How to Improve Your Fuel Friction Differential

This is Day Fourteen in the 30 Days of Reinvention Video Series [#30DaysReinvention].

Increase your growth velocity through the optimal mix of fuel and friction.

FULL TRANSCRIPT

Hey, it’s Rand

Growth is determined by your mix of fuel versus friction.

The higher your fuel friction differential, the higher your growth velocity.

Let me repeat that:

The higher your fuel friction differential, the higher your growth velocity.

Take talent as an example.

It is an essential area that leaders must focus on in order to generate growth.

Attracting and retaining top talent is a tough thing to do, but you can optimise for this by using the fuel friction differential.

On the fuel side of this equation, the better your ability to attract top talent as fuel, the less you will require process and micro management. By the same token, the more mired you are with process the less likely you will able to retain top talent.

Top talent is a magnet for other top talent, fuelling growth.

On the friction side of the equation, if you are too process heavy and your systems and organization is too bureaucratic, you will have too many frictions for top talent to either want to work with you or stay on board your team.

The good news is that you can iteratively improve the fuel friction differential.

Firstly, either with your entire team, or if you run a larger business, then with your executive team:

For step one, in a weekly session, throw up on a board all the factors that are holding you back and the opportunities your team has to push forward.

In step two, quickly diagnose the current balance of fuel friction forces, then rank each item by its impact and ease of execution.

Give priority to the high-impact, low-difficulty items first.

Spend the next week addressing these forces.

As the fuel friction equation improves you will be set to grow faster.

Thirdly, repeat this process, regularly.

I suggest that the frequency of these meetings should depend on how much growth is a part of your mission critical priorities.

How to Break Free From Constraints

This is Day Thirteen in the 30 Days of Reinvention Video Series [#30DaysReinvention].

Become more mindful of unnecessary frictions.

FULL TRANSCRIPT

Hey it’s Rand,

The more fuel you have the greater ability you have to break through inertial constraints, the greater ability you have to overcome roadblocks that can hold you back.

Let’s run through a few question and answer sets to illustrate how this works. You can answer for yourself or for your business.

Do you embrace failure?

Are you A – Failure is never considered a viable option, and I do not encourage a culture of questioning.

Are you B – My culture encourages orthogonal thinking, taking risks, and failure is expected, but this is more talk than walk.

Are you C -My culture encourages orthogonal, out of the box thinking, taking risks, and failure is expected, but this practice is sandboxed to limited groups within my team.

Or finally, are you D – My culture encourages orthogonal thinking, taking risks and failure in all parts of my team.

Here’s another one:

Are your decisions data-driven?

Are you A – I don’t use any machine learning or deep-learning algorithms to make decisions.

Are you B – I use some reporting systems to collate and analyse some data, but decisions don’t hinge on this.

Are you C – Actionable decision-making is driven by the analysis of complex learning algorithms.

Or are you D – I have integrated complex learning algorithms into my activities.

Are you starting to get it yet?

Let’s try another one.

Do you have a mission or meta-purpose?

Are you A – My mission is purely profit-oriented, and based on generating superior products and services.

Are you B – My mission is profit-oriented, and based on generating superior products and services, and also includes a set of core organisational values.

Are you C – My mission is to make a difference for my entire ecosystem of people, be they part of my team, partners or suppliers.

Or are you D – My meta-purpose is to make a difference for the entire planet.

Examples of such a meta-purpose are:

  • Increasing world empathy
  • Organising the world’s information.

How do you rate on this scale?

What is your mission?

What is your meta-purpose?

Let me change tack with another question:

How asset intensive are you?

Are you A – Except for a small number of peripherals, such as printers, all of the assets I use are owned by me.

Are you B – I make use of a limited number of on-demand services, such as cloud computing.

Are you C – On-demand assets and services are used in a number of my activities, such as leasing office space.

Or are you D – On-demand assets and services are used in many of my activities, including mission-critical activities.

Where are you on this spectrum?

Would you consider A to be higher friction than D?

Hopefully you are starting to see a pattern here as I’ve purposefully arranged the answers so that they range from high to low friction: A is higher friction than B; B is higher friction than C; and C is higher friction than D.

Apply this thinking to all of your activities and become more mindful of how many  unnecessary frictions there are that can be removed.

 

 

What’s Really Holding You Back From Greatness?

There seems to be an all too common theme I’m seeing these days. People know subconsciously that they need to make radical changes in their lives, but then their egos talk them out of it and they revert to form.

Change takes courage, change takes a different attitude.

This is why I advocate adopting fierce reinvention, or something similar, as your mantra for change.

Let me give you a recent case study. Markus has spent the last decade and a half getting up at 4am, kissing his sleeping children on the forehead and then hitting the road to get to his business. He works the corporate treadmill solidly until late in the evening. He repeats this every day of the week and his business is thriving. On weekends family time is sacrosanct.

But here’s the thing: his business isn’t scaling and he cannot take his eye off it for more than a minute. Over the years he has tried a few different angles to introduce scale and reduce frictions. He diversified from being purely services-based and introduced a product line that leveraged his strong brand. But without the resources to market this product it hasn’t progressed beyond a novelty. He’s diversified his personal asset base, but the upside hasn’t eventuated.

He admits he has no real strategy, plan or goal in place. And frustratingly, every time he tries something innovative he quickly gets pulled back into the day to day of his current business.

He recently bought himself a luxury motor vehicle as a reward for his years and years of hard work. He feels guilty driving it.

A couple of weeks ago Markus woke in the middle of the night with pains in his chest. He was terrified he was having a heart attack. Death felt imminent, but he convinced himself it was an anxiety attack due to the pressures he is under. He didn’t go for a medical check up, yet was sufficiently shaken up to give his wife a brief on what to do with his estate should he die.

And then he went back to the corporate treadmill. He convinced himself that he is in control; he will consider making a New Year’s resolution to bring changes to his life.

What would you do in Markus’s situation?

I put this question to Hamish Thomson from Priority Advisory Group. His answer:

Markus should take a step back to evaluate. Changes are necessary, he knows this.

Being fierce resonates with him. If he is going to implement changes that can improve his relationships, business, health, why would he wait?

It doesn’t make sense to say I’ll be fierce next week (or in January), or I’ll be slightly fierce today.

Fierce implies urgency.

How to Create a Growth Engine

This is Day Twelve in the 30 Days of Reinvention Video Series [#30DaysReinvention].

Achieve exponential growth by adding fuel and removing friction.

FULL TRANSCRIPT

Hey it’s Rand,

The world around you is changing constantly, and today the rate of change seems to be accelerating.

How do you feel about yourself in the middle of all this change?

Are you personally growing or do you feel like you are stagnating?

What does growth mean for you?

I like to think of growth in very simple terms and have developed a Growth Algorithm which you can use to achieve exponential growth. It works like this:

[ Growth involves adding fuel and growth involves removing friction. ]

What ways are you currently adding fuel and removing friction in your life and business?

Do you have a strong support group around you?

Do you attract top talent to align with your activities?

These are 2 examples of adding fuel.

How have you organised your various activities?

Is there a smooth and efficient fluidity between them or are they all over the map?

How well do you manage the people who are assisting you?

How do you motivate and incentivise them to give of their best?

These are examples of removing friction.

In addition to thinking from a fuel/friction perspective, another way of organising your growth-related activities is to divide them into aspirational and operational activities.

Aspirational activities are higher level and include developing a strong sense of what direction you are headed in so that you can always determine whether anything you are doing is directionally-correct. This helps you to measure progress and inspire others to assist you in achieving your goals.

Operationally there are three main levers: engagement, execution, and finances.

The more engagement you have the more efficient your execution and the more financial resources you have at hand the more you can grow your influence base.

Taken together all these activities give you an extremely powerful growth engine

Are you ready to rev your growth engine?

How to Quieten Your Mind

This is Day Eleven in the 30 Days of Reinvention Video Series [#30DaysReinvention].

Build a meditation practice and align your body and mind.

