Archive for July 2016

Set Goals For Personal Development

July 29, 2016

Successful people are outstanding performers.  Outstanding performers stay on top of their game.  They are lifelong learners, committed to learning everything they can about their profession, their business, their company, their company’s competitors, and life in general.  As the Chinese proverb says, “if you quit learning, you are not standing still, you are losing ground.”

Supporting direct reports as they learn and grow is the leader’s job; learning and growing is the direct reports’ job.  When encouraging direct reports to learn, set goals.  Instead of “learning PowerPoint,” how about “learn PowerPoint and prepare a staff presentation on September 1st?”  Or, “increase industry knowledge by reading the Wall Street Journal health section each day and report back at the end of the quarter those things learned.”

Personal development is important and leaders who empower direct reports to set goals make the success real.

Job Accountabilities Can Be More Than A Performance Acceleration Tool

July 22, 2016

A single page job accountability document succinctly identifies job expectations and identifies success factors.  Leaders and their direct reports should be reviewing and updating this document at least quarterly.

A well-crafted job accountability report can be used for other purposes as well.  When recruiting, send each candidate a copy of the job accountabilities.  It’s surprising how many candidates, after seeing how accountable they are expected to be, deselect themselves saving interview time.

Job accountabilities can also be shared among direct reports.  When everyone knows what is expected of their co-workers, there will be much more appreciation for each other’s priorities and a greater focus on success factors.

Leaders who incorporate job accountabilities into their leadership practices will not only empower their direct reports to succeed, but the hiring team’s effectiveness improves as well.

Seek Stakeholder Input When Defining A Job

July 15, 2016

Whether a leader defines jobs using a traditional job description or an Accountability Matrix, they’ll want to get input from people who interact with the individual in the job when outlining the key requirements.

The leader and/or HR are generally responsible for defining the requirements for a job.  Soliciting input from those closest to the job provides two important advantages.  First, the people working closely with the job know whether it’s being done correctly or not — often because it impacts their work.  Gaining input from these stakeholders helps further define the success factors of the job.  Secondly, consulting the stakeholders creates a commitment from them to the individual in the job to succeed since they had a hand in defining it.  Just imagine the support felt by the person in the role.

Empowered leaders ask for input from many people when defining jobs and that creates more success for their direct reports.

Determine Leadership Requirements Before Conducting 360s

July 8, 2016

As 360-degree leadership effectiveness tools become better indicators of perceived leadership behaviors, more and more companies are embarking on formal 360-degree evaluations of their leadership teams.  These insightful reports help leaders focus on developing the leadership skills observed by others as being most needed.

However, prior to conducting 360-degree evaluations and delivering results, the leadership group must identify the leadership practices that are important to the organization.  Everyone should understand the organization’s leadership focus before getting their results.  Once leaders receive their reports, their natural tendency is to dismiss the feedback in areas in which they scored poorly.  Having committed to focusing on specific leadership styles before receiving feedback forces them to be more objective and embrace development opportunities.

Empowered leaders choose the important leadership practices before receiving 360-degree feedback and have more successful development plans.