Working, business, performance. It can be stressful. In a start-up or small business environment, it can be all consuming. This is
especially true if you are passionate about your work. If you work with purpose, and you care deeply about the outcome and how it affects your customers and your team, then you probably think about it in the shower.
If you’re like me, then you struggle with retaining the stuff that you write in your mind as you drive. There is so much going on at one time, and it can be at every level, from the strategic to the dirt-level tactical. How do you keep from having your head spin-off like a top?
Keeping perspective and making progress requires that you celebrate and learn as you go. This means that it needs to be part of your Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Quarterly, Semi-Annual and Annual R-O-U-T-I-N-E-S to celebrate every victory, no matter how minor. Determine what is progress, be it learning from a foul-up or completing a proposal. Never focus on what did not get done, what you regret or that you just didn’t cross “enough” off your list.
We make this company policy. Never rattle off a list to a loved-one or co-worker asking what they crossed off. Never go down a list with the intention of getting to what we did not get to finish. Instead, ask people what they are proud to have accomplished.
It’s not much different than talking to your children at the dinner table and asking, “What was your favorite part of your day?”
“I closed a sale,” or “I completed a batch of code,” or maybe it’s, “I tweeted something stupid from our company account and learned all about a social media crisis.”
Have a sense of humor. See the learning as part of the path and embrace mistakes. Keep moving! Don’t let yourself wallow in what looms ahead or the bear trap you just freed yourself from. Stay away from the people that have you on constant peer-review. It’s quicksand. Instead foster and champion peer-celebration and then offer help.
The most successful teams (and families) know that they are in it together. We are aligned in our common mission. We are working on the same goals together. We are all going to make this effort a great and successful one, so:
A. We trust each other. We love each other. We care about each other.
B. We will help each other when we are stuck. We will ask and offer for help early. We will find additional help if it is needed.
C. Our expectations are all high with ourselves and each other.
D. We are tough enough on ourselves when it comes to our shortfalls, missteps, frailties and stupidity. When it comes to others, ask, remind and share victories.
E. Victories are accomplishments, proud moments and lessons.
This is a component of culture, in home or business, that is happy and productive. We are courageous because we are vulnerable. Engagement is high and we can be nimble.
Do you do this or something like it? Perhaps it’s part of your Agile Business model? Maybe you think it’s nuts? Let me know.