The poor use of PowerPoint is (rightly) regularly berated for producing low-value (let's read these slides together), dull (endless bullets) and trance-inducing (walking away with a slide-deck rather than a set of clear actions) presentations. But it doesn''t stop there. Microsoft produce a package called Word. Word allows parts of speech such as conjunctions. It allows ifs and maybes. Sentences and paragraphs. In other words it allow you to express yourself clearly: it allows joined-up thinking to be articulated. In business life Word is being rapidly replaced by the PowerPoint slide-deck. The slide-deck at meetings, the slide deck e-mailed as an attachment. But these are bullet-rich and lack joined-up thinking. Oh, yes, they are quick to produce and cannibalise. But without clear, fresh, explicit thinking our firms go bust.
Coaching in the business world can fine-tune an employee's skills, allow invaluable one-to-one time and remind the person being coached of their importance to the business. So why don't we as managers and leaders do more of it? Get out there and coach, that is? Of course there's the standard excuse: 'no time'. But the reality? The truth? To become a good coach you need to start learning a lot about yourself. If you can really help someone with their procrastination...well..we need to sort out our own. To help someone overcome her fear of change...well...what exactly are we scared of? Coaching is great for those in the team, true. But it makes awesome leaders of us, too. Get on the path of becoming a great coach. Soon.
How do you get lucky? How do you get the break you seek? How do you get noticed, get your CV to jump out of the pile, get home on time to see the kids....How do you get your shop to move beyond break-even? Your consultancy to start dealing with the well-paying big boys? Keep trying. Try different ways. Try better ways. Keep trying. It'll work. It always does. You'll get the break you need. You'll get lucky.
You will have noticed that left to its own devices, your desk gets untidy, your garden grows weeds and the washing up needs doing. That's entropy in progress: the tendency of things to move to a state of disorder. That is unless you decide to reverse the process by putting a bit of energy in: 20 minutes re-filing and re-sorting, digging up the weeds and stacking the dishwasher. Organisations suffer badly from entropy. They lose their way, systems degrade and layer upon layer of complexity hides poor processes. How do you reverse it? Put energy in, again. It's known as leadership.