Stay Focused on The Big Picture

“If you forget about the big picture, you’ll be a slave to the day to day.”

A slave to the day to day. Does that sound like today? Maybe this week? We all have those times every now and then when we feel like all we do is put out fires. However, unless you’re a firefighter, spending every day in reaction mode isn’t going to get you closer to your big picture goals.

What does slavery to the day to day look like?

  • Stuck in reaction mode
  • Feeling busy but unproductive
  • Task list items always rolling over to the next day, week, month…
  • Reluctance to commit to deadlines
  • Activities-oriented instead of results-oriented

How can we stay focused on the big picture:

  • Vision and goals – Know them and know how what you do supports them.
  • Make the connection – Track your activities for the day. At the day’s end, identify the goals your activities support.
  • Prioritize – Do the most critical things early in the day. If you don’t get your entire task list accomplished, you still tackled the most important items.
  • Focus on results – Ask, “How have today’s activities moved the ball closer to the goal?”

If you are a leader who regularly coaches teammates or other leaders, you know that there are times when the coaching relationship comes to a defining point.

One of those defining points is determining with whom you spend your time. Is it with the ones who can produce the most, or the ones who demand and need the most from you?

Here are four tips to help guide your coaching time: 

  • The answer is yes. The question above doesn’t have to be either/or. My best producers typically took up most of my time, by my choice.
  • Definitely prioritize the producers. However, make sure they learn to grow and serve others or their producing days will not multiply through others.
  • Address the high maintenance. When the demand and need becomes high maintenance then you must have a crucial conversation because high maintenance followers burn energy you could be giving to someone else.
  • Always err on the side of giving your coaching away. If you have to retreat, you know you gave that person every opportunity to succeed.

Priorities, the ones you establish in a split second, send a loud message about what and who is important to you.

Recently, one of my clients was expressing her frustration to me regarding a teammate of hers who had no respect for her time. She went on to explain that a few days ago she had a conference call scheduled for 1:00. When she made the call, the other person said, “Call me back in 15 minutes. I need to eat a sandwich.”

Wow!

So let’s break this down: The bologna sandwich was more important than the teammate.  Haha. Well, can you logically determine anything differently? (more…)

Have you ever thought that your very best still wasn’t good enough? It’s a frustrating place to be when no matter how hard you try, you feel as if you’re doomed to fail. Unfortunately sometimes we can feel that way when it comes to serving a boss. Some leaders have high standards that can be a challenge, and a few have standards that are impossible to reach!

On the flip side, really high standards can be a good thing! When your leader expects a lot out of you, you expect more of yourself. When the bar is set high, you’re more likely to work harder and stretch your own abilities further to reach it. (more…)

Balancing work life and home life can be a challenge for men and women. However, I think that working moms tend to struggle even more when it comes to optimizing the right balance between three of the most demanding and important roles in our lives – being a businesswoman, a wife, and a mom.

It’s a demanding triangle, and at times it can seem like the devil’s triangle! I am writing on this subject today as a fellow businesswoman who has earned a paycheck since I was 16, a wife to the same man for 29 years, and a mother of three beautiful children.

While I haven’t always been satisfied with my balance of these three priorities, I have picked up some good habits along the way. Here are my top four that have helped me through the challenges of being a working mom and wife. (more…)