I just finished an amazing book “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway” by Susan Jeffers and want to share the key takeaways I got from it.
1.“The fear will never go away as long as you continue to grow”. Fear is a natural part of life. Everyone experiences it. It needs to be acknowledged and worked through.
2. Taking Responsibility for own actions is the key success factor. “I can’t” is just an excuse. We all have the power to make choices and take action. It’s up to us to use that power. If you can feel the fear and do it anyway, you take control and reduce the sense of helplessness. The more you do this, the more confident you are that whatever happens, you can handle it!’
3. Reframing our thoughts and beliefs can help us overcome fear. Instead of focusing on what could go wrong, we can focus on what could go right and the opportunities that lie ahead.
Some useful coaching techniques used in the book:
· The Power of Positive Thinking: A positive outlook on life can be developed by focusing on our strengths, practising gratitude, and avoiding negative self-talk as well as practising affirmations and visualization.
· Taking ownership of own actions: The only way to get rid of the fear of doing something is to go out and do it. Taking action in the face of fear is the key to overcoming it.
· Mindful Breathing: Mindful breathing can be used to calm our minds and reduce anxiety in moments of fear.
· Reframing Negative Thoughts: By developing self-awareness we can swap negative self-talk with more positive and empowering thoughts such as
“What if?” –> “I can handle it”.
· Developing a Support System: Let’s seek support from friends, family, community or a therapist to help us manage our fears and achieve our goals. Let’s surround ourselves with people who are further on that journey so that they can guide and spiritually mentor us.
· Embracing Uncertainty: Fears often have roots in the desire for control and certainty. By embracing uncertainty, we can reduce fear and increase our ability to adapt to change.
· Changing from Pain to Power Vocabulary: By being conscious of what language we are using: “I can’t” vs. “I won’t”(ownership), “I should” vs. “I would”.
· Saying Yes to Your Universe – embracing the journey with all its ups and downs.
· Choosing Love and Trust “If we do not consciously and consistently focus on the spiritual part of ourselves, we will never experience the kind of joy, satisfaction, and connectedness we are all seeking.”
In the cases that I have observed, the failures were attributed mainly to the absolute lack of trust between the business and IT. As a result, development services were often asked to do ridiculous things and were frequently disturbed by political turmoil among various individuals involved in power struggles. How can one be productive if he or she is in a constant state of discomposure?
To me, trust is the foundation of agility. Lack of trust frequently drives a culture of blame, which leads to situations in which the main focus of teams is placed on covering their tracks. They compete in an unhealthy manner rather than working together and aiming to achieve a shared goal. Instead, collaboration is replaced by noxious contention. This results in face-to-face discussions replaced by written communication because everything must be documented. Those practices get in the way of team members’ interactions and their relationships, all of which makes them generally less effective.
Fostering self-organization & self-management
I have also observed, throughout my professional career, some situations in which KPIs were manipulated to support a selected story. The problem starts from the lack of awareness of the manipulation and builds on it, but this doesn’t reflect the true state. The gap between what’s true and what’s created for PR purposes gets bigger and bigger. Others become disillusioned about the whole progress or the productivity of the teams.
Many managers still believe that to stay in charge they must know as much as they can up front, and thus plans are created. To not lose control, the smallest deviation from the plan is seen as a mortal sin. Why put The Plan ahead of The Reality?
Why does a detailed plan give so much comfort to some, even though we know from experience that majority of projects do not run according to plans? Too often everything needs to be planned well in advance, down to the smallest detail, and team performance is measured against the plan. So, the importance is placed on the team’s adherence to what was planned, even if value is lost on the way.
Another common problem is the disconnect between management and their staff. This disconnect creates animosity, poor morale, and a frustration that stems from an inability to get things done efficiently and efficaciously. Decisions are made far from the centre of the action and often are not the best choices under the circumstances, as the decision makers are not well informed
Let’s work together. Let’s empower the teams so that they can self-organize and deliver more value to the business. Let’s stop micromanaging them and let them work. As former Apple CEO (Steve Jobs) famously said, “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.” He also pointed out, “Technology is nothing. What’s important is that you have faith in people, that they’re basically good and smart, and if you give them tools, they’ll do wonderful things with them”.
As Raymond Albert Kroc says, “You’re only as good as the people you hire,” so let them impress you. Truly listen to your team. Remember that your teams were hired to think. Consider their feedback, and ask questions to genuinely understand the situation.
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