Many years ago I worked with a lovely lady named Connie who always told me to, “inspect what you expect”. Â That lesson came home recently because my blog, that should post every Tuesday, stopped working. Â Now no one was sitting around waiting for my next blog post, but at the same time, because I didn’t check in on it to make sure the automated process was working, when it stopped, I didn’t know. The same can happen with tasks you assign other people. You can have all the confidence in the world in someone but things happen and if you don’t double check, they might not happen.
The other great thing about her advice was to follow up on those things you expect to be done. Â The corollary is what you inspect is what others will assume is expected. Â So if you constantly ask about one project but you are really concerned about another, guess which one gets done? Â For instance, I have a client who says her top priority is the content on her website. Â But when I see her somewhere or send her drafts, she always sends me back a note on another project. Â In my head I know her priority is the website but it is very difficult not to refocus on the other project. Â I routinely ask her if our priorities have changed and she quickly comes back to what’s important at the moment but the temptation is there. Â Because she only inspects the other project, she could easily only get the other other project.
So my recommendation today is simple. Â Follow Connie’s advice and inspect what you expect. Â If you want something done, check in on it. Â Listen to yourself talking to your employees, vendors and even your family. Â Are you keeping focus on what you want rather than something else? Â And if you write a blog and schedule posts in advance, double check that they actually post!