As a Professional Speaker, I spend the majority of my time these days speaking to and working with, high-achieving, influential professionals, and individuals.
I spend the rest of my time interviewing and researching the common traits of influential leaders from across North American, including Grammy Winners, Television Personalities, Award Winning Comedians, Award Winning Business Leaders, Elite Athletes, Olympic Gold Medalists, and more.
Something I learned early on in my interviews is that to perform at the highest level, if you can learn what the majority of the influential leaders do, and do likewise, you can save hours upon hours in the trenches.
Yes, it’s true that some have achieved success by doing the opposite of what other leaders do. Steve Jobs comes to mind. But there is only one Steve Jobs, and until one gets to that level, why ignore the fact that, in the words of the late great Jim Rohns, “Success Leaves Clues.”
An obvious question at this point becomes, what common traits do the 4000 influential leaders I have studied, share?
I get asked that question more often than you can perhaps imagine. I have determined the top 10 traits that these leaders share, and what struck me the most is the fact that the top 3 weren’t what most would expect.
Believe it or not, hard work, finding a good mentor, entering the industry at the right time, having a solid cash flow, and so on, albeit important and helpful, were not the most common traits, or actions.
One of the top three traits, or actions, in particular, though really stood out, and it is in such direct contrast to what the average person does, that I felt it imperative to focus on that one trait, above all else in this very column.
That trait, or action, is tied directly to focus, but bigger than that, it is the action of removing all distractions from each interaction throughout one’s day.
At a time when the average person can barely take their eyes away from their I-Phone, Android, or maybe even Blackberry, it really struck me that some of the busiest leaders in the world found a way, at least during my time with them, to silence their phones, and dedicate their full time and attention to the moment at hand.
Whether it was Jack Canfield of Chicken Soup for the Soul, former World Champion Trish Stratus, Olympic Gold Medalist Heather Moyse, Apple Evangelist Guy Kawasaki, The Food Network’s Chef Michael Smith, Leadership Guru Robin Sharma or thousands more, almost every single one found a way to make me feel like I was the only person in their world during our time together.
This habit is so important, I even dedicated a section in my newly released Book of WHY (and HOW) to this one subject.
Again, it’s also so much in contrast to the actions of the average person today, I felt compelled to share this finding, in hopes that it will help others rethink the focus they place on the person in front of them despite the many distractions battling for their time.
As a wise attendee of a talk I gave at a University recently said, “When you wash the rice, wash the rice.”
It may be an old proverb, but it’s still just as wise today. In essence, it means that when you are focused on one task, focus completely on that one task, and that task alone.
After all, that’s what the top influential leaders are doing. You could make worse decisions than to execute on what the top in their fields are doing.
With that, here’s to your continued success!