I hear from a lot of managers how their organizations want to achieve too much with a fraction of its real costs and get staff to do more than they can possibly accomplish.
The disease-to-overachieve that permeates in many organizational cultures is strong where the need is irrational leading to unhealthy decision options. Manager complain of longer work hours, additional responsibilities without supports, resources, and systems alignment, and expectations to be easy on the budget.
Overachievement comes from fear.
Fear of not measuring up;
Fear of failure;
Fear of being not being seen as a strong and viable entity;
Fear of not being on par with your constituencies and networks;
This fear is overcompensated by absorbing too much, too soon, and with too little. Scope creep becomes an accepted norm. Resisting this in a culture where more is great is near suicidal and would cost a career loss.
I heard some time ago from a local town person that their local township is trying to be what it's not. People in the inside can't see this clearly.
If you're caught up in the whirlwind of overachievement, ask your leaders, the following questions:
1. What exactly they want to remove off your plate so you can get things done on more important things?
2. What supports and resources are available right now to achieve these goals?
3. What goals are good-to-have and what are the musts?
4. What activities generate the best outcomes?
These questions can lead to more realization and quite frankly, a light in the tunnel.
I just said today that ethics trumps talent in a class.
One said, "so it's okay to hire mediocre but good people in your organization.'
Talent is so overrated and that hiring managers are beginning to look at not just the 'soft side' of competence but the overall adaptability and mindset of the person they are looking to hire.
At the end of the day, the worst corporate scandals are committed by people who are have no qualms circumventing the laws of the land to suit their motives and agenda.
This is not a zero-sum game either. There has been a shift towards hiring employees who do not have the perfect CV or educational background but have the right mental, emotional, and intellectual fitness for long-term growth. Good enough is better than someone that can't be trusted to make major decisions for the company, whose integrity is questionable or consistency suspect.
At the end of the day, when ethical dilemmas arise in the workplace, which always happen, in micro or macro way, we hope and pray that the one making the decision has the moral and ethical code he/she lives by daily. We hope that our HR managers can stand up for what's right in a given situation. We hope that our executives truly exhibit transformative leadership.
Ethics is the cornerstone in our businesses and organizations. It's the rudder in a turbulent, volatile and ambiguous world we live in. It's the compass, without which we will become a civilization without a heart and soul.
Lately in a coaching conversation, I learned that applying a COVID19 lens as an intentional approach to planning, decision-making, and resources allocation is not only safe but strategic.
Given that majority of the world is still battling the third wave, dangerous variants have weakened and collapsed many health care systems in the developing countries, and developed countries have yet to pick up the pieces of their lives and economies- COVID19 will not go away just as it came.
The COVID19 lens should be used beyond the pandemic and the virus transmission. It's about reconstruction, restoration, and healing of societies and economies. It's also about getting back to the root causes that alienate us from our environment, community, and self-sustainability. I heard that those people who recover from COVID19 had after-effects felt for months and years.
These are facts we are grappling today:
How can the whole society recover from mental health issues, depression, and isolation? How can we recover from deaths of family, friends, neighbors, officemates due to COVID19?
How can we recover from suicides of people close to us who died because of COVID19 isolation?
How can we recover our businesses from taking a nose dive due to lockdowns and travel/mobility restrictions?
How can we recover from deaths that are not COVID19 because the health care systems refuse to treat emergency surgeries?
These are not irrecoverable or irreparable but they do leave lasting impacts that will take years to completely undo.
On a positive note, this virus will never be back again. On a more realistic note, we will have to face more diseases, deadlier than this one unless we get better at monitoring, testing, rules and policy enforcements, and cooperation.
How are you operating your organization through the COVID19 lens and beyond? Are you ready for the slow but sure emergence in the horizon?
Organizations with individuals who are full of egos are heading towards an internal sabotage, if not abated.
These individuals who have talent but lack empathy and self-awareness, no matter how valuable they are in the organization are running on a limited bandwidth.
When push comes to shove, their talent can't be depended on when a serious adjustments and adaptations are required from everyone in the organization.
When strategic thinking is required, they tend to reason out why things can't be done in the organization versus having a mindset of openness and flexibility.
Misaligned teams and Boards do not ever accomplish more than they intend to do. They can be the proverbial 'stumbling block' to serious attempt at steering the organization to a better direction.
If there are too many fragile egos in the room, prepare to use more than fair share of wisdom and insight.
You need an expert strategy advisor to help you navigate the politics in your organization.
Let me help you get to where you want to go.
Convert selfish egos to productive work.
When everything is urgent, nothing is urgent.
When everything is a priority, nothing is a priority.
Change efforts go by the wayside if there's not enough urgency within the organization
to ensure that it will be given an undivided attention and resources it needs. Moving the strategic priorities into implementation requires consistent and constant pressure from management that understands strategic management.
85% of strategic plans do not get implemented. When the rubber hits the road, the tendency is to focus on the day-t0-day mundane issues, relegating the higher objectives into the backburner. This stop-and-go scenario will delay your progress and unconsciously reward inventing obstacles.
Managers and leaders- stop treating all crisis as equal. You should know how to treat priorities as real priorities, or your employees will not believe another memo with an urgent stamp.
It's not what they hear, it's what they see in action that gets believed.
Politicians travelling during the holidays set very bad examples. If they can't heed the directive, then how are we, ordinary mortals can believe these leaders every time they open their mouths and make another directive.
If your organization says something else, but no one believes it, you are inviting a cognitive dissonance. What you do is far more effective than what is said in the memos or in talk in the cafeteria halls and weekly meetings.
I was once in a meeting where the supervisor once said, "Be thankful that you have a job." This was after hearing what we think about the current state of uncertainty gripping the whole organization in terms of budget cuts, staff lay-offs, and internal conflicts.
It's like the blind leading the blind. You can't get any assurance or clarity from someone who doesn't and couldn't lead.
Well, she wasn't able to stay for another term.