Welcome back from the unofficial start of summer.
This season often divides us into two categories: The tortoise and the hare. Do you go slowly as the weather warms up or move full speed ahead? Those who keep going will get ahead.
While others relax, this is an ideal opportunity for you to catch up, reacquaint with your priorities, and position yourself for a more profitable time when the summer slump resides. Of course, leading yourself to push ahead when others encourage you to stay behind and chill can be a challenge.
Here are eight ways to get it done:
Take inventory. What is working now and what needs to change? What did you like best about your performance during the first half of 2012? What would you like never to see repeated? Apply these questions to people, products, and profits.
Run a tournament. Too much on the list leads to procrastination. Turn your list into a sports tournament and choose winners two by two to identify your priority item. Then get to work.
Determine bench strength. Leaders don’t get ahead alone. Who’s on your team? Do they have what it takes for success? Are you carrying them or are they carrying the team and really need a bigger challenge? What moves need to occur?
Delegate. Take some items off of your tournament grid and give them to those who need the skill development to improve.
Decide. Where would you like to be? Even if you’re not there now, get clear on what it will look like and feel like when you arrive at your desired goal.
Think creatively. Downtime takes you out of your routine. Use the change to spark creativity and foster brainstorming. Continue to ask yourself “how” questions and let your mind imagination loose. Find help. When leading the business, your skills may lie in return on investments and profit margins. Those are important, but equally so is developing people to help you. Find help with training, development, and engagement. This is particularly important if your bench strength is weak.
Execute. Making a plan is easy. Moving on a plan and maintaining momentum is not. Hire a coach to keep you accountable. Involve the team to monitor progress. Without fail, take action to move ahead.
Bonus: We all need downtime and deserve a break on a holiday weekend or during the lazy days of summer, but when your mind is thinking about work anyway, make it productive time that is easy on your schedule. Allow thoughts to flow during your downtime and you’ll be even more pleased with your preparation and how it will help you get ahead. Here’s a free resource, Monday Moments, to help keep you motivated year-round.
Monica Wofford is a leadership development expert who coaches executives and provides training for managers who’ve been promoted but not prepared. She is the author of Make Difficult People Disappear and Contagious Leadership. For more information, she may be reached at 1-866-382-0121 or Info@ContagiousCompanies.com.