FranklinCovey Blog | Boss

The Reset Button

Monday, September 14th, 2009 | Predictable Results in Unpredictable Times | 5 Comments


What happens when your computer gets overloaded?

It slows down. Everything takes longer. It starts giving you error messages. Soon it freezes, and then it crashes.

It’s the same thing that happens to you when you get overloaded. There’s a natural principle at work here: the things I have to do are infinite, but the capacity I have to do them is limited.  (In my case, quite limited.) In our new book, Predictable Results in Unpredictable Times, we talk about how to “push the reset button” on your work and your life when things get scary.

Here’s the issue: At work, everybody’s trying to do more with less. But the real question is, more of what? Are you just trying to do more stuff whether customers value it or not? Are you trying to do the jobs of people who aren’t here anymore, whether those jobs are worth doing or not?

Push the reset button. Ask yourself, what’s the job that really needs to be done? What job do my customers want me to do more than anything else?

Say you’re the only finance person left after everybody else is let go. Do you really need to keep track of every single data point that’s always been tracked? What are the company’s real needs right now? Protecting cash flow? Getting accounts receivable paid up? 

Figure out what the organization really needs you to do. Then focus on that job. Instead of trying to do 2 or 3 jobs that “kind of, ought to” be done, strip yourself down to the job that you must do and that only you can do.

 I hear you giggling. “Tell that to my boss.”  No, you tell it to your boss.  In these scary times, nobody—including you—can afford to carry responsibilities that aren’t core to the organization’s purpose.

What else can you do to succeed in the middle of the wild ride we’re all taking right now? We would love to hear from you.

Get a copy of Predictable Results in Unpredictable Times for 30% off.

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Becoming a Trim Tab at Work

Friday, August 28th, 2009 | From the Desk of Stephen R. Covey | 10 Comments


Imagine you are at the helm of a huge ship moving forward at high speed.  You’re the driver, you control the direction of this ship. Now, how is it possible for a single, small person to change the course of something so massive?

To change the ship’s course, you move a steering wheel that operates a rudder, which then turns the ship. But the rudder itself can be enormous, perhaps even ten stories tall on some ocean liners. So what moves the rudder?

A tiny second rudder called a trim tab, which is attached to the big rudder. › Continue reading

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Five tips to reduce your stress: TIP #4

Monday, May 18th, 2009 | FranklinCovey News | No Comments

Like most people, you probably like to help people out if they’re in a bind, especially if it’s your boss or your bosses boss. So, telling people “no” is a really hard thing to do. We all suffer from it.

Tip #4: “No” is not a four-letter word

When times are tough, people will ask you to do more. In fact if you haven’t had someone come into your office today and ask for help with a project completely unrelated to your week’s priorities, you probably will. So here’s the rub. Unless you’re in a sole-proprietorship, you’re probably working with other people. And those other people will need your help, just like you will need theirs.

In most cases I believe it’s important to help people when they ask for it, especially if you have some expertise they could benefit from. It’s good karma and they’ll be more willing to help you in the future. However, there are times when you just can’t do it all. You’ll know when these times are. And if you can sense that the request isn’t “mission critical” just say no. The other person will survive and, if they have any sort of morals, they won’t be offended. Plus it will keep you from getting distracted on your week’s plan. 

If you have to say no, you should provide the requestor with some ideas of how they could accomplish their task. Refer them to someone who might have more time and the skills needed. You may also try and schedule their task later in your week when you have more time to spend on it. But don’t make “no” a regular part of your vocabulary. It could damage relationships over time and damage your reputation in the organization. 

Saying no is a very liberating feeling. Try it today and you’ll find out what I mean.

Next time we’ll cover the final tip: Find Time for Yourself Each Day

Author: Matt Murdoch, FranklinCovey

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