One of the frustrations I hear the most from leaders right now is their inability to focus their energy and efforts on the higher impact activities. They’re always putting out fires and reacting to the latest development. This is not a leadership flaw—they are getting more done than they ever have before—but today’s crazy environment is pushing them to be being reactive, and they end up missing opportunities. There are three ways to overcome this problem.
1. Develop yourself. Over the last two years of constant “state of emergency” leaders have been overlooking their own development. I know it’s crazy busy, but now more than ever you need to be at the top of your game, and that requires some self-development. You need to push the edges of your comfort zone. You need to make sure you’re not getting in your own way. Find a coach or take some classes to help you up your own leadership game.
2. Develop your team. Most teams (including leadership teams, but this applies to anyone) accept a certain level of inefficiency and ineffectiveness. We waste time in meetings, we avoid our conflict, and we trudge through internal battles for control. All of that is unnecessary if you take the time to intentionally shape the way your team operates. Probably the biggest issue is the conflict one—the amount of time wasted by half-done conflict conversations is staggering to me.
3. Develop your culture. The third main reason we’re missing the mark on high-impact activities is because we’re not disciplined about how to connect culture, strategy, and execution. We’re not seeing the culture patterns that generate behaviors that prevent us from being proactive, and we’re not good about getting everyone on the same page about where we are headed. This doesn’t require a year-long culture change project. You just need to start seeing the patterns and then changing a few processes in ways that will help.
We have both coaching and online courses that address all three of these levels. In less than two weeks, we will launch the next cohort in our “Using a Growth Mindset to Expand Your Impact” online course, which does cover all three levels. Or, if you want continuous one-on-one support, our culture coaching program also addresses all three levels.