Remind me never to forget

SPASA Australia

By Spiros Dassakis, Chief Operating Officer, SPASA Australia
Wednesday, 29 November, 2017


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Competent leaders understand the value of knowing what to remember and what to forget. In some instances, it may be beneficial to remember, while in others, it may be detrimental to forget.

Accordingly, the art of remembering or forgetting can be a valuable strategy in steering organisational outcomes.

As leaders, we have a lot on our plate. We are bombarded every day with gigabytes of information prior to making decisions. Information overload can at times cause us to simply forget to focus, consider or do things that are important or necessary.

Leaders must continuously weigh up multiple probable scenarios in their head and be in sync with what is going on around them, always anticipating issues that could arise while preparing for how to address opportunities and/or problems.

While this complex evaluation process never stops, a leader must sometimes forget things that are no longer useful in order to concentrate on what they believe is more important. The problem, however, is that in the process of retaining and discarding information, the brain doesn’t always get it right and often also forgets what is important.

Many leaders get too caught up in day-to-day operational activities and often overlook the company’s purpose and vision. In simple terms, leaders can sometimes forget to remember what they set out to create because they get trapped in the business rather than focusing on the business.

Here are 10 things I believe leaders should remember never to forget:

  1. Groom a replacement because succession planning is key to the business.
  2. Anticipate problems and be ready with solutions.
  3. Always listen to what employees have to say.
  4. Develop and exploit opportunities.
  5. Evolve the business and stay relevant.
  6. Change before you are forced to by looking for influence.
  7. Look to the future and don’t get stuck in the past.
  8. Never stop learning because you will become irrelevant.
  9. Develop a trusted inner circle because leaders never lead alone.
  10. Lastly, take care of yourself because it starts and stops with the leader.

As a leader, I forget all the time. It’s a sign that my brain is functioning properly. Well, that’s the story I keep spinning to myself — and I am convinced that I simply have too much to remember and I need to forget in order to survive.

Image credit: ©Sergey Nivens/Dollar Photo Club

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