A 20-Second Exercise to Fuel-Inject Your Leadership

by Michael Veltri


Who remembers 2-Way pagers from the late 90s and early 2000s? They became popular as a unique means of communication in corporate America and as a super-cool status symbol for rappers and entertainers.

I should know. I was one of the top sales executives at SkyTel then — the company that introduced and sold 2-way pagers nationwide. I landed huge sales deals with financial services giant Fannie Mae and media conglomerate BET (Black Entertainment Television) to name a few.

And I witnessed first hand the beginning of the losing battle of distractions we are now facing: Smartphones, smart-watches, smart-cars, smart-homes, smart this and that. Studies show that busy professionals, on average, look at their smart-devices a distracting 200 times per day. Some heavy users (not kids, but professionals) look at their smart-devices over 1000 distracting times per day!

These e-distractions are clogging our decision-making “arteries”, negatively impacting our leadership, and preventing us from making the best decision possible — especially when the pace is fast, the outcome unclear, and the stakes are high. And when are they not?

So here is a simple 20-second exercise to help you unclog your decision-making “arteries”, grow as a leader, and start making better decisions in business and life: Its called “The Double 5-Count” and it works like this:

Close your eyes (or if in a meeting, glance down or look away), sit up straight, and take five deep belly-breaths to refresh and refocus. Next, take an additional five deep breaths while visualizing your "3rd Place". (Click here for examples of "3rd Places") The first 5-count of deep breaths helps you to refresh and refocus, while the second 5-count of deep breaths helps quiet that noisy voice in your mind that distracts you with unnecessary worries, fears, and concerns.

Get Into Action Now:

1. Take 20-seconds to perform the Double 5-Count right now.

2. Turn off all automated “push” notifications to your smartphone, laptop, etc. “Push” notifications cause unnecessary distractions. Instead, get into a habit of manually “pulling” information into your devices at a time and place that suites you.

3. Do you have an empowering and supportive “3rd Place” — a place you REALLY look forward to going to two, three, or more times per week? If not, declare what your new 3rd Place will be or take a few minutes to research some new 3rd Place options.

I recommend you do the Double 5-Count before you start work each morning, after lunch, and before any big meeting, talk, or decision you need to make. Plus, deep breathing — even only a few breaths per day — helps increase blood flow, circulation, and decrease stress in the body.

If you have any questions on the action steps listed here or have any other innovative ways to win the losing battle of distractions, post a comment below or hit me up on Twitter @mpveltri . I’d love to hear from you.

And if you liked the ideas presented here, please take a look at my website where you can find more information on my dynamic business leadership keynote speeches, breakout sessions, and consulting: https://michaelveltri.com/business-keynote-speaker

Charlotte Raybourn