Come to the end of the first month, with a serious six weeks of disciplined training and diet, I have already started to see major improvements. January is usually the time of the month in which most people (and businesses) spend their time planning and strategizing their goals which is a great thing to do! To many people nearing the end of January is when the committment and the resolutions of New Years are starting to fade due to the expectations and not setting up SMART Goals.
Why does everyone sign up for the gym, plan a workout program and then suddenly the desire to execute fades? I’ll admit, last year I started off very strong and the desire to continue to execute fade. I have come to realize that to enable change (whether personal or business) it must take discipline and breaking old habits. I was inspired by a project management methodology called Agile which in principle is based on “iterative and incremental development, whereas requirements and solutions evolve through collaboration self organizing, cross functional teams. It promotes adaptive planning, evolutionary development and delivery, a time-boxed iterative approach, and encourages rapid and flexible response to change. It is a conceptual framework that promotes foreseen interactions throughout the development cycle. The Agile Manifesto introduced the term in 2001.”
Adapting that principle to my workout, the best workout program are the one that delivers value to you on a consistent basis. Not every workout program is “right” for everyone but it must be adaptable and flexible to change. Execution and governance of your workout program will be key! Instead of spending a lot of time documenting and planning my workout, I decided to jump right into and monitor my results on a daily basis to ensure I am measuring progress.
Here I lay out my workout plan that provides my mid-term goal to be a muscular and strong performing 220 lbs.
The diet I will be following for the first 2 phases of my workout plan is a heavy plant based diet with only 1 serving of meat per day. I will supplement with whey/soy protein and include more plant based foods with high protein so I don’t lose any muscle. The reason why I decided to do this diet is to lower my cholesterol levels and to prevent diabetes that runs in my family history.
As you can see this is the structure I am following for six days out of the week. I will save one day out of the week (right now it’s Sunday because of football) to cheat and have some meats and desserts.
The results so far?
Well i really kicked off my workout training and diet on the 14th of January and so far I dropped 242 down to 228 (fluctuate to 230). That is roughly 14 lbs of weight I lost and I can tell by how my clothes are fitting and pulling my belt tighter because my waist slimmed down. In addition, I have been measuring my performance goals and dropped 3 minutes from my 3 mile run time from 27:30 down to 24:30 and now doing 19 pull ups straight (I was only capable of 12 in the beginning of the month).
Will I exceed my six month goals? Maybe.. but being flexible, adaptive, disciplined and compliant will keep me in the right direction. Long term goals are difficult to achieve because it’s so far away from you and it’s easy to lose sight on what you are trying to accomplish. It is why I am breaking down my phase goals and breaking it down into smaller performance goals throughout the week which sets new expectations and goals on a daily basis. By doing it this way, you are making small progressive progress that is measurable in which you have to hold yourself accountable.
In summary – Plan but be flexible and set goals everyday!
A super busy corporate associate with a fulltime MBA schedule will attempt to get back into his fitness modeling shape.
As a few of you may know me, I was once a very lean, mean, fighting U.S. Marine who had the opportunity to work as a Fitness Model and Personal Trainer during college. After graduating and entering the business world, my priorities have shifted from endurance sports and bodybuilding into community service, MBA studies and excelling and making a name for myself in the business world.
As a former personal trainer I was sympathetic with those who reached out to me to say they want to lose weight, find a balance and live a healthy fit life but I have never felt empathy until now. I have become one of them! 50+ hours of work a week, in addition to serving on a nonprofit board and a fulltime Executive MBA schedule. I went from being a 6% lean body to someone who is not as lean (22%) with a waist size from 29 to 36.
Last year I attempted to drop 50 lbs and run 50 miles but due to my demanding schedule I never had the chance to run and stress has always added unwanted weight. So that goal #drop50run50 was a total failure. I realized I need to be realistic and at the same time have fun doing it.
My goal this year:
Lean 210 lbs body competitive enough for fitness shows and strong and fast enough for adventure races like Tough Mudder.
Fitness goals: 25 dead hang pull ups
3 mile run: 22 minutes
Fitness competition is very subjective to judging but those who enter are usually 5% body fat and under. To compete, I must drop over 15% body fat off me. So not only do I have to drop nearly 40 lbs but I also need to maintain my size and strength while being able to run and climb obstacles like I use too — hence it’s not in my job description wheeras now I sit down all day.
As a business student and project manager – I can create an excellent idea and plan but what will count is the execution (achievement and results) and keeping the eye on the prize (my health and physique).
Committing to these goals is more important than entering a show or running a race. It will take discipline, dedication, balance and a strong support to achieve this. I will see keep striving for the prize and will monitor my results on a monthly basis.
