So much of what one hears at leadership conferences and seminars is intuitive. We all know that we should communicate better, manage our time more carefully, prioritize more efficiently, turn our phones off regularly, etc. But we don’t. Why? Because when we’re involved in the day-to-day mix, we all strive to answer one last email, phone call and text. At what expense?
When we fail to stop and take stock of what we have to do and when we have to do it, our engines run on overdrive and, though we feel like we are accomplishing a great deal, we may very well be succeeding less than we suspect. We very frequently run on the proverbial wheel and never quite catch up.
I recently attended Dave Ramsey’s EntreLeadership Performance Series in Nashville, TN and enjoyed it thoroughly. Again, though I found myself nodding in agreement with much of what I heard over the course of the several day event and with what was very much intuitive and easily relatable, I also acknowledged inwardly that it was important to have it hammered home every now and then. Much of the course revolved around communication and organization and provided universal tenets which can easily be applied to any business or profession.
To that end, from one formerly practicing attorney to his colleagues, too often, we procrastinate; not only with respect to our clients’ various needs and demands, but also with respect to our own. With a world dominated by electronic devices, where access is instantaneous, clients multinational, and expectations enormous, we constantly feel the need to put out the latest fire and, in so doing, neglect that which we were doing immediately prior. Start putting out those fires a few days in a row and sooner rather than later, we are drowning and those around us pay the price.
Who suffers? The client who needed the agreement drafted last week or whose appeal has been put off yet again because “I have nine months to perfect it anyway… I’ll get to it later;” your paralegal who is still waiting for the changes you are supposed to make and get back to him; your office staff which is waiting for a critical decision in order to move forward on a particular project; your loved ones who have rescheduled the family dinner yet again. Even you suffer as you let that pesky tooth continue to ache instead of making time to see the dentist. You get the picture. Stop, turn the phone off and take a deep breath.
I heard a great quote at the seminar and it rings true: “If someone has the nerve to ask you to do something, then sometimes you must have the nerve to say ‘No’.” In business, it is crucial that we do not disappoint our clients. To the contrary, we must do everything possible to exceed their expectations. If there are those internally who are preventing you from doing just that, it is critical to your operation that you put a stop to they who are running interference. Your bottom line numbers will surely reflect this wise decision.