Wikipedia tells us that, “Delegation is the assignment of authority and responsibility to another person to carry out specific activities. The person who delegated the work still remains accountable for the outcome of that work. Delegation is supposed to empower a subordinate to learn and to make decisions.”
Poor delegation causes frustration and confusion to all of the parties involved. Or, to say it another way: When done poorly, “It can be a living hell!” It also cheats your team out of opportunities to develop their skills, which ultimately hurts you, your team and your organization.
So how do you get started on the road to becoming an effective delegator? First and foremost, you’re going to have to break out of your comfort zone and be willing to change. After that, following these simple 6 steps will get you going in the right direction: Continue reading →
All of us in a leadership position get to carry the brunt of the problems and challenges we face every day. We sometimes cause these problems. And in other cases, we must clean up the mess made by someone else.
In most cases, we serve as the “buffer” between the problems and our teams. Then once we have confronted the problem we have to sift through the emotion and clutter that comes with it to determine what caused it and more importantly how to solve it—while still doing everything else you’re supposed to do!
Working through and managing bad days comes with the territory if you are a leader. But, when the number of those bad days starts to take place on an ever increasing basis and the severity intensifies, you’re then experiencing days that “you don’t want to go to work.”
However, as a good leader you pick yourself up and go to work on those days you really don’t want to be there. You fool yourself into thinking that “it’s what you have to do” but, you’re not having any fun
When you reach this state, it’s time to come to a complete stop and put yourself in time out! You need to give yourself some time to catch your breath and think about what you’re doing versus what you “should” be doing. Why? Because if you don’t stop the madness, you’ll “burn out physically and emotionally, and run yourself and your business into the ground—permanently.
With the possibility of the demise of your business staring you in the face, you should consider taking all of these key steps: Continue reading →
The other day, while I was conducting a leadership workshop for entrepreneurs, one of the attendees asked the best way to give constructive feedback—especially when negative performance issues are being addressed.
In responding to the question, I counseled the person that first they needed to be clear on their purpose for giving the feedback. What the consequences were to them, their company and the employee if the issues were not addressed; and what specific actions they wanted to address and/or correct.
With that information shared as a backdrop, I suggested that the person take these specific actions when they met with their employee/team member: Continue reading →
From my coaching and mentoring experiences, one of the biggest challenges those who aspire to be leaders consistently face is how to improve their productivity by delegating tasks to other team members. Many do it wrong and eventually throw their hands up in frustration and end up doing the work themselves and then…complain about it.
So the “stuff” I’m thinking about this week (and you should be also) is how to become effective when delegating to others. Think – and more importantly act – on these key delegation points this week:
Poor delegation creates frustration and confusion, destroying any effort on your part to be productive. Train others to do the tasks that take you away from more important things. A team that can’t develop their skills fully will ultimately hurt your business.
Delegation, when done the right way, is one of the most effective tools that successful leaders have. If you can live with the worst possible outcome, then you can delegate the project.
When delegating, choose someone who has exhibited the right work ethic and attitude.
When delegating, be sure to describe the task as clearly and as simply as possible. Invite and encourage questions and feedback.
When delegating, set clearly defined expectations along with a target completion date.
When delegating, don’t turn your back on the project just because you think you’ve delegated it. Periodically check in to see how they are doing and whether or not they need your assistance.
If your company is like most others, your team members talk to each other – about work (mostly complaining about it, or your customers or even you), their families, weekend activities – but mostly the usual “stuff” people talk about. These types of conversations will always exist and no matter how repetitive they may be, they will never go away, nor should they.
The type of talking I want to discuss today is very different and may even be taking place in your organization, but I’ll bet not to the extent it should if you want to truly tap into the power of your team. Continue reading →
Those of us in a leadership position, all want to run/lead a successful operation. However, many are just not doing the right things at the right time to achieve that goal. We get very good at complaining and blaming, but eventually realize that nothing good comes from that.
The success of your company hinges on many factors. Some of these factors you can control, while there are others that you have to react to. One of the most important factors of success – that you can control completely – is your team. Specifically, how you help your team members find, develop and properly use their greatness. Continue reading →
3 ways to instill urgency and overcome your “business as usual” culture
Developing and maintaining an ongoing sense of urgency should be the norm for any leader wanting to achieve a competitive edge in their marketplace. A sense of urgency should become part of a company’s culture and reflected in everything that they do so that the status quo is periodically challenged. This will give them an edge over those who cling to a “business as usual” strategy as their only strategy. Make no mistake: a “sense of urgency culture” starts with the leader.
Creating and maintaining a sense of urgency culture in a company doesn’t happen without a great deal of effort to bring about this change and, an even greater effort and commitment on the part of its leader to get the process started; and to have the courage to stick with it. In essence, the leader needs to take bold action to set the expectation for a sense of urgency culture and then set the standards for how accountability to it will be measured.
To get started creating this sense of urgency culture within your company, consider the following: Continue reading →
When asked, “What is the job of a leader?” the standard response is, “To get things done through other people.” Sounds simple, right? But there is much more that goes into getting things done through people. In fact, getting things done through other people is the result of what I believe is the real job of a leader.
The real job of a leader is to develop other people – their team – to successfully execute the vision they have set for their organization; whether it be a free standing organization, a department within a larger firm or a small business. Simply stated, the job of a leader is to have the right people with the right skills in the right roles at the right time. Yet, despite its simplicity, developing people still does not get the attention it should on many so-called leaders’ radars.
The reason it is not that high on some radars is due to the fact that these leaders, while dedicated to the roles they fill, allow themselves to pulled on to what I call the “merry-go-round” of distractions and busy work that fools them into actually believing that they are doing the right things. The sad fact is that their right things are the wrong things in most cases. They lack focus.
They lack focus on what their vision is (if they have a vision); they lack focus on what is the best use of their skills; and they lack focus on the best use of the time they have available to them each day, month, quarter or year. They are constantly creating unrealistic demands on their time so that others see how hard they are working in hopes that it will motivate others to work just as hard. They call this leadership by example. I call it leadership by “bad example”.
If you’re interested in becoming the best leader you can be, in order to do the best job for your team and your company, first find your focus. Focus is the path to your success.