As we move into the recovery phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, and things start to get back to some resemblance of normal there are still challenges facing us all,” says Nigel Collin. As the latest business recovery report by Executive PA indicates, there is still much uncertainty in the air that puts pressure on executives to keep the morale of their teams up and navigate a different economic environment. All of which puts a lot of pressure on executive assistants. So, how can you help your executive leaders through the business recovery? It is tempting now that restrictions are lifting to come out guns blazing, move quickly and make big shifts in what you do and how you do it. But the truth is, it is the small things you do over the next six months that will make the difference in how you, your executives, your team, and your organisation recover. The remainder of 2020 will be a game of inches for several reasons.
1)Focusing on small steps gives you a sense of control—which reduces overwhelm.
2)Taking small steps creates progress and momentum—leading to a sense of achievement that helps build morale.
3)Small shifts mitigate risk—focusing on big shifts can be tricky, costly, and difficult.
4) It is doing the little things that gets the big things done.
So, how can you adopt a philosophy and methodology of small steps? Here are a few simple things you can do to leverage the game of inches.
1. Look for small gaps in what you do and how you do it
Reflect on what you did over the past week and look for any small changes you can make to improve those things. Not big changes, because they are overwhelming and you probably don’t have time, but you can make small adjustments and improvements
A while back I spoke about the need of not running, but walking quickly, in times of crisis. Often when there is a lot to think about and do, and as a result we don’t think clearly and make mistakes. One small thing you can adopt is to pause and take a breath before jumping into something. Give yourself room to think.
3. Keep things simple
From my own observations, I reckon people usually overcomplicate things, and as Leonardo DaVinci is quoted as saying, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Next time you are about to start a task or project, it’s worth asking yourself if it’s too complex and how can you make it simpler?
4. Do one thing
The game of inches dictates you do one thing at a time. Take one step, one inch, at a time. Yes, there will be a lot to do over the next 6 months but if you try do everything at once you will simply become overwhelmed or do things inadequately. Focus on doing just one thing at a time and when done, focus on doing the next one thing, and because they are small things you will be amazed at how many you get done and the progress you’ll make. The challenge over the next 6 months for many EAs will be not getting distracted by the big things and as a result, missing the small things. However, over many years I’ve been fortunate to interview multiple successful business leaders, and one common quality you see again and again is they understand the importance of focusing on the 1per cents, those inches, those small steps that make all the difference.
THE EXPERT Nigel Collin is a change and leadership expert helping people and organisations make change happen through small consistent steps. He is author of’Game of Inches’, anInternationally recognised keynote speaker and executive coach