Do You Have Great Vision?

My eyes are a bit blurry this morning as I just came from the eye specialist. Drops were put into my eyes so the specialist got the best view possible to confirm my eye health. I’m happy to say my eyes are healthy.

How about you? Are you taking care of your health so you’re healthy to run your business? If your life is out of balance with inactivity, poor health, stress, and worry, you can’t be as productive as you need to be. Here are three strategies I use to maintain balance in my life.

  1. Balance Work and Play I can look back over my life and recognize the times when I’ve been most effective were the times when the balance was the greatest. As an entrepreneur, it’s been challenging for the last 10 years to keep the proper balance. When I find them off balance, I pick up my Day Timer and schedule time away from work to reduce my stress and increase my fun activity.
  2. Take Time to Plan – Weekly, monthly, quarterly, or at least annually, it’s your choice as to how often you take time out to plan. The bottom line, take time. I run into many people in business who are so busy, busy, busy, they don’t take time to stop and plan. I’ve heard estimates of 1/3 to 2/3 of everything that’s done in most companies on a daily basis is actually redo because it wasn’t done correctly the first time. As one supervisor once said to me, “Garth, you don’t understand our business. We’re too busy to plan, but we’ve got lots of time to do it to over tomorrow.” I’m happy to say he had a smile on his face when he made this statement as he recognized how silly it really was.
  3. Take Action – All the planning in the world doesn’t do any good if you don’t take action. I see far too many people in my seminars and in my coaching who stop at the planning stage and don’t take action. I use the DISC behavioral assessment extensively in my work and I know that one of the major behavioral styles has a problem with paralysis by analysis. I’m very familiar with this problem as it’s part of my behavioral style. I put action plans in place to ensure I plan and do.

What strategies do you employ to make sure you have vision, followed by a plan, and action?

Garth Roberts             www. Garth Roberts.com

Spam in leadership

This blog has become the target of spam artists who seem to feel it’s their right to inflict their brand of internet “marketing” on the unsuspecting masses. Fortunately this is a moderated blog so I can eliminate the spam before it’s published. The one bright side of spam intrusion is it prompted me to look at the concept of “spam leaders” in business.

Do you know of any leaders who toss out directions or advise with the same focus and accuracy as our spammers?

Unfortunately I’ve met too many leaders who “spam” their offices with mindless directions, advise, opinions and self-important pronouncements. None of which increase productivity or encourage empowerment of the rest of the office.

So, are you a leadership spammer? I certainly hope not. From my perspective the most effective way to ensure you aren’t viewed as spam is to do three little things: plan, communicate and follow-up.

In my presentations and when consulting I prod clients to spend time planning before doing anything else. I’ve had one frontline leader say, “But Garth, you don’t understand. We don’t have time to plan around here … but we do have time to do it over again tomorrow.” He had a smile on his face to suggest that he was joking, but planning wasn’t one of his leadership skills.

Think about it for a minute. If you stopped for 30-seconds to plan what you’re going to say to a boss, client or colleague, how much time would save? No confusion in what you wanted or what you expected. No other person wondering what you really meant. No repeat of a task or project. I’ve heard estimates that 1/3 to 2/3rds of what done in offices every day is redo. Even if it’s only 10%, that still a huge saving of time over a year and that time translates into money.

While it’s true that planning takes time, simple logic tells us it saves more time that it uses. So, what tools do you use to help you plan? I use Outlook to keep me on track and I supplement that with a paper daytimer for those times when my computer isn’t around. In the past few years I’ve been more consistent in my planning and have forced myself to stick to each plan, or justify to myself why I should change. Guess what, I’ve noticed a marked increase in my productivity and effectiveness.

As to the other two elements of my productivity trio – communication and follow-up – more on that in my next post.