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Ideas to Improve Your Performance
  • You will find pragmatic approaches to developing a coaching culture in my Harvard Business Review article from a few months ago,  Sales Teams Need More (and Better) Coaching. The focus of the article is for sales organizations, since many are relying on this as a strategy for growth, but the principles apply across the entire business. 
     
     

 
Reflections  
Stop Rearranging the Blueberries

In the consumer packaged goods industry the visual representation of a product in advertising, stores, and on the packaging is important. Since my wife works in that business I've learned plenty about it. There are meticulous photo shoots where the star of the picture is a sizzling piece of bacon, a beautiful stalk of celery, or a perfect blueberry muffin. It's in the case of the latter that I picked up one of my favorite expressions from her work, which is the admonition to "Stop rearranging the blueberries!" Painstaking efforts go in to illustrating how delicious and exquisite a blueberry muffin can be. Sometimes, the blueberries are even, well...rearranged. Don't laugh. It's very likely you've done this to. Just maybe not with blueberries.
 
While attention to detail is unquestionably important, sometimes energy and focus gets directed toward issues that aren't likely to make a difference. It happens when leaders get distracted from the outcome they are seeking (often an emotional response to something), or they just aren't sure what deserves focus. Either way, the result is the same. Priorities reflect an effort-to-potential-benefit ratio that is (too high/too low). Where in your business are blueberries being arranged? Where is work being done, often by capable people, but not making a notable difference? As a leader it's your job to define the work others are doing. If you pay attention to the results you expect people to achieve and the outcomes you want, odds are you'll avoid a lot of expensive wasted time and effort.
 
 
A slice of life balance             
  • Get your sleep. There are few factors that have such a significant influence on your ability to make good decisions, think innovatively, and maintain a healthy positive outlook. Much of what I've read indicates you need somewhere around 7.5-8 hours to function optimally. Very few people can get 4-6 hours a night consistently and have strong energy.