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A few weeks of renovating kitchen cabinets gave me the perspectives to think about how these processes can be used by leaders and executives running their organizations.
As a first-time DIYer, the Covid-19 forces many of us to start tinkering around the house, clean the garage, and get down to some work that had to be done anyway. There is plenty of down time to be fully appreciated.
Painting kitchen cabinets could be difficult but with plenty of preparation and research and getting the right tools, it can be exhilarating, to say the best.
Prep work is key-clean, sand, degrease, prime, fill, sand, and check again. This could be repeated several times until you get that shiny product you can be proud of.
One thing though is your attempt for perfection versus having a good enough product. What is good enough for you is a subjective question that you as a leader should be able to answer. Other people will tell you to do more for less impact and outcome because it's good to do or for other aesthetic reasons.
Keep your outcomes front and center. Defining and keeping what matters most is very crucial. One more additional step that is not needed is waste.
Repeating the process is a good discipline. Once you reach mastery, you can see which steps can be substituted and skipped with no consequences whatso ever. Mastery brings satisfaction and leads to excellence.
Lastly, the process requires patience and understanding of the time it will take to actually get the finished product right. Expect many iterations and bumps . Projects like this need a realistic timeline.
Bear in mind that there will be many interruptions and waiting times, it's best to enjoy the moments of learning, making mistakes, and discovering yourselves in the process.
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There are many upsides of the crisis and while we are enjoying some of the restrictions taken off in Stage 2 and 3, we need to appreciate the lasting impacts of the benefits of these restrictions in our lives and organizations.
1. Less meetings we don't need. Virtual filters all the non-essential, repetitious, and dull meetings with no agenda or objectives in mind.
2. Less travels we don't need. Non-essential travel ban forces us to look at our travel plans and adjust to whatever can create enjoyment without crossing the border and spending monies on hotels, flights, in-ground transportations, and other splurges.
3. Less time to be inundated with people wanting to talk to you to get something. The pandemic forces us to be more respectful of people's time and mindful of how we come across to them, being positive and always offering value.
4. Less time to tinker and float around. No, this is not the time to ease on the gas pedal. We can be mediocre and comfortable with routines but this time, it calls for greater vigilance and response-ability to changing dynamics every couple of weeks.
5. Less time to feel down and out. The less time for work can give us the focus we need to spend more time with families and hobbies that can rejuvenate us.
What other upsides do you experience in the recovery stage?
How can we build a lasting legacy of positive effects we can internalize now and moving forward
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Today, the diminishing practice of a gentleman's agreement or people's agreement if we have to be more inclusive in our language is concerning.
The other day, my husband is collecting his fees from a client and the client promised to pay him the balance he owed. Today, he told me that that promise is not a sure thing. It can change on daily basis. The person is not to be trusted on his words, because his actions do not suggest trust.
Sad to say, that a lot of people do not get to understand that their words carry a lot of weight. When they say it, they should be able to deliver based on those words spoken as part of 'palabra de honor'- word of honor. Of course, conditions are set for those commitments to be delivered.
How many people in this generation can actually say with a straight face that they practice that in their daily business and life. You are what you commit yourself verbally.
There is a moment that decisions and commitments must be made after weighing in on considerations and options. Then, it is time to execute them in order to transform commitments to real gains. Without integrity, institutions and organizations will fall and fail on the basis of their omissions that hurt in the long run.
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There is no better way than to rethink your organization, business, and life in this time.
We are not shocked that there are new cases of COVID19 in many places.
Wearing masks, social distancing, and keeping clean are a way of life.
Suddenly, we are immune to all the onslaught of changes that require enormous amount of adaptation.
Yet, we refuse to see things clearly, isolate the positives of the situation and process them in a way that creates momentum for us.
The last time I checked, stronger companies are having their best seasons. People continue to invest in growth, both in business and in their lives. There is no limit to how people can adapt magnanimously to limits imposed by health and safety authorities.
