Under Pressure? Workaround It, Says Russell Bishop

Huffington Post

February 16, 2011

by Marshall Goldsmith

Most of us today are under more pressure to produce results than ever before. Very often we are asked to do so with fewer resources. There are roadblocks and challenges at every turn and it can be very difficult to move ourselves and our organizations forward.

It’s with these challenges in mind that Russell Bishop delves into the concept of the “workaround,” and it’s around this subject that he wrote his new book, “Workarounds That Work.” In the book, Russell offers practical advice to boosting productivity via the workaround. His ideas are inspiring — and so commonsensical!

In “Workarounds That Work,” Russell teaches us how to “work around” whatever is in our way, even in today’s chaotic workplace and up and down economy, when this sometimes seems impossible. The idea is that for every challenge, there is a workaround. Think about it. We’re working our way through a difficult economy. Many people have lost their jobs, but the work that needs to be done is still there. That means, if you’re still working, you’re working two or three times as hard as you were a few years ago. It’s critical for those working to figure out how to workaround whatever might be slowing them down or proving to be an obstacle to getting the job done.

Often, as Russell points out, the simplest solutions are the best, though they are not always the easiest to do. Something like “blaming the other guy,” a bad habit I wrote about in What Got You Here Won’t Get You There” a few years ago, can cause a huge drop in productivity. That’s because, as Russell points out, if we blame the roadblock on someone else, then we cannot come up with the solution. As you have made the other person responsible for the roadblock you have also made them responsible for the solution. And, because they are unaware of this responsibility, it’s highly unlikely that they will provide one. A workaround to this challenge, Russell suggests, is to stop blaming the other guy and get this person on your team. He or she may be a critical part of the solution, so find out how to get them interested and on board with you.

Another helpful idea in the book that Russell suggests is in getting started making workarounds work for us. He says that the best way to know where you need to use workarounds is to take a look at your life and figure out what is moving and what is stuck. It’s those areas where you feel stuck that you need to use the workarounds. Think about it. Where do you feel stuck in your life, your job, your home? Make a short list — then turn to Russell’s book for suggestions of workarounds that work. Overcoming obstacles on the job is no easy task. If it were everyone would have done it already. That said, I recommend you read Russell’s new book. It’s an eye-opener!

Dr. Marshall Goldsmith was selected as the #1 Executive Coach in the World by GlobalGurus.org, and one of the 10 Most Influential Management Thinkers in the World by Thinkers50 in both 2011 and 2013. He was also selected as the World’s Most Influential Leadership Thinker in 2011. Marshall was the highest rated executive coach on the Thinkers50 List in both 2011 and 2013. What Got You Here Won’t Get You There was listed as a top ten business bestseller for 2013 by INC Magazine / 800 CEO Read (for the seventh consecutive year). Marshall’s exciting new research on engagement is published in his newest book Triggers (Crown, 2015). 

Please order at Triggersthebook.com!