What I Learned from Yoga on Execution and Results

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The yoga studio has been a place for me to relax my mind and loosen the tight muscles. After practising yoga for almost three years, I have mastered a few poses but still struggling with the more challenging ones. It has been an interesting journey. There are lessons from my yoga journey that mirror business’s challenges with execution and results.

Excitement that undermines goal setting

I was anxious and excited with my first yoga class. I bought a mat and stylish yoga wear. I chatted with yogis about their experiences. I had these amazing images of being able to balance my dead weight on bare hands within months. I was a little too optimistic.

Just like embarking on an operations transformation initiative, the business sets ambitious goals. The effort required could be underestimated. Excitement is positive energy. Be aware that it might affect setting realistic goals.

Being busy doesn’t equate result

I was committed. I went to four practices a week, rain or shine. I started with the basic level hatha, then the more demanding ‘power’ class. I now have no problem with the basic poses such as the downward dog, warrior II, and chair. But to do them well is another level. Simply going to class just builds a regiment. I am far from mastering the various poses and a long way from balancing my dead weight on my bare hands.

It is easy to over-commit resources to too many initiatives. Multi-tasking is counterproductive and a sure way to end up with employee burnout. It is better to be focused and deliver spectacular results than spinning around multiple initiatives and achieve mediocre, even poor results.

Working with a complacent mindset doesn’t optimize effort

I usually go to the same classes every week. At the end of the first year, I reached a plateau. The same routines with the same instructors also became a little boring. I could claim I did yoga for the day, but I felt it was not time well spent. In fact, I became sloppy. I decided to seek out good instructors who focus on details. The refinement with the poses made a big difference.

Complacency compromises results. Working smart beats working hard. It takes initiative to challenge the steady state and make a leap for change. Businesses need to foster a culture where people are encouraged to play devil’s advocate.

Results reinforcement boosts performance

When I reflected on my progress six months ago, I was disappointed. Those amazing images of balancing my dead weight on bare hands were not happening. I consulted the instructor on what else I could work on. Through the conversation, I realized that core strength is a key requirement. Subsequently, I joined another class that focuses on core strength. I am making progress with the crow pose. I can now lift both legs off the ground for a brief two seconds.

In pursuing any project, completing the milestones on time and on budget is great. However, ensuring that the end results will be delivered is more critical. With the reinforcement on results, businesses would be validating their work with the intended objectives regularly. It is an excellent way to check for execution alignment.

Since a sound strategy doesn’t deliver without execution, businesses need to focus their energy instead of doing more for less results. Results only matter when they truly help the business to excel. Otherwise, the effort is wasted. As I continue with my yoga journey, I need to keep these lessons in mind in order to elevate the performance and benefits from the practice.

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