As a successful entrepreneur and now EVP of Personal Growth Solutions at the John Maxwell Company, Becky Bursell knows that the “greatest frustration for leaders is not understanding where to spend their time.” Bursell created an amazing hack to help her solve this challenge: “I learned to focus more on wins and then to sign my name at the end of the day,” she told Corporate Competitor Podcast. The simple act, she said, reminds her where her time should be spent.
Bursell explained that she keeps a journal that is separate from every other part of her life. She doesn’t use it to record what she ate or what she learned or felt that day. She writes the thing she was most proud of accomplishing that day. Doing so, she said, is the equivalent of signing her name to that day of her life.
“Some days I have nothing to put in the journal. And then there are other days when I look at it and think, how did one person accomplish all that?” Bursell said. “The point is you have to be able to sign your name at the end of the day, whether it’s good or it’s bad. We spend so much time running and running and not reflecting on where we spent our time and what was most beneficial. My journal helps me recognize that what makes life beautiful is that it comes in every shade and every color.”
Bursell, who grew up playing little league baseball against boys and has competed in just about every sport under the sun, likes to use the feeling of “mild stress” to motivate herself to get the most out of her God-given talents. And she has made a career out of leading others to find what drives them to succeed.
“As a coach and as a leader, I think one of the most prominent and important things we can do is help people recognize their greatest talents, their greatest strengths,” noted Bursell. “People don’t lack a hope and a dream, they lack a leader and a plan.” The leader’s job is to identify what truly drives each individual and help them use that drive as fuel.
“It’s always easy to say, ‘I’m driven by being in service of other people,’” said Bursell. “Well, that sounds good. But the truth is you might be driven by a need for recognition, a need for acknowledgement. And if you can help somebody to be honest about what drives them, greatness is on the way.”
In the podcast, Bursell shares some of her secrets of coaching greatness from her team. These include:
• How to motivate your team by listening to their dreams and hopes.
• Motivating yourself (and your team) by replacing perfection with purpose.
• Devoting more precious time and energy to things you’re good at.
• How taking a moment to reflect on, and bring closure to, every day helps you prioritize.
Bursell says when we begin thinking long-term and “stop worrying about where the finish line is,” not only do we enjoy the journey far more, we also become more authentic to ourselves “through being able to give yourself grace and being able to let go of things and quickly move on, instead of dragging every failure and baggage with you throughout your life.”