How I Applied New Tactics to Declutter My Mind & Surroundings

Stuff … stuff … and more stuff … I am amazed at how much stuff comes through my front door.

Junk mail, papers, tchotchkes, candies, toys … the clutter keeps piling up.  And this stockpiling of stuff doesn’t come only in the physical form – there’s also the mental stuff. The emails, the priorities, the inner dialogue, the to-do lists… this type of mental clutter can be just as taxing as the physical.

That’s why, earlier this year, I set a goal to get rid of the mental and physical clutter that prevented me from achieving the goals I had set for myself — the clutter that had been staring me in the eyes for years, daring me to go toe-to-toe with it.

While this goal was certainly nothing new to me, the time and intention I was willing to invest in it was.

You see, I seem to go through a cycle of decluttering every few months or so, only to find myself back in the very same place I started.  The cycle goes something like this …

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Stage 1: The Overzealous Purge

Nothing is safe or sacred at this point!  I’m determined to get rid of all the items I haven’t touched in months and to clear my agenda of any activity that doesn’t help me achieve my goals.

Stage 2: The Rational Purge

Ok… let’s be reasonable.  I can’t be irresponsible by getting rid of things that would cost money to replace.  I bet I’ll use these in the future, or even better… maybe I’ll save them for a garage sale.

Stage 3: There’s No Time to Purge

Sigh!  I’ve run completely out of time, and now all my items and thoughts are scattered.  I’ll quickly put them back in their place and get rid of them next weekend.

Sound familiar?

So, this year … I was (and still am) in the process of doing this differently.  How?

Enlisting the help of my husband and children.

Typically, my decluttering activities are a solo sport.  But this time, I thought it was important for us to participate in it together.  Because we all have different reasons for keeping particular items or doing particular activities, I wanted to ensure I wasn’t placing judgment on things they valued.

Now… some of you might be thinking, “How in the world does Bike Trailyour whole family have time to declutter life together?  We can hardly find time to eat together.”  Well, we had to get creative.

While I had increased my time commitment to this activity, not everyone in the house had that same luxury.  So, I made sure to actively involve them when I could, and I set key items and questions aside for them to review when they had the time.

Being more intentional about ‘how I decided’ to get rid of stuff.

I was never good at getting rid of items I haven’t used in a year; after all, we don’t always keep possessions because of their practical use.  We keep them for deeper reasons, as well.  So, rather than repeating the same old thought process, I decided to apply the five purposeful questions shared in a previous Minimalist Manager article.

I asked myself …

  1. Does this bring me joy?
  2. Does this help me live out my values?
  3. Does this help me employ my strengths or mitigate my weaknesses?
  4. Does this help me fulfill my purpose?
  5. Does this help me execute my strategy?

Asking these questions made the world of difference!  Especially when it came to items that I saw as ‘junk’, but my husband saw as ‘joy’ (or vice versa).  Or activities that some thought were a ‘waste of time’ and others thought were ‘helping them employ their strengths.’

By understanding each other’s perspectives, we stopped complaining about the things ‘we needed to get rid of, but never did’.  Instead, we saw their value for what it was… meaningful in its own way.

Prioritizing the most important and realistic areas to declutter. 

In the past, I’ve been guilty of taking on too much at once (a common theme you’ll notice in future posts).  Because of this massive undertaking, I tend to move the ball slightly forward on a lot of things rather than fully forward on a few.

Having recognized and acknowledged this personal tendency, I decided to prioritize the most important areas of my life that I needed to declutter.  I achieved this by noting the way particular rooms, activities, surroundings and people made me feel.

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Tackling the kitchen … one of those rooms that kept taunting me!

Then I asked myself … “can you realistically improve this?”  If the answer was ‘yes’, it made the list.  If the answer was ‘no’, I moved it down the priority list until something changes.

I also used the five questions above to guide which activities were most important.  While I might want to clean out my fridge, clearing out junk in my office is more likely to impact the success of my goals.

Where are you?

