Archives for May 2015

TIME: Energy and Your Success Roadmap

Contributed by Dan Sheedy.

Time for SuccessOver the past month we have explored success via legs of the table of TIME (Tenacity, Intentionality, Message, and Energy) and the change in mindset required to move from “I need more time” to “TIME is on my side.” Energy is the catalyst that builds and the glue that holds the table together.

Be sure to read all of the parts that make up TIME:
Success: It’s About TIME!
TIME (Part 2): First, It’s About Tenacity
TIME (Part 3): Intentionality, with Direction
TIME (Part 4): Your Message

What kind of energy do you bring to your life, to the things that are important to you, and to those around you? Your answer to this question, and the enthusiasm and passion with which you express it, is the energy that forms the final leg of the table of TIME. You need to bring energy, and the right kind of energy, to your desired goals, priorities and relationships to make them a reality. Merely showing up, going through the motions, or working more is never the answer. In fact, this method often saps the very energy one needs to achieve success. Let’s look at Energy in more depth.

In their book, The Power of Full Engagement, Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz proclaim that most of us are chasing the wrong resource: hours in the day. Instead, we should focus on something entirely different: our energy.

According to Loehr and Schwartz, our energy can be broken down into 4 different elements:

• Your physical energy – how healthy are you?

• Your emotional energy – how happy are you?

• Your mental energy – how well can you focus on something?

• Your spiritual energy – why are you doing all of this? What is your purpose?

The order in which these four energy types appear is not random. Loehr and Schwartz give them this specific order to guide us through developing our energies in the right way.

Your physical energy – how healthy are you?

Your physical energy naturally serves as the base. It is going to be very tough to build out your other energies without taking care of your body first. Generally, however, physical energy is the most discounted element in our day-to-day lives. What are you doing to build and sustain your physical energy?

Your emotional energy- how happy are you?

Emotional energy is an aliveness of the mind, a happiness of the heart, and a spirit filled with hope. Emotional energy has a specific feel. It’s a sense of being up, happy, forward-looking, resilient, optimistic, and in touch with the creative, generous, hopeful self. Emotional energy means you can ride out any storm. Emotional energy is what we need to keep going happily and hopefully through all the difficulties and opportunities life has to offer. Is this a description you would want for yourself? What would it take to make this a reality?

Your mental energy- how well can you focus on something?

Mental energy is our ability to focus. Sir Julian Huxley defines mental energy as “the driving force of psyche, emotional as well as intellectual.” In fact, numerous studies over the past 25 years have found mental effort/energy can be measured in terms of increased metabolism. The issue today with mental energy is that everyone views multitasking as a necessity in light of all the demands they face, but multitasking actually undermines productivity. Uninterrupted focus for 60-90 minutes, taking a break, then starting the next task is shown to be far more productive. Creating rituals or processes to reduce interruptions and enable concentration is the key to focus and mental energy. Are you creating rituals or processes that focus your mental energy?

Your spiritual energy- Why are you doing all of this? What is your purpose?

Spiritual energy is the clear, clean, loving, energy that allows things to exist and thrive. Loehr and Schwartz say “it is the most powerful source of our motivation, perseverance and direction – the connection to a deeply held set of values and a purpose beyond our self-interest.” Spiritual energy is sustained by balancing a commitment to others with commitment to self.

We now know the elements of energy and the role they play in our lives. It’s having fuel in your tank for doing what you have to do and what you want to do. It’s being able to go the extra mile. It’s having a lot to give. It’s not feeling like you have to push yourself.

Success is about TIME (Tenacity, Intentionality, Message, and Energy)! It is about defining a compelling vision, understanding how each piece can act as a catalyst or derailer in a successful career, and implementing a plan of action. Each leg of the table of TIME contributes to the foundation that allows you to move you or your organization to “TIME is on my side.” Yes, it is!

What will you do today to make this happen?

TIME (Part 4): Your Message

Time for SuccessContributed by Dan Sheedy.

In this series, as we move toward getting TIME on our side, we have explored two components: tenacity and intentionality… The question is how do we put these first two components into practice? This is where message comes in. Message is the third leg on the table of TIME (Tenacity, Intentionality, Message, and Energy).

Be sure to read Success: It’s About TIME!TIME (Part 2): First, It’s About Tenacity, and TIME (Part 3): Intentionality, with Direction.

Sharing a vision, a message, is a central role of a leader. A vision gives people a bigger picture of what things can be like. It helps people raise their hopes and expectations; it inspires them. When people are inspired, they are more likely to work on something or for something.

Your message and the way you communicate it has a big impact on your ability to get along with people and achieve your goals. Good communication skills can help you avoid conflict, clarify mixed messages and solve problems that are part of every-day life. This is true not only on a personal level but on a corporate level. Between the grand visions of a board presentation and the day-to-day activities of the average employee, a gaping hole often exists. Often a gap exists between the practical translation of what a company’s message should be versus what it is.

How do we narrow the gap? Jan Phillips of the Syracuse Cultural Workers expressed a powerful perspective on this when she said, “No matter what our attempts to inform, it is our ability to inspire that will turn the tides.” The solution is as simple as keeping the message informative and inspirational. A meaningful message must be specific and have impact.

Think of the message you want to communicate in any situation at your workplace or in society. Consider the stories of hundreds of leaders in business (for example, Steve Jobs), government (for example, Lech Walesa) and civil rights (for example, Dr. Martin Luther King) and how they used a simple message to inform and inspire. Can you see the power in communicating your vision and your message to others? No one can decide to follow you until they know what direction you’re headed in, but if your message is one that touches a chord with many people, and if you can communicate it well; people will join you in reaching toward your goals.

How often do you need to communicate your message or your vision? Constantly!

Whenever you talk to people about your project, group or organization, tell people what you are working towards. The more you do it, the better you will get at it, and the more people will be willing to support you. As you lead, you should be communicating your vision all the time. People look to leaders to inspire them and keep them on the right track. The more you are enthusiastic and clear about where you are going, the more likely it is that people will follow your lead. Don’t underestimate the power of your ideas and words. Ghandi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” You, as much as anyone, have what it takes to lead others and to help them envision a better organization, community, and world.

Once you have made the decision to intentionally share your vision and your message, if you pursue it with tenacity, you will have completed another leg in moving from “I need more time” to “TIME is on my side.”

What will you do today to make this happen?