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Are you leaving your opportunity to be successful to chance

Are You Leaving Your Opportunity To Be Successful To Chance?

Copyright (c) 2009 Bryan Beckstead

Are You Leaving Your Opportunity To Be Successful To Chance? Without These, You Are

I interchange the words happy and successful. Happy has a personal connotation where successful has a business or professional connotation. Either way, you don’t want to leave your chance to be successful and or happy to chance, you will be doing that without these.

Standards

“Standards” is the word I use for how we determine when we are happy with our results. It’s a simple and easily understood criterion to be used when assessing when we will or will not be happy with our end results. Standards are one of those critical areas that seem to slip under the radar for most people. Ask some one, quickly, what their standards are for a certain task; what they expect to happen at the end of it and most importantly, how rigidly do they enforce their own standards. Most people will look at you with a blank stare as if you just talked to them in a foreign language.

One way that I suggest you start to address this critical area is to develop a set of Irrefutables; a way to internally develop standards that you define, monitor and use as a yard-stick to judge your performance as well as those around you. By addressing the issue of standards, by establishing your own set of standards and then enforcing them, you are now taking control of your own destiny and not leaving it up to chance.

There are some criteria that you should use to help you set up your standards that will make them more productive and useful to you. Always remember; standards are there to help you, to make you as successful and profitable as possible. They are there to benefit you, not hinder you. With this in mind, here are some tips on establishing your standards and Irrefutables.

Written

If they are not written, they are pretty well going to be useless to you. I’ve heard every argument to the contrary over the years and at the end of all the debates, the standards that are written down are the ones that have the greatest chance of doing you some good. Written standards reflect the fact that you took the time to write them down. That also means you took the time to think about them during the process. Standards will not be a static concept in your operations, they will evolve, be massaged, they will change over time. With them in a written form, all of these changes can be more readily identified and then rewritten for all to see.

This brings up an important point, standards are not just for you, they are for everyone you come in contact with. Standards are not much good to you if no one knows you have them and if they know you have them, they don’t know what they are. Once you are past being a one-person band, having written standards become even more important to you. We all know the party game, put 10 people in a row, whisper a couple of sentences into the first persons ear, he then whispers what he thinks he heard into the next persons ear and so on until it reaches the end person. The end person says out loud what he was told by the last person, keeping in mind this has been filtered through 9 people. What the last person says out loud and what the first person started with are wildly different.

Forget filtering your unwritten standards through 9 people, just try to pass on a set of standards, unwritten standards to one or two other people and see what develops.

They Have To Be Enforced

Some nice sounding words on a piece of paper are not standards. They only start to become standards when someone breathes life into them and makes them real by making them part of the fabric of your organization. They become real when an individual does not live up to the standards are then someone steps in and says, “this is not how we do things here, I will help you redo it”. When that happens, you will start to have real standards in your organization.

Enforcement sounds like some one is running around spying on people and when they find someone not toeing the line, starts to scream and shout at them. This is not the case. What you want to create is an environment where all the people involved are committed to doing the best possible work and reaping the maximum benefit from that effort. Whether you are a one-man band or part of a 200-person company, the concept remains the same, standards are there to help us become more successful, and standards are a good thing.

Give standards the due they deserve. Spend some time, maybe a lot of time, on this topic. It is one of those maximizers that keeps on giving and giving, just like the rabbit.

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