The Art of Strengths Coaching

O is for Being Organised And Giving Outstanding Performances

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There are many models for doing fine work. One approach is for people to be organised and then give outstanding performances.

Looking back, can you think of a time when you have seen or heard about this approach in action? You may have followed this path yourself to do fine work. Alternatively, you may have heard about a person, team or organisation that took these steps.

Great teams, for example, build from a solid base. They get the basics right and then add the brilliance.

Danny Boyle put a cast of thousands through 12 weeks of rehearsals for part of the Opening Ceremony of the London Olympics in 2012. Volunteers were sworn to secrecy about the production that required great organisation. They then delivered an acclaimed performance called Isles of Wonder.

Below is a short excerpt from that piece.

This is followed by a video from the final dress rehearsal where he urged the volunteers to ‘save the surprise’ and not tweet any photos of the rehearsal.

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to do the following things.

Describe a specific situation that you have experienced or know about when a person, team or organisation was organised and gave an outstanding performance.

Describe the specific things people did then to be organised and give an outstanding performance.

Describe the specific things that happened as a result of them taking these steps.

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Great workers are extremely organised in the activities in which they excel. They often display characteristics of OCD. By this I mean Obsessive Compulsive Discipline, rather then Disorder.

Oliver was somebody I worked with who demonstrated this characteristic. The PR person for a major company, he was frequently thrown into the deep end to deal with crises. Calm in those situations, he appeared disorganised in many other areas of his professional life.

One day I saw him walking around a corridor and talking aloud to himself. What was the problem? Oliver said:

“In fifteen minutes I to go on national radio to talk about an issue that could threaten our company.

“I am practicing the key messages I need to give. It is important to be honest but also reassure the listeners. I need to outline the steps we are taking to safeguard their information, whilst also rectifying the problem.”

Oliver also rehearsed how to answer every potential question. He believed in being honest, because otherwise the company would get caught out. He went on to give an excellent interview.

Different people have different ways of organising their work. They aim to cover all the basics, however, so they can then add the brilliance.

Looking ahead, can you think of a situation when you may want to follow these steps in your own way? You may want to do outstanding work when facilitating a seminar, leading a team, tackling a particular challenge or whatever.

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to do the following things.

Describe a specific situation in the future when you may want to do your best to be organised and give an outstanding performance.

Describe the specific things you can do then to do your best to be organised and give an outstanding performance.

Describe the specific things that may happen as a result of taking these steps.

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