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. Continue reading →
Managing the boss is best done openly, not subversively. Smart executives communicate to the boss what they are doing and why they are doing it. If you were writing a memo to the boss about why you were managing him, you would address these ten reasons why a boss should want to be managed by a direct report: Continue reading →
Every leader wants and needs to be trusted and be seen as credible by their team. Trust and credibility are equally important and go hand-in-hand in either making or breaking a leadership career. It’s been written that trust is built on credibility and credibility is earned by putting the interest of others ahead of yours.
Some mistakenly believe that they come with a “title” or are based on the size of your office. They are not given; they cannot be bought. They must be earned and then sustained, and this requires hard work on a consistent basis.
Consider practicing the following behaviors to help you either build or enhance your trust and credibility with your team. Continue reading →
I am constantly running into leaders and entrepreneurs who lament about the same challenge. Namely, their team’s performance is either not in sync with or not sufficient enough to help them make their vision a reality. I have even coached some of these “team challenged” folks. Some never got it and have gone elsewhere to seek fame. Others have gotten it and are achieving success.
As you drill down into their challenge it becomes apparent that some have only scratched the surface teaching their team specifically how their individual performance connects with and drives their vision. Even worse, some do nothing to help their team make the connection. Hence, the title of this morning’s Wake-up Call. Continue reading →
Almost daily, we read that with our improving economy and full employment, there are more open jobs than there are people to fill them. Hence, the retention of your best performers becomes a key management concern and objective for 2019 and beyond.
One of the best ways I know to retain your talent is to continue to develop them, so they grow – and achieve personal satisfaction – as your company grows.
Now, some of you may be saying, “Well, we train our employees.” Stop thinking about training your team and make the mental shift to those activities that will “develop” them. To me, when people talk about training, they are often describing an event or meeting. On the other hand, when you focus on development, you are taking a more permanent and longer perspective to help “develop” and use the right behaviors versus a one-time event or class.
There needs to be three key components when you want to effectively develop your team to produce at a higher level on a more consistent basis.
This visual of a 3-legged stool will help you in understanding how these concepts work.
Here’s further information to help you understand the three components necessary to make your development activities successful:
In line with what I stated above, the good performer employee must be given the opportunity to learn or acquire the new skill or knowledge.
Next, they must be given the opportunity to apply the new skill or knowledge to their current role. Get them using the new skill as soon as possible. Discuss how you will want them to apply it even before they acquire it to help them focus on the goal you have set for them.
Finally, they must be given the opportunity to receive feedback – constructive and meaningful feedback – from you on how they are doing in applying that new skill or knowledge. Providing your team member with the right feedback will help them learn their new skill faster and give them more self-confidence.
I cannot think of a legitimate reason why you wouldn’t follow this approach. Unless of course, you prefer mediocrity and disengaged employees.
The best leaders always tend to make the best decisions in most cases. To be able to make the best decisions, you must have in your “toolkit” the ability to build consensus around a goal or issue and then properly communicate the actions to be taken, by who and by when.
Some of you approach decision making, consensus building and communication like a speeding freight train. How’s that working out for you? Make no mistake, there are those times when a direct approach is necessary. But it should not be the “norm”.
One of the most important lessons I write about in my new book – “The Go-To Person’s Guide to Success” – is that making the decision is actually the easy part. Getting everyone with different views to buy-in and comply is the real test of a leader. And that’s where consensus building and communication factor into the process.
From my experiences, I developed a 7-step process for communication that leads to consensus building within my team. If you follow it as designed, communication within your company will improve, as will the results you achieve. Continue reading →
You can’t be a productive leader if all you are doing is solving other people’s problems. Learning how to take the “we” out of “we have a problem” and to set new rules for your team will make everyone more productive and efficient at problem-solving. Learn how…
In my new book, “The Go-To Person’s Guide to Success”, I discuss in detail the importance of a leader not being the only “go-to person” in their organization. I stress that one of a leader’s primary responsibilities is to develop other “go-to people” so the company and the team can continue to grow.
Often, when I write about these people-strategy issues, the common question I hear is, “How and where do I start?”
As I discuss in detail in the book, the starting point is with questions – specifically six of them – that you can use with your direct reports or any other level of management within your organization. Assess each one of your direct reports, individually, against each of these 6 questions: Continue reading →