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, however, remains accountable for the outcome of that work. Delegation is supposed to empower a subordinate to learn and to make decisions. It is a shift of decision-making authority from one organizational level to a lower one. Continue reading
Many of us often find ourselves jumping to conclusions about an issue with the result being we got it wrong in terms of either our understanding of the issue or the action we took, or both.
We “get it wrong” because we usually don’t take the time or follow a process to fully understand what the problem is or the best way to address it. We all, at times, are required to “think on our feet,” but that doesn’t mean we shoot from the hip or guess. Following a mental process, if done correctly, does not have to slow down how you arrive at the right action to take. When we don’t follow a process, we usually miss some key aspect of the situation which eventually results in “so-so” fixes and not solutions.
While not perfect (and they don’t have to be perfect), here are 5 simple steps to help you avoid jumping to conclusions:
- Start with asking what took place, when it occurred, why and how it happened—this is the foundation for your future actions.
- Define the outcome you want to achieve and by when—i.e., based upon what you learned from the what, when, why and how exercise what would the best solution look like.
- Identify the first 3 steps you will take (including the resources you will need) to get you moving towards the desired outcome. These 3 steps must include what will be done, by who and by when.
- Evaluate your progress after the first 3 steps have been completed and make whatever adjustments are necessary, then take the next 3 steps. Repeat this “evaluation” step as often as necessary until your desired outcome has been achieved.
- Throughout your process, avoid overthinking. Keep the outcome in front of you. When we overthink our actions, we slow our progress, second guess our abilities and make the situation more complicated that it needs to be.
A leadership lesson on managing overwhelm: Chris provides advice to leaders who are struggling with complex problems. Learn Chris’ method for separating complexity when faced with so many moving parts. Leadership means following a process to problem-solving to achieve resolution.
Intentions are things you “plan” to do. From time-to-time each of us set intentions to do certain things or to accomplish specific goals. In many cases, your actions, if you take any at all, fall woefully short of your desired outcome.
Just intending on doing something very rarely gets it done. Some get so caught up in the intention that it distorts their reality to the point where they believe that they are taking action. Yet, all they are doing is talking about it and allowing the opportunity to slip away.
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
To be successful, especially in a leadership role, there will be times when you will be faced with making tough or difficult decisions that will, in many instances, also be seen as unpopular.
Some often delay making tough critical decisions on a timely basis because they fear the outcome. So, to avoid this “perceived” result, we either make a series of small and less effective decisions or we take no action hoping the matter will take care of itself. When we do this we actually do more harm because we are prolonging a bad situation and, in many cases, making it worse. This approach can be a fatal error for a business leader in situations where success sometimes hangs in the balance based on their ability to make tough decisions using not-so-perfect information.
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
No one likes to be criticized but it’s critical in business to give and receive feedback. Chris explains the best way to deliver feedback…and it all starts with trust.
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
Finding yourself in a tough situation often comes with the territory when you are in a leadership position. I describe these situations as being comparable to swimming with a bunch of hungry sharks. I learned through my experiences that the one thing you never do is bleed when the sharks are in the water with you.
In these tough situations, leaders sometimes get bruised and battered and they bleed. Once the sharks sense that there is blood in the water, the intensity of the crisis accelerates and the urge to start a feeding frenzy increases. A feeding frenzy in business terms is when there is a complete lack of discipline, which results in a loss of focus. Fear of the unknown becomes the dominating emotion.
It’s these moments of crisis that become a defining moment in your professional career. You can’t waste any time treading water and “hoping” that the sharks will get bored and leave. You have to act with purpose while in the midst of the situation. You can’t call a “time-out” or” a “do-over”. You’re in a “real-time” situation that requires real-time deliberate and committed action.
So, what are you to do? First and foremost, when you find yourself among the sharks – a crisis – a bold plan is needed to help you navigate your way to safety. Let’s talk about some of the components of this plan. Continue reading