Do your damn job…don’t just talk about it!

Here’s the thing, no one wants to really take accountability for “doing” the work so we spew platitudes like:

  • “Our people are our most important resource”
  • “We value our customer/client relationships”
  • “Our vision is…(fill in the blank)”
  • “Our values are…”
  • Any sentence that contains any form of the word strategyvision, or leader

(If you would like a comprehensive list, Scott Berkun put together a pretty good one and Eric Jackson also created a killer list of things to say that would all score pretty well if you were playing “buzzword bingo”)

As Ralph Waldo Emerson said “Your actions thunder so loudly, I can not hear what you are saying.”.  I believe that if we spent less time thinking about how to tell people what we are doing and simply did it; our lives, and the lives of others, would be more meaningful (for us) and impactful (to them).

Here are some thoughts on how to get shit done:

  • Have a vision for each of the people who report to you and not just a vision for the company
  • Share your vision of them with them and challenge them to see it…and then get buy-in from them to work towards it. If you do this one thing, retention takes care of itself
  • Talk to people and not about them
  • If someone’s name comes up during a meeting in terms of performance demand there be a meeting date set and action plan created to address the issue with measureable goals and then move on
  • Ask customers/clients/employees what they think and don’t assume or spent time trying to figure it out
  • Step out from behind your desk and venture into the world to find out what your competition is doing and where your industry is headed
  • Ask questions you don’t already know the answers and truly listen to the responses AND then take actions based on what you have learned
  • Show your people that you are learning every day which creates the expectation they do the same
  • Focus on creating a sustainable organization and not just making as much money as you can right now (this requires balance and sacrifice in equal measures)
  • Create engaging work that pays well and stop worrying about morale or making people happy (happiness is choice each individual has to make)
  • Be clear and concise with your expectations and write it down
  • Victims love vagueness
  • Hold yourself and others accountable for commitments
  • This one action, if consistently applied, will change people’s lives because it shows them what they are capable of achieving
  • Understand what winning looks like for you, your team, and the organization and ensure there is alignment
  • I don’t know about your company but not many are in business just for practice
  • Focus on output, not time
  • Don’t reward people who work longer hours but get less done
  • Teach your team how to manage their energy and focus (once you can manage your own)
  • Create an environment where people engage in meaningful conversations about important topics because they care about each other
  • If you are uncomfortable having these types of conversations, then you don’t really care about your people…end of story
  • Ensure people can separate themselves from their work so when there are discussions about performance it is constructive and not a personal attack (again because if people care about people, then they will want to help them by telling them the truth)
  • One last platitude to consider…

“If it were easy, everyone would do it.”

It is not and that is why not many do.

Step 1: Get Over Yourself!

Inertia is a Bitch...