One thing I have the privilege of doing in my role is coaching leaders who are navigating organizational challenges. I sat down a while back and made a list of “one-liners” that commonly come up in those sessions. Here’s one that is often a surprise to those leaders:
“Sometimes a band-aid is the right move.”
Many leaders are facing a long list of challenges and things they feel need work in their organization. And most think that it is necessary to find the strong solution for each and every one of these challenges. But the reality is – you can’t fix everything at once. In fact, you will likely get so overwhelmed that you make little progress anywhere. What should you do?
And this is where the band aid comes in. A band aid is a temporary fix. A short term answer that even the leader knows won’t be the permanent solution.
You can’t fix everything, perfectly, all at the same time
In order to get the best solution for each of your challenges, you may need to band-aid some things while you focus on pieces that can be more thoroughly solved in the near term. Commit to coming back to those things down the road when you can give them the energy necessary. If it helps, make your band-aid list public with your key leaders and invite them to hold you accountable to addressing them AFTER you solve the more pressing challenges.
Be honest about your limitations. Write everything down and then pick the ones you can give your energy to for “now” results. If one of the other projects starts bleeding, “put a band-aid on it” and keep focusing on the areas that you have concluded are more urgent. Long-term success is worth the temporary sacrifice.
Here’s a link to a Harvard Business Review article with similar insights: Ways to Defeat Stress