More than 4,700 people from 84 countries joined our Leadership Livecast on Doing Still More with Less. Apparently everyone around the world feels the strain of the New Normal—a condition that one speaker called “Organizational Anorexia.”
Lean and flat is great for bellies, says Steve Roesler, President of the Steve Roesler Group, but it’s terrible for organizations. Organizational leaders everywhere are looking in the mirror and think it’s best to be as skinny as possible. But is that really what we aspire to as leaders? It’s up to senior leaders everywhere to turn the tide on organizational anorexia, a massive disorder suffered by too many businesses today.
Forty experts shared ideas on how to say no, how to stay healthy, and how to stay mindful and present. Fons Trompenaar, a cross-cultural communication expert, urged everyone to acknowledge that work-life balance is an impossible dream. Balance assumes that it is a zero-sum game. If work goes up, life must go down. Instead, people need to learn how to integrate their work lives and personal lives at a higher level, and get more out of both.
Mark Sanborn, author of The Fred Factor, cautioned that activity and accomplishment are not the same thing. It’s easy to get distracted by emails and tasks that aren’t mission critical. As Tanveer Naseer put it, “Don’t let what gets your attention drive your focus,” but rather, focus on the activities that add the most value. Stop and think about what you’re doing and prioritize your goals. What are the critical few that can give the most output?
The power to choose and say “no”.
Another interesting concept was to delegate less and negotiate more. Not only does delegating add yet another task to someone’s to-do list, it puts what you need at the mercy of someone else! The key is to make a request giving room for negotiation so that people are empowered to choose, and make an honest commitment they can keep. This also means saying “no” must be a real option. Wise investments of scarce resources require tough choices and everyone should know when to say “no”.
Margie Blanchard also reminded us that we have the power to choose our attitude, and challenged us to change “I have to” thinking, to “I get to”. Because when we say, “I get to …” we’re making a choice to actually enjoy the job and the life we have.
Beware of Burnout. Take Care of Yourself!
Every morning when you first get up, breathe. “Breathe in and out three times and tell yourself today is going to be a great day, that you’re only going to take in what’s good for you and let go of the rest,” said Kate Sweetman.
Take care of your brain—specifically, take care of the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for executive functions like planning and decision making. How do you do that? Sleep, move your body, and eat right. Also, plan for tomorrow, tonight; make lunches, pick out your clothes, and plan ahead so you’re not using up brain space in the morning to make a million little decisions. Also, do the hard stuff first, and when you’re brain is done, be done! If you’re tired at the end of the day and you have a big decision to make, sleep on it. In the morning, you will wake up with a clear, refreshed mind.
Time Management and Communication
Elliott Masie challenged us to make better use of meetings by scheduling shorter chunks of time, and making better, more productive use of that time, rather than filling up meetings with the time you scheduled. We were also warned not to multitask. It’s a myth. While it can feel productive, it’s not. Focus on one thing at time. While, technology is a great thing, we need to take a break from it periodically.
Finally, a word to both leaders and employees
Leaders: praise and acknowledge your people. Say thank you. Listen to what they’re saying and what they’re not saying. Provide people with positive, constructive feedback on the work they are doing.
Employees: find your voice. Speak up and have a conversation with your leader about your workload. Present a list of everything you’re doing and ask them to help you prioritize.
You can do more than you think you can. Challenge preconceived notions about the way things need to be done, and use systems to your advantage.
Source: Kenblanchard @ http://app.leadership.kenblanchard.com/e/er?s=1836&lid=594&elq=6B8A8F514E1040E881A188405C8AE0B8