Don Many times I make decisions based on limited information and more on a reactive side rather than taking the time to really look at all the options available.

Many times I make decisions based on limited information and more on a reactive side rather than taking the time to really look at all the options available.

I can’t help looking at the title of this article and particularly those words, “Don’t Settle”.

Here are some reflections on areas I really try to work at without settling for something less.

Process Improvement
Too often, when I feel some process needs to be improved, I have only looked at one particular issue in the process and tried to fix it.

Purchase New Technology
Too often want to buy some new technology because I heard about it from someone else or I saw it first hand. My mistake here is I am not looking more into the future and realizing that my network contact or competition has technology that might be newer, but it may be quickly outdated

New Markets
Too often, I see a rapidly developing market, but I don’t take the time to see if it is just a short-term occurrence. More information is needed and proper planning needs to be in place to address the real customer need and not the symptom.

Personal Goals
I often only focus on today’s events instead of looking at topics from a goal/journey perspective. For me, growing spiritually is a part of this process that must occur in order to find peace and strength.

Prioritizing Work
I often look at a list of items that need to be addressed and try to address these tasks throughout the day. If I just took a minute and prioritized the work based on several factors like time needed to complete work, importance of work, can work be delegated, is the work part of a larger project and deadlines.

Client Service
I often feel I have to address a client’s concern right away. This statement is true, but I may be doing the client a disservice if I simply put a band-aid on the particular issue. This approach could lead to repeat errors. I need to acknowledge the clients’ concern and let he/she know that the issue has been noted and the client will be notified when the concern will be answered, (not necessarily resolved all the time)

Seek Outside Advice

I think it is critical to listen to people on the inside of the company. The trap that I have fallen into is that we live in a society where people only get their information through Google. I fall into this trap too. It is imperative to seek out information outside of the industry and also test that information by talking to other people. This is probably the most important area to consider.

Ask people for their input, but make sure the questions being asked are not leading down a direction of settling for something less than a desired result.In addition, the word, “Trust” needs to be inserted here with respect to connections with people. It is critical to know whom we can trust and whom we cannot trust with respect to gaining knowledge and seeking advice.

Set expectations higher in this process and then think even higher again. This is where proper planning can really make a difference.

Summary

In my viewpoint, leaders set the standard. In my case, I am trying to set a higher standard for our people by continually evaluating and questioning processes and examine client feedback. Most of our big project initiatives are client driven.

In addition, it is critical to have a culture where ideas are shared and documented, not necessarily implemented but documented to make sure they do not get lost in the shuffle.

Finally, make sure to set deadlines. I have found it helpful to write down deadlines with respect to getting answers and making decisions. Without deadlines, this process can quickly turn into dreaming and distraction time. I watch myself that I do not fall into this trap. I see it too often. Be a visionary leader not a life-long dreamer.