4 Tips to Go From “Average” to “Extraordinary”

4 Tips to Go From Average to Extraordinary

Do the math: whenever we calculate an average for any skill, half of us fall below that mark. But just because we may be below average at something doesn’t mean we can’t quickly move up the ladder and achieve excellence.

It is probably easier than we would expect to become above average in just about anything.

Here are four action steps on how we can accomplish that target:

  • Become competent. This is the first and most important step of moving past “average” at anything; achieve competence. You don’t have to become an expert at this particular thing, or even great at it in the early competencygoing, but if you just start off by working hard to become competent,  everything else will fall into line from there. Set the goal of becoming a little better – a little more competent – every day.
  • Begin with the end in mind. Stephen Covey used this phrase as the foundation of his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. If you have a clear end goal in mind, you’re much more likely to achieve it. You’d be amazed at how many people don’t set specific goals for themselves. When you ask these people why they’ve made certain life choices or what they hope to accomplish in their career, they simply don’t know. You’ll find it much easier to go from average to extraordinary if you have a specific end goal set firmly in your mind.
  • Stay on the cutting edge. In the business world, if you don’t stay up-to-date with technology then you’re doomed to fall way behind your competition. Leverage technology in as many areas of your business as you can. Use this leverage to move past “average” at a quick rate.
  • Treat everyone with respect. This might not be as much of a self-improvement tip as the other items on this list, but it’s still extremely important. The more you put others before yourself and the better you treat them, the more likely they are to reciprocate. Make respect for others one of your core operating principles. Be genuine. Most will do the same for you – they’ll get on your team and help you to get better and move ahead.

My foundation goal in all endeavors is to be Better! every day. Better tomorrow than today, better next week than this week, and so on into the future.

How about joining me in this simple goal to be Better! It’ll make all the difference in the world.

Start to move today from competent, to average, to Better! From there, Extraordinary! is just a short step away.

John J. Hall, CPA

John J. Hall, CPA

 

 

 

 

 

 

John J. Hall, CPA, is an author, speaker and results expert who presents around the world at conventions, corporate meetings and association events.

Throughout his 35-year career as a business consultant, corporate executive and professional speaker, John has helped organizations and individuals achieve measurable results. He inspires audience members in corporations, not-for-profit organizations and professional associations to step up, take action and “do what you can.”

transition anxiety

Transition Anxiety

We’re moving in a few weeks to an apartment that is about half the size of our current home. This move is consistent with what we both want: more flexibility, less debt, much more opportunity intellectually and for both of our small businesses, a potentially wider circle of friends, and most of all – the springboard to the next phase in our lives together.

There are so many positives that will come with this move. But there’s a great deal of uncertainty as well. Anxiety is what I think the mental health professionals might call it.

You see, we love where we live. The beautiful mountains of Colorado greet us every morning and provide cool nights for deep sleeping year round. Sunshine and minimal humidity are the norm. And we have nested moving to denvercomfortably in the home we completed and decorated together.

On the flip side, we face between 6 and 10 hours each week just driving to and from the Denver airport. That’s a full productive day lost every week year round just sitting in the car. In addition, last winter’s storms were brutal for highway driving, and the constant construction delays the rest of the year have finally worn us down.

So we move. Towards something…Better!

That’s my favorite word. Better!

Moving Towards Better

We all face transitions every day. Most are small – meetings, schedules, decisions, new tasks at work and at home. Many of us – perhaps you – are in the midst of major transitions as well. New jobs, new cities, new families, new life responsibilities.

At a recent conference, we were discussing why it is so hard to make decisions and take action – especially when those decisions and actions have a high likelihood of making things Better! The discussion leader cut to the better lifechase and reminded us of what we all knew in our gut – that for humans the most comfortable path is the status quo.

Certainly there is comfort in the familiar and certain in our lives. And changes both small and large can bring equal layers of tension and anxiety. Uncertainty about the future will do that. Especially if you are blessed as we are with a wonderful home life in a beautiful setting as a starting point.

But change is necessary for growth. My wonderful bride Kris and I know that, so we are pushing forward together towards what we know is simply…Better!

What Changes Do You Know You Need to Make?

John J. Hall, CPA

John J. Hall, CPA

 

 

 

 

 

 

John J. Hall, CPA, is an author, speaker and results expert who presents around the world at conventions, corporate meetings and association events.

Throughout his 35-year career as a business consultant, corporate executive and professional speaker, John has helped organizations and individuals achieve measurable results. He inspires audience members in corporations, not-for-profit organizations and professional associations to step up, take action and “do what you can.”

new york city

A Great Blessing – New York on a Clear Summer Night

This evening, I experienced one of the modern world’s great blessings – a clear summer evening in New York City.

Now, I recognize that for many who live or work in New York, this city is a complex combination of noise, crowds, opportunity, 24 hour a day energy, and tremendous stress. But tonight was a special night in the Big Apple. A night that New York called out and said, “Look at me. I’m beautiful!”

Where and why?

The where is the Promenade in Brooklyn Heights. If you know where that is then you also know what I mean. If you don’t, look it up and pledge to visit this spot some summer evening. The Promenade overlooks the dark East River, the lower Manhattan Skyline and the lighted Brooklyn Bridge. Spectacular on the right evening, and tonight was one of those nights.

The why is because tonight was a cool, clear, low humidity night in NYC. One meant for strolling after an excellent dinner at a neighborhood restaurant. One meant for sitting quietly for a few minutes on a park bench, taking in all of the lights, buildings, and bridges of New York, and just letting it all wash over you.

