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The Excellence Book: 50 Ways To Be Your Best

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The book draws together 50 ingenious thoughts to improve your attitude, your approach to life and work, the questions you ask, the decisions you make, and even your timing.
Attitude, approach, timing, questions and decisions are all covered, with ten provocative thoughts in each area.

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The Excellence Book: 50 Ways To Be Your Best

  4. 4. • Are you hidebound by one particular approach? • Do you need a new one? • Should you disenthrall yourself?
  5. 5. • What are you willing to struggle for? • Can you act your way into a new way of thinking? • What actions prove your attitude best?
  6. 6. • What is your feisty spirit? • What mountain will you conquer? • Can you turn adversity into inspiration?
  7. 7. • What are you afraid of? • What tricky situations do you face? • Fight or flight?
  8. 8. • What’s the problem? • Who have you told? • Who can help you out? • How can you resolve it immediately?
  9. 9. • What are you interested in? • Who else is? • If no one, do you have the determination to carry on anyway?
  10. 10. • What are your abilities? • Who or what is interfering? • What distractions can you remove?
  11. 11. • Are you a pessimist? • Are you an optimist? • Could you be a possibilist? • What ways forward can you see?
  12. 12. • Are you constantly doing something? • Are you comfortable doing nothing? • Could you just sit and be?
  13. 13. • What is your definition of success? • How hard are you prepared to work for it? • Are you just in love with the reward at the end?
  14. 14. • Do you have entrenched behaviour? • Do you engage in self- protecting activity? • Can you change your approach?
  15. 15. • On which project could you deliberately reduce budget? • What could you do that is completely free? • Is the idea truly good enough?
  16. 16. • Which ideas are not that exciting? • Which ones are interesting but unrealistic? • Which are both exciting and doable?
  17. 17. • Are you constantly typing? • What is your note taking method? • How can you do something with new information?
  18. 18. • Do you thoroughly investigate everything? • What could you find out more about? • What new experience could you pursue?
  19. 19. • Which inflexible constructs do you consistently use? • How could you try a more fluid approach? • Are you comfortable with ambiguity?
  20. 20. • Are you happy in your own company? • Do you work better on your own or with others? • How do you do your best thinking?
  21. 21. • Do you moan about problems or own them? • What big problem are people currently failing to admit to? • What big problem can you own?
  22. 22. • What routine have you slipped into? • How can you break it? • How can you be more inquisitive?
  23. 23. • How many days have you got left in your life? • Or years, months, or weeks? • How will you use your time?
  24. 24. • What is your perspective of time? • How do your colleagues view it? • And your clients or customers?
  25. 25. • What is your view of the past? • How do you view the future? • How do you view the present?
  26. 26. • How does time work in your company? • How does your team work with deadlines? • How can you have more influence on how time is viewed in your work?
  27. 27. • Do you multitask? • Does it work well? • What are the switching costs of moving between jobs? • Do one thing properly, then move on to the next.
  28. 28. • Is there a sequence to what you are doing? • Does there have to be? • Could you start in a different place?
  29. 29. • What can you change? • What can’t you change? • Do you actively like starting new things? • Could you precrastinate? • Can you ‘act as if’?
  30. 30. • Are your predictions usually wrong? • What unforeseen problems can you foresee? • Are you guilty of hindsight?
  31. 31. • What is your attitude to a crisis? • Can an apparent crisis actually be a decisive turning point? • How could a crisis inspire a new approach?
  32. 32. • Write yourself a postcard from the future. • What year is it? • What happened? • How will you get there?
  33. 33. • At the beginning of any task or project, ask the question. • If the answer is suspect, discuss the implications. • Or if you are in charge, stop the task.
  34. 34. • Pose the question. • Have you stopped asking questions? • Are there smart people doing stupid things? • Do you know why you are doing what you are doing?
  35. 35. • Where can you steal from? • What can you take? • How can you adapt and re- apply it? • Where can you take it to?
  36. 36. • Define the extremes of a project. • Where is the Goldilocks Spot? • Is too much being disrupted unnecessarily? • Define a little disturbance, but not too much.
  37. 37. • What preparation are you going to do? • How can you be a mental magpie? • What are you on the lookout for?
  38. 38. • Recall a time when you were very worried. • Did it help? • How can you adjust your emotional reaction next time? • Would it help?
  39. 39. • Do you listen to reply? • Can you listen and learn? • Can you concentrate properly on a conversation without checking your phone?
  40. 40. • Wouldn’t it be good if…? • Fill in the rest of the sentence. • Dream a little. • How will you get there?
  41. 41. • What is your definition of enough? • For you or the business? • How will you know when you are there?
  42. 42. • Does this problem really have a solution? • If not, is it actually a fact? • How can we cope with it? • Is it time to move on to something else?
  43. 43. • What exactly do we know? • What do we not know? • What don’t we know we don’t know? • Are we ignorant of our ignorance?
  44. 44. • Are we putting too much emphasis on planning? • How accurate is our plan? • How can we be more adept at dealing with developments as they occur?
  45. 45. • What do we have that is vague but exciting? • Can we widen our distance and prepare to be wrong? • How can we test our assumptions?
  46. 46. • How well are you managing your attentional filter? • What will you decide not to do? • Choose one thing and give it your full attention.
  47. 47. • What’s your best idea? • How easy will it be to get permission to pursue it? • What will happen if you just go ahead anyway?
  48. 48. • What do you do that you don’t like, or that doesn’t work well? • What would happen if you stopped doing those things? • Or can you think of better ways to do them?
  49. 49. • What circumstances are changing around you? • Are you reacting sufficiently fast? • At what point do you say enough is enough? • What should you change?
  50. 50. • Could you adopt assertive inquiry? • What do I think? • What do they think? • What am I missing? • “I have a view worth hearing but I may be missing something.”
  51. 51. • Do you have bar code days? • Do you play endless ping pong on email? • Can you break the chain with a call?
  52. 52. • Can you quit something to win elsewhere? • Can we go upstream to see what’s going wrong? • What should you stop trying with?
  53. 53. 50 WAYS TO BE YOUR BEST