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36 learnings at 36

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I’ve decided to share my 36 learnings at 36 (years old) with you.

Published in: Self Improvement
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36 learnings at 36

  1. 1. 1.Happiness drives success and not the other way around. This past year I’ve experienced high stress levels. I felt I was not in control of things. It took me some time and difficult decisions to find the happiness route for my family life. Once on the right track, I was able to successfully regain control of my professional life. 36 LEARNINGS AT 36 BY SERGIO LEGRANT
  2. 2. 2.Getting enough sleep is not a dream but a necessity. As soon as my young daughter began to sleep through the night, I’ve started to wake up more energized and keen to “do stuff” and enjoy the day. 36 LEARNINGS AT 36 BY SERGIO LEGRANT
  3. 3. 3.Being self-aware is the best self-service. I’m not the person of my dreams, but I’m aware of my strengths and “imperfections”. Knowing what makes me “unique” or “weird” has helped me to understand when, where and how I can “add value”. 36 LEARNINGS AT 36 BY SERGIO LEGRANT
  4. 4. 4.Working is like playing but for grownups. Sometimes it can be fun and rewarding. Sometimes it can be frustrating. Falling down and getting up is part of the “game”. Different goals, different reward systems, same satisfaction. Working and playing can always be made more fun. 36 LEARNINGS AT 36 BY SERGIO LEGRANT
  5. 5. 5.Working “smarter”, not harder, is actually “smarter”. As a “perfectionist”, I tend to work hard to deliver “impeccable” work. Most of the time it would have been sufficient and smarter to just match the expectations if I had known them upfront. 36 LEARNINGS AT 36 BY SERGIO LEGRANT
  6. 6. 6.Important to know: urgent tasks may not be important. Urgent = to be done as soon as possible. Important = if not done “the boat will sink”. Important is more important than urgent. 36 LEARNINGS AT 36 BY SERGIO LEGRANT
  7. 7. 7.Blocking time to “get things done" will help get things done. If I’m not “in control” of my calendar, others will be. What is important for others may not be important for me. 36 LEARNINGS AT 36 BY SERGIO LEGRANT
  8. 8. 8.Saying “No” can be extremely positive. One day I realized that if I had said “No” more often to things which were not important to me, the “world would not end” and I would have had more time to say “Yes” to things which are actually important to me. 36 LEARNINGS AT 36 BY SERGIO LEGRANT
  9. 9. 9.Before saying “No” or “Yes” ask clarifying questions. Is it important? How important? Why is it important? Is it urgent? How urgent? Why is it urgent? Real issues “survive” clarifying questions and fact checking. Please be prepared to answer my questions. 36 LEARNINGS AT 36 BY SERGIO LEGRANT
  10. 10. 10.Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? The 5-WHYs technique “never fails”. Why? Because asking “why” until the root cause is clear helps to identify the real problem. Why? Most of the times, “what is essential is invisible to the eye”. Why? Why? Why? 36 LEARNINGS AT 36 BY SERGIO LEGRANT
  11. 11. 11.Using analogies to explain complex "stuff" saves time. Like a good engine can help to sell a car, analogies have helped me to “sell myself” and are usually welcomed. Simple analogies create a common ground and allow for more inclusive discussions. 36 LEARNINGS AT 36 BY SERGIO LEGRANT
  12. 12. 12.Giving options is the best option. I’ve learned this as a management consultant. With the exception of mathematics there is more than one solution to any problem. People become more engaged when they’re given options. 36 LEARNINGS AT 36 BY SERGIO LEGRANT
  13. 13. 13.”Less, but better.” Sometimes I use this sentence in presentations to “evangelize” others: less meetings, yet better outcomes; less presentations, yet better prepared; and I’ll stop here or I’ll break the rule. 36 LEARNINGS AT 36 BY SERGIO LEGRANT
  14. 14. 14.Structuring communications will structure feedback. What? Why? Who? When? How? What’s in it for me? Whenever I invest more time to write clearer communications, I tend to receive less and more structured feedback. Everyone wins more time. 36 LEARNINGS AT 36 BY SERGIO LEGRANT
  15. 15. 15.Take note: take notes. Sometimes I can’t even read what I write, but by noting it down I’ve already increased the probability of remembering it later on. 36 LEARNINGS AT 36 BY SERGIO LEGRANT
  16. 16. 16.Pausing before doing something (pause) won’t hurt. I struggle to not “fire back” immediately after taking an “hit”. I’ve learned that going “thermonuclear” on someone is a waste of energy, especially if I can quietly settle things behind the scenes, saving time and energy. Let me take a note and follow-up tomorrow. 36 LEARNINGS AT 36 BY SERGIO LEGRANT
  17. 17. 17.Compromising is not losing. How much energy will I have to spend to convince you to adopt my “view of the world”? And what will I gain? Reaching compromises is like “bridging” different views of the world or even winning different perspectives. 36 LEARNINGS AT 36 BY SERGIO LEGRANT
