It's been two years in the works, but we finally finished our building. We moved in over the weekend and were up and running thanks to monumental efforts by our employees. The experience has been bittersweet. I'm thrilled to be in the new building. It perfectly fits who we are and what we do. It's a "green" building, filled with light, and beautifully appointed with contemporary furniture. However, the frustrations that accompany constructing a building are too many to count. Think carefully before you take the plunge.
This situation has caused me to contemplate where the agency is moving in philosophy and capability. Moving an agency forward in this way is like constructing a building: filled with pain in the form of obstacles, resistance and habits that die-hard.
The key to positive change is to have clearly defined goals. Who do you want to be, how good, how big and when, are all questions that must be answered and agreed to by the partners of the agency. Our agency has definitely moved in the right direction, but I feel we have momentum-lags that are caused by distractions.
For example, I recently have been delighted with the improved work of one of my employees. I mentioned how impressed I was with his latest efforts and asked him what had caused such a transformation. His answer was revealing: "I figured I had been studying what other people were doing so much, I wasn't really doing it myself." Admiring the work of others was a distraction -- an obstacle to good work.
I believe that the obstacles that keep any agency from moving forward are just as fundamental. Each person needs to remove his or her own obstacle. Each needs to "own" the agency, the client, the project, etc. This removal happens generally when a person changes his or her perspective. Naturally, our move has helped me in this regard. One of my employees told me it invigorated him. "I feel like I'm starting a new job," he said.
Imagine walking into work each day with the "new job" perspective. Wouldn't a person do a better job if this were the case? This "new job" attitude is not as hard to adopt as one might believe. Give it a try. Don't wait for someone else to lead you to success. Make your every action for your agency as if it were your agency. Don't worry about yourself, worry about the work.
Many people believe this is a philosophy that will go unrewarded and more than likely, unnoticed. So what if it does? You will have developed habits that will serve you beyond measure in your career.
Moving from good to great is like moving your office from one building to another. It's a pain, but you get the opportunity to purge all of the dross and only take what you need. You have the opportunity to feel refreshed, even reborn, to be the kind of professional you desire to be. Find your opportunity. Make the move. The pain will subside quickly and you will be glad you did.