By this time of the year, work is moving at a fast pace for most leaders. We’re long past the holidays and past setting plans. We’re directing, aligning, enabling, achieving, reporting, challenging, problem solving, and making decisions along the way.
It can make us dizzy or throw us of track if we don’t remain alert. This week’s Leading Choices talks about keeping focus when you’re in a storm or when the business train is running at a mind-blowing speed.
1 – Leading ThoughtI skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it is. — Wayne Gretzky Click To Tweet
2 – You Choose
Sometimes the best way to make progress is to take regular time to stop, reflect and plan with clarity. Sounds counterintuitive, doesn’t it?
Constant running doesn’t allow you to assess whether you are on the right track, or are using the right approach, or have missed a stop sign. At best, it trains you to be reactionary like a good knee-jerk, not level-headed like a great leader.
To make great decisions in the middle of a storm or when business is running at a fast speed, you need to know your foundation. Your foundation is comprised of your values, company priorities, your team priorities and clarity on where you are headed and how you will get there.
I once heard that a pro golfer asks his trainer to teach him the basics, like how to hold and swing a club. He had already proven that he knows how to do this, yet he takes time to focus on the basics. He is recalibrating. It helps him to focus on making decisions in the moment, when the basics need to be second nature.
How can you set a great foundation and stay focused? How do you make confident decisions, and repeatedly fast ones?
Set a foundation. Reserve regular time for stops.
Here are reflection questions to recalibrate and get a 20,000-ft view to stay focused on the ‘big picture’ when high-speed business activities are prone to side-track you or suck you into reactionary thinking:
- What is being expected of my firm, team, and me?
- Did my priorities align with that today / this week?
- What legacy do I want to leave behind?
- What informs my decisions?
- Did my decisions reflect my vision this week?
- How many of my actions this week were in line with the overall goal? Where do I need to recalibrate?
A hectic employee never gives the impression of trustworthiness to make decisions. It takes regular practice to lay a foundation that will allow you to gain speed and remain focused and calm as you make confident decisions.
3 – Way to Grow!
As a stretch challenge, block deliberate time this week on your calendar to run through this recalibration exercise. Rinse and repeat.
- How to Make Strategic Thinking a Habit (Course) – 34 min.
- Making Better Decisions by Thinking in Bets (Course) – 28 min.
- A CEO Only Does Three Things: Finding Your Focus in the C-Suite (Book) – 224 pages
- The Focus Project: The Not So Simple Art of Doing Less (Book) – 318 pages
Here’s to making confident decisions!