active CEO Lessons 2019 #10 You are the product of your environment

active CEO Lessons 2019

To close out another decade, we are providing ten active CEO lessons that you all can learn from. Take some time to read, digest and reflect on how you can use each lesson to support your growth as a person and leader in 2020. It’s time to countdown the top 10 active CEO Lessons 2019.

#10 You are the product of your environment

Your ability to perform is determined by the people you interact with, place you play in and pressure you apply. Are the things in your environment helping or hindering your progress?

#9 Tune out your critic & trust your instinct

Our inner voice can be our greatest influence. Believe in yourself and back it 100%. There will always be voices, trust the one deepest inside of you. How will you tune out the critic in 2020?

#8 The more you give the more you get

Spend time helping, sharing, teaching and giving to people, and you will be rewarded. As Zig Ziglar said, “You will get all you want in life if you help other people get what they want.” If someone does something for you, you will naturally want to do something for them. What value or wisdom will you share in 2020?

#7 Spend quality time with family

It can be easy to become consumed in your work, passions and lifestyle, while taking family for granted. They are your greatest supporters and will always be there during the challenging times. You have a responsibility to guide, nurture and be a role model for the next generations. What are you doing for your family today?

#6 Character before charisma

The truth of your character is expressed by the choice of your actions. Make sure your influence doesn’t grow wider than your character goes deep. How will you develop your character in 2020?

#5 Successful people are curious

The greatest problems provide the greatest business opportunities. The most common trait from the CEO’s and Leaders who are guests on the active CEO Podcast is their curiosity. As Tony Robbins said “successful people ask better questions and as a result get better answers”. Why not be more curious in 2020?

#4 Everyone needs a coach

Your truth, ideas and behaviors are only as good as the lens you are looking through. Having someone you can trust who can ask you the tough questions that enable clarity, focus, confidence and provide accountability is crucial and valuable if you want to achieve the success you desire. A great coach can help shape ideas, provide perspective and challenge you to think differently. “If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.” Who is going to be in your corner and be the coach you need in 2020?

#3 Courage & vulnerability are inclusive

In the past vulnerability maybe seen as a weakness, when in fact it is actually a strength. We grow through adversity, changing our environment and challenging the status quo. Without vulnerability we cannot be courageous and without courage we cannot find the strength to speak up and be vulnerable. It is ok to say you don’t have an answer, that you were wrong, are feeling a lack in confidence and that other peoples answers are better. Having vulnerable discussions helps to build psychological safety within your team or between stakeholders. Vulnerability cultivates trust and respect from others, while creating the space for others to speak up about problems, issues or feelings they have. It fosters discussion about key problems and allows people with different perspectives to provide solutions that may not have surfaced before. How will you let your guard down, put your ego to the side and create a space for vulnerability and courage to flourish in your work environment?

#2 Unlock your limiting beliefs

We all have beliefs that hold us back from realizing our true potential. They are subconscious and usually have developed from negative moments, environments, fears, excuses or messages as a child. It could be that you don’t have enough money, are too old; don’t have enough experience, you can’t take a risk because you will fail, someone else is better suited or you just don’t have the talent. The strongest limiting belief I uncovered this year was – a fear of finishing second best. Now i have never been consciously aware of it, but now that I am aware I can easily identify the root causes and the actions that occurred as a result. The reason I found it was through speaking. I have no problem speaking in front of thousands of people and people I have never met, but I found that when I was public speaking in front of people who I respected or felt where better in the field I was speaking in I would go blank and sometimes not even be able to say anything. Through identifying the root cause and putting new belief statements and actions in place I now can deliver with confidence and certainty in front of any audience. Thanks to my coaches who used NLP strategies to unlock my limiting belief. Who will you unlock your limiting beliefs in 2020?

#1 Proximity is power

The people you spend the most time with will have the greatest influence on who you will become. If you want to step it up in 2020 and achieve your dreams and goals faster, then you need to surround yourself with people who play a bigger game than you are currently in. The proximity you keep is very powerful. They must challenge you, keep you accountable and provide the shortest path to your desired destination. Their knowledge, experience and network can have a profound effect on your growth. In 2019 Speakers Institute provided me with the proximity I needed to turn my purpose into reality. The diversity of insights, failures, successes and life experiences is phenomenal. I know that this proximity will take active CEO and Breaking The CEO Code to a whole nuther level in 2020 and beyond. I also have other people in my proximity who shape and accelerate me in other areas I want and need to develop to have the impact on the world that I am FOCUSed on. What proximity will you create in 2020?

What lessons have you learnt from 2019 that will help you create your 2020 VISION?

If you need someone on your side to help you provide clarity and certainty, then contact Craig Johns at or click on the contact page of the website.

Where the ordinary don’t belong!

