- Are you exhausted at the end of every work day?
- Do you lay in bed at night worrying about how you're going to get everything done?
- Are you regularly trying to identify new ways to bring in more sales, increase business, or in some other way "get ahead"?
If so, join the club. You're like most hard-working managers and leaders.
Notice, I said you're like most 'hard-working' managers and leaders. I didn't say you're like most 'successful' managers and leaders. There's a big difference and the difference lies in how the hard-working work versus how the successful work.
Work on what is truly important and forget or eliminate the rest
In observing my successful and my less-successful clients over the past 20+ years, the technique the successful use is one every one of us in business has heard many times before, yet many fail to use: Work on what is truly important and forget or eliminate the rest.
That advice is so simple. We all know it, yet most fail to follow its direction. As a result, we end up working very hard, doing the same things many different ways, while we make incremental progress forward. As we inch our way forward, others seemingly breeze by achieving things we've been working towards for years. How do they do that? How did they get so lucky?
The Successful Managers' Energies and Hard Work are Reserved for Strategically Helpful Activities
Luck plays a small part in achieving success when it's defined as: Luck = Preparation Meeting Opportunity. The successful 'are lucky' in that they quickly take advantage of critical opportunities. Because they've prepared and identified what is important to their businesses, they're able to more quickly pursue the right types of opportunities that will drive their businesses forward. If an opportunity (i.e., a strategy, a project, a goal, a tactic, a task, an initiative or any other name you want to attach to it) doesn't clearly help a successful manager or leader move towards success, it's dropped. Energies and hard work are not wasted on "interesting" or "potentially helpful" activities. The successful managers' energies and hard work are reserved for strategically helpful activities.
Successful Managers Regularly Challenge Their Teams to Confirm the Value of the Work They're Doing
When successful managers and leaders have clarified for themselves what the most important things to focus on and work towards are for their organizations and for themselves, their next hurdle is to clarify, communicate, and regularly repeat that focus to their teams as well. Successful managers have instilled in their teams an understanding of how their roles and jobs are important to the organization. Successful managers have clarified for each team member how he or she best adds value to the overall organization by keying in to specific aspects of each job. Successful managers have also pushed the responsibility to focus on working smartly instead of simply working hard to each employee. As such, successful managers expect their employees to regularly think about the work they're doing and to confirm the value of the work they're doing. If what they're doing isn't adding value or helping the business move forward, why are they doing it? Think. Don't just do.
Successful managers and leaders don't just work hard; they work smartly. Isn't it time for you to be successful too?
Copyright MMXIV Liz Weber, CMC, CSP - Weber Business Services, LLC.