Picture this – It’s 3 pm on a Sunday and you’re standing in a room full of people. Everyone is quiet and focused on what seems to be a casket at the front of the room. You walk towards the casket to see the recently deceased, only to find that it’s you. Before you know it, people begin to stand up and start to tell the story of your life. The good and the bad. The happy and the sad. The captivating and the forgettable. Do you like what you are hearing?
Hey everyone, I’m Fabio Viviani and welcome to your source for getting the most out of your work week. I apologize for possibly starting off the conversation with a story of death, but that seems to be a great way to honestly get people’s opinion about the way they are living their lives. I’ve been a chef for over 20 years now and spent the better part of those years crafting my sense of business. I’ve seen what works and what doesn’t, which has given me the position to speak on what I’ve gained in those years. I want to share it with you and bring you closer to mastering your faults and turning them into successes. My topic today is “Your Game Plan – How Effective People Make It Happen.” You have two types of people, Leaders and Followers. Both are valuable, but have different parts to play within that value system. If you are currently a follower, but have wishes and determination to become a leader, I want to outline some leadership qualities and habits that I’ve noticed over the years.
- Take Initiative - People become leaders by their effectiveness to make things happen. In the food world, the saying goes, “you are what you eat.” In the business world, the saying is “Where your habits reside, so do you.” This means that whatever your habits are throughout the day, those habits and practices shape and mold you. The bad news is that some of the habits might be keeping you from attaining future goals. The good news is that you have the ability to change those habits and shift them towards those of becoming a leader. As a person in leadership, I’ve found that taking initiative seems to land at the top of my list. If you are waiting like everyone else for direction, then you are missing your chance to look ahead and focus on the future. Learn that the only limit that will keep you from acting on a task is your thought process.
- Choose a Proactive Attitude - As a leader, you must own your freedom to control how certain circumstances and business ventures will affect you. The power in that freedom will catapult you to the next level. We can’t always be in control of the outcome, but we can always choose how it will affect us. For example, if in the past you said “Well, That’s just who I am,” then try saying “I am whatever I choose to be.” If you have the tendency to speak with a negative tone such as “I can’t accomplish that,” flip the switch and verbalize “I’m at a loss now, but can come up with a solution.” Find your inner vocabulary that focuses on responsibility and ownership, and you will see an expansion within the world of possibility.
- Follow a Schedule – Leaders prioritize their days. They put first things first and create structure that keeps them on those tasks. Most people will let their most important tasks fall to the back of the bus while the least important take a seat in first class. This promotes bad time management, and encourages laziness, two traits that a leader does not posses. They emphasize the importance of planning, staying ahead of the game, and not cramming their schedule to the point of missing time to focus on relationships and friends. A quote that one of my former employers once told me is “Fabio, don’t take from the butcher, to pay the fisherman.” I now understand that what he meant is that you can’t steal time from the important to give to the least important. Each task must have its time and place, and it’s up to you to give the adequate time to those tasks. No more and no less.
- Character is Number One – To truly transform your future, you have to start with your daily habits and character development. Your character should shape your personality, then your personality should naturally show as a result. Put yourself in other people’s shoes and take steps to listen and understand. A great leadership quality is being able to first understand, then to be understood. Talk to find out what other people are searching for, and seek to find the solution before they even know what that solution looks like. This type of scenario is what I call “Everybody Wins.” The people with the problem now have someone they can trust with future issues. You have found a solution for those people. When we create outcomes where nobody “loses,” the teamwork is strengthened.
I’d like to end our discussion today by encouraging and urging you to “sharpen your knives.” In the kitchen, having sharp knives makes the work easier and more efficient. In the business world, your knives are your skills and habits. If you are weak in the area of time management, read ways to improve that. If you have trouble waking up in the morning, promote better sleep by going to bed a little earlier. Don’t continue to chop only because you think it will take too much time to sharpen your knife. The highly effective type of person takes the precious time to sharpen their knives, rather than working harder and making the work more tiresome than it needs to be. In everything that you do, find the ways to make yourself better, as well as those around you. By implementing this, there is nothing stopping you from transforming your future. So as we travel back to the casket, what are those people saying about you now? Make it something that you are satisfied with hearing.