8 Tips to Start 2019 With the Right Intent

You are finishing up your well-deserved Christmas and New Years holiday, and if you got it right, you will feel fresh, recharged, and have the passion to lead with purpose.

Now, works commences in a few days and you want to bring you’re A-Game and start 2019 with the intent and energy you wish to continue all year.

Last year, you probably came out with all guns blazing, without much thought, and within a few weeks, days or in some cases a couple of hours, were back to your old habits, routines and potentially mistakes.

There is a much smarter way, if you want to deliver a high performance environment for both your team and yourself.

Those closest to you will appreciate it!

Before we get started, did your plan of having a holiday that allowed you to relax, rejuvenate and forget all about the stresses of work come to fruition?

I would expect not for many of you as you were unable to switch off an allow yourself the time and space, from work, to fully recharge.

So lets take a look at some proven ways to ensure that you are being your best possible self, every single day, through the decisions you make, habits you create and mindset you start with when you walk into the office on day one:


Eat a healthy meal, hydrate yourself and go to bed early the night before your first day back in the office. Allow yourself the opportunity to get at least 8hrs sleep, leave the phone or any other electronic devices tucked away, and wake up and do at least 30 minutes of exercise and/or meditation. Wait until after you have had a healthy breakfast, which includes fruit, with your partner or family. Make sure you are present with those you choose to have breakfast with.

Groom yourself so that you present the image that creates a positive feeling for both yourself and the people you interact with. Take a deep breath, clear the mind and walk into the office with positive energy, a smile and posture that breaths confidence. Acknowledge everyone, be present and actively listen to their exciting holiday adventures.


Many people fly out the door in a rush on the last day before their vacation. In a perfect world, you will ‘wipe the table’ so to speak before you depart so that you can come in fresh on day one, without the stresses that have built up in the previous year. If not, clear your desk, remove any unwanted documents and ‘reset the table’ that will allow you to work with clarity, focus and without distraction, before you commence anything else.


Before you turn on a compute or check your phone for emails, you should write a plan. It will be the best 30minutes spent all year, because your mind will have greater clarity and broader perspective following a holiday. This will allow you to brainstorm what is important to your role; design and create a strategy; and put an action plan in place so you can commence your work with less stress and more than likely increased productivity for 2019. You may want to do this in nature or somewhere with a great view, before you sit down at your desk.


What will really make a difference in 2019? Being able to reset your priorities is so valuable after a break as what you thought was important prior to the break, may not have such urgency anymore. Setting priorities that create a quick win, to get the team energised and pumped up early in the year, are just as important as creating the priorities that will bring long-term benefits to both you’re the company and your performance.


Something that I have found really useful over many years is to create a simple weekly spreadsheet, with five columns:

  1. Urgent – Today
  2. Important – Tomorrow
  3. Valuable – By the end of the week
  4. Useful – Next week
  5. Completed – Everything that has been completed this week

What it does is allow you to prioritise and reprioritise daily to ensure that you are being the most productive. In general there will only be 3-5 items in each column. Anything more than that and you will become overwhelmed and stress levels will gradually build and take command of your mindset and actions.


Creating positive habits and routines that allow you to deliver performance in the work you do and with the people you lead requires both great self-discipline and self-control. Taking breaks every 45-60minutes, even for just 1-5minutes, allows your mind to recharge and focus. This doesn’t mean checking emails on your phone and talking about work to a colleague. It means switching off and giving your mind a break.

Constantly checking emails and having alerts going off on phones, is the greatest distraction of productivity that effect most people. Try checking your emails only 2 or 3 times per day. I find I am most effective when I check emails at 10am and 3pm. It allows me to focus my time on projects and important meetings, rather than cluttering my head with too many thoughts and ideas. You will also find that many problems are solved and questions are answered by the time you check the email.


After you have had breakfast, make your lunch, fill a couple of bottles of water, and grab some snacks like fruit, nuts and health bars to take to work. One you will save money and time going out to get food throughout the day, and two you will eat a lot healthier.

This doesn’t mean that you continue working while eating as you need to give yourself a longer break, especially during the middle of the day, you recharge and refocus so you can be productive right until you leave the office.


This year, you need to ensure that you are having fun, laughing and being inspired by the people you work with. This type of environment starts with how you arrive each day and ensuring you bring energy and a positive attitude.

Looking for More?

To perform you need CLARITY, PURPOSE, DIRECTION and ENERGY. It’s that time of year when you reflect on 2018 and think about what you want to achieve in 2019. Use our FREE active CEO Performance Planning tool.

Do you need a coach to help you focus your attention, setting the right goals and enhancing your personal development in 2019? Then find out more on what we offer by visiting the COACHING section

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Are you looking for more insights and ideas? Then read the following inspiring and thought-provoking articles and podcasts: