Tag Archives: focus

TNF #122: I love my job

Welcome Professionals…

…Last week I wrote about the elementary frame conditions one should choose wisely to enjoy flow and happiness within the profession. Today, I am taking a different perspective.

Regardless of how well we have made our choices, often we loose sight of the benefits. They get normal over time and we tend to focus on the next big problem to solve. It is important that we regularly review what runs well in our professional life and not to be overwhelmed by the issue management of day-to-day work.

There is a great exercise to create this level of awareness. Tonight, I will hold a speech to alumni of my former employer. They want to know how I got into my new profession and why I enjoy it. While I prepared my speech and rehearsed it, I became more and more aware of what I love about my job. Strong motivation kicked in.

So next time you meet your spouse or a friend, don’t get into complaining about workload, stubborn clients or helpless team members. Instead, tell them what you love about your current job. If you don’t have anything to say, well, that is probably a case for change. If you can list a few things and make yourself aware of them, they will certainly be a strong motivator and energy source.

Need to run to the alumni event –

Malte

Thursday Night Flight is brought to you by Malte Müller Professionals. Sharing best practices for top management consultants on topics like communication, client handling, problem solving, appearance, and fitness. Check out www.mm-professionals.com for more material and free resources!

TNF #106: Buffet of opportunities

Welcome Professionals…

…I am currently spending a week of vacation in a hotel with an all-inclusive offer on food and drinks. The supercharged buffets inspired me to write this week’s blog post. In this hotel you can eat and drink all around the clock. Since everything is paid for already, you just have to reach out for something and have it right away. Besides the three main meals in the restaurants, you get access to a host of snack bars which are spread across the hotel and pools. Before I even realized it, I found myself overeating on fastfood, softdrinks and ice cream.

buffet

I discovered that it takes quite a lot of will-power to go to the lunch buffet and just have a salad and some grilled fish despite of all the fragrant temptations. It takes a long term target (health), some core principles (skip sugar and fast carbs) and a mid-term plan (eat light to be mobile enough for the tennis match in the afternoon) to make wise food choices. This has quite some parallels to our business life it occurred to me.

In business we have a host of opportunities to fill our day. Before we know it, our day will be spent with checking emails and sitting in ineffective meetings. Emails and meetings are the sugar and fast carbs of business. For the short term, they make us feel busy, but there is a great risk of missing our long-term target if we indulge in them. Our days will be crammed with ballast and we will feel reactive and unflexible.

Only a clear long-term target, some derived key principles and a mid-term plan will enable us to withstand the distracting temptations and focus on deep work. I personally have made good experience with re-visiting my long-term targets once a month in a planning session and putting the mid-term plan into my calendar. My key principles are always with me in on a notes page in my briefcase. I shared them with my assistant so that she can operate in line with them when booking my time.

What is your sugar in your business day? How do you stay focused on your business targets and away from the temptations? Let me know.

Malte

Thursday Night Flight is brought to you by Malte Müller Professionals. Sharing best practices for top management consultants on topics like communication, client handling, problem solving, appearance, and fitness. Check out www.mm-professionals.com for more material and free resources!

TNF #097: Make a list

Welcome Professionals…

… When is the last time that you have made a list of your achievements?

It is a useful exercise that can significantly increase our energy levels. Psychologists have scientifically proven that we feel happier when we write down three items that we are grateful for each night. The increased happiness is recognizeable already after a few iterations, usually after 10 – 20 days.

I got reminded of this fact when I was talking to a CEO recently. He told me how tough the market was and that he was trying hard with his team to acquire clients. He told me about the expectations of his shareholders and his day-to-day struggles when things were not developing as planned. He said something like “I wonder why I am still in this position”.list

Later in the talk, when he took a list out of his drawer, he immediately lighted up. He had made a list of all the clients the company had won since he entered the company. I could see how this list changed his mood completely from sarcasm to confidence. He took pride in explaining the list and the stories behind the wins. He closed with the words “actually we have already achieved a lot”.

It is a common theme. We focus day in, day out on the gap between our status quo and our target. For each problem solved, the second biggest problem will take the spot of the first one. This can get quite exhausting. It is good to look back from time to time and take stock of our achievements.

I have this feeling everytime I prepare a list of reference projects for a proposal. It gives me a boost in my energy, confidence, and motivation. Recently, I met a consultant who took stock of all her client contacts over the last 5 years. She filled 18 pages with clients sorted into companies which were then categorized by industries. She had two findings: She wanted to build more focus and she won more confidence that she will succeed in this.

Try it, make a list!

Malte

Thursday Night Flight is brought to you by Malte Müller Professionals. Sharing best practices for top management consultants on topics like communication, client handling, problem solving, appearance, and fitness. Check out www.mm-professionals.com for more material and free resources!

TNF #093: Keep focus

Welcome Professionals…

…I know, many of us chose the profession of a top management consultant for the high variety of topics the job provides. There is hardly one project like the other. Many young graduates join consulting to see a variety of industries and like to work as a generalist in the beginning. I was the same when I started.

However, it is so hard getting started without any specialization. In fact, I think the only way to get a grip in business is through radical focus and specialization. Finding a topic, a niche industry, a special craft that is key to establish a standing as an expert. Then, when you have built the expertise and your personal brand, there will come opportunities to branch out and widen the focus bit by bit.

focus

I was talking this week to a consultant who is trying to do business development across various industries. She was tackling IT, private banking, industrial goods, consumer goods and retail and medical technology – all at the same time! What’s more, she distributed her efforts across many geographies from Europe to Middle East. This is a very obvious example of wasted energy. And I am not blaming this person – she knew exactly what went wrong and decided to focus in the future.

It may be hard in the beginning to choose something and leave so many other interesting choices untapped. In a world of unlimited opportunities, we all suffer form FoMO – fear of missing out. The good thing is, it does not matter so much what we pick. Once we have mastered this area, we will get to diversify from there. To make a dent, we clearly must keep our focus.

Stay focused,

Malte

Thursday Night Flight is brought to you by Malte Müller Professionals. Sharing best practices for top management consultants on topics like communication, client handling, problem solving, appearance, and fitness. Check out www.mm-professionals.com for more material and free resources!