Self-control in children predicts quite accurately success in life. The discipline to delay gratification and invest in the future is critical to business success as well, but opposite of the irrational way we choose what to focus on each day. According to research, future penalties (jail, fines, loss of bonus) are not effective at creating more future focused choices. Removing the temptation is not always possible, and the ego can deplete as you use your self-control during the work day. There is evidence that self-control is partially innate (born with it) and partially developed. As a leader, your job is to get people focused on the right things to meet the strategy (future) so your self-control is an important model to your team.
The lessons for leaders:
- Require that your staff use milestones with dates on projects. How does a five year project get three years late? One day at a time. If it's too far away, it doesn't exist, at least today. Need help? Register for one of our PM workshops.
- Break your strategy into smaller pieces that don't seem so distant. We like to use our Stages of Growth model and process to identify where we are and where we need to go next).
- Observe your own emotional reactions during the day. What does working on the budget 'feel like'? If you'd like to check on your strengths, motivators and emotional awareness/regulation to baseline for growth, ask Brittney about our TriMetrix EQ assessment.
- Bronze medal winners ("I just made it") are happier than Silver ("I could have been gold") medal winners. Push rank out of your team by refusing to compare people openly, and be specially aware of any 'two'.