Hi, I’m home…..Good dinners in the dog!! You know the scetch, sadly in too many cases today there is more truth to this than should be. Life in business, whether a business owner, director or executive, is all about hustle and grind. Well, I’m sure there will be enough reading this that will agree. If this sounds familiar then read on as I aim to share some ideas to stop overfeeding your dog! How through management you can stop the hustle and grind?
Before I go on the first thing to realise is you are your worst problem. You are the reason you are working so hard and probably not in the areas you add value. You are almost certainly doing employees’ work and not your work as a business owner or director/executive. In fact, it’s very likely that the hustle and grind continue once you leave work and get home because that’s the only time you have to get it done. There’s more in relation to that in the article Time Management or Self Management.
Stop Overfeeding The Dog
Now it could be argued that in order to get more done you need to focus on Self Discipline, and that would be right. The point here is you are already doing too much and not being able to focus on your contribution to the business and team. In all likelihood, you first need to focus on establishing some management process which will start to release you from the hustle and grind.
5 Step Management
The 5 step management process is a simple yet extremely effective way to allow you to focus on your role. It will also improve the leverage from the team and improve time efficiency. It also creates an environment from which leadership will flourish. Before I share the 5 steps let me first offer you a great piece of advice. To introduce any change often creates a level of resistance from the team. So don’t try to introduce the process all at once. When introducing the 5 steps plan is to do it for over 5 weeks. Each week you add another step and encourage the team to work hard in the introduction of it. This will take discipline on your part.
Step 1 – Daily Lists
The last activity from every team member completes at the end of a working day is to set out what they aim to achieve tomorrow. Their daily list. Now let’s be clear on one key aspect, this isn’t a list of stuff. This is a calculated list of tasks that will be completed in the day. A daily list should have the following:
- A key task that has been put off continually and needs to be completed. Incidentally, this should be done first each day.
- Tasks that contribute to the business’s quarterly goals.
- Calls to make and emails to send.
- Any additional tasks.
Step 2 – WIP Meeting
You host a weekly work in progress (WIP) meeting. This meeting is designed to ensure that the team is coordinated and collaborating. The meeting is structured and set to a specific agenda. In all probability, your team will seek your advice guidance and direct support with issues, challenges, and suggestions throughout the week. This is often the source of overwhelm as you start to deal with their issues at their request. From the introduction of the WIP they ‘bring it to the meeting’! Stop dealing with their issues on their call!
Step 3 – Weekly 1-2-1s
Weekly 1-2-1s ensure your team is directly accountable to their task lists and on track to complete weekly. A top tip is to have this meeting on a Thursday, this means Friday is available for any outstanding tasks to be completed. It also ensures you are able to build strong relationships with everyone in your team. getting to know everyone will help you understand how they tick and their best working conditions.
Step 4 – Team Visits
Throughout the week you then need to be visiting the team. Make a habit to get around to the locations, departments or desks of your team. Engage with them at the coal face. You begin to gain a real sense of what’s going on and feel a greater attachment to the team. It will dramatically reduce the distance between you (the boss) and the team.
Step 5 – Next Week Planning
Now in week five the final piece to the puzzle. Before the ‘end of play’ Friday the team members not only plan Monday’s activity they also plan their focus for the next week. Have each team member seek to write out up to 6 goals they aim to achieve in the following week. This forms the basis for the weekly plan.
Now applying yourself for the next 5 weeks to have a dramatic shift in your productivity by managing your team will have a big impact. It will impact what the team achieves and will impact the time you release. The next question is what do you do with all that time you find?
Now there’s a challenging thought!