Notes from a Keynote by Gino Wickman
You Are a Ball of Entrepreneurial Energy
“You are a ball of entrepreneurial energy!” said Gino Wickman, founder of the Entrepreneurial Operating System and author of the bestselling book Traction. This past week I attended the EOS Worldwide Conference for Companies Running on EOS, and Gino Wickman was one of the keynote speakers.
“For nearly 20 years,” Wickman continued, “EOS has been teaching entrepreneurs a system to manage the human energy in their organizations. Today I want to share ten disciplines that will help you maximize your performance, giving you a sort of Personal Operating System to manage your personal human energy… not just for these challenging times, but in all times.”
Below is a summary of Ten Disciplines he shared to help entrepreneurs manage and optimize the use of their own energy. Also, since Gino is a master of execution, for each discipline there is also a To-Do inserted under the heading “Make it Stick” to help you adopt the discipline and turn it into a habit.
#1 – 10 Year Thinking
“A mentor gave me this rule of thumb nearly 30 years ago… There is a 10-year business cycle. In ten years you can expect two really good years, six average years, and two bad years that could put you out of business. Plan ahead so you can survive the bad ones.”
“Most people think too short. When you think in multi-decade terms – 10 year time frames – this makes time slow down. You’ll make better decisions and paradoxically, you will literally get there faster.”
“But this is not about goal setting – it is about conditioning your mind to think more long-term!
This helps you see that the current situation is really just a blip.”
Make it Stick – Write down the date and your age 10 years from now. Then write down the #1 most important thing you want to achieve by this date. Finally, “tell everyone on the planet” your 10 year goal… this will help you to be accountable.
#2 – Take Time Off
“Remember this is about managing your energy. You have to sharpen the saw. This is turning your business life off. When you do, you come back clear, more creative. You’re further ahead having taken the time off.
“The way to plan this is to decide how many days off you will take in a year… and stick to it. If you just committed to real weekends this would be over 100 days.
Make it Stick – Write down your 2021 # days off. (I – Chris Spear – am committed to 122 – or one third of the total days over the course of the year.)
#3 – Know Thyself
“Be yourself. Let your freak flag fly. The quicker you can be you one hundred percent of the time the quicker your energy will be right”
“Use profiling tools like Kolbe, Myers-Briggs, Strengths-finder, Culture Index, etc. Get feedback from associates, family, and friends. When you understand yourself and the way you are perceived, you will be more effective. This is about understanding your Unique Ability® and doing more of what you love to do.
Make it Stick – Pick one of these three things to pursue this week!
- Take a personality profiling assessment
- See your therapist
- Ask for specific feedback from friends, family and associates
#4 – Be Still
“Especially in these times. Meditation, prayer, silence, stopping, breathing. This is above and beyond a Clarity Break. You go hard every day. Just stop and breathe. Keep a journal closeby to capture thoughts, ideas, impressions. This helps you get clarity on what you are working on.”
Make it Stick – Commit to ten to thirty minutes of stillness in the morning. Do this tomorrow morning.
#5 – Know your “Hundred Percent”
This is about how many weeks you will work and how many hours you will work in a week. Are you consistently 9, 10 or 11 hours a day? How many hours will you work in a week. Remember, this is about protecting your energy. If you don’t protect your energy you will burn out and you will not be the best you can be for other people.
Make it Stick – Decide how many hours you will work next week and make it happen consistently from week to week.”
#6 – Say No … Often
“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.” Warren Buffet
“This is not because they are jerks … it is because they are preserving their energy to work on things that align with their objectives … not to everybody else’s.”
“The very thought of saying ‘no’ literally brings us physical discomfort. We feel guilty. Either we can say no and regret it for a few minutes or we can say ses and regret it for days, weeks, months or even years” Greg McKeown from his book Essentialism.
Remember, If it ‘s not a ‘hell yes’ then it’s a no.
Make it Stick – look at next week and pick one thing to say no to that you already have planned.
#7 – Don’t do $25/hr work
This is not about knocking $25/hr work. This is a discipline targeted to you, the entrepreneur of your growing business. If you do $25/hour work your working 80-hour weeks to squeak out the equivalent of a $100K salary. But assuming you want to grow and maximize your energy. You must delegate this to others so you can do $100 an hour work and up.
Remember, when you delegate – others appreciate it! You delegate into their unique ability and elevate them!
Make it Stick – What is your current hourly rate? What did you earn last year and divide that into the money you have been making. What do you want your hourly rate to be next year? Anything that can be done by someone for less than your target hourly rate should be delegated.
#8 – Prepare Every Night
You must go to bed every night knowing what you will be doing tomorrow. Lay out the whole next day. Time-block it so you can hit the ground running. You will sleep better. Your subconscious will work during the night. You will wake up with new ideas and approaches.
Also, remember you will have six unanticipated challenges coming at you every day. Leave a buffer between scheduled stuff so you can address things that come up.
Make it Stick – Try it tonight … map out your day tomorrow before you go to bed.
#9 – Put Everything in One Place
Gino says “I use a legal pad. Not a device, not a planner. You can use planners, devices, etc if you can easily be consistent. Throughout the day, you will have ideas, you will make commitments. If you allow your stuff to get spread out on post-it-notes, emails or other tools, you will let people down. Put it in one palace so you can debrief at the end of the day and compartmentalize ideas and actions in the right place.”
In other words, you need to “create a now” on your calendar to ensure you keep your word – getting your ideas and commitments into action.
Make it Stick – Find a way to capture all your “stuff” in one place. Commit to using it and change your fragmented system.
#10 – Be Humble
This is not about being wimpy.
“Humility” said Flynn Cochran, a former navy seal officer and keynote speaker at the conference, “is about a mindset for victory. We do what it takes to win together.”
In Flynn’s keynote, he gave an example of a unit leader at a debrief after a failed mission. An arrogant leader blames members of the team for the things that went wrong. A humble leader looks for things s/he could have done differently to make the mission better and takes responsibility. Saying things like “As the leader, I should have come to your mission rehearsals to ensure we were all on the same page about how this was going to happen.”
When a leader does this, the team will follow suit and also take more responsibility. Saying things like “There was no need for you to come to rehearsals… we only went through it three times and we had the time to do many more rehearsals to get it right. We’ll do more rehearsals and get it right in the future.”
Think about where you fall on the spectrum from humility to arrogance as a leader. On one end of the spectrum is humility – defined as your estimation of your importance. At the other end of the spectrum is Arrogance, similarly defined as the way you view your level of importance.
Then remember, “whatever you are you get more of.” Your team will emulate your level of humility.
Make it Stick – Make an honest assessment this week of where you are on the humility continuum. Commit to demonstrating more humility in your leadership and take more responsibility.
There’s some great wisdom in the Ten Disciplines Gino outlines. Each one of them has been tested by Gino in the laboratory of his life. I’m certain that even taken a-la carte, adopting just one or two of these disciplines would have a positive impact on managing the energy of an entrepreneurial leader.
One of my core values states “ We’re Humbly Confident – We gratefully stand on the shoulders of giants and leverage our proven process!” I’m grateful to stand on Gino’s shoulders and adopt many if not all of these disciplines.
How about you?
Which of these disciplines will you adopt into your Personal Operating System to help you better manage your energy as an entrepreneur? Which one resonates most for you? Join the conversation by leaving a reply below
Coach, Facilitator, Speaker
Professional EOS Implementer