Printer Friendly

One secret of achievement: create momentum. (On the Management Side).

Newton was right: a body at rest tends to remain at rest. Frequently, it is the simple inability or reluctance to get started on a project that prevents us From achieving what we ought to achieve. Standing still is safe... comfortable... strangely reassuring. Movement requires effort.

But inertia is a state few of us can afford for long. There is, after all, work to be done. The secret to getting it done is overcoming the inclination merely to sit there, waiting For inspiration or hoping For a miracle. In short, you must get started. Once you do, the other part of Newton's law--a body in motion tends to stay in motion-begins to work for you.

The good news is that there are many ways to create your own momentum. Here are some of the most effective.

Recognize the sheer waste in lack of action. If you do nothing, nothing is precisely what is going to happen. Eventually, that means trouble in one form or another--boredom, frustration, fatigue, a poor self-image, lack of respect from others, even disciplinary action. Is that what you want?

Force yourself to start. Action feeds on action. Have to write a report? Get a piece of paper and jot down the main points that such a report ought to cover. Once you have them in front of you, your brain will almost automatically start working on elaborations, refinements, interconnections. Have to make some phone calls you'd rather not? Get the phone numbers down in front of you. At the very least, it's a start.

Ride your moods. Not in the mood to write letters? Then make phone calls to people who can give you useful information for the report. Don't feel like traveling? Get some office chores out of the way. By taking advantage of your moods, you maximize your performance and any kind of action can set the state for more of the same.

Paint yourself into a corner by going on record as to when you will finish a project. By setting a deadline in front of a witness--your boss, a customer, a colleague--you harness on your own behalf the very human desire to save face by not failing to deliver.

Break that big job down to its component parts. Job seem overwhelming? Divide it into as many 15- or 30-minute sub-tasks as you can. Tackle the first one immediately. Then, whenever you have another 15 or 3D minutes at your disposal, tackle another. Sooner or later the urge to get the job done will take over and you will gain the necessary momentum to finish it.

Reward yourself. Sure, this technique is as old as the hills, but it works. Have to finish that presentation, but rather get home on time? Dangle a carrot in front of yourself--a personal treat of some kind, whether it's a couple of tickets to a play or a new briefcase. The prospect of reward still motivates us all. Make sure the reward is something you truly want but would not ordinarily get for yourself... and pay off without fail.

How to Fight Rumors

"They're going to automate the whole plant."

"That Foreign outfit is buying us out and closing this facility."

"They're eliminating all bonuses."

Rumors can be generated by the misinterpretation of Fads by employees boredom ... anxiety... wish fulfillment... frustration--almost any human frailty. And some can be extremely costly. What can you do about them?

The most effective way to keep the rumors down is to keep the channels of communication open. Rumors multiply in the absence of reliable information and although bulletin board announcements and internal publications are helpful, there is no substitute for good manager-employee communications.

Defensive attempts to disprove rumors have been found to be ineffective in discarding rumors. The opposite approach--a positive presentation of the facts of the matter--is a far more powerful antidote.

It is important that employees have faith in the credibility of management's communications. The manager attempting to present the company's story accurately and convincingly will be far more effective if he has, over a period of time, built a record of truthfulness and reliability in dealing with his employees.

Understanding the psychology of rumors can help you prevent them. Learn to analyze rumors in terms of the anxieties or other attitudes that are behind them, then tackle them on their own ground.

The Importance of Excellence

The best people who tend to get ahead in this world always do their best. They are driven to compete not only with others, but with themselves. Toward that end, they follow a personal "zero defects" program, always trying to perform flawlessly. Even when they do not live up to their own high standards, the very attempt at perfection pays off in work of higher-than-average caliber.

They seldom settle for the First idea that occurs to them. They view every task, big or small, as a challenge to be met in a superior fashion. They may not do anything until they have drawn up a mental list of three, four, or more possibilities, then eliminate those that appear most flawed. The remaining strategy is clearly the one to be adopted.

They anticipate problems. If one approach will require too much time, they opt for another. If they foresee a need for help, they check an the availability of other people before plunging ahead. If the effort to be invested in a job does not promise a sufficiently high payoff, they search For another solution.

They work hard, For it is results they are after, not leisure time. If an extra hour, day, or week will yield what they are seeking, they are happy to spend it, knowing that there will be other hours, other days, and other weeks in which to do other things.

Above all, they want to experience the heady sense of achievement that doing a job extremely well gives them. There is simply no substitute For that Feeling. Try it and see it For yourself.

Giving A Speech?

If you are, here are some tips.

Don't worry about diction. "Bad" diction is really speech that calls attention to itself, detracting the listener's attention from what is being said. IF yours doesn't do this, you're all right.

Talk unhurriedly so that you have time to take good, solid breaths. Otherwise, you risk voice failure, a condition in which your voice becomes shaky, breathless and weak.

Don't memorize your speech. You'll create an additional Fear: forgetting something. Besides, memorized words tend to take on a singsong quality.

Pause now and then to collect your thoughts ... to allow what you have said to sink in ... for dramatic effect.

Don't be thrown by nervousness. Butterflies in the stomach are a good sign. Every speaker needs nervous energy to put his message across effectively. To stabilize that energy, take a couple of deep breaths before you rise to speak. Then let yourself go, putting your entire body behind your message, using gestures to emphasize your points. After the first Few sentences, as you warm up to your subject, you'll forget the butterflies.
COPYRIGHT 2003 Gardner Publications, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2003, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Pollock, Ted
Publication:Automotive Design & Production
Date:Mar 1, 2003
Previous Article:Three ways to succeed. (Marginal).
Next Article:eBay & autos: a new model? (Information: Technology Update).

Related Articles
Protecting your trade secrets.
Pinnacle Awards.
Romance Slam Jam. (between the lines).
A Financial Minute.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2020 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters