Elon Musk Q7

Elon Musk Q7

A few months ago, I answered this question on Quora: “How can Elon Musk put in 80-100 hours a week and still have a social life or time for exercise, etc.?” My answer collected an incredible number of views and upvotes – a good indicator that this is (A) a hot topic and (B) my answer makes sense to many.

The answer I have for you today may be even more interesting. In part, this is your answer!

Here’s the scoop. (TL,DR version: go to Elon Musk Q7 questionnaire).

Personal efficiency, effectiveness, success – have been my favorite subjects and areas of research for quite some time. A few years ago, when I launched the Collectiver site and online tool, the objective was to find out why some teams are more efficient than others. According to my research and observations as a performance expert, the best-performing teams have significant internal alignment. That alignment I measure by the basic values’ congruence of the team members. Continue reading “Elon Musk Q7”

How can I improve my skills in listening and how can I practice my speaking?

Practice makes perfect.

Practice speaking and listening – and use technology to analyze your skills and measure the progress.

Sounds sophisticated? Not at all.

All you need is a simple speech recorder or just your smartphone. Make it a habit to record all substantial conversations that you have during the day, then allocate ample time to listen to the recordings and do a conscious “flight debriefing.”

You will be amazed.

That happens pretty much to everybody because you have never heard yourself “from the outside.” You will notice some obvious mistakes or mannerisms that sound so … well, disgusting, that you will not need much effort to get rid of them (like talking too much, interrupting, using pleonasms, periphrasis, discourse markers, grandiloquence, or being excessively magniloquent – just like I am now).

Additional benefit: you will retain much more from the conversations. That’s a good thing, especially when the discussion is important, and you have no chance to make notes. Next time you’ll impress your counterparts with your attention to detail.

One caveat though. You have to be discrete, i.e. your recording device must be hidden. Obviously, when you start openly recording the conversations all the participants do not talk naturally (yourself including) or do not talk at all. Another thing to bear in mind: this may be illegal in some states…

(Originally answered on Quora)

How can Elon Musk put in 80-100 hours a week and still have a life?

(Originally answered on Quora)

Most probably you want to share your surprise that Elon Musk, who reportedly stayed overnight at Tesla site on many occasions, still looks and behaves like a normal sociable person, gives interviews and is altogether in good health and good spirits, right?

This is because he is fortunate enough to have a solution to the ageless dilemma of “work-life” balance.

For most people, this problem exists, and exactly in this form – work vs. life – implying that the negative portion of your existence, called ‘work’, is balanced out by the positive ‘life’. When the balance is in place, then the negative impact that work leaves on your personality and health is cured by the positive emotions you get from what happens after work. Or that is how the unfortunate majority sees it.

 There’s not much of an overlap between the Life and Work, and as this overlap is not considered healthy, we are advised by holistic gurus that we must disconnect, shut off etc. and not mix the two. Hence, there’s not enough room to have both, we either displace one at the expense of the other, or meticulously separate them, having not enough of either as a result. The rest is a multitude of ‘chores’, neutral in their nature; we just take them for granted, neither good nor bad. Continue reading “How can Elon Musk put in 80-100 hours a week and still have a life?”

What are the best tips and tricks for increasing productivity and time management?

Here are a few off the top of my head. I am glad you’ve asked because it’s good to go through the list every once in a while.

1. Always have a plan. Thinking before doing requires some time and internal discipline but gives you an edge over the “doers” who act without thinking. Continue reading “What are the best tips and tricks for increasing productivity and time management?”

What are the identifiers of a bad project?

bad project

To answer this question (asked on Quora), we need to define the meaning of “bad” in “bad project.”  As an old project management bit of wisdom goes, there are three main reasons why projects fail (and thus may be identified as “bad projects”):

  1. Requirements
  2. Requirements
  3. Requirements

Continue reading “What are the identifiers of a bad project?”

A Gentleman’s Manual for Becoming a Good Man

Required Reading

“Read before bed every night.”

If you want to read something really special this weekend and perhaps be able to share it with your kids, try “Rules for My Unborn Son” by Walker Lamond.

Published a few years ago, the book has never made it to a bestseller list. This is what happens to the real gems. I would suggest that if “The  Shades of Gray” has never been on your reading list, you will love this book.

As an Appendix, the book has the list of Essential Reading for Boys – which makes another good reason to buy it for your son and write a dedication on the first page. The list will help you to check if you are up to snuff yourself.

Below are 100 quotes from the book widely circulated on the internet. Driven by one of the Rules –

“If you’re going to quote someone, get it right.”

– I have updated the list – corrected the misquotes and added my favorites. You may disagree with some of the Rules, but in any case, the Rules are inspiring and will make you think. Continue reading “A Gentleman’s Manual for Becoming a Good Man”

Weekend Easy Reading – Healthy Quote from the New York Times

Easy ReadingGood article in The New York Times: “A Positive Outlook May Be Good for Your Health”

If you are too busy to read it in full,

here are the skills one must learn, and practice each day:

■ Recognize a positive event each day.

■ Savor that event and log it in a journal or tell someone about it.

■ Start a daily gratitude journal.

■ List a personal strength and note how you used it.

■ Set an attainable goal and note your progress

■ Report a relatively minor stress and list ways to reappraise the event positively.

■ Recognize and practice small acts of kindness daily.

■ Practice mindfulness, focusing on the here and now rather than the past or future.

And, of course, contribute to universal health, share the good content with your friends and contacts.

A Leadership Dialogue with Brian Fetherstonhaugh

Brian Fetherstonhaugh

Integrated Management Symposium Series: Authenticity and Deception in Communications and Advertising

Great event at McGill University. Amazing speaker and a great book!

Once again, highly recommended reading – to children from 15 to 65.

Brian Fetherstonhaugh: The Long View.

 

Why Do We Call Them ‘Leaders’?

Leaders HBR

Interesting article in HBR, and by a respected author.

I would argue though that the problem does not exist. Or should not.

But why do we call them ‘leaders’ in the first place? We do not have to. Nothing’s wrong with ‘managers’ or ‘administrators.’

This is just another case of semantic escalation albeit widespread and severe. To cope with the problem, we must avoid glorifying the administrative positions that may have some control over our careers.

In most cases, we are talking about ‘position leaders’, i.e. about the lowest level of the leadership hierarchy – leadership by appointment, at best, leadership by permission, as per John Maxwell’s description.

Only a small percentage of them will ever make it to the higher leadership levels. But those who make it will be called leaders by their teams and not by HR (or by themselves). And rarely will they think that they’re better than they actually are, because they have other things to care about.

Make Every Minute of Your Life Count Towards Your Goal

My Goal

If you want to be efficient, you must work towards your goal – always.

Even if you are chatting with a colleague about last weekend’s BBQ, you should have a goal.

Perhaps your goal is to have a short break before you get back to work. But you must be consciously aware of this intermediate goal and make sure that it is leading you towards your Goal. Of course, you may need to stop and think what your main Goal is.

One of my teachers, when he was doing his advanced degree, had the tagline “PhD in 3 years!” inscribed literally everywhere around him. He even had it as his screensaver text popping up on the monitor after a few minutes of inactivity. It helped.

This poster will help you make your day – your week – your life – more efficient.

Download poster as pdf.