Pandemic reflections uncover instances where we are extremely hard on ourselves. I spoke to a group of restaurants servers when they were notified that they may be furloughed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You could hear the sentiment that “this sucks” (job loss) or their life to that point was below expectations.
In today’s vernacular if something does not go well, meet expectations or seems unfair, we say it sucks. When the employee says, “This sucks” referring to performance, company, manager, team or their job, it is synonymous with dissatisfaction with effort, treatment or results and must be addressed.
The word “sucks” is part of our vocabulary and describes our displeasure with the current situation, especially when it falls short of the results we want. We can use the word suck in a manner that can be delivered with humor to take the sting out of our disappointment. Or we can speak it to show serious anger and dissatisfaction with performance or circumstances.
There is a quality component to our work. Growth in our performance is often a function of reducing the number of errors. If we can cut down the number of mistakes, we will not suck as badly. Therefore, we will be in a better position to succeed.
7 Steps to Suck Less
There are 7 Suck Less Factors (SLF’s) we should consider to improve performance. This is not a comprehensive list but should contain practical tactics and strategies. They will serve as step down therapy, so we suck less and less until we achieve the desired success we need. These 7 Suck Less Factors are:
- Be the CEO of the Ego
- Adopt a Decision-making System
- Avoid Repeatable Offenses
- Be Open to the Truth.
- Suppress Unproductive Thoughts and Actions
- Minimize Mingling with Morons
- Consult an Oracle
Be the CEO of the Ego
We should be Command and Control of our thoughts and actions. Manage our ego and keep it in check, aligned with our purpose. Ego is accountable for the pride we have in our performance. Use it to ensure that we complete all the relevant actions with the quality necessary to achieve excellence.
As the CEO of the ego we must minimize deficiencies and effectively manage time and other resources. Lead and manage by focusing on our Vision, Mission and Goals (VMG’s).
Adopt a Decision-making System
A decision making, and problem-solving methodology could work in our favor, to add structure to our thinking. I am an advocate of The Know System™ featured in my book The Isle of Knowledge.
The Know System™ is a simple and intuitive decision making and problem-solving model based on the word know. On a sheet of paper, flip chart or computer screen we can write the word Know at the top. We should list the two, three and four-letter words found in the word Know (Won, Know, Now, No, On, Own, Ow, OK, Wok). We can use the words to address the problem or decision we want to address. For example:
Won: What does success / winning look like? (Vision)
Know: What do you Know or need to Know?
Now: What are you doing Now? Is it the right priority?
No: Who or what do you have to say No to?
Wok: Are you stirring things up, disrupting and changing?
OK: Are you good enough? Only works on checklist
On: Are you turned On, passionate, focused and excited?
Ow: What are the pain points and pain threshold?
Own: Are you committed, responsible and accountable?
Avoid Repeatable Offenses
We must learn from our mistakes and recognize that they are mistakes. This heightened self-awareness will be good for us. Smaller doses of stupidity are necessary. It is viewed as stupidity only when demonstrating the definition of insanity by performing the same actions and expecting different results.
Be Open to the Truth
We should be open to information that is given in a manner to help our development. We also tend to look disparagingly on those who try to tell us what to do. We should remove barriers that impede acquiring the information we need to succeed. Don’t weed whack feedback. Feedback is essential to gain an accurate perspective of our current reality. Feedback is also needed to assess progress and increase self-awareness, for it is an important aspect of emotional intelligence.
Suppress Unproductive Thoughts and Actions
We need to ween ourselves from unproductive thoughts and actions. They are like speed bumps on a highway of achievement. They will curtail our ability to reach posted speed limits for success. We should curb our cravings for negativity, unproductive thoughts and actions which are the empty calories of performance. Ensure that we concentrate on those activities that support our priorities (VMG’s – Vision, Mission, Goals).
Minimize Mingling with Morons
The people we associate with are key. Those who add value and optimism over negativity are helpful. We should inoculate and isolate from ignorance, by limiting our exposure to the misfortune tellers, who always predict a negative result.
Consult an Oracle
We should surround ourselves with people who can fearlessly review our performance and offer advice. They can challenge us with scenarios and potential situations that will help us anticipate the future of present and proposed responses to our actions. They will ensure that we are not satisfied with a level of performance that sucks. They will encourage us to do better and to believe that we can do better.
We must incrementally reduce the number of times we fall short of expectations. We must pledge to put practices into place that will enable us to suck less in the long run. When we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, our reflections should lead to practices that enable us to Suck Less 4 Success.
Copyright © 2018 Orlando Ceaser