Hopefully you kissed some of the joy of summer as it flew by, put the memories in a jar, and blessed them with gratitude. Being able to do this, regardless of how full your jar is can be vital as you shift your focus to the fall. Here are a few helpful nuggets in three areas of work:
IF YOU HAVE A BOSS: Put yourself in their shoes and think through how they are looking at the next 18 months of their life. Understanding begins with observation, and if you are looking for a primer to help you in this area consider using our mapping your boss template.
IF YOU ACQUIRE CUSTOMERS: If you acquire customers for your company and have an annual sales number this time of year can be fantastic or frightful. Careful pipeline and funnel management will help you decide where to allocate your most precious asset: your time. Here are a few questions for you to review:
IF YOU RUN A TEAM: If you run a team or own the company, then you are most likely looking forward to getting back to full strength. The summer feels like you are 20% light as people take time off. If your metrics show you are behind it can be a difficult time for you. Part of you wants to make dramatic changes and only see the downside in your market and your people.
Some business advisers suggest a strategy of tilting the table on your people in order to keep them paranoid and always on edge. We have labeled this the Superbowl Myth because so many leaders try to emulate sports when motivating their people. The challenge with this notion is that sports teams have off-seasons and athletes are typically playing for less than three years. They are in the entertainment industry, which is always looking for something new. It is by definition transitional.
In contrast, many companies are looking to build a relationship with a customer that is as long and as mutually beneficial as possible. A great way to increase the lifetime value of your customer is to have employees that are able to think creatively and in harmony with each other, and the customer. They are constantly innovating together.
Consider setting up a thinking framework that allows you to see how you and your team are working with and dealing with tension. Are you only able to get things accomplished when you add so much pressure that it is like throwing a tiger in the room? Or, do you have a heading established and are moving towards that heading with the pace and purpose that comes from everyone being on the same page with respects to the priorities?
Setting a goal and allowing the right amount of tension to build within a team is the leader's charge. Chances are your team is not trying to win one championship and then take three months off. You need to win every day.
Think through the game you are trying to get everyone to play, and then seek to enter into a state of consensual interdependence with your team to properly prioritize the work goals together.
Next try our post Does Your Year Start With A Budget or a Vision?
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Drew Sanders Blog
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