Tag Archive | "Habits"

5 Smart Habits of People Who Make Things Happen


Bridging the gap between generating ideas and implementing them isn’t intuitive for everybody, and one quality that separates successful entrepreneurs from the not-so-successful is their ability and willingness to get “stuff” done, reports Entrepreneur. It’s not a single habit that separates the winners from the losers but rather a multitude of behaviors executed consistently that support a larger goal. Consistency is the keyword here. Just as you don’t become stronger or faster with infrequent trips to the gym, developing soft skills works the same way. They require the same cultivation and dedication as anything else you want to become better at.

While everybody has their own behaviors and habits that work for them, here are five that I’ve found to yield positive results:

1. Make self-deposits.

When you make a promise to other people, chances are you uphold it because your personal reputation and the quality of the relationship are on the line. But what about making promises to yourself? It’s easier to break promises made to ourselves than it is to another, yet keeping our self-promises builds the self-efficacy and self-confidence upon which character is based. If you want to feel unstoppable, start by keeping the promises you make to yourself when nobody’s looking.

2. Capture your ideas immediately.

Good ideas tend to pass right through me like an oversized bowl of fiber (feel free to tweet that), and there’s nothing more frustrating than trying to recall a great idea that has since vanished from the mental repository known as “memory.” When a hint of inspiration strikes you, write it down immediately. Make a voice note, send yourself an email, write whatever keywords you have to that will spark your memory when you return to it later.

3. Don’t take yourself too seriously.

Yes, there’s the old adage, “if I don’t take myself seriously then nobody else will.” However, people are more prone to flock to others who show a little personality than others who put them to asleep. Just look at the humor used by Dollar Shave Club in their marketing videos. While the thought of buying a razor isn’t exactly inspiring, nor does it incite a deep personal connection with people, the personality shown in their YouTube videos certainly does. Of course, there’s a time and place to be funny. Know your audience and the climate of the room. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself saying something that sounded funny in your head right before you lose all your friends.

4. Build yourself daily.

I’m a big believer in setting personal challenges to build resiliency. The choices you make shape who you are today and who you will be tomorrow. Staying fit doesn’t stop at the treadmill or after you squeeze into a Speedo. There is mental, emotional and spiritual fitness that balance each other out and make for a well-rounded individual. We all know people with brilliant minds who have the social skills of a nat. Build your skills daily every opportunity you have.

5. Be candid.

If there’s one thing that everybody needs more of, and I could insert a lot of jokes right here, it’s time. If you want to reward people, be candid. Tell them straight up, in a not-so-rude sort of way, and don’t waste their time. People appreciate honesty and resent deceit. They will actually seek your counsel in the future because they know what you stand for.

These are just a few of the habits that I’ve found to yield positive results for myself and for others. What are yours?

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7 Habit Changes That Will Rock Your Business in Unexpected Ways


When was the last time you changed anything that you did in your day or anything in your company, especially something that isn’t working well?

Change isn’t a one-time thing. But small changes done regularly in business can have a huge impact, reports Small Business Trends.

Did you know that Toyota became a huge multinational corporation in part due to its unique and innovative process improvement system — a system based on continuous change? Yes, the huge corporation was itself once a scrappy small business. In the 1940s, it developed something called the “Toyota Production System.”

In the Toyota Production System, small, continuous improvements drive high quality of work and competitiveness. Today, Toyota shares this process with other organizations. The goal is to help them make great things happen.

Toyota partnered with filmmakers to create a series of mini-documentary films called The Toyota Effect to document some of these impactful projects. I was able to draw a number of lessons from the films about habit changes, and have outlined seven below.

Then, see if you can come up with any other lessons like these seven:

Get an Early Start to the Day

Starting work early gives you time to orient yourself to the day’s requirements. It gives you time to think before the demands of customers and employees monopolize your attention. This way you can focus on your goals. Leadership also sets an example for everyone in the company. It’s hard to demand that employees get an early start if the boss rolls in at 9:30 or 10:00 every day.

Fix Something Little — Every Day or Every Week

Most companies have processes that could stand some improvement. That’s particularly true for growing companies. A process that worked when the company was smaller and had fewer customers may begin to break down as volume increases.

St. Bernard Project, a non-profit engaged in rebuilding New Orleans flood-damaged homes, realized with help from Toyota that becoming more efficient needn’t be a huge initiative. It can be as simple as fixing little things. While they may seem small, collectively those little fixes help overall performance significantly.

Set and Review Goals Daily or Weekly

Without goals, it’s all too easy to drift along and never change anything. Establish a few goals for your personal productivity, and then establish a few goals for your departments and managers. Start with simple goals. Your personal productivity goal could be “Get to work by 7:30 am each day.” Or a goal for a department might be: “Cut one day out of the shipping cycle.” To stay on track, review goals regularly — at least weekly.

Establish Teams to Solve Problems

As the owner of the business, you don’t have to do everything. In fact, you can’t do everything. Get in the habit of establishing teams to come up with ideas. Make continuous improvement everyone’s job.
For example, at ACE Metal Crafts, the team set out to fix the problems in the shipping department (which one employee called “a shambles”). They didn’t implement a complex high-tech solution. Instead, by applying principles of the Toyota Production System, the team came up with a simple yet innovative solution: taping off a section of the shipping floor the size of a truck. Team members could stack parts in it throughout the day. That way, every employee could see exactly when they had a full truck load of parts.

Find Fun Solutions

Encourage team members to get in the habit of finding fun solutions. Fun solutions get employees and teams engaged — that’s the real power of fun.

Reassure People It’s About Fixing the Process, Not Fixing Them

When you bring up change, some employees will have fear — fear that their jobs may go away. Or they fear that process improvement is really a ploy to identify poor-performing employees.
But as Jean Pitzo, CEO of ACE Metal Crafts, discovered with help from Toyota, process improvement can actually help employees perform better and feel good about their jobs. Emphasize that it’s about fixing the process — and that by doing so you are respecting them as employees and helping them.

Celebrate the Wins

Celebrate “wins.” It’s so motivating when people see that the things they do make all the difference.

Publicly congratulate someone for accomplishing a new milestone. Throw a party when a major efficiency breakthrough happens. Put up a whiteboard to show progress toward goals. Or follow a time honored technique, and get a large glass jar and place a marble in it each time something good happens. Before you know it, the jar will fill up and become a visual reminder of your team’s accomplishments.

Remember, small things done regularly can make a huge difference in efficiency and productivity.

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