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Bite off More than you can Chew?

Bite off More than you can Chew?

What kind of a person (or company) would ever bite off less than they can chew? Have you ever heard of a wildly successful business – innovative and profitable – in which each team member takes on just a tad less than they can actually handle? Have you ever heard of a healthy and growing business in which team members say “let me under promise and over deliver” – not to a customer, which makes abundant sense – but to a trusted colleague?

Biting off less than you can chew may be good table manners, but it makes for uninspiring leadership, even plain bad management. I have been part of, and led hugely successful teams, in which everyone bites off more than they can chew. I learned that a plate that’s a bit too full forces creative thinking, organization, and tough choices in prioritization – for you as leader and for your team. It forces leadership that attacks issues, but never attacks people. Expecting your team to think big allows everyone to rise to the occasion, and learn how high is high.

So surround yourself with people as hungry as you, or better yet more so than you. Create an expectation to learn, bite, chew, do, and support each other more, so you can succeed more.

Last week one of my retail clients committed to finish three week’s worth of work in 4½ days. She committed to herself and her team to "just do it", keep her nose to the grindstone, and lo and behold, they got it done. Yesterday morning they sold DOUBLE – before even opening the store – than they do during most full days. She bit off more than she could accomplish with certainty, and she is now pumped and primed to accomplish more than ever.

What big bite are you going to take next? What big projects beckon, that will build and sharpen your business to better compete?

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