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Make It Happen Tipsheet
Career Success and Life Balance

Note: If you are interested in a more direct connection with Randall Craig, please see Pinetree Braintrust, his professional mentoring group: http://www.PinetreeBraintrust.com

Squeezing the Negative

Have you ever been in a situation with your team when you're trying to figure out how to get everything just right? As problem solvers our attention quickly focusses on what is wrong: if these deficiencies could be removed, then everything would be perfect. Processes would be efficient. Frustration would be reduced. And customers would be "delighted".

A usual process for this would be the following:

  • Schedule meetings to identify all of the issues.
  • Prioritize those issues by business impact and ease of mitigation
  • Create teams to put together plans against the priority issues
  • Present those plans for executive buy-in
  • Develop communications and training plans for any process changes
  • Implement the process changes
  • Multiple status meetings
  • Monitor and report on progress

The benefit of this approach is that the action points are determined by those who see the problems, and that the fixing process engages the whole organization. Unfortunately, this precise strength yields an unintended consequence: as all of the organization's attention is focussed on problems, less time is available to continue doing what is great. It should be no surprise when greatness suffers.

The alternative is to focus on what is working really well, and do more of it. And squeezing the negative by maximizing the positive is far more motivating to your team than focussing on the negative.

This week's action item: This same concept works at the individual level too. Motivate yourself this week by looking for projects that play to your strengths. And squeeze the negative by delegating those activities that play to the strengths of others.


Randall Craig is an expert on Career Planning, Work-Life Balance, and Networking; to find out how his workshops, webinars, and keynotes can help your team or add to your event, contact him through www.PersonalBalanceSheet.com, or by email at editor@ptadvisors.com.

Make It Happen Tipsheet
Comments or questions? let us know: editor@ptadvisors.com

Copyright © 2009 Knowledge to Action Press and Randall Craig. All rights reserved.
Publication Date: September 15, 2009

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More on the web:

Pinetree Advisors: Helping organizations respond to complex challenges.

For Corporations: Tools for Increasing Employee Retention

Author's Book Site on Career Planning for individuals

Randall Craig's new blog!

Twitter: @RandallCraig