We are all on separate paths to decluttering our lives.  Whether it is the physical junk that has been sitting in the corner of our room, mental clutter that blocks our creative thoughts, or activities that keep us from what is most important, we all have different ‘stuff’ we need to tackle.

Head Clutter

Whatever ‘stuff’ is holding you back from fulfilling your personal goals, I encourage you to think about what you can declutter to get yourself back on track.

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How I Recharged on the Way to the Airport

I don’t know about you but I get drained. When the battery is running low I lose my focus on my purpose and I am more likely to do things out of line with my values. We all need energy to move forward.

At the conclusion of a recent work trip I had my Uber driver drop me off at a favorite spot on my way from my hotel to the airport. I was there for about an hour and a half, then headed to the airport. It made all the difference in the world…battery was charged and (or because) I connected with God through God’s creation.

I would encourage you to try to replicate this. Find an hour to stop, reflect, and recharge. You might not be going right by LaJolla. But I bet there is a great park near your path home. Give it a try. I bet you will find it helpful.

 

Three Lessons on Living and Dying From a Man Who Lives Well

Father Hauser has long been a favorite of mine, but recently I elevated him to hero status.

He strives daily to see God in all things. He lives with great purpose. He is a blessing.

Whether you are Catholic or not (and I am not big C catholic)…this is worth a watch.

Amazing honesty from a human who happens to be a Jesuit priest and religious scholar.

Click “Fr.Hauser_Homily”

Fr.Hauser_Homily from Don Doll SJ on Vimeo

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Courtesy of Creighton.edu

Three Lessons I Have Taken From Father Hauser

Be Human

Don’t pretend you have it all together. Others will learn from your humanity. Be open to letting others learn from your weaknesses. Let people learn along with you.

People who know Father well, myself included, were astonished and blessed by his openness in this video. We grew.

This is what elevated him to hero status for me. I have many heroes and he is now among the people who have shown me God in a way that sets them apart.

Recognize God’s Presence In Daily Life

See God in all things…and all people. Treat all things and people as God’s creations. When you live this way you can’t help but strive to love other people for who they are and you can’t help but strive to treat God’s earth and its creatures with respect.

You catch a glimpse in this video, but I, and thousands of others, are blessed to see him live this out daily.

Live Like You Won’t Die, But Knowing You Will

Live life in love for one another and don’t worry about the afterlife. Love this life and live it to its fullest in service to God. Do this by finding your purpose and striving to live it out.

But remember, while service to God in this life is how we are called to live…it is only the beginning. The fullness of the gospel is living well on earth and remembering our eternity in Christ.

Thank you God for letting me live for a while around Father Hauser. I know you will enjoy your time with him when he arrives home.

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Father with Father Hendrickson and St. Ignatius. Courtesy of Creighton.edu

 

 

 

 

 

 

You Failed Yourself, Now What?

It hurts bad when you let yourself down! Especially when it affects people you value.

I was in a meeting with organizational leaders…a common situation. It seemed like it went fine. I knew that I had misspoken a couple times…I wasn’t flawless by any means. I read enough body language to know that I had missed the mark on one particular comment, but I was assured that it wasn’t a big deal and that everything had gone well.

Through informal back channels I learned that my mistakes were bigger than I perceived. To most people the mistakes were innocuous, but they were mistakes and they were MY mistakes. A few people were appropriately bothered.

I didn’t live up to my values and I certainly didn’t live out my purpose.

So, how do I learn and grow?

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Reflection

What went wrong?

Why?

Who was harmed?

What is the impact?

What should I do now?

What should I do differently in the future?

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Action

Reflection helped me understand what went wrong, who was harmed, and why.

I apologized for my mistakes to the people affected, now it’s time learn and grow.

Why?

I didn’t adequately prep. I was too casual. Some people like that I am casual, with preparation I believe I can maintain that feel while making sure that my word choice and anecdotes/examples are more appropriate.

Only through careful preparation can we uncover the unconscious biases that might emerge in our language. While I believe certain things, from time to time I contradict those beliefs through the examples and words I choose. I can avoid these missteps through preparation.

