Not too long ago my 12 year old son decided that he would go out and practice basketball a lot more. I watched him for a little while. He would shoot and he would dribble a little. There wasn’t much effort in what he was doing. He did whatever was comfortable, whatever he enjoyed the most. After awhile I went out and gave him a little coaching.
My counsel to him was that if he wanted to be the best, he couldn’t practice like the rest. He would have to work on conditioning, dribbling and shooting under pressure, learning to shoot quickly etc… I told him he would have to do some things he didn’t really want to do. It would require discipline if he truly wanted to get better.
This has many applications to leadership as well. If you want to be the best, then you have to be different than the rest. Or, if you want to be the best, you have to be more humble than the rest or have more courage than the rest or care more than the rest or spend more time than the rest etc… We could come up with an unlimited supply of catchy phrases.
Maybe you put off the things that are difficult like telling someone their behavior is unacceptable. Maybe you don’t take the time to develop yourself. Possibly your problem is holding consistent monthly or quarterly performance reviews with employees. Or maybe you have someone on your team that is a poor performer and you just aren’t taking the time to performance manage him or her. Most of us tend to do those things that make us happy and/or comfortable and avoid those things that are uncomfortable. But to be the best requires we have more discipline than the rest. Next time you are putting off something, ask yourself 1) is it important? And 2) why am I waiting? Then just do it!
What kinds of things do you put off as a manager and leader? Do you have any tips on how to overcome procrastination?