Why I Write in Pencil
Recently, while on an airplane traveling to a client, a seatmate (before the times of social distancing) asked about the #2 pencil in my hand. Why don’t I use a pen? What about a mechanical pencil? What’s the deal – are you just a “kid at heart?”
I pondered these questions for several days. The truth is I write with a pencil because of the following:
- I make mistakes. I often do.
- I can be wrong. I sometimes am.
- I change my mind. I get to do that.
In the year of 2020, using a pencil was certainly an advantage. None of us could have anticipated how our organization’s strategies and tactics would have to adapt and shift, and how rapidly.
A nimble company can be defined as one that reacts and responds appropriately to a changing environment and remains viable and successful. Consider the following three aspects for your leadership and agility:
- Technology and Tools – Are you able to adapt your use of technology and tools to deliver customer value quickly and incrementally when the current delivery models change? An agile leader invests when and where it’s appropriate to meet the needs of customers and colleagues.
- Systems and Processes – Are you continuously evolving and improving the work group, even when nothing is changing? A nimble leader makes quick decisions (even if he/she needs a pencil later) to support the prioritization of projects that continuously improve systems and processes.
- Culture and Leadership – Are you leading your work group in ways that are consistent with your values and that of the organization? Does your team know what you stand for? And, most importantly, do you trust the team’s ability to do the work based on the understanding of vision and values? You won’t know if you’ve made a mistake and you won’t know if you’re wrong, unless you make it safe for team members to speak their mind.
Writing with a pencil allows you to live out truths about your leadership. The pencil allows you to correct mistakes and to shift your course when changes occur.
Center for Practical Management helps companies achieve organizational goals and behavioral change initiatives through tailored consulting services, leadership coaching, employee skills training and marketing services. Learn more at www.cf-pm.com.