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

Address Your Blind Spots

“The difference between winning and losing is how you deal with your blind spot.”

I am a huge fan of the National Football League. The most recognized, and highest paid player on each team is the quarterback. If Tom Brady, the quarterback of the New England Patriots were to show up at your favorite restaurant, everyone would know that he was in the building. If the man who plays the position of left tackle stopped by, he would go unnoticed. 

I would argue that the left tackle is the most valuable player on the field because he is responsible for protecting the quarterback’s blind spot. He blocks would be tacklers that the quarterback cannot see. Even though the average fan can’t name the left tackle, this player is the second highest paid on the team. The coach realizes that the difference between winning and losing is how he deals with the blind spot. Before I discuss how to deal with yours, let’s get clear on a definition of the blind spot. 

What is a Blind Spot?
A blind spot is a personal flaw that is invisible to you, but visible to others. Everyone has at least one, but not everyone has the systems in place to manage them. Poor blind spot management can cause you to lose time and fail to achieve your desired outcomes. 

For example, if I have a flaw in my keynote speech delivery, the organization that I am presenting to may not invite me back and I may never know why. If I have the right systems in place, I can find out and make the necessary adjustment. As an entrepreneurial executive, what systems can you put in place to effectively deal with your blind spot? 


360 Degree Feedback Surveys
A 360 degree feedback survey is a tool that gives people at every level of the organization an opportunity to give feedback on how they perceive their supervisor. Years ago, I was a young executive in charge of 500 employees and 17 retail locations. We were having a record-setting year in sales and profits and I received several awards for our performance. My boss and the senior level executives showered me with praise at our national meetings. 

I was shocked when I got the results of a survey of my subordinates. Many of them thought that I was too demanding and critical in my communication style. This survey made me aware of my blind spots and has shaped the way I lead and communicate today. If you implement a 360 degree feedback system in your organization, you can experience a similar result. 

Three Ups and Three Downs
As a result of the survey feedback, I began having monthly meetings with my team. At the end of each meeting I conducted my own informal survey. I handed out blank sheets of paper and asked my managers to evaluate me using the three ups three downs system. They would list three positive aspects (ups) of my leadership and three things that they would like me to change (downs). This was an anonymous survey so there was no fear in giving feedback. This saved me a great deal of time and stress because it helped me to do more of what was working and eliminate what was not. I use this method today whenever I deliver a workshop or keynote address. 

If you implement the 360 degree survey system and the three ups and three downs, you will maximize your time and minimize your stress. You can also use the surveys to get feedback from your customers and clients. If you are a team of one or one thousand, these systems will protect your blind spot like a great left tackle! 

Eric M. Twiggs
Your Procrastination Prevention Partner 

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