What’s Next?

I generally know when these situations are coming. I need to make sure I carve out adequate preparation time. I need to make sure I give my thoughts/plans enough time to bake so that I can refine them…fully bake them. I find that when I do this I realize things that I have missed. The cake gets better to stick with that analogy.

We all need to be willing to take feedback/criticism, reflect, learn, and grow.

None of us are above this if we want to maximize our potential and fulfill our purpose.

I am grateful for this lesson and I pray that I will be better in the future.

The foundation of both growth and leadership is self-awareness…not coincidentally. I am now more self-aware and am better prepared to pursue my purpose moving forward.

How about you?

We All Need Reminders

Wondering about any items on the shelf? Ask in a comment.  I would also love to know what would go on your “shelf”.

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Killing Motivation Vampires: Micro-Management

Motivation Vampire

Micro-management is a motivation vampire…please forgive the hyperbole.

A quick working definition of micro-management is to manage with excessive control.

Autonomy is life giving…being controlled will suck the life right out of you.

Signs You Are A Micro-Manager

We Need To Talk About Your Flair
Office Space must be referenced in this post.

Obviously, what is excessive varies from situation to situation and some situations require more oversight than others. For example, when a task is new to a person they may require significant oversight and instruction, but if they still need a high level of oversight and instruction after some training then either they do not have the attributes required, the tools required, the proper context in which to practice, or you are a poor teacher/coach/manager.

Minimalist Management

Minimalist Management is based in the belief that meaningful and clear work allows people to flourish. The people you care about…team at work, children, friends, etc…will thrive when they are working toward something they believe is meaningful and they understand how to be successful.

This pertains to teaching your children to mow the lawn, enlisting your friends in your service activity of choice, or influencing your team to support the new organizational strategy. Meaning and clarity matter!

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Meaning and clarity are abundant in farming and I don’t know many unmotivated farmers

This isn’t just an opinion. Research published in the top academic journals supports this claim. Meaning and clarity are a part of what is often called empowerment. For example, Seibert, Wang, and Courtright (2011) provide evidence from numerous studies that empowerment is positively related to satisfaction, commitment, performance, voluntary pro-social behaviors, and innovation. Further, it is negatively related to strain and a desire to leave an organization. If you want more nerdery, I will put a little more at the end of the article.

If you started to glaze over during the academic speak…that is all really good stuff for the people you care about.

Warding Off Micro-Management Using Minimalist Management

The Minimalist Manager version of garlic, mirrors and sunlight, or a crucifix and holy water is the The Minimalist Management Bill of Rights. It provides some good starting points for warding off this motivation vampire as well as many other motivation vampires.

If you fear you will need to struggle against a real vampire read Six Ways To Stop A Vampire.
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This entrepreneur is the picture of meaning meets clarity

Right 1. Everyone deserves the opportunity to strive toward something personally meaningful.

Do your people understand how their work will improve things for themselves, their family, their team, their organization? If not, it’s time for a conversation. Don’t assume they do. You know what they say about assuming…Don’t do it…this is a family blog.

Right 2. Everyone deserves to have clarity of task and purpose.

Do your people understand what is being asked of them and why they are being asked to perform that task? If not, it’s time for a conversation.

Right 3. Everyone deserves to believe that they can successfully complete their work.

Do your people have the abilities and tools to complete their work as well as an environment conducive to the completion of their work? If not, you need to train them up or move them to another task. You need to get them the tools they need. And/or you need to create a conducive environment. Failure to do these things will lead to demotivation as it will be unclear to your people how they can be successful.

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Task: Put the ball in the net. How: Using the tactics and skills we have practiced.

Be Diligent

By using these rights as pillars of your culture you should ward off micro-management before drastic measures are required.

However, if you are not diligent then your people will likely fall short of your expectations and you might convince yourself that your people need excessive control. You will then exercise that control and you will create a negative habit that will drain your people until they avoid you, quit, end the friendship, or end up in years of therapy to overcome your parenting.

