Double your question-to-statement ratio.
Simply put, ask more questions. Forget being interesting. Be interested.
Do a “stop doing” list.
Too many priorities means no priorities. Say no. Say no. Say no.
Turn off you electronic gadgets.
Think. Give yourself white space on your calendar regularly. And please don’t cheat: shut smartphones and tablets down.
Confront your brutal facts.
Ignorance is not bliss. Have at least a quarterly meeting focused on nothing but facts. No opinions, intuitions, guesstimations and the like. Facts. Do the same in your personal life.
Discover what you are really good at.
Listen to your genetic wiring. What are you genetically coded to do better than most of your peers? Find out, and do it.
Change your “what” questions into “who” questions.
If you have read Good to Great, you know that it’s more important to know who your teammates are than where the bus is going. Jim extends this concept into personal decisions like complex illness treatment: before focusing on which therapy, make sure that your doctors are true experts.
Use values, purpose and BHAGs as your compass.
Create your future based on three things: values, purpose, and big, hairy, audacious goals (BHAGs). Core values that could last a lifetime, so you can stick to them in bad times… Purpose in the sense that you will be missed when you are gone… and BHAGs not for the short term, but for the next 15 or 20 years.
Set your 20 mile march
Companies and individuals that have the discipline to advance in predictable and sustainable steps go further, as Amundsen did when he marched to the South Pole, doing 20 miles every single day. Find your “20-mile” and march relentlessly. But above all, resist the temptation to go an extra mile today if it means jeopardizing the rhythm of your progress tomorrow.
Get a huge return on your next bit of good luck.
Bill Gates was lucky to be a programmer back then, but he was no luckier than many of his peers. Luck happens. We all get lucky many times in our life. Learn how to recognize luck when it comes. And get a huge return on it. Just like Bill.
Change from striving to be successful to striving to be useful.
Good old Peter Drucker said this to Jim once many years ago, and he never forgot it: By being useful you will be successful. Not the other way around.