A friend asked me to help her get her belongings out of her car, which was in an impound lot after being stolen and subsequently recovered.
I have not spent much time thinking about where cars go when they are recovered or wrecked and towed. As we walked to her car – passing rows of wrecked, crushed and semi-crushed vehicles – a feeling of sadness and loss surrounded me. Each car had a story and many of those stories were, I imagined, fraught with fear, loss or pain. The place felt void of energy.
As we loaded the contents of her totaled car into my truck, I began to think about a work metaphor. How many processes, procedures and positions (three Ps) do we have that are totaled, no longer viable? Do we have outdated processes, procedures or positions that we are allowing to take up time and energy long after they are no longer really working? Are we taking time to evaluate things we spend time doing and being radically honest about their viability?
Patrick Lencioni talks about six working geniuses, believing that each of us have two areas of genius, two areas of competency and two areas of frustration. The geniuses are Wonder, Invention, Discernment, Galvanizing, Enablement and Tenacity. People whose geniuses are in the areas of Enablement (the Helpers) and Tenacity (the Doers) can easily get trapped into doing the same thing long after it is no longer the most efficient or effective way to get a job done. It’s the job of the Wonderers and Inventors to review and improve the three Ps. The Discerners and Galvanizers ask lots of questions and let the Inventors tweak things and then the Galvanizers are responsible to get everyone on board with, for example, why we are going remote or no longer faxing things.
The ideas of taking time to review where and how you spend your time and of looking for opportunities to enhance and improve how you work also applies to how you live. A friend of mine has consumed many her favorite business books using Audible. Grocery delivery service, for those who don’t love the process of grocery shopping, can give you more time to do the things you do love. I’m taking time to think more deeply about how I’m spending my time and am sending some things to the impound lot, resulting in time savings and stress reduction.
My friend and I noted a sense of relief as we left her totaled vehicle at the impound lot and began to talk about what she wanted in a new vehicle. Thinking about something that was new to her brought her a sense of excitement and focus, a mindset I’ve seen at work when new technology that solves a big problem is implemented in a well-planned and well-communicated manner.
So – what will YOU be sending to the impound lot?
– Becky Sharpe, President & CEO