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Daily Meditation August 24th, 2015

“Given with what we have right now, is there a way to make this better” – Daniel Ek

https://youtu.be/QoqohmccTSc?t=2m

This is a very important quote to consider. If we constantly focus on tradition and what has been done in the past we will forget the present. Focusing on leveraging our current environment, built from our own path is extremely important. However, making sure you build upon that is of a higher tier of importance. As the leader of any team, the first thing to consider is *inserts monologue*

…Making every decision based on who I am serving. If I succeed in each of my team members goals to serve those that they serve first, before I do my own…The net positive will be the best. Rather than just focusing on my own first.

The paraphrasing about the above-mentioned quote is a summary on what I have on this so far.
‪#‎Entrepenuership‬‪#‎Leadership‬‪#‎LAMP‬‪#‎Listen‬‪#‎Appreciate‬‪#‎Motitavate‬‪ #‎Praise‬

 

 

Kenny Soto Daily Habits Article

How Your Daily Habits Affect Your Success

Personal Success begins with your habits.

As a leader or anyone aspiring to become successful, we are all responsible for our own personal success. Oftentimes people aren’t able to be successful because they are completely unaware of how their daily habits affect their future. There are many things in our lives that are outside of our own control but, the one thing we do have a say over are the daily habits we choose to adopt every day.

You are your choices.

There have been many times when I have heard people I know complain about their lives. I would hear the usual statements, “I hate where I am at in life” or, “I am only in this situation because I don’t know the right people.” What many people don’t realize is that the reason they are stuck where they don’t want to be is because of their daily habits. What makes matters worse is most of us cannot see how our daily habits affect our lives because the basis of our habits is around processes and not outcomes. Focusing on what could you gain from making a decision hinders you from focusing on what matters. The reason why the majority of us are only focused on outcomes are because others have taught us since early childhood that what is more important is reaching a specific goal and not how we get there. Just because I get an A in a course doesn’t mean that I can actually apply my knowledge effectively on a daily basis. For many of us, the outcome of our total success is not determined by how we reach deadlines but from how effective was our process in achieving our tasks and what do we learn to increase our productivity the next time.

Effective habits save time.

The answer success does not lie in asking yourself what you need to do, but instead who you need to become. Once you have that answer, realize that you are not that person right now because when you compare your current self to your ideal personal persona, the difference is how you spend your day. Some people believe the on approach to getting to where you want to be is by using self-affirmations like in The Secret to attract success to you. I am not saying that self-affirmations aren’t useful, in fact they can be very powerful. What I am saying is that a more practical way of approaching success is adopting productive habits. This creates a structural foundation in which you can achieve that success mindset. To create that structure you need to be self-aware of what are your current habits and how other people and outside factors sway your choices on what daily habits you adopt over time.

Distractions are your biggest enemy.

One big factor that determines what daily habits you decide to adopt is codependency. Codependency is when you tend to act or feel a certain way based on whom you interact with (my interpretation of it). The reason this dysfunctional behavior is detrimental to your daily success is because most of us don’t notice our codependent tendencies when we interact and spend time with others. Jim Rohn best describes this when he states, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” As we become more hyper-connected to people through the Internet, it is now more important than ever to be aware when we are being codependent with those we are spending our time with (offline and online). In the event that you cannot do so, then you should make sure you are spending your time with people who are practicing successful habits daily (at least those habits may rub off on you). Codependency is related to why you aren’t as successful as you want to be. This is because you are allowing the habits of others govern your own. Although, this may not always be the case if you are already aware of how others in your network affect your chances of success. It helps significantly if you are learning what habits are you adopting from other people.

 

You should always be aware of what habits you currently have that may not be leading to who you want to become. Researching and meeting successful people who can mentor you are very helpful ways to figure out productive habits you can adopt yourself. However, it all comes down to self-awareness. Make sure you are auditing your habits on a regular basis and calibrating them accordingly. If you don’t create a daily regimen yourself, outside factors are doing it for you.

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kenny soto successful meetings post

The Two Essential Parts of a Successful Meeting

Meetings can be a chore but, they are necessary.

Regardless of what you do for your business, eventually you will have to conduct or be a part of a team meeting. I have attended meetings in multiple school clubs, so my experience is limited. However, if there is one thing I have noticed is that, not all meetings are productive. 

After much consideration, I have come to the conclusion that there are two aspects of a meeting that can make it, so no one is wasting their time: an agenda and meeting minutes.

An agenda is your Gandalf, leading you to Mordor.*

When I became the secretary for my fraternity I didn’t have much training, so I had no idea what was expected of me during the first executive meeting. It was a daunting experience, one that doesn’t seem as scary now. I realized however that I would have a significant impact on how our team would be organized very early on when the president of our team asked me to start writing the agendas. 

