Thursday, December 30, 2010

Never Let Action Become Inertia

I'm as guilty of this as the next person - it's the Holiday Season, so I deserve a holiday. I take a few days off, so what happens to my business?

That really depends on whether you're an Apprentice, a Journeyman or a Master.

Apprentice - "It's only a few days, I'll start up again after the break." The danger here is that the break stretches into a few weeks, a few months, and before you know it, the Apprentice has left the business completely.

Journeyman - "It's only a few days, I'll contact my customers in the week beforehand, let them know I'll get back to them in a couple of weeks." Much better, the Journeyman has communicated the action plan to the customers, and now has a psychological imperative for when he needs to get back to work.

Master - "It's only a few days. My customers know exactly which day I'll be seeing them next, and my automated lead generation tools are prompting me with a steady trickle of interested prospects. I'll talk to those as their details arrive in my inbox".

None of these phases is completely set in stone; Masters can act like Journeymen sometimes, but so can Apprentices. The key factor, as always, is consistent action aimed at SMART goals.

If you're a team leader with a number of apprentices in your team, how do you deal with them? Do you let them forget their focus, or do you manage them until they've learnt how to manage themselves?

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