Leadership, bucket lists and the perfect diary, award-winning plumber Matt Reynolds steals the secrets from three of Australia’s most successful.

Justin Burgoine: the business of people

There’s a really common pattern to my interviews with successful business leaders; it doesn’t take long before the conversation turns to developing people. Business leaders’ ability to grow their business is tied very closely to their ability to grow themselves and in turn their people. Justin Burgoine is a man who does just that.

While building a business focussed on innovation, I asked Justin how he recruits to ensure the culture at Kincrome is maintained. He believes first in developing people within the business, so they generally look within the business to fill open positions.

In addition to investing heavily in employee training, the induction process and setting very clear expectations, Justin looks for attitude, enthusiasm and for people who ask good questions.

It’s so important, as Justin explained to learn to ask good questions and to continue to grow yourself. Ask about other people’s experience and their successes he advised. The idea is not to replicate them, but to learn and adapt what you can for yourself.

Justin’s advice for growing a business: don’t worry about making mistakes, learn from your mistakes, they can be your best mentor.

Stefan Kazakis: perfect planning

Stefan’s advice on the perfect diary and planning the perfect day – accept that it won’t be perfect at all!

To be productive plumbers and (I would argue) happy people, we need to use our time as efficiently as possible. In contradiction to common thinking, that doesn’t mean scheduling every minute of every day to be busy, we need to have more realistic expectations.

Interruptions and distractions will happen, so instead of focusing on maximising available time, focus on maximising output.

“What would it look like if 70% of your time is focused on your top 3-5 most productive activities?” Stefan asked. There’s no point, as he explained, in shooting for 100% efficiency. We are humans and need flexibility, being too regimented just causes unnecessary
frustration and stress.

The key to being productive is ensuring you are working on those 3-5 most important activities, then tracking how you plan your time versus how you actually spend your time.

Most of us have a list much longer than 3-5 tasks which we consider really important. The way to shorten that list and get focused is to start with a longer list, your top 10.

From there, you need to look for the tasks which offer the best income generating opportunities, which are different for each of us but are usually activities which grow resources. For a business owner that can be developing people, for example, as the returns over time are exponential.

The top 3-5 incoming generating activities are the most valuable items you can work on. Knowing your top 3-5, and planning time to work on them ensures you are more productive, even if you’re spending less time attempting to be productive.

It’s worth asking yourself; how would your life be different if you focused on growing both yourself and those around you, threw out your to-do lists and concentrated on developing your bucket list lifestyle and worked on making your days much more productive?

Trav Bell: bucket lists

Trav shared an interesting perspective on life and achievement when we spoke; way too many of us spend too much time on our to-do lists and not enough time on our bucket lists. It really got me thinking about the important things in life and why it’s so easy to get absorbed by meaningless tasks and pointless distractions.

If your days start early and finish late, yet you never really feel like you’re achieving very much and aren’t happy, it might be time to think about penning a bucket list. Trav rightly reminded me, none of us live forever and if we want to be happy we better start living with some purpose today. Why wait?

On the surface a bucket list is simply a list of things you’d like to achieve before you ‘kick the bucket’, but the real power is in the deeper conversation you must have with yourself in the process of putting your own list together.

One of the most important aspects of a bucket list is to make sure its personal, whether it’s a place you want to travel to, someone you’d like to meet, something idiodic you’d like to try or some part of a legacy you’d like to leave, your bucket list should be about you, it needs to be personal and shouldn’t be ego driven.

Known as “The Bucket List Guy”, Trav helps people design their life in a way that he calls the bucket list lifestyle.

All three interviews can be found in full at xrm.com.au/podcast.

From the trenches

Matt Reynolds is an award winning plumber who writes about the game as an industry insider. You can connect with him on Twitter @MrMattReynolds or find him as the Director of XRM Plumbing Services on LinkedIn.