FULL TRANSCRIPT

Hey it’s Rand,

Our monkey minds constantly barrage us with negative chatter:

“I’m not good enough”

“She will let me down”

“Who is this guy?”

But by asking yourself, “What do I need to prove?”

And by realising that there is nothing to prove to your inner self, to your observer, you significantly reduce that internal dialogue, that monkey mind chatter and you will begin to convert  the negativity into positive, connective, universal thoughts that transcend the need to prove yourself to others and to society at large.

So much of our time is taken up with distracting thoughts that leave us in a fractured state of mind. Off-task thinking and mind wandering both increase that mindless chatter.

So what can we do to keep ourselves on task and aligned?

The answer is Meditation. It is fantastic for bringing your mind back into focus.

Think of meditation as the practice of aligning mind and body. It is less about switching off all your thinking and more about relaxing with your thoughts: acknowledging them without judgement and letting them pass through you without trying to hold onto them.

Your to-do list will still be there when you finish meditating, but during your meditation practice you need to be fiercely gentle with yourself, noticing thoughts and feelings but not acting on them.

In meditation you will acknowledge a thought and then let it pass through your mind, comfortable that it is something you can take care of after you finish your session.

Shifting from your everyday dream-like wandering to a more focused state, you substitute the chatter of your discursive mind with another, more calming object of attention. This could be your breath, or it could be a chanted mantra.

A meditation practice allows you to see the gap that exists between your everyday narrative, your story, and what manifests once you quiet down all the chatter and achieve relative stillness.

How to Centre Yourself

This is Day Ten in the 30 Days of Reinvention Video Series [#30DaysReinvention].

Create behaviors and patterns that become your soul habits.

FULL TRANSCRIPT

Hey its Rand,

The end result of a deep, contemplative self-inquiry is the release of emotions, fears, feelings and thoughts that may have been swirling around for years, if not decades.

You may feel the shift within you as you transition from draining habits that have weighed you down into more aligned and energy-generating patterns.

What are your current rituals for connecting to and centering yourself?

What things do you do that fuel your energy?

What things do you do that nourish your deepest self?

How do you create moments of pause during your day?

As you unpack who and what you want to be in the world, I suggest you devise a set of daily, weekly and monthly patterns that fit with your reinvention.

These are your soul habits and could include listening to more music that stimulates your flow state; it could also include regular walks or runs through a nearby forest, on your local beach or around an oval.

Your aim at this point is to turn these activities into instilled behaviours.  You can achieve this by doing them on a daily and or weekly basis

Your aim is to be prepared for that inevitable moment when your life gets busy or crazily complicated.

At such a time we usually prioritise tackling whatever crisis has come up and our intentions to exercise more, be more mindful, eat healthier get dropped quicker than you can say “New Years Resolutions”.

Now you will be armed with a newfound resilience so that you’ll be able to handle those tough moments with ease and maintain your soul habits.

In later videos I’ll talk through how you can map these soul habits  onto the Fierce Operating System so that you get even greater alignment and grow your familiarity with your new behaviours.

How to Achieve Flow

This is Day Nine in the 30 Days of Reinvention Video Series [#30DaysReinvention].

Explore how to thrive in the flow zone.

FULL TRANSCRIPT

Hey this is Rand,

Flow is the ability to zone out of all extraneous stimuli and focus on only what matters in the moment; flow is the ability to let the unconscious mind take over from the conscious and react at sub-thought speed with survival as your mind’s main driver.

I’ve been a proponent of this technique since my youth when I was an elite athlete and serious surfer.

It certainly saved my life after my sudden cardiac death. As I came back into consciousness  My heart was still beating wildly at over 200 beats per minute; I managed to pull myself into the zone— I became ultrarelaxed; time literally stood still for me; and I could micro-analyze what was going on around me. This enabled me to bring my heart back into a normal rhythm.

How do you achieve flow?

Under what circumstances do you work best?

What is the algorithm that enables you to get into flow?

Is there a combination of exercise, food and sleep that works best for you?

What systems can you put in place to ensure you achieve flow more regularly?

