Last week’s Leadership Tip Slow Down and Get Prepared hit home with many readers who asked for more ideas on thinking and planning.
As leaders, we get busy, very busy, throughout the year. We get caught in the trap of “doing” with little time for thinking and planning. The coming long weekend is a perfect time to put aside the “doing” and focus on your thinking and planning.
Carefully select one topic that’s important to you and spend quality “thinking and planning” time to position your organization for greater success.
You don’t have to lock yourself in isolation or rob days of fun from your family and friends. Instead, find time to focus over an early morning coffee, taking a long walk, relaxing at the beach, or anywhere it makes sense to you. Simply pick one topic and focus on it.
As an example, you might concentrate on one aspect of productivity. Ask: “What roadblocks affect our productivity at work?” Pick one to analyze, strategize, and plan to do something about. Then do it!
Productivity killers might be:
- You’ve hired the wrong person. – You spend too much time getting the person up to speed when he or she will never fit into your company’s culture, doesn’t share your values, doesn’t have the right attitude, and so on.
Think: “What can I change in the hiring process to ensure I hire the right person every time?”
- Training is poor or insufficient. – The team isn’t growing or progressing, resulting in lost time. Morale is low, turnover is high. Some lack of training to perform well, so you take over. But you also have to do your job, so productivity suffers. Because you can’t do it all yourself, find ways to train your staff better.
Think: “How can I best invest in the growth and development of my team?”
- Your staff is not empowered. Employees fail to make decisions in a timely manner. The ball gets dropped; customers leave. You feel stuck deep in the weeds, and the future seems murky.
Think: “Because empowering people is critical to growth, I have to find a way to develop the skills to empower the team so I can stay out of the weeds and be more productive. How can I do that?”
Apply this model to other productivity issues in your organization. Think about the actions you can take to improve the situation, both immediately and in the long run.
Do less—think more. Your team is counting on you.