I had a great mentoring call with one of my star clients this morning, during which our conversation turned to something she said made it one of our best calls ever. If it was that beneficial to her, I probably ought to share it more broadly with a hope it will be helpful to others as well.
As business owners, we get busy putting out fires and working (sometimes frantically) to get things done. It reminds me of a funny saying my grandpa used to share: “The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.” Can you relate?
Good leadership often means slowing down and doing less ourselves. What? Did you read that right? Yes, you did. When we try to accomplish everything on our radar, and we attempt to do it alone, we likely get less done while failing to use the skills and resources of our teams.
Here are 5 ways we can get more done by slowing down:
1. Slow Down and PLAN
Being busy accomplishes much less in the big picture when there isn’t a plan in place. Although it may be difficult to do, leave the current of doing business and take time to make a plan before proceeding.
2. Slow Down and IMPLEMENT
All the planning in the world won’t do us any good if we don’t implement the plan. How many times have we made to-do lists, marketing plans, or other types of plans only to discard them at the first fire we encounter? Stick to the plan and implement it.
3. Slow Down and GET IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME
Redoing tasks is inefficient. If we try to make up for the time we took making the plan, or we feel rushed to implement it, we will end up making mistakes, missing important details along the way, or otherwise misstepping such that we have to go back and fix our mistakes or oversights. Getting it right the first time is always worthwhile.
4. Slow Down and TRAIN
This is a tough one for driven entrepreneurs and business owners. Just like a mom who doesn’t involve her kids in doing the housework because she can do it faster herself, we miss the boat when we fail to train our team members to do a job right (the first time). Yes, it will take longer to accomplish most tasks working side-by-side with a team member in training mode than simply attacking the tasks yourself. But tomorrow it will take less time. And soon it won’t take you any time at all because the tasks have now been offloaded to someone else as part of their routine. Painful? Yes, at first. Worthwhile? Absolutely.
5. Slow Down and REVIEW
No plan is perfect. No implementation is seamless. No performance is flawless. And no training session yields permanent results. Because of these universal truths, we must take time to review our progress and adjust our course as necessary. Once we’ve reviewed our month, week, or day since our last plan, it’s time to revise the plan and begin the cycle again.
Reality dictates there isn’t just one plan in play, but rather multiple plans of different focus and duration at any given time. Because of this, we’ll usually find ourselves in all five “slow-down modes” on any given day as we address different projects and situations. When this becomes the way we naturally lead, our lives become so much more manageable. We may even choose to go an extra step and slow down and RELAX, knowing our business machine is running smoothly. Now, there’s a concept that warrants consideration.