4 Master Skills for Better Self-Leadership
During the summer months in San Francisco, I’m covered by a thick soupy fog. This past July, I drove to Berkeley for two reasons. #1, I haven't seen sunshine in 6 weeks. #2, my friend Bob Arzt was giving a talk and I wanted to learn from an expert. Bob has decades of experience coaching and training sales professionals. I jumped at the chance to learn from one of the best. I took copious notes. These were just a few highlights from his workshop.
#1. Subtract First, Then Add
You've probably heard of this advice about your closet. This will help those you have a hard time saying no. Before agreeing to another request, give yourself a buffer to think about it first. "I want to give this careful thought. Can I get back to you on that?" works for me every time. Once you decide that you'd like to say yes, stop. Next step is to identify another task or commitment you want to remove first. Subtract first before adding to your load. Otherwise you end up resentful, burnt out, and stressed.
#2. Never Solve The Same Problem Twice
One of my clients invents the wheel each time she hires an employee. Onboarding is ad hoc every time. No checklist, no procedure. She wings it. In Bob's presentation, he called this "flying by the seat of your pants" mismanagement. This technique results in solving the same problem over and over. How inefficient is that? So next time you find yourself solving the same problem, take the time to write out your process. I did that for my client in 30 minutes on a whiteboard. After our brainstorming session, she asked "how will we remember what we just came up with"? She has a sense of humor so I calmly assured her "Um, we have these things called computers now. I can type our ideas up." Voila!
#3. Delegate Without The Rubber Band
Do you delegate but hold on to the task just a teeny bit? You give your assistant a task but tell him to check with you before doing anything. That's not real delegation. That's rubber band-style delegation. When you delegate, you don't get to tell someone HOW to do that task. Sure, give them expectations like due date and quality level (ugly first draft or client-ready version). Then release your fingers from the rubber band completely.
#4. Relive Your Successes
Do you have negative self-talk? Those gremlins that nitpick about your smallest mistakes? I often fall victim to this story in my head: "you're not doing it right." Bob's advice to relive my successes was a great reminder to relive those times. So I don't forget the hundreds of successes I've had because those often get overshadowed by mistakes.
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