I’m going to keep this one pretty short, sharp and simple.
Is the environment you are working in setting you up for success?
We all have preferences – the way we work, what gives us energy, when we operate at our best or worst. If our environment is not conducive to these preferences, or to our end goal, then it actually starts to work against us.
Not sure what I mean? Here’s an example that I think we can all relate to. You’ve decided to clean up your diet, and you know that when you are tired (or hungry, or stressed) your fallback tendency is to go straight for a sugar fix.
In this scenario, do you set yourself up for success by being prepared with a healthy snack on hand, and no junk in sight? Or will you just simply hope that willpower will get you through, even though you’ve still got that block of chocolate in your desk/cupboard/car?
Think of someone you know who has set themselves a similar goal and is succeeding. What does their environment look like? I’m betting that they have invested some time and energy into making sure they have the best chance of success. This might mean clearing all the junk out of the cupboard, or prepping themselves a week’s worth of healthy meals and snacks in advance. The point is – their environment will be working for them, not against them.
This is no different to creating an environment where you can flourish and be successful at work. If you are a morning person, and like to use that time to do deep thought or strategy work, then set your diary up that way. If you know you need reflection time before making a decision, schedule it.
The first step toward creating this environment is sharing what you are trying to do with others. If you keep this to yourself, you will forever feel at the mercy of a seemingly endless line of other commitments that others put in your diary: meetings, papers to read, endless emails...
To take control, you need to start articulating your expectations. Encourage others to do the same, and see what happens.
The theme here is that you need to understand yourself first. You need to know how you operate at your best, and what you need to make that possible. Then you can do the same for your team, which is a fundamental responsibility of a leadership role.
Top Tip: Take some time to consider what environment you need to create for yourself so that you can flourish. Don’t limit your thinking about what does and doesn’t feel possible right now. Draft an imaginary week that feels ideal to you.
Once you have that vision for your perfect environment, share it with your team. Get them to do the same exercise and then share it collectively.
Although it sounds simple, you’ll be surprised at the profound difference it makes to have an environment that works for you, instead of against you.
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• Recognising what your environment for success looks like;
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