Notes to Self (With a Nod to Bill Jones)

One might quibble about how "objective" the pep-talk is, but the Bill Jones motivational posters have clear messages.

One might quibble about how “objective” the pep talk is, but the Bill Jones motivational posters have clear messages.

 OFF MY MIND AND ONTO MY DESKTOP: One can relish the relief of listing tasks to be done tomorrow in order to  stop worrying about them tonight. Whether it’s on a piece of paper, in a file on the computer, or on a whiteboard in the corner, it’s good to leave the list at work when the day’s over. If it’s in an app on a mobile, best not to check it until tomorrow.

Off my desk and onto yours: Delegating has at least two forms. One is giving away the task and putting it completely out of mind, knowing the results will be apparent without further effort on your part. The other is assigning the task and expecting to follow up to be sure it gets done, to praise or nudge or redirect. In the second case, the task hasn’t really been given away, it’s just been transformed from one kind of task to another.

Off my list and out of my mind: It’s worth remembering that one form of prioritizing is not letting a task get onto one’s personal to-do list in the first place. If the list has gotten too long anyway, then decide which things not to do. Let go of them, at least for now. That keeps the list from being overwhelming.

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‘Bill Jones’ Rules for White House, State, IRS (Wall Street, We Wish!) and Your Business Too

Bill Jones Higher Post, Broader ViewREMOVE THE DOUBT — THAT’S ANOTHER WAY OF SAYING HEADS MUST ROLL when certain types of screw-ups occur. So after the IRS’s targeting of  Tea Party groups to search out 501 (c) 4 violations made such big news, the acting head of the agency had his “resignation asked for and accepted.” Could he have survived in the job if he’d broken the findings  to the President himself simultaneously with firing the hands-on people involved? Maybe.

And maybe even if he couldn’t get out in front of the news, but had acted quickly to remove those most responsible. That’s what Hillary Clinton and her management cadre at the State Department did after the tragic news from Benghazi broke; when she “accepted responsibility” for inadequate security at the Benghazi post, it was clear she was speaking in code — it happened in her agency and she was handling it: The faulty decision-makers were already on the way out the door .

We’re still waiting to see what the fallout will be after what looks like excessive phone monitoring of the AP in an effort to find the recent big leaker.

Even more, we’re still waiting for Wall Street and banking to “accept responsibility” and clean up after the financial crisis, the “liar’s loan” mortgage mess and the wrongly foreclosed housing.

In a small-business context, when a client’s order has been screwed up, it’s up to you to ‘fess up, clean up, sometimes even pay up, and show what action you’re taking to be sure it never happens again. A change of employees, a new procedure, or taking over that dawn delivery route yourself — whatever will “remove the doubt.” That’s a business fundamental.

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