What the FitBit Taught Me about Healthy Competition

When I was younger, I trained to be a professional tennis player.  I had a competitive drive back then, and it served me well.  But as I became established in a helping profession, and being an ENFJ, I found myself working more towards harmony than competition.  I allowed myself to get out of balance and worked an insane number of hours.  I stopped tennis and most other forms of exercise, and gained a lot of weight.

Now I’m committed to getting back in shape.  I joined WeightWatchers, got a weight-loss coach, and got a Fitbit.  I posted on FaceBook that I wanted accountability and competition, and I asked FaceBook friends to connect to me on Fitbit.

I’d barely gotten the post out when a friend invited me to compete on his WorkWeek Hustle Challenge.

I know I must be behind the times a bit, but I had no idea what that was.

So then I read that it was a competition to see who takes the most steps between Monday at 12:00am and Friday at 11:59pm. The winner is the one with the most steps.

Until I was invited to join the WorkWeek Challenge, I had no idea how much of a competitive spirit was still in me.

When the WorkWeek Hustle started, I pushed myself hard and spent the first two weeks physically sore.  Like, so sore that my wife laughed when she heard how slowly I was walking down the stairs.

However, by the end of the second week, I could see that the number of steps I took had increased by a huge percentage over the first week.  My friends encouraged me and even gave me some tips as to how to improve.

At the end of each week, we “Cheered” the winner of that WorkWeek Hustle.

That got me thinking....  Is there a way to create a similar type of healthy peer-to-peer competition in the business world?  I believe that there is.

Here is what I learned from Fitbit WorkWeek Challenges and how it can apply to competition among peers who want the best for each other:

1. Healthy competition ends excuse making.

As implied above, when I was invited to compete, I felt an incredible drive to start.  No hesitation, no resistance. I did not care about having to wake up a little earlier, and I found I could workout when I would otherwise be somewhat brain dead. Even going to the gym after a long day was suddenly doable.  In other words, excuses went away.

How many times have we let excuses get in the way of what we know we need to accomplish?

What do you need to improve?

What if you got a small group of peers who were willing to compete with you in that area?  Make sure it is an area that is tangible. For example, a tangible area could be a specific sales number or percentage, the number of calls made, number of minutes spent thinking and brainstorming, number of ways you can encourage team members to excel, etc. Also, make sure it is something that can be done in a short amount of time (a week or so).  The idea is to push yourself, and one another, to really grow.

2. You can play to win even when you really like your competitors and want their good.

When I trained to be a professional tennis player, unless I was playing my tennis partner or someone from my team, I viewed my competitors as neutral “other” figures.  I did not hate them, but neither did I really want their good.  I just wanted to win.

When my doubles partner and I played matches against each other, it was different. Even during the match we would share how each other could improve.  The result was that it would make the matches even better.  We loved the challenge of beating each other at our best.  It was exhilarating.

During the Fitbit challenges, some of my friends have given me tips on how to take more steps.  It has been so encouraging and helpful.

Could you imagine what it would be like if your small competitive group wanted to make the improvements so badly that they pushed each other to improve and grow, even risking losing just to gain mastery in an area?

3. Increased fun.

It has been so much fun busting out a bunch of steps--only to see one of my Fitbit friends blow me out of the water. I can’t help but laugh and realize how much further I have to grow.  What is even more fun is when I outdo them the next time :-)

The same could be true for you and your small group.  Think of how much fun you will have as you each outdo each other.

4. Increased creativity.

When I first started these challenges, I was using strictly the elliptical.  I love the elliptical, but then I discovered I can take more steps per minute on the treadmill, and now the elliptical is a weekend thing, or a short alternative when my left shin feels like it is going to explode.

Being a creature of habit, I never would have come to enjoy the treadmill the way I do, had it not been for the Fitbit WorkWeek Hustle Challenge.

Anticipate that you will get creative in order to beat your peers.  Think of how much productivity that will bring to you.

5. Push myself above what I perceived was a limit.

I work long hours, having back-to-back sessions (face-to-face, Skype, FaceTime, or phone), so the thought of getting to 10k steps per day seemed like a fantasy.

Then I saw that most of my Fitbit friends were nailing their 10k steps, and I knew some of them worked long hours in back-to-back meetings as well.  In fact, some of them were consistently over 15k steps per day.

So I looked for ways to increase it.  Every little bit counted.

Then it happened.  I passed 10k.

