Going The Wrong Way – 3 Things NOT To Do
“You’re going the wrong way! You’re going the wrong way!” “He says we’re going the wrong way… Oh, he’s drunk. How would he know where we’re going?” ~Planes, Trains and AutomobilesA well-crafted itinerary is the cure for untold travel troubles. The right amount of pre-trip planning can save money, keep you safe, and—this one’s crucial—help you have the best time possible whether you’re going on a three-week cross-continent sojourn or spending a long weekend at the beach. And the same can be said for your business planning. But, do you ever get lost? GPS and corporate strategy docs notwithstanding, do you ever get really lost? Do you ever get so turned around, you can’t even figure out north from south, east from west? Yes, it happens to everybody, even those with born with internal Thomas Guides. Well, according to studies, without landmarks to guide us, people really do get lost. But once someone realizes they are lost, what do they do? And as a business leader, if your company loses its way, what do you do? Here’s what we don’t recommend.
- Retrace Steps:
If you’ve been resourceful enough to leave a trail of breadcrumbs, you *might* be able to turn it around and retrace your steps until you can figure out where you are. If you can’t find your path at all, the general rule of thumb is: stay where you are. And that’s good advice if you’re lost on a wilderness trail. But what about your organization? You’re lost and can’t seem to figure out where you are, but can you afford to stay put?
- Round and Round We Go:
If you’re lost in the woods and you feel like you’re walking in circles, you probably are. No matter how hard people tried to walk in a straight line, they often ended up going in circles without ever realizing that they were crossing their own paths. Why? It’s back to those landmarks – and mile markers for companies – that people usually depend upon. So at the very least, make sure you know how to move in a straight line, because circles don’t get you anywhere.
- Don’t ask for Directions:
It’s the rare stereotype that seems to hold up in the wild: Male leaders don’t ask for directions.
And new research offers up a simple and intuitive reason guys don’t ask for help: They’re judged harshly for it. In fact, when male leaders ask for help, they’re perceived as less competent, according to a study published this year in The Leadership Quarterly. But fortunately, we’re seeing a definite shift in how CEOs and other business leaders approach this challenge. The Harvard Business Review recently published a piece celebrating a design firm’s “culture of helping,” where everyone from the CEO down asks for help without fear of penalty.