Building Habit That Matters

5 essential components to hacking new habits

I am thrilled to bring you Michael Bungay Stanier’s guest article. He is the author of The Coaching Habit, a book that has added great value to my coaching practice. Michael is also the Senior Partner of Box of Crayons, a company that helps organizations do less Good Work and more Great Work.

Did you know that you may not be in charge of your waking up this morning? Your behavior is driven more by habit than your conscious mind!

Building Habit That Matters

It is less surprising when you realize that a Duke University study says that at least 45 percent of your waking is habitual.

There’s always been a lot of information out there on how to change the way you behave. Or more accurately, there’s a dense misinformation that grows particularly lush at the turn of each year, when resolutions are in the air.

Fortunately, there has been an increase in grounded findings, based on neuroscience and behavioral economics. These have helped establish a better, clear path over the last few years.

To build an effective new habit, you need five essential components: a reason, a trigger, a micro-habit, effective practice and a plan.

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Mentoring – The Good, Bad & Ugly

A reminder why mentoring should be more purposeful

Scary, refreshing, challenging and liberating. These are just a few terms that can be attributed to mentoring. It is not for the faint of heart.

Mentoring - The Good, Bad & Ugly

I thought crossing a road in Nairobi was dangerous. Most drivers consider traffic lights to be a suggestion. That was until I encountered the Romans! After a long day at a workshop, I was ready to hit the streets and discover Rome. At a pedestrian crossing, I started to cross the road when the pedestrian light went green.

However, my sixth sense screamed at me to stop. I heeded. A split second later, I heard a whining rumble. Vroom! A mean-looking Ducati motorbike whooshed past me. This was a different part of Europe! A week later, I felt like a bad case of whiplash had afflicted me. My neck hurt from the rapid side-to-side confirmation that every crossing was clear.

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Design Mind-shift

Take Charge of Your Designs Using Canva

Canva is an online tool I use to make designs for my blog posts, social media, etc. It saves me tons of design time.

During Jeff GoinsBlog Like a Pro 7-Day Challenge, a number of people showed interest in getting more out of Canva.

If you are looking to get better results for your design projects, then this is a handy tutorial. It is a simple ste-by-step and you don’t even have to be a designer to use it.

And here are some additional resources for you stock image needs:

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Why Patience Is Pivotal In Leadership

5 reasons leaders must practice patience

Put your hand up if you don’t mind getting stuck in traffic. Where I live, traffic snarl-ups can be legendary! My patience is tested at every turn.

Patience Pivotal In Leadership

Depending on the time of day, a 10-kilometer run takes fifteen minutes or two to four hours. If it rains, roll out the cameras. The same trip transforms into an epic. But more disturbing narrative is the abhorring behavior of some drivers.

They try to get ahead by all means possible. Some drive on sidewalks or overlap straight into oncoming traffic. The worst kind merge into an already busy intersection, with nowhere to go!

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Why Bends Straighten Us

3 thoughts from my bicycle diaries

The air whistles past my ears as my heart pounds in my chest. My lungs gasp for oxygen. The muscles burn as lactic acid builds up.

Why Bends Straighten Us

One of my major life goals is keeping my body fit and healthy. Over the years, I have tried running, aerobics and basketball with limited results. It was frustrating. But then I  discovered the joy of open-road cycling. It gave me a new freedom.

No inhibition will come between my goal and I. My bike ride gives me time to do more than exercise. It is an opportunity to think free of any electronic distractions. I am off social media or my work. The most treasured of them all is the reflection and meditation.

But it was not all natural to me. My scariest moments have not been the steep climbs. It is in the hazardous bends and turns along the roads. I have to contend with loose gravel and a few nasty drivers who try to run me off the road.

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Words Matter. Watch Them!

Your Words Can Inspire Growth Or Sow Death

Many of us live in communities that identify with free speech. In this arena, the words we speak may seem trivial. But are they, really?

Words Matter. Watch Them!

