In the early 1950s, one sports barrier seemed completely unbreakable—running a mile in under four minutes.
Both the scientific and athletic communities had deemed it impossible. But on May 6th, 1954, Roger Bannister proved the world wrong, running a mile in 3 minutes 59.4 seconds, Bannister broke the four-minute mile, crushing a world record that had stood for nine years!
That’s a spectacular feat, of course, made possible by Bannister’s unwillingness to accept that it couldn’t be done. But even more stunning is what happened next. Less than two months later, a runner named John Landy also broke the “unbreakable” four-minute mile. In the following three years, a total of 16 runners did so, even shaving additional time off the record.
Had the human body changed? Nope. Had the track shrunk in size? Nope. A mile was still a mile.
So what had changed? Runners now believed it was possible! Once Bannister shattered the record, it lost its power to deny the achievement. This limiting belief, this psychological barrier, had held others back for years. But one after another, runners began to believe.
The world record is currently 3 minutes, 43 seconds. Imagine that.
It’s amazing how real our mental barriers can be. So what barriers have you constructed in your life? What have you deemed as impossible? Imagine infinite possibility. Disallow psychological barriers. Normalize the impossible.
How can you break the four-minute mile in your life?
Have you ever had a meeting that went on twice as long as you wanted and STILL left you feeling more confused about the project than you did coming in?
You know what they say—“time is money.” So do you really have the time to meet with your team for an hour without any clear outcome? I don’t think so.
So, how do you make sure your next meeting accomplishes its goal? Just follow the system.
- First, start on time no matter what. Everyone should be in the room at least 2 minutes before the meeting is scheduled to start. And if they aren’t, you’ve GOT to call it tight, on the spot, or it will never happen.
- Second, have an actionable agenda that clearly defines what decisions will be made, who needs to be present for those decisions, and how long each item will take. Make sure everyone has a copy.
- Third, have a timekeeper. Make sure they know it’s their job to keep you on task with times listed in the agenda. Give them permission to interrupt anyone who is rambling beyond the allotted time.
- Fourth, assign a leader to move the meeting forward.
- Fifth, designate a chart person who stands and takes notes. Make sure this person lists clear actions as decisions are made—who is responsible for what by when—and wraps up each part of the actionable agenda. Make sure each person leaves the meeting with a copy of these notes.
It’s really just that easy. Follow this simple formula and transform your meetings.
Imagine that your doctor told you that your life depends on cutting your work time and effort in half. But you know you can’t afford to be any less productive. How would you do it?
This isn’t some wild hypothetical. Many people find themselves in this exact situation when a commitment to success results in high blood pressure, cardiovascular stress, and other serious physical side effects of working too much of the time in too high a gear. It can cut years off your life.
But when the physician sits these folks down, looks them in the eye and says, “You’ve GOT to cut back on your work, NOW,” they almost always say the same thing: “I can’t.”
What they mean, of course, is that they can’t drop any of the balls they are juggling. And you know what? They might be right. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing they can do.
If you are in this situation yourself, the answer is to learn everything you can about productivity. There are countless books on the topic, as well as websites, DVDs, and audiobooks. Pick whichever format works for you. Learn what it means to work smarter instead of harder. Learn how to put systems in place that will multiply your effectiveness. Learn how to get rid of drains on your time and effort that aren’t adding a THING to your productivity. You will be amazed with your capacity to improve.
So why wait for doctor’s orders? Stress isn’t good for anyone. Get busy NOW learning what productivity is really about.
Think of the superstar high performers you’ve seen over the years in your business. How many have you seen dance the Big Dance for a while, then suddenly self-destruct?
I’ve seen far too many myself.
Once I started paying attention to this pattern, I started noticing what made the difference between those who would do well and then crash, and those who would do well…and then do better and better. The ones who crashed were not able to accept advice and coaching. The ones who persisted and thrived were. Period.
Being perfect is overrated. I don’t need to know that someone who works for me is perfect. I need to know they’re coachable.
Being coachable doesn’t just mean you’re open to suggestions. It means you’re hungry for them, thirsty for them. You DEMAND input, because you know that’s the golden road to rocking it.
Some high performers think they don’t need any more coaching. They’re high performers after all! But a real high performer knows she can always go higher. She…
- Records her sales calls and asks the boss to review them.
- Asks how she’s doing, often.
- Asks how she can improve.
- When getting coached, she’s open and grateful and NEVER tells the coach they’re wrong.
Master coachability and there is literally nothing you CAN’T master.