Category Archives: Productivity

Verbal Muscle - Chris Ruisi

Exercising Your Verbal Muscle

Recently, I was having a conversation with my youngest son about a meeting he attended and he described one of the individuals in the meeting as having “verbal muscle.”

I was intrigued by his use of the term “verbal muscle” and I asked him to explain what he meant by it.

He said to me, “Dad, a person with verbal muscle is an individual who is not bashful about stating their position and intention as to what they want to accomplish, staying focused on achieving it, without being argumentative, abusive or obnoxious.”

He went on to say that an individual with “verbal muscle” isn’t afraid to speak their mind, in a respectful way, to get something (usually the right thing) done regardless of those who might disagree. Further, he explained that an individual with verbal muscle is usually someone who doesn’t look for confrontation, yet doesn’t shy away from it either if that’s what’s needed to get clarification or resolution of an issue.

So, I thought more about this and concluded that verbal muscle is an important skill for anyone wishing to achieve success. It would be an especially important skill for someone in a leadership position to acquire when you consider the importance of communication skills in achieving the right results through your team. Continue reading

Distractions Chris Ruisi

Distractions

Distractions: We all experience them and we all have to deal with them. But did you realize that you are the cause of most – if not all – of them? For example:

  • You’re busy, but not productive – If you don’t have clear and specific goals for your day, week, month or year, distractions will pull you in different directions and waste your time, and in the end you will have nothing to show for your effort.
  • You’re an expert at “fire-fighting” – It’s nothing to be proud of. You may actually be the cause of the flare-ups. A big distraction is solving everyone else’s problems. Make sure everyone on your team knows what they must do, why they do it and how to do it.
  • Nothing gets done, unless you do it – Are you properly training your team to do their jobs as intended? Have you set clear and achievable expectations, and does your team understand them?
  • There is never enough time for you to have time for you – Do you schedule a 1-hour appointment each week with yourself? Put it on your calendar. You need the time to re-group and re-focus on the right things.
  • Your open door is a revolving door of constant visitors who all ask, “Hey do you have a minute?” – If you do, say “No!” Saying “no” when you have to is critical for your sanity and ability to properly lead. Fight for and guard your time. Stop giving it away.

 

Focus Get Things Done Chris Ruisi

Stay Focused…and Get Things Done!

There are always more things that you can possibly do. The biggest challenge we all have is that there’s never enough time to get done everything that we want to do. Staying focused on our priorities, which allows you to get things done, is one of the toughest challenges we all have.

Many mistakenly believe that they can “multi-task” their way through anything. I often describe multi-tasking as multi dumb! Some think it’s a highly developed skill that all should possess The fact is, it stifles any chance of staying focused, and only adds to your stress and lack of meaningful productivity.

Many also think that making a list of “to do’s” (the longer the better) makes them effective planners. They proudly display their filled yellow pad like a shield that they think will protect them. Again, another fallacy because they don’t question whether some of the things on their list should be there at all! To me, the most important thing about planning and making a list is to decide what not to do.

Stop doing things that don’t make any sense. Focus on those things that have the highest reward/payoff. Continue reading

Need for Speed Chris Ruisi

I Feel the Need for Speed

In the classic movie “Top Gun” we all remember the scene where Maverick and Goose, while walking on the tarmac to their plane, offer each other a “Hi-5” and Maverick exclaims, “I feel the need for speed.”

In a recent Wall Street Journal article, Bill Ford, Chairman of the Board for Ford, announced the replacement of their current CEO, Mark Fields, a 26-year Ford veteran, with Ford Board member and well-known “fix it” professional Jim Hackett.

Mr. Ford explained that the reason for the change was related to Ford’s sagging stock price, overall value and poor responses to market circumstances.

Mr. Ford said, “As a company we have to move faster; we have to encourage and trust our people to move faster; we need to empower them to move faster; we need speed and we need to take hard actions and make tough decisions faster than we have been doing.”

Regardless of whatever industry you’re in, Mr. Ford’s comments are applicable to you as well. So, ask yourself: Continue reading

Pre-Game Mantra Chris Ruisi

7 Steps for Your Pre-Game Mantra

I’ve always encouraged clients, readers and audiences to control their daily destiny by owning the first 15 to 20 minutes of each day before they “officially” start – you know, answering e-mails; text messages and responding to missed calls. These first 15 to 20 minutes are really designed to help you get the right mindset in place for the day. I believe that your mindset will determine the type of day you will have. Hence whatever you can do to put in place the right one, you should do. Right? So here are 7 very simple steps you can take. As you will note, they represent positive and specific “self-talk.” Continue reading

Complacency Chris Ruisi

Complacency

Complacency is the single most dangerous threat to a business. It shows itself throughout the culture within the organization. The symptoms become evident when we see actions that support beliefs like “maintaining the status quo” or “it worked fine the last time” or “don’t rock the boat” or “if it isn’t broke don’t fix it” or the most infamous statement of all: “That’s the way we always did it.”

When you let complacency take hold in your organization the following outcomes are likely: Continue reading

Purpose Chris Ruisi

What’s Your Purpose?

“Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows that it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning, a lion wakes up. It knows that it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the lion or the gazelle – when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.” – Author Unknown

So, to be clear, the story is not just about running. It’s about something far more important. The story underscores the importance of having a clear and specific “purpose” that you will focus on at the beginning of every day. Both the lion and gazelle start each day with a clear and specific purpose. Do you? Do you know what you need to do each day that will move you and your organization closer to your goals? Or, do you start each day dealing with whatever comes first whether it’s important or not? Are you prone to activity just to convince yourself that you are busy or is your activity directed towards the achievement of your purpose? Be honest with yourself.

When you lack a clear and specific purpose, you leave yourself open to any one of the following scenarios: Continue reading

3 Skills for Success Chris Ruisi

3 Skills That Will Unlock Every Door

I’m often asked what skills or habits are the most important ones to possess if one is to consistently achieve success. From my own observations and work with current and former clients, here are the ones that I believe are the most important. They are not the only keys to your success, but when you master them, you will have built the foundation needed to support other important habits. Continue reading

The Perfect Meeting Format

How to lead a meeting – the right way! We all have to go to meetings – and while they’re important for communication, they can be a tremendous waste of time. So how do you make it an effective meeting? Here are Chris’ top tips.

 

Chris Ruisi - Goal Setting Tips

The Importance of Goal Setting

Goal setting is as important in your personal life as it is in business. The most common denominator in all the self-help literature and books is the importance of goal setting.

Despite their obvious value, our experience with goals has shown that some are good at setting goals, sticking to them and achieving great results, while others can’t keep a New Year’s resolution to stop smoking for two days in a row.

Here is the key point to keep in mind: winners have specific goals. Without specific goals, there is no way you can determine the most important tasks. There is nothing more powerful to your workday than knowing your purpose and executing it in an effective manner. Your life will take on a real meaning once you begin to adopt a goals mentality and focus. Continue reading