Archive for May 2017

Encourage Direct Reports To Focus On Organization Success First

May 19, 2017

If an administrative assistant prepared for the perfect meeting, yet the meeting did not go well, were they successful?  If the operations department increased productivity by 25%, yet the company missed its sales goal, were they successful?  If the sales department experienced record sales, yet the organization lost money, was that success?

Most people in an organization think of their department, work team, or individual contributions as being their most important focus and measure their success by how well those work units perform. Although the accomplishments of work units are important, at the end of the day, the success of the organization is all that matters. The goals and accomplishments of the whole team must take precedence.  For that to happen, leaders must clearly communicate the organization’s goals and objectives and reward everyone when the organization succeeds.

Leaders who empower their team to put the organization first experience more success.

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Check In On Development Plans Before It’s Too Late

May 11, 2017

Even if it is well into the year, it‘s not too late for leaders to have discussions about their direct reports’ development plans.  Even if they have been doing quarterly updates, leaders should be checking in with their direct reports to see how close they are to achieving their development plans.

Everyone wants to feel successful relative to their personal development and growth.  If it looks like a direct report may come up short on their development goals, leaders should see if there are some short term wins that could be achieved before the end of the year, even if the ultimate goal will not be accomplished.  Leaders may also want to consider allowing some extra time or resources to allow the direct report to achieve success.

Imagine how a direct report will go to the wall for a leader when they’ve made an extra effort in helping them achieve a personal goal.

Leaders empower the success of their direct reports by removing obstacles or deploying resources relative to their development goals.

Keep The Saw Sharp

May 5, 2017

Habit #7 in Steve Covey’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” is called “Sharpen the Saw.” Covey uses the common analogy of a woodcutter who is sawing every day for several days and is becoming less and less productive. The process of cutting dulls the blade. So the solution is to sharpen the saw periodically.

We’ve found that in practice, however, most people fail to understand what sharpening the saw really means. When leaders overwork themselves and their productivity begins to fall off, common wisdom says to take a break, maybe even go on vacation. However, that isn’t sharpening the saw – that’s putting the saw down. When a dull blade is put down for a while, the blade will still be dull when picked back up.

Sharpening the saw is actually an activity, just as the analogy suggests. Think about what it would mean to sharpen the saw. Here are some saw-sharpening ideas:

  • Exercise
  • Improved diet
  • Continued learning (read, listen to audio programs, attend a seminar)
  • Learn a new skill
  • Organize the home or office
  • Clear out a bunch of little tasks that have been put off

Now the woodcutter can’t just alternate between cutting wood and sharpening the saw indefinitely. Downtime is needed too, but it isn’t the same as sharpening the saw. The woodcutter can become even more productive by sharpening the blade, studying new woodcutting techniques, working out to become stronger, and learning from other woodcutters.

Empowered leaders sharpen their saw and are even more successful.

Source: StevePavlina.com