You are a star. YOU are a powerhouse loaded with gifts and strengths to benefit your work, your community and people you care about. You think BIG. But, somehow your time fills up day after day and you simply fail to take steps towards your dreams. What in the world is getting in the way? And what do you need to know (and do) to jumpstart performance, become re-energized, and get back on track?
It might be a bit like our sneaky little virus. It’s invisible, but it can wreak havoc on our plans. The problem might be that you might have a hidden dependency ☹
What are Hidden Dependencies?
Hidden dependencies lurk just beneath the surface of what we think we need to do. In addition to being identified for what they are, they require specific actions to jumpstart performance and move us through our mental roadblocks.
Here’s an example from a friend of mine. He needed to schedule a meeting with a potential client. Simple, right? But he was missing the business card with the client’s contact information. Before he could find the business card, he needed to look in the jacket he was wearing when he met this potential client. Before he could look in the jacket he had to go pick it up from the dry cleaner (and hope the business card was still there!).
There were several hidden dependencies, so he did what many of us do…he procrastinated. His brain unconsciously recognized that there was more than one action and finding the card was going to take some time.
What moved him forward was breaking this down into the next physically doable step with no dependencies. My friend’s true next action was to go pick up the dry cleaning. Everything else was a hidden dependency. Breaking the goal into small simple steps and focusing only on the next action removed the barriers he’d erected in his mind. It was all he needed to jumpstart his performance.
Take stock and move forward
Check your list…is there a to-do on there that has been hanging out for some time? Ask yourself:
- What is my next physically doable step with no dependencies?
- Do I have everything I need to complete that action?
You may find that uncovering your true next action breaks the dam wide open to a joyful, cascading stream of accomplishments that will amaze you.
Next step to get results
Here’s an energizing challenge to jumpstart your own performance: Try completing a string of 20 next actions in a row. You’ll be surprised at how easy it will be to come up with the list – and, as a result, how satisfying it will be to see your progress once those actions are complete.
Author – Anne McGhee-Stinson
Director of Practice and General Manager
InteraWorks is a global learning company on a mission to elevate the human experience at work. Specializing in professional development and performance enablement, we offer top-rated learning programs based on four defined conditions that must exist for individuals, teams including Effective Edge, Best Year Yet, and the Essentials series. Our integrated learning framework and online tools generate immediate and sustainable breakthroughs in performance. Through decades of working at all levels in enterprise companies across many industries, we’ve built a reputation for helping people and organizations harness their focus, mindset, talent and energy to produce results that matter most.
We’ve defined four conditions that must exist for an individual, team or organization to be effective within the arena of performance and development; Accountability, Focus, Alignment, and Integrity. We’ll continue to explore these and more in our blog and look forward to your engagement and interaction with us. Stay tuned as we engage the edges.