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Don't Just Work 'in' your Business, Work 'on' it!

Monday morning meetings, Tuesday afternoon check ins, Wednesday updates, Thursday mastermind, Friday follow-ups…we all have lots and lots of ‘things’ we need to do, people we need to meet with, goals we need to achieve, and people we need to satisfy, and with all these responsibilities it’s no wonder that most of us have a hard time coming up with actionable strategies to stay on top of the latest trends, the newest tools, and the best ways to achieve and excel.

Between work obligations, home obligations, and more, it becomes harder and harder to work on what’s most important, an action plan so that we can be most productive at work, at home, and at play.  To truly excel and stay on top of our game we need to take a step back from working in our business, doing the day to day, and take time to work on our business and think strategy, goals, and direction.

Know your Game

In Lead Me Out to the Ballgame we identified ten bases of leadership, ten strategies for success we all need to develop Major League Leadership.  Out of all our bases, one stands out from the rest as it does not relate to how we act or what we do to get ourselves or those around us to outperform, it relates to how we get ourselves and others to simply perform.  To be an effective leader we need to Know our Game, we need to spend time alone, think, read, and contemplate, so we can evaluate what we need to do to be most successful in our chosen field.  Although the basics of this may seem simple the reality of it can be complicated as our ‘game’ is always evolving and our job is constantly changing.  In order to stay successful we need to step back, re-evaluate our responsibilities, and most importantly, pay attention to the new game-plan that we may not even have known has changed!

Step 1 – Understand the basics, what do you need to do to be successful in your field.  What job are you in today, and what job do you want to be in tomorrow, next year, ten years from now.  Know your Game!

Head to the Bleachers

How often do you step off the field, step away from your desk, disconnect from what you need to say, and really look at and listen to what is happening in your workplace?   How often do you stop working in your job and start working on your job.  I can answer this for most of us, not often enough!  Strategies change and goals need to be adjusted and quite often we are just too busy to realize it or deal with it.  This self-evaluation is not just at the executive level, but at all levels, and if we are going to continue to achieve we need to not only pay attention to the changes, we need to be in front of them.  

Step 2 – Head to the stands, the upper deck first to get the big picture view of your game, then slowly walk down to the mezzanine, then the field level, and then those expensive box seats where you can see every detail.  See your industry, think about the moving parts, the big picture strategy that others have set and the strategy you have set for your game, and slowly work your way down to those specific goals that will make you even more successful.

Create your Game Plan

Now that you’ve learned about your field, taken a big picture look as well as a close-up at the details, it’s time to create your strategy.  What can you do today to start the process? 

What do you need to do tomorrow to take another step so you can become an All Star in your game, and the MVP of your organization? 

Leaders need to constantly evaluate not only what they are doing, but what those around them are doing as well.  To create your game plan you need to forget your game plan and look at the one which has been created for you by your industry.  Revisit what your industry is trying to accomplish, its goals, and how it has evolved.  Next look at your organization, how is it continuing to evolve to be a leader in the industry…is it?  And finally, think about yourself, are you a leader in your job, for your organization, in your industry?  Today is the day, take a step back, watch the game for a little while, and learn what’s going on outside your office door, cubicle, and beyond your computer screen.

Step three – Do some research, read, watch, listen, and absorb…learn about the field you are in, recognize how you contribute now, and contemplate how you want to contribute in the future.

To develop Major League Leadership you need to step back once in a while, sit out an inning or two, and simply watch the game.

Keep Leading and Play Ball!


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