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What's on your "compromise" list?


Every leader has one. It's that list of leadership projects, tasks and responsibilities that you prefer to avoid, ignore or bestow with your highest level of procrastination.

It is truly amazing how you can find a zillion other low level things to do rather than tackle your compromise list and check a few items off. Call it human nature, fear of the unknown, insecurity, lack of knowledge or skill, just plain laziness, it's a sure bet that items lingering on your compromise list are creating drag, inefficiency, lost opportunities and increased costs in your company. Even with the knowledge of the consequences, you just can't seem to convert your compromise list into a no-compromise list of must-do's that get done.

 Here's a hit list of strategies to eliminate your compromise list forever:

  • Confront your compromise list head on: Get your emotions out of the way and take a hard look at that list. What's really on that list that you can't do? Chances are, you have sufficient skills and knowledge to do every item. If you don't, you certainly can tap the resources and expertise of others. Simply put, you can blow up your compromise list if you want to. No compromise.

  • Knock off the easiest ones first: There's nothing like the feeling of accomplishment that comes from crossing a completed task off a challenging "to do" list. By tackling the easier tasks, you'll gain momentum. The question is when will you start? No compromise.

  • There's power in the tough ones: Think about it. It's those big ugly items on your list that really cause you discomfort and keep you up at night. It may be those tough decisions like cutting hours or staff, or having that crucial conversation with a toxic employee. What ever it is, there's power in those tasks, and by tackling them head on, you're taking control of the situation. You're doing the work of leadership. And when completed, you'll realize that it wasn't so bad and that your stress level is back under control. These days, a leader cannot avoid making tough decisions. No compromise.

  • Hey... you're human, not superman: I always advise leaders to manage what's on their plates. Given this, it's likely that items on your compromise list simply don't belong. Leadership is not about doing it all - it's about creating the right business outcomes. That leaves plenty of room to engage others in tasks, projects and responsibilities. No compromise.

  • You just may have fun: Getting rid of your compromise list is a worthy and doable quest that will recharge you as a leader. And if you find yourself having fun in the process, you'll just have to make peace with that. No compromise.

 Pass this email on to your business colleagues, managers and friends.

 Neil Ducoff, Strategies founder & CEO


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