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April 2014

How to Manage a "Not My Job" Attitude and Be More Successful (Part 4)

In this brief series on how to manage a "not my job" attitude, we've discovered that business leaders use this concept in four very practical ways in order to be sustainably successful.  (Check out the first three methods:  Think Like A CEO,  Inventory Workload & Priorities,  Dominate & Delegate.)  

The fourth method is the one practice that truly separates this leaders from all the rest.

Do What Others Are Not Willing To Do.  

I'm not referring to the tasks, duties that you've delegated.  I'm talking about a forward thinking, proactive behavior that focuses your attention on finding the extra things that create added value to your employees, customers and the company.  These are the things that are not in your job description, but will make a difference for those you serve.  When you have freed up your time by letting go of the things that you shouldn’t do, you will have discretionary time to focus on creation instead of reaction.

My friend, Stephen Shapiro is on a mission to work only one hour a day.  He wrote in his article for American Express Open Forum:

“If you spent only 20 percent of your time extracting 80 percent of the revenue from your existing business model, this gives you 80 percent of your time to do something different.”

What could you do that no one else is willing to do in that 80% of extra time?  All it takes is one meaningful action or one excellent idea to separate you from the crowd.  Your customers will be blown away by the results you provide.  Your employees will be excited to be part of a forward moving agenda.  You will have a new sense of accomplishment and satisfaction because you will no longer be working a job, you will be leading the way.

Go ahead, act like it's "not my job" by practicing these four methods for the next 30 days.  You're going to start getting better results.   

I'm looking forward to your comments about the experience.

--  Steven

 

 


How to Manage a "Not My Job" Attitude and Be More Successful (Part 3)

Business Leaders have an attitude and a way of behaving that gets results.  Many of them are successful because they are very clear on what not to do.  They can confidently say, "That's not my job."  In previous blogs I introduced to you the first two methods that can help you do the same.  First, Think Like a CEO.  Secondly, Inventory Your Workload, Prioritize Your Worth.  Let's look briefly now at the third method that business leaders practice.

Dominate Your Space, Delegate with Grace

    Dominate your space!  Make a commitment to be the absolute best in your position.  Calendar your time around your highest priorities.  Don't waste your precious time and talents on things that are best managed by others.  Give your utmost efforts to those things you know will bring the greatest return on your investment.  I ask myself everyday, "Is this a $5 Million activity or a $500 distraction?"  Yes that may seem like an exaggeration, but the extremes help to keep the focus on what my work really means.

    Delegate with Grace.  Everything else that is on your list is your responsibility.  But, it could be accomplished by people who are smarter, better skilled, or more inclined to the task than you.  Let them do it and report to you the progress and outcomes.  The sooner you appreciate the value and worth that others contribute to the goals, the sooner you will generate a momentum that achieves those goals.

The most value that you gain from doing this is the time to practice the fourth method: "Doing What No One Else Will Do."   We'll cover that in the next post.

TIME FOR PERSONAL ACTION -  What distractions are keeping you from your best actions?   What should you be delegating to others?

Let me know what comes to your mind as you answer those two questions.

Thanks,

-- Steven

 


How To Manage a "Not My Job" Attitude and Be More Successful (Part 2)

Business leaders that practice a "not my job" attitude start by focusing their thoughts on the most important issues.  The best way to get that focus is to "Think Like A CEO or Busines Owner."  (Check out part one of this series right here -  GO!)  The second method is to:

Inventory Your Workload and Prioritize Your Worth

Here is a practical exercise to help you accomplish this.  Sit down and write out every task, objective, responsibility, expectations of yourself, expectations others have of you, projects, meetings, etc....  You have to have a complete inventory of what you do, should do and what you wish you could do. 

Once you have that completed, set it aside for a couple days. 

Then schedule 20 minutes with yourself (or if you have an assistant include them) and ruthlessly prioritize that list.  Don't over think this exercise.  Put a check mark next to the items that are "strictly your responsibility" or fit solidly within your strengths.  Resist the urge to check off every item.  Leave it alone if it can be done by another person or even automated.  

Create a new list of only those things you checked as priorities. 

