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.

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.

Cleared for takeoff

Put on your own oxygen mask before helping others. Then, breathe.

Flight attendants remind us of this every time we get on a plane.

In the case of emergency, or even just to be at your best every day, we should take care of ourselves first.

“Self-care” is a buzzword concept lately, and one that I’ve tended to push aside as too touchy-feeling and not as important as things like planning or assessing results. However, the basics of making others–teams and individuals–better involves having a handle on our own health and well-being.

It’s true. To be a great resource for others we should be at our best. What can you do to make your own situation better, healthier or more clear?

Maybe it’s eating, sleeping, hydrating or something else physical; maybe it’s making time to talk to others or read or just think.  Experiment with doing or not doing things differently and see how you can become a better resource to those around you by having yourself taken care of first.

 

There’s No Scoring On Defense

in some sports “the defense” scores points, although their main role is to stop the other guy from scoring points.  In some, like softball and baseball, there is no way to post on the scoreboard when your team is in the field.

You can only win when you attack. On offense. Find a way to have a strategy on offense that you love, that everyone is bought in to, that speaks “we’re in control”.

Defense is a tone setter, but not scorer. Even if you’re great on D, you can only be totally in control if you have a strategy that allows you to control on attack.

Get to work.

 

Who’s The Wizard Behind Common Wisdom?

Is “Common Wisdom” simply a self-fulfilling prophecy? Can we simply make something–especially something bad–happen just by expecting it?

Or, perhaps, there IS a wizard behind the curtain who makes sure that things come to fruition when we say that they will!

Many of us fall prey to the “that’s just the way it is” mentality when we allow ourselves to underperform. The idea that we simply don’t have the time, money or other resources to do what we’d like to do…that’s too easy in my book.

Coach, you choose what to pay attention to. You can make different choices.

Things are generally not predetermined.

Find a way to be your own Wizard.

 

Decide to Decide

Making decisions is much easier if you commit to being a decision-maker.  Telling yourself: “I am a decision-making machine,” will allow you to spend less time on the idea of committing.

Sure, you’ll want to get the facts and weigh the options while you prepare a big decision, but most just need you to say, “yeah, i’m good at picking between the specials on the menu,” or “watch me pick out a shade of white for the ceiling”.

If you can do that–making a reasonable, quick decision often runs no more risk of being wrong than does a protracted process–that you’ll be able to save time and brain power for determining the next steps after that decision.

In coaching there are tons of decisions to be made, and all can be second-guessed later. Usually, the opposite choice could be debated just as much as the one made, if the outcome is not what was hoped.

Taking the time to get the information you need is important, and being committed to being good at the act of decision-making will make it an even better process.