Chaque jour est un éternel recommencement

A bien y réfléchir, pas trop longtemps quand même, il est de notre libre arbitre de choisir chaque jour comme celui du début de notre nouvelle vie. Rien ni personne ne vous oblige à faire aujourd’hui ce que vous faisiez hier. Vous pouvez approcher votre conjoint, vos collègues, vos clients, vos enfants, vos parents – mettez qui vous voudrez – de façon différente ou nouvelle.

Bien évidemment, chacun transporte son histoire. Mais là encore, personne ne vous force, à priori, à la transporter sur votre dos. Il est possible de choisir de la laisser sur le bord de la route et de vivre en regardant devant et uniquement devant. Pour conduire sa voiture, il convient de regarder devant, pas dans les rétroviseurs en permanence. Il est donc possible, et c’est un choix, de vivre chaque jour comme un éternel recommencement. Pas à la façon de Phil Connors dans Un jour sans fin, mais vraiment en la vivant au plein de son potentiel.

Aiguiser sa hache

La phrase “si vous me donnez six heures pour abattre un arbre, je passerai les quatre premières à aiguiser la hache” est généralement attribuée à Abraham Lincoln. Cela reflète bien la philosophie de ce grand homme, qui s’était préparé toute sa vie à devenir président des États-Unis.

C’est aussi une métaphore pour l’importance de la préparation. Inutile de se jeter tête baissée dans l’action, il convient de bien réfléchir et de consacrer le temps nécessaire à se préparer. La répétition est nécessaire à la perfection. Il n’y a pas de raccourci au succès, tous les jours, il faut aiguiser sa hache.

La moyenne et la médiocrité

La racine latine de ces deux mots, bien que sensiblement différente, fais référence au milieu, à la “médiane”. Le médiocre étant en fait en dessous de la moyenne. Cependant quand on y réfléchit, la moyenne est médiocre. L’antonyme de la moyen est exceptionnel, et l’exceptionnel est par définition au dessus de la moyenne.

En recherchant la moyenne, et donc souvent le consensus, on tend vers la médiocrité. Dans toute chose, ce n’est pas donc pas la moyenne qu’il faut rechercher, mais l’exceptionnel. A moins de vouloir une vie moyenne, médiocre !

Le secret de la réussite des stars…

J’en ai plein le c… de recevoir ces mails des gourous du développement personnel pour révéler le secret de la réussite de telle ou telle star. Ce matin, c’était celui de Lebron James, le basketteur super star. Un parmi tant d’autres, que j’ai fichu à la poubelle quasi instantanément. Pourquoi ? Parce que le fameux “secret” est toujours le même. Il a été révélé par Malcom Gladwell dans son livre Outliers (Les Prodiges en français… ) : 10 000 heures d’entrainement !

Il n’y a pas d’autre secret ou de recette magique : du travail, de la discipline et le feu sacré. Le talent ? Une pincée mais pas nécessaire. La chance ? Oui, certainement un peu, mais elle se provoque. Comme dit l’adage, la fortune sourit aux audacieux. Ce qui l’histoire ne dit généralement pas, ce sont les innombrables échecs avant le coup de chance ! On aime tellement croire aux contes de fées, qu’on en oublie les larmes, le sang et la sueur.

Si vous voulez atteindre le succès que peu atteigne, faites ce qu’un infime nombre d’individus fait ! On ne devient pas une star du jour au lendemain, ce sont des heures et des heures de travail, à l’abri des regards. Alors le prochain qui m’envoie un mail sur le secret de tel ou tel, et bien qu’il sache que son message ira tout droit où il mérite d’être : à la poubelle !

Allez, au travail !

Un client ne sait pas (vraiment) ce qu’il veut…

… et c’est pourquoi il y a toujours plein de nouveaux clients autour de vous que vous ne connaissez pas encore. Si vous attendez que les clients viennent vous voir quand ils ont un besoin, vous allez bientôt mettre la clé sous la porte. Il est donc primordial d’être force de proposition.

