Detach and TAKE ACTION.
The Secret Leadership Tool: Detachment
A Classic Example of Detachment
When you go out to eat at a restaurant, and it’s a busy Saturday night, as a leader you can easily look around and see some of the things that are bogging down the experience. You are the fifth person on the waiting list and you can count four empty tables that are yet to be bussed.
The hostess that took your name for the waiting list wasn’t very friendly and seemed stressed in the busy environment. She was likely not the right person for this job and you can tell easily.
Once you do get sat at a table, the server’s actions can be picked apart. He should have introduced himself, he rushed the specials list too fast, he’s too slow at filling the drinks, etc.
You can easily spot all these areas where service can be improved because it’s not your restaurant. You’re detached from it, so you can view it AS IT IS.
The Circumstance Illusion
Now why does the restaurant have all these small problems? Because the manager can’t properly see them. There is a story behind the story, and it’s one of justification, and excuse making. If he even sees these performance issues at all, then he will likely view them as circumstances that are out of his control. That’s the circumstance illusion at work.
If you were to point out that the hostess was frazzled and not ready to handle the seating of customers on a busy Saturday night, his response would be a reason that she has that job.“Kids these days just aren’t as driven as we were back then!”
If you were to show him that there are four tables waiting to be bussed and guests waiting to be sat, his response would be an excuse for the slow service.
“Staffing isn’t as easy as you think on the weekends. I had three call offs tonight!”
Notice that the situations occur as a circumstance that is out of his control. The Circumstance Illusion.
Intentions Don’t Pay the Bills
Since he’s so involved in the store, he views the issues differently, and this distinction is an important one. He views things as he INTENDS them, not as they are. When something is wrong, there is a reason, or an effort to fix it that hasn’t happened yet, or it’s on a to-do list, or he’s been too busy doing something else so he hasn’t had time to address it.
The problem is a circumstance that he has the best intentions for, but due to his connection to these problems, he can’t see just how big of a deal they truly are, and can’t see a way to fix them.
Flip the Focus
Here are the 5 Simple Ways to Detach so You Can Take Action
When you’re in the middle of a situation, especially a crisis in an area or your responsibility, you run high on emotions. We all know that good decisions are rarely made in an emotional state. So, remove yourself from the situation by simply walking away to a quite place where you can think for a few minutes. Gather your thoughts, and then head back in with a plan!
Often when you’re in crisis mode, and you call someone you trust and explain the situation to them, you realize that it’s not nearly as much of a crisis as you thought. Before they have time to respond, you’ll calm down, and then tell them the correct actions that you need to take. You know it, you just can’t see it until you detach!
This one is not figurative. A change of scenery can help immensely. If a problem needs solving and you’re working in the office, grab your cell phone and sunglasses and head out for a walk to think. If you’ve been staring at the same issue all day and can’t figure it out, do something, even drastic, to see it from another angle or light. Stand on a chair if you have to!
Aggressive is a mindset. It means that you don’t wait for things to blow over, or hope they will get better with time. Aggressive means assertive, and that is asserting yourself and your will when and where necessary. It doesn’t mean committing career suicide though! It can be a talk with the boss. A one on one with a co-worker that there was a disagreement with. Or just calling your wife or husband and telling them that you won’t be home for dinner tonight because you’ve got to stay late and GRIND.
When you out your ego aside, and focus on getting the issues handled, things will get accomplished! This can be similar to the story I told earlier about asking for help, or it could be you’re in competition with someone for promotion and you don’t want to appear weak. Check the ego, so you can see the issues clearly and solve them!
I carry two journals with me in my backpack at all times. One is a personal journal, the other is a work journal. When I have something on my mind that I can’t solve, I write. Sometimes a lot! It gets that junk out of my head, on to paper, and allows me to sort through the mess. I will then organize the thoughts into a list, and then take a deep breath. And then get aggressive in completing the list that I just made! You can read more about that here.