“Winning without Losing” by Martin Bjergegaard and Jordan Milne was chosen for Business Book Brunch club in February. Their sixty-six tips gave strategies on how to put happiness, family and friends first and yet still have professional success. A group of 20 keen readers came together over brunch to discuss how to have the most important things in life...
The book discusses what it calls the new Dual Optimum, where it is possible to live a happy and balanced life, while at the same time creating a business and a fortune from scratch. As well as not having to come home when our children are asleep or having to say no to friends wanting to have a drink after work, it suggests six to eight weeks of holiday spent travelling around the world each year or doing something other than work to recharge you and broaden your perspective, is not just a very real option, but increasingly a prerequisite for optimum and sustainable efficiency.
The book is divided into 7 categories:
- Efficiency boosters - increase your effectiveness
- New ways of doing things
- Beware the time and energy waster - how to avoid
- When the road is rough - for a fast and not too painful come back
- Balance by design
- A new mind set (believing a dual optimum is possible)
- Take action - how to achieve your own version of winning without losing
Our group of readers agreed that that ‘Winning without Losing’ had some great ideas about how to optimise both our business success and personal happiness. It was quite a masculine book, with 25 role models, 3 were women, while the case studies were mostly of entrepreneurs. However, 99 percent was also applicable to people in the corporate world. There was a lot about energy - having a connection and creating something i.e. a project or campaign.
1. Don’t send that email. A great tip was deal with conflict in person, go speak to people, rather than just send an email. Letters used to be something we wrote or typed and then had to post. It was a slow process, but it had the advantage of giving you the chance to change your mind. If we are feeling angry or emotional it can be satisfying to type that email and then press send, however this can backfire. Much better to pick up the phone talk to the person, ask questions and listen to the response. Make a habit to never write emails when you are angry, disappointed or suspicious. Instead, deal with conflicts face to face
2. Revisit 8 - 8 – 8. We all get 24 hours a day i.e. you get 8 hours to sleep, 8 hours to work and then you still have 8 hours for yourself. Bronwen mentioned needing to set boundaries at work i.e. when she has a project roll-out that requires commitment on the weekend - she needs to make sure she leaves on time for network events in the following weeks. When you do project work, sometimes you are working at 120 percent, it’s important to then have down time when it’s a bit quieter to rest, recuperate and revitalise.
3. Give back, get perspective. Our members said they would prefer people to give back to society as they go on the journey. Give as you go. Don’t wait till you’ve made it. Because most people don’t get to the point where they think they have made it. Those who give stay both happier and healthier as they get older. Finally, reaching into our pockets and giving makes we more rounded people, as business people we can get to a point where we think the world revolves around our business and us. We need to see our projects in the larger context of our lives and the global community as well as in relation to those who are less lucky than us.
4. Identify your elephant traps. What are the things at work or in your business that are wasting your time? Write down what you waste your time doing that doesn’t significantly add to either your performance or your happiness. Review your habitual activities (that take up most of your time) and put them in one of two buckets. Are they true time wasters or are they simply things you have to control? Several members of the group now question every meeting, as having a meeting for the hell of having a meeting isn’t productive. So important to protect our time.
Favourite quote: ‘shed the disagreeable notion that your best years are behind you. The best years are those you are about to live and the very best day to get started is today’
The conclusion was that ‘Winning without Losing’ was a good mixture of new learning and reminders of things we know that we need to remember to do. We can have conflict in modern life, i.e. needing to look after sleep and balance and also manage deadlines at work, we always need the reminders. All in all, an excellent book, very readable, and a perfect tube book, very easy to pick up and down.
A very big thank you to Bronwen, Rachael, Kirsty and Libby (our BBB organisers) and also to our wonderful hosts, Ozone Cafe, who can be found near Old Street tube station. If you haven't yet visited, the food and coffee are absolutely delicious and it’s well worth a visit!
Beth Sullivan www.lovementor.com