Friday, March 8, 2013

51 Weeks of Pace: Question the rules!

You must have seen the story about the nurse who would not administer CPR to the dying woman last week. Maybe you heard the 911 call recording. Excruciating. If the 911 operator could have reached through the phone to give aid, she clearly would have. The person making the 911 call, the nurse- did not. She cited policy. It was against policy to provide CPR. The woman died. Otherwise, none of us might have heard the story.

Are you thinking you'd never go along with a rule that kept you from doing what you knew to be right? Never just accept something as a rule or guideline, if it made no sense to you? We do it all the time. The consequences aren't as immediately obvious or clearly lethal as in the CPR example, that's what makes it difficult to track.

The rules I'm talking about are things like:
  • I must be available to my clients at all times....even if they would be just as happy knowing I'll get back to them in a specific time period.

  • I have to do everything myself...even if it means I have to work all the time.

  • "Good enough" is a terrible standard...even if it means the work is done sooner and the client thinks it's perfect as it is.

  • My clients want to talk to me...even though their main priority is to have their question answered as soon as possible, whether it's you or an assistant or associate who does so.

  • Client work takes precedence over marketing, billing, or other firm tasks...even if the deadlines and expectations would allow you to work on your firm during work hours.

  • If I can't commit to working out for an hour four times a week I might as well not even start...even though twenty minutes whenever you can would be better than nothing at all. 

What does this have to do with pace? Everything. The notion of pace is that you need to keep your pace, and improve it when you can, in order to reach your goals. It's about consistency and persistence. If your pace is hampered by rules or beliefs that aren't true, if you're allowing yourself to maintain it when you could stretch and improve your pace- then you're not going to create the results you want. So, when you come across a constraint that just doesn't make sense in the real world, question it.

Break the rules that need breaking. The life you save might just be your own!