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THINK Big 2-Minute Blog: Firing Yourself

We all have certain things – patterns, assumption sets, habits — that we bring to the table. And we get stuck in how we do and see things.

Here’s a quick exercise to give you new perspective:

  • Write down one reason you would fire yourself. Identify that certain characteristic that isn’t working or helping you get to where you want to be.
  • Then write one reason, and one characteristic, why you’re going to re-hire yourself.
  • Now take it further and write down all of the reasons you would fire yourself, and all the reasons you’d hire yourself back. Give very specific and measurable reasons, and all the actionable activities you would do if you got your job back.

This exercise raises our own self-awareness of what we’re doing. It’s a way to clean up, and a good thing to do quarterly.

It’s also a good exercise to do with your people. It’s a way to tell them, “Here’s a way to manage yourself. What do you think needs to go? What needs to come back? You have the characteristics in you. What needs to be elevated?”

If you start doing this, not only for yourself, but anybody you work with, you will see the awareness level rise. People will bring in their better selves.

When you’re running a project, put this “fire yourself” exercise on the agenda for three to five minutes. Not necessarily every week, but use it when appropriate. When I do this at smaller meetings, it is very effective. Try it and you may be pleasantly surprised.

Here’s another exercise that can go a long way:

  • Take 30 seconds and write down one, two or three things that you should stop doing.
  • Then write down one, two or three things that you should start

We all have things that we do every day that maybe we shouldn’t be doing, a level of urgency that perhaps isn’t warranted. Compulsively checking email and texts is a common example. Writing it down in black and white forces us to be aware of our own days and control our own time.

There are no rules to it. You just want to do what makes sense to you. We want to stop the stuff that isn’t working for us and start the stuff that makes us more effective. These are really important qualities because they become contagious to those we are leading and managing.

Share this one with your team, too, and prepare to be wowed with the results.

Just two more ways to think big!

THINK BIG!

Jon