Now first and foremost, I am still debating over whether or not one person should ultimately decide what is on the agenda for any meeting. But, at the end of the day, there needs to be a directed discussion about something. No matter what your team’s overall objectives are, they have to be organized to save time. 

I have witnessed meetings that lead to nowhere because we either have too much oversight on important topics that need to be covered or because we didn’t have enough time in the meeting to discuss it. I personally have adopted the Steve Jobs way of conducting meetings: if there is no agenda, please do not waste my time. 

Agendas are not the end all be all; there also needs to be some flexibility for discussion on topics not on there if circumstances come to it. However, keep in mind that an agenda should consist of the essential items that need to be addressed by the team to move forward (all other items should be secondary to the team’s goals). An agenda helps meetings go smoothly and saves a tremendous amount of time.

The time that can be best spent doing what is supposed to be discussed during the meeting.

Write minutes. Then read them!

We can discuss what constitutes a successful meeting for hours but, if there is anything I am convinced of is that to keep a team coordinated, it has to be writing meeting minutes and ensuring the whole team reads them after. The importance of well-constructed meeting minutes is underrated. Minutes allow for those team members who couldn’t attend the meeting to stay informed and allow for your team to better organize reports for your customers and the entire staff.

One key factor to a team’s success is communication, and you cannot achieve that if there aren’t any meeting minutes that can be reviewed at any given time. How can you follow up on action items? How can you ensure that everyone is doing their part? 

Minutes are not just to keep a record of all team discussions but, are also a good indicator of how productivity over time is cataloged and assessed (in a qualitative manner). One of the secretary’s greatest responsibilities is to ensure the team’s minutes are accurate and well-organized. And meeting minutes can only be useful if people read them!

As an involved teammate, you should never be caught dead in a meeting that doesn’t have an agenda set at least 24 hours ahead of time. Also, you have to make sure that someone is ready to take the minutes for the meeting. Everyone’s time will be wasted otherwise. And then you have to ask yourself, “Why did I even add this to my schedule in the first place?

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*Lord of the Rings reference, I hope you didn’t need to read this to know that.
Option Paralysis Kenny Soto

3 Decision Making Strategies to Counter Option Paralysis

Simple decision-making strategies to increase your productivity

Every business professional needs to be effective in completing their tasks but, they can be stumped when a difficult situation arises. Perhaps a client is not satisfied with your product or a key founding partner wants to leave the company. One of the biggest deterrents to making the right decision in any scenario is option paralysis: not being able to make decisions because there are too many options one can choose from. One quick fix to this issue is being impulsive and going with your gut but, this can often times backfire. So what can one do, to stop option paralysis? Below are several decision-making strategies in which you can help optimize your decision-making and make sure you can make the right choice in a timely manner.

 The power of SWOT

From my own experiences in business I have seen most people use SWOT when working on a business plan and not in everyday life. SWOT, which stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, is a great decision-making strategy used by most business professionals when planning a new business venture such as the launching of a new product line or a merger.  I use this decision-making strategy to quickly see the bigger picture before I make any important decision. Whether it be choosing what to prioritize during the day or who I should do business with to maximize my profit, using this model can help tremendously with speed and productivity.

Strengths Weaknesses
  • Political support
  • Funding available
  • Market experience
  • Strong leadership
  • Project is very complex
  • Likely to be costly
  • May have environmental impact
  • Staff resources are already stretched
Opportunities Threats
  • Project may improve local economy
  • Will improve safety
  • Project will boost company’s public image
  • Environmental constraints
  • Time delays
  • Opposition to change

Example from: Business News Daily

Using this strategy can also help when explaining to your team why you decided to go a specific route. Having a diagram of how you came to your decision will help when explaining why you thought your decision was best for the group and it can help when reflecting on how the decision effected your business when looking back.

Trust your team

Whenever a decision seems too much to handle, remember that you are not alone. Seeking advice is always a really simple way to make sure you are not being complacent in making an important decision. Asking for another person’s perspective can often times enlighten you and show you others ways you can handle specific issues that you may have never considered. One of the reasons it is always best to surround yourself with people who do not think like you is so you can expand your mind and constantly learn different ways to approach any given situation. Never forget the power of the many in making a decision, one person can only see so much. Another positive of making difficult decisions through the advice of others is that you get to see how your team members will make decisions in your absence. It is very important to know who you should trust with the responsibility of making choices for the team in the event of an emergency when you are not able to be there and supervise the situation. It also shows who can possibly become your successor if you ever decide to leave the team and venture off into something else.

Flip a coin

This is the last resort way I make my decisions if I find myself thinking too much about pressing matters. I keep it simple and flip a coin. If it lands and I do not agree with the decision then I know that is the one I have to make. I don’t necessarily let the coin decide for me, I just let it solidify my decision. Do not under any circumstances leave anything up to chance. Just use this tactic to make sure that all doubts are subdued and you can assure yourself that you are doing what you believe is best.

