How One Person Can Change Your Life – Everyday Leadership

 

Written by Ivana Gusic, Head of Public Relations and Marketing at AIESEC in Austria

Did it ever happen to you that one person changed your life?
Did you ever have a wow day without expecting it at all?

I want to tell you a story, which took place almost half a year ago. In March 2014, on the Serbian National Conference, president of AIESEC in Serbia at the time?—?Aleksa Nikolic held a speech. It was his last speech as the president, since he was leaving very soon to a new position in AIESEC International. For those who don’t know, AIESEC changes its leadership body completely every year to provide opportunity for life-changing experiences to more people.

Anyway, Aleksa grew during the year he was a president, developed a lot personally and professionally and changed the organization. That day, he shared stories with us, laughed, appreciated his team and played one video. I don’t remember exactly the story that led to him playing the video. Our memory is tricky and we remember flashes, feelings and images.

But he played this video.

Have you seen it? If not, take a minute now to see it and then continue reading; you won’t regret it.

Maybe the message of the poem is not something you haven’t heard before or maybe it is. Maybe you heard a completely different message than I did that day. That’s the beauty of poems. Each person finds something in it for himself or herself.

Carpe diem. Live as if you’ll die today. Live every single day to the fullest because time flies. Live for something. Live in peace.

Maybe you see messages as the same or carrying similar meaning. Maybe they’ve lost meaning to you because you’ve heard them so many times.

But sometimes by changing the package, you get to see the same thing in a completely different light. This is what happened to me that day.

“Let now be our advent
Let us live like we meant it
Let us burn like we mean it
Because this world doesn’t give a shit if we end in a train wreck or a car crash
If our story ends with a dot or dash
If we were dust or ash
Because all we were is all we’ll be
And all we are is the in-between of so far, so good
So forget every would, could, or should not
Forget remembering how we forgot
Live like a plot twist exist now and in memory
Because we burn bright Our lights leave SCARS on the sun
Let no one say we will be undone by times passing
The memories we are amassing will stand as testament
That somehow we bent minds behind the concept
That we see others within ourselves
That self-knowledge can be found on bookshelves
So who we are has no bearing on how we appear
Look directly in every mirror
Realize our reflection is the first sentence to a story.
And our story starts; we were here”

We always consider leadership and changing the world as a massive undertaking. But sometimes it’s about changing one life.

That day, with a simple message, Aleksa changed mine. But there were more than 200 people in that room. Maybe he changed a couple more without even realising.

That is everyday leadership.

Sometimes small changes produce big echoes.

So think of things that inspire you and think about giving back and sharing with others selflessly. Because we live in such a world today where it’s easy to become self-centered and easy to forget whom else we are in this world with.

And you never know whom you can inspire by accident. So lets teach each other and inspire each other. Because leadership is about people. And this world is about people.

How many lives you think you changed without even realising it?

Maybe that is how you contributed to building a more peaceful world.

Are You Multitasking Your Brilliance Away?

Projects, meetings, emails, notifications, social media, a million tabs on your internet browser, the disruptions go on.

Is multitasking  harming your ability to work effectively?

If often takes a reminder on why it is so important to focus.

Our desires for accessibility lead to an inability to access anything.

Why does our brain feel overloaded as we drown ourselves in multiple tasks? This is a result of chronic multitasking, and it isn’t healthy for your productivity, health or quality of work.

An article on Time quoted a 2010 study by neuroscientists at the French medical research agency Inserm that showed that when people focus on two tasks simultaneously, each side of the brain tackles a different task.

If our limits are two-tasks at once, anymore we will most likely make errors.

What’s the solution?

Nass recommends a 20-minute rule. Instead of switching tasks minute to minute, allocate yourself to 20-minute chunks to a singular task, focus, and then move on.

Here’s a little humour, but also practical solution to multitasking, monotasking.

The picture below shows what happened to Paolo Cardini’s barbeque on his 3 minute TED talk when he was multitasking while barbequeing.

Similar to what happens to us when we “multitask” while trying to do something, we burn away our quality of work.


Re-think how you approach your work by focusing one singular task and providing high-quality attention to your work, as opposed to spreading yourself thin, and get nothing done.

Time is our most precious resource. Don’t multi-task your brilliance away, because imagine how much time, effort and productivity you lose simply because of a lack of focus.

Sit down, open one tab, and get it done.

What are your best-case practices for focusing? I’d love to hear them and share it. Tweet me at @gdondon and comment below.