Posts tagged Creativity
The Art of Knowing When To Stop instead of Start

One of my all time favorite leadership books is Good to Great by James Collins, I remember being in my early 20's and reading the book for the first time, it has remained a resource for me for over a decade.  During my last read through the book, a concept stuck out to me that I had not really noticed before.  Now I am sure it was because I was not ready to see the message, funny how life works that way, when the student is ready the teacher appears.  The book centers around many wonderful topics, and the principle I want to share with you today is the art of the "stop, doing list".  Isn't it intuitive for us to create a "to do list" that informs our actions throughout the day, of course! Collins suggest that we consider what to stop doing to really allow for true and dynamic discipline. 

I love his thoughts he noted down on the topic found on his blog, jimcollins.com.


Each time the New Year rolls around and I sit down to do my annual resolutions, I reflect back to a lesson taught me by a remarkable teacher. In my mid-20s, I took a course on creativity and innovation from Rochelle Myers and Michael Ray at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and I kept in touch with them after I graduated.
One day, Rochelle pointed to my ferocious work pace and said, "I notice, Jim, that you are a rather undisciplined person."

I was stunned and confused. After all, I was the type of person who carefully laid out my BHAGs (big hairy audacious goals), top three objectives and priority activities at the start of each New Year. I prided myself on the ability to work relentlessly toward those objectives, applying the energy I'd inherited from my prairie- stock grandmother.

"Your genetic energy level enables your lack of discipline," Rochelle continued. "Instead of leading a disciplined life, you lead a busy life."

She then gave me what I came to call the 20-10 assignment. It goes like this: Suppose you woke up tomorrow and received two phone calls. The first phone call tells you that you have inherited $20 million, no strings attached. The second tells you that you have an incurable and terminal disease, and you have no more than 10 years to live. What would you do differently, and, in particular, what would you stop doing?

That assignment became a turning point in my life, and the "stop doing" list became an enduring cornerstone of my annual New Year resolutions — a mechanism for disciplined thought about how to allocate the most precious of all resources: time.

Rochelle's challenge forced me to see that I'd been plenty energetic, but on the wrong things. Indeed, I was on entirely the wrong path. After graduate school, I'd taken a job at Hewlett- Packard. I loved the company, but hated the job. Rochelle's assignment helped me to see I was cut out to be a professor, a researcher, a teacher — not a businessman — and I needed to make a right-angle turn. I had to stop doing my career, so that I could find my real work. I quit HP, migrated to the Stanford Business School faculty and eventually became — with some remarkable good luck along the way — a self-employed professor, happily toiling away on my research and writing. -Jim Collins

Article can be found on Jim's Blog, Click here to see full article


Often when we create a new plan to ignite change, that plan is often coupled with initiates and tasks to set us on the new path  and direction.  In pausing to reflect about other possibilities, one suggestion that Mr Collins makes is that of evaluating what can potentially be stopped instead of started.  Making the choice and having the discipline to stop is a high level demonstration of self awareness and discipline.  Like he talks about in the article,  busy can be a state we find ourselves in and without the proper discipline, can end up not accomplishing a whole lot even if we feel like we are and instead we are delusional to the reality we have created.

As you create plans for next year, business and your own new year goals, consider what you could stop doing instead of adding in more new initiatives.  Ask yourself the 20-10 rule that collins mentions, what would you do differently?  

The hardest part of change is having the motivation and discipline to sustain the change, and a large force can be a person to support that process.  Reach out to me, I love to support people amidst change and would enjoy hearing about your plan and how it is going. Send me a note below, and let's talk about what you are going to STOP doing. 

 

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Lindsey Rainwater, also known as Lindsey RainH2O, is a sought-after business consultant, leadership coach, writer and presenter to the fitness and wellness industry. For more information about Rainwater, follow her on Twitter @LindseyRainH2O

The Fastest Way to Become a CEO
"Be the CEO of your own life. Raise hell. Let the chips fall where they may.  It'll never be easier to change jobs than it is today." -Keith Ferrazzi, Never Eat Alone

I am reading a book right now, correction, I am listening to a book on Audible that I am IN LOVE with!  I sent out a tweet two weeks ago asking a few of my friends  (Bryan O'Rourke, Tamara McCleary and Amy Schmittauer) if they had any books they love, I had just gotten through my last round of recommended reading and wanted a fresh idea.  The reply came back, Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferazzi, and Tamara chimed in that he is in fact the real deal, good guy.  I promptly downloaded and got to listening.  I have a habit of listening to books and podcasts audibly each morning while I workout, I totally recommend this method of intaking information.  So, the book, I can not believe I didn't know about it sooner! I am a long time fan of "How to win friends and influence people" by Dale Carnegie and my experience of Farazzi's book is it reads like a current day catch up, expanded version of Carnegie's classic! Hats off to you Keith, love the message.