I took a picture with my cell phone camera, but it is fuzzy and doesn’t do the view justice. I hope you’ve seen this too! It simply can’t capture the breathtaking view of the Manhattan skyline and Statue of Liberty, but hopefully it gives you a hint.

It was a night of blessings laid out before me. Reminders of just how fortunate my life situation is. It was a night that nudged me to give thanks for what I have.

What are the simple blessings in your life?

Along with our challenges, we all have many life blessings as well. Most are simple things that face us each day with such certainty that we don’t give them much if any conscious notice.

Why not pause right now – without any further thought or analysis – and notice just one blessing in your life. A person, a job, your home, good health, access to food, and enough money to make it through the week. Breathe out a short thought of thanks.

You are a blessing to me. Thank you for reading my thoughts, for sharing in my New York moment, and for being open to all of the positive things in our lives and work together.

Best wishes for Better! results on your terms.

John J. Hall, CPA

John J. Hall, CPA

 

 

 

 

 

 

John J. Hall, CPA, is an author, speaker and results expert who presents around the world at conventions, corporate meetings and association events.

Throughout his 35-year career as a business consultant, corporate executive and professional speaker, John has helped organizations and individuals achieve measurable results. He inspires audience members in corporations, not-for-profit organizations and professional associations to step up, take action and “do what you can.”

too much stuff

Where Did All of This Stuff Come From?

Aristotle said that nature abhors a vacuum. He supposedly came to that conclusion by observing that nature requires every space to be filled with something.

Well, I guess that’s true about our house as well.

About eight years ago, we moved to our beautiful four-bedroom Colorado mountain home from a two-bedroom apartment. The house has cabinets and closets everywhere, built-in bookcases, a full laundry room (more hit head herecabinets), and a large garage.  When we moved in, the belongings we brought barely put a dent in all of the new space. Yet somehow during the time we’ve lived here, like nature we kept filing in the space with things we ‘needed’ until it felt complete. And that was long past what we ‘needed’ to live comfortably.

In preparation for a move to a wonderful (but smaller!) apartment in Denver next month, we have been working through every inch of our house sorting what comes with us and what goes out. And I keep coming back to the thought, “Where did all of this stuff come from?”

Now to be clear, we do not hoard things nor is our home filled with clutter. And to be fair, we are both running our consulting and speaking businesses from our home.

But even with all of that, we simply have too much. So the purge has begun.

What Stuff Should You Purge – Right Now?

As we pack our home, I am thinking about what I need to bring with me or leave behind in other parts of my life as well. Do I really need those ineffective habits? Should I bring my tendency to procrastinate to my new life in Denver? How about the box of other excuses I store in my head? Shouldn’t I just leave them out by the curb on trash day?

How about you? If you had to throw just one ineffective habit overboard right now, what would it be? How about two or three – or even five or ten? Just silly things we do that hold us back from our dreams, goals and healthy results.

What would the first thing you would toss away be? And what’s your excuse for not doing it right now?

John J. Hall, CPA

John J. Hall, CPA

 

 

 

 

 

 

John J. Hall, CPA, is an author, speaker and results expert who presents around the world at conventions, corporate meetings and association events.

Throughout his 35-year career as a business consultant, corporate executive and professional speaker, John has helped organizations and individuals achieve measurable results. He inspires audience members in corporations, not-for-profit organizations and professional associations to step up, take action and “do what you can.”

bad boss

The Biggest Signs that You are a Bad Boss

Oh boy. This is a subject that people never really want to talk about, but if you can’t pinpoint where the problems lie in your business that prevent it from really flourishing, it might be time to analyze yourself.

When you’re the boss in any organization, you’re almost never going to have universal popularity. However, there are some characteristics that you can avoid that should help you avoid being a bad boss.

Here are some of the most common traits that may indicate you’re a bad boss:

  • People are afraid to give you their opinions. You need to be able to have constant lines of communication open with all of your employees. If people are afraid to talk to you, that may very well be because they bad bossare scared of your response, or that you have a reputation for being less than willing to have these discussions.
  • You tend to micromanage. You shouldn’t have to constantly be on your employees’ case to ensure they achieve results. When you feel like you constantly need to be a whip cracker, this may mean that you’ve hired the wrong people or you haven’t properly motivated them, or both. In any case, it’s your fault.
  • You are out of touch. The best managers have their finger on the pulse of their business at all times. You should know what’s going on in all areas of your organization. If you don’t know what’s happening inside, how can you convince other people outside that you’re a great organization?
  • You try too hard to be liked at the expense of respect. You’re just about never going to have universal popularity. It’s great if people love you and enjoy working with you, but it’s more important that you are respected as a leader. You need to be able to build the trust of your employees and deliver tough messages when they need to be heard. It can’t always be sunshine and roses.
  • You throw your employees under the bus. When things go wrong, you can’t avoid taking responsibility. As the boss, you need to take the blame when things go wrong, even when it’s not completely your fault. You also need to pass the credit when things go well. Throwing your team members under the bus will only serve to make them despise you.

Fortunately, all of these behaviors are fixable. If you find that you are guilty of any of these characteristics, it’s never too late to make a conscious effort to change your ways. Your business will be far better because of it.

John J. Hall, CPA

John J. Hall, CPA

 

 

 

 

 

 

John J. Hall, CPA, is an author, speaker and results expert who presents around the world at conventions, corporate meetings and association events.

Throughout his 35-year career as a business consultant, corporate executive and professional speaker, John has helped organizations and individuals achieve measurable results. He inspires audience members in corporations, not-for-profit organizations and professional associations to step up, take action and “do what you can.”

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