SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 200,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our newsletter.
How would you characterize the majority of people in your organization?
- They’re big thinkers: They see the broader picture and focus on big ideas: 15.43%
- They’re average thinkers: They occasionally pursue big ideas but mostly focus on the day to day: 56.92%
- They’re small thinkers: They’re stuck in focusing on small tasks that don’t make a big difference: 27.65%
Getting unstuck. It seems there’s a balance of big thinkers and people who are able to balance big thoughts with actually getting stuff done. Where things get challenging is for the folks who are stuck focusing on small tasks that don’t have a huge impact. That’s untapped potential for your organization, and 28% of your workforce occupying that space is likely way too much. Help people get unstuck. Ask them what they’re working on and deprioritize or stop small tasks. They might not feel like they can say “no,” so say “no” for them. Relieve them of that burden, and free them to work on bigger, more important projects. Consider the opportunity cost of them working on a small task versus what they could deliver on a larger one. That usually makes the decision pretty easy when it comes to stopping a piece of work.
Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS, which includes TITAN — the firm’s e-learning platform. Previously, he worked at McKinsey & Co., Capital One and Scotts Miracle-Gro. He is a West oint graduate and author of three leadership books: “One Piece of Paper,” “Lead Inside the Box” and “The Elegant Pitch.”