INSIGHTS (on leadership/self-leadership)
Think of the last time that being impatient, in a hurry, was of benefit to you. Go ahead, I’ll be patient and wait.
You’ll likely be at it for a while. Research consistently shows that impatience is rarely helpful, and can actually be harmful. For example, a study from Columbia Business School shows impatient people have lower credit scores (because they take out more loans), while a study from the University of Chicago shows that impatient people suffer inferior investment portfolios and have more regrets when they reach middle age.
The truth is, good things really do come to those who wait – or at least to those who aren’t rushing things. How many times have you sent an email or taken an action you regret because you were in a hurry to just do something? So, take a breath. And, yes, take action. But make it the right action, when the time is right.
IMPERFECTIONS (a mistake to avoid)
Research published in Harvard Business Review shows we spend 41% of our time working on tasks that offer little personal satisfaction and could be handled competently by others. It’s all too easy to keep plowing numbly forward, doing what you’re doing because it’s easier to just do it. Time flies by and at some point you look back in astonishment at how long you’ve been stuck doing things that really don’t matter.
And yes, time does indeed fly. But you’re the pilot.
So, will you be the pilot, or be on autopilot?
My point is simple, focused. Stop and ask yourself periodically, “Am I spending my time on the right things, or am I just spending my time?”
IMPLEMENTATION (one research-backed strategy, tip, or tool)
Here’s a 3-word exercise that helps solve team dysfunction. It sounds too simple, too good to be true, but I can tell you, just from personal experience, setting aside the tomes of research on this, that it really works.
Debate. Decide. Commit.
Debate: Too many teams don’t have the honest conversations that need to be had, the healthy debate that needs to take place. Just ask that opinions shared in debate are grounded in data (not unfounded), and that everyone commends, not condemns, the opposing point of view.
Decide. The opposite, indecision, can paralyze an organization. It can create doubt, uncertainty, lack of focus, and even resentment. So, ask the group to step back and evaluate the true impact of a wrong decision (which likely isn’t catastrophic), to consider the risks/costs of not doing something (which are likely greater than realized), and to just make…the…call.
Commit. Everyone on the team must act as if the decision was one that they personally made, or at least as if it was a decision they agree with. Anything else creates chaos.