So I went for 15k steps per day.  Nailed it the next day when I realized that if I pace during phone calls, it actually helps me to focus and coach better.

Then I wanted to see how far I can go.... I figured I could reach 18k if I went to the gym twice per day and went for a walk with my wife when I got home from work.  I was completely wrong.  I hit 21k steps in a day.

This would not have happened had I not seen Fitbit friends hit 18k-20k steps in a day.

So just think of how you will reach new limits through competing with your peers.  It is incredibly encouraging when you see your peers reach limits that you did not think you would reach.  And it is exhilarating when you blaze the trail by hitting the new limit first.

6. Chance to compete again next time.

With the WorkWeek Hustle lasting only 5 days, you have the chance to compete again next week.  This is a great opportunity to see how you can refine and improve your strategy.

If you are competing against your peers, make sure that the time of each competition is short, to give you plenty of opportunities to refine and implement a new strategy for the next time.

7. Competitors can celebrate together.

What has also been encouraging is to have fellow competitors “Cheer” each other on.  The winner of the week often gets showered with “Cheers.”  Yet, as much as we can be happy for one another, there is naturally a deep desire to beat them next week.

How often do peers cheer you on when you accomplish something?  How often do you cheer peers on?  I am not talking the short bravos that may take place on a team call.  I mean a heartfelt cheer.

Your small group of peers can do that for one another.

Developing a peer group to compete with will create a team of people who want one another’s best, who give each other tips to improve, who cheer one another on, and want to maximize their own abilities.

Chew On This:

  • Who are the peers that you will ask to join your company WorkWeek challenge?
  • What are the options for tangible areas in which you can compete?

Ryan C. Bailey is an Executive Coach who helps business leaders develop in-demand high performing teams.

10 Characteristics of High-Performing Teams: Part 1

High Performing Team In my previous post, I outlined five principles for turning your team into a team that everyone wants to work for.  In the next two posts, I will break down 10 characteristics of High Performing Teams (HPT).

I delivered a workshop on HPT’s in New York to the top sales group of a company.  On a white board were listed the 10 characteristics of high performing teams.  Those characteristics are:

  1. Open & Clear Communication
  2. Defined Roles & Responsibilities
  3. Mutual Trust
  4. Effective Decision-Making
  5. Coordinative Relationships
  6. Clear Goals
  7. Participative Leadership
  8. Managing Conflict
  9. Value Diversity
  10. Positive Atmosphere

The members of this 40+ team were asked to go up and put a check mark next to the top three characteristics that they believed the team already did really well.

This time there were four characteristics that did not get a single check from more than 40 people.

The leader of the team stopped me and asked her team, “What would it take for those four areas to reach the same level as the top 3?”

The conversation that followed was phenomenal as the team articulated real suggestions and gave the type of feedback that normally teams only divulge in a strictly confidential interview-style 360-degree-review.  All feedback was received really well and it served as a rallying cry that propelled the team closer.

Let’s break down the first five characteristics of high performing teams in this post and then we will cover the other five in the next week's post. .

These characteristics are not in order.

Open & Clear Communication

On high-performing teams, people say what they mean.  They express their opinions, preferences, and disagreements.  Those of us who are more feeler-types on Myers-Briggs may say it with more tact than thinker-types often do. But sometimes, because of our tact, we are not as clear right away as our thinker-counterparts are.

Being open and clear is a skill that can be developed.  Those of us who are extroverted often need to verbally process first, then we can get clear.  Those of us who are introverted usually think before we speak.

You know you are being open if there is no marketing to what you are saying.  That is you are authentic and can be pinned to your position.  There is sometimes a sense of risk that I feel when I am being open, but that risk quickly goes away as I sense others drawing closer to me.

The communication is only clear when everyone can repeat back what you said or better yet, paraphrase it in a way that gets to the heart of what you said.  Make sure on the major points that you ask your team if they understand what you said.

Defined Roles & Responsibilities

If you asked your team to write a job description for how they actually spend their time, would it match the one you would write as to how they should be spending their time?

As the book Essentialism stresses, everyone needs to know the most core part of their role.  They need to go all in there.  What percentage of your direct report’s time is on what is most essential?  Find ways to increase that time if it is not where it needs to be.

It is important that everyone knows each other’s role and what they are specifically responsible for.  If this is not clear, there is going to be some grief and heartache especially from the Judgers (see Myers-Briggs type) as they see people crossing boundaries.  Moreover, you probably won’t be producing superior results without this kind of clarity.

