Monthly Archives: October 2010

A Surprising Truth

So did you do your ‘Stop Doing’ List last week?

If you did, then I’d suggest you give it a quick review to see if you stuck to it or if there’s more to add to it.

Last week’s email certainly got a great reaction and seemed to hit a nerve with people.

Personally, I believe if you did a ‘Stop Doing’ list every month you’d make dramatic changes.

If you were stuck for ideas here’s some of the ones that came back to me last week:

– I decided to stop selling and let my sales team do it

– I stopped moaning, blaming and worrying.  I actually started enjoying work again!

– I stopped watching tv for the week and read a book instead

– I stopped my email inbox from being open all the time – It saved me hours!

– I stopped reacting to other people’s priorities and focused on my own.

– I stopped going to meetings that have no agenda and didn’t really need me there!

– I stopped listening to Morning Ireland and switched to Lyric fm instead.

So there’s no inspirational quote this week, just a reminder on how useful having a ‘Stop Doing’ List is…

But what I do have for you is some inspiration on what motivates and inspires people, communicated in one of the most innovative ways I’ve seen in a long time. If you have a few minutes, it’s worth it.

The surprising truth about what motivates us

Have a great week,



Company Builders Seldom Do This…. But They Should.

Here’s your shot of weekly inspiration:

“I’m struck by how seldom company builders consider the question of what to stop doing, and how they fail to identify inconsistencies in their vision that should be eliminated.”

– Jim Collins, author of ‘Good To Great’.

This is a quote that every business owner and manager should digest. It’s something I watch in myself and still I get caught out. Most people I encounter have long ‘to-do’ lists.  And we can get very very busy doing all sorts of important work only to turn around one day, worn out, and go, ‘what was I doing that for?’

The time to ask that question is well before you’re exhausted at the end of a personal cul-de-sac.

Do you have a ‘Stop Doing List’?

This is a list of things you really shouldn’t be doing because:

a. They’re not the best use of your time

b. Someone else can do these actions cheaper and better

c. They don’t give a good return for your time

d. They’re not really priorities in your business or life

Here’s a few examples to give you some ideas:

1. Stop leaving my email on so that notifications pop up to distract me during the day.

2. Stop taking personal calls during work hours

3. Stop doing work that one of my team could do if I took a few hours out to train them

4. Stop watching tv at night

5. Stop trying to implement an idea that plainly isn’t working

6. Stop listening to the news at night (or even during the day!)

7. Stop blaming my staff and focus on what I can do differently

8. Stop dealing with this client completely because we hate doing business with them

9. Stop doing ‘low-value’ work when I could do some exercise

Out of interest, a business owner or successful executive is usually a compulsive ‘doer’.  But as the business evolves this can be a barrier to growth.  Owners and successful executives who achieve great success don’t continue with obsessive doing but rather impose upon themselves the demanding discipline of not doing.

The world is full of smart business people who take decisive action. But it’s very short of wise men and women who take decisive inaction.

So, what’s on your ‘stop doing’ list?

Food for thought…

Have a great week.

Is Your Goose Cooked?

Here’s your shot of weekly inspiration:

“To maintain the P/PC Balance, the balance between the golden egg (production) and the health and welfare of the goose (production capability) is often a difficult judgment call. But I suggest it is the very essence of effectiveness.

– Stephen Covey, Author of ‘The Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People’.


You probably know the story of the goose that lays the golden egg. Stephen Covey gave it a modern day twist when he included it as a powerful analogy in his best-selling book on effectiveness.

In the story a farmer finds a goose among his livestock that produces golden eggs. Every day it lays another pure golden egg. This is the production.(P) The goose lays golden eggs for a good long time and the farmer becomes extremely wealthy.  After a while, the farmer gets greedy and impatient.

He kills the goose to open it up and get all of the eggs at once. But there are no eggs inside.  In his desperation and greed, he killed his source of gold – his Production Capability (PC) – and now he will have zero production to show for it.

The moral of the story is that without taking care of your production capability (PC), production (P) will suffer. In your business or job, you are the Golden Goose. If the goose is tired, stressed or just off, it’s ability to lay golden eggs will obviously be affected.

That’s why it’s critical to look after the ‘goose’ by:

– Making sure it has a healthy diet

– Ensuring it has plenty of exercise to stay fit

– Have time to switch off and relax

– Having some fun every now & then (more now, than then hopefully…)

You get the meaning.

There are many other ways of looking at this analogy and there are plenty of meanings to be taken from it.  But all that matters is what you take from it.

Food for thought,

Have a great week,


ps Thanks to everyone for the overwhelming response about the October challenge. If you’re one of the people who said ‘I’m in’, have you given up already? Remind yourself of what is that one thing you’re going to do every day and stay with it!