Are you happy with what you do? Do you find fulfillment and enjoyment? In this episode, host John Laurito shares a great exercise to help you figure out what lights your soul. This exercise is meant to guide you in making those little shifts and incremental changes that will lead you to a life you love living. Once you’ve figured this out and slowly start making those changes, you’ll find that you’re happier, and you’ll start doing more things that are impactful, then you become effective, and an added bonus: you’re enjoying it.
[0:38] What today’s topic is about
[2:05] Here’s a quick exercise
[3:26] What is “making an impact?”
[6:16] What it looks like if you create a week that fulfills you and you enjoy
[9:48] Bottomline is…
John Over the last two decades, I’ve been on a quest to learn everything I can about leadership obsessed with what makes the best leaders so good after running companies small and large for the last 20 years. Today I speak on stages all across the world to audiences who are interested in that same question. My name is John Laurito and I’m your host. I invite you to join me on this journey as we explore this topic. What makes the best leader so good? Welcome to tomorrow’s leader!
John All right. Welcome to today’s episode of Tomorrow’s Leader, where we dove deep on all things leader related to leading yourself and leading others, and excuse me there, well, frog in my throat. Where did that saying come from, by the way, so many actually have a frog in their throat. I even know what that means, but I say it a lot and I have a frog in my throat every once in a while. So anyways, OK, yeah, your voice is back.
John All right, I really think you’re going to get a lot out of this. I’m going to talk about how to be more effective and have more fun and enjoyment in what you do. Now you may say, OK, well, that’s the million-dollar question, but I’ve got an easy answer for you that will be like, Wow, OK, makes sense and it’s easy. Easy to implement and make some changes around. So I’ve worked with so many different people over the course of so many years and all different levels and all different industries, everything. And what I find is that there are a lot of people that are very impactful, but they hate what they’re doing and they hate their jobs, not even just their jobs.
John They just wake up stressed and they’re stressed all day long. They hate what their days are like and everything. And then there are other people that like small parts of what they do, but there’s a lot of what they do that they really don’t like and that really don’t like part of their work. And their week is starting to get bigger and bigger and bigger. And that’s a scary thing because ultimately you going to get to a point where you just like I did. You wake up Sunday mornings and you don’t like Sundays anymore because it’s one day closer to the workweek. That cannot happen.
John If that happens, you’re in the wrong role doesn’t even mean you’re necessarily in the wrong place. You’re just not doing the things that you truly are going to fulfill you in time to make a change. So here’s what I want you to do and not if you’re driving. So save this. If you’re driving, do this another time, but I just want you to do a real quick exercise.
John Take a sheet of paper or a whiteboard or on your palm of your hand, whatever, and just draw two lines one go and top the bottom and the other going left to right. So you’re doing it axis. It looks like a big L, OK, on that left axis, that’s the one going up and down. I just want you to write the word next to it ‘enjoy’ and an arrow going from the bottom to the top.
John So meaning the higher up this line, the higher the enjoyment. The bottom axis the one that’s going, that’s horizontal, that’s going from left to right. I want you to write the word ‘impact’ and just the line that goes from the left to the right and an arrow pointing to the right. So as you go left to right, it’s more impact. And then all I want you to do is to draw basically four boxes.
John So draw a line down the middle and draw a line through the center. So you’ve got basically an upper left and upper right, lower left, and a lower right. You should be looking at a sheet of paper that has two axes with four boxes. OK, enough drawing. Here’s what I want you to think about. There are things that you do right now that are very high impact or high impact, and how I measure impact. It means that what you’re doing is truly making a difference. It’s actually moving. It’s creating incremental change. It’s causing people or something or business to achieve a certain result or change behavior and do something different. It’s actually meaningful.
John It’s creating meaningful change. That’s impact. There are some things that you’re doing in the course of your day or of course, of your week that are really high impact. OK, that’s what this means to be on the right-hand side of this page.
