"If you don't like how things are, change it! You're not a tree." ~Jim Rohn
"Either you deal with what is the reality or you can be sure that the reality is going to deal with you." ~Alex Haley
We all have those persistent problems that we come across in our roles as leaders. The product feature that is difficult to understand, the item that gets returned constantly, the extra step in the process or report, the behavior patterns of our staff, etc. The question is whether it is worth the effort to change it, or should we just deal with it? We have finite resources from an organizational perspective (budget, employees, facilities, etc) and from a personal perspective (time, focus, etc.) and how we manage those constraints and where we put those resources is a large part of management and leadership. There are three considerations to get the answer:
What will it take to fix it?
How much time does it cost you each time?
How frequently is the process done?
This seems obvious, but we are usually so busy putting out fires we don’t think about it in this way. But by going through this process, your priorities can come from simple math. How long will it take to recoup your investment in time to fix the issue and what is the upside past that? The bonus of spending your time and resources in the most effective way possible is that you will often end up freeing up time due to better processes which to address even more problems.
Some simple takeaways:
- The daily processes have more power than the weekly, than the monthly, etc. Focus on what comes up each day first.
- Anything that takes less than 5 minutes to fix should be taken care of. Usually these are conversations, sometimes painful or “political”, that you just NEED to have. Get them over with and start reaping the benefits.
- Get started on a few simple things to build momentum for larger and more impactful changes.
Don’t let your feelings at the moment determine your action items, think about it logically and you will free up more time and get through everything much quicker in the long run.