You have the choice to drain life or give life to your people. Don’t be a vampire.

As always, if you found this helpful please share.

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Bonus Nerdery

Just to be clear. I could go on and on talking data on this…

One more example study, Liden, Wayne, and Sparrowe (2000) showed that meaning and competence (two key dimensions of empowerment) held important relationships with outcome variables. Meaning held the key relationship with satisfaction and commitment while competence was key to performance. We need all three to create a healthy performance environment. This study also provides empirical evidence for the importance of high quality inter-personal relationships even when controlling for beliefs about the work itself.

A note about the study referenced in the main part of the post. That study was a meta-analysis. Meta-analysis combines across many studies to estimate the relationship between variables of interest. That study suggests that individual level empowerment is most strongly related to job satisfaction (r = .64), then organizational commitment (r = .63), then strain (r = -.37), then intention to leave (r = -.36), then organizational citizenship behavior (r = .34; pro-social helping behavior), then innovation (r = .28), then task performance (r = .27; r = .54 when people rated their own performance). Empowerment is also likely related to other variable you might find interesting, but those variables likely had not yet been studied enough to be included in this caliber of meta-analysis. Unfortunately, this meta-analysis didn’t break down empowerment into its underlying parts, but it is otherwise a great piece of work and I am not just saying that because two or the three authors are friends of mine. It was published in the Journal of Applied Psychology which is the top applied psychology journal in the world (as was Liden et al.).

 

 

A Bill of Rights For Work and Beyond

I believe it is high time that we managers have something we can point to when we are feeling violated and that those we manage can throw in our face when we are not living up to our duty to help our people flourish.

I believe that these “Rights” are applicable in most any context whether it be work, home, play, or service. While I suspect I will not be an originalist when it comes to this Bill of Rights…meaning it will likely change some over time, RIP Justice Scalia…, I certainly believe that these Rights are important because substantial evidence suggests that when respected these Rights lead to motivation and satisfaction. If these rights are respected I believe fantastic things will happen for Minimalist Managers and their people.

  1. Everyone deserves the opportunity to strive toward something personally meaningful.
  2. Everyone deserves to have clarity of task and purpose.
  3. Everyone deserves to believe that they can successfully complete their work.
  4. Everyone deserves to have their efforts recognized.
  5. Everyone deserves to receive both positive and constructive task focused feedback.
  6. Everyone deserves to have the resources they need to complete their work.
  7. Everyone deserves to work with people of integrity.
  8. Everyone deserves to work with people who stimulate them.
  9. Everyone deserves to work with people who support their personal and/or professional growth.
  10. Everyone deserves to have the actions and attitudes that affect them guided by evidence verses bias and tradition.

I will do my best to help those who strive to be Minimalist Managers live up to this Bill of Rights by providing support for these Rights. In particular, I aim to help people with Right 10 by providing research evidence that will help people live and manage in line with the The Minimalist Management Manifesto and this Bill of Rights.

What did I miss? I would love to engage in conversation around this Bill of Rights!

In order to better manage ourselves and others information is often helpful.

If you found this helpful please share.

 

5 Purposeful Questions To Help You Get Rid of “Stuff”

At the core of the current minimalist conversation is “own less stuff so that your stuff doesn’t own you”.

I totally buy into this…

Much more importantly, I believe Christ actually taught this…

If you are not a Christ follower, Buddha, Confucius, and Socrates all seem to agree as well.

My take is that “stuff” can get in the way of relationships with those I love…Jesus, my family, my friends, my colleagues, my partners (see Value #1 below). So we need to get rid of obstructionary “stuff”.

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Time to get rid of the quotation marks around “stuff”. Stuff goes beyond physical possessions. Our definition of stuff must include the activities that consume our time.

As we manage across all the areas of our life we need to curate our stuff so that we only buy/keep possessions and engage in activities that add value to our lives and the lives of those we love.

In The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up Marie Kondō suggests we ask of each item “Does it bring me joy?”. I think this can be helpful.

