18 Mar Lead Others To Do Less and Achieve More

Michael Canic wrote a recent blog called “The Zen of Strategy” where he wrote, “Decide what you’re not going to do. Which markets you’re not going to serve. What you’re not going to offer.”  This got me thinking there’s no single trait that’s a more important determinant of leadership success than the ability to unreservedly sacrifice in order to achieve deliberate outcomes for the greater good.

Sacrifice is akin to giving up something in the short-term (e.g., comfort) in order to focus on the task at hand to achieve longer-term objectives.  The act of losing or surrendering something is an important aspect of change that’s often ignored. Only through an intense desire to prefer the altered state will we be ready to give up something.

How often do you take on more and more and still expect stellar results?  Leaders do the same thing with teams and can’t figure out why so many initiatives fail. To focus, you have to prioritize, and to prioritize you have to say no to things as an individual and as a leader.  When teams sacrifice something important, only then are they ready to start to bring new ways to do things into the picture.  Mutual sacrifice is also a trust multiplier.  Ask yourself, “If we start something new, what will we need to stop doing to advance our agenda?”

Canic concluded his blog by suggesting, “Be realistic. Prioritize and focus. Do less, but with greater intensity and heightened expectations.”  What sacrifices will your team need to make on a daily basis to really focus your team?

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