Thoughts on Leadership: Healthy, Wealthy, Wise and Minimize

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels found me first working from my Northern California office and next in San Diego for the HomeServices of America, Inc. CEO Leadership Conference. The conference brought together leaders from our HomeServices of America companies to discuss financial updates, ideas for growth, diversity and inclusion initiatives and more. We also reviewed company scorecards because when performance is measured performance improves; when performance is measured and reported back, the rate of improvement accelerates. The conference will wrap up tomorrow with Tom Ferry, top real estate coach and speaker and founder/CEO of Tom Ferry International, delivering a presentation on “leaning into change.”

And on the subject of change, with each new year, I review and revise my life plan. In fact, completing and editing a life plan is the subject of my upcoming University session at the 2020 Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Sales Convention in Nashville. Each year, I give my plan a theme and this year the theme is healthy, wealthy, wise and minimize.

 When you’re running a company, it’s important to centralize your goal-accomplishment and execution efforts around a central theme. For example, our theme for the 2020 Sales Convention is LIVE IT. A simple but effective and powerful theme will keep everyone on track and on the same page.

I’m focused right now on the last word of my 2020 theme – minimize. The phrase may seem counterintuitive to growth but by minimizing or eliminating the unnecessary from your personal and professional life, you’re making room for only the essential components to thrive. It’s hard to discuss minimal living without mentioning Marie Kondo, whose KonMari method of organizing has taken the world by storm. In her best-selling book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” Kondo explains her simple approach: When tidying up, critically ask yourself: “Does it spark joy?” If it does, it stays. If it doesn’t, you’ve found something that is excessive and in the way of a more calming, minimal life.

A March 2019 article published by the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business dissected the KonMari method and applied it to the workplace. Decluttering doesn’t have to be a physical act like cleaning up your desk or office space, although that’s helpful. It can also be about decluttering your mind. Quoting KonMari consultant Amanda Jefferson, the Wharton piece explains: “Clearing out mental and physical clutter opens up enormous space and clarity … at its heart, KonMari is about … stopping to take stock of what’s truly essential to fulfilling your mission and then doing the hard work to eliminate all the other noise.”

As the saying goes, it’s the hard that makes us great, so don’t expect decluttering of your office desk or clearing your mind to be an easy endeavor. Wharton Executive Coach Erin Owen recommends a digital decluttering, too. This might include auditing the apps on your phone to delete those you don’t use, cleaning your inbox so it’s back to zero new emails or unsubscribing to newsletters you no longer read.

Owen also says leaders can utilize the “sparking joy” parameter to identify the best possible tasks for team members to execute on. Perhaps you have a brilliant sales professional who doesn’t enjoy writing proposals—this simply doesn’t spark joy—and another team member who enjoys putting together proposals but finds no joy in make the sale. Prioritizing tasks based on joy-sparking could make your team more efficient and minimize the non-joy-sparking elements of someone’s day.

So, what’s the message? For today’s post, it’s twofold: First, decide if you haven’t already on your overall theme for this year. Second, if you want to be part of my theme for 2020—healthy, wealthy, wise and minimize—then take these next few days to analyze those mental and physical messes in your life you can de-clutter and rearrange. Just by eliminating even one small thing, you might find greater happiness or spark joy not only for yourself but also for those around you.

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