is the wrong one. It’s a method I’ve been using for years, and one that I found mentioned in Harvard Business Review. It’s called the 10/10/10 Test. When you’re wound up in worry, ask yourself:
“How will I feel about the decision 10 weeks, 10 months, or 10 years from now?”
It keeps you from catastrophizing the impact of the decision you’re facing and makes it far easier to just make the call and move forward. Try it – it really helps.