The notion that we can constantly make ourselves and our companies better, in theory, is a great idea. But when does it become too much?
For me, the best way to answer this question is to notice our strengths and work to enhance them. In my Vistage work and as a leadership coach, I refer to this as discovering and working in our genius.
Sometimes we become so focused on achieving that we are never able to appreciate who we are or what we and our people have already accomplished. When we’re constantly reaching, rather than occasionally being satisfied with what we have in front of us, that’s a recipe for perpetual dissatisfaction.
For me, the best way to avoid the “better, better, better” trap is to ask the following questions:
- What are we, as a company, already good at? Are these the things our customers value?
- Among the things most important to our customers, what are we good at and what do we need to do to become excellent at these?
- Of the things we are not good at and striving to improve, what can we outsource, or simply stop doing?
Once we know and understand what we are good at, and focus on that, not only do our companies and our people become more effective, we become more satisfied and ultimately become better leaders.