John There are other things that you’re doing that really are not really high impact. Now, sometimes you have to do these things, they’re more things they might be compliance and might be, you know, procedures and policies and systems that you kind of have to upkeep or whatnot and just they’re things that you have to do in the course of the day.
John And then there are also some things that you may choose to do. You don’t have to do them, and they’re really still really low impact. So if I sit down and I’m on TikTok for two hours, that may give me a little bit of satisfaction. But overall, those two hours are just totally wasted, right? But if I dedicate time that is working with other people that you get my point, that’s going to be much more impact.
John Now there are things that I may choose to do in my day, not TikTok or anything like that. And nope, hey, listen, I love TikTok, but I’m not knocking that. But I’m saying that there are things in your day that you may be choosing to do that are low impact that you don’t necessarily have to be doing. OK, that these are things that are just occupying a lot of your time.
John Then when you think about enjoyment, think about just what gives you pleasure. What do you enjoy? It’s not an overly complicated question, but what are the things that you do that you enjoy? What are the things that people that you spend time with that you enjoy? If you’re leading a large organization, hundred people, a thousand people? Well, now what are the people in particular and the types of people that you really like working with? And all I want you to do is I want you to write down the things that you’re doing in the course of a day or course of a week and put them somewhere on this graph.
John In other words, does that task that I do every single Monday at noon till 2:00 or this meeting? Is this high impact or low impact? And is it high enjoyment or low enjoyment? Where does it kind of fall in that area? Now you’re going to find you’ve got a scatter chart, you’ve got things that are written. When you do this and you go through every single thing you do, OK? I do. You know these prospecting calls, where does that fit? Well, it’s high impact. These specific calls are high impact. It’s not really that enjoyable, but it’s high impact. So it would go, you know, in the bottom right, you’ve got just basically your whole week kind of spread out on this chart and I just want you to challenge yourself.
John And you’ve heard me talk about zero-based budgeting, which basically is a concept that you know, we usually do things because we’ve done them before we base what we’re doing today on what we’ve done in the past. And when you think differently, I want you to just erase your whole week and I want you to build this week and this chart, so to speak, in a way where you’re doing as much of stuff in the course of your week, that’s in the upper right things that you truly enjoy that are having a big impact. If you could theoretically fill your week with all those things that are already in there, see them in there, the things you already doing, and just do more of them. I just want you to envision what would it be like? What would your week be like? What would you feel like on Sunday? What would you feel like in the morning when you wake up? Would you be excited? More excited?
John Now let’s take the stuff that you don’t enjoy. That’s on the bottom, especially the bottom left things that are not having a lot of impact and things that you don’t enjoy. Don’t do them. Decide to not do them or do much, much less of them or delegate them, either discard or delegate them. Just don’t let that continue the same way it is right now. You have to make decisions on what you’re going to say no to in order to say yes to the right things you have to. That’s a that’s a must. Otherwise, you’re going to be just ineffective and unhappy. Worst combination in the world, right? Ineffective.
John I’m not really making a big impact and I’m not happy. Miserable, misery. Absolute misery. So how can I change that? Well, the stuff that’s in the bottom right, these are things that I know are making an impact. I don’t enjoy them. Maybe they are prospecting calls. I don’t like making prospecting calls. I don’t know many people that do like making prospect calls, but maybe there’s a way to make it a little bit more enjoyable. I know it’s high impact, so I’ve got to do it. Maybe it’s a little bit more enjoyable if I make those calls. If I’m, you know, in an area where there’s nice weather, maybe I make them sitting outside. That might be a little bit more enjoyable, or sitting by a lake somewhere. Or maybe I make them with somebody else that I know is going to make them.
John Or maybe it’s a little less painful if I’ve got a, you know, a partner or a power partner with me to kind of hold me accountable, maybe, you know, play a little game or do something, but I can take that task and make it a little bit. You don’t have to make it enjoyable. But if I can make it a little less painful and start to move it a little bit up that scale, even one percent, two percent, five percent, 10 percent, and a little bit more enjoyable. The likelihood is I’m going to do a little bit more of it right now.