However, I believe it is a bit overly simplistic.

Minimalist Management is about the pursuit of purpose. So I think we need a more nuanced approach.

My laptop does not bring me joy in-and-of-itself, in fact I hate it sometimes. It, and other devices, can be a curse just as they can be a blessing. That said, I sure need my laptop in order to pursue my purpose. The pursuit of purpose brings me joy…so I guess I need to keep my laptop.

I hate clothes and I wish I could wear my black polos about 344 days a year (on the other days I would be in my kayak and would look very strange in a black polo) but I can’t cut back to just black polos because the career I love frequently requires that I wear a shirt with more than three buttons. That said, if the shirt isn’t required for something that will lead to joy…it should go.

I must keep some things that I despise because they are required by or for people/activities I love.

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Beautiful but absurd

If you work through the process of putting together a personal strategic plan it can serve as your guide to whether you need to own a possession or engage in an activity. Once you know your purpose and strategy you can ask “Will this thing help me achieve my purpose?”. Or, “Will this activity help me reach a goal that will move me closer to fulfilling my purpose?”.

If you cannot answer yes to at least one of the following it needs to go or you need to stop doing it…hint, the questions are not mutually exclusive.

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Does This Bring Me Joy?

If something truly brings joy…and you are sure you are being honest with yourself and not just justifying…don’t over think it. Upon reflection, you will probably realize that it brings you joy because the thing or activity is helping you live out your purpose(s).

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Making memories with people I love…yes, I mean you Chewbacca.

Does This Help Me Live Out My Values?

Values are our guideposts. I have decided to try to live by four (see above). If I own a possession or engage in an activity that does not represent meaningful relationships, growth, kindness, or impact then it needs to go.

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Does This Help Me Employ My Strengths or Mitigate My Weaknesses?

If I am not being intellectually stimulated or intellectually stimulating others I feel like I am wasting time…literally wasting my life. So if I am not taking in or dispensing data/knowledge/wisdom for more than brief recharge periods I get frustrated and listless.

I need to put my strengths to work! Activities and things that enable the utilization of my strengths should be kept…but not hoarded…I probably only need one of each necessary thing*. Activities and things that distract me and do not recharge me need to be jettisoned.

On the flip side, when I try to spend time thinking about time management, organization, or am trying to lock in on details…I quickly short circuit. These things are important and I can force myself to do them for short periods when I believe they are important for executing my strategy, but I need things and people to help me here. I also need to occasionally invest time in making sure these weaknesses aren’t derailing me.

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I love watching this kid grow.

Does This Help Me Fulfill My Purpose?

“I exist to help people grow into their full God-given potential so that they can impact the world.”

That is my purpose at this point in my life…maybe for the rest of my life.

I am blessed to work in a profession that easily maps onto this purpose. But Minimalist Management spans across all the areas of our life. I am sure people who don’t know me very well …and maybe some who do…wonder why I invest so much in my kids activities (time, money, mental energy).

The answer is quite simple…

I believe based on my life experiences that what kids gain from sports and music will help them grow into adults that will impact the world (teamwork, perseverance, creativity to name a few…but that is a different post).

These are certainly not the only activities that could yield positive outcomes, but I believe they work and they fit with my values. So I happily invest in the things that facilitate these activities and in the activities themselves.

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Building relationships with, and in, God’s creation.

Does This Help Me Execute My Strategy?

Whether it is the high levels strategic goals or the shorter term goals that will lead to your strategic goals the lesson is the same…if it doesn’t help, it probably hurts.

We need to focus. Buying that gadget instead of investing in your growth or your child’s growth…probably not helpful. Sacrificing a vacation in nature where you can bond with your friends or family (if relationship is a core value) because you are constantly getting fast food…probably not helpful.

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If we are going to maximize our motivation, capability, and subsequent impact…we need to be intentional in what we own and what we do. Anything else will limit our ability to have an impact.

