“Each system is perfectly designed to give you exactly what you are getting today.” – W. Edward Deming
What are you striving to accomplish? What’s holding you back? What are you willing to give up today to get the future you seek? Creating change is simple from this perspective. We need to change what we are doing if we want to create something different. No one said it is going to be easy either, but together we can get some good things done for ourselves, our teams, and our companies.
As an avid gardener and recovering farmer, I am tied to the seasons. November is the end of harvest-time. We have reaped the fruits of our patience and hard work. Now is the time to take stock of what we have done (or left undone) to date. Some of this is our own doing and some of it is out of our control. BUT…
Are you feeling as overwhelmed and out of control as I am? The weight of 2020 is heavy on my shoulders: global pandemic, wildfires, social injustice, a presidential election, virtual work, and online school are all huge disruptors for 2020. Are you fantasizing about the good old days, when all we had to do was run a business?
October kicked off the 4th quarter of the calendar year. One month into the last 90 days of the year, we still have the opportunity to evaluate and reset. Let’s figure out what we can still do — starting with ourselves. We always have control over our own attitudes and actions. I am not saying that we won’t feel crushed or defeated at times, but we don’t have to give in to the urge to give up! Over the next 60 days, we have an opportunity. We can focus on the basics, to support our strengths and level up. The new year that we are all yearning for is around the corner. Let’s finish 2020 strong and be ready for 2021.
As leaders, we are creators of culture. We are role models for what we want to see on our teams. Stress and uncertainty can keep us from being our best. And It is easy as a business owner or team leader to let culture fall through the cracks — everyone with a job is grateful to have it. But tough times are very revealing. When the pandemic is over and the economy starts to rebound American workers will start looking for better jobs again.
“Better” depends on who is deciding. It may look like more flexibility, different benefits or better culture. So what have you done to take care of your best employees? Are they still giving their best or are they just going through the motions and/or noisily disgruntled? One of the fastest ways to drive away our best team players is taking their impact for granted. If you want them to still be awesome team players when the pandemic is over, then lead by example now.
At times like this I like to go back to the basics and follow a strong plan. Patrick Lencioni’s book The Ideal Team Player (How to recognize and cultivate three essential virtues) is a favorite of mine. He sets out a great framework that applies to the hiring, assessing, and development of employees but I would recommend focusing on yourself as a leader. You are your best asset! Level up your skills to get through this crisis, but more importantly to be ready for better times.