Mutual Trust

Trust comes from understanding how each person is wired, that includes knowing their core driver.  It also comes from repeated experiences where you can experience the other’s integrity.

I have seen team members, especially those who are being on-boarded on to the team, move to trust quickly with an understanding of each team members’ Myers-Briggs type and the one-pager that I mentioned in the previous post.  You want a tool that helps people really get one another quickly and you will see trust soar.

You will know that it is there because you will sense the team fighting for one another and you will sense that the environment is positive and comfortable even though team members push one another to get the best out of each other.

In the cases where someone has acted without integrity or where there are misgiving between team members.  Good effective conflict resolution that always includes ownership and forgiveness will also improve trust.

Effective Decision-Making

According to Bain & Company, the qualities of effective decision making are:

  • Quality - “How often do you choose the right course of action?”
  • Speed - “How quickly do you make decisions compared with your competitors?”
  • Yield - “How often do you execute decision as intended?”
  • Effort - “Do you put the right amount of effort into making and executing decisions?”

If you track the decisions you and your team have made a year or two ago, how would you say you and your team are doing?

What can you do to improve in any of those four areas?

Becoming a team that makes consistently effective decisions will increase productivity.

Coordinative Relationships

As result of the four characteristics listed above is that teams know how to communicate and coordinate tasks and responsibilities in a way that they outperform.  They know when they are coordinating tasks how to support one another throughout the process.  There is a sense of intrinsic accountability that will come through.  Sometimes it needs to be formalized but for the most part the team members’ tasks are not only in their wheelhouse but out of desire to accomplish their goal with excellence.

Chew On This: Out of the 5 characteristics listed above, which one would you most want to strengthen?

Ryan C. Bailey is an Executive Coach who helps business leaders develop in-demand high performing teams.

7 Steps to Writing a Personal Development Plan

Personal Development Plan Many of you may have written your personal development plan (PDP) for this year at the end of last year.  Do you remember all of what you wrote?  Have you been tracking how you’ve been doing?  Has the plan been placed on the sidelines because there have been too many fires to put out?

Let’s whip out your PDP and see if there is a way to write it where you really do remember your goals and feel, not only inspired, but actually achieve them.

When I first started corporate coaching, many of the PDP’s I saw were littered with intangible or vague goals. For example, one client wrote that one of his PDP goals for that year was, “To become a better leader.”  While that goal sounds good on the surface, there is no way to clearly tell if they achieved that goal.  This is in part because they have not defined what they mean by “better leader.”

The other thing that I noticed is that several had too many PDP goals… one client had 11.  Most had at least 5.  When I asked them how many of their PDP goals they did achieve, the answers that came back were embarrassingly sad.  Most could not tell me all their goals.  When they looked up their PDP, the number hit was less than 25%.  I could completely relate to them as I have at different times in my life designed elaborate goals for myself.  If I was asked the same question, I would have been in a similar place.

So, how are you doing so far this year?  Are you on track?  How about your team?  Are they on track?  If you are, that’s great!  I would love to hear your thoughts as to what helped you and your team get there.

If you are like most out there, you have already forgotten your PDP or have only focused on one or two areas.  I would hate for you to feel bad or defeated.  If you’ve forgotten, I bet your team has as well.

To break this pattern, you just have to rewrite your PDP in a way that is tailored to your core.  If you do, you will find all the motivation you could ever want to achieve it.

How to Write a Personal Development Plan

Here is what has worked for me and many of the clients I have coached.  When writing your PDP goals you need to...

1. Know the most essential part of your role.

What is the most indispensable part of your role?

Whatever that is, go all-in on that part.  Does the way you spend your time reflect a focus on that most indispensable part?  You want to develop your main PDP goal around that area.

In my role as a coach, counselor, and corporate trainer, the most essential part of what I do it is to connect to my clients at a core level–to get to the heart of their concerns and address their issues.  If I whittled that down even further, I have noticed that if I nail what is at the core of their concerns, addressing the issues becomes a lot simpler.

2. Know your essential intent.

I have shared about the book Essentialism by McKeown in previous posts.  If you have not read Essentialism, I would highly recommend that you put that book at the top of your reading list. One concept in the book is that each of us has an essential intent, which has to do with what you were built for.  Look across your life... what do you naturally do better than others?  What are some themes that help you excel in your personal and professional life?  What accolades have you received? What do those accolades have in common?

