Are You Prepared for Your Defining Moment?

As the story goes . . . On a rainy Friday night, an elderly man and his wife entered the lobby of a hotel with the hope of getting a room and getting out of the rain. “We are all booked tonight, but I can’t send you out on a night like this,” the young clerk named George replied. “You can sleep in my room and I will make other arrangements.” 

The couple initially declined, but because of the young man’s insistence, they took him up on the offer. “You are the kind of manager that should be the boss of the best hotel in America," the man replied. 

Two years had passed and George received a letter in the mail from the old man inviting him to interview to be the manager of a new hotel that was just built in New York. As it turns out, the old man was William Waldorf Astor, and George C. Boldt would become the first manager of the original Waldorf Astoria hotel. 

On that Friday night, George had no idea that he was auditioning for his next level. Like George, you may be one conversation away from your breakthrough. So, what can you do to make sure you are ready for your defining moment?

What got you to your current level will not get you to the next one. That’s why great individuals and organizations are committed to continuous improvement. Set a goal to do something every day to get better at your craft and to reinvent yourself. 

The habit of reading inspirational books can give you an edge in your field and help you to grow. Studies show that reading three books in your specific niche will make you more knowledgeable on that topic than 75% of those in your field. Most books are available in audio format so that you can read while exercising or during your commute to the office. 

Every week, I set aside 30 minutes where I review my results from the previous week. I recommend scheduling an appointment with yourself for a specific day and time to ensure that your meeting happens. My time is Sundays at 8:30 p.m. 

During the review, I reflect on three aspects of my business that were successful, three that were not, and three specific actions that I will take to improve in the following week. This habit will keep you from repeating behaviors that don’t line up with your goal.

The daily reading and the weekly review disciplines will prepare you for your defining moment. When you succeed, your critics may call it a lucky break. The reality is that your habits prepared you for the opportunity. 

Eric M. Twiggs
Your Procrastination Prevention Partner

PS. For additional information on how to prepare for your defining moment, download my ebook, One Moment in Time

The Timesaving “Key” To Your Success

What got you here won’t get you there.”

- Marshall Goldsmith

I have a habit that drives my wife crazy. When traveling, I accidentally keep the room keys to the hotels. Being the creature of habit that I am, I tend to stay at the Hampton Inn whenever possible. On a recent trip I decided to conduct an experiment. 

I attempted to use the Hampton Inn key from my previous stay in the door of my current hotel. I slid the key and was disappointed that it did not work. The problem was that I was trying to go through a new door with an old key! If you have ever tried to get to the next level by doing what got you to where you are, you can relate to this experience. What then is the key to your success that will save time? 

Who, Why, What
Whenever I get to a new level, I ask myself three questions:

  1. Who is currently on that level that has the results that I want?
  2. Why are they successful?
  3. What do they do that I can duplicate to get the same results?

For example, early in my career I received a promotion to District Manager of a national automotive chain with responsibility over 16 stores. The district assigned had a history of poor customer satisfaction and always ranked at the bottom of the organization in this category. 

Initially, I attempted to solve the problem by doing what made me successful as single unit manager. This resulted in several weeks of frustration and embarrassment as our customer service scores ranked last in the company! I was so frustrated that I scheduled a meeting with my boss to ask him what he thought I could do to improve. 

Instead of answering my questions, my boss asked me the following: “Who has the best customer service results in the company? Why is he successful? What does he do that you could duplicate in your District?" 

After this conversation, I contacted the top performing district manager and discovered that we were doing many of the same things to improve customer service. However, there was one method of communication that he was using with his team that I had been neglecting. Although it seemed minor, I decided to give it a try. Once I implemented his strategy, my district went from dead last, to well above the national average in customer service results within three weeks! 

Asking the Who-Why-What questions were the keys that took me to the next level. Remember, what got you here won’t get you there! If you know of someone that needs the “key”, please forward this post using the share buttons at the bottom of this post. 

Eric M. Twiggs
Your Procrastination Prevention Partner

PS. For more information that will help you to save time, download my ebook.

The Answer To Your Most Pressing Management Question

To achieve life balance, be mindful of what you are giving up in pursuit of what you want.

