“Insanity is doing the same things over and over and expecting different results” – Albert Einstein
Leaders need to embrace the concept of change. People are very good and asking for more updates, features, flexibility, speed, value, and efficiency but lack the willingness to change the way they think and behave.
The main principle behind Reinvent continuously is progress is impossible without change. And the focus is improvement.
The book defines three components that a leader can help reinvent: personal level, systems and processes, and structural.
Let’s chat about personal level leadership change.
It took me about 7 years out of the 9 in the workforce for me to realize my ways weren’t working. Sure, I had a leadership role and title but in the end I was simply barking at the wrong tree. It took an additional year for me to change my thinking and behavior. Here are 3 of my challenges.
I had to learn to control my calendar. I blocked time for staff management and guidance, exercise, strategic thinking, specific task development, vacation, training, etc. If a someone tried to double book me, I thought really hard about forgoing what was already planned.
In the end, I realized most people respect your blocked time. I was able to properly plan my days, be prepared for emergencies, and make sure I was focusing my energy on what was important. I went from a constant state of distress to a voluntary state of productivity.
In similar fashion, I had to break the habit of never taking notes. Keeping everything in my head was creating a lot of stress and lack of sleep because my mind was always running wild trying to keep up.
Today I work on creating a personal filing system. I try to archive e-mails and notes by subject, year, project, line of business, and personal relationships. While I’m still improving my system, I have managed to increase my thinking capacity by not having to remember every single note. If I need to find information on a subject, I simply go search the folder with that topic. Less stress, less energy spent, more productivity.
From Solver to Researcher
My driver personality immediately starts offering solutions. Someone hasn’t finishing a sentence and I’m already pondering 2 or 3 different answers. I had to start slow with this one. Started with a lot of “whys”, then worked on “what do you think”, “what’s your goal”, “what would you like to do”, etc.
This was and is the harder of the three but the one that has paid off the most. I have noticed that people have a greater sense of accomplishment when I seek to understand their perspective than when I just give the answer. In return, I get to see them grow and succeed.
Three ways I reinvented myself, in what ways will you reinvent yourself in the next six months?