When I was trying to figure out my essential intent, I asked my wife, friends, clients and mentors what they thought it was.  The most common response was that I get to the heart of the matter quickly.  That is, if a friend is talking about something, a client has an issue they want to address, or if a group wants me to deliver a workshop on a given topic, as they are speaking, I am listening for what is at the root of their words.  Then I repeat back to them what I sense the core is to make sure that I understand.  If I am off, then I keep listening and asking for clarification until I get it.

When we work from our essential intent, motivation comes easy.  We are in our strike zone and we typically feel more alive.  Therefore, finding your essential intent is, for lack of a better way to say it, essential.

3. Line up your essential intent with the most essential part of your role.

As you can see, I built a business around my essential intent.  How about you?  Does your role fit your essential intent?  If not, is there a way that your role could be tweaked so that it fits your essential intent?  If not, could it be a sign that you were not built to do what you are doing?  (If you want help discovering what you were built to do I have a rough draft of an e-book that my team is working on.  I would love insights to improve it so I would be happy to send it to you.)

Now look at your team.  Do you have the “right people on the bus?"  Are they in roles that allow their essential intent to shine?

If your essential intent and essential part of your role line up then great.  Now, how could you better align your essential intent with the most essential part of your role to maximize your time and efforts?

4. Make it tangible.

If I say my PDP goal is, “I want to get to the heart better,” then defining “better" would be the first step.  I would define “better" as having more moments where my clients say something to the effect of, “That’s it!” (implying what I said was the core of the issue).

Next, look for how your goal could happen.

Three options for improving the ability to get to the heart better are:

  1. I could improve listening skills.
  2. I could learn how to ask better questions.
  3. I could also work on how I repeat back or paraphrase what I hear my clients say.

I had a client say that part of his role is that he needs to make speeches from time to time.  He hated public speaking but truly was in the right role for his essential intent.  The problem he had with delivering speeches was his nervousness.  So, he set a goal of “not getting obviously nervous when he presented."  This is not a tangible goal.  How would someone observe that he achieved it?  So we broke down the signs that showed that he was nervous which included:

  1. Shaking hands
  2. Becoming tongue-tied
  3. Forgetfulness

When asked which of those would he want to focus on he said, “Definitely my hands shaking.  That starts the downhill spiral for me.”  So that was the tangible goal we set.

5. Create a S.M.A.R.T. goal.

As you may have seen elsewhere, the acronym S.M.A.R.T. stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound.  As I look at mine, one way I can get to the heart faster is by improving my listening skills.  So my S.M.A.R.T. goal for this year is:

“By December 31, 2016, I want to have implemented 2 better listening principles or techniques to such a degree that 3 longer-term clients say I have improved my listening skills.”  Obviously, I will let them know I am looking to improve my listening skills and would welcome their feedback at the end of the year.

6. If there is another thing your company is insisting that you work on then make that the other S.M.A.R.T. goal.

In many of the companies I coach for, the leader who brought me in already has ideas as to what they want to see their direct reports work on.  I encourage those leaders to look at the most essential part of their direct report’s role and to choose a goal that helps improve that one area.  I also ask them how they would know that goal is accomplished.  Then I suggest we bring the direct report into the conversation so all of us can turn that goal into a S.M.A.R.T. goal.

7. Ask how they want to be held accountable for those two goals.

What is implied in the above points is that killer PDP’s have one or two areas to work on for that year.  If your direct reports make significant progress in just one or two areas you will notice much higher engagement.  You will notice that they love their work more.  You will sense the confidence in them grow and the desire to have new challenges increase.  They will also value you immensely.

Now when it comes to accountability, they may not need as much.  But draw them into the process so that the accountability fits their personality and style.

Developing a killer PDP will turn those who are meant to be on your team into highly engaged and productive people who genuinely want to exceed expectations.  Your job as their leader would be to create an environment where they can flourish.


Ryan C. Bailey is an Executive Coach who helps business leaders develop in-demand high performing teams.

MBTI Bite: Three Tips for Working with P's

Perceiver Many of the P’s (Perceivers in Myers-Briggs) I know have a duality about them.  On the one hand, they feel like they are a mess: they can’t seem to “get organized” or finish what they start.  On the other hand, when they are in their element and have room to just be, they can chill or be the life of the party.  They love that part of themselves, and those of us who are J’s (Judgers) love watching it. (Okay, to be completely real, we are envious of it.)

