Protect Your Team Against Urgencies

 
How will you find the courage to keep your team focused on what is most important, including saying no to some of your own best ideas?
 
If you’re a corporate adrenaline junkie, urgencies can be a tempting distraction. They can bring instant validation and gratification. The adrenaline high from urgency is invigorating. For a time, anyway. Then it peaks and quickly fatigues people. 
 
As leaders, it’s our responsibility to help protect our teams against urgencies by identifying and rewarding the specific behaviors that lead to achieving our goals. Act on the important, don't react to the urgent. Focus your team members on the “wildly important” (important and proactive efforts) and not the wildfires — even the ones you set! But first, ensure you haven’t modeled or reinforced a culture that rewards firefighting more than fire prevention. 
 

FROM MESS TO SUCCESS: PROTECT YOUR TEAM AGAINST URGENCIES

  • Recognize that you may well be the source of many team urgencies. How do they show up?
  • How will you plan better or say no to more?
    • Ask yourself if your need for validation or excitement is undermining the focus of your team.
    • Assign reasonable due dates to future initiatives.
    • Reward proactive and preventative efforts, not just heroic firefighting.

For more on Protect Your Team Against Urgencies, watch this short clip from Scott Miller, author of the book Management Mess to Leadership Success.


Leading a team requires a different skillset than working as an individual contributor. To succeed in the face of new challenges, first-level leaders need to shift how they think and act. Download our latest guide and develop your people into a high-performing team. 

 

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