C’est en challengeant la manière de penser d’un client qu’on le fidélise et lui apporte de la valeur. C’est pourquoi l’innovation joue un si grand rôle. Sans elle, pas d’évolution possible, pas de croissance. Et c’est en influençant la manière de voir le monde d’un client qu’on devient son “conseiller”. Une manière simple et unique de faire croitre son chiffre d’affaires.

Ne pensez pas qu’un client sais ce qu’il veut, il saura ce que vous lui présenterez et vendrez. A vous d’être le challenger!

You get what you inspect, not what you expect

This is one of the favorite sentence of Kevin Turner, Microsoft COO. And unfortunately, it’s the reality. Due to the law of the path of least resistance, people do not tend to do what is expected, but what is inspected.

Now, there are two ways to approach inspection: coaching and managing. The difference is subtle and critical. Managing is telling people what to do. Coaching is asking people what to do. In the first case, it’s an order. It works well at a certain level and particularly in a military setting. However, orders in the corporate world do not work at all, particularly with millennial.

Keep orders for the military

Orders may work well as well with apprentices, as long as they understand it’s part of the journey and they accept it. Beyond this, giving, or worse barking, orders is a no-no. Coaching may seem to require more work and thinking, but you can look at it from prevention/cure point of view.

If you give and order and this order is not apply, you will need to cure the situation and eventually get rid of the employee, resulting in loss of productivity, energy and money. If you coach, you help the employee/colleague to grow and prevent bad things to happen. You eat healthy to stay fit or you eat junk and get sick. Your choice!

Inspect by coaching

So inspecting by coaching is the way to go. However, coaching may sometimes require tough love and the coach need to move to a mentor position in which he/she gives advice and potentially orders. Coaching is not cajoling. Coaching is helping the other grow by finding the right answer for him or her.

Of course, some people may say that coaching is manipulating, because generally the coach is influencing the coached person. And this is where the fine line is. The coach should not manipulate or influence, otherwise it will rapidly be felt and the coaching will fail. Coaching is not easy but it’s massively rewarding for both parties. It’s definitely a good investment of time and money to get on the bandwagon. I will provide some insights of my coaching practice with my peers in coming posts.

Have a wonderful day and remember, you and yourself are in charge of your present and future!

 

The one behavior that makes a huge performance difference

Recently Inc.com published a post entitled The Productivity Secret Behind Bill Gates’s Incredible Success. The title entices you with the idea that Bill’s success is a matter of just a productivity secret, which is, of course, not really true. However, it puts the finger on something that has now been demonstrated numerous times: intensity of focus is a game-changing behavior and increases performance.

Monotask

https://unsplash.com/negativespace

https://unsplash.com/negativespace

For peak performance, the first to get rid of is distraction. Second, you need to concentrate on the one task you have to do. If you’ve ever been totally absorbed in what you do, like coding or painting, or any pleasurable activity, you should have been amazed at how time flies fast and how much you have done. This is the power of dedicating all your energy to one activity and one activity only. Of course our brain and body are multitasking: we breathe without thinking about it, we digest, we do all sorts of things without being conscious about them. However, dedicating our conscious energy to one thing only is what I’m calling monotasking here.

Concentrate

https://unsplash.com/asthetik

https://unsplash.com/asthetik

When you are about to do something difficult, you often need to concentrate. This moment of deep thinking allows to focus our mind and energy on what we are about to do. Unfortunately, with all distractions, many people have lost the ability to concentrate and dedicate oneself to deep work. If you are prone to distraction, you may need to start with short period of concentration, like 10 minutes, and increase slowly to be able to sustain an hour or more of deep concentration. Concentration will bring you to the next performance level.

Meditation can help you reach your concentration goal. By bringing back focused monotasking in your daily work, you will soon be amazed at your results!

