September 9th, 2009 23:02 EST
Looking For A Few Good Decisions
It may sound like a paradox but those managers, entrepreneurs, Presidents, executives, and CEOs (MEPECs) who have worked hard at not having to work hard are the ones who have moved on to the greener pastures we all strive for.
One of the problems many MEPECs have is that they`re caught in a self-perceived, self-substantiating situation. Some of them micro manage or over manage in order to show the powers that be, (even if those powers may be self-imposed), that they are worthy of their position. I`m not saying that sometimes these MEPECs don`t have to get down and dirty or throw their weight around, but I am saying that it should be done much less often than they believe
"Why` and "how` are the big questions!
MEPECs may have gotten their perceptions from higher-ups, Boards of Directors and even their subordinates. However, if you think about the reasons that MEPECs are, conceivably, in the positions they`re in, it`s because they are supposedly good decision makers. Not micro managers, decision makers!
Many years back I started to realize that in order to make fewer decisions I had to start putting my business life in order. That meant prioritizing. The first priority was to begin to enjoy my life, in and out of business. In order to do that, I began to understand that I didn`t want to be responsible for every nuance of my business and/or position within it.
I wanted to build a business that I could walk away from once in a while and not be totally freaked out or nervous that if I was not on the premises constantly the place would fall apart. Now all you MEPECs out there may understand what I mean but think that you don`t have the wherewithal to go about making it happen. Start by looking at your self!
What can you do differently to achieve more satisfaction from your position? And I hope micro managing is not part of that satisfaction formula. If it is, then you really have to look long and hard at your self and perhaps get some coaching help. Control freaks will have the hardest time with what I`m proposing.
The more you can plan and delegate the better you will become at freeing yourself up to do those other things to help you grow. This goes for all types of people and all types of businesses, from technology to landscaping, construction to service and everything in between.
Do you have written short and long-term goals?
Both business and personal goals are very important. They should intertwine. Who amongst us really believes that what we do in business doesn`t effect what we do at home.
Take the time to write out your personal and business goals by month, ninety-days, six month, one year, five years and so on. If you don`t have a destination and a map, it`s tough to get there.
We hear the call for goal setting so often that it almost becomes trite. However it works. Most successful businesses and individuals are very succinct in where, how, and when they want to get to their goals. The best way to keep a record of your progress is by writing your objectives down and keeping them close at hand.
Do you know your strengths and weaknesses?
Ask your self, Who am I? " Are you a born salesperson, technician, organizer or artist?
Do you know if you have a behavioral type that likes to get the task completed no matter what or perhaps you`re someone who enjoys mixing with all kinds of people? Maybe you would rather keep things on an even keel and be steady as she goes " or you`re one of those detail people who likes to make sure every thing is perfect.
Do you know why you do things?
What moves you into action, is it the quest for a nice return on your investment, fame, the need to help people, the desire to make things more beautiful? Maybe you`re looking for power and advancement or on a quest for truth and knowledge? All these factors enter into your strengths and weaknesses.
For instance, if you`re a detail person, who wants a nice investment return, and not a mixer, don`t put yourself into a sales role if you can help it. You would be better off finding someone else to do that function while you go of to figure out the books and inventory. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses and admitting them can save you a lot of problems and make you very successful.
It can also give you the time to enjoy yourself.
The More you know the less you`ll have to do!
Now I know that sounds bizarre but all you have to do is impart that knowledge to others and voila! You`re free to do more thinking, creating, advancing, building and of course relaxing!
The knowledge you own is only as good as how you use it. And in the MEPEC world it`s only as good as the people you cultivate and pass it on to. Those folks will work well with you especially if you know what they`re good at. That means that you have to take some time and assess the strength and weaknesses of those individuals and transfer your information accordingly.
