Make It Up

When people don’t know what’s going on, they make something up.

Most are uncomfortable with the feeling, “I don’t know,” so they insert a story into the situation. It’s really a part of the human condition.

Do any of these sound familiar?

“She must just be a &#^&$ ,”, or “He’s just reacting to that thing that happened.”, or “I’m pretty sure that those guys are not the kind of guys we want to hang out with.”  

Things go south QUICKLY on teams when things are not easy and communication is not valued.  Or perhaps good “communication” is not defined well to be understood among the individuals, and so people have to make up stories to fill the gaps in understanding. 

What if coaches made it their top priority to define great communication, display the standards through positive and negative examples and talked about it

every

single

day?

Would that help?


Principle #106: Leaders Are Believers

Or, put another way, only people who believe are likely to be followed.  

As a “leader” one must have the values and principles of the program or organization not just committed to memory, but embedded in the fiber of their being. They must get energy from these things, and thus will transmit energy to others in their world.

To believe you must know, and you must work to be sure that ALL of the people important to the organization also know; that they look through the lens of the values and speak the language of the principles and standards.

True belief in an action, even if the outcome it uncertain, is a mark of a real leader.

Planning matters, plans are useless

Checking boxes, feeling productive when you get thru a pile of emails that have no real impact on your work, taking a deep breath and being relieved when the “workday” is over…FEELS GREAT!

We often celebrate “getting %*&@#$ done” without assessing whether or not we are actually moving forward.

What if we spent more time considering the bedrock concepts that drive us and our business/team/operation?  If we dug into the why, the reasons behind, the what-if-it-worked, we might have more impact.

Spend time working on the plans, working the process (sound familiar?) to create a great plan and the execution itself will be easier. 

Principle #5: Learn, Intentionally

“Learning from the past” should not be a random thing.  We should have a planning process, make and execute plans and look at them after they are executed.  Ask, “What worked?”, and do more of that and less of what didn’t work.

When someone says they learned their lesson, it’s often simply because a thing didn’t work out, and not often enough because we took the time to review our plans and our actions.

Take time more often to learn–the good and the bad–intentionally.

Team Malaise

What happens when a team just loses it’s mojo?

Is this simply a “that’s what happens sometimes”, situation or can it be fixed?

Finding the cause, or lighting a spark…is one more important than the other?

Go back. Go deep. Go internal. Ask good questions about why this team plays or works on the things it does. What are the values at the core of the project or program? What’s its collective WHY?

If you can find the seed of its existence and agree that it’s one worth working for, then you can determine the actions that the group must take to move forward, to achieve and take steps in the name of the WHY.

Identify the WHAT, too.  What will you do? What things will you not do? Keep track regularly and enlist a tracking system to hold the whole group to.

These small things are the only things…one piece at a time a team can bring itself back to creating a great future.

Problems, Part II

Problem identified. Now flip it and look at it with a long lens. What opportunities do you see?

After you’ve decided that this situation is indeed a problem to be addressed and that there is a change to make, you’ve made a giant step in the right direction.

You probably see a chance to make a change, or make an impact.

Start by identifying the current situation, reminding yourself of the central principles you value and brainstorming some actions.

Choosing a plan doesn’t require you to know if it’s going to work for sure. Make plans anyway and start to do the work

Spare Time?

We ask a lot of Time.

We beg for more of it, wish it would go faster, hope it might slow down, perhaps even if time would simply be a little kinder…time is a pretty important part of our lives.

Time takes blame for it’s shortcomings, “why don’t have I more time?” we ask, as if time cut a few corners last hour and shorted us. “Where did all the time go?” we demand when our days slip away, and somehow it’s Time’s fault for not being around when we need it.

Take a moment (if you can spare it) to think about Time and how we view it.

Should Time get the credit for being productive? Maybe you get the gold star for that one and you should use a small bit of time to plan the next chunk in which you can move forward with your tasks.

Time belongs to all of us, and it’s available to everyone but not used equally.  We own our piece of time.

We don’t have that much time to spare and we can’t give it away to others, but we can choose to waste some, we can share it, and each of us gets to choose how much we how we use it.  It’s up to you.

Tick tock.