Creativity

If you’ve every flown on an airplane then you’ve heard the flight attendant say:

In the event of the cabin loose pressure, an oxygen mask will automatically appear in front of you. To start the flow of oxygen, pull the mask towards you. Place it firmly over your nose and mouth, secure the elastic band behind your head, and breathe normally. Although the bag does not inflate, oxygen is flowing to the mask. If you are traveling with a child or someone who requires assistance, secure your mask on first, and then assist the other person.

That last statement may seem odd to anyone that has children.  I’ve got 3 kids and as a father, my natural tendency is to help my kids first.  But the instructions clearly state not to do that. Ever thought about why? Well let’s think about it.  What happens if you run out of oxygen?  If you’re out, then you can’t help others.  You have to take care of your own need for oxygen first, then you can assist others.

The same is true when you’re leading a team. You have to put your oxygen mask on first.  Make sure you’re healthy enough to lead the team.  If you run out of oxygen trying to save others, then its likely you both will perish. So as a leader, how do we put on our oxygen mask to ensure that we’re taken care of?

This is a super vague question with dozens of possible answers. I’m going to hit the highlights here.  For details on these 7 things, please listen to this episode:

  1. Take care of yourself physically – physical health goes along way with mental energy
  2. Take care of yourself mentally – take time to work on your mind, learn something new, not related to work
  3. Make time for Deep Work – Block off large blocks to time to immerse yourself on a single task or problem
  4. Make time for brainstorming – Many times the solutions to our largest problems come in the blank spaces, or the margins of our busy schedule.  Block time on your calendar for brainstorming.  I like to take a walk around the lake outside my office to think.
  5. Make room for growth – prune less valuable work relentlessly
  6. Empower others – Your team will never grow if you don’t give them the opportunity. Delegate like a champ.
  7. Disconnect from time to time – When you’re off work, you’re off work.  Take time off, without your phone, laptop or iPad.  Disconnect and let your brain recover.

 

I hope you enjoyed this show, please head over to iTunes and subscribe and leave me a rating and review, even 1 sentence will help spread the word.  Thanks again!

April 11, 2018

AGL 031: Put your oxygen mask on first

If you’ve every flown on an airplane then you’ve heard the flight attendant say: In the event of the cabin loose pressure, an oxygen mask will automatically appear in front of you. To start the flow of oxygen, pull the mask towards you. Place it firmly over your nose and mouth, secure the elastic band behind your head, and breathe normally. Although the bag does not inflate, oxygen is flowing to the mask. If you are traveling with a child or someone who requires assistance, secure your mask on first, and then assist the other person. That last statement may seem odd […]
February 9, 2016

AGL 023: Learning as a Leader

Part of being a great leader is being a great learner.  If you decide to be leader, either in a leadership/managerial role, or just leading those to your left and to your right, you must also decide to never stop learning.  When you stop learning, you stop leading. Last week my wife and I rented “The Intern.”  It’s a movie with Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway.  De Niro plays the part of a 70+ year old widower who is board with life and wants to have something to get him out of the house.  He’s a retired VP from a […]
November 13, 2015

AGL 015: How to get Lucky. Improve your luck with daily work.

Below are some things you can do to improve your luck.  I hope you enjoy this episode and please leave me a review in iTunes to help spread the word. 1. Go to where the luck is. – People get lucky when they are in the right place at the right time.  The more often you’re in the right place, which is something you can totally control, the more likely that you’ll be there, when the right time comes. Make sure you’re working hard and going where the opportunities live. 2. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. – […]
August 11, 2015

Create Purpose to Motivate and Spark Creativity – My TEDx Talk

I’m super excited to share my TEDx Talk.  I gave this talk at TEDxHickory in March, 2015.  Please share with your friends and give me some feedback.
May 26, 2015

Field Trips

The Power of a Field Trip One way to inspire creativity and to motivate yourself or your team is to take a field trip. This will work if wherever you work for a nonprofit organization or a traditional office. Take a field trip. I’m going to tell you two stories to prove how beneficial field trips of any size can be.  Small Field Trips My team took a little field trip a couple of years ago. We rode around with some technicians in their trucks. We wanted to see how they were using our products. We created a way for them […]
February 24, 2015

The Entrepreneurial Generation by Nick Loper at TEDxLivermore

In this Talk, Nick Loper discusses being part of a generation of Entrepreneurs. I love how he talks about what it means to be creative.  And how he never though he was “Creative” but now the definition of creative to him is much more than just art.