The only thing you can control is you…

Your Hump Day Success Edge Post #1

Today’s inspiration comes from Kevin Turner, Microsoft’s COO. During a presentation on Monday, he used this quote: “the only thing you can control is you, the only thing you cannot control is everything else”. When you reflect on this, you realize it’s common sense on one side, but really powerful when you’re interested in learning and growing. Do the Iowa results have an effect on what you do and think? If you’re in politics and your career depends on it, may be. Otherwise? Can you control what Cruz or Clinton will do? Probably not. Even Bill does not control Hillary! Joke aside, focusing on what you can control is the best, if not the only way, of creating a better you.

https://unsplash.com/pawelkadysz

https://unsplash.com/pawelkadysz

Of course, you can argue that you can control any kind of machinery, your car or your direct reports, for instance. However, think for a moment. What if something breaks in your machine or car, what if one of your direct reports is sick? Can you still control them? The only thing you can really control is you, you are in charge of your actions and your emotions, and it’s within your power and decision to take control of your actions and emotions. Once you let go what is around you that you have no effect on, you can concentrate on what matters really: becoming a better you, to serve better others!

Your Hump Day Success Edge

You open a newspaper, it’s all about politics, war, and horrors. Between lies from politicians, finance institutions ripping off your savings, and big corporation making billions, it seems the world is going down to the cellar. However, there are millions of individuals who have understood the underlying forces of success, who are living successful lives, and who seem to go through difficulties with ease. This is what I’m interested in. As a successful entrepreneur and professional, I’ve gone through tough days, weeks, months and years, gone through tremendous successes, and leveraged all my experience to continue to strive in whatever I start and do.

I created this blog after the financial crisis of 2008 (if you are still wondering what happened, go and watch The Big Short) because I was fed up of all the negativity that was floating around. Yes, the financial system is rotten. Yes, politicians are corrupted. Yes, we can see the world is killing itself. Or we can be optimistic while not delusional, we can build on positive thoughts and actions, we can put a brick in the wall of the new world. And this is what I want to help people with, through this blog and my new resolution for the year: the hump day success edge.

For non-English natives, hump day is Wednesday. Why hump day? From urbandictionary.com, hump day comes from “the context of climbing a proverbial hill to get through a tough week”. Therefore, the hump day is the best day of the week, because the weekend gets closer. However, I see this has the pinnacle of the week, the day of hope, of maximum energy. And because I want ultimate success, this is the best day to stop for 15 minutes and reflect on our lives, loves and craft. So this year, I will, every Wednesday, write on what can make each of us more successful in every aspect of our personal and professional lives. Simple no non-sense ideas, easy to execute, and game-changing.

Get ready for the Hump Day Success Edge! Live February 3!

How to Disagree Without Being Disagreeable: 7 Tips for Having More Productive Discussions by HubSpot

https://unsplash.com/martz90

https://unsplash.com/martz90

In our professional lives, we may not agree every time with others. Sometimes, we may be right, sometime we are wrong. But overall, it’s not because we disagree that we need to be “disagreeable”. This post from HubSpot goes over 7 tips to agree to disagree without being nasty. Those 7 advices are:

  1. Be mindful of your tone. No need to get angry, your ideas can go their own way by respecting other people’s idea. No need to yell or shout, stay courteous.
  2. Don’t use “you” statements. You do not want to judge the person, but to challenge her ideas. No need to point finger at the other party by using “you”.
  3. Avoid filler words or hesitant phrases. In other words: be brief, be bright, be gone!
  4. Do your research. Want to make a point? Facts, facts, facts. Less stories, more tangible facts.
  5. Don’t get personal. As with point number two, don’t point finger, don’t fill pointed finger at. Stay at idea and fact level.
  6. Be mindful of your body language. You mouth say something, but your body may say the opposite. Align yourself mentally and physically.
  7. Know your non-negotiables. Do not compromise on something you truly believe in, it will bite back later.

This may seem common sense to many people, and yes, it is, but common sense is unfortunately lost this days too frequently. So next time, you disagree and want to find the right decision for both parties, have a look at those seven advices and… good luck!