You’ve heard it before. Do something for 21 days, and it will become a habit. Have you ever developed a new, good habit in 21 days? Didn’t think so. It hasn’t worked for me and I suspect I’m very much like most people in this regard. Continue reading
My continuing series on Google’s “10 things we know to be true.”
“Fast is better than slow.”
“We know your time is valuable, so when you’re seeking an answer on the web you want it right away–and we aim to please. We may be the only people in the world who can say our goal is to have people leave our website as quickly as possible. By shaving excess bits and bytes from our pages and increasing the efficiency of our serving environment, we’ve broken our own speed records many times over, so that the average response time on a search result is a fraction of a second. We keep speed in mind with each new product we release, whether it’s a mobile application or Google Chrome, a browser designed to be fast enough for the modern web. And we continue to work on making it all go even faster.”
There is a definite theme to the things Google “knows to be true”. No matter how good something is, it can be better. They seem to rejoice in the challenge of improving whatever it is they are working on. Since fast is better than slow, no matter how fast they get, they want to keep getting faster. They measure their current performance, attempt improvements then measure again to see if things got better. It’s a formula that works in any endeavour and it’s the foundation of the work I do with my clients. Once they start tracking performance and see the improvement that results from a focused effort, the motivation to continue the improvement grows and grows.
Image Courtesy of Jscreationzs / freedigitalphotos.net
Most improvements we make come in small, incremental steps. If we don’t measure and track performance, it’s very easy to miss the improvement. If we don’t see how our efforts are benefitting us, we miss out on the motivation that results and usually give up on the initiative entirely. What do you want to improve, and how are you measuring your success at doing it?
About Mike Bonn: I offer Business Coaching Services and facilitate the unique LMI process to help individuals and organizations improve performance. If you would like to contact me to discuss any of my blogs, or to learn more about my excellent services, give me a call at 613.743.5642 or send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can do better. It’s not a judgement. It’s a statement of fact.
Likewise, your business or organization can do better. It doesn’t mean your business is bad, it means the potential of your business is limited only by the efforts of every employee from top to bottom to improve.
It comes down to attitude. If we think we’re good enough, we stop looking for ways to do things better. If we stop finding better ways to do things, we stagnate, and since others are improving, we fall behind.
Even if you gave 100% today, if you learn more about what you do, practice it, work at it and refine it tomorrow, you will be better at it.
Next week, with the improvements you make, your 100% will amount to more than the 100% you gave today. How can you increase your 100%?
Image courtesy Renjith Krishnan / freedigitalphotos.net
About Mike Bonn: I offer Business Coaching Services and facilitate the unique LMI process to help individuals and organizations improve performance. If you would like to contact me to learn more about my excellent services, give me a call at 613.743.5642 or send me an email: email@example.com.
If you haven’t seen the FedEx ad about sending “this box” to Germany. Watch it here.
I find this ad very funny, but its true brilliance comes out when we look at it as a metaphor for the problem so many of us face in our businesses and in our personal lives. We know where we are, we know where we want to go, but it’s that “fuzzy middle” that stops us from making consistent strides towards the goal.
This is where a good manager, mentor or business coach can help. He’ll help you clarify the goal – “Are you sure you want the box to go to Germany?” He’ll help as you figure out a plan, bringing the “fuzzy middle” into focus. And then, critically, he’ll help you stay on track when executing the plan – questioning, challenging and encouraging to make sure that you are taking the actions that will ensure you reach your goals. He’ll make sure you get the box to Germany.
Who’s helping you figure out the “fuzzy middle”?
If I have to inform you of a problem and I know you will ask me a series of questions about why it happened, I will prepare by coming up with a series of explanations and rationalizations to justify the problem.
If I have to inform you of a problem and I know you will ask me a series of questions about how to fix the problem and prevent it from happening again, I will prepare by coming up with a list of possible solutions.
Are you asking the right questions?
Image courtesy of Master / www.digitalphotos.net
As a society, we love to talk about turning points.
There is no such thing.
The notion of a turning point, creates an unrealistic expectation that all we have to do is decide to make the change we want and then continue as we were.
Change doesn’t result from one decision to change. It results from a continuous series of decisions and actions that confirm our commitment to the change. It doesn’t end. We decide, act, decide and act again. And we have to decide and act in more ways that support the change than in ways that do not.
What do you want to change? Are you committed to making the necessary decisions, again and again and again? And again? And again?
Image courtesy Stoonn / http://www.freedigitalphotos.net
As a hockey fan, I invest emotionally in my team and have high expectations for the performance of my team’s players. Likewise, if you are a professional (which, for the purpose of this blog, means you’re being paid to do a job), someone is emotionally and financially invested in you and probably has high expectations for your performance. With that in mind, and using the pro hockey player as an analogue, here are some thoughts to consider about how you approach your work.
1. Strength and conditioning – when not “on the job”, (ie. during the off season), pro hockey players are expected to train to ensure that during the season they have the strength and stamina to be at their best. Most of us are paid for mental skills, not physical ones. What is your regimen, when not on the job to improve your mental acuity, your memory, your attitude or any other areas of your mental performance?
2. Practice – pro hockey players attend practices most days to improve their skills, learn systems and to give them the best chance to execute at a high level when under pressure in a game. How do you improve your on the job skills to ensure you perform at your best when your company or organization needs it the most?
3. Research – every pro hockey team scouts their competition, and the rest of the hockey world, to know what tactics other teams are using and to learn what innovations are being successfully implemented elsewhere. What is your approach to keeping up on the latest developments in your industry so you can keep a slight edge on the competition?
4. Coaching – every pro hockey team has a head coach, assistant coaches, conditioning coaches, video coaches and skills specialists to ensure that their players are taught, encouraged, challenged, and held accountable to be the best they can be. Steven Stamkos, the best goal scorer, and perhaps the best shooter in the NHL has a shooting coach he works with regularly. Do you have a business coach or mentor who understands you and your role and who encourages you, holds you accountable, and discusses the latest developments in your field and how to apply them?
5. Goals – Sidney Crosby, the best hockey player in the world is well known for picking a particular area of his game each year and working specifically on improving in that area. He sets a goal, works at improving the skill, and becomes an even better player. He’s the best in the whole world and he continues to find ways to improve! What area of your performance is a priority for improvement and what are you doing about it?
We can all learn from the approach pro hockey players use to become and stay professionals. Are you giving yourself the chance to become the best professional you can be?