Discover more from House of Leadership
Prevention rather than Cure
Last week’s issue: Be the Master Copy
Today at a Glance:
Prevention is better than Cure
9 ideas to get you thinking more strategically
7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Why you should make your bed every day
Coming soon: Free 2023 Annual Review Guide
Preventing Problems, Rather than Solving Problems
A really big shift to drive up your effectiveness is moving from reactive to proactive.
So instead of being in the business of solving problems, you’re moving into the business of preventing problems.
A big difference and it really changes your approach.
Stephen Covey who wrote the famous book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People shared a really important concept, Eisenhower Matrix.
Eisenhower Matrix refers to this as important work.
This is where we start to have impact.
The proactive steps, the planning, strategic thinking and the preventative measures to mitigate risk.
If you take a look at the box below you’ll see at times we spend too much time in quadrant 1. The urgent stuff, the stuff that is highly demanding and causes us stress, and quite frankly is not sustainable over the long run.
We also find ourselves getting distracted with the busy work of quadrants 3 and 4.
Where we really want to be is in quadrant 2.
This is focusing on the important work, the preventative work, the work which will stop a lot of crises from occurring and help us progress.
It allows us to maintain balance and calm within our environment.
Leaders become really effective by doing important work more often.
It’s the pre-season work that is going to set you and your team up for success when you get out into the arena.
How do you do it?
1) Thinking - you cannot think about the road ahead when your mind is busy and filled with day-to-day noise.
You need to think about removing yourself and getting to a calm state where you can get clarity.
Exercise, holidays, meditation, and isolation are all ways people gain clarity and can think clearly without being disturbed by other thoughts.
Spend more time just thinking about the bigger picture and the macro pieces.
2) Relationships - you’re not effective without your team.
Building big and meaningful relationships with everyone is really important.
Whether that’s people in your team, in other teams, customers, or even competitors.
Relationships help us work together more productively and get things done quicker.
Without trusting relationships, the team or the business will not thrive.
3) Environment - developing a trusting environment where people feel comfortable challenging one another and speaking up when things are not working really works.
A great book to assess your team’s current state is the 5 Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni.
Once you understand where you’re at with each of the 5 areas you can implement changes and improvements to address each one.
4) Challenges - iron out challenges quickly.
What friction or noise is in your team’s space and impacting their experience?
Another important item is connecting with your people regularly.
Sometimes you might need to plant seeds if you hear everything is fine as people may not always be comfortable sharing (or they don’t want to appear as though they are complaining).
Try this seed: “Hey I heard there was this challenge with the new payroll platform, can you tell me more about the impact this is having on you?”
5) Road Map Planning - map your 6-12 month plan month over month, and review it bi-weekly.
What’s to come? What haven’t we thought about? What do we need to get ready for?
If we look back a year on our calendar what was going on then? T
his exercise will really elevate your awareness and thinking.
6) Coaching - developing a team of critical thinkers will drive up engagement and productivity 10-fold.
Spending more time coaching rather than providing solutions will help you develop a team of creative and decisive thinkers who can be successful whether you’re there or not.
Check out The Coaching Habit by Michael Bungay Stanier.
7) Root Cause - when an issue does come up, get to the root of the problem.
This may require a thorough investigation.
If you’re not solving the root cause of a problem, you’re not dealing with the problem correctly, you’re just solving a symptom of a deeper problem.
It’s important you learn and don’t make the same mistake in the future.
8) Purpose - the team needs to understand the work they’re doing matters, it has meaning, and it’s important.
Find out what their purpose is and help them attach their own personal meaning to the work they’re doing.
When people have a purpose they’re energised, optimistic, and excited about the journey ahead.
9) Feedback - reviewing different channels and perspectives, and seeing what’s working and what’s not.
Connect 1-on-1 with other Leaders and your team to gain feedback and ask those questions.
Speak to customers and review customer surveys.
Once you have some common areas start making plans to improve them.
As Leaders, of course, we need to lean in and tackle stuff when there is a crisis or something is on fire, we do have to take care of the urgent work. It’s part of our role.
Where we can be more effective is by spending more of our time on planning and preemptive work, if we can identify risks or challenges by taking proactive steps weeks or months in advance we’re going to mitigate a lot of the risk and potential for things to escalate.
All the best
Find me on: LinkedIn
Resources of the Week
YouTube Video - William McRaven - Make Your Bed Everyday. William McRaven is a retired Navy Seal and talks about why the little things in life matter. If you cannot do the little things right, how can you get the big things right?
Ted Talk - How to Get Your Brain to Focus by Chris Bailey. The latest research is clear: the state of our attention determines the state of our lives. So how do we harness our attention to focus deeper, get distracted less, and even become more creative?
App - Blinkist. Do you ever read books and think there was a lot of fluff in there? Blinkist saves you hours with its premium book summary app which condenses hours of reading down into a 10-15 minute summary for you to read or listen to. Try this app to save you time and learn quicker.