Resilient organisations need resilient people, this is true. Resilient people need resilient organisations even more.
Organisations should worry less about selecting the wrong priorities, and more about failing to prioritise and make it stick. When we don't walk the strategy talk and provide clear direction, we set ourselves up to fail. The fact is, if everything is treated as a priority, then nothing really is.
Recovery time is critical because this is when the body adapts to the stress of exercise and the real training effect takes place. This is just as true in our lives and in our organisations – the time and space to rest, recover and reflect is critical for us to adapt to change. We simply don’t value it highly enough.
It’s taken me a while to realise this, but the habits that are required to successfully achieve a big goal (like running a marathon), are often more rewarding than the goal itself. I now eat well, go to bed earlier, create space in my schedule for wellness, and exercise daily. Marathon or not, those habits serve me in every aspect of my life – and discontinuing any of them will have a noticeable negative impact.
Have you ever heard the saying “if you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself”? This is a bit like that. If we can’t make strategy or policy clear and meaningful at an operational level, it may not be very good in the first place.
This is why it’s really important to make the physical and mental space to execute in the same way that we make space to develop. BAU doesn’t stop for new ideas. The only way to get through is to intentionally create that space for what’s important and take other stuff off the list to make it happen.
There is a lot to be said for knowing your job, and doing it well. Not only do you allow yourself to be awesome, you empower others to do the same. I work with stressed and overwhelmed leaders and organisations who feel compelled to “do it all” - including senior leaders and governance with the very best of intentions that find themselves mucking in on operational stuff.
The thing is, as I find with my kids, and you will find with your team – all the visions, objectives and strategic priorities in the world don’t have any power unless we lead from the front and walk the talk. On that note, while I don’t agree with half the stuff that comes out of Gary Vaynerchuk’s mouth, but I do like this quote: “Ideas are shit, execution is the game.”
Smart people and organisations tend to know what to do - they need to know what to stop. Simply piling on the workload weakens and burns out leaders and organisations, particularly when there is no clear vision of what change and success looks like at the other side.
What would you do if you won Lotto? I bet you know the answer to that question, and that you've had this conversation at least half a dozen times before in your life. For fun, try extending it a little further and ask the question - if that's what we really want to do with our lives... what's truly stopping us?