Many years ago someone taught me that of the 4 key management functions of planning, organising, leading and control, the weakest function was in fact control.
Apparently we are on average very good at planning, organising and leading, but we fall short at keeping it all together. We fail at controlling and following through on our plans.
You might have witnessed this in your business or in your personal life. So how do you overcome this weakness?
Here are some suggestions:
Tip #1 – Ensure there is a direct motivator.
In Shane Parish’s article The Reasons we Work
he features the book Primed to Perform: How to Build the Highest Performing Cultures Through the Science of Total Motivation
. Authors Neel Doshi and Lindsay McGregor say that there are six reasons why we do anything. There are three direct motivators and three indirect motivators. By questioning and then ensuring that your motivators are direct, you are confirming that you enjoy your work, that you find purpose in carrying it out and that the outcomes align to your value and belief system. Direct motivators or intrinsic motivators help you to maintain the desire to continue. Besides the end result, engaging in the actual work is a motivating factor.
Tip # 2 – Ensure your goals are realistic.
The planning and organising phases can be extremely exciting and you can conjure up the most dynamic and elaborate plans, which in the moment seem very practical and doable. However, once the brainstorming dust has settled you may be left with a complicated and senseless plan. This plan then lands up in the bin and you are back at square one or, you start working the plan but give up after a short period due to frustration. So, always ask yourself if your plan is realistic. Does it key into your original vision?
Tip # 3 – Ensure your plan is part of your daily/weekly routine
This is done by breaking up your plan into easy to manage pieces and scheduling daily and weekly actions for yourself. Essentially you are creating short term goals. Depending on your workload you can keep the actions down to 2 or 3 for the day or week. Always ask yourself, “Can I comfortably complete these tasks in one day or in one week?”
By incorporating your new actions into your daily and weekly schedule it will become part of your workload and not seem like “something extra to complete”.
Tip # 4 – Ensure key players are part of the planning process
By involving all relevant parties in the planning and organising exercise you build more buy-in. A deeper connection and need to achieve is created. It moves from “the plan” to “our plan”.
If you have a team of employees, bear this in mind. By including your team in the planning and organising process they start to take ownership and feel more accountable for the results. Rather have the team players wanting to achieve the end results, vs. having to achieve because they were given a plan to implement and drive.
I have no doubt there are many other tips and techniques of how to take back the control. I would be interested in hearing yours.
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