By Sandra K. Ziebold
Are deadlines essential in your business? They certainly are for us. We find them exhilarating! I know...it's crazy but it's very true. Here are just some of the reasons we love deadlines:
1. Deadlines provide an adrenaline pumping element of risk
2. Deadlines get the blood flowing and inspire motivation
3. Deadlines force you to face a concrete choice succeed (or) fail upon delivery date
4. Deadlines force free-spirits to plan, prioritize and complete
5. Deadlines once completed provide an internal surge of accomplishment
Ever since I can recall I've always been productively invigorated when the risk of failure from not succeeding on delivery of a task is high. I find this to be present among many entrepreneurial creatives in my life. It's okay to have this characteristic and it's okay to not have this characteristic. We are all different and always remember that if we were all the same then the world would certainly be a less interesting place.
Perhaps you are a deadline lover yourself or perhaps you should take a hard look at your team. It's important to know who is and who isn't in possession of this characteristic because you will want to manage them differently.
Once correctly identified, here is how to retain a deadline lover:
Do you have creatives on your team that have this characteristic? If you identify this accurately in a team member and they are not in a situation that has deadlines and motivates them to reach their full capable potential then you need to fix this issue. You want to get the most value out of that team member and retain them by helping them grow. You can help them achieve their goals for success by helping them find that sweet flow of productive energy that yields a desired outcome. Correctly identified and challenged, you will find these team members to be more inspired and you will have a win-win situation. By a win-win situation I mean the greater the chance of failure then the greater they will produce or perform and the more they will love what they are doing.
Leaders that are deadline lovers, here is how to self-impose deadlines:
If a deadline is not provided for you because the buck stops with you or you are in a situation where you work alone and independently or your superior perhaps just hasn't been able to take the time and interest to discover what motivates you, then you must self-impose your own deadlines. Yes, I am saying be a leader and manage your motivation. Kick it up!!
You must honestly assess your work load, prioritize and give a date that seems reasonable to achieve this task. Assign this date and keep it on your calendar and hold to it as if your face will be plastered on the 5 o'clock news announcing your deadline failure should you not deliver. Often our psyche's keep putting a task off, especially if it is important to us but not essential. Unless you're a little light on brain cells, most of us recall reality and know that this is a self-imposed situation. We will try on occasion to work around our self-imposed discipline calendar. When this keeps occurring then you must make your task known publicly to someone. Do whatever it takes to get it done. This way when you don't accomplish your goal, others know...thus you force the scenario...the greater the chance of failure the greater your chance of successful accomplishment!
Here are some common business scenarios that elicit panic or invigorated motivation based on how individuals personally react to a deadline: public speaking, client presentations, commissioned painting, article for publication, podcast interview or show, album cover art, writing a book, web design build, illustrating a book, policies and procedures manual, tax appointment, audit, white-paper, the list can go on and on.
A note on failure: It's important to experience failures in your life because they make you stronger, more understanding and more wise; not to mention they induce an even bigger passion to avoid the feeling again and you innately strive harder to succeed. When you are trying new things and moving forward even when you fail it's not really a fail because you learned. Again we are back to... get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
Let us know about your growth results from any newly identified deadline lovers on your team where this management strategy was applied. We'd love to hear how it's going. Let us know how it was a win-win for you both!
Sandra Ziebold is an Artistic Leader and the Creative Business Owner of Ziebold Imagery. Ziebold Imagery —creatively directs and provides services to clients meeting their needs for creative team direction, graphic design, fine art, image consistency, strategic marketing and communications, and win-win partnership services collaboration agreements.
About this blog
This blog is about art, creativity, outdoor living, positivity, marketing, philanthropy and reflections of nature.
I am an artist, business owner and philanthropist that strives in the everyday to keep things simple and spread positivity. I look for the peace and zen in the hustle and bustle, excitement and wonders of life and nature around us.