April 1, 2014
The Workday Mastery Pyramid can help you find success and satisfaction in your life’s work. It’s a structure that I developed for my 2010 book Master Your Workday Now, and while I don’t write about the pyramid as much these days, it really is at the basis of everything I teach, and so it is very much worth learning about.
The pyramid identifies three levels and styles of activity you need to apply to your work to be successful. Most failures in work come from trying to use the wrong tools for the wrong jobs, and applying Workday Mastery Pyramid principles helps solve those problems. In this article I explain the pyramid and how you can use it to help you succeed in work and life.
The Control Layer
The Workday Mastery Pyramid consists of three layers: the Control layer at its base, the Create layer at its middle, and the Connect layer at its top. Ninety-five percent of what I teach and write about these days is focused on the Control layer: how to get control of your workday by instituting simple disciplines like in the One Minute To-Do List or the MYN systems. If you haven’t put either of these systems in place yet, doing so now will give you major mastery of the Control layer—mastery that you need to form a foundation for your success at your higher levels of work. Other skills needed at this layer can be: project planning and project management skills, supervising skills, and business control skills.
But there’s a lot more to success than just controlling your workday, and that’s where the other two layers come in.
The Create Layer
The middle layer is called the Create layer and the tools there are new and powerful approaches to helping you set goals and achieve them. Goals are not simply large tasks. Rather, they are creative and often challenging outcomes that you’re inspired to strive for that move your work and life forward in a major way. Tools and skills different from the Control layer are needed in the Create layer to set and achieve goals because goals require a different energy. For example, using the best to do list or project plan in the world won’t get you to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro. Rather, you need tools that help inspire and motivate your way there. You might need tools to help you find creative solutions to unseen problems. That’s the difference between the Control and Create layers.
The primary tools I advocate at this layer are ones that help you create a strong vision statement and execute that vision steadily. The right vision statement is one that clearly states the positive reasons why you want to achieve the goal and the desirable outcomes you’ll experience once that goal is completed. Subsequent tools show you how to proactively embrace that vision over time and help you achieve the goal. Examples of writing such a vision statement are found in chapter 10 of the Master Your Workday Now book, and strategies for embracing and invigorating visions are shown throughout Part II of the book.
The Connect Layer
Setting and achieving goals the right way is a fantastic way to move the ball forward in your career and life. But how do you know which goals are appropriate for you? How do you know which goals will lead you to the ultimate outcome that you’re seeking in your career and life? What’s the appropriate work to be seeking that will help you reach happiness in your life? And have you identified the ultimate purpose that you’re aiming for? This is where the Connect layer of the Workday Mastery Pyramid comes in, because if you’re aiming for the wrong target in life you are wasting a lot of time in dead-end careers.
The reason this is called the Connect layer is because the only way you can be sure to be selecting the right goals and following the right purpose is to connect your work with who you really are. You must connect with your innate skills, talents, motivations, and underlying purposes in life. This is mostly an inside job—you must find your answers inside—and the tools for doing that are in this layer.
Connect solutions include things like examining prior activities and roles that you especially connected with and using those inputs to develop your future life’s priorities. Doing this leads to writing an overall life’s work vision statement that will guide you in setting life goals and directing your life. Solutions at this level also include cultivating your business intuition so that you are consistently following your best inner advice. They even include finding time to take moments of silence to hear the still small voice within that reflects your most precious motivations—ones that arise from your heart of hearts.
You’ll see me writing more about the Connect layer in the future. That’s because as I develop my own skills, and as I coach others, I am seeing more and more that the Connect layer really is the most important layer of all.
The Master Your Workday Now Book
Even though the Master Your Workday Now book is now over three years old, it’s still an excellent resource to use. It’s all about the Workday Mastery Pyramid and it’s three levels. The first part of the book is about the Control layer, and while that layer is more deeply covered by my newer books and classes, this book still provides a number of additional insights about the way you should control your work and life. More importantly, Parts II and III of the book teach you the Create and Connect layers, and they are just as profoundly applicable today as they were when I wrote them three years ago; they’ll teach you how to excel at work and life. This book is currently my only training on those areas. So, once you have your workday under control using the One Minute To-Do List or the MYN systems, you should advance to working on your goals and life vision to achieve bigger things in life—the book will help you do that.