Something a little different

As most of you know, I’ve been coaching leaders and consulting with teams for well over a decade. Every couple of years, almost like clockwork, something shows up to energize me and takes what I offer to the next level.

Whether it’s been a new training program, a new assessment tool, or reengaging with a passion for something like getting out on my bike, just when I need a boost, something happens.

2020 being what it is, I wasn’t sure what was coming next but something told me to stay open and be curious.

Some lessons come from left field, and some come from an actual honest-to-goodness field.

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It’s time to listen.

Recently, I was talking to a colleague about a project that’s very important to me. She responded in a way that surprised me, because it’s a pretty uncommon response.

She listened. She really listened. She didn’t interrupt. She didn’t insert herself or make what I was saying about her. And when I finished talking, she asked questions that let me say things that I didn’t even know I needed to say.

Feeling really heard is phenomenal.

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Fatigue Recovery

Every summer I nudge clients and readers to take a break. Even though 2020 is unlike any other, my call to take a break remains the same, with two serious caveats.

Book a break now. AND…

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Rituals build resilience.

If you could design your life, what are your deal breakers? What things would you design everything else around?

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How to plan and pivot when things change

These past couple of months, we’ve had to drop life as we knew it and figure out new ways to live and work. Now, restrictions are lifting around the world and the ground is shifting again. We aren’t returning to the old normal. So what’s next?

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3 steps to re-imagine productivity

A couple of weeks ago, I challenged you to think about what you aren’t missing about the way we used to live and work.

Let’s build on that. We know that organizations are starting to look at productivity and deliverables differently.

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What are you NOT missing?

I have a question I want you to spend some time mulling over. Think about it now, then let it come back to you when you make lunch, walk your dog, or wash off your patio furniture. Just see where this question takes you.

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What I know about this moment: COVID 19

OK, I tell leaders to be real with their people, so I’m going to be real with you. Last week wasn’t good.

I got stuck and felt pressure to reach out with some advice and guidance for you but I didn’t have any answers and I fell silent as I watched a packed calendar, and the life we all knew, evaporate overnight.

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The hidden link between fear and fatigue

Courage is connected to your energy reserves.

Just think about that for a second. Courage is connected to your energy reserves. Now ask yourself this. When something new shows up, what’s your first thought? A new org structure, a new software system, an invitation to cross-country ski for the first time? What’s your first reaction?

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Do you know what introverts need to succeed?

When I work as a Team Development Consultant to optimize a team’s performance, one of the topics people find most practical and intriguing is around managing the very different needs of extroverts and introverts.

If you had to guess which group your workplace favours, who would it be?

This comes up in about 80% of the workshops I do. I’m happy to share the Coles notes with you, and feel free to share widely because it’s one of those topics where people hear this stuff and lightbulbs go on instantly.

Increasingly, workplaces favour extroverts. We are scheduling more meetings, prioritizing collaboration, even tearing down walls to encourage the free flow of ideas in shared workspaces. 

And we’re freaking introverts out!

Everyone fits somewhere on the introvert/extrovert scale. Not everyone is at one extreme or another. It’s important to avoid polarizing people and see diverse groups on both sides of the model. That said, there’s a surprising amount you can do to optimize performance when you get this stuff right!

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Does Your Morning Routine Sabotage Your Day?

Is the first hour of your day setting you up for success or stress?

I ask because I realized recently that my morning routine – a routine I’ve put a lot of research and passion into getting right – had started to sabotage me. I explain what went wrong with my routine below.

But first, I want to encourage you to take a few minutes to think about your routine.

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Get out of the office, for everyone’s sake

Have you made time to get out of the office for a break this summer? If so, great! You can skip to the Coach’s Nudge below. If not, read on. I’d like to help you get something on the calendar.

Taking time to rest, relax and take care of your health isn’t a luxury. 

It’s essential that leaders carve time for themselves to build and renew the energy it takes to lead. 

Thanks to a great summer vacation, I’m feeling ready and excited for Q4. I’ve been prioritizing taking significant time off during the summers for the past few years. I recharge my batteries by immersing myself in the things I love. I spend time with family and friends, get outdoors, go to our cottage, get projects done around the house – my holiday feeds me and makes me better, clearer, stronger and more appreciative when I’m back at work.

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Manage the unique challenges of a family business

There are a number of reasons why only 30% of family businesses survive into the second generation. Jump clients are beating the odds because they learn to manage the unique challenges of business families: family dynamics, succession planning, family governance, and communication.

“A family in harmony will prosper in everything.” Chinese Proverb

Successful business families need to balance the financial well-being of the business with the emotional well-being of the family. When I work with family business leaders, I help them leverage the strengths family members bring to the business and firmly establish a framework for the business and the family’s success.

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Play Badminton in Your Slippers

Do you remember the goal of energy management? Do you remember why you need to get enough sleep, eat right, move your body, hydrate and take breaks?

Energy management is at the core of the work I do because doing something better than you are doing it now will take energy. You can’t jump higher without it.

And in the long run, the things you do to manage your energy now will improve your quality of life.

My guide in Beijing took me to the Temple of Heaven and Earth Park in the middle of the city. It astounded me – the park is a massive playground for adults and it’s packed with 60 to 90-year-olds. Continue reading…

Eat, Break and be Merry

Do you remember the 9 Habits for High Productivity Days? # 8 is take breaks and # 6 is make time to connect.

Do you realize how easy it would be to do both on a regular basis if you made a habit of going out for lunch with colleagues?

North Americans have to be hit over the head to take a lunch break. People think there’s honour in being the lone hero who powers through. From where I stand, it looks less like honourable heroism and more like light-headed, energy-sucking solitude. Continue reading…

Ditch Your Regrets and Be Bold

I turned 50 last month. Yup. The big 5–0. Do you remember when I wrote, My Life is More Than Half Over? When I turned 45, I asked myself two important questions that I’ve used as touchstones for the past five years.

Chris Obst

“What do you really want to get done before you die?”

“Buddy, your life’s freakin’ half over, what are you going to stop tolerating?”

Five years later, a group of 60, 70 and 80-year old guys at my health club have me asking a new question.
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The Case for 5 Minutes of Gratitude a Day

Gratitude is an attitude – a mental and emotional, even spiritual acknowledgment that something’s going right.

It’s also a capacity booster.

This isn’t a new age thing. It’s practical. And you might even thank me for it.

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5 Steps to Get Your Focus Back

More and more, people are trying to work the way computers work.

We constantly multitask, connect dots, scan information, send and receive data; and occasionally we run too hot and burn out our processors.

computer brainOur brains aren’t designed to work like that – not day in and day out.

When do – much like computer processors – our brains start to slow down, allocating the minimum resources to any task and reserving mental energy for all the other tasks on the go (including some for the tasks that you don’t have on the go, but feel guilty about putting off). Continue reading…

Improve Your Performance with Sleep

Energy management is at the core of the Jump philosophy because doing something better than you are doing it now will take energy. You can’t jump higher without it.

I ask new clients to tell me precisely what they do from the minute their feet hit the floor in the morning until they go to bed at night as part of their energy audit. I’m looking for what they are doing or not doing to manage their physical, mental and emotional energy day to day. Continue reading…

Habits for High Productivity Days

The first thing you need to know about having a high productivity day tomorrow is that it starts with the last thing you do today.

Habit 1: End your day with a plan for the next day.

One of the biggest pits I see busy managers and leaders fall into is that they work to exhaustion and leave the office without setting a plan for what they need to get done the next day.

Starting the day with a plan for what you have to achieve is key to having a highly productive day. That plan can and should be crafted in advance so you can: Continue reading…