Where?s your head at?

What are you focused on right now? Is it the-here-and-now or what-lay-ahead? If your answer is both then you’re on the right track!

When I work in the city, a couple of times a week, I wake up at 5am, so I can be on the freeway before 6am. At 5:50am, the onramp signals are active (only letting two cars at a time enter) and I join the endless stream of cars traveling inbound, at a speed of no more than 20km/ph. The two lanes of traffic crawl for a few kilometers before moving faster and eventually, when the freeway opens up to four lanes, I’m able to travel close to the speed limit of 100km/ph.

I drop my daughter at childcare and am in the city by 7am to start my day. Often I’ll have my first meeting at 7:30am and other times I’ll simply find a place to enjoy a cup of tea and catch up on a few emails before the day begins. Either way, I ‘never’ leave home later than 6am. If I did, it would take an extra hour to get into the city – I’d be struggling to make it by 9am. So while I don’t particularly like the 5am alarm I enjoy being efficient with my time and I see nothing efficient about sitting in traffic for longer than I need to.

My 5am dilemma is shared by many Australians making the daily commute into cities across the country…and traffic congestion has been a problem for as long as I can remember. It seems like the upgrades to our roads are done out of necessity. The problems being solved are here-and-now rather than being future focused! So I have to ask the person charged with making these decisions “where’s your head at?”.

The roadworks on the Monash freeway (that will continue to frustrate drivers into 2018) are unlikely to solve the congestion on the roads beyond 5-10 years. The South East Growth Corridor Plan outlines the potential to accommodate a population of over 230,000 people with substantial residential construction in progress. I?m guessing that because the plan includes a ‘local self containment’ component, with the capacity to generate 110,000 jobs, that many people won?t need to commute into the city. While I agree creating jobs locally will help reduce traffic congestion, it still means thousands of new users will need to use the freeway.

The frustration I feel with traffic is similar to the frustration some employees have with their organisation. So, I ask leaders?

Where’s your head at?

What decisions are you making that are frustrating your team and causing them to be inefficient? What problems are you solving right now that will be a problem again in the future? Are you the leader who only responds when a problem reaches crisis point? Or perhaps you’re the leader who is focused on the future and struggles to translate what that means for the team day-to-day?

To continue to deliver results in your business, and do so with a highly engaged team, you need to balance the present (here-and-now) with the future (what-lay-ahead). Perhaps you could use your morning commute to think about this balance and how you might change your approach for the benefit of your team. This isn?t about doing more, it?s about doing differently!

Shelley Flett is a passionate leader with a keen focus on creating dynamic team environments through adaptable leadership. She is a leadership coach, trainer, facilitator, mentor and speaker who ignites vision and purpose in those she works with.?If you?d like to know more about how she can work with you, and your team, drop her an email shelley@shelleyflett.com.

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