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November 19, 2008

“When we slow down, we go faster” – Japanese saying

“When we slow down, we go faster”
Japanese saying

How can this be?

Logic would suggest that to go faster, we need, well, to go faster.

Yet in life; in work; more pace so often leads to worse performance. Results that are way beneath our expectations and seemingly failing to reward the extreme effort we have put in.

This is partly because as we add pace and complexity, we hit the sludge of our own drag coefficient. We bog ourselves down by a lack of focus and simplicity that always brings steady results. We slow down trying to do too much and that means we are trying to do it all faster.

By trying to do so much and so quickly, we fail to take the care to think, to consider and to plan carefully the very best outcomes that will be achieved if we give ourselves a bit of space.

Like the tortoise and the hare, a steady focus and progression is much more likely to give a consistent outcome, than uncontrolled pace and the distraction that follows.

Some times we prefer to be chaotic and survive it, because, frankly, it makes us feel that we are doing more. That’s driven by an internal need to feel that we are really working hard!

Slower pace feels like we are coasting and that can feel uncomfortable in many cultures.

If you ever try sticking to the speed limit instead of speeding to your destination far too quickly, you will benefit from experiencing more and seeing much more as you pass by.

In the workplace, less haste means that you have the time to notice what’s going on around you much more. That can present great rewards where it comes to building relationships with your people and appreciating what is being done.

It can help to influence your own style, because you made the space to notice more.

Where you can, do less; take your time and focus clearly on less goals. Slowing down, to go faster, has proven itself over the ages.

A Management Snippet, courtesy of the Super Successful Manager! membership program.

Filed under Great Quotations, Managing Me by Martin

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Building Your Team and Managing It Successfully

A well functioning team includes a number of effective people who are concerned about each other and are strongly committed to their assignment. These individuals have the right motivation to work with their collective strength and skill to achieve a given target. Building and managing such a team is a challenge and, ultimately, a pleasure.

From our studies and readings about team development, we have discovered three basic criteria that have to be fulfilled in order to achieve the greatest heights in team management and performance. Coupled with relevant reward and satisfaction for each team-mate, you have a recipe for success.

These criteria are:

1. Resources and Commitment
2. Ownership and Heart
3. Learning

Though these three requirements form the defining structure of teamwork, they are not everything.

You see, every group is different and the needs and factors that guide its team effort have to be outlined exclusively.

The second of the outlined conditions, “Ownership and Heart” specifies that the success of a team is determined by the involvement of the members while the foundations are being laid. The effort needs to be heartfelt, and all the members must strive to come up with “team friendly” attitudes, principles and beliefs.

Teamwork is most fruitful when the members believe in it genuinely and execute their tasks with faith and loyalty, in a way that adheres to the primary principles of team effort. Unbreakable groups are made of the right attitude, frame of mind, and principles as much as the policies and systems that support them.

At the most basic position, the key to unlock the power of the team effort “Genie” depends on the eagerness of the team members to the rub the lamp of responsibility. Individuals who hold the stakes in the group need zeal for personal management to incorporate teamwork and to maintain it. The seeds of team effort must be planted, watered and developed by the members themselves. As said earlier, the team can only be built from the inside and not the outside.

There is no doubt that external agents will bring about the pace and comfort with which teamwork takes hold. But these forces cannot run the hearts and minds of the members. Each person in the team is answerable for his/her actions to the rest. There are many people who simply cannot grab the concept of responsibility.

However, these very people are the ones to tell us that they are disappointed with the lack of tightness and integrated teamwork that are found in working groups today. Some maintain that they can experience the power, energy and enthusiasm that should radiate from an ideal team effort.

Frequently, members of an organization are ignorant of the level and nature of the teamwork that define their groups. They are too occupied in their own competitions against each other to worry about such issues. In any social condition, if the individuals are unwilling to take responsibility, get involved, or show interest in what’s going on, they cannot expect more than the poor results they achieve.

Group members forfeit their rights to report against the poor level of motivation and the quality of work life when they shirk their duties, do not assist in building teams or contribute to teamwork.

One of the principal challenges nowadays is to teach and empower people to be more involved while building teams. The main factors that affect teamwork are not those external to the team like the top management, the union or the government, the stockholders or the weather.

The ideas, beliefs, principles and mental constitutions we form collectively as members of a group are the important factors. We see alarmingly large numbers of people who play the roles of victims to the external enemies of an organization and instead trying to improve the situation lament on its adversity.

They constantly complain about how their confidence has been shattered by these factors but fail to act in order to protect the group.

Filed under Building the Future, Developing Your People by Martin

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