What’s different between you and your CEO?

What’s different between you and your CEO, Jo_

In a recent blog, I asked for podcast recommendations so I wanted to start by acknowledging all of you who responded to my last email with your own podcast recommendations – THANK YOU! I’m trying to upload some of them currently to my iPhone and making my way through so I appreciate the suggestions. Perhaps in a few months I’ll have my top-5 podcast list to share with you too. 

In the meantime I’m just popping in for a short email with a few things I’ve been learning and really benefiting from lately-I’m hoping you can learn from it too.
Dr. Jo’s Top 5 Leadership Incites:
1)    A fascinating study was just released by the CEO Genome Project which studied 17,000 leaders. What it showed was the leaders who made CEO (ahead of schedule, or let’s just face it, at all) had some key differences. Most didn’t go to elite MBA programs – they just took risks. There were two top differentiators between the CEOs and the wannabes. First, these leaders often went smaller and riskier, they took on the un-winnable projects no one wanted (and won). Alternatively – they said yes to big leaps before they were ready for them. So if you want to speed up your trajectory – perhaps you’re on a much too well-trodden path…​​​​​​​ 
Image2)    Meditation: I know this isn’t a shocking revelation but I’ve been challenging myself and lately have meditated 40+ days in a row without breaking the streak. Yes, I still get upset at small things, and I still have moments of pure procrastination and lack of focus – but honestly, fewer. If you’re considering meditating, start small, just 2-5 minutes per day. Wait until you’re addicted and look forward to that time before increasing. It really does help with much of what can ail us in our scattered, information overload world. (And if you want more motivation to begin: read this)
3)    Those air-fryers you see on infomercials really work! One of my best friends got me this for my birthday and we’ve all been experimenting in the household. I’ve made yummy fries and Brussels sprouts, though we didn’t love the broccoli. Downside: it’s not much faster, just less oil. Curiosity: I still haven’t tried making grilled cheese in it despite the included recipe- not sure why one would bother…​​​​​​​
Image4)    I’ve shared this insight with several clients recently but it still keeps ringing true for me. In Chip and Dan Heath’s new book,The Power of Momentswhich I really enjoyed, they talked about those moments of true insight. We traditionally think that we have the moment of insight and it changes us – right? Like Newton being hit on the head by the apple under the tree. Or the Buddha achieving nirvana. But what their research shows is that it’s not the insight that changes us, but what we do AFTERWARDS when we turn insight into action that shifts our whole trajectory. And we’ve seen this, Buddha isn’t famous because he found nirvana, he’s admired because of how he tried to teach that capacity to others and gave himself fully to that mission, even forgoing his personal wealth as a prince.
5)    Codenames: If you’re looking for a fun game night game – look no further. We got this game for my kids for the holidays and it’s quickly become a family favorite. As for ages, my 10 year old is able to play but I think below 9 would be challenging. Pros: very fun, intellectually challenging, each round is about 15 minutes (so it moves quickly). Cons: You optimally need at least 6 people to play and you tend to blame your own teammates for their lack of talent rather than congratulating the other team on their win – or maybe that’s just our family!
I hope these recommendations can make your winter more pleasant whether you’re looking for some during or post-work new ideas.
Let me know which ones resonate best for you! 

Jo Ilfeld, PhD

An executive leadership coach, Jo helps C-suite leaders, executives, and high-potential managers develop the flexibility, skill, and frame of mind to meet the challenges of the next five, ten, twenty years…. and beyond. She works with individuals, teams and organizations on four core areas of leadership development. Check out Jo's bio page for more information.

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