The essence of leadership is the ability to get things done. The essence of getting things done is the ability to plan. And the better we plan, the easier it is to be resilient and effective.
It’s harder than it sounds. Even the smallest initiatives can have a lot of co-dependant moving parts. Organizing a simple lunch with a colleague, for example, involves over a dozen decisions and actions — even before you get to the restaurant. And all it takes is one little breakdown in communication or execution for everything to unravel. One person gets the time wrong. The regular route for getting to the restaurant is closed. You forget your wallet, etc.
Stop Winging It
Most of us underestimate the pieces that have to come together in our initiatives by a wide margin. We say things like, “let’s run a training session” without realizing that pulling it together involves over 200 interconnected bits. Then, when we take a fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants approach, we don’t understand why we get so incredibly stressed.
If you are in a leadership position, this is an important principle to keep in mind. The better you plan and the more analytically you approach initiatives, the fewer breakdowns you are likely to experience. The fewer breakdowns, the less stress and aggravation.
The Power of Collaboration
Team collaboration is one practice that can have a tremendous impact on how successful your initiatives are. When you are planning something, bring one (or more) of your team in for an informal discussion about it. Even if it is very small, like organizing a meeting or a conference call, this practice has a huge impact. Here are four of the benefits:
- Team members will often think of things that you may have missed, helping to ensure a better result.
- It sends the message to your team that you respect their opinions, which increases employee satisfaction and engagement.
- It gives your team insights into things that they may not previously been aware of.
- You now have someone who is familiar with the initiative, and have backup should something unexpected happen.