Steps to Management Success – Step 87: Baby Steps Still Move You Forward

Written By Rick Frishman Published April 7th, 2010

STEP EIGHTY-SEVEN

Baby Steps Still Move You Forward

If you’re calling on fifteen customers in a week, can you call on one more? If you’re manufacturing 300 widgets per day, can you make 10 more? Before you leave at the end of the day, can you cross off one more thing on your to-do list?

WHAT IT MEANS: Small incremental gains can add up to huge improvements over the long run. In Pat Riley’s first season as coach of the Lose Angeles Lakers, he faced a challenge: how to motivate a team that had already won a championship. He did it by evoking a call for a “one percent more” performance improvement. If everyone on the team could improve their field goal percentage by one point, if everyone could improve their rebounding or assist average by one point, and so on. Now it may be purely coincidental, but I don’t think so—either way, the Lakers went on to have an even more phenomenal championship year, with several players on the team achieving career highs in numerous statistical categories.

ACTION PLAN: First, you need to establish your benchmark—what is the measurement unit of what you’re doing and how much of it are you doing? And then do one more!

EVEN BETTER: Strive to be the Pat Riley of your organization (the slicked-back hair is optional). Get others to buy into the “do one more” mind-set. Coach it. When possible, facilitate it. And, of course, reward it. Any organization whose people are constantly striving to do a little bit more is an organization that is far more likely to prosper.

(Excerpted from: 10 Clowns Don’t Make a Circus. . . and 249 Other Critical Management Success Strategies by Steven Schragis and Rick Frishman)

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