The P’s whom I have coached in corporate America mistakenly believe they need to hide their "P qualities” for fear that those qualities will hold them back from climbing as high as they desire.  However, nothing could be further from the truth.  They actually need to leverage those qualities, and we who are J’s can help them.

If you are working with a P, there are three tips for drawing out the best in them.

  1. Set plenty of mini-deadlines ahead of the true deadline – P’s tend to work in bursts.  A burst magically appears about an hour before the deadline is due.  The amount of creativity which P’s show and the work they get done in that last hour is amazing.  J’s who are working with P’s or managing them often feel like the P’s are driving them nuts.  They wish P’s were more methodical.  If you are collaborating with a P, break down the project into multiple parts, then set clear and hard deadlines for each of the parts.  Make sure that you give yourself enough time at the end to refine the work that is being completed because P’s often wish they had “a little more time” to correct some of the pieces.  By leaving time to refine, you can both work on sharpening it.  You will appreciate the ingenuity a P brings to each part of the project.
  2. Don’t suffocate them with a rigid schedule – J’s like to be scheduled.  P’s like to be open-ended.  Many companies I work with have so many meetings that a P tends to feel suffocated.  The calendar is full, which works against their natural desire to be flexible.  If you want a P in a meeting, please make sure the meeting is essential.  All of us need space to think, plan, and review.  P’s also need open-ended space, where they can draw out their gifts for the good of all.  Granted, the higher they climb, the harder it will be to find open-ended space.  However, I would encourage P’s to carve out at least a two-hour, non-negotiated block in their week for free thinking.  Ideally it should be more, but even with that much, they will accomplish so much more than without it.
  3. Feed P’s with knowledge, wisdom and tips and watch them brilliantly mix and match them at the right moments – P’s know how to wing it.  The sharp ones are able to pull from multiple sources in order to wing it well.  They can adjust on the fly and come up with brilliant ideas that seem so well-thought-out, you would think they had been thinking on it for hours.  What P’s often need in order to nail this gift is more knowledge, wisdom, and tips.  If they are N’s (iNtuitives), they could accomplish this through reading the first and last paragraphs of an article and scanning the rest.  If they are S’s (Sensors), they typically they want details.  I would suggest they become thought leaders in the most essential part of their role.  If they set aside even 30 minutes per day to accumulate more knowledge, wisdom and tips, you will see it pay off dividends in meetings where their wing-it skills are praised.

All personality types are equal.  None are better than the others. We need to leverage each other’s natural gifts in order to accomplish the greater good.

Chew on This: How do you need to adjust for the P’s who are on your team?

Ryan C. Bailey is an Executive Coach who helps business leaders develop in-demand high performing teams.

9 Ways to Increase Your Motivation and Engagement

Increase your Motivation

I am working with a group comprised of eight teams.  Prior to the current head of the group taking over two years ago, their engagement scores were deplorable.  Three teams ranked their engagement at 0%.  None of the rest scored higher than a 60 percent.

When the current head came on, she noticed that some of the team leads were not the greatest fit.  She replaced them and began to work hard to increase engagement.  She gave her time to help them heal from the previous head, who happened to be quite toxic.  She created incentives and showed the group how to work toward excellence.  The current head is sharp, strategic and knows how to connect to people.  She also temporarily threw work/life balance out the window in order to get her team to a better place.

With the latest engagement survey results in three of the teams, we are now at 100 percent!  The next highest had an 87 percent.  There were the three teams who now rank between 35 and 60 percent, and still one team scored 0.

My Observations

As I observed the entire group in action, it was noticeable that some in the group were fully motivated and others were just existing.  They wanted to do the bare minimum to get by.  When the group leader and I talked about it, she said that despite the changes she has made and ways in which she has tried to gain engagement, there was “lip-service movement”.  In other words, no action was taken to increase their own engagement.

The results of lack of engagement are palpable.  It is like the little yeast that goes through the whole dough.  Those who are fully engaged have to fight the demoralizing impact of that yeast.  Moreover, those who are not engaged are not as fulfilled as they could be.  This impacts, group culture, productivity, and the opportunities the team pursues.

Now the current head may need to replace more people.  She is trying to give them a shot at turning things around.  She asked if I would deliver a workshop on internal motivation.  This blog presents the 9 ways to increase your motivation that we discussed in the workshop.