Ah, isn`t it great when you know that you`ve turned a project over to someone or a group of people and you don`t have to worry about it. Well, it`s a heck of a lot easier doing that if you have taken the time to figure out who the people are, from a strengths and weaknesses standpoint. Once you have a clear picture of who you`re delegating to you can feel that much more comfortable.
Beat the drum slowly.
At the beginning don`t be too hard on yourself or them about passing the torch ". Both you and they will make mistakes. But once you get it down, you`ll be so much happier and so will they.
Let them make mistakes without you going ballistic. It`s going to happen. The more you let go the more you`ll be in control! Amazing isn`t it?!
We Americans think that everything has to be immediate. Why?
No one can possibly process all the information we are bombarded with at today`s rapid pace. Slow down and set a tone for tolerance and you will find that people will raise to the occasion. And once they get they hang of it and you, you`re golden.
They will begin to operate on their own and even start initiating things that you, in all your MEPEC glory, would not have conceived of.
Feedback feeds growth.
After you`ve become proficient at passing on information and delegating, ask your people to give you feedback on what you do, say, and think. This will add another level of confidence into the mix, both for your self and them. And foster creativity and a less stressful environment. It`s easy to dictate but more fulfilling to learn. The more you encourage your superiors, peers and subordinates to interact with you the more communication will flow.
The trick is to set up an environment of non-judgmental behavior. Once everyone understands that you are open to hearing their ideas about you without retribution or explosion, the easier it will be to set the stage for them to open up to receive feedback as well. In other words, lead by example.
Let the teams play on their own.
Recently I`ve been involved with more and more companies who are evolving by incorporating self-governing teams into their growth mode.
While the goals and overall tasks are acknowledged by the organization the process of getting them done are left to the teams. Team leaders are appointed by the teams themselves not hand picked by an executive or executive group. Processes and functions within the teams are kept inside the group, as are schedules, strategies, meetings and sometimes even sales.
MEPECs are consulted for feedback and knowledge as far as the team`s progress within the master plan of the organization. The MEPEC is once again free to use the time that would previously have been allocated for managing " for other more profitable venues.
What`s your time worth anyway?
Now that you`ve learned to read your self and others, plan, receive and give feedback non-judgmentally, have a bit more patience, pass on your knowledge and watch your teams perform (rather than having to be involved on the teams themselves), you may have begun to see that you have more time to move on to other new and exiting things.
Your time is too valuable to be bogged down with a multitude of things that those around you are getting paid good money to do.
You can actually look towards growth somewhat less impeded. Think about what you make monetarily. Now think about what you`ve been doing task wise. You`ve probably been spending $100.00 time on $25.00 tasks.
So many decisions that other folks should have been making all along.
If you`re not sure, fill out time charts everyday for a week. Be committed to listing everything you do in 15 minute or half-hour segments. At the end of the week, list profitable, or productive time and also list the unprofitable or unproductive time. You`ll be amazed to find out how much time you have wasted!
Now comes decision time!
And not too many at that! All of a sudden folks are making decisions on their own. You`re not bombarded with the decisions that should have been made by others anyway.
The sign of a good MEPEC is the fact that they only have to make one or two decisions a day and the great ones only have to make a few a week if that.
Of course those decisions have a wider ranging impact than before. That`s because the MEPEC has more time to work on the bigger picture, build and create new levels of prosperity for the organization and spend $100.00 time on $100.00 tasks.
The job the MEPEC thought they had has become obsolete. They can or have passed it on to someone else, they`re too busy growing and looking for a few good decisions!
Dan Goldberg is a keynote speaker and the President of Dan Goldberg Consulting, L.L.C. a training, coaching and business development firm located in the Philadelphia, PA area. He is the author of the book Lighten Up and Lead, " co-author (with Don Martin) of the book The Entrepreneur`s Guide to Successful Leadership, " and author of The Six Steps To Solid Sales Success " and The Seven Elements of Successful Management " programs and the audio tape Growing A Successful Business ". You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org, visit his website at www.dangoldberg.com or reach him at (215) 233-5352