THE TERRIFYING PROSPECT OF TAK­ING BUSI­NESS AD­VICE FROM TRUMP. YIKES.

GQ (Australia) - - INSIDE - WORDS DAVID HALLIDAY; RICHARD CLUNE

YES, AS TERRIFYING A QUES­TION AS THAT IS, EL DONALD IS BOTH THE PRES­I­DENT AND A BIL­LION­AIRE BUSINESSMAN. IN A BID TO START THE NEW YEAR POSITIVELY, WE LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE TO SEE IF ANY OF HIS PRO­FES­SIONAL PLAYS CAN HELP YOU GET AHEAD. SERIOUSLY.

FOR­GET GOALS; FORM HABITS

Each morn­ing Donald Trump – multi­bil­lion­aire businessman, re­al­ity TV star and now leader of the free world – wakes up at 6am and is pre­sented with a pile of ar­ti­cles about him­self care­fully cut out from the day’s news­pa­pers by his as­sis­tant. It’s a habit he’s prac­tised for decades, in part to help keep abreast of what the world is say­ing about him and, ac­cord­ing to his bi­og­ra­pher Pro­fes­sor Michael D’an­to­nio, to pro­vide an early morn­ing ego boost. “In one way it’s a strange rou­tine, but it gets him go­ing and keeps him sus­tained,” D’an­to­nio said. What­ever you think of the man him­self – and in this case GQ’S opt­ing out of that de­bate – form­ing habits, how­ever un­usual, rather than sim­ply meet­ing one-off goals, is a trait of many a suc­cess­ful man. Since school it’s al­ways been about set­ting and meet­ing tar­gets. Think about where you want to be and what you want to achieve – list those goals, break them down, then, one day, en­joy the fact that this hard work led to a back­yard pool with swim-up bar. If only it were that sim­ple. That said, it mightn’t be the best way to achieve de­sired lev­els of pro­fes­sional suc­cess. This rather strong play against en­grained, goal-led con­ven­tion is cen­tral to the work of Jay Pa­pasan, a busi­ness ex­ec­u­tive and co-au­thor of The New York Times best­seller The One Thing. Pa­pasan be­lieves that the key to suc­cess is to build bet­ter habits. “The re­al­ity is that al­most half the peo­ple you know will make a New Year’s res­o­lu­tion, yet only eight per cent will suc­ceed,” says Pa­pasan. “What are the mi­nor­ity do­ing that the rest are not? They tackle one thing, keep it sim­ple and stick with it.” So the think­ing goes, that by de­vel­op­ing small habits, long-term goals come to fruition. “The most com­mon res­o­lu­tion is to lose weight,” adds Pa­pasan. “The trick is to make a stand around one key ac­tiv­ity, say eat­ing smaller por­tions, and turn that into a habit. When that habit feels formed, you move on.” Perth-based psy­chol­o­gist Dr Marny Lish­man agrees, say­ing that it’s about not over­whelm­ing your sys­tem. “And then it’s break­ing it down into be­hav­iour.” This should be a spe­cific ac­tion that leads to you gain­ing some­thing pos­i­tive, she stresses, rather than de­priv­ing you. By way of ex­am­ple, she ad­vises re­fram­ing los­ing weight into get­ting fit­ter and adopt­ing new health­ier habits that bring more to your life such as morn­ing walks. While bust­ing out the new moves in the of­fice might not snare that pro­mo­tion (save it for the Christ­mas party – or not), the ap­proach is eas­ily trans­fer­able. Want more col­leagues to ap­pre­ci­ate and like you? Then sin­gle out those you want on side and en­gage with them daily. And lis­ten to what they have to say, be in­ter­ested and also ask for their opin­ions in meet­ings and in front of oth­ers. Wish to se­cure more in­di­rect face­time with the boss? Well, golf’s still a good op­tion (if clichéd), so, too, reading every piece of in­dus­try news each morn­ing, be­cause that opens the door to small talk, if noth­ing else. And realise pro­duc­tiv­ity is eas­ily in­creased by ad­her­ing to two of the most ba­sic and eas­ily ex­e­cuted daily habits – un­clut­ter, clean the desk/ of­fice and empty out your in­box of the un­nec­es­sary each and every day, ide­ally be­fore you go so each day starts fresh and clean. Amer­i­can writer Will Du­rant said it best: “We are what we re­peat­edly do. Ex­cel­lence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” And so it’s now time to ditch the goals and em­brace the process.

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