You Are What You Consistently Do 2

Every successful business has one. It defines who they are, what they are all about and how they expect everyone who works for the organization to conduct themselves. Their mission statement gives them a sense of purpose – a beacon that keeps them on course. Successful businesses never waver from it, not even for a moment. Every decision they make must be a reflection of it or they won’t do it. They must be true to it no matter what because to deviate from it would send out the wrong message. Successful businesses create it by putting a great deal of thought into it to ensure that it will stand up to any test. That it is a true reflection of what they believe is their reason for being. I’m talking about an organization’s mission statement. A declaration to their staff, clients and potential customers what they can expect if and when they choose to do business with them.

“Once you know the “Why” – the “How” will become clear”

You are in charge of “You” Inc. You are the President, CEO and Chairperson of you. What is your mission statement? Why are you here? What are you wanting to accomplish? Are you being true to you and what you’ve set out to be? Or are you veering off the course you set for yourself and need to make an adjustment to get back on track? Remember – It’s never too late to start a new beginning. It’s never to late to adjust your sails and steer your rutter in the right direction. One day you will wake up and there won’t be any more time to do the things you’ve always wanted to do. To be the person you wanted to be. Take a moment to reflect, recharge and rededicate yourself to completing your “Mission” in life. To living a purposeful life – a life a purpose.

“It is only when a person has their own generator that we can talk about motivation. He then needs no outside stimulation. He wants to do it” – Frederick Herzberg

Ask yourself – What do you want? What are you looking to accomplish? And what are you prepared to do to make it happen? The words coulda – shoulda – woulda – must not be part of your vocabulary. You are what you consistently do. Do those things that will help you fulfill your mission in life. Do those things that will help you live a purposeful life – the life that you envisioned for yourself. The more that you do them – the more they will become you. And I promise you – you will be better for it and so will the people around you. Cheers, 🙂

BARNES & NOBLE | Confessions of a Reformed Control Freak: The Top Ten Sins Most Managers Make and How to Avoid Them by Brian Smith, Brian Smith, via Smashwords | NOOK Book (eBook), Paperback

Great News! My book – Confessions of a Reformed Control Freak – is now available at Barnes & Noble. I wrote this book so that managers, team leaders & supervisors would /could learn from my mistakes. And trust me – in my 40+ year career as a general manager for one of Canada’s largest and best run organizations and an award winning entrepreneur I’ve committed each one of these sins at one time or another. If I knew then what I know now – there is no question I would have managed differently. After reading this book you will manage differently too. The e-Reader Edition is yours for $9.99. If you are looking for a signed paperback copy please contact me directly for details.

BARNES & NOBLE | Confessions of a Reformed Control Freak: The Top Ten Sins Most Managers Make and How to Avoid Them by Brian Smith, Brian Smith, via Smashwords | NOOK Book (eBook), Paperback.

The Days of “Manager Knows Best” Are Ending – Sujai Hajela – Harvard Business Review

Your success as a manager will be based on your ability to communicate and interact effectively with others. – It’s no longer totally dependent on what you know. Do what you do well and delegate the rest. Learn to give up control to get control. Great article – well worth the read. – Enjoy

The Days of “Manager Knows Best” Are Ending – Sujai Hajela – Harvard Business Review.

On Time and On Budget – Managing Team Time

One of your many duties as a manager is to step back once in a while and take a look at the big picture so you can get a sense of where you, your department or organization needs to be in 9, 12 or 18 months. You need to be able to position yourself to take advantage of any new trends or opportunities that are just starting to appear on the horizon.

Managers are agents of change – who make the kinds of changes needed to adapt to changing conditions. You need to be able to manage your time and your teams time so you have the time to do all those things that you are going to be held accountable for. (That’s why you need to learn how to delegate effectively). You need to learn how to give up control to get control.

This is my second posting in a series of blogs designed to give you some valuable insight into how to manage your time and your teams time more effectively. We all have just 168 hours in the course of a week. No more – or no less. You need to learn how to be both effective and efficient to excel managing in the 21st Century. (The productivity equation will never change. You need to minimize the input and maximize the output)

Last week I wrote about Setting Goals and Establishing Priorities (The Key to Time Management is Life Management) – This weeks blog posting is all about Planning and Scheduling – the next two categories on my list of seven that seem to take up most of a manager’s time.

Worth Remembering …

“I love deadlines. I especially like the whooshing sound they make as they go flying by.” – Douglas Adams

Planning: You’ve no doubt heard it a thousand times – “Fail to plan – plan to fail”. But it’s absolutely true. Committing to a goal and then writing a plan to accomplish that goal demonstrates to yourself and others that you are serious about achieving that goal. Dreams are goals with deadlines. Goals and planning go hand in hand. Without a good plan – goals are almost impossible to achieve. (Wishing and hoping won’t make it so. Achieving your goals is a planned event) The goal is the end result  – the plan is the little steps you’re going to take to get there. (If you are travelling from Ottawa to Florida and end up in Quebec City. You know you have the wrong plan)

  • Flexibility is the key to successful planning. Allow time for unexpected things like interruptions, equipment breakdowns and crises. How ever long you think it’s going to take you – times that number by two.
  • If you need something completed by Friday and you know it’s going to take at least two days to complete it – then you better be having someone start it on Tuesday afternoon or first thing Wednesday morning.
  • Make sure your time line and time estimates are do-able. You can be efficient and not effective and vise-versa. Efficient because you got it done but not effective because you took too long to do it – or you had to do it again because it wasn’t done right the first time.
  • You should be arriving at work having already gone over your plan, set your daily priorities and be ready to take on the day.

Scheduling: So far you have decided on a goal – created a written plan listing all the steps that need be done to achieve that goal – and now you’re ready to schedule a start and completed by time for each step of your plan. Think baby steps. I do this – then I do that – and eventually I will have accomplished all I set out to do. (Anyone can eat an elephant – one bite at a time)

To be on time and on budget requires a schedule. You can’t leave anything to chance. Some managers schedule too much – but most managers don’t schedule enough. You need to schedule enough staff on the retail floor to take advantage of selling opportunities – especially at peak times. No sense having staff there when the customers aren’t. You need to schedule a production run to fill customer orders. Scheduling is critical to the overall success of any department or organization. If you don’t like to do the scheduling – delegate it – but review it – and insure everyone follows it.

  • Planning is deciding “What” to do. Scheduling is deciding “When” to do it.
  • When ever you commit anything to writing (Goals and Plans) make sure you also write down how long you think it’s going to take you or someone else to do it – and when you need it done by. Due dates or due times create a sense of urgency. It motivates us to get in gear. (That’s Scheduling 101)
  • When ever you complete a task and before you start a new one ask yourself – “What is the best use of my time right now?” You may find that you have a spare moment between meetings or before you need to return a clients phone call. Look at your To-Do List and pick an item that can be done in the amount of “Free” time you have between tasks (I use this one a lot. You may be surprised when you find out how much you can accomplish in 5, 10 or 20 minutes)
  • Identify your “Prime Time”. The time of the day when you are at your very best. When you seem to be firing on all cylinders. We all have a “Prime Time” but not everyone’s is at the same time. My prime time is between 4:30 and 10:00 am. Once I hit 3:00 pm – I know I’m done for the day. I may check my emails after 3:00 pm but if they require an answer that is going to take some thought – I won’t tackle it until the next morning. I know from experience that I’ll end up redoing it anyways so I might as well save the time. Schedule those tasks that are going to take all of your energy – when you have to be at your most creative self – or when you need to make a critical decision – in your “Prime Time”.  (Next week – Interruptions and Meetings)