Operating from a place of constant panic and high anxiety will drain your energy and lead to poor decision-making and bad leadership. Ideally you want to operate in your highly functioning flow zone as much as possible throughout your day

Thrive, don’t survive.

Had a Crazy Busy Week? Here’s How to Reduce Stress Through Fiercely Gentle Meditation

Think about it: you’ve had one of those crazy weeks that seem all too prevalent: time has flown by and deadlines have risen faster than any of the aeroplanes you’ve flown in during the week, you haven’t had time to stop for a second, let alone contemplate exercise or looking after your body. And now you feel completely out of sync, your body is a huge stress ball and the tension in your back, neck and shoulders is tighter than a loaded gun.

At this point you force yourself to go for a long walk, a run, or a swim and boom! You’re there. You feel more balanced; you notice your breathing becoming deeper and longer; you stand up straighter; and you feel more connected both with yourself and with the world around you.

But here’s the interesting thing, you can achieve the same balance through seated, or any other form, of meditation. Your exercise can be viewed as a form of meditation too.

So let’s take a closer look at meditation. Simply put, it is the practice of aligning mind and body through focusing your attention on a single point, most commonly your breath.

And the great thing about it is that it reduces the stress and tension that builds up when we are out of sync. Even better, when you have a regular meditation practice you are far less likely to get to that out of sync phase.

If you’ve already tried to meditate you’ve probably found that instead of being able to silence your mind, it has gotten even more active. The good news is that meditation practice is not about switching off all thinking. Instead, you get to relax with your thoughts, acknowledging them without judgment and letting them pass through without trying to hold onto them.

Unfortunately, your to-do list will still be there when you finish meditating, but during practice be fiercely gentle with yourself, noticing thoughts and feelings but not acting on them.

What do I mean by being fiercely gentle? An example would be not reacting to one of those arresting thoughts that would normally jolt you into action and have you jumping off your meditation cushion in a blind panic.

You remember that you haven’t spoken to a family member for a week and feel so guilty that you would normally be compelled to interrupt your meditation and call them immediately. Instead you fiercely restrain your automatic fight-or-flight reaction, doing so gently and without judgment; you tell that thought that you take it upon notice and let it pass through your mind, comfortable in the knowledge that it is something you can take care of after you finish your practice.

Here’s the kicker, one of the most powerful impacts of a practice in meditation is that it allows you to see the gap that exists between your everyday narrative, your story, and what manifests once you quiet down all the chatter and achieve relative stillness.

In this state you can take note of themes that recur and observe emotions that come up time and time again. This leads you to have the power to disrupt the habitual reality that your external ego has constructed and allow your inner life, your soul narrative, to shine through.

For more insights into meditation and other mindfulness practices see my new book, Fierce Reinvention: A Guide to Harnessing Your Superpowers for Entrepreneurial and Leadership Success ($11.99 digital, $15.99 print (USD)), which is available from Amazon.

 

 

How to Engage With Your Work

This is Day Eight in the 30 Days of Reinvention Video Series [#30DaysReinvention].

Show up completely in your workplace and be more engaged.

FULL TRANSCRIPT

Hey its Rand,

Work defines us more than any other activity in our lives.

Of course, we work to generate income; of course, we say that we work to create meaning; that we work to fulfil our passions.

Yet, the percentage of people disengaged from their work continues to rise and rise.

We spend so much of our time at the activity of work what with the concept of the work place having been diffused by technology, yet we paradoxically limit the amount of personality and self we bring to work.

Many people view work in the single dimension of their job title,  or a single role; They are directed by their job specification; they are defined by their corporate culture.

How do you define your work?

Is it a passion?

Is it pure joy?

Or is it a job that you do begrudgingly?

What is your relationship to work?

Think about this from two perspectives:

  1. In the past,
  2. and right now, today.

What work do you see yourself doing in the future?

How far out do you see that future point being?

What work would you do in a perfect world?

What is success to you?

What is failure to you?

Do you bring anything from your parents into your work? How did they relate to work?

Do you show up in your entirety at work? What parts of you show up?

How can you show up completely?

What’s holding you back from doing so?