When was the last time you took a moment and started rethinking the norm? Have you recently asked yourself, “Is this the best way to do it?”
It can be easy as a leader to continue doing things because it is just the way we have always done it. We are creatures of habit; we like routine because it is easy and thoughtless.
If you are a leader within your organization, the change must start with you. Step back and think of all the things that you do and the ways that they get done. What is the rhythm of your week? Over the past two years, the pandemic has forced people to move out of their comfort zones. We had to rethink how to do things in order to keep moving forward as a business.
Rethinking the norm
The best thing you can do is justify everything from the ground up. Here are six questions to help challenge the norm:
- Why are we doing this? What is the goal we are trying to achieve?
- Is it working?
- What is the cost? Make sure to think about more than just the dollar cost. What does it cost for time? What are the opportunity costs and emotional costs?
- Is it worth the cost?
- Can we do this in less time or with fewer steps, money, and people? Or can we do this with more people? Or different people?
- What would we do if something changed, and we couldn’t do this anymore? What would be our alternative?
Once you have gone through the list and found where you can improve your process to be more efficient, you will then decide how you are going to do this.
Building New Procedures
Since we are creatures of habit, it can be challenging to find the motivation we need to get building these new procedures and start rethinking the norm. If we, as leaders, lack that motivation, how are we supposed to convince our employees to do it as well?
Sometimes we think so much about the task that it just continues to get more difficult to begin. The best advice I have is to stop thinking and just start!
I have had to get through my fair share of complex tasks and so have the people I lead, but here are three things I always try to remember myself and to teach those who look for me for leadership.
Focus on the Finish Line
I am sure we have all sat there and thought about a task that we just didn’t want to do. You fixate on each step, looking at how much needs to get done and how long it will take. This can be a slippery slope and will make starting the task and getting it done more difficult.
Focus on the finish line and not everything that needs to be done. What will happen when you finally complete the task?
Don’t Over Measure
It can be easy to hyper-focus on the time that goes by as you are attempting to complete a task, but this can distract us and take our eye off the ball.
Encourage yourself and others to focus on the task instead of everything else going on around you.
Don’t Do it Alone
I’ve learned that doing something alone isn’t the best answer. It can be so much easier to do tasks we aren’t keen on when you have someone to do it with.
Have employees work together to get things done and I bet their motivation will increase!
Share Your Appreciation
When your team is done completing a difficult task, be sure to share the appreciation you have for them. When you personalize someone’s experience within the company, they will feel appreciated and potentially more motivated to work hard.
Be the leader that can make a person feel like they are the most important person in the room – it’s the small things that make people feel like they belong.
Comment below and tell me how you motivate your team to get a challenging job done and then how you appreciate them for their work!