Randomness

Have you been walking, riding in your car, or riding your bike and spot ONE blue reflector in a very random spot on the road or in a parking lot?  When I saw one recently, I thought about randomness and how it impacts the workplace, especially if you are in a leadership role.

  1. You may hire a great new employee because at that moment, they walked in the door, you got that referral, or they clicked on your job ad. The right person at the right time for the right job could just be because of a random event.
  2. The weather changes constantly. It impacts attitudes, outlooks, and moods.  It impacts business – negatively and positively.
  3. Events occur that bring people (customers) to you or take people away from you – vacation times, travel times, construction, local events, traffic pattern changes. These events may only impact you directly or indirectly, e.g. a decision-maker you need to reach is temporarily unavailable.
  4. Events in employees’ lives impact how they focus on work or not. It impacts whether they are emotionally stable and engaged in the work they are doing.  Major life events are a huge distraction to productivity.
  5. And of course, there are many other examples of random ups and downs that impact you as a leader.

Here are some things you can do to better cope with the unexpected:

  1. Be flexible. Bend without breaking.  Modify your approach when circumstances change.
  2. Minimize your negative reactions. Quick reactions may be good if they are positive reactions that help you effectively cope with the situation.  Laughter is good medicine in the face of chaos.
  3. Check in to your moods. If you are impacted by a lack of sunlight, do something to energize yourself – walk around, engage in conversation, go outside (with an umbrella if necessary), drink coffee, change what you are doing more frequently.
  4. Plan for the down times. When you and your team are less busy, have a to-do list ready.  There are always things you have put on the back burner than need your attention.

Randomness, ups and downs, and chaos will always be a part of life.  Despite this unpredictableness, you need to remain positive and to keep moving forward.

“Creativity is the ability to introduce order into the randomness of nature.” – Eric Hoffer

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Planning

Planning….what can I say?  If you don’t plan, nothing happens right.  If you don’t follow through on your plan, nothing happens.

Keep in mind these simple guidelines.

  • Determine where you want to go.  What is your vision?  Why is it important?
  • Decide who you want to take with you.  Remember, you can’t achieve success alone.  Which individuals or teams are important to your success?   How is it best to involve them?
  • Choose how you can best get there.  How do you redirect the organization through communication and actions?  How do you send the most impactful and clear message?
  • Anticipate obstacles.  What could go wrong?  How can you best recognize and respond to things that go wrong?
  • Agree upon the initiatives that will help you achieve great results.  Be as specific as possible.  Don’t use vague language or timeframes. What are the first priorities?  Who are the champions and the implementers?  What skills need to be honed during the journey?  Are there ways to test changes you want to make, e.g. in one location or one department before you expand to the entire organization?
  • Check in throughout the process. How are you doing?  Who needs to be recognized and who needs to be redirected?
  • Document and celebrate your results.  What is the best way to complete the communication loop?  How can you best celebrate milestones?
  • Repeat.  What is the right amount of time that needs to be allowed before you start over again?  What changes do you need to make in the process?

Sounds simple enough but it requires creativity and diligence.  Don’t drop the ball. Ask key players to help you stay on track.  Planning and implementation go hand in hand.  Make it happen together!

“Productivity is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.” – Paul J. Meyer

“Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.” – Alan Lakein

BRH