Thursday, February 10, 2011

Interview with Michael Hyatt for Productive Magazine 7 - Show #31

In the 7th issue of our free monthly Productive! Magazine (out next week) we'll talk to Michael Hyatt - the former CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishing and blogger at - about social media, productivity, responsiveness, professional success, work/life balance and health... the complete interview is in the magazine - here's the teaser trailer with some great advice by Michael Hyatt:


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Question: Are you responsive? How is your Work/Life balance?

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Monday, February 15, 2010

Adam Malysz - my perfect, humble and inspiring role model

On Saturday I watched the Ski-jumping contest on the first day of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics and a short, humble guy from my home country of Poland got a silver medal in the individual ski-jumping competition. This guy is Adam Małysz - one of the greatest sportsmen in the ski-jumping history, of the biggest sports figures of my country and definitely the greatest one of my time.


Chances are you haven't heard of Adam, go on, read his biography on Wikipedia, this guys has practically won it all. Now, at the age of 32 he still won the olympic silver medal, beating a decade younger athletes, showing that his passion for winning and spirit is still in a very good shape.

Why is Adam Małysz a role model fro me? (and for millions of people in my country!)

There are several reasons for that. I believe anyone who wants to achieve something in their lives, should look at Adam and learn from him these several things:

1. Adam loves ski-jumping. He enjoys every single jump he makes.

He just loves it. I mean really loves it. When asked before jumping what's his goal, what length of jump he wants to achieve, how high, etc.... he's answer is always the same: "I just want to perform a very good jump". That's all he cares about.

I remember when he was on the very top of his game and had only one opponent: German guy named Sven Hannavald and they were very close points-wise to the overall World Championship standing. There was this one competition when they jumped only once and Adam was winning. Due to bad weather conditions the judges wouldn't allow for the second jump, so the results from the first jump where final. Adam won. Yet he was angry. Why? Because he didn't care about the points. He didn't get to jump again. All he cared was to jump again. He loves it so much. He doesn't calculate the points, he's not a mathematician. He's a jumper.

2. Adam is humble. He's never too bold or too proud.

He's just this nice guy who is constantly smiling, thinks about the positives and never says he's the best. Although he is. He really is one of the best (if not THE best) in the ski-jumping history.

The journalists just love doing interviews with him, because he's nice, polite and easy to talk to, and he's never proud or showing anyone he's better. Incredible.

3. Adam never gives up.

Leaders change, idols change, people give up on their idols. Adam never gives up on himself. He's constantly on top of his game... and even when he's not, he's working hard and... he comes back!

He was dominating in 2001, 2002 and 2003 where he won 3 World Championship Cups in a row... and then he didn't.... until 2007 when he won it again.... and now people said he should stop... and he comes back and takes the olympic silver medal sending his much-younger competitors home.

4. Adam keeps on training and improving.

Even during the Summer season he still jumps in the Summer Cup. He loves jumping so much he always finds the time and place to practice. He keeps his form, shape and is still on top.

He's persistant and it pays off. Big time.

5. Adam is a family man.

With all that fame in Poland, so many fans and so much money, he still lives in his home-town Wisla, with his wife and his kid. His wife very often comes along for the tournaments to support him.

He knows his priorities and he knows that family comes first. And he's always known that.

I want to be like Adam!

He's my role model because I also want to love my job as much as he does his, I want to be the best and be humble about it. I never want to give up, I want to keep on improving and be as persistent as Adam, I also want to be a family man like him.

I'm very close to the ideal, but there is still room to improve. It's great I have Adam as inspiration.

Who's your role model? Why?

--> me I'm Michael Sliwinski and I'm an entrepreneur who's also the...
.. Founder of - a time and project management web application
.. Editor of Productive! Magazine - a global PDF publication on productivity
.. and a blogger as well as a producer of a weekly 2-minute Productive! show.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tribal Leadership - how to convert organizations into tribes that change the world

I really like the event created by Y-combinator called "Startup School" as they invite really cool speakers who every year deliver incredible speeches. Last year the best one was by David Heinemeier Hansson "The secret to making money online" and this year I really enjoyed the talk by Tony Hsieh of Zappos about "Delivering Happiness" and he pointed me to a free audiobook they are offering - Tribal Leadership by Dave Logan, John King and Halee Fischer-Wright


I encourage you to get the book and listen to it.

It basically says that there are 5 stages of thinking in corporate environment:

Stage 1 - Life as we know it sucks
Stage 2 - Only my life sucks
Stage 3 - I'm great, and you're not
Stage 4 - We're great, and you're not
Stage 5 - Life's great

I just finished today standing in a traffic jam and in the meantime as I was stuck there I started analyzing how I behave as a manager and leader, if I'm cultivating Stage 3, 4 or 5 mentality...

Anyway, I don't want to spoil you the guts of the book so make sure to grab it and listen to it, it's an eye opener.

What particularly stood out for me as en entrepreneur is the concept of "triads" as opposed to "diads".

Leaders foster TRIADS to empower their co-workers.

What is a triad? Here's an example: If two co-workers come to you with a problem that they are having you can act in two different ways:

1. You talk to each one of them, forming a diad, a single relationship with each of them. You listen to one side of the story, listen to the other side and then you make a decision.

This is what typical managers do, as they want to feel in control, be decisive. Instead of creating a relationship between these two co-workers you make sure you have two relationships with each of them...

2. You tell them: "Guys, you're supposed to work together, remember? You're both experts in your fields and you know this problem can be solved - work together with the aim of solving this problem and later let me know how it went, I'm sure you'll do just fine."

This is what tribal leaders do - they empower their employees and make sure they work together and feel important, feel like it's them who have to decide and later they will not come to you with problems, they'll come to you with solutions. You've just formed a triad - a three-person relationship.

After reading this, I started examining my life as manager and my relationship with my co-workers and already thought of the ways I can improve my management and empower my co-workers even more.

Question: Are you empowered enough in your work? Do you feel like you belong to a tribe? Is your boss a triad-kinda-guy or a diad-kinda-sage-on-the-stage?

--> me I'm Michael Sliwinski and I'm an entrepreneur who's also the...
.. Founder of - a time and project management web application
.. Editor of Productive! Magazine - a global PDF publication on productivity
.. and a blogger as well as a producer of a weekly 2-minute Productive! show.