One Percent a Day
When it comes to achieving major objectives, I see leaders consistently make this mistake. They massively overestimate what can be done in the short term and wildly underestimate what can be done in the long term. This creates a whipsaw effect. In the short term, unrealistic expectations thwart progress and crush morale. At the same time, the planning, effort, resources, and energy that could have been applied to a more sustained approach are at least partially lost, and the results don’t materialize.
How can you shift your thinking around short-term goals and see greater long-term improvements? I’d suggest that it’s by thinking about driving results and progress by 1% a day
. This approach is called the aggregation of marginal gains
– a strategy that says tiny improvements applied consistently in many areas can produce big results. A mentor previously shared this with me, but the concept was popularized by the director of British Cycling, Sir Dave Brailsford. He theorized that if you took all aspects of cycling and worked to improve each by 1%, your overall performance would significantly improve. Think of it like compound interest – 1% a day adds up. It worked for his cycling team as they went from perennial mediocrity to Olympic Gold medals and Tour de France victories.
Need to improve your offerings to clients? Want to create new capabilities for your business? Trying to develop your team or yourself? Consider the small, incremental gains that you can make daily, even weekly.
Executives create vision and set long-term goals. So, if you inspire each team member to take an element of the work to be done and improve by 1% a day, the cumulative benefits can be huge for your business and results.