I like to limit my decision-making strategies to these three because as “option paralysis” can deter you from making a decision, the same effect can happen by having too many strategies to work around it as well. Keep things simple when you can so you can go through your life and professional career in a fluid and productive way. You save yourself countless time by keeping these decision-making strategies in mind.

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Blog post image about organization

Organization: A Leader’s Obsession

We are subjected to a constant barrage of tasks and responsibilities. Every day, we have to complete before the end of the day, as a leader, completing all these objectives each day sometimes feels insurmountable, there never seems to be enough time during the day to complete everything.  In one of my earlier articles, I went over the essential qualities a leader should have. One skill a leader needs in, order to succeed (and stay sane) is organization.

Fall in love with your calendar.

I would not survive college if I did not follow my iPhone calendar. The key to success is to follow the four D’s of success:

  1. Do it
  2. Delegate it
  3. Defer it
  4. Drop it

This is the formula I use to rank each item on my calendar. With all the goals a leader has throughout the day, they aren’t effectively supporting their team if they are doing all the work. A leader who does what he promises is necessary, however, being able to delegate tasks to your team  (you can see other qualities every leader should have here). Another thing to always remember is that if something can be done tomorrow, worry about every thing that is important today. To help with this you have to set up criteria for what exactly is important in order of 1-5. Using a simple ranking system, such as: Family chores, School Work, Internship, etc. The easiest to defer anything is to set a list of priorities during the day, week, and the month. Finally, always remember that successful people always say no. You can not accept every thing people ask you to do. This is how leaders over extend themselves, they say yes to everything and that is never ok. The key to time management is to consistently understand that it is impossible for you to do every thing that you want to. Always focus on doing one important thing at a time.

Get a task journal to build infrastructure for your organization goals.

To stay on track of everything I have to do during the week I keep a journal that I write in when I arrive home everyday. The point of the journal isn’t to just write what you have done and what you haven’t done, it is so you can record the process of how you completed each task. Understanding how to improve on each process so you can complete  similar tasks in the future more efficiently is some thing I highly suggest doing if you are a very busy person. It also helps with making sure you aren’t wasting too much time on one specific thing; knowing that you can come with better approach to reaching a goal after studying how you’ve done things beforehand is really helpful.

To stay organized make sure you do the bare minimum.

There will be days where you can’t complete all things you want to do but, they need to get done. The best practice is to do the bare minimum on the tasks that aren’t necessarily as important as the other tasks you need to complete. Just because something has to be done immediately doesn’t mean it is more important than your other tasks. If you keep this in mind you will save yourself a lot of time and stress and keep yourself organized.

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kenny soto 4 qualities of an effective leader

The 4 Qualities Effective Leader’s Have

Before you lead a team…

I have come across many people in my time as a student leader. Throughout all the different interactions I have had with many of my fellow peers, they all have an abundance of different qualities that make them all exceptional leaders. There are, however, four core characteristics that make them successful leaders.

1. Patience

To be a leader you can not be impulsive in your decision-making. Trusting your instincts is important but, there is a difference between going with your gut and reacting from your emotions. It is always important to analyze the intended and unintended consequences of every choice you make. Being able to stand back and ask yourself important questions such as, “Is this venture worth the risk? Should we worry about this issue now or leave it on the side to address other pressing matters?”, is very important to do as a leader. Every  decision you make affects the ones that will be made in the future; having clarity is the only way you will be able to lead a team to greatness.

2. Curiosity

In anything that you do, whether now or in the future, there will always be ways for you to further develop and improve yourself as an asset to the group. Always seek opportunities to grow and the best way to  do so is to keep an open mind and be willing to learn from anyone, not just people in your immediate network. One of the best ways to constantly learn besides reading every day is to continuously engage with people you do not normally converse with. Learning about new cultures and different social topics makes it easier to build rapport with people in any situation, which is very important for a leader. You can only stay the leader of a group so long as you grow with it.

3. Service

I am a strong believer that a leader is the one person who knows how to serve the group’s purpose the best. A leader is not someone who works to meet his own agenda (surely most leaders get their positions with determination and desire as two key pillars that drive them) but is someone who works to carry out the goals and aspirations of everyone  involved within the team. When given a position of power that can decide the future of an entire group of people, the responsibilities of the leader should not be taken lightly. Being able to understand the importance of your role, not only for yourself but, for everyone else is key to sustaining a team and achieving success for all.

4. Delegation

I struggle with this every day. Being the most significant quality in a leader, honing this skill is a must in order to be successful. Delegating tasks is not only important for the health of a leader but more importantly, it lets other members of the team have the opportunity to further propel their growth and possibly become leaders themselves. You are never truly done leading a team until it is able to survive without you. This can only be achieved if you give others the chance to tackle challenges and obstacles without you. Don’t be afraid to trust your teammates with hard tasks. Staying concerned with issues, present and potential, as well as opportunities that may arise in the future is what should be your main priority.

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