Whether you find yourself with high or low motivation, I hope these steps will help you go even higher.

Even if you personally have low engagement, these steps will help you grow so that you can spend your hours at work in a much healthier way.

Increase Motivation and Become Full Engaged

  1. Set a Clear Vision of What you Want.  What do you want out of life?  What is your end?  Do you have a clear vision of where you are ultimately heading in this life?  If not, take the time to crystallize it.  If you don’t know how to do this, email and I will send you free workbook called, "Call & Design."  It gives you eight proprietary exercises that will help you discover what you are called to do and how you are designed to do it.  The exercises are a lot of fun and have gotten great results for clients over the last 10 years.
  2. Focus on What is Essential.  What is the most essential part of your role?  As the book Essentialism by Greg McKeown describes so well, if you go all in on that essential role, not only will your engagement go up, but you will also reach excellence in your role
  3. Investing + Sacrificing = Full Commitment & Greater Love.  Do you want to love something more?  Do you want to love someone more?  All you have to do is keep finding ways to invest in it and sacrifice for it.  If you find yourself struggling with engagement, it could be in part because you have not fully committed to your role.  Those who are fully committed enjoy their lives more.
  4. Repeat What You Did in the Past that Led You to be Fully Engaged. Think to the past.  When have you been fully engaged?  What led you to be fully engaged during those times?  Look for what is in common in those times and apply those things to your current circumstance.
  5. Address What Has De-Motivated You. What has led you to lack motivation?  Are you coming out of a tough time?  Do you need to heal?  Is your environment toxic?  Whatever it is... address it.  If it doesn’t feel safe going directly to your boss, look for ways to forgive in order to relieve the burden of bitterness.  If the situation is truly toxic it may be time for a change in role.
  6. Use Positive Re-Frame. The words you choose convey the beliefs that are hidden in your heart.  If you use victim language ("There is nothing I can do,” “It's hopeless," etc.), you are reinforcing the belief.  Fight the belief by moving into a positive frame of mind ("I will find three options that will make things better for me in this role.")
  7. Make it Fun.  In a previous blog I wrote about how I hate paperwork but yet I have to do it.  So I created a “Paperwork Playlist” and filled it with songs that I enjoy listening to.  The catch was that I could only listen to the songs when I was doing paperwork.  I am happy to report that my big box of paperwork is now empty.  I had more fun completing the paperwork than I ever have before.  What’s your version of making it fun?
  8. Master Your Role. Those who master their roles truly excel and enjoy their work.  Their engagement is high.  Remember number 2 above: "Focus on what is essential." Nail that piece and then continue to advance excellence throughout your role.  The more you go for excellence the higher your engagement and motivation will be.
  9. Become Indispensable. If someone wanted to replace you with a far better version of you, what would they look for?  These are the characteristics that you should be looking to move toward.  Doing so will increase your motivation and get you fully engaged.

As you start to employ some of these steps, you should see your motivation and engagement improve.

Looking forward to hearing how it goes for you!

Chew on This: Which step will you start with to advance your engagement?

Ryan C. Bailey is an Executive Coach who helps business leaders develop in-demand high performing teams.

Delegation Has to Start Somewhere


Is it hard for you to delegate? Does it sound like more of a chore to try and deal out tasks to others rather than to just get it done yourself?

If you answered yes, your reasoning is probably valid. It would take too much time to teach someone what you already know how to do. And, what if they mess up and do the task incorrectly? Then it will take even more time to fix. 

While these things may be true, this isn't a healthy outlook.

No matter how large or small your company is, you're probably surrounded by employees. While each employee has duties that they are responsible for in order to help make the company run efficiently, they are there to help you as well. You hired them and created their position, therefore you can edit their job descriptions.

As a business owner, it may be tempting to pile many of the to-do's on your plate. But, this will lead to burnout and a stress-filled life.

I realize that there only certain things that you as the CEO can do. And, this is a prime reason why delegation is important. Here are some quick rules to start delegating more consistently:

  1.  Track your time for a week to determine the ongoing responsibilities that you deal with yourself.
  2.  Review these responsibilities and only keep on your list the things that no one else can do or can be trained to do. This should not be a long list.
  3.  Add the remainder to a delegation list.
  4.  Prioritize the delegation list. Start with the items that take the most time and are frequent. This will justify training someone else to do it or taking the time to plan out the delegation and review the work.
  5.  Begin delegating the top 5 things on the list.