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We all have a gift. – Image from Runner Tribe

If you have already put together your Personal Strategy, but haven’t yet started to prune back the possessions that aren’t adding value to your life then start today by getting rid of ten things that don’t help you move forward intentionally based on the above questions.

Or, commit to quitting one activity that is not purposeful and shifting that time to an activity that is.

There are a lot of great minimalist challenges and other resources out there that can guide you in pruning. Here are a few examples for those new to the idea of minimalism.

The More of Less – Josh Becker

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up – Marie Kondō

The 30-Day Minimalism Game

Tiny Buddha

If you haven’t yet put together your Personal Strategy then I encourage you to do so. Once you put it together…own it…use it to guide you in your pruning and curating.

Move forward today!

If you find this post interesting, helpful, motivating, or inspiring please post to social media so you can help others and we can grow this community. Posting to Facebook and/or LinkedIn would be ideal…I am really trying to grow community on those sites.

If you want to engage further please join the Minimalist Management Community by following this blog and/or joining us on Facebook.

 

*Footnote

Collections are interesting, I don’t believe there is anything wrong with collecting as long as it is on purpose. I like to collect sports cards with my kids. We build relationship through the process and I think it teaches lessons.

How To Craft A Simple Personal Strategy That Drives Impact

If you are like me you hate when you are not working toward something meaningful and/or not living up to your God-given potential. I live with the desire to avoid these situations. Personal strategic planning is a tool that I believe can be helpful for each of us.

As I wrote in Why You Need A Personal Strategic Plan, creating and owning a strategy provides many benefits to successful organizations and I believe many of these same benefits are available to each of us if we employ a tailored version of these same planning tools.

I was due for a plan refresh and decided that working through my personal strategy would be the best way to model a simple but effective way for people to build their own plan. I hope you agree.

Here is a link to the Personal Strategy Template. It should be downloadable and editable. This tool is simple, but much reflection is required to arrive at something that will be meaningful and motivational to you.

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Values Clarification

If you haven’t reflected on what you truly value then you have some work to do. I don’t like the idea that we should all run to some predetermined set of values and just pick a few that feel right to us. Although this might be helpful for some, I think it is most useful to put what you value into your own words so you know exactly what you mean.

If you don’t understand what you value then you cannot successfully determine your purpose or strategy.

Simply understanding what you truly value will lead you to clarity that will improve prioritization and decision-making.

Here are some questions and resources to use as thought starters.

These are all worthless if you are not honest with yourself. After you develop your values I suggest running them by someone who knows you well so that they can call BS if you are off base…the same is true of the subsequent parts of the strategy document.

What do you hope people will say about you when you die?

Write your own obituary.

What do you want carved into your tombstone?

When do you feel most like your true self?

When do you feel most alive?

Describe the personal characteristics of the perfect person.

What things or ideas would you never sacrifice?

What are your greatest aspirations?

Who do you truly love?

What do you truly love?

Co-Active Coaching Resource

TheHappinessTrap.com

Personal Strategy Template (7)

Strengths & Weaknesses

To be crystal clear…we all have both!

Mountains of research suggests that when you are working in your areas of strength you will be more effective. Also, and contrary to some people’s/organization’s beliefs, your weaknesses matter as well.

You need to bolster and work from strength while mitigating weaknesses so they do not become fatal flaws.

Once you understand your personal strengths and weaknesses you can better determine which opportunities are a good fit and what might derail your pursuit of a given opportunity. Furthermore, you will better understand which tasks you should take on yourself vs. those that require you to ask for help (delegate, partner, hire).

Questions and tools to help you determine your strengths.

What do people regularly compliment you on?

What activities lead to positive feedback?

What do other people see as your strengths (hint, ask them)?

What attributes do you have that are fairly unique (skills, degrees, experiences, certifications, personal networks)?

Gallup Strengths

Questions and tools to help you determine your weaknesses.

What tasks or situations most frustrate you?

What tasks or situations lead you to most frustrate others?

What tasks do you hate?

When do you most lack confidence?

What do other people see as your weaknesses (hint, ask them and stress that you need to know the truth)?

