I love to work with technology, it allows me to leverage my abilities to become more productive and creative in my field. So it is not uncommon for me to see a new idea hit the market place and want to pounce.
When I attended TCEA 2017, I was surrounded by new and neat things that caused me to have some great new ideas. I did what I always do when I have a “great” idea; I told a close colleague of mine. She said what I can always count on her saying, “Are you sure that this is necessary?” And with that, she began to describe all of the potential hurdles that would lay in my path. Not in a, “you can’t do this,” way, but in a, “you need to slow your roll,” kind of manner.
There was a time that I would have just moved without asking for a trusted opinion on the topic. It was about four years ago that I learned when I have an idea, I need to ask others about it. I suffer from true flightiness and become quickly overzealous when I feel inspired. This is a great trait to have when you are a leader, but it can also lead you, as it did me, down a path of half-done plans and excessive to do lists. I needed to learn the critical lesson of calming down my excitement.
If you suffer from this type of thinking and partial action, then these simple steps will help change you from a leader with frustrated employees and undone projects to a leader with a reputation as a visionary who gets big ideas done.
1) Build a network of trusted advisers
These are the people that will tell you when you are wrong, and they will steer you around massive failures. They are not nay-sayers because they have your best interests at heart.
2) Develop a set planning system
Each idea has to have a systemic planning system applied. You have to hold yourself to account to this system prior to rolling out anything new. This will force a slow roll of new ideas and programs.
3) See what buy-in already exists
There is no market place for solutions to problems that don’t exist. Your team will never buy-in to a new idea if it does not address an existing problem, so you will need to gauge the natural proponents prior to moving forward.
4) Be prepared to scrap it or pass for the moment
If there is not enough time, buy-in, or resources for the idea, then you have to be willing to forego it. At least for now.
5) Keep a “spark” file
When the idea comes, it may not be the right time. Keep all of your ideas in a place where they can be addressed again when the opportunity presents itself. Having this file allows me to go back and reevaluate the idea at a later date. Our ideas may be good, bad, or even revolutionary, but they have to be well timed. This is not about not doing; it is about doing when the environment is primed to do so.
These little tips have made a big difference in the efficacy of my leadership and allowed me to accomplish more. I hope that you have similar outcomes if you face the same challenges as me.