Month 1: January
Wellness screening results:
Body fat: 26%
Cholesterol Level: 322
Weight lifting 4x a week
3x a week of intense cardio
My girlfriend gave me the UP by Jawbone bracelet which monitor and track my daily activity, sleep and diet
Adapting to a more plant based diet with a lean meat (fish and chicken) and low sodium intake
As of right now, I don’t have a solid diet and workout plan. I’ve decided to take immediate action to improve my lifestyle. Next month, I will report back with my adjustments, diet plan, and workout plan which I can obtain your feedback.
There are only so many hours in a day and in reality you can only give 100% of your total effort to all the work you do. Using your time and energy effectively becomes extremely important when you become busier. In addition become very busy takes away other aspects of your life which includes family, friends, and personal hobbies.
This is a lesson I learned from my mentor and I believe everyone should think twice before becoming too busy. For those who are motivated individuals like myself we can get caught up in the trap of becoming too busy and being involved in many initiatives or projects.
It sounds like a positive trait however many motivated individuals fail to see that being too busy and getting involved in a lot projects will reach the point of diminishing returns. What does that exactly mean? Well let’s look at the chart below:
If you are working on two things you can only give a total of 100%. Task one is getting 79% of your energy in which creates a positive output. The input is the work you put in + the process = the output (percent of return). Having roughly 80% of your energy dedicated to Task 1 is having a positive output for that task.
Now let’s look at the 2nd chart below:
This chart is an example of someone who is involved in many things. Although it sounds very motivating that a person is involved in many tasks/projects/initiatives but as you can see you are unable to provide a greater output because you are stretched out thin. In addition, do you even have time for your personal life? This exceeds the point of diminishing returns where we believe we are doing great however you are actually not providing the maximum potential outputs to the tasks you own.
The moral of the story is less is better! Focus on your key tasks/initiatives and be cautious about spreading yourself to thin. You should prioritize your work and FOCUS on gaining maximum output.
9/11 has forever changed the pathway of my life. I was enlisted in Recruit Training (Boot Camp) in Parris Island, South Carolina and my platoon was in the final phases of boot camp and it was the first day of the infamous “Crucible.” I will never forget when I overheard a side conversation with my Series Gunnery Sergeant with our Drill Instructors. As we received a brief downtime from training our Company Commander has informed us of the terrible news. We as upcoming Marines at the time were upset, sad, and full of emotion. We were no longer serving to get away from home or to fund our college education, we are now serving our nation to go to war.
As we completed the Crucible and earned our titles “US Marine,” our Series Gunnery Sergeant has told us this is for real. We will find ourselves doing what Marines are trained to do! Whether on ship, air, or on land, we will be called to battle.
My life has changed.. no longer am I the Marine who signed up to get away from home. As I returned home to enjoy my 10 days of leave.. I volunteered to help out at the WTC site. I met a few other Marines (active and reservist) who put on their uniform to help firefighters and police officers. I’ll never forget a firemen I met who was saddened that he was digging up his own people. He was a discharged Marine Corps veteran and he looked me in the eye and told me he is going back in. His words to me, “this is a moment when our nation needs us most, we are counting on you and the other Marines… I will be joining you and hope to see you out there.”
Fast forward two years later in Operation Iraqi Freedom.. I ran into that fireman and saw him in his desert cami’s with attached to a reserve unit in Garden City. I don’t remember his name but his face and desire has never left my mind.
This is my story of 9-11.. we will never forget where we were.. I was earning the title “Marine” and my life has forever changed..
Thank you for all the first responders who were brave to run into the burning buildings… Thank you for the service members who volunteered their lives to serve our nation..
– Ryan Enriquez
It’s never too late to learn how to be a great manager. It doesn’t matter what industry, function, or expertise you have, management is a skill and an art in which you will need to learn if you want to move ahead.
Learn from the best! Darryl Conner is a Change Management Expert.
When I was in the Marines, I was given a new platoon to command. As a new platoon sergeant, being the leader doesn’t concern me with change management, why? The Marines are trained to follow orders and employ the strategies and tactics I give them with instant obedience. In turn, my Marines don’t have to worry about me as the new leader because I’ve been trained to lead what the rankings provide.
In the business world — Not so similar — First you have to manage the change of you to the subordinates and the subordinates to you. Both parties need to meet eye to eye. You will be learning as they will be learning.
As a new manager, start by communicating the objectives (missions) of the department or group. This can simply mean you are setting expectations. Give them the breakdown of the goals and the business. You will always be challenged by the newness of the change. Typical reactions of your subordinates to a new manager:
- Victim – Terrified of the impending change, like status quo
- Bystander – Hoping for things to stay the same
- Resister – Critic trying to rally others to resist the change
- Navigator – Handles it in stride keeping focus on the mission and the opportunity
- Opportunist – Seizes the changing time to promote self or ideas
As a new Manager, you need to make it happen early! Involve everyone early, communicate with them often, and let them know you are a leader!
