Friday, December 30, 2011

What's On the Minds of High Achievers

Take control of 2012 with a look at your health, wealth and time management

High achievers, chief executive officers and organizational founders come in all shapes and sizes. So, no two of them think alike. Most feel they are peerless, but they do appreciate skilled input.

Their styles vary, but they do have certain traits in common, including investing in their continuing education, a desire to surround themselves with other high achievers and an ability to be decisive in most cases.

One thing we all have a little trouble with is being completely objective about our blind spots and ourselves. That’s why professionals who wish to become more effective utilize coaches. They want fast access to resources a strong network and valuable input.
Here are a few other things on the minds of many high achievers:

» Focus on financial security. Feeling nervous about your income? You are not alone, and people at all income levels have renewed their focus in this area. Yes, the base of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs pyramid is getting a lot of attention these days with the need to arrange or restructure financing. High achievers worry about money, too. The average homeowner is not the only one concerned about getting finances in order. It is happening at every level, particularly with multimillion-dollar enterprises.

High achievers are looking for added sustainable revenue streams more so than ever. What used to be predictable cash flow can no longer be taken for granted, and diversified income is top of mind. Whether my clients are arranging construction loans or reevaluating their portfolios, the new year is a good time to review all your financial basics.

» Time management. Think 1,440. Time robbers are on our minds! Who stole 2011? We are all bombarded with phone calls, emails, letters, texts and people who want meetings, a lunch or a piece of us for something. Good causes and needy situations are abundant, and our society is at risk of becoming desensitized because of overstimulation. The good news is that we all have the same amount of time in each day: 1,440 minutes.

Are you making sure that you are doing the most important things with your 1,440? If you are having a little trouble with life balance or fitting it all in, it might be a good time to treat yourself to rereading Steven Covey’s book FirstThings First.

Remember this very popular book, based on his work, The Seven Habits of Highly EffectivePeople? You can download a free weekly worksheet at Wikipedia or from his site, and I highly recommend it.

Join the people who always seem to be open to the best new opportunities. Your decisions are not guided by “the clock,” but by the “compass” of purpose and values. Covey asserts that people have a need “to live, to love, to learn and to leave a legacy” and encourages us to move beyond urgency. We logically know that we can’t do everything. So, now is the time to stop trying. Most of my clients find they can actually accomplish more by doing less.

» Health and fitness. Yes, it is time to make sure your support team is reinforcing your healthy life style. According to the national Centers forDisease Control and Prevention and physicians everywhere, eating healthier and walking is one of the best things you can do for yourself to make a positive impact on fighting depression, heart disease and many other forms of disease.

If you or a loved one is still smoking, make a pact to quit this month. Smoking matters, and so does excess weight. We know this today more so than ever before. There are many things you can do to help yourself. Making the decision to start today is the first one. Help is available, and I have learned through my own fitness efforts — which enabled me to lose more than 90 pounds — that it is never too late to start on your healthier lifestyle program. Just get started!

For less than the cost of a daily cup of coffee you can join the YMCA or a fitness club, and there are many free resources available online.

— Santa Barbara resident and business consultant Patty DeDominic is an executive coach. An expert in human resources, development and recruitment, DeDominic sold the Los Angeles-based firm she started to a firm that made additional acquisitions and became a $1 billion-a-year company. Today, she runs DeDominicand Associates, which coaches high-achieving individuals and teams in entrepreneurial and social enterprises.