I want to share what I was listening to yesterday during my morning workout because this concept is one that radically shook up my life up a few years ago and I appreciated that Keith wrote about this idea.  I wish I could remember who told me this, or if i woke up thinking it, but here is what happened.  I connected the dots between how my life was going and the passive or active way I was approaching my circumstances.  Practically: I needed to "promote myself" or begin behaving to the level I was wanting to achieve, I needed to be the CEO of my own life.  

If my life is going anything other than how I would like it to be, the only person to blame is me! If I don't LIKE the way something is going, I need to handle that circumstance as if I was the CEO of my company, as Keith puts it "me inc."

Once this message began to click for me, I realized if I was not happy with a doctor, practitioner or even fair weather friend, in my life, I need to fire them! And find someone that did align with what I was wanting.  The idea of being the CEO of my own life is that of taking charge of what I want in my personal life and seeing all of my encounters as opportunities to make decisions that align with my greater purpose.

Yesterday, when I was listening to what Keith had to say on the topic and reflecting about my own experiences, it is most relevant to share a few of Keith's tips that were also my experiences.  

Here are two places to start when you do decide to promote yourself to CEO! 

Do not ask for permission, you do not need anyone to say it's OK to take charge of your life, it is actually entirely up to you and if  you do not take charge, do not be mad when nothing happens.  It is my observation that it can be very easy to sit back and wait for things to happen for you without taking action.  Good things don't come easy, lots of people say, I like to think that my willingness to put in the effort is what matters most, and if I want something, my energy towards that goal is what usually determines what happens.  My willingness to grab the steering will, put my foot on the gas pedal and GO without waiting for someone to say "the light is green" is what allows for my success. We all have something to share that is valuable, so, green means go! Go start telling people how you can help them. 

To become a brand, you’ve got to become relentlessly focused on what you do that adds value. I promise you can add value to whatever job you’re doing now.”
— Keith Ferazzi

The truth is, perception is reality ,what you project is how people will perceive you.  Knowing that, how do you want to represent yourself? I think what Keith says really sums it up.  

Lets be real, image counts, so whatever your look, take time to think it through. What is your appearance telegraphing to others? There is one general, overarching caveat in this step: stand out! Style matters. Whether you like it or not, clothing, letterheads, hairstyles, business cards, office space and conversational style are noticed- big time. The design of your brand is critical.
— Keith Ferrazzi

In order to promote yourself to the CEO of your own life, the requirement is a genuine desire to be responsible for what happens in your life. Passive measures do not yield great results in my life and when i am actively engaged and putting effort into my dreams, they in-fact do come true.  

Have you read the book? Never eat alone? Please send me a note, I would love to have a conversation (virtual book club call) with you about your findings and compare notes! click here to connect


Lindsey Rainwater, also known as Lindsey RainH2O, is a sought-after business consultant, leadership coach, writer and presenter to the fitness and wellness industry. For more information about Rainwater, follow her on Twitter@LindseyRainH2O

#WakeUpWednesday Creating a New Experience with Creativity

I glanced up and noticed the tab on my computer said "create a new post", and just like that with the click of one button, I am on my way to CREATING! 

In day to day life, creativity does not seem to come so easily, where is that button? When I am amidst a project  and experiencing a gap in thought or inspiration, where is the button to juice up my creativity? 

I think about creativity, a lot. Over the past few years of research and learning I have reached the conclusion that creativity is truly essential to my wellbeing. The definition I want to share with you is this dictionary.com version: 

Creativity: The Ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc. Originality, progressivness or imaginations.

The ability to transcend traditional ideas, YES! Eureka! that is it!  When that really settles in for me, I grab onto the idea that when I feel inspired, what I do about that inspiration, and how do I express those ideas into the world? 

We are all unique snowflakes with lots of creativity within us, and my understanding is our creativity is most definitely a muscle, the more we use it, the stronger and more robust our creative expression can be. 

How does your unique creative expression want to show up in the world? What shower idea have you had,  which ones are waiting to be shared?  food for thought and here is a link to a handful of creativity inspiring TED talks :)


Lindsey Rainwater is a consultant and coach to the fitness and wellness industry.  She specializes in business development and leadership. Currently she is working with the Fitmarc Team helping Health Club owners all over the south central region of the united states propel their business forward via group exercise solutions.  For more information about Lindsey, follow her @lindseyrainh2o