- Jim Rohn

When I was writing my ebook, I took a poll of to determine your most pressing time management concern. Based on the overwhelming feedback, it is clear that creating a life that is balanced between family and career is the top concern. If life balance has ever been a challenge for you, then you will be able to relate to the following poem by David L. Weatherford.

Slow Dance

Have you ever watched kids on a merry-go-round,
or listened to rain slapping the ground?

Ever followed a butterfly’s erratic flight,
or gazed at the sun fading into the night? 

You better slow down, don’t dance so fast,
time is short, the music won’t last. 

Do you run through each day on the fly,
when you ask “How are you?”, do you hear the reply? 

When the day is done, do you lie in your bed,
with the next hundred chores running through your head? 

You better slow down, don’t dance so fast,
time is short, the music won’t last. 

Ever told your child, we’ll do it tomorrow,
and in your haste, not see his sorrow? 

Ever lost touch, let a friendship die,
’cause you never had time to call and say hi? 

You better slow down, don’t dance so fast,
time is short, the music won’t last. 

When you run so fast to get somewhere,
you miss half the fun of getting there. 

When you worry and hurry through your day,
it’s like an unopened gift thrown away. 

Life isn’t a race, so take it slower,
hear the music before your song is over.

Next week, I will share with you some specific strategies that will help you on your quest for life balance. 

Eric M. Twiggs
Your Procrastination Prevention Partner

PS. In my ebook One moment in Time, I share specific steps that you can take to have more balance in your life. 

Be On Time, Every Time

Your delay will lower your demand.”

I would like to introduce you to Larry the Late. He is the most consistent person in your organization. There are only three things that are certain in life: death, taxes, and Larry being late. If the meeting starts at 8:00 am, he will arrive at 8:15. The project that is due on the 26th of the month will get to you on the 27th. When you are traveling to an out of town conference, Larry will board the plane right before the flight attendant closes the doors. Do you know Larry? If you looked in the mirror, would you find him? 

Larry has unknowingly created a brand for himself. He has become known for poor time management, lack of urgency, and not being organized. Larry is actually good at his job, but his procrastination speaks louder than his performance. What Larry does not realize is that he has been passed over several times when higher paying positions have become available. His delay has lowered his demand. What can you do to make sure that you don’t end up like Larry? Below are three nuggets that will help you to be on time, every time.

In all of my years of leading people, I have heard every reason in the book as to why someone was late to a meeting. I have never heard anyone tell me the following: “Eric, Sorry I was late, I need to leave my house earlier the next time.” Most people blame traffic. The key to being on time -- every time -- is to take personal ownership for all of the factors under your control. If I was late, traffic was usually not the real reason. The reality was that I did not leave my house early enough to anticipate that there may be an accident on my route to the office. If I had left an hour before my scheduled meeting time instead of 30 minutes before, I would have made it. Once you realize what you have control over, you can make the necessary adjustments. 

Key Placement
Have you ever been ready to leave your house only to discover that you have misplaced your keys? I have the following two part solution to this problem. First, designate one place in your residence for key placement. It helps to identify a place that you have to pass before you leave. Several people that I work with have created a special key holder by their exit door. 

Next, you must discipline yourself to place your keys in your designated place every time. Whenever you misplace something, the first question you are asked is “Where did you have it last?”. The fact that you don’t know adds to your stress and frustration. By applying the discipline that I just mentioned, you will always have the answer to this question. This little habit will save you lots of time and mental stress. 

The Half Tank Rule
I was rushing out of my house to attend and important meeting. I was behind schedule so every minute was critical. As I started the car, I realized that I was within ten miles of running out of gas and my destination was thirty five miles away! On this particular morning, there was a long line at the pump. The time I spent at the gas station made me late for my meeting. 

This experience forced me to implement the “half tank rule”. Here is how it works; whenever my gas gauge is at or beyond the half way point, I find the closest gas station and fill up. Not having to get gas in the mornings will save you least 15 minutes and take you from tardy to timely.

Taking personal ownership, focusing on key placement, and implementing the half tank rule are three nuggets that will help you to maximize your time and minimize your stress. Stay tuned for next week’s tip. If you found this week’s tip to be helpful, please forward this post using the social share buttons at the bottom of the page. 

Eric M. Twiggs
Your Procrastination Prevention Partner