2 Steps To Getting Lean Enough To Succeed

There are things that we carry around in our organizations and in our mentality that make things more cumbersome than they need to be. Treat your leadership like you would treat a manufacturing floor and get leaner now. Here’s the two fastest ways to achieve this.

Come out of hiding. 

Many people avoiding sticky issues saying that they like to allow time to let things work out on their own. Sure, that could be a legitimate hands-off leadership approach, but it can also be the mantra of procrastination or worse, avoidance. The problem is that a leader who avoids making decisions is also giving up control. By addressing the issue directly and not avoiding, there was less stress on everyone involved and a better outcome was created.

Move on, even when you’re right. 

Far too often I see leaders get tangled up in pursuing a matter on principle. This can be as tangible as money they’re rightfully owed, or as conceptual as an acknowledgement of error.

In the end, it’s about being right and getting admission from the person who has wronged them. The question is how far they’re willing to win. If the best revenge is living well, then the ultimate loss is being driven by anger, frustration, and bitterness no matter how things turn out in the end.

Letting go of money is certainly a big deal, but bad debt is also the cost of doing business. Tally up the hours spent pursuing it in thought and action, then add that cost to whatever effort you put into earning the money in the first place through your goods and services. It may be a hefty amount.

Now add in the very significant cost of placing your focus on the past instead of the future. You may find that you can make up the bad debt and more by pursuing new business and creating new opportunities. Now the cost of pursuit becomes staggering.

I’m not advocating walking away from a tough situation–that would be avoiding. Instead my message is to fight for a while, then assess the situation pragmatically and move on when the time is right. You’ll definitely feel better and your performance will improve when you let go of old injuries. I’ve never had a client do this and regret giving up being angry too soon. The opposite is far too often the case.

If you’re in this kind of situation now, I recommend doing the following: figure out your ideal outcome; assess the lengths to which you’re willing to pursue it; create a measurement so you know when you’re reached the point of diminishing returns; and if you hit it, then move on.

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Are You Managing For Results?

 

If I asked, would your employees tell me that you manage their results or their tasks?

How do you identify whether you are measuring the process or the results? To begin, there are three questions to ask yourself:

  1. Are you measuring how your team is getting a result?
  2. Is it measurable?
  3. Is it an outcome or a milestone?

Every manager must learn to make this distinction. It isn’t as simple as it might seem. In fact, many of my best clients struggle with it at times. However, the benefits of managing the results rather than the process are multifold. For one thing, a results focus really limits micromanaging because you are not involved in other people’s processes. They can figure out what they are going to do for themselves. You are just looking at the results of their work and how they impact the bottom line.

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What Is An Agile Executive?

When an executive becomes culturally agile they massively expand their ability to advance their career. They can get results from teams around the world, they can get results from multicultural teams within their current organizations, and they also increase their ability to be successful moving cultures from their current organization to their next company.

History is littered with the broken careers of leaders who lacked cultural agility. One example of this that is very famous is Carly Fiorina. She really did not understand the Hewlett-Packard way. She set out to change the culture and was not received at all and blew it entirely. She could have had very different results if she would have built some cultural agility. But she is just a famous example. The thing is that there are so many people who don’t understand why they can’t break through to the next level of management. They can’t understand why they are not getting advanced and it often lays on their inability to be culturally agile.

So I would ask what are you doing to make sure that your executives, your team, and you yourself are culturally agile?

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What Clients Do Differently To Achieve Success

My best clients really do four things differently to achieve success.

1) They set a clear vision and strategy and they commit to it.

2) They understand and act on developing their people in order to develop their capacity to grow as an organization and to become more profitable.

3) They fine-tune their course corrections. They are made thoughtfully and carefully. They are not reactions and wild swings.

4) They are optimistic and they are steady in their self-esteem and their confidence as individuals and as an organization.

The key here is to accelerate profit by maximizing people’s ability to act together.

Is your organization doing that?

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Success Trap

If your company successfully weathered the economic storm, you might now be left in a bit of a daze, unsure how to move forward and uncertain as to the future. Rebuilding your momentum is not an easy thing to do, but you can’t leave it too long. As more and more companies see sunshine and calm waters on the horizon, competition is ramping up as they once again race to the shore.

Following such a devastating economic crisis, business leaders must be particularly wary of falling into the success trap. Whether you were directly hit by the economic crisis or not, you have no doubt felt its impacts. Now that things are finally picking back up, you’re able to level up and continue on. This is where you risk falling into the success trap.

It’s easy to see how you might be so relieved to be floating along again that you stop worrying about growth and focus only on maintaining the status quo. If this describes your situation, then what you’re seeing now is a plateau. You’ve developed a certain level of complacency (this has worked for us before, so it should work again), and a certain amount of consistency (this is the best way to do it ­– we don’t need to look for other options). As a company, you’re tired, and you feel like a little rest would do a world of good. After all, you’ve just weathered a major economic storm!

Unfortunately, a little rest has the potential to turn into a long winter’s nap. The danger of falling into this success trap is that you run the risk of getting too comfortable – too complacent – and failing to grow and adapt to the realities of the new market.

When a rising tide is raising all boats, as in this economic recovery, it’s not enough to simply float along. To outperform and outmaneuver the competition, companies must find ways to innovate so that they see continued growth and development.

The key to performance growth is to be able to shorten those plateaus. Plateaus do happen – it’s a natural thing to not always be on a steep upward trend. But you need to be able to recognize when you’ve hit a plateau – when you’ve become too complacent – and find ways to innovate so that you start to grow and improve again.

By shortening these plateaus and increasing your ability to innovate, you’ll be able to create this cycle of growth again and again and speed the whole process up.

Innovation really is the key to avoiding stagnation, and will help you grow and develop as the economic recovery continues to unfold.

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Avoiding the Success Trap

If your company successfully weathered the economic storm, you might now be left in a bit of a daze, unsure how to move forward. Rebuilding your momentum isn’t easy, but you can’t leave it too long. As more and more companies see sunshine and calm waters on the horizon, competition is ramping up.

Following such a devastating economic crisis, business leaders must be particularly wary of falling into the success trap. Whether you were directly hit by the economic crisis or not, you have no doubt felt its impacts. Now that things are finally picking back up, you’re able to level up and continue on.

It’s easy to see how you might be so relieved to be floating along again that you stop worrying about growth and focus only on maintaining the status quo. If this describes your situation, then what you’re seeing now is a plateau. You’ve developed a certain level of complacency (this has worked for us before, so it should work again), and a certain amount of consistency (this is the best way to do it ­– we don’t need to look for other options). As a company, you’re tired, and you feel like a little rest would do a world of good. After all, you’ve just weathered a major economic storm!

Unfortunately, a little rest has the potential to turn into a long winter’s nap. The danger of falling into this success trap is that you run the risk of getting too comfortable – too complacent – and failing to grow and adapt to the realities of the new market.

When a rising tide is raising all boats, as in this economic recovery, it’s not enough to simply float along. To outperform and outmaneuver the competition, you need to be able to recognize when you’ve hit a plateau, and find ways to innovate so you start to grow and improve again.

Innovation really is the key to avoiding stagnation, and will help you grow and develop as the economic recovery continues to unfold.

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