**Lead On! gives you blasts of original thinking in a fast-read format. Each issue offers a crisp insight, a lesson learned from mistakes made, and one research-backed tool, strategy, or tip that you can implement immediately to help you professionally/personally.**
INSIGHTS (on leadership/self-leadership)
• In a study I conducted of nearly 300 boss-subordinate pairings, there were material breaches in basic understanding of expectations a whopping 81% of the time! Gallup research shows half of employees aren’t clear at all on what’s expected of them. The odds are, your employees aren’t as clear on expectations as you think they are. Sit down with each employee and write down the definition of what good looks like on areas of performance that matter to you, like leadership or taking initiative, for example. Then spell out what great looks like for each metric. This forces you to be specific on your idea of greatness, which is critical as research shows when we set expectations, we often do so in general terms, leaving it far too open to interpretation.
IMPERFECTIONS (a mistake I’ve made)
• Early in my career I underestimated the importance of decisiveness. I’d want to make the perfectly informed decision, demanding far too much data, carrying parallel paths of options too long, lacking confidence to just make the call, afraid to be wrong. I learned that indecision paralyzes an organization. It creates doubt, uncertainty, lack of focus, and resentment. It saps energy and kills a sense of completion. Timelines stretch while costs skyrocket. Competitors ate my lunch while I was still deciding to use a fork or spoon. I learned to make decisions with 60% data/40% gut, acting with self-assurance, considering the risks of not deciding, putting into context the true impact of a wrong decision (which was often not what I catastrophized it to be), and setting time bound parameters for just making the call. I learned that employees valued a decision being made, even if they didn’t agree with it. Learn from my mistakes.
IMPLEMENTATION (one research-backed tool)
• When you’re feeling overwhelmed, practice the 50/50 Rule. When things are crazy busy, focus 50% of your energy on pragmatism–on calmly, rationally, prioritizing what to handle, in what order, without getting sucked into someone else’s urgent. Spend the other 50% on seeing the possibilities in that situation. When we’re super busy and trying to cross things off our To-Do list, we often gloss over the possibilities that lie within all the stimulus entering our life. Pausing to consider, “What opportunities are presenting themselves in the midst of all this chaos?” keeps you forward focused versus present paralyzed. It’s worth the other 50% of your focus. And 50+50 = 100 which means 0% of your time is spent spiraling downward into further overwhelm/negativity.