The Manager must learn how to be a leader – and learn how to inspire
Management is a destination, leadership is the ship that will take you there!
As a Leader… use this acronym: MOST
M – the Mission
O - the Objective
S – the Strategy
T – the Tactics to make it happen
There are many philosophies on leadership and management.. tons of books with great wisdom and techniques.. It is part Art and part Technique. Managers are often individuals that are expected to do the impossible. They are expected to solve their superior’s problems, and their subordinates’ problems and their own. While they make this happen, a great manager will never lose his bearing and will never break a sweat.
- A successful leader is having your subordinates respect you for who you are.. not your rank or position. As a great manager, the journey to get your team to the goal requires you to be a judge, negotiator, referee, counselor, and a coach. You must always be honest and demonstrate positive values. I also encourage managers to learn from their subordinates and reward them for their valued effort.
To build and retain trust, you must be accessible! Always remind your people if they have any questions or concerns, you are ready and willing to listen. Let them make mistakes and take responsibility for it. Ensure that the mistake is a learning experience. Learn from your own mistakes, you have responsibility for other people’s actions, so the last thing you want to do is be responsible for someone’s mistake. When things don’t turn out the way it is expected, recognize what you could have done differently. Finally, treat everyone with respect and equally!
I would like to thank my ACP Mentor for coaching and teaching me all the above concepts!
2010 has been a great year. Just before 2010, a friend of mine gave me inspiration to think “BIG.” I vow to never sell myself short and to work with a purpose. I continue to receive mentoring from top executives, friends, and classmates from the MBA program.
There are two ways of learning, which is to read and explore. This year I have read several books to enhance my business acumen and learn new skill sets.
- Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time– Keith Ferrazzi, Tahl Raz
- The Minto Pyramid Principle: Logic in Writing, Thinking, & Problem Solving
- The McKinsey Mind: Understanding and Implementing the Problem-Solving Tools and Management Techniques of the World’s Top Strategic Consulting Firm by Ethan Rasiel, Ph.D., Paul N. Friga
- The Lords of Strategy: The Secret Intellectual History of the New Corporate World - Walter Kiechel
- The McKinsey Engagement: A Powerful Toolkit For More Efficient and Effective Team Problem Solving
- by Ph.D., Paul N. Friga
- Six Disciplines® Execution Revolution: Solving the One Business Problem That Makes Solving All Other Problems Easier by Gary Harpst
- Action Inquiry: The Secret of Timely and Transforming Leadership by William R Torbert
- Corps Business: The 30 Management Principles of the U.S. Marines by David H. Freedman
- The Dragonfly Effect: Quick, Effective, and Powerful Ways To Use Social Media to Drive Social Change
- Lean Thinking: Banish Waste and Create Wealth in Your Corporation, Revised and Updated – James P. Womack, Daniel T. Jones
- Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion – Gary Vaynerchuk
- Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies – Jim Collins, Jerry I. Porras
- Merge Ahead: Mastering the Five Enduring Trends of Artful M&A (Future of Business Series) – Gerald Adolph, Justin Pettit, Michael Sisk
- On the Professions of Management - Peter Drucker
Here is one of my favorite stories I pass on to all my friends….
The Parable of The Mexican Fisherman And The Investment Banker
An American investment banker was taking a much-needed vacation in a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. The boat had several large, fresh fish in it.
The investment banker was impressed by the quality of the fish and asked the Mexican how long it took to catch them. The Mexican replied, “Only a little while.” The banker then asked why he didn’t stay out longer and catch more fish?
The Mexican fisherman replied he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs.
The American then asked “But what do you do with the rest of your time?”
The Mexican fisherman replied, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos: I have a full and busy life, senor.”
The investment banker scoffed, “I am an Ivy League MBA, and I could help you. You could spend more time fishing and with the proceeds buy a bigger boat, and with the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats until eventually you would have a whole fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to the middleman you could sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You could control the product, processing and distribution.”
Then he added, “Of course, you would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City where you would run your growing enterprise.”
The Mexican fisherman asked, “But senor, how long will this all take?”
To which the American replied, “15-20 years.”
“But what then?” asked the Mexican.
The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich. You could make millions.”
“Millions, senor? Then what?”
To which the investment banker replied, “Then you would retire. You could move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”
Why do I love this story? This story has taught me what money is about and not what it’s about. After hearing about this story I look to find a much more meaningful balance with work, my family, and friends. The simple pleasures in life is often overlooked! We are quick to chase that “American Dream” that many people are working very hard to do so but when will it be about YOU? Life is all about being happy and fulfilling. Money is dispensable but your relationships and priceless moments is what you will cherish.
I do believe leadership can be measured. There are metrics you can apply to measure a leader’s short term success, but in the long term, leadership is measured over time by tangible and intangible success factors. It’s not about creating a vision and strategy but how well you execute and be consistent with your journey.
