The secret to getting less of what you don’t want

Make a quick mental list of all that stuff you would like less of in business and as a leader. I bet you’d like less aggravation and stress, fewer employee problems, lower payroll costs, less waste, less debt, less on your plate … the list goes on. It can be pretty freaky how quickly your “I want less of” list can morph into one big knot in your stomach. But fear not, like Speedy Alka Seltzer, I bring you the secret to instant relief.

Before I share the secret to getting less of what you don’t want, I need to warn you of some potential known side effects of use. You may experience feelings of anxiety that can dissipate rapidly by taking action. You may feel the desire to cast blame on others until you figure out who really needs to take ownership. You may experience intense euphoria when you realize that you create all of the stuff you don’t like – and have the power to make most of it go away.

OK, here’s the secret to getting less of what you don’t want:

  • Step One: Step One is simply a reality check. You cannot be in a leadership role and be surrounded only by the good things and the stuff you like. I’ve devoted my life to studying, writing and teaching leadership, and I still have stuff around me that I’d like to have less of. I truly believe that a life without stuff that drives you crazy would be boring. Life and leadership are about working through challenges. There is no “easy button” in leadership. If you want an easy job – get out of leadership.
  • Step Two: Marvel at your ability to create, directly or indirectly, all of the things you want less of. Yes, it’s pretty darn amazing to realize that you had a hand in creating all the stuff you want less of. Aggravation and stress are by-products of poor and/or risky decisions, avoiding what your financials and critical numbers are telling you, poorly defined expectations, lack of leadership and its evil twin – micromanagement. The secret to Step Two is knowing you have the power to create stuff you want less of, and therefore, you have the power to make that stuff go away.
  • Step Three: Begin your journey to having more of what you do want in your life. There is something invigorating and empowering about starting a journey to a better place. Step Three is about making your choice to begin your journey away from the stuff you want less of and filling those voids with the stuff you want. Tired of missing goal? Then channel your creative powers to innovating ways to win – ways to inspire yourself and your team. Tired of employee problems? Peel back the layers, find the problems and innovate ways to fix them and achieve the right outcomes. Step Three is about taking action.
  • Step Four: Stay the course – I mean really stay the course. Too many leaders opt for the quick fix, making declarations such as, “Things are going to change around here.” The recurring pattern is the big launch followed by a short hang time. If your employees have ever said, “We tried that before,” the message they’re sending is that you don’t stay the course.

So, the secret to getting less of what you don’t want and more of what you do is all about you, the choices you make and the actions you take. Now, start getting rid of that stuff you don’t want and replace it with more of what fulfills you. No compromise.

ROAD TRIP: Next week’s MMWU will be from Beijing, China. I’m off to do the opening keynote at the Esthetics China Exhibition & Congress. “Xie Xie.” (Pronounced “shea shea.” It means, “Thank you.”)

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Please share your thoughts with me about today’s Monday Morning Wake-Up. Click above to comment.

Neil Ducoff, Founder & CEO of Strategies and author of No-Compromise Leadership

Pass this e-mail on to your business colleagues, managers and friends. They’ll appreciate it.


3 Responses to “The secret to getting less of what you don’t want”

  1. March 24, 2017 at 3:36 am


  2. May 14, 2017 at 10:34 pm


  3. May 14, 2017 at 11:55 pm


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