Are you, or those you lead, perfectionists? Are you focused on ‘doing the thing right?’ Perfection gets in the way of progressing our projects – they are never quite good enough. The outcome of constantly pursuing perfection can be quite demoralizing for the team. We see paralysis set in, and an inability to innovate can pervade. As Voltaire said “Perfect is the enemy of the good”.
Focus on ‘doing the right thing’ rather than ‘doing the thing right’. Focus on results and impact and outcome. It’s a mindset of ‘test-learn-improve’, where good enough is good enough. Top tips for leaders: Relentlessly pursue excellence. Don’t be a perfectionist.
How do you manage to keep control of everything that’s going on within your organisation? You need to position yourself where you can have the greatest impact. This is about situational leadership. It’s about taking different approaches to the scenarios you face. So I would suggest you need to be on a daily basis, even an hourly basis, where the action is, as that is where you can have the greatest impact.
Leaders should constantly commit to take action. Taking action is what leaders are all about. How do you take action? Ask yourself a simple question ‘What is the next action step I need to take to move this project forward now?’ Then, the key is to commit to take that action. Next, apply that methodology across all of your projects, and a sense of momentum suddenly starts to take place across everything that you’re responsible for. You are taking action. Make action your goal!
This video shares with you a process, what in the military we would probably refer to as a force multiplier. A way of increasing your influence, your impact, your authority. That process is called empowerment. Many CEOs who have adopted an environment of empowerment within their organisations all report increased motivation, increased loyalty and increased outcomes. Empowerment is a process and it is complex. It will mean changing much of the cultural way that you approach leadership within your organisation. We should remember sharing your workload is delegation, but sharing your power is empowerment.
This week’s 2 minute video asks: How do leaders cope in a crisis? How do leaders cope when deadlines are looming and passing, when there is crisis all around them? There is chaos, poor communication, advisors coming at the leader with differing opinions which the leader has to make very difficult judgments upon. The answer may sound illogical, but leaders need to walk away, to take a ‘time out’. It could just be a couple of minutes. It could be hours. It could be half a day or even a full day, but leaders need to walk away. It will be a time to reflect, think, get the bigger, greater perspective and, only then, come back. Great leaders don’t work harder, they work smarter. Watch the video here
Yesterday, Tuesday September 1st, 2020 my organisation returned from the ‘Work From Home’ situation (employed on 24th March, 23 weeks ago) back into our office. Although the office building was declared ‘COVID Safe’ on 16th June I felt the staff needed a period of notice to prepare to return, and we also needed a better understanding of how reliable London public transport would be. I eventually selected 1st September as the date to work towards and instructed everyone to prepare to return then. Those unable to return would need to apply for ‘flexible working’ as per the pre-existing extant policy.
In which I travel on public transport for the first time in 90 days to spend a day in London, unfortunately find it a depressing and dreary experience dominated by excessive signs, posters, stickers, one way systems and high visibility clothing, and reflect on how our ancestors would view our inability to tolerate or manage personal risk.
Welcome back to the Martini Diaries – as we enter the 12th week of lock-down in the UK I am beginning my plans to return to my office in London later this month. I felt it was time for a short period of reflection before we begin to share together the continuation of my life and travels as a CEO of a global non-profit organisation.
What have I learnt about leadership over these 11 weeks of being confined to barracks away from my team?
The Martini Diaries returns in 2020, with my return to skiing after a 13 year absence, and a visit to Georgia. I am bewildered by the sheer volume of luggage people try and take as ‘carry-on’, experience the new Istanbul airport, enjoy red wine for breakfast (a first), ski in Georgia, plan a conference, and now cannot wait until next February to ski again!