A colleague recently shared with me a short list of “things I’ve learned” published in the Aer Lingus Travel Magazine for May, 2016 (author unknown). I liked the list and thought it might be helpful for others. Following is the list and the verbiage behind each item:
- Start at the end – I always start each year with a clear vision of where I want the business to be by the end of the year. I work backwards from there, deciding on what needs to be done to achieve this. I share my vision with my team and seek opinions before finalizing the plan for the 12 months ahead.
- Don’t let complacency set in – Sometimes, when things are going well, it’s easier to sit back than initiate change. The old adage, ‘If it’s not broken, don’t fix it’ doesn’t always apply. Stimulating change to keep your business ahead of the competition is vital in the increasingly competitive environments that we operate in. I drive change through a continuous improvement ethos, which is shared by all of our employees.
- Practice questioning – Don’t underestimate the power of questioning. It’s amazing how much you can discover when you ask questions. It sounds like the most obvious approach to a problem; however, I’ve learned that it is truly a leadership differentiator. The more questions I ask, the more I learn about a situation, person or problem. It’s an extremely powerful approach and, when used correctly, quickly gets me to the core of an issue.
- Behave as you want others to – I believe that people mirror behaviors and they tend naturally to follow the behaviors they see around them. I’m extremely conscious of my own behaviors and I like to make at least one positive change each year. I encourage my team to do the same.
- Learn…always – Every situation presents an opportunity to learn. It’s amazing what you can glean from any situation by admitting that you don’t have all the answers. It can be quite liberating, whilst driving trust and collaboration with your team.
- Look forward – It’s natural to reflect on past successes but I’ve learned that looking forward and planning for future success is a much better use of my time. I spend 80 percent of my time looking at what is to be done, as opposed to what has been done. I’ve shared this thinking and way of working with mu team and I’ve seen motivation, creativity, innovation, job satisfaction, increased energy and strong engagement as outcomes.
I especially like #4… behave as you want others to. I have found that this really is true and I think you probably notice it, as well. When around quiet, serious people, most individuals tend to take on that demeanor. On the other hand, when around energetic, outlandish people, most tend to ramp up their energy level. So, be careful what behavior you encourage.
Let’s have a great day… perhaps even a “top 10” day!