One Piece of Paper

Writing a lot of words on a subject gets easy.  Often you can simply write and write and (at least I) think that you'll eventually say something important.  I've often said too much.  It might have been earlier in my career when I was selling or even more recently with my teenagers when their eyes glazed over and you could see they had shut down.  Talking, writing or saying too much is a common problem that causes us to lose focus and diminish our impact.

Too many words cause confusion too.  Which is most important?  Like TV news, if everything's important, nothing is.

Mike Figliuolo (@Figliuolo, LinkedIn) brings that concept to life in his book titled One Piece Of Paper: The Simple Approach to Powerful, Personal Leadership.  It's based on his Leadership Maxims training program.  I've put off writing a review about this great book because I have to admit that I haven't completed the practices but this post and review is long overdue.


One Piece of Paper is a penetrating, convicting book.  Mike provides a clear method to focus on the things that are most important in your personal and professional leadership.

If you're like me, a little bit all-over-the-place and a jack-of-several-trades, Mike's book is a challenge.  You see, to boil things down means elimination.  I don't want to scratch anything off the list.  Well, that's not true at all.  I've eliminated several things over the years.  But I still have too many choices, too many things that dilute my impact and sap my energy.

But with the help of One Piece of Paper and the practices Mike lays out in the book, I am focusing more and bouncing arould less.  One Piece of Paper will help you get down to the core of your leadership in four areas:

  1. Leading Yourself - Your motivations and rules of personal conduct;
  2. Leading the Thinking - Where are you taking the organization;
  3. Leading Your People - How can you lead of team of people (not cogs or FTEs);
  4. Leading a Balanced Life - Define and achieve balance.

The other reason why this book has been so hard for me is, well, it's hard work.  It takes time to think through your personal history and your attitudes and boil down your leadership to the core maxims.  Time and objectivity.  Both are in short supply.  But nothing worthwhile is easy. Ever.  Value is what someone will give.  The price of this book is the time you spend.  The reward: clarity and purpose.  Think about it!

Get the book.  Mike will help you create a one-page living document that will serve to direct and focus your leadership and your life.  As you eliminate the noise it will become easier to be consistent in your life and your message and you will have more peace and time to do the things that increase your power and your impact.

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