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Operate Ahead of the Power Curve

Bob Whipple, MBA, CPLP

I was blessed with a wonderful mentor for most of my career.  He and I got along famously, and he taught me a number of leadership skills over the years.  He was not a perfect manager himself, as he had a tendency to micromanage people.  I found that out early and worked hard to over communicate with him and anticipate what he would ask so I could usually say "I already did it." After a while he stopped micromanaging me and left me alone to do what I thought was right. 

One critical skill he taught me was what he called "operating ahead of the power curve."  It took me a while to figure out what that meant, but I eventually got the idea, and the concept has been incredibly important to my success in life.

The idea is to charge at the work to be done very early and do not wait until just before something is due to get it done.  That takes some discipline to do, but it is a wonderful way to live. Reason: you do things in rough draft form well before they are needed and then you can relax and hone them in due time. It works well.

For example, as I am writing this blog article, it is the fourth one I have written this hour. My pattern is to put out one article each week.  I have a stock of numerous articles ahead of me so I don't have to rush them out.  I can think about them.  When the inventory gets low, like today when I just exhausted my last article, I bang out 4-6 more articles to get ahead of the power curve.

My wife helps me by proofreading the text and making suggestions for improved content.  Then I rewrite the article and have it "on the shelf" ready for when it is needed. That way, I am never rushed to get an article out and I can take my time working on the content of each one.

Try the technique of working "ahead of the power curve" in your life. The process works well for school papers, for budgets, for painting the house, for any activity that you might want to procrastinate on. Just grit your teeth and do the job early., You will find that the quality of your finished work is much higher and you are less stressed about getting it done. That is a wonderful benefit for anyone.  

Operate Ahead of the Power Curve (.PDF 77K)

Bob Whipple, MBA, CPLP, is a consultant, trainer, speaker, and author in the areas of leadership and trust.  He is author of: Trust in Transition: Navigating Organizational ChangeThe Trust Factor: Advanced Leadership for Professionals,  Understanding E-Body Language: Building Trust Online, and Leading with Trust is Like Sailing Downwind.  Bob had many years of experience as a senior executive with a Fortune 500 Company and with non-profit organizations. Bob Whipple is currently CEO of Leadergrow, Inc., an organization dedicated to growing leaders.  For more information or to bring Bob in to speak at your next event, contact him by email, phone 585-392-7763, fill in the contact form on the Leadergrow Website, or BLOG.