John I’m starting to get the gist of this thing. The more I can kind of push up to the upper right now, you may have things that you enjoy that are low impact. OK, that’s OK. And listen, the pinnacle of life is being happy. In reality, that’s the whole mission of life, right? So if there are things that you’re doing that may not be making an impact. I want you to question and say, is it making an impact on you? Maybe it’s not making an impact on other people, but if it makes a positive impact on you and it helps you, then change your mindset or your attitude or whatnot, and then your next interaction with somebody is more positive. That’s a pretty positive impact.
John So there may be things that are in the upper left that could move to that upper right. When you think through it and say, you know what? Yeah. You know, when I do walk, take a walk around the block. Yeah, that’s not a high impact, but it’s enjoyable. I like it. Well, maybe that’s what you need to become even more impactful in those meetings that you have after the walk. So you kind of get my drift that just as things that you can do that are enjoyable, that are actually whether you realize it or not, contributing to making you more impactful. The bottom line message in this is, I want you to then think through what would it look like for you to have your entire week in that upper right and think out of the box? Don’t think about what just your role is right now. Don’t think about just the tasks and the things that you’re doing every single week. But what would it look like? You know, what would it actually look like if you were making a high impact and enjoying what you’re doing through the day? You know, I love what I do.
John I mean, as you probably can get, I love what I do. I would do this all day. I’ve got a keynote tomorrow. I’m super excited about it down in Mississippi, and I’m really excited about it. It’s great. So I get to meet with a whole group of people that I love and I get to get on stage and do my thing. I would do that every single day, all day. I just love it. You know, I work with leaders, I work with all organizations, all of our great people that I just love to work with. I do a lot of work with Lincoln, of course, and you’ve heard me talk about people that it’s a great group of people like, I love what I do. I spend all day every day doing that, and I know it’s high impact and it’s effective. So for me, it’s like, I don’t work. I just love what I do. So I don’t really call it work.
John It’s just doing what I know is in the upper right-hand quadrant. So it’s a lot of fun. So when you find that it’s magic. Right? So what I find, though, is people get weighed down by this stuff in the bottom left and it ultimately causes them. It takes away from their effectiveness when they’re actually even doing something that they like. If I’m spending all day in meetings that I hate and then I were to get on stage, it’s going to sap a little bit of my energy and excitement, right? If 90 percent of my day is that and then I go, finally, do the tasks that I love doing, I’m not going to be as good. I’m just not going to be at my A-game or it’s going to be really hard for me to get on my game. But it’s going to take a little bit out of me, right?
John And I just find really talented people do that a lot. They deal with stuff that they don’t necessarily need to deal with as much. I’m not saying you can flick a switch and all of a sudden change your whole workweek, but just if it’s incremental differences, if you can make a little shift here, a little shift there, add one more thing in that upper right. Take one more thing out of the bottom left. All of a sudden you’re getting happier and make it more empowered, getting more effective and having more pleasure, and getting more fulfilled. And it’s this one percent, two percent, three percent incremental difference. And all of a sudden, wow, you wake up and you love what you’re doing and you’re making this huge impact. So many hope that was helpful.
John That’s a little exercise that I’ve done. I’ve worked with people and led them through that exercise. I think it’s a great one that brings awareness to you in terms of OK, is what I’m doing, really the stuff that I need to be doing and should be doing to again be happy and be as impactful and effective as possible.
John So I hope this was helpful. As always, I’m here to help. Let me know what questions you have or ideas for content or future guests like share, subscribe, and go down below. Give a five-star review and we will see you next time next Friday.
John Thanks for joining us on today’s episode of Tomorrow’s Leader for suggestions or inquiries about having me at your next event or personal coaching, reach me at John@johnlaurito.com.