Words are a powerful catalyst to life. They make war and instill peace. A carefully chosen word can incubate love or instigate strife. Our relationships depend on words we choose to share or withhold.

Andrea Gardner produced a short video that spoke straight to my heart. In it, an elderly man sits on a cold sidewalk. He has a small tin can and beside him is a sign that reads, “I am blind, please help.” A few passersby toss some change in his direction.

Then comes a smartly dressed lady. She picks up the sign, scribbles something on it and puts it back in its place. No sooner has she walked away than more coins swamp the blind man faster than he can pick them up. People bend over to drop their donation.

“It’s a beautiful day and I can’t see it,” read the new sign. The lady had written the same message but in different words!

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5 Reasons Role Models Make Better Leaders

Transformational growth happens when we are purposeful

Kenneth Blanchard, an author and management expert, says this: “The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.”

Role Models Better Leaders

Reading is a culture that is developed consciously. Growing up, I could only lay claim to the schoolbooks I had. Food inspired my love for reading.

I borrowed a classmate’s copy of The Famous Five by Enid Blyton. One thing stood out from the book. As Georgina (George), her three cousins and their dog went out camping, they fried bacon and eggs for breakfast. Afternoon tea was accompanied with cake!

In my mind! I could taste the delicious bacon. Having grown up with just the basics and the occasional treats once in a blue moon, this book brought to life possibilities beyond my current status then. When my mum served pumpkin and black tea, out came the Famous Five.

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Worry No More!

4 Steps to Stop Worrying and Start Living

At the end of this post, you can watch my interview with Bruce Van Horn, bestselling author of  “Worry No More! 4 Steps to Stop Worrying and Start Living”. There is an audio version for you too!

It felt like the longest drive I have taken in my life. Yet it was only 160 kilometers long.

Anxiety plagued my mind. I was going home for the first time in a decade! That is how long it had been since I had last seen my dad.

The fact that my children had never set foot in the where house I grew up compounded my worry. They too had never met their grand-father. How would the meeting unfold?

When I informed my wife of my decision to reconnect with my dad, even she was astounded. She understood the pain that this separation had caused. Her response just compounded my worry of this whole experience going south on me.

But on Fathers Day, my family and I hit the road. I had to confront my fear and worry. It was time to wrestle with my fate. A time of renewal.

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Is Your Brand Primed For Success?

Trying to make sense of the brand-leadership continuum

The air is thick with dust in the sweltering heat. The cattle are in a state of a controlled panic. Confused mooing adds to the organized chaos.

Brand

In the corner of the kraal, a fire heats the branding irons to red-hot. In the meantime, a cowboy has wrestled a steer to the ground. He reaches out for one branding irons.

With a sizzle, the fur and skin get a permanent mark. Upon release, the pain propels the steer into a full gallop. The steer has a brand for life! Its ownership becomes indisputable.

“Is your brand primed for success?” This question has persisted in my mind the last couple of weeks. I felt inspired into a critical re-think of my brand strategy and action. It also provides you with an opportunity to engage with the question too.

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Leadership Is Until The Whistle Blows

5 Leadership Lessons From A Mountain Bike Trail

The morning was chilly and cloudy as my seven-year old son and I set out on an adventure. We were off to a father-son event out in the forest. And for me, it was time to take my leadership and mentoring a notch higher.

5 Leadership Lessons From A Mountain Bike Trail

At the staging area, there were trampolines, slides, obstacle races, and great music. But our attraction was to ride our mountain bikes into the forest. My son had made it very clear that it had to be done.

I had been to this particular forest many times before. We had walked the trails with family and friends. In my mind, our bike ride was going to be a walk in the park. And the first leg was exactly that.

We accompanied our under-12’s on a four-kilometer ride. When we got back to the staging area, I was in for a big surprise. The adults were to race on a real mountain bike trail!

In our briefing, we were warned to ride carefully. There were twists, turns, and some rough sections. This wasn’t what I had signed up for! I just wanted to hang out with my son for some easy Saturday morning fun.

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