Listen to Les McKeown read this blog post:
If you are serious about wanting to grow your organization, you can't afford to waste the weekend (they comprise 104 of the year’s 365 days, after all).
But that doesn’t mean working 7 days a week. What it does mean is using the weekend to make sure your team gets what they need from you in the work-week ahead.
To be the growth leader you want to be, here are the three things your team need you to do every weekend:
1. A Weekly Review
If you’re not undertaking a weekly review (where you systematically scan each of your projects for next actions, process unfulfilled commitments, close off open loops and review your priorities for the incoming week) then at best you’re leading sub-optimally, and at worst you’re a train wreck of mounting unfulfilled commitments and scattershot prioritization.
There’s a large body of work on the weekly review as a process. Whether you use David Allen’s 'Getting Things Done* methodology (my personal preference) or something else, find a system that works for you, adopt it, and exercise it weekly.
I do my weekly review on Friday afternoons, to leave the weekend free for what follows.
2. Subliminal Thinking
Over 30 years of working with growth leaders has convinced me that the solutions / thoughts / ideas that emerge from the subconscious are of a higher order that those which are consciously constructed (by which I mean they are less biased by personal preferences and not as subject to transient, in-the-moment pressures).
Take as an example something I was working through with a client just last week - managing a new product launch at a time of extreme cash flow issues. Any leader will understandably incorporate the pressure of an impending cash squeeze into their conscious deliberation around the pace and timing of a new product launch, and as a result will try to get it out the door sooner rather than later. A successful new product launch is after all going to considerably help ease that cash crunch .
It’s the later, subliminal processing which leads the same leader to say “No, as it stands, that’s a shoddy product. I know we could do with the revenues, but we can’t, and shouldn't, launch this as it is.”
The problem with subliminal processing is that we rarely manage the process. We don’t decide what goes into the subliminal hopper, and as a result what usually goes in is simply what is worrying us the most - and that 'top of mind' issue may or may not be the right thing on which to unleash the power of your subconscious.
Instead of this scattershot use of such a powerful tool, use the good work that you’ve just done in your weekly review to select the best candidate for your weekend subliminal processing. Review your current priorities and consciously choose what to be subconscious about.
Meditate on the issue for a while (or just 'think about it’, if you’re unhappy with meditation terminology). Then let it go. Let your subconscious stew on it while you do other things.
Your venture isn’t you.
Whether you’re the CEO of a Fortune 100 company, a proud 1-person graphic designer, or the lead pastor of a growing church, the organization you lead is not you.
Unless, of course, you force it to be you. You can so identify with the organization you lead that you corral it, constrain it, restrict it to being you: which means, in turn, that it is no stronger than your strengths, no bigger than your vision, no reach beyond your grasp.
Or you can let it go. Let your organization breathe. Let it flower. Let it expand to its natural, unconstrained size, strength and reach.
Let it be more than you. If you want.
It’s very, very hard to do that during the week when the pace is relentless and you need to act, without time to think. It’s much easier to disengage at the weekend.
So choose this time to let go of the venture you lead. Give it some air, some room to breathe, while you do nothing more than subliminally process the chosen item from your weekly review.
(Side note: If you structure it right, the very act of completing your weekly review should in itself underscore to you just how much of a life your organization has apart from you).
Build the disengagement muscle during the weekend, use it during the week. Rinse and repeat. Your business will grow far beyond your current vision, I guarantee it.
What about you? Which of these three commitments will you (or do you) make to yourself each weekend?
More YOU CAN DO IN A WEEKEND