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Oct 01

Leadership Technique #3: The Month of Why?

Michael Maples, Principal & CEO of Trumark Homes, shares some of his favorite leadership techniques.

We had a company contest in January 2010 called the Month of Why? The idea was that the whole world was changing and it was time to revitalize our business strategy. Staff members were encouraged to question the way we do everything from business management to company structure and present a new solution. We had several categories and we all voted on the best “Why” for each category. The winners received recognition and a small cash prize.

One of our winners was Arden Hearing, Vice President of Land Acquisitions for Trumark Companies. Here’s what he had to say:

WHY do I feel the need to multi-task when focusing on one item would actually be more efficient – in many cases?

I have a general “change,’ or area of focus, for 2010 that applies as much to personal as professional life.

* Our society and generation has gotten very efficient (or so we think) at multi-tasking.
* In my function – I really rely on it (driving, talking, reading, typing, thinking, etc.).
* However – I notice a decline in quality of both tasks when focusing on 2+. If I am reading a contract, for example, I am much more effective when I am not on a callJ.
* For a personal application – I have a great time playing “matching game” with my daughter. If I am also watching Monday night football – my enjoyment, and hers, go down (as does the quality of our time together).

This is partially motivated by a study that I read over the holidays – confirming that the quality of the task, when combined with others, goes down.

So – I am working to consciously guide my attention to the task at hand. If someone calls while I am reading a contract – I call them back OR pick the contract up after the call. If an email comes throughwhen I am in a meeting – I read it after the meeting.

I will do more by doing less at any one given time.