There is no secret formula

I don’t want to burst anyone’s bubble… but there is NO ‘secret formula’ to business and leadership success!

Today there are too many ‘fail-safe’ formulas, processes and strategies for success, all competing for your attention and promising results. And most business owners and leaders I have met and worked with already possess all the skills and knowledge required to create successful outcomes.

So, what makes some businesses highly successful while others struggle?

The answer is simple. Successful businesses “EXECUTE” what must be done!
They DO IT without exception.

And before you say the words “But I’m too busy” – stop. In most cases, this is simply an ill-conceived excuse. Being ‘too busy’ has become a habitual reason given by many business leaders who are actually overwhelmed, stressed and stuck in a revolving door of problems.

“I’m too busy” syndrome occurs for two reasons;

  1. There is a lack of business structure or
  2. There is no commitment to set priorities for what is Important and Urgent.

While it sounds quite counterintuitive, the very first step to take control and make things happen is to “STOP, TAKE 5 then ACT!”

If you’ve been reading my last few newsletters, you would have learned that I believe the TAKE 5 concept is crucial to success.

The deliberate act of stopping, in itself, is doing something. At times and in extreme cases, TAKE 5 may require doing absolutely nothing while your body and brain recalibrate.

The ideal STOP AND TAKE 5 session is to remove yourself from the busyness of your working and personal day with a clear intent to develop a set of actions that follow. Here’s how you can make TAKE 5 work for you!


  • Gain control, reduce stress, enable clarity of thought
  • Identify what is both Important and Urgent with Issues and Opportunities
  • Create time through prioritisation, enabling you to focus on what is both Important and Urgent.


  • Step away from your normal place of business (different office, café, walk)
  • Self-assess to ensure you are in a mental and physical state that will allow you to focus for 60 minutes on the next phase.
  • Record every issue and opportunity you can think of.
  • Rank these in terms of criticality to your business – identify those items that are both Important and Urgent – and those that are Urgent but not Important. Ignore all other topics, but keep them on a list.
  • Be diligent and do not rush to put every task in the Urgent and Important bucket. As a general rule, I find my clients have 2-5 extremely Important and Urgent topics. If you find you have more than five topics, ensure you focus only on the top 2-5 over the coming days / weeks before tackling the other topics on your list.
  • Once ranked, delegate items that are Urgent but not Important to a team member, with a set time to complete. This will clear your mind of unfulfilled actions that are a memory and capability drain. This also creates a dopamine hit, based on the satisfaction of knowing a task has been actioned.
  • Determine which resources (if any) you may require to execute items you have identified and listed as top areas of focus.
  • Add a series of columns that list, in order, steps required to move each topic forward. Identify the first step to be undertaken and execute immediately.
  • Mark off each step as tasks are executed and move to the next step.

My coaching focuses on the IDEA Model, which helps keep a simple process on track.

  • Identify topics to be actioned
  • Develop a clear way forward
  • Execute one task for each topic and
  • Analyse / measure the outcome and enhance if required.

To create meaningful behavioural change and drive action, my philosophy is to CONTINUOUSLY, Measure to Manage and Observe to ensure actions are taken. This approach helps a business and its leaders develop habits that are sustainable.

So remember – there is NO secret formula. All you need to do is STOP, TAKE 5 and ACT!

If you are struggling to execute tasks you know need to be done and you are always saying or feeling “I’m too busy”, click on this link to book a FREE, 90 minute session with me, to get things back on track in business and in life.

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