Things that are perceived as difficult make outcome attainment easier and more certain. Things that seem easy make outcomes less likely.
The idea of inbound lead generation is attractive in large part because it is perceived as being easier than more traditional prospecting methodologies. What could be easier than waiting for someone else to generate opportunities for you? But the traditional methods of prospecting, while more difficult, makes opportunity creation faster and more certain.
Telling your people what to do, how to do it, and when to do it is easier than investing the time and emotional energy to help them grow. It’s faster for you, giving you back time to look at the dashboard and your CRM. If you want your people to be accountable and take initiative, then the more difficult work of investing time with your team is the easiest way to accomplish these higher value outcomes.
It’s easy for leaders to see these mistakes, pointing out the areas where their team is looking for an easier way to generate an outcome instead of doing what is necessary. But leaders are not immune from this mistake. In fact, the very nature of leadership makes it easy to trade lower value task for more meaningful work. When you have to determine how to deal with systemic threats and opportunities that require significant change, easier decisions, the kind that do not require the same cognitive load and internal conflicts, are a safe place to hide. The hard decisions are the real work of leaders.
Any attempt to avoid the difficult work makes the outcomes more difficult to obtain, and attempts at making outcomes easier only pushes those outcomes further away from you—and further out of your reach.
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Filed under: Leadership