This week, Michael and Paul discuss the power of leaders who focus on solving problems, always waiting for and trusting the question, what someone learned from 5 years at Gartner, & how “Urgency bias” is killing your productivity.
What I Learned from 5 Years at Gartner
- Most problems are not unique; and they don’t require perfect knowledge; to make progress requires understanding the real problem
- The way we phrase our questions often masks the real problem; this requires more practice asking the right questions
- Most vendor briefings are not very good. TRUTH. Important to work with the right firms to craft your story
- Love the approach on the slides — less is more. Get to the point. Tell your story.
- Success comes from solving persistent problems
- BONUS: definitely get space.
“Urgency bias” is killing your productivity
- (BSW Episode 90 lays out how to capture your time in a brief audit)
- We have a built-in urgency bias – and “seems urgent” trips it
- The result is a series of objectively poor choices
- We often choose short, easy in an effort to complete (and get the boost) – ever write a to-do just so you can cross it off?
- Constantly question your choices — and consider adopting a structure to help think about it consistently (like the value prop & scorecard)
The Power of Leaders Who Focus on Solving Problems
- Honoring the role of a strong individual contributor; focus on your strengths and getting stronger
- The rise of problem-led leadership?
- Get others excited about solving a problem
- Not interested in leadership, long term, but will rise up
The After Action Review: A Leader’s Guide
- Use AARs to accelerate learning
- “What did we learn last time?” – start with the question
- The key is putting the lesson into practice. Simple, not easy.
- Iterate, iterate, iterate
- Make it required, keep it short, create the habit (always be questioning)
- Small teams, get the right people in, consider a moderator
- Record what you learn
Always Wait For And Trust The Question
- Questions engage people
- “What do you need next?”
- Then listen. Create space for everyone to listen. Silence is okay.
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