  18. 18. 18.Celebrating often creates opportunities to celebrate. Who doesn’t like to celebrate “victories”? Why can’t we celebrate more often? Celebrations don’t need to be long or expensive, as long as they are meaningful. 36 LEARNINGS AT 36 BY SERGIO LEGRANT
  19. 19. 19.Bonding beyond business delivers beyond expectations. A super team of “average” players has the same chances of winning as a normal team of “super” players. For me, creating a team is all about “bonding” individual needs and interests with a “greater” common goal. 36 LEARNINGS AT 36 BY SERGIO LEGRANT
  20. 20. 20.Connecting with people will get more things done. Connecting with like-minded people who are connected with more like-minded people has helped me to get more things done. I often use humor to test and setup a “connection”. 36 LEARNINGS AT 36 BY SERGIO LEGRANT
  21. 21. 21.Replacing coffee with tea will not affect productivity. I was having too much coffee. My head would hurt if I would not drink it. Drinking tea between coffees fixed this without compromising on productivity or humor. 36 LEARNINGS AT 36 BY SERGIO LEGRANT
  22. 22. 22.Eating well requires less exercising and time. Since I don’t have a lot of free time to practice sports, I’ve decided to be more careful with what I eat. Happy body, happy mind. 36 LEARNINGS AT 36 BY SERGIO LEGRANT
  23. 23. 23.Saving some time for “nothing” is productive. I frequently need time for myself: to sleep, to read, to learn, to organize my ideas. I wrote most of this text on the train where most people do “nothing” but still “go far”. 36 LEARNINGS AT 36 BY SERGIO LEGRANT
  24. 24. 24.Good idea: ideas with real (inter)actions. After some “secret” failures, I’ve adopted a more “social” approach by sharing my ideas with at least three persons before investing more time or money. That’s already a first real action. 36 LEARNINGS AT 36 BY SERGIO LEGRANT
  25. 25. 25.Following inspiring people is really inspiring. I follow Richard Branson. I also follow my friends and family who are a source of daily inspiration. The “ordinary” super heroes inspire me. 36 LEARNINGS AT 36 BY SERGIO LEGRANT
  26. 26. 26.Being more Branson and less Jobs is a sign of maturity. I’m becoming more of a team player rather than an “I know it all” kind of person. It’s still rewarding for me, and the results have surpassed my expectations. Takes time to change. 36 LEARNINGS AT 36 BY SERGIO LEGRANT
  27. 27. 27.Being myself is totally ok. I’m a “genuine” person. I don’t hide my convictions or my facial hair. I’m comfortable with both because this combination makes me “unique” or “weird”. 36 LEARNINGS AT 36 BY SERGIO LEGRANT
  28. 28. 28.Saying “good morning”, makes the morning good. What started as an obligation as a child became part of me. Until today, I have only met one person who didn’t care to reply back and my persistence paid off after some time. Saying “good morning” is acknowledging people and their importance. 36 LEARNINGS AT 36 BY SERGIO LEGRANT
  29. 29. 29.Thanking people is thankfully not a weakness. I say “thank you” all the time. I don’t have to say it, yet I like to say it because I also like to hear it from others. A personal “thank you” note can make a visible difference between an angry “red face” or a smiley “yellow” face. 36 LEARNINGS AT 36 BY SERGIO LEGRANT
  30. 30. 30.Using the “red hat” avoids an angry “red face”. Whenever appropriate I warn others I’m putting on my thinking “red hat” so that I can share my “unfiltered” opinion. After that, I’m ready for a fact-based discussion without putting on an angry “red face”. 36 LEARNINGS AT 36 BY SERGIO LEGRANT
  31. 31. 31.Saying “I’m sorry” is, “I’m sorry”, the right thing to do. I often have to “say sorry” to colleagues, friends and family after “messing up”. It shouldn’t be a reason for embarrassment. Being transparent about the “mess up” is the first step in the right direction. 36 LEARNINGS AT 36 BY SERGIO LEGRANT
  32. 32. 32.Crossing the limits sporadically is ok. “Stepping on the line” too often was making me less “cool”, until the day someone more experienced advised me to do it only on “special occasions”. Safety first, especially if you’d like to live a long happy life. 36 LEARNINGS AT 36 BY SERGIO LEGRANT
  33. 33. 33.Helping others makes a difference. I like to help. I’ve also been helped very often. Sometimes, a small help can make a big difference. However, I’ve also learned that helping too much or when not asked can fire back. 36 LEARNINGS AT 36 BY SERGIO LEGRANT
  34. 34. 34.Moving a lot has some benefits. I’ve lived in five different cities and switched jobs three times in the past six years. Always with the support of my family. I have built a great network of contacts and kept the boxes used for moving. 36 LEARNINGS AT 36 BY SERGIO LEGRANT
  35. 35. 35.Questioning life once a year is not questionable. Every year around my birthday I ask myself if I am happy with my life and with my achievements. Then I share my thoughts with my wife and we decide on course corrections. 36 LEARNINGS AT 36 BY SERGIO LEGRANT
  36. 36. 36.Sharing my happiness, makes me happy. That’s why I’ve decided to share my 36 learnings at 36 (years old) with you. 36 LEARNINGS AT 36 BY SERGIO LEGRANT

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