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Reliable metrics and habits predict your future outcomes.

Reliable metrics and habits predict your future outcomes.

As a leader, I’ve learned that there’s a danger involved in not having metrics that measure the progress of every objective required for your team’s success. We can only focus on so many priorities at a time, so having a solid, well-thought-out set of metrics that help you track progress against the desired outcomes are crucial to keeping all of your objectives on track. These metrics also form the foundation of building trust with your team - through consistency and communications, they begin to grow more confident in their understanding of your focus as a leader.  When you are not guided by solid metrics for prioritizing what is important versus just urgent, it's easy to miss something because of a cognitive process called task saturation. When you are obsessing on one project, another process can drop through the cracks and when it happens, it can cause you to be unreliable for team members or peers who were counting on you. Being successful requires absolute proactivity and focus. Metrics that are outcome focused and that you review at predictable intervals help keep everything on track, and help you, as a leader, reliably meet your commitments and focus on the important items versus being in a state of reacting to crisis and emergencies. Our team has developed a monthly flash report that we review as a team to ensure we don’t drop a ball and can trust that our metrics are able to predict reliable results.

When you are not guided by solid metrics for prioritizing what is important versus just urgent, it's easy to miss something because of a cognitive process called task saturation.

Humans are creatures of habit and the one thing we can predict is that we will keep doing the things we are habitually practicing intentionally. The trouble is that crisis always trumps proactive behaviors that are less urgent. And it is those proactive actions and habits that are the very things that could have prevented the crisis, to begin with. Staying ahead of the crisis means you and your team have to be consistently devoted to important behaviors that prevent a crisis later.  That requires forethought, planning, and metrics to alert you to something that is falling behind before it’s too late.  

Metrics also help you and your team focus on what matters most rather than reacting to whatever falls into their email that day. No great team thinks that being on email all day is going to generate success. Great teams have a habit of focusing on priorities first, working offline to complete important project work and then going online to see what’s coming in. 

How a lack of self-awareness can cause a team to fail. 

Great producers on my team are the ones who know their own objectives, organize projects and work around them, accomplish those first and stay alert to avoiding what sucks their ego into behaviors that don’t pertain to their goals. For example, those with a tendency to like being needed by others, have to be careful not to get sucked into responding to the needs of others and then not get their own work done. Other people, clients included, would love to get you to do their work for them and they will certainly ask to see if you’ll do it for them. It takes a self-aware, disciplined person to be discerning about such requests. We’ve learned that it’s important to examine every bit of energy we expend and ensure that it isn’t serving our unconscious ego needs over our priorities. People who are unself-aware can waste precious time fixing other people’s errors or sloppy work because it makes them feel smart. These same unself-aware people can sometimes take charge of what another person should be in charge of, and feel like the hero by doing so. And when it comes to reliability, people who prioritize others’ needs at the expense of meeting their own commitments create challenges for their peers and co-workers. Countless hours are wasted every day in teams where there is a lack of self-awareness. 

Proactive time comes first.

So, the predictor of success is determined by reliable metrics combined with self-awareness about your ego temptations so you have time for proactive effort that gets you closer to your goals. And examining each of these one day at a time.