That would be my attempt at spelling out the memorable chant from the old cajun guy in the movie The Waterboy.
Constant encouragement - Yes!
Necessarily planned and realistic…well, only in the movies (as they say).
When we talk about achieving your biggest priority over the next 12-months, doing what is realistically doable is the only path forward.
But how do you do that?
Do you just go heads down and push through a problem no matter what?
Do you force an outcome based on a predetermined deadline and lower expectations?
Do you outsource everything and hope for best?
Well, we’d advise no, No and NO!
But there is a way, a very precise and systematic way, to determine what is doable BEFORE you start the doing process.
Below are a few tips to help determine what's most doable to start doing first.
- Assuming you've established your 1) Main Thing and 2) One Thing (first 90 focus), ask your team this simple question - “Ok team, knowing that we have 90 days to accomplish this first goal, and knowing that if we don’t accomplish our first 90-day goal, our Main Thing, the single objective for the 12-months, more than likely won’t happen - What is the FIRST THING that we need to do in order to be successful?
- As your team responds, more than likely, the quick answer will not be the best answer…it rarely is. So, challenge your team's first response by repeating what you asked in the first step. Do it like this: “Ok, so, what you are telling me that if we do X, knowing that we have 90 days to accomplish this first goal and knowing that if we don’t accomplish our first 90-day goal, our Main Thing, the single objective for the 12-months, more than likely won’t happen - this is the single most important thing that we do first in order to accomplish all of this?"
- While these are all steps to establish the FIRST THING that you should work on, these steps are required for you to establish what is doable. Once you’ve narrowed down what should be done first, now you are ready to press the team on what is doable. Do this using the following tactics:
- Use WHAT and HOW questioning. This will help your team think critically through what has to be done.
- Get an estimated time, each day and week, that it will take for them to complete this initiative, knowing the deadline can’t be missed. Force them to give you a number.
- Lastly, and most importantly, you must ask them how they will get this done AND do their day job. For example - if they told you that it would take an additional 20 hours per week for the next 8 weeks, how will they take on that extra work and do the work they were hired to do? What you will find, as simple as it sounds, is that your team has not thought through how this will get done. And, as a result, something will give: either their day job or the tasks that are key to your initiative. Neither is the right answer. So, work with your team to determine a short-term plan to support them by either shifting work internally or bringing in external help.
We all want to be successful doing what we say we are going to do. But often we’re just a little too optimistic as to how much we can take on.
Use these tips to challenge your team into doing the doable NOT what we hope we can do. After all, hope is not a strategy.
Hear more on this topic on the upcoming Episode of the Caged Vision Podcast, dropping 09/27/2018.
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