Today it is critical that we talk about impact. I’ve introduced a number of ideas this week, and there are more coming this weekend. But let’s face it: reading about ideas never changed anything. The impact comes from taking an idea, testing it out, and seeing if there is a way to get value from it. And if it does go well: great. If not, throw it away.
I recently had dinner with a friend, Chuck, who runs an innovative education company. Chuck told me that one of
the keys to his success is that he and his team are always testing out new ideas.
In fact they have a Google doc in which they list out the “experiments” that they are currently running for their business. (As an aside for those of you in big companies, many of the experiments they run are about how to effectively cut through the red tape of the large bureaucracies that they deal with.) And as a team, they regularly review the list and see how the experiments are going. In this way, Chuck’s company has become a leader in its field.
You can do the same thing for yourself, in your own efforts to be a better leader under pressure. Pick a couple of things that you’d like to try, and schedule a time a week from now where you’ll look back and see how those experiments went.
And I have a bit of encouragement and good news for you: it’s not just OK to start small, but it’s preferable. There is a very entertaining little book called One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way that basically says that the key is to get started with something that you can actually do. And from this success, if you can repeat it, you are much more likely to go on to bigger things.
So if leading under pressure is important to you, pick a simple experiment to run this week, and see how it goes.
ps: more blogs on “Leadership Under Pressure” coming this weekend.
© 2008 Paul Konasewich