We should remain committed to being inured to epidemic but not immune to goodness and positives that abound everyday.
Cheers to another great week
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Within my network of business executives and leaders who are doing well, I see two patterns of opportunity-seeking behavior that are important to underline in this time.
One is that they don't believe in palliative measures and don't look to outward signals to navigate their way out of the pandemic slump. They create their own metrics, dig into what they do best, and engage their peers and industry leaders to help them move strategically.
The second pattern I observe is that these leaders believe with all of their hearts that investing and increasing their impacts is now, in spite and despite of the volatility of the markets. Waiting for the green signal from WHO, CDC, and other institutions to say that all is clear is like waiting for a new utopian society. Nobody knows what's going to happen next year, in two years, so on and so forth.
Two organizations have embarked on a new expansion project for their facilities, upgraded their equipment and protocols, and increase their value as a result. Another organization had been relentless in deepening their connections with their stakeholders that it has become a mature and evolved center since the pandemic, offering never-been-conceived offerings and services, not just as a response to help, but a mission-laden value. The pandemic accelerated their transition from an underperforming asset to a powerhouse organization! A number of organizations have decided that hiring for the future but keeping with the responsibility of pandemic prevention is the way to go.
There are powerful examples of not coasting along and resisting to just cope and endure. Beyond resilience, leaders must prepare for the inevitable-radical change that is now in our faces!
What are you doing now to increase your value and impact to your customers and stakeholders? What is the winning mindset that you should adopt to enable you to thrive and not just endure the crisis?
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My three-year old gave me another line of insight. We were doing an exercise for preschoolers where we had to connect the dots to identify the character.
I guess this is a bit of no-brainer, but I met a lot of executives and business leaders who were so enamored by an approach, methodology, or tactic that they couldn't see past it to get to the big picture. Thousands of dollars were wasted on useless trainings or apps that only palliatively addressed an issue in the organization, mostly cosmetic or good-to-have in the course of a highly-political or contested situation in the organization.
Is it because of looking good to the outsiders or it's about allaying the fears and skepticism of the higher-ups that middle-level managers go to the 12 steps or programs and get enough funds dispersed. After the initial euphoria and looking back, they realized that they don't have to do all the administrative, bureaucratic, and consultative arrangements to get to the root cause or suggest a solution.
People, connect the dots quickly, not on the paper but by making intelligent guesses with evidence that you can see on the ground and act in that manner
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Of course, cash is king.
While cash is king, you should/should be:
1. Operating from the position of maximizing value;
2. Eschewing perfection, perfect timing, perfect execution, perfect Zoom meetings, perfect video face, etc.
3. Doing, not overthinking;
4. Telling employees what to do, not ask them what they think they should do or you should do!
5. Not dodging the bullet, accepting responsibility for mistakes and errors of judgement;
6. Considering investing, not saving on costs;
7. Reducing output, leveraging outcomes;
8. Acknowledging some things that shouldn't have happened in the first place;
9. Finding the root cause of success and rinse and repeat;
1o. Rinse and repeat.
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Don't be a super-hero in your organization.
The office is not burning.
They can live without you, even prosper.
Do you actually add value with your presence?
Your co-workers are adults. They make their own decisions.
Paper pushing is not considered work.
Don't make a to-do list. Make an outcomes list.
Stop editing yourself all the time.
Don't feign attention. Attention is for crucial matters.
Don't choose your successor.
Brainstorming is a waste of time. Get someone to do the basic thinking process.
Who has the time to make notes for everyone?
Less is more.
Bring value every time.
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Happy Birthday Canada!
Ten Things I love about Canada:
1. Courtesy in the road for mergers.
2. Best health care in the world.
3. Hockey is culture not just a sport.
4. You can buy your native food almost all the time at every town.
5. Line ups are respected.
6. There are many answers to the question, "where are you from?"
7. Small talk frames the day.
8. Come prepared for any weather, especially in Alberta.
9. Emergencies are emergencies.
10. Enforcers enforced; they don't play tricks on you.