Best-selling author Erik Qualman gives lectures all over the world. Everywhere he goes, he hears the same thing. "Everyone I talk to, from soccer mom to CEO to prime minister, wants to know the same thing: how to lead their best life, stress-free, and how to be a leader." It fits together because, Qualman says, you have to get your life under control before you can lead.
From his new book, Digital Leader, here are Qualman's five rules for success, which he calls the STAMP Approach: "We all want to leave our stamp on life. Think about it from the vantage of a postage stamp. Historically, only the famous got to be on a postage stamp. Today, we're all mini digital celebrities. We're all leaving our mark."
S is for SIMPLE. "You have to pare things back, narrow your focus. The world population is 7 billion. You're competing with more people. You're also getting barraged left and right. In Dilbert, the internet is a firehose shooting at a teacup, your brain.
"I'm a recovering multi-tasker. Multitasking is even worse than smoking marijuana. Your IQ drops 10 points. I used to think I was a great multi-tasker. Not so. We waste 2.1 hours per day multitasking. The average person is interrupted every 11 minutes, and it takes 20 minutes to get back on task. If you elliminate waste time, you can produce more output.
"For most people, the best thing to do is to set up a half-hour twice a day when you do Twitter, Facebook, answer e-mail. Don't do it any other time."
T is for TRUE. "You've got to stay true to your passion. For some people it's a struggle to find their passion. Use technology to do it. Look at your Facebook posts to see what excited you. Or write down the one thing that made you happy each day and see what recurs."
A is for ACT. "Nothing happens without action. Digital technology offers you the tools to act. Say you dream of writing a novel. Make that reality by acting. Use a blog to start to writing. Peer pressure will keep you going. It's like Weight Watchers for writing. Or, say you want to be the next Justin Bieber. He didn't sit and wish, he acted. He used YouTube to get his music out there. Same for Lady Gaga. That's where stars come from today.
"We could spend all day answering e-mails and tweets. We're pooped, and we look back and wonder what we accomplished. Think of two things you need to do every day. Type them into your smart phone. Don't do anything else until they're done."
M is for MAP. "You need a vision of where you want to be. Be flexible in your path but firm in your destination."
P is for PEOPLE. "Success doesn't happen alone. You need to attract the right people to you. You'll attract more people digitally in two days by finding out what's interesting to them, than you will in two years trying to push your agenda. You can find out so much about people. Do your research on Linked In, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, before a meeting and the conversation will flow.
"It's imperative to surround yourself with good people. Joe Paterno is an example of what happens when you don't. His legacy has been tainted. This is the day of full disclosure. You ave to live your life as if your mother were watching you. As the saying goes, What happens in Vegas stays on Facebook, YouTube, etc.
"Set laughable goals, by which I mean that people will laugh at you. Say, I want to give the commencement address at my alma mater. Then pay attention to who isn't laughing. You will stand on their shoulders to succeed.
"Then post it forward. People fail to realize you have to network before you need your network. If you have a great job, you still need to network. It's tough to ask a favor when you need it. You need to build the relationship first."