A plan is better than auto-pilot
Even though auto-pilot is easier
I finished reading The Master Plan: My Journey from Life in Prison to a Life of Purpose by Chris Wilson. It's one of the most inspiring books I've read and immediately became one of my favorites. While in prison with a life sentence, Chris (the author) created a master plan for his life and used that master plan to motivate him to do amazing things that changed the lives of those around him and his own. His work ethic and eventual success are inspiring. He was motivated.
Which has me asking, what motivates me? What makes me excited to wake up in the morning? When I open my laptop, check my email, or meet with someone, what are my hopes? Am I motivated by a compelling vision of the future, or am I just going through the motions of what I'm supposed to do, on auto-pilot?
If I'm honest, I'm usually motivated by some vision, mixed in with a bit of auto-pilot. I know where I want to go. I can see the things I want to do. But at times, the steps to get there aren't obvious, and auto-pilot takes over. It's like those moments when there is real work to do, but I get lost in pointless emailing instead.
I learned from Chris that the best way to combat life's auto-pilot is to detail out a vision for the future. Then, break down the path to that future into steps, create a plan and keep that plan in front of you to keep forward momentum.
When Chris was sentenced to life in prison, he could have gone on auto-pilot, just serving his time, wasting his life, but he didn't. He took the time to envision something bigger and better. He made a plan for how he would get there. He kept that plan in front of him and worked it day after day. And in the end, he made a significant impact on the world. That's how I want to live as well, how about you?
Great leadership reading from this week
How to Make Feedback 37 Percent More Effective, According to a Stanford Study: Add These 19 Words
What are the 19 words? “I'm giving you these comments because I have very high expectations, and I know that you can reach them.” How you frame feedback significantly impacts the next steps the person receiving it will take.
A Global Study of 5,000 Companies Found Being a Great Leader Boils Down to These 7 Words
Hint: it’s all about wisdom and compassion. According to this article, “We distilled the analysis into two key traits: wisdom, the courage to do what needs to be done, even when it is difficult; and compassion, the care, and empathy shown toward others, combined with the intention to support and help. Both traits are important, but when they are combined, there is an exponentially higher impact on important metrics…"
Why a Self-Aware Leader Is a Good Leader
I think we all agree on the premise of this title. But, becoming a self-aware leader is difficult and requires constant work.
Other interesting reading from this week
Researchers emailed 6,000 hotels and found widespread preference for names that sounded white
A few key quotes from this article:
“Feldberg and Kim found that hotel concierges responded to 43% of emails from “white” names, 40% from “Black” names, and 36% from “Asian” names.”
“There should have been no difference in information like the number of restaurants that workers recommended—but . . . our results show that emails sent from Mei Chen actually received responses sharing fewer restaurants than emails sent from Brad Andersen,” Feldberg commented in an email to Fast Company.
Moreover, Feldberg and Kim also found that customers with “white” names received emails with a personalized greeting that addressed them by name 74% of the time, compared to 61% of customers with “Black” names and 57% of customers with Asian names.
9 Things You’re Not Cleaning in Your Dishwasher (but Should Be)
I’ve never thought about cleaning some of this stuff in a dishwasher, but why not?
Great podcasts from this week
Putting Our Assumptions to the Test - Hidden Brain
This was a great episode about how what we think is true is not always completely accurate.
Nir Eyal—The Secret to Staying Focused at Work - Business Made Simple with Donald Miller
Staying focussed isn’t easy. And working on the right stuff requires a solid plan.
My Podcasts to check out
Tech Talk Y'all - My tech/comedy news podcast.
Real Pink - I host the national podcast for Susan G. Komen. If you want some inspiration or information about breast cancer, give it a listen.
TechBridge Talks - A podcast about using technology to end generational poverty.
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