Remember to delegate responsibility with the tasks. The person needs to understand the big picture and have the authority to get the job done.

In the long run, delegating helps you and empowers your team. This will provide more bandwidth for your company as whole and allow you to grow.

Delegating to your employees displays your confidence in them to handle the given responsibilities. This builds a community of trust between you and your team.

But, the trade off is to clear up your daily agenda in order for you to be more effective as a leader and to build trust between you and your employees.



If you have any questions feel free to email me at or call (404) 421-8120.

Ryan C. Bailey is an Executive Coach who helps business leaders develop in-demand high performing teams.

How To Manage Your Time Well

Manage Time Well

In life, we are given many responsibilities. Those responsibilities multiply as you age, take on new hobbies/projects and get new jobs. And as a busy CEO, they inevitably grow even more. Before we know it, looking at our list of responsibilities can get overwhelming.

Family. Company. Finances. Employees. Resources. Abilities. Time. And the list goes on…literally.

While they are responsibilities, they're also blessings, and it is also our responsibility to be a good steward of these blessings.

Arguably, one of the most difficult things to manage is our time.

Everyone has 24 hours in a day. And each day, we wake up and choose how to spend those 24 hours.

I think it's safe to say we rarely end our days by climbing into bed and saying, "Wow, that was a perfectly scheduled, well-managed day." Many of us often feel like we're running ragged, dividing our time up to so many different people/things and trying to get it all accomplished.

Do you find yourself saying or thinking, "There just aren't enough hours in the day…?" Is it more rare to have a blank date on your calendar rather than one filled up from morning to night? Does your to-do list grow longer as the day goes on?

We must manage our time well in order to keep up productivity and efficiency. And, it is possible.

We can be in control of our schedules. We can manage our schedules, rather than have our schedules manage us. I know it can seem easier said than done.

Let's look at a few practical ways to manage your time well.

  • Utilize Your Mornings – I'm not sure what time you wake up in the morning, but the earlier you can wake up before work, the more time you have to get stuff done. I know it sounds like a no-brainer, but this can really have an effect on the remainder of your day. You have to evaluate your personality and see what will benefit you to accomplish in the morning in order to start your day on the right foot. Maybe it's spending time thinking, responding to emails and going to the gym. Maybe it's making a well-balanced breakfast, spending quality time with your kids and setting aside time to blog/journal. It could be meeting a friend for coffee, taking your dogs for a walk or reading a couple chapters in your favorite book. Everyone is different. Find out what you can do in the morning to utilize your time well. It feels good to check things off of your to-do list before you begin your workday.
  • Make a To-Do List – You may or may not be a list person, but this is a surefire way to really stay on top of your day-to-day schedule. Use what works well for you: iPhone notepad, sticky notes, a physical journal, alarm reminders. If you take a couple minutes each night to write down what has to be accomplished the next day, you will be able to better manage your time in order for those things to get accomplished.
  • Take Breaks – Everyone needs a break. I know your days may seem like you don't have one second to rest, but this is important. Our brains can only focus on one thing for so long. After a certain point, our striving becomes counterproductive because of our state. Don't forget to give yourself some grace and take a second to focus your mind elsewhere. Take a short walk, call a friend, watch a funny video clip, read an interesting article. These will help break up your day, increase your mood and boost your motivation.
  • Delegate – This can be hard for some. Why ask someone else to get something done when you can just do it all yourself? However, it is beneficial when you can give some tasks to your employees. It allows you to be more productive and get done what is actually important for you to get done. It builds trust between you and your employees when you delegate an important task for them to complete for you.

As you can see, it only takes a few small changes to make a big impact in managing your time each day. These strategies are essentially tools to help you take control of your day and be as productive as you can.

Which strategy do you think would help you manage your time better? 


Ryan C. Bailey is an Executive Coach who helps business leaders develop in-demand high performing teams.

Video Blog: Laugh Folder

Our days can become stressful quickly. For example, after a great breakfast and a nice morning drive, you can arrive at work to find your email inbox full and 13 new phone messages. And if that wasn't enough, your coworker tells you that your boss is sick and you're leading his meeting in 20 minutes. The to-do lists seem to grow as the day goes on. Laugh your stress, anxiety and pessimism away by creating a laugh folder. In it, you can put funny clips, jokes, and memories of times that absolutely cracked you up. This is a great way to relax and refocus.