All posts filed under: Time Management

One Sure Fire Way to Build Trust

“You can’t understand someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.” I have a friend who was mentoring someone this week. They were shadowing meetings and actions and at the end of the day shared, “wow that was a really busy day, is it always like this?”   The mentor shared, “It’s not always like this but can go for a week or two in a row.  I go home, grab something to eat and then catch up on emails and put some more work in. I love what I do, and that makes it worthwhile.”   It was important for the rising young star, “to walk a mile in her shoes” and try on what that role is like and if she wants to grind through adversity to one day get there.   Make sure you make yourself available to teach the next generation.   Colin

Three things I learned from Building Houses

When I was younger I helped my dad build our house. It was an ongoing project we slowly chipped away at week after week. Putting up drywall, taping, cutting and fitting pipes, putting in electric boxes, and doors! In the summer, my uncle built houses. I’d work as a team with my cousins and frame basements, put in insulation (the worst job!) and put up drywall. I didn’t enjoy it, often I loathed it. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was building the scaffolding for grit. It didn’t come right away, in fact, it took years.  It took a lot of angst and anxiety to light the spark Doing jobs I didn’t like, made me clear on finding something I would Sometimes it takes years to appreciate the lesson. What did you perhaps not appreciate from your younger days that now you do?   Colin  

Change Provides Trade-Offs

My trainer started at a new gym this week. I liked the routine I was in where he was. I would typically take an uber to the gym early in the morning and then either run home to get ready for the day or go straight to work.   I got used to the routine based on the logistics. How to get there and home, the best route to take based on the amount I had and the best juice shop nearby!   It was a comfort level.   With the change in locations, the logistics have changed, and so has the comfort level.  The unknown.   What did I find this morning?   It’s farther from home, but closer to the office I have to plan more in advance but the walk to the office is refreshing The juice shop on the way is better! There are always trade-offs! It’s how you look at them.   What changes are coming your way?   What are the trade-offs you will need to think through?   …

How To Gamify Your Way Through Your Toughest Challenges

  I spent my Sunday training for the DiazVista race in Vancouver, Canada two weeks from now! As part of my training, I planned on taking a long run four-hour run.   I decided to run over the George Washington Bridge and make my way through Fort Lee Historic Park, hitting the trails. A bit of greenery near our concrete jungle of Manhattan.   What I didn’t anticipate was going a bit too far into the park, and making my way out and back over the bridge close to dinner time. I knew I had a long slog from 178th street back home to Battery Park (all the way at the bottom of Manhattan near the freedom tower). I knew I was staring down a 1.45 hour run home after putting in over 3 hours.   The last half-hour was brutal. I must admit, I thought about calling an UBER but I thought better to challenge myself to a bit of a mind game to get to my goal.   And it worked!   I decided to run for an entire song. …

Episode 249: Colin Nanka – Success Starts With A Choice: Leader, Adventure Racer

The Learning Leader Show – Guest Colin Nanka I want to thank one of my mentors Mike Wolff for connecting me to Ryan Hawk who runs the Learning Leader Show.   What I loved about doing this episode is being on the other side of really good discovery.   Ryan and I got to know each other pretty well over the last couple months and he does really good research. He also breaks down larger ideas into actionable insights.   You’ll hear my thoughts on:   Building trust Mistakes first line managers make Mentorship Accountability Anxiety Mantras and more! I highly recommend the recent episodes with Maria Taylor from ESPN, James Clear (Author and speaker on habits and decision making) and Jim Collins (Author –  Good to Great) and of course mine!   Colin  

Three Self Improvement Tips for Success

“Be So Good They Can’t Ignore You” – Steve Martin My friend Ryan Hawk interviewed Benjamin Hardy recently. Among many things, he’s the #1 writer on This is a great podcast episode and three things I really liked were this: Stretch your abilities: Commonalities of leaders who sustain excellence. They continually put themselves in situations that demand a lot of them. Put yourself in high stakes situations: They invest in themselves They create conditions for success to happen Being socially invested is a forcing function Signing up for a race or event – put it on the calendar to prepare for High performers invest in coaches: Your decisions determine your destiny Visualize the process, not just the outcome Create environments for optimal implementation Pre-plan for adversity to strike and how you will respond Listen to the podcast here. Colin  

It’s Just Business

It’s Just Business. No. It’s never just business, it never will be.   – Phil Knight, Founder, Nike One of Phil Knights motto’s from his book “Shoe Dog“ I’ve been listening to a couple chapters at a time while I get weekend runs in.  Among other great nuggets from one of the most successful companies ever, is this one above. The relationships he built inside Nike, with his partners, vendors all the way through the manufacturing chain, investors, his runners and the foundations he supported are family. Trust within his entire ecosystem was paramount to getting through many do or die moments in the companies history. A great read. Colin

This will make you a better leader

This is a great article from Harvard Business Review on developing leaders.    I have long believed the best leaders are ones that work on their inner game as much or more as their outside game.  What do I mean by that?   By leaving their baggage at the door when they enter the office, having cultivated their own personal beliefs on how to lead through: A) Experience being around great and not so great leaders B) Investing in themselves through outside training and coaching C) Collaborating with inside and outside mentors to focus on improving every single day.   Influence participants’ “being,” not just their “doing.” In soon-to-be-published research, Malcolm Higgs, Roger Bellis, and I have found that leaders need to work on the quality of their inner game, or their capacity to tune into and regulate their emotional and mental states, before they can hope to develop their outer game, or what it is they need to actually do. So leadership development must start by working on the inner game. It’s very hard for leaders to have courageous conversations about unhelpful reality …

I Was Losing Focus!

I was in a training session yesterday morning doing a one-legged exercise and noticed I was thinking about work on my plate that day. My trainer noticed at the same time too! He asked me “what muscle group are you working?” My answer was half right. One of two muscle groups but I hadn’t been focusing on the full extension of the exercise. I was not present in the moment. Time to reset and focus. I came out on the other end feeling the strength and stability like when doing a squat or yoga tree pose well. That stability gave me encouragement – nailing one task at a time setting me up for success for the rest of the day. Start your day focused on the one move that will set you up for success. Colin  

Three Ways To Power Through A Week Long Conference

We just came back from our North American sales leader kickoff and wow what a week! I have been taking part in our sales kickoffs for over a decade and this year I was a major organizer in the event. An incredible project management production and massive team effort!   Everyone on our team was creating content, organizing, scheduling and presenting! There was high anxiety!   What did I Learn? When you are moving from one session, half day and topic to another, compartmentalize each one, Pivot and Shift. I had multiple speaking roles every day.  They didn’t all go as planned. One of biggest skills I have acquired in the last 18 months is to reset and reframe midday and turn it around.   What was the biggest difference between good speakers and the absolute best?   Those who were relatable, authentic, well practiced and start or close with a relevant story.   Colin