Sunday, August 09, 2020


Understanding that the Grass Isn’t Greener
Becoming an Adaptive, Strategic Leader
Why Your Company May Need a Data Scientist
Teaming as a Foundation for Learning
Moving From Solution Sales to Insight Sales
The Danger of Playing it Safe
Teamwork on the Fly
Shaping a Collective Ambition
The Growth Outliers-Our Clients
Jun 8

Written by: Lisa Gardner
6/8/2012 10:17 AM 

Have you ever heard someone say,” I work better under pressure.” Or better yet, “My team works great under pressure.” I’m sure we all can relate.

Have you ever heard someone say,” I work better under pressure.” Or better yet, “My team works great under pressure.” I’m sure we all can relate.
In my favorite magazine, the Harvard Business Review, an article entitled, “Coming through when it Matters Most; How Best Teams Do their Best Work Under Pressure,” states that most people would like to think they do their best work when the stakes are highest—when the company’s success depends on the outcome of their project. However, just when teams most need to draw on the full range of their member’s knowledge to produce the high-quality, uniquely suitable outcome they started out to deliver, they instead begin to revert to the tried and true.
In other words, people forsake out-of-the box thinking and creativity for playing it safe. There’s a case study told of a team that had not done the appropriate amount of planning to resolve a client solution, so the client became more concerned, which added pressure, pushing the team even more firmly down the safer, standard road. “As a result,” the authors write, “many good opportunities are wasted.” They’ve coined this behavior as the “performance pressure paradox.”
This applies to poor planning of individual projects, presentations, or preparation of customer calls. If we use our time effectively in the planning stage, the creativity, thought leadership, and planning process that develops would create “wow” situations for current or prospective clients.
“By setting up teams and measuring each person’s contribution more deliberately, ruthlessly insisting that no one’s contribution be marginalized, and framing new information within familiar contexts, teams can escape the performance pressure paradox and keep doing their best work when it matters most,” the HBR authors write.
This article caught my attention for two reasons. No. 1, with today’s economic challenges, the last thing clients need is poorly planned presentations, executive summaries, or financial solutions. They deserve thoughtful solutions and services that force us to create, plan, track key performance indicators, and implement with solid execution.
We can’t do this under pressure and do it effectively; we must do as our creator has stated—make plans and do all things decently and in order.
Second, my passion and heart for business is to exemplify a servant’s heart through leadership, people contact, and organization. The command to work heartily requires a service of excellence, which begins with well-thought-out plans and intentionally ordered steps.

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