The 47 Most Productive Minutes in a Leader’s Day – Your Champions Brew for Friday May 4, 2023

Happy Friday, Brew Nation !

Grab your favorite coffee cup, sit back, relax, and get ready to sip on some enriching and thought-provoking content that will equip you to thrive in all areas of your life:

  • Work Hard – I have had people ask me, “How do you find the time to get all of the information read and codified for the Champion’s Brew?”  There are so many different ‘time management’ techniques out there and I have tried most of them.  Fact is, I can’t find the time.  We all have the same 24 hours in a day.  We can’t stop the clock.  We can’t call a timeout.  One of my favorite techniques that I use is a form of time blocking that I call “The Most Productive 47 Minutes in a Leader’s Day”.  While many people attempt time blocking, I have found that this particular approach is not as commonly used. Here are the steps:
    • Identify a task/project that you need to work on
    • Make a one-hour calendar appointment with yourself.
    • When you sit down to work, set a timer for 47 minutes.
    • Now, here is the key – Turn off ALL Squirrels (distractions) that keep you from staying focused in that hour (Phone on Do Not disturb, Email application closed, television set, and put an out of office sign on your door.
    • Start the timer and work until the timer goes off.
    • Use the final 13 minutes to turn those distractions back on to check the emails, texts, social media that you ‘missed’ in the last 47 minutes. 

I hope that this technique can be helpful for others who, like me, struggle with lack of focus. If you experiment with this technique, and you are true to the 47 minutes, I am 100% confident that it will be the most productive 47 minutes of your day. 

Are you aware that The Champions Brew explores various topics that I frequently coach and consult on with other leaders and organizations? If you or someone you know is seeking to elevate their business or personal life from underperforming to uncommon, I would love to connect with you and discuss 1:1 or group coaching, as well as performance consulting. In fact, click the following link to schedule a FREE CALL to explore how coaching could benefit you and your team. Let’s work together to unleash your full potential and achieve your goals!

  • Love Always – How is being ‘kind’ more effective than being ‘nice’? I often compare giving kind feedback to receiving a massage.  Here is a story to illustrate the point: Once upon a time, there was a leader named Melissa who was feeling stressed and overwhelmed. She decided to treat herself to a massage to help her relax and unwind.

When Melissa arrived at the spa, she was given the option of choosing between a deep tissue massage and a Swedish massage. The massage therapist explained that the deep tissue massage would be more intense and therapeutic, while the Swedish massage would be gentler and more relaxing.  Melissa thought about this for a moment, and then realized that the choice between a deep tissue massage and a Swedish massage was like the choice between being kind or nice when giving feedback.

Choosing a deep tissue massage would be like being ‘kind’. It might be a bit uncomfortable or even painful at times, but it would ultimately help release tension and work out knots in her muscles. Similarly, being kind to the person needing feedback might involve making difficult choices or pushing herself out of her comfort zone, but it would ultimately lead to growth and self-improvement of Melissa and her colleague.

On the other hand, choosing a Swedish massage would be like being ‘nice’. It would feel good in the moment and provide temporary relief from her stress, but it wouldn’t necessarily address the underlying issues that were causing her stress in the first place. Similarly, being nice to her friend, family member or co-worker might involve avoiding difficult conversations, but it wouldn’t lead to long-term growth or self-improvement.

So, when choosing to be kind or nice when giving feedback, choose the deep tissue massage! 

  • Read More –So, I am finding my groove with John Maxwell’s newest book, The 16 Undeniable Laws of Communication – Apply Them and Make the Most of Your Message.  Each week, I will travel with you through a chapter of this book.  This week we review Law # 5 of 16:

Law # 5 – The Law of Collaboration

Some of Your Best Thinking Will Be Done With Others

“If you want to become the best communicator you can, don’t try to do it alone.  Seek out others to help you.” Oh my goodness, how simple, yet profound, this is.  Why is it that when it comes to business ideas, it is so easy for me to ask others for their thoughts to help lift them up or make them better, yet for communication, I try to do it all on my own?  If I am being brutally honest, I make up two things: 1) I might be bothering them.  It is selfish.  2) They might actually GIVE me feedback and I may not like it and take it as criticism.  The fact is, those are both about me. 

“It marks a big step in your development when you come to realize that other people can help you do a better job than you could do alone.” – Andrew Carnegie

So, how do I become better at collaborating on communication ideas? 

1) Let go of my ego – “Success begins with we, not me.  No one person has all the answers.” – There, I said it.  My name is John, and I have a problem, and the problem is me.

2) Realize the VALUE of shared thinking:

  • Shared thinking brings more maturity than solo thinking.
  • Shared thinking is more creative than solo thinking.
  • Great thoughts are birthed out of many good thoughts

3) Good collaborators have an Open (aka abundance, aka options) mindset: The author does well when he says it’s like the difference between 1 + 1, which is 2 and 1 beside 1, which is 11.  Good collaborators always believe there are multiple solutions.

4) Good collaborators ask tough questions – As you work to become a better communicator, you should not avoid asking tough questions you might not like the answer to.  For example, ‘What was the strongest five minutes of that message?’ or even better, ‘What were the weakest five minutes of the message?’ – ouch…

5) Good collaborators generate as many ideas as possible – “Good ideas are like rabbits.  Get a couple and they MULTIPLY”.  Ha-ha!!

Sometimes, I feel like John Maxwell writes just for me.  This was one of those times.  If you want to be a better communicator, stop trying to be a cowboy.  Enlist the ideas and feedback from others that you trust.  That is the Law of Collaboration.

Quote of the week:

“You can choose to either be focused on things that matter or allow yourself to be swept away in a sea of distraction.” – Rory Vaden, author of Procrastinate on Purpose

What You Need to Do:

Call to Action:  Schedule one hour over the next week and practice the 47 Most Productive Minutes in a Leaders Day.  Let me know how it goes.

It’s an honor to be your trusted “Friday Coffee Guy”.  Each week, I’m excited to provide yet another round of curated content that I’ve been reading, listening to, watching, or thinking over. The purpose of the Champions Brew is to inspire, equip and encourage you to become the uncommon leader you were designed to be. I am so grateful for your decision to invest a few moments with me! I hope you enjoyed this week’s edition of Champions Brew. If you did, I would appreciate it if you would share it with someone who might enjoy it as well and ask them to subscribe! I will make sure they automatically get this email every week.

Until next time, Work Hard, Love Always, Read More, and Grow Champions!

P.S. – Are you a podcast fan?  Maybe the Uncommon Leader podcast is for you.    Are you interested in being a guest on the Uncommon Leader Podcast?  Do you have a story to tell?  Email me [email protected] and let’s have a chat and set something up!!


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To become Champion leader, we have to be on a continuous improvement journey for ourselves and others.  We have to be able to take advantage of the precious seconds that we have each day.  
There are things that I come across each week that help me, inspire me, relax me, motivate me, and are sometimes are just funny that I want to share with you so that you can smile more, build faith, think positively, network well, exercise often, eat healthy, and grow daily.

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