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What Are You Going to Give Up?

Some people think they can do everything . Well, many executives keep doing things themselves because “it’s a lot easier to just do it than take the time to train someone and then have to check the work anyway”. These same people start coming in a little bit earlier and leaving a little later to just finish something when it’s quiet. Then they start coming in weekends to clear up a few things, straighten their offices so they can think straight and wade through a pile of work or emails. Slowly but surely time and life evaporate.

Some people think they can do everything . Well, many executives keep doing things themselves because “it’s a lot easier to just do it than take the time to train someone and then have to check the work anyway”. These same people start coming in a little bit earlier and leaving a little later to just finish something when it’s quiet. Then they start coming in weekends to clear up a few things, straighten their offices so they can think straight and wade through a pile of work or emails. Slowly but surely time and life evaporate.

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On top of it all, budget time comes and they have a hard time justifying bringing in support because the work is getting done anyway. Right?

After a while when a lightbulb goes off and they realize it’s just not sustainable, they think of bringing in a coach to ‘fix things’. Coaches don’t fix things. They challenge, inspire, motivate, help them evolve perhaps, but it’s up to them to clear away some time and mental clutter to work with a coach to make that happen. It doesn’t happen all on its own. Just as support staff have to be trained to work with them and their style. If they’re not trained properly there will be more friction than a synergistic, effective working relationship and because of that things will be missed, problems occur and all that will be left is a chaotic mess.

Bringing in anyone to help them through the clutter when they don’t free up time only causes them to push harder rather than live better.

So if that applies to you, my question is how can you simplify? The hardest thing to do is begin the process…giving the first things up or putting them on hold. But if you could let go of one thing, what would it be? How can you unclutter? You’re not perfect. Someone else can do it too, yes, perhaps differently but the end result will still be what you need.

Just this afternoon I asked a high level executive “What is your biggest problem?” I’m getting material ready for my newsletter and thought the best approach would be to respond to clients’ greatest needs. His answer was “My biggest problem would be retirement” He didn’t have a life to look forward to once he retired. He was so busy, he didn’t have time for the people in his life and eventually, they too evaporated into thin air. He said it was like a series of weekends and he couldn’t wait to get back to work after the weekend. He didn’t know any other way. Work and doing everything gave him a sense of worth, of purpose.

Before it gets to that point for you, what one thing can you pick to give up? Right now. Get rid of it, delegate it, put it on hold while you get the real priorities done. But do it. Don’t just talk about it. Once you start giving things away strategically, it’ll get easier. Plus you’ll come to the realization that it might not be so hard to let someone else help you out along the way. That’s called partnering. A great concept. And you just might have time for a life in the process.

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Try it. You might like it!

Donna Karlin • Executive and Political Shadow Coach™ • Ottawa, Canada • donnakarlin@abetterperspective.comwww.abetterperspective.com

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About the author

Donna Karlin CEC, Diplomate IABMCP and founder and principal of A Better Perspective® & The School of Shadow Coaching, has pioneered the specialized practice of Shadow Coaching® with global political, government, business and senior organizational leaders in the public and private sectors. Donna capitalizes on almost 30 years of experience in coaching, consulting and training to help clients and their organizations evolve into their level of excellence

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