The evolution to a happier and more productive you (part one)


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Over the years I’ve worked with a number of stressed-out owners and managers. To a person, they are smart and dedicated people who couldn’t work any harder if they tried, but always feel like they’re getting less done and falling further behind. Read on if this sounds familiar.

Chances are there was a time you felt you had everything under control. It almost seemed as if your store or company was on autopilot. For some people that may not have been too long ago, while for others it’s a distant memory.

It was all good… and then something changed. You added more lines. More stores. More employees. Fewer employees. Social media exploded. Traffic fell off. Traffic increased. The list goes on and on and on.

There is one constant in business: change. Change is rarely the result of a single event. It’s more of an evolution driven by changes in technology, buying habits, competition, and both external and internal forces.

So all of these changes are the problem, right? Not really. It’s not the evolution of your business that causes stress about being overwhelmed, it’s the lack of evolution in the way you work.

You can’t run a four-store chain the way you ran a single store. You can’t run a $2,500,000 store the way you ran a $500,000 store. You can’t run an eight-store district the same way you ran a single store. You can’t run your business like you did three years ago.

Too much has changed, and if you’re feeling overwhelmed then there’s a good chance that you haven’t. The good news is that you can jumpstart that evolution right now.

Let’s look at four key areas that can help you be a more productive and happier leader.

1. Accept that your work will rarely be done. Let’s agree that in this always on, always wired, 24-7 world it is nearly impossible to get everything done. I always joke that I became more successful when I started keeping a to-don’t list instead of a to-do list. At the end of the day we just have to accept that some things will have to carryover to be done at another time, or maybe they’ll never get done at all.

2. Time management is neither the problem nor the solution. Well, that is unless you’ve got a time machine in your backroom or office. And if you do, please let me know because I have a few things that happened in my twenties I’d like to go back and change. But I digress.

Let’s just take time management off the table. No blaming a lack of time for being overwhelmed. As many of you have heard me say in my programs, we all have the same number of hours in a day. What you have to manage is not time but priorities. It’s making the right choices about where you need to focus your energy and effort. Many owners and managers make two mistakes when it comes to managing priorities.

a) Doing what they want to do, not what they need to do. It’s human nature to gravitate to the things we like or do well. Sometimes these are aligned with our priorities, but sometimes they’re not.

b) Letting employees and outside forces dictate priorities. This happens more than people realize. Leaders have to manage priorities like a running back holds on to a football. It doesn’t mean you’re not available when needed, but you decide when something else should take precedence over your priorities.

3. Delegating more isn’t enough.  Although most managers and owners could stand to delegate more to their staff, and I have a great delegating program to help you do so, it’s not the cure-all most people think it is. I can’t tell you how many times an owner or manager has told me he/she needs to delegate more. Which always makes me think, “So do it!”

I’m sure it wouldn’t hurt to distribute some of the tasks you’re doing that are keeping you from your priorities. The biggest reason to delegate is to have a more engaged staff, but it really isn’t going to have much impact on your feeling stressed or overwhelmed.

We’ll look at the fourth and most important area for you to evolve and change next week. Until then, what actions can you take now that will result in a more productive and happy you?

– Doug 

A few updates:

* My next Extraordinary Coaching group starts March 4th. Reserve your spot now for my popular Four Weeks to Becoming an Extraordinary Coach and Developing a Winning Team. This program is perfect for owners, managers, and multi-unit managers who want to lead their team to higher sales and profits. More details here.

* I have a number of new speaking programs for 2014. Please take a look to see how these or even a custom program can help your next meeting an extraordinary experience.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Doug Fleener
As the former director of retail for Bose Corporation and an independent retailer himself, Doug has the unique experience and ability to help companies of all sizes. Doug is a retail and customer experience consultant, keynote speaker and a recognized expert worldwide.


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