What gets measured gets managed.

I’ve been in a bit of a funk of late, a special project I’ve been working on for almost a year has come to its conclusion, I’ve taken on a new non-caffeine/sugar/alcohol diet (yes I know I’ve previously espoused the virtues of said stimulants) and I’m at a point in my career where paranoia and anxiety usually meet opportunity.

I know it’s not uncommon to feel displaced or “spread-thin” when there are so many changes in ones professional life, I’ve been here before and I’ll be here again! However this week I went back to basics and adopted the business school mantra “what gets measured gets managed” to get a sense for how my life was tracking. And it worked! But how do you account for life? Is there a Personal Profit and Loss? Yes there is, you just need to measure the oblique.

Measure your Success

– When was your last career-defining moment?
– When was your last personal victory?
– You were just out of high school, how close have you come toward your aspiration?
– Remember that tyrant boss (you know the one), do they cast the same mental duress they once did?

Measure your Career
– What % of your income is derived for a source that makes you smile (in one way or another?)
– How often do you converse with customers (or at least someone on the front line) and resolve real issues?
– How often do you sit and work through your current personal/business promotion (advertising, resumes, bios, folios), and account for its success?
– Are you now in a position you lusted-over five years ago?

Measure your Efficiency
– Do 20% of your customers take 80% of your unpaid “support” effort?
– What % of your weekly to-do list is checked at the end of the week?
– Do you spend more than an hour a day in idle break-time?
– Are you working more than 80 hours a week, when 60 will do?

Measure your Mind/Body balance
– What % of your time is spent on physical vs mental exertion?
– Is your waistline over the diabetes-risk limit?
– What % of your lunch/dinners are with friends vs customers vs staff?
– What % of your time is spent on your “other passion” (you have one, yes?)

Measure your Perceptions

– What % of your dealings with customers are praise/criticism?
– When were you last talked about?
– Do you overstate your import with customers/staff/colleagues?
– Are you a David Brent or a Tim Canterbury?
It doesn’t take a mid-life crisis to galvanize action, all it takes is a little creative criticism to put things in perspective.

– Ben Prendergast