Getting down to boring

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When I read Karin Hurt’s great post, “50 Shades of Boring,” I thought of one of my favorite quotes from legendary football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant. Here’s what Bryant said.

“It’s not the will to win that matters – everyone has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters.”

Here’s the way Karin put it.

“It all looks so sexy.  Corporate jets.  Dramatic moves.  Microphones. When it’s a Cinderella story, it’s even better. It’s easy to romanticize leadership success.  To imagine the stroke of genius, the well-timed leap of faith, sitting with the right guy on the plane. No one wants to hear the boring parts, but they’re there. Always.”

The fact is that life and business have fun parts and boring parts. Planning and creating a vision are fun parts. Implementing those plans and turning that vision into reality are the boring parts.

Our mythology is that greatness is due to some genius insight, miraculous once-in-a-lifetime talent, or brilliant strategy. Sometimes they’re part of the mix. But as Karin said, the boring parts are always there.

After the fist-pumping is forgotten, after the motivational speakers have gone home, after the enthusiasm of the moment has drained away, it’s time for the boring parts. That’s when diligence and discipline and accountability and hard work get going.

You have to do those boring parts and do them again and do them better and do them yet again. Day after day and week after week and month after month, even when no one is looking you have to show up and do those boring parts.

If you’re in an organization, you need accountability. You have to give everyone a piece of the work and measure them on their performance. Assess performance as a team at weekly meetings. Chat about it with every team member at least once a week.

Boss’s Bottom Line

You are the Boring Master. Your job is to assure that the team and every team member do the boring things that create great success.

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