Getting It Done

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Do=Natural flow of action, We=All Who Matter
Reading time: 1 min.

“I have to know or figure it out. Others will judge. I have to make it happen.”

Hmmm.

“I don’t know how it is going to happen. I don’t need to know, really. Others will help. I am excited to see how it all works out.”

We think the former will work but it actually slows us way down.

Instead, set your sights on your goals. Set aside worries and focus on how great it will be when what you want arises. Next overcommunucate what’s needed and how people can contribute. Then build systems to support their work.

That’ll do the trick.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: dview.us Checkered Flag via photopin (license)

Delegation Economics

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Leading
Reading time: 1 min.

When choosing whether to do something ourselves or to give it to a keen but possibly inexpert team member, we’re almost always better off it we err towards them doing it. Once they learn, we are free to tackle the valuable things that we couldn’t get to because we were busy doing their stuff.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: wwarby Pound Coins via photopin (license)

Other People Got You Frustrated? Try Firm and Caring.

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Leading
Reading time: 2 min.

Our emotions dramatically influence others. Negative emotions push people away, put them on the defensive, and make it harder for them to do their jobs. Positive emotions invite them closer, inspire them, and make getting stuff done so much easier.

So we must tread extremely carefully when we notice that other people’s behaviors may delay or prevent some result we want, that is, when we see them doing the wrong things or not doing the right things. Under the pressure we all feel to get things done, to be seen as effective, to win, etc., we may jump to the conclusion that a frustrated or angry response is justified and effective. But we are more likely to further delay or prevent desired results with our emotions and their reactions.

The trick is not to suppress our frustration or anger. Nor is it to give in and let people get away with ineffective behavior. The trick is to be both firm and loving. We direct our anger at the behaviors we see while doubling down on our acceptance of, belief in, care for, and trust of the people doing the behaviors. Once we strike this attitude, we can say something like, “That approach is not going to be effective because {fill in your reasoning}. And I am completely confident that you can not only correct this but hit or surpass our targets. Would you be up for a conversation now or soon about how you might do this?”

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: balharsh Laughing dove -Male via photopin (license)

The Siren Songs That Tempt Every Leader

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Do=Natural flow of action, Leading, Strategy
Reading time: 1 min.

Trying to figure it all out and get it all done are the siren songs of leadership. They snare us every time.

We can avoid the rocks of micromanagement and the shoals of overwrought strategy by leading instead of deciding or doing. We have more than enough to do as captain of the ship. Our work is getting clear on desired outcomes, setting up rules of engagement so that everyone can win, believing (really, really) we will succeed, tracking and tacking, and getting out of the way so that others can execute.

Let them do the figuring out and executing.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: One sign that you are headed for the rocks: the sense that it’d just be faster if you did the work instead of them. Steer away! Pure siren song, that.

 

Today’s photo credit Lorenzo Costa – The Yorck Project: 10.000 Meisterwerke der Malerei. DVD-ROM, 2002. ISBN 3936122202. Distributed by DIRECTMEDIA Publishing GmbH., Public Domain, Link

Better Ask

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Leading
Reading time: 1 min.

A leader once met a sage. The leader said, “It’s so hard to get people to do stuff at work. I’ve tried pushing, asking, being hard, and being soft. We’ve talked about vision,  roles, and targets. I’ve corrected them and given them perks and incentives. Sometimes I’ll see small bumps in productivity but nothing gets them consistently doing the stuff that needs doing.”

“Have you asked them why they might want to do any of that stuff?” asked the sage.

“They want to because I’m their b… Oh.”

Better ask them.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: tdlucas5000 Desert Purple via photopin (license)

Give Consequences or Explore Them

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Leading, Sales and Influence
Reading time: 1 min.

We can give consequences so that people don’t screw up. “If you don’t complete this by Friday, we might as well kiss the Fortuna deal goodbye!” Or, “We really need to cut this check now or it’ll delay the project.” Threats like this can work in the short term. But they will damage trust and discourage future cooperation.

Or we can explore consequences together. “We know what Fortuna has asked for. How much can we deliver by Friday? What happens if we don’t? What else can we do?” It may take longer but we’ll build trust, encourage future cooperation, and probably arrive at better solutions.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: nik.golding Looking at me via photopin (license)

They Set the Date

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Leading, Sales and Influence
Reading time: 2 min.

A great leadership adage goes, “If I tell you, I still own it. If you tell me, you own it.” If we as leaders say, “Get this done by Wednesday,” then they can feel very justified in thinking, “No way; can’t be done. Or it’ll be done poorly. You just don’t understand reality.”

On the other hand, we can ask, “By when could you get that done to this level of quality?” What will they think of the time commitment that they set? Excitement? Enthusiasm? Even joy? Perhaps. It’s not a guarantee, but they will be much more likely to follow through as promised.

If we absolutely need it by a certain date, we can ask something like, “With how much quality can you complete that by this date?” Or if date and quality are important, we ask, “What (resources) would you need (including, perhaps, re-prioritizing other work) to complete that by this date and with this quality?”

State what you need; let them delight in owning and delivering the rest.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: Now, if they push back on what you’re asking for, listen. They may know something important that you need to know.

Today’s photo credit: plenty.r. cc

Getting Them To Do

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Leading, Sales and Influence, We=All Who Matter
Reading time: 1 min.

If we ask, “How do I get them to do this thing I want them to do?” we’ll be asking the wrong question. The right questions are, “What do they deep down want? And how can what I/we do/want help them get there?”

This is true always, regardless of who they are, what they want, and what we want.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: Francisco Araújo _ Center Bike cc

Who Owns It?

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Leading
Reading time: 1 min.

If we tell people what to do, when to do it, or how to do it, it’s easy for them to feel justified when it doesn’t go well. If we ask what they think about what, when, and how they will do something, then they will be compelled to make it so.

You tell me; you own it. I tell you, I own it.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: ben dalton cc