After your break from work you feel refreshed, re-energised and re-focused – the quality downtime has given you the head space you needed. Take this new energy and focus as an opportunity to induce winning habits back into the boardroom. You may be surprised at what you discover both personally and professionally.
(1) Look at your business through a fresh lens
When you’re working in your business every day it is so easy to become blinkered. You start to see what you want to see, not what actually is the reality. I call this “focus distortion”.
It’s like being away from home for a while and upon return you notice the pile of old magazines in the corner of the lounge or the DVD’s clogging the shelf beneath the TV. You start to question how long they’ve been there as you’ve failed to notice them previously. You decide to do a spring clean and create a new reality as you look at your world through a fresh lens.
The same fresh lens is required in your business. Post-holiday is a great time to do this and imagine your first day back as your first day ever. Challenge yourself to imagine you’re an executive who has been newly appointed. With a fresh lens, challenge yourself to question everything – I mean everything!
Ask quality WHY questions. Review every system, process and procedure and wonder whether it is really adding value, helping your business to be a relevant, agile, resilient one. Is it really adding value for the customer? One of your additional winning habits should be to challenge the seven most expensive words in business; “That’s not the way we do things” or its sister statement; “We’ve never done it that way before”.
Walking through your business with a restless curiosity and fresh lens is a cathartic experience and will certainly awaken your senses.
(2) What is truly worthy of your time?
In order to create the stretch and growth potential for your people and business you should be focused on the things that only you can do. Yes, you’ll have an oversight and contributory role in other areas, but your primary focus should be on the high value activities which allow you to realise the potential in your business.
On your return from holiday ask yourself a daily question – definitely one of the winning habits you should take on board – “what’s truly worthy of my time?”
If you find you’re spending more time on tasks and activities which clearly you shouldn’t be, then now is the time to change this. If you don’t nobody else will. As a leader, you set the tone and pace. The way the boss enters in the morning is the way the people leave at night. Have you set the tone and pace in your business?
(3) Design your high performing weeks
We all come back from holiday with winning habits in mind; managing our workload more effectively, being home earlier to put the children to bed, not travelling as much, and here comes the BUT. But before you know it the first few days and weeks pass, you were so busy catching up after your holiday that your good intentions are out the window and you’re back into your old ways.
One of your greatest callings is to be conscious and deliberate in how you set your high performing weeks up for success. How do you focus on the things that only you can do – the things truly worthy of your time? How do you master the skill of saying “no” to the unimportant things so you can say “yes” to the important, big ticket value add activities.
How can you create more time to work ON the business not just the busy fool working IN the business. How do you actually book in quality thinking time in your diary knowing the time you spend doing the thinking will make doing the doing more effective. How so you block in time to make sure you are home to do bath and story time with the children. Time and memories, you will never get back!
Remember in life, you make your choices and then your choices make you.
(4) Test the impact of your absence
The mark of a great leader is how things operate whilst you’re away. Use your absence as an opportunity to test how things run, how the team copes and makes decisions. Your goal is not to trip people up, but to test the impact of your absence.
You should take confidence if the business runs well and if it doesn’t you know you need to develop your leadership style and your people so that it can.