In a recent HBR article, I was intrigued by a piece called Blue Ocean Leadership by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne. The article was about a strategy one can employ within a business to effectively engage employees and use time more efficiently. The premise offered was that once you establish the current benchmark, and then understand what you ultimately want to achieve, it’s then all about what you choose to do, or not.
In the case of this article, the work involved activities relative to various levels of organizational leadership but there is also some relevancy to one’s personal and professional life that I would like to build on. As we assess where we are at with our career, in relationships, our financial standing, etc, it’s good to often take stock of the present. By then contrasting this with where you would like to be you then simply make decisions to move you towards what is more desirable. Based on the principle of Blue Ocean Leadership this can be achieved by doing the following:
1. Eliminate the actions and activities that are not serving you and you would be better off discontinuing.
2. Reduce the actions and activities that you could do less of and free up time for more important things.
3. Raise (increase) the actions and activities you would like to do more of that are more consistent with where you want to be.
4. Create (commence) the actions and activities you are not doing today that will help get to your desired state.
The above is all framed relative to tangible actions and activities. However you could also view these relative to how you choose to behave. What behaviors are not serving you well that could be eliminated or at least reduced (eg temperamental outbursts)? What about starting some new behavior or doing more of (eg expressing gratitude when somebody does a good job)?
These are all about making conscious decisions and having the self awareness around where you are and where you want to be. This may seem obvious; but to most, it’s not!