MVP: Less is more part 2: People can implement change better when the demands are smaller.
When we focus on tasks, we focus on what needs to get done, and we consequently implement changes or efforts to complete the tasks. This is like stuffing as much into our backpacks as the backpacks will hold.
When we focus on people, we focus on what is essential to support them. This is like using a smaller pack and putting only the essential things inside it.
Focusing on people helps them move more quickly with less stress and trauma.
Today’s intention: Meet with your mentor or another leader this afternoon. Discuss a change initiative that has bogged down. Identify the other change initiatives or pressures that have added weight to the change effort. Identify one thing to leave behind.
MVP: Less is more – decrease the number of change initiatives you are implementing.
I mentioned Monday that Pam and I will be doing a 260-mile hike this summer.
This means that we need to carry everything that we will need (minus food) for 20-days on our backs!
Every pound of pack weight adds eight pounds of force to the knees on each step.
At about 2,000 steps per mile, each pound of pack weight creates over 7 tons of extra stress on our knees and feet!
The challenge is that it is very easy to bring along items that may not be essential, but which are convenient. Furthermore, the line between convenient and essential can be difficult to distinguish. How many pairs of underwear do we need for a 20-day trip? 🤣
One strategy we have employed to help us be militant about keeping our pack wight low is to carry smaller packs.
Smaller packs are lighter, and they make it more difficult to add in extra items.
In considering change initiatives, we sometimes act like people have backpacks of unlimited size, so we engage in multiple initiatives at the same time. The result is a lot of extra stress.
What if we took the smaller pack approach, and asked people to make fewer changes at one time?
Today’s intention: What are some things you or your organization is asking people to do that is adding weight to their already full packs? Not sure? Ask them. 😉
MVP: Providing extra care to people before a big challenge is critical.
During Christmas we were on the edge of the extreme cold and the temperatures were in the single digits and teens for over a week.
The extreme cold was a great test for the plants in my greenhouse.
The greenhouse is unheated, and even though I planted hearty greens, the temperatures were going to be too low to survive, so I covered the greens with multiple layers of clear plastic sheeting.
Almost all the plants survived and are growing again. Albeit very slowly.
Sometimes, a little extra care or special treatment can help a living thing survive or even thrive.
Today’s intention: Who in your organization needs some extra care and support? How can you see that they receive it?
MVP: Putting people first fulfills both or own and their needs and leads to intrinsic motivation.
Extrinsic motivation comes from the outside, while intrinsic motivation comes from the inside.
Intrinsic motivation is much more powerful and enduring than extrinsic motivation.
Unfortunately, we live in a world that is continually using extrinsic motivation to manipulate our behavior.
One powerful way to increase intrinsic motivation, for us and for others, is to focus on people over purpose. When we focus on supporting and growing people, it satisfies our deepest human needs to connect and feel needed. When we focus on supporting and growing people, we help them improve their knowledge, skills, dispositions, and health, each of which increases self-worth and an internal sense of validation and accomplishment.
If you’d like to hear more about extrinsic and intrinsic motivation, tune in to today’s episode of The Assistant Principal Podcast with Mike Anderson. Our show page is here.
Today’s intention: Think about your motivations for helping people grow. Is it for your ends, or for theirs?
MVP: Just because I like to do something doesn’t mean I should be doing it!
Pam and I have been getting ready for a 260-mile hike we are going to do in June. The Pennine Way is Britain’s oldest long distance hiking trail and has been on my bucket list since 1986!
We are preparing by increasing the frequency, distance, and intensity of our hikes. Two weeks ago, we decided to do three long hikes on back-to-back-to-back days.
I like to take ownership of getting our equipment and food ready and for planning out our hiking routes, so I did all three of those things for our little trifecta.
All three of the hikes I chose were failures.
The first hike was 50% on a road and then required us to cross a major river with no bridge!
We got lost driving a back road to the second hike and almost wrecked our car. BTW, the Subaru Forester does surprisingly well on muddy, rutted, and boulder strewn roads. 🤣
The third hike was straight up fill for 2 ½ miles. We made it 80% of the way there before deciding that discretion was the better part of valor.
For our next hike, we are planning the route together!
Today’s intention: Is there anything you do that you don’t need to be doing and that someone else might be better at?