What habits do you have that lead to frustration (missing deadlines, arriving late, being unorganized, miscalculating)?

Personal Strategy Template (3)

Purpose Statement

I believe lives are clarified through purpose driven work. This can be work that is done for a business, not-for-profit, your family, or for yourself. When people have a sense of purpose they are more motivated and effective.

I believe that you need to have a purpose statement that is informed by your values and strengths then drives your personal strategy. Some people might prefer to call this a mission statement and that works too if it is authentic and/or meaningful to you.

The statement does not have to be fancy. It should be short and clear. People who know you should see it as authentic.

I believe we can all determine a purpose that is inclusive of our entire lives. However, it will take several drafts and will likely change over time as circumstances change and you better discern your values, strengths, and weaknesses.

Some questions to help guide you to your purpose statement.

What value do you want to provide (your family, your work, your community, the world)?

Which of your activities provide the most value to the people you care about?

What do you desire to do in and for the world?

Personal Strategy Template (10)

Strategy Statement

I am a big fan of Collins and Rukstad’s, and Lafley and Martin’s work on strategy creation. That said, their full treatments are probably overkill for most beginning personal strategists. As long as you have discerned your values, strengths, weaknesses, and purpose/mission I think you can write your strategy statement with just a little further effort.

You need your object, scope, and advantage (Collins and Rukstad).

Objective = A specific and measurable goal that will drive you into the future.

Mine has two parts because it is mine and that is what I need, but don’t go much beyond two or three parts or it will lose its ability to provide focus. Make yours meaningful to you!

Scope = Where you will take action (context, “customer”, activity areas, market, industry, etc)?

Advantage = What unique contribution(s) will you make that will allow you to meet your goal? You have a contribution to make!

Then combine these into a concise statement.

Goals

What specific, measurable, and challenging but achievable goals do you need to meet in the short-term (one year) that will lead to you meet your strategic goal(s)?

These goals should guide your monthly, weekly, and daily (to do list) goals.

If these goals are properly aligned with your strategy you can monitor your progress via the completion of these goals. Three is probably not enough for me given my strategy, but I think that is a good starting point.

If working toward your goals is exhausting or demoralizing you…something is amiss. They probably aren’t the right goals or you may have some personal work to do.

I hope this is a helpful starting point and I would love to help you continue on your journey. Please post questions and eventually your strategy statement as a comment to this post on the Facebook page. I would also love to hear about your successes and setbacks. I believe a Minimalist Manager Community would be helpful to people. Let’s get one started on Facebook.

Thankful 2017: Mentors

Yes, I am thankful for my faith, family, friends, work, etc. But, this year I am uniquely thankful for people in my life that serve as mentors…whether they know they are my mentors or not.

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Uncle Ron

Uncle Ron loves people and he loves the outdoors. He marvels at, and values, God’s creations. Ron is a careful steward of his resources, but will generously invest in the people and activities he values. He appears tireless, but knows how to relax. Ron cares deeply.

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Nicole may love people more actively than anyone I know. She constantly invests in growth, whether it is her own or the people she values. She energetically moves forward while honoring the experiences and people that fueled her growth. Nicole is brave.

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Bill reflects. He takes intentional action. Bill is willing to climb down into the muck to help people. He loves the people he serves, but takes the time and space he needs to refuel. He points to Jesus.

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Father Andy

The Jesuits at Creighton love people where they find them. They are for and with others. The hate injustice and take action. They learn. They teach. They know how to have a good time. The serve for the greater glory of God.

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During this natural time of reflection these mentors leapt to the front of my mind. Having them is a blessing for which I am thankful, but doing something with the wisdom I gain from them is up to me.

These people live and have inspired the values of The Minimalist Manager and I think of at least one of them daily. They inspire me and often serve as a guide through life.

Who inspires you?

Who serves as a guide?

What will you do with the gifts they have given you?

When will you start?

Please join us in The Minimalist Manager Community page of Facebook to discuss these questions.