How to add new things

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This week is a short but powerful message that hopefully gets your wheels turning.

Most of my client interactions involve adding some kind of action item to their plate. We’re doing new things. We’re adding these new things to an already packed schedule. An example might be when adding a new skill for a team and the leader needs to reinforce the new activity.

The leader is sold on the concept. They know what to do. They know what will happen if they don’t do what they’re supposed to do. There is no resistance. Then the big question: How do I add this in?

Just this week an executive asked me about who to bring in to do the support of the new tasks because he just couldn’t see how to add it on top of all that was already happening. In this case it’s necessary to keep a new initiative top of mind for an entire department. A valid concern.

Hmm. There is a problem inherent in the big question: How do I add this in?

You see, we naturally think that something new is a distinct task that must have its own special process. In other words, we complicate things.

So much of leadership is talking with and listening to people right?

Here’s the secret: Those new leadership action items I’m adding to the repertoire should not be performed in a distinct, separate way.

You’re already meeting with people. It’s a natural part of your day. You’re checking status, you’re having one-on-one’s, you’re at staff meetings, you’re meeting with your people and customers.

That’s when you do the new thing. In the example above, when meeting with people in the normal course of business the leader simply has to ask about the new skill. When reviewing the monthly results, ask about how the new skill has made an impact. Goal achieved, top of mind.

You see, new things don’t always have to be a separate task or an additional meeting. We don’t have time for that.

Recognize that something as simple as remembering to ask a question can make a huge difference. Remember to multi-thread. Take advantage of the opportunities available in your natural leadership activities.

To do this week: Review each interaction you have. Can you move initiatives forward during these interactions?

Let me know how it’s goes. Click the “comments” box below to participate in an on-going discussion via LinkedIn.

Jim Canterucci

I don’t know everything. But I want to. The focus of our firm, Transition Management Advisors, is to develop leadership capabilities to create a championship culture, generate innovation, and successfully lead the resulting changes.

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On November 8, 2017
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