Just when I thought we had covered the waterfront with respect to accountability, I’m reminded of the linchpin of true accountability – the very simple concept of FOLLOW UP.During my conversations with CEOs, I’m repeatedly reminded of how remarkably little attention is paid to this simple concept.
Why do we ignore follow up?
It seems so obvious I wonder why I’m writing about it … and yet, routine follow up is often ignored in the hustle for the next opportunity or when there just isn’t another finger to put in the dike.
This isn’t a new problem and it stretches across all of the aspects of our lives. Five years ago, the New York Times even lamented about the lapse in our social manners reflected by people’s failure to respond to RSVP invitations, much of which I’d chalk up to this follow up laxity.
It’s a process that is halfheartedly pursued by so many that it’s no wonder so few things get done on time – or at all.
We expect the other person to get it done
There are a number of reasons for this you may recognize in yourself.
If you want to poison the well where you work, allow a Certified Jerk to roam free.Mollycoddling is a pernicious and infectious organism you need to expel from your organization.
This phrase is powerful in so many ways.
Smart people can often be prima donnas – I’ve heard those accusations myself … the smart people part, of course, not the second (and when it has been used, it’s typically disguised in less elegant terms) … but the brilliance of some people is often more blinding than enlightening.
Fortune magazine once asked Dr. Mehmet Oz about the best leadership advice he had ever received.
It’s Friday, it’s summer time … so why not have a little fun at someone’s expense. I just hope it isn’t you.There are at least 9 Annoying Habits that are the most grating to me … and I’m convinced they represent latent and nefarious character flaws that will be even more annoying when they become visible.
9 Annoying habits I’d like to strangle you for!
Are there habits in others … not ourselves, of course … that you find particularly annoying?
There are probably a lot of simple ones … squeezing the toothpaste in the middle of the tube, leaving dirty clothes on the floor, not hanging up your towel … minor stuff in the scope of things.
Then, there are those … the ones that are the most grating to me … that I’m convinced represent latent and nefarious character flaws that will be even more annoying when they become visible … and I promise you, they inevitably will.
I know many of you won’t like this list
Some of you won’t like this list … because you’re on it … and yes, I probably will unfairly judge you if I witness this habit. Maybe these are just personal idiosyncrasies …. for you, maybe … but for me … mostly … not.
So, I apologize in advance … but this is just the way I see it using my infallible superpowers. I’m even going to tell you what I suspect lurks beneath the surface of these imperfections.
No, that word’s not strong enough. Oh well, you can judge for yourself, but let me know because I really want to know if I’m the only one who sees these.
But, I have to say this sure is fun
The Resistance is relentless and we have reasons galore for not accomplishing our goals.What is the common thread among all of the
excuses reasons we use to rationalize our misses?
Déjà vu all over again?
How often have you heard one of these phrases banging against your skull …
“Haven’t we been here before?” …
“Didn’t we already solve this problem?” …
“Why does this subject keep coming up all the time?”
They’re constantly resurfacing, often in disguise as a different issue altogether … but really, the same ‘ol, same ‘ol.
Have we become dumb and dumberer?
You can probably outline a long list of reasons these same issues keep popping up like whack-a-moles. Chief Executive has tackled this several times, including in their article, 5 Simple Mistakes Even Experienced CEOs Make.
If we haven’t become “dumb and dumberer,” what’s going on?
An object at rest tends to stay at rest and an object in motion tends to stay in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force. ~ Sir Isaac NewtonMomentum is an incredibly powerful force in business as well as physics. These laws will help you energize your organization and get things done.
You don’t need to be a physics student
Most of us are familiar with the legend of Newton’s apple, which fell on his head and triggered his musings about the Universal Law of Gravitation. An unlikely but apocryphal story.
Fewer of us are physics students, and I’m pretty sure that few professors would whisper “physics” in the same sentence as “understanding” if they were considering my scientific proclivities. Nonetheless, I have come to learn that Sir Isaac Newton’s laws of motion have powerful siblings in the business world.
