I've been reflecting on a recent conversation with a client. The conversation was similar to two previous conversations we've had concerning inaction by his managers. However, this time, without planning to say it, I simply said, "We've discussed this same problem three times now. When are you going to stop doing what your managers can and should be doing for themselves?" Needless to say, it got very quiet on his end of the phone for awhile. However, after about one minute of silence, my client said, "I keep doing exactly what I've told you I need to stop doing don't I?" Yep.
My client is a smart man. He's built a multi-million dollar company. He's created a solid company reputation, a loyal client base, and a team of employees who want to help his company become even more successful. Yet by repeating just a few behaviors, he keeps holding his managers, their teams, and his company back from becoming an even stronger organization. He continues to feed his team's inaction. So as I shared with him, I'll share with you: If you want to do things differently going forward, stop doing them incorrectly now.
If you want to do things differently going forward, stop doing them incorrectly now.
Like most managers, you're probably already overwhelmed with too many things to do in too short of a timeframe with too many requirements imposed upon you. The last thing you want is one more thing to do. So don't take on anything new. Instead, stop doing one thing you currently do that's not really helping you, your team members or your customers.
Stop doing one thing you currently do that's not really helping you, your team members or your customers.
If you're like me and most of my clients, you won't even have to think too hard about potential things to stop. We all have things we can improve upon, and we all already know what we should stop doing to help ourselves, our teams, and our organizations. Here are a few items I've discussed with clients over the past several months. See if any resonate with you:
- Stop thinking you need to be involved in everything in order for things to get done right.
- Stop obsessing over tasks no one else cares about other than you.
- Stop pursuing the bright, shiny distractions that sound interesting and seem to be "sure fire solutions" but only take you off-track and waste your time and money.
- Stop involving yourself in projects your staff could and should be doing themselves.
- Stop providing feedback only when it's to criticize.
- Stop claiming you hold yourself and your employees accountable when all you do is give them assignments, ask how they're coming along, and then... nothing else.
- Stop changing directions after each Sales, Production, or Leadership conference you attend or book you read.
- Stop resenting the team you've hired and trained.
- Stop rationalizing your own scattered leadership style.
- Stop rationalizing poor team member behavior.
- Stop rationalizing why you've retained underperforming team members.
- Stop making excuses for not doing what you know you need to do to make your organization more successful.
- Stop running from making the big changes in your own behavior before you expect others to change.
You're already over-loaded, so don't take on one more responsibility. Instead stop doing one thing, and watch how by not doing that one thing any longer, you help yourself, your team, and your organization.