At a recent meeting, a client asked me, “are these common issues you see as a consultant?” While the details of those issues are irrelevant here (and confidential, of course), the question got me thinking: what are the most common issues I see as a consultant, and would making others aware of them help us all improve a little?
Sacrificing long-term for short-term
Who doesn’t want to have a good month/quarter/year or produce immediate results? The problem here is that “looking good” now often sacrifices building something sustainable. Think about cleaning a closet: in the middle, when stuff is all over the place, it looks terrible. Once it’s back in its proper order and place, you have a more sustainable solution. Contrast that with grabbing a few items and throwing them in the closet on top of an existing mess and just closing the door hoping you don’t get crushed the next time you open it!
Culture as a liability
An organization’s culture is important. It’s that collective team spirit and a critical source of engagement and satisfaction. But like all things, balance is important, and culture can cross a line to become a liability. Things to look out for:
- “We’ve always done it that way”. This, alone, is reason to start doing it a different way for me. Complacency kills. Period.
- “Rules-bound” employees. If your people start from rules, policies, and procedures before outcomes and goals, you likely have a problem.
- Misdirected efforts and resources. Time, energy, people, and money are limited. If you have a set of goals and those resources are not clearly directed to those goals, you’re going to have a hard time achieving them.
In his book E-Myth, Michael Gerber discusses business owners not realizing how much more time they have to spend running the business than working in it. We rarely need more time, we usually need to re-prioritize that time, and I see many business owners who need to dedicate much more time to working on rather than in their companies.
Poor (or no) systems/structure
We love the willpower myth for some reason. It’s more admirable to look at a cookie and not eat it than to just not buy the cookies to begin with. But when two or three dozen cookies tempt you all day, you’ll eventually have a weak enough moment to start eating. And then it’s hard to stop. Having your systems work for you, rather than against you, is a huge improvement opportunity for most professionals. Quit buying cookies!
Lots of leaders are control freaks. I’m an only child…I get it! But this creates trust issues, especially with yourself. You don’t achieve success unless you’re good at what you do and consistently produce valued results. We could all cut ourselves a little slack, and trust that we wouldn’t be where we are if we weren’t doing something right.
These are just a few of the things I often see. What shows up repeatedly for you? What’s one thing you could do to start counteracting that? Remember: the better you get, the better you’d better get.
The better you get, the better you’d better get.
Recognize yourself or someone you know in some of these issues? Perhaps we can help. Contact us today to discuss your opportunities.
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