Based on my experience, a true measure of success for a leader is continuous improvement and the IMPACT that it has to a human resource. It is the overall growth the leader can inspire to help their employees and followers grow professionally and socially. Leaders need the ability to innovate and create positive change and must have a passion and purpose for their position.
Everybody but the leader who will define his/her success and it is way beyond the final numbers which we all tend to measure. Finally I would like to add, a successful leader is someone who can inspire others to become effective leaders!
Motivation is short term action.. Inspiration is life changing actions!
Lately I’ve been hearing many people around me seeking motivation for a change in their life. Motivation is a positive way to be productive, but yet sometimes with plenty of motivation we may achieve short term goals, but we are losing sight of the long term. Inspiration is life changing… it is seeing our desires, dreams, passion, and purpose in our lives.
I’ve read many motivational books and quotes. I’ve attended many seminars and had the opportunity to be around plenty of motivational leaders. Yes, it is a blessing, but it only takes one or very few inspirational people to change your life.
What are differences between motivation and inspiration:
When I was in the Marine Corps, my Staff Sergeant would always try to “motivate” our platoon. Sometimes it can be manipulative and nonproductive such as we are not doing a good job today, today let’s work together as a team so we can achieve our goal! Sounds motivating right! It will accomplish short term goals but never the long term. Motivation leaves us short sighted. This motivational statement can go against us, what if we don’t accomplish our goal, and then what? Perhaps punishment? It may light some fire in our shoes, but it is not inspirational.
A remember a day in Iraq that forever inspired me. It was February 2003, right before the invasion of Iraq. Our unit was waiting killing time in Kuwait. There were countless hours of gas drills, digging sandbags, gas drills, and digging sandbags again. I don’t know any Marine who likes to dig sand bags but my Platoon Sergeant at the time stated, “What do we look forward to today? Digging more sandbags right Marines? We let me tell you all, this sandbag your digging is for a greater purpose! It can possibly save your life or another Marine!” WOW! That changed my whole perception to do work for a purpose, not because we have to do it. My Platoon Sergeant inspired me!
Another inspirational moment was several weeks ago in my Executive MBA class, my instuctor was teaching us how to be great leaders. We are to lead as a Strategist, working towards a greater purpose and to understand those we lead by tapping into their own passions and leading them to accomplish it. My professor has impacted me that my dream in life is to inspire people around me, for long term sustainment and for personal growth. It is now my vision to influence others and create a positive effect on people around me.
That is the difference between motivation and inspiration.
Inspiration begins with your lifestyle:
When I was personal training in college, many people would approach me for training sessions seeking to lose weight for the summer. I would ask them what “motivated” you to start a fitness program. Some of their statements would be: I want to tone up, I want to lose six inches off my waist, I want to drop 20 lbs. I would often respond, let me give you a different perspective, how would you feel if you were able to run with your children again, how would it feel if you were to able to compete in a basketball league, how would it feel by leading a healthy fit lifestyle, what impacts can you have for those around you?? That is inspiration!! I am inspired by other fitness enthusiast who promotes positive change around them.
The bottom line is this: Inspiration involves your spirit! It is your dreams and the long life you will live. Don’t be short sighted but take actions for a purpose that will impact others in a positive way. As for business leaders, inspiration will not only make you more profitable, but it will also improve your employee retention and increase productivity. Your workers will have loyalty to you, the company, and its customers. I am happy to be surrounded by inspirational people. I hope by reading this, you will be inspired to impact people’s lives around you. Be a part of people’s journey and help them reach their destination.
I am a volunteer mentor to newly discharged veterans who are a entering the workforce or academic life (civilian life). Additionally, I have my own arsenal of mentors. Some are colleagues, fitness enthusiast, business, education, and life. I believe every person is unique in their own way. In life we have needs and wants. We seek security, love, and a positive environment to grow physically, emotionally, intellectually, mentally, and socially. If your fortunate, you may find one mentor who will help you grow in all aspects, but I recommend having more than one.
We all choose our mentors based on our own outlook and vision. I believe a great mentor is someone who supports risk taking and who can help spark your creativity. A mentor should not give you the answers but help you discover them on your own. They should also be the primary source to search for knowledge and self discovery. Mentors should first ask, “What is your passion? A mentor should assist others to set goals, realistic ones, and help them develop emotional intelligence.
As a mentor, a part of their mission should develop love and respect for themselves! That is where it all begins! From there you learn to love others and the environment around you. I provide mentorship because it is an opportunity for me to grow and self discover. I embrace the love of education, positive thinking, and creating new opportunities. Along their journey, I share my passions, dreams, aspirations, and projects to let them know I am also a student just like you. I extend my hand to guide them and they extend their hand back to me.