Circle 3 to 5 items that you know are your best investment of mental and emotional energy.  These have to be proactive activities that create momentum toward the desired results.  Get focused on your most valued contribution.

Getting your list down to the absolute essentials will help you get up to speed on your greatest worth.

Consider these two questions:  What do you need to view differently if you are going to think like a CEO?  What are the essentials in your workload and expectations?  

If you're getting tired of fighting fires and always having to be in a reactionary posture - get clear on your answers to the questions above.

 

--  Steven

PS - Stay tuned for third method -  Dominate Your Space, Delegate with Grace.

 


How to Manage a "Not My Job" Attitude and Be More Successful (Part 1)


The words "It's not my job" usually causes a leader or manager to hang their head in disgust.  But we've been exploring the idea that possibly the phrase could be a positive launching point to move people to a greater sense of purpose and to be more engaged.

What would the employees in a large organization think if they heard their leaders and managers use the same term?  How could the concept of "not my job" actually help managers and executives be more productive?  Many successful leaders in business practice some form of this attitude.  Here are four methods that can help you manage your own "not my job" attitude and become more successful:

  1. Think like a CEO or Business Owner
  2. Inventory Your Workload, Prioritize Your Worth
  3. Dominate Your Space, Delegate with Grace
  4. Do What Others Are Not Willing To Do

Get ready for a big shift in your energy, focus and creativity.  Let's look at the first method:

Think Like a CEO or Business Owner.

Your title does not matter. You may be the VP of ________, the Manager of ________, or the Shift Supervisor.  Your role is not defined so much by the title, but by the value you contribute to the company and the results that are required.  People who look beyond the job expectations or the to-do list, and think of themselves as the CEO / Owner of their part of the company are the people who move the organization forward.  What does a CEO or Owner think about? 

Responsibility to stake holders, customers, and employees

Accountability to produce the right results.

Stability - financial, personnel, culture.

Productivity - their own and the company as a whole.

Development - a focus on growth.  What am I doing to equip leaders in my organization to make better decisions and to be big-play makers?  What are we doing to “create” as opposed to simply sustain?

Visionary - has a deeply personal view of what can be, not just what has been.

This is your job - to think proactively and to act accordingly.  Once you know what should be on your mind, then you can move on to the hard work of working only on your priorities.

--  Steven

PS - What do you think about that list?  What else should be on that list?  

 


I Want My Employees to say: "It's Not My Job"

I know, that doesn't make any sense!  

Why would a leader encourage members and employees of the organization to say "That is not my job"?

Because, it isn't their job.  Not if they work in an environment that empowers them to take responsibility for the outcomes.  People are more engaged and invested when there is an intrinsic understanding that the progress and success of the company is directly related to the individual efforts, skills, and ability to problem solve.  It is not their job, it is their mission - their cause.

People who have arrive at this understanding are deeply committed and have a greater sense of ownership.  In fact, they think and behave as if they do own the company.  For example, a young lady approached her boss with a strategy to reduce the time it takes to process a customers request for additional services.  Her plan could save employees approximately 20 minutes per transaction.  When the boss asked why she had given this so much thought and effort, she responded "I thought that the cost savings for the company would be significant and it would help employees to have time to focus more on producing results and less on process."  It was not her job to come up with those ideas.  Her "job" was to simply carry out the tasks.  And yet, her mission was to make the company stronger and her role became more valuable.

The fastest way you can begin creating this kind of energy and engagement is to:

1)  Minimize the rules, and get out of their way.

2)  Maximize the recognition and give them the credit.

(Click here for the Four Ways to Promote a Mission-Mindset)

There are two dangers to keep in mind as you move in this direction - the lines between who is responsible for what can become fuzzy and you may end up doing things that you shouldn't.

You can avoid the first problem by having regular conversations with individuals and the whole team about specific roles and responsiblities.  We need to release people to play to their strengths.  We also need to remind the whole team that we contribute to each others efforts, but not at the expense of our own duties.

The second problem of doing what you shouldn't do can be overcome by declaring "It's Not My Job".  My friend Laura Stack, the Productivity Pro, has a fantastic article that can help you stay focused on your priorities!

Share with me your thoughts about this blog or how you are empowering others to be more successful.

-- Steven