Weekly Thought – January 25, 2022
Fred believed habits were the foundation of character – good and bad. He supported thoughtful consideration of personal and professional patterns, especially when analyzing any needed changes. These excerpts from a 1961 keynote address to the Printing Industry of America shows Fred’s forward thinking.
Nearly every organization runs on habit, just as we do personally. Most of our daily activities are habitual. This is one of the problems in reorganization. When the habit structure is changed it slows down activity. Successful reorganization requires time to rebuild habits.
Here are a few good habits to cultivate in your business:
1) Create a spirit that will withstand challenges. Don’t let people come with their reasons why it won’t work. Simply respond, “I know that. Tell me what we will have to change for it to work.”
2) Healthy change is good – status quo is usually no good. I like to think “status quote” is Latin for “the mess we are in.”
3) Accept ideas. You as a leader will have to accept a new idea before your organization will accept them.
4) Don’t delay failure. I have a friend who told me, “Fred, I never delay cutting short a failure that is funded with my money.” Good leaders don’t waste business dollars, either.
5) Get management on the offense. How many times do you see management fighting back instead of leading?
6) Develop the habit of good work. A friend of mine who is President of a pipeline company has developed the habit of training his employees to step back from their job and say, “That’s good.” In the news recently there was a story about a 12 year old boy who saved his sister from a house fire using rescue techniques in the Boy Scouts. The news reporter asked him what he thought. He confidently responded, “I did a good job.” That is a great habit.
7) Evaluate your sources of pride. The other day I met with a company’s leadership team. They quickly told me of accomplishments and sources of pride. On analysis, many of these were obsolete and should have been jettisoned long ago but their pride didn’t allow them to this examination.
8) Work smarter, not harder. Too many businesses brag on employees who are the hard workers. Unless this effort is combined with smart working, I give no credit. Taking time to think through a task, not just spend time working on it is working smart.
I haven’t told you anything you don’t already know. My job isn’t to tell you anything new, but to remind you good habits are a key to successful living. Find one habit and make it work for your organization…and your personal life, as well.
This week think about: 1) What are my most productive habits? 2) How long has it been since I did an evaluation of work (family, faith, friendship) habits? 3) Who can help me do an objective assessment?
Words of Wisdom: “Nearly every organization runs on habit, just as we do personally.”
Wisdom from the Word: “But as for you, communicate the behavior that goes with sound teaching.” (Titus 2:1 NET Bible)