As salesforce admins we are also business analysts and process gurus. To be better at our job means we are paying attention to our business, and conducting ourselves as the COO of our world. We initiate meetings, brainstorming sessions, and discussions around current processes. We bring ideas and solutions, we focus on understanding problems in complete detail and then focus on delivering efficient solutions. Day and night. We eat, sleep and dream about process improvement and making the lives of our users easier.
The Bottom Line, if we bring efficiencies to our company then we are delivering return on investment (ROI), the investment that our company has made in salesforce. The good news is that we don’t have to become a workaholic or wake up with super powers tomorrow to accomplish great things, we just have to make intentional decisions that deliver value.
I know you want to be more effective at running salesforce.com projects, and you want to lead bigger projects and be known as being effective at process improvement. I understand this drive first hand! This drive is what makes us a crucial part of our company’s operations.
Bringing real change and efficiencies to our team’s doorstep is no small feat, it requires a lot of paying attention to available resources and connecting with people within our organizations (and selling them on how the Force.com platform can solve real problems). Let’s face it, our companies are spending money on salesforce and it is our job as Admins to realize that ROI for them by delivering value (and launch our own careers while we are at it!).
So today is all about making intentional decisions. There is a quote I love (shown below), and I keep it as my computer background image so it serves as a reminder to me multiple times a day that I always have an option to choose my response to outside circumstances; and that the choices I make should always be intentional and aligned with a purpose!
When thinking about intention and process, I like to compare my work to being at an easter egg hunt. Someone out there knows where the easter eggs are… so if I can find that person then they can tell me where to look, putting me in a situation to learn from the master.
Here is why I love this analogy –check out the logic here:
- I know there are easter eggs laying around somewhere (we are at an easter egg hunt after all!)
- I am not a master easter egg hunter, but I am darn good at cooking those eggs when I find them!
- I only have limited time so if I am randomly looking for eggs I am losing big time (and people are yelling at me the whole time ahhh!)
- I know there is an expert in my mist, who knows what it means to be a great easter egg hunter —she was the one who started this whole thing and maintains the tradition every day after all. She knows the pain of the easter egg hunters first hand, and what their pain is and all the details of this type of event and the people involved. If I can find her… she will be the key to getting me up to speed on what it means to be in the easter egg hunting game!
If this was a choose your own adventure book, you would see two options at the end of this chapter:
- Turn to Page 33 if you want to spend a lot of time running around looking for eggs and then being upset when you only find 1, and when you cook it with your amazing cooking skills… no one even notices!
- Turn to Page 144 if you want to spend some time getting to know the easter egg queen, become her advocate and enable her to put on the most amazing easter egg hunts the world has ever seen!
The choice becomes clear!
And the good news is that all of this starts by picking up one new habit, paying attention.
When I was a kid my favorite question was “why” (my parents often joke that they wish they had the internet when I was young, it would have saved them serious cash on an encyclopedia set!), and to this day I continue to have a genuine curiosity about everything around me– most of all around process. In my career, I found the secret to success when I stopped being scared to speak up and ask people around me what their problem was, and why they have it.
Did you ever think asking someone “What is your problem” would be the key to success? Ha!
Paying attention is the first step to making the change from an admin that implements what others tell them to do, to an admin that is serious about changing peoples lives within the organization. When I was starting out (and still to this day), I focused on understanding what was going on around me. Not just at the surface, I mean digging in and paying attention to the problems around me without sweeping them under the rug. I would hear people complaining about a process and I would see it as an opportunity to listen to them and to ask questions that pointed them toward further understanding the problem.
For example, questions like “if they were to listen to you, what would you tell them is the solution to this problem?” work really well. Often people don’t focus on solutions because they are so used to not being heard, so asking this question makes them think about what they would say if they were heard (oh and by the way, you are listening to them in this moment so make them feel special- don’t check your phone or work on your computer while they talk!).
The Bottom Line, the problem is always easy (you are at an easter egg hunt and you have to find eggs), and the solution always seems hard (looking around for easter eggs randomly in a huge field of grass ahhhh!). Paying attention breaks the myth that solutions are hard; paying attention means leveraging the people around you who already know what you don’t know (where the easter eggs were hidden!).
For my fellow formula lovers:
The people in your office with process problems + your knowledge of force.com = process improvement efficiencies
~ So talk to these people with the intention and purpose of becoming their ally and making them shine within the organization! The possibilities are endless! ~
Here are other resources and topics related to intention and paying attention if you want to continue your personal and professional growth:
- Paying attention is the first step in the Admin’s Getting Started Model, find out more by watching episode #1 of the Admin to Admin Academy Podcast here.
- Master your thoughts and drive the results you want! It really works. Here are two thought models that I study and practice regularly:
The Life Coach School with Brooke Castillo. I highly recommend listening to the podcast on iTunes, starting from the FIRST EPISODE!
Byron Katie’s “The Work“. Mind blown. Seriously brilliant woman.
- My absolute favorite book is The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer, I have read and listened to it at least 12 times in the last year alone.
- Find a full list of my favorite books via the MVDSFDC Favorite Book Amazon Wishlist, making it is easy for you to buy them all now!
- Blog posts about taking risk and motivation:
- 5 Priceless Lessons on collaboration, Risk Taking, and motivation by Charles Duhigg
- About Human Nature on FarnamStreetBlog.com
- The Psychology of Human Misjudgment on FarnamStreetBlog.com (Charlie Mungar video)
- A two step process for making effective decisions (Charlie Mungar)
- Signs you lack emotional intelligence (and what to do about it) on HBR.org
- How to reinvent yourself to be a better you
- Absolutely everything on FarnamStreetBlog.com
- 13 Reasons you are not as successful as you should be
- Brainpickings.org is an amazing website you can spend hours getting lost on – I love all of the content here. This specific article was written about one of my top favorite books (on my Amazon Wishlist!) around the fixed vs. growth mindset!
- Blog posts from the salesforce community:
- Salesforceben.com on 10 Must have qualities of a salesforce administrator
- An example of being a Change Agent in your company by Salesforceben.com
- How to successfully start a new job by Adminhero.com
- 24 Quotes for #AwesomeAdmins by SFBullet.com
- What is a salesforce admin? video on buttonclickadmin.com