50 Shades of Waste

by Frank Sonnenberg

Does any of this waste sound familiar?

  1. Moving papers from one pile to another.
  2. Spending an hour to save a dollar.
  3. Hearing without listening.
  4. Requesting advice with no intention of acting on it.
  5. Starting many things without finishing anything.
  6. Looking over people’s shoulders.
  7. Complaining without offering a solution.
  8. Creating a temporary fix rather than addressing the root cause.
  9. Wading through red tape.

10.Repeating the same mistakes over and over and over.

11.Indecision. (So much for haste makes waste.)

12.Generating great ideas that collect dust on the shelf.

13.Criticizing instead of giving feedback.

14.Attacking the person rather than debating the issue.

15.Creating rules without insisting that they be followed.

16.Worrying about the future or dwelling in the past.

17.Saying “maybe” when you really want to say “no.”

18.Requesting reports with no intention of reviewing them.

19.Failing to address small problems before they become BIG ones.

20.Following outdated policies.

21.Making people jump through hoops — to show them who’s boss.

22.Starving a winning project because you’re funding a losing one.

23.Working at cross-purposes.

24.Talking behind someone’s back.

25.Meetings without agendas.

26.Revenge.

27.Envy. (What a waste.)

28.Twenty layers of approvals.

29.Passing the buck.

30.Micromanaging talented people.

31.Casting blame.

32.Looking for misplaced things (every day).

33.Failing to address bad habits.

34.Feeling sorry for yourself.

35.Trying to control the uncontrollable.

36.Infighting.

37.Covering up the truth.

38.Reinventing the wheel.

39.Plotting to gain the upper hand.

40.Dreaming without doing.

41.Gathering facts, then ignoring them.

42.Holding a grudge.

43.Needing to be right (all the time).

44.Demanding obedience rather than securing buy-in.

45.Making excuses.

46.Doing it over rather than doing it right the first time.

47.Keeping busy for the sake of keeping busy.

48.Promoting yourself instead of getting the job done.

49.Striving for perfection rather than excellence.

50.Underestimating the value of trust.

How Much Waste Can You Spot In Your Life?

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