31 Aug 2011

Don’t settle. Do things the way in which you want them (the right way).

It has been about a week since the last blog post – but I haven’t been wasting my time (or not getting out of BED – for those that read previous posts!)

The last week has been about tackling the things that I have left / ignored and not wanted to do. It has also been about facing up to my business weaknesses and making a plan to do something about it.

I was reminded of this when working with some of the great Managers at GE last week. Preparing to facilitate on the topic of ‘Leadership Essentials’, I noticed as soon as I walked in that the room we were to work in was set up in the traditional ‘U’ shape (not a favourite of mine). At the time, I left the room layout and focussed on the other preparation for the session. After about an hour, I realised that the room layout was holding back conversation and just wasn’t working. Just before morning tea, I advised the group to leave all of their work in the middle of the table, as I was going to move the room around at morning tea. I was told ‘The room layout is fixed – it needs to be left set up that way’, to which I replied ‘It will be back in the U shape at the end of the day’.

On return from morning tea, the room was set up in cafe style – a much more relaxed setting for the discussions and case studies that were being discussed. I was advised that I was the first person to move the room around to suit the style of the discussion. That surprised me – it felt like the most natural thing to do. I linked this idea in the training room to leadership – ‘How many tasks, set-ups, processes and systems have you noticed were inefficient or ineffective, but left them because others said it couldn’t be done?’ We also applied it to personal leadership – ‘How many things have you let go because they seemed too hard or insurmountable at first glance?’

As the group worked in small table groups to discuss the answers, I realised that my answer to that question resulted in a very large list. And that has been what the last week has been about.

1. Owning up to the skill deficiencies that I have (and are holding my business back) and doing something about them.

2. Addressing the gaps in my business plan and seeking ways to fix them.

3. Changing the environment that I work in to suit me, rather than living with the layout / set-up of the previous owner.

This week has been about not settling for the way that others have done things and finding the best environment, process and plan that works for me and my team.

Have you just accepted the environment that you have been placed in?

What should you change to suit the way in which you / your team works?

What will you fix / change / amend today that should have been done weeks ago?

What should you tackle today to make things better?