The Hidden Leader came in at the #7 spot on The Washington Post Bestseller list last week. Thanks to all of you who have purchased copies for your companies, teams, and conference attendees. Have I mentioned what a fabulous Valentine's Day' gift this book makes?
Vagueness versus Precision
Corporate life, no surprise, has an extraordinary amount conversation that is hard to understand, both live and in email. Terms and phrases that have a range of meaning, or even multiple meanings (think jargon) are too frequently used. That causes misunderstanding at best, and complication or obfuscation at worst. But it's a leaders responsibility to create clarity. And the simplest way to do that with your team, or entire organization for that matter is to be precise about what want to convey. It's a lot harder than it sounds, and yes, I recognize the irony of this coming from a consultant. I've facilitated executive teams discussing important issues seemingly in agreement tell me they are "aligned". But because I've spoken with them individually, observed the environment, or picked up on the subtleties in what they are communicating, I see that they are anything but aligned. It's obvious that there are misunderstandings, or issues not being dealt with (maybe intentionally).
Escape the difficulties of wasted efforts, energy, opportunity, and money. Clarify and express your point concisely. Explain and spell out your expectations and standards of performance unequivocally. Check in with the people in your organization to see if they have a firm grasp on what your strategy is and what it means for their decisions and actions every day.
A slice of Life balance
I've found that one of the best remedies to the extreme, crazy, or unsustainable busyness feeling we all know is taking time to reflect. There's a lot of ways to do this. It could be 60 seconds in between calls or meetings (not looking at email), writing in a journal, or taking a few minutes at the end of the workday to think about what you are doing to advance your primary goals. It takes very little time, but it does require your attention. Do this consistently and I suspect you'll find yourself being more strategic in where you spend your time and feeling better about how you are doing it. It's not a silver bullet, but incremental improvements can create big shifts.