The Dynamics of Momentum is a powerful driver
Newton’s First Law of Motion focuses on the physics of movement, but the dynamics of “momentum” apply equally to people and organizations.
The Ziegarnik Effect happens to each of us every day … and usually more than once.It creates Psychic Tension that rattles our brain and fights us every step of the way to keep us from getting things done.
Have you ever heard of the Zeigarnik Effect?
It’s named after a Russian psychologist, Bluma Zeigarnik, who stumbled across the notion in the 1920s that waiters remembered orders that were still unpaid better than those that were already completed.
She returned to her lab, ran several experiments and further discovered that people remembered tasks better if they’d been interrupted doing them than if they’d completed them.
“Psychic Tension” drives us to closure
What she concluded has a lot to do with our short-term memory’s propensity to forget completely.
The more we try to hold things in our short-term memory, the harder we have to work to remember them. It takes a lot of cognitive energy but with few results.
We also seem to have a better memory for those things we have not yet finished.
The “psychic tension” it creates remains a stimulus for us to keep moving forward, wrestling with that idea and continually straining to bring it to closure.
What’s the significance for Personal Productivity?
A good hitter knows he has to get more hits to be great. A great hitter knows she has to get more at bats to get to the Hall of Fame.In the wake of the fading scars from the recent recession, most companies have turned their focus to revenue enhancement, a fancy term for “get more sales”. What are the key metrics that will help you drive that achievement?
What could be easier than to focus on top line growth?
There is probably no clearer metric to measure and analyze. Check the ledger: sales are up or they’re not.
But, where do sales come from? From Prospects who become customers … so if you’re not tracking how you’re developing Prospects, and treating them as importantly as customers, your sales are unlikely to grow much.
Here’s the real key to getting more sales
Get more at bats.
If you need more customers, find more prospects. If you own stores, figure out how to get more people through the door.
If you don’t have enough prospects, find more suspects. If you sell services, talk to more people.
Sales result from developing Suspects … nurturing them to become Prospects … all the while recognizing most of them never become customers … but without them, there will be no new customers at all.
“At Bats” are not the same as “Plate Appearances”
Baseball distinguishes between “plate appearances” and “at bats”.
Just showing up at the plate isn’t enough. Keep reading so you don’t miss the metrics checklist…
Getting focused, not to mention staying focused, is almost impossible these days. Try one or all of these 8 Ideas to Get More Done Without Working 8 Days/Week
Over time, you’ve probably seen a lot articles comparing orchestra conductors to leaders. It’s a great metaphor with a lot of embedded wisdom and insight.
Michael Hyatt provides a nice summary in his podcast, Leadership Lessons from a Symphony Conductor. (For a slightly different take on this metaphor, take a look at a brief article I wrote many years ago, Leading by Listening? What a concept!)
How are orchestra conductors and pilots alike?
What about the intense focus that consumes a conductor during an orchestra concert?
If you can embed Flexibility into your company’s DNA, you’ll have the greatest possible chance to overcome the obstacles that bring companies to their knees. Too often we haven’t prepared for the unexpected. Here are 7 proven ways for leaders to make sure that Flexibility is embedded in your organization to help you conquer uncertainty and get the results you need.
You’ve probably seen some of the makeover shows over the years?
The 60 Minute Makeover … Get Gorgeous … How Do I Look? … Remodeled … Style by Jury … it’s a pretty darn long list, and no, I haven’t seen any on this list.
Then there’s the Ambush Makeover show that aired in 2004 – 2005. In that show, stylists descended upon an unsuspecting soul whose hairdo, clothing, fashion in general was a disaster they were determined to fix.
Extreme Makeover, Home Edition was probably one of the most popular at one point.
If you saw that one, you may have thought,
That’s kinda cool. I wish they’d come to my house. I’ve got some stuff I’d like them to do.
And, I’ll bet you didn’t give a moment’s thought to what it might cost.
Who cares? Those people are getting their makeover for “free”.
Mulligans are free. Do Overs? Not so much
I have been married forever to a beautiful woman and have one spectacular daughter who has dedicated her life to helping children with life-threatening illnesses.Read more ….