Have you ever participated in a pie-eating contest? If you have, you know the goal is to eat the whole pie as quickly as possible. Most contestants dive in face-first. And that usually works, though. By the end of the contest, their faces are covered with pie. It's in their eyes and up their noses. It's not a pretty sight. Unfortunately, some projects are tackled like pie-eating contests. Everyone dives in all at once, and the results are pretty messy. The project is halfway completed, or the pie ends up in their laps, or should I say faces with no one to assist with the clean-up. Then, they look around and see more pies lined up, and they can barely see out of the first one. What now?
That's when the contestants start thinking about a change in strategy. Maybe the plan should have been different, to begin with. Have you ever just given your team the whole pie without any direction? Does your team like pie? Will they eat it or throw it back in your face?
As leaders, we must assess, plan, direct, and guide our teams. How do we do that if we are busy trying to eat the whole pie by ourselves? Maybe it's time to distribute a few slices so the pie can be eaten slowly and deliberately. Tired of hearing about pie?
I recently read the book, Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy. He has a lot of great advice that is useful for leadership, your career at any level, and your personal life. Too often, we get overwhelmed with our faces buried deep in the pie. When all it would take is for us to look at the pie, make a plan, and delegate some of the pieces to get it eaten. That way, everyone can enjoy it.
In Eat That Frog, Brian reminded me of how many times my teams and I have confused activity with accomplishment over the years. In my profession, there are many, many tasks to perform, and there are always deadlines on top of deadlines and fire after fire. It's easy to get lost in the day-to-day demands. But it's even more important to blow the whistle and assess the madness so you can tackle the pie one slice at a time. You can start by identifying which activity should take priority over all the rest, then who can tackle that or if you should. This takes clarity. What do you and your team need to accomplish? How soon, and what will it look like at the finish? In today's environment, determining what's top of the priority list might be daunting. But it's worth the effort to push stop on the timer and make that decision. And my advice to you. After you decide, plan something measurable, and give your team their slices of the pie.
Dilsa S. Bailey, CPMSM is the owner and principal consultant for The Right Credentials Network and an independent publisher and author. If your credentialing and provider enrollment programs need assistance, contact The Right Credentials Network. We can help you apply for and maintain accreditation as well as repair your existing program. And, if you or your staff needs additional training, let us create a package to fit your needs.